Palestine is not occupied — it is colonized

Israeli troops screened captured Egyptian troops and Palestinians at the start of the war on Jun 5, 1967, in Rafah in the Gaza Strip. (photo: David Rubinger / Israeli Governement / Getty Images)

Israel’s colonization began when the 19th-Century Zionist movement aspired to build an exclusive homeland for Jews in Palestine.

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | Jun 6, 2018


The Palestinian Occupied Territories have, long ago, crossed the line from being occupied to being colonized. But there are reasons that we are trapped in old definitions, leading amongst them is American political hegemony over the legal and political discourses pertaining to Palestine.


June 5, 2018, marks the 51st anniversary of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

But, unlike the massive popular mobilization that preceded the anniversary of the Nakba — the catastrophic destruction of Palestine in 1948 — on 15 May, the anniversary of the occupation is hardly generating equal mobilization.

The unsurprising death of the “peace process” and the inevitable demise of the “two-state solution” has shifted the focus from ending the occupation per se to the larger, and more encompassing, problem of Israel’s colonialism throughout Palestine.

Grassroots mobilization in Gaza and the West Bank, and among Palestinian Bedouin communities in the Naqab Desert, are, once more, widening the Palestinian people’s sense of national aspirations. Thanks to the limited vision of the Palestinian leadership those aspirations have, for decades, been confined to Gaza and the West Bank.

In some sense, the “Israeli occupation” is no longer an occupation as per international standards and definitions. It is merely a phase of the Zionist colonization of historic Palestine, a process that began over a 100 years ago, and carries on to this day. . . .

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Israeli army frames slain medic Razan al-Najjar as “Hamas human shield”

Palestinian paramedic, Razan al-Najjar, treating an injured man in Gaza. She was killed on Jun 1 by an Israeli sniper. (photo: Palestine Live)

The IDF describes Razan al-Najjar as an “Hamas human shield.” She describes herself as a “shield of safety” protecting the injured.

By Jonathan Ofir | Mondoweiss | Jun 7, 2018


“I am here on the front line acting as a human shield of safety to protect the injured . . . . No one encouraged me [to be] a paramedic, I encouraged myself. I wanted to take chances and help people.”
— slain Palestinian paramedic Razan al-Najjar


Just when you thought Israel couldn’t get any lower — the Israeli army has just released an incitement video, titled “Hamas’ use of human shields must stop,” in which it frames the slain medic Razan al-Najjar as a “Hamas human shield” — two days after it claimed she was killed by accident.

This is more than adding insult to injury. This is adding malice to crime.

The propaganda effort is based on twisting al-Najjar’s own words. I have consulted with three Arabic experts, who have looked at the original Arabic interview from which the IDF took the “human shield” text, and it is clear to them beyond a doubt that the IDF was knowingly and cynically manipulating Razan’s words to mean something other than what she said. . . .

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Killing of Gaza nurse shows how cheap our blood is to Israel

 

Razan Al Najjar resuscitates a patient in a medical field tent in Gaza. (photo: Getty Images)

We are neither more nor less resilient and steadfast than any other human people in this world. We too feel pain and suffering. We too have a breaking point.

By Muhammad Shehada | Forward | Jun 4, 2018


We Gazans are caught between a rock and an unlivable, uninhabitable place, where the water we drink and the soil in which we plant are poisoning us and our children. Our air, land and sea are completely sealed off by Israel and Egypt’s military might. We Gazans endure humanitarian disaster, generation after generation, and are denied even the most basic right to escape a slow death. We are two million civilian prisoners, caged in a toxic slum from birth to death.


On June 1, 21-year-old volunteer paramedic Razan al-Najjar was shot dead at the Gaza protests while rescuing injured protestors near the separation fence.

Anyone with the smallest modicum of moral decency should be shattered, devastated and overwhelmed by her death, just as they should be devastated by the horrendous improvised projectile that hit a kindergarten in Israel. Both incidents deserve unequivocal condemnation, at the very least, though only one resulted in death (thank God, none of the children were hurt).

But al-Najjar’s murder shows us something else, something horrific that transcends the border shootings. For the systematic dehumanization of the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza, happens not only at the hands of the Israeli guns and policies but in the media afterwards, in the framing by Israel’s supporters.

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US Ambassador Friedman slams American reporters for critical coverage of Gaza deaths

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks during a reception hosted by the Orthodox Union in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018 (photo: Ammar Awad / Reuters)

Friedman says criticism of recent Palestinian death toll in the Strip is aimed mainly at “my friends in the United States and one Israeli newspaper I’ve been known to criticize here” — a seeming reference to Haaretz.

By Judy Maltz | Haaretz | Jun 4, 2018


“I find it curious that an ambassador who repeatedly refuses requests to speak to the media is now criticizing the media. The international media is not a monolithic entity, and for him to generalize like this is simplistic, inaccurate and misinformed.”
— Joe Federman, chairman of the Foreign Press Association in Israel


US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Monday accused the media of major bias against Israel in its coverage of the recent violence on the Gaza border, telling reporters to “keep your mouths shut until you figure it out.”

Speaking in Jerusalem, Friedman said his criticism was aimed mainly at “my friends in the United States and one Israeli newspaper I’ve been known to criticize here” –—seemingly a reference to Haaretz, which the ambassador slammed in February after Gideon Levy published a piece criticizing him and his donation of an ambulance to a West Bank settlement.

Friedman claimed that most journalists covering the clashes in recent weeks had never bothered investigating whether Israel had other viable alternatives for defending its border besides using live fire. . . .

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Doctor recalls slain Palestine paramedic’s bravery

Dr. Marc Sinclair with volunteers and Razan Al Najjar (third from left) in Gaza. (photo: Marc Sinclair / Khaleej Times)

Razan is remembered for her speech and the way she always talked about her determination.

By Sherouk Zakaria |Khaleej Times | Jun 4, 2018


 “On one side, you have kids with slingshots and people who burn tires, and on other side, there’s sophisticated army of snipers and soldiers.”
— Dr. Marc Sinclair


 

Along the fence dividing the Gaza Strip from Israel lie a bunch of tents of volunteers who drag injured demonstrators away from the danger zone to provide necessary help using basic medical tools.

One of the young women in white paramedic’s uniform was Razan Al Najjar, the 21-year-old volunteer emergency medical worker who was recently shot dead as she tried to aid a demonstrator, during the ongoing Palestinian protest campaign.

“Razan was a very outspoken and proud woman. She was sure of her role and what she could do to contribute on ground,” said Dr Marc Sinclair, a Dubai-based pediatric orthopedic surgeon who founded the Little Wings Foundation charity that treats children in Palestine.

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Boycott is best response to illegal Israeli killings

A sign at a pro-Palestinian protest in Paris on May 12, 2018. (photo: Etienne Laurent / The Irish Times

The EU is complicit in the enabling of Israel’s violation of Palestinians’ rights.

By Omar Barghouti | The Irish Times | May 15, 2018


Despite Israel’s descent into unmasked, right-wing extremism and its decades-old military occupation and oppression of Palestinians, the EU continues to treat it as if it were above international law.


Today, Palestinians everywhere will commemorate the 1947–1949 Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) — the ethnic cleansing of the majority of indigenous Palestinians from our homeland and the systematic destruction of hundreds of our villages and towns to establish Israel as an exclusionary state.

In 1948, when Zionist paramilitaries forced the family of my late grandmother, Rasmiyyah, out of their spacious home in the picturesque city of Safad at gunpoint, the seminal process of settler-colonialism that was enabled by the Balfour Declaration became personal to my family. The Nakba has shaped my identity and the identity of millions of other Palestinian descendants of refugees.

To suppress the massive peaceful demonstrations in Gaza, where the majority are Nakba refugees and their descendants, demanding an end to the 12-year-old siege and refugees’ rights, Israel has enacted a shoot-to-kill-or-maim policy, killing dozens and injuring thousands, many with live ammunition. The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has condemned these crimes, while Amnesty International has called on world governments “to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel” as an effective measure of accountability.

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Israel’s “one of a kind” new apartheid wall to choke Gaza: A triple-layered sea barrier

Construction equipment working on an undersea barrier near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. (photo: Israel Defense Ministry)

Unimpeded by an international community that remains largely silent over Israeli crimes, Tel Aviv has subjected the people of Gaza to numerous novel and experimental tools of repression and weapons delivery systems.

By Elliott Gabriel | Mint Press News | May 31, 2018


“Israel has besieged, tormented, and regularly attacked the Gaza Strip. The pretexts change: they elected Hamas; they refused to be docile; they refused to recognize Israel; they fired rockets; they built tunnels to circumvent the siege; and on and on. But each pretext is a red herring, because the truth of ghettos — what happens when you imprison 1.8 million people in a hundred and forty square miles, about a third of the area of New York City, with no control of borders, almost no access to the sea for fishermen, no real way in or out, and with drones buzzing overhead night and day — is that, eventually, the ghetto will fight back. It was true in Soweto and Belfast, and it is true in Gaza.”
— Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University


Whatever one’s opinion may be about the ongoing Israeli dispossession of the people of Palestine and the crippling siege of the Gaza Strip, one can’t fault Tel Aviv for lacking originality.

Such unique means of choking off the Palestinians’ ability to live as normal human beings will be on full display with a new $833 million sea barrier being erected: it will include a submarine barrier, a stone wall, and a layer of barbed wire that will be surrounded by an additional fence.

Hardline Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman described the barrier as a “one of a kind in the world” measure that protects the occupation “with power and sophistication” and prevents the people of Gaza from entering Israeli-controlled territory by sea.

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