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Israel: how much change is real change? « Previous | |Next »
August 30, 2005

It is not often that Australian journalists or media mention, let alone, talk about Israeli settlements when they touch on Palestinian/Israeli issues. Rarely is the Israeli settlement expansion discussed in the Australian media; colonialism never.

Yet Ariel Sharon, more than anyone else, is responsible for the map of Israeli settlements, the settler movement vows to continue the war against the disengagement, and that Israel has the right to the Occupied Territories. The disengagement means that the Zionist dream of the Greater Israel breaks before their eyes.

Daily Star, The consequences of Israel building settlements, 29 August

The settlement expansion has been legitimated by a messianic Zionism, its conception of a Greater Israeli and its creation of illegal outposts. The disengagement raises the question: instead of messianic Zionism that fosters the conflict between the state and religion, is it possible to have a Zionism that is not Jewish or even religious?

Rarely are these questions asked by journalists in the Australian media. They are more content to rewrite a politican's media release. However, a couple of Oz bloggers are doing their bit to counter the silence of the corporate media, and its marked failure both to inform and analyse what is actually happening in the conflict between Israeli and Palestinian organizations.

We have Evan Jones over at Alert and Alarmed, who recently highlights the ongoing pro-Israeli bias in the Australian media. He highlights how much the Australian media has tactily accepted the view of the national-Zionist Jews, most of whom oppose the disengagement.

And Antony Loewenstein who is writing a book on the issue. Antony has an article in New Matilda 51, entitled 'The mother of all smokescreens.' There he argues that Israel's 'disengagement' from the Gaza Strip:

"...aims to distract the world's gaze from the true intentions of the ultra-nationalists currently running Israel and, thus far, is proving thoroughly effective. A three-layer barrier of fence and walls on the border with Gaza is nearly completed, and will effectively confirm Palestinian fears that they will be living inside a giant prison."

'Prison' is apt as Israeli retains the right to mount incursions into Gaza, if 'suspected militants' are found, and it maintains control over land, sea and air crossings as well as water and gas reserves.

Will Israel allow Palestinians to move between Gaza and the West Bank when Ariel Sharon is expanding the Israeli presence in the West Bank?

Loewenstein also mentions the way that Jerusalem, the rightful capital of three of the world's monotheistic religions, was being divided and conquered by the Jewish state. Does that indicate that Jerusalem will become Israel's capital?

The conclusion? Ever more settlements in the West Bank, Israeli control over Gaza, and the security fence surrounding Jerusalem make an independent Palestinian state virtually impossible. What does that strategy mean? Perpetuating the Israeli occupation and establishing an Israeli apartheid regime?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:57 PM | | Comments (0)