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US, Israel set to punish Palestinians for holding a democratic election, again

By Robert Inlakesh | Press TV | April 11, 2021

Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer and political analyst, who has lived in and reported from the occupied West Bank. He has written for publications such as Mint Press, Mondoweiss, MEMO, and various other outlets. He specializes in analysis of the Middle East, in particular Palestine-Israel. He also works for Press TV as a European correspondent.

Israeli and US officials are citing concerns over the potential outcome of the upcoming May 22 Palestinian legislative elections, and if their reactions mirror the past example, the conflict in the Palestinian Occupied Territories could severely escalate.

The people of the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and Gaza are set to vote in their first set of elections in 15 years. Much to the dismay of Israel and the United States, who claim they will not interfere in Palestinian democratic processes, it looks like their most despised group Hamas is on the way to a potential landslide victory.

In 2006, Hamas historically won the legislative elections, seizing control of the Gaza Strip. Their Fatah Party rivals, the United States and Israel, however, did not accept the election results and decided to take action to punish the people of Palestine for having their own say at the ballot box.

What ensued was dubbed as the ‘Palestinian civil war,’ which officially ended in 2007, with Hamas having successfully stopped an attempted Fatah-led coup – backed by the United States and Israel. Israel, as a result of the removal of Fatah power from the Gaza Strip, saw the perfect opportunity to impose a full and tightened blockade over the territory – thus collectively punishing its civilian population for their choice in the elections. Upon the Hamas victory, the US and EU also imposed overwhelming sanctions on Gaza meant to undermine the elected Hamas government.

As a result of the rivalry between the Fatah Party, currently heading the Palestinian Authority (PA) – which maintains limited control over small portions of the West Bank – and Hamas, there have been no elections since. Time and time again Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose term in office expired in 2009, has postponed the elections, until early this year, when Abbas announced that legislative and presidential elections were finally to take place.

For Palestinians, their elections are set up to fail from the get-go. Pretty much the only political party they have to choose from, without being punished by the West and Israel, is the Fatah Party. All other major political Parties are registered terrorist organizations by most Western countries and Israel itself. Due to Western political immaturity, no organization that refuses to sell out the Palestinian cause for national liberation is to be considered as a legitimate political force and so instead it must be punished, attacked, sanctioned and humiliated. Thus, any Palestinian voting for a change to the status quo, meaning voting outside of lists belonging to Fatah, are to be punished for their choice to change to political scene.

We know from statements published by Fatah and Hamas that both intend to set up a unity government, meaning that Hamas will be in on decisions to lead the Palestinians of the occupied Palestinian territories. Yet, if this occurs, Israel is very open about their rejection of any collaboration with a government formed of Hamas members. This means that all of the cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, such as “security cooperation,” would cease and the two would be at conflict.

Early this year, Israeli Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman had repeatedly warned President Mahmoud Abbas about the consequences of holding elections and made it clear that Hamas would not be tolerated. The Shin Bet chief also stressed that Abbas not go ahead with the elections.

Now it has been reported that, in a meeting between the two, both Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are “concerned” about a Hamas win and urge a postponement of the elections. The hilarious part of the meeting, reported by Israel’s Walla news outlet, was that both figures also stressed that they didn’t intend to interfere in Palestinian democratic processes. But if you are urging a postponement of elections, after 15 years of no elections and are set to reject the party most likely to win at this point, then what else other than interference is that?

Israel has already gone on a tirade of arresting Palestinian political activists and prominent members of Hamas, in the West Bank and threatens ending cooperation with the PA, which will result in an escalation of violence. The US also does not indicate it will accept a Hamas win and is already expressing concern. So, if Hamas were to win in the West Bank, then we can only assume that their sanctions against Gaza may be transferred somewhat onto the West Bank too. This is essentially the US and Israel offering the Palestinian people an ultimatum; choose the status quo and still have the limited money you have, or choose who you like and we will crush you.

Due to the internal divisions now seen in the Fatah Party – which seems most likely to pave the way for a Hamas win – there is no indication that this will be respected by the West and Israel.

So, what do Palestinians do, vote for the status quo and continue to suffer as usual, watching the settlements expand upon the rest of their lands in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (al-Quds), or vote for the alternative which will likely mean an all-out conflict with the West and Israel?

As much as the West and Israel attempt to publicly distance themselves from the Palestinian elections, they are as much a part of it as are all the Palestinian political parties themselves. This is just the reality of the ongoing illegal occupation, there is no official autonomous Palestinian State, only oppressed peoples fighting for that State. So, any attempt to act as if a fair election, without Israeli-US influence is possible, is a product of great imagination.

April 11, 2021 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Increasingly, the Zios are confronted with their perennial intractable problem, originally articulated by George Orwell: the extermination of millions of people would be a task of great physical difficulty.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by traducteur | April 11, 2021 | Reply

  2. Israel and the US have no credibility with Palestinians and for very good reasons. Both have been “punishing” these people for their persistence, their “being” after all the work to make them disappear over the past seven or so decades! Why haven’t they all fled already? Why do they still carry on about the theft of their country and about the oppression at the hands of foreigners? If they were going to learn their lessons, the time has come and gone. These people will continue despite the measures taken to make their lives hell and their futures bleak. After all — enough is enough! The Jewish State has done everything, including genocide over time, with these people and to no avail. The Jewish State should just collapse, all the immigrant families should depart and thus give Palestinians back their futures, however belated.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by ontogram | April 11, 2021 | Reply

  3. Forthrightly written by RInlakesh…he might have included — I’m sure I recall correctly — that the satanic Zionist terro-entity summarily arrested and incarcerated some 42 victorious Hamas members in 2006–just for having won their electoral contests. Yes: satanic, psychotic, vindictive, rotten to the core…how much longer can this charade go on?

    Like

    Comment by roberthstiver | April 11, 2021 | Reply


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