Making Palestinian Life Impossible: Israel’s Push to Annex the West Bank

In the news section, Jason Ditz points to the recent World Bank report which considers a Palestinian state not viable because “the economy is currently not strong enough to support such a state.” Here, Israeli policy ends up serving as strategy: the persistent military occupation, economic restrictions, and destruction of Palestinian infrastructure – justified by Israel’s “security needs” – is making Palestinian statehood impossible.

The push to annex the entire West Bank has accelerated as of late. Earlier this month, the Israeli government’s Levy Committee made headlines when it concluded that Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank should be retro-actively legalized (in effect, to appropriate the territory into Israel proper). This was shocking in its boldness and absurdity, but it was not new.

Right-wing politicians in Israel pretty consistently argue for annexing existing (and illegal) Jewish settlements in the West Bank, while ramping up construction of new ones. In February, the Likud Party pushed a bill in the Knesset that would annex more than 60 percent of the occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank. The plan, introduced by former Yesha Council Director Naftali Bennett, would unilaterally end military occupation in the section of the West Bank designated by Israel as “Area C” and fully apply Israeli law there. Israel would then “naturalize” some 50,000 Palestinians from the seized territory.

Such initiatives have not been successful because, as The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg has written, “The right-wing wants the land, but not the people.” The better option, Israeli policy seems to judge, is to smoke them out.

If the economic warfare that has strangled the Palestinian economy for so long has now made an independent state impracticable, then Israel gets everything by default. Similar strategies have been employed in Israel’s aerial bombardment of Gaza. Bombing Palestinian roads, farms, greenhouses, dairy parlours, livestock, chicken coops, and orchards served the purpose of exacerbating the effects of the blockade. Its aim was “the destruction of all means of life.” And in the West Bank, the complex system checkpoints, barriers, and permits serves to harass the population and make ordinary life impossible.

A recent EU report explained how “a combination of house and farm building demolitions; a prohibitive planning regime; relentless settlement expansion; the military’s separation barrier; obstacles to free movement; and denial of access to vital natural resources, including land and water, is eroding Palestinian tenure of the large tract of the West Bank on which hopes of a contiguous Palestinian state depend.” If this erosion can pass a certain point, Palestine becomes moot. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose Likud Party Charter declares Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza as “the realization of Zionist values” and “flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river,” will get his way.

21 thoughts on “Making Palestinian Life Impossible: Israel’s Push to Annex the West Bank”

  1. Enough whining!

    If the Palestinians want an independent state then find a decent leader, stop the jew-hating, negotiate and make an agreement. There's always an excuse.

    Get it done or give it up.

    1. your side has a propensity for mendacious claims

      and when peacemakers and negotiators step forward, you will unleash assassins after them. Remember Rabin. Was Arafat's un-natural end. Rachel Corrie was crushed; Jimmy Carter threatened. Then you will comeup with the mantra no one left to negotiate. Maybe Netanyahoo will face the dock like Milosovic

    2. Israel and the United States of Aggression cause them to hate Jews, Israel and the US. The Israelis take land away from them on which they have lived for centuries. They use water from Arab homes to irrigate their farms so they don't get enough water. The US won't give up their nation for the Native Americans, Alaskans and Hawaiians, return states taken away from Mexico or give up Puerto Rico or other possessions.

  2. Fascinating article by an author and blog that also calls Israel an "Apartheid State"–a state where the people within it are ruled and controlled by another state. Which is it? Can these Palestinian Arabs rule themselves and control the blood-lust of those savages within that has resulted in responses from Israel for these barbaric missile and terrorist attacks upon them, or, are these Palestinian Arabs to be rewarded with dictating the terms of Israel's borders which induced the surrounding Arab nations to try unsuccessfully to throw Israel into the sea and thus "lost" the area called the West Bank by the Arabs. More significantly, this area was designated as part of a Jewish state upon partition of the British Protectorate of Palestine by King Saud (Saudi Arabia), Winston Churchill (British Colonial Office) and his subordinate Col. T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) (see world renown historian Sir Martin Gilbert's authoritative article and later affirmed by the 'United Nations' (sic) in its Resolution 242. It seems it is always the winner in these contests, the Jews, who sue for peace and the defeated vanquished Arabs–nationally and by Arabs–that want to return to ill-gotten and unsustainable status quo. In your "thinking, you may also wish to question the reasoning why the reference to Palestinian Arabs: the first Palestinians were Greeks from the Island of Minoa (Santorini) and Crete (1125 BC) who invaded all lands on the Mediterranean Sea; the Jews called them their Invaders–literally "Plashteem"–poorly translated in King James version of the Torah as Philistines. Later, in 110 AD (CE) after Rome successfully defeated the Jews again in the Second Jewish Roman War, Emperor Hadrian declared there were no longer a people or land called Jews and Judea (Israel), they were henceforth to be known as Palestinians and Palestine. Israel became a country in 1948 and its people are now called Israelis although there are many Jews born in this land that still call themselves Palestinians; they are the Palestinian Jews (110 to 1948 AD/CE). After the 1967 Six Day War, the West Bank again became under the control of the Jewish state as originally mandated from the British Protectorate, which came into existence after the demise of the Ottoman Empire; the Palestinian Arabs declared their existence in 1989 after King Hussein of Jordan abdicated all claims to sovereignty over West Bank or any fealty from the former Jordanian citizenry. Thus was born the Palestinian Arabs with no history or peoplehood tied to the Land. Congratulations to the author and this blog as they are either ignorant or more dangerously, scatillogical propagandists.

