Wishing my friends in Palestine a happy New Year sounded so phony, knowing how the fates have conspired to make 2023 perhaps the worst yet as their homeland continues to be cruelly occupied, plundered, and stolen by sick-minded foreign thugs while the equally sick-minded international community twiddle their thumbs.
How disgraceful that native Palestinians are faced with yet another lunatic occupying government cobbled together by Netanyahu and this time including crazed, criminal retards like Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir. The loathsome trio stated in advance their intention to get even nastier (if that were possible) with the rightful dwellers in this land.
So here’s a new regime led again by Benjamin Mileikowsky whose East European family adopted the more Hebrew-sounding surname, Netanyahu, meaning ‘God has given’. He is one of so many with a fake name to fool everyone into thinking their ancestral roots are in the Holy Land.
Netanyahu is a man desperately dodging corruption charges and hoping the high office will keep him out of jail…. a man wanted for crimes against humanity who should be dragged in chains in front of the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
As long ago as 2015, he felt untouchable enough to announce that if he was returned to power, a Palestinian state would not be established because handing back stolen territory threatens Israel’s security.
And in August 2017 he said that Israel would hang on to the West Bank permanently and there would be no more uprooting of squatter ‘settlements’: “We are here to stay forever…. This is the inheritance of our ancestors. This is our land.” Which of course is a lie. The true inheritors are the Palestinian people who have been there since Jerusalem was a Canaanite city. Few, if any, in Netanyahu’s government have ancestral links to the Holy Land so their claim to it is false.
And who are the Israeli extremists effectively controlling Palestinian lives from now on?
Bezalel Smotrich is an Israeli lawyer born in a religious Israeli ‘settlement’, or squat, in the illegally occupied Golan Heights which actually belongs to Syria. He grew up in another squat in the West Bank and now lives in yet another. That makes him a three-time war criminal at least. As a lawyer, he shows scant respect for the law. His ancestral links are with Ukraine.
Smotrich has advocated a shoot-to-kill policy against Palestinians (mostly youths) throwing stones when confronting the occupying Israeli military. He is said to have also played a key role in Israeli legislation to legalize the annexation of Palestinian lands and a law banning advocates of BDS (the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement) from visiting Israel. He has long urged Israeli annexation of the West Bank, defended squatter violence against Palestinians, and recently produced his masterpiece, the Subjugation Plan.
Itamar Ben-Gvir’s grandparents were Kurdish/Iraqi Jewish immigrants. He belonged to a youth movement that was branded a terrorist organization and outlawed even by the Israeli government, and he avoided military service with the IDF because of his extreme-right political background, a useful wheeze adopted by cowards to escape their national duty.
A lawyer with a long criminal record himself, he too lives in an illegal squat on the outskirts of Hebron, so is also a war criminal. He used to have a photo of Baruch Goldstein, who massacred 29 Muslims at the Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994, hanging in his home.
These two thugs with no ancestral links to ancient Israel will be ordering Palestinians around in their own homeland and, we can be sure, making their lives a living hell with the full backing of the racist occupying power.
Ben-Gvir wasted no time. Within days of taking office, he and his gruesome entourage were strutting around the Al Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, in a provocative move that was condemned far and wide as incitement to violence. The visit, or raid as some call it, coincided with a quiet time and lasted only 13 minutes, revealing this loony’s nervousness at his own foolish action.
Jeff Halper, who kindly penned the Foreword to my book Radio Free Palestine, gives us an insider’s view on the new situation in a piece ‘The Zionist Cossacks Have Been Released on the Palestinians’:
Benjamin Netanyahu, due to return as Israel’s prime minister within the next few days, has one overriding concern: evading conviction and possible imprisonment in the three corruption cases for which he is currently being tried. After last month’s election in which the fascist settler party Religious Zionism won 15 seats – absolutely critical if Netanyahu is to set up a coalition government – he entered into a Devil’s Deal that has shaken even members of his own Likud party. In return for helping to pass legislation to “reform” the judicial system, including legislation that would annul Netanyahu’s trial and invalidate the ability of the Supreme Court to override the overtly illegal reforms Netanyahu needs, he has agreed to give virtually unchecked power to the settlers to complete their eviction of the Palestinians from Area C, the 62% of the West Bank controlled by Israel in which the settlements are located, and to employ the army, police, militias and the prison service to violently repress any Palestinian resistance.
