Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jeff Halper: Dismantling the Matrix of Control

A very interesting article. A MUST read.

Almost a decade ago I wrote an article describing Israel's "matrix of control" over the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It consisted then of three interlocking systems: military administration of much of the West Bank and incessant army and air force intrusions elsewhere; a skein of "facts on the ground," notably settlements in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, but also bypass roads connecting the settlements to Israel proper; and administrative measures like house demolitions and deportations. I argued in 2000 that unless this matrix was dismantled, the occupation would not be ended and a two-state solution could not be achieved.

Since then the occupation has grown immeasurably stronger and more entrenched. The first decade of the twenty-first century has so far seen the steady constricting and fragmentation of Palestinian territory through still more wholesale expropriation of Palestinian land, checkpoints and other physical restrictions on freedom of movement, settlement construction, more and more massive highways intended for Israeli settlers, control over natural resources and, most visibly of all, the erection of the separation barrier in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Since December 2000, according to the Israeli human rights organization B'tselem, the settler population of the West Bank has grown by 86,000 and that of East Jerusalem by 50,000. Gaza was evacuated of settlers and soldiers in 2005, but Israel retains near complete control over egress and exit of people and goods to and from the coastal strip, regularly cuts supplies of fuel and other necessities to punish the residents and mounts military incursions at will. All the Palestinian territories are subject, to one degree or another, to the measures of house demolitions, "closures" that halt economic activity, administrative restrictions on movement, deportation, induced out-migration and much more.


  1. I think he's deluding himself in the sense that this isn't just about the occupation.

    First of all, he can't talk about a peace based on intl law and UN resolutions and then talk about "seriously addressing the refugee issue", and negotiating the refugee's right to return - some here, some there.  that's not the way it works - under intl law that right is based on the refugee's CHOICE.  not any state government's choice.  So if he really believes in a peace based on rights under intl law - it's not the refugee solution he outlined here.

    Second, the BDS movement is not targeting the occupation ONLY - it's also targeting the apartheid system within Israel and denial of the right of return.  again, it's not all about the occupation.  and the right of return is critical.

    he just doesn't really get it imho.

  2. There are no "Occupied Palestinian Territories".

    There is no "Palestine"- and never will be. :-D

    PS The Jews are now exercising our right of return to OUR land- as per Allah's will. The Arabs can exercise theirs back to Arabia.

  3. The Jews are excercising our right of return.

    You can return to your own lands- elsewhere.