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Attack on Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem
Jan 10,2017 - Last updated at Jan 10,2017
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s instant reaction to the Palestinian attack last Sunday on Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem was to attribute the attack to a Daesh terrorist, much like what had happened earlier in Nice and Berlin.
While the judgment was indeed hasty and made in the absence of any input from the attacker, who was shot dead on the spot, or any statement by Daesh, claiming responsibility, Netanyahu’s verdict could prove to be correct, but will require an investigation, which will take some time.
Judging from past cases, Daesh does claim responsibility for acts it did not commit, as that aids its propaganda of horror.
Any such claim may play well for Netanyahu, whose verdict is also meant to serve his own distracting propaganda tactics.
The Israeli government is traditionally keen on interpreting any Palestinian violence, most recently the “knives uprising”, as religiously motivated, Daesh-style acts of terror, anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic and hate motivated.
The idea is to distance any suggestion that Palestinian violence is a natural response to a harsh and ruthless occupation that has been governing the lives of no less than 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza for the last 50 years.
Even the term “occupation” may be too mild to define the situation in Palestine.
What has happened in Palestine since the Catastrophe of 1948 is not an occupation; it has been a scheme to replace the rightful owners of the land, the Palestinians, with Jewish settlers, in fulfilment of the Zionist plan to make of Palestine, “the land without a people”, a national home for Jews.
Seventy-eight per cent of the land of Palestine was occupied, and almost ethnically cleansed of its original Arab inhabitants by Jewish forces in the war of 1947-1948.
The remaining Palestinian lands, the so-called West Bank with East Jerusalem and Gaza, were occupied in June 1967 and were instantly subjected to a massive scheme of colonisation, going on up to this very hour.
That involved constant removal of Palestinians from their homes, private land confiscation, displacement of entire Palestinian communities, house demolitions, massive building of Jewish settlements all over the West Bank and Jerusalem, and unprecedented suppression of any Palestinian protest in response, even if purely peaceful.
This scheme continues unabated, no less than 7,000 Palestinians are in Israeli jails, crippling measures render Palestinian lives deplorable, Palestinian lands continue to be confiscated for building more settlements and there is no sign that the occupation will ever end, yet the occupied Palestinians are not expected to rise for their rights and freedom.
Any such move is widely condemned as an act of terror — a religion-inspired hate crime targeting Jews just because they are Jews, not oppressors or occupiers — or the result of incitement in Palestinian schools and communities for which the Palestinian Authority is routinely blamed.
In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the New York Twin Towers and other American targets, the US declared war on terror.
That war was supported worldwide as being an inevitable international effort to face the impending threat
The Israeli prime minister at the time, Ariel Sharon, hastily added “Palestinian terror” to the list of the “war on terror” targets. He likened Osama Ben Laden to Yasser Arafat, saying that while the Americans have the former, the Israelis have the latter.
This was yet another attempt to dismiss and reduce any legitimate Palestinian quest for emancipation from endless oppressive foreign minority rule and the rightful Palestinian demand for justice, in accordance with international law, as senseless terror akin to the ruthless and condemnable terror attacks of September 11.
Distraction and distortion may serve a short-term purpose, buying the occupiers more time, but no amount of delaying or deception will make historic disputes such as the Palestinians’ just fade away.
For the last century, Palestine, as a result of the Zionist invasion, has been a primary source of instability, endless conflict and perpetual violence well beyond the region’s perimeter.
Calling it terror, hate criminology, religious fanaticism or anti-Semitism may help disguise the bitter reality for some time, but not forever.
On the contrary, deception delays implementing the right course of action and prolongs the agony, allowing the problems to escalate and to spread faster.
No doubt, the Jerusalem attack will receive worldwide condemnation and Israel will receive many messages of support and consolation, perhaps even from the PA.
Violence and its tragic consequences should never be rejoiced over.
Violence, even when justified, is not a virtue and that applies to all wars, even when endorsed by UN resolutions.
And yet, as history has been teaching us, no amount of condemnation, whether in the past or in the present, has helped reduce violence and end devastating conflicts.
In fact, deadly conflicts are becoming more vicious and steadily on the rise.
UN-approved wars are a shameful testimony to the organisation’s failure to implement its own Charter to resolve international conflicts by peaceful means.
The question of Palestine is a striking example.
Israel may continue to deny the reality of the occupation and it may find supporters, but occupation means violence and death.
Israel’s relentless and reckless endeavour to conduct a violence-free occupation did not work in the past and is not going to work ever.
The Jerusalem attack is just another reminder that the Palestinians are not to submit to eternal humiliation, no matter the price, and Israel therefore has to make a choice: either peace or occupation and its consequences.
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