- Written by Gilbert Schramm Gilbert Schramm
- Published: 21 May 2021 21 May 2021
Gaza, May 20, 2021
An Update and Some Simple Truths
The brutal, ongoing violence in Gaza has brought on the usual handwringing and nonsense. Yet strangely, in some ways, there seems to be a bit of a breakthrough. It is long overdue.
In some quarters, the admissions now made by pundits, policy wonks and reporters would have been unthinkable a few years ago. One is that Netanyahu was never serious about allowing a Palestinian state: barrels of ink were used to insist he did. Some of us have known better for 20 years. We were ignored. Another was the extreme shift to the right in Israel. They are basically now a Zionist supremacist state. Obviously, too, the justifications for extreme violence by Israel have been clearly refuted: if there are this many rockets in Gaza, previous brutal attempts by Israel to destroy them have been a miserable failure. Lots of us knew that too...
When President Carter’s book Peace, Not Apartheid came out in 2006, he was ridiculed and vilified for suggesting Israel was an Apartheid state (a term that has serious implications in international law). That fact is now widely acknowledged. So too is the fact that Netanyahu’s policy not only flagrantly abuses human rights and breaks international law, but a is colossal failure that is more harmful to Israel in the long run than any force the Palestinians might bring to bear.
Other lies and myths are breaking down as well. In the past, many Americans threw up their hands in confusion when this issue came up, believing it too ancient, complex, or insoluble to understand. It is not.
One simple way to look at the current crisis is this: Zionist settlement in Palestine began in about 1895 and continues to this day. In all that time, it is hard to find an example of Palestinians taking land back from the Zionist settlers. That is why today, as Zionist settlers continue to steal Palestinian land, about five generations of Palestinians live in exile or as prisoners and refugees in their own country. Put bluntly, Palestinian violence has always been about defending their land, while Israeli violence has always been about taking it.
In 1895, the ignition point for the violence was Zionist settlers taking Palestinian land and homes. The current episode is no different. What we see today stems directly from Zionist settlers trying to evict Palestinians from their ancestral homes in East Jerusalem. It began in early May as Jewish settlers tried to evict Palestinians from homes in East Jerusalem during Ramadan. Protests began, and at Friday prayers at the sacred Al Aqsa Mosque, Israeli police inflamed the situation by firing on protesting Palestinians. Over 200 Palestinians were wounded. Saturday brought more protests, and around 120 Palestinians were wounded. Some 17 Israeli soldiers were hurt.
Let me make some important distinctions here.
- Written by Brian Walt Brian Walt
- Published: 20 February 2021 20 February 2021
Since 1989, B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, has rigorously documented the many ways Israel violates the basic human rights of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza: through land confiscation, killing of Palestinians by security forces or settlers, forcible transfer of Palestinians, restrictions on movement, torture and abuse in interrogation, and administrative detention. It also reports on violations by Palestinians against the rights of Israeli civilians.
B’Tselem’s report on apartheid challenges what analyst Nathan Thrall terms the “separate regimes delusion” — the idea that Israel within the Green Line is a democracy that is somehow fundamentally different from its “temporary” military occupation of the Occupied Territories that has existed for more than 50 years. The report argues that over time the distinction between the two areas “has grown divorced from reality.” East Jerusalem has been annexed and the West Bank has been annexed in practice. “The entire area between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River is organized under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group — Jews — over another — Palestinians.”
- Written by B'Tselem B'Tselem
- Published: 12 January 2021 12 January 2021
- Written by Gilbert Schramm Gilbert Schramm
- Published: 15 June 2020 15 June 2020
(you can read more articles by Gilbert Schramm at: https://mind-cast.com)
What the lives of American people of color and Palestinians have in common is first and foremost that they both matter. To remind people of this simple fact is not to suggest that other lives don’t matter—that is just nonsense—a cheap distraction and sophomoric talking point. The point of the slogan “Black Lives Matter” is to draw attention to the obvious fact that people of color in the US (like Palestinians) have systematically been treated with callous, often brutal and lethal, disregard.
- Written by Zaha Hassan Zaha Hassan
- Published: 05 July 2019 05 July 2019
Live-streamed coverage of the Bahrain “Peace to Prosperity” workshop, phase one in the Trump administration’s release of its peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians, brought to mind a dark, smoke-filled room from an earlier period where other powerful men, British and French, divvied up Arab land after World War I. This time, Arab governments and the U.S. co-hosted the dismemberment of the Palestinians’ national aspirations, while sitting in TED Talk-styled respectability. Just as before, ideas like human rights, self-determination and political and economic sovereignty were completely lost on the architects of this new effort.
The glitzy presentations and marketing materials largely repackage old, failed ideas about the potential for economic development, even while Israel keeps control over Palestinian land. There is no acknowledgment of the existence of an Israeli military occupation, no mention of the likely formal annexation of the West Bank following Israeli elections in September, nor of Israel’s intention to continue its twelve-year isolation and siege of Gaza. Instead, the plan assumes what ails Palestinians is not a lack of freedom and self-determination, but the poor management of their economy and a lack of knowledge about how to run basic municipal services.