Israeli Demolition Number Hits Record on the West Bank

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“West Bank Home Demolitions Hit Record High”

On the record quote (not statement) by Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesman

“The number of Palestinian buildings in the West Bank demolished by the Israeli authorities has hit a record high for the third consecutive month. Latest UNRWA figures show that in March 76 homes or structures were demolished compared with 29 in January and 70 in February. The number of people forcibly displaced by these demolitions has also hit a record monthly high with 158 people forcibly displaced in March by demolitions, including 64 children. In January 70 people were displaced by demolitions, including 47 children. In February 105 people were displaced, including 43 children.”

“So far this year the Israeli authorities have demolished 175 Palestinian buildings and displaced 333 people of which 175 were children. This is having a devastating impact, particularly on women and children, whose lives are being destroyed along with their homes. I am not saying this is classic ethnic cleansing, but the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has condemned this discrimination and make no mistake, it is discrimination against one ethnic group.”

“We now have a situation where the demolition of Palestinian homes has hit a record high and the number of Jewish homes built in contravention of international law on Palestinian land is rising to record highs. These contrasting figures should alarm the policy makers whose peace making efforts are being demolished with virtual impunity. The West Bank is where the future Palestinian state is meant to be situated. Its viability is being further eroded with each demolition. UNRWA calls on the peace makers to bring the necessary influences to bear on Israel to end these discriminatory practices. As the High Commissioner for Human Rights said recently, “This culture of impunity leads to more abuses, stimulates anger and resentment on all sides, and impedes the peace process.”

“Yesterday was Land Day. I name today Demolition Day. Homes, families, lives and the peace process are being demolished.”

One Response to Israeli Demolition Number Hits Record on the West Bank

  1. red5 22/04/2011 at 4:05 PM

    The true answer lies in history….
    At various times, Jews in Muslim lands lived in relative peace and thrived culturally and economically. The position of the Jews was never secure, however, and changes in the political or social climate would often lead to persecution, violence and death.
    When Jews were perceived as having achieved too comfortable a position in Islamic society, anti-Semitism would surface, often with devastating results. On December 30, 1066, Joseph HaNagid, the Jewish vizier of Granada, Spain, was crucified by an Arab mob that proceeded to raze the Jewish quarter of the city and slaughter its 5,000 inhabitants. The riot was incited by Muslim preachers who had angrily objected to what they saw as inordinate Jewish political power.
    Similarly, in 1465, Arab mobs in Fez slaughtered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive, after a Jewish deputy vizier treated a Muslim woman in “an offensive manner.” The killings touched off a wave of similar massacres throughout Morocco.
    Other mass murders of Jews in Arab lands occurred in Morocco in the 8th century, where whole communities were wiped out by the Muslim ruler Idris I; North Africa in the 12th century, where the Almohads either forcibly converted or decimated several communities; Libya in 1785, where Ali Burzi Pasha murdered hundreds of Jews; Algiers, where Jews were massacred in 1805, 1815 and 1830; and Marrakesh, Morocco, where more than 300 hundred Jews were murdered between 1864 and 1880.
    Decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues were enacted in Egypt and Syria (1014, 1293-4, 1301-2), Iraq (854-859, 1344) and Yemen (1676). Despite the Koran’s prohibition, Jews were forced to convert to Islam or face death in Yemen (1165 and 1678), Morocco (1275, 1465 and 1790-92) and Baghdad (1333 and 1344).
    The situation of Jews in Arab lands reached a low point in the 19th century. Jews in most of North Africa (including Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Morocco) were forced to live in ghettos. In Morocco, which contained the largest Jewish community in the Islamic Diaspora, Jews were made to walk barefoot or wear shoes of straw when outside the ghetto. Even Muslim children participated in the degradation of Jews, by throwing stones at them or harassing them in other ways. The frequency of anti-Jewish violence increased, and many Jews were executed on charges of apostasy. Ritual murder accusations against the Jews became commonplace in the Ottoman Empire.
    As distinguished Orientalist G.E. von Grunebaum has written:
    It would not be difficult to put together the names of a very sizeable number Jewish subjects or citizens of the Islamic area who have attained to high rank, to power, to great financial influence, to significant and recognized intellectual attainment; and the same could be done for Christians. But it would again not be difficult to compile a lengthy list of persecutions, arbitrary confiscations, attempted forced conversions, or pogroms.
    The danger for Jews became even greater as a showdown approached in the UN. The Syrian delegate, Faris el-Khouri, warned: “Unless the Palestine problem is settled, we shall have difficulty in protecting and safeguarding the Jews in the Arab world.”
    More than one thousand Jews were killed in anti-Jewish rioting during the 1940’s in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Yemen. This helped trigger the mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries.

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