Contesting tyranny in the Palestinian struggle for freedom

Palestine Update  151

Contesting tyranny in the Palestinian struggle for freedom
“We will never give up the fight for truth and justice”
 (Bertha Cáceres, daughter of slain indigenous leader, Berta Caceras)

The scars from the killings and injuries from live ammunition of Israel snipers during Gaza’s Great return March will live forever in the memories of affected people and the Palestinian people as a whole. It will also remain vivid in the memories of those who stood firmly in solidarity with the Palestinians as they went through the agony of Israel’s inhumane carnage. The use of well-protected snipers against unarmed demonstrators was not in the least about Israeli ‘security’ in the sense that Israel nonchalantly uses the term. Their plain intent was to terrify and de-people the Palestinians as if they were sub humans. It was about diminishing the Palestinian consciousness, and, thus, crushing the resistance. And while Israeli soldiers inflicted irreversible and severe harm under the orders of political decision makers and Army Generals, the essential spirit of the Palestinian stands unaffected, though dented by the loss of lives and permanent injuries.

It is a state of unending war in the region except that it is asymmetric, militarily speaking. Israel relies on a superior military aided by US support in the main and with large quantum’s of trade in military hardware between Israel and countries around the world, notably the West.  Palestinian resistance is by and large, non-violent in character.  Its military power is significantly weaker. Death tolls in the Israel-Palestine conflict are lopsided, with Palestinians far more likely to be killed than Israelis. Since 2005, 23 out of every 24 conflict deaths have been Palestinian. There have been 8,166 conflict-related deaths, of which 7,065 are Palestinian and 1,101 Israeli. That means 87 percent of deaths have been Palestinian and only 13 percent Israeli. Put another way, for every 15 people killed in the conflict, 13 are Palestinian and two are Israeli. There have been 8,166 conflict-related deaths, of which 7,065 are Palestinian and 1,101 Israeli. That means 87 percent of deaths have been Palestinian and only 13 percent Israeli. Put another way, for every 15 people killed in the conflict, 13 are Palestinian and two are Israeli. (Source Since January 2005, when the conflict began to change dramatically, it has killed 4,006 people, of whom 168 have been Israeli and 3,838 Palestinian. That means that, since January 2005, only four percent of those killed have been Israeli, and 96 percent Palestinian. In other words, the conflict has killed 23 Palestinians for every one Israeli it claims.

Nothing can justify killing regardless of whether one party is weak and the other strong. But for the violence to subside, Israel must offer justice with security. The lame pretext that Israel faces the threat of security from neighbouring Arab countries is no longer tenable. What is true is that Israel has become a demonic threat to the Arab world because it has its weapons, including its 80 nuclear war heads, and a compliant US that will destroy anyone who challenges Israel’s hegemonic designs so as to be able to control resources. In that process, Israel diminishes or eliminates any country or leader who dares challenge its hegemonic designs. It is these political traits that make Israel anything but a natural presence in the region. It remains European in identity and disregards the fact it exists in an Arab cultural context. If it seeks Arab friends, it is for oil or water or trade ties that will enrich Israel.

Kushner’s peace plan threatens to thrust a deal on Palestinians employing the most deceitful means and co-opting several Arab countries that may choose to back-stab the Palestinians for short-term gains. In the end they will uncover Israel’s true colours by which time it will be too late. Israel wants to move to the global centre-stage and step into political power-mongering globally. The attempt to cajole and pressure the Palestinians to accept Kushner’s ‘deal of the century’ is a depraved approach to defraud Palestinians to accept minimalism and open up the spaces Israel requires for its larger ambitions.

The Palestinians will stand by the final status issues which include: Borders/territory based in the pre-1967 “green line” – the armistice line drawn in 1949 at the end of the war that followed Israel’s declaration of a state Jerusalem. Jerusalem would have to be the shared capital of both states.  Palestinians want their territory de-militarized and self-control of their own borders. The Palestinians insist that refugees – and their descendants – who were forced to flee in 1948, when Israel declared its state amid a bloody war, must have the right to return to their former homeland. Around 5 million Palestinians are registered as refugees.

Ranjan Solomon

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How Israel upholds ‘security’ of apartheid (Extracts)
Three thousand, seven hundred and four. That’s how many live ammunition gunshot injuries were inflicted by Israeli snipers on Palestinian demonstrators inside the Gaza Strip over a seven-week period beginning on 30 March. 3,704. In addition to 130 Palestinians killed during the same time frame.
One million, three hundred thousand! That’s how many bullets were fired by Israeli soldiers in the occupied Palestinian territory during the first few days of the Second Intifada. 1.3 million!  The goal was straightforward: crush Palestinian resistance. The response by Israeli authorities to Gaza’s Great Return March – one of massive, devastating violence – cannot be understood in isolation. The mobilization of battalions and Special Forces, the open-fire regulations, and the thousands of bullets fired, are not explainable as a response to some unique threat. Even talk of “disproportionate force” lacks the clarity needed to grasp what took place and is taking place.

Adidas play fair: End support to Israeli football structures
Adidas responded to the March 12, 2018 letter from more than 130 Palestinian football clubs and sports associations demanding that Adidas drops its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which hosts  clubs based in Israel’s illegal settlements.
Palestinians welcome Adidas’ commitment to “uphold human rights standards and norms,” and its call on FIFA to respect human rights and international law “on the question of the Israeli settlement teams.” They now appeal to Adidas to follow its own advice: to respect international law and Palestinian human rights by ending its sponsorship of the IFA as long as it hosts clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements which are built on stolen lands. . Israeli settlements violate Palestinian human rights. Furthermore, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israeli settlements are war crimes. This makes Adidas complicit in serious Israeli human rights violations through its IFA sponsorship. Adidas’ claims it “acts in a politically neutral way.” Adidas is not merely selling its products to the national football association of a state that is involved in a decades-long illegal occupation and the grave violations of human rights entailed in it. It is sponsoring it. Adidas, therefore, is anything but “politically neutral” in this case.

After banning Jewish flag, Chicago Dyke March displays PLO flag
The Chicago Dyke March, an LGBT pride parade, prominently featured Palestinian flags one year after ejecting marchers waving Jewish flags. Participants in the march can be seen waving Palestinian flags in a video posted by the Windy City Times, a newspaper serving Chicago’s LGBT community. Marchers also waved Mexican, Puerto Rican and rainbow flags, and chanted “No pride in occupation, no pride in deportation,” according to the newspaper.
The march this year was explicitly “a very pro-Palestinian event,” according to the Windy City Times. Last year, three women were ejected from the Dyke March for waving rainbow flags emblazoned with Jewish stars. Critics accused the march of anti-Semitism, and one woman at the march wrote on Facebook that “Removing those flags, and the people who marched with it, shows a deep level of ignorance, and yes, it also shows anti-Semitism masquerading as liberal values.”

EU on announcement of voluntary contributions to UNRWA
Collectively the EU and its Member States are the largest providers of international assistance to Palestine refugees – a clear recognition of its key role in responding to their needs. The European Commission alone supported UNRWA, at the beginning of 2018, with a front-loaded payment of € 82 million to the operating budget. Recently the EU Syria Trust Fund approved a new € 15 million programme to cater for the urgent needs of Palestine refugees from Syria in Lebanon and Jordan. In addition, € 6 million from our humanitarian assistance are being allocated to the Palestine and Syria Emergency appeals. EU encourages UNRWA to explore all synergies in particular with other potential service providers, including the private sector and CSOs.  UNRWA needs humanitarian support as much as it needs political and structural support of host governments.

Israel’s insecurity can be beat by trading its insecurity for justice
Despite its military and its regional superpower status, Israel suffers a fear complex simply because it fears it is unwanted. That insecurity stems from being a bad neighbour. Israel’s people hunger for recognition. That’s why the comings and goings of celebrities and pop stars are often treated as serious news, rather than fodder for gossip columns. Hence, the arrival of Britain’s Prince William is being seen as an earth-shaking event of major historical importance. But as much as there is reason to pay attention to the heir to the British throne, the fuss that is being made over it has more to do with celebrity than Israel’s standing in the world. And that’s why the presence in the country of another prince of a sort — presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner — is actually far more significant. Kushner, 37, is not as popular as William and is the son of a New Jersey real estate magnate with a criminal past, Jared Kushner’s main qualification for his current job was his marriage to US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka. He once moved seamlessly among the fashionable wealthy elites of New York City, but is now a pariah in his old haunts because of his association with Trump. Israel can only overcome this complex by trading insecurity with a just peace.

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.