But as usual when it comes to our hopelessly Israel-sympathetic media, there was barely a whisper about it in the “mainstream” papers.
It states that in the course of the year following the start of the Great March of Return protests in March 2018, Israeli army thugs killed 277 Palestinians, including 52 children.
Most of these were murdered in cold blood during the unarmed, massive popular protests that took place along the boundary line between Gaza and Israel. Almost without fail, the protesters have returned every week, time and again since then, to protest against Israel and its crimes.
More than that, the protests are for the Return – the non-negotiable predicate of the Palestinian liberation struggle. And they are more than merely symbolic. They are marching for a real return to their homelands.
The population of the Gaza Strip is overwhelmingly – 73 per cent – made up of refugees. That is, if you ask the young, unarmed refugee protestors risking their lives to return to their homes where they are from, they will not reply “from Gaza.”
They will tell you that they are from Jaffa, they are from al-Majdal, or they are from some other Palestinian population centre in what is now called Israel. They will tell you that, because it is their truth.
They are the refugees, and they do not and will not forget, generation after generation. And now, for the past year, they are marching as the start of their long return to Palestine.
They tell the objective historical truth: their parents and grandparents were expelled at the barrel of the gun and under the threat of the bomb, victims of what one future Israeli prime minister once called “cruel Zionism.”
The Nakba was the defining event in Palestinian history – although it has never really ended since 1948. The most infamous event of all, it involved the expulsion of around 800,000 Palestinians, the majority, from their homeland by force.
This was not some accident, or unintended consequence of war, as Zionist propaganda long held. It was a deliberate consequence of decades of Zionist agitation for the “transfer” of the indigenous population out of the country for the crime of not being Jewish.
From Theodor Herzl’s plan to “spirit the penniless population” over the border, until the current day Israeli government’s threats to annex the West Bank, Zionism has always entailed forced expulsions, war crimes, terrorism, racism and repression of the native Palestinian population.
And so we read in this new WHO report that there were nearly 7,000 gunshot wounds among Gaza’s population of two million during a single year.
As my colleague Maureen Murphy at The Electronic Intifada reported: “Many of those injured have extensive and in some cases irreversible damage to their bones, neurovascular structures and soft tissue.
Among them, hundreds face amputations if they cannot access specialized tertiary treatment for their catastrophic wounds.
Three health workers have been killed and more than 700 others injured.
Thousands of elective surgeries were postponed as a health system already in crisis took in wave after wave of emergency casualties.”
Such systemic violence and such a cruel policy of serious injury to unarmed protestors can only be deliberate. Again, it is a longstanding policy.
Recall the infamous command of Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin for his soldiers to “break the bones” of Palestinian children protesting against the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the first intifada – the popular uprising of the Palestinian people for freedom.
As well as being inherently racist, Zionism is inherently violent.
A Jewish settler-colony in a historic territory, Palestine, which is overwhelming non-Jewish can only ever be sustained by massive systemic, sustained violence.
That is the brutal reality behind the so-called “Jewish state.” A homogenous project like Zionism in a heterogeneous, multi-religious, multi-ethnic country like Palestine is as doomed to failure in the long term as the European Crusader kingdoms were.
Al-Judaily was the fifth paramedic to be killed by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return protests; more than 500 others have been wounded
By Motasem A Dalloul
It was a difficult moment for the wife of Mohammad Al-Judaily when she heard that he had succumbed to his wounds. The paramedic was 37 years old when he was shot in the face by an Israeli sniper while providing first aid to participants in Gaza’s Great March of Return protests on 3 May.
“At first,” explained Muna, 31, “when we heard that he was shot at work, I thought he would come home at the same day because I was told he was hit by a rubber bullet. I was shocked when he died; I had a lot of hope that he would recover and come home.”
The mother of four spent a lot of time at her late husband’s bedside, dreaming that he would return and be able to play with their children. It was not to be.
Al-Judaily worked with the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC). On that fateful day at the beginning of May, he joined the emergency medical team which headed to Abu Safiyeh protest site east of the northern Gaza city of Jabalia.
“I asked him to stay at home and have a rest that Friday,” said Muna. “That was the first time I had asked that since the protests began last year, but he insisted on going to help the protesters. He stressed that everyone must be loyal to his work and colleagues.”
When she was told that he had been shot by a rubber bullet, she rushed to the hospital. “The rubber is simply a cover for a steel bullet,” she pointed out, “so I found him seriously wounded in the face. Even so, I did not expect him to die.”
The PRC’s Dr Bashar Murad noted that Al-Judaily was wearing a clearly-identifiable paramedic’s uniform when he was shot. “He was rushed to Al-Shifa Hospital where doctors found fractures in his face, but their assessment was that his wounds were not life-threatening.” However, he started to haemorrhage for three days, so the medical team put him into intensive care and then transferred him to Al-Quds Hospital, which is a private healthcare facility run by the organisation and where, according to his widow, Al-Judaily started to feel better. “There was 24-hour care provided by the PRC doctors and Mohammad’s colleagues.”
On 3 June, his wife and children persuaded Al-Judaily to leave the hospital in order to spend the holiday of Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of holy month of Ramadhan, with them at home. “That was the worst decision he ever made,” she sobbed.
Doctors at Al-Quds Hospital and the Ministry of Health in Gaza had decided that he needed treatment unavailable in the enclave’s hospitals. “We applied for a transfer for him and the Ministry of Health in Ramallah agreed to pay for his treatment,” said Dr Murad. “However, the Israeli occupation authorities did not issue a travel permit. Two days before Eid, his wife insisted that he should spend the holiday at home. At first, the doctors refused, but after many requests by his wife, they agreed to discharge him at his own risk.”
Mohammad’s eldest son, Adel, said that he and his siblings were happy that their father was with them for Eid. “At dawn the following day, though, he fell unconscious and had convulsions,” explained the 11-year-old boy. “My mother called the ambulance and the paramedics arrived within minutes, but his heart had stopped beating.”
Dr Murad said that the paramedics did CPR for half an hour before his heartbeat re-started, and then took him to the hospital. Later on the same day he was transferred to Al-Ahly Al-Araby Hospital in the West Bank city of Hebron, but it was too late.
The lack of oxygen to the brain during that crucial first thirty minutes of CPR was too much to bear, and his condition deteriorated. Nevertheless, Mohammad Al-Judaily was kept alive in the ICU at Al-Ahly Al-Araby until he passed away earlier this week. His body was taken back to Gaza, where tens of thousands attended his funeral.
Dr Murad has accused Israel of committing yet another war crime because it was very clear that Al-Judaily was a paramedic and he was very far from the soldier who shot him. The PRC, he said, has filed a complaint at the office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner.
However, nobody expects to see justice served for Muna and her four children, the youngest of whom is just seven months old. Al-Judaily was the fifth paramedic to be killed by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return protests; more than 500 others have been wounded. All were wearing clothing and insignia which identified them clearly as medical personnel, but Israel continues to be allowed to act with impunity, despite its deadly and disproportionate response to the legitimate protests.
Amina Salah, 30, is a Palestinian woman from the occupied West Bank living in California. She was born and raised in the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem city, where she graduated from Bethlehem University with a degree in Social Work. In addition to practicing as a social worker in Palestine, Amina taught traditional ‘dabke’ dancing to local youth, and played for the Palestinian national volleyball team. She married her husband Laith and moved to the United States in September 2018.
I am Amina Salah, a Palestinian woman. I grew up with three sisters, two brothers, and too many relatives and friends to count — too many loved ones who I try not to count, so that I don’t fall apart when I realize how many I have lost.
I always dreamt of an outrageous, courageous, and ambitious life, with a future of achievements and success waiting for me. But when I grew up, I quickly realized that as a Palestinian, holding on to my dreams wouldn’t be so simple.
First, I let go of my dream to study abroad because of visa complications. Then I let go of my dream of studying journalism in Ramallah because of the checkpoints and difficult financial situation. With every passing year, I let go of a dream somewhere, either because of the political or economic situation, until one day, I just forgot what I had been dreaming.
Since then, I learned to dream of a normal, boring life. A life where I do not wake up every day to terrifying news. A life where I do not pick up the phone and: “Amina, Nabil was shot, Mo’taz is dead, Bashar, Muhannad, Mohammad, Issa, Ahed, Khaled, your brother Ahmad, are imprisoned.”
I started to dream of a life where invasions, bombarding, shooting, confiscating lands, destroying houses, checkpoints, walls, curfews, demonstrations, and funerals do not exist. I put all my focus on starting a new life somewhere else. And now here I am, writing this in sunny California. I left that life in Palestine, but unfortunately it would not ever leave me.
Though as Palestinians we all go through these hardships on a daily basis, none of us accepts the idea that one day, it could be one of your family members who will be harmed. We live every day with the hope that when the day ends, we will see all of our family members sitting around the table for dinner. I never imagined that one day I will be facing such a fate with my younger brother.
The phone rang, and this time, Mahmoud, my 14-year-old brother was the one who was shot and imprisoned. I could feel my heart beating out of my chest, a pressure in my head as if it as going to explode, my breathing was so fast and yet I could not feel any air going into my lungs. I was being choked by the news.
On the 21st of May at 9:30 pm, Mahmoud went out to hang around with his friends in our neighborhood. These late night hang outs are normal for children during Ramadan, after breaking their fasts. Three hundred meters away from our house in the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem city, children gathered to play in a small field behind the houses. Beyond the field are a few hundred meters of empty agricultural land, and at the end of that land stands the Apartheid Wall.
There is a tower at the wall where Israeli soldiers stand, as part of their “duty to secure their nation from us,” Palestinians. Sometimes they get bored and they need some action. And that night, one of them fired one shot.
It echoed, everyone in the neighborhood hurried towards the sounds of screaming children. They started running back to our house to tell my family that Mahmoud was shot. With those three words, my entire family and all our neighbors rushed towards Mahmoud.
They shouted those three words and all of the family and neighbors around were running towards him. I swear I could hear the sound of their feet hitting the ground, the beating of everyone’s heart, especially my mother’s. I could see her wide-opened eyes and I could hear her prayers to Allah that she would reach her son and find him alive. Those three hundred meters seemed like three thousand miles.
When they finally reached him, the Israeli soldiers were surrounding him and shouting at his face, “why won’t you just die?!” Meanwhile, the Palestinian ambulance arrived, but the soldiers prevented them providing any medical help. Mahmoud was lying on the ground, shocked, confused and bleeding. Then the soldiers dragged him on the ground to the other side of the wall, ignoring all the screams of everyone and the pleas of the Palestinian medical team. He was left on the street to bleed for half an hour more, until the Israeli ambulance came and took him, with no further information for us.
My family hurried to call the Red Cross, to see if they could get any information about his condition. Waiting in silence and grief was the only choice for them. The next day, they received the news that he was in Israel’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, and that his situation is critical. My family tried all the possible ways to enter Jerusalem, but they were forbidden from visiting him.
On the 23th of May, our lawyer called and told my family that Mahmoud’s leg had been amputated. It was either his death or the loss of his leg. It was the most horrible and devastating news for all of us. We were not able to think anymore. For me, a million thoughts crossed my mind, starting with how will he continue his life with one leg? And will he ever accept this loss? My mind stopped at the horrific thought of, what will his reaction be when he wakes up alone, in a cold room, somewhere he does not feel safe, to find out that he has lost his leg?
Only the lawyer was there when he woke up. Mahmoud opened his eyes, confused and not fully aware of what was happening around him. In pain, but not recognizing the source, he moved his left hand, then the right one, in an attempt to check. He tried to move his right leg, and when his hand reached out his left leg, he finds that it does not exist anymore. Totally in shock, he screams, cries and calls for his mother over and over again. He screams as if he is in a nightmare, and repeats to himself that he has to wake up from this nightmare.
Ever since he woke up in the hospital, they tell us he has been having panic attacks. He is calm for several hours, and the next hours are full of screaming and crying for his leg, his mother, his father, his brother, his sisters and his home. He cries for his life back, and when he is desperate, he cries for just a phone call. But even these are not allowed. No one is allowed to visit or to call and speak to Mahmoud except the doctors and his lawyer. At the door stand two soldiers to guard him until he finishes the treatment and is taken to prison.
Two illegal trials at the Israeli military court were already held while he is in the hospital, and now he is waiting for the third one in order for Israel to press charges against him. I wonder what charges are going to be pressed against a child after he was shot while playing, left to bleed for more than half an hour and then lost his leg. To continue the brutality, he went through an interrogation while lying in pain in the hospital. There are other interrogations to come, and they will not even take into consideration his health condition, because clearly his psychological one is not that important to them.
In the meantime, he is physically and psychologically devastated. He has been through two surgeries and still in pain. He keeps asking for us, his family.
Mahmoud is a friendly child and a loved one among his family and friends. He has an independent character and feels a sense of responsibility towards his parents. He spends his summer vacations working in a car repair shop with a family friend. He never thought of spending the money on toys or trips. Instead, he offered it to his parents as a form of support.
He used to go with me to my volleyball trainings. He loved to train with us, sometimes playing around and teasing others, with the knowledge that I was always standing there to protect him, and no one could harm him.
We have a special and close relationship. In fact, we were planning that next summer he would visit me in California. I wanted him to see the other side of the world. A different life than the one we are used to. A one that may be hard but not that miserable. A one that may offer him opportunities and freedom. I promised him that he will be here with me and I will protect him and be there for him whenever he needs me. But time betrayed us, and fate betrayed him.
I am writing my brother’s story to show the world the brutality of the Israeli occupation. But my decision to shed light on Mahmoud’s story in the first place, is so that we can ask for support. This is an appeal for concrete action from human rights organizations, children’s rights organisations, human rights lawyers, politicians, and journalists. Anybody who can possibly help and use their voice to advocate for his freedom. To help him stand again and save his innocence as a child. If we can save Mahmoud we can prove that humanity is not just a word.
Please, make as much noise as possible, to get the help, care and support this child needs and deserves. Share and spread his story widely, on Facebook, on your timeline, in groups, sites, Twitter, wherever on social media, reach out to the media, to whoever you can, to make sure that the world, human right organizations, human right lawyers, politicians, everybody who can possibly help this child, know who Mahmoud is, what happened to him, and still is going on. Use the hashtag #free_Mahmoud_salah , for example in combination with #urgent and #StandUp4HumanRights.
Look at Mahmoud’s face in these pictures, and help to make sure that Mahmoud is soon back again with his family, in his home, where he belongs.
Losing arms or legs does not mean losing hope. This is the story of the two siblings who lost their limbs in attacks by Israeli snipers but insist to carry on their resistance against Israeli occupation.
It was a long week to wait until Friday 30 March 2018 for 27-year-old Sohaib Qudeh, the hardworking farmer from Abbasan neighbourhood in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, in order to take part in the protests of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege. It was Palestine’s Land Day, which Sohaib has been taking part in since he was 15, but this time was “very different”.
Along with thousands of protesters, Sohaib went to the fence which lies along the eastern side of the Gaza Strip. They raised placards and chanted slogans for the Palestinian right of return and breaking the 12-year-old Israeli siege imposed on the coastal enclave. Thirty-seven-year-old Naziha, Sohaib’s sister, was standing with him side-by-side.
“The demonstrators got closer to the fence and the Israeli Jewish snipers started shooting at them. My sister and I fled westward and hid behind an old, dry tree,” Sohaib told MEMO. “We remained frozen behind the tree for up to 15 minutes and, when the firing seemed to have stopped, we moved about three metres. Suddenly I fell on the ground after feeling something strong hit my leg,” he added.
Never stood again
At first glance, Sohaib thought it was a rubber bullet, but when he tried to stand up and resume his walk, his leg could not help him and he saw it covered in blood.
“At first, I did not feel the wounds because they were warm,” he said. “I became sure that I was wounded when I failed to stand up alone and the other demonstrators gathered around me. At this time, I laid down on the ground and waited for the paramedics to help.”
Naziha was shocked when she saw her brother bleeding, but had enough courage to run towards the paramedics and call for them to evacuate him to the hospital.
“When my sister saw my wounds bleeding, she ran towards the paramedics and shouted for help,” he said. “They came directly and took me to the hospital, where the doctors found that the Israeli sniper shot an explosive bullet at my leg which damaged it to the degree it was necessary to amputate.”
Sohaib knew he would never be able to stand again. Speaking to MEMO, he said: “Before entering the operation room, I fell unconscious and two days later, I woke up to find that I have only one leg.”
Back to the demonstrations
A couple of days later, Sohaib was discharged from hospital and went home. He started to depend on Naziha to carry out his daily life. He watched the demonstrations on TV, but when he found that he was able to join the demonstrations on the fourth Friday using his crutches, he did.
“I asked Naziha to help me join the demonstrations,” he said. “At first she refused, but when I insisted she accepted and accompanied me to the site of the demonstrations. We continued this for a couple of months until my wound had completely healed and I had an artificial limb.”
“I returned back to my farm and resumed planting vegetables, irrigating them and collecting them along with Naziha, who became part of my life,” he said. “We, the Palestinians, do not surrender to fate. Being disabled makes it difficult for you to practice even the simplest jobs, so think about how hard it is to farm!”
Naziha was happy helping her brother in his work, daily life and joining the Friday demonstrations; he didn’t expect that she would soon be in her brother’s shoes.
“On Monday 14 May 2018, when Naziha had just ended a phone call with her mother telling her that she and Sohaib were heading home, she screamed,” Sohaib said. “I looked around and found her covered in blood and I screamed for help.”
Naziha was rushed to hospital and had her leg amputated due to severe damage caused by an explosive bullet fired by an Israeli sniper near the place where her brother was shot.
“I called my mother and told her that I was hungry because I left the house at lunch time and stayed with Sohaib at the protest site for about five hours,” Naziha said. “I had just ended the phone call and turned my back to the side of the fence, then, I felt that something hit my leg and immediately fell on the ground.”
Back to the farm
Naziha did not surrender and, when she recovered, she insisted on continuing her life on the farm side-by-side with Sohaib. However, it became very difficult for them to continue working as farmers, but the issue for them is life.
Both Naziha and Sohaib still need better artificial legs for easier movement, but having makeshift ones did not give them an excuse to stay at home.
They insist on going to work together, joining the demonstrations together and doing everything together. “We feel we got closer to each other after losing our limbs,” Sohaib said: “We have the same life, the same job and the same fate.”
Regarding their work, both said that it is a very hard job, but they do not have any other kind of job which would be appropriate for their conditions. “This job makes you feel more connected to the land,” Naziha, said.
As of 15 May 2019, the Ministry of Health in Gaza said that Israeli forces have killed 306 demonstrators during the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege and wounded 17,335, including 136 lost their limbs.
Naziha and Sohaib send a message to the world saying: “We have done our duty and sacrificed our limb. Now, it is your turn, you have to work hard to stop the Israeli siege and fulfill our dream of returning back to our homes.”
There’s a worldwide debate over the “legality” of Death Penalty, Execution or Capital Punishment as it is referred to in the different legal systems. There are people and organizations who support capital punishment and even with increasing its rates and the legislation that widens its range alleging that it deters and reduce capital crimes within the society. However, others, people and organizations are against it and fighting and campaigning to stop it as an inhuman way of punishing individuals for committing crimes and offenses that the whole society is responsible for.
You cant justify killing for killing, nor eye-for-eye policy, otherwise you would have a whole dead or blind society. China, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the US are the largest killers in the world in which a whole society is standing up to kill an individual for committing a crime that he is partially responsible for, while actually the whole society is the murderer !!!
No one is born criminal or killer, but the social conditions are the main factor of criminality, and the social conditions are provided and shaped by the society and government !! However, we are not to discuss the official and judicial death penalty, but extrajudicial assassination, the Death Squads !! “israel” is out of this debate, simply because it is so “democratic” and never committed such a punishment but once in 1962 against Eichmann, the Nazi. The human blood and life for “israel” is so precious, specially the jewish one as it never executed anyone from the “chosen people”, the beloved sons of God !!!
Can you believe this? I don’t, simply because I have witnessed the mass-killing Israelexecuting the whole people of Palestine. Inside “israel” the conditions are perfect for the jew “citizen” but in the occupied Territories, it is hell for the occupied natives !!! “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.” David Ben-Gurion (the father of “israel”), May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.
