by Ayman Ahmed (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 50, No. 2, Sha'ban, 1442)
When politicians in the West proclaim that they share many values with Israel, they become complicit in Zionist crimes. This is especially true of the US where politicians of all stripes declare from every soap box their allegiance to Israel. They condemn their own rulers and even challenge government policy but perish the thought if they would whisper even mild criticism of Israel.
Other Western regimes whether in Canada, Britain, France or any other European country, are little better. The refrain of ‘shared values with Israel’ is heard frequently. This statement is true in many ways although what the politicians mean is quite different. For them, Israel is a “democracy” like theirs. Even superficial reflection would show that this is a profoundly racist statement.
Israel’s democracy is confined only to the Jewish people, as B’Tselem’s January 12, 2021 report revealed. Titled “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean” the Israeli human rights organization did not mince words and categorically denounced Israel as “an apartheid state”.
Are Western politicians unaware of B’Tselem’s report? Take the other development last month when the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda announced that she was launching an investigation into Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians. Immediately, a chorus of condemnations followed. The line of argument was not that Israel had not committed such crimes. Instead, they argued—quite hypocritically—that the ICC had no authority to carry out such an investigation.
A three-member bench of the ICC declared on February 5 that the ICC had full legal authority to investigate Israeli crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The panel refrained from giving an opinion on the question of boundaries.
So, why are Western politicians so quick to protect Israel and what is it that they really share with this racist entity? Like most Western countries—the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc.—Israel is a colonial settler entity. This also applies to Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain etc. because they too had embarked on colonial adventures occupying other peoples’ lands in Asia and Africa.
While most colonial projects were launched to plunder other peoples’ resources, some lands were physically occupied. North America, Australia and New Zealand fall under this category. Not surprisingly, the indigenous populations were pushed from their lands and decimated through successive genocides. This is what the Zionists have been doing in Palestine since Israel’s illegal creation in 1948. The ground for this diabolical plot was laid as far back as November 1917 through the infamous Balfour Declaration.
That the Zionists have failed in their quest to exterminate Palestinians is not for lack of trying. Killings, ethnic cleansing, home demolitions and increasing attacks by the heavily-armed Israeli troops and squatters (euphemistically called settlers) have continued unabated.
These have been well documented by human rights organizations. The latest was Al Haq, the Palestinian human rights organization, whose 2020 field report on human rights violations in Palestine was released on March 2. In the midst of the pandemic, both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch decried Israel’s denial of vaccines to the Palestinians. Amnesty called it “Israel’s institutionalized discrimination”. Meanwhile, heavily-armed Israeli soldiers and settlers have escalated attacks against Palestinians.
Such attacks are part of a broader Israeli policy to crush Palestinian resistance to occupation and home demolitions with the clear aim of driving them out of the land, especially in the eastern part of Al Quds (East Jerusalem).
Al Haq’s report drew attention to the fact that in 2020 while Palestinians were busy combating the deadly coronavirus, Israel “seized the opportunity to advance its settler project and intensify repressive measures against Palestinians in all their places of residence.”
These included massive home demolitions, land confiscation, settlement expansion, and the violation of freedom of movement and the right to health, among other things.
Such measures have gone hand-in-hand with attacks on and arrest of thousands of Palestinian children, deliberate flooding of Palestinian farms destroying crops, destruction of trees (Israel has uprooted 800,000 olive trees in the West Bank since the 1967 occupation) as well as the Zionist settlers’ inhumane practice of flooding Palestinian lands with raw sewage (see here, here and here).
Five Palestinian children were arrested on March 11, 2021 for doing nothing more than picking up vegetables. In the Zionist state that pro-Israeli groups never tire of telling us is the “only democracy in the Middle East”, even picking up vegetables is a crime!
The intent is clear: to make life so miserable for Palestinians that they are forced to leave. The demolition of homes and structures—shelters and businesses being essential for survival—escalated alarmingly in 2020.
The number of Palestinian structures, both public and private, destroyed in the midst of the pandemic in 2020, doubled from the average number of structures destroyed on an annual basis over the past 10 years. Al Haq recorded 535 Palestinian private and public structures demolished in 2020. The average rate of demolition over the past 10 years (2010-2019) was 325 structures.
Of the 535 structures destroyed last year, 248 were homes (46%), the vast majority of which (242) were demolished under the pretext of lacking Israeli-issued building permits, which are notoriously difficult to obtain.
Home demolitions in 2020 resulted in the displacement of 941 persons, of which 462 are women and girls, 442 are children, 267 are school students, and 124 are Palestinian refugees already displaced from their original homes, according to Al-Haq’s report.
Often, demolitions are carried out without allowing home owners to collect their belongings before the big machines start their destructive spree. Last year, 69 homes were demolished without the home owners given an opportunity to evacuate their belongings.
Additionally, some affected families are “violently harassed, attacked, or physically assaulted” during the demolition. Today, 500,000 Palestinian structures located inside the boundaries of the Green Line are still under threat of demolition.
Both the UN and the European Union have denounced such demolitions and the illegal expansion of Zionist settlements but Israel is undeterred. Even some US lawmakers mustered enough courage to denounce Israel’s illegal policy but to no avail.
The illegal Zionist entity will only listen if it is subjected to punitive sanctions.