Will Shireen Abu Akleh’s Murder Mark a Turning Point in the Liberation of Palestine?

May 14th, 2022

Feature photo | Protesters hold candles and a photo of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Haifa, Israel, May 11, 2022. Ariel Schalit | AP

This particular targeted killing of a journalist – not the first and sadly, probably not the last – touched us all. And the response of the Zionist establishment in occupied Jerusalem, as well as in Washington, is cold and full of excuses.

By Miko Peled

JERUSALEM – As I write these words, the world is trying to make sense of the brutal assassination of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was targeted by Israeli forces while covering yet another Israeli assault on Jenin. Furthermore, Israeli forces have now attacked the funeral procession leading Shireen to her final resting place. One wonders why is anyone surprised.

How often have we seen innocent lives taken? How often have we seen the Israeli military attack funeral processions? And yet, for reasons that perhaps cannot be explained, awe, sadness, and despair have descended upon the world with this particular killing. This particular targeted killing of a journalist – not the first and sadly, probably not the last – touched us all. And the response of the Zionist establishment in occupied Jerusalem, as well as in Washington, is cold and full of excuses.

Israeli police attacks mourners carrying the casket of Shireen Abu Akleh during her funeral, May 13, 2022. Maya Levin | AP

On the same day the funeral procession of Shireen was taking place in Jerusalem, a memorial procession was taking place in the ancient city of Lyd. This procession was to commemorate the murder of Musa Hassuna.  It was a year ago in Lyd, as settler gangs were assaulting Palestinians in Lyd, that Musa Hassuna was murdered. This procession, besides being a memorial to the killing, was also a reminder that the Israeli authorities decided to close the case against the only suspects who were on the scene and who fired their weapons at the same place and the same time as Musa was killed. Sources in Lyd say that the Israeli minister of interior called the local DA to demand that they close the case on grounds of self-defense.

Of course, we are all well aware that Musa and Shireen, who were murdered one year apart, were not the only victims of Zionist violence. They are joined by countless others who, without cause or trial, were taken from their loved ones, from their people, and turned into martyrs for the cause. Sure enough, once again we are forced to look at reality in the face and accept that no one will save Palestine but us. No one else can free Palestine, no one can save Palestinians from the long, violent, heartless arm of the Zionist apartheid regime. Only a unity of purpose and an uncompromising pro-Palestinian, pro-justice, pro-liberation agenda can save Palestine and its people from bloodshed and destruction.

As it happens, I had just witnessed precisely such unity, albeit on a small scale. Anyone looking for an agenda on Palestine that is both progressive and unifying should have been in New York City in early May of 2022. Al-Awda New York held its “Rising to Return” conference at the People’s Forum in New York City on Mother’s Day weekend this year. The energy, the speakers, the volunteers, and even the vendors all provided an atmosphere of unity of purpose and unity of cause – the cause being the liberation of Palestine as well as the total rejection of Zionism and the Zionist apartheid state.

Signs of unity

Sitting side by side under posters displaying Che Guevara and T-shirts displaying the image of Thomas Sankara, as well as other fighters for justice, were Palestinians, American Jews, communists, secular and religious people, women wearing hijab, and ultra-orthodox rabbis. All were there to speak and listen but mostly to demonstrate support for the liberation of Palestine and the end to the apartheid regime in Palestine.

Shireen Abu Akleh

Mourners gather at the hospital where the body Shireen Abu Akleh was taken to her final resting place, May 13, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Contrary to the common misconception regarding the pro-Palestinian camp, a clear and uncompromising message regarding Palestine does have the capacity to unite people of different backgrounds, faiths, and even political affiliations. One is hard-pressed to think of any other issue on which all of these groups could find common ground. Yet Al-Awda New York – with its message of a free, decolonized Palestine – managed to do just that.

The misconception is that in order to present the Palestinian case, in order to achieve the goals of those of seek to free Palestine, we must go slow. “We must first crawl before we walk and run,” we are told. In other words, in order to achieve the liberation of Palestine, we must tread lightly so as not to upset anyone. This was never true and it is not true today.

Who is a Jew?

Too many people think that Jewish people who are orthodox and dress as ultra-orthodox are associated with settlers and right-wing Israeli politics. However, at the Al-Awda conference and in many, many other pro-Palestinian spaces we see ultra-orthodox Jewish people carrying Palestinian flags and calling for the “peaceful dismantlement of the Zionist state.” So the question that needs to be asked is which one of these groups – the racist, violent Settlers or the peace- and tolerance-promoting Jews – represents Judaism?

Revered rabbis from Jerusalem, London and New York have for decades demanded an end to the Zionist state and the liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian people. Young Yeshiva students in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Me’a Sha’arim, as well as in cities around the world, proudly carry the Palestinian flag as they march side by side with Palestinians.

So, clearly, the Zionist Jewish settlers may dress as orthodox Jews but in fact, they are violating the most sacred tenets of the Jewish faith.

Opposition

The opposition to the cause of justice has always been fierce and, in the case of Palestine, the Zionists have learned from other oppressors and refined their methods. This means that the struggle for justice and liberation in Palestine is challenging and demanding, and we who stand on the side of justice and liberation have to work harder and smarter than those who had to fight in other arenas.

We need to reclaim Palestine by teaching the world that what they wrongly refer to as Israel is Occupied Palestine. And that a glorious history was cut out from the curriculum and therefore they don’t know about the long impressive history of this land, which sits at a crucial crossroads uniting Asia, Africa, and Europe.

 Shireen Abu Akleh

Palestinians carry pictures of Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 11, 2022. Nasser Nasser | AP

We need to teach the world that whatever the Zionists had told them was a lie, and then we must be there and in no uncertain terms provide the truth. I was asked once in an interview what I miss about Israel. “This is not Israel,” I replied, “It is Palestine.” The interviewer was astonished: “How can you say that?” he asked me. “It was Palestine, it is Palestine and it will always be Palestine,” I responded. If we act without compromise it will be liberated.

Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Hamas Calls for “Unified Command” Against “Israel”, Urges PLO to Abolish Oslo Accords

May 14, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

In response to the cold-blooded killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF], the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has called for a unified command against the occupying regime.

In his remarks late on Friday, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Gaza-based resistance movement’s political bureau, urged the “speedy formation” of the command to lead the struggle against the “Israeli” entity.

The call came two days after 51-year-old Abu Akleh was brutally murdered while covering an “Israeli” military raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

The long-time Al-Jazeera Arabic journalist, who shot to fame while covering the second Palestinian Intifada between 2000 and 2005, was accompanying a group of local journalists when she was targeted.

Haniyeh said the Palestinian liberation struggle is going through a “new stage,” which demands the adoption of “incisive and strategic decisions”.

He said the unified command will be tasked with directing the resistance against the apartheid regime.

Formation of the unified front is indispensable in the light of the regime’s “bestiality,” which manifested itself in the “assassination of the daughter of Palestine,” Haniyeh said, referring to Abu Akleh.

The Hamas leader said Palestinians need to get their act together in the face of Tel Aviv’s unbridled aggression, advocating unity between different Palestinian political groups.

He cited examples of “Israeli” aggression such as the increase in settlement construction activities across the occupied territories, assaulting Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the holy occupied city of al-Quds, the longstanding and crippling siege of Gaza, detention of thousands of Palestinians, and denying them the right to return to their homeland.

Haniyeh called on the West Bank-headquartered Palestinian Authority [PA] to end its cooperation with the regime in Tel Aviv and scrap the so-called Oslo Accords, which were signed in 1993 and marked the first time the “Israeli” regime and the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] recognized each other.

The Oslo Accords were signed in the White House but named after Norway’s capital city, where the secret back-channel dialogue took place.

The Hamas leader urged the PA to withdraw its “recognition of ‘Israel’,” stop its “security cooperation” with Tel Aviv, “and concentrate on the resistance’s comprehensive plan for confronting the occupier.”

Pertinently, it came on the eve of Nakba Day, [the Day of Catastrophe], when in 1948 hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homeland and the “Israeli” entity came into existence as an illegal and illegitimate entity.

McGill University Administration Amps up Anti-Palestinian Campaign

May 7, 2022

McGill University is silencing Silence Palestine Solidarity. (Poster: via BDS Coalition)

By Yves Engler

 – 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.

The McGill administration and Israel lobby have waged a multiyear campaign against student democracy and Palestinian solidarity and recently threatened the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) financial arrangement after students voted overwhelmingly for the “Palestine Solidarity Policy”.

A month ago, 71% of students voted for a resolution that commits SSMU to take a stand against Israel’s system of racial discrimination. The resolution called for a host of measures including SSMU divesting from and boycotting “corporations and institutions complicit in settler-colonial apartheid against Palestinians.”
In response, B’nai B’rith released a statement labeling “SSMU’s behavior…antisemitic”. It “called on McGill University to immediately cease funding SSMU until it rescinds this bogus referendum result.”

The administration responded by threatening to terminate its Memorandum of Agreement with SSMU, which regulates fees, use of name and other matters between the university and student union. The administration claimed the Palestine Solidarity Policy encourages “a culture of ostracization and disrespect due to students’ identity, religious or political beliefs.” But the resolution does not mention any ethnicity or nationality.

The administration’s bid to portray their student body as anti-Jewish is not new. As students have sought to express support for the long-oppressed Palestinians, they’ve repeatedly made similar claims.

Between 2014 and 2016 there were three votes inspired by the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement at biannual SSMU general assemblies. Fearing students at the prestigious institution would support BDS, the Israel lobby went into overdrive. Among a slew of pressure tactics, they got Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau to tweet that “the BDS movement, like Israeli Apartheid Week, has no place on Canadian campuses. As a McGill alum, I’m disappointed. Enough is Enough.”

In February 2016 a motion mandating the student union support some BDS demands passed the union’s largest ever general assembly. But after the McGill administration, Montreal’s English media and pro-Israel Jewish groups blitzed students the online confirmation vote failed. The resolution’s constitutionality was subsequently challenged by Zionists who sought to have SSMU’s Judicial Board outlaw any motion that expressed support for BDS.

Students challenged the effort to block their ability to collectively challenge Israeli apartheid. An October 2017 challenge of the SSMU Judicial Board’s decision to declare a BDS resolution unconstitutional prompted Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee activist Noah Lew to smear other students. After failing to be re-elected to the Board of Directors Lew claimed he was “blocked from participating in student government because of my Jewish identity and my affiliations with Jewish organizations.” Lew’s claim received international coverage and McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier sent out two emails to all students and faculty concerning the matter.

But an investigation by the administration found no basis for Lew’s claim.

The principal form of racism on display on this subject is the university power structure’s deep-seated anti-Palestinianism. As I previously detailed, McGill administrators openly associated with the Jewish National Fund, an explicitly racist organization that excludes Palestinian citizens of Israel from living on land stolen from Palestinians.

Fortunately, students have persevered in campaigning for Palestinian rights despite the smears, underhanded moves and outside attacks. The large margin that voted for the recent Palestine Solidarity Policy suggests that support for Palestinian rights is growing.

But Israel lobby and administration pressure led SSMU’s unelected judicial board to reject the constitutionality of the Palestine Solidarity Policy. They also impeached the elected president of the student union, Darshan Daryanan, in part due to his sympathy toward student democracy and Palestinian rights.

Happily, there’s some pushback. Students have organized rallies and outside groups have petitioned the administration. Rock legend Roger Waters, author Yann Martel, former MP Libby Davies, author Chris Hedges and 200 others signed a recent public letter criticizing the administration’s threats as anti-democratic and anti-Palestinian. Signed by 40 organizations, the letter also applauds McGill students for pushing their union to fulfill its stated commitment to leadership in “matters of human rights and social justice.”

It’s important for outside forces to publicly embarrass McGill’s administration, pressure wobbly student representatives and embolden the student organizers driving the struggle on campus. As the Israel lobby fully understands, the struggle for Palestinian rights runs through student activism.

Al-Aqsa: What are Muslims Worldwide doing to Defend their Holy Site?

30 Apr 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Ruqiya Anwar 

The protection of the Muslim holy place is a matter of faith, not just a question of whether more can be done to protect it.

Al-Aqsa: What are Muslims Worldwide doing to Defend their Holy Site?

Israeli forces raided Al-Quds’ Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, attacking Palestinians worshipping inside. Thousands of Palestinians were attacked by Israeli police while praying in a mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.

Al-Aqsa is one of the largest and most important mosques in the Muslim world and the earliest in Palestine. Masjid Al-Aqsa is Al-Quds’ holiest Muslim site. Al-Aqsa is a symbol of Prophetic remembrance for Muslims worldwide, connecting not only the three holiest places of Makkah, Medina, and Al-Quds but also the Prophet’s biography. The importance of Masjid Al-Aqsa to Muslims is undeniable. The mosque is also a symbol of Palestinian resistance, and it has been repeatedly raided by Israeli forces and extreme factions seeking to replace it with a temple. Apart from its religious significance, Al-Aqsa symbolizes Palestinian culture and nationhood.

Israeli authorities have permitted Israeli radicals to intimidate and desecrate the sanctity of Masjid Al-Aqsa since the occupation began. The attacks on Masjid Al-Aqsa, on the other hand, have been directed by Israeli political leaders throughout the last decade.

The Israeli authority has escalated its violent actions in Al-Quds in general and in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Moreover, it already maintains temporal and spatial separations between native Palestinians and Zionist settler-colonists to impose Judaization as a fait accompli in the end.

Moreover, the number of Zionist political and religious personalities who have entered the Al-Aqsa Site has risen, in an attempt to divide the mosque between Muslims and Jews. The Israeli apartheid regime’s frequent invasions into the mosque are meant to allow Jews to perform Talmudic prayers there, in an attempt to justify the absurd demand to partition Al-Aqsa.

What is evident is that “Israel” has begun to speed its ambitions to Judaise Al-Quds in order to reach the point when it would be able to build a temple – at the expense of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque – and impose absolute Jewish Israeli sovereignty over it. In recent years, the number of invasions into Al-Aqsa and its courtyards has increased. Since the occupation began in 1948, Israeli offensives on the Al-Aqsa Mosque have never stopped. Since then, the Al-Aqsa Mosque has been in grave danger. “Israel” has also banned Ethiopian pilgrims from entering the country during this year’s Easter season. “Israel’s” brutality targets all religions.

The desecration of Masjid Al-Aqsa by “Israel” is an insult to Muslims worldwide. “Israel’s” actions and support for extremists demonstrate its contempt for the sanctity Muslims place on Al-Aqsa. However, the subject of the Al-Aqsa cannot be considered in isolation from the rest of the Palestinian struggle. People are uniting to defend their cultural and national heritage and their rights, including their right to worship, residency, freedom of movement, and a dignified living. The Palestinian struggle for justice, freedom, and equality is embodied in the protests for Al-Aqsa. 

Suppose all Muslims cherish spiritually Al-Aqsa Haram Sharif. In that case, the question to ask is, what are Muslims worldwide doing to defend their Holy site, and how the world community does not put pressure on “Israel” to cease attacking the Al-Aqsa mosque and its worshippers? Muslims must have their role to protect Al-Quds’s Al-Aqsa Mosque. The protection of the Muslim holy place is a matter of faith, not just a question of whether more can be done to protect it.

The international community must hold “Israel” accountable for its ongoing attacks and abuses against Palestinians, their land, and sacred places. Significantly, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) needs to speak up. The Organization is the Muslim world’s united voice. In the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among all peoples, it strives to promote and protect the interests of the Muslim world. To play a meaningful role in combating Muslim distress, the OIC and Muslim countries must work together and assume their privileged position in dealing with Palestine’s dire condition. 

The international community and the Muslim world should take steps to protect Palestinians and their rightful rights. Muslims must act in unity and solidarity to prevent occupation and oppression in Al-Quds. All Muslims on the globe have their hearts set on Masjid Al-Aqsa. Al-Quds will be free when we achieve complete unity.

Most importantly, efforts should be made to reclaim Al-Quds, protect its Islamic and historical identity, preserve and protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other important places, and combat the Holy City’s Judaization. The international community must act quickly to protect Palestinians and their fundamental rights.

On Al-Quds Day, millions of people gather worldwide to show their sympathy for the Palestinian cause and to reiterate their demand to put an end to the Zionist apartheid regime’s atrocities and occupation of Palestine. This is an opportunity for people worldwide to come together and resist the violent extremism of Israeli cruelty and “ideology”. Last year, the battle of Seif Al-Quds represented the Palestinian nation’s solidarity, which stemmed from the Palestinian people’s vigilance and freedom-seeking zeal.

Those from the Arab world who have signed normalization agreements chose to remain silent over the Israeli brutality. However, the escalation of violence in Al-Aqsa has put a lot of pressure on those nations, who had argued that having a closer connection with “Israel” would help them restrict Israeli activities against Palestinians. The normalization agreement did not affect Israeli violence or the annexation of Palestinian land. It simply highlighted “Israel’s” apartheid policies, which grant full rights to Israeli Jews while oppressing and discriminating against the indigenous Palestinian population. 

More specifically, the Islamic world should mobilize the world to stop “Israel’s” brutality. They must urge the international community to hold “Israel” accountable for the escalation of events and demand an immediate halt to any aggravation that violates international laws and pacts. The UN Security Council should take action in response to “Israel’s” persistent violations. Under international humanitarian law, “Israel’s” recent illegal actions constitute “war crimes,” and those responsible for the “ruthless abuses” in Al-Aqsa must be prosecuted.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Talking Reality Theories, With Airika Dollner, the Amazing Creative Mind of Art With Aim

 

Eva Bartlett

Some months ago, while chatting about world events, media lies, and how people who dare to think critically are often dismissed as “conspiracy theorists”, we joked about being “reality theorists”, and I liked the sound of that term. Our plans to have a conversation got delayed, but finally came about the other morning.

In our first conversation, Airika and I discussed a variety of things, from Palestine to Syria to Ukraine and more. Airika is a phenomenal researcher & very expressive, articulate, woman. We’ll be having these conversations a lot more frequently, on a wide range of issues, particularly things she has researched deeply.

UAE cements its economic ties with Israeli Apartheid

5 Apr 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Marion Kawas 

This betrayal of the Palestinian people by the UAE despotic leaders will never be forgotten.

UAE Cements its Economic Ties with Israeli Apartheid

The United Arab Emirates has completed negotiations on a bilateral comprehensive free trade agreement with “Israel”. On April 1, 2022, the Emirati trade minister sat down in a hotel in occupied Al-Quds to sign off on the first full trade agreement with any Arab country. The negotiations themselves were apparently fast-tracked, and will further accelerate the reported $900 million trade between the two countries in 2021. The UAE is reportedly the second-largest economy in the Arab world and this new deal will cover 95% of “food products, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment, drugs and more” of goods currently traded with “Israel”.

The agreement, coming on the heels of the so-called “Negev Summit” (Summit of Shame) held last week, shows the expanding parameters of the economic and political cooperation between the Arab despot regimes and the Zionist state. 

So free trade now with the Emirates for illegal Israeli settlement wine and food products? While activists in Western countries are out on the streets campaigning hard to have such products removed from store shelves, here is an Arab country rushing to confer privileged trade status to these poison fruits of an aggressive and brutal military occupation.

In fact, one of the early economic deals after the signing of the Abraham Accords was between Israeli settler companies that produce wine, tahini, olive oil, and honey and the Dubai distribution company FAM Holdings. And prior to that, bottles from the Golan Heights Winery, in illegally occupied and annexed Syrian territory, were already on store shelves in Dubai.

In the last two weeks, Canadian activists have intensified their push to have Israeli apartheid wines de-shelved in publicly owned liquor stores, especially after multiple provincial governments in Canada rushed within days to remove Russian liquor products. In Vancouver and Victoria B.C., lively pickets and leafletting have taken place and a letter-writing campaign to the BC government has garnered over 1200 signatures to date; the campaign has some notable endorsers, including Roger Waters, former and current Vancouver city councilors, and local artists and professors amongst others.

Will this new free trade agreement cover cyber technology and other military defense products? Like what the newly created Elbit Systems Emirates is set up to offer? They were recently awarded a $53 million contract to supply technology to the UAE Air Force. 

It was reported on April 3, 2022, that the Emirati sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala Capital, was a major investor in the Israeli NGO group which produced the now-discredited Pegasus spyware. Mubadala is chaired by none other than Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. In January of this year, Mubadala also reportedly invested $100 million in six different Israeli venture-capital firms.

The role of the UAE as an economic regional power, and even a global one in some areas, should not be underplayed. From Dubai Ports World which punished workers in Canada for supporting a #BlocktheBoat picket, to these Israeli defense subsidiaries being opened in the Emirates, to the combined punch of the five leading Emirati sovereign wealth funds that amounts to a staggering $1.4 trillion in aggregate assets: all these factors explain why “Israel” signed this “historic” free trade agreement with the Emirates.

While children in Yemen are starving to death, and UNRWA remains chronically under-funded, and the exorbitant cost of living in Lebanon impoverishes even more people, the obscene wealth controlled by these Emirati regimes is being used to help strengthen the economy and stability of the Zionist state. That wealth is strengthening a state that is beating and terrorizing Palestinians right now in Al-Quds, a state that is extra-judicially assassinating Palestinians in their towns and villages, a state that denies medical treatment to babies resulting in their untimely deaths, and a state that exists on apartheid and supremacism for its survival. This betrayal of the Palestinian people by the UAE despotic leaders will never be forgotten!

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Ian Williams: Deterioration of Intl. Human Rights Mechanisms Blamed on “US Defense of Israel” (VIDEO)

April 1, 2022

Mark Seddon and renowned journalist and President of the Foreign Press Association – New York City, Ian Williams, shine a light on the ongoing crises in Palestine and Ukraine. (Photo: Video Grab, Supplied)

By Palestine Deep Dive

In a lively and illuminating discussion with Palestine Deep Dive (PDD), Mark Seddon and renowned journalist and President of the Foreign Press Association – New York City, Ian Williams, shine a light on the ongoing crises in Palestine and Ukraine.

The show titled “Occupation of Ukraine – Occupation of Palestine: International Law & the Cry for Consistency” pays special attention to exposing the hypocrisy of the global community when it comes to upholding the so-called “international rules-based” order.

Highlighting the creeping-prolonged injustice Palestinians have been exposed to, and how it has become normalized to those removed from it, Williams says:

“It’s like the frog in the pan as the water warms up and they don’t notice. It’s too late when its skin starts searing off. If you plunge the frog into the hot water, it tends to notice right away and jump… Of course, the Palestinians have noticed that their skin is falling off with the heat, but the rest of the world hasn’t because the rest of the world has gone along with it incrementally.”

Praising Ukrainian resistance, Williams ponders whether Palestinians would be in a better position had they received similar levels of Western support:

“I have to say that the Ukrainians surprised everyone with their resistance. Maybe if the Palestinians had been armed in 1967 and their governments had trusted them, then there might well have been a different ending… The real fact is that the Israelis have lied through their teeth for years and the West has chosen to believe them because the alternative, doing something about it, was too much. We’ve discussed the reason for that in this. There’s domestic lobbies, there’s geopolitical things.”

Expanding on the double standards in the Western response to Ukraine compared to Palestine, Seddon remarks:

“Of course, the Russian invasion was an absolute shock, not least to the Ukrainians, many of whom didn’t believe that it would happen, and part of their country is now being occupied… Of course, people in the West Bank, Jerusalem, Golan, which is an outright annexation, will say, well, hold on a minute, we’ve been occupied for 50 years, and if we start calling for sanctions, people say, oh no, you can’t call for sanctions and boycotts and divestments…”

Williams responds by arguing that Palestine advocates should be drawing parallels between Ukraine and Palestine wherever possible:

“Well, the worst thing we could do, or the Palestinians and their supporters could do, is to say, well, we are not interested because there’s no case there because we’re suffering. They should immediately try to associate at every level… These comparisons are invidious and must be made often over and over. The legalities are there. You hit upon it there. It’s indisputable for everyone concerned that the Golan was the acquisition of foreign territory by force”

Seddon was also keen to emphasize the duplicity of the corporate media:

“By the way, we don’t mind showing video footage of brave Ukrainians making Molotov cocktails, they’re freedom fighters, but if it comes to Palestinians making Molotov cocktails or Western Saharans, well, they’re terrorists. This grotesque double standards, isn’t it, really that sticks in a lot of people.”

Williams also expressed disappointment in Western media for its lack of meaningful reporting on Palestine:

“Most people have an infinite tolerance for the sufferings of others over a long period, and that’s what’s been happening with the Palestinians. The stuff doesn’t get into the media.”

Looking more closely at recent events at the United Nations, Seddon reported on Thursday’s United Nations Human Rights Committee vote supporting accountability for Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied territories. The U.S. voted against it.

With UK and Ukraine abstaining, Seddon said it is, “disappointing given the fact that most Ukrainians, if they knew what was happening in Israel-Palestine, would immediately identify with the Palestinians.”

This week at the UN’s Human Rights Council, Zainab Al-Qolaq, a survivor of an Israeli airstrike on Gaza in May which killed 22 members of her family, delivered a speech asking the international community whether “real actions” will be taken to prevent similar atrocities from taking place.

Questioned whether he thinks the UNHRC will indeed take much notice of her powerful contribution, Williams responded: “It depends on the rest of us whether we keep it going.”

Seddon goes on to probe Williams on the reasons for today’s apparent lack of authority in institutions such as the International Criminal Court (ICC). Williams responds arguing the United States, by shielding Israel from legitimate accountability, has eroded the potential of such institutions in being a genuine force of authority:

“…there is no doubt whatsoever that the US defense of Israel at all costs over the years has led to a profound deterioration of international human rights mechanisms. The fact that anytime action is taken, the US springs up regardless of the facts to defend Israel, means that everybody else in the world say, “If not Israel, then why them.” If you don’t get Netanyahu, why you’re getting Milošević. It has allowed every crook genocidal maniac and kleptomaniac in the world to get out of jail free card or get out of jail cheap card because, if Israel can do it, so can we.”

He also emphasized Biden’s continuation of many of Trump’s policies over Palestine and beyond:

“There’s the US, as you say, it denounced Putin, said he’s a war criminal, but they still– Joe Biden still maintains Trump’s sanctions against the International Criminal Court justices. They’re not allowed in America, and why is that? Israel.”

Ending the show with a rousing call for meaningful action by state actors against Israeli apartheid and ongoing human rights violations against Palestinians, Williams declares:

“We should be calling for government sanctions against Israel until it abides by international law… Sanctions is the way to go. That’s how it worked with South Africa.”

(Palestine Deep Dive)

Apartheid “Israel” Prevented Baby Fatima’s Treatment, Now She’s Dead!

April 1 2022

By Staff, Agencies

A 19-month-old child has died in Gaza after waiting for five months for the apartheid “Israeli” entity to grant her permission to leave the blockaded enclave for treatment.

Human right groups said “Israel’s” blockade of Gaza was responsible for the death of Fatima Al-Masri, who was diagnosed last year with a hole in the heart and who died on Friday.

“I loved her from deep inside my heart. I wish I had died as well as her,” said Jalal al-Masri, Fatima’s father. “They kept saying the application was ‘under review, under review’ and then she died.

“It felt like I had died as well without Fatima in my life. Nothing breaks a person more than losing their child.”

Masri said that Fatima missed two appointments for treatment at Occupied Al-Quds’ Al-Makassed hospital in December and February while her family were told her case was “under review” by the “Israeli” authorities.

“We are under blockade. I don’t understand how ‘Israel’ can send me this message about her case being under review,” said Masri.

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, a Palestinian NGO, took on Fatima’s case when Al-Masri complained in February, urging the Zionist regime to issue the permit in time for her to be taken to al-Makassed in the week after the appointment, before the hospital takes a patient off its list.

“Al Mezan deeply regrets Fatima’s death and strongly condemns ‘Israel’s’ ongoing closure on the Gaza Strip and its associated restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, that includes denying patients access to the hospitals in the West Bank, East Al-Quds, ‘Israel’ and abroad,” the NGO said in a statement.

According to the World Health Organization’s monthly report, 56% of applications for companions to patients in Gaza were not responded to in time for the appointment.

Palestinians have to travel for serious conditions that the overburdened health system in Gaza cannot treat, but face long waits for permits to 1948 Palestinian lands and Egypt, where they also endure a difficult journey through the Sinai desert.

The UN’s special rapporteur for Palestine, Michael Lynk, in a report last week that described “Israel’s” control over Palestinian territories as “apartheid”, said Gaza’s health system “is flat on its back, with serious shortages of healthcare professionals, inadequate treatment equipment and low supplies of drugs and medicines.”

Mahmoud Shalabi, program manager in Gaza for the charity Medical Aid Palestine, said the blockade had “suffocated” the health system, leaving hospitals short of medicine and equipment, and that conditions had worsened during the pandemic.

“My cousin, who was suffering from cancer, tried to seek specialist care in East Al-Quds, but died while waiting for a permit. She left behind five young children,” said Shalabi.

“Accessing care feels like a lottery. The case of 19-month-old Fatima is another devastating story. But these stories will keep appearing while ‘Israel’s’ blockade and restrictions are in place.”

UNHRC Report Accuses ‘Israeli’ Entity of Apartheid

March 24, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in the ‘Israeli’-occupied Palestinian territories submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council [UNHRC], in which he concluded that the situation in the occupied territories amounts to apartheid.

In a 19-page report submitted to the body on Tuesday, Michael Lynk said ‘Israelis’ and Palestinians lived “under a single regime which differentiates its distribution of rights and benefits on the basis of national and ethnic identity, and which ensures the supremacy of one group over, and to the detriment of, the other.”

“The political system of entrenched rule in the occupied Palestinian territory which endows one racial-national-ethnic group with substantial rights, benefits and privileges while intentionally subjecting another group to live behind walls, checkpoints and under a permanent military rule… satisfies the prevailing evidentiary standard for the existence of apartheid,” he added.

Lynk said that while the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories differed from that experienced in South Africa, it still amounted to apartheid.

Apartheid is a legal term defined by international law that refers to systematic oppression by one racial group over another.

“There are pitiless features of ‘Israel’s’ ‘apartness’ rule in the occupied Palestinian territory that were not practiced in southern Africa, such as segregated highways, high walls and extensive checkpoints, a barricaded population, missile strikes and tank shelling of a civilian population, and the abandonment of the Palestinians’ social welfare to the international community.

“With the eyes of the international community wide open, ‘Israel’ has imposed upon Palestine an apartheid reality in a post-apartheid world.”

Lynk is slated to formally release his report on Thursday ahead of a debate on Agenda Item Seven, the permanent UNHRC item reserved for ‘Israeli’ human rights abuses against Palestinians and other Arabs.

In the report, the Canadian academic argued that ‘Israel’ was pursuing a strategy of “strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian territory into separate areas of population control, with Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem [al-Quds] physically divided from one another.”

‘Israel’ uses Gaza, Lynk said, for the “indefinite warehousing of an unwanted population of two million Palestinians.”

The issuing of thousands of work permits for Palestinian laborers in the West Bank and Gaza to work in the occupied territories amounts to the “exploitation of labor of a racial group,” the report said.

Last month, Amnesty International labelled ‘Israel’ an apartheid entity, becoming the latest organization to join a cadre of human rights groups that have used the term to describe the ‘Israeli’ treatment of Palestinians.

Despite the increasing number of rights groups labelling Zionist policies as amounting to apartheid, the United States and the occupation regime’s other western allies have refrained from making any such declarations.

More on This Topic

The Ethnic Conflict: Western Media Hypocrisy Revisited

March 11, 2022

By Mohammad Sleem

Beirut – The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is still bringing to the open the hypocrisy of western media. The tone and language used, as well as the level of objectivity and the violent sentiments reveal how these media outlets were involved in an ethnic conflict. Newspaper headlines, interviews, and reports were but a tissue of lies, with all the bias in favor of Ukraine.

Since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine started, western media had been stretching the truth with all the audacity. Plenty of shocking actions have been taken in support of the Ukrainians.

On his personal Twitter account, BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen tweeted a guide titled: “Where to Throw a Molotov Cocktail”, in which he detailed the weak spots in Russian armors, viewing hatches and air inlets.

Straightaway, his tweet was showered with opposing responses, to mention but few: “Have you and the BBC got any guides you could share for how the Palestinians can fight their brutal occupying oppressors apartheid ‘Israel’?” and “As the BBC editor for the Middle East, have you ever posted such a guide for peoples resisting military occupations in that region?”

Activists on social media platforms shed light on the BBC’s double-standards in covering the Ukraine crisis compared to the Palestinian Cause.

Moreover, the Independent did not fail to pull the wool over the public’s eyes. The newspaper’s headlines depicting the ongoing conflict said it all. The following are a couple of the British newspaper’s headlines: “Putin is ‘Hitler of the 21st century’, says Ireland’s Leo Varadkar”, in a bid to show a bad image of the Russian president; and “Sir Tony Blair: I thought Iraq invasion was the right thing to do”. The Independent explicitly demonstrates its hypocrisy in news publishing. Voices throughout media platforms condemned the newspaper’s policy, saying: “Now you know how authentic it is to believe upon the news they publish”.

Furthermore, the Daily Mail didn’t even bother to beat around the bush. Instead, the daily “shamelessly” published biased headlines such as: “Imran Khan shamelessly offers to import two million tons of wheat and buy gas from Russia” and “US and Europe paying Kremlin 1$ Billion-a–Day for oil and gas despite harsh economic sanctions”.

In a brave stance before the Irish Parliament, Richard Boyd Barrett, a lawmaker of the People Before Profit [PBP] party criticized the hypocrisy of western media, saying: “Treating the Arab population as a whole, the Palestinian population as a whole, as an inferior race.” He added, “You’re happy to correctly use the most strong and robust language to describe the crimes against humanity of Vladimir Putin, but you will not use the same strength of language when it comes to describing the Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians”.

The list of hypocritical media outlets and their double-standard news coverage goes on. One could only wonder despairingly about all the Middle Eastern countries that have been confronting wars, bombings and massacres. What about Syria that gets bombed every week by ‘Israel’? What about the children of Yemen and the heroes of Palestine? Apparently, their only fault is that they are not “blond with blue eyes”.

So far, the ongoing conflict between Russia and the Ukraine has resulted in the punishment of Russia by the West via imposing economic, political, social, and even cultural sanctions. This in addition to offering direct military support to the Ukrainian Army, and most importantly, raising a biased hypocritical double-standard anti-Russian media campaign. In parallel, elsewhere on the same planet, “Israel” has been committing war crimes against humanity since 1948, yet, western media kept quiet. 

