Issue #14 - Israel's puppet regime
The "Palestinian" Authority was designed to enforce the Israeli occupation.
The main story this week is a new series of demonstrations that have broken out in the West Bank against the Palestinian Authority after its security goons beat Palestinian activist Nizar Banat to death.
As as I explained in my MEMO column this weekend (see below for a link) the PA is not a sovereign government of Palestine, nor is it genuinely struggling to establish one at some point in the future. By design, the PA was established as a collaborationist entity and auxiliary to Israeli occupation.
The PA’s main role today is the same as it has always been since it was established in 1993: preventing Palestinian resistance to Israel. This is known as “security coordination” — a euphemism for collaboration.
شبكة قدس الإخبارية @qudsnمشاهد جديدة لقمع أجهزة الأمن الفلسطينية لمسيرة وسط رام الله خرجت تنديدا باغتيال #نزار_بنات #فلسطين https://t.co/huNHZKYyXv
Nizar Banat, through videos posted to his popular Facebook page, was a searing critic of the PA’s “holy” policy of collaboration with the Israeli enemy. For this, he had to be killed. His death in PA custody was no accident: it was planned. The videos we’ve seen coming out of Ramallah his weekend of PA security goons viciously attacking peaceful protesters are just one more proof of that.
My EI colleague Tamara Nassar has written a report about all this which you should read:
The Palestinian Authority has removed its mask.
The death of prominent Palestinian activist Nizar Banat in PA custody last week and the PA’s subsequent attacks on demonstrators protesting his killing have exposed more than ever the purpose of the PA’s existence.
Palestinian Authority forces are Israel’s foot soldiers.
You should also read this absolutely essential analysis by leading Palestinian academic Joseph Massad.
Massad says that, after the murder of Banat, “It may very well be that the end of the collaborationist PA is in sight.” In clear and concise terms, he also explains the true history of the PA:
The PA police arrangement in fact replicated, and was perhaps inspired by, the South African apartheid state’s use of the Black police to suppress Black resistance before 1994, an arrangement that reduced the danger to the lives of white policemen.
Subcontracting the repressive functions of the Israeli military occupation to Palestinian mercenaries since 1993 was a welcome change for the Israelis, who continued to control the land, the waters, the borders, the economy, and Jewish settler-colonies, in short, everything Israel sought to control, but without the need to suppress Palestinian resistance single-handedly, which had endangered Israeli soldiers and opened Israel up to bad press in the process.
Another major story from Palestine that deserves your attention is the struggle of the villagers of Beita, near the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
In May, Israeli colonists set up a new Jews-only settlement on land belonging to the villagers of Beita, as well as to Palestinians from other nearby villages. The new settlement — like all of Israel’s settlements in Palestine’s West Bank and Syria’s Golan Heights — is illegal under international law.
Local Palestinians have been resisting this latest colonial encroachment through protests and confrontations with Israeli occupation soldiers. So far, the Israelis have killed four Palestinians from the village.
The photos above are of 15-year-old Ahmad Bani-Shamsa (on the left) and 16-year-old Muhammad Hamayel, two friends from the village both murdered by Israeli soldiers within a week.
Ahmad’s “crime” was to chant on a megaphone directed at Israeli soldiers about his friend Muhammed’s death. The soldiers shot 10 live rounds of ammunition at Ahmad and his friends. The boy died of his injuries soon after.
Israeli soldiers helped settlers build structures in the outpost, Tel Aviv daily Haaretz reported… [the settlement] Evyatar, which sits on top of a hill, “prevents the creation of a connection between the villages of Qabalan, Yatma and Beita” – all Palestinian villages in the Nablus area – the outpost’s Facebook page states, calling it “a strategic point that strengthens the Jewish presence in the region.”
My articles this week
Here’s my latest report about the sorry state of affairs in the UK’s Labour Party. The Skwawkbox has also covered the story. Party officials banned Labour activists in Hove, near Brighton, from even debating a motion which called for sanctions against Israel.
Keir Starmer’s Labour is so disgustingly racist against Palestinians, and oppressive of their supporters, that his officials are now enforcing the calumny that to even discuss the possibility of sanctions against Israel is “anti-Semitic.” Ironically, such false equivalence between British Jews and Israel — as enforced by Labour apparatchiks — really is anti-Semitic.
Since publication, Jewish Voice for Labour activist (and Palestine solidarity veteran) Mike Cushman informs me that he was able to get a pro-BDS motion passed at Streatham CLP in South London (a motion that was actually stronger than the Hove one, in that it explicitly called for the Labour leadership to support BDS). Although Streatham has a left-wing Labour MP, the CLP is apparently controlled by the right.
Mike explains: “The right were so desperate to rig everything else they let me move my Palestine motion.”
So it looks like there are still opportunities for Labour activists at the grassroots to resist the leadership and bureaucracy’s anti-Palestinian policies. Keep pushing.
Here is my MEMO column from the weekend, about the protests that have erupted in the West Bank against the PA’s collaborationist regime and its murder of activist Nizar Banat. Over the years, I’ve had to return to this theme so often in my MEMO column, that it’s wearisomely depressing.
The PA is a major obstacle to Palestinian liberation, yet many in the Palestine solidarity movement in the West, and among much of the left, either don’t seem to understand this, or refuse to do so.
Charleroi por la Palestine, a Belgian solidarity group, kindly translated one of my recent articles into French. Please do share it with your francophone friends.
You can read the English original here. It’s about Isaac Herzog, Israel’s incoming “centrist” president and his history of violence and anti-Arab racism.
Tweets of the Week
Excellent thread here by Ammar Kazmi — a genuine socialist and actual anti-imperialist. Ammar gets what much of the left still doesn’t: the lesson to learn from Corbyn’s defeat is that the British left will never win unless it defeats the Israel lobby and the Zionist movement’s pernicious and destructive influence in this country.
Finally, a massive thank you to John Pilger, for this generous tweet promoting my Substack — it’s an absolute honour. As regular readers may know, John’s was massively influential on me as a journalist. It’s not an exaggeration to say I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. I don’t use the word hero lightly, but John deserves it. Paying Substack subscribers can read this more personal article I wrote about John’s influence on my work.
If you’re not a paying subscriber, please consider signing up today! Many thanks for all your support for my independent journalism.