Tuesday, November 5, 2013

World Bank concerns about Palestinian territory are justified

A viable Palestinian state requires access to the valuable resources in the West Bank's Area C.

By Rev. Darrell Mitchell, IPN Board Member

Originally published as a letter to the editor in the Marshalltown Times-Republican. Republished with permission.

Secretary of Defense John Kerry has a nine month peace study going between Israel and the Palestinians.

A recent J Street Conference took place in Washington D.C. Palestinians from the West Bank and Palestinians from Gaza were some of the leaders invited. J Street is a new and growing lobby group for Jewish people in America. They see the need for reaching out to new voices of Palestinian and Jewish leaders. Together these new voices from J Street and Palestinians are advocating a two state solution: a secure state for Israel and an independent state for Palestinians. The majority of American Jews support a two state solution in bringing about peace in the area. Eighty percent of those Israelis living on settlements in the West Bank, tell us they would be willing to leave their settlement home if they could be compensated. Jewish settlers were compensated when they left the Gaza Strip in 2005.

The World Bank recently sent out a report for Israel to consider if peace is to be achieved with the Palestinians. Nearly two thirds of the West Bank, known as Area C is under Israeli control and Israel has implanted more than 200 settlements to grab Palestinian land and its natural resources.

The West Bank
Jonathan Cook, a journalist living in Nazareth, tells us that the capitols in Europe are frustrated about the continued impotence of subsidizing aid to Israel and seeing no progress for Palestinian peace and justice.

American aid to Israel is like $15,000,000 every day.

Consider this quote from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "It doesn't matter if justice is on your side. You have to depict your position as just."

Since 1967, Israel has uprooted 800,000 olive trees belonging to Palestinians, enough to fill 33 Central Parks.

The World Bank's concern about Area C is justified. This is the location of almost all of the resources a Palestinian state will need to exploit undeveloped land for future construction, arable land and water springs to grow crops, quarries to mine stone and the Dead Sea to extract minerals and archaeological sites for future tourism.

According to the World Bank people, Palestinians could generate an income of $3.4 billion. None of this can be achieved as long as Israel continues to build more and more settlements in Area C.

In effect, the World Bank is saying that Kerry's plan and the international community's envoy, Tony Blair, is not only misguided, it is positively delusional.

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