During the past two weeks, NPR has repeatedly refered to "violence in Israel," but this illustrates one of the reasons for the most recent flare-up of killing in the Middle East. In fact, almost all of the violence has occurred outside Israel - in an area without a proper name. Sometimes, rarely, the US media refers to "Gaza," "The West Bank," etc., but giving the correct name to the area where the Palestinians live, "Palestine" is not acceptable to the Jews in Israel or in the US. For that reason, and no other, the ancient label "Palestine" cannot be used.
The lack of a name for their homeland is symbolic for a condition that applies to the several million Palestinian refugees - whose existence is noteworthy primarily as an annoyance to the world's only superpower. These people have no identity. They have no value in comparison with the Jews. Over 90 Palestinians have been killed in the past two weeks, a number of them children; fewer than a half-dozen Jews have been killed. The exact numbers of killed and wounded on both sides have not been publicized by NPR and the US media -- because the information would clearly reveal the one-sidedness of the violence. When two Jewish soldiers were beaten to death by a Palestinian mob, the Israeli and US media went ballistic; when Palestinian children have died, the coverage seldom lasted beyond the evening news.
In today's news there appears to be a meeting scheduled between Arafat and Barak. The hope expressed by all is that the recent violence between the Jews and the Palestinians can be stopped. However, if successful that means the Jews can go back to diddling around with an endless "peace process." The one which has already lasted seven years has resulted in very little actual relief for the desparate poverty of the lives of the Arabs, but it has eliminated the anxiety the Jews felt during the years of the Indefadah.
The original premise of the 1992 Oslo Peace Accords was "land for peace." However, for seven years the Jews have gotten the peace they wanted - and they didn't have to give up much land. Surely they gave up none of the stolen land that the Jews have physically occupied. Most of the "concessions" have been cosmetic, an airport, a safe passage corridor, all subject to closure at the whim of the Jews. No Jewish settlements were closed, no Palestinian refugees returned, no compromises were made giving Palestinians back the East Jerusalem properties stolen by the Jews since 1967. Per capita, Arabs get 1/6 the water allotted to the Jews; Arabs are invariably denied permits to build homes in any location that might ever be coveted by Jews. The Israeli form of violence against Palestinians, the denial of their human rights and the refusal to return their stolen property, has continued. If the Palestinians protest and throw stones, they are killed bu the Israeli Army; if they fire bullets back, the Palestinians are blamed for causing the unrest.
There is a significant irony in the recently announced settlements of claims by holocaust victims and their heirs for property stolen by the Nazis during WWII. The Jews insist on compensation for the forced labor and art works, etc., but at the same time they turn a deaf ear to the more recent claims of the thousands of Palestinians whose homes and olive groves and water systems have been stolen by the Jews with the support and protection of the Israeli police and military (and the US subsidies and vetoes in the UN Security Council). The absence of justice towards the Palestinians on the international stage gives the lie to all the US prattling about democracy and freedom; in reality it is all about money and power. Only the US audience which sucks up the US media propaganda believes anything else.