Before Donald Rumsfeld departed from the Pentagon, the “Transformation Group” he headed worked with an Israeli army team to develop ideas for controlling the Palestinians after Israel withdraws from the occupied territories. Eyal Weizman, an Israeli academic who has written about this cooperation, tells us that they decided to do this through an invisible occupation: Israel would “seal the hard envelopes” around Palestinian towns and generate “effects” directed against the “human elements of resistance”. We saw this concept being implemented in Beit Hanoun last week when the Israeli army killed 19 sleeping people with a missile attack.
The world can look forward to more of the same. According to Weizman, the chief of staff of the Israeli armed forces, Dan Halutz, confirms that the Israeli army sees the conflict as “unresolvable”. It has “geared itself to operate within an environment saturated with conflict and within a future of permanent violence … it sees itself acting just under the threshold of international sanctions … keeping the conflict on a flame low enough for Israeli society to be able to live and prosper within it.” So here’s another function for the separation wall Israel is building: to shield Israeli society from too close a knowledge of the brutal acts their army carries out in their name.