This week Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions is in the States, and a lot of people are going to see him, so it seemed a good time to get up this video I made last July of Halper in the Old City, showing me the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem.
This is an important video because you can see how Israel strangled any possibility of two states by creating Jewish colonies all through the heart of Palestinian Jerusalem in an effort to engulf the Old City– a project that continues by the minute.
Halper and I stand on the rooftop of the Austrian Hospice, a quarter mile from the Al Aqsa Mosque, and look east and south, mostly. The video is 9 and a half minutes long. Here are some of the highlights:
–The first minute or so we look east at the Mount of Olives at a Jewish settlement. You can’t really make it out, but you can see the minaret on the horizon, and the Jewish building is right next to it.
–Also in the first minute, we look south at Ateret Kohanim, a religious Jewish settlement in the heart of the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. At 1:37 you can see three big Israeli flags fluttering on top of this settlement (just to the left of the white flagpole in the foreground).
–At 2:00, Halper talks about 17 settlements, many funded by American Irving Moskowitz, all through the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, which spill out before us, beyond the walls of the Old City. These are all landgrabs. “Once you’re in, you’re in.” The Supreme Court orders them evacuated, but nothing happens.
2:31 In the distance on the southeast (Halper’s and my right) you can see the Israeli settlement of Nof Zion on the horizon (just to the left of the flagpole). To see the same terrain from Nof Zion in the south, here’s another video with Halper.
3:00. Halper turns to our left, the north, and shows me Israeli flags on a building on the north wall of the Old City, not far from Damascus Gate. “The message is, Dont think we’re confining ourselves to the Jewish quarter. This whole city is ours.”
5:43. Halper points out that Israel is planning a bypass road to go from south to north to connect all these colonies east of the Green Line. It will go from Bethlehem to Nof Zion, to the Mt of Olives and on up to Shilo in the northern West Bank. Because right now the settlers we see are “pioneers,” Halper says. “The road will open it up. They [settlers] are isolated today, but they know the road is coming… Then you won’t have to go through Arab alleyways [to get to your house].”
6:25. Halper talks about the death of the two state solution.
“We [at ICAHD] have said the two state solution is dead for a long time. We’re going to come out and say one state is the only option… That’s the meaning of these settlements.”
I say that that day, Dani Dayan had a piece in the NYT saying, “Stop talking about the two state solution,” all this is Jewish land.
Halper tells me about the Israeli plan to Annex Area C, which is 60 percent of the West Bank, but contains less than 5 percent of the Palestinian population. The Palestinians have been ethnically cleansed from this land. There were 200,000 Palestinians in the Jordan Valley in 1967. Today there are less than 50,000.
At 8:30, Halper tells me about the goal. When Israel annexes Area C, it will say, “Area A and B, that’s not our problem.” The Palestinians can have a state on that land. “Our hands are clean. We’ve nailed it down. There’s no occupation… That’s where Dani Dayan and the Levy Report are all headed.”
Halper continues: Israel knows that “the international community never accepted our annexation of Jerusalem, but they never did anything about it.” So now there will be some bitching and moaning about Area C, but nothing will happen.
“It’s over. That’s the end. Let’s think about Iran.”