The ‘Palestinian Problem’ is really the Israeli Problem

Attack on Gaza

Attack on Gaza

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The ‘Palestinian Problem’ is really the Israeli Problem

The biggest problem of the ‘Palestinian Problem’ is that the world doesn’t really give a toss what happens in Palestine until the Zionist, Israeli Settler State enjoys another period of slaughter of the Palestinian people. And even then criticism of the ‘ethnic cleansing’ is muted.

The fact that Palestinians, on a daily basis, are treated like second class citizens, who really don’t have a right to live in their own land is forgotten. The fact that they are probably being treated in a manner which makes the white supremacist South African apartheid regime pre-1990s seem quite ‘civilised’ is ignored. The fact that Palestinian land is being stolen from those whose families have lived there for generations – against all international ‘laws’, supposedly adopted to prevent such activity – happens on a daily basis with impunity. The fact that Palestinian children are dying and being injured at the hands of the Israeli military and police in numbers which would be received with shock and horror in those countries who seek to determine what happens in the Middle East and passes by without comment. The fact that Zionist fascist thugs roam the streets of the Palestinian occupied land, reminiscent of what occurred in Germany in the 1930s, isn’t even considered newsworthy.

It’s shameful that it was only shortly before the 73rd anniversary of the Nabka that two reports were published (one by the Jewish organisation B’ Tselem, This is apartheid, published in January 2021 and the other, A threshold crossed – Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution, published by Human Rights Watch in May 2021) which openly condemned Israel as being an apartheid state.

For decades the Zionists had cynically hidden behind the Holocaust whenever their activities were challenged. They had become so confident (probably over-confident) in their propaganda exercise that they had started to conflate, and equate, criticism of the Settler State of Israel with anti-Semitism. This has had the effect, in the last year or so, of stifling debate about the rights of the Palestinians. That charade is starting to look slightly thin now when the forced evictions in East Jerusalem (highlighted by the Palestinian refusal to let it happen quietly) has made it difficult for the Zionists to deny the accusation that their racist state has been applying a policy of apartheid and ‘ethnic cleansing’ for decades.

It took the world a long time, far too long a time, to universally criticise and ostracise the racist South African regime. For the capitalist and imperialist countries (most of whom were racist in many respects) the existence of a tame attack dog in Africa which was willing to fight against any national liberation movements and stem the move toward Socialism was worth more than the local, national inconvenience of supporting a racially, unjust society. When the apartheid regime had run out of its usefulness changes in the society were accepted by the capitalists – although they did so in a manner which meant that capitalism wasn’t seriously challenged in the most industrially developed country on the African continent. (It should also be remembered that at the height of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa Israel was that country’s closest military and diplomatic ally.)

Now Israel plays the slavish (but willing) role of imperialism’s attack dog in a part of the world that is politically and economically crucial for the short term existence of imperialism The more the Zionists crow about their right to live on stolen land; the more they spout about independence as a State; the more they prowl around the Middle East like an over-confident bully and gangster the more the reality they only exist due to the grace of the imperialist powers, mainly the United States of America, becomes evident.

How long will it be before the world opens its eyes to the crimes of the Zionist Settler State of Israel?

One of the other consequences when the simmering war goes on the boil is that there are a lot more articles from those who support the Palestinians in their fight for freedom and from injustice. Not that they’re not out there generally but when peoples’ concentration is directed to the situation in Palestine then more comments and information is forthcoming.

Below are links to some articles which have been published in the last week or so with salient comments to make on the reality of the past 73 years, on how the world sees Palestine and the biased manner in which Israel is treated by capitalist politicians and media.

However, although it is reasonable to condemn the approach of the leaders of the capitalist countries that doesn’t mean the people of the world, workers and peasants, equally maltreated by the economic and political system they live under, are totally blameless. Those politicians are in positions of power due to the action or inaction of the populace. Whether by crimes of commission or omission we are all guilty of what has happened, is happening and likely to continue happening if something is not done to prevent it for the foreseeable future in Palestine.

Long Live Palestine!

For further background information (mainly material from the 1960s-1980s) on Palestine you can click here.

(Notwithstanding the recent ‘cease fire’ the issue will not just go away. All those matters addressed below won’t disappear because the guns have fallen silent. A long term solution will have to be found and it will mean the State of Israel having to substantially change. The so-called ‘two state’ solution has been dead in the water for a long time.)

Sheikh Jarrah Shows that Palestine’s Nakba Never Ended

Two residents of Sheikh Jarrah write about their community’s fight against eviction – and why this month’s Palestinian uprising is just the latest chapter in a decades-long struggle against dispossession.

Another Nakba: ‘This Is My House, This Is My Door, You Are a Thief’

In the days leading up to the 73rd anniversary of the Nabka the aggressiveness and arrogance of the Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem was such that it would have been a surprise if matters did not reach a head close to the time of the date of the establishment of the Israeli Settler (and apartheid) State. (Note the contempt expressed in the faces of the young Zionists in the top picture.)

The Palestinian Body Is Whole Once Again

Palestinians disconnected from each other have struggled immensely to maintain a national project with clear objectives. Now, struggling together across the entire geography of historic Palestine, the Palestinian body is coming back together.

A Nightmare of Terror Across the Landscape of Palestine

As Israeli lynch mobs roam the streets attacking Palestinians, and as Israeli war planes drop bombs on Gaza, it’s essential to understand how we arrived at this moment.

On Palestine, the Media Is Allergic to the Truth

This article looks at how the media in the vast majority of capitalist countries falls over itself in support of the Israeli Settler State by always addressing matters as if the ‘both sides’ in the battle were on an equal footing – and forgetting the history of the conflict in general and always looking at matters as if they were all short term flare-ups.

Nine children killed in Gaza Strip as violence escalates

Although events got worse before they got ‘better’ – an uncertain cease fire – this article documents the cavalier attitude the Israeli Defence Forces have towards the lives of Palestinian children.

How the United States helps to kill Palestinians

U.S. policy has perpetuated the crisis and atrocities of the Israeli occupation by unconditionally supporting Israel in three distinct ways: militarily, diplomatically and politically.

Israeli forces kill 17-year-old Palestinian in Arroub refugee camp

The Israeli Defence Forces have been killing children on a regular basis for years. This is just yet another example where extreme and deadly force is being used against young people.

Gaza conflict: no matter how powerful Israel’s military becomes it still can’t win

‘ …. an apt summary is of a state that is impregnable in its insecurity. It is impregnable in the sense that it cannot be defeated, but insecure in that the underlying threats will not go away – as is evident in the current violent confrontations.’

Peaceful Coexistence in Israel hasn’t been shattered – it’s always been a myth

‘As a Palestinian from within Israel I have long been a second-class citizen, denied basic rights.’

Life inside Gaza during 11 days of bombardment

Guardian journalist Hazem Balousha describes living in, and reporting from, Gaza, under heavy bombardment until a ceasefire began on Friday, while historian Rashid Khalidi discusses the history of the Palestinian struggle for statehood. (Podcast)

Israeli social fabric is ripping at the seams

Israel has reached apartheid, the antithesis of Judaism’s long tradition of social justice.

Palestinian youth are leading a Popular Uprising to end Israeli Apartheid

The latest Palestinian uprising firmly rejects the conquest and division of our people legally and geographically, into separate, besieged, apartheid parcels of land similar to the Bantustans of Apartheid South Africa.

Why is accountability for alleged war crimes so hard to achieve in the Israel-Palestinian conflict?

‘The failure of the international community to bring about a resolution in the decades-long conflict reflects the highly politicised nature of international law.’

Likud Must Pay for Its Criminal Culture

The ruling party’s rap sheet is too long to be tolerated any longer.

And taking another historical perspective on Palestine;

What we did: How the Jewish Communist Left failed the Palestinian Cause

Although this article concentrates on the attitude of the Jewish Left in the United States in the late 1940s – at the time of the establishment of the Settler Sate of Israel – a similar approach would have been taken by many Communist parties throughout the world when the Soviet Union changed its approach to the ‘two state’ ‘solution’ of the situation in Palestine. Although a long term supporter of Comrade Stalin (and still am) this is one policy decision I have been unable to reconcile with his world view in general.

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2021 starts with continuing Zionist attacks on the Palestinian population

More on Palestine

2021 starts with continuing Zionist attacks on the Palestinian population

Israeli airstrikes damage children’s hospital and school in the Gaza Strip

Ramallah, January 23, 2021—Israeli warplanes launched five missiles at targets in Gaza City in late December, damaging a children’s hospital, school, center for disabled people, and several residential buildings.

Israeli airstrikes struck areas in the north, east, and west of Gaza City. The Israeli attacks damaged the Gaza Center for People with Disabilities, the Shuhada Gaza School, and the Mohammad Al-Dura Children’s Hospital, all located in the At-Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City, according to information collected by DCIP. The Israeli military claimed the attacks targeted Hamas locations in response to rockets fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel.

When the missiles struck the area, 16 Palestinian children were patients in the children’s hospital, including three in the intensive care unit. An ensuing power cut interrupted patient care at Mohammad Al-Dura Children’s Hospital.

“The explosions caused great bewilderment among the sick children in the hospital,” Dr. Majed Hamada, Head of Mohammad Al-Dura’s Children Hospital, told Defense for Children International – Palestine. “The explosion shattered ten windows,” he added, telling DCIP that none of the patients or staff sustained injuries.

“I was going to bring medication for the kids when I saw the sky turn red,” Eman Bilal, a nurse at the hospital, told DCIP. “After that, we heard the huge explosion that shook the building and shattered the windows. Everyone at the hospital panicked, parents were scared to the point they started carrying their sick children and running towards safer rooms.”

The Gaza Center for People with Disabilities in At-Tuffah, which provides educational and training services for 60 students with disabilities aged between 14 and 28, sustained damage that interrupted classes and other services for at least one day. Around 20 windows were shattered and three doors were damaged, according to the director of the center, Salah Al-Amasi.

The Shuhada Gaza School, also in the At-Tuffah neighborhood, sustained damage to 52 windows and five doors during the airstrikes, according to the principal, Ihab Quqah. The building is home to both the Shuhada Gaza Public School, which educates around 620 pupils aged between 6 and 11 years old in the morning, and UNRWA’s Al-Daraj School, which educates 1000 pupils aged between 6 and 14 years old later in the day.

“Israeli forces’ use of explosive weapons in densely populated civilian areas in the Gaza Strip is very likely to have indiscriminate effects,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Programme Director at DCIP. “While no casualties resulted here, Israeli forces regularly treat Palestinian public infrastructure in the Gaza Strip as acceptable collateral damaging and attacking essential facilities such as hospitals and schools.”

International humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks and requires that all parties to an armed conflict distinguish between military targets, civilians, and civilian objects. Israel as the occupying power in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the Gaza Strip, is required to protect the Palestinian civilian population from violence.

Israeli warplanes struck a United Nations-run school in a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) compound in the Al-Shati refugee camp located in the northwest of Gaza City on August 13, 2020, according to documentation collected by DCIP. The munition did not detonate on impact. UNRWA officials confirmed reports that the UNRWA Beach Co-Educational School ‘D’ in the Al-Shati refugee camp was damaged by an Israeli missile that did not detonate. Students were not allowed on the premises, having only returned to school less than a week earlier following a five-month school closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DCIP and numerous other human rights organizations have extensively documented Israeli forces’ targeting of schools, hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, as well as the killing and maiming of children in and around such infrastructure.

DCIP’s investigation into all Palestinian child fatalities during the Israeli military’s assault on the Gaza Strip in summer 2014, known as Operation Protective Edge, found overwhelming and repeated evidence that Israeli forces committed grave violations against children amounting to war crimes. This included direct targeting of children by Israeli drone-fired missiles and attacks carried out against schools. In at least three incidents, Israeli forces carried out indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks against schools.

This article first appeared on Defense for Children International – Palestine

Israeli forces kill 17-year-old Palestinian boy, allege attempted stabbing

Ramallah, January 26, 2021—Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy Tuesday afternoon in the northern occupied West Bank after the teen allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier nearby.

Attallah Mohammad Harb Rayan, 17, from Qawarat Bani Hassan, a town located southwest of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, was shot dead by Israeli forces around noon at the Hares Junction near the illegal Israeli settlements, Revava and Barqan, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces shot Attallah after he allegedly carried a knife and attempted to attack an Israeli soldier stationed at the junction, according to Israeli army radio. 

“Israeli forces frequently resort to lethal force in circumstances not justified by international law,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program Director at DCIP. “Children suspected of committing criminal acts should be apprehended in accordance with international law and afforded due process of law.”

Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or of serious injury is present. However, investigations and evidence collected by DCIP regularly suggest that Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial or wilful killings.

Attallah is the first Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2021. In 2020, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, six of whom were killed with live ammunition, according to documentation collected by DCIP. 

Israeli forces killed 17-year-old Mahmoud Omar Sadeq Kmail on December 22, after he allegedly shot at Israeli paramilitary border police forces deployed in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. On December 4, Israeli forces shot and killed 15-year-old Ali Ayman Saleh Abu Alia in Al-Mughayyir, a village northeast of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. Ali did not present any threat to Israeli forces at the time he was killed, according to documentation collected by DCIP. The Israeli military has reportedly opened an investigation into Ali’s killing following international condemnation of the killing.

Israeli forces are rarely held accountable for grave violations against Palestinian children, including unlawful killings and excessive use of force. According to Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights organization, around 80 percent of complaints filed with Israeli authorities by Palestinians for alleged violations and harm by Israeli soldiers between 2017 and 2018 were closed with no criminal investigation opened. Of complaints where a criminal investigation was opened, only three incidents (3.2 percent) resulted in indictments. Overall, the chances that a complaint leads to an indictment of an Israeli soldier for violence, including killing, or other harm is 0.7 percent, according to Yesh Din.

This article first appeared on Defense for Children International – Palestine

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