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UN Urges Israel to Protect Freedom of Assembly After Video Emerges of Journalist Funeral

Samizdat – 13.05.2022

The United Nations is aware of “shocking” video showing violence during the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jerusalem and calls on the Israeli government to protect freedom of peaceful assembly, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Friday.

“We have just seen the video coming from this, and this is very shocking to us,” Haq said in a press briefing.

Israeli forces fatally shot reporter Shireen Abu Akleh and injured another employee as the two were covering the government forces’ raids in the West Bank city of Jenin, media reported on Wednesday.

The video showed violence erupting during Akleh’s funeral in Jerusalem when the Israeli police charged the crowd carrying her coffin.
Haq said the United Nations will try to gather more information about the incident.

“Clearly, as in all cases, we want to make sure that the basic rights to freedom of assembly, and of course the right to freedom of peaceful demonstration are protected and upheld,” he said.

No country can attack or kill journalists and those who are responsible for such actions need to be brought to account, Haq added.

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | 10 Comments

Israel shoots dead Al Jazeera journalist during invasion of Jenin

MEMO | May 11, 2022

Israeli occupation forces shot dead Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh this morning during an invasion of the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said Abu Akleh was shot by a live bullet in the head and rushed to hospital where she was declared dead.

Another reporter, Ali Al-Samudi, was also shot by a live bullet in the back, the ministry said. He was reported to be in a stable condition.

Waleed Al-Omari, Al Jazeera‘s bureau chief in Ramallah, said: “It seems that she was shot by an Israeli sniper.” He added that Abu Akleh had been standing in an area away from Palestinians who were protesting against Israel’s deadly raid of Jenin.

Al-Omari’s account negates Israel’s claim that there had been gunfire in the area to which occupation forces responded.

“During the operation in Jenin refugee camp, suspects fired an enormous amount of gunfire at troops and hurled explosive devices. [Israeli] forces fired back. Hits were identified,” the Israeli army said in a statement.

The army also said it was “looking into the possibility that journalists were injured, potentially by Palestinian gunfire.”

A Palestinian paramedic denied the Israeli army’s claims.

In a statement, Al Jazeera said Israeli occupation forces “assassinated in cold blood” its correspondent. This, it added, was “a blatant murder, violating international laws and norms. Al Jazeera Media Network condemns this heinous crime, which intends to only prevent the media from conducting their duty.”

May 11, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

The EU response to Israel’s latest forced displacement of Palestinians is — again — really weak

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | May 9, 2022

The European Union is, as usual, taking the wrong approach when it comes to dealing with Israel’s violations of international law. With over 1,200 Palestinians facing forced eviction from Masafer Yatta, also known as “Firing Zone 918”, after the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in favour of demolishing eight villages, the EU merely summarised what Israel and the international community already know: Israel has obligations under international law.

“Under international law, individual or mass forcible transfers and deportation of protected persons from the occupied territories are prohibited, regardless of their motive,” the EU’s delegation to the Palestinians tweeted. “As the occupying power, Israel has the obligation to protect the Palestinian population and not displace it.” As the occupying power, Israel knows this, but ignores it nonetheless.

Indeed, Israel has no need for a reminder of its obligations; it needs, and we need, the international community to hold it to account for those obligations. The international community, though, is invested heavily in Israel, both politically and economically.

Once again, Israel has used its fake security narrative to usurp the land on which Masafer Yatta is built. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) claim that the land is needed for military training purposes. According to the Jerusalem Post, Palestinians living in the villages slated for demolition can still reach an agreement with the IDF to access some of the land for agricultural purposes. There are, however, many examples where Palestinians have been deprived of their agricultural land permanently, but have had to face Israeli settler and military violence forcing them to stay away from their land even when such “access” has been agreed in advance.

Documents dating back to 1981 reveal that Ariel Sharon offered Masafer Yatta to the IDF in order to forcibly displace Palestinians so that Israel can retain the territory for its expansion. “We definitely have an interest in enlarging our territory there… given the spread of the rural Arabs on the ‘back of the mountain’ towards the desert.”

Masafer Yatta’s Mayor, Nidal Abu Younis, said that, “This [ruling] proves that this court is part of the occupation.” It is a pity that such statements are made as if he or anyone else has just realised the nature of Israel’s Supreme Court. There was no need for this or any other ruling to prove the court’s loyalty to the settler-colonial state. No state or judicial institution in Israel will work against the colonial process. And neither will the EU, which has financed dwellings for the communities living in Masafer Yatta. In January this year, Israel destroyed eight structures in the area, leaving 19 people, along them 11 children, forcibly displaced.

The humanitarian agenda employed by the EU only serves the bloc’s interests. EU investment in Palestine is minimal and corrupted, as is its statement reminding Israel of its obligations under international law. Israel has violated international law to guarantee its existence and it is given diplomatic support for doing so, which takes precedence over any humanitarian aid allocated to Palestinians by the same political actors supporting Israel. When will the EU issue a statement that expresses its contempt for the forced transfer of Palestinians, for example, and link it to this historical disregard which the international community has for ongoing forced displacement that has happened ever since and including the Nakba?

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

The Palestinian Nakba didn’t end in 1948; it is ongoing

By Dr Amira Abo el-Fetouh | MEMO | May 9, 2022

Israel has just celebrated what it calls Independence Day, which is based on the myth of national liberation from British colonialism and the establishment of an independent state dreamt about by successive generations of Jews. On this day every year, Israel flexes its military muscles and holds celebrations across the country.

The Israelis celebrate their theft and occupation of Palestine, a land with deep Arab roots. Israel’s “independence” replaced British colonialism with an even more horrific settler-colonialism. Not for nothing do the Palestinians call the establishment of the colonial state of Israel the Nakba — the Catastrophe — because what happened in 1948 was not liberation from colonialism or independence, but the greatest armed robbery of the twentieth century. An entire country was seized through the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population. What’s more, the Nakba didn’t begin and end in 1948; it is ongoing.

As such, Israeli “independence” celebrations do not commemorate the past; they encourage what is still happening in Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Negev, the Galilee and the rest of occupied Palestine. The Palestinians in Israel remember the Nakba and the ethnic cleansing under the slogan “Your Independence Day is our Nakba Day” to emphasise the fact that their land has been stolen and occupied by force, deception and the falsification of history. That is why it was shameful for the UAE to send Israel a congratulatory telegram on this day.

Arguably even more shameful is the fact that the Nakba was blessed by the international community when recognition of Israel was granted with a seat in the UN General Assembly, even though it has never fulfilled the condition of its membership, the return of Palestinian refugees. The occupation state has been protected ever since by the “permanent members” of the UN Security Council, which was established specifically to achieve the goals of the nuclear powers post-Second World War. The colonial countries rushed to recognise the settler-colonial entity planted on Arab land; first up was the Soviet Union, followed by the US (not the other way round, as is often believed). East and West worked together to stab the Arab people in the back, although if it wasn’t for the plotting of Arab states, the West wouldn’t have been able to carry out its conspiracy in Arab Palestine.

The planning for the Zionist entity began in the late nineteenth century. Serious lobbying of colonial states led to the issue of the disastrous 1917 Balfour Declaration in which the British government promised its support for the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”. It was a promise made by those who did not own the land to those who had no legitimate claim to it. The promise was fulfilled on 14 May 1948, since when Palestinians have lived in exile and under occupation, with all of the suffering that that implies. The Palestinians’ struggle against the occupation of their land has carried on for 74 years, despite the plotting of the Arab rulers against them. The world has not served them justice or restored their usurped rights or land; the international community, headed by the US, supports Israel, and the Arab countries loyal to the US act as guardians for Israel’s as yet undeclared borders. It is an expansionist colonial project.

All Arab rulers, without exception, have traded with the Palestinian issue in front of their people who love Palestine, from the time of Gamal Abdel Nasser until today, in order to consolidate their own grip on power. What has been going on behind the scenes is, though, completely different, and only came to light after years of deception in the peace treaties signed with the Israeli enemy. The PLO signed the Oslo Accords with Israel on 13 September, 1993, in which the “liberation” organisation recognised Israel and removed from its national charter the clause about the armed struggle to liberate Palestine from the sea to the river in return for imaginary “authority” that was created to do nothing more than provide security for the occupation state and be the forerunner of an independent state that was never really intended to come into being.

The theft of Palestinian land has been ongoing throughout the years of the so-called “peace process”, with ever more and ever larger illegal Israeli settlements and infrastructure making it impossible for there to be enough contiguous territory for such a state to exist. There remains less than 20 per cent of historic Palestine left for the Palestinians, and all of it is dominated by Israel’s military occupation.

The ill-fated Oslo Accords have led to more killing and arrests — by Israeli and Palestinian Authority security forces — of Palestinians struggling for their freedom. The Aqsa Intifada in September 2000 restored the spirit of resistance to the Palestinian people under the late leader Yasser Arafat. He came back from the US frustrated after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David, under the auspices of US President Bill Clinton; he was convinced by that stage that there was no point in peace agreements with Israel. The establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of Palestinian refugees to their land was an illusion.

Arafat himself led the intifada. The uprising included the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, which had not abandoned the Palestinian constants and the restoration of all of Palestine, from the sea to the river. There was no way for this to be achieved except through legitimate resistance.

Thus began a new phase of the Palestinian struggle which has continued since Arafat was besieged in his Ramallah compound and then killed in 2004 as a “punishment” for the intifada. Israel’s unilateral 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip under the weight of Hamas resistance, which was steadfast despite the assassination of its founder and spiritual guide, the quadriplegic Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, its leader Dr Abdel Aziz Rantisi and others. Four major military offensives have since been launched against the Palestinians in Gaza accompanied by a comprehensive land, sea and air blockade after Hamas won the 2006 parliamentary election. Through all of this, legitimate resistance has been neither weakened nor undermined; the resolve of the Palestinian people to make huge sacrifices to liberate their land remains strong. They do so with dignity and honour.

The Israeli enemy has failed to bring the Palestinian people to their knees in Gaza, just as it has failed to defeat Hamas. That is why the head of the “sacred” security coordination authority in Ramallah, Mahmoud Abbas, is tasked with trying to discredit the Islamic movement and bring it down. He joins in the accusations of “terrorism” used to describe legitimate resistance to Israel’s military occupation. He also cut the salaries of PA employees in the Gaza Strip to turn the people against Hamas, but his plan failed.

There is no doubt that there is optimism within the great Palestinian nation, which is inspirational. The people have been able to turn the tables on the occupation state on many occasions, with their innovation and creativity in the struggle. The Israelis live in fear, while the Palestinians believe that they will either win or die in the process. Such a people are unbeatable.

The current generation includes the great-grandchildren of the Palestinians who were expelled from their land in the first wave of ethnic cleansing during the Nakba. Most have not been to their grandparents’ homes and land in what is now the usurper state of Israel, but they still live in Palestine in their hearts and minds. They are living proof that the Zionist claim that, “The old will die and the young will forget” is a lie. The old did die, but only after handing over the keys to the young, passing on the mission so that they will never forget. The Palestinian people will not be defeated in their struggle to live with honour, freedom and dignity.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Israel provoking Palestine factions with actions in Al-Aqsa Mosque

MEMO | May 5, 2022 

Israeli occupation authorities provoked Palestinian factions after allowing Jewish settlers to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque, statements issued yesterday said.

The Israeli government decided to allow Jewish settlers to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque today.

Hamas said: “Allowing Israeli settlers to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque is playing with fire and this could drag the region into a new escalation.”

“We renew our call for the Palestinian people to travel to Al-Aqsa Mosque and be on high alert in Jerusalem in order to defend their identity, religion and first Qibla.”

According to Hamas, “the Israeli occupation must know that all attempts aimed at dividing Al-Aqsa Mosque or Judaising Muslim holy sites will not pass and will not achieve its malicious goals.”

Meanwhile, spokesman of the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, Tariq Izzedine, said: “The continuation of Israeli violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque is a violation of Palestinian redlines that needs an urgent movement to stop it.”

Fatah called on Palestinians to gather in Al-Aqsa Mosque today to thwart a “planned provocative Israeli plan to raise the Israeli flag and sing the Israeli anthem at the Palestinian holy site.”

How Palestinian women were treated today while praying in Jerusalem

Hamas hails Palestinian worshipers’ heroism

Palestine Information Center – May 5, 2022

GAZA – Hamas Movement’s spokesman Hazem Qassem hailed the Palestinian worshipers’ heroism in confronting Israeli attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday morning.

Israeli authorities are witnessing a state of confusion and panic in face of the Palestinian strong determination, he stressed.

Al-Aqsa Mosque was and will remain a pure Islamic and Arabic shrine, he added.

