Friday, April 24, 2009

Are the Israelis racist, Spotty?

Who said that, grasshopper?

The president of Iran, I’m Mad in the Head, or whatever his name is. He was speaking at a United Nations Conference on racism.

Ah, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That fellow really has the Midas touch, doesn’t he? No, grasshopper, the Israelis aren’t racist. After all, both the Arabs and the Israelis are Semitic peoples. The Persians aren’t.

Okay, thanks, Spotty; see ya.

Come back a moment grasshopper. When it comes to the Palestinians, the Israelis are eliminationists. They seem pretty well fixed on a course of eliminating the Palestinians from the West Bank settlement by settlement and starving them out of Gaza.

Here are bits of the transcript from the piece that Bob Simon did for 60 Minutes that Spot has embedded a couple of times:

BOB SIMON: Getting a peace deal in the Middle East is such a priority to President Obama that his first foreign calls on his first day in office were to Arab and Israeli leaders. And on day two, the president made former Senator George Mitchell his special envoy for Middle East peace. Mr. Obama wants to shore up the cease-fire in Gaza, but a lasting peace really depends on the West Bank, where Palestinians had hoped to create their state. The problem is, even before Israel invaded Gaza, a growing number of Israelis and Palestinians had concluded that peace between them was no longer possible, that history had passed it by. For peace to have a chance, Israel would have to withdraw from the West Bank, which would then become the Palestinian state. It's known as the two-state solution. But while negotiations have been going on for 15 years, hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers have moved in to occupy the West Bank. Palestinians say they can't have a state with Israeli settlers all over it, which the settlers say is precisely the idea. Daniella Weiss moved from Israel to the West Bank 33 years ago. She's been the mayor of a large settlement.

DANIELLA WEISS: I think that settlements prevent the -- the establishment of a Palestinian state in the land of Israel. This is the goal, and this is the reality.

* * *

SIMON: Another crippling reality on the West Bank is high unemployment, now about 20%. So some Palestinians can only find jobs building Israeli settlements. They're so ashamed to work here that they asked us not to show their faces. The settlers now number about 280,000, and as they keep moving in, their population keeps growing -- about 5% every year. But the 2.5 million Arabs have their strategy, too; they're growing bigger families. Demographers predict that, within ten years, Arabs will outnumber Jews in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Without a separate Palestinian state, the Israelis would have three options, none of them good. They could try ethnic cleansing, drive the Palestinians out of the West Bank; they could give the Palestinians the vote -- that would be the democratic option, but it would mean the end of the Jewish state; or they could inflict apartheid -- have the minority Israelis rule the majority Palestinians. But apartheid regimes don't have a very long life. [italics are Spot’s]

BARGHOUTI: [former candidate for Palestinian Authority president] Unfortunately, and I have to say to you that apartheid is already in place.

SIMON: Apartheid is already in place?

BARGHOUTI: Absolutely.

SIMON: Apartheid? Israel is building what it calls a security wall between the West Bank and Israel. The Palestinians are furious because it appropriates 8% of the West Bank. Not only that, it weaves its way through Palestinian farms, separating farmers from their land. They have to wait at gates for soldiers to let them in. Settlers get a lot more water than Palestinians, which is why settlements are green and Arab areas are not.

largest settlement in West Bank And the colonization of the West Bank is continuing [photo is of a large West Bank settlement]:

Despite the state's formal commitment not to expand West Bank settlements, a government agency has been promoting plans over the past two years to construct thousands of housing units east of the Green Line, Haaretz has learned.

The plans, which have not yet been approved by the government, were drawn up by the Civil Administration, the government agency responsible for nonmilitary matters in the West Bank. Details of the plans appear in the minutes of the agency's environmental subcommittee, which were obtained by the B'Tselem organization under the Freedom of Information Act.

The entire  colonization of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem have been ruled illegal under international law by the ICJ. Ditto for the wall, although the Israeli Supreme Court rejects that decision.

The extent to which the Israelis are colonizing the West Bank can be seen on this map:


The map is from 2002, and settlements have increased substantially since then.

The anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising was observed recently. It’s a great and stirring story, really, about a small group of Jews, trapped in the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw, Poland who decided to fight instead of simply being rounded up and exterminated.

You see where this is going, don’t you boys and girls?

If you had asked Spot what side he was on in 1948, 1956, 1967, or 1973, he would have answered “the Israelis.” But regarding Palestine, Spot no longer supports the Israelis. The oppressed have become the oppressors. Their actions in Palestine since the 1967 war have been an epic land grab, an effort to eliminate the Palestinians from lands that are historically theirs, too.

Many Palestinians, like many of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto and all over Europe, have shrugged their shoulders and accepted their fate. But not all. They’re the ones firing off the little ineffectual rockets, like the Jewish revolvers in the ghetto. In the words of that famous Philosopher Queen, Janis Joplin, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

And to the righteous bellowing that Spot can already hear, the Israelis have killed orders of magnitude more Palestinian civilians, both before and during the recent incursion into the West Bank, than the Palestinians have ever killed Israelis.

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