Palestine Update 449
Despite overbearing force, Israel will not get Palestine on a platter
After a month of pussy-footing, Biden bared his true colours. It is useful to recall how, under Obama’s watch in 2013 at a conference in Washington, he had said: “America’s support for Israel’s security is unshakable, period.” Biden had warned that there were reasons to be concerned about the region, given the instability caused by Iran’s nuclear program, the Syrian civil war and the ongoing upheavals of the Arab Spring. “The region has gone from the forced calm of dictatorship to the euphoria of revolution.” He referred to how “these changes in the Middle East affect both of our national security interests.” In just one telephone call, Biden has stated what was obvious once his candidature was announced. The delay was sheer and deliberate drama. Perhaps, it could easily be said that Israel will once again be in charge of the White House! A Haaretz report put it succinctly when it stated: “After all, the Palestinians’ international position, unlike Israel’s, is very weak; they have no superpower or great economic force with teeth standing behind them.” This was in reference to how Europe stands firm with its own colonial instincts. The EU scores its best goals when serving up charity and sermons about the rule of law. It falls woefully short on the question of settlements and land stealth. It is the tragic reality that Palestinians must face that not a single power can come in the way of Israel’s ruthless occupation and racist-colonialist ways. It is a fact that Israel’s Use of Vaccines for International is immoral diplomacy. But which country or group of countries can obstruct this depravity. Nearly 100,000 doses in total are expected to be shipped to 19 countries outside of Israel.
There is always some encouraging news though. Progressive Peoples Movements speak out with courage and conviction. Recently members of the Progressive Israel Network have shown their repulsion against the JNF-KKL’s Executive Board decision to bring the organization in parity with Israel’s expansionist settler right. The network has urged that a vast majority of American Jews be part of building and supporting an Israel that respects its neighbors, upholds democracy and seeks peace.
Finally, we bring you a detailed survey/report in which Al-Mezan which Al Mezan has put forth a number of recommendations addressed to the international community, the European Union, and it’s Member States, asking them to pressure Israel to stop targeting civilian individuals, properties, and objects in the ARA; and compensate and redress victims of such violations and ensure accountability of perpetrators of serious human rights violations in the Gaza Strip; and
The struggle goes on with the same audacity as always. Israel will not get Palestine on a platter.
Biden has reassured Netanyahu that the status quo is Safe
Bidens’s unending love affair with USA
US President Joe Biden’s first call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now out of the way. It’s clear that Biden will incorporate elements of the Trump administration’s policies while promoting the two-state paradigm, even as both illegal annexation and the “Abraham Accords” normalization deals have dealt a permanent blow to even the most hypothetical premises about an independent Palestinian state. That brings to an end to the fear that there might be a return to Obama-era politics.
With Biden hailing “US support for the recent normalization of relations between Israel and countries in the Arab and Muslim world,” it is clear that despite any minor differences, the Biden agenda is set to continue to make Palestine disappear. It is interesting to note that Trump’s Ambassador to Israel, Friedman, is still emphasizing the suspension of annexation with as much fervor as he did during his tenure as ambassador.
The Europeans don’t really care about the Palestinians either
“The sloth of the European Union has once again been revealed in all its shame. The EU is good at giving the Palestinians charity and preaching about the rule of law. It fails politically when it comes to stopping Israel’s plans to concentrate the Palestinians into reservations in the West Bank and clear most of the land for Jews….Israel’s reservations plan is known and is contrary to Europe’s official policy, and over the past decade it has been expedited openly and shamelessly. The European failure to stop it has nothing to do with the coronavirus crisis, some internal weakness or disagreements between Hungary and France. It testifies to the fundamental apathy of Europe, whose 19th-century colonialism is alive and kicking in the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. After all, the Palestinians’ international position, unlike Israel’s, is very weak; they have no superpower or great economic force with teeth standing behind them.”
Israel ‘vaccine diplomacy’ is a scandal, not Michael Che’s joke
Michael Che of “Saturday Night Live” made a joke last week during the show’s “Weekend Update” segment saying that “Israel is reporting that they’ve vaccinated half of their population, and I’m gonna guess it’s the Jewish half.”
The joke struck a nerve among some Jews, who rushed to condemn the satirical show for anti-Semitism and demanded that Che and “SNL” apologize for using “dangerous” and “anti-Semitic” tropes against Israel, according to a petition released by the American Jewish Committee. Others, like the Anti-Defamation League and the pro-Israel group StandWithUs, released their own dismayed statements or shared AJC’s petition on their platforms. Some liberal Jewish groups, on the other hand, celebrated the joke for pointing out Israel’s systematic discrimination against the Palestinians.
According to the AJC statement, the joke is anti-Semitic and false, since “every Israeli, regardless of religion or ethnicity, is eligible for the COVID vaccine, and more than two-thirds of Israel’s Arab citizens over 60 have already been vaccinated.” The problem with this statement is that it erases the Palestinians under Israel’s occupying control in the West Bank — and misses the actual vaccine scandal unfolding.
Israel’s International use of vaccine-aid is immoral diplomacy
Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Riyad Maliki today considered Israel’s offer of corona vaccines to some countries in exchange for political concessions as immoral. This is “a political blackmail and an immoral act” intended to exploit the humanitarian needs of these countries in return for political concessions, Malki stated.
“It shows the absence of moral values,” and vowed to expose “this exploitation of the humanitarian needs of these countries” and to get directly in touch with these countries in order to urge them to reject this political blackmail..
Maliki said that Israel, and in cooperation with the United States and some European countries, is leading a big campaign to drop Item 7 of the Human Rights Council report because it highlights in detail the Israeli violations and calls for its accountability. “We will do all that we can to thwart all attempts to remove Item 7 as long as Israel is taking measures and committing crimes against our people, in complete violation of international law and relevant United Nations resolutions.”
Number of countries Israel plans sending COVID vaccine rises to 19
“The number of countries Israel is planning to send surplus COVID-19 vaccinations in exchange for diplomatic support has risen to 19, according to Hebrew media sources. Nearly 100,000 doses in total are expected to be shipped outside of Israel, which were obtained earlier in the year by American biotechnology company Moderna, Israel’s public broadcaster Kan News reported.” Defense Minister Benny Gantz slammed Netanyahu for allegedly trading doses meant for Israelis
Progressive Groups Dismayed by Call on Board to reject it
“Members of the Progressive Israel Network join the broad chorus of American Jews dismayed by the recommendation of Israel’s JNF-KKL’s Executive Board to bring the organization into lock step with Israel’s expansionist settler right…The vast majority of American Jews who we represent want to be part of building and supporting an Israel that respects its neighbors, upholds democracy and seeks peace. Buying land to expand West Bank settlements is antithetical to Israel’s future as a democracy, entrenches occupation, and makes all who live there — Israelis and Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line – far less safe. We call on the full JNF-KKL board in Israel to reject this move unequivocally and commit to the values of democracy and equality.
The network members signed on to this statement are Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair USA, Jewish Labor Committee, J Street, The New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, and T’ruah.”
The conditions Gaza farmers face under closure – An Al Mezan report
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Al Mezan) is pleased to issue its latest report on the situation of the Palestinian agricultural community in the “buffer zone”, the no-go military area enforced by Israel within the territory of the Gaza Strip. Since September 2005, the buffer zone—also known as “access restricted areas” (ARA)—has been the scene of continuous attacks against Palestinian civilian individuals, properties, and objects by the Israeli military. Over the years, Al Mezan’s monitoring and documentation has exposed Israel’s violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in the ARA, including the killing, destruction of property, arrests, and destruction by means of:
– Use of lethal and other excessive force;
– Raids and incursions of farmland with tanks and bulldozers;
– Aerial spraying of herbicides on fields; and
– Opening of water dams.
What emerges from this report is a clear picture of an agricultural community that is being targeted by near-daily use of excessive force. The frequency of these attacks will lead increasingly more Palestinian farmers and residents to abandon their lands in fear for their lives. Moreover, such persistency is also indicative of Israel’s intentions to preserve and reinforce the physical containment of Palestinians residing in the Gaza Strip – a practice that serves to retain the fragmentation of the Palestinian people in order to maintain their subjugation within Israel’s overarching apartheid regime.
Al Mezan has put forth a number of recommendations addressed to the international community, the European Union, and it’s Member States, asking them to:
Pressure Israel to stop targeting civilian individuals, properties, and objects in the ARA;
Compensate and redress victims of such violations and ensure accountability of perpetrators of serious human rights violations in the Gaza Strip; and
Support international justice mechanism, including the Human Rights Council’s resolutions and a full investigation by the International Criminal Court into the Situation in Palestine.