Tag

ethnic cleansing

Browsing

Liz Rose reflects on Rosh Hashanah: “We made the desert bloom,” my mother said when I was ten years old. “How did we do this,” I asked, “from the other side of the world?” My mother pointed to the blue JNF box full of loose change. “That’s how.” And then I felt a selflessness in me, learning to give to others who required help, like Israel, who I believed–because my mother believed–needed money to help make the empty forest grow.

Google Maps has turned Palestinian towns and cities into ghosts. They appear, yet according to the technology Goliath they do not exist as places one can actually get to. If you want to go between major West Bank cities such as Jericho, Bethlehem, or Hebron, Google will reply Sorry, we could not calculate driving directions… But if West Bank settlers want to visit other West Bank settlements, Google is at their service.

While apartheid, military occupation, and even ethnic cleansing, have at times surfaced in mainstream discussions, these phenomena are not Israel’s ultimate crimes. They are means to control Palestinian lives and, as such, symptoms of the ongoing Nakba. But they are effectively part of a structure that is rarely verbalized: Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian population.

Pine trees in the Yatir Forest which is being used to displace the Bedouin residents of the unrecognized village of Atir. The original caption on the photo from the website israeltoday.co.il read, "Since the formation of the State of Israel, tree planters have been busy creating forests in the holy land, which was a barren wasteland for centuries."

The policy of ethnic cleansing ever since 1948, and in particular since 1967, is a consensual issue in Israel and thus leaves very little hope for peace and reconciliation. This strategy is marketed differently domestically and externally: It is based on the need to ‘preserve Jewish identity’ to the Israeli public and abroad as ‘Israel’s need for security’. These concepts are used widely across the political spectrum in Israel and provide the ambiguous framework for the Israeli ‘national consensus’. They also underpin the political instruments which deny the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine and to bring about its goal of maintaining a Jewish majority. The problem with Israel thus is not a policy here or there, but its overall strategy that has not changed.