An occupying force always has to ensure that its dominance is maintained through aggression and power. This is carried out in many ways, as the means to control an occupied area are numerous. Yet, the fact of occupation never changes — it is always harsh, discriminatory and violates the rights of the people.
The Israeli occupation is one that is dependent on aggression. All of Israel’s actions are geared towards such a policy. Israel is following through with a plan that aims at changing the names of city streets in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli authorities have called on Palestinian residents to be part of the renaming process. Yet, when the Palestinians had provided the original names of these areas, the Israeli municipality — which is the authority overseeing the project — rejected the recommendations. The Palestinians had suggested names that were close to their heritage and history and hence something that is associated with their identity. The Israeli authorities are proceeding with their plans of giving Jewish names to many streets and areas — a project that will begin in 2013.
However, should the Israeli authorities’ attitude be a cause for surprise? Israel has always followed a policy that is aimed at erasing the Palestinian identity throughout cities and villages. This recent decision to discard all names and apply only Jewish ones reflects a supremacist approach. This is not acceptable and the world community should act in favour of Palestinians preserving their history and identity.