One can be loyal to America, OR one can be loyal to Israel

Claims of being loyal to both are a grotesque self-deception.

Our government and media can be broken down into two categories.

Those that are loyal to America, and those that are loyal to Israel.

Claims of being loyal to both are a grotesque self-deception.

One will always be more loyal to one than the other.

And, that loyalty will be on display based on how this latest spy scandal is handled.

Gov Cuomo Announces New York Blacklist of BDS Supporters

The story broke Friday that the FBI was closing in on an Israeli spy in the Pentagon.

Initially described as a “Senior level” spy for Israel, and in a position to influence US policy on Iraq and Iran, the report indicated arrests (plural) and “rolling up” (indicating again a plurality of suspects) in the coming days.

By Saturday morning, an amazing transformation had occurred.

The spy had been relegated to a “mid-level” spy from a “foreign nation”, along with assurances that he was NOT in a position to influence the war policy.

Gone was any mention of potential accomplices.

Today, Israel has effective control of US policy in the Mideast, and similar goals. Much has already been written about Israel’s control of Congress. Israel is now edging towards control over the US Executive Branch, with both presidential candidates supported by billionaires whose #1 agenda is Israel. The Supreme Court will be one-third Jewish, and justices have community ties and families. As Israel demonstrated through its successful intimidation of Judge Goldstone, jurists are human and everyone has their price.

By Sunday morning, it was not even sure if the spy was really a spy, or just inadvertently handed classified documents to a “trusted foreign ally” (repeated emphasis on ‘trusted’, of course).

A strange and wonderous transformation to be sure.

Indeed one is reminded of the FBI’s rounding up of the largest foreign spy ring ever discovered in the US, run by Israel in the fall of 2001, a story that was given four-part coverage on Fox News, then vanished as if it never existed.

Likewise, a DEA report on Israeli spying on a large scale was ignored by the mainstream media as well, as was the fact that the “Dancing Israelis” arrested on 9-11 were later revealed to be Mossad agents.

Israel is the only country to bomb Americans:

A 2004 transcript of an Israeli military tape published in the Jerusalem Post supports the unanimous position of the survivors and many high-ranking US officers that Israeli forces knew the USS Liberty was an American ship, as they attempted to sink it.

Then there was Golan Cipel, who brought down a governor, then vanished from the TV sets.

Then there are the Israeli drivers of mysterious vans that test positive for explosive traces when tested by police, but negative when tested by the FBI.

These too seem of little interest to either the government or the media.

Now, imagine for a moment that it was Arab spies arrested on 9-11 while cheering the fall of the towers, or an Arab who blackmailed a state governor into resigning, or Arabs caught trying to enter nuclear facilities or driving explosives tainted trucks, or caught feeding fabricated documents into the decision chain that launched a war, or selling really bad paintings inside government offices.

How would the government react to that? How would the media react? They would react differently, right?

That difference betrays a bias, a bias towards the nation pouring spies into our country, a bias that favors that foreign nation TO THE DETRIMENT OF OUR OWN.

Which brings us back to the observation I made above. One can be loyal to America, or one can be loyal to Israel.

One cannot be loyal to both. And by their reactions to this latest spy scandal, you will know who inside the US government and the US media is loyal to Israel.

By which I mean, who are DISloyal to America.

Are Zionist Terrorists a Protected Species?

Will Zionists be able to run the beautiful Earth into eternal damnation, or will Gentiles be able to overcome the evil?

It’s as if, over the last few decades, the term Semite has been hi-jacked to exclusively reference people who observe the Jewish faith and even includes white European Jews,  most of whom are unlikely to be able to trace their ancestry back to any of the historically Semitic ethnic, cultural or racial groupings.

Flashback from 2018
In the middle of the last century there was such a thing as Zionist Terrorism but today, criticizing Zionism is considered anti-Semitic.

Given that Zionism is an ideology supported by many non-Semites, you do have to question why challenging this ideology is considered anti-Semitic at all?

According to Wikipedia, Zionismis both ‘an ideology and nationalist movement’ but it is never described as a religion or a peculiar trait of a specific racial group.

Of course that brings me neatly onto the question of how anti-Semitism has become a label that exclusively references people who observe the Jewish faith.

Technically, the term ‘Semite’ references a specific Semitic speaking, ethnic, cultural, racial group that lived throughout the ancient Near East, including the Levant, Mesopotamia, the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa from the third millennium BC.

In fact, according to Britannica, the term ‘Semites’ “came to include Arabs, Akkadians, Canaanites, Hebrews, some Ethiopians, and Aramaean tribes… Mesopotamia, the western coast of the Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Horn of Africa”

It’s as if, over the last few decades, the term Semite has been hi-jacked to exclusively reference people who observe the Jewish faith and even includes white European Jews,  most of whom are unlikely to be able to trace their ancestry back to any of the historically Semitic ethnic, cultural or racial groupings.

This then begs the questions that if most European Zionists are probably not even ethnically, culturally or racially Semitic, how has it become normalized to label any criticism of Zionism as anti-Semitic?

For that matter, as Zionism is effectively an ideology that supports white European colonial occupation of Palestinian Arab lands, why is criticizing white European Zionism considered anti-Semitic whilst the occupation and persecution of people who could actually trace their ethnicity, culture and racial grouping back to Semitic peoples not be considered anti-Semitic?

By the way, there’s also such a thing as Christian Zionism and Zionist Churches.

It turns out that some Christians believe that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land is prophecised in the bible and so some Christians see the Jewish return to Israel as a prerequisite for the second coming of Jesus.

So if Zionist ideology is not an exclusively Jewish doctrine then why is it anti-Semitic to criticize Zionism, or is criticizing Zionism both anti-Semitic and anti-Christian, at the same time, despite the fact that a good proportion of European Jews and Christians are unlikely to have any Semitic ancestry?

Isn’t it time we also recognized the fact that ‘Zionism’ is just white European colonialism and that the ‘State of Israel’ is effectively the last European colonial project, albeit born out of the desire of certain post-war European governments to come up with a solution to ‘the Jewish refugee problem’.

Of course Zionism meant something a little different back then.

British Pathé recently uploaded some historical footage to their youtube channel showing some documented incidents of Zionist terrorism leading up to the Nakba.

According to the British military at that time, the Zionists terrorist “threatened reign of terror” needed to be rooted out of Palestine.

According to Wiki, Zionist terrorism by Jewish paramilitary groups, like the Irgun, initially trained by the British Military during the 1st world war (which is why they often had possession of British weapons and uniforms), started back in the early 1920’s and even targeted British authorities and United Nations personnel, as well as Palestinian Arab fighters and civilians.

The aim of the Zionist terrorists was to gain control over land, immigration and, essentially, over Palestine. As well as attacks on personnel and civilians, they attacked domestic and commercial properties, government buildings and infrastructure.

1946. British military searches uncover hidden Zionist weapons stores containing British and German weapons.

Irgun militants started bombing Palestinian Arab civilian targets in 1938, while at the same time the British Mandatory authorities were working to disarm Palestinian Arabs and promising them that the British authorities would be imposing significant limits on Jewish immigration. No effort was made to disarm the Zionist militias.

The Haganah and Irgun Zionist militias only suspended terrorist activities against the British when Britain declared war against Nazi Germany in 1939.

However, other Zionist terrorist groups, like the Lehi, actually continued attacking the British throughout the 2nd world war.

At the same time the British were now training and equipping a new Zionist unit – the Palmach – to respond to any German offensive in the region.

