Zionism is the latest anti-Semitic cult

Bigots were Zionism’s avid fans—it was the anti-Semites who championed the Zionists.

Excerpt

Our topic is of course the so-called “conflict” in Israel-Palestine, a tragedy that has dragged on for so long that it feels static, indeed almost normalized.

But unlike other deadly conflicts, this one is wholly in our power to stop—“our” meaning the United States and Europe.

It is in our power to stop it, because we are the ones empowering it.

We are now approaching the centennial of the British Original Sin in this tragedy, the Balfour Declaration.

The British role in Palestine was a case of ‘hit & run’: The Balfour Declaration, in which the British gave away other people’s land, was the hit; and thirty years later, Resolution 181—Partition—was the run, leaving the Palestinians abandoned in a ditch.

Zionism was of course among the incarnations of racial-nationalism that evolved in the late nineteenth century.

Bigots were Zionism’s avid fans—it was the anti-Semites who championed the Zionists.

Gertrude Bell, the famous English writer, traveler, archaeologist, and spy, reported, based on her personal experience, that those who supported Zionism did so because it provided a way to get rid of Jews.

The London Standard’s correspondent to the first Zionist Conference in 1897 I think described Zionism perfectly. He reported that

…the degeneration which calls itself Anti-Semitism [bear in mind that ‘anti-Semitism’ was then a very new term] has begotten the degeneration which adorns itself with the name of Zionism.

Indeed, most Jews and Jewish leaders dismissed Zionism as the latest anti-Semitic cult.

They had fought for equality, and resented being told that they should now make a new ghetto—and worse yet, to do so on other people’s land.

They resented being cast as a separate race of people as Zionism demanded.

They had had quite enough of that from non-Jewish bigots.

For others, the idea of going to a place where one could act out racial superiority was seductive.

As the political theorist Eduard Bernstein put it at about the time the Balfour Declaration was being finessed, Zionism is “a kind of intoxication which acts like an epidemic”.

By the time the Balfour Declaration was finalised, thirty-plus years of Zionist settlement had made clear that the Zionists intended to ethnically cleanse the land for a settler state based on racial superiority; and it was the behind-the-scenes demands of the principal Zionist leaders, notably Chaim Weizmann and Baron Rothschild.

Forget Liberating Ukraine, We Need To Liberate Our Minds

JONATHAN COOK
JUNE 10TH, 2022

Nothing should better qualify me to write about world affairs at the moment – and Western meddling in Ukraine – than the fact that I have intimately followed the twists and turns of Israeli politics for two decades.

We will turn to the wider picture in a moment. But before that, let us consider developments in Israel, as its “historic,” year-old government – which included for the very first time a party representing a section of Israel’s minority of Palestinian citizens – teeters on the brink of collapse.

Crisis struck, as everyone knew it would sooner or later, because the Israeli parliament had to vote on a major issue relating to the occupation: renewing a temporary law that for decades has regularly extended Israel’s legal system outside its territory, applying it to Jewish settlers living on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank.

That law lies at the heart of an Israeli political system that the world’s leading human rights groups, both in Israel and abroad, now belatedly admit has always constituted apartheid.

The law ensures that Jewish settlers living in the West Bank in violation of international law receive rights different from, and far superior to, those of the Palestinians that are ruled over by Israel’s occupying military authorities.

The law enshrines the principle of Jim Crow-style inequality, creating two different systems of law in the West Bank: one for Jewish settlers and another for Palestinians. But it does more.

Those superior rights, and their enforcement by Israel’s army, have for decades allowed Jewish settlers to rampage against Palestinian rural communities with absolute impunity and steal their land – to the point that Palestinians are now confined to tiny, choked slivers of their own homeland.

In international law, that process is called “forcible transfer,” or what we would think of as ethnic cleansing.

It’s a major reason that the settlements are a war crime – a fact that the International Criminal Court in the Hague is finding it very hard to ignore.

Israel’s leading politicians and generals would all be tried for war crimes if we lived in a fair, and sane, world.

So what happened when this law came before the parliament for a vote on its renewal?

The “historic” government, supposedly a rainbow coalition of leftwing and rightwing Jewish parties joined by a religiously conservative Palestinian party, split on entirely predictable ethnic lines.

Members of the Palestinian party either voted against the law or absented themselves from the vote.

All the Jewish parties in the government voted for it.

The law failed – and the government is now in trouble – because the rightwing Likud Party of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined the Palestinian parties in voting against the law, in the hope of bringing the government down, even though his legislators are completely committed to the apartheid system it upholds.

UPHOLDING APARTHEID

What is most significant about the vote is that it has revealed something far uglier about Israel’s Jewish tribalism than most Westerners appreciate.

It shows that all of Israel’s Jewish parties – even the “nice ones” that are termed leftwing or liberal – are in essence racist.

Most Westerners understand Zionism to be split into two broad camps: the right, including the far-right, and the liberal-left camp.

Today this so-called liberal-left camp is tiny and represented by the Israeli Labour and Meretz parties.

Israel’s Labour Party is considered so respectable that Britain’s Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, publicly celebrated the recent restoration of ties after the Israeli party severed connections during the term of Starmer’s predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.

 

But note this. Not only have the Labour and Meretz parties been sitting for a year in a government led by Naftali Bennett, whose party represents the illegal settlements, they have just voted for the very apartheid law that ensures the settlers get superior rights over Palestinians, including the right to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their land.

In the case of the Israeli Labour Party, that is hardly surprising.

Labour founded the first settlements and, apart from a brief period in the late 1990s when it paid lip service to a peace process, always backed to the hilt the apartheid system that enabled the settlements to expand.

None of that ever troubled Britain’s Labour Party, apart from when it was led by Corbyn, a genuinely dedicated anti-racist.

But by contrast to Labour, Meretz is an avowedly anti-occupation party.

That was the very reason it was founded in the early 1990s. Opposition to the occupation and the settlements is supposedly hardwired into its DNA.

So how did it vote for the very apartheid law underpinning the settlements?

UTTER HYPOCRISY

The naïve, or mischievous, will tell you Meretz had no choice because the alternative was Bennett’s government losing the vote – which in fact happened anyway – and reviving the chances of Netanyahu returning to power. Meretz’s hands were supposedly tied.

This argument – of pragmatic necessity – is one we often hear when groups professing to believe one thing act in ways that damage the very thing they say they hold dear.

But Israeli commentator Gideon Levy makes a very telling point that applies far beyond this particular Israeli case.

He notes that Meretz would never have been seen to vote for the apartheid law – whatever the consequences – if the issue had been about transgressing the rights of Israel’s LGBTQ community rather than transgressing Palestinian rights.

Meretz, whose leader is gay, has LGBTQ rights at the top of its agenda.

Levy writes: “Two justice systems in the same territory, one for straight people and another for gay people?

Is there any circumstance in which this would happen? A single political constellation that could bring it about?”

The same could be said of Labour, even if we believe, as Starmer apparently does, that it is a leftwing party.

Its leader, Merav Michaeli, is an ardent feminist.

Would Labour, Levy writes, “ever raise its hand for apartheid laws against [Israeli] women in the West Bank?

Two separate legal systems, one for men and another for women? Never. Absolutely not.”

Levy’s point is that even for the so-called Zionist left, Palestinians are inherently inferior by virtue of the fact that they are Palestinian.

The Palestinian gay community and Palestinian women are just as affected by the Israel’s apartheid law favoring Jewish settlers as Palestinian men are.

So in voting for it, Meretz and Labour showed that they do not care about the rights of Palestinian women or members of the Palestinian LGBTQ community.

Their support for women and the gay community is dependent on the ethnicity of those belonging to these groups.

It should not need highlighting how close such a distinction on racial grounds is to the views espoused by the traditional supporters of Jim Crow in the U.S. or apartheid’s supporters in South Africa.

So what makes Meretz and Labour legislators capable of not just utter hypocrisy but such flagrant racism? The answer is Zionism.

Zionism is a form of ideological tribalism that prioritizes Jewish privilege in the legal, military and political realms.

However leftwing you consider yourself, if you subscribe to Zionism you regard your ethnic tribalism as supremely important – and for that reason alone, you are racist.

