A 70-year-old conflict between Israel and Palestine defines the global justice issue of contemporary times. A conflict where one side is occupying the other with powerful military muscle that too with the support of West against the vulnerable, improvised, displaced, stateless people.
The Balfour Declaration of 1917, bargain between Britain and European Zionists which permitted Jews settlement in Israel. Later in 1948, British rulers left and Israeli Jews created Israel. Following a fascist policy based on Jews’ claim of being a superior race as “God’s chosen people”. In response, Palestinian rebelled for their territory. The fight resulted in a war joined by Arab countries and Western powers. By the time it deescalated in form of the ceasefire, Israel controlled most of the Palestinian territory. Hence, thousands of Palestinians either fled or were forced out of their homes which they call ‘Al Nakba’ or the catastrophe.
Thenceforth, the people of Palestine have been subject to severe discrimination, systemic human rights abuse, and a target to lethal military force. The siege of Gaza convicted 1.9 million Palestinians in psychological violence and extreme poverty. The fourth generation of Palestinians is living in refugee camps deprived of their legal territory.
The creation of the apartheid walls, the Jordan Valley military closure and, the annexation of East Jerusalem. All of these components lead to an irreversible reality of permanent occupation.
The illegal settlement of Israeli settlers with the help of the US.
In May 2021 Israel allowed Jewish Israeli settlers to steal Palestinian homes in Sheikh Jarrah located in occupied East Jerusalem, backed by American support. Under International Law, East Jerusalem legally belongs to Palestinian territories. For over decades, Israel has been and still continues to illegally occupy the land. As of now, Israel has full control over Palestine’s legitimate land. In the neighborhood of East Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah is legally considered as Palestinian land. Regardless, the government-backed Israeli settlements organizations permitted the illegal settlements and occupation of the Palestinian homes. Some of these Israeli settler organizations are headquartered in the United States. Israeli soldiers escort their settlers with the heavy military, while they steal the homes of the Palestinians.
The Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah have filed cases in Israel’s jurisdiction, following the legal rules to keep their homes by submitting appeals to the supreme court of Israel against forced eviction. Yet, the pleas remained overruled. The courts consistently prove their intentions to uphold Israeli supremacy while suffocating Palestinians rights by not questioning the claims of the settlers which automatically rejects the claims of the Palestinians. Moreover, hundreds of Palestinians were peacefully protesting, chanting for their security and safety in the streets of Sheikh Jarrah, trying to protect those families who were about to be evicted from their homes. Israeli police well geared, wrapped with guns, sprayed the Palestinians with skunk water, arresting protestors, breaking into Palestinian homes. Proving that Palestinian are not allowed to fight back for their own land even in defense.
Since 2009, a number of Palestinians were kicked out of their homes. Israeli organizations falsely claim ownership of Sheikh Jarrah asserting their intentions to evict the entire neighborhood of Palestine. A case of ethnic cleansing, perhaps! Disregarding the historic presence of Palestinians living there for over decades.
Keeping in mind, This forceful evacuation is driving Palestinian HOMELESS. This has been happening ever since 1948 when Israel was established, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were kicked out of their homes, nothing has changed nothing is new.
Attacks on Al-Aqsa
The third holiest site in Islam, Al Aqsa located in the city of Jerusalem. This old city has four quarters, Christians, Jews, Armenians, and Muslims. Al Aqsa is located in the Muslim quarter. With respect to the International Law, Jerusalem is to be broken into East and West Jerusalem. West Jerusalem belongs to Israel and the East belongs to Palestinian territories. Al Aqsa, in the Muslim quarter, remains in East Jerusalem. So legally Palestine has ownership of Al Aqsa under the UN International Law.
Nonetheless, Israel took control, of east Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories in 1967. This includes Al Aqsa, The Muslim quarter, and all the neighborhoods outside the old city like Sheikh Jarrah. Since now because Israel has control over East Jerusalem, Palestinians in the Palestinian territory don’t have access to Al Aqsa. The people of Palestine have to apply for a special permit from Israel in order to visit Al Aqsa. Not just only Muslims even Christian Palestinians don’t have access to Jerusalem’s holy sites in the Christian quarters.
In the holy month of Ramadan in 2021, Al Aqsa was jam-packed with the Muslims praying at their mosque when Israeli forces attacked with stun grenades, breaking into the actual mosque. Conceding, this is the third holiest site in Islam. Leaving hundreds of Palestinian injured, on the top of Israeli force decides to attack the medics with the same stun grenades. An absolute violation of the First Geneva Convention.
Historically, anytime the Palestinian protests against the violations of Israeli forces, Israel uses Al Aqsa as a message to convey that if you keep on protesting and rebelling, it will take away Al Aqsa from them. Using Al Aqsa as a tool to suppress Palestinian rights since 1967 when they illegally took control over Al Aqsa, East Jerusalem.
The United States Involvement
This whole Palestinian Massacre or genocide, you name it, is backed by the United states aid system. According to statistical evaluation, the United States pays $3.8 billion dollars/per year. The same money which helps Israel suppress the vulnerable Palestinians. Systemic racism, settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, theft, and occupation of Palestinian land, murder of innocent Palestinians may it be teenagers. All of this is supported by the United States of America.
