by Yusuf Dhia-Allah (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 53, No. 9, Rabi' al-Thani, 1445)
Hysterical denunciations of Hamas by western politicians standing atop every dung heap and amplified by the racist media are aimed at deflecting attention from ongoing zionist crimes against the hapless Palestinians. Much to the chagrin of the western crusaders, their masses are not buying into this canard. Many regimes have even imposed ban on pro-Palestine rallies.
In France, Belgium and Germany, pro-Palestinian rallies have been banned. In Britain, the Palestinian flag cannot be raised in rallies. The masses in all these countries have defied such bans. The massive rallies in support of Palestine held in every major city in Europe and North America provide ample proof of the failure of western propaganda and the racist policies of the regimes.
Nor is this a conflict between Israel and Hamas as portrayed by western politicians and the media. The zionist war criminals are waging a genocidal war against all Palestinians, whether in Gaza, the West Bank or Al Quds/Jerusalem. Several Israeli officials have stated quite openly that there are “no innocent civilians in Gaza.” They intend to kill as many Palestinians as they can and ethnically cleanse the rest.
Presumably, the 3,400 children the zionists have murdered since October 7 are all Hamas fighters. If they are not, they will be when they grow up. They will join Hamas’s Al Qassam Brigades, according to the zionists’ twisted logic. So, they have to be eliminated now by launching pre-emptive strikes against them.
There are few takers for the zionists’ racist propaganda apart from the echo chamber in which western politicians and the media talking heads reside. The overwhelming majority of people in the world in both the global south and the north, including many Jewish people, are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and see them as victims. No amount of anti-Palestinian or anti-Hamas propaganda has been able to convince them otherwise.
Some fundamental points need to be clarified at the outset to get past the vile anti-Palestinian propaganda. The latest crisis did not start on October 7. Zionist crimes against the Palestinians date back to 1947 or even earlier. There are also more recent developments that have led to the current crisis.
The passing of the controversial nation state law in July 2018, which defines Israel as a ‘Jewish state’, immediately turned all non-Jews, especially Palestinians into second class citizens. The alarming rise in zionist extremism was the direct result. Targeting and killing Palestinians has been normalized.
Together with the Palestinians’ March of Return launched in March 2018 in Gaza, zionist crimes against Palestinians have escalated. Israeli snipers as well as the heavily-armed settlers (illegal squatters on Palestinian lands) have intensified their attacks.
Palestinian youth are murdered in cold blood. It matters not whether they live in Gaza, the West Bank or al-Quds/Jerusalem. They are all targeted. The zionists are equal opportunity oppressors and killers. Last year, some 266 Palestinians were murdered, mostly in the West Bank.
There were 5,200 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails before October 7. These included 170 children. The number of Palestinian prisoners has now risen to more than 10,000. The additional prisoners include 4,000 Palestinian workers from Gaza who are stuck inside Israel. The colonial settler regime also kidnapped another 1530 Palestinians by October 27 from the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Among them are children and women. There are also 1,290 Palestinians held under what is euphemistically called “administrative detention”. Under this lawless law, Palestinians are held for a period of six months without charge or trial. A military court merely extends their detention after the six-month period.
Some Palestinians have been held for 43 years. They suffer torture, deprivation of food and water and medication. Since 1967, 187 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons.
While the zionists and their western drum-beaters assert the struggle is only between Israel and Hamas, it is not. After all, Hamas is not present in the West Bank. So, why are the zionists killing Palestinian youth there? Palestinian workers and women have to face constant humiliation at the ubiquitous checkpoints that litter the illegally occupied West Bank.
Palestinian residents of Shaikh Jarrah in the Salwan district of Al-Quds/Jerusalem have been forcibly evicted from their homes. Zionist squatters have occupied these homes with Palestinian families forced to live in the streets. Squatters’ attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque have escalated and become more frequent. Worshippers are beaten up, tear gassed and otherwise humiliated. Despite repeated warnings from Hamas officials, the zionists paid no heed.
Palestinian farms are destroyed. Poison chemicals are sprayed on them wiping out crops. Between 2014 and 2018, Israeli pesticides have damaged 14,000 dunams (3,459 acres) of agricultural land in tiny Gaza. Olive trees in the West Bank are uprooted and if the farmers try to resist, the zionist thugs shoot and kill them.
Even school children are not spared. Scores have been shot dead while walking to school. Human Rights Watch has documented the alarming rise in Palestinian children being killed without any accountability for the perpetrators. They are not safe even in their homes as was shown by the case of 15-year-old Jana who had gone to collect her cat from her roof.
The zionists have also destroyed a number of schools in the West Bank. Were these schools run by Hamas?
There has been a steady rise in zionist extremism leading to gratuitous violence against and murder of Palestinians. In 2016, a study conducted by Dr. Noa Lavi found Israeli youth to be “the most right-wing compared to countries in Western Europe.” Given the level of anti-Muslim hatred in Europe, it provides some understanding of how lethal Jewish extremism has become in Israel.
Another survey in 2018 by Israeli Democracy Institute found that “approximately 64 percent of Israeli Jews aged 18-34 identify as right-wing, compared to 47 percent of those 35 and older.” Some zionists believe “killing Arabs is a religious duty.”
Not surprisingly, Jewish extremist groups like Lehava, Ateret Cohanim, Yad L’achim, and others rampage through Jerusalem issuing blood-curdling threats: “Your village should be burnt down” and “Death to the Arabs.” They are sheltered from all accountability for their violent crimes. Often, the police join in such attacks using “stun grenades, tear gas and water cannons” against Palestinians. Even filthy sewage water is sprayed at them inside the Aqsa Compound.
Zionist extremism needs no encouragement but the factors behind its virulent growth must be identified. Based on the myth that the land of Palestine was promised to them by God, territorial expansion to grab all of historical Palestine is their fundamental goal. This automatically means targeting Palestinians who refuse to vacate their lands.
The land grab policy operates in tandem with the demolition of Palestinian homes. They are destroyed under the spurious pretext that they previously belonged to the zionists, or they do not have permits. Such permits are never granted to Palestinians by the racist zionist occupiers.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs documented 953 homes demolished in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2022. This resulted in the displacement of 1031 people, the highest since 2016. This surpassed the 1,000 thresh hold for the third year in a row.
With land grab comes the question of security. The illegal squatters know that the original owners will come back to reclaim their properties, hence the need for ‘protection’. This entails more oppressive measures to crush Palestinian resistance.
This is precisely what the zionists have been doing. There is a long list of such war criminals. Benjamin Netanyahu (facing criminal charges), the fascist Avigdor Lieberman (demanding to chop the heads of Palestinians), Naftali Bennet (“I have killed a lot of Arabs, there is no problem with that”), Ayelet Shaked (“Palestinian children are little snakes; their mothers should also be killed”; see also here), Itamar Ben Gvir (wipe out the Palestinian village of Huwara) and Bezalel Smotrich (“No such things as Palestinians”) are all part of murderous gang.
When they refer to frequent attacks on Gaza as “mowing the grass”, why does it surprise anyone that Palestinians living in the open-air prison in Gaza refuse to be mowed?