“ICC member countries should stand ready to fiercely protect the court’s work from any political pressure.”
The United States on Wednesday criticized the International Criminal Court for opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories and voiced support for Israel.
“We firmly oppose and are disappointed by the ICC prosecutor’s announcement of an investigation into the Palestinian situation,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
“We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly,” he said, noting that Israel does not accept the court’s jurisdiction.
Despite strong opposition from Israel and the United States, the outgoing ICC chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, announced that she was going ahead with a probe into the situation in the blockaded Gaza Strip as well as the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
No one is safe anywhere in Palestine, that means anyone including human rights groups, activists and tourists. ANY non Jew.
Zionist Occupation forces have a ‘shoot anything that moves policy in Palestine’ in and outside of epic attacks every few years, meaning streets, playgrounds, beeches etc
The website Walla! published talkback comments on an article about the four children killed on the Gaza beach.
Shani Moyal: “I couldn’t care less that Arab children were killed, too bad it wasn’t more. Well done to the IDF.”
Stav Sabah: “Really, these are great pictures. They make me so happy, I want to look at them again and again.”
Sharon Avishi: “Only four? Too bad. We hoped for more.”
Daniela Turgeman: “Great. We need to kill all the children.”
Chaya Hatnovich: “There isn’t a more beautiful picture than those of dead Arab children.”
Orna Peretz: “Why only four?”
Rachel Cohen: “I’m not for children dying in Gaza. I’m for everyone burning.”
Tami Mashan: “As many children as possible should die.”
Under previous president Donald Trump, the United States imposed sanctions on Bensouda after she separately decided to investigate alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden has indicated a more cooperative approach with the court, seeing its value, but has yet to end the sanctions.
“We are committed to promoting accountability, respect for human rights and justice for victims of atrocities,” Price said.
“As much as we disagree with the ICC’s actions relating to the Palestinian situation and of course to Afghanistan,” Price said, “we are thoroughly reviewing sanctions.”
The US is just as guilty for aiding and abetting war criminals.
No amount of political propaganda from a weakened secretary of state, or tweeting by an outgoing, lame duck American president, will prevent the ICC from pursuing its duty to investigate the most heinous of crimes against humanity.
So what did Israel do in Gaza in 2014? During a seven-week military invasion, Israel’s military rampaged through the poverty-stricken civilian population, responding to provocations from Hamas.
More than 2,300 Palestinians were killed and nearly 11,000 were injured. The vast majority of the dead and injured were civilians.
Israel defended its actions by arguing that Hamas militants had used the civilians as “human shields.”
Israel justified its invasion by asserting that Hamas extremists were responsible for the murder of three Israeli teenagers, despite a lack of evidence.
Israel blamed all violence on Hamas and the Palestinians generally, rarely acknowledging its own violence or crimes.
With the backing of a biased mainstream news media, and millions of dollars set aside for public relations propaganda, Israel enforced its argument despite the reality of videos, photographs and eyewitness testimony that claimed Israeli soldiers intentionally killed civilians.
But the ICC isn’t swayed by Israel or by the rhetoric of politicians.
Its prosecutor’s report stated: “The Office found there was a reasonable basis to believe that members of the Israel Defense Forces committed the war crimes of: Intentionally launching disproportionate attacks in relation to at least three incidents which the Office has focused on; willful killing and willfully causing serious injury to body or health; and intentionally directing an attack against objects or persons using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions.”
The report added: “In addition, Office found there was a reasonable basis to believe that members of Hamas and Palestinian armed groups committed the war crimes of: Intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects; using protected persons as shields; willfully depriving protected persons of the rights of fair and regular trial; and willful killing and torture or inhuman treatment and/or outrages upon personal dignity.”
Each accusation is backed up by an article of the Rome Statute, which is the legal basis of the ICC’s existence and mandate.
Israel can bury its head in the sand, but it won’t be able to avoid prosecution, regardless of who sits in the White House.
A central slogan of Zionist propaganda was “a land without people for a people without land”. Before the European Zionist invasion, the Palestinian Muslims, Christians and Jews lived harmoniously together and worked together. Contrary to the myth propagated by Israel of an arid, backward and under populated Palestine3, Palestinians had a dynamic agricultural sector before the arrival of European Jews.
Even if their proprietors had remained in Jaffa, the orange groves were considered “abandoned assets” and were seized by the State of Israel.
What is the story behind the cultivation of Jaffa oranges?
Prior to 1948, the modern city of Jaffa was the cultural and economic heart of Palestine. From the late 19th century until 1970, it was also one of the largest ports of orange export in the world.
Oranges and other citrus fruit were brought to Europe from the Middle East. Jaffa oranges, in particular, are a variety developed by Arab Palestinian farmers in the 19th century.1
These oranges were the pride of Palestinians because they are sweet and almost seedless.
Their tough skin made them perfect for export. Moreover, the cultivation of oranges developed simultaneously with the rise of the steam engine and the increase of European exports in the mid 19th century.
During the early 20th century and until 1939, oranges were the largest Palestinian export, surpassing even cotton. In 1939, a total of 30 000 hectares were cultivated and 15 million crates were exported. 2
Thus, contrary to the myth propagated by Israel of an arid, backward and under populated Palestine3, Palestinians had a dynamic agricultural sector before the arrival of European Jews.
Under the British Mandate, the cultivation of products such as olives, melon, tobacco, grapevines and oranges to name a few, mostly belonged to the Arab Palestinians.4
Towards the end of the Mandate, the cultivation of oranges by Jewish Palestinians who were either native or established for several generations had significantly increased.
Despite this, the production from Arab Palestinians remained superior both in terms of quantity and quality.5
What were the relationships between the different communities cultivating oranges at the beginning of the 20th century?
A time of social peace: At the beginning of the century, orange groves were common to all natives of Jaffa and the surrounding regions, regardless of their religious affiliation.
A certain rivalry existed between the different communities, however the relationships were peaceful.
Arab orange groves employed Jews and vice versa. During these years, an intricate network of economic, social and cultural relationships was developed between Arab – Muslim or Christian – and Jewish communities from the city.6 Subsequent conflicts have obscured this degree of interdependence and cooperation.
The outbreak of tensions: In the years prior to 1948, tensions arose between Arab and Jewish Palestinians with the establishment of kibbutz, which recruited exclusively Jewish labour.
From the start of the 20th century, it became increasingly frequent for Zionist agencies to acquire land from absent landlords while dismissing sharecropping tenants in favour of Jewish immigrants.7
These sharecroppers8 were particularly at the mercy of such evictions. Furthermore, Jewish immigrants would often put pressure on former Jewish landlords so that they would dismiss their Arab employees.
An agreement on non-aggression and its breach: Despite growing tensions, the orange growers signed an agreement on non-aggression in 1948 concerning the orange groves between Jaffa – a predominantly Arab city – and Tel Aviv – a predominantly Jewish city – in the midst of the war.
These plantations were not to be attacked in order for harvest and exports to continue.
This delicate balance was broken when members of the Haganah Jewish armed militia started conducting random attacks on the area despite Tel Aviv municipal authorities’ and Jaffa’s efforts to establish a modus Vivendi.9
What happened to the Palestinians’ orange groves after the Nakba?
The forced exodus of Jaffa Palestinians: According to the 1947 UN Partition Plan, the city of Jaffa should have been part of a future Arab state.
However in April and May 1948, Jaffa was besieged and pounded by the soon to be Israeli army.
To escape the bombardments, thousands of Palestinians had to flee the city by boat.
On May 14th, only 4 -5 000 of the 70 000 Palestinians who lived in Jaffa, remained.10 The orange groves that belonged to Palestinians were then illegally confiscated and became the property of the State of Israel.
Even if their proprietors had remained in Jaffa, the orange groves were considered “abandoned assets” and were seized by the State of Israel.
After 1948: Following the eviction of the Arab Palestinians, the State of Israel continued to gain profits from the export of oranges.
Even today, Israel exports the Jaffa brand of citrus fruit although there are no more orange trees around the city.
Most of the orange groves were either destroyed or abandoned when the oranges lost their value on the global market in the 1980s.
It was at this time that the export of citrus fruit from Israel dropped from one million tonnes to only 300 000 tonnes because of European competition.11
What do Jaffa oranges symbolize?
A strong symbol of Palestinian national identity: For Palestinians, Jaffa oranges were a very strong symbol of their land.
With its internationally renowned quality, the orange represented the Palestinian people’s ingenuity.
Palestinian historian Mustafa Khaba recounts that in the late 1920’s, the Palestinian press conducted a survey to determine what flag the Palestinians wanted to adopt following their independence.
An attachment to the fruit was clearly highlighted in the survey as the majority of the respondents felt that the green and orange colourings of citrus fruit represented Palestine best.
It seems that this opinion prevailed until the 1948 adoption of the Pan-Arabic coloured flag.12 After 1948 however, orange began to represent the lost ancestral homeland.
The appropriation of the orange symbol by the State of Israel: Around the same time, Jewish immigrants appropriated Jaffa oranges as a symbol of the State of Israel.
Historian Amnon Raz-Krakotzin explains how the Zionist movement made the modernization and the cultivation of the citrus fruit symbolic even though this predated the arrival of the settlers.13
When examining propaganda from this era through posters and photographs, it is obvious that the orange iconography helped convey the false myth of a backward Palestinian society.
These are Palestinian Jewish leaders in Jerusalem 1947. They reject imposing a Jewish state on Palestine consisting of foreign so called Jews. .. They were kicked out of “Israel” the new European Jewish state.
Furthermore from the 1950s on, Jaffa oranges represented Israel internationally as the new state’s main export.14
Jaffa became a registered trademark in 1948. Israel’s citrus fruit marketing board, which was created under the British Mandate, then controlled all production and exportation of Israeli citrus fruit under that name.
In 1976, among the signs best known to the public, Jaffa was ranked just after Coca-Cola.15 As for the Palestinian city of Jaffa, it was annexed by Tel-Aviv in 1950 and its name gradually fell into oblivion.
Should Canadians boycott Jaffa oranges?
Yes. CJPME encourages the boycott of Israeli products for several reasons.
In 2005, over 170 organizations from Palestinian civil society appealed to the world to impose a strategy of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israeli institutions in an attempt to move the Israeli government to respect international law and fundamental Palestinian rights.16
The boycott of Israeli products and companies operating in the OccupiedTerritories aims to denounce the military occupation of PalestinianTerritories by Israel, its colonization policies and the blockade it has imposed on the people of Gaza.
Jaffa oranges should especially be boycotted for the following reasons.
Firstly, for a long time theseJaffa brand oranges were partly cultivated on illegally acquired lands.
According to international law there is a despoliation of goods when they are confiscated by the state in an arbitrary manner without compensation or for discriminatory purposes.
This was the case in 1948 for the Arab landlords of theJaffa orange groves.
BoycottingJaffa oranges allows Canadians to express their opposition to this despoliation performed by the State of Israel. Furthermore, buyingJaffa oranges or other Israeli products reinforces the Israeli economy.
This facilitates Israel’s ongoing violation of international law and helps normalize these violations.
UNEF was established after Israel conspired with Britain and France to wage a war of aggression against Egypt in 1956, following Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal.
UNEF’s purpose was not only to secure the cessation of hostilities and serve as a buffer to prevent future aggression, but also to supervise the required withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the occupied Sinai.
As Israel/US install a puppet government in Egypt as as currant, there are no more problems between Egypt and “Israel” as it occupies Palestine.
New York Times columnist Bret Stephens defends Israel’s occupation of Palestine by regurgitating Zionist propaganda about who started the 1967 Six Day War.
“In June 1967,” Bret Stephens writes in the New York Times for the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, “Arab leaders declared their intention to annihilate the Jewish state and the Jews decided they wouldn’t sit still for it. For the crime of self-preservation, Israel remains a nation unforgiven.
“Unforgiven, Israel’s milder critics say, because the Six-Day War, even if justified at the time, does not justify 50 years of occupation.”
Stephens disagrees, asserting that the view that Israel’s ongoing occupation is unjustified “is ahistoric nonsense.”
In fact, it is Bret Stephens who is demonstrably guilty of that charge, as his article, titled “Six Days and 50 Years of War”, does nothing more than regurgitate standard Zionist propaganda.
Distorting the 1967 War
Stephens proceeds to blame the “Six Day War” of June 1967 on the Arabs by noting that a UN peacekeeping force in the Sinai Peninsula was withdrawn at Egypt’s insistence and referring to an “Egyptian blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat.”
Then Stephens writes, “On June 5, the first day of the war, the Israeli government used three separate diplomatic channels to warn Jordan—then occupying the West Bank—not to initiate hostilities.
The Jordanians ignored the warning and opened fire with planes and artillery.”
By this means, Stephens disgracefully deceives his readers into believing that Jordan fired the first shots of the war.
In truth, the Six Day War was begun by Israel on the morning of June 5 with a surprise attack on Jordan’s ally Egypt that obliterated its air force while most of its planes were still on the ground.
It is true that Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser had instructed the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) to evacuate Egyptian territory. The conclusion readers are evidently supposed to draw is that Egypt, in partnership with Jordan, was preparing to invade Israel.
The UN peacekeeping force was “intended as a buffer with Egypt”, Stephens states. This is true, but the implication, given his provided context, is that its purpose was to protect Israel from Egyptian aggression—which is a distortion of history.
What Stephens declines to inform readers is that UNEF was established after Israel conspired with Britain and France to wage a war of aggression against Egypt in 1956, following Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal. UNEF’s purpose was not only to secure the cessation of hostilities and serve as a buffer to prevent future aggression, but also to supervise the required withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the occupied Sinai.
To lead readers to the desired conclusion, Stephens omits additional relevant context, such as how Nasser had been accused by its allies Syria and Jordan of hiding behind UNEF—such as failing to come to Jordan’s assistance when Israel on November 13, 1966, invaded the West Bank to collectively punish the civilian population of the village of Samu for the killing of three Israeli soldiers by the Palestinian group al-Fatah two days earlier.
Israel’s assumption was that by terrorizing the villagers, they would appeal to King Hussein of Jordan—which administered the West Bank in the wake of the 1948 war and ethnic cleansing of Palestine—to clamp down on Fatah.
After rounding up villages in the town square, Israeli forces proceeded to engage in wanton destruction that included the razing, according to UN investigators, of 125 homes, a village clinic, and a school. Three civilians were killed and ninety-six wounded, and the UN Security Council condemned Israel for its “violation of the UN Charter and of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan”.
