Land-grabbing colonial Occupation

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This year, Israel ha been imposing increasing violations of both Christian and Muslim worshippers’ rights of access to their holy sites in Jerusalem. On 1 May, in the alley approaching the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Occupation forces assaulted almost everyone, including monks, upon their arrival for Saturday prayer. Something of the ideological conviction that drives the Zionist regime’s behaviour was revealed by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, reporting Benjamin Netanyahu‘s claim that Jerusalem has been the capital of the nation of the Jewish people for thousands of years. Israeli Government policy is the maintenance of Jewish-Israeli control over demographics, political power, land and the imposition of oppressive limitations on Palestinian residency rights by means of its civil law. However, whether Israel like it or not, annexed East Jerusalem is recognised, under international law, as militarily-Occupied territory.

Ideology

Netanyahu’s Zionist fantasy led him to claim in this 2017 BBC video not only that “Jerusalem’s the capital of Israel” but also that “it’s been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years”! In January 2020, he greeted US President Donald Trump’s ‘Peace to Prosperity’ hoax with joy, declaring that “Israel will retain security control in the entire area west of the Jordan River”. Cruelly dismissing the victims of Zionist apartheid, he went on to assert “the Palestinian refugee problem must be solved outside the State of Israel.”

Resistance

Mounting Israeli Occupation violence saw 205 Palestinians injured when Israeli police stormed Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Holy Night of Laylat al-Qadr. Intensified oppression since the start of Ramadan, and the looming threat to Palestinians of evictions from their homes in East Jerusalem, is provoking growing anger. The population face constant threats of eviction and loss of land, due to the land-grabbing demands of illegal Jewish settlers, backed by the invasive Zionist regime. On 22 April, hundreds of Zionist Jews marched through the Old City, accompanied by Israeli police, chanting “Death to Arabs!” In Israel itself, Guardian newspaper website TV footage, taken on 12 May, shows Israeli air strikes in Gaza, followed by a gang of racist Israelis in a Tel Aviv suburb dragging a man they suspect of being Arab from his car and beating him into unconsciousness. In the same suburb, another mob, dressed in black, smashed the windows of an Arab-owned ice-cream shop and more racists could be seen, on live television, chanting “Death to Arabs!”

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When mainstream news media report Palestinian acts of Resistance, they do so in terms of “cycle of violence”. Misleading statements, by some Western powers, also attempt to convey the impression that the massively well-equipped Israeli invaders and their defenceless victims are equally responsible for any violence. The European Union, for instance, stated: “Violence and incitement are unacceptable and the perpetrators on all sides must be held accountable”. The United States said it was “deeply concerned” about the events and called on all sides to work to de-escalate them.

The Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCR), Rupert Colville, brought the world back to reality by urging Israel to call off any forced evictions and warned that its actions could amount to war crimes: “We wish to emphasise that East Jerusalem remains part of the occupied Palestinian territory, in which international humanitarian law applies,” he said. In Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinian families are to be evicted from the homes they have lived in for 70 years, in order to make way for Israeli settlers. With regard to these dispossessions, the OCHA statement affirmed that “The occupying power . . . cannot confiscate private property in occupied territory.” Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an Israeli human rights organisation, has declared its support for Palestinian families and asks people to sign its petition – ‘Stop Israel’s illegal expulsion of Palestinians in Jerusalem‘. Even some US senators have condemned the evictions.

The horrific truth is that the Zionist strategy is to slowly uproot the native population. The threat of oppressive military Occupation violence is a constant and ominous reality in the daily lives of Palestinian residents. Ramadan is a special time for Muslims and, in Jerusalem, the festivity for families and friends is deeply felt. The night-time celebrations are greater than those seen at any other time of the year. But, inevitably, the occasion has also become an opportunity for the Israeli Occupation to ruin the festivities and kill all joy. To ome, the Israeli intention emerged on the day before the start of Ramadan. For no apparent reason, the space, benches and steps around the Damascus Gate Plaza were barricaded and the Damascus Gate militarised. The provocative Israeli decision to prevent West Bank Palestinians from visiting Jerusalem to pray at Al-Aqsa added to the frustration. Acts of Palestinian Resistance have been met with two weeks or so of Israeli brutality, with youth beaten, hammered with stun grenades and soaked with foul-smelling skunk‘. The Palestine Red Crescent ambulance service said one of those injured lost an eye, two suffered serious head wounds and two had their jaws fractured. Most were wounded in the face and eyes by rubber-coated rounds and shrapnel from stun grenades. While all this was going on, other Jerusalem residents were facing dispossession.

The UN High Commissioner has also demanded that Israel halt its coercive behaviour in attempting forcible transfer, saying: “We further call on Israel to respect freedom of expression on assembly, including with those who are protesting against the evictions”. On 9 May, the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA) wrote to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta, urging our Government to speak out “with a strong, clear voice”, avoiding anaemic language such as the call for ‘restraint on both sides’.

On 12 May, in the UK Parliament, lawmakers set an example to the world in an Early Day Motion calling for the House to condemn Israeli brutality in East Jerusalem and Gaza. The Parliamentary motion notes that: there is no comparison between state-orchestrated violence perpetrated by a military and civil power with legitimate protest by civilians, or even retaliatory attacks by militant organisations; reaffirms its calls for peace in the area; and calls on the Government to unequivocally condemn Israeli actions and push for the upholding of international law.

On 13 May, the NZ human rights organisation, Foundation Against Islamophobia and Racism, published a Press Release condemning Israeli aggression and noting Israel’s plan to “forcibly remove Palestinians from their own rightful land.” The Foundation calls upon the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta, to condemn these attacks and calls also for a “Parliamentary motion designating Israel as an apartheid state based on the recent findings of a Human Rights Watch investigation”.

Also on 13 May, the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA) Chair, John Minto, took our Foreign Affairs Minister to task over her blaming both sides Tweet concerning Israel’s present escalation of violent human rights violations. He called for the Government to make demands for the ending of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land (UN Security Council resolution 242), the right of return for Palestinian refugees expelled by Israeli militias (UN General Assembly resolution 194), an end to the more than 65 laws discriminating against Palestinian Israelis (the crime of Apartheid, as defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court) and the building of Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land (UN Security Council resolution 2334, co-sponsored by New Zealand), which violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and also constitute a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Minto ended with a reminder to the Government that it should, in addition, back up these demands with sanctions against Israel until it ends its denial of Palestinian human rights.

OCHA Update

As at Noon, 13 May 2021, OCHA reports that, since 10 May, 83 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and 487 injured. Also Israeli attacks caused extensive damage to residential and commercial buildings, schools and infrastructure, such as roads, electricity network and water installations and farmland. Besides which, in Israel, seven people have been killed, including two children, and 281 injured. In Gaza, 500 homes were destroyed or severely damaged, with minor damage also to at least 2,100 more homes. The report notes that 14 residential towers were destroyed, along with 23 schools. Shelling by the Israeli Army has severely or partially damaged a number of primary health-care clinics and there are severe shortages of water and electricity. Israel has ordered a halt to all fishing around Gaza. Over 1,500 missiles have been fired from Gaza towards Israel since 10 May, with a significant number landing short inside Gaza. In Israel, Palestinian rocket fire killed six civilians, including three women, a girl and a boy; hundreds have been injured. On 12 May, a soldier at an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line was killed by an anti-tank missile fired by the Palestinian Resistance.

In the West Bank, OCHA reports “attacks and stone-throwing by Israeli settlers also continue across the different locations of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. One Palestinian was killed and another was shot and injured when trying to attack Israeli soldiers, with two soldiers injured in one attack. In total, since 10 May, three Palestinians have been killed and 1,682 injured in the West Bank.”

Resistance

Israel’s allies, including our Five Eyes partners, frequently dismiss Israel’s inhuman behaviour by simply claiming that Israel has a right to defend itself. Yet never do they acknowledge that the Palestinian people also have right to self-defence. An unarmed population can be constantly beaten-back and humiliated but the people have a universally-recognised right to resist oppression and foreign occupation of their land. Any community would fight back. Israel’s vast military superiority enables it to control and determine so much. Palestinian protesters who march and throw stones are met with tear gas, stun grenades, rubber-coated bullets and, of course, fire with live ammunition. What the mainstream news media insist on calling ‘rubber bullets’ are, in fact, bullets that, although coated, are still tough enough to destroy internal organs and remove eyes. This is not defence of the Israeli state given to them by the West through the United Nations, the killing and destruction are done to maintain the Zionist grip on seized and annexed Palestinian land beyond Israel’s borders.

At the time of writing, with Israeli forces massing on the border with Gaza and threatening to invade, it would be timely to look at the year’s ceasefire violations up to 6 May. Up until 6 May, there had been 21 Palestinian Gaza ceasefire violations for the year, firing around 50 missiles. On the other hand, there had been 424 Israeli Gaza ceasefire violations, including five incursions into the territory. The Israeli violations included 14 air strikes, 44 Israeli Navy attacks, opening fire on and terrorising Palestinian fishing boats. There were also countless attacks on Palestinian agricultural areas. Israeli forces come and go, as they please in Gaza, year round and year after year.

The Holy Night of Laylat al-Qadr coincided with the Zionist ‘Jerusalem Day’, actually the anniversary of the Israeli Occupation of East Jerusalem. With a new generation of Palestinian youth, the present revolt is not surprising. As a Palestinian resident, Jalal Abukhater, tells us: “we will not passively watch on. Israel does its best to make life for Jerusalem’s Palestinians a misery and a constant struggle. It does everything to make us disappear. But we will not. Every day, we face police brutality, arrests, home evictions and demolitions, impoverishment and a denial of basic human rights. The occupier’s violence is a permanent feature of our lives. But we are determined to fight for our city and remain, no matter what Israel does in its tireless effort to erase us.”

It is human nature and also an inherent right to resist.

33 COMMENTS

  1. Ever since the forced removal of Israeli settlers in 2005 from Gaza and the West bank under a de escalation plan by Ariel Sharon a settlers movement vowed this embarrassment would not happen again.
    A concerted effort to educate and infiltrate all levels of Israeli society with the goal of removing all Palestinians from East Jerusalem, The West Bank and eventually Gaza was started.
    After the 2005 removals Israel settlers (Kahanists) suggested the seizing of the land that Al Aqsa is built on, demolishing the mosque and building a synagogue.
    This was rejected by both religious and secular Jews but over the last 15 years the normalisation of this type of thinking has permeated into Israeli society.
    To an extent that over the last month Al Aqsa and its surroundings have come under provocation and intimidation from settlers, Police and the IDF culminating in the storming of the mosque while people were praying.
    One can only surmise when listening to the likes of Netanyahu and his cohorts that their plan is working and sadly it does not augur well for all Palestinians.
    This apartheid state needs a sharp and quick reality check but with the US and its allies collaboration a change of direction by Israel seems remote.
    The biggest concern must be the involvement of Israeli youth in the racist attacks and violence.
    Once the thinking reaches systemic levels reasoning and logic let alone humanity disappears.
    Thankyou Leslie for your excellent post.

    • Sharon’s purpose in removing Jewish settlers from Gaza became clear with Operation “Summer Rains” on 28 June 2006 when air and ground forces bombarded civilian targets in Gaza killing 416 Palestinians (one in five were children).

    • PR
      It has long past a level of logic with the Israeli school system doing it deadly task of bending young minds.
      Watch the group of Israelis complete with flags rejoicing at the mosque fire.
      Humanity has long gone by several decades.

      Mowing the lawns. Racist supremacist psychopathy.

  2. About 1500 rockets fired into Israel from Iran backed Hamas….there goes your world sympathy, there goes your ‘Arabs are innocent, Israel are bombing them for no reason’ argument.
    Leslie/lois/minto, spreading the Hamas propaganda and classed as ‘useful idiots’.
    3x Lord haw haw’s

    • Clean up your act Im right! Obviously, you don’t think Palestinian Muslims and Christians have a right to self-defence, but believe Israeli’s have the right to indulge in periodic orgies of ethnic cleansing.

      It is interesting that you are so emphatic about Iran backing Hamas, presumably by being the providers of crude rockets. Where is your evidence? Anyway, how does that compare with the US providing 3.8 billion dollars p.a. for weapons to preclude the concept of a two state solution.

      One thing is for sure, the three human rights advocates you refer to in the usual Zionist derogatory manner have more integrity and provide more accurate information that you and your extremist propagandist fellow shills.

      It is difficult to remember when the NZ main stream media wasn’t selling Israeli-centric reports and interviews that where never challenged (e.g. – Q & A this morning). Seemingly you believe that TDB should also be an Israel Occupied Territory.

    • Classic Israeli propaganda is illustrated here.
      “About 1500 rockets fired into Israel from Iran backed Hamas”
      No mention of what led to this latest outbreak of violence.
      No mention of the violence that took place inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound days before, where Palestinian worshippers had gathered inside the Mosque and the surrounding courtyard for evening prayers on the last Friday of Ramadan and armed Israeli forces stormed the compound, firing sound bombs, tear gas, and rubber bullets, seriously wounding at least 220 Palestinians.
      No mention of the ethnic cleansing blatantly going on in Sheik Jarrah which the United Nations has described as a war crime.
      No mention of April 22nd, when a group of right-wing Israelis marched through the Old City chanting “Death to Arabs” and “May your village burn.” Video from the night shows Israeli mobs attacking and harassing Palestinian families – several killed.
      No mention of the amount of ordnance fired by Israel.
      No mention of the 145 Palestinians killed in the current violence.
      No mention of the fact that Hamas warned Israel to withdraw from Al-Aqsa and the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood by 6:00 pm, and release all the Palestinians detained by police during the recent tensions in Jerusalem, or rockets would result.
      No mention of the fact that for the past 54 years, Israeli authorities have transferred hundreds of thousands of Jewish Israelis to the OPT (in violation of Geneva IV) and granted them a superior status under the law as compared to Palestinians living in the same territory.
      No mention of Human Rights Watch’s recent report that Israel has committed “Inhumane Acts and Other Abuses of Fundamental Rights”.
      No mention of the fact that the rockets are largely symbolic and have killed about 27 Israelis (14 were combatants) in their entire history while Israel has killed 10,033 Palestinians since the year 2,000.

      Just “Ooh look. Arabs are firing rockets”
      Sheesh.

    • IR
      Israel is not a victim but a perpetrator of hatred and genocide.
      Israel is shooting international journalists who are unarmed. A cowardly act to stop reporting of IDF crimes. The shooting of children by IDF snipers during peaceful protest is about as low as you can go. How come you have missed that.

      Why doesn’t Israel join the International Court of Justice and have its case examined impartially. Surely they want justice.
      Others do want justice as we will see in the coming months

    • Please don’t use their term ‘rockets’. It is their way of diminishing their aggression. These weapons were not fireworks! They were missiles (with explosives, fuse, targeting system and well, a rocket for propulsion) , mostly supplied by Iran and other ‘supporters’ who , for reasons that they haven’t admitted, prefer to supply weapons rather than invest in industry or infrastructure in the west bank or Gaza. (Conclusion: It suits them to promote conflict in the area.)

      • John what triggered the current conflict and how are Palestinians able to defend themselves against progressive land theft. blockades to prevent trade, fishermen in Palestinian waters being shot up by the IDF and international mercy missions prevented from landing on Palestinian shore. And a host of other Israeli crimes ruled against by the UN.

      • JN
        The reports say most of the rockets are caught by the US supplied Iron dome defense shield. Israel operated from behind this shield but Palestinian women and children have no shield

        • Palestinian pipe rockets are cheap. An Iron Dome battery runs $50 million, with each missile in the neighborhood of $40,000 to $100,000. The strategy of the resistance is aimed at the Israeli pocket.

          • With Israel getting 3.8 billion US dollars a year as a gift to suppress and attack the Middle East targets then they will continue to slaughter.

  3. “Nearly all the words and phrases used by the Democrats, Republicans and the talking heads on the media to describe the unrest inside Israel and the heaviest Israeli assault against the Palestinians since the 2014 attacks on Gaza, which lasted 51 days and killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children, are a lie.

    Israel, by employing its military machine against an occupied population that does not have mechanized units, an air force, navy, missiles, heavy artillery and command-and-control, not to mention a U.S. commitment to provide a $38 billion defense aid package for Israel over the next decade, is not exercising “the right to defend itself.” It is carrying out mass murder. It is a war crime…………….

    I spent seven years in the Middle East as a correspondent, four of them as The New York Times Middle East Bureau Chief. I am an Arabic speaker. I lived for weeks at a time in Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison where over 2 million Palestinians exist on the edge of starvation, struggle to find clean water and endure constant Israeli terror. I have been in Gaza when it was pounded with Israeli artillery and air strikes. I have watched mothers and fathers, wailing in grief, cradling the bloodied bodies of their sons and daughters. I know the crimes of the occupation — the food shortages caused by the Israeli blockade, the stifling overcrowding, the contaminated water, the lack of health services, the near constant electrical outages due to the Israeli targeting of power plants, the crippling poverty, the endemic unemployment, the fear and the despair. I have witnessed the carnage.” – Chris Hedges (born September 18, 1956) is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Presbyterian minister, author and television host.
    https://www.sott.net/article/452784-Chris-Hedges-Israel-the-big-lie

    • Cause severed from effect, disgraceful support for a banned terrorist organisation that only the most morally depraved support.

      • “Cause severed from effect…” Bit like your body and brain eh Gaby?

        Who has banned the Hamas? That will show who is trying to control the discourse! Looking a bit bad for the US and Biden’s hypocrisy at the UN at the moment.

      • I feel confident that the valiant Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Presbyterian minister would be proud to be labelled “the most morally depraved” by such as yourself Gaby.

        • Think you mean IDF, Haji West, world’s most moral army. Pitiful. Must be tough on you guys, always backing the losers. Must make you feel really, um, impotent?

          • From the Jerusalem Post – an Israeli Newspaper no less:
            “Reality Check: The most moral army in the world. Really?
            Over the past three weekends, more than 30 unarmed Palestinians have been shot dead by IDF snipers for demonstrating on the Palestinian side of the border between Israel and Gaza, including Yasser Murtaja, who was clearly wearing a flak jacket identifying him as a journalist when shot. Another 300 or more Palestinians have been wounded by live fire in these demonstrations…..
            These are not examples of a few rotten apples spoiling the rest of the barrel. In Israel’s last major military offensive, Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014, more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in Gaza……The vast majority of these Palestinian victims were civilians, according to the United Nations. Again, are these the statistics that befit the “most moral army in the world”?
            And of course, it is the IDF that has been responsible for the past half-century for maintaining Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, controlling the daily lives of millions of Palestinians, and enforcing the blockade of the Gaza Strip, making any chance of reconstruction and economic recovery there extremely unlikely.”
            https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Reality-Check-The-most-moral-army-in-the-world-Really-549906

  4. David Sheen is an independent journalist and film maker originally from Toronto, Canada who now lives in Dimona, Israel. Sheen began blogging when he first moved to Israel in 1999 and later went on to work as a reporter and editor at the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. His current work focuses primarily on racial tensions and religious extremism within Israel. His website is http://www.davidsheen.com .
    Here he deals with the various themes informing factions within Judaism – something of an eye-opener:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFl4U2NRJTg

    • Yes. From David Sheens website:

      “Later that very night, a group of religious Jews did exactly that, kidnapping and beating Palestinian teen Mohammad Abu Khdeir, forcing gasoline down his throat and torching him to death from the inside out.”

      Pretty ghastly stuff being perpetrated by extreme religious Zionism. Complete racial hatred that obviously wont rest till every last Palestiian is dead. There is still resistance and the strength of the resistance has now become a unifying force simply because doing nothing allows the above hate filled demonic savagery

  5. In a 100 years time the world will acknowledge that Israel committed genocide against the Palestinian people, but for now the world is being boiled like a frog (managed by Israeli propaganda and American complicity) and so it barely notices as the level of ethnic cleansing goes up degree by degree.

    The Israelis know this, so do most of the western media – but do not care. The American Christian Zionists (white race nation and its God – and just as crazy as the Jewish religious extremists) who support it are a “Gilead” threat to democracy in the USA, much as the fascists in Germany were back in the 1930’s. The so called liberals in the USA are fighting for survival domestically, and are no longer internationalist – they have abandoned “forever war” justice. So expect nothing from Biden and Blinken.

  6. i saw this comment in a brilliant Spiked post and was struck by how well it summed up Bravery, indeed all of you.

    ‘Left-wing protesters and commentators argue that it is entirely possible to be opposed to Israel’s military actions in the Palestinian Territories without being anti-Semitic, and they are absolutely right. But the uncomfortable truth is this: the modern left isn’t only opposing Israeli militarism. It is obsessing over it, to a distorted degree. Leftists treat Israel as uniquely barbaric, distinct from every other nation that engages in war. We have to ask ourselves if this hyper-moralisation of the Israel-Palestine conflict, this denouncement of Zionism as a pox on both the Middle East and broader global affairs, contributes to the prejudicial conviction that the Jewish State is the most evil state, and the Jewish people thus a suspect people.’

    • Your broad “the left” bs is getting tiresome Gaby.

      Most peace activist, myself included do have a bee in our bonnet about what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza. Because it is on going conflict which never ends. The goal posts keep getting moved by the Israel government as it moves further and further to the right.

      A good example of this is 25 years ago they said if the Palestinians just recognized the state of Israel then the Oslo agreement would be met. The authority in the west bank did, and what has happened. More and more Palestinians are killed, have their homes taken, lose work, become refugees or are forced to leave.

      So lets talk about the far right in Israel – the PM is a friend to Trump, Bolsonaro, and neo-Nazi types from Poland to the Ukraine. Then there is the far right the settler movement – who in the lead up to this current conflict killed a group Palestinians walking down the street. They have been stealing peoples homes, shooting kids, and danced whilst the Aqsa Mosque burned during the recent police raid.

    • False. Many have been killed by Hamas’s own rockets misfiring and falling on them. About 500 in all. Hamas put the kids in the line of fire not Israel. Remember, Gazans voted for this vile terrorist group knowing full well they’d use them, especially kids, as cannon fodder. Kids have died digging the Hamas terror tunnels as well. israel has no culpability in these kids’ deaths.

      • “Many have been killed by Hamas’s own rockets”
        Got some independent reportage to support this or did Israel’s bombing of the Press Centre in Gaza eliminate it leaving only your thumb to suck for info?

  7. Picot, Sykes. The French and the British are responsible for this atrocity and occupation.
    The US are as usual the ‘johnny come latelys’ who don’t know really what their purpose is other than to make things worse.
    Cut the US supply and funding of Military Hardware to Israel in the de-escalation proposal as that would have a positive effect for all.

  8. I have nitwit siblings who lose themselves in the details for the benefit of the powerful. Mostly by way of crap instant religious rightness. In 1930 there were 200,000 Jews in Palestine, the local Arabs fought like the devil further immigration. The religious idealism of the British Parliament caused there to be 400,000 by 1940. That decade is the legitimacy of Palestine. And the power, and illegitimacy, of Israel.

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