Netanyahu is not the Disease, he is a Symptom

March 25, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

In a recent thought-provoking article Gideon Levy, probably one of the last genuine Israeli voices for peace, claims that “It is not Netanyahu who is responsible for Israeli ‘racism, extreme nationalism, divisiveness, incitement, hatred, anxiety and corruption.’” Behind Netanyahu, Levy says, there’s a nation of voters and other elected officials that aren’t very different from their leader.

“Simply put, the people are the problem… There are those who have hated Arabs long before Netanyahu. There are those who despise blacks, detest foreigners, exploit the weak and look down their noses at the whole world – and not because of Netanyahu. There are those who believe they are the chosen people and therefore deserve everything.”

Levy reaffirms the observation that I have been pushing for two decades. The problem with Israel is not of a political kind. The conflict with the Palestinians or the Arabs is not of a political nature as some delusional characters within the Palestinian solidarity movement have been proclaiming for years. Israel defines itself as the Jewish state. In order to grasp Israel, its politics, its policies and the intrusive nature of its lobby, we must understand the nature of Jewishness. We must learn to define the differences between Jews (the people), Judaism (the religion) and Jewishness (the ideology). We have to understand how those terms are related to each other and how they influence Israeli and Jewish politics globally.

Levy writes that “there are those who think that after the Holocaust, they are permitted to do anything. There are those who believe that Israel is tops in the world in every field, that international law doesn’t apply to it, and that no one can tell it what to do. There are those who think Israelis are victims – always victims, the only victims – and that the whole world is against us. There are those who are convinced that Israel is allowed to do anything, simply because it can.”

In order to understand what Levy is referring to we must dig into the core of Jewish identification and once and for all grasp the notion of Jewish choseness. Levy contends that “racism and xenophobia are deeply entrenched here, far more deeply than any Netanyahu…The apartheid did not start with him and will not end with his departure; it probably won’t even be dented. One of the most racist nations in the world cannot complain about its prime minister’s racism.” Netanyahu as such, is not the disease. He is a mere symptom.

The devastating news is that neither the Israeli ‘Left’ nor the Jewish so-called ‘anti’ Zionist league are any less racist than their Zionist foes. The Israeli Left pushes for a ‘two state solution.’ It crudely ignores the Palestinian cause i.e. the Right of Return. The Israeli Left advocates segregation and ghettoization; not exactly the universal message of harmony one would expect from ‘leftists.’ Disturbingly, the Diaspora Jewish ‘anti’ Zionist Left is even more racially exclusive than the Israeli Right. As I have explored many times in the past, Corbyn’s ‘favourite Jewish political group namely, Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL)  is a racially exclusive political cell. It wouldn’t allow gentiles into its Jews-only club. Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is no better. It will happily take donations from Goyim but will never allow those Goyim to become its board members.

Levy proclaims that “Netanyahu is the best thing to ever happen to Israeli politics – you can dump everything on him.” But in his most astute observation, which has been explored before by Uri Avnery (may he rest in peace) and yours truly, Levy continues, “It would be great if some local Nelson Mandela would arise, a brave leader with vision who would change the country’s basic values and lead a revolution. But no such person has been born here, and it’s doubtful he ever will be.”

Levy points at the core of the Zionist failure. If early Zionism was a promise to civilise the diaspora Jew by means of ‘homecoming,’ Israel happened to do the complete opposite. Not much is left out of the Zionist promise to make the Jews ‘people like all other people’: as Israel is about to perpetrate another colossal war crime in Gaza, we have to admit that we are dealing with an institutionally racist and dangerous identity like no other.

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Israel Migrates to the Right

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Israel’s Tragic But Predictable “Migration” to the Right—An Analysis (22 March 2019) by Lawrence Davidson

 

Part I—Israel’s Movement Right

An article published in the Israeli news blog +972 on 19 November 2018posed the question: Why does the right keep winning elections in Israel? The answer offered was “because Israelis are right wing.” Simple enough, and apparently, quite true. The article estimates that over half of Israeli Jews think of themselves as “right wing.” Self-defined centrists are about 25 percent, and those Israeli Jews who still cling to “leftist” ideals are now only about 15 percent of the population. The remainder are non-committal.

This movement to the right is often blamed on the Palestinians, but that is largely an evasion. As the story goes, it was the Second Intifada (occurring from late 2000 to early 2005) that so scared a majority of Israeli Jews that it “led to a migration of left-wingers to the … political center… [and] centrists [to the] right, causing the percentage of Jewish right-wingers to drift upward over the decade.” While the “migration to the right” has certainly taken place, it is better understood as follows: under Palestinian pressure for democratic reforms and justice, along with corresponding resistance to oppression, Israeli Jews who could not face the prospect of real democracy had nowhere politically to go than to the right—what should properly be described as the racist right. And, so they went. From this point on there was no more obfuscation—Israeli “security” is now clearly a stand-in phrase for the maintenance of Israeli Jewish domination over non-Jews.

Part II—Enter the Fascists

The present shifting about on Israel’s political landscape prior to its April 2019 elections confirms this basically rightwing racist scene. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed that Israel is “the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people.” A minority of Israeli Jews might denounce such racism, but Israel’s recently adopted nationality law states that the right of national self-determination in Israel is “unique to the Jewish people.” And

whether the “left” acknowledges the fact or not, this law is in perfect sync with Zionist ideology.

It should be noted that the prime minister’s personal preference is not for “the Jewish people” as a whole. Indeed, in his eyes, if you are an anti-Zionist Jew you are an anti-Semitic Jew—whatever that might mean. The prime minister is more comfortable with Jews of the fascist, racist right, with whom he has so much in common. This is the kind of Jew he has politically allied with. What in the world is a fascist Jew? Well, in this case, it is someone who uses violent methods to  realize the logical consequences of Zionism—if Israel is a “Jewish state,” then non-Jews must go. How they ultimately go has been left an open-ended question, though Israel is engaged in a continuous effort to destroy Palestinian infrastructure. Fascist Jews advocate expulsion of all Palestinians and sometimes engage in direct violence—akin to classic pogroms—in an effort to fulfill this goal.

You might shake your head in wonderment at the notion of Jewish fascists, but they have always been an important element in Zionist history. You can trace their activity from Vladimir Jabotinsky and his notion of an “iron wall” (1923) that would force the Palestinians to acquiesce in Zionist domination, right up to Meir Kahane, an advocate of expulsion, and his Kach Party (1971-1990). It is Kahane’s followers who now are political partners of Netanyahu. The “migration” of Israeli Jews to the right has narrowed the gap between the majority of “ordinary” citizens and the fascists. So, back into favor come the Kahanists.

Part III—What Is an Israeli Centrist?

Nor should we look for anti-racist activism among the 25 percent who see themselves as centrists. Presently, those who seek to capture the centrist vote are Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid. Gantz is former chief-of-staff and a man who is being sued for war crimes. He is leader of the Israeli Resilience Party (Hosen Israel). That party has allied with Yair Lapid, a former TV celebrity, and his There is a future Party (Yesh Atid).

Both of these politicians call themselves “new centrists” and concentrate their platforms on “socio-economic issues such as the cost of living.” However, when it comes to the Palestinians, neither of them are interested in a democratic Israel that would afford non-Jews equal rights—nothing particularly “new” here for “centrists.” Gantz is the classic military maven so prevalent in Israeli politics. Here is his view of where “resilience” should take Israel relative to the Palestinians: “The Jordan Valley will remain our eastern security border,” Gantz declared. “We will maintain security in the entire Land of Israel … we will not allow the millions of Palestinians living beyond the separation fence to endanger our security and our identity as a Jewish state.” For someone who is campaigning on the theme that, under its present government, “Israel has lost its way,” Gantz’s intentions in this regard are remarkably similar to those of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yair Lapid’s position on the Palestinians is little different from that of Gantz. He says that “we need to separate from the Palestinians,” as if Israeli Jews haven’t been doing just that for the past 71 years. He goes on to demand that all issues of security have to “stay in Israel’s hands,” there is no such thing as a “right of return,” and Jerusalem will not be divided into two capitals.

On the Palestinian issue—the one that now divides Israel from increasing numbers of citizens in the democratic world—there is little difference between the Israeli rightists and the centrists except that the latter do not publicly talk about the forceful expulsion.

Part IV—Conclusion

That approximately 85 percent of Israeli Jews should end up unwilling to grant equal rights to the 20 percent of Palestinians who are their segregated neighbors; that they should support, or at best not act against the relentless, vicious process of illegal settlement in the Occupied Territories; and finally that they should react to Palestinian resistance to Zionist oppression by “migrating” to the right, is both tragic and predictable.

It must be realized that any country that allows racism to rule its public sphere cannot pass itself off as a democracy. It is simply a contradiction. The Zionist experiment looking toward a democratic Jewish state might have gone differently if it had been tried somewhere devoid of a non-Jewish population (like the moon), but then, in the end, the Zionists became obsessed with Palestine, fell in with the colonial mentality still prevalent during the first half of the twentieth  century, and have never progressed beyond it.

To this point, I beg the reader’s patience as I repeat an argument I have made more than once in past analyses: It is impossible to create a state exclusively for one people (call them people A) in a territory already populated by another people (call them people B) without the eventual adoption of racist policies by A and eventual resistance on the part of B. Under such circumstances, for A, there can be no real security, nor can there be anything like a healthy national culture.

Indeed, unless a majority of Israeli Jews are willing to go the route of South Africa and renounce their program of discriminatory dominion over millions of non-Jews, they have nowhere else to go but head-first into the hell that is the racist right. With 85 percent sharing, or at least acquiescing, in the views of Netanyahu, Gantz, and Lapid, the chances for redemption do not look good. In fact, it is probably the case that the “light unto the nations” has long since gone out.

About Lawrence DavidsonImage result for Lawrence Davidson

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

Purim Blackface

March 22, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Eve Mykytym

The focus on anti Semitism has become pervasive in the US. Recent backlash to statements by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar have united the left and the right in condemning Jewish stereotypes. But have Jews been held to the same standards when it comes to racism?

