Monday, June 5, 2017

Fifty Years of Six Days

Fifty years ago, between June 5 and June 10, 1967, Israel invaded and occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. The Six Day War, as it would later be dubbed, saw the Jewish David inflict a humiliating defeat on the Arab Goliath.


The conflict itself may have lasted only six days but the occupation that followed is now entering its sixth decade — the longest military occupation in the world. Apologists for Israel often deny that it is an occupation and say the Occupied Territories are merely “disputed,” a disingenuous claim belied by Israel’s own Supreme Court which ruled in 2005 that the West Bank is “held by the State of Israel in belligerent occupation.”

Fifty long years of occupation; of dispossession and ethnic cleansing; of house demolitions and night curfews; of checkpoints, walls and permits.

Fifty years of bombings and blockades; of air raids and night raids; of “targeted killings” and “human shields”; of tortured Palestinian kids.

Fifty years of racial discrimination and ethnic prejudice; of a “separate but unequal” two-tier justice system for Palestinians and Israelis; of military courts and “administrative detention”.

Fifty years of humiliation and subjugation; of pregnant Palestinian women giving birth at checkpoints; of Palestinian cancer patients denied access to radiation therapy; of Palestinian footballers prevented from reaching their matches.

Fifty years of pointless negotiations and failed peace plans.


Why has the Jewish state spent the past five decades exploiting the charade of a “peace process” to gobble up more Palestinian land and build more illegal settlements?


[The Israeli] settlements [in Palestine] have rendered the much-discussed “two-state solution” almost impossible. The occupied West Bank has been carved up into a series of bantustans, cut off from each other and the wider world. The settlers are not going anywhere, anytime soon. They are Israel’s “facts on the ground.” To ignore them is to ignore perhaps the biggest obstacle to ending the occupation. “It’s like you and I are negotiating over a piece of pizza,” the Palestinian-American lawyer and former adviser to the PLO, Michael Tarazi, explained in 2004. “How much of the pizza do I get? And how much do you get? And while we are negotiating it, you are eating it.”


The legendary Israeli general and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, who was one of the architects of Israel’s victory in 1967 and was adamant that the country should hold onto the territories it had seized, best summed up the cynical attitude of Israeli governments of both right and left over the past five decades. “The only peace negotiations,” pronounced Dayan, when asked about the possibility of a peace deal with the Palestinians in November 1970, “are those where we settle the land and we build, and we settle, and from time to time we go to war.”

  The Intercept
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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