Israeli State Terror Belies Wanting Peace – by Stephen Lendman
In his book “Overcoming Zionism,” Joel Kovel called Israel “a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses” led by terrorists posing as democrats.
Throughout its history, Israeli policy toward Arabs has been corrosive, destructive, racist, extremist, undemocratic and hateful.
It’s leaders chose violence, not peaceful coexistence; confrontation, not diplomacy; and strength through militarism, intimidation, and naked aggression.
For over 63 years, Palestinians paid the price. They’ve suffered brutally at the hands of “God’s chosen people,” believing Jewish exceptionalism renders Muslim Arabs inferior legitimate enemies and terrorists for wanting to live free in peace on their own land in their own country.
Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir once explained that Israel’s 1982 Lebanon war was launched because there was a “terrible danger….not so much a military one as a political one,” so a pretext was invented to preemptively attack when no threat or justification existed.
On October 2, Israeli planes bombed an area east of Beit Hanoun, Gaza. Medical emergency spokesman Adham Abu Silmiyia said Israeli warplanes fired a missile, injuring three Palestinians. Israel said militants were targeted, providing no proof. They were nonviolent civilians.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reports continued “systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and property….”
In late September, fishermen at sea were attacked. Numerous similar incidents occurred, causing injuries and vessel damage.
Israeli forces killed one civilian and wounded seven others in Qasra village near Nablus.
Brutal force is used against peaceful protesters. In recent clashes, 18 Palestinians, including six children and a French human rights activist, were injured.
Israeli forces conducted 36 incursions into West Bank Palestinian communities. Arrests were made, including a Palestinian Legislative Council member.
Gazans remain suffocating under siege, and settlers regularly attack Palestinians with impunity.
On October 3, the International Middle East Media Center said extremist West Bank settlers torched a Galilee mosque in Toba Zanghriyya village, then wrote “Price Tag” and “Revenge” on its walls.
Despite efforts by residents to extinguish the blaze, destruction was extensive, including holy books consumed.
Northern Branch on the Islamic Movement deputy head, Sheikh Kamal Khatib, said “racism is controlling the Jewish sector in Israel.” He also held Netanyahu’s government responsible for “encourag(ing) hatred toward Muslims.”
In June, another mosque was targeted, and “(u)nder the Price Tag campaign, Israeli settlers….attacked and torched several others, in addition to setting Palestinian orchards and farmlands” ablaze.
Each time, Israeli police say they’ll investigate. Arrests and prosecutions rarely follow. Settlers have virtual impunity to terrorize Palestinian civilians as do Israeli security forces. They take full advantage.
On October 3, Haaretz writers Eli Ashkenazi and Jack Khoury headlined, “Violent clashes erupt between Israeli Arabs, police after apparent ‘price tag’ attack,” saying:
“Some 300 Israeli Arabs clashed with security forces in the Upper Galilee on Monday after a mosque in their village was set on fire in a suspected ‘price tag’ attack.”
Israeli forces responded violently with tear gas and stun grenades. Angry villagers called the incident “very serious,” saying:
“It is obvious that Jewish extremists did this. Despite the internal divisions we have, no one here would dare harm the mosque.”
Palestinians live under horrific occupation conditions, including intimidation, economic strangulation, collective punishment, mass arrests, torture, regular incursions, land theft, dispossessions, roadblocks, checkpoints, barriers, cantonized isolation, daily humiliation, and preemptive war against defenseless civilians.
Yet Netanyahu wants peace. Quartet members proposed negotiations to achieve what never worked before and won’t now.
Palestinians want UN membership now, not later or never. Collaborationists leaders may deny them. Rhetoric substitutes for resolutely pursuing what’s doable by mid-October if proper procedures are followed.
Palestine already is a state, recognized by over 130 countries. Law Professor Francis Boyle drafted its 1988 Declaration of Independence.
Palestinians want official UN recognition and full membership. So do millions of global supporters.
Instead they’ll get more talks going nowhere. On October 2, New York Times writer Isabel Kershner headlined, “Israel Supports Proposal to Restart Mideast Talks,” saying:
On Sunday, Israel “formally accepted an international proposal to return to (no peace) peace negotiations with the Palestinians, but any immediate resumption of talks appeared unlikely as the Israelis and Palestinians differed sharply over the letter and spirit of the proposal.”
PA Speaker Salim Zanoun called Quartet proposals “mislead(ing) the world by saying that negotiations are doable in light of settlement expansions,” adding:
“What negotiations is the Quartet statement talking about while Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian land to build settlement homes every day? Is not the approval of new residential units in settlements a serious breach of the road map plan and international law?”
Palestinian spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said:
“Returning to negotiations requires the commitment of Israel to halt settlement activities and to recognize the 1967 borders without any equivocation or any attempts to avoid the international resolutions.”
Netanyahu, in fact, flatly refuses. Numerous times he and other Israeli officials said construction will proceed apace. It remains to be seen if Palestinians yield to pressure despite rhetorical opposition.
Kershner reported that an unnamed senior Israeli official said Netanyahu’s government already “show(ed) more restraint (on settlement construction) than any previous” one.
However, no Israeli government ever stopped expansions, “reiterating a long-held Israeli position and rejecting a crucial Palestinian demand.”
In fact, Netanyahu’s government is Israel’s worst, including on settlement construction. Despite agreeing to a 2010 10-month moratorium, building never stopped. It never even slowed.
Kershner and other Times writers know it, but regurgitate the canard about Netanyahu’s restraint. About as much as a mad dog or coiled snake.
Middle East envoy Tony Blair is another obstacle. Impartiality was never his long suit. Nor was following rule of law principles.
On October 3, London Telegraph writer Adrian Blomfield headlined, “Tony Blair’s job in jeopardy as Palestinians accuse him of bias,” saying:
Senior PLO officials are expected “to declare Mr. Blair persona non grata, (intending) to isolate (him) to such an extent that his position would become untenable.”
Instead of an impartial arbiter, he functions as an Israeli spokesman, including pressuring world leaders to oppose Palestinian UN membership.
According to an unnamed Palestinian official:
“We have been extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with Mr. Blair’s performance since he became envoy (in June 2007), but particularly in the past few weeks.”
He referred to reports that Blair’s been lobbying EU leaders to oppose Palestine’s UN membership.
Another unnamed Palestinian official added:
“There is no one within the Palestinian leadership that supports or likes or trusts Tony Blair, particularly because of the very damaging role he played during our UN bid.”
“He is considered persona non grata in Palestine. Although we can’t prevent him from coming here, we can hopefully minimize the role he can play because he is not a mediator. He is totally biased” for Israel. Senior negotiator Nabil Shaath said he sounds “like an Israeli diplomat.”
“An aide to Mr. Blair declined to comment on the Palestinian accusations.”
Blair, in fact, lacked credibility from day one. When Gordon Brown succeeded him as UK prime minister, he was Britain’s most despised and discredited man. Public anger was so intense, he had no choice.
Over his 10-year tenure, his approval rating dropped from 90% to the mid-20% range or lower. Nonetheless, hours after standing down, he was named Quartet Middle East envoy. Palestinians paid the price, working with a reinvented war criminal backing Israel against them.
Imagine anyone with his credentials arriving as a peace envoy to the region he waged war against and have any credibility. In fact, he’s been Washington’s man working for Israel to continue decades of open conflict and ethnic cleansing.
Blair, Bush, Obama, and Netanyahu deplore peace. They’re unindicted war criminals. They partnered in regional imperial wars. Palestinians waited over four years to say no more Blair. What about Obama and Netanyahu, sworn Palestinian enemies.
Palestinian Aid on the Line
Congress just cut $200 million. If Palestine pursues UN membership, another $600 million more is at risk, the amount Washington supplied annually since 2008.
Palestinian Minister of Planning and Administrative Development Ali Jarbawi told Haaretz that congressional aid blocking won’t affect Palestine’s UN petition.
Ma’an News reported that European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told Abbas that EU aid will continue despite Palestine’s UN membership bid.
The European Commission is Palestine’s largest donor. PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said no “official confirmation” of blocked US aid was received. However, if threats materialize, Arab League support will be solicited.
A Final Comment
Long denied justice depends on Palestinians going it alone, using global support, pressuring world leaders to back them.
Most do. Use them. More will come aboard. Israel grows more isolated. Washington’s regional influence is waning. Parlay it for justice. Delay subverts it.
Forget about Abbas, Fayyad and other fossilized hangers-on. Abandon them for liberation. It’s there with enough commitment under emerging leaders no longer satisfied with status quo oppression.
Launch new initiatives. Difficult steps take time, impossible ones a little longer. Ordinary Palestinians can have real change.
It’s their choice if they’ll put their bodies on the line for nothing less. It’s how all great victories are won.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Israeli State Terror Belies Wanting Peace – by Stephen Lendman