Palestine Update 477
Refusing to be bulldozed by Israel’s bullying tactics
Israel’s military goal is to inflict never-ending suffering on the Palestinians and, thus, induce Palestinian surrender. This is also the tacit goal of Israel’s allies. In all foreign policy announcements, the West makes believe that Israel and Palestine are alike parties to be managed seemingly in perpetuity. They cunningly continue to empower Israel and protract Palestinian pain in their monstrous treatment of an anti-colonial struggle for liberation. Since 2007, Israel has enforced an air, land and sea blockade on Gaza since 2007. Egypt has been partner to this cruel siege. The siege has kept Gaza stagger on the edge of disintegrating. It has reduced life for the two millions people of Gaza to proportions that are wretched and unstable for its population. The manner in which the siege is pursued is nothing short of criminal. Credible international bodies like the International Committee of the Red Cross have characterized Israel’s actions as amounting to a war crime of collective punishment. The international community has responded with indifference. It is as if the people of Gaza must remain in siege as something they deserve. The world has granted Israel impunity because of the political clout it carries with it. It leaves the entire West holding the title of co-culprits. If one expected that the severity of the 11-day war would cause at least the Quartet – the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia – that hope came a cropper. Neither did the UN Security Council even discuss it with any level of intensity. For as long democratic channels choose indifference and cowardice, there will be unparalleled suffering, and a retaliation will end up being the only option. A Palestinian in Gaza who lost his home and half his family said: “The bombing was the worst I’ve experienced, but it can’t contain the Palestinian uprising that is showing the world the true face of Israel.”
Short Palestinian film on Sheikh Jarrah goes viral
On May 15, Palestinian film director Omar Rammal, 23, posted his short film “The Place” on his YouTube channel, but he never expected it to go viral. “I believed it would receive broad acclaim, but not to this extent,” Rammal told Al-Monitor. The video, which he first posted on his Instagram account on May 15, garnered more than 6 million views, and several other channels shared his film. Rammal posted his film without copyrights for it to be available for anyone who wants to repost it, so as to convey the reality in Palestine and in Sheikh Jarrah in particular to the whole world. ‘The Place\ is only a minute and a half long, during which Rammal summarizes the displacement that 28 Palestinian families are facing in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, where Israeli settlement groups are trying to expand.
Thousands of People Protested In Support Of Palestinians in Major Cities around the World
Thousands of people across the world showed their support for Palestinians in protests amid some of the worst fighting between Israelis and Palestinians since the 2014 Gaza War, with demonstrators from Canada to Japan waving flags and chanting “Free Palestine” on Saturday.The protests come as tension and violence in the region grows, with at least 145 Palestinians and 10 Israelis killed, including children. The violence began when Israeli security forces raided Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan last week, injuring scores of worshippers and causing Hamas to retaliate with rocket fire. Israeli police also violently clamped down on protesters demonstrating against the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Videos also showed Israel’s Iron Dome defense system lighting up the night sky as it intercepted a flurry of rockets. An Israeli airstrike hit a refugee camp in Gaza, killing eight children and two women. Hours later, more airstrikes destroyed a 12-floor residential building in Gaza that housed international news organizations, including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, in a move widely condemned as a threat to the free press in the region. The Israeli military claimed that the strike on the building — which came so quickly that reporters had to leave equipment behind – was necessary because it contained “Hamas military intelligence assets.” The AP, however, said there was “no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building…This is something we actively check to the best of our ability,” said a statement from the news organization. “We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk.”
West Bank is at boiling pointAnalysis: 34 Palestinians have been killed in past month – more than during any other month in the last decade – as tensions persist over Gaza conflict and clashes at al-Aqsa Mosque; these events and cancelation of parliamentary elections have left PA weaker and Hamas stronger
There has been a significant increase in the number of terrorist attacks, clashes, demonstrations and disturbances in the West Bank between Palestinians and security forces since the start of the conflict in Gaza last month. Close inspection of these incidents shows that this is not limited to a particular area, but is occurring across the entire West Bank.
The most disturbing statistic shows that during the past month, at least 34 Palestinians were killed in terror attacks and clashes – more than during any other month in the past 10 years. By comparison, in April just one Palestinian was killed in clashes, none were killed in March and one was killed in February.
Even when comparing the data over the past month to previous periods of security tensions, this is an unusually high number of deaths. For example, at the height of the wave of knife and car-ramming attacks of 2015-2016, which was the most significant escalation in the West Bank in the last decade, an average of 26 Palestinians, were killed each month. The high death toll, growing number of terrorist attacks and other disturbances all point to an extremely fragile situation in the West Bank.
The spirit of resistance is alive and well
The structure of the Zionist project remains unchanged. It is a project that from its inception has been based on the uprooting of the native population in Palestine, ethnic cleansing, theft of land and resources, eradication of Palestinian identity, discrimination, the total control of the lives of the Palestinian people, and the denial of basic Palestinian rights. As long as the project is the same, the only difference between short rounds of military escalation and so-called periods of calm is that of varying degrees of aggression. During military escalations, Israel kills Palestinians. During periods of calm, Israel steals Palestinian land.
Under both scenarios, Israel’s system of oppression humiliates Palestinians, controls their lives, uproots them, and discriminates against them. But May’s escalation also demonstrated the determination of the Palestinian people and their steadfastness against Zionist attempts to supplant them, eradicate their identity, and break their morale. One question that arose after the latest escalation, as it does after every escalation, is simply, who won? Before answering, it is worth noting that the criteria for victory for a colonized people are different from the criteria for the colonial power.
This should be fairly obvious, but is worth elucidating anyway. Throughout history, colonial powers have enjoyed military superiority, international political support, and plentiful economic resources. It is these very advantages that allow colonial powers to invade other nations. A balance of power, in fact, would preclude colonialism. As a result, colonized people’s loss of life and property were correspondingly greater. They bore the brunt due to the imbalance of power.
Israel’s Demographic Warfare Rages on Both Sides of Green Line. With One Difference
“…the demographic war and its bureaucratic weapons do not recognize the Green Line, Israel’s 1967 borders. It’s also being waged against Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip enclaves. To this day, Israel controls the Palestinian population registry and decides who will receive a Palestinian ID card. Since it controls the borders, it also decides who will enter the West Bank or Gaza Strip, and for how long. This double control allows it to interfere in the family life of tens of thousands of people, and potentially even more, by refusing to grant permanent status to foreign nationals who are the spouses, parents or even children of residents of the territories – a process known as family reunification.”
Poll: Many Democrats want more US support for Palestinians
“A new poll on American attitudes toward a core conflict in the Middle East finds about half of Democrats want the U.S. to do more to support the Palestinians, showing that a growing rift among Democratic lawmakers is also reflected in the party’s base. The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds differences within both the Democratic and the Republican parties on the U.S. approach toward Israel and the Palestinians, with liberal Democrats wanting more support for the Palestinians and conservative Republicans seeking even greater support for the Israelis…The poll shows Americans overall are divided over U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians. It also shows more Americans disapprove of President Joe Biden’s approach to the conflict than approve of it. Among Democrats, 51% say the U.S. is not supportive enough of the Palestinians. The sentiment jumps to 62% among Democrats who describe themselves as liberal. On the other hand, 49% of Republicans say the U.S. is not supportive enough of the Israelis, a number that rises to 61% among those who say they’re conservative.”