As the Muslim holiday Ramadan comes to a close the World is witnessing yet another brutal assault on the Palestinian territory.
The American mainstream media is predictably taking the side of The State of Israel. America is paying lip service to the Palestinian grievances while ignoring the trauma and suffering the Palestinians are undergoing again as the State of Israel with its military might, funded by the American government, lays waste to the Gaza Strip.
Reading the mainstream American press is an extremely disconcerting experience when it comes to the State of Israel and its relationship to Palestine, the territory which was ceded to it following the Holocaust.
The native inhabitants of Palestine have been subject to 73 years of State displacement and terror by the occupiers of the State of Israel. The American government has uniformly stood at the side of the State of Israel since its inception in May 1948.
Nothing changes while the talk continues and the suffering continues in the State of Israel occupied Palestinian territories.
Excerpted from The Nation 5.13.2021 Yousef Munayyer
I have been trying to think of a moment since 1948 when so broad a range of Palestinians have been exposed to as great a level of Israeli violence as they have been these last few days—and I don’t think I can.
In towns throughout Israel, Palestinians have been beaten and terrorized by rampaging mobs; one man was dragged from his car and brutalized in what many are describing as a lynching. In the West Bank, Palestinians have been shot and killed in raids by the Israeli military.
In Jerusalem, Palestinian families, facing the ongoing threat of expulsion, have been harassed by settlers and military alike. And across Gaza, Israeli war planes have dropped bomb after bomb, destroying entire apartment buildings. Many have died, many more have been injured. If they manage to survive, they will witness their society shattered when the smoke clears.
To understand how we’ve arrived at this moment, it is essential to start with the story of Sheikh Jarrah. That small Jerusalem enclave, from which several Palestinian families have been under threat of expulsion, is perhaps, the most immediate proximate cause of this latest crisis. It is also just the latest targeted dispossession of Palestinians by Israel, which has been part of a more than 70–year process.
Since occupying the West Bank in 1967, the Israeli government has pursued various policies aimed at demographically engineering the city of Jerusalem—again, all with an eye toward ensuring its perpetual dominance over the city. Among such policies are the building of illegal settlements around the city to cut it off from the rest of the Palestinian population in the West Bank; the restriction of movement to deny Palestinians access to and within the municipality itself; the revocation of Palestinian residency status, which is tantamount to expulsion; and the demolition of Palestinian homes. The Israelis also expel Palestinians from their homes, as we are witnessing in Sheikh Jarrah, so that they can be handed to Israeli settlers.
All of this would be tinder enough for this moment, but it also happens to be taking place in a broader immediate context, one in which the vise grip of accelerating right-wing, theocratic nationalism is tightening across Israel. Recent Israeli elections brought outright Kahanists – Jewish theocratic extremists who seek to deny any rights to Palestinians and embrace ethnic cleansing—into the parliament in their most significant numbers ever. Right-wing ideologues have long dominated the Knesset, but as Israeli politics shifts ever right-ward, enabled by internationally ensured impunity, there is now increasing political space for the most open and direct racism we have seen. (It should therefore come as no surprise that it has burst out into the streets in the shape of lynch mobs.)
These new depths of depravity have coincided with the possibility that the Likud party, whose leader Benjamin Netanyahu has dominated Israeli politics longer than any other, risks losing power. This is not due to a challenge by those to his left, but those to his right who seek to replace him.