New Provocation in East Jerusalem Reveals Frustration and a New Sense of Urgency by the Zionist State to Finish the Job
Everyday brings news of new atrocities in occupied Palestine! For two months, we witnessed a most barbaric and brutal massacre of a besieged and defenseless people, who had nowhere to run and no way to defend themselves, resulting in the execution of over 1200 people, including over 500 children. Then, as soon as the truce, signed in Cairo, Egypt, put a temporary pause on the massacre, came news that Israel is building thousands of new settlements, in West Bank. Then, came the provocation in East Jerusalem by closing the Al-Aqsa mosque to Palestinians, clearly meant to provoke a reaction in order to pass more draconian laws, limiting the movements of Palestinians, to put more of them in jail, to demolish more of their homes and to create new Jewish settlements for the ultimate goal of cleansing the land of all Palestinians. Prime Minister Netanyahu said as much, recently, making his plans clear. Not only Netanyahu, but many others in government have made their intention for ethnic cleansing clear and their actions speak for themselves.
RT reported yesterday that in response to the recent unrest in East Jerusalem, a new law just passed increases the penalty for throwing rocks at soldiers or police, including at police cars, tenfold, to 20 years in prison. Haaretz reported that as a result of intense pressure from settlers, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon issued a “directive that bans Palestinian workers from traveling on Israeli-run public transportation in the West Bank”. Palestinian workers are already required to carry bio-metric ID cards ready to show to authorities when asked for, but now, they have to return to the West Bank, through various crossings, which will take them much longer to get home.
None of this is really new, at least not the intent and strategy. The whole purpose of establishing Israel, as a Jewish-only and settler state, has been to cleanse the land of Palestinians and settle Jews on the cleansed land. Israeli officials, from the very beginning to today, have always made their intentions clear. Neither are the massacres anything new, which are committed every few years, for a variety of excuses, which are easy to find from an occupied people since one way or another, the occupied will resist.
Incidentally, no amount of unevenness and disparity between the Israeli army and those who resist it makes US officials stop the narrative that Israel is fighting for its survival and that it “has the right to defend itself”. Apparently, the occupiers have the right to defend their illegal occupation, but the occupied don’t have the right to defend themselves against the occupation, against ethnic cleansing, against massacres, incarcerations, torture, including of children, and against genocide. It’s like saying: the rapist has the right to defend himself against the one being raped by severely beating her, if she ever throws any punch or kick. The US policy is not just one sided or gravely biased towards Israel. It’s completely upside down. Israel is not in a struggle for its survival. Palestinians are. Israel is not the one being threatened with annihilation. The Palestinians are. Palestinians don’t have the ability, the means or military power to threaten Israel. Israel has both the ability and the intention to wipe out Palestinians and is actually doing everything to make that reality. Palestinians aren’t the ones occupying Israel Or Israelis. It’s Israel that’s occupying Palestine and its people.
Israel is not surrounded by hostile states. It has some of the most loyal and strongest allies as neighbors. Egypt has closed its border with Gaza to help enforce the siege of Gaza and has created a buffer zone. Jordan is another strong and loyal ally of US and Israel and so is Saudi Arabia. After ruining Iraq and making it ungovernable, the only neighbor that’s left that’s not an ally is Syria, which is now being devastated by Islamist terrorists, including ISIS and loyalists to Al Qaeda and Salafi and other Islamist fundamentalists, who have been armed and funded by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, US, Britain and Israel to overthrow the Syrian government. Already, more than 200,000 Syrians have been killed, many in the hands of ISIS terrorists and over 2 million have been displaced. So, it’s not Israel that needs “to defend itself”. No one is threatening it and no one could. Israel is the only state in Middle East with nuclear weapons, while all the attention is on Iran, which is probably next in line to be devastated.
A colonial settler and apartheid state is built on occupied land and engages in an outright ethnic cleansing of the occupied people and when the latter resists, it goes on a massive attack with heavy weapons, fighter jets, attack helicopters, navy warships and tanks, as if it’s fighting a strong and heavily armed military. It carpet bombs residential neighborhoods, apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, ambulances and even UN shelters meant to provide shelter to children and all we hear from our President and his cabinet is: “Israel has the right to defend itself”, and the Senate approves and the President signs $225 million more in direct military aid to Israel. Isn’t that saying to Israelis: we support what you’re doing? And TV networks recite Israelis’ statements that THEY are in an existential fight!
