The existence of the Zionist entity in the heart of the Arab-Muslim is in itself is strange.
A peace deal devised by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is expected to be released in June, after Ramadan, following repeated United States moves that appear to embolden Israel and hurt the Palestinians.
“If what we read is what is to be expected from this plan, then it seems that the objective of it is not a solution to the conflict, but to give pretext to the Israeli government to annex other portions” of the West Bank, Mansour told a small group of reporters at UN headquarters.
The main outcome of settler colonial projects is a rearrangement of physical spaces and indigenous people – a rearrangement that is neither peaceful nor passive, but constitutes a violent restructuring to make way for a new society with new social and spatial organization.
The Zionist settler colonial project that established the state of Israel in the place of Palestine in 1948 is no different. Zionists expelled 750,000 Palestinians in order to make room for the settler colonialists. 1
One hundred and fifty thousand Palestinians remained on the land, creating a demographic dilemma for the Israeli state. These Palestinians had to be incorporated as citizens but would remain excluded on the basis that they were not Jewish.
In 1967, the colonization of the West Bank and Gaza Strip saw the absorption of more Palestinians, yet rather than annex the territories and grant them citizenship, Israel placed them under military control.
In the early years after 1948, the Israeli state utilized various mechanisms to appropriate land, including legislative measures. Most notable was the Absentees’ Property Law of 1950, followed by the Land Acquisition Law of 1953.
These laws allowed the state to appropriate land and title deeds from refugees on the basis of being absent from the country after November 29, 1947. The legislation was also applied to those who were displaced within the borders of the new state: Rather than recognize these Palestinians as internally displaced persons, Israel referred to them as “present absentees.” Israel’s main justifications – then and now – for seizing the land are the acquisition of it for public use and the preservation of the Jewish character of the state.
This justification was used at the beginning of March 1976, when the Israeli government announced plans to confiscate 20,000 dunums of land under the Developing the Galilee Program for the building of Jewish settlements and military training camps.
The Palestinian mass strike and protests on March 30 mainly took place in six villages in the Galilee that had been placed under curfew – Sakhnin, Arraba, Deir Hanna, Tur’an, Tamra, and Kabul – though they also occurred in the Naqab (Negev) and Wadi Ara. 2 Israeli police met the demonstrations with serious violence, shooting to death the six protestors and injuring hundreds more.
Land Day has become a date in which Palestinians throughout Mandate Palestine as well as in the diaspora organize land-based activities and reiterate their existential relationship with the land. The date also emphasizes the concept of sumud (steadfastness) as an important part of resistance to Israeli settler colonization.
Since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, various “legal” mechanisms and military orders have similarly facilitated the colonization of Palestinian land. These include the expropriation of land in the name of security, in which Israel effectively subverts the Geneva Convention, which allows occupying states to temporarily confiscate land for security reasons.
In this way Israel has seized land for at least 42 settlements, including the bypass roads that connect them to settlements across the Green Line. An equally devious mechanism is the use of an Ottoman and British Mandate law that allows the state to confiscate land for a “public purpose,” despite the fact that the areas seized have habitually been used by Palestinians for centuries for grazing purposes.
The implementation of the Oslo Accords in the early 1990s, which divided the West Bank into Areas A, B and C, furthered the expropriation of Palestinian land. Area C, which makes up 61% of the West Bank, is under full Israeli military control, including control over security and civil affairs.
Israeli policy in Area C is particularly aggressive, serving the needs of 325,000 Israeli settlers while simultaneously disrupting and restricting Palestinian communities.
In the Jordan Valley, which falls under Area C, communities are particularly vulnerable to displacement and theft of ancestral lands. The valley is a strategically important area for Israel, predominantly because it acts as both a buffer zone to Jordan and the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights, but also because of its agricultural richness thanks to its abundant water supply and fertile land.
The construction of the Separation Wall in 2002 also enabled Israel to acquire more West Bank land. Built to separate the West Bank from Israel proper under the guise of Israeli “security,” the wall has laid the foundation for the annexation of many settlements.
By placing the route inside the West Bank and not along the Green Line, Israel has de facto appropriated territory. The wall has separated Palestinians and cut off many agricultural communities from their land, and breaks the geographic contiguity of the West Bank.
Assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte, September, 1948: Count Bernadotte, a UN Peace mediator who had come to the Middle East 1948 to modify the Palestine partition plan in an effort to resolve Arab-Jewish disputes, was also assassinated by the group. The authors of “Israel” are not interested in peace and is not why “Israel” was created.
“Because those who are interested in peace, they will be more balanced, more reasonable. They don’t try to reinvent the wheel, they build on what exists and modify it … But to start from scratch, you throw away everything we have worked on for 25 years.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had vowed in the waning days of a re-election campaign he won on April 9 to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank — a move that likely rallied his right wing base in a tight race.
An Israeli land grab of Jewish settlements there would doubtless trigger condemnation from the Palestinians, who want to create their own state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, all territory Israel captured in 1967.
Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, and peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, have spent the past two years developing a proposal in the hopes of kick-starting dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.
But the Palestinians have refused to talk to US negotiators since Trump decided to shift the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and slash funding for Palestinian refugees.
Mansour said there was “no magic bullet” for Palestinian officials to use on the Trump administration.
“Some in the administration, they think: ‘Yes, what will help peace is break the legs of the Palestinians, break one arm and five teeth, and when they are on the ground they will come crawling to you for anything you offer them’,” Mansour said.
“Those who think that way don’t know the Palestinians.”
Mansour described strong support for the creation of a Palestinian state among Europeans, Russians and at the United Nations, that would see a one-sided Trump administration peace plan rejected internationally.
Any Israeli land grabs in the West Bank would yield a toxic race-based state akin to apartheid South Africa, in which Palestinians would be second-class citizens within Israel’s borders, said Mansour.
If Israel decided “to force a one-state reality, the Palestinian people will accelerate their reproduction machines and increase the number of Palestinians to face apartheid, because there is no name for it but apartheid,” Mansour said.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the head of the world body, secretary-general Antonio Guterres, had not seen a draft of the US peace plan, but said any deal should grant Palestinians their own country.
“The secretary general has met Mr Kushner and Mr Greenblatt on occasion, but as far as I know, no plan has been shared with the secretary general and it is a plan that is coming out of the United States, not out of the United Nations,” Dujarric said.
Kushner, who was a real estate developer before joining his father-in-law in the White House, has said the proposal is not an effort to impose US will on the region. He has not said whether it calls for a two-state solution, a goal of previous peace efforts.