Hotbeds of resistance and a weakening Israel

Palestine Update 492

Hotbeds of resistance and a weakening Israel
There is a growing ground over which establishing Palestinian rights as a core component of progressive politics has taken root. The last assault on Gaza has impelled US labor unions to mobilize at exceptional levels. Global solidarity is moving at a pace quite unexpected and this is encouraging. It is a good sign of what the future may be like.

After the Afghanistan debacle, Israel should have learned that their muscle-power, their supposed military strength, matters very little. What matters is the rigid resistance of the Palestinian people. Israel is not growing in strength. The people’s movements are. The combined military strength of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are also growing in their capacity to challenge. It’s time to talk peace. The usual interlocutors, namely the Americans and Europeans can join a multilateral group. On their own, they can neither be trusted, not find conviction or capacity to bring peace.

Palestine is somewhat paralyzed by its own leaders. There is gloom when they see their own governing authority fumble and tumble with political governance. And the powers-that-be who deem themselves worthy of being the ones who will bring justice and liberation to the Palestinians from the high handed, cruel, colonial, and racist rule of Israel have run out of decent ideas of a settlement. They want the cake and to eat it too. All they have left is the economic handle that they wield with which they received the Palestinians and privileged Israel. Afghanistan’s freedom from occupation is the sign of things to come everywhere there is bondage and colonial-racist interests. Fascist powers cannot rule in perpetuity. So no matter the hostile occupation, those who seek justice must study the signs of resistance because they indicate hope, the return of popular movements, anger and hotbeds of resistance, and an international community who support grassroots resistance with concrete solidarity in the West and Europe.

Ranjan Solomon

Palestinians pessimistic about future, PA faces dwindling popularity
“The latest opinion poll published by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) on Aug. 25 showed that 65% of the Palestinians believe that Palestine is going in the wrong direction. It also showed that optimism for the future has decreased from 65% to 48%, and the percentage of those who believe that the establishment of a Palestinian state is more elusive increased from 44% to 58%. Meanwhile, 67% of the respondents supported revoking the Oslo Accord, and 61% opposed security coordination between the PA and Israel. According to the poll, 69% frown upon the PA’s handling of the killing of Banat and the ensuing events, while 60% said that the investigation committee that was formed by the Palestinian government is not impartial. Also, the poll showed that the negative evaluation of the government’s performance increased from 37% before the killing of Banat to 55% after he was killed.”

Why Gaza’s popular protest movement has returned
”Because of the tragic living conditions, even if they do not support Hamas or the other political parties, Palestinians have resumed their popular protests at the eastern borders,” Hussam al-Dajani, a Gaza-based political analyst, told The New Arab. He said that Israel insists on punishing all Palestinians in the coastal enclave by tightening its blockade and delaying the construction of Gaza after each war. Unfortunately, he says, Israel is trying to impose a complicated equation on Palestinians; either death by starvation or death by the bullets of its soldiers, whether through war or the killing of demonstrators on the border. With few other avenues to effect positive changes to their reality, many are willing to risk their lives.”

West Bank anger boils as Jenin becomes hotbed of resistance
Palestinian security forces are afraid to go into Jenin refugee camp and have been unable to control it as disillusionment intensifies.

 “Public rage is ongoing, expressions of distrust in the PA agencies resound, allegations of PA corruption accompanied by sarcasm have intensified, and violent clashes between clans have multiplied, while the PA security forces are afraid to intervene. “Security control in Jenin has been weakened, and the activity of ‘armed local gangs’ has recently made it necessary for the IDF [Israeli army] to take action in the area in order to prevent ‘terrorist attacks’,” said Tzoreff. Palestinian political analysts concurred as to the fragile situation in the West Bank. Writing in Quds News online, Hassan Lafi said Jenin, specifically the refugee camp, was a top priority and strategic target for the Israeli military as it battles to control the alley camps. According to Lafi, there was an Israeli realisation that any delay in dealing with Jenin meant that it could turn into an inspiring model for the entire West Bank.”

Gaza: Palestinian boy shot by Israeli army dies from wounds
“A 12-year-old Palestinian boy shot last weekend by Israeli soldiers during a demonstration near the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel has died from his wounds, the besieged enclave’s health ministry said on Saturday. Omar Hasan Abu al-Nil, from the Tuffah neighbourhood of Gaza City, was shot with a live bullet during a rally marking the 52nd anniversary of an arson attack on al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Around 40 people were wounded by Israeli forces on 21 August, including 32-year-old Osama Khaled Ideij, who died on Wednesday. An Israeli police officer was also shot and remains in a critical condition.”

Australian Trade Minister wants free trade agreement with Israel

In February the Minister for Trade Dan Tehan, announced that he wants to negotiate a free trade agreement with Israel. The first step towards this was a feasibility study undertaken by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – and their final report has just been sent to the Minister.

The Trade Minister might want a free trade deal – but the majority of public submissions made to the inquiry opposed a free trade agreement with Israel due to Israel’s blatant disregard of Palestinian human rights.
Palestinian advocacy groups, as well as Jewish organisations submitted to the inquiry that Israel’s occupation, illegal settlements, and military attacks on Gaza mean it would be completely wrong for Australia to reward Israel with this advantaged trade status.  The report from the Department won’t be made public, so we need to make sure all parliamentarians hear our voices.

The Minister must not reward Israel for the ongoing illegal occupation and its many other crimes against Palestinians.
Australia claims to be a passionate advocate of an international rules-based order.  We currently have a range of sanctions in place against seven countries.  Why should Israel be treated any differently when it commits such gross violations of Palestinian human rights and is in breach of so many international laws? Earlier this month, a petition signed by 22,000 Australians was tabled in the Australian parliament. This petition calls on targeted sanctions until Israel complies with international law.

It is clear that a free trade agreement that rewards Israel would be bad for Palestinians. It would also be bad for Australia’s reputation as a country that respects international law.