You may not be conscious of your racism, you may not wish to be racist, but by default you are.

Ultimately, when push comes to shove, when you perceive your own Jewish tribalism to be under threat from another tribalism, you will revert to type.

Your racism will come to fore, just as surely as Meretz’s just did.

DECEPTIVE SOLIDARITY

But of course, there is nothing exceptional about most Israeli Jews or Israel’s Zionist supporters abroad, whether Jewish or not.

Tribalism is endemic to the way most of us view the world, and rapidly comes to the surface whenever we perceive our tribe to be in danger.

Most of us can quickly become extreme tribalists.

When tribalism relates to more trivial matters, such as supporting a sports team, it mostly manifests in less dangerous forms, such as boorish or aggressive behavior.

But if it relates to an ethnic or national group, it encourages a host of more dangerous behaviors: jingoism, racism, discrimination, segregation and warmongering.

As sensitive as Meretz is to its own tribal identities, whether the Jewish one or a solidarity with the LGBTQ community, its sensitivity to the tribal concerns of others can quickly dissolve when that other identity is presented as threatening.

Which is why Meretz, in prioritizing its Jewish identity, lacks any meaningful solidarity with Palestinians or even the Palestinian LGBTQ community.

Instead, Meretz’s opposition to the occupation and the settlements often appears more rooted in the sentiment that they are bad for Israel and its relations with the West than that they are a crime against Palestinians.

This inconsistency means we can easily be fooled about who our real allies are.

Just because we share a commitment to one thing, such as ending the occupation, it doesn’t necessarily mean we do so for the same reasons – or we attach the same importance to our commitment.

It is easy, for example, for less experienced Palestinian solidarity activists to assume when they hear Meretz politicians that the party will help advance the Palestinian cause.

But failing to understand Meretz’s tribal priorities is a recipe for constant disappointment – and futile activism on behalf of Palestinians.

The Oslo “peace” process remained credible in the West for so long only because Westerners misunderstood how it fitted with the tribal priorities of Israelis.

Most were ready to back peace in the abstract so long as it did not entail any practical loss of their tribal privileges.

Yitzhak Rabin, the West’s Israeli partner in the Oslo process, showed what such tribalism entailed in the wake of a gun rampage by a settler, Baruch Goldstein, in 1994 that killed and wounded more than 100 Palestinians at worship in the Palestinian city of Hebron.

Rather than using the murder spree as the justification to implement his commitment to remove the small colonies of extreme settlers from Hebron, Rabin put Hebron’s Palestinians under curfew for many months.

Those restrictions have never been fully lifted for many of Hebron’s Palestinians and have allowed Jewish settlers to expand their colonies ever since.

Shireen Abu Akleh: Polish Zionist Jew Blinken still thinks “Israel” should lead probe

Radical Zionist zealots like Anthony Blinken, Linda Thomas Greenfield, Victoria Nuland, and now Richard Nephew, have absolutely hijacked the Biden Administration’s key foreign policy posts. This was to be anticipated. Now it has happened.

Antony Blinken had called for ‘independent’ investigation, but State Department says US position has not changed.

Washington, DC The administration of US President Joe Biden has said it still believes Israel should lead the investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

“There has been no change in our approach,” a State Department spokesperson told Al Jazeera in a statement on Thursday, a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for an “independent” probe of Abu Akleh’s killing.

“We continue to call for a thorough, credible investigation that culminates in accountability.”

Israeli forces fatally shot the veteran Al Jazeera journalist on May 11 while she was reporting in Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

Calls for justice for Abu Akleh have grown louder as the one-month anniversary of the killing approaches – and as investigations by the Palestinian Authority, media outlets and rights groups have concluded that she was targeted by the Israeli military.

Washington has called for accountability while insisting that Israel should lead the investigation into the incident.

This week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was confronted by journalist Abby Martin over the Biden administration’s continued support for Israel and Saudi Arabia after the killing of journalists, including Jamal Khashoggi and Shireen Abu Akleh.

Abby Martin: “Why is there no accountability for Israel or Saudi Arabia for murdering journalists? It is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist in Palestine.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “I deplore the loss of Shireen. She was a remarkable journalist, an American citizen, as you well know. And there, too, we are determined to follow the facts and get to the truth of what happened.”

Abby Martin: “The facts have been found, Secretary Blinken, with all due respect.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “No, they have not yet been” — 

Abby Martin: “With all due respect, it is conclusive.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “No, I’m sorry, with respect, they have not yet been established. We’re looking for” —

BDS ‘Mapping Project’ links Jews to ‘all ills’ of society

The Mapping Project: a project created by activists and organizers in eastern Massachusetts, investigating local links between entities responsible for the colonization of Palestine, for colonialism and dispossession here where we live, and for the economy of imperialism and war. Here is how the Zionists feel about it. Note that there is a difference between Jews and Zionists. The Zionists intention from the beginning has been to blend in with the real Jews. The Jews reject all forms of Zionism. This is not about Jews. It is about Zionists who work for the Zionist Entity called Israel.

“This whole project is reminiscent of a dangerous antisemitic pattern of activity known from antiquity through the horrors of the 20th century: a pattern which has led to violence against Jews and their institutions,” said Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

The Zionist invaders have always been terrorists!

 World Israel News

An anti-Israeli group in Boston, Massachusetts, published Friday an interactive map showing ostensible links between myriad Jewish groups in the state and public and private companies and institutions, in an attempt to broaden support for the demonization of the Jewish state.

The purpose of the innocuous-sounding Mapping Project is not hidden. The pro-BDS group said it “wanted to develop a deeper understanding of local institutional support for the colonization of Palestine and harms that we see as linked, such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement/ethnic cleansing.”

Other “harms” they throw into the mix include “systemic white supremacy” in the U.S., “privatization and medical apartheid.” The “liberation struggles” against all these types of wickedness propagated by the “oppressors,” which the mappers claim are the U.S. and Israel, “are connected” and therefore should be fought together, the BDS activists say.

 

— BDS Boston (@BDSBoston) June 3, 2022

This classic example of intersectionality then displays a series of Jewish organizations whose sin, according to the group, is support for the Jewish state. The names range from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), AIPAC and J Street to Jewish charities, newspapers, and a synagogue network, along with almost all those who work for them.

They are linked on the map to such public institutions as universities like MIT and Harvard (which “engage in these multiple forms of oppression and produce much of the ruling class”), municipal governments, labor federations, and military bases. Dozens of corporations in the private sector are also targets, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Citigroup, Deloitte and DuPont.

Local police forces are a special target, as the group supports the discredited claim that officers are flown to Israel to learn anti-terrorism tactics that are then used inappropriately against minorities back home.

US police chiefs are visiting the country as part of an ADL delegation to learn advanced training techniques from Israel Police. Among the delegation are chiefs of the Orlando, Florida and San Bernadino, California, police departments, who recently witnessed unprecedented terrorist attacks in their cities. Remember, for land thieving murderous “Israel” the native Palestinians are terrorists.

In a joint statement, the ADL, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston (JCRC) and Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) – all named by the group – strongly denounced the effort.

Its “underlying messages are clear: Jews are responsible for the ills of our community and if you maintain your relationship with Jewish organizations, you will share that responsibility,” the NGOs said.

“It is a list with names and organizations to be shunned, isolated and disenfranchised. And it draws on age-old antisemitic tropes that are all too clear to our community: Jewish wealth, control and conspiracies.”

The Israeli government also hit back, not ignoring the fact that its Boston-based consulate general to New England was a prominent target.

“Israel strongly condemns BDS Boston’s publication of a map of local Jews and its blaming them for anything and everything wrong in Greater Boston,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat.

“This publication reveals the true, ugly face of BDS Boston, which is nothing but a conspiratorial antisemitic organization. We call on all decent people to come out against this publication, and to condemn the organization and those behind this racist campaign.”

The Mapping Project says it wants to “dismantle” all its targets. The NGOs’ response: “We will not be intimidated and we will not be silent.”

For “Israelis”, the future is impossible to see

 

Gideon Levy

If there is one thing completely missing from the public agenda in Israel, it is the long-term view.

Israel does not look ahead, not even by half a generation. 

Children are important in Israel, and the time and energy devoted to them may substantially exceed what is typical in most other societies, yet no one talks about what lies ahead for them or for their own future children.

There is not a single Israeli, not one, who knows where his country is headed.

Ask any ordinary Israeli or any politician, any journalist or scientist, from the political centre or the right or the left: where are you going?

How will your country look in another 20 years? Or 50?

They can’t even describe what 10 years from now might be like.

Few Israelis could even say where they would like their country to be going, apart from empty slogans about peace and security and prosperity. 

Troubling question

Also very instructive is the one question that does arise about the long term: will Israel still exist in another 20 or 50 years?

That is all you will hear queried in Israel about the future.

And meanwhile a different question – Will there ever be peace? – which a generation or two ago was omnipresent, is no longer on the agenda and almost never asked.

There are very few places where people ask whether or not their country will exist a few decades hence.

People don’t ask that in Germany or Albania, or in Togo or in Chad.

This question may not be pertinent for Israel either – a powerfully armed regional power, impressively well-connected, with such technological prowess and such prosperity, the darling of the West. 

Note the incredible efforts Israelis expend to obtain a second passport for themselves and their children – any passport

Yet consider the fact that so many Israelis continue to ask this question, more often lately than ever.

Note the incredible efforts Israelis expend to obtain a second passport for themselves and their children – any passport!

Let it be Portuguese or Lithuanian, the main thing is to have some option beyond an Israeli passport, as if an Israeli passport is some kind of temporary permit nearing its expiration date, as if it weren’t possible to go on renewing it forever. 

All of that suggests that the Israeli habit of burying their heads in the sand about the future of their country disguises a deep-seated, and possibly very realistic, fear about what the future may hold.

Israelis are afraid of the future of their country.

They brag about their country’s power and ability, a righteous nation, a chosen people, a light unto the nations; they are exceedingly boastful about their army, about their skills, while at the same time a primordial fear gnaws at their innards. 

The future of their country is hidden from them, shrouded in mist.

They like to talk in religious terms about eternity, “a united Jerusalem for eternity” and “God’s eternal promise to Israel”, while deep down they have no clue what will be happening to their country tomorrow or, at the latest, the day after that.

Self-delusion provides no answer

The name of the game is repression, denial, self-delusion, on a scale unknown in any other society that comes to mind.

Just as for most Israelis there is no occupation, and definitely no apartheid, despite the mountains of evidence towering higher all the time – so, for most Israelis, tomorrow is not a thing.

Tomorrow is not a thing in terms of the environment or climate change in Israel; tomorrow is not a thing in terms of relations with the other nation living alongside us with our knee on its throat. 

Just try asking Israelis what it is going to be like here one day with a Palestinian majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and in the best case you’ll get nothing but a shrug. Where is it all headed?

Their expression will tell you that they’ve never heard such a strange question.

In any event, there will be no answer. Israelis have no answer.

This situation is very unhealthy, of course.

A society cannot go far with its head buried in the sand, and will certainly be unable to cope with the real challenges confronting it.

The occupation, which more than anything else is what defines Israel today, presents more than a few challenges – with which Israel refuses to grapple.

What will happen with the occupation? Where will it take the two societies, occupier and occupied, Israeli and Palestinian? Can the occupation go on forever?

Until recently, I was convinced that the occupation cannot last forever.

History has taught us that a people fighting to be free generally wins and that rotten regimes, like the military occupation of the Palestinian people by Israel, collapse of their own accord, crumbling internally from the decay that always pervades them.

But as the Israeli occupation drags on and its end continually recedes, doubts have riven my once-solid conviction that something will surely happen soon to bring down the occupation, like a tree that looks robust but has rotted from within. 

The most frightening case in point is that of America and the Native Americans, a story of a conquest that became permanent, with the conquered herded onto reservations where they have independence and self-determination only in theory and their national rights are ignored. 

Indefinite occupation

In other words, there are indeed occupations that go on indefinitely, defying the odds and all the predictions, persisting and persisting until a conquered people stops being a nation and becomes an anthropological curiosity living in its cage on a reservation.

This happens when the occupation is particularly powerful and the conquered are especially weak and the world loses interest in their fate.

A future like that now looms over the Palestinians. They are at their most perilous hour since the Nakba in 1948. 

Divided, isolated, lacking strong leadership, bleeding at the side of the road and slowly losing their most precious asset in terms of the solidarity they aroused all over the world, especially in the global south.

Protesters wave flags of Fatah and Palestine as they burn Israeli ones during a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum near the Jewish settlement of Kedumim in the occupied West Bank on 20 May (AFP)
Protesters wave flags of Fatah and Palestine as they burn Israeli ones during a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum (AFP)

Yasser Arafat was a global icon; there was nowhere on earth that did not know his name.

No Palestinian leader today even comes close.

Worse yet, their cause is gradually disappearing from the world’s agenda as it pivots to pressing issues like migration, the environment and the war in Ukraine.

The world is tired of the Palestinians, the Arab world tired of them long ago and the Israelis were never interested in them. That could still change, but the current trends are deeply disheartening.

Part of the world has simply lost interest, and the rest clings to the formula of a two-state solution as if it were sanctified by religious edict

Another Nakba on the 1948 model would not seem a realistic option for Israel at the present time; the second Nakba is an ongoing one that creeps along insidiously all the time, but without drama.

There are certainly those in Israel who toy with the idea that under the cloak of some future war, Israel could “finish the job” only partially completed in 1948.

Threatening voices in that key have sounded louder lately but they remain a minority in Israeli discourse. 

Continue with the settlements? Why not. Most Israelis just do not care.

They have never been to the settlements, will never go there and couldn’t care less whether Evyatar is evacuated or not. 

The struggle has long since moved to the international front.

The crucial shift will come only from there, as happened in South Africa.

But part of the world has simply lost interest, and the rest clings to the formula of a two-state solution as if it were sanctified by religious edict.

Yet, most decision-makers already know that the two-state solution is long dead, if in fact it ever lived and breathed. 

Equality is the path

The only exit from this depressing impasse is by creating a new discourse, a discourse of rights and equality.

People must stop singing the songs of yesteryear and embrace a new vision.

For the international community, this should be obvious; for the Israelis and to a lesser extent the Palestinians, the idea is revolutionary, threatening, and exceedingly painful.

Why Israel’s leaders and allies are in a state of panic over its future

Read More »

Equality. Equal rights from the river to the sea. One person, one vote.

So basic and yet so revolutionary.

This path requires a parting of the ways with Zionism and the rejection of Jewish supremacy, and letting go of the entire self-definition of both peoples – but it represents the only ray of hope. 

In Israel until just a few years ago this idea was viewed as subversive, treasonous and illegitimate.

It is still viewed that way but with somewhat less force.

It has become mentionable.

It now remains for civil societies in the West and then the politicians to embrace the change.

Most of them already know that this is the only solution left, but are afraid to admit it lest they lose the magic formula for a continued Israeli occupation provided by the now dead two-state solution. 

The present is deeply discouraging, the future no less so.

And yet to persist in thinking that something can still be hoped for, some action can still be taken, is of the utmost importance.

The worst thing that could happen in this part of the world would be for everyone to lose interest in what happens here and resign themselves to the current reality.

That must not be.  

Former AG of Israel: With great sadness I conclude that my country is now an apartheid regime

The West has planted an entity based on aggression that does not belong to the region’s culture.

It is the Israeli courts that uphold discriminatory laws geared to expel Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem and their land in the West Bank.

OVER THE LAST year, there has been an ongoing public debate as to whether the actions the Israeli government is enacting in the Occupied Palestinian Territories can be classified as apartheid under international law.

On 1 February, Amnesty International became the latest NGO to class it as apartheid, calling it ‘a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity’.

This followed earlier declarations of apartheid by fellow human rights groups, Yesh DinB’Tselem and Human Rights Watch.

As the former Attorney General of Israel, I have spent my career analysing Israel’s most pressing legal questions.

Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem was a fundamental dilemma during my tenure and beyond.

‘A gross injustice’

Israel’s ongoing domination over these territories is a gross injustice that must be urgently rectified.

It is with great sadness that I must also conclude that my country has sunk to such political and moral depths that it is now an apartheid regime.
It is time for the international community to recognize this reality as well.

