Palestine

Israel’s worst ever possible choice of government has expectedly started on the wrong foot. The mandate was less extreme than the way things have things turned out to be. Racist genocide has become the political fashion for Netanyahu and his political cohorts. The New Year began with two murders and, if that is the tone they are setting, one can expect far worse as the year proceeds. After all, the government has launched itself on a platform of anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia. And violence will be the tool of genocide. These punitive measures have been condemned in no uncertain terms by the Palestinians. Al Mezan from Gaza describes how Israeli actions are but a continuation of its policy of collective punishment against the Palestinian people.

The politics of hate has absorbed identity-denying policies. Amnesty International has pointed out how to raising the Palestinian flag in the lands of 1948 is ‘cowardly but designed to breach the United Nations charters and human rights. The question is does Israel have that kind of sensitivity to international public opinion which will prompt them to retract their instructions.

The tentacles of racist of hate spread far and wide. In far-away Harvard, its ‘Kennedy School’ has had to withdraw a fellowship to the former head of Human Rights Watch, only because of his criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. And, when the international community seeks to set things right in the United Nations, there is revenge. Israel has resorted to spiteful measures by diverting the transferring of approximately NIS 139 million (nearly $39 million) from Palestinian Authority tax funds to the so-called “Israeli victims of terrorism”. This vengeance is Israel’s politically immature response to Palestine’s pursuit at the UN General Assembly of an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the illegality of the Israeli occupation. Much too much of what Israel does to impair Palestinian dignity and rights violate international law. Israel will not bow to the rightful claim of “Palestinian natural and legal right to get rid of the decades-long occupation.”

The world watches with keenness if the ICJ will serve out justice with courage. More, the world knows there will be a backlash if Israel does not get its way, which it most likely will not. ICJ has previously declared that Israeli actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are unlawful under international law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the relevant provision of the earlier Hague Regulations and, of course, numerous UN General Assembly and Security Council Resolutions. This time it will rule on whether Israel can continue to root its foundations in the illegality of converting a temporary military occupation into a de facto land theft. Israel is likely to be delegitimized for what it has been doing so far. No wonder Netanyahu deems the UN decision “despicable”.

Please read these news items and disseminate widely so we can together create new perceptions in the body of international opinion.

Ranjan Solomon is a political commentator


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