An Israeli army bulldozer in action, demolishing Palestinian homes. Such a machine crushed Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist, in Gaza, in 2003.
Trump and his evil echo in Israel talk of a two-state solution whilst killing the prospect with every step they take.
Over 60 years ago, when driven from their land in the Negev desert by the Israeli army, a group of Bedouin Palestinians set up a village, Khan al-Ahmar on Palestinian land to the east Jerusalem.
Jewish illegal settlers (illegal because it is against international law for an occupying army to facilitate the establishment of permanent settlements) living nearby have had their greedy eyes on the village for further expansion. They have used the Jewish settlers’ well-tried methods with the aim of driving out the Palestinians: unexplained fires destroying crops; cutting off water supply; diverting sewage channels into the unwanted villages; night-time visits for a bit of vandalism and even, as a last resort, shooting lone Palestinian farmers. (all the settlers are heavily armed and show off their assault weapons with impunity.
The villagers of Khan al-Ahmar have suffered much and have proved resilient and so Netanyahu’s extreme rightwing government plans to back the settlers by bringing in the army bulldozers in order to wipe the houses, gardens, and school from the face of the earth.
Yet another instance of the irony of calling it the IDF, the “Israeli Defence Force”. How can the wholesale demolition of Arab villages to make way for Jews-only settlement be considered defensive?
Still, the villagers are holding out, supported by a peace camp, set up in the village, by a brave Israeli organisation, the Combatants for Peace.
The strategy of Trump and the Israeli government is clear: by intimidation and force drive out the Palestinians so that there are no Palestinian people with whom a two-state solution would be necessary.
When a Palestinian family gives up in desperation and plans to move out, the Israeli government offers compensation. If the compensation is accepted, it is all considered by the government as a sale, a legal transaction. If the Palestinians refuse the so-called compensation, the IDF bulldozers move in regardless.
We hear the old baloney that God give the land of Israel to the Jews and so their right to the land is unquestionable. That satisfies Trump, Netanyahu, American rightwing evangelicals (the religious fundamentalists who consider that the earth was created in 6 days around 4,000 BC), many Zionists and the unelected, unrepresentative British Board of Jewish Deputies, but it remains obscurantist baloney for any rational person, anyone who wants a just settlement of the Palestine problem.
Between 2009 and 2013, US organisations channeled 220 million dollars to settlers for building villages, towns, and infrastructure for Jews-only new settlements.
Settlements should be named for what they are: racist colonies on Palestinian and Syrian land.