Waging War on Palestine
by Stephen Lendman
Palestinians know what they’re up against. UN success changed nothing on the ground. Daily Israeli state terror continues. World leaders do nothing to help.
Rhetorical Palestinian support rings hollow. Americans like to say: Put your money where your mouth is. World leaders able to change things put theirs on Israel. They’re complicit with US/Israeli imperial crimes.
They spurn Palestinian rights. Their suffering continues daily. On December 1, Israeli soldiers shot two more Gazans.
They accosted, arrested and detained another 13 Palestinian fishermen. Their “crime” was fishing in their own waters.
On November 21, Israel accepted memorandum of understanding terms. Both sides agreed to end conflict.
It continues unabated. Israel bears full responsibility. It bears repeating. Its word isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
Rogue states operate that way. Israel is one of the worst. It matches the worst of regional tyranny. It’s unsafe to live in. Even Jews for justice are targeted. Israel tolerates no opposition.
Shock troops attacked peaceful West Bank protesters. They arrested dozens lawlessly. They terrorize Palestinian communities. Occupation harshness continues. Life for Palestinians is hell.
A new Palestinian Detainee Research Center (PDRC) report said Israel “kidnapped” 650 Palestinians in November. Included were 85 children, seven women, and six legislators.
Fourteen PLC members are imprisoned for belonging to the wrong political parties.
After gaining power in 1933, Hitler eliminated political opposition the same way. Social democrats, communists, union officials, and others were arrested, imprisoned, or murdered.
PDRC said Israel throughout November conducted over 300 incursions into Palestinian communities – over 10 per day on average.
Peace, equity, justice, and liberation remain distant dreams. Israeli state terror prevents them. A December 1 International Solidarity Movement (ISM) headline expressed today’s reality:
“New state, same occupation: violence in Qaryut as villagers attempt to remove illegal roadblock.”
ISM meant new status. Palestinian statehood was achieved over 24 years ago. The UN vote had nothing to do with reaffirming what already exists.
ISM said Israeli soldiers attacked peaceful protesters. On November 30, they fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters into a crowd at close range.
Palestinians wanted an illegal road block on their own land removed. Israel terrorized them. Injuries resulted. Several hurt required hospitalization. Attacks like this are frequent.
Israeli Shilo and Eli settlements are destroying Qaryut village. Palestinian land is stolen to expand them. Israel criminalizes peaceful protesters. “Is this what the new (Palestine) will continue to look like,” asked ISM?
On June 14, 2009, Netanyahu spoke at Bar-Ilan University. For the first time, he (rhetorically) accepted “a demilitarized Palestinian state side by side with the Jewish state.”
Palestinian weapons pale compared to Israel’s destructive arsenal. Demilitarization would work if Israel renounced war for peace and disarmed.
Netanyahu’s words rang hollow. He opposes all Palestinian rights. Observers knew he didn’t mean what he said.
His Likud Party platform says the following about Palestinian self-determination:
Unilaterally establishing a Palestinian state “will constitute a fundamental and substantive violation of the agreements with the State of Israel and the scuttling of the Oslo and Wye accords.”
“The government will adopt immediate stringent measures in the event of such a declaration.”
Platform language says the following about settlements:
“The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (all Occupied Palestine) are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel.”
“The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”
Likud also rejects Israeli/Palestinian Green Line separation. It prioritizes stealing Palestinian land. It also declares all Jerusalem sovereign Israeli territory.
In the process, international law is spurned. Israeli lawlessness continues because world leaders able to stop it do nothing.
On Sunday, Israel said it’s withholding $100 million in monthly tax revenue it collects for the PA. Doing so is grand theft. It’s delivering on promised retribution. Expect much more ahead.
On December 2, a Haaretz editorial headlined “Israel’s punishment,” saying:
UN Member States spoke “loud and clear: Yes to a two-state solution. But Israel’s government responded with a step that, first and foremost, punishes Israel.”
Previous articles explained that two states once were possible. No longer. Israel controls too much Palestinian land. It won’t relinquish any. Partition won’t work.
The only viable solution is one state for all its people at peace with equal rights. Netanyahu’s decision to build another 3,000 housing units separating East Jerusalem from the West Bank drove a final nail in the two-state corpse.
It wasn’t possible before. For sure, it’s not now. Netanyahu’s announcement came while UN Member States voted. He punished Palestinians and “the world,” said Haaretz.
It didn’t go unnoticed. Israel was also “punished.” It’s “entrenching itself even further in its own rejectionism, and deepening its isolation and the disconnect between itself and the international reality.”
Perhaps so, but Palestinians so far aren’t benefitting. Haaretz called settlement construction on extremely sensitive land “a particularly grave and dangerous decision.”
Instead of showing restraint, “the government is dragging Israel into additional diplomatic disasters. And instead of embarking on sincere, genuine negotiations with the new observer state, Israel is turning its back on it, and on the world.”
Netanyahu’s policies belie his Bar-Ilan bluster. His posturing was willful deception. He also broke his pledge not to build new E1 Ma’aleh Adumin settlement housing units.
He regularly shows what he stands for and where he’s heading. Haaretz envisions “diplomatic isolation, denunciation and ostracism by the world.”
Believing it is way over the top. Perhaps some day. Not now. This, too, shall pass. Israel proved time and again it can commit the most egregious crimes and get away with them.
It won’t continue forever. Israel’s day of reckoning awaits. It’s also true for its Washington paymaster/partner. Policies causing so much harm to so many will end. When, who knows.
Palestinian suffering continues. Regional war threatens. No end of conflict appears near. Humanity is at risk.
Perhaps mushroom shaped cloud resolution awaits. It’s disturbingly possible. Things could indeed end with a bang. It can’t be ruled out.
A Final Comment
On November 29, the world spoke. The dust so far hasn’t settled. Rogue states won’t let it. Nor will media scoundrels.
Rupert Murdoch is perhaps the worst. His worldview reflects demagoguery, peudo-journalism, political power, villainy, neoliberal harshness, warmongering, and disdain for what matters most to most people.
Opinions expressed throughout his media empire affirm his own. Others aren’t tolerated.
He’s a malignant force against the majority’s general welfare. He’s hard-right, pro-business, pro-war, anti-populist, and a virtual voice for rightwing extremism.
He’s a force for evil, not good. He’s also a longtime pro-Israeli stalwart. He received numerous awards from Jewish organizations for supporting decades of Israeli lawlessness.
His Wall Street Journal reaches opinion-makers. On December 1, it ran a disgraceful anti-Palestinian editorial. It headlined “The Palestinian Mirage,” saying:
“It was no accident that (Abbas) chose November 29 to seek” upgraded UN status. “November 29 is the 65th anniversary” of the 1947 UN Partition Plan.
It granted 56% of historic Palestine to Jews. At the time, they had one-third of the population. Palestinians got 42%.
Jerusalem was designated an international city (a corpus separatum – separate body) under a UN Trusteeship Council.
Jews accepted Resolution 181, said the Journal. Palestinians rejected it for good reason. Journal editors didn’t explain. They omit what’s most important. They support wrong over right. Murdoch tolerates nothing less.
Israel got more than just 56%. It got Palestine’s most fertile land. It also got nearly all urban and most valued rural areas. Palestinians were disgracefully cheated. They had no right of appeal.
Had they accepted a bad deal, their own “state would be as old as Israel is today.” It would have more than 22% of original Palestine, claimed Journal editors.
They omitted explaining Israel’s genocidal war of independence.
They said nothing about June 1967. Israel wanted 100% of historic Palestine and got it.
Palestinians erred, claimed the Journal. They and other “Arabs sought to murder Israel in its crib by invading it.”
Israel’s 1947-48 war was a walkover. Ilan Pappe’s “Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” discussed what happened. Murdoch revisionism can’t change it.
Israel’s genocidal slaughter and displacement was well planned. Ben-Gurion and key Zionists had final say. They were merciless. They lay siege to Palestinian villages and population centers. They bombarded them.
They burnt homes and other property. They reigned terror on defenseless people. They committed appalling atrocities. They raped helpless women. Nazis were hanged for similar crimes.
Hagana and commando Palmach units numbered about 80,000. They included naval, air, and ground units. They had tanks, artillery, and other heavy armor.
Palestinian forces numbered about 7,000. They were hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned. Fighting began in late 1947. Arab intervention was late, weak, and indifferent.
Superior Jewish forces overwhelmed them. They might as well have stayed home for all the good they did. Israel’s war was hopelessly one-sided. UN nations did nothing for Palestinians.
They relegated them to their current fate. They ignore them now. They’re indifferent to their suffering. Journal editors blamed them for Israeli crimes.
They piled on more for responding defensively to eight Israeli terror bombing days. They ignored premeditated Israeli slaughter and destruction.
They focused on potential harm to Israelis. They were practically unscathed compared to hundreds of Palestinians killed and injured.
They said nothing about Israel targeting civilians, schools, mosques, residential neighborhoods, and other nonmilitary targets.
Murdoch spurns truth and full disclosure. His worldview is malevolent, distorted and one-sided. His editors claimed upgraded UN status violated Oslo.
They called the Accords “the legal basis for Mr. Abbas’ Palestinian Authority and require negotiations with Israel to create a state.”
Palestine, of course, is a state. Oslo was a Palestinian Versailles. It was unilateral surrender. It affirmed vaguely defined negotiating terms.
No fixed timeline or outcome were specified. Israeli officials obstructed and delayed. Concessions weren’t made. Land theft continued. Settlements expanded exponentially.
Colonization is policy. So is ethnic cleansing. Palestinians got nothing for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel’s right to exist, and agreeing to leave major unresolved issues for later final status talks. They’re still waiting.
Major issues include an independent sovereign Palestine free from occupation, the right of return, settlements, borders, water rights, and East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory and future capital.
A new Palestinian Authority (PA) was established. Arafat agreed to enforce Israeli authority. Occupation hell continued. It still does. UN upgrade changes nothing.
Peace and nonviolence aren’t possible because Israel won’t tolerate them. Nor does America.
“It will be interesting to see if the Palestinians now use their new UN status to harass Israelis in venues such as the International Criminal Court. Such tactics are aimed at making everyday life increasingly unbearable for Israelis….”
It’s shocking at what ends up in print. Journal editors want Jews alone afforded rights. They want Palestinians to obey their Israeli master.
They want them to accept occupation harshness. They want decades of Israeli terror to continue unimpeded. Anything less is Palestine’s “make-believe world,” they say.
It’s hard believing this stuff gets published. It’s hard imagining editors would allow it. It’s harder imagining they’d sell their souls for a buck. They do it every day they show up for work. Media scoundrels operate this way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
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.