The Harsh Soil of Occupation

As this is written, the Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank has raged for two months, with no signs of abating in the near future. Seeing TV news reports of Israeli soldiers beating, gassing, and shooting Palestinian youth, many Americans undoubtedly have the impression that the discontent of the Palestinians and the intransigence of the Israelis is a new thing. That's not surprising. If you depend on the mainstream U.S. news media for a window on the world, you would be only dimly aware of the fact that for more than 20 years the Israeli army has ruled one-and-a-half million Palestinian Arabs with an iron fist.

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