Gaza: Visualizing Destruction – Palestine Chronicle Short Documentary

June 17, 2021

Gaza: Visualizing Destruction is a short documentary produced by the Palestine Chronicle. (Image: The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

What does ‘toppled to the ground’ actually mean in real life? What happens to a neighborhood once a missile explodes and the bodies of dead and wounded are collected?

In this latest video production by The Palestine Chronicle team, we attempt to visualize destruction and locate the names of those who died in the homes and neighborhoods in which they once lived.

A Gaza-based Palestinian Journalist, Wafaa Aludaini takes us on this emotional but necessary journey throughout the war-torn Gaza Strip. 

“Numbers without names, stats without faces and charts without the human being that gives them true meaning, are insufficient to tell the story of Palestine,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud said. 

“At the Palestine Chronicle, we have always defied that norm, which plagues much of the media. The Palestinian people are not sound bites and are not faceless, passive victims. This short video is our attempt at helping our readers visualize Gaza, the destruction of the last Israeli war and the people who underwent that harrowing experience,” Baroud added. 

“It is extremely important for the world to see how Gaza looks like right now, after the latest, bloody Israeli offensive. It is important to visually experience the destruction, to know that our attention towards Palestine cannot be limited to the days in which Israel bombards Gaza,” Romana Rubeo, managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle said.

“During the 11-day war, at The Palestine Chronicle, we tried to provide as much information as we could. I think that associating words with images is a powerful tool to keep attention high. For each child, for example, a home is a safe haven. Seeing how Israel turned these safe havens into heaps of rubble in a matter of seconds is as painful as it is necessary,” Rubeo added.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

ISRAEL DEPLOYS IRON DOME TO HOLD NATIONALIST MARCH IN JERUSALEM, HAMAS WARNS OF CONSEQUENCES

South Front

Israel Deploys Iron Dome To Hold Nationalist March In Jerusalem, Hamas Warns Of Consequences

On June 15th, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has deployed Iron Dome air defense batteries and raised its level of alert ahead of the Jerusalem Flag March.

Hamas warned it would respond to the right-wing march if it goes through as planned, potentially with rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Omer Bar-Lev, the newly sworn-in public security minister after a meeting with Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and representatives of several Israeli defense agencies allowed the march to go on as planned.

“I was under the impression that the police is well prepared and that a great effort has been made to safeguard the delicate fabric of life and public safety,” Bar-Lev said in a statement.

Hamas warned Israel that the march will renew unrest, less than a month after the two sides reached a cease-fire following 11 days of fighting in Gaza.

“We are calling on Palestinians in Jerusalem and within the Green Line to halt the march tomorrow,” said Hamas spokesman Abdulatif al-Qanua on Monday. He dubbed the march, in which right-wing groups parade through the Old City carrying Israeli flags, a “fuse for a new explosion for the protection of the al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem.”

Assailing the march as a “provocation”, Palestinian factions have called for a “Day of Rage” in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

“We warn of the dangerous repercussions that may result from the occupying power’s intention to allow extremist Israeli settlers to carry out the Flag March in occupied Jerusalem tomorrow,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Twitter.

The original march was re-routed to avoid the walled Old City’s Muslim Quarter on May 10th in Jerusalem.

Israeli rightists accused their government of caving into Hamas by changing its route. They rescheduled the procession after an Egyptian-mediated Gaza truce took hold.

A route change or cancellation of the procession could expose Bennett’s patchwork coalition to accusations from Netanyahu, now in the opposition, and his right-wing allies of giving Hamas veto power over events in Jerusalem.

Palestinian protests were planned across the Gaza Strip, and Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction have called on Palestinians to flock to the Old City to counter the march.

“Tensions (are) rising again in Jerusalem at a very fragile & sensitive security & political time, when UN & Egypt are actively engaged in solidifying the ceasefire,” U.N. Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland said on Twitter.

“Urge all relevant parties to act responsibly & avoid any provocations that could lead to another round of confrontation,” he said.

The formation of Bennett’s alliance of right-wing, centrist, left-wing and Arab parties, with little in common other than a desire to unseat Netanyahu, capped coalition-building efforts after March 23 elections, Israel’s fourth in two years.

Minutes after meeting Bennett, 49, on his first full day in office, Netanyahu repeated a pledge to topple his government.

“It will happen sooner than you think,” Netanyahu, 71, who spent a record 12 straight years in office, said in public remarks to legislators of his right-wing Likud party.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Palestine: Old Policy of Divide and Rule Continues

By VT Editors -June 14, 2021

By Sajjad Shaukat Pak VT

After martyring more than 300 Palestinians, including 100 children and 80 women, injuring more than 3000 innocent civilians in Gaza Strip through airstrikes and ground shelling, Israel agreed on a ceasefire with Hamas, which ended the 11 days war.

Unmatched with Israeli arms, freedom fighters of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group Abu Ubaida had no option except firing rockets inside Israel.

Very tensions had started when Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and attacked the Palestinians. Thousands of Palestinians staged protests in the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

In an emergency meeting of the foreign ministers, the OIC had called for an immediate halt to Israel’s barbaric attacks on Gaza.

Earlier, called by China, the UNO Security Council held an urgent meeting on the unrest in Jerusalem. The three sessions of the UN body failed after the US’s moves to block a joint statement that would condemn Israel for the violence and call for a cease-fire.

Like the past administrations, the US President Joe Biden reiterated that Israel has the right to defend itself.

Biden also sent Linda Thomas-Greenfield—the US’s UN envoy to de-escalate tensions. However, it was part of the double game of Washington. When American President Biden seriously pressured Netanyahu to prevent a full-scale war, Tel Aviv agreed for ceasefire.

But, Israeli Premier Netanyahu has not accepted the two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute which was stressed by the US and some major Western countries.

In fact, international bodies such as the UNO Security Council, OIC and the US-led West failed to present a solution to end the Israeli state terrorism on the Palestinians, which have continued from time to time.

Notably, like the United States, Ottoman Empire of Turkey was a large multi-ethnic state. In order to maintain their control, one of the British strategies was divide and rule which was being practiced through various tactics like arrangement of rebellions, manipulation of ethnic and sectarian differences. The Britain provided soldiers, weapons and money to the Arab subjects against that Empire. According to the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the British and French agreed to divide the Arab world between them. The Britain took control of what are now Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan. The French were given modern Syria, Lebanon and southern Turkey. Thus, they brought about the end of the Ottomans and the rise of the new states, with borders, running across the Middle East, dividing Muslims from each other.

Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 which was a conspiracy of the American and the British rulers against the Palestinians was implemented. On May 14, 1948, the UNO acted upon the 1947 UN Partition Plan and established the state of Israel.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and Syrian Golan Heights during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move that has never been recognized by the UNO and international community.

Once Henry Kissinger stated “legitimacy is not natural or automatic, but created.”

Under the cover of the 9/11 attacks, the US President George W. Bush started global war on terror. Occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led NATO, Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, like the creation of Al-Qaeda by the CIA, the Islamic State group (ISIS), proxy wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen, and elsewhere in the world were part of the same anti-Muslim campaign to continue old divide and rule policy.

Henry Kissinger had suggested the split of Iraq into three independent regions, ruled by Kurds, Shias and Sunnis. In this regard, the Asia Times Online reported in 2005: “The plan of balkanizing Iraq into several smaller states is an exact replica of an extreme right-wing Israeli plan…an essential part of the balkanization of the whole Middle East. Curiously, Henry Kissinger was selling the same idea even before the 2003 invasion of Iraq…this is classic divide and rule: the objective is the perpetuation of Arab disunity.”

Similarly, during the partition of the Sub-continent, the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) which comprised Muslim majority decided to join Pakistan according to the British formula. But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the J&K in collusion with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India.

The Security Council adopted resolution of April 21, 1948, which promised a plebiscite under UN auspices to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or India. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its commitment of holding plebiscite. Instead, Indian Parliament declared Kashmir-an integral part of the Indian union.

Indian cruel actions against the Kashmiris reached climax on August 5, 2019 when Indian extremist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the leader of the fanatic ruling party BJP revoked articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the disputed territory of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). New Delhi unilaterally annexed the IIOJK with the Indian Federation to turn Muslim majority into minority.

Implementing the ideology of Hindutva ((Hindu Nationalism), Indian prejudiced rulers have Issued over 1.8 million domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris to change the demographic structure of the IIOJK.

And deployment of more than 900,000 military troops in the IIOJK, who have martyred thousands of the Kashmiris through brutal tactics-extrajudicial killings—non-provision of basic necessities of life and medicines for the coronavirus patients prove worst form of India’s state terrorism. Now, almost 21 months have been passed. But, Indian strict military lockdown in the IIOJK continues.

Besides, the Indian Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) further exposed the discriminatory policies of the Modi-led government against the Muslims.

It is mentionable that Article 42 of the 1907—Hague Regulations states that a territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.

Moreover, in its resolution 3314, the United Nations General Assembly prohibits states from any military occupation. Article 2(4) of the UN charter explicitly prohibits the use of force.

In addition, General Assembly’s resolution 1541 adopted in 1960 accepts the legitimacy of the right of self-determination and opposes repressive measures of all kinds against the freedom fighters by the colonial powers.

Nevertheless, the US-led major Western countries continue old policy of divide and rule to create division among the Islamic countries.

In this respect, on the directions of the US ex-President Donald Trump, some Muslim countries’ various moves such as recognition of the state of Israel, opening of Israeli embassies in their countries, Shia-Sunni sectarian split, manipulation of Iran-Saudi Arabia differences, encouragement to Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, lack of practical action against the Modi-regime etc. might be cited as some instances. Undoubtedly, it is due to lack of unity in the Islamic Ummah that the Muslim countries have become easy target of this old policy.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Email: Sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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يوم القدس مجدداً

 ناصر قنديل

– بعد شهر من انطلاق معركة سيف القدس، شهد خلاله كيان الاحتلال عمليات فك وتركيب سياسيّة عبرت عن نتائج الفشل السياسي والعسكري خلال المعركة، والذهاب الى ارتضاء الوصاية الأميركيّة طلباً للحماية، وتلبية شروطها بإزاحة بنيامين نتنياهو من رئاسة الحكومة، تعود القضايا التي فجّرت المعركة الى الواجهة مجدداً، المستوطنون يمسكون بدفة القرار الميداني في شارع الكيان ويقودون الصف السياسي، وقد حسموا أمرهم بالمضي في عمليات التطهير العرقي داخل الأراضي المحتلة عام 48 وفي القدس تحقيقاً لدولتهم اليهودية. وبالمقابل الجيل الفلسطيني الثالث أو جيل الألفية الثالثة الناهض لمواجهة توحّش المستوطنين وانكشاف كذبة الديمقراطية، والجامع للضفة الغربية والقدس والأراضي المحتلة عام 48، بعدما منح مشاريع التفاوض والرهانات الفصائليّة المتقابلة أكثر من عقدين خسر خلالهما الفلسطينيون مزيداً من الأرض واختلّ خلالهما ميزان السكان أكثر لصالح مزيد من الاستيطان، ومع هذا الجيل وخلفه تقف قوى صاعدة في الفصائل، وخصوصاً في قوى المقاومة، أعادت ترتيب أوراقها على قاعدة بناء قدرات الردع، وحسمت هويتها ضمن محور المقاومة، واستثمرت على انتصاراته في الإقليم، واعادت تصويب البوصلة بعيداً عن لعبة المصالح الفئوية والسلطوية المحلية.

