Less than 200 people per day (on average) were allowed out of Gaza via Israel in the first half of 2013, compared to 26,000 in the equivalent period of 2000, before the second Intifada. Less than one truckload of goods per day (on average) exited Gaza in the first half of 2013, compared to 38 during the first half of 2007, before the imposition of the blockade. Kerem Shalom, the only functioning official crossing for goods to and from Gaza, was closed for almost half of the time (52 days) in the first four months of 2013. The volume of construction materials that entered Gaza via the tunnels in 2013 was over three times the amount allowed through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Access to land within 300 meters from the fence surrounding Gaza is generally prohibited and access to farming areas several hundred meters beyond is risky. Fishermen are allowed to access less than one third of the fishing areas allocated to them under the Oslo Accords: six out of 20 nautical miles. 57% of Gaza households are food insecure and about 80% are aid recipients. Over a third (34.5%) of those able and willing to work are unemployed (PCBS) - one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. A longstanding electricity deficit, compounded by shortages in fuel needed to run Gaza’s power plant, results in power outages of up to 12 hours a day. Only a quarter of households receive running water every day, during several hours only. Over 90% of the water extracted from the Gaza aquifer is unsafe for human consumption. Some 90 million litres of untreated and partially treated sewage are dumped in the sea off the Gaza coast each day, creating public health hazards. Over 12,000 people are currently displaced due to their inability to reconstruct their homes, destroyed during hostilities. At least 230 Palestinian civilians have been killed and over 400 injured while working in tunnels between Gaza and Egypt used for the transfer of restricted goods, since June 2007.
Never in my life have I watched a movie that has made me so sad, so angry & so full of hope all at the same time.
I urge everyone to watch this thought provoking movie.
Below is a link for the youtube rental or below that the link to where Roadmap to Apartheid is screening near you.
Click the link 'below' to find out where Roadmap to Apartheid is screening near you.
Review: Film explores striking parallels between South African, Israeli apartheid Posted June 25, 2012 ·
Roadmap to Apartheid, a feature-length documentary by filmmakers Ana Nogueira (a white South African) and Eron Davidson (a Jewish American-Israeli), is an extremely ambitious project that is largely successful in achieving the difficult goals it sets for itself.
Not only is Roadmap the first documentary to offer an in-depth exploration of parallels between the South African and Israeli forms of apartheid, but it presents the material in such a way as to serve as a fairly comprehensive and accessible introduction for audiences with no prior exposure to the issue.
Few films are ever made about the “parallels between x and y,” no matter how salient the comparison. The challenges of crafting such a film — structural, technical and otherwise — are many, and daunting even to the most experienced filmmakers. Yet first-timers Nogueira and Davidson have assembled a work which, at moments, rivals anything by heavyweight documentary artists like Errol Morris.
Physical and psychological aspects of apartheid The sophistication of filmmakers’ technical skills is readily apparent throughout the film, which looks like anything but a first-time effort.
Roadmap employs striking data visualizations, animations and split screen effects, but does not overuse them. Decades-old footage is smoothly integrated with modern material, and the original footage is remarkably well-shot. The interviews employ a variety of different camera angles which help maintain an organic, conversational tone that never feels monotonous, and much of the on-the-ground footage of demonstrations and military incursions has an immersive, kinetic quality that pulls the viewer into the action.
The sheer breadth of the aspects of Israeli and South African apartheid that the film explores and compares will likely exceed the expectations of many viewers. The filmmakers cover nearly everything: siege mentality colonialism, forced migration,checkpoints, passes, foreign natives, present absentees, partition and proxy rule, bombing and boycotts, bulldozers and Bantustans. Refugee issues, central to understanding Palestine, get less screen time, but this is mainly because this is one of the numerous ways in which the Israeli form of apartheid, as journalist Allister Sparks puts it, is “significantly worse than apartheid” in South Africa.
Some of the transitions and comparisons work better than others, but those which work best, such as the juxtaposition of a Boer laager and Israel’s infamous wall in the West Bank, work remarkably well. That the film explores parallels not only between the physical aspects of apartheid, which are many and varied, but the psychological dimensions, for colonizer and colonized alike, is important. The most powerful moments of the film, in which the strongest links between the two forms of apartheid are made, are those which depict an emotional experience common to both struggles.
“There is no pain quite like being unloved, unwanted, in one’s own land, among one’s own kind,” laments South African poet Don Mattera, whose mesmerizing voice dominates several of the film’s most emotionally resonant moments, including a heartrending journey into the mind of a person watching as their home is physically destroyed. So powerful are Mattera’s words and voice that they tend to overshadow the uncharacteristically flat tone of the film’s narration by Alice Walker. Of course, if one of your film’s worst problems is that someone managed to outdo Alice Walker, you probably don’t have that much to worry about.
Prominent voices, leading analysts The film is packed with insights from the world’s leading authorities on both South African and Israeli apartheid, including Diana Buttu, Na’eem Jeenah, Jeff Halper, Yasmin Sooka, Ali Abunimah, the late Dennis Brutus, Salim Vally, Ziad Abbas, Eddie Makue, Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, Jonathan Cook, Jamal Juma’, Allister Sparks, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, Phyllis Bennis and others. Among this group, it would have been nice to hear from more black South Africans, and more women, but the film does manage to assemble a good mixture of very smart people saying very smart things.
Perhaps more importantly, the film includes just as prominently the voices of many ordinary South Africans and Palestinians who are experts on apartheid in their own right, by virtue of suffering, surviving and resisting it through the course of their own daily lives. The voices of ordinary Jewish Israelis are also included, exploring how Israeli apartheid offers them all manner of colonial privileges while erecting physical and psychological barriers that largely prevent them from observing its direct impact upon the indigenous Palestinians.
Individual and collective resistance The discussion of home demolitions, a practice common to both Israeli and South African forms of apartheid, does seem to take a bit longer than it should, but is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the film.
“Every time you destroy someone’s house, you destroy their life,” says an unnamed Palestinian man who has experienced this six times firsthand. “You kill that person, and they become like they are neither dead nor alive.”
Mattera, after recounting the 1962 demolition of his own home in Sophiatown, South Africa, remarks: “You can shave off my hair. New hair will grow. You can spit in my face. I will find water to wash it. You can take away my clothes and leave me naked. I will find a blanket. But if you take away my house, and dignity, where can I go? Where?”
Some answers to that question may be found in the film’s closing segment, which examines individual and collective resistance to apartheid, and frameworks for imagining a shared future based on freedom and equality for all people. The global campaigns for boycott, divestment, and sanctions which helped end apartheid in South Africa, and which are well on their way to doing to same in Palestine, are discussed, but the emphasis here is more on the outcome than on the strategy.
Roadmap to Apartheid is an important achievement in the history of popular education about Palestine, which has long pointed to the parallels between Israel and South Africa, but has lacked a film that could present this framing in a comprehensive yet accessible way. For the filmgoer, it is well worth seeing. For the activist, it is well worth screening. For anyone who doubted that such a film could be made, Nogueira and Davidson have proven, just as Mattera declares when discussing the dream of free and equal society in historic Palestine, “It is possible. It is possible.”
Israel advancing plan for some 5,000 new homes in West Bank and East Jerusalem
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government will begin advancing a series of construction plans in the East Jerusalem and the West Bank to the tune of some 5,000 new housing units, in an effort to “offset” the release of Palestinian prisoners earlier this week.
In addition to finally implementing a prior plan to build 1,500 apartments in East Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, the government will also market land for the immediate construction of over 800 new housing units in the major settlement blocs.
It will also advance plans to build 2,500 new housing units throughout the West Bank, in both the settlement blocs and isolated settlements - but these units will still have to go through several additional stages of the planning process before construction can begin.
