Palestine Update 480
Failed political strategies by its leaders describe the plight of Israel and Palestinian
The PA in its crude, yet simplistic way of political thinking, thought it best to get of Nizar Banat, a man they viewed as a political annoyance. They did not calculate that the streets would erupt in rage. Try as they may, they cannot bluff their way out of this self-authored gaffe. The only way there can be a closure to the protests is for political changes- a change of guard. The PA is cold to this proposition. But the PA finds itself in a bind. They do not have the mandate to bring in changes – that has long terminated. To create a security front, it will have to re-knit its security synchronization with Israel. That would spell disaster. Besides, any shot at neutralizing its opponents has little chance to work out. The anger on the streets is a fire that cannot be quelled by brute force. They rise in greater numbers with each act of oppressing and killing by the PA. It’s hard to understand how an 85-year old man who lacks authority as much as he does in capacity, wants to stick to power when he is Palestine’s most unwanted entity.
Israel, on the other hand, faces a different kind of dilemma. Its demographic fixation which has nourished the Zionist project from almost inception reassert how it Israel is immobile in the colonial process and its absurd preoccupation with territorial and demographic domination over Palestinians. While Jews can be licensed virtually any kind of exceptionalism in their hunt for political domination, their success in achieving their names demonstrate how demography and security are sheltered in a route that leads to one goal: to deepen Jewish control and remind Palestinians who is in charge. But evil plans can come crumbling down and that is why the new government failed to renew the Citizenship Law. It offers Palestinian families a moment of respite. That marks the new coalition’s first political collapse. How many more will it take before it surrenders brute power and its racist-colonialist ways to cease the occupation and arrive a just and lasting settlement?
As Palestinians demand answers; PA has nothing left but tyranny
Excerpts from an article by Ramona Wadi*
The Palestinian Authority might not have envisaged that the killing of Nizar Banat by its security services would have unleashed such a response from the Palestinian people. Ongoing demonstrations and calls for PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to step down have been met with further violence by the security forces, and the Palestinian leadership is showing no sign of quitting. The possibility of an upsurge in demonstrations once the commission of inquiry into Banat’s killing is made public has set out the PA’s strategy: respond to the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people with violence. The PA’s Justice Minister, Mohammed Al-Shalaldeh, declared Banat’s death to be “unnatural” and acknowledged that physical violence had been meted out against him, but he concluded that the cause of death was “neurological shock, which resulted in acute heart and pulmonary failure.”
Eliminating opponents in such an overt manner may not have been the PA’s modus operandi until now, but the Palestinian leadership has silenced its critics, and in several ways. What is most telling about the recent killing is that the PA is exhibiting no understanding of the legitimate political demands of the people of Palestine, and has opted, instead, to turn to additional violence to clamp down on collective dissent. For people to demand answers of their government, particularly when the leadership’s mandate has long expired, as Abbas’s has, is both reasonable and expected. That Palestinians demand Abbas’s resignation is long overdue. To achieve its aim of quashing dissent, security coordination with Israel is paramount. The PA is not interested in accountability for a crime that should not have happened; it is only concerned with establishing the path of violence, ostensibly as a deterrent against dissent. But threats only work when there is fear, and the losses incurred by the Palestinian people since the Nakba may, in time, ignite further dissent against a leadership with neither vision nor legitimacy.
The PA is seeking to control the immediate outburst, at a time when blunt answers are a necessity in its twisted logic. Banat was killed for voicing what many Palestinians have thought but not articulated publicly. Asking Israel for help through security coordination is one of the PA’s worst moves yet. It does, however, expose a truth that the PA would prefer to keep hidden: in the absence of legitimacy, it has nothing left but tyranny.
– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this article was originally published. She contributed this article to the Palestine Chronicle.
Israel’s most racist law comes crumbling down – for now
The failure to renew the Citizenship Law offers Palestinian families a moment of respite – Four takeaways from the first big crisis plaguing the new coalition.
“There is no need to hide from the essence of the Citizenship Law — it is intended to ensure a Jewish majority in the State of Israel,” said Bennett’s coalition partner Yair Lapid during a meeting by his Yesh Atid party in the Knesset on Monday. That same day, former IDF Maj. Gen. and current Meretz MK Yair Golan lambasted the opposition for “betraying the Zionist dream” and trying to “drown Israeli citizens in a sea of Palestinians.” Lapid and Golan’s brutal honesty may shock some readers, but their words reflect the demographic obsession that has been the drip feed of the Zionist project since its early years. Their remarks are a reminder that Israel is still in the throes of a colonial process with the goal of territorial and demographic domination over Palestinians. To that end, it will invoke security justifications precisely to serve its ideological ends. This is the reason Israelis often refer to themselves as engaged in a “demographic war,” while Palestinians — by their very nature as non-Jews living under a Jewish regime, regardless of whether they are citizens — are repeatedly referred to as a “demographic bomb.” It is precisely the reason why Palestinian refugees are denied the right to return to their homeland while any Jewish person can immediately become a citizen of Israel. It is precisely why Mizrahi Jews were sent to settle depopulated Palestinian villages located along Israel’s borders in the early days of the state. Because in this country, demography and security are locked in a dance that serves one purpose: to deepen Jewish control and remind Palestinians who is in charge.”
Netanyahu’s Glee Aside, Bennett’s Defeat on Citizenship Law Is a Promising Step for Israel
Coalition’s failure on annual vote to deny Palestinian spouses official status was a coup for Netanyahu camp, but it also steers public debate in the right direction and rectifies years-long collective discrimination
“To start with, for the first time in many years, there has been a relatively broad and heated public debate about the implications of the controversial temporary provision that has affected thousands of families. Until now, its annual automatic renewal was facilitated by general indifference, despite the legal and moral criticism, but this time the political complexity compelled the Israeli public to recognize and show interest in a long-standing problem that demands to be addressed rather than repressed….Second, in the current absence of the Temporary Provision for the Denial of the Status of Palestinian Spouses in Israel (the correct title for a law that does not prevent their entry but denies them status and rights), the state will now have to examine each case individually and justify whether there are any reasons, security-related or otherwise, to prevent a specific family unification, with each case reserving the right of appeal. The situation will increase the burden on state authorities, and it is very possible that, as in the case of asylum seekers, the state will do everything in its power to delay and reject each application, especially with Ayelet Shaked at the Interior Ministry. In essence, however, the situation is still an improvement because it prevents collective discrimination. Nor does the Interior Minister have the legal power for sweeping rejections.
Israeli bombardment severely weakened Gaza economy
“The Gaza Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) report published on Tuesday estimated that the damage caused by the 11-day bombardment was between $290m and $380m, while the recovery needs are projected at between $345m and $485m. “Following the hostilities, 62 percent of the population of Gaza is food insecure,” the report said, adding that unemployment was already at 48 percent and poverty rates above 50 percent before the escalation.” Also see “Report raises cost of Gaza’s recovery to $485M” (Al Monitor)
Norway Largest Pension Fund Divests from 16 Firms
Norway’s largest pension fund today announced it has divested assets in 16 companies for their links to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, news agencies reported.“In KLP’s assessment, there is an unacceptable risk that the excluded companies are contributing to the abuse of human rights in situations of war and conflict through their links with the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank,” KLP, which manages some $95 billion worth of assets, said in a statement.
“Motorola and other companies risk complicity in international law violations in occupied Palestine.” KLP added in its statement: “Divesting from Motorola Solutions was a very straightforward decision over its surveillance role in the occupied territories,” pointing out that the company provides software used in border surveillance. KLP also divested from telecom operators offering services within the West Bank as they contributed to making “the settlements attractive residential areas,” noting that these included Altice Europe, Bezeq, Cellcom Israel, and Partner Communications.
It also noted that five banks that facilitated or financed the construction of housing and infrastructure in the occupied Palestinian territories were included, as well as engineering and construction groups, including the French multinational Alstom. The statement said that all these companies help facilitate Israel’s presence and therefore risk being complicit in breaches of international law, and against KLP’s ethical guidelines, Al Jazeera reported.