Tag Archives: occupation

Occupation Humor

Haaretz reports that settlers in Gush Etzion are protesting the Israeli apartheid wall that is supposed to cut through the land south of Jerusalem. In fact, the land is slated to be built into a new colony and I guess the settlers don’t want a big ugly wall running through the center of their “neighborhood”!

The Givat Yael company has launched a public campaign to persuade the Defense Ministry to reroute the separation fence southeast of Jerusalem to enable construction of a new neighborhood beyond the Green Line.

Environmental organizations, residents of the Arab village of Walaja – which abuts the planned neighborhood – and settlers from Gush Etzion have all joined the campaign, saying the fence’s present route is destructive both to people and the environment.

The fence could also crush Givat Yael’s chances of ever being built, as it cuts the new neighborhood’s planned area in two, reducing the land value.

Danny Tirza, a former top Defense Ministry official who planned the separation fence, today suggests moving it so that all of Walaja is on the Israeli side. The company had asked Tirza to propose an alternative fence route.

The present route is harmful to both Palestinians and the developers, he wrote in a document for the Givat Yael company, which Haaretz has obtained.

As currently proposed, the fence would be ineffective for security and detrimental to nature, Tirza wrote about the route he himself planned. The new route would improve security and eliminate local Palestinians’ “sense of suffocation.” It would also minimize the environmental damage and enable Givat Yael to be built, as well as being shorter and cheaper, he said.

“This route is good for both Jews and Arabs,” he asserted yesterday.

The greens and the settlers are holding a joint demonstration against the fence today. Palestinians have also demonstrated against the fence in recent days, at times clashing violently with security forces.

Businessmen Benny and Danny Cohen, who bought 2,500 dunams in the area 20 years ago, have been trying for years to promote the Givat Yael project, consisting of 13,000 housing units.

But the plan is expected to rouse the American administration’s ire, and is thus not likely to be implemented in the next few years.

“I realize that at the moment, the neighborhood is irrelevant,” Danny Cohen said. “But I believe it will rise even if we wait another 10 years. There will be no choice but to build it,” to accommodate Jerusalem’s need for new housing, he said.

The proposed neighborhood would be built in the city’s southeast, near the Malha mall and the Biblical Zoo. The plans, which were drawn up six years ago, call for a major residential area that would ultimately house some 45,000 people, as well as commercial areas and a sports club.

Defense officials yesterday blasted Tirza’s proposed new route, saying it violates the principle that the fence must be as close to the Green Line as possible to avoid annexing Palestinian lands and people.

“It is not proper for the man who planned the fence, and defended its route in court, to suddenly become a businessman and attack the route,” one defense official said.

The Defense Ministry commented: “The fence was approved by the government and the court. The planned route provides the best security solution and causes the least harm to the Palestinian community and the environment.”

My favorite part of this story is how the settlers feign concern for the Palestinians and their “sense of suffocation”. Personally, I think if they cared about that they probably wouldn’t have a fence or a blockade in place. If they were so concerned about negative feelings, why the occupation? Perhaps the more pressing concern is the “environment”. Make me laugh twice! It’s the pathetic excuse the Jerusalem municipality comes up with when they argue they don’t want to build in parts of West Jerusalem because it could harm some fluffy bunnies hopping along merrily in the hills. It follows that Palestinians are lower than fluffy bunnies, as they end up being tossed to the curb in the rabbit’s stead.  I suppose this means the settlers are incredibly sensitive people, as they’re worried about both the environment and the Palestinians!

Lights Out for Gaza


Gaza’s single power plant ran out of fuel today, blanketing the Gaza Strip in darkness for at least the weekend.
Crossings into Gaza may open in Israel and fuel may be allowed through on Sunday at the earliest. This is in spite of the best efforts of the Palestinian engineers who have kept the plant running despite all number of obstacles in the past.

Occasionally, one has to step back and review the situation completely. So let’s start at the beginning: What sins did Gaza commit to deserve this kind of genocide?

I say genocide because there no longer is a viable future for the people of Gaza. All hopes for that have been dashed by the laboratory conditions of their existence. Gaza is being wiped out. What’s shocking to me is that despite this laboratory being open to public view and participation, Israel continues to wreck fire and brimstone down on the heads of nearly 800,000 children without the slightest concern of anyone stepping in to stop this.


Consider the number of children whose lives have been completely ruined by the effects of constant warfare, poverty, and imprisonment. This is a generation that has only known this kind of existence. A surprising amount of children  require hearing aids because of excessive, constant sonic booms over Gaza. To this, Rannan Gissim said, “The inconvenience that it causes the Palestinian population cannot be measured against the question of life or death for Israelis on the other side.” Do deaf Gazan children really present a life or death situation to Israel? Many are malnourished and losing access to decent health care and even clean water. Excessive salination is causing a breakdown in Gaza’s well-based water supply. Food is only allowed into the Gaza Strip through checkpoints that too often close arbitrarily. Over 30% of Gaza’s airable land is a Shoot-on-Sight No Man’s Land. Just this past week, new clothes and shoes were allowed through the checkpoints.

Gaza has over 800,000 children who are underfed, malnourished, poorly-clothed, deaf, sick, and without any kind of prospects for the future. In addition, now they are also living without electrical power.

I wonder how much longer this will last. I’m appealing to your emotions, but I have to. These are children. I get emotional about children. When I see a few hundred thousand suffering like this, I have to hope you feel the same way I do. Palestinian children are worth just as much as any child on Earth. Why is nothing being done to help them?

Gaza has rockets and tunnels of course. Supplies are smuggled in at fear of immediate death for the workers. These tunnels are routinely bombed and collapse often. While they bring through ingredients to go into a rocket (sugar, for instance), they also bring through supplies and food. They are a necessity for survival. Rockets, on the other hand, are a sick cry of pride. It’s obvious by their construction they are both the proudest and the saddest attempt at resistance. With so little, Gazans can only fashion together rockets that certainly pale in comparison to the lethal power of Israel’s arsenal. They try, though, to do something – anything – to save their children and strike back at their hopeless situation.

If it were you in such a situation, what wouldn’t you do? Can we even comprehend behind our television and computer screens what it might be like to live in Gaza?

The existence of this kind of genocide means that it can happen anywhere. Like smallpox, we have to eradicate genocide completely in order to be rid of it. For the rest of the world, it’s Lights Out for Gaza. Unless we can wake up and truly understand what’s happening, we will end up like frogs in the pan. We will wake up one day and say to each other, wow, remember when there were Gazans?

Links:

Donate to UNRWA

Gaza Health WTO Health Sheet January 2010

The Gaza Strip as Laboratory: Note in the Wake of Disengagement (PDF)

Gaza Power Strip (IEEE report)