Palestine Update 366
Nakba 72- A special edition
Nakba day, meaning ‘Day of the Catastrophe’, is observed on 15 May every year, commemorating the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians forced to flee as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the land theft and the destruction and depopulation of hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages. The refugees forced to seek refuge in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, often without citizenship being granted.
For Israelis 14 May will always be remembered as a day when a new nation was born, for Palestinians, it is remembered as a catastrophe, and is associated with expulsions, dire economic conditions, humiliation and the loss of property, the total cost of which stands at more than $50 billion.
Inn this issue of Palestine Updates, we bring you a statement from the newly created Global Kairos Asia Pacific Solidarity Group for Palestine (GKAPP) an interview with an American analyst who believes that the establishment of the Jewish state was a Western plot to extend its influence in a part of the world not its own, wanting control over the region’s vast oil reserves.
AN UNENDING NAKBA – Statement from Global Kairos Asia Pacific Solidarity Group for Palestine
The Global Kairos Asia Pacific Solidarity Group for Palestine (GKAPS) stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of Al Nakba (‘the Catastrophe’ in Arabic) on 15th May 2020. For Jewish people this date in 1948 marks the birth of the State of Israel. For Palestinians however, it serves as a reminder of the ethnic cleansing that occurred. From late 1947 through to March 1949 over 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from historical Palestine at the hands of Zionist paramilitaries, along with 418 villages destroyed and an estimated 15,000 Palestinians killed.
Today over 5 million Palestinian refugees are registered with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and mostly live in surrounding Arab countries or are internally displaced within the Occupied Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza). In fact, 80% of the population of Gaza comes from families who are refugees from historical Palestine. Israel has repeatedly denied refugees their right of return, which is a human right according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
Under International Law, an occupying power’s primary responsibility is to provide for the needs and welfare of the occupied population; however Palestinians continue to live under constant abuse of their fundamental human rights. The state of Israel blatantly disregards International Laws by:
Constructing the Separation Barrier on Palestinian land, rather than on the Green Line recognized border
Denying Palestinians access to education and to their own land and hence livelihood
Establishing Israeli Settlements on Palestinian land, often these are built on the most fertile land and over water catchments, denying Palestinians access to these natural resources
By the demolition of private property. This is forbidden outside of ongoing military operations. Often property is demolished and olive trees uprooted to build the Separation Barrier and illegal Settlements
Through the confiscation of land (for the Wall, Settlements, roads for Settlers, to control nature reserves).
Using collective punishment such as putting villages on curfew and lockdown
Detaining and interrogating children. Children as young as 12 years of age are being detained by Israel. They are often questioned without adult supervision and forced to signed statements written in Hebrew which they cannot read. Children are sometimes held for years without being charged until they turn 18 and then they are sentenced as adults
The use of Administrative detention whereby people are held indefinitely on secret information without being charged or allowed to stand trial or having access to the information even through a lawyer
The 13 year land, sea and air siege on Gaza. The UN has declared that it will become unliveable this year. On average they have 4 hours of electricity a day, 90% of Gaza’s water is undrinkable, 80% of Gazans rely on food aid and the overall unemployment rate is 32% with youth unemployment at 57%. The result is economic, social, psychological, cultural, and political devastation. Reports from international agencies reveal how Israel’s blockade is not just a policy of collective punishment, but also a policy of de-developing Gaza.
With the newly formed Netanyahu-Gantz coalition government in Israel, there is grave danger that as soon as 1st July 2020, plans for formal annexation of large sections of the West Bank will begin, in line with the US ‘Deal of the Century’ proposal. Leaving little possibility for a just peace to be obtained in the Holy Land and making it virtually impossible for Palestinians to form a viable state.
On this 72nd anniversary of the Nakba, we, the people of Christian faith, ask you to join us in opposing the atrocities committed against our Palestinian brothers and sisters. We ask the people of all nationalities and faith or no-faith to defend the human rights of the people in Palestine. We recall the words of prophet Micah 6:8, “He has shown you O Mortal, what is good and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God”.
Issued on 15th of May 2020
Ofelia Cantor – Convener
Rev. Abhishek Solomon – Convener
On behalf of Global Kairos Asia Pacific Solidarity Group for Palestine
——————————————————————————————————US Analyst says establishment of Jewish state was Western plot to control over region’s oil reserves
In an interview with Mehr News Agency, American analyst and columnist Stephen Lendman speaks his mind with courage and clarity.
72 years have passed since the Israeli regime’s occupation of the Palestinian lands; where is the regime standing today in terms of identity as well as the political and social status?
The Israeli regime is concerned internationally about one thing alone — maintaining full US support no matter how egregious its policies against Palestinians and regional countries like Iran and Syria. As long as US support continues, its ruling regimes know they can do whatever they please with impunity. The Netanyahu regime consistently and repeatedly takes full advantage. The status of Palestinians is dismal and getting worse ahead with Israel’s planned annexation of illegal settlements, the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea, along with further areas it intends incorporating into its territory unlawfully — a major Fourth Geneva and UN Charter breach.
Resistance is the only Palestinian option — on their own because no one internally will help. The Abbas-led PA operates in cahoots with Israel regime, claiming to support the Palestinian people but its actions show otherwise.
What do the current political crises and rifts among the Israeli regime authorities, as well as the regime’s undermined security, suggest?
Internal Israeli rifts appear to be largely resolved. Benny Gantz surrendered to Netanyahu’s demands. Both figures are hostile to regional peace and Palestinian rights. Netanyahu’s trial on serious charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust is scheduled to begin in late May. It was postponed earlier, possibly again. He’s doing whatever it takes to retain power and stay out of prison. Most Israeli’s despised him and wants him replaced. Whether he stays or goes won’t change the country’s policies.
Based on the available data on the US and Britain’s arms and financial support to the Israeli regime, how do you see the role of Washington and London in the formation and realization of the Zionist regime?
The US and NATO one-sidedly support the Israel regime at the expense of regional peace and Palestinian rights. I see nothing ahead that will change this.
The Israeli regime has been struggling to repel the Palestinians’ and Lebanese’ resistance movement in the past years; have the Zionists been successful in this regard? And will these efforts help Tel Aviv survive?
Since established in May 1948, the Israel regime has been very successful in achieving its aims and growing in strength, including as a nuclear power. The establishment of the Jewish state was a Western plot to extend its influence in a part of the world not its own, viewing Arabs as inferior people, Westerners superior, wanting control over the region’s vast oil reserves. Western civilization is deeply flawed. Self-declaring itself superior is part of its racist attacks on others elsewhere, especially nations rich in resources the West seeks control over.
The normalization process of Arab-Israeli ties has been accelerated in recent years, and they are not hiding it anymore; what are the main reasons behind such measures by the Israeli regime?
Most Arab states sold out to the US-led West long ago, allowing themselves to be exploited instead of uniting to resist and maintain their independence.
The US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds in 2017; how much did this measure favor the legalization process of the Zionist regime?
Moving the US embassy to Quds was symbolic, but also something Israeli regime long sought as a way to make its illegitimacy look legitimate. It’s a short-term gain I don’t believe will stand the test of time. The Israel regime is a rogue regime. Long term it’s sowing its own demise as a regional power, the same thing true of the US globally. It’s a declining power while China, Russia, Iran, and other nations are rising. That’s the future but things play out slowly.