History’s most despicable land grab | Daily News


History’s most despicable land grab

Trump's border wall with Mexico.
Trump's border wall with Mexico.

International media is agog with news about land grab in South Africa and many including President Trump has thought it fit to condemned contemplated land reforms in South Africa as an unjust undemocratic land grab. The land reform bill has been withdrawn from Parliament and is to be amended. The much publicized hullabaloo is about an unborn child. The Bill intends to redress the injustices of the Native Land Act of 1913 which prohibited the Blacks to own commercial agricultural land. Today 24 years after dismantling the Apartheid State the White South Africans numbering only 9 percent of the population own about 73 percent of all commercial agricultural land.

On the contrary, the monopoly controlled international media and even their counterparts in developing countries are strangely silent about the most despicable land grab in history that has gone on for 100 years. Beginning with the Belfour Declaration in 1918 action was taken to grab Arab land in Palestine by whatever means and settle Jews.

In 1947 with the decision to carve out two states- Palestine and Israel on Palestine territory land grab resulted in the eviction of 700,000 Palestinians from their motherland.

They now numbering over a million live as refugees mainly in five neighbouring countries as refugees.

In subsequent years more territory was annexed by Israel through aggressive wars and today it is encroaching on remaining lands in the West Bank and East Jerusalem building illegal Jewish settlements.

This is in violation of international humanitarian law. The Geneva Convention for example, says “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”. Israel has been encroaching on Palestine lands in the West Bank and East Jerusalem regularly. It was only last week that it decided to build 1,000 new settlement homes in 382 colonies.

It has also passed new legislation to facilitate these settlements. It makes land grabbing and eviction of Palestinians from their legitimate homes.

Thus as the number of refugees increases, the United States has decided to reduce its aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

It also wants the UN to reduce the number of persons eligible for relief from 5 million to about 500, 000. On the other hand the United States grants $ 200 million aid to Israel annually. Most of it is military aid.

Israel has also built new settlements as a measure of collective punishment. For example, it responded with the construction of 3,000 new Jewish settler homes when the United Nations recognized Palestine as a non-voting Observer State in 2012.

Many illegal practices such as carpet bombing are undertaken by Israel as measures of collective punishment. Israel aggression and continuous repression has made life in occupied territories a nightmare. Palestine has the world’s highest unemployment rate of 41.7 percent.

Access to healthcare is denied to 56 percent. Sixty percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Only 3 percent of its water supply is fit for drinking. The rest is contaminated with sewerage, agro-chemicals etc.

The blind eye shown towards this grave injustice exposes not only the aggressor and its accomplices but also the international media.

Bull in a China shop

The United States seems to be afflicted with an infantile disorder. It is breaking all rules of the game in international economic relations.

The much coveted principle of free trade is thrown overboard with the United States withdrawing from international agreements on free trade with some other countries and imposing unilateral sanctions on Russia, Iran and several other countries. It has started a massive trade war with China imposing tariff increases on US $ 200 billion imports from China and announced further $ 200 billion tariff increases next week. It is also sanctioning third countries that have dealings with Iran, thus endangering relations with its erstwhile friendly countries too. It is threatening to build a wall on the Mexican border and force Mexico to pay half its cost. It has withdrawn from the Climate Accord and the Accord with Iran on use of nuclear energy.

President Trump’s America First policy is undermining the global economic relations architecture. It has openly announced that it does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

It has left the UN Human Rights Council and the UNESCO. Will it be wrong to conclude that its behaviour is just like that of a bull in a china shop?

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