Extra-judicial killings, illegal land grabbing and an apartheid system of rule continues as the order of events in occupied Palestine. Israel fell under heavy criticism for its military raid and shutting down of seven human rights organizations servicing the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The predawn move on August 18 targeted groups Israel designated as “terrorist” affiliates since October 2021. There is a long history of provocations against human rights defenders, argue Middle East experts.
“Israeli harassment of Palestinian civil society, NGOs, relief groups are something that extends all the way back to 1948,” said David Yaghoubian, history professor at California State, San Bernadino. “This is one of the ways that Zionists continue to put pressure on Palestinian society,” he added.
Often without proof Israel rationalizes the harassment by saying the organizations are linked with groups the government deem illegitimate, such as Hamas or Islamic Jihad. The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (ADLA) that represents the organizations, said the crackdown is led by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz—suspected of committing war crimes—in an attempt to terrorize those who will testify against him.
A statement released by the center said, the raids were conducted a few hours after the Israeli Military Commander rejected an objection filed by the groups to their declaration as “unlawful associations,” without evidence. Social media postings showed security camera video of Israeli soldiers confiscating computers and equipment.
“Unfortunately, it’s really part of a long Israeli tradition of harassment of Palestinians and Palestinian groups that support humanitarian ends and expansion of civil society,” Mr. Yaghoubian told The Final Call.
The Health Work Committees; Addameer Prisoners’ Rights group; Al-Haq rights group; Union of Palestinian Women Committees (UPWC); Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC); the Bisan Center for Research and Development; and the Palestine chapter of the Geneva-based Defence for Children International (DCIP) were targeted.
“Our human rights documentation and evidence-based advocacy exposing Israeli forces’ grave violations against Palestinian children has made us a target of the Israeli government for years,” said Khaled Quzmar, general director at Defense for Children International, said in a statement.
“Sealing and closing our office will not silence us,” he vowed. “We reject the Israeli designation and any repressive tactics aimed at eliminating our work,” he added.
The action was denounced as an escalation against rights defenders. United Nations officials urged Israel to reverse the designation and cease efforts to criminalize rights work.
Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs lambasted the “Absence of political will to hold Israel accountable” for crimes and violations and enabling its war on the rights movement.
For Palestinians, except when clashes with Israel are too deadly to ignore by the western press, their plight seems disregarded. Forgotten in the shadows of attention grabbers like Ukraine or an Arab world distracted by their own dealings in the region. Observers say the raids are examples of daily repression.
The raids came 100 days after Israeli forces shot dead Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh as she covered an Israeli military raid on the Jenin refugee camp. The Israeli raid also came as the UN scorned Israel for killing 19 Palestinian children in recent weeks, bumping up a number slain to 37 since January in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
In early August, Israeli forces using U.S. funded war ware rained down destruction on Gaza, injuring nearly 400 Palestinians and killing close to 50, including women and over one dozen children.
In response to the bloodbath dubbed “Operation Breaking Dawn,” Washington reacted with its Israeli go-to line: “Israel has a right to defend itself.” The Israeli government said it was responding to rockets fired into Israel by the Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad.
However, America’s reaction shades the fact that Israeli-Palestinian tumult stems from the almost 80-year occupation America signed off on, that created Israel. Critics of U.S. Mideast policy say America’s double standard of “unwavering” support for the occupier state, while marginalizing the occupied Palestinians prolongs the strife.
Speaking about the situation, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam has warned America will lose the Middle East. “You will be put out of that area of the world,” said Minister Farrakhan in Part 12 of a weekly lecture series called “The Time and What Must Be Done,” in 2013.
“You think that you will survive. I warned you a long time ago … Israel: You have not had any peace,” he said, referring to past remarks he made, that still apply today. “For 40 years you have not had any peace, nor will you have any peace,” said the Minister. Peace cannot be achieved structured on injustice, lying and thievery, he warned. A peace plan will fail because “the peace that you want is peace on your terms! And that is not going to happen,” said the Minister.
In his illuminating book, “The Fall of America,” Minister Farrakhan’s teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad warned about terrible consequences for imposing Israel on Palestine. “America and England deposited their little brother, Israel, on foreign soil, Palestine, which is Arab land. They deprived the Arabs of their own land and sent them into exile,” wrote Mr. Muhammad.
“This injustice against the Arabs is now costing America the power and authority that she once exercised in the East. She is on her way out of the Near East. This means bloodshed and plenty of it,” he added.
Currently, with Israel in a state of political flux and chaos within its own government, replete with a probable come-back of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, continued oppression is expected for Palestinians.
Observers and analysts point out U.S. foreign policy lacks political will to solve the Palestinian problem and is more focused on its regional position compared to China, Russia and containing Iran.
“The U.S. is now placing its emphasis, not on managing, let alone resolving the question of Palestine and the Israeli-Palestinian relationship,” said Mouin Rabbani, co-editor of the online magazine, Jadaliyya.
In a recent Final Call interview, Mr. Rabbani said America is placing its bets on establishing an Arab-Israeli strategic partnership, such as the so-called “Abraham Accords” not directed at resolving key issues like Palestine but forming an alliance against U.S. rivals and potential conflicts with Iran.
While espousing a “two-state” solution and the occasional disapproval of usurping land for new Jewish settlements, America feigns concern for Palestinians. But besides Arab and Israeli “normalization agreements,” are unattended issues important to Palestinians. The U.S. recognizing Israel’s illegal sovereign claim of Jerusalem; the illegal relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in violation of UN Security Council resolutions; and the closing of the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem which was a de facto embassy for Palestinians are all problematic, analysts argue.
As other conflicts erupt globally—some wrought with U.S. handprints—her duplicity is driving new lines of demarcation and alliances among nations and groups.
Russia’s defense ministry told media Aug. 17, a senior official met with the head of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, Major General Nidal Abu Dukhan, on the sidelines of Russia’s Army-2022 forum held August 15-21.
The discussions included possibly unifying on military and intelligence and happened as Russia seeks allies worldwide against the tide of Western isolation over its conflict with Ukraine. Russia supported Palestinians for statehood, but a new alliance could threaten historical ties with Israel, say analysts.
All kinds of mischief and trouble are being made in that area of the world, Min. Farrakhan has cautioned. The various sides talk about peace, but under Israel’s terms and putting the Palestinians in a losing cause, the Muslim leader noted.
Palestinians desire a “two-state solution,” but don’t have real sovereignty over what they possess, nor hope to get. “The Israelis are not going to allow you to have weapons to defend your part of the territory—they want to be ‘the master,’” Minister Farrakhan said, during his “Time and What Must be Done” series.
These are the conditions, as well as the refusal to Palestinians returning to their former places of abode.
“These are not terms for peace. These are terms for a ‘false settlement’ that will allow the Israelis to continue their mastery over the Palestinian people,” said Minister Farrakhan.