Divide, conquer and rule

Amira Hass, of Haaretz, writes on Bitterlemons about the profound separation between West Bank and Gaza and Israel’s effective plan to make a unified Palestinian entity virtually impossible:

The total separation of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank is one of the greatest achievements of Israeli politics, whose overarching objective is to prevent a solution based on international decisions and understandings and instead dictate an arrangement based on Israel’s military superiority…

Israel put a halt to this freedom of movement on the eve of the first Gulf war. Since January 1991, Israel has bureaucratically and logistically merely perfected the split and the separation: not only between Palestinians in the occupied territories and their brothers in Israel, but also between the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and those in the rest of the territories and between Gazans and West Bankers/Jerusalemites. Jews live in this same piece of land within a superior and separate system of privileges, laws, services, physical infrastructure and freedom of movement.

One day, when the archives are opened, we’ll know just how calculated and planned this process was. Meanwhile, we cannot ignore the fact that it commenced at a time when the Cold War and South African apartheid were ending and the international community assessed that conditions were ripe for an Israeli-Palestinian two-state agreement based on the June 4, 1967 lines.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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