ICC chief prosecutor dismisses anti-Semitism allegation

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has rejected the charge of anti-Semitism following its announcement to launch a full investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian Territories.

The landmark decision was met with hostility in Tel-Aviv. Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, dismissed the court’s decision, stating that it had no jurisdiction to investigate in the Palestinian Territories.

To disrupt the court’s investigation, Israel threatened to prevent ICC officials from entering the occupied territories; a move that would mirror its treatment of United Nations investigators, also prevented from entering the region.

Further attack on the ICC ensued. Netanyahu denounced the court’s decision as “pure anti-Semitism,” during a candle-lighting ceremony marking the start of the eight-day Hanukkah holiday, last month.

“New edicts are being cast against the Jewish people – anti-Semitic edicts by the International Criminal Court telling us that we, the Jews, standing here next to this wall … in this city, in this country, have no right to live here and that by doing so, we are committing a war crime,” asserted the Israeli prime minister.

READ: More war crimes are Israel’s plan for the immediate future

Other senior politicians, The Times of Israel reported, similarly condemned the court and its prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, because of her decision.

Some Israeli journalists published articles highlighting her past as a senior official in the Gambian government, where she served under a brutal dictator, in an apparent effort to sully her reputation.

This week chief ICC prosecutor, Bensouda, dismissed the accusation, in an interview with The Times of Israel. “This is a particularly regrettable accusation that is without merit,” stressed Bensouda.

Bensouda explained that she expected to face attempts to undermine her credibility through “character assassination” in the same way that witnesses are discredited and undermined during a legal case.

“I, along with my office, execute our mandate under the Rome Statute with utmost independence, objectivity, fairness and professional integrity.

We will continue to meet our responsibilities as required by the Rome Statute without fear or favour,” she added.

READ: Will Israel ‘invade The Hague’ now?

Bensouda is the latest in a growing list of people to face the charge of anti-Semitism. Last week a Jewish teacher in a New York school was fired for expressing remarks critical of Israel.

150 people signed a letter in defense of the teacher, in which it was claimed that the controversy around her firing was another instance in the “weaponisation of anti-Semitism” which “is the subject of a pitched battle within Jewish communities.”

Their concerns were echoed in December by the author of a controversial definition of anti-Semitism, who spoke out over its misuse and warned of its “chilling effect” on free speech. US attorney, Kenneth Stern, who drafted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) “working definition of antisemitism,” warned that “right-wing Jews were weaponizing” it to supress criticism of Israel.

From Ukraine to Palestine

“One of the best-trained, best-equipped, best fed terrorist organizations in the world. Their entire purpose is terrorism” ~ Miko Peled, son of an Israeli general

‘We are living by the sword’: The regrets of an Israel founder’s son

Yaakov Sharett

My name is Yaakov Sharett. I am 92 years old. I happen to be my father’s son for which I am not responsible. So this is how it is.” 

1946

A kibbutz in the northern Negev in the summer of 1946 (AFP)

From Ukraine to Palestine

His grandfather, Jacob Shertok – the original family name – was one of the first Zionists to set foot in Palestine, leaving his home in Kherson, Ukraine, in 1882 after Russian pogroms.

“He had this dream of tilling the land. The big Zionist idea was going back to the land and leaving the superficial activities of Jews who had become remote from land,” he says.

“They thought that, little by little, more Jews would immigrate until they became a majority, and could demand a state, which they then called a ‘homeland’ to avoid controversy.”

I wonder what Yaakov’s grandfather thought would happen to the Arabs, who then comprised about 97 percent of the population, with Jews around 2 to 3 percent.

“I think he thought the more Jews that came, the more they’d bring prosperity and the Arabs would be happy. They didn’t realize people don’t live only on money. We would have to be the dominant power, but the Arabs would get used to it,” he says.

In case the Arabs didn’t bend the knee

Adding with a wistful smile: “Well, either they believed it or they wanted to believe it. My grandfather’s generation were dreamers. If they had been realists, they would not have come to Palestine in the first place.

It was never possible for a minority to replace a majority that had lived on this land for hundreds of years. It could never work,” he says.

Four years later, Jacob wished he hadn’t come, returning to Russia, not because of Palestinian hostility – Jewish numbers were still tiny – but because he couldn’t make a living here.

Many of the very early settlers in Palestine found working on the land far harder than they had ever imagined, often returning to Russia in despair.

But in 1902, after more pogroms, Jacob Sharett returned, this time with a family including Moshe, aged eight.

Palestinians were still – for the most part – welcoming to Jews as the threat of Zionism remained unclear. A member of the prosperous Husseini family, who was headed abroad, even offered Yaakov’s grandfather his house to rent in the village of Ein Siniya, now in the occupied West Bank.

For two years, grandfather Shertok lived there like an Arab grandee while his children attended a Palestinian kindergarten. “My father herded sheep, learned Arabic and generally lived like an Arab,” says Yaakov.

Psychology of the minority

But the Zionist plan was to live like Jews so before long, the family had moved to the fast-growing Jewish hub of Tel Aviv and Moshe was soon honing every skill – including studying Ottoman law in Istanbul – in order to further the Zionist project.

Thanks to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which promised a Jewish homeland in Palestine and ushered in British colonial rule, plans for a full-blown Jewish state now seemed possible, and over the next two decades, Moshe Sharett helped design it, becoming a key figure in the Jewish Agency, the state’s government-in-waiting.

Moshe Sharett seen seated to the left of first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion with the first Israeli government in 1949 (Wikicommons)

Moshe Sharett seen seated to the left of first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion with the first Israeli government in 1949 (Wikicommons)

Central to the project was the creation of a Jewish majority and ownership of as much of the land as possible, to which end Sharett worked closely with his ally David Ben-Gurion. Immigration rose fast, and land was bought, usually from absentee Arab landlords.

‘My father and the rest still thought that most Arabs would sell their national honour for the food we would give them’

– Yaakov Sharett

The pace of change provoked the Palestinian revolt of 1936, brutally crushed by the British. In the light of that revolt, did the future prime minister ever question whether the Jewish state could work?

“No,” says Yaakov. The leadership were “still full of justifying their ideas of Zionism. You must remember that they all thought in terms of being Jewish and how they had been subjugated by majorities in the countries in which they had lived.

“My father said this: ‘Wherever there is a minority, every member has a stick and rucksack in his cupboard’. Psychologically, he realizes a bad day will come and he will have to leave.

So the priority was always to create a majority and shake off the psychology of the minority for ever.

“My father and the rest still thought that most Arabs would sell their national honour for the food we would give them. It was a nice dream, but at the cost of others.

And anyone who did not agree was a traitor.”

Becoming mukhtar

As a young teenager, in the early 1940s, Yaakov didn’t question his father’s outlook. Quite the contrary.

“I must say,” he continues, “when I was in the Zionist Youth Movement, we went around the Arab villages on foot and you saw an Arab village and learned its Hebrew name as in the Bible and you felt the time has not divided between you and it. I have never been religious, but this is what you felt.”

By 1939, World War Two had broken out and many young Israelis had joined the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, serving in Europe. The Jewish Brigade was an idea of Yaakov’s father, and as soon as he was old enough, Yaakov volunteered, joining up in 1944, aged 17. But a few months later – in April 1945 – the war was over and Yaakov was too late to see any service.

Yaacov Sharett, 22, in Hatserim (Courtesy Yaacov Sharett)

Yaakov Sharett, 22, in Hatzerim (Courtesy Yaakov Sharett)

Back in Palestine, those young Jewish soldiers who had served in Europe were amongst those now being recruited to fight in what many knew was coming next: a new war in Palestine to establish a state of Israel.

 Yaakov – who had clearly not yet started to see that Zionism “was at the cost of others” – readily agreed to play his part.

Now aged 19, Yaakov was picked to play the role of a Jewish mukhtar, or village head, at a quasi-military outpost in the Negev, a barren terrain barely settled by Jews.  

“I didn’t think a lot about politics back then. To build this settlement was literally our dream,” he says.

His wife, Rena, has joined us, perching on a stool, and nods in agreement. Rena Sharett was another eager Zionist who claimed the Negev in 1946.

Before 1948, the Negev constituted the British administrative district of Beersheva and the district of Gaza, which together made up half the land of Palestine. Touching the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, the terrain had vital access to water.

So not surprisingly, the Zionists, who had to date succeeded in purchasing just 6 percent of Palestinian land, were determined to seize it.

However, given that about 250,000 Arabs lived in the Negev, in 247 villages, compared to about 500 Jews in three small outposts, a recent Anglo-American partition plan had divided mandate Palestine between Jews and Arabs, apportioning the Negev region as part of a future Palestinian state.

A British ban on new settlement had also hindered Zionist attempts to alter the status quo. Arabs had always opposed any plan that envisaged the Palestinians as “an indigenous majority living on their ancestral soil, being converted overnight into a minority under alien rule,” as the Palestinian historian, Walid Khalidi, summarised it.

In late 1946, however, with a new United Nations partition plan in the making, the Zionist leaders saw it was now or never for the Negev.

Now or never

So the “11 points” plan was launched. Not only would the new settlements boost the Jewish presence there, they would serve as military bases when war broke out, as it inevitably would.

Everything had to be done in secret due to the British ban and it was decided to erect the outposts on the night of 5 October, just after Yom Kippur. “The British would never expect the Jews to do such a thing the night after Yom Kippur,” says Yaakov. 

