Israeli Violence Against Peaceful Palestinian Demonstrators

By Stephen Lendman

Saturday, March 30, marked the 43rd anniversary of Land Day for Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories.

The anniversary is all about Palestinian resistance against Israeli theft of their land, displacing them for exclusive Jewish development and use.

It’s against the systematic transformation of historic Palestine into a state affording rights to Jews alone, Arabs treated like nonpersons, Israeli Arab citizens, 20% of the population, treated like fifth column threats.

March 30 was also the one-year anniversary of weekly Great March of Return demonstrations in Gaza against Israel’s illegal suffocating blockade, an act of war without declaring it.

Two million Gazans are held hostage by Israeli viciousness, the world community doing nothing to relieve their suffering, nothing to hold Israel accountable for high crimes too serious to ignore.

They include three premeditated wars of aggression on the Strip since December 2008, along with intermittent terror-bombings and cross-border incursions, civilians threatening no one harmed most.

On Saturday, Sabreen al-Najjar, mother of 21-year-old Razan al-Najjar, commemorated her daughter’s murder at the hands of an Israeli sniper – an angel of mercy paramedic, a victim of Gaza’s killing fields.

Dressed in white attire, identifying her as a first responder medic, she was lethally shot in the neck and back, an exploding dum dum bullet destroying her heart, killing her instantly.

“My daughter…Razan…was (lethally) shot by an Israeli sniper while wearing her white uniform and trying to rescue those injured protesting for their rights,” said Sabreen, adding:

“During Razan’s short life, she was confined to a densely populated, prison-like strip of land, surrounded by Israeli blockades and walls.”

“She witnessed three Israeli military aggressions that wounded and killed thousands of innocent Palestinians. For her and for all Palestinians, the Great Return March is our cry for justice.”

“As we stand together peacefully, every weekend, for the rights and freedoms freely given to others without hesitation, it’s the obligation of the international community to act and stop supplying Israel with the weapons that it used to kill Razan and so many others like her.”

“I call on organizations and states to implement our Palestinian call for a military embargo against Israel so that we can live in freedom and peace.”

Gaza-based BDS community organizer Abulrahman Abunahel said “(f)or more than seven decades, Palestinian people have been struggling to return to their homes from which they were uprooted in the Nakba in 1948.”

“Israel denies us our right of return. On the first anniversary of the ongoing Great March of Return in Gaza, we reiterate the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions for Palestinian rights.” 

“It is high time to fully isolate and prosecute the Israeli regime of settler-colonialism, occupation, and apartheid. The bloodshed in Gaza and elsewhere in Palestine must be stopped.”

According to Gaza’s health ministry, Israeli soldiers killed 266 Palestinians, injuring over 30,000 others since Great Gazan March of Return demonstrations began one year ago.

On Saturday, Israeli snipers killed four Palestinians, injuring 316 others, including 86 children and 29 women, said Gaza’s health ministry – many seriously during all Great March of Return protests, including yesterday’s.

Razan and two other Palestinian medics were killed, 665 others wounded, and 112 ambulances damaged, Gaza’s health ministry explained.

At least two clearly identified journalists by their attire were killed, dozens of others wearing press IDs injured.

Israeli soldiers and other security forces routinely attack peaceful Palestinian demonstrators throughout the Territories with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, toxic tear gas, and other repressive tactics.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned Israeli use of lethal force against peaceful protesters threatening no one – how its regimes confront all nonviolent demonstrations, falsely blaming Palestinians for high crimes committed against them.

Like ahead of all Great March of Return demonstrations, the IDF set up fortified positions on the Israeli side of the border, snipers positioned with orders to use live fire and other toughness against peaceful protesters.

Israeli media reported that the IDF deployed three brigades of combat troops and an artillery battalion along the Gaza border, along with 200 snipers.

PCHR: “According to observations by (its) fieldworkers (on the ground in Gaza), Israeli forces…stationed in prone positions and in military jeeps along the fence with Israel continued to use excessive force against the (peaceful) demonstrators by opening fire and firing teargas canisters at them.”

As in previous weeks, tens of thousands of Gazans turned out on Saturday, including entire families. Threatening no one, Israeli soldiers fired on them for target practice, gunning down or otherwise injuring hundreds.

Reporting on what happened on Saturday, the NYT featured a photo of a Palestinian demonstrator using a sling shot to hurl a likely stone in the direction of Israeli forces, safely behind barricades, too far away to be harmed – instead of showing IDF snipers gunning down Palestinians in cold blood.

The Times turned truth on its head, calling Saturday events “mostly peaceful” – entirely so by Palestinians, nothing of the kind by IDF soldiers, attacking them unrestrained.

The photo published by the Times was unrelated to Saturday protests, showing black smoke from burning tires.

Haaretz reported the following: “As part of understandings reached between Israel and the Palestinians through Egyptian mediation on Friday, Palestinians refrained from setting ablaze car tires at the protest sites.”

The Times (and other US media) falsely accused Gazans of hurling “dozens of homemade bombs” at Israeli soldiers. Nothing of the kind occurred. Demonstrators were entirely peaceful as during other Great March of Return protests.

The Times quoted IDF spokesman, Lt. Col Jonathan Conruus’ Big Lie, claiming “(i)t’s clear that Hamas controls the level of violence (sic),” adding:

“When they want less violence (sic), we see that they can keep people back from the fence. And when they want more violence (sic), they get more violence (sic).”

The Times lied saying “Israel made a point before Saturday of cautioning its soldiers against taking shots that might hit unintended targets.”

Fact: The Netanyahu regime and IDF consider civilians legitimate targets, including young children and women – 86 children and 29 women wounded by live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and toxic tear gas on Saturday.

Many thousands of Gazans have been protesting weekly and other times against their virtual incarceration in the world’s largest open-air prison.

Though unable to change things, their courage against a brutal occupier got worldwide attention. With nothing to lose, they’re unlikely to quit as long as their suffering continues.

A Final Comment

On March 29, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)  explained major media calls to renounce violence is almost exclusively directed at Muslims, saying:

“A FAIR survey of the phrase “renounce violence” in the New York Times over the past 10 years shows that 95 percent of the time the demand is made of Muslim organizations, people or political parties, the most prominent being the Taliban and Hamas.” 

“There are zero instances of anyone in the Times — whether reporters quoting officials or columnists — from March 28, 2009, to March 28, 2019, insisting or suggesting that the United States, Israel or any white-majority country ‘renounce violence.’ ”

The above information should surprise no one. The self-styled newspaper of record and other establishment media operate as virtual imperial press agents – supporting US-led NATO and Israeli wars of aggression, along with their other hostile actions against targeted nations and people.

That’s what the scourge of imperialism is all about, establishment media acting as accomplices.


Land theft, ethnic cleansing, and Jewish supremacy: Israel’s settler colonialism in Syria’s Golan, the forgotten occupied territory — what’s left

By Stephen Gowans March 31, 2019 Israel’s occupation, annexation, and plunder of Syria’s Golan recapitulates all that is repugnant about the Zionist state: its wars of aggression, land theft, ethnic cleansing, racism, quest for lebensraum, and contempt for international legal norms. It also shows that Israeli citizens, including the country’s Left, are not only complicit […]

via Land theft, ethnic cleansing, and Jewish supremacy: Israel’s settler colonialism in Syria’s Golan, the forgotten occupied territory — what’s left

Trump’s Golan Declaration Another Own Goal

Trump’s Golan Declaration Another Own Goal


Trump’s Golan Declaration Another Own Goal

Hardly a week goes by and the United States falls deeper into global disrepute. This week was a bonanza of own goals for the self-declared “leader of the free world”.

The debacle over the ridiculous “Russiagate” scandal finally imploding was spectacular.

