Society’s prenotions and judgments of individual nationalities are ever changing. Ask an Israeli and a Palestinian about their thoughts of one another and the distinctions may be alarming. In recent times, when an Israeli hears the word “Palestinian” many negative connotations may come flooding to mind. The word “Palestinian” often evokes strong images; images such as stone throwers, rebels, terrorists, and above all, a menace to Israel. Ask a Palestinian about an Israeli, and the thoughts may be of militant brutality, people oppressors, and ultimately land stealers. But where do these negative paintings come from? And who is the artist? Do connotations held by the majority constitute absolute truth, or any truth for that matter? The answers to these questions are not easily answered, due to the broad scope in nature of these topics; however through the exploration of occupied Palestine, some light may be shed to reveal truths of this distorted picture. Through the inspection of the restricted movement in Palestine, existence of settlements and outposts, and imprisonments without criminal charges, the realities and effects on each other’s perceptions from military occupation can be ascertained.
Jews first started fleeing from Palestine during the Jewish Diaspora (dispersion) around 587 B.C.E. The Diaspora was when the Babylonians conquered the kingdom of Judea (Golan, 99). On November 2, 1917 the British issued the Balfour Declaration, this viewed by Jews and Arabs as promising a “National Home” for the Jews in Palestine. It wasn’t until 1948 when Israel had the war of independence; this war declared Israel as the Jewish State. This event was right after the Holocaust; when the British and Americans promised a home to the Jews. In May of 1967 the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded; this was founded with the aim to destroy Israel. Four years after the Palestinian National Charter called for liquidation of Israel. In 1949 Israel gained about 50% more territory than was originally allotted by the United Nations Partition Plan.
Settlements and Outposts
The Geneva Convention is a law that protects citizens to establish acceptable and humanitarian conduct under conditions of war and occupation (Crime Museum, 1). Based on this law, there is a clear breach due to the existence of settlements and outpost in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and Gaza. “Settlements” are Jewish only communities that Israel established after 1967. As of today there are approximately 120 and growing.( Levs, 1) Tovah Lazaroff from the Jerusalem Post stated commented on one such settlement of Ofra that “A master plan for the settlement of 3,400 people was never approved and as such its buildings are considered unauthorized. The settlement’s situation is particularly complicated because many of the homes are situated on land that is privately owned by Palestinians” (Lazaroff, 1). Settlers pay Israelis up to $20,000 to move into...