The Beautiful Rayyan and the ‘Israeli’ Beast

30 Sep 2022

By Zeinab Abdallah

As a mother goodbyeing her children going to school every day, her biggest concerns would be how anxious they are, how much comfortable they feel without her being with them, how concentrating they are in their classes, and whether the food they took with them was enough or they will return hungry so she would rather have their lunch prepared before they are back…

But as a mother goodbyeing her children going to school in Palestine, the concerns are totally reduced. She would only be worried whether the apple of her eyes will be back home or not.

In the beautiful Palestine, there is an ‘Israeli’ beast that aims at the land and its owners alike. No matter how young the generation is, its land-tie is a crime as per the occupier’s standards.

Seven-year-old Rayyan Suleiman, from the central part of the occupied West Bank, has lost his life after falling from a high place while running away from ‘Israeli’ occupation forces who were chasing him.

Medical sources reported that Rayyan was admitted to hospital after his heart had stopped beating. Attempts to revive him failed, and he was officially pronounced dead soon afterwards.

The frightened minor ran away from the Zionist regime soldiers as they chased him and other students after leaving their school. Rayyan subsequently fell from a high place and died.

His father, Yasser, said the ‘Israeli’ troops chased his son to their house, adding that Rayyan’s heart stopped beating because he was apparently so scared.

The bereaved father noted that he put his son in his car and rushed to hospital but was stopped half way by ‘Israeli’ occupation soldiers who let him drive on only after they had made sure Rayyan was dead.

In Palestine, it is not the children who fear the beast, although it is monstrous enough to frighten their entire childhood. In Palestine, it is the beast that fears the children… Although as innocent as they must be, children in Palestine are born with a strong attachment to their motherland, which the occupier fears could make them future liberation-seekers.

This vital spirit that is haunting the Zionists’ very existence won’t be extinguished by killing Rayyan and his friends. Mothers in Palestine in every moment give birth to a resistant and revolutionary soul that will very soon eradicate this usurping entity.

Rayyan’s martyrdom didn’t catch the world’s attention. His cold-blooded killing didn’t draw the international bodies’ condemnation. World media didn’t employ its lenses to expose this heinous crime as it did for the sake of Morocco’s Rayyan. The Moroccan boy fell in a well next to his home and world media provided round-the-clock coverage for the rescue operations before he died. However, the world’s double standards sadly consider the Palestinian boy as just a number in a full record of the victims of the ‘Israeli’ occupation.

The beautiful Rayyan will rest in peace, but the ‘Israeli’ beast will never live at ease, never…

IOF storm Al-Aqsa, prevent worshipers from entering compound

Sep 26 2022 08:20

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

At the beginning of the celebrations of Jewish holidays, Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque under the heavy protection of occupation forces.

Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque under the heavy protection of occupation forces

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque to secure the settlers’ incursions, and prevented men under the age of 40 from entering the compound to perform the Fajr (dawn) prayer, Al Mayadeen‘s correspondent reported Monday.

On Thursday, Israeli right-wing extremist Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque amid restrictions on the entry of worshipers, and toured the mosque’s courtyards, starting from the Mughrabi Gate, guarded by the occupation forces.

Ben Gvir is one of the most notorious Israeli politicians, as he is infamous for constantly carrying out provocative tours in Al-Aqsa mosque and rallying illegal Israeli settlers that call for the death of Arabs and Palestinians alike while chanting racist slogans and slurs against Muslims and Arabs.

Before Ben Gvir stormed Al-Aqsa, the occupation police tightened their presence at the gates of Al-Aqsa and prevented entry to it, especially from the Qattanin Gate.

At the door of the Council Gate (Bab Al-Majlis), the IOF detained the worshipers and prevented them from entering it.

This comes on the eve of Jewish holidays, amid calls to organize mass incursions by settlers into Al-Aqsa during the holiday’s three-week period that began on Sunday.

On the other hand, Palestinian institutions called for intensifying the presence of Palestinians in Al-Aqsa Mosque during this period.

Hamas: Amping up resistance in West Bank foiled enemy’s schemes

In the same context, the Hamas movement called Sunday for the amping up the acts of resistance to thwart the Israeli plans against the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The movement’s spokesperson, Hazem Qassem, said in a press statement that ramping up the acts of resistance in the occupied West Bank and the ’48 occupied Palestinian territories is enough to thwart Israeli plans against Al-Aqsa Mosque.

He added that the gatherings and stationing in Al-Aqsa Mosque will fail the occupation’s plans, stressing that the extremist incursions under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces must be met with more of these gatherings and stationing.

He continued to say that the Palestinian people will protect Al-Aqsa Mosque with every means possible, while stressing that the “key to the victory of the Palestinian people” is stationing at the Mosque, adding that “with their unity and resistance, the occupation plans in Al-Aqsa will be thwarted.”

It is noteworthy that celebrations of the “Hebrew New Year” are scheduled to start Monday, followed by the “Yom Kippur” celebrations on October 5.

Read more: 30 Palestinian prisoners launch open-ended hunger strike

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Pro-Palestine Campaign Urges Boycott of New Zealand Film Festival Until ‘Israel’ Ties Cut

June 17, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of ‘Israel’ [PACBI] called for boycott of Doc Edge Festival in New Zealand until it drops partnership with the Zionist regime’s embassy.

The call for the boycott came after Doc Edge named the ‘Israeli’ embassy as a supporter on its website.

In a statement released on Thursday, PACBI, a founding member of the global BDS movement, said that accepting any funding from the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime would be a vicious attempt to normalize the apartheid and military occupation of Palestine.

The group, which includes hundreds of film professionals, movie directors and international artists, called for effective measures to hold the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime accountable for its brutal oppression of Palestinians.

PACBI said that Doc Edge is complicit through its art-washing partnership with apartheid ‘Israel,’ urging all film professionals to boycott it.

More than 200 prominent filmmakers have pledged not to submit films in “events partially or fully sponsored by complicit ‘Israeli’ institutions until ‘Israel’ complies with international law and respects Palestinian human rights.”

“No documentary film should have a free pass to promote the violation of international law, whether it is an ‘Israeli,’ US or NZ production; consistently applying the same principle to all. Any film institution that programmed such a film would expect “common sense” boycotts from conscientious film audiences,” the statement added

Many artists, including Hollywood stars, have taken issue with the festival showing films by ‘Israeli’ directors, but none from Palestinians.

They have strongly censured the Tel Aviv regime for its murder of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was killed in cold blood by ‘Israeli’ occupation forces at Jenin refugee camp.

The artists decried the hypocrisy of the Western governments which “have rushed to impose blanket boycotts and sanctions in response to Russia’s offensive in Ukraine,” while they “continue to fund and shield ‘Israel’s’ decades-long occupation and grave human rights violations against Palestinians.”

“There must be no double standards when it comes to the basic human right to freedom from persecution and oppression and the right to life and to dignity.”

The group, inspired partly by the international boycotts against apartheid in South Africa, is calling for the boycott of institutions that are complicit in the Zionist regime’s crimes and its settlement expansion policies.

The BDS movement was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations pushing for “various forms of boycott against ‘Israel’ until it meets its obligations under international law.”

Thousands of volunteers worldwide have since then joined the BDS movement, which calls for people and groups across the world to cut economic, cultural, and academic ties to Tel Aviv and to help promote the Palestinian cause.

Freedom Tunnel prisoner Yaqoub Qadri on hunger strike for 11th day

11 Jun 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Muhjat Al-Quds foundation announces receiving a letter from Yaqoub Qadri who is on hunger strike for the 11th day, whereby he confirmed he was transferred to a dumpster-like cell infested with insects.

Isolated prisoner Yaqoub Qadri

The media department of Muhjat Al-Quds Foundation for Martyrs, Prisoners, and Wounded confirmed in a statement that the isolated prisoner Yaqoub Mahmoud Ahmed Qadri is on an open hunger strike for the 11th consecutive day to demand the restoration of all his rights he was coerced out of by the “Ohalei Keidar” prison administration.

Muhjat Al-Quds stated that the prisoner confirmed in a letter that he has been on an open-ended hunger strike since the beginning of June, in refusal of the prison administration’s decision to close his cantina account, claiming that he owed 7,500 shekels, which he has no clue where it came from.

The Foundation added that he was denied family visits for a period of two months and going out to the square for a period of two weeks, and he recieved a fine of 250 shekels. He stressed that he decided to go on an open hunger strike “in order to recover all the rights stolen from him by the prison administration.”

In his letter, Qadri indicated that his situation is very difficult as he faces daily inspections by the prison administration, adding that the prison administration has moved him to a new dumpster-like cell infested with cockroaches, mosquitoes, ants, and bedbugs that feed on his body day and night, all for the sake of breaking his will and forcing him to end his hunger strike without retrieving any of his stolen rights.

Muhjat Al-Quds called on international, human rights institutions, especially the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, to “carry out their legal and moral responsibilities of exposing the arbitrary practices and crimes of the Zionist occupation prisons against the isolated prisoners, specifically the prisoners of the Freedom Tunnel, and bringing the Zionist officials to justice by forcing them to stand before the International Criminal Court.”

It is worth noting that the prisoner Yaqoub Qadri from the village of Bir Al-Basha, in the Jenin governorate in the northern West Bank, was born in 1972 and is single. He was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces on October 18, 2003, and the Israeli court sentenced him to life imprisonment twice, plus 35 years. His charges were “belonging to and being a member of Saraya Al-Quds (Al-Quds Brigades) – the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, and participating in operations against the occupation forces.”

On September 6, 2021, six prisoners broke out of Gilboa prison in Palestine.

Read more: Meet the Mastermind behind the Gilboa Prison Break

According to Israeli sources, the prisoners who managed to escape through a tunnel were Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, Munadel Yaqoub Nafi’at, Mohammad Qassem Al-Arida, Yaqoub Mahmoud Qadri, Ayham Fouad Kamamji, Mahmoud Abdullah Al-Arida, knowing that the last five are members of the Islamic Jihad Movement.

Mahmoud Al-Aridah and Yaqoub Qadri were re-arrested four days later, on September 10, 2021 in Al-Nasra. Zakaria Al-Zubaidi and Mohammad Al-Aridah were re-arrested the next day, and Ayham Kamamji and Mundadel Nafi’at on Sunday the 19th, after the house they had barricaded themselves in, east of Jenin, was surrounded.

The so-called “Nazareth Court” issued a sentence on May 22 against the Palestinian prisoners who broke out of Gilboa Prison on September 6, in what was later known as the Freedom Tunnel operation.

Al Mayadeen‘s correspondent said the occupation court sentenced five of the prisoners to five years and eight months in prison, adding that Zakaria Al-Zubaidi was not sentenced today because of his different circumstances.

The court also issued a four-year prison sentence and a fine of 2,000 shekels against the five prisoners who provided assistance to the Freedom Tunnel prisoners as per Israeli claims: Iyad Jaradat, Ali Abu Bakr, Muhammad Abu Bakr, Qusai Merhi and Mahmoud Abu Ashrin.

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Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 26 May – 01 June 2022)

02, 06. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity

Three Palestinians, including a woman and a child, were killed and 129 others, including 10 children, were injured by Israeli Occupation Forces’ (IOF) fire while dozens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in IOF attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.  Details are listed below:

On 27 May 2022, Zaid Ghuneim (14) was killed in al-Khader village, southern Bethlehem, after IOF deliberately and unjustifiably opened fire at him in their incursion into Um Rukbah area in the village and deployment between houses. (More information available here)

On 01 June 2022, Belal ‘Awad Qobha (24) was killed, and 4 others were injured in clashes during IOF incursion into Ya’bud village in Jenin.  The incursion ended by exploding the family house of Diaa Hamarshah, who was previously killed after carrying out a shooting attack that killed 5 Israelis in Tel Aviv on 29 March 2022.

On 01 June 2022, Ghofran Warasnah (30) was killed with a bullet shot by IOF at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron, allegedly for attempting to carry out a stab attack.  (Further information available here)

Those injured were victims of IOF’s excessive use of force and suppression of peaceful protests and gatherings organized by Palestinian civilians and they were as follows:

On 26 May 2022, a child was wounded with a bullet in clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Howara village, southeastern Nablus.

On 27 May 2022, 4 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly peaceful protest in Qalqilya.

On 28 May 2022, 4 Palestinians, including 4 children, were wounded with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly peaceful protest in Qalqilya.

On 29 May 2022, IOF conducted extensive assaults during their incursion into al-Aqsa yard in East Jerusalem in the morning.  They beat up elderlies, causing them fractures, during IOF’s attempt to empty the yard in order to secure the raid of more than 2600 settlers.  IOF raided the mosque yard through al-Qibli praying hall side and broke the locks f the minaret of the Mughrabi Gate.  They topped the nearby roofs and al-Qibli praying hall roof as well as closing it with chains.  IOF also arrested 10 worshippers when they were near al-Silsilah Gate and obstructed the work of journalists, forcing them to leave the mosque yards.

In the evening, 79 Palestinians were wounded, and 50 others were arrested when IOF suppressed with sound bombs, teargas canisters and rubber bullets tens of Palestinians participating in a peaceful protest and raising Palestinian flags.  The protest coincided with a rally of hundreds of settlers in the Damascus Gate yard as part of their annual flag march where they chanted racist slogans and conducted many assaults under the protection of IOF who closed the entire area.  Also, clashes broke out between Palestinians and IOF and settlers that extended to East Jerusalem’s neighborhoods and villages.

On the same day, 6 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded in clashes with IOF near Howara checkpoint at the southeastern entrance to Nablus.  Also, 2 Palestinians; one was a child, were wounded with bullets in clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into al-Duheisha refugee camp, southwestern Bethlehem.  During the incursion, IOF raided a house, assaulted the residents, and destroyed the internal walls, causing severe damage to the house.  Moreover, 3 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded with live and rubber bullets in clashes with IOF at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, northern Hebron.  A Palestinian was also wounded in IOF’s suppression of a peaceful protest in Husan village, western Bethlehem.  Another Palestinian was wounded with a bullet in clashes with IOF near the Military Checkpoint 300, northern Bethlehem.

On 30 May 2022, 3 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded in clashes with IOF at the northern entrance to al-Bira.  Also, a Palestinian was wounded with a bullet and then arrested in clashes with IOF at the entrance to Kharsa village in Hebron. 

On 31 May 2022, 2 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with IOF at the northern entrance to ‘Azoun village, eastern Qalqilya.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 6 times at agricultural lands in an access restricted area in eastern Gaza Strip. Also, five IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western shore.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 53 Palestinians, including 42 civilians: 12 children, 5 women (one was a journalist) and the rest were activists; 3 of them were assassinated. Also, 841 others were wounded in these attacks, including 84 children, 4 women, and 19 journalists all in the West Bank, except for 9 fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Land razing, demolitions, notices and settlement activity

Israeli authorities demolished 2 houses and 9 residential tents, rendering 11 families of 75 persons, including 14 women and 26 children, homeless. Also, the Israeli authorities razed 3 dunums and handed 3 demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 26 May 2022, IOF razed 3 dunums in Wadi Rahal village, southern Bethlehem, uprooting tens of olive trees.

On 30 May 2022, IOF handed 3 demolition orders to 3 uninhabited houses in eastern Yatta, southern Hebron.

On 01 June 2022, IOF demolished a house in al-Issawiya village in East Jerusalem, for the sixth time in a row under the pretext of unlicensed construction, rendering a family of 8 persons, including 4 women and 2 children, homeless.  On the same day, IOF demolished 9 residential tens and a sheep barn in Masafer Yatta area in Hebron, displacing 9 families of 60 persons, including 23 children.  IOF also demolished a residential barrack, and another used as a sheep barn in addition to 4 fences in Za’im village, northern East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, displacing a family of 5, including 3 children.  Moreover, IOF handed 10 cease-construction notices to facilities in Marda village, northern Salfit.

Since the beginning of 2022, IOF rendered 76 families homeless, a total of 441 persons, including 89 women and 208 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 73 houses and 16 residential tents. IOF also demolished 47 other civilian objects, leveled 246 dunums and delivered 96 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

Settlers conducted 7 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the West Bank.  The attacks included setting fire to agricultural lands and attacking vehicles, houses, and journalists. Details are as follows:

On 27 May 2022, settlers organized a flag rally in Howara village in Nablus and attacked and damaged a coffeeshop on the main street in the village.

On 28 May 2022, settlers conducted attacks on Palestinians during a flag rally organized by the former under IOF’s heavy protection.  The rally took off from the Damasuc gate area towards the streets of Eat Jerusalem’s Old City On the eve of the anniversary of the occupation of the city.  IOF violently assaulted 2 Palestinian children and then arrested them.

On 29 May 2022, in a flag rally in Eat Jerusalem, settlers conducted assaults against Palestinians in the Damascus Gate and several neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.  Settlers assaulted by hands and insults journalists in the area, wounding a number of them.  The settlers also tried to raid houses in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and attacked property as well as breaking car windows.

On 30 May 2022, settlers set fire to agricultural lands in the outskirts of Madma and Burin villages in Nablus as 50 olive trees were burnt. 

On 31 May 2022, settlers assaulted Palestinians in Wadi Rababa neighborhood in East Jerusalem coinciding with an Israel Nature Authority’s razing operation in the area.  Settlers also threw stones at a vehicle and broke its windows in addition to attacking the passengers and causing them bruises and wounds.

So far this year, settlers carried out 140 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 212 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 117 Palestinians, including 11 children and a journalist, were arrested; most of them were arrested during IOF’s incursion into al-Aqsa Mosque yards and suppression that coincided with the Israeli flag march in East Jerusalem. Moreover, IOF arrested 10 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including 2 infiltrators via eastern Rafah on 26 May and 8 fishermen while sailing off Rafah shore on 31 May.  Six of the fishermen were released the next day (further details available here).

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 3577 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 2495 Palestinians were arrested, including 249 children and 17 women. IOF also conducted 16 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 52 Palestinians, including 35 fishermen, 14 infiltrators, and 3 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

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

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 108 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 3 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

So far in 2022, IOF established 1709 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 101 Palestinians at those checkpoints

Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa mosque

 June 5, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net + Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque under protection from the Israeli occupation forces, and dozens of Palestinians suffered from suffocation with tear gas in Al-Isawiya.

Israeli occupation forces storm Al-Aqsa Mosque

Settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque, on Sunday morning, under protection from the Israeli occupation forces, Al Mayadeen correspondent reported.

Our correspondent reported that the occupation forces had locked the worshipers of the Al-Qibli prayer hall inside it with chains. The IOF targeted then proceeded worshippers in the Al-Qibli prayer hall with rubber bullets leaving several injured. These measurements were taken to secure the settlers’ incursions.

Earlier, dozens of Palestinians suffocated from tear gas, as they confronted the Israeli forces that stormed the town of Al-Isawiya, northeast of occupied al-Quds. In the town of Al-Isawiya. The IOF also targeted Palestinian citizens with rubber-coated metal bullets according to the Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA).

Moreover, local Palestinian sources confirmed the outbreak of confrontations between Palestinians and the occupation forces at the Shuafat camp checkpoint in occupied al-Quds.

Yesterday, Hamas and the Palestine Scholars Association (PSA) called on young Palestinians to resist occupation forces in Al-Aqsa Mosque and “thwart the Israeli plans aimed at Judaizing it.”

Harun Nasir al-Din, head of Hamas’ al-Quds affairs office stated that “protecting Al-Aqsa is a national and religious duty.”

Ream more: Haniyeh: Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa Mosque events will not be forgiven

Last Sunday, settlers organized an Israeli flag march. It took place in the streets from Bab al-Amoud and the alleys of occupied old Al-Quds to the courtyard of the Al-Buraq Wall. During the march, occupiers raised the Israeli flag as well as posters containing racist slogans against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims. In addition, settlers called for the demolition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Constantly on the Verge of Collapse: How Palestinians Became a Factor in Israeli Politics

May 18, 2022

Israeli politicians Naftali Bennett (L) and Ayelet Shaked. (Photo: via Wikimedia commons)

By Ramzy Baroud

Israel’s coalition government of right-wing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is on the verge of collapse, which is unsurprising. Israeli politics, after all, is among the most fractious in the world, and this particular coalition was born out of the obsessive desire to dethrone Israel’s former leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

While Netanyahu was successfully ousted in June 2021, Bennett’s coalition has been left to contend with the painful reality that its odd political components have very little in common.

On April 6, Israeli lawmaker Ildit Salman defected from the coalition, leaving Bennett and his temporary allies wrangling with the fact that their Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) coalition no longer has a majority. Now that the Knesset count stands at 60-60, a single defection could potentially send Israelis back to the voting booth, which has been quite habitual recently.

Two current Bennett allies, Abir Kara and Bir Orbach, are possible defectors. Even Bennett’s old Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) partner, Ayelet Shaked, could ultimately betray him, once his coalition ship begins sinking. And it is.

Both Bennett and Shaked left the Jewish Home in 2018 to form Yamina. Although the latter won only seven seats in the March 2021 elections, the far-right party proved to be the kingmaker, which allowed the anti-Netanyahu coalition to be formed. The only alternative to this current coalition would have been a government in which Netanyahu and Bennett would alternate the prime minister post. Though Bennett is a protegé of Netanyahu, the current prime minister knew too well that his former boss cannot be trusted.

So, instead, Bennett opted to join a hotchpotch coalition of political desperados, each joining an unlikely government for simply having no other option. For example, Yesh Atid (17 seats), and Kahol Lavan (8 seats), once part of the Blue and White center-right coalition, betrayed their political base by joining far-right Yamina and, consequently, leaving behind Telem of Moshe Yalon, which now has no Knesset representation.

The same can be said of Labor (7 seats) and Meretz (6 seats) who, earlier, were the backbone of the Israeli political establishment – in 1992 they had 56 seats combined. Losing faith in their own political base, they opted to join their supposed ideological nemesis, instead of enduring the painstaking process of breathing life into a dying camp.

The captivating part of the story is the United Arab List of Mansour Abbas, which is rightly perceived to have betrayed its Arab base in Israel and its own Palestinian people everywhere else. As the Israeli army is cracking down on Palestinian communities throughout historic Palestine, including Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Naqab – Mansour Abbas’ own base – this strange political creature remains committed to Bennett, though nervous about future possibilities, especially that the nature of the Israeli attacks on Palestinians are increasingly shifting towards a religious war.

Consequently, it is hard to imagine that Bennett’s government could realistically survive till 2025. In fact, it is quite rare in Israeli politics that any government coalition has served its full four-year term. Still, Israel’s historic political instability is worsening. In fact, Bennett’s government is the outcome of an agonizing political process that saw Israeli voters cast their votes in four different general elections in only two years.

Perhaps, what is keeping Bennett’s coalition together, though precariously, is the menacing image of Netanyahu, the current opposition leader, sinisterly watching from across the Knesset aisles while waiting for the right opportunity to pounce. Some Israeli analysts even argue that the defection of MK Salman was largely instigated by the abuse and intimidation she received from Netanyahu’s Likud party, which saw her as a traitor to their right-wing agenda.

Regardless of the fate of Bennett’s government, Israel’s political crisis will continue indefinitely, and there are reasons for this.

Though the Israeli right has dominated the country’s politics for many years, especially since 1996, it remains fractious and opportunistic. The constant need to feed the insatiable appetite of the country’s powerful right-wing constituency keeps pushing Israel’s right-wing parties further to the right. They are merely united around such values as the racial and religious supremacy of Israeli Jews, their hate for Palestinians and Arabs, the desire to expand the illegal Jewish settlements and the rejection of any mediated solution that would provide Palestinians with their basic human rights.

The left in Israel is, frankly, not a left at all. It is recognized as such, largely because of its ‘peace-process’ legacy, which died with the assassination of Labor Minister Yitzhak Rabi, in 1995. Tellingly, Rabin was not a peacenik but one of Israel’s most militant and violent leaders. However, the erroneous association, linking any Israeli leader with the ‘peace process’, automatically classified that individual as a ‘leftist’. According to Israeli analyst Oz Aruch, this also applied to Ariel Sharon. The name of the late notorious Israeli prime minister and Army General is associated with the Sabra and Shatila massacre, along with other horrific episodes.

Without a real ideology and without a ‘peace process’, or even the desire to engage in one, the Israeli left has become irrelevant.

The same applies to the center which, by definition, is the political camp that occupies the space between the right and the left. With the right being in constant redefinition and the left having no strong ideological base, the Israeli center has proven equally hopeless. The outcome of the April 2019 elections, when the center coalition Blue and White obtained 35 seats, should have been a watershed moment for Israel’s political center. This ultimately culminated to nil, and eventually led to the collapse of Blue and White itself.

While this is taking place in Israel, the Palestinian body politic has been slowly reanimating. Though Palestinian Arab parties in Israel remain divided, and Palestinian groups in the occupied territories are yet to find their common ground, Palestinian communities, especially the younger generations, have been articulating a new political discourse. With grassroots leaderships, they are coordinating their actions from occupied Jerusalem to Gaza, to the Naqab to the West Bank and to Palestinian communities in Israel itself.

For the first time in many years, Israel finds itself in a position where it is no longer the only party that is shaping events or determining outcomes in the country. Therefore, Israeli political instability will worsen. Contrastingly, Palestinians are finally becoming a factor in Israeli politics and, through their popular resistance, can mobilize to put pressure on Israel as has been the case in recent years.

Israel is now facing the dilemma of either ignoring this new Palestinian factor, at its own peril, or accepting the inescapable fact that Israel can never enjoy stability while Palestinians remain occupied, confined and oppressed.

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

هل تكون دماء الشهيدة شيرين أبو عاقلة نقطة تحول؟

 ناصر قنديل

شهادة شيرين أبو عاقلة ليست موضوع نقاش، فهي بصدق التزامها بقضية شعبها ورفع صوته تحوّلت على مدى ربع قرن الى أيقونة، وما عبر عنه الفلسطينيون ومقاومتهم من مواكب التشييع الى البيانات والمواقف وما حفلت به وسائل التواصل خير مصداق وشاهد، وحال الحزن والغضب التي عمّت الكثير من بيوت العرب بكبارهم وصغارهم ورجالهم ونسائهم خير تعبير عن أن صدقها أوصل الرسالة التي كانت تحرص على إيصالها بكل قوة في كل مناسبة، بأنها لم تغادر وباقية لتوصل صوت هذا الشعب الى كل العالم. وقد كان حملها للجنسية الأميركية والعروض التي تلقتها من مؤسسات إعلامية غربية يخوّلانها هجرة القدس وفلسطين مراراً، وما يرويه أهالي الأسرى وعائلات الشهداء عن صداقة ربطتهم بها ومودة زرعتها في قلوبهم تأكيد لذلك النبض الصادق الذي عبرت عنه، واستحقت معه مرتبة الشهادة، سواء كانت تعمل في قناة الجزيرة أو في قناة السي أن أن.

