By Dr. Elias Akleh
01 December, 2014
The slow simmering Palestinian/Israel tension have been lately escalated to a boiling level at many fronts; social, political and religious. This tension has led to many violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli armed security forces, and between Palestinians and armed Israeli mobs. The epicenter of these violent confrontations is Al-Quds/Jerusalem and radiates to all the major Palestinian towns in the West Bank, and to all the 1948 occupied Palestinian towns. These confrontations would ignite a Palestinian Intifada (uprising) that would be different in nature and intensity than the previous Intifadas; 6 years long first Intifada (1978) and the 5 years long second Intifada (2000) known as Al-Aqsa Intifada
Israelis have taken the opportunity of the world’s attention being diverted away from them and focused on the war against ISIS (Israeli Secret Intelligence Services) terrorists in Syria and Iraq, in order to intensify their oppression of Palestinians, their demolition and occupation of private Palestinian homes, their confiscation of large areas of Palestinian land, the expansion of their illegal colonies (settlements), and lastly, which is more insulting and inciting to Palestinian anger, desecrating and attempting to control the Islamic Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.
Zionist leaders know very well that in order to accomplish their Zionist project they have to evict the Palestinians out of the land. They use supremacist religious ideology to brainwash and to manipulate naïve Jews to do this dirty job. Thus, Judaism has become the driving force for Zionism. Palestinian forced eviction and ethnic cleansing are the operating mode of Zionism as declared openly by most of their political leaders. Yitzhak Shamir, a former Israeli Prime Minister stated:
“The settlement of the land of Israel is the essence of Zionism. Without settlements, we will not fulfil Zionism. It is that simple” (Maariv, February 21st 1997 edition).
Ariel Sharon, another former Israeli Prime Minister, went even further when he was still a Foreign Minister by stating the following:
“It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to (Israeli) public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonization, or Jewish state without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands” (Agence France Presse November 15th 1998)
Religion is an effective way politicians use to control and manipulate people. Through their pro-militaristic educational system, administered by military personnel, intertwined with their supremacist religious ideologies of Jews as god’s chosen people while the rest of humans are merely animal souls born in human bodies only to serve the Jews, and that Palestine is their god’s promised land, the Israeli young generations have been indoctrinated into and brainwashed to become brutally militaristic, extremely racist, and egotistically religiously supremacist.
The Yeshiva system (Jewish religious schools) starting with elementary children through after marriage (from ketana to gedola to kollel Yeshivas) in occupied Palestine (Israel) are the centre of supremacist teachings and the producers, the promoters, and the meeting centers for young Israeli vigilante gangs, who descend from their colonies (settlements) into Palestinian villages to harass and assault Palestinian residents and farmers, burn their crops, kill their farm animals, vandalize their schools and assault students, torch their mosques, vandalize their churches, kidnap their children and amuse themselves by torturing and burning them to death. All these and a lot more are done under the watchful eyes and the protection of Israeli soldiers. These young Israeli vigilante gangs have been daily attacking Palestinians even in 1948 occupied Palestinian towns. Such attacks include stabbing, beating, lynching, kidnapping and torturing and burning to death, vehicular hit and run, property vandalism, and even police shooting dead Palestinians for the mere reason of being a Palestinian; a goyim; non-Jew.
Al-Quds/Jerusalem is the epicentre of the Arab/Israeli conflict. The Israelis want to claim the city as their own Jewish-only eternal religious and political capital. They have enforced all kinds of oppressive laws and measures aimed at evicting Palestinians out of the city. Between 1967 and 2013 the Israeli government had revoked the residency status of more than 14,309 Palestinian families of Al-Quds/Jerusalem under dubious justifications that apply only to Palestinians. The Israeli government has been confiscating large areas of Palestinian lands around the city, and have been building their own satellite colonies for the long run of claiming them as Jerusalem suburbs in order to claim a Jewish majority in the city.
Israeli extremists, including what is called Temple Mount Faithful, are encouraged to harass and terrorize Palestinian Jerusalemites in an attempt to force them out of the city. Large scores of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem suburbs, such as Silwan and Jabal Al-Moukaber, had been forcefully occupied by these extremists after assaulting and evicting their Palestinian owners. Muslim Palestinian prayers below the age of 50 are denied entry to the Old City and cannot pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque. They end up praying in the streets at the closest point, usually a check point, they can get to Al-Quds/Jerusalem. Orthodox Jewish religious extremists have been, for many years, marching towards the Al-Aqsa Compound calling for the destruction of the Mosque and the erection of their alleged temple.
It is worth noting that for the last 47 years, since Israel occupied the West Bank, Israeli archeological teams had been digging beneath and around Al-Aqsa Compound looking for evidence to prove the existence of their alleged Solomon Temple on the Compound. None have been found. The only discovered artifacts have been Romans and Islamic.
The violence was ignited by the assassination attempt of religiously extremist Yehuda Glick, an American born Rabbi who is the leader of religious HaLiba; a coalition of religiously extremist groups calling for the rebuilding of the Temple on the Al-Aqsa Compound. This group had in many occasions attempted forced entry to the Compound and had clashed with the Muslim watch-guards and prayers. Violent clashed between Muslim prayers and armed Israeli security forces erupted, where Israeli forces attacked prayers in the Compound with tear gas and stun grenades, and forcefully evacuated Muslim prayers from the Compound while allowing Israeli extremist settlers entry to perform their dancing rituals on the Compound.
Some Israeli politicians took this opportunity to score electoral political points. In three consecutive days three Knesset Members; Netanyahu’s sole competitor Moshe Feiglin, with mayor Nir Barkat, Miriam “Miri” Regev, and Chuli Rafeili, forced their way through Al-Aqsa Compound accompanied with scores of extremist settlers , under the protection of heavily armed Israeli security forces. At the same time Israel’s Public Security Minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, threatened to close Al-Aqsa Compound completely if Jews cannot visit the Compound.
