Friday, November 07, 2014

Palestinian Solidarity Day of Rage

Palestinian Solidarity Day of Rage

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli Al-Aqsa Mosque policy triggered mass protests. Other reasons include Operation Protective Edge ruthlessness. 

Settlement construction. Institutionalized racism. Treating Palestinians like subhumans. Peace process hypocrisy. 

Targeted killings. Terrorizing community incursions. Mass arrests. Brutalizing political imprisonments. Torture. Settler violence and vandalism. Overall occupation harshness. 

Decades of pent up outrage ignited public anger. People endure so much before exploding. Justifiably expressing rage.

Mass protests. Solidarity for long denied justice. Perhaps a third Intifada.

Haaretz columnist Anshel Pfeffer calls Jerusalem protests "a symptom of the dysfunctionality of this place." 

"People don't have any hope here," he says. "This is the most poor and intolerant city."

"We don't have a viable group of people who actually are invested in the city's future, getting together and saying how can we build a city that our kids can live in."

"Revolt and resist" slogans circulate online. Israeli editor Shimrit Meir of the Arabic news site The Source says:

"The way I see it is kind of a postmodern intifada. So we might see periods of intense violence followed by long periods of containment and calm."

Intifada means "shaking off." Palestinian political scientist Khalik Shikaki calls it "reject(ing) the status quo (and) seek(ing) change…through concrete and meaningful steps."

A "history-making event. (A) turning point." Do current conditions reflect it, he asked?

Not yet. "(I)t needs a major spark." Are conditions right? "The answer is yes," he said.

On December 8, 1987, the first Intifada erupted. After an Israeli military vehicle struck cars carrying Palestinian workers.

Killing four. Funerals became huge demonstrations. A new organization followed.

The United National Leadership of the Uprising urged general strikes. Civil disobedience. Boycotts. 

Ariel Sharon's September 28, 2000 provocative Al-Aqsa visit sparked the second Intifada. Lasting until February 2005.

Killing nearly 4,200 Palestinians. Including hundreds of women, children, students, teachers and other civilians.

Injuring thousands more. Imprisoning 8,600. Disabling over 3,500. Committing more than 550 assassinations..

Confiscating over 2.3 million dunums of Palestinian land. Destroying nearly 7,700 homes. Damaging another 94,000.

The overall toll was horrific. Justice remains denied. Conditions remain explosive. Worse now than then. 

A third intifada could happen any time. Exceeding earlier harshness. Netanyahu is a world-class thug. 

Heading Israel's most extremist government ever. Ruthless and then some. Operation Protective Edge proved his viciousness. Barbaric disregard for Palestinian lives.

Outdoing Sharonian evil. Mindless of Palestinian pain and suffering. 

Physician/political activist/human rights champion Mustafa Barghouti believes intifada activism is ongoing. Israel forc(ed) it, he said.

"The Palestinian people as a whole are rising up in response to Israeli crimes and abuses across the Palestinian territories, particularly in Jerusalem." 

"Israel's provocations in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and its unprecedented Judiazation in Jerusalem, in addition to its constantly increasing settlement network, have created a deeply entrenched system of racial subjugation."

Israeli brutality won't stop ongoing protests, he believes. Denouncing occupation harshness.

Urging Palestinians to defend Al-Aqsa. Their dignity and freedom.

"To me, when I say intifada, I mean a general status of public opinion and public readiness to engage in resistance actions," he said.

"If we follow that definition, we are definitely at a new stage."

On November 7, Day of Rage protests followed Friday prayers. Demonstrators threw stones. Chanted anti-Israeli slogans.

Israeli security forces responded with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades. At times, live fire.

On Friday, Chief Sephardi rabbi Yitzhak Yosef told Jews going to the Temple Mount is forbidden.

"This is the place to call on the esteemed public to stop this incitement, from here a call is heard, forbidding any Jews from going up to the Temple Mount," he said. 

"From here a call is heard to stop this so that the blood of the People of Israel may stop being spilled."

