Palestine Update 86
Israel won’t stop subverting options for peace
In this issue of Palestine Updates, we highlight the obstacles to peace as voiced in various quarters.
Israel is predictable on one count- it will derail just about any move that has the potential to boost the prospect of peace. It cannot tolerate the notion of a peaceful settlement, not even for the sake of pretences!
Recently, analysts assessed the 2015, the Comprehensive Agreement between the Holy See and the Palestinian Authority (PA) which affirmed that the Palestinian State exists. Mutually beneficial arrangements were agreed upon with an emphasis on ‘religious benefits, not only for security for the local Catholic population to pursue its religious interests but also for protection of key holy sites, property, and financial interests’. True to its political line of negative views on any form of recognition of Palestine and endorsement of its political status, Israel rejected the agreement even going as far as to inquiring whether the Vatican’s agreement was a revisit of the church’s “sordid history of anti-Semitism.”
Very recently, Palestinians received strong political endorsement from unexpected quarters. John Kerry, former Secretary of State of the USA, lauded Palestinians for an amazing situation of enduring dedication to nonviolence. Kerry pointed out too how during the [knife] intifada Palestinians “delivered non-violence in the West Bank.” He juxtaposed the Palestinian attitude with that of Israel’s: “This is overlooked by the general [Israeli] population because it is not a topic of discussion. Why? Because the majority of the cabinet currently in the current Israeli government has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state.” he maintained.
Palestine Updates has frequently underlined that aid minus political measures geared to end the occupation and find a just and lasting settlement amount to little or nothing. The EU and other affluent countries have set up relief and welfare mechanisms as what they call their ‘investment in peace’. The occupation has left Palestinians choked for survival. Most times they can barely make it and basic needs are far from being met except through charity. This does not make for the self-esteem of the recipient. In the case of the Palestinians, justice with dignity is uppermost among their claims, not handouts which leave them dependent. It may serve as a feel-good for the European community to see aid passing through. The question is, where does it leave the political solution that affords human rights, security, livelihoods without hindrance, freedom of movement, rights to practice religion unimpeded by military supervisors, an end to collective punishment on petty pretexts, an end to arbitrary detentions, right of access to education, and so forth. The international political and humanitarian schema makes little or no provision for a future Palestinian originating in freedom.
Meanwhile even in the citadels of learning, the long arm of Israel’s oppressive control machinery is seen in commission. The Cambridge University compelled organizers of a BDS-related event to designate a Moderator whose views were in contrast to those of the speakers – this, after the organizers had already named a qualified moderator. The decision put in peril the right to free speech and “risks being seen to side with those who seek to silence the voices of the marginalized”, an open letter challenging the interference said.
Barely several months ago, Israel suffered its worst humiliation in many years when a robust protest resulted in the Jerusalemites’ victory in what is often referred now to as the Al-Aqsa Battle. Israel was forced to dismantle electronic detectors from the entrance of the holy site. Israel was left smarting under the defeat and now Israeli police are seeking to check the movement of Jerusalemites, mainly in the Old City by installing cameras to monitor the movement in and out of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli police will soon stiffen the security fence in Damascus Gate and the Old City by adding inspection points similar to military checkpoints.
Indeed, Israel won’t stop subverting options for peace.
Vatican joins Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – Analysis
From a report in Eurasia review
“In May 2015, the Comprehensive Agreement between the Holy See and the Palestinian Authority (PA) was signed. With this agreement, the Vatican formally acknowledged the “state of Palestine.” A spokesman for the Vatican confirmed, “It’s a recognition that the state exists.”
The agreement establishes both the standing and mode of interaction between the Catholic Church and the PA (and by extension, Israel), and describes the church’s interests in the Holy Land. In exchange for the Vatican’s formal recognition, the PA agreed to provide a broad gamut of religious benefits, not only for security for the local Catholic population to pursue its religious interests but also for protection of key holy sites, property, and financial interests.
- With the 2015 Comprehensive Agreement between the Holy See and the Palestinian Authority, the Pope Francis Vatican formally acknowledged the “state of Palestine.” The agreement secured protections for the local Catholic population, holy sites, property, and financial interests.The Israelis, however, objected strongly, saying the agreement would make peace negotiations with the Palestinians more difficult. Michael Freund, former deputy communications director to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, questioned whether the Vatican’s agreement was a return to the church’s “sordid history of anti-Semitism.”
What are the implications of the 2015 agreement? What will it accomplish for each party? And what does it mean for Israel?”
Read details of Comprehensive Agreement between Holy See and the Palestinian Authority
John Kerry says Israeli government doesn’t want peace
Former US secretary of state John Kerry blamed the Israeli government’s resistance to the establishment of a Palestinian state for harming the prospects of a peace deal, while warning Israel could face a future violent Palestinian uprising if there was no progress in peace talks. In recordings published, America’s former top diplomat can be heard praising the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to nonviolence following a wave of terror attacks beginning in the fall of 2015, which he said has been ignored by Israelis due to right-wing configuration of the current government. “The Palestinians have done an extraordinary job of remaining committed to nonviolence. And in fact when the [knife] intifada took place they delivered non-violence in the West Bank” Kerry said. “This is overlooked by the general [Israeli] population because it is not a topic of discussion. Why? Because the majority of the cabinet currently in the current Israeli government has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state,” he adds.
Full report in Times of Israel
EU-UNRWA aid overlooks guarantees of Palestinian freedom
The deprivation experienced by Palestinian refugees has reached a level where basic needs are still not being met. The international community has created a culture of convenience for Israel, which is managed through UNRWA and other institutions dependent upon foreign aid for providing services. If Israel is not prevented from continuing its cycle of human rights violations, the future for Palestinian refugees will be interspersed with celebrated efforts that go no further than PR ceremonies and temporary or partial alleviation of difficulties. A Palestinian future founded upon freedom is still far from being considered for top spot on the international political and humanitarian agenda.
Read full article in Middle East Monitor
Cambridge University group condemns University’s ‘threat to academic freedom’
Cambridge University Palestine Society has released an open letter condemning the University’s decision to “interfere” in an event organized for this evening, in what it called “an intolerable violation of academic freedom by a self-styled global leader”. The panel event, entitled ‘BDS [the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel] and the Globalised Struggle for Palestinian Rights’, was due to be chaired by Dr Ruba Salih, an academic from SOAS. The University stepped in to request that Dr Salih was removed from the event and replaced by an “independent” chair that “does not have the same political views as the other panelists”. The University’s director of communications, Paul Mylrea, was given responsibility for chairing the event. The letter continued, “It is deeply concerning that the University has attempted to suppress this event through aggressive institutional intervention. In doing so, it risks being seen to side with those who seek to silence the voices of the marginalized, and raises questions about the extent of its commitment to free speech. “Such behaviour belies the University’s stated commitment to ‘light touch’ implementation of the government’s draconian Prevent legislation.”
Read full report in “Varsity Web”
Cameras to monitor Palestinians installed at Al-Aqsa Mosque
Israeli police have begun placing new cameras at the Council Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque to monitor Palestinians’ entry and exit. Director of Al-Aqsa Academy for Science and Heritage Sheikh Najeh Bkeerat said that Israeli police “are placing the cameras to monitor the movement in and out of Al-Aqsa Mosque and to restrict the movement of Jerusalemites, mainly in the Old City”. Bkeerat said: “It is clear that the occupation prepared this plan after the defeat of the Israeli police and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and after the Jerusalemites’ victory in the Al-Aqsa Battle,” in reference to Israel’s decision in July to remove electronic detectors it installed at the doors of the holy site after large protests.
Israeli Interior Minister Gilad Erdan had earlier said he was preparing a security plan to prevent “Palestinian attacks” in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem. The plan includes tightening the security fence in Damascus Gate and the Old City by setting up inspection points similar to military checkpoints.
Read full story in Palestine News Network