-Mark Hage, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine

 

November was another bloody month in Occupied Palestine.

The Al Quds Center reported that Israeli occupation forces killed 43 Palestinians last month – 3 in Hebron, 1 from Jenin, 1 from Jerusalem, and 38 in Gaza. The center also revealed that 526 Palestinians have been killed since Donald Trump’s announcement of occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol two years ago.

 

Israel Withholds Billions in Palestinian Tax Revenues

According to a new U.N. report, the P.A. lost some $47.7 billion in revenues to Israel between 2000 and

2017, crippling its ability to finance economic and social programs.

Mutasim Elagraa, an economist at the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development, said, “The fiscal crisis in Palestine is very deep and very dangerous. [It] is exclusively owed to the conditions created by the occupation.”

An agreement signed between the PLO and Israeli officials in 1994 obligates Israel to levy taxes on behalf of the P.A.  But Israel frequently, and for long periods, refuses to transfer the tax revenues.

 

If the revenues had not been withheld, Occupied Palestine’s GDP would have been 7.3 percent higher and there would have been two million more jobs in the occupied territories.  Gaza’s unemployment rate alone is above 50 percent, and one in three Palestinians living under occupation are unemployed.

 

Please, Bibi, Let the Annexation Begin

The following was excerpted from a column by Gideon Levy in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz in September, and reposted by If Americans Knew.

I obviously won’t vote for Netanyahu, but I hope that this time he keeps his promise. Let him annex the Jordan Valley, and afterward the entire West Bank. Let him turn the reality in this territory into a political reality, without hiding it any longer. The time has come for truth. The time has come to put an end to the great masked ball that Israel and the world have been holding for 52 years already.

The apparently eternal reality in this territory should be translated into legal language. The Jordan Valley was annexed long ago, as was the entire West Bank. The Green Line has been erased; nothing remains of it. All that’s left now is to say so officially. To admit to Israelis and to the world: Enough with the occupation, we have annexation. There are no settlements, there are towns. The two-state solution has been put to death, and it actually happened long ago. What remains is one state, in which the only battle will be over the system of government.

Anyone who still doubts the existence of apartheid ought to visit the Jordan Valley. The water, the land and the freedom – which are divvied up there via blatant segregation based on nationality, with no shame – tell the entire story. Nothing could be more just than for the Torah of annexation to go forth from here.

The Jewish people arose in the Land of Israel, and the apartheid state arose in the Jordan Valley. If Netanyahu keeps his promise – and, as noted, we should hope he does – both Israelis and the world will know that the second apartheid state in history has been officially established. Then we’ll see how Israelis live with this, and especially how the world responds.