US Empire: The Reality of the “Greater United States”

Global Research, August 09, 2019

The US Empire is not a term you will commonly hear when people refer to the United States of America. Nor is the Greater United States, American Empire or even just Empire. There is something of a taboo quality to using the word empire to refer to the US. Yet, that is precisely what it is. With numerous territories and land acquisitions, around 1000+ military bases worldwide and the ability to project its power to influence and coerce foreign territories and nations, the USA is the biggest empire the world has ever known. Countless foreign nations, victims of US aggression and invasion, have denounced the US for its imperialism, a word with the same etymological root as empire. So why is it so strange to describe it as the US Empire?

USA: From Republic to Empire

It is a telling example that the American experiment in self-governance has turned out like this. What began as an attempt to set up one of the most limited, constrained and decentralized governments ever has transmogrified into a sprawling empire whose breadth, power and influence is unprecedented in world history. Those who believe humanity should run society without government (anarchists) based only on voluntary cooperation (voluntaryists) point to the results of the American experiment as proof that government by its very nature grows out of control. The results, they say, show that no matter what limits you attempt to put on government, they can always be undone, because politicians can simply change laws and find way to bypass constitutions once they are in power. For one example of many, look at how the US bypassed many privacy and surveillance laws in the Bill of Rights by dreaming up a new idea (terrorism), defining it in law (first international terrorists, then domestic terrorists), changing the definition to describe their political enemies (gun carriers, conspiracy theorists), then applying that by name-calling its citizens. Suddenly, the usual rules don’t apply when terrorism and the fake war on terror are invoked. All of this is gives credence to the idea that no government is better than small government in the anarchy vs minarchy debate.

US Empire Greater United States

The actual Greater United States. Image credit: Daniel Immerwahr

US Empire Land Acquisition

Right from the start, the US has always looked west. The original 13 colonies soon expanded. Just to name a few highlights, the US Republic bought Louisiana from the French in 1803, annexed Texas in 1845 and took California away from Mexico in 1848 (at the conclusion of the Mexican-American War). The US then expanded further, such that it then had a mainland of 48 contiguous states and territory beyond that. It bought Alaska from Russia in 1867 and it conquered Hawaii in 1893 after a coup by a small group of rich landowners put a gun to the head of Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani. A watershed moment in the history of the US Empire, and its land and territory acquisition, came in 1898. At that time, the Spanish colonial Empire was falling, and Spain was having problems quelling dissent in its colonies such as Cuba. Through a false flag operation revolving around the USS Maine, the USA entered the conflict (named the Spanish-American War), defeated Spain and established itself as a new colonial and imperial power. While it was at it, it either purchased or annexed the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and Wake Island. Thus, by end of the 19th century, the US had already transformed itself into the US Empire. In this video and in his book, Daniel Immerwahr makes the point that around this time, Americans began to redraw their maps and take pride in their new status; however later on, they sought more to play down and hide their power, figuring it would serve them better to keep it concealed. At one point in the video clip, Immerwahr tells the story of an American GI soldier in the Philippines during WW2, who was told by a Filipino that the US had colonized the Philippines, but didn’t realize it. “What?” he said, thinking he was fighting in a foreign country not on US territory, “We colonized you?”

Hiding the Empire: 1000+ Military Bases

Fast forward around 120 years, and just look at the state of affairs. The US emerged as the sole world superpower after WW2, but unlike the British Empire, it decided not to outright conquer or annex territory, but rather to build military installations on virtually every continent. The US hides the official number of its military bases so as to conceal the true extent of its imperial reach, however based on the research of people like Chalmers Johnson and Nick Turse, we know that it is at least 1000 bases, and quite probably more. Johnson died in 2010, but in a talk now removed from YouTube claims that in 2004, the Pentagon’s official number was 725 (as published in the Base Structure Report). However, he acknowledged that the Pentagon disguised many of its bases and had 300+ unacknowledged ones. Turse has written many articles and books on the topic of US military bases including this 2019 one Bases, Bases, Everwhere … Except in the Pentagon’s Report:

“Officially, the Department of Defense (DoD) maintains 4,775 “sites,” spread across all 50 states, eight U.S. territories, and 45 foreign countries. A total of 514 of these outposts are located overseas, according to the Pentagon’s worldwide property portfolio. Just to start down a long list, these include bases on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, as well as in Peru and Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. But the most recent version of that portfolio, issued in early 2018 and known as the Base Structure Report (BSR), doesn’t include any mention of al-Tanf. Or, for that matter, any other base in Syria. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Niger. Or Tunisia. Or Cameroon. Or Somalia. Or any number of locales where such military outposts are known to exist and even, unlike in Syria, to be expanding.”

To put this number in perspective, the emerging rivals to the US Empire have barely any foreign military bases: Russia has 21 (according to this source) and China has 2.

Hallmark of the US Empire: The Projection of Power without Annexation of Territory

The rulers of the United States Inc. have done a very good job of concealing the power and reach of the US Empire. Through domestic propaganda, they have obscured the reality of the empire such that not many Americans make the connection. They have also avoided colonizing too many weaker nations, instead preferring to project power without actually annexing land. This is achieved through economic warfare such as forcing smaller nations to buy US products, or the infamous use of sanctions as accelerated by Trump against nations like Venezuela and Iran. Then there is also the method described by former economic hitman John Perkins.

But, but … the US is a Republic, Right?

Some people at this point may say, “Well, the US may be an Empire, but its form of government is still a Constitutional Republic. Therefore, the US is a Republic.” Yes, the US is a republic in the sense that it has (highly controlled) elections where (s)elected individuals ascend to power, however, despite this form of governance, the US still behaves as an imperial bully, aggressor and invader to nations outside of it. That behavior is what defines it as an empire. In this context, the word “republic” means nothing. Have you noticed the irony with which nations around the world use the word republic in their official country titles? Both of the communist totalitarian nations of China and North Korea are “republics” since they are called People’s Republic of China and Democratic People’s Republic of Korearespectively. Never mind the censorship and control via social credit. In the so-called “free” West, in the Federal Republic of Germany, if you investigate the truth about the Holocaust you can be fined or imprisoned. In the French Republic, people are so taxed to the hilt they donned yellow vests to spark a worldwide protest movement. Republic means “a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives.” Do you really think the people hold the supreme power in the US, China, North Korea, Germany or France?

Conclusion

Words have power. Propagandists and magicians alike know this, since they know words help to mold perception and create reality. This is why you “spell” words, since uttered words are like a (magic) spell. The power of the US Empire lies in its narrative control and perception control. Whoever controls words, controls narrative; whoever controls narrative, controls perception. It’s a simple formula. Orwell’s great work 1984 showed what can come from word control. The question we must ask ourselves here is this: why is it so strange, uncomfortable and unfamiliar to call a spade a spade, and to admit internally to ourselves and externally to others that the USA is an empire? Surely this uncomfortability itself is evidence of the magic of word control and propaganda. Are we so programmed and conditioned with ideas of “USA = freedom and democracy” that we can’t fathom the idea of a US Empire? If so, then it is more crucial than ever that people begin to use terms like US Empire and Greater United States to take a small yet bold step of breaking the conditioning that holds them in chains.

*

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This article was originally published on The Freedom Articles.

Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com. Makia is on Steemit and FB.

Sources

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/anarchy-vs-minarchy-pros-cons/

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-mz7x2RAmI

*https://www.salon.com/2019/01/11/bases-bases-everywhere-except-in-the-pentagons-report_partner/

*https://theintercept.com/2018/12/01/u-s-military-says-it-has-a-light-footprint-in-africa-these-documents-show-a-vast-network-of-bases/

*https://www.newsweek.com/russias-military-compared-us-which-country-has-more-military-bases-across-954328

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/google-project-dragonfly-helps-china-censorship/

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/sesame-credit-gamification-control/

Featured image is from The Freedom Articles

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Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (01 August – 07 August 2019)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (01– 07 August 2019)

Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory

01 – 07 August 2019

 

  • Great March of Return in Eastern Gaza Strip: 72 civilians injured, including 30 children, 3 women, one of them is a paramedic, and 2 journalists by Israeli forces. 
  • West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 2 Civilians Injured. 
  • 91 civilians, including 9 children, arrested during 65 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. 
  • 5 civilians, including 2 children, arrested in eastern Gaza Strip, and 5 shooting incidents reported in the area. 
  • A house demolished by Israeli forces and a woman forced to self-demolish her house in Jerusalem; also 4 under-construction barracks demolished in Beit Jala. 
  • 5 shooting incidents reported against Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza shores, and a fisherman arrested and his boat confiscated.                                                
  • 37 temporary checkpoints established in the West Bank, where 9 Palestinian civilians were arrested. 

 

Summary 

During the reporting period, PCHR documented 124 violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.

In terms of violation to the right to life and bodily integrity, Israeli forces injured 74 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank: 72 of them, including 30 children, 3 women, one of them is a paramedic, and 2 journalists at the Great March of Return.

Israel carried out 65 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and raided civilian houses attacking and enticing fear among residents. Moreover, 91 Palestinians were arrested, including 9 children. Only one incursion was conducted into the northern Gaza Strip. Furthermore, 5 civilians, including 2 children, were arrested from the border areas in Khan Younis and Rafah while attempting to sneak to Israel.

Additionally, 8 incidents were documented by PCHR under expanded settlement activity as the Israeli forces demolished a residential house and forced a female civilian to self-demolish her house in Jerusalem. Also, a tractor and a vehicle were confiscated in the northern Jordan valley, 4 barracks and an under-construction building were demolished in Beit Jala.

During the reporting period, Israeli naval forces further continued their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen and their equipment at sea though sailing within the allowed fishing area.  This week witnessed 5 shooting incidents against the fishermen and their boats.  Further, this week witnessed 4 shooting incidents in Khan Younis area.

It should be highlighted that Israel continues its closure policy on the Gaza Strip for the 14th consecutive year, severely restricting the freedom of movement of persons and goods and isolating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation and with temporary and permanent checkpoints. During this week, 37 temporary military checkpoints were erected, and 9 Palestinian civilians were arrested there.

 

Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity

 

Excessive Use of Force

The 69th Great March of Return took off in eastern Gaza Strip on Friday, 02 August 2019, titled “Solidarity with Crimes against Wadi al-Humus.” The Israeli attacks resulted in the injury of 73 civilians, including 30 children, 3 women including a paramedic, and 2 journalists.

 

The incidents were as follows:

 Excessive Use of Force against the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip

  • Northern Gaza Strip: 1500 protesters participated in Abu Safiyah area protests, northeast of Jabalia; only tens approached the border fence and threw stones. The protest involved activities such as national songs of the Palestinian heritage, speeches by political leaders in addition to raising the Palestinian flag. Israeli forces, stationed along the fence, fired live and rubber bullets as well as teargas canisters at the protesters. As a result, 20 of them were injured, including 10 children, 2 women and 1 security officer: 11 were shot with live bullets, 5 were shot with rubber bullets; and 4, all children, were directly hit with tear gas canisters. Yasser Salah Mohammed al-Tanneh (16) sustained a bullet wound to his upper thighs severely damaging a main blood vessel. Paramedic Wafa’a Omar Khamis Jaber (24) was shot with a rubber bullet in her left ankle. 
  • Gaza City: hundreds of civilians marched in eastern Malakah area, east of Gaza City. Speeches, theatrical performances and other segments were performed at the protest central encampment. Palestinian security forces spread along Jakar street and denied civilians access to the border fence; nonetheless, a handful managed to approach the fence at a 100 meters distance, threw stones at the border and Israeli soldiers responded with live ammunition. No injuries were reported for the first time since the outbreak of the protests.
  • Central Gaza Strip:  hundreds of civilians, including women, children and families, took part in the eastern Bureij refugee camp protests; tens approached the border fence at a range varying between 2 – 70 meters. , and some of them attempted to throw stones at Israeli soldiers with slingshots. The Israeli soldiers, reinforced with 9 military SUVs, responded with live and rubber bullets in addition to teargas canisters at the protesters, wounding 16 civilians, including 4 children, a woman and a journalist: 8 were shot with live bullets and shrapnel, 5 were directly hit with teargas canisters and 3 were shot with rubber bullets. Most of the injuries were documented in the upper body. Israeli forces deployed a sewage water pump against the protestors. At approximately 17:50, while present 200 meters away from the fence, journalist Usama Sharif Mohammed al-Kahlout (35), from Deir al-Balah, was shot with a live bullet to the left leg and was transferred to the hospital for treatment.
  • Khan Younis:  protests took place in Khuza’a, where Ahmed al-Qarra and Hany Abu-Selmy, who were killed by Israeli forces this week were commemorated. Dozens approached the border fence and threw stones at it, Israeli soldiers shot back; as a result, 17 civilians were injured, including 10 children and a journalist: 4 were shot with live bullets and shrapnel and 4 were directly hit with a tear gas canister and 9 were shot with rubber bullets. The injured journalist is Hatem Saadi Saleh Omar (39), from Rafah, and he was wearing a flak jacket with “PRESS” clearly imprinted on it. Mr. Omar is a reporter for Xinhua News Agency and he sustained two rubber bullet wounds in his legs while videotaping the events at least 130 meters away from the fence. Furthermore, dozens of civilians, suffocated due to teargas inhalation.

 

  • Rafah: Hundred participated in the eastern Shokah protests, where folklore shows, and speeches were held. Dozens approached the border fence and threw stones. The Israeli soldiers used live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters against the protestors. As a result, 13 civilians were injured, including 4 children: 3 were shot with live bullets and shrapnel, 3 shot with rubber bullets and 7 were hit with tear gas canisters. Mohammed Zaher Wassel Abu-Zaid (15) sustained serious wounds after being hit with a tear gas canister directly to the head.

Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

  • After the Friday prayer, 02 August 2019, Israeli forces dispersed a peaceful protest in Wadi al-Humus neighborhood in Sour Baher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. Hundreds of civilians participated in the protest denouncing the Israeli forces’ demolition of tens of residential houses in the area and the planned demolitions. Israeli soldiers attacked the civilians and fired tear gas canisters at them. As a result, tens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. Photojournalist Eyad Namer Hamad (61) was beaten by the soldiers, causing him bruises to the foot and was transferred to Beit Jala Hospital. Hamad stated to PCHR that the soldiers detained him in order to prevent him from recording the weekly Friday activities in Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood. The soldiers also isolated him from his colleagues and then attacked him. Also, Hasan Brijiyah, from the Popular Anti-Settlement Committee in Bethlehem, was arrested.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday afternoon, 02 August 2019, Palestinians from Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah launched their weekly peaceful protest and headed towards the village’s eastern entrance that has been closed by Israeli forces for the past 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” settlement. The demonstrators chanted national slogans demanding end of the occupation and protested the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The protestors threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand berms while the soldiers fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 civilians were wounded. 

Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity

 

  • At approximately 23:00 on Saturday, 03 August 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire for few minutes at agricultural lands in eastern al-Sanati area, and no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 05:00 on Sunday, 04 August 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia shore in northern Gaza strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives; neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 08:45 on Sunday, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire for few minutes at agricultural lands and shepherds in eastern Khuza’a village, and no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Monday, 05 August 2019, Israeli forces stationed off Sheikh ‘Ejlin shore in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire and pumped water at 2 Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 7 nautical miles. As a result, Abdullah Mefleh Khalil Abu Rayalah (13) fell in water in addition to 2 engines from the boat belonging to Falah Mohammed Abu Ryalah; and 12 fishing nets from the boat that belongs to Mohsen Khalil Abu Ryalah. According to statement of Abdullah Abu Ryalah, at approximately 17:00 on Sunday, 04 August 2019, he accompanied his father Mefleh Abu Ryalah (42), and uncle in addition to other fishermen. He got into a boat owned by his grandfather Khalil Abu Ryalah. The fishermen went for fishing off Shiekh ‘Ejlin shore in southern Gaza Strip. At approximately 04:00 on Monday, at dawn, 05 August 2019, Israeli gunboats approached the boats and then pumped water at their boat in addition to another boat belonging to Abdullah’s uncle Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Ryalah. As a result, Abdullah fell in water and the boat’s engine was broken. Abdullah could not swim, so his cousin Mohammed jumped into water and rescued him. The Israeli naval forces ordered the fishermen to transfer Abdullah to the gunboat where he received first aid and then returned him to his companions. Upon their arrival to the Gaza Seaport, Abdullah was taken to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Monday, 05 August 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire for few minutes at agricultural lands in al-Qararah and al-Fukhari villages in western Gaza Strip. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 05:30 on Tuesday, 06 August 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed in western Rafah in southern Gaza strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 11:00 on the same day, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Gaza City, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 6 nautical miles. They surrounded a fishing boat manned by ‘Awad Tareq Abdul Razeq Baker (22), from al-Remal neighborhood, and owned by his brother Majd. As a result, the boat was broken and confiscated and Baker was arrested.
  • At approximately 16:35 on Tuesday, 06 August 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire for few minutes at a group of Palestinian young men, who were in eastern Khuza’a village; no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Tuesday, 06 August 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Rafah shore in southern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire for an hour at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, no arrests were reported.

 

  1. Incursions and Arrests

 

Thursday, 01 August 2019:

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Oseid Hani Mousa Jdou’ (20) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit ‘Awa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Bilal Mahmoud ‘Essa Suwiti (22) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Wad al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Anwar ‘Ali Fares Abu al-Hasan (38) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:20, large Israeli military force moved into Deir Netham village, northwest of Ramallah. Tens of Palestinian young men gathered in the village streets and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli forces, who replied with live and rubber bullets at them. The soldiers also fired tear gas canisters at houses. As a result, dozens of civilians suffer tear gas inhalation, fainting and seizures and they received treatment on the spot. Furthermore, the soldiers raided and searched several houses in the village and then arrested 18 civilians taking them to the investigation center in “Halamish” settlement, and then released them 5 hours later.

(the names of the arrestees are available at PCHR)

 

  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli forces stopped a bus at the eastern entrance to al-Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem and then arrested 5 civilians accompanying the village children. Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, said that the Israeli Intelligence Service chased, stopped and detained a bus carrying about 35 children aged between 8 – 12 years and at the village entrance. Abu al-Humus added that Israeli forces and 3 Intelligence officers forced the bus driver to drive towards the military camp at al-‘Issawiyah eastern entrance where they thoroughly searched the bus and imposed about NIS 1000 for the driver and withdrew. Abu al-Humus pointed out that the Israeli forces released the driver and children while arrested 5 guides: Mahmoud Shehadah Mustafa, Abdul Nasser ‘Obeid, Younis ‘Ali Nasser, Morad al-Shloudi, Nidal ‘Elyan.
  • At approximately 13:00, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence in eastern al-Shoka village, east of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, arrested Hamzah Ehmoud Suleiman Abu Qershain (18) and his brother al-Husein (17), who suffers from impaired mobility in lower extremities, when they approached the border fence. Hamzah told PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli soldiers fired several live bullets at them while grazing their sheep. The soldiers forced them at gunpoint to take off their clothes and cross the border fence to Israel. After questioning them in a military vehicle, the arrestees were taken to Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing in northern Gaza Strip. Hamzah and his brother were released at approximately 23:00 on the same day.
  • At approximately 16:30, Israeli forces arrested Wasim Eyad Dari (17) in al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. The soldiers beat Wasim causing him several fractures in the left hand in addition to bruises throughout his body. Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Member of al-‘Issawiyia Follow-up Committee, stated that Israeli forces attacked, dragged and then handcuffed Wasim taking him to a police vehicle. Abu al-Humus mentioned that the Israeli forces also attacked and pushed Wasim’s grandmother, Sabah Dari (60). As a result, she fainted and was taken to Hadassah Medical Center – al-‘Issawiyah to receive medical treatment.
  • Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in Hebron and al-Thaheriyah village, south of the city; and Howarah village, south of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

 

Friday, 02 August 2019:

 

  • At approximately 15:30, Israeli forces moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mahmoud Ahmed Saleh Hamed Ramadan (17) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 17:00, Israeli forces moved into Qabatyah village, southeast of Jenin and patrolled the streets. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian children and youngsters gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli forces, while the latter used tear gas canisters against them. As a result, dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. The soldiers chased the protestors and then arrested Bilal al-Sa’di (16) and Khalid Nazal (17).
  • At approximately 18:30, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence in eastern Abu Safiyah area, northeast of Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip, arrested Ra’ed ‘Awad Mohammed Abu Wardah (23), from Beit Lahia after crossing the border fence. At approximately 09:00 on Saturday, 03 August 2019, Israeli forces released Abu Wardah through Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing in northern Gaza Strip. According to field investigations, Abu Wardah was participating in the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities before crossing the border fence.
  • Israeli forces carried out (4) incursions in Um al-Tout and al-Jomlah villages in Jenin; Sa’ir and Nuba villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.                                           

Saturday, 03 August 2019:

  • At approximately 13:40, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tarah checkpoint, south of Nablus arrested 3 civilians, from Qalqiliyah, namely: Salem Riyad Abu ‘Aba’ah (25), Mohammed Mesleh Nazal (25) and Hasan Amin Qawas (25).
  • In the evening hours, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence arrested Mohammed ‘Awad Hamdan Abu Hagras (17), from Bani Suheila, east of Khan Younis, while attempting to sneak through the border fence in eastern al-Rannah area, east of the city. on Sunday, at morning, 04 August 2019, the Israeli forces released Mohammed through Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, north of the Gaza Strip.
  • At approximately 22:00, Israeli forces stationed at Shu’fat military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Ahmed Yusuf al-Ghazawi (26) and Nassar Jaber (23).

 

Sunday, 04 August 2019

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Qabatiyah village, southeast of Jenin They raided and searched several houses from which they arrested 3 civilians, from al-Hesbah area at the western village entrance. The arrestees were identified as: Ahmed Abdul Latif Zakarnah (22), Feras Hasan Abu al-Rab (33) and Ahmed Jamal al-Badawi (25)
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Wadi Qaddoum neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Ahmed Walid al-Ghoul (21) and Jamal Mohammed al-Ghoul (19) and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Isawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Mohammed Mar’ai Darbas (20), ‘Ali Mohammed ‘Ali ‘Obaid (19), ‘Odai ahmed Dari (19) and ‘Ala’a Mohammed Dari (22).
  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli forces stationed at ‘Annab checkpoint, east of Tulkarm, arrested ‘Ammar Jihad ‘Oufer (26), from Noor Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm.
  • Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in Hebron, Dora and Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

 

Monday, 05 August 2019:

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Loai ‘Odah Salama (21) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Bita village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Bahjat ‘Izzat Aqtash (30) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested 5 civilians, including 3 children. The arrestees were identified as Ihab Kamal Salem Jawabrah (16), ‘Anan Nidal Hasan al-Shareef (15), Akram ‘Abed al-Rahman al-Shareef (16), Ahmed Rafat al-Badawi (19), and Jamal Hisham Mohamed Janazrah (20). Moreover, the Israeli forces handed 4 other civilians, including a child, summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. Those civilians were identified as ‘Ali Hasan al-Shareef (13), Mohamed Naser al-Badawi (18), Obai Mohamed Jawabrah (25), and Iyyas Hani Ja’arah (20).
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyia. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Yousef Saqer Saleem (21) and Anas Yousef Salama (25) and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Esam Isma’il Mohamed al-‘Aloul (46) and then arrested him with his son Laith (25).
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Taqqou’ village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Mo’min Ratib al-‘Amour (16) and Mahmoud ‘Ali al-‘Amour (16) and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli forces arrested Ahmed Mohamed al-Khatib (25), from Jayyous village, northeast of Qalqiliyia, while referring to the Israeli Intelligence Service upon a prior notice.
  • At approximately 18:00, the Israeli authorities prevented holding 2 memorial services of the late Dr. Subhi Ghosha and the late athlete Ahmed ‘Adaliyah in occupied East Jerusalem, claiming that the 2 memorial services were sponsored by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces raided and surrounded “Yabous” center on al-Zahra Street in the central of occupied East Jerusalem. The Israeli forces forced attendees out of the hall and attacked them. The eyewitnesses also said that the Israeli forces checked the attendees’ IDs and handed some of them summonses for interrogation. Moreover, the Israeli forces fixed a decision from Gilad Ardan, the Minister of Internal Security, on the center’s door to prevent holding the memorial service. He claimed that the Subhi Ghosha memorial service was sponsored by the PNA.
  • Around the same time, the Israeli authorities prevented holding the closing ceremony of the late Ahmed ‘Adaliyah in the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) in al-Shaiekh Jarrah neighborhood in the center of occupied Jerusalem. The ceremony was organized by Jerusalem’s Sport Federation Group.
  • Israeli forces carried out (5) incursions in al-Zababdah and al-Kufair villages, southeast of Jenin; Bani Na’iem and Surif villages and al-Fawar refugee camp in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

 

Tuesday, 06 August 2019:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Izzariyah village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Tariq Saleh al-Amouri (28); Mothafar Abu Roumi (32); and Majd Abu Roumi (25).
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Kafer Dan village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Farouq ‘Abed (40), and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Zakareya ‘Elian (19), and then arrested him.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Barqin village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Ali Abdul Qader Atiq (27), a reporter at al-Watan News Agency; and Mahdi Jamil ‘Asib (27), and arrested them.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Fawar Refugee Camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Fares Adel al-Titi (23), and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Ouja village, northeast of Jericho. They raided and searched a house belonging to Haitham Awad Jarahid (22) and his brother Marwan (24), and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:45, Israeli forces moved into northen ‘Asira village, north of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested (9) civilians, namely: Darar Ahmed Hamadna (58); his son ‘Amr (30); Adham Tahseen al-Shouli (30); Monadel Ali Abdul Fattah Sa’ada (33); Hamza Abdullah Yaseen (30); Omar Nidal Daghles (27); Bara’a Yasin Abdul Fattah Jarara’a (30); Ahmed Ibrahim Sawalha (27); and Asim Jamal Daghles (25).
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aida Refugee Camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Shadi Mohammed Abu ‘Akar (35) and Abdul Raziq Mowafaq al-Badawna (29), and then arrested them.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Adel Mousa al-Sayed Ahmed (19), and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Issawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians, namely: Fayez Mohammed Mohaisen (18); Jihad Bader (19); and Mohammed Wa’el Obaid (22).
  • Israeli forces conducted (2) incursions in al-Burj and Sa’ir Villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

