Justice delayed and justice denied – World still soft pedals the occupation

Palestine Updates 15/2017

Editorial comment

In Washington DC, Trump and Obama sang different tunes. Trump stood fast by his reckless ideas about Israel’s supremacy. Obama made a last ditch attempt to pay ‘guilt dues’ to the Palestinians. Trump saw through Obama’s immoral design and manipulation and blocked the deal with his unintelligent and spiteful response. Lest we forget, Obama had set a legal precedent when he withheld US funding from UNESCO in 2011 when Palestine was accepted as a full member state. Palestine did not need his remaining dollars. It demands justice which Obama miserably failed to offer while President. His last ditch attempt to grab a semblance of political civility in his legacy failed. Trump, on the other hand, has made a bewildering start.

Meanwhile, many voices around the world urge the Palestinians to dump the West and embrace the rest. For 70 long years, the West has played the ‘peace pretender-cum-shirker’. It’s time for the others to tie up their boot laces and influence the future. New Zealand demonstrated showed how a small country could stand up to the bullying that Israel is so used to doing when cornered. It’s time for new strategies and the world seems to be readying for the new options in global resistance. Israel’s incorrigible political antics now offer leeway for BDS to step up a gear or two. The world is ready for heightened resistance.

While the big boys play petty games – the new US Ambassador is unambiguous that his home will be East Jerusalem regardless of where the US Embassy will locate. Trump may move from dents to permanent damage in his Israel-Palestine policy by shifting the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Whether he does or does not, he will look unintelligent. He will leave more countries irate and render Israel and the US isolated. He will inaugurate an ear of disaster in international politics.

Some signs of encouragement, though. Strong signals emerge from Europe as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recognizes the calamitous humanitarian situation in Gaza and demands lifting the decade-long siege of the territory a siege in direct contravention of international law. 71 percent of the coastal enclave’s residents are Palestinian refugees. And the humanitarian crisis is appalling. There is the worsening clean water shortage in the Gaza Strip where more than 90 percent of the water in the aquifer in Gaza is unfit for domestic use. Or, for that matter, hardly a day without power cuts.” A little Gazan boy sums up the situation best:  “I’m getting better at lighting the candles and sticking them on plates with my mother’s help”! This state of affairs begs the question: ‘Will the world move beyond mere words and act in a way that produces tangible outcomes in favour of justice for Palestinians?’

Germany’s strong censure of Israel’s plans to expand settlements may offer a glimmer of such hope. It has censured Israel and questioned its stated commitment to a two-state solution.

They say resistance is built on analytical and reliable information. Hence, we offer a video The Empire Files that looks at the long history of Zionist colonization, expansion and expulsion of Palestine’s indigenous inhabitants. And to keep the activism alive, we share a campaign that readers may want to join. With only a month left to go, we encourage those who are inclined to please join over thousands from all around the world asking international Jazz musicians to boycott apartheid Israel.

In solidarity

Ranjan Solomon
Editor
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Too little too late from Obama
Obama’s desperate attempt to look better than he actually was

As one of his final acts as US President, Barrack Obama ordered that $221m (€206m) in funding would be given to the Palestinian Authority – this payment has now been blocked by Republicans in the US congress. They will assess whether the payment is in-line with the Trump White House’s policies. Kay Granger, one of the representatives who had initially blocked the release of the funds said, “I am deeply disappointed that President Obama defied congressional oversight and released $221m to the Palestinian territories.”

The new US president has also reiterated his support for Israel and is believed to be considering moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a move which would go against the 1947 UN partition plan which put the city under international control. Trump does not want American taxpayer dollars to fund the Palestinian Authority unless very strict conditions are met.

A new executive order from Trump will entail the creation of a committee that will review US funding to UN bodies and programs for agencies that engage Palestine as a full member.The legal precedent was set by the Obama administration when the US withheld funding from UNESCO in 2011 when Palestine was accepted as a full member state. Palestine has a UN “non-member state” status.

Newstalk offers more perspectives
Also Read  business insider
Further reading on  new europe

New US ambassador to Israel intends to live in Jerusalem

The newly appointed US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has stated that he will be living in Jerusalem and not in the US envoy house in Herzliya. According to Israeli media, the new conservative ambassador from the Trump administration said that he prefers to live in a small apartment in Jerusalem than live in the house in which US ambassadors have lived over the years. Friedman has said he intends to live in Jerusalem whether the administration decides to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or not.

Palestine news network reports 

Council of Europe condemns Gaza siege as ‘collective punishment’

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a report on Tuesday outlining the dire humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip and reiterating its support for lifting the decade-long siege of the territory, which it called “collective punishment” imposed on Palestinians in contravention of international law. The assembly highlighted the “deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza,” as 71 percent of the coastal enclave’s residents are Palestinian refugees displaced during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war which established the state of Israel, and 43 percent of the total population is unemployed.

 View report filed by Maan news
Germany vehemently censures settlement plans

Germany, in strong criticism of Israel censured Israel for plans to build 2,500 more settlement homes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank  jeopardizing Israel’s stated commitment to a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Israel announced the plans in the second such declaration since US President Donald Trump took office. Martin Schaefer, a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry, said the German government doubted whether the Israeli government still stood by its official goal of a peace agreement under which Palestinians would get a state in territory now occupied by Israel and co-exist peacefully with it.

Middle east monitor.  details the issues.

Over 90 percent of water in besieged Gaza unfit for use

A Palestinian official and local residents have expressed deep concern over the worsening clean water shortage in the Gaza Strip, stating that only a small number of the Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave have access to drinking water. More than 90 percent of the water in the aquifer in Gaza is unfit for domestic Aquifers are Gaza’s primary water source and provide for 98% of public consumption. Locals and development specialists say the situation is getting beyond dire across the besieged Palestinian enclave. Resident say the water from the tap is barely usable, while those that can afford it buy bottled water.

More facts in press tv
‘I don’t remember a day without power cuts’

At the tender age of 10, the only life Mohammed Yasin has known has been one of living under siege and power cuts. Mohammed was born after the beginning of the electricity crisis in 2006, when an Israeli air strike by an F16 fighter jet hit the sole power plant operating in the Gaza Strip. Since then, the plant has been working at minimal capacity and only when the Strip can purchase electricity from Egypt and Israel.

Born in Gaza in 2006 when Hamas won the Palestinian legislative election, triggering the 2006 sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority by Israel, the young boy has become accustomed to economic hardship and darkness.  “I don’t remember a day without power cuts,” he told MEE, as his mother lit a candle for him and his sister. “I’m getting better at lighting the candles, and sticking them on plates with my mother’s help,” Mohammed said, adding that he does very well in school, despite the power cuts.

Read middle east eye for description

New tactics, same policy of forcible displacement – Badil

According to a special legal report released by BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights during the police operation to displace Bedouins, military orders for the demolitions are the result of an Israeli Supreme Court decision of 2015 that allowed Israel to demolish Umm al-Hiran and forcibly displace its residents in order to establish a new Jewish-Israeli town called ‘Hiran’ in its place. The residents of Umm al-Hiran were expelled from their original lands by an Israeli military order in 1956 and were forcibly relocated in their current location.

Palestine news network reports in depth
Also see Badil 

Video
The Empire Files: How Palestine became colonized
Previewing Abby Martin’s on-the-ground investigation in Palestine, The Empire Files looks at the long history of Zionist colonization, expansion and expulsion of Palestine’s indigenous inhabitants.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT5L4YU_Fl4

Campaign
Only a month left for the Red Sea Jazz Festival BDS campaign! Join in!
Jazz Musicians are being urged: “Please cancel your participation in the festival”.

With only a month left to go, please join over thousands from all around the world asking international Jazz musicians to boycott apartheid Israel. If you’ve already signed, please make sure to share the link with all your friends and family one of you can take us higher, so let’s reach for 23,000!   https://www.causes.com/actions/1757955-dont-let-t…
The Red Sea Jazz Festival is a bi-yearly event in Israel’s city of Eilat. The festival could have been a festival to celebrate the free spirit of Jazz music, and this beautiful tradition of oppressed minorities. Instead, it is a government event of propaganda, which uses Jazz music as a tool for whitewashing military occupation, apartheid and oppression of the Palestinian people: “We see culture as a Hasbara [public relations] tool of the first rank, and I do not differentiate between Hasbara and culture” ~ Nissim Ben-Sheetrit, former deputy director general of the Israel Foreign Ministry

This year, the occupation-profiteering Golan Heights Winery and the ethnic cleansing Negev Development also joins the list of sponsors. (More on this at: https://goo.gl/SVFLvw).