This wave of construction announcements will include three different types of projects:
1. Lots will be marketed to contractors for the immediate construction of 860 housing units in settlements that are part of the major blocs, including Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, Betar Ilit, Karnei Shomron and Elkana.
2. New plans for the construction of 1,400 new units will be submitted to the Civil Administration’s planning committee. This is the very first stage of the planning and building process, so several years are likely to pass before anything is actually built. Some of these units will be in the settlement blocs as well, but others will be in isolated settlements such as Shiloh, Talmon, Alei Zahav and Almog.
3. Existing plans to build another 1,100 units, which had already been submitted to the Civil Administration’s planning committee, will be advanced to the next stage of the process. Some of these units will also be in isolated settlements like Shiloh and Nokdim. But in this case, too, it will be over a year at the very earliest before construction actually begins.
The approval for construction in the West Bank settlements was revealed by MK Ofir Akunis (Likud) on Wednesday at the Knesset plenum. "The building in Judea and Samaria will continue and be intensified," said Akunis.
The Palestinian Authority condemned the renewal of constructions as "destructive to the peace efforts," adding it "only lead to more tensions."
"It's a message to the international community that Israel is a state that doesn't abide by international law and continues to put obstacles in the way of peace," said. Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also criticized the move, calling it an obstacle to peace.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jan Psaki also condemned Israel's announcement, stating: “We do not believe construction in settlements or East Jerusalem is helpful to the process or creates a positive atmosphere for continued negotiations.”
News of the construction plans for the West Bank came just hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced just as the second group of Palestinian prisoners were being welcomed in Ramallah Tuesday night that Israel “move forward immediately” on a series of controversial construction plans in areas of Jerusalem which lie across the Green Line.
The plans, some of which are recycled versions of older ones that have already been in the pipeline for some years, will fortify the Jewish presence in Jerusalem while obstructing expansion of Palestinian neighborhoods.
The announcement was made public in the middle of the night, in an attempt to blunt the right wing's protests against the prisoner release.
Officials in the interior minister’s bureau said Netanyahu and Sa’ar had agreed on moving forward concurrently with four controversial construction projects across the Green Line in Jerusalem:
1. The establishment of Mount Scopus Slopes National Park. As part of this plan, a national park will be established on areas east of the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus. The planned park is to be built between the Palestinian neighborhoods of Isawiyah and A-Tur, at the expense of land that had been intended for those neighborhoods’ expansion.
Officials in the interior minister’s bureau say the plan includes areas for rest and recreation, walking paths, bicycle paths, farming and environmental protection - but employees of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority admitted over the past weeks that the real purpose of the park was to block construction in the Palestinian neighborhoods.
Only three weeks ago, Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz, who is in charge of the Nature and Parks Authority, announced the plans were being frozen until further notice “to examine its international implications.”
2. Reviving the plan to establish the Kedem Center, a tourism and archaeological center in the Palestinian village of Silwan. A year and a half ago, Jerusalem’s District Planning and Building Committee approved the construction of the visitors’ center, to be built over the Givati parking lot, opposite the entrance to the City of David. The plan was put forward by Elad, the non-profit organization working for the expansion of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, including in Palestinian areas.
3. “Reinforcing” the plan to build 1,500 housing units in Ramat Shlomo. This means that within several months, it will be possible to start issuing building permits and marketing land to contractors. This is a recycled version of the same controversial building plan that has been moving slowly through the pipeline for some years. An announcement of progress on this plan during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel in March 2010 caused a severe crisis between Israel and the United States, resulting in the plan’s suspension. After the UN accorded the Palestinians the status of a non-member observer state in November 2012, the plan was reactivated and has been moving slowly forward since then.
4. Reviving three more building plans in Ramat Shlomo that will allow construction of an additional room of up to 50 square meters in existing housing units there. The plans do not allow for the expansion of the neighborhood’s borders, but rather an increase in the number of residents.
Link to the original article in Haaretz can be found below:
The Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin | September 2013
Restrictions continue along the border with Egypt, resulting in rising prices for key commodities. In the West Bank, the Israeli military agrees to pilot the use of summons in lieu of night arrests of children and cash assistance and protective presence targeting areas vulnerable to settler violence during the 2013 olive harvest. Also, the month witnessed the second highest monthly peak in demolitions in 2013.
Zochrot aim is to promote awareness of the Palestinian Nakba ("Catastrophe"), the 1948 Palestinian exodus and Right of Return of Palestinian Refugees
The7-year-old blockade on the Gaza Strip has had devastating impacts on most of life’s aspects for people in Gaza. Since Israel began the blockade on the Gaza strip in 2007, most of the materials needed for the infrastructure are banned from entering. As a result, there is little visible and concrete process in people’s daily lives in Gaza. One of the extremely serious problems facing Palestinian in Gaza is drinkable water. The population of Gaza is growingrapidly, by 2020, the population of Palestinians living in Gaza is expected to reach 2 million, who will be living in avery densely populated environment. The UN has declared the main source of fresh water and the underground coastal aquifer will be unusable by 2016 for the young nation of Gaza.
Nearly 2 million Palestinians who are living in Gaza are suffering from the shortage of clean drinking water nowadays. The water in Gaza is not fit for human consumption. The main hospital in Gaza –AL-Shifa hospital- reports that the available water in Gaza is causing chronic health problems and has caused high rates of child mortality.
With 4500 people living in one square kilometer, Gaza is one of most densely populated areas in the world. This has caused a huge demand for drinkable water in this young nation. The water provided by the municipal systems in Gaza is polluted; therefore most of people in Gaza buy desalinated water –which is sometimes too costly for people to buy – in order to minimize the dangerous affects of the water provided by the municipalities in Gaza.
According to the World Bulletin News network, families that are already living in severe poverty are forced to spend a third of their income on the purchase of privately bottled drinking water. Residents are dependent on an underground water aquifer that is corroded and contaminated with seawater and sewage. Israel confiscates 90% of available freshwater for itself, while less than 10% is allocated to Palestinians, according to the Project Censored report.
The water problem in Gaza is not only a humanitarian issue but also a political problem. Israel is the occupying power of Gaza. According to International Law, the occupying power should provide welfare for the occupied people and provide decent life. Palestinians living in Gaza are calling upon the international community to immediately intervene before 2016 arrives, by then the damage to Gaza’s aquifer will become irreversible
"Like many visitors to Palestine, I wished to swim in the Dead Sea, a geographical marvel whose mineral-rich waters and mud are renowned for their health benefits. I got what I wished for – I floated in the salty waters, and covered myself with mud – but I also did something not wished for – I supported Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestine. You see, I didn’t realize before arriving at its shores that the part of the Dead Sea located within the borders of the West Bank is completely controlled by Israel."
The renowned Israeli historian revisits the formative period of the State of Israel. Between 1947 and 1949, over 400 Palestinian villages were deliberately destroyed, civilians were massacred, and around a million men, women, and children were expelled from their homes at gunpoint. Denied for almost six decades, had it happened today it could only have been called "ethnic cleansing".
Decisively debunking the myth that the Palestinian population left of their own accord in the course of this war, Ilan Pappe offers impressive archival evidence to demonstrate that, from its very inception, a central plank in Israel’s founding ideology was the forcible removal of the indigenous population. Indispensable for anyone interested in the Middle East.
“The repression from Israel is the worst form of Apartheid. Nobody has the faintest idea of what is going on here, even the best informed people. Everything is in pieces, the land is destroyed and nothing else may be planted. All this smells like a boot camp, like Auschwitz. The Israeli have turned into NAZI JEWS” , he declared after a visit to Palestine in March, 2002.