In 1947, the new United Nations made a fateful decision. Ironically, an organization conceived with the promise of promoting world peace began its existence by causing a wound oozing with eternal unrest. The UN seized the territory under British Protectorate from the Palestinian people in order to provide Jews with a safe haven from persecution in Eastern European countries. The indigenous population was brutally evicted with no deference to their rights and livelihoods. In the aftermath of the 1948 and Six Day Wars, this tendency towards indifference only intensified, and continues to this day.
Under the original United Nations guidelines, the plan called for two states to occupy this partitioned land. On the one hand, a colonial-type theocracy would be established, populated mainly by European Jews. The âPalestinian stateâ would be made up of two disjointed enclaves encompassing the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the West Bank (the Jordan River). However, many Palestinians uprooted from their land in the new Israeli territory fled to one of the two remaining areas, which became increasingly populated by bewildered refugees.
In 1967, resentment of the betrayal overflowed. Palestinian refugees and the allies of the Arab state have started the infamous war. With the material support of the Western powers and Jewish tenacity, the Israelis foiled the ill-planned Arab attack. The Israelis seized the territory of Egypt, Syria and the remnants of Palestinian territory. While Egyptian President Sadat finally secured the return of the Sinai Peninsula through a landmark treaty deal, the other Arab territories became de facto parts of Israel. The Geneva Conventions expressly prohibit annexation of territories by war, but the persistence of hostilities in these areas has given Israel many excuses to appropriate these lands as a permanent part of a growing Jewish country. As right-wing Jewish governments continue to hold power, they are systematically taking more and more Palestinian land for settlements. This does not bode well for any hope that the indigenous occupiers will one day regain their lands, even if a long-awaited peace treaty is concluded.
Over time, the sense of desperation grows for the multitude of Palestinians who are trying to survive in the âoccupied territoryâ. Millions of Palestinians live crammed into apartheid-like territories, where overpopulation, poverty and despair reign supreme. With the legal, political and financial bridges opposing them, and the prospects for conserving traditional family lands are bleak. The Palestinian presence will decrease further if their ownership appears to have apparent strategic or agricultural value to Israel.
Are these people mad for persisting in resisting the Jewish expansion of “settlements” and the “imprisonment of Gaza”? Protests and court filings have yielded poor results in Jewish courts as Israeli immigrants covet their remaining land. Demonstrations of resistance by throwing stones or launching primitive rockets at âtheir oppressorsâ met with devastating retaliation. The Israelis counter these weak manifestations of defiance with snipers, bombs, tanks, artillery and airstrikes of the highest sophistication weapons, much of which is supplied by the United States. . These actions lead to a terribly unbalanced balance sheet in terms of lives, mutilations and destruction.
Israel’s âright to self-defenseâ destroys already fragile living quarters, electricity, water and food distribution in oppressed areas. Under pressure to maintain the pro-Israel bias, American journalists focus primarily on the relatively minor damage in Israel while promoting the practical “state excuse” that all of these problems stem from Hamas-driven terrorism. The squalid conditions, immense shortages and the confinement of humans in the Gaza Strip are covered only superficially. Even a recent explanation of conflict in the LDN (Chitwood) has focused almost entirely on Islamic-Israeli religious issues and only once mentioned “land disputes”, while the theft of land sanctioned by the government is at the heart of the contention. The press, our government and some Christian sects are strategically inclined to give the State of Israel an âanything goesâ ticket. Rarely is anyone in the US Congress or Senate who speaks out against land grabs and other abuses of Palestinians. Those who resist are immediately targeted with accusations of anti-Semitism or vilified and harassed by right-wing extremists like Representative (Marjorie Taylor) Greene, R-Georgia and the apologists for the Fox News evening show.
The Old Testament justifies Jewish law as the âchosen people of Godâ. Jesus challenged this state of mind by teaching that all men are equal sons of God. But maybe it’s our Indian war story of dealing with the “inconvenient savage” here in America, who has so hardened us to what is happening in the “Holy Land”. Even Palestinian Christians remain an abandoned lot, obtaining little respect for human rights but a cargo of conflict, heartache and endless cleansing of their homeland.