Since 1967 Israeli authorities have justified the occupation by claiming that it is temporary until a peaceful solution can be found between Israelis and Palestinians.

However, five decades have now passed since these territories were conquered and Israel shows no interest in rescinding this control.

It is impossible to conclude otherwise: the occupation is a permanent reality.
This is a one state reality, with two different peoples living with unequal rights.

Violating international law, Israel has transferred more than 650,000 of its Jewish citizens to live in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

These settlements are established in areas that surround Palestinian villages, intentionally fragmenting Palestinian communities from each other, to ultimately prevent the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state.

“It is a shameful moment for U.S. media when it insists on being subservient to the grotesque propaganda agencies of a violent, aggressive state [Israel].”~ Noam Chomsky

In East Jerusalem, discriminatory property laws are forcing Palestinians out of their homes in a state-backed policy of Judaising the city.

There are no ‘two Israels’

In Area C of the West Bank, discriminatory planning laws are being used to drive Palestinian communities from their land.

These communities face a deluge of settler violence from unauthorized outposts (illegal even under Israeli law), the perpetrators of which face little to no consequences.

Any attempts to resist apartheid are heavily surveilled or criminalized, exemplified by the spurious designation of Palestinian civil society groups as terrorists by the Israeli Ministry of Defence.

Successive Israeli governments including the recent coalition government which billed itself as a shift away from Netanyahu’s intransigence has consistently and publicly affirmed that they have no intention of establishing a Palestinian state.

However, much of the discussion in the international community operates as if Israel’s behaviour in the occupied territories can be distinguished from the liberal democracy that exists within the Green Line. This is a mistake.

You simply cannot be a liberal democracy if you operate apartheid over another people.
It is a contradiction in terms because Israel’s entire society is complicit in this unjust reality.

It is the Israeli ministerial cabinet for settlements that approves every illegal settlement in the occupied territories.

It was me, in my role as the Attorney General who approved the expropriation of private Palestinian land in order to build infrastructure such as roads that have entrenched settlement expansion.

It is the Israeli courts that uphold discriminatory laws geared to expel Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem and their land in the West Bank.

Its healthcare providers operate over the Green Line.

And Israeli citizens ultimately pay taxes that subsidize the government’s entrenchment of control and domination in these territories.

Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, it is Israel that is permanently depriving millions of Palestinians of their civil and political rights.

This is Israeli apartheid.

Israel Isn’t an “Apartheid State.” It’s Worse Than That.

Is there hope?

There are two possible democratic solutions that can resolve this status quo.

The first is granting everyone living under Israeli control full citizenship and equality.

Unfortunately, this scenario would lead to a loss of the Jewish majority and ‘Balkanisation’ of the entire territory, increasing the likelihood of intractable conflict.

The second possible solution would be for Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories and establish a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel.
This would not only ensure the fair division of the land between the indigenous Palestinians and the Jewish people who have been persecuted for thousands of years.
It would also guarantee both a sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and an end to apartheid.

The status quo on the ground is a moral abomination.

The delay by the international community in taking meaningful steps to hold Israel accountable for the apartheid regime it is perpetuating is unacceptable.

Michael Benyair is a former Attorney General of Israel and a former acting judge in the Israeli Supreme Court.

A year on from Israeli bombing, Gaza families still can’t rebuild

In the blink of an eye, the Adwan family watched their home get destroyed by Israeli air strikes in May 2021. A year on, Israeli restrictions have stopped them from rebuilding

Mon, 2022-05-16 01:28 RAFAH, GAZA STRIP: Abu Ahmed Adwan was five when his family was forcibly displaced during the Nakba in 1948.

They sought refuge in a camp in the city of Rafah, adjacent to the Palestinian-Egyptian border in the far south of the Gaza Strip.

Adwan grew up in the alleys of the Barbara camp, which got its name from the original village that was abandoned by the Adwan family and other families that settled together.

“We were neighbors in Barbara before the Nakba, and here we are in the camp until the return,” Adwan, now in his late 70s, told Arab News.

Today he is the mayor of his village (the chief of the refugee families from the village of Barbara), and despite spending his life as a refugee, he still believes in the right of return.

“We will return one day, and if we pass away, our children and grandchildren will return and rebuild the country.”

Estimates by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees show that the number of refugees in the Rafah camp grew from 41,000 in 1948 to more than 125,000 today.

Residents in one of the largest camps in the Gaza Strip live in overcrowded houses in narrow streets.

In Gaza, refugees represent more than 70 percent of the population of almost two million people.

Displacement has driven the modern history of the Gaza Strip, a 360-square-kilometer territory on the eastern Mediterranean. The Strip was part of Mandate Palestine’s Gaza subdistrict but became an administrative and political unit after 1948. The Nakba not only established the Gaza Strip’s contemporary borders but also initiated its modern history as the site of continual Israeli displacement policies, which began in the late 1940s and continue to this day.

Adwan uses a large map of the village of Barbara, which tops one of the walls of his meeting hall in his home, to describe the village he visited for the last time about 35 years ago.

He classifies his constant talk of Barbara, and the refugee stories linked to the memory of the Nakba, as a “kind of resistance” in order to keep the memories of past generations alive and encourage the restoration of stolen rights.

He said: “Today’s generation is more aware than their parents and grandfathers than the generation of the Nakba, and the experience of the Nakba in 1948 cannot be repeated again.”

Mohammed Adwan, born in 1970, is a freed prisoner of an Israeli jail.

He said: “The camp is the storehouse of the revolution since the Nakba, and the fathers and grandfathers are its fuel by constantly talking about Palestine with all this nostalgia.”

He added: “We will return sooner or later.” Adwan said that refugee camps play a role in “resisting the occupation, forming the awareness of successive generations and preserving the national memory.”

He added: “It was important to preserve the names of our original towns and villages, by calling them to the refugee camps, as this is a resistance to the factors of time, and the occupation’s efforts to falsify reality and distort Palestinian geography.”

The growing population in the camp led to mixing with city neighborhoods.

Simple houses built from brick and roofed with asbestos have largely disappeared, replaced by concrete houses.

A researcher in refugee affairs, Nader Abu Sharekh, said that stories told in the homes of the camps, generation after generation, have made the Palestinian cause “alive and growing.”

The families of each village and city destroyed in the Nakba gathered in neighborhoods inside the new camps to draft names.

They used original names from their homeland, out of love for the land and adherence to the right of return, and to keep the names and meanings present in memory.

In each camp there are streets bearing the names of original homes.

“In the camp, the events of the Nakba are present, and the right of return is an absolute belief,” Abu Sharekh said.

“In wedding parties, they sing historic songs from before the Nakba like Ataba, Mijna, Dabke and Dahia.

“These traditions remained in circulation, so that the homeland remains a title to joy, and the right of return remains in the refugees’ diaries.”

In the camp, old women still wear traditional dress rich in color.

People have allotted part of their yards to plant something that reminds them of their lost orchards and farms.

Sometimes the space is used to construct a hut or tent.

Some of the refugees still bake using traditional clay ovens modeled on the kind lost in their destroyed towns and villages.

Main category: Middle-EastTags: 74th anniversary of NakbaNakbaPalestiniansBarbara Palestinians commemorate 74th anniversary of Nakba amid outcry over funeral attackPalestinians reminisce about Ramadan before the Nakba

Israeli Investigation Into Killing of Palestinian American Journalist Ends Before It Begins

October, 2000–    The footage shows the boy’s father, Jamal al-Durrah, waving desperately to Israeli troops, shouting: “Don’t shoot”. But the terrified boy is hit by four bullets, and collapses in his father’s arms. An ambulance driver who tried to rescue the boy and his father was also killed, and a second ambulance driver was wounded. “Israel” blamed the Palestinians. “Israel”  projects their evil actions onto anyone else. 

theintercept.com/2022/05/19/

Israel won’t investigate soldiers who fired in the direction of Shireen Abu Akleh, even though new evidence undermines their account of what happened.


Israel’s military police have reportedly decided not to open any criminal investigation into the fatal shooting of the Palestinian American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, even though newly released video appears to contradict the Israeli army’s claim that the journalist was standing close to Palestinian militants when she was shot last week in the occupied West Bank.