By omitting the context of Nasser’s humiliation in the face of such Israeli aggression, Stephens leaves his readers with the impression that Egypt was preparing to attack Israel—rather than Nasser ejecting UNEF to save face in the wake of accusations that he was hiding cowardly behind the UN peacekeepers.
In fact, UN Secretary-General U Thant, after Nasser requested its evacuation from Egyptian soil, proposed repositioning UNEF on the Israeli side of the border, but this proposalwas rejected by Israel.
It’s also true that Egypt had announced the closure of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. In Egypt’s view, the straits were its territorial waters.
Israel considered this announcement a casus belli—a justification for war—but was repeatedly warned by the US government that its grievance with Egypt over the use of the straits would need to be resolved through diplomacy, not military force.
Stephens’ reference to Egypt’s closing of the straits occurs in the context of his characterization of France and the US as having abandoned Israel in its time of need: “France, hitherto Israel’s ally, had imposed an arms embargo on it; and … Lyndon Johnson had failed to deliver on previous American assurances to break any Egyptian blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat.”
While Stephens offers no explanation for France’s refusal to supply Israel with addition arms (it was already recognized as the most formidable military power in the region), it is relevant that France had been censured along with Israel by the international community—including the US—for their joint aggression against Egypt in 1956.
Presumably an oversight, Stephens does not mention the movement of Egyptian armed forces into the Sinai Peninsula prior to the June war—a fact usually cited in such Zionist propaganda accounts as proof of Nasser’s intent to invade Israel.
In fact, Israel’s own intelligence had assessed, following the Egyptian movement of troops, that Nasser had no intention of attacking Israel (they judged him not to be insane), which was an assessment shared by the US intelligence community.
The CIA observed that Egypt’s forces had taken up defensive positions after having received an intelligence report from the Soviet Union that Israel was amassing forces on the border with Egypt’s ally, Syria.
(“The Soviet advice to the Syrians [sic] that the Israelis were planning an attack was not far off,” State Department Middle East analyst Harold Saunders subsequently assessed, “although they seem to have exaggerated the magnitude. The Israelis probably were planning an attack—but not an invasion.”)
The CIA also accurately predicted and warned President Lyndon Johnson that the war was coming, and that it would be Israel who would start it. The documentary record of diplomatic cables during this time (i.e., the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States collection) is replete with warnings to Israel that it would not be politically feasible for the US to intervene on Israel’s side—as Israel was pushing the Johnson administration to do—if it was the party responsible for firing the first shot of the war.
“As your friend,” President Johnson wrote in a letter delivered to Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol on May 28, for example, “I repeat even more strongly what I said yesterday to Mr. [Abba] Eban [Israel’s ambassador to the US]. Israel just must not take any preemptive military action and thereby make itself responsible for the initiation of hostilities.” (Emphasis added.)
Having omitted all of this relevant context and deceiving readers into believing that the first shot of the war was fired by Jordan, Stephens proceeds to characterize Israel as the party seeking peace, while the recalcitrant Arabs rejected its reasonable overtures.
His evidence for this is the decision by the Israeli cabinet on June 19, nine days after the end of the war, to “offer the return of territories conquered from Egypt and Syria in exchange for peace, security and recognition.”
Had Israel wanted peace with its Arab neighbors, however, it could have simply chosen not to launch the six-day war in the first place and instead heeded the Johnson administration’s advice to seek a resolution to the escalating tensions through diplomatic means in accordance with Israel’s obligations under the UN Charter.
Cautioning his readers to not “fall prey to the lazy trope of ’50 years of occupation,’ inevitably used to indict Israel”, Stephens argues that “There would have been no occupation, and no settlements, if Egypt and its allies hadn’t recklessly provoked a war.”
Needless to say, there would be no ongoing occupation after 50 years, and no illegal Israeli colonization of the occupied West Bank, if Israel hadn’t started the 1967 war with its act of aggression against Egypt and used the opportunity to engage in land-grabbing in pursuit of the Zionist dream of establishing Jewish control over all of the territory of historic Palestine.
“In 1967”, Stephens concludes, “Israel was forced into a war against enemies who then begrudged it the peace.”
In 1967, rather, Israel chose to wage war against its neighbors and then attempted to use occupied territory as a bargaining chip to draw concessions from Egypt and Syria, such as acquiescence to Israel’s rejection of the right of Palestinians who were made refugees by the Zionists’ ethnic cleansing of Palestine to return to their homeland.
In the words of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, just as in 1956, “In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”
Defending Israel’s Occupation Regime
Stephens rounds out his retelling of how the 1967 war was begun by summarizing the history since then with repetition of additional standard talking points of Zionist propaganda.
“In 1973 Egypt and Syria unleashed a devastating surprise attack on Israel,” he writes—by which he means that Egypt and Syria attacked Israeli forces occupying, respectively, the Egyptian territory of the Sinai Peninsula and of the Syrian territory of the Golan Heights.
He then rolls out the lazy trope (to borrow his phrase) that the Palestinians have nobody to blame but themselves for Israel’s ongoing occupation because they have rejected repeated Israeli offers of statehood under what is euphemistically dubbed the “peace process”.
Stephens characterizes “the Oslo Accords of 1993”—(the second Oslo Accord was signed in 1995, actually, not the same year as the first)—as a “serious” effort to reach a peace agreement.
In reality, as I document in my book Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the US-led so-called “peace process” is the means by which Israel and its superpower benefactor have long blocked implementation of the two-state solution, in favor of which there is otherwise a consensus in the international community.
To illustrate, Stephens writes that, “In 2000, at Camp David, Israel offered [PLO leader Yasser] Arafat a state. He rejected it.”
In fact, what Israel “offered” the Palestinians at Camp David fell far short of sovereignty and Israeli respect for their right to self-determination.
Within the proper framework of what each party has a right to under international law—as opposed to the framework adopted under the “peace process” of rejecting the applicability of international law and replacing it with what Israel wants—Israel made precisely zero concessions at Camp David.
Every single concession demanded and made rather came from the Palestinian side, which had already conceded to Israel the 78 percent of the former territory of Palestine on the Israeli side of the 1949 armistice lines (also known as the pre-June 1967 lines or the “Green Line” for the color with which it was drawn on the map).
What Arafat was seeking at Camp David was an agreement that would allow the Palestinians to establish their state in the remaining 22 percent of the territory comprising the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
(Israel’s moves to annex East Jerusalem have been repeatedly recognized by the UN Security Council as illegal, null and void; and it remains under international law “occupied Palestinian territory”, to quote the International Court of Justice on the matter.)
Israel’s “offer” at Camp David included the demand that the Palestinians give up even more of their land by acquiescing to Israel’s annexation of about 9 percent of the occupied West Bank—including East Jerusalem and some of the best land where Israel had established settlements in violation of international law.
“Our people will not accept less than their rights as stated by international resolutions and international legality”, a frustrated Arafat told US President Bill Clinton.
Contrary to Stephen’s characterization, Israel’s supposedly generous offer at Camp David fell far short of Israeli compliance with international law and respect for Palestinians’ rights.
In the same vein, Stephens writes that, “In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered a Palestinian state in Gaza and 93 percent of the West Bank. The Palestinians rejected the proposal out of hand.”
He doesn’t bother to explain to readers why the Palestinians should have agreed to accept Israeli annexation of 7 percent of the occupied West Bank, including of course East Jerusalem, as well as the surrender of Palestinian refugees’ internationally recognized right to return to their homeland.
