Excuses, Excuses when the Stone-Thrower is an israeli Settler (jewish terrorist) and the Victim is Palestinian

Excuses, Excuses when the Stone-Thrower is an Israeli Settler and the Victim is Palestinian

Palestinian Aisha Al-Rawbi, a mother of eight, died after Jewish settlers stoned her car in the West Bank. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Ramona Wadi

In 2015, Israel approved a law that stipulated a 20-year prison sentence for individuals caught throwing stones. The intention was to target Palestinians involved in resistance activities, despite the discrepancies between armed Jewish Israeli settlers and Palestinians in terms of weapons available for them to use. “Tolerance towards terrorists ends today,” commented Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

“A stone thrower is a terrorist and only a fitting punishment can serve as a deterrent and just punishment.”

Yet despite claiming that Palestinians who throw stones during clashes “provoke” unwarranted violence, stone throwing by Jewish Israeli settler-colonists has many precedents and victims and is usually overlooked. The latest Palestinian victim of Jewish stone-throwers was Aisha Al-Rabi who was killed last Friday while on her way home in the car. Settlers hurled stones at the family car, killing Aisha and injuring her husband Yacoub.

Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin described the killing and subsequent attachment of blame to Jewish settlers as “a scrap of an incident”. He added, “It is quite galling that it takes an incident like this in relation to a Palestinian vehicle for it [stone throwing] to be raised on the agenda.”

In fact, B’Tselem has documented many instances of settler-colonial violence, including stone throwing by extremist Jews on many occasions. The Israeli rights group has pointed out that there is an absence of law enforcement in such cases.

The Israeli media gives priority to detailing clashes between stone-throwing settlers and the Israeli military, which usually end in a tally of those injured and a notification of temporary arrest. There is an explicit difference in punishment and media portrayal between settler violence and Palestinian resistance. The former is exempt from punishment, whether the violence is directed against Palestinians or the Israeli military; the latter, meanwhile, is criminalized.

Al-Rabi’s case crossed a red line as regards media coverage due to settlers causing her death by stone throwing, hence the need for her murder to be downplayed by Levin. His comments indicate that close scrutiny of Jewish Israeli settler stone throwers is unacceptable to right-wing politicians, particularly when the victim, who was killed, is a Palestinian.

However, if the context is taken into consideration, it is clear that the Israeli state has manufactured a culture of impunity for stone-throwing (and other) crimes by its settler population. This precise bequeathing of impunity is evidence of the colonial state’s dependence upon its settlers, no matter that they live in illegal settlements, to preserve its existence.

While condemning the murder, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov failed to address settler stone throwing, focusing instead upon the attack as creating “a new cycle of violence that would further undermine the prospects of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.” This was not, however, a “new cycle of violence”; to describe the crime this is to absolve the Israeli colonial state and its settlers of embracing stone throwing as the means to terrorize Palestinians merely for being the indigenous inhabitants of historic Palestine.

Palestinian stone throwers, facing heavily armed settlers and the military, face harsh sentences and at times even extrajudicial murder for daring to resist the colonial violence endorsed by Israel. Al-Rabi’s killing was an unprovoked terror attack. Will Shaked’s misplaced words, directed against Palestinians, be fully invoked against Jewish Israeli settler stone-throwers when, as in this case, the end result is murder? Or will it be yet another example of excuses, excuses but no justice from Israel’s Justice Minister?

– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this article was originally published. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

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Euro-Med: ‘At Least One Gazan is Killed Every Single Day’

Source

Palestinians taking part in the Great March of Return. (Photo: Abdallah Aljamal, Palestine Chronicle)

The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) said that Israeli forces caused injuries to one in every 100 Palestinians as Gaza protests conclude 200 days and called on the international community to exert serious pressure on Israel to end its targeting of Palestinian demonstrators.

Euro-Med said in a statement:

“The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls on the international community to exert serious pressure to put an end to the targeting of Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza Strip and to protect their right to peaceful assembly.”

 

Euro-Med also called on “all parties concerned to exert pressure on Israel to lift its blockade affecting every aspect of Gaza’s largely civilian population.”

Euro-Med described the continued use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian protesters at the Israel-Gaza fence as “deeply shocking,” noting that in the 200 days of protests, Gaza lost 205 residents.

https://pbs.twimg.com/amplify_video_thumb/1052111747501445122/img/T4s6DdjCtBZnoFRr?format=jpg&name=medium

 

Euro-Med Monitor said that at least “one Palestinian is killed every single day,” further noting that “in every 100 Gazans, one injury was recorded.”

“Despite the fact that the protesters were mostly unarmed civilians and did not in most cases pose a credible threat, the Israeli forces met them with lethal force, including by live fire and explosive bullets, as well as toxic gas and tear gas.”

In addition, 69 of those injured, 14 of whom were children, suffered permanent disability, according to the latest statistics by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.

 

Euro-Med stressed,

“Israel’s response to protests violates the principles of international human rights law; that is, despite the fact that protests have largely been peaceful, Israeli soldiers killed 205 people, including five women and 38 children, while also injuring 22,527 others, 18% of whom are children.”

 

It added:

“The Israeli authorities continue to impose a relentlessly suffocating blockade that has left civilians unaccounted for, simply as collateral damage to a policy of collective punishment … The Israeli forces targeted Palestinians indiscriminately.”

Sarah Pritchett, Euro-Med’s spokesperson, said:

“The targeting of medical staff and journalists also contravenes international humanitarian law, specifically articles 15 and 79 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, which stipulate that medical, journalistic and civilian personnel must be respected and protected.”

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

israel’s (apartheid state) Defiance of History, Morality and Law

Israel’s Defiance of History, Morality and Law

By Jeremy Salt | Palestine Chronicle | October 19, 2018

A boy in Gaza gathering rocks to defend against Israeli snipers. (Photo: Abdallah Aljamal, PC)

No state established on land seized by force from the people living on that land can claim moral legitimacy and a ‘right’ to exist.

A purported ‘right’ to exist is not central to the existence of states anyway, let alone colonial settler states established amidst the wreckage of the genuine rights of another people.

States exist because they have strong armies because their enemies are too weak to destroy them, because they have good relations with near and far neighbors whose respect they have earned and because they have the consent of the people they govern.

They do not exist because of an imagined ‘right’ to exist. Were that to be the case, no state would ever have risen and then fallen in history. They would all still be here.

Israel understands this as well as anyone. It makes a lot of noise about its right to exist and its legitimacy but this is bluster. It knows why it exists and why it believes it will continue to exist. It has a strong military. It has nuclear weapons. It can destroy anyone who threatens to destroy it. These are the constituent elements of its existence, not morality and the ‘rights’ of which it endlessly talks.

‘Rise up and kill first” is not just the motto of Mossad but of the state. This is what it has done repeatedly ever since 1948. It has risen up and killed first, but with declining efficiency and herein lies the danger to its existence.

Its enemies are catching up. It has these enemies, not because of opposition to the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. They certainly did oppose it but had this been followed with admissions of moral responsibility and legal liability, accompanied by material measures to make up for the damage done. Israel might have achieved a measure of consent within the Arab world.

It does have some but in a vacuous form. The treaty with Egypt has prevented war but the people of Egypt are as resolutely opposed to Israel as they were the day it was signed. This is not blind animosity but born of the fact that instead of working for a just peace, Israel has done its best to secure an unjust peace. It wants peace entirely on its own terms, which of course can never be achieved when two parties are in dispute if a serious peace really is the desired objective.

Israel’s bona fides are not genuine and never were. It has deceived not just its enemies but its partners. It has taken them for a ride. The Oslo ‘peace process’ was all process and no peace and was never designed, in the official Israeli mind, to lead to a genuine peace. It was aimed at achieving through an endlessly stretched-out ‘peace process’ what otherwise would have had to be achieved through war and it worked perfectly.

The trade-off for a genuine peace, East Jerusalem and the West Bank, are now densely settled. Facts always matter and nothing has mattered more to the Zionists from the beginning than creating facts on the ground that could not be removed because they were facts, irrespective of what the law said.

About a million settlers now live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank colonies. How can all these facts possibly be reversed, Netanyahu and his cohorts say with the palms of their hands extended helplessly as if they had nothing to do with this process and can’t do anything about it anyway.

Of course, they can be removed, as the French settlers in Algeria were in the 1960s, after 130 years of French occupation. Israel should have been made to remove its West Bank and East Jerusalem settlers long ago, apart from the fact that they never should have been there in the first place.

In any case, this should be regarded as Israel’s problem, instead of various governments accepting Israel’s justification of an illegal presence. One punishes the lawbreaker. One does not allow it to get away with the stolen goods.

The fact of settlement was intended to smother the question of illegality and in some minds, the American in particular, the strategy has succeeded. In the official US view the territories taken in 1967 are no longer occupied but ‘administered’ or ‘contested,’ enabling the next step, the shifting of the embassy to Jerusalem.

If Israel annexes all or most of the remainder of occupied Palestine the US will not oppose it and in time it will accept it, underlining the first point that the achievements of raw power, diplomatic, economic and military, are what is important to the Zionists and not the ephemera of legitimacy and the ‘right to exist.’ These phrases are fictions, distractions, the cover for a deeply immoral and deeply illegal process.

For Palestinians the state is illegitimate. There is absolutely no reason why they should think otherwise. There is no reason why they should have accepted a recommendation of the UN General Assembly in 1947 that was only passed because of threats by the US to vulnerable delegations.

There is no reason why they should accept their expulsion from their homeland, even if they have to deal somehow with the fact of Israel’s existence. No resolution gave Israel the right to take the land and drive out the people and no resolution could have given Israel such a right. Palestinian rights are inalienable.

The Palestinians have both law and morality on their side. Israel has neither. Even while claiming legitimacy and the ‘right to exist,’ it has never abided by the UN resolutions laid down as the conditions for its acceptance as a UN member.

But for the protective arm of the US, it may well have been suspended or expelled from the UN long ago. After all, what club accepts the membership of those who are warned time and again but still refuse to obey its rules?

States often violate international law. Israel is the only state in the world that lives in permanent, continuing violation of international law, not at one but many levels. This is not incidental or accidental but the necessary condition of its existence. To live within the law, to respect the law, would mean that Israel could not be what it wants to be and could not have what it wants to have.

To be what it wants to be, at least what every government has wanted it to be since 1948, Israel must live outside the law. The law is not relevant anyway. Israel sneers at the UN and has no respect for international law when it comes to Palestinian rights. It only respects its own laws, which of their nature are occupier’s laws and thus inconsistent with and indeed in violation of international law.

Israel’s strong right arm is all that really counts. ‘Friendships’ and pseudo-alliances, such as the ‘unbreakable bond’ with the US, are important but only for as long as they serve Israel’s interests. There is no sentiment here. Israel flattered Britain with fine phrases before jumping in the direction of the US when Britain had no more to give. For seven decades the US was the gift that kept giving but now that it is running out of steam as a global power, Israel has to hedge its bets, hence Netanyahu’s currying of favor with Vladimir Putin and the ramping up of its relations with China.

In the end, Israel’s ultimate defense is not questionable ‘friendships’ and ‘mutual interests’ that never last forever in the game of nations but its own strong right arm. So how strong is it?

Well, Israel has nuclear weapons and thus the ‘Samson option,’ the ability to pull down the roof on everyone’s head as well as its own. Whether, in the final resort, it will use these weapons is a question for the future but Israel’s possession of them has not deterred its enemies.

Rationally, perhaps it should have, but who is being rational here, a government and movements that resist occupation, as is their right in international law, or a government that continues an occupation, in defiance of law, morality and against the possibility of one day being able to call the people whose land it has taken and the states around its non-declared borders genuine ‘neighbors’? Against the possibility, it might be said, of one day really being able to call the Middle East home.

Whether or not the nuclear threat is a bluff, and given the extreme nature of Zionism, it probably is not, the resistance continues. With its nuclear weapons, yes, Israel has the capacity to destroy all life in the Middle East, but short of this, what about its conventional weaponry and military strength? Is this enough to hold its enemies at bay and beat them on every occasion?

The answer has to be probably not. In 1967 Israel caught Egypt and Syria napping. With their air forces destroyed on the ground, they were rendered almost helpless from the first day but it is most unlikely that there will be another 1967.

Since then Israel’s conventional military superiority has been slowly but perceptibly declining. In the size of the territory it has taken and the size of its population it lacks strategic depth. It must fight short wars. Thus, in 2006, after only a month of fighting Hizbullah, a guerrilla organization, not a regular army, it had to withdraw. The longer a war continues the less likely it is that it will be able to win it.

Its ‘victory’ in 1973 came about because Anwar Sadat stopped his army from fighting. In the first week of the war, the Israeli forces on the east bank of the Suez Canal were routed. Sadat never intended to defeat Israel because he knew the US would not allow it, so he declared an ‘operational pause’ after nine or ten days and handed Israel the opportunity to recover and cross the canal to the western side.

With Egypt sidelined militarily because of the 1979 ‘peace treaty’, Israel was free to go on the rampage elsewhere, mainly against Lebanon, a virtually defenseless target against the operations of a large army and air forces.

‘Incursions’ ending in thousands of civilian deaths led up to the invasion of 1982. What were the consequences? For Lebanon and the Palestinians, about 20,000 dead civilians, including the thousands killed in Sabra and Shatila. For Israel, yes, the defeat of the PLO was an achievement, but not much of one compared to the establishment of a far more dangerous enemy, Hizbullah.

By 2000 Hizbullah had driven Israel out of Lebanon and in 2006 it drove it back again. All Israel could do was use its air power to devastate cities, towns, and villages, but on the ground in the south, its highly rated Merkava tanks were destroyed and its troops outfought by Hizbullah’s part-time soldiers. This was a humiliating outcome for an army touted as one of the best in the world. Borrowing from Hizbullah, the Israeli military then increased the intake of ideologically committed recruits into the ranks of its officers, many of them from West Bank settler colonies.

Since then Israel has been itching to have another go at Hizbullah but this time the deterrence factor is working against it. It knows Hizbullah has built up an armory of missiles that can cause devastation across occupied Palestine. It knows its anti-missile defenses will not be able to stop many of them. In the meantime, while weighing up its chances and while preparing the blows that it says will destroy Lebanon as well as Hizbullah, it has a softer target to pick on, Gaza.

There, its onslaughts over the years, vicious in the extreme, brutal and inhumane, have killed many thousands of Palestinians. Hundreds of Palestinians, mostly very young, have been shot dead by snipers along the Gaza fence just in the past few months, without the Palestinian will to resist being destroyed.

The Israelis are now fighting balloons carrying fire into the occupied land, while Palestinians continue to strike at settlers occupying their land on the West Bank, despite the terrible consequences to themselves and their families.

Through all of this, Israel’s actions and reactions are becoming more hysterical, exposing psychological fragility and nervousness within the shell of outward confidence. It cannot shut down Palestinian resistance, its intimidation of Iran and Hizbullah has not worked and in the US there is a growing awareness that Israel is a violent racist state that does not merit by any means the large-scale support the US has always given it.

It is fighting back with all the weapons at its disposal, including hasbara, the attempt to criminalize the BDS movement and attacks on individual academics but the tide is running against it.

States need flexibility but Israel has none. Its power is brittle and like the oak against the willow, when the storm comes it is more likely to fall. After more than seven decades, it has no friends and allies in the Middle East worthy of the name. It uses Arab governments up just as they use it up but the Arab people are just as strongly opposed to this western colonial-settler implant in their midst as they always were. To repeat, this is not because they can’t adjust but because Israel can’t. In terms of being accepted by the Arab masses, it has not moved an inch forward.

History worked once for Israel but it is not working for it now. The wheel is turning against it. All it has on its side is armed might. By no means is this to be underrated but time does not stand still and neither do enemies convinced they have a just cause standing against a state that within itself knows it does not have a just cause.

Israel is always preparing for the next war but against a real enemy, not just defenseless civilians reduced to fighting back with fire balloons, it is going to take casualties unprecedented in its history next time around.

This is the very least that is going to happen, and all because of the determination to create a Jewish state on territory populated by people who are not Jewish. In the arrogant, twisted mindset of Netanyahu, Naftali Bennet, Ayelet Shaked, Avigdor Lieberman and the racist rabbis and settlers urging them on, it is the ideology that matters and not the peace and security of the Jewish people living in Palestine. Legitimacy is not the point. The point of the sword is the point and just as Israel has lived by it, so must it live with the possibility that one day it will die by it.

– Jeremy Salt taught at the University of Melbourne, at Bosporus University in Istanbul and Bilkent University in Ankara for many years, specializing in the modern history of the Middle East. Among his recent publications is his 2008 book, The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands (University of California Press).

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against Palestinians (11 – 17 October 2018)

PCHR Weekly Report  (11 – 17 October 2018)

 

18 Oct  9:47 PM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 11 – 17 October, 2018.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against unarmed civilians and peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. 8 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed in the Gaza Strip. 310 civilians, including 62 children, 9 women, 7 journalists and 2 paramedics, were wounded; 11 of them sustained serious wounds.

Shooting:

 

Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against Palestinian civilians, who participated in peaceful demonstrations organized within the activities of the “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed for the 29th week in a row peaceful demonstrations along the eastern and northern Gaza Strip border area. During the reporting period, the Israeli forces killed 8 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 310 civilians, including 62 children, 9 women, 7 journalists, and 2 paramedics.  The injury of 11 of them was reported serious.  Moreover, 4 civilians, including 3 national security officers, were wounded during Israeli airstrikes.  In the West Bank, a Palestinian civilian was killed while a woman was killed by settlers in addition to 10 Palestinians wounded by the Israeli forces, including a journalist.

