Palestine Update 487
A new paradigm for reconstruction in Gaza towards a dialogue that adopts new mediation partners
Rebuilding Gaza must go beyond only restoring infrastructure that was destroyed during Israeli bombing in the recent 11-day war. A fragmented Palestinian political field would not achieve the task of a sustainable restitution of Gaza. A ravaged Gaza presents the opportunity for an integrated political agenda in the larger interests of Palestine. It is an ideal political approach that can unite a divided polity in Palestine.
The end of the 11-day war did not hand Israel an outright victory as has tended to previously be the case. Israel had to observe shocks and serious disarray. As much as the Palestinians are able to resist, even fight back, Israel has its other dilemma. To sustain the occupation is becoming a nightmare of sorts for Israel. In its stubborn and irrational to keep the occupation ongoing, Israel may unwittingly unite the Palestinians politically. This may seem unfeasible given the PA’s unwillingness to relent its hold on power. For how long, is the question?
A united Palestinian political alliance can push for principles of respect for international law and protecting people’s rights as paramount to peace and a dialogue that brings a conclusion to the occupation, and hopefully, a one-state solution in which co-existence is possible on the basis of a pluralistic State.
As Shaul Magid says in his book ‘Liberal Zionism is dying. Will foregoing the Jewish state save it?’ Zionism must be re-imagined as a binational project in order to discard Jewish historical trauma and recover democratic values. The signs are clear, says Magid, that Liberal Zionism is on the throes of self-destruction. Meanwhile Israeli propaganda on issues such as whether Palestinian text books are anti Semitic, are being proved wrong. They do not, as Israel claims, ‘contain examples of antisemitism, incitement to violence, glorification of violence and dehumanization of Jews or Israelis’. By contrast it is Israel’s willful cruelties in every sphere of social and economic, political life that is creating irritated responses. Even the media has not been spared and that must sound odd for a country that counts itself as a rare brand of democracy in the region. There have been a total of 384 violations during the first half of 2021 alone.
It is beyond time for Israeli to end its tyrannical ways. Equally, it’s time that the Palestinians forge unity to be able to work collectively on reconstruction, economics, and resistance in a way that disallows Israel to reject dialogue – preferably direct dialogue with alternative mediators if need be rather than the countries who have tried and failed or deceived the Palestinians.
Public opinion is shifting around the world and Palestinians must make the most of what the street and various institutions such as the church, trade unions, and other mass political entities are saying and doing in support of their legitimate claims.
Gaza Reconstruction: Toward a Self-Determined Mechanism
“A new reconstruction mechanism must revitalize the Palestinian national struggle as a prerequisite for rebuilding Palestinian infrastructure. It must also be designed to end the Palestinian political division, so as not to limit its scope to Gaza. That is, the new mechanism should lay out a plan for a unified Palestinian political sphere which defies their fragmentation, and which contributes to strengthening Palestinians’ confidence in their leadership as a means to achieve a desired political future. This would necessitate the formation of a supervisory committee for the reconstruction mechanism – a committee whose membership would include politically and socially diverse Palestinians from across all parts of colonized Palestine.”
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Beyond business-as-usual in Palestine-Israel
“Ideally, foreign powers would go further still. They would recognize that the conflict’s current manifestation is becoming increasingly unsustainable; that depriving the Palestinian people of a unified national voice by dividing them will lead to neither peace nor surrender; that neither Jews nor Palestinians have a unique claim on self-determination; and that the way forward should be based on the overriding principles of respect for international law and protecting people’s rights in Israel-Palestine (notably those whose rights are least respected, the Palestinians, including those living as refugees outside the territory), regardless of whatever form a political solution takes. They also need to do more to hold the sides accountable – Hamas for its indiscriminate attacks; Israel for its policies of systematic discrimination, dispossession and de facto annexation; and the Palestinian Authority for its repressive measures targeting individuals and groups that are critical of it. Interim measures are urgently needed, but the latest bout of fighting offers stills more evidence that a rethink of the entire edifice of the peace process is long overdue.”
Liberal Zionism is dying. Will foregoing the Jewish state save it?
“Today, it is not provocative to say that the liberal Zionism espoused by groups like Breira and Peace Now is in a deep crisis. Not only has reality seemingly left the ideology behind, but the ideology itself has not really offered any new ideas in 30 years. The two-state solution is effectively dead, yet to abandon it is to cut out the very core of liberal Zionist identity – much like Chabad coming to terms with the fact that their beloved rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, is not the messiah. And so, the dogma continues because it must, because that is how dogma functions; it is impervious to “facts on the ground.” All of this and more is addressed at length in Omri Boehm’s new book, “Haifa Republic: A Democratic Future for Israel.” Boehm argues that slogans such as “Jewish and democratic” and “two states” have become “empty clichés,” devolving the conversation around Israel into a shouting match between “chauvinistic Zionists” and the anti-Zionist left. For Boehm, liberal Zionists have largely been sidelined because the ideology they promote cannot square with the reality we see. For all their claims to liberal values, they are in fact defending an illiberal state, and cannot quite come to terms with that.”
No, Palestinian textbooks are not Anti-Semitic
“The study’s findings unequivocally refute the exaggerated and over generalized accusations by conservative Israeli organizations about antisemitism and incitement to violence in Palestinian textbooks. It reveals “numerous instances [in which] the textbooks call for tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and justice” and distinguishes among various types of Palestinian criticism of Israel and among textbooks in various subjects (such as religious studies). Palestinian textbooks do contain examples of antisemitism, incitement to violence, glorification of violence and dehumanization of Jews or Israelis, but according to the researchers their frequency is limited. But this bears repeating: The Palestinian nation would have to be a saint for its textbooks to be completely free of such examples, in light of the expanding occupation, the widespread dispossession and the dehumanization from the Israeli side, which are supported by the enormous resources that are at the disposal of the strong party in the conflict.”
Palestinian Authority, Hamas divided on Iran
Well-informed sources in the Fatah movement told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity there was no general decision by Fatah and its Central Committee to participate in the Iranian opposition conference. The sources said the participation may have been based on Ahmad’s personal decision, but he cannot participate in such conferences without obtaining the approval of President Mahmoud Abbas. In his speech at the Iranian opposition conference, Ahmad expressed his solidarity “with the Iranian people and their national resistance, headed by Rajavi.” “We in Palestine are proud of the friendly and brotherly relations that have been binding us with the Iranian resistance for more than half a century now. This brotherly struggle is aimed at conquering injustice, oppression and backwardness inside Iran in order to gain freedom and impose democracy, all the while preventing the imposition of the policy of Wali al-Faqih on the friendly Iranian people,” Ahmad said.”
62% increase of violations against media freedoms during first half of 2021
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA” in its report on the situation of media pointed to a significant increase in the number of violations monitored and documented by the center during the first half of 2021 compared to the same period of 2020. The West Bank and Gaza Strip, including the occupied city of Jerusalem, witnessed a total of 384 violations during the first half of 2021 compared to a total of 237 violations recorded during the first half of 2020, (an increase of 62%). The Israeli occupation committed a total of 253 attacks during the first six months of this year 2021, (66% of the total violations), while v
arious Palestinian parties committed a total of 87 violations, (23% of the total violations), while Social networks committed a total of 43 violations, (11% of the total violations).
Most of the Palestinian violations took place in the West Bank (87% of them), compared to 13% in the Gaza Strip. The report explained the significant increase in the total number of violations during the first half of 2021 are due to the significant increase in the number of Israeli violations, and as a result of the escalation of the Palestinian violations, which increased 87% compared to the same period of 2020. This increase was accompanied by a relative decrease in the number of violations committed by social media networks.