Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Shouting match or assault?

In their ongoing attempt to obfuscate the conflict between Israel & Palestinians, the mainstream media doesn’t always lie; but it never tells the truth. This photo was described by the Wall Street Journal as a “shouting match” between a Palestinian & an Israeli soldier who was trying to keep peace between Zionist settlers from the Yitzhar settlement & Palestinian farmers from Madama on the West  Bank. When a soldier armed with tear gas & stun grenades & backed up by tanks points heavy artillery at an unarmed man, is that a shouting match or an assault!?

We don’t know what they’re “shouting” about but it could be that Israel announced Monday they are beginning construction of 1,000 housing units in East Jerusalem & the West Bank as part of a package of 6,000 units to be built--a contested plan which would cut off the northern part of the West Bank from the southern.

Or they could be facing off against each other in another incident when rabid Zionist settlers destroy wheat fields & crops, uproot olive trees, vandalize & torch Palestinian property, burn & vandalize mosques, poison Palestinian livestock, expropriate Palestinian water wells & springs (or contaminate them as they did in Madama by dumping poopy diapers in them & shooting live ammo at those who came to clean them). There are 1045 such incidents of settler violence against Palestinians (including intimidation & physical assault) & their property in the West Bank from 2009 through June 2012.

Olive farming is a major industry & employer in the Palestinian West Bank, which is why olive trees & olive pickers are a common target of settler violence. Trees cut down or burned, crops stolen & olive pickers assaulted but Israeli soldiers have done nothing to stop it. In May 2012, masked & armed Israeli settlers from Yitzhar settlement invaded Palestinian farmlands to set fire to wheat fields & olive groves & destroy the fields. Palestinians, using stones against settlers firing live ammo, came to defend their fields & douse the fires.  All this took place in the presence of Israeli troops who made no attempt to block, detain, or prevent the settlers from continuing to several locations. The military’s intervention was to drive away Palestinian youth, not the settlers. All this is intended not just to undercut Palestinian livelihoods but to drive them from their homes & farmlands & enable settlers to take control.

There has been some impotent chiding by the European Union & UN against the new construction & against settler violence. According to the UN, little action has ever been taken by Israeli authorities to investigate, prosecute or punish violence against Palestinians by settlers or soldiers, resulting in a situation of criminal impunity--the very nature of the Israeli state.

Over the recent events, UN members did some hand-wringing & expressed dismay (such a powerful deterrent!) at Israel’s expanding settlements in the occupied territories & increasing attacks by settlers on Palestinians. With feigned credulity, the UN members lauded Netanyahu’s promise to clamp down on “extremists” among the settlers & bring the perpetrators to justice. Now that racist maniac is just the man to invest trust in! Impunity is his middle name. The UN members said the new constructions put in jeopardy the two-state solution so crucial for Israel’s long-term security. But actually Israeli apartheid has it exactly right: the continued existence of Palestinians is a threat to their project of a single, unified, Jewish state built on all of former Palestine & based on the rancid edifice of Zionism. Eschew dismay & hand-wringing. Build solidarity with Palestinians by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729) & demand an end to all US aid to Israel.  (Photo  by Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images)

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