According to the Forward, it is not uncommon for Orthodox Jews to dress in blackface for Purim. After someone in blackface attended a Purim party in Los Angeles, Aliza Hausman of Chabad-Lubavitch, who identifies as a mixed-race Dominican Jew, said she believes that the general attitude in the orthodox world is that, “dressing up in blackface for Purim is not racist.”

Nonetheless, it is clear that African Americans find blackface offensive. Blackface isn’t just about a costume, it invokes a racist and painful history.

The first minstrel shows mimicked enslaved Africans on Southern plantations, depicting black people as lazy, ignorant, cowardly or hypersexual.

Later, blackface became a staple of vaudeville, with stereotypes that were fully integrated into American culture. Beyond entertainment, caricatures of mammies and pickaninnies – dark-skinned children with densely coiled hair – as well as grinning, bug-eyed black men adorned everything from postcards to cookie jars.

Then as entertainment evolved, menacing rapists, lazy watermelon eaters, coddling mammies and comic simpletons, all with blackened faces, moved from the stage to the screen. These offensive cultural stereotypes persisted into the 1960s when the civil rights movement was mostly successful in condemning their use.

But, albeit to a lesser degree, blackface has continued and Orthodox Jews are not alone in appearing in the costume.

In 2010, Sarah Silverman tweeted a photo of herself in blackface with the caption “I’m having minstrel cramps.”  (tweet now deleted)

In the last few years, colleges and universities with blackface incidents have included Albright College, Brigham Young, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis ObispoOklahoma State UniversityPurdue UniversityUniversity of Central ArkansasUniversity of Nevada at RenoUniversity of North DakotaUniversity of Oregon and University of Wisconsin at Whitewater,

This year, Ralph Northam, the Democratic governor of Virginia, faced harsh criticism when his medical school yearbook page pictured a man in blackface and a man in a KKK uniform. At the same time, it came out that Attorney General Mark Herring  had also worn blackface in college.

In Florida, Michael Ertel, the Republican secretary of state, resigned after  photos from a 2005 Halloween party showed him in blackface mocking survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

David Pilgrim, director of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Michigan says that for the most part, those who wear blackface now, know exactly what it implies. “It’s a part of the privilege of being white in our culture,” he says. “They are doing it in a safe, white space consistent with the mores of their in-group.”

But unlike others ‘caught’ in blackface, the Orthodox present justifications for their behavior. There seem to be three general arguments as to why some believe it is acceptable for Jews to don blackface for Purim.

The first, articulated by Queens College sociologist Samuel Heilman, is that blackface costumes are a response to racial tensions between Orthodox Jews and Black Americans. Heilman claims that because Orthodox Jewish communities have remained in inner city neighborhoods, they’ve borne the brunt of anti-white backlash at various points since the Civil Rights movement. This argument assumes that the racial tensions are not at least partially caused by the behavior of the Orthodox and posits the offender (dressed in blackface) as the victim.

The second explanation is that Orthodox Jews may not know the history of racism because they may not have grown up with people of color. The assertion that insensitivity results from a lack of familiarity contradicts the argument that blackface is a response to tension between the Black and Jewish communities. Avi Shafran, a spokesman for Agudath Israel of America, the leading ultra-Orthodox umbrella group, wrote “The history of minstrelsy is not something familiar to many, if not most, Orthodox Jews. That’s unfortunate, but a fact.”

The third excuse is that Purim is a Jewish holiday. Purim costumes that stereotype other cultures shouldn’t be considered offensive because they’re not about those cultures, they’re about cutting loose for Purim.

This line of thought was illustrated in 2013, when New York State Assembly member, Dov Hikind, an Orthodox Jew, wore a blackface costume to a Purim celebration. Hikind stated that, “If a Jew wears blackface on Purim, it’s certainly not to intentionally insult blacks but only to ‘become’ [an] ‘other, which is what Purim masks are all about.” See Jon Stewart on the subject.

“Purim is a holiday that’s built on collective memory of anti-Semitism and near genocide,” Heilman said. But the story of Purim is not just that Jews were saved from a genocidal plot but that Jews were allowed to slaughter their enemies.

Chabad’s website contains this paragraph about Purim. “On the 13th of Adar that year, the Jews throughout the Persian Empire mobilized and killed the enemies who had wanted to kill them. In Shushan, among the dead were Haman’s 10 sons. Esther asked the king’s permission for the Jews in Shushan to have one more day to destroy their enemy—and the king acceded to her wish. On that day, the 14th of Adar, the Jews worldwide celebrated, and the Jews of Shushan killed more of their enemies, and also hung Haman’s sons. The Jews of Shushan then rested and celebrated on the 15th of Adar… This holiday, called “Purim,” is the most joyous holiday on the Jewish calendar.”

