Good news, bad news, and hidden news about Palestine 

Palestine Update  112

Good news, bad news, and hidden news about Palestine 
Three videos and two narrative accounts are what Palestine Updates brings you this time. Two of the videos are gross accounts of Israel’s offensive occupation practices. One reports on how women and girls bear the brunt of Israel’s crimes in Jordan Valley. The second report highlights the imminent threat to Susiya village which is on the brink of destruction by Israel.

In another report, we share a critique of western news reporting and how western media projects Palestine, as totally depressed, seeped in economic scarcity, and other negative images. A powerful Al Jazeera video unbuttons some of the falsehood of western media stereo type about Palestinians by projecting a defiant Palestinian economy, notably in Gaza, with footage of the “bustling, well-stocked glitzy shopping malls, the impressive children’s water park, the fancy restaurants, the nice hotels, the crowded food markets, the toy shops brimming with the latest plush toys.”

Writing from India, I cannot but avoid comment on the Indian PM’s visit to Palestine. Three hours of some high profile, perfunctory functions were all that he could offer Palestine. Abbas probably said it sheer jest when he asked PM Modi to take US’s place as mediator. India is firmly in the grasp of Israel and the USA and is incapable of being a mediator. It has broken long standing traditions by voting with Israel or abstaining on crucial votes in the United Nations. India boasts that it helps Palestine in training, technology, infra development and budgetary support plus a tech park in Ramallah. But in the final analysis, clearly this trip by the Indian PM is a feeble cover up for all its failures to do what is just and right in the context of 50 years of Israel’s occupation.

India has its own internal issues and coalesces with Israel to fight the common enemy- Islam! There are increasing comparisons being drawn between India’s political actions in Kashmir and Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. In a report from ‘The Scroll’ in 2016, it was reported that the number of soldiers, the paramilitary and the police deployed in Kashmir is anywhere between 650000 to 750000. Half of India’s Army’s total strength is based in Kashmir. With tight cooperation between Israel and India on security matters, trade in armament hardware, it is improper to even try to deceive the Palestinians into believing that India will switch sides under the fascist regime that now rules India. Palestinians know this only too well. This visit by Modi is a measly diplomatic gesture.

In solidarity

Ranjan Solomon

Women and girls bear brunt of Israel’s crimes in Jordan Valley
This short documentary by the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq focuses on the life of a family in al-Hadidiya, a Bedouin community in the northern Jordan Valley. It is a must-see. Titled Sumoud – Arabic for steadfastness – it is named after the youngest daughter of the Bisharat family, which has resided in the same occupied West Bank community for generations. Sumoud talks about how she loves the family’s rural lifestyle, the only life they know, surrounded by trees and animals that she plays with and looks after. But their life has been badly disrupted by Israel destroying their home and gradually encroaching on the land they live on, threatening to push them out completely.
Susiya village on brink of destruction by Israel 
 Israel’s high court placed the fate of the Palestinian village Susiya and its 340 residents in the hands of defense minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday, leaving it to him to decide whether the army will demolish nearly half its structures, mostly ramshackle dwellings.
View video
Read article in Electronic Intifada

The good news about Gaza you won’t hear on the BBC
From a blog by Tom Gross in ‘The Spectator’

“Western media has often focused on this issue to the detriment of many other conflicts or independence movements throughout the world. The BBC, in particular, has devoted an inordinate amount of its budget and staff to covering the West Bank and Gaza in thousands of reports over the years. But you would be hard pressed to learn from the BBC’s coverage that, despite many difficulties, Gaza’s economy is also thriving in all kinds of ways. An Al-Jazeera reportfrom Gaza, shows footage of the bustling, well-stocked glitzy shopping malls, the impressive children’s water park (at 5.25 in the video), the fancy restaurants, the nice hotels, the crowded food markets, the toy shops brimming with the latest plush toys (at 8.39 in the video)”.
(This video was translated into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute).
View video and read narrative account

Celebrate and release Ahed Tamimi!
A group of radicals gathered Jan. 30 outside the Israeli Consulate in Chicago to do two things: celebrate the birthday of Ahed Tamimi and demand her release. Activists wore birthday hats, brought balloons and made noise with party kazoos. The action was called by Jewish Voice for Peace, the US Palestinian Community Network and American Muslims for Palestine. Various other groups supported the protest, including Workers World Chicago cadre. The action ended with everyone singing happy birthday to honor Ahed and signing a birthday card to be sent to her

INGOs foresee decline in the humanitarian situation in Palestine
AIDA, an INGO coordination body consisting of more than 70 international non-governmental organizations working in the occupied Palestinian territory expressed alarm at the United States government’s recent decision to politicize its assistance to millions of Palestinian refugees. The impact is likely to be particularly grave in the Gaza Strip. US funding cuts, on top of the last 10 years of Israeli blockade, will cause food insecurity, aid dependency, poverty, isolation, unemployment and hopelessness, and will be a further blow to Gaza’s already crippled economy.International Humanitarian Law stipulates that, where humanitarian and development needs of protected persons living under military occupation are identified, the occupying power bears ultimate responsibility to provide for those needs. Humanitarian assistance must not under any circumstances be used as a tool to impose political demands. AIDA called on Israel, the United States, and other third states to ensure the continued orderly provision of humanitarian and development assistance to vulnerable Palestinians living under military occupation to avert humanitarian crisis.

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”
– Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn