Friday, August 28, 2009

  • Friday, August 28, 2009
  • Elder of Ziyon
From UPI:
A U.S. agency says it is replacing West Bank road signs
only in areas under full or partial Palestinian Authority control with English and Arabic ones.

The U.S. Agency for International Development denied reports claiming it was removing existing road signs in Hebrew in the Israel-controlled portion of the West Bank and replacing them with English and Arabic road signs.

Media reports Thursday implied the new road signs were in preparation for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The replacing of the signs is a small component of a larger project called the Palestinian Authority Capacity Enhancement Project, which works with six Palestinian ministries, including the Ministry of Transportation, the agency's press office said in response to a query submitted by United Press International Thursday.

The project's goal is to improve delivery service across the area "in ways that will make a noticeable difference for the Palestinian people," the agency said.

The agency said the new road signs in Arabic and English are posted in Area A, which is under total Palestinian control, and Area B, under Palestinian civilian control and Israeli security control. The agency insisted road signs in Area C, which is under total Israeli control, were not being touched.
Even if you assume that Area A and Area B are no longer negotiable or disputed, which is not necessarily true, this move - at the cost of $20 million taxpayer dollars - implies something much worse.

It means that the US admits that even after a "peace" agreement, Israelis will not be allowed to visit the West Bank as tourists in any large numbers.

Think about it. Some of the holiest Jewish spots in the world are in Areas A or B, along with a huge number of important biblical sites. Any country at peace would welcome the hordes of tourists - and, as we've seen elsewhere, will do everything necessary to make them feel welcome, including putting up signs in their native languages so they can get around.

If a Palestinian Arab state was truly at peace with Israel, crossing the borders would be about the same as crossing between Canada and the US. Almost certainly the Palestinian Arab tourist industry would try to cater to the types of people who would visit most often, and in this case Israelis and Jews would be among the biggest tourists.

Hebrew signs make sense - if you accept a scenario of true peace.

But if the "peace" that you imagine is one that is not true peace, if your definition of the term says that peace is simply the existence of a Palestinian Arab state that has no obligation to normalize relations with Israel - then it makes perfect sense that such a state will do everything in its power to keep Jews out.

If USAID is working towards a real kind of peace, then Hebrew road signs aren't an obstacle - they would be considered as normal as Arabic road signs in Israel are. But if USAID's idea of peace corresponds with the Palestinian Arab definition, then it makes sense to work now to ensure that "Palestine" will be Judenrein and to erase anything that would indicate that Palestinian Arabs and Jews could live together.

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