Biden ‘sleepwalking into disaster’: Experts

January 21, 2023 

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

US President Joe Biden could go down in history for allowing his failed policies to trigger a world war, experts say.

US President Joe Biden, January 19, 2022 (Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden’s policies toward Russia, China, and Iran, among other countries, have the US on the verge of disaster as he begins the second half of his first term, experts told Sputnik.
 
Biden reached the midpoint of his presidency earlier today, a period in which the White House has claimed economic successes while critics have slammed him for record-high inflation, the border crisis, and a foreign policy that has escalated tensions with both Russia and China.
 
“I think he’s done better than some of us expected, but he’s still sleepwalking into disaster,” political commentator and US constitutional historian Dan Lazare told Sputnik
 
Like all US presidents, Biden was the victim of forces beyond his control, Lazare cautioned. He said that Biden entered the White House promising to be a big-spending FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt] and thus succeeded in pushing through his $1.9-trillion American Rescue Plan less than two months after taking office. However, it backfired due to mounting inflationary pressures, which it undoubtedly helped aggravate.
 
Lazare acknowledged that the “rapid and humiliating Taliban conquest of Afghanistan” in July 2021, during Biden’s first year in office, was a disaster that nearly everyone in Washington contributed to over the previous 40 years.
 
“Instead of fiddling while Rome burned, he flipped burgers while Kabul collapsed. The result was the worst foreign-policy setback since Vietnam from an imperial point of view,” he said. 
 
The Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed in November 2022, put new strains on the Atlantic Alliance, according to Lazare. “[The act] has left Europeans unnerved due to its outrageously protectionist industrial policies,” he added.

Dangers of Ukraine

The Biden administration announced on Thursday another $2.5 billion in military aid to Ukraine, bringing the total to around $27.5 billion since Biden took office. According to Lazare, the United States is on the verge of a world war.
 
He stressed that Biden looks pretty good “shepherding one military aid package after another through Congress,” warning that the longer the conflict goes on the more apparent it becomes that NATO’s “aggressively expansionist policies are leading to another 1914.”
 
Lazare predicted that Biden’s failure to pursue any serious means of resolving the conflict would exacerbate it, adding that “just as the Entente more or less maneuvered Austro-Hungary into going to war against crazy little Serbia, the Atlantic Alliance maneuvered Russia into going to war against Ukraine by engaging in actions that were increasingly provocative and confrontational,” he said. 
 
Biden risks going down in history alongside disastrous UK leader Herbert Henry Asquith, who led his country into a disastrous world war with Germany in 1914, according to Lazare.

Read next: Poll: Biden receives ‘failing grade’ in leadership and management

“I think history will, thus, end up looking at Biden the same way it looks at Asquith, the UK prime minister who thought he could get away with playing with fire in the Balkans. Once again, short-sighted imperial ambitions are plunging the world into catastrophe,” he said. 
 
Lazare believed that despite all this, the US media had covered Biden sympathetically so far in contrast to their unrelenting attacks on his predecessor. He added that Joe Biden may be a “B- president so far, but I’m sure his report card will be bristling with F’s before too long.”

Feckless mediocrity 

Retired Ambassador Chas Freeman, who served as the Democratic Clinton administration’s assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, noted that the Foreign Policy had assembled 20 analysts who had nothing but praise for Biden’s diplomatic performance.
 
Freeman told Sputnik that no oriental potentate employing praise singers could ask for more, but the Biden administration didn’t produce a ‘foreign policy for the middle class’, only one for what he described as feckless mediocrity.”
 
He added that Biden has also recklessly sparked conflict and crises with major superpowers
 
“Biden and his team have catalyzed and subsequently escalated a dangerous proxy war between the United States, Western Europe, and Russia in Ukraine [and] escalated tensions with China amidst rising concern about the possibility of a war over the status of Taiwan,” Freeman said. 
 
He also abandoned diplomatic efforts to limit Iran’s nuclear weapons development, which has brought Russia, China, and Iran together, according to Freeman.
 
Furthermore, Biden has increased protectionism and rejected the World Trade Organization’s “rules-based order,” causing friction with US allies in both Europe and Asia, he claims.
 
According to Freeman, Biden’s erratic policies had also resulted in a visible reduction in US influence in the Middle East, including a rift with Saudi Arabia and a failure to counter the replacement of apartheid in “Israel” with renewed ethnic cleansing.

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    Imagining Palestine: Cultures of Exile and National Identity – Book Review

    January 13, 2023

    Imagining Palestine: Cultures of Exile and National Identity, by Tahrir Hamdi. (Photo: Book Cover)

    By Jim Miles

    – Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles.  His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.

    (Imagining Palestine – Cultures of Exile and National Identity.  Tahrir Hamdi. I. B. Taurus, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London, 2023.)

    In her recent work, “Imagining Palestine”, Tahrir Hamdi has made an intriguing, thought-provoking, and challenging discussion on the idea and reality of Palestine. Imagining Palestine is the ongoing process of remembering and living the ongoing tragedies of the nakba – and keeping alive the culture, geography, and ideals of the Palestinian people. There are two main themes that stand out throughout the ‘imagining’ process: the ideas of exile and the necessity of violent resistance.

    Exile

    Throughout the discussions of the various Palestinian writers and artists is the recurring theme of exile. Two other terms are used frequently – dispossession and of dispersion. This refers to the physical/geographical displacement of the refugees, internal and external, in the many refugee camps in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan as well as the refugees living farther abroad in many countries around the world. Internal exile includes the many apartheid bantustans, the hundreds of checkpoints, the ‘wall’, and all other Israeli initiatives to limit travel of any kind – medical or agricultural or family – within occupied Palestine (being the whole).

    Exile also includes the culture and ideas creating a Palestinian narrative – the attempt by the colonial settler Zionists to eliminate the elements of Palestinian life ranging from the destruction of libraries, and the expropriation of agriculture, to the destruction of the olive trees. Many of the latter are over one thousand years old and represent family, the past, and the future; they highlight both ecological and cultural violence against the Palestinians – a bitter leaf with life-giving properties.

    Behind the idea of exile is of course the right of return,

    The United Nations General Assembly adopts Resolution 194 (III), resolving that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”

    The symbols of Palestinians’ right of return are characterized by the deeds to land and the keys to houses stolen or destroyed by the Israeli military during the 1948 nakba. Until all Palestinians are free to return home, those few that do, as discussed by Tahrir, are not truly returnees, but remain in exile within their homeland.

    Violent Resistance

    As recognized by the writers reviewed in Imagining Palestine, the idea of resistance is paramount, “the colonized must liberate themselves by ‘use of all means, and that of force first and foremost.’”. International law allows for an occupied people/territory to legally resist the occupying/colonizing power. For those imagining Palestine, culture comes first then the resistance struggle – signifying a unity of purpose, an inclusiveness and not a mixture of individualized ideals.

    In other words, by dividing the Palestinian people into apartheid regions, into different ‘terrorist’ organizations, into different levels of control superseded by the Palestinian Authority acting as security police for Israel, the Israelis – and factions within Palestine itself – preclude an organizing, organic whole necessary for successful resistance against an occupying force. A “collective national identity” is necessary first before a resistance can be successfully implemented.

    As expressed by Tahrir,

    “The living heritage of Palestine has been focussed and repurposed for the aim of creating a culture of resistance. To imagine Palestine does not mean to contrive something that was not there, but rather to make possible the very idea of resistance, victory, and liberation…an enabling idea.”

    Subthemes

    Several other themes occur through Tahrir’s analysis of those Imagining Palestine.

    The complicity of Arab regimes is reiterated frequently and although not dwelt upon, it is recognition that the ‘regime’, the leaders of the Arab countries, are more concerned about their own survival than the problems faced by the Palestinians. Platitudes are made, peace treaties are made, official recognition of Israel is given, and still, the Palestinians are ignored. Except….

    Except as shown by the recent Football World Cup in Qatar (after the publication of this book), the Arab street is still very much aligned with the Palestinians regardless of their separate governments’ attitudes and actions. Farther abroad from Ireland and Scotland to Argentina and others, solidarity with Palestine is strong at the level of international football – not the organizers, but the fans and the players.

    Another subtheme, related to all above, is the vast amount of US support for the Israeli government as well as the influence the US carries over many of the Arab states. Capitalism thrives in this environment: three companies “and others thrive on the ‘always war’ policy of the world capitalist system, which gave birth to slavery and the colonialist enterprise.” A strong (im)moral component enters into this support as well with the combination of the evangelical right wishing for the end times and the antiterrorist rhetoric used mainly to reinforce US attempts at global hegemony (via military support for the US $).

    Indigenous rights is another subtheme mentioned throughout the book. In particular, the rights of Indigenous North Americans and South Africans are used in comparison to their similarities to the colonial settler regime in Israel. African Americans, while not ‘colonized’ in the strictest sense, are a product of the capitalist-colonial mindset where the ‘other’ is, at best, property to be bought and sold, and when not useful, to be eliminated in one fashion or another.

    Resistance

    The recreation and remembering of Palestinian culture in all its forms, and the bringing together of a collective national identity, a living heritage creates an imagined future Palestine as a unitary democratic and peaceful society. The will to resist is alive in many forms and an Imagined Palestine exists, anticipating its liberation as a free, independent country.

    Al Mayadeen: Roth reveals the role of ‘Israel’ in Harvard decision

    8 Jan 2023

    Source: Al Mayadeen Net

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    The former director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, speaks to Al Mayadeen about how he was declined a Harvard University position because of his criticism of “Israel,” and the pressures exerted on him to dissuade him from his positions.

    Former HRW director Kenneth Roth at Al Mayadeen

    The former director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Kenneth Roth, revealed in an interview with Al Mayadeen how he was refused a fellowship in human rights at Harvard University because of his criticism of “Israel.”

    Roth stated that the veto on him either came from one of the donors or from the dean of the university, who was afraid that someone would object to Roth’s positions on “Israel.”

    He added that when Harvard University called him, they claimed that the position was granted to another person despite the fact that initially, he had been offered the position by the university.

    The former HRW director also pointed out that when one of his colleagues inquired about the reasons behind his sidelining, the dean of the university told argued that he is an “observer,” but added that HRW is biased against “Israel,” and that the refusal also came as a result of Tweets in which Roth criticized “Israel.”

    Roth stressed that what happened constituted a great shock, as this has never happened in the history of Harvard.

    Punishing academics for criticizing ‘Israel’ is not new

    Roth further revealed to Al Mayadeen that what happened to him was not a first, as there had been several instances where an academic who criticized “Israel” was punished. Roth warned that the danger lies in the fact that new academics may see what transpired and may become afraid of directing any criticism towards “Israel” for fear of punishment.

    He added that what happened to him at Harvard University is not unique, as it had happened in other universities before. For example, Roth explained that a similar situation had taken place “at the University of Toronto, two years ago, where a person was hired to head a human rights center, then a tentative offer has been made, and then suddenly it was withdrawn due to her criticism of ‘Israel’.” 

    In this case, Roth was referencing Dr. Valentina Azarova, an international law practitioner, and researcher. Azarova has described herself as an anti-oppression educator and had written several research pieces regarding Israeli practices in occupied Palestine, such as “The Pathology of a Legal System: Israel’s Military Justice System and International Law.” 

    The former HRW director continued that the disappointing thing about what happened with him is that “if any institution can resist donor pressure, it is Harvard, as it is the richest university in the world,” adding that Harvard must have maintained that “we do not accept pressure from donors that tries to censor our scholars, that try to undermine academic freedom.”

    He stressed that what happened pointed to a serious matter regarding new academics. Roth argued that these new academics will refrain from criticizing “Israel” out of fear of losing their career or getting canceled following what happened to him and how it affected his career.

    Roth stated he is not worried about his career given that he had plenty of other options, however, he said “I fear about a young academic who sees what just happened to me and says: uh oh! I can’t touch ‘Israel’, if I criticize ‘Israel’ that’s going to end my career; I’m going to get canceled.”

    Pressure exerted on Roth to refrain from ‘Israel’ criticism

    Roth revealed to Al Mayadeen that donors and other parties pressured him during his time as HRW director and urged him not to criticize “Israel.” Roth stressed his resistance to all pressures and argued that Harvard’s decision to fold under donor pressure and cancel his fellowship did not change his position or perspective on how Human Rights must be applied across the world.

