Viewing CNN's recent series on "God's Warriors" I was struck more by the lack of coverage than what was covered regarding "God's Jewish Warriors."
Christiane Amanpour and her Israeli license plated driver were taped rolling through one of over fifty checkpoints in the West Bank, but no film documented the thousands of Palestinians who daily wait hours at checkpoints and who may even be denied the right to move on.
"In addition, Israel blocks access to main roads with various physical obstacles such as dirt piles, concrete blocks, iron gates, and trenches. The number of staffed checkpoints is fairly constant, while the number of physical obstacles often changes depending on the political and security situation. In the beginning of 2006, there were about 470 physical obstacles blocking roads. The physical obstacles, which completely prevent vehicles from passing, divide the West Bank into separate areas. In order to travel from one area to another, Palestinians must cross a staffed checkpoint." http://www.btselem.org/english/Freedom_of_Movement/Checkpoints_and_Forbidden_Roads.asp
Vehicles with Palestinian lisence plates are required by the Israeli army to exit their vehicles, cross roads by foot, and then find alternate transportation on the other side. During this reporters fifth journey to Israel Palestine last July, I witnessed hundreds –if not thousands of Palestinians stuck for hours at numerous checkpoints and I wondered why there was not more eruptions of violence due to anger and frustration over the inhumane degradation that prevents, denies and deters Palestinians from reaching home, family, jobs, medical care and holy sites. Israel's policy greatly affects all aspects and areas of life for Palestinians in the West Bank and makes it impossible for them to live normal lives. Seeking medical care, shopping, visiting relatives, and attending school have become for many nearly impossible.
Israel claims "security" reasons for the restrictions of Palestinian movement as their way to protect Israeli settlers, who according to the Fourth Geneva Convention are all illegal, for Article 49 states:
"The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."
Given that the settlements are all illegal under international law, Israeli policy aggravates the unjust situation for it impedes the freedom of movement of an entire population in order to perpetuate the settlement enterprise which is in fact a system of inhumane collective punishment which presupposes every single Palestinian is a security threat as it 'justifies' restrictions against freedom of movement. This assumption is racist, a violation of the human rights of an entire population, violates international law and ignores and defies the fact that the statehood of Israel was contingent upon upholding the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, specifically Article 13, which affirms that:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."
CNN also made no mention of the 3,000 Israeli occupying troops in Hebron, the roadblocks that prevent children from getting to school, the graffiti on Palestinian homes such as "GAS THE ARABS", and they referred to the settlers as Orthodox Jews, but in reality they are an out of control fundamentalist cult.
If it took 3,000 Israeli soldiers to evict two families of the 800 illegal squatters from Hebron, how could it ever be possible to evict 275,000 settlers who now inhabit Palestinian territory?
Orthodox and cultish Jews and American fundamentalist Christians believe it's the destiny of Jews to occupy the Biblical lands of what had once been known as Judea and Samaria, but in the 21st century is now occupied-or in Israeli and American spin-"disputed" Palestinian territory.
"What worries politician is that the religious Zionists, many born and raised in the West Bank settlements, are assuming a greater role as officers and soldiers inside élite combat units. Lieut. Colonel Dotan Razili, a commander at the Officers' Training Academy in the Negev Desert, estimates that 30% of his cadets are religious Zionists, even though they make up only 9% of the Israeli population, according to census figures...these settlers' sons bring their ideology with them into the army, and may prove resistant to any future withdrawal of settlers. They believe that Israel should not cede a single stone of Biblical land to the Palestinians. Without the army, the Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory could not exist. The IDF guards the roads leading to the settlements. The senior army commanders consult on a weekly basis with the settlers' council on possible security risks coming from Palestinian militants. In Hebron...six settler families actually live inside a Hebron army outpost." http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1653469,00.html
On August 28, 2007 Israeli and Palestinian leaders actually began tackling some of the core issues that have tormented Mideast peacemakers for decades; Palestinian refugees, final borders and the fate of Jerusalem, but not the issue of illegal settlers.
"Abbas warned that the fall peace conference would be a "waste of time" if the three big issues were glossed over. After the talks, both sides confirmed that Israel had swept aside its reluctance to address them.
"These core issues have to be discussed on the way to finding a diplomatic solution of two states for two peoples," an official in Olmert's office quoted the Israeli leader as saying."
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the leaders did not go into the nitty-gritty of the contentious questions or prepare written documents. But he declared that the time has come for action, not talk."We are at a stage to reach decisions," Erekat said.