The ‘vertical apartheid’ of the Israeli occupation

Israel/Palestine
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The following is an edited version of the preface to Eyal Weizman’s Hollow Land, published by Verso last month to mark the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. This article was originally published by openDemocracy on July 13, 2017 and reprinted here with permission.

In the context of a recent, mildly critical interview about the political deadlock between Israel and the Palestinians, a former Israeli general, until recently the chief commander of the West Bank, claimed that the Israeli military had become ‘world champions in occupation’ and has managed to turn its control of millions of Palestinians into ‘an art form’, as if this two generation long degrading and lethal regime is some sort of a sport or managerial challenge.[1]Such bragging is not necessarily an exaggeration. This text charts the way Israel’s system of control, which evolved in fits and starts throughout the occupation’s first four decades, has, during its fifth decade, hardened into an exceptionally efficient and brutal form of territorial apartheid, in which verticality is the operative principle.

Fiftieth anniversary

Indeed, on its fiftieth anniversary, the Israeli occupation seems to be in excellent form. Though the Gaza settlements have been removed, those in the West Bank and East Jerusalem prosper, and settler numbers have been growing at a rate of 15,000 people annually.[2] The domination of more than four million Palestinians has stopped being an economic burden and proven to be profitable. The people under occupation are a captive market (literally) for many surplus Israeli manufactured goods. Private industries, including international companies working in the Jewish settlements, prosper thanks to tax breaks, low rents, government subsidies, and a Palestinian labour force that is rendered cheap and flexible because it enjoys no civil or labour rights.[3]Israel’s international exports – many of them military and marketed as ‘road tested in action’ (on the Palestinians, that is) – are also steadily growing as more nations, including the United States and European states, adopt Israel-like xenophobic politics towards minorities, refugees, and migrants (especially Muslim ones).[4]Within the Israeli political system there is currently no serious opposition to the settlement project. International diplomacy is largely inconsequential and there is no ‘peace process’ to threaten the settlements’ further expansion. Representatives of the settler movement hold power in all major governmental offices, running not only the occupation, but also the business of the state. International diplomacy is largely inconsequential and there is no ‘peace process’ to threaten the settlements’ further expansion.International diplomacy is largely inconsequential and there is no ‘peace process’ to threaten the settlements’ further expansion.

Dissent is confronted with paranoid fervor and righteous rage. Activists are vilified as traitors, spied upon, threatened, and arrested. State officials, and even the prime minister, now openly refer to human rights groups as ‘the third strategic threat ‘ (after Iran and Hizbullah,) treating them as foreign agents and spies, and the Israeli parliament has legislated laws to constrain their work. Civil society groups calling for boycott of and disinvestment from the Israeli economy and culture – one of the last peaceful means to challenge Israeli hegemony – are made illegal locally, foreign activists promoting it are no longer allowed into the country, and severely limited in some key countries such as Britain, France, Ireland, Germany, and the United States.[5]

Happy fiftieth birthday, indeed!

No small achievement 

The durability and expansion of Israel’s settler-colonial project in Palestine is no small achievement given the turns of recent history. In the fifteen years since the Politics of Verticality was published the world was shaken by a series of transformative processes, none of which loosened Israel’s grip on power over the Palestinians. In 2008, a global financial crisis overwhelmed the world economy and devastated real estate markets worldwide. At the same time, in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem the number of houses and settlers has nearly doubled: there were 400,000 settlers there in 2007 and there are about 750,000 today.There were 400,000 settlers there when Hollow Land was first published and there are about 750,000 today.

This number includes the residents of 131 official, state-sanctioned settlements and the twelve Jewish neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem (this is how settlements there are referred to) as well as 97 smaller outposts in the West Bank and the thirteen Jewish outposts inside Palestinian neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.[6] While official settlements have expanded in terms of the extent of their built-up area and number of residents, the number of official settlements has not changed much. At the start of the Oslo process in the early 1990s there were already 120 settlements in place. It is the rogue outposts that have grown in numbers and expanded as their settlers torch fields and homes, harass and shoot Palestinians to take over their agricultural lands. The official settlements simply expand while relying on the military and the courts to do the same.

(Image: Milutin Labudovic for Peace Now)

Another global process that Israel’s regime of domination has been immune to is the so-called Arab Spring. Starting in 2011, a series of popular revolts, particularly within the Maghreb and Middle East, toppled (or tried to) presidential regimes across the region, resulting in, not a series of popular democracies, but in bloody civil wars and foreign military interventions. While these states were engulfed with revolutionary fervor, resistance remained relatively subdued in the West Bank and Jerusalem (though, as I will later show, it was fierce in Gaza). Civil protests and desperate, increasingly personally motivated armed actions (often with knives), were put down brutally with the help of the Palestinian Authority.Despite popular protests, the wall and other physical barriers have expanded. Hundreds of miles of fencing systems and prefabricated concrete elements have been erected on Palestinian lands to protect Jewish settlements. These barriers are the physical manifestation of what Israeli officials call the ‘segregation policy’, a policy that seeks to separate Jews from Palestinians everywhere across the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.Separation, in space and by law, is the most fundamental component of Israel’s system of colonization.[7] Even when settlers, Palestinians, and soldiers are brought together in the same incident, at the very same place, each group is still bound by different laws. The applicable law for the settlers is the Israeli civil law, by which settlers enjoy full Israeli civil rights including the right to vote. The reality for Palestinians is a military dictatorship in which civil and human rights rarely apply.[8] In military courts, where Palestinians are tried, the conviction rates for alleged violence against settlers or occupation forces are 99.74 per cent.[9]For soldiers the ratio is inversed. The mandate of the military legal system, inasmuch as it deals with Israeli military personnel, assigns criminal responsibility via the most narrow of frames and is oriented exclusively toward low-ranking soldiers: it investigates only harm caused by a breach of commands, never the legality of commands and the violence that underpins them. Less than one third of a single per cent of complaints brought against soldiers’ violence lead to charges.Less than one third of a single per cent of complaints brought against soldiers’ violence lead to charges.

This legal reality guarantees that violence is exercised with the full backing of the law. As a result, Israel’s politics of separation has, in the past decade, surpassed South African apartheid, not only in the extent and sophistication of its architectural manifestations, but also in its duration: the South African version collapsed under international pressure after forty-three years.

Techniques of domination updated

Israeli domination of Palestinians is not confined to the spaces occupied in 1967. In its early decades, Israel’s rule in the occupied territories used techniques of domination that were well-honed on those Palestinians who survived and remained in place during the expulsions of 1948. In recent decades, techniques of domination, land grab and separation, more intensely exercised in the 1967 occupied areas, inspired the further separation of Jews and Arabs within Israel itself. The occupation can thus not be thought of as an aberration of Israeli democracy, a ‘cancerous tumour’ that can be removed by dissecting more or less along the internationally recognized Green Line of 1949, as left-liberal apologists of Zionism propose. Rather, it is a local manifestation of Israel’s regime of domination and separation that extends, in different forms, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Examples of this policy within Israel are abundant. In recent decades the state sanctioned ‘battle for the Negev’ has radically escalated, with Israel repeatedly, violently, sending its demolition squads to destroy ramshackle homes and animal pens on lands that have been continuously inhabited by Bedouins for generations, and this to clear space for Jewish settlements and forests.[10]

The Bedouins are amongst the only Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons (those displaced within Israel) to enact, continuously, repeatedly, on the ground, their right of return, rebuilding again after every act of demolition.

Policemen on horses at a demolition that took place in Umm al-Hiran, 18th January 2017. (Photo: Maya Avis.)

 The Bedouins are amongst the only Palestinian refugees to enact, continuously, their right of return, rebuilding again after every act of demolition.In Galilee, Jewish outposts are designed to break apart the continuity of Palestinian space and limit the growth of villages. Elsewhere, Palestinian neighbourhoods in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Lydda, Ramle, and Jaffa are split into enclaves by roadways and barriers. An important aspect of Israel’s overall domination of all the territorial fragments into which Palestine was shuttered is manifested in its control of population registration. Every Palestinian birth in Gaza, death in the West Bank, marriage in Jerusalem, or change of address in Galilee must be entered into Israel’s Interior Ministry database in order to exist. No one can travel, work, open a bank account, or even emigrate without it.

An Israeli bulldozer destroying the village of Al Arakib. (Photo: Oren Ziv/ Activestills)

The strangulation of Gaza

In the past decade, the focus of the armed struggle and the worst of Israel’s policy of domination has shifted to Gaza. This took place against the backdrop of a punishing siege, which severely escalated after Hamas took power there in 2007. The siege replaced one system of control with another. As long as they were inside Gaza, several blocks of Jewish settlements and a string of military bases exercised a traditional form of territorial control — they controlled the roadways and surveyed the cities. In 2005 the Sharon government removed the settlements and relocated the military bases beyond Gaza’s perimeter wall. Domination is now exercised from beyond the borders, from the sea and the air. Gunboats keep presence just off the coastline, shooting at fishermen that dare to venture more than a few hundred meters from the shore. The airforce controls things from above. Agreements with Egypt ensure Israel has some say over who can pass through Gaza’s border crossing in Rafah. Domination is now exercised from beyond the borders, from the sea and the air.Domination is now exercised from beyond the borders, from the sea and the air.The siege is a giant and unparalleled exercise in population control. It seeks to isolate the strip from the external world and gradually increase the collective hardship by reducing the incoming flow of all life-sustaining provisions. Israeli intelligence agencies monitor the effects of the siege and claim to be able to calibrate the privation to a level that is hard enough for the civilian population to reject Hamas but one that does not to fall below some so-called ‘red lines’ that would ‘bring the strip to a humanitarian crisis’.[11] The supply of food, calculated in calories, was gradually reduced to the UN humanitarian minimum of 2100 calories per adult (less for women and children). The inflow of electricity, petrol, and concrete were also gradually turned down to levels that ground life to an almost complete standstill, devastating infrastructural systems, hospitals, the economy, and civil institutions.Unemployment shot up to 43 per cent (highest in the world), 72 per cent of the population fell below the poverty line and the absolute majority of residents became dependent on international welfare, an important point of leverage when it is Israel that could decide to start and stop that welfare provision. Electricity was reduced so radically that residents have power for only a few hours a day, hospitals were incapacitated, there was not enough power to contain all sewage from flowing untreated. The shortage in basic medicines has become more severe, with people dying from easily preventable diseases and for lack of basic treatment. These deaths, unlike those from direct violence, are not statistically recorded. The United Nations has desperately repeated that a massive humanitarian crisis is already unfolding in Gaza and warned that if the current trend continues, the entire strip could become uninhabitable by 2020.The United Nations has desperately repeated that a massive humanitarian crisis is already unfolding in Gaza and warned that if the current trend continues, the entire strip could become uninhabitable by 2020.Where does Israel want these two million Palestinians to go? The government does not feel it has to care. It claims that Gaza is ‘no longer occupied’ (the ‘no longer’ is strange because when the settlements were there, Israel never accepted it was an ‘occupation’) and thus its duties as an ‘occupying force’ under international law no longer apply (it never applied them anyway). Gaza is rather an ‘enemy entity’ – a designation that allows it to be attacked and starved as an enemy state but without the sovereign rights that come with statehood. This continues a double game in place since 1967. Israel uses the rights afforded to a military occupier, for example to build “temporary military installations” under international law, while ignoring its duties by claiming that the situation isn’t that of an occupation at all. The UN, however, has never accepted this self-serving and paradoxical designation of Gaza and still regards Israel to be occupying Gaza because it has control over all aspects of life there.

Its interference extends into minute details. Decisions otherwise exercised in municipal levels are still undertaken by Israel – for example, by deciding how much concrete and steel are to be allowed in and how much should be allocated for which construction or reconstruction project, the Israeli military officers at the border act as the ultimate planning officers, determining what will be built and where.

Despite the siege, Hamas has not surrendered. Its hold of the strip and its influence over Gazans has only been strengthened. It has resisted the siege with continuous armed action. Constant skirmishes have escalated into three devastating Israeli attacks in 2008–9, 2012 and 2014. Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of dense civilian neighbourhoods during these ‘wars’ has killed over 4,000 people, the overwhelming majority of them civilians. In addition, the constant bombardment has ruined most of the remaining infrastructure, destroyed or damaged close to 150,000 buildings, and driven half a million Gazans out of their homes – a number only slightly exceeding that of the Jewish population the state helped house in the West Bank and Jerusalem over the same period.[12] The built environment – and its destruction and construction – is, as I have already written in Hollow Land — more than just a backdrop of this conflict. Rather, it is the means by which domination takes shape.

Rafah, 2014. (Photo: Breaking the Silence)

 Stratigraphic separation

The policy of separation does not only divide Jews and Palestinians but also creates divisions between Palestinians. Physical barriers now cut apart the three main districts occupied in 1967 – Gaza, Jerusalem, and the West Bank – and separate them from the Palestinians in Israel. The Gaza siege is enacted through a perimeter barrier composed of a similar systems of roads, concrete walls and fencings to that of the more famous West Bank wall. It is built on the internationally recognized border of 1949, but extends inwards into a no-go area that extends up to 1500 metres from the border. Anyone entering this zone could be shot to kill.The 708 kilometres of the West Bank wall cuts between villages and their fields, effectively annexing 10 per cent of the territory for the use of the settlements. It also cuts Jerusalem apart from the West Bank. The eastern part of Jerusalem has been physically annexed to Israel but its Palestinian population was granted only ‘permanent residency’ – an oxymoronic term because this residency can be revoked at any time, and Israeli authorities use any excuse to revoke it whenever possible. Divided from all the rest are the million and a half Palestinians who live within Israel, where they have Israeli citizenship but not equal rights. Completely barred from entering Palestine are the four and a half million Palestinians, mainly refugees but also migrants, living outside the country.In the West Bank, separation has grown increasingly complex.

Map of the West Bank. (Map: B’Tselem and Eyal Weizman)

In the West Bank, separation has grown increasingly complex. The Oslo Accords splintered the territory into areas A, B, and C, with areas A and B enjoying some degree of civilian administration, and area C (some 61 per cent of the total area, with about 200,000 to 300,000 Palestinians) remaining under the direct control the military’s ‘Civil Administration’, which forbids all Palestinian construction and development.Not only has architecture been weaponized in this conflict, but the system itself can be said to have an architectural form. What is this architecture of control and how does it work?‘The Politics of Verticality’ revisitedIn the early 2000s when I started my research into the formation of this territorial system, I approached the challenge as every architect might approach an analysis of a complex building: I drew a cross section through it. An architectural cross section cuts through the visible layers of a building – facades, internal walls, floors – to expose the structures, systems, and infrastructure that run through them – columns, beams, air ducts, plumbing, electricity or information systems – as well as the relation between floors and rooms.

The section revealed the depth of Israel’s colonial project, because, like a building, the ‘architectural project’ of the occupation was arranged in layers. The Oslo Accords of the mid 1990s – which promised an incremental pathway to reconciliation but ended up providing the skeleton of the existing geographical system of domination and control – divided the territory into three principle political floors: the surface, landlocked pockets of which were handed over to Palestinian control; the subsoil, including water and mineral resources; and the airspace above Palestinian areas, which was left in Israeli hands, primarily those of its air force.

Ma’ale Adumim, 2002. (Photo: Milutin Labudovic for Peace Now)

But territorial stratifications get even more complicated. Israel’s primary legal apparatus for land grab: an Ottoman land code from the mid-nineteenth century conceived to encourage agricultural cultivation after a great series of droughts and famine across the empire, by promising farmers permanent tenure over any land they cultivated and threatening to taking land away if they don’t.

A settlement arched over a Palestinian village, 2002. (Photo: Eyal Weizman)

A contemporary reading of the logic of this law helped the state take legal control over all uncultivated lands, which were located primarily on the barren hilltops leaving only the lower cultivated valleys in Palestinian hands. In these hilltops, also important for territorial control, Israel could now “legally” implant the settlement. This meant that the two national populations became intertwined and intermingled everywhere across the terrain.This fragmentation into settlement hilltop islands over Palestinian valley enclaves necessitated a further degree of three-dimensional complexity: a mesh of separated roadways that could connect islands to islands and enclaves to enclaves. This completely divided the movements of Jews and Palestinians in three dimensions without the two ever crossing, or crossing only minimally.

A Jewish-only road network, the ‘apartheid roads’ started connecting the hilltop settlements with bridges that span over Palestinian fields and with tunnels that burrow underneath Palestinian towns. This type of infrastructure has in recent decades been greatly extended and currently comprises a full third of the total length of roadways in the West Bank.[13] In the last decade, as armed confrontations in the West Bank subsided, some military checkpoints were removed, allowing Palestinians freer movement between their villages and towns. But this movement was undertaken on a separate and tattered road network that, whenever crossing the Jewish network of highways, bows and bores underneath them. While the Jewish road network leads everywhere to Israel, the Palestinian road network is truncated on all sides by walls, checkpoints, and military zones.

Detail from Eyal Weizman’s map of settlements, the hilltops are marked in Blue, this is the area within which settlements can expand. (Map: Eyal Weizman)

Every Palestinian town and village has thus been fully enveloped by Israeli space in three dimensions. If Palestinians want to drive out of their enclaves, they encounter a fence, a wall, or an Israeli checkpoint. If they want to dig a well they need Israeli permission to pierce into its subterranean volumes, or face sanctions if they don’t. If they want to fly – a question that is largely theoretical given that they are not permitted an air force nor a national airline – they need Israel’s permission to enter into the airspace over their very roofs.

In Gaza, this three-dimensional partition organizes the frontlines of the armed struggle. Enclosed on the surface and unable to face the Israeli air force that continuously hovers above, Palestinian military efforts move in two directions along the vertical axis: they have retreated into the subsoil, where there are underground command centers, cross-border tunnels, and rocket launching sites; and into the airspace through which these rockets travel.

If this system of volumetric separation were to be described in terms of a building, it would most closely resemble an airport with separate inbound and outbound corridors, splintering infrastructural ductworks, multiple passport control points, and security checks that direct some passengers on hustle-free paths through luxury shops to anywhere in the world, and others toward long queues, invasive security checks, and detention rooms that are sometimes separated from the luxury shops merely by a single floor or wall. Following this metaphor, Gaza would be the largest of the detention rooms. From it, those incarcerated might be able to see the people shopping on the other side, but are invisible to them (while being hyper visible to their security forces). The more these detainees try to resist or break out, the less provisions, water, and electricity these security people allow in.

The terminal/checkpoint system in which Palestinians flow is regulated through remotely controlled checkpoints. (Image: IDF)

Previously, I have called this layered political structure ‘the politics of verticality’.[14] Throughout the last decade, this evolving and elastic territorial architecture has hardened into a permanent mechanism of separation and control. Verticality has become a form of apartheid. The word should in fact be synonymous with it.

Tunnel mouth under Mount Scopus, 2003. (Photo: Eyal Weizman)

The political geology of Palestine

Other layers of separation could be revealed by extending the section line downward across different geological layers. A section through these layers exposes the political logic of Israeli apartheid in the same way that seismological cracks help geologists examine hidden layers of rock.

Recently, some scientists have proposed that our geological era should be referred to as the Anthropocene, a time in which humans have become the dominant force in shaping – destructively and dangerously so – the very material composition of the planet. It is not only that the natural layers of the earth – deposits, minerals, and rocks –should be regarded as proper geological strata, but that the geology of the earth might also include artificial strata such as structures and buried infrastructures, asphalt, toxins, concrete, and mechanical transportation systems, including tens of thousands of satellites that form a permanent layer of aluminium forever circling the planet. If the concept of the Anthropocene helps us think about geology politically, we might also reverse its proposition and think about politics geologically.

The political geology of Palestine starts in the deep subterranean aquifers, buried under layers of aggregate soil and rock. The partition and use of the waters of this interconnected set of underground lakes, most of it under the West Bank, reflects the extent of inequality exercised on the surface. The Oslo Accords allocated 80 per cent of this resource for the benefit of Israel. As a result, average water consumption in Israel is more than four times that of the West Bank and Gaza. In recent decades, over-extraction of groundwater from Gaza’s sole aquifer led to its permanent salinization, destroying the strip’s single water source.[15]

Another geological stratum is archaeology. The buried remains of the land’s historical occupants should be the subject of impartial scientific study. But the settler colonial logic of the Zionist project uses archaeology to construct an alibi for Jewish “return” and the claim that its indigenous rights are more fundamental and prior to those of all others.

In ‘The Politics of Verticality’, I have outlined the way ideologically motivated archaeology across Palestine, aimed at the remains of biblical past, has discarded other archaeological strata (especially the long succession of Muslim periods from the seventh to the twentieth century) and organized the mode of occupation on the surface right above them. One excavation, which began in 2008, powerfully embodies this logic. It took place right under Silwan, a small Palestinian neighbourhood just outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls. Promoted by settler associations and starting without proper permits, it searched for elements of ‘King David’s era’ Jerusalem by boring tunnels through a hillside beneath homes in the neighbourhood, without informing the residents or securing their consent and refusing to stop despite their explicit protests and several attempts to halt it in court.

Cracks in a house in Silwan caused by archaeological digging under the houses. (Photo: Gadi Dagon)

The underground works, a haphazard collection of improvised tunnels fortified with tonnes of steel and concrete, were recently inaugurated by dignitaries including the city’s mayor, who ceremonially stated: ‘When you stand in the City of David, you see layer after layer of foreign conquest, but when you come to the bedrock, there you find the Jewish layer.’ His conflation of geology (bedrock) and archaeology (Iron Age ruins) – false for there being a millennia of earlier inhabitations in Jerusalem – was used to make a crude political point: ‘after other countries leaders visit here they will no longer have any doubts about who owns this city’.[16] But the excavation has also connected between the separate strata: cracks, originating inside the mountain, started moving up through geological and archaeological layers towards the surface, appearing and disappearing as they find their lines of least resistance, cutting through streets, homes, a school, and a mosque, some of which had to be abandoned. Digging for the ruins of ancient Jewish archaeology thus produced a layer of contemporary Palestinian ruin.Digging for the ruins of ancient Jewish archaeology thus produced a layer of contemporary Palestinian ruin.

Indeed, in many places beneath the pavement of Israeli towns and universities, under the fields of Zionist villages and hillside forests, there is a layer made of the rubble of Palestine destroyed in 1948. The destruction has not ceased and Palestinian rubble is still piling up. It is made of homes, bulldozed for being built without permits in places where no permits are ever given to Palestinians. It is made of the bombed out buildings and greenhouses of Gaza and the improvised structures of the Bedouin villages of the Jordan Valley and the Negev. There is rubble across Palestine and everywhere people can be seen picking through its fresh top layers, where their homes stood, searching for something to salvage.

Pyramid-type destruction cropped out of photographs by the Palestinian National Authority Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Gaza, 2009.

This layer of building rubble is directly related to the high tech strata of the airspace and the electromagnetic spectrum occupied by the airforce. Since this book was first published, this layer has undergone a profound transformation. Domination from the air, which was largely exercised by manned jets and helicopters on short designated missions, is now increasingly enforced by overlapping swarms of unmanned drones on long missions. Domination from the air, which was largely exercised by manned jets and helicopters on short designated missions, is now increasingly enforced by overlapping swarms of unmanned drones on long missions.

Hovering continuously over Palestinian towns and villages, they maintain a menacing, malevolent presence. The sound of their propellers’ engines is the continuous backdrop of Palestinian daily lives.[17] These aerial platforms have rotated the geography of colonization by 90 degrees: the ‘Orient’ is no longer beyond the horizon, but now directly underneath it. ‘Aerially enforced colonization’, based on the drones’ ability to maintain a perpetual ‘surveillance and strike’ capability, is an economically efficient alternative to the otherwise onerous and expensive tasks of colonial policing in the dense urban mazes of the Gaza strip. The availability of this form of control was central in convincing the Israeli leadership that territorial withdrawal from the strip could be possible without compromising Israel’s overall domination. Hunter algorithms, programmed to follow patterns of behaviour, are programmed to learn the art of suspicion and violence in the same way that school children across our region currently do.

Israeli Soldier learning how to operate the Skylark drone in the Negev desert.

Cross sections through the layers of terrain reveal the politics of verticality to have an architecture composed of layers of radically different kinds – natural and artificial, material and immaterial, low and high tech – one equally composed of archaeology and drones. When something is said to have an ‘architecture’ it is tempting to imagine there is a single design team in charge, but the architecture of occupation was conceived at different periods by different people. That it has a layered structure laminated together into a unified and effective apparatus is because it was conceived under the ideology and practice of settler colonialism. The layering of democracy (for Israelis and Jews in the West Bank) and military dictatorship (in the areas between settlements) also makes this form of apartheid more resilient because it enables its apologists to deny its total nature and concentrates criticism on a different part of it every time. These different parts under criticism can then be compared to similar or equivalent practices in other places. Archaeology is politicised in other countries, drones are employ elsewhere, and other countries still divide their water unequally, etc. there is nothing inherently different, only that here these layers are woven into a complete system.

However, this layered arrangement is rarely grasped in its totality; each layer is presented as a haphazard, often merely functional solution to a separate problem. a patch over patch, implemented stage by stage. One layer makes sure hilltops are seized by the state for the construction of settlements; another, annexes land along the roadways that connect these settlements (for their security); another, restricts building (only in and around Palestinian villages and neighbourhoods) in the name of environmental regulations for clean air, green areas, and natural reserves, or because the military needs live fire training areas (always next to Palestinian places), or because there are archaeological sites under these Palestinian areas, or, most effectively, to restrict access to underground water. It is the perceived separation between these layers that makes the politics of vertical apartheid so effective and resilient, more so, an attractive model for other countries that seek a form of population control.

Delamination

Even the so-called ‘peace plans’, which still seemed ‘in the cards’ (and the subject of hopes or fears) until several years ago, relied on the overall logic of the politics of vertical separation. Whether in the framework of the one, two, or three state solutions (the latter refers to Gaza and the West Bank as two separate states), every Israeli proposal for a ‘final status arrangement’ demands that Israel retain control of airspace, borders, and subsoil. Even some versions of the ‘single state solution’, now experiencing an improbable revival, not within the domain of the ‘radical left’ but in some mainstream right-wing and settler circles, relies on the deepening of the politics of verticality. In this form, it expresses itself as the confederation of two unequal national systems, each with its own parliament, layered within an overall sovereign, monetary, and spatial envelope dominated by Israel.[18]

Given the architecture of Israel’s settler colonialism, the decolonization of Palestine will require, not ever more ‘creative’ volumetric arrangements and complicated lines of three-dimensional partition, but rather, the fundamental ‘delamination’ of Israel’s vertical apartheid.

Political delamination would need to pry apart and flatten the inflated structure – the overlapping jurisdictions, separate legal systems, and modes of topographic and architectural separation – as well as acknowledge a common (not a singular or unified) history that includes the Nakba. The only ethical future is for 13 million people between Jordan and the sea to have citizenship, freedom to move and live wherever they want, historical recognition and modes of restitution. This could be achieved in the context of three, two or one state, certainly not one of an ongoing colonisation and occupation.

A good place to start might be the equitable management of the fragile, finite, and common ecology and shared natural resources. The vulnerability of the politics of vertical apartheid lies in its totality and all encompassing logic, and we might be able to find ways to de-link the layers. All empires eventually collapse and few could grasp the internal or external causes that led to their demise even when the agents of their destruction were right around the corner or already at the threshold of perception.When agents of separation try to compartmentalise things vertically and horizontally, what is needed is the construction of collectivity between the people coming from the different zones into which Palestine has been fragmented, from the diaspora, from anti-apartheid Israeli activists, and with international solidarity.

While Israel, and indeed the world, treats Palestine as a laboratory for military and political control, activists in Palestine continuously innovate new modes of civil society resistance. When agents of separation try to compartmentalise things vertically and horizontally, what is needed is the construction of collectivity between the people coming from the different zones into which Palestine has been fragmented, from the diaspora, from anti-apartheid Israeli activists, and with international solidarity. But in a situation of structural violence and inequality, mere cohabitation can become counter-productive, as it tends to support the status quo.

Co-resistance – civil society actions that oppose and seek to terminate Israel’s regime of domination – is small but kicking, and it manifests itself in inclusive, unarmed struggle: civil and human rights work, solidarity campaigns, exposures, and demonstrations. The lines of solidarity that are formed there around these small but committed communities-of-practice are the nuclei around which a new politics could one day be constructed. From previous anti-colonial struggles we have already learned that the society that will replace the colonial present will be defined by the sort of anti-colonial struggle it conducted.

One of the most effective forms of civil action to have emerged in recent years is articulated in the call by Palestinian civil society for economic and cultural boycott of Israel. The BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment, and Sanctions) movement has already created widening circles of solidarity and is seen by the Israeli government, as noted above, as an existential threat to its economy, international standing, and ongoing domination.[19] That a movement calling for boycott is fundamental to engendering solidarity might seem a paradoxical proposition, but this form of activism should not be understood as one of negative agency, of blockage and separation. When it blocks non-democratic platforms, it opens (or should increasingly open) the possibility for new democratic ones to emerge, and it currently enjoys growing support from international Palestinian and Israeli activists. BDS activism also develops a global dimension because it must also oppose the western governments that offer unparalleled diplomatic, financial, and military support to Israel and try to criminalise this very act of civil solidarity and support.

Architecture also has a place in the struggle. Throughout the past decade, I have had the opportunity to participate in several initiatives that mobilise architecture as a means of civil co-resistance across the spectrum of actions that the disciple can offer, from analysis to proposition. One such attempt was undertaken with an architectural studio named Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency or DAAR, which I co-founded in Beit Sahour, Palestine together with my friends Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti. DAAR is affiliated with dozens of architects in Palestine and internationally and works on architectural propositions for the transformation and reuse of Israel’s colonial infrastructure – settlements and military bases – for aims other than what they were built for: primarily for collective functions and public institutions. It also works on pedagogical initiatives and architectural proposals in refugee camps and in the sites, often marked by no more than a few old stones, that refugees were displaced from.[20]

The Lawless Line, Battir, Decolonizing Architecture, DAAR (Image: Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal and Eyal Weizman)

Another project is Forensic Architecture. It mobilises architectural tools and techniques to engage with the production of evidence of state violence in Palestine (and increasingly world wide), and presents this evidence in political and judicial forums that include international courts and human rights and environmental reports.[21] Architectural investigations are urgent and essential given the role architecture plays in Israel’s regime of domination –  exposing the nature of the system in terms of both mapping the growth of Jewish settlements and demonstrating the ways in which Palestinian built up areas have increasingly become the target for destruction.

Out of all those born in this land, Jewish Israelis like me are those most privileged by the regime. Unlike most Palestinians, we are able to travel through Palestine and outside it and are afforded greater latitude of expression and access to information. Being Israeli in this space, we cannot avoid a degree of collusion, even when we confront the regime, even when we migrate away, as I did. Unable to escape our privileges, we can choose to use them against the regime that granted them to us with the ultimate aim to undo them. In any case, and in whatever form it might take, we engage in civil co-resistance not because we are certain of what might bring down this regime of domination, but because it is the only way to live here and there, in Palestine and the diaspora.

Notes

[1] Lahav Harkov, ‘Retired General Calling Israel “World Champion of Occupation” sparks outrage’, Jerusalem Post, 1 September. Gadi Shamni led the IDF’s Central Command from 2007 to 2009 and left the army in 2012.

[2] Peace Now, Settlement Watch Program, peacenow.org.il/en/settlements-watch/settlements-data/population, accessed 3 March 2017.

[3] There are approximately 20 Israeli-administered industrial zones in the West Bank. Human Rights Watch, ‘Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights’, 19 January 2016.

[4] Naomi Klein, ‘Laboratory for a Fortress World’, Nation, 14 June 2007

[5] Britain, the United States, France, and Germany acted in different ways against the boycott of Israel. Oliver Wright, ‘Israel Boycott Ban: Shunning Israeli Goods to Become Criminal Offence for Public Bodies and Student Unions’,Independent, 14 February 2016; Michael Wilner, ‘US Congress Passes Rare Law Targeting Boycotts of Israel’, Jerusalem Post, 24 June 2015; Benjamin Dodman, ‘France’s Criminalisation of Israel Boycotts Sparks Free-Speech Debate’, France 24, 21 January 2016.

[6] Information about settlements and settler numbers is usually disaggregated according to the different administrative areas into which the occupation is divided, and differs slightly between different estimates. According to B’tselem, there are currently between 300,000 and 350,000 settlers in the occupied areas of East Jerusalem (up from 189,708 in 2007) and 406,302 in the rest of the West Bank (up from 276,500 in 2007). According to the State’s population registry, in 2005 the number of settlers in the West Bank (not including Jerusalem) was 254,000. During the last decade this number has grown by 167,000 or 66 percent. As of 2016 there were 422,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank. In 2016 the Jewish population in the West Bank grew by 15,675 people or 3.9 percent, double the national population increase. The number of 750,000 is the sum of the average in B’tselem estimate for the occupied parts of Jerusalem and the State’s population registry numbers for the West Bank. The State’s population registry does not provide separate statistics for occupied Jerusalem because the area has been officially annexed to Israel, and its numbers refer to Jerusalem as a whole. In Gaza, since the evacuation of 2005 there, were no (and still aren’t any) settlers. In 1993, when the Oslo Accords were signed, there were approximately 110,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank and 146,000 living in East Jerusalem. See: B’tselem, Statistics on Settlements and Settler Population, btselem.org/settlements/statistics, updated 11 May 2015. The settlement numbers quoted above are from the Settlement Watch Program of Peace Now. http://peacenow.org.il/en/category/settlement-watch

[7] Yael Berda, The Bureaucracy of the Occupation in the West Bank: The Permit Regime 2000–2006, Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute, 2012 (in Hebrew).

[8] Human Rights Watch, ‘Israel/West Bank: Separate and Unequal: Under Discriminatory Policies, Settlers Flourish, Palestinians Suffer’, 19 December 2010.

[9] B’tselem, ‘A Palestinian Charged in a Military Court is as Good as Convicted’, 21 June 2015; Noam Sheizaf, ‘Conviction Rate for Palestinians in Israel’s Military Courts: 99.74%’ +972 magazine, 29 November 2011; B’tselem, ‘The Occupation’s Fig Leaf: Israel’s Military Law Enforcement System as a Whitewash Mechanism’, 25 May 2016; Gili Cohen, ‘Citing IDF Failure to Bring Soldiers to Justice, B’Tselem Stops Filing Complaints on Abuse of Palestinians’, Ha’aretz, 25 May 2016.

[10] Eyal Weizman and Fazal Sheikh, The Conflict Shoreline: Colonization as Climate Change in the Negev Desert, Göttingen: Steidle and Cabinet, 2015.Forensic Architecture’s investigation of a police killing in the illegalised Bedouin village of umm al-Hiran is here: forensic-architecture.org/case/umm-al-hiran.

[11] Uri Blaue and Yotam Feldman, ‘Consent and Advice’ Ha’aretz, 29.01.2009

[12] United Nations, ‘Gaza in 2020: A Liveable Place?’, August 2012; UN figures can also be found here: unrwa.org/gaza-emergency.

[13] Shaul Arieli, ‘The Two-state Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Remains Viable’, Ha’aretz, 31 December 2016.

[14] Eyal Weizman, ‘Introduction to The Politics of Verticality’, Open Democracy, 23 April 2002.

[15] B’tselem, ‘The Water Crisis’, 28 September 2016; United Nations, ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory Slides into Recession, Gaza Becoming Uninhabitable’, 1 September 2015.

[16] Nir Hasson, ‘In a Tunnel Beneath Jerusalem, Israeli Culture Minister Gives Obama a Lesson in History’, Ha’aretz, 31 December 2016.

[17] Susan Schuppli, ‘Uneasy Listening’, in Forensic Architecture (ed.), FORENSIS: The Architecture of Public Truth, Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2014.

[18] Tamar Pileggi and Raphael Ahren, ‘Rivlin Proposes Israeli-Palestinian “Confederation”’, Times of Israel, 3 December 2015.

[19] See: bdsmovement.net; Benjamin Winthal, ‘Ban of Ireland Shuts Down Anti-Israel BDS Accounts’, Jerusalem Post, 3 October 2016.

[20] Alessando Petti, Sandi Hilal and Eyal Weizman, Architecture After Revolution, Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2014. See also: Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal’s initiative, Campus in Camps (campusincamps.ps).

[21] Eyal Weizman, Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability, New York: Zone, 2017. See also: forensic-architecture.org.

About Eyal Weizman

Eyal Weizman (Principle Investigator) is an architect (AA dipl.), PhD from the London Consortium, Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture.

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81 Responses

  1. JosephA
    August 15, 2017, 10:32 pm

    Wow, this was a depressing read. Regardless, thank you for sharing your tireless research.

  2. Jack Green
    August 16, 2017, 11:05 am

    Every time Israel offers to end the occupation, the Palestinians say “No!”

    Even Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia (certainly not a Zionist) said that Arafat’s refusal to accept the January 2001 offer was a crime. Thousands of people would die because of Arafat’s decision & not one of those deaths could be justified.

    As Clinton later wrote in his memoir:
    It was historic: an Israeli government had said that to get peace, there would be a Palestinian state in roughly 97 percent of the West Bank, counting the [land] swap, and all of Gaza, where Israel also had settlements. The ball was in Arafat’s court.
    But Arafat would not, or could not, bring an end to the conflict. “I still didn’t believe Arafat would make such a colossal mistake,” Clinton wrote. “The deal was so good I couldn’t believe anyone would be foolish enough to let it go.” But the moment slipped away. “Arafat never said no; he just couldn’t bring himself to say yes.”

    • eljay
      August 16, 2017, 11:46 am

      || Jack Green @ August 16, 2017, 11:05 am ||

      No matter how many times you dance that same dance, Zionism remains a hateful and immoral ideology and oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” remains an unjust and immoral construct.

      • Jack Green
        August 16, 2017, 7:22 pm

        eljay

        Please explain.

      • eljay
        August 16, 2017, 7:47 pm

        || Jack Green: eljay … ||

        Jack.

        || … Please explain. ||

        No explanation required.

      • Jack Green
        August 17, 2017, 10:28 am

        eljay

        Are you opposed to womens’ shelters because they admit only women?
        Are you opposed to animal shelters that admit dogs & cats, but not guinea pigs or chimps?

      • eljay
        August 17, 2017, 11:15 am

        || Jack Green: eljay … ||

        Jack.

        || … Are you opposed to womens’ shelters because they admit only women?
        Are you opposed to animal shelters that admit dogs & cats, but not guinea pigs or chimps? ||

        Do you support discrimination against:
        – Jews only;
        – Jews and non-Jews; or
        – non-Jews only?

        I don’t support discrimination against either Jews or non-Jews.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        August 17, 2017, 11:33 am

        Jack Green:

        “Are you opposed to womens’ shelters because they admit only women?
        Are you opposed to animal shelters that admit dogs & cats, but not guinea pigs or chimps..”

        I can answer to you, if Eljay doesn’t want to:

        I oppose shelters which are not for everyone in need.

        I did not know there are shelters for women only?? Atleast here we have shelters for abused people, where both men and women are welcome. For some reasons majority of the “guests” are women, but men who get abused/beaten by their wifes also appear. (Here the shelters are called “Safe Homes”).

        For animals, we have different shelters for wild animals and pets, because they require different kind of nursing and care and because the wild animals should stay wild, to be able to return to the nature after they have been treated, so there is a reason for separate shelters for them.

        But if you are trying to connect this to the case Israel/Palestine, the only way to establish a 100% Jewish “shelter area”, is to find an empty island where there are no other people living already. You can not go to someone elses home, throw them out and then say:” This is now a shelter house, but not for you.”

      • eljay
        August 17, 2017, 12:02 pm

        || Kaisa of Finland: … But if you are trying to connect this to the case Israel/Palestine, the only way to establish a 100% Jewish “shelter area”, is to find an empty island where there are no other people living already. … ||

        A “Jewish State” is a supremacist construct regardless of where it is established.

        Jack the Troll seems not to realize that his “question game” is actually anti-Semitic: If it is acceptable for Jews to create Jews-only state(s), it’s equally acceptable for non-Jews to create non-Jews-only state(s).

        I just can’t understand why Zionists like Jack support discrimination against Jews. I can’t understand why they hate Jews so much.

      • Jack Green
        August 17, 2017, 12:13 pm

        Kaisa of Finland

        Are you opposed to Affirmative Action?

      • Kaisa of Finland
        August 17, 2017, 12:24 pm

        Eljay:

        “A “Jewish State” is a supremacist construct regardless of where it is established..”

        Yes, but I am kind of thinking about it from the perspective of all the kind of racist nationalists. It is always the same thing: If they really succeeded with their closed “purely what-ever” nation, they’d soon see it doesn’t work.. Think about that 100% Jewish Island, would someone really want to live there??

      • eljay
        August 17, 2017, 12:46 pm

        || Kaisa of Finland: … Think about that 100% Jewish Island, would someone really want to live there?? ||

        A person who…
        – was born on Jewish Island;
        – has lived on Jewish Island all his life; and
        – still considers himself to be a “culturally Jewish” islander,
        …may wish to continue living there.

        But his conversion to Islam and his desire to bring a Muslim woman to the island to be his wife may cause some problems with the Jews of Jewish Island.

      • MHughes976
        August 17, 2017, 1:01 pm

        It’s worth asking, Kaisa, why the idea of a Jewish State in Europe or North America was never even asked for in any serious way. In part because the paradoxical horror of ‘I want my rights so I’m abrogating yours to the point, as necessary, of excluding you from your home’ would have been impossible to ignore. There would always have been a contrary right that could not be dismissed. Even the arbitrary selection of a deserted island would generate a paradox: why should others in comparable need not have a right to select the same home – if one can make an arbitrary claim, so can another.
        It had to be Palestine because only there could contrary rights be overwhelmed by the tremendous claim of a unique, uniquely authoritative divine mandate recorded in the world’s most famous literary text. It’s always about the Bible.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        August 17, 2017, 1:07 pm

        Jack Green:

        “Are you opposed to Affirmative Action..”

        I am not exactly sure, if I understood your question correctly (because of my “broken English”), but I am for equal possibilties for everyone. It means that “Let the best person win”, no matter what is their gender or what is their background.

        We have had a female president, not beacuse she was a woman, but because she was the best alternative for the job at that time. And she was voted to do the job for two six years periods, so I guess she did something right. I would hate to be chosen for a job, because I am a woman, instead of being the best for the job. F.ex. in the business world, the problem is more the net of old white males, who give the jobs to their “friends” instead of the best experts. (Just look at Mr Trump’s administration.)

        So it is not about having some quotas for different people, but making sure that the best specialists get the job.

        [Here we have the same free(tax financed) Primary Schools, High Schools and Universities for everyone, so parents’ property or status does not affect in which schools their children go or what Universities they get in. I am a product of this system and I support it 100%. Now we just have to get this system working in the business world too. ]

        I hope I answered your question.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        August 17, 2017, 1:15 pm

        Eljay:

        I must say that, if our racist nationalists would want to move to an inhabited island and have their “pure Finnish nation” there, I couldn’t care less. I think our coloured minorities would feel relieved.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        August 17, 2017, 1:24 pm

        People have always tried all kinds of “closed” communities (f.ex. Organic villages), but they never last, because there will always be people who get bored and want to see what is outside, they meet other people, they want to mix.. The human nature is made to resolve such problems.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        August 17, 2017, 2:04 pm

        Aarghhhh!!!

        Correction:

        UNINHABITED ISLAND, not inhabited..

        That was not a place to make a mistake!!!

      • amigo
        August 17, 2017, 2:21 pm

        “UNINHABITED ISLAND, not inhabited..

        That was not a place to make a mistake!!! ” Kaisa

        On the contrary , an uninhabited Island is the best place to make a mistake of such magnitude.

        Greetings from Ireland.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        August 17, 2017, 3:06 pm

        Amigo:

        Well I am REALLY sorry for that mistake. I would definitely not want anyone to invade Ireland (or any other inhabited island!!!).

        Finns have always liked Irish people (some kind of mental connection??), so even the nationalists would surely take Irish people on their island, if there was someone who wanted to go. (Well, that ofcourse shows how illogical their “nationalism” is. True Finns with some exceptions.)

      • Jack Green
        August 17, 2017, 5:57 pm

        Kaisa of Finland

        Israel could have expelled all gentiles & refused admission to gentiles, but it didn’t.
        Israel has 1.6 million Arabs.
        Israel is one of the most diverse countries in the world. It’s multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-confessional & multi-lingual.

      • Jack Green
        August 17, 2017, 5:59 pm

        eljay

        That Israel serves as a refuge for persecuted Jews doesn’t mean that it’s supremacist.
        There’s nothing in this policy that implies that Jews are better than other people.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        August 17, 2017, 6:41 pm

        Jack:

        “Israel could have expelled all gentiles & refused admission to gentiles, but it didn’t.
        Israel has 1.6 million Arabs.
        Israel is one of the most diverse countries in the world. It’s multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-confessional & multi-lingual..”

        OMG.. That is all I have got to say.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2017, 7:23 pm

        “That Israel serves as a refuge for persecuted Jews doesn’t mean that it’s supremacist.”

        Of course not! After all, who else is so supremely persecuted?

        “There’s nothing in this policy that implies that Jews are better than other people.”

        Exactly. If any of those other people had been persecuted like us Jews, they would deserve a refuge, too.

      • Jack Green
        August 17, 2017, 7:47 pm

        Religious Jews would not want a 100% Jewish state because they need gentiles to do certain things on the sabbath & holidays that Jews are not supposed to do.

      • RoHa
        August 17, 2017, 8:31 pm

        ‘You can not go to someone elses home, throw them out and then say:” This is now a shelter house, but not for you.”’

        Kaisa, I give you fair warning. I am likely to repeat that line over and over again, whenever this idea of Israel as a safe haven for Jews pops up. It sums up the position perfectly.

        I shall try to give full credit for it, just as I do for Saleema’s summary of the Zionist mind-set: “We matter and you don’t.” That’s another one of my favourites.

        (Though I don’t usually give an attribution for “ethnic cleansing is currently not necessary”. Do you think I should?)

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2017, 8:32 pm

        “Religious Jews would not want a 100% Jewish state because they need gentiles to do certain things on the sabbath & holidays that Jews are not supposed to do.”

        Exactly. For instance, nearly half the time we can’t have sex. Somebody has got to fill in.

      • eljay
        August 17, 2017, 8:45 pm

        || Jack Green: eljay … ||

        Jack.

        || … That Israel serves as a refuge for persecuted Jews doesn’t mean that it’s supremacist. ||

        Jewish is a religion-based identity. An Israel that serves…
        – not as the secular and democratic state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally; but, rather,
        – as a “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews,
        …is very much a religion-supremacist construct.

      • eljay
        August 17, 2017, 8:49 pm

        || Jack Green: Religious Jews would not want a 100% Jewish state because they need gentiles to do certain things on the sabbath & holidays that Jews are not supposed to do. ||

        Yup, it’s definitely useful to have some second-class non-Jews on hand in a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” to “do certain things on the sabbath & holidays that Jews are not supposed to do”.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        August 17, 2017, 10:16 pm

        Mooser:

        “Exactly. For instance, nearly half the time we can’t have sex. Somebody has got to fill in..”

        Oh, maybe this is why the Mizrahim wanted me to stay with them?? Maybe they just did not find “another gentile” to have it with me?? (And all this time I thought they liked me as a person..)

      • eljay
        August 18, 2017, 9:47 am

        || Jack Green: Religious Jews would not want a 100% Jewish state because they need gentiles to do certain things on the sabbath & holidays that Jews are not supposed to do. ||

        Wait a minute: Why do religious Jews need non-Jews to do their unmentionables on the Sabbath and holidays? What’s wrong with atheist / non-religious Jews?

        C’mon, Jack, ol’ buddy, help me out here.

      • Jack Green
        August 18, 2017, 11:06 am

        eljay

        Not only do religious Jews feel guilty if they do certain things on the sabbath & holidays, but they feel guilty if they cause other Jews to do those things even if those other Jews don’t feel the least bit guilty about doing those things.

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2017, 11:59 am

        “Not only do religious Jews feel guilty if they do certain things on the sabbath & holidays, but they feel guilty if they cause other Jews to do those things even if those other Jews don’t feel the least bit guilty about doing those things.”

        “Kaisa” there’s your answer. It is all about sex.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        August 18, 2017, 2:03 pm

        Mooser:

        “Kaisa” there’s your answer. It is all about sex..”

        :-)

        Would watching through keyhole be allowed??

      • eljay
        August 18, 2017, 2:10 pm

        || Jack Green: eljay … ||

        Jack.

        || … Not only do religious Jews feel guilty if they do certain things on the sabbath & holidays, but they feel guilty if they cause other Jews to do those things even if those other Jews don’t feel the least bit guilty about doing those things. ||

        Hmmm…I can’t tell if you’re trying to say that religious Jews are:
        – a bit lame for feeling unnecessary guilt;
        – a bit supremacist for getting non-Jews to do what they feel Jews shouldn’t do; or
        – a bit of both.

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2017, 2:55 pm

        “Would watching through keyhole be allowed??”

        To find out, I’m watching videos on the “double-slit experiment” but I keep on getting diffracted.

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2017, 3:03 pm

        “That Israel serves as a refuge for persecuted Jews…”

        “Jack”, I looked it up. Israel has extradition treaties with most countries. Prosecuted Jews may want to look elsewhere.

      • RoHa
        August 18, 2017, 8:38 pm

        @Kaisa

        Pervert!

      • Kaisa of Finland
        August 18, 2017, 10:00 pm

        RoHa:

        “Pervert!”

        Heh.. No.. I was just wondering: ‘Cause usually forbidding things, make people just want them even more??

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2017, 12:03 pm

        People just don’t appreciate a good quantum mechanics joke the way they used to.

      • MHughes976
        August 19, 2017, 1:00 pm

        And it was a good quantum joke, Mooser, made me smile. Schrödinger’s cat would have grinned.

      • gamal
        August 19, 2017, 4:55 pm

        “Schrödinger’s cat would have grinned.”

        The cat is in Pandoras box, so best not open it and never know, all is vanity sayeth the Most Hugh, and people say religion is unscientific….

        Ecclesiastes 3: 15-19

        15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

        16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.

        17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

        18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

        19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity”

    • amigo
      August 16, 2017, 12:08 pm

      “As Clinton later wrote in his memoir:” jacko

      Your moving along hastily jacko.Let me see –that screed is on page 32 of the hasbara manual.Just another few pages to go and then you will have to start repeating yourself.

      Try reading Schlomo ben Ami ,s “Scars of War, Wounds of Peace” .He was right there and tells the truth about who wanted those so called peace talks to fail.

      Find another career jacko.

      • Jack Green
        August 16, 2017, 7:24 pm

        amigo

        Clinton put the blame on Arafat.

      • RoHa
        August 16, 2017, 8:19 pm

        As I recall it, when Clinton set up the talks, he promised Arafat that he, Clinton, would not blame Arafat if the talks failed.

      • Keith
        August 17, 2017, 12:29 am

        JACK GREEN- “Clinton put the blame on Arafat.”

        Well, he would wouldn’t he? And all 100 US Senators criticized the UN for criticizing Israel didn’t they? There is a message there for those willing to pay attention.

      • Jack Green
        August 17, 2017, 10:30 am

        Keith

        What is the message?

      • Keith
        August 17, 2017, 5:52 pm

        JACK GREEN- “What is the message?”

        Power and influence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_VNOk7Wv5A

      • Jack Green
        August 18, 2017, 11:44 am

        eljay

        Even if “Jewish is a religion-based identity,” that doesn’t mean that Israel considers Jewish superior to any other religion. Herzl wasn’t thinking “Jews are superior so they need their own state.” He was thinking “Jews are being murdered so they need their own state.”

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2017, 12:53 pm

        “Herzl wasn’t thinking…”

        Herzl alternated his pole positions (now he’s positive, and then negative) so rapidly his name is still used as a measurement for frequency!

      • eljay
        August 18, 2017, 2:14 pm

        || Jack Green: eljay … ||

        Jack.

        || … Even if “Jewish is a religion-based identity,” that doesn’t mean that Israel considers Jewish superior to any other religion. … ||

        That’s nice. But that has nothing to do with what I said.

        By the way, I’m still waiting for your answer this question I asked you:

        Do you support discrimination against:
        – Jews only;
        – Jews and non-Jews; or
        – non-Jews only?

        I don’t support discrimination against either Jews or non-Jews.

        Looking forward to your reply. Thanks! :-)

      • Jack Green
        August 18, 2017, 5:24 pm

        eljay

        “Hmmm…I can’t tell if you’re trying to say that religious Jews are:
        – a bit lame for feeling unnecessary guilt;
        – a bit supremacist for getting non-Jews to do what they feel Jews shouldn’t do; or
        – a bit of both.”

        None of the above.

