Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Some of the Latest Goings-on in Israel & the Occupied Territories

Israeli forces practice capturing Palestinian villages by... um... capturing real Palestinian villages. Well, they might have to stop, since soldiers complained that these military exercises were unnecessary and frightened the villagers, even though no live fire was used.

Israeli Army: 1
Palestinian kids: 0.
That'll learn 'em to fly kites!
(h/t to Improvisations: Arab Woman Progressive Voice)

Settlers harrass and terrorize UN officers. Israel pressures farmers and herders to move by removing their water source. In other words, settlers "do the same thing as the 'legitimate' occupation authorities do: They drive the Palestinians off their land to make room for Jews."

Despite several soldiers refusing to take part in the action (and going to jail for it), Israeli forces removed dozens of Illegal Jewish settlers from two houses in Hebron today. This occurred next door to a much larger "legal" Jewish settlement, which is guarded by Israeli security.

The routine practice of humiliation of Arabs in Israel has been slightly improved. Now, instead of all non-Jewish passengers having different coloured airport baggage tags, they will only have different numbers.

Israeli and Palestinian transport unions agree to work together on several issues, including improving Palestinian transport workers' treatment at barriers and checkpoints.
Photo Credits


KC said...

Aren't we nitpicky today. Israel halts a stupid training practice, forcibly removes settlers from part of the West Bank, makes non-jewish (not just Arab) airline passengers less visible, and steps are taken to make transit between territories by their unions; yet still you find cause to complain.

Rome wasn't built in a day RJ. I had hoped that seeing how difficult it was for Israel to remove settlers from Hebron (and earlier from Gaza) would show you that.

Israel takes steps to make life better for folks on both side yet still you crap on them. What have the Palestinian powers that be done recently to bring peace to the region?

TomCat said...

Neither side in the conflict has been particularly well behaved, but Israel is so much better armed, thanks in part to US largess, that when they misbehave, it's more lethal.

Red Jenny said...

Hello, KC, welcome back.
1. It was more than a stupid training practice - it terrified the villagers. Imagine if your town was invaded and captured and nobody told you it wasn't real? Stopping this is a good thing - although it is pending an investigation still.
2. The removal of the settlers is also a good thing - not sure why you think I'm complaining about that. I agree with you that it was incredibly difficult, and I applaud the Israeli government for making that choice. I hope they continue to do something about these settlements, rather than encouraging and protecting them.
3. In practice those who are humiliated every day by the divisions (of which different coloured baggage tags is just one example) are mostly Arab Palestinians. However it is true that Christian Palestinians also suffer. As do Arab Israelis. The point isn't who suffers most - it's that it is unjust for some people to be treated poorly because of their religion.
4. The agreement between the transit unions is also a good thing. Not sure why you think I'm complaining about that. I wrote about it without comment, because I thought it was such a great story, one which hasn't been reported here at all to my knowledge.

Yes, Israel is taking some positive steps, and that is wonderful, but meanwhile they are continuing their violent occupation. Remember the power differential here - Palestinians have very little that they can do here. The shots are all called by Israel. In negotiatons usually each side has to give something up to gain something. The Palestinians haven't got much left to give up. Israel has taken everything it wants. The only thing Israel wants is for the suicide attacks and rocket attacks to stop, but it isn't willing to give up enough to get this. Palestinian youth are severely traumatized, and have little hope for their future. Until that changes, the Palestinian authorities won't be able to stop the suidice bombings - they simply don't have the power to do so. I certainly don't have the answers, but I feel it is important to draw attention to important and/or underreported occurrences.

KC said...

1. The point is that it has stopped.

2. Yes but pointing to the adjacent settlement implies that you are downplaying what Israel did.

3. My understanding is that all non-jewish flyers (ie non-jewish Canadians, non-jewish arabs, non-jewish everyone) gets the special tags. Of course this isnt acceptable. But neither are Catholic schools in Canada and countless other practices around the world. Israel certainly doesnt warrant any unique condemnation for this.

4. I didnt say you complained about every news item.

I still don't accept that Israel has all the power in the equation. A cessation of rocket and suicide attacks has time and time again led to a loosening up on restrictions by Israel. It also makes it harder for Western countries to offer Israel unqualified support if it negotiates in bad faith. But I guess we'll have to disagree on that.