Israel’s Jihad on Palestine?
Not many Americans understand how Palestine was like before 1948. Vintage photos from the early period indicate that at least under British colonialism, the Palestinians experienced travel and work opportunities commensurate to the efforts they made. They had rights in their own native land to live as they chose, and they had plenty of dignity and self-worth. They owned the land from the ocean to the Jordan Valley, and if there were Jews and Christians among them, they were only about 20% of the population, with everyone enjoying the same rights and respectfulness of freedom of worship. All that began to change after the Balfour Declaration awarding the Zionists one-half of Palestine for free.
Today, the picture is much more stark. Although the Zionists appear to enjoy a lavish building boom, after the 1967 war, the boundaries for Palestinian-owned Palestine shrank to islands of ownership in the West Bank, Golan Heights, and Gaza strip. After 2000s the illegal West Bank construction of the separation wall—which does not follow the 1967 boundary—began. Described as a security precaution, the tall grey concrete barriers topped with razor wire symbolize various motifs: apartheid, further fragmentization of Palestinian owned lands, and favorable Israeli settlements. Transportation services, roads, and utilities constructed exclusively for Israeli settlers deprive Palestinians of access to water and force long roundabouts. Entry choke points called checkpoints take hours for Palestinians to pass through daily and require interrogation by soldiers. If one does not have the right permit, document, or valid reason according to the soldiers, one is turned back, possibly foregoing paid work on that day. Throughout Palestine, but especially in the West Bank, there is a permanent presence of IDF, supposedly to shield the settlers, but also imparting policy that favors Zionist settlers squatting on, and vandalization of, Palestinian farmlands.
To complicate matters, the cozy relationship between America and Israel is known internationally. It is a presumed fact in American political life. If one seeks a guarantor for career tenure, one must be inducted into the Council of Foreign Relations and honor the interests of AIPAC. Prime Minister Netanyahu is allowed the privilege of addressing the American Congress; and receives many rounds of applause while doing so. There are annual lobbying dates and dinners which legislators are invited to that do not involve the public. According to the Palestinian Authority, the outgoing President’s record in Palestine is egregious. The long-touted two-state solution is reduced by the Peace-to-Prosperity Deal to essentially a stateless proposal. Speaking on Palestine Remembrance Day on November 29th, the ambassador to the Palestine Mission in Bangladesh delivered a speech in which he stated:
“After that in 1977, the same United Nations tried to compensate the Palestinian people and maybe recognize the injustice which had been inflicted upon them by considering the 29th of November of each year a National Solidarity Day with the Palestinian people. Now that’s not good enough for the Palestinians, because the suffering that we are facing since 1948, the creation of Israel and the uprooting of Palestinian people from their homeland is unbearable, and it is unacceptable to last for such a long time. While my people is facing refugee status, facing miserable life, injustice, difficult economic situation, we are not living as a normal human being.”—-Yousuf Ramadan, Ambassador of Palestine, Interview with The Daily Star, Nov 2020, https://youtu.be/wEx82kHUkMM
A tiny fraction of jewish settlers and citizens in Israel recognize the serious abrogations on human rights. One group, Machsom Watch even provides documentary footage showing how planned illegal West Bank settlements intentionally seal off Palestinian access to their own mosques and communal property. Just because a settlement was located in the vicinity, the mosque was shut down, the road to the mosque sealed off, and no Palestinian may enter past the boundary. Red line satellite map shows a huge portion of land around the mountain top, which includes olive and fruit trees planted by the Palestinians for collective use, remains accessible—only for the Zionist settlers.
American propaganda often paints the Palestinians as an angry rocket-bomb throwing mob. However according to travel vlogger LivingBobby (“Living with a Palestinian Family in the West Bank”) nothing can be further from the truth. A glimpse of native Bedouin culture indicates traditionally they are peace-loving, pastoral-caring hosts who know how to make the milk and honey flow from rock. Some even believe that these “generic Arabs” retain the original ancestral DNA of the early Christian Jewish, which would have included Jesus Christ, born outside Bethlehem in the West Bank. Somewhat like the aborigines, they are nomadic, and will “move with their flocks” which helps explain why they did not place that emphasis on land titles, deeds of property, legal descriptions.
