The Horror in Occupied Palestine

Against the Current, No. 223, March/April 2023

Raid on Nablus (AFP)

IN THE FIRST six weeks of 2023 alone, Israeli forces and settlers killed 50 Palestinians, including 11 children. Last year was the deadliest for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2004, and 2023 will surpass it — indeed these figures will be outdated before this issue of Against the Current reaches our readers.

Jonathan Kuttab is a passionate voice of nonviolent resistance and founder of one of the distinguished human rights organizations (Al-Haq) declared “terrorist” by the Israeli government. Kuttab comments on the ascendancy of Itamar Ben-Gvir, a convicted anti-Arab terrorist in his own right, open advocate of mass expulsion and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Israel as well as the Occupied Territories, and now minister of police in the new governing coalition:

“This openly unabashed, fascist racism makes many friends of Israel totally uncomfortable, creating for them a crisis of conscience. Yet, it must be declared that Ben Gvir’s election is not a sudden or recent development. It is predictable, inevitable, and irreversible.”

In the face of an accelerating emergency, the U.S. administration does nothing beyond statements of “deep concern,” which JVP Action (the political action arm of Jewish Voice for peace, states “are meaningless in the face of the Israeli government’s rapidly escalating state violence against Palestinians living under occupation and siege.”

Routinely, the Israeli military raids refugee camps (Jenin, Nablus etc.) on grounds of seeking “terrorist cells,” the “proof” of which in each case is dozen or so Palestinians left dead. Soldiers and settlers seize and destroy villagers’ homes, fields and irreplaceable olive trees. Naturally, the response will be desperate militant actions by Palestinian youth, as tragic as they are futile.

The real meaning of the Biden administrations’ “deep concern” is shown by its actions. The new U.S. embassy under construction in Jerusalem occupies land confiscated from Palestinian owners, including some U.S. citizens — one among multiple examples of ignoring explicit U.S. legislation on foreign expropriation of U.S. citizens’ property when it’s done by the state of Israel.

In a particularly grotesque show of subservience to Zionist pressure, the State Department has withdrawn the nomination of James Cavallaro to serve as an independent (i.e. not a U.S. government representative) member of the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights — a body that deals with western hemisphere, not Middle East issues.

The reason: Cavallaro’s previous tweets on the apartheid characteristics of the Israeli occupation, and the undue influence of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) on U.S. policy.

As if to prove the latter point, State Department spokesman Ned Price lectured that calling Israel’s actions “apartheid” is completely contrary to U.S. policy — a true enough statement, never mind the massively documented findings of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem and other expert investigators. Indeed, the deadly hypocrisy, double standard and cowardice of Washington’s enabling of Israeli apartheid is itself “predictable, inevitable” and — without sustained grassroots political pressure — “irreversible.”

March-April 2023, ATC 223

1 comment

  1. I agree totally with everything written in this an Israeli I am deeply worried for the future of my country which is looking very bleak.

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