So on this ‘joyous’ holiday, when Jews celebrate their destruction of their enemy, it remains an open question why this celebration may include stereotypes offensive to an ethnic group that, at least at the moment, is far more ‘oppressed’ than the Jews.

source: https://www.evemykytyn.com/writing/2019/3/22/purim-blackface

Trump Gifts Netanyahu’s Re-Election Campaign with Syria’s Golan Heights

Darko Lazar

Donald Trump’s tweet this week, which sought to legitimize the 52-year-old “Israeli” occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights, is only the latest demonstration that US demands for compliance with international law do not encompass the country’s own policies.

“Israel” occupied the strategic plateau during the 1967 Six Day War and annexed the territory in 1981.

But according to UN Security Council resolutions, including one that the Americans co-authored themselves, the Golan Heights remains a part of Syrian territory.

As such, Trump’s endorsement of Tel Aviv’s claim to the Golan is essentially an empty gesture. It will not change the internationally recognized status of the Golan Heights, nor will it get other states to follow suit.

And while Trump’s “irresponsible” announcement drew condemnation from the standard-bearers of resistance to Washington’s agenda – Syria, Iran, Turkey and Russia – it is doubtful that the move will lead to any significant changes on the ground.

Instead, the US president is hoping that his message would reverberate throughout “Israel”, where the Trump administration’s key ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is fighting for his political survival.

Timing is everything

Trump’s tweet popped up as Netanyahu’s bid to secure reelection on April 9 was met with the specter of potential corruption charges, leading to a surge in the polls for his main rival and former army general, Benny Gantz.

It also comes just a few short days before Netanyahu is set to join Trump at the White House, leading to speculation that the US will officially endorse “Israeli” sovereignty over the occupied Golan as early as next week.

If this is indeed the case, such a declaration may very well hand Netanyahu another term in office.

The incumbent has long pushed for Washington’s seal of approval on the issue of the Golan Heights, and in recent months, he has stepped up his lobbying efforts.

Earlier in March, he toured the Golan with hawkish Republican Senator Lindsey Graham; in February, several members of the US Senate introduced legislation to sanction “Israeli” sovereignty over the mountainous area.

A favorable declaration from the White House just three weeks before “Israelis” head to the polls would certainly mark a symbolic victory for Netanyahu’s foreign-policy agenda, which already enjoys consistent support from the Trump administration.

Since coming into office, Trump has pulled his country out of the Iran nuclear deal, relocated the US Embassy to al-Quds (Jerusalem) and closed a Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.

But “Israel” is still a chapter in the broader tussle for power and influence between Western political elites, and Netanyahu is far from being the only one doing the lobbying.

Benny Gantz, who heads “Israel’s” recently formed Blue and White political alliance, is also heading to the US this month to address the annual conference of the powerful Jewish lobbying group, AIPAC (American ‘Israel’ Public Affairs Committee).

Netanyahu’s most prominent opponent is hoping to make nice with America’s left-wing figures, and of course, those pushing to unseat Trump.

Naturally, Trump’s Golan move will make it more difficult for Gantz to sell his message in “Israel”, where he is arguing that the next government needs to ‘regain the full support’ of Washington.

What’s more, the gifts bestowed upon Netanyahu by the White House have made it virtually impossible for Gantz to challenge the “Israeli” premier on foreign policy, especially as the leader of the Blue and White alliance has been led to exclaim that when it comes to ‘Israel’s’ external foes, “there is no right or left”.

No downside for Trump

From the point of view of the current US administration, there appears to be little to lose by recognizing “Israel’s” sovereignty over the Golan and handing Netanyahu his pre-election prize.

Trump himself has become quite accustomed to delivering shocks to international consensus, especially when it comes to issues pertaining to “Israel”. The American president therefore isn’t expecting any real opposition to the Golan move from any of his Western client states.

Condemnation coming from the Arabs will also be muted, or, at the very least, disingenuous. Gulf monarchies are not only invested in Trump’s political future, but have a major stake in Netanyahu’s, too.

In fact, the recent deployment of the most advanced American air and missile system to “Israel” signals that only Iran and Hezbollah are still perceived as real threats by Tel Aviv and Washington. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is being touted as Washington’s commitment to ‘Israeli’ security.

Viewed in a more focused geopolitical context, however, such measures have everything to do with the fact that the “Israeli” occupation of the Golan Heights and other Arab territories illegally held for decades has very few challengers left.

And both Trump and Netanyahu are well aware that one would be hard pressed nowadays to find any outside of the Iran-led Resistance Axis.

Zarif Reveals Distortion of Torah to Serve Iranophobia

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US administration is giving voice to the Zionist entity’s falsification of the Torah to promote Iranophobia.

“Even the Torah is distorted to serve Iranophobia. What it actually says: Persian king saved Jews from captivity in Babylon. Another Persian king saved Jews from genocide. Genocide plotter hailed from Negev, not Persia. Persian king is only foreigner referred to as MESSIAH,” Zarif said in a message posted on his Twitter account on Sunday.

The tweet came in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who claimed it was possible God raised New York real estate tycoon [US President] Donald Trump to be president in order to protect ‘Israel’ from Iran.

Pompeo traveled to occupied al-Quds this week and made a controversial visit to the Buraq Wall, called by ‘Israel’ as the Wailing Wall, in the occupied Old City.