The zionist systematic assassination policy is very well known. “israel” has been using Death Squads even before it was established and once it was terrorist groups of Lehi, Irgun, and Stern, even a long time before they (the zionist terrorists) assassinated the Swedish noble and diplomat Bernadette . It’s a Zionist systematic policy that was established on the Rabbinic genocidal mentality, and the assassins mostly become the top leaders (war criminals) of “israel” like Begin, Shamir, Sharon,Barak, Livni, Bennett, Shaked and the list is endless.
they are fed hatred by their Talmud teachings:
‘NOW GO AND SMITE AMALEK, AND UTTERLY DESTROY ALL THAT THEY HAVE, AND SPARE THEM NOT; BUT SLAY BOTH MAN AND WOMAN, INFANT AND SUCKLING, OX AND SHEEP, CAMEL AND ASS.’ (SAMUEL, 15:3)
BARAK’S ROLE IN THE ASSASSINATION OF ABU JIHAD MAKES IT CLEAR THAT ALL WINGS OF THE ISRAELI ZIONIST ESTABLISHMENT, THE SO-CALLED DOVES AS WELL AS THE OPEN SUPPORTERS OF ISRAELI EXPANSIONISM, ARE TIED TO THE POLICIES OF STATE MURDER AND MASS TERROR. IT SUBSTANTIATES THE FACT THAT THE PRESENT RECOURSE TO POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS IS PART OF A STRATEGY TO DESTROY THE PALESTINIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT THAT HAS THE SUPPORT OF THE LABOR PARTY LEADERSHIP AS WELL AS LIKHUD.
A terrorist state (any terrorist state like “israel”) can allege that it doesn’t apply Death Penalty within its borders, and even that its “legal” system doesn’t have such a penalty, but on the ground they practice it openly and widely to annihilate the indigenous occupied people. Since it was established, “isreal” has never committed Death penalty but once, however they (the Zionists) are applying a systematic and deliberate murder of a whole people politically by eliminating its political and social elite. When its murderers reach to the top of the Government like Shamir and the current offense minister Barak (who slain three Palestinian leaders in Beirut with his bare hands), then the whole government is murderous!!It [the assassination policy] began with the (Jewish National Fund) JNF Arab village inventory that was a blueprint completed by the late 1930s that included the topographic location of each village with detailed information including husbandry, cultivated land, number of trees, quality of fruit, average amount of land per family, number of cars, shop owners, Palestinian clans and their political affiliation, descriptions of village mosques and names of their imams, civil servants and more. The final inventory update was finished in 1947 with lists of “wanted” persons in each village targeted in 1948 for search-and-arrest operations with those seized summarily shot on the spot in cold blood.The idea was simple – kill the leaders and anyone thought to be a threat the British hadn’t already eliminated quelling the 1936-39 uprising. It created a power vacuum neutralizing any effective opposition to Zionists’ plans.
Hundreds of our leader, intellectuals, professors, students, prisoners, women, writers, thinkers, politicians, novelists, researchers, mayors, teachers, peace activists… have been deliberately assassinated by the terrorist state of “israel”. Over the past 100 years, the zionists have been targeting our elite to eliminate any possibility to have a healthy society and leadership, they are annihilating our people.
Thousands of Palestinian prisoners were assassinated inside the prison after being caught and investigated like [Akkawi], others were released and shoot dead in the street a few days after being released. Hundreds of our leaders were assassinated in their offices, cars, homes or the street by the “israeli” assassination units that are ruling the Zionist state. Hundreds of writers, young peace activists, women were deliberately assassinated in their homes or in the street !!!
For the israeli terrorists, there are many different reasons to assassinate. Sometimes they murder a peace activist for his/her ability to convinces the Israelis and international peace activists to act, for his ability to cluster more peace activists [Abu-Rahmeh]. Sometimes a mayor is killed for being a leading national figure that unites Muslims and Christianstogether [Khalaf] the christian mayor of Ramallah. Sometimes when his impartial plan that is about to reach to a peaceful settlement [Bernadotte]. Sometimes students are killed because they are so popular in defending their cause specially those studying in the European Universities [al-Khederi]. Sometimes a leader is assassinated because he so influential in the International politics [Abu-Iyad]. Sometimes, a women is slain simply because her ability to organize and lead [Muna Dahi]. Sometimes a juvenile student is targeted for his a ability to move his fellow students to demonstrate [hundreds]. Sometimes a prisoner is assassinated for his ability to educated other prisoners [Ibrahim alraai]. Sometimes a writer is killed because he is internationally quoted for his authentic writings [Kanafani]. Sometime they assassinate Arab scientist to abort their efforts [Almashad] for developing the Arab society. Sometimes they even slaughter European scientist who are about to reveal the zionist sabotage plots [Bonomo & Ferez]. Sometimes, simply because he doesn’t look good in the zionst eyes…. Shall we go on and name thousands of simple unknown martyrs who were targeted deliberately and shoot from “zero distance מדווח אפס”? if to use the zionist terminology after committing a successful assassination?This policy has been followed all the time even by the zionist terrorists before establishing “israel”, and it was so clear when it was approved by the Knesset in 2000 during the second Intifada where hundreds were deliberately assassinated by the special “israeli” undercover units in a few months…. And still this systematic killing is going on !!!
In an article titled, “The israeli Terrorist State and its Mossad Assassins,” the late professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor, and chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights from 1970 until 1990, famously wrote: “There is nothing new in the fact that Israel is a terrorist state, which, almost from its inception, has used its intelligence service (the Mossad) to assassinate people on foreign soil with any violence or terror it considers necessary for its ends.”
So, “israel” never assassinated but Eichmann? I can believe this only if I am crazy or fool, or drunk maybe !!!
It is not necessary to have a “legal” system to legalize Death Penalty, but you can simply do it widely and systematically while alleging of being a so “Human” occupation and the “only democratic oasis” in the Middle East !!!
Huriye, 4-year-old, daughter of Suhad and Sameer Abu FayedBy Rebecca Stead / Wafa Ali
In 2014, Suhad Abu Fayed gave birth to her daughter Huriye, a bright-eyed child with a mop of curly hair. When Suhad took Huriye to see her father, Sameer, for the first time, the Israeli guards at the prison where he is detained looked puzzled. “Who is this girl?” they asked. “How can this be your daughter when your husband is here, inside?”
“I replied that I had thought I was infertile,” Suhad recalls. “I told them I had samples from my husband from before he was imprisoned, and when I was treated I used them to get pregnant.”
In fact, Suhad gave birth to Huriye through sperm smuggled from her husband while he was in prison. Her story, though rare, is not unheard of, and is a testament to the lengths to which Palestinian families are forced to go in pursuit of a normal life under Israel’s now 52-year-old occupation.
“My husband was affiliated with Shuhadaa Al-Aqsa Brigades when the Second Intifada started,” Suhad tells MEMO, referring to the popular uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) from 2000 to 2005. “He was hunted by the [Israeli] occupation for his activities and was captured in 2002. He was sentenced to 18 years.”
