It Has Always Been a ‘Religious War’: On Ben Gvir and the Adaptability of Zionism

January 18, 2023

Israeli forces arrest Palestinian protesting Jewish settler violence at Al-Aqsa. (Photo: via ActiveStills.org)

By Ramzy Baroud

In a self-congratulatory article published in the Atlantic in 2017, Yossi Klein Halevi describes Israeli behavior at the just-conquered holy Muslim shrines in Occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 as “an astonishing moment of religious restraint”.

“The Jewish people had just returned to its holiest site, from which it had been denied access for centuries, only to effectively yield sovereignty at its moment of triumph,” Halevi wrote with a lingering sense of pride, as if the world owes Israel a ton of gratitude in the way it conducted itself during one of the most egregious acts of violence in the modern history of the Middle East.

Halevi’s pompous discourse on Israel’s heightened sense of morality – compared to, according to his own analysis, the lack of Arab appreciation of Israel’s overtures and refusal to engage in peace talks – is not in any way unique. His is the same language recycled umpteen times by all Zionists, even by those who advocated for a Jewish state before it was established on the ruins of destroyed and ethnically cleansed Palestine.

From its nascent beginnings, the Zionist discourse was purposely confusing – disarranging history when necessary, and fabricating it when convenient. Though the resultant narrative on Israel’s inception and continuation as an exclusively Jewish state may appear confounding to honest readers of history, for Israel’s supporters – and certainly for the Zionists themselves – Israel, as an idea, makes perfect sense.

When Israel’s new National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir raided al-Aqsa Mosque on January 3 to re-introduce himself to Jewish extremists as the new face of Israeli politics, he was also taking the first steps in correcting, in his own perception, a historical injustice.

Like Halevi, and, in fact, most of Israel’s political classes, let alone mainstream intellectuals, Ben Gvir believes in the significance of Jerusalem and its holy shrines to the very future of their Jewish state. However, despite the general agreement on the power of the religious narrative in Israel, there are also marked differences.

What Halevi was bragging about in his piece in the Atlantic is this: soon after soldiers raised the Israeli flag, garnished with the Star of David, atop the Dome of the Rock they were ordered to take it down. They did so, supposedly, at the behest of then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, quoted in the piece as saying to the army unit commander: “Do you want to set the Middle East on fire?”

Eventually, Israel conquered all of Jerusalem. Since then, it has also done everything in its power to ethnically cleanse the city’s Palestinian Muslim and Christian inhabitants to ensure an absolute Jewish majority. What is taking place in Sheikh Jarrah and other Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem is but a continuation of this old, sad episode.

However, the Haram al-Sharif Compound – where Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock and other Muslim shrines are located – was nominally administered by the Islamic Waqf authorities. By doing so, Israel managed to enforce the inaccurate notion that religious freedom is still respected in Jerusalem even after Israel’s so-called ‘unification’ of the city, which will remain, according to Israel’s official discourse, the “united, eternal capital of the Jewish people”.

The reality on the ground, however, has been largely dictated by the Ben-Gvirs of Israel who, for decades, have labored to erase the Muslim and Christian history, identity and, at times, even their ancient graveyards from the Occupied city. Al-Haram Al-Sharif is hardly a religious oasis for Muslims but the site of daily clashes, whereby Israeli soldiers and Jewish extremists routinely storm the holy shrines, leaving behind broken bones, blood and tears.

Despite American support of Israel, the international community has never accepted Israel’s version of falsified history. Though the Jewish spiritual connection to the city is always acknowledged – in fact, it has been respected by Arabs and Muslims since Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab entered the city in 638 – Israel has been reminded by the United Nations, time and again, regarding the illegality of its Occupation and all related actions it carried out in the city since June of 1967.

But Ben Gvir and his Otzma Yehudit Party. like all of Israel’s major political forces, care little for international law, authentic history or Palestinians’ rights. However, their main point of contention regarding the proper course of action in Al-Aqsa is mostly internal. There are those who want to speed up the process of fully claiming Al-Aqsa as a Jewish site, and those who believe that such a move is untimely and, for now, unstrategic.

The former group, however, is winning the debate. Long marginalized at the periphery of Israeli politics, Israel’s religious parties are now inching closer to the center, which is affecting Israel’s priorities on how best to defeat the Palestinians.

Typical analyses attribute the rise of Israel’s religious constituencies to the desperation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is arguably using the likes of Ben Gvir, Bezalel Smotrich and Aryeh Deri to stay in office. However, this assessment does not tell the whole story, as the power of religious parties has long preceded Netanyahu’s political and legal woes. The Zionist discourse has, itself, been shifting towards religious Zionism; this can be easily observed in the growing religious sentiment in Israel’s judicial system, among the rank and file of the army, in the Knesset (Parliament) and, more recently, in the government itself.

These ideological shifts have even led some to argue that Ben-Gvir and his supporters are angling for a ‘religious war’. But is Ben-Gvir the one introducing religious war to the Zionist discourse?

In truth, early Zionists have never tried to mask the religious identity of their colonial project. “Zionism aims at establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Palestine,” the Basel Program, adopted by the First Zionist Congress in 1897, stated. Little has changed since then. Israel is “the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said in March 2019.

So, if Israel’s founding ideology, political discourse, Jewish Nation State Law, every war, illegal settlement, bypass road and even the very Israeli flag and national anthem were all directly linked or appealed to religion and religious sentiments, then it is safe to argue that Israel has been engaged in a religious war against Palestinians since its inception.

The Zionists, whether ‘political Zionists’ like Theodore Hertzl or ‘Spiritual Zionists’ like Ahad Ha’am’ – and now Netanyahu and Ben Gvir – have all used the Jewish religion to achieve the same end, colonizing all historic Palestine and ethnically cleansing its native population. Sadly, major part of this sinister mission has been achieved, though Palestinians continue to resist with the same ferocity of their ancestors.

The historic truth is that Ben-Gvir’s behavior is only a natural outcome of Zionist thinking, formulated over a century ago. Indeed, for Zionists – religious, secular or, even atheists – the war has always been or, more accurately, had to be, a religious one.

– 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

Netanyahu returns, but Israel’s political and military landscape has changed

Bibi is back, leading Israel’s most right-wing government but also facing unprecedented Palestinian resistance and global turmoil.

November 06 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Abdel Bari Atwan

While the Arab Summit in Algeria affirmed its adherence to the so-called ‘Arab Peace Initiative’ as a final solution to the Palestinian issue, Israel’s response came quickly and resolutely with the return to power of Benjamin Netanyahu and the anti-Arab religious Likud bloc.

In the 1 November legislative elections, Israelis voted in large numbers for the anti-Arab, racist, religious parties, which openly embrace a policy of killing and expelling Palestinians from all of occupied Palestine, and promote a solely Jewish-Zionist identity of the country.

The “Jewish Power” party, which won 15 seats, and is led by the two most racist figures in the short history of the Jewish state, Bezael H. Cherish and his deputy Itamar Ben Gvir, will be the backbone of Netanyahu’s coalition government.

The leader of this party, which will be the most prominent partner of the Arab monarchs who signed peace agreements with Israel, has called for killing Arabs, expelling them and wrapping the bodies of the martyrs in pigskin “in honor” of them.

Normalization the new norm

Nonetheless, it is likely that red carpets will be laid out for Ben Gvir and Netanyahu in Arab capitals, where they will enjoy Arab hospitality and drink from their gilded goblets. Indeed, there is no difference between the winning Israeli coalition and the defeated one (Lapid-Gantz).

Both converge on their mutual hostility and hatred of Arabs and Muslims. General Benny Gantz, the Israeli Minister of Defense in the previous government, used to boast that he was the Israeli who killed the largest number of Arabs – and this is true, as his government has killed 166 Palestinians since the beginning of this year.

There is a silver lining, however: This racist government will hasten Israel’s demise and lead to its inevitable end, not at the hands of the battered Arab armies, but at the hands of the Palestinian resistance and their regional allies, their missiles and drones.

There are three steps that the Netanyahu government and his extremist coalition may take upon assuming power:

First, a return to reviving the Trump-era ‘Deal of the Century,’ the annexation of the West Bank, and the deportation of most of its Palestinian residents to Jordan as an “alternative homeland.”

Second, the escalation of incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the consolidation of Jewish control over East Jerusalem, and the obliteration of its Arab and Islamic identity. The first step may be dividing it on the model of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, then demolishing it, and erecting the alleged “temple” on its ruins.

Third, the canceling or freezing of the maritime border demarcation agreement with Lebanon, similar to what happened to the Oslo Accords with Palestinians. Netanyahu announced his intent to do so openly in his election campaign.

This option appears especially likely given that extraction of gas and oil from the Karish field has already begun, while the Qana field, which was “partially” recognized as Lebanese, remains untouched, with no surveys or exploration conducted until this moment.

It is likely that the Lebanese gas fields will lay dormant for the foreseeable future. The same US mediators did not guarantee the implementation of even 1 per cent of the Oslo Accords, and they will most likely not guarantee the rights of the Lebanese people.

Renewed Palestinian armed resistance

But Netanyahu is set to assume control over a very different state of affairs, both domestically and internationally. For starters, Israel is facing an escalating internal conflict, and most importantly, a revived intifada in the form of West Bank armed resistance.

We cannot talk about West Bank resistance without discussing the phenomenon of The Lions’ Den whose political and military influence is expanding, while the Palestinian public’s embrace of the movement is growing. Not a day passes without witnessing a commando operation in various parts of the West Bank; in Nablus, Jenin and Hebron – later in Ramallah, and then in the pre-1948 occupied Palestinian territories.

Netanyahu may succeed in including one or two more Arab governments in the Abraham Accords, which was signed under his last premiership. However, such political acrobatics will have no value in light of the “awakening” of the Palestinian people and their return to armed resistance.

The returning Netanyahu will not forget the May 2021 battle of the “Sword of Jerusalem” that humiliated him, and its missiles that isolated the occupying state for more than 11 days, forcing millions of Israeli settler-colonizers into shelters and bunkers.

These missiles are still present and ready, along with hundreds of armed drones. Perhaps it is also worth reminding the incoming Israeli Prime Minister of how he ended an electoral meeting in the city of Ashdod (my ancestors’ hometown) and fled in terror from the 400 missiles launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement in retaliation for the assassination of its leader, Baha Abu al-Atta.

Just another day in the office?

The “Israel” to which Netanyahu returns is not the same Israel he left, and the world he knew when he was last in power, is not the same world today. His US supporter is mired in an unprecedented proxy war of attrition with Russia in Ukraine, where his co-religionist, Volodymyr Zelensky, has so far lost about a fifth of his country’s territory, and has plunged it into darkness and despair.

While Netanyahu is viewed as as being close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, that friendship had deepened before the Ukraine war. The situation has now changed dramatically, and he will be forced to choose between Washington and Moscow in an era of multipolarity.

As for the Lions’ Den, they have effectively changed all the equations and rules of engagement in occupied Palestine – and perhaps in the Arab world as well – and within this context will actually “welcome” the hardliner Netanyahu’s return to power.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Who killed Jeremy Corbyn’s social justice project?

Tuesday, 25 October 2022 3:25 PM  [ Last Update: Tuesday, 25 October 2022 3:25 PM ]

Jeremy Corbyn

By David Miller

The hidden truth about The Labour Files, the largest leak in Britain’s political history, is the opposite of the right-wing critics of the Labour Party. 

They say that Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the UK’s Labour Party, interfered to slow down the progress of antisemitism cases.

The truth was that he speeded them up massively. In doing so, he intensified the witch-hunt against ordinary party members, despite the lack of evidence of a specific problem in the Labour Party of so-called “antisemitism”.

In fact, the evidence shows that levels of antisemitism in the Labour Party were lower than in society in general.

The number of notices of investigation, suspensions and expulsions connected to antisemitism all surged exponentially once Jennie Formby took over as General Secretary in the spring of 2018.

In 2019, there were 45 expulsions; in 2017 there had only been one. Was this because there was a real and increasing problem of antisemitism? No. However, the Corbyn-led party took over and extended the witch hunt by internalizing Zionist talking points on what antisemitism was.

These sang from the hymn sheet produced by the Zionist regime in blurring together anti-Zionism with antisemitism.

Zionist talking points

By acting as if the Zionist talking points were evidence-based, key elements of the office of the Leader of the Opposition (known as LOTO), and those around it, came to believe that they were genuine. 

As a result, they appointed staff who also believed in the false Zionist talking points. At the head of the unit appointed to deal with complaints were three people, each of whom had drunk the antisemitism Kool-Aid:

  • Harry Hayball, who had previously been in Momentum and studied the history of antisemitism on the left” by reading Thats Funny You Dont Look Antisemitic and The Lefts Jewish Problem. The latter was written by an employee of the Community Security Trust which runs point for the Zionist regime in the UK. The former was by Steve Cohen published in 1984 and republished in 2005 by Engage the Zionist lobby group formed to oppose Boycott Divestment and Sanctions. Momentum in 2019 tweeted to recommend the book. As the leader of the Zionist-leaning Trotskyist sect, the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) Sean Matgamna wrote in an obituary in March 2009 that towards the end of his life Cohen considered himself a supporter of AWL”. In other words, Hayball learned about the notion of “left antisemitism” from committed Zionist propaganda tracts. Hayball also states that he was lobbied by a wide range of stakeholders from JLM, Jewish communal organisations and the wider Jewish community. Prior to working in the antisemitism unit, Hayball had been the head of Digital with Momentum, the allegedly hard left support group for Corbyn.  While there he had proactively progressed the witch-hunt claiming of himself that from August 2018 onwards, Hayball submitted dozens of complaints to Labour about cases of antisemitism he had documented from social media posts by suspected Labour members”.  In the Labour files it was revealed that at a meeting after an elderly woman suffered a stroke and died soon after learning of her expulsion from the party, a senior officer had laughed and said “Look we’re anti-Semite killers now!”.  According to the Al Jazeera whistleblower: The whole room broke out in laughter. I can reveal that the official who made the “joke” was Harry Hayball.
  • Patrick Smith, a former member of the AWL, who resigned from the party in 2013 complaining about its Islamophobia. He then joined the Communist Party of Great Britain which, like the AWL, bandies about the Islamophobic term “Islamist”. Smith had previously complained about anti-Zionist views being problematic in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and denounced its members as being essentially mad”.
  • Laura Murray is claimed in the leaked Labour Antisemitism Report, mainly written by Hayball –  to have developed her understanding of antisemitism through her work with the JLM and with Jewish communal organisations” in her role as Stakeholder Manager in the Leader’s Office. Murray also appears to have taken on the role of advocating the views of the Zionist groups to the leadership. She wrote to GLU about the concerns expressed by the JLM and Jewish communal organisations about the handling of antisemitism cases. Note that even the use of the phrase Jewish communal organisations is a Zionist talking point. The main Jewish communal groups are all Zionists. Murray was also said to have, “developed a comprehensive understanding of antisemitism on the left” through her work with “Jewish stakeholders” and “by undertaking further education and training, including” acourse on ancient and pernicious antisemitic tropes” at the Israeli government sponsored Yad Vashem.

The report goes on to say that the employment of Hayball was an indication of the internal desire of Murray and others to “build a team which understood the processes from the perspective of the complainant, which was self-critical.

The assumption was, of course, that the complainants were mainly acting in good faith, which was a recipe for a dramatic escalation of antisemitism suspensions, warnings and expulsions, with no basis on any rational or factual assessment of racism against Jews.

Corbyn’s Zionist advisers

In addition, Corbyn had surrounded himself with close advisors who were either soft on Zionism or were actually true believers. Momentum the so-called hard left support group for Corbyn – was set up by a variety of such people, including obviously Jon Lansman, who in an earlier period had been critical of Zionism.

But during the Corbyn period, he moved to a soft Zionist position, supporting the Zionist-produced IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism and repeatedly saying that the party had to regain the trust of the Jewish community. In May 2016, he wrote that what had been happening in Labour was a frenzied witch hunt in part fuelled by the fundamentalist wing of pro-Israeli organizations. But in the same piece, he argued that the left should drop the term Zionism altogether.

His argument is that Zionists in occupied Palestine are more hardline than those in the UK.  Maybe so, but they are unwilling to countenance the end of the Jewish state. So far, no Zionist group has accepted the end of the “Jewish State”. We are left, then, with the fact that Zionism inherently means support for a settler colony in occupied Palestine.

By 2019 Lansman had moved to the position  – the Party now had “a major problem with antisemitism and had “a much larger number of people with hardcore antisemitic opinions.

Lansman also invited into a key role in Momentum, a left Zionist activist from Scotland, Rhea Wolfson. She was a member of the Zionist affiliate to the Labour Party, the Jewish Labour Movement and was one of the editors (until April 2018) of the Clarion, the paper of the Zionist Trotskyist sect the AWL. According to her: One of the funniest things about Momentum is it’s just so Jewish.

James Schneider

Among other founders of Momentum was James Schneider. At Oxford University, he met his long-time friend Ben Judah, in whose play Schneider acted. It involved the inevitable Arab terrorist who subsequently turns out to be anti-Semitic. The pair were housemates in the period when Schneider founded Momentum in 2015 and they remain friends today.

Judah did his bit for the witch hunt between 2015 and 2019.  Prior to it, though, he had already claimed in May 2015 that he was pinned to the wall, throttled, punched in the head and told to Get out you f***ing Jew, by George Galloway supporters in Bradford, a charge emphatically denied by Galloway and his Respect Party.

Judah now works for the NATO lobby group the Atlantic Council, having previously worked at the “regime-change friendly” European Council on Foreign Relations and then the neoconservative US think tank the Hudson Institute, which champions aggressive, Israel-centric US foreign policies.

Schneider went on to become Corbyn’s strategic communications adviser. Press TV’s Palestine Declassified’ understands that he was among the key people pushing the idea that apologies needed to be made, and that the IHRA should be adopted.

He is on record as saying that the ridiculous judgement of the EHRC “should and must be implemented. He even highlighted what he thought were really good passages in a book by Dave Rich of the Zionist extremist Community Security TrustThe Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism. These suggestions, it is reported, include ditching conspiracy theories, not using Holocaust analogies or hysterical language when talking about Israel. These of course all relate at least in part to discussions of the Zionist entity as opposed to Jews.

As the leaked Labour Antisemitism report, the Forde report and the Labour Files show, the bullets used to assassinate Corbyn were produced and shaped by the Zionist regime. They were then carried to the scene of the crime by Zionist lobby groups, assets and fronts. 

But the key proximate actors that delivered the coup de grace to Corbyn were his own supporters and those in his own office.

David Miller is a writer, broadcaster and investigative researcher. He is the producer and expert commentator on Palestine Declassified, a weekly PressTV show. He was unjustly sacked by the University of Bristol in 2021 at the behest of the Zionist movement.


(The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

Dismantling ‘Israel’

20 Sep 2022 23:52 

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Liberal Zionists, unhappy with the fascist brand, already working on a post-apartheid regime is clear proof that the dismantling of Apartheid “Israel” may come sooner than expected.

Tim Anderson 

Director of the Sydney-based Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies.

The future of the Apartheid Israeli regime in Palestine is often seen as either (1) maintenance of the racist “state”, with more than half the population excluded and brutally repressed or (2) complete collapse of the regime and Palestinian liberation – a simple dichotomy. 

However, tensions among Zionist elites and the historic unraveling of previous racist regimes suggest that the dismantling of Apartheid “Israel” may come sooner than expected but in a more complicated manner. Racist states have often been dismantled with serious compromises. 

The combined forces of steadfast Palestinian Resistance and the plummeting “international legitimacy of Israel” are certainly powerful agents working toward a democratic Palestine. Yet, liberal Zionists, unhappy with the fascist brand, are already working on a post-apartheid regime. This group does not currently have the upper hand in occupied Palestine, but they do have greater say with the colony’s chief sponsor, the USA. 

Meanwhile, the disunity of Palestinian factions – actively encouraged by the Zionist regime – undermines their bargaining position. That leaves the door open for dirty deals.

Let’s remember that the ‘abolition’ of mass slavery in the USA was followed by another century of brutal ‘Jim Crow’ racial discrimination, a system which has often been called ‘slavery by another name’. This next stage racist system was given a legal blessing by the ‘separate but equal’ Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), a decision not overturned until Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision (1954). So ‘abolition’ did not mean emancipation.

Correctly pointing to parallels with the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, Omar Barghouti calls for an increase in boycott and sanction initiatives against “Israel”. Yet, he does not refer to the compromises involved in the South African transitional process, which led to extreme economic inequality and post-apartheid South Africa becoming one of the most unequal countries on earth.

Perhaps even more relevant are the compromises made when the racial regime in Zimbabwe (formerly ‘Rhodesia’) was dismantled at the end of the 1970s. Talks hosted in Britain led to the ‘Lancaster House Accords’ with the following features.

First ‘equal citizenship’ was created, but it was accompanied by several protective provisions. A ‘white roll’ was created to maintain ten (of 40) ‘white’ senators and 20 (of 100) ‘white’ reps in the Assembly. There were then requirements for a 70% parliamentary agreement for constitutional changes. A unanimous requirement to change “the separate representation of the white minority in parliament” gave that group veto power. 

Second, under the “freedom from deprivation of property” provisions, the compulsory acquisition of property was banned and consensual compensation provisions were required. Protective provisions to privilege white minority representation and ban state acquisition of land could, for a period of ten years, only be carried out “by the unanimous vote of the House of Assembly”. That ‘froze’ white colonist control of most of the country’s arable land.

Nevertheless, the Lancaster House agreement went on to claim that “the question of majority rule … has been resolved”. Britain promised to provide capital for land buyouts but failed to do so. Twenty years after independence, as the Mugabe government attempted to ‘fast track’ land reforms, Britain and the USA imposed coercive ‘sanctions’ on the country. 

The land question is particularly important in Palestine, where steady land grabs, house thefts, and demolitions committed by “Israel” have economically marginalized the indigenous population, and in the process exposed the seven-decade-long myth of the ‘two states’. 

Yet, the cost of destroying that myth, for the Zionists, is the naked reality of apartheid, now recognized by six independent reports. Two former Israeli leaders, both of the ‘liberal zionist’ faction, have warned of the existential threat the apartheid brand poses to their dream of a ‘Jewish state’. In 2007, Ehud Olmert warned that “Israel” faces an “apartheid-like struggle” if the “two-state” myth collapses. Similarly, in 2017, Ehud Barak warned that his “state” was “on a slippery slope” toward apartheid.

This matter is of less concern for the more openly fascist Zionists, who dominate the regime these days. However liberal Zionists, with greater influence in the USA, have not been sitting on their hands. They are alarmed at the damage to the reputation of their ‘Jewish state’, by being labeled an apartheid regime and therefore, by the 1973 UN Convention, a crime against humanity and a regime that must be dismantled. 

For these reasons, we see influential former liberal Zionists openly agitating against the apartheid regime. They are not prepared to live with that “shame” and are looking for their own type of restructure. For example, former Israeli negotiator Daniel Levy, now President of the US-based Middle East Project, told the United Nations Security Council that the notion of an ‘Arab state’ was dead and that apartheid in Palestine was a reality. Similarly, Peter Beinart, an editor at Jewish Currents and contributor to The Atlantic and CNNwrote in the New York Times about fake Zionist claims of ‘anti-Semitism’. He said that Zionist groups were “abandoning a traditional commitment to human rights out of blind support for Israel”. 

These developments have important implications for the dismantling of the Zionist regime. The liberal Zionists will use their influence with Washington and London to get sponsorship for talks over a deal with compliant and property-owning elements of the Palestinian community. Almost certainly, the emerging deal will involve the protection of ‘settler rights’, Zionist privileges, and a freeze on property relations. The ‘right to return’ will also be subject to a deal.

Palestinian collaborators in this will not be the small-time agents who acted as informants and later sought refuge in “Tel Aviv” with temporary residence permits which do not allow them to work or get health benefits. Washington and “Tel Aviv” will abandon them.

The likely Palestinian collaborators for a ‘New Israel’ will be those linked to the Arab monarchies, with both property and embedded interests in the Palestinian Authority, which has long functioned as a municipality of the Apartheid “regime”. Religion will be no barrier, as secular collaborators will be joined by those who threw in their hands with the Muslim Brotherhood players, notably Qatar and Turkey, leading ‘false friends’ of the Palestinian cause. 

The Palestinian Resistance and its allies face new challenges. There is a real risk that a coalition of Washington, liberal Zionists, and Palestinian collaborators will begin to cut a deal behind closed doors, regardless of the legacy of Palestinian sacrifice and resistance. Such struggles are often betrayed at the last moment. 

That deal could include a last-minute grab for land, the freezing of property relations, and transitional provisions to protect the colonists. If deep divisions persist among Palestinian resistance factions, that deal will be easier to sell to an unsuspecting Palestinian and world audience. The dismantling of the ‘Old Israel’ will be so dramatic that few will pay attention to key details of the ‘New Israel’. But those details will be very important for the long-suffering Palestinian population.

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

Israel Bombs Aleppo Airport for the Second time in One Week

 ARABI SOURI 

Israel (read: the USA, rest of NATO, and the Gulfies) bombed Aleppo International Airport taking the airport out of service for the second time in one week.

A Syrian military source said in a statement conveyed by the Syrian news agency Sana:

“At approximately 8:16 p.m. this evening, the Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression with a number of missiles from the direction of the Mediterranean, west of Latakia, targeting Aleppo International Airport.”

The military sources added that the aggression led to material damage to the airport runway rendering it out of service.

Official and local sources have not reported any casualties from this Israeli war crime at the time of this report.

Reminder: bombing civilian facilities is a war crime defined by all conventions and international treaties, bombing an international airport during its operation is an Israeli level of war crime sanctioned by its sponsors in the so-called collective west and will not go unpunished.

Israel, the US’s advanced criminal tool in the region, is proving to those still hesitant that its very existence is an existential threat to the people of the region, a threat to the world’s peace order, and a threat to humanity as a whole.

Syrian Civil Aviation has suspended all arriving and departing flights to the airport, diverting them to Damascus International Airport as it assesses the damage to the airport’s infrastructure, mainly the runways, rendering it unsafe for commercial flights and the passengers on board such flights.

The Syrian Ministry of Transportation urged all passengers scheduled for departure from the airport to contact their air travel and booking agencies to reschedule their flights.

It took the Syrian civil aviation two days to repair the damages from the previous Israeli bombing of the Aleppo International Airport on the 31st of August, the technicians are still assessing the damages from this aggression at the time of this report.

Israel only exists with the massive funding it receives from US and EU taxpayers, the massive funding from most of the Gulfies, and the ‘ironclad‘ protection it receives from the collective west, their claims that they are protecting its ‘democracy’ is a farce in the face of their own citizens who they suck their blood dry to finance their antichrist project in Israel; if someone thinks otherwise, just watch Biden’s latest Satanic speech again.

Zionism is an anti-Jewish ideology built on the myth of creating a homeland for the Jewish in diaspora in contradiction to the teachings of the Torah that literally prevent the Jews from creating a country of their own as they are, as per their own books, punished by God to be dispersed amongst the nations for the mischief they have collectively committed when the Jews of the Levant had a Jewish state of their own.

Another myth is that the homeland of all the Jews in the diaspora is in Palestine, Judaism is a religion and not a race or ethnicity, Zionism is not a religion, it’s a political movement, and the early Zionists even considered Argentina and Crimea as potential places to build their state before they settled on Palestine with the help of the British. To put it into perspective think of what relates Christians in the Philippines or Africa, or Europe to Palestine. Or what relates a newly converted European Muslim to Mecca in Arabia?

The history of the creation of Israel, the current day state not Israel the nickname of Prophet Jacob son of Isaac son of Ibrahim (Abram), and all the massacres, crimes against humanity, and war crimes it committed and is committing against the real Semite people of the Levant is evidence that this Zionist movement is an antichrist movement sponsored by very influential western bankers and mega-churches like the Evangelical Church in the USA, in order to ‘unleash the beast’, the signs are all on the walls and only fools will not see them, the same fools who will worship the antichrist instead of God.

Syria, the last secular country in the region, is engaged in a war of terror and war of attrition waged against its people by the world’s super-rich and superpower countries for the past 11.5 years, this came after decades of isolation and sanctions imposed on the country not to force export western ‘values’ to its conservative people, it’s because of its refusal to recognize the so-called ‘state of Israel’, the Syrians know much better than everybody else that the return of Jesus Christ will be in Damascus, in particular, he will descend from Heavens onto the white eastern minaret of the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus and will lead the believers in the final battle of Armageddon. If you consider all of these biblical details as myths, you better read the Talmud and the Tanakh, the Zionists’ books they wrote to misinterpret the Ten Commandments, and the Torah, the two books that base the constitution of the so-called state of Israel.

Syria might or not respond in kind in a tit for tat for these repeatitive Israeli war crime bombing of Aleppo International Airport, Syria has a priority duty now to enhance its defenses and help the world rid of the kingdom foothold of the antichrist, and it’s advancing rapidly in this process despite the US-sponsored and protected war crimes committed against it and against its people by Israel, ISIS, Al Qaeda variants, and NATO armies, the US army and the Turkish army, and the host of ‘intelligence’ agencies of the west and Gulfies.


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PALESTINIANS “ARE BOUND TO WIN”: WHY ISRAELIS ARE PROPHESYING THE END OF THEIR STATE

JUNE 16TH, 2022

RAMZY BAROUD

While it is true that Zionism is a modern political ideology that has exploited religion to achieve specific colonial objectives in Palestine, prophecies continue to be a critical component of Israel’s perception of itself, and of the state’s relationship to other groups, especially Christian messianic groups in the United States and worldwide.

The subject of religious prophecies and their centrality to Israel’s political thought was once more highlighted following remarks by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, in a recent interview with the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. Barak, perceived to be a ‘progressive’ politician, who was once the leader of Israel’s Labor Party, expressed fears that Israel will “disintegrate” before the 80th anniversary of its 1948 establishment.

“Throughout the Jewish history, the Jews did not rule for more than eighty years, except in the two kingdoms of David and the Hasmonean dynasty and, in both periods, their disintegration began in the eighth decade,” Barak said.

Based on pseudo-historical analysis, Barak’s prophecy seemed to conflate historical facts with typical messianic Israeli thinking, reminiscent of statements made by Israel’s former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2017.

Like Barak, Netanyahu’s comments were expressed in the form of fear over the future of Israel, and the looming ‘existential threat’, the cornerstone of Israeli hasbara throughout the years. At a Bible study session in his house in Jerusalem, Netanyahu had then warned that the Hasmonean kingdom – also known as the Maccabees – had merely survived for 80 years before it was conquered by the Romans in 63 B.C.E.

The “Hasmonean state lasted only 80 years, and we needed to exceed this,” Netanyahu was quoted by one of the attendees as saying, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported.

But, even according to Netanyahu’s purported determination to exceed that number, he had reportedly vowed to ensure Israel will surpass the Maccabees’ 80 years, and survive for 100 years. That is merely 20 years more.

The difference between Barak and Netanyahu’s statements is quite negligible: the former’s views are supposedly ‘historical’ and the latter’s are biblical. Worth noting, however, is that both leaders, though they subscribe to two different political schools, have converged on similar meeting points: Israel’s survival is at stake; the existential threat is real and the end of Israel is only a matter of time.

But the pessimism in Israel is hardly confined to political leaders, who are known to exaggerate and manipulate facts to instill fear and to rile up their political camps, especially Israel’s powerful messianic constituencies. Although this is true, predictions regarding Israel’s grim future are not confined to the country’s political elites.

In an interview with Haaretz in 2019, one of Israel’s most respected mainstream historians, Benny Morris, had much to say about the future of his country. Unlike Barak and Netanyahu, Morris was not sending warning signals but stating what, to him, seemed an unavoidable outcome of the country’s political and demographic evolution.

“I don’t see how we get out of it,” Morris said, adding: “Already, today there are more Arabs than Jews between the (Mediterranean) Sea and the Jordan (River). The whole territory is unavoidably becoming one state with an Arab majority. Israel still calls itself a Jewish state, but a situation in which we rule an occupied people that has no rights cannot persist in the 21st century.”

Morris’ predictions, while remaining committed to the racial fantasy of a Jewish majority, were far more articulate and also realistic if compared to those of Barak, Netanyahu and others. The man who once regretted that Israel’s founder, David Ben Gurion, did not expel all of Palestine’s native population in 1947-48, spoke with resignation that, in a matter of a generation, Israel will cease to exist in its current form.

Particularly notable about his comments is the accurate perception that “the Palestinians look at everything from a broad, long-term perspective,” and that the Palestinians will continue to “demand the return of the refugees.” But who were the “Palestinians” Morris was referring to? Certainly not the Palestinian Authority, whose leaders have already marginalized the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, and most certainly have no “broad, long-term perspective”. Morris’ ‘Palestinians’ are, of course, the Palestinian people themselves, generations of whom have served, and continue to serve, as the vanguards of Palestinian rights despite all of the setbacks, defeats and political ‘compromises’.

Actually, prophecies regarding Palestine and Israel are not a new phenomenon. Palestine was colonized by Zionists with the help of Britain, also based on biblical frames of reference. It was populated by Zionist settlers based on biblical references dedicated to the restoration of ancient kingdoms and the ‘return’ of ancient peoples to their supposedly rightful ‘promised land’. Though Israel took on many different meanings throughout the years – perceived to be a ‘socialist’ utopia at times, a liberal, democratic haven at others – it was always preoccupied with religious meanings, spiritual visions and inundated with prophecies. The most sinister expression of this truth is the fact that the current support of Israel by millions of Christian fundamentalists in the West is largely driven by messianic, end-of-the-world prophecies.

The latest predictions about Israel’s uncertain future are based on a different logic. Since Israel has always defined itself as a Jewish State, its future is mostly linked to its ability to maintain a Jewish majority in historic Palestine. By the admission of Morris and others, this pipedream is now crumbling as the ‘demographic war’ is clearly and quickly being lost.

Of course, co-existence in a single democratic state will always be a possibility. Alas, for Israel’s Zionist ideologues, such a state will hardly meet the minimum expectations of the country’s founders, since it would no longer exist in the form of a Jewish, Zionist state. For co-existence to take place, the Zionist ideology would have to be scrapped altogether.

Barak, Netanyahu and Morris are all right: Israel will not exist as a ‘Jewish state’ for much longer. Speaking strictly in terms of demographics, Israel is no longer a Jewish-majority state. History has taught us that Muslims, Christians and Jews can peacefully coexist and collectively thrive, as they have done throughout the Middle East and the Iberian Peninsula for millennia. Indeed, this is a prediction, even a prophecy, that is worth striving for.

Feature photo | A Palestinian boy faces an Israeli tank on the outskirts of Gaza City, Oct. 29, 2000. Laurent Rebours | AP

Dr. 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”. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

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

‘Israel’s’ Self-destruction Mechanism

June 11, 2022

By Staff | Ynet

Former director of the Zionist spy agency, Mossad, Tamir Pardo wrote in an analysis piece published by Ynet that there is much talk about the dangers ‘Israel’ is facing.

In the article entitled “Stopping the Clock on ‘Israel’s’ Self-destruction Mechanism,” Pardo said: “Some say Iran is the greatest threat, while others claim it is the Palestinians who pose a larger risk to our existence. But in my view, we ourselves are the greatest danger this ‘nation’ is faced with because of our tendency for self-destruction, which we have perfected over the recent years.”

Just like in days of old when faced with the Roman occupation, brother will kill brother, spilling blood across the land. The Roman legions stood by and waited patiently for the Jews to almost complete the work for them. We must stop this before the point of no return…, he urged his audience.

“Now we are polarized from within and our enemies are once more patiently waiting for an opportune moment to destroy us.”

After four consecutive election cycles, he went on to say, a new government was formed that had mustered a scant parliamentary majority, but those who have been ousted from power after 12 years refuse to recognize its legitimacy. They even refuse to address the prime minister by his title. The author also elaborated on his topic:

When a leader of a massive Knesset faction refuses to make even such a symbolic gesture, this shakes the foundations of our ‘democracy.’

That same opposition also boycotts each and every of the opposite side’s legislations. All oppositions can and must oppose government initiatives, but the current opposing bloc in the Knesset votes against laws vital to national security, public interest, and even its own ideology in violation of the basic social contract upon which the ‘democratic’ system is predicated.

Public discourse in ‘Israel’ is characterized by a lack of tolerance and by verbal abuse toward anyone holding a differing worldview.

The Knesset has shown itself to be a negative example of proper conduct and its behavior has seeped into ‘Israeli’ society.

Since 1967, ‘Israel’ has had no defined borders. In the 55 years that have passed since the Six-Day War, ‘Israeli’ governments, left and right, refused to annex the West Bank and the Gaza Strip into ‘Israeli’ territory.

Today, three generations of ‘Israelis’ have never known a different reality. We lack a strategy and cannot define the ‘state’ we hope to see in centuries to come.

No politician has been willing to state a goal for ‘Israel.’ Most just roll their eyes and avoid having to make a decision. None want to take the responsibility for territorial concessions, but all understand that annexation of the West Bank would lead to the demise of the Zionist dream…

Any Zionist can understand that without a Jewish majority, there can be no Jewish ‘state,’ as Pardo refers to it. “Nowadays, there are Jews who prescribe to the Zionist idea between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean and those who do not.”

The Hebrew word for border can be used to mean the physical boundary around a ‘country,’ but also the moral boundaries of normal behavior.

Intolerance of opposing views, violence in all its forms and sidelining of the gatekeepers of our ‘democracy’ are just part of the manifestations of our lack of boundaries, borne from avoiding the critical conundrum we all face: What kind of ‘Israel’ do we want to see and what are its borders?

The Israeli Pogrom

1 February 2022)

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Israel’s Violent Squatters

On 21 January 2022, an organized gang of over a dozen masked Zionist “settlers” from the Givat Ronen outpost on the Occupied West Bank attacked Palestinians planting trees near the village of Burin. There were seven Israeli Jewish supporters with the Palestinians. The “settlers” attacked them as well.

I place the term “settler” in quotation marks because what we are really talking about are not settlers but squatters. I will use the term squatter except where settler appears in a quotation.

As is normal in cases of Israeli squatter violence, the Israeli authorities were slow to arrive at the scene of the attack and, subsequently, made no arrests. The Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev explained that “until the army gets there it takes time. Until the [Israeli] police were sent it took time and therefore … the moment the [Israeli] police arrive at the site, the terrorists are no longer there.” The Palestinian police, for their part, could not respond because they are “forbidden from reacting to acts of violence by Israeli settlers.” One can just imagine the army and the police rate of response if it was the Palestinians attacking the squatters. The double standard is obvious.

However, there was something novel in Bar-Lev’s statement. He said that “in my view” the attackers constituted “a terror group.” This designation apparently had nothing to do with the attack on Palestinians, but rather was warranted because the attackers had “targeted and harmed Israeli citizens.”

This might well be something like a “false flag” statement on the part of the public security minister. It was meant to reassure the Europeans and Americans who are concerned by the violence of the Israeli squatter movement. The minister subsequently told a U.S. official that the Israeli government takes the problem seriously and “is taking steps to tackle the phenomenon.” This is almost certainly a lie. Prime Minister Bennett has called squatter violence “insignificant,” and several of Bar-Lev’s fellow ministers criticized him for promoting a “distorted narrative.”

Squatter violence goes back at least into the 1980s. In 1983, an 11-year-old girl from Nablus was murdered by Jewish squatters. “In their defense, the chief rabbi of the Sephardic community reportedly cited a Talmudic text justifying killing an enemy on occasions when one may see from a child’s perspective that he or she will grow up to become your enemy.” One can imagine that a similar logic could justify, in the eyes of some Palestinians, the killing of every Israeli Jewish child.

Subsequently, “in the 21st century, there has been a steady increase in violence and terror perpetrated by Jewish settlers against Palestinians.” In 2008, the Israeli army command in the West Bank acknowledged that “a hard core of a few hundred activists were involved in violence against the Palestinians.” Though the army said it planned to address the situation, the problem persisted and grew worse. In 2011, the Israeli government again acknowledged “a growing problem with extremists.” Again, little was done about it. The United Nations and organizations such as Human Rights Watch have repeatedly voiced concern that the number of attacks were growing. The latter noted that “In many cases, settlers abuse Palestinians in front of Israeli soldiers or police with little interference from the authorities.”

Here is suggested a reason for the lack of any crackdown on squatter violence. It goes on with the tacit consent of the government. To quote B’Tselem, Israel’s main human rights organization, “Israel has been using settler violence as a major informal tool to drive Palestinians from farming and pasture lands in the occupied West Bank.”

Part II—Pogrom

What is the appropriate historical term for “informal,” supposedly “unofficial,” violence nonetheless carried out with the tacit approval of a government? How about pogrom? In this case, we can also call it an obscene embarrassment for all Jews who value human rights.

Pogrom is originally a Russian word which means “to wreak havoc.” Traditionally, it was and continues to be a weapon of intergroup discord, where one group seeks to harm or evict an opposing group of different ethnic or religious makeup. The term came to characterize a government-approved tactic of czarist Russia of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In that case, the traditional victims were Jews.

It would seem that successive Israeli governments have used the same tactic to encourage squatter violence against the Palestinians on the West Bank. The endgame here is not difficult to understand. As B’Tselem explains it, the aim of the Israeli government is to clear Judea and Samaria (the biblical names for the West Bank) of non-Jews. The Israeli army has already confiscated around 42% of this territory, and over time, an informal acceptance at all government levels was reached to allow Israeli squatter violence to help force the Palestinians off of the remaining land. The dismissive reaction of Bar-Lev’s government colleagues to the attack described above is the latest example of this consent.

Part III—A Reversal of Roles

It is painful for progressive Jews to delve into and try to explain why other Jews actively or passively support such tactics. The Zionists have spent a lot of time and energy trying to convince the world that, despite the fact that Israel is ranked the eighth most powerful country in the world, they are the innocent victims of, and also mortally threatened by, Palestinian anti-Semitic violence and hatred. To the extent that they, and the rest of the world, accept this narrative, Israeli tactics can be accepted as both defensive and warranted. But this narrative does not ring true. In fact, there has been a reversal of roles.

Most Zionists see the Palestinians as clones of those who persecuted Jews over the past several hundred years. The Palestinians also stand in the way of the territorial ambitions of the “Jewish state”—territorial ambitions which, once fulfilled, will supposedly provide a secure sanctuary for all the world’s Jews. Anyone standing in the way of this goal becomes, ipso facto, an anti-Semite and, as such, they can be seen as enemies of the Jews. In the case of the Palestinians, they may appear as replicas of the East European and Russian anti-Semites who carried out pogroms—kept contained only by Israeli control.

The suggestion that the Israelis are reversing roles here is sacrilege for the Zionists. Yet the evidence bears this out. Starting in 1917, it was mostly East European Jews who, with British assistance, invaded Arab Palestine and took control of ever increasing amounts of that territory. It is Israeli Jews who now seek to purge the land of non-Jews. Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, harassed in their towns and villages, now play the role the Jews of Europe used to play—victims of pogroms. Some well-placed Israelis recognize the problem. In 2016, Yair Golan, deputy chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, told a public gathering in Israel, “If there is one thing that frightens me about the memory of the Holocaust, it is identifying the revolting trends that occurred in Europe as a whole 70 to 80 years ago … and finding evidence of those trends here, among us, in 2016.” Israeli Jews brave enough to recognize and speak of this reversal of roles have always been rare, and they are getting rarer still: progressive Israelis are emigrating and rightwing governments have become the norm.

Part IV—Conclusion

It must be over twenty years since I spoke to this issue at a public presentation at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania. I had been invited to do so by a young untenured history professor. I had told him that it was a dangerous move, but for him, it was a matter of academic freedom and integrity. For me, it was part of a need to tell the truth about the Palestinian plight.

It was a full house, certainly over one hundred people. I gave a defense of Palestinian rights within a fact-based historical context. The real trouble came when someone in the audience suggested a comparison between Israeli behavior and that of the Nazis. I said that the comparison was false. The Israelis had neither set up concentration camps nor organized a technologically based slaughter of their enemies. However, what they had done was pushed Palestinians into ghettos and allowed for periodic pogroms. The shocked gasps of the Zionists in the audience were audible. They walked out en masse and my host never got tenure. Yet the pogroms have become more frequent and more dangerous, at once making life more miserable for the Palestinians and perverting the ethical standards Jews have endorsed particularly since the Holocaust. Learning bad habits from their past, the Zionists have made the tactic of pogrom their own.

The Central Myth of Zionism: Jews Have No Future in the Arab and Muslim World (Updated)

Net 5 Nov, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Samuel Geddes

The loss of 100 or so citizens to Iran, Iraq, Yemen, or Morocco would at best be terrible public relations for “Israel”. The loss of 100,000 or more would be existentially disastrous. 

Flourishing communities such as those in Iraq, Iran, and Yemen were, for much of history, the centers of the Jewish world and deeply enmeshed within the societies that surrounded them. One of the most effective lies of the Israeli propaganda has been to posit the irreconcilability of Jewish and Arab identities as if it is impossible to be both. The existence of hundreds of thousands of Jews with origins from Morocco to the Gulf demonstrates otherwise. 

Throughout the decades in which Arab leaders, in particular, pledged their opposition to the existence of “Israel” and its further colonization of Palestine, they have neglected to use one of the most powerful weapons at their disposal. Had Arab leaders in Iraq, Yemen or the states of the Arab Maghreb wished to truly damage the viability of “Israel”, they could easily have opened the way for their historic Jewish populations to return, trading in their Israeli passports and citizenship for that which they, their parents or even grandparents lost.  

The tactical argument

By this point, it has become clear even to the mainstream western opinion that the two-state solution envisioned by the Oslo Process is not even a remote possibility. Rather than the self-determination of an Arab state on the territories occupied in the Six-Day War of 1967, the central issue of the conflict has shifted to the political equality of all Palestinians within the territory of Mandate Palestine. The achievement of this goal would instantly nullify the concept of a “Jewish State” as Jews within the entire territory are already outnumbered by Palestinians, a demographic imbalance that will only grow with time.

Consequently, in terms of alleviating the colonial pressure on the Palestinians, as well as amplifying their demographic, and by extension political advantage, it makes complete sense for the surrounding countries to voluntarily reabsorb their Jewish former citizens, thereby removing them from the arena of conflict. 

In the case of Yemen, we are speaking of roughly 430,000 people. Of Iraqi Jews, between 200,000 to 600,000, Iranian Jews number 200,000 to 250,000, and Moroccans some 473,000. Were these communities to return to their homelands in any significant number it would be a catastrophic erosion of “Israel’s” demographic position, as well as its pretensions to being central to the identity of all Jews everywhere.

The loss of 100 or so citizens to Iran, Iraq, Yemen, or Morocco would at best be terrible public relations for “Israel”. The loss of 100,000 or more would be existentially disastrous. 

Perhaps surprisingly given the intensity of its opposition to the Zionist state, the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the regional countries best placed to facilitate this. Since the success of the 1979 revolution, Judaism has received official recognition along with other minority religions such as Christianity and Zoroastrianism, including political representation in parliament.

The Iranian leadership has consistently made clear the distinction it sees between Jews, an ethnoreligious community, and Zionists, purveyors of a racist political ideology. Still, the country’s Jewish citizenry is a fraction of its pre-revolutionary size. Despite this, the future large-scale and permanent return of Iranian Jews is entirely conceivable if Tehran goes to the necessary lengths to assure them that their cultural, religious, and political freedoms would be guaranteed. 

Iran would likely be apprehensive about repatriating hundreds of thousands of its former citizens, their children, and grandchildren, in light of the ongoing Israeli campaigns of sabotage and assassination against its nuclear program and other targets. In the long run, however, even a relatively small demographic decline would dramatically constrain the military and covert power of the Israelis, hamstringing their capacity to attack their neighbors. 

A population drain of this kind could well lead to a self-reinforcing cycle, whereby other Israeli citizens witnessing outmigration may also choose to emigrate to countries where their long-term future is better guaranteed. 

The moral case

This is also a question that may force itself on the governments of the region whether they choose to address it or not. 

The Jews of the Arab and wider Islamic world to a significant extent continue to hold on to their eastern cultural heritage. To those governments and movements opposing the colonization of Palestine, this fact represents a unique advantage to be exploited. As both the global and regional environment becomes more hostile to “Israel”, its behavior could become yet more erratic and desperate. By offering resettlement to their former Jewish communities, regional countries would both give them a peaceful way out and demonstrate that Jews do have a future in the region outside of occupied Palestine. Such a gesture would demonstrate to many the futility of sacrificing themselves for a colonial project that will inevitably fail.  

Prior to the conflict, the Arab and Islamic world had nothing approaching the levels of persecution and discrimination as those suffered by the Jews of Christian Europe. In the aftermath of the Second World War and the exposure of the Holocaust to global awareness, the west could have earnestly confronted its own deeply rooted anti-Semitism. Instead, it chose to cynically back European Jewish ethnonationalism in Palestine.

For those struggling to end the colonial project in Palestine, an essential element of the strategy must be to demonstrate to enough Jewish Israelis that their own survival is not tied to the survival of “Israel” and that being a Yemeni, Iraqi, or Moroccan Jew does not exclude a person from membership of the Arab nation. 

As well as the enormous economic benefits to be had from the reintegration of hundreds of thousands of highly educated and productive people, the value of the societal and cultural enrichment that would follow would be incalculable. 

The peaceful repatriation of North African and Middle Eastern Jews to the countries of their birth or recent ancestry may seem like an idealistic pipe dream but it would not entail the creation of a radically new social dynamic. Rather it would be a return to the religious, cultural, and ethnic pluralism which has predominated in the region for so much of its history. 

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

Learning from Your Enemy: Methodological Failures in Western War Analysis

October 12, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception.

Visual search query image

“There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent” – Lao Tzu

Washington’s role in at least eight Middle East wars of the 21st century (against the peoples of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Yemen) has been hotly debated between two broad camps: those (including this writer) who regard them all as illegal wars of aggression; and those who either imagine they are not connected or defend them as the necessary policing measures of a global hegemon.

However this debate is plagued by poor method, and in particular by a strategic bias that adopts obligatory ‘loyalty’ elements and fails to study what are seen as enemy perspectives. That cripples even the most articulate and apparently critical discussions.

Yet failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception. The refusal to read and learn from a substantial enemy is simply childish or ignorant cynicism.

Let me illustrate this problem with a few articles from the ‘New Middle East’ wars, a piece on Yemen by Bruce Riedel (Brookings, 2017), an article on Iran by Hassan Hassan (Politico, 2020), and a discussion on terrorism by Paul Pillar (Responsible Statecraft, 2021). These are far from the worst of western war analysis, but all share similar methodological problems.

1. The obligatory but misleading element: strategic loyalty

Many years into these various wars, to ‘qualify’ as published war discussion western journals carry a strong expectation of some initial expression of loyalty to the overall project, if not to all the tactics. In the most obvious version of this, the analyst directly identifies with a state party at war, speaking in the first person plural (“we”).

So Riedel speaks of “our de facto enemies”, asking “why are we at war” with “the Houthis” (i.e. the Ansarallah-led Yemeni government), while Pillar refers to “our allies” and Hassan to “our adversaries”. This is an immediate sign of biased orientation, but also of a desire to please and so qualify with likely patrons.

Loyalty is also expressed by an early denunciation of the enemy. Most of the permissible western media criticisms of “Israel”, for example, begin with a denunciation of the Palestinian resistance, or of Iranian support for the resistance. At the least loyalty to the big power must be demonstrated by suggesting some kind of moral equivalence. 

The targets of terrorism should also be relatively privileged groups. In the case of Pillar’s criticism of Israeli terrorism, itself a departure from the normal western defense of the Zionist entity, he chooses the earlier British victims of Israeli terrorism – rather than the many thousands of contemporary Palestinian victims – and makes a moral equivalence with Palestinian resistance. The latter is typically reduced to “Hamas” and their alleged “poorly guided rockets”.  All this is to qualify the discussion for western publication and consumption.

Terminology also plays an important part in demonstrating loyalty, with the enemy described as a “regime” (implicitly illegitimate) and the intervening western power cloaked in an assumed stabilizing or conflict resolution role. 

With this in mind, Hassan speaks of Iranian influence as “a problem for the United States”, the Syrian government as a “regime”. Middle Eastern nations are said to be riven by sectarian conflicts (e.g. Sunni v. Shi’ite) and other “complexities”. On the other hand, Washington faces problems as a “stabilizing ally”. Pillar speaks of the Saudi-backed idea for repartition (and weakening) of Yemen as a “federal solution”.

2. Allowable criticism, within permissible space

Taking the problem-solving and stabilizing role of Washington as a given, criticism is allowed mainly as regards tactics. Accepting the benevolence of hegemonic prerogatives is a general principle of qualification. It is unimportant that this has little to do with post-colonial international law.

So Riedel writes of the US supposedly looking for a “political solution” in Yemen, while Hassan speaks of the US seeking to “stabilize” the region in face of the allegedly opportunistic agendas of Iran and the Saudis. 

Riedel also spoke of Yemen as a “complex problem” for US President Obama, while Pillar comfortingly agreed that it is necessary for Washington to “conduct business” with both “Israel” and Saudi Arabia, despite their terrorism. No real question is raised about what business the USA has initiating war after war in the Middle East region.

Indeed any serious questioning of the overall aims or strategy of western interventions would most likely invalidate or disqualify the article. It would not be published. Yet criticism of the tactical (and chronic) failure of interventionist wars to achieve their goals is allowed.

3. What can be learned from the enemy?

State integrated media (which includes most corporate media, as they are typically key associates of western states) typically steers mass audiences away from enemy media at times of war. Many analysts also either accommodate or fall prey to that prohibition. 

In recent decades we have seen many exhortations to stay away from the ‘regime media’ of China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and so on. Enemy ‘regime’ media is often labeled as such in western social media. Not so the BBCVoice of America etc. In fact the US government has been busy taking down dozens of Iranian websites and banning or blocking Russian, Venezuelan, Chinese, Cuban, and other social media accounts linked to these various ‘enemy’ nations.

The problem for western war analysts in adopting this dictate is that important lessons are missed. In general, it is wrong to ignore ‘enemy’ sources because they might be seen as “biased” or “unreliable”. Any source with detailed information (as opposed to just spin and slogans) can be informative, properly read, in at least the following ways. 

A. Concessions and admissions: biased or enemy sources, when they contain detailed information, can make concessions on particular matters. This can help avoid pointless and endless debates. For example, senior US officials admitted in 2014 that US allies were funding and arming virtually all the Middle Eastern terrorist groups including ISIS, in support of US efforts to remove the Syrian Government. Syrian and Iranian sources had said this for some years, but the US admissions helped expose the charade.

B. Alerts to information and argument: hostile or ‘unreliable’ sources may alert us to particular information or argument, including independent factual information as well as vulnerabilities in enemy arguments. Any serious researcher or observer must remain open to the possibility that hostile sources might be correct, at least on some particular matters. The Israeli media, for example, understands this well. It has made the statements of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah virtually mandatory reading, while the man is effectively banned in much other western media, including social media.

The lesson, therefore, should be how to intelligently read enemy sources, rather than avoid them. This must be done according to principle, that is, with regard to general principle and using traditional forensic tools while recognizing self-interest. This requires developing an ability to distinguish between self-serving statements and admissions against interest, a common distinction in law.

Learning in this regard has more to do with observing the detail of argument and particular evidence, and less about the adoption and recitation of conclusions.

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

Legalized Apartheid: The Israeli Supreme Court Just Cemented Jewish Supremacy into Law

July 16th, 2021

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

JERUSALEM — In November of last year, an Israeli judge invoked the controversial Jewish Nation-State Basic Law when striking down a lawsuit against the city of Karmiel over funding transportation for two Palestinian students.

In his ruling, the chief registrar of the Krayot Magistrate’s Court, Yaniv Luzon, said that establishing an Arabic-language school in Karmiel or funding transportation for Palestinian Arab students would “damage the city’s Jewish character” and may encourage Palestinian citizens of Israel to move into Jewish cities, thereby “altering the demographic balance.”

Luzon cited Section 7 of Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law, writing:

The development and establishment of Jewish settlement is a national value enshrined in the Basic Law and is a worthy and prominent consideration in municipal decision-making, including the establishment of schools and the determination of policies relating to the funding of [school] busing [of students] from outside the city.

The students’ father, Kasem Bakri, said of the judge’s decision, “The municipality treats my sons as guests in the best of times and as enemies in the worst of times.” The family was fined 2,000 shekels (roughly $600) and ordered to pay all of the court’s expenses.

The court ruling came just before a Supreme Court hearing on 15 petitions submitted by human rights organizations and Palestinian political leaders challenging the Nation-State Law in December. After only one discussion on the law, the high court last week rejected the petitions and upheld the 2018 law in a 10 to 1 decision.  The single dissenting opinion was from the only Palestinian justice on the court, Justice George Kara.

Swift condemnation of the Supreme Court’s decision

“The Israel Supreme Court approved a law that establishes a constitutional identity, which completely excludes those who do not belong to the majority group. This Law is illegitimate and violates absolute prohibitions of international law,” Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel wrote in a press release. Adalah, one of the law’s petitioners, deemed this piece of legislation “a law that clearly shows the Israeli regime as a colonial one, with distinct characteristics of apartheid.”

Israel: Not a Democracy. Apartheid
Activists drop a banner reading “Israel: Not a Democracy. Apartheid” from atop the Israeli military court in Jaffa, July 12, 2020. Photo | Activestills

“The Supreme Court refrained from doing what was essential — to defend the basic right to equality,” Dr. Yousef Jabareen, chair of the Human Rights Forum in the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and a former member of the Knesset, said in a statement, adding:

The so-called ‘Jewish Nation-State’ law formalizes in Israeli constitutional law the superior rights and privileges that Jewish citizens of the state enjoy over its indigenous Palestinian minority, who comprise roughly 20% of the population.”

What is the Jewish nation-state law?

In 2018, the Knesset voted to approve the nation-state law by 62 to 55. The basic law essentially legalizes Israel’s apartheid nature and states the following:

  • Exercising the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.
  • The name of the state is ‘Israel.’
  • A greater, united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

The director of the land and planning rights unit at Adalah, Adv. Suhad Bishara, helped formulate Adalah’s petition against the nation-state law. “The overriding objective of the basic law is to violate both the right to equality and the right to dignity of the Arab citizens of Israel,” she said.

Additionally, the law promotes Jewish settlement and views it as a national value. It also demotes Arabic from one of the two official languages to a “special status.” With the nation-state law’s basic tenets, Palestinian history and identity are effectively erased from the land.

Emphasizing the law’s notion of Jewish settlement and demotion of Arabic, Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu — co-director of Abraham Initiatives, an Israeli nonprofit focused on Jewish-Arab partnership — said the legislation institutionalizes inequality between Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel. “It’s creating a situation in which, according to our basic laws, there is a sector in society that is not equal,” Be’eri-Sulitzeanu told MintPress News. “This is something that no democracy can allow.”

In a tweet, Abraham Initiatives advocated for repealing the law, writing that it “establishes the status of Arab citizens in Israel as second-class citizens.”

The nation-state law’s impact

Only a few years old, the nation-state law has already proven it can serve as a legal tool for discrimination and racial segregation.

The Bakri family in Karmiel sued the local municipality over their school transportation costs. Since there isn’t an Arabic-language school in Karmiel, the Bakri children were forced to travel nearly four miles to the town of Rameh for their education. According to the Bakris, the traffic often made the commute more than 30 minutes and cost the family 1,500 shekels (or roughly $460) each month. The family’s lawsuit requested reimbursement for their transportation costs totaling 25,000 shekels (about $7,683).

Nizar Bakri, the children’s uncle and the attorney who filed the lawsuit, condemned the magistrate court’s dismissal of the suit, saying, “The court’s decision wasn’t based on law; it was based on Jewish existence.” Following the ruling, Nizar Bakri filed an appeal with the Haifa District Court. The district court denied the Bakris’ appeal in February but determined the lower court’s reliance on the nation-state law was “fundamentally wrong” and “liable to damage the public’s trust in the courts.”

“The court may have unequivocally ruled that the registrar of the Krayot Magistrate’s Court made a mistake in the use of the nation-state law and its connection to this case, but this ruling should not satisfy the opponents and victims of the nation-state law,” Nizar Bakri told Haaretz.

For Adalah’s Bishara, the district court’s opposition to the magistrate’s court’s use of the nation-state law is irrelevant when it comes to future court decisions, as the grounds for discrimination are officially embedded into law. She explained:

It doesn’t really matter whether it’s explicitly mentioned or not because it’s the legal, constitutional framework that’s there that sets the basic principles of supremacy and of the right to self-determination only for one national ethnic group in the state. This sends a very clear message to all the authorities that you can not only go on with what you have been doing so far in terms of violating the rights of the Palestinian citizens as individuals and as a group, but this will certainly give you more backing to deepen these policies.”

Bishara told MintPress that she anticipates the legislation will add another dimension to Israel’s ongoing discrimination and have huge implications for Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line — not just 1948-occupied Palestine. “Since it speaks about the land of Israel as the historic land of the Jewish people and Jewish settlement as a constitutional value, this combination of both becomes very problematic both in Israel proper and in the Occupied Territories,” she said.

Israel’s long list of discriminatory laws

Globally, the state of Israel touts itself as the “only democracy in the Middle East,” but Dr. Jabareen said the nation-state law “prioritizes the Jewishness of the state over its democratic character,” specifically in “omitting any reference to democracy or equality.” He added:

The nation-state law further marginalizes the Arab-Palestinian community and entrenches Israel’s regime of racial discrimination and deterioration into apartheid. It will lead to more racist, anti-democratic laws, adding to the more than 50 laws already on the books that disadvantage non-Jewish citizens.”

Eyal checkpoint Israel
Palestinian workers cross the Eyal checkpoint, January 10, 2021. Keren Manor | Activestills

According to an Adalah database, Israel has more than 65 laws discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). These laws encompass nearly every facet of daily life, from property and housing rights to citizenship and finances. The following are just a few notable examples:

  • The Admissions’ Committees Law, which permits towns built on state land to deny housing to Palestinians based upon the criterion of “social suitability.”
  • The Nakba Law, which bans groups or schools receiving government funding from commemorating Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign against Palestinians during the state’s founding (known as the Nakba or Catastrophe).
  • The Boycott Law, which prohibits calls to boycott Israel. This legislation effectively outlaws the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
  • The Absentees’ Property Law, which categorizes individuals who were expelled or fled their property after November 1947 as absentees and thereby having no ownership claims to their properties. However, Jews who lost property during this time are allowed to reclaim their land through the Legal and Administrative Matters Law. These laws are often used to displace Palestinian communities, as has been witnessed in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
  • The Law of Return, which guarantees citizenship to all Jews. No law exists guaranteeing Palestinians the right to citizenship — even if they were born in what is now considered modern-day Israel.
  • The Citizenship Law, which bans citizenship rights to Palestinians living in the OPT who are married to Israeli citizens. Settlers living in the Occupied West Bank are exempt. Israel’s new government failed to extend the law this month, but reunification still remains a significant problem for many Palestinian families.

Codifying apartheid into law

While the principles outlined in the nation-state law have always been part of Israel’s foundation and way of governing, enacting this legislation turns these de facto concepts into de jure ones and opens the floodgates for further inequity.

“This nation-state law is validating racist behavior against Palestinian Arabs,” Kasem Bakri said.

Despite the controversial legislation remaining, Kasem Bakri is steadfast. “I exist here as an Arab person and I have the right to be here,” he said. “Palestinians exist here like the cactus and the olive trees. We will never be gone from here.”

Israel’s new government will deepen rifts, not heal them

Mansour Abbas (R) signs a coalition agreement with Yair Lapid (L) and Naftali Bennett in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, on 2 June 2021 (AFP/United Arab List)

Jonathan Cook

4 June 2021 10:03 UT

The symbolic moment of a Palestinian party sitting in government alongside settler leaders will turn sour all too soon

The photo was unprecedented. It showed Mansour Abbas, leader of an Islamist party for Palestinians in Israel, signing an agreement on Wednesday night to sit in a “government of change” alongside settler leader Naftali Bennett.

Caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will fervently try to find a way to break up the coalition in the next few days, before a parliamentary vote takes place. But if he fails, it will be the first time in the country’s 73-year history that a party led by a Palestinian citizen has joined – or been allowed to join – an Israeli government. 

There will be a reckoning for this moment, and Israel’s 1.8 million Palestinian citizens… will once again pay the heaviest price

Aside from the symbolism of the moment, there are no other grounds for celebration. In fact, the involvement of Abbas’s four-member United Arab List in shoring up a majority for a government led by Bennett and Yair Lapid is almost certain to lead to a further deterioration in majority-minority relations.

There will be a reckoning for this moment, and Israel’s 1.8 million Palestinian citizens, a fifth of the population, will once again pay the heaviest price.

The sole reason that this makeshift coalition exists – the only glue holding it together – is the hostility of the various parties towards Netanyahu. In most cases, that is not a hostility towards his political positions; simply towards him personally, and towards the corrupting stranglehold he has exerted on Israel’s political system for the past 12 years. 

The “change” referred to by this proposed government coalition begins and ends with the removal of Netanyahu.

Doubly offended

It barely needs stating again that Bennett, who will serve first as prime minister in rotation with Lapid, is even more right wing than Netanyahu. In fact, three of the new coalition’s main parties are at least, if not more, rabidly nationalistic than the Israel’s longtime leader. In any other circumstances, they would be enthusiastically heading into government with his Likud Party.

As Bennett and Mansour huddled inside a hotel near Tel Aviv to sign the coalition agreement as the clocked ticked down on Lapid’s mandate to form a government, far-right demonstrators noisily chanted outside that Bennett was joining a “government with terror supporters”.

Much of the ultra-nationalist right is so incensed by Bennett’s actions that he and other members of his Yamina party have been assigned a security detail for fear of an assassination attempt.

Bennett, set to serve first as prime minister, attends a special Knesset session on 2 June 2021 (AFP)
Bennett, set to serve first as prime minister, attends a special Knesset session on 2 June 2021 (AFP)

No one has forgotten that it was Bennett’s own settler camp that produced Yigal Amir, the man who in 1995 shot dead the then-prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, in a bid to foil the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians. Amir killed Rabin in large part because the latter was seen to have betrayed the Jewish people by allowing “Arabs” – Palestinian parties in parliament – to prop up his minority government from outside. They did so to pass legislation necessary to begin implementing the Oslo process.

The chain of events that followed the assassination are well-known. Israelis lurched further rightwards and elected Netanyahu. The Oslo track with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was derailed. A Palestinian intifada erupted. And – coming full circle – Netanyahu returned to power and is now Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.

Today’s potential Yigal Amirs are doubly offended by Bennett’s behaviour. They believe he has stabbed the right’s natural leader, Netanyahu, in the back, while at the same time allowing Abbas – seen by the right as Hamas’s man in the Knesset – to dictate policy to the Jewish owners of the land.

Digging in heels

It was notable that Bennett and Abbas were the last to sign the coalition agreement, after both made great play of digging in their heels at the final moment for more concessions. Each risks inflaming their own constituency by being seen to cooperate with the other. 

Commentators will try to spin this agreement between a settler leader and the head of an Islamic party as a potential moment of healing after last month’s unprecedented inter-communal fighting inside Israel.Israel’s incoming government is so unnatural only Netanyahu can keep it togetherRead More »

But such a reading is as misleading as the narrative of the recent “Jewish-Arab clashes”. In fact, protests by Palestinian youths against systematic discrimination escalated into confrontations only after Israeli police turned violent and let Jewish gangs take the law into their own hands. Just as the balance of power on the streets was weighted in favour of Jewish vigilantism, so the balance of forces in this new coalition will work solidly against Abbas.

When Bennett spoke publicly on Sunday, as the horse-trading began in earnest behind the scenes, he underscored his credentials as the former head of the Yesha Council of Jewish settlements. That will be the theme of this proposed “government of change”. 

Pact with the ‘devil’

During the coalition-building negotiations, the more moderate Labor and Meretz parties conceded time and again to the demands of the far-right and settler parties on ministerial positions and policy. That is because the moderates have nowhere else to go. 

They have built their whole electoral strategy on ousting Netanyahu at any cost, using the anti-Netanyahu street protests of the past two years as their rallying cry. They cannot afford to be seen as missing this opportunity.

By contrast, as the death threats highlight, Bennett has far more to lose. Some 60 percent of his party’s voters recently told pollsters they would not have backed him had they known he would join a coalition with Lapid. Equally at risk are Gideon Saar, whose New Hope party broke away from Likud to challenge Netanyahu, and Avigdor Lieberman, a settler politician whose right-wing base has found in him their local strongman.

The Achilles heel Netanyahu will keep prodding as viciously as he can is the fact that his rivals on the right have made a Faustian pact with the Arab ‘devil’

These three must now do everything in their power during the term of this new government – if it happens – to prove to their constituencies that they are not betraying the far-right’s favourite causes, from settlements to annexation. Baiting them from the sidelines at every turn will be Netanyahu, stirring up passions on the right – at least until he is forced to step down, either by his party or by a verdict against him in his current corruption trial

The Achilles heel Netanyahu will keep prodding as viciously as he can is the fact that his rivals on the right have made a Faustian pact with the Arab “devil”. Netanyahu has never been shy to incite against the Palestinian minority. To imagine he will restrain himself this time is fanciful. 

Bennett understands the danger, which is why he tried to legitimise his dealings with Abbas on Thursday by calling him “a brave leader”. But Bennett was also keen to emphasise that Abbas would not be involved in any security matters and that he was not interested in “nationalism” – in this case, indicating that Abbas will neither offer support to Palestinians under occupation nor seek to advance national rights for Palestinian citizens of the kind Israeli Jews enjoy. 

Early on Thursday, Netanyahu had decried the new coalition as “dangerous” and “left wing”. He will most likely be in the driving seat, even while in opposition. Far from healing the country, a “government of change” could rapidly provoke yet more street violence, especially if Netanyahu believes such a deterioration would weaken Bennett as prime minister.

Extracting benefits

Abbas, the United Arab List leader, reportedly held out until last before signing. His whole electoral strategy was built on a promise to end the permanent exclusion of Palestinian parties from Israel’s national politics. He will be keen to show how many benefits he can extract from his role inside government – even if most are privileges the Jewish majority have always enjoyed by right.

Abbas trumpeted that the agreement would “provide solutions for the burning issues in Arab society – planning, the housing crisis, and of course, fighting violence and organised crime”. He has reportedly secured some $16bn in extra budgets for development and infrastructure, and three of the many Bedouin villages the state has long refused to recognise will be given legal status.

Abbas, the United Arab List leader, is pictured in Jerusalem on 5 April 2021 (AFP)
Abbas, the United Arab List leader, is pictured in Jerusalem on 5 April 2021 (AFP)

Abbas is also pushing for the repeal of a 2017 law that makes tens of thousands of homes in Palestinian communities inside Israel vulnerable to demolition.

One of his fellow legislators, Walid Taha, observed of the United Arab List’s new role: “For decades, Arab Israelis [Palestinian citizens] have been without any influence. Now, everyone knows that we’re the deciding votes as far as politics goes.”

Abbas has every incentive to use such claims as a whip to beat his rivals in the Joint List, a coalition of several other Palestinian parties that are staying in opposition. He needs to emphasise his role in bringing about change to make them look weak and irrelevant.

Hostility and disdain

But despite the promises that lured Abbas into the new government, he will face a rough ride getting any of them translated into tangible changes on the ground.

Lapid will be busy as foreign minister, selling this as a new era in Israeli politics. Meanwhile, Benny Gantz, the current defence minister who just oversaw the destruction yet again of Gaza, will offer continuity.

Back home, the key internal ministries will be held by the far-right. Lieberman will control the purse strings through the finance ministry, directing funds to settlements before Palestinian communities inside Israel. Bennett’s partner, Ayelet Shaked, will be interior minister, meaning the settlements in the occupied West Bank will be treated as more integral to Israel than the communities of Palestinian citizens. And Saar will be justice minister, helping to drive the legal system even further to the right.Israel: Four reasons Benjamin Netanyahu’s era is not over yetRead More »

Faced with this bloc, all of them keen to be seen as upholding the values of the right, Abbas will struggle to make any progress. And that is without considering the situation he will find himself in if Bennett pushes for annexation of the West Bank, or authorises another police invasion of al-Aqsa, or oversees the expulsion of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, or launches a fresh attack on Gaza. 

Abbas put the coalition negotiations on pause during Israel’s assault on Gaza last month. He won’t be able to do the same from inside the government. He will be directly implicated. 

As a result, Palestinian citizens are likely to end up growing even more disillusioned with a political system that has always treated them with a mix of hostility and disdain. They will finally have representatives inside government, but will continue to be very much outside of it. The triggers for the protests that erupted among young Palestinians in Israel last month are not going away.  

The most likely scenario over the coming months is that Netanyahu and Bennett will engage in a furious competition for who deserves the title of champion of the right. Netanyahu will seek to break apart the coalition as quickly as possible by inciting against Abbas and the Palestinian minority, so he has another shot at power. In turn, Bennett will try to pressure Likud to abandon Netanyahu so that Bennett can collapse the “government of change” as quickly as possible and rejoin a large majority, far-right government with Likud. 

Rifts will not be healed; coexistence will not be revived. But the preeminence of the ultra-nationalist right – with or without Netanyahu – will be restored. 

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

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Europe’s Failure Over Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Due to Germany’s Nazi Guilt and EU’s Subservience to United States

June 1, 2021

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Former editor and writer for major news media organizations. He has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages

Finian Cunningham

The international community has to end its support for the apartheid state of Israel and must stop the genocide of the Palestinian people, says MEP Mick Wallace in an interview with Finian Cunningham.

Mick Wallace, an independent Irish Member of the European Parliament, speaks his mind to Strategic Culture Foundation about the recent violence in Gaza where 248 people were killed by the Israeli military. Among the dead were 66 children during 11 days of bombardment of the Palestinian territory. Nearly 2,000 were injured in airstrikes on the densely populated coastal strip where two million people live in appalling deprivation. Hundreds of homes and civilian infrastructure were destroyed by the Israeli forces armed with U.S. warplanes and munitions. Rockets fired by Palestinian militant group Hamas killed 12 Israelis, including two children. Yet the United States and the European Union stridently declared support for Israel’s “right to self-defense” while not categorically denouncing the slaughter of Palestinians. Mick Wallace condemns what he calls the complicity of America and the European Union in Israeli war crimes. He says the oppression of Palestinians will continue tragically because, effectively, the U.S. and EU are sponsoring genocide. However, he notes, Western governments are increasingly out of step with public opinion horrified by Israel’s wanton occupation of Palestinian territory.

Wallace was elected to the EU parliament in 2019. He is an independent MEP who is affiliated with the European Party of the Left. He is an outspoken critic of American imperialism and European complicity in NATO aggression towards Russia. His weekly podcast frequently explores and condemns Russophobia in EU foreign policy which he says is due to the bloc’s subservience to Washington. Wallace’s outspoken internationalism and anti-imperialism have gained him much popular support in Ireland and abroad.

Interview

Question: American and European politicians commonly declare their support for Israel’s “right to self-defense”. However, you have stated that Israel does not have such a right. Many people would condemn your statement given the barrage of rockets fired at Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Can you explain why you think Israel does not have a right to self-defense?

Mick Wallace: Gaza is the largest concentration camp in the world. Do concentration camp guards have the right to self-defense? The indigenous people, the Palestinians, have the right to self-defense, not the colonizer. Does Israel have the right to self-defense? Does Israel have the right to commit crimes against humanity?

Question: During the recent eruption of hostilities between the Israelis and Palestinians, the European Union showed little leadership in calling for a ceasefire. Why is the EU so ineffective in resolving a conflict which is on Europe’s periphery?

Mick Wallace: It would probably be fair to say that when it comes to foreign policy, the European Union has never been so weak.

Question: European leaders aspire for the EU to be a global political force. But the EU is all too often seen as subordinate to the United States. With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Europe seems too deferential to Washington. Is that a fair criticism?

Mick Wallace: Yes, the EU does not have the courage to challenge the United States on these matters.

Question: You have been especially critical of Germany and the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was formerly the German minister of defense, for their appeasement of Israel by not criticizing its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. You have made the point that Germany’s historical guilt from Nazism and the Holocaust is a factor. Can you elaborate on that point?

Mick Wallace: Von der Leyen is a weak European Commission president but her statement on the conflict emphasizing Israel’s supposed right to self-defense was a new low. Sixty-six Palestinian children were killed by the illegal occupier, Israel, while Hamas killed two Israeli children. And yet Von der Leyen could only condemn Hamas. Germany backs Israel because of its guilt over Nazi horror. Yet in appeasing Israel, German politicians are complicit today in crimes against humanity akin to those of Nazi Germany.

Question: Other European countries were also complicit in Nazi crimes against Jews, such as France and the Baltic states, Austria, Romania, and Hungary. During the latest violence, Austrian public buildings were draped with the flag of Israel. Does the specter of the past Nazi horrors and European guilt account for the EU’s failings with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Mick Wallace: There’s no doubt that German guilt for the terrible atrocities committed against European Jews is a factor. The failure of so many German Members of the European Parliament to criticize Israeli war crimes is shocking, but other forces are also at play. Israel is a vital part of the United States Empire, and that’s reflected in EU subservience to the Americans.

Question: Out of 705 European parliamentarians, a sizable majority seems to be supportive of Israel whereas among European citizens there is strong sympathy for the Palestinians suffering from illegal occupation and oppression. How do you explain such a discrepancy between elected representatives and the general public with regard to views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Mick Wallace: Politicians rarely represent their citizens.

Question: Is European guilt over Nazism and fascism a factor in the European Parliament’s attempts at World War Two revisionism whereby the Soviet Union is equated with the Nazi Third Reich?

Mick Wallace: I believe it’s more a case of the European Union, at America’s beckoning, trying to undermine and isolate Russia.

Question: Russia has offered to act as a mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians, claiming to have credible relations with both sides. The American mediation efforts have been a failure as has been shown by the chronic impasse and erosion of Palestinian rights over several decades. Do you think Russia could help find a resolution?

Mick Wallace: I wouldn’t be confident of Russia playing a neutral and fair role – the Kremlin also tolerates much of the lawless behavior of Israel.

Question: What, in your view, is a viable solution to the decades-old conflict?

Mick Wallace: That’s a big question. The two-state solution is long dead. The international community has to end its support for the apartheid state of Israel and must stop the genocide of the Palestinian people. All Palestinians are entitled to live a dignified life in their homeland. But this is unlikely to happen until the international community stops supporting U.S. imperialism, and the sovereignty of all nations is respected.

Day 8 of Israeli Offensive on Gaza: Non-Stop Bombing and Systematic Infrastructure Destruction

Source

Ref: 64/2021

Date: 17 May 2021

Time: 15:00 GMT

23 Palestinians Killed, Including 3 Women and 7 Children, and 53 Others Wounded, Including 8 Women and 18 Children,

Death Toll Mounts to 204, Including 59 Children and 34 Women, and Total Number of Injuries Rises to 836, Including 251 Children and 184 Women

For the 8th consecutive day, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued their offensive on the Gaza Strip, in violation of the basic principles of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL): necessity, proportionality and distinction. Tens of Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of intense airstrikes, along with artillery and gunboat shelling. The airstrikes targeted more houses and civilian facilities and intensified the destruction of roads and infrastructure, inflicting more casualties among Palestinian civilians and causing extensive damage to their properties.  As a result, IOF’s systematic destruction of streets and crossroads obstructed the movement of vehicles and ambulances, especially on roads leading to al-Shifa Hospital.

On Monday, IOF declared that the third phase of the military operation on the Gaza Strip has started and that 54 warplanes fired 110 missiles attacked 35 targets within 20 minutes, including 15 kilometer-tunnels; according to IOF’s claims, while the facts on the ground indicate that the airstrikes targeted more houses, facilities and streets.

The power outage crisis in the Gaza Strip aggravated as the electricity supply dropped to three to four hours a day that is inadequate for the vital facilities to provide services to the people of the Gaza Strip.  The Electricity Company stated that the components of the electricity distribution network sustained massive destruction as 5 main electric power transmission lines, which supply 60 megawatts, broke down since the beginning of the offensive while the rest lines break down from time to time and become out of service due to the airstrikes and destruction of many places.  The power plant warned that it would be forced to shut down this evening due to insufficient fuel supply. The Power Generating Company announced that “J4” electric power transmission line, which supplies Gaza City and passes through Street 8 and Street 10, sustained severe damage due to the intense airstrikes on the area.  As a result, electricity went off on vacant areas in the City.


The forced displacement of tens of thousands of residents from their houses in eastern Gaza Strip continued due to the violent artillery shelling as shelters were opened to receive them without so far providing the adequate circumstances. Also, almost all aspects of daily life have been disrupted due to the non-stop airstrikes.

Further to PCHR’s press release published yesterday, Israeli warplanes carried out hundreds of airstrikes while the Israeli gunboats and artillery shelled various and indiscriminate targets across the Gaza Strip. As a result, 23 Palestinians, including 3 women and 7 children, while 53 others, including 8 women and 18 children, were injured. Additionally, the airstrikes targeted 21 houses, several facilities, governmental headquarters and infrastructure on a wide scale. Thus, the number of targeted houses has risen to 115, including multi-story buildings and several towers.

Moreover, the death toll since the beginning of the Israeli offensive has risen to 204, including 59 children and 34 women, and the number of those wounded has risen to 836, including 251 children and 184 women.

According to the daily update by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the total number of injuries has risen to 1300, including 50 serious injuries. These large numbers of injuries have increased the burden on medical crews and the already exhausted healthcare system due to the Israeli-imposed closure and the outbreak of coronavirus in addition to the negative impact of power outage on the operation of laboratories, blood banks and surgeries, especially in light of the growing number of injuries. Also, during these days, Gaza hospitals rely on generators due to long hours of power outage, rendering hospitals in urgent need of constant supply of fuel.

The following are the most significant developments:

Northern Gaza:

Israeli warplanes carried out many airstrikes and Israeli artillery stationed along the border fence and gunboats stationed off shore fired many shells at the eastern and western areas of the governorate. As a result, 4 Palestinians were killed while 32 others, including 16 children and 4 women, were wounded. Also, the airstrikes targeted 13 houses; 7 were completely destroyed while others were partially destroyed. As a result a sponge company sustained serve damage while a hospital, a hotel, a mosque, public roads, and infrastructure sustained destruction.

At approximately 15:00, the Israeli artillery fired a shell at Jamal Hussain Khalil al-Shawish’s (62) house in central Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, the house sustained damage.

At approximately 15:20, Israeli warplanes fired 2 missiles at a 4-story house belonging to Hamed al-Shembari (55), east of Beit Hanoun. As a result, the house and nearby houses sustained severe damage, but no casualties were reported.

At approximately 17:20, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a 2-story house belonging to Mohammed Fawzi Naser (47) in central Beit Hanoun. As a result, the house was completely destroyed.

At approximately 17:35, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a 2-story house belonging to Hussain Khalil Hussain Fayyad (44), east of Beit Hanoun, and completely destroyed it.

At approximately 18:00, the Israeli artillery fired a shell at a 2-story house belonging to Hitham Mohammed Abu ‘Osda (43), east of Beit Hanoun. As a result, fire broke out in the house.

At approximately 18:30, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a 2-story house belonging to Nabil Foad Mahmoud al-Masri (57) in central Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, the house sustained damage.

At approximately 19:15, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a group of citizens in the center of Zaytun neighborhood in Beit Hanoun. As a result, 3 of them were killed namely Mo’ath Nabil Mohammed al-Za’aneen (27), Mohammed Yousef Mahmoud ‘Abdullah (31) and Mohammed ‘Awni ‘Abdullah al-Za’aneen (25).

At approximately 19:50, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at Belal Mustafa Yahiya ‘Asaliyia’s (30) house in central Jabalia, and completely destroyed it.

At approximately 20:20, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a 2-story house belonging to Mohammed Shehdah Mas’oud al-Moghrabi (52), east of Beit Hanoun. As a result, the house roof and walls sustained damage.

At approximately 20:50, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a 3-story house belonging to Mahmoud Mohammed Ahmed Ba’lousha in al-Salateen neighborhood, west of Beit Lahia, and completely destroyed it.

At approximately 07:30 on Monday, 17 May 2021, the Israeli artillery fired at least 2 shells at Foam Co. Sponge Company near the former Civil Administration Headquarter on Salah al-Deen Street, east of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, a fire broke out in the area for 2 hours and civil defense crews rushed to extinguish the fire. No casualties were reported.

At approximately 08:30, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at Abdul Aziz al-Khaldi’s house. As a result, the 3-storey villa, southwest of al-Sudaniya, was completely destroyed and nearby houses, Mathaf Hotel, al-Khaldi Mosque and Hamad Rehabilitation and Prosthetics Hospital sustained damage.

At approximately 09:30, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at Fayez Ibrahim Mohammed Abu Ali’s house. As a result, the 3-storey house in Jabalia refugee camp was completely destroyed.

At approximately 10:15, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at Abdullah Abu Rayya’s house. As a result, the ground-floor house, located in Jabalia, was completely destroyed, and Husam Mohammed Othman Abu Harabeed (36), a commander in al-Quds Brigades, was killed, as IOF declared targeting him.

At approximately 10:30, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a group of citizens in al-Qasasib neighborhood in Jabalia. As a result, one of them was wounded and taken to the Indonesian Hospital, where his injury was reported moderate.

At approximately 10:45, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a house belonging to Yousef al-Liddawi’s sons in Jabalia. As a result, the roof of the 6-storey house sustained damage.

On Sunday evening and Monday morning and dawn, Israeli gunboats and tanks fired dozens of shells on east and west of the Gaza Strip. Additionally, a strong suffocating odor spread in the northern Gaza Strip governorate, but no casualties were reported.

Gaza City:

Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes on various targets across the city. As a result, a Palestinian was killed and 12 others were wounded, including 3 women and 5 children. The airstrikes targeted 5 residential multi-story buildings, main roads and vital streets, security sites belonging to the Ministry of Interior, sites belonging to the Palestinian Resistance, public facilities, shops and a civilian. On the other hand, the civil Defense crews retrieved 13 dead bodies, including 3 women and 7 children, from under the rubble of their houses on al-Wehda Street.

On Sunday, 16 May 2021, medical and Civil Defense crews pulled out 13 dead bodies, including 3 women and 7 children, from under the rubble of their houses on al-Wehda Street, raising the number of deaths to 43, most of them were children and women.

The deaths were: Subhiya Isma’el Hussain Abu al-Ouf (73), Ameen Mohammed Hamad al-Qolaq (90), Tawfiq Isma’el Hussain Abu al-Ouf (80) and his wife, Majdiya Khalil Hussain Abu al-Ouf (82), Raja’ Subhi Isma’el al-Ifranji “Abu al-Ouf and  3 of her children, Mira Rami Riyad al-Ifranji (12), Yazan (13), Ameer (9), and Hala Mohammed Mo’een al-Qolaq (13), and her sister, Yara (10), Rola (6) and Lana (4) Riyad Hasan Shkontana, and Mohammed Ahmed Musbah Ikki (40).

At approximately 18:50, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at Ali Mousa Mohammed Affana’s (64) house, north of Gaza City. As a result, the 5-storey house (200 sqms), which included 10 apartments and sheltered 10 families, including 11 women and 21 children, was completely destroyed. It should be noted that Israeli Intelligence Services phone called the neighbors and ordered them to evacuate the house as it would be targeted.

At approximately 19:30, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at Abdul Kareem Isma’el Ibrahim al-Ashram’s (60) house in al-Sabra neighborhood, south of the Gaza City. As a result, the 6-storey house (400 sqms) sheltering 7 families, including 12 women and 16 children, sustained severe destruction in the 3rd, 4th and fifth floors. It should be noted that Israeli Intelligence Services called the neighbors and ordered them to evacuate.

At approximately 21:00, Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at Jamal Attiya Hamdiya’s (62) house in al-Shuja’iya neighborhood. As a result, the 4-storey house and a nearby 3-storey house belonging to Mohammed Sa’eed Khalil al-Manasra, sheltering 5 families, was completely destroyed. It should be noted that the Israeli Intelligence Services phone called the neighbors and ordered them to evacuate.

At approximately 00:15 on Monday, 17 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at Mohammed Ahmed Saleh al-Dairi’s (47) house in al-Sabra neighborhood. As a result, the 4-storey house (500 sqms), comprised of 16 apartments and sheltering 17 families of 115 members, was completely destroyed. It should be noted that Israeli Intelligence Services phone called the neighbors and ordered them to evacuate.

After 5 minutes, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at Hamdiya Othman Abdul Rahman Hamdan’s (60) house in al-Sabra neighborhood. As a result, the 3-storey house comprised of 3 apartments (each is 200 sqms) sheltering 3 families, including 6 women and 6 children, was completely destroyed, and nearby houses sustained partial damage. It should be noted that the Israeli Intelligence Services phone called the residents and ordered them to evacuate.

At approximately 01:00 and for an hour, Israeli warplanes carried out a huge number of intense airstrikes on Gaza City targeting main roads and infrastructures on al-Rasheed Street and other streets, in addition to destroying main roads and streets, which connect Tal al-Hawa neighborhood with al-Sheikh Ijlin neighborhood.  Moreover, the tourist facilities along the Gaza seaside sustained severe damage while nearby residential buildings and towers sustained partial damage.  Many security sites in Ansar Security Compound, west of Gaza City.

At approximately 12:30, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a civilian car travelling near Abu Hasira crossroad, west of Gaza City. As a result, the driver, Adeeb Sa’eed Deeb al-Sourani (43), was killed.

Around the same time, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a group of citizens who were near the Maldives Coffeshop at Gaza seaside. As a result, 2 of them were killed, and nearby tourist facilities sustained severe damage.

Central Gaza Strip:

Israeli warplanes carried out several airstrikes on different parts of the central Gaza Strip.  They targeted houses, agricultural and vacant lands, and military sites.  As a result, a house was completely destroyed and dozens of houses near the targeted places sustained partial damage.  Moreover, a child and a woman were wounded.

At approximately 03:40 on Monday, 17 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at a house belonging to the heirs of Tawfiq al-Fallit in Deir al-Balah. As a result, the 2-storey house (250 sqms), which sheltered 4 families of 18 members, including 9 children and 3 women, was completely destroyed, while 5 nearby houses sustained partial damage.

At approximately 08:00, the Israeli artillery launched several shells at a vacant land, east of Deir al-Balah. As a result, a child sustained shrapnel wounds and a woman suffocated.

IOF continued to fire artillery shells in the eastern side of the city, setting the agricultural fields on fire.

Khan Younis

IOF carried out several airstrikes on different parts of the city.  The airstrikes targeted a house and completely destroyed it, causing damage to nearby houses, a kindergarten and agricultural lands.  As a result, 6 were wounded, including a child, and the injury of one of them was reported serious.

At approximately 15:55 on Sunday, 16 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at a house belonging to Mazen Fayeq Shlash Shbeir in central Khan Younis and completely destroyed it, causing severe damage to the nearby houses and partial damage to the Islamic Complex Kindergartens near it.  It should be noted that few days ago an Israeli drone fired a missile at the 150-sqm house of 3 floors that was home to 3 families of 15 members, including 3 women and 9 children.

At approximately 21:05, an Israeli drone fired a missile at an agricultural land in al-Mawasi in western Khan Younis.  As a result, four were wounded, including a child, when they were near their houses.  The injury of one of them was reported serious while the rest injuries were moderate.

At approximately 22:10, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a group of citizens in al-Fokhari area.  As a result, two sustained moderate wounds.

At approximately 12:22, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a group of citizens in ‘Abasan al-Jadidah.  As a result, Ahmed Fayez Hasan ‘Arafat (29), from the village, were killed while another sustained minor wounds.

IOF continued to fire artillery shells at eastern Khan Younis, setting fire to the agricultural lands.  Moreover, the gunboats sporadically shelled the seaside.

Rafah:

Israeli warplanes carried out several airstrikes on different targets in Rafah City, where 10 missiles were launched.  The airstrikes targeted a house, 5 trucks, a bulldozer, agricultural lands, streets and roads. As a result, two were killed.  Moreover, the Israeli artillery intensely fired shells, smoke grenades and sound bombs.

At approximately 18:45 on Sunday, 16 May 2021, an Israeli drone fired a missile at an agricultural land in Msabeh neighborhood, north of Rafah.  As a result, Tariq Mahmoud Qasem al-Qadi (39) and Sameh Jihad Sameh al-Qadi (23) were killed. 

At approximately 07:30 on Monday, 17 May 2021, IOF fired artillery shells at houses in al-Shokah village in eastern Rafah.  As a result, one of the shells hit a house belonging to Mohammed Safa Mohammed Abu Sheiban, and fire broke out in the first floor.  The neighbors managed to extinguish the fire, and no casualities were reported.  The Civil Defense vehicles could not reach the area due to the intense artillery shelling and lack of coordination with ICRC to enter the area.

At approximately 13:30, IOF fired artillery shells at houses in al-Naser village, northeast of Rafah.  As a result, a number of trucks and a bulldozer belonging to al-‘Attar Family were hit and burnt.  No injuries were reported.

Since the morning IOF stationed along the border fence in eastern Rafah fired artillery shells, sound bombs and smoke grenades at houses, agricultural lands and streets in al-Shokah and al-Naser village, north and east of Rafah City, causing fear among civilians.  As a result, 5000 civilians were forced to leave and seek refuge in 5 UNRWA schools, noting that they forcibly entered the schools without the guards’ approval while no services were provided by the UNRWA and the donations were provided by local societies and benefactors.

PCHR strongly condemns IOF’s use of mass explosive power, which proves Israel’s intention to inflict harm on Palestinian civilians in disregard for IHL principles of distinction and proportionality through killing and massacring entire families.

PCHR’s investigations indicate that IOF has effectively classified civilians as legitimate military targets, in violation of IHL principles. PCHR renews its warning that civilians are paying the heaviest price during the escalation and emphasizes that IOF’s ongoing strikes on residential populated areas and the use of weapons based on collective retaliation constitute grave breaches of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 that amount to war crimes.

 PCHR warns of further deterioration in the Palestinian civilians’ humanitarian conditions; either those displaced or those whose houses were demolished, as they have become homeless and sought refuge in schools in degrading and inhuman conditions. Thus, PCHR calls upon th international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to act urgently in order to end all IOF’s military hostilities and to provide protection for the civilians in light of the grave violations of the international humanitarian law, including murders and large-scale destruction of civilian objects and property.   PCHR also calls upon the international community and all UN bodies and agencies to take all measures necessary to stop the mass forced displacement of Gaza Strip’s civilians that is conducted by IOF through applying the scorched-earth policy across the Gaza Strip, particularly in the northern part.  PCHR calls upon the International humanitarian organizations to provide the humanitarian needs of the displaced civilians, including food, clothes, water and potable water, and hygiene services.

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Israeli Apartheid Confirmed

13 May 2021

About me

by Lawrence Davidson 

Part I—The Question Of Apartheid 

It was perhaps 6 or 7 years ago. I was part of a panel, debating on Israel and the Palestinians, that took place at a local (West Chester, Pa) Quaker Friends school. The school had such debates regularly until the administration caved-in to pressure from the Zionist parents of a number of Jewish students. One of these parents debated for the Israeli side. 

This particular event came to mind upon my seeing the latest Human Rights Watch (HRW) report conclusively laying out the apartheid nature of Israel. Here is the connection: just before the debate was to begin the participating Zionist parent tried to make a command decision. No one was to use the term apartheid in reference to Israel. This was because the assertion was, according to him, obviously nonsense. 

I remember at the time thinking, who gave him the right to define the terms of the debate? As it turned out, and this is quite often the case, those supporting the Palestinians knew twice as much history as did the Zionists, and could call upon twice as many facts and examples. Apartheid Israel was shown to be a matter of fact rather than nonsense. I am convinced that Zionist pressure on the school to end future debates was motivated by the additional fact that those supporting the Palestinians so readily won. 

I have run into many other cases like this. The Zionists would debate for a while, but upon realizing that they could not prevail, they opted for enforced silence—that is, attempting to deny their opposition a stage and eventually labelling them anti-Semites. I often wonder if that Zionist parent who did the one-time debate at the Friends school, ever did face the fact that he was wrong about Israel and apartheid. Not because we said he was wrong. He would never have taken our word for it despite the evidence we had at hand. Rather, because an ever greater number of humanitarian organizations, of which HRW is one, journalists and research institutions have thoroughly and repeatedly laid out the facts that make it so. To this one may now add the charge of “medical apartheid.”

And none of us could forget the ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing if most of us were actually informed of the process.

Amidst the predictable resumption of mass resistance from Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, The Human Rights Watch report confirming Israeli Apartheid presents the seminal context for what we now witness. 

Part II—Human Rights Watch’s 2021 Report

Here is part of the opening pages of the HRW report:

—“About 6.8 million Jewish Israelis and 6.8 million Palestinians live today between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River. Throughout most of this area, Israel is the sole governing power; in the remainder, it exercises primary authority alongside limited Palestinian self-rule.”

—“Across these areas and in most aspects of life, Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

—“The prohibition of institutionalized discrimination, especially on grounds of race or ethnicity, constitutes one of the fundamental elements of international law … [over which] the International Criminal Court has the power to prosecute …when national authorities are unable or unwilling to pursue them.”

The report goes on to definitively prove its allegations in 213 pages of depressing detail—all laid out like a damning legal writ. Nor, as suggested above, is this the first time the apartheid nature of Israel been demonstrated. The HRW document was preceded by 16 March 2017 report submitted by UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia demonstrating Israel’s apartheid nature. Though the report was accurate, the UN Secretary General disavowed it under pressure from the United States and Israel. In May of 2018 a

thorough examination appeared entitled Apartheid Israel, by the journalist Jonathan Cook. This was published by Americans for Middle East Understanding in their journal, The Link (April/May 2018). More recently, a 21 January 2021 report by B’Tselem, Israel’s own premier human rights organization, entitled “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid,” proved particularly revealing. One should also take a look at the Israeli Apartheid Factsheet, published 12 January 2021 online, by War On Want. 

The Israeli government dismisses all of these fact-based reports as propaganda. This sets up a question of what is real—one that can be readily resolved, one way or another, through objective outside observers. Unfortunately, Israeli behavior over the past decades has shown that, unless you agree with the Zionist interpretation of events, Israel does not consider you objective. Thus, the HRW representative, and many others as well, have been banned from entering the country. This sort of reaction is not just an Israeli tactic. It is typical of countries in the process of undermining the rule of law and destroying human rights. In a very real way, the charge of “it is all, in this case, anti-Semitic propaganda” is itself a form of propaganda design to shut done critics. 

Part III—The Zionist Rationale

The Zionists consistently say that Israel exists to save world Jewry from persecution—from the constant threat of anti-Semitism and another Holocaust. Many still believe this is true and some of a liberal orientation now resort to this rationale to undermine the HRW report. They charge that it will cause the current wave of anti-Semitism to gain greater traction. Such greater traction always leads to a greater fear of another Holocaust. And this fear will only make the Zionists and Israelis dig in their heels. And indeed, the cries of anti-Semitism and Holocaust has always created a smokescreen behind which can be hidden all Israeli sins. Has anyone ever considered that Israel’s abominable behavior, always committed in the name of the community of worldwide Jewry, is itself a major cause of growing anti-Semitism? 

While Zionism might have started out as a strategy to save the Jews, Israel and the Zionists are no longer in the saving business. In point of fact, various Israeli authorities are constantly bickering about who is or isn’t Jewish. What they are now about is the business of national glorification and expansion—carried on in the old 19th century style of racist imperialism. In this effort the Palestinians are the major victims, but all Jews are, if you will, collateral damage. They become denigrated by the behavior of a brutalizing racist regime that simply declares itself acting in their name.

In the process another truth is also brought low—the fact that means ultimately shape ends. And here is the irony of it all: the outcome of apartheid that is now playing itself out in “greater Israel” was all but predetermined by the nature and behavior of Zionism itself.

Part IV—The Predetermined Nature Of Israeli Apartheid

Here are some of the steps and decisions that made today’s apartheid Israel inevitable:

—The aim of the Zionist movement was to found an exclusively Jewish state. Most of the early Zionists were European Jews searching for a way to escape centuries of anti-Semitism. Living in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, their reference point was the ethnically homogeneous nation state. Soon they convinced themselves that Jews could only escape anti-Semitic persecution if they had their own nation state. 

—By the beginning of the 20th century the Zionists had focused on Palestine as their future political, religious, and cultural nation state. This was due to the land’s biblical associations—and despite the fact that many Zionists were of a secular rather than religious orientation. In 1917, they made an alliance with the British government to rally Jewish support for the British war effort in World War I (WWI) in exchange for British support of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine. This alliance was spelled out in the Balfour Declaration.

—Soon thereafter, the British took Palestine from the Ottoman Turks (the Turks were allies of the Germans in WWI). They then allowed Zionist organized immigration to commence. The British told the Palestinian Arabs that Zionist investment would raise the living standards of the land’s non-Jewish residents. In the meantime, the Zionists discouraged any cooperative interaction with the Palestinian Arabs. This was particularly true when it came to use of Arab labor. Jews who had Arab employees were forcefully pressured to replace them with Jewish immigrants.

Between 1914 and 1947 both the Arab and Jewish population of Palestine grew. However, Jewish numbers, even though consistently bolstered by Zionist inspired immigration, were never more than 32% of the total population.

—Given Zionist ambitions and the demographics, the question can be asked, just how they could create a state for one group alone in a land where that favored group was a distinct minority? There were only three direct ways: (1) devising a method to get the Arab majority to move out of the country. (2) creating an unequal political and economic system that marginalized the majority, rendering them politically and economically irrelevant. (3) Committing genocide.  

—Both methods 1 and 2 were employed. The first led to the Nakba, the catastrophic removal of some 700,000 Palestinians, during the 1948 war that led to the creation of the State of Israel. Some of these people fled the fighting, but many were forced out at gunpoint by Israeli forces. In truth, the Nakba never completely came to an end as the ongoing home demolitions and evictions show. The second method followed in two stages for those Palestinians who would still find themselves under direct Israeli rule: (A) the so-called Palestinian Israelis, today numbering close to 2 million people or roughly 21% of the population of pre-1967 Israel. These Arabs have been given Israeli citizenship—actually second class citizenship. They are segregated from Jewish Israelis by  a host of discriminatory practices, among which are inferior housing, schools, and job opportunities. (B) The Palestinians who fell under Israeli control in 1967 and remain so today. These are the residents of the West Bank, Golan Heights and also the Gaza Strip, numbering roughly 5 million people. Most of these Palestinians have been denied Israeli citizenship. They are under the rule of Israeli military authorities or an allied Palestinian authority under Israeli supervision. Internal travel is made difficult for them, their ability to improve or expand their infrastructure is restricted. They are encroached upon by illegal Israeli settlements and harassed by Israeli settlers. Attempts at self-defense or counterattack are seen by the Israelis as terrorist acts.

—Means shape ends. (1) The nature of Zionist goals: the transformation of Palestine into a nation state for Jews alone, (2) undertaken with a group mentality shaped by a memories of European anti-Semitism, the outlook of racist European imperialism, and finally the trauma of the Holocaust, (3) strongly inclined the Zionists toward tactics that precluded compromise and equity with the indigenous Palestinians. (4) When the Palestinians inevitably resisted the Zionists they were cast as Arab Nazis, an image which justified the brutal tactics (suppression and expulsion) already in use. Finally, having conquered Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, and shying away from a second mass expulsion as long as the world was watching, the Israelis inevitably fell into apartheid to neutralize the 7 million Arabs under their rule.

Part V—Conclusion

Once you have segregated away those you oppress, the average member of the dominant group can proceed with his or her life in comfortable blindness—literarily not seeing their victims, and remaining purposefully ignorant of the deformed situation that sustains their status, security and wealth. As time goes on all aspects of society (education, employment, media, social norms) come to reinforce this condition. This is the situation in today’s Israel. 

The blindspots can extend to Israel’s Zionist supporters in the diaspora, even if they are otherwise progressive liberals. Take the case of the American Jewish progressive  Peter Osnos, who fears the definitive nature of the HRW report. Why so? Because, he believes, “this report—in detail, length and tone—could be the basis for sanctions against Israel.” As the old Jewish idiom goes, “from his mouth to God’s ears.” However, that is an unlikely prospect. Western governments are so committed to Israel—and steeped in the hypocrisy this requires—that they will simply ignore the HRW revelations, as they did the earlier reports.  

Nonetheless, when you strip away all the ideologically-bred magical thinking, rationalizations, and blindspots, what you are left with is the blatant truth: you cannot impose a foreign group of people, seeking exclusive domination, into a land already populated by a different people, and not end up with a discriminatory and abusive system of rule. And if the abusive system persists something akin to apartheid becomes inevitable. So does periodic mass resistance.

WARNING Zionist brutality: the everyday nightmare in Palestine

Israel seeks sectarian divide of Lebanon and Christians to leave region: Gebran Bassil

by News Desk

2021-01-10

Latest map update of southeast Deir Ezzor

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 P.M.) – The head of the Lebanese Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassil, said on Sunday that “the blockade imposed on Lebanon is the result of the choices the country took to confront Israel, and that is why Israel declared itself a Jewish state.”

According to Bassil, Israel “wants to see sectarian states around it, and wants Christians to leave the region.”

He continued: “What is being asked of us is surrender, not peace. What is presented is a recipe for an internal war and the fragmentation of the surrounding countries, especially Lebanon, because of its Islamic-Christian coexistence.”

Regarding his view of peace, Bassil explained, “Who says that we do not want peace? We are children of the peace doctrine, and peace without justice is a dedication to injustice, and we are with a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, in accordance with the initiative of King Abdullah.”

Bassil previously served as the Lebanese Foreign Minister, but has since come under fire over accusations of corruption and nepotism, as his father in-law is President Michel Aoun.

Righteous Anger Vs. Zionist Jewish Wrath

By Rima Najjar

Source

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef e4e65

The tragedy of the Israeli mentality is that there is no room for Palestinian anger and frustration in its make-up but plenty of room for Jewish wrath. I found myself reflecting on this proposition after participating in a discussion thread on Facebook the other day.

Harvey Stein, an American-Israeli filmmaker and blogger in The Times of Israel, recently generated a long heated thread on Facebook by embracing Peter Beinart’s vision of the end of the two-state “solution,” and inviting his friends to comment. He finally abandoned the thread, saying: “The genuine debate I try to inspire here is impossible.”

When people begin discussion of an issue with two different premises, the discussion is destined to remain on parallel tracks that never meet. But what I observed and am exploring in this post goes beyond the obvious. It has to do with how emotions are perceived on each side — perhaps a little like the difference between Dr King’s perception of black riots in 1966 as “the language of the unheard…to make justice a reality,” and Trump’s perception of the riots today in the context of black protests as an opportunity to exploit the racist fears of white nationalists in order to be reelected.

Neal Hugh Hurwitz, a “soft” Zionist participating in Stein’s thread was alarmed by my show of anger in the discussion. He commented: “Harvey Stein — — so we know about the bad guys on our side — — whatcha goin do about the Rima Najjars from Indiana???:) I think she’d slit your throat.”

In his mind, my anger as a Palestinian at the injustice and thievery of the Zionist project is equivalent to the aggression of hard-core Zionists, who were trolling on Stein’s thread, and whose terror tactics in the West Bank are ongoing.

The fear that Palestinian anger might lead to terror against Israelis is a fundamental principle of the Zionist Jewish state. Brutally repressing any and all expression of that anger has been the premier job of the state for all of its 72 years.

Debate that does not embrace historical facts is destined to produce anger and frustration on both sides, but only one side’s anger can honestly be characterized as righteous. Harvey Stein, a Jewish immigrant from New York, believes his right to belong in Jerusalem is equal to mine, a Palestinian exile in Indiana denied return, by virtue of his being a Jew (he may or may not be religious, I don’t know). He and other soft Zionists are willing to go as far as declaring that their “profound belonging” to Palestine-now-Israel does not supersede mine — and no farther.

I understand Harvey Stein actually discovered the name of the Palestinian family who owned the house he now lives in. How can he sleep at night — in Jerusalem or in New York, I wonder. (It’s worth noting here that Miko Peled in his book The General’s Son mentions how his mother, who was born and raised in Jerusalem, refused to occupy the home of a Palestinian family who had been forced out of West Jerusalem in 1948 when it was offered to her.)

Every morning without fail, as I read the news coming out of Palestine/Israel, my helpless anger rises to a boiling point at the relentless march of violent events inherent in the makeup of the national/Judaic state that would have been legitimate only if, at the end of the 19th century, its founders had happened to discover an uninhabited piece of land somewhere on the globe and immigrated there.

Instead, its criminally-minded founders (their own words attest to their unconscionable aggression) finagled their way into Palestine (their campaigns of advocacy and early lobbying in Britain and the US are well-documented) and executed a meticulous plan of terror, as described in Thomas Suárez’ book State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel.

I am not sure to what the word “modern” in Suárez’ title refers. There is no such thing as modern and ancient Israel in the same sense we use these terms to differentiate between modern and ancient territorial polities like Greece, for example, or modern and ancient Egypt. The word “modern” in association with Israel is totally misleading, as is the ubiquitous term “diaspora” used to describe Jews outside Israel for the purpose of emphasizing their mythical religious/spiritual connection to the Holy Land.

The name Palestine to describe the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River was most commonly used from 1300 BC onward, and it has evolved from a multiplicity of beginnings — ancient, medieval, modern, nationalist — into a geopolitical concept and distinct polity. This is unlike the myth-narratives of the Old Testament with its single “beginning.”

The idea of a “modern” Israel has thus necessitated the obliteration of thousands of years of Palestinian history, jumping, as Israelis do, from the Old Testament to the 20th century.

Israel’s state terror has been met in some instances by retaliatory acts of terror against Israelis by Hamas. That is true. But those acts are not comparable with the racist/supremacist, indeed systemic, actions of the Zionist Jewish state that regards Arabs as inferior and accepts “revenge” as a “mitigating circumstance” for a brutal lynching — (that report was in my news-pouch today).

According to a 1954 “fatwa” by Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli, Jews are allowed to kill enemy civilians–men, women, and children (“massacre of revenge” — milhemet nakam). Also in self-defense. The massacres perpetrated on Palestinians by terror gangs as described in Suárez’ book pre-Israel, and those perpetrated on Gazans, are all today rationalized by the Israeli forces as acceptable and ethical conduct.

It is no accident the Jewish offensive warfare pre-1948 turned into “defense” forces of the Jewish state. Offense is defense in the Zionist mentality.

In 2011, Sari Nusseibeh, at the time a professor of philosophy at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem and also its president, published an article in Al Jazeera that explains why the Israeli demand to be recognised as a “Jewish state” by the Palestinians is an inherently problematic concept:

… recognising a “Jewish state” in Israel — a state which purports to annex the whole of Jerusalem, East and West, and calls Jerusalem its “eternal, undivided capital” (as if the city, or even the world itself, were eternal; as if it were really undivided, and as if it actually were legally recognised by the international community as Israel’s capital) — means completely ignoring the fact that Jerusalem is as holy to 2.2 billion Christians and 1.6 billion Muslims, as it is to 15–20 million Jews worldwide.

… Nevertheless, it remains true that, in the Old Testament, God commands the Jewish state in the land of Israel to come into being through warfare and violent dispossession of the original inhabitants. Moreover, this command has its roots in the very Covenant of God with Abraham (or rather “Abram” at that time) in the Bible and it thus forms one of the core tenets of Judaism as such, at least as we understand it. No one then can blame Palestinians and descendents of the ancient Canaanites, Jebusites and others who inhabited the land before the Ancient Israelites (as seen in the Bible itself) for a little trepidation as regards what recognising Israel as a “Jewish State” means for them, particularly to certain Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox Jews. No one then can blame Palestinians for asking if recognising Israel as a “Jewish State” means recognising the legitimacy of offensive warfare or violence against them by Israel to take what remains of Palestine from them.

At the beginning of Zionist terror in Palestine, the impetus for it came from a secular national/supremacist construct that professedly had little to do with religion. But religion now permeates the psyche of the state, and the bigots it has let loose on the West Bank dramatize that fact.

How Two Seemingly Unrelated Events Laid Israel’s Racism Problem Bare

A viral video showing an Israeli family mocking impoverished Palestinian children and a controversial New York Times editorial by famed Zionist commentator Peter Beinart have exposed the racist underpinning of the so-called Jewish state.

Source: MintPress News

by Miko Peled

Protesters attend a rally against Israel plans to annex parts of the West Bank, in Tel Aviv, June 6, 2020. Sebastian Scheiner | AP

Two seemingly unrelated items hit social media recently and both received a lot of attention. The first was an article by Peter Beinart that was published in the New York Times where Beinart claims he no longer believes in a Jewish State and calls for a binational state with equal rights in Palestine. The other, a video clip showing an Israeli family riding in a car when two children approach them. The car window opens and we hear the father ask the children in Hebrew, “Who wants to feed a Bedouin?” While these two seem unrelated, there is something equally disturbing about both of them.

A Jewish home in Palestine

One might think that the epiphany experienced by yet another liberal Zionist, and one that has access to the mainstream media, should be celebrated. After all, another well known Jewish American has reached the conclusion that Palestinians deserve equal rights in their own country. However, as we read this article there are several disturbing elements that dampen the excitement.

Beinart shares with the readers, “I knew that Israel was a source of comfort and pride to millions of other Jews.” He explains that this is why he believed in the Jewish state. One could argue that slavery was a source of comfort and pride for millions of white Americans, yet to support slavery is still abhorrent.

Peter Beinart
Peter Beinart, center, talks to people after speaking at the University of Washington Hillel, October 23, 2014. Photo | Joe Mabel

He goes on to describe a sentiment that one hears from many liberal Zionists. “One day in early adulthood, I walked through Jerusalem, reading street names that catalog Jewish history, and felt that comfort and pride myself.” Jerusalem was an Arab city for over a thousand years. In 1948, Palestinians in Jerusalem were subjected to a total and complete ethnic cleansing, and not a single Palestinian was allowed to remain in the city. Jerusalem then became the capital city of the state of Israel and the street names, which used to catalog the long and magnificent Arab history of the city, were changed.

“I knew Israel was wrong to deny Palestinians in the West Bank citizenship, due process, free movement and the right to vote in the country in which they lived.” What about the rights of millions of Palestinians languishing in refugee camps? This country that gave him, and Jews like him, such pride is denying millions of Palestinians their right to return to the lands and homes from which they were expelled.

“But the dream of a two-state solution that would give Palestinians a country of their own let me hope that I could remain a liberal and a supporter of Jewish statehood at the same time.” That was precisely what the scam of the Two State Solution was set to do. To allow liberal Zionists to support the crimes of Zionism and the creation of a racist state in Palestine while still feeling good about themselves.

The idea that the Two State Solution would give Palestinians “a country of their own,” is puzzling. Palestinians have a country of their own, it is Palestine. According to historian Nur Masalha, it has been Palestine for thousands of years before the establishment of the Zionist state on May 15, 1948.

The epiphany experienced by liberal Zionists who suddenly realize they can’t have it both ways is really not an epiphany at all. It is a compromise that allows them to continue to justify their patronizing attitude towards Palestinians. Beinart is not unlike another liberal Zionist, Avram Burg. Burg, a staunch Zionist who served as speaker of the Knesset and chairman of the Jewish Agency, and in between, profited greatly from peddling Israeli weapons. He is a Zionist through and through, and yet, he too claims it is time for a single state. In a piece he authored in 2018, he writes, “Since 1967 Israel had occupied Palestinian territory.” Not unlike Beinart, he sees only the West Bank as Palestinian territory.

To feed a Bedouin

A disturbing video clip was recently shared on TikTok by Roy Oz, also known as Roy Boy, an Israeli entertainer who hosts various programs for children. In the clip, an Israeli family is driving comfortably in what appears to be an SUV, with young children in the backseat and the parents in front. The father, Roy Oz, is driving. As they drive, two young children approach the car. The children in the car are white, the children outside are brown. The landscape is barren, like a desert, and we can safely assume it is the Naqab region in southern Palestine.

The father opens the window and hands a cookie to the children outside and says to his children in Hebrew, “Who wants to feed a Bedouin?” He speaks to the children outside in Arabic and then turns to his children again, asking in Hebrew, “You don’t want to feed a Bedouin, Ariel?” One of the two children outside is older than the other and hands the cookie to the younger child. Then, the father turns the camera, showing his children’s faces and asks again, “Do you want to feed a Bedouin? You don’t?” We hear him also saying to himself, “they are so cute,” referring to the children outside.

The father then turns to the children outside and asks in Arabic how much money they want. “One thousand shekel?” He asks. “No, just ten” one of the children answers. “Only ten?” The father asks at which point the mother reaches out of the car and hands one of the children a coin.

Expressions of Shock

Expressions of shock came fast from Palestinian communities, who demanded an apology and an explanation. Some even said this was the worst expression of racism they had ever seen. But there is nothing shocking about this clip because this was a normal Israeli middle-class family expressing what countless Israelis express all the time. The appalling racism and patronizing colonial attitude toward Palestinian Bedouin children, as we see in the video, is the foundation upon which the state of Israel was established and exists throughout Israeli society.

Without structural, systemic, deeply ingrained racism, Israel would not exist. Furthermore, without this white supremacist attitude, no Israeli pilot would be able to push the button that releases the bombs which then burn and rip Palestinian children in Gaza to shreds. No sniper would be able to pull the trigger and kill and maim Palestinians. It is an essential part of Zionist education.

Many Israelis had expressed their displeasure at this expression of racism. However, their displeasure aside, this is nothing new or abnormal. It is not unlike the incident where an Israeli army medic, who is charged with saving people’s lives and had taken an oath to do so, executed a wounded Palestinian laying on the ground. The incident was caught on video and went viral, resulting in the medic being court-martialed and receiving a slap on the wrist. This medic also acted as he was trained, as he was taught, that a Palestinian life does not matter.

Recognizing that Palestinians have rights within a Zionist construct is a symptom of Zionist racist supremacy. This racism is what allows a family to drive by Palestinian children and treat them like animals in a safari. It is how the state of Israel is able to continue the Naqba, the systemic, catastrophic destruction of Palestine and its people for close to one hundred years.

Feature photo | Beinart speaks at a 2012 event in Atlanta after being banned from a Jewish book festival over his criticism of Israel. David Goldman | AP


Related

Netanyahu and Covid19

 

BY GILAD ATZMON

netantahu  and Crona.jpg

FNA*: Netanyahu was very quick to administrate a lockdown at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak in Israel. Was Covid-19 his only reason for the lockdown?

 Gilad: You are tapping here into a crucial aspect of the Covid 19 affair which none of the Western media has been brave enough to look into. As early as March 12, the Israeli PM announced nationwide school closures and urged the formation of an emergency unity government to “save the lives of tens of thousands” of Israelis from the coronavirus, Netanyahu presented a profoundly stark assessment in which there would be “tens of millions of deaths” worldwide unless the pandemic was stopped.  Political analysts who follow Netanyahu closely immediately understood that Netanyahu desperately needed the pandemic and the hysteria around it. And it is clear that the Israeli PM managed to utilize the corona crisis to serve his cause. He postponed his trial. He formed a large unity government and practically destroyed both his rival party (Blue & White) and its leader Benny Gantz.  So it was no surprise that once Netanyahu was finally able to form his unity government, Israel was relieved of its lockdown: Israelis were free to enjoy the sun again. Far more peculiar is the fact that the rest of us needed Netanyahu to form his government so that our leaders would also allow us to enjoy the blue sky.

FNA: The political deadlock came to an end with the formation of an emergency cabinet to address the coronavirus outbreak. Why did Netanyahu unite with his forever rival Benny Gantz after they competed with him for power for over a year? Why did he make such an abrupt political u-turn?

Gilad: We are often misled into believing that the Jewish state is a pluralist political entity divided between Left and Right political blocks. The truth can’t be further. The Jewish State is a hard-core nationalist entity. It is institutionally discriminatory. It differentiates racially between Jews and the indigenous people of the land.

Though it seemed for a while that the Israeli Knesset was divided between Netanyahu’s block and the so called ‘centre Left block,’ the vast majority of the Knesset Members within the so called Centre Left block are actually to the right of Netanyahu.  This applies to Avigdor Lieverman and his party. Many of the Blue & White’s politicians, some of them war criminals, ended up in Netanyahu’s government. Even the Labour party is ardently right wing in its approach to the Israeli Arab conflict. In Israel there is only one left party that upholds universal and ethical philosophy. It is called the United Arab List.    

FNA: When all of the courts, including the court in which his case was pending, were closed as a measure to counter the coronavirus outbreak, Netanyahu formed a unity cabinet,  became  Prime Minister and was granted immunity against the court’s decision in his case. Do you believe that at some point in the future justice will be served, and he will be held accountable for the allegations of bribery and favouritism? 

Gilad: I am not so sure how valid or serious the bribery and favouritism allegations are against Netanyahu. I can tell you that Israeli war crimes against Palestinians are by far more grave than Netanyahu’s cigar consumption. I would like to add here that I believe that it was Netanyahu’s early and radical reaction to the coronavirus that defined the tone and policies of many Western governments. Since we still do not know the origin of coronavirus, what it is all about, I tend to believe in the possibility that the current health crisis is the result of a military affair. If there is any basis for such an assumption, Israel amongst just a few other countries is a major suspect. I do believe that the constant havoc that we see in the world at the moment is there to divert attention from crucial questions to do with the crisis and its possible origin. 

True scrutiny of the criminal possible aspects involved with the pandemic is overdue, as the notorious virus clearly hasn’t killed as many millions as Netanyahu predicted in early March. 

  • An interview conducted by Iran’s FNA
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