Palestine Update 504
Israel’s crimes mounts and chances for peace are minimialized
A commandeer from the Irgun Zionist militia met death at age 94. The Deir Yassin massacre was a horrific massacre that killed over 100 prisoners. Ben-Zion Cohen died unrepentant. . Cruelty was his characteristic. He had famously said: “If there were another three or four more Deir Yassins in the Land of Israel at the time, not a single Arab would have remained in Israel.” It is clear that the 1948 heroes were plain and simple, cold blooded murderers who must have lived a life without any conscience. This is true of their modern day war criminals such as Netanyahu and other PMs.
Ben Zion Cohen has his modern day think-alikes. Israeli lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich, recently said in terms that are shocking to say the least: an Bezalel Smotrich, an, has admitted what any serious historian, and every Palestinian, already knows: The ethnic cleansing of 800,000 Palestinians by Zionist militias before and after Israel was established in 1948 is undeniable. After the state’s establishment in May 1948, the Israeli military itself took part in the expulsion. “You’re here by mistake, it’s a mistake that Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job and didn’t throw you out in 1948,” Smotrich, who heads the Religious Zionist Party, yelled at Palestinian members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. “You’re here by mistake, it’s a mistake that Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job and didn’t throw you out in 1948.” Elsewhere in Europe, the Swedish government has switched sides after being a critic of the Gaza war. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven is criminalizing criticism of Israel and its racist state ideology. So at the centre of Sweden’s new policy in the Middle East is a hugely publicized International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism. This is a big fall for Sweden from once espousing progressive policies to emerging as yet another rabid racist entity.
The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies survey revealed that promoting peace with the Palestinians came in last place out of the priorities of issues listed being on a firm turn down since 2019.
And for the single rainbow – San Francisco State University first failed to protect a professor from censorship by a major Silicon Valley company. But an investigation by a faculty rights panel upheld a complaint filed by Rabab Abdulhadi. It represents an important victory not only for us, but for everybody speaking about Palestine and for our ability to teach about Palestine as part of the indivisibility of justice.”
Unheeded oppression as a report states: “In a sinister, unprecedented, and blanket attack on Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society organizations, Israel’s “Defense” Minister Benny Gantz announced, on 19 October 2021, the designations of six leading Palestinian civil society organizations (CSOs) as “terror organizations,” effectively outlawing the organizations and placing them at risk of imminent reprisals”. Read snippets or more details from the links below and do disseminate widely.
Unrepentant Israeli commander of Deir Yassin massacre dies age 94
A commander who led a horrendous massacre in the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin in 1948 has died in Israel. Ben-Zion Cohen, who commanded fighters from the Irgun Zionist militia during the massacre, died at the age of 94. Over one hundred Palestinians were killed in the brutal massacre, which took place on April 9 1948, as Irgun fighters threw grenades into civilian homes and deliberately shot at women and children.
The total number of victims is disputed but estimates range from 107 to 254. The village had an estimated population of no more than 600 and an Israeli settlement, Kafr Shaul, was built on its ruins. Cohen was never held to account for his role in the massacre and remained unrepentant and boastful about his role in it until the end of his life. “If there were another three or four more Deir Yassins in the Land of Israel at the time, not a single Arab would have remained in Israel,” he said. The Deir Yassin massacre was considered one of the main factors which led to Palestinians fleeing their homes in the 1948 Nakba, as Zionist militias took control of most of British-mandate Palestine. Cohen was born in Jerusalem in 1927 and joined the Irgun militia, which was known for its extremism and brutality, in 1946. The Irgun militia was later absorbed into the Israeli army.
Other militiamen have boasted of the war crimes they committed during the massacre. In 2017, a letter written by Yehuda Feder, a member of the Lehi militia, was discovered where he wrote, “In the village I killed an armed Arab man and two Arab girls of 16 or 17 who were helping the Arab who was shooting. I stood them against a wall and blasted them with two rounds from the Tommy gun.” No one has been tried for their role in the massacre and the Israeli state still censors information relating to it.
Israeli lawmaker regrets Ben-Gurion didn’t “finish the job”
Bezalel Smotrich, an Israeli lawmaker, has admitted what any serious historian, and every Palestinian, already knows: The ethnic cleansing of 800,000 Palestinians by Zionist militias before and after Israel was established in 1948 is undeniable. After the state’s establishment in May 1948, the Israeli military itself took part in the expulsion. “You’re here by mistake, it’s a mistake that Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job and didn’t throw you out in 1948,” Smotrich, who heads the Religious Zionist Party, yelled at Palestinian members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.
David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, was the architect of the organized expulsion campaign – the dispossessions Palestinians call the Nakba. Smotrich was angered that some members of the Knesset were pushing back on his racist call for Israel to have a “Jewish majority.” He attacked them as “anti-Zionists, terror supporters, enemies,” noting, “I’m not speaking to you.” But he did speak to them in chilling language to regret that the wiping away of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Zionist militias had not gone far enough. This sort of racism is nothing new for Smotrich.
In 2015, he claimed God commanded Jews not to sell homes to Arabs. “I believe in God’s words,” Smotrich stated. “I prefer that Jews make a living and wouldn’t sell a house to Arabs.” It is an injunction that is heeded by Israel’s state-backed Jewish National Fund, whose discriminatory policies are designed to prevent Palestinian citizens of Israel from leasing lands and homes, including property confiscated during the Nakba. Three years later, Smotrich called for young Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi to be shot or at least kneecapped.
Sweden moves to criminalize support for Palestine
Hundreds of people rallied in Stockholm’s Sergel Torg Plaza on 16 May to protest Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. Since then Sweden’s government has been warming ties with Israel and looks set to crack down on solidarity with Palestine. In 2016, Sweden distinguished itself among European states by affirming that the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign is a legitimate political movement that should be protected from repression. But now, the government of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven is moving towards criminalizing criticism of Israel and its racist state ideology Zionism under the guise of combating anti-Jewish bigotry. This week, Sweden is hosting the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.It is being attended by Israel lobbyists and EU officials committed to muzzling criticism of Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.
Poll: Promoting peace between Israel and Palestine the lowest priority
A slim majority, 53 per cent of Israelis, believe that Israel should seek assistance from the countries it has normalised relations with to advance peace with the Palestinians, a new survey has found. However, Mitvim – the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies survey conducted in September, also revealed that promoting peace with the Palestinians came in last place out of the priorities of issues listed, at 5.64 out of ten. This score has been on a steady decline since 2019.
A year after the Abraham Accords were signed, out of the representative sample of 700 Israeli adults polled for the survey, 34 per cent think the agreements are a turning point for Israel’s acceptance in the Middle East, while 31 per cent think Israel’s status has not changed significantly. The United Arab Emirates and Morocco are the Arab countries that Israelis are most interested in visiting, at 10 per cent each, followed by Lebanon at 7 per cent, Egypt at 6 per cent while Saudi Arabia and Jordan are both only of interest to 3 per cent. About half – 48 per cent – of Israelis do not want to visit any Arab country, up from 42 per cent last year.
SFSU told to protect professor against censorship
San Francisco State University first failed to protect a professor from censorship by a major Silicon Valley company, an investigation has concluded. The probe – carried out by a faculty rights panel within the California College – upheld a complaint filed by Rabab Abdulhadi, the only full-time professor in SFSU’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas studies program. “This is a huge victory not only for us, but for everybody speaking about Palestine and for our ability to teach about Palestine as part of the indivisibility of justice.” San Francisco State University failed to protect a professor from censorship by a major Silicon Valley company, an investigation has concluded. The probe – carried out by a faculty rights panel within the California College – upheld a complaint filed by Rabab Abdulhadi, the only full-time professor in SFSU’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas studies program.
UN alarmed as Israel designates human rights groups as terrorists
Israel on Friday effectively outlawed six prominent Palestinian human rights groups by declaring them terrorist organizations, a major escalation of its decades-long crackdown on political activism in the occupied territories.The declaration appeared to pave the way for Israel to raid their offices, seize assets, arrest staff and criminalize any public expressions of support for the groups. Most of the targeted organizations document alleged human rights violations by Israel as well as the Palestinian Authority, both of which routinely detain Palestinian activists.
Israeli and international rights groups condemned the move as an assault on civil society and expressed solidarity with the targeted organizations. Many noted that Israel already outlaws even peaceful political activities in the occupied West Bank. Palestinians want the territory — which Israel captured in the 1967 war — to form the main part of their future state. The designated groups are Al-Haq, a human rights group founded in 1979, as well as the Addameer rights group, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.
The Israeli Defense Ministry said they are secretly linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a secular, left-wing movement with a political party as well as an armed wing that has carried out deadly attacks against Israelis. Israel and Western countries consider the PFLP a terrorist organization.