Developments in East Jerusalem reveal it has been turned into a war zone. According to TRT World, “Israeli police have been unleashing violence on the neighborhood even targeting the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its compound with stun grenades, teargas, and rubber bullets.”
Several news outlets have confirmed that police are supporting Jewish settlers who are determined in executing a wider, illegal plan of expelling Palestinians from the historical Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and then from East Jerusalem.
A recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report has uncovered Israeli authorities committing crimes against humanity in a government policy move to “maintain domination by Jewish Israelis,” over Palestinians. These South African apartheid-like abuses are being meted out with impunity against Palestinians living in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem.
To see into the horrendous display of death and carnage imposted daily by Israel we only have to go to the world’s most densely populated blockaded strip of land, housing nearly 2.5 million, with one million children.
Earlier in May, Gaza was the victim of daily bombardments and no shelters for protection, this when around 1:00 a.m., Israeli warplanes launched a savage bombing campaign lasting at least an hour, firing 50 missiles into the crowded area surrounding al-Wihda Street in Gaza City.
Without warning, the bombs hit residential buildings, causing them to topple on those inside.
In a new book, “Except For Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics,” Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and co-author Mitchell Plitnick call on the America’s political left to expand their politics to include issues of Palestine and Israel. Dr. Hill has shared that as a longtime activist he has extended his core issues of focus to include racial justice, gender equality and regressive polices on immigration, and issues dealing with the LBGTQ community to also include the oppression of Palestinians.
Dr. Hill, an activist and scholar is host on, “UpFront” on Al Jazeera and is a professor at Temple University.
During a recent interview on “The Breakfast Club,” Dr. Hill explained his activism as “primarily focused (on) battling racism” in the U.S. He told host Charlamagne Tha God, “My primary issue is to try and dismantle White supremacy here in the United States.” However, his activism has expanded to include the plight of Palestinians. He explained that luminaries such as Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also connected the struggles of Blacks in America to the global oppression of other darker people of the earth.
Dr. Hill, a former CNN contributor is also host of Black News Tonight on the Black News Channel. He was fired by CNN for speaking out against the oppression of Palestinians by Israeli Jews in 2018.
“Recently (the) International Criminal Court (ICC) found that it has jurisdiction to investigate Israel for war crimes. Now, that’s a major move. Not just because it’s Israel,” he stated.
Dr. Hill explained, he doesn’t want just Israel being investigated for war crimes. “The United States should be investigated for war crimes, France should be investigated, Germany should be investigated. …”
But according to the academic and news commentator, “Up until now you know who gets investigated, African nations. Do you know who gets convicted?” he asked. Answering his own question, he responded, “African leaders.”
UCLA School of Law Promise Institute for Human Rights noted, “Since its inception in July 2002, the OTP (ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor) has faced two primary critiques: first that it has been inefficient, and second that it has preoccupied itself with Africa and failed to investigate equally severe conflicts elsewhere,” including the institute mentioned, “Palestine.”
According to the New York Times, the court started a preliminary investigation six years earlier, on the heels of the 50-day Gaza conflict in 2014.
The ICC’s main prosecutor recently said, she was closely watching Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip, for potential war crimes in the current conflict.
“I note with great concern the escalation of violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as in and around Gaza, and the possible commission of crimes under the Rome Statute,” prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said in a statement. She was referring to the court’s statute on crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Ms. Bensouda’s office said in March, before the latest conflict erupted, “that it had begun an investigation into mutual accusations of war crimes by Israel and Palestinian militant groups.” That decision, which infuriated Israeli leaders, was largely welcomed by the Palestinian leadership and its supporters.
How the ICC can compare the hundreds of air strikes by the Israeli air force, the destruction of two high rise residential buildings during those strikes and the death of men, women and children, to Hamas’ cheaply made inaccurate rockets launched into Israel proper is anyone’s guess.
Along with the deliberate destruction of residential Palestinian homes, at least 305 people were injured earlier in May when Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in East Jerusalem and attacked Palestinians who were on guard to prevent raids by extremist Jews.
Michael R. Fishchbach 2019 book “Black Power and Palestine: Transnational Countries of Color,” delves into the history of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and its connection with the plight of Palestinians. Dr. Hill in his current advocacy is walking in the footsteps of the famed Civil Rights organization.
In 1962 after hearing Minister Malcom X, Ethel Minor joined the Nation of Islam and became a teacher at the Muhammad University of Islam. She would go on to become a member of SNCC.
“Minor was passionate about the Palestinians and often talked about their plight,” Mr. Fiscchbach notes. Her good friend Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) recalled that Minor “organized a Middle East study group among SNCC members.”
In the mid-summer of 1967 after Israel’s six-day victory in the war, Minor, wrote Fischbach, and the SNCC staff in Atlanta reached a decision to “publish an article on the Arab-Israeli conflict in the SNCC Newsletter.” The “resultant hostility leveled at SNCC by whites (and Jewish whites in particular) only deepened SNCC’s determined to speak out on the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
On August 14, 1967 staff members from SNCC Atlanta office called a press conference. Ethel Minor joined Program Director Ralph Featherstone and Executive Secretary Stanley Wise in explaining the article to the assembled journalists.
The NYTs quoted Featherstone as saying, SNCC sought a “third world alliance of oppressed people all over the world—Africa, Asia and Latin America,” adding that the Arabs were also being oppressed.
“If we can find ways to hold powerful nations accountable in international courts and (the) United Nations … if we can have an international conversation about justice, then we are fulfilling Malcolm’s dream,” noted Dr. Hill.
“If you look at our tradition, we have to stop thinking about ourselves as isolated. We’re only a minority if we think of ourselves just in the United States,” he added.
“Malcolm was saying what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was teaching, that the Asiatic Black man and women I would argue is global. We’re not a part of a minority in the United States. We are an international majority. It’s White folks that are a minority.”
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