Sunday, January 29, 2006

Hebron for Beginners - by Ran HaCohen

Hebron for Beginners - by Ran HaCohen: "The Reality

Two beautiful stories indeed; alas, both of them miss reality. Remember that the squatters could take over the wholesale market simply because the Palestinian merchants had been driven out. The market had been closed by Israel in 1994 as a confidence-destroying measure following the Goldstein massacre, in which a Jewish settler murdered 29 Palestinian worshippers in the Patriarchs’ Tomb in Hebron (apropos 'killing and taking possession'). In the Hebron Agreement of 1997, Israel pledged to return the market to the Palestinians and let it be reopened; a wall should have separated it from the settlers’ homes. However, Israel respects treaties only in extremely exceptional cases, and Hebron is not such a rare exception.

Both the nationalist and the liberal stories are wrong on the most crucial point: they both err to believe that Israel intends to give the market back to the Palestinians. Israel has nothing of the kind in mind. All Israel needs now is a good show that looks like the liberal fantasy; especially on the eve of the general elections, it is desirable to be portrayed as a resolute, moderate, and law-abiding government. But it’s the nationalist, colonialist fantasy that is being realized. In a combined effort of Israel’s government, police, army, and settlers, Israel had a major success in ethnically cleansing Hebron’s center of its Palestinian inhabitants. Reopening the market might revive trade at the heart of the city and reverse Israel’s achievement.

What’s the solution? Attentive Ha’aretz readers could find it out just days before the issue got to the headlines (Jan. 5, 2006):

'The Defense Ministry has terminated the lease with the Hebron municipality that enabled the Palestinian merchants to work in the city’s wholesale market. This means that the merchants from the wholesale market will not be able to return to their shops even if the Israel Defense Forces do evict the settlers squatting there.'"

"The Israeli Peace Process" =sick joke, and a waste of time.

I would tell the Israelis to get better leaders but we need to get them too. The vast majority of Politicians in the world are little more than con artists.

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