The pharaoh of Jerusalem
(Mondoweiss) -- by Philip Weiss --
In the last two days two guides have taken me through the geography of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, and I’m staggered. I wonder why this monstrous structure is not better known, even to people like me, who study the conflict. I wonder how it is that American reporters are not describing the racist devouring of Jerusalem every day in our newspapers and showing it every night on our television news. I wonder why our politicians, or our liberal Democratic ones anyway, are not holding angry press conferences in front of the repulsive separation wall as it lunges to separate a Palestinian village from virtually all its connections to the outside world, so as to privilege the lifestyle, and short commute, of Jews in the new development on the hilltop above them.
I wonder why Rabbi Arthur Waskow, who calls for boycotting the “pharaoh” of BP as a response to the destruction in the Gulf, cannot see the Pharaoh’s works right here and call for boycott. I wonder how it is that Ethan Bronner of the New York Times, who lives in West Jerusalem, could give lectures back home about covering the story and lament the (remote) possibility of Palestinians moving back into Arab houses in West Jerusalem when the only real movement and dispossession, eastward, is in front of his eyes; and millions of Palestinian ambitions are blighted by lack of freedom of movement and constant insults to their human rights. And believe me, if a fraction of what the Palestinians are experiencing were happening to Jews, it is all we would hear about.
But let me try to be a little more reportorial.
What I’m seeing is the result of 40 years of Jewish colonization of one of the jewels of world civilization. During the 43-year occupation, the Israelis have essentially constructed a system of spears radiating out from Jewish West Jerusalem into Palestinian East Jerusalem, and on into the West Bank. These new Jewish neighborhoods are designed to solidify Israeli control over greater Jerusalem in the event of any possible division of the place in a two-state solution, but more important, to make Jerusalem into a Jewish city by choking off the Palestinian life of this international city.
And yes, I imagine, there is a security component to the thinking too. They want to kill us, we have to keep them behind fences.
The choking-off is what I saw in my tours. As this colonization progresses, it takes more and more village land around the city and throws out more infrastructure to serve the colonists, special roads and high barbed wire fences and walls to protect the drivers and their communities. The infrastructure isolates more and more Palestinians from one another. You can tell Palestinian villages from the black water vessels dotting the rooftops—because their water is shut off for days at a time...MORE...LINK
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