Effects of Zionism on the Palestinian People
The Longstanding Effects of Zionism on the Palestinian People
By Sonia Nettnin
The political movement of Zionism is about the continuous development of Israel. This expansion occurs through the confiscation of Palestinian land and resources. The current construction of Israel’s wall is a concrete result of Zionism. The creation and expansion of a Jewish state is founded on prejudice because of the ethnic and/or religious prerequisites.
Palestinian people do not meet the criteria for a Jewish state. As a result, perceptions of the Palestinian people are based on this standard of judgment. Zionist beliefs embody innate prejudice. In essence, Palestinians have been reduced to a concept – and that conception is a form of violence. Therefore Zionism, as a concept, is a form of violence.
Any implementation of Zionism is violence.
This awareness revealed poignant after a lecture by Geoffrey Aronson, Director of Research and Publication for the Foundation for Middle East Peace. His lecture glorified the agenda of Ariel Sharon, prime minister of Israel, and deemed it an enduring legacy.
He talked at length about Sharon’s disengagement plan in Gaza. He stated there are 7,500 settlers in Gaza, but he did not explain that Sharon’s plan is about 17 illegal settlements. At present, there are 21 illegal settlements in Gaza. After the settlers are relocated into the Palestinian Occupied Territories of the West Bank, Israeli Defense Forces would continue the military occupation of Gaza. This unilateral move means no disarmament. How can the Palestinian people live if they are subjected to this violence?
Finally, Sharon’s unilateral relocation strategy would be supported by U.S. taxpayer dollars. Why is the relocation of settlers to other illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories at the expense of U.S. taxpayers?
Peace, “Blopping” and Some Facts
When Aronson was asked what he saw as peace, he said that peace is when both sides create their futures. The majority of his lecture was on the economic and psychological suffering of Israeli-Jews. No one can disclaim these facts. Suicide bombers have caused horrific pain and suffering. When people do not feel safe it affects their daily lives.
What about the Palestinian people? “Both sides” denotes two parties. Moreover, all people want their needs met and they want security. Aronson mentioned that it was reported Palestinians live in sub-Saharan conditions. Yet, he would not explicate on this fact.
After he was asked about the fate of Palestinians who live in Jerusalem, his response referenced one school of thought. “Some people talk about blopping them someplace else,” he said, while his hands moved from right to left. Jordan wants an anti-Palestinian presence to the west of it, he added.
What does “blopping” mean? Is it the sound an Israeli bulldozer makes as its vertical blades demolish a home?
As events unfold in time, Zionism has shown that “more” is never enough. It is not satisfied with the genocide of the Palestinian people because it wants all evidence of their existence erased from this planet.
Per the Palestine Monitor, 22 per cent of Palestinian children are malnourished; 383 Palestinian children (under the age of 18) have been killed by the Israeli army and Israeli settlers, i.e. almost 19% of the total Palestinians killed (figure at 21 November 2002); Approximately 36% of total Palestinians injured (estimated at more than 41,000) are children; 86 of these children were under the age of ten; 21 infants under the age of 12 months have been killed; 500 Palestinian children have been permanently disabled due to Israeli attacks.
Israeli checkpoints and curfews disrupt daily life. If people cannot go to work, then there is no economic means for survival. According to the Palestine Monitor, 70-75 per cent of Palestinians live on less than $2 US dollars per day.
Some international observers who visited the region have coined the delays at checkpoints “an inconvenience.” I wonder if these people would still call it an inconvenience if they were the women in labor. Thus far, 36 Palestinian women in labor have been delayed at checkpoints. Fourteen of these women gave birth at Israeli checkpoints – eight births resulted in death of newborn infants (Palestine Monitor).
Haaertz published an article by Gideon Levy (12/09/03) about such a checkpoint birth. While the woman’s husband pleaded with Israeli soldiers to let them pass, she gave birth on the ground. The infant girl died from trauma to the head. On the other side of the checkpoint, the ambulance driver called for this woman was told to turn around by Israeli soldiers.
Israeli Defense Forces have destroyed hospitals, medical centers and ambulances. Israeli bulldozers rip roads to mounds of concrete. The construction of Israel’s wall has razed over 100,000 olive and citrus trees. Many Palestinian farmers can not harvest their crops because the wall and the checkpoints obstruct it.
Settlers participate in the violence also. The IMEMC posted a report from The Palestine Hydrology Group about a Palestinian family whose property was destroyed by Israeli settlers in the middle of the night. On several occasions, Israeli settlers stoned their children.
Another report by the PHG detailed the harsh realities of life for the Palestinian people caused by Israel’s wall. One report describes one family’s life now:
“Before this wall I have had vegetables? shop, and I used to sell vegetables to people who are now behind the wall. I have five children, and when they built this wall, I lost my income and no market here. Therefore, I let my eldest sun lives there now, and everyday I buy him the vegetables, which I can pass through this hole. So that, he sells these vegetables on a cart, and this is how we manage our life through this hole. This hole in the wall is our income now.”
The hardships endured by this family represent the thousands of Palestinian families affected by the wall’s stranglehold. Imagine survival through a water-drainage-hole…for this man and his five children it is reality.
Peace cannot reach fruition, let alone make progress, when the parties involved are not treated fairly. Even-handedness must be demonstrated in diplomatic, economic and humanitarian endeavors. Lectures for the public should be based on equality and fair-mindedness, because thoughts form opinions.
People understand freedom, regardless of their ethnicity, gender or religion.
If the bloodshed, destruction and starvation of the Palestinian people is not stated in the media or in public lectures; and the international community does not stop this genocide; then the human race bears the collective guilt for these atrocities.
Through justice, peace is possible.