Earlier Thursday, dozens of Palestinian worshipers were injured after Israeli police forces violently stormed al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem to clear the area for Jewish settlers’ break-ins that had been paused for the Muslim holidays.

The police forces fired rubber-coated bullets and teargas bombs, injuring dozens of Palestinians. At least 12 live-shot injuries were reported.

Ten worshipers were detained during the attack, including a French Muslim woman.

Three Israelis killed, others injured in stabbing incident

Palestine Information Center – May 5, 2022

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Three Israelis were killed while others were wounded in a stabbing incident in Elad area to the east of Tel Aviv on Thursday night.

Hebrew media reported that a number of those injured were in very serious conditions.

Preliminary reports indicated that the attacker used an axe and a knife in his attack before withdrawing from the area.

The Elad municipality asked citizens to remain indoors as the Israeli police forces set up barriers and launched a large-scale manhunt searching for the attacker with the help of choppers.

May 5, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel Extends Detention of World Vision Gaza Director

Mohammed Al-Halabi, World Vision’s Operations Manager in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: File)
Palestine Chronicle | May 3, 2022

Israel’s prosecution requested to extend the detention of Palestinian aid worker Mohammed al-Halabi nearly six years after Israel accused him of diverting tens of millions of dollars from an international charity to Hamas, The New Arab reported.

World Vision — a major Christian charity that operates around the world — as well as independent auditors and the Australian government, have found no evidence of any wrongdoing. Al-Halabi’s lawyer says he has rejected multiple plea bargains that would have allowed him to walk free years ago.

The prosecution has requested another hearing on Monday to extend his detention, he has yet to be convicted in an Israeli court and is still being held in detention.

Al-Halabi has consistently denied the accusations throughout his 167 court hearings. Israel hopes that in time and under duress, the father of five will confess under pressure, activists say.

After al-Halabi’s arrest, World Vision suspended its activities in Gaza, where over 2 million Palestinians live under a crippling 15-year Israeli blockade.

May 4, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

By redefining UNRWA, Washington destroys the foundation for a Just peace in Palestine

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | May 3, 2022

Palestinians are justifiably worried that the mandate granted to the United Nations Agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, might be coming to an end. UNRWA’s mission, which has been in effect since 1949, has done more than provide urgent aid and support to millions of refugees. It was also a political platform that protected and preserved the rights of several generations of Palestinians.

Though UNRWA was not established as a political or legal platform per se, the context of its mandate was largely political, since Palestinians became refugees as a result of military and political events – the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people by Israel and the latter’s refusal to respect the Right of Return for Palestinians as enshrined in UN resolution 194 (III) of 11 December, 1948.

“UNRWA has a humanitarian and development mandate to provide assistance and protection to Palestine refugees pending a just and lasting solution to their plight,” the UN General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December, 1949 read. Alas, neither a ‘lasting solution’ to the plight of the refugees, nor even a political horizon has been achieved. Instead of using this realization as a way to revisit the international community’s failure to bring justice to Palestine and to hold Israel and its US benefactors accountable, it is UNRWA and, by extension, the refugees that are being punished.

In a stern warning on 24 April, the head of the political committee at the Palestinian National Council (PNC), Saleh Nasser said that UNRWA’s mandate might be coming to an end. Nasser referenced a recent statement by the UN body’s Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, about the future of the organization.

Lazzarini’s statement, published a day earlier, left room for some interpretation, though it was clear that something fundamental regarding the status, mandate and work of UNRWA is about to change. “We can admit that the current situation is untenable and will inevitably result in the erosion of the quality of the UNRWA services or, worse, to their interruption,” Lazzarini said.

Commenting on the statement, Nasser said that this “is a prelude to donors stopping their funding for UNRWA.”

The subject of UNRWA’s future is now a priority within the Palestinian, but also Arab political discourse. Any attempts at canceling or redefining UNRWA’s mission will pose a serious, if not an unprecedented challenge for Palestinians. UNRWA provides educational, health and other support for 5.6 million Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. With an annual budget of $1.6 billion, this support, and the massive network that has been created by the organization, cannot be easily replaced.

Equally important is the political nature of the organization. The very existence of UNRWA means that there is a political issue that must be addressed regarding the plight and future of Palestinian refugees. In fact, it is not the mere lack of enthusiasm to finance the organisation that has caused the current crisis. It is something bigger, and far more sinister.

In June 2018, Jared Kushner, son-in-law and advisor to former US President Donald Trump, visited Amman, Jordan, where he, according to the US Foreign Policy magazine, tried to persuade Jordan’s King Abdullah to remove the refugee status from 2 million Palestinians currently living in the country.

This and other attempts have failed. In September 2018, Washington, under the Trump administration, decided to cease its financial support of UNRWA. As the organization’s main funder, the American decision was devastating, because about 30 per cent of UNRWA’s money comes from the US alone. Yet, UNRWA hobbled along by increasing its reliance on the private sector and individual donations.

Though the Palestinian leadership celebrated the Biden Administration’s decision to resume UNRWA’s funding on April 7, 2021, a little caveat in Washington’s move was largely kept secret. Washington only agreed to fund UNRWA after the latter agreed to sign a two-year plan, known as Framework for Cooperation. In essence, the plan effectively turned UNRWA into a platform for Israel and American policies in Palestine, whereby the UN body consented to US – thus Israeli – demands to ensure that no aid would reach any Palestinian refugee who has received military training “as a member of the so-called Palestinian Liberation Army”, other organizations or “has engaged in any act of terrorism”. Moreover, the Framework expects UNRWA to monitor “Palestinian curriculum content”.

By entering into an agreement with the US Department of State, “UNRWA has effectively transformed itself from a humanitarian agency that provides assistance and relief to Palestinian refugees, to a security agency furthering the security and political agenda of the US, and ultimately Israel,” BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights noted.

Palestinian protests, however, did not change the new reality, which effectively altered the entire mandate granted to UNRWA by the international community nearly 73 years ago. Worse, European countries followed suit when, last September, the European parliament advanced an amendment that would condition EU support of UNRWA on the editing and rewriting of Palestinian school text books that, supposedly, ‘incite violence’ against Israel.

Instead of focusing solely on shutting down UNRWA immediately, the US, Israel and their supporters are working to change the nature of the organization’s mission and to entirely rewrite its original mandate. The agency that was established to protect the rights of the refugees, is now expected to protect Israeli, American and western interests in Palestine.