The Irgun then resumed attacks on British soldiers and policemen immediately after the war was over. The Haganah and the Palmach militias would also actively join the Jewish Resistance Movement for a period of time.

Wiki lists a sequence of Zionist terrorist attackscommitted by the Irgun, Haganah and Lehi militias between June 1924 and September 1948…

  • June 30, 1924. Dutch Jew Jacob Israël de Haan was assassinated by Avraham Tehomi on the orders of Haganah leader Yitzhak Ben-Zvi for his anti-Zionist political activities and contacts with Arab leaders.
  • 1937–1939 During the later stages of the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt in Mandatory Palestine The Irgun conducted a campaign of violence against Palestinian Arab civilians resulting in the deaths of at least 250.
  • July 15, 1938. A bomb left in the vegetable market in Jerusalem by the Irgun injured 28.
  • July 25, 1938. The Irgun threw a bomb into the melon market in Haifa resulting in 49 deaths.
  • November 6, 1944. Lehi assassinated British minister Lord Moyne in Cairo, Kingdom of Egypt. The action was condemned by the Yishuv at the time, but the bodies of the assassins were brought home from Egypt in 1975 to a state funeral and burial on Mount Herzl.
  • 1944–1945. The killings of several suspected collaborators with the Haganah and the British mandate government during the Hunting Season.
  • Letter bombs sent to British officials, including foreign minister Ernst Bevin, by Lehi.
  • July 26, 1946. The bombing of British administrative headquarters at the King David Hotel, killing 91 people — 28 British, 41 Arab, 17 Jewish and 5 others. Around 45 people were injured. In the literature about the practice and history of terrorism, it has been called one of the most lethal terrorist attacks of the 20th century.
  • Railways and British military airfields were attacked several times.
    Workers clearing a train wreck on a railway line after explosives were detonated on a stationary freight train by Zionist terror groups
  • October 31, 1946. The bombing by the Irgun of the British Embassy in Rome. Nearly half the building was destroyed and 3 people were injured.
  • April 16, 1947. An Irgun bomb placed at the Colonial Office in London failed to detonate.
  • The woman arrested for planting the bomb, alias “Esther,” was identified as a Jewess claiming French nationality by the Scotland Yard unit investigating Jewish terrorist activities. The attack was linked to the 1946 Rome embassy bombing.
    1946. Bombing of Tel Aviv Area Security Office by Zionist groups in which several people died.
  • 14 June 1947. The Reuters office in Tel Aviv was raided by “Jewish terrorists.”
  • July 25, 1947. The Sergeants affair: When death sentences were passed on two Irgun members, the Irgun kidnapped Sgt. Clifford Martin and Sgt. Mervyn Paice and threatened to kill them in retaliation if the sentences were carried out. When the threat was ignored, the hostages were killed. Afterwards, their bodies were taken to an orange grove and left hanging by the neck from trees. An improvised explosive device was set. This went off when one of the bodies was cut down, seriously wounding a British officer.The bodies of Sgts Clifford Martin & Mervyn Paice, left hanging by their necks in an orange grove.
  • December 1947 – March 1948. Numerous attacks on Palestinian Arabs in the context of civil war after the vote of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.
  • 1947 Letter bombs sent to the Truman White House by Lehi.
  • January 5–6, 1948. The Semiramis Hotel bombing, carried out by the Haganah (or, according to some sources, Irgun) resulted in the deaths of 24 to 26 people.
  • April 1948. The Deir Yassin massacre carried out by the Irgun and Lehi, killed between 107 and 120 Palestinian villagers, the estimate generally accepted by scholars.
  • September 17, 1948 Lehi assassination of the United Nations mediator Folke Bernadotte, whom Lehi accused of a pro-Arab stance during the cease-fire negotiations.

 

In February 1947, the British announced their withdrawal from Palestine, passing arbitration over to the United Nations and leaving a powder keg behind. However, unlike the Palestinians, who had effectively been disarmed by the British, the Zionist malitias were, by now, well trained and well equipped, thanks to the British military.

As the UN voted in favour of the partition of Palestine on 30 November 1947, they effectively lit the powder keg and war ensued.

Jewish militias immediately launched various terrorist attacks. Over the coming months we would see a spree of bombing attacks by Zionist terrorists. A car bomb killed 20 people in Damascus, a lorry bomb in Jaffa’s Town Hall targeted the headquarters of the paramilitary Najjada and killed 15 people, the Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem was bombed killing 24 people, a barrel bomb was rolled into a large group of civilians waiting for a bus at the Jaffa Gate and killed about 16 people, Ramla market was bombed killing 7 people and a garage in Haifa was bombed killing a further 30 people.

Then, in April, the terrorists moved to control the territory and committed numerous atrocities. Arabs in Tiberias, Safed, Haifa, Jaffa, Beisan and Acre and also in neighbouring villages were forced to flee their homes and during the Battle for Jerusalem most Arab villages along the Tel Aviv / Jerusalem corridor were completely destroyed.

Whichever side of the fence you sit on over the question of partition or who you believe should control Palestine, what no one can deny is the fact Zionism is not a religion, it does not represent any specific ethnic or cultural group, it is not an exclusively Jewish ideology and for many Zionist, it advocates ongoing terrorism, occupation and subjugation of an indigenous Semitic population.

So, the question we must all ask ourselves today is, why has Zionist terrorism been brushed under the carpet and how has Zionism morphed into a protected ideology, of which any criticism is instantly denounced as anti-Semitism?

International Zionism and Satanism Are Indistinguishable

Appearing on Russia Today, Institute for Research on Middle Eastern Policy director Grant F. Smith said the Senate investigation focused around, “Looking into groups who brought $36 million dollars into the U.S. to plant stories in the U.S. media and promote Israeli foreign policy objectives in the United States,” adding that the documents from the investigation were extremely relevant “because they reveal a vast effort to divert U.S. attention from the Israeli Dimona nuclear weapons facility by saying it was merely a research center,” even as Israel now obsessively hypes the supposed threat of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

When the individuals responsible for the illegal program were outed, the activities of the group were merely transferred into the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), noted Grant, which continues today as the foremost Israeli lobbying entity.

There are essentially three Zionist powerhouses in the world: Israel, the United States, and Saudi Arabia. Those powerhouses want to rule much of the world with an iron fist.

They have been meddling in covert activities and diabolical espionage for more than sixty years, and the Jamal Khashoggi murder is a recent manifestation of clandestine enterprises through the decades.

One can historically argue that covert activities are engrained in the Zionist powerhouses. By 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini understood that idea very clearly precisely because it was already creating chaos in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Khomeini then had to attack that idea. He fleshed out a principle which continues to be true to this very day. Khomeini posited then:

“There is no crime America will not commit in order to maintain its political, economic, cultural, and military domination of those parts of the world where it predominates.

It exploits the oppressed people of the world by means of the large-scale propaganda campaigns that are coordinated for it by international Zionism.

“By means of its hidden and treacherous agents, it sucks the blood of the defenseless people as if it alone, together with its satellites, had the right to live in this world. Iran has tried to sever all its relations with this Great Satan and it is for this reason that it now finds wars imposed upon it.”[1]

“International Zionism” is an apt description of what was going on then.

The United States and England had already overthrown a democratically elected president in Iran by the name of Mossadegh in 1953,[2] and both countries were expanding aggressively in the Middle East to keep a diabolical empire alive and well.

By 1954, the CIA again overthrew a democratically elected official by the name of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala.[3]

The documents for this unfortunate coup are readily available at the National Security Archive.[4]

If one peel the ideological onion, then the logic becomes pretty clear: the United States has been in the business of overthrowing countries in the Middle East and elsewhere for a century.[5]

So it is no surprise to see that Trump is treading on the same diabolical path.

Going back to the Ayatollah Khomeini, he made an attempt to solve the “international Zionism” problem by appealing to Muslim unity.

But that again was another problem because countries like Saudi Arabia were already prostrating before “international Zionism.” As E. Michael Jones puts it,

“At the very moment he invoked Islamic unity, Khomeini was forced to concede that Islam was breaking up into two warring factions.

The grand climactic battle of the anti-Communist crusade disguised this split for decades, but now, as intra-Islamic wars raged in Yemen and Iraq, Khomeini showed himself more of a prophet than a politician who could bring about Islamic unity.

Either way, the Great Satan was exacerbating division as a means of achieving geo-political goals.”[6]

Khomeini obviously lit up a prophetic fire which again is still relevant today.

“International Zionism” is still sucking the blood of virtually every nation on earth through covert activities, espionage, and deceptive means. And by metaphysically rejecting the moral and political order and embracing chaos and destruction, international Zionism has essentially become Satanism.

Yemeni civilians living on bread crumbs.

This principle was articulated by St. Athanasius, who posited that any metaphysical idea which ontologically denies Logos and its central place in the universe will end up being Satanic.

In a Satanic universe, what is true is actually a lie and what is a lie is by definition true.

In fact, opposition to Logos “was deemed to involve an active allegiance to Satan.”[7]

An “active allegiance to Satan” means that innocent people have to die in order to preserve a wicked ideology.

If you doubt this, then take a look at what happened in Iraq in 2003, where the warmongers sent a six-trillion dollar bill to the American people.

In short, an “active allegiance to Satan” is the political ideology of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and indeed Israel, specifically when it comes to dealing with important issues in the Middle East.

The Jamal Khashoggi debacle again makes this very clear. The recent war in Yemen is another example.

The sad thing is that there are people out there who preposterously think that the murder of Khashoggi was a set up by a “a rogue group connected to Turkey, NATO and others” in order to embarrass both Saudi Arabia and the United States!

So in the Zionist world, everyone wants to get a piece of the pie. The only people who cannot get even a decent meal are the poor souls in Yemen, people who are now living on bread crumbs.[10]

Israel tanks invade Gaza, open fire at farmers

The Jewish Zionists’ eventual triumph over the British military and success in establishing the state of Israel was due to the Zionists’ skillful use of political propaganda and terrorism”.

February 15, 2021

A number of Israeli tanks today carried out incursion in the east of the city of Jabalya in the north of the Gaza Strip and opened fire at Palestinian farmers, Palestinian security sources said.

According to the sources, three bulldozers and three tanks breached the borders and trampled on agricultural land and farms inside Gaza.

They destroyed land and building dirt mounds and opened fire and shot smoke canisters.

Israeli occupation drones were flying overhead during the incursion.

On Sunday, six Israeli tanks invaded areas east of Bet Lahiya and opened fire at Palestinian farmers, apparently to force them to leave their farms as they razed several agricultural facilities.

Palestinian farmers and fishermen suffer almost daily attacks at the hands of Israeli occupation forces.

UK MPs urge Israel to stop disposition of Palestinian families

‘As you are well aware, the forcible transfer of an occupied population is a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,’ letter of UK MPs reads.

A cross-party coalition of over 80 British MPs has urged the UK’s foreign secretary to impose consequences on Israel if hundreds of planned evictions of Palestinian families go ahead.

About 200 families in East Jerusalem are in immediate danger of being dispossessed of their homes following a legal battle waged against them by settler associations.

“This would amount to the forcible/mass eviction and dispossession of hundreds of Palestinian families,” read the letter sent to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

“As you are well aware, the forcible transfer of an occupied population is a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” it added.

“Israeli settlers as well as government and municipality officials speak openly about wishing to control the demographics of the city.

Any actions by the occupying power to alter Jerusalem’s character, status or demographic composition are illegal under international law.”

The MPs urged the British government to “put a stop to the forcible transfer of families from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem.”

They also suggested potential consequences that the government should impose if the evictions go ahead, including “reducing diplomatic engagement and banning trade in settlement products in full conformity with international law.” The letter added: “Settlements are illegal so such a step is not a sanction.”

Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, told Arab News that he welcomed the letter.

It “highlights a significant degree of parliamentary concern over Israeli practices in the occupied territories,” he said.

“It’s clearly an outrage that Israel continues to engage in forcible dispossession whilst at the same time building and expanding on illegal settlements and the dispossession of Palestinian land. It’s all part of a larger process that goes unaddressed.”

On Friday, the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that it has jurisdiction over war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories.

This ruling, Doyle said, “highlights the grave consequences that could, down the line, hit those senior Israeli officials and ministers who authorize such crimes.”

He added: “Israel has for a long time been able to act with the knowledge that it had the full backing of the US, and that therefore there wouldn’t be any accountability — but who knows, further down the line this may change.”

While the ICC ruling may influence future Israeli policy, Doyle said Raab could do a lot more right now to uphold international law.

“The Palestinians are tired of just hearing the same old copy-paste press releases. There really should be some stronger action, which could include a ban on trade with illegal settlements,” he added.

“This would ram home to Israeli leaders that there are consequences for illegal actions — that’s the whole fundamental basis for international law.”

Palestine in 2020: Reflections on a turbulent year

 

People already living precarious and insecure lives were and continue to be more vulnerable to infection.

[Over 80 percent of the population in Gaza relies on international assistance to survive, and cases of disease and malnutrition are on the rise. More than 50 percent of the population is unemployed, and 90 percent of businesses closed as a result of the blockade. Hospitals are out of up to 40 percent of needed supplies and medicine. Approximately 96 percent of water is undrinkable. And electricity is only available for approximately four hours per day. Gaza contains the refugees from the 1948 Zionist terrorism and expulsion and the 1967 terrorism and expulsion. The Zionists kill and harass fisherman, farmers and children.
Prevailing systems of inequality, oppression and other forms of domination exasperated the situation and, in many cases, rendered them systems of co-morbidity. The rest of the Palestinians live in villages under menacing occupation.]

In Palestine, the lockdowns, curfews and inability to travel were not new.

The pandemic simply added another layer of precarity to the lives of Palestinians under Israel’s military occupation. 

But Covid-19 was not the only thing that happened this year in Palestine.

Rather, it became the backdrop for Israel’s accelerated territorial expansion and the political normalisation of its settler colonial project.

Christianity meltdown in its own birthplace? Western churches ignore multiple warnings – Redress Information & Analysis

“We are still suffering because of one political declaration from a Western Empire, based on a twisted theological premise. Even some churches and few Christian leaders supported the establishment of the colonial state in our land, and totally ignored – even dehumanized – the nation, our people that had already existed here for centuries and paid the price for atrocities committed in Europe.”

The year started with the Trump administration’s ‘Deal of the Century’, or officially “Vision for Peace, Prosperity and a Brighter Future for Israel and the Palestinian People“.

The ‘peace plan’ effectively proposed encasing Palestinians in the West Bank in a series of Bantustans (excluding Area C – 60 percent of the land) with Israel holding on to its illegal settlements.

Gaza, meanwhile, would be maintained as a besieged enclave while the rights of Palestinians in exile, including those of refugees, would be forsaken.

In exchange they would be granted some economic incentives to “boost” the Palestinian economy.

The Palestinian leadership outright refused it, with President Mahmoud Abbas declaring “a thousand times no”.

Just another white man’s occupation

Other reactions were rather muted, including many EU states who simply declared their commitment to the two-state solution, whilst the UK considered it a “serious proposal“.

Despite the pomp and ceremony describing the deal as ground-breaking, this was not a new formula for “peace”.

In fact, the ‘Deal of the Century’ was merely a culmination of US foreign policy which has consistently trampled on fundamental Palestinian rights in favour of maintaining Israeli domination.

Read more: The day after annexation: Israel, Palestine
and the one-state reality

A few months later the deal seemed to dissipate, not because of a lack of support from the international community but rather (as many Palestinians pointed out) because it presented nothing new – already reflecting the de facto reality on the ground. 

Later in the summer, Israel threatened to pass legislation that would enable the de jure annexation of large swathes of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank on 1 July.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shrewdly created a huge crescendo leading up to the date and many in the international community, particularly EU states, rushed to provide statements of “concern” and “condemnation,” whilst simultaneously offering no consequences should the annexation go ahead.

For its part, the Palestinian Authority responded by “halting” security coordination with Israel.  

The 1st of July came and went without annexation and the international community breathed a sigh of relief, declaring it a win for the international legal regime and for Palestinian rights.

Yet the reality of both the de jure and de facto annexation of Palestinian land, from East Jerusalem to Israeli settlements, were ignored.

“Look! Shoot faster! I am in a rush to move in.”

Since then, Netanyahu has continuously reiterated his intentions to annex more and more of the West Bank.

All the while Israeli policies of disOne day after the UN vote to partition Palestine, Menachem Begin, the commander of the Irgun and Israel’s future Prime Minister between 1977-1983, proclaimed: “The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital.

Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.” (Iron Wall p. 25)possession and territorial expansion continued apace.

We will establish ourselves in Palestine whether you like it or not…You can hasten our arrival or you can equally retard it. It is however better for you to help us so as to avoid our constructive powers being turned into a destructive power which will overthrow the world. -Chaim Weizmann

2020 saw the highest number of home demolitions in more than four years, with nearly 900 Palestinians displaced.

At the same time, Israel approved over 12,000 West Bank settler homes, the highest on record for eight years.

The early political theatrics of the ‘Deal of the Century’ continued into the year when a series of normalisation agreements with various Arab states, including the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, were announced.

These agreements by the signatory regimes were dubbed as historic.

Yet, official and unofficial Arab normalisation with Israel, and the undermining of the Palestinian cause, has been ongoing for decades.  

Egypt was the first Arab country to normalise in 1979 in return for the Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had captured in 1967.

Jordan followed suit in 1995 and in return got substantial economic aid and diplomatic support from the West.

Read more: Israel normalisation deals reflect the rupture between repressive regimes and Arab societies

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have held increasingly frequent meetings with Israeli officials and experts over the last decade regarding security technology, most of which has been used to spy on political opposition and activists.

 Similarly, Morocco has had relations with Israel dating back to the 1950s, including arms deals and Israeli training for Moroccan security forces and intelligence agents. 

It is therefore unsurprising that these countries should officialise long standing relations. What is worrying is that the agreements include weapons deals and security collaboration, a boon for authoritarianism.

Whilst a renewed era of human rights abuses looms across the region, the internal situation is equally challenging for Palestinians, who are increasingly fragmented socially, geographically, and politically.

Such divides were acutely accentuated under Covid-19, with increased restrictions on movement for different categories of Identity Card holders and an increasing gap between the wealthy and the poor.  

Official and unofficial Arab normalisation with Israel, and the undermining of the Palestinian cause, has been ongoing for decades

The Palestinian leadership has proved impotent amidst the external political manoeuvres of this year, with a strategy limited to rhetorical outrage and holding out for a Joe Biden victory in US presidential elections.

The Palestinian leadership’s impotence has also been coupled with increasing authoritarianism, as was demonstrated with the arrest and interrogation of an activist who criticized the resumption of Palestinian Authority (PA) security coordination with Israel. 

The election of Biden to the White House presents the prospect of returning to “normal” and “business as usual” in terms of US foreign policy, and his team have already expressed the desire to return to the prior framework of peace process negotiations.

Meanwhile, they have also stated that they will not be reversing several landmark policy changes under the Trump administration, including moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, and US-backed normalisation deals with Arab states.

Read more: Palestine’s olive harvest marred by rising
Israeli settler violence

Biden, who has described himself as a Zionist, has a mainstream establishment US foreign policy perspective on the Middle East, which includes a pro-Israel stance.

Indeed, as vice-president in the Obama administration he oversaw the largest military aid package in US history – $38 billion – to Israel. 

This does not bode well for Palestinian rights. Biden has promised to reverse Trump’s huge aid cuts to Palestinians, meaning US money will flow back into the coffers of the Palestinian Authority.

But this model of an “economic peace” is antithetical to Palestinian liberation, coercing the Palestinian leadership into political surrender via economic incentives.

The reality of 2020 and its challenges, from global and regional political shifts to internal stagnation, have rendered it even more difficult to imagine Palestinian liberation.

Yet the pandemic also presents us with a “portal” and an opportunity to be hopeful, as Arundhati Roy wrote earlier this year: “We can choose to walk through [the portal], dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us.

Or, we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”

This will necessitate conversations on radical change, and Palestinians have no choice but to abandon the “dead ideas” that have long been a smoke screen for the continued colonization of Palestine.

SOURCE

Lydda Air Port. Palestine Airways plane close-up

1948: The British commander of Transjordan’s Arab Legion, had toured Palestinian Arab towns, including Lydda and Ramle, urging them to prepare to defend themselves against the Zionist horde.

The PLUNDER and LOOTING of Palestinian homes, farms, plantations, banks, cars, ports, railroads, schools, hospitals, trucks, tractors, etc. in the course of the 1948 war were a crime on a massive scale. For example, the looting of Lydda City was described by the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Abandoned Property in mid-July, 1948:

“From Lydda alone, the army took out 1,800 truck-loads of property.” (1949, The First Israelis, p. 69)

It should be noted that the great majority of the Palestinian people have been dispossessed for the past five decades, meanwhile, their properties are being used by mostly European Jews (who were victims of similar war crimes committed by anti-Semitic Europeans). Prior to being ethnically cleansed in 1948, the Palestinian people owned and operated 93% of Palestine’s lands, and contributed up to 55-60% of its national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Zionists capture Lydda: Palestine’s main railway junction and its airport (now Ben Gurion International Airport) were in Lydda, and the main source of Jerusalem’s water supply was 15 kilometers away.

American President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary are welcomed at the Gaza airport by President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat and wife Soha. (Photo by Ira Wyman/Sygma via Getty Images)

“The airport used to be packed with thousands of travelers and we received presidents and world leaders,” he said, pointing to parts of the site in various stages of decay.
“Now it’s turned into a ruin, a waste dump. It’s a tragedy.”

Daifallah Al-Akhras, the chief engineer of the airport, admitted he wept on a recent visit to the terminal.

“We built the airport to be the first symbol of sovereignty,” he said. “Now you don’t see anything but destruction and ruin.”

When the airport opened in late 1998 it was one of the most tangible symbols of the Oslo accords.

Many saw the deals as paving the way to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, but their five-year transitional period expired without a resolution to the conflict.

The airport was opened despite the assassination of the most senior Israeli signatory to Oslo, prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, by a Jewish ‘radical’ opposed to the agreements.

By 1998 the accords were fraying, but Clinton, along with his wife Hillary, still attended the ceremony to inaugurate the Yasser Arafat International Airport.

