If you missed last night's Panorama on BBC 1 watch it here:

Panorama - A walk in the park...

and read about it here:

Staking claim underneath East Jerusalem

It is strange how tv programmes- unless whole heartedly sensationalist, don't seem to highlight the importance and urgency of situations like the Palestinian families documented in this episode of Panorama. There are constant and consistent references to the past; Some of Jerusalem becoming Jewish land 200 years ago; displacement of Palestinians since 1948; settlement building since the 1980's... Yet the quiet rapidity at which the Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem (and with in the occupied territories) are being demolished resulting in generations of Palestinian families becoming evicted from their homes and from the cities in which they have always lived, makes it seem as though the conflict has always been fought in this way. Soldiers coming to houses in the middle of the night, escorted by a further team of armed guards, denying any paperwork as counterfeit.. it is all part of a mechanism of extending the past into the present, and removing the focus from the current phenomenon which is entirely new and fresh and a tool for the Israeli government that is in power today. This is not a battle that has been going on for centuries. It is a demographic plan which has come into fruition faster than the blink of an eye.

In 1901 a group by the name of the Jewish National Fund was formed as a precursor to the establishment of the Israeli state. The JNF were created specifically to put together a vast archive of information of Palestinian land quality and water sources in order to sell it to Jews, create Kibbutz's, and 'stamp out' some of the more hostile areas toward the Jewish people. Even though the Jewish people were given 56% of the land upon which to construct a Jewish state, they proceeded to ignore the Palestinians right to return after being expelled from the land in 1948. Further to this, the 1967 war saw Israel claim an extra 22% of the land; whilst still refusing the right of return to the Palestinians. Demographically Israel was starting to have a massive influence. The Israeli peace group 'peace now' hold a map of the settlements in the west bank which can be seen above, including those surrounding East Jerusalem. It also shows the plans for building a new city around the walls of East Jerusalem.

This area or new city of settlements will be called E-1. for now.
And it will cut Jerusalem off from the rest of Palestine.
Thus negating it as a viable capital for a Palestinian State.

Settlements have been off the international agenda for so long...
Is it not time we took note? whilst there is still some land left?

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