Palestine Updates 63
Israel’s crimes are not merely illegal; they come with a dose of arrogance
Haaretz couldn’t have put it better when it said: The (Israeli) government broke a record for cynicism when it brought up the uncertainty and disruption facing those living in West Bank settlements. Israel’s decision goes way beyond cynicism. Israel cares little or nothing at all about the harsh situations that face Palestinians living under occupation whose lands are being illegally and cruelly seized. Instead, Israel is seized by the “distress” of the settlers, who have located in homes outside the state’s official borders and whose very presence there is illegitimate.
It’s hard enough with Israel breathing fire down their necks; Palestinians in Gaza must face the double torture of coping with an oppressive Palestinian Authority. Rather than searching for ample and wide-ranging national dialogue that works on addressing the national crisis from its roots, the PA, instead, sets about making life for Gazans twice as difficult. It cuts supplies of essential services to Gaza and is now alleged to be viewing the option of slashing another 30000 jobs. This would have catastrophic consequences. The Grand Mufti of Lebanon has alluded to the failure of fellow Arabs to support their own people. He strongly criticized the failure of Islamic nations to provide tangible and substantive solidarity to the oppressed Palestinians.
But there is also a flip side to all the tyranny and adversity that offer glimpses of hope. A new Jewish group has emerged on the political horizon in Israel. The Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) aims to reinvigorate the Jewish socialist tradition inside the Labour Party. The party affirms that human rights are universal and demands such rights to Palestinians. It asks that tactics such as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions “should not be anathematized as anti-Semitic”. In the USA, a judge dismissed the claims of the parents of a US youth who was killed by a Hamas gunman in the occupied West Bank in 1996. A lawsuit claimed that American Muslims for Palestine and the affiliated Americans for Justice in Palestine Educational Foundation should be shut down because they provided material support to Hamas. The judge over ruled the claim. And to sum up the good news, we are told that a list of international firms that do business in Israeli settlements will soon be published despite objections from the US administration.
The ‘Distress’ of the Israeli Settlers!
The government broke a record for cynicism when it brought up the uncertainty and disruption facing those living in West Bank settlements
“The expropriation law is aimed at stealing Palestinian land on which homes for settlers were built. It passed the Knesset against the advice of Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit. Using contemptuous rhetoric that sounds like it was taken from George Orwell’s “1984,” the law was called the Regularization Law, because it indeed “regularizes” state-sponsored theft in blatant violation of the rules of occupation, which obligate Israel to preserve the rights of the occupied. MK Benny Begin (Likud) dubbed the law the “theft law.”
But the Israeli government doesn’t care about the injustice it causes to the Palestinians. It is determined to render its destructive occupation policy kosher and even the judgment of its own legal advisers won’t stop it. Israel actually claims that the expropriation law constitutes “a humane, proportionate and reasonable response to the real distress” of all those “Israeli residents” who live under “a cloud of uncertainty” that is “disrupting their lives.” How, it is being asked, does the Israeli government not view the distressful situation of millions of Palestinians living under occupation whose lands are being seized. Israel is only seized by the “distress of the settlers, who chose to live outside the state’s official borders and whose very presence there is illegitimate?”
Hamas accuses the PA of prolonging siege on Gaza
Hamas has alleged that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is “hindering the execution of recent agreements made between the movement and Egypt on breaking the siege on the Gaza Strip… Mahmoud Abbas refuses to respond to calls about unity and reconciliation” Hamas asks for a “comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue that works on addressing the national crisis from its roots”. Hamas has also “stressed the need to implement the reconciliation agreements and stop the racist procedures and the collective punishments that target Gaza”.
Recently the PA reduced its contribution to the cost of electricity that arrives in Gaza from Israel. It also stopped the fuel supply of the only power station in Gaza and cut the salaries of a number of Palestinian detainees that were released from Israeli prisons that are affiliated with Hamas.
Grand Mufti of Lebanon Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian has harshly criticized Islamic countries for their silence over the Israeli regime’s inhumane attacks on the innocent people of Palestine. Sheikh Derian referred to the Israeli regime as one of the major dangers threatening the Muslim world, and called for unity and solidarity among followers of Islamic sects and regional countries. “Our brothers and sisters in Palestine and al-Quds are under the Zionist regime’s inhumane attacks while, unfortunately, we in Islamic countries are busy with our disagreements.”
Read more in Iran Front Page
New Jewish labour group seeks reinvigoration of socialist tradition
Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) is a new group that aims to reinvigorate the Jewish socialist tradition inside the Labour Party.
FSOI has, from its establishment in 2016, been active in combating the Labour Party’s acquiescence in the Zionist campaign to demonize criticism of Israel. The Party bureaucracy and many leading figures on the right of the Party have uncritically adopted the views of the so-called Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) that Israel, even under its extreme right-wing leadership, is a natural bedfellow of Labour. Opposition to Netanyahu’s regime is assumed to be anti-Semitic unless shown otherwise – and that judgment is to be made by sceptical, if not actively hostile, adjudicator.
The JLM has many members who are neither Jewish nor party members. JVL, on the contrary, limits full membership to Labour Party members who identify as Jewish; non-Jewish party members can enroll as associate members; and people who support its aims from outside the party are welcome to register as Friends of JVL.
JVL bases its Statement of Principles on recognition that Human Rights are universal and thus it opposes the denial of such rights to Palestinians. It follows that it recognizes that campaigning to support such rights should be the natural stance of the Party and tactics such as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions should not be anathematized as anti-Semitic.
Read more about JVL
Judge dismisses suit against American Muslims for Palestine
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, has told U.S. officials he plans to publish the list by the end of the year and has asked for comments by Sept. 1 from countries where affected firms are headquartered, the same source added.
American companies on the list drawn up by the Geneva-based council include Caterpillar, TripAdvisor, Priceline.com, Airbnb and others, according to people familiar with it. It is not clear whether the list has been finalized.
The US administration wants the United Nations to desist from publishing a list of international firms that do business in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. The U.N. Human Rights Council voted to approve the database of companies last year, despite objections from the United States and Israel that described the list as a prelude to anti-Israel boycotts.Full report in Electronic Intifada
UN to expose international investors who support Israeli occupation
A lawsuit against two Palestine advocacy groups and three individuals involved with them was dismissed by a US federal judge in Chicago on Friday, the Muslim Legal Fund of America announced. The parents of David Boim, a 17-year-old American killed by a Hamas gunman in the occupied West Bank in 1996, filed the lawsuit in May. The suit claims that American Muslims for Palestine and the affiliated Americans for Justice in Palestine Educational Foundation are reincarnations of Islamic charities bankrupted and shut down following a 2000 lawsuit which argued that the charities provided material support to Hamas.