 

In the Gaza Strip, , the Israeli forces killed 8 Palestinian civilians, including a child, during their participation in the Return and Breaking the Siege March.  On 12 Oxtober, they killed 7 civilians, including ‘Afifi Mahmoud al-‘Afifi (18) and Mohammed ‘Issam ‘Abbas (20) in eastern al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City; Ahmed Ibrahim al-Taweil (23), Mohammed ‘Abdel Hafiz Isma’il (29), Ahmed Ahmed Abu Na’im (17) and ‘Abdullah Burham al-Daghmah (25) in eastern al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip, and Tamer Eyad Abu ‘Ermanah (21) in al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City. Four of them were hit with bullets to the chest, 2 to the abdomen and 1 in the head.

 

On 16 October 2018, the medical sources at the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia declared the death of Saddam Shlash (27) after succumbing to wounds he sustained during his participation in the Sea March in the northern Gaza Strip the day before.  Shlash was wounded with a bullet to the upper right thigh that cut the main artery.

 

As part of the use of lethal force against the peaceful protestors along the border fence during the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 310 civilians, including 62 children, 9 women, 7 journalists and 2 paramedics.  Eleven of them sustained serious wounds.

 

As part of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, pointing out to the ongoing Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods.  On 17 October 2018, the Israeli authorities decided to reduce the area allowed for fishing to 3 nautical miles along the Gaza Strip shores as part of the Israeli policy to restrict fishermen and target their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, the Israeli forces opened fire 5 times at the fishermen; 3 incidents in the north-western Beit Lahia and 2 off al-Sudaniyah shore in western Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.  AS a result of those attacks, 2 fishermen who are also brothers were arrested after one of them sustained wounds while their boats sustained damage.

 

As part of the Israeli airstrikes, on 14 October 2018, the Israeli drones launched a missile at the Palestinians who were walking at the end of the Girls Street, southeast of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, wounding one of them.  On 16 October, the Israeli drone launched a missile at a group of civilians in the aforementioned are, but no casualties were reported.

 

On 17 October 2018, Israeli warplanes carried out many airstrikes in the Gaza Strip targeting military training sites for the Palestinian Armed Groups, a site belonging to the National Security Services and vacant lands.  During the airstrikes, 17 air-to-surface missiles were launched resulting ion the injury of 3 Palestinian National Security Officers, including one sustained serious wounds.  .

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 08 October 2018, the Israeli forces opened fire at the agricultural lands along eastern al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

In the West Bank, as part of excessive use of force, on 15 October 2018, the Israeli forces killed Elias Yasin (22) from Bedia village, northwest of Salfit when he was crossing the traffic light on ‘Aber al-Samerah Street, seemingly the traffic light was red and he rapidly  crossed the street.  AS a result, an Israeli soldier opened fire at him and killed him immediately.  The Israeli forces claimed that Yasin attempted to stab soldiers so they opened fire at him without any of the soldiers being wounded.  The Israeli soldiers could have used, in case of suspicions about Yasin’s intent to stab, less lethal force and arrested him.

During the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 10 Palestinian civilians, including a journalist.

 

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 104 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 6 similar ones into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 80 Palestinians, including 7 children and 3 women, in the West Bank.  Meanwhile, 10 other civilians, including 2 children and a girl, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

Israeli Forces continued to create a Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

 

As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 17 October 2018, the Israeli municipality demolished a house belonging to Khalil Za’atrah in al-Mukaber Mount neighbourhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City under the pretext of non-licensing.   The house was established 4 months ago and the municipality issued then a decision to demolish it, but the family resorted to the court and could delay the demolition and tried to obtain a license.  However, they were surprised with the municipality raiding he house and implementing the demolition decision without any prior warning.  The house sheltered 8 family members, including 5 children, and was built on an area on 100square meters and of sheets.

 

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

 

As part of demolition of houses and other civil objects, on 11 October 2018, the Israeli forces demolished 3 residential barracks built of tin plates, a residential tent, barrack, 2 livestock barns, a kitchen and a water tank in Kherbet al-Hadidiyah area in the northern Valleys, east of Tubas belonging to ‘Omer Bsharat.

 

On the same day, the Israeli forces levelled 5 dunums and uprooted 100 olive seedlings planted there in al-Khodor village, south of Bethlehem, belonging to Ibrahim Hamdan.  The land targeted is located between the settlements of “Prophet Daniel” and “Eli ‘Azar”, south of the city.

 

On 17 October 2018, the Israeli forces demolished a house and water collection well in Um al-Shaqhan area near Kherbet Khelet al-Mayeh, east of Yata in southern Hebron.  The house belonging to Mahmoud Abu Taha and is built on area of 170 square meters while the well capacity was 100 cubic meters.  The house has been built for years and was fully constructed finally so the family of 24 members, including children, were moving their furniture to the house in order to live there.

 

On the same day, the Israeli forces demolished a barrack built of tin plates on an area of 300 square meters and used for livestock breeding in Kherbet Ghwein to the west of al-Samou’a village, south of Hebron.  It should be noted that the barrack belonged to Shafiq al-Hawamdah.

 

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinians civilians and their property, on 12 October 2018, ‘Ashah al-Rabi (47) was killed from Bedia villahe, northwest of Salfit, when the car her husband was driving was thrown with stones by a group of settlers at “rihalim” settlement between the al-Sawiyah village and intersection of Za’tarah checkpoint, south of Nablus.

 

In addition to the crime mentioned above, PCHR’s fieldworkers in the West Bank documented 8 attacks by settlers against the Palestinian civilians and their property.  The attacks resulted in the injury of 3 civilians with bruises and wounds after being beaten.  Moreover, 540 olive trees and grape vines were damaged.

Female Civilian Killed by Israeli Settlers, who threw Stones at her Car at Za’tarah Checkpoint, south of Nablus:

 

  • On Friday evening, 12 October 2018, a Palestinian female civilians was killed and her husband and daughter were very shocked after their car was stoned by Israeli settlers near Za’tarah checkpoint, south of Nablus, north of the West Bank.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 23:00 on the same day, a group of settlers, who were at the intersection of “Rahalim” settlement between al-Sawiyah village, and Za’tarah checkpoint, south of Nablus, threw stones at a Palestinian car driven by Ya’qoub Mahmoud al-Rabi (52) and his wife Aisha Mohammed Talal al-Rabi (47) along with their daughter Rama (9), from Bedia village, northwest of Salfit, as they were coming from Hebron. A big stone hit the right side of the front glass, broke the window and fall on Aisha’s head. As a result, Aisha suffered a severe bleeding from right side of the  head front and above the eyebrow. Aisha’s husband drove to Ebn Sina Polyclinic in Howarah village, but she was dead. Aisha was then transferred as a dead body to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus. After medical examination, it was clear that the brain exited from the head front, causing Aisha’s death. Her husband and daughter were very shocked. Ya’qoub said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“I went to bring my wife, who was visiting our daughter in Hebron and were accompanied with our daughter Rama (9). After we crossed al-Sawiyah intersection near “Rahalim” settlement, adjacent to Za’tarah checkpoint, We suddenly heard a scream in Hebrew language and then stones started hitting our car. A big stone broke the front glass and hit the head of my wife Aisha, but I did not know that she was wounded because she did not scream at all. I looked at her and found that she was bleeding. I called her name twice, but it seemed that she died immediately. Her head was covered with blood. My daughter Rama started screaming as I was calling her mother. I quickly crossed Za’tarah checkpoint and arrived at Ebn Sina Polyclinic in Howarah village. Doctors there confirmed that Aisha died because of the stone that hit her head.”

 

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 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:

 

  • On Friday evening, 11 October 2018, 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded, east of Malakah intersection, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City. Moreover, another civilian was hit with a live bullet to the left thigh, east of Abu Safiyah hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. Doctors classified his injury as serious because the main artery was cut.

 

  • On Friday evening, 12 October 2018, thousands of Palestinian civilians swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of Abu Safiyah Hill in the northern Gaza Strip, Malakah intersection, east of Gaza City, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis, al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Hundreds of civilians approached the  border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli forces. The Israeli forces opened fire and fired tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 7 civilians, including a child, were killed. Four of them were hit with live bullets to the chest, 2 to the abdomen and one in the head. Moreover, 225 civilians, including 42 children, 7 women, 4 journalists and a paramedic, were wounded on the same day and doctors classified 12 civilians’ injuries as serious.

 

  • In Gaza City: Israeli forces killed ‘Afifi Mahmoud ‘Ata al-‘Afifi (18) from al-Shati’a refugee camp  after firing a live bullet to the abdomen, and Mohammed ‘Essam Mohammed ‘Abbas (20), who was hit with a live bullet to the head. Moreover, 98 civilians, including 11 children, 3 women and a journalist, were wounded. Seventy three of them were hit with live bullets, 24 were hit with tear gas canisters and one civilian was hit with a rubber bullet. Doctors classified 3 civilians’ injuries as serious. The wounded journalist was identified as Bilal Bassam ‘Oudah al-Sabbagh (27) from al-Jala’a Street was hit with a live bullet to the right leg.

 

  • The Central Gaza Strip: Israeli forces killed 4 civilians, including a child, and wounded 37 others, including 7 children and one woman. Thirty of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel and 2 were hit with tear gas canisters during their participation in the March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of al-Buraij. Those killed were identified as:
  1. Ahmed Ibrahim Zaki al-Tawil (23) from al-Nuseirat refugee camp was hit with a live bullet to the chest.
  2. Mohammed Abdul Hafith Yusuf Ismail (29) from al-Buraij refugee camp was hit with a live bullet to the chest.
  3. Ahmed Ahmed Abdullah Abu Na’im (17) from al-Nuseirat refugee camp was hit with a live bullet to the chest. And incised wound to the left arm.
  4. Abdullah Barham Suleiman al-Daghmah (25) from ‘Abasan al-Jadidah in Khan Younis was hit with a live bullet that penetrated the abdomen from the right side of the abdomen and exited the left side.

 

  • Rafah City: Israeli forces killed Tamer Eyad Mahmoud Abu ‘Armanah (21) after they hit him with a live bullet to the chest. Moreover, 27 civilians, including 4 children and 3 women were hit with a live bullets and their shrapnel and 3 were hit with tear gas canisters during their participation in the March of Return and Breaking Siefe, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Doctors classified 4 civilians’ injuries as serious.

 

  • The Northern Gaza Strip: 44 civilians, including 15 children and a journalist were wounded. Thirty sex of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel and 8 were hit with tear gas canisters. Doctors classified 2 civilian’s injury as serious. The wounded journalist identified as Safenaz Baker Mahmoud al-Louh (29), who works as a reporter and a photographer at Amad News Network, from Sheikh Redwan neighborhood was hit with a tear gas canister.

 

  • Khan Younis: 24 civilians, including 5 children, 2 journalists and a paramedic, were wounded. Sixteen of them were hit with live bullets and their  shrapnel and 8 were hit with tear gas canisters. doctors classified 3 civilians’ injury as serious. The wounded journalists were identified as: Mohammed Majed Ismail Abu Daqqah (22), a photojournalists at Sharq News Network was hit with a lie bullet to the 2 legs, and Ahmed Riyad Mohammed al-‘Amoudi (29), a photographer at Palestine News Network. The wounded paramedic was identified as ‘Ammar Abdul Karim Musalam Abu Hamad (35), who works at PRCS was hit with a  tear gas canister to the head.

 

  • On Sunday, 14 October 2018, a 26-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet to the right foot during his participation in the March of Return activities established in the east of Malakah in al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City.

 

  • At approximately 15:30 on Monday, 15 October 2018, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, opened fire and fired sound bombs at dozens of Palestinian civilians who were at the Return camp along the border coastal, adjacent to adjacent to “Zikim” military base , northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. It should be noted that this is the 11th time for Palestinian boats to sail for Breaking the Siege. As a result, 71 civilians, including 17 children, 3 journalists and a female paramedic, were wounded. Forty two of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel and 29 were hit with tear gas canisters. Doctors classified the injury of Saddam al-‘Abed Mohammed Shalash (27), from Jabalia, as serious where he was hit with a live bullet to the right thigh, causing a cut in the main artery. At approximately 21:50 on Tuesday, 16 October 2018, medical sources at the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia announced Saddam’s death. They carried out a surgery for him to stop the bleeding. Saddam was admitted to the ICU Department where he stayed until his death was announced.

The wounded journalists were identified as:

  1. Safenaz Baker Mahmoud al-Louh (28), a photojournalists and reporter at Amad News Network from Sheikh Redwan neighborhood in Gaza City, was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the right arm.
  2. Tha’er Khalid Fehmi Abu Rayash (24), a photojournalist at HIA Turkish News Agency from Beit Lahia, was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the left hand and face.
  3. Khalid Ayman Salim Salah (17), a reporter at Noor News Network from Khan Younis, was hit with a live bullet to both legs.

The wounded paramedic identified as Habibah Mahmoud Abdul ‘Aziz al-Sekafi (22), from Beit Lahia, was hit with a tear gas canister to the feet.

 

  • On Tuesday, 16 October 2018, 8 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded during their participation in the March of Return activities established in the east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip. An ambulance belonging to PRCS sustained a shrapnel to the right side.

 

 

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:40 on Friday, 12 October 2018, Palestinian civilians and International activists organized a demonstration in the center of Kufur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah and headed to the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years. The protestors chanted national slogans demanding end of occupation, condemning the Israeli decisions to demolish Khan al-Ahmer Bedouin Community deporting its residents and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors at the eastern border in the Gaza Strip within the Marcg of Return and Breaking Siege activities. Several representatives of national factions and representatives of National Action Factions in the north of the West Bank and a number of foreign and Israeli activists participated in the demonstration. Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 6 civilians were hit with rubber bullets.

 

  • Following the same Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders gathered on agricultural lands of al-Resan Mount area, west of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah in protest against the Israeli settlers’ attempt to seize and confiscate the land. When the civilians arrived at the abovementioned area, the Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a 21-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the foot.
  • House Demolitions and Notices:

 

  • At approximately 05:00 on Wednesday, 17 October 2018, the Israeli Municipality demolished a residential house belonging to Khalil Za’atrah in al-Mokaber Mount, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City under the pretext of non-licensing. Su’ad Za’artah, Khalil’s wife, said that the Israeli forces raided their house at dawn after surrounding it and forcing them to get out of the house without allowing them to vacate its content. She also said that: “The Israeli forces ordered us to get out of the house. They pushed us and prevented us from taking our IDs, documents and other belongings. The Israeli Municipality staff vacate some furniture before demolishing the house while the Israeli bulldozers demolished another part of the house.” She added that the house was built 4 months ago and the Israeli Municipality issued a decision to demolish the house, but the family headed to the court and managed to delay the demolition and attempted to license the house. She said that on Wednesday morning, they were surprised with storming the house and demolishing it without a prior warning. The 100-square-meter house was sheltering 8 members, including 5 children.

 

 

 

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces’ attack:

 

  • At approximately 05:30 on Thursday, 11 October 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and 2 bulldozers moved into Kherbit al-Hudaiydah in northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The Israeli soldiers deployed between houses and the Israeli bulldozers demolished a house belonging to Omar ‘Aref Mohamed Basharat, in addition to other civilian facilities belonging to him under the pretext of non-licensing. The material damage were identified as:
    • Three 100-square -meter barracks built of tin plates.
    • A 450-square -meter barrack used for breeding livestock.
    • A 30-square -meter residential tent.
    • A 40-square- meter kitchen.
    • Two 100-square-meter barns.
    • A water tank with a capacity 1.5.

 

  • At approximately 07:00 on Thursday, an Israeli bulldozer leveled an agricultural land in al-Khadir village, south of Bethlehem, and uprooted dozens of olives seedlings. Ahmed Salah, a Coordinator in Colonization and Wall Resistance in al-Khadir village, said that the Israeli forces leveled 5 dunums of agricultural land belonging to Ibrahim Hamdan and uprooted 100 olive seedlings under the pretext of state property. The targeted land is located between “Prophet Daniel “ and “Eli Azar“ settlements, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 15 October 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Sosiyia village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli soldiers deployed between residential tents and detained Palestinian civilians while the Israeli Civil Administration staff confiscated excavation tools, electric engine and electric crane used for excavating a water well in the village. The confiscated tools belong to Husam Na’iem Hamamdah. The Israeli authorities claimed that the abovementioned area needs a prior permit for working in it from the Israeli security.

 

  • At approximately 05:00 on Wednesday, 17 October 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration, a digger, and a bulldozer moved into Um Shaqhan area near Kherbet Khelet al-Mayyah, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration staff raided a 170-sqaure-meter house belonging to Mahmoud Shehada Taleb Abu Taha (48), vacated some of its content and then demolished it along with a 100-square-meter water well under the pretext of non-licensing. The house was built years ago and the family comprised of 24 members, including 7 children, were transferring the furniture as a prelude to live in the house. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities notified Mahmoud to stop construction work in 2015. It should be noted that Sant Eve institution submitted a request to the Israeli competent bodies in order to license the house, because it is located in area classified as Area C and no written notice was issued to demolish the house.

 

  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a digger moved into Khebet Ghoween, west of Samou’a village, south of Hebron. The Israeli forces deployed in the area and the digger demolished a 300-sauqre-meter barrack used for breeding livestock under the pretext of non-licensing. The barrack belongs to Shafeeq Saleem ‘Awadallah al-Hawamdah. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities fixed a notice on the facility on 24 January 2017 and took photos of it. The notice showed that on 12 February 2017, there was a hearing for the Israeli Civil Administration in “ Beit Eill” settlement, in order to discuss the demolishing of the facility.