“When Sameer went to prison I already had three children: four-year-old Nabeel, three-year-old Nibal and five-month-old Manar.”
“I was banned from visiting him and rarely got a permit to go, perhaps once a year maximum,” she says, adding that it was Sameer who first came up with the idea of conceiving a child through smuggled sperm.
“The first Palestinian child born this way was Muhanned, the son of prisoner Abelkareem Al-Rimawi who was sentenced to 25 years in the Israeli occupation jails,” Suhad recalls. “My husband saw the news about their experience and called to tell me about it. He said he wished to have a child the same way.”
Asked how she felt about the idea, Suhad remembers being enthusiastic. “I had never met any mothers who had done it. Yet when he asked me if I liked the idea, I was thrilled, I welcomed it; I love having kids, its part of who I am. And thank god, we were blessed that we had Huriye.”
Huriye – whose name means “freedom” in Arabic – is now four years old. Although Suhad had to undergo months of IVF treatment and follow strict procedures, under which the sperm samples can only be smuggled to hospital by a family member, she believes the difficulties were worthwhile.
“Subhanallah [glory be to God] once I had Huriye inside me, she changed me. She gave me self-esteem. I had neglected myself for so long,” Suhad goes on, “my kids were my priority. I forgot about self-care for 12 years, I was just counting days. But that changed once Huriye lightened my life.”
“My kids love her more than anything else,” she says fondly. “Of course, she changed the shape of our life; my youngest daughter, who is now 17, was always the spoiled one. She had always been the centre of attention, but Huriye stole that from her. Everyone in the family wants to see Huriye and spend time with her; she is given all the love possible.”
Giving birth to Huriye so long after her other children also taught Suhad about herself: “She showed me my patience, and showed me how this patience can pay off. Of course, she can be naughty some days, like any child her age, but my patience paid off with the kindness she gives me.”
“I learned from Huriye that I am a resilient and strong person. She’s the one that gave me courage after I challenged the whole world to give birth to her.”
Huriye, 4-year-old, daughter of Suhad and Sameer Abu Fayed
Asked why she thinks others have followed her lead, Suhad explains that many see the procedure as a way to circumvent the paralysing restrictions imposed by Israel’s occupation.
“It’s overbearing to live under occupation,” she says. “I have been targeted by the occupation in so many ways; they refuse to give me a permit to visit my husband, the only time in my life they gave me a long term permit was to blackmail me: they held me in custody for 24 hours, then they revoked my permit and even my Palestinian ID card.”
“They don’t like us to feel confident and do things that challenge them,” she continues, “but no matter how much we are happy to have succeeded in having Huriye, against all the odds, everything reminds us of the bitterness and heartache that comes with the prisoners’ experience.”
This is for Palestine, it’s for the prisoner who lost his freedom for the sake of Palestine. It’s like bringing life to a dead soul.
Yet with her husband having only one year left to serve, Suhad is now beginning to think about the future.
“My husband’s parents both died while he was in jail,” she laments. “They lived their lives wishing to be able to celebrate his freedom; they kept talking about how they planned to celebrate. I think even on the day he is released, there will still be some feelings of bitterness and heartbreak.”
Huriye, 4-year-old, daughter of Suhad and Sameer Abu Fayed
Yet Suhad is also hopeful. “Huriye remembers that his sentence will end next year,” she tells MEMO. “I think she is smarter than a normal child her age; she was only two years old when she started recognising her father’s picture around the house, and she knows his voice over the phone.”
“I also really wish to have a new son, a brother for my son,” she says wistfully. “I pray and ask God to be able to get pregnant again. When my husband’s sentence is finished, I will be 40 years and eight days old. But I love having kids! This is common among most Palestinian women, so I hope I too can have another child.”
Living in the past: A few days ago I had the chance to participate in a one-night camp of Astrology organized by The Palestinian Astronomical Society in the semi-desert hills of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, lived and crucified. Camping under the serene sky of full glistening stars was amazing and beyond description.
Two hours past midnight, our guide took us in an hour walk tour down and up the barren hills. When we finally reached a table-hill we sat in a big circle and the guide sat inside the circle, a typical Jesus preaching session. He ordered us to take off the lights, not even a cigarette light and to keep utterly silent for a few seconds gazing at the flickering stars; at this moment of utter silence and complete darkness, you lose the sense of yourself but an ethereal soul flying in the huge universe.
The guide stood up in the middle of the circle asking us to stay motionless sitting, then pointed at the North Star:
“Can you see that star?” he asked.
“Yes, it is the biggest.” Some answered when I preferred to keep silent gazing.
“Can you see it NOW and HERE”? he asked again.
“Yes, it is the most clear and near.”
“No, you don’t see it now.” He concluded. “You see it when it was 450 years ago. Now it is somewhere else, and probably in a different case.” “YOU LIVE IN THE PAST. We all live in the past.” He went on explaining.
It is amazing; the stars shine their lights to travel through space for minutes, hours, days, years or even centuries for us to see them, the extensive space is beyond capturing. So, if we want to explore the North Star, we need to sent a spaceship that travels at a light speed for 450 years to get there, then another 450 years to get back in order to know what is going on there …. It means 9 centuries of waiting! And who’s got the time for that?
The camp site is in a barren and deserted hills where you don’t see any modern light of a native village, a jewish settlement or even a desolate Bedouin gathering, you can only see the lights of the camp and the campers’ torches, an army of lights or an utter darkness when decided.,,,, then the shimmering and glistening lights of the vast universe.
OUR EARTH is some 4.5 billion years, and probably 2-3 billion years after that, the Afro-Asian rift took place to shape the geographical Earth, the modern geological Palestine with its natural boundaries that we see today.
I dazed into the extensive sky staring at the endless depth of the universe, millions upon millions of stars and planets, the Milky Way that you need centuries to cross,,,, Fascinating !
Back to reality, feeling alone in the semi-desert hills of Bethlehem though surrounded by tens of campers, I remembered the creeping zionist settlers who are robbing the very land I am standing on !! These lunatic people are living within their Talmudic past rampaging on my ancestral home !!
Lunatic zionists in their Talmudic past: How can a human, a descent or criminal one, justify heinous crimes of ethnic cleansing and massacres based on ancient heresies? We all know, and the jews themselves know, that the jewish history in Palestine is subsequent to the human history here and not original or native. The Natives of this land have dwelled here for thousands upon thousands of years, and built all the ancient cities of Jericho and Jerusalem before the ancient (Let along the modern European Ashkinazi jews) jews to come slaves from Egypt and claim a land that was never theirs and occupy cities that they never built?
The Modern European Zionist colonizers in Palestine, as well as their ancient peers of Egyptian slaves, don’t live the human reality, they live a TALMUDIC LIE that their “god” that suddenly popped his eyes as a burning bush in Sinai, gave them Canaan/Palestine, which took its geo-human shape before any jew was born for Abraham in Iraq. The Zionist jews are exhausted in their Talmudic past and don’t live the modern reality.
History of Canaan/Palestine:
It is beyond imagination to justify crimes against humanity of ethnic cleansing, Talmudic racism, razing villages, massacring people, erasing human history and devastating the ecological balance in the name of ancient Talmudic heresies of the burning bush of Sinai that gave the slaves of Egypt our land, it is not only erroneous, but criminal and racist. It is criminal and racist to raise a tiny sect of butchers and elevate them above humans and humanity as “sons of God” and give them a crate blanch to commit all those crimes just because they feel that they are a super race, like the Nazi Aryan one.
One of the major lies of the Zionist-jewish colonizers of Palestine is that Palestine never existed, and among lots of other lies, is that they came in the 20th century to settle a “land without people for a people without land”, and that they came to the land that whic has been all history flowing with honey and milk to find it a “desert” and only their genius jewish mind (the same as the Nazi one) “made the desert bloom”… what blatant lies that one even don’t need to argue back.
Palestine, as a name for the southern part of the lavent (historic Canaan) existed at least 2500 years now, “Israel” never existed but in the Zionist mind and as a colony on the rubble of Palestine in the major ethnic cleansing of the 20th century that was culminated but didnt stop, in 1948.
“israel” as a country name never existed but in the Zionist minds and upon the destruction of the ancient historic Palestine, that took its geographical shape some 2-3 billion years and its human shape some 12000 years when the first natives settled this land and built the ever first human settlement of Jericho and then, some 10,000 years later, the ancient jewish slaves of Egypt came to burn it and loot its treasures.
“THEN THEY [THE ANCIENT JEWISJ INVADERS] BURNED THE WHOLE CITY AND EVERYTHING IN IT, BUT THEY PUT THE SILVER AND GOLD AND THE ARTICLES OF BRONZE AND IRON INTO THE TREASURY OF THE LORD’S HOUSE.
The Zionist lies: So? Palestine never existed and the modern zionist colonizers came upon an empty land? It is clear how ignorants in both history and geography they are!!
The human heritage and culture is not measured by the modern definition of the geo-political sovereign state, which in itself is modern to the human history. Lets take the most modern geo-political example of the “great” South Sudan, what was it a few years ago? Null? Nothing? A Land without people for a people without land? Didn’t South Sudan exist for thousands upon thousands of years inhabited and cultivated by its natives? Why the Zionists lie on Palestine?
What was Germany and France some 3-4 centuries years ago? Did they exist then? Were they “barren desert” for the Zionist “genius mind” to come and make it bloom?
The existence of any state doesn’t depend on its political entity, it depends on its human history that extends deep in history, the very same the history of Canaan/Palestine that predated any jewish colonizing in the ancient as well as the modern times of the zionist colony which is called “Israel” …. Within this context one can understands that the zionist-jewish entity of “Israel” never existed but some 70 years ago on the land of the deep rooted Palestine.
The old jews invaded the already inhabited and cultured Palestine and colonized it for some years and were soon kicked out, they never preserved a continuous cultural existence on this land, they have been all the time itinerants that never settled in history ever since they run out of Egypt persecuted slaves. On the other hand, the natives of Canaan/Palestine have preserved a continuous and uninterrupted existence on their land for over 12000 years now.
Unlike the Nazi or the Zionist, the natives of Palestine don’t claim superiority or purity of blood over the other humans; we claim that we are the remnants of all the nations and races that settled this land over history.
History is stubborn and cant be hidden and diverted by racist ideologies. The land, any land, is common among all its native and God really doesn’t have the guts or time to promise it to a racist sect … Jehovah, (the burning bush of Sinai) is nothing but a zionist-jewish inventions to justify racist crimes and land robbery.
The New York Times’ reporting on the meaning of Nakba Day shows how the major media systematically whitewash the ethnic cleansing of Palestine from history
By Jeremy Hammond
Jeremy Hammond explains how the mainstream media hides the truth about the Zionist crimes against the Palestinians in the 1940s prior to the creation of the racist Jewish state.
May 15 marks Palestine’s Nakba Day, which commemorates the ethnic cleansing of most of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine in 1948, a crime carried out by Zionist forces in order to establish there a “Jewish state.” But that’s not how the Western mainstream media explain it. Instead, Al-Nakba—Arabic for “The Catastrophe”—is whitewashed from history. The New York Times, America’s “newspaper of record” and arguably the most influential newspaper in the world, provides a useful case study.
The Times sometimes presents an explanation for the Nakba taken straight from Zionist propaganda, contending simply that Nakba Day is when Palestinians lament the establishment of Israel in 1948—as though Palestinians had no cause for lamentation other than an apparent hatred of Jews.
Sometimes in presenting the Zionist narrative, the Times does acknowledge that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians became refugees in 1948, but this is characterised as simply a consequence of a war started by the Arabs against the newly formed state of Israel—thus again leaving readers with the same false impression that the Arabs were the aggressors and had no reasonable cause.
Sometimes, the Times acknowledges that many Arab villages were also destroyed, though the fact that these numbered in the hundreds is rarely if ever mentioned.
On extremely rare occasions in the past, the Times has used the term “ethnic cleansing” in the context of Israel’s founding and the creation of the Palestinian refugee crisis that persists to this day. But the application of this term to what happened in 1948 is characterised as though dubious and controversial.
This is rather puzzling for a newspaper that in 1979 reported how former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had provided a firsthand account of how Palestinian civilians were deliberately expelled from their homes by Zionist forces.
It’s true, of course, that there are those who deny that what occurred was ethnic cleansing, but their denials are simply untenable. Israeli historian Benny Morris, for example, has argued that the term “ethnic cleansing” doesn’t apply, even though his own published research shows that ethnic cleansing is exactly what occurred.
On May 14 of that year, Ethan Bronner wrote in the Times, “After Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, armies from neighboring Arab states attacked the new nation; during the war that followed, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes by Israeli forces. Hundreds of Palestinian villages were also destroyed.”
A reader wrote to the editors to object to the Times omitting the fact that hundreds of thousands of Arabs had already been expelled from their homes before the Zionists unilaterally declared the existence of their “Jewish state” on May 14, 1948.
The public editor, Arthur S Brisbane, relayed Bonner’s response that “space was limited in a short story and he wasn’t trying to recite the full history.”
In other words, neither Mr Bronner nor his editors considered the fact particularly relevant, and due to space limitations, nothing could be done but mislead readers into believing that the flight and expulsions began only after the neighboring Arab states had sent their armies into Palestine.
We can demonstrate what a sorry excuse that was by simply rewriting the sentence to accurately communicate what happened in the same number of words: When the state of Israel was declared on May 14, 1948, armies from neighboring Arab states were sent to stop the ethnic cleansing operations that had already been underway for several months. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes.
One purpose for the Times
There is only one purpose for the Times’ deception: to whitewash the ethnic cleansing from history. This is in keeping with the function that the major media serve of manufacturing public consent for government policies.
By whitewashing the Zionists’ crimes against the Palestinians, the media whitewash Western governments’ complicity in them.
Indeed, the ethnic cleansing was a crime that was facilitated by the victorious Allied Powersin the wake of the First World War, particularly Great Britain, which enforced a belligerent occupation of Palestine after the dissolution of the defeated Ottoman Empire precisely in order to deny Palestine’s inhabitants their right to self-determination so that the Zionist project could proceed apace to reconstitute the Arab territory into a demographically “Jewish state”.
The policy course instituted by Britain’s infamous Balfour Declaration of 1917 ultimately facilitated the ethnic cleansing of most of the Arab population from their homes in Palestine in order for Israel to be established.
By the time the Zionists unilaterally and with no legal authority declared the existence of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948, more than a quarter of a million Arabs had already become refugees. By the time armistice lines were drawn in 1949, more than 700,000 Palestinians had been ethnically cleansed. The reason this refugee crisis has persisted to this day is because Israel refuses to allow Palestinian refugees to exercise their internationally recognised right to return to their homeland.
There is an institutionalised bias in the Western mainstream media toward the Israel-Palestine conflict, such that the fact that ethnic cleansing operations were already underway before the neighboring Arab states militarily intervened in Palestine is deemed irrelevant. Disclosing such facts doesn’t lead readers toward the desired conclusions.
The New York Times’ treatment of what “Nakba Day” means to Palestinians illustrates how the media attempt to conceal important historical facts from the general public in order to legitimize the heinous crime by which the “Jewish state” came into being and thus also to whitewash Western governments’ complicity in it.
But the truth cannot be concealed from the masses forever. The historical facts, no thanks to the major corporate media, are becoming known to an increasing number of people, prompting many to become active in the struggle for a just peace.
The governments of the world aren’t going to get the job done. The mainstream media refuse to do it. It is up to us to affect the paradigm shift necessary for a just peace to be realised. It is to empower people with the knowledge they need to speak out and help affect that shift that I wrote the book Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
Without US support, Israel would simply not be able to sustain its oppressive occupation regime. Affecting the paradigm shift necessary so that it remains no longer politically tenable for the US to continue its policy of supporting Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians—or for the major media to continue deceiving the public about the fundamental essence of the conflict—should therefore be the primary goal of activists in the struggle for a just peace.
American activists in particular have a special responsibility in that regard.
Journalist at Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, Gideon Levy poses in his home on 12 August, 2014 in the coastal Israeli city of Tel Aviv
By Hassina Mechaï
The voice is clear, a slight Hebrew accent can be detected when Gideon Levy speaks English. He is precise and concise, showing off maybe some “chutzpah”, but his way of saying things is direct. Does this make Gideon Levy annoying? Certainly not. On the contrary, kindly and patiently he explains what is at stake here.
Some call Gideon Levy Israel’s conscience, others would rather insult him. Levy is a whistleblower. He would probably hate to be described as such. He is a journalist, and now a columnist at Israeli English daily Haaretz. He is also a board member there. Every week, his columns contradict the nationalist and religious ideology of those in power.
The most hated man in Israel
Levy has the distinct honour of having been considered by the authorities as a “threat” to the country’s security. What did he do to stir up such anger? Almost every week for three decades he visited the occupied territories and described what he saw there. Even though he has not been able to go to Gaza since 2006 (Israeli law prevents any Israeli from entering the Strip), he was able to highlight the killing of Palestinians. His book, “The punishment of Gaza“, earned him the nickname “Hamas propagandist” by far-right nationalists. His work led renowned journalist Robert Fisk to ask: “Is he the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic.”
His goal is simple; rehumanising the Palestinians when everything is being done to dehumanise them, he explains. From the occupation to the slow suffocation of their culture, dispossession, demolition, erasing their names, their villages, their society… Levy’s columns speak of daily struggles, give details about people’s stories, name them and give them back their faces, ages and deaths. This includes the story of a Bedouin woman who, in 1986, was forced to give birth at an Israeli checkpoint. Her newborn died because she could not reach hospital in time and had to walk the two kilometres alone with the baby in her arms.
He remains surprised, he says, by the average Israeli’s ignorance of a reality that often takes place a few minutes away from home. Israeli society “is living in denial, in lies. But totally consciously. People choose to live like this,” he tells MEMO.
“Israeli society is a very aggressive society. But you can’t generalise this. There are easy times and there are hard ones, when there is a war for example. But I still write about Gaza and its uprising. I wrote that what is happening in Gaza is the uprising of the Gaza ghetto. People became very aggressive.” This reference to the uprising of the Warsaw ghetto during the Second World War brings to mind a symbolic part of the Israeli “historiography”. “That, might upset people, but I still have total freedom of speech; in my newspaper but not only there. Also on TV. It’s not pleasant every time but I can’t say that they’re trying to shut my mouth.”
His years in the media have allowed him to understand Israeli society and the officials that govern it. The latest Israeli elections, which saw incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu re-elected, are just the latest events which have stirred controversy, not least because of the numerous corruption cases in which Netanyahu is entangled.
In spite of this, his win was no surprise to Levy. “He created this situation in which people believe there is no alternative to him. He rules mainly by spreading fear. But he spreads fear and presents himself as the only one who can protect people. He’s a very talented politician with a very good rhetoric.”
He has also created a situation in which many people believe that these corruption charges are false and that he is simply innocent, he is a victim, and they identify with him.
“Gantz was not a real challenger and he will disappear from the political stage very quickly, I think. But many people voted for him. In fact, they didn’t vote for Gantz but they voted against Netanyahu. There’s people who actually want Netanyahu out,” he adds.
But both men are the same, he continues. “After the operation in Gaza, Gantz said the same things as Netanyahu. When it comes to the major issues, like the occupation, there is not much difference between the two of them.”
Netanyahu’s international connections worry Levy, as do his friendships with right-wing governments in Brazil, the US and Hungary.
“Netanyahu can be friends only with those people. Because nationalists and neo-fascists find common language with other fascists… He can’t really dwell on who is anti-Semitic or not, because at the end of the day, what matters is to maintain the occupation. It justifies everything in his eyes.”
The deal of the century: a joke
It is these “friends” that are supporting Israel in peace agreements and annulling previous deals including those which discuss a two-state solution for the Palestine-Israel conflict. Netanyahu, Levy says, “doesn’t speak about it anymore”. “Even when he spoke about it, it was very easy for him because he knew nothing will come out of it. It was the best way to maintain the status quo without doing anything.”
The two-state solution is dead. It’s dead since there are so many settlers and they created an irreversible situation. We have now almost 700,000 settlers and nobody will evacuate them and nobody will ever intend to evacuate them. Without an evacuation, there is no Palestinian state; it’s a joke.
The US’ latest peace plan – dubbed the “deal of the century” – is due to be unveiled in June after the Muslim month of fasting comes to an end. This, Levy says, is the “joke of the century”.
“It will just give Israel more years to maintain the occupation and to carry on its crimes. Nobody can take this seriously. It comes from Trump and [his son-in-law and advisor] Kushner, who can take it seriously?… It can’t be serious because it’s not fair. Those people are totally one-sided. How can you even consider listening to them when they so clearly stand with only one side and they are so aggressive towards the other side? What kind of mediators can they be?” he adds.
Even the UN declaration that the besieged Gaza Strip will be “uninhabitable” by 2020 cannot save Palestinians there, Levy explains. “It’s not a war. It’s a terrible prison. From time to time, the prisoners are trying to resist, to protest. But the guards hit back harshly. And they stay silent for a few months but again they try to break the cage. It will continue to be like this forever.”
“There is no plan for Gaza because nobody cares. Even Europe doesn’t care much. I’m not even mentioning the US. Everyone became quiet and unmoved. Until the catastrophe comes. But as long as it’s not here, nobody cares.”
The occupation led Levy to vote for the Arab-Israeli parties in the last election, he explains this is “because for me it’s hard to vote for any Zionist party. I cannot identify myself anymore with any Zionist list.”
“I’m not anti-Zionist,” he explains, “Post Zionist would be the right definition. I just realised that Zionism completed its purpose; now it’s about creating a democracy, nothing else but a democracy. The ‘all equal’ rights. I don’t see another solution but a one-state solution.”
The debate about Israel’s occupation and what solutions there are to it, has led to accusations of “anti-Semitism”, Levy says.
It paralyses Europe, because nobody wants to be labelled an anti-Semitic. And therefore, they don’t talk about international laws and how they are violated by the illegal occupation. They keep apologising for being anti-Semitic, totally dismissing the crimes perpetrated by the occupation forces.
“There is anti-Semitism in the world but way less than what Israel claims,” he explains. “People in Europe, people with conscience should say we have the full right, more, it’s our duty, to criticise the occupation, to be anti-Zionist.”
Is there hope for change stemming from the Jewish diaspora, especially those in America? “There are changes sure, but let’s not exaggerate. Still, the Jewish establishment is supporting Israel blindly, automatically supporting the occupation and Netanyahu. Yes, there is a new generation and a new camp there, which is very promising because they are very liberal. But there is a long way to go, because for most of them, standing against Israel is something they can’t do yet. But this movement goes hand in hand with changes in the [US’] Democratic party. This is even more promising because it is the first time ever that Netanyahu has been called a racist. We’ve never heard that before.”
A Palestinian flag flies on top of the rubble of a woman’s home who reacts after Israeli bulldozers demolished her house in a disputed military zone in the area of Musafir Jenbah, which includes several villages, south of the West Bank town of Hebron on February 2, 2016. Israeli forces demolished at least a dozen buildings in a disputed military zone in the southern West Bank, leaving a number of families homeless, authorities and residents said. Israel has carried out a long campaign to relocate the residents of the area, which was declared a military zone by the Israeli government in the 1970s
PALESTINOW.COM — The Trump administration says it has a peace plan for the Middle East. Those behind it claim that they are offering a new approach to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one focused on an “economic vision,” and that it deserves a chance. Yet none of what has been revealed so far has addressed the real issues: the end of the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and the preservation of the internationally recognized inalienable rights of the people of Palestine.
Unless the Trump administration’s plan addresses these issues head-on, it is a non-starter for the Palestinians. It should be for the rest of the world, as well. Judging from the statements and actions that have emerged from the administration so far, there is no reason to believe that President Trump’s supposed peace plan will present a departure point for peace. On Sunday, the administration announced it will hold a meeting next month in Bahrain called “Peace to Prosperity,” replacing the historic concept of “land for peace.” Let us be clear: There will be no economic prosperity in Palestine without the end of the occupation. Notably, the Palestinian leadership was not consulted by any party on this meeting.
Perhaps none of this should come as a surprise. Palestinians — including me — engaged with the Trump administration for months. Shockingly, the Americans then decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 478and the United States’ own avowed commitments to the peace process.
The Trump administration in effect claims it is reinventing international mediation. While the concept of a “biased mediator” has in some negotiations been used to obtain concessions from the party closer to the mediator, that is not what is happening here. The “concessions” that the Trump administration will ask of Israel are marginal. Above all they do not require Israel to end its military control over the land and people of Palestine. What the Trump administration is seeking is not a peace agreement but a Palestinian declaration of surrender.
The members of Mr. Trump’s Middle East team claim that they want to boost the Palestinian economy and improve Palestinian lives, but economic growth can never be a substitute for the right to live in dignity, free from military occupation and oppression, in our homeland. The main obstacle to Palestinian economic growth is clear: the occupation. This has been repeatedly documented in reports by the United Nations and the World Bank. Yet Mr. Trump’s Middle East envoy repeatedly blames the Palestinian government for the economic situation, even as Israel maintains control over our natural resources and borders, including the isolation of occupied East Jerusalem and the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
The Trump team has a background in the real-estate business. But the issues at stake are about national liberation, justice and equality. No one can devalue the right of any nation to be free or eliminate its dignity. Israeli soldiers taking a Palestinian youth into custody following a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian lands by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, in January.
Our position is an expression of our national dignity; it is based on international law and United Nations resolutions. Our recognition of Israel on the 1967 border, equivalent to 78 percent of historic Palestine, was a painful compromise. Our support for the two-state solution was reaffirmed by the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which offered full normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world. Israel never formally responded to it. This was also the basis of the peace plan presented by President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to the United Nations Security Council in February 2018.
Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and one of the architects of the plan, has said the administration does not want to mention the “two-state solution.” It certainly doesn’t want to mention the alternative: one democratic state with equal rights for all its citizens. If the Trump administration doesn’t want to talk about a two-state solution on the 1967 border or about one democratic state for everyone, what it is actually talking about is the consolidation of a “one-state reality”: one state, Israel, controlling everything while imposing two different systems, one for Israeli Jews and another for Palestinians. This is known as apartheid.
Is this the Trump administration’s goal? The president said that he had taken Jerusalem off the negotiating table by recognizing it as Israel’s capital. Seemingly, the administration has been trying to do the same with the refugee issue by attacking funding for services for refugees. The administration closed the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission in Washington and closed the American consulate in Jerusalem, established in 1857. The State Department dropped the term “occupied” from its recent human rights report and appears to have gone as far as recognizing the acquisition of land via the use of force, setting a dangerous precedent not only for Palestine but also for the world.
Amid all of this, there may be some good news. The damage caused by the Trump administration to the cause of peace can still be averted. The international community, including Israel’s primary trading partner, the European Union, can take immediate action — recognizing the state of Palestine and holding Israel accountable for its violations of international law, pushing us both closer to a just and lasting peace. The alternative would be to perpetuate Israel’s occupation and apartheid, condemning the Middle East to more decades of instability and bloodshed.
Written by: Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, is the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization.