Monday, June 4, 2007

Looking Back on 40 Years of Occupation

By Chris Hedges

"Israel captured and occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank 40 years ago this week. The victory was celebrated as a great triumph, at once tripling the size of the land under Israeli control, including East Jerusalem. It was, however, a Pyrrhic victory. As the occupation stretched over the decades, it transformed and deformed Israeli society. It led Israel to abandon the norms and practices of a democratic society until, in the name of national security, it began to routinely accept the brutal violence of occupation and open discrimination and abuse of Palestinians, including the torture of prisoners and collective reprisals for Palestinians attacks. Palestinian neighborhoods, olive groves and villages were, in the name of national security, bulldozed into the ground......

"We are raising commanders who are policemen,” former Israeli General Amiram Levine told the newspaper Maariv. “We ask them to excel at the checkpoint. What does it means to excel at the checkpoint? It means being enough of a bastard to delay a pregnant woman from getting to the hospital.”......"

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