Weekly Update from Badayl-Alternatives
Palestine Update is back after a break.
Readers have surely followed the grizzly events in Gaza when Israel led a brutal assault on the coastal strip. Over two thousand people were killed in the attacks and the numbers are adding up each day with news of deaths of war-injured still coming in. Over 250,000 were displaced and more than ten thousand are severely injured.
Gaza is limping back to normalcy but the trauma of the war will not go away for many years. Gaza has suffered three wars in the last six years- each more ruthless than the other. Each war has taken its toll of children, women, youth, and elderly. With each attack Israel has sort to humiliate the people of Gaza and prompt them to surrender. Gaza has rebuffed Israel, fighting back and holding on to their dignity.
Even in the current phase of talks, Israel is persuading Hamas to give up its weapons and Hamas has rejected this demand. It claims the right to resist and to choose armed resistance as its mode of resistance in the face of a brutal power which will resort to barbaric use of military power to achieve its ends. Influential Israeli leaders have brazenly called for eliminating the people of Gaza. Others have called for their removal from the Gaza Strip and for them to be virtually deported to Egypt. The Gazan refuses to be intimidated and has fought back against the might of the Israeli military army dealing them telling blows.
Israel claims victory on the basis of sheer numbers of people they killed and injured and infrastructure destroyed. Hamas claims victory too. These claims and counter claims fade into insignificance in the face of what the real issues are. The people of Gaza demand their freedom from the blockade as a first step and an eventual end to the occupation of Palestinian lands. They will not accept an Israeli state that enslaves and colonizes their lands. They want this on terms of justice – not as an act of charity in which Israel will break Palestine into ‘Bantustans’ and leave the Palestinians on bended knee in front of Israel. The Palestinian wants freedom with justice and dignity. Anything short of this is deemed as an offensive offer and is rejected.
The world watches to see if the cease fire talks will yield to a pathway to a just peace. The fear is that Israel’s arrogance will lead to more intransigence and to prompt it to call Palestine to capitulate to its demands. If Israel must change, it will require a robust international response which sticks to the principled stand that justice must be done in its entirety. For, unless and until the international community en bloc stands by Palestine, the sheer asymmetry of the equation between Israel and Palestine will give Israel the political edge. Previous agreements, notably the Oslo agreement, turned out to be an unequal agreement even if it was intended to be the final solution to this intractable conflict. This is why it has not stood the test of time. The two parties are further apart than in 1992. In point of fact, Israel has gained an edge in the last 22 years since Oslo having grabbed more land to create settlements, scuttled free movement of people, imposed restrictions on religious activity, and built a monstrous separation wall that makes the Berlin Wall look like a sub-junior partner. In the meanwhile, it has illegally imprisoned thousands of youth, children, women, and income earners of families.
If the Gaza was the war to end all wars, the Palestinians will require having its various demands met not simply because it is their wish list. But because they are, what must be irrevocable resolutions of the United Nations and in parity with international law and agreed upon humanitarian practices. Nothing less!
To further inform you on the state of affairs, we share with you two pertinent articles:
1.Netanyahu renews efforts to define Israel as Jewish state
Prime Minister Netanyahu intends to renew efforts at legally defining Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people”. Such a law would address “attempt(s) to undermine the national identity of the Jewish people and the legitimacy of the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people”.
You will find an insightful analysis in the link:
2.Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and the American Jew
Donna Nevel describes how “many American Jewish organizations claim to be staunch supporters of civil and human rights as well as academic freedom. But when it comes to Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, they make an exception. In their relentless opposition to BDS, they leave even core principles behind.
The article which follows offers a perspective of how so-called Jewish liberals have abandoned principles of justice only to oppose the BDS movement.
Both these articles are short, succinct, and we hope you find them useful in unraveling the problems and prospects of a just peace between Palestine and Israel.