Sunday, January 7, 2007

Gideon Levy on illegal West Bank settlements

From The greatest settler by Gideon Levy Ha'aretz 01/07/07:

The Jerusalem mayor Kollek left behind is a divided and wounded city, despite and because of its enormous development, replete with explosives that will yet explode in our faces. In fact, it was never unified. Like any colonialist city, there is a dark backyard for the natives. To this day, most Israelis do not set foot in Palestinian neighborhoods and the Palestinians avoid Jewish neighborhoods. The city remains divided, despite all of the lofty words about its unification for eternity. Regarding equality, there is nothing to say of course. It is sufficient to travel to the Shuafat camp or even to Sheikh Jarrah to note the outrageous disparity between the services in the eastern and western parts of the city.

Societal neglect, piles of garbage, no playgrounds or community centers, no sidewalk and no streetlights. Gaza in Jerusalem, all on the basis of abominable ethnic discrimination. This did not begin with Ehud Olmert nor with Uri Lupolianski. This began with the wily Kollek. A city whose rule in the Palestinian section is conducted through the strength of arms, with surprise checkpoints and hundreds of violent Border Policemen routinely patrolling the streets, and whose residents are subject to prohibitions that violate their fundamental liberties, is not a "unified" city. Teddy is responsible for this.

The history of the occupation, which has already lasted more than twice the amount of time than the years the state existed without it, is full of "men of peace" from the "left" who are responsible for this injustice. What would the settlement enterprise be without Yigal Allon and Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir and Yisrael Galili and, of course, Shimon Peres? Kollek must now be added to them, belatedly. He brought the wide world to Jerusalem but only to its Jewish part. He loved his city very much, and built and developed it in an impressive way, but on the downtrodden back of half of its residents. Moshe Amirav wrote in his article on Thursday ("Division, where unification failed") that Kollek said to him in his waning years: "We failed to unify the city. Tell Ehud Barak that I support dividing it." Better late than never, but why did we not hear a word about this in the lofty eulogies?

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