Gaza withdrawal about consolidating occupation of the West Bank
British anarchist analysis
The withdrawal of Israel from Gaza is a step towards consolidating the occupation of the West Bank, not peace.
No one looking at the media recently could have failed to notice the
coverage of events in Gaza, namely the removal of illegal Israeli
settlers. This media frenzy was absent when evictions were conducted
there previously. The difference, beyond them being more violent and
conducted on a larger scale, was that it was the Israeli Army
evicting Palestinians rather than Israelis.
Where were the media and the sympathy when the Israeli army was
bulldozing Palestinian families from their homes in Gaza and the West
Bank to create "security zones"? In these evictions there was no
transport for those made homeless, no ample notifications of the
event, no, no generous damages for the destruction of their homes, no
promises of government-subsidised alternative accommodation.
Palestinian families were usually given a maximum of five minutes
warning before their houses, and life savings, were crushed by
Israeli armour-plated bulldozers. If they turned round ordelayed,
they risked being shot. Needless to say, anyone who resisted the
troops were not given the sympathetic coverage and accolades the
media strew upon the racist right-wing fundamentalist Israelis who
protested the ending of the 38 year old occupation of Gaza.
Over 13,000 Palestinians were made homeless in the Gaza Strip in
the first 10 months of last year alone -- in comparison, the Israeli
settlements being closed down held 8,500. Of course, this destruction
rained upon the Palestinians has been reported, usually when some
foreigner who triedto stop or record them got in the way and was
killed (most famously, Rachel Corrie). However, such coverage was
never as impressive as for the removals of the Israelis -- the
illegal occupiers, never forget, who had been handsomely subsidised
by the Israeli state to help themselves to a large part of the land
and resources there.
The reason, like the withdrawal, is clear. The Israeli state
wanted todraw attention to the process in order to justify its land
and water grab in the West Bank. Showing the world the agony and
difficultly of movingnearly 9,000 settlers from Gaza makes the case
that removing 400,000 from the West Bank and east Jerusalem would be
impossible. By so visibly giving up Gaza, the Palestinians (it is
hoped) will be expected to give up the parts of the West Bank Israeli
settlers have either already illegally taken or want. The wall being
built in defiance of the International Court of Justice's ruling that
it was illegal will continue to enclose Palest= inian land and water
supplies. Sharon has made it clear that West Bank settlements will be
expanded and more Palestinian homes will be destroyed. The West Bank
will become more like Gaza than it already is. With the drain on
Israeli's economy caused by Gaza's security gone, funds can be usedto
consolidate the occupations in the West Bank.
Not that Gaza will be free. The Israeli state is retaining control
of all land, air and sea borders. In effect, the 1.4 million
inhabitants of Gaza are prisoners in a giant prison whose electrical
and concrete fencesare manned by an Israeli army which retains the
authority to invade Gazaat will.
All in all, this was policy as spectacle, a show to allow further
Israeli expansionism in the West Bank.
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