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The Road Map to Nowhere – Israel/Palestine since 2003


Published by Verso, September 2006

 

 

 

 

Introduction[1]

 

In the present political atmosphere in the US and Europe, anybody who expresses criticism of Israel’s policies is immediately silenced as an anti-Semite. Part of the reason why the pro-Israel lobbies have been so successful in their use of this accusation is the massive lack of knowledge about what is really happening in Israel-Palestine.  Without the facts, the dominant narrative remains that Israel is struggling to defend its very existence. Attention focuses mainly on the horrible, despicable Palestinian terror; hence critics of Israel are often accused of justifying terror. My aim in this book is to provide the facts, as they  unfold – openly – in the Israeli media.

 

This book covers the history of the Israeli occupation of Palestine since 2003; it is framed against  my previous book Israel/Palestine,[2] which covers the period between 1999 and 2002. At the opening of Israel/Palestine I wrote:

 

The state of Israel was founded in 1948 following a war which the Israelis call the War of Independence, and the Palestinians call the nakba – the catastrophe. A haunted, persecuted people sought to find a shelter and a state for itself, and did so at a horrible price to another people. During the war of 1948, more than half of the Palestinian population at the time – 1,380,000 people – were driven off their homeland by the Israeli army. Though Israel officially claimed that a majority of the refugees fled and were not expelled, it still refused to allow them to return, as a UN resolution demanded shortly after the 1948 war. Thus, the Israeli land was obtained through ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants.

 

This is not a process unfamiliar in history. Israel’s actions remain incomparable to the massive ethnic cleansing of Native Americans by the settlers and government of the United States. Had Israel stopped there, in 1948, I could probably live with it. As an Israeli, I grew up believing that this primal sin our state was founded on might  be forgiven one day, because the founders’ generation was driven by the faith that this was the only way to save the Jewish people from the danger of another holocaust. But it didn’t stop there.