UN Partition Plan Jewish people comprised 1/3 of population (548,000 out of 1.75 million) but received 55% of the country including the nutrient rich Negev desert and Tel Aviv/Jaffa and Haifa Port cities. Within the 55% of the country they received they held a slight majority of 57%.
Post 1948 War Jewish community takes 78% of the country displacing 750,000 Palestinians, destroying over 418 villages (2/3s of their villages) and reducing Palestinian land to 22% of their original homeland with only 200,000 Palestinians remaining within the state of Israel. As of today, the total number of villages destroyed is 530 Green line is drawn by UN and Israel, with Gaza being controlled by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan. Jerusalem is made an internationally controlled city
Lived in Tents for 9 years before Red Cross/UN stepped in and provided each family with a concrete slab (4-6 ppl per slab).
Since then the families have slowly built make shift homes, but most left everything not realizing at the time that they would never return. Many still hold their original keys
They have official refugee status under the United Nations and 4.7 million remain in the 59 Near East refugee camps today, 62 years later.
Dheisheh Camp 12,000 residents in less than 1 km squared, half of which are children Other camps range from small (Azzeh) 2,000/1km squared to large (Outside Nablus) 25,000/1km squared “ They see freedom and kids playing yards on the tv and then wonder why they are not free.”
Cramped spaces, make shift homes, curfews, night raids, home demolishments
1967 and Today Pre-emptive war between Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel which Israel won within 6 days. How to maintain a Jewish Majority and control of the territories. Decision marks beginning of 43 year occupation continuing today. The longest military occupation in modern history. Separation Barrier construction begins in 2002. Averages 25 feet high, 60 km wide, 450 miles long with 650 checkpoints and blockades. 3 times the length of the Berlin wall, only 70% complete. Total cost of 2 billion dollars. Annexes 25-45% of the WB. Separates 200 farming villages from their farms, encircles over 200,000 people and separates most from their land, confining them to 6% of the WB in highly concentrated urban areas
-1700 Palestinian homes demolished during the talks (24,000 homes in WB demolished since 1967, mind you people who already lost their homes once in1948)
During a time of repeated invasions
Palestinian state would have no territorial contiguity, no control of national borders, no control of resources, airspace, or highways, no army, no capital city, and still remain dependant on the Israeli economy
Arafat succeeded by Abbas as president of the Palestinian Authority, which is required by the Oslo accords to have its every action first approved by Israel. The puppet government even aids construction of the wall which encircles its own people
Economic and Resource Occupation: Control imports/exports, transport of goods (keeping them at the border), Manufacturing now only 10% of Palestinian economy. 70% of their factories have either closed or severely reduced production 100,000 of the 125,000 Palestinians who formely worked in Jerusalem have now lost their jobs as a result of the wall Unemployment is 70% in Gaza, 50% in WB 75% of Palestinians (including 2/3 of their children) live in poverty with less than $2 a day Israel controls utilities charging Palestinians 5 times the amount Israelis pay despite the fact that on average they receive one fifth the amount of water. 80% of the WB’s water is rerouted to Israel leaving only 20% for the 2.5 million people there. They also mine most of their limestone and building materials from WB quarries, breaking international law. Most of the settlements reside on major water wells. 70% of Gaza is currently without electricity including major hospitals and schools Israel’s toxic waste is dumped in WB
Water, electricity, and Israeli only buses and roads
Majority of Israelis appose settlements Renders viable Palestinian state impossible by severing N and S Hundreds of WB olive trees uprooted and moved here 5 pools (3 more than Jerusalem) Cheaper real estate Paved streets, garbage system
Are 36% of the city’s population, but received only 7% of budget in 2009 --> no garbage, sewage, water system, no paved streets, etc
90% of homes only have a septic tank
Health budget: average spent on Palestinian is 23 shekles per person versus 49 for Israelis
All their rights rely on having their Jerusalem ID which can revoked by Israeli govt. So far, 10,000 have been revoked
Can only pass on Jerusalem ID status to kids if both parents were born in and live in Jerusalem
Zoning laws still based on circles drawn around villages in 1967
Educational discrimination: In 2009, 9,000 kids were turned away from schools due to over crowding. Those that go do so in 2 shifts
In 2006, the Israeli High Court ordered the building of 400 schools by 2011. As of 2010, only 40 have been built
Separate busses for settlers.
Different terminology and prices make Settlements more appealing for Israelis
290, 000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem (on the WB side of Green line and desired capital of future Palestinian state) No new building permits since 1967, no construction in “green zones” E.J. is in need of 25,000 housing units making rent soar, despite the fact that 70% of E.J. Palestinians are below the poverty line Settlers allowed up to 8 stories, Palestinians only 2 3 options: leave, live in cramped conditions, build illegally As of 2009, 24,000 homes have been destroyed. 95 % of which were not a “security threat” In 2004, the Israeli government formed the “Demolition Administration” to oversee the pending 20-40,000 home demolition orders Many have paid up to $25,000 in fees in attempts to protect their homes Varying “pending” period, random neighborhoods chosen to keep families on their feet Meanwhile 150,000 housing units have been built for Israeli settlers beyond the green line
Show up in random neighborhoods to keep people on their feet
Given 15 minutes to gather things and evacuate
Home is bull dozed and then the family is billed
Many have opted for self-demolitions as it is less expensive
UN sent in a survey team to study the quality of life for those under demolition threat. Common effects seen on children are: bed wetting, extreme anxiety,, inability to focus in school, depression, suicidal tendencies
This conflict not only hurts Palestinians, but degrades the image of Israel and the Jewish faith
It goes against essential Jewish notions of social justice, equality, and peace
Jews have historically been in the forefront of democratic and social justice movements: Rene Cassin, a Jewish Frenchman, wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1968, Jews were disproportionately active in the Civil Rights Movement, all the white ministers in Nelson Mandela’s anti-apartheid government of South Africa were Jewish.
Jewish/Israeli activists groups: Taayush, ICAHD, Jewish Voice for Peace, Rabbis for Human Rights
The Torah demans of us “justice, justic shall you pursue” Deut 16:20
“ Do not wrong a stranger who resides with you in your land The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens: you shall love your stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” Lev 19:33-34
Israel’s Declaration of Independence states its purpose to be “to foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants, based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel. To ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, irrespective of religion, race, conscience, language, education, and culture; To guard the holy places of all religions; And to be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the UN.”
What does this mean for THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY?
Universality of human rights, Agape: equal, selfless love for all people, God is a God of justice, love, and equality. He did not put one person before another, but came to renew the promise within himself and unite all of God’s children through a message of personal poverty and devotion to kindness, equality, forgiveness, and humility
“ But now in Christ Jesus, you who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the divine law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility” Ephesians 2:13-16
“ For my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” Isaiah 56:6-7
“ For there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed & heirs according to the promise.” Gal 3:26-29
“ A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” John 13: 34
“ We have to go to the heart of the problem, of the significance of the human being. Violence must never be a means to solve difficulties. The problem is a human one and I invite everyone to look into the face of those nearby and see their soul, their history, and their life and say to themselves: It is a man and God loves him as God loves me.” Pope John Paul II
What does this mean for the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY?
We must support a JUST PEACE and “refuse to be enemies”
Two people with equal right to self-determination, political independence, viable states, and peace
A focal point of human rights/international law and the center of global conflict places the conflict as a point of central importance for the global community