Netanyahu’s ceasefire is meant to keep Gaza imprisoned

Netanyahu’s ceasefire is meant to keep Gaza imprisoned

Israeli bombing of Gaza

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

Palestinians in Gaza should have been able to breathe a sigh of relief last week, as precarious ceasefire talks survived a two-day-long, heavy exchange of strikes that threatened to unleash yet another large-scale military assault by Israel.

Late on 13 November, after the most intense bout of violence in four years, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Hamas, the Islamic movement that rules Gaza, approved a long-term truce brokered by Egypt.

Both are keen to avoid triggering an explosion of popular anger in Gaza, the consequences of which would be difficult to predict or contain.

The tiny enclave is on life support, having endured three devastating and sustained attacks by Israel, as well as a suffocating blockade, over the past decade. Thousands of homes are in ruins, the water supply is nearly undrinkable, electricity in short supply, and unemployment sky-high.

In the hands of warmongers

But as is so often the case, the enclave’s immediate fate rests in the hands of Israeli politicians desperate to cast themselves as Israel’s warmonger-in-chief and thereby reap an electoral dividend.

Elections now loom large after Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s hawkish defence minister, resigned on 14 November in the wake of the clashes. He accused Netanyahu of “capitulating to terror” in agreeing to the ceasefire.

Lieberman takes with him a handful of legislators, leaving the governing coalition with a razor-thin majority of one parliamentary seat. Rumours were rife over the weekend that another party, the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home, was on the brink of quitting the coalition.

Scuppering the ceasefire

In fact, Netanyahu recklessly triggered these events. He had smoothed the path to a truce earlier this month by easing the blockade. Fuel had been allowed into the enclave, as had $15 million in cash from Qatar to cover salaries owed to Gaza’s public-sector workers.

At this critical moment, Netanyahu agreed to a covert incursion by the Israeli army, deep into Gaza. When the soldiers were exposed, the ensuing firefight left seven Palestinians and an Israeli commander dead.

The two sides then upped the stakes: Hamas launched hundreds of rockets into Israel, while the Israeli military bombarded the enclave. The air strikes killed more than a dozen Palestinians.

Lieberman had reportedly expressed outrage over the transfer of Qatari money to Gaza, claiming it would be impossible to track how it was spent. The ceasefire proved the final straw.

Hamas leaders boasted that they had created a “political earthquake” with Lieberman’s resignation. But the shockwaves may not be so easily confined to Israel.

“Moderate” hyena

Strangely, Netanyahu now sounds like the most moderate voice in his cabinet. Fellow politicians are demanding Israel “restore its deterrence” – a euphemism for again laying waste to Gaza.

Naftali Bennett, the head of the settler Jewish Home party, denounced the ceasefire as “unacceptable” and demanded the vacant defence post.

There was flak, too, from Israel’s so-called left. The opposition Labour Party leader, Avi Gabbay, called Netanyahu “weak”, while former Prime Minister Ehud Barak said he had “surrendered to Hamas under fire”.

Warmongering Israeli public

Similar sentiments are shared by the public. Polls indicate 74 per cent of Israelis favour a tougher approach.

Sderot, close to Gaza and targeted by rockets, erupted into angry protests. Placards bearing the slogan “Bibi Go Home” – using Netanyahu’s nickname – were evident for the first time in his party’s heartland.

With this kind of goading, an election in the offing, and corruption indictments hanging over his head, Netanyahu may find it difficult to resist raising the temperature in Gaza once again.

But he also has strong incentives to calm things down and shore up Hamas’s rule.

The suggestion by some commentators that Netanyahu has turned a new leaf as a “man of peace” could not be more misguided. What distinguishes Netanyahu from his cabinet is not his moderation, but that he has a cooler head than his far-right rivals.

Overriding aim: to undermine the Palestinian national project

He believes there are better ways than lashing out to achieve his core political aim: the undermining of the Palestinian national project. This was what he meant on 14 November when he attacked critics for missing “the overall picture of Israel’s security”.

On a practical level, Netanyahu has listened to his generals, who warn that, if Israel provokes war with Hamas, it may find itself ill-equipped to cope with the fallout on two other fronts, in Lebanon and Syria.

But Netanyahu has still deeper concerns. As veteran Israeli military analyst Ben Caspit observed: “The only thing more dangerous to Netanyahu than getting tangled up in war is getting tangled up in peace.”

The Israeli army has responded to months of largely non-violent mass protests at Gaza’s perimeter fence by killing more than 170 Palestinian demonstrators and maiming thousands more.

The protests could turn into an uprising. Palestinians storming the fence that imprisons them is an eventuality the Israeli army is entirely unprepared for. Its only response would be to slaughter Palestinians en masse, or reoccupy Gaza directly.

Netanyahu’s preference for Hamas

Netanyahu would rather bolster Hamas, so it can keep a lid on the protests than face an international backlash and demands that he negotiate with the Palestinians.

Further, a ceasefire that keeps Hamas in power in Gaza also ensures that Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank, can be kept out.

That was in part why Netanyahu, against his normal instincts, allowed the transfer of the Qatari money, which had been opposed by the Palestinian Authority. It is not just a fillip for Hamas, it is a slap in the face to Abbas.

A disunited Palestine, divided territorially and ideologically, is in no position to exert pressure on Netanyahu – either through Europe or the United Nations – to begin peace talks or concede Palestinian statehood.

That is all the more pressing, given that the White House insists that President Trump’s long-delayed peace plan will be unveiled within the next two months.

Leaks suggest that the US may propose a separate “entity” in Gaza under Egyptian supervision and financed by Qatar. The ceasefire should be seen as a first step towards creating a pseudo-Palestinian state in Gaza along these lines.

Palestinians there are now caught between a rock and a hard place. Between vengeful hotheads such as Lieberman, who want more carnage in Gaza, and Netanyahu, who prefers to keep the Palestinians quiet and largely forgotten in their tiny prison.


A version of this article first appeared in The National, Abu Dhabi. The version here is published by permission of Jonathan Cook.

 

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UN Special Rapporteurs give Israel 60 days to respond to ‘deep concerns’ regarding Jewish Nation-State Law

UN Special Rapporteurs give Israel 60 days to respond to ‘deep concerns’ regarding Jewish Nation-State Law

Adalah – 15/11/2018

Four Special Rapporteurs express ‘deep concern’ that Nation-State Law is ‘discriminatory in nature and in practice against non-Jewish citizens and other minorities and does not apply the principle of equality between citizens, which is one of the key principles for democratic political systems.’

Following a special request for action issued by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, four United Nations special rapporteurs have given Israel a 60-day deadline to respond to their grave concerns regarding the Jewish Nation-State Law, adopted by the Knesset on 19 July 2018.

The 60-day period began on 2 November 2018 when UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights Karima Bennoune, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on minority issues Fernand de Varennes, and Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance E. Tendayi Achiume sent a communique to Israeli authorities expressing their deep concerns regarding the impact of the new law.

In their letter, the special rapporteurs expressed “deep concern” that the Israeli Basic Law appears “to be discriminatory in nature and in practice against non-Jewish citizens and other minorities and does not apply the principle of equality between citizens, which is one of the key principles for democratic political systems.”

Adalah, representing all of the Arab political leadership in Israel – The High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens in Israel, the Joint List (Arab members of the Knesset), and the National Committee for Arab Mayors, filed a petition against the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law on 7 August 2018 to the Israeli Supreme Court. The petition demands that the Court cancel the law as it contradicts fundamental international human rights norms in place since the end of World War II; negates almost 20 years of Supreme Court caselaw concerning the right to equality and land rights; and constitutes an abuse of power by the majority in the Knesset.

The special rapporteurs emphasize that they fear that “the law as adopted offers a legal basis for the pre-eminence of Jewish people over non-Jewish citizens who are members of other ethno-religious and linguistic minority groups, and creates a legal order and an environment that could potentially lead to further discriminatory legislative and/or policy actions, which contravene the international human rights obligations of Israel.”

The special rapporteurs further expressed concern, in light of the Nation-State Law, regarding Israel’s commitments to the  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which both stipulate the right of all peoples to self-determination.

Amongst a more extensive series of requests, the special rapporteurs call on Israel to:

  • “Indicate the impact of Article 5 of the Law on the current immigration procedures in Israel, on how Jewish and non-Jewish immigrants are dealt with under current procedures, and how such provision may affect the immigration status determination of non-Jews”;
  • “Provide further information on Article 7, and particularly whether it will or not contribute to potential segregation on the basis of ethnicity or religion, and whether it is an endorsement to develop Jewish settlements, including in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in direct violation of international law”;
  • “Clarify the consequences of the new status of the Arabic language, and the impact if any on its use for official purposes, including on public signs, in public institutions including social and health services and in the education system.”

The special rapporteurs note that the State of Israel failed to respond to an earlier query sent 21 June 2017 by the UN special rapporteurs concerning a draft bill of what was to eventually be adopted as the Jewish Nation-State Law.

Any response Israeli authorities may send to the special rapporteurs will be provided to the United Nations Human Rights Council for consideration.

CLICK HERE to read the UN Special Rapporteurs communique

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Jewish Nation-State Law

The Art of the Smear – The israel (apartheid state) Lobby Busted

The Art of the Smear — The Israel Lobby Busted
By Sheldon Richman

Information Clearing House    In 2016 and 2017 Al Jazeera produced a program that unmistakenly documents the Israel government and U.S. Israel lobby’s all-out effort to spy on, smear, and disrupt American students and other activists who are working to build an understanding of the Palestinians’ plight. The Lobby — USA, however, has never been broadcast by Al Jazeera. Reporting indicates that it was suppressed after pressure from the lobby on the government of Qatar, which funds Al Jazeera. Nevertheless, it is now available at The Electronic Intifada and on YouTube. Watch all four parts here and here. What the program presents is shocking.

The Lobby — USA, which features an undercover journalist who won the trust of key pro-Israel operatives and who videoed revealing meetings, demonstrates beyond question the lengths to which the Israelis and their supporters in the United States will go to prevent a change in American thinking about the beleaguered Palestinians. The effort aims to smear Palestinian students in the United States and pro-Palestinian American activists and political candidates who criticize Israeli policy as anti-Semites and enablers of terrorism. The paid pro-Israel operatives, guided by Israeli government officials and embassy staff, have used social media and other channels in an attempt to destroy the career potential of student activists who work to raise Americans’ consciousness about the Palestinians. Establishment news operations, such as the Washington Post, are also implicated. Major targets are activists in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement and Students for Justice in Palestine.

Al Jazeera produced a similar program about Israeli interference in British politics, which led to resignations of a key Israeli embassy official and other reactions that confirmed Al Jazeera’s damaging charges.

I could not do justice to the program even in a long article. Instead, I will urge readers to watch it in its entirety — and think carefully about what it means.

As one critic of Israel asks on the program, if Russia or Iran or China were doing what Israel and its American friends are doing, most people would be outraged. This is hardly the first time that Israel and friends have been caught covertly and overtly trying to influence discourse and even elections here through smear campaigns against activists, writers, and political candidates, but this is certainly among the most flagrant and elaborate examples.

Let’s step back from the poisonous trees for a moment to view the forest. In 1948 the leaders of a European and nominally Jewish movement, Zionism, unilaterally declared the existence of the State of Israel, which they proclaimed the nation-state of all Jews everywhere, a status recently reaffirmed by the Israeli Knesset. (The UN General Assembly recommended partitioning Palestine into a larger Jewish state and a smaller Palestinian state, but it had no power to actually create the state of Israel.)

It so happened this state was built on land taken by force from the long-standing majority indigenous Palestinian population, most of which was Muslim and Christian. Hundreds were massacred, three-quarters of a million were driven from their homes, and the remainder were subjected to martial law for two decades, before being given third-class citizenship with no power to improve their legal status. (Arab nations half-heartedly tried to assist the overwhelmed Palestinians, although the king of Jordan worked with Israel to divide the spoils.) Almost 20 years later, the rest of Palestine was taken through warfare, producing what are known as the occupied territories in the West Bank, with its apartheid-like regime, and the Gaza Strip, which is nothing more than an open-air prison under a cruel Israeli blockade.

