My late, unlamented blog troll John B. launched one of his parting darts at me last week by declaring that The Militant and the US Socialist Workers Party no longer call for an end of Israeli settlement construction.
Let's go to the archives, shall we?
December 7, 2015
....The Socialist Workers Party presents a strategy that can put an end to the cycle of violence between the Israeli state and reactionary forces like Hamas. A revolutionary Palestinian leadership would denounce Jew-hatred, recognize the existence of Israel and support the right of Jews anywhere in the world to live there, while fighting for a contiguous Palestinian state, for dismantling Israeli settlements in the West Bank and for combating discrimination and the second-class status of Arab citizens of Israel. Doing so it would win allies inside Israel.
This can open the road to building a mass movement of Jewish, Palestinian, Druze, Christian, Muslim and immigrant workers capable of taking power out of the hands of their common enemy, the Israeli capitalist ruling class, and the ruling rich in the West Bank and Gaza....
November 10, 2014:
Israel expands settlements in Palestinian West Bank
BY SETH GALINSKY
Since the end of Tel Aviv’s latest war on Gaza in August, the Israeli government has accelerated the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, undermining the Palestinians’ struggle for a sovereign and contiguous state of their own.
Tel Aviv seized the West Bank in 1967 from Jordan and since 1977 has increasingly encouraged the construction of Jewish settlements there.
As part of the 1995 Oslo II Israeli-Palestinian “peace” agreement, the West Bank was gerrymandered into three areas of control: Area “A” under control of the Palestinian Authority, roughly 18 percent of the West Bank, comprising most of the Palestinian population; Area “B,” including mostly rural areas under Palestinian civil control and Israeli police authority encompassing about 22 percent of the land; and Area “C,” the remaining 60 percent the territory, under Israeli control.
In 2003 Tel Aviv began building what it calls a “security fence” — opponents call it the “separation wall” — running roughly parallel to the West Bank’s 1967 border with Israel. The wall snakes around Palestinian villages, cutting them off from the rest of the region.
Today there are some 350,000 Israeli settlers scattered throughout the West Bank up to the border with Jordan.
“The building of settlements like Ariel east of Jerusalem make it very difficult to have unity of Palestinian land,” Roy Yellin, a spokesperson for B’tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, said in a phone interview Oct. 20. “It makes it difficult to travel from the northern part of the West Bank to the south.”
There are nearly 100 permanent or semipermanent Israeli checkpoints throughout the West Bank and hundreds of surprise ones set up during the course of a month. Palestinians are prohibited from using some roads that are reserved for the use of Jewish settlers. Thousands of farmers are only able to plant or harvest their fields when Israeli authorities open gates in the wall, sometimes for just a few hours a day.
The Jerusalem city government gave final approval Oct. 1 for the construction of 2,500 homes in Givat Hamatos, a Jewish enclave in majority-Palestinian East Jerusalem. Over the past decade Jewish developments have been built in a ring around the city’s Arab neighborhoods.
In September, the Israeli government announced it was nationalizing 1,000 acres of Palestinian land near Bethlehem to allow for the expansion of a bloc of nine nearby settlements. The plan is seen by many as collective punishment for the June kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teenagers in the area by Hamas operatives. The killings preceded Tel Aviv’s most recent assault on Gaza.
Israel’s Civil Administration has also been stepping up demolition of Bedouin homes in Area C. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, in the first eight months of 2014, 346 buildings were razed, leaving 668 Palestinians homeless, more than in any other period in the last five years.
In mid-September Tel Aviv said it was getting ready to evict 12,500 Bedouin who live near East Jerusalem, Ramallah and Jericho and relocate them to Ramata Nu-eimeh, a town near Jericho built by Israeli authorities.
“We’re mainly shepherds,” Jamil Hamadin, the spokesperson for one of the Bedouin families facing eviction, told the Militant Oct. 7. “We came to live here after we were expelled from the Negev Desert by Israel during the 1948 war.”
“Each family has its own sheep, some have 70 or 80, some have 200,” Hamadin said. “We live in an area of 500 square kilometers [124,000 acres], where we have land for pasture. But all our houses are under orders to be demolished and the courts upheld it. They want to squeeze us all into a little area where we will have just half a dunam of land [one tenth of an acre] per family. This is unacceptable.”
“If you take a look at the maps you can see how the settlements have expanded over the last five to 10 years,” Suhad Bishara, a staff member of Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said during a recent visit to New York. “The Palestinians in the West Bank have been put in cantons, divided geographically by the Israeli settlements. Palestinians have been cut off from each other and from their farms and workplaces.
“It’s 100 percent legitimate to demand that they take apart all of these settlements and withdraw to the 1967 borders,” she said. “I don’t see any other way. Otherwise a Palestinian state cannot be established.”