The Ghost of Ariel Sharon
By Stephen Lendman
Previous articles discussed Sharonian evil. It's perhaps worse than ever without him. Multiple daily abuses explain best.
Palestinians are fair game. Most people can't imagine what they endure. Police state ruthlessness defines Israeli policies. Settler violence compounds it. More on this below.
Gazans continue suffocating under siege. Israeli air, ground and sea attacks compound it.
On January 16, Israeli warplanes bombed civilian targets. Northern Gaza was struck. Areas east and west of Gaza City were hit.
Medical sources said four children were injured. So was one woman. They were lucky to escape death. Israeli authorities repeat the Big Lie.
"Terror sites" were struck, they claim. Israel considers civilians legitimate targets. Nonviolent men, women and children are called terrorists.
Since New Year's day alone, Israel bombed Gaza several times. Artillery fired cross border. Most recently was on January 9. Three Palestinian civilians were injured. Israel remains unaccountable.
Sharonian evil lives. All Palestinians are fair game. Their supporters aren't welcome. A delegation of six academics visited the West Bank. They met with Palestinian scholars.
According to one of their members, they did so "to better understand conditions on the ground and to facilitate future collaborations."
On January 12, they departed. They tried to. Israeli security forces blocked their passage into Jordan. Grueling interrogations followed. They continued for 10 hours.
University of Illinois Professor Junaid Rana said Israeli security, military and Interior Ministry personnel were involved.
Members "were pressed about their scholarly research, academic networks, family backgrounds, nationalities and ethnic origins," he said.
"The Israeli security officer demanded contact and cell phone information, and two delegates were coerced into accessing their email accounts using Israeli security computers."
Interrogation covered previous regional trips. Rana was asked why he attended an American University of Beirut Transnational American Studies conference.
He was interrogated on whether he wrote political articles related to Israel. A delegation statement said:
"Such actions are a clear violation of academic freedom, including the freedom to travel for scholarly research, and demonstrate tactics of intimidation and harassment of scholarly inquiry."
Three delegates support BDS initiatives, Rana added:
"The delegation recognizes that their experiences on January 12, 2014 pales in comparison with the everyday surveillance and criminalization of Palestinian academics who are consistently denied the freedoms to research, publish, and travel."
Palestinian suffering is longstanding. It's extreme. Too few people know the horror of life in Occupied Palestine. Israeli state terror best explains it.
Daily abuses repeat with disturbing regularity. Israel wages war on press freedom. The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) reports monthly on serious violations.
In December alone, numerous incidents occurred. MADA said the "most notable and dangerous" one resulted from Alshera TV cameraman Ahmed Qadur's head injury.
MADA "condemns all violations against Palestinian journalists," it said. They endanger human life. They violate international law.
Palestinian journalists face frequent attacks. Incidents range from harassment to short-term detentions to criminal indictments. It's for doing their jobs.
Covering incidents involving Israeli security forces attacking peaceful Palestinian protesters leaves them vulnerable. So does writing or broadcasting information Israel wants suppressed.
Photojournalist Atta E'oissat's experience was typical. He covered clashes between settlers and Palestinians. They occurred after settlers invaded the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They did so provocatively.
Israeli police should have stopped them. They attacked E'oissat instead. He was beaten. He explained, saying:
"When I tried to push the policeman who was beating me away, other policemen intervened and attacked me, and they sprayed me with pepper gas and I lost sight in my eyes for about two hours."
"After about a week, I received a call from the police to go to their station, and when I went to there I was interrogated for about three hours and was then charged with assaulting an on duty police officer in his official uniform, without taking into account the attack on me, and I was prevented from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque for two weeks."
Imagine these type incidents and others repeating multiple times daily. Imagine enduring horrific abuses without redress. Imagine being considered a legitimate target. Imagine it for being Muslims in Israel or Occupied Palestine.
Asil Jabir is a Palestinian school girl. On January 15, she headed to classes with friends. An Israeli female soldier blocked them.
They were forced back. They took a bypass route. Returning home later they passed the same checkpoint.
"Nobody opposed us, but all of a sudden, the same female soldier, who was hiding, surprised me from the back and grabbed my neck tightly," said Asil.
"She then cuffed my hands and took me to a nearby military post. She tried to bring me into a cabin by force, but I opposed while she was kicking my feet and knocking my chest with her rifle."
"She threatened to kill me, and whenever somebody came close she asked me to tell them to go away or otherwise she would kill me."
She said the next time she saw Asil she would kill her.
B'Tselem explained an earlier incident. Israeli forces arrested about 30 Hebron area students. They were heading for school.
"This type of mass arrest of a group of minors, not on the basis of individual suspicions is unacceptable even if (they're) formally over the age of criminal responsibility," said B'Tselem.
Outrageous Israeli practices repeat. They occur multiple times daily. Settlers commit their own.
On January 15, extremist ones set a Salfit village mosque entrance ablaze. Doing so is criminal arson.
FindLaw calls it "the willful and malicious burning or charring of property."
In America, arson called "criminal mischief" carries a maximum 25 years to life sentence. It depends on the severity of the crime.
Settlers get away scot-free. Israeli security forces do nothing to stop them. They're free to commit more crimes. Rarely is anyone punished. Virtually never is harsh punishment imposed.
Settlers entered Salfit village pre-dawn. They torched the mosque entrance. A Palestinian worshiper alerted local residents.
They scared the settlers away. They extinguished the fire. They did so in time. Major damage or destruction was avoided.
Settlers sprayed graffiti reading "Arabs out." "Best regards from Qusra."
"The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance. He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked."
Imagine being vulnerable to these type attacks. They occur with disturbing frequency. On January 16, AP headlined "UN says pace of Israeli settler attacks up 4-fold."
In the past eight years, Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians nearly quadrupled. It's because Israeli security forces do nothing to stop them.
They fail "to stem the so-called 'price tag' campaign. Settlers use the term. It describes retaliations against Israeli government actions limiting their goals.
Palestinians are convenient scapegoats. Criminal unaccountability repeats. Olive and other fruit trees are damaged or destroyed. Mosques are defaced or set ablaze.
Palestinian farmers are attacked in their fields. So are children. Vehicles and other property are damaged or destroyed. These type attacks are serious crimes. They go unpunished.
AP cited critics saying "Israeli governments stacked with pro-settler politicians have often been reluctant to confront settlers, even those seen as a hardline fringe."
According to former senior IDF West Bank commander Gadi Zohar:
"There is not enough pressure from the prime minister, the defense minister, the interior minister (or other Israeli officials) to prevent this."
AP discussed a "dramatic incident." It happened near a Palestinian farming village last week. It reflects what occurs repeatedly.
"Last week's events began when troops uprooted olive trees planted on private Palestinian land by settlers from the Esh Kodesh outpost."
Later the same day, about 20 settlers "moved toward nearby villages, including Qusra."
They damaged olive trees. Villagers threw stones in response. The incident continued for about two hours. Serious bloodshed was avoided.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon warned about showing zero tolerance. Palestinians know he'll do nothing to deter settler violence.
AP said "at least two cases of vandalism" followed the Qusra incident. "On Wednesday, residents of a village in the area reported that the door of a mosque was set on fire and some of the carpet was burned."
"Graffiti read, 'Blood for blood, Qusra.' " Washington disingenuously condemns settler vandalism. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said:
We believe that such hateful and provocative actions against a place of worship are never justified."
"We look to Israeli law enforcement officials to quickly investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack."
America is by far the world's leading human rights abuser. It supports Israel's worst crimes. Both countries partner in committing them.
Settlers commit their own. Qusra village lost half its land to settlements. Its mayor, Abdel Azim Wadi, said settlers damaged or destroyed hundreds of village trees. They killed 18 sheep. They torched six cars. They set a mosque ablaze.
Israeli security forces did nothing to stop them. They attacked Palestinians. They fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters.
Blaming victims is longstanding Israeli policy. Mayor Wadi said Israeli live fire killed a Qusra man. Dozens of others were wounded.
Israel supports illegal outposts. They're established without formal government permission.
According to Qusra resident Abdel Hakim Odeh:
"Who gives them water, electricity? Who gives them security and paves their streets? These gangs are used by the government against the Palestinians."
Israeli deputy commander Col. Eran Makov lied, saying:
"The policy of the IDF...is to interrupt and stop every incident when a person attacks another person."
Video evidence and eye-witness testimonies show Israeli security forces do nothing to stop settler violence. At times they encourage, aid or abet it.
A previous article discussed criminal unaccountability. Serious crimes go unpunished.
Israeli security forces bear full responsibility. They encourage settler attacks. They commit them with impunity. They partner in repeated crimes against humanity.
Investigations when conducted are whitewashed. Being Palestinian is a mark of Cain. Being Jewish is license to murder, pillage and destroy.
Last winter, settlers seriously wounded Hilmi Hassan. He survived, saying:
"If a settler was shot, they would have imposed curfew on the entire area, but when a Palestinian like me is shot, they accuse him of provoking the settlers."
Israel's military lied saying Palestinian complaints about settler attacks dropped by half year-over-year from 2012 to 2013.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), around 2,100 settler attacks occurred from 2006 to 2013.
OCHA cited 115 in 2006 compared to 399 last year. Over the past eight years, settlers killed 10 Palestinians.
Israeli security forces and settlers injured about 1,700 others. Most Palestinian violence consists of stone-throwing. It's in response to Israeli or settler provocations.
The worst of Sharonian evil lives. His ghost remains. It haunts Occupied Palestine. State terror reflects it.
So does Judaizing all parts of Judea and Samaria Israel wants. It's grabbing them one stolen dunum at a time. Doing it reflects "the message of the bulldozers," said Jeff Halper.
Palestinians called Sharon "the butcher of Beirut." Fanatical supporters called him "The Bulldozer."
As housing minister, he demolished Palestinian homes. He did so brutally without mercy. He dispossessed Arabs for Jews. He was responsible for tens of thousands of illegal homes.
According to Halper, Sharon's message was "abandon your dreams for an independent state of your own." Accept Palestine as the "Land of Israel."
His message goes deeper, said Halper. It's more sinister. "You don't belong here," it says. Judea and Samaria belong solely to Jews.
"The bulldozer certainly deserves to take its rightful place alongside the tank as a symbol of Israel's" dominating presence, said Halper.
They both "deserve to be on" Israel's flag. The tank symbolizes Israeli aggression. The bulldozer reflects its "dark underside."
Israeli rights come at the expense of Palestinian ones. It's been this way for generations. Corrosive, racist, extremist, undemocratic, belligerent, lawless Zionism bears full responsibility.
Sharonian leaders share it. Fortress Israel relies on "strength, violence and crudity," said Halper. Human and civil rights don't matter.
Brutalizing occupation continues. "In the final analysis," said Halper, expect "the bulldozer (to raze) the structure that once was Israel." Expect Palestine one day to replace it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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