    He said, “Harvard should not impose bans on its scholars. It should be upholding academic freedom.”

    The academic further stressed that he has not changed his perspective on the fact that “human rights standards must be applied even-handedly” and expressed his hope that Harvard would change the way it treats this kind of pressure because the university should not censor its scholars. Moreover, Roth insisted, “I am not going to change what I do but I hope that Harvard changes the way it proceeds.”

    Roth hoped that university officials would realize that what happened was wrong and that they would change their minds, take a different path, and rectify things. It is worth noting that Roth here referenced the need to reassess Harvard’s decision-making process with respect to donor pressure and not just the incident that took place with respect to his fellowship. Only that, the former director argued, will “send a message to scholars around the world that it is safe to criticize ‘Israel’, that they’re not going to be punished for it.”

    What do the supporters of “Israel” rely on to defend it?

    The former director general of HRW confirmed to Al Mayadeen that supporters of the Israeli government engaged in a campaign of “name-calling” against those who criticize “Israel.”

    He added that those engaged in the name-calling campaign have no intention of discussing the facts of what “Israel” is doing because “it’s pretty disturbing,” adding that “Israel” is “committing the human rights crime of apartheid.”

    Additionally, Roth explained that instead of discussing the substance itself, these supporters show a sign of weakness as they resort to name-calling and say “you’re biased; you’re anti-Semitic.”

    In conclusion, Roth voiced, through Al Mayadeen, that his greatest concern is the paralleling that Israeli government supporters are committed to in labeling any criticism of “Israel” as anti-Semetic. 

    In a letter sent by HRW to Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow, it was noted that “the Kennedy School’s decision to deny Mr. Roth the opportunity of joining the Carr Center because of his work will doubtlessly have repercussions for academic freedom throughout Harvard University,” adding that “unless addressed it could taint Harvard’s stellar reputation around the globe.”

    The letter further urged the president “to review the decision and take the measures necessary to uphold the values of academic freedom.”

    Read more: Harvard revokes former HRW head’s fellowship over “Israel” criticism

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    Knesset Approves Apartheid in Occupied West Bank, Lapid Accuses Netanyahu of Leading ‘Israel’ into Civil War

    January 11, 2023

    Israeli Parliament (Knesset), photo from archive.

    The Israeli Knesset passed on Tuesday the so-called “Emergency Regulations in Judea and Samaria” or Apartheid. The “temporary” measure is voted on every five years.

    The bill was first adopted in 1967 after ‘Israel’ occupied the West Bank. It addresses the legal status of Zionist settlers living in the occupied West Bank by maintaining their Israeli citizenship and rights, although they live beyond the green line— Israel’s internationally recognized borders.

    Tuesday’s vote passed in the first reading.

    The legislation allows Zionist settlers to appear in Israeli courts for offenses committed in the occupied West Bank. It also allows, contrary to international law, to jail Palestinians from the West Bank inside ‘Israel’.

    Palestinians call it the apartheid law as it puts in place a two-tiered system—one for Zionists and another for Palestinians.

    The bill is expected to pass in the second and third readings.

    Meanwhile, the extremist security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir ordered prevention of the celebrations of the release of the ex-Palestinian prisoner Maher Younes and confiscation of the Palestinian flags. Ben-Gvir also ordered the Zionist police to resort to force in dealing with the secular protests against the government.

    Opposition versus Government

    The opposition figures in Knesset, including the former PM Yair Lapid and defense minister Benny Gantz, launched a major rhetorical attack on the premier Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of leading the entity into a civil war.

    Gantz warned Netanyahu against striking the juridical system to avenge what the latter views as unjust trials, describing this as “unpatriotic”.

    For his part, Lapid wondered about the consequences of losing the USA as the primary ally and deactivating the juridical authorities in the entity.

    Former PM Yair Lapid and defense minister Benny Gantz

    West Bank Report

    The Palestinian resistance fighters targeted two Israeli military checkpoints in Ramnallah and Nablus, occupied West Bank.

    According to well-informed sources, the Zionist occupation forces blocked Qalandiya checkpoint after it came under an IED attack.

    In Nablus, the Palestinian resistance fighters attacked Israeli checkpoint 17with an IED, which led the enemy troops to close the crossing.

    It is worth noting that the Palestinian Resistance fighters in Jenin, Nablus and Al-Quds are intensifying their gun attacks on the Zionist posts and checkpoints as the rate of operations has increased remarkably.

    Palestinian Resistance fighters in the northern West Bank city of Jenin (photo from archive).

    Meanwhile, the Zionist occupation forces launched a large-scale campaign of arrests across the West Bank. In details, the Israeli troops arrested a number of Islamic Jihad Movement’s cadres, including the ex-prisoners Wahid Abu Maria, Mohammad Wahid Abu Maria, Abdullah Mohammad Abu Maria, and Hamde Mohammad Abu Maria.

    Israeli occupation forces arrest a Palestinian man in the West Bank (December 17, 2021).

    Source: Al-Manar English Website

    حكومة نتنياهو السادسة: هجينٌ مفخَّخ [1]

    الإثنين 9 كانون الثاني 2023

    يحيى دبوق  

    ستظهّر حكومة نتنياهو غلَبة المصالح الشخصية والقبَلية للأفراد والجماعات على حساب «الدولة الجامعة» (أ ف ب)

    ليست حكومة بنيامين نتنياهو السادسة مشابهةً لأيّ حكومة سابقة في إسرائيل. هي خليط هجين من الفاشيين والمتعصّبين دينياً واليمينيين المتطرّفين، الذين استطاعوا من خلال استغلال حاجة نتنياهو إليهم للنجاة بنفسه، انتزاع مساحات وصلاحيات واسعة لهم. تغوّلٌ ستكون له بلا ريب انعكاسات غير «طيّبة» على «أمن» إسرائيل ومصالحها و«حوكمتها بناءً على مأسسة قانونية». في ما يلي الحلقة الأولى من سلسلة تتناول هوية هذه الحكومة وتناقضاتها والأزمات التي يُتوقّع أن يجرّها أداؤها والسيناريوات المحتمَلة لمصيرها

    بعد أكثر من عام قضاها رئيساً للمعارضة، عاد بنيامين نتنياهو ليرأس المؤسّسة السياسية في إسرائيل، إثر نجاحه في تشكيل حكومته السادسة، التي تُعدّ الأكثر تطرّفاً وعنصرية منذ قيام الدولة العبرية عام 1948، لِما تحويه من خليط من الفاشيين والمتعصّبين دينياً واليمينيين. وسيكون من شأن هذه الحكومة أن تتسبّب لإسرائيل بتهديدات، تُضاف إلى التهديدات القائمة وتُعمّقها، ليس في ما يتعلّق بالخارج حيث تتعاظم الأخطار وتتشعّب فقط، بل وأيضاً في الداخل ربطاً بما تسمّى «القبائل الإسرائيلية» والتعايش في ما بينها، حيث التصارع على هوية الدولة والعلاقة بالآخر، سواء اليهودي أو غير اليهودي.

    لا يعني ما تَقدّم أن حكومة نتنياهو ستتسبّب بزوال إسرائيل، أو بـ«ثورة» داخلية تنهي طابع «الدولة» الحالي من حيث التعايش بين مكوّناتها اليهودية – وصولاً إلى «حرب أهلية» وفقاً لِما يَصدر من تحذيرات على لسان كبار المسؤولين الإسرائيليين -، أو أنها ستؤدّي إلى عزل تل أبيب وقطْعها عن حليفها الأميركي والغربي، بل إن من شأنها أن تظهّر غلَبة المصالح الشخصية والقبَلية للأفراد والجماعات على حساب «الدولة الجامعة» لهم. هي إذاً حالة تجلية لواقع موجود سلفاً، وليس خلْق له، جرى استبعاده من دائرة الاهتمام الجمعي في إسرائيل، نتيجة أوّليةِ التهديدات الوجودية التي تَجمع ولا تفرّق. في المقابل، تَبرز المؤسّستان العسكرية والأمنية بوصْفهما «العاقل الوحيد» الذي يراهَن عليه لمنع الإضرار بـ«الدولة»، في ما يمثّل مفارقة قد لا يوجد مثيل لها حول العالم، حيث اتّجاهات العسكر على الأغلب متطرّفة؛ ذلك أن مَن يملك مطرقة، كما يَرد في المثل الإنكليزي، يرى كلّ شيء أمامه مسامير، فيما مهمّة الساسة هي بلورة رؤى وقرارات بناءً على الصورة الأوسع والمعطيات الأشمل والأكثر تعقّلاً. أمّا الحالة في إسرائيل الآن، فمعكوسة، والسبب أن نتنياهو عمَد إلى اقتناص فرصة الفوز في الانتخابات، نتيجة أخطاء المعسكر المعارض له وتناقضاته وإعلائه مصالحه، من أجل تمكين وضعه، علماً أن مَن انتخبوا معارضيه أكبر عدداً ممّن انتخبوا معسكره، وهو ما لم ينعكس في النتائج بفعل تقنيات اللعبة الانتخابية ومقدّماتها، والتي يَصعب تكرارها في حال تَقرّر التوجّه إلى انتخابات مبكرة جديدة. من هنا، وبما أن المصلحة الشخصية لدى نتنياهو هي الغالبة، وتحديداً ما يتعلّق بمنع استمرار محاكمته في قضايا فساد ورشى، فقد كان ملزَماً بأن يشكّل حكومة «كيفما كان»، فيما حلفاؤه من اليمين المتطرّف والفاشيين والأحزاب الدينية (الحريديم) أدركوا حاجته هذه، فعمدوا إلى الإفراط في مطالبهم.

    قَبل نتنياهو الابتزاز وخضع له، لتأتي حكومته السادسة عجائبيّة وهجينة وخليطاً من التناقضات ومخالِفة للقوانين


    قَبل نتنياهو الابتزاز وخضع له، لتأتي حكومته السادسة عجائبيّة وهجينة وخليطاً من التناقضات ومخالِفة للقوانين والأنظمة التي عمل على تغييرها. فوزير الداخلية، الذي سيكون لاحقاً وزيراً للمالية، متّهم ومسجون في قضايا فساد وتهرب ضريبي وتلقّي رشى، فيما وزير الأمن القومي، المسؤول عن الشرطة وفرض القانون، كان ملاحقاً بتهم حضّ على الكراهية وعلى الإرهاب. أمّا الوزير المسؤول عن الإدارة المدنية في المناطق الفلسطينية المحتلّة، والمعنيّ بكلّ جوانب حياة الفلسطينيين، فهو صاحب رؤية مسيحانية تلمودية تَنظر إلى الفلسطينيين وغير اليهود عامة، ككائنات دونية ذات حقوق محدودة، بما فيها الوجود نفسه. هكذا، آثر نتنياهو أولوية بقائه في السلطة رئيساً للوزراء – وإنْ سقطت الحكومة نتيجة تناقضاتها – في الفترات الانتقالية بين العمليات الانتخابية، والتي يتعذّر التقدير ما إنْ كانت ستسفر عن نتائج حاسمة في هذا الاتجاه أو ذاك. هل هذه هي «ورقة الأمان» التي يسعى إليها زعيم «الليكود» بعد التخلّص من المحاكمة بتهم الفساد، ما يعني تغيّر الحال في اليوم الذي يلي، وانتفاء حاجته إلى شركائه؟ سؤال لا يفارق طاولة التقديرات، وإنْ كانت إجابته الآن متعذّرة. وفي الانتظار، يمكن إيراد الملاحظات الآتية:

    – في النصف الأوّل من ولاية الحكومة، سيكون رئيس حزب «الصهيونية الدينية»، بتسلئيل سموتريتش، وزيراً للمالية ووزيراً في وزارة الأمن (الدفاع) التي سيتقاسمها مع يوآف غالنت، من «الليكود». كذلك، جرى تعيين رئيس حزب «شاس»، آرييه درعي، وزيراً للداخلية ووزيراً للصحة. وفي النصف الثاني من ولاية الحكومة، أي بعد عامين، سيحلّ سموتريتش محلّ درعي في «الداخلية»، لكنه سيستمرّ في منصبه في وزارة الأمن وزيراً ثانياً فيها. وفيما سيستمرّ درعي وزيراً للصحة، فهو سيتولّى أيضاً وزارة المالية، التي يتسلّمها من سموتريتش.

    – انتزع زعيم حزب «قوة يهودية»، إيتامار بن غفير (الذي يتولى وزارة الأمن القوميّ)، وسموتريتش أجزاء كبيرة من السلطة على الجيش الإسرائيلي ومن وزارة الأمن نفسها. وبينما نُقلت الإدارة المدنية وتنسيق أعمال الحكومة في المناطق المحتلّة (الضفة الغربية) إلى سموتريتش، نُقلت مسؤولية كتائب «حرس الحدود» في الضفة من الجيش إلى بن غفير. كما نُقلت صلاحية تعيين كبير الحاخامات العسكرية إلى الجيش بدلاً من رئيس هيئة الأركان، في حين أصبح جهاز فرض القانون المتعلّق بالمخالفات البيئية والزراعية من نصيب «الأمن القومي» عوضاً عن «البيئة».

    – تقسيم الصلاحيات هذا سيكون من شأنه الإضرار بالأمن الإسرائيلي، خصوصاً أن مَن يخرق القوانين، حتى الشكلية منها، بات هو الذي يقرّر ويَحكم وينفّذ في الأراضي المحتلّة. إذ أضحت وحدات من الجيش، تابعة للمنطقة الوسطى بطبيعتها، تتلقّى أوامرها مباشرة من غير الجيش، فيما يجري تعيين المسؤولين في الإدارة المدنية التابعة تقليدياً للمؤسسة العسكرية، من قِبل جهات من خارج هذه الأخيرة.

    في بقية الوزارات، عمد نتنياهو إلى إرضاء أقطاب في حزبه، عبر توليفة من شأنها منع الاستقرار المطلوب. إذ سيكون إيلي كوهين وزيراً للخارجية، وإسرائيل كاتس وزيراً للطاقة لمدّة عام، وبعد ذلك سيتبادلان المناصب لمدّة عامين. وفي السنة الرابعة، سيعاودان التبادل لمدّة عام واحد. مع ذلك، سحب نتنياهو من «الخارجية» أقساماً مهمّة، بما من شأنه تقليص قدرتها على رسم وتحقيق سياسة خارجية ناجعة. إذ ثمّة ثلاث جهات ستنافس:
    كوهين في العلاقات الخارجية، وهي من حصة رئيس الوزراء، ومستشار الأمن القومي تساحي هنغبي، ووزير الشؤون الإستراتيجية رون ديرمر. أمّا موضوع التعامل مع المقاطعة فسيذهب إلى وزير الشتات، عميحاي شكلي. كما أن صلاحيات أخرى انتُزعت أيضاً من «الخارجية»، وأُعطيت لوزير الشؤون الاستراتيجية، رون ديرمر، فيما وزارتا الشتات والأديان ومكاتب وأجهزة الهجرة والاستيعاب، فستشارك «الخارجية» في جزء من الصلاحيات، ما سيحوّلها إلى حقيبة هامشية.

    ما تَقدّم عيّنات من مقايضات أقدَمَ عليها نتنياهو، ستدفع ثمنها إسرائيل من «أمنها ومصالحها وحوكمتها بناءً على مأسسة قانونية»، فيما المستوطنون سيكونون هم مَن يقرّرون صحّة أو خطأ أفعالهم، أي أن خصم الفلسطينيين المباشر سيكون هو الحَكم ومنفّذ الحُكم أيضاً.

    مقالات ذات صلة

    Ilan Pappe on the Socio-Political Formations behind Israel’s Neo-Zionist Government

    January 6, 2023

    A cabinet meeting of the new Israeli government. (Photo: Prime Minister of Israel’s TW Page)
    – Ilan Pappé is a professor at the University of Exeter. He was formerly a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa. He is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, The Modern Middle East, A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, and Ten Myths about Israel. Pappé is described as one of Israel’s ‘New Historians’ who, since the release of pertinent British and Israeli government documents in the early 1980s, have been rewriting the history of Israel’s creation in 1948. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

    By Ilan Pappe

    Two months after the election of the new government of Israel, the blurred picture is becoming more transparent, and it seems one can offer some more informed insights about its composition, personalities, and possible future policies and reaction to them.

    It would not be an exaggeration to define Benjamin Netanyahu as the least extreme member of this government, which tells you about the personalities and policies of all the others.  

    There are three major groups in the government, and I am not referring here to various political parties, but rather to socio-political formations.

    Zionization of Ultra-Orthodox Jews

    In the first group are the ultra-orthodox Jews, both the European and Arab Jews orthodoxies. What characterizes them is the process of Zionization they underwent since 1948. 

    From a marginal role in politics, only for the sake of their communities, they belong now to the captains of this new state. From being moderate and adhering to sacred Jewish precepts that do not allow Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land, they now emulate the Israeli secular right: supporting colonization in the West Bank, the siege on the Gaza Strip, employing racist discourse towards the Palestinians where they are, advocating harsh and aggressive policies and, at the same time, trying to take over the public space and Judaize it, according to their own strict version of Judaism.

    The only exception is Neturei Karata, loyal to their long-term anti-Zionism and solidarity with the Palestinians.

    National Religious Jews

    In the second group are the national religious Jews, mostly living in colonies, on expropriated Palestinian land in the West Bank, and recently creating “learning centers” of settlers in the midst of mixed Arab-Jews towns in Israel.

    They support both the criminal policies of the Israeli army and the actions by settler vigilantes that harass Palestinians, uprooting their orchards, shooting at them, and disputing their way of life. 

    Their aim is to give both the army and these vigilantes a freer hand in oppressing the occupied West Bank, with the hope of pressuring more Palestinians to leave. This group is also the backbone of the Israeli secret service command and dominates the cadre of senior officers in the army. 

    The two groups mentioned so far share the wish to impose stricter apartheid inside Israel against the 48 Arabs and, at the same time, begin a crusade against the LGBT community while demanding a more strict marginalization of women in the public space.

    They also share a messianic vision and they believe they are now in a position to implement it. At the center of this vision is the Judaization of sacred sites that are now “still” Islamic or Christian. The most coveted site is Haram al-Sharif. 

    The first precursor was the provocative visit by the Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir to the Haram. The next step will come on Passover, with an attempt to fully invade the Haram with Jewish prayers and ministers. Similar actions will be taken in Nablus, Hebron, and Bethlehem. How far they will go is difficult to predict. 

    Marginalization of Likud’s Secular Jews

    The second group also has representatives in the major party of the government, the Likud. But most of the Likud members are part of a third socio-political group: the secular Jews who are also adhering to traditional Jewish practices. 

    They try to distinguish themselves by claiming that economic and political liberalism is still an important pillar in the Likud’s political platform. Netanyahu used to be one of them but now seems to desert them when it comes to dividing the spoils, namely marginalizing them in the government. He needs the others more than his own party, to avoid trial and remain in power.

    The Zionist Project

    The prominent members of all these groups arrived with pre-prepared legislation initiatives and policies: all of them, without any exception, are meant to allow an extreme right-wing government to dispense of whatever has remained of the charade called the Israeli democracy.

    The first initiative already began, sterilizing the judicial system in such a way that it could not, if it ever wished to, defend the rights of minorities in general or that of the Palestinians more specifically.

    To be honest, all the previous Israeli governments were informed by this overall disregard for the civil and human rights of Palestinians. This is just a phase of making it more constitutional, more mainstream, and more apparent, without any attempt to hide the aim behind it: to have as much historical Palestine as possible with as few Palestinians in it as possible.

    However, if this materializes in the future, it will take Israel further into its neo-Zionist destiny; namely, the truthful fulfillment and maturation of the Zionist project: a ruthless settler colonial project, built on apartheid, ethnic cleansing, occupation, colonization and genocidal policies. 

    A project that, so far, escaped any significant rebuke from the Western world and one which is tolerated by the rest of the world, even if it is censured and rejected by many in the global civil society. So far, it is only due to Palestinian resistance and resilience that it failed to be triumphant.

    End of ‘Fantasy Israel’

    This new reality brings to the fore a series of questions, that one has to ask, even if at the moment we cannot answer them. 

    Will the Arab and Muslim governments, which only recently joined the immunization of this travesty, realize that it is not too late to change course?

    Will new governments of the Left, such as the one elected in Brazil, be able to lead the way for a change of attitude from above that would reflect democratically the one that is demanded from below?

    And will Jewish communities be shocked enough to wake up from the “fantasy Israel” dream and realize the danger of present-day Israel, not only to Palestinians but to Jews and Judaism as well?

    These are questions that are not easy to answer. What we can stress is, once more, a call for Palestinian unity so as to enhance the struggle against this government and the ideology it represents.  Such unity would become a compass for a powerful global front that is already there, thanks to the BDS movement, and is willing to continue its work of solidarity and enhance it further and wider: galvanizing governments, as well as societies, and bringing back Palestine to the center of global attention.

    The three components of the new Israeli government did not always coexist easily; so there is also a possibility of an earlier political collapse since all in all we are talking about a group of incompetent politicians when it comes to running such an intricate economy as the Israeli one. Probably, they will not be able to arrest the high inflation, rise in prices, and swelling unemployment. 

    However, even if this is going to happen, there isn’t an alternative fourth socio-political group that can lead Israel. So, a new government would be formed by another combination of the same forces, with the same intent and policies. 

    We should treat this as a structural challenge, not a one-off, and prepare for a long struggle, based on even more enhanced international solidarity and tighter Palestinian unity. 

    This rogue government, and what it represents, will not be there forever; we should do all we can to shorten the wait for its replacement with a much better alternative not only for the Palestinians but also for the Jews, and everyone else that resides in historical Palestine. 

    WHY IS THE WEST LAMENTING THE END OF ‘LIBERAL’ ISRAEL?

    JANUARY 6TH, 2023

    Source

    By Ramzy Baroud

    Even before the new Israeli government was officially sworn in on December 29, angry reactions began emerging, not only among Palestinians and other Middle Eastern governments but also among Israel’s historic allies in the West.

    As early as November 2, top US officials conveyed to Axios that the Joe Biden Administration is “unlikely to engage with Jewish supremacist politician, Itamar Ben-Gvir.”

    In fact, the US government’s apprehensions surpassed Ben-Gvir, who was convicted by Israel’s own court in 2007 for supporting a terrorist organization and inciting racism.

    US Secretary of State Tony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reportedly “hinted” that the US government would also boycott “other right-wing extremists” in Netanyahu’s government.

    However, these strong concerns seemed absent from the congratulatory statement by the US Ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, on the following day. Nides relayed that he had “congratulated (Netanyahu) on his victory and told him that I look forward to working together to maintain the unbreakable bond” between the two countries.

    In other words, this ‘unbreakable bond’ is stronger than any public US concern regarding terrorism, extremism, fascism, and criminal activities.

    Ben-Gvir is not the only convicted criminal in Netanyahu’s government. Aryeh Deri, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, was convicted of tax fraud in early 2022 and in 2000, he served a prison sentence for accepting bribes when he held the position of interior minister.

    Bezalel Smotrich is another controversial character whose anti-Palestinian racism has dominated his political persona for many years.

    While Ben-Gvir has been assigned the post of national security minister, Deri has been entrusted with the ministry of interior and Smotrich with the ministry of finance.

    Palestinians and Arab countries are rightly angry because they understand that the new government is likely to sow more violence and chaos.

    With many of Israel’s sinister politicians in one place, Arabs know that Israel’s illegal annexation of parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories is back on the agenda; and that incitement against Palestinians in Occupied East Jerusalem, coupled with raids of Al-Aqsa Mosque will exponentially increase in the coming weeks and months. And, expectedly, the push for the construction and expansion of illegal settlements is likely to grow, as well.

    These are not unfounded fears. Aside from the very racist and violent statements and actions by Netanyahu and his allies in recent years, the new government has already declared that the Jewish people have “exclusive and inalienable rights to all parts of the Land of Israel,” promising to expand settlements while distancing itself from any commitments to establishing a Palestinian State, or even engaging in any ‘peace process.’

    But while Palestinians and their Arab allies have been largely consistent in recognizing extremism in the various Israeli governments, what excuse do the US and the West have in failing to recognize that the latest Netanyahu-led government is the most rational outcome of blindly supporting Israel throughout the years?