 

Wednesday, 07 August 2019:

                                        

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Suleiman Musalam al-Debes (15) and Mohammed Jamal Roumi (18), and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mahmoud Mohammed Doqdoq (28) and his brother Ali (23), and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Doha village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Malik Hasan al-Zaghari (24), and then arrested them.
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Anas Wajeeh Abatli (25) and his brother Adam (20), and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Tabaqa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ra’ed Badawi Hamdan (39) and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli forces backed by a number of military construction vehicles moved about 100 meters into eastern al-Buraij refugee camp. The vehicles leveled lands along the border fence with Israel. Few hours later, the vehicles were redeployed along the border fence.
  • Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in al-Aroub refugee camp; Dura and Nuba village in Hebron. No arrest were reported.

 

Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem

 

  1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities 
  • At approximately 06:30 on Tuesday, 06 August 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Boqi’ah Plain in the northern Jordan Valley, a part of Area (B), which is under Palestinian jurisdiction as per the 1993 Oslo Accords. They stopped a vehicle driven by Moayad Fakhri Mohamed ‘Ali Daraghmah (42) and a tractor belonging to al-Forat agricultural company. The vehicle and tractor were confiscated and Daraghmah was arrested.
  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli forces demolished 4 barracks and the concrete foundations of an under-construction house in Bir ‘Onah area, north of Beit Jala, in addition to a carwash near “Rachel’s Dome” checkpoint, north of Bethlehem. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces provided protection for the Israeli bulldozers that moved into Bir ‘Onah area in Beit Jala and demolished concrete foundations and barracks belonging to Mahmoud Ghunaim and Mahmoud Razinah. It should be noted that the Israeli forces demolished barracks and facilities belonging to Mahmoud Razinah 2 months ago, despite having documents proving his ownership. Bir ‘Onah area is exposed to the Israeli authorities’ attacks, including demolishing buildings and barracks, in order to vacate the area for settlement expansion. The Israeli forces continued to demolish buildings in the mentioned areas under the pretext of being near the annexation wall, which isolates Beit Jala village and Bethlehem from occupied Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 09:00, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a residential house belonging to Eyad Saleem al-Kasawani in Beit Hanina area, north of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-Kasawani said that the Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles moved into the neighborhood and surrounded his house after forcibly getting his family out. The military construction vehicles demolished his house comprised of 2 apartments built on an area of 140 square meters. The house sheltering 6 persons was built 17 years ago. Al-Kasawani said that he received the demolition notice few days ago and there was no time to challenge.
  • On Tuesday, Diala Abu Irmilah implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished her under-construction house in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Diala said that she self-demolished her house to avoid paying fines estimated at NIS 70,000.

 

  1. Israeli Settler Violence 
  • At approximately 22:00 on Thursday, 01 August 2019, dozens of buses carrying hundreds of Israeli settlers moved into ‘Urtah village, southeast of Nablus, under the Israeli forces’ protection. The buses stopped near religious shrines, the settlers stepped out of the buses and performed their prayers. On Friday, 02 August 2019, the Israeli forces and settlers withdrew from the village and no more incidents were reported.
  • At approximately 13:30 on Sunday, 04 August 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Halmish” settlement, threw stones at Palestinian civilians present adjacent to the settlement street near al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. As a result, the Palestinian civilians sustained minor bruises throughout their bodies.
  • At approximately 19:00 on Monday, 05 August 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yitzhar” settlement, attacked the outskirts of ‘Oreef village from the eastern side. The settlers threw stones at a house belonging to Jamal ‘Abed Yousef Shehadah and broke its windows, causing fear among the house residents. The one-story-house, which is located near ‘Oreef secondary school for boys, shelters 9 persons, including 6 children.
  • At approximately 01:30 on Tuesday, 06 August 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yitzhar” settlement, attacked the northern of Nablus. The settlers threw stones at ‘Oreef secondary school for girls and al-Nour Wedding Hall. As a result, the wedding hall windows were broken. 

 

Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

                                  

The Gaza Strip

As the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip enters its 14th consecutive year this July, severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons and goods enhance the de facto separation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Moreover, Israeli naval forces imposed a blockade, chased fishermen, opened fire at them, and confiscated their fishing equipment. During the reporting period, 5 shooting incidents and chasing fishermen and their boats were documented.

 

  • Note: No updates occurred on the state of the crossing during the reporting

 

  1. West Bank

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. Israeli forces established 37 temporary checkpoints, from which they arrested 9 civilians.

 

The military checkpoint were as follows:

 

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 01 August 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Kahel village and on Wad Risha road.
  • On Friday, 02 August 2019, 3 similar checkpoints were established at the entrance to Beit ‘Awaa village and on Qalqas and al-Fahes roads.
  • On Saturday, 03 August 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp and at the southern entrance to Halhoul village.
  • On Sunday, 04 August 2019, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Dir Samt, al-Shayyoukh and Beit ‘Aynoun villages.
  • On Tuesday, 06 August 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit ‘Aynoun village and at the northern entrance to Halhoul village.

 

Ramallah:

 

  • On Thursday, 01 August 2019, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh, Ras Karkar and Kafur Malek villages, and at the entrance to al-Jalazoun refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 02 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah.
  • On Monday, 05 August 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Ras Karkar and ‘Ain Sinah villages.
  • On Wednesday, 07 August 2019, a similar checkpoint was established at the intersection of Kafur ‘Ain village, northwest of the city.

 

Nablus:

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 01 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on Nablus-Jenin, near the entrance to Barqah village, northwest of the city.
  • At approximately 17:00, a similar checkpoint was established near Khaleh Nofal shop, at the northern entrance to Tal village, southwest of the city.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Friday, 02 August 2019, Israeli forces stationed at Hawarah checkpoint, at the southern entrance to Nablus, closed the checkpoint and prevented Palestinians from exiting the village for over 2 hours without any reasons.
  • At approximately 18:30, Israeli forces established a checkpoint on Tulkarm-Nablus Road, west of the city.
  • On Saturday, 03 August 2019, Israeli forces imposed more restrictions on the Palestinian civilians’ movement. PCHR’s fieldworker said that the Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the intersection of al-Naqourah village, branching Jenin-Nablus Street. Moreover, a similar checkpoint was established on Tulkarm-Nablus Road, west of the city. The Israeli forces stopped Palestinian vehicles and searched the passengers, causing a one-kilometer traffic jam. The checkpoints lasted until mid-night.
  • At approximately 21:00, Israeli forces stationed at Beit Foreek checkpoint established at the eastern entrance to Nablus, closed the checkpoint and prevented Palestinians from passing through the checkpoint. The checkpoint’s closure continued until mid-night.
  • At approximately 18:00 on Monday, 05 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to the northern ‘Asirah village, southwest of Nablus.

 

Jenin:

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Friday, 02 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near Markah village, between Qabatiyia and Sanour villages, southeast of the city.

 

Qalqiliyia:

 

  • On Thursday, 01 August 2019, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia (was established 2 times), between Jayyous and ‘Azoun villages, and at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village, east of the city.

 

Salfit:

 

  • At approximately 20:50 on Friday, 02 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the western entrance to Dirsitiyia village, northwest of Salfit.
  • At approximately 17:30 on Saturday, 03 August 2019, a similar checkpoint was established at the entrance to Dir Ballout village, west of the city.

 

Tubas:

 

  • At approximately 20:00 on Monday, 05 August 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint near al—Kaffir village, northwest of Tubas, on Tubas-Jenin Road.

The Goods, the Bad and the Ugly

August 08, 2019

by Jimmie Moglia (and Patrizia Cecconi) for The Saker Blog

The Goods, the Bad and the Ugly

In the instance, the goods are those boycotted by the BDS measure (Boycott-Divest-Sanctions), proposed in the American Congress .

The bad are the US congressmen and politicians who sold their soul to the Jews for thirty pieces of silver, and rejected even the symbolic and extremely platonic ‘non-binding’ initiative of boycotting goods tainted by crime, theft, barbarities of all sorts, and by the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Actually, there is a better word for ‘soul’ as in ‘politicians who sold their soul’, but I will forbear to mention it out of my inviolable respect for the ladies. Even Tulsie Gabbard, who has made a name for herself as an enemy of the status-quo, chose to oppose the measure, demonstrating the type of caution that cowards borrow from fear and attribute to policy.

Finally, the ugly are the criminals who killed and stole – and continue to kill, maim, imprison, humiliate and steal from the dispossessed Palestinians and rightful owners of Palestine.

If we were not living in a world upside down, the considerations that follow would be unnecessary.

The term ‘Jews’ excludes those (few or many, it is difficult to say), who reject the ‘chosen people’ philosophy of their sect – a philosophy known to many, but not many enough – for its meaning, history and implications.

For the voice of their dissenters is irrelevant, considering that the Jews, as a political-social entity, are a monolith, practicing a cultural-political hegemony that only blindness can deny. Hence, to edulcorate the truth by a quasi-synonym (Zionists) will not, in my view, do justice to the real dissenters.

In fact, many suspect, with cause, that some fake ‘dissenters’ are planted in the right places to ‘cover all bases’ – the metaphor of ‘gate-keepers’ being most appropriate. For hegemony to appear not overly conspicuous it must simulate some kind of antithesis or opposition. Why? So that hegemony may seem a choice and not an imposition.

Quoting from a Jewish writer about Jews in the Middle Ages.

“Without in any way minimizing the force of these factors (earlier referred to by the author as “a sense of frustration and exasperation aroused by Jews at large”), we believe nevertheless that they do not tell the whole story or even the essential part of the story. The most vivid impression to be gained from a reading of medieval allusions to the Jew is of hatred so vast and abysmal, so intense, that it leaves one gasping for comprehension. The unending piling up of violent epithets and accusations and curses, the consistent representation of the Jew as the epitome of everything evil and abominable, for whom in particular the unbounded scorn and contumely of the Christian world are reserved, must convince the most casual student that we are dealing here with a fanaticism altogether subjective and irrational.” (Joshua Trachtenberg, “The Devil and the Jews”)

Yes, it is irrational, but the position regarding the issue was clearly first stated by Pope Callistus II in 1120 AD, with his Bull “Sicut Judaeis Non.” And I quote from the Encyclopedia Judaica,

“It was a general Bull of Protection for the Jews, who had suffered at the hands of participants in the First Crusade (1095–96) and were being maltreated by their Christian neighbors. It forbade killing them, using force to convert them, and otherwise molesting them, their synagogues and cemeteries.”

And it is a position – we may all agree – that all rational people continue to maintain 900 years later. But it was expected from the Jews, at the time and in return, that they would not corrupt the Christian world.

The idea of corruption arose clearly when Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, translated the Talmud into Latin in the twelfth century. Here I quote from Wikipedia,

“Donin translated statements by Talmudic sages and pressed various charges against the Talmud by quoting a series of ‘allegedly blasphemous’ passages about Christianity. He also selected what he claimed were injunctions of Talmudic sages permitting Jews to kill non-Jews, to deceive Christians, and to break promises made to them without scruples.”

Note the inverted commas I added around ‘allegedly blasphemous,’ in view of what comes next.

The Catholic Church had shown little interest in the Talmud until Donin presented his translation. The Pope (now Gregory II) was surprised that the Jews relied on texts other than the Torah; texts that contained alleged blasphemies against Christianity. Equally surprised, we may add, are or would be many Americans today.

This lack of interest also affected, until then, the French monarchy that profited by the Jews’ money-making skills.

Given the astonishment generated by the translated Talmud, a debate was organized in Paris – it began on June 12, 1240. Donin represented the Christians. Four distinguished Rabbis represented the Jews, namely Yechiel of Paris, Moses of Coucy, Judah of Melun, and Samuel ben Solomon of Château-Thierry.

The four rabbis’ objective was to defend the Talmud against Donin’s accusations that it contained obscenities and blasphemies against the Christian religion and God. In one Talmudic passage, for example, reference is made to someone named Jesus, dispatched to hell to be boiled in excrement for eternity. The Rabbis denied that this is the Jesus of the New Testament, stating as a kind of proof that “not every Louis born in France is king.”

Interesting argument, contradicted by another contemporary Jewish scholar– more on this later.

Among the obscene folklore, there is a story that Adam copulated with each of the animals before finding Eve. And Noah, according to the Talmudic script, was castrated by his son Ham. Furthermore, by now and thanks to the diffusion of knowledge via the web, most readers are aware of what the Talmud considers ‘acceptable’ sex, for example, lowering the age of consent to a 3-year old girl.

I don’t know why, but the recent resurrection of the already well-known criminal porno-ring of underage girls in Epstein’s ‘Lolita Island’, comes to mind.

Until the debate of 1240, Christians associated the Jewish religion with the Mosaic faith of the Old Testament. Hence the Church, suddenly and officially, realized that the Talmud was the Jews’ equivalent of the New Testament.

It is usually believed that the crucifixion of Christ is the historical trigger of the inherent conflict between Jews and everyone else. Some prominent Catholic thinkers have advanced the thesis that by rejecting Christ, the Jews have rejected Reason, (also referred to as Logos), as the underlying principle on which Greek-inspired Western civilization was built. Lack of Reason leads to continual upheaval, as in Trotsky’s “permanent revolution.”

Maybe, but the issue precedes the birth of Christ. For example, in 59 BC Lelius, a Pompey’s lieutenant, brought a suit against Flacco, a pro-consul in Asia Minor. The suit had to do with the transport (or lack thereof) of Jewish gold to Jerusalem. Flacco chose Cicero as his defender.

Here are Cicero’s words in his related writing, “Pro Flacco.”

“Now as to the accusation regarding the Jewish gold – which is why this trial is held not very far from the Aurelian square (the Jewish quarter). Yes, for this accusation you (Lelius), have chosen this place and this assembly of people, because you know how great is their number, how great their unanimity of purpose and how much is their power in the assemblies. I will speak softly so as to be heard only by the judges. For individuals are not wanting, ready to incite these people (the Jews) against me and against any other respectable citizen. I don’t want to give them reason to facilitate their attacks.”

Advance the clock by 2060 years, and Cicero’s words could be applied almost verbatim to the US Congress, to the neo-cons, and to the objectively unbelievable proposition that any criticism of Jews amounts to ‘hate-crime,’ as does any reference to their history, or confutation of their documentably fantastic inventions of inexistent or unproven facts.

History is silent as to which seed was sowed, and to where, how, why and what created certain destructive characteristics of Jewish ideology. For all seed-sowings a mysterious thing, whether the seeds fall into the earth or into souls.

Maybe it was a little thing. For what we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, they are the embryos. It is the point of departure that may decide the whole future of an existence of a race or ethnic group. One single black speck may be the beginning of a decomposition, of a storm, of a revolution. From one insignificant misunderstanding hatred and separation may finally issue. An enormous avalanche begins by the displacement of one snow-crystal, and the conflagration of a town by the fall of a match. Almost everything comes from almost nothing. For accident plays a vast part in human affairs. Calculation has its uses but chance mocks it, and the result of a planned calculation is in no wise proportional to its merit.

It is a mystery. For it is in the origin of things that the great secret of destiny lies hidden, although the breathless sequence of after-events has often many surprises for us all. So that at first sight history seems to us accident and confusion; looked at for the second time, it seems to us logical and necessary; looked at for the third time, it appears to us a mixture of necessity and liberty; on the fourth examination we scarcely know what to think of it. For if force is the source of right, and chance the origin of the force, we come back to the first explanation, only with a heavier heart than when we began.

And equally, with a heavy heart, we observe that any effort at understanding the inner mechanisms of time and mind, whereby the US has become the secular arm of Israel, taints the researchers with anti-Semitism.

If the patient reader who read so far will catch his breath, I will now introduce Ms. Patrizia Cecconi, an Italian writer, a botanist and a strenuous defender of the cause of Gaza’s citizens and of Palestine at large.

In what amounts to a guerrilla of tactics, Patrizia has managed so far to reach Gaza and provide what help and support her organization makes possible. Among other things, she has published a very interesting and very well-written book titled “Vagando di erba in erba” (Roaming from herb to herb). In which Patrizia details an extended visit to the West Bank, using as a conductive theme, the description of Palestine’s natural flora, and the characteristic and beneficial uses of various wild plants. While, simultaneously, telling the reader of the life of the Palestinians she met, spoke with or was the guest of. I hope that the book may be available in English in the near future.

I will now translate the text of one of her recent articles published in Italy. The reported event – the destruction of Palestinian houses and apartment buildings in East Jerusalem, accompanied by the laughter of Israeli troops – almost coincided in time with the rejection by the US Congress of the BDS non-binding proposal.

The witness-reported Israeli laughter is not the first example of the lawless confidence of successful robbers. Some readers may remember the picnic tables and picnic chairs positioned above the wall dividing Gaza from the rest of Palestine. From where Israeli onlookers and tourists could watch Israeli soldiers gun down unarmed Palestinians, including women and children, as if they were pins in a bowling alley at a recreation center.

A Specter roams around… but it is not Communism

A specter roams around the Middle East, and from there, crossing seas and mountains, reaches everywhere, demonstrating the absolute inanity of the Universal Humanitarian Law and nullifying every rule of international legality, starting from the Geneva Conventions.

A specter that, with actual incontrovertible facts under our eyes, shows the useless foolishness of the United Nations Organization itself – reduced to be but a glass-palace shown to visiting school-children. Explaining to them how the dream of a “magnificent and progressive future” envisaged in those proud halls, was broken after three short years, thanks to self-declared birth of the Israeli State. A structure that, since its foundation, would ignore, dismiss, discard, disregard and trample-on all the United Nations’ principles and resolutions.

It would be reductive and factious to classify this statement as anti–Semitic. While not realizing, instead, the weight and danger – for the world at large – of Zionism’s long tentacles, obliterating universal humanitarian principles and every rule of international law. Any honest thinker, even minimally aware of reality, cannot but bitterly agree on the consequences of continuing to shelter Israel from the legal sanctions deserved by its criminal actions. Sanctions equally necessary to make that entity comply with the accepted standards of humanity, and to limit the horrendous damage, human and political it has produced for over a century.

For about 80 years, what occurred and occurs in 2000-year old Palestine, is an unrestrained use of power, applied in the name of Zionism. An ideology developed at the end of the 19th century by Austrian-born Theodor Herzl and later implemented in the establishment of the Israeli state, not respecting the UN Resolution 181, but through self-proclamation by Ben Gurion. This occurred shortly before the expiration of the British mandate, therefore outside the terms of the UN Resolution. Showing and declaring to the world that Israel stands above and beyond any human law, international or super-national. And making the only basis for the state’s existence a biblical tale that would entail or allow a “return to the Promised Land.”

What said above is not intended as a historical summary, but the not-to-be-forgotten basis for understanding Israel’s latest violation of international law and of the rights of the Palestinian people. Namely the recent demolition of large apartment blocks in Jerusalem, as part of the continuous, illegal and brutal confiscations of Palestinian property.

The Jewish state is carrying out the project of the “greater Israel,” envisaged prior to the establishment of the state and consisting in the step-by-step annexation of all historic Palestine from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, on the ground that God had decreed and promised to Jewish men and women the right to occupy this land. [My note, as clearly stated in the 1982 Odet-Yinon Plan, Israel is supposed to extend from the Nile to the Euphrates. When, thanks to the efforts of President Jimmy Carter, Israel had to give up the illegally occupied Sinai, a day of mourning was declared in Israel. Israeli president Rabin paid with his life for that ‘mistake.’]

In Israel, religion and politics blend as required, ever since 1897, when Theodor Herzl, though an atheist, found the biblical narrative useful for the establishment of a racist state, so that the religious aura would become the trump card, having the force of all founding myths.

Of course, without the interest of the then great powers of having a ‘Western reference point’ at the gates of the Middle East, no Sykes-Picot agreement (1916), nor the Balfour declaration (1917) would have been possible. And without the Shoa of WW2 perhaps we would not witness the Shoa of the Palestinians.

We use the term shoah, meaning a “devastating storm,” leading to the elimination of a population. With Nazism, the population was defined by race and was identified with its religion. The intention was to physically remove every individual associated with the race. In Israel and with the ongoing massacres of Palestinians the intent is not based on race or religion, but rather on the goal of driving them out, and to fully occupy the ground on which they have lived for centuries, even before the emergence of Islam.

Some call it the “ethnic cleansing of Palestine,” tracing it back to the Nakba, the catastrophe of 1948. Others call it the ‘shoa,’ a Hebrew term, to make better understand the similarity between the Nazi-led and the Israeli-led ‘shoas’.

Yet all this does not disturb states that do business with Israel, even though they call themselves democratic, nor international and supranational organizations, even though their institutional representatives replenish their speeches with concepts such as ‘human rights,’ ‘justice’ and ‘peace.’

Israel benefits from a halo of false legality that, along with the tragedy of the (1972-born) Holocaust narrative, protects it as an unassailable armor. This is the will of the Israeli government, well supported by almost the entire population of approximately 9 million inhabitants. With the exception of twenty or so young activists plus a few journalists such as Gideon Levy or Amira Hass, who denounced the Israeli decision to destroy a dozen Palestinians apartment buildings, thus proceeding further on the path of destruction that has already affected tens of thousands of Palestinian buildings and homes.

It was an escalation beyond any possible justification, for the demolition affected even apartment buildings located in zone A – an area that, even according the Oslo agreements of 1993 (actually a trap to advance Jewish interests), should be under total Palestinian jurisdiction.

By so doing Israel, through Netanyahu, delivered a further kick to the law and to the already frayed Palestinian National Authority. Demonstrating once more, in the style of the “Iron Chancellor”, that agreements are but pieces of paper.

Israeli bulldozers and some 700 star-of-David-attired soldiers were ready to carry out the crime immediately after the Israeli Supreme Court, in total mockery of international legality, issued the predicted sentence of demolition. For in an act of foolish confidence the Palestinians had appealed to the (mock) Supreme Court.

In sum, like the Italian Jews, expelled from schools and jobs after November 1938, the Palestinians – in a tragic mockery that amuses the Israelis and is justified by sundry lackeys – saw their homes ‘legally’ demolished. This heinous abuse is repeated and recurrent. Between 1967 and 1973 Israel destroyed 9,000 homes, leaving thousands of Palestinian homeless, as documented by Jewish writer Felicia Langer in her book, “With My Eyes.” Then she left Israel because her action rarely had an effect on the rigged Israeli courts, though she unwillingly helped, by her legal attempts, to give a coat of legality to plain illegality, as the most recent case shows, with the Supreme Court deciding that it was legal to destroy the homes in East Jerusalem.

Did the (Italian) mass media adequately cover this umpteenth violation practiced on the Palestinians? – Did it note that by ridiculing international institutions, Israel removes from all citizens of the world the right to be protected by a Universal Law made mockery of? No the mass media was silent but for one ‘niche’ newspaper, “Il Manifesto,” that dedicated its first page to the event.

Therefore ‘mass-opinion,’ driven by the usual suspects concludes that the Palestinians built illegally, and that Israel, through its Supreme Court, has righted an illegality. We may wonder as to how many (Italians) may have thought that if we had an (Italian) Netaniahu there would not be so many building abuses (a plague in Italy).

While Israel will continue to do business with Italy and with other democratic Countries, the UN will issue a lamentation – it has already done so – and the European Union will issue their concern. In the end, the Palestinians will grow more desperate and understandably hateful of an entity that, for more than 70 years, humiliates them, stops them, injures them, kills them, expels them, and is even called democratic.

We saw the soldiers of the occupying army taking selfies and videos as they blew up the buildings, laughing and complimenting themselves. The Palestinians saw them too and we can imagine their feelings.

No one calls those soldiers terrorists, but according to Israel, terrorist is he who will rebel, perhaps with a stone or a kitchen knife, to this destruction of lives and rights.

Felicia Langer, the Israeli lawyer who left Israel shortly before she died, wrote, “The day will come when Israel will be forced to change its policy.” Perhaps it was an affirmation of faith, perhaps the desire to see justice triumph. But what we can see is only the multiplication of Israeli power and the contamination – as if it were a bacterium without an antibody– of every aspect of cultural, scientific, agricultural and industrial life everywhere in the world. With all this creating a kind of awe and discomfort that muzzles and prevents criticism. The fear refers to the anathema that condemns to isolation, anti-Semitism!

I wrote this before. Only independent newspapers can run the risk of an anathema without renouncing their function of making the truth known.

Here the truth is clear. Israel knows only abuse, and out of systematic abuse, only two results are possible, either resignation and flight, or resistance by all possible means, however right or wrong they may appear to our eyes as Western observers.

Meanwhile, while we write, the ten-story buildings with apartments adorned with velvet cushions, with curtains often bought in installments, with the tea glasses, the small cups for the ever-hot coffee, the dishes for the maqluba and the mussaqan, the rooms for the children , their games, their books, their clothes… all is now a pile of rubble. This is what the chosen people’s government wanted … except for twenty generous but impotent dissenters.

As for the rabbis of 13th century Paris, according to whom the Talmudic Jesus boiling in eternity in excrement is not the Christian Jesus, here are the thoughts of a Jewish scholar, Israel Shahak, a survivor of a WW2 concentration camp, who settled in Israel after WW2.

