Palestinians challenge Israel’s frantic and criminal dealings

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Opinion
Palestine Update  119

Palestinians challenge Israel’s frantic and criminal dealings

At times it feels that the Israeli occupation could one day simply brush Palestinians off from history in one sweeping move. That’s only what the illusion of power suggests to the gullible readers of news, watchers of television, and listener to careless interpretations on the Palestine-Israel conflict.

On the ground, Palestinians impede every dreadful colonialist scheme based on reason and legality. The closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher may seem like a candle light in the darkness. But the candle light is vivid and distinguishing. It says to the dark Israeli decision to impose taxes on places of worship: ‘We differ with you and reject your move with annoyance”. For Israel to disrupt Holy sites is an act of utter disregard for political civility. Israel’s legislation may well receive sanction from its lawmakers. But legitimacy does not stem from laws alone especially when they are devoid of social politesse. Laws must be founded on justice and not through brute force.

The PLO has clearly countered Israel’s move in annoyance. It has called on Arab countries to reject the American administration’s peace plan soon to be announced, and to withdraw investments from the USA. They call on their allies to hold fast to the resolution to ditch ties with those countries that recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The rage is conspicuous with the PLO calling for “mass demonstrations of anger” in “Palestine” and the Diaspora in order to deal with the American position that is biased in favor of Israel”.

Israel is on fragile grounds. The Joint Advocacy Initiative of the YWCA-YMCA in Palestine have declared  “enough is enough” and want peoples representatives everywhere to tell their political representatives that they must act now before it is too late and before the Holy Land becomes a Christian theme park minus its people.

In South Africa, at the Israel Apartheid Week Israel, large numbers of pro-Palestinian citizens from around the world will gather to expose how “Israel oppresses not just the Palestinians, but also any Black person within its borders” A report points to how from warehousing African asylum seekers in prison camps, to criminalizing and carrying out eugenics programs against its Ethiopian Jewish citizens, Israel’s treatment of Black people” Israel is the chronic that the Israeli project “is not just about Jewish supremacy, but also white supremacy”.

From within Israel, Kerem Navot, an Israeli left-oriented research organization has unearthed a new Israeli tactic for the expropriation of Palestinian land. They have identified a shocking 40 percent of Jewish settler graves in illegal West Bank settlements on privately-owned Palestinian land. From a count of only two Jewish cemeteries even into the mid-1980s, by 2017 these numbers have climbed sharply to some 32 Jewish cemeteries with at least two graves, scattered around the occupied West Bank region. The question now doing the rounds is whether Netanyahu with all the corruption scandals enveloping him has the gumption to authorize more land stealth or just focus on riding out his own political future.

Ranjan Solomon


Heads of Churches reject Municipal threats, “Church Lands Bill”The following is the text of statement issued on Sunday, February 25, by the heads of Churches in charge of the Holy Sepulcher and the Status Quo governing the various Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem in protest of on municipal threats and the discriminatory “Church Lands Bill”:

“We, the heads of Churches in charge of the Holy Sepulcher and the Status Quo governing the various Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem – the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Custody of the Holy Land and the Armenian Patriarchate – are following with great concern the systematic campaign against the Churches and the Christian community in the Holy Land, in flagrant violation of the existing Status Quo.

“Recently, this systematic and offensive campaign has reached an unprecedented level as the Jerusalem municipality issued scandalous collection notices and orders of seizure of Church assets, properties and bank accounts for alleged debts of punitive municipal taxes. A step that is contrary to the historic position of the Churches within the Holy City of Jerusalem and their relationship with the civil authorities. These actions breach existing agreements and international obligations which guarantee the rights and the privileges of the Churches, in what seems as an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem. The greatest victims in this are those impoverished families who will go without food and housing, as well as the children who will be unable to attend school.

“The systematic campaign of abuse against Churches and Christians reaches now its peak as a discriminatory and racist bill that targets solely the properties of the Christian community in the Holy Land is being promoted. This abhorrent bill is set to advance today in a meeting of a ministerial committee which if approved would make the expropriation of the lands of churches possible. This reminds us all of laws of a similar nature which were enacted against the Jews during dark periods in Europe.

“This systematic and unprecedented attack against Christians in the Holy Land severely violates the most basic, ab antiquo and sovereign rights, trampling on the delicate fabric of relations between the Christian community and the authorities for decades.

Therefore, and recalling the Statement of the Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches in Jerusalem, dated 14 February, 2018 and their previous statement of September 2017, as a measure of protest, we decided to take this unprecedented step of closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Together with all Heads of Churches in the Holy Land we stand united, firm and resolute in protecting our rights and our properties.

May the Holy Spirit answer our prayers and bring a resolution to this historic Crisis in our Holy City.
SourcesOther sources:
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180226-palestinian-government-calls-for-international-protection-for-jerusalem-churches/
http://imemc.org/article/church-of-the-holy-sepulcher-closes-in-protest-of-israeli-policies/PLO declares economic war on the United StatesArutz Sheva reports that “Saleh Rafat, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, on Sunday said that the committee would convene in the coming days to discuss the latest developments on the Palestinian issue and to follow the implementation of the decisions of the PLO Central Council, which called for the severing of ties with Israel. He called on Arab countries not to agree to the American administration’s peace plan which will be presented soon, to withdraw their investments from the U.S., to boycott American products, and to adhere to previous summit resolutions that cut off ties with any country that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Rafat called for the continuation of the “mass demonstrations of anger” in “Palestine” and the Diaspora in order to deal with the American position that is biased in favor of Israel”.
Read full report in Arutza Sheva

Documentary on Israeli racism against Africans
# IsraeliApartheidWeek 2018

At the 14th international #IsraeliApartheidWeek, the documentary “Anti-Black Racism Reveals Israel’s White Supremacy,” produced by award-winning journalist Abby Martin, will be screened across South Africa. The 25 minute documentary, which was first broadcast in 2017 by the Latin American TV channel, teleSur, features first hand interviews with Africans who have been subjected to Israeli racism and discrimination. Israel tries to suggest that it is multicultural and diverse, however, as this on the ground TV investigation shows; Israel oppresses not just the Palestinians, but also any Black person within its borders. From warehousing African asylum seekers in prison camps, to criminalizing and carrying out eugenics programs against its Ethiopian Jewish citizens, Israel’s treatment of Black people reveals that, according to the documentary, the Israeli project “is not just about Jewish supremacy, but also white supremacy”.
Click here to watch the documentary on YouTube.

‘Deliberate’: Israel Robs Palestinian Lands with Settler Graves
According to a report from ‘Telesur’: “A left-wing Israeli non-profit research group has exposed yet another Israeli strategy for the expropriation of Palestinian land, finding that 40 percent of Jewish settler graves in illegal West Bank settlements are on privately-owned Palestinian land, left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Sunday. The new findings rely on a study carried out by Kerem Navot, an Israeli non-profit organization which conducts comprehensive land-use research, and Dror Etkes who has closely followed the Israeli settlement and land management policy in the West Bank since 2002.  The research detailed that up until mid-1980s, there were only two Jewish cemeteries in the West Bank, both of which were purchased by Jews before 1948. Per Etkes who mapped the territory in June 2017, using aerial photography, there are now nearly 32 Jewish cemeteries with at least two graves, scattered around the occupied West Bank region”.

Read full report in Telesur TV Net

Will a wounded Netanyahu pursue a Palestinian land-grab?

Baria Alamuddin writes in Arab News: “Poisonous snakes are most dangerous when cornered. We should thus pay very careful attention to Benjamin Netanyahu’s political maneuvering as he seeks to divert attention from his all-consuming corruption scandals. Indeed, he was in full warmongering mode at the Munich Security Conference earlier this month, furiously waving around wreckage from the Iranian drone shot down over northern Israel, demanding vengeance against Hezbollah and Tehran. Netanyahu’s extreme-right Cabinet allies are, meanwhile, talking up plans to annex large tracts of Palestinian land. The White House denied Netanyahu’s boasts that he was coordinating such projects with them. Nevertheless, it was Donald Trump’s unilateral attempt to alter Jerusalem’s status that provided a green light for such expansionist schemes”.
Read article in Arab News