(Olmert’s “offer” also consisted of the demand that the Palestinian Authority—the administrative body established under the Oslo Accords to effectively serve as Israel’s collaborator in enforcing the occupation regime—oust Hamas and regain control of Gaza.
Limited in the extent of his own collaboration with Israel by the will of the people he claimed to represent, Mahmoud Abbas justifiably dismissed the series of ultimatums dubbed an “offer” as a “waste of time”.)
“In 2005,” Stephens continues, “another right-wing Israeli government removed its soldiers, settlers and settlements from the Gaza Strip. Two years later Hamas seized control of the territory and used it to start three wars in seven years.”
In reality, Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, masterminded by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was simply a means of gaining the political leverage required to expand and further entrench its illegal settlement regime, including the illegal construction of an annexation wall within the occupied West Bank.
It’s true that Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, but what Stephens declines to inform Times readers is that this was a consequence of a joint effort by the US and Israel to overthrow the Hamas-led government after it legitimately gained power through democratic elections the previous year.
To punish the civilian population of Gaza for having voted the wrong way, Israel then implemented a siege of the territory, severely restricting the movement of goods and people into and out of Gaza.
The purpose of Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza was summed up by Sharon’s senior advisor Dov Weissglass thus: “It’s like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won’t die.”
The US government was well aware of Israel’s intent to collectively punish the civilian population of Gaza.
A cable from the US embassy in Tel Aviv to senior Bush administration officials including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice relayed that “Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis”—with “humanitarian crisis” being used euphemistically to mean the point at which Gazans would begin to drop dead from outright starvation.
As for the three “wars” Stephens refers to, this is his euphemistic description for Israel’s military assaults intended to inflict further punishment on the defenseless civilian population of Gaza: Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, and Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
In fact, prior to each of these attacks on Gaza, it was Israel that violated ceasefire agreements with Hamas.
In 2008, for example, while Hamas strictly observed a ceasefire that had gone into effect that June, Israel routinely violated it with its continuation of the blockade, cross-border shootings, and a November 4 incursion that killed six Hamas members.
Its 2012 assault was launched the day after Hamas had again persuaded other military factions to abide by a ceasefire agreement, which Israel used to draw a senior Hamas official out of hiding in order to assassinate him at the start of its planned operation.
And in 2014, by the time the Hamas launched its first rocket attack against Israel, on July 6, Israel had already been bombing Gaza for a week (and rejected Hamas’s efforts through Egyptian mediators to reestablish a ceasefire).
In each of these military assaults on the defenseless Gaza Strip, Israel effectively implemented what its military establishment has dubbed the “Dahiya doctrine”—a reference to the leveling of the Dahiya district of Beirut to collectively punish its civilian population during Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon.
It requires a great deal of chutzpah for Brett Stephens to accuse others of “ahistoric nonsense” while himself doing nothing more than regurgitating standard Zionist propaganda and deliberately misleading readers of his New York Times column into believing that it was not Israel that started the June 1967 war.
He reinforces this deception by falsely characterizing Israel as also not having been the party responsible for violating ceasefire agreements with Hamas prior to its operations in Gaza in 2008-09, 2012, and 2014.
And while Stephens tries to defend Israel’s ongoing occupation by characterizing the Palestinians as unreasonably rejecting its supposed offers of peace, the reality is that the Palestinian leadership has long accepted the two-state solution, which has since its inception been rejected by Israel and its superpower benefactor, the government of the United States of America.
“While Zionist propagandists like Elan Journo in his new hoax book What Justice Demands are fond of claiming that it was the Arabs who rejected Jewish self-determination in Palestine, the truth is that the Mandate itself constituted a rejection of this right of the land’s Arab inhabitants.”
Israel’s Jewish Nation State Law can’t be a departure from the democratic principles it was founded on for the simple reason that it wasn’t founded on any.
On July 19, the Israeli legislature, the Knesset, passed a law defining Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, prompting criticism in the US mainstream media that it represents a departure from the democratic principles Israel was founded upon.
The reality is that the Jewish Nation State Law can’t represent a departure from democratic principles for the simple reason that Israel owes its very existence to a fundamental rejection of democracy.
The “Jewish State” of Israel was established through two profound manifestations of that rejectionism: the League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
A brief review of the historical record shows how, if Israel practiced democracy, it would be called Palestine. Hence the necessity for the Jewish Nation State Law.
The Zionist Mandate for Palestine
During the First World War, Great Britain came to militarily occupy Palestine and promised the Arabs their independence in exchange for a commitment to join in the war effort against the Ottoman Empire.
Although they did not rise up en masse against their Ottoman rulers, Arabs from Palestine were among the first to volunteer to fight with the British in order to gain their freedom from Turkish rule.
However, the British government never had any intention of honoring its promise to support independence for the Arab inhabitants of Palestine.
The infamous Balfour Declaration of 1917, delivered in the form of a private letter from Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, a representative of the Zionist movement and member of the renowned banking family, was a propaganda document designed for the purpose of acquiring Jewish support for the war.
It promised British support “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” while paying meaningless lip service to “the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” in order to ensure that the Declaration did not undermine the government’s need to also acquire support from Arab rulers.
Established in the wake of the war, the League of Nations issued its “Mandate” for Palestine, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration and was drafted by organized Zionists to further the aim of reconstituting Arab Palestine into a “Jewish state”.
The purpose of the Mandate, enforced by British guns, was to deny democratic self-governance to the inhabitants of Palestine until the Jews had through mass immigration managed to establish a numerical majority.
However, by the end of the Mandate, Jews still remained a minority, comprising about a third of the population.
Moreover, despite the best efforts of the Zionist leadership, the Jewish community had only managed to purchase about 7 percent of the land in Palestine.
Arabs owned more land than Jews in every single district in Palestine, including Jaffa, which included the main Jewish population center of Tel Aviv.
The reality of demographics and land ownership posed a problem for the Zionist leadership. The Arabs rejected the Mandate and were giving the British trouble.
They recognized that the Zionists envisioned their political disenfranchisement and eventual displacement from the land.
Initially, the means by which Arabs were displaced was through land purchases exploiting feudalistic Ottoman land laws that deprived Arab peasants of their property rights.
But the failure to acquire more than 7 percent of the land meant that other means would need to be employed to gain control over the area envisioned for the “Jewish state”.
The Arabs naturally rejected the Mandate, and they also understood that the implementation of the Zionist project meant their subjugation to foreign powers. (Indeed, the British acknowledged that the Arabs of Palestine exercised a greater measure of self-governance under Ottoman rule!)
While Zionist propagandists like Elan Journo in his new hoax book What Justice Demands are fond of claiming that it was the Arabs who rejected Jewish self-determination in Palestine, the truth is that the Mandate itself constituted a rejection of this right of the land’s Arab inhabitants.
Moreover, the Arab leadership was insistent in their demand that the independence of Palestine be recognized under a constitution guaranteeing representative democracy and minority rights.
The Zionist leadership tellingly rejected the democratic solution, as did the British (who described Arabs demanding that their right to self-determination be respected as “extremists”, whereas those who were willing to collaborate with the Zionist occupation regime were dubbed “moderate”).
Democracy simply was not a solution for the Zionists—it was rather an obstacle to be overcome to achieve their aims. In the view of the Zionists, the Palestinians had to be prevented from being able to exercise their right to self-determination, and so British guns were employed to that end.
