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Two-year-old Palestinian dies of Israeli gunshot wounds

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A Palestinian toddler who was shot by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank last week has died of his wounds, Israeli hospital officials say.

Mohammed al-Tamimi was shot in the head last Thursday near his village of Nebi Saleh while riding in a car with his father. He was airlifted to Israel’s Sheba Hospital, which announced the two-year-old boy’s death on Monday.

The Israeli military has said soldiers opened fire after gunmen in the area shot at a nearby Jewish settlement.

But the boy’s father, Haitham al-Tamimi, told The Associated Press that he had just buckled up his son in the car and they were driving to visit an uncle when the bullet struck.

The father was also shot and treated at a Palestinian hospital.

People gathered at the family’s home on Monday after hearing of the boy’s death.

“I hope this message will be heard: Innocence and childhood are sacred,” the boy’s father told reporters. He accused Israel of targeting “unarmed people, whether young or old, under the pretext of self-defence.”

“A person in his home and unarmed receives this treatment?” he said.

The Israeli military has opened an investigation into the incident.

Rights groups, however, say that such investigations rarely lead to prosecution or disciplinary action against soldiers.

The shooting was the latest bloodshed in a more than yearlong surge of violence in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem.

That fighting has picked up since Israel’s new far-right government took office in late December.

Nearly 120 Palestinians have been killed in the two areas this year, with nearly half of them members of armed militant groups, according to an AP tally. The military says the number of militants is much higher.

But stone-throwing youths and people uninvolved in violence have also been killed.

Meanwhile, Palestinian attacks targeting Israelis in those areas have killed at least 21 people.

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem, along with the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians seek these territories for a future state.

Some 700,000 Israelis now live in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Most of the international community considers these settlements illegal or obstacles to peace.

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Article source: AAP / Shepparton News | Jun 6, 2023

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Three Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank, ministry says

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Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in Balata refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry says.

Israeli forces raided Balata refugee camp on the outskirts of the city of Nablus accompanied with bulldozers, a Palestinian news agency reported on Monday.

The news agency reported Israeli forces had blocked ambulances from entering the camp.

It comes days after violence erupted in Jerusalem as thousands of far-right Jews joined an annual march, marking Israel’s capture of east Jerusalem.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

The deaths come days after an Israeli nationalist march to mark Jerusalem Day.

The Israeli celebration was viewed as a provocation by Palestinians.

More than a week ago, a deadly aerial battle between Israel and Gaza killed at least 33 Palestinians and two people in Israel.

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Article source: Reuters / ABC | 22.5.23

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Two Palestinian Militants Killed by IDF in West Bank Raid

Two Palestinians were killed by Israel Defense Forces gunfire on Saturday in the northern West Bank city of Tul Karm, the Palestinian Health Ministry and IDF reported.

The military said it conducted a raid to apprehend individuals suspected of carrying out a shooting attack against Israelis earlier this week.

“The two gunmen were shot and killed after attempting to flee the scene,” a statement from the Israeli military said.

The Tul Karm Battalion militant group announced that two of its operatives, 22-year-olds Hamzah Kharouish and Samer Al-Shafi’i, were killed during gunfire exchanges with IDF forces operating in the Nur al-Shams refugee camp west of the city. A statement from the group said that Kharouish was the assailant that carried out a shooting attack in the West Bank settlement of Avnei Hefetz just four days ago. A day of mourning and a strike was declared in Tul Karm following the incident.

An eyewitness said that IDF forces entered Nur al-Shams and surrounded a compound where Kharouish and Al-Shafi’i were residing, while having snipers on building rooftops serving as reinforcements. According to eyewitness, Kharouish and Al-Shafi’i were shot dead attempting to escape from a window. Other reports indicate that IDF forces arrested two additional Palestinians, with one of them wounded from IDF gunfire.

Kharouish and Al-Shafi’i belonged to the Tul Karm Battalion — a group that mainly recruits armed young men some of whom are affiliated with Fatah. Their aim is to carry out terror attacks in the central West Bank and around Tul Karm. They say they take their inspiration from the Lion’s Den militant group located in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

On Tuesday, a 39-year-old Israeli was wounded in a shooting attack in the West Bank settlement of Avnei Hefetz. According to reports, several cars in the area were also shot at.

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Article source: Haaretz / Reuters | Jack Khoury | May 6, 2023

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Two Palestinians killed in Israeli West Bank raid

Two Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli military says it conducted a raid to apprehend individuals suspected of carrying out a shooting attack against Israelis earlier this week.

“The two gunmen were shot and killed after attempting to flee the scene,” a statement from the Israeli military said on Saturday.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said both men were 22 years old and died of bullet wounds to their chest, neck and abdomen.

The incident came after an exchange of cross-border strikes between Israel and Gaza this week.

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Article source: AAP Newswire | May 6, 2023

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21-year-old Palestinian Killed in Israeli Military Raid in Nablus

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A Palestinian man was killed by Israeli military fire in Nablus in the early hours of Monday, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

The Palestinian Health Ministry says the man who was killed is 21-year-old Amir Bastami and that this marks the 48th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces this year.

According to the IDF, its security forces entered the city to arrest suspects involved in the killing of Sgt. Ido Baruch in October. Two of the suspects involved in the incident were arrested but injured in an exchange of fire with the soldiers, the IDF confirmed, and three other wanted persons were arrested.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that five Palestinians had been wounded in the operation, though it is unclear if that includes the two suspects.

The incident follows weeks of increased Israeli-Palestinian tension amid a number of Israeli military raids in the West Bank and fatal terror attacks, the most recent on Friday in Jerusalem.

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Article source: Haaretz | Jack Khoury and Yaniv Kubovich | Feb 13, 2023

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A Palestinian Teen Was Killed in a Protest. Israel Didn’t Let His Family Mourn in Peace

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Aziza, a 15-year-old girl who is dressed in black, is standing in the yard of her home and using adhesive tape to attach photographs of her dead brother to the walls. Her face is expressionless. Mourning posters were hung up here a day earlier, but then Border Police showed up at the house and tore down all the photos and flags in the mourning space. Nor did the family receive the boy’s body – the police took it from the hospital and are refusing to return it.

Wadia Abu Ramouz, a 17-year-old from Jerusalem, was critically wounded last week after being shot in the stomach by police officers. The police said he threw firecrackers and firebombs at them. He died two days later at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, his hands cuffed and his feet manacled. For most of that time his family was not allowed to be with him, not even in his last hours. His body was then seized, and this past Monday the mourning space was taken apart by the police. That’s how the killing of a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem plays out.

A residential compound, houses piled on top of each other on the slope of a hill in, the center of a narrow lane on the boundary between the village of Silwan and the neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber, Al-Kurama Street. These are the favelas of Jerusalem: densely packed slums that were once villages on the outskirts of Palestinian Jerusalem and now are its disadvantaged areas. Disgraceful, they are planted on the hillside, house abutting house, streets the width of cars, with garbage scattered everywhere, like in a refugee camp, all of it under the aegis of the occupation.

Abdel Aziz Abu Ramouz, 46, a father of five who works as a cleaner in the kitchen of the Hebron Yeshiva in Jerusalem, lost his firstborn son at the end of last week. Now he’s sitting with his brothers and his nephews, all of whom bear an uncanny resemblance to him, in the yard, just a short time after the Border Police got rid of all signs of mourning, on Monday.

Burial is forbidden, so is mourning. The video clip of the police action – showing a large force of Border Police, armed, armored and equipped from head to toe, ascending the narrow alley leading to the house, as if executing some particularly daring, hush-hush operation behind enemy lines, their whole purpose being to tear down mourning posters and banners – is an acutely grotesque and ludicrous example of the occupation in Jerusalem. These officers are undoubtedly seriously convinced that they are acting for the country’s security.

For the men of the Abu Ramouz family, all of whom work in West Jerusalem and speak fluent Hebrew, this is not only an hour of grieving but also one of searing rage. The bereavement they are experiencing is compounded by a feeling of humiliation and affront because of the barbaric behavior of the security forces, the pinnacle of which was being deprived of the opportunity to part properly from their son before he died, followed by the confiscation of his body, which is now oppressing them above all else.

Wadia was in 12th grade at the Al-Shamla School for Boys and had begun preparing for his matriculation exams this year. Last Wednesday evening, after returning from school, he went out, at the request of his father and his uncle, to buy cigarettes for them from the supermarket in Ein Luza, in the valley between the neighborhoods. It was about 8:30 P.M. – the family say they didn’t know that on the way he would encounter a large and angry demonstration by young people who were throwing firebombs, firecrackers and stones at the police. Passions were running high, after a 17-year-old had been killed that morning in the Shoafat refugee camp during a home-demolition operation there.

Whether he took part in the stone throwing or not, Wadia was shot in the stomach at close range by an undercover police officer who was posing as an Arab, according to witnesses’ testimony that was passed on to the family. The testimony added that he lay bleeding on the street for 45 minutes, until an Israeli ambulance was permitted to evacuate him. He was taken to Shaare Zedek, where he underwent several operations during the following two days. The bullet had exploded in his abdomen and devastated his internal organs.

At about 10 P.M., his uncle Ramzi heard that a youth from Silwan had been seriously wounded. From the social media they soon learned that it was Wadia. The youth’s phone was still working, but no one answered. Ramzi called his brother Abdel Aziz, Wadi’s father, and together with Hadil, 40, the teenager’s mother, they began making the rounds of the hospitals in Jerusalem. They had no idea where Wadia had been taken; no one had bothered to update them.

At Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Karem and, on the other side of the city, at Hadassah Mount Scopus, they were informed that no wounded individual with their son’s name had been admitted. They visited Shaare Zedek several times, being told on each occasion that no one by the name of Wadia Abu Ramouz was a patient there. It turned out that, for unclear reasons, Wadia had been admitted under a different name. Not until 4 A.M., after hiring the services of a lawyer, did the parents manage to track down the youth, but visits, no matter how brief, were prohibited. Large numbers of police officers guarded the patient and also the entry to the intensive care unit, where he was hospitalized.

Someone showed them Wadia’s clothes, so they knew for sure. Wadia was in the operating room by now. The officers threw them out of the building, however, like stray dogs, so that in the next two days they were compelled to spend most of their time in the hospital’s parking area. Initially, the parents were joined by close relatives, and later by the extended family as well.

The relatives requested that the parents be allowed to be with their son for a short time, but the police refused. Only after their lawyer filed a court petition was an order issued to let the parents spend a little time by their son’s bedside. Abdel Aziz and Hadil entered the room – and four minutes later were expelled again. They observed that Wadia was unconscious, and was handcuffed and chained to the bed by both his hands and his feet, and that a variety of tubes were entering and exiting his body. They took his picture secretly, the last photo of their son. Two elderly uncles of the youth asked to be allowed into the room as well, but were turned down.

Over the following two days, the parents were allowed in three additional times, for just a few minutes on each occasion. The rest of the family waited in the parking area. During that time, Wadia underwent several operations and received multiple blood transfusions. His condition stabilized, and last Friday afternoon the physicians told the parents that there had been an improvement. At 9 P.M., they entered for what would be the last time. Wadia moved his hand and even kissed his mother. The parents were hopeful.

At about 10 P.M. the members of the extended family were ordered to leave the parking area; the police and the security guards threatened that if they remained there, the parents would not be allowed to see Wadia. The family left, with only the parents remaining, on the eighth floor next to the entrance to the ICU. That same night, after he returned home, Ramzi, the uncle, saw a report in the social media that Wadia had died. He immediately called his brother, who told him Wadia was alive.

No one had informed the parents, who were just outside the ICU, of their son’s death.

Shortly afterward, Abdel Aziz and Hadil were instructed to wait on the sixth floor, because a COVID patient was about to arrive, though the real reason was apparently to take their son’s body into police custody without interference. Other family members, who had rushed back to the hospital, distraught, tell us that they were subjected to blows by the police. “I’m giving you five minutes to get out, or you’re going to see something you’ve never seen before,” one of the officers threatened them, they recall.

