Palestine Update 176
Israel resorts to desperado politics
We begin this issue of Palestine Updates with excerpts from a powerful article by Osama Al Sharif, veteran journalist and political commentator based in Amman. His thought process and analysis is summed up with a dismal political thought for Israel – All of Israel’s actions are bound to retard Israel’s own existence in the long run.We then have an analysis from Jafar Ramini, a Palestinian thinker who paints an equally gloomy picture of American democracy and the Zionist stranglehold over it. He suggests how powerful Zionist lobbies are influential in American politics to the extent that virtually every American politician must seek approval from the lobby in order to have a chance of even being elected. To be pro-active in creating progressive legislation, especially when it comes to Israel-Palestine is a near-impossibility.
We also share a paper from an Israeli think-thank which shows that “through inertia and a lack of political will, Israel is on track to becoming a bi-national state without a clear Jewish majority, which could mean the end of Israel either as a Jewish state or a democratic one.
A short report from the Israel peace group “Breaking the Silence”, a group of former soldiers turned whistleblowers who lead tours into the heart of Israel’s settlement enterprise stand steadfast despite formidable challenges to their work.
In other news, Israel dread over the growing BDS Movement means it pursues unlawful means to detain anyone who chooses that non-violent means of resistance. A UN report shows how Qatar is buying fuel to restart the only power plant in the Gaza Strip. This move will provide a few more hours of electricity for Gaza’s two million residents, who experience daily blackouts of up to 16 hours. He said discussions were underway to find the “most optimal way” to deliver the fuel through Israel.
We offer readers a video and short write-up about how the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joined the welcome for Ahed Tamimi and called for a free Palestine in Madrid on 29 September.
UNESCO has adopted resolutions, titled “Occupied Palestine,” which state that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are “an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian territory” and condemning the construction of the security fence and “other measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian territory.” The resolutions also refer to Israel as “occupier” and condemn “Israeli army violations against Palestinian universities and schools,” criticize the construction of the security fence, deplore the destruction of Palestinian schools, including in the village Khan al-Ahmar and regret Israel’s excavation projects in east Jerusalem
Indeed, under its self imposed cordon, and in desperation, Israel has lost its way and probably heading towards political suicide. Its military superiority is dwarfed by its moral inadequacies.
Trump dooms own plan by emboldening Israel – Osama Al Sharif
Osama Al Sharif, journalist and political commentator based in Amman describes how East Jerusalem’s Palestinians are facing a vicious onslaught as Israel begins to implement a series of measures aimed primarily at limiting their presence in the Holy City and its environs, and weakening their position as residents. Israel’s Jerusalem mayor, Nir Barkat, this week announced plans to shut down and expel UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, from East Jerusalem. Furthermore, he said Israel would take over responsibility for schooling more than 1,800 Palestinian students from UNRWA. The agency runs seven schools in the Arab part of the city.
Similarly, and despite international outcry, Sharif writes: “Israel is about to tear down the Palestinian community of Khan Al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem. Amnesty International has described plans to relocate the village’s 270 residents as a “war crime.” The small village is one of more than 20 that Israel plans to raze to the ground in order to expand the area of Greater Jerusalem. Once finished, Greater Jerusalem will occupy about one-fifth of the total area of the West Bank. More importantly, it will physically separate the northern West Bank from the southern part, making it impossible for a viable Palestinian state to emerge”.
The Israeli far right is unable to provide a viable alternative to the now defunct two-state solution. It goes without saying that all of these measures are taken directly from the Israeli far right’s playbook, which rejects the Oslo Accords and the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. And, regardless of the US’ “ultimate deal,” these Israeli actions on the ground will make any settlement impossible to implement. In fact there is strong evidence to suggest that Trump’s peace team – Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman — are taking their cues directly from the Israeli far right’s agenda.
Sharif laments how Arab and Muslim nations have done little to support East Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents. He exposes how little influence Arab leaders have over the White House. He points out how sheer rhetoric and verbal expressions of solidarity won’t stop Israeli bulldozers from tearing down Palestinian villages and changing the demographics of East Jerusalem.
But, he presages Israel. Israel may heighten settlement activities, expropriate Palestinian lands, reject Palestinian statehood and keep security control over the Jordan Valley. But it needs an answer to how it will address the destiny of millions of Palestinians in the divided and disjointed West Bank territory.
These, Sharif, are the questions that challenge Israel’s own existence in the long run.
Palestinian Analyst says US Occupied by Zionists
Palestinian historian and analyst Jafar Ramini says that powerful Zionist lobbies are very influential in American politics to the extent that any American politician has to seek approval from the lobby in order to have a chance of being elected. Jafar Ramini said he believes that the powerful Zionist lobby controls American politics and consequently the American support provides the Israeli regime with the feeling of impunity to continue with its crimes against the Palestinians. Commenting on the Saudi crown prince’s controversial remarks on formal relations with Israel, the Palestinian historian said that Mohammad bin Salman’s hunger for power has made him betray the Palestinian cause and to side with Israel.
Jafar Ramini is a Palestinian historian, writer and analyst on Middle Eastern affairs living in London. An interview with Jafar Ramini about Trump’s relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem Al-Quds and also the recent killings of Palestinian protesters by Israeli army offers some out-of-the-box views.
Read from link for full text of the interview
Israel think-tank wants split Israel from Palestine- Not a peace plan
Following two years of research and consultation with figures throughout the Middle East, a leading Israeli think tank presented a comprehensive plan of action to separate Israel from the Palestinians. The plan could ensure that Israel remains a “Jewish, democratic, secure and ethical state” — if it acts fast enough — one of the plan’s main authors, Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, said. The primary assumption in the 121-page proposal is that Israel, through inertia and a lack of political will, is on track to becoming a bi-national state without a clear Jewish majority, which could mean the end of Israel either as a Jewish state or a democratic one.
Read full article
Breaking the Silence speaks out on Israel’s Occupation of Hebron
Even-Paz, 34, first served as a soldier in Hebron in the early 2000s. Today he belongs to Breaking the Silence, a group of former soldiers turned whistleblowers who leads tours into the heart of Israel’s settlement enterprise. After 14 years of operations, however, Breaking the Silence is today facing ever-more formidable challenges.
Hebron, 30km south of Jerusalem, is a microcosm of the occupation. A handful of settlers moved here uninvited five decades ago, drawn in part to what Israelis call the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Palestinians the Ibrahimi mosque. The Herod-era building is erected over the putative burial site of Abraham, Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Since then the settler ranks have swollen to nearly 900 – aided by the Israeli army. Despite their relatively small number, however, their territorial footprint has been expanding relentlessly, and now covers some 2 square kilometers. The settlers and military have worked hand in hand to hijack the freedoms of some 230,000 Palestinians and turn Hebron’s once-vibrant commercial centre into a ghost town. All of this has happened with the apparent blessing of the Israeli government.
American grad student barred from entering Israel in custody
Israel has detained a University of Florida alumna, Lara Alqasem, for a week at its main international airport. The reason: She has been accused of supporting a pro-Palestinian campaign against the Jewish state. Last week, Alqasem, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen, landed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport with a student visa on her way to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was not allowed to enter the country and was ordered to be deported.
Alqasem is a former president of the University of Florida’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter. The group is part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, known as BDS, which advocates that those actions be taken against Israel for its treatment of the Palestinian people. Alqasem has remained in custody at the airport while she appeals the deportation order. One week is the longest time anyone has been held in a case related to the BDS movement.
Qatar buying fuel for Gaza’s only power plant
Qatar is buying fuel to restart the only power plant in the Gaza Strip, a top United Nations official reported. UN’s resident humanitarian coordinator, said this will provide a few more hours of electricity for Gaza’s two million residents, who experience daily blackouts of up to 16 hours. He said discussions were underway to find the “most optimal way” to deliver the fuel through Israel. The territory’s Hamas rulers have accused the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority of hindering the Qatari efforts.
Read report from Russian Times
Samidoun Joins Ahed Tamimi in Spain to urge for Free Palestine
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joined the welcome for Ahed Tamimi and call for a free Palestine in Madrid on 29 September. Samidoun international coordinator, Charlotte Kates, spoke alongside former Palestinian child prisoner and anti-colonial land defense activist Ahed Tamimi at the annual 2018 Fiesta, organized by the Communist Party of Spain. The event was attended by large crowds of enthusiastic supporters of the Palestinian cause.
The Fiesta event was part of Ahed Tamimi’s whirlwind tour around Europe after her release from Israeli prison; she and her family were originally blocked from leaving occupied Palestine by the Israeli occupation before she, her mother Nariman – a fellow political prisoner, her father Bassem and her two younger brothers joined their tour. Speaking at the event were Manu Pineda, international relations chair of the Communist Party of Spain; Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father and a long-time land defense organizer in the village of Nabi Saleh; and Ahed herself, who was greeted with immense enthusiasm by the crowds in Madrid.
Read article and view video
UNESCO declares Rachel’s Tomb, Cave of Patriarchs as Palestinian
The Executive Board of UNESCO adopted resolutions, titled “Occupied Palestine,” which state that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are “an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian territory” and condemning the construction of the security fence and “other measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian territory.” Both resolutions were sponsored by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, and were approved within minutes at the commission’s meeting, which includes the 59 members of UNESCO’s Executive Committee. Israel is not a member of the Executive Committee.
The resolutions also refer to Israel as “occupier” and condemn “Israeli army violations against Palestinian universities and schools,” criticize the construction of the security fence, deplore the destruction of Palestinian schools, including in the village Khan al-Ahmar and regret Israel’s excavation projects in east Jerusalem
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.