The “Circle” of Violence and Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine

 Despite the common characterization of the horrendous situation in occupied Palestine or “occupied territories” as a “viscous circle” of violence, it really isn’t a circle since that implies repeating a certain set of conditions and evens. The violence, which except for some desperate acts of resistance by Palestinians against a brutal and endless occupation, is entirely one-sided, becomes more intense and more egregious by every passing day. 

The latest uprising began when groups of Jewish settlers, escorted by occupation forces, attacked Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and wounded about s dozen unarmed people. Although that was a trigger, it was not the only such attack. Attacks by settlers on Palestinians have accelerated in recent years and have become routine. Several videos emerged recently showing Israeli settlers running over Palestinian children and driving away. An American settler threw a firebomb into a Palestinian home burning an 18 month old baby to death along with his brother and parents. Groups of armed settler gangs have been seen and reported on roaming Palestinian neighborhoods and beating and wounding Palestinians under the protection of occupation troops.

As Israel continues to build settlements and settle Jewish settlers on occupied Palestinian land and as Palestinians are evicted before the bulldozers arrive to demolish their homes, and as the newly arrived settler population grows, it’s changing the makeup and demographic of the Israeli Jewish population, increasing the ratio of the settlers over those Jews who lived there before 1948, side by side their Arab neighbors. Since zealot Jewish settlers who move to Israel with a sense of entitlement to the land and are therefore more devout in their cause of Zionism, which gives them free home built on demolished Palestinian homes, they tend to be more racist and violent, causing the attacks on Palestinians to continue to rise. Instead of causing concern in the Israeli government, this trend and shift towards more violence is welcomed by the settler state for two reasons: 1) it gives the state that is bent on ethnic cleansing and extermination of the Palestinians living under its occupation continued pretexts for violent crackdown and “collective punishment”; and 2) it brings new recruits for the occupation forces to further the cause of ethnic cleansing.

So, the cycle continues, but not in a steady state; it continues towards more violence against the occupied, more ruthless crackdowns and newer atrocities, all meant to drive out the Palestinians to complete the cleansing of the land claimed exclusively for Jews.

Some, including long time Zionists, are now expressing “concern” that Israel may be going “too far” in its treatment of Palestinians. But, when was it not too far? Were the massacres of 1947-1948 prior to the establishment of the Zionist state that killed thousands of innocent people and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages not “too far” or was the displacement of some 800,000 Palestinian and driving them into refugee camps not going too far? Or how about the brutal occupation that has killed, displaced and incarcerated many thousands more since its establishment, including the arrest and incarceration of children? 

The fact is that there is absolutely no justification for a colonial settler state built on and maintained through brutal occupation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid, to begin with. Murder is murder. There is no “going too far” or “far enough” in it. But, the point here is that wrongs and injustices that are maintained by brute force always lead to even more injustices, more violence and more atrocities against those who were wronged in the first place. It’s impossible to build a colonial and settler state and not commit ethnic cleansing. It’s impossible to occupy a people and not murder and commit atrocities against them. And it’s impossible for the occupation to continue without increasing the violence against the occupied. The trend in such cases can never be towards more peace or even sustained in a steady state and will always be towards more killings, more massacres and more war crimes.

As the situation in occupied Palestine continues to deteriorate and result in more killings and more incarceration and torture, including of children in their pre and early teens (over 100 since early October – every three days, a Palestinian child is killed by Israeli forces), thanks to an unlimited and unquestioning aid and support from the US, which gives Israel no incentive to change course, it’s becoming clear even to those who don’t want to admit it that the apartheid and settler state and its occupation of Palestine is the source of all the injustices, killings and atrocities and it must therefore be abolished and a secular and democratic state be established that will not be exclusively for one “chosen” people, but for all people of the land, regardless of their religion, ethnicity or race. To reach that goal, it’s crucial for the American people to get educated on the truth and force their government to cut all aid to the apartheid regime.



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