The Israeli agency that oppresses Palestinians 'for their own good'

Haaretz, 18.11.13



Israel the persecuted has for years been fending off anti-Semitic attacks against it. One particularly wicked accusation is the claim that we are a colonialist entity that has stolen and continues to steal land from the Arabs, for the good of the Jews. This decision provides brilliant linguistic tools in the heroic struggle of our country to expel the Arabs and settle Jews in their place, by framing it publicly as an act of enlightenment, love of the people, and the adoration of order and modern planning.

[...] 2. In 1986 the Israeli army expelled the residents of Khirbet Susya from their village, which was declared an archaeological site. Keeping this historic chapter out of sight is a must, since Jewish neighborhoods are allowed to thrive on archeological sites and we don't want the anti-Semites to blame us for our double standards.

[...] 4. The Civil Administration subcommittee decision states that Yatta and the Palestinian Authority are not up to the task of preparing the infrastructure for all the assemblages, scattered groups of Palestinians. Is this the position of the committee’s Palestinian members? Are you out of your mind? There’s no such thing as a Palestinian representative on a committee that determines how Palestinians should live. We Jews are the only ones who know what’s good for them.

5. The decision states: “Planning that benefits the residents of the community should serve entire communities, not small groups.” And in clear English: What’s good for the Jews (farms owned by a single family, outposts with eight families that are designated as settlements, scattered mobile homes that end up becoming subsidized luxury suburbs) is bad for the Arabs.

6. [...] 8. The subcommittee states: “The current plan constitutes yet another attempt to keep a weak and downtrodden population from having the possibility of making progress.” Idan Landau, a professor of linguistics, writes on his blog that the "yet another" is what particularly drove him nuts. These two magic words beautifully insinuate that anyone who helps Palestinian Susya's residents stay on their land (whether Rabbis for Human Rights, international aid organizations or the Israeli-Palestinian group Ta’ayush) is only keeping them from progressing. It is only the members of the planning and licensing committee − legal representative Niv Yaari; environment representative Nina Lavivsky; infrastructure representative Mali Cohen; Akiva Yaakov, who is responsible for abandoned government property; and the committee chairman, architect Daniel Halimi – who know what’s good for the Arabs.

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