Enough is enough- Israel’s brutal actions must not go unpunished

Palestine Update  140
Opinion  

Enough is enough- Israel’s brutal actions must not go unpunished

In the last month alone, Gazans have awakened the conscience of global civil society. Tens and thousands of people around the world have expressed solidarity in different ways with the Palestinians for the way in which they launched and sustained the Great March. For Palestinians, the Great march was their way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ‘Nakba’ (Arabic for ‘catastrophe’). On the last day of the protests, tens of thousands of people rallied to bury the dead, their sadness only matched by their anger. But, they have sworn to persist with resistance.

The protests were largely non-violent except for a few trivial episodes. Israel, however, extracted revenge, killing over a hundred people and injuring thousands. On the last day alone of the protests, 60 people were killed and over a thousand critically injured. Israel rationalized its horrific actions on the pretext that it had to resort to use live fire to ward off deadly threats. Independent observers have called this claim a downright lie and, instead, pointed to the crimes of a marauding army. Amnesty International has categorized the excessive bloodshed as an “abhorrent violation” of human rights, and opined that they tantamount to “willful killings constituting war crimes.” Human Rights Watch also denounced Israeli army reactions as creating a “bloodbath.” Rights groups opine that the use of lethal force on peaceful protesters is unlawful.

The international community must now act with harsh punitive measures and isolate Israel. The intent should not be to approve more UN resolutions. Through boycotts, sanctions, divestments, and cultural and academic boycotts, Israel must be left crippled and helpless. This may be easier said than done especially when one notes that the massacres in Gaza happened in parallel to the celebrations in Jerusalem where the US opened its new Embassy. The US, Canada, EU, a few other countries may hesitate to isolate Israel out of self-interest.

Just as South Africa collapsed in a heap under the burden of solid BDS measures (and, of course, the armed struggle); Israel can also be brought down in a pile. Israel needs the region so it can access the important natural resources it wants for its own advancement. Israel also needs the openhanded aid flowing from the affluent West. Israel is nowhere close to being a self-reliant economy. Its dependence is there for all to see and that makes the imposition of rigorous economic measures a compulsory weapon against its Zionist-based racist and colonial practices.

The 70th anniversary should be an occasion for the world to dismantle Zionism because it is a retarded racist ideology that has led to colonization and subjugation of the worst variety. War crimes on Israel’s part demand nothing less than harsh counter-measures. Israel has spent seven malicious decades fighting a defenseless people and subjugating them in ways that amount to among the worst possible crimes in war history. But enough is enough.

Ranjan Solomon


70 Years of Nakba: Where Can Palestinians Go from Here? 

The Palestinian people have perhaps never been more in need of a forward-looking vision to shape their struggle. In facing the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe and the creation of Israel, on May 15, they also face a myriad of circumstances and actions that threaten to derail their quest for rights.

These include the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the accompanying move of the US embassy there; Israeli plans to annex the West Bank; and the continued Israeli violence toward the Palestinians in Gaza who are peacefully protesting the shocking conditions in which they live and calling for their right to return to the lands from which they were expelled in 1948. At publication, Israeli snipers had killed more than 90 Palestinians in Gaza and injured thousands.

Al-Shabaka asked analysts to propose a vision that would resonate with the greatest number of Palestinians – whether one-staters or two, refugees, exiles, citizens of Israel, or those under occupation and siege – and to map out some ways to get from here to there.

Read full article

Thousands join Palestinian funeral processions -Israel faces fallout over Gaza protesters’ deaths

Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday staged angry funeral processions for dozens of demonstrators killed by Israeli troops a day earlier as Israel weathered growing international condemnation over the killings.

With Palestinians commemorating their mass displacement 70 years ago following the creation of the nation of Israel, tensions also ran high Tuesday in the West Bank, with some scattered clashes reported between Palestinians and Israeli forces. Nearly 60 Palestinian deaths on the Gaza Strip’s frontier with Israel on Monday coincided with Israeli rejoicing over the Trump administration’s symbolic inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in the contested city of Jerusalem.

Israel insisted anew that it used live fire in response to a deadly threat posed by Palestinians seeking to breach the border fence between Israel and Gaza, a sliver of seaside territory that has languished for more than a decade under a blockade that has devastated its already faltering economy.
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Use of force in Gaza an abhorrent violation of international law 

Responding to reports that dozens of Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured by the Israeli military during protests along the fence that separates Gaza and Israel today, Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said: “This is another horrific example of the Israeli military using excessive force and live ammunition in a totally deplorable way. This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be willful killings constituting war crimes.
“Today’s footage from Gaza is extremely troubling, and as violence continues to spiral out of control, the Israeli authorities must immediately rein in the military to prevent the further loss of life and serious injuries. “Only last month, Amnesty International called on the international community to stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to Israel. The rising toll of deaths and injuries today only serves to highlight the urgent need for an arms embargo. “While some protestors may have engaged in some form of violence, this still does not justify the use of live ammunition…Under international law, firearms can only be used to protect against an imminent threat of death or serious injury.” Early medical reports from Gaza today indicate that dozens of people have been shot in the head or chest. Amnesty International last month documented research from the Gaza Strip that showed the Israeli military were killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them.
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Israeli violence in Gaza sparks worldwide condemnation

Israel faced widespread condemnation after its forces killed at least 60 Palestinians in Gaza during protests coinciding with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Many countries, including Britain, France and Russia, had already slammed the US decision to move the embassy, while 128 nations have backed a UN resolution condemning Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Here are some of the reactions from around the world following Monday’s violence:
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South African government withdraws ambassador to Israel
The killing of protesters is something which requires an international response because solidarity and prayer, while important, is not enough. This was the message at a small picket held outside the Port Elizabeth City Hall on Tuesday in support of The Great Return March which is a series of rallies by Palestinian people culminating on Tuesday on the anniversary of the Nakba.

Protests took place across South African cities on Tuesday in support of Palestine, this after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian protesters on the Israel-Gaza border on Monday, leaving at least 60 dead and over 2 400 wounded.  Palestinians had gathered in their tens of thousands to denounce the move by the US to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The killings sparked widespread outrage from the international community and human rights organisations, while South Africa and myriad local organisations also condemned the actions by Israel. The South African government immediately withdrew its ambassador to Israel in protest.
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Statement by #JusticeDelegation
A group of US human rights defenders after returning from a visit to Palestine and Israel co-organized by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Interfaith Peace-Builders issued this clarion call. The statement called on “our communities, our allies, our representatives, and the international community to hold Israel accountable for its violent response to Palestinians’ call and march for freedom”.

Their witness account was based on meetings with “prominent Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations, community leaders, internally displaced, African refugees and asylum seekers, affected families, journalists, dissenters, United Nations officials, and members of legal, business, artistic, and faith communities”. They illustrate how they “repeatedly witnessed the impact of settler colonialism and ethnic cleansing on Palestinian communities through blatantly obtrusive policies, like the illegally constructed wall separating communities and families from each other, and the slow but systematic emptying of land and homes of their Palestinian residents. We also witnessed the structural racism and apartheid in land and housing policies against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Palestinians in Gaza will mark the culmination of their six-week Great March of Return to remember the Nakba, they said. They added: “The Palestinian condition is one of ongoing Nakba, and we have been humbled by the resilience of the Palestinian people over the past 70 years”. They called on the Israeli government to “immediately end its illegal use of deadly force and violent crackdown on peaceful protesters and abide by international law protecting rights to life, peaceful assembly, and freedom of movement”.
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Don’t befriend me for a day, and leave me a month. Don’t get close to me if you’re going to leave. Don’t say what you don’t do. Be close or get away.
لا تصاحبني يوماً .. لتهجرني شهراً ولا تقربني .. لتبعدني .. لا تقل ما لا تفعل كُن قريباً .. أو ابتعد.
Mahmoud Darwish.