Then there were more horrific reports of US air strikes killing civilians simultaneously in four countries – Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

That was followed by Washington’s ludicrous lecturing to Russia about the US-imposed humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

And then, to top all those own goals, we saw President Donald Trump declaring that Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights is not, in the warped US view, illegal after all. Can you possibly keep score of the mind-boggling inanities and insanities?

Switching metaphors for a moment – because you can hardly just use one when it comes to grappling with American asinine policy – Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova got it right when she likened the US to a “cowboy shooting up the Louvre museum” in its free-wheeling, double-dealing foreign conduct.

Where to begin in dissecting the US and its descent into madness and mafia-style foreign policy? It truly is a brain-wrecking, train-wrecking challenge. Is there a wicked genius to its Mephistophelean madness? Perhaps it is simply down to Washington becoming an absurd circus of incompetence, accelerated under the administration of a former real-estate magnate and reality TV star, President Donald J (for Joker) Trump.

On the Golan issue, Trump’s proclamation this week of recognizing the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights as under Israeli sovereignty is a flagrant subversion of international law and the United Nations Charter. Israel has been forcibly occupying Syrian southern territory since the 1967 Six Day War. It formally annexed the strategic plateau in 1981, which was ruled as illegal by the UN Security Council – including a vote from the US at that time.

Trump’s declaration is thus a brazen repudiation of international law and a glaring green light to aggression. Can anything this president says or does be taken seriously? What’s that about Venezuela, or Ukraine?

His declaration this week undermines gravely the foundation of international law in a shocking, reckless affront. It completely demolishes any pretense the US claims to have as a world leader and upholder of international law.

Washington has been slamming Russia for the past five years over alleged “annexation” of Crimea – and then Trump this week turns around and endorses Israeli theft of Syrian territory.

At a UN Security Council meeting called this week by Syria in protest to Trump’s proclamation, the US was seen as a pariah state. All 14 other members of the council (including non-permanent members) slammed the US policy on Golan. They included US allies Britain and France.

Outside the UNSC, other US allies also condemned Washington’s declaration of complicity in Israeli annexation of Golan.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, among others, all slammed the US for daring to legalize the theft of Syrian territory by Israel.

Russia’s deputy envoy to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov, put it aptly. He said that the US move was not only an audacious violation of international and the UN Charter. “This only exacerbates the situation in Syria and complicates the establishment of a political process, but it also creates serious obstacles to normalizing the relations between Israel and the Arab states.”

We will come back to that profound point in a moment. But first, let’s throw out a few other motives for Trump’s outrageous violation of international law regarding Golan and Israel’s annexation.

Trump is no doubt giving his family friend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a timely electoral boost ahead of Israeli state elections scheduled for April 9.

There is also the issue of American oil interests being pursued by designating the Golan as Israeli territory. The mountainous region overlooking the Jordan Valley is reputed to hold untapped reserves on par with those of Saudi Arabia, which US-based Genie oil company has been exploring for years.

But still a more strategic motive is the objective of keeping the Middle East and Syria in particular in perpetual turmoil. By annexing Syrian territory, the US-Israeli move furthers the objective of controlling the wider Arab region.

Syria’s envoy to the UN, Bashar al Jaafari, made that very point at the UN Security Council meeting this week. He said the US-backed annexation of Golan was a part of the US-sponsored covert war against his country. The move is a way to keep Syria and the region in turmoil, said al Jaafari.

This gets back to what the Russian envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, said. The whole point is for Washington to prevent any political settlement to the eight-year war in Syria and to impede any normalization of relations in the region. The US and its client Israeli regime only stand to benefit from perpetual chaos and conflict in the region.

So far so good, as Washington may calculate – albeit fiendishly. But in the final analysis, the US is ending up looking like a complete rogue state without any respect, even among its supposed allies.

The presumed global leader, Washington, is losing foes and allies alike through its disgraceful duplicity and disregard for any pretense of probity. The Golan Heights is another nail in the coffin for Washington’s over-rated self-regard.

In a week of other American absurdities and own-goals, the Golan debacle may turn out to be the moment when Washington is finally seen in the eyes of the world as the utter laughing stock that it surely has become. It’s a laughing stock, but in the creepiest, macabre sense.

In Depth – Golan Heights

Published on Mar 29, 2019

The Golan Heights, a tiny, rocky plateau that was part of Syria till 1967, is back in international headlines. On March 25th, 2019, US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the disputed region, reversing decades of American policy. Trump’s move has drawn intense criticism from across the world. Member countries of the UN Security Council have refused to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights, which has been the centre of conflict between Israel and Syria for decades. The Arab countries have even warned of a new wave of tensions in the Middle East. But why is the international community, including US allies, opposed to the decision of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights; And why did Donald Trump reverse his country’s decades-old policy on the disputed plateau? We try and understand today IN DEPTH. We also analyse why Golan Heights is so important and contentious.
Anchor: Teena Jha

Lieberman: Netanyahu personally Torpedoed My Plans for Gaza



March 28, 2019

Former Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally torpedoed plans to strike Gaza during a flareup between the Zionist entity and Palestinian resistance last November.

“Netanyahu personally torpedoed the plans,” the Chairman of Yisrael Beytenu told Israeli journalist Ben Caspit at the Maariv Security Conference on Wednesday.

“We have enough tools to deal with Gaza and I had a full plan,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

Lieberman resigned from his post as defense minister in November following a ceasefire deal with Hamas after over 500 rockets were fired towards the southern occupied Palestinian territories.

The ceasefire with Hamas, he said at the time “cannot be interpreted in any way other than a capitulation to terrorism. This will severely harm our security in the long run. The response that we gave to the 500 rockets shot from Gaza was not enough, to say the least. The South should come first. Our weakness is being broadcast to other fronts.”

On Sunday, the latest Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip saw over 100 mortars and rockets fired towards occupied territories, and that, according to Lieberman, shows that “Israel does not have security.”

“Security is when people don’t have to run to bomb shelters,” he told Ben Caspit, adding that the Zionist regime “is paying protection money to terror groups instead of destroying it.”

“There’s no terror without money and now Israel is allowing money into Gaza for Hamas. We are paying protection to a terror organization and doing everything not to get the terror organization mad. Netanyahu said he said he struck Hamas hard, but not even one terrorist was even hurt,” the former Israeli DM added.

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

Darko Lazar

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

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

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

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

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

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

Timing is everything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No downside for Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

صواريخ على تل أبيب يكفي

مارس 15, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– يمكن تفهّم المواقف الصادرة عن حركتي حماس والجهاد الإسلامي التي تذهب أبعد من نفي مسؤوليتها عن الصواريخ التي استهدفت تل أبيب ليل أمس، وذهاب بعض مسؤولي الحركتين إلى حد اعتبار الصواريخ عملاً يهدف لجر قطاع غزة وقوى المقاومة إلى مواجهة يظن البعض أن رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو يحتاج جولة تصعيد يصرف رصيدها انتخابياً، لكن التدقيق في مدى قدرة نتنياهو على توظيف الصواريخ وأي جولة تصعيد تليها، يطرح سؤالاً جدياً عن مدى قدرة كيان الاحتلال على الدخول في مواجهة ستنتهي حكماً قبل موعد الانتخابات، دون أن تكون النهاية مريحة لنتنياهو وفقاً لما تقوله موازين القوى، من جهة، ومن جهة مقابلة، مدى قدرة قوى المقاومة على الامتناع عن ردود قاسية في أي مواجهة، ومدى قدرتها على تفادي استهداف تل أبيب بعد ما مثلته الصواريخ، وفي النهاية مدى قدرتها على تقديم تنازلات من هيبتها ومن حساب معادلات الردع لمنح نتنياهو وجيش الاحتلال سلّماً للنزول عن الشجرة.

– الأكيد، رغم كل المواقف والتحليلات، أن شيئاً نوعياً كبيراً حدث ليل أمس، هو حدث نوعي كبير وغير مسبوق أياً كانت الجهة التي تقف وراءه، سواء أعلنت مسؤوليتها أو أغفلت ذلك أو ربما رأت أن الأفضل هو نفي المسؤولية، ففي كل الحالات الحدث مفاجئ للجميع ويمثل تحولاً في قواعد الاشتباك مع كيان الاحتلال منذ قيامه قبل سبعين عاماً، ففي كل الحروب التي مضت عام 1947 وعام 1956 وعام 1967 وعام 1973 وأعوام ما بين 1982 و2000 وصولاً إلى حرب عام 2006، لم يسقط صاروخ على تل أبيب، وبقيت تل أبيب حصناً محمياً بعيداً عن التهديد، وإن تمّ تهديد تل أبيب فقد بدا أنه تهديد عابر، أو أن كيان الاحتلال قد تمكّن من احتوائه وإلغاء فرص تكراره بخلق واقع عسكري جديد في الجغرافيا التي شكلت مصدر هذا التهديد، سواء في مصر جمال عبد الناصر أو في العراق أو في سورية، بينما يقف كيان الاحتلال أمام حقيقة جديدة، فهو مضطر للاعتراف بأن استهداف تل ابيب سيصير مشهداً مألوفاً في أي مواجهة تخوضها حكومة الاحتلال مع أي من أطراف محور المقاومة. فالصواريخ التي تطال تل أبيب موجودة، وقادرة، والقبة الحديدة عاجزة عن منعها، وما يملكه الذين هم أقل يملكه الذين هم أكثر، وما يستطيع فعله أطراف غير رئيسية في غزة تستطيعه الأطراف الرئيسية، كما تستطيعه المقاومة في لبنان ويستيطعه الجيش السوري وقوى الحشد الشعبي في العراق وبالتأكيد تستطيعه إيران.

In Videos: Hamas' Military Wing Launched At Least 2 Long-Range Missiles At Tel Aviv

– هذه صورة رمزية تلتقطها الكاميرات الإسرائيلية لما سيكون عليه التحدّي مع أي مواجهة مقبلة، فبعدما كان استهداف تل أبيب نظرياً كفرضية قابلة للتأكيد، صار واقعاً، قابلاً للتكرار، ومثلما قال رئيس لجنة الاستخبارات الوطنية الأميركية دان كوتس أمام مجلس الشيوخ، التصعيد الإسرائيلي في ظل توازنات هشّة وغياب سقوف سياسية سيجلب خطر الانزلاق إلى مفاجآت تصعب السيطرة عليها، والذين يتحدثون عن مصالح إسرائيلية بالتصعيد أو الذين يقولون إن نتنياهو يحتاج إلى جولة تصعيد يتجاهلون أنه كان قبل شهور يصول ويجول في الغارات على سورية وقد توقف عنها، ويتجاهلون أن كل حرب أو نصف حرب تحتاج إلى استراتيجية خروج، فنتنياهو يملك قرار بدء الحرب، لكنه لا يملك خريطة طريق واضحة لإنهائها، وحماس والجهاد والفصائل يملكون قدرة التبرؤ وحتى الإدانة للصواريخ، لكنهم لا يملكون الصمت والتفرج إذا بدأت الحرب، وبعد ظهور الصواريخ على تل أبيب، لن يكون مقبولاً أن تقع المجازر وتبقى الصواريخ المشابهة في المستودعات!

صدمة في إسرائيل: صواريخ غزّة تصل إلى تل أبيب

– بالنسبة لأجيال عربية عاشت مراحل الانكسارات، وعاشت مع المقاومة زمن الانتصارات، تحقق ليل أمس حلم عتيق، يدخل الفرحة إلى القلوب بعيداً عن التحليلات، إن تجرّع نتنياهو ذل الصواريخ تحقق ميزان ردع جديد، وإن ردّ بحرب أجبر مالكي الصواريخ الأشدّ قدرة على إخراجها من المستودعات.

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