Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -Martin Luther King Jr.
An overview of American and Israeli war crimes was provided in the previous parts of this series. Now, let us unearth a detailed portrait of Israeli-American occupation, based on an American-Jewish woman’s eyewitness reports from this epicenter of injustice.
Please read Anna Baltzer’s book “Witness in Palestine” because much is excluded here, due to space constraints. Supported by bountiful photojournalism, she facilitates empathy for those living under brutal occupation. By documenting humanity and personal tragedies, Baltzer demonstrates Palestinians are humans that desire peace. Offensive violence is always incited by extremist political or religious minorities.
Due to media disservice, Americans know little Palestinian reality. As Baltzer documents, it is ethnic cleansing, and Israeli leaders have admitted this intention. The goal is a purified state where all Arabs are expelled, killed, or reduced to weakened populations with no power or rights.
Do you realize many Palestinians are nonviolently struggling for peace? Biased, sensationalist press primarily covers only the violent minority. Did you know many Israeli-Jews, including former IDF soldiers, oppose the occupation and are intimately involved with Palestinian resistance? Did you know that before the 1948 ethnic cleansing began, Jews, Christians and Muslims coexisted far more peacefully?
It is a farce to simultaneously be a theocracy or ethnocracy and an advanced democracy. Do Christian and Muslim Palestinians and Israelis have no place? Non-Jewish Israelis lack equal rights.
Egregious offenses toward ethnic cleansing include Israeli settlements or land-theft colonies, which violate international law. Connected by a network of “Jews only” roads, over half a million Jewish settlers live illegally in the West Bank, especially near prime agricultural land and water resources.
Settlers steal land due to American-Israeli policy incentives and extremist right-wing Zionist ideology. As Baltzer documents, ideological settlers are most dangerous; even IDF soldiers fear them. They consistently harass Palestinians, including children, with violence and destruction of property. Baltzer provides numerous examples of unsettling abuse, including poisoning water supplies and Palestinian sheep with toxic barley. This lawlessness is encouraged because there is virtually no legal accountability.
She also shines a brilliant light on The Wall, which is a massive concrete wall with sniper towers, cameras, razor wire and related technologies. Honestly, it is a prison concentration camp. The Wall actually cuts deep inside the West Bank’s Green Line perimeter, obviously intended for land annexation.
In some cases, The Wall encircles homes and villages completely so people must exit prison gates to escape for work, school or otherwise. Armed IDF guards release them irregularly. Ultimately, Palestinians are increasingly constricted into military prison ghettos like Gaza.
Beyond indiscriminate bombing, land theft and millions of refugees being disallowed return to their stolen land, ethnic cleansing is practiced by undermining the economy. The idea is to make life so miserable, everyone will emigrate. IDF and settlers regularly demolish Palestinian homes and olive orchards. This includes uprooting or stealing over a million trees, which existed in Palestinian families for generations. Settlers and IDF also prevent farmers from harvesting their remaining crops in peace.
The assault also entails an elaborate system of checkpoints and roadblocks. Palestinians wait several hours every day in long lines to be searched, harassed, beaten, arrested, tortured and imprisoned without access to fair trial.
Since many West Bank checkpoints are located internally, they are not for Israeli security. Many waiting people, including infants, die in ambulances. It is extremely difficult to travel even short distances to work, school or to visit neighboring villages.
The giant concrete roadblocks placed randomly in Palestinian roads do nothing but make simple movement difficult, increasing the cost of goods. Thus, all Palestinian products are competitively disadvantaged against Israeli products. Consequently, impoverished Palestinians have little choice but to buy Israeli products, and support the very entity that is economically crippling them. In addition to harsh U.S.-supported sanctions, this is a mere sample of the economic warfare.
Additionally, settlers vandalize Palestinian buildings with graffiti, including “Death to Arabs” and “Arabs to the gas chambers.” Taken with prison-like concentration camps, this is alarmingly ironic. Obviously, this does not represent all Jews.
Like all religions, Judaism is diverse. There are factions that strongly support justice, and factions that do not. Within Zionism, there are peaceful Zionists that support justice for Palestinians, and right-wing Zionists that wish to ethnically cleanse non-Jews to ensure a permanent Jewish majority. Unfortunately, the latter group has dominated Israeli politics since 1948, and the U.S. more recently.
Zionism is intended to ensure this historically discriminated people will not face further discrimination. However, to prevent discrimination, Israel is engaging in horrific discrimination. After decades of this broken-record policy, recognize failure.
Bury the tired argument that places the peace burden on Palestinians. With massive militaries and global economic control, the Israeli-American powers are far more dominant in dictating what happens, not the weak occupied people of Palestine. Palestinians already agreed to give Israelis nearly 80 percent of their former lands in the interest of peace, but that was insufficient. Evidence indicates the Israeli government wants 100 percent of the land, not peace.
American People, Tear Down The Wall!