SIR – Melvyn Lipitch from London was in full defence of Israeli colonisation when he wrote in his recent letter, ‘Ethnic cleansing was never Israeli policy.’ Clearly he is unaware of the fact that Palestine was subjected to ethnic cleansing under British colonisation and as continued by Israel today.
Israeli historian Benny Morris records how on October 5th, 1937, Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first PM, wrote to his son: ‘Of course the partition of the country gives me no pleasure. But the country that they are partitioning is not in our actual possession. If I were an Arab I would have been very indignant. What we really want is not that the land remain whole and unified. What we want is that the whole and unified land be Jewish.’
All colonisations require that the will of the native population to be defied and denied by force. This uniquely is the situation faced by Palestinians since Zionist terrorism removed some 800,000 of them in 1948 and it continues today.
This ongoing displacement and dispossession of Palestinians from their land and homes is at the core of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.
Palestinians are forced to leave their homes for many reasons. 61% of the Occupied West Bank (Area C) is under full Israeli control with the systematic denial of access to Palestinians of basic resources and services including health and education facilities, water, electricity, and sanitation services.
Clearly the intention is to make lives so miserable for Palestinians that they accept displacement and become refugees for other countries to look after while more and more land is available to illegal Israeli settlements. The lack of defined or internationally-recognised Israeli borders is proof that the colonialist project continues to expand.
The most visible and significant trigger for displacement is home demolition. The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions estimates that more than 26,000 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished in the occupied Palestinian territory since the beginning of Israel’s occupation in 1967.
Currently, Palestinians in more than 100 communities including Fasayil, Jerusalem, Al-Aqaba, Al-Maleh, Beit Lahiya, Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah, and Al-Araqib live under the constant threat of being forcibly displaced by the Israeli military, civil administration, or police.
Israeli continues to subsidise Jewish immigrants from around the world to settle illegally on stolen Palestinian land and, while Netanyahu may face corruption charges rather than the office of PM, the sad fact of colonisation of Palestinians is set to continue.