This has made them vulnerable to the abuses and exploitation taking place today by the relatively well-educated affluent foreign Zionists with their acculturation to the hard realities of centuries confined to ghettos. The backlash of West Bank Israeli settlers, land grabs, and attacks upon Palestinian villages is covered in documentaries at Al Jazeera and reported by Palestinian News Network. American journalist and foreign policy analyst Robert Inlakesh has visited the West Bank several times and questions the prevalent narrative of the Zionist settlers’ inherent right to seize all Palestinian lands. If Americans Knew founder Alison Weir also is educating Americans on unexposed facts pertaining to the Palestinian question.
“US media almost never report that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are living under military occupation. Every day Israeli soldiers invade Palestinian towns and villages. Abduct men, women, and children, beat them, and control their lives and movement. Nearly every week Israeli forces demolish Palestinian homes, destroy their crops, confiscate Palestinian land, shell Gaza, and kill Palestinians. While Israeli deaths in the conflict are reported by US media, Palestinian deaths, which occur far more often, are usually ignored.”—–Daily Life in Occupied Palestine, IfAmericansKnew.org, July 2020, youtu.be/o22x81SCBiU
“What my cameraman and I witnessed on the Palestinian side of Israel’s wall was the humiliation of Palestinians on a daily basis and a space allocated for a capital which would hardly drive tourism to a country with its depressing scenery bringing with it a feeling of walking around in an open air prison. Even on the other side of the wall Palestinian homes are constantly being demolished and stolen by Israeli settlers as Donald Trump emboldens their actions with a decree that Israel’s undivided capital is to be Jerusalem (alQuds).” —-Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe, Robert Inlakesh, June 2020, youtu.be/vk8Cq2jXhYI
Jerusalem-Bethlehem is located at the crossroads in tension and bloodshed, and there are plenty of ancient fortress walls guarded by soldiers all around the Old City. Even Palestinian Christians, an increasingly tiny sliver in Zionist Israel society, often feel the sting of scrutiny and ethnic prejudice. What good is this kind of democracy in which if at any time you are caught on the wrong side of a soldier, the wrong moment outside one’s home, or come under the machinations of a resettlement agency, you are thrown in jail, deprived of your work permit, and have your home confiscated? It is beyond impossible that Israelis view the situation without a jaundiced eye, even if their brand used home in Silwan is acquired through foreclosure, eviction, or state-sanctioned coercion. It is precisely this smugness that bolsters Africa4Palestine’s outrage. Even tour guide and author, Andre Moubarak, whose family has lived in Jerusalem for generations, must pepper his talks with warnings for visitors to brace themselves. The state has normalized apartheid culture and is desensitized to its unscrupulousness towards Palestinians.
“The Stones Cry Out [:The Story of the Palestinian Christians by Yasmine Perni]; we were going to use it as a movie for Israeli Apartheid week in March; and I approached some people to ask let’s watch this movie together, let’s have a conversation about it together…let’s have students come and watch the movie; can you imagine there was a kickback? A kickback of total silence…Now I need to think broader. We need to speak about the Christians in Palestine, but if Christians are only going to respond for the rights of humanity and dignity for the Christians, that would be irregular according to justice. The Jesus that I serve doesn’t only want me to acknowledge the rights of Palestinians only because of Christians. There are Arab people living here; there possibly could be Jewish people living there; the whosoever there could even be some people who have returned from Ethiopia…And if they are there, then my pursuit of justice should be all encompassing.” —-Reverend Seth Naicker, Christianity, Morals, Ethics and opposing Israel with Reverend Seth Naicker, Africa4Palestine, Nov 2020, https://youtu.be/676iz7U-UQ0
“I see teenagers who are not dressed as soldiers carrying guns, should I be worried? ‘No, guns are a fact of life in Israel, where the majority of teenagers, male and female, serve in the army for two to three years. The men for three years, the female for two years. You will often see people not dressed in uniform having guns. These teens might be in the army, but on leave. They are not required to wear a uniform, but according to law, they cannot leave their guns and weapons unattended. This is why they carry it on them. Do you notice wherever you walk you are surrounded by rocks? Look around you in the Western Wall Plaza, its old rocks are everywhere in this country. And by the way, you can take as many rocks as you want back home.'” —-Andre Moubarak, Walking the Land, Day 09 – Walking from Davidson Museum to the Western Wall Plaza, Andre Moubarak, Sep 2020, youtu.be/K-seR3uhl6l
Having your child wrongly accused of stone-throwing, being forced to stand guard over your home for fear of soldiers mistaking it as “abandoned,” having Zionist neighbors dump garbage on your roof, and being denied the permit to work; all are typical subterfuges used to undermine the tenacity of Palestinians who cling to the hope of staying in their traditional neighborhoods in East Jerusalem such as the Old City, and Silwan. Infractions and injustices including wrongful arrests and multiple court dates happen daily in the desirable neighborhoods adjacent to Temple Mount (Al-Aqsa Mosque) in Jerusalem in the West Bank, which Jerusalem planners hope to ethnically cleanse of Muslim residency. Thousands of Palestinians have been evicted and lost their right to live in Israel, whether Christian, Jewish, or Muslim as shown in Al Jazeera documentary “Israel, Trump & future of Jerusalem.”
Inlakesh’s Muslim friends reveal that refugee movement has intensified under the Trump Peace Deal, which recognizes all of Jerusalem, most of the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and even the Jordan Valley as either rightfully belonging to Israel or for Israel’s right to annex. The Zionists have invaded the sacred East Jerusalem Muslim heritage site Al-Aqsa, first claiming the Western Wall, now claiming the right of entry to recite prayers within. Muslims claim that the Zionists’ desire to build a Third Temple at Al-Aqsa is just the beginning; they want all of the compound for archeological excavation to establish claims for rebuilding the Temple of Solomon as completed in 957 BCE. (A motivation might include recognizing a new world order for historians in freemasonry.) Since the granting of prayer times for Jews at Al-Aqsa there have been riots requiring the closing of the Mosque for all visitors. The intention and effect of the Trump Peace Plan makes it almost impossible for the Palestinian Authority to legitimately retain East Jerusalem as the future Palestinian state capital.
Al Jazeera has interviewed many Palestinian home-owners who cannot obtain a legal permit for their East Jerusalem home, even if they have lived there for decades, whereas Zionist home-owners are able to obtain one readily. In testimonies time and again, Palestinian families are evicted from their house by Israeli soldiers who even have Zionist families on standby ready to move in immediately, while the Palestinian family’s belongings and documents are still inside the home. Furthermore, once the street or business is sealed off from Palestinians by Israeli soldiers, there is no chance of return, meaning that the properties are marked as vacant. In this way, streets are also renamed from Arabic to Hebrew. Many Palestinians and other Arabs cannot obtain legal identification or papers, so those with the means have moved to the United States in hopes of a better future for their children.
The situation is especially unsettling because according to the 1993 Oslo Accords, the two-state solution (UN Resolution 242 and 338) called for a withdrawal to pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as a proposed capital for Palestine. However in 2017, President Trump initiated a series of moves in favor of Israel, including closing down the Palestinian embassy in Washington, DC; moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; and also shuttering the American embassy in East Jerusalem which served Palestinians. Instead, Palestinians are now directed to an office within the new American embassy for Israel in Jerusalem, a process which is degrading especially for Palestinian activists and freedom fighters. Because Netanyahu foresees possible policy changes by a Biden administration, he has even announced a slew of new illegal housing developments in the West Bank in moves intended to seal off the possibility of a contiguous free travel zone for Palestinians to enter or exit through East Jerusalem, whether there are checkpoints or not.
The situation is much worse in Gaza Strip which borders the Mediterranean Sea in an area with offshore oil reserves. The official Israeli explanation for routinely bombing and shelling of the Gaza Strip is that Hamas (labeled as a terrorist organization) is there, even if their bombs often hurt hundreds of civilians and cause multistory concrete buildings to collapse. The official explanation for that would be that all the residents inside Gaza are part of Hamas, since Hamas was voted in as the popular party, rather than the Palestinian National Authority. Thus there are few cooperative agreements between Israel and Gaza on the furnishing of utilities and infrastructure, and the area is also sealed off with checkpoints that prevent all kinds of supplies from entering Gaza. Trade is cut off to the point that the Gazan residents could not survive without building underground tunnels to Sinai where there is a black market for foodstuffs and trade. (The risks are severe whether constructing, traveling through, or filming). Periodically the tunnels are tracked and bombed by the IDF or Egyptian army. Today, foreign observers note, the region’s residents lack clean water, sufficient electricity, food, medicines, and work opportunities. As a Palestinian reporter tells, it is like traveling to a foreign country to gain a permit to travel from the West Bank to Gaza; and even if you can see the ocean 30 miles away, it is impossible to get there. High school students in Gaza hoping to travel to the West Bank to give a music concert are denied a permit as well. The Red Crescent International has typically been a courageous arm of the Palestinian movement with medical workers rescuing families trapped in concrete rubble. The testimony of their saved patients is that these Palestinians are not part of Hamas, and only hope to be given the chance to live a decent if scarred life. Now, patients in Gaza are dying from Covid-19 due to weakened immune systems, and lack of access to expert clinical care and medicines.
“Another example is the situation in Gaza. As you know, Gaza has been hurting in the lockdown really and effectively since 13 years now with total blockade on everything especially humanitarian aid and health medications and their facilities, turning it into a very big open-air prison.” —-Hanan Jarar, Palestine Ambassador to South Africa, The Situation for Palestinians under Covid-19, Africa4Palestine, September 2020, youtu.be/ut-LzNFGmrE
“It’s very sad that we are paying for the price of something we did not cause.”—Jana Jihad, 13yo Palestinian activist and internationally renowned journalist told Robert Inlakesh in Steal of the Century -Part 1
Why any of this matters is the presentiment of the fascist-driven mindset taking root in America and subverting the rights of one-person, one-vote, one-step at a time. Already the billionaires are putting a stranglehold on the court system to fend off the ability of citizens to file wrongful death, wrongful accident, or other abrogations of labor law against corporations. In a country where apartheid has taken hold, the oppressed have no human rights; they are invisible; they must accept the terms of whatever is offered to them. This attitude has been expressed by Israeli politicians, and the recent evidence is that even a joint political party of Arab-Israeli representation in the Knesset was summarily disbanded by the far-right. Zionists assert that the democracy is for Jews only, not Palestinians, and this justifies the intensified open-season attacks upon them, as if it were a Zionist jihad.
According to Australian news-commentator Brendon O’Connell, the Israeli intelligence has far-reaching technical ambitions that include intercepting American communications (and other countries) in a project called Talpiot. These interceptions allow them to bypass diplomatic channels for permissions, including conducting corporate surveillance that involve the information technology giants (Microsoft, Facebook, etc). Through programming backdoors, such as the NSA does, the foreign intelligence service is able to disrupt operative systems at key infrastructure points affecting transportation, electrical grids, even nuclear power plants. By obtaining such secrets they can also reverse engineer American technology to resell around the globe. American mainstream media censorship on saying anything negative about Israel is so extreme it would never touch on the revolving doors systems. It compromises America’s interests to subsidize IT and military training centers overseas then hiring such dual-citizens back into US defense, corporate, or high government positions.
What the state of Israel does, according the the Palestinian Authority and their allies is also against the ICC rulings and the United Nations Charter. Their exploitation of the Palestinian lands is to enable exploration of minerals and oil offshore, and to open new factories, or operate training grounds. It is not done in the interest of Palestine or in consideration of their future. This is in keeping with the neoliberal Greater Israel project which has been described in various reports. That nobody is allowed to question anything that Israel does speaks of their immense sway through the banks, exerted at the United Nations, and the intensifying censorship on truthtellers. Do non-Jews only deserve miseducation, misdirection, and classism, distorted facts and figures, delimitations on freedom of speech, complex and specious career tracks, and curtailed rights in freedom of travel, economic, and social justice?
Cover image from Movements across the world mark Day of Solidarity with Palestine by Peoples Dispatch, November 2020, youtu.be/uLSvLa5G8ww