***image2***On Wednesday, December 8, 2004, Norwegian activists representing Fellesutvalget for Palestina (Norwegian Association of NGO’s for Palestine) and other groups staged a protest against Israeli Apartheid policies outside the building where a conference of donor countries was being held in Oslo.
The protestors were expressing their outrage against the fact that the Israeli government was seeking $200 million from donor countries to pay for a series of roads in the West Bank designed to cement the Apartheid system imposed by the Israeli Occupation. The World Bank recently denied a similar Israeli request.
Protestors braved the cold to display signs declaring âNo Money for Apartheidâ and âBoycott Israel Now.â
Before the meeting, prominent Norwegian experts had already declared that the Israeli road plan would be a further attempt to permanently impose a state of Apartheid in the West Bank, by building on and reinforcing the system of Bantustans already set in place by the Apartheid Wall.
As Dagbladet, the second-largest newspaper in Norway, reported in an article on Monday, December 6, these experts pointed to the clearly Apartheid nature of the plan: Israelâs goal is to build two separate road systems in the West Bank, one for Jewish settlers, and one for the Palestinians.
âThis is targeted and systematic work from the Israeli side that has been going on since the sixties,â said the city planner Knut Felberg. Since 1995 Felberg and the architect Øystein Grønning have been working with Palestinian city planners in a project financed by the Norwegian government.
âThe goal of this new [Israeli] plan is to make a permanent solution where the Palestinian areas are isolated as they are now. This will make a sustainable Palestinian state impossible,â Felberg stated.
It is this road system that the Israeli government wants taxpayers from other countries to pay for. But as the protestors outside the meeting made clear, and as these experts had already noted, the goal of the Israeli plan is to continue the Occupationâs goal of splitting the West Bank into isolated Bantustans. âThis will in many ways be worse than the apartheid system in South Africa. It is not only about separating ethnic groups. What is happening now is that Palestinians are being isolated from each other behind fences,â Grønning told Dagbladet.
The policies of Israeli Apartheid and Occupation continue, and although the World Bank and the donor governments seem to have decided to refuse this particular Israeli request, financial support for Israel’s policies from the same actors is until now unbroken and continues on many other levels. Hence, the only way to assure that the world does not continue to provide money for Apartheid is for activists to continue to demand: boycott and sanctions against Israeli Apartheid now.