“Judaism is imbued with a very deep hatred towards Christianity, combined with ignorance about it. This attitude was clearly related to the Christian persecution of Jews, but is largely independent of them.

The deeply negative attitude is based on two main elements. First, on hatred and malicious slanders against Jesus. … The notion of collective and inherited guilt is both wicked and absurd. However, what is at issue here is not the actual fact about the Jesus, but the inaccurate and even slanderous reports in the Talmud and post Talmudic literature – which is what Jews believed until the 19th century and many, especially in Israel, still believe.

According to the Talmud, Jesus was executed by a proper rabbinical court for idolatry, inciting other Jews to idolatry, and contempt for rabbinical authority. All classical Jewish sources that mention his execution are quite happy to take responsibility for it; in the Talmudic account the Romans are not even mentioned.

… In addition to the above crimes they accuse him of witchcraft. The very name ‘Jesus’ was for Jews a symbol of all that is abominable, and this popular tradition still persists. The Gospels are equally detested, and they are not allowed to be quoted (let alone taught) even in modern Israeli Jewish schools.”

But even before Christ – we may add – some historians interpret the celebration of Hanukah, for example, as a reminder of the rejection by the Jews of any Greek influence (and therefore Greek thought and values) into their midst – that is the rejection of Reason. It is the same Greek influence that, along with Christianity, molded Western thought and civilization at large – now under attack.

Israel Shahak titled his book, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion – The Weight of Three Thousand Years.” I doubt whether any of the US politicians who voted down the non-binding BDS proposal knows that the book exists.

Though even if they did, gold trumps justice, especially among the rich. For many, a Congressional seat, with all its emoluments, benefits, guaranteed luxurious life and dream-like pension, is well worth the sale of their soul. As Romeo said to the struggling pharmacist who sold him the poison Romeo wanted,

“There is thy gold, worse poison to men’s souls,

Doing more murders in this loathsome world,

Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.”

 

With Criticism Crushed in the West, Israel Can Enjoy Its Impunity

Global Research, July 29, 2019

Recent events have shone a spotlight not only on how Israel is intensifying its abuse of Palestinians under its rule, but the utterly depraved complicity of western governments in its actions.

The arrival of Donald Trump in the White House two-and-a-half years ago has emboldened Israel as never before, leaving it free to unleash new waves of brutality in the occupied territories.

Western states have not only turned a blind eye to these outrages, but are actively assisting in silencing anyone who dares to speak out.

It is rapidly creating a vicious spiral: the more Israel violates international law, the more the West represses criticism, the more Israel luxuriates in its impunity.

This shameless descent was starkly illustrated last week when hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers, many of them masked, raided a neighbourhood of Sur Baher, on the edges of Jerusalem. Explosives and bulldozers destroyed dozens of homes, leaving many hundreds of Palestinians without a roof over their heads.

During the operation, extreme force was used against residents, as well as international volunteers there in the forlorn hope that their presence would deter violence. Videos showed the soldiers cheering and celebrating as they razed the neighbourhood.

House destructions have long been an ugly staple of Israel’s belligerent occupation, but there were grounds for extra alarm on this occasion.

Traditionally, demolitions occur on the two-thirds of the West Bank placed by the Oslo accords temporarily under Israeli control. That is bad enough: Israel should have handed over what is called “Area C” to the Palestinian Authority 20 years ago. Instead, it has hounded Palestinians off these areas to free them up for illegal Jewish settlement.

But the Sur Baher demolitions took place in “Area A”, land assigned by Oslo to the Palestinians’ government-in-waiting – as a prelude to Palestinian statehood. Israel is supposed to have zero planning or security jurisdiction there.

Palestinians rightly fear that Israel has established a dangerous precedent, further reversing the Oslo Accords, which can one day be used to justify driving many thousands more Palestinians off land under PA control.

Most western governments barely raised their voices. Even the United Nations offered a mealy-mouthed expression of “sadness” at what took place.

A few kilometres north, in Issawiya, another East Jerusalem suburb, Israeli soldiers have been terrorising 20,000 Palestinian residents for weeks. They have set up checkpoints, carried out dozens of random night-time arrests, imposed arbitrary fines and traffic tickets, and shot live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets into residential areas.

Ir Amim, an Israeli human rights group, calls Issawiya’s treatment a “perpetual state of collective punishment” – that is, a war crime.

Over in Gaza, not only are the 2 million inhabitants being slowly starved by Israel’s 12-year blockade, but a weekly shooting spree against Palestinians who protest at the fence imprisoning them has become so routine it barely attracts attention any more.

On Friday, Israeli snipers killed one protester and seriously injured 56, including 22 children.

That followed new revelations that Israeli’s policy of shooting unarmed protesters in the upper leg to injure them – another war crime – continued long after it became clear a significant proportion of Palestinians were dying from their wounds.

Belatedly – after more than 200 deaths and the severe disabling of many thousands of Palestinians – snipers have been advised to “ease up” by shooting protesters in the ankle.

B’Tselem, another Israeli rights organisation, called the army’s open-fire regulation a “criminal policy”, one that “consciously chose not to regard those standing on the other side of the fence as humans”.

Rather than end such criminal practices, Israel prefers to conceal them. It has effectively sealed Palestinian areas off to avoid scrutiny.

Omar Shakir, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, is facing imminent deportation, yet more evidence of Israel’s growing crackdown on the human rights community.

A report by the Palestinian Right to Enter campaign last week warned that Israel is systematically denying foreign nationals permits to live and work in the occupied territories, including areas supposedly under PA control.

That affects both foreign-born Palestinians, often those marrying local Palestinians, and internationals. According to recent reports, Israel is actively forcing out academics teaching at the West Bank’s leading university, Bir Zeit, in a severe blow to Palestinian academic freedom.

Palestinian journalists highlighting Israeli crimes are in Israel’s sights too. Last week, Israel stripped one – Mustafa Al Haruf – of his Jerusalem residency, tearing him from his wife and young child. Because it is illegal to leave someone stateless, Israel is now bullying Jordan to accept him.

Another exclusion policy – denying entry to Israel’s fiercest critics, those who back the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement – is facing its first challenge.

Two US congresswomen who support BDS – Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who has family in the West Bank – have announced plans to visit.

Israeli officials have indicated they will exempt them both, apparently fearful of drawing wider attention to Israel’s draconian entry restrictions, which also cover the occupied territories.

Israel is probably being overly cautious. The BDS movement, which alone argues for the imposition of penalties on Israel until it halts its abuse of Palestinians, is being bludgeoned by western governments.

In the US and Europe, strong criticism of Israel, even from Jews – let alone demands for meaningful action – is being conflated with antisemitism. Much of this furore seems intended to ease the path towards silencing Israel’s critics.

More than two dozen US states, as well as the Senate, have passed laws – drafted by pro-Israel lobby groups – to limit the rights of the American public to support boycotts of Israel.

Anti-BDS legislation has also been passed by the German and French parliaments.

And last week the US House of Representatives joined them, overwhelmingly passing a resolution condemning the BDS movement. Only 17 legislators demurred.

It was a slap in the face to Omar, who has been promoting a bill designed to uphold the First Amendment rights of boycott supporters.

It seems absurd that these curbs on free speech have emerged just as Israel makes clear it has no interest in peace, will never concede Palestinian statehood and is entrenching a permanent system of apartheid in the occupied territories.

But there should be no surprise. The clampdown is further evidence that western support for Israel is indeed based on shared values – those that treat the Palestinians as lesser beings, whose rights can be trampled at will.

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A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jonathan-cook.net. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Ex-Bahrain official: israel aims to ‘destroy society’ in Middle East

Source

MEMO | July 4, 2019

Former Bahraini minister of education and political analyst Mohammed Al-Fakhro warned that Israel is working to draw out a new Sykes-Picot agreement for the entire Arab region.

Speaking at the international cultural festival of Assilah in Morocco, Fakhro said the Arab countries are targeted by external and internal parties, adding that there are real attempts by these parties to continue to occupy the Palestinian territories.

He added that Israel, along with other foreign parties, wants the Arab countries to be engaged in “endless conflicts related to geography, sectarianism, religion, tribalism and other conflicts that destroy society”.

He added that those hostile to the Arab world seek to link Arab societies to “globalisation, so that Arab land becomes a market for goods produced by others”.

Al-Fakhro stressed that the scheme aims to keep Arab countries in “technological, scientific and cultural” backwardness.

Forget Trump’s ‘deal of the Century’. Israel Was Always on Course to Annexation

 • JUNE 20, 2019

When Israeli prime ministers are in trouble, facing difficult elections or a corruption scandal, the temptation has typically been for them to unleash a military operation to bolster their standing. In recent years, Gaza has served as a favourite punching bag.

