Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jordan Valley is a microcosm of Israel's colonisation

Israeli land seizure and ethnic cleansing should be met with arrest warrants – not arms sales and diplomatic games

(Click on map to enlarge)

By Ben White
, Tuesday 17 August 2010

"The Jordan Valley, stretching all the way down the West Bank's eastern side, is a microcosm of Israel's discriminatory policies of colonisation and displacement. For 40 years, settlements have been established, military no-go areas declared, and Palestinians' freedom of movement restricted. There are now 27 colonies in the Jordan Valley – most of them had been established by the late 1970s under Labour governments. There are also nine "unauthorised" outposts. In the 1990s, the size of territory afforded to the settlements increased by 45%.......

This is a stark example of Israeli apartheid. Across the Jordan Valley, thriving Jewish settlements – whose very presence is illegal under international law – produce vegetables and fruits for export, their communities integrated into the main infrastructure and communications network of the Israeli state. Afforded generous "master plans" for development by the Israeli state, all around these settlements are Palestinians whose very livelihoods are threatened by the occupation.....

These are the realities that persuade many groups who work on the ground to draw disturbing conclusions about Israel's objectives. Amnesty International has expressed its concern that the home demolitions are "part of a government strategy to remove the Palestinian population from the parts of the West Bank known as Area C". B'Tselem suggested that Israel's motive "is not based on military-security needs, but is political: the de facto annexation of the Jordan Valley".

From the faces of Palestinian families picking over the ruined remains of their simple properties and the prospering Jewish settlements next door, to the declared intentions of leaders such as Binyamin Netanyahu, the Jordan Valley is Israeli rejectionism distilled. Land seizure and ethnic cleansing should be met with arrest warrants and sanctions, not arms sales and diplomatic games.

Governmental inaction makes it even more imperative for citizens to take action: through solidarity with Palestinians defending their community in the Jordan Valley to boycotting products and resisting corporate complicity in a regime of separation and inequality. Once more, the response of civil society shames our elected representatives."

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