Invest In Stolen Property
"Come invest in colonies and settlements;
come buy land confiscated from Palestinians"
NY City April 1-3
Read more about Ikrit, that was ethnically cleansed in October 1948,
and whose "present absentees" are in Galilee, citizens of Israel,
treated like ghosts, and waiting to return.
Palestine is not for sale!
Popular movement shuns attempts to curb resistance to the Apartheid
by Jamal Juma
March 20, 2005
Following the reports of Palestinian resistance during February
and March, one cannot help but notice two striking features:
Firstly, that there has been wide-scale escalation of popular
resistance confronting the ever intensifying Israeli Occupation and
Apartheid, which has come to encompass all areas of the West Bank.
Hebron, Beit Surik, Saffa, Ni'lein and Budrus in particular, have
been the scene of intense resistance over recent weeks. Moreover,
the Ramallah demonstration on March 14th reflected the highpoint of
mobilization against the Apartheid Wall currently happening across
the West Bank.
Secondly, the Palestinian struggle has escalated against a backdrop
of political developments, all which are designed to make
Palestinians passive subjects while the racist colonization of the
Apartheid Wall project continues unabated on their land. We can
summarize these developments as; the Sharm al-Sheikh conference; the
announcement by the Occupation Forces that they were
making "modifications" to the Apartheid Wall; the conference in
London and the increasingly obvious attitude of the United Nations
which has chosen to pursue the issue of the Apartheid Wall
in "humanitarian" terms.
There is no coincidence in this chain of recent events. To
understand why struggle has intensified requires a consideration of
the over-riding factor that permeates all recent political discourse
and developments. That is the attempt to stifle Palestinian
opposition to the Wall, and to shape its "normalization" into the
demographics of the West Bank.
The issue of the Wall was negated in the Sharm el-Sheikh meetings,
only surfacing in a meek joint statement noting it to be
a "controversial issue". Furthermore, the outcome of the conference
stressed the need for a "calming" period in Palestinian resistance
and activity. This was expected to occur while the Apartheid Wall
and the settlements continued to expand. Indeed, the Occupation
Forces have used the de-facto impasse to pick up the pace of
its "third phase" of the Wall, which started in the south during
November 2004. Particular fervor has gone into construction of the
Apartheid Wall around Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
The rhetoric of "calming down" and "ceasefire" (which assumes
Palestinians and the Zionists are in war, and as if Palestinians do
not confront their violence as people under Occupation), which does
not deal with the Apartheid Wall and settlement construction as part
of Israeli violence has no meaning. The implementation of the ICJ
decision - for the dismantlement of the Wall - is not a negotiable
or controversial issue but forms the basis of international law.
By undermining the ICJ decision, and consolidating US/European
desires to see a re-routing of the Wall's path, the Occupation
Government announced a "modification" plan. Although some changes in
the Wall route were made in individual villages, the Wall and its
network of Jewish-only settlements and roads and military zones
continues as before in the rest of the West Bank, annexing some 47%
of it. It will still leave Palestinians in ghettos or semi-ghettos,
linked together with tunnels and bridges under Occupation control.
What is new in this fresh Wall route is that it is done under the
title of a "disengagement plan" approved by Americans and Europeans
who seem to consider it as part of the "road map".
The Palestinian people were alert to the false impressions the
Occupation Forces were attempting to create around its colonial
project, which seeks to impose Apartheid upon them from the top.
They realized how the Wall draws the features of the final
settlement before even beginning negotiations. They totally reject
the notion that isolated ghettos being created across the West Bank
refer to any kind of "viable state". That the Wall is the bulldozer
and catalyst of the expansionist Zionist colonial project in
Palestine, is not hard to discern for Palestinians who have
experienced decades of colonialism and destruction of livelihoods,
dignity and communities.
It has now been over a year since the opening session of the ICJ,
and more than 8 months since its decision that the Wall should be
halted and dismantled. While it was expected that Israel would
reject the decision (it has never been prepared to abide by
international law), it was more surprising that the call for the
implementation of the ICJ decision had started to dissipate from
official PA discourse. The Wall is pushed into the background as if
it is just an illusion in the Palestinian consciousness. For the
Europeans and Americans, the issue has been the Wall's path and not
the Wall itself. Thus, the ICJ decision appears to have been
annulled by all parties, except for the Palestinian people (the
affected people), who are using every possible occasion to call for
the respect of international law, and the full implementation of the
The process to normalize the Apartheid Wall - in contempt of
international law - has been a discourse increasingly evident in the
UN which prefers to treat it as a "humanitarian", and not political,
issue. On his visit to the West Bank Kofi Annan reiterated previous
UN announcements that a damage register office would be established
for those affected by the Wall. This move is highly alarming in a
context where UN pressure on Israel to stop the Apartheid Wall is
completely missing. Is it money instead of respect for international
law the UN seeks to provide for the Palestinian people? Moreover,
the wealth of reports and statements by UN officials all emphasize
the humanitarian implications, ignoring the real issue of the Wall's
existence, thus serving to legitimize the de-facto construction of
the Apartheid Wall.
The concrete ramifications of the sell out of the Palestinian
people, land and struggle had its debut in the Conference held in
London last month. Foreign ministers, the World Bank and Annan met
with officials of the Palestinian Authority to lecture
about "internal reforms", "security matters" and, above all, money.
Up to $1.2 billion has been promised to the Palestinian authority.
This was slightly more than the minimum amount ($900 million)
calculated by the World Bank in its report of December 2004 which
appeared to be a do-it-yourself guide book on how to administer an
entire people in an open air prison with detailed analysis of the
financial necessities of life behind the Apartheid Wall. The
bottleneck of the World Bank feasibility study the hi-tech gates
in the Apartheid Wall has been solved with the Bank volunteering
to stump up the money and it is now competing with a US standing
offer to fund the project. However, despite the meticulous
calculations of the world's most important finance experts, and
the "generosity" of the donor community the Palestinian people are
not putting their land and lives for sale.
The Palestinian popular resistance has responded to these
developments with escalating grassroots mobilization in various
locations. In Jerusalem the people of Beit Hanina, Beit Surik,
Biddu, Dahya and Ram struggle against the Wall being built to
isolate Jerusalem from the West Bank. Land has been confiscated for
settlement expansion and the Judaization of Jerusalem in a
systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing.
The third phase of the Wall has led to further construction and land
confiscation in Hebron, Yatta and the Old City, and in turn
catalyzed residents into struggle against the Apartheid Wall.
In West Ramallah, and in Safa and Beli'n clashes have emerged on a
daily basis over the last two weeks with Palestinians shot at,
injured, detained and tear gassed.
The demonstration on March 14th 2005, organized by the Anti-
Apartheid Wall Campaign, was the crowning moment in a "month of
continuous struggle". The huge attendance of people in the
demonstration, from all areas of the West Bank, reflected the
popular movement against the Wall. Slogans and statements revealed
the deep anger of the people at the unrelenting construction of the
Apartheid Wall, and widespread opposition to political developments
designed to demobilize and pacify resistance to the Occupation.
Rejection of the deceitful "modifications to the Wall", were
emphasized in calls for the restoration of international law and
dismantlement of the Wall. Criticism was also directed at the
official PA position and discourse which has not sought to use the
However, it was Annan, and the branches of the UN in Palestine,
which received the lion's share of people's anger on March 14th.
Annan failed to utter one word about the necessity to respect
international law, and his focus on the register office, suggested
the issue is humanitarian and can be solved with few dollars.
Moreover, the recent OCHA report came to the same conclusion. The
inability to treat the Apartheid Wall as a political issue one
that is intrinsic to the Zionist colonial project for the West Bank
is a deeply disturbing development within the United Nations.
What Anan and the UN have stated simply mirrors the rhetoric of the
Zionists. They too consider the issue as "humanitarian", and
show "understanding" to deal with it! They too act in contempt of
the ICJ decision as does Annan and the UN report. We are left to
ponder - what exactly is the responsibility of the Secretary-General
of the United Nations? Is it to adopt the Israeli American position
in relation to UN decisions, founded on a basis of double standards?
Or is it to facilitate the implementation of international law, and
support the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle for
justice, sovereignty and freedom.
Jamal Juma' Coordinator of the Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid
Wall Campaign www.stopthewall.org
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