    In March 2019, Politico branded Netanyahu as the creator of “the most right-wing government in Israeli history,” a sentiment that was repeated countless times in other western media outlets.

    This ideological shift was, in fact, recognized by Israel’s own media, years earlier. In May 2016, the popular Israeli newspaper Maariv described the Israeli government at the time as the “most right-wing and extremist” in the country’s history. This was, in part, due to the fact that far-right politician Avigdor Lieberman was assigned the role of the defense minister.

    The West, then, too, showed concern, warned against the demise of Israel’s supposed liberal democracy, and demanded that Israel must remain committed to the peace process and the two-state solution. None of that actualized. Instead, the terrifying figures of that government were rebranded as merely conservatives, centrists or even liberals in the following years.

    The same is likely to happen now. In fact, signs of the US’s willingness to accommodate whatever extremist politics Israel produces are already on display. In his statement, on December 30, welcoming the new Israeli government, Biden said nothing about the threat of Tel Aviv’s far-right politics to the Middle East region but, rather, the “challenges and threats” posed by the region to Israel. In other words, Ben-Gvir or no Ben-Gvir, unconditional support for Israel by the US will remain intact.

    If history is a lesson, future violence and incitement in Palestine will also be blamed mostly, if not squarely, on Palestinians. This knee-jerk, pro-Israeli attitude has defined Israel’s relationship with the US, regardless of whether Israeli governments are led by extremists or supposed liberals. No matter, Israel somehow maintained its false status as “the only democracy in the Middle East”.

    But if we are to believe that Israel’s exclusivist and racially based ‘democracy’ is a democracy at all, then we are justified to also believe that Israel’s new government is neither less nor more democratic than the previous governments.

    Yet, western officials, commentators and even pro-Israel Jewish leaders and organizations in the US are now warning against the supposed danger facing Israel’s liberal democracy in the run-up to the formation of Netanyahu’s new government.

    This is an indirect, if not clever form of whitewashing, as these views accept that what Israel has practiced since its founding in 1948, until today, was a form of real democracy; and that Israel remained a democracy even after the passing of the controversial Nation-State Law, which defines Israel as a Jewish state, completely disregarding the rights of the country’s non-Jewish citizens.

    It is only a matter of time before Israel’s new extremist government is also whitewashed as another working proof that Israel can strike a balance between being Jewish and also democratic at the same time.

    The same story was repeated in 2016, when warnings over the rise of far-right extremism in Israel – following the Netanyahu-Lieberman pact – quickly disappeared and eventually vanished. Instead of boycotting the new unity government, the US government finalized, in September 2016, its largest military aid package to Israel, amounting to $38 billion.

    In truth, Israel has not changed much, either in its own self-definition or in its treatment of Palestinians. Failing to understand this is tantamount to tacit approval of Israel’s racist, violent and colonial policies in Occupied Palestine over the course of 75 years.

    Palestinians Can Only Dream of Justice at the ICC as Netanyahu Can’t Wait to Start a War in Gaza

    January 5, 2023

    Source

    By Martin Jay

    One wonders how long we have to wait in 2023 before a new intifada begins, orchestrated entirely by the Israeli government’s dirty work.

    Is there anything quite so vomit-inducing than Israel’s new government with Benjamin Netanyahu at its helm? Barely days in office and he’s already frothing at the mouth like a sick dog looking at its next meal, in this case the Gaza Strip. One wonders how long we have to wait in 2023 before a new intifada begins, orchestrated entirely by the Israeli government’s dirty work, which in 2020, broke records with almost 1000 Palestinian homes stolen at gunpoint from humble Palestinians.

    Years of neglect by the West, in particular the EU which can’t even make statements condemning Israel’s atrocities have culminated in human rights abominations on a scale once thought unimaginable. Also the Ukraine war. But now Netanyahu gleans in his new role as champion thief and warlord who will almost certainly reign supreme and enamour his political legacy in 2023 by bombing the Gaza strip this year. You could put money on it.

    His latest announcement that his new far-right government will impose “sanctions” on senior Palestinian officials, after he slammed a UN decision to refer Israel’s handiwork to the International Criminal Court as “despicable”, adding that Israel is “not bound” by the UN vote.

    The planned Israel sanctions are a response to the UN approval of a resolution requesting the International Court of Justice to evaluate Israel’s “annexation” policies and the “legal status of the occupation.”

    VIP cars, which Netanyahu will ban, gives senior PA officials easy access to Israeli cities, easy passage at Israeli checkpoints, as well as travel through Ben Gurion Airport.

    Wives, children and bodyguards of the PA officials, who hold the Israeli VIP cards, are able to pass through Israeli checkpoints without inspection and travel to Jerusalem through the gates of Separation Wall.

    A decision on the package of sanctions against the Palestinians is expected to be taken by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister, Yoav Galant, and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in coordination with others, Israeli sources reported.

    This move is an act of defiance against accountability from the UN and ICC where Western governments have failed to even bat an eyelid. For a few brief days in December, the Palestinians could dream of justice.

    If the UN and ICC are serious, Israel’s impunity towards its wholesale looting of Palestinian property, not to mention its brutal treatment of Palestinians themselves, could be curtailed in 2023 as international law might be catching up with the apartheid state.

    On December 30th, the UN General Assembly voted to seek the opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of Israel’s policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    The Assembly voted 87-26 in favour of the move, with 53 abstentions. Western nations were divided over support for the resolution, but there was virtually unanimous support from the Islamic world, even from Arab states that have normalised relations with Israel, as well as from Russia and China.

    Are we reaching a point where countries beyond what we call The West are drawing a line in the sand for Israel’s government? Possibly, given that even Arab countries which signed up to the Abraham Accords backed the decision to take Israel to The Hague. Unfortunately, this unified stance against the Netanyahu government won’t mean so much as its leaders immerse themselves with so much blinded dogma about Palestine and their daily genocide that it is more likely that Netanyahu will throw the lever and start a war again in Gaza just so as to throw up a dust screen for the media to miss the wholesale theft of property which surely will continue. If the UN and ICC are really serious, they will create a legal process though for Palestinians to get their land and houses back through a compensation scheme, rather than just make “tough love” statements condemning Israel. The silence from the EU, in particular the European Parliament, is deafening. How is it that since 2014 — the last time an EU official tried to introduce a labelling scheme for goods made in the occupied territories — that the EU has become mute when it comes to Israel’s own war crimes against Palestinians? Did the Morocco-Qatar bribery ring also extend to white-washing Israel’s human rights atrocities?

    The Price of Betraying Palestine: Moroccans Challenge Normalization with Israel

    December 30, 2022

    Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Morocco’s cities to demonstrate against normalization with Israel. (Photo: Moroccan Front for Supporting Palestine FB Page)

    By Ramzy Baroud

    Two years ago, Morocco and Israel signed the US-brokered “Joint Declaration”, thus officially recognizing Israel and instating diplomatic ties. Though other Arab countries had already done the same, the Moroccan official recognition of Apartheid Israel was particularly devastating for Palestinians.

    Years ago, a close Moroccan friend told me that the ‘first time’ he was arrested was during a solidarity protest for Palestine in Rabat which took place many years ago.

    The reference to the ‘first time’ indicated that he was arrested again, though mostly for other political activities, suggesting that Palestine, in many ways, has become a local struggle for many Moroccans.

    Whenever Moroccans protest for Palestine, they would do so in large numbers, sometimes in their millions. Such solidarity has historically served as the foundation of regional and global solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

    Though ordinary Arabs have always considered Palestine a core struggle, the relationship between North Africans and Palestine is, in many ways, unique and rooted.

    Despite a strong push for normalization between Arab countries and Israel, countries like Algeria and Tunisia made it clear that no diplomatic ties between their respective capitals and Israel would be declared anytime soon.

    Credit for this goes mostly to the Algerian and Tunisian peoples who have made their rejection of Israeli racism, and support for Palestinian freedom akin to local or national struggles. Palestinian flags have always accompanied flags of these countries during any large gathering, be it a political protest or a sports event.

    Morocco is no exception. Solidarity with Palestine in this country goes back generations, and hundreds of activists have paid a price for confronting their government on its failure to stand up to Israel or to challenge Washington for its support for Tel Aviv.

    The normalization agreement between Rabat and Tel Aviv in 2020 was falsely assumed to be an end to popular solidarity with Palestine. In fact, such acts of normalization, rightly considered a betrayal by Palestinians, were also meant to be the final delinking of Palestine from its Arab and regional environs.

    However, this was not the case. Normalization with Apartheid Israel is still strongly rejected by the vast majority of Arabs, as opinion polls indicate. Moreover, the pouring of love for Palestine during the Qatar World Cup demonstrated, beyond doubt, that Israel cannot possibly be accepted by Arabs while still an occupying power and a racist apartheid regime.

    The little political gains achieved by the Moroccan government in exchange for sacrificing the rights of Palestinians shall prove irrelevant in coming years. In fact, signs of this are already on display.

    The Moroccan government, led by the Development and Justice Party of Saadeddine Othmani, which had taken part in the normalization efforts, was rejected en masse in the September 2021 elections. Only nine months earlier, Othmani was signing the “Joint Declaration” with Israel’s National Security Advisor, Meir Ben-Shabbat.

    The US recognition of Rabat’s claim over Western Sahara as the political barter between Rabat and Washington, which led to the normalization with Tel Aviv, shall eventually prove meaningless.

    The US and Western superiority is increasingly being challenged throughout the African continent, especially in West and Central African regions. Powerful new players, like Russia and China, are gaining geopolitical ground, in some regions entirely replacing the West’s dominance. Thus, the US support for any country’s territorial ambitions is no longer a guarantor of political gains, especially as the African geopolitical spaces have become greatly contested.

    When Morocco normalized with Israel, many Moroccans were taken by surprise. The assumption was that Morocco, like other Arab nations, was too consumed by their own problems to notice their government’s foreign policy shifts, whether regarding Palestine or anywhere else.

    Whether that was the case or not, it matters little now. On the second anniversary of the “Joint Declaration” agreement, tens of thousands of Moroccans demonstrated against normalization in 30 different cities, including Rabat, Agadir, Tangier and Meknes. The protests were mobilized by the Moroccan Front for Supporting Palestine and Against Normalization.

    The Front is reportedly a network that includes ‘over a dozen political and human rights organizations,’ the New Arab reported. Their chants included “The people want to bring down normalization”, a slogan that is reminiscent of the pan-Arab popular slogan of a decade ago, ‘The people want to change the regime’. The latter resonated throughout many Arab capitals during the years of political upheaval in 2011 and upward.

    This popular movement and its chants indicate that Palestine remains a local and national struggle in Morocco, as well as other Arab countries.

    But why Morocco, and why now?

    The popular association of the Moroccan and Palestinian flags throughout the World Cup had an invigorating effect on the collective psyche of Moroccans, who were empowered by their national team’s impressive showing against legendary teams such as Belgium, Spain and Portugal. It was a matter of time before this confidence translated to actual solidarity on the streets of Rabat and other major Moroccan cities.

    The fact that Moroccans are mobilizing in large numbers against their country’s normalization with Israel only two years after the agreement is a sign of things to come.

    2022 was a particularly bloody year in Palestine, according to UN Mideast Envoy, Tor Wennesland, who said that it was “on course to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since … 2005.”

    Moroccans, like other Arab nations, are following the news with alarm, especially following the swearing-in of Israel’s new extremist government of Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right fascist ilk – the likes of Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir.

    These two individuals’ constant targeting of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in particular, has a great emotional impact on Moroccans, especially since Morocco serves as the Chair of the Al-Quds Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is tasked with the protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    Israel wants to normalize with the Arabs and tap into their massive markets and economic largesse without having, in return, to relinquish its military Occupation or grant Palestinians basic freedoms. Politically engaged Arab masses understand this well, and are growingly mobilizing against their governments’ betrayal of Palestine.

    The self-serving and limited gains of normalization are likely to turn into a political liability in coming years. It is time for Morocco and others to reconsider their ties with Israel, as they risk political isolation and social instability, a far greater price to pay than the empty promises of Washington and Tel Aviv.

    – Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

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    Palestinian Voices are Still Presumed Guilty in Canada

    December 26, 2022

    Zionist activists verbally abuse peaceful demonstrators protesting a pro-settlement event in Toronto, Canada. (Photo: video grab, Supplied)

    By Paul Salvatori

    The recent article by Yves Engler, published by The Palestine Chronicle, resonates with me. It reminds me that many in the Canadian establishment not only do not care about Palestinian justice. They will go out of their way to undermine efforts that aim to achieve it.

    I was at the pro-Palestinian demonstration Engler talks about. It happened in fact not far where I live in Toronto and in the same riding to be exact.

    However, those opposing us at the demonstration—unapologetic Israeli ultranationalists—made me feel that I was in some other world. We were, in addition to being called “murderers”,“terrorists”, and “pieces of garbage”, told by them to “get out of our neighborhood you scum.”

    In what democracy is this ok, let alone against those protesting the dispossession and displacement of Palestinians? Why are the Canadian politicians mentioned in Engler’s article not condemning the anti-Palestinian hatred we were subjected to but instead misframing the demonstration so as to suggest it was somehow antisemitic? And perhaps most importantly why do they repeat this kind of behavior and get away with it?

    One of the main reasons I believe is that they are continuing to exploit something that Canadian society has not fully grappled with or taken seriously. I will call this an anti-Palestinian presumption of guilt.

    It rears its head every time, and there have been many, pro-Palestinian voices are attacked, maligned, degraded or abused. Instead of perpetrators being held accountable their targets or victims are misrepresented, illustrated by social media posts cited by Engler, as the wrongdoers. (How this occurs specifically in the world of Canadian academia is presented well in “Unveiling the Chilly Climate: The Suppression of Speech on Palestine in Canada”, by Sheryl Nestel and Rowan Gaudet of Independent Jewish Voices.) 

    https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=314&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpaul.salvatori%2Fvideos%2F699257648380164%2F&show_text=false&width=560&t=0

    Those engaged in such misrepresentation also do so confidently. They know they will likely be believed and not pro-Palestinian voices. This works, so to speak, since Canada is still a society where much of the public—reflecting again by the presumption of guilt—views Palestinian solidarity efforts as a “dangerous” or “violent” threat. It’s a warp in the public mind that needs to be corrected.

    I’ve talked in previous articles about how this can be done through a responsible school system. In a similar spirit, it can also be done through launching public anti-hate campaigns, as the City of Toronto has commendably—through its Toronto For All initiative—done for several groups. It is yet to do so for pro-Palestinian voices.

    Not only would this help the public better understand that the larger Palestinian community, including Palestinians and non-Palestinians alike, are fighting against Israeli apartheid—a crime against humanity. It will also expose and address how power, presently and historically, has tried to undermine this through the presumption of guilt.

    I don’t believe that the Canadian public, learning about such underhandedness, will be tolerant of it. Canadians are largely people of conscience. They care about many things that used to be largely hidden or never discussed: racism, violence against women, police brutality, religious intolerance, truth, and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, to name a few.

    But, no, we are not yet at that point where we as a society are pushing back against those unfairly vilifying Palestinian voices. Indeed it has become normalized and those perpetuating it are not being taken to task or being seriously questioned by mainstream media. In this regard such media is complicit with Regavim—the group our demonstration was protesting against and works to expedite the illegal evictions of Palestinians from their homes. For almost a week they spread the myth, in various Toronto locations, that Palestinians are not deserving of the same respect as their more “civilized” Israeli counterparts. Mainstream media, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)—cherished by many as an outlet that tells the truth (nice and not so nice) about Canadian affairs—has yet to say a word about this. Not even the widely circulated press release and associated letter campaign by Just Peace Advocates, emphasizing both the moral and legal problems of Regavim in Canada, was able to get mainstream media to break their silence. 

    This has been weighing heavily on me. It confirms that, in addition to Palestinian voices, you can denigrate Palestinians themselves in Canada and not be held accountable. 

    I purposely avoid using any sort of words like “punished”, which too often emanates from a spirit of revenge. Animated by the spirit people harm others. They do not move towards, much less achieve, accountability. Likewise, I wish no harm against those who verbally attacked me for my solidarity with Palestine. In fact, similar to what well-known musician and pro-Palestinian activist Roger Waters observed in a webinar, I “pity” them.

    They’ve been conditioned to believe, perhaps through the Israeli ultranationalist subculture of which they are part, that hating me or Palestine is the right thing to do. It forms part of their identity; without that hate, they somehow feel lost. They might not even know who they are. Vile as that hatred this too is tragic. It pains me to know that anyone is consumed by deep-seated resentment of any kind.

    A young man some meters across from me at the demonstration, on the opposite side of the police line dividing us, was among those demanding we get out of the neighborhood. In fact, he entered the area of the demonstration while yelling for us to “f**k off” from his car. He even told one of the officers that approached him shortly afterward—as if he owned the area and was in a position of authority over the officer himself—to rid our presence. 

    When he was a little calmer and now across from me I told him that I lived in the area. I was hoping that would open some kind of dialogue between us. I also added that my late grandmother or nonna (Italian) cleaned the homes and businesses of the area for many years. In fact, a great deal of the furniture in my home are gifts from those very places. 

    I’m not a deeply religious person but, in sharing that bit about my nonna, it felt like she was present and giving me the strength to invite this person into dialogue. A friend of mine at the demonstration cautioned against this, saying that it was a waste of time but I still believe it was important to try. Through dialogue, people can, however difficult and slowly, overcome hatred. 

    Perhaps my friend was right. The young man replied by calling me a “local terrorist” and that my grandmother must be “rolling in her grave.”

    All I could ask in turn was, “Do you believe yourself to be a decent person?” He seemed to curse me a little bit more under his breath at this but was not looking my way anymore. He still stood in the same spot but mentally removed himself from the situation by returning to whatever he was doing on his phone. 

    I wish there was some way of telling him, without being patronizing, that the phone won’t eliminate anti-Palestinian hatred from his heart. And that, like hatred generally does, will distort your sense of reality. That’s why Israeli ultranationalists see Palestinians as beneath them, as somehow lacking in our shared humanity. Moreover, til you allow yourself the opportunity at least to connect with Palestinians as people—not the discriminatory ideas you have of them in your head—you will retain that hate. 

    The Palestinian struggle for justice, on the other hand, defies hate. That’s ultimately why we were demonstrating. We imagine, desire, and insist on a world where all peoples can live together—where no neighborhood is “off-limits” on account of one’s ethnicity or otherwise. 

    Likewise challenging both Regavim and the anti-Palestinian presumption of guilt is not only to contest hatred. It’s a refusal to give up on what all of us want despite our unique differences.

    To live and care in community. 

    – Paul Salvatori is a Toronto-based journalist, community worker and artist. Much of his work on Palestine involves public education, such as through his recently created interview series, “Palestine in Perspective” (The Dark Room Podcast), where he speaks with writers, scholars and activists. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

    Israel deprives 13,000 Palestinians of Jerusalem residency permits

    Palestinians stripped of their residency, could be deported to the West Bank, or the Gaza strip

    December 20 2022

    A Palestinian resident of the West Bank village of Burqa confronts Israeli soldiers following attacks by settlers, on 17 December, 2021.
    (Photo credit: AFP)

    ByNews Desk 

    Israel has refused to grant some 13,000 Palestinians residency in occupied Jerusalem for nearly four decades, Haaretz revealed on 19 December.

    Over the years, several human rights organizations have submitted petitions to the Israeli Supreme Court, arguing that the Ministry of the Interior has denied many Jerusalemites their right to residency or completely denied it.

    The Supreme Court repeatedly ruled that Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are native people with equal rights, and they should not be classified as immigrants.

    Meanwhile, Haaretz stated that the deportation of French-Palestinian lawyer Salah al Hamouri on 18 December was a warning to Jerusalem’s Arab residents; if they did not submit and comply with Israeli authorities, they would be stripped of their residency and legal rights.

    The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the forced deportation of Hamouri, an activist working for the human rights organization Addameer.

    In a statement, the Foreign Ministry considered this measure a war crime and a violation of international and humanitarian law.

    The newspaper denounced that many Palestinians could be deported to the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, which it “used as a penal colony since the second Intifada.”

    On the other hand, on 29 November, acting Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid sent a letter to more than 50 world leaders, demanding them to oppose a Palestinian bid at the United Nations regarding an advisory position of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

    “This resolution is the result of a concerted effort to single out Israel, discredit our legitimate security concerns, and delegitimize our very existence,” Lapid said in the letter.

    With a majority of 98 votes in favor and 17 against, a committee of the UN General Assembly approved a resolution on 11 November requesting the ICJ to “urgently” issue a stance on the effects of Israel’s illegal occupation and colonization of Palestinian territories, The New Arab reported.

    Israeli Apartheid Defenders in Canada Attack Green Leader May

    December 10, 2022

    Canada’s Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May. (Photo: Karen Fox, via Wikimedia Commons)
     – Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and a number of other books. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit his website: yvesengler.com.

    By Yves Engler

    The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs’ recent attack against Elizabeth May is farcical. Canada’s leading mouthpiece for Israel criticized the Green Party leader for saying she takes her direction from the representative of the Palestinian Authority, which actually serves as the subcontractor for Israel’s occupation. 

    At an event marking International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People May said, “I take my marching orders from the permanent representative of Palestine to Canada.” CIJA clipped this short bit of a much longer speech and tweeted, “particularly at a time when Canadians are increasingly concerned about foreign interference in Canadian politics, no Canadian elected official should get their ‘marching orders’ from a foreign government and its official representatives.” 

    While it is interesting that CIJA has acknowledged the PA as a “foreign government” when many fanatic Israeli nationalists condemn the CBC for even saying there is such a place as Palestine, the video has been viewed 220,000 times. Apparently, Zionist Twitter and May’s detractors are smitten with it. 

    This is an extreme example of the pot making racist comments at the kettle. In case the apartheid lobbyists forgot, the first three words in CIJA’s name are “Centre for Israel”. CIJA justifies Israel’s apartheid and violence against Palestinians while celebrating Israel’s friends and demonizing its enemies. 

    Framing May’s comment as a sign of foreign interference is way beyond silly and headed into fantasyland. Are we to believe the Palestinians, without control over any territory, are even trying to dictate to a member of the G7? 

    CIJA’s post is absurd for other reasons. As CIJA knows, May orchestrated a stunningly anti-democratic move to protect Israel from censure. After Green members voted to back boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) measures targeting sectors of the Israeli economy profiting from the occupation of the West Bank, May demanded a special general membership meeting be held to discuss a Palestine policy endorsed prior to the August 2016 convention, at the convention and in a follow-up online poll. She forced the party to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to hold a special convention four months later to discuss that single resolution. 

    Yes, since then, May’s position on Palestinian rights has improved. On November 29 she tweeted, “Today, I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people living under conditions worse than apartheid. Alongside my friend, Mona Abuamara, Chief representative of the Palestinian Delegation to Canada, I call for an end to the occupation. Let Palestinians live in peace.” 

    Still, May’s hyper-focus on the PA representative is a political weakness. The PA is highly deferential to the apartheid state and there have been major demonstrations in the West Bank calling for the fall of the PA due to its role in repressing the Palestinian liberation struggle. The US/Canada-financed and armed PA acts as a subcontractor of Israel’s occupation in the West Bank and internationally it has undercut Palestinian civil society’s call to boycott Israel. In Canada, the PA has failed to raise its voice against the outrageous sums raised for Israeli-focused registered charities, which include groups that support racist organizations, West Bank settlements and the Israeli military. 

    Irrespective of her limitations, May should be applauded for marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. She should also be defended from CIJA’s attacks and the apartheid lobby group should be constantly denounced. 

    PALESTINIANS ARE NATIVE AMERICANS: IT’S TIME TO CORRECT THE LANGUAGE OF HISTORY

    NOVEMBER 16TH, 2022

    Source

    By Ramzy Baroud

    At a recent Istanbul conference that brought many Palestinian scholars and activists together to discuss the search for a common narrative on Palestine, a Palestinian member of the audience declared at the end of a brief, but fiery intervention, ‘we are not red Indians’.

    The reference was a relatively old one. It was attributed to former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during an interview in his office in Ramallah where he was forcefully confined and surrounded, two years earlier, by the Israeli military that had re-invaded the populous Palestinian city. In the interview, the head of the PLO and president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) said that, despite Israel’s attempt at eradicating the Palestinian people, they remain steadfast. Israel had “failed to wipe us out,” Arafat said, adding, “we are not red Indians.”

    Though Arafat’s intention was not to degrade or insult Native American communities, the statement, often taken out of context, hardly reflects the deep solidarity between Palestinians and national liberation struggles, including indigenous struggles around the world. Ironically, Arafat, more than any Palestinian leader, has forged ties with numerous communities in the Global South and in fact all over the world. A generation of activists had linked Arafat to their initial awareness, then involvement in Palestine solidarity movements.

    What surprised me is that the comment on Palestinians not being ‘red Indians’ in Istanbul was quoted repeatedly and, occasionally, solicited applause from the audience, which only stopped when the convener of the conference, a well-regarded Palestinian professor, declared frustratingly, “they are neither ‘red’ nor Indian.” Indeed, they are not. Actually, they are the natural allies of the Palestinian people, like numerous indigenous communities, who have actively supported the Palestinian struggle for freedom.

    The seemingly simple incident or poor choice of words, however, represents a much greater challenge facing Palestinians as they attempt to reanimate a new discourse on Palestinian liberation that is no longer hostage to the self-serving language of the PA elites in Ramallah.

    For several years, a new generation of Palestinians has been fighting on two different fronts: against Israel’s military occupation and apartheid, on the one hand, and PA repression on the other. For this generation to succeed in reclaiming the struggle for justice, they must also reclaim a unifying discourse, not only to reconnect their own fragmented communities throughout historic Palestine, but also re-establish solidarity lines of communication across the globe.

    I say ‘re-establish’, because Palestine was a common denominator among many national and indigenous struggles in the Global South. This was not a random outcome. Throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, fierce wars of liberation were fought across continents, leading in most cases to the defeat of traditional colonial powers and, in some cases like Cuba, Vietnam and Algeria, to true decolonization. With Palestine being a compounded case of western imperialism and Zionist settler colonialism, the Palestinian cause was embraced by numerous national struggles. It was, and remains, a most raw example of western supported ethnic cleansing, genocide, apartheid, hypocrisy but also inspiring indigenous resistance.

    PLO factions, intellectuals and activists were known and respected worldwide as ambassadors to the Palestinian cause. Three years following his assassination by the Israeli Mossad in a Beirut car bombing, Palestinian novelist Ghassan Kanafani was awarded posthumously the Annual Lotus Prize for Literature by the Union of Asian and African Writers as a delineation of the common struggle between peoples of both continents. Not only has Palestine served as a physical connection between Asia and Africa, it has also served as an intellectual and solidarity connection.

    Arab countries, which also fought their own painful but heroic national liberation wars, played a major role in the centrality of Palestine in the political discourses of African and Asian countries. Many non-Arab countries supported collective Arab causes, especially Palestine, at the United Nations, pushed for the isolation of Israel, backed Arab boycotts and even hosted PLO offices and fighters. When Arab governments began changing their political priorities, these nations, sadly but unsurprisingly, followed suit.

    The massive geopolitical changes after the Cold War, in favor of the US-led Western camp, profoundly and negatively impacted Palestine’s relations with the Arab and the rest of the world. It also divided the Palestinians, localizing the Palestinian struggle in a process that seemed to be determined mostly by Israel alone. Gaza was placed under a permanent siege, the West Bank was splintered by numerous illegal Jewish settlements and military checkpoints, Jerusalem was swallowed whole and Palestinians in Israel became victims of a police state that defined itself primarily on racial grounds.

    Abandoned by the world and their own leadership, oppressed by Israel and bewildered by remarkable events beyond their control, some Palestinians turned against one another. This was the age of factionalism. However, Palestinian factionalism is bigger than Fatah and Hamas, Ramallah and Gaza. Equally dangerous to the self-serving politics are the numerous provisional discourses that it espoused, neither governed by any collective strategy or an inclusive national narrative.

    When the PLO was ousted from Lebanon following the Israeli invasion and deadly war, the nature of the Palestinian struggle transformed. Headquartered in Tunisia, the PLO was no longer able to present itself as a leader of a liberation movement in any practical sense. The Oslo Accords of 1993 resulted from this political exile and subsequent marginalization. It also accentuated an existing trend where an actual war of liberation turned into a corporate form of liberation, hunger for funds, false status and, worse, a negotiated surrender.

    This much is now familiar and acknowledged by many Palestinians. Less discussed, however, is that nearly forty years of this process left Palestinians with a different political discourse than that which existed for decades prior to Oslo.

    Undoubtedly, Palestinians are aware of the need for a new liberated language. This is not an easy task, nor is it a randomly generated process. The indoctrination that resulted from the Oslo culture, the factional language, the provincial political discourse of various Palestinian communities, left Palestinians with limited tools through which to express the priorities of the new era. Unity is not a political document. Neither is international solidarity. It is a process that is shaped by a language which should be spoken collectively, relentlessly and boldly. In this new language, Palestinians are Native Americans, not in their supposed propensity to be ‘wiped out’, but in their pride, resilience and continued quest for equality and justice.

    How it Feels to Visit an Apartheid Country

    An advertisement alongside the separation wall in East Jerusalem. Here the wall divides a Palestinian neighbourhood so as to limit the numbers of Palestinians in official Jerusalem. Photo by Philip Weiss.

    Philip Weiss

    Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

    Racial profiling in Israel is rampant. Abuse and invective are normal. This is the daily machinery of separating Jews from Arabs

    Every time I visit Israel and Palestine I come home so struck by the injustice that I say to myself, Well you are a writer, you should be able, in 1,000 words or so, to convey the enormity of what you have seen so that the system falls apart like a house of cards for an American reader. This is my latest effort to do just that.

    The main impression I had on this visit, is the feeling of Separation. I was bowled over by how separate the Israeli Jews are from the Palestinians, and the huge efforts undertaken to prevent mixing of cultures. When you go through the airport or West Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, you feel like you are in a city in Eastern Europe. I saw no men in the airport in traditional Arab dress. I saw a few women wearing the hijab. You don’t see many Arabic signs. You don’t see displays of Arab crafts or furnishings, you don’t see the sights and smells of Arab markets or street life. No, the Zionists brought their own society to the Middle East.

    All the time you are here you reflect that you are plunk in the middle of the “Arab world.” Not long ago, the culture here was largely Muslim. A few decades ago, you could catch a bus from Jerusalem to Damascus, or Beirut, or Cairo, or Amman or Baghdad. Now you can’t do any of that. Jerusalem has been declared the “eternal capital of the Jewish people,” and there are high walls topped by concertina wire to separate it from the Arab masses. A historic Palestinian neighbourhood was bulldozed so that Jews could sanctify the Western Wall, ala the Vatican. And even liberal Zionists idealize this separation. The late novelist Amos Oz said that Jews and Palestinians need a “divorce” and separate houses, and he is a hero to J Street and Americans for Peace Now.

    Israel really has established an outpost of civilization, as it conceives these matters, in a very traditional colonial mindset.

    Any time you cross over into that other world, you must go through militarized checkpoints, and the culture is entirely different. The roads are narrower, the signs are mostly in Arabic. Many people wear traditional dress, and the street life strikes this foreigner as Arab.

    The amazing thing about Israel is that it has pulled off colonization in an anti-colonial era. But I am not trying to analyze it, just to convey the feeling. It feels weird and unfair that the Zionists have imposed this order, and they understand this. They know it’s unfair, and so there are guns everywhere and the voters have lately elevated a racist fascist, Itamar Ben-Gvir, because Israelis know that Palestinians don’t like being a subject people, so they must preserve the order through brute force and power politics. You see the brute force all around. All the young soldiers on the buses or in the roads with their guns dangling at their sides. They’re not here for the Syrians or the Egyptians or the Jordanians, or Iraqis, Israel’s enemies of old. No, they’re here for the Palestinians on the other side of those concrete walls, because Palestinians resist the whole idea of a “Jewish state.”

    As you would too if it were established in your city.

    The racial profiling is rampant before your eyes. I sauntered through Damascus Gate at midnight. The young Palestinian just behind me got stopped by soldiers demanding his ID card.

    Of course, Israelis speak of what a bad neighbourhood they live in. The only answer to that propaganda is that if you throw people out of their houses and off their land and live there for 75 years without any gesture to make things right, no you just keep on taking their property, I promise you—you will live in a bad neighbourhood.

    Here is a simple proof of the unfairness. Every day Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories use money on which is imprinted the portraits of men who directed their ethnic cleansing and massacres. They travel inside Israel on roads named after these men too. I found this unsettling and embarrassing, being a witness to such humiliation. In talking to Palestinians in Haifa, I caught the name Ben-Gurion Avenue in my throat—I was afraid the mere utterance would damage their dignity.

    I often thought about the promotion back in the U.S. of the “startup nation,” with its biotech and cyber industries that are said to help the world. The miraculous startup nation justifies its presence with its material advantages and Nobel Prizes (one Nobelist came to a shiva I attended in Jerusalem) as if that makes its rule acceptable to Palestinians. But of course it doesn’t. They have fewer or no rights, and it is rubbed in their faces all the time. There is something crude and dispiriting about this; you don’t perpetuate apartheid without consequences to all concerned. The journalist Tom Dallal shared with me this photo of riding a train with a soldier who pointed his gun between his legs the whole time without regarding it as rude or unusual.

    When a Palestinian in Ramallah asked if it was offensive to American Jewish visitors to compare Israeli soldiers to Nazis, my colleague Scott Roth shook his head and said the Holocaust is pertinent. “You can’t build a society on trauma. They built Israeli society on trauma.”

    Roth says that Israel brings out the worst in people. He wandered into the King David Hotel lobby one morning and saw a group of American visitors looking at the famous signatures set in tiles in the floor, and one began jumping up and down on Obama’s signature, laughing as she called out expletives. This kind of abuse and invective is normal here. Just look at the picture Itamar Ben-Gvir posted recently of the Palestinian politician Ahmad Tibi wheeling a suitcase in Ben Gurion airport. “Great news. Leave and don’t come back” (Michael Koplow’s translation).

    You feel that crudeness and the tension. A Palestinian friend told me that when he visited New York recently he experienced visceral shock in a restaurant when he heard a loud Israeli conversation at a nearby table. “There is a word in Arabic that means to feel electrocuted—batkahrab,” he said. “These are the same voices that when I usually hear them, they are shouting at me that I have done something wrong.” Yes, young soldiers, barking at my friend, an architect in his 40s.

    You feel the tragedy of it. You observe that Palestinians are human beings just like anyone with aspirations and dreams and pride and dignity, and yet you see them being put down before your eyes and having to bear it to survive. I keep thinking of a girl of 20 or 21 with earphones and fashionable clothing getting off the bus at Qalandiya checkpoint with her bag over her arm, that said, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. She reminded me of me and my friends at her age, showing off our taste. But she has no freedom of movement, and no political rights.

    That’s my overwhelming sense of this visit. People not very different from me are persecuted at every turn. Many international human rights organizations have now laid out the apartheid argument in systematic legal analyses. I can only tell you about the feeling of it: Everywhere you go these Arab people are to be separated from the Jewish state and their culture erased. The shame I felt as a Jewish person is unquantifiable, and is the reason I will keep doing this work. Jewish values meant one thing when I was raised—“That which is obnoxious to you don’t do to another person,” in Hillel’s words. Or as Americans say, the Golden Rule. That value is trashed everywhere I went in Israel and Palestine.

    It can’t last. When you see an unfair arrangement balanced totally on massive military and financial advantage and power politics, but unbearable to the subjugated people, history tells you it can’t last. Even the State Department acknowledges this when they say “the status quo is unsustainable.” When and how it falls who can say. But it can’t last.


    Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005.

    This article originally appeared on Mondoweiss.net.

    How I Was Assaulted and Illegally Detained for Interrupting Anti-Palestinian Speaker (VIDEO)

    November 11, 2022

    The moment Yves Engler is assaulted for interrupting anti-Palestinian speaker Hillel Neuer. (Photo: video grab)
     – Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and a number of other books. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit his website: yvesengler.com.

    By Yves Engler

    On Monday, I registered for a public talk with anti-Palestinian activist Hillel Neuer in Montreal, Canada. After receiving my electronic confirmation, I headed to the venue with the intention of challenging his anti-Palestinian racism.

    A few minutes into Neuer’s speech I stood up from my seat with my telephone recording and declared “Mr. Neuer you are an anti-Palestinian bigot. You promote religious and ethnic supremacy in Israel.”

    I had prepared a slightly longer speech that mentioned how his organization, UN Watch, “bullies those who promote equality and international justice”, but before I could finish my speech, I was grabbed by someone and was unable to say more than “don’t touch me” and “free Palestine”.

    When I stood up and started speaking, Reuben Joshua Poupko, who was seated behind Neuer on the podium, moved swiftly across the hall toward me. He began pushing me toward the exit with the assistance of security pushing me out of the room. I told him and the security personnel not to touch me, but they ignored my demand.

    In the reception area, Poupko slugged me hard in the stomach and told the security detail to take my phone. As I was at the door of the building, Poupko said “take him outside and kick him in the head”. Fortunately, the half-dozen security guards ignored Poupko.

    During their assault, a security guard broke my glasses.

    They then forced me into an area on the side of the top stairs to the building. A minute into being held against my will, a thirty-something security guard decided I should be sitting and threw me down. About three minutes later, as I was cornered by a group of muscular men, a fiftyish man came over and punched me in the head.

    With no legal authority to do so, they demanded my ID and took my wallet. They kept my phone during the 30-minute ordeal and erased the video I had started recording before challenging Neuer’s racism. They erased and then attempted to permanently delete the video from my iPhone.

    Fortunately, a video recovery software program retrieved the video. The 40-second clip shows me being manhandled by Poupko.

    It wasn’t until minutes after the police arrived that security finally returned my phone. Private security, of course, had no right to take my phone and delete evidence of an assault.

    The police told me that if I pressed charges against those who assaulted me, they in turn would press charges against me.

    Incredibly, the next morning, pro-Israel reporter Joel Goldenberg of the Suburban quoted Poupko saying I assaulted him – which is absolutely false – and that Poupko was going to press charges. A few hours later, the Suburban story, which reported “one man in the audience grabbed Engler by the pants and then rabbi Poupko and security quickly hustled the activist out of the room”, disappeared from the website (I have screenshots of the article).

    I invite Poupko to release any and all security footage he has of the incident. My legal counsel immediately sent a letter to Poupko and the organizers of the event demanding that they keep all video evidence they may have of the incident.

    Poupko is the rabbi at the Israel Beth Aaron where Neuer’s public event took place. While some may question challenging a political figure at a religious institution, I have done so previously at a church. If Neuer spoke at a mosque I would do the same. When Neuer received an honorary degree from McGill University in June 2018 a number of us attended to decry his anti-Palestinianism.

    I have interrupted dozens of political figures at public events and have never faced anything approaching this level of violence. Alongside broken glasses, I have a visible bump on my head as well as pain in my right shoulder and stomach. Much of my body aches.

    While the violence meted out against me was outrageous it was not altogether surprising. The speaker I interrupted promotes Israeli violence against Palestinians. More generally, those who regularly celebrate or defend Israel’s humiliation and killing of Palestinians are likely to have their psyche shaped by violent nationalism. Witness the recent election of extremist hate mongers as the third largest bloc in the Israeli parliament. Some of them will soon be cabinet ministers.

    My body hurts, I’m shaken up, and have to buy new glasses, but I don’t regret challenging an aggressive apartheid supporter. Neuer’s anti-Palestinian bile should not go unchallenged.

    Donate NOW  Learn More  Watch Video(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)

    Roger Waters Fends Off ‘Antisemitism’ Smears in Germany Ahead of Live Shows

    November 10, 2022

    Pink Floyd rock legend Roger Waters. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

    By Palestine Chronicle Staff

    Pink Floyd rock legend Roger Waters has reaffirmed his commitment to perform in Germany next year as part of his This Is Not a Drill world tour in spite of vicious smears against him from German politicians and media outlets accusing him of antisemitism.

    On Friday, Waters wrote on Facebook to his fans saying The Mayor of Munich, some members of the Green and SDP political parties and others “have been slandering me, accusing me of being an anti-semite and also a Putin apologist. I am neither of those things. Never have been and never will be.”

    Waters, known for his outspoken commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and as a proud supporter of rights for Palestinians, has been attacked by German officials attempting to have his upcoming shows canceled.

    According to Berliner Zeitung, Samuel Salzborn, the anti-Semitism commissioner of the Social Democratic Party, called for the cancellation of his upcoming concert in Berlin in May 2023.

    The German official recently described the musician as “one of the loudest voices in the music business, spreading anti-Israel anti-Semitism,” in the German newspaper B.Z, according to Tagesspiegel.

    Salzborn has been criticized himself for his “deep intolerance against Palestinians” by Palestinian journalist Ali Abunimah in the Electronic Intifada, following a Tweet he made in October 2019 (now deleted) which said:

    “When you’re sitting in the train and the people next to you start talking about ‘Palestine’ without any apparent reason, it means it is time to either get off the train, put on your headphones, or scream at them”.

    Abunimah said the tweet appears to be “a pure expression of his disgust even at the thought of Palestine or Palestinians existing.”

    An article published last week in Jüdische Allgemeine smears Waters even more viciously, the article titled “Jew hatred on tour” says the Bavarian anti-Semitism commissioner Ludwig Spaenle recently called on the city of Munich to cancel the contract for the planned concert in the Olympiahalle if Waters did not distance himself from the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement.

    BDS is a Palestinian-led movement encouraging non-violent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law.

    In the same article, Sigmount Königsberg, the anti-Semitism commissioner for Berlin’s Jewish community is quoted as saying Waters is “an anti-Semite, a hate preacher with music that demonizes Israel.”

    Likewise, Uwe Becker, Spaenle’s Hessian counterpart says Waters is, “a bad example of aggressive, Israel-related anti-Semitism” and that he is not welcome in the state.

    Waters is not unique in having weaponized allegations of antisemitism wielded against him in Germany. The Euromed Human Rights Monitor recently expressed  concern over the “anti-Arab purge in German media.”

    Waters has become an outspoken critic of Israel’s apartheid and oppression of the Palestinian people since he first visited the West Bank in 2006 and was approached by the BDS movement to support the campaign.

    Speaking on Joe Rogan’s Experience last month, considered the world’s most popular podcast, Waters exposed Israel’s ongoing apartheid against the Palestinians saying, “now it is very difficult for anyone to have a conversation about Israel and Palestine without using the word apartheid because it is in the lexicon, and the problem is far more in the light.”

    This year Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch published reports asserting Israel is committing the crime of apartheid.

    So far Waters’ tour has also illuminated Israel’s ongoing injustices against Palestinians, including the attacks made against Palestinian journalists. During his recent US shows, images of Israel’s apartheid wall were displayed as well as the name of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot dead by Israeli forces this year.

    And it is not just adoring fans who listen to Waters’ informed perspective on Palestine, in 2012 he gave an extended address at the United Nations as part of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and has written many letters encouraging fellow musicians not to perform in Israel.

    Last year, distinguished Palestinian historian, Professor Rashid Khalidi (Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University) suggested that young Palestinians should, “stop listening to old people for advice” on their activism at an event held by Palestine Dee Dive, before quickly correcting himself saying, “actually there is one older person you should still listen to, of course, his name is Roger Waters.”

    Waters rounded off his to address  fans in Germany on Facebook, saying:

    “Your Ruling Class and your media want to ban me from bringing my message of love and peace and revolution to enrich your lives. WELL I’M COMING, and together we will raise the roof on this charade”.

    (The Palestine Chronicle)

    Children are Entitled to the Truth: Teaching Young People about Palestine in Canadian Schools and Beyond

    November 1, 2022

    Despite history of human rights abuses, the Israeli are training American cops. (Photo: File)
    – Paul Salvatori is a Toronto-based journalist, community worker and artist. Much of his work on Palestine involves public education, such as through his recently created interview series, “Palestine in Perspective” (The Dark Room Podcast), where he speaks with writers, scholars and activists. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

    By Paul Salvatori

    I was at a Toronto mall Saturday. I help coordinate a weekly talent show there.

    After one of the talented singers, a girl about 10 years old, performed the MC asked her to stay on stage to share some words about herself.

    “What do you like to do when you’re not singing?” he asked.

    “Eat pizza and school,” she replied.

    “Oh, tell us what you like about school?”

    “I get to learn. I know a lot of things,” she said confidently. “I know about science, stuff like chemistry and biology, math, I’m learning about geography too. Places outside Canada.”

    When she said that I thought about Palestine. And was hit with sadness too. I went for a walk.

    I questioned the sadness. Yes, I reflected, Palestine brings to mind the suffering of innocent people. That always makes me sad.

    Still, I felt there was something else underlying the feeling. I figured it out after the showcase.

    The sadness stems from knowing that the girl is but one of many young people, as we saw during the Javier Davila scandal at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), who are part of a larger educational system in Canada that prevents students from learning about what’s actually happening in Palestine. In fact, it’s a system, as a recent Independent Jewish Voices Canada report confirms, that bullies educators into not teaching that all.

    Children have a right to learn about world injustices at school. That obviously includes the longstanding Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people, thereby denying them a safe and dignified life. Where the right is denied children cannot explore–in the classroom, for example–ways of ending this.

    Questions that might be explored to that end include: how can the international community play a role in dismantling the regime of Israeli apartheid, set up to keep Israelis “superior” and Palestinians “inferior”? What legal and other mechanisms must be in place to ensure that Israel is held accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people–presently and historically?

    Why are those who occupy important roles in democratic governments, such as Irwin Cotler (Canadian Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism), permitted to endorse and spread Nakba denialism with impunity? How can young Canadians—as people of conscience—be better allies to the Palestinian people, including children who deserve yet don’t have the same educational opportunities as their Canadian counterparts?

    Surely some segment of intelligent and caring children will eventually go on to become pro-Palestinian activists. Perhaps the girl singer too. But by not improving the Canadian educational system such that it is not hostile to the truth about Palestinian oppression we are doing them a great disservice. We leave them to figure out, on their own, a world that is rife with racist Israel ideologues—and dishonest ones at that—intent on destroying the Palestinian people and their allies (either physically as in the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh, or metaphorically where the voices of pro-Palestinian dissent are killed or intimidated into silence).

    We owe young people more and that means preparing them within the educational system to challenge this. Conservatives will object: “Leave politics out of school. There’s no place for activism in the classroom anyway.” But as the great political theorist and leftist activist, Henry Giroux, once told me during a podcast, nothing is apolitical.

    What the objection really is about is reproducing the status quo—the educational system does not prepare students to fight for social justice, in solidarity with the Palestinian people and others. Quite often that’s because conservatives would rather students undergo a rigid and even morally impoverished education: preparation to succeed in the job market, such as acquiring and developing “skill sets” to perform well at impersonal work. If that’s what an “education” is about then, frankly, it sucks.

    It’s important that students have at least the opportunity to become anti-colonial activists at school. Granted that’s no easy task where conservatives determine school curricula. This only means we must push harder. Anti-colonial efforts should be something in which all are engaged—for the betterment of humanity. By the same token how to engage in such efforts need to become a priority in schools. What values do schools have if they are not helping students learn to think critically and act in constructive ways to dismantle regimes like Israel, which keep fellow persons subjugated?

    Ultimately we are not here for ourselves but for one another. We are reminded of that by the pain of having, by choice or otherwise, separated ourselves from the task of living and building community together. School curricula should reflect that and pave the way for young people to join Palestinian and other solidarity efforts, which aim to obliterate needle divisions between people—on the basis of race, class, gender, etc.

    That’s the future all children deserve.

    Israeli official suggests fining Palestinians for having more than four kids

    Sahar’s remarks have sent shockwaves through the Palestinian medical community inside Israel

    October 28 2022

    Photo Credit: UINCEF SOP/ Ahed Izhiman

    ByNews Desk 

    The head of Cardio-Thoracic surgery at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, Prof. Gideon Sahar, was heavily criticized on 24 October, after raising concerns about the high birth rate among the Bedouin population during a factional meeting in the southern Omer with Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, according to Middle East Eye.

    “On the one hand, we understand that the birthrate is decisive – the Arab womb; and on the other hand, we encourage it with all the child allowances. That’s why I think we should consider a child allowance that is regressive: the first child receives one, the second child receives one, perhaps the third child; the fourth child does not, and the fifth child perhaps triggers a fine. We have to figure out something,” said Prof. Gideon Sahar.

    Sahar suggested imposing a fine on Bedouin families upon the birth of a fifth child. Shaked replied that such a policy “won’t work,” citing her program for fighting polygamy among the Bedouin community, wherein “westernization” encourages women to have fewer children.

    “The best solution would be to simply westernize them, to emancipate Bedouin women,” she said. “The more they study and the more they work, the more they will live a Western life – and in that life, there will be less room for children.”

    On the other hand, a group representing Arab physicians in the Naqab has filed a formal complaint with the administration of Soroka hospital, expressing outrage at Sahar’s description of Palestinians and the “Arab womb” as “problematic,” according to Middle East Eye.

    The Association of Arab Doctors of the Negev demanded that Sahar be “dismissed immediately.” In a letter, the group stated that “anyone who views ‘Arab women’s wombs’ as a threat has no place in the healthcare system and they should not be able to take care of Arab heart problems under any circumstances.”

    Meanwhile, a report released on 18 October by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, has recommended that UN member states develop “a plan to end the Israeli settler-colonial occupation and apartheid regime.”

    “The realization of the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination requires the definitive dismantling of Israel’s colonial occupation and apartheid practices,” wrote Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur.

    According to the report, nearly 4,500 Palestinians are currently detained, 730 of whom are held without charge and largely on the basis of secret evidence, while children as young as 12 are subjected to arbitrary arrests and detention measures – between 500 and 700 minors are detained by the Israeli government each year.

    UN Commission: Apartheid Charges Against “Israel” Will Be Investigate

    October 28, 2022 

    By Staff, Agencies

    The open-ended United Nations Commission of Inquiry into rights abuses by “Israel” said Thursday it will investigate apartheid charges against the “Israeli” entity, confirming fears in Tel Aviv that the controversial probe would seek to brand it with the toxic term.

    The ongoing UN investigation was set up by the Human Rights Council following last year’s 11-day “Israeli” aggression on besieged Gaza Strip to probe rights abuses.

    The commission released its second report last week, calling on the UN Security Council to end the “Israeli” entity’s “permanent occupation” and urging UN member states to prosecute “Israeli” officials.

    On Thursday, the three members of the commission said future reports will investigate apartheid by the “Israeli” entity, during a briefing at the United Nations in New York. They said the investigation had so far focused on the “root causes” of the conflict, which they ascribe to the entity’s presence in the occupied West Bank.

    Navi Pillay, a former UN human rights chief who chairs the commission, called apartheid “a manifestation of the occupation.”

    “We’re focusing on the root cause which is the occupation and part of it lies in apartheid,” Pillay said. “We will be coming to that. That’s the beauty of this open-ended mandate, it gives us the scope.”

    Commission member Miloon Kothari also said the open-ended nature of the probe allowed it to examine the apartheid charge.

    “We will get to it because we have many years and issues to look at,” he said.

    “We think a comprehensive approach is necessary so we have to look at issues of settler colonialism,” Kothari added. “Apartheid itself is a very useful paradigm, so we have a slightly different approach but we will definitely get to it.”

    The “Israeli” regime has refused to cooperate with the commission and has not granted it entry into the entity or access to the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza. It rejected last week’s report, calling the panel neither credible nor legitimate. On Thursday, the “Israeli” entity’s ambassador to the UN said the panel’s members were chosen because they “abhor” “Israel”.

    Reports earlier this year said the entity’s so-called Foreign Ministry was planning a campaign to head off accusations of apartheid by the commission. A leaked cable reportedly revealed “Israeli” officials were concerned about the damage the commission’s first report could do if it referred to the “Israeli” entity as an “apartheid ‘state’.”

    The “Israeli” entity’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid, while serving as foreign minister earlier this year, warned that the entity would face intense campaigns to label it an apartheid state this year.

    The UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others have accused “Israel” of apartheid in the past two years, borrowing the term from South Africa’s system of codified race-based discrimination.

    The commission presented its latest report to the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

    The 28-page report accuses the “Israeli” entity of violating international law by making its control over the occupied West Bank permanent, and by annexing Palestinian land in al-Quds [Jerusalem] and the occupied West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights. It also accuses the entity of discriminatory policies against 1948 Palestinians, of stealing natural resources, and of gender-based violence against Palestinian women.

    Lapid has called the report antisemitic, “biased, false, inciting and blatantly unbalanced.”

    The US has also repeatedly condemned the commission. US President Joe Biden denounced the investigation as biased during a meeting with “Israeli” President Isaac Herzog on Wednesday.

    The investigation “continues a longstanding pattern of unfairly singling out ‘Israel’ and does nothing to establish conditions for ‘peace’,” the White House said.

    Pillay dismissed allegations of antisemitism on Thursday, calling the claims “offensive” and “a diversion.”

    “All three of us are not antisemitic. Let me make that clear, and then to add insult to injury, they said the report is also antisemitic. There isn’t a word in this report that can be interpreted as antisemitic,” she said. “This is always raised as a diversion.”

    “We’re so committed to justice, the rule of law and human rights and we should not be subjected to abuse such as this. They’re totally false, all false and lies,” she said.

    She said the “Israeli” regime may be guilty of international crimes, including war crimes, by transferring civilians into “occupied territory,” referring to West Bank settlements, where nearly 500,000 “Israeli” settlers live.

    Kothari denounced settlers as a “paramilitary force.”

    “They can do whatever the hell they want, they can raid homes, they can destroy olives,” he said.

    Pillay dismissed security concerns the “Israeli” entity cites for maintaining a presence in the occupied West Bank as “a fiction” the country was trying to “hide behind.”

    “Some of ‘Israel’s’ policies in the West Bank are only cosmetically intended to justify security concerns,” she said.

    The commission has called for the entity to immediately withdraw from the occupied West Bank.

    The West Bank in Palestine is Ready to Explode

    Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 


    Steven Sahiounie

    There is a battle brewing in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. Thousands of Israeli occupation forces will be deployed to face a growing resistance force. The ‘natives are restless’ and the Lions’ Den has mobilized to fight for their freedom and human rights.

    500,000 illegal Jewish settlers now live in the West Bank in some 130 settlements. Today, the Israeli forces said dozens of settlers ran through Hawara, near Nablus, throwing rocks at Palestinian cars. The settlers used pepper spray on the Israeli commander as well as another soldier and sprayed another two soldiers at a nearby checkpoint. Settlers are allowed to intimidate Palestinians and destroy their property, while Palestinians are hunted down and killed by Israeli occupation forces.

    The Palestinian youth have grown up under brutal military occupation and an apartheid state. The resistance in Jenin, Nablus, and Hebron has inspired rebellion against sieges and attacks. The Palestinian people living under the iron hand of oppression are ready to fight the Israeli occupation and are frustrated with their leadership which is seen as collaborating with the Israelis in keeping the status quo firmly in place. The resistance movement sees no benefit in maintaining the occupation and demands a dramatic change in their future.

    The Palestinian youth reject the divisions among the factions in the politics of Palestine. The recent unity deal in Algeria has given them hope that political parties can work together in brigades such as the Lions’ Den, which has fighters from Hamas, Fatah, and others fighting together for a single goal of freedom.

    On October 11, an Israeli soldier was killed in an attack north of Nablus, and two other shooting attacks against Israeli forces took place in Beit Ummar, near Hebron, and in Sur Baher, a neighborhood in Jerusalem.

    On October 14, Israeli forces killed 20-year-old Mateen Dabaya in a raid on the Jenin refugee camp. Dr. Abdallah Abu Teen, 43, rushed to the aid of Dabaya in front of the Jenin hospital and was also shot and killed by the Israelis in his attempt to give medical care to the injured young man. Two Palestinian paramedics and several civilians were also wounded in the attack by the Israelis at the entrance to the hospital.

    On October 15, a Palestinian in his twenties was killed north of Ramallah, and Israeli forces raided Nablus and arrested a Palestinian man while continuing to impose movement restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank, which is a hallmark of an apartheid state.

    On October 16, Mohammad Turkman, 20, died of his wounds while in Israeli custody. He had been wounded and captured by Israeli forces in Jenin in late September.

    On October 20, Mohammed Fadi Nuri, 16, died after being shot in the stomach last month by Israeli troops near the city of Ramallah.

    The Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem is completely sealed in a siege by Israeli forces as a form of collective punishment following an attack there, and Israeli police announced that it arrested 50 Palestinians in Jerusalem recently.

    Riyad Mansour, the representative of Palestine to the UN, has denounced attacks by Israeli occupation forces and called on the UN to comply with international law and Security Council resolutions. Mansour noted that Israeli forces and settler militias “are relentlessly harassing, intimidating and provoking the Palestinian people in a ruthless manner,” and condemned the new attack against the city of Jenin

    The US enables Israel to remain an apartheid state

    The United States of America, the champion of freedom and democracy, is currently sending billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine to fight for democracy. But, you won’t see the US sending a bullet to the Palestinians for their fight for democracy. The US is also the champion of ‘double standards’.

    According to the various international human rights groups, which are often cited by the US as evidence of war crimes and atrocities by American foes, the Jewish State of Israel is an apartheid state. The US and her western liberal allies were the chief critics of the former apartheid state of South Africa, and the western criticism helped to fulfill the dreams of freedom and democracy in the land of Nelson Mandela.

    The US is like a parent who allows Israel to continue self-destructive behavior. Some parents of teenage drug addicts will buy drugs for their children to protect them from danger and arrest. The parents are not willing to go through the tortuous procedure of rehab for the child, so they minimize the danger and make the drug addiction as safe as possible. This is known as enabling, and this is the role the US has chosen for itself in its relationship with Israel and Palestine. On the one hand, the US claims to support the democratic aspirations of all peoples but is unwilling to stand up to Israeli policies of racism, collective punishment, blockades, imprisonment without trial or legal aid, and other crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people under occupation. The enabling stance of the US is destructive for both the US and the Palestinians, as the reputation of America suffers from global ridicule and shame.

    Palestinian unity deal

    Arab unity might be too much to ask for, but Palestinian unity has been agreed on in Algeria. Hamas, Fattah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the PLO, and others signed the deal brokered by Algerian President Abdulmajeed Tabboune. This deal resolves a 15-year political dispute among the various factions and looks forward to new elections.

    “Jenin has demonstrated to the [Palestinian] leaders meeting in Algeria that national unity is built in the field,” Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said.

    Why is the west bank resisting?

    The Palestinian Authority has lost control in Nablus and Jenin the West Bank. The Palestinians view their leadership as an extension of Israeli control and oppression. The Lions’ Den in Nablus has claimed responsibility for the latest resistance operations against Israeli occupation forces.

    On October 16, the Jenin Brigade announced they will support the Lions’ Den in their resistance to occupation, and this has raised the prospect of increased Israeli raids on Jenin and Nablus.

    Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, trivialized the threat of the Lions’ Den when he made statements on how his occupation forces will capture and eliminate the members. Israel has depended on the divisions among the Palestinian factions. However, Israel has never before faced a unified force of motivated youth who are willing to die for freedom and a chance to create a new future for themselves and their families. Revolutions occasionally succeed.

    According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, over 170 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and Gaza, since the beginning of 2022, making this year the deadliest since 2015.

    UK embassy move proposed

    Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, have both expressed concern over the proposed UK embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Liz Truss, the embattled British Prime Minister, proposed the idea in her meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid last month.

    Pope Francis, the UK churches, and the 13 denominations of Christians in Jerusalem have always maintained a position supporting a UN resolution for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine firstly, and secondly a final status of Jerusalem to be decided afterward. Previously the Christians of Jerusalem stated concern over moving embassies to Jerusalem, “We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division.”

    Truss has wanted to follow in the footsteps of President Trump who defied international law when he shifted the US embassy to Jerusalem. The Truss plan was first suggested in her letter to the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), a pro-Israel lobby group, similar to the pro-Trump AIPAC in the US.

    Australia reverses its position on embassy move

    Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong has announced Australia has reversed its recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    Wong also told reporters that “the Australian government remains committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state can coexist in peace and security within internationally recognized borders. We will not support an approach that undermines this prospect.”

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