Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, July 2012
650,000 Illegal Israeli Jewish Settlers and Adelson Versus World Opinion
By Mazin Qumsiyeh
A report from occupied Palestine
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, July 31, 2012
More than 15,000 illegal Israeli Jewish settlers were added in one year to bring the total colonial settlers living in the West Bank to 650,000. Does any one still think a two-state solution is possible? In parallel, settler violence increased many folds in the past few years (see When settlers attack: A sobering study of the skyrocketing Jewish colonial settler attacks on native Palestinians http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/32678 ). And today yet another Palestinian civilian going to pray in Jerusalem was gunned down at a checkpoint by trigger happy Israeli soldiers (and two fellow passengers injured).
The Jewish Zionist state is enjoying unprecedented Western government support. The US Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney made his pilgrimage here to read scripts thatr are written for him by AIPAC and his $100 million donor Sheldon Adelson (see this revealing article http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/diplomania/in-jerusalem-speech-it-was-romney-s-voice-but-netanyahu-s-words.premium-1.454521).
This has become a comical ritual among US presidential candidates hoping to live in the White House in Israeli-occupied Washington. Not to be out-staged, President Obama signed an enhanced "security" arrangement with Apartheid Israel the day before Romney lands here. More tax money is thus diverted to Israel and Israel promoted wars while the USeconomy keeps suffering. Romney will also meet with Salam Fayyad who seems content to keep repeating that we want a state in 1967 borders (and not mentioning the refugees which is THE central issue) but in his interview with the independent seemed resigned that Palestine is now marginalized.
European and other Western governments hold meetings about Syria and abuses of human rights there (while supporting such abuses both in Syria and elsewhere). No one demanded such meetings about Israel and its abuses (see the recent article by Saul Landau http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/20/does-it-matter-what-israelis-do/) or Bahrain or Saudi Arabia or Rohingya or Libya post Qaddafi or others.
Even when these governments know that there are abuses they continue business as usual. For example the British government reported widespread abuse of Palestinian Children (http://worldpressnetwork.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18513) but business is business and British officials continue to cooperate economically and in other ways with apartheid.
The European Union leadership considers Jewish colonial settlements to be violations of International law and yet give Israel a most favored nation status and regularly trade! Everyone likes to pretend there are no problems and the status quo can continue. The monarchies of Arabia (or the gang of kleptocracies) seem content in their dictatorships untouched by the Arab spring and seem happy that they are now using it to their advantage; witness “Saudi” Arabia’s junta dibbing their hands into Syria and claiming they want to promote “democracy.” They seem satisfied.
The Kings of Jordan and Morocco give some power to governments that they hope will absorb public discontent. The USA supports all these ruling families. Everyone pretends that the people’s discontent can be absorbed for a long time or manipulated to serve Western and Israeli interests. Even Hamas and Fatah leadership (though not many of their members) pretend that continuing down the path of the last few years will be OK and are not willing to “rock the boat”. Many are bidding time and hoping for some outside miracle. Maybe Obama will be better in his second term. Maybe the Arab Spring will work in our favor. Maybe this or that will happen. Meanwhile, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and our mother earth is devastated.
As in all human history, the only positive changes come from citizens finally realizing that they hold power in their hands. Once people realize that tyranny only lasts as long as apathy dominates, that is when revolutionary change happens. We the people, not governments, made history in the past and will make history in the future. On this front it is interesting to note BBC Country Rating Poll show Israel negative ratings on the rise among British, Canadians, and others while positive ratings on the rise among Indians and few other polled groups. Over all positive ratings among all polled countries for Israel (at only 21%) is close to positive ratings for Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan. The poll is notable for exclusing most Arabs and many South Americans like Venezuelans http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2011/03_march/07/brazil.shtml
Many ask what common people like us can do about certain issues like the pivotal problem of Palestine. Here are 64 suggestions for this issue (one for every year of the ongoing Nakba) but many can be equally applicable to environmental issues or to human rights violations in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia: http://qumsiyeh.org/whatyoucando/
Palestinian Investments Require Divestment by Sam Bahour: Over the years, not only has Israel prohibited the emergence of a new Palestinian economy -- it structurally and systematically has made certain that even the buds of such a productive economy would never see the light of day…. Palestinian civil society and Palestinians -- Christians and Muslims alike -- have urged everyone interested in seeing peace with justice to divest from the occupation. http://bit.ly/Investments-Require-Divestment
Israel coined the term "Nakba" and is still implementing it by Ilan Pappe http://electronicintifada.net/content/israel-coined-term-nakba-and-still-implementing-it/11518).
(Action) Thirsting for Justice: Join the Campaign for Palestinian Water Rights
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD, is Professor at three Universities in the West Bank and Chairman of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People http://qumsiyeh.org
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