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Israel minister calls to expel international observers from Hebron

MEMO | January 18, 2019

Israel’s Security Minister Gilad Erdan has called for international observers to be expelled from Hebron.

Erdan yesterday sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding that he end the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), in the south of the occupied West Bank.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Erdan claimed that the mission is “hostile to Israel rather than a neutral force, and is harmful to both the Israeli soldiers stationed in Hebron and the [illegal] Jewish settlers that live there”. Erdan reportedly gave Netanyahu a secret police report “with data to back up his assertion”.

The letter read:

It is no wonder that a force, composed of policemen from a hostile Islamic state such as Turkey and pro-Palestinian countries that sponsor boycotts [of Israel] such as Sweden and Norway, interferes with IDF soldiers and police, creates friction with the settlers, cooperates with radical organizations and promotes the delegitimization of Israel.

Erdan continued: “It is [therefore] right and proper for the Israeli government to prevent the continued activity of this ‘temporary’ force acting to harm Israel.”

The TIPH – a civilian observer mission which has been present in Hebron since 1997 – has a mandate which is renewed every six months by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel. The mission’s current mandate ends in 14 days, which likely explains the timing of Erdan’s appeal. In doing so, he joins the right-wing campaign led by Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, to pressure Netanyahu to end the mission’s mandate.

In November, Netanyahu said he would review the mission’s status in December, but made no public statement on the issue.

The mission was formed in the aftermath of a massacre committed by Jewish extremist rabbi, Baruch Goldstein, who killed 30 Palestinian worshippers during their morning prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.

 

January 18, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

First Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2019 was struck in head with tear-gas canister

Abdel-Raouf Ismail Mohammad Salha (13) succumbed to wounds sustained during Great March of Return on 11 January 2019. [Twitter]
MEMO | January 17, 2019

The first Palestinian child killed by Israeli occupation forces in 2019 was struck in the head by a tear-gas canister during the suppression of protests in the Gaza Strip.

According to Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), Abdel-Raouf Ismail Mohammad Salha – just 13-years-old – was “struck on the left side of his head by an Israeli-fired tear gas canister that caused a brain injury on the afternoon of January 11”.

The child was pronounced dead from his injuries three days later in Gaza City’s Shifa hospital.

“Crowd control weapons such as tear gas canisters can become lethal weapons when fired at children, especially if the point of impact is on a child’s head or torso,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director for DCIP.

In 2018, the NGO documented “three cases where children died after tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces struck them”.

On the day in question, Abdel-Raouf was “participating in a weekly protest in the Abu Safia hill area, southeast of Beit Hanoun”. At around 4pm, while the boy was “standing approximately 150 meters (492 feet) from the perimeter fence with a group of other protesters”, Israeli forces in military jeeps from the other side of the perimeter fence “fired tear gas canisters at the group”.

“The witness saw Abdel-Raouf collapse and a wound bleeding from his head”, DCIP added.

Doctors told DCIP that “the force of impact caused a skull fracture and fragments of bone to enter the boy’s brain”.

In 2018, DCIP “independently verified the deaths of 57 Palestinian children at the hands of Israeli forces or settlers across the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, including 49 killed in the Gaza Strip.

READ ALSO:

Israel killing of Palestine children in Gaza protests amounts to ‘war crimes’ 

January 17, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 6 Comments

The beauty and the beast – Gilad Atzmon vs. Rachel Riley

By Gilad Atzmon | January 16, 2019

In recent weeks Rachel Riley, a British TV celebrity, has tossed the Antisemitic slur in the direction of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Noam Chomsky, Ken Loach, Aaron Bastani, yours truly and others. In her first extended Ch 4 interview it became clear that Riley isn’t exactly an astute political philosopher. You can watch the entire Ch 4 interview here.

January 16, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

The moral travesty of Israel seeking Arab, Iranian money for its alleged Nakba

By Ramzy Baroud | Ma’an | January 15, 2019

The game is afoot. Israel, believe it or not, is demanding that seven Arab countries and Iran pay $250 billion as compensation for what it claims was the forceful exodus of Jews from Arab countries during the late 1940s.

The events that Israel is citing allegedly occurred at a time when Zionist Jewish militias were actively uprooting nearly one million Palestinian Arabs and systematically destroying their homes, villages and towns throughout Palestine.

The Israeli announcement, which reportedly followed “18 months of secret research” conducted by the Israeli government’s Ministry of Social Equality, should not be filed under the ever-expanding folder of shameless Israeli misrepresentations of history.

It is part of a calculated effort by the Israeli government, and namely by Minister Gila Gamliel, to create a counter-narrative to the rightful demand for the ‘Right of Return’ for Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed by Jewish militias between 1947-1948.

But there is a reason behind the Israeli urgency to reveal such questionable research: the relentless US-Israeli attempt in the last two years to dismiss the rights of Palestinian refugee rights, to question their numbers and to marginalize their grievances. It is all part and parcel of the ongoing plot disguised as the ‘Deal of the Century’, with the clear aim of removing from the table all major issues that are central to the Palestinian struggle for freedom.

“The time has come to correct the historic injustice of the pogroms (against Jews) in seven Arab countries and Iran, and to restore, to hundreds of thousands of Jews who lost their property, what is rightfully theirs,” said Gamliel.

The language – “.. to correct the historic injustice” – is no different from language used by Palestinians who have for 70 years and counting been demanding the restoration of their rights per United Nations Resolution 194.

The deliberate conflating between the Palestinian narrative and the Zionist narrative is aimed at creating parallels, with the hope that a future political agreement would resolve to having both grievances cancel each other out.

Contrary to what Israeli historians want us to believe, there was no mass exodus of Jews from Arab countries and Iran, but rather a massive campaign orchestrated by Zionist leaders at the time to replace the Palestine Arab population with Jewish immigrants from all over the world. The ways through which such a mission was achieved often involved violent Zionist plots – especially in Iraq.

In fact, the call on Jews to gather in Israel from all corners of the world remains the rally cry for Israeli leaders and their Christian Evangelical supporters – the former wants to ensure a Jewish majority in the state, while the latter is seeking to fulfill a biblical condition for their long-awaited Armageddon.

To hold Arabs and Iran responsible for this bizarre and irresponsible behavior is a transgression on the true history in which neither Gamliel nor her ministry are interested.

On the other hand, and unlike what Israeli military historians often claim, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1947- 48 (and the subsequent purges of the native population that followed in 1967) was a premeditated act of ethnic cleansing and genocide. It has been part of a long-drawn and carefully calculated campaign that, from the very start, served as the main strategy at the heart of the Zionist movement’s ‘vision’ for the Palestinian people.

“We must expel the Arabs and take their place,” wrote Israel’s founder, military leader and first prime minister, David Ben Gurion in a letter to his son, Amos in October 5, 1937. That was over a decade before Plan D – which saw the destruction of the Palestinian homeland at the hands of Ben Gurion’s militias – went into effect.

Palestine “contains vast colonization potential,” he also wrote, “which the Arabs neither need nor are qualified to exploit.”

This clear declaration of a colonial project in Palestine, communicated with the same kind of unmistakable racist insinuations and language that accompanied all western colonial experiences throughout the centuries was not unique to Ben Gurion. He was merely paraphrasing what was, by then, understood to be the crux of the Zionist enterprise in Palestine at the time.

As Palestinian professor Nur Masalha concluded in his book, the ‘Expulsion of the Palestinians’, the idea of the ‘transfer’ – the Zionist term for “ethnic cleansing’ of the Palestinian people – was, and remains, fundamental in the realization of Zionist ambitions in Palestine.

Palestinian Arab “villages inside the Jewish state that resist ‘should be destroyed .. and their inhabitants expelled beyond the borders of the Jewish state,” Masalha wrote quoting the ‘History of the Haganah’ by Yehuda Slutsky. .

What this meant in practice, as delineated by Palestinian historian, Walid Khalidi was the joint targeting by various Jewish militias to systematically attack all population centers in Palestine, without exception.

“By the end of April (1948), the combined Haganah-Irgun offensive had completely encircled (the Palestinian city of) Jaffa, forcing most of the remaining civilians to flee by sea to Gaza or Egypt; many drowned in the process, ” Khalidi wrote in ‘Before Their Diaspora’.

This tragedy has eventually grown to affect all Palestinians, everywhere within the borders of their historic homeland. Tens of thousands of refugees joined up with hundreds of thousands more at various dusty trails throughout the country, growing in numbers as they walked further, to finally pitch their tents in areas that, then were meant to be ‘temporary’ refugee encampments. Alas, these became the Palestinian refugee camps of today, starting some 70 years ago.

None of this was accidental. The determination of the early Zionists to establish a ‘national home’ for Jews at the expense of the country’s Palestinian Arab nation was communicated, openly, clearly and repeatedly throughout the formation of early Zionist thoughts, and the translation of those well-articulated ideas into physical reality.

70 years have passed since the Nakba’ – the ‘Catastrophe’ of 1948 – and neither Israel took responsibility for its action, nor Palestinian refugees received any measure of justice, however small or symbolic.

For Israel to be seeking compensation from Arab countries and Iran is a moral travesty, especially as Palestinians refugees continue to languish in refugee camps across Palestine and the Middle East.

Yes, indeed “the time has come to correct the historic injustice,” not of Israel’s alleged ‘pogroms’ carried out by Arabs and Iranians, but the real and most tragic destruction of Palestine and its people.

January 15, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Deception | , , , | 3 Comments

Israel orders administrative detention of martyr’s father

Palestine Information Center – January 14, 2019

RAMALLAH – The Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday issued a three-month administrative detention order against the Palestinian prisoner Omar al-Barghouti, the father of martyr Saleh al-Barghouti.

The Palestinian Prisoner Society said that Omar al-Barghouti, 66, has been subjected to harsh interrogation at al-Maskoubiyya detention center since he was arrested on 12 December 2018.

The Israeli occupation forces arrested al-Barghouti and dozens of Palestinian youths during a raid into Kobar village in Ramallah hours after they killed his son Saleh.

Al-Barghouti’s family have been subjected to collective punishment since the killing of Saleh. Most of the family members are currently held in Israeli jails, including al-Barghouti’s sons Asem, Asef, and Mohammed.

Omar al-Barghouti had spent over 26 years in Israeli lock-ups. He is the brother of the well-known Palestinian prisoner Nael al-Barghouti who is serving his 39th year in Israeli prisons.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel coerces PA to accept ‘Deal of the Century’

MEMO | January 12, 2019

The Palestinian Authority (PA) said yesterday that Israel’s storming of Ramallah is an attempt to coerce it into accepting the “Deal of the Century”.

PA spokesman Yousef Al-Mahmoud said that “no power on the face of the earth can push the Palestinian people and their leadership to kneel down,” Safa news agency reported. Al-Mahmoud added: “The repeated invasions of Palestinian cities are attempts to undermine Palestinian sovereignty,” pointing to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s warnings that it could “ignite wars”.

Al-Mahmoud continued: “Our people, with our leadership, announced a continuous confrontation with anything aiming to undermine our cause and against all the conspiracies aiming to undermine our efforts to achieve our freedom, independence and dream of a sovereign Palestinian state.”

The spokesman also blamed Israel for regional deterioration, pointing to its “continuous aggression, invasions and hunting of Palestinian people,” and the fact that it “unleashes the hands of the terrorist settlers to practice their terror under its official protection”.

The Israeli army has been invading the central West Bank city of Ramallah – the headquarters of the PA, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Fatah’s leadership. Israeli forces have carried out operations close to the residence of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in the light of a complete absence of the PA security services or the president’s guards.

WATCH: Israeli occupation forces raid West Bank city of Ramallah

January 12, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Campaign to revoke Jewish National Fund charitable status important

By Yves Engler · January 11, 2019

Last week the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), under pressure from Palestine solidarity activists, began an audit of the Jewish National Fund.

The audit is significant. Beyond weakening the oldest Israel-focused charity in the country, it will put other Israeli charities in Canada on notice and reflects the growth of Palestine solidarity activism.

Fulfilling the time-consuming audit will be a bureaucratic headache for a group that has eleven offices across Canada and has raised $100 million over the past five years. Already, the credibility of the second most powerful Israel-oriented charity in Canada has taken a hit with the CBC exposé headlined “Canadian charity  used donations to fund projects linked to Israeli military” and related  stories. If the CRA revokes the JNF’s charitable status it would be devastating for fundraising and deter politicians/celebrities from attending their events.

Similar to the JNF, other registered charities support the Israeli military in direct contravention of CRA rules. Additionally, some of these organizations — like the JNF — fund projects supporting West Bank settlements, which Global Affairs Canada considers in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

At a broader level, critical attention on the JNF could lead to questioning of why Canadian taxpayers subsidize hundreds of millions of dollars in donations to a wealthy country. Despite a GDP per capita greater than Spain or Italy (and equal to Japan), hundreds of registered Canadian charities deliver hundreds of millions of dollars a year to Israel. How many Canadian charities funnel money to Spain or Japan?

If the CRA revoked JNF’s charitable status it would boost Stop the JNF campaigns elsewhere. In England they convinced former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron to withdraw as patron of the JNF (Theresa May seems to have also stayed away), and 68 members of parliament endorsed a bill to revoke the organization’s charitable status because “the JNF’s constitution is explicitly discriminatory by stating that land and property will never be rented, leased or sold to non-Jews.”

The CRA audit of a charity that’s found favour with numerous Canadian prime ministers is long in the making and reflects the growth of Palestinian solidarity consciousness. Born in a West Bank village demolished to make way for the JNF’s Canada Park, Ismail Zayid has been complaining to the CRA about its charitable status for 40 years. Lebanese Canadian Ron Saba “has been indefatigable over the years in writing to various Canadian government departments and officials, corporations, and media to rescind tax exemption status and endorsement of” what he calls the “racist JNF tax fraud”. During the Liberal party convention in 2006 Saba was widely smeared for drawing attention to leadership candidate Bob Rae’s ties to the JNF. Saba has put in multiple Access to Information requests regarding the JNF, demonstrating government spying of its critics and long-standing knowledge of the organization’s dubious practices. Under the headline “Event you may want to monitor,” Foreign Affairs spokesperson Caitlin Workman sent the CRA a communication about a 2011 Independent Jewish Voices event in Ottawa stating: “author of the Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Yves Engler, will give a talk on Canada and the Jewish National Fund.”

Former Independent Jewish Voices coordinator Tyler Levitan was smeared for working diligently on the issue. In addition to important organizing, he discovered that the Ottawa Citizen sponsored JNF galas they covered and, suggesting a formal financial relationship, ran an ad for the JNF’s 2013 Ottawa Gala the day after the event.

At the Green Party convention in 2016 Corey Levine pushed a resolution to revoke the JNF’s charitable status because it practices “institutional  discrimination against non-Jewish citizens of Israel.” The effort brought the issue into the mainstream though she, IJV and the entire Green  Party were smeared  as “hard core  Jew haters” for even considering the resolution.

Fifteen months ago IJV and four individuals filed a detailed complaint to the CRA and Minister of National Revenue over the JNF. For a number of years IJV has run a “Stop the JNF” campaign and for more than a decade activists across the country have picketed local JNF fundraising galas. These efforts have benefited from many in Palestine/Israel, notably the work of Uri Davies and Adalah.

As I have written before, the campaign to revoke the JNF’s charitable status is important beyond winning the specific demand. It draws attention to the racism intrinsic to Zionism and highlights Canada’s contribution to Palestinian dispossession.

The CRA is undoubtedly facing significant behind-the-scenes pressure to let the JNF off with little more than a slap on the wrists. So, it’s important that people send their MP  the CBC exposé and add their name to Independent Jewish Voices’ campaign  to revoke the Jewish National Fund’s charitable status.

January 11, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

Lebanon president warns of the consequences of Israel threats

MEMO | January 10, 2019

Lebanese President Michel Aoun yesterday warned of the “Israeli threats” which could lead to new wars, displacement and ethnic cleansing.

Speaking before members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Lebanon in the capital Beirut, Aoun said that “peace does not take place while deals are made at the expense of the refugee who was expelled from his land and his identity was stolen”.

“Peace does not come at the expense of manipulating demography and changing the geographical and social parameters of countries. Peace does not result from deepening racism and rejecting the other.”

The Lebanese president was referring to US President Donald Trump’s proposed Middle East peace plan dubbed the “deal of the century”.

In regards Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Aoun said the international community’s position is not clear about whether they should return to their country, warning that the proposed positions which link the refugees’ return to finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis is “worrying” because a solution could take a long time.

More than 1.2 million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon, a majority of them in areas that experience economic, political and security crises.

January 10, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Palestinian Children Killed by Israel in 2018 Have Been Forgotten by the World

By Ramona Wadi | Palestine Chronicle | January 9, 2019

Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) paints a bleak prospect for Palestinian children in revealing that in 2018, at least 56 were killed by Israel. Individuals who witnessed some of the murders have insisted that the targeted children were unarmed and posed no threat to the state or its citizens.

Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli army snipers, drones and security forces across the occupied Palestinian territories. Five of the murdered children were under 12 years of age. In Gaza, 49 children were murdered by Israel in activities pertaining to the Great March of Return protests.

Live ammunition was used by Israel in 73 percent of the fatalities documented by DCIP, which also recorded “140 cases of Palestinian children who were detained by Palestinian forces.” Israeli forces also arrested 120 children within the occupied West Bank. In both groups, the detained children suffered abuse at the hands of the security forces holding them, whether the PA or the Israeli military.

These tactics show that Israel’s colonial collaboration with the Palestinian Authority is targeting a very vulnerable segment of Palestinian society. What’s more, the killing and wounding of Palestinian children by Israeli snipers at the Great March of Return is a direct maiming of the generation which can carry on the anti-colonial struggle.

Citing international law is pointless when Israel, and even the Palestinian Authority, have extended the parameters for an ongoing cycle of abuse against Palestinian children. International law is only relevant when used to point out that violations are taking place and the Palestinians are facing a UN member state which treats international law with contempt, while the international community gives its tacit agreement to the abuse and is, in some cases, complicit.

DCIP’s research establishes the fact that Israel killed an average of more than one child per week in 2018. Earlier shocking official statistics revealed that between 2000 and 2014 Israel killed a Palestinian child every three days on average, for fourteen years. Throughout the year there was ongoing discussion about Israel’s genocidal intent and actions which were mostly discarded due to the monopoly over the term in reference to the Holocaust. Yet, Article II of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines the term as “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” What else is Israel doing to the people of Palestine, “in whole or in part”?

The international community’s responses are so predictable that Israel finds no obstacles in maneuvering beyond the limits set by international law; it is allowed to act with impunity. The “drip, drip” rate of the killing of Palestinian children and the almost routine nature of their detention sneaks under the radar of human rights violations. As the international community fails to respond to Israeli violations within its established framework, Israel succeeds in bridging the gap between violations and rights.

To speak of Israel’s violations now is, in fact, also to speak of the international community’s irresponsibility. Yet neither are scrutinized and held to account; the result is the regular yet somewhat reluctant citing of what should happen according to international law being juxtaposed against Israeli breaches of the law. Accountability, however, has long since absconded from the scene of the crime. If Israel wants to kill Palestinian children (or women and men, come to that), it will kill because it has decided, quite deliberately, to do so.

Meanwhile, the international community will steer clear from ever associating Israeli actions with genocide, preferring instead to rely on “alleged war crimes”, the perpetrators of which will never be brought to justice. Palestinian children killed by Israel over many years, last year included, have been forgotten by the world.

January 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Australian Jewish Association urges boycott of Palestine football team

MEMO | January 9, 2019

The Australian Jewish Association (AJA) has urged the Australian national football team to boycott their Asian Cup group match against Palestine scheduled for this Friday.

According to reports, the AJA believes “Palestine is not a country recognised by the international community and that soccer has been ‘blatantly politicised’ by the Asian Football Confederation admitting the Arab state as a member.”

On Friday, “Australia will take on Palestine in a crucial Group B clash in Dubai, needing to bounce back from their opening game loss to Jordan.” Palestine, meanwhile, picked up their first point in a major tournament on Sunday, “when they held Syria to a 0-0 draw in Sharjah”.

Palestine was admitted to FIFA in 1998 and qualified for their first Asian Cup in 2015 in Australia.

As the report notes, “despite having diplomatic relations, Australia is one of several countries globally which do not recognise Palestinian statehood.”

The AJA said Australia playing Palestine “legitimises the politicisation of the tournament” and has called on the Football Federation Australia to not take part in Friday’s match.

“The FFA board should not allow the Socceroos to play Palestine,” AJA president David Adler said yesterday. “If compelled to do so, then at the very least it must do so under protest.”

January 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 2 Comments

What would a Palestinian state look like?

By Motasem A Dalloul | MEMO | January 7, 2019

Israel and its Western and Arab allies have for decades been claiming that, one day, the Palestinians will have a state of their own. The premise is based on Israel withdrawing from the land it has occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, which would be the capital of the proposed state. What would such a “State of Palestine” actually look like?

When the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), dominated by the secular Fatah movement, recognised Israel’s “right to exist” on 78 per cent of historic Palestine, the resulting Oslo Accords established the Palestinian Authority to have nominal control of the remainder of the land ahead of the creation of the State of Palestine. There is major opposition among Palestinians to such a deal, not least due to doubt about whether it would meet the internationally-recognised elements needed for a sovereign state to exist.

The first element required for an independent state is a population over which the state governs. The territory “allocated” by the international community for the future Palestinian state includes not only Palestinians but also more than 600,000 Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel insists that it is never going to evacuate the settlers — whose presence is illegal under international law — but how can a state exist with a huge number of alien residents living in major settlement blocs which destroy the contiguity of its territory?

The presence of the settlers doesn’t just create a demographic problem, but also a massive environmental issue. Every settlement bloc disposes of its rubbish and sewage on the farmland of the neighbouring Palestinian population; no plans have been prepared for how the proposed Palestinian state will deal with this. What’s more, the settlers carry out numerous crimes against the local Palestinian population and they are not accountable to the Palestinian Authority at the moment, so what will happen with the government of a state?

Just last week, Jewish settlers attacked the convoy of the PA Prime Minister, wounding his wife and two bodyguards. Rami Hamdallah could not even announce that these settlers had attacked him. Two months ago, the PA governor was obliged by Israeli troops, who are tasked with protecting the settlers, to change the tyre of their jeep. He did it. Four years ago, the Prime Minister’s bodyguards could not protect him from a settler attack and he was obliged to seek the help of Israeli soldiers. That is the situation now; what will it be like with a sovereign state of Palestine? Does anyone really expect lawless settlers to respect its sovereignty and institutions?

The territory of an independent state has to be defined by clear borders, and it must have full sovereignty over its land, persons, organisations, associations, institutions and places therein. “Territory” includes territorial waters and airspace as well as land. The proposed Palestinian state has no definite borders, not least because the occupation state of Israel has never declared where its border is. The “State of Palestine” would have a lot of non-contiguous land, with large swathes encircled by Israel’s Apartheid Wall. None of the deals or “peace” talks have ever identified the borders of the proposed state, precisely because Israel continues to colonise ever more Palestinian land on a daily basis. Unless and until it declares where its borders are, we shall never know what is left — if anything — for the State of Palestine.

Furthermore, the proposed state will not have full control of its land. The Oslo Peace Accords signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993 divided Palestinian territory into three parts, with 61 per cent under full Israeli military and administrative control, 22 per cent under Israeli military control and Palestinian administrative control and 17 per cent under Palestinian security and administrative control. Unless that changes, which is unlikely given Israel’s ongoing belligerence, the supposedly independent state will have another state controlling most of its territory.

Israel’s “security” concerns have been the priority for all “peace negotiations” to-date, and no doubt will continue to do so. Hence, it will continue to control Palestinian territorial waters and airspace. There are massive natural gas fields off the Gaza coast, but the Palestinians are unable to exploit them, even though the Gaza Strip has serious power shortages and has done for more than a decade.

The only airport available for Palestinians and thus, presumably, the “State of Palestine” lies in ruins in Gaza; it was opened in 1998 and destroyed by Israel in 2000 having never really been used to its full capacity. Israel, therefore, can control the movement of all Palestinians and, it is assumed, for “security” reasons, will continue to do so by opening and closing border posts and military checkpoints at will. In this it is supported by the government in Egypt, which opens or closes the Rafah Border Crossing according to what Israel wants. Several Palestinians who have left the Gaza Strip through Egypt have reported that they were approached to give information to the Israeli authorities. Israel continues to maintain a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, which would be the only territory of the proposed State of Palestine with direct access to the sea. Plans to develop the port of Gaza gather dust in an office somewhere.

The government of the state will be the current PA in another form. It is currently unable to collect its own taxes and relies on Israel to carry out this important function of a sovereign state. Israel can and does withhold payment of the taxes to the PA as a means to ensure that it toes the line for the benefit of the occupation state.

The current Palestinian government is punishing the Palestinian people. In the West Bank, it deprives them of their basic rights, including the right to protest or participate in demonstrations, while in Gaza, it is punishing the people for not standing up to Hamas, which has controlled the coastal enclave since winning the last free general elections in the occupied Palestinian territories in 2006. Such punitive measures by the PA include the withholding of medicine and food for patients in Gaza’s hospitals and the withdrawal of security officers from the Rafah Crossing as part of a tightening of the 12-year-old siege imposed by Israel and carried out in coordination with the Palestinian government, Egypt and other countries.

A little-reported aspect of the PA’s mismanagement of its affairs is the overlapping of the legislature, judiciary and executive. Instead of the PA executive being at the disposal of the legislature and judiciary to govern in the interests of the population, it is the body which uses the other two to serve its own factional interests. The legislature and judiciary have their work disrupted if they refuse to work for the interests of the PA. There are no guarantees that this will not continue in a nominally independent state government which will, in fact, depend on the same international sponsors as the current PA who turn a blind eye to its corruption.

Sovereignty is arguably the key element of any state, without which it cannot stand alone. The state must have full internal and external freedom and this can only be achieved if it has an army for its defence and to protect essential freedoms. At Israel’s insistence, the promised Palestinian state must have no army.

All things considered, therefore, it is hard to see how the proposed “State of Palestine” will, under current circumstances, ever have the notional requirements for a sovereign state. It will have no armed forces, no freedoms, no land, no borders, no contiguous territory, no water, no resources and, quite possibly, no actual existence. What, we are entitled to ask, will this state promised by the “peace negotiations”, or even Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, actually look like? I suspect that it will be a state in name only, and that the occupation status quo will become even further entrenched. Whatever happens, we can be certain of one thing: it will be for the benefit of the State of Israel, not the fictional State of Palestine.

January 7, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Canada’s Political Parties Support for Racist Jewish National Fund

By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | January 6, 2019

An explosive CBC expose Friday on the Jewish National Fund should be the beginning of the end for this powerful organization’s charitable status. But, unless the NDP differentiates itself from the Liberals and Conservatives by standing up for Canadian and international law while simultaneously opposing explicit racism, the JNF may simply ride out this short bout of bad publicity.

According to a story headlined “Canadian charity used donations to fund projects linked to Israeli military”, the JNF has financed multiple projects for the Israeli military in direct contravention of Canada Revenue Agency rules for registered charities. The organization has also funded a number of projects supporting West Bank settlements, which Global Affairs Canada considers in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The story also revealed that the Canada Revenue Agency, under pressure from Independent Jewish Voices and other Palestine solidarity activists, began an audit of the state-subsidized charity last year.

After detailing the above, (which provoked hundreds of mostly angry comments from readers) the story notes that the “JNF has had strong relations with successive Conservative and Liberal governments.” The CBC published a picture of politicians congregated at the Prime Minister’s residence above the caption “Laureen Harper poses with JNF Gala honorees during a group visit to 24 Sussex Drive in 2015.”

But the JNF, like all good lobbyists, has hedged it political bets and the story could have noted that the social democratic opposition party was represented at this JNF gala as well and has dutifully supported the dubious “charity”. NDP MP Pat Martin spoke at the JNF event Harper organized to “recognize and thank the people that have helped to make JNF Canada what it is today.” In 2016 NDP foreign critic Hélène Laverdière participated in a JNF tree planting ceremony in Jerusalem with JNF World Chairman Danny Atar and a number of its other top officials. The President of the Windsor-Tecumseh Federal NDP riding association, Noah Tepperman, has been a director of JNF Windsor since 2004 and has funded the organization’s events in London, Ontario.

In 2015 Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath published an ad in a JNF Hamilton handbook and offered words of encouragement to its fundraiser while Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter planted a tree at a JNF garden in 2011. Manitoba NDP Premier Gary Doer was honoured at a 2006 JNF Negev Dinner in Winnipeg and cabinet minister Christine Melnick received the same honour in 2011. During a 2010 trip to Israel subsequent Manitoba NDP Premier Greg Selinger signed an accord with the JNF to jointly develop two bird conservation sites while water stewardship minister Melnick spoke at the opening ceremony for a park built in Jaffa by the JNF, Tel Aviv Foundation and Manitoba-Israel Shared Values Roundtable. (In 2017 Melnick won a B’nai Brith Zionist action figures prize for writing an article about a friend who helped conquer East Jerusalem and then later joined the JNF).

Besides NDP support for this dubious “charity”, the story ignored the JNF’s racist land-use policies. The JNF owns 13 per cent of Israel’s land, which was mostly taken from Palestinians forced from their homes by Zionist forces in 1947-1948. It discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel (Arab Israelis) who make up a fifth of the population. According to a UN report, JNF lands are “chartered to benefit Jews exclusively,” which has led to an “institutionalized form of discrimination.” Echoing the UN, a 2012 US State Department report detailing “institutional and societal discrimination” in Israel says JNF “statutes prohibit sale or lease of land to non-Jews.” Indicative of its discrimination against the 20% of Israelis who aren’t Jewish, JNF Canada’s Twitter tag says it “is the caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners — Jewish people everywhere.” Its parent organization in Israel — the Keren Kayemet LeYisrael — is even more open about its racism. Its website notes that “a survey commissioned by KKL-JNF reveals that over 70% of the Jewish population in Israel opposes allocating KKL-JNF land to non-Jews, while over 80% prefer the definition of Israel as a Jewish state, rather than as the state of all its citizens.” While such exclusionary land-use policies were made illegal in Canada seven decades ago, that’s the JNF’s raison d’être.

An organization that recently raised $25 million for a Stephen Harper Bird Sanctuary, JNF Canada has been directly complicit in at least three important instances of Palestinian dispossession. In the late 1920s JNF Canada spearheaded a highly controversial land acquisition that drove a 1,000 person Bedouin community from land it had tilled for centuries and in the 1980s JNF–Canada helped finance an Israeli government campaign to “Judaize” the Galilee, the largely Arab northern region of Israel. Additionally, as the CBC mentioned, JNF-Canada built Canada Park on the remnants of three Palestinian villages Israel conquered in 1967.

A map the JNF shows to nine and ten-year-olds at Jewish day schools in Toronto encompasses the illegally occupied West Bank and Gaza, effectively denying Palestinians the right to a state on even 22 percent of their historic homeland. Similarly, the maps on JNF Blue Boxes, which are used by kids to raise funds, distributed in recent years include the occupied West Bank. The first map on the Blue Box, designed in 1934, depicted an area reaching from the Mediterranean into present-day Lebanon and Jordan.

The JNF is an openly racist organization that supports illegal settlements and the Israeli military. Many NDP activists understand this. The party’s MPs now have a choice: If they stand for justice and against all forms of racism, for the rule of international law and fairness in the Canadian tax system, they will speak up in Parliament to keep this story alive. The NDP needs to set itself apart from the Liberals and Conservatives by following up on the CBC’s revelations to demand the Canada Revenue Agency rescind the JNF’s charitable status.

January 6, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment