Archive for February 18th, 2016

In Israel, OK we knew. So

February 18, 2016

OCHA Flash Update Palestinian Bedouin community almost totally demolished

16 February 2016
On 15 February 2016, the Israeli army demolished almost all existing structures in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Ein Ar Rashash, in the Ramallah governorate, on grounds of lack of building permits. According to OCHA’s initial assessment, a total of 43 structures were targeted, including ten homes, 25 animal-related structures and eight external kitchens. Nearly 60 people, including 38 children, permanently residing in the community were displaced, and another 35 residing there seasonally or having their livestock structures on this site, were otherwise affected. Residents have remained in the community in precarious conditions.

Ein Ar Rashash is located in an area designated by the Israeli military as a “firing zone” and is one of the 46 Palestinian Bedouin communities at risk of forcible transfer in the context of an Israeli “relocation” plan.

Since the beginning of 2016, Israeli forces destroyed or dismantled 283 homes and other structures across the West Bank, the vast majority in Area C, displacing over 400 Palestinians, more than half of them children. More than 1,000 other people lost structures related to their source of income. More than a third of the structures targeted since the beginning of the year were provided as humanitarian assistance to families in need.

So writes the indefatigable Israeli prophet Amos Gvirtz, the great defender of the Bedouin. The contents of Amos’s emails are always brief and factual, without opinion or protest. Now many have been put into a book.I n a review on Mondoweiss by Israeli writer Ofra Yeshua-Lyth, formerly a correspondent for Maariv in Washington DC, writes:
Don’t Say We Didn’t Know”, asks Amos Gvirtz, and how naïve this request sounds at the time of the book’s publication, as the obedient flocks of Israel’s media workers and their politician-masters cry out on every newspaper sheet, internet and news release, like the robbed ruffian: “What have we done? Why is the whole world suddenly against us?”

Here is a thin, light-to-read book Gvirtz eschews the big news ” such as Operations Protective Edge, Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense [all Israeli assaults against the Gaza Strip in recent years]. He does not conduct a body count of hundreds and thousands of casualties, tens of thousands wounded, homeless, hungry and blockaded. He sends reminders of the little horrors, the nearly incidental deaths, demolished homes, arbitrary arrests, imprisoned children, trampled tents, destroyed crops, farmlands of Bedouins and falaheen that become Jewish real estate, stones hurled by Palestinians (for any stone thrown by a Palestinian at a Jew will make headlines in any case), mosques set aflame, little pogroms for which no one will be punished – reminders that there is no law, no justice that will protect you if you do not belong to the Chosen People. In most cases, if a complaint is lodged, it will end up with a counter-charge and possible punishment – of the victim.

Gvirtz is no naif. He understands the shocking denial in israeli society that this abuse of the most vulnerable, Israeli citizens in fact, who have been in the Negev since Jesus was a kid is a universal phenomenon. As Eliot said, humankind can not ear much reality.

More tomorrow