Déjà vu in Israel all over again

Palestine Update 257

Déjà vu in Israel all over again
Here’s what they say now: “It’s deja vu all over again in Israel’s electoral politics, albeit with a few twists. Three-star general Benjamin “Benny” Gantz is promising to unseat the mercurial Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu in the upcoming vote and change the political calculus of both Israelis and Palestinians. But how will this clash of the Benjamins’ differ from the political rivalries in any of the previous elections, where generals won the vote but lost the peace?”

Israel’s tall claims about being the only democracy in the Middle East need a timely prune. Just because people are rushed into voting for one election after another does not mean it is a vibrant or thriving democracy. After all, political groupings offer little variety. They fall between being fascist or more fascist. A vibrant democracy is meant to offer ideological options. None of that in Israel!  And with the Left all but wiped out, there is little to pick from among the existing variants of the occupation entities.

To upkeep their dangerous and odious narrative, all kinds of violence is unleashed and officially backed atrocities are committed. The tragedy is compounded when the Zionist designs come home to roost, as it were. Israel’s own systems are growing faultier. In a state of self-imposed siege, Israel has lost oversight over the things that must be done for peace and co-existence through non-violence and dialogue. It cannot hope to win territory by gun control and air-borne bombers. It might even consider the peace of the graveyard.

Israel knows that regardless of its self-proclaimed military superiority, it is unable to run the Palestinians over. Israel, after all, it simply does not have the moral grounds for its designs.

Please read these articles keeping this perspective in mind.

Ranjan Solomon

The occupied West Bank is on the verge of a mass uprising
When US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman commented on Israel’s “right” to annex land in the occupied West Bank — as a dutiful Zionist he called it “Judea and Samaria” — he provided the Palestinians with an important reason for resistance to the Israeli occupation. So too does Israel’s systematic annexation policy, which is basically ethnic cleansing because the state is trying to rid itself of the Palestinians in the areas taken.

There are now 20 synagogues in occupied East Jerusalem; there will probably be more. What’s more, the Israeli Supreme Court has approved a deal for the settler organization Ateret Cohanim to buy three buildings from the Greek Orthodox Church located in the Christian quarter of occupied Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, according to a report from Human Rights Watch, “The Israeli government [has] continued to enforce severe and discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians’ human rights; restrict the movement of people and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip; and facilitate the unlawful transfer of Israeli citizens to settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israeli forces [are] stationed on the Israeli side of the fences separating Gaza and Israel responded to demonstrations for Palestinian rights on the Gaza side with excessive lethal force.”

Price tag militants deface Palestinian cars, ‘War will be fought’
Palestinian residents of the West Bank village of Deir Istiya found eleven cars sprayed with Stars of David and houses defaced with graffiti claiming that “the people of Israel live” and that the village is “full of terrorists.” Residents of Kafr Malik, another West Bank village, were subjected to a “price tag” attack, in which 13 cars were damaged and houses were defaced with graffiti, claiming that “War will be fought over Judea and Samaria.” Yesh Din reported.

Yesh Din called the acts an attempt to “create fear among the Palestinians… who are sleeping when such acts are carried out in the night” — and claimed that Israeli law enforcement is “nowhere to be found.”

The Israeli academics who helped design Palestinian emigration
Mere weeks after nearly tripling the size of Israeli controlled territory in the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel enlisted teams of academics in the country to find ways to encourage Palestinians to emigrate from the newly occupied territories.

According to documents recently, in July 1967, then Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol assembled a committee of academics – all of them with connections to the corridors of power – and sent them into the territories to study the newly-occupied population. The objective of the “Committee for the Development of the Administered Territories,” referred to as the “Professors Committee” was, on paper, to create a body responsible for “long-term planning” in the occupied territories. The professors, along with their teams of researchers, were sent to villages, cities, and refugee camps to interview Palestinians about their lives, needs, and desires. The second goal, was to better understand the Palestinians of the occupied territories in order to find ways to ensure they did not resist the military regime Israel placed them under — and under which still rules them today — while looking for ways to encourage them to leave. “Those early years set the tone for how Israeli policy looks today,” he says.

When the war came to an end, the Israeli government had all kinds of goals vis-à-vis the Palestinian population; chief among them was to reduce the number of them living in the occupied territories. “We saw this most prominently in Gaza, where the authorities believed they could halve the population from 400,000 to 200,000 in order to contend with the new demographic problem.”

Israel and the West: ‘Shared values’ of racism and settler-colonialism
Liberal Palestinians and their supporters claim that there is a contradiction between the values of Western governments, seen as democratic, and Israel, a state based on colonial conquest, racist laws and military occupation. But is there really a contradiction?

Western governments claim to support Israel due to their ostensibly “shared values”. In 2018, Emanuele Giaufret, the EU ambassador to Israel, declared that Israel and the EU “share the same values. We believe in democracy, the rule of law and human rights”.  The same year, Prime Minister Theresa May declared that the UK was “proud to stand side-by-side with Israel as an ally … and a close friend with shared values”.
In 2017, US President Donald Trump declared in Israel that “we pledge to stand by you and defend our shared values”. He was parroting former President Barack Obama, who often asserted that “the bond between Israel and the United States is rooted in … shared values”. Earlier this year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that “Canada and Israel have a special bond, rooted in mutual respect and shared values”. In 2017, Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared: “The friendship between Israel and Australia … is anchored in our shared values, [including the] commitment to democracy.”

Welcome to Trump Heights, the Israeli town that doesn’t exist
The sign with gilded letters and the dramatic ceremony, just as the president likes, hides the fact that the proposal to establish the new Golan Heights community does not include any actual steps toward building it. In huge gilded letters (what else?), on a piece of synthetic lawn (of course), a large sign was erected in the Golan Heights, as if taken directly from the best of comedy sketches. Ramat Trump, or Trump Heights, will be built here. Even the strong gusts, which made it difficult to put up the scenery, gave this ridiculous event the atmosphere of an Israeli satire – a moment before a variety of government ministers began their comically dramatic march toward the ceremony.

Trump: Israeli politics ‘messed up,’ country needs to ‘get their act together’
US President Donald Trump said Sunday that Israel has got to “get their act together” after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to form a new governing coalition and a second election was set for later this year. “Israel is all messed up with their election. I mean, that came out of the blue three days ago. So that’s all messed up. They ought to get their act together,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn before departing for the UK.
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