Sunday, October 30, 2011

Palestine: The environmental impact of Israel's military occupation

Let me start by introducing to you who the Palestinian people are and giving you a brief background to the conflict!
Palestinians are the indigenous inhabitants of the land that was once known as Palestine – and is now called Israel and the Occupied Territories. Palestinians were mostly a population of farmers – fellaheen – their view of their identity is therefore defined by their connectedness to the stones, the earth and the trees. They are the descendants of local inhabitants, mainly Christian and Jews who had converted after the Islamic conquest in the 17th century AD.
The average Palestinian tending his/her farm in the hills of Hebron is aware of the history of invaders and occupiers that have passed through their ancient land.

But today, these indigenous farmers of Palestine know that they face a bigger existential threat than ever before. No past occupation has caused as much damage to the soil, no former empire has inflicted this much pain on this ancient landscape. No past invaders’ have acted with so much impunity as to uproot thousands of trees, poison water wells and replace agricultural land with so much concrete and barbwire.
Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is a story about stolen land, exploitation of labour and theft of resources. It is a story about warehousing a people – mostly stateless refugees, in bantustans and behind high walls, forcing them to be a captive consumer market and a source of cheap labour.
This story provides a classic case for exploring the relationship between corporate greed and perpetual conflict. More