Amos Harel, the senior military correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, reported on Thursday that the decision not to investigate the Israeli soldiers who might have fired the fatal shot came after an internal review by the commando unit of the Israel Defense Forces “found six instances of IDF gunfire at armed Palestinians who were near Abu Akleh” as she reported on an Israeli raid on a refugee camp in Jenin.

Palestinian medical sources have reported that several residents suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, late on Wednesday at night, during clashes with Israeli soldiers invading Kafrit village, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin.The sources said the soldiers fired dozens of gas bombs, causing many Palestinians to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, including a child, identified as Karam Eghbariyya, who required further treatment. Eyewitnesses said several military vehicles invaded the village, and that dozens of soldiers were deployed in olive orchards, while more vehicles were seen driving around the towns of Ya’bad, ‘Arraba, ‘Anza, Jaba’, and al-Jarba. The soldiers then conducted live fire training and military maneuvers, near the villages, causing anxiety attacks among many residents, mainly children.

According to Harel, the criminal investigations division of the Israeli army simply accepted the accounts of the soldiers who opened fire but “testified that they did not see the journalist at all and aimed their fire at gunmen, who were indeed nearby.”

However, within hours of Harel’s report, video posted on Twitter by Rushdi Abualouf, a Palestinian journalist for the BBC, appeared to contradict the claim that Abu Akleh was near any Palestinian gunmen engaged in a firefight with Israeli troops.

The clip shows that Abu Akleh and several other journalists, all wearing blue vests marked “Press,” were instead walking in the direction of the Israeli soldiers, as young men behind them stood around talking and joking, when shots suddenly rang out and Abu Akleh and a colleague were both hit.

The Buenos Aires Israeli False Flag Bombing Blamed On Hezbollah. The Israeli military Shin Beth may have been the actual bombers. They held complete security at the embassy and a bomb that size could never have been brought in. The Shin Beth also refused to allow an independent investigation of the embassy, only allowing Mossad allowed access to the site. The 1994 destruction of the seven-story AMIA building had some similarities to the Oklahoma City bomb two years later.

As the writer and political analyst Yousef Munayyer explained on Twitter, “At the start of the video you can see the mood is relaxed, what they are saying isn’t really clear mostly because they are chuckling.”

After multiple shots are heard and the young men scatter, a voice is heard saying, “Did anyone get hit?” and calling for an ambulance.

Then, after more shots, someone shouts, “Shireen! Shireen!” and, amid frantic calls for an ambulance, the desperate warning: “Stay where you are, don’t move!”

Video posted on the day of the killing last week appeared to show that people who tried to reach the mortally wounded Abu Akleh were fired on as they approached her.

Harel also reported that there were no plans for a real criminal investigation of the Israeli soldiers because “such an investigation, which would necessitate questioning as potential criminal suspects soldiers for their actions during a military operation, would provoke opposition and controversy within the IDF and in Israeli society in general.”

Moments Of Operation Protective Edge, In Gifs

1. The time the Israeli Government arrested 500 and killed 10 Palestinians in their search for the three missing Israeli teens, forgetting to mention they knew they’d already been murrdered and not kidnapped

2. The time 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was kidnapped, beaten, and burned alive by right-wing Israelis

3. When Hamas fired quassam rockets, EPICALLY failing to beat the Iron Dome

4. That time IDF soldiers beat and arrested Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s American cousin, and tried to force him to say Mohammed was killed by family for being gay

5. That time Israeli airstrikes deliberately targeted houses, hospitals, and TWO disabled homes

6. This cat won’t want to be on the wrong side of Hamas again, lol

7. When Israel hit the same hospital AGAIN

8. The time an Israeli warship shelled four Gazan children playing football on the beach… twice!

Dutch FM Demand Proof of “Israel’s” Designated Palestinian NGO “Terror Organizations”

Some of these Palestinians are elderly, some are parents, and most of them own land. The one thing they do not have, which Israel makes sure they never will, is building permits. As they cannot build legally, these residents are forced to live in uncertainty, under constant threat that their homes will be demolished, their water and power supplies cut off, and their livelihoods taken away. Build another room to alleviate crowding in your home? The Civil Administration will swiftly tear it down. Lay a pipe to carry water from a spring to a field? The Civil Administration will soon slash it. Add a classroom to the community school? It will be destroyed. Install a toilet donated to the community to improve hygiene? It will be confiscated. Build a tabun oven to bake bread? Forbidden. Put in a solar panel to generate a bit of electricity? Not allowed.

Hoekstra pushed back at Israel’s designation of the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq as a terror organization by meeting with the group in Ramallah.

Hoekstra told a small group of reporters in Jerusalem at the tail end of Wednesday’s visit that he had not seen any evidence showing that Al-Haq was connected to terrorist activity.

Israel has asked the Netherlands to justify Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra’s Ramallah visit with the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, an IDF-designated terrorist group.

“Ambassador [Han] Docter would be pleased to reaffirm the Dutch position during the regular meeting with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the Foreign Ministry at The Hague stated on Thursday.

Hoekstra’s introductory one-day trip to Jerusalem and Ramallah, his first since taking office in January, was designed to help tighten Dutch ties with Israelis and Palestinians.

The Al-Haq visit, however, overshadowed the trip, creating a contentious diplomatic situation between two otherwise strong allies. The upcoming Foreign Ministry meeting with Docter was characterized as a summons, whereas The Hague downplayed it as a regularly scheduled event.

It said that “Docter was not summoned,” but rather planned to go to the ministry for a prearranged meeting that he himself had requested to discuss support to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs.

“Ambassador Docter would be pleased to reaffirm the Dutch position during the regular meeting with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the Dutch Foreign Ministry said.

 Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) at the State Department in Washington, US, April 14, 2022.  (credit: EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/REUTERS)

Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) at the State Department in Washington, US, April 14, 2022. (credit: EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/REUTERS)“This topic has also been discussed in-depth and in all transparency between Dutch FM Hoekstra and Israeli FM Lapid,” it explained.

Donor support to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs is a regular topic of conversation between the two governments, the Dutch Foreign Ministry said.

“The Israeli MFA indicated that they would like to address it again during an already and earlier planned meeting between the Dutch ambassador and the MFA that was requested by the ambassador, as one of the items on a broader agenda,” said the Dutch Foreign Ministry.

Hoekstra told a small group of reporters in Jerusalem at the tail end of Wednesday’s visit that he had not seen any evidence showing that Al-Haq was connected to terrorist activity.

“You have to look at the facts here,” Hoekstra said. “There isn’t a single European state – nor the United States – that has arrived at the same conclusions as has Israel.

If there is proof, then we should see and we should review it. An accusation in and of itself can never be sufficient for a country that subscribes to the rule of law.”

Israel declared six Palestinian organizations to be terrorist entities last year, including Addameer, Bisan Center, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DC-IP), Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) and Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC).

The Netherlands had an indirect financial relationship with both Al-Haq and DC-IP.

Hoekstra later clarified that “the Netherlands takes terrorist allegations” with the utmost seriousness. “Because of this, the government asked Israel to provide additional information on the listings to define” its “own position on this. The information we received was carefully assessed.”

Hoekstra said that when it came to these six NGOs, “the information that was provided to the Netherlands was not sufficiently detailed or specific to justify the [terror] listings and to attach consequences to them or our cooperation.”

The former Dutch government cut funding to one of the six groups – the UAWC – at the start of January during its last days in office. The Dutch Foreign Ministry clarified that this was done based on “the outcomes of an independent and external review.”

Hoekstra said that the Netherlands held NGOs to high standards and would always hold them “accountable,” but only if the “severe accusations” made against them are “backed up by proof.”

Representatives of the Palestinian NGO Musawa and two left-wing Israeli NGOs, Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, were also at the meeting with Hoekstra.

Al-Haq said it appreciated “the important and timely meeting” with Hoekstra “to discuss human rights and civil society work in Palestine.”

While in Israel, Hoekstra visited Yad Vashem and met with Lapid in Jerusalem.

After his meeting with Lapid he wrote, “The Netherlands and #Israel share an historic friendship and we have close political, economic and cultural ties.”

We need to show Israel the time for accountability has arrived

 14 May 2022

The only possible response to the hasty offer Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid made to the Palestinians to conduct “a joint pathological investigation” into the killing of renowned Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh can be rage.

