Friday, June 08, 2007
Highly Charged and Complex
"Highly charged and complex" is how Linda Gradstein defined the "question of land ownership in the Westbank" on Thursday's Morning Edition. A reader of this blog commented, "Heard the beginning and end of the "settlements" story....Neither at the beginning, nor at the end, did they say *illegal* settlements. Was wondering if anyone heard mention of the I word otherwise?"
That didn't come up in Gradstein's piece. Instead she described an Israeli colonizer who "always hoped to have good relations with their Arab neighbors. At the beginning, he says, the villagers of Turmus Aya welcomed them." Reminding me of White southerners I knew as a kid who used to tell us how happy Black people were before all the Civil Rights troubles, we hear this Israeli say "They liked the idea that we were here, because they knew, from other places, that wherever the Israelis come, progress comes. They knew that the village would get electricity and water – they would get work here and that's how it was for quite a few years." Of course, Gradstein adds, "Settlers say that all changed with the first intifada." Ah yes, the good ole days.
The I-word did come up today with Eric Westervelt's misleading piece. The piece might have well been written by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in that it pretends their are legal and illegal settlements in the occupied territory. Funny thing is that only Israel's government and US politicians hold to this fiction. The complete illegality of ALL Israeli settlements built since 1967 in the Occupied Territories is recognized by major human rights groups like Amnesty International and B'Tselem, and by several UN Security Council resolutions such as 446, 452, and 465.
A much more informative and lively discourse on the 1967 wars was held on Democracy Now! today. It featured Israeli historian Tom Segev, Palestinian physician Mona El-Farra (her blog is From Gaza with Love) and U.S. scholar Norman Finkelstein.