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"To exist is to resist": Morgantini on the Jordan Valley

by shergald Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 01:23:58 PM EST

What is being resisted in the words of one Palestinian activist is Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages in the Jordan Valley. That's the portion of the West Bank shown to the right in light yellow in the map below. When Netanyahu speaks of 'no preconditions' for starting peace negotiations, what he really means is that, not only will settlement expansion resume full throttle, but ethnic cleansing in the West Bank and East Jerusalem will likewise continue.  

The Jordan Valley is located in a stretch of land adjacent to the Jordan river up to the base of a mountain ridge on the eastern side of the West Bank. It runs from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the Dead Sea in the south.

Israel has been slowly confiscating land in the Jordan valley since 1967 by way of house demolitions, evictions, the restriction of water and so on so that village subsistence through agriculture and livestock is made impossible. Now that the Jordan Valley has been openly claimed by Israel on false grounds of security, entire villages are being demolished and their people displaced as in the village of Al-Farisya, which the Israeli army blew awat on July 19, destroying over 76 structures and leaving entire families homeless, half of whom were children. To emphasize the point, the military destroyed their meager belongings such as mattresses, furniture, personal effects, bread ovens, and tents, and anything else of use to them. The whole community was obliged to move once again, but where? We are not told. Since 2000 alone, 30 percent of Bedouin families have been displaced, some as many as four times.

Netanyahu is presently selling a bill of goods that the Jordan Valley is needed for Israel's security, but its annexation by Israel virtually guarantees that any Palestinian state can only exist in an Apartheid configuration within a Greater Israel (the Likud dream), without its own borders. In the meantime, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from to-be-annexed areas seems a priority and continues out of sight.

Luisa Morgantini, former vice president of the European parliament, was interviewed by a Ma'an journalist upon her return from a recent tour of the Jordan Valley where she led an Italian peace delegation.

Reporter: You visited to the Jordan Valley twice in one week, just days after the Israeli army once again demolished homes of Bedouin communities in the north. What did you see?

Morgantini: If Area C, 60 percent of the occupied West Bank, is a synonym for expulsion and annexation for Israeli colonization, in the Jordan Valley all this is greatly intensified. A silent displacement is being carried out by Israel, through demolitions, evictions, land confiscation, and denied access to water resources. These policies have promoted the establishment of over 30 illegal settlements.

Even before the [1993] Oslo agreements, Israel had already been aiming to create a seam zone between the West Bank and Jordan in line with the Allon Plan, through the annexation of this 2,400 square kilometers of fertile land extending from the Green Line to the Dead Sea. An area cleansed of its inhabitants today is more easily annexed tomorrow.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has always stated that Israel will never give up the Jordan Valley, and a similar refrain characterized Olmert's election campaign in 2006. This exact intent to maintain control of the area, beyond being theorized in the Allon plan, was also practiced by Israel during the First Intifada, when Palestinian residents in Nablus under curfew were blocked from reaching their properties and harvesting their fields located in the Jordan Valley. Now this area is a closed zone.

(Read on at the link above)

Morgantini's interview is extensive and so reality-oriented that it only adds to the skepticism already aroused by the upcoming 'direct talks' Netanyahu and Abbas are about to engage in.

Gaza is not the only Palestinian territory where inhumane treatment of Palestinians is the rule. In some cases, it is far worse in the West Bank, in places like the Jordan Valley. But as Morgantini reports, the "silent expulsion" is being countered by "a strong resistance," in the person of Fathi Khdirat, who leads a non-violent resistance group. As Fathi was quoted saying: "To exist is to resist."

I'm absolutely certain that Euro-posters will be happy to learn that there actually are Europeans involved in peace activism in the Middle East. Of course I know of a lot more and am just poking the ribs a bit, ET being a good place to start in.

Enjoy the entire Ma'an article. If you are not a human rights activist, it may convince you that there is some higher goal in blogging than just blogging.

by shergald on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 01:27:19 PM EST
Jordan Valley demolition video passed on by the Alternative Information Center, Jerusalem:

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by shergald on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 08:46:35 PM EST

by shergald on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 08:48:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This diary seems like a good place to drop this video as there might even be a few visitors who come here interested in human rights. They don't often find any material, so here is a contribution:

by shergald on Sat Aug 28th, 2010 at 06:13:51 PM EST

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