    1. Deuteronomy 2:34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain

      Easy come, easy come again.

  3. ….so how come you don't hear Hillary talking about arming and subsidizing the Palestinian rebellion?

    1. "There is no language known as Palestinian … Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of 1 percent of the landmass. But that's too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today. Greed. Pride. Envy. Covetousness. No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough." -Joseph Farrah

      So according to Joseph Farrah, if your RACE is ARAB, and your family has for many generations lived and farmed land within the boarders of modern day Israel, you are a trespasser on land that is reserved for Jews and only Jews. His justification for bulldozing your olive grove and snuffing out your worthless Arab life is:
      A- The Bible B- Other individuals of your same RACE own/control most of the land in the region around the boarders of modern day Israel. Therefore, you should move your ARAB ass, out of the land expressly given by God to the Jews, to live among individuals of your OWN KIND somewhere else. Joseph Farrah is a RACIST

      1. …I'd kinda wondered… when they do the same to Ohio, and it takes twenty years for their prey to especially 'identify' as Ohio-ians… will he then say Ohio-ians are an 'invention?'

      2. Palestinians are a people that live like jewish Nazi victims who have no freedom, no rights, little water, little resources and have their land taken away from them daily. These people live in what is called Palestine. They speak arabic which would also make them Arab. Nice life they have. Doesn't it feel great to bash these poor people into the ground with our nukes, troops and large amounts of money? Astonishing they have the nerve to ask to be treated like human beings. Amazing.

      3. no Farrah is a Arab . and Israel does not force the Arabs out of Israel . It is the Arabs that want the land free of Jews . It is not Jews that have Shairah law , it is muslims that have Shairah law . Shairah law claims all land ever occupied by a muslim must remain muslim land forever . Thus all land that Jews have bought is stolen land according to muslim law . Farrah is not a muslim , so he does not believe shairah law is right for Jews or Christians . Under Shairah law Christians and Jews can not own land at all . Only other muslims . Joseph Farrah is a Christian not a racist .

  4. America's cooperation with Israel is (or should be) an embarrassment to fair-minded Americans

  5. World has to – and at the end it will happened – confront this "most embarising and tragig mistake UN made in 1946". Noble idea for victims for WW2 went so horribly, horribly wrong …and sad irony is, that the bunch of people wraped in aggressive, colonial, destructive ideology has created even more victims and more horrors of wars and crimes against humnity in ME and there is not any sign they will ever stop….Israel marks "the most destructive time and moment" in history of Mankind and even if present leaders know this fact and countless numbers of brave people of influence / writers, scollars, historience and everyday informed people in 4 corners/ willingly risk they future, health and lives by reveling this dangerous regime crime policy – destructive regime just ignores basic Internacional norms, laws and goes on the way to global Armagedon….towards "conflict of unseen proportions and destruction".
    How those marking may coment as "bad" can expect future aggression against sovereign state of Iran be just "only"!! another Irag? Massacre of Gaza in 2008/09 and use of White Phospor against cilivians shows clearly that Iran mass destruction will expose "Visible Satanic Hand at Work"…..mankind is really on crossroad. There is no doubt, that Israels WMD will play decisive role in "last Zionist aggression" against Humanity…..peter czech

  6. So the party platform is to ensure that a Palestinian state is never formed, and still these people have the temerity to come to the U.S. and tell us that it is the Palestinians who don't want to make peace? They treat us as if we're stupid and frankly, Zionist-run MSM has made most of us stupid, but it's time to BWTTGASO and get our country back from these freaks!

  7. While being removed from the vehicle Sivan Kurzberg said, "We are Israeli, We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems, the Palestinians are the problem".

    There, in this statement to the police, in a nutshell, lies the entire Israeli 911 gambit: using the cover of the contrived Muslim boogie-man, the blood-lust that lead to eternal, serial war against all Muslims nations, Israel has preceded to dismantle what was left of Palestine by perforating the West Bank with settlements and making life so unbearable in Gaza that Palestinians would flee Gaza, without any right of return; resulting in the complete reduction of Palestine into Israel, while America's backs were turned, focused on an imaginary enemy.

  8. West Bank should be retro-actively legalized (in effect, to appropriate the territory into Israel proper). This was shocking in its boldness and absurdity, but it was not new.

  9. No matter how many times I read it, it never gets old. You definitely hit the nail on the head on this one. This is something people need to know about. Your blog is really incredible and the design is really top notch

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