Another oppression abroad | AspenTimes.com

Another oppression abroad

Dear Editor:

In their expressed opposition to showing the film “Judea Declares War on Germany,” letter writers have frequently used the phrase “never again.” But at this very moment, another tragedy is taking place on a scale surpassing anything since the Holocaust. Millions of people have become victims of oppression, discrimination, violence and apartheid simply because they had the misfortune to be born a Muslim in Palestine.

The largest refugee population in the world: over 4 million, is a result of Israelis driving Arabs from their homes in 1947-49. To this day, Palestinians refer to this terrible event as “al Nakba” ” the disaster. Hundreds were massacred, their villages burned and farms confiscated. Thousands were evicted from their homes, and thousands more fled in fear.

Today in the occupied West Bank, Israel’s incursion of settlements, roads, checkpoints, military installations, the apartheid wall and “off-limits to Palestinian” areas has caused such fragmentation that normal life is no longer possible for the area’s non-Israeli inhabitants.

Israel controls most of the water and municipal services in the occupied territories, restricting much of these to Israeli-only areas. Farmers are being cut off from their land and denied irrigation water. Millions of Palestinians can no longer get to work or school without passing through Israeli military checkpoints and are frequently denied access. Restriction on movement is the principal cause of the economic decline of the Palestinian economy, according to the World Bank. Even access to food and medical services is denied, which has led to numerous organizations from the U.N. to Human Rights Watch calling it a humanitarian catastrophe.

One only has to look at a map of the West Bank to see that this is not an issue of security for Israel. The so-called “security barrier” cuts deep into Palestinian territory. The Jewish population of the West Bank has grown from 480 in 1948 to 247,300 in 2006, now comprising 136 “ethnically pure” settlements. This is being done by Zionist extremists with the help of Israel’s military, the IDF, in violation of international law, the Geneva Conventions, dozens of U.N. resolutions and Israel’s own courts.

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The ongoing and expanding Israeli military occupation is clearly an attempt to destroy what little remains of Palestine and replace it with a pure Jewish state, which has been Zionism’s oft-stated goal: to achieve a Jewish majority in Israel and the occupied territories.

What a shame that those who were the victims of ethnic cleansing in Europe not so long ago are now committing that same crime against others.

Sue Gray

Carbondale

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