It seemed that these politicians had forgotten that the 5 years long Al-Aqsa Intifada started as a response to Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Compound under heavy police protection. Under fear of such Intifada, and under pressure from Jordan, the official custodian of the Al-Aqsa Compound, and from international community, Netanyahu stated that he will keep the status quo of the Compound as it was. Yet, despite his statement, extremist settlers are still routinely force their way through the Compound.
While Palestinians have been under brutal occupation for the last 66 years, most of the Arab regimes and the international community have provided only lip service for their aid. Others had supported Israeli terror while calling Palestinians terrorists. Initially Arab regimes seemed to oppose Israeli occupation, later on some of them turned out to become Israeli collaborators and anti-Palestinians. Jordan and Kuwait are helpless and weak militarily. Saudi Arabia is covertly agreeable and exerting pressure on the rest of Arab states to stay silent. Qatar is virtually an American occupied military base and is a full economic and political partner to Israel. Egypt has been a partner to Israel since Sadat. Its president, el-Sisi, has turned out to become a big disappointment to his people and to the rest of the Arabs. He continued his predecessor’s; Mubarak, siege against Gaza Strip in full partnership with Israel. He even went further by demolishing the houses on the Rafah Egyptian side to create a 5km long buffer zone, and virtually had declared Hamas as a terrorist group because of its remote association with the Muslim Brotherhood. Arab states that had supported Palestinian cause (Saddam’s Iraq), and those that are still supporting Palestinians (Syria and part of Lebanon – Hezbollah) are busy defending their territories against terrorist groups, such as Al-Nusra and ISIS, that had been created, armed, and financed by some Arab states such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia in partnership with Israel and USA.
One should not be surprised by these Arab regimes, who consider Palestinians a foreign nation and not Arabs, when the Palestinian president himself, and his Palestinian Authority, who are supposed to protect and Palestinians, are themselves partners with Israeli security to protect Israelis, and could not raise a finger to protect one single Palestinian citizen. On the contrary the Palestinian security forces arrest Palestinian freedom fighters, and suppress any form if resistance or insurrection. When Palestinian residents of the occupied West Bank towns, especially in Al-Khalil/Hebron attempted to travel to Al-Quds/Jerusalem to protest Israeli settlers’ desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Palestinian security forces stood in their way.
After 20 years of futile peace negotiations with Israel the PA still follow this path knowing very well that it will lead to nothing. Abbas keeps raising his empty threats of going to UNSC to enforce its many resolutions against Israeli occupation, and to go to International Criminal Court against Israel, but does not follow threats with actions. He is afraid of being assassinated like Arafat, and prefers to keep the illusion of authority and his hefty American/Israeli paid salary plus the millions in perks that he passes on to his son to buy real estate properties in Amman, Jordan.
The Arab League had decided in its latest meeting, Saturday 11/29, to authorize Jordan; a UN member, to present a draft resolution to the UNSC calling for the implementation of UN Resolution 242 of 1967 for Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. However the Arab League did not decide on a time for the delivery of such draft.
The Western leaders are so hypocritical when it comes to the Palestinian cause. They talk about their commitment to a two-state solution but are so complicit, and many are supportive, to the on-going Israeli occupation and gradual ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. They justify occupying Israel’s terror as self-defense while denying the occupied Palestinians the same right. Many of them go further than that by providing Israel with billions of dollars and with the latest devastating military armaments. Although some claimed they would support and recognize a Palestinian state yet when the UN, on Saturday 11/29, drafted 6 resolutions against Israel demanding its withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and Syrian Golan Heights according to Resolution 497 of 1981, 57 of these European countries abstained from voting.
Throughout 66 years of occupation, expulsion, mass imprisonment and torture, brutal terror attacks, destruction of homes and properties, theft of their land and livelihood, extremist settlers’ terror attacks, all types of persecution, and international neglect, the Palestinians have been patient and steadfast in their mostly peaceful resistance against Israeli occupation. They had sacrificed a lot in lives and property; loss of family members and loss of 87% of their homeland, in order to live in peace. They offered Israel peace treaties many times. They entered into 20 years of peace negotiations. Yet Israel, understanding only the language of brutal force, kept on stealing more Palestinian land and kept on oppressing Palestinians.
Nature’s laws proved that pressure produces violent explosions, and that for every action there is a reaction. Israelis think that they could conquer and demolish Palestinian resistance spirit through their brutal terror. They thought old Palestinians would die and the young would not remember. Palestinians proved them wrong. Palestinian young cherish the memory of the old. Palestinian resisting spirit is still alive and stronger. Just observe how the unarmed Palestinian young generations courageously face the heavily armed Israeli forces in the streets.
Palestinian patience has run out. They understand now that they cannot depend external help. Their fate is in their hands. The Israeli pressure has produced an explosion. Israeli settlers’ attacks on Palestinian villages are producing Palestinian attacks on Israeli settlers. Israeli vehicular hit and run is producing Palestinian similar hit and run. Israeli attacks on Palestinian Christian and Muslim holy places are producing Palestinian attacks on Synagogues.
Israelis have sewn only terror in Palestine, and terror they will definitely reap.
Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab writer from a Palestinian descent, born in the town of Beit-Jala. His family was first evicted from Haifa after the “Nakba” of 1948 war during the first Zionist occupation of part of Palestine, then from Beitj-Jala after the “Nakseh” of 1967 war when Zionist Israeli military expansion occupied the rest of all Palestine. He is living now in exile in the US and publish articles on the web.