Monday, July 01, 2002

Sharon and his supporters could never have believed in their wildest dreams that they would be able to get away with what they've managed to do to the Palestinians in hardly more than a year. After provoking the most recent intifada, Sharon has managed to use the terrorist bombings as an excuse for each step of the slow-motion ethnic cleansing of the West Bank. Bush has given Sharon a complete license to do whatever he wants to complete the procedure. Briefly, the process as planned has the following steps:

  • continue to expand the settlements to create increasing reason and opportunity for tension amongst the Palestinians

  • destroy the economy of the Palestinians by blocking access to Israel or making it prohibitively expensive and/or time-consuming to cross into Israel, a process which has culminated in the building of a fence between Israel and the West Bank

  • continue the military checkpoints with their disruption of any chance of normal life, not to mention the constant threat of violence, and actually increase the problems of movement caused by the checkpoints by introducing a permanent system of cantonization of the West Bank, requiring special permits to move between towns (strangely akin to the pass system used under apartheid, and made even better by the fact that Israeli officials depict it as an improvement in the lot of the Palestinians)

  • completely destroy all the facilities of government and normal society in the West Bank, including the police forces and the school system

  • militarily occupy the West Bank, and impose an effective 24 hour curfew on the residents

  • shoot anyone who breaks the curfew or is out on a mistaken idea that the curfew has been temporarily lifted, including people trying to get food or medical care, and with a particular emphasis on children (all of these shootings are, needless to say, 'regrettable mistakes', the kind of 'regrettable mistakes' you tend to get when you fire tank shell at civilians)

  • cut off all sources of aid to the Palestinians, on the excuse that such aid is helping terrorism, and in particular put extreme political pressure on international aid agencies to refugees, including pro-Israeli American lobbying for the United States to stop supporting the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for
    Palestinians in the Near East (this amounts to effectively starving the Palestinians out of the West Bank)

  • begin the 'final solution' for the residents of the West Bank by beginning to deport the families of suicide bombers to the Gaza Strip, but continually increasing the scope of the deportations until the remaining Palestinians give up and leave voluntarily.

You have to really give the Israelis credit for being able to do to the Palestinians what Hitler did to the Jews, all without having to build forced labour camps or ovens. It appears that the progression of this campaign has been carefully planned in advance in order to keep up the psychological pressure on the Palestinians, but the timing of the changes has been accelerated due to Bush's acquiescence in the program. Dictators and evil men around the world who have a minority population they wish to dispose of should study the Israeli campaign carefully. What is really brilliant about it is the combination of the relentlessness of the pressure and the speed of escalation of the pressure, all the while somehow staying under the radar of human rights busybodies.