Israel’s dirty tricks department and Palestinian ingenuity

Palestine Update 400

Israel’s dirty tricks department and Palestinian ingenuity
Israel’s government obviously has a well-staffed department in one of its cells where they arrive each morning to invent political muck. Among the many things they plan there, one can be certain they design irrational methods for ethnic cleansing. They go further. They make their plans look like actions that guarantee security to their own citizens. On the contrary however their plans are evil blueprints to subjugate the Palestinians.

Our first article in this edition: “Israel’s deals to ‘transfer’ Palestinians are thinly-disguised ethnic cleansing” exposes this wicked design”. For as long as Israel practices racism,  colonialism and apartheid, and employs occupation as a political tool, they  must also learn to expect reactions from Palestinians and their supporters around the world that may not be quite-so-politically appetizing.

Palestinians from Gaza have resorted to send incendiary balloons in the same way as as they used to fire rockets into areas across the border.  An Electronic Intifada report underlines how the incendiary balloons are no match to Israel’s sophisticated and modern weapons. They are simply burning wicks attached to balloons and releasing them in the direction of Israel. The balloons are carried into Israel by the wind. Reports say they cause fires on farm land and, as a result, incur a small amount of damage to Israel’s economy. Yet nobody has been killed or injured by them. Israel despises these relatively harmless acts of resistance. In revenge, it unashamedly employs highly destructive missiles from F-16s in heavily populated Gaza.

Even those who once aspired for a peaceful, dialogue-centered solution which would be just for both Palestinians and Israelis have lost patience with Israel. A criminal rogue state which kills at will and shoots at any target that moves which they don’t like may have won them  a space in the deep blue sea. It may sound anti-Semitic to say this. But a rogue regime, which has no license to persist with crude laws, policies, and practices does not deserve a place in civilization. 

Israel may want to remember that even the Nazi era came to an end. Their own Nazi-type behavior will also have to face and abrupt halt. Injustice to the Palestinians cannot be eternal.  The political rogues who run Israel will do better for themselves by learning this lesson. 

 As an integral part of its ongoing propaganda, Israel, along with its ardent supporters and mass of  mysterious instruments, fervently reiterate in the media, on university campuses, in blogs and comment sections, the same old, tired Zionist myths. Israel treats international laws and conventions with contempt, and contravenes them with escalating promptness and maintains a brutal military occupation. Israel is easily the foremost  rogue State. Its overt and covert allies and supporters are part of this ‘rougeness’ .

Ranjan Solomon 

Israel’s deals to ‘transfer’ Palestinians are thinly-disguised ethnic cleansing

A protest against Israel’s closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque for the first time since 1967, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 28 July 2017 [Eman Abusidu]It seems that Israel is not satisfied with driving 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and land in 1948, and another 400,000 in 1967; nor with its many massacres of Palestinian civilians. It is, in fact, working to expel even more Palestinians with a view to emptying the land of its indigenous inhabitants having known long ago that Palestine was never “a land without a people for a people without a land” as Zionist propaganda would have us believe. It is no surprise, therefore, to learn that the government of Golda Meir (1898-1978) sought to “encourage” 60,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to migrate to Paraguay in South American with payments that would have cost the occupation state millions of dollars. According to Israeli public broadcaster KAN, recently-released secret papers from 1969 give details of the scheme.

Is it a coincidence that these documents have been released now, in the wake of the “deal of the century” and the increasing Arab normalization with the occupation state? Moreover, why Paraguay?

With 53 years’ of hindsight, we can say that the fact that the scheme did not go ahead does not mean that it is off the table for ever. Israel has always looked for “alternative homelands” for the Palestinians so that the occupation can be completed with as much of Palestine and as few Palestinians living there as possible.

The possibility of “transferring” Palestinians to Latin America is a bit of a recurring theme. Aside from Paraguay, Israel has made several attempts to encourage Palestinians to migrate to Brazil and other Latin American countries. In 2017, Israel revealed proposals discussed by ministers after the 1967 Six Day War which included the minutes of meetings of the security cabinet between August and December 1967. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol speculated about how to deal with the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians newly under Israeli control. “If it were up to us,” said Eshkol, “we’d send all the Arabs out to Brazil.”

Better to launch balloons than die in silence
In recent weeks, the tension between Palestinians in Gaza and Israel’s forces of occupation has increased. Israel has used the launching of incendiary balloons by Palestinian youths as a pretext to bomb Gaza once again. The release of the balloons is a gesture of protest against how the Israeli occupation has procrastinated in abiding by its previous agreements with the Palestinian resistance. Under those agreements, Israel had committed to easing the siege on Gaza.

This procrastination has caused the continued deterioration of Gaza’s health and public services and its economy. Meanwhile, the Israeli government continues to control the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza. The Israeli military has responded to the incendiary balloons by carrying out dozens of raids on sites used by Palestinian resistance fighters with US-made F-16 jets. The Israeli naval forces, which besiege Gaza from the sea, have prevented fishers from doing their work and fired at their boats.

Israel’s response to the incendiary balloons in the same way as it responds to rockets fired from Gaza. Israel, it seems, wishes to keep on responding with deadly force to largely symbolic acts of resistance that make use of very basic materials. Israel has put this statement into practice by dropping highly destructive missiles from F-16s onto densely populated Gaza for 13 consecutive nights. The incendiary balloons bear no resemblance to Israel’s sophisticated and modern weapons. Youths have simply attached burning wicks to balloons and released them toward Israel. The balloons have been carried into Israel by the wind. They have caused some fires on farm land and, as a result, incurred a small amount of damage to Israel’s economy. Yet nobody has been killed or injured by them.

Fatah criticizes Arab League’s neglect for request of an emergency meeting

A general view from Arab League Foreign Ministers' extraordinary meeting on U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called Middle East peace plan in Cairo, Egypt on February 1, 2020 [Thaer Ghanaim/Palestinian Presidency/Handout - Anadolu Agency]A prominent Fatah leader spoke of the Arab League’s neglect of the Palestinian leadership’s request to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the UAE’s decision to normalise relations with Israel. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary–General of the League of Arab States, said on Saturday that the League will hold a regular meeting on 9 September at the ministerial level, ignoring the Palestinian leadership’s request for an emergency meeting. On 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.

 Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv’s planned annexation of the occupied West Bank. Hard to believe when one knows that normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years.

 UNRWA calls for unimpeded passage into Gaza for vital goods

UNRWA distributes food aid to families in Gaza, 2 April 2020 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) called on Tuesday for all vital goods to be granted unimpeded passage into the besieged Gaza Strip, including fuel for electricity. UNRWA made the appeal against the background of 14 years of an illegal blockade and the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The agency in Gaza is extremely concerned about the closure of the lone power plant since last Tuesday, 18 August,” UNRWA said. “The closure of the plant has caused the power feed to decline to two or three hours per day, followed by 20 hours of interruption.” This, explained UNRWA, will have a negative impact on the wellbeing and safety of the people of Gaza and devastating effects on the Strip’s vital services, including hospitals. “Thus, this puts at risk the lives and health of nearly two million people, including 1.4 million registered Palestine refugees.”

The official statement from the UN agency pointed out that, “Under international humanitarian law, the passage of all relief consignments, in this case fuel for electricity, should not be prevented.” Commenting on the situation in the Gaza Strip, the Director of UNRWA Affairs in the Palestinian territory, Matthias Schmale, said that the call is being made to all concerned parties to maintain a supply of electricity that is sufficient to meet the basic needs of the civilian population. “UNRWA is, furthermore, concerned about other measures perceived as punitive to the civilian population, such as closing down the fishing zone, as well as the escalating tensions and military activities.”

Gaza, Schmale pointed out, has now been hit by air raids for more than ten nights in a row. “All parties must show utmost restraint and protect the civilian population with full respect for their dignity and human rights.”

The PA rises up to fail the Palestinians at every occasion
It is a pity that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas wasted so much time in declaring that no one has the right “to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people.” The statement was made within the context of the US-brokered deal normalizing relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, which has allegedly stalled annexation of land from the occupied West Bank for an indefinite period.

The deal exacerbates Palestine’s isolation in the region; in particular, it signifies the start of a tacit consensus for when Israel decides it is time to take up annexation once again. For the Palestinian people, another round of “waiting” has been initiated – a tactic much favored by the international community when it comes to brushing aside Palestinian political demands. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not ruled out annexation; the only change is that now there is a context to the earlier, vague statements. Normalization of relations is the easiest option and the one that is likely to ward off unwanted scrutiny for Israel.

Normalization should not have come as a surprise; after all, Netanyahu had repeatedly stated that Israel would be able to build ties with Arab countries and Gulf States since the Palestinian cause was no longer a top priority in the region. Is it a surprise, seeing that the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 promoted the concept of normalization, albeit tied to the two-state compromise? Yet prior to the announcement, the PA had no qualms about promoting the Arab Peace Initiative. Until last month, this paradigm was endorsed by PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, as part of the PLO’s “national program”.

Thousands of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem face demolition threat

A senior Palestinian official says thousands of Palestinian-owned houses in occupied Jerusalem are facing the threat of demolition by Israeli authorities. The Palestinian Authority’s deputy governor of Jerusalem, Abdullah Siam, told the Arabic-language Voice of Palestine radio station on Monday that Israeli courts are considering the demolition of some 18,000 Palestinian homes. The measure comes at a time when there is a need for 15,000 housing units in the occupied city. Siam noted that the demolition of the Palestinian homes in Jerusalem is in line with the Israeli regime’s collective punishment, ethnic cleansing, and Judaization of the occupied city through forced displacement of Palestinians. Israeli officials have issued nearly 650 demolition orders against Palestinian-owned structures in Jerusalem since the beginning of the current year. Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes and structures in occupied Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank are part of a plan by the regime to expand settlements and force Palestinians from their homes and land.