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Occupied Palestine

The maps I’ve included have been aired so much they are almost iconic. I thought them worth including as tangible evidence of Israel’s long running annexation of Palestine. Documented by Israeli historians and others, articulated by many Israeli political parties (including both sides of the coalition set to govern Israel into the near future), the maps make annexation undeniable.

Two of them show the changing shape of Palestine since 1947 and are helpful reminders that even currently ‘accepted’ boundaries for the West Bank, Gaza, Northern Palestine and East Jerusalem ignore land taken from Palestine by Israel from 1948 to present. Israel has managed to portray itself as ‘victim’ while successfully stealing most of the land the United Nations ceded to Palestine. Even it’s self-lauded ‘pullout’ of the Gaza Strip (in reality creating a prison and shooting gallery) ignores the fact that much of that territory was taken by Israel and never returned to Palestinian control.   

The maps showing the situation to the fall of 2019 around Bethlehem and in the West Bank and Gaza detail the ongoing activities of Israeli control within Palestinian territory. They aren’t the easiest to read (you’ll have to magnify a lot) but do portray loss of land and local control to colonies, separation wall, military zones, park zones, road ways, check points, buffer zones, seam zones and many other tactics of Occupation by Militarized Bureaucracy.

Israel cites International law as authorization for its treatment of Palestinians as an Occupied people when it suits the purposes of the Israeli state, while refusing to recognize International Law when it counters the ongoing theft of Palestinian land. Claiming to use legal means to further the Occupation of Palestine, the Government of Israel sets up mechanisms for Palestinians to apply for building permits, appeal home demolitions, charge colonizers with assault and property crimes, or appeal to have illegal outposts/settlements removed from their land. If cases proceed most are decided against Palestinians, while even those few with outcomes favourable to Palestinians are almost always ignored by Colonizers and the Israeli Military.

My next few posts will deal with specific acts of harm carried out by the Government of Israel in support of the ongoing annexation of Palestine. They have been documented, reported to the United Nations, to our government, to NGOs, to almost anyone who might pay attention. Israel does not deny them, rather seeks to justify them as fitting responses to the ‘terror’ campaigns of Palestinians who are trying, they say, to push them out of the Middle East. I think the maps tell the truth of the tale. I hope the stories will communicate the cost paid by Palestinians, who are living under occupation and Israeli soldiers and colonizers, living tools of a harsh, oppressive and dehumanizing system.

I’ll try to post one a week as a basis for each week’s Zoom conversation. Hope to ‘see’ you there.

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