“Is that any way to behave?” Ramzi says now. “Instead of consoling us, they threatened us. They jumped on us and pushed us out. Our son died, have some feeling for us. What violence. I’m a cement-mixer driver and I work with Jews all day. Wadia’s father works in a yeshiva for religious people. That’s how they behave with us? We never did anything [to them], the boy never did anything, man. He already took the written part for his driver’s license and wanted to do the test. He sometimes worked as a cleaner for Jews in Mahaneh Yehuda [produce market], and now his friends are afraid to go to school, because maybe the police will kill them too.”

A spokesperson for the Israel Police this week stated in reply to a query from Haaretz: “This is what a distorted picture of reality looks like, amid the presentation of unfounded facts and allegations.

“The assailant was neutralized when he endangered the lives of the Border Police fighters, together with another assailant, while they were shooting firecrackers and throwing Molotov cocktails at them from a few meters.

“In a search that was carried out on their persons, a honeycomb of firecrackers, a knife and a Hamas flag were seized. After they were wounded, the security forces summoned medical personnel immediately and took action to evacuate them to receive medical treatment in a far shorter time than as alleged falsely in the query. Moreover, the fighters assisted the medical teams in the evacuation, and after a few days the assailant was pronounced dead in the hospital. As he was under arrest during his hospitalization, guards were posted at the site and visits were allowed in accordance with the court’s decision. It should be noted that we know of no allegation of violence in the hospital, and if there is such, it should be examined by those so authorized.

“During the past few days, enforcement activity has been carried out in the area of his residence, following the hoisting of Hamas flags and of posters expressing support for terrorism, contrary to the law. We shall continue to act with determination against anyone who endangers or tries to do harm to the lives of civilians or of the security forces.”

The yellow tent on the roof of the building, where the uncle spends the summer nights, was torn down by the Border Police. A few laundry poles were broken. Down in the yard, the police used knives to slash the tarpaulin that was stretched above the mourning space. A lone Palestinian flag flies from an electricity pole. The officers didn’t manage to get to it; maybe they’ll come back with a crane to finish the job. A group of Border Police personnel are standing on the corner of the street, not far from the house, in case a poster is put up or a flag is hoisted. There are family members who have already managed to do that.

Israeli flags fly across the way at dozens of sites where settlers have invaded Silwan in recent years. “No flag will return the boy to us,” says another uncle, Sami. “I have an Israeli flag on my license plate, and it doesn’t bother me. A flag is nothing. Put flags wherever you like, but behave toward us with respect. I’m a shitty Arab and you’re an ugly Israeli, and together we each fill what the other lacks.”

To which Uncle Ramzi adds, “These words you can pass on to the Israeli people, not the Israeli government: We want to live well. We ask everyone who has a heart to give us the body, so we can bury the boy.”

In the meantime, Aziza has finished pasting pictures of her dead brother on the walls of the house. A Border Police force has probably already been dispatched to the crime scene.

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Article source: Haaretz | Gideon Levy and Alex Levac | Feb 4, 2023

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Fears of full-blown Israeli-Palestinian conflict grow after bloodiest year since 2005

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Surge in violence either side of the ‘green line’ has led people to wonder if a third intifada is on the cards

Late on Sunday night, like almost every other night in Jenin, the fighting started. The Israeli army said it entered the occupied West Bank city to arrest three suspected Palestinian terrorists and militants responded by throwing firebombs and opening fire.

According to two members of her family, 16-year-old Jana Zakaran ventured up to the roof of her home when gunfire erupted nearby to bring her cat inside to safety. When Zakaran’s father went to look for her, he found her dead in a pool of blood, the cat by her side.

In a rare admission of error, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said the teenager had been accidentally shot by a sniper.

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Article source: The Guardian

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Palestinians ‘weren’t there at all’– Netanyahu tells credulous Jordan Peterson

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Palestinians ‘weren’t there at all’– Netanyahu tells credulous Jordan Peterson


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Conservative scholar/media star Jordan Peterson turned over a new leaf this fall by touring Israel with the ideologue Ben Shapiro and dining with Benjamin Netanyahu. Now Peterson has published an interview with Netanyahu titled “Does Israel Have a Right to Exist?” in which he allows Netanyahu to rant against Palestinians and misrepresent history:

Israel did not create “a single refugee” in 1948. No, neighboring Arab armies did that by telling the Palestinians to flee. This has always been Jewish land, the bible tells us so. Though before Jews returned to it, it was just a “barren dump” and “wasteland” and “ruin.”

There was no such thing as Palestinians. They were “southern Syrians” till Zionism built a “miracle” in the desert and they emigrated to the land.

Peterson has a large following, and the interview has gotten 800,000 views in eight days. Though happily, many commenters on the video have denounced Peterson for his hospitality to racism and historical fictions.

Here are some of Netanyahu’s Zionist fables. On the refugees:

“Seventy five years ago when the state of Israel was declared, you did not have a single Arab refugee…. In fact the refugees are the result of Arab aggression and not its cause. …. The Palestinian refugees… fled in advance of the advancing armies [from five Arab countries] being promised that they could return in a few days, the Jews would be annihilated and driven into the sea, that didn’t work out, thank god.

The Zionists “did not kick out an existing population with a national consciousness.” Because no one was there, it was barren land.

“The Arabs who had conquered the land [in the 600s] basically left it barren. They never made it their own. It was a barren land. Practically it was an empty land…. The Jews came back in the 19th century to the land of Israel. The result of this return was that we started building farms, factories, places of employment. Arabs from nearby countries started emigrating. And they now became– they call themselves Palestinians. They reconstructed history, they said we’ve been here for centuries. No they haven’t. They weren’t there at all, and they didn’t have a national consciousness….

“It’s not your land, it’s been our land for 3500 years. If you took over somebody’s apartment, kicked them out, dispossessed them, and they never gave up their claim… and you left this barren dump, OK? And the families, the progeny of the people you kicked out came back, rebuilt the house… you cannot come back and tell them, you don’t belong here, we’re going to kick them out.

“Especially since your latecomers who have come to live in part of the house, which is what so-called Palestinians are. We say to them you can live here, we can live here, but it’s our land, its our state…”

This is Nakba denial, and hateful to those who respect human rights and history. Netanyahu’s claim that Palestinians are “southern Syrians” is the same line that Sheldon Adelson, his friend and the late Republican donor, used to put out.

Jews have suffered more than anyone else.

“If any people has any right to a state, if any people never gave up their dreams… If any people rebuilt their home from nothing, from barren, wasted land, it’s the Jewish people. To tell them, you who have suffered more than anyone else… you have no right to be there, but the Arabs who are trying to destroy you, they have a right, That is a complete perversion of history…

The land belongs to us.

“The Jews belong to this land, this land belongs to the Jews, the Palestinians are free to live here next to us, among us, but they are not free to demand the dissolution of the Jewish state…

There’s no occupation, Netanyahu says, using biblical terms for the West Bank: “our so- called occupation of the heartland of the Jewish people, Judea and Samaria.”

More ranting about Arabs are not productive:

“We came back to this land to this land that was laid barren by the Arab conquest, brought it back to life, and allowed Arab immigration, what we call now Palestinian immigration, to come back in…

“They did nothing with the land. They built one town. Ramle. That’s it. Hundreds of new sites that we built…. The Arabs did nothing with it… We perform this miracle… it was desert, it was nothing.”

Netanyahu repeats that it’s like being evicted from an apartment and when you come back, there are “no tenants” there.

“They took over my apartment a long time ago…The apartment was left barren and many decades– in this case, centuries later, I come back to this barren mess, this ruin, and I build it up back, I not only improve it, I make my ownership based on improvement, but that nobody else did anything with it. There was no someone else! There practically were no tenants, that’s my argument… “

Peterson never challenges Netanyahu’s lies about Palestinian history and Palestinian refugees. He does not touch on Netanyahu’s corruption trial or Netanyahu’s current plan to take on fascistic coalition partners to gut the Israeli legal system so he won’t go to jail.