To save his own skin, Netanyahu has done exactly what Russian Czar Alexander III did in the 1880s. Just as the Czar handed over his country’s Jewish population to the murderous and antisemitic Cossacks, which initiated 20 years of pogroms that killed thousands and drove millions of Jews westward, so too has Netanyahu done so by handing over the fate of the Palestinians to murderous settlers dedicated to driving them out of the Land of Israel, taking their lands – and not hesitating for a second to kill as many as necessary in the process.
Jeff Halper is an American-Israeli Jew living in Jerusalem. He is the Director of ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions) and promotes the idea of One Democratic State. He’s also living proof that not all Jews are Zionists and was nominated, together with Palestinian intellectual Ghassan Andoni, for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his work “to liberate both the Palestinian and the Israeli people from the yoke of structural violence” and “to build equality between their people by recognizing and celebrating their common humanity.” Precious little humanity is being shown by the Israeli side these days, however…
Palestinians are ‘interlopers’ in their own homeland?
So, after decades of cruel oppression, Palestinians end a murderous 2022 (in which over 150 of them were killed, including 33 innocent children) and begin 2023 menaced once again by this maniac Netanyahu.
Marwan Bishara writing in Al Jazeera tells how warnings about Israel “heading toward a fascist theocracy” and “sleep-walking into Jewish fascism” have multiplied. As for the Arab regimes which congratulated Netanyahu on another election victory, he says: “I can’t quite find an appropriate word.”
Through their wonky upside-down lens Israel’s far-right fanatics view the Palestinians as interlopers in their promised land. “Indeed, the new Netanyahu-led government vehemently opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state, supports the expansion of illegal Jewish settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories, strives to annex part if not all of the West Bank, and denies equality to the native Palestinian minority in the Jewish State. It will demand that the Palestinians admit their historic defeat and recognize the Jews’ exclusive ownership of the country in order to live in peace.”
Bishara writes that Netanyahu’s new extremist partners “have agreed to use their parliamentary majority to curtail the role of the judicial branch and end the supreme court’s oversight over the Knesset. This will not only allow Netanyahu to tighten his grip over the country, but also help him escape legal accountability following his indictment on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust”.
And Lawrence Davidson provides a useful summing-up: “What you now see so publicly demonstrated is, and always has been, Zionist Israel’s true culture and character – a state designed for one group alone and built on the conquest and dispossession of others… And the cost? It is to be understood not only in terms of Palestinian rights but also the very essence of Judaism, both of which are being destroyed simultaneously.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s brutal regime with its obscene policies continues to be admired – even idolized – by our apartheid-loving Conservative government who keep telling us they share its values. Incredible.
Official protection needed for Palestinians
Halper is so worried that he is urging for the UN to deploy a Protection Force in the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories), something the Palestinian Authority previously called for.
“Israel opposes that, of course, wanting a free hand to Judaize the West Bank. And, indeed, every time a resolution to establish such a force has been brought before the Security Council, the US has vetoed it.
“This is the time, in my view, that every Palestinian support group in the world should set aside the important campaigns they are pursuing in order to focus on this most urgent need: establishing a UN Protection Force for a Palestinian population whose very existence is in immediate peril.”
As if to confirm this fear, just as I was finishing up I spotted a report in Middle East Eye about Zvika Fogel, an MP with Ben-Gvir’s ultra-nationalist Jewish Power party and clearly unhinged, saying in an interview that Israel’s policy of going to war with Palestinians every two or three years wasn’t enough and that it should “subdue them once and for all”.
“We are too merciful,” he said. “It’s time for us to stop being so…. If it is one Israeli mother crying, or a thousand Palestinian mothers crying, then a thousand Palestinian mothers will cry. It has nothing to do with racism.”
© Stuart Littlewood, 5 January 2023
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 councilor 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 – Paperturn-view.com.
Also, check out Stuart’s book Radio Free Palestine, with Foreword by Jeff Halper. It tells the plight of the Palestinians under brutal occupation and explains to me why the Zionists who control Israel should be brought before the International Criminal Court.