Illustration for article titled Look Ma, No Hands

[Maale Adumim, West Bank; July 12. Image via Getty]

MAALE ADUMIM, WEST BANK - JULY 12: English volunteer Hattie Miall shows her hands after preparing a mud floor in a school that Italian architect Valerio Marazzi is constructing out of old tyres and mud for children of the Jahalin Palestinian Bedouin tribe on July 12, 2009 in the Judean Desert near the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim in the West Bank. As long as the Israeli army does not demolish the structure, which is being built without a permit by the Italian non-governmental organization Vento di Terra ('Wind of the Earth'), the children of the tribe's three encampments on the road between the Jordan Valley and Jerusalem will finally be able to attend classes without having to make the long and dangerous journeys to Jericho or Azariya. During the last two years, four children from the nomadic tribe have died on the dangerous paths and roads while the others have lost many school days due to poor road conditions, blockage of access roads by Israeli security fences, and the inability of the poverty-stricken families to pay the transportation costs. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)


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(Fucking hell, I just wrote something and it disappeared before my eyes. Starting again....)

I find it very interesting that Getty labeled this as being Ma'aleh Adumim. A big part of the settlement ideology involves "facts on the ground" — if you're already there, it's harder to get rid of you. Name-changing plays a big role in this (it's why, for instance so many people in Israel [most?] now refer to the West Bank by the Biblical names of "Judea and Samaria"). These events are not taking place in Ma'aleh Adumim, an illegal community constructed on confiscated land recognized across the world as being part of a future Palestinian state. They are taking place in the Judean Desert, on the West Bank.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, this school is being built in the area Israel has demarcated as E-1 — meant to be an "envelope" around Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim (which is a 15 minute drive from Jerusalem) and meant to be annexed to Israel. If I'm right, the one thing keeping it from being demolished is the fact that it's being constructed by Europeans, and Israel might want to avoid the ugly press. But Israel, which I love more than I can say and which I miss daily, has rarely made the effort to avoid ugly press, so my money is on this school being torn down. Even while settlement outposts go up.