Friday, December 23, 2011

trees have rights, too

Olive tree within a traffic circle within an illegal Israeli settlement within the Occupied West Bank.

Regardless where you stand on the question of Palestine, watching the destruction of olive trees as shown in the video clip above calls into question the tactics Israeli settlers have taken up. Uprooting and burning olive trees? All to claim their rights to, what they call using the Old Testament names, Judea and Samaria, but since the creation of Israel in '48 became known as the West Bank; otherwise known as Palestine. Speaking to the further compartmentalizing of land for political and ecocide purposes yet masked in the rhetoric of claims to "my home," the West Bank has been divided further into Areas A, B, and C:
The Oslo Accords divided the West Bank into three geographic areas. In Area A, in which most Palestinian urban centres fall, the Palestinian Authority is responsible for security (although the Israelis routinely enter Area A at will) but in Areas B and C, which comprise over 80 per cent of the territory, it is the Israelis which are responsible for security. This means Palestinian police are not permitted to protect Palestinian civilians from Israeli settlers in most of the West Bank. The problem is, of course, that the Israelis are not doing this job either and so it should come as no surprise that 95 per cent of settler violence occurs in Areas B and C.
Whether the Palestinian land is categorized as A, B, or C, it seems there will be more uprooting of its trees and destruction of its natural environment to build more homes for Israeli settlers. The Israeli Housing Ministry announced last Sunday that it will build 1028 new homes in ...where? Well, here are more terms to obfuscate the question of where these homes are going to be built: 
According to a statement by the ministry, 500 homes will be built in Har Homa in south Jerusalem, on land occupied during the 1967 Six Day War; 348 in the West Bank settlement of Betar Illit; and 180 in Givat Ze'ev, which lies between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
According to official Israeli terms, lands south of Jerusalem are known as Judea, and lands north of Jerusalem, Samaria. In other words, the homes are for Israeli settlers and will be illegally built on Palestinian land that has been occupied by Israel since 1967.

I invite the uprooters of trees and their supporters to watch a short video from System Change. In this clip, Canadian Maude Barlow argues for the movement towards making laws to encode the rights of protecting the trees, forests, oceans, rivers, streams, wetlands, and ecosystems, those interconnected systems of life. She argues for a sacred relationship with Nature, a  reclaiming and honouring of these beings / systems of the Commons, protecting ecosystems from marketization, resource extraction, and privatization.  I wonder how --and hope that-- the question of Palestine can move forward when the rights of Olive trees are enacted. And let's not forget water as praise for the River Jordan is sung reverently over the holidays. 


Merche Pallarés said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! dear Taina. I'll come back with more time to read your interesting posts. Right now I'm in San Diego, Calif. on the 30th will be back in Vancouver until the 15th. Hugs, M.

northshorewoman said...

have fun in San Diego. Hope you catch up with ML when you go back to Van.

Merche Pallarés said...

She hasn't contacted me so I don't know how I'm going to catch up with her... Sad. Hugs, M.