Palestine Update 611
Israel goes anti-liberal and anti-democratic
Israel wants to assert its overt racist intentions by handing over political leverage in the West Bank in the hands of the settlers. This spells political peril for the Palestinians. It is equally troubling for the secular liberals within Israel. There is tough opposition to the government’s designs even from the Israeli security establishment. They fear that if these moves lead to the collapse of the security arrangement with the PA, it could end up being a quandary for the Israeli regime in the long run. Anti-liberal and anti-democratic is a political gamble in Israel and the government’s moves has raised a red flag among them. It so resembles the very birth of Israel under conditions of ethnic cleansing. A new set of draconian regulations went into effect, severely restricting the ability of foreign nationals to enter or reside in the West Bank.
Among the many categories of people affected by the new restrictions, are Palestinian families, particularly those with foreign spouses or partners, and family members who live abroad and hold foreign passports. You can be a Jew and have one set of laws that are favorable to you. For an identical circumstance, an altogether different political principle applies to the Palestinian who must settle for lesser. Being in a relationship with a Palestinian automatically debars a foreigner from requesting or renewing a permit to work, study, and volunteer or teach in the West Bank. Foreign nationals in a relationship with Jewish Israelis can have it their way. The name of the system is apartheid.
Scores of settlers entered al-Mufaqarah a year ago, threw stones, injured a toddler and killed farm animals. Despite eyewitnesses and videos, only two of the attackers were indicted. Scores of settlers entered al-Mufaqarah a year ago, threw stones, injured a toddler and killed farm animals.
In a brazen move that shuns any kind of independent political positioning, Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking at the J Street national conference firmly parted ways with J Street. America’s “security assistance to Israel,” Blinken declared, “is sacrosanct….at “at the United Nations, we have consistently and vigorously pushed back against unjust anti-Israel bias.” The status quo and that is no surprise.
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On behalf of MLN Palestine Updates
Why the ‘second Nakba’ government wants to remake the Israeli state
The far right’s crusade on secular liberalism is provoking mass opposition in Israel, but it cannot be separated from the state’s anti-Palestinian mission.
“While the coalition’s plans cover various issues in Israeli political life, they can be summarized into two main themes: first, handing over all “Palestinian affairs” on both sides of the Green Line to the racist settler right, while promoting annexation and formalized apartheid; and second, enforcing an unabashedly anti-liberal vision of Judaism on the Israeli public while defanging Israel’s already-enfeebled democratic institutions, especially the judiciary…These moves have not only been met with strong responses from the radical left and human rights groups, but also from members of the Israeli security establishment, who fear this new ownership could change the occupation’s status quo and lead to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority as Israel’s security subcontractor. Add to that the moves to implement anti-liberal and anti-democratic measures, and you see large parts of the secular-liberal public, and even some Likud supporters, joining the fray. These two strains of resistance are now merging to form something the likes we have not seen in decades…This moment, dangerous as it is, has roots that go far deeper than this relatively new crop of fundamentalists. A state that was born out of ethnic cleansing in 1948 and that has held millions of people under military rule for over half a century cannot be considered a democracy. And yet, it is imperative to understand precisely why the right has expedited its anti-liberal and anti-democratic crusade now.”
Read more in 972 Mag
Love under Occupation
“In October 2022, a new set of draconian regulations went into effect, severely restricting the ability of foreign nationals to enter or reside in the West Bank. Among the many categories of people affected by the new restrictions, are Palestinian families, particularly those with foreign spouses or partners, and family members who live abroad and hold foreign passports. Under the new discriminatory restrictions, foreigners romantically involved with Palestinians must declare their relationship to the occupying Israeli government as part of their permit or permit renewal application to visit or stay in the West Bank. Being in a relationship with a Palestinian automatically disqualifies the foreigner from requesting or renewing a permit to work, study, volunteer or teach in the West Bank. The same laws do not apply to foreign nationals who are in a relationship with Jewish Israelis.”
Expulsion of Palestinian Jerusalemite tests the waters for future deportations
Legal experts fear Israel’s deportation of Salah Hammouri could set a precedent for similar moves against Palestinians holding foreign citizenship.
“Last Friday, an emergency press conference was held in East Jerusalem in an attempt to prevent his deportation, attended by his parents, Attorney Tsemel, and Munir Nuseibeh, an expert in international law from Al-Quds University, who emphasized at the event that Hammouri’s deportation would constitute a war crime. The fear, according to the speakers, is that the attempt to deport Hammouri will be used by Israel as a test case to later deport more Palestinians who hold additional citizenships on grounds of “disloyalty.”…Since the announcement that Israel intends to deport him, several human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty, have called on the French government and President Macron to prevent the move. A campaign against his deportation has also gained momentum online under the hashtag #JusticeforSalah. The UN Special Rapporteurs on the occupied territories and on counter-terrorism have also called on France and the international community to take concrete actions to stop the expulsion.”
Read full report in 972 Mag
Netanyahu to give ultranationalist politician authority over policy in occupied West Bank
“The new coalition agreement divides for the first time the authorities of the defense minister by moving all the authorities in the West Bank that are not directly connected to military operations over to Smotrich as the “minister in the ministry of defense.” Smotrich will be in charge of COGAT, including its civilian administration — a unit that manages all the issues relevant to the expansion of settlements and the daily lives of Palestinians and Israeli settlers. This will give Smotrich authority and power over building permits in the settlements, planning and zoning, determining the status of land in parts of the West Bank, demolitions of Palestinian homes and issues like water supply and infrastructure. It will also give Smotrich authority over the security and civilian coordination with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and with the authorities in Gaza. Smotrich supports abolishing the Palestinian Authority, and his appointment could lead the Palestinians to halt security coordination. The PA has not publicly commented on the coalition agreement.”
Read more in Axios
Witnesses Weren’t Questioned, Cases Were Closed: A Year After the Attack, Palestinian Villagers Still Seek Justice
Scores of settlers entered al-Mufaqarah a year ago, threw stones, injured a toddler and killed farm animals ■ Despite eyewitnesses and videos, only two of the attackers were indicted
“Last year’s attack on al-Mufaqarah, a Palestinian village near Hebron, elicited a rare public response…In al-Mufaqarah, the settlers threw stones, injured a three-year-old in the head causing moderate injuries, attacked farm animals, broke windows and damaged cars. Shortly afterward, the head of the Israel Defense Forces Central Command, Yehuda Fuchs, came to the village to meet with the residents, and vowed to ensure their safety. Israel is committed to bringing the rioters to justice, Fuchs told them. A year later, the residents of al-Mufaqarah have come to realize that there’s not much left of Fuchs’ promise. Scores of settlers joined in the rioting, but the State Prosecutor has filed indictments against only two, both of them minors who deny they took part in the incident. Only one of them has been indicted for attempted assault on several Palestinians as well as for disturbing the peace and vandalizing vehicles. This is in spite of the evidence of multiple participants in the attack, including Israeli and Palestinian eyewitnesses to the attack as well as videos…The investigation includes statements from just two Palestinians, even though scores of villagers were there at the time of the rioting and could provide further evidence. The lawyer representing the residents has handed over to the police and the Defense Ministry a list of the people whose property was vandalized, but none of them have been called to provide testimony.” For the Biden Administration, There Are No Red Lines On IsraelAt the J Street Conference this past weekend, Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a speech fit for AIPAC
“When J Street announced that Secretary of State Antony Blinken was speaking at its national conference, it raised the possibility that the Biden administration had finally had enough…That hope has now been dashed. In his speech, Blinken didn’t part ways with Benjamin Netanyahu, Bezalel Smotrich, and Itamar Ben-Gvir. He parted ways with J Street…America’s “security assistance to Israel,” Blinken declared, “is sacrosanct.” He further boasted that “at the United Nations, we have consistently and vigorously pushed back against unjust anti-Israel bias.”…No one familiar with Israel’s history—which involved mass expulsions in 1948 and 1967, and smaller expulsions ever since—can be sure that, if a full-scale war with the Palestinians erupted again, Smotrich and Ben-Gvir would not put their aspirations into practice. For years, polls have shown that large-scale ethnic cleaning enjoys significant popular support…If such horrors transpired, would Blinken stop treating US aid and diplomatic protection as “sacrosanct”? It would be nice to think so. But the record doesn’t warrant such a view. It suggests that, when it comes to Israel, the Biden administration has no red lines, none at all.”
Read more in Jewish Currents