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Abby Martin's Empire Files Explores Roots of Israeli Occupation

  • Upon the founding of Israel in 1948, Israeli authorities and Jewish extremist militias ethnically cleansed up to 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.

    Upon the founding of Israel in 1948, Israeli authorities and Jewish extremist militias ethnically cleansed up to 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.

Published 6 October 2016
Opinion

teleSUR’s host Abby Martin explores the roots of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and sheds some light on Israeli violence in Palestinian refugee camps.

In her first on-the-ground report from Palestine, Abby Martin went to two besieged siege refugee camps in the West Bank – Balata and Aida – to explore the dark reality faced by those Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation over the past few decades.

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In her latest episode of teleSUR’s “The Empire Files,” Martin began by showing how the refugee camps first came into existence.

“In the United States, Europe and Russia, anti-Semitism was a dangerous and growing force. Mob killings of Jewish people were a regular occurrence,” Abby said as she explained the rise of Zionism, which is the belief in an exclusively Jewish state that must be established somewhere in the world.

At first the Zionist political movement only held sway over a small minority in the Jewish community and its objective was rejected by both secular and religious Jews. However, the group maintained lobbying efforts following the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which had controlled Palestine, and managed to secure support from the United Kingdom, the new rulers of both Palestine and large swathes of the Middle East.

“From its inception, political Zionism was not only a plan for colonization and expansion but one of expulsion of the land's Indigenous inhabitants,” says Martin.

Upon the founding of Israel in 1948, Israeli authorities and Jewish extremist militias ethnically cleansed up to 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, sending waves of refugees through the West Bank and Gaza as many crossed into Lebanon and Syria.

The refugee camps became home to many who were cleansed from their homes in the 1967 war between Israel and Syria and Egypt.

“Today, there are more than 7 million displaced Palestinians worldwide,” says Martin.

Martin visited the Aida refugee camp, which has been under constant attack by Israeli occupation forces and is located near the apartheid separation wall. The camp comes under raids almost daily and hundreds of its residents have been arrested over the past few months. It is home to more than half a million Palestinian refugees.

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“We are touched by the occupation on a daily basis,” Monther Amira, a resident of the camp and activist, told Martin. “It is not easy to live under occupation. You will be targeted, your family will be targeted, your children will be targeted … even our trees are targeted.”

For Amira, the war in Palestine and Israel is one between an occupied people and their occupiers and not one between religions while also a political struggle by major players in the world.

“Everyone wants to control this area. We have very bad people who are representing Islam through ISIS or through all these people. And on the other side we have the American policies which brought these people to the top of the political life in the Middle East.”

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