Israel: Talking Peace, Waging War
by Stephen Lendman
No peace/peace talks convene next week in Washington. They’re fake. They’re subterfuge. They’re meaningless. They never worked before. They’re rigged to fail now.
Israeli and US orchestrators assure it. So do longtime Palestinian collaborators. They’re Israeli enforcers. They’re assigned that role. They’re well compensated for doing so.
Palestine’s legitimate government won’t participate. Previous articles asked how can legitimate peace talks proceed with one side excluded. Only in America. Only in Israel. Only under a scenario preordained to fail.
At the same time, militarized occupation continues. Palestinians face ongoing state terror. Multiple community incursions occur daily. Gaza remains besieged.
Most West Banks areas are off-limits to non-Jews. Palestinians are excluded from their own land. They have no rights. They never did. They don’t now.
They’ll get none in current talks. They’re a charade. They run cover for daily persecution. They distract. They change the subject. They hide what demands headlines.
Life in Occupied Palestine reflects institutionalized colonization and apartheid. Israel violates fundamental human rights law. It does so repeatedly. It does it unaccountably. Numerous examples explain.
Recent ones include massive ethnic cleansing plans. Arab Negev Bedouins are Israeli citizens. They’re treated like nonpersons. They’re denied all rights.
They’re ruthlessly persecuted. They’re targeted for mass displacement.
On May 6, Israel’s Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs approved a draft Bedouin ethnic cleansing plan. On June 24, Israel’s Knesset addressed it.
It’s called the Begin-Prawer Plan. It passed its first reading. It proceeds to committee. It targets 40,000 Palestinian Bedouins.
If enacted, they’ll be ethnically cleansed. They’ll be displaced from their homes. Their villages will be destroyed. Dozens of them. They’ll lose their land, property and historical rights.
Exclusive Jewish development will replace them. According to Association for Civil Rights in Israel attorney Rawia Aburabia:
Israel’s plan “will cause the displacement and forced eviction of dozens of villages and tens of thousands of Bedouin residents, dispossessing them of their property and historical rights to their lands, destroying the social fabric of their communities, and sealing the fate of thousands of families into poverty and unemployment.”
“All of this while the government simultaneously promotes the establishment of new Jewish communities, some of which are even slated to be built on the fresh ruins of Bedouin villages.”
“Rather than displacing these communities, the government should seek a true and just solution that facilitates the inclusion of Bedouin citizens into the civil and social fabric of the Negev by recognizing the unrecognized villages and acknowledging their legal ownership rights to their lands.”
“For years, the Bedouin citizens have lived in (unrecognized) villages without basic conditions while around them more and more Jewish communities are built.”
“The government must decide whether to seek a true and just solution that facilitates the inclusion of Bedouin in the Negev as equal citizens or a belligerent plan, that only increases the alienation, hostility and poverty in these communities.”
Bimkom’s an Israeli human right group. Nili Baruch’s one of its urban planners. “The key to a solution to the issue of the unrecognized villages in the Negev is planning,” she said.
“A plan to formally recognize the unrecognized villages (such as the one initiated by the village residents themselves) will afford them their rights to education, health, adequate infrastructure, and sources of employment.”
“Such a process would not only be the most likely to succeed, but also the most just, coming after years of neglect of the unrecognized villages, most of which have been in existence since before the state of Israel was established.”
On July 15, demonstrators protested. They did so publicly. They condemned Prawer Plan displacement. Israeli police attacked them viciously. They fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.
Witnesses said they “walked in front of us.” They “signaled and all of a sudden horses started running and trampling people. Some people hadn’t even heard the five-minute warning.”
“There was no proper communication between the forces and the protesters.” At least one man was trampled. Others were injured. Over two dozen were arrested.
According to Human Rights Watch representative Joe Stork:
Israel used “excessive” force. “Security officials literally trampled on Israeli citizens who were demonstrating peacefully on July 15.”
“If those responsible for unjustifiably injuring protesters go unpunished, it would send a dangerous signal that Israeli authorities will not tolerate peaceful protests.”
Ahead of Prawer Plan implementation, Israel destroyed Al Araqib Bedouin village. It did so for the fifty-third time.
Villagers keep rebuilding. Bulldozers come back. The disturbing pattern repeats. It comes with no warning.
Other villages are targeted. Residents at most get hours to evacuate. Some peace. Some justice. Police states give no quarter. Israel’s one of the worst.
On July 21, Haaretz headlined “Arab MKs to boycott Knesset post-Ramadan meal to protest Bedouin relocation,” saying:
“United Arab List-Ta’al chairman Ibrahim Sarsur sent a strongly worded letter to (Knesset Speaker Yuli) Edelstein.”
He said he’ll boycott Iftar dinner plans. They’re customary. They’re traditional. They’re longstanding. Knesset speakers host Arab MKs during Ramadan. Doing so masks Israeli contempt for Arabs.
Another Palestinian MK gave three reasons for boycotting:
(1) advancing the Prawer Plan;
(2) Edelstein filing Ethics Committee complaints; they relate to Arab MK actions; they tore up the racist bill at the Knesset podium; they condemned what they called “an abominable bill;” and
(3) Edelstein’s decision to prevent deputy Knesset speaker Ahmed Tibi from holding Knesset meetings after the incident.
Arab MKs have no power. They’re treated like potted plants. Tibi condemned what happened. He shouted at Knesset members, saying:
“This law will be a disgraceful mark of Cain on the forehead of anyone who supports it.”
“It is a decree of banishment that expels people from their land and their homes for the second and third time after the Nakba in 1948.”
“What do you think a reasonable person being expelled from his home should do to defend himself? He should rise up and protest!”
Tibi poured water on the bill. He ripped it up and left. MKs Dov Khenin, Haneen Zoabi, and Jamal Zahalka followed suit.
Zoabi said “(i)t was the least we could do.” Zahalka was forcibly removed. He condemned Israeli MKs. He called them “madmen, racists and robbers.”
They’re that much and more. They comprise Israel’s worst government in history. They enact police state laws. They target non-Jews.
They do so unconscionably. They let Israel get away with murder. They call aggressive wars liberating ones. They legitimize lawlessness. They do so with disturbing regularity.
Israel’s a racist Jewish state. Praying to the wrong god is criminalized. Human rights activists are targeted. Supporting Palestinian rights is dangerous.
Sara Ali’s a Canadian human rights activist. She did volunteer work in Hebron. She documented Israeli crimes.
Israel wants truth suppressed. Police attacked her. They brutalized her. They arrested her. Ottawa’s government stayed silent.
Canadian political analyst Aaron Doncaster said as long as Stephen Harper remains prime minister, Canada will support Israel’s worst crimes.
“Basically we have Zionists occupying our government here in Canada,” he said.
They lecture other countries on human rights. They spurn them with impunity. They let Israel get away with murder and much more.
On July 26, Press TV headlined “Ottawa keeps silent over Israel’s arrest and abuse of Canadian activist,” saying:
Israeli security forces “brutally manhandled and arrested” Sara Ali. Tel Aviv “is notorious “for detaining human rights activists in order to prevent the truth about its harsh treatment of Palestinians from getting out.”
“The abusive practice seems to have been the reason behind the arrest Ms. Ali by Israeli security forces.”
“Critics, meanwhile, maintain that most Canadian journalists and politicians appear to be forbidden from criticizing the Israeli regime.”
“Consequently, when Israeli security forces target Canadian citizens, no one expects government authorities in Ottawa to weigh in on the Tel Aviv regime to treat them humanely.”
Israel wants international human rights observers deterred from “visiting occupied Palestinian territories so they can expedite their genocide against the Palestinians without public consciousness.”
Youth Against Settlements said Israeli forces violently attacked Ali. Maan News and Hamas said it happened while she was documenting Israeli human rights abuses.
Palestinians were prevented from entering the Ibrahimi mosque. It’s in Hebron’s Old City. They weren’t let in to pray.
Israel summarily deported Ali. So was another Palestinian supporter. They did so two days after the incident. They had no time to say goodbye to friends. Police states operate that way.
These type incidents happen daily. Media scoundrels suppress them. On July 14, Israeli forces patrolled near Beit Hanoun. They opened fire indiscriminately.
They fired in the direction of a landfill. It was 400 meters from Israel’s border fence. Khaled Shehada Hamad was struck. He was hospitalized in Beit Lahia. He explained what happened, saying:
“I was preoccupied with my daily work, collecting my tools to go back to Beit Hanoun.”
“Along with a number of friends, I go to this landfill almost every day to collect metal, plastic, copper, or any other scrap materials that I might sell later.”
“We were about to leave at around 2pm when I felt a sudden heat in my upper leg. Something had hit my leg.”
“I started screaming after I fell to the ground. It was only then that I saw an Israeli jeep passing in the distance.”
“I only saw the jeep after I was shot. I couldn’t see the soldier though. He must have targeted me while in his military jeep.”
“When I got shot, I could still feel shrapnel in my leg. The shrapnel from the bullet also caused damage to my right hand.”
“It is an explosive bullet, I was told. The entrance is small but where the bullet goes out, it’s larger, and it causes severe damage.”
“The doctors said I still had some shrapnel in my leg and it would take a long time before they can be removed. It might take years.”
Israeli security forces target other Palestinians like Khaled. Children are shot for target practice. Farmers are shot in their fields.
Fishermen are accosted at sea. Children are arrested pre-dawn. They’re abducted at home, to and from school and at play. They’re treated like adults. They’re separated from parents. They’re isolated. They’re terrorized. They’re tortured.
Police states operate this way. Militarized occupation continues. Peace talks change nothing. Brutalized treatment continues.
Israeli style peace denies it. This time won’t be different. Palestinians have no illusions. What never happened before won’t now. They’re on their own for justice. It’s a distant dream.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.