US Envoy Holds Image of Al-Quds without Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock!

 May 23, 2018

Friedman Quds image

US Ambassador to the Zionist entity David Friedman was photographed Tuesday holding an aerial image of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) bearing a simulation of the so-called “Third Temple” instead of the Al-Aqsa holy mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

First reported on the ultra-Orthodox news site Kikar Hashabat, the photo of Friedman holding the poster was taken during a tour of Bnei Brak held by the Achiya organization, which aids Israeli children who suffer from learning disabilities, Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported.

A statement issued by the embassy later claimed that Friedman “received the photo from one of the organization’s employees and “was not aware of the image thrust in front of him when the photo was taken.”

According to the statement, Friedmen was “deeply disappointed that anyone would take advantage of his visit to Bnei Brak to create controversy.”

The embassy which has been recently relocated from Tel Aviv to Al-Quds in a provocative move by Washington, said that the US policy “is absolutely clear: we support the status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.”

For its part, Achiya has issued an apology to Friedman and the embassy, saying a staff member on its behalf presented the picture to the ambassador, who “was unaware of its content,” the Israeli daily reported.

SourceIsraeli media

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بعد لقاء الاسد وبوتين في سوتشي .. هل نستعد للأخبار العاجلة ؟؟

 بقلم نارام سرجون

لم تعد السياسة علما ولافنا منذ ان بدأ الربيع العربي ورأينا مارأيناه .. السياسة كانت نوعا من الاحجيات والمعادلات الصعبة والمركبات التي يجب تفكيكها .. وأحيانا كانت شكلا من اشكال التنجيم الصعب ..

ولكن أمتلك الثقة الكاملة لاقول ان أبسط مواطن عربي صار يعرف تماما كيف يمكن ان يستنتج اتجاه الحدث السياسي لبلاده وللمنطقة ويستطيع كل مواطن عربي ان يكون خبيرا استراتيجيا ولديه مركز دراسات عن بلده يغنيه عن الخبراء الاستراتيجيين للجزيرة والعربية الذين لم يتوقعوا شيئا الا وحدث نقيضه .. فمثلا كلما ظهر الرئيس الاميريكي في خطاب عن الشرق الأوسط يتنبه المنعكس الشرطي السعودي أو السلماني عند المواطن السعودي .. حيث ومن غير تفكير لايجد السعوديون أنفسهم الا وهم يمدون ايديهم الى جيوبهم لافراغها مما فيها من أموال وقطع نقود حتى من القروش والملاليم .. لأنه بعد كل خطاب عن الشرق الأوسط يعرف السعوديون جميعا كبيرهم وصغيرهم ان الملك السعودي سيدفع المعلوم والجزية على داير مليم .. وسيشاهد بن سلمان في واشنطن يجلس مذعنا وهو يعرض للنسويق ويضع عليه ترامب لوحة المشتريات والاسعار فيما بن سلمان يهز رأسه كالابله ضاحكا لاحول له ولاقوة ..

وكلما خرج اردوغان بخطاب ناري عن القدس يعرف المقدسيون أن مصيبة قادمة في القدس .. لأن هذا الكذاب والممثل لايفعل شيئا سوى الثرثرة والاستعراض وهو سبب مصائب القدس لأنه كان قائد الربيع العربي الذي استهلك شباب العرب ومدنهم ومالهم .. فعقب كل خطاب يخفق قلب فلسطين هلعا ويتسرع لأنه صار معتادا ان كل خطاب أردوغاني سيتلوه تصفيق اسلامي وتكبير ولكن لاشيء آخر الا ان نتنياهو سيغرز انيابه في لحم قلبها وينهشه وهي تتألم .. والحقيقة هي ان اردوغان الثرثار هو من أضعف القدس وأوصل ترامب ونتنياهو الى مرحلة اللااكتراث لأنه طحن العالم الاسلامي بحروب الاخوان المسلمين وشغل دول الطوق ومحور مقاومة اسرائيل بحروبه العثمانية المجنونة واسلامييه الذين سهلوا لاسرائيل وترامب قرار نقل السفارة الاميريكية الى القدس لأنهم استهلكوا أشرس المقاتلين الاسلاميين في تدمير أنفسهم وأموالهم وامكاناتهم وتدمير كل الشعوب المحيطة باسرائيل واشغال كل أعداء اسرايل عنها ..

فهل نسأل المواطن العربي عن توقعاته السياسية كلما ذهب ملك الاردن الى أميريكا مثلا؟؟ طبعا سيعرف المواطنون العرب من المحيط الى الخليج ان الملك سيجول على صالات القمار أولا ثم سيذهب الى البيت الابيض ليتلقى تعليمات بشأن مؤامرة جديدة وعن هلال طائفي جديد أو قمر عرقي أو شمس مذهبية .. وهل يجهل المواطن العربي ماالذي يتوقعه اذا شاهد امير قطر او ملك البحرين يستقبلان وزير الدفاع الاميركي .. المنطق يقول ان القواعد الاميريكية ستشتغل في قصف بلد عربي ..

وعلى العكس من تلك البدهيات الواضحة .. يستطيع كل مواطن سوري وعربي ان يعرف ماذا سيعني لقاء الرئيسين بوتين والاسد .. في كل لقاء بين الرئيس الأسد وبوتين ترتعش التنظيمات الارهابية ويتحسس كل ارهابي رأسه .. بينما تلتفت عيون المجرمين الى السماء بحثا عن السوخوي .. ويجد نتنياهو نفسه يزداد قلقا على طائراته .. كل لقاء بين الأسد وبوتين يعتبر فاصلة عسكرية كبيرة تسبب الرعب للكثيرين .. فترتعد الرياض وتبول في ثيابها وتهتز الدوحة وتقبل انقرة بقضاء الله وقدره .. وبعد كل لقاء تستعد قطعة كبيرة من الجغرافيا السورية لخلع ثياب الاعدام لارتداء ثياب الحرية .. صارت هناك معادلات بوتين والاسد السياسية .. فكل لقاء بين بوتين والاسد يعني للرئيس الاميركي انه سيخسر قطعة جديدة من سورية التي يحتلها بشكل غير مباشر بالارهابيين .. منذ اول لقاء والذي كان لقاء السوخوي .. ثم تلته لقاءات حلب وغيرها .. هذه المرة ربما اقترب الأسد وبوتين كثيرا من ترامب في الشرق السوري .. ورغم كل مؤشرات السلام ونهاية الحرب السورية فان الاميريكيين يعلمون ان وجودهم في المنطقة الشرقية صار على كف عفريت .. فهناك عبارة اهتزت لها واشنطن قالها بوتين وهي ان القوات الاجنبية يجب ان تحزم حقائبها .. وهي عبارة لايقولها شخص وزعيم عالمي مثل بوتين اعتباطا فهو اتخذ قرارا بشأنها أو أنه تبلغ عبر قناة ما أن الأميريكيين يريدون أن يفتحوا مفاوضات الخروج والانسحاب .. فكل كلمة يقولها بوتين يجب ان تترجم خاصة انها تقال في لقاء مع الأسد الذي يملك الارض بالجيش والشرعية والذي يحارب بوتين الى جانبه .. واذا حاول البعض تفسير الكلام على انه موجه لايران وحزب الله .. وانها في سياق تفاهم اميركي اسرائيلي روسي فهي محاولة تفسير غير موفقة .. لأن الروس والسوريين ليسوا اغبياء لاخراج حلفائهم قبل اتمام الحرب وترك الاميريكيين في الشرق ينعمون بالراحة والاستقرار كي يغيروا الاتفاق ويطلقوا داعش او اي تنظيم جديد .. ومن المعلوم أن لحلفاء سورية من الايرانيين وحزب الله دورا هاما في المعارك البرية ضد الارهاب الذي مثل القوات البرية الاميريكية .. واذا خرج حلفاء سورية من الجغرافيا فاننا سنعود الى نقطة الصفر ولكن اذا خرج الاميريكيون فليس هناك حاجة لبقاء القوات الحليفة بذات الكثافة والدور .. ويمكنها ان تعود الى حالة استشارات فنية وصاروخية كما كانت قبل الحرب .. فالجيش السوري عاد قويا وتمرس على أشرس المعارك .. وتطور .. وأضاف عامل الثقة بالنفس الى رصيده .. والمواجهة مع اسرايل ستكون مواجهة تقنية وصاروخية .. الا اذا تغيرت معطيات المعارك ..