– الصدام يبدو حتمياً، بين المسارين الحاكمين لمستقبل حركة الكيان ومستوطنيه، وحركة الشعب الفلسطيني والقوى الصاعدة فيه، ومأزق الأميركيين يأتي من كونهم لم يستوعبوا حجم التغيير الجاري على الضفتين، فهم لا زالوا ينظرون للقضية الفلسطينية بعين اللحظة التي سبقت زمن دونالد ترامب وبنيامين نتنياهو، عشية نهاية ولاية الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق بيل كلينتون ورئيس حكومة الكيان السابق ايهودا باراك والزعيم الفلسطيني الراحل ياسر عرفات، وفشل مفاوضات عام 2000 في كامب ديفيد، ويتحدّثون عن حل الدولتين كإطار عاجز عن الإجابة على قضية الاستيطان في الضفة، وعاجز عن الإجابة عن تساؤلات أبناء مناطق الـ48 وعاجز عن الإجابة على الأسئلة التي يطرحها مصير القدس، وسقف ما يسعى اليه الأميركيون هو تهدئة للتهدئة، أو تفاوض للتفاوض، لأن المطلوب نزع فتيل التصعيد الذي يخشاه الأميركيون كمدخل لحرب إقليمية تهدّد بها قوى محور المقاومة، دفاعاً عن القدس، كما يخشون قيام كيان الاحتلال بتوريطهم بحرب إقليمية لنسف مفاوضاتهم الهادفة للعودة الى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، كما هو تماماً حالهم مع نتنياهو.

– الفراغ الاستراتيجي قائم بنظر الفلسطينيين، فالأميركيون لم ينجحوا بترميم ما فقدوه خلال عقدين من حضور ونفوذ ومقدرات في المنطقة، وصعود محور المقاومة فرصة يجب الاستثمار عليها، ومنازلة القدس التي تبدو اليوم حدثاً متوقعاً، لا يمكن أن تنتهي بلا غالب ولا مغلوب، كما حاول نتنياهو تصوير نهاية معركة سيف القدس، بينما يعلم الجميع أن وقف المعركة دون توقف الصواريخ الفلسطينية التي أمطرت مدن الكيان، وفشلت القبة الحديدية بصدّها، ودون حرب بريّة ردعها وجود صواريخ الكورنيت التي ظهرت في الأيام الأولى للمعركة، قد تمّ بطلب نتنياهو تسليماً بالفشل، بعد رفضه لطلبات أميركية وأوروبية متكررة لوقف النار، وهذا الفراغ الإستراتيجي قائم بنظر قادة المستوطنين، الذين يريدون فرض اختبار الخيارات على الحكومة الجديدة التي يترأسها أحد رموز الاستيطان نفتالي بينيت، واستثمار حاجة نتنياهو لإحراج الحكومة وإذلالها في الميدان وتظهير خضوعها لواشنطن، واستعراض القوة بوجهها، ما يجعل مشهد التصعيد الاحتمال الأشد قوة لما سيحدث اليوم.

– الدعوة لمسيرة الأعلام الصهيونية في القدس اليوم ومقابلها الدعوة للنفير الوطني الفلسطيني لنصرة القدس، يضع القدس في واجهة الأحداث العالمية، ولم يغب عن بيان الدعوة للنفير الوطني الذي أصدرته لجنة المتابعة الوطنية للفلسطينيين في الأراضي المحتلة عام 48، دعوة قوى المقاومة في غزة ولبنان للاستنفار تحسباً لمسار الأمور، ما يجعل الأمور مفتوحة على كل الاحتمالات، والباب الوحيد لنجاح محاولات منع التصعيد هو منع المستوطنين من الاقتراب من الأحياء العربية في القدس ومن المسجد الأقصى، وإن حدث ذلك تحقق انتصار كبير بفرض قواعد اشتباك تجعل القدس خطاً أحمر غير قابل للانتهاك، وإن لم يحدث فالمواجهة ستتسع وتكبر ولا أحد يستطيع رسم سقوف مسبقة لها.

مقالات مرتبطة

End of Netanyhu’s Tenure Leaves Israeli Apartheid Tyranny in Place

 June 12, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

On Sunday Netanyahu’s tenure ends, Israeli apartheid tyranny will remain in power under new management — like always before in Jewish state history.

Ahead of a Friday evening deadline, a penultimate hurdle passed when all opposition parties submitted required signed coalition agreements to the Knesset secretary.

At this time, a final one is Sunday’s Knesset swearing-in ceremony to officially replace the Netanyahu regime with a new one.

At the same time, things are never over when they’re over as long as he’s around.

He’s not leaving quietly and when disempowered won’t operate as a loyal to the country opposition.

Continuing to cite nonexistent victimization, he claims a “deep state” conspiracy targeted him for removal (sic), adding:

“They are uprooting the good (sic) and replacing it with the bad and dangerous,” he roared.

“I fear for the destiny of the nation (sic).”

His inflammatory rhetoric has been around at least since the 1990s.

For him, opposition Jews are anti-Israeli leftists, Arab politicians considered fifth column threat terrorist sympathizers.

Delusions of grandeur define his self-crafted persona, falsely claiming he alone can lead the Jewish state at a time of invented barbarians at the gates.

Since becoming Israeli prime minister for the second time in early 2009 and remaining in office for 12 straight years, he’s on the cusp of being dethroned for being unable to form a majority coalition government after four elections since 2019 — a sign of weakness overtaking diminished strength.

His ravings don’t resonate like earlier.

According to Israeli political scientist Gayil Talshir:

When out of power, “(w)e’re going to see a very assertive and aggressive head of the opposition, meaning Netanyahu, determined to make sure that this coalition of change would be a short-lived one and that we will have another election as soon as possible,” adding:

“We don’t have even a memory of what normal politics looks like.”

On Thursday, the Times of Israel reported that members of Netanyahu’s inner circle know that although his time is up, he’ll combat the new government to “bring it down.”

Peaceful transition of power and respect for the rule of law was never his style, notably not after reigning as King Bibi for 12 straight years.

It’s unclear if he’ll attend Sunday’s swearing in session and traditional handover of power on Monday.

No joint briefing with incoming prime minister Naftali Bennett is scheduled.

On Friday, Ynet News noted even though a new government is set to replace him Sunday, he’s “not relenting for a second…”

He “sen(t) his messengers and sycophants to lash out at his opponents and continue nurturing the toxic discourse he has created.”

You’re either with him or against Israel, according to his mindset.

Because of his extremist rhetoric and toxic environment he created, many opposition coalition members require security for protection of themselves and family members.

In or out of power, he represents an unparalleled internal threat to political forces against him.

The harm he caused since taking power left permanent scars, defenseless Palestinians bearing the brunt of his viciousness.

Haaretz reported on recently surfacing video from Israel’s Ketziot Prison on Netanyahu’s watch, saying: 

It “should have set off an earthquake in the Israel Prison Service, police and the State Prosecutor’s Office.”

It showed dozens of Palestinian prisoners thrown to a concrete floor.

Shackled with their hands behind their back, guards beat them repeatedly with metal batons and by kicking.

Ordered not to move or speak, their ordeal continued for hours — the incident filmed by security cameras.

According to an unnamed prison official, it was one of the most violent unprovoked incidents ever inside an Israeli prison.

Only four guards were questioned briefly about what happened in March 2019, video of it now emerging for the first time.

It showed no rioting or other provocations.

About 15 Palestinian prisoners required hospitalization, at least two in serious condition from what happened at the time.

Recounting the incident, one affected Palestinian said the following:

“They put us in restraints and no one resisted, and then they simply began to beat us with (metal) batons,” adding: 

“They tossed us into the center of the wing like we were nothing, and beat us without us being able to defend ourselves.”

Despite prisoners knowing the guards and seeing them daily, “(t)hat didn’t keep them from beating us mercilessly.”

“We were sure they were going to kill us.”

“Everyone prayed to God. Only after seeing all the blood around me did one of the officers order that I be taken to the clinic.”

“They beat me along the way, too.”

Others described similar horror stories.

Restrained in pairs after beatings, they stayed that way overnight.

Stripped and not given mattresses, they were kept this way for three days “without anything.”

Told to keep heads down, “anyone who raised his head gotten beaten.”

Haaretz explained that four guards alone were “briefly questioned on suspicion of battery,” adding:

Few attempts were made to identify additional officers present that night.” 

“Although the prisoners declared they could identify the perpetrators, no lineup was conducted.”

After closure of the case with no accountability, the Hamoked human rights group appealed to Israel’s attorney general, saying:

“The incident at Ketziont is a case of brute, wholesale violence against tied, helpless people,” adding:

“The investigative authorities’ attempt to shirk responsibility, despite the security camera footage, is a badge of shame for the national unit for investigating corrections officers and investigative bodies in general.” 

Others described similar horror stories.

Restrained in pairs after beatings, they stayed that way overnight.

Stripped and not given mattresses, they were kept this way for three days “without anything.”

Told to keep heads down, “anyone who raised his head gotten beaten.”

Haaretz explained that four guards alone were “briefly questioned on suspicion of battery,” adding:

Few attempts were made to identify additional officers present that night.” 

“Although the prisoners declared they could identify the perpetrators, no lineup was conducted.”

After closure of the case with no accountability, the Hamoked human rights group appealed to Israel’s attorney general, saying:

“The incident at Ketziont is a case of brute, wholesale violence against tied, helpless people,” adding:

“The investigative authorities’ attempt to shirk responsibility, despite the security camera footage, is a badge of shame for the national unit for investigating corrections officers and investigative bodies in general.” 

At the end of Israel-Palestine conflict: The acquisition of Hamas

June 8, 2021 – 14:13

By Rakib Al Hasan 

After series of devastating Israeli airstrikes for more than 10 days, a ceasefire was declared by both Hamas and the Israeli regime. The fighting cost more than 248 Palestinian lives. It also led to massive destruction of properties in the Gaza strip.

Now with the end of the conflict, both sides are measuring their costs and successes. Both sides are claiming major victory. According to the Israeli leadership, the offensives have achieved their goals and they can measure these as successes. On the other hand, Hamas is also claiming that it has successfully defended the Palestinian people.

Hamas is an armed resistance group that Western powers consider it as a “terrorist” organization. On the other hand, Israel is a regime with massive military strength. Thus, the objectives of a conflict between such two actors depend mainly on military and political grounds.

If we talk about the Israeli side, the government and military claimed that Hamas can be dealt with in two ways. One, by completely conquering it, and two, by destroying its combat capability. So, have Israel achieved these two goals so far?

