Aletho News


Weakened Israeli Immunity?

By Stephen Lendman | May 22, 2021

Did Netanyahu go too far this time?

Did he shoot himself in the foot for massacring Gazan civilians — and by doing so generate mass pro-Palestinian protests in cities worldwide?

Did his international support weaken for terror-bombing and shelling residential neighborhoods on the phony pretext of claiming that Hamas used families and others as human shields?

Is his Western and regional media support diminished for targeting their Gazan facilities to silence them?

Did he generate widespread international anger for destroying Gazan infrastructure essential to sustain life and well-being, for striking medical facilities and much more in Gaza intensively?

For time immemorial, US and other Western media provided one-sided support for Israel, including earlier wars on Gaza and against Syria and Lebanon.

Did 11 days in May change things — even if only partially?

Did it put a chink in longstanding Israeli impregnability?

Days earlier, the most always pro-Israel NYT said the following:

The IDF “damaged 17 hospitals and clinics in Gaza, wrecked its only coronavirus test laboratory, sent fetid wastewater into its streets and broke water pipes serving at least 800,000 people, setting off a humanitarian crisis that is touching nearly every civilian in the crowded enclave of about two million people,” adding:

“Sewage systems inside Gaza have been destroyed.”

“A desalination plant that helped provide fresh water to 250,000 people in the territory is offline.”

“Dozens of schools have been damaged or closed, forcing some 600,000 students to miss classes.”

“Some 72,000 Gazans have been forced to flee their homes.”

“And at least 213 Palestinians have been killed, including dozens of children.”

“The level of destruction and loss of life in Gaza has underlined the humanitarian challenge in the enclave, already suffering under the weight of an indefinite blockade by Israel and Egypt even before the latest conflict.”

The above and more that followed was sharp criticism of Israel rarely ever reported about a US allied state.

On Friday, NBC News said “Israel-Gaza cease-fire doesn’t mean the IDF should be excused for striking health facilities.”

“Even if the fighting soon stops, not holding Israel to account for potential war crimes green-lights future heinous attacks.”

At times of war, civilians are protected persons under international law.

Targeting and “preventing them from receiving effective care for their wounds compounds their suffering,” NBC News added.

WaPo has been notably critical of Israeli aggression this month.

An opinion piece it published by Columbia University Professor of Arab Studies Rashid Khalidi said the following last week:

Days of Israeli aggression on Gaza reflect “the latest episode in the hundred-plus year war on Palestine,” adding:

“Israel’s brutal actions in and around Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque, and its attempts to forcibly displace Palestinians in the nearby neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, were triggers for another violent, asymmetrical confrontation” between Israel’s powerful military and Palestinians armed with no more than crude rockets and their redoubtable will to resist oppression.

What went on for days and continues throughout the Occupied Territories through daily oppression of Palestinians has nothing to do with “riot(ing)” or a “real estate dispute” as phony Israeli “talking points” claimed, Khalidi explained.

It’s all about pursuing Israel’s longstanding aim for maximum Jews and minimum Arabs throughout all valued parts of historic Palestine — notably to assure that the world community recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s exclusive capital.

On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 181.

The Palestine Partition Plan granted 56% of historic Palestine to Jews (with one-third of the population), 42% to Palestinians.

Jerusalem was designated an international city under a UN Trusteeship Council.

Res. 181 also called for an Independent Arab state by October 1, 1948.

It called for “all governments and peoples to refrain from taking any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations.”

The Security Council was and continues to be empowered with “necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation.”

Security Council (SC) Resolution 242 (1967) called for an end of conflict and withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the Occupied Territories.

The UN Charter, Fourth Geneva, and other international laws protect the rights of everyone everywhere, including Palestinians and other oppressed people.

Like the US and West, Israel operates exclusively by its own rules.

A permanent state of war by hot and other means has existed by Israel against Palestinians for nearly three-fourths of a century — with no end of it in prospect.

WaPo contributors Noura Erakat and Mariam Barghouti said Israel’s intention to expel Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah residents from their East Jerusalem homes and land “highlights the violent brazenness of (its) colonialist project.”

WaPo contributor Michael Chabon accused Israel of “violat(ing) the Fourth Geneva Convention, which limits the duration of military occupation to a year and prohibits an occupying power from transferring its own citizens to occupied territory.”

WaPo accused Israel of “leav(ing) Gaza in shambles.”

Questioning Netanyahu’s future, it said “Jerusalem is on verge of erupting again” because of Israeli violence on its people straightaway after agreeing to ceasefire in Gaza.

According to Palestinian Red Crescent spokesman Mohammad Fityani, Israeli forces on Friday injured 21 Palestinians in and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, adding:

Similar confrontations occurred throughout the West Bank.

WaPo quoted Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, saying:

“Our people rose up… to defend the al-Aqsa Mosque with their bare chests, and to prove to the whole world that (East) Jerusalem is (the exclusive Palestinian capital), and that Al-Aqsa is a red line.”

WaPo quoted Oxfam’s policy officer in Gaza Laila Barhoum, last week saying:

“We dread the darkness of the night, when you can no longer tell where or how close the black smoke is” from Israeli missiles and shells.

“You can only hear it, feel it and, if you’re lucky, survive it.”

“So, we gather together, support each other and tell ourselves that we will survive the night.”

“And we wait for the condemnation from the international community — condemnation that never comes,” notably not from the West.

WaPo contributor Raphael Mimoun said “(t)he Israeli occupation of the West Bank is, by every definition, apartheid: two legal systems for two ethnic groups.”

“Zionism cannot produce a just peace. Only external pressure can end Israeli apartheid.”

The above and more like it in WaPo and in other US media editions expressed uncharacteristically harsh criticism of Israel.

Does it reflect a crack in its longstanding invulnerability to justifiable criticism?

Or is it the emotional response of the moment that’s likely to pass in the days and weeks ahead?

A Final Comment

Al Jazeera stressed that 11 days of Israeli bombardment… left (Gaza) in ruins,” adding:

The Biden regime “faced unprecedented criticism for failing to demand an immediate ceasefire to end Israel’s devastating bombing campaign, instead putting out what rights advocates described as milquetoast statements reaffirming Washington’s unequivocal support for Israel.”

Following ceasefire on Friday, “(w)hat’s Biden’s plan” for besieged Gazans and Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories?

Al Jazeera quoted Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver saying:

“There’s zero (US) plan” — other than supplying Israel with more heavy weapons and munitions for further war at its discretion against Palestinians and neighboring states.

Hashemi also stressed that “the more Israel is coddled, supported, and sustained (by the US and West), the more belligerent and intransigent (it) becomes” — knowing it can do what it pleases unaccountably.

