Its worse than Apartheid

Palestine Update 540

Its worse than Apartheid
Every report in this issue of Palestine Updates confirms the worst about Israel’s innate and inhumane apartheid policies.  It is a cruel and duplicitous world. The West led by the USA feigns its abhorrence of autocracies. They posit the Ukraine crisis as one between democracy and autocracy. But, as a report from Statecraft puts it: Biden met with five interlocutors from Israel, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco represent governments. Each of them are either monarchical, outright tyrannical, or have invaded and occupy their neighbors’ territory by the force of arms.  So, it’s time to call the bluff of democracy, especially at a time when the occupation is at its worst. Palestinians are fighting against the occupation and fighting back hard- even violently. It is an alarming situation and one’s mind goes back to the days of the Second Intifada when violence and counter violence spun out of control. The blame does not belong to the Palestinians. They have no avenues remaining except to intercept the oppressive machinations of the Israeli army and the settlers.  The western media presents the severe crisis prevailing in Israel and Palestinians as one between terrorists among the Palestinians versus the Israeli army. False! The original terrorist here is the army and the Israeli regime.. Add to that, there are out-of-control settlers. Israeli officials have actually asked every Israel who is a licensed gun holder to carry their weapons. Israel promotes and foments terror all the way.

Each narrative below shows the evolving battle for justice and dignity as far as Palestinians are concerned versus the crude armed civilians and soldiers of the IOF. Ukraine has proved the ideal foil for an international community worried about a war that NATO constructed over the last two years and now demonizes Putin.

Please read and widely disseminate the stories of suffering and courage.

Ranjan Solomon

Critique as movement building: The apartheid reports on Palestine
Apartheid | B'Tselem
Source: Btselem
“If we come to understand these reports as mere tools, not as the site of liberation, and if we acknowledge the skewed power of Israeli and international media to carry more weight than Palestinian voices, then this moment is imbued with political potential. With Israeli and leading international organizations coming to the fore and inching closer toward the Palestinian narrative, a turning point is in the making, one that we must encourage, capitalize and build on. These reports have the capacity to shift the narrative around Palestine in the mainstream imagination, from one focused on a conflict between two warring parties and on a faulty peace-process, to one of apartheid. Such a paradigm shift is essential, and a prerequisite to our future liberation…All this must be done without our compromising on red-lines…Playing politics should not entail concessions on fundamental principles, otherwise the battle is lost at the outset. This is where critique is essential if delivered with the goal of movement building, of securing power, of constructing rather than destroying. The critiques should ask: how can we utilize these interventions, and build power — use them to our advantage, incomplete as they are?…As long as we, Palestinians, understand what our struggle for liberation is – dismantling a Zionist settler-colonial regime and achieving self-determination in Palestine – then that must be our guiding light. As long as the values animating our movement – freedom, justice, equality – are at the forefront of our political engagement, then we will not misstep, even if we use the compromised tools of human rights and international law.”
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An inauspicious start to Biden’s democracies v. autocracies campaignAn inauspicious start to Biden's democracies v. autocracies campaign - Responsible Statecraft
“If Secretary of State Antony Blinken wanted to highlight the hypocrisy that so many non-Western nations perceive in President Biden’s efforts to depict the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a global “battle between democracy and autocracy,” he couldn’t have chosen better than to attend the Middle East foreign ministers’ meeting in Israel today. All five of his interlocutors from Israel, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco represent governments that are either monarchical, outright tyrannical, or have invaded and occupy their neighbors’ territory by the force of arms. Blinken’s enthusiastic endorsement of this burgeoning axis of Mideast states regardless of their human rights records marks a return to the familiar Cold War politics where generous U.S. support for all kinds of repressive states, especially in the Global South, was justified by the overriding necessity of containing and defeating the Soviet Union.”
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In Every Corner of Palestine, There Is a Story of Dispossession
Woman of Masafer Yatta“Everywhere you look on the map, there is a story of dispossession. In the Naqab, Palestinian Bedouins are uprooted and replaced by pine trees. In Silwan, the Occupation forces demolish homes to fulfill a biblical fantasy. In Sheikh Jarrah, ethnic cleansing comes disguised as a “real-estate dispute.” In Beita, settlers build illegal outposts on hilltops, and soldiers kill for them. Out of all the loot, the Land remains—indisputably—the most valuable. As I observe this Land Day, I can tell a dozen stories of dispossession, but today I want to write about the communities of Masafer Yatta, whose villages, tucked in the South Hebron Hills, are under imminent threat of expulsion.”
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Also see this Land Day report from Al Haq:
1.Special Focus: On Palestine Land Day, Al-Haq Highlights Israel’s Continued Nakba Through Land Registration aimed at Mass Forcible Transfer
2.  Our land means our existence”: Palestinians mark Land Day in Gaza (Mondoweiss)
3.  Stop the Wall’s Land Day: A Day to call for sanctions on apartheid Israel

Israel forces shoot, kill 16-year old Palestinian boy in Jenin
An Israeli soldier shot Sanad as he approached Yazeed al-Saadi, 22, moments after al-Saadi was shot in the back of the head. Sanad was killed as Israeli forces were leaving the area after conducting a search and arrest operation in nearby Jenin refugee camp. Palestinian residents reportedly threw stones at the armored Israeli military vehicles as they withdrew from Jenin refugee camp towards Jenin’s Al-Zahra neighborhood. An eyewitness reported that gunshots were fired from the refugee camp as the Israeli vehicles left the area. Palestinian residents who were throwing stones began to flee, as one of the armored Israeli military vehicles drove in reverse pursuing those who were fleeing, an eyewitness told DCIP.

An Israeli soldier exited the passenger side of the jeep, took a shooting position, and fired around 15 live ammunition rounds in quick succession, the eyewitness told DCIP. The soldier shot al-Saadi in the back of the head, and al-Saadi fell to the ground about two meters from a car that Sanad and the eyewitness were hiding behind. Sanad was shot as he approached al-Saadi in an attempt to render aid, the eyewitness told DCIP. Israeli forces frequently ignore their obligation under international law to only resort to intentional lethal force when a direct, mortal threat to life or of serious injury exists. They must be held accountable for killing Palestinian children with impunity.
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After deadly attacks, Israel targets Palestinian workers for punishment
“Following the series of deadly stabbing and shooting attacks in the Israeli cities of Be’er Sheva, Hadera, and Bnei Brak over the past week, which have killed 11 people, there have been growing calls in Israel to stop the employment of Palestinian workers in the country. These voices are coming primarily from right-wing activists, but not exclusively: municipal authorities and other public bodies have also announced that they will be preventing the entry of After deadly attacks, Israel targets Palestinian workers for punishmentPalestinian workers from the occupied territories. The policy — which is being justified as a security measure, but is effectively a form of collective punishment against Palestinians — has been gaining traction in recent days, though it’s hard to know how long it will last…The Civil Administration — the arm of the Israeli military that governs the occupied territories — issues about 80,000 work permits for Palestinians from the West Bank to work inside the state, and about 30,000 to work in Israel’s West Bank settlements. A further 12,000 workers receive approval to enter from the Gaza Strip. About 40,000 additional Palestinian workers are also estimated to be entering Israel without a permit. There are dozens of gaps in Israel’s separation barrier, and it is an open secret that the army has so far deliberately left them open — both because Israel wants Palestinians to do the low-paying, manual labor jobs that Jewish-Israelis are not willing to do, and because the Israeli defense establishment believes that the employment of Palestinian workers in Israel contributes to stability in the West Bank. Palestinian workers without permits, however, are not entitled to social rights, thus enabling rampant exploitation.”
Read 972 for a full account

From Israel to Russia, occupiers are remaking the world order
“While most Western governments denounce Russia for its brutal attack on a neighboring country, Israel has an inherent problem speaking out clearly against the occupation of another people’s land and sovereignty. It cannot wholeheartedly join sanctions against Russia or denounce its war crimes while concurrently leading a diplomatic campaign against the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement, or against proceedings in the International Criminal Court regarding suspected crimes committed in the context of Israel’s military occupation…For three decades, Israel was able to push back against international criticism by using the feeble excuse of “peace talks,” while entrenching its rule over Palestinians on the ground and carrying out de facto annexation of their land. The Netanyahu project sought to undermine the legal world order to the point that he could remove Israel’s mask without paying a price. As the former prime minister himself once said, “They [the world] will become more like us than we will become like them.” The great tragedy is that he was right. And now, as Israel chooses to be silent on the occupation of Ukraine, it is doing so to ensure that “they” continue to look “like us.”
Read 972 for an analysis

In the West Bank, segregated roads displace Palestinians
“On the surface, the threat of demolition in Arab Al-Saray’a might sound similar to the types of problems created by urban sprawl anywhere else in the world. But in the occupied Palestinian territory, and in the Jerusalem area in particular, geopolitics loom large over even the smallest of roadworks. For decades, Israel has declared its intention to build settlements in an area just east of Jerusalem, referred to in planning documents as “E1”. Doing so would completely surround East Jerusalem with settlements and preclude meaningful geographic contiguity between the northern and southern West Bank. In addition, such settlements are illegal under international law…Any Palestinian presence in E1, both those living there and even Palestinian traffic passing through, poses a major obstacle to Israel’s settlement plans. However, Palestinians travelling between the northern and southern West Bank must currently use a highway that traverses the so-called E1 area. Israeli authorities, therefore, are working toward “eliminating the need for Palestinians to travel through E1,” according to Amy Cohen, director of international relations and advocacy at Ir Amim, an Israeli organisation that focuses on Jerusalem within the context of the Palestinian-Israeli issue. “The road project lays the groundwork for the future annexation steps of the area of E1,” she adds.”
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