Checkpoints, Ethnic Cleansing- Our Tax Dollars At Work
I saw this headline and it got my blogging muscles pumped: Israel Wants U.S. to Partly Fund New Checkpoints.
Here in the US my experience shows that the media doesn't give us enough information, enough context to understand what is going on in Palestine/Israel.
Let's parse this news article together.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israel is asking the United States to help pay for a $450 million proposal to set up new crossing points and upgrade others along its barrier with Palestinian areas, U.S. sources briefed on the plan said on Tuesday.
Israeli officials began briefing the administration and key congressional leaders this week on the tentative proposal, which calls for Washington to contribute an estimated $180 million, with Israel paying the rest. Israel already receives nearly $3 billion a year in U.S. aid.
The Apartheid Wall
The innocuos word "barrier" in this article doesn't quite illustrate the reality of the Separation Wall, this wall, built by an apartheid nation is more accurately refered to as the Apartheid Wall. I'd ask you read this article by Ran HaCohen which will flesh out my claim.
The bantustan model for Gaza, as depicted in the disengagement plan, is a model that Sharon plans to copy on the West Bank. His announcement that he will not start to disengage before construction of the fence is completed along a route that will include all settlement blocs (in keeping with Binyamin Netanyahu's demand), underscores the continuity of the bantustan concept. The fence creates three bantustans on the West Bank - Jenin-Nablus, Bethlehem-Hebron and Ramallah. This is the real link between the Gaza and West Bank plans.
The state of Israel, a colonizing power is grabbing land as well as the crucial resource of water as it draws what look to be a permanent border of it's choosing withing the UN mandated border, known as The Green Line, that delineates the territory of the West Bank.This flash presentation from Gush Shalom highlights how this is occuring. The Wall fragments and isolates Palestinian population, a process augmented by the system of "bypass roads" cutting through the Occupied Territories, roads further appropriating Palestinian property that the Palestinian population itself cannot use.
For whatever reason, I seem not to have the ability to upload images today, so please click here to see just how much land Palestine has lost to Israel since the original UN partition in 1947.
Recently Likud member spoke of "ethnic cleansing", the forced removal of Palestinian Arabs from Palestine.
Uzi Cohen, a member of Ariel Sharon's right-wing party and a deputy mayor of the town of Raanana, told Israeli public radio on Sunday there was widespread support in Israel for "the idea of ethnic cleansing".
"Many people support the idea but few are willing to speak about it publicly," he said.
Cohen, an influential figure in Likud, proposed that Israel, the United States, the European Union as well as oil-rich Arab states make concerted efforts to create a Palestinian state in northern Jordan.
He suggested the Hashimi royal family in Amman "might view favorably this idea".
Cohen said Palestinians should be given 20 years to "leave voluntarily".
"In case they don't leave, plans would have to be drawn up to expel them by force."
"Transfer" is the euphemism rascists in Israel employ to describe ethnic cleansing. The Israeli website Gamal says this:
The Jews have built their state. To be more precise, they have made many important steps on the road to its realization. However, without the final step - the transfer of the Arabs - the task of building the Jewish state cannot be considered complete.
In an essay appearing in the British Guardian newspaper. Israeli historian Benny Morris points out that ethnic cleansing has long been part of the Zionist agenda.
As early as 1895, Theodor Herzl, the prophet and founder of Zionism, wrote in his diary in anticipation of the establishment of the Jewish state: "We shall try to spirit the penniless [Arab] population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our country ... The removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly."
I know it is a lot to ask but readng this three part essay by Edward Herman will get you up to speed about the bloody policies of the Israeli government. Israel's Approved Ethnic Cleansing; Part 1 Making Facts on the Ground. Part 2, US Official Protection. Part 3 How the US Media Protects It.
US Financial Support for Israel
Our money, the US taxpayer's, allows Israel to implement rascist its policies. Grants? Loans?
...[F]riends of Israel never tire of saying that Israel has never defaulted on repayment of a U.S. government loan. It would be equally accurate to say Israel has never been required to repay a U.S. government loan. The truth of the matter is complex, and designed to be so by those who seek to conceal it from the U.S. taxpayer.
Most U.S. loans to Israel are forgiven, and many were made with the explicit understanding that they would be forgiven before Israel was required to repay them. By disguising as loans what in fact were grants, cooperating members of Congress exempted Israel from the U.S. oversight that would have accompanied grants. On other loans, Israel was expected to pay the interest and eventually to begin repaying the principal. But the so-called Cranston Amendment, which has been attached by Congress to every foreign aid appropriation since 1983, provides that economic aid to Israel will never dip below the amount Israel is required to pay on its outstanding loans. In short, whether U.S. aid is extended as grants or loans to Israel, it never returns to the Treasury.
To learn the history of US financial support of Israel Washington Report for Middle East Affairs Keep in mind that it is costing the US taxpayer 5.8 billion dollars a month to occupy Iraq.
Food for reflection, I hope. Context the mainstream media doesn't offer.
The Middle East Research and Information Project offers an unbiased accurate primer on the Palestine/Israel issue "Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict