Settler violence and the Israeli government’s complicity must end

Cleveland Peace Action calls on the Biden Administration to strongly condemn the settler violence and the Israeli government’s complicity. We further call on President Biden and Congress to declare zero tolerance  for Israel’s continued construction of new illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank; to condemn  the Gaza blockade, to release political prisoners and detained children; and for the US to immediately end military aid to Israel.

Since Benjamin Netanyahu maneuvered himself back in as Israeli prime minister last November, he and his far right, ultra-religious government have been planning their most recent power grab. The Knesset sided with Netanyahu’s plan to strip the Supreme Court’s power to overturn any questionable edicts or actions committed by the government. Democracy is now under threat for Jews in Israel, a freedom that has never existed for most Palestinians. Isaac Herzog addressed the U.S. Congress on July 19, 2023, amidst what is labeled “pogroms” in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Since mid-June, a dramatic rise in settler violence in Palestinian villages and Israeli occupation forces attacks in Jenin refugee camp suggests a wider campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Israelis. In a display of hypocrisy, U.S. lawmakers stood and applauded Herzog while a few leading young progressive Democrats boycotted the speech. 

In a  loaded statement, the Israeli president declared, “[q]uestioning the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, is not legitimate diplomacy, it is antisemitism.” When self-determination comes at the expense of a massacred and displaced people then it is legitimate to question a peoples’ right to occupy another people and their land. How one can describe legitimate resistance to Jewish Supremacism (Zionism) as “Arab AntiSemitism” is the epitome of inhumanity against the historic native Semitic tribes of Palestine. The Palestinian people predate the white European-born Zionist Jews in the Land of Palestine. Jews suffering hundreds of years of European AntiSemitism and having been forced to flee Europe was reprehensible, but to have fostered the invasion and colonization of Palestine in the twentieth century was and remains unjustifiable. One injustice can never be solved by creating a second injustice. Just as the Ukrainians are within their rights to armed resistance against the occupation of Russia, so the Palestinian Arabic peoples under international law have the full right to resist the occupying colonial entity by whatever means are necessary. When Israel gained statehood in 1948, Palestinians were promised the Right of Return as guaranteed by international law to their homes in the newly formed bi-national “state”. This promise, enshrined in United Nations Resolution 194 and guaranteed in the International Declaration of Human Rights, was never granted by the Zionist military powers to the native Arab majority population. Now, 7.1 million disenfranchised indigenous people are expected to recognize the colonial state occupying Palestine, a nation built on the land and the ashes of their parents and grandparents. This is the continuing Nakba (the catastrophe) that began well before 1948. 

Let us talk about the most devastating large-scale violence in the West Bank of Palestine today, violence that our mainstream media and political class ignores or attempts to downplay. The Israeli military has begun a campaign of lethal drone strike(s), the first one on a car full of Palestinians just north of Jenin, killing three. This marks a dramatic escalation in the use of advanced remote controlled mechanized killing force launched against suspected resistance activists in the West Bank of Palestine as they drove their car on a public road outside their village. This has been followed  by many more drone attacks carrying out “targeted executions” of suspected resistance activists. Israeli forces launched crowd control weapons at Palestinians when they attempted to defend themselves from the many days and nights of uncontrolled mob violence by ultra-nationalist Zionist settlers against the indigenous Palestinians of Jenin in the West Bank of Palestine..  That has not stopped prominent  Jewish Americans and others from  emphatically comparing  the Palestinian resistance to the Kristallnacht rioting that commenced the Third Reich in Germany in 1923. There are countless documented examples of Israeli settlers firing live bullets at residents, burning homes and setting fire to Palestinian farms and  small businesses and attacking any townspeople who show  resistance.

Author: Don Bryant

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