But British guns only took the Zionists so far. They’d have to get the rest of the way toward establishment of their “Jewish state” on their own.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
The solution favored by Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion, who would become Israel’s first prime minister and is known as the father of the country, was the “compulsory transfer” of Arabs outside of the area of the envisioned “Jewish state”.
Ben-Gurion was borrowing the term from the British, who proposed the idea of a forcible transfer of populations in order to partition Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states in the 1937 Peel Commission Report.
And while Ben-Gurion initially felt the ethnic cleansing would have to be undertaken by the British, the Zionists eventually built their own formidable military force, the Haganah, enabling them to implement the “compulsory transfer” on their own.
When the UN, which replaced the defunct League of Nations following World War II, resurrected the stillborn partition plan, the Zionists recognized it as their opportunity to forcibly implement the “compulsory transfer” and land-grabbing necessary for their “Jewish state” to be established.
Furthermore, the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), the body appointed by the General Assembly to come up with a solution and whose majority members recommended partition, explicitly acknowledged in its report that the goal of the Mandate to establish a “Jewish state” constituted a rejection of the right of the Arab Palestinians to self-determination.
This explains the grossly inequitable nature of the partition plan. Jews comprised about a third of the population and owned less than 7 percent of the land, whereas UNSCOP acknowledged that the Arabs were in “in possession of approximately 85 percent of the land”.
Yet it nevertheless proposed that the Arabs should remain in possession of about 45 percent of the land for their state, whereas Jews should have about 55 percent of the land for theirs (with Jerusalem placed under international trusteeship).
Furthermore, when the Bedouin population was counted, Arabs constituted a majority even in the area of the proposed Jewish state, where Arabs also owned more land than Jews.
The majority recommendation, premised as it was on the rejection of self-determination as it applied to the Arab majority, constituted a violation of the very Charter under which the the General Assembly purported to be operating.
The minority recommendation of the UNSCOP report, by contrast, joined with the Arabs in favoring the democratic solution, proposing that the independence of Palestine be recognized, the same as had happened with every other Mandated territory, and a democratic government established respecting the rights of minorities.
Contrary to the popular myth that the UN created Israel, the partition plan was forwarded by the General Assembly to the Security Council, where it died. The US representative rightly pointed out that the only way to implement the plan was through force and that the UN had no authority to forcibly partition Palestine against the will of the majority of its inhabitants.
But the UN had provided political cover enough for the Zionists to implement the plan on their own.
Already by the time they announced Israel’s existence and the neighboring Arab states responded by sending their armed forces into Palestine, a quarter of a million Arabs had been ethnically cleansed from their homes, and hundreds of Arab villages had been destroyed.
By the time it was over and armistice treaties were signed, more than 700,000 Arabs had fled or been expelled, never allowed to return, despite the recognition under international law that refugees of war have a right to return to their homeland.
The Jewish Nation State Law
These British people do not belong in the Arab world
The nature of the coverage about Israel’s new “Nation State” law is no different.
While the media may not be trying to defend such a blatantly racist law, the criticisms of the law fall within a very narrow spectrum and serves to propagandize the public with the false belief that Israel was established on democratic principles.
The Jewish Nation State Law was enacted as a “Basic Law”, which body of laws essentially serves as the supreme law of the land in the absence of an Israeli constitution.
It states that Israel “is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.”
Moreover, it states that “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared after the law’s enactment that it represented “a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the annals of the state of Israel”.
Meaninglessly and falsely adding that Israel “respects the rights of all its citizens”, Netanyahu described it as having “determined in law the founding principle of our existence” that “Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people”.
Indeed, the law does represent a manifestation of the founding principle of Israel’s existence; namely, the rejection of the right of the land’s Arab inhabitants to self-determination.
In its coverage of the law’s passage, the New York Times commented that critics are calling it “a betrayal of Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence, which ensured ‘complete equality of social and political rights’ for ‘all its inhabitants’ no matter their religion, race or sex.”
Of course, this lofty rhetoric in the Zionists’ unilateral declaration of Israel’s existence on May 14, 1948—euphemistically referred to by the thought-controlling Times as a “Declaration of Independence”—was belied by the actual means by which the “Jewish state” came into being, which was not through any kind of legitimate political process, but by ethnically cleansing most of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine from their homes and systematically wiping hundreds of Palestinian villages off the map.
Time magazine similarly reported on the Jewish Nation State Law under the headline “A New Law Shifts Israel Away from Democracy”, describing it contradicting the equal rights for all inhabitants promised in the “Declaration of Independence”—thus likewise maintaining the delusion that Israel was established on democratic principles.
Time also commented that the law should be understood within the context of the so-called “peace process” that the Trump administration has been vainly trying to revive.
Indeed, the law is simply a reiteration of the propaganda talking point that Israel has a “right to exist” as a “Jewish state”, a well as Israel’s longstanding demand that the Palestinians recognize it as such.
In other words, Israel has long maintained as a prerequisite for any kind of peace agreement that the Palestinians must surrender their rights.
They must surrender their property rights, their right to self-determination, and their right to return to their homeland by acceding that the means by which Israel came into being was legitimate.
The use of force, however, to prevent a people from achieving their freedom is anathema to the lofty rhetoric about Arabs’ rights contained in propaganda instruments like Britain’s Balfour Declaration and the Zionists’ legally null declaration of Israel’s existence, which was not a declaration of independence, but was announced while ethnic cleansing operations were underway in order to deny independence to the lands’ majority inhabitants.
The very idea of a state having a “right to exist” is nonsensical propaganda. No state has a “right to exist”. Abstract political entities don’t have rights; individuals do. The proper framework for approaching the issue is rather the universal right to self-determination, which is a right not being denied to Israelis by the Palestinians, but vice versa.
The Palestinians’ right to self-governance has always been rejected by the Zionist leadership. This rejection of both Arabs’ rights and democratic principles was manifest in the actual means by which the “Jewish state” came into being, from the rejectionist Mandate to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine that the British helped facilitate with the Balfour policy.
The Jewish Nation State Law doesn’t move Israel further away from democratic principles. It can’t. This isn’t logically possible when the very existence of the “Jewish state” is dependent upon ensuring that millions of rightful inhabitants are prevented from exercising their right to self-determination.
The last hurdle in the way of an international investigation into war crimes committed in occupied Palestine has been removed, as the International Criminal Court in the Hague has finally approved the Prosecutor’s request to open legal proceedings regarding war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza.
In December 2019, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had concluded that the Court’s initial findings are a sufficient basis for an investigation into war crimes committed by Israel and Palestinian groups in the occupied territories and that the Court does have jurisdiction to look into the matter.
The decision, then, has angered Israel and its Western allies, who insisted that the ICC has no jurisdiction since Palestine, they alleged, is not an independent state.
Consequently, Bensouda referred the matter to the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber, requesting a “ruling on the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in the State of Palestine”.
“Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court .. decided, by majority, that the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine, a State party to the ICC Rome Statute, extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” the ICC said in a press release that was made available to international media, including The Palestine Chronicle.
“The Chamber found that, regardless of its status under general international law, Palestine’s accession to the Statute followed the correct and ordinary procedure and that the Chamber has no authority to challenge and review the outcome of the accession procedure conducted by the Assembly of States Parties.
