Dora McPhee writes on Koutsoukis’ article “Growth is more natural for some in the West Bank” The Age 18 July 09 July 18, 2009

The Age: “Growth is more natural for some in the West Bank” by Jason Koutsoukis

The Sydney Morning Herald: Palestinian denied housing as Isareli settlements expand at will” by Jason Koutsoukis

The Israeli government’s defence of Israeli settlements and the need for their “natural growth” is more than just hypocritical, as Jason Koutsoukis reports (July 18,2009), it is a complete inversion of the truth. All of the settlements are living evidence of Israel’s colonising practices during its 42-year occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. During this ongoing violation of UN resolution 242, Israel has institutionalised a racist system that privileged the illegal colonising “Jewish settlers” over the occupied indigenous inhabitants. The statistics of settler population growth clearly show the intent of colonising the land and the physical evidence shows how the settlements were used to further the separation policies that fragmented and divided the Palestinians from their land and from each other. What is not so easily seen but experienced on adaily basis by the Palestinians is the system of oppression and discrimination that treats the settler population as privileged, so they can come and go as they please, while a completely different set of rules and regulations is used to control and oppress the Palestinian population.

For Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to suggest that attempts to remove Jewish settlements from the West Bank amounted to Nazi-like “Judenrein” policies is a desperate attempt to divert attention from the fact that Israel’s colonisation and apartheid practices are what need to be dismantled because these are crimes against humanity. It is high time Israel looked at its own unacknowledged history of ethnic cleansing that continues to be perpetrated today by 61 years of the denial of the right of return to Palestinian refugees and the ongoing house demolitions and land evictions that continue to drive Palestinians off their land and purposely contain their natural growth.

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