The violence in Jerusalem reveals the fundamental injustice of the occupation

The violence in Jerusalem reveals the fundamental injustice of the occupation

Israeli Border Police chase young Palestinians in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 17, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabili / AFP)

With scenes of shocking brutality, Israel has once again succeeded in setting fire to Jerusalem, with brutal and defiant police around Al-Aqsa Mosque at a time when this holy city is the center of worship for festivals of three world religions.

With more than 150 Palestinians injured, these disproportionate and one-sided losses demonstrate that Israel massively overestimated a threat that barely existed to begin with, on a day of worship for the holiest Muslim month of the year that coincided with Easter and Passover. Jewish. Israeli forces even obstructed the arrival of ambulances to evacuate the wounded. Frail and elderly worshipers have been assaulted and arrested for exercising their right to pray at Islam’s third holiest site.

Attacks on worshipers are not just a local Palestinian concern, but a scandal that angers Muslims, Christians and the civilized world – while hurting Jews who seek to practice their faith in peace and coexist in peace. amicably with non-Jewish neighbors.

Zionist extremists have further heightened tensions with a campaign to sacrifice animals at the holy site, an offensive and provocative move widely described as “direct aggression” against Muslims. It comes after months of extremist settlers aggressively seeking to increase their access to the site, which they had previously been barred from approaching.

Elsewhere in Jerusalem, settlers have continued to violently build up their presence and forcibly rob homes in Palestinian areas, especially in hotly contested places like Silwan. Israel’s justice system is working overtime to legitimize injustice, theft, apartheid and state terrorism, as entire districts are stripped of their Arab identity and Palestinians are ousted and expelled from their own capital .

All of this represents a very embarrassing slap in the face for some Arab leaders, coming so soon after the Negev summit during which it was argued that normalization was good for the region. It also exposes the lie advanced by Israeli hawks that normalization could be an alternative to real peace with the Palestinians, and that the Arab world will miraculously forget about Palestine. These latest incidents serve as a reminder to all who have a conscience and a sense of empathy that Israel still behaves exactly as it always has.

Tehran and its allies are already taking full advantage of these events. Iran’s Foreign Ministry has accused Arab states of paving the way for Israeli “crimes” through “treacherous” diplomatic relations. Daesh and al-Qaeda propagandists have urged their supporters to engage in mass incitement around the issue, as a cynical way to revive their faltering fortunes.

Recent world events are rekindling the awareness – even among many Israelis – that the occupation is essentially brutal and unjust, and that it comes at an incalculable cost to innocent civilians.

Baria Alamuddin

Palestine is an open wound, left to fester in an atmosphere of manifest injustice and oppression. In a sick environment, there will always be sick individuals who engage in sick acts, like a 15-year-old girl who stabbed an Israeli in Haifa last week. Children should grow up innocent of political violence and religious hatred. Apartheid and the occupation are the culprits when even little girls are involved in such horrors. And no, Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett, such actions do not grant you the right to dehumanize all Palestinians by calling them “terrorists” who deserve to be faced with naked violence and collective punishment.

Donald Trump has sought to fundamentally change the contours of the Palestinian issue with measures meant to assert Israeli rights over all of Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and much of the West Bank, particularly the Jordan Valley. Instead of pushing back against these flagrant violations of international law, the Biden administration has ignored Palestine and ceded the initiative to the Israeli far right, which believes it can continue to encroach on all of historic Palestine. and eventually push the Palestinians into the sea, or at least across the border to Jordan and Egypt.

Within Israel’s leadership, there are those who have embraced these militarized escalations as a way to provoke violent reprisals, with the aim of delegitimizing the Palestinian cause and stealing more land, while consolidating apartheid.

However, for Israelis who do not want to live in a permanent state of war, this must be a wake-up call that fundamental transformations in behavior and attitude are needed if they are to guarantee their long-term security. , and if they don’t want to further sabotage Israel’s reputation in the eyes of the world.

This is especially true as a growing number of Western politicians are willing to speak out against Israeli state terrorism, despite the vicious onslaught of anti-Semitism accusations hurled at anyone who dares to mention the Palestinian cause.

Recent world events are rekindling the awareness – even among many Israelis – that the occupation is essentially brutal and unjust, and that it comes at an incalculable cost to innocent civilians.

It is obvious to everyone that the Russian occupation of Ukraine will end in failure, and probably represents the beginning of the end of Vladimir Putin’s regime. Likewise, Iran’s occupation of Arab states only increases Arab hatred towards the puppets of Hezbollah, Hashd and the Houthi in Tehran, and can only end with their eventual eradication.

After 75 years, Palestinians are no less willing to fight for their eternally just cause and their rights to their land. This will not be less true in 175 or 1075 years.

Conscientious, educated and farsighted Israelis realize that their illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the indefinite and unjust suppression of Palestinian rights necessarily corrupts and discredits Israelis themselves. As long as they seek to steal all of historic Palestine, they risk ultimately being left with nothing.

Baria Alamuddin is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster in the Middle East and the UK. She is the editor of the Media Services Syndicate and has interviewed many heads of state.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the authors in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Arab News

Michael A. Bynum