Built with funding from countries across the globe, it hosted the newly formed Palestinian Airlines and was able to handle hundreds of thousands of passengers a year, with many airlines opening up routes there.

Once a commercial airport was established, the Palestinian Authority moved forward with a plan to establish a flag carrier for the embattled country.

The airline was officially announced in 1995 with financial backing coming from the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia, who donated two Fokker 50s and a Boeing 727 to help start operations.

The newly-formed Palestinian Airlines would also join the Arab Air Carriers Organization, with its introduction to the alliance coming in 1999.

While the airline officially started operations in 1997, limits were quickly established on where it could fly.

The Yasser Arafat International Airport was still under construction in Gaza, leaving the airline to commence service in the Egyptian towns of Port Said and Arish to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Amman, Jordan.

Once the airline’s home in the Gaza Strip was completed, all operations were transferred to the new airport.

Palestinian Airlines quickly expanded to include service to additional countries including Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

The airline would also come to take hold of an Ilyushin Il-62 to help with their expansion plans.

While the airline was expanding, it was not completely free of Israeli restrictions.

Under the Oslo II Accord, Israel had the right to restrict the airport’s schedule, which frequently saw the airport shuttered during the nighttime hours.

The airport’s security was also administered by the Israeli government due to fears that the Palestinians would lapse on security due to the economic instability of Gaza.

Unfortunately, the Oslo II Accord soured over time and increased tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians led to the breakout of the Second Intifada in the early 2000s.

Palestinian Airlines was forced to suspend operations while Israel and Palestine escalated their conflict.

Fearing that the Palestinians would use Yasser Arafat Airport for weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip, Israel made the airport a primary target, destroying both the radar and control towers in 2001 before carving up the runway using bulldozers in 2002.

In addition to its smuggling fears, Israel also claimed that the dismantling was in response to a Palestinian raid that killed four Israeli soldiers.

The destruction of Yasser Arafat International Airport did not sit well with Palestinians or the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

For Palestinians, the ruins of the airport were a symbol of a potential nation now reeling from the Second Intifada and a sign that Israel and Palestine may never trust each other.

Meanwhile, the ICAO saw Israel’s destruction of the airport as a violation of Palestine’s right to operate a commercial airport and strongly condemned the Israelis for their actions.

The ICAO called for Israel to pay for any repairs from the damages caused to the airfield, which Israel ignored.

With no home airport inside Palestine, the flag carrier fled back across the border and restarted operations at El Arish International Airport in Egypt.

However, getting Palestinians to Arish was a struggle, as Egyptian security could take up to a day processing those traveling into and out of the country.

To attempt to ease the issue, the airline still manned the ticket counters at Yasser Arafat Airport, hoping to sell tickets to passengers inside Gaza and simplify their flying experience.

With this restriction, and the flag carrier operating 30 miles from its home opposite a major international border, the consumer base for Palestinian Airlines slowly dried up. The airline removed the Boeing 727 and Ilyushin Il-62 from its fleet before suspending operations outright in 2005.

The Palestinian Authority would hold on to the two Fokker 50s and lease them to other airlines while they waited for a chance to restart operations.

That chance would finally come in 2012, when the airline announced it would restart service using its Fokker 50s and a route map that would, yet again, be based in Arish, Egypt with flights to Cairo, Amman and Jeddah.

But much like their previous experience at Arish, Palestine was at too much of a disadvantage to make use of their airline.

The airline would last less than two years before re-suspending operations.

The Palestinian Authority returned to leasing their Fokker 50s, with Niger Airlines currently being the home for the two aircraft.

Despite having no current operations, the airline is still an active member in the ICAO, IATA and Arab Air Carriers Organization.

While Palestine hopes to have the airline flying again, the prospect of coming home to Gaza grows bleaker and bleaker.

The airport sustained more damage in recent years, with the terminal and ramps areas taking heavy bombings by Israeli forces in 2014.

Given that the Egyptian rehabilitation attempts have proven too costly for the airline, Palestinian Airlines is currently a flag carrier with no home, no service and no clear future.

The Illegal Blockade of Gaza

1936 Zionist Crocodile: “Don’t be afraid, I will swallow you peacefully”

The purpose of the blockade was described by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weissglass as being “like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won’t die.”

Far from receiving UN sanction for its imposed blockade, Israel continues it in violation of Security Council Resolution 1860 of January 2009, which called for “the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment”.

Israel is also a party to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits any acts constituting collective punishment of a civilian population: “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited” (Article 33).

After Hamas won legislative elections in 2006, Israel and the US conspired with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party to overthrow the new Hamas government. The coup attempt failed in Gaza, however, where Hamas expelled Fatah and consolidated its rule. In response, Israel implemented a policy of blockading Gaza in order to punish its residents for having Hamas as their governing authority.

The purpose of the blockade was described by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weissglass as being “like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won’t die.”

“Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions”, a 2008 State Department cable to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice informed, “that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.”

The cable reiterated, “As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to econoffs [US embassy economic officers] on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge”.

It is Israel’s intent with its blockade to collectively punish the civilian population of Gaza, and regardless of intent, that is the blockade’s effect. Therefore, the blockade is a violation of international law.­

Continuing, Israel is legally obligated under the Fourth Geneva Convention to allow humanitarian shipments into Gaza: “To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate” (Article 54).

Additionally, “If the whole or part of the population of an occupied territory is inadequately supplied, the Occupying Power shall agree to relief schemes on behalf of the said population, and shall facilitate them by all means at its disposal”, including “consignments of foodstuffs, medical supplies and clothing.” Israel is obligated to “permit the free passage of these consignments” and to “guarantee their protection” (Article 59).

There is no allowance under international law for the types of restrictions that Israel still continues to impose on Gaza that harm the general economy, such as restrictions on the importation of cement needed for construction projects or the movement of other goods and people in and out of the Strip.

Lapidoth acknowledged that “A blockade has to permit the passage of humanitarian assistance if needed”; but, she argued, “the San Remo Manual includes two conditions (in Article 103): first, the blockading party may decide where and when and through which port the assistance should reach the coast. In addition, the state may require that a neutral organization on the coast should control the distribution of the items.”

However, these conditions would only apply in cases where there was a legitimate and lawful blockade to begin with and thus didn’t apply to Israel’s unilateral blockade, which the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international bodies and human rights organizations had authoritatively declared to be an illegal act of collective punishment.

Examining what the San Remo Manual actually has to say about the matter is revealing.

It applies to “armed conflict at sea” (Article 1). Yet there was no armed conflict at sea in this case. Gaza had no navy (nor an army or air force, for that matter). Attacks against Israel were limited to rockets and mortars fired by militant groups from land against targets on land. But for the sake of argument let’s just assume that the San Remo Manual was applicable.

It explicitly states that the “principles of necessity and proportionality apply equally to armed conflict at sea” (Article 3) and that “Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between civilians or other protected persons and combatants and between civilian or exempt objects and military objectives” (Article 39).

It defines “military objectives” as “those which . . . make an effective contribution to military action” (Article 40).

Any attacks must be “limited strictly to military objectives”, and merchant vessels not making a military contribution “are civilian objects” (Article 41).

Any attacks that “are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering” or that “are indiscriminate” because they “are not, or cannot be, directed against a specific military objective” are strictly “forbidden” (Article 42).

A further obligation is to “take all feasible precautions in the choice of methods and means in order to avoid or minimize collateral casualties or damage”. Also forbidden is any attack that “may be expected to cause collateral casualties or damage which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the attack as a whole” (Article 46).

