imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

West Bank Village Struggles to Survive

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 at 11:28 PM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

Israel

West Bank Village Struggles to Survive

by Stephen Lendman

Batir is special. Its heritage is longstanding. It's been that way for centuries. It's one of Palestine's most beautiful villages.

It's built around natural spring water. It's dotted by wells and reservoirs. Traditional agriculture is its way of life. Villagers want it kept that way.

Spring water irrigates Batir's gardens. They made village produce famous. Preserving it is vital. It's too important to lose.

In 1948, Batir was on the front line of Israel's War of Independence. Green Line separation divides its ancestral lands. Its residents were the only Palestinians allowed to cultivate them inside its post-war border.

For decades it struggled to survive. Israeli land theft and development threaten it.

Israel's Separation Wall is Exhibit A. Constructing it threatens traditional Batir agriculture. Its route isn't yet finalized. If built as planned, Batir's way of life will end.

One farmer spoke for others, saying:

"It is a tragedy for all farmers and all the residents of Batir village. Most of the residents are farmers and depend on these green lands."

"They depend on farming the Batir eggplant which is famous in the Palestinian lands. Also we have other vegetables such as beans, cauliflower, and pepper."

Israel's Separation Wall "affects us. If only you knew how much it will destroy our lives and land. We do not know how we will live afterwards."

"Our life is attached to this land. It is the source of our honor. We will never give it away no matter what happens."

Israel's Nature and Parks Authority CEO Shaul Goldstein agrees. He opposes Israel's plan.

"Israel has the right to defend itself," he said. "We think we can do it with electronic devices, closed circuit cameras, and radars, not by a physical barrier, not a fence, not a wall, nothing."

"We need it open for the public. We need it open for nature."

Area around Batir provides an ecological corridor. Destroying it by wall or fence construction would be tragic, he added.

He stressed two main points. One is the ecological corridor. It provides animals different climate areas.

Batir landscape is the other. It's too beautiful and historic to destroy. It's unique and picturesque. It's on a hillside south of Jerusalem.

Farmland is arranged by traditional terraces. Natural springs irrigate it.

According to engineer Raed Samara:

"The damage that will happen if the wall is built will never be solved. There will be environmental damage."

"There will be increase in rats and harmful animals. The animals who are living in this area will not be able to move around, such as gazelles."

Since 2005, villagers waged legal battles. They petitioned Israel's High Court. They did so through through Israeli environmental organizations, Friends of the Earth of Middle East, and Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority.

Last October, Israel's High Court ruled. It issued an injunction. It banned Wall construction. Justice Uzi Vogelman gave Israeli authorities 14 days to respond.

Villagers proposed an alternate Wall route. Doing so leaves their land intact. Part of Batir lies inside the Green Line. Israeli construction so far hasn't violated it.

Attorney Kais Nasser represents villagers. "According to (Israel's) plan," he said, (village) lands will remain behind the fence, which will drastically change the status quo in the area and lead to the breaking of an international agreement between the parties."

It existed since 1948/49. Nasser rejects Israeli claims. Saying Wall construction protects Israeli security doesn't wash. It's the land, stupid.

Israel wants it. It wants all valued Judea and Samaria areas. It wants Jewish development only. It wants Palestinians ethnically cleansed. It's longstanding policy.

In 2011, UNESCO awarded Batir $15,000. It did so for "Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes." Its care for ancient terraces and traditional irrigation were highlighted.

Palestinian Authority officials want Batir declared a World Heritage site. Ahead of Israel's High Court injunction, they petitioned UNESCO to do so. They want ancient Batir terraces protected.

"We hope that UNESCO which gave Batir the first award for protecting the environment. We hope this award will help to stop building the wall and will return life to Batir," said Samara.

Last October, UNESCO gave Palestine full member status. It did so despite intense US and Israeli opposition. PA officials submitted an emergency petition. It requested swift resolution. It wants Batir protected. It said in part:

"(T)he nominated property is currently at risk because of the Separation Barrier currently being constructed by the Government of Israel. The Batir Village Council brought this case to the Israeli Supreme Court."

"The court case aims at preventing the construction of the 'Barrier' in a historically sensitive area such as the 'jenan' or 'gardens' where a millenary irrigation system is still in use to water the vegetable gardens of Batir."

"The Israeli Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision in the near future, which justifies the submission of this dossier to be processed on an emergency basis, in order to protect an area of 'Outstanding Universal Value' and prevent its irreversible destruction."

"Since 1967, intensive Israeli activities of settlement expansion are threatening the property and its surrounding villages."

"The increasing construction of housing units, infrastructures, roads and other various kinds of services for the exclusive use of Israeli settlers, has resulted in the progressive enclavisation of both the territorial area and the inhabitants of the nominated property, severely threatening the integrity of its landscape and the sustainability of its ecological and environmental equilibrium."

If Israel's Wall is built as planned, it'll separate villagers from 740 acres of their land. Doing so will violate 1948/49 armistice agreements. Subsequent oral ones will end.

Traditional agriculture won't survive. Batir's entire terrace system may collapse. "It's like a net," said one farmer. "You can't cut it down in the middle without it being destroyed."

Perhaps Israel has that in mind. It wouldn't be the first time. Targeting Palestine's way of life is longstanding.

Batir is one of its last untouched areas. Villagers prioritize preserving it. Wall construction destroyed adjacent Walaja village.

