Saturday, December 11, 2004

This is just too much

Trying to catch up on the doings of blogs that I like, I came across something at PastPeak, linking to something I'd missed: an article from the Guardian (UK) for December 5. It revealed that Israeli
government papers suggest that Israel intends to bypass the peace plan, creating a Palestinian state of enclaves, surrounded by walls and linked by tunnels and special roads.

Israel has released plans for the upgrade of roads and construction of 16 tunnels which would create an 'apartheid' road network for Palestinians in the West Bank.

Existing roads would be reserved for Jews, linking their settlements to each other and to Israel.
Believe it or not, this plan for what amount to Palestinian ghettos was revealed when Israel went to the World Bank and actually asked the world community to finance it! Giora Eiland, Israel's director of national security,
asked for an estimated £110 million, which would come from taxpayers in Europe, the US and Japan. The international community unanimously rejected the request, stating they could not finance a project not supported by the Palestinian Authority.
And good for them.

This has just gone way too far and way past the point anyone should feel comfortable saying we've got to "understand Israeli fears." Bluntly, we do understand. We understand people acting out of fear. We also understand that fear makes people and yes, nations, act irrationally. We do understand. But understanding does not mean that we do or should approve of those actions, even tacitly by our silence - or, worse yet, enable them by our support.

Until there is genuine change, a genuine shift in Israeli policy, until the "separation fence" comes down, until Israel accepts its responsibility for undermining both the Palestinian economy and the Palestinian Authority, until it declares outright, unequivocally, its acceptance of a Palestinian state (now, not at some vague time in the future), until it willingly negotiates directly, honestly, and as full equals with whoever emerges from the upcoming Palestinian elections - until then, all US aid to Israel beyond purely humanitarian support should stop. Period.

I know that's whistling in the wind. I know that's not going to happen. But dammit, it should. At some point we as a people have to say "we will not support this." I believe at some point we will. But I do wonder just how much it will take.

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