“Security” for Israel? For Palestine?

What does the term security mean for a nation?    Safety, refuge from harm, protection?  Most countries now employ government agencies for internal and international defense against threats domestic and foreign.  In the U.S. think FBI and CIA.  In Israel its Shin Bet and Mossad.  In Palestine, a small police force. 

Then add military forces to both defend at home and project offensive power abroad.  The U.S. #1 in world power.  Israel #4 including also its own large nuclear arsenal.  Palestine—none.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_Bet

Threats inside Israel include terrorist actions—bombings and rockets from Gaza.  (Now a weakened Iran.)  Most have ceased because of Palestine’s commitment to non-violent resistance of Israel’s military occupation since the second Intifada of 2002.  Not because of the incomplete wall.

Generations of European pogroms ending in the holocaust of WWII have left a legacy of fear and victimization among Israelis.  Since 1948 in Israel, displacement, killing and

Israeli settlers in Palestine

Israeli settlers in Palestine

“transfer” of local Palestinian residents produced millions of enemies among refugees in many countries.  From 1967 the Israeli army, aka “defense force” (IDF) moved into Jordan’s West Bank, Palestine, and never left.  This military occupation and now over half a million immigrant “settlers” brought in to take over Palestine complicates the search for security and peace.

“Security” demands the Israeli government “defend” itself against the enemies it has produced by attacking them, usually out of proportion to the wrong perceived.  They build high concrete walls around and within Palestinian towns and villages, separating them from each other, even from their own farms.  Israeli teen-age soldiers man checkpoints all over Palestine, limiting freedom of movement, for “security.”  Palestinians are not permitted to visit Jerusalem (special permit occasionally) or the sea.  Soldiers  invade homes at night hauling off children and adolescents to prison for months, many without charges—for being in a peaceful demonstration against the occupation.  Sometimes for throwing a stone at a tank.  All for “security.”

Home demolition“Security” demands destroying homes for Israeli settlements, evicting farmers from homes and lands, and building exclusive highways for Israelis only.  (Soldiers recently shot dead a Palestinian driving with his family on one south of Bethlehem.  “Security” results in settlers taking 80% of Palestinian water.  Whole villages and farms are being destroyed for a firing range in South Hebron Hills in the name of “security.”  Settlers burn Palestinian olive trees and crops protected by “security” forces.  You get the picture.  For the Israeli government “security” justifies almost any action to get Palestinians to leave. Thankfully, many Jewish people in Israel  and abroad disagree with their government’s actions.

How secure are West Bank people?  They live as second-class citizens in their own land.  Not knowing when soldiers will burst in at night to take away their kids to prison.  Wondering if their homes will receive a demolition order as “illegal” and therefore state property to be destroyed.  Would you feel secure approaching a checkpoint at the next village knowing you’ll be stopped and searched by hostile soldiers?  With assault rifles.  Are you secure from tax increases and rising prices prompted by Israel which controls your economy?  When you have no representation in its government?  (The infant America kicked out the British for “taxation without representation.”)  Are you secure in knowing what happens in your country is entirely at the whim of a strong hostile foreign power that wants to take over your land.  What kind of “security” is that?

“Security” for both sides will become an issue in the new negotiations sparked by Secretary John Kerry.  It will need to be defined—again:

Sec. councilUnited Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (S/RES/242) was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six-Day War.

Operative Paragraph One “Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force (emphasis mine.)



About lpjohnson6

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