      • Jack Green
        August 18, 2017, 5:26 pm

        Mooser

        “persecuted”
        not
        “prosecuted”

      • eljay
        August 18, 2017, 6:48 pm

        || Jack Green: eljay … ||

        Jack.

        || … None of the above. ||

        In that case, what exactly were you trying to say about religious Jews?

        Oh, and don’t forget to let me know which type of discrimination you support. Thanks.

    • amigo
      August 17, 2017, 11:14 am

      “Are you opposed to womens’ shelters because they admit only women?”jacko

      Are you in favour of imprisoning minors with adults.

      “Are you opposed to animal shelters that admit dogs & cats, but not guinea pigs or chimps?”

      ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

      Would you support “Goys only Communities” –anywhere.

      • MHughes976
        August 17, 2017, 12:35 pm

        There’s no universal obligation on private organisations to admit everyone to membership or to serve everyone equally – there are good reasons for political parties, churches etc, to restrict membership and for charities to concentrate on a narrow range of needs.
        States and polities should operate on the basis of human rights that are universal, maybe even then with exceptions that respond to circumstances, meet with general consent and are for the general good. Exceptions that make things worse, rouse intense opposition and discriminate massively, as in the area where Israeli sovereign power has been exercised, are of course not so permissible.

      • Keith
        August 17, 2017, 5:44 pm

        AMIGO- “Would you support “Goys only Communities” –anywhere.”

        I suspect that Jack Green fully supports multiculturalism for Gentiles.

    • amigo
      August 17, 2017, 2:15 pm

      “Please explain.” jacko

      The rest of us get it and there would be no point explaining it to you jacko.

      Think of it as an effort to prevent you from further making a Chimp , sorry , Chump of yourself.

  3. JLewisDickerson
    August 16, 2017, 11:24 am

    AN ICONIC PHOTOSHOP➤ Hollow Land a/k/a “Tinseltown”

    HISTORYNET:
    Manifest Destiny
    Manifest Destiny summary: In the 19th century US, Manifest Destiny was a belief that was widely held that the destiny of American settlers was to expand and move across the continent to spread their traditions and their institutions, while at the same time enlightening more primitive nations. And the American settlers of the time considered Indians and Hispanics to be inferior and therefore deserving of cultivation. The settlers considered the United States to be the best possible way to organize a country so they felt the need to remake the world in the image of their own country.

    Many Americans believed that God blessed the growth of American nation and even demanded of them to actively work on it. Since they were sure of their cultural and racial superiority, they felt that their destiny was to spread their rule around and enlighten the nations that were not so lucky. The settlers firmly believed in the virtue of American people and the mission to impose their virtuous – mainly Puritan – way of life on everybody else. This rhetorical background served to explain the acquisition of territories or reasons to go to war, such as the war with Mexico in 1840s.

    Manifest Destiny Goes Global
    Outside the United States, the effects of manifest destiny were being seen in U.S. intervention in the Spanish-American war when Spain ceded the Philippine Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam to the U.S. This was an expansion of U.S. territory as colonies rather than states and was another demonstration of growing U.S. imperialism.

    The term of ‘Manifest Destiny’ first appeared in a newspaper article on the annexation of Texas in edition from July/August of the United States Magazine and Democratic Review in 1845. The author, John L. O’Sullivan used it to describe what majority of Americans at the time believed was their mission from God: to expand to west and bring the United States government to unenlightened people.

    SOURCE – http://www.historynet.com/manifest-destiny

    • Mooser
      August 17, 2017, 7:28 pm

      Well, one nice thing, a quick Google search of “Micheal Signer Zionism” yields next to nothing.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        August 18, 2017, 8:04 am

        Well, one nice thing, a quick Google search of “Micheal Signer Zionism” yields next to nothing.

        That’s clever, I get a link to your comment!

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2017, 11:01 am

        “That’s clever…”

        I’m sorry, I had several windows open, and I put this comment in the wrong thread. Not very clever.

  4. RoHa
    August 16, 2017, 11:25 pm

    “more nations, including the United States and European states, adopt Israel-like xenophobic politics towards minorities, refugees, and migrants (especially Muslim ones).”

    This sentence is a bit misleading. Most countries are concentrating on reducing the influx of people from other countries. (And especially those people who show no interest in adapting to and assimilating in the new country.)

    Israel’s main concentration is on keeping out people who come from what is now Israel, and who were driven out by migrants who had no interest in adapting to and assimilating in the new country.

  5. Henry Norr
    August 17, 2017, 2:17 am

    re “Eyal Weizman’s Hollow Land, published by Verso last month to mark the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza” : not to be pedantic, but the book was originally published in 2007 (perhaps to mark the 40th anniversary of the occupation?). Besides the new introduction reproduced here, does anyone know whether this year’s edition is brought up to date in other ways? I checked the Verso site , Amazon, and Google Books, but I can’t tell. It’s a great book, and I might buy the new edition if there’s more that’s new, but I don’t want to if this is the only new material.

  6. Jack Green
    August 17, 2017, 8:45 pm

    Mooser

    Saying that Jews should have a refuge does not imply that Jews were more persecuted than anyone else nor does it imply that only Jews should have a refuge.

    • Mooser
      August 18, 2017, 10:26 am

      “Saying that Jews should have a refuge does not imply that Jews were more persecuted than anyone else nor does it imply that only Jews should have a refuge.”

      Of course, “Jack”! It’s just that good old Affirmative Action in action.

  7. Jack Green
    August 17, 2017, 8:48 pm

    Keith

    I’m glad that Israel is multicultural.

  8. Jack Green
    August 18, 2017, 2:55 pm

    Why is it OK for the US to discriminate,
    but not OK for Israel to discriminate?

    • Mooser
      August 18, 2017, 3:13 pm

      “Why is it OK for the US to discriminate”

      Nobody says it is OK for the US to discriminate. In fact we have laws against it in general, and even try to remedy past discrimination.

      Which US laws make it “OK for the US to discriminate”?

    • Kaisa of Finland
      August 18, 2017, 6:27 pm

      Jack:

      “Why is it OK for the US to discriminate..”

      Why would it be OK for anyone to discriminate anybody??

      If someone is an idiot, do you also have to be??

  9. MHughes976
    August 18, 2017, 5:04 pm

    As to the Mayor of Jerusalem ignorant and in a sense insulting remarks about the Jewish bedrock, we should note the announcement by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism on February 17, 2016, about the discovery of remains from chalcolithuc Jerusalem – the 5000s BCE. Zionists know their Bible very little, it seems to me, however often they appeal to it, since the existence of Jerusalem before Abraham is recorded so clearly, not only a city but as a centre of the worship of God Most Hugh. A brutally interpreted train of religious thought at work.

    • MHughes976
      August 18, 2017, 5:06 pm

      Genesis 14:18-20.

    • echinococcus
      August 19, 2017, 1:40 am

      Hughes,

      the discovery of remains from chalcolithuc Jerusalem – the 5000s BC

      Impossible. We are only in the year 5777 from the creation of the world.

  10. RoHa
    August 18, 2017, 7:38 pm

    “God Most Hugh. ”

    An ancestor?

    • MHughes976
      August 19, 2017, 6:09 pm

      Perhaps typos are a kind of Freudian slip. Am I revealing a God complex? This is worrying.

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2017, 6:24 pm

        ” This is worrying.”

        Hughbris can have serious consequences.

      • gamal
        August 19, 2017, 6:47 pm

        “This is worrying.”

        not at all, if the “sacred” is not with you where is it? Only I am shy to say to an older better educated person, only, leave it perfect all ready in its place, it never leaves you Hughes, there is no place it stops and you start and vice versa, Happy Every Day and Every moment always Daddy Martin.

      • MHughes976
        August 20, 2017, 11:31 am

        Well, gamal, maybe you’re my Nemeshughes.

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