Such “investigations” conducted by Israel serve not to uncover the truth but to bury it, not to establish accountability but to preserve impunity, not to indict the perpetrators but to protect them.

That the offer for a “joint investigation” into the killing of Abu Akleh came directly from Foreign Minister Lapid – and was later repeated by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett – speaks to the magnitude of Israel’s concern about the public relations crisis it is now facing.

Such offers for “investigation” and “analysis” are normally left to lower-ranking officials in Israel’s whitewash apparatus.

Indeed, Israel only engages in such high-level whitewash if it believes the killing of a Palestinian can damage the country’s image. Otherwise, it doesn’t even bother with such empty gestures.

B’Tselem tried in good faith to engage Israel’s domestic investigation mechanisms for decades.

Over the years, we have made hundreds of applications to relevant authorities for cases of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces to be investigated, but meaningful accountability was never realized.

Six years ago, we concluded that what we were dealing with is not merely a dysfunctional investigation mechanism but an organised, systemic whitewash operation.

As a result, we made the decision to continue our work on such killings – but without ever engaging in Israel’s so-called “investigations”.

Israel’s investigation mechanism is clearly a charade.

Even if an investigation into the killing of a Palestinian at the hands of Israeli forces is opened, it almost never conclude with someone being charged.

The entire mechanism is a charade because its flaws are, in fact, its essential features – the ones that enable it to deliver impunity.

To begin with, the army is tasked with investigating itself.

Soldiers are typically interviewed without being challenged, almost no effort is made to collect external evidence, and “investigations” are drawn out for years.

On top of all this, even the sham described above is directed only at low-ranking soldiers – those who make the policies that enable soldiers to pull the trigger on Palestinians never face any scrutiny.

 All this, despite in many cases fatalities being caused not because of any deviations from the policies of the Israeli military but the criminal policies themselves.

Take, for example, the cases of Israeli snipers shooting at unarmed Palestinians at the Gaza fence during the Great March of Return demonstrations.

Israel conducted “investigations” into certain specific cases of shooting by snipers. But no one investigated – and no one in Israel will – the rules of engagement themselves.

Israel’s military advocate general – the very same person in charge of Israel’s military investigations – is tasked with giving the green light for such policies. Thus, obviously, nobody is being held to account for giving snipers those flagrantly illegal orders.

Israel needs impunity to maintain its apartheid regime.  

It cannot maintain control over a subjugated population without state violence. 

Thus it is essential for the regime to provide itself with blanket impunity – while performing what looks like investigations, to appease international expectations.

Impunity paves the way for more killings. Don’t fall for Israel’s propaganda, its promises to “investigate”.

Israel will not hold itself to account, just like its apartheid regime won’t dismantle itself.

International stakeholders who do not call this out simply cast themselves as a cog in Israel’s whitewashing machine.

The grotesque US pressure on Palestinians to accept a “joint” investigation and the statement by US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides vaguely “encouraging” an investigation, only

demonstrates the extent to which the Biden administration continues to serve as such a cog.

Shireen Abu Akleh once said while it “might not be easy to change reality”, she could at least bring “the voice of the people to the world”.

To keep that voice alive, to honour her legacy and to demand justice, please: Say no to Israeli propaganda, view reality with clarity, and demonstrate to Israel that the time of accountability has finally – even if belatedly – arrived.

“Jenin: Not of this Earth

Do not let the [Zionist] destroyer come into your houses! Do not read their words, do not take their shekels, do not join them; for all who go to them will not achieve life in the World to Come. Prevent your sons and daughters from entering their tents and reading their newspapers, which are full of heresy. They have called themselves “Zionists” in order to catch Jewish souls in their nets. ~(Divrei Simcha, letter 2) 

The camp is home to Palestinian families who fled or were driven out of what is now Israel during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation.

Like other camps across the Middle East, it has grown into a crowded, built-up neighborhood where a U.N. agency provides basic services.

It’s a difficult thing to comprehend a willing descent into a place of mass suffering.

Usually, such things are random and so temporary that one cannot plan for it.

But to sit in relative comfort and opt to travel to such a place feels quite peculiar.

Really, I wasn’t sure what I was going to Jenin for. Spectator? Documenter? Exploiter?

I found my way to Jenin by begging.

Once arriving in Jerusalem, I went to the lush American Colony Hotel, perhaps the best known and most expensive establishment in East Jerusalem.

Hence, it was the favorite locale for journalists with large expense accounts.

With a $10 Danish-knock off beer in my hand, I proceeded to ask around if anyone was headed that way the next day. No luck.

Then I considered the International Solidarity Movement people with whom I had been trapped in Bethlehem during the invasion three weeks prior.

I rushed over to the Faisal Hostel, the favorite locale for poor college kids with no expense accounts.

Israeli Military Occupation In Bethlehem

People there informed me that there was indeed a van headed to Jenin on the next day that I could try to join.

I awoke at 6:30am on April 19 to reach the group headed to Jenin.

In all there were eleven of us, with six ISM members, a Jordanian film crew, a journalist for the Irish Times and Catherine, the Director of Lawyers Without Borders.

I sat next to Catherine and spoke with her about the need for international lawyers to volunteer at Palestinian human rights organization, where credibility was key when arguing for the rights of an occupied people in the court of the occupier.

She told me that she was sure that simply by reporting on the conditions and difficulties people faced in Jenin, her organization was sure to lose many of its Jewish members.

Ethno-religious identity supercedes egalitarian human rights again. Often I thank God that I’m not more religious.

We passed through the Israeli Palestinian village of Umak Tham on our way.

It was the last call for food and water.

Respect: SALAM ALQUDS ALAYKUM - سلام القدس عليكم: The Jenin Refugee ...

As I dug into a delicious eggplant and hummus sandwich the proprietor of the Arabic shop noted all the business he was getting from journalists.

‘Its nice, but I really don’t like it because all this business comes at the price of those people.

’ I began taking notes in my book.

I wrote the heading, ‘Jenin’, but I paused to realize that there was still no guarantee at getting in.

Others with us had tried two days before but were turned back.

The journalist from the Irish Times, an elderly American woman uttered, ‘Well I’m getting in if I have to crawl over every mountain to get through’.

After swapping taxis in the village of Selim we were briefly stopped.

The driver, Adel, told us that ahead, the Israelis were digging up the road.

‘They will finish, and the villagers will then fill in the hole and we can move on,’ he said with assurance.

After a ten minute wait, it turned out that it wasn’t so.

The Israelis had cut the road in two, and set up a checkpoint for those now forced to cross on foot.

So we headed to Jenin through the back hills.

The locals followed us.

Israeli soldiers raid children’s center in Jenin refugee camp and destroy books, toys, plumbing

From the rocky heights, I could spot the Israeli military road demolition vehicles – APC’s with claw arms that serve to only disrupt life for the locals. It was a slightly arduous trip, not least of all for the three older people in the group, but we passed into Jenin unmolested.

Once at the edge of the camp, a passing pickup truck offered to give us a ride the rest of the way.

As the truck sped through the gravel roads towards the Refugee Camp, the signs of war began to filter past.

Crushed telephone polls and downed street lamps were the first indications of tanks having passed through.

Soon we were passing badly mauled cars.

Already most had been relegated to a new car graveyard, filled with disfigured wrecks that surely were not possible to create without the aid of a 6-ton behemoth running it over.

In one pile all of the intact car doors were nearly lined up for salvage.

Then houses blackened by fire began to pass, along with bullet holes and shell impact marks.

Finally, just as I had seen in Bethlehem, the tell tale sign of Israeli raids presented itself: residence after residence where the front door locks were shot off.

The pickup truck stopped and we disembarked.

Immediately I was carried into a new world.

Mentally, it was like opening a door to a different reality.

One where the world is upside down. Homes became ruins.

Shops became empty shells.

Roads became muddy pathways to slaughter.

And the fresh mountain air became dank and fetid.

I was in the Jenin Camp. Not of this earth.

Oddly though, once my brain internalized my surroundings as a surreal stage setting, removed from what would be normally acceptable to my senses, I felt at ease.

Perhaps it was just the scope and scale of it all.