 

 

Israeli settlers’ attack:

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Saturday, 13 October 2017, an Israeli settler from an Israeli settler from a settlement outpost in Hebron’s Old City, attacked Nedal Ehmidan Mohamed Suhlob (40) while he was in front of his house in Tal al-Ramida neighborhood. As a result, Nedal’s left jaw bone was fractured and was then taken to al-Ahli Hospital in the city, where he underwent surgery. Nedal said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “ I arrived at my house located in Tal al-Ramida neighborhood, returning from my work. My house is around 100 meters away from (56) checkpoint. After my arrival at the house, I heard shouting near the checkpoint, meanwhile, my children were heading to a shop for buying something. I went to the street along with my son Omar (14). We saw an Israeli soldiers pushing an Israeli settler. My son Omar headed to see what happen. Few minutes, he came back quickly and an Israeli settler was chasing him. Omar stood beside me and the settler attempted to steal Omar’s cell phone via which was covering what happened. The settler cursed us and then clapped me on my face. Three Israeli settlers then joint the abovementioned settler. A number of Israeli soldier arrived at the area and one of them attacked me and pushed me toward the wall without saying anything to the settlers. I felt dizzy and 10 munities later, paramedics from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) arrived at the area and took me to al-Ahli Hospital via an ambulance parked behind the checkpoint. At the hospital, I underwent a surgery in my jaw

 

  • At approximately 17:00, a group of Israeli settlers, protected by the Israeli forces, from “Yatizhar” settlement, moved into al-Safafeer area from the eastern side of ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus. The Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ houses. After that, Palestinian young men gathered, confronted the Israeli forces and settlers and threw stones at them. The Israeli forces then arrested ‘Adel ‘Abed al-Hafiz Shareef ‘Amer (37), an employee in the village council and a volunteer in B’Tselem Insanitation for Human Rights. ‘Adel was taken to Jamal Shehadah’s house and detained for over half an hour. The Israeli forces confiscated ‘Adel’s camera , delated materials on his memory cards and then released him.

 

  • On Sunday, 14 October 2018, a group of Israeli settlers uprooted and damaged dozens of grape and olive seedlings in al-Khadir village, south of Bethlehem. Ahmed Salah,  a Coordinator in Colonization and Wall Resistance in the village, said that Israeli settlers from “Afrat” settlement established on Palestinian civilians lands, south of Bethlehem, uprooted 370 grape seedlings planted 2 years ago and 30 olive seedlings belonging to Ibrahim Siluman Subaieh. He said that the Israeli settlers, who attacked Subaieh lands several time, placed bee hives in his land.

 

  • On Sunday morning, according to a security coordination that previously declared and allowed Palestinian farmers to enter Tal village, west of Nablus, to harvest their olive trees in Khelet al-Doghi area, west of the village. When the farmers entered their lands, a farmer Saqer Ahmed ‘Asidah was surprised that settlers from “Hafat Gilead” settlement, damaged and broke 50 olive trees from his 3 dunums of land. The damaged trees were planted 2 years ago.

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, Palestinian farmers, from Fer’atah village, northeast of Qalqiliyia, managed to enter their lands in al-Sotouh area east of the village upon a security coordination. ‘Abdullah Mahmoud Ibrahim Hasan Salman and Ibrahim Mahmoud Suliman Salah were surprised that their crop was stolen, in addition to damaging the trees. Moreover, around 22 olive trees were uprooted and the land was turned into an empty land for celebration near “Gilead“ Ibrahim Salah said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “ On Sunday, 14 October 2018, I went along with my family and relative to al-Sotouh land, east of Fer’atah village, upon a security coordination, which is necessary to enter the area. When we arrived, we found the crop was harvested and the trees were damaged. There were around 150 olive trees their crops were stolen. We left the land without harvesting any crops.”

 

Nada Salman, ‘Abdullah Salman’s wife, said that: “We entered our land and we could barely recognized it. We found a large area was leveled, in addition to 22 olive trees. The land was turned to an empty yard for celebrations. We also found empty beer bottles put in boxes. All the crops were stolen.”

 

  • On Sunday evening, a group of Israeli settlers cut with electric saws over 100 olive trees from agricultural lands in al-‘Ozal area in al-Moghair village, northeast of Ramallah. The olive trees belong to ‘Abed al-Latif Hamed Abu ‘Aliyia and his siblings. The settlers also wrote racist slogans on a dwelling in the land.

 

  • At approximately 11:40 on Wednesday, 17 October 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Homesh“ settlement, north of Barqah village, northwest of Nablus, attacked Mahmoud and Manna’ Sa’ied Mahmoud Hussain (20), fro, Bazariyia village. The Israeli settlers stole Mahmoud and Manna’s monkey while they were heading to their land to harvest the olive trees in al-Houd area. Mahmoud was hit with a stone at his left brow and beat with a stick at his right hand. Furthermore, Manna’ was hit with a stone at his right shoulder. Mahmoud was then taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus.

 

  • At approximately 14:30 on Wednesday, a group of Israeli settlers, protected by the Israeli forces, from “Yatizhar” settlement established in the eastern side of ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus, moved into al-Safafeer area. They threw stones at Palestinian civilians’ houses and broke their windows. The attacked houses belong to Sameer Mohamed Mohamed Sawalmah and Ahmed ‘Abed al*Kareem Fayiz Shehadah.

 

 

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).

Don’t laugh: Netanyahu says that ‘israel (apartheid state) Wants Peace’ but that Abbas and the Palestinians ‘Make It Impossible’

Netanyahu says that ‘Israel Wants Peace’ but that Abbas and the Palestinians ‘Make It Impossible’

Netanyahu says that obstacles to peace lie with the Palestinians and not with Israel

As discussed here on many occasions, Israel will not (nor does she need to) launch any preemptive screeching campaigns against Trump’s proposed ‘ultimate peace deal’. To do so only reveals the fact that she is the one who is CONSTITUTIONALLY AND ORGANICALLY opposed to any legal arrangement that inhibits her from engaging in what she does best in accordance with her religious DNA–i.e. murder, theft, rape, pillage, and then lying about all of it and portraying herself as the aggrieved victim.

Instead, what she will do is to incite the Palestinians through the various moles, assets and agents she maintains that are deeply embedded within the Palestinian resistance to react emotionally (and with as much volume and drama as possible) rather than responding rationally so that Israel will then be able to enter from stage wherever with a feigned look of bewilderment mixed with sadness and with her trademark shaking head and ‘tsk, tsk, tsk’, that once again, quelle dommage, peace eludes all of us due–not to Israel, the ‘light amongst the nations’ and GAAAAAAWD’S chosen people, but rather–because of the Ishmaelites and their irrational hatred of everything decent and civilized.

And now, a few ‘oldies but goodies’ that have appeared in previous posts–

‘All can rest assured that Israel will–through her various inside assets within the PA–stoke Palestinian anger and that it will be ‘Palestinian intransigence’ that Israel will use in justifying her rejection and abandonment of Trump’s peace deal. Wait for it, watch for it, because it is coming…’

..as well as–

‘…It needs to be understood that the posture which the Palestinians are maintaining, and particularly their recalcitrance over meeting with Trump’s peace team, although completely understandable from a ‘human’ standpoint, nevertheless is exactly what Israel wants (and is indeed bringing about through her tentacled influence within the PA) in order to make believable the narrative that it is the Palestinians–not the Jews–who do not want peace and that–once again–Israel was the one operating in ‘good faith’ and ‘if only’ the Palestinians would be more reasonable then peace could be achieved…’

Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israel wants peace but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ‘makes it impossible’.

Speaking at the Knesset winter session opening, Netanyahu said that the obstacles to peace lie with the Palestinians and not with Israel. Netanyahu criticized Abbas, “who demands a Palestinian state clean of Jews,” for attacking Israel’s nation-state law.

In defending his record in the face of his critics, Netanyahu noted in part the close relationship between Israel and the current U.S. administration. “Trump has brought cooperation between us to new heights,” the prime minister declared, and relations with the United States were better than ever. “We have never had cooperation like that with the greatest power on earth.”

Netanyahu’s speech was punctuated by interruptions from the ranks of the opposition parties. Meretz party chairwoman Tamar Zandberg and Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi were ejected for their catcalls.

The prime minister’s speech was followed by one by Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni of the Zionist Union, who said: “I hope this is the last Knesset [session] in which Benjamin Netanyahu is prime minister.”

“It’s not a personal matter. It’s a national matter.” Making reference to pending criminal investigations against the prime minister, Livni said: “Instead of waiting for criminal rulings, today I am submitting a public indictment.” She accused the current government of “deliberately wrecking all of the institutions that protect democracy, showing preference for extremist rabbis, legitimizing corruption and leading us to annexation and a country with a Muslim majority, a government that will rip the Declaration of Independence to pieces.”

