Settlers as squatters

Palestine Update 526
Editorial Comment

Settlers as squatters
A squatter is, generally, deemed to be someone who has taken over another ones land illegally. A gang of squatters is the equivalent of a mob that indulges in unruly and hooligan-like actions that uproot the legitimate owners of the land that the mobsters arrive to ransack. Israeli-sponsored settlers are like this- boisterous thieves with no grounding in ethics and morals. It’s hard to conceive a different description of the Israeli Settlers in Palestinian territories. By definition, settlements are Jewish communities in historic Palestine built by the Zionist movement pre-1948 and thereafter by the state of Israel.

Hardly a week goes by without harsh narratives of crude Settler-Squatter invasions on Palestinian agricultural property and lands. Settler-squatters commonly assault innocent Palestinian civilians for cynical adventures and indulge in utter racist misconduct.

Palestinian police are forbidden from reacting to acts of violence by Israeli settlers, a fact which diminishes their credibility among Palestinians. UN figures showed that 90% of complaints filed against settlers by Palestinians with the Israeli police never led to indictment. The BBC has reported (rather inaccurately) that vast majority of settlers are non-violent but some within the Israeli government acknowledge a growing problem with extremists. The Israeli police take long enough to get to the spot when reports reach them giving settlers time enough to scoot from the spot. The double standard is obvious. The Western media conveniently obfuscates facts. Imagine this claim: In 1983, an 11-year-old girl from Nablus was murdered by Jewish squatters. In an absurd rationalization of the act, the chief rabbi of the Sephardic community reportedly cited a Talmudic text “justifying killing an enemy on occasions when one may see from a child’s perspective that he or she will grow up to become your enemy.”
The corporate media-influenced then gets the world to believe the storyline of the executioners. And this is the story of every Israeli Progrom.

Other reports in this issue of Palestine Updates demonstrate the ruthless natures of Israeli policy, and, worse, its increasing influence over the region. Whether, this will stand the test of times is to be seen. Militarism also has a shelf life and the oppressor will one day run out of ideas and leave havoc as the tail that eternally follows them.
Reports such as the recent Amnesty report, the report from Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem and Yesh Din, clearly designate an end to Israel’s collusion against International Law, Human Rights Law, and that one day accountability will confront Israel in such corridors of law that will make it impossible to keep up the façade of a victim-nation threatened by insecurity.
Ranjan Solomon     

The Israeli Pogrom: Settler Violence in the West Bank

On 21 January 2022, an organized gang of over a dozen masked Zionist “settlers” from the Givat Ronen outpost on the Occupied West Bank attacked Palestinians planting trees near the village of Burin. There were seven Israeli Jewish supporters with the Palestinians. The “settlers” attacked them as well.

 I place the term “settler” in quotation marks because what we are really talking about are not settlers but squatters. I will use the term squatter except where settler appears in a quotation. As is normal in cases of Israeli squatter violence, the Israeli authorities were slow to arrive at the scene of the attack and, subsequently, made no arrests. The Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev explained that “until the army gets there it takes time. Until the [Israeli] police were sent it took time and therefore … the moment the [Israeli] police arrive at the site, the terrorists are no longer there.” The Palestinian police, for their part, could not respond because they are “forbidden from reacting to acts of violence by Israeli settlers.” One can just imagine the army and the police rate of response if it was the Palestinians attacking the squatters. The double standard is obvious. However, there was something novel in Bar-Lev’s statement. He said that “in my view” the attackers constituted “a terror group.” This designation apparently had nothing to do with the attack on Palestinians, but rather was warranted because the attackers had “targeted and harmed Israeli citizens.”

 This might well be something like a “false flag” statement on the part of the public security minister. It was meant to reassure the Europeans and Americans who are concerned by the violence of the Israeli squatter movement. The minister subsequently told a U.S. official that the Israeli government takes the problem seriously and “is taking steps to tackle the phenomenon.” This is almost certainly a lie. Prime Minister Bennett has called squatter violence “insignificant,” and several of Bar-Lev’s fellow ministers criticized him for promoting a “distorted narrative.”

