Tag Archives: Israeli apartheid

Israel’s gulag for Palestinians

West Bank June 6 2014

This scene of Israeli soldiers manhandling Palestinian protesters is so common in the West Bank that it’s almost not newsworthy–except that hundreds continue to be arrested & held under “administrative detention”, which means without charge or trial. Administrative detention orders can range from one to six months in length & can be arbitrarily extended an indefinite number of times up to five years by Israeli military courts. 5,000 Palestinians are presently in Israeli custody, including 200 children. About 550 of these are administrative detainees, including 13 children under the age of 18.

It’s embarrassing to read Zionist defenses of administrative detention; they claim Israel’s denial of the basic standards of due process (like being told what you’re accused of) are “security precautions” & that Palestinians who protest this egregious violation of international law are just grandstanding for media attention & to make Israeli justice look bad.

In late April of this year, 120 Palestinian administrative detainees began a hunger strike in protest because, in the style of Guantanamo, they have no idea why they’re sitting in jail or for how long. Contrary to the rubbish spewed by hateful Zionists, media attention seems a damn good idea if they ever want to get out of prison. Over the past several weeks, hundreds of non-administrative detainees joined the hunger strike in solidarity, bringing the total number now to 1,500.

A UN Special Committee to assess Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights concluded their recent fact-finding tour with an appeal to Israel to end administrative detention of Palestinians, even though International law does allow administrative detention in exceptional circumstances. (The only exceptional circumstances that seem worthy are the detainment of White House & Pentagon officials for war crimes, but it’s unlikely the UN would agree on this.) Of particular concern to the UN committee is that the Israeli government is vigorously promoting a bill in the Knesset to allow force-feeding the hunger strikers. The invidious comparison with Guantanamo is complete.

Solidarity protests throughout Gaza & the West Bank have been going on for the past several weeks, including very moving candle vigils. Apparently in the West Bank, the Israeli military just views these protests as another place to pick up Palestinian activists for detention. This young Palestinian being attacked by three Israeli soldiers is protesting in solidarity at the Qalandia checkpoint near the city of Ramallah.

Stand with Palestinian justice & support the hunger strikers by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729), by supporting the cultural boycott of Israel, & by demanding “No military aid to Israel!”

(Photo by Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)

Nakba 2014 commemoration: 66 years of Israeli ethnic cleansing

May 15 marks Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) day. In 1948, over 780,000 Palestinians were forcibly driven from their homeland by Zionist paramilitary terrorist squads under the protection of the British. Over 500 Palestinian villages were depopulated & destroyed. Nakba day follows the day Zionists celebrate as Israeli “independence” day. That is a linguistic deceit to mask the political barbarism of Nakba.

More than 7 million Palestinian refugees, one of the largest refugee communities in the world, continue to live in exile & in refugee camps, while 5 million Palestinians are living in Gaza, called “the world’s largest open air prison.”

On the 66th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, join the campaign for Palestinian justice & say no to Israeli apartheid, colonialism, & occupation. Support the Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel by boycotting Israeli products (barcode beginning 729); support the right of return for all Palestinian refugees, the end of the military occupation of the West Bank, & the end of the siege of Gaza; support the cultural boycott of Israel; demand “No military aid to Israel!”

(Photo of Nakba in 1948 from http://rehmat1.com/)

The betrayal of the Oslo Accords

For anyone holding out high hopes for the new detente between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas) & Hamas, we only need look at the monstrosity of the Oslo Accords brokered between the PLO & Israel. The Accords legitimized Israeli military occupation & divided the West Bank into three administrative zones labeled Areas A, B, & C, depending on the level of Israeli military control.

You can parse that jurisdiction until the cows come home but it all comes down to whether the West Bank is controlled directly by the Israeli military or indirectly using the Palestinian Authority (run by Abbas) as enforcers of Israeli apartheid.

Area C was designated for full Israeli military control which allows massive Zionist settlement expansion, restrictions on Palestinian building (including of residences), & Israeli exploitation of natural resources. Does this differ from outright colonialism in any discernible way?

There are dozens of refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, & Syria established when Zionist terrorist squads drove them from Palestine. Hundreds of thousands of people have been living in them since 1948 since they have no place else to go. Al-Aroub refugee camp near the West Bank city of Hebron is one of those camps where 13,000 Palestinians still live. Parts of the camp are considered within Area C. Construction permits for building or renovation of Palestinian homes are “virtually impossible” to obtain (according to the World Bank), demolition of Palestinian homes are accelerating, & Zionist settlers now outnumber Palestinian residents & occupy 62% of Area C. Israeli politicians are discussing abandoning the shell game of the Oslo Accords & outright annexing Area C.

This Palestinian man is sitting on the rubble of one of two homes in Al-Aroub bulldozed by the Israeli military on April 30th because Israeli officials claim they were built without the required permits. When angry Palestinians converged at the site to prevent the demolitions, Israeli soldiers used tear gas, grenades, & rubber bullets against them. According to Palestinian witnesses, the bulldozers also destroyed olive, grape, & fig trees in the camp & prevented ambulance crews & journalists from accessing the area.

Support Palestinian justice by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729), supporting the cultural boycott of Israel, & demanding “No military aid to Israel!”

(Photo by Ammar Awad/Reuters)

Defense case for Israeli conscientious objector

Uriel Ferera May 5 2014

This is the defense case of Uriel Ferera, a young Israeli man jailed & placed in solitary confinement for refusing to serve in the Israeli military because he opposed discrimination against Palestinians within Israel & the occupation of Palestinian lands.

Ferera is a harbinger, part of the advance guard among Israeli youth turning against the fortress of Zionist apartheid. Active solidarity with him is imperative. It serves first to protect him from worse punishment by the Israeli regime & secondly, to strengthen resolve among other Israelis who object to apartheid but are afraid to stand up because of punishment & ostracism. We should never underestimate how terrifying such commitment to justice can be; it proved hard enough for antiwar soldiers in the US Army whilst there was a massive antiwar movement & much more so in a militarized society like Israel with very weak antiwar opposition. Simple acts of solidarity show them they do not stand alone.

This link suggests several easy ways to extend support to Ferera. Please take a moment to send an email voicing your objections to his incarceration, putting the Israeli regime on alert that their conduct toward him is being watched, & expressing your support for this courageous, principled, & admirable young man.

(Photo is of Uriel Ferera from his FB wall)