Israel is Killing the Two-State Solution Before My Eyes

We did an enormous amount of traveling over the past week and i’ve become extremely backed up due to the fact that I haven’t had access to the internet. I am spending the month in Ramallah and working in East Jerusalem at Al-Quds University. I have found an internet cafe in Ramallah so I will be catching up over the next month. There are many disturbing and enlightening experiences that I need to share with everyone.

On Sunday (June 27th) we heard Jeff Halpert of ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions), who gave a short presentation regarding Israel’s wanton disregard for International Law and utter lack of respect for Palestinian property rights. In the June 1967 Six-Day war, Israel conquered the West Bank, Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian Sinai. According to the UN charter, the acquisition of land through war is illegal under International Law. You can’t change borders through war. Therefore Israel has no title to any of the land in the West Bank, the Gaza strip and the Golan Heights (this includes East Jerusalem and the Jordan River valley). Since 1967, Israel has been settling on these portions of the West Bank and the Golan Heights (but not the Sinai and Gaza Strip). Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions states that is contrary to international humanitarian law for the occupying power to transfer portions of its population onto occupied territory. So all the settlments are illegal under the tenets of international-humanitarian law.

Unfortunately, international law is non-binding. The assumption is that the international community will intervene in situations where these laws are breached. They are internationally recognized standards of acceptable behavior but they must be enforced by the international community. Unfortunately, the United States and Israel possess the 1st and 4th largest militaries in the world and abiding by international law would be contrary to their imperial ambitions of conquest and pillage. The US and Israel’s rejection of the international consensus is the reason why the prospects for peace are becoming exceedingly grim.

If you believe that the international consensus is the way to solve the conflict, then the following information will show you how Israel is the belligerent party in this conflict. If you believe Israel has a right to defy the international community and that God thinks the Jews should have an ethnically pure state of Israel (a la Manifest Destiny) then don’t continue reading.

Israel is de facto annexing portions of the West Bank by building a monstrous separation barrier throughout portions of the West Bank. In 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled that the wall is illegal under international law and needs to be dismantled. Israel is building this concrete monstrosity (I have pictures that are utterly disturbing) around East Jerusalem — the economic center of Palestinian life. It has also built a massive settlement called Ma’ale Adumim that essentially bisects the West Bank into northern and southern cantons. Check out the route of the wall [LINK]. Maale Adumim is within the big area of the wall to the east of East Jerusalem[MAP].

On top of these gross violations of international law, the Israeli legal system is extremely discriminatory towards the Palestinian inhabitants residing in East Jerusalem. The goal is to make life so difficult for these people that they will eventually leave. Israel gives Palestinians living in East Jerusalem ‘residency’ status as opposed to full citizenship status. Palestinians in East Jerusalem are not allowed to vote in parliament, they get travel documents instead of passports (which limit their freedom of movement) and if they leave East Jerusalem for 7 years they are not allowed back. Most of the Palestinians living in East Jerusalem are living in “illegal” houses because the inherently racist Israeli bureaucracy makes it very difficult to obtain housing permits. I will get into the logistics of the circus-like Israeli legal system designed to make live difficult for Palestinian Jerusalemites.

Our tour guide informed us that a wealthy American gambling tycoon paid to have an Israeli police station moved from East Jerusalem to E-1 (the area in between East Jerusalem and Maale Adumim). This police station will be the pretext for settlement construction within the area of E-1. There is already a sign that names it as an Israeli settlement. Irving Moskavich is a Californian gambling tycoon who has ‘exploited cheap undocumented Mexican labor‘ to fund his Zionist settlement enterprise. He also gives a 50,000$ prize for Zionism to West Bank settlers (watch this video by Max Blumenthal [LINK]. Here are pictures of the Moskavich police station in E-1 [here and here].

Israel also has 88 Palestinian houses slated for demolition in the town of Silwan in East Jerusalem. A right-wing Zionist company called ElAd, that is excavating archeological sites in the area, is lobbying the Israeli government to demolish Palestinian houses sitting above ‘important’ Jewish archeological sites. Israel has decided that archeology is more important than people and their right to hold property.

The annexation wall/separation barrier, the Israeli-exclusive highways connecting the illegal settlements (the vast majority of people who use the roads are Jews) and 600+ checkpoints in the West Bank are killing any hope of a viable  Palestinian state. It is clear that Israel has absolutely ZERO intention of respecting Palestinian property rights and international law. Why choose peace when you can get away with stealing land and resources? It appears that the Boycott/Divestment/Sanction movement is going to be the only way to put an end to this madness.

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