The visit made him the highest-ranking US official to visit the site with any ‘Israeli’ leader and appeared to further signal the Trump administration’s support for the Zionist entity’s control of the contested city.

Asked “could it be that President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace?” he said, “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible”.

In the legend, Esther is the main heroine of the Jewish holiday of Purim, which was celebrated this week. According to Jewish accounts, Persian King Xerxes I discovered a plot by his viceroy Haman the Agagite who hailed from Negev to slaughter Jews some 2,500 years ago and had him executed.

Relatively, it is worth mentioning that Iran is home to some 25,000 Jews who are a recognized minority and are allocated a seat in parliament.

Related News

The Third Degree – Behind the ‘Rise’ in Anti-Semitism

March 21, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

In the UK, charges of anti-Semitism are tearing the Labour Party asunder. In the States, similar developments are stirring in the Democratic Party. All the while, the power of the Jewish lobby in the West, and the intractable conflict in the Middle East, raise questions that demand serious attention. How are such matters to be discussed in a febrile atmosphere when suspension or no-platforming awaits those who stray even marginally out with the narrow bounds of “allowable opinion”? To explore these issues, and many more, three UK Column stalwarts interview Gilad Atzmon, writer, musician, philosopher and commentator on Jewish identity politics. Join them, if you dare, as Gilad gets “The Third Degree”.

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (14 March – 20 March 2019)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations 

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

Israeli warplanes launch dozens of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip for five hours. Two million Palestinians have become victims of collective punishment policy amid a tide of incitement at political and military echelons in Israel. Four Palestinian civilians, including 2 women and a child, were wounded, in addition to damaging a wedding hall, an office belonging to the Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs. Moreover, several houses sustained material damage. Three Palestinian civilians were killed and 12 others were wounded in different incidents in the West Bank. Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip.

Shooting:

 

  • During the reporting period, Israeli forces escalated their attacks on the Gaza Strip. In this week, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against Palestinian civilians participating in the Return and Breaking Siege March, which broke out in the Gaza Strip on 30 March 2019, where thousands have been killed and wounded. Moreover, Israeli forces continued to target the agricultural lands with artillery shells, tighten the closure for the 13th year, and chase fishermen in the sea. On Friday dawn, 15 March 2019, the Gaza Strip witnessed the most violent Israeli escalation in months, in which Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes on various targets in the Gaza Strip. Two million Palestinians are victims of collective punishment policy amid a tide of incitement at political and military echelons in Israel. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 23 civilians, including 7 children, 2 women, a paramedic, and a journalist. The injury of five of them, including a girl, were reported serious. Sixteen of them were wounded during the 25th boats rally for breaking the Siege along the Gaza Strip coastline, while 27 others were wounded due to airstrikes and shooting incidents at the border areas. In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed 3 civilians and wounded 12 others in different shooting incidents. Moreover, a child was wounded with a liv bullet by an Israeli settler.

 

  • In the Gaza Strip, on 15 March 2019, Israeli warplanes fired for five hours 52 missiles at 20 military sites located in various locations; some were in densely populated areas throughout the Gaza Strip.  Targets were against civilian facilities, including a wedding hall and an office belonging to the Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, which were completely damaged. The Israeli airstrikes resulted in the injury of 4 civilians, including a girl and 2 women. Moreover, two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip lived in a state terror and fear due to the continuous Israeli airstrikes.

 

  • On 19 March 2019, an Israeli drone fired one missile at a group of civilians, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah, and no injurie were reported.

 

  • In excessive use of lethal force against the peaceful protesters in eastern Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 16 civilians, including 4 children, a paramedic and a journalist. All of them were wounded during the 25th boats rally organized on 19 March 2019  for breaking the Siege along the Gaza Strip coastline.

 

 

  • As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, on 20 March 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, north of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within one nautical mile and chased them. As a result, fishermen were force to flee for fear of their lives and no casualties or damage to their boats were reported.

 

 

  • As part of targeting the border areas, on 14 March 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, fired live bullets and flare bombs, east of al-Zanna area, east of Khan Younis. They later declared that they arrested five Palestinian civilians while attempting to sneak through the border fence.

 

  • On 16 March 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at farmers in the eastern areas. As a result, the farmers were forced to flee fearing for their lives, and no casualties were reported.

 

  • On the same day, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds.

 

  • On 17 March 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands and no injurie were reported.

 

  • On 19 March 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel opened fire at Khaled ‘Abd al-Ra’ouf Abu Ghanima (21), from al-Sheja’ia neighborhood, east of Gaza City. As a result, Khaled was hit with a live bullet to the chest. According to PCHR’s investigations, Khaled was near the industrial zone (Karni) collecting gravel and stones using his cart to sell them. At approximately 08:30, he arrived at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where his injury was classified as serious.

 

  • On the same day, Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand berms along the border fence with Israel, opened fire at Palestinian civilians, who were 70 meters away, west of the aforementioned border fence, east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, two children were hit with live bullets to the lower limbs and their injuries were classified as moderate.

 

  • On 30 March 2019, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands, east of ‘Abasan and al-Qarrarah villages, east of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.

 

  • In the West Bank, Israeli forces moved into Nablus to protect hundreds of settlers, who were going to perform their Talmudic prayers in “Joseph Tomb” in Balata al-Balad, east of Nablus. Fifteen minutes after the incursion, an Israeli infantry force covering behind buildings and stores at the entrance to the sub-road to ‘Amman Street opened fire at a Palestinian civilian car carrying two civilians identified as Raed Hashem Mohammad Hamdan (21) and Ziad ‘Emad Mohammad al-Noury (20), both from Nablus.Following that, the Israeli forces claimed that a speeding car opened fire at them on Amman Street, but no causalities were reported.Moreover, in an attempt to hide their crime, the Israeli forces confiscated the DVRs of the surveillance cameras in the nearby shops in the area.

 

  • On 20 March 2019, Israeli forces stationed at al-Nashash military checkpoint, south of Bethlehem, opened fire at a vehicle belonging to ‘Alaa’ Moahmmed Ghyatha (38). As a result, ‘Alaa’ was hit with a live bullet to the abdomen and taken to al-Yamam Hospital and he is in critical condition. Moreover, while civilians were evacuating passengers from the vehicle to relive them, Ahmed Jamal Mahmoud Mahmoud Manassra (26), from Fokin Valley village, west of Bethlehem, was hit with live bullets to the chest, shoulder and hand, immediately causing his death. According to PCHR’s investigations the two crimes were committed in cold blood.

 

  • In the same context, the Israeli forces wounded 12 civilians in different shooting incidents in the West Bank.

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 114 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 5 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 51 Palestinians, including 3 children and 2 women, from the West Bank, while 5 other civilians, including a woman, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs.

In this week, Israeli forces imposed a collective punishment policy against over 80 thousand civilians, from Salfit. Following an attack against a site belonging to the Israeli forces at the intersection of Ariel” settlement, north of Salfit, the Israeli forces declared the area as closed military zone, closed all the villages’ entrances, and prevented the residents from entering and exiting the villages. As a result, the residents were deprived of their right to live, work and movement for several days. The Israeli forces also conducted incursions against residential houses, shops, in addition to mal-treating civilians. Salfit includes around 20 residential compounds.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces backed by five military vehicles, moved around 100 meters into the west of the border fence with Israeli, east of Gaza Valley village (Johr al-Dik). The military vehicles leveled lands adjacent to the border fence. The incursion continued until 14:30 as the Israeli forces redeployed along the border fence.

 

Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

  • As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, Israeli Municipality vehicles demolished an under-construction building belonging to al-Razi Private School and then completely demolished it. The building was comprised of 2 floors built on an area of 1000 square meters. The schoolmaster Saleh ‘Alqam said that the demolished building belongs to his wife, who bought a plot of land located few meters away from the school in order to expand it. The school was built years ago, where 1500 students are studying in it. He also said that the building was built last year on an area of 1000 square meters, in addition to other facilities, before issuing the demolition order in last November by the Israeli authorities. Before starting to build the mentioned building, the school administration headed to the Israeli Ministry of Interior and Jerusalem Municipality to get a license, where they told them that the area belongs to UNRWA and the municipality does not get construction licenses.  However, the Municipality issued an order to demolish the building.

 

  • In the same context, the Israeli Civil Administration staff handed a notice to the Palestinian Equestrian Club in Qalandia village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, to stop construction works under the pretext of non-licensing. The journalist Mahmoud ‘Awadallah said that the notice orders the owners of the club, which is built 2 years ago, to stop construction works and gives them until the beginning of next April to license the club.

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

 

  • As part of house demolitions, on 18 March 2019, Israeli vehicles stationed in Kherbit Um Nir and the digger demolished a water well used to irrigate the crops. The water well belongs to Fareed Za’al al-Jabbour and it was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • On 20 March 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a digger moved into Kherbit al-Tubah, east of Yatta, south of Hebron, which is classified within al-Masafer area. The Israeli soldiers deployed between civilians’ houses and the digger started to demolish a 50-sqaure-meter house built of bricks. This house belongs to Huda ‘Ali ‘Abed al-Rahman ‘Awad, where she and her 3 children live. The Israeli forces also confiscated a water tank and solar cells from the house.

 

 

  • As part of Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, PCHR’s fieldworkers documented 7 direct attacks were as follows:

 

  • On 15 March 2019, an Israeli settler opened fire at Ahmed ‘Odah Mazar’ah (7) while he was al-Baba Mount Community in al-‘Izariyia village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem.

 

  • On 17 March 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, attacked the eastern outskirts of ‘Asirah al-Qabaliyia village, south of Nablus. As a result, two civilians, including a child, were hit with stones to their heads and then taken to Rafidiyia Hospital in Nablus. Moreover, the settlers damaged three windows of ‘Abed al-Rahman Mohamed Ahmed’s house, in addition to damaging the windows and rear lights of a car belonging to Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Salman Makhlouf and the rear lights of his brother Majdi’s car.

