— by Jafar M Ramini — May 15, 2020
Today, May 15th, is the 72nd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) and counting. I say ‘and counting’ because the theft of our land, the occupation, the siege on Gaza, the disposition of our people, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and replacement of the Palestinian nation with Jews with dual nationality from around the world continues more aggressively than ever. So does the building of illegal settlements to house those interlopers. They too are still going apace with no end in sight.
And I haven’t even got around to mentioning the Israeli prisons which are full of Palestinian men, women and children, tortured and held in disgusting conditions without charge or legal recourse.
In the last 72 years there were many attempts to settle the so-called Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Yet, to put it in those terms is misleading. A conflict is between two opposing powers and their armies. Israel has the power, has the army, has the airforce, has the navy. Not to mention three hundred nuclear heads. The Palestinians have none of these. So how can we call it a conflict?
It is genocide. It was designed to ethnically cleanse all of Palestine and turn it into a state for Jews only, as per the nation state bill that was passed two years ago, which emphatically states that the right of self-determination in Israel is exclusively a Jewish prerogative.
There you have it. Black and white. This ethnic cleansing and theft of land and expansion are all official Israeli policy. This is not new. This is how the Zionist terrorist organisations operated in Palestine during the British mandate of 1922 -1948. They embarked on a policy of murder of innocent Palestinian men, women and children while the British forces looked the other way in some instances and actively encouraged it in others. Yet all of this was just a starter for a much more ambitious, well-planned and financed project of the Greater Israel.
First: Conquer Palestine. Get rid of the Palestinians, or corral them in bins euphemistically referred to as ‘cantons’ and keep them on a strictly limited diet and under tight military rule.
Second: Present to the world that Jews are the only victims and Israelis are the biggest victims of all.
Third: Blackmail friends and allies to support Israeli ambitions come what may. Steal their technology. Kill their sailors. Blame it on others. Those who do not submit, smear them as ‘anti-semitic’.
This is how Mr Benjamin Netnayahu, has kept his grip on power since the 1990s. He has lied, he has waged wars, he has inflicted more death and suffering on the Palestinians and he has pretended to make peace. What he was actually trying to do, and is still trying to do is establish a legacy as the man who put the Greater Israel project on a higher level than any other leader before him.
The opposition to his rule in Israel is minimal. His popularity with the Israeli people is higher than any other leader ever and when it comes to the Trump family, at present ruling the USA ,he is just one of the family. Mr Trump will grant his every wish. First, he rewarded Netanyahu and the Jewish lobby in America with his declaration that Jerusalem was the eternal capital of the Jewish people. He also declared that Israel could enforce its sovereignty on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. All against the rule of international law and past UN resolutions.
He then kicked out the PLO representative in Washington. But that wasn’t enough for Mr Netanyahu. So Trump went one step further by depriving the Palestinian Authority of much needed funds and demonising the UN Refugees and Works Agency, UNRWA by insisting that there were no such thing as Palestinian refugees. Consequently a lifeline of vital food, health and education for 5 million Palestinian refugees was put in jeopardy.
You’d think that would be enough. Israel has got its wish. Palestine no longer exists, other than in name, although even that is denied by many Israelis. But no, Mr Netanyahu, the arch manipulator who was indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, found another escape route. He went to his benefactors, the Trump Administration, and started yet another assault on the Palestinian people. The so-called ‘Deal Of The Century’.
This was a deal that totally ignored the Palestinians and catered, as usual, to the demands of Mr Netanyahu and his cronies in Washington.
The Palestinian leadership could only reject it. What else could they do? They have no power to speak of on the ground. They have no influence and no cards to play in the corridors of power in Washington, London, Paris or any other western capital and they are, most importantly, divided amongst themselves and have been publicly abandoned by their supposed brethren in the Arab world.
Despite 25 years of unproductive ‘peace’ negotiations and despite the relentless expansionist policies of the Israeli government the Palestinian leaders, the world leaders and the UN still do believe that a two-state solution is the only way forward.
Enter Mr Netanyahu and his new partner in crime, General Gantz with a new idea and a new government based solely on the total annexation of the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the entire Jordan Valley. In a normal world with ordinary, fair-minded people in charge this would be seen for what it is. Blatant theft. Blatant misuse of power and flagrant disregard for the rule of law. Nothing of the sort. Europe, as per usual, offered lukewarm rejection, but the people who matter, i.e.the United States of America gave it their tacit approval. In the words of Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, “As for the annexation of the West Bank, the Israelis will ultimately make those decisions,” he told reporters. “That’s an Israeli decision.”
To reaffirm the Trump Administration’s total devotion to the survival and continuation of Mr Netanyahu’s career Mr Pompeo, ignoring any health risk in quarantined Israel against the Corona virus, was in Tel Aviv two days ago. He was there to make it clear that in this year of the American elections, to the Trump Administration only Israel matters.
The chosen one to facilitate this latest annexation process is none other than American Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, an ultra-nationalist, settlement supporter and religious zealot and rejectionist of the two-state solution. Yet this is the person who is deciding where the future border will be between Greater Israel and the remaining, already lacerated West Bank.
Thankfully, not all American presidents are Trump clones. Jimmy Carter, former president of the USA and author of ‘Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid’ has spoken firmly against this blatant flouting of international law.
“If the joint mapping of Palestinian lands to be seized by the Israeli government continues, the standing of the United States in the international community will be further damaged. The West Bank belongs to Palestine, and any changes should be mutually agreed upon.”
In the name of fairness there was one dissenting Jewish, Zionist, right-wing voice who was against this idea of annexation. Not because it is illegal. Not because he has sympathies with the plight of the Palestinians. Not because he is anti Israel. On the contrary, his dissent was based on racist condescension. The man I am referring to is Daniel Pipes, president of something called ‘The Middle East Forum’ and a well-known supporter of Israel. Mr Pipes gave six reasons why he would be against such a move. But the one I have chosen for you, my readers, is the last and I believe the only true one.
“Annexation would be likely to make more Palestinians eligible to become citizens of Israel.”
Dear God. Palestinian citizens of anywhere?
Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer and political analyst. He was born in Jenin in 1943 and was five years old when he and his family had to flee the terror of the Urgun and Stern gangs. Justice for the people of Palestine is a life-long commitment.