Why? Because a “Jewish State” could not be realized if it were populated by non-Jews. And if some non-Jews remained, the state could not be a liberal democratic state, with equality under the law, for obvious reasons. All this was aided from the start by European Christians who, apparently guilt-ridden over how the Jews of Europe had been tyrannized, culminating in the Nazi genocide, opted to assuage their guilt with the land, blood, and liberty of the innocent people of Palestine, long the plaything of colonial powers.

Since that time, Israel has repressed the Palestinians in a variety of ways, depending on whether they are in the state as it existed in 1949; the West Bank, which was seized during the June 1967 war; or the Gaza Strip (also called the Gaza Ghetto), also seized in that war. Meanwhile, millions of refugees — people (and descendants of people) driven from their homes by Zionism’s terrorist militias, have been confined to refugee camps, stateless, rightless, and destitute. At various time, Israel, with America’s backing, has cut deals with Arab states and Palestinian quislings for the purpose of keeping the Palestinians from winning their rights either in a single secular democratic state or through a two-state plan. Western political and media establishments have overwhelmingly sympathized with the Israelis and demonized the Palestinians (and Arabs and Muslims generally). It didn’t take long for the public to be propagandized, against all evidence, into believing that the Palestinians are the aggressors and the Israelis the victims. Apparently, a person is anti-Semitic if he objects to having his property stolen by someone who claims that property in the name of the Jewish People.

But after so many decades of Israeli wars, massacres, repression, and routine brutal dehumanization, the tide has started to turn. Israel pulverized Gaza and its people one too many times; it shot and broke the bones of too many children before too many video cameras. And so public opinion, especially among younger Americans — and particularly among younger Jewish Americans, has been turning against Israel. Then the BDS Movement arose to accomplish what a similar movement help to accomplish against apartheid South Africa: bringing world attention to an intolerable situation and take concrete steps to change it.

All of this has been too much for Israel’s ruling elite and its supporters in the United States, Great Britain, and elsewhere, and they are fighting back. They know they can’t win on the merits. Well-documented historical studies and basic morality have seen to that. So they smear their opponents as Jew-haters and supporters of terrorism. As one Israel lobby operator puts it in the Al Jazeera program, you discredit the message by discrediting the messenger — which is what The Israel Project, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Israel on Campus Coalition, Canary Mission, Emergency Committee on Israel, Israeli Embassy in Washington, Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and the other co-conspirators have set out to do. Their goal, as their leaders themselves acknowledge, is to identify criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. (Also see this.)

But it goes beyond that. The Israel lobby realizes that the anti-Semitism charge no long sticks so tenaciously to people who merely indict Israel for its obvious mistreatment of the Palestinians. So the lobby has resorted to a broader brush: it says that those who support BDS and the Palestinians are anti-American, anti-democracy, and anti-all-blessed-things. BDS and Students for Justice in Palestine, the lobby contends, are hate groups. This of course is patently absurd, but Israel’s side observes no limits it what it is willing to say and perhaps do to destroy the reputations anyone who realizes that the Israeli emperor has clothes.

Al Jazeera, the Electronic Intifada, Max Blumenthal’s The Gray Zone Project, and others have performed a much-needed service on behalf of freedom, justice, and decency. I urge you to watch this program and spread the word.

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of The Libertarian Institute, senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He is the former senior editor at the Cato Institute and Institute for Humane Studies, former editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, and former vice president at the Future of Freedom Foundation. His latest book is America’s Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited. https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/sheldon/

History suppressed: Censorship in israel’s (apartheid state) archives

History suppressed: Censorship in Israel’s archives

Troves of looted Palestinian books, documents, photographs and films are sealed in Israel’s archives and libraries.

Written by Al Jazeera

 

Sealed in Israel‘s archives and libraries are troves of Palestinian books, documents, photographs and films that were looted from Palestinian institutions and personal archives by Jewish militias and later, the Israeli military.

“This confiscation is a kind of daily struggle that Palestinians face,” says Sherene Seikaly, a scholar of Middle Eastern history. “One of the reasons, that these archives are a target, that they’re threatening, is because they’re really a record of Palestinian social life, and Palestine more broadly.”