 

  • On the same day, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered in the plain of Dir Sharaf village, at the intersection of “Shavei Shamron “settlement, west of Nablus. The settlers threw stones at a vehicle belonging to the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) , broke its windows and attacked its staff.

 

 

  • On 18 March 2019, Israeli settlers, from “Homesh“ settlement, northwest of Nablus, attacked with stones Palestinian civilians’ vehicles passing on Jenin-Nablus Street. As a result, Rawan Ihssan ‘Atah Ghubariyia (24), was hit with stones to the back, abdomen, right shoulder, and left leg; along with her brother Nizar (30), who was hit with a stick to his back. Both of them are from Kafiret village, south of Jenin.

 

  • On 20 March 2019, a group of Israeli settlers punctured the tires of 17 vehicles belonging to Palestinian civilians in Biter village, west of Bethlehem. They also wrote racist slogans on the vehicles. The village’s residents said that they were surprised with storming the village by the Israeli settlers and damaging 17 vehicles parked in front of their owners’ houses. They also said that the settlers wrote racist slogans on the vehicles and walls such as “ Price tag” “ Go away” “ You have no place on the lands of Israel”.

 

  • On the same day, a group of Israeli settlers, from “ Homish” settlement, northwest of Nablus, threw stones at a house belonging to Fadi Mahmoud Mas’oud Heijah, which is located on Jenin-Nablus Street. As a result, Fadi and his brother Rami’s cars were damaged.

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

 

 

 

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 14:45 on Tuesday, 19 March 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed in the sea and Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel opened fire and fired sound bombs at dozens of Palestinian civilians, who were in the Return Camp along the coastal border, adjacent to “Zikim” military base, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. Moreover, they opened fire and fired sound bombs at the boats of the 25th day for the rally of Palestinian boats to sail for Breaking the Siege and another group were swimming in the sea. As a result, 16 civilians, including four children, a paramedic and a journalist, were wounded. Three of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, and 13 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The injury of three of them, including a girl, was reported serious, while the rest of them ranged between minor and moderate. The wounded paramedic, Mustafa Khaled Mustafa al-Masri (20), from Khan Younis, who works as a volunteer paramedic for Rowad al-Salam team, was hit with a tear gas canister to the head. Meanwhile, the wounded journalist, Tha’er Khaled Fehmi Abu Ryash (24), from Beit Lahia, who works as photographer for al-Shamal Online Network, was hit with a tear gas canister to the neck.

Notices and House Demolitions:

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 19 March 2019, Israeli forces accompanied with the Israeli Municipality staff and 3 military vehicles moved into Sho’fat refugee camp, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, through its main entrance. The Israeli forces deployed on the main street and surrounded an under-construction building belonging to al-Razi Private School and then completely demolished it. The building was comprised of 2 floors built on an area of 1000 square meters.  The schoolmaster Saleh ‘Alqam said that the demolished building belongs to his wife, who bought a plot of land located few meters away from the school in order to expand it. The school was built years ago, where 1500 students are studying in it. He also said that the building was built last year on an area of 1000 square meters, in addition to other facilities, before issuing the demolition order in last November by the Israeli authorities. ‘Alqam added that before starting to build the mentioned building, the school administration headed to the Israeli Ministry of Interior and Jerusalem Municipality to get a license, where they told them that the area belongs to UNRWA and the municipality does not get construction licenses.  However, the Municipality issued an order to demolish the building. ‘Alqam pointed out that the demolition led to end the school day due to raiding the school and topping its roof. He said that the new building was supposed to be a primary school and kindergarten. About 400 students were enrolled in al-Razi school for the next academic year.

 

  • On Tuesday, the Israeli Civil Administration staff handed a notice to the Palestinian Equestrian Club in Qalandia village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, to stop construction works under the pretext of non-licensing. The journalist Mahmoud ‘Awadallah said that the notice orders the owners of the club, which is built 2 years ago, to stop construction works and gives them until the beginning of next April to license the club. ‘Awadallah said that the club is located in area classified as Area C, where the Israeli authorities refuse to give licenses in it. He also pointed out that the notice was part of the Israeli attack on the village through confiscating lands, preventing construction works and demolishing houses whether in lands classified within the municipality boundaries or the area classified as “C “. Awadallah said that the village faces a real urban crisis as the Israeli authorities only allow civilians to build in the center of the village on an area of 150 dunums.

 

  • Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 15 March 2019, an Israeli settler opened fire at Ahmed ‘Odah Mazar’ah (7) while he was al-Baba Mount Community in al-‘Izariyia village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem. Dawoud al-Jahaleen, the Secretary of Fatah Movement in ‘Arab al-Jahalin Community, said that the child was hit with a live bullet to the hand by an Israeli settler when he was playing along with other children in the area. Dawoud denied that the child was wounded with suspicious object. He added that the child was taken to an emergency center in Abu Dies village and then to al-Maqased Hospital in al-Tour neighborhood in Jerusalem. It should be noted that “Maaleh Adumim“ is located few meters away from al-Baba Mount Community.

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

Israeli forces’ attacks:

  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 18 March 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a digger moved into Kherbit Um Nir, south of Yatta. The Israeli vehicles stationed in Kherbit Um Nir and the digger demolished a water well used to irrigate the crops. The water well belongs to Fareed Za’al al-Jabbour and it was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 20 March 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a digger moved into Kherbit al-Tubah, east of Yatta, south of Hebron, which is classified within al-Masafer area. The Israeli soldiers deployed between civilians’ houses and the digger started to demolish a 50-sqaure-meter house built of bricks. This house belongs to Huda ‘Ali ‘Abed al-Rahman ‘Awad, where she and her 3 children live. The Israeli forces also confiscated a water tank and solar cells from the house.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into Kherbit al-Halawa, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli soldiers deployed between civilians’ tents. The bulldozer demolished three tents were as follows:
    • a residential tent built with stone chains, sheds and steel angles and belongs to ‘Ali Mohamed ‘Ali Abu ‘Arram;
    • a 20-sqaure-meter residential tent built with sheds and wood and belongs to Hussain ‘Ali Abu ‘Arram; and
    • a tent built with sheds and used as a mosque.

 

  • At approximately 11:30, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a digger moved into Kherbit Moghayir al-‘Abeed, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The digger demolished a 60-sqaure-meter residential tent and a 40-squre-meter barrack built of tin plates and used for breeding livestock. The tent and barrack belong to Nuzha Shehadah Makhamrah.

 

Israeli settlers’ attacks:

 

  • At approximately 14:30 on Sunday, 17 March 2019, following the attack carried out near “Ariel” settlement, south of Salfit, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement moved into the eastern outskirts of ‘Asirat al-Qabaliyia village, south Of Nablus, under the Israeli forces’ protection. The settlers stationed in the vicinity of Bir ‘Asirah area, under Solman Mount, and then threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ houses. As a result, two civilians, including a child, were hit with stones to their heads and then taken to Rafidiyia Hospital in Nablus. Moreover, the settlers damaged three windows of ‘Abed al-Rahman Mohamed Ahmed’s house, in addition to damaging the windows and rear lights of a car belonging to Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Salman Makhlouf and the rear lights of his brother Majdi’s car. The wounded civilians were identified as Nimer Fathi Nekem ‘Asayirah (28), who was hit with a stone to the head; and Jameel Naser Rashid ‘Asayirah (17), who was hit with a stone to the head as well.

 

  • At approximately 19:00, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered in the plain of Dir Sharaf village, at the intersection of “Shavei Shamron “settlement, west of Nablus. The settlers threw stones at a vehicle belonging to the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) , broke its windows and attacked its staff, who left the area and went back to the company in Nablus. The company vehicle was carrying many persons identified as:

 

  • Raied ‘Abed al-Wahad Thulth (46), from Beit Ebah village, west of the city, who sustained wounds to the head;
  • Nash’at ‘Adel Suliman Dowikat (62), from Balatet al-Balad village, east of the city, who sustained wounds to the head; and
  • Samer Hamdi Abu al-Hayyat (56), from Nablus, who was sitting on the rear seat and sustained wounds throughout his body.

All the wounded persons were then taken to the Arab Specialist Hospital in Nablus.

 

  • On Sunday, dozens of Israeli settlers gathered on Wadi al-Dolb Road, near Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. The settlers threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ vehicles while passing on the street, causing fear among the vehicles’ passengers.

 

  • At approximately 12:30 on Monday, 18 March 2019, Israeli settlers, from “Homesh“ settlement, northwest of Nablus, attacked with stones Palestinian civilians’ vehicles passing on Jenin-Nablus Street. As a result, Rawan Ihssan ‘Atah Ghubariyia (24), was hit with stones to the back, abdomen, right shoulder, and left leg; along with her brother Nizar (30), who was hit with a stick to his back. Both of them are from Kafiret village, south of Jenin. This incident occurred when Nizar parked on the road side, near the entrance to the mentioned settlement to urinate. When he stopped his car, stepped out of it and hide behind a rock, he was surprised with 2 settlers attacking his car. His sister stepped out of the car and fled towards him. The settlers pursued them and attacked them with stones and sticks. Nizar and Rawan returned to the vehicle and then fled towards Nablus.

 

  • On Wednesday, 20 March 2019, a group of Israeli settlers punctured the tires of 17 vehicles belonging to Palestinian civilians in Biter village, west of Bethlehem. They also wrote racist slogans on the vehicles. The village’s residents said that they were surprised with storming the village by the Israeli settlers and damaging 17 vehicles parked in front of their owners’ houses. They also said that the settlers wrote racist slogans on the vehicles and walls such as “ Price tag” “ Go away” “ You have no place on the lands of Israel”.

 

  • At approximately 22:00 on Wednesday, a group of Israeli settlers, from “ Homish” settlement, northwest of Nablus, threw stones at a house belonging to Fadi Mahmoud Mas’oud Heijah, which is located on Jenin-Nablus Street. As a result, Fadi and his brother Rami’s cars were damaged.
  • Recommendations to the International Community

 

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

, for the week of 14 – 20 March, 2019.

 

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