For Palestinians the information in the B’Tselem human rights report is what they have been reporting for years.
By Benay Blend | The Palestine Chronicle | Jan 19, 2021
“Everything is framed in terms of the occupier, its interests, its desires, its wants and dislikes. It’s never about the people who *face* apartheid, occupation, and Israeli settler colonialism.”
— Remi Kanazi, Palestinian poet and activist
“Everyone’s reporting on the B’Tselem report like it’s the first they’ve ever heard anyone say that Israel’s an apartheid state,” commented Susan Abulhawa, Palestinian author and activist. “It’s like nothing about Palestinian lives, realities, and experiences is true or real until Israelis proclaim it.”
Abulhawa’s commentary refers to the Israeli human rights group’s position paper (January 12) that declared “the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is organized under a single principle: advancing and cementing the supremacy of one group—Jews—over another—Palestinians.” Moreover, it labeled that system an apartheid regime.
On the one hand, B’tselem’s report got a lot of traction partly because it makes Israeli denial all that much more difficult to support, either by its own people or by journalists who are afraid of being labeled anti-Semitic.
On the other hand, Palestinian poet and activist Remi Kanazi captured the irony of this moment in a tweet:
“Palestinians are always spoken about, but rarely ever spoken to or allowed to speak. Everything is framed in terms of the occupier, its interests, its desires, its wants and dislikes. It’s never about the people who *face* apartheid, occupation, and Israeli settler colonialism.”