As a precursor to the following article, it is important to state that this is not in any way an attempt at a simply journalistic or so-called ‘un-biased’ approach to the Palestine/Israel conflict. As a Jewish activist against Zionism and a ten years social justice organizer, I must say that in fact this is a very biased article in favor of the oppressed side of the conflict.
On Monday November 2nd, 2015 the government of Israel passed into law a minimum 3-year prison sentence for Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem who throw stones at the police and the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). The law also states that Palestinian stone-throwers along with their families will be stripped of their state-benefits. The day before on November 1st, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to cancel Jerusalem residency for up to 100,000 Palestinians living in the city. This outright threatening of ethnic cleansing is a scare tactic by Netanyahu to tell Palestinians they will become refugees on their own land like so many Palestinians before them if they revolt to injustice. But did this really work?
Where does this threatening of crackdown come from and why is it being used to collectively punish all Palestinians living in East Jerusalem? Why a campaign to strike fear into the Palestinian people? Because the crisis of Israel’s occupation of Palestine has reached to a boiling point and Palestinian heroic resistance has reached to point of no return. So much so, that Palestinian citizens of Israel, who this new law affects them too are also joining the resistance en mass. Resistance to Israeli occupation, discrimination, suppression, exploitation and humiliation has spread through all areas where Palestinian people live. Indeed 67 years of intimidation, expulsion, killings and imprisonment of Palestinian did not work. In Gaza, the West Bank, the refugee camps and all over Israeli occupied territories people are in motion for self-determination. This phenomenon taking place as far wide as it is, is being called on both sides of the conflict, one side with fear, the other side with hope: The Third Intifada!
The 3rd Intifada
Since the beginning of October a wave of resistance has grown among the Palestinian population and specially youth in all areas struggling against Israel’s occupation, as well as police and army excessive brutality. There is no shortage of news headlines in the West claiming acts of terrorism, stabbings by Palestinian radicals against Israeli settlers and military personnel. However a glimpse into the Palestinian reality, which major media easily neglects, can give a more sober and honest projection of the events taking place.
The media will tell a short story of Israeli government tightening and limiting access of Palestinians to Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, one of the holiest sites for people of the Muslim faith. The media tells us that anger over the restrictions of Palestinians to enter the holy site have led to these radicalized stabbings by Palestinians against Israelis. However the media does not paint the full picture, not even a sketch. The seizing of Al Aqsa mosque by Israel is simply another insult in the face of the Palestinian people who already suffer under the most disturbing conditions known to humanity. A quick look at the hard statistics can give a good idea of the reality on the ground. Since the beginning of October, Israeli forces as well as Israeli settlers have killed at least 73 Palestinians. That number includes women, children and peaceful protesters. In the same amount of time nine Israelis have been killed. Since the beginning of October, 1,600 Palestinians, the majority of which are youths have been imprisoned by Israel.
The current conflict has led to the usual clamor of international institutions and governments with their ever applicable, always faithful solution: Negotiations! The idea is to bring the two sides together to come to a peaceful resolution. The problem is that historically Israel has demonstrated time and time again that they are not a negotiating party but a war party. Every major confrontation between Palestinian people and the State of Israel has come to negotiations on the grounds of the “Two-State Solution”. However, as if it even was ever in the Zionists interests to pursue such an agreement. Their talks and actions every time negotiations have been contrary. During the talks on the Oslo Accord in March 2014 negotiating the terms of a two-state solution, Israel continued expanding it’s territory throughout the West Bank making an impossible solution ever more impossible. And that is just one example. Throughout all years of negotiations Israel has waved the carrot while it simultaneously uses the stick against the Palestinian people. And the Zionist leaders including Netanyahu have not been quiet about it either. Leading up to March 2015 Israeli elections Netanyahu stated clearly “I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands, is giving attack grounds to the radical Islam against the state of Israel”. When reporters asked him if that statement meant that if elected he would not pursue a two-state solution, Netanyahu confirmed that was, “correct”. The Israeli ruling class’ lack of interest and seriousness for any peace negotiation or two state solution is also very apparent with the creation and continuation of the apartheid separation wall around Palestinians to separate the well kept and modern life of Israeli settlers from the poor and dire conditions of Palestinian farmers, town and villages. How could there be any peace negotiations and two state solutions when the Apartheid Wall already divided Palestinians into the separate enclaves?