So the interview is not so different from PBS News Hour’s Judy Woodruff, interviewing Netanyahu for 11 minutes a few weeks ago and leaving him off the hook on corruption and racism and apartheid charges (“You see a home for the Palestinians in years to come?”).


Peterson accepts the claptrap surely because he is a Christian Zionist and opposes the American left at every turn, so Netanyahu is a hero. But Peterson offers a rationalization for theft that his own commenters are mocking. There is a “principle of ownership in English common law,” Peterson says, that “if you own territory and you’re doing nothing to it and someone squats on it” and does something productive, that someone gets to keep the land. “You have to do something productive with [territory].. The Jews have actually taken the land and did something with it. … They invited other people to live there… It wasn’t an oppressive regime.” This is high-minded hasbara, or explaining Israel to the world.

In turn, Netanyahu justifies Israeli land theft on the basis of the bible.

“The bible describes how the Jewish people lived on this land, were attached on that land, fought off conquerors sometimes were conquered but stayed on their land… till the 7th century… We were conquered by the Romans, conquered by the Byzantines. They did a lot of bad things to us, but they didn’t really exile us…. The loss of our land actually occurred when the Arab conquest took place in the 7th century. The Arabs burst out from Arabia and they did something that no other conqueror… nobody did before… They actually started taking over the land of the Jewish farmer. They brought in military colonies that took over the land.”

(Military colonies — a wee bit of projection there!)

“So it is under the Arab conquerors that the Jews lost their homeland.. The Arabs were the colonials, the Jews were the natives dispossessed… We were flung to the far corners of the earth, suffered unimaginable suffering because we had no homeland. … We never gave up the dream of coming back to our ancestral homeland.”

This is claptrap. The scholar Shlomo Sand debunks it in his books “The Invention of the Jewish People” and “The Invention of the Land of Israel.”

The claim that there was not a single refugee at the time of Israel’s founding is laughable. Consider that the scholar Ibrahim Abu Lughod and his family left Jaffa in May 1948 before the state of Israel was created because they feared for their lives. Hundreds of thousands of other Palestinians took similar actions.

Many fled because of violence by Zionist militias who sought to take over areas coveted by the Jewish state (like Deir Yassin on the road to Jerusalem) outside the boundaries the U.N. had drawn. Many were trucked away from their villages by the Israeli army so as to create a Jewish majority in the new state. Most importantly, at least 700,000 refugees were not permitted by Israel to return once the armistice was achieved in 1949.

How can a serious scholar indulge the racism and cultural supremacy of saying that Palestinians “did nothing” with the land? And does it matter whether the people you kick out of your country have a “national consciousness”? Don’t they still have a right to their homes and villages? Records are clear that over 400 villages were erased by the Zionists. This is dangerous thinking, and it’s a sad reflection on Peterson that he humors it.

Peterson characterizes the Nakba as an intellectual fad. Why has the idea of Palestinians being indigenous and displaced “gained such cachet in the west?” Peterson asks.

Netanyahu is clearly nettled by the rise in consciousness of the Nakba in the west. “Intellectual elites have created a fake history that deracinates Jewish roots,” he says. He seeks to counter the “settler-colonial” critique of Zionism with slogans, of which he’s a master.

We are not the Belgians in the Congo, we are not the Dutch in Indonesia, we are not the British in South Africa. We had been there all the time…. We were kicked out of the Congo and nothing happened in the Congo. Nothing. no other people there, no development, nothing..

He reprises Joan Peters’s argument, in “From Time Immemorial”, fully discredited by Norman Finkelstein, that the Palestinians in Israel in 1947 had emigrated there to get in on the great developments of Zionism.

Netanyahu justifies the pro-Zionist Balfour Declaration by the British in 1917, later endorsed by the U.S.– on a similar basis, the bible and Jewish cultural supremacy.

They [western leaders] basically knew that the land was practically empty.. It made sense both from biblical prognostication and also a humanist view that this evil of history, this injustice of history would be corrected. These Jews who had contributed so much to civilization, and morality and history… [the leaders] concluded knowing the history I describe that is so unknown today on college campuses and among so-called intellectuals that Jews had a right to rebuild their national life in their ancestral land.

