The Electronic Intifada 19 May 2005
A fresh study by a Geneva-based institution confirms a growing consensus that Israeli land grab will be the foremost factor leading to an ignoble collapse of the Zionist colonial project.
Centre for Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), a respected Swiss human rights group warns that the continued existence of Israel on the basis of “two-states” has become a practical impossibility. And all due to the Jewish state’s continuing plundering of Palestinian property.
It spells out that the rate of land confiscations underway and the continued construction of the apartheid wall - which Israel refers to as its “security barrier” - will leave Palestinian territory within the Occupied West Bank and Gaza reduced to less than eight percent of Mandate Palestine. Thus a shrunk land mass which renders it physically impossible to turn into a state.
What this means is that even the notion of a “bantustan” - a’la apartheid style homelands - is being rejected as impractical and unsustainable; apart from being wholly immoral.
Hence, the social conundrum facing Israel today is matched by its political instability. Deep divisions and tensions at boiling point over the question of “settlements”, which traditionally have been regarded as one of Zionism’s article of faith, is a reflection of widening cracks.
Did not the founding fathers of Zionism promise a land without borders where Jews from all over the world would be able to live without ever facing any threat of removal? Was Israel not this “promised” land? Yet, defenders of Israel are at a loss to explain why Zionism has failed to secure any of its racist ideals.
Wars of conquest or colonial domination do not provide any basis for perpetual possession of another’s land. This lesson is being learnt by Israeli leaders today. Also of significance for them will be to acknowledge that the defeat of their “settlement project” in Gaza is not due to altruism; it is a direct consequence of the determination of their victims to continue struggling against occuption.
Utter desperation and sheer frustration is evident in the conduct of Israel politics. It cannot win the battle waged in the court of public opinion. Nor is it able to attract more Jewish immigrants as it did in its hey-days when ”kibbutz” were all the rage. Today’s reality is that the Zionist regime is bankrupt.
COHRE’s findings make it clear that land-grab paradoxically adds to a physical land mass while it peels off any artificial veneer of “statehood” that Israel projects to the world.
Iqbal Jassat is Chairman of the South African-based Media Review Network (MRN).