May 22, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Palestine Has the Right to Defend Itself

By Taxi | Plato’s Guns | May 13, 2021

We have entered a new era in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The old days of Israel committing war crimes against the downtrodden, captive Palestinians are over. The world has done zero to address Israel’s fundamental crime of nation-stealing: a megalith crime that can only be described as the longest and most vicious war crime in our modern history. A crime that millions of people around the world consider to be even worse than the holocaust. After some 73 years of enduring relentless Israeli terrorism, land-theft, cultural appropriation AND the silence of the world, the Palestinian Resistance has finally taken charge and has, literally overnight, turned the tables against Israel. From here on, there will be accountability for Israel for any crime it commits against the Palestinians. From here on, all previous Israeli red lines will be crossed in favor of the Palestinians. From here on, the death of Israel is no longer a far-fetched fantasy. From here on, the Palestinian Resistance will take charge of Palestine’s destiny.  And its destiny is total liberation.

Whether this liberation takes place in a day, in a week, in a month or a year, the gates of liberation are now open, and nobody on earth can close them.

The situation in the holy land is currently fluid – rocket and missile strikes continue by both sides with no end in sight as I write this. There is no point in talking casualties and targets in this article as this is not a journalistic report but a brief look at America’s strategy in the Middle East.

The pertinent question here is: with Israel’s hegemony being in an evident state of profound decline, will the US drop Israel in order to preserve its remaining influence in the Middle East? Or, will it stick to a weak and dying Israel and thus be evicted from the region with it? We know that both China and Russia are waiting on the sidelines for an opportunity to snatch America’s influence in the Mideast region. There will not be a vacuum left once Israel falls and takes the US down with it.  China and Russia will collect the prize and immediately fill in the vacuum. Begs the question here therefore: is America prepared to lose to China and Russia just to appease a limping Israel?

Simply: what is more important for America: maintaining its own superpowerdom, or supporting Israel indefinitely and unconditionally?

This is a serious strategic conundrum for the current US State Department, for the Pentagon and the Deep State, not to mention the White House as well, and mindful here that all these high offices in DC are infiltrated and already controlled by AIPACers and by Jewish power. With the Palestinian cause now being globally more popular than ever, and with the Palestinian Resistance now being an offensive-and-defensive power to reckon with, the oft repeated undemocratic and nauseating American phrase of ‘Israel has the right to defend itself’ is now transforming into ‘Palestine has the right to defend itself’.

Indeed, any fair-minded person would support an occupied people’s right to self-defense. Apropos, any justice-loving person would support the slogan of ‘Palestine has the right to defend itself’.

The history of America’s total and unconditional support for the state of Israel goes back to the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. There was support for Israel before then, but not unconditionally and not fanatically so. For some 58 years now, American administration after American administration has favored Israel above any other nation in the world, especially above all other nations in the Mideast. It justified this blind support by using warmongering Israel as both a showroom to exhibit and sell its arms from, as well as an attack dog that fights against Arab nationalism that back in the day was aligned with the Soviet Union. Not forgetting here that American Jews of Hollywood also manufactured a ‘moral’ reason for America’s support of the Jewish state by pitting America as the absolute hero and savior of Jews from the holocaust, even though US forces entered WW2 belatedly, and did so under dubious circumstance, I may add.

But the above three main reasons are no longer valid this side of the 21st century. Let us inspect them one by one.

FIRST, Israel as the American MIC showroom is no longer effective and profitable, and this is because, despite Israel having the most advanced American weapons in the region, it has not actually won a single war since 1973 – and even that war was won by a hairline when the West came to rescue Israel at the 11th hour. We can say here that the supermodel has aged and her chin is too cracked to sell beauty products. Sales of American weapons in the Middle East are no longer dependent on Israel’s so-called war heroism and victories, but on inter-Arab fighting that’s instigated and incited by a treacherous, jingoistic Israel. Experts on Arab history will tell you that Arab tribes are stuck in a make-war-then-make-peace cycle, and not in a permanent make-eternal-war posture, as indeed Israel’s State motto appears to be. We see evidence of this historians’ view today with the current rapprochement between Syria and Saudi Arabia. After a decade of hostility and head-chopping warfare between them, these two Arab enemies are now making a concrete effort towards genuine peace. So if Saudi Arabia is no longer needing to buy billions of dollar’s worth of US weapons per year to defend itself with, and when Riyadh is also simultaneously offering peace concessions to Iran as well, can the MIC rely on Saudi Arabian patronage like it used to? There are simply no more big Arab-on-Arab and Arab-on-Iranian wars to be had in the foreseeable future. These projects have already been tried and attempted and dropped, and so all possible lucrative weapons contracts no longer exist. For the MIC, as well as for any other mega corporation, it’s the ‘bottom line’ that decides all at the end of the day. Clearly, the MIC can no longer rely on either Israel’s war victories, or on its insidious war-brokerage for its lucrative annual profits. The MIC is presently looking eastwards to make its future profits. The Middle East has been milked dry right to the last drop. The MIC reason for supporting the Jewish state therefore is no longer valid.

SECONDLY, as we all already know, the Soviet Union has long gone and a Russian Republic has assumed its place. Arab nationalism too has also transformed into something more fluent and nifty, otherwise now known as ‘The Resistance’. Resistance against Israel and its Apartheid practices, that is. Resistance against Jewish supremacy and racist Zionism. The Arab Resistance today is enjoying more popularity than ever, despite the spinelessness of some Arab leaders, and despite the fake ‘Deal of the Century’ that 4 Arab nations have signed up for – two of them reluctantly so, I may add. Really, the Deal of the Century is seen by Arab citizens as a Jewish-Chabadist scam that collapsed in its infancy with Trump’s failure to secure a second White House term. There are currently several hundred million Arab citizens from all over the Arab world who remain fully committed to the Resistance.  Nay, a considerable chunk of them are even ready for martyrdom if it helps aid the Resistance in its war against all occupational forces in the Middle East, starting and ending with the eviction of Zionism and Zionists from the region.

