October 26, 2023
From Popular Resistance
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Children make up about half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population.

The Nakba

Palestinians worldwide commemorate the Nakba, which refers to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948.

After securing the British government’s support for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, Zionist forces, on May 14, 1948, declared the establishment of the State of Israel as soon as the British Mandate expired. This action triggered the first Arab-Israeli war. Zionist military forces expelled over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and lands, capturing 78 percent of historic Palestine. The remaining 22 percent was divided into what are now the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.

Between 1947 and 1949, Zionist military forces attacked major Palestinian cities and destroyed around 530 villages, resulting in the death of approximately 15,000 Palestinians in a series of mass atrocities, including dozens of massacres.

One of the most infamous massacres during this period occurred on April 9, 1948, when Zionist forces attacked the village of Deir Yassin on the western outskirts of Jerusalem, resulting in the death of more than 110 men, women, and children, perpetrated by members of the pre-Israeli-state Irgun and Stern Gang Zionist militias.

Gaza

The Gaza Strip is a narrow piece of Palestinian territory along the Mediterranean Sea, measuring just 25 miles in length and six miles in width. Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on earth, home to approximately a 2.3 million people. Three-quarters of Gaza’s population are refugees who were expelled from the land that became Israel in 1948 and their descendants, with half being children. A December 2011 Oxfam report revealed that 80% of Gaza’s families live in poverty, a figure influenced by Israel’s ongoing blockade and closure of the Strip’s borders.

Apartheid

Israel has violated 28 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (which are legally binding on member-nations U.N. Charter, Article 25 (1945).

Amnesty International issued a 280-page report that detailed their findings regarding Israel’s implementation of a systematic regime of control over the rights of Palestinians in areas it governs. The report highlighted numerous actions, including land and property confiscations, unlawful killings, infliction of severe injuries, forced displacements, arbitrary restrictions on freedom of movement, and the denial of nationality, among other actions deemed inhumane. According to the report, Israel’s continued governance in the OPT was seen as a system of apartheid, and the report contended that Israeli officials could be held responsible for the crime of apartheid under international law.

Israel engages in various actions that are prohibited by the UN Apartheid Convention, including:

1- Forcible transfer of Palestinians to make way for illegal Israeli settlements.

2- Preventing Palestinians from returning to their homes and lands, including millions of refugees living in exile.

3- Systematic and severe deprivation of fundamental human rights of Palestinians based on their identity.

4- Denying Palestinians their right to freedom of movement and residence, particularly in the case of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

5- Instances of murder, torture, unlawful imprisonment, and other severe violations of physical liberty.

6- Persecution of Palestinians who oppose apartheid.

Genocide vs. War

Genocide is defined in the December 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as five acts committed with the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.” In contrast, war involves conflicts between groups or countries, often fought over issues like land or power. Genocide is a deliberate and organized effort to destroy a particular group based on factors such as race, religion, or nationality, potentially involving killing, causing serious harm, or implementing measures to prevent the group from continuing to exist. Genocide is considered one of the most serious crimes under international law, and while it can occur during wars, not all wars involve genocide. Genocidal acts can also happen outside of wartime, highlighting the significant difference between these terms.

Michael Lynk, the UN independent expert on human rights in the Palestinian territories, emphasized, “International law is very clear: annexation and territorial conquest are forbidden by the Charter of the United Nations.”

A Commission of Inquiry is collecting evidence of war crimes committed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

According to a March 2013 report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (“UNICEF”), Israel has arrested approximately 7,000 Palestinian children. Children make up about half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population.

Israel is the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes children in military courts, and this applies exclusively to Palestinian children.

Gaza death toll tops 5,000, nearly half of them children: Officials
Children make up 40 percent of the dead since Israel started bombing the enclave, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health.

Zionism vs. Judaism

Zionism is fundamentally a political and ideological movement aimed at establishing a Jewish state in historic Palestine. It is distinct from Judaism, a religious faith. Jewish people hold diverse opinions on Zionism, with many differentiating between their religious beliefs and the political ideology of Zionism. Therefore, it’s crucial to distinguish between the religious and cultural aspects of Judaism and the political ambitions of Zionism.

Judaism and Zionism are not interchangeable.

British/Western Colonialism

The creation of Israel was a result of British colonial policies. The Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which Britain expressed support for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, marked the beginning of a significant shift in the region. British colonialism favored Zionist interests over the rights and aspirations of the indigenous Palestinian population.

In Europe, Zionism began to take shape and set its sights on Palestine through immigration and colonization, leading to growing opposition in Palestine. By the end of World War I, the Ottoman Empire was defeated, and Great Britain occupied Palestine. The British government issued the Balfour Declaration, endorsing Zionist goals against the will of the Indigenous population.

The establishment of Israel was influenced by Western powers, particularly the United States. These Western nations, driven by strategic and political considerations, provided crucial support to the Zionist movement. Western interests played a significant role in the formation of Israel, often at the expense of Palestinian rights. Israel functions as a military base for Western powers, particularly the United States. They point to the significant military aid and strategic cooperation between Israel and the U.S., which allows the U.S. to maintain a strong presence in the Middle East.

Israel’s Right-Wing Government

Netanyahu’s coalition, consisting of ultra-Orthodox and religious Zionist parties, returned him to power, leading an even more extreme government. This coalition’s actions have included attacks on LGBTQ communities, religious freedom, Israeli and Palestinian civil society, and even the definition of Jewish identity. There have been significant implications for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and for the civil liberties of Israeli citizens, largely due to Netanyahu’s coalition.

“I think the African infiltrators threaten our existence as a Jewish and democratic state,” were Netanyahu’s comments regarding African asylum seekers in Israel.

Israel’s Defense Forces are known to be one of the most equipped militaries across the globe. Its annual budget exceeds $20 billion and Israel also has access to America’s high-tech equipment including cyber spying. Israel. In January 2022, it was reported that Pegasus was unlawfully used by the Israeli Police to monitor citizens as well as foreign nationals who were accidentally or intentionally infected by the software. Since the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948, fixed-term military service has been compulsory in Israel.

Mainstream Media and War Propaganda

War propaganda is employed by governments, military institutions, and mainstream media to influence public sentiment and gain support for a war effort.

The mainstream media often portrays the Palestine-Israel conflict in a biased and oversimplified manner, depicting Palestinians as angry and irrational while downplaying their oppression. Media coverage often focuses on Palestinian reactions rather than Israeli actions, creating an unfair narrative. Israel has framed the conflict as a religious issue, diverting attention from political and human rights concerns, and placing blame on Palestinians while ignoring their struggle for self-determination and justice. The use of terminology like “separation wall” instead of “apartheid wall” in mainstream media further distorts the reality of the genocide.

There have been reports that the Israeli government, with Western support, is using social media influencers to manipulate public opinion and distort facts about the situation in the Gaza Strip. Influencers are reportedly paid to promote a specific narrative, portraying the resistance as evil and savage. This practice is seen as an attempt to control the narrative and justify actions taken during the occupation. These have been reported by multiple social media users and on Press TV, highlighting concerns about paid influence shaping public perception of the occupation.

To gain a deeper understanding, it’s essential to look beyond mainstream narratives and consider the broader historical and political context.




Source: Popularresistance.org