Of Israel’s political immorality

Palestine Update 206

Of Israel’s political immorality

Israel’s lack of civility is, perhaps, the most predictable thing about it. It will feel nothing about imposing political choices that smack of brutish intent. Who would ever imagine that after inflicting a  Nakba on Palestinians, it would actually approach seven Arab countries and Iran to claim $250 billion as reparation for what it claims was the vigorous eviction of Jews from Arab countries during the late 1940s? Which military courts elsewhere in the world would actually impose and collect fines exceeding $16m, on West Bank Palestinians in a mere two years (2015 to 2017) for offenses, the majority of which do not engage in the destruction of property and injury of people? How would one justify the criminalizing non-violent resistance when the right to resist is justified under international law, and hence, legitimate? Which civilized country would deny requests for building permits, order home demolitions for no justifiable reason, confiscate land, and destroy existing infrastructure just to dehumanize the people of a village? And which country that subscribes to the dignity of the human would allow the person of Jesus Christ recently to be reduced to an offensive cartoon? And more, to affront the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem in an effort to expunge the traces of Prophet Muhammad’s in Palestine. Or, who in the right senses, would physically violate religious scholars and abuse people who live in the mosque for days to complete their acts of worship. Who would displace religious communities – Muslims and Christians – from their religious endowments and proceed to intimidate children, jail them; kill inanely; detain thousands; crush the spirit of people by erecting barriers and checkpoints between villages and cities? Israel’s proud claim of being an ‘oasis’ of democracy in the midst of authoritarian regimes falls flat in the face of its reprehensible track record. Its fascist tendencies can no more be camouflaged and Israel stands exposed. And only owing to Europe’s prolonged and self-imposed guilt, and the openhanded complicity of the USA, Israel gets away with crime upon crime.

This issue of Palestine Updates brings you reports, and articles of Israeli cruelties that have been unrelenting over the last 70+ years. As one of the articles we reproduce concludes, “Israel displays unprecedented racism and unprecedented criminality; its cruelty and racism are beyond civilized norms and laws”.

Do read these and widely disseminate.

Ranjan Solomon

The moral travesty of Israel demanding Arab and Iranian money for its own ‘Nakba’

The game is afoot. Israel, believe it or not, is demanding that seven Arab countries and Iran should pay $250 billion as compensation for what it claims was the forceful expulsion of Jews from Arab countries during the late 1940s. The events that Israel cites allegedly occurred at a time when Zionist Jewish militias were actively uprooting nearly one million Palestinian Arabs and systematically destroying their homes, villages, and towns throughout Palestine.

The Israeli announcement, which reportedly followed “18 months of secret research” conducted by the government’s Ministry of Social Equality, should not be filed under the ever-expanding portfolio of Israel’s shameless misrepresentations of history. It is actually part of a calculated effort by the Israeli government, especially by Minister Gila Gamliel, to create a counter-narrative to the legitimate demand for the implementation of the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed by Jewish militias between 1947 and 1948.
Report in Middle East Monitor

Israeli Military Courts Fined Palestinians $16m in 3 Years
Israeli military courts have imposed fines topping $16m, on West Bank Palestinians, from 2015 to 2017, “even though the great majority of the offenses do not involve the harming of people or property.” The money is deposited in the Israeli Civil Administration’s accounts in the West Bank and is managed by an officer also subordinate to Israeli finance ministry. ”Examples of fines include throwing a stone at Israeli occupation forces “from an unknown distance.”Although “the stone did not hit anyone and caused no damage,” a person was jailed for six months and fined 2,000 shekels ($550). In October 2018, a military judge convicted a 45-year-old man of what the court considered a “hostile terrorist offense” – namely, “he went on a family picnic holding a hunting rifle with one bullet in it.” In a plea deal, “he was sentenced to two months in prison and fined 3,000 shekels ($800).”

The fines imposed on Palestinians in the military courts are extremely exaggerated, both in their scope compared with the size of the population and its economic ability,” For example, Israeli occupation authorities “had confiscated from farmers [forbidding them to cultivate their land] sometimes reached 4,000 shekels ($1,100).”
More can be found in International Middle East Media centre

Anti-BDS Legislation in the United States: Supporting fascism over human rights
The Combating BDS Act, which was part of a bill introduced by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, would have protected anti-BDS laws in effect in various individual states. While the bill did not receive majority support, its rejection was not grounded in concern for First Amendment free speech rights or the human rights of Palestinians. Rather, the bill failed to pass because several Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer – a particularly aggressive Zionist himself – refused to consider it until the ongoing U.S. government shutdown is resolved. The fact that the first bill of the new Congressional term was aimed at supporting Israeli human rights violations while simultaneously limiting freedom of speech speaks volumes. According to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Senior Legislative Counsel, Kathleen Ruane, “[t]he legislation, like the unconstitutional state anti-boycott laws it condones, sends a message to Americans that they will be penalized if they dare to disagree with their government.” The bill is only the latest attempt in an ongoing campaign to criminalize BDS, with the majority of U.S. states having enacted anti-BDS legislation over the last few years.
Read full report in Mufta.org

A village under occupation
For the residents of Issawiyeh, a Palestinian village of some 20,000, surveillance, military raids and building demolitions are a daily reality. The village is plagued by poor infrastructure, residents are constantly harassed by the Israeli Border Police and anyone, including children, run the risk of arbitrary arrest. The village has seen its lands gradually disappear. Before Israel occupied the area in 1967, the village included some 12,500 dunams (1 dunam = 1,000 square meters) of land. Since then, and due to a combination of Israeli settlements, illegal under international law, the nearby Hebrew University and, more recently, Israel’s West Bank wall, village land has been reduced to around 9,400 dunams.

Abu al-Hummus cited Israel’s occupation as the key reason for Issawiyeh’s underdevelopment and said the village council had tried to work with the Jerusalem municipality to improve infrastructure and secure building permits. Despite constant promises from the municipality to alleviate the economic deprivation, redevelopment has been stagnant. “We pay taxes but we get no services.” With the municipality denying requests for building permits, home demolitions have become a commonplace consequence. Residents still need to cater to growing numbers and are forced to build without permits. “Demolitions happen when the Israeli courts decide. Sometimes it’s twice a month, sometimes it’s once a year,” said Abu al-Hummus. With the village growing in population local residents continue to build knowing that demolition of the structure may be imminent.
Read full report in Electronic Intifada

Israel’s racism and cruelty are beyond civilized norms and laws
“Some Israelis insulted Jesus Christ recently in a museum in Haifa, making him into an offensive cartoon and insulting the anniversary of his blessed birth. It was as if they were reminiscing about chasing him across the mountains and valleys of Palestine. Today, they are insulting Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem in an attempt to erase the traces of Prophet Muhammad’s footsteps in Palestine (peace be upon him).

Other Israelis have beaten religious scholars and abused those staying in the mosque for days to complete their acts of worship. The Israeli occupation authorities are displacing Muslims and Christians alike from Palestine and confiscating the Islamic and Christian endowments. They have been raiding homes, terrorizing children and imprisoning them; killing Palestinians senselessly; detaining thousands; confiscating homes and land; and humiliating the people by putting barriers and checkpoints between villages and cities. The enemies of humanity boast and refer to Israel as an “oasis of democracy” and it is backed by the US and other governments.

Meanwhile, the Arab regimes are rushing to establish relations with Israel hold parties for its ministers and welcome them in their royal palaces.Israel displays unprecedented racism and unprecedented criminality; its cruelty and racism are beyond civilized norms and laws.
Read full article in Middle East Monitor

Humanitarian operations undermined by delegitimization, access restrictions, and administrative constraints
Attempts to delegitimize humanitarian and human rights organizations operating in the oPt, particularly NGOs, have been on the rise in recent years. This has a negative impact on the ability of these organisations to deliver assistance and advocate on behalf of Palestinian rights. The situation is further compounded by longstanding access restrictions imposed on humanitarian staff and operations, restrictive legislation and attacks on human rights defenders. The shrinking of the operational space available for humanitarian work as a result of these pressures has contributed to the reduction of the 2019 humanitarian appeal for the oPt.
Read more in OCHA report


Don’t befriend me for a day, and leave me a month. Don’t get close to me if you’re going to leave. Don’t say what you don’t do. Be close or get away.

 لا تصاحبني يوماً .. لتهجرني شهراً ولا تقربني .. لتبعدني .. لا تقل ما لا تفعل كُن قريباً .. أو ابتعد.

Mahmoud Darwish.