Category Archives: Resistance

Solidarity with Resistance to Extraction

People the world over are opposing fossil fuel extraction in an incalculable number of ways.  It is now clear that burning fossil fuels threatens millions of Life forms and could be laying the foundation for the extermination of Humanity.  But what about “alternative” energy?  As progressives stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those rejecting fossil fuels and nuclear power, should we despise, ignore, or commend those who challenge the menace to their homes and their communities from solar, wind and hydro-power (dams)?  The Green Party of St. Louis/Gateway Green Alliance gave its answer with unanimous approval of a version of the statement below in May, 2021.

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Global Conflicts Over Fossil Fuels, Nuclear and Alternative Energy

The monumental increase in the use of energy is provoking conflicts across the Earth.  We express our solidarity with those struggling against extraction, including these examples.

Standing Rock, North Dakota.  We stand in solidarity with the on-going Native American protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota protesting environmentally irresponsible and culturally damaging pipelines that transport crude oil extracted from tar sand, destroying their ancestral lands. So-called “clean” and “renewable” energies depend on the climate killer oil for their production.

Ogoni People vs. Shell.  We stand in solidarity with the Movement for Survival of Ogoni People against Shell. The Niger-Delta was devastated and traditional culture weakened by soil, surface and groundwater contamination that makes farming and fishing impossible.  Local communities still seek to receive denied compensation, clean-up, a share of the profits and a say in decision-making.

Coal extraction in India.  We stand in solidarity with the Centre for Policy Research in India as it opposes efforts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open 41 new coal mines because burning coal is a major factor in climate change, leads to asthma, premature births, and spreads toxins (including mercury) by air, water and land.

Fracking in Pennsylvania.  We stand in solidarity with the Green Party of Pennsylvania which has opposed fracking since 2008 when it realized that use of volatile chemicals could harm local communities and waterways and contribute to climate instability. Local residents have become ill and major waterways and delicate ecosystems have been damaged.

Nuclear power and Olympic Games.  We stand in solidarity with the No Nukes Action Committee of the Bay Area who are demonstrating against the Olympic Games slated for Tokyo in order to raise awareness of the ongoing disaster of Fukushima nuclear power since nuclear power is deadly and intimately connected with the potential for nuclear war.

Uranium Mining in Africa.  We stand in solidarity with “Solidarity Action for the 21 Villages” in Faléa, Mali against the French multinational COGEMA/Orano. After years of struggle, this NGO defeated a uranium mine through community mobilizing.  Aware of the detrimental effects on health, environment, agricultural land, water sources and cultural heritage, they are still fighting to undo already done infrastructural damage.

Solar arrays in Washington State.  We stand in solidarity with rural Klickitat County, WA residents who are being invaded by industrial solar facilities which would exceed 12,000 acres and undermine wildlife/habitat, ecosystems, ground/water, and food production because solar panels and lithium ion batteries contain carcinogens with no method of disposal or re-cycling and could contribute to wildfires from electrical shortages.

Wind turbines in Broome County NY.  We stand in solidarity with the Broome Tioga Green Party’s fight against industrial wind turbine projects that would increase drilling and mining, dynamite 26 pristine mountain tops, and destroy 120,000 trees while requiring precious minerals and lithium for batteries and being dependent on fossil fuels for their manufacture, maintenance and operation.

Hydro-power in Honduras.  We stand in solidarity with the indigenous Lenca people opposing the Agua Zarca dam on the Gualcarque River in Honduras whose leader Berta Cáceres was murdered for uniting different movements to expose how dams destroy farmland, leave forests bare, disturb ancestral burial sites, and deprive communities of water for crops and livestock.

Lithium mining in Thacker Pass.  We stand in solidarity with activists aiming to stop Lithium Americas’ Thacker Pass open-pit mine (Nevada).  Essential for electronic devices including electric cars, the mine would destroy rare old-growth big sagebrush, harm wildlife including many endangered species and lower the water table. Its operation would require massive fossil fuel use and toxic waste ponds.

Cobalt Extraction in DR Congo.  We stand in solidarity with the child laborers slaving and dying in Democratic Republic of Congo cobalt mines.  Cobalt is an essential ingredient for some of the world’s fastest-growing industries—electric cars and electronic devices. It co-occurs with copper mining, used in construction, machinery, transportation and war technology worldwide.

Child Labour in Democratic Republic of Congo

Most of all, we stand in solidarity with thousands upon thousands of communities across the Earth opposing every form of extraction or transmission for energy which seeks to cover up human health and environmental dangers.

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The version adopted by the Gateway Green Alliance differs only by referring to its organizational name in the text.  If you would like to join those spreading the word regarding the need to challenge all forms of energy extraction because we can provide better lives for every society on Earth by reducing the global production of energy, please contact the author at the email below.

The post Solidarity with Resistance to Extraction first appeared on Dissident Voice.

On “Conflict”, “Peace” and “Genocide”: Time for New Language on Palestine and Israel

On May 25, famous American actor, Mark Ruffalo, tweeted an apology for suggesting that Israel is committing ‘genocide’ in Gaza.

“I have reflected and wanted to apologize for posts during the recent Israel/Hamas fighting that suggested Israel is committing ‘genocide’,” Ruffalo wrote, adding, “It’s not accurate, it’s inflammatory, disrespectful and is being used to justify anti-Semitism, here and abroad. Now is the time to avoid hyperbole.”

But were Ruffalo’s earlier assessments, indeed, “not accurate, inflammatory and disrespectful”? And does equating Israel’s war on besieged, impoverished Gaza with genocide fit into the classification of ‘hyperbole’?

To avoid pointless social media spats, one only needs to reference the ‘United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’. According to Article 2 of the 1948 Convention, the legal definition of genocide is:

“Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, such as (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part …”

In its depiction of Israel’s latest war on Gaza, the Geneva-based human rights group, Euro-Med Monitor, reported:

The Israeli forces directly targeted 31 extended families. In 21 cases, the homes of these families were bombed while their residents were inside. These raids resulted in the killing of 98 civilians, including 44 children and 28 women. Among the victims were a man and his wife and children, mothers and their children, or child siblings. There were seven mothers who were killed along with four or three of their children. The bombing of these homes and buildings came without any warning despite the Israeli forces’ knowledge that civilians were inside.

As of May 28, 254 Palestinians in Gaza were killed and 1,948 were wounded in the latest 11-day Israeli onslaught, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Though tragic, this number is relatively small compared with the casualties of previous wars. For example, in the 51-day Israeli war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, over 2,200 Palestinians were killed and over 17,000 were wounded. Similarly, entire families, like the 21-member Abu Jame family in Khan Younis, also perished. Is this not genocide? The same logic can be applied to the killing of over 300 unarmed protesters at the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel between March 2018 and December 2019. Moreover, the besiegement and utter isolation of over 2 million Palestinians in Gaza since 2006-07, which has resulted in numerous tragedies, is an act of collective punishment that also deserves the designation of genocide.

One does not need to be a legal expert to identify the many elements of genocide in Israel’s violent behavior, let alone language, against Palestinians. There is a clear, undeniable relationship between Israel’s violent political discourse and equally violent action on the ground. Potentially Israel’s next prime minister, Naftali Bennett, who has served the role of Defense Minister, had, in July 2013, stated: “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there’s no problem with that.”

With this context in mind, and regardless of why Ruffalo found it necessary to back-track on his moral position, Israel is an unrepentent human rights violator that continues to carry out an active policy of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the native, indigenous inhabitants of Palestine.

Language matters, and in this particular ‘conflict’, it matters most, because Israel has, for long, managed to escape any accountability for its actions, due to its success in misrepresenting facts, and the overall truth about itself. Thanks to its many allies and supporters in mainstream media and academia, Tel Aviv has rebranded itself from being a military occupier and an apartheid regime to an ‘oasis of democracy’, in fact, ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’.

This article will not attempt to challenge the entirety of the misconstrued mainstream media’s depiction of Israel. Volumes are required for that, and Israeli Professor Ilan Pappé’s ‘Ten Myths about Israel’ is an important starting point. However, this article will attempt to present some basic definitions that must enter the Palestine-Israel lexicon, as a prerequisite to developing a fairer understanding of what is happening on the ground.

A Military Occupation – Not a ‘Conflict’

Quite often, mainstream Western media refers to the situation in Palestine and Israel as a  ‘conflict’, and to the various specific elements of this so-called conflict as a ‘dispute’. For example, the ‘Palestinian-Israeli conflict’ and the ‘disputed city of East Jerusalem’.

What should be an obvious truth is that besieged, occupied people do not engage in a ‘conflict’ with their occupiers. Moreover, a ‘dispute’ happens when two parties have equally compelling claims to any issue. When Palestinan families of East Jerusalem are being forced out of their homes which are, in turn, handed over to Jewish extremists, there is no ‘dispute’ involved. The extremists are thieves and the Palestinians are victims. This is not a matter of opinion. The international community itself says so.

‘Conflict’ is a generic term. Aside from absolving the aggressor – in this case, Israel – it leaves all matters open for interpretation. Since American audiences are indoctrinated to love Israel and hate Arabs and Muslims, siding with Israel in its ‘conflict’ with the latter becomes the only rational option.

Israel has sustained a military occupation of 22% of the total size of historic Palestine since June 1967. The remainder of the Palestinian homeland was already usurped, using extreme violence, state-sanctioned apartheid, and, as Pappé puts it, ‘incremental genocide’ decades earlier.

From the perspective of international law,  the term ‘military occupation’, ‘occupied East Jerusalem’, ‘illegal Jewish settlements’ and so forth, have never been ‘disputed’. They are simply facts, even if Washington has decided to ignore international law, and even if mainstream US media has chosen to manipulate the terminology as to present Israel as a victim, not the aggressor.

‘Process’ without ‘Peace’

The term ‘peace process’ was coined by American diplomats decades ago. It was put to use throughout the mid and late 1970s when, then-US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, labored to broker a deal between Egypt and Israel in the hope of fragmenting the Arab political front and, eventually, sidelining Cairo entirely from the ‘Arab-Israeli conflict’.

Kissinger’s logic proved vital for Israel as the ‘process’ did not aim at achieving justice according to fixed criteria that has been delineated by the United Nations for years. There was no frame of reference any more. If any existed, it was Washington’s political priorities which, historically, almost entirely overlapped with Israel’s priorities. Despite the obvious American bias, the US bestowed upon itself the undeserving title of ‘the honest peace broker’.

This approach was used successfully in the write-up to the Camp David Accords in 1978. One of the Accords’ greatest achievements is that the so-called ‘Arab-Israeli conflict’ was replaced with the so-called ‘Palestinian-Israeli conflict’.

Now, tried and true, the ‘peace process’ was used again in 1993, resulting in the Oslo Accords. For nearly three decades, the US continued to tout its self-proclaimed credentials as a peacemaker, despite the fact that it pumped – and continues to do so – $3-4 billion of annual, mostly military, aid to Israel.

On the other hand, the Palestinians have little to show for. No peace was achieved; no justice was obtained; not an inch of Palestinian land was returned and not a single Palestinian refugee was allowed to return home. However, American and European officials and a massive media apparatus continued to talk of a ‘peace process’ with little regard to the fact that the ‘peace process’ has brought nothing but war and destruction for Palestine, and allowed Israel to continue its illegal appropriation and colonization of Palestinian land.

Resistance, National Liberation – Not ‘Terrorism’ and ‘State-Building’

The ‘peace process’ introduced more than death, mayhem and normalization of land theft in Palestine. It also wrought its own language, which remains in effect to this day. According to the new lexicon, Palestinians are divided into ‘moderate’ and ‘extremists’. The ‘moderates’ believe in the American-led ‘peace process’, ‘peace negotiations’ and are ready to make ‘painful compromises’ in order to obtain the coveted ‘peace’. On the other hand, the ‘extremists’ are ‘Iran-backed’, politically ‘radical’ bunch that use ‘terrorism’ to satisfy their ‘dark’ political agendas.

But is this the case? Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, many sectors of Palestinian society, including Muslims and Christians, Islamists and secularists and, notably, socialists, resisted the unwarranted political ‘compromises’ undertaken by their leadership, which they perceived to be a betrayal of Palestinians’ basic rights. Meanwhile, the ‘moderates’ have largely ruled over Palestinians with no democratic mandate. This small but powerful group introduced a culture of political and financial corruption, unprecedented in Palestine. They applied torture against Palestinian political dissidents whenever it suited them. Not only did Washington say little to criticize the ‘moderate’ Palestinian Authority’s dismal human rights record, but it also applauded it for its crackdown on those who ‘incite violence’ and their ‘terrorist infrastructure’.

A term such as ‘resistance’ – muqawama – was slowly but carefully extricated from the Palestinian national discourse. The term ‘liberation’ too was perceived to be confrontational and hostile. Instead, such concepts as ‘state-building’ – championed by former Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, and others – began taking hold. The fact that Palestine was still an occupied country and that ‘state-building’ can only be achieved once ‘liberation’ was first secured, did not seem to matter to the ‘donor countries’. The priorities of these countries – mainly US allies who adhered to the American political agenda in the Middle East – was to maintain the illusion of the ‘peace process’ and to ensure  ‘security coordination’ between PA police and the Israeli army carried on, unabated.

The so-called ‘security coordination’, of course, refers to the US-funded joint Israeli-PA efforts at cracking down on Palestinian resistance, apprehending Palestinian political dissidents and ensuring the safety of the illegal Jewish settlements, or colonies, in the occupied West Bank.

War and, Yes, Genocide in Gaza – Not ‘Israel-Hamas Conflict’

The word ‘democracy’ was constantly featured in the new Oslo language. Of course, it was not intended to serve its actual meaning. Instead, it was the icing on the cake of making the illusion of the ‘peace process’ perfect. This was obvious, at least to most Palestinians. It also became obvious to the whole world in January 2006, when the Palestinian faction Fatah, which has monopolized the PA since its inception in 1994, lost the popular vote to the Islamic faction, Hamas.

Hamas, and other Palestinian factions have rejected – and continue to reject – the Oslo Accords. Their participation in the legislative elections in 2006 took many by surprise, as the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) was itself a product of Oslo. Their victory in the elections, which was classified as democratic and transparent by international monitoring groups, threw a wrench in the US-Israeli-PA political calculations.

Lo and behold, the group that has long been perceived by Israel and its allies as ‘extremist’ and ‘terrorist’, became the potential leaders of Palestine! The Oslo spin doctors had to go into overdrive in order for them to thwart Palestinian democracy and ensure a successful return to the status quo, even if this meant that Palestine is represented by unelected, undemocratic leaders. Sadly, this has been the case for nearly 15 years.

Meanwhile, Hamas’ stronghold, the Gaza Strip, had to be taught a lesson, thus the siege imposed on the impoverished region for nearly 15 years. The siege on Gaza has little to do with Hamas’ rockets or Israel’s ‘security’ needs, the right to ‘defend itself’, and its supposedly ‘justifiable’ desire to destroy Gaza’s ‘terrorist infrastructure’. While, indeed, Hamas’ popularity in Gaza is unmatched anywhere else in Palestine, Fatah, too, has a powerful constituency there. Moreover, the Palestinian resistance in the Strip is not championed by Hamas alone, but also by other ideological and political groups, for example, the Islamic Jihad, the socialist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and other socialist and secular groups.

Misrepresenting the ‘conflict’ as a ‘war’ between Israel and Hamas is crucial to Israeli propaganda, which has succeeded in equating Hamas with militant groups throughout the Middle East and even Afghanistan. But Hamas is not ISIS, Al-Qaeda or Taliban. In fact, none of these groups are similar, anyway. Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic nationalist movement that operates within a largely Palestinian political context. An excellent book on Hamas is the recently published volume by Daud Abdullah, Engaging the World. Abdullah’s book rightly presents Hamas as a rational political actor, rooted in its ideological convictions, yet flexible and pragmatic in its ability to adapt to national, regional and international geopolitical changes.

But what does Israel have to gain from mischaracterizing the Palestinian resistance in Gaza? Aside from satisfying its propaganda campaign of erroneously linking Hamas to other anti-American groups, it also dehumanizes the Palestinian people entirely and presents Israel as a partner in the American global so-called ‘war on terror’. Israeli neofascist and ultranationalist politicians then become the saviors of humanity, their violent racist language is forgiven and their active ‘genocide’ is seen as an act of ‘self-defense’ or, at best, a mere state of ‘conflict’.

The Oppressor as the Victim

According to the strange logic of mainstream media, Palestinians are rarely ‘killed’ by Israeli soldiers, but rather ‘die’ in ‘clashes’ resulting from various ‘disputes. Israel does not ‘colonize’ Palestinian land; it merely ‘annexes’, ‘appropriates’, and ‘captures’, and so on. What has been taking place in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, for example, is not outright property theft, leading to ethnic cleansing, but rather a ‘property dispute’.

The list goes on and on.

In truth, language has always been a part of Zionist colonialism, long before the state of Israel was itself constructed from the ruins of Palestinian homes and villages in 1948. Palestine, according to the Zionists, was ‘a land with no people’ for ‘a people with no land’. These colonists were never ‘illegal settlers’ but ‘Jewish returnees’ to their ‘ancestral homeland’, who, through hard work and perseverance, managed to ‘make the desert bloom’, and, in order to defend themselves against the ‘hordes of Arabs’, they needed to build an ‘invincible army’.

It will not be easy to deconstruct the seemingly endless edifice of lies, half-truths and intentional misrepresentations of Zionist Israeli colonialism in Palestine. Yet, there can be no alternative to this feat because, without proper, accurate and courageous understanding and depiction of Israeli settler colonialism and Palestinian resistance to it, Israel will continue to oppress Palestinians while presenting itself as the victim.

The post On “Conflict”, “Peace” and “Genocide”: Time for New Language on Palestine and Israel first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Palestine Can’t Breathe

Another cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians has been announced ending another round of violent assault on the latter. The settler-colonial Jewish government in Israel killed 275 Palestinians, 248 of them in the Gaza Strip, 26 in the West Bank and Jerusalem, 1 inside Israel, including 66 children in Gaza, and at least 6,200 others injured. Israel reported 13 deaths from the more than 4000 homemade and unguided rockets launched by Hamas, the Islamic Movement governing the Gaza Strip since it won elections in 2006. Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza destroyed more than 1,000 homes, 5 residential towers, 3 mosques, media office buildings, unknown number of businesses, damaged 17 hospitals and clinics and dozens of schools, wrecked Gaza’s only critical COVID-19 health infrastructure, and cut off its sewer, electricity, and water services.