First of all, militarily Israel has destroyed many civil targets. In the latest fight against Hamas, they killed at least 63 children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.  Although Israel could intercept some of 340 rockets launched from Gaza, Israel’s Iron Dom showed that it is incapable to work in any possible clash. They also destroyed a key research and development center claiming that it was a Hamas base.

In terms of the political achievements from the latest fight, Israel has gained lesser. The fight could have given a lifeline domestically for the Israeli PM Netanyahu but it has cost Israel a lot diplomatically. The international support for the Palestinians has gained new momentum.

If we go to war, there will be casualties. Many people have to give their lives. No war has ever taken place without revenge. So, the main issue is who has won the war and whose objective has been achieved more than the loss in the war. So, the achievements of Hamas in this war can be seen by analyzing a little.

• In this battle, the Iron Dome was seen playing a little. If too many rockets or missiles are fired at once, the Iron Dome cannot properly detect it. About 60% of Hamas’s 4,000-plus rockets have been detected. This weakness of the Iron Dome became known, which would later make Hamas more practical.

• For so long, everyone believed in the exclusive Western narrative. Even the barbaric attacks on Muslims in the name of self-defense did not deter the Western world. CNN, New York Times, Guardian, Reuters, etc. also blindly believed such a narrative. But international media outlets such as Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, TRT, Anadolu have been able to unmask the West against this propaganda. As a result, although the name of Israel was not mentioned in the beginning, now almost all the Western media is mentioning the name of Israel.

After a loss in the media war, Israel demolished the Al Jazeera building in Gaza. Had it not been for the AP in the same building, they might not have hesitated to kill the Al Jazeera team. 

• Palestine has received unprecedented support in this war. Many figures and leaders, including the Irish MP, the Austrian MP, Mark Ruffalo, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Ayatollah Khamenei and Erdogan were in favor of Palestine. There have been small and large rallies in almost all countries, including London, the United States, Paris, Turkey, and Qatar. A fund has been set up in distant Bangladesh at the initiative of the Palestinian embassy. In the outside world, it will play a huge role in increasing the acceptance of Palestine and Hamas as well as motivating the fighters.

• The project that the West has undertaken to make Hamas a terrorist group has come to naught. They have also shown through their protests the mischievous attempts to portray Hamas as a terrorist group and to show the world who the real terrorists are. 

• It has become clear to the Muslim world, including Hamas, who are the friends and who are the enemies of the Muslims. Who incites the killing of innocent children by uttering the words of humanity. Israel lacks moral right to talk about this issue, especially when it violates international human rights law. 

• Israel has been portrayed in recent times as invincible or irresistible, but in practice they are not. The death of an Israeli citizen is a very sensitive issue in Israel. The politicians of that country do not want to take that risk. So, they are also a bit timid. This idea has now been established with Hamas. Hamas now believes that only a good range of missiles can stop Israel.

• The Muslim world is growing angry and uneasy over, day after day, of bombings and civilian casualties in Gaza. An emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation called OIC was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Israeli security analysts believe that the so-called “Abraham Accord” peace agreement, following the Israeli attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the subsequent deaths in Gaza, will be under more pressure.

• Iran has helped Hamas with technology. Several other Muslim countries are helping with the intelligence team. Training in Syria. As a result, a strong bond will be formed between these countries because of Palestine. Together, they can do everything possible to help rescue Gaza, as Turkey has done to Azerbaijan.

• From now on, Muslim children may want to be as brave as Palestinian children in the way the protests of Palestinian children in Gaza have sparked worldwide discussion. Maybe this Palestinian issue can reunite Muslims around the world.

• The most important event in this conflict is that for the first time Hamas has been able to provoke the Arab population inside Israel. This is a big strategic achievement for Hamas and a big headache for Israel. Hamas has now successfully hijacked the protests that erupted between Palestinians and Israeli police in Jerusalem in the beginning of Ramadan. Mohammad Deif, Hamas military wing leader, issued a threat against Israel over protests. Many Palestinians even in Jerusalem began chanting slogans and praised Hamas. 
Hamas decision to fire rockets at Jerusalem has enabled it to present itself as a very credible Resistance Group. They present themselves as those people who would do anything to support the Palestinians in Jerusalem. They say they are protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque compound from being Judaized. 

• Hamas has been successful to draw attention to President Mahmoud Abbas and his incompetence. Hamas showed him as a weak leader. Now Hamas has achieved the center stage in negotiations with Egyptian, Qatari and United Nations mediators. It is said that Hamas lost the power to show its influence through the ballot box after the elections were postponed by Mahmoud Abbas. They were set to take place on May 22 and July 31, 2021. Now through these current events Hamas has shown that it is the leading player in Palestinian arena and is popular among the population. 

It is expected that when the next elections would take place Hamas would enter the fray with an upper hand. It is also expected that Jerusalem would be the main theme of Hamas in contesting the next elections. It would be acting as a defender of Al-Aqsa Mosque and a liberator of Jerusalem.

RELATED NEWS

Sanctions against Israel, anyone?

Response from UK government has Foreign Office still playing childish game of charades

UK-Israel symbiosis

By Stuart Littlewood -June 10, 2021

…from Stuart Littlewood, Britain

First published June 10, 2021

An online petition was recently sent to the British Government demanding sanctions against Israel. It said: “The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms. Its disproportionate treatment of Palestinians and settlements that are regarded by the international community as illegal are an affront to civilised society.” 385,225 signed.

The Government promises a debate on the petition on 14 June. But its response includes this statement from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office issued yesterday (my comments in italics):

The UK is firmly opposed to boycotts or sanctions against Israel. Our close and varied relationship means we are able to express clearly when we disagree.

HM Government has made its position on sanctions clear. While we do not hesitate to express disagreement with Israel whenever we feel it necessary, we are firmly opposed to boycotts or sanctions. We believe that open and honest discussions, rather than the imposition of sanctions or supporting anti-Israeli boycotts, best supports our efforts to help progress the peace process and achieve a negotiated solution.

• Open and honest discussion with Israel has never worked. You happily slap other nations with sanctions.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework. We continue to monitor the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard.

• Clearly your risk assessments aren’t strict enough.

The UK welcomed the recent announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on 20 May, which is an important step to ending the cycle of violence and loss of civilian life.

During the Foreign Secretary’s visit to the region on 26 May he reiterated the UK’s firm commitment to the two-state solution as the best way to permanently end the occupation, deliver Palestinian self-determination and preserve Israel’s security and democratic identity. The UK will continue our intensive diplomatic efforts in the region, focussed on creating the conditions for a sustainable peace.

• The cycle of violence and loss of civilian life didn’t end after previous ceasefires. Israel continued ‘mowing the lawn’. Why are you committed to the two-state solution when you’ve allowed Israel to establish facts on the ground that make a viable Palestinian state impossible? What do you think a Palestinian state will look like when you eventually get around to recognising one?

Haven’t you yet understood that Israel doesn’t want peace until it has annexed the whole of Palestine and that your stance simply aids the Zionists’ criminal ambition? Haven’t you heard Israeli leaders repeated say they will never allow a Palestinian state? And by the way Israel has no “democratic identity”, it’s a deeply unpleasant ethnocracy.

Israel is an important strategic partner for the UK and we collaborate on issues of defence and security. Our commitment to Israel’s security is unwavering. The UK unequivocally condemns the firing of rockets at Jerusalem and locations within Israel.

We strongly condemn these acts of terrorism by Hamas and other terrorist groups, who must permanently end their incitement and rocket fire against Israel. We are also concerned by reports that Hamas is again using civilian infrastructure and populations as cover for its military operations.

• As long as we are a strategic partner of Israel we will never be trusted in the Middle East. We have no enemies in the region, not even Iran, so why provoke hostility? And given Israel’s track record how can anyone feel comfortable swopping defence and security secrets? You persistently accuse Hamas of incitement when it is the Palestinians who are under illegal military occupation and blockade.

You complain about Hamas firing garden-shed rockets but never condemn the Israelis for bombarding tightly-lacked Gaza with devastating state of the art ordnance deliberately mis-aimed to cause horrendous slaughter of civilians. Also check the definition of terrorist and consider whether it fits the Israeli regime better than Hamas.

We are clear that all countries, including Israel, have a legitimate right to self-defence, and the right to defend their citizens from attack. In doing so, it is vital that all actions are proportionate, in line with International Humanitarian Law, and are calibrated to avoid civilian casualties.

• Israel has no comprehension of “proportionate” and no right of self defence against the people it illegally occupies, murders and dispossesses. It has never complied with international Humanitarian Law, whereas the Palestinians have every right under international law to mount an armed resistance, makeshift though it is, against the occupier.

The UK is strongly opposed to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel, just as we oppose any calls for boycotts which divide people and reduce understanding.

 It is nonsense to claim the UK as a whole is opposed to sanctions against Israel. Only self-serving supporters of the apartheid regime oppose sanctions.

The UK position on evictions, demolitions, and settlements is longstanding and clear. We oppose these activities. We urge the Government of Israel to cease its policies related to settlement expansion immediately, and instead work towards a two state solution. Settlements are illegal under international law, and present an obstacle to peace.

We want to see a contiguous West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as part of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, based on 1967 borders. Our position was reflected in our support for UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and we continue to urge Israel at the highest level to halt settlement expansion immediately.

• You may well oppose these things but that’s not enough. Haven’t you noticed – the Israelis don’t give a damn? What HM Government wants to see doesn’t matter to them. Their expansion programme is unstoppable except by applying firm and effective consequences. UNSCR 2334 was adopted four and a half years ago. It says Israel’s settlement activity constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law and has “no legal validity”.

It demands that Israel stop such activity and fulfill its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Is Israel biting its nails thinking the sky is about to fall in on them? No, it laughs in the UN’s face. What has the British government and other members of the Security Council done in that time to concentrate Israel’s mind and ensure compliance?

We advise British businesses to bear in mind the British Government’s view on the illegality of settlements under international law when considering their investments and activities in the region. Ultimately, it will be the decision of an individual or company whether to operate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, but the British Government would neither encourage nor offer support to such activity.

• Nevertheless you continually reward Israel for its crimes against humanity with favoured trading deals and special collaboration agreements.

We have also made clear our concerns about the increasing rate of demolitions and evictions of Palestinians. The UK is focused on preventing demolitions and evictions from happening in the first place through our legal aid programme, which supports Palestinians facing demolition or home eviction.

• The demolitions and evictions have been going on for 73 years. You haven’t in the least been focused on preventing them. And using UK taxpayers’ money to sustain Israel’s criminal policy is utterly gross.

As a strong friend of Israel, and one which has stood up for Israel when it faces bias and unreasonable criticism, we are continuing to urge Israel to not take steps such as these, which move us away from our shared goals of peace and security.

• Why are you “a strong friend” of this apartheid entity in the first place? You shame us all. Israel’s idea of peace and security is far removed from anyone else’s. It’s shocking to hear that you (implying we) “share” their goals.

The occupation will not end and peace will not be achieved by symbolic measures, but by real movement towards renewed peace negotiations which create a viable Palestinian state, living in peace and security side-by-side with Israel.

We will continue to press Israel and the Palestinians strongly on the need to refrain from taking actions, which make peace more difficult. And will continue to encourage further confidence building steps towards meaningful bilateral peace negotiations between the parties.

 What, more lopsided ‘negotiations’ overseen by the most dishonest broker on the planet? Are you SERIOUS? The occupation will end and peace will be achieved only when justice is done and seen to be done. International law has spoken. Now deliver it, please, instead of endless shaming us with your dangerous delusions.

The entire British Government would do well to recall George Washington’s wise words: “The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave… a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.”

Yes, “slave” fits Israel’s stooges at Westminster admirably.

Stuart Littlewood
9 June 2021

AUTHOR DETAILS

Stuart Littlewood

After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics he served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. With a lifelong passion for photography he has produced two photo-documentary books, one of which can be read online at http://www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk.

http://www.radiofreepalestine.org.ukstu@f8.eclipse.co.uk

Hajja Nafisa: The story of a special bond with Al-Aqsa Mosque

Sara Dajani

9 June 2021 19:04 UTC

Meet Nafisa Khuwais, the 68-year-old lady from Jerusalem who is banned from al-Aqsa Mosque yet she continues to drive worshippers to the holy site every day using her Tuk tuk

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هكذا تكلَّم السنوار

سعادة مصطفى أرشيد _

ألقى قائد حماس في غزة خطاباً يوم السبت الماضي، جاء اقرب إلى حديث مطول مع مجموعة مختارة من الأكاديميين، ومثل فرصة مهمة لمعرفة الشخص الذي قاد الحرب الأخيرة، وأصبح الاسم الأبرز فلسطينياً، معرفة مباشرة لشخصه وأسلوبه وفكره وسياسات حركة حماس خصوصاً، والمقاومة عموماً. فالحديث هو وثيقة سياسية بامتياز، يمكن اعتمادها لزمن آتٍ.

قدّم السنوار تحليلاً متماسكاً لظروف ما قبل الحرب وشرح كيف تدحرجت الأحداث لتصل إلى المواجهة، إذ اعتبر أنّ تراجع السلطة عن التفاهمات الوطنية التي جرت بين حركتي حماس وفتح ثم مع باقي الفصائل، وقدمت بها حركة حماس التنازل تلو التنازل، في سبيل الوصول إلى هذه التفاهمات والشروع ببناء نظام فلسطيني جديد وإنهاء الانقسام، فتراجعت عن إصرارها على تزامن الانتخابات التشريعية مع الرئاسية وانتخابات المجلس الوطني، لتقبل بكامل وجهه نظر السلطة بأن تجري انتخابات المجلس التشريعي أولاً وقبلت بتغيير قانون الانتخابات ليصبح قانون النسبية الكاملة والقوائم، إلا أنّ السلطة في رام الله، ما لبثت أن تراجعت، والسلطة لم تغادر موقعها الذي لا يرى أية بدائل للتفاوض، ولا يرى أنّ العملية الديمقراطية هي أساس الحكم ومصدر شرعيته، وإنما الحكم يقوم ويستمر بالإيفاء بالالتزامات التي قررها اتفاق أوسلو وما تلاه من ملاحق أمنية، يرى السنوار أنّ الوصول إلى هذه الحالة من الخلاف الفلسطيني – الفلسطيني، قد صنع شعوراً زائفاً لدى الاحتلال، بأنه يستطيع والحالة كذلك تمرير مخططاته بالقدس، فكانت أحداث باب العمود وتلتها أحداث حي الشيخ جراح والمسجد الأقصى، تحرك الشعب الفلسطيني بكلّ أطيافه وتشظياته على قلب رجل واحد، وهنا اضطرت المقاومة للتدخل، واضعة القدس تحت جناحها وحمايتها، بعد أن خذل المدينة الجميع بمن فيهم عمان ورام الله.

اتسم حديث السنوار بالشعبويّة والتعبويّة والدعم النفسي، وأدى ولا ريب إلى إكمال دور الصواريخ في إنعاش الحالة المعنوية لعموم أهل فلسطين، بعد مرحلة من الإحباط وانعدام اليقين وانحدار الثقة بالنفس، وأكد في السياق على المكانة التي منحتها الحرب والمقاومة لمن يقاتل ويقاوم، وعلى امتلاك قراري الحرب والسلم، ثم تحدّث في تفاصيل المعركة ومقدار القوة التي استعملتها المقاومة ومقدار القوة التي لا زالت تملكها، فيما الضعف والوهن لم يتسلل إلى النفس المقاومة والى المواطن الغزيّ، في حين انكشفت أكذوبة المشروع المعادي الذي لا تستطيع التكنولوجيا والقوة المجردة التمويه على مقدار ضعفه وهشاشته، فهو ليس إلا بيت عنكبوت. الحصار سوف يُرفَع – أو أنّ ظروف الحصار ستكون أقلّ صرامة – وأنّ ازدهاراً سيلمسه أهل غزة بالقريب، فيما إعادة إعمار ما دمّرته الحرب سيكون سريعاً، بإشراف المقاومة التي لا تحتاج لمدّ اليد لأموال الإعمار، فلديها كثير وسيأتيها كثير من أصدقائها وشركائها في محور المقاومة والممانعة الذي أكد الانتماء له، وإعادة الإعمار لن يكون لرام الله دور فيها، وهو الأمر الذي يؤيده بقوة عموم أهل غزة، بمن فيهم اتحاد المقاولين، ومعهم من اكتوى بنار الخلاف بين غزة ورام الله التي دفّعتهم ثمن خلاف ليسوا مسؤولين عنه.

عبر الطريقة الشعبوية، تحدث السنوار في عمق السياسة، أكد على استقلالية القرار – الحرب والسلم – وعلى ولاية المقاومة على القدس وعلى شرعية تمثيلها للشعب الفلسطيني في كافة أماكن انتشاره، الأمر الذي كان جلياً في الالتفاف حول المقاومة، – وكأنه يقول – بما يمثل تصويتاً وانتخاباً وتفويضاً للمقاومة، وأبلغ مستمعيه من أكاديميين ومشاهدين بما ستعرضه حماس في لقاءات القاهرة يومي السبت والأحد المقبلين، مؤكداً أنّ تفاهمات ما قبل الحرب التي تراجعت رام الله عنها، لم تعد قائمة، فما بعد الانتصار ليس كما قبله، وقدّم نصيحة شبه مباشرة لرام الله، بأن تكفّ عن طرح مبادرات وأفكار من مثل حكومة وفاق، أو قيادة مشتركة، فهذا ليس إلا كلاماً فارغاً ومضيعه للوقت، ولم يعد وارداً في أجندة المقاومة التي أصبحت صاحبة اليد الطولى، وأشار إلى أنّ منظمة التحرير بتركيبتها الحالية عاجزة وغير جامعة وهي تحتاج إلى إعادة بناء تبدأ بانتخابات مجلس وطني أولاً ومن ثم تستكمل هيئاتها بموجب الانتخابات، وأن لذلك أهمية وأولوية تفوق انتخابات المجلس التشريعي، وكانت رسالته الأخيرة للمجتمع الدولي – والتي يُقال إنه أرسلها سابقاً عبر مصر وقطر – عن قبول حركة حماس باتفاق وطني، كما ورد في وثيقة الأسرى، ثم في التفاهمات الوطنية، يقضي بقبول دولة فلسطينية على حدود الرابع من حزيران وعاصمتها القدس، وهو شرط المقاومة البديل لشروط الرباعية الدولية.

إطلالة السنوار ولا شك موفقة، ضرورية وبالغة الأهمية لمعرفة الرجل وما يقول أولاً، والأهمّ لمعرفة برنامجه وسياسته ثانياً، ولكن، ولكي يستمرّ هذا التوفيق وتبقى للرجل صورته التي شاهدها الناس السبت الماضي، لا بد من تسجيل بعض الملاحظات :

أثبت السنوار منذ اليوم الأول للمعركة أنه صادق الوعد والفعل، وذلك منذ الساعة السادسة من مساء العاشر من أيار الماضي حين انطلقت الصواريخ في موعدها الدقيق من غزة للقدس، ونتمنى على الرجل أن يبقى دائماً كذلك، مصداقاً قولاً وفعلاً – وهو تمنّ مصدره الاحترام لا سوء الظنّ – فالأيام المقبلة سوف تكون أطول وأكثر أهمية من الأيام التي انقضت، والمعارك الآتية ولا بدّ، سوف تكون عديدة وأكثر ضراوة في نارها، وأشدّ أثراً في مفاعيلها ونتائجها السياسية، الأمر الذي يتطلّب دقة في القول وعدم الانسياق في مسارب الحماسة.

أطلقت المقاومة على المعركة اسم «سيف القدس»، وهي بلا ريب نقطة مركزية في الوجدان القومي والديني والسياسي، وكان حافز الحرب الدفاع عنها، وإعلان المسؤولية عنها والرعاية عليها، وحمايتها تتطلّب أدوات وجهوداً سياسية واجتماعية واقتصادية وحقوقية صادقة ومخلصة، تسير في موازاة العمل العسكري وتمثل رديفاً كفاحياً يتكامل معه. من هنا، فإنّ المقدسي أولاً والفلسطيني ثانياً ينتظر من المقاومة تطوير برامجها وتفعيل هذه الأدوات، وإيلاء المسائل المذكورة الأهمية التي تستحقها.

إنّ كثيراً من جمهور المقاومة ومناصريها، يتمنون على السنوار، أن يذكر دائماً أنّ الفضل في المعركة المجيدة، للمقاومة بكل عناصرها، وأنّ المقاومة هي من أنزله مكانته الرفيعة في السياسة وفي القلوب، الأمر الذي يدعوه أن يتحدث ويتعاطى مع موقعه بصفته الأكبر وبأنه قائد للمقاومة، ورمز من رموزها، لا قائداً لفصيل، فالعمل وإن تحقق بجزء مهم منه على يد حركة حماس، إلا أنّ جميع تشكيلات المقاومة كانت شريكة في هذا الإنجاز المجيد، ومعهم توحّد الشعب الفلسطيني من أعالي الجليل إلى أقاصي النقب ومن ساحل المتوسط إلى أعماق الأغوار ومن ورائهم الأمة بأسرها والعالم بأجمعه في لحظة تاريخية فارقة، تمثل فرصة فريدة لقائد وطن لا قائد فصيل.

* الكفير ـ جنين ـ فلسطين المحتلة

On the Politics of Victory and Defeat: How Gaza Dethroned the King of Israel

June 09th, 2021

King Bibi Feature photo

By Ramzy Baroud

Source

For Netanyahu, the biblical version of Israel was far more convincing than the secular Zionist ideology of yesteryears and by changing the narrative, he managed to redefine the support for Israel around the world.