Though UNRWA was never an ideal organization, it has indeed succeeded in helping millions of Palestinians throughout the years, while preserving the political nature of their plight.

Though the Palestinian Authority, various poltical factions, Arab governments and others have protested the Israeli-American designs against UNRWA, such protestations are unlikely to make much difference, considering that UNRWA itself is surrendering to outside pressures. While Palestinians, Arabs and their allies must continue to fight for UNRWA’s original mission, they must urgently develop alternative plans and platforms that would shield Palestinian refugees and their Right of Return from becoming marginal and, eventually, forgotten.

If Palestinian refugees are removed from the list of political priorities concerning the future of a just peace in Palestine, neither justice nor peace can possibly be attained.

May 3, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Does Israel Permit Freedom of Worship?

Palestinian Christians will soon be extinct

By Philip Giraldi | Unz Review | May 3, 2022

A week ago I wrote a piece describing how Israel’s power over the US government is such that no American official will confirm that the Israelis have, and have had for years, a secret nuclear arsenal consisting of as many as 200 nukes. The situation is particularly odd in that the United States is on record as being strongly opposed to nuclear proliferation, except for Israel, and the enriched uranium that was used to create Israel’s bombs as well as the nuclear triggers were stolen and exported illegally from the US. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself was reportedly involved in the thefts. One lawyer friend has suggested that the reason for the reticence is that under US law by way of the Symington Amendment, no assistance or aid can be given to any country that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Israel has not signed and also has a widely acknowledged nuclear arsenal. To preserve Israel’s billions of dollars in annual largesse from the US taxpayer, silence over what goes on when the government breaks its own laws must be maintained. Some might consider that a case of pandering to Israel rather than taking steps to enhance United States security, but when it comes to the Jewish state that argument is a non-starter in Washington as Israel always comes first.

This week I am going to describe another aspect of the Zionist state’s policy that has been invisible if one relies on the mainstream media or the chattering magpies that occupy Capitol Hill and the White House. That is the ongoing elimination of Christianity in the region where it was born being carried out by Israel and its friends. The United States has been the enabler of much of the change in spite of the prevalence of self-described devout Christians in Congress, many of whom ironically are vocal and even enthusiastic supporters of Israeli “security” policies. Killing Palestinians is all too often justified in Congress and the White House with the meaningless expression “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

American power wielded on behalf of Israel has already destroyed a thriving Christian community in Iraq while still laboring to do the same in Syria and possibly even Lebanon. At Christianity’s very birthplace, in what was once Palestine, Israel has been engaged in making the lives of Palestinian so miserable that they frequently choose to emigrate. Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion famously declared in a letter to his son that “We must expel the Arabs and take their places…” and he exploited massacres of unarmed civilians carried out by the Haganah to create terror to accomplish that end. Since that time, Israel has refused to allow Palestinians driven from their homes by the 1948 fighting to return, has destroyed more than 400 Arab villages and confiscated other Palestinian properties, has appropriated additional land and water resources for its illegal settlements, has allowed armed settlers to destroy Palestinians crops and other forms of livelihood, and controlled Palestinian movements through a network of Jews only roads and numerous checkpoints. Even Palestinians who happen to be Israeli citizens are legally and in practice treated like second-class citizens with limited rights. There are more than 60 laws in Israel that discriminate against non-Jews while Israel now legally defines itself as a Jewish state. Israel has also imprisoned without any trial thousands of West Bank and Jerusalem Palestinians, including children, and shot dead hundreds more.

I could go on, but the point is that Israel wants Palestinians gone, a process that has particularly impacted on the Christian community. It has not been done by ethnic cleansing in the classic sense after the initial Nakba massacres and appropriations in 1948, but rather accomplished by creating incentives to leave. And it has been successful. At the end of the Second World War, an estimated one third of the Palestinian population identified as Christian, but the percentage is currently closer to 9% and continuing to decline. The numbers suggest that Christians in the former Palestine are verging on extinction. In fact, Christians have been able to become disproportionately emigrants from their homeland because they more frequently than Muslims have family already established in Europe and the US and have also been able to rely on networking through their churches for resettlement assistance in a new country.

Even by the wretched standards of the past 70 years, Israel’s seeking a “final solution” with the Palestinians recently has become particularly outrageous, focusing as it does on loosening their ties to their religious and cultural institutions while also destroying their livelihoods and appropriating their properties.

Hardly reported in the US media was the use of new Israeli imposed security restrictions to disrupt this year’s Palestinian Christian Orthodox Easter celebrations of Christ’s Resurrection at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. This comes on top of similar police action to support the usual crowd of rampaging settlers and other Jewish extremists at the most recent Ramadan services held by Palestinian Muslims at the al-Aqsa Mosque, which included using a drone to fire tear gas at worshipers.

What took place during Holy Week and more particularly on Easter Sunday has been described by Rod Dreher, who writes for The American Conservative. I will confess that I do not much like Dreher as he is fond of celebrating himself in everything he writes, full of navel gazing and smug sanctimonious twaddle, but as he was a participant and eye witness to what occurred his account is of necessity extremely valuable. To be sure, he makes it clear that readers understand that he is not criticizing Israelis in general, nor is he engaging in anything objectionable to Jewish sensitivities when he includes himself in how “we American Christians, especially those who support Israel,” also as “an American who cares about Israel,” and who refers to “my Israeli Jewish friends” and then goes on to assert “I condemn anti-Semitism unreservedly. Criticizing the Jewish settlers and official Israeli policy does not constitute anti-Semitism” before concluding that “most Israeli Jews wouldn’t support these hate-filled radical settlers.”

Actually, the US and other governments as well as many states do believe that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. And, depending on how the question is phrased many, possibly most Jews worldwide, support firm action against Muslims in particular, who are routinely described in the media and by the Israeli government as “terrorists.” Rod clearly understands that it is a bad idea to veer into areas that Jews are uncomfortable with as they can be surprisingly sensitive and unreasonably reactive to perceived slights. No need to bite the hand that feeds you, as one might put it, particularly if one wants to stay employed.

Dreher reports how he was “staying at a hotel inside the Old City, where I was advised to book a room out of fear that the Jerusalem police would not let Christians into the Old City on Holy Saturday. This turns out to have been very good advice.” Holy Saturday for Orthodox Christians features a “miracle” of the Holy Fire, which is believed to be the first sign of the Resurrection of Jesus. Normally, at 11 am, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher opens and is quickly packed with believers. After noon, the Greek Patriarch the “little house” built directly over the tomb of Christ, prays, and what is referred to as “divine energy” descends from heaven to light the Patriarch’s candles, the flames from which are shared with everyone present. He then emerges and passes the flame to everyone there.