Israeli historian Rona Sela has spent 20 years uncovering Palestinian visual history that has been kept in the dark in Israel’s state and military archives. She says the methodical plunder of Palestinians‘ cultural assets predates the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, what Palestinians call the ‘Nakba‘ or ‘catastrophe.’

“The looting and seizure, as far as I found, started in the 1930s in a systematic and organised manner … by Haganah forces [Zionist paramilitary group]. The seizure intensified, of course, with the Nakba in 1948. I found materials taken in 1967, 1982, 1991 and … in the last few years.”

What begins with looting and appropriation, continues with a system of censorship and historical revisionism in the archives. The origin of Palestinian material is often erased and replaced with terminology that fits the archivist’s world view.

“I saw photos with comments and notes written on them by the censors and archivists. For example, Palestinians are described as ‘terrorists’, as ‘gangs’. Seeing all of that taught me about how the materials go through a process of rewriting to aid or benefit the Zionist narrative,” says Sela. “You see a place where the materials are being censored and erased from the public sphere.”

The suppression of history doesn’t only extend to Palestinian material. The Israeli archives also guard state secrets that could reveal details about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Historians and journalists say the policy of censoring incriminating material in the archives exposes the deep insecurity Israel has about its past, with archivists employed as the ‘gatekeepers’ of history.

“Israel is terrified of the contents of its own archives, and doesn’t want its history to be exposed,” says Mahmoud Yazbak, a professor at the University of Haifa. “The government’s … aim is to hide the past from researchers in order to prevent it from being part of the present and the future.”

Palestinians see the censorship as part of a wider trend of physical and cultural erasure that began in 1948 and has continued ever since. Concealing the archival record denies them the tools to communicate their own history, what the Palestinian intellectual and literary theorist Edward Said called “permission to narrate.”

“The fact that these documents have been taken away from Palestinian hands is a sign of contempt for Palestinian history,” says Yazbak. “It’s an attempt to suggest Palestinians have no history, no documents, no belongings.”

The Listening Post‘s Tariq Nafi looks at the silencing of Palestinian history in Israel’s archives.

Contributors

Sherene Seikaly – associate professor, UC Santa Barbara
Rona Sela – Israeli researcher on visual history and lecturer
Mahmoud Yazbak – professor, University of Haifa

Source: Al Jazeera

israeli (apartheid state) Sources Admit Hamas in Possession of “Game Changing” Missiles

Israeli Sources Admit Hamas in Possession of “Game Changing” Missiles

 

18 Nov
8:32 PM

An Israeli website known for its close links to the regime’s military intelligence services has admitted that the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas is now possessing “game-changing” missiles that could hit targets in Israel with considerable ease and precision.

The Debka file said, in a report on Saturday, that its sources had identified the type of modern missiles used by Hamas in recent attacks on the Israeli-occupied territories that inflicted considerable damage and casualties on the regime and forced the Israeli government to accept a ceasefire with the Palestinians

It said, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that the missiles were of the 333mm-caliber type and had a medium range of 11 kilometers. The report added that the missiles were capable of destroying Israel’s “artillery emplacements, Iron Dome batteries, armored force concentrations – whether over ground or in trenches, as well as combat engineering equipment and command centers”.

“It is not launched from stationary batteries, but from any combat 4×4 vehicle or jeep, each of which carries two rockets,” said the report, adding that the main advantage of the missiles was its mobility which allowed Hamas to fire them from any area in the Gaza Strip without Israeli radars noticing them.

The report came just days after Israelis signed into a ceasefire with Hamas, when a barrage of resistance missile attacks on southern occupied territories killed one and injured more than 80 Israelis.

The Israeli government decision to accept the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, prompted its Minister of Defense, Avigdor Lieberman, to resign. Hamas called the resignation, which could bring about early elections in the occupied lands, as “an admission of defeat” and a “political victory” for the Palestinian resistance.

Lieberman said, after resigning from the Israeli cabinet, that Hamas was on its way to becoming a serious threat to Israel, saying that, in a year’s time, the group and its partner in Gaza, the Islamic Jihad Movement, would reach the military prowess of Hezbollah, the dominant resistance movement in Lebanon which has successfully defended the small country against Israeli aggression, in the past.

The Debka file report about Hamas missiles also came hours after Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, warned Israel not to test the resistance group again.