To see a single home or building destroyed is a tragedy you can grasp.

But to see not a single building or shred of normality untouched by destruction is difficult to fathom.

Beirut had parts like this I saw even ten years after the war.

But there plant life thrived, and personal possessions were long removed.

Beirut just had parts of it left as small ghost towns, soon to be razed and rebuilt.

Jenin was a living town, still dying.

I began slowly, impressed by the immediate details.

A child stood clinging to his mother’s dress behind a pile of twisted metal.

In the distance behind him smoke rose from a burning pile of trash.

Soon I found that the other people I had come with were already running ahead towards the most devastated areas.

I was still standing, staring at a shell hole on the side of a man’s home. I turned right and entered the ring of the leveled area.

To my right were buildings with their first floors torn apart or gutted by fire, but the shells of the buildings still stood.

To my left, nothing recognizable remained.

Truth by Kbaig: June 2010

The IDF’s website claims that the area that was laid flat is only about 100 x 100m square.

This is a vast understatement.

The area is more about a square kilometer and according to the UN Envoy Terje-Larsen, about 600 homes have been totally demolished.

But a home needs not be flattened to be untenable.                                                                                        

For vast stretches outside of that perimeter, tanks and bulldozers cut homes out from the inside of buildings, piercing walls with their turrets or shovels, often collapsing floors internally.

67No, the IDF’s aerial photos are most deceptive.

Jenin Refugee Camp, home of some 13,000 people was indeed an earthquake zone – but it was a man-made disaster.

I looked down and realized I didn’t know what I was walking on.

A paved road, or was it always gravel?

The curbs were almost recognizable, having been torn apart, with chunks blending into the concrete shards laying strewn about.

It almost becomes useless to try to describe every detail I witnessed.

One home destroyed is a tragedy one can fully study and investigate.

But to examine 600 of them? Every step of my foot landed on something worth a tear, to be sure. A favorite shirt, a school paper, a burned toy, remains of an appliance. Even a small fragment of concrete could represent the loss of a person’s home.

I hate to have to do it, but the comparisons can be made between this and the acts of rogue, criminal Palestinian organizations.

Terrorist bombings ruin a building, many lives and inflict trauma on the witnesses.

But at least there is a home to return to for the living.

A job, a potential future to shape out of their damaged lives.

This is true too of Palestinian relatives of civilians killed in the Intifada.

But here, in Jenin, there was no future. No homes. No jobs. No life left for the living.

This is a terror that will never go a way for these people.

Its again, to use a worn cliché, one of those locations where the living envy the dead.

A massacre? I don’t know. No one will know for a while. But it shouldn’t matter.

The wanton destruction of homes and neighborhoods alone is too much to comprehend.

Numbness set in. It was time to move forward and just take note of what stood out.

Two old women seated on what was once their roof, with the backdrop of half a wall standing? Photograph.

A man lurching forward to wedge a lone small Palestinian flag between two walls collapsed on each other over a pile of debris? 

A young boy dragging sheets full of scrap metal behind them?

Like the muck piled on the garbage tip amid the concrete hovels – the stench of injustice still pervades the camps where 1,700 Palestinians were butchered 30 years ago next week. No-one was tried and sentenced for a slaughter, which even an Israeli writer at the time compared to the killing of Yugoslavs by Nazi sympathisers in the Second World War. Sabra and Chatila are a memorial to criminals who evaded responsibility, who got away with it.

Photo. Two women standing on the second story of a home, the portrait of Saddam Hussein hanging behind them, with the front half of the building torn off and the floor hanging by metal supports?

Photo. This is the process by which I traversed the Jenin Refugee Camp. I knew of no other way.

It was only the second day after the Israeli military lifted their curfew, so for many residents things were still fresh.

Boys carted crates of water in and others hauled workable furniture out on tractors.

People picked through the remnants of their homes, in piles that reached over twenty feet into the air above the ground, pulling out clothes.

They shook them off and inspected them for holes.

If they were moderately ok, they went in one pile to keep. Scraps in another.

Clothing seemed to be just about all that could be retrieved from those buildings intact. But people still collected things like cabinet doors that might be of some use in future reconstruction.

I took a left turn around the perimeter of the zone that was totally bulldozed.

The dividing line was quite clear, however it must be emphasized that most all of the houses in the whole area suffered severe structural damage by bulldozers even though they were not completely demolished.

The inner-zone however was incomprehensibly flattened.

Along the road tell tale marks of monstrous firepower showed themselves. One building was blasted all the way through by a rocket, leaving concentrically smaller holes in successive walls.

I was able to view it all at once since the entire front of the building had been torn away. Other buildings lurched under top-heavy weight as key supports on the first floors had been torn out.

Near the top of the flattened perimeter I came across one of several digging operations.

umkahlil: November 2006

This one was aided by one of the few bulldozers available in Jenin to help lift the massive piles of debris.

The bulldozer cut into the remains of the Fayed home, a name I was to hear much of in the coming weeks for their sad tale in many international articles.

Mahmoud Fayad, a 70 year old camp resident had a 38-year old son, Jamal, who was paralyzed in his legs from birth.

Restricted to a wheelchair and somewhat mentally incapable as well, his brother Ahmed noted that Jamal had no other friends but his family.

When the Israelis began bulldozing their way through Jenin Camp, Mahmoud and his wife ran out to tell the Israelis to wait for them to help get Jamal out.

The Israelis refused and plowed into the Fayed’s family’s home, crushing Jamal underneath.

They knew just where he was. Yet under the heap of rubble, the bulldozer didn’t find him that day. Or the next.

Turning left and moving on, I began to comprehend just why finding bodies became impossible.

While Jenin is indeed built at a slope, the sheer height of rubble finely ground and compressed is evident by some of the ongoing digs.

At another location, with a good two feet into the ground, people were just then reaching ceiling tiles still intact.

Democratic Nation USA: Rahm Emanuel, Joe Lieberman, Goldman-Sachs, and the INSIDIOUS MURDER of ...

The Palestinians possess no like weapons (thanks US).

It boggled my mind. Somehow, the Israeli tanks so thoroughly flattened, over and over again, the entire area.

While some fragments of buildings and heaps of distinguishable rubble littered the area (with some piles reaching heights of 30 feet above the ground), most of the area was flattened as if paved by a steamroller.

House after house had been crushed into powder.

Occasionally, metal bars would stick up out of the ground and loose shreds of clothing fluttered from between pulverized refuse, but for the most part it was a sea of granulated concrete.

Who knows what remained underneath.

I actually felt guilty just to be walking across, as if I was only making it worse – the way I would walk on my old sidewalk in Madison winters, packing down snow that I knew I’d have to later shovel.

I breathed it in. Disintegrated, triturated, crumbled, crushed, attenuated, pulverized.

Adjectives swam in my head. What else could I do?

As the dust swarmed about, I realized I was breathing people’s homes and lives.

A quick recheck of my senses reminded me that I was just in an illusory realm where these surroundings are being presented to me.

I could continue photographing without succumbing to my emotional rushes.

I began to notice the other foreigners managing.

Some were from the Geneva Red Cross, others from other aid agencies, but most came as journalists – spectators to suffering like myself.

I walked a ways up a slope that was the remains of a fractured house, spilt downhill.

I was at the upper crust of the demolished region.

Behind me stood a building with only two outer walls.

On what remained of the second floor a young girl cried as the mother spoke with a journalist. I turned back just to stand and survey everything.

The sky was bright that day, with a deep blue whose effervescence seemed even brighter against the almost uniform grayish tan of Jenin’s ruins.

Atop a lone pile of rubble, the tallest in the area, a woman rummaged for belongings.

Cast behind here in the distance was a lone minaret, perhaps the one where reporters noted that the Israelis badly vandalized.

On occasion the woman just stopped, threw her hands at her hips and stared down. It must have seemed futile to continue. To many, Jenin must have seemed the same, I figured.

Despite the situation, however, the people remained resolute, if not dignified.

Those who could speak some English would at times stride up to me and after asking me the perennial ‘why?’, informed me that they would not bow to Sharon.

The London-Berlin mentality of a people bombed into ruin had set in.

A doctor, educated in Germany, said he would remain in his battle scarred home. Jenin was a tragedy for him, but it would move on. Even most children had an air of determination about them as they aided their parents in collecting salvageable possessions.

—- next time, depictions of inside homes —-

In Jenin, a new holocaust was committed, but what is different about it is that people were not taken into arresting camps, but they were burnt in their houses by burning missiles.

In Nablus, the massacre was just indescribable…

Some 600 Palestinians held by Israel without charge

So-called administrative detainees are held based on ‘secret evidence’, and are held for renewable six-month periods.

While Israel says the procedure allows authorities to hold suspects while continuing to gather evidence, critics and rights groups say the system is widely abused and denies due process.

HaMoked said 2,441 Palestinians are currently serving sentences after being convicted in military courts. A further 1,478 detainees are being held for questioning, have been charged and are awaiting trial, or are currently being tried.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

So-called administrative detainees are held based on ‘secret evidence’, and are held for renewable six-month periods.

Israel is holding about 600 Palestinian detainees without charge or trial, the highest number since 2016, an Israeli rights group said.

HaMoked, an Israeli rights group that regularly gathers figures from prison authorities, said on Monday that as of May there were 604 detainees held in administrative detention.

Nearly all are Palestinians, as administrative detention is very rarely used against Jews.

So-called administrative detainees are arrested on “secret evidence”, unaware of the accusations against them, and are not allowed to defend themselves in court. They are usually held for renewable six-month periods that often lead to years in detention.

While Israel says the procedure allows authorities to hold suspects while continuing to gather evidence, critics and rights groups say the system is widely abused and denies due process.

HaMoked said 2,441 Palestinians are currently serving sentences after being convicted in military courts. A further 1,478 detainees are being held for questioning, have been charged and are awaiting trial, or are currently being tried.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The State of Palestine presents a blistering account of Israeli abuses against Palestinian children during the first three months of 2022 – adding to the growing library of reports on Israel’s human rights violations.

Reposted from State of Palestine Negotiations Affairs Dept., April 12, 2022

For over five decades, Palestinian children and their families have experienced the injustices of the Israeli occupation. To our children, this occupation has served as a school of daily experiential learning.

This happens at Israeli-monitored checkpoints that fragment our towns and restrict our movement; during clashes where Israeli occupation forces shoot and sometimes kill, unarmed Palestinians; during repressive curfews, closures, home raids, and demolitions; through settler violence, and the day-to-day humiliations faced by a people under occupation.

Undoubtedly, the occupying Power has constituted an informal curriculum, whose master teachers have instilled and cultivated existential fear, a profound sense of insecurity, loss, bitterness, and anger in the hearts and minds of our children.

The impact of Israel’s oppressive policies against our children, in violation of international law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is tremendous and far-reaching since they touch not only the five senses but leave deep physical, mental, psychological, emotional, and spiritual scars that are hard to heal given the continued occupation.

In over twenty years and based on documentation by Defense for Children International- Palestine (DCIP), more than 2,200 Palestinian children were killed by the Israeli occupying forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory. At the end of 2021, the same organization conducted an investigation and concluded that last year was the “deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014.”

Since the beginning of the year, Israel, the occupying Power, has continued to terrorize the Palestinian people, including women, children, and the elderly. As a result, many Palestinians have been killed, hundreds injured, and more than a thousand detained.

This is in addition to over 1,400 military raids into Palestinian villages and cities in the occupied West Bank, and 85 demolition operations documented by UNOCHA, which displaced almost 230 people, half of them were children, and otherwise affected nearly 1,140 Palestinians, nearly half of them are children.

On the occasion of Palestinian Child Day on 5 April and the Palestinian Prisoner Day on 17 April, this report provides an overview of the various Israeli violations committed by Israel’s occupying forces and settlers during the first three months of 2022[1] in the occupied West Bank against our children, who represent nearly  44% of the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The brother of a Palestinian boy killed during Israel's May 2021 attack on Gaza cries during his funeral.
The brother of a Palestinian boy killed during Israel’s May 2021 attack on Gaza cries during his funeral. (Reuters)

I. KILLINGS

In the first three months of 2022, the Israeli occupying forces (IOF) killed 24 Palestinians, five of which are under the age of 18: Mohammad Abu Salah (17) from Al-Yamoun town in Jenin, Mohammad Salah (14) from Al- Khadder town in Bethlehem, Shadi Najem (18) from Jenin refugee camp, Nader Rayan (17) from Balata refugee camp in Nablus, and Sanad Abu Attiya (17) from Jenin refugee camp.

The bodies of the following Palestinian children martyrs remain withheld in Israeli custody[2]:

  1. Mohammad Nasser Trereh (17) from Hebron since 30 June 2016
  2. Khaled Abdel A’al (17) from Gaza since 2 July 2018
  3. Mohammad Dar Yousef (17) from Ramallah since 26 July 2018
  4. Mohammad Abu Mandil (17) from Gaza since 22 January 2020
  5. Mahmoud Kamil (17) from Jenin since 21 December 2020
  6. Atallah Rayyan (17) from Salfit since 26 January 2021
  7. Zuhdi Al-Tawil (17) from Jerusalem since 24 May 2021
  8. Yousef Subuh (16) from Jenin since 26 September 2021
  9. Mohammad Younes (16) from Nablus since 6 December 2021
Palestinian student Mohammed Abu Hussain from Gaza, who lost his leg after being shot by an Israeli sniper during "Great March of Return" demonstrations, sits on a chair holding his crutches at the playground of his school in Gaza City, Gaza on 3 September 2018.
Palestinian student Mohammed Abu Hussain from Gaza, who lost his leg after being shot by an Israeli sniper during “Great March of Return” demonstrations, sits on a chair holding his crutches at the playground of his school in Gaza City, Gaza on 3 September 2018. (Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency)

II. INJURIES

Nearly 1,600 Palestinians were injured[3], including nearly 40 children that were hospitalized according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, as well as others who suffocated from tear gas inhalation.

Many of these injuries happened during protests (in Hebron, Budrus village, Qalendia refugee camp, Jerusalem, Beita village, Kufr Qaddoum village, and other places throughout the occupied West Bank) against the IOF, who often responded with rubber-coated metal bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas canisters.

Among the young wounded Palestinians was Ahmad Thawabteh (13), who was briefly arrested and later released after being severely beaten and breaking his leg. Among the injured were 11-year-old children, including Munawar Burqan (details about the incident later in the report) with special needs from occupied Jerusalem, who was seriously injured after a stun grenade was fired at her face by the IOF.

The youngest among the wounded was a 6 months-old baby.

Below are some examples of Palestinian children injured by the IOF and later abused in prison[4]:

– Ahmad Flanna, from Safa town in Ramallah, turned 17 on 4 April. Ahmad was shot five times and abused by the IOF before being arrested on 26 February 2021. While incarcerated, Ahmad had several surgeries at an Israeli hospital without informing his family. The occupation authorities had also interrogated him while in the hospital without regard to his health condition.

Ahmed, a student in the first year of secondary school, is currently detained in “Megiddo” prison. A hearing at an Israeli court was scheduled for 12 April.

– Issa Al-Titi (17) from Al-Aroub Refugee Camp was shot by the IOF in September 2020, leaving him with disfiguring injuries to his face, a fractured skull, and severe head injuries. He stayed in an Israeli hospital for eight days before being transferred to the “Megiddo” prison and then to the “Ofer” prison.

Today, a permanent headache plagues him due to the Israeli prison administration’s indifference to providing him with necessary medical treatment. They also keep him from meeting his brothers, Jihad and Mohammad, who are also detained in Israeli jails. Issa was sentenced to 13 months in prison and was released in January 2022.

–  Mohammad Al-Sheikh (17) from Al-Ezzariya was arrested in August 2019 after shooting him with several bullets in the body. Naseem Abu Rumi, his friend, was killed by the IOF in occupied Jerusalem the same day. Mohammed underwent several surgeries in an Israeli hospital after his arrest. He stayed there for ten days before being transferred to the “Ramle” prison clinic, where he remained for four months.

Despite suffering from a bullet near his heart, and shrapnel in his body, Mohammed is currently being held under harsh detention conditions in “Ofer” prison. His health is deteriorating due to Israel’s inhumane policy of medical negligence.