Here, Palestine, actually, more precisely the city of Jerusalem is the ultimate symbol and very location where the enemy must first be confronted. Arab passion for liberating Palestine, and especially the city of Jerusalem is not only a moral, ethical and patriotic issue for them, but first and foremost, it is a collective profundity: a religious duty for the majority of both Christian and Muslim Arabs. No Israeli propaganda or Jewish bribe can dilute or alter this passion for Jerusalem that rattles and keeps growing in the breast of Arab citizenry. The Israelis who first established the state of Israel by force of arms used to confidently say of the Palestinians: “the old will die and the young will soon forget,” meaning: the 1948 Arab generation resisting the initial Jewish invasion will soon die and the next generation will forget their parent’s cause. Evidently, the Jews here gravely miscalculated: no such thing ever transpired. New generations of Palestinians born from 1948 and onward only got more resistant, more resilient, more motivated and more attached to their land that was usurped by the invading Jews of Europe. No Palestinian ‘forgot’ their parental trauma – how on earth could they when daily Israeli brutality was heaped upon them, thus reminding them daily of their parent’s agony and catastrophe? Nobody forgot the ethnic cleansing, the numerous massacres and the injustice committed against their parents by racist European Jews. The current eruption of violence between Israel and the Gaza Resistors, who only two nights ago bombarded Tel Aviv with endless streams of rockets like never before, while simultaneously, literally all Palestinians living inside of Israel proper or under Israeli occupation took to the streets in raging protest: all this is notable and loaded with electric shocks. Here we see a new optic and we understand from it a new reality: the whole of Palestinian society, though divided by Apartheid walls and territorial fragmentation imposed by Israel, are currently united in simultaneous rage and cries for freedom, cries for resistance, despite Israel having for decades created political divisions between them. This current and united military and civic Palestinian resistance is a testament to the facts stated above. Palestine lives! It has not ‘forgotten’, or been forgotten. Yes, the Palestinian individual and collective memory is irrepressible and indelible. Only true justice will dull down this impossibly painful memory: this 73 year old nightmare that the Jews have inflicted on the native Palestinians. The Palestinians being mostly capitalist traders have not aligned with any old-school Soviet nation or leaders for material protection or for economics: the Palestinian Authority under Abbas has been nothing but 100% compliant with Western wishes and instruction. For decades now Palestine has been aligned with and reliant on Western material charity and aid, despite the West’s blatant support for their Jewish occupiers. This excuse of support for Israel being due to Arab alignment with Soviet Russia is now completely and absolutely moot. Anyone, be they a politician or a propagandist citing the ‘Soviets’ as reason for supporting Israel should be laughed right off the stage.

This leaves the THIRD justification of ‘America the good guy saved the victim Jews from Nazi Germany’ to dissect. Without getting into the finer, historic details of WW2, suffice it to say here that the Arabs are a completely different people than the Germans, and their struggle with the Jewish state is based on Israel’s occupation of Arab land and not on belief in the Nazi manifesto. Furthermore, Israel is a wealthy nation who is in possession of actual nuclear weapons, therefore it cannot possibly be categorized as a ‘victim’ in the context of the Arab-Israeli struggle. In America, it is basically Hollywood and the Christian-Zionist community who carry the majority of genuine support for Israel. Most of the Senate and Congress are corrupt and support Israel because of bribes, blackmail, or coercion, therefore their support cannot be considered as genuine. Currently, Hollywood is hemorrhaging influence and power, just like Israel is, and can presently exert but little influence over the American psyche. And the Christian-Zionists remain an enclaved minority with influence only within their own communities: outside of their communities, they are disrespected and referred to as ‘Jesus freaks’ by the rest of the American populace.  Everyone is allowed to believe what they want, but issues of belief do not the decision-making for Empire make. Empire, in order to survive must make decisions that are steeped in cold pragmatism and based on security and prosperity interests, not on ethereal ideology or group superstition, especially minority group superstition. Empire has no permanent friends or permanent enemies. Its powers are drawn, above all, from its ability to make stable, long-term decisions that propagate its longevity. Whether American troops saved the Jews or not is now beside the point. The crux of the matter is that Empire now finds itself supporting a dying horse in the guise of Israel and there is no more medicine to be found for the horse. As any sound rancher would tell you: stop the hugging and start digging a grave for your four-legged pal. If Americans really believe that they are ‘the good guy’, then they should start acting like it and start making funeral arrangements for Israel before its dead belly bloats and festers in the sun.

To those who still believe that Israel is almighty powerful and doubt that Israel’s end is approaching, I say the following: you are reading Jewish and Jewish-centric media where nothing is real.

Considering the intractable, negative military position that Israel finds itself in today: surrounded by an armed and capable, eclectic Axis of Resistance without, and infiltrated by an armed and capable Palestinian resistance within, no US weapon can now provide it with a certain measure of security. Politically speaking, Israel is in its worst domestic crisis ever: with four failed elections and a fifth one on the way inside of two years, incendiary and divisive rhetoric between all Jewish parties is the current zeitgeist and order of the day.

The West can believe it or not, but in the Levant, the latest rocket and strike exchanges between Israel and the Palestinian Resistance – a combat that finds the Palestinian Resistance crossing all previous Israeli-imposed red lines; a combat that the Palestinian Resistance is utilizing to establish a deterrence against ongoing Israeli crimes of ethnic cleaning and home-evictions – the view is crisp and clear: Israel is at its weakest ever, and the Axis of Resistance is stronger than ever, therefore Israel’s grim reaper is in sight.

Israel’s death is now a fait accompli, a forgone conclusion.

But even if readers are still unconvinced by this Levantian reality and facts on the ground, for the sake of wisdom and the future stability of Empire, it still behooves all Americans to now openly discuss the pros and cons of supporting the dying Israel project. This open soul-searching should be solely focused on this question: do all humans have the right to defend themselves, or only some of us have this inalienable right?

My personal answer to this question is obvious. Everyone has the right to defend themselves against harm. Impossible therefore to deny the occupied Palestinians their right to self-defense.

Yes.  Palestine has the right to defend itself.

Either that, or enjoy living in your Animal Farm.

May 13, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem: The full story

Israeli government plans to force Palestinian families out of their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood

JERUSALEM - APRIL 15: Israeli forces intervene in Palestinians as they gather around the Damascus Gate after performing Tarawih prayer in Al-Aqsa Compound, in Eastern Jerusalem on April 15, 2021. Israeli forces took into custody some of Palestinians during the intervention. ( Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency )

By Abdel-Raouf Arnaout | Anadolu Agency | 08.05.2021


In the aftermath of the 1948 expulsion of Palestinians by Zionist gangs to pave the way for the creation of the state of Israel, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee their homes in historical Palestine to neighboring countries.

Following these events, which came to be known to the Palestinians as “Nakba”, or the Catastrophe, 28 families settled in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem in 1956, hoping that would be the last time they are forced out of their homes.

But these families, whose number has grown to 38 since then, say they are experiencing a renewed Nakba on a daily basis.

The Israeli Central Court in East Jerusalem approved a decision earlier this year to evict four Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in favor of right-wing Israeli settlers.

Israel’s Supreme Court was scheduled to issue a ruling on the evictions on Thursday amid heated demonstrations and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers, but the decision was delayed until May 10.

In the event that the court rules in favor of the settlers, the Palestinian families will lose their homes. Other families will face a similar fate.

Beginning of tragedy

In 1956, the 28 refugee families who lost their homes during the Nakba reached an agreement with the Jordanian Ministry of Construction and Development and the UN refugee agency UNRWA to provide housing for them in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

At that time, the West Bank was under Jordanian rule (1951-1967).

