Palestine will not be confined to Israel bondage forever

Palestine Update  148
Opinion
Palestine will not be confined to Israel bondage forever

Israel has often whined that it does not have a reliable partner for peace. What Israel does not officially divulge is that the notion of real peace does not even remotely fit into its plans. At best, Palestinians are an impediment to their supposed peace plans. Israel’s peace seeks to consolidate economic advantage in the region with access to and relationships with their oil-rich neighbours. From behind-the-scenes activity, it is easy to infer that this is where the US and Israel are going. The Saudis and other oil rich countries may also find it easier to shed political principles and hand Palestinians a weak compromise which will, forever, leave Palestinians in the margins. Oil deals will make them richer than will political justice. As Israel joins Saudi Arabia in its anti-Iran/anti-Shiite project, the fate of the Palestinians has been pushed down the ranks of Mideast priorities, How will all this shape up? Will the Arab streets accept an abject surrender? Will the Palestinians reinvent their struggle to make this impossible? If the First and second Intifadas are any indication, then there is a good chance that the streets will dissent.

Trump is torn between his aspirations to be remembered as the statesman of the century. His insatiable ego is blunder-filled. Any sensible political observer knows that the recent Trump-Kim deal is a non-starter for multiple reasons and will never reach its goals. In much the same way, the ‘deal of the century’ looks flawed because it has already violated an important political code – the universality of Jerusalem. The recent UN resolution on Jerusalem says: “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and in this regard, calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.” The US may like to think it has altogether removed Jerusalem from the list of final status issues. It is, however, a ghost that will return to haunt Israel and the USA because it is not what the rest of the world believes. More importantly it is patently depraved and unmerited. The few countries that have joined the US will make no tangible political difference. They are no-counts in the global political equation. Meanwhile, Israel keeps adding more and more absurd laws hoping against hope that these measly legislations, even when they violate international law, will translate into political fact.

The only thing which now really matters is how far Palestinians will defy the colonialist regime. The signs are that, despite its military superiority, the weak-kneed responses of the international community at crux times, and a corrupt and divided political class in Palestine, there is a continuous state of peoples uprising. It is often scattered, unprompted, and unstructured. But it cannot be dismissed as pointless.

The PLO will soon face a change of guard and the quicker the better. It is not merely incompetent in the face of the occupation. It is complicit too. The hope is that the successors of the present lot of politically futile leaders will unmask Israel’s treacherous designs not only for the Palestinians, but for the region as a whole, and construct a political momentum based on an alliance of progressive forces that will be audacious in its effort to dismantle the colonialist Israeli designs. The Israeli Left (what is left of it) must offer unequivocal solidarity and explicit support to any progressive alliance. Progressive political forces and civil society in Arab society must chip in with everything they have at their command. And then there is international civil society, Palestinian human rights community, and other civil society groups who must unite.

Some examples are already in process. For example, after 51 years of boycotting the municipal elections, the Palestinians of East Jerusalem are re-thinking the best strategy to reassert their power. In another instance, the Waqf, the Islamic trust that runs the al-Aqsa compound has estimated that about 350,000 people attended Laylat al-Qadr prayers late on Monday and stayed at the site in Jerusalem’s Old City into the early hours of Tuesday last week defying a heavy Israeli security presence to gather overnight on the most important night of Ramadan.

There is a people’s movement for justice surging across the world. This movement will not countenance the bondage that Israel seeks to put the Palestinian people through. Just as multiple other fascist regimes, dictatorships, and colonialism collapsed in a scurry, so will Israel’s colonialist occupation.

Ranjan Solomon


Trump’s Israel-Palestine deal targets Saudi alliance, not peace

After the Trump-Kim summit, Jared Kushner and US Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt are to pursue a peace plan between Israel, the Saudis and the oil-rich Gulf states. The Trump administration views the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a mere hurdle on the way to forging a strategic US-Israeli-Arab alliance against Iran and its proxies. Israel and Saudi Arabia would welcome the US plan and push the Palestinians to resume negotiations with Israel based on the new blueprint. The Palestinians would obviously turn down the plan and this crisis would potentially result in the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority and abrogation of the 1993 Oslo Accord. The Saudis would blame the Palestinians for the collapse of the deal and would renounce the 2002 Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative that conditions normalization of Arab ties with Israel on its withdrawal from the occupied territories. But there are even more intrigues in this intricate deal. These stratagems would make for a full fledged theatre of the absurd keeping in mind two factors: Trump’s insatiable need for an image that awards him statesman status; and Netanyahu’s unquenchable political agenda to have Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish State.
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Israel lifts last veil masking its West Bank planning policy

On 17 June 2018, a new military order will enter into effect which removes any option for Palestinians to challenge demolition orders that the Civil Administration issues for new structures, allowing Israel to demolish homes summarily. The order sets forth that any Civil Administration enforcement officer may order the “removal” of a new structure – a term that includes both uncompleted structures and structures completed within the last six months. In the case of residential structures, enforcement officers may order their demolition if they are still unoccupied or within 30 days of occupancy. If the person in possession of the property has a building permit, they may file an application to have the demolition cancelled within 96 hours. However, if no such application is filed within this timeframe and the owners do not demolish the structure themselves, the enforcement officer may “remove the structure and anything attached thereto from the property”, so long as it is “not located within the confines of a detailed building plan”, and after consulting with the legal advisor or his representative. This is not the first time Israel has tried to deny Palestinians access to legal proceedings under the Planning and Building Law. About a year ago, the state attempted to use a different method, originally designed to remove illegal settlement outposts. The military declared an area where an entire community resides as a “restricted area” and ordered the removal of any real property found therein, foregoing the need to issue demolition orders for each structure separately. The state has so far issued such orders against three communities. The communities have petitioned Israel’s High Court of Justice and are awaiting its decision.
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East Jerusalem Palestinians geared up to take back their city
After 51 years of boycotting the municipal elections, the Palestinians of East Jerusalem are tired of waiting and want a new way forward. Now activists are re-thinking the best strategy to reassert their power.

One need not be an expert on Jerusalem to recognize that only few Palestinians will participate in the upcoming municipal elections, to be held in October. Perhaps no more than a few thousands. A low voter turnout among the close to 400,000 Palestinians who live in the neighborhoods, towns, and villages that were annexed by Israel following the occupation of 1967. And yet, the sense is that something has changed. After 50 years of a near-total election boycott by Palestinians, some are now calling for a new strategy.The most open challenge to that status quo has been posed by Gershon Baskin, a veteran left-wing Israeli activist, and Aziz Abu Sarah, a Palestinian activist who announced their decision to form a new Jewish-Arab list for the upcoming elections. “Palestinians in Jerusalem have no father,” said Baskin in a recent interview. “The Palestinian Authority cannot function, in East Jerusalem people understand that the strategy of non-participation in the elections has not done them much good.” Baskin and Abu Sarah are in talks with other groups of young Palestinians in the city. Meanwhile, Ramadan Dabash, a social activist from the Sur Baher neighborhood, also announced his decision to run.
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Palestinians defy Israeli measures to attend Laylat al-Qadr prayers
An estimated 350,000 people attend Laylat al-Qadr prayers despite closed roads and additional Israeli checkpoints around the Old City

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians defied a heavy Israeli security presence to gather overnight in Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa compound on the most important night of Ramadan. The Waqf, the Islamic trust that runs the al-Aqsa compound, estimated that about 350,000 people attended Laylat al-Qadr prayers late on Monday and stayed at the site in Jerusalem’s Old City into the early hours of Tuesday last week. Images showed thousands of people prostrating themselves in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque. Laylat al-Qadr, or the Night of Power, usually falls on the 27th night of Ramadan and is considered to be an occasion when prayers are especially beneficial. It marks the night on which Muslims believe the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Jerusalem’s Old City is illegally occupied by Israel and entry to the al-Aqsa compound, one of the holiest sites in Islam, was tightly controlled by Israeli security forces.
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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.
Mahmoud Darwish.