THE Israeli government does not want
peace with Palestine. Its plans are distinct, to de-Arabize
the region, a strategy which has taken various forms.
Since East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in 1967
and incorporated into Israeli territory in 1980 – in
violation of international law – Israel’s intention
has been attain a demographic majority in the city
via the meticulous and premeditated construction of
enclaves at key points.
Palestinian homes are being
destroyed while industrial complexes, highways,
commercial centers, schools and closed communities
including swimming pools are under construction,
solely for Israeli citizens.
In 2011, approximately 2,500 new
homes for Israeli colonists were built in the West
Bank, and settlements in East Jerusalem were
extended in order to accelerate this process.
According to the Palestine/Israel
Alternative Information Center (AIC), while the
physical occupation of land has been achieved, given
that almost half of East Jerusalem is now in
colonist hands, there is still no Jewish majority,
as the colonists comprise 35% of East Jerusalem’s
total population. Studies by Sergio Della Pergola, a
professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
reveal that Jewish citizens have an average of 2.7
children, and Palestinians, four children.
How can Israel counteract the
Palestinian demographic majority? By physically
isolating East Jerusalem from the rest of the West
According to the specialist Luz
Welles, also at the Alternative Information center,
Israel has architectural plans designed to separate
East Jerusalem from the West Bank, thus clearly
frustrating the possibility of a political solution
including the division of the city with East
Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. For
Palestinians, there can be no peace agreement until
Israel relinquishes its control of that part of the
The mass appropriation of land
constitutes a clear Israeli policy. In general terms,
the Israeli public discourse does not refer to these
constructions as settlements but as neighborhoods,
presenting them as totally legitimate. But, in
accordance with law and the international community,
they are illegal settlements, given their
construction beyond the Green Line in occupied
Since 1967, 70,000 Palestinians have
lost their right to reside in East Jerusalem,
according to figures from the Israeli Committee
against House Demolitions (ICAHD), a
non-governmental organization defending the rights
of Palestinians living in Jerusalem and the West
Another significant aspect which the
Israeli government is cleverly managing as part of
its ethnic cleansing plans is education. Peace
activist Miko Peled, born in Jerusalem into a
well-known Zionist family, explained how, through
the education system, the Israeli government is
working to indoctrinate and produce soldiers.
"Racism requires a mentality formed
by education. In order to rationalize and justify
ethnic cleansing, the Israeli educational system
presents Palestinians as culturally inferior,
violent, partial to the liquidation of Jews and, at
the same time, lacking any real national identity. A
Palestinian national identity is nothing more than
the product of an anti-Semitic imagination," he
Israeli children are educated to
perceive Palestinians as a problem which has to be
solved and as a threat to be eliminated.
Palestinians are presented as an existential threat
via absurd comparisons, such as that of Yasser
Arafat with Hitler and the Palestinians with Nazis.
As Israeli children never come into contact with
Palestinians, all they know about them is what they
learn in school.
De-Arabizing the history of
Palestine is a crucial element of ethnic cleansing.
The 1,500 years of Arab and Muslim culture and
domination in Palestine are being trivialized, the
evidence of its existence is being destroyed.
Through Israeli law, any Jewish
person has the "right to return" or emigrate to
Israel. It is called a birthright, even if he/she
was not born there. However, any Palestinian born
there, but who was expelled, has no right of return.
Many Palestinians do not even have the right to
visit the country.
These privileges are not the
original cause of the conflict, but do demonstrate
that Israel is not interested in ending it.
Specialists agree that solving the Palestinian
problem is key to peace in the Middle East. For that
to happen, Israel must first respect the right of
the Palestinian people to exist and to have a state.