President Reuven Rivlin, who spoke before Netanyahu, issued a warning on where Israel is headed. Everyone wants to shape Israel, he said, “but the feeling is that each side is pulling the rope – and the flag is in danger of being torn apart.”

“We all care,” Rivlin said. “But we all miss the bitter lesson: Victory in a war between brothers means losing the war of existence. More than the nuclear threat, more than terrorism, more than our enemies wishing to exterminate us – the threat of internal war will always be the gravest threat.”

The Knesset winter session that opens Monday may quickly turn out be a lost and pointless legislative season. If early elections are called, the Knesset will be dissolved.

Several dramatic bills are on the Knesset’s agenda, some of them entirely new and others that were carried over from the summer session.

The main task of the governing coalition will be to pass the military conscription bill, considered a major threat to the stability of Netanyahu’s government. The challenge is to bridge the positions of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his partner in promoting the bill, Yesh Atid Chairman MK Yair Lapid, and the positions of the ultra-Orthodox parties.

Netanyahu must also meet two promises he made before the Knesset’s summer recess: Passing a law to “rectify” some of the damage caused by the nation-state law, by upgrading the status of the Druze and Bedouin communities. At the same time, the prime minister will have to contend with his public statements in which he supported a law allowing surrogacy for members of the LGBT community.

On Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation postponed by two months a vote on a parallel proposal by MK Yael German of the opposition party Yesh Atid. German’s proposal will be submitted to a Knesset vote Wednesday. It is expected to embarrass Netanyahu, who will not support it despite his earlier proclamations.

Anti-Semitism as a Sword: The Danger of Undermining Democracy for israel’s (apartheid state) Benefit

Anti-Semitism as a Sword: The Danger of Undermining Democracy for Israel’s Benefit

Attacking the cherished principle of free speech not only threatens Jews’ standing in their home countries, it does not help Israel move towards cherished values of democracy and peaceful co-existence either.

LONDON — Following the flimsy accusations of anti-Semitism discussed in the first part of this series, the Israel Lobby has, with heavy pressure, succeeded in persuading the U.K.’s Labour Party to adopt a far-reaching definition of anti-Semitism. With this policy incorporated into the Labour Party, almost any negative commentary on Israel could officially be called anti-Semitic.

This chilling effect on free speech leaves Jews living in the U.K. in a quandary if they believe Israel’s actions are endangering them. Do they risk being labelled an anti-Semite for criticizing Israel?Further, while Israel benefits from selling weapons to Neo-Nazis in Ukraine and to other sordid characters, who then will speak out against such disturbing alliances while these parties grow in power? In addition, will those non-Jews who vigorously defend Jews against anti-Semitism continue to be so inclined when the self-proclaimed “Jewish State” supplies arms to such heinous regimes and movements?

Finally, Israel’s supporters and Israeli agents themselves are using questionable tactics that undermine democracy. Will this work on Israel’s behalf to make Jews as a whole safer or create a crisis that questions their loyalty to their home countries?

Despite the primacy of free speech, criticism of Israel is no longer permitted

Consider for example the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) “Working Definition of Antisemitism,” which Labour was just arm-twisted into adopting in full. The “non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism” seems sensible enough:

Antisemitism (sic) is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Yet the direct challenge to free speech comes from certain “examples [that] may serve as illustrations,” which appear on the same webpage as the definition:

  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination; e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

Can anyone suggest that if an individual — and especially a politician or public leader — appears more concerned with the interests of Israel than of the United Kingdom, such individuals should be free of challenge under the principles of free speech?

Can anyone seriously claim that Palestinians living under Israeli military rule in the West Bank for over half a century, without their own right of self-determination, are not the victims of a “racist endeavor?”

An Israeli soldier aims his rifle at an unarmed Palestinian during a protest against Israel's apartheid wall in the Palestanian village of Bilin near Ramallah. Majdi Mohammed | AP

An Israeli soldier aims his rifle at an unarmed Palestinian during a protest against Israel’s apartheid wall in the Palestinian village of Bilin near Ramallah. Majdi Mohammed | AP

On what grounds, and when has it ever happened before, that a protester can be compelled to protest all injustice equally as is implied by the double-standard example?

Several other points arise from the double-standard question. First of all, no two countries and their crimes are alike. Israel occupies Palestinian territory and China occupies Tibet. Israel inflicts collective punishment just as Iraq did against the Kurds. Yet the three countries do not have much in common, so how can anyone insist on equivalent condemnation. Each country is different as a whole. Further, Israel is unique in two other ways.

First, Israel receives $3.8 billion of weapons and supplies from the U.S. each year. No other country comes close to receiving such largess from American tax dollars. Second, one doesn’t have to be Jewish to criticize Israel, but for those who are, Israel claims to speak for them. No other country makes such a claim for non-citizens outside its border. Therefore many Jews feel compelled to actually speak against Israel to disassociate themselves and possibly their faith from Israel’s actions. For all of these reasons, Israel is unlike any other country and therefore there is no direct comparison for applying a uniform-standard requirement.

Further, under these parameters, this Jew is an anti-Semite. Personally — like Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and an activist from a prominent Israeli family — I don’t care what you call me; especially if you are defending a country’s crimes against humanity. Yet words have meaning and the anti-Semite label is used time and again to change the subject from Israel’s policies and actions to an ad hominem attack on those raising the subject.

The Nazi comparison is in the supremacist mindset, not the commission of identical deeds

Are Jews or anyone else wrong to say “Never Forget?” Of course not. We must recognize the rise of tyrannical regimes that are capable of extreme horrors. Quite often the comparison to the most efficient murderers in history is made to show when a political party or country could be heading down a dangerous path of any kind. If Israel or any other country is making such mistakes, is there any reason to suppress the free speech needed to provide the necessary warning? Furthermore, if Jews from outside of Israel care about the latter’s future, shouldn’t they be free to point out the danger of Israel’s actions in any manner they choose?

Let us consider this quote.

The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.”

If one didn’t know the source of this quote, one could reasonably assume it is the Third Reich’s theory on power. It is not, but it is strikingly similar to a line Adolf Hitler delivered in Munich in 1923:

The whole of nature is a mighty struggle between strength and weakness, an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.”

If one were to assert that a Palestinian leader said it in justification of the Holocaust, few Israeli supporters would doubt it and the uproar would be endless.

Yet the “The weak crumble” quote is a prepared remark of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister. Leave Israel and Netanyahu out of the discussion and it is doubtful anyone would object to saying the quote describes the mantra of the Third Reich. Yet if one were to say this proclamation of the Israeli prime minister is pure and simple Nazi rhetoric, by the definition of the IHRA, that person is an anti-Semite.

This is but one of numerous possible reasons for sounding the alarm bell of a Nazi comparison. Perhaps some make the comparison because just after the Holocaust, the most terrible thing one people can do to another, the Zionists did the second worst thing — ethnic cleansing. The comparison could arise from the denial of refugees the right to return home under international law, while claiming there is a Jewish right to return from millennia ago. It may be due to the decades of military law over the Palestinians while proclaiming Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Or could it be that Gaza — a 70-year-old refugee camp that has been under blockade for 11 years now, with four major incursions killing thousands of people and injuring tens of thousands — is quite comparable to the Warsaw Ghetto?

Yet the most likely reason that people make the comparison is not any one or even a series of acts, but rather that Israel is an oppressive, racial supremacy quite similar to that of the Nazis. No one thinks Israel will engage in the mass extermination of Palestinians — despite the picture below. Rather they see the ruthless way Israel controls and destroys Palestinian lives much in the same way Nazi supremacy tyrannically ruled over non-Aryan lives.

Israel settler graffiti

Israel settler graffiti on a Palestinian home in Hebron. Photo | Activiststills

The Nazis’ implementation of their fanatical mindset resulted in crimes against humanity the likes and scale of which the world hopes to never see again. It was that mindset that led them to believe they could exterminate seven million people beyond the tens of millions of civilians who also perished during the Second World War. It takes a similar extremist, nationalist mindset to take a people’s land away, to periodically massacre them, to maintain an occupation for over half a century, to deny the right of self-determination, and to make plans for the world’s largest concentration camp for 2 million people.

Again, nothing compares to the horrors and diabolical efficiency of the gas chambers, but it is the racial supremacy that made the worst of crimes against humanity possible. This is why I ring the alarm bell that makes me an anti-Semite.

The Nazi model of rule relied on extreme violence and fear. Quoting Heinrich Himmler, the infamous leader of the Nazi SS:

The best political weapon is the weapon of terror. Cruelty commands respect. Men may hate us. But, we don’t ask for their love; only for their fear.”

Similarly, Ze’ev Jabotinsky — the founder of revisionist Zionism, which broke away from Zionism’s socialist principles, and from whose ranks the terrorist Zionist gangs Irgun and Lehi (a/k/a the Stern Gang) formed, stated:

We shall create with sweat and blood a race of men strong brave and cruel.”

The cruelty of the Israeli state is clear. Seventy years ago, Zionists drove over 750,000 of 900,000 Palestinians from their land. (The number would have been even higher if Ben Dunkelman, a Jewish Canadian Major had not refused his orders to ethnically cleanse Nazareth). For two decades, the Palestinians who remained within the internationally recognized border of Israel lived under military rule. This was lifted in time for the War of 1967, Israel’s expansion through a war of choice and aggression into East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights.

After ethnically cleansing another 300,000 Palestinians, the Israelis implemented military law over the Palestinians that remains in place over 50 years later. During this period, Israel has taken more and more Palestinian land and resources. It has also built a vast array of checkpoints and a wall through Palestinian communities and land, separating them from their farmlands and one another.

Efran Efrati, an IDF veteran and a former member of Breaking the Silence, has spoken of the night-time raids on Palestinians to instil terror into the population under occupation. Israeli jails hold political prisoners who have never been charged and face sentences that can be extended every six months without a trial. Resistance, especially against the military, is met with fierce reprisals against fighters and civilians alike under a stated Israeli military policy of collective punishment.

As Noura Erakat wrote in The Nation:

The Dahiya Doctrine is central to [targeting civilians] and refers to Israel’s indiscriminate attacks on Lebanon in 2006. Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot said that this would be applied elsewhere: ‘What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. […] We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases.’”

Eizenkot was promoted to become the Chief of the General Staff on February 16, 2015.

For the most obvious parallel to Nazi tactics, consider the fate of Gaza. In 2007, the world’s largest refugee camp became a concentration camp according to the plan of Israeli demographer Arnon Sofer. As explained by Saree Makdisi in Counterpunch and as he continues on to quote Sofer himself:

The demographer Arnon Sofer of Haifa University is the architect of the current isolation of Gaza. In 2004, he advised the government of Ariel Sharon to withdraw Israeli forces from within Gaza, seal the territory off from the outside world, and simply shoot anyone who tries to break out.

‘When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe,’ Sofer told an interviewer in the Jerusalem Post (11 November 2004); ‘Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.’

He added that ‘the only thing that concerns me is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.’”

Sofer’s plan was to create an uninhabitable concentration camp. Let us consider one glaring example of how his plan is working. Over 1 million of the 2 million open-air prisoners are children. They, and the adults of Gaza, now have a water supply 97 percent of which is undrinkable.

Further, farmers tending the land within Gaza are shot for being within 300 meters of the concentration camp walls. It does not matter that they are working on the Palestinian side of the fence. Israel enforces a buffer zone with remote-controlled machine guns that further limit the precious little farmland that feeds 2 million people. Fishermen are also routinely harassed, if not killed, for fishing off the coast of Gaza when the Israeli Navy decides they have gone too far from shore. All too frequently, Israel unilaterally changes these limits, disregarding international law and the Oslo Accords.

A Palestinian farmer looks at Israeli army soldiers after he planted an olive trees near the West Bank town of Tubas in the Jordan valley, during a protest against the closure of land to Palestinians by the army and Jewish settlers, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (AP/Mohammed Ballas)

A Palestinian farmer looks at Israeli army soldiers after he was arrested for planting olive trees near the West Bank town of Tubas, April 8, 2014. Mohammed Ballas | AP

For decades Israel has called for a partner for peace and demanded a non-violent resistance. Yet when faced with months of just such demonstrations this year, where no protestor killed was armed, Israel has responded by killing at least 193 Palestinians and injuring over 21,500, according to health officials in Gaza. Since over 5,300 Palestinians have been wounded by ammunition, it would seem Israel is afraid of the negative publicity of outright killing so many protestors. Incredibly then, Israel turned to using a new type of bullet that “literally destroyed tissue after having pulverized the bone.” So instead of using mass murder, Israel has improvised on Sofer’s plan and successfully created the condition where its soldiers would “maim and maim and maim. All day, every day.”

Yet worst of all, Sofer’s plan anticipated that the concentration camp inmates would have no choice but to rebel and the Israelis would be forced to slaughter them. Could anyone who knows of this diabolical plan say there is much difference between slaughtering an entrapped people right away or making their lives so miserable that the prisoners will be forced to rebel and then be slaughtered later?

As if that wasn’t enough to merit the Nazi comparison, also note Sofer does not consider for a moment the humanity of Palestinians. Sofer stated the trapped Palestinians would “become even bigger animals,” implying he already thought of Palestinians as animals. Furthermore, Sofer only worries about what killing them will do to the executioners. This is the mindset of a genocidal madman — the kind that developed the final solution, in part because the German troops could not continue their pace of slaughter by gunfire.

Clearly the plan for and the state of a 70-year-old refugee camp, now in its 11th year of siege, rivals the horror of the Warsaw Ghetto. Yet such a comparison to the ruthless Nazi regime makes me an anti-Semite under the definition created by an organization that shamelessly invokes the Holocaust in its name. Truly it is an Orwellian endeavor that seems to believe “Never Again” exempts Israel from guilt of any crime.

 

Threatening the West’s inclination to defend against anti-Semitism

Despite its military might, including $3.8 billion per year of American weapons and the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, Israel cannot protect diaspora Jews. In fact, the so-called “Jewish State’s” treatment of Palestinians, its perpetual bellicose threats and periodic military actions against its neighbors, and its general dismissal of international law, can only increase anti-Semitic sentiment.

For example, even though I write with direct condemnation of Israel and its supporters, I am still accused of protecting my “tribe” or working as a “liberal Zionist” (typically such comments come with adjectives and expletives not worth repeating). Therefore it does not matter that I argue on behalf of the oppressed, I must be one of those heinous Jews helping Israel. In essence, no matter what I write, I am guilty for being Jewish. That is anti-Semitism and it arises in large part from the actions of the “Jewish State.”

Israel’s forging of military and weapons-trade relationships with atrocious actors like the Neo-Nazis in Ukraine and ethnic cleansers in Myanmar will lead many to question whether they should defend against anti-Semitism. Is the world supposed to protect Jews from Neo-Nazis when the “Jewish State” sells weapons to Neo-Nazis? Should the world ignore the Palestinians’ long-repeated claim that they have been ethnically cleansed, and continue to suffer incremental ethnic cleansing today, when the “Jewish State” sells weapons to a Myanmar regime guilty of ethnic cleansing? (Note that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine is not only a claim, but a fact well documented by historians who are Israeli themselves.)

Combine this brutal oppression and militarism with pro-Israel interference in democracies in the West, and diaspora Jews could face an extremely angry response in their home countries. Returning to Corbyn, Israel has launched a campaign against Corbyn and Labour through its strategic-affairs ministry. As Asa Winstanley notes in the Electronic Intifada, the strategic affairs ministry created:

An app operated as part of an Israeli government propaganda campaign [that] issued a ‘mission’ for social media users to make comments against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of anti-Semitism.

[Further], that ministry directs Israel’s covert efforts to sabotage the Palestine solidarity movement around the world.

The operation also aims to push Labour, where there is strong support for Palestinian rights among the grassroots, in a more pro-Israel direction.

A covert element of the effort revealed last year by the undercover Al Jazeera documentary The Lobby involved attempts by the Israeli embassy to set up a grassroots pro-Israel organization for Labour youth.

[In addition], Shai Masot, the Israeli embassy spy, [was] forced to leave the country last year after the Al Jazeera investigation exposed him plotting to ‘take down’ a senior U.K. government minister.”

Benjamin Netanyahu US Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves the House chamber in Washington, March 3, 2015, after lobbying Congress to kill a peace plan with Iran. Andrew Harnik | AP

A second Al Jazeera documentary that exposed foreign agents acting on behalf of Israel in the U.S. was censored by the Qatari government. The pressure must have been extreme for it to do so. Yet, leaked excerpts of the documentary show:

  • Canary Mission, “a blacklist [of] pro-Palestine activists that effectively smears them as racists and tries to get them fired from their jobs or prevent them from getting future jobs,” is funded by “Adam Milstein, a pro-Israel financier based in California; a real estate magnate who spent time in federal prison for tax evasion.”
  • “Canary Mission is part of a much bigger effort, effectively orchestrated by the Israeli government, in which groups like the Israel on Campus Coalition and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies are acting as agents or front groups for the Israeli government, helping it to gather information on U.S. citizens, to harass U.S. citizens, and other activities without being registered as foreign agents of the state of Israel.”
  • Israel Lobbyist Noah Pollak “had essentially been astroturfing a protest against the 2016 gathering of the National Students for Justice in Palestine conference in D.C. Pollak went to the Hudson Institute, a pro-Israel think tank with very close ties to the Israeli government, and said ‘send us some of your campus fellows, basically like youth fellows, and they’re going to protest for us’.” (Astroturfing is the paying of activists to appear as a grass-roots initiative.)

While the near-two-year-old rage over RussiaGate continues in the U.S., even if all the unproven allegations of that were true, they would not come anywhere close to Israel’s interference in American democracy. Consider what outrage might arise if the American people knew the depth of foreign interference coming from the “Jewish State” and its American supporters.