شهادة شيرين أبو عاقلة وموجة الغضب والحزن التي أطلقتها، قدّمت فرصة لتفحص الوهم الذي تروج له بعض الأوساط الفلسطينية والعربية، وهو إمكانية أن يؤدي شعور قادة كيان الاحتلال بضعفهم داخل الكيان وضعف كيانهم داخل معادلات المنطقة إلى التعقل وإقامة الحسابات، والتجربة قالت مراراً وهي تقول اليوم إن هذا الكيان كلما ضعفت قيادته فهي تضعف أمام المتطرفين والمستوطنين وتتماهى مع توحشهم، وإن هذا الكيان كلما ضعف أمام معادلات المنطقة، سواء صنعتها دول أو حركات مقاومة، يوسّع دائرة القتل أملا بتضييق دائرة الضوء على جرائمه وردع الشرائح الفلسطينية والعربية المتردّدة عن أي إعادة نظر في تموضعها إلى جانبه، ولا يجب أن يراود الشك أحد في أن ما حصل في جريمة إعدام شيرين ابو عاقلة مراسلة قناة الجزيرة هو رسالة موقعة من قيادة الكيان، موجهة إلى دول التطبيع، وإلى السلطة الفلسطينية ومسؤوليتها عن التنسيق الأمني، والقائمة العربية المشاركة في الحكومة ودورها في الحفاظ على الحكومة، بأن القتل يشكل الجواب على أية محاولة للتأقلم مع المعادلات الجديدة وعدم احترام الخطوط الحمراء للكيان.

شهادة شيرين أبو عاقلة، سواء فهمتها حكومة قطر وقناة الجزيرة كرسالة مباشرة إليهما أو لم تفهماها كذلك، فهي كذلك، وقطر التي شاركت دون كل دول الخليج في اجتماع وزراء الدفاع للدول الحليفة لواشنطن من أجل تسليح الجيش الأوكراني، وقناة الجزيرة التي تولّت دون كل قنوات العالم الفضائية مهمة الإعلام الحربي للحكم الأوكراني في شيطنة روسيا وعملياتها العسكرية، وحكومة قطر وقناة الجزيرة قد تشاركتا في ريادة نهج التطبيع النفسي مع كيان الاحتلال من بوابة تصنيفه رأياً آخر، واعتبار الانفتاح عليه والتعامل معه يخففان من غلوّه وعدوانيّته، وصنعتا نظرية أولوية العداء للحكومات العربية المناوئة للكيان على العداء للكيان نفسه أملاً باسترضائه بخوض حروبه بالوكالة، كما تقول كل وقائع مواقف قطر والجزيرة من الحرب على سورية؛ هل تفهمان اليوم الرسالة، ومضمونها أن الاحتلال ليس رأياً آخر، وأن التعامل معه ليس وجهة نظر، وأن التحول الى موقع الحليف المميّز عند الأميركي ليس حصانة بوجهه، وأن العداء لكل من يعادي الكيان لا يحتسب لأصحابه عندما يستدعي جدول أعمال الكيان المزيد من التوحش، بل قد تكون أولى الرسائل الدموية موجهة لهم بدماء شهداء أنقياء من أمثال شيرين ابو عاقلة، رسالة مضمونها أن المنطقة عشية حرب ستكون غزة طرفاً مباشراً فيها فاختاروا موقعكم الإعلامي من الآن وإلا..!

أن تكون دماء شيرين ابو عاقلة نقطة تحول، يعني أحد أمرين أو كليهما، الأول أن يتوقف العالم الغربي بمؤسساته الحكومية والقانونية عن معاملة جرائم الاحتلال بمعيار الحماية، أو المواربة، والثاني أن تغسل دماء شيرين أبوعاقلة عار التطبيع عن الإعلام العربيّ، وفي المقدمة منه قناة الجزيرة، وأن يرد الاعتبار لمعيار العداء لكيان الاحتلال في رسم صورة المشهد العربي السياسي والإعلامي، ورغم الحزن والغضب والمرارة ليس ثمّة ما يقول أن شيئا من هذا سيحدث قريباً أو أنه على وشك الحدوث.

رحم الله شيرين شهيدة فلسطين وقد احتضنها القلوب ورفعتها الأكتاف، وبكتها العيون، وشيعها المقاومون، قبل أن يتسابق الانتهازيون إلى التقاط الصورة التذكارية!

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

30 Apr 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Ruqiya Anwar 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New Palestinian Generations’ Intifada: A Matter of Time Until ‘Israel’ Will Fail

April 24 2022

By Mohammad Youssef

Palestine again and again puts the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity at a very sensitive crossroad of its history. The Palestinian people and their diverse resistance groups never fail to surprise the world by their deep and genuine sense of creativity when it comes to the resistance. More surprising is the deep attachment and embracement of the new generations to the cause of struggle and resistance.

The latest confrontations between the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces and the Palestinians at the holy al-Aqsa Mosque are reminiscent of the days of the previous Intifadas [uprisings] where the ‘Israelis’ were humiliated and brought to their knees.

The steadfastness of the resistance in the battlefield, along with the persistent and continuous struggles of the people to defend al-Aqsa Mosque portends of a new unprecedented era of struggle that will tighten the noose against the ‘Israelis.’

The recent coordination among the Palestinian resistance factions and the harmony with the struggling people is portraying a new horizon for the whole cause.

This has started since the resistance imposed a new equation which extends its protection formula beyond the Gaza Strip to include al-Aqsa Mosque and the West Bank alike. This is going to activate the new equation into its full strength and this will definitely usher in a new strategic phase of the resistance where the military operations collaborate with the people’s uprising in a steadily ascending order. Such a thing will cause a war of attrition to the enemies and will surely result in a catastrophic loss to the ‘Israeli’ entity.

The so-called legitimacy of the Zionist existence will continue to erode in the eyes of the world and the international community. This will put the enemies in a very tough position as they strive to strip themselves from the image of being a racist apartheid entity.

The continuous crimes perpetrated by the ‘Israelis’ against the Palestinian civilians and their sacred places whether Christian or Muslim have intensified the world’s anger against them.

‘Israel’ is digging deeply in its chronic crises and is losing the capability to make any initiative to rid itself from this dilemma.

The Palestinians never cease to generate new creative methods to diverse their struggle and create very tough and complicated situations to the ‘Israeli’ leadership whether political or military. 

‘Israel’ nowadays has been put into a very viscous cycle of impotency towards the occupied Palestine and its honorable people.

The ‘Israeli’ military might is proving futile to silence the Palestinian military determination of the resistance to fight back. Meanwhile, all the sinister plans and conspiracies are not capable of twisting the will of the new generations to continue the struggle in different ways and methods.

Surely, these days are not the best for the ‘Israelis’ but definitely they are to the Palestinians. Our hopes are pinned on this generation of Intifada that will build upon the past experience and will put the ‘Israeli’ entity into a deadlock and a strategic labyrinth.

Not much time will pass when ‘Israel’ will fail and Palestine will prevail!

Tunisian Workers Party: To criminalize normalization with ‘Israel’

23 Apr 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen + Agencies

By Al Mayadeen Net 

The Workers’ Party in Tunisia calls for the support of the Palestinian people and the enactment of a law criminalizing normalization with the Israeli occupation.

The Tunisian Workers’ Party calls, during a solidarity stand, to criminalize normalization with the occupation

On Saturday, the Tunisian Workers’ Party organized a sit-in in front of the municipal theater in the capital to condemn Israeli attacks in Palestine and support Palestinians, calling for the enactment of a law to criminalize normalization.

Dozens of Tunisian Workers’ Party supporters participated in this solidarity stand in support of the Palestinian cause while raising Palestinian flags.

The demonstrators chanted slogans, such as “the people want to criminalize normalization”, “Palestine is not for sale”, “criminalizing normalization is a duty to support the Palestinian resistance”, “agents of Zionism… hands off the cause”, and “normalization is high treason.”

The Workers’ Party called for the signing of a popular petition in all regions of Tunisia, to impose the enactment of a law criminalizing normalization.

The Secretary-General of the Workers’ Party, Hama al-Hammami, condemned the silence of the Arab governments, saying that the Palestinian people “are being subjected to a barbaric Zionist operation in light of the complicity of the Arabs.” 

He also considered that the Arab regimes “distracted their peoples from taking care of the Palestinian cause,” stressing that the Palestinian resistance “has developed, the equations have changed, and all racist regimes are about to disappear.”

The Labor Party condemned the continuous Israeli attacks on the right of the defenseless Palestinian people in the camps, the neighborhoods of occupied Jerusalem, and the cities and villages of the so-called “Green Line”, including the Negev, which is exposed to a frantic Israeli effort to change its demographic composition.

At dawn on Friday, the Israeli police stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Palestinians confronted the occupation forces. The aggression caused the wounding of 31 Palestinian, two of them critically.

For days, tension has prevailed in Al-Quds and the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, as a result of the Israeli incursions into the mosque, which coincided with the Jewish Passover holiday that ended on Thursday.

نقطة تحوُّل على حافة الهاوية: «إسرائيل» بين الحرب الإقليميّة والحرب الأهليّة


الخميس 21 نيسان 2022

ناصر قنديل

معادلتان قاسيتان تعبران عن مأزق حكومة كيان الاحتلال، هذه الحكومة وأي حكومة لاحقة. المعادلة الأولى هي معادلة الردع التي فرضتها قوى المقاومة في المنطقة عموماً، والتي وضعت سقفاً لحدود القدرة العسكرية الإسرائيلية في فرض السياسات، بغياب قدرة أية حكومة إسرائيلية على كسر الجمود السياسي بمبادرات قادرة على إحياء المسار التفاوضي، ونجحت معركة سيف القدس بتسييل معادلة الردع العامة هذه الى معادلة خاصة، تضع مستقبل توحش وتغَوٌل المستوطنين والمتطرفين الدينيين اليهود في كفة تعادل نشوب حرب، تبدأ بين غزة وجيش الاحتلال، وتبقى فرضيّة تحوّلها الى حرب إقليمية مفتوحة. والمعادلة الثانية هي معادلة التبعية للتيارات المتطرفة بين المستوطنين والجماعات الدينية في الكيان، بصفتها الجماعات الوحيدة الباقية في السياسة، بعدما غادرت الأحزاب التاريخية المسرح وتلاشى بعضها، كنتاج لموت السياسة في الكيان، حيث الحرب والتفاوض في حالة موت سريريّ، وكما يبتز بنيامين نتنياهو حكومة نفتالي بينيت بالوقوف وراء المتطرفين أملا بالعودة الى المسرح، سيجد من يفعل معه المثل عندما يعود، وسيجد أنه يفعل ما فعله بينيت وهو في الحكم، وقد سبق لنتنياهو أن فعله مع معركة سيف القدس الأولى، قبل أن يطرده بينيت بقوة اللعبة ذاتها.

شيئاً فشيئاً يضيق هامش المناورة أمام أية حكومة في كيان الاحتلال، وتجد رأسها مضغوطاً بين فكي كماشة يقتربان من بعضهما تدريجياً، بحيث يصير على الحكومة، سواء كانت حكومة بينيت او نتنياهو وشارون، إذا عاد من قبره، أن تختار بين اثنتين، أولاهما، الذهاب بعيون مفتوحة نحو توفير الغطاء لتحركات المستوطنين والمتطرفين، المدفوعة بقوة عدم الثقة بالحكومات والسياسة، وبقوة القناعات العقائدية المتطرفة، التي تقوم على قتل العرب من مسلمين ومسيحيين، ووضع اليد على أملاكهم وتدمير مقدساتهم. وفي هذه الحالة تكون الحكومة مدركة بكامل وعيها أنها ستدفع ثمن تماسك المتطرفين والمستوطنين وراءها، بالمخاطرة بالذهاب إلى حرب جديدة مع المقاومة في غزة، ولاحقاً في المنطقة، وأن لا أمل يرتجى من الفوز بهذه الحرب عسكرياً، ولا قدرة على تحمل دفع الثمن اللازم سياسياً لوقفها، لأنه يبدأ بالأخذ على أيدي المستوطنين والمتطرفين، والتعهد بعدم انتهاك حقوق المقدسيين ومقدساتهم، وثانيتهما، التموضع بعيداً عن المستوطنين والمتطرفين تفادياً لخطر الحرب، وهذا سيعني لاحقاً الأخذ على أيديهم ومنعهم من التفلت من الضوابط التي تمنع نشوب الحرب، وهذا سيعني المخاطرة بالتصادم معهم، والانتقال تدريجيا الى مناخ انقسام أهلي يهودي، بين مفهوم سلطة تبحث عن الاستقرار الإقليمي في لحظة ضعف قاسية، ومفهوم مجتمع متطرف ومسلح ولا حدود لاستعداده لمواجهة مؤسسات السلطة عندما تعترض طريقه المرسوم بقوة العقيدة التي قامت على أساسها السلطة ذاتها, وبين خياري الحرب الإقليمية والحرب الأهلية، قد تطول الرحلة نسبيا، لكنها ستتقدم مهما حاولت حكومة الكيان، أية حكومة، التذاكي والسير بين النقاط تفادياً للبلل، لأن ما يبدو مجرد رذاذ اليوم سيكون غداً مطراً غزيراً.

كما ابتكرت حكومات الكيان نظرية المعركة بين حربين، لتفادي الاعتراف بالعجز عن خوض حرب، وهي تعلم أن صيغتها المبتكرة لا تغير في موازين القوى، ولا تشكل بديلاً عن خيار الحرب أو العودة للمسارات السياسية، وتعزّي نفسها بأنها تنجح بشراء الوقت أملاً بمجهول لا تعلمه ولا تملك أدنى إشارات على ماهيته وإمكانية قدومه، فيكفي شراء الوقت لترحيل اللحظة الحاسمة من حكومة إلى حكومة، ستبتكر هذه الحكومة وما يعقبها من حكومات نظرية ضربة على الحافر وضربة على السندان، فتبيع المستوطنين والمتطرّفين معركة يخوضونها وتقف وراءهم، كما فعلت في تبنيها زيارتهم الاستفزازية للمسجد الأقصى، ومن ثم تلجمهم كما فعلت في منع مسيرة الأعلام، من الوصول الى باب العامود، ولكن ذات مرة ستتحول واحدة من هاتين او كلتيهما الى مواجهة خطرة، وسيكون على حكومة الكيان، أية حكومة، أن تختار بين الحرب الإقليمية والحرب الأهلية، وما حدث بالأمس هو نقطة التحول على حافة الهاوية التي دخلتها حكومة بينيت وسترثها منها أية حكومة لاحقة.

The Game Changing Battle: Al-Aqsa Mosque

April 21 2022

By Mohammad Sleem

Beirut – With Palestinians marking the holy month of Ramadan, tensions rise in al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied al-Qud’s [Jerusalem], as “Israeli” soldiers raided the holy site in a barbaric attitude against peaceful Palestinians who were performing daily prayers.

Nothing is worse than the scene of an occupying soldier hammering a Palestinian man with a baton in front of his son. As the father was trying to hide the pain, the son had to run away with a terrible memory engraved in his mind.

Zionist soldiers arrested dozens of worshipers, targeting young men and women. The elderly were not spared; they were stone-heartedly beaten. As a result, more than 400 Palestinians had been arrested and 152 others injured during the raids.

Though, Palestinians have not been sitting lazily. They have launched several lone-wolf operations against the “Israeli” occupation regime, army and police.

On the other hand, resistance groups in Gaza delivered stern warnings to the “Israeli” entity and called for general mobilization against the violence on al-Aqsa.

To turn words into actions, the Palestinian resistance on Monday [April 18] fired several rockets on “Israeli” settlements from Gaza. The “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF] responded by launching several raids targeting the strip.

A new deterrence equation

The latest development in the Palestinian arena between the “Israeli” entity and the resistance groups was a game changer.

To begin with, it was the Palestinian resistance who took the first step in the confrontation. They launched a rocket attack in response to the entity’s crimes at the al-Aqsa Mosque. It is worth mentioning that this measure on behalf of the Palestinian side was first of its kind in the sense that it is usually the IOF who always strikes first.  

Secondly, the most recent twist to the long-standing narrative is the Resistance’s response to the “Israeli” raids on the Gaza Strip. It was the first Palestinian military response of its kind to take place. The resistance groups used the newly released “Strela-2” air defense system to target an “Israeli” aircraft, revealing a new deterrence equation with the Zionist entity. This is a huge turning point in the “Israeli”-Palestinian battle as the most effective weapon in the hands of the entity will be at high risk of failure to deter Palestinian missiles.

Accordingly, the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in the Muslim world. Any escalation from the “Israeli” regime against the Holy Mosque might lead to a new level of response from the resistance groups in Gaza, and maybe it will lead to a scenario where the whole Axis of Resistance be present in a battle that will change the face of history.

During their long-lasting battle with the “Israeli” apartheid entity, Palestinians have always assured that the Zionist regime may countlessly trespass al-Aqsa Mosque, but this will never stop them from working to achieve a belief that someday the Holy Mosque will be liberated from its oppressors.

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

 

Eva Bartlett

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

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

One WhatsApp group where Israelis incite violence has been active for a year.

April 6 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen Net 

One WhatsApp group where Israelis incite violence has been active for a year.

‘Burn their homes’: Israeli WhatsApp groups are organizing attacks on Arabs.

Several Israeli WhatsApp and Telegram groups, some of which have been active for over a year, are openly calling for and planning real-world violence against Palestinians, including the sale and use of weapons and grenades. 

“Friends, we have to shake the country,” said one user in a WhatsApp group called “Love Israel” that’s been active since April 2021. The user called for members of the group to meet at a specific time and place in the West Bank where many Palestinians pass on their way to work in the occupied territories. “If the government is not going to make a mess, we will!”

Read more: Israeli settlers storm Sheikh Jarrah and attack Palestinians

According to screenshots of communications received by Motherboard, the same message has circulated across various WhatsApp and Telegram groups in recent days.

“Bring knives, brass knuckles, sticks, and stones,” one user said in response to the message posted in a Telegram group. “Molotov cocktails too.” 

“We’re 17 people already, some of us are armed,” another user said.

“Set for tonight,” a user in a WhatsApp Group said. “We will not be silent,” he said, next to a picture of him holding two hand grenades.

Ynet reported that the police identified, questioned, and released the user who posted the picture; a 13-year-old who took the grenades from his older brother, a soldier in the Israeli occupation army.

‘Burn their homes’: Israeli WhatsApp groups are organizing attacks on Arabs

“We need to burn their homes,” one user in the same WhatsApp group said.

Users in the same group posted pictures of and offered to sell AK-47 and M-16 rifles.

WhatsApp group members expressly stated that they need to replicate the type of violence that was planned on WhatsApp in May 2021, when Israeli citizens carried out many acts of violence against Palestinians, including the destruction of a Palestinian ice cream parlor in “Bat Yam”.

The inciting WhatsApp and Telegram posts by Israelis were gathered and shared with “Motherboard” by “FakeReporter”, a nonprofit that monitors and reports disinformation and extremist content online, and “Democratic Bloc”, an organization dedicated to “defending democracy in ‘Israel’.” The posts were also covered by Israeli media.

Read more: Israeli settlers attack Palestinian shepherds

“I don’t want them to monitor groups, but I want a clear process for what you do about these groups,” Achiya Schatz, director of FakeReporter, said.

“As a private messaging service we do not have access to the contents of people’s chats. We provide simple options for users to make reports to us and we respond to valid legal requests from law enforcement,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told “Motherboard”.

Telegram did not respond to a request for comment.

According to Schatz, the majority of the organizations are significantly influenced by and support “Kahanism”, a Jewish extremist ideology named after Meir Kahane that regards “all Arabs living in ‘Israel’ as adversaries of a Jewish theocratic state,” a place which they insolently occupied to start with. 

“The feeling is that they want violence in the streets and it’s a Kahanist action. They talk about in terms of religious wars. But in many cases people who join these groups are not religious,” Schatz said.

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Ukraine is not Palestine, Russia is not Israel

March 26, 2022

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (Photo: Government of Ukraine, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Issa Khalaf

Most people of goodwill and strong politico-moral sense who seek justice and fairness, all of us who are just plain human, naturally desire to be consistent in how we assess and judge the world outside us.  However, we cannot speak intelligently without acknowledging that one must navigate the inherent tension between moral-legal consistency and context and veracity.

There was no lack of just war theory academics, including within the rich Catholic tradition, actually arguing, at the time, that the 2003 US invasion and obliteration of Iraq, which killed hundreds of thousands, mostly civilians, displaced millions of mostly Sunni Arabs (decimating the core of the educated, secular, professional middle class), constituted a just war.

We cannot but be moved and outraged at the strong tormenting the weak.  Palestinians, at the receiving end for close to seventy-five years, are especially aware and sensitive to occupation, oppression, refugees, war.

But this is not the complete reality of and in Ukraine.  Yes, civilians are suffering and many escaping from active war zones—notwithstanding context or who is at fault, who is the victim.  Rare in war are there good and bad sides, villains and heroes.  Nor am I arguing the legality or otherwise of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, or that preemptive war is legal, or weighing the legal merits of Russia’s “responsibility to protect” in the Donbass.  And no, civilians should not be punished for the reckless idiocy of their leaders.

Neither the “might makes right” premise of the “realists” nor the war gods of “the liberal international order” is moral or legal.  Still, we can’t be mired in the exegesis of rights.

The argument for the Ukrainian state’s justice and presumed victimhood, its innocence and helplessness in face of Russian power, rings hollow.

What is particularly disappointing, are those Palestinian and Arab-Americans who seem to have accepted the received wisdom—including of young people tweeting their outrage, transferring their virtue signaling to a place many can’t find on a map—of legal and moral right for Ukraine.  Advancing basic arguments about double standards and inconsistencies in the application of international law and norms, viewing Ukraine as the recipient of unmitigated, unregenerate Russian aggression and brutality, emphasizing that international law cannot be selectively applied to Palestine and Ukraine, they presume to convince those who have never done right by them.

Palestine will not, ever, obtain redress, justice from the US/EU and certainly not if the Israeli ruling fanatics imbued with Zionist ideological craziness can help it.

The appeal to international law misses the essential geopolitical correctness of the Russian case, of aggressor and aggressed, aggravator and aggrieved, but also the implications for Palestine, the Middle East, and the world, of US/Western actions: specifically, at this critical juncture in history, the destabilization of international order and security, festering local conflicts and disputes, endless wars, and continuing impoverishment of the world’s under-classes.

Russia of course is a major power, with a great asymmetry in strength between it and Ukraine, thereby stymieing any further critical comparison, much less nuance, scrutiny or context.

Russia, it can be argued is acting out of defense, Israel is not.  Ukraine, backed by creeping, belligerent US/NATO expansion to Russia’s borders, demanding of its Western backers before the war to acquire nuclear capability is a real, present danger to Russian national security; Israel, armed with nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, is a dangerous, destabilizing threat to regional and world peace.

Russia is not fighting a defenseless state, but one de facto allied and armed by US/NATO, with an armed forces count of about 300,000, including paramilitaries; Israel’s is perhaps the strongest military in the Middle East.

The Russian offensive is not motivated by ideologically-inspired expansionist motives; Israel is a hyper-expansionist, colonizing apartheid state.  Russia does not engage in dispossession and ethnic cleansing, Israel and Ukraine do.  Russia does not conduct war with criminality; Israel and Ukraine do.  Russia aspires to a secure, fair, economically prosperous neighborhood and world, Israel hinders this locally and doesn’t give a damn globally.  (For Israel’s extremely well-organized and financed supporters—aka lobbies—in Washington and other Western capitals, there’s only one state that comes first.)

Russia does not have an institutionally racist, exclusivist ideology, Israel and Ukraine do.  Russia is not a religio-ethnic or ethnolinguistic state, Israel and Ukraine are.  Ukraine is not a stateless, occupied, captive population, Palestine is.  Israel is interested in using the Ukraine conflict to “ingather” Ukrainian Jews to solidify its demographic lead and disappear Palestine, Russia does not do this in Ukraine or elsewhere.

The Ukrainian and Israeli regimes enjoy the support of the same imperial, global hegemon, are hostile to their neighbor(s), and are extremists unaware that their long term survival, security and prosperity hinges on peace and coexistence with the others within them and around them.  Both suffer from suicidal myopia.

With the exception of innocent people suffering, there’s little political or moral equivalence between Palestine and Ukraine, including schoolyard talk about Ukraine’s right to join NATO.

Residing in the US or other Western countries, apprehending from the centers of power, saturated with a monolithic narrative, you would believe that Russia’s leader is unspeakably evil, even neurotically demented, out of control, the Russian people deserving their comeuppance.  Russians’ vulgar cruelty, their crude methods in prosecuting war, indiscriminate killing of civilians, women and children included, is the Orwellian propaganda we’re fed, and apparently, legions of Americans and Europeans have internalized these lies.

There is another side to this narrative told by military experts worth listening to: Russia’s offensive is designed to minimize the physical and immoral impact of war, its movement methodical, patient, restrained.  It is simultaneously pursuing war and diplomacy; has not targeted vital physical and social infrastructure, including utilities; encircled but not leveled cities; created “cauldrons” around the enemy’s large military formations rather than annihilating them to effect surrender; opened humanitarian corridors everywhere for civilians to exit cities, provided food, water, medical care; and refrained from using air power (so far) to minimize damage to property.

The objective is not to kill and destroy, but to preserve.  Kiev has not been attacked for that reason, the Russians aiming to have their political demands met including neutrality and demilitarization, and thus ending the war.  (How Ukraine is politically-territorially-administratively organized after it’s over remains to be seen.)

Astoundingly, one would never know any of this. The leading newspaper of record and warmongering, The New York Times, beats the Ukraine victim narrative while insisting that Ukraine is stronger and Russia weaker than thought in this war.  What am I saying?  That people are indeed getting killed and uprooted; that stray munitions hit civilian buildings; that some low-level crimes may occur, but the killing and destruction by the professional, disciplined Russian military are comparatively small and unintentional.  Has anyone in American media verified any Ukrainian claim of destroyed, civilian-filled swimming pools, theatres, hospitals, shopping centers, art schools or investigated the Russian version?

Not that one lost life is morally defensible, but we cannot critically process without facts.

Contrast the Ukraine war with the inveterate display of Israeli barbarity.  Indiscriminate murder from air, ground, sea against defenseless populations, Gaza being the prime example; use of horrible weapons from cluster to phosphorous bombs; destruction of schools, hospitals, water systems, laying medieval sieges to punish civilians by starving them; use of human shields, sniping at old men, women and children; and all manner of crimes against humanity (not to mention unprovoked attacks against neighboring states).

These crimes are of course well documented, including dozens of UNSC resolutions regarding the Israeli occupation’s egregious violations of international law, much less any semblance of morality.

The Ukrainians aren’t much better.  Aside from their genocidal war against ethnic Russians, including unspeakable brutality in the Donbass, their army and hardcore Nazi formations have in fact terrorized and killed their own civilians to prevent them moving through the humanitarian corridors (as in the homicidal Azov battalion in Mariupol where 125,000 civilians are held captive), placed artillery and military formations in neighborhoods as a hostage to avoid Russian attack, moved into civilian buildings, used human shields, murdered journalists, those deemed to be politically incorrect towards war, and opposition figures, shelled their own civilian facilities, presumably accidentally, and blamed it on the Russians, and early on in the war, the regime’s security services murdered one of its own negotiators.

Ending the war is of the utmost urgency, but the Kiev regime is, under US pressure and its own extremists, stalling and escalating even when its army is scattered and surrounded, the US imperative being to maintain the stream into Ukraine of lethal weapons and neo-Nazi fighters and other assorted mercenaries trained by the CIA (and British) since at least 2015, and assiduously work overtime to cause a Russian quagmire even at the growing risk of a nuclear cataclysm.

It needs reiteration: Ukraine’s ruling military/oligarchic/xenophobic elite is intensely corrupt, right-radical, chauvinistic, and undemocratic, violently imposing its authority on a country of intensely divided identities.

This elite’s sociopolitical and cultural base is in parts of the western half of the country with its anachronistic Galician-Polish loathing towards Russia and ethnic Russians in Ukraine, and whose nationalists and crypto-Nazis view Russians as Asiatic mongrels.  Though accounting, with their supporters, for some 10 percent of the population, neo-Nazi and old-fashioned Nazi groups have had a huge, outsized effect on the state.

Many are familiar with the quote from a leading expert, the late Stephen F. Cohen, that Kyiv “encouraged” and “rehabilitated” neofascists, “even memorializing Ukrainian collaborators with Nazi German extermination pogroms and their leaders during World War II, renaming streets in their honor, building monuments to them, rewriting history to glorify them…”

We are talking about monuments to western Ukrainian Nazis who, along with that other equally virulently Russophobic state, Poland, collaborated, in their territories, with the German Nazi occupation in the murder of millions of Jews in the Holocaust.

In the racist, supremacist realm, the Ukrainian and Israeli regimes ironically have much in common.

Aside from the war’s material and political realities, there’s the astounding matter of the “information war,” so tightly controlled and orchestrated by the West and which hands down leaves Russia in the dust, that most of us are clueless regarding up from down, war from peace, criminality from humanity, victim from victimizer, legal from illegal, fake from real.  The intense propaganda is directed at American and Western publics to convince them of war and economic sacrifice.

The information blackout and frenzied emotional manipulation by the mass and social medias, including a deluge of misinformation and manufactured stories and false images from other places and conflicts, the terrifying assault on dissenting voices in context of iconoclastic madness, the fear and censorship of speaking out makes this whole affair disgusting, rife with hypocrisy, and horrifyingly fearsome.

Which leads us to Volodymyr Zelensky, that erstwhile, scripted hero whose racism towards Palestinians exactly matches the screeching anti-Palestinian racists and killers heading the Israeli government.  One would think a hero is empathetic, altruistic, just, unselfish, honest, and much else.  Instead, Zelensky thinks Israel, towards which he feels a cozy kinship, is the sufferer and victim of the Palestinians.

A bizarre, unholy mix, this story, featuring cynicism, immorality, illegality, duplicity:

–A president-comedian-actor and a Ukrainian-Israeli oligarch, the wealthiest in Ukraine, who made and enriched Zelensky and financed his TV show (as well as his real presidential run) in which he played president and whose indoctrinating message was the wonderful utopia of joining NATO and the EU;

–This president in tenuous control of the armed forces and neo-Nazi formations and police state methods of the interior ministry and security services, ruling alongside radical nationalists and many in the regime who hate Jews;

–All regime factions super-racist towards the Palestinians and viciously anti-Russian;

–Tel-Aviv doing the aliyah-shuttle for Ukrainian Jews, not other Ukrainians, unless one counts the tokens;

–Israel involved in arming race-mixing-hating neo-Nazi militias and training nefarious elements;

–Israelis coming and going, feeling at home as if Ukraine were their business playground;

–All sides enabled by an ideologue-managed US, its “deep state” massively projecting its denial-rage, incapable of strategic empathy, apparently willing to blow up Europe than be denied global control.

The victims here are truly the Ukrainian people abused by all sides, followed by the rest of us.

-Issa Khalaf has a D. Phil. in political science and Middle East Studies from Oxford University. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Palestinians are fighting battles through their phones

23 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Aya Youssef 

Despite their battles on the ground and in the virtual world, Palestinians are still able to go viral.

Palestinians are fighting battles on their phones

“You are stealing my house!” yelled the Palestinian woman facing the illegal Israeli settler in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood, in occupied Al-Quds. 

“If I don’t steal it someone else is gonna steal it,” the settler replied with no hesitation. 

Comment, retweet, share, like, repost, and download. The outcome?

 Palestine has gone viral. 

Starting from the inside

Raw video footage of Israeli occupation forces storming Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan in 2021 started to circulate all over social media platforms. The videos were showing Israeli soldiers storming through screaming crowds throwing grenades and shooting rubber bullets into them. 

European states, US lawmakers, and prominent figures started to condemn such brutal acts on their social media platforms, and it didn’t take months for this footage to become viral; it took seconds.

Israeli brutality has gone viral. 

Palestinians are fighting battles through their phones


Salhiyya family’s home

Mahmoud Salhiyya stood up against the Israeli forces and threatened to set himself on fire as a last resort to prevent them from taking his and his sister’s home. Palestinian activists held their phones and live-streamed, took photos, and published with the click of a button.

At dawn, Israeli occupation forces bulldozed Salhiyya family home, but Palestinians were wide awake to live stream, hashtag, take pictures, and tweet.

Israeli occupation authorities have been trying everything to uproot Sheikh Jarrah residents, from sending aleatory and unlawful court-mandated eviction orders to allowing settlers to attack Palestinians living in the neighborhood. 

But guess what? Israeli crimes have gone viral, too. 

Save Al-Naqab

The Israeli occupation forces arrested a 12-year-old Palestinian girl named Julian Al-Atrash. While she was being dragged and handcuffed, she didn’t hesitate to smile.

That smile made it through social media platforms. Pro-Palestine activists started to draw, illustrate, and post the moment that girl smiled. 

Occupation forces started to storm Al-Naqab villages to bulldoze the area as a part of a plan led by the “Jewish National Fund” to confiscate Palestinian lands. 

There are more than 30 villages in Al-Naqab dubbed as “unrecognized” villages under the Israeli occupation government, so there are no means of transportation, no roads, and no schools in the area. 

Despite all of this, during the Israeli storming, Al-Naqab was being recognized more than ever online, with people retweeting and sharing “#SaveNaqab”.

The greenwashing of Israeli crimes has gone viral.

What’s going on in Al-Naqab in Palestine?

Palestine is going viral from the outside

Palestinian refugees who were forcibly displaced from their lands have been facing the Israeli occupation every single day. They have been fighting battles on their own. 

Shahd Abusalma’s case

Shahd is a Palestinian refugee and a lecturer living in the UK. Sheffield Hallam University suspended her teaching duties due to anti-Semitic claims and decided to investigate her. Shahd has done nothing but retweeting, liking, and commenting on videos showing the Israeli occupation’s brutality.

Solidarity campaigns started to go viral, websites started to write about Shahd’s case, and “#InSupportOfShahd” started to circulate all over Twitter. 

How did all this start? As soon as Shahd announced that she was subject to these campaigns on her Twitter account, retweets skyrocketed. 

The university restrained Shahd’s teaching duties without dropping the investigations regarding her case. Shahd didn’t stop there because guess what? 

Shahd’s case has gone viral.

Shahd has walked her followers through her journey regarding any new update on her case. 

A few days later, the university dropped all of the investigations that were made against Shahd and offered her a more secure contract that will afford her employee status.

Rasmy Hassouna’s case

A Palestinian-American citizen who was about to renew his contract with the government before he noticed a legal clause that forbids him and his company A&R Engineering and Testing, Inc, from ever protesting “Israel” and its products.

Rasmy filed a lawsuit against the Texas state law, which bans government contractors from boycotting the Israeli occupation and won the case.

US District Court Judge blocked Texas from imposing its anti-boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) law against Hassouna because boycotting, any kind of boycott, was protected by the First Amendment, which is the right to participate in economic boycotts as a form of protest.

“It’s great, isn’t it?” Rasmy said to Al Mayadeen English as he received the news.   

Determined as ever, Rasmy said “Stand up for your rights, as expatriates, I believe we can do a lot for Palestine.” 

His victory made it through websites and social media platforms. 

And guess what? Rasmy’s victory has gone viral. 

Palestinians are fighting battles on their phones

Don’t let tech giants fool you: Al-Kurd siblings as an example 

23-year-old Palestinians had nothing to defend their land with except their phones. They had no idea that anyone would care enough to watch illegal Israeli settlers storming their house or brutally assaulting young Palestinians. They didn’t know that anyone would care enough about a neighborhood in occupied Palestine. 

With every video or live-streaming posted, their followers were piling up by day, people started to refer to their accounts for news or updates regarding Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood. 

And now? Muna Al Kurd has over 1.5 million followers on Instagram while her brother, Mohammad al Kurd, has +7K followers on the platform. 

“Instagram is preventing me from going live!” 

Mona Al-Kurd was one of many live-streaming the ongoing events in Sheikh Jarrah when her streaming cut off suddenly. Al Kurd explained that her live-streaming feature was blocked while she was documenting the moment Al Salhiyya’s family home was demolished.

This has exposed Instagram’s complicity and censorship of Palestinian content. 

Censorship of Palestinian content is not new to some of the giant tech companies. Toward the end of last year, activists and journalists have started a campaign against Meta’s policies, which have been targeting Palestinian content and the Palestinian narrative. 

It is important not to forget Human Rights Watch’s report that highlighted Facebook’s policy, and how the tech giant has wrongfully removed and suppressed content by Palestinians and their supporters, including content regarding human rights abuses committed by “Israel” against Palestinians during its 11 days aggression on Gaza in 2021.

Lest We Forget: Palestinians Urge International Protection on Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre 28th Anniversary

February 26, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

On the 28th anniversary of the 1994 Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, a leading Palestinian human rights organization called on the global community to provide international protection for the Palestinians and their holy sites under the ‘Israeli’ occupation.

The Department of Human Rights and Civil Society in the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] made the plea in a statement on Friday, which marks the 1994 killing of some 30 Palestinian worshipers in Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.

“This day marks the 28th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, which resulted in the martyrdom of 29 worshipers and the injury of 150 others inside the compound, [and] which was carried out by the terrorist Goldstein under the eyes and guards of the occupation soldiers,” the statement read, referring to American-born ‘Israeli’ settler Baruch Goldstein who committed the massacre.

“Instead of punishing the criminal and those who protected him and provided him with coverage, the occupation forces punished the victims by imposing their control over the holy site and placing it at the settlers’ disposal,” the statement added.

The department noted, “Since that date, Palestinians have been deprived of freedom of access to the Ibrahimi Mosque, the establishment of prayer there, and have been denied the call to prayer in the holy site most of the time, which is in line with the interests of the settlers and their attempts to Judaize the entire compound.”

The organization denounced the measure as a violation of all international laws and agreements related to human rights and freedom of worshipers.

The statement concluded by calling on the “international community to stand up to its responsibilities and provide international protection for the Palestinians and their holy sites under occupation.”

The holy site in al-Khalil was split into a synagogue, known to Jews as the Cave of Patriarchs, and a mosque after Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians inside the mosque in 1994. Since then, Muslim worshipers have been prevented from having access to the site during Jewish holidays.

Al-Khalil is the biggest city in the West Bank, home to more than 200,000 Palestinians. About 1,000 Zionist settlers, who engage in frequent attacks on Palestinians, also live there under heavy military protection.

South Africa’s ‘Direct Action’ Threat against Israel Raises Expectations

February 20, 2022

South African Minister of International Relations Mrs. Naledi Pandor (Photo: TWAS, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Iqbal Jassat

South Africa’s ANC-Led government has renewed its pledge of solidarity with Palestine by adding the new phrase “direct action”.

The fresh commitment by Minister of International Relations Mrs. Naledi Pandor has been welcomed by the country’s solidarity movements backing Palestine’s freedom struggle.

Though Pandor did not elaborate on the type of “direct action” being envisaged, she pitched her forthright comments by referring to recent human rights reports on Israel which she described as “well-documented apartheid practices of Israel”.

Pandor made her remarks in Parliament during the State of the Nation (SONA) debate.

Her unequivocal condemnation of apartheid Israel following a controversy generated by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent acceptance of “credence” by Israel’s new envoy to Pretoria, may be construed as an attempt to clear the air.

It also follows a stinging rebuke by the African Union chair Moussa Faki Mahamat who is seeking to justify his unilateral acceptance of Israel’s observer status, criticized countries for opposing it yet retained diplomatic relations with Israel.

Though Mahamat didn’t name any country, it was clear that he referred specifically to South Africa. Pandor has not only been vocal in expressing South Africa’s opposition to it, she has been leading efforts to revoke Israel’s observer status.

Her arguments supported by Algeria and a number of AU member states, revolve around the AU charter which rejects colonialism, racism and illegal occupation. By specifically singling-out Mahamat as the person responsible for granting Israel observer status, the stage was set for acrimony between the two.

“We have vehemently, as South African, opposed the granting of [African Union] observer status to Israel by the chair of the African Union Commission. Our objection stems from our own constitution and its values and the African Union charter that rejects colonialism, racism, and illegal occupation of the land of others,” she stated.

Despite her moves to revoke Mahamat’s decision, the AU suspended a debate on it and instead formed a committee to study the issue. Effectively by kicking the can down the road, the tension and division within the AU will continue to simmer.

Though South Africa since the end of apartheid and the dawn of democracy has been seen as a heavyweight in continental affairs, Mahamat saw fit to point out the paradox of diplomatic ties on the one hand and opposition to observer status, thus making a case of double standards.

Does it follow then that Pandor’s parliament address which talked of “direct action” was also to overcome accusations of duel standards? This can be gleaned from her remarks that diplomatic relations with Israel cannot be used by anyone as a reason for bringing Israel into the African Union.

“Our governing party resolutions directed us to downgrade our embassy in Israel. We withdrew our ambassador [from Israel] as part of this process of downgrading, and we are considering further measures to indicate our significant dismay at the continued apartheid practices of Israel against the long-suffering people of Palestine.”

So while the spat with the AU remains unresolved, what is clear is that guns have been drawn. The shoot-out is on hold until the committee appointed to probe Mahamat’s decision meets sometime in the future.

In the meantime, while Pandor’s threat of “direct action” is the subject of speculation, it is expected that just as South Africa awaits it being translated into substantial departure from current diplomatic relations, so too will Palestinians.

After all, the recent compelling findings by Amnesty International on Israel Apartheid, make it equally obligatory for countries to abide by international conventions on the crime of apartheid. Direct action?

– Iqbal Jassat is an Executive Member of the South Africa-based Media Review Network. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit: www.mediareviewnet.com

‘Israel’ Fears Its Attacks in Sheikh Jarrah Could Spiral Into another Fighting With Gaza

February 17, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The Tel Aviv establishment is worried that escalating attacks against Palestinians in the occupied al-Quds Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood could lead to another military confrontation with the resistance groups based in the Gaza Strip, a senior ‘Israeli’ diplomatic official said Tuesday.

Zionist leaders fear the ‘Israeli’ attacks in Sheikh Jarrah may once again snowball into open fighting in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with Hamas warning of a “severe” response following the latest confrontations.

“A deterioration in Sheikh Jarrah could lead to an escalation,” the official, part of Zionist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s entourage, told reporters traveling with the premier in Bahrain.

“There is a responsibility to prevent escalations that can lead to very difficult things… It’s no joke,” the official added.

Earlier, a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement warned that the group will not stand idly by as the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime forces and Zionist settlers brutalize Palestinians in the occupied East al-Quds neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Khaled al-Batsh, an Islamic Jihad Politburo member, said in an interview with Palestine Today news website on Tuesday that the resistance group was capable and ready to start a new battle if necessary in response to the ethnic cleansing taking place in Sheikh Jarrah.

Tensions heightened across the Palestinian territories on Sunday, when Zionist occupation forces and settlers renewed their attacks against the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah.

Sheikh Jarrah has been the scene of frequent crackdowns by ‘Israeli’ occupation regime forces on Palestinians rallying against the threatened expulsion of dozens of families from their homes in favor of ‘Israeli’ settler groups.

Since the Tel Aviv occupation regime seized East al-Quds in the 1967 war, Zionist settler organizations have claimed ownership of the Palestinian land in Sheikh Jarrah and have been attempting to evict Palestinians from the area. This is while all ‘Israeli’ settlement structures are considered illegal under international law due to their construction on an occupied territory.

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