This week’s

July 9, 2017
Sarah Benton


This last week, Monday July 3rd to Sunday July 9th, 2017 was, rightly and inevitably, dominated by the utterly unacceptable situation in Gaza. The stranglehold on the Strip exerted by Egypt, the PNA and Israel is supposed to cause Hamas to wither away. As those suffering because of the lack of fuel and electricity are the Palestinians who live there they are unlikely, and unable, to wish away the only government they have. Gisha, the freedom of movement NGO, has produced a very useful page of FAQs on the electricity crisis, its politics, causes and consequences:
Real facts on Gaza’s electricity crisis

What can you do to help? Gisha says spread this information. (Link to it on Twitter and Facebook.) Here are two more articles on this looming catastrophe. Uri Avnery agrees that this ‘atrocity’ cannot be dismissed as an internecine dispute. It is that, but the real power lies with Israel and Egypt. Israel is too ‘mentally lazy’ to change course and “Egypt, which claims to be the leader the entire Arab World, has become the handmaiden of the Israeli occupation”:
Why must the people suffer so grievously?

Surely one of the few things which is not scarce in Gaza is sunshine – so why not more solar power? It needs a new infrastructure to install but electricity generated by solar panels is increasing. The Dutch government donated €350k (part of a €500k donation) for hybrid solar panel/diesel to generate electricity for Jubbet Adh-Dhib. The Israeli government removed the panels. (No permits.) Amira Hass tells the tale:
Now they steal sun-power

Of course, left to themselves the sea and sewage flow according to natural laws. That means Israeli beaches will get polluted by Palestinian faecal matter. There will be diseases. There will be no tourists in seaside resorts. However ‘mentally lazy’ they may be they will have to act:
Sewage knows no boundaries

Tareq Baconi of Al Shabaka thinks it shameful that Pres. Abbas is willing to “embrace the collective punishment rationale underpinning the blockade and to perpetuate the suffering of two million Palestinians for factional interests”. He sees it as a Saudi-driven move to shake Qatar and Hamas out of the Arab net. Apart from the Qatari government all want to siege of Gaza to continue caring little how much they hurt the Palestinians there:
Big powers unite against Hamas and Qatar

Gaza has given one gift to the Palestinians – its one-time security officer and strongman Mohammed Dahlan. A millionaire and master of intrigue, and said to have good relations with the Israeli political/security elite, Dahlan is the frequent subject of media speculation, this week by Haaretz and Al Monitor. His ability to fix things and his open rivalry with Pres. Abbas make him a popular figure amongst many Palestinians:
Admired by the people, feared by the elite

When there appears to be one overwhelming struggle for Palestinians – national liberation from Israeli control and, in Gaza, lifting the siege as well – and when finding work for all the unemployed, angry, impoverished young men seems the most important task for international, national, and private sector efforts why go on a diversion about women? Because the women of Gaza are demanding it. Last week they had a day of sit-ins and strikes demanding equal pay with men, more jobs – and an independent Palestinian state. More demanding, political women can only help the cause:
Women in Gaza demand

That seems straightforward compared with the upset caused by American Jews in their protest against PM Netanyahu’s submission to the Orthodox demand that he not support the right of women to equal prayer rites at the Western Wall. They are getting little support outside the USA. When have American Jews made such a fuss about equal rights for Palestinians? About Gaza? The Occupation? What is all this baloney about a stone wall anyway? Two Jews – Israeli and American – disparage the protest:
Stone-worship gone mad

No doubt Bibi would have preferred to make the Americans happy. But he can’t afford to. His shaky coalition depends on support from the Orthodox parties. And they will not have uppity women governing the space:
Ultra-Orthodox make their new power felt

This, as above, is the rift that is not going away. Nothing will make American Jews accept the strictures of the Orthodox about modesty in women which is largely a preoccupation with how women are covering their natural nakedness. An American woman who describes herself as an Israel lover feels it is quite OK to criticise Israel when the male fear of ‘succumbing to sexual mania’ dictates state policy:
Religious extremism ‘poisons’ Israel

All surviving ancient edifices are made of stone and nowhere is so much excitement, dispute and political meaning attributed to them as in Palestine/Israel. The subterranean Cave of the Patriarchs topped by the 1000 year old al-Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron is a site full of meaning for both Palestinians and Israelis. The Patriarchs [and Matriarchs] are, in theory, the ancestors of all monotheistic religions. UNESCO has made it a World Heritage site. A Palestinian one, as Hebron is in Palestine. But geography is irrelevant because this is obviously an antisemitic decision, yet another one made by the antisemitic body, the UN:
UNESCO vote for Hebron decried as antisemitic

Ashkenazi Jews were the founders of Israel. And of Mapai and the succeeding Labour party. They are now in the minority in Israel. And although both Amir Peretz and Avi Gabbai, contenders for leadership of the Labour Party, are of Moroccan descent, Labour is still seen as a party of the Ashkenazi elite – an elite which has in fact defected to the more centrist Yesh Atid or Kulanu:
Labour looks for new voters and image

And for those who missed the Palestine Expo, it was a cornucopia of ideas, clothes, food, ceramics, art. The Muslim, Palestinian, interested visitors of all and no faiths were still flowing through the doors of the QE2 Conference Centre as the exhibition was closing. For this we must praise ‘Jewish Human Rights Watch’ whose sterling efforts to get the event cancelled as a terrorist event did so much to publicise it.
Palestine Expo, London 2017


London Palestine expo libelled by Israel loyalists


The Jewish group who tried to get Palestine expo cancelled

© Copyright JFJFP 2017