An aerial view of the destruction caused by Israeli settlers in the Palestinian village of Huwara. AFP
No terrorism is more heinous than the act of condemning the Resistance as terrorism.
No sooner the occupied West Bank village of Huwara was raided by marauding Israeli settlers than Israel’s hardline politicians started tarring the Palestinians with the terrorist brush. It is as much an act of justifying the settlers’ horrendous crime as it is an attempt to mitigate the global censure that followed Sunday night’s horror.
The deadly attack in Huwara and other villages near Nablus saw armed Israeli settlers who occupy the Palestinian land firing their weapons at will and setting fire to houses, vehicles, trees, farm animals, shops and other facilities, while the Israeli security forces looked on.
One Palestinian was killed and hundreds were wounded in the raids reminiscent of the horror that happened in the months before Israel was set up on May 14, 1948. Palestinians call the massacre and ethnic cleansing that took place 75 years ago an-Nakba or the Catastrophe. Estimates vary as to the number of Palestinians who were evicted at gunpoint during Nakba but it is believed some 750,000 to 900,000 Palestinians were chased out from 530 villages by Zionist terror gangs such as Hagana, Irgun, and Stern Gang.
In the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, the Zionist terrorists lined up the people and killed 110 of them – men, women and children – as a warning to Palestinians in the nearby villages. Throughout the Nakba period from 1947 to 1949, some 15,000 Palestinians were killed while the then world powers turned a blind eye as they do now.
The maximum the Western powers, which claim they champion a rules-based and liberal global order where justice, human rights, and democracy are protected and promoted, would do is to issue statements often expressing concerns and seldom condemning the crimes of the Zionist state and its settler terrorists.
In the aftermath of the Huwara attack, Western nations did issue statements. Beyond that, they did nothing. There is no follow-up action; no attempt to convene the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution calling for punitive measures.
If any other country were to carry out a fraction of the atrocities Israel has been committing in occupied Palestine for the past 75 years, sanction after sanction would have been slapped on that nation.
Take, for instance, Russia, a superpower. What Russia is doing in Ukraine has some similarities to what Israel has been doing in occupied Palestine. Since the war started in February last year, 10,600 Russian citizens, 3,431 companies, and 492 institutions have been slapped with Western sanctions.
Just as Russia has annexed swathes of occupied Ukrainian territories, Israel, encouraged by the mollycoddling it receives from Western nations, has annexed and keeps grabbing Palestinian lands with each passing day. Yet, Israel is slapped with no sanction. The West, by its failure to punish Israel, encourages it to continue its crimes, which include land grabbing, the apartheid system, and the wanton killings of Palestinians, amid a culture of impunity.
Rarely are Israeli security forces personnel and settlers brought to justice. Even if they are, they are freed or given mild punishment. The killing of al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, an American citizen of Palestinian origin, is a case in point. Israel has said it would not punish any Israeli security forces personnel for killing her.
Even as condemnations over Sunday night’s terror poured in, Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich had the gumption to say that Huwara should be “wiped out”.
The inflammatory statements came after another extremist politico and Knesset member Zvika Fogel, justified the attacks, saying, “A terrorist came out of Huwara – and Huwara was closed and burned. This is what I want to see. That’s the only way we’ll achieve deterrence.” She was referring to the killing of two Israeli settlers by a Palestinian on Sunday hours before the settlers torched Huwara. This attack came a week after 11 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank town of Jenin.
Israel’s state terrorism and settler terrorism followed by retaliations by the Palestinian resistance will continue as long as the Western powers, especially the United States, take the side of aggressor Israel. Resistance is not terrorism. Anyone who calls resistance terrorism and a freedom fighter a terrorist is a bigger terrorist.
The plight of the Palestinians will only worsen under the present hardline Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu, as the West remains focused on the war in Ukraine and some Arab countries reward Israel by improving their ties with the Zionist entity.
Worse still, the Netanyahu government, which depends on the support of Jewish extremist parties, is also undermining the independence of Israel’s judiciary.
Even if the entire Palestinian population is ethnically cleansed or subjected to genocide, the West will not take serious action except for issuing a ‘tough’ statement, carefully worded not to hurt Israel much.
Netanyahu’s electoral pact with Jewish extremist parties includes a declarative commitment to annexing the entire West Bank to Israel. Netanyahu and his hardline cabinet intend to make Israel an exclusively Jewish state.
The deal also calls for the Israeli government to amend the enemy property law to implement it in the West Bank and take more of Palestinian land. In a recent assessment, Just Security, an initiative of the New York University’s School of Law, has highlighted measures in place for Israel to annex the West Bank.
Slavoj Žižek, Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School, in an article he wrote to Project Syndicate says: “So, how will the annexation be managed? If the West Bank simply becomes part of Israel, shouldn’t the nearly three million Palestinians who live there become Israeli citizens who can vote in Israeli elections?
“Obviously, that outcome would be unacceptable to Netanyahu and his right-wing allies. Yet they have only two options for preventing it. They can either expel as many Palestinians as possible from the annexed territories, or they can impose what Just Security describes as ‘an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another, with the intention of maintaining this regime, otherwise known as apartheid’.”
Whither the West’s call for rules-based international order? Is it only aimed at Russia and China?
The more the West takes the high road to justify its military, political and moral support to Ukraine the more its duplicity is exposed. The West cannot hail Ukraine’s war against Russia as heroic resistance and condemn the Palestinian resistance against the occupation of their country and the apartheid system as terrorism. If Ukrainians can carry arms and kill Russians, the Palestinians should also be encouraged to turn whatever weapons they have against the occupiers in Palestine.
Courtesy Daily Mirror
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