Israel and America Are in the Wrong No Matter Which Way One Slices It

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If one views the Israel-Palestine situation through the lens of occupation, then Israel is in extreme violation of international law for transferring its own population into occupied territory and for extreme human rights abuses against civilians. In this scenario, the US should not grant Israel impunity and should not restrict efforts by the UN and international community to punish Israel for its actions.

If one views the Israel-Palestine situation through the lens of annexation, then Palestinians have as much right to use self-defence as Kuwait during Iraq’s attempted annexation of the region. Like Kuwait, Palestine does not have sufficient means to defend itself. In the situation of annexation, the international community should be giving Palestinians the same level of (ostensible) moral support they afforded to Kuwait.

If one views the Israel-Palestine situation through the lens of apartheid, then the international community should apply the same pressures to Israel that they applied to South Africa.

In all three situations, the US should (minimally) withdraw the impunity it affords Israel, stop restricting efforts by the UN and international community to hold Israel responsible for its actions, and stop funding Israel.

Noam Chomsky on specific short-term objectives to focus on in a scenario that popular support for Palestinians finally forces a shift in US foreign policy on the issue:

In these and other areas there are important tasks of education and organization that have to be addressed seriously if US policies are to be shifted. They should lead to actions focusing on specific short-term objectives: ending the savage and criminal siege of Gaza; dismantling the illegal “Separation Wall,” by now a de facto annexation wall; withdrawing the IDF from the illegally annexed Golan Heights and from the West Bank (including illegally annexed “Greater Jerusalem”), which would, presumably, be followed by departure of most of settlers, all of whom, including those in East and expanded Jerusalem, have been transferred (and heavily subsidized) illegally, as Israel recognized as far back as 1967; and of course ending all Israeli construction and other actions in the occupied territories. Popular movements in the US should work to end any US participation in these criminal activities, which would, effectively, end them. That can be done, but only if a level of general understanding is reached that far surpasses what exists today.

via Israel’s War against Palestine — Now What?

You Can’t Trust the Headlines

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(I should start by saying that Palestine always has the right to use violence against Israel as long as Israel continues to occupy stolen Palestinian land.   This is true even according to international law and the international community.  People living on stolen property are never innocent. Unfortunately, Palestinians don’t have an organized state or military powerful enough to rid themselves of the illegal occupying power.)

This is what actually happened leading up to the 2014 Gaza massacre:

“Something had to be done, and an occasion arose on June 12, when the three Israeli boys were murdered in the West Bank. Early on, the Netanyahu government knew that they were dead, but pretended otherwise, which provided the opportunity to launch a rampage in the West Bank, targeting Hamas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed to have certain knowledge that Hamas was responsible. That too was a lie.

One of Israel’s leading authorities on Hamas, Shlomi Eldar, reported almost at once that the killers very likely came from a dissident clan in Hebron that has long been a thorn in the side of Hamas. Eldar added that “I’m sure they didn’t get any green light from the leadership of Hamas, they just thought it was the right time to act.”

The 18-day rampage after the kidnapping, however, succeeded in undermining the feared unity government, and sharply increasing Israeli repression. Israel also conducted dozens of attacks in Gaza, killing five Hamas members on July 7.

Hamas finally reacted with its first rockets in 19 months, providing Israel with the pretext for Operation Protective Edge on July 8.”

(via  Noam Chomsky: The Nightmare in Gaza)

Hamas denied responsibility for the attacks, but many headlines would eventually say that Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks.  Examples:

NPR: Hamas Admits To Kidnapping And Killing Israeli Teens

CBC: Hamas admits kidnapping 3 young Israeli men, setting off Gaza war

CNN: Hamas leader admits militants abducted slain Israeli teens

However, when one actually reads the articles, one quickly realizes that Hamas did not claim responsibility:

Aruri said the operation to abduct the teens was not approved by the Hamas leadership or its military wing, the Qassam Brigades.

(via CNN: Hamas leader admits militants abducted slain Israeli teens)

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who is in exile in Qatar, denied knowledge of the abduction but praised its perpetrators.

(via CBC: Hamas admits kidnapping 3 young Israeli men, setting off Gaza war)

Being from a dissident clan from the same region, the real perpetrators of the crime likely had weak ties to Hamas.  Some of them might have been members of Hamas in the past.

The man, Hussam Qawasmeh, 41, part of a sprawling clan in the West Bank city of Hebron with ties to the militant Islamist Hamas movement, was convicted last week of handling $60,000 in five installments from the Gaza Strip to buy two cars, two M-16 rifles and two pistols for use in the operation. In September, Israeli troops cornered and killed the two men they believe carried out the kidnapping and murders: Marwan Qawasmeh, 29, a relative of Mr. Qawasmeh’s, and Amer Abu Aisha, 33.

Having ties or former association with Hamas does not mean Hamas was responsible.  Hamas praising the act does not mean Hamas carried out the act.

Likewise, the fact that some of the alleged suspects behind the Paris attacks have/had some affiliation with the Islamic State is still not proof that the Islamic State itself was behind the Paris attacks:

The Expanding Web of Connections Among the Paris Attackers

Capture Web Paris Attacks

The Islamic State praising the Paris attacks is not proof that the Islamic State was behind the Paris attacks.

Solidarity with Palestine Is What We Need Right Now

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The moment I open Facebook or Twitter, I notice the French flag on half the profile pictures and avatars.  The entire planet and a bulk of Muslims were forced to show the type of respect for the victims of the recent Paris attacks that imperialist powers never seem to show anybody else in return.  The victims of the attacks were genuine victims, yet everything surrounding the attacks from media coverage, to global solidarity movements, was driven by more sinister forces of imperialist hunger.  Many Muslims would have condemned the attacks regardless, but one could easily sense a fear among the Muslim community not to show extra deference towards the loss of life for one of the members of the family of elite imperialist powers.

It wasn’t really Muslims as much as people exploiting Islam who were responsible for the crimes, but the only reason the Paris attacks gained such global recognition was because Muslims could be used as scapegoats which could be leveraged into greater warfare in the Middle East.

(There is no evidence that ISIS was responsible, but Hollande had no problem declaring war against ISIS.)

One would think that the overfocus on the Paris attacks versus other atrocities around the globe displays a horrible exalting of Western lives over the lives of non-Westerners.  However, when one takes a closer look to reactions to other Western tragedies, an even more disturbing trend appears:

After the Paris attacks, vigils were held in Toronto and across the US for the Paris attack victims:

However, Toronto did NOT hold vigils after the 2013 Lac-Mégantic train disaster where 47 French Canadians died.  And there were no vigils held outside Washington after the 2014 Oso mudslide claimed 43 American lives.  (People can correct me if I’m wrong.)

Thus, people who don’t even mourn the death of their own countrymen if the disaster occurs in the next state or province will mourn the death of foreigners from across the Atlantic as long as Muslims can be scapegoated and war can be declared.

Additionally, after the 2011 Norway attacks, there were no international vigils mourning the 77 lives taken by radical anti-Muslim extremist, Anders Breivik.

However, had people exploiting Islam been responsible for the Lac-Mégantic train disaster, Oso mudslide, or the Norway attacks, there would have been extensive international media coverage and vigils held across the globe for the victims.

This infographic says it all: http://i.imgur.com/Vlu7Om0.png

 

 

 

Additionally, showing too much solidarity with France (despite being a kind gesture from more genuine people) can actually have a negative impact.  I encourage people to read these arguments for why showing solidarity with Palestinians would result in much greater peace:

1) France has enjoyed great peace and security since WWII and will continue to enjoy great peace and security. Palestinians have endured nothing but horrible suffering and oppression since the aftermath of WWII where routine massacres, housing demolitions, kidnappings, and lack of basic resources has been the norm (and still is.)

2) Showing solidarity with Palestinians could actually achieve positive results by putting pressure on Western states to stop supporting Israel, resulting in the potential for greater peace and security for an oppressed population.

Excessive solidarity with France is already being exploited and leveraged by imperialists to escalate violence and do more harm to innocent people and doesn’t do much to help the French victims of the attack.

3) France doesn’t actually need the extra display of solidarity. France is a first world country that is fully equipped to handle the situation on their own.

Palestinians are a stateless, defenceless people with no military and no foreign support. Palestinians have had to endure FAR worse than the French for decades and will CONTINUE to endure far worse if things continue the way they do.

To sum up:
Showing solidarity with Palestinians could lead to greater peace.
Excessive solidarity with France is already being exploited by imperialists to put more innocent lives in jeopardy.

Palestinian Flag

 

CEPR – Illegal Israeli Settlements

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UN Security Council Resolution 446 (1979) and 465 (1980) both condemned the settlements. Rex. 446 stated “that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.” Likewise, in 465, the Security Council called upon Israel to “dismantle the existing settlements.”  Most recently, in February 2010, a resolution was introduced and supported by 14 members of the Security Council, “reaffirming that Israeli settlements (including East Jerusalem) are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. It also demanded once again that Israel immediately and cease all settlement activities. The U.S. was the sole dissenter, thus vetoing the resolution.

Source: CEPR – Illegal Israeli Settlements

Illegal Settlements: Stating the Obvious

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Nobody disagrees that Israel is building illegal settlements on Palestinian land beyond the borders originally approved by the UN.

I think it was wrong for the UN to approve the creation of Israel in the first place.  Thus, despite Israelis unfairly receiving their own state in the Middle East at the expense of hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians who were left homeless, Israel still refuses to stay within UN-designated borders.

The UN fully acknowledges that Israel is unlawfully building settlements on land that does not belong to them. It should go without saying that the Palestinians are allowed to defend themselves from their land being stolen from them.  Thus, the resistance of the Palestinians is justified.

Aside

Though it might be stating the obvious, I want to clarify my stance on Zionism vs. compensation for Aboriginals:

I disagree with Zionism, but support heavy compensation in land and resources for the Aboriginal people.  Obviously, it would have made more sense had America and Western powers funneled everything they had into creating a Jewish state into creating a high-quality living environment for the Aboriginal people.

The reason I disagree with Zionism is the same reason I don’t agree with the Hakka diaspora annexing a plot of land near the Yellow River to create a state for themselves at the expense of the people currently living there: roughly 2000 years is just too long a period of time, in my opinion.  The people settled there likely having nothing to do with those who were responsible for the original loss of land.  It’s too psychotic to commit slow genocide against an innocent population for crimes they are not connected to.

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However, the Aboriginal people are still being victimized by the same overall energy (ie. general diaspora of people, general cultural mentality, etc.) that caused untold destruction and suffering to their populations upon its arrival to the Americas not that long ago.  It’s a circumstance where one group of people seriously damaged the lifestyle of another group of people, are able to provide compensation, and probably should.