Arrogant and profitable population-control

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The foreign military dictatorship imposed upon the Palestinian West Bank is all about population-control. Having already re-named the region for itself, Israel has now issued an ordinance over the West Bank called “Procedure for Entry and Residence for Foreigners in Judea and Samaria Area”. Ordinance laws are passed by municipalities which are, in turn, political subdivisions of a state. In legal terms, this move clearly demonstrates Israel’s determination to annex the West Bank. The Zionist regime arrogantly assumes a right to control entry to the West Bank over anybody who is not Israeli and treats the Palestinian people themselves as foreigners in their own land.

While Israelis are able to travel freely in and out of the West Bank, just as they can within Israel itself, all Palestinian movement around the West Bank is subjected to strict control. Most of Israel’s 712-kilometre long so-called Separation Wallstands upon Palestinian land. Some sections extend as far as 22km beyond Israel’s border. Tens of thousands of hectares of Palestinian land, including pasture as well as farmland, have been seized for colonial settlement and the International Court of Justice has ruled on the illegality of Israel’s Wall. In many areas, access to their agriculture for Palestinian farmers is severely limited and even denied. The Separation Wall is still under construction and, if completed, would seize 46% of the West Bank.

Within what is left of the West Bank, the Israeli Occupation imposes draconian travel limitations upon the population. Military checkpoints are the main tool for this and there are hundreds of them. Many are permanent but, in addition, so-called ‘flying’ pop-up checkpoints appear without warning, causing even more costly and disruptive inconvenience. Western-aligned governments and mainstream news media ignore these humiliating travel restrictions, accepting them, without question, as necessary for Israel’s ‘security’ and ‘defence’. As an on-line article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz explains, the aim of flying checkpoints is to “undermine Palestinians’ control over their daily routine”. Written by a Jewish Israeli lawyer, married to a Palestinian resident of Ramallah, the article illustrates just one of the dystopian daily interferences with normal travel that Israel imposes upon the West Bank. Israel’s fake security narrative is a cover, not only for colonisation but also for the development and marketing of surveillance technology and population-control.

Surveillance laboratory

Israel‘s military Occupation is not just about land acquisition. There is no hurry to annex the whole of the West bank because its captive population is useful for the development of highly profitable surveillance technology and population-control. Israel’s surveillance spyware giant the NSO group‘s Pegasus phone-hacking software, has been used to spy on hundreds of journalists, human rights supporters and activists worldwide. The company, which claims that its foreign sales are licensed by Israel’s Defence Ministry, was purchased by its Israeli co-founders from the California-based Francisco Partners. Towards the end of last year, the US Commerce Department actually blacklisted the NSO Group, accusing it of providing spyware to foreign governments that “used these tools to maliciously target” journalists, embassy workers and activists. Nevertheless, the Delaware-based Integrity Labs has since made a $300-million offer, proposing to take control of the company and narrow its customer base to the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Israel’s surveillance company epitomises population-control. NSO tells us Our products help licensed government intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. One example of this, from The New Yorker magazine, has revealed the Spanish police arrested at least twelve separatist politicians and dozens of other people connected to the Catalan independence movement whose cell phones had been infiltrated by Pegasus between 2017 and 2020.

Pegasus spyware in the West Bank

Israel makes use of the Occupied Palestinian population to develop its surveillance technologies. Pegasus software is so advanced it is able to invade an iPhone or an Android device without first having to send a false link to ensnare the user. Pegasus can harvest everything from a device, including passwords, and is even able to take control of the camera and the microphone for additional surveillance. According to a report published towards the end of last year, the spyware has been used to hack the phones of human rights defenders who, while co-operating closely with the International Criminal Court investigation into Israeli war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, were accused of terrorism by Israel. Last month, The Times of Israel reported that an imprisoned Palestinian lawyer, Salah Hamouri, was suing the Pegasus spyware maker NSO in a French Court. Hamouri, a French citizen, was incarcerated by an Israeli military court in March as a “threat to security.” The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Human Rights League (LDH), and Hamouri filed the complaint with the Paris Prosecutor.

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Contempt for UNESCO World Heritage

Israel has imposed two illegal settlements in an area designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, the most recent in March this year. In 2014, UNESCO declared 1,114 hectares (11,135 dunams) of Palestinian land as a World Heritage Site in Danger. It is known as “Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir” and is unique in its traditional farming, ancient terraces and irrigation channels. UNESCO describes the land thus: “The Battir hill landscape comprises a series of farmed valleys, known as widian, with characteristic stone terraces, some of which are irrigated for market garden production, while others are dry and planted with grapevines and olive trees. The development of terrace farming in such a mountainous region is supported by a network of irrigation channels fed by underground sources. A traditional system of distribution is then used to share the water collected through this network between families from the nearby village of Battir.”

In recent years, around 50 agricultural settlement outposts have been introduced in the Occupied West Bank, controlling thousands of hectares. With little cost, settlers are able to take over huge amounts of land to dispossess Palestinian farmers and turn it into pastureland. These land-grabs are made, often violently, while the Israeli military Occupation constantly prevents Palestinians from developing the land for their own needs. The settlers want the Palestinians out and the Occupation has obliged, issuing eviction orders and destroying Palestinian agriculture, including crops. In November last year, the Occupation (termed by Israel as ‘Civil Administration’) demolished Palestinian terraces and uprooted dozens of ancient olive trees in the areas near Battir.

On 10 February this year, Michael Benyair, Israel’s former Attorney-General and acting judge in the Israeli Supreme Court, published the following observation: “I have spent my career analysing Israel’s most pressing legal questions. Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem was a fundamental dilemma during my tenure and beyond.” He described the Occupation as “a gross injustice that must be urgently rectified.” He concluded “with great sadness” that “my country has sunk to such political and moral depths that it is now an apartheid regime. It is time for the international community to recognise this reality as well.” Benyair also admonished the international community saying that its “delay in taking meaningful steps to hold Israel accountable for the apartheid regime it is perpetuating is unacceptable.”

Israeli High Court rules to evict Palestinians from their villages

On 4 May, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled in favour of the the eviction of around 1,000 Palestinians from eight villages in the southern West Bank. In 1981, the area had been seized by the Israeli military and designated as a ‘firing zone’ for military exercises. Since then, the people of the land that had lived there for generations have been appealing for the return of their land. The Court ruling sided with the Israeli Army, allowing for the demolition of eight small villages in Masafer Yatta, near Hebron. The European Union Delegation Representative, Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, responded by warning that the expulsions would be a breach of Israel’s obligation as the occupying power. He reminded the world that the residents, many of whom, also exposed to settler violence, are at risk of forcible transfer”, adding beyond a devastating impact on children, women and families, expulsion would be in breach of Israel’s obligations as the occupying power, a violation of international law and basic human rights.” The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) declared: “The High Court has officially authorised leaving entire families, with their children and their elderly, without a roof over their heads.”

Threat to international law and human rights

Israel, the world’s most cossetted and rewarded state, is massively supported both financially and diplomatically by the USA, under the influence of the Israel lobby. The USA proudly tells the world that “Israel is a great partner to the United States, and Israel has no greater friend than the United States.” This alliance includes shameless support for Israel’s defiance towards the United Nations and disrespect for international law. The US reminds us that it was the “first to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017.” Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally and, on 21 December the same year, the United Nations General Assembly reacted with the passing of Resolution ES‑10/L.22, declaring Israel’s claim on Jerusalem as its capital to be “null and void”. To be absolutely clear, the Resolution stated “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

The United States admits its “commitment to Israel’s security is supported by robust defence co-operation” with a “10-year, $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)” and an annual provision of $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing. On top of that, there are also $500 million “co-operative programmes for missile defence.” The US also indulges in joint military exercises with Israel as well as weapons development.

Our future

There are, internationally, powerful interests that would welcome a future world of absolute corporate control, unhindered by humanitarian considerations. The virtually unconditional support that Israel enjoys threatens the very survival of the tragically hard-won Fourth Geneva Convention. Defying the United Nations and treating international law with contempt undermine stability and endanger peace. The survival of humanity now, more than at any time in history, requires respect for human rights and the curtailing of selfish advantage-taking.

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Leslie Bravery is a Londoner with vivid World War Two memories of the Nazi blitz on his home town. In 1947/1948 His father explained to him what was happening to the Palestinians thus: “Any ideology or political movement that creates refugees in the process of realising its ambitions must be inhuman and should be opposed and condemned as unacceptable.” What followed confirmed this assessment of the Zionist entity a hundredfold. Now a retired flamenco guitarist, with a lifelong interest in the tragedy of what happened to the Palestinian people, he tries to publicise their plight. Because the daily injustices they suffer barely get a mention in the mainstream news media, Leslie edits/compiles a daily newsletter, In Occupied Palestine, for the Palestine Human Rights Campaign. These days, to preserve his sanity, he enjoys taking part in a drama group whenever possible!

13 COMMENTS

    • Yes, I’d like to tell Bravery and all his cohorts to get treatment for their Israel obsessions, and get a life. More antisemitic drek thinly disguised as ‘human rights’ bleating. Of course, you’ll never find Bravery commenting on Palestinian terrorist attacks like this:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6qol-HmuVI
      16 Jewish children left fatherless.

      • The anti-Semitic canard which has weakened significantly because of zionist like yourself keep throwing a tantrum like a child that throw this vile racist act at anyone that is critical of apartheid Israel.

        • indeed MY opinion both sides are spoilt children but critisism of the STATE of israel IS NOT ANTISEMITISM….end of discussion

          • But it’s not the end of the discussion when legitimate criticisms of Israel roll over, as they so often do, into false claims against the state and sly insinuation that Israeli actions are responsible for the spike in attacks against Jews in western countries.

      • Neither will I find you fighting for New Zealand on foreign soil. Bravery, like every other kiwi would put there lives on the line to fight for your rights, Gaby, but you would not do the same. In that respect we are different.

  1. Did you know Hamas visited Moscow the other day? Geez Apartheid Israel must be panicking seeing one of its power-backers talking to it’s closes nemesis I mean literally! I wonder if Iran drones with the word GAZA written on it side is ready for some action?

    • How heart-breaking for Erdogan, just when he thought he had the peace talks negotiator role all signed and sealed. He’ll be livid; I wonder which unfortunate Kurdish village will be the recipient of his vengeance bombing. Care to speculate?

    • Oh no Stephen, how heartbreaking for Erdogan. Just when he thought he had the peace talks negotiator role all signed and sealed and Putin beholden to him. I wonder which unfortunate Kurdish village he’ll take his vengeance out on this time. Care to speculate?

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