Palestine Update 406
What peace can you have with gun trotting Zionists?
Those who believe that the peace deals signed under President Trump’s tutelage had anything to do with peace must read the first piece in this edition. Israel comes out the winner always thanks to its ability to mobilise its lobbies to twist and bend the US administration. The latest peace accords do not encourage Israel to withdraw from Palestinian lands. On the contrary, Israel has occupied more Palestinian lands and built more settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem after the UAE-Bahrain peace agreements with Israel.
Meanwhile, the EU silently applauds and is caught clapping with its hands at the back. The UAE will now get an inferior variety of the jet fighters than they originally asked for and willing to pay the price. So, Why the inferior jet fighter?Israel believes she alone must have the best weapons. So the first sign of the Israeli boots on UAE soil are ugly and polluted. That was the first visible sign of racism and it came via armaments. But hold your breath. What’s next? Many more scripts of this episode are yet unwritten. Trump and Bibi have breathed poisonous war fumes into the air and the Middle East- wobbly as it has been – will now depreciate into a militarized zone. The Saudis have already threatened to buy nuclear weapons from China. The Iraq war turned into multiple wars along with the self-inflicted 9/11. Ten years down the line- perhaps much earlier, depending on who is President – the region could descend into chaos as the next set of peace deals are inked. Each peace deal will come up with the sale of weapons and colonizer-sponsored war-fare will begin. Iran will be the target. The Palestinians will be further subjugated. The rest of the story can remain unwritten for now. You simply have to cut and paste from previous experiences. At the end there will be the tragic boomerang effect on the war mongers and the military-industrial-complex. Innocents will die and that includes the innumerable peaceniks in Western Europe and North America.
The two articles below raise piercing questions and expose perilous scenarios – please read and disseminate.
The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy
With this deal, Israel is now pursuing $8 billion in US military funding in addition to the existing $38 billion it receives, so it can keep its military edge after President Trump agreed to sell F-35 fighter jets to the UAE. Not only are they asking American taxpayers to pay for these normalization deals but they are also escalating an arms race in the region.
Palestinians across the board have come out unequivocally against a deal that undermines our aspirations for freedom, rights and justice in favor for building normalized relations with an apartheid regime. From the PLO and PA side, Ahmad Majdalani PA Minister for example said “The UAE is trying to deceive and mislead the public by repackaging this shameful agreement as a service to the Palestinians and claiming that it halts annexation, but that’s merely throwing dust in the eyes,” while still pressing for negotiations despite absence of leverage. Diana Buttu wrote in the New York Times that “the U.A.E. agreement now should serve as a point of reflection for the Palestine Liberation Organization (…) and its decades-long approach with Israel (…) it has become clear [Israel’s expansionist] plans had only just begun. Today there are more than triple the number of Israeli settlers living in the West Bank than there were in 1993”.
In a strong piece in The Guardian, Raja Shehadeh shows how “the occupation even began to be seen as an asset. Israel has turned the occupied territories into a laboratory for testing weapons and systems of surveillance. Israelis now market their crowd control weapons and systems of homeland security to the US, based on testing in the occupied territories. Yet all this financial investment in the occupation – and all the twisting of domestic laws to protect the illegal settlement project, all the political contortions to cultivate authoritarian allies, from Trump to Orbán to Bolsonaro – is rotting Israel from the inside, turning it into an apartheid state that rules over millions of Palestinians without rights.” Others pointed out to the fact that Israel could have had peace with 50 Arab and Muslim countries a decade ago with the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 that was based on international law and international consensus. Instead it chose de facto annexation and apartheid. As Mohammed Shehada also pointed out “The Arab regimes’ empowerment of Israel and Netanyahu will eventually be at their own expense. The more Arab regimes grovel to Israel and the US to seek external legitimacy the weaker they would appear to their populations.”
The latest poll from of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 86% of Palestinians polled think the “agreement serves only the interests of Israel”. While when asked to pick a word representing their sentiments toward the normalization deal: the majority (53%) picked “betrayal,” 17% picked “abandonment” 13% “insult” and only 1% chose “joy” or “pride”. People from all over the Gulf and the region also stood against the normalization deal, with a “Palestine Charter” receiving over 1 million signatures in 24 hours and the hashtag #بحرينيون_ضد_التطبيع and #خليجيون_ضد_التطبيع trending over social media. Popular protests took place in Bahrain against the regime’s decision, just another example of how these rulers do not represent the collective will of their people but their own interests. The Arab regimes coopted the Palestinian struggle for a long time in order to maintain grip on their people. This façade is no more with the Arab League refusal to condemn the move.
As the Palestinian rap band DAM said it in their famous 2001 song “who is the terrorist?”, “I am not against peace, peace is against me, it wants to eliminate me, destroy my heritage”
Peace cannot come without justice, freedom and equal rights. Let’s stop having the term “peace” manipulated and redefined by authoritarians and human rights abusers. Let’s all focus on how we can build a future where authoritarian regimes can no longer bully people and perpetuate injustice.
Source:The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy
Young Palestinians Right to Insist They Are Not Mere Numbers
Palestine can never be truly understood through numbers because numbers are dehumanizing, impersonal and, when necessary, can also be contrived to mean something else entirely. Numbers are not meant to tell the story of the human condition, nor should they ever serve as a substitute for emotions.
The stories of life, death and everything in between cannot be fully appreciated through charts, figures and numbers. Numbers, although useful for many purposes, are mere data. Anguish, joy, aspirations, defiance, courage, loss, collective struggle, and so on can only be genuinely expressed through the people who experience them.
Numbers, for example, tell us that more than 2,200 Palestinians were killed during the 2014 Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, with 500-plus of them being children. More than 17,000 homes were destroyed and thousands of other buildings, including hospitals, schools and factories, were either destroyed or severely damaged during the Israeli strikes. This is all true: The kind of truth that can be summarized in a neat infographic, updated occasionally, whenever more of the critically wounded lose their lives.
But a single chart, or even a thousand, can never truly describe the actual terror felt by a million children who feared for their lives during those horrific days. A chart cannot transport us to a bedroom where a family of 10 huddled in the dark, praying for God’s mercy as the earth shook, concrete collapsed and glass shattered all around them. It cannot convey the anguish of a mother holding the lifeless body of her child.
61 French MPs denounce alliance of UAE, Bahrain with Zionists
On 21st September, 61 French parliamentarians condemned the Emirati and Bahraini normalization agreements with the Israeli regime. The French parliamentarians said that “the agreement evades the Palestinian issue and obstructs any possibility of a comprehensive peace.” And that “the document signed in the White House is not a peace treaty, unlike what Trump declares enthusiastically.” They added that “unlike Egypt and Jordan, the UAE did not launch a war against Israel, which is the case with Bahrain.” They noted that the accorded agreement is not an advantage to the oppressed Palestinians. The parliamentarians considered that “the Abu Dhabi and Manama approach actually breaks the Arab consensus established by the Arab Peace Initiative. UAE and Bahrain have agreed to normalize ties with the Israeli regime in a move that has been strongly condemned by Palestinian groups as a ‘stab in the back’ of Palestine.