According to the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ), the Jordanian government provided the land while UNRWA covered the cost for constructing 28 homes for these families.

“A contract was concluded between the Ministry of Construction and Reconstruction and Palestinian families in 1956, with one of the main conditions stating that the residents pay a symbolic fee, provided that ownership is transferred to the residents after three years from the completion of construction,” the CCPRJ said in a statement.

This, however, was interrupted by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including Jerusalem, in 1967 which prevented the registration of the houses under the names of families, the statement said.

Jordan’s reaction

Last week, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said it had provided the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with 14 ratified agreements meant for the people of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem which support their claim of their lands and property.

In a statement, the ministry said it handed over a certificate to the residents proving that the Jordanian Ministry of Construction and Development had concluded an agreement with UNRWA to establish 28 housing units in Sheikh Jarrah to be delegated and registered in the names of these families.

According to the statement, the process, however, was interrupted as a result of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967.

The ministry said it had previously provided the Palestinian side with all the documents that could help Jerusalemites maintain their full rights, including lease contracts, lists of beneficiaries’ names and a copy of the agreement concluded with UNRWA in 1954.

Suffering renewed in 1972

Muhammad al-Sabbagh, a resident of the neighborhood, told Anadolu Agency that the suffering of the Palestinian families began in 1972, when the Sephardic Committee and the Knesset Committee of Israel claimed that they owned the land on which the houses were built in 1885.

In July 1972, the two Israeli associations asked the court to evict four families from their homes in the neighborhood accusing them of land grab, according to the CCPRJ.

The Palestinian families appointed a lawyer to defend their rights, and in 1976 a verdict was issued by Israeli courts in their favor.

“However, the court, using a new registration made in the Israeli Land Registry Department, decided that the land belongs to the Israeli settlement associations,” al-Sabbagh said.

Apartheid law

In 1970, the Law on Legal and Administrative Affairs in Israel was enacted, which stipulated, among other things, that Jews who lost their property in East Jerusalem in 1948 can reclaim their property.

The Israeli Peace Now movement says the law does not allow Palestinians to reclaim their property they lost in Israel in 1948, a move that proves the existence of a separate law for Jews and Palestinians.

According to al-Sabbagh, residents of Sheikh Jarrah were deceived by an Israeli lawyer assigned to defend them.

“In 1982, the Israeli settlement associations filed an eviction case against 24 families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood,” al-Sabbagh said, adding that 17 families assigned Israeli lawyer Tosia Cohen to defend them.

As the legal battle continued, al-Sabbagh said the lawyer in 1991 signed an agreement, without the knowledge of the families, that the ownership of the land belongs to the settlement associations.

“The residents of the neighborhood were instead granted a tenant status,” al-Sabbagh added.

The lawyer, according to the CCPRJ, put Palestinian families “under the threat of eviction if they failed to pay the rent to the settlement associations”.

Meanwhile, Israeli courts continued to hear rival cases from residents and settlement associations.

In 1997, Suleiman Darwish Hijazi, a local resident, filed a lawsuit with the Israeli Central Court to prove his land ownership, using title deeds issued by the Ottoman Empire, which were brought from Turkey. The move, however, backfired when the court rejected the claim in 2005.

The court said the papers did not prove his land ownership and Hijazi’s appeal in the following year was rejected.

Evictions begin

For years, Israeli courts have heard cases submitted by settlement associations against Palestinian residents, as well as Palestinian appeals against court rulings issued in favor of settlers.

In November 2008, however, the al-Kurd family was evicted from their home, followed by the eviction of the Hanoun and al-Ghawi families in August 2009.

Their homes were taken over by settlers who were quick to raise Israeli flags on them, marking a new phase for the suffering of the Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

So far, 12 Palestinian families in the neighborhood have received eviction orders issued by the Israeli central and magistrates courts.

Most recently, four Palestinian families filed a petition with the Supreme Court, Israel’s highest judicial body, against a decision to expel them from their homes. The court is set to rule on the issue on Monday.

Al-Sabbagh, who has a 32-member family including 10 children, is afraid that the court verdict will make him and his family refugees again.

In 1948, al-Sabbagh’s family had fled their home in Jaffa, which is now inhabited by Israelis.

The Palestine-Israel conflict dates back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous Balfour Declaration, called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

*Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara translated this report from Arabic

May 8, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

UN Challenges Delay of Palestinian Elections

IMEMC | May 4, 2021

The United Nations issued a statement Sunday calling on the Palestinian Authority to set a date for the Palestinian elections to be held. This statement follows the announcement on Friday by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he would once again postpone the elections in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Abbas was last re-elected in 2006, and there have been no Palestinian elections since that year. Part of the reason for the ongoing delays in holding elections is the fact that the Israeli government, which rules the Palestinian Territories under martial law and has done so since 1967, has refused to recognize the results of the 2006 election, in which the Hamas party (the rival to Mahmoud Abbas’ Fateh party) won the majority of seats in the Palestinian legislature.

Since the Israeli military government does not approve of the Hamas party, they have refused to deal with the Palestinian Authority in certain areas in which Hamas is involved, and have frequently and repeatedly abducted elected Palestinian Parliament members who are affiliated with the Hamas party.

In this case, the elections, which had been set to take place on May 22nd (legislative election) and July 31st (presidential election) were postponed because of uncertainty as to the status of Palestinians in Jerusalem, and whether Israel would allow them to be able to vote.

Palestinians in Jerusalem hold a unique status in the world – they are citizens of no country, and cannot hold a Palestinian passport because the Israeli military authorities will not permit it. Because of the Israeli government’s stated objective of taking over Jerusalem for the state of Israel, many of the policies enacted by the Israeli government are aimed at stripping Palestinians in Jerusalem of their residency rights.

Any Palestinian landowner in Jerusalem who leaves their home for any period of time, for example, forfeits the ownership of their land to the Israeli government.

According to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his announcement of the election delay on Friday, “Facing this difficult situation, we decided to postpone the date of holding legislative elections until the participation of Jerusalem and its people is guaranteed”.

In response, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said that he understood the “disappointment of the many Palestinians” about the delay. He called on the Palestinian Authority to “continue on the democratic path” and said that these elections have “widespread international support”.

Wennesland added, “This will also set the path toward meaningful negotiations to end the occupation and realize a two-State solution based on UN resolutions, international law and previous agreements.”

He called on Abbas to set a new date for the Palestinian elections – especially considering that the last elections took place more than 15 years ago.

Some Palestinians, however, have pointed out the absurdity of voting for a Palestinian Authority that wields no real power, given the fact that the West Bank and Gaza are, in reality, not governed by the Palestinian Authority, but are governed by Israeli martial law.

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Rampaging Israeli Settlers

Calls for “Death to Arabs” in Jerusalem

By PHILIP GIRALDI • Unz Review • APRIL 27, 2021

Last week there were some interesting stories that were very definitely underreported partly due to the fact that the mainstream media was heavily into the distraction provided by its beatification of George Floyd. For example, the tale of how a mob consisting of hundreds of Israeli Jews, composed mostly of settlers and the extremist so-called Kahanists, rampaging through Jerusalem and calling for “Death to Arabs,” was largely ignored. Right-wing Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir sent a message to the settlers, encouraging participants to “hang Arabs.” One member responded to the advice to bring their firearms with them with “We’re burning Arabs today, the Molotov cocktails are already in the trunk.”

In spite of the extreme violence and racism behind the attacks, the story did not seem to interest the disproportionate number of Zionists among American news editors and reporters. Along the way, the angry Jews beat Palestinians and attacked their homes and businesses in one of the Old City’s remaining Arab neighborhoods Sheikh Jarrah.

Attacks on Palestinians, to include their homes and livelihoods have been increasing in Jerusalem and on the occupied West Bank over the past several months without any intervention by Israeli police. The settlers were reportedly part of a right-wing Israeli group called Lehava which organized the violent demonstration with the objective of “restoring Jewish dignity” by “breaking the faces of Arabs.” Lehava claimed it was only avenging alleged attacks on Jews by Palestinians in and around Jerusalem, but most reports indicated that recent violence was instead caused by small groups of Jewish teenage boys looking for trouble.

During the rioting, Israeli soldiers and police made some arrests but primarily attacked the Palestinian civilians, including children, and some Jewish counter-protesters, with ‘skunk water’ sprayed from trucks, water cannon, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. 105 Palestinians were injured and 22 remain in the hospital. One Palestinian was shot in the head by an armed border policeman who fired into the counter-demonstrators and there are unconfirmed reports that at least four more Arabs died.

In a normal world and if the United States had a normal government that adhered to some kind of moral compass, there might have been a protest coming from the President Joe Biden administration or from the “people’s house” Congress, but there was nary a whimper. On the contrary, though the Congress was thinking about Israel, it was looking in a different direction, towards those whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared to be the enemies of his country. The attacks took place on April 22nd, ironically the same day that Congressmen Ted Deutch and Michael McCaul released a letter that they had sponsored. The letter was intended to stop dead any consideration that the United States just might condition its billions of dollars in largesse to the Jewish state annually based on Netanyahu and his band of war criminals restraining themselves just a bit.

Such a possibility has been raised by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, along with a handful of other brave legislators, who expressed concern that Israel will act without restraint as long as it knows that its money from Washington will continue to flow. In particular, Israel is currently pressuring Congress and using its media clout to oppose any re-entry by the US into the multilateral agreement to limit and inspect Iran’s nuclear development program, which Biden is just possibly intending to do. The previous agreement, which was being observed by Iran, became largely a dead letter when President Donald Trump, acting on behalf of major Jewish donors to the GOP as well as his neocon advisers, withdrew from the existing plan, the JCPOA, in 2017.

The letter was signed by 330 Congressmen, roughly half Republican and half Democratic, which is nearly two-thirds of the House and Senate. It begins with “As the United States meets pressing global challenges, we strongly believe that robust U.S. foreign assistance is vital to ensuring our national security interests abroad. One program that enjoys particularly strong bipartisan backing and for which we, Democrats and Republicans, urge your continued strong support is the full funding of security assistance to Israel.” The usual balderdash follows, about how “Israel continues to face direct threats from Iran and its terrorist proxies… Our aid to Israel is a vital and cost-effective expenditure which advances important U.S. national security interests in a highly challenging region.”

Sure it does, just ask the victims of the Israeli attack on the US naval vessel the USS Liberty in June 1967, which killed 34 sailors and injured 171 more. But no matter. The only things missing from the letter was the boilerplate assertion that Israel is America’s best friend in the whole wide world, which is obligatory in such documents, probably because everyone in Congress has already agreed to that. One also has to wonder why the other 205 Congressmen didn’t sign the letter, which is also obligatory, and one has to assume that their mothers had just died or something similar.

The letter also recalls how “President Biden has stated, ‘I’m not going to place conditions for the security assistance given the serious threats that Israel is facing, and this would be, I think, irresponsible’” before adding that “Reducing funding or adding conditions on security assistance would be detrimental to Israel’s ability to defend itself against all threats.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), regarded as the most visible component of the Israel Lobby, was very pleased with the letter. Its spokesman Marshall Wittmann told the Jewish Insider website that the letter is “a very strong bipartisan statement that full security assistance to Israel – without additional conditions – is in the national security interest of the United States.”

Just once it might be nice to see someone in Congress or the White House concede that tying one’s security arrangements to a nation that most of the world considers “rogue” is not exactly a smart thing to do, but it all depends on how one defines smart. Smart for a congressman on the make is to have the Jewish dominated media and the invincible Israel Lobby on one’s side. Smart is to receive a pat on the head from AIPAC. It should be noted, of course, that the letter and the commentary surrounding it make no reference to the behavior of the rampaging Jewish mobs in Jerusalem that were out for blood, even though that was taking place as the document was being released to the media.

In addition to the “threat” posed by legislators like Sanders and Warren, the letter was clearly intended to meet a challenge coming from Congresswoman Betty McCollum, who has twice sponsored legislation forbidding the Israeli use of American financial aid to torture Arabs and, in particular, to beat and imprison Palestinian children. Her legislation the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act​ H.R. 2407 amends a provision of the Foreign Assistance Act known as the “Leahy Law” to prohibit funding for the military detention of children in any country, including Israel. McCollum argues that an estimated 10,000 Palestinian children have been detained by Israeli security forces and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system since 2000. These children between the ages of 11 and 15 have sometimes been tortured using chokeholds, beatings, and coercive interrogation.

The Deutch-McCaul letter not coincidentally appeared less than a week after McCollum joined by 15 progressive Democrat co-sponsors submitted her bill, which admittedly is unlikely ever to emerge from committee for a vote. As of September 2020 there were an estimated 157 children still detained in Israeli prisons and, though it would be difficult to break down the money to Israel which is advanced in a lump sum, one would think the objective to be an admirable one to anyone but the always on-alert and powerful Israel Lobby.

The pledge by Congress together with its clear message that behind it there are enough votes to override any White House attempt to cut the aid, is also intended to send a warning to another perceived threat to Israel, that of the growing non-violent Boycott, Divestments and Sanction movement (BDS). The movement, which is particularly strong on college campuses, is being de facto criminalized in states all over the country, 26 at least and counting, and there are also Congressional bills that would possibly make the issue of boycotting Israel a felony with serious jail time and fines attached.

The overriding message is that Israel’s friends in the United States, and also in countries like Britain, France and Canada, are too strong to confront. In this case, the obvious racism and resort to lethal violence by the large component of the Israeli population should be resonating with a congress and media due to the recent convulsions being experienced here at home. Indeed, most of the “opinion makers” are jumping on the BLM bandwagon. This cheerleading for BLM is ironically highly visible in the actions taken by leading Israeli advocacy groups like AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), but that does not mean that there is any empathy to share for the plight of the Palestinians. Indeed, they are steps taken to get close to blacks to contain any possible pro-Arab sentiment.

A humane response to the suffering of the Palestinians does not surface much in the US because, frankly, Israel and its supporters have assiduously bought control of the US media as well the White House and Congress to such an extent that they can get what they want and never be challenged. That, of course, must end but the real question is how do we accomplish that when we the people have been effectively disenfranchised on the issue. When your government has been bought and your free speech limited by the oligarchs who control what passes for news and information, where do you go? Indeed, that is the dilemma.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is

April 27, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 6 Comments

Hamas warns against postponing Palestine elections

MEMO | April 23, 2021

Deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, Khalil Al-Hayya yesterday warned against postponing the Palestinian legislative elections scheduled for 22 May, saying it would push the Palestinian people into the unknown.

Al-Hayya, who heads the movement’s list in the elections, said the postponement “will generate great frustration among the masses and youth”, warning that “the postponement will complicate the situation and perpetuate division”.

In January, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that the elections will be held in May followed by Presidential elections in July.

Earlier this week, the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre published the results of a poll which showed that 79 per cent of Palestinians consider holding these elections important.

On Tuesday, Abbas’ senior adviser, Nabil Shaath, said the upcoming Palestinian national elections are “very likely” to be postponed if Israel does not allow voting in occupied East Jerusalem.

He told An-Nahar newspaper that if Israel continues to ignore the PA’s request to hold the elections in East Jerusalem, “the electoral process will be postponed.”

Israel has carried out an arrest campaign against those taking part in elections activities in occupied Jerusalem. Analysts believe occupation forces will not allow balloting to take place in the area as Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital and does not allow PA activities in the city.

However, many believe the PA is using this as an excuse because recent polls show that Hamas would, once again, win the election leaving President Abbas, who heads the Fatah movement, in a difficult predicament.

Abbas refused to step down following Palestine’s last election in 2006 when Hamas was elected to power. The move caused disunity among Palestinians and led to Fatah heading the government in the occupied West Bank and Hamas governing the besieged Gaza Strip.

April 23, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel official calls for executing Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem

MEMO | April 21, 2021

Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Aryeh King, yesterday called on Israeli police to execute Palestinian protesters who take to the streets of the holy city at night, Shehab news agency reported.

He proposed a change in police policy regarding dealing with protesters and stop using traditional means to disperse them.

According to the Israeli TV Channel 7, King said that shooting the protesters “is the only way which can end the night protests phenomenon.”

Police “do not save any efforts to prevent these demonstrations which were aggravated by the start of Ramadan,” he added.

King, Israeli newspaper Haaretz said, is best known for settling Jews in occupied East Jerusalem and evicting Palestinian families from the city’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

April 21, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 4 Comments

Israel prevents non-vaccinated Palestinians from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli forces at the Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah into Jerusalem with worshippers who want to attend the first Friday prayer of Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on 16 April 2021 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah into Jerusalem, worshippers want to attend first Friday prayer of Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Al-Aqsa Mosque, 16 April 2021 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
MEMO | April 17, 2021

Israeli occupation authorities have prevented thousands of Palestinian worshippers from the occupied West Bank from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque on the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Arab48 reported.

According to the news website, the Israeli authorities set a condition for the worshippers from the occupied territories to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to obtain access to the Muslim holy site.

Meanwhile, the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip do not have sufficient quantities of vaccines, and therefore thousands were deprived of performing the first Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli military checkpoints between the West Bank and Israel have experienced severe congestion, Anadolu Agency reported, noting that disputes occurred between Palestinians and the Israeli occupation forces at Qalandia Checkpoint.

“We were prevented from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque under the pretext of not being vaccinated,” Samia Abdul-Aziz told Anadolu Agency. “However,” she argued, “they aim to reduce the number of Muslim worshippers inside the sanctity yards.”

April 17, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Nakba of Sheikh Jarrah: How Israel uses ‘the law’ to ethnically cleanse East Jerusalem

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | March 23, 2021

A Palestinian man, Atef Yousef Hanaysha, was killed by Israeli occupation forces on 19 March during a weekly protest against illegal Israeli settlement expansion in Beit Dajan, near Nablus, in the northern West Bank. Although tragic, this news reads like a routine item from occupied Palestine, where the shooting and killing of unarmed protesters is part of the daily reality. That reality, though, is part of a wider, more sinister development.

Since right-wing Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced in September 2019 his intention to formally and illegally annex nearly a third of the occupied Palestinian West Bank, tensions have remained high. The killing of Hanaysha is only the tip of the iceberg. In occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, a massive battle is already underway. On one side, Israeli soldiers, army bulldozers, and illegal armed Jewish settlers are carrying out daily missions to evict Palestinian families, displace farmers, burn orchards, demolish homes and confiscate land. On the other side, Palestinian civilians, often unorganised, unprotected and leaderless, are fighting back.

The territorial boundaries of this battle are largely located in occupied East Jerusalem and in so-called “Area C” of the West Bank — which covers nearly 60 per cent of the total area of the occupied territory — which is under complete and direct Israeli military control. No other place represents the perfect microcosm of this uneven war than the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 10 March, fourteen Palestinian and Arab organisations issued a “joint urgent appeal to the United Nations Special Procedures on forced evictions in East Jerusalem” to stop the Israeli evictions in the area. Successive decisions by Israeli courts have paved the way for the Israeli army and police to evict fifteen Palestinian families — 37 households of around 195 people — in the Karm Al-Ja’ouni area in Sheikh Jarrah as well as Batn Al-Hawa neighbourhood in the town of Silwan.

These imminent evictions are not the first, nor will they be the last. Israel occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem in June 1967 and formally, though illegally, annexed it in 1980. Since then, the Israeli government has vehemently rejected international criticism of the occupation, declaring instead that Jerusalem is the “eternal and undivided capital of Israel”.

To ensure that its annexation of the city is irreversible, the Israeli government approved the Master Plan 2000, a massive scheme that was undertaken to rearrange the boundaries of the city in such a way that it would ensure the permanent demographic majority of Israeli Jews at the expense of the city’s indigenous inhabitants. The Master Plan was no more than a blueprint for state-sponsored ethnic cleansing, which saw the destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes and the subsequent eviction of numerous families.

While news headlines occasionally present the habitual evictions of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, and other parts of East Jerusalem as if it is simply a matter of counterclaims between Palestinian residents and Jewish settlers, the story is, in fact, a wider representation of Palestine’s modern history. Indeed, the innocent families which are now facing “the imminent risk of forced eviction” are re-living their ancestral nightmare of the Nakba, the very deliberate ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine in 1948.

Two years after the native inhabitants of historic Palestine were dispossessed of their homes and lands and ethnically cleansed, Israel enacted the so-called Absentees’ Property Law of 1950. The law, which has no legal or moral validity, simply granted to the State the properties of Palestinians who were driven out or fled from the war, to do with it as it pleases. Since those “absentee” Palestinians have never been allowed to exercise their legitimate right of return, as enshrined in international law, the Israeli law was state-sanctioned theft on a grand scale. It aimed ultimately to achieve two objectives: to ensure that Palestinian refugees do not return or attempt to claim their stolen properties in Palestine; and to give Israel a legal fig leaf for permanently confiscating Palestinian land and homes.

The Israeli military occupation of the remainder of historic Palestine in 1967 necessitated, from an Israeli colonial perspective, the creation of fresh laws that would allow the State and the illegal settlement enterprise to claim yet more Palestinian properties. This took place in 1970 in the form of the Legal and Administrative Matters Law. According to the new legal framework, only Israeli Jews were allowed to claim lost land and property in Palestinian areas.

Many of the evictions in East Jerusalem take place within the context of these three interconnected and strange legal arguments: the Absentees’ Property Law, the Legal and Administrative Matters Law, and the Master Plan 2000. Understood together, we can easily decipher the nature of the Israeli colonial scheme in East Jerusalem, where Israeli Jewish individuals, in coordination with settler organisations, work together to fulfil the vision of the State.

In their joint appeal, Palestinian human rights organisations describe how the flow of eviction orders issued by Israeli courts culminate in the construction of illegal Jewish settlements. Confiscated Palestinian properties are usually transferred to a branch within the Israeli Ministry of Justice called the Israeli Custodian General. The latter holds on to these properties until they are claimed by Israeli Jews, in accordance with the 1970 Legal and Administrative Matters Law. Once Israeli courts honour Jewish individuals’ legal claims to the confiscated Palestinian lands, these individuals often transfer their ownership rights or management to settler organisations. In no time, the latter utilise the newly-acquired property to expand existing settlements or to start new ones. All settlements are, of course, illegal under international law.

While the Israeli State claims to play an impartial role in this scheme, it is actually the facilitator of the entire process. The final outcome manifests in the ever-predictable scene, where an Israeli flag is triumphantly hoisted over a Palestinian home and a Palestinian family is assigned a tent from the UN and a few blankets.

While the above picture can thus be dismissed by some as another routine, common occurrence, the situation in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem has become extremely volatile. Palestinians feel that they have nothing more to lose and Netanyahu’s government is more emboldened than ever. The killing of Atef Hanaysha, and others like him, is only the beginning of an imminent and widespread confrontation.

March 23, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

As Israel plans to evict up to 550 Palestinians from East Jerusalem, Biden regime remains silent

By Robert Inlakesh | RT | March 18, 2021

Igniting tensions in East Jerusalem, Israeli settler organisations are seeking to uproot up to 550 Palestinians from the city, to the complete silence of a Biden administration that claims to seek a two-State solution.

In what could become one of the largest expulsions of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, Israeli settler organisations are working with the country’s legal system to evict 24 families from their homes.

During October, 2020, the Israeli magistrate court of Jerusalem ordered the expulsion of 12 families, out of the 24 living inside the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. In addition to their expulsion from their homes, the Palestinian families were also ordered by the court to pay $20,000 in legal fees.

The expulsion order, which is likely to be completed with the destruction of Palestinian property, after it is seized to make way for illegal Israeli settlers, is set to be enforced as early as May. As it stands, four Palestinian households – comprising 27 people – will be forced out onto the street no later than May 2, while three other families are set to be forced out in August.

Israeli settler organisations based in the Karm al-Jaouni area are behind the expulsion orders, claiming that the land on which Palestinians live, in Sheikh Jarrah, was once owned by Jews prior to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Despite Palestinian attempts to present their legal case that the settler organisations are lying about this and have no proof, Israeli courts refuse to see the evidence. It is also important to note that, while the Israeli legal system will recognise the claims of Jewish Israelis to land allegedly owned previously by Jews, this right is not granted to Palestinians.

On the issue of the Sheikh Jarrah evictions, Fadi al-Hidmi, Palestinian Authority Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, stated that the international community is obligated to step in. “What is taking place is a systematic, programmed process of replacing the Palestinians expelled from their land and property with foreign settlers,” he said.

Last night, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement also released a statement, vowing a response to the actions of Israel in Sheikh Jarrah. The PIJ proclaimed that Israel “will pay the price for this aggression.”

In the 1970s, following the June 1967 occupation of East Jerusalem, Israel began implementing a “demographic balance” policy. The aim for the Israeli authorities is to limit the percentage of Palestinians living in the city to 30% or less. While Israel claims that Jerusalem is its undivided capital, the Palestinian Authority only seeks to gain back East Jerusalem, which is considered under international law to be an illegally occupied territory.

Despite the Biden Administration having stated consistently that it seeks a two-State solution and that this is the only solution in the Palestine-Israel conflict, it continues to ignore the ongoing ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem. Not only does Biden not confront Israel on the issue of its illegal settlements and home demolitions in Jerusalem, but it has worked to attack the International Criminal Court (ICC) which is poised to investigate the settlement issue.

Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is a supporter of the notion of a two-State solution weighed in on the announcement from the ICC that it would investigate alleged Israeli War Crimes, stating “The United States firmly opposes an @IntlCrimCourt investigation into the Palestinian Situation. We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly.”

If there is to be a two-State solution, the capital of the future Palestinian State will have to belong in currently occupied East Jerusalem. However, this is being made more and more impossible by the day, with the systematic expulsion of Palestinian residents from the city, along with the expansion of key settlements such as Atarot, Ramat Shlomo and Givat Hamatos, which divide the city from the West Bank.

Along with Sheikh Jarrah, Israeli Settler organisations are also heavily targeting the area of Silwan, from which at least 36 families have been expelled since the beginning of 2020, according to Israeli NGO Peace Now. In East Jerusalem as many as 200,000 Israeli settlers live, with about 2,500 hardline settlers residing in properties surrounding Palestinians in areas like Silwan.

Earlier this week, 11 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police forces, who reportedly raided the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Kafr Aqab as a bulldozer made an opening in the wall surrounding the area. Local youths then acted to tear down the fences built around the construction site, for what has been described as a Judaization project in the area.

An Israeli NGO called Grassroots Jerusalem states that the presence of illegal Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem causes great agitation to Palestinian residents. The NGO claims that settlers have “been responsible for forced evictions and terrorism.”

Last year almost 1,000 Palestinians were made homeless due to Israeli house demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with over 10,000 settler units having been approved.

If the Biden Administration continues to remain silent and shield Israel from prosecution for its violations of International Law in East Jerusalem, the two-State solution that the US claims to seek will only become more difficult to achieve. In order for there to be a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, Israel’s illegal settlements have to halt further construction, evacuate all settlers and the annexation of the territory – since 1980 – has to be reversed. None of the steps necessary to facilitate a two-State solution includes shielding war crimes, and what we are seeing is exactly that.

Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist, and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News and Press TV. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’.

March 19, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel to displace 1,550 Palestinians to build park in Jerusalem

MEMO | March 18, 2021

More than 100 Palestinian homes face demolition and about 1,550 residents, including more than 800 children, will be made homeless at the hands of Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, Arab48 reported yesterday.

This comes as the Israeli municipality cancelled all agreements with the Palestinian residents of the Silwan neighbourhood.

According to Arab48, the Israeli municipality rejected plans it had requested as an alternative to the demolition of the Palestinian homes, instead it is set to demolish the Palestinian homes and turn the area into The King’s Garden, claiming that it was a garden for Israeli kings thousands of years ago.

The municipality had agreed to provide Palestinians with land in other areas to build new homes, but it suddenly backtracked on this decision.

The legal battle has cost the Palestinian community more than $500,000.

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a statement that the “massive destruction and displacement operation against the population may amount to ethnic cleansing and a war crime.”

March 18, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 4 Comments

Palestinians are warning that Israel intends to grant citizenship to Jerusalemites

By Dr Adnan Abu Amer | MEMO | March 9, 2021

In recent weeks, Israel has circulated reports that tens of thousands of Palestinians residing in occupied Jerusalem may obtain Israeli citizenship, even though there are 330,000 of them in the eastern part of the city. The Israeli Interior Ministry has published guidelines to apply for citizenship under clause 4a of the Citizenship Law. It is worth noting that this is happening after almost 55 years of the Israeli occupation of the city, during which time only 15,000 Palestinians in the city have obtained citizenship.

A third of Palestinian Jerusalemites possess temporary Jordanian passports; the remainder have no citizenship, but their status in Israel is permanent residency. The use of the new procedure to implement an old legal clause may lead to a change in the relationship of the political forces within Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents and their relationship with the Israeli authorities, as the situation in this city is unique.

Since the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has taken no steps to promote citizenship for the Palestinians living there, given their lack of interest and Israeli opposition to such a move. The Palestinians have generally refrained from applying for Israeli citizenship because it could be interpreted as recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the city.

International bodies have not demanded that Israel should grant citizenship to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem because, according to international law, the city is occupied territory and its annexation by the occupation state is not recognised. Hence, procedures expressing sovereignty, including granting citizenship, are not legally valid. Statelessness has not had a great impact on the lives of Jerusalemites with Jordanian passports, albeit not full citizenship, which allowed them to move around the world.

For many years, residents of East Jerusalem enjoyed the status of “adequate residency” despite the difficulty of maintaining such status, which prompted many to move to suburban neighbourhoods outside the municipality and remote villages. Until the 1990s, this did not have long-term consequences as there was a geographical connection between Israel and the West Bank that allowed Jerusalem’s residents to move freely between their homes and their places of work and study in the West Bank.

During the first Palestinian Intifada in 1987, Israel restricted movement between East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The building of the separation wall has since tightened restrictions on such movement. Living in the suburbs outside the municipality could lead to loss of residency rights, and then the loss of access to the city itself. This has led to a growing interest among residents of East Jerusalem to obtain Israeli citizenship as the only guarantee against losing the right to enter the city.

Israeli citizenship requires the renunciation of previous citizenship, fluency in Hebrew, and a permit from the security services because it is not only a request to enter Israel but also naturalisation for those who live there. Naturalisation is subject to the discretion of the Minister of the Interior who may impose political considerations. There is also a new clause stipulating that citizenship is granted to those born after the establishment of the state who have no other citizenship and have lived in Israel for five consecutive years.

Clause 4a in Israel’s Citizenship Law provides an opportunity for 20,000 Jerusalemites to obtain citizenship, and an additional 7,000 every year henceforth if this significant increase in the percentage of East Jerusalem citizens goes ahead. This will have a great impact on the identity and status of the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem.

If Israel grants citizenship to so many Palestinian Jerusalemites, it will strengthen the state’s claim of sovereignty over the occupied city. The problem for the Palestinians, of course, is the Israeli occupation, not the question of citizenship. Having more Jerusalemites with Israeli citizenship will reduce even further the possibility of East Jerusalem being the capital of an independent state of Palestine.

Since 1967, Israel’s control over Jerusalem has been based on the inferior status of the Palestinians in it, as residents, not citizens. In the past decade, petitions to the Supreme Court have forced the government to deal with citizenship requests. Three years ago, the Netanyahu government reduced a third of the population of Jerusalemites by shrinking the municipal border, stifling planning in Palestinian neighbourhoods, and increasing the number of demolitions of their homes.

Despite all of the Israeli policies to expel Palestinians from Jerusalem, the Palestinians remain determined to stay in their city. They may be weak and persecuted, but they have enough steadfastness to force the Israeli authorities to grant them their rights.

However, this is only part of the picture. There are also those in East Jerusalem who deny the legitimacy of the Israeli government and oppose citizenship because the right-wing in Israel sees Palestinian citizenship as evidence of the “unity of Jerusalem” but does not give all residents the same rights as the Jewish population.

The citizenship issue will not change the right-wing policy which is based on inequality in Jerusalem as elsewhere. Hence, it will not threaten the Israeli occupation, which is reassuring for right-wing Israelis.

Naturalisation in its current form serves the logic of Israeli sovereignty throughout occupied Jerusalem and contradicts the idea of demographic separation that characterises the Zionist left-wing. There are fears that the Jewish majority in the city will be at risk, which is a racist position that implies the arbitrary suppression of the Palestinians.

Israel has opted for the policy of occupation and apartheid towards Jerusalemites, after the failure of the two-state solution. Supporters of the state justify this at the expense of the basic rights of the Palestinian Jerusalemites. If the latter are fed up with waiting for a state of Palestine and want to see what they can achieve on an individual basis with Israeli citizenship, who is to argue?

The Jerusalemites have the right to live a “normal” life and be respected by the Israeli authorities, as well as have the freedom to choose the means to achieve their goals, even if they live under constant persecution. However, the reality is that they should be allowed to do so without having to submit to Israeli citizenship plans that serve a malicious settler-colonial occupation rather than the rights of the people.

March 9, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment