Ahmad Majdoubeh
The Jordan Times (Opinion)
January 29, 2010 - 1:00am

If you ask Middle Easterners, and many others in the world, about Israel’s contribution to the region, the answer will automatically be: war, violence, dispossession and destruction.

Since its creation in 1947/48, Israel has not contributed one single thing in any other sphere. Indeed, it is infamous for waging destructive wars - not so much because it is better at it than anybody else (that is, if we assume that being “better” at war is a good thing), but because it has easy, unhindered access to the most sophisticated arms in the universe (including weapons of mass destruction) and it gets away with whatever it does, including crimes against humanity and genocide.

This fact is well known, and it is not the subject of this article. What I wish to shed some light on, however, is the war Israel has been fiercely waging for decades against the Palestinian population living under occupation. Namely, the war of dispossession and eviction.

Anyone who follows what Israel does to the poor, helpless inhabitants of Jerusalem, Hebron and other occupied Palestinian cities and villages will be horror struck. For decades, Israel has been systematically confiscating Palestinian houses, evicting their inhabitants and demolishing the houses (to build its infamous wall or settlements) or offering them to Jewish dwellers under all kinds of pretexts.

What happens at this level is cruel and inhuman - a crime against humanity of another kind, I would say.

Palestinian families who have lived peacefully in their houses for generations are evicted from them overnight and thrown into the street. Also shocking is that no one really offers the Palestinians any meaningful support - to reclaim their homes and rights.

What Israel does is part and parcel of its philosophy of occupation, and is complementary to its physical wars. From the start, Israel has been after Palestinian land, and it has been willing to do whatever it takes to depopulate the land, showing no concern whatsoever for the fate of Palestinian inhabitants -human rights are an exclusive privilege of the Jewish dwellers in Palestine (who are primarily occupiers), and not of anyone else.

It is painful to see old people and young children crying helplessly for justice; people made homeless overnight.

Serious attention needs to be given to this dimension of the Palestinian saga. More light should be shed on their plight, and on a remedy to this terrifying injustice. One always expects the Palestinian Authority and other Arab countries to exert more effort in order to prevent Israel from inflicting injustice on peaceful Palestinian inhabitants, but one is not hopeful when it comes to Palestinian or Arab action.

As such, it would be more realistic to address some international organisations that follow up on and speak for the rights of populations under occupation - even though Israel seemingly enjoys the exclusive “privilege” of not only dispossessing peaceful civilians but also killing them in broad daylight. And getting away with it.


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