Fathi Harb’s was believed to be the first example of a public act of self-immolation in Gaza. He doused himself in petrol and set himself alight on a street in Gaza City shortly before dawn prayers during the holy month of Ramadan. It was his act of protest, in a world that has denied Palestinians any right to resist their imprisonment and colonisation.
For seven decades, the West has pampered Israel at every turn. The lack of any meaningful punishment for violating Palestinian rights led directly to Monday’s massacre. And the failure to inflict a price on Israel for this massacre – in fact, the reverse: visible rewards with a relocated US embassy and the chance to host the Eurovision Song Contest – will lead to the next massacre.
Now that young Palestinians in Gaza take up mass civil disobedience, their plight is barely attracting attention, let alone sympathy. Instead, they are criticised for “breaching the border” and threatening Israel’s security. The only legitimate struggle for Palestinians, it seems, is keeping quiet, allowing their lands to be plundered and their children to be starved.
The Palestinian national movement, which has led the decades-long struggle against Israel’s takeover of the Palestinians’ homeland, has reached the lowest ebb in its history, according to analysts. But as Palestinians mark this week the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, there are signs of possible change.
Israel’s deportation of a law professor and conviction of a Palestinian poet underscore wrong-headed objections to an academic and cultural boycott. The space in Israel for academic dialogue, as well as cultural freedom, is shrinking rapidly. And the few Israeli academics or artists who are taking a stand on behalf of Palestinians are more isolated than ever before.
For months, a campaign has been aimed at destabilising British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of anti-Semitism. The right-wing of his party, Tony Blair’s heirs, and pro-Israel circles are targeting both Corbyn’s left-wing line and his support for the Palestinian people.
According to United Nations figures, Israel violated Syrian airspace more than 750 times in a four-month period, with its warplanes and drones spending some 3,200 hours over the country. It has run hundreds of offensive missions. But with Russia threatening to arm Syria with advanced anti-aircraft missiles, the stakes – and dangers – are set to rise dramatically.
In 2011, in a sign of the mounting mood of intolerance, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu passed the Nakba Law to penalise public institutions, including schools, universities and libraries, that marked the Nakba. But in practice the law has backfired, with greater attention on the Nakba than ever before. The March of Return – to one of the more than 500 Palestinian villages destroyed by Israel during the Nakba – is now the largest annual event for Israel’s Palestinian citizens.
Independence Day celebrations should be a moment for Israelis – and the many Jews who identify with Israel – to reflect on what kind of state it has become after seven decades. The vast majority, however, are too busy flying blue-and-white flags from their cars, venerating their army as the “most moral in the world” and poring over the latest official statistics in the hope that more Israeli Jews than Palestinians were born over the past year.
Israel benefits from a strong military and even stronger allies, but analysts warn the state faces major challenges Al Jazeera – 17 April 2018 It appears Israelis have every reason to be in festive mood this week as they celebrate the 70th anniversary of their state’s founding. This “Independence Day”, which Israel marks according to Read more
The Israeli military made an unexpected admission last week. It warned a parliamentary committee that Jews are for the first time outnumbered by the Palestinians living under Israeli rule, both those inside Israel and in the occupied territories. Israeli officials’ ultimate fear is that the world will judge a minority of Israelis ruling over a majority of Palestinians as a new form of apartheid.
How would you describe a white town in the United States that froze the tender for plots of land in a new neighbourhood because it risked allowing blacks to move in? As racist? And yet, replace the word “white” with “Jewish” and this describes what has just happened in Kfar Vradim, a small town in the Galilee. Vradim’s policy cannot be judged in isolation. It reflects how Israeli society has been intentionally structured for decades.
More than a decade ago, US President Jimmy Carter warned that Israel was practising apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories. But in truth, it would be more accurate to say Israel itself is an apartheid state.
US officials have warned the Palestinian leadership that a final peace deal will be settled over their heads if necessary. This time the US plan is not up for negotiation; it is primed for implementation. What Donald Trump needs now is someone like Mike Pompeo to bulldoze the Palestinians into submission.
In Umm al-Fahm, more than a third of letters never reach their destination. Identity cards, passports and drivers’ licences go missing, welfare cheques are lost, appointments expire, and penalties mount up over unpaid fines. For decades the town’s 301 streets have lacked any names or house numbers. And five years after the municipality submitted a list of names, Israeli officials are still dragging their feet.
After seven years of delays, Israel’s governing parties agreed the final terms of controversial new legislation that would define Israel exclusively as “the nation-state of the Jewish people”. It effectively blocks any chance for Israel’s large Palestinian minority – one in five of the population – to reform Israel in the future into a normal, Western-style democracy.
In the early 2000s, at the dawn of the social media revolution, Israelis used to dismiss filmed evidence of brutality by their soldiers as fakery. It was what they called “Pallywood” – a conflation of Palestinian and Hollywood. In truth, however, it was the Israeli military, not the Palestinians, that needed to manufacture a more convenient version of reality.
For the first time in living memory, Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre slammed shut its doors to worshippers and tourists. But the protest was only tangentially concerned with the fate of Palestinian Christians. It was really about protecting the churches’ profits from real-estate and investment deals.
The legal noose has tightened sharply around the neck of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as dramatic developments on two fronts last week left him more exposed than ever. He is due to be questioned by police in two new corruption probes before he leaves for the United States on Thursday.
The recommendation by police to charge Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu with two counts of bribery – there are more cases looming – marks a dangerous moment for Israel and the region. To bolster his position, Netanyahu is already provoking a damaging confrontation at home with legal authorities and might yet engineer a regional crisis.