 Squatter violence goes back at least into the 1980s. In 1983, an 11-year-old girl from Nablus was murdered by Jewish squatters. “In their defense, the chief rabbi of the Sephardic community reportedly cited a Talmudic text justifying killing an enemy on occasions when one may see from a child’s perspective that he or she will grow up to become your enemy.” One can imagine that a similar logic could justify, in the eyes of some Palestinians, the killing of every Israeli Jewish child.
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Israel’s Tantura massacre: When the victims are Palestinians, the world believes only the executioners
“For their part, Palestinians never waited for Israelis to validate their narrative. What made their oral history accounts go unnoticed is a combination of racist and colonialist attitudes towards Palestinians, which the West has embraced for a long time. For over a century, Western powers that embrace and back Zionism have robbed Palestinians of the “permission to narrate,” by either not permitting them to tell their stories or discrediting them when they do. In the absence of a Palestinian narrative, Zionist forces have been able to deny Palestinians their rights, aspirations, and even their very existence….Controlling the narrative has been at the very crux of the Zionist project since its inception. For this reason, Palestinians say, “the Nakba is continuous.” The Nakba has been a process of erasure, removal, and ethnic cleansing that started before, during, and after 1948. The Tantura and all the massacres were one violent component of that process.”

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Gaza Policy Forum 5: Reconstruction and destruction: Gaza, dual-use, and the GRM 
 “In October 2021, Gisha convened its fifth Gaza Policy Forum, gathering around fifty Israeli, Palestinian and foreign stakeholders virtually to discuss Israel’s dual-use policy for Gaza, including the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM). Speakers included a senior official from an international organization, a user of the GRM in Gaza, and a representative from a civil society organization in Gaza. This report distills the analysis and policy recommendations made at the forum by both speakers and participants at the forum, reflecting a range of perspectives, which we hope can serve policy-makers in their work.”

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Pro-Palestine solidarity in the UAE: A view from Emirati activists
“When the normalization agreement between the UAE and Israel was announced in August 2020, the response from the heavily policed and surveilled Emirati population was — understandably — muted. Social media accounts tied to government officials, or those thought to be close to the regime, were quickly vocal and aggressive online in support of the new policy, threatening retribution for anyone who might disagree…Opposition to the policy has come from within the Emirati exile community instead…Although the circumstances of their expulsion had more to do with domestic politics rather than regional concerns, the issue of Palestine (and of normalization with the state of Israel) today has become a focal point of organizing against the Emirati regime…Moreover, the growing ties between Emirati funders and Israeli tech companies are of immense concern for them, as these linkages facilitate increased transnational repression. The fear is that Israel and the UAE, and their allies in the region, will coordinate more effectively to repress political opposition to either (or both) country’s policies, including making targets of those who call for more accountability.”|
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Anti-Semitism is no longer a shield protecting Israeli apartheid state
Tayseer Khaled, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, member of the political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, described Amnesty International’s assertion in its report, which is presented at its press conference in Jerusalem, that Israel is building throughout Palestine a brutal system of domination, apartheid and human crime, as a bold step, that opens the way for international justice to take its course to hold the war criminals in Israel accountable. The sword of anti-Semitism, which Israel defames in the face of critics of its brutal regime and its criminal practices, no longer benefits it in anythingو in light of demolition of Palestinian homes and facilities, killings on the roads and intersections along with the West Bank and in Jerusalem and in Gaza Strip, the crimes of transfer and the silent ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem and the areas south of Hebron and in the Palestinian Valleys.

In light of the facts and data presented by Amnesty International in its new report, which coincide with the reports of Israeli human rights organizations such as B’Tselem and Yesh Din and international organizations such as Human Rights Watch, called on Karim Khan the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to assume responsibilities, not to delay opening a criminal investigation into the crimes committed by Israel, especially after the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Court confirmed on the fifth of February last year that its jurisdiction includes all the occupied Palestinian territories since June 1967 including occupied East Jerusalem.