Palestinians protest Trumpian apartheid. Photo by Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty. Front photo by Issam Rimawi/Anadolu
In another last-gasp bid at distraction from Ukraine and Bolton and the burgeoning dumpster fire of his impeachable crimes, Trump met today with Israel's Netanyahu - newly indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, making them like creepy twins separated at birth - to unveil a much- touted "deal of the century" being blasted as "the fraud of the century" designed to "support the project of endless occupation." Trump's long-brewing "peace plan," fostered by the criminally unqualified Jared Kushner, has been damned as "a euphemism (with) no peace involved," a "surrender document," a "sad piece of political theater" that will push Israel "over the cliff" into out-and outapartheid, and another American imperial trick to shore up Israel's hegemony and "finish off" the Palestinians with a non-sovereign non-state. Trump effected this historic erasure in part by simply ignoring the Palestinians - "We will speak to them in a period of time" - and the fact he's tried to give away their capital, closed their diplomatic mission, virtually excluded them from talks, and cut desperately needed aid, or as Trump boasts, "We took away their money." The horrific, historically redundant, morally reprehensible, "sick joke" result: "The Deal of the Century is apartheid," Bantustan style.
To re-enforce what side of the Apartheid Wall he's long been on, Netanyahu brought to this D.C. travesty a group of settler leaders, or what Jewish Voice For Peace calls "the colonizers of our time." Together, they're celebrating a travesty praised by Christian evangelicals as proof Israel is "kissed by God" but otherwise roundly denounced as "an unbelievable farce" perpetrated by two corrupt con men. "This is not a peace plan, it is a war plan," fumed one critic. "A war on peace. A war on justice. A war on freedom. A war on equality." Proof the plan is designed to perpetuate that war, and support the abuses of "the project of endless occupation," is everywhere in the besieged Territories. In the last month, Israel issued administrative restraining orders against 30 Israeli progressive activists - including one already in detention - barring them from joining weekly West Bank protests; they seized (for the second time) the only vehicle of the only medical team in an isolated region of the southern West Bank, cutting off health care to some 1,500 Palestinians and holding the medics; they arrested, sought to interrogate and trashed the home of a 21-year-old, severely disabled Palestinian they mistakenly shot in the head four years ago, leaving him with a bullet lodged in his skull and housebound, speech-impaired and partly paralyzed; and demolished at least three family homes of prisoners they've detained, which is a war crime.
In the last week, Israeli soldiers have stood by as residents of illegal settlements randomly attacked dozens of Palestinians in the West Bank, with no consequence, sometimes fatally, part of the mounting violence by a growing number of settlers. They also confiscated bulldozers and other equipment from Palestinian farmers in the village of Birin near Hebron, assaulting farmers and ripping out olive trees for good measure as part of a long Israeli "war on nature" fought in the name of the myth that early Zionists "made the desert bloom" in “a land without a people for a people without a land.” In truth, Israel ruthlessly colonized a land inhabited for thousands of years with no regard for the environmental impact, obliterating over 500 Palestinian villages, greedily scarring vast stretches with settlements, damaging local biodiversity, over-consuming water, daily dumping thousands of tons of waste on Palestinian land, and methodically destroying over a million ancient olive trees, the lifeblood of Palestinian culture and economy, directly by uprooting and indirectly through curfews, closures, razing farmland, settler attacks and poison - crimes that violate both Geneva Conventions and Jewish religious law.
Finally, of course, Israel continues to kill those it occupies - hundreds during large events like Gaza's Great March of Return protests, and one by one in daily assaults. Last week, Israeli Defense Forces shot dead three Gazan teenagers for the crime of taking a break from studying to visit the farmland of one of their families. After school, Mohammed Abu Mandel, Mahmoud Saed and Salem al-Naami went to Salem's family land in the northern Gaza Strip's buffer zone, about 200 meters from the Israeli fence. Their plan was to build a bonfire and relax before upcoming exams. Israeli soldiers allege the boys planned to carry out an attack, hiding in a thicket when a military jeep approached - clearly not because they were terrified - and throwing two objects "believed to be explosives." Soldiers opened fire, killing them all. Israel continues to hold their bodies, because, Israel. The families, still "in disbelief," reject the claims. Mohammed's father says his son was "a very quiet boy" who never held a gun and wanted to study agricultural engineering: "The Israelis are lying.” Salem's Bedouin father says his son, the eldest of six children, used to help him herd sheep, brought food to people poorer than they were, had "a very kind heart” and never did anything political. “If he crossed through the fence, why couldn’t Israel warn him to go back instead of killing him?" he asks. Because, still and all, lest we forget, "This is Israel’s way."
palestinian woman mourns her olive trees twitter photo
Mohammed. Photo by Aseel Kabarity/Middle East Eye
Complicit. Photo by Kobi Gideon/Getty