by Maryam Abu Zahra (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 44, No. 9, Muharram, 1437)
The Zionists are doing what they have always done: kill Palestinians indiscriminately. Between October 1 and 24 (at the time of filing this report), heavily armed Israeli troops and illegal Zionist squatters (aka settlers), equally heavily-armed, have murdered at least 56 Palestinians, including unarmed protesters and bystanders. The hate-filled Zionists have also killed fellow Jews that look like Palestinians and even an Eritrean asylum seeker when he was mistaken for a Palestinian.
The Eritrean man identified as 29-year-old Haftom Zarhum was shot by a police officer who mistook him for an accomplice of the Palestinian attacker on October 18. The 21-year-old Palestinian Muhand Alukabi, a resident of Hura village in the Negev Desert, had attacked an occupation soldier at a bus station in Beersheba and grabbed his American-supplied M-16 rifle. He then opened fire wounding about 10 others at the bus stop. Alukabi was shot and killed on the spot while the Eritrean man was shot and wounded.
As Zarhum fell to the ground, the Zionist mob led by an occupation soldier started to beat him. The soldier kicked him in the head with his steel-toed boot while a Zionist “civilian” grabbed a bench and slammed it onto his head. The mob was shouting obscenities and kicking and stomping on the man who later died in hospital.
“The death of an asylum seeker at the hands of security guards and an angry mob is a tragic but foreseeable outgrowth of a climate in which some Israeli politicians encourage citizens to take the law into their own hands,” said Sari Bashi, Israel-Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch. “The Israeli authorities should investigate and prosecute those responsible for the attack. Israel faces acute threats to public safety, but vigilantism will only lead to more innocent people being harmed or killed.” The Zionist occupiers are going to do no such thing; they never have and it is unrealistic to expect them to do anything different now.
Anti-Palestinian racism is deliberately promoted. This has reached alarming proportions. Leading Rabbis have called them “poisoned cockroaches.” Government ministers have used equally racist language. If such language were used against the Jews, there would be worldwide protests — and rightly so — but officials in the “only democracy in the Middle East” get away literally with murder. Who said Nazism is dead? It is alive and well in the Zionist utopia where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has just given Adolf Hitler a clean bill of health accusing instead the Palestinian Mufti, Amin al-Hussaini of instigating Hitler to perpetrate the holocaust!
Racism borne of a mindset of superiority does not remain confined to one people. The poison spreads and other people are also targeted because they are seen as different from their own stock and belonging to a different tribe. Zionist tribalism has a long and gory history. Like the Palestinians — the original inhabitants of the land — African asylum seekers have also been targeted. They are seen as intruders on the land that the Zionists claim is exclusively theirs.
Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev, a member of Netanyahu’s fascist Likud party, has called African asylum seekers a “cancer in Israel’s body.” Described by Yossi Sarid as “Israel’s Uncultured Culture Minister” in his September 17, 2015 column in Ha‘aretz, what kind of culture is she promoting? Not surprisingly, people have taken it upon themselves to excise this “cancer” from the Zionist body.
To understand Palestinian frustration, one has to consider how the Zionists constantly brutalize and humiliate them. Their homes are raided in the middle of the night dragging out “suspects” and taking them for interrogation, detention or complete disappearance. Palestinian workers are subjected to unending humiliation at checkpoints and even in the few acres of arid land left for the Palestinians that the illegitmate Zionist squatters have not stolen, olive trees are uprooted and farmers beaten up.
The 500,000 illegitmate Zionist squatters on the West Bank consume 90% of the water while the 2.8 million Palestinians are left to make do with a mere 10%. The Zionists squatters do other disgusting things. They often flush their toilets onto Palestinian fields and neighborhoods creating an untreated septic field in an area where other human beings (Palestinians) are foced to live.
Thousands of Palestinians, among them hundreds of children and women, languish in Israeli torture chambers (aka jails). They are arrested under what is euphemistically called “administrative detention.” This “allows” the Zionist occupation army to hold any person for a period of six months without charge. The detention is extended every six months.
Some Palestinian political prisoners (their total number was 5,373 at the end of August 2015, according to the Israeli Human Rights Organization, B’Tselem), have been held for a decade or more without being charged with any crime. The Palestinian group, Defense of Child International (DCI) says that more than 8,000 Palestinian children have gone through the Israeli prison system. Each year, between 700–900 Palestinian children are arrested from the West Bank. Their only crime is throwing stones at Israeli military vehicles. Often, children are shot and killed. They do not have to be doing anything other than standing and watching when the trigger-happy Zionist thugs pump bullets into them.
Zionist brutality and the absence of hope for improvement in the future have led to increased frustration among the Palestinians. They have also lost all hope in the Palestinian Authority with 70% saying it is irrelevant to their plight and 53% considering it a burden on the Palestinians. Faced with such grim prospects, many Palestinians feel it is better to die a dignified death than live a life of constant humiliation. This was even acknowledged by a senior UN official in his report to the Security Council on October 16.
