Middle East

Jun 6, 2017

‘The situation feels hopeless’: 50 years of Israeli occupation

Palestinians remain under an Israeli regime of house demolitions, ever-expanding illegal settlements and strict controls over daily life, writes freelance journalist Antony Loewenstein.

A street in Hebron in the West Bank. Photo by Bernard Keane

Less than one and a half hours from Jerusalem, Gaza is like a different planet, literally cut off from the outside world. Its 2 million residents, suffering huge electricity cuts, polluted water (a recent Oxfam report details Israel’s refusal to allow vital equipment into Gaza to fix infrastructure destroyed by the Israelis) and high unemployment (affecting both Gaza and the occupied West Bank) are often forgotten, seemingly doomed to be permanently separated from the West Bank and Israel.

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14 thoughts on “‘The situation feels hopeless’: 50 years of Israeli occupation

  1. Andrew Malzard

    Israel’s atrocious occupation has not only killed thousands of Palestinians, the vast majority innocent, and ruined the lives of a whole population, it is the fuel for a fiery hatred of the West by many Arabs. Fanatical, hot headed terrorism will never completely cool until Israel is forced back behind pre 1967 borders by world opinion and action.

  2. Tony Foot

    It could be argued that the collapse of apartheid in South Africa would have been much sooner without the support it received from Israel.
    Quite apart from the non military trade which was considerable, the weapons trade was astronomic. South Africa had two very valuable products which Israel needed badly, money (including gold and diamonds ), and enriched uranium. Israel had weapons, electronics, specialised training in anti terrorist methods and latest military training. Also helped by the training Israel received from the countries backing them.
    It was a marriage made in heaven, and exploited by both countries to the fullest. A special shipping line was established to cater for the trade. The nuclear capacity of both countries is strongly believed to stem from this relationship. The question as to what happened to South Africa’s Nukes is an open one, they went somewhere.

  3. graybul

    Grim reading mate.

  4. bref

    I’m so sick of this whole subject I didn’t bother to read the above article. Call me shallow but I just can’t be bothered anymore. Both sides are to to blame depending on how far back you want to go and both sides refuse to come to the table in good faith. When both sides want to work toward a solution, lives will be continue to be lost and homes will continue to be destroyed. Frankly I just don’t care anymore.

    1. bref

      I meant to say – Until both sides want to work toward a solution, lives will be continue to be lost and homes will continue to be destroyed. Frankly I just don’t care anymore.

    2. Zeke

      Both sides? Whose settlements have been declared illegal by the whole of the UN (except Israel and Australia)?
      Who cares? No one powerful enough to stop the USA from funding Israel’s apartheid.
      Enjoy your apathy. I hope you’re not getting apopleptic about terrorist attacks, while ignoring the causes.

      1. bref

        Zeke, you really need to read what went on from about 150 years ago, like everything else in the Middle East things are not cut and dried. Both sides have reacted with terror to the other. None of it is excusable. Neither side is coming to the table with solutions both sides can live with.

    3. Richard

      You are shallow. There.
      You imply a balance of power that would allow the Palestinians to ask for and receive concession in return for effort on their part. A reading of this article would have shown you how stupid was that idea. It would have made you less shallow.

  5. paddy

    Thanks for this Antony. It’s so refreshing to read a straight out piece of journalism that describes what’s actually been going on.

  6. AR

    I was not surprised that the author felt obliged on several occasions to crowbar in optimistic bromides about ‘change’, ‘hope’ & ‘progress’ else the piece would have wrist slashingly depressing.
    Netanyahu proclaimed only last week that “Israel was a Jewish state” which I seem to recall many first generation Zionists warning against.
    They knew that it might have a hope as a state for Jews but that a Jewish state would be a total disaster and so it has proved.
    It should be remembered that the reason the xtian krazies in the Benighted States support Israel is not out of beneficence but because they believe and eagerly hope that its very existence will bring about Armegeddon and thus the 2nd Coming.
    Coz the 1st Coming worked out so well.

    1. AR

      …as well as Armageddon.

      1. Tony Foot

        Hey! AR,
        You don’t believe that the Capital of the Land of the Freaks and Home of the Brainless is Jerusalem with a branch office in Washington?

    2. Richard

      Sharon, fittingly, killed the Two State solution, whether deliberately or through blinded hatred of all things Palestinian. His “pastrami plan” for the West Bank did the damage.

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