The late Yitzhak Rabin once said that the American support for Israel was beyond compare in modern history. He was right, Israel is the largest recipient of U.S economic and military aid. Even though Israel is now a country with a per capita income that’s 35th in the world. Clearly not a poor country like Bangladesh or Burundi.
Israel gets this support even when it does things that United States opposes. Like building settlements in the occupied territory of Palestine. Israel gets consistent diplomatic baking from the United States and likewise, the U.S always takes its side in the regional disputes. The American politicians go to considerable lengths to show how personally devoted they are to Israel.
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Why Israel Matters to the United States?
Israel is a vital strategic asset and a country that shares American values. However, the immense economic and military aid remains unexplainable. Sure, Israel may have been a strategic asset during the cold war but the cold war is long gone. This unconditional support to Israel by the U.S is also one of the major reasons for the terrorism problem. Which makes it harder to address a lot of other existing/emerging problems in the Middle East region.
American policy is explained by the Israel lobby. A loose coalition of individuals and groups that works openly to influence American policy in a pro-Israel direction. It includes organizations like AIPAC, conferences of presidents the anti-defamation league, Christian Zionist groups. Think tanks like the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the American enterprise institute, publications like the Weekly Standard or the New Republic, and many other groups that work on behalf of Israel.
Repeatedly it is being said that the United States backs Israel because there is broad public support for Israel in America. And so decisions by politicians are based on people’s wants. A survey conducted for the anti-defamation league in 2005 found 78% of American thinks that the United States should favor neither side in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Another survey reported by Americans for Peace revealed 87% of Jewish Americans support a two-state solution. The University of Maryland found 70% of politically active Americans in favor of cutting support to Israel if it refused to settle the conflict.
UK Israel Arm Trade
Governments from around the world are authorizing Israel to carry out Palestinian oppression. The oppressive rulers of Israel rely upon the diplomatic support of states through trade and investment. The UK-based companies sell weapons and innovative arms technology to Israel. UK government arms sale despite the persecution of Palestine’s and not holding Israel to accountability only deepens Israel’s tyrannical rule over the people of Palestine.
Leading American scholars, philosophers exposed Israel’s persecution of Palestinians at an international platform berating the illegal occupation of Israel. World-renowned linguist and U.S. foreign policy critic Noam Chomsky lashed out while calling Israel’s “escalating policy of apartheid.” Chomsky believes Israel’s tyranny is in some respects worse than the chronic degradation of the nonwhite majority in South Africa. “The world works like the Mafia, and we’re the don,” Chomsky said. “You do what we say or else.” Israel is on its way to becoming a pariah state, like South Africa, it receives increasingly lonely U.S. support. Withal, Chomsky termed Israel and United States as “rogue states”.
Another critique, John Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science exposed the powerful influence of pro-Israel lobby on United States, Middle East policy. A powerful interest group comprised of Jewish Americans controls the American foreign policy. Mearsheimer believes that the united states should end its special relations with Israel and treat it as a normal country. U.S should treat Israel the way it treats other democracies like GB, France, Germany. In regards to the Israel-Palestine conflict should act as an honest broker. In other words, Washington should pursue an even-handed policy towards the two sides. Making it clear to Israel that it must abandon the occupied territories and allow for the creation of a viable Palestinian state. Jerusalem should be told that the united states will oppose not tolerate its colonial expansion in the west bank.
Stephen Walt American political scientist believes that it’s time to end the special relationship with Israel likewise ending the unconditional economic, military and diplomatic support. It’s time for normal relationships. As the U.S-Israel special relationship no longer justifies on moral grounds.
Slow-motion genocide of Palestinians.
From a legal perspective, genocide, like the crime against humanity of persecution, is an international crime distinguished by the specific intent to discriminate against a group on recognized grounds through a series of acts or omissions often reflected in and achieved through State policies.
Concerning the formation of the Israel state in 1948, the settlement of Jews, and the forced expulsion of the people of Palestine, sociologist Martin Shaw concluded that pre-war Zionism encompassed the development of a genocidal mentality towards Arab society.
The stranded Muslim world ties amongst Arab nations are another reason for the continued Palestine genocide. Under the umbrella of national interest, the rich Arab countries have not only recognized Israel as a state but moreover joined hands in economic ventures. Neglecting the Palestine crisis, leaving them on their own.
The Israel powerful lobbies and domination over not only the American politics but media and economy refrains the United States from holding Israel accountable for the humanitarian violations, war crimes, Extrajudicial detentions, ethnic cleansing, racial discrimination, genocide, and international law violations. Zionists are the same people who were once subjected to the Nazi holocaust are performing one today.
None of this is to say that the United States should abandon Israel. However, the history of Israeli war crimes, sabotaging peace efforts shall not be tolerated anymore. A shift in U.S foreign policy will turn the tables. Cutting off economic, military aid and ending diplomatic support on unconditional grounds with Israel will help deescalate the Israel-Palestine conflict.
It’s time for the United States to act as a responsible superpower on moral grounds rather than a rouge state.
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