by Stuart Littlewood. Veterans Today Scotland
When Israel confiscated a Palestinian medical jeep it may not have sounded like a big deal. But it was, and still is, a matter of life and death to hundreds of oppressed people and the Israelis know it.
Haaretz reported earlier this month that Israel had impounded the only vehicle available to a medical team that provides assistance to 1,500 Palestinians living inside an Israeli military firing zone in the Palestinian West Bank.
It’s the second time in a year that the vehicle serving residents of Masafer Yatta in the south Hebron hills has been confiscated, cutting off healthcare to an isolated and impoverished population.
The jeep and medical team belong to the Palestinian Authority’s Health Ministry. They visit small villages in the area, accessible only by dirt roads, every week. The excuse for this outrage was that the team wasn’t allowed there without prior co-ordination since the area was inside a firing zone.
The team’s doctor said medical assistance was necessary for these villages because of their long-distance from a city and lack of financial resources. “We come here with all the medications we can administer outside a hospital to treat the villagers.”
When the jeep was previously confiscated it was returned after 6 months on payment of a 3000 shekel fine. All that time the team was unable to provide basic medical care as it was the only vehicle capable of traveling those roads.
The firing zone covers 7,400 acres and Israel declared it a closed military zone in the 1980s. In 1999, the army expelled the residents, arguing that they were living there illegally. But a temporary injunction by the Israeli Supreme Court let them return when they provided evidence that they had lived in the area long before Israel’s occupation in 1967.
The story is symptomatic of the evil permeating the Holy Land under Israel’s military occupation for 70+ years.
Last week Baroness Jenny Tonge, in a parliamentary question, asked what representations the UK Government intended making to the Israeli government. On 24 January Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for the Commonwealth, UN and South Asia, replied: “We have made clear to the Israeli authorities the importance of medical assistance being available to Palestinians, most recently on 30 October 2019.” And that was it.
Tariq Ahmad is a Muslim of Pakistani origin. Since his elevation to the Lords, he seems to have joined the ranks of those anxious to downplay Israel’s crimes and guarantee the rogue state’s impunity.
For example, in a debate on the Israel-Palestine conflict last March he said: “Any party that believes in the destruction of Israel, of course, cannot be a party to a peace process. The UK Government has made it clear that, before taking part in any peaceful negotiations on the two-state solution, any party at the negotiating table needs to agree on the right of Israel to exist.”
He didn’t mention the equal need to agree on the Palestinians’ right to exist and the UK Government still refuses to recognize Palestinian statehood. Doesn’t that bar Britain from the peace table? And once again we’re fed nonsense about a ‘two-state solution’. Given the many irreversible facts on the ground that the Israelis have been allowed to create with impunity, what would it look like?
Yeah, too messy and ridiculous to even begin to describe. Netanyahu has said repeatedly that there will be no Palestinian state during his tenure as Israel’s prime minister. He declared: “We will not withdraw from one inch…. There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel…. This is the inheritance of our ancestors. This is our land…. We are here to stay forever.”
And that from somebody who, like most of his vile comrades, has no ancestral links whatever to the ancient land of Israel and therefore no claim to it.
So that disqualifies the Israeli government too from any peace process. As for the US administration, it is so overloaded with Zionist pimps, has fouled up so many peace moves, is so discredited by its past and present performances, and is so contemptuous of international law that it too has no place at the peace table.
The Montevideo Convention of 1933 on Statehood sets out the criteria for becoming a state and these include a defined territory. So when it comes to “agreeing Israel’s right to exist”, Lord Ahmad surely knows that Israel has always refused to declare its borders. So which Israel would he like us all to recognize?
Israel behind the borders drawn by the UN Partition Plan? Israel behind the 1967 armistice borders? Israel with its boot on every Palestinians’ neck and illegally occupying the entire Palestinian territory? Or Israel was seen by many as a brazen ‘racist endeavor’ that has just passed laws declaring itself “the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”?
Or will he and the rest of Boris Johnson’s ministerial stooges now insist on Israel according to the preposterous ‘deal’ put forward by Trump and his son-in-law?
Let’s not forget that the new state of Israel’s admission to the UN in 1949 was conditional upon honoring the UN Charter and implementing UN General Assembly Resolutions 181 and 194. It has failed to meet these obligations and to this day repeatedly violates provisions and principles of the Charter.
Israel doesn’t even comply with the rules of the EU-Israel Association Agreement of 1995 which requires adherence to the principles of the UN Charter and “respect for human rights and democratic principle (which) constitute an essential element of this agreement” in return for trading privileges. Here too Israel grabs the privileges without delivering on the obligations.
Should everyone be expected to accept Israel’s right to exist while Palestinians are denied the right to their state?
© 2020 Stuart Littlewood
Source: We Exist by Johnny Punish
After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics, he served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. An Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, he has produced two photo-documentary books which can be read online at Radiofreepalestine.org.uk and Paperturn-view.com