Taye-Brook Zerihoun, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told an emergency meeting of the Security Council that Israel’s long occupation of Palestinian territory and diminishing prospects for achieving a Palestinian state had transformed “long-simmering Palestinian anger into outright rage.” According to Zerihoun, this “stark reality” was compounded by increasingly dire economic conditions, including bleak employment prospects for Palestinian youths, and expanding Israeli settlement (read that, colonial) activities.
Less than a week later (October 22) another UN official issued a similarly stark warning. United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the Security Council that Israel-Palestine conflict has “once again entered a dangerous phase.” He warned that the latest eruption of violence, rising tensions at holy sites in Jerusalem, and the alarmingly vitriolic nature of public discourse in the region is rooted in the lack of hope on both sides that peace is possible and in the absence of a genuine political horizon.
Eliasson also confirmed that in the first three weeks of October (1–21), 47 Palestinians and seven Israelis had been killed (The Palestinian death toll has climbed to 56 as of October 24 while eight Israelis have been killed). More than 5,000 Palestinians and some 70 Israelis have been injured. The UN official blamed “the apparent heavy-handed approach by Israeli security services” for the escalation.
Despite such clear statements from senior UN officials, US President Barack Obama condemned Palestinian knife attacks but remained mum about Israeli brutality using American supplied weapons to shoot and kill Palestinians. Netanyahu has gone out of his way to insult Obama but the latter continues to grovel at his feet. American subservience knows no bounds.
For decades, the Zionists have humiliated and shot and killed Palestinians. The latter would love to get their hands on some M-16 rifles or be able to drive some Abrams tanks into Israeli homes to confront the Zionist tormentors but they have no such weapons. They have had to resort to kitchen knives because that is the only weapon available to them to try and shake off the horrific oppression and humiliation the Zionists have imposed on them.
In an interview with al-Jazeera television on October 21, Saeb Erakat, Secretary General in the US-Zionist installed Palestinian Authority (PA) lamented the absence of any Arabian army to aid the Palestinians. Erakat probably forgot that the Arabian armies and regimes are busy killing Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen. The Arabian potentates would like the Palestinians to quietly surrender to the Zionists. Is he not aware of what Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief said last year: the Arab regimes had made a “strategic decision not to fight Israel”? One is constrained to ask: when did the Arabian regimes ever fight Israel?
The Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas is made up of clowns and opportunists. They have been closely collaborating with the Zionists for decades in return for some handouts that they have pilfered. They are rotten to the core. The PA police and intelligence agency have provided information about fellow Palestinians to the Zionists. In 2006, when Hamas drove the PA operatives from Gaza and took over the intelligence ministry that was headed by Muhammad Dahlan, they discovered hundreds of files detailing close PA collaboration with the Zionists. The thousands of Palestinians languishing in Zionist torture chambers are largely the result of information provided by the PA.
We must also trace the latest trigger for Palestinian rage. It erupted soon after the Zionist regime restricted the entry of some Palestinian worshipers into al-Masjid al-Aqsa on August 26. At the same time, Zionist squatters were provided police protection to desecrate the holy site with their filthy boots. When Palestinians tried to prevent desecration of the site — al-Haram al-Sharif (the Sacred Sanctuary) — the Zionist occupation forces attacked them and even invaded the Masjid polluting the carpets with their filthy boots.
The Zionists have long eyed the noble sanctuary. They want to destroy it to build their mythical third temple. They allege, without providing a shred of evidence that it is built over the site where their second temple once stood. Suppose their claim is true; so what? It does not exist there anymore and it has not for more than 2,000 years. Nor did the present-day Palestinians nor their Muslim ancestors destroy the second temple. Why not take that issue up with the Romans (Europeans) who razed that temple? Under what right or authority do they make such a preposterous claim other than their rapacious appetite for stealing the Palestinians’ land?
Following the few random Palestinian attacks against the Zionists, mostly soldiers and policemen, the occupation regime has installed 14-foot high concrete barriers in East Jerusalem as well as set up new checkpoints. The West Bank already has a maze of checkpoints severely restricting Palestinian movement. Now East Jerusalem has been added to the list pointing to the Zionists’ nefarious agenda.
The occupation forces have been given authority to besiege Palestinian villages, impose curfews and restrict the movement of Palestinians that amount to collective punishment. Preemptive arrests have also been authorized by what is referred to as the “security cabinet.” The Zionist occupation forces were already indulging in many of these practices; now they will have legal cover as well.
If the Zionists think such measures will deter the Palestinians, they are mistaken. It was precisely these measures that drove them to pick up the stones and kitchen knives to try and shake off their oppressors. There is a limit to how much brutality a people can endure. Beyond a certain point, it becomes counterproductive. That point has already been reached in Palestine.
The Zionists are digging their own grave with such brutally oppressive tactics.