CHOKING ON THE OCCUPATION

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s behaviour suggests he concurs with far-right coalition partners who advocate racist policies against non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular. The approval by Netanyahu recently of racist laws obliging non- Jews aspiring to become Israeli citizens to pledge loyalty to Israel as a “Jewish state” and his conspicuous reluctance to condemn near daily acts of terror and vandalism by Jewish settlers against Palestinian villagers and farmers is telling of the attitude of his government overall.


Israel devours East Jerusalem

Regardless of the opinions of foes or allies, Israel is pressing ahead with inflammatory colonisation projects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, writes Khalid Amayreh


Dismissing the international community, including its guardian-ally, the United States, Israel has approved a wide-ranging plan to obliterate the remaining vestiges of the traditional Arab-Islamic identity of East Jerusalem.

Sponsored by the quasi-fascist group known as the National Union, the plan would see the demolition of hundreds of Arab homes, establishing extensive infrastructure for Jewish settlers mainly at the expense of native Palestinian inhabitants, and building huge bridges for the purpose of achieving “demographic Jewish contiguity”.

According to Israeli sources, the plan includes the demolition of parts of the historic wall around the Old City and the building of a new gate in “Jewish style”. The Great Wall of Jerusalem was built by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1542, and was meant to protect the city against hostile armies.

In addition to launching a war of demolition on the ground, Israel is also planning to carry out extensive excavations beneath Al-Aqsa Mosque, which Muslim Waqf (religious endowment) officials contend would make the collapse of Islamic holy sites in the area “nearly certainly inevitable”.

Cracks have already been observed at the two main Muslim shrines at the Haram Al-Sharif esplanade: Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock mosques. Haram Al-Sharif, or the “Noble Sanctuary”, is considered the third holiest Islamic shrine after the Sacred Mosque of Mecca and The Prophet Mosque in Medina, both in Saudi Arabia.

The latest Israeli provocation, which coincides with a markedly accelerated pace of Jewish settlement expansion activities, appears aimed at killing any opportunity for the creation of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. It also illustrates and accentuates the disregard with which the current Israeli government views international concerns, the Obama administration and the European Union.

Furthermore, Israel appears hell-bent on taking advantage of upcoming US congressional elections, realising that the Democratic US administration is not able to pressure Israel, since any pressure on Israel would be utilised by the Republicans to further weaken its already weak position. Hence, it is likely that Israel will have its way despite occasional innocuous and largely disingenuous statements from Washington about the continued relevance of the peace process.

If the United States itself is at loss as to how to force Israel to save the already floundering peace process from what seems inevitable looming collapse, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership in Ramallah sounds even more desperate, helpless and hopeless. In private conversations, high-level PA officials are admitting that the prospect of establishing a Palestinian state in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 is more remote than ever.

One high-ranking official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, sounded frustrated and desperate: “I think we are lying to our own people, first and foremost, by telling them that there is a genuine peace process and that it is still possible to create a genuine Palestinian state. That possibility is dead — just dead. And if we can no longer make a distinction between the dead and the living, it means we have got a real problem.”

The one-time PA negotiator opined: “Efforts to keep the so-called peace process alive have more to do with a propensity to daydream than with objective realities on the ground. But in the final analysis, daydreaming represents optimal frustration, despair and helplessness.”

Watching its horizons constantly narrowed by Israeli governments that keep devouring the remaining parts of the West Bank and East Jerusalem while complaining about Palestinian “extremism and terror,” the PA leadership is trapped, issuing the same tired statements about Israeli violations of international law, as if these violations were new phenomena. “This is proof that the Israeli government selected settlements instead of peace,” said Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Ereikat.

Voicing his outrage at new Judaisation plans in Jerusalem, Ereikat pointed out that the plan was another phase of the attempt to claim Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, though the city is classified as “occupied territory” according to relevant UN resolutions, international law and the Geneva Conventions. He reiterated that Israel was undermining the efficacy of the UN system, the very authority through which it was created.

“Instead, Israel works diligently to pressure its allies to oppose the creation of a Palestinian state. It is time for Israel to stop its blatant disregard of international law and international consensus. It is also time for the international community to hold Israel accountable for its disregard for international law.”

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s behaviour suggests he concurs with far-right coalition partners who advocate racist policies against non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular. The approval by Netanyahu recently of racist laws obliging non- Jews aspiring to become Israeli citizens to pledge loyalty to Israel as a “Jewish state” and his conspicuous reluctance to condemn near daily acts of terror and vandalism by Jewish settlers against Palestinian villagers and farmers is telling of the attitude of his government overall.

Speaking during a special Yitzhak Rabin memorial session in the Knesset 20 October, Netanyahu resorted to prevarications, repeating the propagandistic mantra that the Palestinians would have to recognise Israel as a Jewish state and that non-Jews in Israel — especially the two-million strong Arab community — would have to settle for inherently inferior status.

While Netanyahu is silent about the intended consequences of declaring Israel a “Jewish state,” his less sophisticated allies — the so- called “transferists” (those who advocate ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in both Israel proper and the West Bank) — say openly that “Jewish state” means one thing: the prospective deportation of non-Jews from “the land of Israel”. As to Israel being a “Jewish and democratic state,” the former cancels out the latter.

Despite the manifestly racist consequences of declaring Israel a “Jewish state”, the idea is gaining popularity among Jewish Israelis. Followers and supporters of slain racist Rabbi Meir Kahana have been celebrating “the vindication” of his ideas. Kahana advocated the violent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians — even genocide. In the early 1970s, he wrote a book entitled They Must Go.

Marking 20 years since his assassination in New York in 1990, Kahana followers crowded into the hallway of the Ramada Hotel in West Jerusalem Tuesday night, 26 October. One his followers, convicted terrorist Baruch Marzel, remarked that “You can see a true awakening to Rav Kahana, because every year it’s growing; every year more and more people are joining us.”

“We’ve gone mainstream,” event organiser and prominent right-wing activist Itamar Ben- Gvir told The Jerusalem Post. “You can even see this in the Knesset. Kadima and even the Labour Party are adopting the beliefs of Kahana.”

The crowd chanted “The nation of Kahana lives” and “Kahana was right” and cheered wildly at videos of Kahana’s old speeches when he made statements like “Send the Arabs away!”

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. October 30, 2010 at 17:45

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  2. mikael said,

    October 30, 2010 at 21:44

    I belong to a people that is complitly crushed, the land confisccated, and depoted(like the jews), and its history coverd, i have personaly expiriend the “noble” art of erazing a indigenous peoples history, They wher spred in to 3 difrent countrys, for never to return. The noumber of peoples left a just a handfull, in ex. Norway,. all this happend in 70 years. Thats the time it takes to pulverise a people. To day we are recognised as indigenous Europeans, and arceology confirms it, over 10 000 years in harmony whit moder nature. Its all gone. To day their old world i allready history, for the reamainig people, the oldones are dying, and so all oure colectiv history. 70 yers.

    I have just a hope that our world wakes up to the fact that ther is a crime i gainst humanity, and our colectiv moral. And the only way to stopp letting this happens is when the brothers and sisters of the Arab people rises, and unites(muslims,cristians and jews, the semittic people). In the Vestern hemisfhere, monye and power talks. And this has led to the ultimate treason of a country and is indigienouse people, the Palestinians. By simply turning and looking another way.

    “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
    — Mahatma Gandhi

    free Palestina


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