Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Lana Habash - Divide and Conquer:The Politics of Palestinian Human Rights
One of the most outstanding articles I have ever read, quite possibly the cornerstone of understanding where we activists for Palestinian people's rights should be operating. A heartfelt thanks to Dr Habash, and to Umkahlil and Zahi for the forwards.
A brief excerpt from a lengthy, informative and inspiring piece:
"Israeli civilians" within the Green Line are portrayed quite differently from Israeli settlers of the West Bank and Gaza, despite the similarities in their material relationship to the indigenous people of Palestine. These people are often portrayed in American media as innocent individuals who "want to live in peace" with their neighbors. These "civilians" are also settlers on Palestinian land occupied through military force. They live in houses and on property that belongs to Palestinian refugees. They claim rights to land and resources that have been taken by force and over which they maintain exclusive control under a system of laws based on racist ideology. The vast majority of these Israeli civilians advocate for separation and segregation. Even the Israeli Peace movement continues to maintain that Israeli injustice in Palestine does not include the forced displacement of Palestinians in 1948, but rather only the occupation of Palestinian land since 1967. These civilians fight for the preservation of their privileges as Jews within Israel that allow them to buy land (Palestinians cannot), travel freely (Palestinians cannot), settle in historic Palestine permanently (Palestinians born and raised in historic Palestine cannot return despite international laws guaranteeing their right to do so), express their political opinions freely without fear of detention or torture (Palestinians who are considered Israeli citizens do not enjoy this freedom), enjoy education, electricity, and free use of the water of historic Palestine (Palestinian "Israelis" often have none of these freedoms in the unrecognized villages).
For the entire article, see Lana Habash, Divide and Conquer.