Benjamin Netanyahu is confronting both difficulties at once: a second round of elections in September that he may struggle to win; and an attorney general who is widely expected to indict him on corruption charges shortly afterwards.

Netanyahu is in an unusually tight spot, even by the standards of an often chaotic and fractious Israeli political system. After a decade in power, his electoral magic may be deserting him. There are already rumblings of discontent among his allies on the far right.

Given his desperate straits, some observers fear that he may need to pull a new kind of rabbit out of the hat.

In the past two elections, Netanyahu rode to success after issuing dramatic last-minute statements. In 2015, he agitated against the fifth of Israel’s citizens who are Palestinian asserting their democratic rights, warning that they were “coming out in droves to vote”.

Back in April, he declared his intention to annex large chunks of the occupied West Bank, in violation of international law, during the next parliament.

Amos Harel, a veteran military analyst with Haaretz newspaper, observed last week that Netanyahu may decide words are no longer enough to win. Action is needed, possibly in the form of an announcement on the eve of September’s ballot that as much as two-thirds of the West Bank is to be annexed.

Washington does not look like it will stand in his way.

Shortly before April’s election, the Trump administration offered Netanyahu a campaign fillip by recognising Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in 1967.

This month David Friedman, US ambassador to Israel and one of the chief architects of Donald Trump’s long-delayed “deal of the century” peace plan, appeared to offer a similar, early election boost.

In interviews, he claimed Israel was “on the side of God” – unlike, or so it was implied, the Palestinians. He further argued that Israel had the “right to retain” much of the West Bank.

Both statements suggest that the Trump administration will not object to any Israeli moves towards annexation, especially if it ensures their favoured candidate returns to power.

Whatever Friedman suggests, it is not God who has intervened on Israel’s behalf. The hands that have carefully cleared a path over many decades to the West Bank’s annexation are all too human.

Israeli officials have been preparing for this moment for more than half a century, since the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza were seized back in 1967.

That point is underscored by an innovative interactive map of the occupied territories. This valuable new resource is a joint project of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and Forensic Architecture, a London-based team that uses new technology to visualise and map political violence and environmental destruction.

Titled Conquer and Divide, it reveals in detail how Israel has “torn apart Palestinian space, divided the Palestinian population into dozens of disconnected enclaves and unravelled its social, cultural and economic fabric”.

The map proves beyond doubt that Israel’s colonisation of the West Bank was never accidental, defensive or reluctant. It was coldly calculated and intricately planned, with one goal in mind – and the moment to realise that goal is fast approaching.

Annexation is not a right-wing project that has hijacked the benign intentions of Israel’s founding generation. Annexation was on the cards from the occupation’s very beginnings in 1967, when the so-called centre-left – now presented as a peace-loving alternative to Netanyahu – ran the government.

The map shows how Israeli military planners created a complex web of pretexts to seize Palestinian land: closed military zones today cover a third of the West Bank; firing ranges impact 38 Palestinian communities; nature reserves are located on 6 per cent of the territory; nearly a quarter has been declared Israeli “state” land; some 250 settlements have been established; dozens of permanent checkpoints severely limit movement; and hundreds of kilometres of walls and fences have been completed.

These interlocking land seizures seamlessly carved up the territory, establishing the walls of dozens of tightly contained prisons for Palestinians in their own homeland.

Two Nasa satellite images of the region separated by 30 years – from 1987 and 2017 – reveal how Israel’s settlements and transport infrastructure have gradually scarred the West Bank’s landscape, clearing away natural vegetation and replacing it with concrete.

The land grabs were not simply about acquisition of territory. They were a weapon, along with increasingly draconian movement restrictions, to force the native Palestinian population to submit, to recognise its defeat, to give up hope.

In the immediate wake of the West Bank’s occupation, defence minister Moshe Dayan, Israel’s hero of the hour and one of the architects of the settlement project, observed that Palestinians should be made “to live like dogs, and whoever wants to can leave – and we shall see where this process leads”.

Although Israel has concentrated Palestinians in 165 disconnected areas across the West Bank, its actions effectively won the international community’s seal of approval in 1995. The Oslo accords cemented Israel’s absolute control over 62 per cent of the West Bank, containing the Palestinians’ key agricultural land and water sources, which was classified as Area C.

Occupations are intended to be temporary – and the Oslo accords promised the same. Gradually, the Palestinians would be allowed to take back more of their territory to build a state. But Israel made sure both the occupation and the land thefts sanctioned by Oslo continued.

The new map reveals more than just the methods Israel used to commandeer the West Bank. Decades of land seizures highlight a trajectory, plotting a course that indicates the project is still not complete.


Ultimately, Israel wants the Palestinians gone entirely, squeezed out into neighbouring Arab states, such as Egypt and Jordan. That next chapter is likely to begin in earnest if Trump ever gets the chance to unveil his “deal of the century”.If Netanyahu partially annexes the West Bank – Area C – it will be simply another stage in Israel’s tireless efforts to immiserate the Palestinian population and bully them into leaving. This is a war of attrition – what Israelis have long understood as “creeping annexation”, carried out by stealth to avoid a backlash from the international community.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (16 May – 22 May 2019)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (16 – 22 May 2019)

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 16-22 May, 2019.

Eight Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were wounded in the northern West Bank. Israeli forces conducted 55 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 6 other incursions into Jerusalem. 47 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children, were arrested in the West Bank. Five Shooting incidents were reported against the fishing boats in the Gaza Strip Sea.

Shooting:

 

  • During the reporting period, Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders. In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 8 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children. Five of them, including 2 children, were wounded in the northern West Bank, while 3 others, including a child, were wounded in the southern West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen and target their livelihoods.
  • In the West Bank, in excessive use of lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests, Israeli forces wounded 5 protestors, including 2 children, while participating in Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqiliyia. The abovementioned protest was organized on Friday, 17 May 2019, and on Saturday, 18 May 2019.

 

  • On 21 May 2019, Israeli forces opened fire at Mahmoud Husain Salah (15), from al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, when he was near the annexation wall, which surrounds the village. As a result, Mahmoud was hit with 2 live bullets to the lower limbs. The soldiers then arrested him and took him to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in West Jerusalem to receive medical treatment.

 

  • On 22 May 2019, Israeli forces wounded 2 protestors while moving into al-Duhisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, to carry out an arrest campaign. They then opened fire at dozens of Palestinian young men who were protesting against them.

 

 

  • As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented 5 incidents were as follows: 3 incidents in the northern Gaza Strip Shore and 2 incidents in the southern Gaza Strip Shore.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 55 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 6 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 29 Palestinians, including 2 children, from the West Bank, while 18 other civilians, including 10 childre, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

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

 

  • As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 16 May 2019, Israeli forces moved into Sosiya village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. They dismantled a 30-sqaure-meter residential tent built with sheds, rubber tires and steel pillars. The tent belongs to Hussain Radi Nawaj’ah (55). The Israeli authorities claimed that the tent was confiscated and demolished under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that it was the fourth time that the tent was confiscated and the latest was on 16 April 2019.

 

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

 

Despite their claims to provide facilities for Palestinian civilians in Ramadan and allow them to perform prayers in al-Aqsa Mosque yards in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli forces continued to impose restrictions on them, including the city residents. During this week, a large force of Israeli soldiers raided al-Aqsa Mosque after al-‘Isha and al-Taraweeh prayers and forcibly ordered al-Mo’takefeen, who are staying in the al-Aqsa Mosque for a certain number of days to perform prayers, to leave the mosque.

 

In the same context, the Israeli authorities confiscated dozens of food parcels prepared by Jerusalem Endowment Fund. Those parcels were supposed to be distributed to poor families. The Jerusalem Endowment fund said that the Israeli authorities claimed that the food parcels are funded by the Palestinian Authority (PA) that is banned by the Israeli authorities and considered in violation of its law.

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

 

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

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday afternoon, 17 May 2019, a group of Palestinians organized a peaceful demonstration from the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, into the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The soldiers immediately fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians, including a child, were hit with rubber bullets.

(PCHR keeps the names of the injured civilians)

 

  • At approximately 16:30, on Saturday, 18 May 2018, a group of Palestinians organized a peaceful demonstration from the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, into the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The soldiers immediately fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a child was hit with a rubber bullet to the head.

(PCHR keeps the name of the injured child)

Israeli forces’ attacks:

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 16 May 2019, Israeli forces backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with a bulldozer and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Sosiya village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers dismantled a 30-sqaure-meter residential tent built with sheds, rubber tires and steel pillars. The tent belongs to Hussain Radi Nawaj’ah (55). The Israeli authorities claimed that the tent was confiscated and demolished under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that it was the fourth time that the tent was confiscated and the latest was on 16 April 2019.

 

  • 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).

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