Hollywood Star Mark Ruffalo Calls out Israel’s Apartheid (VIDEO)

October 9, 2020

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Hollywood A-lister Mark Ruffalo has a long history of speaking out for Palestinian rights. (Photo: via Facebook)

Hollywood A-lister Mark Ruffalo called out Israeli apartheid during an interview on the Mehdi Hasan Show aired yesterday.

Speaking to the British journalist, Ruffalo said: “My connection to Palestine came through Palestinians and hearing their stories and then watching this asymmetrical warfare being enacted upon them.”

“That kind of inequality, that kind of oppression, that kind of apartheid.”

The Avengers star has a long history of speaking out for Palestinian rights, during Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza, Ruffalo slammed the Israeli army for blowing up Al-Wafa Hospital killing dozens of patients.

“There is no reason why an ally of America shouldn’t be held to the standards of any other country in the world, especially an ally. And what I see there is wrong,” he added.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Forces Demolish Palestinian Bedouin Village for 177th Time (VIDEO)

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August 27, 2020

Israeli forces habitually destroy al-Araqeeb village. (Photo: via Twitter)

The Israeli authorities today demolished the Palestinian Bedouin village of al-Araqeeb, in the Naqab desert, for the 177th time since 2000 and for the sixth time this year, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Israeli police broke into the village and tore down the tents and tin structures, leaving the villagers, including children, homeless.

The village was last leveled on March 5, 2020, and every time the residents rebuild their tents and small houses, Israeli police return to raze them.

The village shelters, inhabited by Palestinian families, were built out of wood, plastic, and corrugated iron.

Located in the Naqab desert, the village is one of 51 “unrecognized” Arab villages in the area and is constantly targeted for demolition ahead of plans to Judaize the Naqab by building homes for new Jewish communities.

Israeli bulldozers, which Bedouins are charged for, have demolished everything, from the trees to the water tanks, but Bedouin residents have tried to rebuild it every time.

Bedouins in the Naqab, who are Israeli citizens, abide by the same laws as Jewish Israeli citizens. They pay taxes but do not enjoy the same rights and services as Jews in Israel and the state has repeatedly refused to connect their towns to the national water and electricity networks in an effort to end their presence in that area of the country.

“Al-Araqeeb is only symbolic of that historic fight,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud, wrote in a recent article.

“It would be no exaggeration to state that there is a war waged by Israel against Palestinian Bedouins. The aim is to destroy their culture and to force them into townships similar to those of Apartheid South Africa,” Baroud added.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

BDS Victory, Manchester university divest from Caterpillar

By Elfalasteen -August 5, 2020

MANCHESTER, PALESTINOW.COM — Students across the UK have called on universities to end their complicity in Israeli apartheid. ‘Apartheid off Campus’ actions were held at over 30 universities this week.

Stop Arming Colonialism

The protests are part of the annual Israeli Apartheid Week, an international series of events that “seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid regime over the Palestinian people and build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”

Israel is currently militarily occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem, maintaining a siege of the Gaza Strip and denying equal rights to its Palestinian citizens.

Israeli Apartheid Week is now in its 15th year. The theme of the event this year is #StopArmingColonialism.

Students call for divestment from Caterpillar

In the UK, students at Manchester University called for an end to university investments in Caterpillar:The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel) society marched through the University of Manchester campus to demand that the University divests its shares, worth £482,381.26, from Caterpillar, and in solidarity to the Palestinians protesting every day during the Great March of Return, of which over 200 have been killed by the Israeli military.

The protest is part of a three-year campaign against the university’s investments in Caterpillar. In February, students occupied a meeting of the Board of Governors, demanding that the university divest.

Caterpillar bulldozers used in revenge attacks on Palestinian families

Caterpillar, a US multinational, provides D9 military bulldozers to the Israeli army through the US’ Foreign Military Sales programme. According to a recent book by research group Corporate Occupation, Caterpillar bulldozers were used in demolitions of at least 41 Palestinian properties by Israeli authorities during 2018. Seven of these demolitions were acts of collective punishment against the families of Palestinians accused of involvement in resistance attacks on Israeli soldiers or colonists. The Israeli policy of punitive home demolitions is widely accepted to be in breach of international law.

Caterpillar D9 bulldozers were used in January 2018 to demolish houses near Jenin in the West Bank. The demolition was carried out as a revenge attack against the family of Ahmad Jarrar. Jarrar was suspected of fatally shooting an Israeli colonist. According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the soldiers, accompanied by Caterpillar D9 bulldozers, began the demolition while people were still inside one of the houses. One Palestinian man was killed during the incident.

“Our kids were so frightened they were in tears”

In a testimony given on 24 January 2018, Nassim Jarrar said:


Shortly after 3am we heard cars and a bulldozer approaching our house. The bulldozer started demolishing the western side of the house. My husband, children and I started screaming because we were scared the house would collapse on top of us. We felt the ground shake and heard parts of the house come crashing down. We went into the kitchen and stood there, confused and scared. Our kids were so frightened they were in tears. The sounds of the demolition grew louder.

Caterpillar D9 Bulldozers are also regularly used in invasions of the Gaza strip, razing Palestinian farmland in the area close to the apartheid barrier between Gaza and Israel, levelling the land to give Israeli snipers a clear shot at Palestinian Great March of Return protesters.

Bulldozer used in yet another murder

On 19 March, the Israeli military shot dead two young Palestinian men. Raed Hamdan, 21, and Zayed Nuri, 20, were driving in their car when soldiers opened fire on them. A military bulldozer was then used to drag and crush the car. The bulldozer appears to be manufactured by Caterpillar. Palestinian people tweeted that the men were still inside the car when it was bulldozed:


About last night in #Nablus and the killing of the two friends, Raed and Zayed.
“Then an Israeli bulldozer drove over the car several times, and the screaming of the guys inside the car was heard, until they were no longer screaming”. pic.twitter.com/TWM8KKB0hG

— Fidaa فِداء (@fidaazaanin) March 20, 2019

The Canary contacted Caterpillar for comment but had not received a reply at the time of publication.

The Apartheid Week protest comes as campaigns against Israel’s home demolition policies are gathering momentum. The #StopTheDemolitions campaign aims to persuade construction equipment manufacturers to stop supplying the Israeli authorities. The Israeli state used military and civilian bulldozers to demolish 461 Palestinian structures in the West Bank last year.

Caterpillar isn’t the only company being targeted. Activists have also taken direct against bulldozer company JCB twice within a year, blockading its factories and preventing goods from arriving and leaving.

On 21 March, four #StopTheDemolitions activists appeared in court in Newcastle-under-Lyme to plead not guilty. They were charged with blockading the JCB Global Logistics Headquarters earlier this month. UK company JCB also manufactures bulldozers which the Israeli authorities use to demolish Palestinian homes. The defendants plan to argue that their actions were justified because of JCB’s complicity in Israel’s home demolitions.

As activists face prosecution, Israel continues to act with impunity, while the bulldozer companies continue to rake in the profits.

‘The Deal of Shame’: Thousands in Gaza Protest against Annexation, Urge Boycott of Israel (PHOTOS)

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Thousands of Palestinians rally in the besieged Gaza Strip in protest of Israel’s annexation plan. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Thousands of Palestinians on Wednesday rallied in the besieged Gaza Strip in protest of an Israeli government’s plan to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank. 

The protesters were led by representatives of all Palestinian political groups and civil society organizations. The crowds, which descended from across the Strip, carried Palestinian flags and placards condemning US bias towards Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempt to confiscate more Palestinian land.

Annexing approximately a third of the occupied West Bank means that Israel would officially consider the newly-annexed Palestinian land as part of the Israeli state, similar to Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in 1980 and ‘81 respectively.

Annexation also means that some 4.5% of the Palestinian population of the West Bank will be living in isolated enclaves within the annexed territories.

“The annexation is a threat to the Palestinians and violates international legitimacy resolutions,” Saadi Abed of the Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA) said, addressing the rally in Gaza, TRT News reported. 

“The land grip will give away for a new Palestinian intifada,” he said, going on to call on the Palestinians to close ranks and “end the rift to face occupation plans.”

Netanyahu’s government coalition had set July 1 as the date to begin the implementation of the annexation plan, as part of the US President Donald Trump’s Administration’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century’.

Similar mobilization was reported in the West Bank as well, and many protests have already been scheduled for the coming days. 

Protesters in Gaza held signs in English and Arabic that read in part, “The annexation is contrary to the UN charter and a fundamentally illegal act,” “Palestinian Lives Matter,” “Our People Are United against Annexation,” “No Apartheid No Annexation,” “Down with the Deal of the Century,” “The Deal of Shame,” and “BDS: Boycott Israel.” 

Aside from the political factions that participated in the Gaza rally, women groups, student groups, and many civil society organizations were also present, including representatives from the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

(All Photos: Fawzi Mahmoud)

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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“Greater Israel” in the Making: Netanyahu Regime’s Illegal Annexation Scheme Nears Implementation

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, June 24, 2020

Trump’s unlawful Deal of the Century scheme green-lighted Israeli annexation of illegally established settlements on stolen Palestinian land and the Jordan Valley.

Netanyahu earlier vowed to press ahead with annexation. 

Reportedly on or around July 1, he’ll initially announce the annexation of what the Times of Israel called “three West Bank (settlement) blocs,” not the Jordan Valley for now, adding:

“Well-placed sources told The Times of Israel last week that the joint mapping committee tasked with delineating the contours of the annexation move still had weeks if not months of work, and the IDF has not been told precisely what Netanyahu has in mind.”

For starters, Ma’ale Adumim, Ariel and Gush Etzion, three large settlements, will be annexed in the coming days, ruling coalition partner Benny Gantz reportedly going along with what’s clearly a flagrant breach of international law.

According to the broadsheet, there’s “relative consensus, domestically and in Washington,” to making the move.

Or is there? The Times of Israel added the following:

“The US initially said it would recognize annexation immediately, but subsequently appears to have at the very least tempered its enthusiasm for the controversial move before the joint mapping committee can complete its work.”

“The (Trump regime) is highly unlikely to approve an Israeli move to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank by the July 1 date envisioned by Netanyahu,” according to an unnamed “well-placed source.”

Annexation of historic Palestinian land in whole or in part will formally end the two-state illusion — what long ago was possible, clearly not now.

Trump regime hardliners are on board with the most extremist of Netanyahu regime policies — time and again blaming victims of US/NATO/Israeli high crimes for what’s committed against them.

At most, Trump and Pompeo et al may only press Netanyahu to slow, not abandon, illegal annexation of Palestinian land.

It’s highly unlikely that Biden will soften US policy toward long-suffering Palestinians if he succeeds Trump in January.

Throughout his time as US senator and vice president, he one-sidedly supported Israel, including three preemptive wars on Gaza based on Big Lies.

On June 16 at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and four Palestinian human rights groups discussed the illegality of Israel’s annexation scheme.

They warned that it’ll “normalize Israel’s colonial project and amounts to apartheid via the continued expansion and construction of illegal settlements, displacement and dispossession of Palestinians, and demographic manipulation,” adding:

“The Israeli plan would further entrench racial, ethnic, and religious segregation as a legal norm, and Israel will formally establish itself as the sole sovereign regime over the Palestinian people in historic Palestine.”

On the same day, 47 UN special rapporteurs denounced the annexation scheme as “a vision of 21st century apartheid.”

A presentation by Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies’ international advocacy officer Nada Awad to the UNHRC on behalf of Adalah and the four Palestinian human rights groups said the following:

“Last month, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Israel swore in a new government seemingly committed to formally annexing parts of the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) in the West Bank in July, in a blatant violation of international law.”

“This annexation, part of the so-called Trump-Netanyahu ‘Deal of the Century’ and the Netanyahu-Gantz coalition agreement, normalizes Israel’s colonial project and amounts to apartheid via the continued expansion and construction of illegal settlements, displacement and dispossession of Palestinians, and demographic manipulation.”

“The principles of this plan are enshrined in Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Basic Law enacted in July 2018.”

“This law established a constitutional order based on systematic ethnic supremacy, domination, and segregation in the so-called ‘Land of Israel’ and the denial of the realization of national self-determination for the Palestinian people.”

“Article 7 of this law provides that Jewish settlement is a national value to be encouraged and strengthened, giving the state authorities further constitutional legal tools to justify the illegal settlement enterprise in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories.”

“This law intends to justify as constitutional segregation in land and housing that targets all Palestinians in historic Palestine, including Palestinians citizens of Israel, who have suffered decades of systematic oppression.”

“Annexation would further entrench racial, ethnic, and religious segregation as a legal norm.”

“In this context, Israel will formally establish itself as the sole sovereign regime over the Palestinian people in historic Palestine.”

“We call on the UN and the international community to call for the dismantling of all settlements, to vehemently oppose any annexation, and to guarantee the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right of return to their homes and property.”

Separately, Adalah called Netanyahu’s annexation scheme a flagrant breach of the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, and other international law, including binding Security Council resolutions.

Israeli occupation, settlements, land confiscations, resource theft, and related abusive practices are “profound” high crimes against peace and the fundamental rights of all Palestinians.

If annexation proceeds as planned, the West Bank will resemble Gaza, a second open-air prison for a bludgeoned into submission people.

It’ll resemble Dante’s hell, its gate bearing the inscription: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

A Final Comment

On Monday, thousands of Palestinians rallied in Jericho against Netanyahu’s annexation scheme.

Dozens of foreign diplomats joined them, including Nickolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator for Middle East peace — a position accomplishing nothing because of the US/Israeli regional imperial project.

As long as Washington supports Israeli aims, views of other nations never made a difference because a price to pay by the world community on its ruling authorities for the worst of their high crimes was never imposed.

The so-called peace process was and remains a colossal hoax, a notion the US, NATO and Israel reject.

Yet the illusion of what never was and isn’t now persists, establishment media, Western officials, and UN secretary general fostering it.

Palestinians were abandoned over a century ago by the infamous Balfour Declaration, the beginning of the end of historic Palestine.

Generations of political, military and cultural repression of its people followed, including dispossession from their land, other property, their fundamental rights, and in countless thousands of cases their lives.

Establishment of a nation for Jews on stolen Palestinian land was and remains a scheme to advance Western interests in the oil-rich region.

It led to over 100 years of endless conflict, occupation, dispossession, and repression, along with social and cultural fragmentation,

Historic Palestine and rights of its people were and continue to be abandoned in deference to Western/Israel regional control.

Palestinians are largely on their own, resistance their only option, staying the course no matter the long odds against them.

The world community never offered more than lip service help — the plight of ordinary people everywhere, exploited to benefit privileged interests.

It’s much the same in the West as in the Middle East and Occupied Palestine.

Ordinary people are largely on their own to press for positive change they’ll never get any other way.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from Another Day in the EmpireThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2020

West Bank annexation plan is a 21st century apartheid with Trump’s approval: Amal Wahdan

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Amal Wahdan

June 23, 2020 – 10:45

TEHRAN – Amal Wahdan, a Palestinian activist who has been campaigning for the liberation of Palestine, tells the Tehran Times that the plan by Israel to annex the West Bank is a “new apartheid” that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “would not dare” to implement without the “approval of Donald Trump and his circle”.

Wahdan, who was founder and editor of the Arab Gazette, says the annexation plan is in line with Britain’s colonial design in West Asia.

“The West Bank annexation plan fits in perfectly within the larger strategy of “Greater Israel’ to ensure the regional superiority of the Zionist entity through Balkanization of the Arab countries into smaller and weaker entities,” Wahdan notes.

She calls Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump two “troubled leaders” who need each other’s help in these “difficult times”.

“Both troubled and defeated leaders, Netanyahu and Trump need each other’s help in their difficult times in order to remain in office. The former is facing corruption charges that might end his political career if he is indicted and the latter is under constant attack from his adversaries and facing impeachment,” explains Wahdan, a permanent member of the Palestinian Coalition for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Following is the full text of the interview.

Question:  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing a number of criminal indictments, has repeatedly said that he would commence cabinet-level discussions for annexing more areas in the occupied West Bank on July 1 in accordance with U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” plan. What is your take on it?

Answer: The Zionist colonial settler entity in occupied Palestine intends to further its ethnic cleansing plans against the Palestinian people by moving on with Netanyahu’s West Bank annexation scheme, a promise he made to his ultra-right election constituency and allies.

The proposed plan seeks to annex 30% of the West bank, including the Jordan Valley stretching 85km to the North along Jordan River and larger illegal settlements in the de facto occupied Palestine. This move poses an imminent threat to the livelihood of 60,000 Palestinians who live in the Jordan Valley and depend mostly on agriculture (compared to 6000 Jewish settlers( and to hundreds of thousands who live in rural areas surrounding the larger settlements.


“For over 72 years, Zionists practiced apartheid policies against Palestinian people which is much worse than those practiced in South Africa and like those of Nazi Germany.”Netanyahu would not dare to go ahead with his plan of annexation without the approval of the U.S. President, Donald Trump, and his circle. Actually, both troubled and defeated leaders, Netanyahu and Trump need each other’s help in their difficult times in order to remain in office. The former is facing corruption charges that might end his political career if he is indicted and the latter is under constant attack from his adversaries.
In return, Trump will guarantee the support of AIPAC and the American Jewish votes. In addition, we have to bear in mind that Trump’s “deal of the century” granted the Zionist colonial entity what they have been dreaming for over the past decades; recognizing “Israel” as a Jewish state and Jerusalem as its eternal capital, supporting the illegal settlements in the West Bank in opposition to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, annexation of the Golan Heights, and the occupied West Bank. With this gift, Trump granted the Zionist entity what he doesn’t own to those who don’t deserve it. Just like what Belfour did with his declaration over a century ago; he granted a Jewish Homeland in Palestine, a land that he didn’t own, to the Zionist movement.

Q: Could we consider this plan in line with the Zionist colonial project of “Greater Israel”?

A: The ideology of the Zionist Movement and Project has developed over the decades as an organic part of the European colonial powers. It came into formal existence at the end of the 19th century with one main theme: the creation of a Jewish Homeland. In the process to materialize this dream, several options were put in place before they spotted Historic Palestine as the most suitable choice, mainly for geopolitical reasons but covered by the religious myth for political tactics. 

Most Zionist leaders from Herzel, the founder of the Zionist Movement, to Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Ariel Sharon up-to-date Netanyahu have used the religious mythology in their political platforms, speeches, and with world leaders even though none of them was actually religious.

It was Herzl who carved the area of the future Jewish state by saying: “From the Brooks of Egypt to the Euphrates.” Ben-Gurion had wanted Israel’s northern border to extend to the River Litani. While the World Zionist Organization declared a century ago that the Jewish state shall extend to cover all of historic Palestine, Litani Rive, Golan Heights, Hauran Plain, Deraa, to control the Railroad from Deraa to Amman in addition to the Gulf of Aqaba.

Thus, within the framework of the Zionist project, Palestine, which has been inhabited for thousands of years becomes the ‘promised land’ to God’s ‘chosen people’, and empty land for another people (from all over the world) who have no land! The replacement of the people of Palestine with colonial invading settlers became the implementation of a divine promise.     

Q: Do you think the U.S. “New Middle East” doctrine was to create chaos and divide the Arab homeland into sectarian entity?

A: The West Bank annexation plan fits perfectly within the larger strategy of “Greater Israel’ to ensure the regional superiority of the Zionist entity through Balkanization of the Arab countries into smaller and weaker entities. This was in fact an extension of Britain’s colonial design in West Asia when the victors of WWI, Britain- France signed the Sykes-Picot agreement. This was the first phase of the geographical division of the Arab Homeland and the creation of the satellite entities of the British colonial empire; Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf states, carving Jordan, Lebanon, and historic Palestine from the Levant.

The Oded Yinon plan went further beyond the geographic division to the sectarian divide of the Arab Homeland between Muslims and Christians, Sunnis and Shiites. This vision had kicked off in 1982 with the Israeli occupation and invasion of Lebanon and the creation of the Antone Lahed Army south of the Litani River. This war led to the expulsion of the PLO leadership and the scattering of the Palestinian fighters as far as Yemen, Tunisia, and Algeria. The second major blow was the U.S. incitement of Saddam Hussein of Iraq to wage an eight-year war against the Islamic Republic of Iran and its new revolution, which had immense ramifications on both countries. The third was the eruption of what the U.S. and its allies called the “Arab Spring.” This was manifested in a wave of mass demonstrations that swamped the Arab region from Tunisia in December of 2010 to Egypt, Libya and to the torn country of Iraq since the invasion of 2003, to the division of Sudan in 2013, the instigated terror war in Somalia, and the “Arab Coalition” war on Yemen in 2015, led by Saudi Arabia with the support of the U.S. and the Zionist entity. 

Despite of the pan-Arab Nakba (catastrophe), millions of casualties among civilians, exodus, destruction of infrastructures, economic sanctions, and devastation, and loss of billions of dollars of national wealth, the Yinon plan of Balkanization of the Arab Homeland failed miserably to achieve its goals as well as the U.S. “New Middle East” doctrineOn the contrary, it drove regional and Arab resistance movements and countries closer in confrontation with U.S. hegemony and Zionists’ expansionist project from Yemen in the South, to Syria, Lebanon, occupied Palestine, Iraq, and Iran as a regional power.

The Balkanization of West Asia is an integral part of U.S. foreign policy. A policy which the U.S. administration under Bill Clinton successfully implemented in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc and managed to dismantle the Eastern bloc but into failed fragmented entities.

Q: The U.S.-Zionist strategy to annex the West Bank would have serious ramifications on the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Egypt. What are the options left for the Palestinian people and leadership?

A: The U.S.-backed West Bank annexation plan has put an end to the Oslo agreement that was signed between the PLO leadership and the Zionist colonial settler entity in September of 1993 and the two-state solution. This agreement was in “Israel’s” favor from A to Z. Although, it entailed mutual recognition and the creation of the Palestinian state at the 1967 war borders which included the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem as its capital, several important issues like the right of return, borders, settlements, water, sea and airports will be decided at the end of the five year period. None of these articles were implemented. Furthermore, after 25 years of Oslo, the Palestinians are still living in a huge open prison as the Gaza Strip is under siege for 13 years, hundreds of thousands of dunums of Palestinian land are confiscated, dozens of Zionists colonies are erected, over 800 km of the illegal wall surrounding and cutting in between the Palestinian cities, towns and rural areas, water springs, power grids, land, sea, and airports all are under the control of the Zionist colonial entity.

The PLO executive committee and President Mahmoud Abbas have declared their decision to abandon the Oslo agreements, to suspend their diplomatic and security relations with the Americans and the Zionist leaders in rejection to the West Bank annexation plan. But this is not enough to confront the new wave of ethnic cleansing.

The Palestinian leadership needs to free its mind from any illusions that Americans and Zionists want peace and recognize reality that we are in the process of national liberation not state-building. For over 72 years, Zionists practiced apartheid policies against Palestinian people which is much worse than those practiced in South Africa and like those of Nazi Germany. Even the UN human rights experts announced their condemnation of the Zionists’ annexation plan of parts of the occupied West Bank, as a “vision of a 21st century apartheid”.

The new geopolitical order provides a positive environment to a genuine solution in front of the PLO and the Palestinian people; to restore the National Charter of 1968 and resolutions of the National Councils up to 1974 on the vision of comprehensive unity of an undivided, historic Palestine in terms of both land and people, to maintain a tight link between the objectives of the Palestinian National Movement and the Arab, regional and international resistance movements, to emphasize the leading role of the organization in liberating Palestine from settler colonization along with all national forces as a framework for their alliance during the liberation stage.

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Empires and their puppets including Israel will eventually fall: “Free Gaza Movement” co-founder Greta Berlin

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June 8, 2020 – 12:45
Berlin likens the situation in the occupied Palestinian lands to South Africa under the apartheid regime which will finally be a country for all citizens including Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
 “This kind of situation, like its predecessor in South Africa, will eventually fall apart, and the country will end up being a country for all citizens, Jews/Christians/Muslims,” Berlin, an author and activist, tells the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview:  
This is the text of the interview:
1: Madame Greta Berlin, please tell us what Israel has achieved after 72 years since its establishment. Has it succeeded to win legitimacy?
 A: Israel has achieved what all white/colonial/racist entities have achieved; subjugating, terrorizing, marginalizing, and stealing from the indigenous population to make an illicit country. It’s no different than the U.S. or Canada or South Africa or Australia. 
Israel has the biggest gorilla in the room on its side and that’s the U.S.It’s gotten its legitimacy from the very countries who have done the same thing to a population that was already there and perceived as, somehow, being “less human” than the invaders. After 72 years, it’s only legitimate claim to the land of Palestine has been through force, and all empires and their puppets eventually fall. Israel will as well.  
2: How do you analyze the situation inside Israel?
 A: There are three strata inside Israel; Ashkenazi Jews, the white Jews from Europe/Russia, and the U.S. who control power, politics, and money. The second tier is the Sephardic or Arab Jews who were often forced to immigrate to Israel immediately after Israel was founded on the backs of the Palestinians. Once the European Jews drove out 750,000 Palestinians, they needed workers to come and settle in the land they stole. What better place to find them than the Arab Jews of the Middle East and North Africa? If they didn’t want to come peacefully, Mossad made sure they changed their minds. 
After arriving in Israel, they even made up a name for themselves… Mizrahi… so they didn’t have to be called Arab Jews. They are becoming the largest segment of the population, but they have little power. You’ll often see them as members of the IOF, subjugating the third tier in Israel; the Palestinians, who have no power whether they are Israeli citizens or living in the Bantustans of the occupied West Bank and Gaza. 
Americans are beginning to wake up to the terrorism of the Israeli occupation This kind of situation, like its predecessor in South Africa, will eventually fall apart, and the country will end up being a country for all citizens, Jews/Christians/Muslims. 
 3: Israel plans to annex parts of the West Bank, and Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz are unanimous in this move. Netanyahu has confidently said that annexation will take place within “a few months,” or before the American presidential election in November. What has made Israel behave so unashamedly and intransigently? Don’t you think that an impotent international community or inaction by international bodies have made Tel Aviv so emboldened?
 A: Israel has the biggest gorilla in the room on its side and that’s the U.S. It makes no difference who is President in the U.S., Israel controls Congress, and most politicians will bow to its demands. However, watching what is happening in the U.S., everything is going to change over the next few years, as China emerges triumphant and the U.S. becomes another failed empire like Britain and France. 
Personally, I’m all for a one-state solution and have been for decades. And the sooner, the better for everyone living there. Palestinians already outnumber Jews, and those demographics are only going to improve for Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim.  
 4: You are internationally famous for advocating “justice” for Palestinians since early 1960. What prompted you to highlight the sufferings of the Palestinians?
 A: While in graduate school in 1963, I met and married a Palestinian and had two Palestinian/American children who couldn’t return to Safad, the city where their father was raised, while a Jew from New York City could immigrate there with no other credentials except religion. 
That sense of injustice has challenged me since then. The most outspoken advocate for the rights of marginalized people like Palestinians are often the people who learned the truth after being lied to as children. Like many Americans, I grew up thinking Israel was the victim and Jews had the right to settle in the Holy Land. When I met my husband, and he began telling me the truth of the violent takeover of his land by European terrorist Jews, I became an advocate for justice in Palestine for life.  
 5: You were a co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement and among those brave persons who broke the Gaza siege. Can you please explain your experiences and reactions?
 A: This is such a long story, encompassing two years of planning, buying the boats, sailing to Gaza and so much pain, laughter and delight at finally getting there. It’s a book and a movie and a webinar already. The best way of describing our journey to Gaza is to provide people with these three links.
 6: The U.S. has been blindly defending the illegal behavior of Israel toward Palestinians over the past seven decades. How can such support be justified by a country which proclaims leadership of the free world and defender of democracy and human rights?
 A: The U.S. has never been a defender of democracy and human rights. The country was founded on the genocide of the native population and got rich on the back of slavery. It has had, however, one of the most brilliant PR campaigns of any country in the world. Israel tries to emulate it with many of the same catchphrases such as, “the only democracy in the Middle East.” That’s as big a lie as the U.S. saying it stands for human rights.
However, there is a difference between government propaganda and the citizens of the U.S. Americans, once they wake up, are among the most outstanding advocates for justice for people seeking equal rights, and have put their lives on the line, from the martyrs of the civil rights movement, https://www.splcenter.org/what-we-do/civil-rights-memorial/civil-rights-martyrs
to Rachel Corrie in Palestine. They are the one bright and hopeful beacons of light in the U.S., especially this younger generation. I have great hopes they will become like many of us out of the 1960s, advocates for a better world. 
 7: How is it possible that successive Congresses and to a lesser extent administrations remain so biased in favor of Israel? Does it show that the American people who vote for their representatives are indifferent or ignorant toward the situation of the Palestinians?
A: Bribery, Blackmail, and Benjamins. 
It is true, however, that Americans are beginning to wake up to the terrorism of the Israeli occupation. But to be honest, Americans can barely make it from one paycheck to the next and are overwhelmed with problems in their own back yards. 
And the country is huge, with 331 million people, only 20% who even own a passport. Very few of us travel outside the Northern Hemisphere. America and much of its population are isolated and not very well-educated about other countries.  
 8: And, why anybody who opposes the stealing of the Palestinian lands or criticizes suppression of Palestinians is easily being accused of ant-Semite?
 A: It’s become a badge of honor to be called anti-Semitic. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Stephen Hawking, Roger Waters have all been called anti-Semites. I’m proud to be in their company.

Do Black Lives Really Matter in “Israel”?

Do Black Lives Really Matter in “Israel”?

By Batoul Ghaddaf

“Black Lives Matter” chanted the protestors in “Tel Aviv” a few days ago as they stood in solidarity with the Black community in America. The protestors seemed to be condemning the actions of the American police that has murdered a Black American while pinning him to the ground with one officer’s knee on the victim’s neck until he could no longer breathe. The protestors held banners that read “I can’t breathe” as they were George Floyd’s, the victim, final words.

But the question here comes to mind, do Black lives really matter in “Israel”?

A small investigation can reveal that this protest is yet another attempt for “Israel” to whitewash its endless crimes in front of the international society. In fact, the occupation has a history of systematic discrimination against Black Jewish migrants, treating them as second-class citizens, and even questioning their Judaism.

The occupation promoted itself as welcoming any Jewish person to the so-called “promised land” only to later appear that it actually meant white Jews as Jewish communities of color struggled their way in their very own so-called savior entity. Upon their arrival, Black Jews had their faith questioned by religious authorities, were deprived of health care as opposed to white Jews and even their blood donations were destroyed in fear of them carrying HIV, a stereotype for Africans. To this day, African Jews lag in almost every socioeconomic category. Ethiopian Jews living on the stolen land record the highest poverty rate in all of the Occupation. 

In addition to this, “Israel” has plans of voluntary deportation of African Jews to a third country. These plans ignited a series of protests in their so-called capital as the African community there sought the International community to pressure the government to neglect such plans. The results were to let the plans go for now, yet voluntary deportation still stands, and more than 66% of the “Israelis” are in support of it.

Moreover, the systematic discrimination continues as it is recorded that when a Black man is shot in “Israel” by the IOF, the soldier responsible does not get the proper punishment in contrast to when a white “Israeli” is shot. Ironically, these same soldiers train the policemen that the people in Tel Aviv are protesting against. According to Amnesty USA, since 2002, mostly-taxpayer funded trips to the occupied land are done to train US police officers from more than 25 states including Minnesota police. It appears that they train them on brutality and discrimination.

Yet again, not only do Black lives not matter in the occupied lands but also no life matters except that of the White Jew. “Israel” continues its daily unjustified murder of Palestinian men, women, children and most recently, people who are handicapped and of special-needs. The latest “Israeli” brutality recorded is of the murder of Iyad Halak, a Palestinian autistic man, unarmed, right in front of his school in occupied al-Quds, with 8 bullets of an M-16 weapon to his body as he was trying to run away from them after he was scared. Reports have said that his teacher was with him, and has tried to warn the soldiers of his disability.

Raising a “Black Lives Matter” banner in the occupied territories is but an offense to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. A white supremacist apartheid entity that continues to murder Palestinians with cold blood and continues to annex Palestinian land on a daily basis raising a banner of justice and showing solidarity to a disadvantaged group is embarrassing to endorse and ironic to watch. The international community that saluted the protest is the same community which has long ignores the fact that this entity is a colonial one built on indigenous people’s genocide and exile, the annex of their land and daily murder of children, women, people with disabilities and anyone that is not a white Jew.

So once again, the question is raised, “Do non-Jewish white lives really matters in “Israel”?”

Liberating the American People

 BY GILAD ATZMON

liberating the American ppl.jpg

by Gilad Atzmon 

I am a jazz artist, I have dedicated my entire adult life to the study of Black American music and culture. Jazz is certainly the most important and maybe, the only significant American contribution to world culture. And the next question is, where is Black American jazz now? Why did Black Americans lose interest in their own fantastic creation?

One answer is that Jazz was born out of resistance. It was fuelled by defiance of the ‘American dream’: instead of seeking mammon, wealth and power, our Black artistic founding fathers sacrificed their lives for the sake of beauty. They literally killed themselves searching for new voices, sounds, colours. They left us with a great legacy but their offspring moved on to new artistic domains such as Hip Hop and Rap.  

For the people who made Jazz into an art form, music was a revolutionary spirit. For Bird, Now’s the Time meant that time was ripe for social change.  For John Coltrane, Alabama was the appropriate answer to the KKK’s Baptist Church bombing that killed four African-American girls.

When Jazz meant something it wasn’t a language of victimhood. Quite the opposite, Jazz was a message of defiance: everything you can do, we, the Black people, can do better. And that is the truth, no one has managed to do it better than Trane, Bird, Miles, Elvin, Sonny, Blakey, Duke, Ella and many others. These artists did  not  beg for Wall Street funding, they didn’t ask for others to join their struggle: instead, they made the rest of us beg for their beauty, their art and their spirit to illuminate and liberate us. It didn’t take long before America’s elite realised that Jazz was the best Ambassador for America around the world. And all of this happened while Black Americans were subject to apartheid, especially in the South. It would be reasonable to believe that it was Jazz’s  transformation into the ‘Voice of America’ that became a major factor in the liberation of the Black south.

 Sadly, Jazz lost its soul a decade or two ago. It went from the voice of resistance to what has gradually been reduced into an ‘academic matter,’ a ‘system of knowledge.’ Nowadays, many young jazz musicians are ‘music college graduates.’ They may be very fast and sophisticated but have very little to say and, in most cases, they prefer not to say anything. Some may believe that saying something defies their ‘artistic objectives’ as it blurs the distinction between art and politics. I am afraid that they are wrong. For Jazz to be a meaningful art form, it better be revolutionary to the core. Jazz is, before anything else, the sound of freedom.

 For a while, we have witnessed contemporary Jazz deteriorate into a meaningless  technical exercise. Jazz, basically, died on us. Did this artistic demise anticipate the collapse of American civilization and America’s self-image  as a ‘free society?’

 Why did  Jazz die? Because Black Americans lost interest in their original art form.  Why did they lose interest? Largely because their art, like every other aspect of the American culture, finance, media, spirit and dream has been occupied.

 Along with other Jazz artists and humanists, I hate racism in all forms. Yet, I want to see people celebrating their symptoms. I am one of those guys who want to see Germans writing philosophy and composing symphonies again. I want to see people celebrating their own unique cultures as long as they don’t do it at the expense of others.  More than anything else, I want Black people proud of what they are. I wish that they will, once again, lead us back to the path of beauty that they, more than any other people, introduced to us all. I hope Black America will give us a young Trane, a fresh upcoming Bird, the next  Sarah Vaughan, a Miles character.   I want to see Black Americans hypnotising us with their talents, celebrating their greatness. I want  them to be the American Ambassadors they once were  rather than victims of America’s abuse. I guess that instead of sending American soldiers to liberate other people in criminal neocon wars the time is ripe for America to liberate itself.

 Watch me Liberating the American People


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Israel: A utopian image or merely a mirage?

May 13, 2020 – 21:53

TEHRAN – While the founders of Israel had envisioned a utopia for Israeli settlers, now after 72 years, it has brought no freedom or justice to anyone except for some Zionist Jews and been involved in genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians an Israeli-American activist and author tells the Tehran Times.

‘Genocide and ethnic cleansing is the practice of Israel’ 

On promises by the founders of Israel, including Ben Gurion, who had envisioned a utopia for settlers in Israel based on freedom, justice, and peace,  Miko Peled says “Israel is an apartheid regime” which “has been involved in genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”

He says Israel is “providing Jewish citizens who are Zionist with all the rights of liberal democracy.” 

He also says it “is true” that some Israelis are returning to their original countries as they are fed with governance.

‘Corrupt Netanyahu main reason behind Israeli political crisis’

Israel has been in a political crisis after three inconclusive elections and it is facing the growing prospect of an unprecedented fourth election.

Peled says it is mainly because “Israeli politics is controlled by the corrupt Prime Minister Netanyahu and his racist, violent allies.”

The deadlock ended now that Netanyahu got an agreement that he accepted and protects him and allows him to continue to serve as prime minister, he says, adding there was even social disobedience “about the fact that the man they voted for, Benny Gantz, who promised to unseat Netanyahu, lied to his voters and is now sitting with Netanyahu.”

‘Israel not a democracy but an apartheid’

On claims by Tel Aviv and its allies in the West that Israel is the only democratic country in the West Asia region, Peled says, “Israel is not and has never been a democracy. It an apartheid regime.”
 
He goes on to note that “the problem with West perspective is that it is a Zionist perspective which recognizing the legitimacy of Zionism and does not recognize the rights of Palestinians.”
 
 Israel sees Trump’s reckless policies toward Iran ‘a great thing’ 

Actually, in over a year that Israel has been holding three elections, each time Donald Trump has taken a step to promote chances of Netanyahu in elections. His administration moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognized the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and recently Mike Pompeo claimed that annexation of lands in the West Bank does not violate international law. However, each time Netanyahu’s party failed to win enough seats in Knesset to form a government.

“Israelis are actually very happy with Trump. His support for the Israeli regime and his reckless policies regarding Iran and the Palestinians is seen as a great thing,” Peled points out.

‘Racism in Israel comes even at expenses of public health’

Despite the coronavirus epidemic, Israel is refusing to release Palestinians who are held in crowded prisons, he said, noting, “Israel never respected Palestinian rights, even now that the spread of the Coronavirus is dangerous to all people.” 
“Racism in Israel is so strong that it comes even at the expense of public health,” the activist regrets.

 ‘2 million people of Gaza are heroes’

Gaza Strip is considered the greatest open prison on the earth.

Peled calls two million residents of Gaza “heroes” who are victims of “Zionist racism and violence”.

He also notes that except Iran, no country in the world cares about the miseries of the Gazans.

“They are victims of Zionist racism and violence and of the fact that the rest of the world, with the exception of Iran, do not care about them.”

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The “Zionist Virus” and the Future of Palestine

New York Governor Cuomo, the Virus, the Nakba and Me

By Rima Najjar

Global Research, May 13, 2020

To me, an American-Palestinian, the world tainted by the corona virus is analogous to Israel tainted by the evil it contains.

Every day for the past few days, I have been listening to New York Governor Cuomo give his daily briefing on the virus. His words resonate with me eerily transforming themselves to advice on how to handle Israel’s cruel manifestation in Palestine as a Zionist Jewish apartheid colonial state. As talk of “re-opening” the New York increases in volume, so does my feverish imagination.

For those who don’t know, the Arabic word “Fateh” [فتح], the name of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, which is the political bloc now dominating the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, means “opening”. It also carries the meaning of “conquering”. What’s more, “Fateh” and “key” [مفتاح], that profoundly indicative word of Palestinian longing for return, have the same linguistic root in Arabic. Hence, all these unbidden associations in my mind as I listen to Cuomo.

Every day, I wait for Cuomo’s briefing impatiently and watch while perched, tense and hyper-alert, at the edge of my seat, mesmerized by the shifting lines of his charts that, I swear, often morph into the outline of the map of Palestine.

My mind automatically sucks in Cuomo’s words and echoes them back at the TV in an altered form. I am Muslim, but the dynamic gripping me is one akin to the relationship between a pastor and his congregation at a black church. Cuomo calls and I respond, sometimes aloud. I hold back from hollering and shouting at his image, so as not to scare my family.

I take in every word of his sane, hopeful message — facts, not “facts on the ground”; science, not myths; let’s learn from our mistakes. Yes!

I translate his sentences into something else, like this: After decades of land theft, when will Palestinians be finally in control of their destiny and not subject to the whims of Israel and the international community? You tell me how Israel behaves today; I will tell you how Palestinians will be resisting a year from now.

The Zionist virus that is the Jewish state of Israel has yet to be stamped out. Hot-spot outbreaks have been with us since the Nakba of 1948. Currently, they are in the form of Israel’s horrifying annexation of parts of the West Bank, preying on the most vulnerable of peoples. We need to look for solutions that make things better for the Palestinian people. We need to reimagine the status quo and pose such a solution.

“In the first phase, we had to figure out what we are dealing with because we had no idea.” Yes, we had no idea — just intimations of unbelievable cruelty and diabolical greed! In 1947–48, we really had little idea. Remember, Palestine was 80% agrarian then — not the sophisticated community of Basle, Switzerland, where the plot for our dispossession was hatched at the First Zionist Conference in 1897.

“In the first phase, stabilize, control the damage,” says Cuomo. It turns out the key (here is that word again!) is information.

“I worked hard every day to make sure they knew the facts. ‘Trust the people’ — Lincoln, right? An informed public will keep this country safe. True, and that’s exactly what happened here,” Cuomo continues.

Funny Cuomo should say that, because, just the other day, a Palestinian friend on Facebook, Imad Jibawi, was saying something similar. He was commenting on a Zoom discussion I had posted titled “What do we do now?” conducted by Hani al-Masri, Director General of Masarat — The Palestinian Center for Policy Research & Strategic Studies (Masri is also a Policy Advisor for Al-Shabaka).

Imad Jibawi wondered:

“What is it that would drive the Palestinian people to the streets to protest by the thousands? Is it the annexation of Jerusalem? No; is it annexation of the Jordan Valley? No; is it Israel’s new settlements, then? No.

Why is that so?

I think the answer is in the question: Who is it mainly that we expect to take to the streets? They are those who are primarily under 30 — i.e., the Oslo generation.

These Palestinians were born and brought up in the reality of the Palestinian Authority, a government, ministries, VIPs, jobs, loans, etc.

[Preserving that] has been the national project for which our people sacrificed for years. People’s very livelihoods are now the red lines, holding them back. Their concerns are the teachers’ movement, the social security movement, the “we want to live” movement.

The question that concerns the political class as a whole is this: What next? What to do? The answer is: We start with our ABCs all over again. The first lesson is: Who are the Palestinians? What are the borders of the homeland of Palestine? The second lesson is: Who is our enemy? And what do we want?

Wanted: a new national awareness ….” [my translation from Arabic]

But then, as I continued to listen to Cuomo, I realized that, even though he and Jibawi are appealing to people to act collectively in their best interests by looking to themselves, rather than to their governments, there is a fundamental difference.

Cuomo is invoking security of health, family and livelihood as a raison d’etre for a certain set of collective behaviors, whereas what Jibawi is pushing for, necessarily given the Palestinian condition, is a revolutionary national consciousness that calls for a sacrifice of the very same things Cuomo is protecting for New Yorkers.

To Jibawi, the ideal of home and hearth (job security, health care, education, etc., as provided currently by the Palestinian Authority and the Oslo regime) must be superseded by the ideal of liberty, justice and equality for a people under occupation, who have escaped Israel’s genocide so far, but who continue to be dispossessed, brutally subjugated and oppressed by a vicious, powerful judeo-fascist entity and its allies.

Cuomo says,

“I don’t know when government became so political. It all became about rhetoric rather than actual competence, but it happened somewhere along the way that government could not handle the situation. People had to get engaged; people had to be informed and that’s the new thing I did. They got engaged because it mattered — this is not an abstract issue we are talking about people’s lives and people’s health and the health of their children.”

They’ll get engaged, because it matters. For both Palestinians and New Yorkers, these are not abstract issues. Far from it. In our case, all you have to do to realize the concreteness is to tune in to the daily news of thievery and savagery in their myriad forms the Israeli regime inflicts on the Palestinian people.

Many ask, if not the Palestinian Authority, if not the status quo of self-government for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, what then? My answer is this: First, hard as it is for many, we must find the will and steadfastness to effect an insurrection to continue the interrupted Palestinian revolution, returning to the political and community structures that sprang up to further the first intifada. We need a supreme manifestation of popular resistance against both the Palestinian Authority and Israel in all of occupied Palestine from the river to the sea with aid from Palestinians in exile.

Cuomo is right! “No government can impose any of these things … Stay in the house. Close every school. Close every bus. State government can’t enforce that. People had to understand the facts people had to engage in governing themselves in a way they hadn’t in decades … We are tough, smart, united, disciplined and loving” — even if our governments aren’t. We are samidoun.

Amen to that! Hallelujah!
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Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.

All images in this article are from the authorThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Rima Najjar, Global Research, 2020

Israeli Forces Demolish Emergency Coronavirus Clinic for Palestinians

Monday, 30 March 2020 17:52

Israeli forces on Thursday entered a Palestinian village in the northern Jordan Valley to confiscate materials designated to build a clinic to deal with the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

Officials from the Israeli Civil Administration came to the village of Khirbet Ibziq with a military escort, bulldozer and two trucks equipped with cranes on Thursday morning to demolish community clinic and emergency housing, according to Israeli human rights monitor Btselem. 

The group reported that Israeli officials seized poles and sheeting designated to form eight tents, two for a field clinic, two for a mosque, and four for emergency housing for people evacuated from their homes. 

A power generator, as well as supplies of sand, cement and cinder blocks to be used for the floor of the tents, were also confiscated. Btselem said the villagers were building a first-aid community initiative to deal with the Covid-19 crisis which has paralyzed large parts of the southern West Bank. 

There are 91 confirmed cases so far in the Palestinian territories, with one death reported on Wednesday. 

The Jordan Valley covers an area of about 1.6 million dunams (1,600 km2) and constitutes around 30 percent of the total occupied West Bank. According to a previous government report, the Valley includes about 280,000 dunams of arable land, 50,000 of which are still used by Palestinians and 27,000 by illegal Jewish settlers. 

The majority of the Jordan Valley is under full Israeli military control, despite being within the West Bank. Meanwhile, at least 44 percent of the total land in the Jordan Valley has been reappropriated by Israeli forces for military purposes and training exercises. 

Source: The Palestine Chronicle 

The Shame of the Century: Kushner’s Deal Is Dead on Arrival

The “Deal of the Century” has been written by Israeli officials

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research, February 04, 2020

Imagine a lawsuit being tried in a courtroom.  The case is coming to a close, and one side is sure of their position of being ‘in the right’, and then the opposing side offers a ‘deal’ to settle the case out of court.  However, the deal they offer is empty and does not satisfy the basic legal claims. They decide to reject the offer, and wait for the chance of winning their full rights, depending on the justice system, and the merits of their case as presented.

Details of the deal

The “Deal of the Century” has been written by Israeli officials, which is made clear not only from the style but content as well. President Trump announced the deal in the White House’s East Room on January 28, with his guest Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and others, giving Israel full control of the settlements and Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The illegal settlements will now be considered the same as any other part of Israel under Israeli law and by the US. Netanyahu was thrilled that Israel can now annex land in Judea and Samaria, which previously had threatened to bring sanctions in the UN Security Council.  “The idea of dividing Jerusalem is buried,” Netanyahu said while adding “The idea of returning to 1967 lines as we knew it is buried. The right of return is buried; not even one refugee will be entering Israel.” Additionally, the IDF and Israeli security forces will have access to defend all territory west of the Jordan River, and  Israel will control “air, sea, land and electromagnetic fields,” according to Netanyahu. The US will accept Israeli sovereignty over all Jerusalem neighborhoods within the security fence.

The US deal sets a plan for a Palestinian state if they meet conditions within four years, including stopping: terrorism; payments to terrorists; armed resistance. If the conditions are met, then a Palestinian state could be recognized, with limited sovereignty, as Israel would have full security control.

This is an American plan, and an American map, and not binding on anyone.  Some would call it a diktat, defined as ‘a harsh settlement unilaterally imposed on a defeated nation’, or ‘terms of capitulation.’

The two-state solution

The two-state solution has for decades been the basis of negotiations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has been the official policy of the United States, the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Beginning in 1948, Palestinians fled, or were expelled from their homes; however, the UN Resolution 194 was adopted on December 11, 1948, which guarantees everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. Following the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, the UN adopted Security Council Resolution 242. The resolution calls for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the occupied territories, adopted unanimously on November 22, 1967, and those are the borders referred to in the two-state solution. Jerusalem was to be divided into an Israeli West and a Palestinian East.

The Trump deal has bulldozed the two-state solution.

Resistance

Resistance to the occupation of Palestine was most often coordinated by a committee made up of local social and political leaders, who held strikes, protests, and general political activism. The occupied people supported tax revolts, general strikes, teach-ins, prisoner hunger strikes, as Israeli law allows for the arrest and detention of Palestinians without charge or trial.

In 2005 the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement began, targeting corporations and institutions that reinforce Israeli occupation and the denial of Palestinian human rights.

All nonviolent protests have been brutally suppressed and popular resistance leaders have been imprisoned, exiled, and killed.  All public gatherings of more than 10 people are forbidden by Israeli military orders enforced by the Israeli military in the occupied Palestinian territory.  Nonviolent protest actions and public political and/or cultural gatherings of Palestinians in areas under Israeli control are broken up by the Israeli military and police, often using tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, rubber bullets, live ammunition, and physical force, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Apartheid

The ‘Deal of the Century’ regurgitates apartheid, a racist political system, and we only have to look to Israeli historian Uri Davis’s book “Apartheid Israel”.

Under the Trump deal, the Palestinians may have limited autonomy within a homeland that consists of multiple non-connecting enclaves scattered throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Israel would retain security control over the enclaves and would continue to control borders, airspace, aquifers, maritime waters, and electromagnetic fields. Israel would be allowed to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinians would be allowed to choose their leaders but would have no political rights in Israel, the state that rules over them.

The Trump deal for racial control and segregation harkens back to South Africa, before the ANC and armed resistance groups fought a bloody fight, which had international support, ultimately winning their freedom and rights with Nelson Mandela at the helm.

Like South Africa’s apartheid, the Trump deal gives the Palestinians autonomy over matters like education and healthcare, while trade, immigration, and security would remain under Israeli control. It would give Israelis a false sense of security while living under a regime based on racial oppression. The deal may constitute a crime against humanity, under the Rome Statute (1998), since it violates the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people.

President Trump

President Trump has done more for Israel than any previous US President.  He allowed the personal ‘pet-project’ of his son in law, Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, to reverse decades of US foreign policy. Many have questioned what gives the US the power to decide that Palestinians will live under apartheid?

Occupation

According to Noam Chomsky, Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison, where some 1.5 million people on a roughly 140-square-mile strip of land are subject to random terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade. He wrote, a visitor to Gaza can’t help feeling disgusted at the obscenity of the occupation, compounded with guilt, because it is within our power to bring the suffering to an end and allow the Samidin to enjoy the lives of peace and dignity that they deserve.

Israelis don’t like the plan

Yisrael Beytenu leader, Avigdor Liberman, said: “The Trump plan is an escape plan from the real problems on the agenda” for Netanyahu, and the PM is using the deal to hide from real domestic issues he refuses to deal with. While Trump has been impeached by the House, Netanyahu has been indicted by the courts, and it seems the two wounded leaders are using the deal as camouflage.

Palestinian Christians

Daoud Kuttab, a Palestinian journalist and secretary of the Jordan Evangelical Council in Amman, said after reading the deal, it “sounded more like a surrender dictate than a peace plan. The fact that of 13 million Palestinians, the Americans couldn’t find a single one to attend [the rollout] spoke volumes in its one-sidedness,” he added,  “It is a surrender document that will lay the grounds for Palestinians to continue to live under Israeli discrimination. This is a formula for further violence and unrest.”

The deal allows Israel to keep land they have managed illegally to grab, while they promise to pause for four years while the Palestinians capitulate to unjust terms, but the only offer on the table. If the Palestinians decide the deal is unacceptable, then Israel will undoubtedly begin to grab even more lands and justify their actions by pointing the finger of blame at the other side.  This is the likely outcome unless those insisting on justice will intervene from outside and exert pressure on Israel.

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Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is a political commentator. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from Jerusalem PostThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Steven Sahiounie, Global Research, 2020

Israel’s National Bill

JANUARY 03, 2020BY GILAD ATZMON

Source: https://www.presstv.com

The Education Ministry in Israel has published a new civics teacher’s guide. According to it, all students taking the matriculation exam in civics will be tested on their knowledge of the details of the controversial nation-state law. Tel Aviv’s nation-state law that was passed by the Knesset in 2018 has been labeled as “apartheid” due to its marginalization of the indigenous Arab population. This episode touches on this subject and more.

Video here

Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting Critics of «Israel»

Trump Signs Executive Order Targeting Critics of «Israel»

By Staff, Agencies

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will make Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, amid concerns that it will be used to silence those who oppose the “Israeli” entity’s apartheid policy toward the Palestinians.

Image result for jewish power

The executive order, announced at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, empowers the US education department to penalize college campuses by withholding federal funds from those which allow criticism of the entity.

The measure targets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement that has initiated “various forms of boycott against ‘Israel’ until it meets its obligations under international law.”

The BDS movement is gaining momentum in the United States and poses a serious threat to Israel’s “hegemonic power” in Washington, according to Myles Hoenig, a political activist based in Maryland.

The presidential order bans discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs and activities, such as colleges and universities, where the BDS movement has been very successful.

Title VI will extend the ban to target critics of “Israel”. A draft copy of the executive order was published Wednesday by the Jewish Insider.

Palestinian and progressive groups condemned the executive order as a blatant attempt to squash criticism of human rights abuses committed by the “Israeli” regime. Dima Khalidi, who is the director of Palestine Legal, described the order as a “bald-faced attempt to silence the movement for Palestinian rights on college campuses”.

“Defining antisemitism to include criticism of ‘Israel’ serves only to violate the free speech of students and professors who stand for equality and justice for all people,” she added.

 

NGOs Stand Against «Israeli» War Machine Invading Canadian Universities & Recruiting Students

NGOs Stand Against «Israeli» War Machine Invading Canadian Universities & Recruiting Students

By Fatima Haydar

Beirut – The words “Free Free Palestine!” rang out. The chant once unheard grew louder, livelier and stronger. No, this wasn’t in Palestine. It wasn’t in some Middle Eastern country either. This was halfway across the globe in faraway Canada!

On November 20, the prestigious York University, Canada’s third largest, hosted an on-campus event featuring reservists from the “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF].

The event on Wednesday night, which included a panel discussion featuring “Reservists on Duty” – a group made up of former IOF soldiers, advertised the “Israeli” army’s strength and morale.

Meanwhile, prior to the event, activists and social media users called for a protest against the arrival of IOF members. Many denounced the university for hosting those who were tasked with upholding an illegal occupation, enforcing apartheid, murdering protesters and committing war crimes.

Canadian Defenders for Human Rights [CD4HR] – a registered non-profit organization dedicated to defending the rights of people of all backgrounds, color, and faith – was among those that spoke up.

The group’s director Firas Al Najim slammed the atrocious behavior of the Zionists in Canada.

A video clip shows Al Najim protesting against the event on campus and joining ranks with another demonstration held by York’s Students against “Israeli” Apartheid [SAIA]. He was crying out:

We condemn the Zionist regime.

You’re a bunch of cowards! You kill children! You kill senior citizens! You kill everybody!

You are WAR CRIMINALS!

You have the audacity to say a word!

You are a danger to the Canadian society!

Zionism is terrorism!

Holding up the Palestinian flag during the protest, Al Najim stressed his organization’s solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people of different religious backgrounds. He further condemned the “Israeli” occupation of the Holy Land of Palestine, calling for the “dismantlement of the illegitimate Zionist regime”.

Al Najim rejected the presence of the IOF, whom he called “a bunch of mercenaries from everywhere in the world”, promoting their “evil agenda”, hatred and their war crimes.

The Canadian activist further urged his government and its officials to condemn “Israeli” violations, thanking Canadian PM Justin Trudeau for his recent move and stance in condemning “Israel” and standing up for international law.

The Trudeau government on Tuesday reversed course and voted in favor of a United Nations resolution condemning the apartheid “Israeli” entity for its occupation of Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, Al Najim’s chants blended with those of students and SAIA members who came out to oppose the visit of IOF soldiers on campus, while yelling:

All Out! No “Israeli” soldiers on our campus!

They wanted to send a message that “Israeli” war criminals actively participating in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and violating their human rights are not welcome on their campus.

The “Israeli” entity has recently admitted to murdering Palestinian children in their homes and bombing residential buildings after the latest violence in occupied Palestinian territories.

To say that no one is above the law is to say that laws must be applied to everyone equally regardless of race, gender, status or any other consideration.

However, it appears that, as understood by Western capitals, there are people and institutions that are above the law; today’s war criminals in the Middle East – who portrayed themselves as yesterday’s “oppressed” minority, have a privileged status that shields them from indictment.

A pen is mightier than a sword! But in this case, even a word is mightier than the whole “Israeli” arsenal altogether.

Israeli Apartheid Made Official: Annexation is the New Reality in Palestine

Annexing Palestinian land has officially moved from the right-wing fringe of Israeli politics to a centrist talking point and campaign promise.

September 17th, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is moving quickly to alter the political reality in Palestine, and facing little or no resistance.

On September 10, Netanyahu declared his intentions to annex swathes of Palestinian land adjacent to the Jordan River, an area that covers 2,400 square kilometers, or nearly a third of the Occupied West Bank. That region, which extends from Bisan in the north to Jericho in the south, is considered to be Palestine’s food basket, as it accounts for an estimated 60 percent of vegetables that are produced in the West Bank.

A Palestinian shepherd herds his flock near the Israeli settlement of Tomer in the Jordan Valley, April 2, 2017. Oded Balilty | AP

While Israel has already colonized nearly 88 percent of the entire Palestinian Ghoor (or Jordan Valley), dividing it between illegal agricultural settlements and military zones, it was always assumed that the militarily occupied region will be included within the border of a future Palestinian state.

Netanyahu’s announcement has been linked to Israel’s general elections of September 17. The Israeli leader is desperate, as he is facing “unprecedented alliances” that are all closing in to unseat him from his political throne. But this cannot be all. Not even power-hungry Netanyahu would alter the political and territorial landscape of Israel and Palestine indefinitely in exchange for a few votes.

Indeed, talks of annexation have been afoot for years and have long preceded the September elections or the previous ones in April.

A sense of euphoria has been felt among Israel’s rightwing officials since the advent of Donald Trump to the White House. The excitement was not directly linked to Trump but to his Middle East team, like-minded pro-Israel US officials whose support for Israel is predicated on more than personal interests, but religious and ideological beliefs as well.

White House senior adviser, Jared Kushner, selected his team very carefully: Jason Greenblatt as special envoy for Middle East peace, David Friedman as United States Ambassador to Israel, and layers of other second-tier officials whose mission was never aimed at resolving conflict or brokering peace, but supervising a process in which Israel finalizes its colonization of Palestine unhindered.

Kushner’s master stroke is epitomized in the way he presented his objectives as part of a political process, later named “Deal of the Century”.

In all fairness, Kushner’s team hardly labored, or even pretended to be, peacemakers, especially as they oversaw the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and of the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territories. Indeed, none of these officials tried to hide their true motives. Just examine statements made by the just-resigned Greenblatt where he refused to name illegal Jewish settlements as such, but as “neighborhoods and cities”; and Friedman’s outright support for the annexation of parts of the Occupied West Bank, and much more.

The US political discourse seemed in complete alignment with that of Israel’s right-wing parties. When right-wing extremist politicians, the likes of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, began floating the idea of annexing most or all of the Occupied West Bank, they no longer sounded like marginal and opportunistic voices vying for attention. They were at the center of Israeli politics, knowing full well that Washington no longer had a problem with Israel’s unilateral action.

It could be argued, then, that Netanyahu was merely catching up, as the center of gravity within his right-wing coalition was slipping away to younger, more daring politicians. In fact, Israel, as a whole, was changing. With the Labor Party becoming almost entirely irrelevant, the Center’s political ideology moved further to the right, simply because supporting an independent Palestinian state in Israel has become a form of political suicide.

Therefore, Netanyahu’s call for the annexation of Palestinian land east of the Jordan River must not be understood in isolation and only within the limited context of the Israeli elections. Israel is now set to annex large parts of the West Bank that it deems strategic. This is most likely to include all illegal settlement blocks and the Jordan Valley as well.

Israel Palestine Jordan Valley

An activist is surrounded by Israeli soldiers during a protest against Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley, Nov. 17, 2016. Majdi Mohammed | AP

In fact, Netanyahu said on September 11 that he was ready to annex the Jordan Valley region even before the election date, but was blocked by the Attorney General’s office. Netanyahu would not have taken such a decision if it represented a political risk or if it faced pushback from Washington. It is, then, sadly, a matter of time.

Suspiciously absent in all of this are the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Arab League, the European Union and, of course, the United Nations and its many outlets and courts. Aside from a few shy statements – like that of the spokesperson of the UN, Stéphane Dujarric, decrying that “unilateral actions are not helpful in the peace process” – Israeli leaders are facing little or no hindrance whatsoever as they finalize their complete colonization of all Palestinian land.

Unable to stage any kind of meaningful resistance against Israel, the Palestinian leadership is so pathetically insisting on utilizing old terminologies. The official Palestinian response to Netanyahu’s annexation pledge, as communicated by Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, came only to underscore the PA’s political bankruptcy.

“Netanyahu is the chief destroyer of the peace process,” Shtayyeh said, warning that annexing parts of the West Bank would have negative consequences.

For his part, the PA leader Mahmoud Abbas resorted, once more, to empty threats. Abbas said in a statement, “All agreements and their resulting obligations would end if the Israeli side annexes the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea, and any part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.”

Neither Abbas nor Shtayyeh seem troubled by the fact that a “peace process” does not exist, and that Israel has already violated all agreements.

While the PA is desperately hanging on to any reason to justify its continued existence, Netanyahu, with the full support of Washington, is moving forward in annexing the West Bank, thus making apartheid an official and undisputed reality.

The Palestinian leadership must understand that the nature of the conflict is now changing. Conventional methods and empty statements will not slow down the Israeli push for annexation nor Tel Aviv’s determination to expand its apartheid to all of Palestine. If Palestinians continue to ignore this reality altogether, Israel will continue to single-handedly shape the destiny of Palestine and its people.

Feature photo | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sept. 10, 2019 where he vowed to begin annexing West Bank settlements if he wins national elections. Oded Balilty | AP. Editing by MintPress News

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of The Palestine Chronicle. His last book is ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’, and his forthcoming book is ‘These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons’. Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a non-resident research fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) at Zaim University in Istanbul. Visit: www.ramzybaroud.net.

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

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (13 – 19 June 2019)

 

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (13– 19 June 2019)

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

(13 – 19 June 2019)

 

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protesters in the Gaza Strip.
  • 95 Palestinian civilians, including 34 children, 1 woman and 4 paramedics, were wounded; one of them sustained serious wounds.

 

  • Israeli forces conducted 58 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 5 other incursions into Jerusalem.
  • 51 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and 1 woman, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • 17 of them, including 6 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

 

  • Israeli warplanes launched 7 missiles in 3 airstrikes against different targets in the Gaza Strip.

 

  • Israeli forces continued to open fire at the farmers and shepherds in the border areas of the Gaza Strip, but no injuries were reported.

 

  • Israeli authorities continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • Israeli forces demolished 4 dwellings, rendering 33 persons homeless, including 20 children, south of Hebron, and another house in Jericho.
  • Israeli forces damaged and confiscated plates and iron arches, north and west of Hebron.
  • Settlers burnt 42 trees and punctured 22 cars in addition to attacking a farmer and his child.

 

  • Israeli authorities continued to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • The Israeli municipality demolished a residential building in Sho’fat refugee camp and forced 2 brothers to self-demolish their buildings in Silwan.
  • The Supreme Court decided to demolish 15 buildings comprised of 120 residential apartments in Sour Baher, claiming they are close to the annexation wall.

 

  • Three Shooting incidents were reported against the fishing boats off Rafah shore in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • The Israeli forces imposed a naval blockade on the Gaza Sea, preventing any fishermen from sailing or fishing.

 

  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 13th consecutive year.
  • Two Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

 

Summary

 

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (13 – 19 June 2019).

 

Shooting:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized within the activities of “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed the 61st Friday of the peaceful protests along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces also used force against civilians who participated in the demonstrations organized against the Israeli incursions into the West Bank cities and villages.  In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces wounded 95 Palestinian demonstrators, including 34 children, 1 woman and 4 paramedics. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, during their participation in Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqiliya.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip from 13 – 19 June 2019 According to the Governorate

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 6 2 0 0 0 0
Gaza City 19 5 0 0 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 25 11 0 0 0 1
Khan Yunis 5 1 0 0 0 0
Rafah 40 15 1 0 4 0
Total 95 34 1 0 4 1

 

As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating an ongoing Israeli policy of targeting fishermen’s livelihoods.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 3 incidents off the western Rafah Shore in the southern Gaza Strip.

 

As part of the Israeli airstrikes, on 13 June 2019, Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at an agricultural land, east of al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip.

 

On 14 June 2019, Israeli drones launched 2 missiles at al-Mina military site belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, west of Khan Younis.  Minutes later, the Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at the same site, causing damage to it.  However, no injuries were reported.

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 16 June 2019, Israeli forces opened fire at the agricultural fields, east of ‘Abasan al-Kabirah, east of Khan Youni.  No injuries were reported.

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 13 June 2019, Israeli soldiers opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City.  However, no injuries were reported.

 

On 16 June 2019, Israeli forces opened fire at the agricultural fields, east of ‘Abasan al-Kabirah, east of Khan Younis.  Howoever, no injuries were reported.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 4 civilians, including 1 child, while participating in the Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqiliya, north of the West Bank.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 58 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 5 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 34 Palestinians, including 1 child and 1 woman, in the West Bank while 17 other civilians, including 6 children, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs.

In the Gaza Strip, on 04 June 2019, Israeli forces moved 100 meters into al-Shokah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.  They combed lands in front of the Return encampment before redeploying along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

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

 

As part of settlement expansion, demolitions and house demolition notices, on 18 June2019, two brothers namely Basel and Hatem al-‘Abbasi self-demolished their residential buildings in ‘Ein al-Lozah neighborhood, in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, applying the Israeli municipality’s decision, under the pretext of building without a license.  Al-‘Abbasi Family clarified that the building is comprised of 2 stories; each of which is around 170 square meters and still under-construction.  The family added that they started building it in early May and was preparing to move and live in it.

 

On 18 June 2019, an Israeli municipality bulldozer demolished an under-construction building in Sho’afat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem, after forcing its owner to self-demolish parts of it last week.  The 2-story and 300-square-meter building belongs to ‘Emran ‘Alqam and is comprised of 4 residential apartments where ‘Alqam family members were supposed to live.

 

In the same context, on 13 June 2019, , the Israeli Supreme Court decided to demolish 15 buildings comprised of 120 residential apartments in Wadi al-Humus area in Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall and obstructing the Israeli soldiers’ work. Mohamed Abu Tair, Member of the Defense Committee of Wadi al-Humus houses, said that Wadi al-Humus case started when Israeli forces distributed collective demolition orders of 16 residential buildings upon the Israeli Military Commander decision under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall between occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank. Thus, the village residents decided to appeal the decision before the Israeli Supreme Court, but the court refused the appeal and upheld the Israeli Military Commander’s decision about demolishing all houses near the annexation wall and preventing Palestinians from using their lands located up to 250 meters away from the wall.

 

Settlement activities and settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

  • As part of the house demolitions and notices, on 13 June 2019, the Israeli forces accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the Israeli Construction and Organization Department in the Civil Administration cut and confiscated steels from a shop used for selling scrap in Fqeiqes village under the pretext of working in area classified as Area C without a prior permission from the Israeli competent authorities.

 

  • On 17 June 2019, Israeli forces moved into Kherbit al-Halawa in al-Masafer area southeast of Hebron. They demolished 3 dwellings built of bricks and tin plates, rendering 21 civilians, including 13 children, homeless.

 

  • On the same day, Israeli forces moved into Kherbit al-Dabi’, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli vehicles demolished two residential rooms built of bricks and tin plates, rendering 12 persons, including 7 children, homeless. They laso confiscated solar panels, which supply the rooms with electricity.

 

  • On the same day, the Israeli forces confiscated iron arches for a plant nursery built on an area of 300 square meters in Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron.

 

  • On 19 June 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Karama crossing area, east of Jericho. They demolished an under-construction 240-square-meter house belonging to Shadi Ibrahim Sunuqrot, from occupied Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a license in Area C as classified in the Oslo Accords.

 

As part of settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, Israeli settlers carried out 7 attacjs against Palestinian civilians and their property during the reporting period.  The attacks were as follows:

 

On 13 June 2019, a group of settlers from “Yitsahar” Settlement established to the southeastern side of ‘Einabus village, south of Nablus, attacked the central village and wrote racist slogans against Arabs on the walls of the Old Mosque, village clinic and a house.  The residents of the village then caught the settlers and forced them to leave the village.

 

On the same day, settlers severely beat up with a stick Mohammed Yehia al-Tamimi (42) and his son Rami (15), from Deir Nizam village, northwest of Ramallah, when they were both in an agricultural area belonging to Mohammed near “Halmish” settlement established  along the borders of that area, northwest of the city.

 

On the next day, under the eyes of the SIraeli forces, dozens of Israeli settlers from “Ramat Yishai” settlement outpost established on Palestinians lands of Tal al-Ramidah neighbourhood in Hebron, attacked members of Abu ‘Eishah Family, who were building a wall in the vicinity of their house.  The settlers also destroyed the timber, which was fixed in the place to put the concrete inside.

 

On 17 June 2019, a group of settlers punctured the tires of 3 vehciles belonging to Hasan Ibrahim Hamayel (33) and Hussein ‘Atef Hamayel (30) from Kafr Malek village, northeast of Ramallah, and wrote racist slogans on them.

 

On the same day, a group of settlers from “Giv’at Asaf” settlement set fire to agricultural lands of Biteen and Burqah villages, east of Ramallah.  As a result, 35 olive trees, 5 Fig trees, and 2 grape vines were burnt.

 

On 18 June 2019, a group of settlers carried several attacks in Deirsita village, north of Salfit, as they punctured the tires of 18 vehciles and wrote hostile slogans that included threats to escalate their attacks against civilians on the walls of many houses in al-Khayousah and al-Njeimah neighborhoods, west of the abovementioned village.  Of those slogans was “People of Israel is Alive and Stones Equal Death.”

 

 

Details

 

  1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

 

Thursday, 13 June 2019:

 

  • At approximately 00:30, Israeli forces moved into Bedia village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Abbas Mahmoud Ahmed Salamah (22) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:40, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sha’ban Mahmoud ‘Ouweisi (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aydah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Mousa Zarinah (49) and then arrested his wife Lailah and his son Mousa (23). It should be noted that 3 days ago the Israeli forces demolished 4 barracks and a residential room belonging to Mohammed Zarinah in Beir ‘Ounah area in Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem.

 

  • Around the same time, an Israeli force accompanied with several military vehicles moved into Hebron and stationed in al-Sheikh neighborhood. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested Yazan Yusri Abu suneinah (30) and Ramadan Mohammed No’man Jaber (15).

 

  • At approximately 02:45, Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at an agricultural land, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, but no injuries were reported.

 

  • At approximately 13:00, an Israeli force accompanied with a number of military vehicles moved into Kharsa village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. The soldiers surrounded a house belonging to Mofeed Mousa Abdul Majid Shadid (33) and then demolished it. The Israeli forces arrested the abovementioned civilians and later withdrew taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a shop for car spare parts and then arrested Mohammed ‘Adel Mohammed ‘Enayah (30).

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (9) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Hebron; Surif, al-Hadab and Beit ‘Omrah villages in Hebron; ‘Atil, Deir al-Ghusouna, Zeta and Baqah al-Sharqiyah villages in Tulkarm, and ‘Azzoun village in Qalqiliyah.

 

Friday, 14 June 2019:

 

  • At approximately 00:54, Israeli drones fired 2 missiles at al-Mina site belonging to Palestinian armed groups, west of Khan Younis. Few minutes later, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at the same site. As a result, the site sustained damage, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, west of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at the shore, but no casualties were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (8) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Hadab al-Fawar village and al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Heborn; Bedia village in Salfit; Tulkarm, Noor Shams and Tulkarm refugee camps in  Tulkarm, ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah and Ramallah.

 

Saturday, 15 June 2019:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Kharsa village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Suheib Abdul Hamid Abu Jarour (33) and then arrested him. They also confiscated NIS 1000 from the family, handing them a transcript of the confiscated money.

 

  • At approximately 05:40, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, west of the central Gaza Strip shores, chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within less than one nautical mile and forced them to leave the sea, but no injuries were reported. It should be noted that the Israeli forces have closed the sea and prevented fishermen from sailing freely since last Wednesday evening.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-Samou’a, al-Thaheriyah, Yatta, and al-Majd villages in Hebron.

 

Sunday, 16 June 2019

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested Mahmoud Nabil Taqatqah (18) and Mahmoud ‘Ali Taqatqah (18).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Lo’ai ‘Eid al-Razeq al-Tamimi (33) and Karim Saleh al-Tamimi (25) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 08:10, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Youni, fired live bullets at the agricultural fields, east of ‘Abasan. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Maithaloun village, southeast of Jenin; Qasrah village, southeast of Nablus; Hebron and al-Fawar refugee camp, west of the city; Juyous and ‘Azzoun villages, east of the city.

 

Monday, 17 June 2019:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Amour neighborhood in Taqou’a village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 8 civilians and took them to an unknown destination.

(PCHR keeps the names of the arrestees)

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Ya’bud village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Belal Talal Abu Baker (22).

 

  • Around the same time, the Israeli forces moved into Deir Ghassanah village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Aysar Sharif al-Sha’ibi (21) and Karim Hatem al-Barghuthi (48).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forced moved into Northern ‘Asirah village, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Diya’a Yaseen Abdul Fattah Jarar’ah (24).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested 3 civilians namely Ahmed Hamdan al-‘Alami (25), Warad Husein ‘Aadi (22) and Ahmed Karim Mohammed Ekhleil (18).

 

  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Yatta, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Amjad Ibrahim Hammad (35) and then arrested him.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Kafel Hares and Kafer al-Deek villages in Salfit and Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus.

 

Tuesday, 18 June 2019:

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces accompanied with a number of military vehicles moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and then withdrew from the village. However, no arrests were reported. Some of the houses’ owners were identified as Mahmoud ‘Eid ‘Awad, Mohammed Abdul ‘Aziz ‘Awad, Ahmed Mahmoud ‘Awad, Mohamed Hassan ‘Aadi and ‘Ali Mohammed Ekhleil.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Rema village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mahmoud Mustafa ‘Asidah (28) and then arrested him. It should be mentioned that Mahmoud was a former prisoner in the Israeli jails where he served 3 years.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sa’ir, Bani Na’im, al-Thaheriyah and Beit al-Roush villages in Hebron.

 

Wednesday, 19 June 2019:

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Halhoul, north of Hebron, and stationed in al-Nabi Younis area. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Asem ‘Emad al-Tawaihah (22) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, an Israeli force accompanied with a number of military vehicles moved into Yatta, south of Hebron, and stationed in Roq’ah neighborhood. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Saif ‘Ayed Abu Fanous (26) and Ibrahim ‘Essa al-Shawahin (25) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 20:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, west of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-Thaheriyah, al-Samou’a, Beit Marsam villages, and al-Fawar refugee camp in Hebron.

 

 

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

 

Israeli forces continued to use excessive lethal force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip within the so-called “Great March of Return and Breaking Siege” and in the West Bank against the settlements, confiscation of lands, and Israeli crimes. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations on the 61st Friday, the border area witnessed large participation from Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstrations were fully peaceful. The incidents during the reporting period were as follows:

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • Northern Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting and teargasing at Palestinian demonstrations, which continued from 16:30 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 6 demonstrators, including 2 children. Three of them were hit with rubber bullets, and one was directly hit with a tear gas canister.

 

  • Gaza City: The Israeli shooting and teargasing at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 19 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children. Seven of them were hit with rubber bullets, and 7 were directly hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting and teargasing at the demonstrators resulted in the injury of 25 demonstrators, including 11 children. Fourteen of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, and 11 were hit with teargas canister and rubber bullets. Doctors classified the injury of a child, who was hit with a live bullet to the chest, as serious. Moreover, others suffered tear gas inhalation and received medical treatment on the spot.

 

  • Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting and teargasing at the demonstrations, which continued from 16:30 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 5 demonstrators, including a child, with directly-hit tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. Moreover, dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. Those directly wounded were transferred to Nasser, European and Algerian Hospitals, while the other wounded received medical treatment on the spot and in medical points.

 

  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrations, which continued from 16:00 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 40 demonstrators, including 15 children and 4 paramedics. Three of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, and 37 were hit with rubber bullets. The wounded paramedics were identified as Sabreen Jaber Abdul Rahim Qeshtah (28), who was hit with a rubber bullet to the head; Mohammed Saleh Ahmed Sheikh al-‘Eid, who was hit with a rubber bullet to the left leg; Tawfiq Ibrahim Salman al-Mashwakhi (58), who was hit with a rubber bullet to the right shoulder; and Taiseer Abdul ‘Aziz Jom’ah al-‘Ajili (42), who was hit with a rubber bullet to the back. It should be noted that Sabreen and Mohammed work at the Pulse of Life Youth Team while Tawfiq and Taiseer work at the Palestinian Civil Defense.

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday afternoon, 14 June 2019, a group of Palestinians organized a peaceful demonstration which started from the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, and headed to the eastern village entrance, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” settlement The demonstrators chanted national slogans demanding end of the occupation and protesting the Israeli forces’ crimes against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. . The protestors threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand berms while the soldiers immediately fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians, including a child, were hit with rubber bullets.

(PCHR keeps the names of those injured)

 

 

  1. Continued closure of the oPt

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.

Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

 

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

 

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.

 

 

Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing, in the north of the Gaza Strip, is designated for the movement of individuals, and links the Gaza Strip with the West Bank. 

 Movement at Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing

(12-18 June 2019)

Category 12 June 13 June 14 June 15 June 16 June 17 June  18 June
Patients 119 54 5 128 104 116
Companions 103 46 2 114 90 102
Personal needs 22 17 4 19 14 23
Families of prisoners 17
Arabs fromIsrael 5 11 13 16 4 3
Diplomats 80 5
Meetings in Erez
International workers 30 39 17 14 32 31
TravelersAbroad 1 43 6 1 56
Business people+ BMC 471 441 1 800 527 455
Economic and agriculture    interviews
Security interviews 3 3 2 5
Death cases
Companions’ Deaths
Return to the West Bank
Christians’ Holidays
Conferences and Training courses 1
Permits’ renewal 1
VIPs 1 1
AmbulancesPatient 3 4 1 1 3 2
Ambulancescompanion 2 2 1 3 3

 

 

Following table illustrates temporary and permanent checkpoints and arrests at these checkpoints in the West Bank between 13 – 19 June 2019

 

Governorate Permanent temporary Temporary checkpoints Closed Roads Arrested persons
Jerusalem 13 6
Nablus 10 13 2
Jenin 5 7
Ramallah 11 8 4
Tulkarm 7 3 1
Tubas 2 3 1
Salfit 3 7 1 2
Qalqiliyia 5 5 4
Hebron 20 33 15
Bethlehem 11 5 2
Jericho 5 2
Al-Karama Crossing 1
Total 92 92 30 2

 

Arrests at Military Checkpoints:

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Monday, 17 June 2019, Israeli forces arrested 2 civilians near “Ariel” settlement, north of Salfit, namely Sajed Nawaf Souf (19) and Murad Ra’ed Souf (24), from Hares village, northwest of the city and released them later.

 

  • Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

 

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

 

Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 01:50 on Thursday, 13 June 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested 6 civilians identified as Mahmoud ‘Esam Shanti (15), Wadee’ Murad Suliman (13), Yaseen Mahmoud Manasrah (11), Jehad Fares Ghateet (17), Ameer Mohamed Salhiyah (17), and Salah Ayoub Abu al-Humus (15).

 

  • On the same day morning, Israeli police arrested Basem al-Halaq(61), Head of the Construction Department at the Islamic Endowments (Awqaf); Taha ‘Owidah (51), an engineer at the Department; and Mohamed al-Hadrah (37), an employee at the Department. All of them were arrested while present near al-Qataneen Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They were then taken to an investigation center in the city.

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Sunday, 16 June 2019, Israeli forces moved into Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Mahmoud Hasan al-Shawish (18), Mahmoud Miswadah (20), and ‘Areen al-Za’aneen (24).

 

  • At approximately 03:00 on Sunday, Israeli forces moved into al-Wad neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Khalil Ibrahim al-Tarahouni (32), Mohamed Khaled Sharifah (20) and ‘Obada Sameer Najeeb (21).

 

  • At approximately 02:00 on Monday, 17 June 2019, Israeli forces moved into Hizma village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mahmoud Daher Sa’ied (32) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:00 on Monday, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Khaled Abu al-Hawa (20) and then arrested him.

 

  • House Demolitions:

 

  • At approximately 21:00 on Monday, 18 June 2019, the two siblings Basel and Haten al-‘Abasi self-demolished their building in ‘Ain al-Louz village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to implement the Israeli Municipality decision under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-‘Abasi family clarified that the under-construction building was comprised of 2 floors, each one was around 170 square meters. The family added that last May they started to build it, but the Israeli Municipality issued a demolition order a week ago and did not give them time to license it. The family pointed out that the municipality order forced them to self-demolish the building or the municipality bulldozers will do so and the family will be forced to pay the demolition costs.

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 18 June 2019, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished an under-construction residential building in Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem, after ordering its owner to self-demolish parts of it a week ago. The building belonging to ‘Imran ‘Alqam was comprised of 2 floors, each of them included four 300-square-meter apartments. It should be noted that ‘Alqam started to self-demolish his building on Monday, 10 June 2019, along with his relatives to avoid paying the demolition costs. The Israeli Municipality staff headed to the area and ordered him to use a bulldozer while demolishing the building, but he refused for fear of causing damage to his neighbors’ houses and then stopped the demolition. As a result, the municipality decided to demolish the building. ‘Alqam said that he previously attempted to license the building, but the municipality refused under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall. It should be noted that the building is adjacent to “Bazat Ze’ev“ settlement, which is established on Beit Hunina village’s lands, and only settlers are allowed to build on it .

 

  • In the same context, on Thursday, 13 June 2019, the Israeli Supreme Court decided to demolish 15 buildings comprised of 120 residential apartments in Wadi al-Humus area in Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall and obstructing the Israeli soldiers’ work. Mohamed Abu Tair, Member of the Defense Committee in Wadi al-Humus, said that Wadi al-Humus case started when Israeli forces distributed collective demolition orders for 16 residential buildings upon the Israeli Military Commander decision, under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall, between occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank. The village residents decided to appeal the decision before the Israeli Supreme Court, but the court refused and upheld the Israeli Military Commander decision about demolishing all houses near the annexation wall and preventing Palestinians from using their lands located up to 250 meters away from the wall. Abu Tair clarified that the Israeli forces claimed that they want to vacate this area for security reasons and to help the Israeli soldiers pursuing Palestinians from the West Bank if the latter attempt to sneak into occupied Jerusalem. Abu Tair pointed out that the buildings are comprised of 120 residential apartments as 11 buildings are located in Area A, which is under the Palestinian Authority control, and 3 buildings are located in Area C while 2 buildings are located in Area B. He added that the area is marginalized by the municipality because it does not belong to it. Moreover, the Israeli forces prevent Palestinian civilians from the West Bank from entering the area, noting that this area is supposed to be within the Palestinian local governance. He added that around 100 families, comprising of 500 persons, were supposed to live in these buildings and some of these buildings are already inhabited while others are under construction. Furthermore, the residents of Wadi al-Humus neighborhood in Surbaher village organized a protest on Sunday, 17 June 2019, against the Israeli Supreme Court decision. During the protest, the residents established a tent near the houses threatened to be demolished before the Israeli forces moved into the area and forcibly dismantled it. Belal al-Kasawani, one of the residents affected by the decision, said that he attempted several times to license his house, but the Israeli court refused under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall and “threaten the security of the State.” Al-Kasawani also added that he paid a lot of money to build his house and shelter his children and now they became homeless.

 

  • Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

  • At approximately 15:00 on Thursday, 13 June 2019, Israeli forces backed by 2 military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a truck moved into Faqiqis village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officers cut and confiscated steels from a shop used for selling scrap and located on the roadsides, under the pretext of working in area classified as Area C without a prior permission from the Israeli competent authorities. The shop belongs to Omar Ahmed al-Atrash (30).
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 17 June 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration, a digger, and a bulldozer moved into Kherbit al-Halawa in al-Masafer area southeast of Hebron. The Israeli vehicles started to demolish three 40-sqaure-meter houses built of bricks and tin plates. Those houses were donated by GVC. As a result, 21 civilians, including 13 children, became homeless. The houses were demolished under the pretext of non-licensing. The demolished houses belong to:

 

  1. Mohamed ‘Ali Abu ‘Arram, comprised of 12 persons, including 6 children.
  2. Mohamed Ahmed Isma’il Abu ‘Arram, comprised of 4 persons, including 2 children.
  3. Yaser Khalil Yunis Abu ‘Arram, comprised of 5 persons, including 3 children.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration, a digger, and a bulldozer moved into Kherbit al-Dabi’, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli vehicles demolished two 40-sqaure-meter residential rooms built of bricks and tin plates. The rooms belong to Mohamed ‘Ali Mohamed Dababsah, whose family is comprised of 12 persons, including 7 children. It should be noted that the Israeli Civil Administration officers confiscated solar panels that supply the rooms with electricity.

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Monday, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a mounted-crane truck and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They then stationed in Beit Za’tah area, adjacent to Bypass Road (60). The Israeli forces dismantled iron arches for a plant nursery built on an area of 300 square meters and then confiscated them. The nursery belongs to Mahdi Mujahed Jameel Museef (31), from Beit Ummer village. The Israeli forces handed him a 30-day transcript of the confiscated arches in case he wants to take back the iron arches. The demolition and confiscation came under the pretext of working in area classified as Area C without a prior permission. It should be noted that Mahdi started to build his plant nursery in October 2018 and then he received a notice to stop construction works.

 

  • At approximately 09:30 on Wednesday, 19 June 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into al-Karama crossing area, east of Jericho. The Israeli bulldozer demolished an under-construction 240-sqaure-meter house belonging to Shadi Ibrahim Sanaqrat, from occupied Jerusalem. The house was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing and being in area classified as Area C.

 

  • Settlers’ aatcks against Palestinian civilians and property

 

  • Israeli settlers’ attacks:

 

  • On Thursday morning, 13 June 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement established in the southeastern side of Ainabous village, southeast of Nablus, attacked the center of the village and wrote racist slogans against Arabs on the walls of the Old Mosque (Mosque of the Forty Martyrs), the village clinic and a house belonging to Tariq Al-Sulwadi. After that, the village residents saw the settlers and made them leave the village.

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 13 June 2019, a group of Israeli settlers severely beat Mohammed Yehia Al-Tamimi (42), from Deir Nitham, north west of Ramallah, with a stick while he was in an agricultural area belonging to him near “Helmish” settlement, which is established along the borders of the abovementioned area, northwest of the city. Mohammed said that he was surprisingly attacked by two settlers, who severely beat him along with his son Rami (15), noting that Rami suffers an “Impaired mobility”. As a result, Mohamed and his son sustained bruises throughout their bodies, and Rami was taken to nearby Bait Rima emergency center to receive medical treatment.

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 14 June 2019, for the second day in a row and in light of Israeli tight measures, dozens of Israeli settlers moved into Solomon’s Pools area, south of Bethlehem, under the Israeli forces’ protection. Eyewitnesses said that about 100 Israeli settlers, raided Solomon’s Pools area and a high hill overlooking the Qirtas village, which is classified within Area (A). Eyewitnesses said that the armed settlers accompanied with their sniffer dogs wandered in the pools and nearby forests and then bathed in the pools, claiming that it is a holy area for Jews. The eyewitnesses said that the settlers, who moved into the area, were youngsters aged between 16 to 17 years old. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities always bring them to this area before they join the conscription to incite settlers and tell them that this area is for Jews and they must preserve it. The settlers move into this area from time to time under the Israeli forces’ protection. It should be noted that Solomon’s Pools are under the full control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) because it is located in Area (A).

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 16 June 2019, a group of settlers, from “Ramat Yishai” settlement outpost established in Tal Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron, attacked members of Abu Aysha Family while they were building a cement wall around their house. It should be noted that the family got an approval from the Israeli Civil Administration to build the wall. The Israeli forces were in the area and did not disperse the settlers, who destroyed the wood fixed in around the house as a prelude to pour the concrete in them. It should be noted that this is the second time that the settlers attacked Abu Aysha family while building the abovementioned wall.

 

  • On Monday morning, 17 June 2019, a group of settlers punctured the tiers of 4 vehicles belonging to Hassan Ibrahim Hamayel (33) and Hussain ‘Atef Hamayel (30) in Kafr Malik village, northeast of Ramallah. They then wrote racist slogans on the vehicles. Hussain ‘Atef said that they were surprised with the Israeli moving into the village and attacking around 4 vehicles parked in front of their owners’ houses. He added that the settlers wrote racist slogans on the vehicles.
  • On Monday, 17 June 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Givat Asaf “ settlement, set fire to agricultural lands belonging to Beteen and Barqah villages, east of Ramallah. As a result, around 35 olive trees, 5 fig trees and 2 grape vines were burnt. The agricultural lands belong to Esam Darwish (40) and Bahjat Darwish (44).

 

  • At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, 18 June 2019, a group of settlers attacked Dirsitiyia village, north of Salfit, where they punctured 18 vehicle’s tiers and wrote racist slogans on the houses’ walls in the “Khayousa” and “Njaima” neighborhoods, west of the abovementioned village. PCHR keeps the names of the vehicles’ owners.

 

 

Recommendations to the International Community

 

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………

Public Document

For further information please visit our website www.pchrgaza.org or contact PCHR’s office in Gaza City, Gaza Strip by email pchr@pchrgaza.org or telephone +972 08 282 4776 – 282 5893.

I am on trial in Germany for peacefully protesting Israeli apartheid

BDS activist Majed Abusalama shares a court statement he delivered after being tried for protesting an Israeli MK’s talk in Berlin

'It is my civil duty to speak up for my Palestinian community' (AFP)

‘It is my civil duty to speak up for my Palestinian community’ (AFP)

I am in the midst of a nightmare because I dared to call for equality, justice, freedom and dignity for Palestinians. My activism in Germany as part of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement has landed me before the court.

Last month, charges were levied against me and my two Jewish comrades, Ronnie Barkan and Stavit Sinai. Together, we are known as the #humboldt3, because we peacefully protested a talk at Humboldt University in Berlin by Knesset member Aliza Lavie, who supported Israel’s 2014 war on the besieged Gaza Strip.

I have been deeply touched by the international support we have received throughout this ordeal. However, we still need all human rights defenders and friends of Palestine to stand with us, since we are going through a re-trial following Israeli pressure to convict us.

Many have told me that I will overcome – but what they might not know is that as a three-decade survivor of the Israeli occupation, the experience of violence, oppression and collective punishment has taught me to keep fighting for life.

In the courtroom, sitting as a criminal, I gave the following statement.

Shared humanity

I am standing here on trial as a criminal defendant, along with my comrades, as a result of us daring to speak up publicly against Israel’s crimes against humanity in my beloved Palestine. It came out of my responsibility as a humanist, and as a Palestinian, to respond to Aliza Lavie, who was in the coalition that decided to slaughter, displace, bombard, torture, imprison and obliterate my beloved people in 2014.

It was my moral duty to call her out for her crimes against humanity. Throughout the event, I was silent, only listening in pain as Lavie spoke. I saw her speaking with joy about her so-called democratic country – but in reality, she was rejoicing at the blood of my people, without any shame.

There was one image that I saw in my mind and felt in my heart: that of my friends who lost their limbs while protesting peacefully

There was one image that I saw in my mind and felt in my heart: that of my friends who lost their limbs while protesting peacefully for justice and freedom inside the Gaza ghetto.

I thought of all my family and friends living a brutal, horrific life under Israeli apartheid, imprisoned and illegally collectively punished.

I saw tens of thousands of homes destroyed in Israeli massacres. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been rendered homeless as a result of the 2014 Gaza massacre and other Israeli onslaughts.

Your honour, if you were in my place – and you will not be, because you will never understand the feeling of waiting for a bomb to fall on your family’s or your neighbour’s home – you would understand how hard it is to live in this continuous horror.

Collective duty

I was shot in the leg with a live bullet while protesting peacefully – planting olive trees – at the Gaza fence in 2014. Lavie, who has been in the Knesset since 2013, is among those who bear responsibility for the bullet that disabled me for months, and damaged me for a lifetime.

Our actions at Humboldt University should be honoured, as it is the moral duty of every humanist to speak up against criminals, especially those complicit in crimes against humanity. As activists for human rights, this is our collective duty – not only in Israel, but also in Europe and specifically Germany, where we live.

We, human rights advocates, think it is our duty collectively to confront any criminal, not only in Israel, but also in Europe.

Gaza’s Great Return March: How Palestinians are reclaiming their land

Read More »

We, the Palestinians and Jews who escaped apartheid in Israel, are here in Germany to fulfill our civil and moral duty to fight for transnational solidarity, equality and justice – to rally all communities together around our shared humanity.

I came to live in Germany as a citizen of this world, hoping that I would no longer suffer under the confinement of Israeli apartheid. But I have discovered that Israeli apartheid is spreading to Germany.

Fear of speaking out

The thousands of Muslims and Palestinians in Germany do not feel safe to speak up. They feel they could be persecuted at any time, simply for shouting “Free Palestine” or dreaming to return freely to their homes, in accordance with the UN-mandated right of return. They fear persecution for calling for equality, dignity, freedom and justice in Gaza.

It is my civil duty to speak up for my Palestinian community

Your honour, for days, I was unable to sleep after encountering the fabrication of us being criminals for speaking up against Israeli apartheid. Yet I realise it is my duty as a future citizen of this country to change the discourse in Germany around Israel’s crimes.

It is my civil duty to speak up for my Palestinian community and for the implementation of international law in our land – and for our freedom to express ourselves and to protest in Germany.

I am standing in front of you today to demand justice, not only for myself and my comrades, but for all those pursuing justice and equality in Germany and Palestine.

The above statement has been edited for length and clarity.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Majed Abusalama
Majed Abusalama is a human rights defender, scholar and independent journalist who hails from Jabalia Refugee Camp in Gaza. He has been worked with International and Palestinian non-profit organisations on the intersections of sustainability, reforming aid, entrepreneurship, and organic conflict transformation. He tweets@MajedAbusalama.

Norman Finkelstein: Israel is An Apartheid State, Netanyahu is an Obnoxious, Racist, Jewish Supremacist

Norman Finkelstein Interview, March 20, 2019.
Transcript:
Jimmy Dore: Hi everybody! Welcome to the Jimmy Dore Show.
We have a special guest today. Norman Finkelstein is an American political scientist, activist, Professor and author. His primary fields of research are the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust, an interest motivated by the experiences of his parents who were Jewish Holocaust survivors. He’s a graduate of Binghamton University and received his PhD in Political Science from Princeton University.

Welcome, Norman Finkelstein. Thanks for being our guest.

Norman Finkelstein: Thank you for having me.

Jimmy Dore: You know, you’re an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and I just wanted to… You know, most people don’t really know the cause of the conflict, they just know that there is a conflict and that the United States is friendly to Israel because they’re a democracy and they’re the only democracy in the Middle East, as people like to say.

So how would you explain this conflict to people who don’t really know much about it, which is most of the people in the United States, and they certainly don’t know much about it if they watch the TV news. So I don’t think your average person knows anything really about it. So how do you inform people about that conflict, well, how it started and what it’s about?

Norman Finkelstein: I think the most effective way to inform people is by way of analogy. Effectively, what happened to the Palestinian people over the past century is pretty close to what happened to the Native American population in the United States. If you take for example the fate of the Cherokee Indians, who originally resided in the Eastern coast of the United States, and they were gradually pushed, pushed, pushed, until they were ended up in Arkansas. And then they were pushed into a portion of Arkansas, which then, once all White settlers crowded in that portion, became Oklahoma. And so the Cherokee were effectively the victims of a policy of expulsion, “transfer” as you want to call it in the Israeli vernacular. And basically there are obviously differences, and one doesn’t want to pretend as if there are no differences, but to look at the big picture, the big picture I would say, it is not fundamentally different than what happened to the Native population in the US.

Jimmy Dore: Wow! I’ve never heard it described that way before. And you know, ironically, you know, most Americans aren’t too aware of how horrible that’s a chapter in our history either. So the United States gives aid and billions of dollars in funding to Israel every year, and people say that Israel is running an Apartheid State, and that Gaza is an open-air prison. Now are those two things true, and how could that be? How could that be if we’re supporting them?

Norman Finkelstein: Well, I think both are true. Israel both benefits from two facts. Number one: they benefit in the fact that there’s a convergence of interests between US ruling elites and Israel on many basic occasions. So for example, right now, there’s a convergence of interests between the US and Israel in strengthening Saudi Arabia, strengthening the Gulf and trying to contain Iran. That’s a fundamental convergence of interests, and that in part, probably in the most significant part, it explains US support for Israel.

But there is also another factor, and one shouldn’t pretend as if that other factor doesn’t exist, which is to say there’s a very powerful Israel lobby operating in the United States, not unlike the Gun lobby, the Cuba lobby, etc. The Israel lobby is another lobby, very effective, probably one of the most, if not the most effective lobbies operating in Washington. And its core component is a very powerful, articulate and organized American Jewish community, though even there you have to enter qualifications because among younger Jews, there’s certainly a diminishing of support for Israel. But the big picture is, both because of a convergence of interests and because of a powerful, articulate, organized, strategically placed lobby, a lobby that has a lot of influence in the media, a lot of influence in publishing, a lot of influence in journals of opinion, a lot of influence on Hollywood, that lobby has been a major factor in determining aspects of US policy towards Israel.

Now on the second point, I don’t really think it’s any longer controversial whether or not Israel is an Apartheid state. I don’t say this as a polemicist, I’m trying to be objective and dispassionate about the situation. Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, now, you could say there are roughly about 12 or 13 million people, roughly. Now that includes the West Bank, it includes East Jerusalem, it includes Gaza. And Israel has controlled the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, it’s controlled it now for more than a half-century. And the Israeli government has made clear it has no intention whatsoever of returning to the borders from the June 1967 war, that is pre-controlling West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. So we can’t any longer talk about an occupation, we have to be talking about an annexation. The territories have been de facto annexed. After a half-century, that seems to me to be the reasonable conclusion, there has been a de facto annexation.

So of all that population that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, roughly, roughly speaking, about half has either second-class status or overwhelmingly no rights whatsoever within the State: no voting rights, and then from there down they don’t even have rights to property, property can be confiscated overnight and at whim, with the support of the  [Israeli] Courts. So it seems to me, again trying to be rational, trying to be objective and trying to be dispassionate, there’s no other term to describe a situation in which close to half the population, close to half the population either has second-class rights (that would be within Israel proper), or no rights whatsoever (which would be the West Bank and Gaza). That’s an Apartheid situation.

But again that shouldn’t shock us. You have to remember, I don’t know how old you are, but I have a vivid recollection during the last days of the [South African] Apartheid, Ronald Reagan supported the Apartheid regime, as did Margaret Thatcher. They were calling till the very end, you’re recalling, Nelson Mandela and the ANC, the African National Congress, a terrorist organization. So if our government was until the very end, the end of Apartheid, if our government was supporting South Africa, because it’s sort of a bastion of Western-called, you know, Western civilization, whatever you want to call it, in Africa, so for the same reason, they support Israel in the Middle East.

Jimmy Dore: So you think it’s without… Because I you know you say it’s without question that Israel is an Apartheid State, which I agree with. But there are people who question it, people very loudly push back against that and they quote the numbers of Palestinians… Well they say there’s an Arab political party, that’s the third largest party in Israel, and all day they quote numbers of Palestinians who are allowed to vote… What do you say to those arguments?

Norman Finkelstein: Well, first of all, I’m glad you asked the questions, because there’s no effective, no more effective way to have a discussion. And if someone of us has to play the devil’s advocate, in this case it should be you.

First of all, I tried to be clear, I said there’s a gradation of rights in the case of Israel. The Palestinians have second-class rights. Israel has now officially declared that it declared Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish people. So I for example am Jewish, and if the United States were declared the Nation-State of the Christian people, I would certainly experience that declaration, especially once it becomes enacted in laws, I would certainly experience that as me being a second-class citizen, that is to say I don’t belong here. It’s the State of the Christian people, it’s not my State.

But having said that, let’s keep in mind that it’s not only one component of the Palestinian population that’s under Israeli control or has been effectively annexed by Israel. The West Bank, people in the West Bank, they don’t vote in Israeli elections, they’re not represented in the Israeli Knesset. The people in Gaza, they don’t vote in Israeli  elections, they’re not represented in the Israeli Parliament, the Israeli Knesset. So far, the vast, the vast preponderance of Palestinians currently annexed to the Israeli State, they have no rights whatsoever.

Jimmy Dore: Okay, alright.

Norman Finkelstein: The only way you can get around that is by saying that well, there’s a peace process. But the Israeli government has already made clear, you’d have to be blinder than King Lear not to see that the Israeli government has said we’re not returning to the old Wars [pre-67 borders]. Once you’ve made that Statement, it’s a Declaration of annexation, and if it’s annexation, then you have to accept that when deciding whether or not Israel is an Apartheid State. It can’t be limited to Israel and its pre-67 border: it’s the whole area, including the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, including Gaza.

Jimmy Dore: You know, I’ve heard people say that the majority of the Jewish people don’t support the policy of the Israeli government when it comes to Palestine, Gaza and the West Bank. How could that be? And can you speak about the Likud party, which is like the extremist party, a right-wing party in Israel: what would you say is the percentage of support they actually have in the population inside of Israel and out?

Norman Finkelstein: Well, we should be clear that number one, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, he’s been the head of State now for about a decade, and he’s gone through many elections. And even though he’s surrounded by what scandal after another, none of these scandals have actually made a big dent in his popularity. And the reason for that, I think, is pretty straightforward, it’s pretty uncontroversial at any rate in my opinion. That is to say Benjamin Netanyahu is an obnoxious, racist, Jewish supremacist. And on all of those descriptives: obnoxious, racist, Jewish supremacist, he’s wholly representative of the Israeli population. And the reason they keep reelecting him despite the scandals, which are always said to be imminently going to bring him down, despite the scandals that never bring him down, it’s because when they look at Benjamin Netanyahu, most of the Israeli population, they see themselves. And they vote for him because in his mental outlook, I wouldn’t really call it values because I don’t think people like Mr. Netanyahu have any values per se, but in terms of mental outlook, contempt for Arabs, contempt for Muslims… Actually, with all due respect to you, Mr. Dore, and to all your listeners, unless they’re Jewish, he has contempt for all of you. These are Jewish supremacists.

But he also happens to be in a separate category a racist, and now even though I don’t like to use the terminology, because it’s too simple and too sloganeering, it happens to be, I think, in these particular circumstances, it’s illuminating. Why do Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Trump get along so well? Why is Mr. Netanyahu Mr. Trump’s biggest cheerleader in the world? Well, the answer is simple: they both like walls. Mr. Trump wants to build a wall to keep out Mexicans, Mr. Netanyahu wants to build a wall to keep out Arabs.

They both hate Black people. Mr. Netanyahu, when President Obama, the Head of State in the United States, Mr. Netanyahu, he didn’t see it at all amiss, he didn’t see it at all awry for him to come barging in the United States, barging into the Capitol building and instructing, telling Obama what American policy should be towards Iran. I dare say, and of course you’re free to contradict me, it’s inconceivable, it’s inconceivable, had there been a White Head of State, had it been George Bush or even a Jimmy Carter, had it been even a Jimmy Carter, Mr. Netanyahu would not have dared carry on the way he did with Obama. He’s a racist.

And just like Mr. Trump the racist loathes Muslims, so Mr. Netanyahu loathes Black people, which is why he made it a part of his policy to expel the Arab migrants [from Erythrea, Soudan…], about 30,000, who were fleeing a war situation, fleeing very serious, life challenging situations, and came as refugees to Israel. And he ruled it because you have to remember, Mr. Netanyahu he grew up, a large part of his life was spent in the United States. His father was a professor at Cornell University, and they hated Black people, the Schwartzs, the Schwartzs as it’s called, the Black people, they loathe them. And so now, for Mr. Netanyahu to have to face the prospect that the Schwartzs are invading Israel [is unbearable], so they have to go.

And so it’s that same mindset. It’s not values, it’s a mindset. You can choose what descriptive you want for that mindset: some people would say it’s a Nazi mindset, some people would say it’s a fascist mindset, some people would call it a right-wing racist White supremacist mindset, whatever you want to call it. And they have it, and that’s these ruling people.

It’s a sorry thing to have to say, but I’m not one of those people who in the name of political correctness recoil at generalizations. If you could say most White people in the American South, in the pre-Civil Rights era, if you could say most of them were mean, White racist supremacists, very few people would take issue with that quote-unquote “generalization”. But the moment you use exactly those same terms to describe Israel or Israelis, it suddenly becomes politically incorrect. I disagree. If you want to understand the Israeli mentality, these are the Palestinians or Arabs or Muslims, it’s very easy for an American to understand: just look at Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern States in the pre-Civil Rights era. That’s the mentality. That’s the Israeli mentality. And Mr. Netanyahu, in his mindset, he’s not very much different from a George Wallace or a Lester Maddox, with those who remember that era.

Jimmy Dore: So let me ask you: the Jewish people or the people of Israel, do they not see the tremendous irony that’s actually being played out right now, that the Israeli State was invented as a safe haven for the Jewish people because they’ve been persecuted, and now they turn around, and for the last couple of decades they’ve been doing the exact same thing or a very horrible thing, not the exact same thing, but a very similar thing to the Palestinian people, you know, making them be second-class citizens, stripping them of rights, controlling their movements in and out of wherever they go, and also having economic blockades and medical blockades… And you know, like we’ve said, it’s an open-air prison. Do they really miss the irony of that? Do they not see that?

Norman Finkelstein: Yes, I do think they don’t see it. I do think they miss the irony. First of all, remember that a large portion of Europeans who came to the United States, the Pilgrims, the Puritans, they were fleeing religious persecution. And then they proceeded to inflict a really quite grotesque crimes on the indigenous population when they came here. The fact of the matter is just as the European settlers, White settlers who came here, the Euro-Americans, they couldn’t conceive the domestic population, the indigenous population, they couldn’t conceive them as being human beings of the same order as themselves. They were savages. And in the same way, the Israeli people can’t conceive Arabs or Muslims as being on the same moral order as themselves. They’re terrorists or they’re savages. So I think it’s correct to say that they don’t see anything awry in the way they’re carrying on.

In fact, if you read most of the testimonies of Israelis on the situation there, most Israelis haven’t the slightest of interest in what goes on in the West Bank and Gaza. They live very good lives, they have a very high standard of living, they travel a lot, but for them, the West Bank and Gaza are far-off distant, almost exotic places for Israelis. I know that might come as a surprise, but remember, for example, when I was growing up living in New York City, it’s a compact city as I suppose you know, 99% of White New Yorkers talked about Harlem, were terrified of Harlem, but had never stepped foot in Harlem. They had never seen it, let alone physically placed themselves there. And there was a funny thing back then, when Europeans came over, visitors, you know, young people, you’d ask them where do you live, and they would all say “Harlem, of course”, [Laughter], yeah, because Harlem was exciting, you know, it was clubs, it was jazz… But for White New Yorkers, Harlem was some sight of terror. “Harlem?! You live in Harlem?! Oh my God!”

And I remember when I first went over to the Occupied Territories in 1988, I lived with some families in the West Bank, and when I told Israelis “You know, I went to the West Bank”, they’d say “You went to the West Bank?!” I mean their eyes buldged.  It’s a foreign place to them.

Jimmy Dore: That’s a fascinating… I mean it’s amazing these analogies you’re making, they’re very helpful actually.

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