Dreher and a friend reportedly left their hotel early to pray but when they arrived at the end of the street at the Jaffa Gate, two Jewish police officers refused to allow them to pass out of the Old City, warning that if they left they might not be able to come back in. They then walked over to an access point to the Jaffa Gate, and witnessed a large group of Christians behind a barrier on the other side, blocked from entering into the Old City where the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is situated. Dreher observed that at the same time Orthodox Jews wearing white prayer shawls, entered freely into the Old City on their way to the Western Wall to pray on the Jewish Sabbath. Later that morning, Dreher was only allowed to pass into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher because he had obtained a ticket to the “fire” service. The tickets, to control and limit attendance at the church was an innovation by the Israeli police. The Patriarch objected, observing that tickets had never before been required. The tickets allowed entry of only 1,800 worshipers in the church, which normally accommodates 10,000, a reduction of 82% of the faithful permitted to be in attendance on the highest of all holy days.

An Anglican priest from Virginia who spoke to Dreher at the service described that morning’s experience this way: “Police checkpoints were at every corner. Even when we reached the private property of the Greek Patriarchate, police had taken over there as well. They actually turned back nearly a dozen Consuls General and other diplomatic representatives, including ones from the United States. We had to take an alternative route to get inside. If that was the way it worked for VIPs, imagine you’re a local Palestinian Christian simply trying to worship on the holiest of Christian holidays inside the church built over the very Tomb of Christ.”

At issue are demands by radical Jewish groups, most notably the extremist Jewish settlers’ organization Ateret Cohanim, a type of Jewish Taliban, to “cleanse” Jerusalem of all non-Jews. They have been aggressively buying or otherwise occupying properties in and around the traditional Christian and Muslim quarters of the city and often use violence when they are resisted by local residents. Christians, unlike the Muslim community, notably do not tend to resort to violence in support of their property or civic rights even though recourse to the Israeli courts is useless as the judges have consistently sided with the settlers and police.

In Jerusalem there have been regular instances of verbal abuse, vandalism and spitting on Christian clergy, as well as sporadic violent assaults. In the Armenian Christian quarter a monk reports how “[The settlers] destroy the tires of our cars, graffiti ‘death to Christians’, break windows, they desecrate our cemetery, you know… ugly things, and it’s really invasive.” Some Christians have pointed to what happened to the former St John’s Hospice near the Jaffa Gate as a prime example of what the Christian churches fear could happen across the quarter. The building’s lintel still shows the tau-phi monogram of the Greek Patriarchate but in 1990, this pilgrims’ hostel was illegally occupied by Ateret Cohanim, and now the vast building is covered with multiple Israeli flags and houses violent armed Israeli settlers. The local Christians Dreher talked to “believe that this is part of a settler plot to choke off access to Christian holy sites within the city, and force Christians out.”

The Israeli authorities tend to ignore the settler activity as they have powerful supporters, including from the diaspora community in the US and some Evangelicals who help to fund them. Ateret Cohanim’s 2010 annual gathering featured as guest speaker no less than John Bolton and the Kushner Family Foundation has reportedly helped finance its activities. In addition, Israel’s religious conservative parties are a necessary component in the coalition government and their extreme behavior is tolerated and even aided and abetted on the sly. Nor will secular Jews stand up for their Christian brothers in Israel in enough numbers to matter. Also, many Israelis believe that increasingly hardline radical Jewish groups are actually the future of Israel based on demographic trends. All excuses aside, clearly enough of the ruling elite in America, and in Israel, support the radical settlers, or none of this would be happening.

And the situation is little better for Christians in Palestine outside Jerusalem. A Franciscan monk visitor to a monastery outside of the city reported how the Israeli authorities had cut off water to the building while the missionaries themselves were verbally abused and had rocks and other debris hurled at them by settlers. In Bethlehem, a Christian gift shop was deliberately put out of business after nearby Jewish settlements were allowed to erect walls blocking access to it. Other attacks on Christians have included a June 2015 arson incident at the Church of the Multiplication and a nearby Benedictine monastery in Tabgha, located 120 miles north of Jerusalem. The church is built on the site where Christ fed the 5,000 through the multiplication of loaves and fishes. The attackers left Hebrew graffiti on the walls, reading “all idols will be smashed.” In 2014 occurred vandalization of a Romanian Orthodox church, the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition, and Catholic offices in Jerusalem, as well as a monastery in Beit Shemesh. The year before, more than 20 Christian sites of the Latin Patriarchate were attacked by vandals. And in 2012, a Trappist monastery in Latroun was subject to arson and graffiti, while the Convent of St. Francis on Mt. Zion was vandalized. Non-Jews in Bethlehem and on the West Bank meanwhile live under a system of Israeli military laws and check points established by government order number 101. In Hebron, non-Jews living on Jewish-only streets cannot even walk out their front doors and they are regularly bombarded by feces and other waste hurled down upon them by the settlers.

Israel’s anti-Christian policies are international and includes support of groups the US has called terrorists. Israel has given money and weapons to the jihadists fighting against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, which includes al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate. Wounded jihadists even have crossed into Israel to received hospital treatment. Once, ISIS accidentally fired into Israel and then publicly apologized. Israel is intent on removing al-Assad, which will lead to an exodus of Christians from Syria, similar to what took place in neighboring Iraq after US forces deposed Saddam Hussein.

There is a certain irony in how the United States doggedly pursues China over its alleged maltreatment of the Uighurs while at the same time rewarding and protecting Israel even though it spies relentlessly on the US and very clearly persecutes Palestinians. Dreher asks the question why the US government, which gives Israel multiple billions of dollars a year, cannot stop Israel’s de facto official punishment of its Christians. The answer is at least in part simple, that most American Christians do not care about the plight of their co-religionists in the Middle East. Millions of true-blue Christians not unlike Dreher, many weaned on the Scofield Bible and its dispensationalism, and many of whom wind up in government or other positions of power, choose to disengage from the problem, accepting that Jews are the “chosen people” of God and, for some, part of End Time prophecy. They are therefore to be given a pass by both the media and government on all their exclusivism and bad behavior even as they meddle in US politics and work to hobble freedom of speech by criminalizing anyone who criticizes Israel or supports Palestinians by urging a boycott against it. Until all that changes, if it even can happen, Christians in the so-called Holy Land will be on the chopping block and when the churches and monasteries no longer have a community to sustain them, it will be the end of Christianity in the place where it was born. And more’s the pity, the United States will have played a major role in enabling that to happen.

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 councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

May 3, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 8 Comments

IRGC chief: Resistance sole way to liberation of Palestine

Press TV – April 28, 2022

Chief Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami says negotiations and accords brokered by the United States only aim to buy time for Israel, and weaken the Palestinian resistance front.

The senior commander made the remarks in a televised address to a ceremony in Gaza City on Thursday, on the eve of International Quds Day.

“The so-called peace treaties like the Camp David Accords, the Oslo Accords, the Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum etc have never been and will never be able to result in the liberation of Palestine.

“All such accords, which former US presidents, [former Israeli prime ministers Ehud] Olmert, [Benjamin] Netanyahu, Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin tried to seal, as well as the deal of century are nothing but deception and a conspiracy to marginalize jihad, weaken the resistance front, buy time and obliterate the awareness of the nations,” he stated.

He underscored that Palestinian people have come to realize that they will not achieve their goals except through resistance and struggle in the path of God (jihad).

Salami described the recent developments in the occupied Palestinian territories as a sign of the Israeli regime’s brutality and the strength of resistance groups, stressing that Palestinian resistance fighters have reinforced the Muslim Ummah and changed the balance of power in the region.

The IRGC chief hailed International Quds Day as a gift from Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic in Iran, stating that the designation of the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan for the event made Palestine a top priority for the entire Muslim world.

“Palestinian people are close to victory as the Zionist enemy is growing weaker. Weakness inside the Zionist entity is evident in its politics, economy and security apparatus, he said.

“All Muslims around the world are united with Palestinians in the struggle against the Israeli regime. Al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque are symbols of unity among Muslims in support of Palestinians,” Salami pointed out.

IRGC: Events herald Israel’s imminent end

Earlier, the IRGC said current developments in the occupied Palestinian territories show that the demise of Israel is imminent and the regime is doomed to end very soon.

“Recent developments, particularly the fact that the flames of Intifada (uprising) have passed through the inner walls of the regime, suggest that the Tel Aviv regime’s days are numbered and occupiers of holy al-Quds are quickly nearing their end,” the force said in a statement released on the eve of International Quds Day.

It lauded the decision by Imam Khomeini to designate the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as International Quds Day, describing the prudent initiative and historic move as a novel phenomenon and a source of pride for the Iranian nation to play an effective role in supporting the oppressed Palestinian nation.

The IRGC underlined that free and justice-seeking nations have joined forces more than ever to support the oppressed Palestinians, the Palestinian cause and the liberation of al-Quds.

“Zionists thought they could consign the Palestinian issue and the cause of al-Quds to oblivion by following satanic schemes such as the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ and normalization of ties with some Arab countries. They were, however, wrong and their dream of sustainable and permanent security has now been broken,” the statement read.

The statement further stressed that the discourse of resistance and support for Palestine states that an end to the Israeli occupation, expulsion of occupiers, return of Palestinian refugees and free elections are the only solution to the Palestinian issue.

The IRGC went on to term any concession, including normalization of ties with the child-killing regime of Israel as an act of treason, emphasizing such bids are doomed to failure.

Hamas official: Normalization with Israel a crime

Meanwhile, a high-ranking official from the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement said the Arab states that have normalized diplomatic ties with the Israeli regime have not only committed a grave crime against Palestinians but also their own peoples.

Khalil al-Hayya, a member of the Hamas political bureau and the deputy chief in the Gaza Strip, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network on Thursday ahead of International Quds Day.

Hayya slammed normalization with Israel as the regime kills Palestinian civilians, including women and children, in cold blood.

He stressed that establishment of relations with Israel only serves the best interests of the United States and the Tel Aviv regime.

The senior Hamas official said Palestinians are a nation under occupation and reserve the right to defend themselves against Israeli occupiers.

Hayya also condemned Israeli forces’ attacks against Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds.

He said Palestinians are always ready to defend the holy place, warning that Israeli officials are seeking to alter its true image by preventing Palestinians from entering the site.

April 29, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Over 150 Palestinians injured as Israeli police storm Al-Aqsa

MEMO | April 15, 2022

More than 150 Palestinians were injured at dawn on Friday as the Israeli police stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Anadolu Agency reports.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that 152 Palestinians were injured by Israeli police in the courtyards of the mosque.

The Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets, tear gas, and beaten by the Israeli police which also fired a barrage of stun grenades.

In a statement, the Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem, said that one of the mosque’s guards was hit in the eye by a rubber-coated metal bullet.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that the Israeli police pursued the worshipers and beat them in the mosque’s courtyards.

For its part, the Israeli police announced in a statement that three of its members were slightly injured by stones thrown at them.

The police also noted in another statement that its forces removed the “rioters” in Al-Aqsa Mosque and arrested about 300 of them.

Thousands of worshipers were in the mosque where they were performing the morning prayer.

April 15, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Leaked files expose Britain’s covert infiltration of Palestinian refugee camps

By Kit Klarenberg | The Cradle | April 13 2022

In February, Lebanese journalist Mohammed Shoaib was arrested on suspicion of collusion with Israel’s Mossad spy agency. The writer who worked for Al-Jaras, confessed that the notorious spy agency secretly paid him to author “dozens” of anti-Hezbollah articles, receiving a paltry $30 to $70 per article.

In particular, Shoaib was tasked with writing hit jobs on the “Iranian occupation” of Lebanon, and falsely linking Hezbollah with the August 2020 Beirut port blast, drug trafficking, and murder of political activists.

It is also alleged that Mossad specifically requested his work incite hostility towards Palestinian refugees in the country who number almost 300,000. In all, Lebanon hosts more than 1.7 million refugees and has the largest per capita population of refugees in the world.

Roughly half inhabit camps administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), where they endure abysmal living conditions, overcrowding, poverty, unemployment, lack of access to justice, and other unspeakable hardships. The 11-year, foreign-backed crisis in neighboring Syria has also prompted Palestinian refugees there – and Syrian citizens – to seek sanctuary in Lebanon.

Given Israel’s track record of multifaceted crimes against the Palestinian people, that they are targeting an already vulnerable refugee population for propaganda purposes is hardly surprising. Nonetheless, Israel is not the only hostile foreign country resorting to these tactics.

Leaked files reviewed by The Cradle reveal the British Foreign Office has for many years secretly meddled in Lebanon’s refugee camps, courtesy of ARK, a shadowy intelligence cutout run by probable MI6 operative Alistair Harris. London’s agenda is rather different than Tel Aviv’s, however – it seeks to subtly stir up revolutionary fervor, and exploit them as unwitting foot soldiers in its ongoing clandestine war against Lebanon’s ruling elite.

‘Community Engagement’

The documents indicate ARK has been operating in all 12 camps since 2009, implementing British-funded “programming” of various kinds. This experience has granted the company “granular understanding” of their internal political, economic, ideological, religious and practical dynamics, and led to the establishment of a “diverse delivery team” and array of “local contacts” with “access throughout all camps and gatherings,” meaning community-level discussions and activities of residents can be spied upon and influenced.

This intimate, insidious insight is reinforced by “daily monitoring of neighborhood-level WhatsApp groups,” with “any new information, such as affiliation between a local group and a faction, or conflict between factions” documented by ARK’s in-house “stakeholder tracker.”

Typically, ARK has engaged in small-scale initiatives in the camps, including the restoration of streets and cemeteries, recycling initiatives, assisting in the launch of small businesses, providing income to disadvantaged and disabled residents, creating nurseries and daycare centers, and even launching a community hub, Sawa Coffeeshop. It serves to this day as “a popular place for youth to gather and promote civic engagement in their community and a shared Palestinian identity that bridges factional differences.”

In submissions to the Foreign Office dating to May 2019, ARK proposed ramping up these activities significantly. It pledged to create “Community Leadership Committees” in each camp, composed of hand-picked “stakeholders” – including NGOs, youth activists, women’s organizations, and representatives of neighborhood armed groups – to identify “quick impact projects” that could be implemented therein. These projects aim to “counter threats to social stability in the camps, create or improve livelihood opportunities, and provide better access to services.”

A social media platform created by ARK, Nastopia – which boasted 20,000 “highly invested” followers on Facebook at the time, a figure that has almost doubled since – was forecast to be fundamental to these efforts.

The page, run by a 24-strong team of ARK-trained “youth reporters”, would be used to recruit local participants, increase awareness and demand for “community engagement and improved conditions” among camp residents.  Other activities include the promotion of Foreign Office-financed projects and to publicize “success stories” generated by them, while “promoting Palestinian culture and a sense of belonging, and tackling social injustice.”

Nastopia was “already [an] effective voice for connecting Palestinian communities, particularly youth” by that point. ARK cited a recent “Camps Films Festival” organized by the platform, covered by Al-Jazeera, which showcased “films portraying life in the camps and what it means to be Palestinian,” and in the process provided “positive examples of a shared identity.”

All along, the Nastopia page was to be monitored with “community feedback” on the assorted initiatives gauged to identify areas in which these activities “could be adapted to maximize impact.” Specialist training provided to its staff meant the platform could also serve “as a forum for online and offline discussion about social injustices [and] virtual space to talk about topics considered taboo in the camps,” allowing ARK to burrow even deeper inside the heads of refugees.

‘Active Citizenship’

If the obvious surveillance and manipulation dimensions of ARK’s project weren’t troubling enough, it takes on an acutely sinister character when one considers a key objective of “highlighting successful initiatives” in the camps was to “[enhance] the audience’s confidence in their own ability to contribute to social change.”

A Foreign Office-commissioned Target Audience Analysis conducted by ARK in March 2019 sought to pinpoint a segment of Lebanon’s population that could be mobilized to “affect positive social change,” and methods by which tensions between sectarian communities could be reduced, in order to unify them in opposition to the country’s ruling elite. Reading between the lines, it gives every appearance of a blueprint for the overthrow of the Lebanese government.

An ideal audience was duly identified, representing 12 percent of the population, who disavowed violence but did not reject “other forms of contentious politics,” and could be “influenced” to engage in “behaviors leading to positive social change,” such as protests and community initiatives.

The only questions for ARK were: “What might be done to enable other Lebanese to have similar confidence in their potential to contribute to positive social change?” and “how might this segment of the population … be grown to include a larger fraction of the public?”

The answer, ARK proposed, was to both covertly and overtly promote the message that “change is possible and ordinary citizens have a role to play in achieving change,” by way of propaganda campaigns and civil society initiatives “[highlighting] where change has been achieved or where threats to Lebanon’s stability have been countered.” This would demonstrate to the country’s diverse population that “barriers” to reform can be overcome, by taking matters into their own hands.

Providing evidence of “responsive government at local levels” was crucial for reinforcing “principles of active citizenship” among Lebanon’s population – and the analysis specifically cited Syrians and Palestinians, who are mostly Sunni Muslims, as representing an “important part” of the country’s demography, to be motivated in this manner.

In other words, Foreign Office activities in the refugee camps form just one fragment of a wider, clandestine, multi-channel assault on public perceptions in Lebanon that Britain has been waging against its democratically-elected government.

A mobilized force

One can judge these efforts by their fruits. In October 2019, seven months after ARK’s Target Audience Analysis was supplied to the Foreign Office, large-scale protests engulfed the streets of Beirut, which have ebbed and flowed ever since, and generated enormous amounts of western media coverage along the way.

The extent to which ARK’s Foreign Office-funded meddling in Lebanon influenced this incendiary unrest may never be fully quantifiable, but it may be significant that in July that year, thousands of refugees across several camps began demonstrating in unison, demanding the government immediately reform employment laws barring them as “foreign workers” from numerous professions.

This turmoil was arguably the spark that ignited the entire “October Revolution” – and in one of its Foreign Office submissions, ARK refers to how it “takes pride” in ensuring refugees recruited to its illicit schemes receive “annual leave, sick leave, and health insurance,” despite this not being “legally necessary” due to local legislation “discriminating against Palestinians.”

Who benefits?

The influence of ARK on Lebanon’s impending general election in May, the country’s first since the riots began, is even more unambiguous. Several news outlets have hailed the unprecedentedly high profusion of young candidates vying for office – 80 in total, many of them women.

A clandestine Foreign Office project influenced by the aforementioned Target Audience Analysis sought to enlist Lebanese youth as “agents of change”, fostering among them a culture of active political participation, in order that they could better “hold political institutions and individuals accountable,” and increase “electoral participation” in favor of opposition parties.

Under its auspices, ARK convened “boot camps” in “priority areas” of Lebanon, cultivated “a national group capable of pushing for greater change” composed of young women, and created social media assets and youth-focused websites featuring political interviews, question-and-answer sessions, coverage of boot camp meetings, “calls to action,” and “humorous messaging campaigns.” Activity on these assets was scheduled to ramp up ahead of the 2022 elections.

Clearly, irrespective of the outcome of the Lebanon May elections, the ultimate victors won’t be the parties and candidates that secure office, or the average Lebanese citizens who elected them, but Britain – for whatever form the next government takes, one way or another, it will serve London’s financial, ideological, military, and political interests.

April 14, 2022 Posted by | Deception | , , , , | 1 Comment

Palestine’s widening geography of resistance: Why Israel cannot defeat the Palestinians

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | April 12, 2022

There is a reason why Israel is insistent on linking the series of attacks carried out by Palestinians recently to a specific location, namely the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. By doing so, the embattled Naftali Bennett’s government can simply order another deadly military operation in Jenin to reassure its citizens that the situation is under control.

Indeed, on 9 April, the Israeli army had stormed the Jenin refugee camp, killing a Palestinian and wounding ten others. However, Israel’s problem is much bigger than Jenin.

If we examine the events starting with the 22 March stabbing attack in the southern city of Beersheba (Bir Al Saba’) – which resulted in the death of four – and ending with the killing of three Israelis in Tel Aviv – including two army officers – we will reach an obvious conclusion: these attacks must have been, to some extent, coordinated.

Spontaneous Palestinian retaliation to the violence of the Israeli occupation rarely follows this pattern in terms of timing or style. All the attacks, with the exception of Beersheba, were carried out using firearms. The shooters, as indicated by the amateur videos of some of the events and statements by Israeli eyewitnesses, were well-trained and were acting with great composure.

An example was the 27 March Hadera event, carried out by two cousins, Ayman and Ibrahim Ighbariah, from the Arab town of Umm Al-Fahm, inside Israel. Israeli media reported of the unmistakable skills of the attackers, armed with weapons that, according to the Israeli news agency, Tazpit Press Servicecost more than $30,000.

Unlike Palestinian attacks carried out during the Second Palestinian Intifada (2000-05) in response to Israeli violence in the occupied territories, the latest attacks are generally more pinpointed, seek police and military personnel and clearly aimed at shaking Israel’s false sense of security and undermining the country’s intelligence services. In the Bnei Brak attack, on 29 March, for example, an Israeli woman who was at the scene told reporters that “the militant asked us to move away from the place because he did not want to target women or children.”

While Israeli intelligence reports have recently warned of a “wave of terrorism” ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, they clearly had little conception of what type of violence, or where and how Palestinians would strike.

Following the Beersheba attack, Israeli officials referred to Daesh’s responsibility, a convenient claim considering that Daesh had also claimed responsibility. This theory was quickly marginalised, as it became obvious that the other Palestinian attackers had other political affiliations or, as in the Bnei Brak case, no known affiliation at all.

The confusion and misinformation continued for days. Shortly after the Tel Aviv attack, Israeli media, citing official sources, spoke of two attackers, alleging that one was trapped in a nearby building. This was untrue as there was only one attacker and he was killed, though hours later in a different city.

A number of Palestinian workers were quickly rounded up in Tel Aviv on suspicion of being the attackers simply because they looked Arab, evidence of the chaotic Israeli approach. Indeed, following each event, total mayhem ensued, with large mobs of armed Israelis taking to the streets looking for anyone with Arab features to apprehend or to beat senseless.

Israeli officials contributed to the frenzy, with far-right politicians, such as the extremist, Itamar Ben Gvir, leading hordes of other extremists in rampages in occupied Jerusalem.

Instead of urging calm and displaying confidence, the country’s own Prime Minister called, on 30 March, on ordinary Israelis to arm themselves. “Whoever has a gun license, this is the time to carry it,” he said in a video statement. However, if Israel’s solution to any form of Palestinian resistance was more guns, Palestinians would have been pacified long ago.

To placate angry Israelis, the Israeli military raided the city and refugee camp of Jenin on many occasions, each time leaving several dead and wounded Palestinians behind, including many civilians. They include the child, Imad Hashash, 15, killed on 24 August while filming the invasion on his mobile phone. The exact same scenario played out on  9 April.

However, it was an exercise in futility, as it was Israeli violence in Jenin throughout the years that led to the armed resistance that continues to emanate from the camp. Palestinians, whether in Jenin or elsewhere, fight back because they are denied basic human rights, have no political horizon, live in extreme poverty, have no true leadership and feel abandoned by the so-called international community.

The Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas seems to be entirely removed from the masses. Statements by Abbas reflect his detachment from the reality of Israeli violence, military occupation and apartheid throughout Palestine. True to form, Abbas quickly condemned the Tel Aviv attack, as he did the previous ones, making the same reference every time regarding the need to maintain “stability” and to prevent “further deterioration of the situation”, according to the official Wafa news agency.

What stability is Abbas referring to, when Palestinian suffering has been compounded by growing settler violence, illegal settlement expansion, land theft, and, thanks to recent international events, food insecurity as well?

Israeli officials and media are, once again, conveniently placing the blame largely on Jenin, a tiny stretch of an overpopulated area. By doing so, Israel wants to give the impression that the new phenomenon of Palestinian retaliatory attacks is confined to a single place, one that is adjacent to the Israeli border and can be easily ‘dealt with’.

An Israeli military operation in the camp may serve Bennett’s political agenda, convey a sense of strength, and win back some in his disenchanted political constituency. But it is all a temporary fix. Attacking Jenin now will make no difference in the long run. After all, the camp rose from the ashes of its near-total destruction by the Israeli military in April 2002.

The renewed Palestinian attacks speak of a much wider geography: Naqab, Umm Al Fahm, the West Bank. The seeds of this territorial connectivity are linked to the Israeli war of last May and the subsequent Palestinian rebellion, which erupted in every part of Palestine, including Palestinian communities inside Israel.

Israel’s problem is its insistence on providing short-term military solutions to a long-term problem, itself resulting from these very ‘military solutions’. If Israel continues to subjugate the Palestinian people under the current system of military occupation and deepening apartheid, Palestinians will surely continue to respond until their oppressive reality is changed. No amount of Israeli violence can alter this truth.

April 12, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 4 Comments