Israel shoots itself in the foot

Palestine Update 563

Opinion

Israel shoots itself in the foot
Last week Israel adopted a self-obstructionist strategy in the form of an emergency regulation that officially applies separate legal systems to Jews and Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank. “It is at once both the public face and the hidden infrastructure of apartheid, a key pillar of the military regime which Israel has operated for over five decades. It does mean apartheid comes to an end”. It does reveal just how fluctuating and even vacillating the legal foundations of apartheid can be. We must ask: Do such tactless political variables suggest openings for a vision for taking apart apartheid? There is also ‘The Settler-Protection Law’ that no Israeli Government can survive without. The high pitch debate over the subject shows just how the failure to re-enact the regulations would leave Jewish settlers on the West Bank in the same precarious legal position as their Palestinian neighbors. In yet another political setback, we hear that The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) is demanding that “Israelis involved in torture be tried as part of an investigation by the Hague-based ICC over suspected war crimes committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories”. The report by PCATI shows just how blatantly Israel pursues terror as a political tactic and refuses to end torture, and to conduct transparent investigation of victims’ complaints and pursue the indicting the perpetrators. In yet another setback for Israel, European diplomats have claimed that Israel has failed to prove its claim that six civil society organizations in the West Bank had, in fact, funded and acted on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The European Commission has refused to “open an investigation into the organizations after its own initial examination.”

Meanwhile, “an independent commission of inquiry set up by the UN Human Rights Council after the 2021 Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza Strip said Israel must do more than end the occupation of land that Palestinian leaders want for a future state. “ The UN inquiry has asserted that ending the occupation alone will not be sufficient. They have called for measures that make it possible for Palestinians to get to share equal human rights.

Amidst all these positive signals, Palestinians continue to suffer on all economic fronts owing to the colonization of their lands. It is left to the international community to keep mobilizing in every possible way to bring pressure on Israel to commit to justice, end the colonization, shut down apartheid, and create the context for a just and lasting settlement.

Ranjan Solomon



Want to dismantle Israeli apartheid? Start with this law

The crisis over an emergency regulation that applies separate legal systems in the West Bank illustrates the tangible ways apartheid can be undone.
“What would it look like to begin dismantling Israeli apartheid? Of all places, the answer came this week from none other than Benjamin Netanyahu…On Monday night; the target of this obstructionist strategy was an emergency regulation that formally applies separate legal systems to Jews and Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank. It is at once both the public face and the hidden infrastructure of apartheid, a key pillar of the military regime which Israel has operated for over five decades. But that evening, the Knesset voted 58-52 to not extend the regulation, which is set to expire at the end of this month. The political crisis over the law does not in any way signal the imminent demise of apartheid; there is plenty of time in the next few weeks for the government — or the opposition — to find a way to renew the regulation. What this crisis does do, however, is demonstrate just how inconstant and even fickle the legal foundations of apartheid can be. That, in turn, can offer the beginnings of a vision for dismantling it.”
Read full article in 972.mag

The Settler-Protection Law No Israeli Government Can Survive Without
“The regulations, as well as some related legal provisions, give the settlers the same legal status they would enjoy if they lived within the “Green Line,” the internationally recognized borders of Israel. The original core of the regulations extended the jurisdiction of Israeli civilian courts and police over settlers. The current regulations, however, go far beyond that. They now extend the application to settlers of a huge range of laws that would otherwise only apply to “residents of Israel.” These laws include the right to Israeli national health insurance, to enter within the Green Line without formalities, to receive social security, to be inscribed in the Israeli population registry, to form law firms, adopt children, and inherit property under Israeli law, and so on – all impossible for Palestinians. Some pro-settler pundits have even suggested that a failure to re-enact the regulations could affect the settlers’ ability to vote in the next Israeli elections. In short, the failure to re-enact the regulations would leave Jewish settlers on the West Bank in the same precarious legal position as their Palestinian neighbors – hence the emotional fervor of the debate. The “emergency regulations” thus constitute the legal framework without which the settlement project could not have taken its current form. Put another way: they constitute the de facto annexation of the settlements to Israel, while maintaining the subordination of their Palestinian neighbors under military rule. The specter of the expiration of the “emergency regulations” reveals to all that the Occupation is not simply a matter of power, but rather power structured by law…It is crucial to emphasize that that the discrimination embodied in these regulations is based on ethnicity, not merely citizenship. Settlers entitled to the range of Israeli laws listed in the regulations include both Israeli citizens and people “entitled to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.” This surprising appearance of the Law of Return in regulations concerning the Occupation highlights their troubling nature.”
Read full narrative

Israeli anti-torture body refers Israel to International Criminal Court
Public Committee against Torture in Israel says after 30 years it has concluded Israeli authorities not interested and unable to stop abuse of Palestinians
 “The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) said on Friday it had demanded that Israelis involved in torture be tried as part of an investigation by the Hague-based ICC over suspected war crimes committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories. It said that after 30 years of fighting torture it had “reached the unfortunate conclusion” that Israel has no wish to end torture, honestly investigate victims’ complaints and prosecute those responsible.”
Read full report in Middle East Eye

European Diplomats: Israel Failed to Submit Sufficient Evidence Against Outlawed Palestinian NGOs
The European Commission’s Anti-Fraud Office is not expected to open a probe into the Palestinian groups Israel declared as terrorist orgs, sources say ■ One diplomat says the evidence submitted ‘doesn’t meet the required threshold of proof’

 “Israel has not provided European countries with sufficient evidence about the six civil society organizations in the West Bank it accused of funding and acting on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, European diplomats told Haaretz. Sources said the European Commission’s Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, is not expected to open an investigation into the organizations after its initial examination.”
Read more from Haaretz report

Israel wants ‘complete control’ of Palestinian land: UN report
“An independent commission of inquiry set up by the UN Human Rights Council after the 2021 Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza Strip said Israel must do more than end the occupation of land that Palestinian leaders want for a future state. “Ending the occupation alone will not be sufficient,” according to the report released on Tuesday, urging that additional action be taken to ensure the equal enjoyment of human rights for Palestinians. The report cites evidence that Israel has “no intention of ending the occupation”. Israel is pursuing “complete control” over what the report calls the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which was taken by Israel in a 1967 war and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.” See also this response from U.S. State Dep’t Spokesperson Ned Price “The U.S. seeks a negotiated two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The @HRC’s open-ended, biased, and vaguely defined Commission of Inquiry on the situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza does not advance prospects for that peace.”
Read full report from Al Jazeera

GRAPHIC: Restrictions on Palestinian Food Sovereignty

The Ongoing Nakba continues to take a heavy toll on farmers, fishers, and pastoralists across historic Palestine. In besieged Gaza, 35% of agricultural land is inaccessible due to Israeli military measures. In the occupied West Bank, 63% of agricultural land is under complete Israeli control in Area C, with Palestinian rural communities in Area C being some of the most vulnerable to Israeli policies of forced displacement. Israel’s wall cuts off more than 10% of the West Bank, forcing thousands of Palestinian farmers to constantly petition Israeli authorities for permits to access their own land beyond the wall.
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For more information on the intersection of self-determination and food sovereignty, read our post here. (Food as control; Food as resistance) https://grassrootsonline.org/blog/food-as-control-food-as-resistance/