Amira Hass
May 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unjustifiably draws fire for policies that move ahead without his involvement. The Jewish intellectuals, who suddenly saw the darkness and were terrified, should know: Even if not one more Jewish home is built in the occupied territories ?(including East Jerusalem?), the enormous apparatus of domination continues to operate there with an inner logic of many years’ duration. It moves along by itself, like some huge aircraft without a pilot.

Prime ministers come and go, negotiations stop and start, new coalitions form, and this apparatus has a life of its own. It preserves and develops the privileges of the Jews in Greater Israel. It sets the boundaries of the Indian reservations. When it wants, it links them; when it doesn’t, it cuts them off. Its will is done: unemployment of 52 percent or 19 percent, population density of villages and cities, diameter of water pipes, the number of days that one must wait before receiving lifesaving medical treatment. If the natives want to, they can go on living in the reservations; if they don’t ? let them leave.
Woman next to West Bank fence

Take, for example, the demolition order that was posted on April 26 on a structure in the community of Umm al-Kheir in the South Hebron Hills. The standardardized form was signed by the inspection subcommittee of the Civil Administration’s higher planning council. The order informs us that it was posted by one “Carlo” in the presence of the “Operations Officer of the Hebron D.C.O.”. We can guess that they were accompanied by soldiers. We know that sharp-eyed inspectors have located the offending structure.

The head of the Civil Administration, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, probably doesn’t know that the assembly line he is in charge of produced this order for the demolition of “a concrete toilet structure of about 3 square meters.” Netanyahu certainly has no idea at all. But the order encompasses an ancient Israeli philosophy that prohibits Palestinians from building toilets, digging reservoirs to collect rainwater or connecting to the electricity grid in more than half of the occupied territory.

The soldiers have internalized the philosophy, and they take it home with them, to Israel. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the prohibition against hooking up to electricity sabotages Palestinian children’s ability to learn. Neither the cessation of construction in the settlements nor the proximity talks, starting today, will prevent this act of sabotage against children’s education that the Israeli apparatus carries out as a matter of course.
Actually, not an apparatus, but a gigantic factory. Not one assembly line but many.

Behind one such assembly line are the planners. They are architectural geniuses, graduates of the best schools in Israel, who invented mazes like the dual, separate road networks for Palestinians and Israelis ?(particularly Jews?), or the separation fence/wall that excels at disconnecting crowded neighborhoods from their lands, their past and their future.

The fence is ugly and horrific, more so than the Holyland project. The mazes of separation create resistance to them. And then the apparatus puts another assembly line to work: the military court system.

Graduates of Israeli law schools, in the reserves or the career army, are conscripted in order to make it clear to the natives that resistance is painful; they send them to prison and levy heavy fines. Then, they export the philosophy of oppression to civil courts and college classrooms in Tel Aviv.

Behind the assembly lines are representatives of the entire people of Zion, hundreds of thousands of civilians and soldiers. Each of them has a personal interest in the continuation of the apparatus, even if that interest is wrapped in national or security cellophane. Netanyahu is not the only one responsible. He alone cannot stop the huge pilotless plane. There are a great many people in Israel who should be forced to erase the programs of the apparatus of domination and destruction, before it turns on its creators, its operators and those who profit from it. All of us.


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