Palestine has thus agreed to subject itself to the terms of the ICC Rome Statute and has the right to be treated as any other State Party for the matters related to the implementation of the Statute.”
The State of Palestine became a signatory of the Rome Statute in January 2015.
In essence, the latest decision opens the door to a full investigation into war crimes in Palestine without further internal legal discussions within the ICC itself, as the Court’s Prosecutor and Pre-Trial Chamber are now in agreement.
In recent months, The Palestine Chronicle has conducted a series of interviews with international experts regarding this matter, including one with Professor Richard Falk, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, and Dr. Triestino Mariniello, member of the legal team for Gaza victims at the ICC.
Both specialists agreed that the ICC does, in fact, have jurisdiction, and that, despite the intense political pressure and US sanctions on the ICC, the war crimes investigation is likely to move forward.
While there has been recent criticism of those taking the position that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians, there is a long history of human rights scholarship and legal analysis that supports the assertion. Prominent scholars of the international law crime of genocide and human rights authorities take the position that Israel’s policies toward the Palestinian people could constitute a form of genocide.
Those policies range from the 1948 mass killing and displacement of Palestinians to a half-century of military occupation and, correspondingly, the discriminatory legal regime governing Palestinians, repeated military assaults on Gaza, and official Israeli statements expressly favoring the elimination of Palestinians.
Genocide is a term that has both sociological and legal meaning. The term genocide was coined in 1944 by a Jewish Polish legal scholar, Raphael Lemkin. For Lemkin, “the term does not necessarily signify mass killings.” He explained:
More often [genocide] refers to a coordinated plan aimed at destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups so that these groups wither and die like plants that have suffered a blight. The end may be accomplished by the forced disintegration of political and social institutions, of the culture of the people, of their language, their national feelings and their religion. It may be accomplished by wiping out all basis of personal security, liberty, health and dignity. When these means fail the machine gun can always be utilized as a last resort. Genocide is directed against a national group as an entity and the attack on individuals is only secondary to the annihilation of the national group to which they belong.
Because it’s what they’re told, most Americans believe that Israel was created through a legitimate political process involving the UN, but that instead of respecting Jews’ right to self-determination, the Arabs responded to the Zionists’ “Declaration of Independence” by launching a war of aggression to wipe the nascent state off the map.
In fact, by the time the neighboring Arab states managed to muster a military response, 300,000 Arabs had already been ethnically cleansed.
In the US mainstream discourse, the subject of the ethnic cleansing never even arises. I is simply non-existent.
Even when the media refer to the Palestinians’ annual commemoration of it, they misrepresent it as a lamentation of “the establishment of Israel” — thus sustaining the false narrative.
Outside of the New York Times and the rest of the corporate US media, there is discussion about it, but it’s characterized as a controversial question of whether ethnic cleansing happened.
But this is not a serious debate. There are the documented historical facts on the one hand and on the other disingenuous attempts to try to deny that what happened amounted to what we know today as the crime of “ethnic cleansing”.
Nobody enjoys Israeli tourists. They think they can do whatever they want…because Israelis are not properly raised in occupied Palestine. They are a menace everywhere and defile everything and everybody. Like a disease.
Israel yesterday officially opened its embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), its Foreign Ministry announced.
The controversial move comes after the UAE and Israel agreed to establish full diplomatic, cultural and commercial relations following the signing of the Abraham Accords on 15 September at the White House.
Since then Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have all agreed to establish ties with Israel in deals brokered by the administration of former US President Donald Trump.
The Palestinians condemned the agreements as a “stab in the back”.
Israel tourist behaviour in UAE ‘shameful’—
A new development is that the tourist advertisements and posters about Dubai conceal a dark reality, represented by gangs of Israeli men who set out for the new holiday destination with prostitution in mind. They fill their pockets with thousands of dollars and with little or no conscience spend their time in the UAE moving from one woman to another.
The newspaper quoted sources stating that some Israeli visitors were: “Cooking inside their hotel rooms in violation of the laws of administration, stealing towels and other items from their rooms and holding inappropriate parties.”
“The UAE is very accessible to the Israeli visitors now,” the travel expert noted, urging that Arabic-speaking Israelis must “respect the hotel workers.” She warned: “Things would end badly if this behaviour continued.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry claimed the new embassy “will advance the range of relations between the countries in all areas and expand ties with the Emirati government, economic bodies and the private sector, academia, media and more.”
Israel’s government regards Jerusalem as its capital, although that is not recognized by most of the international community. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.
The Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi will be operating from “temporary offices” until locating a permanent facility, the statement said.
The mission will “expand the ties with the Emirati government, financial bodies and the private sector, universities, the media and more,” it added.
Israel and the UAE have already signed treaties on direct flights and visa-free travel, along with accords on investment protection, science and technology.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi welcomed the move, saying the embassy would “enable the expansion of bilateral relations between Israel and the Emirates for a swift and maximal implementation of the potential in these ties.”
Ashkenazi also thanked the UAE “heir to the throne, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and my colleague and friend, Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, for their leadership and hospitality towards our representatives.”
Do not let the destroyer come into your houses! Do not read their words, do not take their shekels, do not join them; for all who go to them will not achieve life in the World to Come. Prevent your sons and daughters from entering their tents and reading their newspapers, which are full of heresy. They have called themselves “Zionists” in order to catch Jewish souls in their nets. ~(Divrei Simcha, letter 2)
Most of the refugees living here came from Haifa in the Nakba of 1947-8
The Lod District Court in Israel on Monday banned the screening of a documentary about Israel’s brutal 2002 campaign in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.
‘Jenin, Jenin’ can no longer be aired in Israel after an Israeli soldier who was depicted in the footage stealing from an elderly Palestinian filed a lawsuit against the film.
The judge said Israeli soldier Nissim Magnaji had been “sent to defend his country and found himself accused of a crime he did not commit”.
The court ordered director Mohammed Bakri to pay damages to Magnaji of 175,000 shekels ($55,000) as well as 50,000 shekels ($15,936) of court expenses.
In her ruling, judge Halit Silash went on to say some of the representation in the video was untrue.
The then US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, moved quickly. Speaking from — ironically — the King David Hotel in Jerusalem where Zionist terrorists had planted a bomb and killed 91 people in 1946, he said that he saw “no evidence” of a massacre
Bakri, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, told the AFP news agency the decision was “unfair” and that the judge had acted on instructions “from above”.
“I intend to appeal the verdict because it is unfair, it is neutering my truth,” Bakri told the Walla News website.
Objecting to the court’s ruling, the chairman of the Balad faction in the Joint List party, Member of the Israeli Knesset Mtanes Shehadeh, was quoted by the Times of Israel saying: “It’s not the film that should be shelved, but the occupation and its crimes.”
The documentary shows footage and eyewitness accounts of the massacre committed by the Israeli occupation forces in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin in 2002.
Hundreds of Palestinians, including women, children, and the elderly, were killed in the rampage that unfolded over a two-week period in a refugee camp, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation.
“IT IS the end of life.” That’s how one dazed man described the carnage and destruction as he fled from the Jenin refugee camp that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers turned into a slaughterhouse.
Hundreds of Palestinians are dead. Some were executed by the IDF in groups of a half dozen or so, according to several accounts from refugees. Whole families died in the rubble of collapsed buildings, flattened without warning by Israeli bulldozers. Still others were wounded by Israeli gunfire and might have survived if an ambulance could have reached them.
But the IDF barred ambulances from Jenin. So people like 17-year-old Munir Washai suffered in agony for hours–until they bled to death.
Estimates of the deaths range as high as 500–but no one will ever know for sure. That’s because Israeli forces began burying some of the victims in mass graves and transporting other corpses into Israel to disposed of them.
After first issuing an injunction to stop this blatant cover-up, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled over the weekend that the IDF could do whatever it wanted with the bodies of its victims–in order to guarantee sanitary conditions in the wrecked refugee camp.
Meanwhile, for those who survived, any meaningful life that they had in Jenin has been ended, too. Much of the refugee camp–a half-square-mile area that was home to 15,000 people–has been reduced to heaps of twisted metal and broken concrete.
The assault on Jenin began with missile strikes–fired from U.S.-supplied Apache helicopter gunships. Then the tanks and bulldozers moved in, crashing down narrow streets and alleyways and crushing anything in their paths.
Israeli forces destroyed basic services, like sewage and electricity. As a result, doctors reported last weekend a new and ghastly surge of cases of intestinal diseases in newborns–because mothers were forced to feed their babies with powdered milk mixed with sewage from the streets, after the water was cut off.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces rounded up hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians for “questioning.” The standard procedure was to force the detained to strip to their underwear at gunpoint, handcuff and blindfold them and savagely beat them.
Israeli forces kept Jenin sealed off for close to two weeks as they carried out their slaughter, then tried to hide the evidence. And no wonder. As one Israeli officer told Israel’s mainstream Ha’aretz newspaper, “When the world sees the pictures of what we have done there, it will do us immense damage.”
But not when it comes to Israel’s best friend–the U.S. government. On the first day of his “peace” mission, Secretary of State Colin Powell traveled by helicopter to view the destruction caused by a Palestinian suicide bombing in Jerusalem–but didn’t ask his hosts to show him the far greater destruction 50 miles to the north in Jenin.
And even as reports of the Jenin slaughter were emerging, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer declared: “The president believes that Ariel Sharon is a man of peace.” Tens of thousands of Palestinians from Jenin and many more throughout the Occupied Territories know the truth–that Sharon is a war criminal.
But they won’t surrender. They have shown that they will keep resisting Israel’s terror, no matter what the cost. As Reuven Pedatzur, a defense analyst for Ha’aretz, warned: “For [Palestinians], what happened in Jenin will be a historic turning point–and this was our doing, not theirs.”
We can’t leave Palestinians to fight alone. We have to build the struggle in this country to cut off the economic, military and political support that the U.S. government gives to Israel.
A Palestinian campaign group is calling for funds after Israeli forces confiscated its car.
The car was confiscated on 16 November, in Wadi Al Maleh in the northern Jordan Valley. The Jordan Valley makes up the eastern third of Palestine’s West Bank, along the border with Jordan.
Israeli forces have occupied the West Bank since 1967.
The Israeli state sees the colonisation of the valley as a priority, through the establishment of Israeli ‘settlements’ and marginalisation of Palestinian communities.
The Israeli state wants to control the border region and the fertile agricultural land of the Valley.
During Trump’s presidency, Israel had been planning to annex the Valley.
These plans are shelved for the moment, but the Israeli state’s ethnic cleansing policies are continuing nonetheless.
On 16 November, JVS volunteers were helping to build a hiking trail in the Wadi Al-Maleh area. Wadi Al-Maleh is within an area which has experienced repeated home demolitions by Israeli forces, and where Palestinians are not allowed to build anything under the Israeli occupation’s discriminatory restrictions.
The Zionist “homeland” was ready for ‘move in’.
Israeli forces came and detained the JVS volunteers and Rashed Khudairy’s car. JVS wrote at the time:
before the hiking trail is even opened, the occupation forces have tried to sabotage it. On 16th November they came to the area whilst volunteers were building a small wooden-framed hut for the visitor centre, detained them and demanded that they stop the building. They forced the coordinator of Jordan Valley Solidarity to drive his car to a nearby military base, where they confiscated the car and ordered him to attend Huwwara military base the following day.
On the same day, Israeli forces confiscated tractors from Palestinian farmers in the nearby community of Makhoul.
The Canary has received word from JVS that, despite the military’s attempts to thwart its efforts, the hiking trail is now complete, and a group of Palestinians came together last week to walk across the area.
We contacted Khudairy in December to ask him about what happened. He told us:
About my car, well you know the story. This is how Israel harasses us and tries to prevent our activities and our projects in the Jordan Valley. Even if those projects are about arts, or culture or learning about the beauty of the Valley. This is how they try to stop us from doing anything in the Jordan Valley, But of course we will keep going and continue all of our projects, even if it is hard in this moment because I still don’t have a car.
JVS’ coordinators and volunteers have faced arrest and imprisonment by Israel before for their opposition to the Israeli occupation. One example is Rashed’s sister Sireen Khudairy, who is also part of JVS and has been arrested and imprisonedtwice by occupation forces. The confiscation of Rashed’s car is part of an ongoing pattern of harassment.
Call for support
JVS is fundraising to buy a new car, so it can continue its important work:
Without a vehicle Jordan Valley Solidarity cannot bring together and support the many local communities it works with throughout the whole area. Experience from when other vehicles have been seized from Palestinians indicates that the car is likely to be kept by the occupation forces for at least 1 -2 months.
If they do return it, they are likely to enforce conditions. In the Jordan Valley they often force vehicle owners to sign an agreement that they won’t use their vehicle in the Jordan Valley – the place where they live and work.
We need your help to buy the campaign a new vehicle, so they can carry on supporting communities in the Jordan Valley.
JVS is part of a popular grassroots movement that challenges Israel’s colonial occupation of Palestine on a daily basis. Grassroots people’s movements like JVS are the only thing that stands in the way of Israeli colonisation. Right now they need our support more than ever.
Tom Anderson is part of the Shoal Collective, a cooperative producing writing for social justice and a world beyond capitalism.
“The original Zionist slogan—’a land without a people for a people without a land’—disclosed its own negation when I saw the densely populated Arab towns dwelling sullenly under Jewish tutelage. You want irony? How about Jews becoming colonizers at just the moment when other Europeans had given up on the idea?” ― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir
Republican Members of Congress are calling on the Trump administration to reclassify which Palestinians are considered refugees — a move which would constrain the Biden White House, and could fatally harm the Palestinian demand for the right of return.
The political nature of the demand is spelled out clearly by these Members of Congress.
“The issue of the so-called Palestinian ‘right of return’ of 5.3 million refugees to Israel as part of any ‘peace deal’ is an unrealistic demand, and we do not believe it accurately reflects the number of actual Palestinian refugees…it is time to end the fiction of the ‘right of return’ and bring the conflict one step closer [to] conclusion,” they argued.
The Trump administration has already taken a major step toward trying to erase Palestinian refugees.
In August 2018, the State Department cut US funding to UNRWA, deeming the UN agency responsible for providing social services to Palestinian refugees an “irredeemably flawed operation.”
By starving UNRWA, the Trump administration hoped to magically make Palestinian refugees disappear.
By declassifying the State Department report on Palestinian refugees, Republican Members of Congress hope to publicly redefine in US policy who is and is not a Palestinian refugee for this same purpose.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has approved five anti-Israeli resolutions, which are part of a package of 20 pro-Palestinian texts that the 193-member body adopts on an annual basis.
If nothing else, at least the historical record will accurately reflect the soulless depravity of the occupying impostors.
One of the documents, passed on Wednesday, condemned Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights — a territory the Tel Aviv regime seized from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and annexed four years later — in a move that was never recognized by the world community.
Endorsed by 88-9 votes with 62 abstentions, the resolution urges Israel to withdraw from the “occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.”
It also affirmed that Israel’s unilateral annexation of the Syrian territory in 1981 “constitutes a stumbling block in the way of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.”
Over the past decades, Israel has built dozens of settlements in the Golan Heights in defiance of international calls for the regime to stop its construction activities on the occupied land.
Damascus has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the area must be completely restored to its control.
In a major pro-Israel policy shift, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in 2019 recognizing Israel’s control over occupied Golan in a blatant violation of international law.
The second resolution, entitled a “Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine,” was approved 145-7, with nine abstentions.
It called on the Tel Aviv regime to withdraw from all territory over the pre-1967 lines in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
The document also demanded a halt to Israel’s settlement construction activities, spoke of the illegality of annexation plans, and warned the occupying entity against making changes in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
It further took Israel to task for a wide range of actions against the Palestinian people, including the demolition of their homes in Area C of the West Bank.
The three remaining UNGA resolutions affirmed the work of UN Committees operating on behalf of the Palestinians.
Before the vote, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan chastised the General Assembly for not referencing the regime’s recent normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.
“Can this forum be any more detached from the real world?” he asked, claiming, “Instead of encouraging the Palestinians to see how these agreements can transform the region and be used as a catalyst for peace with Israel, this institution votes in favor of these biased resolutions.”
A Palestinian representative denounced Erdan’s “flip” and “offensive” comments, including one where he accused the UNGA of being detached from reality.
“On the contrary, what was discussed today in this debate is the reality. What was discussed today is not so-called ‘Palestinian talking points.’ These are the international talking points,” she said. “This is the international consensus that Israel, the occupying power, continues to object, obstruct, to deny, to belittle and to attempt futilely to destroy.”
The regime has gotten “accustomed to violating the law with zero consequences,” she added. “Only accountability can change this miserable situation and give hope for a future of justice and peace…The hypocritical and degrading claim by the Israeli representative that this institution’s approach has failed perhaps should highlight even more the need or concrete actions by states to implement the resolutions adopted by the UNGA to ensure accountability.”
She also stressed that the passage of the anti-Israel texts showed that support for the Palestinian people remained strong.
Before the General Assembly’s vote, a Jordanian representative, whose country is the custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem al-Quds, said Israel must maintain the status quo at Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount.
Zionists capture and desecrate the Muslim sanctuary in Jerusalem.
Israel is attempting to “impose a fait accompli on al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem,” he said, adding that the occupied city’s “holy sites will remain the focus of Jordanian care and guardianship.”Jordan will “combat a new fait accompli or change the historic or legal status of the holy city especially at the al-Aqsa Mosque,” he emphasized.
Separately, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour asked the international community to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and stick to the so-called two-state solution to the Middle East conflict.
He also called for a boycott of Israeli settlement products and urged Western nations to recognize Palestinian statehood.
Palestinian PM calls for boycott of Israeli settlements
In another development on Wednesday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh urged donor countries and international organizations to take serious measures towards boycotting Israeli settlements.
He stressed that the status quo imposed by Israel is deteriorating as the Palestinian land is shrinking, the settlers’ violence is escalating, and access to resources is decreasing daily.
“Economic development is not separate from the political and national project.
Rather, it is a lever towards ending the occupation and establishing the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” he said, noting that the world must move to end this occupation because the current status quo cannot continue.
Iran envoy blasts Israel for violating Palestinians’ rights
Mohammad Reza Sahraei, counselor at Iran’s Mission to the UN, said the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People provides an opportunity to “highlight the dire and painful situation endured by Palestinians over the course of decades as a result of the gross and systematic violation of their rights by the Israeli regime.”
“The question of Palestine is the longest-running crisis of our time with no foreseeable conclusion in sight….
In fact, the non-compliance of the occupying regime with relevant international laws and regulations has further prevented the international community from achieving a just and lasting solution to the crisis,” he said.
“After more than seven decades, the Israeli regime has continued to violate the fundamental human rights and dignities of the Palestinian people as well as other Arabs living under its occupation.
As a result, Palestinians are not only deprived of their lands and properties while being forcibly evicted but also subjected to violence, terror, and intimidation,” the diplomat added.
Despite the fact that Jewish ‘scholars’ themselves have thoroughly discredited the long-held “historical fact” that “Nazis” burned the entire yeshiva Library in Lublin, Poland, in 1939, many Jewish “historians” still insist that it happened — and then they wonder how any “sane” and “honest” person could question any aspect of their sacred so-called “Holocaust.”
As the Jews have told it, the “Nazis” lit a bonfire and burned 55,000 books in the courtyard of the yeshiva — and the cries of the onlooking distraught Jews were so loud that the “Nazis” ordered a brass band — that just happened to be on hand — to drown out them out.
In reality, books with the Lublin Library imprint have shown up for sale at Jewish auction houses over the years — and many libraries have books from that collection in their inventories — according to Jews who have tracked them down.
But for the Jews, it isn’t important what the “Nazis” actually did or did not do — what’s of prime importance is how the “Nazis” made the Jews feel — and Jews are master alchemists at morphing their feelings into reality — and then using their terrible power of the purse to make sure we all accept that reality.
And when we agree to their version of reality, it appears to have a counter-intuitive salubrious effect on their well-being.
Four witnesses testified that they had seen Koch selecting prisoners specifically for their tattoos, or that they had seen or been involved in the manufacturing of the human-skin lampshades.
As had happened due to lack of evidence before, this charge was eventually dropped.
On January 15, 1951, the Court gave its verdict in a 111-page decision. Koch was not present.
She was convicted of “charges of incitement to murder, incitement to attempted murder, and incitement to the crime of committing grievous bodily harm,” and again sentenced to life imprisonment with permanent forfeiture of any civil rights.
During her time in prison, she petitioned for appeals several times but was always dismissed.
She even protested to the International Human Rights Commission, but was rejected.
While in prison, her son Uwe, who had been conceived during her imprisonment at Dachau, discovered that she was his mother.
He came to visit her in prison often over the next several years at Aichach, the prison where she was serving her life sentence.
On September 1, 1967, Ilse Koch committed suicide in prison.
The next day, Uwe arrived for their visit and was shocked to find that she had died.
She was buried in an unmarked, untended grave at the prison’s cemetery.
Wikimedia Commons Human remains and images of tattoos from Buchenwald.
The lampshades have never been recovered, and many historians seem to doubt their existence. However, a writer — also Jewish — named Mark Jacobson has made it his mission to authenticate their existence.
His grim quest began when a man named Skip Hendersen purchased a lampshade touted as a Nazi relic at a post-Hurricane Katrina garage sale.
Hendersen sent it to Jacobson, who even traveled with it to Buchenwald, but has been unable to definitively determine its origin.
DNA testing conducted initially revealed that the lampshade was likely made of human skin, but later testing revealed that the shade is more likely made of cowskin.
It seems, in the end, that this was one secret the Bitch of Buchenwalk took with her to the grave.