“I remember when we found our piece of land on the top of a barren hill. It was still dark, but we managed to bang in the posts and soon, we were inside our fence. At first light, trucks came with pre-fabricated barracks.

It was quite a feat. We worked like devils. Ha! I will never forget it.”  

‘I remember when we found our piece of land on the top of a barren hill. It was still dark, but we managed to bang in the posts and soon, we were inside our fence’

– Yaakov Sharett

Looking out from inside their fence, the settlers at first didn’t see any Arabs, but then made out the tents of Abu Yahiya’s village, and a few “dirty huts”, as Yaakov described them.  

Soon, they were asking the Arabs for water. “I collected our water for our settlement from that well every day in my truck, that’s how I became friends with Abu Yahiya,” he says.

With his smattering of Arabic, he chatted to others too: “They loved to talk. On it went when I had work to do,” he laughs. “I don’t think they were happy with us there exactly, but they were at peace with us. There was no enmity.”

Another local Arab chief watched out for their security in return for a small payment. “It was a kind of agreement we had with him.

He’d act as guard and every month, he’d come up to our fence and sit there quite still – he looked like just a small bundle of clothes,” Yaakov says, smiling broadly.  

“He was waiting for payment and I shook his hand and got him to sign some sort of receipt with his thumb which I gave to the authorities in Tel Aviv and they gave me money for the next time.

That was my only real responsibility as mukhtar,” says Yaakov, adding that everyone knew he only got this role as chief because he was his father’s son. 

Moshe Sharett, by now a leading political figure, was known as a moderate, and as such was viewed with suspicion by some military hardliners.

The new Negev desert outposts were planned in large part as centres for gathering intelligence about the Arabs, and Yaakov believes it was probably because of his father he too was distrusted and excluded by those sent to the outpost to lay military plans

“Instead I was really used just as a jack of all trades” – driving, collecting water, buying fuel in Gaza or Beersheba. He sounds nostalgic for the freedom of that arid landscape, though the settlers were always back inside their fence at night.

He came to know other Arab villages, too, like Burayr “which was always hostile, I don’t know why,” but most were friendly, particularly a village called Huj. “I used to drive through Huj often and knew it well.”

During the 1948 war, the residents of Huj reached an agreement in writing with Jewish authorities that they be allowed to stay, but they were driven out like all the other 247 villages of this area, mostly to Gaza. The Palestinians called the expulsions their Nakba – or catastrophe.

I asked Yaacov what he recalled of the Arab exodus in May 1948, but he was absent at the time as Rena’s brother was killed in fighting further east so the couple had left to join her family.

I told Yaacov I’d met survivors of the Abu Yahiya clan, who recounted being driven by Jewish soldiers into Wadi Beersheba where the men were separated from the women and some were shot, then the rest were expelled.

“Somehow I don’t remember that,” says Yaakov. But plumbing his memory, he suddenly recalls other atrocities including events at Burayr, the hostile village, where in May 1948 there was a massacre, with between 70 to 100 villagers killed, according to survivors and Palestinian historians. 

“One of our boys helped take Burayr. I remember he said when he got there the Arabs had already mostly fled and he opened the door of a house and saw an old man there so he shot him. He enjoyed shooting him,” he says.

By the time Beersheba was taken in October 1948, Yaakov had returned to his nearby outpost, now given the Hebrew name, Hatzerim.

“I learned our boys had led the army to the town,” he says. “We knew the area very well and could guide them through the wadis [riverbeds]”.

After Beersheba fell, Yaakov drove his comrades down in a truck to take a look: “It was empty, totally empty.” The entire population of about 5,000 had been expelled and driven in trucks to Gaza.

I had heard there was a lot of looting. “Yes,” he says. “We took things from several empty houses. We took what we could – furniture, radios, utensils. Not for ourselves, but to help the kibbutz. After all, Beersheva was empty and belonged to nobody now.”

What did he think of that? “Again, I must confess I didn’t think much at all at the time. We were proud of occupying Beersheva.  Although I must say, we’d had so many friends there before.”

Yaakov says he couldn’t remember if he had looted himself: “I probably did. I was one of them. We were very happy. If you don’t take it, someone else will. You don’t feel you have to give it back. They were not coming back.”

What did you think about that? He pauses. “We didn’t think about it then. My father, in fact, said they will not come back. My father was a moral man. I don’t think he was a party to the orders to expel the Arabs. Ben-Gurion was. Sharett no. But he accepted it as a fact. I think he knew something was going wrong, but he didn’t fight it,” he says.

“After the war my father gave a lecture and said I don’t know why a man should live two years secluded in a village [a reference to his time growing up in Ein Siniya] to realise that Arabs are human beings. This kind of saying you won’t get from any other Jewish leader…this was my father.”

Then, as if confessing on behalf of his father too, Yaakov adds: “But I have to be frank, my father had some cruel things to say about the refugees. He was against their return; he agreed with Ben-Gurion on that.”

Far more cruel than Sharett was Moshe Dayan. Appointed after the war as chief of staff by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, Dayan had the task of keeping back the Negev refugees and many others “fenced in” behind the Gaza armistice lines.

Moshe Dayan delivers a eulogy for Roi Rotberg in Kibbutz Nahal Oz in April 1956 (Twitter/@ProvMagazine)

Moshe Dayan delivers a eulogy for Roi Rotberg in Kibbutz Nahal Oz in April 1956 (Twitter/@ProvMagazine)

In 1956, a Gaza refugee killed an Israeli settler, Roi Rotberg, and at his funeral, Dayan gave a famous eulogy urging Israelis to accept, once and for all, that the Arabs would never live in peace beside them, and he spelled out why: the Arabs had been expelled from their homes which were now lived in by Jews.

But Dayan urged the Jews to respond not by seeking compromise but by “looking squarely at the hatred that consumes and fills the lives of Arabs who live around us and be forever ready and armed, tough and hard”.

This speech made a profound impression on Yaakov Sharrett. “I said this was a fascist speech. He was telling people to live by the sword,” he says. Moshe Sharett, who was foreign minister at the time, had been urging compromise through diplomacy for which he was called “weak”.

But it wasn’t until 1967, when he started working as a journalist for the centrist Israeli paper, Maariv, that Yaakov lost his faith in Zionism.

‘They were the majority’

In the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Israel seized more land, this time in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, where military occupation was imposed on the Palestinians who hadn’t fled this time.

Touring the West Bank, Sharett stared at the stunned but defiant Arab faces and felt “uneasy” once again, particularly when he visited his old family village of Ein Siniya, which his father, now dead, had spoken of so affectionately.

It was here that as a child, Moshe had herded sheep and “learned that Arabs were humans”, as Moshe Sharett would say in a later speech.  

“The villagers were under the first shock of occupation. They knew the Jews were now the dominating power, but they showed no feelings of hatred. They were simple people.

And I remember that several residents came and surrounded us and smiled and told me they remembered my family and the house in which our family lived.

So we smiled at each other and I left. I didn’t go back. I didn’t like this occupation and I didn’t want to go there as a master,” he says.

“Have you heard of shooting and weeping?” he asks, with another wistful smile, explaining this was an expression to describe Israelis who, after fighting in the West Bank in 1967 showed shame, but accepted the results.

‘We smiled at each other and I left. I didn’t go back. I didn’t like this occupation and I didn’t want to go there as a master’

– Yaakov Sharett

“But I wanted nothing more to do with this occupation. It was my way of non-identification with it. I was depressed by it, and ashamed.”

The faces of the Ein Sinya villagers revealed something else: “I saw in this defiance that they still had the psychology of the majority. My father used to say war always makes waves of refugees. But he didn’t see that usually those who flee are the minority. In 1948, they were the majority so they will never give up. This is our problem.

“But it took me years to realise what the Nakba was and that the Nakba didn’t start in 1967 but in 1948. We have to realise that.”

Rena chips in. “In 1948, it was a matter of them or us. Life and death. That was the difference,” she says.

“We two disagree on this,” says Yaakov. “My wife lost her brother in 1948. She views it differently.”

‘I would leave tomorrow’

In older age, Yaakov has gone back even further in time, looking into the problems with Zionism since the very beginning.  

“Now at [92]-years-old, I realise that the story started with the very idea of Zionism which was a utopian idea. It was meant to save Jewish lives but at the cost of a nation of occupants who inhabited Palestine at this time. The conflict was unavoidable from the beginning.”

I ask if he describes himself as an anti-Zionist. “I am not an anti-Zionist, but I am not a Zionist,” he says, turning to look at Rena, perhaps in case she disapproves – his wife holds less radical views.  

On the wall beside the picture of his father are photographs of their children and grandchildren; two of Yaakov’s granddaughters have emigrated to the United States. “I am not afraid to say I am happy they are there and not here,” he says.

Moshe Sharett (Courtesy Moshe Sharett)

Yaakov Sharett today (Courtesy Yaakov Sharett)

I ask if he has “a rucksack and stick” packed ready to go and join them? After all, with his views, Yaakov himself is now in a minority – a small minority – living amid a majority of right-wing Jews here in Israel.

And not only is he ideologically “fenced in” but also physically too. He talks of how he can barely move around Israel nowadays. He refuses to go to Jerusalem which he says has been taken over by ultra-orthodox religious Jews.

“This is one of the most terrible disasters. When we were young, we thought religion was going to vanish.” He says he never wishes to return to his beloved Negev because it was long ago settled by new generations of Jews “who have no empathy with Arabs”. 

He can still “breathe” in Tel Aviv, and enjoys speeding around on a scooter, but even here, feels that he lives inside a “bubble”. He chuckles again. 

“I call it the Haaretz bubble,” and he explains he is referring to a group of left-wingers who read the liberal Haaretz newspaper. “But this clan has no connection with each other except this daily paper that more or less expresses our opinion.

It is the last stronghold. And I feel very bad about it…. It’s true I do not feel at home here.”

‘Look. When you make me think about it, I would leave tomorrow. Thousands are already leaving’

– Yaakov Sharett

Yaakov says he is always thinking about leaving. If other members of his family would join him, he would.  

“Look. When you make me think about it, I would leave tomorrow. Thousands are already leaving, most have two passports. We have the worst government we have ever had with Bibi Netanyahu,” he says.

“We are living by the sword, as Dayan said we should…as if we must be forced to make Israel into a kind of citadel against the invaders, but I don’t think it is possible to live by the sword for ever.”

I ask how he sees the future for the Palestinians?

“What can I say? I feel very bad about it. And I am not afraid to say that the treatment of the Palestinians today is Nazi treatment. We don’t have gas chambers, of course, but the mentality is the same. It is racial hatred. They are treated as subhuman,” he says.

Yaakov is well-aware that he – a Jew – will be accused of “antisemitism” for saying such things, but says he believes Israel is “a criminal state”.

“I know they will call me a self-hating Jew for saying that. But I cannot automatically support my country, right or wrong. And Israel must not be immune from criticism. Seeing the difference between antisemitism and criticism of Israel is crucial.

To be honest, I am amazed how in 2019 the world outside accepts Israeli propaganda. I really don’t know why they do,” he says.

“And remember that the very aim of Zionism was to release Jews from the curse of antisemitism by giving them their own state. But today, the Jewish state by its own criminal behaviour is one of the most serious causes for this curse.”

What is his prediction for the Jewish state? “I will tell you what my prediction is. I am not afraid to say it. When the time comes, it might come tomorrow, there will be a conflagration, maybe with Hezbollah … a big catastrophe of some sort that will destroy thousands of Jewish homes.

“And we will bomb Beirut but having Lebanese lose their homes won’t help the Jew who loses his home and family, so people will see no reason to stay here anymore. All rational Israelis will then have to leave.

“It doesn’t have to be Hezbollah. The catastrophe might be the strong domination of our own rightists. All the laws enacted by the Knesset now are fascist laws. I have no solution. Israel will become a pariah state,” he says.

‘To be honest, I am amazed how in 2019 the world outside accepts Israeli propaganda. I really don’t know why they do’

– Yaakov Sharett

Surely, America and the Europeans would never treat Israel as pariah state, I suggest, but Yaakov doesn’t agree: “Their support is mostly shame over the Holocaust. But these feelings of guilt will dwindle in the next generations,” he says.

I ask Yaakov what his father would say if he had heard all this? Rena says she hadn’t even heard Yaakov speak like this before. His eyes dart under his woolly hat.

“I think my father would have to agree with me somewhat. He remained a Zionist to the end, but I think he realised something was wrong. Sometimes, I say he was too moral to be at peace with what is going on here,” he says.

“But he is disappointing because he didn’t arrive at the conclusion his son did. I don’t blame him for that. He absorbed Zionism in his mother’s milk.  If he had lived to my age – I am 92, he died at 71 – perhaps he would have seen things like me. I don’t know.”

I get up to leave and pick up my laptop, thereby lighting up the picture of Abu Yahiya’s well again. Our interview has been haunted not only by Moshe Sharett but also by the image of that “tall lean Bedouin with the sympathetic face” last seen by Yaakov, stricken and alone.

“I must say, the picture of that nice man does sometimes come into my mind,” says Yaakov, who then takes me down to the street. Grabbing his scooter, he waves goodbye cheerily and kicks off into the traffic of Tel Aviv.

My Struggle for Peace, the Diary of Moshe Sharett 1953-1956 is published by Indiana University Press. Sarah Helm is a former Middle East correspondent and diplomatic editor of The Independent. Her books include A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of SOE, and If This Is a Woman, Inside Ravensbrück: Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women.​​​​​​​

Lead photo: Yaakov Sharett, 18, serving as a soldier in the Jewish Brigade (Courtesy Yaakov Sharett)

Nazisreal Out of Middle East

Britain played & is still playing a huge role in Palestinian Holocaust. The British wanted to protect their strategic interests in the region and Zionism was the tool they used. Holocausts are designed to terrorize populations into fleeing their homelands to where the Dark Forces wants them.

“Menahem Begin, the Leader of the Irgun, tells how ‘in Jerusalem, as elsewhere, we were the first to pass from the defensive to the offensive…Arabs began to flee in terror…Hagana was carrying out successful attacks on other fronts, while all the Jewish forces proceeded to advance through Haifa like a knife through butter’…The Israelis now allege that the Palestine war began with the entry of the Arab armies into Palestine after 15 May 1948.

But that was the second phase of the war; they overlook the massacres, expulsions and dispossessions which took place prior to that date and which necessitated Arab states’ intervention.” Sami Hadawi, “Bitter Harvest.”

The Deir Yassin Massacre of Palestinians by “Jewish” soldiers

Image result for ww2 Jews lined up to be shot

Nazi

“For the entire day of April 9, 1948, Irgun and LEHI soldiers carried out the slaughter in a cold and premeditated fashion…The attackers ‘lined men, women and children up against the walls and shot them,’…The ruthlessness of the attack on Deir Yassin shocked Jewish and world opinion alike, drove fear and panic into the Arab population, and led to the flight of unarmed civilians from their homes all over the country.” Israeli author, Simha Flapan, “The Birth of Israel.”

Image result for nazi massacre of jews

Nazi

“By 1948, the Jew was not only able to ‘defend himself’ but to commit massive atrocities as well. Indeed, according to the former director of the Israeli army archives, ‘in almost every village occupied by us during the War of Independence, acts were committed which are defined as war crimes, such as murders, massacres, and rapes’…Uri Milstein, the authoritative Israeli military historian of the 1948 war, goes one step further, maintaining that ‘every skirmish ended in a massacre of Arabs.’” Norman Finkelstein, “Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.”

Nazi

Of about 144 houses, 10 were dynamited. The cemetery was later bulldozed and, like hundreds of other Palestinian villages to follow, Deir Yassin was wiped off the map. By September, Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Poland, Rumania, and Slovakia were settled there over the objections of Martin Buber, Cecil Roth and other Jewish leaders, who believed that the site of the massacre should be left uninhabited.

Jewish refugee arrival in Palestine

The center of the village was renamed Givat Shaul Bet. As Jerusalem expanded, the land of Deir Yassin became part of the city and is now known simply as the area between Givat Shaul and the settlement of Har Nof on the western slopes of the mountain.

Israel’s countdown to achieve the ‘alternative homeland’ in Jordan begins

“If the king opens his mouth, Israel will turn off the water tap and leave the kingdom to go thirsty”

The plan to turn Jordan into a Palestinian homeland and to give Israel complete control over the historic land of Palestine is regularly rehashed by the Israeli right whenever there is international pressure, however minimal, on Israel to stop its expansionism.

January 1, 2020

The Israeli right is preparing to present a plan to overthrow the Jordanian king after annexing the Jordan Valley in the West Bank to realize the dream of Jordan being converted to Palestine.

They aim to establish a confederation between the PA and “Palestinian Jordan” because the Israeli right is interested in annexing the West Bank without the millions of Palestinians within it. Forcing them to head to Jordan.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper revealed in late December the Israeli right-wing’s approaches and plans, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This is based on the claims that Israel has major plans for Jordan, but these plans do not include the same king.

Image result for devil pushes humpty off the wall"

This is evidenced by several articles and reports written by right-wing Israeli writers this month who all present similar justifications and results, the main of them all is to destroy the peace treaty with Jordan.

Right-wing Israelis believe that annexing the Jordan Valley is a tactical operation aimed at hitting two Israeli birds with one stone: the first is to work to annex the West Bank and cancel the peace agreement with Jordan, and the second is to topple the Hashemite royal family and to embody the dream of Jordan being Palestine.

It is interesting that this dream is shared by all the Israeli right, with all its components and currents, because they are enthusiastic supporters of the idea that Jordan is Palestine. The ruling Israeli right has begun to detest King Abdullah II.

When King Abdullah is shamefully toppled, Israel will be able to complete its annexation of the West Bank and establish a confederation between the Palestinian Authority and “Palestinian Jordan”.

Moreover, according to the Israeli perception, when that happens, the Palestinians in the West Bank will obtain political rights in Jordan.

According to this Israeli theory, when the Palestinian state is established in Jordan, the Palestinians can resolve their issue, put an end to their suffering and stop using armed operations against Israel, because since 1988, Palestinians in the West Bank have been able to obtain temporary Jordanian passports.

It is worth noting that the Israeli approach may contradict Jordan’s interest in reducing the total number of Palestinians in the kingdom because it refuses at the moment to receive Palestinian refugees from Syria in the way it allowed Syrian and Iraqi refugees to seek refuge on its soil.

Perhaps such aspirational Israeli calls towards Jordan are encouraged by the fact that the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is no longer practical or realistic.

Meanwhile, there are claims that the alternative solution is the establishment of an Arab Palestinian state east of the Jordan River, which will achieve peace between Israel and Palestine.

They also claim that the river can be used to transport goods and products from either side, with the Israeli Jewish state on one side and the Arab Palestinian country on the other, side by side.

READ: Israeli AG warns Netanyahu of annexing Jordan Valley and West Bank settlements

There is another Israeli scenario of Jordan hosting more Palestinians and instead of the kingdom becoming a Palestinian republic, they become citizens with full rights in the Hashemite Kingdom.

The return of Gilad Sharon after a long absence was noteworthy. He is the son of the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who had strong relations with the late King Hussein, King Abdullah’s father.

Gilad Sharon returned to claim that the current Jordanian ling would not dare to oppose the annexation of the Jordan Valley by Israel, because Israel has him by his weak spot and the continuation of his rule depends on Israel.

He also said that if the king opened his mouth, Israel would turn off the water tap and leave the kingdom to go thirsty.

All these are efforts to drive the king to cancel the peace agreement with Israel and allow Tel Aviv to remove him.

King Abdullah finds himself caught between the anger of the Jordanian public and Israel.

The situation of his government has become really difficult because his country’s budget is suffering, the sources of income are declining, the Gulf states, which have always been a source of support for Jordan, have reduced their aid, and millions of Arab refugees have flocked to the kingdom in recent years.

In spite of the increase of tensions between Jordan and Israel over the past year, security coordination between them continues as usual and the intelligence cooperation is at its best.

This raises questions about the king failing to use this card to pressure Israel unless this cooperation serves him and not the kingdom.

 

 

Why Nazi-Israel Gassed The Archbishop’s Church In Jerusalem

The Archbishop was gassed by an Nazi-Israeli army gas canister, lobbed at Hanna’s Church in Jerusalem December 18 .

Image result for Archbishop Hanna peace advocate for palestine"

Hanna is particularly troubling for Israel because his political language demolishes Israeli hasbara at its very foundations.

Atallah Hanna has reiterated his belief that Jerusalem and the Holy Land belong to people of all religious beliefs, stressing the need to recognize the rights of Christians, Muslims, and the Jewish people to reside and visit the area freely without a permit requirement.

“They will run and not grow weary,” is a quote from the Bible (Isaiah, 40:41) that adorns the homepage of Kairos Palestine. This important document, which parallels a similar initiative emanating from South Africa during the anti-apartheid struggle years, has come to represent the unified voice of the Palestinian Christian community everywhere. One of the main advocates of Kairos Palestine is Archbishop Atallah Hanna.

Hanna has served as the Head of the Sebastia Diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem since 2005. Since then, he has used his leadership position to advocate for Palestinian unity in all of its manifestations.

Expectedly, Hanna has been on Israel’s radar for many years, as this kind of leadership is problematic from the viewpoint of a hegemonic political and military power that requires utter and absolute submission.

So when Archbishop Hanna was hospitalized on December 18 as a result of what was reported to be Israeli “poisoning,” Palestinians were very concerned.

A few days later, Hanna was found to be at a Jordanian hospital receiving urgent medical treatment for what was described, by Hanna himself, as “poisoning by chemical substance.”

Whatever that substance may have been, it was reportedly discharged from an Israeli army gas canister, lobbed at Hanna’s Church in Jerusalem.

“The Christians of Palestine are one family of Jordanians and Palestinians,” he told journalists from his hospital bed, where he also said that “Israeli occupation may have attempted to assassinate him or keep him sick all his life, indicating that the substance has very serious effects, especially on the nervous system.”

Zionist criminals from the beginning.

Those familiar with Hanna’s discourse would know precisely what the rebellious Christian leader was aiming at when he spoke about the oneness of Palestinian Christians in Jordan and Palestine: unity which, sadly, has eluded Palestinians for a long time.

Indeed, wherever the man may be, standing tall at a rally in Jerusalem in defense of Palestinian rights or from a hospital bed, he advocates unity among Palestinians and for the sake of Palestine.

The Kairos document is itself an act of unity among Palestinian Christian churches and organizations. “This means for us, here and now, in this land in particular, that God created us not so that we might engage in strife and conflict but rather that we might come and know and love one another, and together build up the land in love and mutual respect,” the document, championed by Hanna and many others, states.

Image result for to embrace palestine is anti semitism"

Even before claiming his current leadership position, Hanna was a target of Israel. During the Second Intifada, the uprising of 2005, Hanna emerged on the scene as an advocate, not of Palestinian Christian rights but the rights of all Palestinians.

He actively pursued the World Council of Churches to use its credibility and outreach to speak out against the Israeli occupation of Palestine and for an independent Palestinian state.

In August 2002, Hanna was detained by the Israeli police in front of his home in Jerusalem’s Old City.

On the orders of the Israeli Attorney General, he was charged with ‘suspicion of relations with terrorist organizations’, a concocted charge that allowed the Israeli government to confiscate the Palestinian leader’s Israeli and Vatican passports.

Despite the fact that Palestinian Christians undergo the same experience of military occupation, oppression, and ethnic cleansing as their Muslim brethren, Israel has labored to propagate an erroneous narrative that presents the “conflict” as one between Israel and Muslim fundamentalists.

Hanna is particularly troubling for Israel because his political language demolishes Israeli hasbara at its very foundations. 

“We intend to conduct special prayers inside the Church of the Nativity for the sake of our martyrs,” he declared on October 10, 2001, when he joined Christian and Muslim leaders in their march from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, to challenge Israel’s targeting of Palestinian religious sites.  

In an interview with ‘Russia Today’ on January 30, 2015, Hanna refused to even concede the language battle to those who ignorantly – or purposely – ascribe Muslim terminology to terrorism. “Allahu Akbar” – God is great in Arabic – is as much Christian as it is a Muslim phrase, he argued.

“We Christians also say Allahu Akbar. This is an expression of our understanding that the Creator is great. We don’t want this phrase to be related to terrorism and crimes,” he said.

“We speak against using this phrase in this context. Those who do, they insult our religion and our religious values,” he added, again, thoughtfully linking all religious values through faith, not politics. 

Israel illustrates daily it’s control over Muslim holy sites

“The city of Jerusalem is the city of the three Abrahamic religions,” Hanna recently said at Istanbul’s “First Global Conference on Israeli Apartheid.” 

Tirelessly and consistently, the Archbishop announced that “Christian and Muslim Palestinians living in Jerusalem suffer from the occupation, suffer from repression, tyranny, and oppression.”

Although born in Ramah in Palestine’s upper Galilee region, Hanna’s true love was, and remains, Jerusalem.

It was there that his spirituality deepened and his political ideas formulated. His advocacy for the Palestinian Arab Muslim and Christian identity of the city stands at the core of all of his activities.

“Everything Palestinian in Jerusalem is targeted by Israeli occupation,” Hanna said last January during a meeting with a Doctors without Borders delegation.

“The Islamic and Christian holy sites and endowments are targeted in order to change our city, hide its identity and marginalize our Arabic and Palestinian existence,” the Archbishop lamented.

 

In fact, Israel has been doing exactly that, efforts that have accelerated since Donald Trump’s advent to the White House, and the US’ subsequent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. 

Archbishop Hanna is one of the strongest and most articulate Palestinian Christian voices in Jerusalem. His relentless work and leadership have irked Israeli authorities for many years.

Now that Israel is finalizing its takeover of the illegally occupied city, Hanna, and like-minded Christian and Muslim leaders, are becoming more than mere irritants but real hurdles in the face of the Israeli military machine.

I met Abouna—Father—Hanna at a California Conference a few years ago. I heard him speak, his thunderous voice is that of a proud Palestinian Arab.

He urged unity, as he always does. I chatted with him later, in the hotel lobby, as he was ready to go out for a walk with his close friend, the Mufti of Jerusalem. He was gentle and polite, and extremely funny.  

As I watched them both walk outside, I felt hopeful that unity for the sake of Palestine is very much possible.

Israhell: “The ICC prosecutor has caved in to Palestinian lies and hatred”

The decision flies in the face of anyone who still believes the Israeli claim that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is the “most moral army in the world,” or that Israel does not commit war crimes.

January 1, 2020

Israel attack on the Gaza Strip killed nine Palestinians from the same family 2019 Christmas eve.

Fatou Bensouda, the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor, said in a statement regarding “alleged crimes” committed in the occupied Palestinian territories that “all the statutory criteria under the Rome Statute for the opening of an investigation have been met.”

The territories in question include the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. These territories constitute the state of Palestine, as it is recognized by the United Nations.

The decision flies in the face of anyone who still believes the Israeli claim that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is the “most moral army in the world,” or that Israel does not commit war crimes.

Issues of Jurisdiction

Under the Rome Statute, the founding document that established the International Criminal Court, it is determined that cases can be heard by the court only if one of the affected parties is a signatory. The state of Palestine has been a signatory since 2015.

Israel, which like the United States never signed the Rome Statute, claims that Palestine is not a sovereign state and therefore the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction to investigate issues related to it.

Yet according to UN General Assembly resolution 67/19, adopted on November 29, 2012, Palestine assumed the status of a UN “non-member observer state,” affording it the ability to accede to international treaties like the Rome Statute, and indeed it didn’t take long for Palestine to become the 123rd state party to the statute giving the ICC the legal right to exercise jurisdiction on its territory.

Clearly anticipating that the ICC jurisdiction over Palestine would be called into questions by Israel, Prosecutor Bensouda said in her statement, the full version of which can be found on the ICC website, that she had filed a request for a jurisdictional ruling on the issue.

“Specifically, I have sought confirmation that the ‘territory’ over which the court may exercise its jurisdiction, and which I may subject to investigation, comprises the West Bank and Gaza,” Bensouda said.

She went on to say that she recognizes that “Palestine does not have full control over the Occupied Palestinian Territory and its borders are disputed.”

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip are heavily controlled by the Israeli government and East Jerusalem has been effectively annexed by Israel.

Image result for US envoy smashes wall dug under Palestinian homes in E. Jerusalem with SLEDGEHAMMER animated gif

Bensouda quite oddly adds that “The Palestinian Authority does not govern Gaza.” Hamas, however, is the party that currently governs Gaza, in as much as Israeli permits it to do so, as it is the party that won the 2006 Palestinian Authority parliamentary elections.”

Bensouda says that although she is of the view that “the Court may exercise its jurisdiction notwithstanding these matters,” she is aware of contrary views, and therefore “requests that a Pre-Trial Chamber I (“the Chamber”) rule on the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the situation in Palestine.”

Specifically, Bensouda affirmed, she is seeking confirmation that the “territory” over which the ICC may exercise jurisdiction comprises the “Occupied Palestinian Territory, that is the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”

She also made it clear that she wants the issue determined before she begins an investigation instead of being settled later by judges after her investigations are completed. It is not clear when a decision will be made on this, but Bensouda said she had asked the court to “rule expeditiously” and to allow potential victims to participate in proceedings.

Israel Responds

Notwithstanding the legal challenges, the decision of the prosecutor is encouraging. In Israel, the reactions to her decision were predictably fast, and not surprisingly, fierce. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to Bensouda’s decision was that it is “baseless and outrageous.”

As expected, he said that “the court has no jurisdiction” because only sovereign states can petition the court, and “there has never been a sovereign Palestinian state.” He added that the ICC’s decision means that Jews living in their historic homeland, the land of the Bible, is a war crime.

National Union chairman and Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich tweeted his response to the ICC prosecutor’s decision saying that that the Prime Minister should give the Palestinian Authority 48-hours to pull its petition to the ICC or else face being “torn down.”

He added that this should have been done long ago when the Palestinians first petitioned the UN for statehood.

Yair Lapid, a co-founder of Israel’s Blue and White party, tweeted, “The ICC prosecutor has caved in to Palestinian lies and hatred.

US/Israel will discredit and disconnect from authoritative organizations that disagrees with Israel.

As a former member of the Security Cabinet and a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, I can testify that the IDF does more than any army in history to prevent civilian casualties.”

Despite the evidence, this is a claim often repeated by Israeli politicians.

Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz also attacked the court’s decision. Having served as the IDF Chief of Staff, he is likely to be a major target of any investigation into war crimes.

In his response to the decision, he mentioned his decades of military service, including “serving as the IDF’s 20th Chief of Staff.”

He stated that “the IDF is one of the most moral armies in the world,” and asserted that “The IDF and the State of Israel do not commit war crimes.” Gantz oversaw more than one Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza strip, assaults that saw scores of civilian casualties.

Israeli Fears

Israel has good reason to fear the International Criminal Court’s decision. Moving forward with an investigation into crimes committed in the Palestinian territories will expose both current and former government officials and military personnel to prosecution when they travel abroad.

That fear is not entirely irrational and not without precedent.

In 2011, it was reported that retired Israeli General Danny Rothschild was forced to cut a scheduled visit to London short and cancel two planned lectures there. This after the Israeli Embassy warned him he was in danger of being arrested if he stayed in the country.

The event came a day after Knesset member and former Defense Minister Amir Peretz was forced to cut short a London visit for the same reason.

All roads lead to Israel

Trial International, an NGO that fights impunity for international crimes and supports victims in their quest for justice, reports that on June 30, 2016, former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was in London for a conference and was summoned to the police regarding allegations of war crimes committed between 2008 and 2009.

Livni was ultimately granted diplomatic immunity. Then, on January 23, 2017, Livni was invited to attend a conference at the European Parliament in Brussels when the Belgium prosecutor’s office announced its intention to arrest and question her regarding her alleged involvement in Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s bloody 22-day military assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008. Livini decided to cancel her trip to Belgium.

Matan Kahana is a member of the Israeli “New Right” party. Kahana is a retired colonel in the IDF who served both as a soldier in Israel’s notorious murder squad “Sayeret Matkal” and as a fighter pilot and officer in the Israeli Airforce. He participated in countless “operations” in which Palestinian civilians were killed.

As an airforce pilot, he would have been directly involved in bombing and killing countless defenseless citizens in the Gaza Strip. Kahana made a statement on Twitter following the ICC’s announcement that “if only people knew how careful the IDF soldiers try not to harm “uninvolved persons.”

Gaza is under attack at this moment.

Yet these “efforts” Kahana and other Israeli officials speak of seem to fail time and time again. The number of civilian casualties from Israeli attacks is staggering and has reached the point where one must question the intent of the IDF and those who send it on these so-called missions.

While a thorough investigation will no doubt precede any decision by the International Criminal Court, it doesn’t take a great legal scholar to understand that dropping tons of bombs from fighter jets on a defenseless civilian population constitutes a war crime.

The full report of the prosecutor states that the scope of any formal proceedings is also likely to include an investigation into the “use by members of the IDF of non-lethal and lethal means against persons participating in demonstrations beginning in March 2018.”

The demonstrations the ICC is referring to are the protests known as “The Great Return March.” This means that the enormous efforts Israel makes to justify its attacks on Palestinians — and to claim that they are carried out in self-defense only — may finally be beginning to fail.

Setting the Record Straight: The Hebron Massacre of 1929

The Zionists used “whisperers” to spread rumors to provoke incidents in Palestine and all over the Middle East to destabilized Jewish relations with Muslims.

truetorahjews

When I was in Hebron in 1929, there occurred the tragic massacre of over twenty yeshiva students, great scholars, plus another forty members of the Jewish community.

I would like to describe the error that has circulated in Jewish communities – a horrible error, that accuses the Arabs in Hebron of being murderers who attacked the Jews simply because the Arabs were “bad people.”

In order to correct the record, this error must be corrected. The Arabs were very friendly people, and the Jewish People in Hebron lived together with them and had very friendly relations with them. They worked for Jews, and everybody got along just fine.

To take just one example, I used to have the habit of walking a mile or two out of town all by myself to visit a tree that was believed to be the tree where our patriarch Abraham met the three angels, as described in Genesis. I especially enjoyed visiting the tree in the summertime.

Along the way I would talk to the Arabs, though it was mostly using our hands because I didn’t speak any Arabic. Interestingly enough, no one in the yeshiva ever told me it was dangerous to go by myself among the Arabs. We just lived with them, and got along very well.

I have also seen a letter from the Grand Rabbi of the Gerrer Hassidim of those days, Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter of Poland, regarding his trip to the Holy Land during the days when people were talking about emigrating to Palestine.

He wanted to find out what kind of people the Arabs of Palestine were, in order to be able to advise people whether to move there or not. He wrote in his letter that the Arabs were a very friendly and fine people.

Therefore it’s necessary to set the record straight about the accusations that the Arabs were terrible killers who liked attacking Jews. This was never the situation at all!

Today’s wicked Zionists are just like their predecessors, who were responsible for causing terrible suffering in Palestine with their wars with the Arabs, may G-d have mercy

. At that time in 1929, the Zionists had a slogan arguing that the Western Wall in Jerusalem was a Jewish “national symbol.”

Of course, the Arabs disagreed with this idea, considering that they had control of the location for over 1,100 years.

However, the Zionist mobs were yelling that “The Wall is ours!” It’s hard to understand why they felt that way considering they have no connection to the Jewish holy places whatsoever.

An argument erupted in the Jewish newspapers about establishing a permanent prayer area for Jews at the Wall.

This provoked the Arabs, and the rabbi of Jerusalem at the time, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld begged them to stop and to be appreciative to the Arabs for allowing Jews to pray at the Wall for so many centuries undisturbed. However, the Zionists wanted a permanent setup under their control.

The Zionists refused to heed the calls of Rabbi Zonnenfeld, and they called a large meeting of Jews in Jerusalem – supposedly some 10,000 people showed up.

One of the speakers was their “chief Rabbi” (Avraham Isaac Kook), who proclaimed, “Hear O Israel, the Wall is our Wall, the Wall is One” (which is a ridiculous pun on the blessing, “Hear O Israel, the Lord your G-d, the Lord is One”). This began the conflict at the time between the Zionists and the Arabs.

Afterwards, we were studying at the yeshiva in Hebron, and saw a bunch of boys in short pants carrying weapons on bicycles and motorcycles, running around the streets of Hebron. We were very worried about this. What were they up to?

In brief, our rabbi, the supervisor of our religious academy, Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein, called them for a meeting, but they refused. He was forced to go over to them, and asked them what they were up to.

He accused them of wanting to provoke the Arabs. They responded that they were coming to protect us!! We cried out, “Woe is us! G-d have mercy!” They didn’t want to leave town until it was too late!

These arrogant cowards only ran away when the local leaders of the Arabs called for a mass meeting of the people of the surrounding Arab villages.

But it was too late; the Arabs got organized, and the Mufti called on his people to be ready Friday night when the yeshiva would be attending prayers.

Of course, the yeshiva itself was anti-Zionist, but the Arabs didn’t know to distinguish between us and the Zionists. Sadly they attacked and killed some of our people, including the great scholar, Rabbi Shmuel Rosenhaltz.

The next morning we heard about the excitement in town, and even worse, we heard the crying and shouting. I and a friend, Avraham Ushpener, lived in an apartment that was part of a three-story building leased by a Jew from an Arab.

We could hear all the noise from our apartment on the third floor. We were terrified to let the Arabs in because we knew how angry they had become, but a while later things calmed down. In total, some 65 people were killed.

On the other side of town, however, the Jews were spared.

Why am I telling this story? It is because I wanted to describe how the wicked Zionists, both today and in those days, were the cause of our suffering!

They cooperated with the Nazis, and our religion teaches that a person who causes someone to sin is worse than someone who kills him.

It reminds me of an event recounted by Rabbi Moshe Schonfeld, who once visited Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz {Chazon Ish) when the Zionist state was established, and when there was fighting between the Zionists and the Arabs.

Rabbi Schonfeld told Rabbi Karelitz about what was happening. Rabbi Karelitz told him that the crimes of the Zionists were much worse, because they were wicked heretics who were uprooting hundreds of thousands of Jews from their faith and that is much greater pain since our Sages stated that a person who causes another person to sin is much worse than if he kills him.

In our own days there is a Zionist leader (Begin), whose arrogance and selfishness is more important than anything else to him, and for which he is prepared to sacrifice hundreds and thousands of Jews.

These heretics and evildoers, this Zionist leader of a state that killed the Judaism of the Yemenite and Moroccan Jews, and of many other Sephardic Jews! This is the work of these thugs and gangsters.

And there are religious Jewish parties who dare to state that they love this man?! Everyone must know that the anger of the Arabs against us is only caused by the Zionists!

The Arabs were a friendly people to us, and I am a witness to it. We lived very well with them in Hebron. Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter, the Gerrer Rebbe, attested to this as well, and it is the accursed Zionists who caused them to hate us.

The Zionists dare to use their power to expel the Arabs, and even today in Lebanon, they kill and butcher the Arabs; they wipe out whole villages with the airplanes they get from the United States.

Everyone should know who the murderers are – the Zionists are the biggest murderers in the world, who refuse to let the Jewish People live in peace either physically or spiritually!”

Living on Borrowed Time in a Stolen Land

If you wonder how come the Israelis don’t know their history, the answer is pretty simple, they have never been told.  The circumstances that led to the Israeli Palestinian conflict are well hidden within their culture.

‘You out there, in Sderot, Beer Sheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Tel Aviv and Haifa, whether you realize it or not, you are actually living on our stolen land. You better start to pack because your time is running out, you have exhausted our patience. We, the Palestinian people, have nothing to lose anymore’.

“Every Middle East expert knows that Hamas can seize control of the West Bank within hours.

In fact, PA and Fatah control in the West Bank is maintained by the IDF. Once Hamas takes the West Bank, the biggest Israeli population centre will be left to the mercy of Hamas.

For those who fail to see, this would be the end of Jewish Israel. It may happen later today, it may happen in three months or in five years, it isn’t matter of ‘if’ but rather matter of ‘when’.

By that time, the whole of Israel will be within firing range of Hamas and Hezbollah, Israeli society will collapse, its economy will be ruined.”

By Gilad Atzmon

Communicating with Israelis may leave one bewildered. Even now when the Israeli Air Force is practicing murder in broad daylight of hundreds of civilians, elderly persons, women and children, the Israeli people manage to convince themselves that they are the real victims in this violent saga.

Those who are familiar intimately with Israeli people realize that they are completely uninformed about the roots of the conflict that dominates their lives.

Rather often Israelis manage to come up with some bizarre arguments that may make a lot of sense within the Israeli discourse, yet make no sense whatsoever outside of the Jewish street.

Such an argument goes as follows: ‘those Palestinians, why do they insist upon living on our land (Israel), why can’t they just settle in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon or any other Arab country?’ Another Hebraic pearl of wisdom sounds like this: ‘what is wrong with these Palestinians? We gave them water, electricity, education and all they do is try to throw us to the sea’.

Astonishingly enough, the Israelis even within the so-called ‘left’ and even the educated ‘left’ fail to understand who the Palestinians are, where they come from and what they stand for. They fail to grasp that for the Palestinians, Palestine is home. 

Miraculously, the Israelis manage to fail to grasp that Israel had been erected at the expense of the Palestinian people, on Palestinian land, on Palestinian villages, towns, fields and orchards.

The Israelis do not realize that Palestinians in Gaza and in refugee camps in the region are actually dispossessed people from Ber Shive, Yafo, Tel Kabir, Shekh Munis, Lod, Haifa, Jerusalem and many more towns and villages. 

If you wonder how come the Israelis don’t know their history, the answer is pretty simple, they have never been told.  The circumstances that led to the Israeli Palestinian conflict are well hidden within their culture.

Traces of pre-1948 Palestinian civilization on the land had been wiped out.  Not only the Nakba, the 1948 ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinians, is not part of the Israeli curriculum, it is not even mentioned or discussed in any Israeli official or academic forum

In the very centre of almost every Israeli town one can a find a 1948 memorial statue displaying a very bizarre, almost abstract, pipe work. The plumbing feature is called Davidka and it is actually a 1948 Israeli mortar cannon.

Interestingly enough, the Davidka was an extremely ineffective weapon. Its shells wouldn’t reach more than 300 meters and would cause very limited damage.  Though the Davidika would cause just minimal harm, it produced a lot of noise. 

According to the Israeli official historical narrative, the Arabs i.e., Palestinians, simply ran away for their lives once they heard the Davidka from afar.

According to the Israeli narrative, the Jews i.e., ‘new Israelis’ did a bit of fireworks and the ‘Arab cowards’ just ran off like idiots. 

In the Israeli official narrative there is no mention of the many orchestrated massacres conducted by the young IDF and the paramilitary units that preceded it.

There is no mention also of the racist laws that stop Palestinians[1][1] from returning to their homes and lands.

The meaning of the above is pretty simple. Israelis are totally unfamiliar with the Palestinian cause. Hence, they can only interpret the Palestinian struggle as a murderous irrational lunacy.

Within the Israeli Judeo- centric solipsistic universe, the Israeli is an innocent victim and the Palestinian is no less than a savage murderer.

This grave situation that leaves the Israeli in the dark regarding his past demolishes any possibility of future reconciliation. Since the Israeli lacks the minimal comprehension of the conflict, he cannot contemplate any possible resolution except extermination or cleansing of the ‘enemy’.

All the Israeli is entitled to know are various phantasmic narratives of Jewish suffering. Palestinian pain is completely foreign to his ears.  ‘Palestinian right of return’ sounds to him like an amusing idea.

Even the most advanced ‘Israeli humanists’ are not ready to share the land with its indigenous inhabitants.

This doesn’t leave the Palestinians with many options but to liberate themselves against all odds. Clearly, there is no partner for peace on the Israel side.

This week we all learned more about the ballistic capability of Hamas. Evidently, Hamas was rather restrained with Israel for more than a long while.  It refrained from escalating the conflict to the whole of southern Israel.

It occurred to me that the barrages of Qassams that have been landing sporadically on Sderot and Ashkelon were actually nothing but a message from the imprisoned Palestinians.

First it was a message to the stolen land, homes fields and orchards: ‘Our beloved soil, we didn’t forget, we are still here fighting for you, sooner rather than later, we will come back, we will start again where we had stopped’. 

But it was also a clear message to the Israelis. ‘You out there, in Sderot, Beer Sheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Tel Aviv and Haifa, whether you realize it or not, you are actually living on our stolen land.

You better start to pack because your time is running out, you have exhausted our patience. We, the Palestinian people, have nothing to lose anymore’.

Let’s face it, realistically the situation in Israel is rather grave. Two years ago it was Hezbollah rockets that pounded northern Israel. This week the Hamas proved beyond doubt that it is capable of serving the South of Israel with some cocktail of ballistic vengeance.

Both in the case of the Hezbollah and the case of the Hamas, Israel was left with no military answer. It can no doubt kill civilians but it fails to stop the rocket barrage.

The IDF lacks the means of protecting Israel unless covering Israel with a solid concrete roof is a viable solution. At the end of the day, they might be planning just that (link).

But this is far from the end of the story. In fact it is just the beginning. Every Middle East expert knows that Hamas can seize control of the West Bank within hours.

In fact, PA and Fatah control in the West Bank is maintained by the IDF. Once Hamas takes the West Bank, the biggest Israeli population centre will be left to the mercy of Hamas.

For those who fail to see, this would be the end of Jewish Israel. It may happen later today, it may happen in three months or in five years, it isn’t matter of ‘if’ but rather matter of ‘when’.

By that time, the whole of Israel will be within firing range of Hamas and Hezbollah, Israeli society will collapse, its economy will be ruined.

The price of a detached villa in Northern Tel Aviv would equal a shed in Kiryat Shmone or Sderot. By the time a single rocket hits Tel Aviv, the Zionist dream will be over.

The IDF generals know it, the Israeli leaders know it. This is why they stepped up the war against the Palestinian into extermination. The Israelis do not plan upon invading Gaza. They have lost nothing there.

All they want is to finish the Nakba. They drop bombs on Palestinians in order to wipe them out.

They want the Palestinians out of the region.  It is obviously not going to work, Palestinians will stay. Not only they will they stay, their day of return to their land is coming closer as Israel has been exploiting its deadliest tactics. 

This is exactly where Israeli escapism comes into play. Israel has passed the ‘point of no return’. Its doomed fate is deeply engraved in each bomb it drops on Palestinian civilians.

There is nothing Israel can do to save itself. There is no exit strategy. It can’t negotiate its way out because neither the Israelis nor their leadership understand the elementary parameters involved in the conflict.  Israel lacks the military power to conclude the battle.

It may manage to kill Palestinian grassroots leaders, it has been doing it for years, yet Palestinian resistance and persistence is growing fierce rather than weakening.

As an IDF intelligence general predicted already at the first Intifada. ‘In order to win, all Palestinians have to do is to survive’. They survive and they are indeed winning.

Israeli leaders understand it all. Israel has already tried everything, unilateral withdrawal, starvation and now extermination. It thought to evade the demographic danger by shrinking into an intimate cosy Jewish ghetto. Nothing worked.

It is Palestinian persistence in the shape of Hamas politics that defines the future of the region.

All that is left to Israelis is to cling to their blindness and escapism to evade their devastating grave fate that has become immanent already. All along their way down, the Israelis will sing their familiar various victim anthems.

Being imbued in a self-centred supremacist reality, they will be utterly involved in their own pain yet completely blind to the pain they inflict on others. 

Uniquely enough, the Israelis are operating as a unified collective when dropping bombs on others, yet, once being slightly hurt, they all manage to become monads of vulnerable innocence.

It is this discrepancy between the self-image and the way they are seen by the rest of us which turns the Israeli into a monstrous exterminator.

 It is this discrepancy that stops Israelis from grasping their own history, it is that discrepancy that stops them from comprehending the repeated numerous attempts to destroy their State. It is that discrepancy that stops Israelis from understanding the meaning of the Shoah so can they prevent the next one. It is this discrepancy that stops Israelis from being part of humanity.

Once again Jews will have to wander into an unknown fate. To a certain extent, I myself have started my journey a while ago. 

 

WikiLeaks: Israel Aimed to Keep Gaza Economy on Brink of Collapse

During the 1948 war that triggered Israel’s creation, referred to as the Nakba or ‘catastrophe’ by Palestinians, at least 700,000 Palestinians that were expelled from their villages took refuge in nearby countries, or other Palestinian provinces.

However, it is estimated that around 100,000 Palestinians from the villages directly targeted by Israeli militias fled to other parts of Palestine, such as Gaza, Beersheba, Haifa, Nazareth, Nablus, Jaffa and Bethlehem.

Cable from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv says Israeli officials wanted Gaza’s economy ‘functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.’

Israel told U.S. officials in 2008 it would keep Gaza’s economy “on the brink of collapse” while avoiding a humanitarian crisis, according to U.S. diplomatic cables published by a Norwegian daily on Wednesday.

Three cables cited by the Aftenposten newspaper, which has said it has all 250,000 U.S. cables leaked to WikiLeaks, showed that Israel kept the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv briefed on its internationally criticized blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The territory, home to 1.3 million Palestinians, is democratically elected Hamas group, which is shunned by the West over its refusal to recognize the usurper Israel on Palestine land, insist on resistance and self defense, or accept existing interim Israeli-Palestinian peace deals.

“As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to (U.S. 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,” one of the cables read.

Israel wanted the coastal territory’s economy “functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis”, according to the Nov. 3, 2008 cable.

In a speech in January 2008, then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appeared to spell out that policy, which has since been eased in the wake of an international outcry over a deadly Israeli raid last May on a Turkish aid ship trying to break the blockade.

“We will not harm the supply of food for children, medicine for those who need it and fuel for institutions that save lives,” Olmert said at the time.

Gaza is Flooded with Sewage from Israel

“But there is no justification for demanding we allow residents of Gaza to live normal lives while shells and rockets are fired from their streets and courtyards (at southern Israel),” he added.

Israel says it has significantly relaxed the blockade since May, with dozens of truckloads of goods entering the territory daily. Aid organizations have said shipments should be increased further.

Palestinians say impoverished Gaza remains effectively a “prison” sealed off by Israel, and have called for an opening to allow normal trade and other links with the world.

 

 

“Israel”: Colonial State-Making

International law has utterly failed to halt or even slow Israel’s brutal colonial project. The institutions of law can be tools in our political movement, but they cannot liberate Palestine on their own.

A new pathological breed is born before our eyes.

“If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it. . . . International law progresses through violations.”

Review of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019).

Colonial State-Making

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced earlier this week that the Trump administration would no longer recognize Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Pompeo’s comments signal a technical departure from his predecessor’s. In 2016, John Kerry declared Israel’s settlements to be “inconsistent with international law.” Similarly, during Israel’s sniper attacks on the Great March of Return in Gaza last year, five House Democrats implored Israeli soldiers to “exercise utmost restraint in the use of deadly force and to fully comply with international law.”

Excerpt
At the heart of Israel’s legal work lies its persistent claim that the unique circumstances of Israel and Palestine constitute a state of exception, or a sui generis situation (literally “of its own kind”).

By claiming that no existing legal framework fully applies to its relations with Palestinians, Israel has gradually established its own legal models: as a sovereign state with legal powers to declare such an exception, Israel can claim that it’s acting within the bounds of law.

“A sui generis framework maintains the veneer of legality while producing a violence that ‘shed[s] every relation to law,’” Erakat writes. Indeed, it was this very exception that Mike Pompeo invoked in his announcement this week.

Trump’s reversal of Obama’s position on the legality of settlements was “based on the unique facts, history, and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank,” he said.

This legal window dressing has proven essential for cultivating Israel’s (misleading) image as “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Israel’s governing state of exception emerges from the British government’s creation of a “special regime” in post-World War I Palestine, when it sought to govern an area where native Arabs constituted 90 percent of the population.

The Balfour Declaration of 1917, which called for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, worked to deny Arab Palestinians the status of a recognized political community.

Zionists justified this political erasure on the grounds that Palestine was, in the words of Lord Balfour, “absolutely exceptional.”

By incorporating the declaration verbatim into the Mandate for Palestine in 1922 — making Britain the mandatory power in Palestine — the League of Nations “institutionalized the framework of exception” by “transforming British colonial prerogative into international law and policy,” Erakat writes.

Palestinians’ claims to legal redress were thus rendered nonjusticiable.

This predicament was only further entrenched with the establishment of Israel in 1948.

“The state’s establishment retroactively legitimated Israel’s founding violence because, not only was the violence used in the service of a public interest defined by the nascent settler sovereign, it also embodied a claim of new lawmaking authority,” Erakat argues.

“Therefore, once diplomatic recognition was extended to Israel, its actions in pursuance of its statehood become beyond legal and diplomatic challenge.”

New Legal Frontiers

Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in the aftermath of the June 1967 war created an opportunity for the state to make novel claims about international law that served to consolidate its land theft and ethnic cleansing.

The occupation forced Israel’s lawyers to confront a major question of international law: did Israel’s presence in the West Bank and Gaza constitute an “occupation”?

If so, international law would require that Israel work toward a political solution to restore a displaced sovereign’s authority — meaning Israel would have to give up control over these territories.

On the other hand, if the territories were not occupied as a matter of law, international law would require that Israel grant citizenship to the territories’ Palestinian inhabitants, thus nullifying Israel’s goal of a Jewish demographic majority.

Yehuda Zvi Blum, Hebrew University law professor and Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, resolved Israel’s dilemma in a 1968 scholarly article.

Consistent with the 1922 mandate’s political erasure of Palestinians, normalized later by Israel’s creation, Blum “exceptionalized” the West Bank and Gaza Strip by claiming that they had no sovereign power prior to the war, thus rendering void the law’s requirement that an occupying power maintain the sovereignty rights of a nation under occupation.

Rather than completely eschewing occupation law, however, Blum insisted that Israel should abide by its humanitarian provisions for the sake of assuming quasi-legal control over the territories, and creating the appearance of abiding by occupation law.

Under this sui generis legal regime, Erakat writes, Israel “could exercise its authority . . . without either preserving the sovereign rights of its inhabitants or absorbing them under its civil jurisdiction,” thereby suspending Palestinians in a “legal vacuum with only attenuated legal claims to humanitarian relief.”

After decades of effective legal work by Israel, Palestinians’ already nearly nonexistent capacity for pursuing legal recourse was extinguished even further.

Israel’s rule-of-law framework enabled it to enjoy “both the powers of an occupant and a sovereign in the [West Bank and Gaza], while Palestinians enjoy neither the rights of an occupied people nor the rights of citizenship,” as other scholars have written.

“An Armed Conflict Short of War”

The next major inflection point in Israel’s legal work occurred as Israel began to use exceptional military force — most notably public assassinations — during the Palestinian uprising of the early 2000s known as the Second Intifada.

By claiming the right to use a greater amount of force than usually available to an occupying power under conventional interpretations of international law, Israel crushed the intifada with the legitimating force of a liberal rule-of-law framework.

Consistent with this sui generis tradition of applying its own legal framework, Israel strategically avoided classifying its military operations as either of the two types of war recognized under international law: neither an international armed conflict (IAC) nor a non-international armed conflict (NIAC).

Instead, Israel claimed that it was engaged in an “armed conflict short of war.” To classify the conflict as a war against a liberation movement (IAC) would recognize Palestinians’ right to use force in pursuit of their self-determination, enshrined in international law in the 1970s.

Similarly, calling it a civil war (NIAC) would “unravel the false partition separating Israel from the Occupied Territories,” Erakat writes, and “acknowledge Israel’s maintenance of a singular, discriminatory government.”

By claiming that these existing legal frameworks did not sufficiently apply to its self-proclaimed ­sui generis conflict with Palestinians, Israel asserted the sovereign right to create its own framework for regulating war.

As Erakat puts it, “Israel deliberately exceptionalized its in fact non-exceptional confrontations with Palestinians in order to expand its right to use force and delegitimize any responsive force.”

This set the tone for its massive military assaults on Gaza in the decade to come. In short, Erakat asserts, “Israel literally created new law for colonial dominance.”

Violations Become the Norm

Erakat’s goal isn’t to provide a book-length rebuttal to all of Israel’s novel and dubious legal arguments, but rather to show how Israel’s strategic deployment of international law at critical junctures over the past century — importantly, with the backing of the United States — has functioned to consolidate its political and military victories.

Although Israel’s legal claims may lack merit, to denounce Israel’s actions as violations of the law is, by itself, a fruitless endeavor.

In a geopolitical context that strongly favors Israel, international law, for Erakat, is not a particularly helpful resource for winning Palestinian liberation.

For one, it lacks a hierarchal enforcement model. Unlike US domestic law, international law has no supreme court to issue rulings that would be binding on all nation states.

Rather, it is fragmented among various institutions and mechanisms that correspond with specialized areas of law.

Moreover, international law sources much of its substance from custom — how states, especially powerful ones, behave and what they believe is legal. I

n this context, the enforcement of international law “reflects the measure of political will and the prevailing balance of geopolitical power,” Erakat writes.

“In cases where there is no political will to compel a state to comply with the law, violations become the norm rather than the exception.”

The United States’ drastic policy shift on Israel’s assassination program during the Second Intifada neatly illustrates the malleability of international law.

Although several top US officials initially criticized Israel’s assassination program, Al-Qaeda’s attacks on September 11 changed the calculus.

As Washington adopted its own assassination program on a global scale, “US opposition transformed into explicit collaboration with Israel,” tempering international criticism of Israel’s practices and bringing the “once unacceptable within the realm of possibility.” The ramifications of this shift, Erakat argues, were huge.

Had the United States maintained its opposition to targeted killings and to the framework of “armed conflict short of war,” Israel’s actions might have remained somewhere between a controversial proposition and a violation of international law.

However, because of diminishing US protest . . . Israel’s violations steadily escaped the zone of brazen violations and moved into the scope of legitimacy.

As though to prove the point, Daniel Reisner, former head of the Israeli military’s International Law Division, boasted, “If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it. . . . International law progresses through violations.

“We invented the targeted killing thesis and we had to push it. At first there were protrusions that made it hard to insert easily into the legal molds. Eight years later, it is in the center of the bounds of legitimacy.”

Law’s Emancipatory Potential

That international law is not an effective starting point for achieving justice in Palestine is a vital insight for leftists developing a progressive foreign policy.

Justice for Some makes clear that winning Palestinian freedom will require confronting the geopolitical power structure that gives international law its meaning.

Insurgent Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are on the right track when they propose using US aid as leverage against Israel’s discriminatory practices.

Because Washington’s diplomatic, political, economic, and military support for its client state in Israel has been a “necessary and sufficient condition” for Israeli colonialism, the United States has the power to uniquely influence Israeli policy.

Although Erakat provides a deeply compelling account of how international law has adeptly serviced Israel’s needs, she does not believe that law has no role to play in the road to liberation. To explain law’s operative value, she offers a metaphor for law as the sail of a boat: “The sail, or the law, guarantees motion but not direction.

Legal work together with political mobilization, by individuals, organizations, and states, is the wind that determines direction.” The wind, in her view, is what can make law work for Palestinians.

To capitalize on law’s emancipatory potential, Erakat argues that “the law must be wielded in the sophisticated service of a political movement.”

While a purely legal strategy may attract proceduralist liberals who fetishize law as the savior of the oppressed, it lacks the chops to challenge the power structure that has “placed Palestinians outside the law.”

Only a radical political project can do that. For Erakat, the revolt of the Third World in the 1960s and ’70s, before it was ultimately crushed by imperial restructuring toward global neoliberalism, set a good example: it began to create a geopolitical context that made claims for legal redress by dispossessed people more justiciable.

Despite ubiquitous pleas from liberal Zionists, making sure that Israel complies fully with international law does not guarantee justice for Palestinians. International law isn’t designed for such a task.

“Raise the sail,” or the law, “when useful, drop it when harmful, and stitch together a new one when possible,” Erakat recommends.

As is the case in liberation struggles elsewhere, winning freedom in Palestine requires a mass political movement in which law functions as a tool rather than a substitute for politics.

Only within such a movement can international law be deployed in service of justice, rather than against it.

‘Drunk on power and boredom’: Israeli ex-soldiers detail abuses

Looking for amusement, his unit handwrote bogus VIP permits for the Palestinians who crossed regularly. They were legally meaningless but added some fun to the long hours in the sun.

Humiliation is the aim. A brave people, coward Occupation.

In a controversial new photographic exhibition in Tel Aviv, Israeli former soldiers detail abuses they saw – and perpetrated

Can Israel conceal War Crimes by Emptying its Archives?

Historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Waschitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began:

“Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] – 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching. Women came, begged for mercy. Found bodies of 6 elderly men. There were 61 bodies. 3 cases of rape, one east of from Safed, girl of 14, 4 men shot and killed. From one they cut off his fingers with a knife to take the ring.”

The writer goes on to describe additional massacres, looting and abuse perpetrated by Israeli forces in Israel’s War of Independence. The Israeli top brass knew about what was going on in real time.

Morris’ footnote (in his seminal “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”) states that this document was also found in the Yad Yaari Archive. But when Novick returned to examine the document, she was surprised to discover that it was no longer there.

middle-east-monitor

Haaretz published an investigation carried out by journalist Hagar Shezaf and which revealed how Israel has been systematically hiding the Israeli archive which documented Zionist crimes against Palestinians.

Damaging historical documents or hiding them from researchers is an illegal act. However, Israel has been working hard for decades to black-out the historical records in these documents in an effort not to stain its image before the eyes of the world.

The great Israeli historian Benny Morris said that the Hasbara Department of the Israeli foreign ministry issued in 1969 a booklet authored by his father which denies the Zionist massacre committed against civilians in the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin.

“In the booklet,” Morris said, “it was claimed that there was no massacre in Deir Yassin and that the story about the massacre is supposedly an Arab fiction.”

Israel plans to hide documents relating to the Nakba (violent expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and lands) in an effort to hide its crimes and perpetuate its lies.

Israel prevents journalists and protesters, often killing them.

“The objective is to undermine the credibility of studies about the history of the [Palestine] refugee problem,” Yehiel Horev, former head of the Israeli defense ministry’s security bureau Malmab, explained. He added that “an allegation made by a researcher that’s backed up by an original document is not the same as an allegation that cannot be proved or refuted.”

“If someone were doing this to Holocaust documents, there would be a cry to the heavens. What a shame.”

The Jewish State is actively trying to erase the Nakba (genocide) and any critical discussion of it. Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany – but Nakba denial is not illegal in Israel, and it is thriving.

Happy then, happy now to celebrate their stolen land.

Israeli journalist Jonathan Ofir wrote in Mondoweiss.

If Israel is attempting to erase the Nakba  from its archive in order to bury Palestinian history, civilization, culture and rights, their attempts will fail.

One reason for this is that Israel has not stopped committing war crimes and genocide against Palestinians since its creation in 1948, when its gangs, which became its army, killed thousands of Palestinians – displacing around 800,000 – and demolished over 530 cities and towns and villages. It has continued committing crimes against the Palestinians until this day.

Israel also continues to disregard international laws and conventions, and ignore resolutions issued by international bodies which have been calling for it to respect Palestinians, their rights and allow Palestine refuges to return to their homes.

Contrary to the words of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, Palestinians have not forgotten their right to the land, their homes and their right of return. “The old [Palestinians] will die and the young will forget,” Ben-Gurion infamously said, however generation after generation Palestinians have passed on their history and their link to the land. Even those in the diaspora have held on to their roots.

Not only have the Palestinians not forgotten Palestine but the whole world of decent people are on their side. Not what Ben Gurion expected!

Another reason why Israel’s policies will fail is that global support for the Palestinians is on the rise, and more is being done to highlight their plight. This has meant that eyes are on Israel’s policies against Palestinians are in the spotlight and are being documented, shared and efforts are being made to hold it accountable.

A number of those working to that end are in Israel. They are reluctant to support the state’s policies regarding its archives. This community is emerging and moving to fight the government’s efforts to hide the crimes it has committed.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor or Informed Comment.