FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Where Violence is the Norm

by

The reignited cycle of violence in Palestine and Israel provides the Israeli government with exactly what it has been begging for months for, violence. However, for once, Israel may be facing a new fact of life—as the sole military power in the conflict, it has the full ability to start a widespread campaign of violence, but it may no longer be the party who single-handedly decides how it ends. This particular round of violence has the potential to surprisingly end with political progress towards peace.

If this new, heartbreaking round of violence is what finally brings an end to the 46 years of Israeli military occupation, then the 11 Israelis and Palestinians who so brutally lost their lives this past two weeks would not have died in vain.

I refer not of the usual violence that the world has become numb to, such as 46 years of military occupation of Palestinians and their lands, nor the cries of desperation from Gaza that are stupidly expressed by misguided militants launching unguided, homemade-like projectiles indiscriminately into Israeli cities, but rather an escalation in violence that allows Israel to open the only playbook it knows in managing the conflict, one based on more violence.

This sad round of yet more Palestinian-Israeli violence is creating a nightmare scenario for the Israeli government. The extremist parts of the Jewish Israeli community and Jewish diaspora, particularly American Jews, are being seen in the open and across social media venues calling for Israel to ‘Kill all the Arabs’ and ‘Bomb Gaza into a parking lot’. Worse yet, Jewish Israelis are suspected of perpetrating a horrendous hate crime in Jerusalem, the murder, mutilation, and burning of a 16 year old Palestinian Jerusalemite who was walking home from morning prayers. The world is getting a peek into the Israel that Palestinians have been complaining about forever.

Shockingly, to the west, some of the violent outbursts coming out of Israel are being made by senior Israeli officials, including current ministers. Assuming the situation on the ground settles down, the damage done to Israel’s manufactured image of being a society aligned with western values has already been permanently disfigured, even given that the majority of Israelis, like the majority of Palestinians, deplore all the recent senseless killings. The current moment is possibly creating an opening for political progress if the international community acts expeditiously.

Maybe for the first time since Jewish terrorists in 1946 planted explosives in the King David Hotel, killing 91 and wounding 46 persons, and a Jewish religious student in 1995 assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in a public square in Tel Aviv, extremist elements within the Jewish Israeli society are being seen in the light that the Palestinians have been pointing out for decades. These Israelis are not only threatening Palestinians, but are now a threat to Israel’s future, no less a threat than violent Palestinian voices are to Palestine being able to realize its freedom and independence.

As the US’s latest efforts, spearheaded by Secretary of State John Kerry, slammed into a cement wall (figuratively and literally), President Obama put the entire Palestinian-Israeli issue on ‘pause’ until a path forward could be charted out. At least this is what the public has been led to believe. Reality on the ground does not corroborate the words emanating from the White House any more than the justification Israel is touting regarding the wanton actions they are engaged in with their campaign of collectively punishing an entire society based on an unsubstantiated assumption that two individual Palestinians may have murdered three of their citizens.

Israeli violence in Palestine is the norm. This has been true for over six decades. Until the key international actor in this conflict, the US, upholds its obligations under international law, no one should expect anything but more blood and tears. The US is no longer believable when it pretends that it is shocked by the deteriorating events on the ground. You can’t support the acquisition of land by force, fund and arm a state’s military occupation, cover-up diplomatically and politically for the state for over six decades, ignore dozens of UN resolutions condemning the actions of that state, and then turn around and be surprised that events are spiralling out of control.

Israeli citizens, Jewish and otherwise, as well as Christian and Muslim Palestinians in Palestine deserve a better global governance leader.

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business consultant in Ramallah, the West Bank, and blogs at epalestine.com.

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business consultant in Ramallah and serves as a policy adviser to Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and blogs at ePalestine.com.

May 02, 2016
Michael Hudson – Gordon Long
Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
Paul Street
The Bernie Fade Begins
Ron Jacobs
On the Frontlines of Peace: the Life of Daniel Berrigan
Louis Yako
Dubai Transit
Bill Quigley
Teacher, Union Leader, Labor Lawyer: Profile of Chris Williams Social Justice Advocate
Patrick Cockburn
Into the Green Zone: Iraq’s Disintegrating Political System
Lawrence Ware
Trump is the Presidential Candidate the Republicans Deserve
Ron Forthofer
Just Say No to Corporate Rule
Ralph Nader
The Long-Distance Rebound of Bernie Sanders
Ken Butigan
Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude
Nicolas J S Davies
Escalating U.S. Air Strikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul, Iraq
Binoy Kampmark
Class, Football, and Blame: the Hillsborough Disaster Inquest
George Wuerthner
The Economic Value of Yellowstone National Park
Rivera Sun
Celebrating Mother Jones
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir and Postcolonialism
Mairead Maguire
Drop the Just War Theory
Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail