Friday, March 6, 2009
There has been another bulldozer attack in Jerusalem. Nobody was killed but two policemen were injured when their squad car was flipped over. This does not bode well for relations between Arabs and Israelis living within Israel. Relations are already at a low point after many Israeli Arabs openly supported Hamas during the recent conflict which prompted the Israeli electorate to swing behind Avigdor Lieberman of the right wing Yisrael Beytenu party who has called for the expulsion of Israel's Arab minority if they refuse to take a loyalty oath. The feeling in Israel is clearly that Israeli Arabs who are already not allowed own weapons and who do not serve in the army now cannot even be trusted with heavy machinery. There were two similar incidents last summer and as in those cases the Arab driver yesterday was shot dead. It is not yet known who this man was but if it turns out that he is connected to the 80 families whose homes are about to be demolished in Arab East Jerusalem to make way for further Jewish settlements it will put the spotlight firmly on Israeli policy of settlement expansion which is expected to increase under a Netenyahu government. Many believe, including myself that settlement expansion is not about "natural growth" as the Jerusalem housing authorities vaguely put it but a deliberate attempt to undermine the future viability of a Palestinian state.