Palestine Inside Out

Palestine Inside Out Book Report

Israel occupation is a case where Israel government and authority occupied and took control over the Palestine native land and territories in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The aim was to make Palestine a Jewish state and make non-Jewish Palestinians a minority in their ancestral home. The dream of Zionists to make Israel their state was a result of promise by Balfour Declaration. The Declaration promised the Palestine state to Zionists and conflicted with the Sykes-picot agreement, which promised independence to Arabs (Makdisi 357). In 1970’s, the high court in the country decided that there was no such thing like Israeli National separate from Jewish, which includes those in Diasporas Jewry. The majority of the state dwellers are still non-Jewish Palestinians, but they are controlled by Israel military. Israel has made walls that prohibit Palestinians from crossing as they aim to access their ancestral land. Some of the walls cut across the inheritance of some Arabs, yet they have been denied by the government of Israel to access it. Most walls have been built on the fertile land of Palestine, meaning that even if Palestine was to become independent today, most of the original fertile land would remain in Israel as the original boundaries were moved.

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The government’s policies insist that the whole land of Israel, including the one it has occupied, belong to the Nation of Israel. Illegal immigrants, who are mostly Jews, now have more rights than the natives, who are encouraged to migrate permanently. The aim of Israel government is to carry out ‘ethnic cleansing’, where the population of Palestinians is to be reduced while that of Jews, despite most of them being illegal immigrants, is increased. The leaders do not shy away from proclaiming in public that Arabs do not have a place in Israel and should pack and go. One of the leaders saying so is Yisrael Beiteinu, who was a member of Labor party, a Russian who migrated to Israel when he was twenty years old, but had the right to say so since he is a Jew (Makdisi 53). Those Palestinians, who are lucky enough to have citizenship, are denied some rights, like access to national funds, as they are not considered as members of the ‘nation.’

The conflict between Palestine and Israel is about the land that was previously occupied by Arabs, yet the Jews claim it was a move that was pushed by Zionist movement and supported by League of Nations through Balfour declaration (Makdisi 53). Palestinians now have to seek permission from Israel government to access their ancestral land. They are not allowed to take any part in its development, even when they have skills, education, and capital to start businesses. Israel military gives them commands from offices built on the land which was forcefully occupied by Israel in 1967(Makdisi 47). The application to permanently settle in Palestine has taken more than ten years while others have never been approved. Short-time visit visas are only approved for people who present themselves physically in the office after every three months. Getting a USA visa is easier for them than getting a visit visa to their ancestral land. They are sometimes denied the short time stay visa even when their family lives there. More than one-hundred and twenty family unification applications have been pending since 2000 (Makdisi 44). Only those with money can afford to review their visa after every three months. This kind of life has led to family separation where children grow without one of their parents, who is not allowed to go back to the family after visiting the relatives on the other side of the west bank.

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Before reading the book, I did not understand the magnitude of suffering that Palestinians are facing in a country that once belonged to them. No human deserves to be treated in that manner, even if he or she is in foreign land. The current policies make it hard for most Palestinians to work, study, travel, transport goods, tend crops, obtain medical care, dig for water, start a business or connect with relatives in the next town without getting proper permission from Israel authorities. I thought that the lucky non-Jewish Palestinians who have obtained Israel nationality are treated like any other person in the country.

Media only cover the conflict between Israelites and Palestinians during episodes where there is large scale battle. However, everyday conflicts are happening between the two groups, especially in towns like Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Al-Bireh, which are communities living near Palestinian East Jerusalem. Some restrictions require Palestinians to stay at home, like a case of seventy-six days in 2006 (Makdisi 44). Such kinds of cases rarely get to mainstream media. The mainstream media portrays Palestinians as evil people who resist the government, yet they do not understand the cause of the conflict between Israel government and non-Jewish Palestinians.

The difference between the Palestinians living under Israel occupation and women banana workers, transnational immigrants, the Zapatistas and the poor South African workers is that Palestinians are terrorized in their native land, which they have been forcefully driven away from.. They have no option than to work long hours for little pay in an area that used to be theirs. The international community seems to have joined Israel in terrorizing the Palestinians. The similarities are that all these populations are underpaid, yet overworked. They are treated as a second class citizen and thus are expected to appreciate the little amount of money they receive as payment. This payment is only enough to survive and thus cannot afford to accumulate wealth, educate their children or live in decent houses. Health is always a major problem to such population.

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The topic relates to globalization and resistance since it touches one of the biggest international community, Arabs, as they are mostly accused of terrorism across the world. Most Muslim- Palestinians believe that Israel has the support of the USA and thus the whole world; they think that the Christian community is on a mission to reduce the population of Muslims. It is easy to radicalize Palestinians as they are frustrated by what they have gone through for over four decades. They have reached a point of feeling that they no longer have anything to lose. The global community needs to look at the factors leading to most of the Muslims in Palestine joining the terrorist groups and help them solve the issues instead of using torture and harassment. Negative treatment will make Palestinians hate the international community for perceiving them as second class people.

The issue of Israeli occupation to Palestine community is also related to sociology in many ways. First, the situation explains one of the principal causes of cultural conflict. There will always be war in a place where strangers invade an area and want to make it theirs, like Jewish aim at making the whole of Israel, including Palestine, a Jewish country. No community can allow visitors to come to their country and use its natural resources for their benefits.

Oppression of humanity is another cause of conflicts in the societies. Israel government has made it clear that non-Jewish Palestinians have no right to live in the country, and they can be treated in any negative way. This is despite Israel signing occupation law in Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits an occupying country from destroying personal properties as well as individual or mass forcible transfer or deportation of people in the occupied country (Makdisi 48). The topic of sociology discusses the society and culture, and thus, Israeli occupation to Palestine state is part of sociology.

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