Palestine Update 173
Israel actions invite increasing wrath of international community
Israel has the tendency to play the eternal victim card. It still invokes the ‘holocaust’ and its horrific memories to hold the perpetrators in guilt. It translates that guilt into support in all possible ways- aid, preferential trade agreements, and the isolation of Palestine. Israel feels no sense of guilt in relentlessly having Palestinians boycotted, divested and sanctioned. At the same time it cries foul when increasingly large parts of the international community call for BDS against its horrendous actions against unarmed civilians and colonial theft on a day-to-day basis.
Israel’s allies easily fall into Israel’s trap of alluring them into support which surpasses normality. Only earlier this week, under media blackout, the cowardly US House of Congress committed $3.3bn in military aid to Israel while simultaneously turning off humanitarian aid to Palestinians. This only demonstrates the stranglehold that Zionist lobbies exercise over legislators, especially in the USA. Legislative support has a price and is generous from the lobbies. Law makers are cultivated and irrationally practiced in the art of support to the Zionist regime.
But every decision is not washing everywhere. Even the IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot has alerted the Security-Cabinet to the risks of a literal vicious inferno that could erupt in the West Bank, thanks to the US decision to choke the Palestinian Authority (PA) of financial funds. He warned that Israel’s actions would leave the current PA leadership faded and transfer it into the hands of those who would chose intransigence and reject any form of dialogue with Israel on security matters.
Pressure from the EU is mounting with more and more MEPs wanting recognition of Palestine. This push is being further stimulated by Spain that wants a unanimous resolution on EU recognition but has threatened to go it alone if the entire EU won’t join its call.
The Palestinians are also taking their own boycott steps. The heads of more than 200 Palestinian sports organizations have threatened to boycott sportswear giant Puma over its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA). They reject the presence of six Israeli football clubs are located on “illegal Israeli settlements.”BDS is not music to Israel’s ears. Nor is it acceptable to the soft Zionists who pretend they are for some kind of peaceful arrangement. But what else can Palestinians do in the midst of the atrocities such as when Palestinian children under Israeli military arrest face “institutionalized and routine” rights abuses, with 273 children in military detention. Something must give. It is clearly Israel that has to make possible the chance for a just peace.
Under media blackout, cowardly US commits $3.3bn in military aid to Israel and cuts humanitarian aid to Palestinians
The US House of Representatives passed two separate Israel related bills this week, endorsing what is being described as the largest aid package in American history and the appointment of an international tsar to monitor anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel worldwide. The military aid package of $3.3 billion will be delivered to Israel over the next year. This figure is likely to increase by an additional $550 million as a result of Congress passing a $716 billion defence bill. A further $1 billion has been set aside for the US weapons stockpiles in Israel, which Israel taps into during escalations of violence against the Palestinians and Lebanon. In 2016, the US agreed to give Israel $38 billion in military aid over 10 years. The bill passed under the cover of a media blackout.
IDF chief: US steps could harm Israel, inflame West Bank
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot warned the Security-Cabinet at the beginning of the week that there is a more than moderate chance that a violent conflagration could erupt in the West Bank, adding that the US decision to choke the Palestinian Authority (PA) of financial funds is counterproductive for Israel and could inflame matters in the area. Eisenkot was raising objections to the numerous measures being taken that he said would only push PA President Mahmoud Abbas into a corner and potentially create an intransigent leader unwilling to cooperate with Israel on security matters. Several factors, Eisenkot argued, were converging that risked imperiling overall security in the West Bank.
Spain to push for European recognition of Palestine
Spain says it will try to bring about a “European recognition” of an independent Palestinian state, saying the country may itself go ahead and recognize Palestine if a consensus evades the continent. Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said he would launch an “intensive” consultation process with his counterparts to set a timetable for achieving a common position on the subject. If “the EU is not able to reach unanimous decision,” the option of individual recognition of Palestine is “on the table,” he stated.
Members of EU Parliament call on EU to recognize Palestine
Following the visit of the EU Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Palestine to the Occupied Palestinian Territories on September 17 to 20, MEPs expressed their rejection of the destruction of Khan Al-Ahmar village and other communities facing eviction in Palestine. During the mission, MEPs visited the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, one of 46 Bedouin communities living under the threat of eviction in an area that Israel has earmarked for the expansion of illegal settlements. “We strongly oppose the destruction of the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar and other communities facing eviction in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. These demolition orders and similar ones by the Israeli authorities have a sole objective: to enlarge the settlements and divide the West Bank. It is part of the expansion policy of Israeli settlements, which are illegal, as stated in UN Security Council Resolution 2334”, delegation MEPs said. “The forcible transfer of people under occupation is a grave breach of international humanitarian law which can amount to a war crime”, added the delegation. The delegation expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people and their decades-long struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
Palestinian sports groups threaten Puma boycott over Israel sponsorship
The heads of more than 200 Palestinian sports organizations have threatened to boycott sportswear giant Puma over its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA). In an open letter signed by 215 sports clubs and associations, the groups said six Israeli football clubs are located on land which Palestinians have branded as “illegal Israeli settlements.”
“Israel’s settlements contribute to serious human rights abuses and are a direct cause for restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement, access to natural resources and ability to build homes and conduct business,” the letter reads. The Palestinian sports organizations claimed that Puma’s sponsorship whitewashes Israel’s actions despite their settlements being slammed as “flagrant violations” of international law by a UN Security Council Resolution.
Palestinian children under military arrest ‘face rampant abuses’
Palestinian children under Israeli military arrest face “institutionalized and routine” rights abuses, said NGO Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) on Tuesday, with 273 children in military detention as of the end of June according to Israeli official data. Most of the 500-700 Palestinian children who undergo Israeli military arrest annually only meet their lawyer for the first time during their initial court appearance. A detained Palestinian child aged 16-17 may be held for a maximum of 72 hours prior to appearing before a military judge.
According to DCIP, “children most commonly face the charge of throwing stones, which carries maximum sentences of 10 or 20 years”. Though many children maintain their innocence, pleading guilty “is the fastest way to get out of the system”, and typical plea deals are less than 12 months. DCIP collected affidavits from 76 West Bank children “detained and prosecuted under the jurisdiction of Israeli military courts between January and August this year.”
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.