If we are comfortable instigating regime changes in countries that oppress their inhabitants (and three wars suggest we are), then it’s time to take a cold hard look at Israel.
From the moment of its inception, Israel has systematically treated its Arab/Palestinian inhabitants as second class citizens without the same rights afforded to Jews. First, was a systematic and escalating land grab.
— The Israeli government confiscated any “common land,” untitled ground upon which non-Jewish people lived.
— The Israeli government also took all lands owned by out of the state non-Jewish residents. (There is an argument that Palestinians left their land at the behest of Arab countries just prior to the 1948 war. While this is still under debate, there is no question about the Israeli threats that drove other Palestinians from their homes, land, and villages. This was the land the government then declared to be “absentee owned.”
— If this wasn’t bad enough, the State confiscated territory Palestinians owned even if they were still in Israel but not literally home at the moment of seizure. Too bad for those who happened to be visiting relatives or out for a cup of coffee.
— And, of course, there were no Israeli inhibitions about taking whatever they wanted by declaring the need for “military land.”
This was no helter skelter response to the 1948 war. It was simply the start of an ongoing and continuous process. Take, for example, Israeli citizenship categories and the privileges-or lack thereof-that accompany them:
Privileged access to the material resources of the State as well as the social and welfare services of the State. Access to use 93 percent of pre-1967 Israel controlled by the Land Agency. Note that no one can actually purchase Agency land, which is leased to Jews only.
Taxpayers and citizens with voting rights, but denied the right to utilize the 93 percent of pre-1967 Israel controlled by the Land Agency. Denied equal access to water, social and welfare services. Generally not permitted to serve in the military, which automatically excludes many social and welfare services available to those who complete compulsory military service (i.e., Jews).
About 200,000 taxpayers and citizens with voting rights, classified as “absentees.” Denied the right to utilize property in 93 percent of pre-1967 Israel. Denied equal access to water, social and welfare services. Denied all rights to the property (lands, houses, corporations, shares, bank accounts, bank safes, etc.) they owned until confiscated by the Jewish state. This theft was made “legal” by the Absentees Property Law of 1950.
3,000,000 taxpayers without voting rights. Denied the right to utilize or buy property anywhere in pre-1967 Israel. No access to social and welfare services. Many (mostly those who once lived in pre-1967 Israel) have had all their property confiscated by the Jewish state without compensation and been forced to live in ghettos in two areas that resemble concentration camps.
This information above comes from Israel: An Apartheid State by Uri Davis, published in 1987, but still pretty accurate. Let’s look beyond the second class citizenship that the Israeli government permitted Palestinians during the early years of statehood. Let’s look at now.
Palestinian suicide bombing, shelling of Israeli cities from Gaza and the West Bank are violent acts that have been, and ought to be, condemned and punished. But the picture we’ve gotten from the mainstream media looks quite different if we compare some very ugly numbers:
Since September 29th, 2000 to the present, 124 Israeli children have been killed. The number of Palestinian children killed during the same time period–1,452.
Since September 29th, 2000 to the present, 1,084 Israeli adults have been killed. The number of Palestinian adults during the same period–6,430.
Since September 29th, 2000 to the present, 9,226 Israelis have been injured. The number of Palestinians injured during the same period–45,041.
The current number of Israeli political prisoners or detainees is 1. The current number of Palestinian political prisoners or detainees is 5,935.
Since 1967 the number of Israeli homes that have been demolished for settlement reasons is 0. Since 1967 the number of Palestinian homes demolished for settlement reasons–24,813.
Israeli unemployment is presently 6.4 percent.
Palestinian unemployment rate in the West Bank–16.5 percent.
Palestinian unemployment rate in Gaza–40 percent.
Of the 40 towns in Israel with the highest unemployment rates, 36 are Arab towns.
According to the Central Bank of Israel statistics for 2003, salary averages for Arab workers were 29 percent lower than for Jewish workers.
U.S. government aid to Israel in 2009 was 8.2 million dollars of military aid per day.
U.S. government aid to Palestinians in 2009–0 dollars.
(These numbers and their primary sources can be found at http://www.ifamericansknew.org.)
Nothing frightens Israel more than the demographic reality of the booming Palestinian population. And given Israel’s continued and adamant refusal to negotiate anything close to a fair two-state solution, (which would mean the immediateinternationalization of Jerusalem (a holy city to at least three religions), a return to the 1967 borders without any Jewish settlements on the Left Bank, and the cessation of the Gaza Blockade) what alternative will the Israeli government have other than driving the Palestinian Nation into Jordan proper? Just one, genocide.
As a Jew who lost family in the Holocaust and was schooled in yeshivas from the 3rd to 12th grades, I’m appalled that mypeople, victims of that horror, have no qualms about imposing rigid apartheid on the Palestinian people. I feel sick that Israel has followed such destructive and self-destructive policies for over 60 years. Policies that have turned their back on any justtwo-state solution, a solution I no longer believe feasible because of Israeli intransigence. And that lack of belief has me staring what could be the most horrible era in all of Jewish history. A time when a people, who had been systematically and murderously oppressed throughout our past, becomes an agent of genocide.