Justice needs truth to survive

Palestine Update 562


Justice needs truth to survive
When the highest court in the country backs criminal methods and rejects justice, it is clear that Israel that Israel has lost its way and is in terrain that makes it a war criminal minus even a faint apology for the worst of its crimes. An anonymous quote says: “There really can be no peace without justice. There can be no justice without truth. And there can be no truth, unless someone rises up to tell you the truth”. Israel should stand globally rebuked.

The question that confronts us is what happens when someone rises up to tell the truth and the person who must dispense justice is deaf to the truth. What lack of conscience allowed for crude slogans such as “Death to Arabs,” “May your village burn,” and “Shireen is a whore,” in reference to the slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. These were slogans shrieked in vicious anger during the Jerusalem Flag March – inexplicable crudity.

More barbaric facts as information emerges on Israeli attacks on The Gaza Strip last year. War crimes of the worst sort are committed and Israel’s allies, especially in the Western nations, turn a blind eye. Virtual arson struck the Khudair Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Tools warehouse in the north of the Gaza Strip last year. Tonnes of pesticides, fertilisers, plastics and nylons were burned in what is an equivalent of a chemical weapons strike.

Still, there are glimmers of hope. The Hamas’ landslide student election victory in Birziet University marks a major shift in Palestinian politics. The victory demonstrates mounting restlessness with the West Bank’s ruling Fatah party.

And what can be a better demonstration of steadfastness but these words from Yara Hawari: “Israel will face no consequences from the international community for the murder of Shireen Abu Aqleh, or its attempted cover-up afterwards – for Palestinians, justice can only be won through political struggle”. Hawari asserts strongly, justice will come one day but it will be Palestinians that bring it about. Stern measures are called for that will pave the way for  justice to emerge. Of these the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions would be an important instrument. More serious measures are needed that target the regime in its entirety for its subjugation and oppression of the Palestinian people. Totalitarian governments rely on falsehoods to establish dominance. Justice needs truth to survive.

Ranjan Solomon

“The highest court in Israel has allowed the state to commit a war crime. The justices relied on a warped legal interpretation and blatantly disregarded the facts presented before them. They ignored Israel’s true agenda in the area and disregarded the provisions of international law and their internationally accepted interpretation. Above all, they ignored the petitioners. The justices of the Supreme Court refused to truly see the people standing before them…The very notion of requiring these residents to prove they live in their homes is unfounded and degrading. For generations, long before Israel occupied the West Bank, these communities have been living on this land, earning their keep off it and raising their children. With the stroke of a pen, the court erased their entire history, as though they were not human beings, ruling that none of this ever existed and therefore the state can expel them.

Trappings aside, it is plain to see what really happened here. This was not a legal discussion. The justices of the Supreme Court are surely well-versed in international law and familiar with its accepted interpretations – certainly when it comes to fundamental issues presented to them in great detail. Nevertheless, they chose, yet again, to serve the apartheid regime. This time, they found a way to sanction the transfer of land from Palestinian residents to Jewish hands. By doing so, the court facilitated the regime’s promotion of Jewish supremacy in yet another parcel of land, in keeping with the view that the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is a resource meant to benefit Jews alone.”
Read more from B’Tselem

The violence didn’t stop with Jerusalem’s Flag March
Despite Palestinian resistance, Israeli police arrests and settler attacks inflicted a severe toll before and after the notorious march, says Nasser Odeh.
“The sight of tens of thousands of Jewish supremacists, many of them young, gripped the world on Sunday during the annual Flag March, the culmination of Israel’s celebrations marking the “reunification” of Jerusalem in 1967. The marchers walked through the streets of Jerusalem on their way to the Old City, many of whom engaged in violent and racist chanting, including “Death to Arabs,” “May your village burn,” and “Shireen is a whore,” in reference to the slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. The marchers were allowed to parade through Damascus Gate — a central hub for the city’s Palestinians — and into the Muslim Quarter, where they attacked Palestinian shop owners, journalists, and onlookers; the Israeli police, meanwhile, cordoned off the area surrounding the Old City and barred Palestinians from protesting. But with the world’s focus on the Israeli marchers, few paid attention to how Palestinians were resisting that day — and how they were brutally suppressed. Less than a kilometer from the Jewish crowd, Palestinians organized their own counter Flag March on Salah a-Din street, one of the major thoroughfares of occupied East Jerusalem. Unlike the Israeli Flag March, the Palestinian one was swiftly put down by the police…”
Read full narrative from 972.mag

Israeli strike in Gaza akin to chemical weapons, NGO finds

“An Israeli airstrike on an agrochemical warehouse during last year’s war in Gaza amounted to the “indirect deploying of chemical weapons”, according to a report analyzing the attack and its impact. Incendiary artillery shells fired by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) hit the large Khudair Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Tools warehouse in the north of the Gaza Strip on 15 May last year, setting fire to hundreds of tonnes of pesticides, fertilizers, plastics and nylons. The strike created a toxic plume, which engulfed an area of 5.7 sq km and has left local residents struggling with health issues, including two reports of miscarriages, and indications of environmental damage. The extensive investigation, which involved analyzing mobile phone and drone footage and CCTV, dozens of interviews with residents, and analysis from munitions and fluid dynamics experts, used 3D modeling of the warehouse to determine the circumstances of the attack. It is the first publication by Palestinian human rights NGO Al-Haq’s newly established forensic architecture investigation unit, a first-of-its-kind collaboration in the Middle East with Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London, which carries out spatial and media analysis for NGOs and in international human rights cases.”
Read more from Al Haq report

Hamas’ landslide student election win marks major shift in Palestinian politics
The Islamist movement’s stunning victory in Birzeit University’s student union vote reflects growing discontent with the West Bank’s ruling Fatah party.

“The annual elections at Birzeit are widely regarded as a reflection of the broader political mood in the Palestinian street in the occupied West Bank. The university did not hold elections for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making this the first round since 2019. Out of around 12,500 students at the university, four out of five voted in the latest elections, held on May 18, with the voter turnout similar to the rounds in previous years. Last week’s results, however, were unprecedented. More than half of the cast ballots, with 5,068 students, voted for Al-Kutla al-Wafa al-Islamiyya (“the Islamic Bloc”), the student group associated with the Hamas movement, versus only 3,379 who voted for the Martyr Yasser Arafat’s Bloc (also known as “Shabiba”), the Fatah-affiliated group. Until this year, such a large gap between the two parties — a 10-seat margin out of 51 seats in the union — had never been reached…The results clearly show that something has shifted in Palestinian politics over the past three years. But what exactly has changed? How did Hamas garner so much popular support? And what does it tell us about the political atmosphere in the West Bank today?”
Read full report from 972 Mag

BDS Is Palestine’s Only Path to Justice

ByYara Hawari

Israel will face no consequences from the international community for the murder of Shireen Abu Aqleh, or its attempted cover-up afterwards – for Palestinians, justice can only be won through political struggle.
It has been over two weeks since Palestinian reporter for Al Jazeera, Shireen Abu Aqleh, was shot and killed by Israeli regime forces. Although at the time, Western media would have had you believe otherwise.

Headlines circulated claiming that Shireen had died in clashes between the Israeli regime army and Palestinian ‘gunmen.’ Palestinians passively dying, as opposed to being killed by the Israeli regime army, is a standard trope pedaled by the Western media. It is a framing that Judith Butler writes about in Frames of War which allows for certain lives to be grieved and others not—because it is just what happens to them. In other words, for much of the Western media, Palestinians simply die. This use of the passive voice obscures from the reality of a deadly regime of violence.

The Israeli regime is directly responsible for Shireen’s death. Along with a group of fellow journalists, Shireen had been in Jenin, covering an Israeli military raid, when they came under fire from Israeli snipers. Shireen was shot in the head and another journalist, Ali Al Samoudi, was shot in the back. She had been wearing protective clothing including a press jacket and a helmet. The sniper shot her in an exposed area below her ear. In other words, the shot was very precise and clearly intended to inflict fatal damage. Shatha Hanaysha, another journalist who was standing next to Shireen when she was shot said ‘They only shot when one of us moved’.

The chances of holding the Israeli regime accountable at the ICC for the killing of Shireen and others are highly unlikely. This is why it cannot be the only avenue that should be pursued in the search for justice. More serious measures are needed that target the regime in its entirety for its subjugation and oppression of the Palestinian people. These measures include those adopted by the Palestinian-led Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). Indeed, justice will come one day but it will be Palestinians that bring it about.
Read full article by Yara Hawari

A new terminology for Israel-Palestine
Socialist Worker has adopted new terminology for Israel-Palestine. In SW of 18 May, Haifa is no longer Haifa. It is “the occupied city of Haifa”.

Israel is not Israel. It is “48 Palestine”, or just “48”. Israeli Jews are not people who live there because they were born there, mostly in families which arrived there as refugees. They are “Israeli settlers”: the article refers to “sustained moves by Israeli settlers to marginalise Arabs in 48 Palestine”, making it clear that it is referring to Israelis in Israel, not to the settlers and the military in the West Bank.

Socialist Worker used to propose a “democratic secular state” covering all British-Mandate Palestine. That term disappeared from its everyday agitation years ago — it hardly fits with SW’s support for the anti-secular Hamas — but was not replaced.

The new terminology comes with no spelled-out new policy, but the implications are clear. The Israeli Jews are “settlers”, and should be driven out or marginalised. Although Haifa had a Jewish majority before 1948, the Jews there are analogous to the Israeli settlers planted in the West Bank since 1967.

Socialist Worker says “it was all Palestine before Israel’s creation in 1948”, “it” presumably being Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. In fact, Socialist Worker doesn’t want a return to before 1948. SW does not want a return of the British rule (1918-48) which defined a specific territory for “Palestine” (previously a loose term covering a wider area); or of Ottoman rule (for centuries before that). It wants an independent Palestinian state. Rightly so: over the 20th century a distinct Palestinian nation has developed and been denied rights.

Workers’ Liberty shares the view of many (perhaps most) secular Palestinian nationalists, and of most Israeli democrats, that, since the Israel-Jewish nation has been consolidated, Palestinian self-determination will emerge as the creation of an independent Palestinian state, alongside and with the same rights as Israel, in a territory formed where Palestinians are the majority: West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem (with provision to make it contiguous).