Issue #10 - A new unity in Palestine
But Israel's crimes continue after ceasefire.
Since last week’s edition, we’re living in a new world. There has been a global uprising for Palestine. The death and destruction Israel has visited upon the people of the Gaza Strip — once again — has left at least 230 Palestinians dead, including 62 children.
But that’s not the whole story. Palestinians all over Palestine have been killed by Israeli forces during this period. The full death toll is not yet in. And yet there are so many reports of a new reality on the ground, and a new spirit.
Palestinians are united in a way they have not been in generations. What began in Jerusalem, quickly spread to Palestinians in “Israel” — the territories occupied in 1948 — and then to Gaza and the West Bank.
The ceasefire imposed on Israel by the armed Palestinian factions in Gaza came into effect during the early hours of Friday. But of course, the end of the shooting (for now) in Gaza did not mean an end to the Israeli repression, occupation and apartheid. Only hours after the ceasefire went into effect, Israeli troops began beating and tear gassing Palestinian worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Palestinians in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrar are still under threat of expulsion, and are constantly harassed by Israeli troops and the Jewish extremist settlers they enable and protect.
And Palestinians are being rounded up in a massive sweep of arrest raids all over communities in present-day Israel — 48-Palestine — targeting those allegedly involved in the protests and confrontations with Israeli troops that have swept the whole of Palestine.
A shocking video widely circulated on social media on Monday showed a Palestinian citizen in Um Al-Fahm — a Palestinian town inside Israel — being brutally assaulted by Israel troops.
The man was clearly minding his own business, and not even resisting (he appeared to be a motorbike delivery driver looking at his phone). The casual cruelty of the scene is very evocative of the Israeli military occupation in the West Bank. It’s a reminder of the reasons why all Palestinians everywhere, have been rising up in unity as one — because their oppressor is ultimately one too. And because they now have a newly raised conciousness of their unity as one people, no matter whether they are in Gaza, the West Bank, “Israel” or outside of Palestine as refugees the wider diaspora community.
As noted last week, this time it’s different.
And the international solidarity demonstrations have been massive. At least 180,000 in London this past weekend, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There have been demonstrations in cities all over the UK, in Europe, in the US and all over the world — as seen in the emotional and moving video at the top of this article.
In the UK, there are protesters still today, as I write this, sitting down on a roof, successfully shutting down a drone factory owned by Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest private arms firm. They’ve been there for six days and counting.
And Palestinians and other Arabs have widely celebrated what they view as a victory for the armed resistance in Gaza.
My articles this week
I reported on the terrible violent incitement that is now common in mainstream Israeli media against the so-called “Arab Israelis” — the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Israeli journalists, who like to portray themselves as peace-loving in English language media, are openly calling for a new 1948 in Hebrew — a violent mass expulsion of Palestinians from Israel.
A quick post about Abby Martin’s film, Gaza Fights for Freedom, a brilliant documentary which Abby has now released to watch for free. You can watch it online if you click through to the post. We interviewed Abby about her film in 2019 on the EI podcast.
5 Pillars live show discussion
Editor of Muslim community news website 5 Pillars Roshan Salhi invited me onto his live streaming show to talk about the then-current situation in Palestine. A great discussion, with Essam Yousef of Interpal UK and a historian of the Israeli army, Haim Bresheeth-Zabner (an anti-Zionist former Israeli).
By Any Means Necessary
Before the ceasefire was agreed, I was back on Jacquie Luqman’s radio show (Sean Blackmon was on vacation) to discuss how the US refused to allow the UN to put an immediate end to the Israeli war against the people of Gaza. We talked about the Israeli destruction and targeting of journalists and their offices.
Tweet of the Week
Tweet of the Week goes to the caustic and ever-insightful @TheBlahDalia, who noted events in al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday. Palestinian protesters chanted against Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, calling him a “collaborator” and objected to the PA-appointed imam’s refusal to talk about events in Gaza. He was effectively booted out.