Israel’s intolerance is growing – so too the isolation

Palestine Updates 24/2017

Editorial Comment

Israel’s intolerance is growing – so too the isolation

This has been yet another of those horrific weeks in Palestine. Israel’s intolerance is growing. Far away in Australia, Netanyahu is getting a mixed reception – the government which welcomes him with a red carpet regardless of the fact that he heads the worst form of government there is anywhere in the world right now. Civil society, churches, trade unions, academics, students, and even the opposition protested and held wide-spread protests where he was labeled a war criminal.
                      
Around the world, Israel is viewed as a criminal state. Its judicial system has just allowed a blatant murderous soldier to get away with a lenient sentence. The courts made a mockery of justice. The Arab League called the sentence itself an act of ‘racism’. A large number of human rights groups and activists joined the chorus of condemnation of the sentence. But Israel is unfazed and it will be no surprise if the criminal is let off the hook earlier than the term of the sentence and given back his position in the army.
69% of Israeli’s want that punishment to be either repealed or further reduced. Contrast that with the way Israel handles so-called crimes (and non-crimes) of the Palestinians. Even the innocent are picked up, arrested, thrown into prison without valid charges under the provision of Israel’s administrative law – a law that allows Israel to imprison a person without charges for six months and extend that by a further six months – an arrangement that often runs into years. They further rationalize their legal and administrative error by torturing prisoners and using the confessions obtained under torture as evidence to even decades of prison sentences. Democracy and the law in Israel are a strange species, a breed of their own. Both these instruments are twisted and warped in total regard for all civilized norms.

Israel won’t even allow itself to be scrutinized when it is accused of serious war crimes or other actions that render it in violation rights law and standards. It probably finds itself in the Guinness book of records for the number of independent investigations it has turned down. Just today, there is a report of why it won’t allow an American investigator from Human Rights Watch into the country, saying that Human Rights Watch is ­“systematically anti-Israel” and works as a tool of ‘pro-Palestinian propaganda’ while ‘falsely raising the banner of ­human rights.’

Nahshon, a top spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, confirmed that Israel rejected the visa request Human Rights Watch personnel basing its decision not on the individual but on its low opinion of Human Rights Watch. “We said no. It’s very simple. We consider the group to be biased, systemically hostile toward Israel. In a way, we consider them absolutely hopeless.”

Iain Levine, program director at Human Rights Watch, reacted: “This decision and the spurious rationale should worry anyone concerned about Israel’s commitment to basic democratic values,” Bashi said that in the past year, Human Rights Watch has not only reported on alleged violations by the Israeli government but also investigated and condemned the arbitrary detention of journalists and activists by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and executions by Hamas authorities in Gaza. Israel.

Israel has no tolerance for human rights and even less for being investigated when it commits those violations. The HRW report says: “Israel’s right-wing government has recently targeted Israeli human rights groups for extra scrutiny and warned European governments to stop funding them. Members of anti-occupation groups, such as ‘Breaking the Silence’ which is composed of Israeli army veterans, have been called “traitors.”

News- be it mainstream or alternative- highlights ascending intolerance and the resistance to listen to the voice of reason. They also show the emergent global rejection of Israel’s occupation. Israel’s down fall may be a matter of time. It may behave like a cornered tiger when that happens. The preferred option is that dialogue will light up the pathway to a peaceful, just, and lasting settlement.

The news items we share below highlight the intolerance and the resistance. They also show the emergent global rejection of Israel’s occupation. Israel’s down fall may be a matter of time. It may behave like a cornered tiger when that happens. The preferred option is that dialogue will light up the pathway to a peaceful, just, and lasting settlement.

Ranjan Solomon
Editor


The Cross in Contexts: Suffering and Redemption in Palestine
by: Mitri Raheb & Suzanne Watts Henderson.

Why did Jesus die? And in what ways did his crucifixion offer redemption to the world? Those questions, which lie at the heart of Christian faith, remain a pressing concern for theological reflection. What sets this work apart is that the authors – a Palestinian theologian from Bethlehem and a New Testament scholar from the United States — explore the meaning of the cross in light of both first and twenty-first century Palestinian contexts. Together, their insights coalesce around themes that expose the divine power of the cross both for Jesus’ first followers and for contemporary readers alike. This book is soon to be released and will be available on Amazon (see below)

To order:

“Youth against settlements” opens vegetable market at Shuhada Street to challenge Israeli occupation

Youth Against Settlements, Veterans for Peace, and CODEPINK set up vegetable stand on Shuhada Street in Hebron in front of the closed Palestinian shops and markets that have been welded shut by Israeli military since 2001. This was the first time that vegetables were sold on Shuhada Street since 2001. The vegetable sellers yelled “vegetables, vegetables one shekel a kilo. Cauliflower all the way from Jenin! Come get the best cauliflower in Palestine.

Read more from Palestine News Network

Court sentences 3 Palestinians for trading Israeli settlement products

A Palestinian Authority (PA) court in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem sentenced three Palestinian merchants to two years in prison on Wednesday after being found guilty of trading commodities produced in illegal Israeli settlements, in the first ruling of its kind in the Palestinian territory. The three were found guilty of violating a 2010 bill which prohibits trading products from Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. They were also forced to pay around $14,000 in fines for the violation.
Many Palestinians seek employment in illegal Israeli settlements, and some engage in business, largely due to the high rate of unemployment in the territory caused by Israel’s nearly half-century occupation of the West Bank, which has severely crippled the economy.

News source

Record high of house demolitions

The extent of Palestinian house demolitions carried out by Israeli authorities in East Jerusalem has risen to an unprecedented level in 2016, an Israeli human rights watchdog said on Wednesday. According to Ir Amim, 2016 marked “an all-time high of yearly demolitions,” with 123 residential and 80 non-residential ones razed, nearly trebling the total of 74 demolitions carried out throughout 2015. The trend has continued in 2017, with more than 40 demolished over the past two months.

Read more from Xinhuanet

129 Israeli settlers enter Al-Aqsa mosque yards

Dozens of Israeli settlers on Wednesday morning stormed the plazas of the holy al-Aqsa Mosque. 129 Israeli settlers, escorted by policemen, broke into the plazas of the holy al-Aqsa Mosque via the Maghareba Gate, as part of the morning break-in shift, from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 98 settlers, among the 129 Israelis who stormed the site, defiled the al-Aqsa place of worship. 1,715 Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque in January, among whom 246 Israeli cops.

Source

Legalized corruption?
Settlers use false documents to seize Palestinian land

Under the Israeli Ministers of Finance and Housing’s directions, the Israeli “Tvahot Bank” granted financial loans to the Amana Settlement Company estimated at NIS 5,000,000,000, where these funds were used to build housing units and buildings in the 2 randomly built settlements of Amona and Megron outposts. Documents of the loans showed that the Amana Company has mortgaged a private Palestinian land, which the Israeli High Court recently confirmed that the land is a Palestinian properties, and that the Amana has nor rights to deal with it, and it provided false statements to the bank signed by the settler, Ze’ev Hever, Chairman of Amana Company and its General-Manager, Dov Markovic.

Palestine News Network reports in detail

Gaza fishermen under Israeli Naval attacks

On 21 February 2017, Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat.  As a result, 5 fishermen, including a boy, were arrested and the fishing boat was confiscated.  The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) noticed that Israeli forces have recently concentrated their attacks against fishermen in Gaza Sea, denying them access to their livelihood and free fishing in Gaza Sea. According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 07:30 on Tuesday, 21 February 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Wahah Shore, west of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and then surrounded a fishing boat.

 Source: 

Palestinian land owners refuse to leave houses standing

The Palestinian land owners that had 9 illegal houses built on their property in the Ofra settlement have stated to the High Court of Justice that they object the request by Ofra’s residents to seal the houses instead of demolishing them. The houses are to be demolished on March 8, and Ofra’s residents have requested to seal them following the passing of the Regulation Law. The state has clarified that the residents’ assumption is incorrect and that the new law does not apply to them.

Source

Foreign Ministers of Non Aligned Movement must support Palestine

 ‘The objective is that the 120 country members of NAM take joint and concrete actions to raise our voice for the Palestinian cause,’ stated Foreign Minister of Venezuela in a meeting with her Palestinian counterpart Riad Al Malki.

Source:

Israel blocks EU lawmakers’ entry into besieged Gaza Strip

The Tel Aviv regime has prevented five European parliamentarians from entering the Gaza Strip as the Palestinian enclave remains under an inhumane Israeli siege. In a statement released Neoklis Sylikiotis, a Cypriot Member of the European Parliament (MEP), denounced the Israeli obstruction of the lawmakers’ access to the Palestinian coastal sliver. “The refusal of access to Gaza by the Israeli authorities to the European Parliament on arbitrary grounds is unacceptable.”

Source