2010 and the Palestinian cause

December 28, 2010 - 0:0

In the beginning of 2010 the world saw international activists protest in Cairo to pressure the Egyptian regime into opening its borders for them to enter Gaza with their aid convoys.

They eventually succeeded and in the following months hundreds of international activists managed to break the siege of Gaza. The most famous of them was the Freedom Flotilla, which had 663 passengers from approximately 40 nationalities.
The flotilla was attacked in international waters (and this wasn't the first time for Israel). 9 activists were killed, and at least 42 were injured. The massacre generated global rage and was condemned by many governments. Israeli ambassadors were summoned from 7 countries as well as the EU. And although the U.S. tried to block it, an international inquiry soon began. In addition, a fact-finding mission was launched by the UN Human Rights Council. They found that Israel broke international law, and found “clear evidence” for prosecuting Israel for the war crime of “willful killing; torture or inhuman treatment”. The report accused Israeli commandos of summarily executing 6 passengers.
But why were international activists attempting to reach Gaza in the first place? The reason is the Israeli blockade held since 2007. The blockade killed hundreds of Palestinian patients, and destroyed Gaza's economy. It was considered a “war crime” by the UN Fact Finding mission led by Judge Richard Goldstone, and it was considered a form of “collective punishment” by both a UN humanitarian affairs chief and a UN Human Rights Council monitor in 2008. This year another international testimony was added: the International Committee of the Red Cross called the blockade a violation of the Geneva Conventions and described it as “collective punishment”. Another strong legal statement in 2010 came from Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who announced Gaza's blockade as “illegal”.
But Gaza wasn't the only suffering part in Palestine. Under international law both Gaza and the West Bank are occupied Palestinian territories. The West Bank is led by the Palestinian Authority, which unlike Hamas in Gaza, is completely against armed resistance. Nevertheless, the West Bank is occupied and illegal settlements cover more than 40 percent of it. Checkpoints and roadblocks choke the West Bank while the Israeli wall surrounds it. The wall, which enjoys Hillary Clinton's support, is “illegal” and “breaches international law” according to the International Court of Justice. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that the wall annexed 9.5 percent of the West Bank.
We must also mention that in 2010 at least 14 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and hundreds were arrested.
Palestinians can't fully enjoy their natural resources, especially water. The World Bank reported Israel illegally consuming water in quantities that are four times greater than the indigenous Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank.
Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank - along with Syrian and Lebanese occupied territories - is mandatory under international law. It has been mandatory for 43 years, but Israel publicly refuses to withdraw. It refuses to dismantle the illegal settlements or the illegal wall, and continues to destroy Palestinian historical sites or claim ownership of them, which the UNESCO refused.
Being Israel's PM in 1997, Netanyahu ordered a group of Mossad killers to breach the sovereignty of Jordan - which had signed a full peace treaty with Israel 3 years earlier - and carry out an assassination of a Palestinian leader. In 2010, three days after an Israeli minister made the first official visit to the UAE, a group of Mossad killers using counterfeited passports breached the sovereignty of the UAE and committed a first-degree murder in Dubai.
The Israeli ambassador in France was summoned. Poland arrested an Israeli suspect, while Ireland, Australia, and the UK expelled Israeli diplomats. The UK had already tolerated Israel forging British passports in a 1987 operation, but the Israeli member of the Knesset Arieh Eldad didn't hesitate when saying that the British are “dogs” adding that he didn't want to “insult dogs here, since some dogs show true loyalty”. His fellow party member Michael Ben-Ari agreed, “Dogs are usually loyal, the British may be dogs, but they are not loyal to us. They seem to be loyal to the anti-Semitic establishment”. Such outrageous racist comments shocked some people in the West, who, unlike the Arabs, never experienced Zionism before.
This assassination which was considered a form of extrajudicial killings by a UN official reminded the world of Israel's continuous disrespect to international law and the sovereignty of states. In its 63 years, Israel carried out numerous assassinations and spying operations in many countries including U.S., UK, Italy, Greece, Malta, Belgium, Tunisia and many more.
We can see that 2010 had many forms of growing international consensus against Israel. One was in May when nearly 190 nations agreed in the UN to a declaration that pressures Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The U.S. stood by Israel, and Obama declared, “We will oppose actions that jeopardize Israel's national security”.
Boycott victories are another form of this consensus; they have now become everyday news. Every now and then a university, a union, a musician, a church or a company joins the boycott. In 2010 Israel fueled boycott movements by its crimes, including the above. Other crimes committed include house demotions, institutional discrimination against Arab Israelis and jailing children.
Day by day, the Zionist regime is revealing more of its true face while its legitimacy mask is falling. History shows that dismantling foreign occupations is inevitable. Dismantling the South African apartheid regime or the Western occupation of countries like Algeria or India were examples of such great success stories. But it's obvious now that liberating Palestine will be a much greater story.
(Source: Arab News)