How did Benjamin Netanyahu manage to serve as Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister? With a total of 15 years in office, Netanyahu surpassed the 12-year mandate of Israel’s founding father, David Ben Gurion. The answer to this question will become particularly critical for future Israeli leaders who hope to emulate Netanyahu’s legacy, now that his historic leadership is likely to end.

Netanyahu’s ‘achievements’ for Israel cannot be judged according to the same criteria as that of Ben Gurion. Both were staunch Zionist ideologues and savvy politicians. Unlike Ben Gurion, though, Netanyahu did not lead a so-called ‘war of independence,’ merging militias into an army and carefully constructing a ‘national narrative’ that helped Israel justify its numerous crimes against the indigenous Palestinians, at least in the eyes of Israel and its supporters.

The cliched explanation of Netanyahu’s success in politics is that he is a ‘survivor’, a hustler, a fox or, at best, a political genius. However, there is more to Netanyahu than mere soundbites. Unlike other right-wing politicians around the world, Netanyahu did not simply exploit or ride the wave of an existing populist movement. Instead, he was the main architect of the current version of Israel’s right-wing politics. If Ben Gurion was the founding father of Israel in 1948, Netanyahu is the founding father of the new Israel in 1996. While Ben Gurion and his disciples used ethnic cleansing, colonization and illegal settlement construction for strategic and military reasons, Netanyahu, while carrying on with the same practices, changed the narrative altogether.

For Netanyahu, the biblical version of Israel was far more convincing than the secular Zionist ideology of yesteryears. By changing the narrative, Netanyahu managed to redefine the support for Israel around the world, bringing together right-wing religious zealots, chauvinistic, Islamophobic, far-right and ultra-nationalist parties in the US and elsewhere.

Netanyahu’s success in rebranding the centrality of the idea of Israel in the minds of its traditional supporters was not a mere political strategy. He also shifted the balance of power in Israel by making Jewish extremists and illegal settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories his core constituency. Subsequently, he reinvented Israeli conservative politics altogether.

He also trained an entire generation of Israeli right-wing, far-right and ultra-nationalist politicians, giving rise to such unruly characters such as former Defense Minister and the leader of Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman, former Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, and former Defense Minister, and Netanyahu’s likely replacement, Naftali Bennett.

Indeed, a whole new generation of Israelis grew up watching Netanyahu take the right-wing camp from one success to another. For them, he is the savior. His hate-filled rallies and anti-peace rhetoric in the mid-1990s galvanized Jewish extremists, one of whom killed Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s former Prime Minister who engaged the Palestinian leadership through the ‘peace process’ and, ultimately, signed the Oslo Accords.

On Rabin’s death in November 1995, Israel’s political ‘left’ was devastated by right-wing populism championed by its new charismatic leader, Netanyahu, who, merely a few months later, became Israel’s youngest Prime Minister.

Despite the fact that, historically, Israeli politics is defined by its ever-changing dynamics, Netanyahu has helped the right prolong its dominance, completely eclipsing the once-hegemonic Labor Party. This is why the right loves Netanyahu. Under his reign, illegal Jewish colonies expanded unprecedentedly, and any possibility, however meager, of a two-state solution has been forever buried.

Additionally, Netanyahu changed the relationship between the US and Israel, where the latter was no longer a ‘client regime’ – not that it ever was in the strict definition of the term – but one that holds much sway over the US Congress and the White House.

Every attempt by Israel’s political elites to dislodge Netanyahu from power has failed. No coalition was powerful enough; no election outcome was decisive enough and no one was successful enough in convincing Israeli society that he could do more for them than Netanyahu has. Even when Gideon Sa’ar from Netanyahu’s own Likud party tried to stage his own coup against Netanyahu, he lost the vote and the support of the Likudists, later to be ostracized altogether.

Sa’ar later founded his own party, New Hope, continuing with the desperate attempt to oust the seemingly unconquerable Netanyahu. Four general elections within only two years still failed to push Netanyahu out. Every possible mathematical equation to unify various coalitions, all united by the single aim of defeating Netanyahu, has also failed. Each time, Netanyahu came back, with greater resolve to hang on to his seat, challenging contenders within his own party as well as his enemies from without. Even Israel’s court system, which is currently trying Netanyahu for corruption, was not powerful enough to compel disgraced Netanyahu to resign.

Until May of this year, Palestinians seemed to be marginal, if at all relevant to this conversation. Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation looked as if they were mollified, thanks to Israeli violence and Palestinian Authority acquiescence. Palestinians in Gaza, despite occasional displays of defiance, were battling a 15-year-long Israeli siege. Palestinian communities inside Israel seemed alien to any political conversation pertaining to the struggle and aspirations of the Palestinian people.

All of these illusions were dispelled when Gaza rose in solidarity with a small Palestinian community in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem. Their resistance ignited a torrent of events that, within days, unified all Palestinians, everywhere. Consequently, the popular Palestinian revolt has shifted the discourse in favor of Palestinians and against the Israeli occupation.

Perfectly depicting the significance of that moment, the Financial Times newspaper wrote, “The ferocity of the Palestinian anger caught Israel by surprise.” Netanyahu, whose extremist goons were unleashed against Palestinians everywhere, similar to his army being unleashed against besieged Gaza, found himself at an unprecedented disadvantage. It took only 11 days of war to shatter Israel’s sense of ‘security’, expose its sham democracy and spoil its image around the world.

The once untouchable Netanyahu became the mockery of Israeli politics. His conduct in Gaza was described by leading Israeli politicians as “embarrassing”, a defeat and a “surrender”.

Netanyahu struggled to redeem his image. It was too late. As strange as this may sound, it was not Bennett or Lieberman who finally dethroned the “King of Israel’, but the Palestinians themselves.

Sayyed Nasrallah: If Lebanese Government Fails to Address Energy Crisis, Hezbollah Will Purchase Fuel from Iran (Video)

June 8, 2021

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Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah asserted on Tuesday that Hezbollah rejects the early parliamentary election in Lebanon and supports holding it on the scheduled time despite all the circumstances.

Addressing Al-Manar celebration on the Channel’s 30th anniversary, Sayyed Nasrallah called on the political parties demanding the early election to contribute to the cabinet formation that can address the socioeconomic crisis and added that they just intend to achieve partisan, not national, gains.

Sayyed Nasrallah added that Hezbollah is still exerting all the possible efforts to form the new government that can tackle the power shortage and scarcity of energy sources and foodstuffs, calling on the parties concerned with the creation process to take the scenes of this crisis into consideration.

Sayyyed Nasrallah pointed out that the crisis in Lebanon dates back to around 40 years amid various circumstances and is caused mainly by the weak performance of the public institutions, adding that ongoing stalemate may persist despite the efforts exerted by Hezbollah and House Speaker Nabih Berri.

Hezbollah Leader considered that, since the radical solution to the economic crisis can never be reached in the short term, the government must address the current situation by waging a war against monopoly and arresting the monopolizers, describing them as murderers and traitors and offering the government 20 thousand volunteers in face of this lesion.

Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that the fuel crisis which obliges hundreds of cars to lineup at the gas station is humiliating, adding that government can address this predicament by one courageous decision–importing fuel from Iran.

In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that the Iranian offer to sell Lebanon fuel in the Lebanese pound is still valid, warning against surrendering to the US pressures aimed at preventing Lebanon from making this deal.

Sayyed Nasrallah added that all the reports about rationalizing the government subsidies are incorrect, wondering whether the procrastination in the governmental file aims at cancelling all such subsidies as the IMF aid program stipulates.

If the Lebanese government fails to address the fuel crisis, Hezbollah will purchase fuel from Iran, Sayyed Nasrallah said.

“We will bring the fuel ships to Beirut port, and let the state prevent the people from getting this fuel to the Lebanese people.”

Sayyed Nasrallah added that approving the financing card that will around 750 thousand families, reiterating that the creation of the new government is the basic requirement of confronting the crisis.

Finally, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Al-Manar TV will continue to followup the upcoming victories, reassuring that he is in good health and reiterating his hope that he will pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque in A-Quds.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Palestinian Resistance Warns, ‘Israel’ Obeys!

Palestinian Resistance Warns, ‘Israel’ Obeys!

By Staff

The ‘Israelis’ succumbed to the warning of the Palestinian resistance against holding their so-called ‘Flag Parade’ near al-Aqsa Mosque and the occupied holy city of al-Quds.

Shortly after member of the political bureau of Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, Khalil al-Hayieh warned the ‘Israeli’ occupation, mediators, and the entire world from the so-called ‘Flag Parade’ being held near al-Aqsa Mosque and occupied al-Quds, ‘Israeli’ media reported that the event that was organized by Zionist settlers in the occupied holy al-Quds has been called off.

Al-Hayieh further stressed that he hopes that this message be received clearly not to have Thursday a day similar to May 11th.

On that date, ‘Israeli’ occupation settlers ran for shelters or flattened themselves on pavements in communities more than 70 km up the coast amid sounds of explosions, with the often-boasted ‘Iron Dome’ failing to intercept most of the missiles. The Tel Aviv regime admitted that hundreds of rockets had been fired by Palestinian resistance factions.

For the occupation entity, the Palestinian resistance’s targeting of Tel Aviv, its commercial capital, posed a new challenge in the confrontation with the country’s resistance factions.

Elsewhere in his remarks, al-Hayieh stressed that all forms of anti-occupation resistance represent the only way to unite the Palestinian people.

In the same respect, Head of Religious Zionist Party Bezalel Smotrich admitted that the ‘Israeli’ occupation police commissioner is neither able to protect participants in this parade in al-Quds streets nor settlers in Lod, Akka, and Ramlah, and this makes Hamas leader in Gaza Strip, Yehya Sinwar, now in charge of al-Quds.


Israeli Occupation Authorities Refuse to Approve Flag March in Jerusalem

June 7, 2021

Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli occupation police on Monday refused to approve a flag march intended to run through East Jerusalem, according to the local media.

The Zionist media cited organizers of the march as saying that they have been informed of the police decision to cancel the event over fears of sparking tensions with the Palestinians.

Far-right Israeli groups have called for the flag march on Thursday to pass through the Old City’s Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem.

Several security and military officials, including Defense Minister Benny Gantz, warned against allowing the march for fears of inflaming the situation with the Palestinians.

Palestinian Resistance factions have called to firmly stand against the ‘flag march’ and defend Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds against Zionist violations.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and other websites

ما تخافوش

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07-06-2021

خلال الشهر الماضي وما شهدته مدينة القدس والأحياء العربية فيها بصورة خاصة من مواجهات، ظهر أن الشباب الفلسطيني في القدس والأراضي المحتلة عام 48 الذي يُعرف بالجيل الثالث، أي الجيل الذي ولد في ظل الاحتلال، يُسقط الرهان على الأسرلة التي شكلت خياراً عمل عليه الكيان ضمن خطة تذويب القضية الفلسطينية والهوية العربية للسكان الأصليين للمناطق المحتلة، واستثمر الكيان الزمن الفاصل منذ مسيرة التفاوض واتفاق أوسلو لتوفير فرص التغاضي عن خطته والاستفراد بأبناء القدس والمناطق المحتلة عام 48.

الذين نهضوا بالانتفاضة الفلسطينية الجديدة التي أسست لجولة الحرب الأخيرة وعنوانها القدس، هم شباب وصبايا فلسطين الذين ولدوا بعد الانتفاضة الأولى، ورافقوا وهم صغار انتفاضة الأقصى وانتصار جنوب لبنان عام 2000، وواكبوا مسار التفاوض البائس، ومسار التطبيع المشين، وأحداث المنطقة سواء في سورية أو في ظهور محور المقاومة، ومقابله تحالف يجمع حكومات الخليج وكيان الاحتلال تحت عنوان الخطر الإيراني المشترك، فقرّروا ودون امتلاك أدوات حزبيّة، ودون الانتماء للتشكيلات السائدة فلسطينياً، وفي مواجهة دعوات للانضواء تحت سقف اللعبة الداخليّة للكيان، عبر انتخابات الكنيست وقبول هوية «عرب إسرائيل»، كما تفرض حصيلة أية تسوية وفق حلّ الدولتين، ستكون أحياء بعيدة عن القدس تحمل تسمية القدس كعاصمة لها، مثل حي أبو ديس، ولن يكون لأبناء مناطق الـ 48 اي مكان فيها، وشق خيار هذا الجيل طريقه وفرض حضوره، وصار عنوان الحدث.

جوهر سياسة الكيان تجاه هذا الجيل قام على الترغيب ومشروع الدمج والتذويب، وقد فشل فشلاً ذريعاً، فقد تكفلت الطبيعة العنصرية للكيان ومشاريع التهجير والاستيلاء على المنازل والأراضي، والإبعاد عن الوظائف، والتضييق في المعاملات الرسمية، عناصر تذكير مستمرة بالاحتلال، وبالهوية الفلسطينية بالمقابل، بينما ظهر بوضوح فشل أي رهان على حماية أو إنجاز يمكن أن تحققهما المشاركة في الانتخابات، وسقف ما بلغته هذه الانتخابات هو توفير حجر شطرنج يمكن التلاعب به في التحالفات الحكوميّة في الكيان، يتمّ حذفه فور انتهاء ترتيب اللعبة، فقرر هذا الجيل خوض المواجهة في الشارع بالصوت والكلمة، مستفيداً من ثورة المعلوماتيّة والاتصالات، ومن كفاءات ومهارات لغويّة وتواصليّة أتقنها الشباب والصبايا الفلسطينيون يخاطبون العالم على مدار الساعة شارحين قضيّتهم وعدالتها.

جاءت المواجهة الأخيرة لتكشف طبيعة الحرب على الوعي، والمعادلة التي صاغها الجيل الثالث بمواجهة معادلة بن غوريون القائمة على زرع الخوف، هي الكلمة التي قالتها الناشطة منى الكرد التي مثلت رمزاً لشباب حي الشيخ جراح في القدس لحظة اعتقالها، «ما تخافوش»، وبعد حرب الأيام العشرة وإعلان السيد حسن نصرالله أن القدس تعادل حرباً إقليمية، زادت ثقة هذا الجيل بأنه يُمسك مفاتيح الحرب في المنطقة. ومن خلال هذا الإمساك بمفاتيح الحرب، تستنفر واشنطن على مدار الساعة لتتابع كل حدث، ويستنفر بنيامين نتنياهو ومن خلفه المستوطنون والمتطرفون لخوض معركة القدس بتصعيد الاعتقالات والتحضير لمسيرة الأعلام الصهيونية في القدس، أملاً بتفجير المنطقة، وتصير بيد هذا الجيل دفة القيادة على معادلات إقليمية ودولية، لتنتصر معادلة «ما تخافوش».

Zionist Tyranny Unchanged Under Any Israeli Leadership

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Netanyahu’s days as prime minister may be numbered.

London’s Guardian called his “downfall (if occurs) long overdue,” adding:

“Even if we should have no illusions about what comes next, (the end of the Netanyahu era) is a cause for celebration.”

The glue allying opposition coalition members is wanting him disempowered, gone, and never to regain what he lost.

Hold the cheers on what’s ahead if the 8-party coalition for change is sworn into office and retains power.

First up as new coalition prime minister Naftali Bennett once said Palestinian self-determination “would be a disaster for the next 200 years” if happens.

He, second-in-line to be prime minister after two years Yair Lapid and most coalition members are militantly hostile to equal rights for non-Jews.

The scourge of Zionist tyranny remains unchanged regardless of Jewish state rule — how it’s always been throughout its history.

Extremist right-wing coalitions run the country, Jews alone afforded rights denied to Occupied Palestinians and Arab citizens.

Israeli Basic Laws are the equivalent of US constitutional ones.

Nation-State Basic Law illegitimately legitimizes Jewish supremacy over Palestinians and Israeli Arab citizens — what colonization, occupation, and apartheid are all about, enforced by state terror.

Unwanted Arabs are discriminated against in virtually all aspects of their lives — their well-being and safety jeopardized by Zionist tyranny.

Israel’s Nation State Law is the Jewish state’s version of Nazi Germany’s oppressive Nuremberg Laws.

Like Jews in Nazi Germany, Palestinians in Israel are mistreated as subhumans.

They’re forced to endure virtually every imaginable indignity, degradation and crime against humanity.

B’Tselem called Israel “a regime of Jewish state supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

“This is apartheid,” it stressed. Separate and unequal defines how unwanted Palestinians are mistreated.

Israel’s Nation State law calls for formally annexing historic Palestine altogether.

It institutionalizes discrimination against non-Jews.

B’Tselem’s Executive Director, Hagai El-Ad earlier said the following: 

“The fundamental tenets of Israel’s regime, although already implemented for many years, have recently grown more explicit.” 

“This happened both with the discussion of de jure annexation after decades of de facto annexation, and with the enactment of the Nation State Basic Law, which took the existing discrimination against Palestinians and turned it into an open constitutional principle.”

The Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said the following about Israel’s racist nation-state law:

It “enshrines Jewish supremacy over Palestinian citizens.” 

“The law has distinct apartheid characteristics and requires racist acts as a constitutional value.”

It “guarantees the ethnic-religious character of Israel as exclusively Jewish and entrenches the privileges enjoyed by Jewish citizens, while simultaneously anchoring discrimination against Palestinian citizens and legitimizing exclusion, racism, and systemic inequality.”

It flies in the face of core international law.

Article 7(1)(j) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states that “(t)he ‘crime of apartheid’ means inhumane acts…committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

If sworn into office this month, the anti-Netanyahu coalition will enforce apartheid viciousness like its predecessors.

Long-suffering Occupied Palestinians and Israeli Arab citizens won’t ever live free in their own homes, on their own land, in their own country until apartheid ends and Israeli officials culpable for high crimes are held accountable once and for all.

True enough, “Netanyahu embodied dishonest, divisive demagoguery,” and contempt for the rule of law as the London Guardian explained.

What replaces him may be worse.

On Friday, Likudnik Knesset speaker Yariv Levin said he’ll announce formation of the Lapid/Bennett-led coalition on Monday.

It’s step one before it’s swearing into power as new Israeli government.

A coalition statement called on Levin to “enable the formation of a functioning unity government that will extract us from the chaos.”

He said “(i)t cannot be that coalition agreements will be hidden from the Knesset and the public.”

Bennett-led Yamina party member Nir Orbach was undecided on if he’ll support empowerment of the anti-Netanyahu coalition.

As a Knesset member, his backing is crucial to maintain its razor-thin 61-seat majority.

After meeting with Bennett on Friday, he tweeted:

“I will do all I can to ensure it will succeed,” referring to the anti-Netanyahu 8-party coalition.

On Friday, another earlier undecided Yamina party member, Idit Silman, said she’ll “be voting in favor of (the new) unity government. It’s final.”

On Friday, anti-Netanyahu critic Haaretz expressed concern about whether he’ll pull an 11th hour “stinking trick” to try retaining power.

Knowing how he operates, nothing can be ruled out by a Machiavellian figure perhaps willing to do almost anything to remain prime minister.

Next week or shortly thereafter it’ll be known if he succeeds or if his reign of terror ended once and for all.

Men, Women Fighters, and Che Guevara Banners: Socialists of Gaza Take Center Stage (PHOTOS)

June 3, 2021

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Palestine’s largest socialist movement, held a large rally in Gaza City on Wednesday, June 2. 

The rally was held under the banner of celebrating the victory of the Resistance in the latest Israeli war on the besieged Strip, which started on May 10 and lasted for 11 days. 

The rally was also motivated by another objective, asserting the centrality of the socialist movement in Palestinian resistance and political discourse. 

Thousands of Palestinians, mostly PFLP supporters, turned out to the massive rally, where hundreds of men and women fighters marched in the Rimal neighborhood in Gaza City.

“From the top of the ruins of our homes, leveled to the ground by our enemy to break the will of our people and our Resistance, we insist that Palestine is one and that we do not accept compromises, backdoor dealings or divisions,” Jamil Muzher, a top PFLP official in Gaza, said. 

“We bring to you greetings from the Secretary-General (of the PFLP) Ahmad Sa’adat to the Arab and Palestinian people and to the free people of the world as we celebrate the victory of our people everywhere,” Muzher said in reference to the imprisoned leader of the PFLP. Sa’adat has been a prisoner in Israel since 2002.

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Muzher also commended the “tough resisters” of the PFLP’s armed wing, Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, along with the armed wings of all Palestinian political groups, including Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and other movements. 

“Our people have fought for over 73 years and resisted in every possible form including popular and armed resistance,” Muzher said, vowing to continue on the same path. 

The rally, which was joined by the Palestine Chronicle correspondent in the Gaza Strip, featured men and women fighters, Che Guevara banners, and posters of Palestinian prisoners from the socialist movement.

The rally is considered the largest of its kind in Gaza in many years. 

Below, is a selection of exclusive photos from the PFLP rally. For the full gallery, visit the Palestine Chronicle page on Facebook. 

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

(The Palestine Chronicle)

How Palestinian Resistance Altered the Equation

JUNE 1, 2021

Photograph Source: Neil Ward – CC BY 2.0

BY RAMZY BAROUD

The ceasefire on May 21 has, for now, brought the Israeli war on Gaza to an end. However, this ceasefire is not permanent and constant Israeli provocations anywhere in Palestine could reignite the bloody cycle all over again. Moreover, the Israeli siege on Gaza remains in place, as well as the Israeli military occupation and the rooted system of apartheid that exists all over Palestine.

This, however, does not preclude the fact that the 11-day Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip has fundamentally altered some elements about Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians, especially the Palestinian Resistance, in all of its manifestations.

Let us examine the main actors in the latest confrontation and briefly discuss the impact of the Israeli war and the determined Palestinian resistance on their respective positions.

‘Mowing the Grass’ No More

‘Mowing the grass’ is an Israeli term used with reference to the habitual Israeli attacks and war on besieged Gaza, aimed at delineating the need for Israel to routinely eradicate or degrade the capabilities of the various Palestinian resistance groups on the street.

‘Mowing the grass’ also has political benefits, as it often neatly fit into Israel’s political agendas – for example, the need to distract from one political crisis or another in Israel or to solidify Israeli society around its leadership.

May 2021 will be remembered as the time that ‘mowing the grass’ can no longer be easily invoked as a military and political strategy by the Israeli government, as the Gaza resistance and the popular rebellion that was ignited throughout all of Palestine has raised the price by several-fold that Israel paid for its violent provocations.

While Israeli military and political strategists want to convince us, and themselves, that their relationship with Gaza and the Palestinian Resistance has not changed, it actually has and, arguably, irreversibly so.

The Altered Equation

The Palestinian fight for freedom has also been fundamentally altered, not only because of the unprecedented resilience of Palestinian resistance, but the unity of the Palestinian people, and the rise of a post-Oslo/peace process Palestinian nation that is united around a new popular discourse, one which does not differentiate between Palestinians in Jerusalem, Gaza, or anywhere else.

Palestinian unity around resistance, not peace process, is placing Israel in a new kind of quandary. For the first time in its history, Israel cannot win the war on the Palestinians. Neither can it lose the war, because conceding essentially means that Israel is ready to offer compromises – end its occupation, dismantle apartheid, and so on. This is why Israel opted for a one-sided ceasefire. Though humiliating, it preferred over-reaching a negotiated agreement, thus sending a message that the Palestinian Resistance works.

Still, the May war demonstrated that Israel is no longer the only party that sets the rules of the game. Palestinians are finally able to make an impact and force Israel to abandon its illusions that Palestinians are passive victims and that resistance is futile.

Equally important, we can no longer discuss popular resistance and armed resistance as if they are two separate notions or strategies. It would have been impossible for the armed resistance to be sustained, especially under the shocking amount of Israeli firepower, without the support of Palestinians at every level of society and regardless of their political and ideological differences.

Facing a single enemy that did not differentiate between civilians and fighters, between a Hamas or a Fatah supporter, the Palestinian people throughout Palestine moved past all of their political divisions and factional squabbles. Palestinian youth coined new terminologies, ones that were centered around resistance, liberation, solidarity and so on. This shift in the popular discourse will have important consequences that have the potential of cementing Palestinian unity for many years to come.

Israel’s Allies Not Ready to Change

The popular revolt in Palestine has taken many by surprise, including Israel’s allies. Historically, Israel’s Western supporters have proven to be morally bankrupt, but the latest war has proved them to be politically bankrupt as well.

Throughout the war, Washington and other Western capitals parroted the same old line about Israel’s right to defend itself, Israel’s security and the need to return to the negotiation table. This is an archaic and useless position because it did not add anything new to the old, empty discourse. If anything, it merely demonstrates their inability to evolve politically and to match the dramatic changes underway in occupied Palestine.

Needless to say, the new US Administration of Joe Biden, in particular, has missed a crucial opportunity to prove that it was different from that of the previous Donald Trump Administration. Despite, at times, guarded language and a few nuances, Biden behaved precisely as Trump would have if he was still  President.

What ‘Palestinian leadership’?

The head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and his circle of supporters represent a bygone era. While they are happy to claim a large share of whatever international financial support that could pour in to rebuild Gaza, they do not represent any political trend in Palestine at the moment.

Abbas’s decision to cancel Palestine’s elections scheduled for May and July left him more isolated. Palestinians are ready to look past him; in fact, they already have. This so-called leadership will not be able to galvanize upon this historic moment built on Palestinian unity and resistance.

The Palestinian Authority is corrupt and dispensable. Worse, it is an obstacle in the way of Palestinian freedom. Palestine needs a leadership that represents all Palestinian people everywhere, one that is truly capable of leading the people as they attempt to chart a clear path to their coveted freedom.

Expanding the Circle of Solidarity

The incredible amount of global solidarity which made headline news all over the world was a clear indication that the many years of preparedness at a grassroots level have paid off. Aside from the numerous expressions of solidarity, one particular aspect deserves further analysis: the geographic diversity of this solidarity which is no longer confined to a few cities in a few countries.

Pro-Palestine solidarity protests, vigils, conferences, webinars, art, music, poetry and many more such expressions were manifest from Kenya to South Africa, to Pakistan to the UK and dozens of countries around the world. The demographics, too, have changed, with minorities and people of color either leading or taking center stage of many of these protests, a phenomenon indicative of the rising intersectionality between Palestinians and numerous oppressed groups around the globe.

A critical fight ahead for Palestinians is the fight of delegitimizing and exposing Israeli colonialism, racism and apartheid. This fight can be won at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Court of Justice (ICJ), UNESCO and numerous international and regional organizations, in addition to the countless civil society groups and community centers the world over.

For this to happen, every voice matters, every vote counts, from India to Brazil, from Portugal to South Africa, from China to New Zealand, and so on. Israel understands this perfectly, thus the global charm offensive that right-wing Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been leading for years. It is essential that we, too, understand this, and reach out to each UN member as part of a larger strategy to deservingly isolate Israel for ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

The Palestinian keffiyeh: All you need to know about its origins

A closer look at the origins of Palestine’s iconic headscarf and how it transcended borders

Palestinian women masked with traditional keffiyeh near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank (AFP/Abbas Momani)

By Indlieb Farazi Saber

28 May 2021 13:53 UTC 

A distinctly Palestinian black-and-white chequered piece of cloth, the keffiyeh is described by some as the nation’s unofficial flag.

Long synonymous with the Palestinian cause, the simple square-metre fabric, traditionally folded diagonally into a triangle and worn draped over the head of rural Palestinian men, is today securely fashioned around the necks of human rights activists, anti-war protesters, sports stars and celebrities; transcending gender, religion and nationality.

Muhammad Walid, 49, from Jerusalem says he remembers seeing his father and uncles wear the keffiyeh in his earliest memories.

“The older generations would wear it on their heads,” he says. “I started wearing it as a teenager, but around my neck. For me, it represents the Palestinian struggle and cause.”

It’s a similar story for Riad Halak, 62, also from Jerusalem, who says: “It’s a tradition of Palestine. I started wearing one when I was 11 years old, and I still wear it today on special days like the Nakba. It’s part of my identity.”

While the keffiyeh’s status as an icon of Palestinian nationhood is undisputed, its origins lie further east, in what is now Iraq.

Keffiyeh Mural
A mural depicts the Dome of the Rock and a woman wearing the keffiyeh (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)

The word itself means “relating to Kufa,” a reference to the Iraqi city south of Baghdad that sits along the Euphrates river, but little else is known about the roots of the keffiyeh. One account suggests it came about in the seventh century, during a battle between Arab and Persian forces near Kufa. The Arabs were said to have used cords made from camel hair to secure their headdresses and in order to recognise their comrades in the heat of battle. After their victory, the headgear was kept on as a reminder of their triumph. 

Others say the fabric, sometimes called the hata in the Levant, has origins that pre-date Islam and can be traced back to Mesopotamia, when it was worn by Sumerian and Babylonian priests around 5,000 years ago. 

“Its origins are open to speculation,” Anu Lingala, author of A Socio-political History of the Keffiyeh, tells Middle East Eye. “Until very recently, these types of designed objects were not taken seriously as subjects of academic research. The exception was for designed objects that were associated with elite status and wealth, whereas the keffiyeh was traditionally associated with working classes.”

Shorthand for the struggle

Although no longer linked to social status, the keffiyeh’s modern roots in Palestine are among the fellah, or rural workers, as well as the Bedouin. The two groups would wear the garment over their heads to cover the backs of their neck and protect themselves from the heat of the summer sun and the cold during the winter.

According to Lingala: “Covering one’s head was an important principle in traditional Palestinian culture.

Israel-Palestine: British media coverage ‘skewed’ and ‘biased’, report finds

“[The keffiyeh] afforded breathability through air pockets created by folds in the fabric,” she says.

The more educated, urban Palestinians, or effendi, would wear the fez or tarboush, a deep-red felt hat popularised by Ottoman ruler Mahmud II and adopted by locals as a standard form of dress. 

Cultural historian Jane Tynan has written about the scarf’s significance in the book Fashion and Politics. She says: “The Ottoman Empire’s dress codes had the effect of erasing ethno-religious identities, but would have been worn as a norm by urban dwellers.”

After the Turkish empire’s loss of its Near Eastern territories during the First World War, and the Arab Revolt against British colonial rule in 1936, Palestinian nationalists also used the keffiyeh as a means of covering their faces to hide their identity and avoid arrest, spurring unsuccessful calls among the British to ban the headscarves. Instead, in a “pivotal moment in Palestinian culture,” Palestinians united in adopting the fabric as a sign of solidarity. The symbol remained a staple icon of Palestinian nationhood after the Nakba and the establishment of the state of Israel.

“Palestinians of all social classes abandoned the fez and united around wearing the keffiyeh, making it difficult to identify the revolutionaries,” Maha Saca, head of the Palestinian Heritage Centre in Bethlehem, tells Middle East Eye.

Tynan, an assistant professor in design history and theory at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, says that “from its function in the revolt as a tool to disguise the identity of the wearer from British authorities, the keffiyeh became shorthand for the Palestinian struggle”. 

Yasser Arafat lead the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) from 1969 until his death in 2004 (AFP)
Yasser Arafat, the late leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, is said to have arranged his keffiyeh to resemble the map of pre-1948 Palestine (AFP)

Lingala makes a similar point: “As Palestinians’ collective identity and right to the land continued to be increasingly threatened… they sought to hold onto items that represented ‘cultural continuity’.”

Years later, in the 1960s, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat popularised the garment among a global audience. According to Saca: “Abu Ammar [Arafat] would never be seen at any event without it.”

His keffiyeh was always carefully positioned on his head, with the longer end of the fabric placed over his right shoulder – some say it was laid out to resemble a map of pre-1948 Palestine. 

Muhammad Walid says his keffiyeh represents the Palestinian struggle and cause (Muhammad Walid)
Muhammad Walid, from Jerusalem, says his keffiyeh represents the Palestinian struggle (Muhammad Walid)

When Israeli occupation authorities banned the Palestinian flag from 1967 until the Oslo Accords in 1993, the scarf took on a potent symbolism, according to Ted Swedenburg, professor of anthropology at Arkansas University.

“Portable and visible symbols” were important to Palestinians, Swedenburg says, adding that with the flag banned by the occupation for alomost 30 years, the keffiyeh, “to which so much rich symbolism and history was attached, served as an everyday, portable, visual expression of Palestinian identity”. 

Wheat, olives and honey

The distinct black stitching on the white cotton keffiyeh is said to have many symbolic meanings, and although none have been verified, Palestinians have no shortage of interpretations.

It has been described by some as “a fishing net, a honeycomb, the joining of hands, or the marks of dirt and sweat wiped off a worker’s brow”. Others suggest the design represents ears of wheat, in reference to Jericho, one of the first known cities to cultivate the grain.

Palestinian performance artist Fargo Tbakhi adds “barbed wire” to the list, explaining the pattern could depict “that ever-present symbol of the occupation,” although he relates most to the fishing net design, also called the fatha (opening).

“[I see it] as a symbol of our identity, a model for being Palestinian, it articulates one possible futurity for our people,” he writes in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

“A fishnet is an image of collectivism, of entanglement and dependence: in a net, singular strands become something larger, stronger. As one strand, I am always yearning to be knotted together with others, so that we are better able to hold, to catch.”

Palestinian author Susan Abulhawa tells Middle East Eye that the patterns on the keffiyeh “speak to Palestinian lifeblood, in the same way that the patterns of tatreez [Palestinian embroidery] is a language unto itself, telling stories of location, lineage, occasion, and historic significance”.

The black stitching is sometimes also referred to as a honeycomb design, in recognition of the region’s beekeepers; some rural Syrians (where the cloth is also worn) say the pattern symbolises the joining of hands and the marks of dirt and sweat wiped off a worker’s brow. 

A recent tweet included another interpretation of the design, a representation of Palestine’s olive trees, which show “strength and resilience”:

Share this post to educate people on our traditional Kuffieyeh 🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/R3jvs0DWp1— mars | FREE PALESTINE (@peachesfrompali) May 17, 2021

Abulhawa agrees: “The ‘bird-like’ motifs along the border are interconnected olive leaves, referring to the significance of the olive tree in Palestinian life.” 

Olives, in all forms – olive oil, olive-oil products (such as soap), and olive wood – were hugely important aspects of Palestinian culinary, social and economic life, Abulhawa explains. 

‘Israeli’ Occupation Forces Run Over Palestinian Teen Biker in Al-Quds for Carrying Flag of Palestine

31/05/2021

‘Israeli’ Occupation Forces Run Over Palestinian Teen Biker in Al-Quds for Carrying Flag of Palestine

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ occupation forces have run over a Palestinian child in the occupied East al-Quds as he was carrying a Palestinian flag on his bike before detaining the wounded minor.

The Palestinian Shehab news agency reported that the occupation forces chased 15-year-old Jawad Abbasi with their vehicle in Ras al-Amud neighborhood in Silwan, south of the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, on Sunday afternoon before running over him and wounding his legs.

The brutal attack on the Palestinian minor was carried out under the pretext of raising the Palestinian flag on his bicycle, the agency added.

Silwan, home to about 33,000 Palestinians, is located outside the walls of the Old City of occupied al-Quds and its sacred sites. ‘Israeli’ occupation officials have been moving Jewish extremists to the neighborhood since the 1980s, and currently, several hundred settlers live there in heavily protected settlement compounds.

This has resulted in numerous human rights violations, including the forced eviction and displacement of Palestinian residents. The Silwan properties are claimed by extremists backed by Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing foundation that works to strengthen the Jewish presence in East al-Quds.

More than 600,000 Zionist settlers occupy over 230 settlements built since the 1967 ‘Israeli’ occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

Hezbollah, IRGC, Hamas Established Chamber of Military Operations in Beirut during Israeli War on Gaza: Report

SOURCE

The editor-in-chief of the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, Ibrahim Al-Amin, said during an interview with Al-Manar TV Channel that Hezbollah, IRGC, and Hamas established a chamber of military operations in Beirut during the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza.

See the source image

Al-Amin added that officers from Hezbollah, IRGC, and Hamas coordinated the military confrontation in Gaza, adding that the Commander of IRGC’s Al-Quds Force, General Esmail Qaani, visited Lebanon twice to attend the chamber meetings.

Hezbollah transmitted weaponry and ammunition to Gaza and moved a number of Palestinian Resistance officers out of the Strip during the aggression, according to Al-Amin.

The Islamic Resistance also provided the Palestinian factions with the needed data about the movements of the Israeli occupation military, which frustrated the enemy’s plot to ambush the Palestinian fighters near Gaza border, adding that drones were employed to reach this goal.

Had ‘Israel’ expanded its aggression, the entire axis of resistance would have confronted it.”

On May 10, 2021, the Palestinian resistance waged its battle against the Israeli enemy in response to the Zionist attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosue and plots to expel the Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Al-Quds, firing thousands of missiles at the Zionist settlements in most of the Palestinian cities and inflicting heavy losses upon the Zionists. The Zionist enemy insisted on its violations and launched an aggression on Gaza, killing 232 of its civilians and injuring around 1900 others. After an 11-day confrontation, the Palestinian resistance managed to defeat the Zionist aggression and provide Al-Quds City and its sanctities with a considerable protection from the Israeli attacks and violations.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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UN Human Rights Council to Investigate Israeli War Crimes in Palestine (VIDEO)

Source

May 27, 2021

Israeli warplanes attacked hundreds of ‘targets’ in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) decided on Thursday, May 27, to “urgently establish an ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry,” to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to,

“Investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021”.

The resolution was passed with 24 votes in favor, 9 against, and 14 abstentions. The US delegation of the Council in Geneva expressed its disappointment following the vote, alleging that the resolution represents an obstacle to the ‘progress’ that has been made.

LIVE: UNHRC holds special session on human rights situation in occupied West Bank https://t.co/nVw6GyPzpy

— PresserWatch (@PresserWatch) May 27, 2021

For its part, an Israeli Foreign Ministry’s statement dubbed the resolution a ‘moral failure’, aimed at covering the ‘crimes’ of the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas. The Israeli statement also officially rejected the decision and declared that it will not participate in the investigation. 

Below, are the full events that preceded the UNHRC’s vote, as reported on the Council’s website:

Human Rights Council Opens Special Session on “the Grave Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, Speakers Urge it to Establish an International Commission of Inquiry

“The Human Right Council this morning opened its special session on “the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”.  It heard calls from speakers for the Council to establish an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021.

“In her opening remarks, Nazhat Shameem Khan, President of the Human Rights Council, outlining the proposed extraordinary modalities for the session, said these modalities had been defined due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, which prohibited public meetings of more than 15 participants, and should not serve as a precedent. 

“Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said both sides had the right to defend their citizens, and Palestinians had the right to live safely and freely in their homes, something that they were unable to experience due to the Israeli blockade.  The risk of evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and other neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem remained high, while the situation in the West Bank was alarming, with Israeli Security Forces killing 10 Palestinians on 14 May – the highest number in one day since the collection of these figures by the United Nations began in 2008.  The situation inside Israel was concerning: mob attacks took place on individuals in mixed cities of Bat-Yam, Jaffa and Acra, as well as attacks on places of worship instigated by both sides, with Israeli police failing to protect Palestinian citizens.  Despite the welcome news of the ceasefire, Ms. Bachelet emphasised that the root causes of violence must be addressed. 

“Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, speaking on behalf of his mandate and on behalf of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures, said the events over the past month in Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and also across Israel, were a calamitous repetition of what all had previously witnessed in 2018, 2014, 2012, 2008-09, 2000, 1987 and further and deeper into the tragic history of the Palestinians.  The United Nations had demanded repeatedly over the years that Israel comply with its international legal obligations and remove its settlements, stop its evictions, end the unlawful annexation, and halt the demolitions and forced removal of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem.  Defiance by the occupying power had been the answer.  The international community must insist upon a brand-new diplomatic playbook to end the Israeli occupation, one that was centred on rights, rather than Realpolitik.

Israel rejects UNHRC decision to launch probe into Gaza war crimes while Hamas welcomes resolution, saying its action against Israel is “legitimate resistance”https://t.co/8j1G9grXT7

— TRT World (@trtworld) May 27, 2021

“Issam Younis, Director of Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza and Head of the Independent Commission for Human Rights of Palestine, said that all over Gaza, for 11 days, entire families were huddled and living on kitchen floors as this seemed the safest place.  But nowhere was safe in Gaza.  Israel’s unlawful closure of Gaza, 14 years of collective punishment, had been tightened.  The bringing down of the Associated Press building had made it more difficult to get information out.  Recent events were a mere symptom: for 73 years, there had been systematic, institutionalised efforts to impose a settler-colonial regime of racial domination and oppression on both sides of the Green Line. 

“Mohammad Barakeh, former Member of the Knesset and Chairman of the Arab Higher Committee in Israel, speaking on behalf of the committee that represented all Palestinians inside Israel, noted that they had been spared displacement in 1948.  Over the past decades, they had faced different forms of discrimination – confiscation of land, imposition of emergency laws, restriction of job opportunities and more.  In July 2018, the Knesset had approved the Jewish nation-state law stipulating that the land of Palestine was the historical home of the Jews, who had the exclusive right to self-determination.  With this, democratic principles were dismissed by Netanyahu and the Israeli State. 

“Muna El Kurd, journalist and resident of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem, said the Israeli occupation forces refused to properly examine the property rights of Palestinians while the Israeli Government and colonial businesses were separating Palestinians from the land.  There was an apartheid regime: settlers could move around freely unlike Palestinians.  Sheikh Jarrah was illegally sealed off; residents could go out with their papers but nobody – nor their friends nor their loved ones- could come into this area.  The colonial violence suffered by residents and people who took part in peaceful protest was barbaric.  Palestinians were fired upon using rubber bullets, including in their homes.

Muna al-Kurd, a renowned journalist and citizen of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied #Jerusalem, was forced out of a UN Human Rights Council session today after she criticized lies by Israel’s UN ambassador. #savesheikhjarrah pic.twitter.com/gkNFTne4ra

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) May 27, 2021

“In the discussion that followed, speakers, while welcoming the decision of the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes within its material scope that might have been committed on the territory of Palestine, urged the Court to include the crime against humanity of apartheid in its investigations.  History showed the ceasefire would not end the everyday sufferings of the people in the occupied Palestinian territory that had been going on for more than seven decades.  The Council should take decisive actions towards ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including through dispatching a commission of inquiry, speakers said.  Some speakers said the establishment of a commission of inquiry would not serve the purpose of peace.  Regrettably, the self-professed global champions of human rights continued to shield the occupier from global accountability, and literally provided arm and ammunitions for its widely reported war crimes and crimes of apartheid against the Palestinian people.  Member States should support the draft resolution; the credibility of the Council was at stake.

“Speaking in the urgent debate were Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of Namibia; Abdul Momen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh; Shah Mahmood Qureshi,  Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan; and Najla Elmangoush, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Government of National Unity of Libya.

“Also taking the floor were Egypt on behalf of the Group of Arab States, Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Portugal on behalf of the European Union, Sweden on behalf of Nordic countries, Azerbaijan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, South Africa on behalf of the Group of African States, Mauritania, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, Russian Federation, Bolivia, Bahrain, India, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, China, Republic of Korea, Czech Republic, Venezuela, Sudan, Somalia, Denmark, United Kingdom, Tunisia, Kuwait and Turkey.

“The Council will next meet this afternoon at 3 p.m. to continue the discussion and take action on the draft resolution before closing the special session.”

To read in full, please click here..

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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