Additionally, among the vessels that “are exempt from attack” are “vessels engaged in humanitarian missions, including vessels carrying supplies indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and vessels engaged in relief actions and rescue operations”, as well as “passenger vessels when engaged only in carrying civilian passengers” (Article 47).

Finally, any blockade that “has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival”, or which causes “damage to the civilian population” that “is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade”, is strictly “prohibited” (Article 102).

It is eminently clear that according to the very document Lapidoth cited to justify Israel’s actions, the attack on the Mavi Marmara was illegal, as is Israel’s ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Lapidoth did acknowledge in passing that “there is the condition that a state may not starve the civilian population”, but she offered no further comment. Even if one could argue that blocking humanitarian supplies was not Israel’s “sole” purpose, the fact remained that the continued suffering of the civilian population was a known consequence of the blockade, which was by any rational measure indiscriminate, disproportionate, and otherwise excessive in relation to any possible military objective.

Ignoring all of the above, Lapidoth argued further that a “merchant ship may be visited, searched, or captured”, and that “it may be attacked” if it “resists”. She asserted that any ship “that clearly intends to breach” a lawful blockade could be “dealt with while it is still on the high seas.” From this, she concluded that Israel’s capture of the flotilla ships “in international waters” was “legal”.

But, again, this wrongly assumes a lawful blockade to begin with, and, furthermore, the San Remo Manual explicitly states that the “visit and search” of “merchant vessels” may occur only when “there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that they are subject to capture” (Article 118).

No such grounds existed with regard to ships Lapidoth acknowledged were “engaged in humanitarian missions” and which were thus exempt from attack regardless of the lawfulness of the blockade itself.

Furthermore, the flotilla ships were forcibly redirected to Israel, while the San Remo Manual specifically states that only “with its consent” may a merchant vessel “be diverted from its declared destination” (Article 119).

Lapidoth cited previous blockades, such as during the Korean War and the Iran-Iraq War, without explaining what relevance those instances had to this case. She again proclaimed that Israel “acted in compliance with international law because it has fulfilled all the conditions for a lawful blockade”, including having “notified the relevant authorities of its blockade in Gaza”.

In fact, Israel had not fulfilled all the conditions for a legal blockade, as we’ve just seen. When Lapidoth said “all the conditions”, she just meant those she had cherry-picked to support her case, the obvious reason for her omission of all the other conditions being that Israel hadn’t met them; hence to mention them would have proved problematic for the conclusion she desired to arrive at.

Finally, Lapidoth addressed the question of whether Israel was the legal Occupying Power in Gaza. “Some say that since Israel is still in control of Gaza’s airspace and adjacent sea, Israel is still the occupier”, she wrote, without bothering to identify who “Some” were—i.e., UN bodies, the ICRC, human rights organizations, etc.; essentially, the entire international community.

“According to another opinion,” she wrote—i.e., Israel’s—“under the Hague Regulations of 1907 (Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land), occupation has to include full control of the area. (‘Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.’—Article 42), and of course Israel does not control the whole territory of Gaza. Therefore, it is not responsible for what happens there.”

She concluded, “In my opinion, since Israel is not in control of Gaza, it is not the occupier, but in those areas in which Israel still has control—which means sea and airspace—Israel is responsible.”

Yet all one must do to recognize the fallacy of this argument is to read what Article 42 of the Hague Regulations of 1907 actually says, which she conveniently quoted for us. It simply does not say that a country must “control the whole territory” for it to be considered occupied.

It is extraordinary that Lapidoth could proclaim that Israel was in control “only” of Gaza’s sea and airspace, as if there was no sign of its blockade policy at Gaza’s borders. Israel cannot on one hand place Gaza’s land, sea, and airspace under its military control while on the other maintaining that the conditions of occupation do not exist, that “it is not responsible for what happens there.”

Apologists for the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara have claimed that the nine activists were killed in an Israeli act of “self-defense” against passengers aboard the ship who attacked Israeli commandos with clubs and knives. However, it must be recognized that: (a) the inherent right to self-defense against armed aggression belongs not to commandos illegally storming peaceful vessels on humanitarian missions in international waters, but to the civilian passengers aboard; and (b) the Israeli attack, being against a civilian and not a military target and in enforcement of an unlawful blockade of Gaza, was a war crime in and of itself, with the murder of nine peace activists being an additional crime for which there is no justification under international law.

To illustrate the absurdity of the logic of Israeli apologists, we may contemplate a simple thought experiment: an armed robber who has broken into a home and killed the homeowner argues before the court that he committed no crime because the homeowner attacked him with a knife, and therefore his act of killing was an exercise of his right to self-defense. Would any self-respecting judge or jury member take this legal defense seriously?

Likewise, the arguments used to defend Israel’s criminal blockade and murderous attack on the Mavi Marmara cannot be taken seriously. They are not intended to be taken seriously. They are intended only to fool those who wish to be fooled and blinded, as anyone with eyes to see can see.

SOURCE

A Palestinian Memory: Israel’s Offensive on Gaza 12 Years Later

Most Palestinian refugees live in or near 68 Palestinian refugee camps across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel attacks them all everywhere and all who help them.

Image result for then and now pictures of Palestine | Palestine, Then and now pictures, Injustices in the world

‘The rationale for Palestine occupation is not peace; it is power.’

Since Operation Cast Lead, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Cloud in 2012 and Operation Protective Edge in 2014 – the deadliest yet, killing over 2,000, 500 of whom were children. Even in times of “peace” in between and since, there are regular airstrikes.

Today in Gaza, 97% of the water is unfit for human consumption, there is only a few hours of electricity per day and huge areas remain rubble.

70 years after the Nakba, where Palestinians were forced off their land and most of Gaza’s population is made of refugees from this event, Palestinians in Gaza are fighting for their right to return to their hometowns.

“When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.

December 27, 2020
Twelve years ago, on December 27, 2008, I was sipping a cup of coffee as I took a short break from my university assignments.

I was an undergraduate student preparing for my final exams when the Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out more than 60 air strikes against Hamas-run police stations, buildings, facilities, and military sites, killing approximately 200 Palestinians in the first few hours of the intensive air offensive.

Palestinians in Gaza are used to hearing sounds of explosions as they became part of their daily life routines – just like growing up under siege and occupation.

They are used to the sounds of explosions and the buzzing of drones; helicopters and fighter jets hovering above their heads, day and night; missiles fired at targets in Gaza; or Israelis just killing their boredom by producing sonic bombs, breaking the sound barrier and smashing some windows.

Gazans’ Shocked

But the bombing I heard in 2008 was unusual even for Gaza.

The electricity went out, and I turned on my cell phone’s built-in radio only to discover that the signals of many local radio stations were no longer working.

I went out to try to find out what happened as rumors had started to circulate: some said Israel had targeted the Hamas-run Al-Abbas Police Station in Gaza city.

Others claimed the target was the Abu Middain Police Station, east of Nuseirat refugee camp, while others yet said it was the building of the Ministry of Interior. It turned out that all these sites were targeted along with many more.

Pro-Palestinian supporter prays during the protest of Israeli attacks on Gaza after Israeli army resumed airstrikes, following the expiry of a three-day ceasefire with Palestinian factions in Utrecht, Netherlands on August 10, 2014. Photo Anadolu Images

The intensive bombing campaign, which Israel later named “Operation Cast Lead,” was shocking even for Palestinians for two reasons. The number of sites targeted at the same time was unprecedented with nearly 60 sites simultaneously targeted by air strikes that caused huge explosions.

