palestine

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It was our privilege to connect with Brother Peter Bray – vice-chancellor of Bethlehem University, which is the only Catholic university in Palestine.

While Peter and his students are blessedly shielded from the heart of the violence in Gaza, no one in Palestine is unaffected by the current surge in violence.

This webinar was broadcast to the Fighting Fathers Community on Monday, October 30th, 2023

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Father Dave Smith and Father Mark Battison

Dave: Okay, Father Dave here with Father Mark I’ve, just come back from England and Mark, is from England, and we’re in Sydney, and we’re talking about Palestine, That’s about it, isn’t it? Or Israel and Palestine, which at the moment, is as desperate a situation, I think, as it has been within my lifetime, Would that be correct? No, I guess … It probably would be correct. I mean we had the, I suppose the …

Mark: We’ve had the Intifadas and the previous wars and yeah and so on, but this seems to have escalated past all of those People are now starting to talk in terms of it having world implications.

Dave: Well, this is it I mean … It seems to me we’re looking potentially here at World War III. I think I’m going to find that tweet again, which I shared this morning, which I shared on Twitter and Facebook from a guy called Alexander Dugan who is a professor of some sort. I just thought it was very well put.

“In these days and after…” Sorry

“In these tragic days and after cruel bombing by Israel of a Palestinian Hospital in Gaza, the final loss of American control over the Islamic world is total and irreversible. Now the globalists have to fight simultaneously Russia, China and World Islam If that is not World War, III ..” Is there anything more than the ..,? Oh, “If it’s not World War III, what the hell is it?”, he says, and I thought that really encapsulated the situation.

Mark: Yes, it does, but I think we’re possibly a few steps still away from it, and by that I mean that what’s happening right now in in Israel/Palestine – it’s political, It’s not about individual people or indeed, the difference between Jewish, Christian or Muslim faiths. They’re easy. It’s easy for us to to label things in that way but the truth is that for a very long time the politics has been influencing enormously what’s happening in that part of the world and if you …

It’s very hard to be a Christian on occasions because we believe that Jesus Christ is at the centre of every human being. We believe that the Holy Spirit, works in the world, and we believe that it works for peace and for good, and there are undoubtedly billions and billions of acts of kindness and generosity and hope going on all the time but that’s not where the politicians seem to want to see the world.

Now what do I mean by that? The truth is that there has been oppression and occupation of Palestinians for, you know, well, we could say the last 75 years since Al Nakba, but you know, prior to that, and possibly not immediately prior, but for thousands of years, Jewish and Muslim people lived perfectly happily together in the in the land, that is now Israel/Palestine.

It was called Palestine at that time and then the politicians from Britain got involved, and from France, and the segregation and things of like that happened, and then there was a political guilt in the world and, to a certain degree, a Christian guilt, around the Holocaust. And how do we rectify what happened to the Jews in the Holocaust because that was the greatest event of catastrophe and murder that the world has ever really seen in recorded history? And so, in a sense, like everything, the pendulum never seems, to stop in the middle? It swings from one way to the other.

Israel were given this piece of land but with very clear instructions on how to manage it, and the responsibilities they had towards the indigenous Palestinians, and so on, but because of the guilt, the politicians have never enforced any of those conditions, and Israel, perhaps understandably (and I say ‘Israel’ in terms of again politicians and leaders, not average everyday person on the street), perhaps understandably, decided that this must never happen again, and the only way to do that was to create an environment in which it couldn’t happen again, and that meant to eradicate anybody who wasn’t Jewish Israeli from that part of the land, and that’s where the Nakba came from. It was the reduction, you know, the removal of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, their lands, their businesses, and it’s been going on ever since. The Nakba was a not a one-off event. It’s a 75-year event.

So, if you see things in those historical terms, you start to see why it is that Israel gets the political support it does now, and why it feels inviolate when it comes to whatever actions they want to take. They are going to find international support rather than International condemnation.

Dave: Yeah, look, I always remember Uri Avnery’s illustration, the great late great Jewish peace activist He used to say it was likea man jumping from a burning building. He had to jump, but he landed on some innocent guy on the side path. When he jumped. You know, the Jewish people needed a place of safety, particularly after the Holocaust – absolutely – but they landed on the Palestinians, and it wasn’t their fault,

Mark: No, but the actions as a consequence of that are very much the responsibility of the government of Israel, which has moved evermore extremism in its right-wing views and its work, so you you’re starting from that point, and then you see,

Dave: it’s been encouraged and bolstered and supported by the US and that’s why …

Mark: Britain caused it and America keeps it going. But, you know, the truth is the US needs a strong, militarily strong, Israel to keep all these horrible Arabs and Muslims in place in the way that they see it because there’s oil considerations, there’s power bases there, but even.

Taking that aside, what Hamas did and, you know, what Hamas have done is to use young men, full of testosterone, who have grown up, been born and grown in total occupation – never known freedom. They’ve seen their parents, grandparents their siblings, get poorly, not allowed out through the gates, not getting visas to get treatment, … dying  They’ve lived without the freedom that we take for granted, and then along comes Hamas with promises of revenge and freedom, and when you’re testosterone-filled and you’ve been told that you’re going to be a martyr, and, you know, what you’re doing is legitimate in the sight of God because of what’s happened for over … and away they go.

The truth is this is when I said it’s hard to be, a Christian. We cannot condone violence of any kind, it doesn’t matter if I can understand those frustrations and I can understand the fears. Being a Christian says, no violence, never, ever brings a resolution, It may be short-term resolutions but it will never be long term, and peace is the only, and we’ve often said, those of us who support Israel Palestine, there’ll never be peace for Israel unless they find peace with Palestinians first, and I feel that this has now set us back.

We were at a point where people were starting to talk about – in in senior positions within governments around the world, they were starting to talk and use the word ‘apartheid’, because the Israeli state is an apartheid state. There’s no question of that now. People like Desmond, Tutu identified it. The church in South Africa has come out and acknowledged it, and if those people don’t know what apartheid is ..

Dave: Jimmy Carter, I think, as well, in the US in his book …

Mark: Ah …, yes, well, indeed and there are many other very clever and erudite people around the world who have seen it in this way, and that was starting to gain traction, which meant, ultimately, in a period of time. political pressure would start to come on to the state of Israel, to say to the government, ‘You know,you can’t continue down this road. You have to find a way of making peace’.

We all know the two-state Solution is now dead in the water. It’s, not possible, but that doesn’t mean to say there can’t be peace of some kind or another. And what Hamas have done has now put this back decades probably, because we’re going to have to go back to the starting point of saying to, you know, that what Israel has done in the past will now have been wiped clean from everybody’s memories and it’s almost starting again, you know, and you, Dave, have had, your own experiences. I’ve had my ..

The very first time I went to Yad Vashem, I was leading a group of Christian pilgrims, and I had my collar on, and I walked into Yad Vashem with them and they’re all there for the first time, and there was a great big banner by the door that said, “Never trust these Christians; They still believe … they still blame us for killing their Jesus’‘ – at the opening, entrance to Yad Vashem! And that level of fear in Jews in Israel is, no doubt whatsoever, is underpinning a lot of the things that have happened, and you have to pray for that fear to go, you know: Christians don’t blame Jews for killing their Jesus. .

Dave: Well, look, let’s be honest though. I mean some have. I mean, even great figures like Martin Luther. We’ve had a terrible history of anti-Semitism within the church – no doubt about that, and no doubt there’s some of it still around.

 

Mark: I don’t hear it on a regular basis. In fact, it’s the old pendulum again. Now, you’re, so careful, not to say anything that could be classed as antisemitic that you daren’t even feel that you can challenge things that are, you know, against the teachings of Jesus

Dave: Yeah. The problem is equating criticism of the actions of the Israeli government, with anti-Semitism, and that’s where we want to say, ‘surely the two have to be separate. things’. You must be able to criticize an action of a government without being seen as being racially prejudiced.

Mark: And that’s why the definition of the IHRA definition, which has been adopted by governments around the world, is so problematic.

Dave: I appreciate what they’re saying is that people use criticism of Israel as a mask for their antisemitism. No doubt that’s been done, but there has to be legitimate political discourse as well which … outside of that.

Now you mentioned, as Christians, we need to look for a peaceful solution. This is one of the distressing things. I read, particularly American politicians, who supposedly are coming from a Christian perspective. I mean that the level of violence, they’re advocating is, just mindless They’re, talking about, they seem to be advocating genocide of the entire Palestinian people,

It’s deeply disturbing, and we included, well, I think I quoted in … last week, Nikki Haley, who’s a presidential candidate, you know, and some of her rhetoric, but other Senators over there … the language is vile It’s as if they’re advocating a genocide of the Palestinian population,

Mark: But the government of Israel has been advocating the genocide of the Palestinian population for a very long time, The …and I’m talking about the current members of the current government, because it’s moved to the right. The people who, you know, you’ve got people in charge of the police who’ve got 51, I think it is, criminal convictions, You’ve got, you’ve, got people who have very, very extreme views around genocide and they are in positions of power.

I had two examples. One was a … I spent time with a young Jewish teacher, Obviously I’m not going to say her name, but she was being encouraged to teach her children, around the 10 and12 year olds, that Arab children were less than human and therefore didn’t need to be seen as human or treated as human. She left the teaching profession because of that.

I’ve spent time, as I’m sure Dave has, and others listening to people in ‘Breaking, the Silence’ and other organizations. Where people who have spent time as in their doing their national service in Israel, who have come away with the most horrendous stories of how they, are taught that to eradicate Palestinians as a perfectly legitimate aim for Jewish people or for the state of Israel, not for Jewish people, my apologies, for the state of Israel. My own view is that the average Jewish person and the average Palestinian person are horrified by what’s going on.

I’ve got some close Jewish friends there, as I know Dave has. We have some close Palestinian friends. I had an email this morning from one saying  “My heart is broken into a million, a billion pieces because of the bombing of the hospital in Gaza’‘, and, you know, the request by Israel, for people to move South, and then bombing the only two safe routes that were supposed to be used, and so on,

But in all of this, the one thing we have to hope on is that Christ will eventually conquer all of this because there’s an old saying that, “It will be all right in the end. Well, if it’s not all right, then it’s not the end”, and whether you’re a Zionist and believing that particular, you know, the world will be right when. Christ comes again, or whatever you believe in. The truth is, as a Christian, it’s hard to be a Christian in these times because you’re human side of you wants to cry out for revenge in some case for all the horrors of both sides, but the truth is, as Christians, If we don’t start, or we don’t continue to be messengers and beacons for peace, then who will? If not us, who will?

Christians need to be able to move above all of the politics and all of the violence and all of the hatred. Engage with it, discuss it, share it. I’m involved in putting a conference together next year where we’re going to be talking about anti-Semitism and anti … anti-Christianism, believe it or not, as a result of …

Dave: I didn’t think that was a word

Mark: Well, neither did I..I think we might have made it up, but nevertheless, it’s a result of things that have been happening in Jerusalem, and also islamophobia. And this conference is designed to acknowledge and to work on why it is all of us at times have those feelings and every human being gets those feelings on occasions because they look out at the world and see these things happening, but as Christians we have a God-given duty to talk about the peace that must come and how we can help shape it in our local communities.

We need to talk about peace, not about revenge, not about the violence. We need to preach peace because out of peace comes hope, and out of hope comes joy, and that’s what God wants for his creation – hope. peace, joy. That’s what we want, and even though this is all going on over there, we’re praying like crazy and we’re doing everything we can if the opportunity arises to engage with it.

As Christians, we have a duty to talk about and preach peace, So in our churches, in our families, in our communities, wherever it might be, if this subject comes up, I encourage everybody not to take sides – to preach peace for both – because if God is in all the world and if God’s in every part of the world, then even in the horrors of Israel-Palestine God’s there in the heart of It hoping to bring some kind of peace through any and everybody he can work through.

And. It doesn’t matter if you’re, Christian, Jewish Muslim, whatever. The truth is that we all go back to one God who created us for peace.

Dave: I think you said it all brother We’ll keep praying and keep doing what we can.

……………..

Father Mark Battison is the current president of Friends of Sabeel, Australia – a Christian Palestinian human rights organisation.

Father Dave is a former president of Friends of Sabeel, Australia

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The following article was published by my friend, Dr Chandra Muzaffar, on January 4th, 2023, after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted to refer Israel to the International Court of Justice over the ongoing occupation of Palestine and associated human-rights violations. It is unlikely that the Israeli government will pay any attention to the determination of the World Court. Even so, Dr Muzaffar believes that the UNGA decision is important.

with Dr Chandra Muzaffar in 2013

with Dr Chandra Muzaffar in Kuala Lumper, Malaysia, in 2013

 

THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY DRAGS ISRAEL TO THE WORLD COURT  

By Chandra Muzaffar

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted last week to refer Israel to the International Court of Justice (World Court) for its on-going violation of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza and for adopting measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem.

Before we analyse the significance of the vote, let us probe the actual voting pattern. 87 states voted to refer Israel to the World Court. This represents almost all the Muslim majority states including those that had recently established diplomatic relations with Israel. It shows that on this issue at least, the diplomatic manoeuvres of Israel and its backers have not helped the Zionist state. Other largely non-Muslim majority states in Latin America, Africa and Asia also endorsed the resolution. It is notable that both China and Russia supported the move to haul Israel before the World Court. 26 countries voted against the UNGA resolution. Among them were of course the US, Britain and a number of other Western states. A huge number — 53 — also abstained. India which at the time of the creation of Israel in 1948 was in the forefront of the struggle to defend the rights of the Palestinians was one of the abstentions. Its growing ties with Israel, especially in the military sphere have often been cited as the main reason for this change in attitude.      

The Indian stance does not in any way nullify the significance of the vote for the resolution. The UNGA is asking the highest jurisdictional authority in the world to state its stand on Israel’s conduct as the Occupying Power over lands it has held in its grip for the last 55 years. Right from 1967, the UNGA has viewed Israel not only as an Occupying Power but has also demanded that Israel withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza. Needless to say, Israel has ignored this plea. It is worth observing that this time the UNGA’s request is being made when Israel is led by perhaps its most extreme right-wing government which has pledged to pursue policies that will undermine even further what little is left of the rights of the Palestinian people and demolish even more the Christian and Muslim features of Jerusalem.

By asking the World Court to examine Israeli behaviour in the Occupied Territories, the UNGA is telling Israel that it is under scrutiny. It is holding Israel accountable. It is forcing a rogue state to behave properly —a State that since 1948 has refused to abide by the norms and standards of conduct that all states are expected to uphold.

If the World Court concurs in essence with the UNGA resolution that Israel has violated the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and has attempted to alter the character of Jerusalem, how would the Israeli government under Benjamin Netanyahu respond? Going on the basis of his past and present conduct, it is almost certain that he will ignore the World Court’s position and even rail against the body just as he has condemned the UNGA for its recent resolution. In other words, there will be no change in Israeli behaviour in the Occupied Territories or in Jerusalem. After all, in 2004 the World Court had already ruled that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories were in breach of international law but Israel continued to expand the settlements which today house about 700,000 Jewish settlers.

But this should not in any way diminish the usefulness of going to the World Court or working through the UNGA. These are important routes to take for at least two reasons. One, they reveal that Israel is the real problem and that it is this problem that has to be resolved in the interest of genuine peace. Two, by harnessing support from UN member states and UN agencies, the Palestinian cause is enhanced. It strengthens the Palestinian position as it confronts not just Israel but its principal backer, the US and a number of European states, sometimes joined by Japan and South Korea.

It is perhaps at this juncture that we should examine briefly Palestine’s relationship with the UN. It has been ambivalent at best. It was the UN under the influence of the US and other Western powers that presided over the unjust partition of historical Palestine in 1948 giving the less than 30% Jewish population two-thirds of the land while the 70% Palestinian majority comprising Muslims and Christians was awarded the remaining one-third. There was no plebiscite to determine how the people — the entire population — felt about the proposed partition. By ignoring the people’s feelings, the UN in effect transgressed its own Charter.  

But after Israel seized Gaza and the West Bank including East Jerusalem in 1967, UN resolutions — as we have seen — clearly recognise Palestinians living in those territories as victims of Occupation. It should also be emphasised that through various resolutions the UN continues to recognise the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty. Besides, since November 2012, Palestine is a non-member observer state of the UN General Assembly.

The UN also looks after Palestinian refugees. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provides education, health relief and social services for over 5 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria. Gaza and West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Palestine’s relationship with the UN is one wrapped in obligations, responsibilities, rights and aspirations. It has had its ups and downs. But it should continue to be viewed as one of the many channels through which the Palestinian people seek to secure their justice, freedom and dignity.  

Dr Chandra Muzaffar is the president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST).

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‘Israel is not exercising the right to defend itself”, says Chris Hedges. “It is carrying out mass murder, aided and abetted by the U.S.”

Hedges, in my opinion, is one of the most insightful and honest commentators alive when it comes to Israel/Palestine. He spent seven years as Middle East Bureau Chief for the New York Times. He is also an ordained Presbyterian Minister! Read the full article here.

Father Dave

Chris Hedges: Israel, the Big Lie

Nearly all the words and phrases used by the Democrats, Republicans and the talking heads on the media to describe the unrest inside Israel and the heaviest Israeli assault against the Palestinians since the 2014 attacks on Gaza, which lasted 51 days and killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children, are a lie.  Israel, by employing its military machine against an occupied population that does not have mechanized units, an air force, navy, missiles, heavy artillery and command-and-control, not to mention a U.S. commitment to provide a $38 billion defense aid package for Israel over the next decade, is not exercising “the right to defend itself.” It is carrying out mass murder. It is a war crime. 

Israel has made it clear it is ready to destroy and kill as wantonly now as it was in 2014. Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz, who was the chief of staff during the murderous assault on Gaza in 2014, has vowed that if Hamas “does not stop the violence, the strike of 2021 will be harder and more painful than that of 2014.” The current attacks have already targeted several residential high rises including buildings that housed over a dozen local and international press agencies, government buildings, roads, public facilities, agricultural lands, two schools and a mosque.

I spent seven years in the Middle East as a correspondent, four of them as The New York Times Middle East Bureau Chief. I am an Arabic speaker. I lived for weeks at a time in Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison where over two million Palestinians exist on the edge of starvation, struggle to find clean water and endure constant Israeli terror. I have been in Gaza when it was pounded with Israeli artillery and air strikes. I have watched mothers and fathers, wailing in grief, cradling the bloodied bodies of their sons and daughters. I know the crimes of the occupation—the food shortages caused by the Israeli blockade, the stifling overcrowding, the contaminated water, the lack of health services, the near constant electrical outages due to the Israeli targeting of power plants, the crippling poverty, the endemic unemployment, the fear and the despair. I have witnessed the carnage. 

I also have listened from Gaza to the lies emanating from Jerusalem and Washington. Israel’s indiscriminate use of modern, industrial weapons to kill thousands of innocents, wound thousands more and make tens of thousands of families homeless is not a war: It is state-sponsored terror.  And, while I oppose the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Palestinians into Israel, as I oppose suicide bombings, seeing them also as war crimes, I am acutely aware of a huge disparity between the industrial violence carried out by Israel against innocent Palestinians and the minimal acts of violence capable of being waged by groups such as Hamas.

The false equivalency between Israeli and Palestinian violence was echoed during the war I covered in Bosnia.  Those of us in the besieged city of Sarajevo were pounded daily with hundreds of heavy shells and rockets from the surrounding Serbs. We were targeted by sniper fire. The city suffered a few dozen dead and wounded each day. The government forces inside the city fired back with light mortars and small arms fire. Supporters of the Serbs seized on any casualties caused by Bosnian government forces to play the same dirty game, although well over 90 percent of the killings in Bosnia were the fault of the Serbs, as is also true regarding Israel.  

The second and perhaps most important parallel is that the Serbs, like the Israelis, were the principal violators of international law. Israel is in breach of more than 30 U.N. Security Council resolutions. It is in breach of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that defines collective punishment of a civilian population as a war crime. It is in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention for settling over half a million Jewish Israelis on occupied Palestinian land and for the ethnic cleansing of at least 750,000 Palestinians when the Israeli state was founded and another 300,000 after Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank were occupied following the 1967 war. Its annexation of East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights violates international law, as does its building of a security barrier in the West Bank that annexes Palestinian land into Israel. It is in violation of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 that states that Palestinian “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date.” 

This is the truth.  Any other starting point for the discussion of what is taking place between Israel and the Palestinians is a lie.

Israel’s once vibrant peace movement and political left, which condemned and protested against the Israeli occupation when I lived in Jerusalem, is moribund. The right-wing Netanyahu government, despite its rhetoric about fighting terrorism, has built an alliance with the repressive regime in Saudi Arabia, which also views Iran as an enemy.  Saudi Arabia, a country that  produced 15 of the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks, is reputed to be the most prolific sponsor of international Islamist terrorism, allegedly supporting Salafist jihadism, the basis of al-Qaeda, and groups such as the Afghanistan TalibanLashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Al-Nusra Front.  

Saudi Arabia and Israel worked closely together to back the 2013 military coup in Egypt, led by General Adbul Fattah el Sisi. Sisi overthrew a democratically elected government. He has imprisoned tens of thousands of government critics, including journalists and human rights defenders, on politically motivated charges.  The Sisi regime collaborates with Israel by keeping its common border with Gaza closed to Palestinians, trapping them in the Gaza strip, one of the most densely populated places on earth. Israel’s cynicism and hypocrisy, especially when it wraps itself in the mantle of protecting democracy and fighting terrorism, is of epic proportions. 

read the rest of the article here.

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I thought this was anti-Semitic fake news. Then I saw it confirmed on the Amnesty International website! Surely the world will not tolerate this sort of blatant race discrimination? Surely the people of Israel will not tolerate this? 

The following details come from an article by Ramzy Baroud, first published on Countercurrents.

There is no legal or moral justification for Israel’s action. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 asserts that an Occupying Power has the “duty of ensuring and maintaining … the medical and hospital establishments and services” with “particular reference” on taking the “preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics.”

Even the Oslo Accords, despite their failure to address many crucial topics pertaining to the freedom of the Palestinian people, oblige both sides “to cooperate in combating epidemics and to assist each other in times of emergency,” the New York Times reported.

Not all Israeli officials deny that Israel is legally compelled to provide Palestinians with the help required to contain the rapid spread of the pandemic. This admission, however, comes with conditions. Former Israeli Ambassador, Alan Baker, told NYT that, while international law does “place an obligation on Israel” to help in the provision of vaccines to Palestinians, Palestinians must first release several Israeli soldiers who were captured in Gaza during and after the 2014 war.

The irony in Baker’s logic is that Israel holds over 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, including women and children, hundreds of whom are imprisoned without trial or due process.

The captured Israelis are held in Gaza as a bargaining chip, to be exchanged for the easing of Israel’s hermetic blockade on the densely populated Strip. One of the Palestinians’ main demands for the release of the soldiers is that Israel allows for the transfer of medical equipment and life-saving medication to the two million people of the Gaza Strip. International and Palestinian human rights groups have long reported on many unnecessary deaths among Palestinians in Gaza because Israel deliberately prevents Gazan hospitals from acquiring cancer medications.

Long before the onset of the coronavirus, Israel has weaponized medicine, and Gaza’s dilapidated health sector is a standing testimony to this injustice.

Perhaps, the overcrowded Israeli prisons remain the glaring testimony of Israel’s mishandling of the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite repeated calls by the United Nations and, particularly, the World Health Organization, that states should take immediate measures to help ease the crisis in their prison systems, Israel has done little for Palestinian prisoners. Al Haq reported that Israel “has taken no adequate measures to improve provision of healthcare and hygiene for Palestinian prisoners” in line with the WHO “guidance for preventing COVID-19 outbreak in prisons.” The consequences were dire, as the spread of COVID among Palestinian prisoners continues to claim new victims at a much higher ratio compared with Israeli prisoners.

Israel’s intentional hampering of Palestinian efforts to fight COVID is consistent with a trajectory of racism, where colonized Palestinians are exploited for their land, water and cheap labor, while never factoring as a priority on Israel’s checklist, even during the time of a deadly pandemic. Israel is an Occupying Power that refuses to acknowledge or respect any of its basic obligations as an Occupying Power under international law.

For the complete article, click here.