Israel's ethnic cleansing and Palestine's survivaltext_fields
It was on the occasion of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 29 November, the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) called upon the international community to step up efforts to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their right to return to their homes. This Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was first called for by the United Nations General Assembly in 1977 as a reminder to the international community of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, independence, and the right of return. The PRC said "This year, the annual observance comes amidst an alarming situation exacerbated not only by Israel's escalating policy of collective punishment, mass demolitions, and ethnic cleansing but also by simmering campaigns seeking to criminalize solidarity with Palestine." Amnesty International researchers have documented more than 20 cases of Israeli police violence since early May last year, when protests against the eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood began. The horrendous propaganda by the Israeli media against the natives and the torture of the Occupation army were the reasons for confrontations between Israel and Hamas militant group in the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of Palestinians were injured as a result of police repression. Despite these campaigns, support for Palestinian rights continued to pour through, most recently at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, where almost every match witnessed fans either raising the Palestinian flag, wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh, or chanting slogans in solidarity with the people of Palestine. In the latest incident of Arab football fans snubbing Israeli reporters covering the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Qatar, a Saudi Arabian supporter was filmed telling Israeli reporter Moav Vardi of broadcaster Kan 11 that he was "not welcome" in the Gulf state .The Saudi fan told him: "It is Palestine, there is no Israel. Go please. You are not welcome here. This is Qatar, this is our country – you are not welcome here. There is only Palestine. There is no Israel."
The PRC statement concluded with a call for UN bodies, world's governments, NGOs, and civil society representatives to speak up for the Palestinian cause, particularly the refugees' plight, and to increase their support for UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) until the occupation of Palestine is ended, refugees return to their homes, and an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital is established on the 1967 borders, as per international law and relevant UN resolutions. Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary), President of the General Assembly, echoed the call for solidarity, adding that a fundamental element of solidarity is to walk in the shoes of the Palestinians. Solidarity must be shown through concrete steps, including giving UNRWA the funds it needs, he stressed, adding that all human beings are born equal and entitled to enjoy the same rights, whether they are Israeli citizens or not, whether they live in Palestine, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Galilee or Gaza. But, as the travesty of truth, the occasion was celebrated by Israel by storming the village of al-Mughayyir, causing clashes with dozens of Palestinians, during which the Israeli army used live bullets and tear gas canisters. The occupied West Bank experienced shock and anger after the occupation forces directly executed three young men, Moufid Khalil in Hebron, and Dhafer and Jawad Al-Rimawi, two brothers, from the town of Beit Rima, north of Ramallah. Occupation Forces escorted groups of Israeli settlers as they raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Al-Maghrebi Gate. In a statement, the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department, which oversees the holy sites in Jerusalem, said some of the settlers continuously performed Talmudic rituals and prayers inside and at the gates of Al-Aqsa. It was reported that Itamar Ben Gvir, a member of the Knesset and prospective minister in the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, in the events of Hebron, legitimized settler attacks against Palestinian families. Ben Gvir, the head of the "Otzma Yehudit" (Jewish Power) party, has always caused tension in the security situation between Israel and the Palestinians, including in Jerusalem, through his participation in the settlers' incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque.
To win the election, Netanyahu's Likud party allied with a far-right bloc known as Religious Zionism. One of its leaders, former Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, has called for changes that would dramatically limit the powers of the judiciary. Another, Itamar Ben-Gvir, 46, who seeks to take a senior role in the government advocates dismantling the Palestinian Authority, expanding Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount — one of the holiest sites in both Judaism and Islam — in defiance of a 55-year-old agreement, and wants to expel the Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel deemed to be "disloyal." Both of them support annexing the West Bank outright without granting Palestinians full citizenship rights. Let us hope this will not materialize. Former Israeli leader Ariel Sharon reputedly paraphrased the lines : "What you see from here, you don't see from there." As the experienced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who knows the office better than anyone, would be wise to remind his new coalition partners of those words.
During his electoral campaign, Ben-Gvir said he would seek to ease the Israeli occupation army's rules of engagement to allow Israeli soldiers "to more easily shoot-to-kill Palestinian suspects," the Times of Israel reported, adding that Smotrich has campaigned for the same thing. In an event held in memory of late extremist US-born Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose extremist followers have attacked and sometimes killed both Israelis and Arabs, Ben-Gvir hailed the controversial figure whose organisation has been labelled terrorists by the US, and defended his views as he insisted that "ultimately Rabbi Kahane was about love. Love for Israel without compromise, without any other consideration." Speaking at the same event, another far right Israeli Jewish activist, Baruch Marzel, who was a former political partner of Ben-Gvir, said: "Nothing will stop unless we drain the swamp," reinforcing a previous call to expel the over 300,000 Palestinian citizen of Israel who voted for the Ballad and Ra'am parties in last week's election. While these two extremist far-right Israeli Jewish politicians are becoming senior officials with extremist and racist goals at the top of their agenda, who will be able to deal with them, deter their racist ambitions or rein in their madness.
According to the final election results, Netanyahu and his ultranationalist allies have won 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament, with 32 of those seats going to Netanyahu's party, Likud. Netanyahu, though on trial for corruption, was invited by Israeli President Isaac Herzog to form a government and he has started the process. But, It could be noted that Netanyahu shares little in common with his new partners other than opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state. Indulging in the bloc's most extreme demands, he knows, would be deeply corrosive to Israel's democracy and its international standing. Undercutting the independence of the judiciary, may help Netanyahu evade his corruption charges, but would eliminate one of the few checks and balances in the Israeli political system. Expelling Israeli Arabs, expanding settlements, annexing territory and changing the status quo on the Temple Mount would almost surely spark renewed violence.
Netanyahu has sought to allay such fears. He promisesa government that will "look after all the citizens of Israel, without exception" and pledges to "lower the flames of public discourse, to heal the rifts" within the country. He has informed US President Joe Biden that he wanted to expand the so-called Abraham Accords, forging peace with more countries in the region. If Netanyahu wants to make good on those pledges, he needs first to limit the sway of firebrands such as Smotrich and Ben-Gvir in his cabinet. He should resist their most dangerous ideas, condemn inflammatory or bigoted rhetoric, and remind them that Israel's security — especially against the threat from Iran — depends on the whole-hearted support of its friends as much as its own efforts. He should also attempt to repair relations with more mainstream conservative parties, so that he might eventually broaden his coalition and dilute Religious Zionism's influence.
The victory of the right-wing Netanyahu, with the far-right Ben Gvir and Smotrich behind him, has raised concern inside Israel, amid warnings of an "authoritarian revolution led by the extreme right," as Haaretz says. The Israeli newspaper warned in its editorial, that Israel is now standing on the threshold of an authoritarian religious revolution led by the extreme right, whose goal is to destroy the foundations of democracy on which the state was built. She stressed that this day may be a "dark day in the history of Israel," and warned that the country has become more and more terrifyingly extremist in recent years, and that all the things that were warned of the possibility of their occurrence in the past are now happening in front of everyone's eyes. It pointed out that it was frightening the people.
News of Netanyahu's dramatic victory was greeted by rightwing and nationalist leaders around the world: Italy's far-right prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, and Hungary's Viktor Orbán were among the first to offer their congratulations after the final vote count was announced . At the same time, the return of Benjamin Netanyahu to power in Israel, as the head of the most extreme government in its history, worries the Palestinians.They fear this will pave the way for a further escalation of the conflict with Israel. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine considered the results of the Israeli elections to be nothing new, as they are a clear expression of the partisan political map in it, and reflect the right-wing and fascist tendencies of the racist Israeli society. They find no difference between the two conflicting right-wing camps in light of the similarity of their programs and positions, especially on the Palestinian issue, but the rise of the most racist of extremists and fascists and their progress in these elections, and their penetration into Israeli political decision-making institutions deals a strong blow to those who bet on any peaceful solutions with the Israeli government .
In a statement, Al-Sha'biah newspaper considered that the Israeli parties' programs are based on racism and eradication, and Judaization. Their settlement schemes always project a dominant culture. It forms the basis for successive occupation governments to continue their crimes against the Palestinian people, and perpetuate the reality of the occupation on the ground, and throughout the establishment of this occupation we have not seen any change in Israeli politics, as there has always been competition between the parties to achieve the Israeli goals based on terrorism, aggression and land confiscation.
However, in a speech to supporters, Netanyahu said he would be avoiding "unnecessary adventures" and Ben-Gvir himself, who only a few days ago was brandishing a gun at Palestinian demonstrators in Occupied East Jerusalem, has promised that "we represent everyone." But, history proves otherwise. During his 12-year rule of Netanyahu ,the Israeli army launched several military operations on the Gaza Strip, including the 2012 aggression known by Israel as "Pillar of Defence", the 2014 aggression, "Protective Edge" and the latest aggression, "The Guardian of the Fences" last May. The three operations left 2,741 Palestinian martyrs and thousands injured. Netanyahu kept a strong relationship with the administration of former US President Donald Trump (2017-2021). The Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the Washington embassy from Tel Aviv to it, as well as its recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan, and its support for the Israeli settlement project. During the years of Netanyahu's rule, foreign reports attributed to the Israeli Air Force a series of raids against Iranian targets in Syria, as part of what Tel Aviv says are efforts to prevent Iranian "positioning" near its borders. Two years ago, under Netanyahu's leadership, under the pretext of "Abraham Accords ", Israel signed normalization agreements with the UAE and Bahrain and reached similar agreements with Sudan and Morocco amid Palestinian rejection.
That's why writer and political analyst Ahmed Rafiq Awad believes that the Palestinian Authority is required to implement a new strategy with the collapse of the two-state solution, and adopt new mechanisms and policies with the occupation. Netanyahu's return to the world stage comes as violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is soaring: fighting in Nablus and Jenin since the spring means 2022 is on course to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2005. For Palestinians, more than seven decades of oppression, theft and colonization of land has shown that, left or right, the government makes no difference to their future. The Israeli regime is fundamentally built on their oppression. That's why at the end of the day, Palestinians don't want different prison guards. They want to break free of the prison. Ever since its illegal annexation of Jerusalem, Israel "has treated the Palestinian residents of the city as unwanted immigrants and worked systematically to drive them out of the area."
However, there are no sanctions imposed against Israel and no millions of dollars and weapons being poured in to help the Palestinian victims free themselves from Israeli colonialism. Is it not paradoxical that the international community is supporting, funding and arming a state which violates international law on a daily basis, while cutting real support for the victims of annexation and colonialism? And that when the victims put up legitimate resistance to the occupation and colonisation of their land they are described as terrorists by the same people now declaring pompously that Russia has broken international law? The biggest irony is that Israel is also condemning Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory. You couldn't make this stuff up.