An inherent, defining feature of Zionism, and therefore of the Israeli state, is its appetite. An unrelenting, voracious appetite for that which is not theirs to consume: Palestinian land. Zionism is this appetite, an appetite not capable of satiation until all – or practically all – Palestinian land has been consumed and digested by the Jewish state.
And what of those which the Israeli state finds indigestible – Palestinians – yet remain so naggingly present? Well, they must be ‘encouraged’ to leave or accept a lesser life under the tutelage of the self-avowedly ethnonationalist Jewish state. The state that is feted, funded, endorsed and protected by other states able, without blushing, to proclaim their commitment to democratic principles.
How to convey?
The means to convey what this unrelenting appetite for Palestinian land means in practice are so limited: words, pictures, personal testaments, sharing narratives of courage and resistance, all attempting to evoke the felt experience of, for example, the residents of Sheikh Jarrar threatened with eviction; the Bedouin attacked daily by settlers; of homes and the means to support livelihoods repeatedly destroyed by the Israel Defence Force – so inaptly and inaccurately titled – working alongside Israel’s Border Police named thus, perhaps with paradoxical intent, since Israel has yet to formally agree its borders.
Israel, as I have elsewhere remarked, is the land of smoke and mirrors, of sleight of hand – little if anything is as on the surface it seems.
Except of course the iron fist, the ‘live’ bullet, the rubber-coated bullet, the tear gas cannister, the skunk water cannon, the handheld baton to beat unprotected Palestinian flesh. Here there is no sleight of hand, no smoke and mirrors, merely raw violence exerted by a militarised, hegemonic society intent on spacio-cide – clearing the land of as many indigenous Palestinians as it can. For the Israeli state, this is work in progress.
ICAHD UK reports: ‘The Palestinian herding community of Humsa Al-Bqai’a (Khirbet Hamsa in Hebrew) was demolished yet again by the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) on Wednesday, 7th July 2021 following previous demolitions in November 2020 and February 2021….
On Wednesday the ICA, accompanied by the military, held the residents at gunpoint and told them that they were to get on a bus and leave immediately but they refused. Therefore, the ICA proceeded to demolish a total of 27 structures including homes, animal shelters, and water tanks. All personal belongings were confiscated as were their food supplies and water. The residents were left without even milk for their children or fodder for their 4000 sheep.
Eleven households, comprising around 70 people, including 36 children, were left without shelter in yesterday’s scorching heat that reached 39 degrees C. Included in the demolition was destruction of humanitarian aid that had been provided by donors including NGOs, EU Humanitarian Aid and European countries including the UK.’