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

Palestine Grafities Le mur est le support idéal d’un graffiti. Celui que construit Israël depuis 2002, dans le but d’isoler les Territoires palestiniens occupés de Cisjordanie, n’échappe pas à la régle. Des graffeurs étrangers et des jeunes artistes palestiniens, viennent défier pacifiquement l’armée israélienne en y peignant leurs revendications.

By Dr. Ranjan Solomon*

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. Palestine Updates (www.palestineupdates.com) offers videos and articles to keep global civil society informed with critical views about what is happening in the Palestine-Israel conflict. It stands with the Palestinians in their claim for justice and asserts that justice is the pre-condition for peace and reconciliation.

*Commentator and analyst on “Justice for Palestinians”. He is Director of Badayl, an Organizational development Consultancy, Goa, India.