It’s important to realize that this latest round of deadly Israeli onslaught on Palestinians is merely an instance of a 73 years long project of settler colonialism carried out systematically by the Jewish supremacist state of Israel with full backing of the imperial US state. The US and Israeli official narratives aim to obscure this essential fact. They use propaganda to shift the US public’s perception away from focusing on Israel’s illegal occupation and its ongoing slow ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to instead a focus on Palestinian resistance deliberately mischaracterized by them as terrorism and anti-Semitism. They have succeeded in persuading most people in the US that Israel’s quarrel with the Palestinians is not about territory, but terror.

However, several historical factors are at work that may help undermine the US-Israeli official narrative and open up a rare possibility for US activists for Palestinian justice and self-determination to exert greater pressure from below on Washington to adopt a more evenhanded approach to Israel/Palestine.

First, the various geographically separated and colonized Palestinian communities acted together in resisting the latest round of vicious Jewish supremacist Israeli settler colonial assault on Palestinians. Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem, inside Israel, and in diaspora joined the call in the month of May to “save Shaikh Jarrah” in Jerusalem from further forced ethnic displacements of Palestinian families and to respond to Israeli violations of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest place, during the last 10 days of the month of Ramadhan, observed by Muslims worldwide as a time of fasting, prayers, reflection, and community.

This synchronistic unity of Palestinian resistance makes the US and Israeli planners nervous as it threatens to undermine their long-lasting, and hitherto successful, attempts to divide, control and colonize the Palestinians. If sustained, it also presents a new deterrence on the side of the Palestinian resistance insofar as it compels Israel to think twice about the cost of launching another deadly air campaign on Gaza, what it calls “mowing the lawn.” This development bodes ill as well for the Israeli arms industry. So much of the marketing of Israel’s armaments abroad hinges on their effectiveness in crushing Palestinian resistance, especially in the Gaza Strip, used by Israel as a testing laboratory for its high-tech weaponry. Already the fact that the last deadly assault on Gaza in 2014 was unable to crush Palestinian resistance has led to questioning the effectiveness of Israel’s armaments. And reportedly, the stocks of Israeli arms industry have shown no rebound in the aftermath of the latest 11-day Israeli onslaught and the Palestinian resistance it evoked in May 2021.

Second, we have witnessed the historic rise of anti-racial supremacism in the US. Millions in the US have developed a sensibility and a deeper awareness of racial supremacism thanks to the massive Black Lives Matter protests, especially in the aftermath of the lynching of George Floyd by racist policing. It isn’t surprising to see Black liberation activists in the US opposing Jewish supremacism in historical Palestine as they have white supremacism here at home. This cannot but raise the rare possibility of greater solidarity for the Palestinian struggle for justice among larger segments of the US public hitherto inactive or indifferent to the Palestinian suffering. This development too makes the US and Israeli planners nervous as the only public they care about is the US one, since the latter’s awareness and activism only can lead to a shift in Washington policy away from its blind support for Israeli Jewish supremacism and settler colonialism.

Third, we are witnessing the mainstreaming of terms like ‘apartheid’ and ‘Jewish supremacy.’ Two reputable and mainstream human rights organizations, one in Israel and the other in the US, published damning reports calling Israel an apartheid state and accusing it of seeking Jewish supremacy over the entire area of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

On 12 January 2021, B’Tselem in Israel issued its report titled “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid.” It argued that the “entire area” alluded to in its title “is organized under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians.”

On 27 April 2021, Human Rights Watch in the US issued its comprehensive report titled “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution.” It too asserted that across Israel and the occupied territories

…in most aspects of life, Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution. (Italics added)

Of course, Palestinians and their allies have for long argued that Israel is an apartheid settler colonial state, but to no avail. Evidently, it takes mainstream western organizations accusing Israel of Jewish supremacy and crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution for anyone that matters here to take notice. Regardless, the mainstreaming of these terms is welcome news as it would raise badly needed awareness in the US about the structural nature of the violence Palestinians face on a daily basis. That Palestinian voices did not (and still do not) matter is surely unsurprising. Silencing the voices of those subjected to imperial violence is a routine matter. The challenge now is to not fall back on seeing Palestinians once again as objects of sympathy and as victims, but as a people endowed with agency and steadfast in seeking justice and self-determination.

Fourth, Israel is losing the battle of images again. In the western world and especially in the US, Palestinians were viewed as refugees until the 1960s when they organized an armed resistance to Israeli expansionism and settler colonialism, after which they were looked upon as violent terrorists driven by anti-Semitism and hatred of the Jews. But the gruesome images of the massacre of some 2,000 Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps during the 1982 war in Lebanon created sympathy for Palestinians, even in the US media. Israel responded by pushing the narrative that the struggle was over terrorism, not territory. 9/11 helped Israel to win the battle of narratives and impose its “war on terror” discourse.

However, since the cruel siege of Gaza in 2006, Israel has launched several brutal assaults on the captured Gazans. The images from these deadly assaults have reached millions and made it increasingly difficult for the US and Israeli narrative managers to maintain the fiction that Israel only reacts to Palestinian terrorism – the core of Israeli propaganda and one repeated ad nauseum in the phrase “Israel has the right to defend itself.”

Let’s…

It is crucial that activists for Palestinian justice and self-determination expose with greater urgency apologetics for Israel’s colonization of Palestine and point out several elementary observations about the Palestinian struggle.

Let’s point out that Israel’s own “war on terror” lens willfully distorts reality just as the US version has since 9/11. Like the US, Israel is not motivated foremost by security concerns for its population. In fact, ever since the early 1970s, Israel has pursued expansionism at the expense of security and has done so fully aware of the deleterious consequences of such an orientation for the Palestinians it rules over as well as for the Israeli politics and society that has moved steadily rightward in its politics and cultural sensibilities. For example, 72% of Israelis opposed the recent cease-fire.

Let’s remember that Israeli expansionism violates international laws and makes impossible even the creation of a non-contiguous Palestinian state in a fragment of historical Palestine for a fragment of the Palestinian people. How else are we to interpret the continued building of illegal “settlements” on Palestinian lands for Israeli Jews only and the ongoing Judaization of Arab East Jerusalem? By now Israel has transferred some 700,000 Jewish settler colonists into the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Depopulating historical Palestine of Palestinians and repopulating it with Jewish settler colonists has been going on for 73 years and is the core of the Zionist project of establishing an exclusive Jewish state in Palestine and of engineering a Jewish demographic majority ever since. This necessarily involves the use of force and of ethnic cleansing of the native population. The elimination of the indigenous population is the very logic or the DNA of Zionism. Contrary to the early Zionist claim, Palestine was not “a land without a people for a people without a land.” It was in fact the most densely populated region of the Eastern Mediterranean with an Arab population that had lived there for centuries in villages and towns and had developed agriculture and an economy. It would have developed in similar ways as had other Arab communities elsewhere had it not been for the rise of Zionism and the backing of British and later the US imperial states for the dispossession and forced expulsion of the inhabitants of historical Palestine.

Let’s not forget what is Gaza. Gaza is where 2 million Gazans live in a tiny land area, with perhaps the highest population density anywhere in the world. It is the world’s largest open-air prison, a laboratory for testing high-tech Israeli weaponry, facing a cruel blockade Israel has imposed since 2006 with Egyptian complicity and backing from the US. Israel regularly bombs Gaza in operations its officials refer to as “mowing the lawn.” The Gazans are a people without any rights, political or civil, and are subject to frequent drone attacks, assassinations, and even restrictions on their caloric intake by sadistic Israeli officials in charge of the siege of the enclave, and who refer to it as “putting Gaza on a diet.” When they protest peacefully as they did most recently during the massive “Great March of Return” protests in 2018-2019, they were viciously assaulted by Israeli IDF snipers who killed 214 unarmed Palestinians, including 46 children, journalists and medical staff, and injured over 36,100 others, including nearly 8,800 children, over 8,000 of whom were hit by live ammunition, while only one Israeli soldier was killed and seven others injured.

How long will “liberal” opinion in the US tolerate a Sparta Israel shamelessly oppressing and murdering the Palestinians? The Biden administration approved $735 million in arms funding for Israel as it was killing Palestinians during its latest attacks on Gaza and East Jerusalem. How much longer will Washington be able to replenish the deadly arsenal of Israel’s military as it assaults Palestinians to crush their resistance?

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that it’s mainly the ruling elites of settler-colonial states of North America, Europe, Canada and Australia who are the most ardent backers of Israeli state terrorism. Here is a clue: the real “shared values” among them, are not the professed ones of democracy, freedom, pluralism, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.

Let’s also debunk the myth of Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East. A Jewish supremacist, settler-colonial state can aspire at best for a closed utopia, a “democracy” for the privileged based solely on their Jewishness, an ethno-religious characteristic. In 2018, Israel passed the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People. Among its “Basic Principles” we find the following: “Exercising the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.” It also asserts that “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value, and will act to encourage it and to promote and to consolidate its establishment.” You can’t have a democracy when nearly one half of the inhabitants of the land – the Palestinians – from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea are subjected to crimes of apartheid and persecution. Israel is an ethnocracy, not a democracy.

Let’s point out that though some Palestinians react violently, most do so peacefully. Think BDS movement, the call of Palestinian civil society since 2005 to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel, demanding an end to the occupation, equal rights for Palestinians, and the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes or compensation for their loss. Or, take the Great March of Return during 2018-2019 that was met with brutal, criminal and deadly response from Israel with total silence in the US.

Let’s remind everyone that the violence of Palestinian resistance is that of the oppressed and the occupied and as such will cease when the violence of the oppressor and the occupier ceases. Equating the two is a false equivalency.

Let’s not forget that the violence of the occupier is the violence of apartheid and settler colonialism as well as the spectacular violence of Israeli state terrorism, like the frequent deadly bombings of the Gazans.

Let’s point out the utter hypocrisy of Israel’s claim of self-defense when it violently tries to crush those who resist its terrorism and colonization. Such a claim amounts to a right to occupy and oppress, an absurdity. Indeed, it’s the Palestinians who have the right to resist by all means Israel’s violent and systematic dispossession of their land, homes, and rights as well as the erasure of their history and presence in historical Palestine.

An occupying power has only one crucial obligation: to leave.

The post Palestine Can’t Breathe first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Covid:  Threats, Vaccine Injuries and Deaths Abound

The well-reputed online magazine Nature.com published on May 24, 2021, a research-report finding that people who had a corona infection have also developed antibodies and will most likely be immune against the disease for the rest of their lives.   (Note: The link to the Nature.com article, still working on 4 June, has since been “fact-checked” out.)

Censuring the truth. What a pity! What can now be called “Covid Deep State” – the same “superior and super-rich elite” buys practically all the mainstream media – television, radio and print – in basically all the 193 UN member countries. Looks like there is no escape. That’s what they would like. That’s why the entire world had to be locked down for the virus at once on or around the 15th of March 2020.

It is an epidemiological impossibility that the entire world at once is affected by a virus, let alone by what WHO then dared to call a “pandemic”. However, the truth always seeps through, sooner or later. Just think of Leonard Cohen’s extraordinary anthem There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”. The truth will always sooner or later penetrate the darkness.

Right now, it looks like the time is coming when the huge heavy vessel that carries this somber elite’s lies and deceits straight ahead, ignoring all objections and arguments, and as if there were no obstacle to hold it back – as money buys everything – this vessel is slowly but gradually and it seems unstoppably turning. People are awaking around the globe.

Independent scientists, virologists, medical doctors with integrity and the warmth of true humanity have abandoned the matrix and taken the Red Pill. This is in reference to the 1999 movie, The Matrix, where taking the red pill means the willingness to learn a potentially unsettling or life-changing truth, or remaining in contented dark ignorance with the blue pill. Amazingly, the movie has not yet been banned and “fact-checked” off the screens and internet.

And so, the study referred to by Nature.com of acquired immunity – probably for life – makes vaccination not only redundant, but outright dangerous. The text is also available in German. The study has revealed that after 11 months of infection antibodies are still present.

Dr, Mike Yeadon, former Vice President of Pfizer and Chief of Science at Pfizer, a top virologist, has studied SARS cases in 2019 from the SARS outbreak in China of 2002/2003. He found antibodies still in all of his examined former SARS-infected people. He concludes that SARS, alias covid, antibodies are therefore effective for at least 17 years and following his experience he assumes for life. See here

This actually means that all those who have had the covid infection have developed various degrees of antibodies which make vaccination not only unnecessary, but dangerous, as the vaccine, especially the mRNA-type “emergency gene therapy” – never approved by CDC / DFA as a vaccine – could affect and destroy a person’s naturally acquired immune system, not only against covid, but against a wide range of diseases. Therefore, coercing people with natural antibodies into taking the jab is a crime. So-called mRNA “scientists” know exactly what they are doing.

Dr. Mike Yeadon goes a step further, claiming that the mRNA-jab contains a spike protein, called syncytin-1, vital for the formation of human placenta in women. If the “vaccine” – or rather the CDC-called emergency gene therapy – works, Yeadon says, “we form an immune response against the spike protein, then we are also training the female body to attack syncytin-1 which could lead to infertility of women of an unspecified duration.” In other words, likely for the rest of their child-bearing life.

On 1 December 2020, Dr. Yeadon and German Doctor Wolfgang Wodarg wrote to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), urging them to carry out vaccine trials, including for their effect on women’s infertility. They never received an answer.

In an article published by Global Research on 22 April, here, Nathaniel Linderman referred to a study by Dr. Bart Classen, claiming that mRNA Pfizer jabs – allow me to repeat: Not vaccines but emergency gene-therapies – caused different kinds of neurodegenerative diseases, including the risk of Prion disease.

Dr. Bart Classen’s research indicates that the Pfizer untested mRNA vaccine creates new proteins that can actually integrate into the human genome as reported by the National Library of Medicine. In other words, degenerative brain conditions may appear at any time in your life after receiving the vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine is, however, not the only type of untested inoculation that causes neurodegenerative defects, many of them deadly and most of them unreversible or only partially curable. There are Moderna, J&J, AstraZeneca and more.

Founder Robert Kennedy Jr. of Children’s Health Defense – The Defender – reports on 2 June 2021 about a 38-year-old woman, who nearly died after a J&J covid-vaccine. She suffered various organ failures. The woman was healthy until she received the J&J untested covid “vaccine”. Within a week, she started experiencing headaches, abdominal pain and nausea and was eventually diagnosed with severe blood clots that caused most of her vital organs to fail. Only intense medical treatment, 33 days of hospitalization, of which 22 days of intensive care, saved her life – and left her with a medical bill of over a US$ 1 million – for which nobody admits responsibility. See here.

God only knows how many unreported cases there are – some very likely even worse and many deaths. And more injuries and death may be expected by vaccinated people as time goes on – see Dr. Yeadon’s suspicion that we may be set up for mass depopulation .

The young lady, who received the untested J&J covid “vaccine”, is now in occupational and physical therapy. She has to learn basic motor skills, including writing and using a fork, and she had to relearn how to walk. However, she will never again be the same as before the disastrous jab.

And there is as of yet no relief for her one-million-dollar medical bills.

Since the government shields vaccine makers from law suits under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 which effectively granted vaccine manufacturers freedom from civil tort liability. Instead, several years later, the US government established the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICO), which turns down most of the applicants; i.e., fewer than one in ten injured people receive compensation. And this is in the US. In other countries such compensation does not exist, unless the government assumes the risks which is not (yet) formalized in most countries, if in any.

For example, in Europe, no EU country has declared assuming the covid-vaxx injury compensation risk. When not too long ago a journalist asked the Swiss Health Minister, what about compensation for vaccination injuries? He was taken aback by the question and stuttered something to the effect, “We haven’t thought of it yet, but there are unlikely going to be injuries.”

In the meantime, by the end of May 2021, the EU recorded more than 12,000 deaths related to covid vaccines and more than 100,000 serious injuries and these figures may be vastly underreported. Yet, no official compensation scheme has been established. And governments who follow the Covid Deep State orders on fulfilling quotas of vaccinated people are quiet and ignore the topic.

No wonder, the Covid Cabal, those ultra-rich who claim to call the shots on covid and its eugenist agenda, are getting nervous. With such messages of immediate vaxx-injuries and predictions of mass depopulation within the next 3 to 4 years, people may wake up and start resisting. See here and here and this by Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Mike Yeadon.

In the heat of the vaxx-haste and people becoming increasingly alert, representatives of the Deep Dark Covid State, the instigators of the crime of recent human history, have to take recourse to threats. The Editor in Chief of the reputed Natur.com online research paper claimed having recently received two anonymous calls from people who pretended to work for the US government – is it true? – saying that they are themselves not taking the vaccination, but there was a quota that on average 70% of the world population had to be vaccinated by 2022.

See this testimonial video (28 May 2021) from Natural News:  – the Vaccine Deep State issues a DIRECT THREAT to Natural News – “you follow our orders or else…”.

Something to think about but always with the premise they will not win. Our human spirit and will power to resist is much stronger than their Luciferian plan.  We must wake up in solidarity, and we will. That’s why they are so desperate to “vaccinate” as many people as possible. 70% of the world population is their target – as fast as possible, before we wake up. Once you are vaccinated it’s too late to change. The effects may be irreversible.

But we are already awake – right?

As of 2 June 2021, according to WHO, a worldwide total of 1 581 509 628 have been vaccinated. See this . Out of an estimated 7.8 billion (2020), that’s about 20%. There is a long way to go to 70%, notwithstanding the hundreds of millions, if not in the billions, who outright refuse the jab. And if 70% is really their target, then coercion might have just begun.

But not to worry.

People are just about to wake up, as they start realizing that there is a much more sinister agenda behind the forced and coerced vaccination, and especially as their injury and death rates increasingly surface and are becoming known. Our human mind and collective will-power is much stronger than their diabolical darkness  no matter the money they put behind their sinister objective.

The post Covid:  Threats, Vaccine Injuries and Deaths Abound first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Fumbling King of Palestine: Palestinians are Defeating the Oslo Culture

The political discourse of Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, is similar to that of an ineffectual king who has been isolated in his palace for far too long. The king speaks of prosperity and peace, and tirelessly counts his innumerable achievements, while his people are dying of starvation outside and pointlessly begging for his attention.

But Abbas is no ordinary king. He is a ‘president’ by name only, a designated ‘leader’ simply because Israel and the US-led international political system insist on recognizing him as such. Not only had the man’s political mandate expired in 2009, it was quite limited even prior to that date.  At no point in his career did Abbas ever represent the entire Palestinian people. Now, at 85 years, chances are Abbas will never serve this role.

Long before Abbas was the US and Israel’s favorite Palestinian ‘candidate’ to rule over occupied and oppressed Palestinians in 2005, two separate political discourses were evolving in Palestine and, with them, two uniquely separate cultures. There was the ‘Oslo culture’, which was sustained by empty clichés, platitudes about peace and negotiations and, most importantly, billions of dollars, which poured in from donor countries. The funds were never truly aimed at achieving the coveted just peace or Palestinian independence, but to sustain a dismal status quo, where Israel’s military occupation is normalized through ‘security coordination’ between the Israeli army and Abbas’ Authority.

This culture, seen by most Palestinians as treacherous and corrupt, was celebrated in the West as ‘moderate’, especially if compared to the other Palestinian culture, dubbed ‘radical’, or worse, ‘terrorist’. The other culture, which has been shunned for nearly three decades is, thanks to the recent popular revolt in Palestine and the stiff resistance in Gaza, finally prevailing. The show of strength exhibited by the Palestinian Resistance in the besieged Gaza Strip, commencing May 10 – especially within the context of a popular uprising that has finally unified Palestinian youth across, not only in the occupied territories but all of historic Palestine as well – is inspiring a new language. This language is not only being utilized by a handful of ‘radical’ intellectuals, but by many political and academic figures who have long been affiliated with the PA.

In an interview with the British newspaper, The Independent, soon after the end of the Israeli war on Gaza, former PA Minister and veteran politician, Hanan Ashrawi, spoke of the changes underway at the socio-political level in Palestine. “Hamas has evolved, and it is gaining support among young people, even Christians,” Ashrawi said, adding that “Hamas has every right to be represented in a pluralistic system.” However, this is not about Hamas alone. It is about Palestinian resistance as a whole, whether represented in islamist, nationalist or socialist trends.

At one time, Abbas had referred to the Palestinian resistance in Gaza as ‘frivolous’. Today, not many Palestinians in the West Bank, or even in Ramallah, would agree with his assessment.

The above assertion was apparent on May 25, when US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, rushed to Israel and the Occupied Territories in a desperate attempt to revive an old language, one that Palestinians are now openly challenging. Inside Abbas’ luxurious office, Blinken spoke of money, negotiations and, inaptly, ‘freedom of expression’. Abbas thanked the American diplomat, oddly demanded a return to the ‘status quo’ in Jerusalem, renounced ‘violence and terrorism’, and called for ‘peaceful popular resistance’.

Yet, in the streets of Ramallah, a few hundred meters away from the Blinken-Abbas spectacle, thousands of Palestinians were battling with PA police while chanting “America is the head of the snake”, “Security coordination is shameful,” and “The Oslo Accords are gone.”

The protesters comprised Muslims and Christians, men and women, young and old and represented all Palestinian factions, including the PA’s dominant party, Abbas’ own, Fatah. The protesters were accurate in their chants, of course, but what is truly significant is that Palestinians in the West Bank are finally overcoming many obstacles and fears, the stifling factional division, the brutality of Abbas’ security goons and are openly challenging –  in fact, ready to dismantle –  the entire Oslo culture.

Blinken’s visit to Palestine was not compelled by concern over the plight of occupied and besieged Palestinians, and certainly not over the lack of freedom of expression. If that was, indeed, the case, the US could simply end or, at least, condition its $3.8 billion of military aid to Israel. But Blinken, as the top representative of the Joe Biden Administration’s foreign policy, had nothing new to offer by way of new ideas, strategies, plans, let alone language. All he had were promises of more money to Abbas, as if American aid is what Palestinians are fighting and dying for.

Like Biden’s foreign policy, Abbas is equally bankrupt. He fumbled as he spoke, repeatedly emphasizing his gratitude for renewed American funds, money that made him, his family and a very corrupt class of Palestinians undeservingly rich.

The latest Israeli bloodbath in Gaza – the killing of hundreds and the wounding of thousands, the wanton destruction and systematic violence in the West Bank and elsewhere – are watershed moments in the history of Palestine, not because of the tragedy that Israel has, once more, orchestrated, but because of the resilience of the Palestinian people in their collective response to this tragedy. The consequences of this realization are likely to change the political paradigm in Palestine for years to come.

Frequently, many have rightly argued that the Oslo Accords, as a political doctrine, was long dead. However, the Oslo culture, that of unique but misleading language, factional division, classism and utter political chaos, which persisted for many years, is likely on its way out, too. Neither Washington, Tel Aviv, nor Mahmoud Abbas’ PA can possibly resuscitate the past and the miserable culture that Oslo has imposed on the Palestinian people. Only Palestinians can lead this transition for a better future, that of national unity, political clarity and, ultimately, freedom.

The post The Fumbling King of Palestine: Palestinians are Defeating the Oslo Culture first appeared on Dissident Voice.

“Mowing the Grass” No More: How Palestinian Resistance Altered the Equation  

The ceasefire on May 21 has, for now, brought the Israeli war on Gaza to an end. However, this ceasefire is not permanent and constant Israeli provocations anywhere in Palestine could reignite the bloody cycle all over again. Moreover, the Israeli siege on Gaza remains in place, as well as the Israeli military occupation and the rooted system of apartheid that exists all over Palestine.

This, however, does not preclude the fact that the 11-day Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip has fundamentally altered some elements about Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians, especially the Palestinian Resistance, in all of its manifestations.

Let us examine the main actors in the latest confrontation and briefly discuss the impact of the Israeli war and the determined Palestinian resistance on their respective positions.

“Mowing the Grass’ No More

‘Mowing the grass’ is an Israeli term used with reference to the habitual Israeli attacks and war on besieged Gaza, aimed at delineating the need for Israel to routinely eradicate or degrade the capabilities of the various Palestinian resistance groups on the street.

‘Mowing the grass’ also has political benefits, as it often neatly fit into Israel’s political agendas – for example, the need to distract from one political crisis or another in Israel or to solidify Israeli society around its leadership.

May 2021 will be remembered as the time that ‘mowing the grass’ can no longer be easily invoked as a military and political strategy by the Israeli government, as the Gaza resistance and the popular rebellion that was ignited throughout all of Palestine has raised the price by several-fold that Israel paid for its violent provocations.

While Israeli military and political strategists want to convince us, and themselves, that their relationship with Gaza and the Palestinian Resistance has not changed, it actually has and, arguably, irreversibly so.

The Altered Equation

The Palestinian fight for freedom has also been fundamentally altered, not only because of the unprecedented resilience of Palestinian resistance, but the unity of the Palestinian people, and the rise of a post-Oslo/peace process Palestinian nation that is united around a new popular discourse, one which does not differentiate between Palestinians in Jerusalem, Gaza, or anywhere else.

Palestinian unity around resistance, not peace process, is placing Israel in a new kind of quandary. For the first time in its history, Israel cannot win the war on the Palestinians. Neither can it lose the war, because conceding essentially means that Israel is ready to offer compromises – end its occupation, dismantle apartheid, and so on. This is why Israel opted for a one-sided ceasefire. Though humiliating, it preferred over-reaching a negotiated agreement, thus sending a message that the Palestinian Resistance works.

Still, the May war demonstrated that Israel is no longer the only party that sets the rules of the game. Palestinians are finally able to make an impact and force Israel to abandon its illusions that Palestinians are passive victims and that resistance is futile.

Equally important, we can no longer discuss popular resistance and armed resistance as if they are two separate notions or strategies. It would have been impossible for the armed resistance to be sustained, especially under the shocking amount of Israeli firepower, without the support of Palestinians at every level of society and regardless of their political and ideological differences.

Facing a single enemy that did not differentiate between civilians and fighters, between a Hamas or a Fatah supporter, the Palestinian people throughout Palestine moved past all of their political divisions and factional squabbles. Palestinian youth coined new terminologies, ones that were centered around resistance, liberation, solidarity and so on. This shift in the popular discourse will have important consequences that have the potential of cementing Palestinian unity for many years to come.

Israel’s Allies Not Ready to Change

The popular revolt in Palestine has taken many by surprise, including Israel’s allies. Historically, Israel’s Western supporters have proven to be morally bankrupt, but the latest war has proved them to be politically bankrupt as well.

Throughout the war, Washington and other Western capitals parroted the same old line about Israel’s right to defend itself, Israel’s security and the need to return to the negotiation table. This is an archaic and useless position because it did not add anything new to the old, empty discourse. If anything, it merely demonstrates their inability to evolve politically and to match the dramatic changes underway in occupied Palestine.

Needless to say, the new US Administration of Joe Biden, in particular, has missed a crucial opportunity to prove that it was different from that of the previous Donald Trump Administration. Despite, at times, guarded language and a few nuances, Biden behaved precisely as Trump would have if he was still  President.

 What ‘Palestinian leadership’?

The head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and his circle of supporters represent a bygone era. While they are happy to claim a large share of whatever international financial support that could pour in to rebuild Gaza, they do not represent any political trend in Palestine at the moment.

Abbas’s decision to cancel Palestine’s elections scheduled for May and July left him more isolated. Palestinians are ready to look past him; in fact, they already have. This so-called leadership will not be able to galvanize upon this historic moment built on Palestinian unity and resistance.

The Palestinian Authority is corrupt and dispensable. Worse, it is an obstacle in the way of Palestinian freedom. Palestine needs a leadership that represents all Palestinian people everywhere, one that is truly capable of leading the people as they attempt to chart a clear path to their coveted freedom.

 Expanding the Circle of Solidarity

The incredible amount of global solidarity which made headline news all over the world was a clear indication that the many years of preparedness at a grassroots level have paid off. Aside from the numerous expressions of solidarity, one particular aspect deserves further analysis: the geographic diversity of this solidarity which is no longer confined to a few cities in a few countries.

Pro-Palestine solidarity protests, vigils, conferences, webinars, art, music, poetry and many more such expressions were manifest from Kenya to South Africa, to Pakistan to the UK and dozens of countries around the world. The demographics, too, have changed, with minorities and people of color either leading or taking center stage of many of these protests, a phenomenon indicative of the rising intersectionality between Palestinians and numerous oppressed groups around the globe.

A critical fight ahead for Palestinians is the fight of delegitimizing and exposing Israeli colonialism, racism and apartheid. This fight can be won at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Court of Justice (ICJ), UNESCO and numerous international and regional organizations, in addition to the countless civil society groups and community centers the world over.

For this to happen, every voice matters, every vote counts, from India to Brazil, from Portugal to South Africa, from China to New Zealand, and so on. Israel understands this perfectly, thus the global charm offensive that right-wing Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been leading for years. It is essential that we, too, understand this, and reach out to each UN member as part of a larger strategy to deservingly isolate Israel for ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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From BLM to Palestine: Only a Marriage of Movements can Counter a Marriage of Empires

On this one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, I’m thinking about settler colonial nations who routinely spend great amounts of capital to militarily and politically repress indigenous and popular uprisings led by the most historically oppressed peoples of the world.

The United States and Israel—two settler-colonial nation states whose drive to exterminate and replace indigenous peoples with settler colonists has led to unending repression and brutality for decades (in the case of Israel) and centuries (in the case of the United States). These two inherently genocidal projects also happen to be financially, materially, logistically and geopolitically intertwined. They depend on each other.

As President Biden so aptly put it in his Congressional speech in 1986, “We look at the Middle East. I think it’s about time we stop, those of us who support, as most of us do, Israel in this body, for apologizing for our support for Israel. There’s no apology to be made. None. It is the best $3 billion investment we make. Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interest in the region. The United States would have to go out and invent an Israel.”

Israel is described as “the most militarized nation in the world” by the Global Militarization Index. The US provides Israel $3.8 billion a year in cash and weapons, to make sure it is so. The marriage of these two settler empires makes it such that any US Congressional attempts to thwart Israel’s ongoing brutality against Palestinians are probably about as likely to be effective as Hamas’ rockets launched at Israel’s Iron Dome.

The US also provides Israel massive state-sponsored propaganda, backed by incredibly powerful Israeli lobbying groups like AIPAC, to make sure this funding stays in place and is not ever ideologically challenged inside the United States or Israel. These lobbying groups picked up steam and recruited more right-wing backers during Trump’s tenure, enhanced by his extreme support of Zionism, Netanyahu, the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and further funding for Israel’s settler colonial projects. But to be clear, US support for Israel is a bipartisan project, and it has been for decades. Even so-called progressive Democrats like Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York and Rep. Ro Khanna of California, have just signed onto an AIPAC letter, whose aim is to prevent any cuts in funding to Israel, in response to Minnesota Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum’s new bill, HR2590, designed to “block Israel from using U.S. military aid to demolish Palestinian homes, arrest Palestinian children, and annex Palestinian land.”

AIPAC and its bipartisan allies have also, for decades, functioned to make sure that anyone who dares question “Israel’s right to self-defense” loses all political credibility, career opportunity, and is unilaterally smeared by Democrats and Republicans alike. From AP Press writers who get fired because they used to support Palestine in college, to US Congress members who joke about “the Benjamins,” criticizing Israel in any form has become a form of political suicide inside the United States. Recent attempts to criminalize anyone who supports the BDS movement have become clear violations of the First Amendment according to the ACLU, and yet, US states are moving ahead with these measures, despite legal challenges in the courts. Now that is one powerful international propaganda apparatus.

So it is against this David-and-Goliath-style backdrop that we see the beginnings of the US-Israeli-military-public-relations façade beginning to crumble inside the realm of US public opinion, as decades of organizing work on behalf of Palestinian human rights begin to slowly trickle up into the halls of Congress. According to a new Gallup poll, there’s a “53 percent majority of Democrats favor pressuring Israel—a 10-point jump since 2018—and progressive figures are clearly betting that the broader electorate is more willing to hear critics out than ever before.

This is a significant shift, especially inside a country where both major parties’ unilateral support for Israel has gone unquestioned for decades. And in the last few weeks, we’ve also seen some of the most progressive US Congressional members take courageous stances on Palestinian human rights: Rashida Tlaib’s impassioned speech on the House floor, AOC’s reference to Israel as an “apartheid state,” Bernie’s “resolution of disapproval” and other attempts to block an increased $735 million in additional weapons package.

These rhetorical shifts are tremendous acts of resistance inside the proverbial belly of the beast. And they certainly represent a broader shift in US public opinion, which we also see shifting internationally, given the massive Palestine solidarity protests throughout the United States, Europe and Australia, over the last few weeks. But make no mistake—these rhetorical shifts inside the US halls of power are not the same thing as fundamentally shifting US policy, which is deeply invested in maintaining and supporting its own economic, geo-political and military interests inside what UC Barbara Sociologist William I. Robinson calls the “global police state.” The following is an excerpt from Robinson’s book, Global Police State:

The Occupied Palestinian Territory has been transformed into probably the most monitored, controlled, and militarized place on earth. It epitomizes the dream of every general, security expert and police officer to be able to exercise total bio-political control. In a situation where the local population enjoys no effective legal protections or privacy, they and their lands become a laboratory where the latest technologies of surveillance, control, and suppression are perfected and showcased, giving Israel an edge in the highly competitive global market. Labels such as ‘Combat Proven,’ ‘Tested in Gaza,’ and ‘Approved by the IDF’ (Israeli Defense Forces) on Israeli or foreign products greatly improves their marketability.

These methods of control and repression fine tuned against the Palestinians have been exported by Israel to racist police in US inner cities, Brazilian security forces that patrol the impoverished residents of the Rio favelas, Colombian and Guatemalan military and paramilitary forces in their battles against social movements, Central Asian intelligence officers monitoring human rights activists and journalists, Chinese Army agents developing domestic systems of social control, and corporate clients and repressive states and police agencies the world over.

Indeed, many Palestinian activists who have found solidarity with indigenous rights activists in the United States have noted, as recently as Standing Rock in 2016:

Many of the law enforcement officers at Standing Rock have been trained in Israel. The weapons and tactics are identical. The use of high pressure water cannons, rubber bullets, rubber coated steel bullets, the use of attack dogs, and sound grenades are the same in both places.

And over the last few years, Amnesty International and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), have published reports detailing how Israeli training of US police officers has resulted in systematic brutality. Amnesty International’s report cites “widespread constitutional violations, discriminatory enforcement and a culture of retaliation” within the Baltimore Police Department. JVP’s report went on to say, “Police brutality of the kind that led to the death of George Floyd is both deeply embedded in American policing and also reinforced by the exchange of the ‘best practices’ and expertise in counter-terrorism techniques taught to US law enforcement officials during their training in Israel. Thousands of these officials from across the US have been sent to Israel for training, and thousands more have participated in conferences and workshops with Israeli personnel.”

The Middle East Monitor writes:

George Floyd’s killing is the latest, but probably not the last, example of classic American policing to mirror Israel’s ‘best law enforcement practice.’ It is being put to deadly use on the streets of America. If black lives really do matter in 21st century America, then the ‘deadly exchange programmes’ with Israel should be brought to an end without delay.

So this is the fundamental barrier for our movements trying to stop US aid to Israel. For decades, we’ve watched US Presidents offer Israel and Palestine peace deal after peace deal. We’ve seen an inordinate number of trips from Washington to Israel to host diplomatic talks about “two-state solutions.” Throughout all of these duplicitous negotiations, the US government has pretended to be an honest broker in the Israel-Palestine conflict. It is not. It never has been. It never will be. And while there may be much-welcomed symbolic efforts coming down the pike to pass resolutions condemning Israeli violence as a sort of symbolic offering to human rights groups, the United States will not cut off aid to Israel any time soon. Nor will it ever be able to broker an honest peace deal, as long as its geopolitical, economic and military interests are fundamentally tied to those of Israel.

Both Israel and the United States are settler-colonial projects whose very existence is based on oppressing and replacing its indigenous peoples, as well as repressing popular resistance movements that emerge within their national borders. Both states now exist within a new global context described by Bill Robinson — a transnational capitalist project of building a global police state against ever-increasing popular uprisings. This is the current political moment in which we find ourselves. These well-intentioned measures from even the most progressive US Congress members are definitely worth celebrating for their rhetorical and symbolic progress. They are not, however, likely to become law, nor result in any fundamental reduction in military aid or support to Israel. We are going to need a lot more to break up the geopolitical marriage of these two capitalist, settler empires. Only relentless, intersectional and international solidarity movements against white supremacy, transnational capitalism, and settler colonialism have the power to do that.

The post From BLM to Palestine: Only a Marriage of Movements can Counter a Marriage of Empires first appeared on Dissident Voice.

“The Savage Punishment Of Gaza”: Israel’s Latest Assault On Palestine’s Open Prison

Recent media coverage of Israel and Palestine, not least by BBC News, has been full of the usual deceptive propaganda tropes: Israel is ‘responding’ or ‘reacting’ to Palestinian ‘provocation’ and ‘escalation’; Palestinian rockets ‘killed’ Israelis, but Palestinians ‘have died’ from unnamed causes; Israel has ‘armed forces’ and ‘security forces’, but Hamas has ‘militants’. And, as ever, Palestinians were killed in far greater numbers than Israelis. At least 248 Palestinians were killed by Israeli bombardment in Gaza, including 66 children. Palestinian rocket fire killed 12 in Israel, including one child.

Imagine if the BBC reported:

Palestinian security forces responded after Israeli militants enforcing the apartheid occupation attacked and injured Palestinian worshippers.

BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen referred night after night on BBC News at Ten to ‘a war between Israel and Hamas’, a version of events pushed hard by Israel. As John Pilger said in a recent interview, ‘Bowen knows that’s wrong’. This is no war. In fact, the world has witnessed a massive attack by one of the world’s most powerful, lethal militaries, armed and supported to the hilt by the US (which sends $3.8 billion in military aid to Israel each year) and western allies, imposing a brutal occupation and deliberately subjecting the Palestinian civilian population to death, violence, terror and appalling hardship.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned early on that heavy Israeli bombing was pushing Gaza to the edge of catastrophe:

‘The Israeli bombing is incredibly heavy and stronger than previous bombing campaigns. Relentless bombing has destroyed many homes and buildings all around us. It’s not safe to go outside, and no one is safe inside, people are trapped. Emergency health workers are taking incredible but necessary risks to move around.’

On 19 May, the 10th day of intense Israeli bombardment of Gaza, the BBC News website carried headlines:

‘Israel targets Hamas chiefs’

And:

‘Israel targets Gaza militants’

So, why was Israel killing so many noncombatants, including children? Why were residences being flattened? The United Nations estimated that Israel had demolished 94 buildings in Gaza, comprising 461 housing and commercial units. Why were hospitals and clinics suffering so much damage? And buildings where media organisations were based?

Why were there Israeli airstrikes in the area of the MSF clinic in Gaza City, killing at least 42 people including 10 children? An orphanage was also destroyed.

The massacre was ‘one of the most horrific crimes’ Israel has committed during its ongoing war against the people of Gaza, according to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor who added that:

‘the attack was not an isolated incident, but another example of Israel’s systematic policy that we have witnessed over the past six days.’

As Tamara Nasser observed in a piece on the Electronic Intifada website, Israel was unable to substantiate its claim that ‘Hamas military intelligence were using the building’ when pressed to do so by US public radio network NPR.

Nasser added:

‘Even if that Israeli claim were true, under the laws of war, Israel’s destruction of entire buildings would be wholly disproportionate.

‘Rather, Israel’s mass destruction of buildings and infrastructure appears to fit the pattern of the Dahiya Doctrine – named after its 2006 destruction of the southern suburb of Beirut.

‘The goal is to deliberately inflict such pain and suffering on the civilian population and society at large as to deter anyone from resisting against Israel’s occupation. This can be prosecuted as a war crime.’

It also serves as a useful definition of terrorism.

Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), said via Twitter:

‘What the Israeli army asserts, namely that the alleged presence of Hamas in the buildings would make them legitimate military objectives is absolutely false from a legal point of view, since they also house civilians, such as the media.’

He added:

‘Even assuming that the Israeli fire was necessary (which is absolutely not proven), the total destruction of the buildings demonstrates that the principles of distinction and proportionality have been flagrantly violated.’

Indeed, RSF sent a letter to Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, urging an investigation of Israel’s targeting of the offices of 23 media organizations in Gaza during Israel’s bombardment.

‘False Equivalence Between Occupier And Occupied’

Gregory Shupak wrote in a piece for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, the US-based media watchdog, that corporate media coverage presented a ‘false equivalence between occupier and occupied’. He continued:

‘The fatal flaw in the “both sides” narrative is that only the Israeli side has ethnically cleansed and turned millions on the Palestinians’ side into refugees by preventing them from exercising their right to return to their homes. Israel is the only side subjecting anyone to apartheid and military occupation. It is only the Palestinian side—including those living inside of what is presently called Israel—that has been made to live as second-class citizens in their own land. That’s to say nothing of the lopsided scale of the death, injury and damage to infrastructure that Palestinians have experienced as compared to Israelis, both during the present offensive and in the longer term.’

When last week’s truce ‘between Israel and Hamas’ was imminent, Jeremy Bowen told BBC viewers:

‘Now, the essentials of that conflict are not going to change. Until they do, there will be more trouble in the future.’

But Israeli settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing, lethal sanctions maintained by a brutal military occupation, apartheid, the killing and imprisonment of Palestinian children, Israel’s constant trampling of international law, and the daily humiliation of Palestinians constitute ‘trouble’ right now regardless of what happens ‘in the future’. These essential truths are regularly unmentioned or glossed over by Bowen, the BBC and the rest of a ‘mainstream’ media trying to ‘normalise the unthinkable’, by presenting violent occupation as a ‘clash’ between two sides competing for legitimacy.

As Abby Martin noted in a video powerfully rebutting the Israeli claim that Hamas uses ‘human shields’ in Gaza:

‘Israel has intentionally made Gaza unliveable. The only way Gaza is able to exert pressure on Israel is by firing rockets. If they peacefully protest their conditions, they’re massacred just the same. If they do nothing, Israel continues to blockade them, erode their living conditions while ethnically cleansing the rest of their land.’

This perspective – the Palestinian perspective – is almost entirely absent from news coverage. Moreover, WikiLeaks has revealed that when Israel’s forces invaded Gaza in 2009’s ‘Operation Cast Lead’, they  – Israel – did actually use Gazans as human shields. A classified US cable reported that Israeli soldiers:

‘testified to instances where Gazans were used as human shields, incendiary phosphorous shells were fired over civilian population areas, and other examples of excessive firepower that caused unnecessary fatalities and destruction of property.’

During the latest phase of Israeli aggression, Israel’s Minister of Defence Benny Gantz warned:

‘No person, neighbourhood or area in Gaza is immune [from airstrikes]’

This is a grotesque justification for war crimes. Where was the headlined outrage in response from ‘mainstream’ media that regularly cite defence of human rights as justification for war on countries like Iraq, Syria and Libya?

Hamas: A ‘Convenient Monster’

Hamas is regularly presented by corporate media as some kind of monster, a terrorist organisation with a declared intention of destroying Israel. This is a ‘convenient’ misrepresentation, as explained cogently in a recent interview with Frank Barat by Imad Alsoos, a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute, who is an expert on Hamas.

Likewise, in an interview with Afshin Rattansi on RT’s ‘Going Underground’, John Pilger commented:

‘There’s been a whole attempt to make Hamas the centre of the reporting. And that’s nonsense. As if Hamas is a peculiar demon. In fact, Hamas and its military wing are part of a resistance; a resistance that was provoked by the Israelis. The real demon in this is Israel. But it’s not simply Israel. I mean, this is as much a British and American war against Palestine, as it is an Israeli one.’

Pilger added that this is a war:

‘against the people of Palestine who are doing one thing – and that is exercising their moral and legal right to resist a brutal occupation.’

It is rarely mentioned in the ‘mainstream’ media that Hamas is, as Pilger pointed out, the legitimately elected government of Gaza. Moreover, Hamas has repeatedly declared its readiness to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders. But Israel has always rejected the offer, just as it rejected the Arab League peace plan of 2002; and just as it has always rejected the international consensus for a peaceful solution in the Middle East. Why? Because the threat of such ‘peace offensives’ would involve unacceptable concessions and compromises. Israeli writer Amos Elon has written of the ‘panic and unease among our political leadership’ caused by Arab peace proposals.1

The Palestinians are seen as an obstacle by Israel’s leaders; an irritant to be subjugated. Noam Chomsky commented:

‘Traditionally over the years, Israel has sought to crush any resistance to its programs of takeover of the parts of Palestine it regards as valuable, while eliminating any hope for the indigenous population to have a decent existence enjoying national rights.’

And, as Chomsky noted:

‘The key feature of the occupation has always been humiliation: they [the Palestinians] must not be allowed to raise their heads. The basic principle, often openly expressed, is that the “Araboushim” – a term that belongs with “nigger” or “kike” – must understand who rules this land and who walks in it with head lowered and eyes averted.”2

In 2018, when Palestinians were being shot dead by Israeli soldiers in peaceful weekly ‘Great March of Return’ protests near Gaza’s border, Israeli journalist Gideon Levy observed that:

‘the killing of Palestinians is accepted in Israel more lightly than the killing of mosquitoes’.

Given all of the above context, it is criminal that, day after day, BBC News presented a false balance between a powerful Israeli state-occupier and a brutalised, ethnically cleansed, apartheid-suffering Palestinian people. This systematic misrepresentation of reality amounts to complicity in Israel’s vast PR campaign to ‘justify’ its war crimes, brutality and repression of Palestinian people.

As well as Bowen’s wilfully distorted reporting for BBC News, and the biased coverage by corporate media generally, Pilger pointed to the lack of dissent in the UK Parliament in the face of atrocities being committed once again by Israel. He focused particular attention on:

‘Starmer’s Labour party which allowed pro-Israel groups to direct the policies of the Labour party, that, in effect, support this attack. When you have the Shadow Foreign Secretary saying that to criticise Israeli atrocities is antisemitic, then we’re in Lewis Carroll world, really.’

Concluding Remarks

Chomsky once wrote of an elderly Palestinian man demonstrating in Gaza with a placard that read:

‘You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.’

This simple but devastating message, said Chomsky, is ‘the proper context’ for ‘the savage punishment of Gaza.’

It is a context that is almost entirely missing from corporate media coverage of Israel and Palestine, not least by BBC News.

  1. Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle, Pluto Press, London, 1999, p. 75.
  2. Chomsky, op. cit., p. 489.
The post “The Savage Punishment Of Gaza”: Israel’s Latest Assault On Palestine’s Open Prison first appeared on Dissident Voice.

South African Dockworkers Refuse to Unload Israeli Ship in Solidarity with Palestinians

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

A member of the South African Student Congress (SASCO) holds a poster reflecting the face of the late Palestinian political leader, Yasser Arafat, during their protest in solidarity with Palestine outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria on May 20, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Dockworkers in the South African port city of Durban have refused to offload cargo from an Israeli ship in a show of solidarity with Palestinians, and in protest at Tel Aviv’s military aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip.

The South African Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Coalition announced on Friday that the dockworkers with the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) will not discharge the cargo belonging to Israel’s Zim Integrated Shipping, following a call from the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions.

Also on Friday, the South African BDS Coalition and its partners, among them SATAWU, will stage a rally in Durban to celebrate the stalling of the Israeli vessel, the movement said.

They will also demand that the South African government-owned Transnet port company stop transportation of goods to or from the Israeli-occupied territories through South African ports.

“We do not want Israeli ships or goods in South African ports and shops,” Roshan Dadoo, a member of the South African BDS Coalition, told London-based Middle East Eye online news outlet.

She added, “We salute our dockworkers and will continue to work in struggle with them to ensure that South Africa becomes an ‘apartheid free zone’.”

Dadoo said the coalition hopes that the South African government “takes their lead from the dockworkers and immediately cuts all ties – trade, diplomatic, cultural, academic and sport – with the oppressive Israeli regime.”

The development comes just days after dockworkers in the Italian city of Livorno refused to load an arms shipment onto the Asiatic Island, another ship belonging to the Israeli company Zim.

The L’Unione Sindacale di Base (USB) trade union said in a statement that the port would not be an accomplice in the massacre of Palestinians as the cargo contained weapons and explosives that could be used to kill the Palestinian population.

A ceasefire came into force in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Friday morning after Egypt brokered an agreement between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups to halt 11 days of conflict.

At least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, were killed in the Israeli bombardment of the densely populated coastal enclave.

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa has come under pressure to cut all ties with Israel following the latest Israeli aggression against Gaza.

Ramaphosa said on Monday that “we stand with the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination, but also in their resistance against the deprivation of their human rights and the denial of their dignity,”

He noted that the sight of a group of Palestinian families forced out from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds to make way for Israeli settlements reminded him of what happened to millions of South Africans, including his own family, during the apartheid era.

“It was a pain and humiliation faced by my own family, and by many South African families. My family was forcibly moved to different parts of the country on two occasions,” Ramaphosa stated.

He said being forced from one’s home at gunpoint is a trauma not easily forgotten, which is carried across generations.

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The Image of Victory

If winning a military battle is defined by the accomplishment of one’s military objectives, then Hamas won the current round of violence with its very first ballistic barrage on Jerusalem ten days ago. Israel, on the other hand, won’t win, can’t win and doesn’t even dream of winning. Like in recent ‘rounds’, all Israel hopes to achieve is an ‘image of victory.’ Despite its military might and destructive enthusiasm, Israel can’t prevail militarily because it doesn’t even remember what military objectives are or what they look like.

In the last seven decades Israel has worked relentlessly to divide the Palestinians in an attempt to dismantle their ability to resist as one people. This project had been so successful in the eyes of the Israelis that many of them started to believe that the Palestinian cause had evaporated into thin air. But then, completely out of the blue (as far as the Israelis are concerned), Hamas managed to unite the Palestinians into a unified fist of resistance: on Tuesday every Palestinian between the River and the Sea joined a strike called by Hamas. Such a collective, multi-sectorial strike didn’t happen in Palestine since 1936.

Military victory is not measured by the carnage you inflict on your foe. It isn’t measured by the number of casualties or the residential towers one reduces into dust. Admittedly, there is no room for comparison between Israeli military capabilities and Hamas’ firepower. Israel is one of the most technologically advanced military forces in the world. Hamas is decades behind, yet it wins over Israel in every round of violence.

The reason is simple. Hamas’ military objectives are simple and modest. Hamas has vowed to keep the resistance alive. It fulfills its promise. By achieving this goal Hamas has positioned itself as the Palestinian unifier. Israel, on the other hand, can’t decide its military goals. We hear Israel’s Defence Minister vowing to bring security to the Israelis but Hamas proves him wrong, continuing to rain Israel with rockets at a growing rate. Israel brags about its precision bombing of Hamas’ tunnels, yet rather cynically, Hamas keep operating from tunnels that seem intact and operational.

It doesn’t take a military genius to grasp that in order to stop Hamas, Israel needs to deploy ground forces and to engage in a fierce battle in the streets of Gaza. But this is exactly the one thing the IDF refuses to do and for a manifold of very good reasons. Firstly, the Israelis are fearful of a house-to-house battle. Second, Israel doesn’t want to control 2.5 million Gazans. Third, not one Israeli military leader is willing to face the relentless Israeli mothers brigade. In the region, however, Israel’s reluctance to send foot soldiers to Gaza is understood as cowardice and weakness.

For Israel, Gaza in particular and Palestine in general is a no-win situation.

But there is a deeper reasoning behind Israel’s hopeless situation. Israeli decision makers (both within the political realm and in the military) subscribe to the power of deterrence. For Israelis, the power of deterrence means punishing the Arabs so heavily that their will to fight would practically stop existing. For one reason or another, the Israelis manage to clumsily zigzag through their troubling history in the region in an attempt to validate this doctrine. For instance, Israel works hard to convince themselves that despite their military fiasco in Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah has been reluctant to enter a new round of violence with Israel because it is intimidated by the consequences.

Examination of Israeli history actually defies the Israeli doctrine. When Arabs are defeated and humiliated in the battlefield they keep fighting until they win. When Arabs win, they often lose their motivation to keep fighting. They occasionally seek peace and harmony in accordance with the Islamic teaching.

In 1967 Israel defeated 3 Arab armies in just 6 days. Israel performed a perfect Blitzkrieg operation. The Israeli air force surprised and destroyed the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian air forces on the ground in less than four hours. Simultaneously, Israeli Panzers raided into Sinai, within hours the Egyptian forces collapsed. The humiliation of the Egyptian army was unprecedented in military terms.

If the Israeli doctrine carried any validity, Egypt wouldn’t consider any military confrontation with Israel. But the reality on the ground proved the opposite. Just a few months after their June 1967 defeat, the Egyptian Army launched a war of attrition against Israel, one which exhausted the Israeli forces (including the air force). In the War of Attrition (1967-70) Egypt displayed new capabilities, relying on new Soviet ground-to-air missiles that obliterated Israeli air superiority. Yet Israel refused to draw the necessary conclusions. It was suffocated by hubris that prevented it from reading its neighbors and their intentions.

On 6 October 1973 (Yom Kippur) at 2 PM, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated attack on Israeli forces in the Suez Canal and in the Golan Heights. Within hours the two Arab armies managed to obliterate the Israeli defence lines. A few days later and thanks to a close American airlift Israel recovered. It gained its lost land in the occupied Golan heights and even managed to conquer some new territory in Syria. In the South, Israel managed to establish a bridgehead over the Suez Canal. It encircled the Egyptian 3rd army and cut its supply lines. But Israel failed to push the Egyptian 3rd and 2nd armies back. The Egyptian army ended the war, claiming a narrow strip of Sinai back. It was this victory that empowered Anwar Sadat to launch a peace initiative four years later (1977).

Hafez al-Assad, the Syrian leader at the time, didn’t manage to claim a victory. Syria remained a defiant enemy of Israel. It is reasonable to speculate that if Assad was allowed to cling to some of his territorial gains in October ‘73, Israel and Syria could have proceeded into further reconciliatory talks.

The same logic can be applied to Hezbollah. The Lebanese Shia resistance movement is reluctant to fight Israel not because it is afraid of the consequences, as Israelis delude themselves, but because it already won significantly over the IDF. A war with Israel is dangerous for Hezbollah not because Israel will do its best once again to destroy Lebanese infrastructure and flatten half of Beirut, but because the outcome of such a war is unknown. Hezbollah is in a much better position retaining its status as the Arab military force that made the IDF run home with its tail between its legs (2006).

One may wonder whether Israeli strategists are so thick as not to grasp the most obvious facts about their neighbors and what fuels their motivation to fight. It may of course be possible that Israel’s decision makers aren’t as excited by tranquility as some of us want to believe. Gaza is where Israel tests its new weaponry and tactics. Gaza rockets are a necessary ingredient in the Iron Dome’s public relations. Most importantly, the Gaza crisis emerged when Netanyahu’s political options were running out. It was the Gaza current conflict that made the political powers in Israel subside and then crystalize lucidly within the realm of the hard right. This war made both Netanyahu and Hamas stronger.

It would be fair to argue that Hamas is operating within the modernist perception of conflicts as devised by Carl von Clausewitz. For the German military philosopher “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” In ‘postmodernist’ Israel, it seems war is one of the means that keeps some politicians out of prison.

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