Good Water Neighbors at Friends of the Earth Middle East's Michal Sagiv said:

"On the Israeli side, (Walaja) terraces ceased to be used for agriculture and are remnants. Here it's still a living system." Batir villages want it kept that way.

On February 17, Haaretz headlined "Palestinians reject Israel's compromise for West Bank fence: Stop rail traffic instead of building on our land."

In response to villagers' High Court petition, Israeli officials "suggested building a fence, rather than a wall…."

They lied. They said doing so would minimize environmental damage. They stressed non-existent security concerns.

Palestinians reject them for good reason. They understand Israel's real aims. Land theft is prioritized. So is settlement construction and other Jewish development.

Doing so requires displacing Palestinians. It's been ongoing for decades. It shows no signs of stopping.

In rejecting Israel's "compromise," villagers "quoted landscape conservation experts who said that a fence would cause as much damage as a wall - both through direct damage to the terraces on which it would be built and by interrupting the contiguity of cultivated land."

They said construction will impede villagers' access to their land. Israel plans it. Concerns raised are subterfuge for its real aims.

The struggle to preserve Batir continues. Hope springs eternal. Israel plans returning 1,200 dunums of Jordan Valley land.

According to its Lands Administration (ILA), its Kibbutz Merav mistakenly got it. It's inside the Green Line.

ILA officials admitted a 30-year old error. Doing so was perhaps a one-off. What Israel steals it keeps. Rare exceptions prove the rule.

In January 2012, Israel told kibbutz officials what happened. The land's not theirs was explained. It's still being cultivated.

It's private Palestinian land. It's legal owners were excluded for decades. They still are despite ILA's ruling.

Making it was historic. It remains to be seen what follows. Anything positive perhaps bodes well for Batir. The struggle to preserve it continues.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/west-bank-village-struggles-to-survive/
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Pacifica-KPFK Archives, director resignation J18 4:50PM

SAVE KPFK & PACIFICA: VOTE IN THIS CRUCIAL ELECTION! J18 3:39PM

KPFK radio elections for LSB coming Quick ! J18 1:05PM

KPFK Local Station Board Elections In-Progress J13 11:31AM

Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Abdullah Sentenced Three Months in Jail on Attempted Lynching Charge J09 2:08AM

Why are the Park Rangers making it even more difficult for the homeless in Los Angeles? J04 3:11PM

Bernie Sanders in Lincoln Heights M23 8:23PM

Los Angeles Sit-In to Fight Voter Suppression M18 4:28AM

War Within California's 46th CD M13 11:42AM

NPR's David Greene & Alison Aubrey along with David Ludwig Shill For Factory Farm Eggs M13 7:55AM

2016 AT&T Shareholders engaged by Communications Workers of America D9 Activists M12 11:43PM

Communications Workers of America District 9 Action at AT&T Shareholders M12 9:38PM

Voter Registration at ELAC M10 3:31PM

LA Times Fails to Cover Protest Against Clinton M07 9:15PM

Violence Against Poor In Venice A29 12:59PM

California Safe Schools Honors 11 Year Old Daniel Randall A25 2:25PM

NPR's Marketplace: The Voice of Loanshark Capitalism A19 4:08PM

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, Pandering to the Corporate Whores of the Storage Industry A09 5:03PM

Lartiste Maestro iTunes télécharger de la musique gratuit et Légalement 2016 A08 3:20PM

Spring 2016 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Alert! A05 2:14PM

KPFK and Pacifica, more doings, reposted here A04 4:18PM

Liberated Political Prisoner Sekou Odinga Speaks Out M11 9:39AM

Solidarity With Anaheim M08 10:16AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Evidence to indict fbi thugs J24 10:52AM

Mental dwarfs rule our world J23 5:32PM

The Shortwave Report 06/24/16 Listen Globally! J23 4:25PM

Crackbird Yukon misadventure J23 6:28AM

Paraphysique de sismographie politicarde J22 4:44AM

Sur negro / No Borders: new antiauthoritarian Web Series goes live J22 12:50AM

53 Of The Ways The World's Military Harm Animals J21 10:24AM

Non-Profits versus Profit Maximization J21 5:46AM

USA is run by the criminally insane J20 11:24PM

Recent assaults cleverly perpetrated by fbi J19 10:06PM

International Day of Solidarity With Oscar López Rivera J19 8:44PM

Encodage de l'encéphale, encodage du capital J19 12:41AM

Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines supports state burial for Ferdinand Marcos J18 7:10AM

High crimes committed by fbi / cia in the name of Americans J17 6:53PM

Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 J17 4:46PM

The Shortwave Report 06/17/16 Listen Globally! J16 3:59PM

Religious Leaders ‎Ask Senators to Pass Puerto Rico Debt Legislation J16 12:46PM

De l'incendie du Reichstag à l'hôpital Necker, la provocation policière J16 1:31AM

Freedom for Hoover the tiger after life spent in circus cage J15 11:51AM

WINNIPEG'S HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER IS COMMITTING MASS MURDER J15 11:30AM

Why Vote Third Party in 2016 J14 11:54AM

Paraphysique de l'hypnologie politicienne J13 11:19PM

Akbayan rejects Chinese call for dropping West Philippine Sea arbitration J13 5:30AM

Democracy Dissolves J13 4:22AM

Orlando Shooting Permitted By fbi Assassins J12 10:53AM

Parallaxe, systémie, téléonomie J12 12:59AM

May 2016 Honduras coup update J11 5:53PM

TIME WILL TELL J11 12:32PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy