Israel has crossed the red line
The UN Special Rapporteur’s recent situationer on Israel’s character as occupier in the Palestinian Territory is strident. He is unapologetic in his criticism of Israel’s conduct as the occupation authority. Illegality, he avers, is the word that describes Israel’s occupation best. It is ludicrous that Israel has violated as many as 40 UN Security Council resolutions and more than 100 UN General Assembly resolutions and is still allowed a place at the UN table. In the normal course of democratic traditions, it should be suspended until it comes to terms with its basic obligations. The worst part is that Israel is actually able to influence decisions in the UN through its main ally, the USA through with its veto. Israel audaciously actually seeks spaces in higher decision making bodies of the United Nations and would want most of all to have a seat in the UN Security Council. The international community is impotent in the face of this maneuvering of western nations in particular.
In his most recent report, Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, points out: “This is the longest-lasting military occupation in the modern world, and shows no signs of ending.” He has described Israel’s role in Palestine as having crossed “a red line into illegality.” He underscores how the laws of occupation are explicit that “the occupying power cannot treat the territory as its own, nor can it make claims of sovereignty. Yet this has been Israel’s pattern of governing the occupied Palestinian territory for most of its 50 years of rule”. This implies that Israel cannot annex territory; the occupation must have a limited time frame, and must respect the paramount wellbeing of the occupied population.
Lynk noted that there is respite in the fact that “Israelis of conscience have (also) called upon the international community to exert effective pressure on the occupying power to bring the occupation to an end.”
The Israel occupation is not just confined to Palestinian territories. Israel has destabilized the region by prompting conflict in countries that dare to oppose Israel multiple political indiscretions and actually arm and offer tacit support to so-called rebels. Little, if nothing is moral about Israel’s occupation and the international community must stop at nothing to end it.
Governments cannot be counted on to act in fairness or fearlessly. Israel has full control of certain areas in Palestinian areas but skirts its fundamental accountability toward tens of thousands of Palestinians bordered by Israeli settlement colonies. Europe watches and, at best, offers feeble protests. These mean nothing at all because they are mere perfunctory gestures. Akiva Eldar, columnist for Al-Monitor’s Israel Pulse and formerly a senior columnist and editorial writer for Haaretz points to how Israel has ironically taught the Europeans that if they even dare to impose sanctions as in the case of South Africa, “Netanyahu will not hesitate to invoke the Holocaust and silence them with guilt. The fear of this discourse stops them from taking real actions.” In the USA, right wing Zionist groups have a stranglehold over a majority of Congressman and Senators. They cultivate them with huge election funding from early in their careers and, thus, buy their loyalties. This iron-grip has left the American system at the mercy of Israel which, in fact, controls politics in the USA- case of the tail wagging the dog because Israel is still the biggest recipient of US Aid. Under every President in recent memory, appointments pertaining to Israel have been of women and men who are Zionist-influenced, including those who dressed up as peace makers but subtly weakened the Palestinian case.
It will take true political courage and political ethics for Europeans to shun their guilt complex because of its history with the Jewish people. Likewise, it will take unyielding staying power for US lawmakers to stand up to the Zionist lobbies that with all their money power will pressure and intimidate them into subservience.
Peace with justice for the Palestinian people could be just around the corner but there is a precipice to be crossed. If the countries that can make the difference can take the risks for justice, then peace will follow.
Corbyn refuses to attend Balfour dinner
Leader of UK Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has declined an invitation from pro-Israel lobby to attend a Balfour Declarationcentenary gala dinner, next month, in London. Corbyn announced, according to Days of Palestine, that he would decline an invitation celebrating the hundred-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. The Balfour Declaration – which was a promise by the British Foreign Secretary in 1917 to establish a homeland for the Jews in Palestine – led directly to the creation of the Zionist regime in 1948 and the dispossession of the Palestinian people.
Trump nominates anti-Palestinian crusader to civil rights post
Donald Trump nominated Kenneth Marcus, who has spent years pressuring universities to punish students who advocate for Palestinian rights, to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). Marcus’ record of attacking students places him squarely in the company of white supremacist, anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian ideologues. Marcus is the architect of a strategy to abuse civil rights law to suppress campus criticism of Israel. His theory alleges that activism for Palestinian rights create an anti-Semitic climate for Jewish students, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is a law which the DOE enforces. Marcus has recently lobbied state and federal lawmakers to require colleges and universities to classify political criticism of Israeli government policies and speech sympathetic to Palestinian rights as inherently anti-Semitic. No such law has yet been enacted, in part because they would violate the First Amendment.
Palestine’s disappearing cinemas
One by one, Palestine’s classic cinemas are being erased. Municipal bulldozers razed Nablus’ al-Assi cinema in late June after the abandoned property was purchased from its owners. It was the second Palestinian cinema in the West Bank to be demolished in less than a year, after Cinema Jenin was razed last December. Al-Assi, which opened in the early 1950s, was shuttered during the first intifada in 1987 and reopened a decade later. A few years later, during the second intifada, it closed for good. There are currently only two dedicated cinemas in continuous operation in Palestinian cities in the West Bank – Cinema City, opened in Nablus in 2009, and Palestine Tower, opened in Ramallah in 2014. Other cinemas throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been shuttered – some of them demolished – and others turned into wedding halls or garages. Some Palestinian cities have never had a proper movie theater.
Chile’s Palestinians celebrate heritage with cultural festival
The Taqalid cultural event was the brainchild of delegates from 15 countries
With the largest population outside of Palestine, Chile’s Palestinian community will celebrate its heritage with a cultural and sports festival organized in the South American country beginning Oct. 27. Under the name Taqalid, or traditions, the Central Bureau of Chilean Palestinian organizations will host a weekend event filled with food, exhibitions and musical performances from Palestinian artists, as well as, sports competitions including soccer, tennis and tawle, a traditional Middle Eastern board game. “This is a chance to celebrate the Palestinian traditions in family and to get a little closer to our land in spite of difficulties and distance,” said Nadia Garib, president of the Palestinian Federation of Chile and Taqalid’s spokesperson. “In Latin America, there is approximately 30 percent of the Palestinian diaspora, and Chile has a strong leadership in the region, which is why we decided to call everyone to this great festival for Palestine where we can enjoy our rich gastronomy, music concerts, and theater, among others.
Will Netanyahu risk exposing one of Israel’s secrets?
New law would tell Palestinian citizens in Israel that they are not equal, say experts
Benjamin Netanyahu’s government announced a packed agenda of reforms designed to push Israel yet further to the right. Legislative proposals include weakening the Supreme Court’s powers of judicial review, cracking down on left-wing civil-society organisations, expanding Jerusalem’s boundaries to include more Jewish settlements and allowing the government to forcibly deport mainly African asylum seekers. But none is likely to prove as controversial – or gain as much attention – as a measure concerning Israel’s status as a Jewish state.
Grant Palestinians right to work to retrieve Lebanon’s economy
Franklin Lamb, a writer who volunteers with the Lebanon, France, and USA based Meals for Syrian Refugee Children Lebanon (MSRCL) analyses the potential benefits of granting Palestinians in Lebanon the right to work. He says: “Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, the offspring of nearly 800,000 ethnically cleansed from their homes in Palestine during the 1948-50 Nakba, are today variously labeled by their Lebanese hosts as refugees or sometimes described as a particular category of “quasi-residents.” Or as “foreigners” or sometimes during Arab emotional nationalist events or rising national sentiments or Israeli attacks, Palestinians have been described more congenially as “Arab residents” or “Arab brothers.” Or at other times they are claimed by ‘Resistance” factions as “Our religious, moral and political duty to liberate and return to Palestine.” But whatever the label pasted on Palestinian refugees, they are today often thought of by certain sects as parasitic outlaws. Nothing could be further from the truth and this assertion is repudiated once Lebanon sees the benefits that will accrue to their economy if Palestinians are mandated civil right to work.