Lastly, destruction, crimes and massacres are not only the result of a military war between two parties or armies, but also the product of an ethnic conflict waged by western media outlets. By all counts, the right to live, the right to land, and the right to dream are the hostage of western media hypocrisy.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine ( Weekly Update 3 – 9 March 2022)

10. 3. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Three Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed while the fourth succumbed to his wounds, and 16 others, including 2 children, were injured, in addition to tens others suffocated due to teargas inhalation in separate incidents in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

  • On 06 March, a Palestinian child was killed in occupied East Jerusalem after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) deliberately opened fire at him, claiming that he threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at them during their incursion into Abu Dis village. More details available here. Moreover, a 19-year-old male was shot with several live bullets by IOF at Bab Hetta Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates in occupied East Jerusalem, after carrying out a stabbing attack resulted in the injury of two Israeli police officers.
  • On 07 March, in a crime amounting to extra-judicial execution, IOF shot and killed a Palestinian male after wounding him and neutralizing any threats he proposed, as he stabbed two Israeli police officers in occupied East Jerusalem. More details available here.
  • On 09 March, a Palestinian civilian, from Burqa village in Nablus, succumbed to wounds he sustained on 01 March 2022, during the IOF’s suppression of a protest organized at the village’s entrance to support Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails. Also, a child was shot with a live bullet in his hand in clashes erupted at the village’s entrance during the funeral of the deceased. Furthermore, IOF suppressed peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians; majority of them were wounded.
  • On 03 March, two Palestinians were injured by IOF’s fire during their incursion into Nablus; one of them sustained wounds in his chest while the other in his hand. On 04 March, three Palestinians, including 2 children, were shot by IOF near a gate leading to “Beit Hadassah” settlement outpost in Hebron.
  • Additionally, two civilians were shot with rubber bullets in their limbs during the IOF’s suppression of  Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.
  • IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem and pushed and beat the protestors and arrested two of them along with two solidarity activists, releasing them few hours later.
  • On 05 March, two Palestinian children were shot with rubber bullets in their limbs and head during the IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in Qalqilya. On 07 March, 8 Palestinians, including a child, were injured by IOF’s fire during their incursion into Silat al-Haritha village, west of Jenin.
  • In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 7 times at agricultural lands in access restricted areas, eastern Khan Younis and Central Gaza Strip. Also, four IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats mostly off the northern, southern, and western Gaza shores.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 14 Palestinians, including 3 children, and wounded 120 others, including 23 children, a woman, 9 journalists and 2 medical personnel, all in the West Bank, except one fisherman in the Gaza Strip.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

This week, IOF demolished a commercial facility and 7 civilian objects, including 6 houses, displacing 7 families of 33 individuals, including 15 children and 10 women in the West Bank:

3 March :

  • IOF dismantled an agricultural barrack and confiscated tin plates designated to establish another barrack in northern Jordan valley.

4 March:

  • A Palestinian was forced to self-demolish his 90-square-meter house in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, displacing him and his family.

7 March:

  • A Palestinian was forced to self-demolish his house in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. As a result, his family of 5 individuals, including a woman and 3 children, became homeless.
  • As part of collective punishment policy, the houses of two Palestinian detainees in the Israeli jails were blew up, displacing 3 families of 13 individuals, including 3 children and 5 women. More details available here.

8 March:

  • A house was demolished in eastern Hebron, displacing two families of 11 individuals, including 3 women and 7 children.

9 March:

  • An under-construction house (150 sqm) was demolished in Shu’fat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 40 families homeless, a total of 244 persons, including 47 women and 113 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 50 houses and 4 residential tents. IOF also demolished 29 other civilian objects, and delivered 28 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 180 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 112 Palestinians were arrested, including 22 children and a woman. Also, on 03 March 2022, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Deir al-Balah, while on 07 March 2022, another  limited incursions was conducted by IOF in northern Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 1381 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 864 Palestinians were arrested, including 115 children and 9 women. IOF also conducted 10 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 12 Palestinians, including 7 fishermen. Meanwhile, 4 were arrested during infiltration attempts into Israel, and another at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

  • On 06 March 2022, Israeli settlers uprooted at least 150 olive trees, damaged an agricultural room, and stole 40 olive seedlings in Kafr ad-Dik village in western Salfit.
  • On the same day, Israeli settlers uprooted 80 olive seedlings in Duma village, southeast of Nablus.

So far this year, settlers carried out 50 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 76 temporary military checkpoints this week and arrested 5 Palestinians at those checkpoints. The majority of the checkpoints were in Hebron (35).

So far in 2022, IOF established 623 temporary military checkpoints this week and arrested 38 Palestinians at those checkpoints

Palestinian Activist from Occupied Jerusalem Threatened with Expulsion from Israeli Authorities

March 4, 2022

Tensions erupt between Palestinians and Jewish settlers in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. (Photo: via Activestills)

Awad Salaymeh, a Palestinian rights activist from occupied Jerusalem, said on Friday that he was threatened with expulsion from his home city by the Israeli occupation authorities, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Salaymeh told reporters he was summoned by the Israeli intelligence for questioning at the so-called Russian Compound where he was threatened of expulsion by Israeli interrogators in the event he continued “incitement at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood”.

He said the Israeli threat will not dishearten his support for native Palestinian families facing a threat of forceful Israeli eviction from their homes in the occupied Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Salaymeh added that, along with other activists, he will continue to be present in Sheikh Jarrah until far-right Israeli MK Itamar Ben-Gvir removes his makeshift office, which he recently set up in the vicinity of the Palestinian family of Salem’s home in the neighborhood.

The neighborhood has been under tight Israeli entry measures ever since Ben-Gvir set up his makeshift office in the neighborhood, in what Palestinians see as a provocative step aimed at going ahead with Israeli expulsion plans targeting dozens of indigenous families in the neighborhood.

Around 300 Palestinians, all of whom face the prospect of being evicted from their homes by Israeli authorities, live in the neighborhood.

Occupied by Israel in 1967, Sheikh Jarrah has been a significant flashpoint since May 2021, after Israel tried to expel Palestinian families from the area to make way for Israeli settlers.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Related Videos

Occupied Jerusalem: Mass Friday prayers in Jabal Mukaber, rejecting the policy of home demolitions
The Negev desert is of great interest due to its strategic location. In recent decades, “Israel” has spared no effort in devouring the Palestinian lands in the region, as is the case in other regions.
The Zionist Dilemma in the Ukraine-Russia Crisis

Related Articles

Why are Italian Students Protesting Israeli Ambassador’s Visit to L’Aquila University?

March 3, 2022

Italian students hold a sit-in against Israeli ambassador’s visit to L’Aquila University. (Photo: Supplied)

By Romana Rubeo

Italian students held a sit-in on Thursday to protest the decision by the University of L’Aquila to host the Israeli Ambassador to Italy, Dror Eydar. 

Eydar was invited to deliver a 30 minutes conference about the so-called Abraham Accords, titled “Diplomacy in the Middle East and the Abraham Accords paradigm shift”.

Students were urged to take part in the conference, which did not include a debate or a Q&A session.

The sit-in was organized by several groups, including political movement Potere al Popolo (Power to the People), UDU L’Aquila (Union of Students), Abruzzo Crocevia and Spazio Praxis.

The sit-in was organized by several groups, including political movement Potere al Popolo (Power to the People), UDU L’Aquila (Union of Students), Abruzzo Crocevia and Spazio Praxis.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FpapLAquila%2Fposts%2F261394812841296&show_text=true&width=500

“We were extremely disappointed when we learned that the University organized such an initiative,” Francesco Pezzuti, the representative of Potere al Popolo, said during the protest. “We believe that academic institutions should not invite official representatives of a state that has systematically oppressed the Palestinian people for decades.”

“We are also surprised by the double standards,” Pezzuti added. “While they show solidarity to the Ukrainian people, and rightly so, our institutions do not show the same kind of sensibility towards the various forms of popular resistance enacted by other oppressed people around the globe, such as in Palestine.”

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fudulaquila%2Fposts%2F2072238036290939&show_text=true&width=500

“The same initiative has been promoted in other Italian regions, with the same exact keywords, trying to promote the so-called Abraham Accords as a new paradigm,” said Luca D’Innocenzo, representative of Abruzzo Crocevia. 

“We have to be aware that this is mere propaganda. Israel’s propaganda uses the Accords to hide ongoing policies of colonialism and apartheid in the Palestinian territories,” D’Innocenzo added.

“That’s what we should talk about inside an academic institution: of the apartheid policies that are systematically implemented against the Palestinian people.”

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgiovanipalestinesi.it%2Fposts%2F4996939077035913&show_text=true&width=500

“We are not alone in this fight,” said Matteo Poletti, from UDU. “We fight along with other students that, across the globe, are boycotting similar initiatives aimed at normalizing relations with a country that despite the continued and reiterated violations of human rights, has never been held accountable by the international community.”

The students in L’Aquila received solidarity and support from the national group Giovani Palestinesi d’Italia (Young Palestinians of Italy), which shared posts on social media and sent a message that was read during the sit-in.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Romana Rubeo is an Italian writer and the managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle. Her articles appeared in many online newspapers and academic journals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and specializes in audio-visual and journalism translation.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine Weekly Update (24 February – 02 March 2022)

03. 03. 2022

Source

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Two Palestinian civilians killed, and 22 others wounded, including 3 children and 2 journalists, by Israeli occupation forces’ (IOF) fire in the West Bank; meanwhile, a fisherman was wounded with rubber bullets in the Gaza Strip.  Dozens of others sustained bruises in IOF’s attacks.

At dawn on 01 March 2022, IOF’s Special Unit killed a Palestinian civilian after the former sneaked into Jenin refugee camp to arrest a wanted person and clashed with an armed group member and killed him as well. More details available here.  On 02 March 2022, IOF killed a Palestinian university student after shooting him in the head without any justification in Beit Fajjar, southern Bethlehem.  More information available here.

On 24 February, a Palestinian driver sustained serious wounded after IOF opened fire at his hand and the bullet entered his abdomen and exited his back.  The driver was in his vehicle at the time near al-Jalama checkpoint in Jenin.  Other civilians were wounded in separate incidents; mainly in peaceful protests and gatherings. Most prominently was on 28 February 2022 when IOF suppressed thousands of Palestinians commemorating the anniversary of al-Israa’ and al-Me’araj in Bab al-‘Amoud Yard in Jerusalem.  As a result, a child with hearing disability was wounded with a sound bomb in her face while tens of civilians sustained bruises.  On 25 February 2022, 6 civilians, including a child and 2 journalists, were wounded with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of peaceful protests in Qalqilya, Nablus and Hebron.  On the same day, 5 civilians were wounded with rubber bullets and a sound bomb fired by IOF during the latter’s protection of settlers’ raid into Kafr al-Deek village, western Salfit, while a sixth civilian was wounded in the head after IOF beat him.  Also, a civilian was wounded with a bullet in the left thigh near al-Nabi Younis intersection, northern Hebron; he was then arrested and taken by IOF in a military ambulance.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 4 times at agricultural lands in access restricted areas, eastern Khan Younis and Central Gaza Strip. Also, six IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats mostly off the northern, southern, and western Gaza shores. As a result, a fisherman was wounded with a rubber bullet on 25 February 2022.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 10 Palestinians, including 2 children, and wounded 104 others, including 21 children, 2 paramedics and 9 journalists, all in the West Bank, except one fisherman in the Gaza Strip.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

This week, IOF demolished 15 civilian objects, including 6 houses, displacing 2 families of 13 individuals, including 5 children and 2 women.  IOF also demolished 9 commercial facilities, razed a plot of land and seized another and a vehicle.

  • On 24 February, an excavator was seized when working in an agricultural land in eastern Yatta, southern Hebron, and 2 under-construction residential buildings were demolished in ‘Anata village in East Occupied Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
  • On 25 February, a Palestinian was forced to self-demolish a 90-sqm house built of tinplate in Jabal Mukaber in East occupied Jerusalem, displacing a family of 6, including a woman.
  • On 27 February, 2 notices were issued to evacuate a plot of land (32 dunums) within 72 hours. The land is part of Khelet al-Dabe’a nature reserve, eastern Yata, eastern Hebron.
  • On 28 February, a Palestinian civilian was forced to self-demolish his house in Beit Hanina, northern occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, displacing a family of 7, including a woman and 5 children. Also, another was forced to self-demolish his under-construction house in Silwan in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction while another under-construction house of 80 sqms was demolished in Fasayil village, northern Jericho under the pretext of building in an archeological area.
  • On 01 March, a 4-donum ploy of land was demolished and a barrack and 3 warehouses established on the land were demolished in Ghzayel neighborhood, southeast of East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Meanwhile, a plan was approved to confiscate a plot of land owned by a Palestinian family adjacent to the al-Yousifiya Cemetery, in East Jerusalem, aiming at establishing a national garden and tourist areas there.

On 02 March, 2 commercial facilities were demolished near Hizma military checkpoint, northeast of East Jerusalem; 4 notices were distributed to stop the construction work in 4 houses in eastern Yatta in Hebron, giving their owners 3 weeks to settle their legal issues under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C; and 3 offices, a fuel station tank and a horse barrack were demolished in Beit Hanina, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. This included assaults on workers and the arrest of one civilian.

Since the beginning of 2022, IOF made 33 families homeless, a total of 211 persons, including 37 women and 98 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 44 houses and 4 residential tents. IOF also demolished 28 other civilian objects, and delivered 6 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

This week, 6 settler-attacks were reported in the West Bank, resulting in the injury of 2 brothers with bullets, causing bruises to a mother and her daughter and uprooting 45 olive seedlings in addition to puncturing the wheels of 11 vehicles. 

  • 25 February: 2 brother were wounded; one was wounded with a bullet in his foot and the other was wounded with a bullet in his back, after settlers directly opened fire at them as their vehicles lightly collided near Hizma checkpoint. On the same day, under IOF’s protection, settlers attacked civilian houses in Kafr al-Deek village, west of Salfit, and threw stones at them.
  • 27 February: a Palestinian woman and her baby girl sustained bruises and wounds in a settlers’ attack on her their house in Sinjil village, eastern Ramallah. Also, settlers from “Ma’ale Libouneh” settlement, norheastern Ramallah, threw stones at vehicles and caused them damage.
  • 28 February: settlers attacked a Palestinian family in their land in KAfr al-Deek village, western Salfit, and demolished their agricultural room.
  • 01 March: settlers from Tafouh settlement uprooted 45 olive seedlings in Yasouf village, eastern Salfit.
  • 02 March: Settlers punctured wheels of 11 vehicles and wrote racist slogans against Arabs in Iskaka village, eastern Salfit.

So far this year, settlers carried out 48 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 177 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During this week’s incursions, 114 Palestinians were arrested, including 30 children and a woman.  IOF also conducted a limited incursion into eastern Khan Younis on 28 February 2022.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 1201 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 752 Palestinians were arrested, including 93 children and 8 women. IOF also conducted limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 11 Palestinians, including 7 fishermen. Meanwhile, 4 infiltrations were reported; one was via Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. On 01 March 2022, IOF arrested a Palestinian at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, who came to work in Israel. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 80 temporary military checkpoints this week and arrested 6 Palestinians at those checkpoints. The majority of the checkpoints were in Hebron (31).  So far in 2022, IOF established at least 547 checkpoints  and arrested 33 Palestinians at those checkpoint.

WATCH: Dozens of Students, Teachers Suffocate as Israeli Forces Tear Gas Schools in Hebron

March 1, 2022

Israeli soldiers fired tear gas near Palestinian schools in Hebron. (Photo: via WAFA)

Dozens of Palestinian students and teachers suffocated on Tuesday from tear gas fired by Israeli forces near schools in Hebron (Al-Khalil), the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

WAFA correspondent said that Israeli forces walked around three schools, including Tareq Bin Ziad Secondary School, in the southern part of Hebron city, attempting to provoke students.

Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters towards the school compounds, causing dozens to suffocate from excessive tear gas inhalation. Paramedics treated all suffocation cases at the scene.

Tareq Bin Ziad School is one of nine Palestinian schools located in the H2 area of Hebron, which falls under Israel’s civil and military control and remains at the most risk of attacks. School children have to access the military checkpoints of Qitoun Checkpoint/209 and Checkpoint 160/29 in the H2 area to access their schools.

The area, which houses 32,000 Palestinians, is considered the most vulnerable to Israeli forces and Jewish settlers’ attacks which are regular enough to create a constant climate of fear and terror for students and their teachers, generating among them great psychological distress and anxiety and severely reducing levels of educational attainment.

Attacks on education by Israeli military forces and Israeli settlers in Palestine constitute grave violations of children’s rights to education and development.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Related

EXPLAINER: Why does France Attack Palestine Solidarity Organizations?

February 26, 2022

France decided to ban to Palestine solidarity groups. (Photo: via Collectif Palestine Vaincra FB Page)

By Claude Zurbach

As a gift to the pro-Israeli lobby, the French government, through its Minister of the Interior Gérard Darmanin, has announced its intention to dissolve two Palestine solidarity organizations: the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and the Comité d’Action Palestine.

Long History of Harassment of the BDS Campaign

In line with the policies of most European Union countries, pressure groups and political authorities in France have never skimped on filing complaints and administrative bans. And this has been the case for more than 10 years, since the lawsuit brought against the BDS campaigners in Mulhouse, in the east of France. Since then, many collectives have been subjected to various forms of harassment, including those of Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Paris, Mulhouse, Colmar, Perpignan, and Montpellier (and the list is non-exhaustive).

 The alleged arguments developed in this defamatory campaign invoke an alleged anti-Semitism, which constitutes the main angle of the Israeli attack against the international movement of solidarity with Palestine.

Throughout the years, these initiatives, aimed at suppressing any form of organized criticism of Israel, have been met with strong reactions, from a legal point of view, but also through grassroots mobilization and were almost always defeated in court.

But these repeated attacks are financially costly, can be morally exhausting, and require a lot of energy, which is then diverted into time-consuming and complex legal procedures.

Why Does France Attack Solidarity Organizations?

The reason behind these attacks is the solidarity, or deep connivance, between all the economic and political powers throughout the world and Israel. Tel Aviv is both the advanced point of Western domination in the Middle East and a laboratory for the sophisticated repressive and lethal tools (tested on the Palestinian population), which are sold to Western powers.

In this system of international domination, Israel has a place of choice, which explains the exceptional tolerance it enjoys while it has been multiplying its international law violations throughout occupied Palestine.

On the other hand, the proximity of the presidential campaign in France explains the timing of this decision. Most potential candidates have reaffirmed their unwavering support for the Zionist project, with the notable exception of candidates considered to be part of the ‘radical left’.

One right-wing candidate, Valérie Precress, even chose an outspoken Zionist as her advisor on international issues.

Winning overt or implicit support from the Israel lobbies is becoming an important element in France’s election campaign, all against a backdrop of the rising Islamophobia

Israel is particularly worried about the discredit at an international level. In this context, Tel Aviv knows that any show of complicity with the apartheid regime imposed in Palestine is supposed to produce gains.

Reaction of the Solidarity Movement in France

The Association France-Palestine Solidarity, the main association of solidarity with Palestine, reacted with a first unambiguous statement, recalling that “solidarity is not a crime, it is a duty” and quite rightly that “support for the legitimate claims of the Palestinian people is in no way comparable to any call for hatred towards Israel or the Israelis, it is a call for justice and the application of international law”.

In addition to the two associations concerned by the decision, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and the Comité d’Action Palestine, others such as the Union Juive Française pour la Paix and Europalestine have reacted quickly. A petition is online to show their refusal of the government’s liberticidal decisions.

 It would be important for other organizations, focused on the defense of individual and collective rights, to come forward to protest against these iniquitous decisions. Indeed, any breach of solidarity will be a loophole that can be exploited by the supporters of apartheid in Palestine to impose further bans and dissolutions.

– Claude Zurbach is the editor of Chronique de Palestine, the French version of the Palestine Chronicle website. A computer engineer by profession, he has been involved for many years in solidarity with the Palestinian national movement. His Twitter account is https://twitter.com/ClaudeZurbach

To Maintain Jewish Demographic Control, Israel Cloaks Family Unification Law in Security Concerns

February 25th, 2022

Amnesty International described “discriminatory laws and policies that disrupt family life” as “primarily guided by demographic – rather than security – considerations and aim[ing] to minimize Palestinian presence inside the Green Line to maintain a Jewish majority.”

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — A controversial law banning family unification between Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied territories expired last summer, but right-wing politicians are seeking to resurrect it with a vengeance. This month, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) approved, in the first of three votes, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, preventing Palestinians married to Israeli citizens from receiving permits to enter into 1948-occupied Palestine (or modern-day Israel).

“It’s one of the most racist, apartheid laws that was ever passed in the world,” Adi Mansour, attorney with Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, told MintPress News. “There is no other law that’s even remotely close to this law in the effects … that it has on family lives.”

Known as the family unification ban, the bill passed in 2003 and has been renewed annually since its inception — until last year. In July, the law was defeated after former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party voted against it to disrupt the new coalition government.

Now, right-wing Knesset members are hoping to breathe new life into the legislation by adding more restrictive amendments to a law human rights organizations already deem deeply discriminatory.

Making a harsh law even harsher

Knesset member Simcha Rothman of the far-right Religious Zionism Party negotiated with Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to add tougher amendments to the law and get it back on the agenda.

Rothman’s applied amendments include setting a maximum yearly quota for those eligible to receive Israeli citizenship from the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, and requiring the Interior Ministry submit a monthly report on the number of permits granted. While this law is classified as a temporary order, the newest version also allows the government to extend its enforcement for longer than one year at a time, meaning it won’t need to be renewed annually.

“The amendment that was filed by the opposition brings to the surface the real intention of the law —  to prevent a supposed attack on the Jewish majority of the state,” Mansour said.  Rothman and the spokesperson for the Knesset did not respond to requests for comment.

Despite the law’s expiration, Shaked ordered the Population and Immigration Authority to apply the law to family unification requests. Israeli non-profit organizations HaMoked, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, filed a joint petition to the Israeli Court of Administrative Affairs. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, which prompted the Interior Ministry to establish two temporary procedures. One of the procedures — HaMoked argues — simply “perpetuates the relevant provisions of the expired law, under a different name.”

More than just preventing the Palestinian right of return

HaMoked opposes the law, but Dani Shenhar, who heads HaMoked’s legal department, said that if it does pass, there are several amendments they are advocating to have attached to the bill in order to make it constitutional. These include: not applying the law to women over the age of 50, men over the age of 55, and minors; providing full government benefits to those given an entry permit; and giving permanent residency or citizenship to those applying on humanitarian grounds.

“When the law didn’t pass in July, many politicians said that it’s very important for keeping the demographics of Israel under control — not having Palestinians receive Israeli IDs,” Shenhar told MintPress. “This is the real concern of the state.”

Proponents of the law argue it’s necessary for security purposes, specifically claiming unified families are more likely to commit acts of terrorism. Shenhar explained, however, that Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, said that from 2001 to 2016 only 104 individuals from families who obtained residency or citizenship through family reunification were involved in terrorist activity. From his perspective, these low numbers suggest there isn’t a security concern. “Security is an explanation used by the state because it’s easier for the court to give its green light to this law when there’s a security basis for it,” Shenhar said. “It’s more difficult to justify this kind of law on the basis of demographics or racial profiling.”

Even Minister of Interior Shaked suggested this law isn’t just for security purposes. In an interview with Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Shaked admitted the law is meant to prevent the “creeping [Palestinian] right of return.” “The law wants to reduce the motivation for immigration to Israel. Primarily for security reasons, and then also for demographic reasons,” Shaked said.

Adalah’s Mansour argued that family reunification isn’t about the right of return. “We want the right of return, but still when we fall in love with a person, we do not think, ‘Let’s implement the right of return.’ This is not part of the rationality of love and relationships,” he said.

Instead, Mansour argues that the narrative that the law is about the right of return is merely strategic — to better persuade the Israeli media and public of the need for such a law. “The motive to prevent the right of return is not real,” he said, emphasizing the law’s agenda is Zionist and racist. “The real motive is preventing any demographic changes and preventing Palestinians from implementing their right to family life.”

“To basically build and sustain an apartheid regime,” Mansour added.

Denying the right to family life

Earlier this month Amensty International released a comprehensive report declaring Israel an apartheid state. The organization’s analysis highlighted the family reunification ban, calling it a “clear example of how Israel fragments and segregates Palestinians through a single system.”

Amnesty International described “discriminatory laws and policies that disrupt family life” as “primarily guided by demographic – rather than security – considerations and aim[ing] to minimize Palestinian presence inside the Green Line to maintain a Jewish majority.”

“By contrast, the 2003 law explicitly did not apply to residents of Jewish settlements in the West Bank wanting to marry and live with their spouse inside Israel, making it, and the ongoing policy underpinning it, blatantly discriminatory,” Amnesty wrote. The organization also noted that information from the Ministry of Interior indicated the rejection of about 43% of family unification applications from 2000-2013.

Families affected by the legislation were unable to speak on the record to MintPress, given that the bill is still being debated and voted on. However, Amnesty collected anonymous testimonies on how this law has disrupted families’ lives.

One spouse, who moved from the West Bank to 1948-occupied Palestine, applied for family reunification but while awaiting approval and without proper documentation, she lived in a perpetual state of anxiety. “There was a constant fear in my life. I was terrified of getting sick for example, because of this fear of having to go to the hospital without the necessary documents, getting caught [by Israeli authorities], and paying lots of money to cover for any kind of procedure or treatment,” she told Amnesty. She had married in 2003 when she was 18 but, according to the Citizenship Law, couldn’t apply for family reunification until she turned 25.

Another woman was rejected when trying to renew her permanent residency. She is now confined to Jerusalem in fear of arrest if she crosses Israeli checkpoints. She told Amnesty International how the law has impacted her life:

Since 2008, I have not been able to see my children as I please, because I cannot cross Israeli military checkpoints. I can only see my children and grandchildren through video calls. I have spent 12 years of my life trying to solve this, but the [Israeli] authorities keep stalling. I have spent half of my life either at the Ministry of Interior offices or gathering papers for them. This is exhausting.”

Adalah’s Mansour detailed the various cases he’s worked on regarding family reunification and called their experiences “devastating.” One example he offered:

During corona, a woman who was from Ramallah couldn’t leave Ramallah through the checkpoint because there was a lockdown. So she had to live for at least a month away from her kids and her family because they had citizenship and could go back to where her family lived, but she had to stay in Ramallah with her parents.”

In some situations, individuals could only get a driver’s license after 10 years. In other cases, individuals couldn’t find work in 1948-occupied Palestine because they didn’t have citizenship.

Often employers are unwilling to hire individuals with the family unification permit because, since it only lasts a year, their residency status is seen as unstable. Mansour summed it up:

People fall in love and they live together and they get married and they don’t think of the consequences. But eventually what happens is either you leave the country and live abroad, which is a decision that a lot of people don’t want to take because this is their homeland. On the other side, you have people who suffer every day from the consequences of not being able to unify their family.”

Adalah has been working with families on a potential upcoming petition against the legislation. In characterizing the bill, Mansour equated it to doctrines used by the German Nazi and Italian fascist regimes during World War II, in which governments would discriminate against people because of their nationalities. “It’s a law that attacks the very existence of Palestinians for being Palestinians,” he said.

Israel Ready to Receive Thousands of Jews from Ukraine

February 25, 2022

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid with Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparov. (Photo: via Lapid Twitter Page)

Israel announced on Thursday that it is ready to receive thousands of Jews wishing to flee Ukraine following the Russian military operation there, Anadolu news agency reported.

“We are ready to accept thousands of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine,” Minister of Immigration and Absorption, Pnina Tamano-Shata, was quoted as saying by Israel’s Kan news agency.

“Our door will be open to anyone who wants to come. We will find solutions that go beyond what we are prepared for,” she added.

“Israel is prepared to deliver immediate humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.”

Earlier yesterday, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid condemned Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, describing it as a “serious violation of world order”.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

West Asian governments react to Ukraine conflict

While most West Asian officials urged restraint between Kiev and Moscow, Israel and Turkey openly denounced Russia’s military incursion

February 24, 2022

ByNews Desk

In response to the latest outbreak of fighting between Russia and Ukraine, a number of West Asian government officials chimed in with differing views on the crisis.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in a 24 February Tweet that “The Ukraine crisis is rooted in NATO’s provocations,” adding that the solution lay in an “imperative to establish ceasefire & to fin a political and democratic resolution.”

Syria supported and backed the independence of the republics of Lugansk and Donetsk. Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said on 21 February that Damascus “supports President Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize the republics of Luhansk and Donetsk and will cooperate with them.”

On that same day, a high-ranking official and spokesman of the Ansarallah-led government of Yemen similarly declared his nation’s support of the newly-independent republics. In a 21 February tweet, Muhammad Ali al-Houthi said that “We support the recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent republics,” adding that “we call for restraint and not to slip into a war intended to drain Russian capabilities.”

Meanwhile, Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani called upon both parties to “exercise restraint” on 24 February, following a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The statement from the Qatari Emir’s office added that “Sheikh Tamim also called the protection of civilians and the prioritization of the humanitarian situation.”

The Emir’s statement comes two days after Doha received a letter by Russian President Vladimir Putin, emphasizing the need to strengthen bilateral ties.

Turkey, a NATO ally, sided with Ukraine over Russia, denouncing Moscow’s launch of a defensive military operation in the region of Donbass.

In a televised address, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara “reject[s] Russia’s military operation,” as a “heavy blow to regional peace and stability.”

Also denouncing Russia and siding with NATO, Israel made its first stance on the conflict public on 24 February, when Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that “the Russian attack on Ukraine is a violation of the world order and Israel condemns it.”

In a televised address on 24 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special operation” in Donbass.

His decision came just three days after recognizing the independence of the newly-formed republics of Luhansk and Donestk on 21 February, two provinces formerly part of Ukraine that lie on the border with Russia.

Part of the larger Donbass area, the new republics formed part of a territory whose population is overwhelmingly supportive of Russia, and whose support has rendered them the subject of shelling attacks from the Ukrainian Army since 2014.

Residents of the Donbass region have been facing attacks by Ukraine following a US-backed coup that deposed the former government and installed a NATO-friendly regime.

The Next Step in Palestine’s Anti-Apartheid Struggle is the Most Difficult

February 23, 2022

Israel’s Apartheid Wall. (Photo: Dickelbers, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Ramzy Baroud

When Nelson Mandela was freed from his Robben Island prison on February 11, 1991, my family, friends and neighbors followed the event with keen interest as they gathered in the living room of my old home in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. 

This emotional event took place years before Mandela uttered his famous quote “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.  For us Palestinians, Mandela did not need to reaffirm the South African people’s solidarity with Palestine by using these words or any other combination of words. We already knew. Emotions ran high on that day; tears were shed; supplications were made to Allah that Palestine, too, would be free soon. “Inshallah,” God willing, everyone in the room murmured with unprecedented optimism. 

Though three decades have passed without that coveted freedom, something is finally changing as far as the Palestine liberation movement is concerned. A whole generation of Palestinian activists, who either grew up or were even born after Mandela’s release, was influenced by that significant moment: Mandela’s release and the start of the official dismantling of the racist, apartheid regime of South Africa. 

Even the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 between Israel and some in the Palestinian leadership of the PLO – which served as a major disruption of the grassroots, people-oriented liberation movement in Palestine – did not completely end what eventually became a decided anti-Israeli apartheid struggle in Palestine. Oslo, the so-called ‘peace process’ – and the disastrous ‘security coordination’ between the Palestinian leadership, exemplified in the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Israel – resulted in derailed Palestinian energies, wasted time, deepened existing factional divides, and confused Palestinian supporters everywhere. However, it did not – though it tried – occupy every political space available for Palestinian expression and mobilization. 

With time and, in fact, soon after its formation in 1994, Palestinians began realizing that the PA was not a platform for liberation, but a hindrance to it. A new generation of Palestinians is now attempting to articulate, or refashion, a new discourse for liberation that is based on inclusiveness, grassroots, community-based activism that is backed by a growing global solidarity movement. 

The May events of last year – the mass protests throughout occupied Palestine and the subsequent Israeli war on Gaza – highlighted the role of Palestine’s youth who, through elaborate coordination, incessant campaigning and utilizing of social media platforms, managed to present the Palestinian struggle in a new light – bereft of the archaic language of the PA and its aging leaders. It also surpassed, in its collective thinking, the stifling and self-defeating emphasis on factions and self-serving ideologies. 

And the world responded in kind. Despite a powerful Israeli propaganda machine, expensive hasbara campaigns and near-total support for Israel by the western government and mainstream media alike, sympathy for Palestinians has reached an all-time high. For example, a major public opinion poll published by Gallup on May 28, 2021, revealed that “… the percentages of Americans viewing (Palestine) favorably and saying they sympathize more with the Palestinians than the Israelis in the conflict inched up to all-time highs this year.”

Moreover, major international human rights organizations, including Israelis, began to finally recognize what their Palestinian colleagues have argued for decades: 

“The Israeli regime implements laws, practices and state violence designed to cement the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians,” said B’tselem in January 2021.

“Laws, policies and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power and land has long guided government policy,” said Human Rights Watch in April 2021.

“This system of apartheid has been built and maintained over decades by successive Israeli governments across all territories they have controlled, regardless of the political party in power at the time,” said Amnesty International on February 1, 2022.

Now that the human rights and legal foundation of recognizing Israeli apartheid is finally falling into place, it is a matter of time before a critical mass of popular support for Palestine’s own anti-apartheid movement follows, pushing politicians everywhere, but especially in the West, to pressure Israel into ending its system of racial discrimination. 

However, this is where the South Africa and Palestine models begin to differ. Though western colonialism has plagued South Africa as early as the 17th century, apartheid in that country only became official in 1948, the very year that Israel was established on the ruins of historic Palestine. 

While South African resistance to colonialism and apartheid has gone through numerous and overwhelming challenges, there was an element of unity that made it nearly impossible for the apartheid regime to conquer all political forces in that country, even after the banning, in 1960, of the African National Congress (ANC) and the subsequent imprisonment of Mandela in 1962. While South Africans continued to rally behind the ANC, another front of popular resistance, the United Democratic Front, emerged, in the early 1980s to fulfill several important roles, amongst them the building of international solidarity around the country’s anti-apartheid struggle. 

The blood of 176 protesters at the Soweto township and thousands more was the fuel that made freedom, the dismantling of apartheid and the freedom of Mandela and his comrades possible. 

For Palestinians, however, the reality is quite different. While Palestinians are embarking on a new stage of their anti-apartheid struggle, it must be said that the PA, which has openly collaborated with Israel, cannot possibly be a vehicle for liberation. Palestinians, especially the youth, who have not been corrupted by the decades-long system of nepotism and favoritism enshrined by the PA, must know this well. 

Rationally, Palestinians cannot stage a sustained anti-apartheid campaign when the PA is allowed to serve the role of being Palestine’s representative, while still benefiting from the perks and financial rewards associated with the Israeli occupation. 

Meanwhile, it is also not possible for Palestinians to mount a popular movement in complete independence from the PA, Palestine’s largest employer, whose US-trained security forces keep watch on every street corner that falls within the PA-administered areas in the West Bank. 

As they move forward, Palestinians must truly study the South African experience, not merely in terms of historical parallels and symbolism, but to deeply probe its successes, shortcomings and fault lines. Most importantly, Palestinians must also reflect on the unavoidable truth – that those who have normalized and profited from the Israeli occupation and apartheid cannot possibly be the ones who will bring freedom and justice to Palestine.

– 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

%d bloggers like this: