March 12, 2010

Israel and apartheid

This is worth a read:
There was, of course, no way for me to contemplate South African apartheid without contemplating its relevance for understanding the situation in Israel–Palestine today. For anyone who has been to Palestine, the grass-grown wasteland of Fietas looks familiar for good reason: it has its counterpart in every grass-covered ruin of every one of the hundreds of towns and villages in Palestine whose people were driven from their homes in 1948 because a racial logic dictated that they should not live in a space supposedly decreed (by God and the United Nations) to another people; in every wind-swept wasteland of Gaza where many of those same refugees’ homes were once again bulldozed by the Israeli army to clear lines of sight and make room for free-fire zones; and in every corner of occupied East Jerusalem where Israeli bulldozers have deliberately and methodically demolished Palestinian family homes in a vain attempt to maintain the ratio of Jews to non-Jews in the city’s population (72 to 28, if you are interested in the sordid details) that was determined by city planners in the 1970s – and has been sustained ever since by denying Palestinian residents of the city permits to build, bulldozing their homes when they build anyway, and stripping them of their residency status and expelling them from the city whenever possible. 2,162 Palestinian Jerusalemites have suffered this fate since 2003 alone, expelled to the West Bank suburbs and denied the right to return to the city of their birth, while Jewish arrivals from Moldova, London, Melbourne and Brooklyn who have never set eyes on Jerusalem take their place.
It's from website, Pambazuka News.

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