Reflect that this is the racist political leader, praised by the Democratic establishment, who successfully demolished the possibility of a two-state solution during his first 15 years in office.

Comments on the video are mostly scathing.

Lion Heart. “A quick summarising: If your house is empty and you only put a couch there, someone should come and be in your house instead.” Also judging by Benjamin’s logic, natives should be taking America and Canada back and rule. Right?

theobnoxiousweed”: “Netanyahu’s main philosophy of the entitlement for Israel is based on the inherent superiority of the Jewish people. He repeatedly describes the lands around Jerusalem as barren wastelands. A similar philosophy to my ancestors who declared Australia empty a few hundred years back and thought of the inhabitants as having no entitlement to the land they lived on due to their perceived primitive culture.”

Reid Schwantz: “My great great great great great great great great grand father, the first human on earth posses the whole lands and oceans under the atmosphere where all human live nowadays. inspired by mr. netanyahu, now i’m thinking about to claim it back after 50k years or so.”

Article link:
Article source: Mondoweiss, 14/12/2022

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Israelis have put Benjamin Netayahu back in power. Palestinians will likely pay the price

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Israelis Have Put Benjamin Netanyahu Back in Power. Palestinians Will Likely Pay the Price.

Dec. 13, 2022, 5:05 a.m. ET

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By Diana Buttu (New York Times)

Ms. Buttu is a lawyer and former adviser to the negotiating team of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

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HAIFA, Israel — As the prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu finalizes the formation of Israel’s most extreme right-wing government to date, I, along with other Palestinians in Israel and in the occupied territories, am filled with dread about what the next few years will bring.

Every day since the elections, Palestinians wake up with a what-now apprehension, and more often than not, there’s yet another bit of news that adds to our anxiety. The atmosphere of racism is so acute that I hesitate to speak or read Arabic on public transportation. Palestinian rights have been pushed to the back burner.

We Palestinians live knowing that a vast majority of Israeli politicians don’t support an end to Israel’s military rule over the West Bank and Gaza Strip nor equality for all of its citizens. We are made to feel as though we are interlopers whose presence is temporary and simply being tolerated until such time as it is feasible to get rid of us.

According to a 2016 Pew Research Center survey, 48 percent of Jewish Israelis agree that “Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel.” I look around in my mixed Haifa neighborhood and wonder which of my neighbors voted for the extremist candidates who have voiced similar opinions. “It is only a matter of time before we are gone,” my friends tell me. To add insult to injury, Israelis blame Palestinians for the rise in extremism and racism, rather than looking at how racism has become normalized in Israeli society. It is blaming the victim rather than the aggressor.

Since his recent election, Mr. Netanyahu has been offering important positions in government to vocal anti-Palestinian politicians. The incoming governing coalition includes the extremist and racist Otzma Yehudit, or Jewish Power, party, whose leaders have a history of supporting violence against Palestinians.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, a settler who leads the Jewish Power party, has been convicted of incitement to racism and supporting a terrorist group. Earlier this month, Mr. Ben-Gvir reportedly hailed an Israeli soldier who fatally shot a Palestinian young man in the West Bank during a scuffle — an act caught on video and widely circulated on social media — by remarking, “Precise action, you really fulfilled the honor of all of us and did what was assigned to you.” Israel’s current police chief blamed him for helping ignite the surge in violence in May 2021. He will now be minister for national security, putting him in charge of Israel’s domestic police and border police in the occupied West Bank, home to roughly three million Palestinians.

Over the course of decades, and especially since the erection of the wall along the West Bank, Israelis seem to have become immune to how Palestinians live under Israeli military rule and what it is to be Palestinian in Israel. Conversations with neighbors in Haifa about the nakba — or “catastrophe,” in which hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled or were expelled with the creation of Israel in 1948 — or Israel’s military occupation that amounts to apartheid or even racism in Israel are always met with denial or with justification, so we have learned never to speak to one another.

On Dec. 1, Mr. Netanyahu inked a coalition agreement with Bezalel Smotrich, another settler and head of the Religious Zionism party, naming him minister of finance and giving him control over a Defense Ministry department. Mr. Smotrich has called himself a “proud homophobe” and has said that the 2015 firebombing of a Palestinian home in the West Bank by suspected Jewish militants in which an 18-month-old child and his parents were burned to death was not a terrorist attack. In 2016, he said that he was in favor of segregation between Jewish and Palestinian women in Israeli hospital maternity wards.

Last year, Mr. Smotrich mentioned that David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, didn’t “finish the job” of expelling Palestinians in 1948. He has also promoted a subjugation plan in which Palestinians (who accept the plan) would be considered “resident aliens” while those who do not would be dealt with by the Israeli Army. As part of his Defense Ministry post, Mr. Smotrich will have unprecedented authority over the policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank and over Palestinian construction, and will be able to appoint the heads of the administration responsible for the government’s civil policy in the West Bank.

Both the Jewish Power and the Religious Zionism party platforms are almost exclusively focused on Palestinians and about ensuring that Jewish supremacy reigns. The Religious Zionism party aims to retroactively legitimize settlements in the West Bank.

I fear that Israel’s violent repression of Palestinians will only increase in the near future as I consider the record of Mr. Netanyahu and his previous coalitions — a history of relentless race-baiting and incitement of prejudice against Palestinians in Israel, the passage of the Jewish Nation-State law (which enshrines the privileging of Jewish citizens), the open fire policy, Israel’s policy of destroying Palestinian homes, its continued colonization of the West Bank and repeated mass bombings of Gaza.

With Mr. Ben-Gvir, Mr. Smotrich and other extremists in his coalition, Mr. Netanyahu will very likely continue in this path, particularly since he has been the enabler of so many of these policies. Jewish Power and Religious Zionism are natural extensions of Mr. Netanyahu’s policies. Failing to recognize this is akin to putting one’s head in the sand.

If there is any silver lining to our grim situation it might be that the rise of Mr. Ben-Gvir and his fellow extremists will open the eyes of more Americans. Some former State Department officials and diplomats have already called upon the Biden administration not to deal with the most extreme members of the new Israeli coalition. American Jewish groups have also expressed alarm at the new coalition. But American policy is unlikely to change in response to these dark tidings. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken of “equal measures of freedom, security, opportunity, justice and dignity” for Israelis and Palestinians, but what guarantees will he be offering to ensure that Palestinians live in freedom and security with this new government?

As Israel lurched further to the right, the United States and other Western governments continued to normalize and legitimize extremists once deemed beyond the pale — from the notorious former general Ariel Sharon, when he became prime minister, to the race-baiting ultranationalist and settler Avigdor Lieberman when Mr. Netanyahu, during his second run as prime minister, made him a cabinet minister in 2009.

At the time, the appointment of Mr. Lieberman — who had called for loyalty oaths for Israel’s Palestinian and Jewish citizens and a redrawing of borders that would strip Palestinians of their Israeli citizenship — was widely criticized. But soon enough American and European officials were meeting with Mr. Leiberman.

There is little hope that this won’t happen this time, too, and what was unthinkable but a few years ago will become a reality, with Palestinians inevitably paying the heaviest price for Israel’s electoral choices.

Diana Buttu is a lawyer and former adviser to the negotiating team of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

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Article source: New York Times, 13/12/2022

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000

Fears of full-blown Israeli-Palestinian conflict grow after bloodiest year since 2005

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Surge in violence either side of the ‘green line’ has led people to wonder if a third intifada is on the cards

Late on Sunday night, like almost every other night in Jenin, the fighting started. The Israeli army said it entered the occupied West Bank city to arrest three suspected Palestinian terrorists and militants responded by throwing firebombs and opening fire.

According to two members of her family, 16-year-old Jana Zakaran ventured up to the roof of her home when gunfire erupted nearby to bring her cat inside to safety. When Zakaran’s father went to look for her, he found her dead in a pool of blood, the cat by her side.

In a rare admission of error, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said the teenager had been accidentally shot by a sniper.

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Article source: The Guardian

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000