Palestine Update 388
Impossible is never
History has seen the impossible happen repeatedly. Big powers have been compelled to eat humble pie in front of nations they once controlled and dominated with a vice-like grip for decades and even centuries. The end has always been traumatic for the colonialist-racist empires. Systems of oppression can never continued in perpetuity. Social and political evil is self destructive because immoral systems of authority will always find themselves persistently in defense of the evils that the structures of subjugation return on them.
The powerful fail to comprehend this basic political fact. Their political calculus is partial and thin. They seek to survive in denial of their transitory rule. Their political computation falsely suggests that their political strength will grow in multiples and their supremacy will be never-ending. The truth is the opposite. To continue with their reckless political routines is to produce anguish for innocents and punitive measures that many must face only because they chose the path of resistance.
This is the case in the Palestinian struggle. It is a moment in history when “things are beyond urgent, when we are on the verge of a catastrophic collapse, and the current status-quo is unsustainable”. (Open letter from The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement)
That letter concludes with a Biblical affirmation of hope: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed”. (2 Cor. 4:8-9)
Israel may seem to be the superior power at this juncture. History attests to this: Cruel, immoral power is not infinite. Slavery was dismantled, and so was colonialism. Apartheid came to a grinding halt barely a year after people in black townships had seemingly surrendered hope saying “There is no light at the end of the tunnel”.
In the opening article of this issue of ‘Palestine Updates’, Counter Punch has this to say: “The timer is now ticking on Israel. While Israel historically put Palestinians on the slow burner, gnawing at their lands and livelihoods, time was in Israel’s favor and the world turned a blind eye”. Israel is in a hurry to exercise ownership and control over all of Palestine. Those days will soon pass. Like all Empires of the past, Israel’s racist-colonial construct is under strain internally, internationally and the streets of the world. The question is not whether it will collapse. It is about when and what the outcome and future shape of Palestine and Israel will take.
Time’s Up Israel: Get Your Knee off Palestine’s neck
The timer is now ticking on Israel. While Israel historically put Palestinians on the slow burner, gnawing at their lands and livelihoods, time was in Israel’s favor and the world turned a blind eye. Those days are over. Israel must now choose, allow the state of Palestine to emerge, or have it imposed upon them. The traditional options of two-states vs. one state of Israel without equality for all its citizens have passed long ago. Israel can accept Palestine in all the occupied territory of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, or ultimately be forced to accept Palestine from the river to the sea.
For us Palestinians, like any normal human beings on this earth, it is natural for us to expect to be viewed as a people worthy of our rights, freedom, and independence. The days when this can be ignored are over too. Today, all have been exposed to the naked eye. Thanks to decades of denial by Jewish Israeli citizens and the Jewish Diaspora, US President Trump and his messianic entourage of Jared Kushner and David M. Friedman, Israel’s state-sanctioned settlement enterprise, financier Sheldon Adelson’s fanaticism, Christian Evangelicals bent on personally witnessing the Armageddon, and none other than Israel’s own extremist prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s annexation frenzy, a frenzy on steroids attempting to divert his path to jail on three corruption charges.
To force the timer to tick even faster, outgoing Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, in an interview, proudly proclaimed, “I represent not only the people of Israel, I represented [sic] the Jewish people in the U.N.”. He went on, “We [Jews] do have biblical rights to the land. Whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Jew — you read the Bible, you read the stories of the Bible — it’s all there.” It got worse. He went on to say, “This is our deed to the land. That’s biblical.” This from Israel’s top international diplomat! Regardless of how one views the Bible, it’s a religious text, not a document that can be submitted in a case of international law. The further back Israel goes in time, the faster today’s timer is ticking.
‘Right Plan, Wrong Time’: Israeli Minister Explains Reasons behind Annexation Postponement
An Israeli minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government said that the resurgence of the coronavirus and political divisions were the main reasons behind the delay in Israel’s annexation of occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank.
The Israeli minister stated that Netanyahu and his coalition partner Benny Gantz seemed to agree on the July 1 date to launch the annexation process, “there has been ‘close to zero’ cabinet-level discussion on the issue,” Reuters reported. The opposition stems largely from Gantz’s Blue and White party, which has convinced Washington that annexation of Palestinian land, illegal under international law, does not have sweeping support among the country’s ruling class.
The opposition in the government however doesn’t seem to be based on the rejection of the plan itself, but the timing. “It’s a matter of right plan, wrong time,” the minister, reportedly from the Blue and White, said. “We are in the middle of the biggest crisis Israel has seen in decades… and it would be irresponsible and insensitive to tend to anything else at the moment,” he added.
Over 100 French lawmakers call for sanctions against Israel, recognition of Palestine
More than 100 French lawmakers from all political trends have urged President Emmanuel Macron to recognize the State of Palestine, and to impose ‘international sanctions’ against Israel’s annexation project. “Faced with this imminent threat, we call for recognition by the 27 member states of the European Union of the State of Palestine. Otherwise, this recognition should be done unilaterally by France.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had set July 1 as the date for the start of cabinet discussions on the annexation plan. But those discussions did not begin, amid openly expressed differences between Netanyahu and key members of his cabinet. Netanyahu has been driven ahead by President Donald Trump of the United States, who unveiled a ‘plan’ for West Asia in January that effectively sidelines the Palestinians.
“We need a strong mobilization in the face of this dangerous project, for the Palestinians, for Israel and for peace in West Asia,” said French lawmaker Hubert Julien-Laferrière, a member of Macron’s En Marche Party, during a news conference this week. “Today, the status quo is no longer possible, the future state of Palestine is becoming a Bantustan,” he said, referring to a territory that the former South African apartheid regime set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South West Africa. “It is necessary,” the French lawmaker added, “like more than a hundred countries in the world and a dozen countries” in Europe, for the State of Palestine to be recognized because “colonization is prohibited by international law, even if this is not the first violation of international law by Israel.”
+German Company Involved in Israeli Human Rights Violations
“The report documents the direct and indirect implications of HeidelbergCement’s operations in the Nahal Raba stone quarry through its subsidiary, Hanson Israel. ‘The extraction of Palestinian natural resources, namely stone, has taken place in a context of deliberate institutional policies aimed towards the confiscation and exploitation of Palestinian land and resources by Israel, the Occupying Power, while also providing construction materials used to establish and expand illegal Israeli settlements,’ they said. Al-Haq and SOMO said they expect that HeidelbergCement and all businesses playing a role in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise will be included in the update ‘as a means to challenge the economic incentive structure perpetuating the occupation and the continued denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination and to permanent sovereignty over natural resources’.”