“I advise Israel not to try and test us again. This time you did not have a lot of casualties and you managed to rescue your special forces,” said Sinwar, at a memorial service for the Palestinians killed in recent confrontations.

“Whoever tests Gaza will find only death and poison. Our missiles are more precise, have a greater range and carry more explosives than in the past,” said Sinwar, adding, “Our hands are on the trigger and our eyes are open.”

israeli settlers (jewish terrorists) attack Palestinian ambulance in Hebron

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian ambulance in Hebron

Ma’an – November 18, 2018

HEBRON (Ma’an) — A large number of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian ambulance, on predawn Sunday, on the al-Shuhada Street in Hebron City, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.

According to local sources, the ambulance was passing through the al-Shuhada Street in Hebron City, in order to transfer a Palestinian patient to a hospital nearby, when Israeli settlers attacked the ambulance by hurling rocks at it. 

Material damages, such as shattered windows, resulted from the attack.
Sources confirmed that the ambulance belonged to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).
Eid Abu Munshar, an ambulance officer, said that Israeli settlers attacked the ambulance with rocks, while he was passing by through al-Shuhada Street to transfer a patient from the Tel Rumeida neighborhood.
Palestinian residents of the Old City of Hebron face a large Israeli military presence on a daily basis, with at least 32 permanent and partial checkpoints set up at the entrances of many streets.
Additionally, Palestinians are not allowed to drive on al-Shuhada Street, have had their homes and shops in the street welded shut, and in some areas of the Old City, are not permitted to walk on certain roads.
Meanwhile, Israeli settlers move freely on the street, drive cars, and carry machine guns.
The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military forces who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents.

‘Zionism is a narrative based on fabricated ideas’

Zionism is a narrative based on fabricated ideas’

Baroud: ‘Zionism is a narrative based on fabricated ideas’

Ramzy Baroud: ‘Why should we feel any way accountable to prove that we are not terrorists? We should not apologise for it.’
MEMO | November 18, 2018

The Palestinian case is a narrative as is Zionism, but the latter is made up “mostly if not entirely of fabricated ideas”, Palestinian author Ramzy Baroud told an international audience in Istanbul, Turkey, today.

Zionism, which is the basis of the state of Israel, “has been communicated to the Western world to be truth,” Baroud continued, but “it has so little to do with the truth or is the complete opposite of the truth. The Palestinian narrative is the truth.”

However, Palestinians “are losing” because “for 25 years we have been distracted by the narrative that is the peace process and anyone who deviates from this narrative is classed as either a radical, a terrorist or a terrorist sympathiser,” he said during a discussion on the “Global discourse of the Palestinian narrative”.

But Palestinians and those working to attain their rights “should not buy in to this nonsensical narrative that paints Palestinians as terrorists.”

Why should we feel any way accountable to prove that we are not terrorists? We should not apologise for it.

It is for this reason that “the Palestinian victim” was created, to spread another image of the cause in the media. Journalists, Baroud said, “are part of our resistance” and they “can resurrect once more the Palestinian unity … so we as Palestinian people can become whole again”.

Israel not only uses the Zionist narrative to serve its aims, the panel said, it also employs policies that create “a civilised us and an uncivilised them”, which “serve only one purpose and one purpose only: the apartheid state of Israel”, Palestinian historian and writer Johnny Mansour added.

“It is not sufficient for us to say it’s a racist state but that it’s an apartheid state which practices fascism,” former minister of the Bureau of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe told the audience.

As part of its fascist policies, he explained, is the fact that “since 2015 Israel has passed more than 185 laws which are against Palestinians including 15 against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Which protects the ill treatment of Palestinian prisoners by law.”

The point of these laws is to place all activities by Palestinians as terrorist acts and make Israel an innocent bystander but Israel supports with wages and funding Jewish criminals while it bans support for Palestinian prisoners.

The occupation’s policies have emptied Jerusalem of its citizens, Deputy Director-General of Al Quds International Institution Ayman Zeidan said. “Jerusalem is emptying out of a main part of its identity; Christians. They are spreading all over the world.”

“This city will remain in conflict as long as it remains occupied,” he warned.

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