He blamed rabbis involved in urging Jewish worship there. "(A)dding fuel to the fire," he said. 

In 1967, Israel and Jordan agreed on permitting Western Wall prayer. Not inside Al-Aqsa's compound.

MK Oriti Struck disagrees, saying: "I protest the blaming of Jews for acts of incitement and murder of the Arab terrorists, and the insult to the great rabbis of religious Zionism."  

Rabbi David Stav chairs the religious-Zionist Tzohar rabbinical association. "Torah sages of religious Zionism don't need anyone's approval," he said.

"Instead of blaming the murderers, the finger is pointed at the victims," he claimed.

Even those "convinced that it is forbidden to enter the Temple Mount will certainly agree that the sovereignty over the holiest place to the Jewish people should be in the hands of the Jewish state," he added.

Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned about inflaming things further.

Bayit Yehudi and Likud parties “only know how to light a flame and to exploit a situation for their own political gains,” Lieberman said.

On Wednesday, Jordan recalled its ambassador in protest. On Friday, demonstrators rallied in solidarity with Palestinians.

Opposition Muslim Brotherhood head, Sheikh Hamam, addressed Amman crowds, asking:

"Why are you keeping the embassy of the Jews? It should be demolished with everyone in it."

Thousands rallied in West Bank cities. Pitched battles erupted. Israeli police responded violently.

Dozens of injuries followed. At least one Palestinian was shot with live fire.

Clashes followed Israeli forces attempting to disperse large crowds. Beginning at Ibrahim al-Akkari's home.

Israeli police murdered him in cold blood. Accusing him of ramming his vehicle into pedestrians.

Killing a policeman. Injuring 14 others. After exiting his vehicle, border police killed him. Calling what happened a "terror attack."

No day in court. No due process. No judicial fairness. Summary judgment only. Guilt by accusation. Death by multiple gunshot wounds.

Murder by any standard. Arousing greater anger. On Friday, Shufat clashes followed. Others across Jerusalem.

Over Al-Aqsa access restrictions. Thousands of Palestinian youths prayed in Jerusalem streets. In Ras al-Amoud, Wadi al-Joz, Salah al-Din, and al-Musrara.

Monitored by hundreds of heavily armed police. Photographing worshipers. 

Tensions heightened further over an expected Knesset vote. Potentially dividing Al-Aqsa between Muslims and Jews.

Doing so would ignite a firestorm. Perhaps throughout the Muslim world. Days earlier, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal urged all Muslims to "defend Al-Aqsa."

He and others call it "our sacred place." The "Nobel Sanctuary is ours. (Jews) have no right to go there and desecrate it."

Palestinians should use "all means" to protect what's rightfully theirs. On Wednesday, permanent Palestinian UN observer Riyad Mansour wrote Security Council members.

Citing the "critical situation and continuously rising tensions in the Occupied State of Palestine."  

Calling on "the international community to give serious attention to the situation at the Al-Aqsa compound."

Saying "Israel is attempting to create a new reality at the expense of the Palestinians, their religious rights, sites and historical identity and are violating the sanctity of religious sites without consequences." 

"To remain silent in the face of such gross violations is unacceptable and will only bolster Israel's impunity."

Netanyahu claims Jerusalem as Israel's exclusive capital. Permitting unlimited settlement construction, he said. 

Despite international law disagreeing. Jerusalem is an international city under a UN Trusteeship Council.

The area includes all Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Beit Sahour. Including Christian holy sites.

East Jerusalem is recognized as Palestinian territory. Under illegitimate Israeli occupation.

Palestinians justifiably claim it as their exclusive capital. Not as long as Israel denies them.

PLO spokesman Ahmed Assaf says Israel bears full responsibility for ongoing clashes. Its crimes incite Palestinian responses.

Nothing suggests responsible change. Palestinian and other human rights groups demand international community action against Israeli lawlessness. 

Whether intifada activism follows public outrage remains to be seen. Tinderbox conditions make anything possible.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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