[News] Zionism's calm destruction of Palestine

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Nov 17 14:07:02 EST 2017


  Zionism's calm destruction of Palestine

Ali Abunimah <https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah> 16 
November 2017


Two stories reported by /Haaretz/ on Wednesday underscore the unchanging 
goal of Zionism: the destruction of the Palestinians as a people and as 
viable communities, and the theft of their land for exclusively Jewish 
colonial settlement.

The first story <https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.823075> 
reports on declassified minutes of cabinet meetings in the months after 
the 1967 war, when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well 
as Syria’s Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Israeli leaders were pondering how to deal with the hundreds of 
thousands of Palestinians newly under military occupation. It was 
already clear that the Israelis wanted the land but not the people who 
lived on it.

One of the “solutions” offered by Levi Eshkol, then Israel’s prime 
minister, was, effectively, to expel them.

    Deprive Palestinians of water

According to the minutes, Eshkol told ministers he was “working on the 
establishment of a unit or office that will engage in encouraging Arab 
emigration.” He added, “We should deal with this issue quietly, calmly 
and covertly, and we should work on finding a way [for] them to emigrate 
to other countries and not just over the Jordan [River].”

And in a premonition of today’s brutal Israeli siege 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/gaza-siege>, Eshkol indicated that 
“precisely because of the suffocation and imprisonment there, maybe the 
Arabs will move from the Gaza Strip.”

But he wasn’t necessarily going to leave it to chance. The prime 
minister proposed: “Perhaps if we don’t give them enough water they 
won’t have a choice, because the orchards will yellow and wither.”

He also suggested that “Perhaps we can expect another war and then this 
problem will be solved.” He must have been thinking back to the 1948 
Nakba <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/nakba>, when Zionist militias 
ethnically cleansed 750,000 Palestinians from their homes during 
Israel’s so-called “War of Independence.”

Eshkol was emphatic: “We are interested in emptying out Gaza first.”

There was apparently no disagreement.

Yigal Allon, another minister, urged “thinning the Galilee of Arabs.” 
This is important because the Galilee 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/galilee> is a region within the 
land on which Israel was established in 1948 and the Palestinians who 
live there are nominally Israeli citizens.

But for Israel’s leaders they were and remain 
nothing more than a “demographic threat 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/demographic-threat>” to Zionist 
expansion and overall control.

Zerah Warhaftig, minister of religious affairs, made the goal clear: “We 
must increase [the number of] Jews and take all possible measures to 
reduce the number of Arabs.”

    50 years on

Fast forward 50 years to the present day, to the occupied West Bank 
village of al-Walaja <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/al-walaja-0>, 
southwest of Jerusalem.

Israel has been proceeding for years to deprive the villagers of their 

They are already cut off from much of their farmland and from Jerusalem 
entirely by Israeli-built walls and fences.

Two days ago, according to /Haaretz/ 
<https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.823113>, the villagers 
received notices from Israeli occupation forces that a military 
checkpoint will be moved about 2.5 kilometers deeper into the West Bank.

“Once the checkpoint [is] relocated, Palestinians without Jerusalem 
resident papers will not be allowed to pass through it,” /Haaretz/ 
reports. “They will not be able to visit the spring area or their fields 
and terraces beyond it.”

This is an area – similar to nearby UNESCO-recognized 
<http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1492> Battir 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/battir> – with ancient stone 
terraces and springs tended by the native Palestinians for generation 
after generation.

As Palestinians of al-Walaja are deprived of access to their land and 
water, their orchards will, as Eshkol put it, “yellow and wither.”

    Dreams of destruction

Today, just like in the cabinet in 1967, Israeli politicians and pundits 
dream of bombing 
and forcing 
Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in order to take their 
land – if not inflicting another Nakba 
or outright extermination 

Israel is already taking the land, albeit – in Eshkol’s words – “calmly 
and covertly,” knowing that this is the best way to ensure the support 
and sponsorship from American and European governments that continue to 
spout platitudes about “shared values,” Israeli “democracy” and 
“innovation,” while the occupation soldiers, bureaucrats and colonists’ 
bulldozers do their dirty work.

And where Israel hasn’t deprived 
Palestinians of water, that state has made it toxic 

Of course Israel’s regular spasms of mass violence 
are intended to speed the process along and “mow the lawn 
of Palestinian resistance.

What is happening in al-Walaja is a microcosm of what is and has been 
taking place all over the country since the advent of European-backed 
Zionist colonialism 

It illustrates the continuity of Zionism’s incremental genocide 
in Palestine.

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