Palestine Update 276
The EU co-opts a willing racist Israel into its anti-migrant assaults
Political alliances are all too often matters of political convenience and opportunism. Palestine Updates has frequently taken the position that the EU has never been a genuine player in the peace process between Israel and Palestine. It has shown its preference for Israel in overt and covert ways. The reasons go back to the time of the holocaust when Europeans inflicted unimaginable cruelty on the Jews. As they seek to whitewash those crimes, they now find themselves colluding with Israel, subtly in times of war and even in obstructing the progress of democracy in Palestine as happened in 2005 when Hamas won an election outright. The EU has also tended to impede the search for real solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict under the pretext of applying diplomatic processes.
Discerning Palestinians know this and a well known Palestinian leader had this to say in a recent informal conversation: “They (the Europeans) do not need us to go and give them more information about the Palestinian claims for justice or about the offenses of Israel and convince them about our case. They need to be dealt with by psychologists who can enable them to recover from their ‘holocaust guilt’”. The recent instance of EU using Israeli drones to track down migrant boats in the Mediterranean seas is simply a racial act of suppressing people feeling persecution or hard times- hard enough to want them to live in racist Europe.
How is such military-style cooperation possible between Israel and the EU, which purports to be a body that promotes inclusion and combats discrimination? Clearly, the EU has shown its double face. One face hands out aid (an opium sort of approach)to the Palestinians and the same face backs Israel and protects it, even collaborates with it to suppress the Palestinians. EU aid is not to pave the way for justice but to disguise and relegate the real issues of justice as mere humanitarian problems. The shame is on EU as much as it is on Israel for evading the question of justice.
If one reads the remainder of the stories in this issue of ‘Palestine Updates’, one would be compelled to ask: How do we protest this blatant EU collaboration with this fascist Israeli government, rather than openly isolate Israel?
EU uses Israeli drones to track Migrant Boats in the Mediterranean
The European Union (EU) invested over $115 million in Israeli-made unmanned drones to police the Mediterranean Sea. The Observer discovered three contracts with Frontex, the EU’s border and coastguard agency, and the European Maritime Safety Agency, totaling at $115 million with Israeli arms companies Elbit Systems, and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries. The money is being spent to purchase drones from the Israeli companies to be used to provide intelligence to Frontex. The drones in question; models Hermes and Heron have been used in combat missions in Gaza. Frontex has previously been accused by Sea-Watch, an organization that rescues refugees, of using surveillance drones to supply information to the Libyan coastguard.
Jewish settlers rule the roost in Israel, but at what price?
Israeli Jewish settlers are on a rampage in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. While settler violence is part of everyday routine in Palestine, the violence of recent weeks is directly linked to the general elections in Israel, scheduled to be held on September 17.
The previous elections, on April 9, failed to bring about political stability. Although Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu is now the longest-serving prime minister in the 71-year history of the country, he was still unable to form a government coalition.
Tarnished by a series of corruption cases involving himself, his family and aides, Netanyahu’s leadership is in an unenviable position. Police investigators are closing in on him, while opportunistic political allies, the likes of Avigdor Lieberman, are twisting his arm with the hope of exacting future political concessions. The political crisis in Israel is not the outcome of a resurrected Labour or invigorated central parties, but the failure of the right, including far-right and ultra-nationalist parties, to articulate a unified political agenda. Illegal Jewish settlers understand well that the future identity of any right-wing government coalition will have lasting impact on their colonial enterprise. The settlers, however, are not exactly worried, since all major political parties, including that of the Blue and White, the centrist party of Benjamin Gantz, have made the support for Jewish colonies an important aspect in their campaigns.
BDS Calls for Boycott against German Clubs
The Palestinian Campaign for The Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which oversees the ongoing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Israeli government, is calling for a boycott of three German venues. A statement released by BDS late last week said that Berlin’s Golden Pudel in Hamburg and Leipzig’s Conne Island “are complicit in promoting Israel’s regime of apartheid, settler-colonialism and occupation and shielding it from criticism and accountability in accordance with international law”. The statement also accuses all three venues of participating in “glaring and persistent anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism”.
Chiefly amongst BDS’ accusations against the venues is their decision to cancel events hosting artists that had spoken out in support of the BDS movement as well as last year’s DJs For Palestine campaign. Amongst those to be affected by the fallout of supporting that campaign was Berlin queer-femme collective Room 4 Resistance, which had been hosting parties at ://about blank before promptly having a night cancelled by the club’s owners following their expression of support for the BDS movement.
Israel actively pushing Palestinians to leave Gaza Strip
The Palestinian National Authority’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has decried the emigration ploy Israel is implementing to get Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip. In a statement, the ministry said it had grave concerns towards news circulated in Israeli media which cited a senior official confirming that Israel worked hard to encourage Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip for other countries. An Israeli official spoke about plans to support the organized migration of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, and revealed that Israel has been working for nearly a year to find host countries. The official, a party to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s entourage, said that Israel is not only willing to bear the cost of the voluntary immigration of residents from the Gaza Strip, but also is considering to allow them to use an Israeli airport near Gaza for departure, in reference to an Israeli military air bases.
Rethinking Gaza’s reconstruction
Past experience has shown that technical solutions to Gaza’s complex problems, barring a supportive political and security environment, are not enough to lift it out of its dire conditions and put it on a trajectory of sustained recovery and high economic growth. The policy implication is clear: in order for any future intervention to be effective in dealing with Gaza’s mounting socioeconomic difficulties, it’s political and security conditions have to be firmly stabilized. This implication by its very nature necessitates a strategic shift in the current thinking about Gaza, and calls for the adoption of a new strategic approach to rebuild the embattled Palestinian territory. Such an initiative would look at Gaza as a strategic development project that requires the adoption of a long-term vision, rather than as a humanitarian operation that mostly focuses on immediate and short-term basic needs. This essay proposes such an approach.