How many more crimes will it take?

Palestine Update  131

How many more crimes will it take?

Today, more than ever, Bob Dylan’s song Blowin’ in the Wind” has become even more pertinent in a world shred by war. Dylan asks questions that seemingly have no easy answers. The world has learned little or nothing about war and conflict. If anything, men and women of science and technology has often applied their minds to employing their scientific skills to being merchants of death through the military-industrial complex.

When Dylan sang: “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind“, what he was really telling us was that the solutions are within us and around us. This is no time to procrastinate. There are people dying, maimed, jailed, living in permanent existence as refugees, in economic hardships, dependent on doles rather than living out their lives in dignity as normal human beings. Children grow up seeing killings of peers,loved ones,neighbors.  Imprisonments are recurrent. Livelihoods are destroyed. Land stealth is common place and heritage is  denied and snatched away only to be sold for profits to those who never even remotely nurtured them.

The Nakba ‘will soon be on us’. It is a stark reminder that the 1948 Palestinian exodus occurred when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Palestine war. In barely 20 days after that, it will be ‘Naksa Day’, (5 June 1967) the annual day of commemoration for the Palestinian people of the displacement that accompanied Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War. It was the war when Israel took control of the Palestinian-populated West Bank and Gaza Strip, which were previously annexed by Jordan and controlled by Egypt respectively.

Since 1948, and with greater ferocity since 1967, Israel has heaped cruelty on the Palestinians and acted in hatred and disgust against the Palestinians not for any fault of theirs. They do so to cement themselves in a geographic space which they now claim to be theirs after having deserted it for thousands of years.

In the aftermath of the horrific ‘holocaust’, crimes committed by Europeans against the Jews, the solution imposed on the Arabs was easily unfair to the Arabs. By adding military advantage, all that the world has seen is Jewish getting hold of more and more Arab land thus causing displacement and dispossession. What was once Palestine- also where Jews and Arabs lived in co-existence, is now predominantly Jewish first in 1948 after the wars, and now growing on a daily bias with each settlement and bypass road built for the Jewish settlers! To maintain this obnoxious asymmetry, Israel has used the most inhumane and criminal tactics.

When will world arise to the truth and assert that dignity and justice for the Palestinians do not necessitate complicated solutions. The answers are there for us to see. They blow in the wind.

Ranjan Solomon 

Orphans participate in Land Day commemorations

One-thousand orphan children have taken part in an entertainment event in the occupied Palestinian territories. This, as Palestinians have been organizing a number of peaceful events and sit-ins since the start of the Great Return March. The movement began on Land Day 2018, which marks the date in 1976 when the Israeli government announced its plan to expropriate thousands of dunams of Palestinian land for Israeli settlement purposes. In response to that announcement more than 40 years ago, a strike and marches were organized in Palestinian towns within the state of Israel that ended in confrontations with Israeli security forces, during which six unarmed Palestinians were killed. Land Day has since become a symbol of civil resistance to discriminatory policies against Palestinians, both from within Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
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Palestinians barred from West Bank road by Israel army, settlers
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have been denied use of a main road by Israeli settlers and occupation forces.  In July, Israeli settlers from Halamish colony had “built an outpost on the east side” of a nearby road used by both settlers and Palestinians. The settlers also put up a sign in Arabic, reading: “The area where you are now is under the control of the Jews. Entry by Arabs to this area is completely prohibited, danger of death!An army unit stationed at two military roadblocks on the road – one next to the outpost and the other a few hundred metres south of it – has conducted prolonged inspections of Palestinians and their vehicles at the roadblocks.” According to testimonies, the soldiers are searching, harassing and delaying Palestinians; some “reported that they asked the soldiers why they were treating them this way, and said the soldiers told them outright it was so that Palestinians would take the detour.”
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Group of Canadian journalists to hold meeting on ‘PR issues’
An organization of Canadian journalists that advocates for free expression around the world is in turmoil after a statement it issued calling on the Canadian government to condemn an Israeli military crackdown on Palestinian protesters was criticized by some journalists for straying from its mandate. An emergency board meeting of the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is scheduled for Tuesday evening as it faces plummeting support and staff turnover.
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Irish mayor denied entry to Israel over BDS linksIsrael announced on Tuesday that Dublin Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha had been barred from entering Israel over his ties to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement which calls for international against Tel Aviv’s occupation of Palestinian territories. The announcement made by both the interior and the strategic affairs ministries came at a time while Mac Donncha was already in the city of Ramallah in the West Bank. Gilad Erdan, Strategic Affairs Minister said, “the policy I set is clear: He who works consistently to boycott Israel will not enter here.” The BDS – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – movement was founded in 2005 with aim of ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
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How many Palestinians must die for Israel’s crimes in Gaza cease?
The sickening video of an Israeli sniper apparently filming himself gunning down a Palestinian protester across the fence in Gaza then rejoicing and praising his “success” with other soldiers has been widely spread and condemned. A week before, another video documented the shooting of another Palestinian protester in the back. This video has also received wide condemnation.

However, for Palestinians what is most worrying about these videos from the recent Gaza Great Return March is that while these horrible scenes will trigger a wave of rage, it will only last for a short period until the next crime happens. The world has forgotten Gaza and the decade-long blockade imposed by Israel on its people. It takes the killing of 31 Palestinians to remind the international community of the biggest open-air prison in the world that has become Gaza.
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Don’t befriend me for a day, and leave me a month. Don’t get close to me if you’re going to leave. Don’t say what you don’t do. Be close or get away.
لا تصاحبني يوماً .. لتهجرني شهراً ولا تقربني .. لتبعدني .. لا تقل ما لا تفعل كُن قريباً .. أو ابتعد.
Mahmoud Darwish.