Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | February 17, 2008

80s Music Video Sunday #50

Despite the dearth of political postings lately, anyone who’s been reading this blog for a while probably has at least an inkling as to my political leanings. I was in favor of the Disengagement (though I believe that the way the government has treated the evacuees since then is positively shameful), and in spite of the current shaky state of affairs, I still believe that negotiating a two-state solution is the way to go, even though it’s not a realistic option at the moment. And, when I say that serious negotiations are not realistic, I lay the blame for this on both sides. Palestinian leadership is too fragmented to speak on behalf of all Palestinians in the Territories, and with Hamas currently running the show in Gaza and showering Southern Israel with missiles and rockets, any agreement made at this stage would not be worth the paper it’s written on. That being said, the Israeli government has hardly shown its commitment to the process either, often turning a blind eye to illegal settlement outposts and attempts to change the status quo in various parts of Jerusalem, interpreting agreements to suit their own needs and feigning surprise when the world complains. And, before anyone says anything, there can be no moral equivalence between the relentless, deadly rocket attacks on Sderot and the Western Negev, and the government’s construction plans, but one can hardly blame the powers that be for not taking our pledges and oaths seriously when we can’t even be bothered to make more than half-hearted attempts at fulfilling them ourselves.

Of course, the Olmert government is hardly different from its predecessors in that respect, given the settlement activity that has continued virtually unabated over the years, no matter which government happened to be leading the country at the time. The policy of turning a blind eye to such activity takes on entirely new proportions if one factors in the findings mentioned in this article, written by Meron Rapoport and published on the Haaretz website early this morning.

“More than one-third of West Bank settlements were built on private Palestinian land that was temporarily seized by military order for “security purposes,” according to a report by the Civil Administration that is being published here for the first time.”

“International law allows the seizure of occupied territory, but only for military needs. Instead, Israel built many of the settlements via such seizures, in defiance of a 1979 cabinet decision that forbade using private Palestinian land for settlements.”

“Until the late 1970s, most settlements were built on land seized by military order. In 1979, however, the High Court overturned a seizure order for the land on which Elon Moreh was slated to be built, saying it saw no “security necessity” for the settlement. Following that ruling, Menachem Begin’s government decided that all new settlements or expansions of existing ones would be built only on state land, and since then, military seizure orders officially have not been used for this purpose.

However, a Haaretz investigation found that at least 19 of the 44 settlements on the Civil Administration’s list were established after 1979, which means they violated this decision. Efrat, for instance, was established in 1983.”

What it comes down to is that over the years, the State of Israel has been systematically appropriating land from the Palestinians, claiming it as a military necessity, and then using the land to build settlements, in a move that directly and knowingly contradicted a ruling of the High Court. In other words, it would seem that, legally speaking, certain settlements (Ariel, Kiryat Arba and Efrat, to name but a few) are more illegal than others. (Note that this link to Efrat contains incorrect information about the year of its founding. Efrat was founded in 1983.)

Well, that’s certainly food for thought, isn’t it?

I imagine that to some, after a post like that, it might seem rather frivolous to post a music video and song lyrics. While U2‘s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was written about the situation in Northern Ireland, it conveys my feelings about the current situation in the Territories quite well.

Sunday Bloody Sunday
U2

I can’t believe the news today
I can’t close my eyes and make it go away.
How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long, how long?
‘Cos tonight
We can be as one, tonight.

Broken bottles under children’s feet
Bodies strewn across the dead-end street.
But I won’t heed the battle call
It puts my back up, puts my back up against the wall.

Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Oh, let’s go.

And the battle’s just begun
There’s many lost, but tell me who has won?
The trenches dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters
Torn apart.

Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.

How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long, how long?
‘Cos tonight
We can be as one, tonight.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.

Wipe the tears from your eyes
Wipe your tears away.
I’ll wipe your tears away.
I’ll wipe your tears away.
I’ll wipe your bloodshot eyes.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.

And it’s true we are immune
When fact is fiction and TV reality.
And today the millions cry
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die.
The real battle just begun
To claim the victory Jesus won
On…

Sunday, bloody Sunday
Sunday, bloody Sunday..

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Responses

  1. ah, the perfect mix of 80’s music video sunday and political commentary, Liza! 🙂

  2. Brilliant post. Really, brilliant.

  3. Hmmm… politics again…???
    Nothing like exposing an opinion from the Haaretz with your thoughts to bring in all the ghosts 🙂

    I will refrain from putting my own thoughts (and it is really hard for me… 😉

    Good to have you back !

  4. Saul Williams, a.k.a. Niggy Tardust, made a brilliant cover of this song. Produced by Trent Reznor.

    The interesting bit is that the record was put on the net for free… if people are downloading this anyway, they might as well get it from the source. However, listeners were encouraged to pay as much as they want, to support the poet-turned-singer.

  5. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptDespite the dearth of political postings lately, anyone who’s been reading this blog for a while probably has at least an inkling as to my political leanings. I was in favor of the… [[ This is a content summary only. … […]


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