 

Lawfare: alleging anti-Semitism in legal proceedings to suppress criticism of Israel

The Electronic Intifada has obtained another leaked segment of Al Jazeera’s censored documentary about how the Israel lobby functions in the U.S. This segment features Kenneth Marcus, “director of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, an Israel lobby group unaffiliated with Brandeis University.” The Orwellian nature of this ‘human rights’ organization’s name is made clear by its use of lawfare — making allegations of anti-Semitism as a basis for legal and administrative proceedings to suppress criticism of Israel. Essentially its goal is to suppress free speech.

As Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada noted:

Marcus spearheaded the Israel lobby strategy of filing complaints to the Department of Education under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, claiming that universities fail to protect Jewish students by not cracking down on Palestine solidarity activism.”

Citing Marcus’ own words, his objectives could not be more clear:

Right now, the challenge is that there are people who say, ‘you know what, anti-Israel politics have nothing to do with anti-Semitism.’ What you gotta show that they’re not the same, but they’re not entirely different either.

The goal is to have the federal government establish a definition of anti-Semitism that is parallel to the State Department definition.”

You have to show that they are racist hate groups, and that they are using intimidation to get funded, and to consistently portray them that way.”

In other words, conflate protest against Israel with anti-Semitism and then use the law to suppress the former.

Jews protest Israel

Members of Jewish Voice for Peace protest the Israeli crackdown on protests in Gaza. Photo | JVP

The Electronic Intifada provides one glaring example of the how this lawfare works. The leaked segment is only a portion of Al Jazeera’s undercover meeting with Marcus. Yet the Electronic Intifada has revealed they have seen a transcript of the full meeting where “Marcus also spoke about a May 2016 protest at the University of California, Irvine.” The Electronic Intifada stated:

The UC Irvine protest sparked accusations that students from groups including Students for Justice in Palestine had harassed, threatened and intimidated attendees at a campus film screening and discussion featuring a panel of Israeli soldiers.”

Yet “after a three-month investigation, UC Irvine issued a 58-page report concluding that the most troubling allegations against the Palestine solidarity activists were untrue.”

Despite working in a group named for “Human Rights,” Marcus repeated during the meeting “one of the most serious allegations” even though the investigation had debunked it. Quoting Al-Jazeera again,

One of the most serious allegations Marcus repeats in the Al Jazeera transcript is that ‘a Jewish pro-Israel student was chased across campus when they saw that she was one of the pro-Israel students, and had to hide in a kitchen until security could come.’

But this lurid claim was also refuted by the university’s investigation. By her own account, that student had been denied access to the screening room because the door was being held shut from inside.

The students who allegedly ‘chased’ her were simply trying to find another way into the screening room, the investigation concluded. In their effort to do so they entered an adjacent room several minutes after the pro-Israel student did and ‘were not chasing’ her, the report states.”

The end result of the lengthy investigation was merely the university imposing a sanction on Students for Justice in Palestine for disrupting an event with too much noise. This wasn’t enough for Marcus though, as he stated:

I’d like to see the students prosecuted, but the DA [district attorney] has not been amenable. But we’ll keep pushing them so that if we don’t get these students prosecuted this time, we’ll get the DA at least sensitized to the issue and [they] should know that there will be pressure on them next time.”

Marcus has no intention of discussing the actions of Israel. Clearly, he wants any such discussion stopped on the allegation of anti-Semitism and will use any legal process available, whether valid or not. This is not free speech or human rights, but rather entirely the opposite. This is the suppression of ideas in a democracy.

 

Lawfare in a position of government power

Just when you thought this issue could get not worse, this particular threat to free speech has moved from the private sector to the government itself. Again citing the Electronic Intifada:

In June, Marcus was confirmed as the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. This means he is now in charge of investigating alleged violations of the civil rights law.

He has quickly fulfilled the worst fears of civil liberties defenders by reopening a bogus complaint against Rutgers University made by the Zionist Organization of America.

That complaint was thrown out by the Office for Civil Rights in 2014 for lack of evidence.”

While it should not be surprising that the Trump Administration has appointed a self-interested administrator, let us be clear about the implications. A Jewish supporter of Israel, who has used the law (and failed) to suppress free speech on campuses in the past, is now leading the federal government’s department in charge of human rights on campuses. He has already removed any doubt that he will use his position to implement his bias towards Israel. How then will non-Jewish Americans look upon his unfaithful execution of the Constitution, failing to uphold one of the most fundamental rights — free speech — to benefit a foreign country?

 

Will the question of Jewish loyalty to their home countries grow louder?

For the sake of some brevity, this article does not even consider the criminalization of BDS (even though the Supreme Court has ruled boycotts are protected as free speech and the ACLU scored an early victory with an injunction against a Kansas anti-BDS law) and the Israel Lobby’s negative campaigning against any politician who dares question Israel. These actions also challenge a sense of fair play in our democracy.

There are two extremes when it comes to the Israel debate. There are the denialists who refuse to admit Israel’s history of ethnic cleansing and oppression of Palestinians for over 70 years. Quite simply for them, anything Israel does is justified, no matter how brutally they bomb, kill and expropriate the land of a defenseless people.

Then there are those who blame the Jews for all that is wrong with the world. Many believe that the United States fights wars on behalf of Israel. I find this claim dubious for several reasons and no one has ever shown me any action taken by the American military-industrial-congressional complex that is against its own interest. (Note this is not the same as the interest of the American People). Yet, given the absolutely one-sided mainstream media coverage and near-universal government support for Israel, is it so difficult to see why so many believe that?

A member of Jewish Voice for Peace wears "another Jew supporting divestment" shirt. (Photo: Jewish Voice for Peace)

A member of Jewish Voice for Peace wears “another Jew supporting divestment” shirt. Photo | Jewish Voice for Peace

As more and more young Jews become vocal supporters of Palestinian rights, I am confident that unequivocal support for Israel will rightfully decline. Yet I am quite concerned about the latter group, whose focus of blame is not so benign. The longer actions such as those discussed in this article take place, the more resentment they will generate against Jews as a whole.

That is my fear. While turning their faith into nationalism and ‘supporting the home team’ from afar, Israel’s supporters are also taking for granted the principles and protections of the country that they do call home. It is not that long ago that the Jewish aspiration in the West was to be considered a loyal citizen and to be treated the same as everyone else, while they were free to practice their religion if they so chose. Now that Jews have essentially achieved that, it is being taken for granted.

There is a certain insanity to these extreme actions to “protect” Israel. Consider that most Jews, whether they are supporters of Israel from afar or not, don’t want to move to Israel. Working to undermine the democratic principles of their own countries for the benefit of a foreign country could lead to a backlash on the question of divided loyalties. In other words, while they are in their own minds working on behalf of Jews in Israel, they are undermining their good standing in their own countries.

At a peak of Jewish wealth and influence in the world, and of Israeli military power, Zionists act with blind hubris. They feel any action they take is justified and without danger of repercussion. I couldn’t disagree more and for this reason I am truly afraid of what may come.

Top Photo | A man wears a Jewish skullcap, as he attends a demonstration against anti-Semitism in Berlin, April 25, 2018. GMarkus Schreiber | AP

Ian Berman is an entrepreneur and former corporate banker at leading global banks in New York City. He now focuses on financial advisory services and writing about representative government, equitable public policies and ending American militarism and Israel’s continuing colonization of Palestine. He is the Co-Founder of Palestine 365, the Ongoing Oppression and its predecessor, Palestine 365, on Facebook.

Jewish terrorists stone to death Palestinian woman in West Bank

Press Tv

This file photo shows Palestinian woman Aisha Mohammed Aravi. (Photo by IMEMC)This file photo shows Palestinian woman Aisha Mohammed Aravi. (Photo by IMEMC)

A middle-aged Palestinian woman has been stoned to death by Israeli settlers in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, reports say.

Aisha Mohammed Aravi, 47, was driving in her vehicle along her husband near a West Bank checkpoint south of Nablus late on Friday when they came under attack by Israeli settlers who came onto the road and began throwing large stones at the couple’s car.

According to local sources, the attackers broke the windshield of the car, hitting the couple multiple times in the head and upper body with a barrage of stones. Aisha, from Bidya town, lost her life on the scene due to blunt force trauma to the head caused.

The reports said that Aisha’s husband also sustained moderate to severe injuries in the attack.

The tragic incident came two days after a group of Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement broke into a high school in Urif village, located in southern Nablus, and began throwing stones at horrified students inside their classrooms.

Dozens of students were injured during the invasion, which also led to disruption of classes and material damage.

Minutes after the incident, Israeli forces also entered the high school and provided protection for the settlers while escorting them out of the area. The troopers also fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas canisters at students, causing a number of them to suffer from tear-gas inhalation.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories has been a major sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian talks, which have stalled since 2014

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