Saturday, November 18, 2006


NY Times article on the matrix of checkpoints which Israel has created within the West Bank:
For four years, the separation barrier Israel has been building just inside the West Bank boundary has drawn protests from Palestinians and international censure for the hardship it imposes on their movement and access to jobs and land.

But getting much less notice have been parallel and perhaps even more restrictive measures imposed by the Israeli military much deeper inside the West Bank. The internal checkpoints and barriers on roads have increasingly limited movement, something Palestinians say they find especially grating, because they are not trying to enter Israel, only to go from one Palestinian area to another.


Israel says the multiple layers of security not only keep Palestinian attackers out of Israel but also protect the 250,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Before the Palestinian uprising began in 2000, obstacles in the West Bank were relatively few.

There's logic for you: The occupation is necessary to protect Israel from Palestinian anger at the occupation and the illegal settlement enterprise which it facilitates.

One could get the impression from the article that these checkpoints sprang up only after the al-Aqsa intifada; in reality, they've been a constant presence in the West Bank since the occupation began in 1967, and have just gotten a lot more numerous and restrictive since 2000.

You have to like the neutral "getting much less notice" formulation at the beginning of the article, as if the New York Times bore no responsibility for this. The rest of the world is quite aware of the brutal realities of the Israeli occupation. It's only in the US, where our news media seem locked into a preposterously false equivalence between Israeli occupier and Palestinian occupied, that these things go unnoticed.

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