This last week, June 26th to July 2nd 2017 the use of violence against Palestinians by the wholly more powerful Israeli state came up in a particularly repugnant way. In two cases the treatment of children by the bureaucracy and security forces of Israel actually made the news.
The first exposure was in Washington DC at a congressional briefing by three NGOs. Terrorising children is a speciality of the IDF. The panel discussion at the briefing was about all Palestinians but the most telling points were about how children were abused by political and military agencies. If the Israeli governments are saying their greatest existential threat comes from Palestinian children, some as young as 7, then it’s not obvious that they need $3 billion from the USA in military aid.
Yet the primary point of Peter Beinart’s article on this was not the persecution of children. It was how little Americans know about how their taxes are used in Palestine, Beinart goes further and says the American Jewish establishment is profoundly ignorant of how Palestinians are abused by the state for which they give so much financial and moral support, as though it were a weak little country:
The shocking treatment of Palestinian children
The second distressing account comes from Shlomi Eldar in Al Monitor. Israel and the PNA are co-operating in starving the Gaza strip of essential fuel in the misguided belief this will bring Hamas to heel. Hamas is more a military than an humanitarian authority, schooled by deprivation and hostility. So it is those who suffer most from lack of sanitation, fresh water, vital medicines and medical treatment who are made to carry the burden of the joint Israeli/PNA attempt to displace Hamas. That means children dying of diarrhoea, those with cancer getting no treatment, all the frail and disabled not getting the fresh water, sanitation and the treatment they need. If this were the situation in Europe or the USA it would be a well-publicised national emergency:
To punish Hamas, children must die
An emergency supply of oil for Gaza’s power plant was shipped in by Egypt. This does little to alter Gaza’s hand-to-mouth existence or the steady outflow of the Strip’s brightest and best young men. Using Albert O Hirschman’s famous treatise, Exit, Voice, Loyalty it is clear that, Voice having failed, more and more choose Exit. Often that exit is in the form of suicide. Numbers and the rate are rising. The unemployment rate is now the highest in the world:
Gaza’s darkest days
When people in the governing power believe that you, the caged people, are intrinsically evil, they have no compunction at treating you as non-human. When immigrant Osnat Ita Skoblinski was growing up in Israel she absorbed the ‘common sense’ that Arabs were evil by nature. Only when she met and talked with a Palestinian boy – an actual human being – did she begin to question, and after much family argument, rejected the common sense and went to work with B’Tselem:
We all believed Arabs were evil
Osnat grew up in an environment governed by Zionist ideology which does now indeed present Jews as a master-race and Arabs as sub-human. Prof. Yakov Rabkin has written extensively on Zionism and Mondoweiss founder Philip Weiss and Rabkin admirer provides nuggets of Rabkin’s writings to present Zionism as an ideology which is inherently in conflict with democratic, egalitarian and cosmopolitan values.
Zionism as a master-race ideology
For some reason the Carnegie Endowment has commissioned and published a report on Revitalising Palestinian Nationalism. Like every other commentator it writes off the PNA as a body which has long since lost, like the PLO, its claim to be an agency for nationalist liberation or sovereignty. Both bodies are widely judged to be corrupt and nepotistic and, like Hamas, lacking any vision of the future or any strategy for realising that vision. The report, written by three people, finds no reason for hoping the Palestinian leadership will change. Instead they vest their hopes for change in the many lively groups and movements in civil society:
Who carries the flag for Palestinian liberation?
In the assessment of Mohamed Hassan, Turkey, no-one should. No Palestinian party is sufficiently independent of Israel, no stretch of land is sufficiently free of Israeli settlement, no Palestinian movement has the freedom from checks and surveillance by Israeli agencies to make a ‘2-state solution’ – unless other governments have the will to make it happen. No sign of that so far:
A 2-state solution is no longer feasible
Gershom Gorenberg, writing in American Prospect, takes a cool look at the, destructive for 2-states, growth of settlements. His main point is to destroy the myth that settlements are the children of the zealous religious Right in Israel. Not so, he says. The first settlement was established by a leftist, and the whole enterprise, which has wholly reshaped Israel’s trajectory, has since been supported by all major parties, i,e, Labour as much as Likud. Settlement have long been national policy, not the child of extremism:
The Great Entanglement
We cannot guarantee that this article has any weight or resonance. It is written by a man calling himself Adam Cohen – he has left no trace of himself on the Web – who uses American spellings and references – and calls himself a Londoner, which he might be. He has written to the BoD saying ‘Yachad has been the most damaging organization in British history against Israel’. This is, apparently because the ‘pro-peace pro-Israel’ group supported UNSC resolution 2334 (which says, inter alia, that settlements are a “flagrant violation” of international law and have “no legal validity”. It demands that Israel stop such activity and fulfil its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention. ‘Adam Cohen’ demands Yachad should be expelled as a member of the Board of Deputies.
BoD president Jonathan Arkush obligingly replied with an attack on Yachad but said he was against expulsions. It seems that ‘Adam Cohen’s’ ire is raised because Yachad is a wolf (like Students for Justice) in sheep’s clothing:
Yachad, the establishment’s enemy in disguise
Jared Kushner, husband of Pres. Trump’s right-hand daughter Ivanka, arrived more suddenly, but as unqualified, in public life because of his father-in-law. He has now been entrusted, lack of knowledge, interest and skills notwithstanding, with bringing about Middle East peace. Well, he’s Jewish so he must have a special understanding of these foreign countries. The internet is awash with pictures of him smiling (he’s very photogenic) but so far all he has achieved it to convey to the Palestinians that he is Netanyahu’s messenger. Not a good outcome. New York magazine called his appointment ‘reckless, corrupt nepotism’:
Boy wonder Jared – he IS just a pretty face
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s success in rousing the masses and hugely increasing Labour party membership has gone unnoticed by the Jewish Labour Movement – or perhaps the health of the Labour party is not what they care about. Their ‘immediate agenda’ is acting on the left-wing (so antisemitic) Labour members such as Jackie Walker, Sami Chakrabarti and Ken Livingstone. In Labour’s best interests of course:
Labour right pursues its political cleansing
That’s all for now. Fewer than usual because it’s summertime.