By Philip Weiss
Whenever I go to Palestine, I come away shocked at what Israel is doing there, without any American recognition.
I realize that I am almost as blind as all the other Americans– because our media has done nothing to inform us about conditions. Our society has ignored these conditions by saying, Well it’s a tough neighborhood, or, They’re Arabs. Below is a video about the Arabs in that tough neighborhood. It is one of several videos I’ll be posting in days to come.
The video is of Haj Sami Sadeq, who is mayor of a little village in the occupied Jordan Valley. I made it the night I spent as his guest in Al-Aqaba.
As you know, the Jordan Valley is considered strategic for Israel– its only buffer against the tough Arab neighbors in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
Israel vows never to give up the Jordan Valley. And there are two Israeli army bases near Al-Aqaba. Israel has seized village lands on all sides.
And what comes through plainly in the video is that little Al-Aqaba is being ethnically cleansed: The entire Palestinian village is under a demolition order. The Israeli army regularly comes in and destroys roads in the village. Under this assault, the village’s population has plunged, from more than a thousand many years ago to a couple of hundred.
When you say you believe in the two-state solution, something I believe in occasionally– consider that it would allow Israel to stay in the occupied Jordan Valley forever, persecuting these people on an ethnic basis, because they are not Jewish.
So now please watch the video. Sadeq is in a wheelchair because he was shot on his family lands 30 years ago, by an Israeli soldier. Sadeq wasn’t doing anything, just visiting his parents that day.
He is as gentle a person as you will ever find. And listen to him describe the fact that the Israeli army bases have wells and water– their confiscated lands are green — while Aqaba cannot get permission to drill a well. The village cannot get permission to drill a well, because it is in Area C. And meantime the Israeli army drills well after well. And the village must bring in water by truck every day.