SJP in OurEd
See the article on OurEd’s website.
What the Media isn’t Telling You
by Rhys Howell
Edinburgh Students for Justice in Palestine have been very active this semester with loads of talks, events and actions. Last week I attended a talk which gave a really good insight into the society’s raison d’etre. The talk, entitled What the Media doesn’t tell you – A unique perspective on Israel/Palestine, was given by Yahav Zohar from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). ICAHD is a human rights and political organisation operating for Palestinian welfare.
Yahav gave an excellent introduction to the Israel/Palestine issue over the last 70 years and discussed the potential for a sustainable solution to the issue. He explained that the Palestinian Territories, the West Bank and Gaza Strip are being held in temporary Israeli control pending a permanent solution. This temporary control has been in place for decades and there is still no plan for a solution.
At present, Palestinians in these territories have no rights as there wants and needs such as education and healthcare are ignored. Israel controls the land, water, borders, airspace and resources. This situation was likened to a Bantustan – the areas of Apartheid South Africa set aside for black inhabitants.
Yahav explained that what the media isn’t telling us is that the solution that the Palestinians are being pushed to accept is not a sustainable one. The solutions proposed by Israel and the international community create a Palestinian state entirely within Israel, where Israel continues to control the borders, airspace, water, and resources. He did not believe that the creation of such a state was equitable or sustainable.
There are two potential sustainable solutions to the issue: two real states, or one state with equal citizenship. Yahav believed a major catalyst is required to break the status quo and envisioned two possible sources: a war or international economic sanctions. He favoured the second of these options and believed passionately that we as individuals have a vital role to play in creating a sustainable solution.
There is an international campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) towards Israel with the intended aim of economically pressuring Israel to agree to a sustainable solution. Find out more from the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign BDS site.