Saturday, December 06, 2014

Risking Possible Bloodbath in Palestine

Risking Possible Bloodbath in Palestine

by Stephen Lendman

Persecuted people take only so much before resisting. What begins slowly can become mass rebellion.

Palestine had two intifadas. Some observers call current unrest the beginning of a third. BDS support targets Israel economically.

From the grassroots. A battle at a time. Achieving important successes. Hitting Israel where it hurts most.

Polar opposite Western complicity. Partnering with Israeli crimes. Atrocities too serious to ignore. 

Virtually every imaginable civil and human rights abuse. Against millions of defenseless Palestinians. 

Ongoing for decades. With no change in sight so far. Because Israel isn't held accountable. Its high crimes are rewarded.

After 2008-09 Operation Cast Lead slaughter, EU nations upgraded Israeli trade relations. In 2012, Ban Ki-moon conspired with Western nations.

Blocking UN and/or ICC investigations into Israeli genocidal high crimes. During Operation Protective Edge, Congress approved another $225 million in Israeli military aid.

Germany sold Israel a nuclear attack submarine. Britain maintains business as usual. Refusing to halt arms shipments.

Letting Israeli high crimes go unpunished makes the inevitable possible. Continued Palestinian repression.

Police state viciousness. Naked aggression at Israel's discretion. Slow-motion genocide by any standard. 

Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal sees big trouble coming. A possible bloodbath, saying:

"Israeli stubbornness, combined with the international impotence in solving the Palestinian issue with a just solution, enabling the Palestinian people their self-determination - this will lead to chaos in the region, not just in the Palestinian arena, but an open conflict - a bloodbath." 

"We warn against keeping the Palestinian issue with no solution and stripping the Palestinian people of hope."

Netanyahu is "playing with fire," he said. Turning a "national fight" into a "religious" one.

Governing repressively. Letting Knesset hardliners, radicalized settlers and other "extremists" have provocative Al-Aqsa access.

Islam's third most holy site. Non-Muslim visitors are permitted. Jewish prayer forbidden.

Radicalized settlers at times storm the compound. Some want Al-Aqsa destroyed. Replaced by a third Jewish temple.

Mashaal said recent violence was a "reaction" to Israeli repression. Jerusalem's Har Nof synagogue killings were an expression of "extreme anger."

"(O)ne of the rare occasions when a synagogue was targeted," he said. Netanyahu bears full responsibility.

For the actions of those involved. "(F)or them not having hope on the horizon for a just settlement of the Palestinian cause."

"When public anger reaches its limit, it explodes on its own, and expresses itself in ways that surprises everyone."

At the same time, calling PA enforcement of Israeli policies unacceptable. So-called Abbas negotiations with Israel are "useless."

A waste of time. Utter failure. He negotiates from a position of weakness. His "positions satisfy western and American standards."

At the expense of his own people. "Israeli occupation as it is, like all occupations in history, won't withdraw from occupied lands, except under pressure. They do not withdraw voluntarily," Mashaal stressed.

"The Israeli behavior is giving us this clear message…Hamas wants to…partner with its people, powers and personalities, to create a promising Palestinian future."

He blasted Western leaders for supporting Israel. Ignoring Palestinian rights. Letting longstanding conflict continue. Saying:

"The question is what Palestinian position (is) required from Hamas or from Fatah or from the other Palestinian factions that will satisfy the international world to help us achieve our goals?" 

"We showed every flexibility required to reach a solution when the Palestinian powers all agreed to a resolution based on the 1967 border." 

"The West rejected it and the Israelis rejected it, and there are parties that conspired against it. What does the international community want?”

Longstanding injustice assures continued conflict. Eventually boiling over uncontrollably. 

Palestine's main internal problem is Abbas. A longtime Israeli collaborator. Betraying his people for wealth, power and world stage position.

Expect no change with him in charge. Israel's enforcer. A willing co-conspirator against his own people.

Participating in multiple rounds of sham peace talks. Failing for good reason. Dead on arrival each time.

Israel is all take and no give. Fascists operate this way. Current governance is Israel's most extremist ever.

Next March's election results may be worse. For sure not better.

Petitioning Security Council members for change won't work. US veto power alone prevents it. 

Israel ignores all UN resolutions contrary to its interests. International law is consistently breached. Rare pro-Palestinian High Court rulings are side-stepped.

Boycotting Israel is more important than ever. When pursued with commitment it works.

BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti asks "why BDS?" Defining three fundamental Palestinian rights. Including ending Israel's lawless West Bank/Gaza/Golan/Lebanese territory occupations.

Institutionalized discrimination against Israeli Arab citizens. Permitting diaspora Palestinians their legal right of return.

Israel's Separation Wall demolished. As ordered by the International Court of Justice.

Reparations paid for destroyed Palestinian homes and property. International law enforced.

Affirming East Jerusalem as Palestine's exclusive capital. Palestinians controlling their own borders. Air space. Coastal waters. Resources. 

Within June 1967 borders - 22% of historic Palestine. Willing to concede Israel the remaining 78%.

Despite the UN's 1947 Palestine Partition Plan. Granting 56% of historic Palestine to Jews. The remaining 42% to Palestinians.

Designating Jerusalem an international city under a UN Trusteeship Council. Calling for an independent Arab state by October 1, 1948.

Asking "all Governments and peoples to refrain from taking any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations." 

Calling for Security Council action. Empowering it with “the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation.”

Achieving nothing from then to now. Conditions today worse than ever. Peace more illusion than reality. Palestinian self-determination unfulfilled.

Grassroots activism today substitutes for lack of world community action. Despite crumbs of hopeful signs.

Sweden, Britain, France and Spain symbolically recognizing Palestinian self-determination. Short of official government recognition.

On Tuesday, Barghouti spoke at Columbia University. Saying he can't decide if Jews comprise a nation. Or where it should be.

"One thing I do know," he said. "Not at my expense. Jewish statehood excludes "the right to expel us or to take our land."

Barghouti believes Palestine's South Africa moment approaches, saying:

"The latest discussion in Israel about the Jewish nation state law has brought to the fore the very possibility of the unraveling of the entire Zionist project." 

"And these are not my words, these are the words of certain very important leaders in Israel, who say that." What's happening is that the oxymoron of the Jewish and democratic identity of the state of Israel is unraveling."

"Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has always consistently discriminated by law against the indigenous Palestinians. Other than ethnically cleansing them of course." 

"So why is everyone so angry that they're trying to codify the Jewish identity of the state." 

"Some say it's at the expense of the democratic identity. What democratic identity? When you have 50 laws that discriminate against a minority of your citizenry, that’s not democracy…"

"What Netanyahu and his far right government are doing is resolving this oxymoron. It cannot exist any longer." 

"Let's be very honest, Forget democracy. This is an ethnocracy. This is a Jewish supremacist state." 

"So no pretense of democracy. And that's a very important development because it's revealing Israel's true nature.  The last mask of Israel's so-called democracy has been dropped."

BDS is more important than ever. "We've got to see it as our goal, as part of what we do in this country in the BDS movement…"

"(T)o disabuse Americans of the myth of empire being beneficial to all…Only then will most people in this country realize that Israel does not serve American interests writ large, but the 1 percent's interests." 

"The great majority of Americans cannot possibly benefit from what Israel is doing to the Palestinian people." 

BDS activism is based on South Africa's model. With important differences. Israel exceeds South Africa's apartheid in important ways.

Reflected in longstanding ethnic cleansing. Slow-motion genocide. Wars at Israel's discretion. Every conceivable obscenity and indignity imaginable.

Israeli apartheid is more sophisticated than South Africa's, said Barghouti. More oppressive.

BDS continues making impressive gains. Last year, Israel officially classified it as a strategic threat.

The phrase "Made in South Africa" once was "toxic, untouchable," said Barghouti. 

"We're not there yet, but we're getting closer." Israel has no viable solution. Its ruthlessness speaks for itself.

Netanyahu helps BDS. "Without him we could not have reached this far at this time," Barghouti explained. 

Palestine's South Africa moment approaches. Hopefully without an intervening bloodbath.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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