But, the US complicity and aiding and abetting with the genocide isn’t new, either. What is new and different from years past and the main point I want to raise here is the sense of urgency Israeli officials are feeling to “finish the job” and achieve their goal of an Israel, without Palestinians. The process of ethnic cleansing has already reached a point that, much to the chagrin of “liberal” Zionists, has already made the “two state solution”, advocated by them, impossible. The hawkish and extreme actions of the Israeli government have already made that “solution” untenable, through aggressive land grabs, displacements and settlement building that have all but removed that as a viable option. That boat has long gone and just as well, since it was the wrong boat, to begin with.
It’s important to understand that the idea of the “two state solution” was advanced not for Palestinians, to end their suffering or to free them from brutal occupation, discrimination and apartheid, but for Israel: to make the apartheid state more feasible, more attainable and more legitimate in the eyes of the world, while at the same time, delegitimizing any continued Palestinian resistance. The two state “solution” would maintain the state of Israel as a Jewish-only state, keeping Palestinians out, would accelerate and legitimize driving as many of them out of the Jewish-only territories as possible, not even allowing them to visit relatives, should any of them be left behind, would deny Palestinian refugees their right to return to their homes, would keep the wall of segregation between the two peoples, would give total control over all borders, waters, airspace, the trade, the foreign policy, etc. to Israel and grant to Palestinians some disjointed pieces of land, all surrounded, interspersed and controlled by Israeli military check points, as their new “state”. That’s what “liberal” Zionists hope will save Israel, as a Jewish state, in the long run.
Needless to say that would solve nothing. The reason should be obvious: because it would not attain a just solution snd as long as there is no justice, there won’t be a lasting peace. The only just solution that is also feasible and sustainable in the long run, is a solution which is not based on racism, segregation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing or displacing people based on their religion, race or ethnicity, and that is to dismantle the apartheid state of Israel and establish a secular and democratic state in all of Palestine-Israel, with equal rights for all, regardless of their race or religion or ethnicity, where foreigners with the “right religion” are not paid to come and settle in homes, built on stolen land and cleansed of those with the “wrong religion”.
That should be obvious and would be obvious, had it not been for intense and decades long US propaganda, keeping the American people in the dark as to what really is the problem. It’s impossible to be for a just and lasting solution, without understanding the problem, which is the occupation and ethnic cleansing. To make sure people don’t understand it, they’re told these people can’t get along, or it’s complicated, that there is no easy solution or that this has been going on for ages, which is not true. It started in 1947-1948, with the European Jews going to Palestine to create a “Jewish state”, after they would drive out the Palestinians.
So, how do the Israeli policy makers see the future of Israel? Are they sanguine about its prospects? Do they see the Zionist dream coming true or falling apart? The reason it’s important to know how they view the prospects and future of the state is that it better reveals their mindset and explain and possibly even anticipate their actions. I believe what their recent increased aggressiveness and shameless barbarism reveals is a sense of urgency, which usually shows frustration and nervousness about failure. I believe that the reason for this nervousness is that they sense that the world opinion is finally shifting and turning against the Zionist project. A potent indication of this trend is the successes of the BDS movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanction). Although Israel had undertaken massacres many times before, two interrelated things made the recent one different: it was, by all accounts, a more desperate attack – which are always more ferocious – and it was the most visible, thanks mainly to social media, which illicit the most indignation and condemnation worldwide, which was more than in the past, not just because it was more ferocious, but because it was more visible, whereas the ones in the past were committed largely without people the world over finding out about them. But, as I said, ferocity shows desperation. The ferociousness and barbarism that originated from and showed frustration and desperation, in turn made the Zionist dream even harder to achieve, which then increased the level of frustration and desperation, even more. This is a two sided coin because on the one hand, it points to the failure, in the long run, of the inhuman, racist and genocidal Zionist project, and on the other, it promises more savagery, more brutal massacres, more provocations, more curtailing of Palestinians’ rights, more incarceration, more draconian laws and accelerated home demolitions, settlement building and displacement. We have already seen these put in high gear, as mentioned at the beginning of this piece.
What needs to happen as a counterweight to this heightened aggression is an heightened awareness by the public and increase in direct action, including the demand to cut all aid to Israel, as well as active participation in the BDS movement. Indeed one reason for their nervousness is that the movement is winning victories. What makes our liberating work hard is that the superpower’s corporate Empire and its strong allies in Europe, such as Britain, France, Germany, as well as Canada, are behind the ongoing genocide. The work is hard, but, for inspiration, we have the Palestinian people and their resistance against incredible odds, making the “David vs. Goliath” an understatement. We must understand that this fight isn’t just for the Palestinians, but also for ourselves. It not only is for justice, democracy, progress and lasting peace, but also for ourselves to have the money that’s spent on wars and massacres, used instead on people and meeting their needs.