Insult to Injury
On October 20th, Prime Minister Netanyahu in a move that would have been surprising if not coming from the mouth of the very person leading the criminal assault on Palestinian people, in his speech ingeniously entitled “the 10 big lies” to the World Zionist Congress, made the following statement: “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini (Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem) went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ he asked. He said, ‘Burn them.’” What does that mean in plain terms? That Palestinians NOT Hitler are responsible for the Holocaust. Later on Facebook Netanyahu apologized for his outright fabrication of history after Zionist opposition parties, governments worldwide, including a spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and dozens of Holocaust survivors protested his comments.
Canada and Israel – Harper and Trudeau
Despite the brutality of Israel’s assault on Palestinian people and despite Israel’s ignorance of any negotiations for peace, the government of Canada historically and especially under the leadership of former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper have been strong. It’s good for people living in Canada to know that the newly elected Liberal candidate Justin Trudeau has no plans on changing that relationship. Both Rafael Barak, Israeli Ambassador to Canada and Trudeau’s spokesperson, Kate Purchase commented on the very positive telephone call recently made between Trudeau and Netenyahu. Barak commented after the call “I’m sure maybe the style will change… But I don’t feel there will be a change on the substance. I’m really reassured.”
Zionist Occupation Is the Problem
Alongside the Palestinian resistance, a growing movement of Jewish people living in Israel have also joined the ranks of opposition to the government of Israel. Especially since the time of the Arab Spring and Occupy Movements, Jewish people have gone to the streets in hundreds of thousands demanding social justice for their own rights as well as Palestinians. This occurrence is not surprising considering the “GINI Index” which measures inequality in countries rated Israel as second most unequal country in the world following the United States.
The Israeli victims of stabbings by Palestinians is a direct result of 67 years of Israel’s brutal occupation of historic Palestine, as well as imposing all kind of inhuman, racist measures and conditions on all Palestinians from the border of Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, From Lebanon to Egypt. In case you are wondering: What I am saying is that the killing of any innocent Israeli as well as any Palestinian is the result of the same culprit. Israel is responsible for both. Israels Zionist rulers created the conditions for this to happen.
1, 2, 3… Many Intifadas! Support Self-determination of Palestinian!
The Intifada is a strong uplift in the struggle of Palestinian people for liberation. They have received support and solidarity from peace-loving people around the world to their legitimate claim to all of their territory and self-determination. The Palestinian cause has won the hearts of countless millions in the Middle East and North Africa especially but around the world as well. But verbal, written or online protest has not been enough to undo the Zionist project of total occupation of Palestine.
It is not hard to understand Palestinian reaction to Israel once we can see their conditions more clearly. All Palestinians are prisoners. And Israel has two types of prisons: The one that every Palestinian lives in simply for having been born, and the one they are put in for striking back at the prison system, inequality and injustice.
The majority of Jewish people and their Palestinian sisters and brothers want essentially the same thing. They both want peace and security, a good life for them and their families. With that in mind I argue we have a lot more in common than we have apart. The myth that Jews and Palestinians can not live together is proven historically false. Black and White and Brown all live peacefully in South Africa’s post apartheid regime. Palestinian and Jewish people have much better history and condition to live together peacefully than South African. Before the British Belfore Declaration in 1917 to increase hostility between Jewish settlers and Palestinians, and before the creation of the racist Zionist state of Israel in 1948, these two great people as well as all different faith believers lived side by side for centuries as one unit in Palestine. Today after more than 35 years of fruitless peace negotiations, ever more expansion of Jewish settlements, 3 heroic Intifadas and the creation of the Apartheid Wall, a One State solution seems the only viable alternative to this blood shed and ever increasing conflict and fear mongering among Jewish and Palestinian people.
Let us all support the Palestinian Third Intifada! Let’s build a solidarity movement with Palestinians! Let’s make this the last Intifada! Let’s support the Right of Return for all Palestinians! Jewish people and their Palestinian sisters and brothers should join together to defeat the racist, Zionist state of Israel! Let’s End the Occupation! Let’s support Self-Determination for Palestine! For many centuries Muslims, Christians and Jewish people lived together under one sky. We can do it today too.
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