top
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Palestine | International
Deluge-hit Palestinians Blame Israeli Separation Wall
by Islam Online (reposted)
Thursday Feb 17th, 2005 7:43 PM
NABLUS, February 17 (IslamOnline.net) – "They have turned a blessing from God into a curse. They have deliberately left us prey to the deluge," said Bilal Al-Baz with tear-soaked eyes.

The scene was not in one of the several Asian countries battered by the killer tsunami but rather in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya.
pic05.jpg
Many Palestinian houses were flooded after Israel refused to open rain hatches in the separation wall.
---

The downpour of rain has left the newly-built two-story house of Baz, a 42 -year-old Palestinian farmer, swimming in water.

"I was sitting with my family watching television. Suddenly, waters began creeping into the house," Baz recalled.

"We battled to stop the water from flowing into the house but in vain and were taken aback by tidal waves that smashed the door and drowned the first floor."

Fleeing with their lives, the Baz family rushed to the second floor and the man had to swim his way across the village to call for help.

But what has this got to do with Israel?

"They not only built their Separation Wall 100 meters from our homes, they adamantly refused to open the hatches and allow the waters down the valleys."

After the International Court of Justice issued a landmark ruling branding the wall as illegal, the UN General Assembly asked Israel to tear it down and compensate the Palestinians affected.

The 600 -km-long separation wall has resulted in the confiscation of 11 , 4000dunums (2, 850acres -1 , 140hectares) of privately-owned Palestinian land and in the destruction of102 , 320trees, said a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

It will eventually snake some 900 kilometers along the West Bank and leave even larger swathes of its territory on the Israeli side.

The OCHA estimated that with the competition of the wall, 30 percent of the West Bank population, or some680 , 000people, will be "directly harmed".

Dream-Turned-Nightmare

Qalqiliya inhabitants were hopeful the rains will augur well for a fruitful agricultural season, but the Israeli wall turned their dreams to a nightmare.

Baz was not the only Palestinian farmer harmed by the deluge.

More than 250 other Palestinians lost their homes and farms to the downpour diverted by the Israeli wall.

Mohamed Salmy lost his main source of income after his22 -dunum farm, cultivated with different kinds of vegetables, was flooded.

He, however, was grateful that none of his family was hurt.

Rashad Salmy, another farmer, also lost his farm and cattle to the heavy rains.

"Israel wants to increase the Palestinians' sufferings by its wall," he lamented.

Palestinian authorities estimated the damages in Qalqiliya and neighboring villages at around1 . 4million US dollars.

Around 700 dunums of agricultural lands were completely destroyed and more than 60 sheep and6 , 000poultry were lost, according to a report by the agriculture department.

Several factories, shops and a bridge were also destroyed by the heavy rains, the report added.

Schools Too

Even schools were hard-hit by the Israeli-triggered flood.

Al-Sharka primary school was closed down after flooded by the outpouring.

"The waters struck the school in a way that threatened the lives of the pupils," said headmistress Afnan al-Shanti.

"Thank God none of the 850 pupils was hurt."

Palestinian students in several towns and areas are required to deftly climb the nine-meter-high concrete parts of Israel’s 700 -km-long separation wall to make it to school.

http://www.islamonline.org/English/News/2005-02/17/article05.shtml
by Haaretz
Thursday Feb 17th, 2005 7:47 PM
On the cold night of January 12, 2004, when the wall went up on the Jericho Road in the densely populated border between East Jerusalem and Abu Dis, a reporter approached the senior IDF officer supervising the work: "Why, of all places, are you putting the wall here?" The officer responded without hesitation: "Those folks," he said, pointing to the Abu Dis side of the wall, "are Palestinian. These guys," he said, pointing to the Palestinian "shabiba" (street kids) on the Jerusalem side, "are Israeli."
This thinly veiled fiction that transforms the Palestinians of East Jerusalem into Israelis by means of cognitive legerdemain discloses the inherent flaws in Israel's aspiration to separate Israelis and Palestinians in a city shared by both peoples. The security barrier was born of two "isms" that came to dominate both Israeli public opinion and the thinking of the political leadership during the last four years: "unilateralism" and "separationism."

The decision to erect a continuous barrier between Israelis and Palestinians discloses an Israeli despair of influencing the Palestinian's desire to kill us. In the absence of "a partner," we have had no means to influence Palestinian volition. We consequently targeted their ability to inflict harm, rather than their will to do so. Unilateralism has derived from this despair. The necessity of the wall also became consensual based on the deep-rooted desire of the Israeli public "to be rid of the Palestinians."

But these two axioms collided with the complex realities on the ground in Jerusalem. For almost 38 years, successive Israeli governments tried to create a geopolitical reality that would make redivision of the city impossible. Today, there are almost as many Israelis who live in the new Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem as Palestinians. But now that separationism holds sway, we are discovering that the attempt to reverse historical trends is impossible.

The 230,000 Palestinians of East Jerusalem have untrammeled mobility, work in Israeli workplaces and have access to dangerous substances. Their ability to inflict harm on Israelis far exceeds that of the Palestinians of the West Bank. Yet with rare, albeit sometimes devastating exception, they have not engaged in acts of violence, much less terrorism.

The detachment of the Palestinian collective from its hinterland in the West Bank is the most radical change to take place in Jerusalem since 1967. Until now, the Palestinians in the city have lived ambiguous lives, being "of" Palestine without being viscerally hostile to Israel. This delicate balance is now being upset by the wall. Ironically, the same tool - the security barrier - which is necessary to prevent suicide bombers infiltrating Jerusalem from Nablus, threatens to radicalize the population of East Jerusalem - hundreds of thousands of whom are to remain on the "Israeli" side of the wall.

Jerusalem has been the epicenter of the conflict, and has been especially targeted by the suicide bombers. Ironically, the place where the security barrier is most needed is also the place where it will, in all likelihood, be not only ineffective, but will over time undermine Israel's genuine security interests. In Jerusalem, separationism is impossible, and unilateralism, counterproductive.

Does this mean that building the security barrier in the Jerusalem area is mistaken? Not necessarily. Physical barriers are a legitimate defensive measure in the war on terror. But the city's complexity also dictates that the barrier in Jerusalem can only be a limited tactical tool providing short-term stability until such time as a political process can resume. In the long run, the existence of the wall in Jerusalem and a nonviolent equilibrium between Israelis and Palestinians are mutually incompatible.

If these observations were valid in the absence of a cease-fire, they are doubly so today. Recent events mandate a fundamental reexamination of Israel's position on the wall, particularly in the Jerusalem area:

l The possibility of a cease-fire, so remote while Yasser Arafat was alive, is no longer an impossibility. The fact that it is Mahmoud Abbas - not IDF incursions - who has brought a fragile quiet to Sderot, is a lesson worth learning in Jerusalem.

l The emergence of Abbas as a potential political "partner" has already undermined the unquestioned validity of unilateralism.

l Almost half of the security barrier in Jerusalem is now complete, providing Jerusalemites with a measure of security. The portions that are incomplete are the most controversial politically and the most problematic in humanitarian terms. Proceeding as planned with the construction of these segments will undermine Abbas' attempts to end hostilities.

l The "absentee property" debacle, where Israel was compelled to rescind its attempt to take over Palestinian lands in East Jerusalem, is an indication that in the international arena the rules of the game are changing. In a period characterized by convulsive violence, Israel could act almost with impunity. With an emerging political process, that is no longer the case.

The conclusions are inescapable: If Israel proceeds with construction of the Jerusalem security envelope, it will undermine attempts to consolidate a cease-fire, entangle the country in the international arena, and most important, it will likely deliver less rather than more security to the Israeli public.

Freezing construction of the Jerusalem security envelope should soon be on the negotiating table. In lieu of an effective cease-fire, Israel should offer to suspend construction of the wall in Jerusalem and its environs. This would offer the Israeli public the prospect of more security than can ever be provided by a highly problematic physical barrier in and around Jerusalem.

Daniel Seidemann is legal counsel for Ir Amim, a nonpartisan Israeli NGO devoted to a stable, equitable and sustainable Jerusalem.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/541849.html
by Becky Johnson
(becky_johnson222 [at] hotmail.com) Friday Feb 18th, 2005 8:50 AM
"After the International Court of Justice issued a landmark ruling branding the wall as illegal, the UN General Assembly asked Israel to tear it down and compensate the Palestinians affected."

BECKY: The ruling from the Hague was made despite the fact that Israel had chosen to boycott the court, and sent no representative to speak on their behalf. The court decided to proceed with only the prosecution present.

By contrast, Palestinians took the case of the Security Barrier (it is a wall for only 4% of its path) to the Israeli Supreme Court. That court ruled that the barrier was legal under emminent domain due to the security needs of the Israelis who had suffered more than 100 suicide bomb attacks on their civilian population (note: not collateral damage, but the intended victims!!).

The court also ruled the path of the barrier unneccessarily impacted the commerce and well-being of the Palestinian population, and ordered the barrier be rerouted in an area which cut too deeply into the West Bank. The IDF then tore down those sections, and rebuilt according to the Supreme court ruling. I bet THAT never got posted at indybay.org!!

The security barrier (and anti-sniper wall sections) have cut suicide bomber attacks down to almost nothing. This is proof of the murderous attacks which Israel suffered every day from Palestinian terror groups (your "freedom fighters").

"The 600 -km-long separation wall has resulted in the confiscation of 11 , 4000dunums (2, 850acres -1 , 140hectares) of privately-owned Palestinian land and in the destruction of102 , 320trees, said a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)."

BECKY: Israel has acquired the land under emminent domain. Property owners still maintain ownership of their property, but ARE compensated by the Israeli govt. It's likely that in areas where Palestinians had built illegally without permits or title to the land, their structures were demolished and they were not compensated. That happens to squatters in the United States as well, except in the USA, the squatter is also charged for the demolition. Israel MOVED 600,000 olive trees in the course of construction of the security barrier.

"It will eventually snake some 900 kilometers along the West Bank and leave even larger swathes of its territory on the Israeli side."

BECKY: The proposed route of the barrier will be about 700 km long. The route was chosen to protect the largest number of Israelis, and to provide for the security needs as decided by military experts. Generally, its path follows the Green Line deviating only when one of the two conditions above were met.

Israel would have sat down and discussed with the PA the best possible location for the barrier, but could not find a peace partner whose word was worth more than ink on a piece of paper. In frustration, Sharon had the barrier built in a location determined only by Israeli authorities, leaving the courts the ultimate judge.

I do not know to what extent the anti-sniper wall contributed to the flooding. Perhaps it was a natural disaster and the wall contributed little to the disaster. Perhaps it was more of a factor. I certainly will withhold judgement until I have heard the Israeli point of view.
by JA
Friday Feb 18th, 2005 8:49 PM
BECKY'S BRAIN!!: An Amazing 'Interview' With Becky Johnson of Santa Cruz, by JA

http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/02/1719944_comment.php#1722028

SHE'S A REAL CHARACTER DOWN THERE IN SANTA CRUZ!!


For more, later, see (Becky Johnson):

Examiner ad demonizes Palestinian children, shows young girl with gun
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display_any/14842/index.php#15929


Albert Einstein Condemned Israeli Nazis
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display_any/15529/index.php#15842


Elise Cohen of The Fellowship Of Reconciliation talks about upcoming delegations to Israel
http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display_any/14711/index.php


... YYYEP...!! SHE'S A *WACKO*!!
by Becky Johnson
(becky_johnson222 [at] hotmail.com) Sunday Feb 20th, 2005 5:57 PM
Check out the video report by Barry Segal called "Water, water, everywhere!" Which reports that since this November, Israel has received so much rain, hail, and snow that the rivers are full, the reservoirs are filling up, and Mt. Hermon is capped with snow expected to last through Passover.

Segal reports that the rain has been the biggest in Israel's history. So the flooding was caused by the wall? Yeah, right. Why aren't the authors outside dancing with joy now that the 10 year drought has ended?? Nope. They are inside their houses, at their computers, sending out photos and articles blaming the Jews for their latest misery. To do that, they should blame the Jews for praying for so much for rain, hail, and snow!!

See for yourself in living color at:

http://www.jnnnews.com/