The second reason was that the military offensive started on a Saturday; Saturday is holy for the followers of the Jewish faith and a symbol of peace. Despite this, Israel chose a Saturday, violating the holiness of the Jewish Sabbath, to take the lives of hundreds of Palestinians.

The Israeli offensive lasted for 23 days, claiming the lives of more than 1,500 Palestinians, injuring some 6,000 others, completely destroying 4,100 houses, and partially destroying 17,000 others.

One of the victims was my neighbor Ahmed Altawil, an eight-year-old child whose family had evacuated their house following a rumor that the mosque next to their house would be bombed.

While playing football near his uncle’s home, an Israeli strike killed him, ending his short life way too early.

In 2014, the very same mosque was leveled to the ground, which caused a serious damage to Ahmed’s family house.

One of the victims was my neighbor Ahmed Altawil, an eight-year-old child whose family had evacuated their house following a rumor that the mosque next to their house would be bombed.

While playing football near his uncle’s home, an Israeli strike killed him, ending his short life way too early.

One of the stories that Israel’s Operation Cast Lead left in the collective memory of Palestinians in Gaza is that of the Al-Samouni family.

An Israeli officer asked the Al-Samouni family to stay in one room in their house in Al-Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza after the Israeli army occupied the entire area.

Following this, the Israeli forces bombed the house while they were still inside, killing 29 people of the same extended family.

To add insult to injury, the Israeli Prosecution decided to close the investigation against the military officer who ordered the bombing. Justice for the Al-Samouni family and thousands of other Palestinian families is still to be served.

Will Justice be Served?

WANTED Zionist criminals

Today, Israeli leaders, such as Tzipi Livni and Ehud Olmert, who are responsible for the alleged crimes committed against the Palestinians in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead are still free.

The chances of bringing them to justice for killing Palestinians are minimal.

Read: Israeli Occupation and the Palestinian Identity

However, there is a slightly better possibility of convicting them on charges of corruption, such as the case on trial at the moment against Netanyahu.

Despite the very low chances of holding Israeli leaders criminally responsible for their alleged crimes in Gaza, especially these days with the rising tides against the Palestinians, politically, legally and economically, Palestinians have not lost hope.

The efforts made by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into possible Israeli war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories offers some hope that one day justice could be served.

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A view of a collapsed building in Al Katiba region after Israel carried out airstrikes in Gaza City, Gaza on July 14, 2018. Photo by Ali Jadallah, Anadolu Images

At the same time, preserving the memory of Palestinian victims is equally important.

It is important to tell the stories of Palestinians who lost their lives because of Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

A child like my neighbor Ahmad Altawil is not a mere number: he had a family and his death was deeply mourned.

There are many stories that deserve to be told about Ahmad: his great love of football, for one, cut short by an Israeli strike that took his life in 2009, or the other air strike that destroyed his family’s house in 2014.

Preserving the memory of Palestinian victims is important, so is to tell the stories of Palestinians who lost their lives because of Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

Preserving these memories is essential for the victims, their families, and for any future justice for the Palestinian people.

 

A War on Memory

In the same context, Israel’s war on Palestinians, including Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008, is a war on memory and narrative as well as a war on the psychical presence of Palestinians, who are projected as the opponents of Israel’s settler colonial project, a master plan built on the notion that Palestinians are the unwanted Others.

Preserving this memory feeds into what Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish spoke of as “the invaders’ fear of memories,” keeping the Palestinian memory alive despite all attempts to erase it is a form of resistance too.

Read: Arab Emancipation and the Liberation of Palestine

The world has to remember that as long as justice is not served in Palestine, the entire Middle East cannot achieve peace and security- even if governments claim otherwise.

The youngest Palestinian children whose parents were killed in 2008 would turn 11 today, which means that the feeling of being oppressed has become generational and Israel will come to a point where it can no longer maintain a reality, the backbone of which is oppressing Palestinians.

One lesson from Israel’s Operation Cast Lead and other military onslaughts in Gaza is that using excessive force against Palestinians has only made them more determined over the years.

The brightest example of this determination is the Great March of Return, where Palestinians in Gaza, 75% of whom are refugees, following three destructive Israeli onslaughts, took the initiative and called for their return to their homes and towns according to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194.

Israel needs to understand that it can’t continue its denial of the reality in Gaza, and that the Palestinians’ memories of their lives, the wars, and the lives of their ancestors in historic Palestine will continue to serve as fuel to the fire of their memories.

These memories will continue to live until the historical injustice in Palestine is addressed.

Four Innocent Palestinians in the US awaiting presidential pardon

SERVING THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE SINCE 1968

Introduction:

A federal judge imposed what could amount to life sentences on three former leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) on Wednesday for illegally routing more than $12 million to Hamas.

“Hamas is a legitimate democratically elected government of the Palestinian people

Displaced since 1948

The Holy Land Foundation (HLF) was the largest Islamic charity in the United States. Headquartered in Richardson, Texas,[1] and run by Palestinian-Americans, it was originally known as Occupied Land Fund.[2]

The organization’s mission was to “find and implement practical solutions for human suffering through humanitarian programs that impact the lives of the disadvantaged, disinherited, and displaced peoples suffering from man-made and natural disasters.”

In December 2001, the U.S. government designated HLF a terrorist organization, seized its assets, and closed the organization after many years of surveillance authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”).[3]

In 2004, a federal grand jury in Dallas, Texas charged HLF and five former officers and employees with providing material support to Hamas and related offenses.

The prosecution’s theory was that HLF distributed charity through local zakat (charity) committees located in the West Bank that paid stipends to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers and Hamas prisoners; that Hamas controlled those zakat committees; that by distributing charity through Hamas-controlled committees, HLF helped Hamas build a grassroots support amongst the Palestinian people; and that these charity front organizations served a dual purpose of laundering the money for all of Hamas’s activities.[4]

Simultaneously, in November 2004, a U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys ruled that HLF, along with Hamas-linked organizations the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), were liable for a 1996 killing of 17-year-old David Boim in Israel.[5] This decision was the first time U.S. citizens or organizations were held liable under a 1990 federal law that permitted victims of terrorism to sue for civil damages.

The first trial, in 2007, ended in the partial acquittal of one defendant and a hung jury on all other charges. At a retrial in 2008, the jury found all defendants guilty on all counts. The 2008 trial of the charity leaders was the “largest terrorism financing prosecution in American history.”[6] In 2009, the founders of the organization were given sentences of between 15 and 65 years in prison for “funneling $12 million to Hamas.”[7]

The Arab Organization for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) has called on US President Donald Trump to issue presidential pardons to four Palestinians who have been working in the field of humanitarian relief for years and have been subjected to unfair trials. The four Palestinians awaiting presidential pardons are Shukri Abu-Baker, Mufid Abdulqader, Ghassan Elashi and Mohammad El-Mezain.

AOHR UK pointed out that the US president, whose term is coming to an end, has the constitutional power to issue presidential pardons to defendants and convicts, and has recently issued pardons which were met with widespread criticism.

Long-term charitable work

Reporting on “Israel” activities inside occupied Palestine is not allowed

The four Palestinians are members of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) charity established in 1989, based in Texas, to provide support to the poor and orphans in Palestine. The US authorities closed HLF and confiscated its assets following the events of 11 September, 2001.

Charges and the first trial

In July 2004, the Public Prosecutor issued charges against the four men including supporting a terrorist organisation. The trial began in August 2007‏, lasting two months. The judge declared its failure after the jury had reached a dead-end.

Read: Humanitarian organisations in the face of Israeli tyranny

Second trial

The federal judge in Texas insisted on reopening the case to convict the men. Therefore, a new jury was formed, and the hearings started again before a new judge. The hearings only lasted six weeks, and clearly lacked the standards of a fair trial, resulting in convictions in November 2008.

In May 2009, Judge Jorge Solis sentenced Abu-Baker to 65 years in prison, El-Mezain to 15 years, Abdulqader to 20 years, Elashi to 65 years and Abdelrahman Odeh (recently released after the expiration of his sentence) to 15 years in prison.

AOHR UK confirmed that unlike those to whom Trump issued presidential pardons, the Palestinians did not commit any crime inflicting harm on US national security. They were simply victims of the state of hostility that spread following the events of 11 September.

A goodwill gesture?

AOHR UK wondered whether Trump would offer a goodwill gesture towards the Palestinian people who have suffered greatly from his recent decisions, which aim to eliminate their cause, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and cutting off all forms of support to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

AOHR UK called on all supporters of the Palestinian cause, civil society institutions and human rights organisations in the US and abroad to appeal to the US president to issue presidential pardons. This is the only way to end the ongoing injustice suffered by the detainees and their families.

Palestine’s resistance.. internationally legitimate but not allowed

So let’s set the record straight, a Palestinian living under occupation has the legal right to resist the occupying force, this remains the fact irrespective of whether you support or oppose violent resistance.

Palestinians who attack armed occupation forces are not terrorists under international law and in order for the violence to end, we have to learn to understand why armed attacks against Israeli occupation forces occur.

This Monday evening in East Jerusalem, at one of the entrance gates to Masjid al-Aqsa, seventeen year old Mahmoud Kamil attempted to attack armed Israel occupying police forces.

The teenager was then fired at with over 15 bullets and killed.

Following the incident, the Israeli media shamefully dubbed the 17 year old from Qabatia, Jenin (West Bank), as a child “terrorist”.

This demonstrates the complete lack of empathy shown towards Palestinian children and the complete dismissal of why an ordinary 17 year old would be driven to knowingly put his own life on the line to attack militarized Israeli forces.

The story of Mahmoud Kamil symbolizes the pure despair shared amongst many Palestinian teens living under brutal military occupation.

In the media, we will undoubtedly hear more reports depicting the scene of a “terrorist” being “neutralized”, as if to say Mahmoud was some sort of killer robot.

The Israeli policy of collective punishment, bulldozing the family home of “terrorists”, will also be enacted, as well as the holding of young Mahmoud’s body so that he will not have a legitimate burial.

These acts condemned by leading, international and local, Human Rights Organizations such as Amnesty International and B’Tselem rarely end up reported in the Western corporate Press.

The ‘New Jews’ have no history in Palestine

Also, another key element to this case which is in need of address, is the right to armed resistance for Palestinians in general.

When discussing this issue, it is key to note that the event in Jerusalem is a tragic issue and should be addressed as an individual case, especially as a minor had been involved.

As the attack and subsequent execution of young Mahmoud has unfortunately been linked to the question of armed resistance, due to the nature of the scenario, it is a case that should not be lumped in carelessly with legal discourse on armed resistance.

This is key to understand, as lumping a minor in with the discourse on liberationist struggle, often prompts the opposition to mount a counter argument as to why the act is in fact terrorism.

A minor is a minor and so we should take great care, understanding the psychological torment which drove this teenager to such a point.

The tragedy which occurred in Jerusalem, in which a Palestinian teen felt there was no other option than to attack an enemy, which he knew would take his life, is the result of a seemingly never ending illegal military occupation.

That is where the debate should be focused on this case and not surrounding the following issue.

Legal Right To Resist Or Terrorism?

Reality is often flipped on its head during debate on the Palestine-Israel conflict, with the armed occupation forces presented as the innocent party and the occupied people fighting colonisation presented as the blood-thirsty savages.

So let’s set the record straight, a Palestinian living under occupation has the legal right to resist the occupying force, this remains the fact irrespective of whether you support or oppose violent resistance.

When we look at the issue of armed resistance broadly, according to ‘Additional Protocol 1’ to the ‘Geneva Conventions’ (1949) all Peoples are entitled, under international humanitarian law, to the right to armed national liberation struggles.

The Palestinian people were even mentioned by named in ‘United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 2787’ in 1971:

“[The Resolution] Confirms the legality of the peoples’ struggle for self-determination and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably in southern Africa and in particular that of the peoples of Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and Guinea (Bissau), as well as of the Palestinian people, by all available means consistent with the Charter of the United Nations.”

It is also clear that according to International Law, tracing back to UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 3314, in 1974, that it was unacceptable for any State to engage in military occupations of foreign territory.

BDS is an inclusive, anti-racist human rights movement that is opposed on principle to all forms of discrimination, including anti-semitism and Islamophobia.

On November 29, 1978, with ‘United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/33/24’, the right to armed struggle was again reaffirmed, as it was stated that the body recognized; “…the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle”.

This legitimate and defensible right under international law, again confirmed in UNGA resolution 37/43 in 1982, is not in line therefore with any reasonable definition of terrorism.

To deny Palestinians their right to resist a foreign settler-colonialism occupying force, means that you are arguing against International Law. This is not a matter of opinion.

When it comes to attacks committed against Israeli occupying forces inside of East Jerusalem, this legal right to resist using armed struggle, also applies.

A ‘wanted’ poster published in Palestine showing photos of ten alleged Jewish terrorists. These terrorists became the “IDF” of “Israel”.

East Jerusalem has been since 1967 illegally occupied by Israel. Despite Israel having illegally annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, therefore claiming it and applying a different legal system there, the International Community still considers the territory as occupied.

Israel is obligated under UN Security Council Resolution 242 to withdraw from all the territories it occupied in the June 1967 war, this includes East Jerusalem.

The daily brutality endured by Palestinians under occupation, is what fuels these sort of attacks and the refusal to confront that fact by Israel, shows that it doesn’t seek to change the reality at all.

Palestinians maintain their legal right to armed resistance and if you disagree with that right, then you are in disagreement with International Law and the majority opinion of the United Nations. This is not advocacy for armed struggle to state this, but instead a categorical fact.

In last push before Trump exits, GOP tries to erase Palestinian refugees

“The original Zionist slogan—’a land without a people for a people without a land’—disclosed its own negation when I saw the densely populated Arab towns dwelling sullenly under Jewish tutelage. You want irony? How about Jews becoming colonizers at just the moment when other Europeans had given up on the idea?”
― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Republican Members of Congress are calling on the Trump administration to reclassify which Palestinians are considered refugees — a move which would constrain the Biden White House, and could fatally harm the Palestinian demand for the right of return.

The political nature of the demand is spelled out clearly by these Members of Congress.

“The issue of the so-called Palestinian ‘right of return’ of 5.3 million refugees to Israel as part of any ‘peace deal’ is an unrealistic demand, and we do not believe it accurately reflects the number of actual Palestinian refugees…it is time to end the fiction of the ‘right of return’ and bring the conflict one step closer [to] conclusion,” they argued.

The Trump administration has already taken a major step toward trying to erase Palestinian refugees.

In August 2018, the State Department cut US funding to UNRWA, deeming the UN agency responsible for providing social services to Palestinian refugees an “irredeemably flawed operation.”

By starving UNRWA, the Trump administration hoped to magically make Palestinian refugees disappear.

By declassifying the State Department report on Palestinian refugees, Republican Members of Congress hope to publicly redefine in US policy who is and is not a Palestinian refugee for this same purpose.