هذان الرجلان لايلتقيان اعتباطا ولاتعنيهما الاحتفالات الاعلامية والكرنفالات التي تقام لملوك الخليج الذين يذهبون لدفع الجزية في الغرب .. فمما لاشك فيه أنهما اجتمعا من أجل أمر هام جدا قادم .. لايسر من سمي (أصدقاء الشعب السوري) .. ولايسر المعارضين الذين ينتظرون منذ 8 سنوات بطاقة الدعوة لاستلام السلطة واعلان نهاية عصر الأسد .. وربما ساجرح مشاعرهم كثيرا وستغوض كلماتي كالسكين في أحشائهم للقول انها بداية عصر الأسد كزعيم عالمي .. بدأت منذ هذه اللحظة التي أعلن فيها لأول مرة بشكل ديبلوماسي ان الوجود الاميريكي في شرق سورية قد انتهت صلاحيته .. وهذا التهذيب الديبلوماسي .. فيه انذار ديبلوماسي .. ولاشك أن على الاميريكيين ان يردوا التحية الروسية بأحسن منها .. والا ..

هذا الحدس والاستقراء في علم السياسة له مماثل فيزيولوجي .. هو ظاهرة بافلوف .. فعندما يرى الناس ملكا سعوديا في واشنطن او أي عاصمة غربية ترتسم ابتسامة عربية عفوية لاارادية فيها مرارة .. فيما يسيل لعاب الاوروبيين والاميريكيين كما كلب بافلوف عندما يسمع جرس الطعام .. جرس الاميريكيين اليوم هو بن سلمان .. حيث يفيض لعابهم ولعاب اوروبة كلما لمحوه كما لو كانوا يلعقون الليمون الحامض ..

ولكن عندما يرى العالم الأسد وبوتين معا .. ترتفع درجة حرارة الأرض .. ويخفق قلب السماء الأزرق للقاء السوخوي .. ويسيل لعاب الدبابات .. وترقص البنادق .. وتجف الحلوق في الغرب والشرق .. فيما تتبلل عروق المدن الحزينة الظمأى بالأخبار السارة .. وتتهيأ الدنيا للأخبار العاجلة ..

   ( الثلاثاء 2018/05/22 SyriaNow)

At the U.N., Trudeau Opposes an Investigation into israel’s Shooting of Unarmed Civilians – Including a Canadian Doctor

At the U.N., Trudeau Opposes an Investigation into Israel’s Shooting of Unarmed Civilians – Including a Canadian Doctor

By Dimitri Lascaris,

This week, courtesy of Justin Trudeau, the world witnessed one of the swiftest and most cowardly flip-flops in Canadian political history.

On May 16, 2018, Canada’s Prime Minister issued a statement calling for an “immediate independent investigation” into the “tragic” killing and wounding of “countless” protesters in Gaza. Trudeau professed in his statement to be “appalled that Dr. Tarek Loubani, a Canadian citizen, is among the wounded – along with so many unarmed people, including civilians, members of the media, first responders, and children.”

A mere two days later, in a debate at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Trudeau’s government opposed just such an investigation. Ultimately, the UNHRC voted by a margin of 29-2, with 14 abstentions, to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the Gaza massacres.

Given Trudeau’s history of shameless pandering to the pro-occupation lobby, his May 16 statement inspired little confidence that he would in fact insist upon a truly independent investigation into the Gaza massacres and the IDF’s shooting of Dr. Loubani. That is why, on May 17, I tweeted:

May 17 tweet 2018-05-20 at 9.20.07 AM

The explanation given for Trudeau’s immediate and craven self-reversal, which you can watch and listen to here, is that the UNHRC resolution calling for the investigation “prejudges the outcome of such an investigation,” is “one-sided and does not advance the prospects for a peaceful, negotiated settlement” between Israelis and Palestinians, and “singles out Israel without reference to other actors.”

Let’s unpack that, shall we?

Claim #1: The UNHRC resolution “prejudges the outcome of such an investigation”

It is certainly true that the UNHRC’s resolution, which can be seen here, accuses Israel of violating international humanitarian law, but so too does Canada’s own government. Canada’s Global Affairs website states:

Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967 (the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip). The Fourth Geneva Convention applies in the occupied territories and establishes Israel’s obligations as an occupying power, in particular with respect to the humane treatment of the inhabitants of the occupied territories. As referred to in UN Security Council Resolutions 446 and 465, Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The settlements also constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.

As far as the recent killings in Gaza are concerned, Trudeau himself stated on May 16 that he was “appalled” by the shooting of Dr. Loubani and of “so many unarmed people, including civilians, members of the media, first responder and children.”

The whole world knows that it is the Israeli military that is shooting those unarmed protesters, and is doing so deliberately. In a now-deleted tweet, the Israeli army itself declared on March 31, 2018, the day after it shot 773 Palestinians with live fire, that “we know where every bullet landed.”

Under the circumstances, the fact that the UNHRC resolution accuses Israel of violating international law is no justification for opposing the UNHRC investigation. On the contrary, the UNHRC has ample reason – as does Canada’s own government – to level such accusations. The UNHRC investigation will help to ascertain the extent and nature of those violations, and precisely which military and governmental officials are responsible for them.

The mandate of the UNHRC’s Commission of Inquiry is:

to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018, whether before, during or after, to establish the facts and circumstances, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedure mandate holders, of the alleged violations and abuses, including those that may amount to war crimes, to identify those responsible, to make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility, for such violations, and on protecting civilians against any further assaults, and to present an oral update to the Council at its thirty-ninth session and a final, written report at its fortieth session.

It is simply unfathomable that any government truly committed to human rights would object to this mandate.

Claim #2: The UNHRC Resolution is “one-sided”

If the UNHRC Resolution appears to focus on Israel’s misconduct, that is simply because it is Israel’s military that is doing all of the killing and the Palestinians who are doing all of the dying. To date, not a single Israeli soldier has been killed, and only one has been lightly wounded.

By contrast, according to the human rights organization Al Haq, approximately 111 Palestinians have been killed, including 12 children, two journalists, and four persons with disabilities. During the same period, approximately 7,000 Palestinian were injured, including 1,244 children, 253 women, 42 paramedics, and 60 journalists – at least 3,615 of whom were hit by live fire.

One could hardly imagine more ‘one-sided’ casualty figures than this. If indeed the UNHRC resolution is ‘one-sided’, that resolution simply reflects the terrible reality of what is happening on the ground.

Claim #3: The UNHRC Resolution “does not advance the prospects for a peaceful, negotiated settlement”

This is, without doubt, the Trudeau government’s most pathetic rationale for opposing the UNHRC investigation.

The obvious point of the UNHRC investigation is to ensure that those who are responsible for these atrocities are held accountable. Without accountability, Israel will continue to violate international humanitarian law with impunity.

Are we seriously to believe that the perpetuation of Israel’s impunity will ‘advance the prospects for a peaceful, negotiated settlement’?

The answer to this question is obvious. So too is the Trudeau government’s double standard.

In the case of 19 other human rights violators, the Trudeau government has gone well beyond mere investigation by imposing economic sanctions. Meanwhile, it lavishes support on Israel – a state whose human rights violations the Canadian government has acknowledged for decades – by voting against broadly-supported UN resolutions critical of Israel’s human rights abuses, supporting more trade between Canada and Israel, allowing products from Israel’s illegal, West Bank settlements to be labelled as ‘product of Israel’ in Canadian stores, permitting the sale of Canadian-made weapons to Israel, and according charitable status to the Jewish National Fund, an organization that is deeply complicit in the violation of Palestinian human rights. The Canadian government even permits Canadians to serve in Israel’s lawless military forces.

In effect, Canada’s government has rewarded Israel for trampling the rights of the Palestinian people, who have lived under a brutal military occupation for over 50 years.

Has this ‘advanced the prospects for a peaceful, negotiated settlement’?

Claim #4: The UNHRC Resolution “singles out Israel without reference to other actors”

The Trudeau government’s statement of opposition at the UNHRC did not identify who the “other actors” are, but undoubtedly, at least one of them is Hamas, which Canada’s government designates a terrorist organization.

Whatever its offences may be, however, there is simply no evidence that Hamas fighters have killed or wounded any protesters or Israeli soldiers during the Great March of Return. Why then, should the UNHRC’s investigation focus on Hamas?

Israel’s apologists claim that Hamas has organized the protests. This is vigorously disputed by observers on the ground: they say that the protests have been organized by Palestinian civil society. Renowned Israeli journalist Gideon Levy maintains that these unarmed protesters are approaching the fence in Gaza not because Hamas brought them there, but because, after years of an inhuman blockade and eight massacres by Israeli forces, a profound sense of despair has befallen Gaza, and all that remains to its trapped and tormented inhabitants, half of whom are children, is to peacefully express their dissent, even if expressing their dissent poses great risk to themselves.

Let us assume, however, that Hamas organized these peaceful protests. Shouldn’t we welcome this development? Is it not a sign that Hamas may have understood, finally, that peaceful resistance is the right and only path to freedom?

The real reason for Trudeau’s lightning-speed self-reversal

The real reason for Justin Trudeau’s opposition to the UNHRC investigation is not that it is one-sided, undermines peace, or fails to focus on the true perpetrators of these atrocities. No, the real reason is that Justin Trudeau came under a withering assault from Canada’s pro-occupation lobby the moment that he waded into the waters of justice.

After briefly exhibiting a modicum of moral courage, Trudeau has swiftly retreated into his comfortable bunker of lies, hypocrisy and callous indifference to Palestinian suffering.

To borrow his own term, Canadians should be “appalled”.

On Accountability in the Light of Israeli Brutality

May 20, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

adlington .jpg

For the last few weeks Israel has displayed a new level of institutional criminality. Fearing that Palestinian protestors attempting to return to their land would cross the Gaza border fence, Israel deployed hundreds of snipers, scores of tanks and drones across the Gaza Strip border. The government ordered forces to shoot at anyone who managed to reach the border. (although it is clear that Israeli forces also shot well inside the border.) This was a premeditated massacre: a cold blood governmental decision to shoot at protestors.  The outcome of this disastrous  decision is known and it reveals the murderous nature of the Jewish State.

The world reacted in disgust. The UN voted two days ago to send an international war crimes probe to Gaza.  Israel has already refused to cooperate with this fact finding mission.

These events in Gaza proved that the nature of Israeli barbarism has no precedent in human history. Israel is not a tyrannical dictatorship deploying death squads against protestors, nor were the killings the result of an outburst by a lone commander on the battlefield. Instead, Israel’s actions resulted from a non-ethical continuum that stretched from the Israeli PM to the last IDF sniper on the Gaza dunes. The Jewish state is a democracy. Its army is a popular army. The events in Gaza were the direct outcome of a policy that remained unchanged for 6 weeks despite the high level of civilian casualties in the Palestinian side.  We are talking about an murderous system that is institutionalised  at all levels of  the state that repeatedly defines itself as ‘The Jewish State.’

This has exposed a complete absence of moral awareness.  Israel has acted with impunity to kill on a mass scale as if ethics had never made it to Israel.  However John Adlington from Treflach seems to be really upset that I  insist that Jews must look into themselves so that they can understand what is it about their culture and politics that evoke so much fury. John Adlington from Treflach wrote to his local paper (Oswestry Advertiser) complaining about a local music venue inviting me to perform and run Jazz workshops. In Adlington’s eyes  I am ‘anti-Semitic’ for insisting that Jews, like everyone else, must reflect on their actions to understand once and for all why their history has been a chain of total disasters and how they bring misfortune on themselves.

I remain firmly behind those words that upset Mr. Adlington “…maybe the time is ripe for Jewish and Zionist organisations to draw the real and most important lesson from the Holocaust. Instead of constantly blaming the Goyim for inflicting pain on Jews, it is time for Jews to look in the mirror and try to identify what it is in Jews and their culture that evokes so much fury. It may even be possible that some Jews would take this opportunity to apologise to the Gentiles around them for evoking all this anger.” http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/holocaust-day-the-time-is-ripe-for-a-jewish-apology.html

I insist that it is well past the time for the Jewish State and Jewish institutions to figure out why the entire world has been disgusted by the actions of the IDF in Gaza. It is time for the Jewish State and Jewish organisations to grasp that Israeli criminality paints Jews in a disastrous light.  It is time for Israelis and Jews alike to accept that as long as Israel defines itself as the ‘Jewish State,’ the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians doesn’t reflect well on Jews. The on going Gaza siege doesn’t present the Jewish State as a humanist adventure either.  I would advise  Mr. Adlington that in this imaginary ‘racist contest’ he is well ahead of me.  Expecting Jews not to self reflect  and to understand their role in their own misfortune is actually a surrender to Jewish racial exceptionalism.

If the Jewish State and its many satellite lobbies and advocacy bodies around the world were taking responsibility for their actions, the Gaza massacre wouldn’t  have happened because the Palestinians would, by now, be living back on their land and peace would have been prevailed.  However, if promoting Jewish accountability and peace is ‘anti-Semitism’  one may wonder, what is a real bigot?

If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

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Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

 

Muhammad & Friends with Gilad Atzmon

The myth of the Gaza ‘border’

The myth of the Gaza ‘border’

The Green Line disguises the fact that Palestinians in Gaza are no longer being oppressed outside the Israeli state, but are being caged and brutalized inside it.

Palestinian protesters inside the Gaza Strip throw stones in the direction of an Israeli military position on the other side of the border fence, Gaza Strip, December 8, 2017. (Ezz Zanoun/Activestills.org)

Palestinian protesters inside the Gaza Strip throw stones in the direction of an Israeli military position on the other side of the border fence, Gaza Strip, December 8, 2017. (Ezz Zanoun/Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists have long criticized the use of the word “border” to describe the 1949 armistice line that divides Gaza and Israel, and which protestors in the Great March of Return have been trying to cross at great risk to life and limb. By invoking the term, Israel insists that its open-fire policy toward the march is part of its legitimate right to defend its sovereignty and security. It further claims that, because the government dismantled its settlements in 2005, it no longer occupies the Strip and therefore bears no responsibility for its conditions.

These are disingenuous arguments. Israel’s blockade and control of Gaza stretches from its eastern and northern land crossings to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, with Egypt controlling the south. What it calls a “border” is actually a militarized network of naval ships, barbed wire, electronic barriers, lethal no-man zones, and surveillance systems that operate as the fence of an open-air prison. In legal terms, Israel retains “effective control” of the Strip (including people’s movement, its airspace, flow of goods, and other needs of daily life), and therefore remains its occupying power.

An Israeli warship approaches a Palestinian skiff, as photographed from the observation boat Olivia (photo: Rosa Schiano/Civil Peace Service Gaza CPSGAZA)

An Israeli warship approaches a Palestinian skiff, as photographed from the observation boat Olivia (photo: Rosa Schiano/Civil Peace Service Gaza CPSGAZA)

The human rights community has spent years articulating the nature of Israel’s occupation under international law and the responsibility of third-parties to end it. The law, however, is only worth as much as the will to enforce it; and half a century later, these efforts have failed to produce meaningful outcomes. It is not that the law is incorrect, but that it has been unable to mobilize political action or make Israel’s military rule less sustainable.

The Palestinians’ own ambiguities about the Green Line have further complicated matters. We focus on the military structures that have spawned since 1967, yet emphasize that the real problem is 1948. We cite Israel’s obligation to abide by international law, but chastise the law for being useless in practice. We combine settler colonialism, occupation, and apartheid as lenses to explain the ongoing Nakba, but arrive at different conclusions for what the solution entails. These debates are natural, but they also muddle the struggle’s priorities and the discourse it promotes.

Exploiting these uncertainties, Israel has turned Gaza into an area that is simultaneously separated from and annexed under Israel’s control. It is a purgatory designed to provide whatever answer is most convenient for shirking responsibility and justifying violence at any given time. This has obscured a controversial but perhaps inexorable fact: after 51 years, Gaza can hardly be described as “occupied territory” anymore. It is now a segregated, debilitated, and subjugated part of Israel; a replica of the districts, townships, and reservations that imprisoned native populations and communities of color in apartheid South Africa, the United States, and other colonial regimes. In other words, Palestinians are no longer being oppressed outside the Israeli state; they are being caged and brutalized inside it.

Israeli soldiers look on at protests in Gaza. April 13, 2018. (Oren Ziv / Activestills.org)

Israeli soldiers look on at protests in Gaza. April 13, 2018. (Oren Ziv / Activestills.org)

The Green Line has been key to disguising this complex system. Like the de facto annexation of the West Bank – where Israel’s growing settlements and military presence have similarly made the “border” there non-existent – Gaza has effectively been absorbed into Israel’s political jurisdiction. Hamas, like the Palestinian Authority, is viewed as a pseudo-government of hostile “enemy aliens,” but one that can be managed in Israel’s domain so long as it is contained behind the fence. The thousands taking part in the March of Return are not “infiltrators” trying to breach a sovereign state, but displaced and disenfranchised “citizens” breaking out of a state-built ghetto. The army is not holding off “foreign invaders,” but is killing and suppressing its own native subjects.

This framing is crucial to understand the scale and severity of Israel’s policies, and to devise stronger paths to correcting their injustices. By tearing off the mask of the Green Line, Palestinians and their allies can reverse Israel’s efforts to isolate Gaza from the West Bank and to deny its people’s rights to their ancestral homes. What Israel fears more than a Palestinian state is a Palestinian population it cannot disown, and the myth that Gaza is “separated” from Israel helps it to balance that fear. That myth must be broken, and that racist fear must be exposed. Doing so would also reveal the political solution: if Palestinians cannot win their independence along the Green Line, they will demand their full equality beyond it. The March of Return is doing just that

At 70: Let’s let israel implode

At 70: Let`s let Israel implode

Israel’s democratic farce is collapsing, but little can be done today to challenge this from within Zionist institutions

Marcelo Svirsky's picture

They are desperate as they have never been before. In their impatience and immoderation, Israel’s institutions hasten, with their own hands, the end of Zionism. We might even see it happening in our lifetime. 

For the first time in history, it seems they are realising that, in the long run, Zionism is indefensible and unsustainable. But that realisation is not creating a genuine collective introspection that could move Israeli society towards social transformation; rather, the opposite is happening. In a scattergun approach, Israel fires in all directions, to protect, as British essayist Perry Anderson famously put it, “what it has made of what it has taken”.

Celebrating Palestinian deaths

Their strategy is revealing: Threats need to be contained, and strengths must be augmented. The backbone of the Zionist project involves the social mobilisation of Israeli citizens. The combined sight of Israeli soldiers celebrating the killing of unarmed Palestinians, while others take their seats at makeshift balconies to watch – as in an outdoor cinema – Palestinian protestors being shot at, shows the extent to which the colonial gangrene has expanded in the Israeli social body. 

Israeli Jews are the spine of this project, but diaspora Jews are its reservoir. Anywhere Jewish dissent blossoms, the Zionist spectre is there to crush it. All means are kosher: Israel’s rabbinical courts may soon have unprecedented power over non-Israeli Jews.

It is evident that for Israel, the threat posed by Palestinians is not in their actions: To the Zionist mind, Palestinian life in itself is a manifestation of war

Not only are Palestinian protesters executed by military snipers at the Gaza border as a matter of policy, but the Israeli government also justifies it. In response to a Supreme Court petition filed by human rights groups, the state of Israel said that the Gaza protests fell into the category of a state of war, and thus human rights law did not apply to the rules of engagement.

There is something tragic about appealing to Israeli courts to defend basic human and civil rights. Israeli courts have never been a bulwark of freedom. In the past, the military would have refuted the extent of the death toll; but today, unapologetically, the official story adapts law and morality to make sense of Israel’s policies for Israeli eyes and ears.

This shift points to a cultural degradation that the world must acknowledge: when the perpetrator rationalises and celebrates its crimes, the space for dialogue has been extinguished. Israel must be ostracised until it complies with international law, just as the BDS movement is demanding.

Erasing the occupation

In recent years, the Israeli government has been attempting to control and restrict donations to human and civil rights organisations in the country, while encouraging militaristic activities in schools and erasing all discussion of the occupation in civics textbooks.

Human rights defenders are also blocked from bringing their messages into Israel’s social space: this week, two prominent US human rights lawyers, Katherine Franke and Vincent Warren, were detained at Ben Gurion airport for 14 hours, interrogated and deported.

On the external front, Israel has created more and more official institutions to fight against BDS, recruiting US legislators in the effort as well. Yet these attempts are insignificant compared with the growing mass of people and organisations around the globe joining the BDS movement, winning more victories each year.



People take part in a demonstration calling for a boycott of Israel and for the recognition of the state of Palestine in Paris in 2015 (AFP)

Now, Israel also convicts Palestinian poets. Dareen Tatour was convicted this month by an Israeli district court of incitement to terrorism because of posts on social media – particularly, because of her poem titled: “Resist, My People, Resist Them.” No other decision could defeat its purpose more than this ruling; to silence poetry is to excite its passions.

To the Zionist mind, Palestinian life in itself is a manifestation of war

It is evident that for Israel, the threat posed by Palestinians is not in their actions. To the Zionist mind, Palestinian life in itself is a manifestation of war. The intensification and expansion of this applied hatred towards Palestinians requires the tightening of Israeli mobilisation. It is not inconceivable that at some point, Israelis will have to express their loyalty in more visual and louder ways, perhaps as Culture Minister Miri Regev conceived for Independence Day commemorations, with children wearing yellow stars.

Enhanced executive powers

In the meantime, the institutional authoritarian ring closes on Israelis. Firstly, to be on the safe side, the Israeli parliament is about to make sure that it can override Supreme Court decisions that challenge the Jewish or militaristic character of the state; and secondly, Israel’s prime minister can now declare war in consultation only with the minister of defence, regardless of the cabinet’s position. Both decisions enhance the power of the executive, which for decades has dominated the Knesset without any significant political opposition.

Israel’s democratic farce is collapsing. MK Dov Khenin of the Joint List has warned that Netanyahu is leading the country towards a Masada-style suicide. But little can be done today from within Zionist institutions.

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Where is Israel’s outrage at the appalling massacre in Gaza?

The Joint List must immediately leave the Knesset. Whatever its small victories are, its presence continues to legitimise the vermin. Let’s let the Knesset become a pure Jewish parliament, to better resonate with the dynamics of the state and society. Let’s let Israel implode from its own bile.

In the meantime, Palestinians and anti-Zionist Israelis on both sides of the Green Line can begin establishing the foundations of new democratic institutions. Once the political institutions of Israel implode, alternative political tools will be available.

Marcelo Svirsky is a senior lecturer at the School for Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong, Australia. He researches settler-colonial societies, particularly Israel-Palestine, and focuses on questions of social transformation and decolonisation.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.  

Photo: Anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Jews burn an Israeli flag in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighbourhood on 2 May 2018, during celebrations for the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer (AFP).

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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