Israel and Palestine

The current situation (Nov 05)

Israel has recently withdrawn from about 20 square kilometers of territory within Gaza (to great international acclaim) at the same time as annexing at least 10 times that amount on the Israeli side of the "security wall" and has now turned Gaza into what can only be described as a huge prison camp - surely one of the most grotesque and overt acts of state criminality in the world today. Perhaps the Warsaw ghetto is the nearest historical comparison. The withdrawal of the Israeli settlers was in any case probably mainly dictated by the lack of a fresh water supply in Gaza - the inhabitants of Gaza itself now have to drink salty water and it was getting expensive to supply the settlers with potable water. Now that the settlers have withdrawn, and Sharon has been called a "moderate" by the world's press, Israel feels itself free to bomb and persecute the Palestinian population with complete impunity. The latest tactic is "sonic bombing", in which low-flying jets subject the population to terrifying sonic explosions at irregular intervals throughout the night, as a form of collective psychological torture. While the sonic bombs explode, the world is deafeningly silent. What possible justification can be given for the psychological torture of an entire population? But who gives a shit? It's Israel, after all. Criticize Israel, and the accusation of antisemitism/self-hatred (pick one) will be hurled at you.

In the West Bank/Occupied Territories/Judea and Samaria, Israel is also imprisoning the population in isolated, crowded, enclaves - dividing communities from each other, farmers from their fields, children from their schools, etc. The outrageous "security wall" is being completed on the western side, well within the occupied territories. It is less well known that the ground for the wall is also being prepared on the eastern side, thereby annexing the fertile Jordan valley to Israel. The completion of this disgusting project will lock the Palestinian population into a few small enclaves behind monstrous walls which have to be seen to be believed. Roads are segregated - nice new ones for Jews, dirt roads full of holes, through innumeral roadblocks, for non-Jews. The roadblocks are also used for psychological warfare and humiliation, with deliberate delays, families, patients, children being forced to wait for hour after hour in burning heat.

Israel is now often compared to apartheid South Africa. But there's no comparison, in fact. South Africa, even at the height of apartheid, was never anything like this. White South Africa never locked the blacks into huge prison camps, encircling entire towns, with only a small gate, opened twice a day, sometimes not, depending on the mood of the guard. South Africa never dropped one-ton bombs on civilian areas. And white South Africa never drove the black population to such desperation that they turned to suicide bombing.