Tony Greenstein | 16 October 2015 | Post Views:

Tony Greenstein assesses the situation for the Palestinian struggle

Mahmoud Abbas, the Quisling ‘President’ of the Palestinian Authority, is certainly doing his
best to dampen down the uprising, Palestinians in the occupied territories are
once more saying that they have had enough. They are finding it ever harder to
live any kind of life, thanks to the continued confiscation of their land and
the overbearing presence of the settlements. Israeli army support for attacks
by settlers, who are never prosecuted, compounds their suffering.

presides over his ‘state of Palestine’ from Ramallah, guarded by his US-trained
Preventative Security Police, to whom collaboration with Israeli security is
This quisling authority has been more and more exposed as a sub-contractor for
Israel’s security apparatus.
prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s far-right administration has ensured that
Palestinians cannot entertain even a sliver of a hope of a normalised
existence. It contains the rabidly racist Jewish Home party, whose leader,
Naftali Bennett, is on record, in a cabinet discussion, as declaring, “I’ve
killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there’s no problem with that”. Then there
is ‘justice’ minister Ayelet Shaked, who posted on her Facebook page an article
by the late Israeli writer, Uri Elitzur, that referred to Palestinian children
as “little snakes”:
[the Palestinians] are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all
their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them
to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons – nothing would
be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised
the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.2

A prelude to genocide?
past week’s series of stabbings and shootings was triggered by the police
invasion of the al-Aqsa mosque, on the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif).
Worshippers were attacked and the inside of the mosque was damaged. Al-Aqsa is
the third most holy building in Islam and its golden dome acts as a symbol of
the Palestinian presence in east Jerusalem. Jewish messianic groups, such as
Ateret Cohanim and the Temple Mount Faithful3,
want the mosque demolished and the Holy Temple of God rebuilt on the site. The
Temple Mount group is part-funded by Israel’s government.
imagine if the Iranian police invaded a synagogue in Tehran, attacking those
praying with stun grenades. The media would be thick with cries of
‘anti-Semitism’ and rightly so, yet an attack on the Al Aqsa mosque is treated
as related to the rights of Jews. In Hebron, the Ibrahimi mosque was divided in
two following the murder by settler Baruch Goldstein of 29 Muslims. The
settlers believed they had stumbled on Abraham’s cave of Machpelah in a mosque!
origin of today’s events goes back to last year and the burning alive, by
pouring gasoline down the throat, of a 16-year-old boy, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, on
July 2 2014. His cousin, Tariq Khdeir, who was on a visit from Tampa in the United
States, was savagely beaten up by Israeli police, resulting in the White House
unusually raising a complaint.4
It also resulted in atypical support and publicity from some Congress members
for the victim of Israeli police violence.5
burning alive of Mohammed Abu Khdeir was followed by Operation Protective Edge
in Gaza, where over 2,200 Palestinians, including 550 children, were murdered.
In July this year the Dawabsheh family home in the village of Duma near Nablus
was set alight by people who then retreated to the nearby settlement.6
Israel knows who the culprits are, but refuses to prosecute them to “protect
Tel Aviv even announced that, as Palestinians under occupation, they would not
be eligible for the anti-terrorist compensation that settlers automatically
receive. Couple this with the continuous ‘price-tag’ attacks on Palestinians in
the West Bank by the settlers and you can see why the frustration has boiled
over. This has taken the form of random knife attacks.
Zionist parties in the Knesset regularly pass nakedly racist legislation. A
bill to approve up to 20-year sentences for stone-throwing has been approved,
with the support of the so-called Labour opposition. However, this will not
apply to the settlers. When the supreme court insisted on the removal of
illegal structures at the Beit El settlement, Netanyahu rewarded the
stone-throwing Zionist protestors with a promise of new settlements – no
20-year sentences for them.8
clashes this week have resulted in a lynch-mob atmosphere, as Israeli Jews are
encouraged to carry weapons – and open fire first and ask questions later. In
one particularly ugly incident a Palestinian youth, Fadi Alloun, was chased by
a racist lynch mob, who demanded the police shoot him, as he was allegedly
armed. Although he offered no resistance nor posed any danger, he was murdered
in cold blood by Israel’s Jim Crow police force.9
In another incident, when demonstrators in Gaza approached the border fence and
started throwing stones, Israeli soldiers began shooting as if it was a turkey
hunt. Seven young Palestinians died and untold numbers were injured.10
importantly, Israeli Palestinians have also begun to break the shackles that
have bound them, however reluctantly, to the Israeli state. Shackles that have
separated them from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. There have been
riots in a number of Arab towns and villages.11
in Israel realise that the fate of the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza
is not separate from their own fate. They too are a ‘demographic threat’ to the
Jewish state. They too are aliens in their own land. Maybe it is at one stage
removed, but the danger they feel is real.
have erupted in Israeli Arab towns, such as Nazareth, Ramle and Sakhnin.
Previous, albeit token, efforts at integration of Israel’s Palestinian citizens
into the state have been abandoned in favour of a policy of naked coercion.
This should not be any surprise. Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, in her
dealings with the Palestinian Authority when she was part of the Likud
administration of Ehud Olmert, repeatedly proposed land swaps – the settlements
in the West Bank in exchange for the vacation of Arab towns in ‘the Triangle’,
including the largest Palestinian town in Israel, Umm al Fahm. She is now in
alliance with Israeli Labour, but her politics have not changed. This is a
measure of how the Israeli Labour opposition, which Livni has joined, is as
racist as the government itself. The only defenders of Israel’s Palestinian
citizens in the Knesset are the members of the Joint List, which has 13 seats.
is impossible to determine whether the conflagration will spread or be
successfully repressed. Either way, the struggle will continue indefinitely.
The Middle East today is on fire, with neighbouring Syria the venue for a
conflict between US imperialism and Russia. The necessity for the Arab masses
to rise up – both against their rulers and against confessionalism – has never
been stronger than now.


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