“The third option, taking shape before our eyes, is not obscure. Israel is systematically extending plans that were sketched and initiated shortly after the 1967 war, and institutionalized more fully with the access to power of Menahem Begin’s Likud a decade later.The first step is to create what Yonatan Mendel calls ‘a disturbing new city’ called ‘Jerusalem’ but extending far beyond historic Jerusalem, incorporating dozens of Palestinian villages and surrounding lands, and furthermore, designated as a Jewish City and the capital of Israel. All of this is in direct violation of explicit Security Council orders. A corridor to the East of this new Greater Jerusalem incorporates the town of Ma’aleh Adumim, established in the 1970s but built primarily after the 1993 Oslo Accords, with lands reaching virtually to Jericho, thus effectively bisecting the West Bank. Corridors to the north incorporating the settler towns of Ariel and Kedumim further divide what is to remain under some degree of Palestinian control.Meanwhile Israel is incorporating the territory on the Israeli side of the illegal ‘separation wall,’ in reality an annexation wall, taking arable land and water resources and many villages, strangling the town of Qalqilya, and separating Palestinian villagers from their fields. In what Israel calls ‘the seam’ between the wall and the border, close to 10 percent of the West Bank, anyone is permitted to enter, except Palestinians. Those who live in the region have to go through a highly intricate bureaucratic procedure to gain temporary entry. Exit, for example for medical care, is hampered in the same way. The result, predictably, has been severe disruption of Palestinian lives, and according to UN reports, a decrease of more than 80% in number of farmers who routinely cultivate their lands and a decline of 60% in yield of olive trees, among other harmful effects. The pretext for the wall was security, but that means security for illegal Jewish settlers; about 85 per cent of the wall runs through the occupied West Bank.Israel is also taking over the Jordan Valley, thus fully imprisoning the cantons that remain. Huge infrastructure projects link settlers to Israel’s urban centers, ensuring that they will see no Palestinians. Following a traditional neocolonial model, a modern center remains for Palestinian elites, in Ramallah, while the remainder mostly languishes.
To complete the separation of Greater Jerusalem from remaining Palestinian cantons, Israel would have to take over the E1 region. So far that has been barred by Washington, and Israel has been compelled to resort to subterfuges, like building a police station. Obama is the first US president to have imposed no limits on Israeli actions. It remains to be seen whether he will permit Israel to take over E1, perhaps with expressions of discontent and a wink of the eye to make it clear that they are not seriously intended.
There are regular expulsions of Palestinians. In the Jordan Valley alone the Palestinian population has been reduced from 300,000 in 1967 to 60,000 today, and similar processes are underway elsewhere. Following the ‘dunam after dunam’ policies that go back a century, each action is limited in scope so as not to arouse too much international attention, but with a cumulative effect and intent that are quite clear.
Furthermore, ever since the Oslo Accord declared that Gaza and the West Bank are an indivisible territorial unity, the US-Israel duo have been committed to separating the two regions. One significant effect is to ensure that any limited Palestinian entity will have no access to the outside world.
In the areas that Israel is taking over, the Palestinian population is small and scattered, and is being reduced further by regular expulsions. The result will be a Greater Israel with a substantial Jewish majority. Under the third option, there will be no ‘demographic problem’ and no civil rights or anti-Apartheid struggle, nothing more than what already exists within Israel’s recognized borders, where the mantra ‘Jewish and democratic’ is regularly intoned for the benefit of those who choose to believe, oblivious to the inherent contradiction, which is far more than merely symbolic.”
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Louis DeCola, Jr. © 2013 The Hygiology Post ®