Occupied Palestine/Israel: Killing and Oppression of the Palestinian People Continues

by Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT-Section in Israel/Occupied Palestine), 25.9.2013, www.thecommunists.net and www.the-isleague.com

 

On Sunday, September 22, the top stories in the Israeli press and news programs and websites related how Nidal Amar, a 42 years old Palestinian working “illegally” in Israel, abducted and killed Sgt. Tomer Hazan, an Israeli soldier whose body was found in the northern part of the West Bank.

Amar’s motive was his hope that he would be able to exchange the soldier’s body for the release of his jailed brother, Nur Al-Din Amar, a member of the Palestinian Tanzim, who has been imprisoned since 2003. Tanzim is a semi-military organization founded in 1995 by the late PLO leader, Yasser Arafat. Both Amar and the murdered Hazan worked together in a sandwich shop, according to the restaurant’s owner.

On Saturday night, when news of the killing first leaked, several hundred right-wing Zionists demonstrated outside the sandwich shop in Bat Yam, just south of Tel Aviv, against Palestinians’ working illegally in Israel, some shouting, “Death to Arabs!

Not surprisingly, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon blamed the Palestinian leadership for the abduction and murder of Hazan. Like the entire Israeli government, Danon is committed to a single apartheid state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

In reality, it is not the collaborationist Palestinian authority that is responsible for this death, but the Israeli state which has conquered and occupied Palestine beginning from 1948, its endless repression of the indigenous Arab population, its theft of their lands, and its refusal to release all Palestinian political prisoners.

The news of this killing of an Israeli soldier appeared in all the mass media around the world, including the main Chinese news service. The fact that, since July 2013, the Israeli army has killed 6 unarmed Palestinians has not nearly achieved such mass circulation.

While we can certainly understand the feelings of pain and bereavement of the soldier’s family, we must always remind ourselves and others that the role of the Israeli army is to repress the Palestinians’ aspirations to be free. Therefore, no Israeli solder can be considered innocent. Of course, we do not place the same degree of blame on this simple soldier as we do on senior Israeli military officers and Zionist politicians. However, the reality is that the killing of the Palestinians will continue as long as Israel exists, because Israel cannot exist without repressing the Palestinians. It follows that, as long as the repression of Palestinians continues, some Israeli soldiers will die.

 

A General proud of his War Crimes

 

In June of this year, a retired general, Yitzhak Pondak, told the Israeli Army Radio (Galei Tzahal) on the occasion his 100th birthday that the Israeli army destroyed and depopulated hundreds of Arab villages in order to establishment the State of Israel in 1948. (1) Pondak added that “he feels good about it” and “can sleep with a clear mind.”

In 1948, Pondak headed Platoon 53 of the Givati Brigade. After his retirement from the army, he eventually served as Israel’s ambassador in Tanzania.

“Under my command, soldiers destroyed Arab villages,” he said, “We did what we needed to do, otherwise the number of Arabs now would have been a million more.”

Responding to a question regarding lectures he gives to Israeli soldiers, Pondak said that “Israel is still facing the same dangers it faced when it was created in 1948.” He added “Should the Jews fail to fight the same way they fought back then, our state will be in real danger.”

“Wars unite the ranks of the Jewish people...after wars, Jews form parties and become divided.”

But some of the public, who do not want to see this reality, say that all this happened many years ago and, today, the situation is very different…

 

The Expulsions of the Palestinian People Continues

 

On Friday, September 20, Israeli soldiers invaded Khirbit Makhoul, a village located in the West Bank’s northern plains. This military force removed tents installed by the International Red Cross for the families that lost their homes and structures in earlier attacks by the army. The 10 families who reside in the village said that they "will not bow to Israeli oppression, and will stay in the area despite the ongoing Israeli violations," the Palestine News Network (PNN) has reported.

The small village is located among a cluster of Israeli West Bank settlements, and is also nearby an Israeli military base in the Jordan Valley.

Israel does not recognize Khirbit Makhoul, just like it doesn’t recognize dozens of other small villages inhabited by Bedouin tribes whether they are in the northern plains of the West Bank, near occupied East Jerusalem in its center, or near Hebron in the south, as well as in other areas.

With no recognition by the occupation authorities, these villages are not entitled to basic services (links to water, electricity, roads, schools, clinics, etc.) and have been repeatedly demolished. Their residents are frequently displaced due to Israel’s ongoing violations.

Bedouin villages in the Negev are also subject to similar attacks and ongoing assaults. Up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin – whose presence in the Negev dates to the seventh century – live in 35 villages, many of which predate the establishment of the State of Israel .These villages are not recognized by Israel, the inhabitants are considered trespassers, and their physical presence is now threatened by the Prawer Plan legislation being considered by the Israeli Knesset.

 

The only way to end this racist nightmare is a Palestinian revolutionary struggle lead by this people’s workers and supported by the falaheen peasants and poor, who will be joined by likeminded Israeli Jews, in seizing power and forming a true socialist state free of ethnically-based repression: a Free, Red Palestine from the River to the Sea with a multinational workers government.

 

Footnotes

(1) Saed Bannoura (IMEMC): We Destroyed Arab Villages To Create Our State, Retired General Said, 18.6.2013, http://nsnbc.me/2013/06/18/we-destroyed-arab-villages-to-create-our-state-retired-general-said)