Know More About Palestine

Monday June 7, 2010 6:33 PM (EST+7)
Ibish: Israel must clarify Palestine's status

Read more: Palestine, occupation, settlements, OPT

RAMALLAH, June 7 (JMCC) - For 43 years Israel has pursued a policy of colonization in the occupied Palestinian territories and treating its settlements as part of the Israel state, while disregarding the Palestinians.

In this article, Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at The American Task Force on Palestine, calls on Israel to clarify its position on Palestine.

While world attention has been heavily focused on efforts to break the siege of Gaza, Palestinians in the West Bank are pursuing a series of new, nonviolent, strategies challenging the Israeli occupation. What they are primarily seeking, and what the Israeli government is desperately trying to avoid, is clarity about the status of the occupied territories.

Palestinians are insisting that Israel cannot continue to treat the territories occupied in 1967 in a selective manner, regarding settlers and settlements as unambiguously Israeli but the Palestinian population as fundamentally alien and outside Israel. The new Palestinian strategies are pressing the uncomfortable but unavoidable question: are these territories part of Israel, or not?

Throughout its policies in the occupied territories, Israel picks and chooses according to its convenience, maintaining an untenable ambiguity regarding the legal and political status of the territory and its residents. This ambiguity begins with the legal and political status of the population of the territories. While Israeli settlers live under Israeli civil law and with all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, Palestinians live under Israeli civil and military administration with a very different set of laws and without the rights or responsibilities of citizenship. This structure based on dual registers of reality in the same space extends throughout the entire system of the occupation.

The recent flap over Israel's OECD membership is an excellent case in point. Israelis were outraged that Palestinians would object to Israel's attempt to join the organisation, but the Palestinians were making an important point: Israel includes the prosperous, heavily subsidised, settlement economy in all of the national economic statistics it submitted for OECD membership, but excludes all aspects of the Palestinian economy that struggles under occupation. It's not just a question of veracity of Israel's figures. It is a demand to know on what basis Israel can consider the settlements part of the Israeli economy but surrounding Palestinian villages not...

Read the full argument at The Guardian...






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