Israeli Brutality: A Cruel Exercise in Futility

Photograph Source: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit – CC BY-SA 3.0

The innocent people of the Palestinian city of Jenin have once again been subjected to a brutal onslaught by apartheid Israel. Taking over homes to use as snipers’ dens, they locked the women and girls in one room, and the men and boys in another, without access to water or bathroom facilities as they used their homes to kill other innocent people. They bulldozed streets, further preventing movement, and destroyed electric and water supplies. Seldom, if ever, in history has one people been so horribly victimized by another, and there is nothing in modernity to compare to it.

Some human rights organizations condemn these activities as collective punishment, a violation of international law. But it is actually collective victimization; punishment implies that someone has done something wrong, but resisting occupation is an international right of any occupied people. The people of Jenin are innocent of any wrongdoing, yet their already difficult lives, made so by the Israeli occupation, have been turned upside down again.

This is not new; Israel has been committing genocide against the Palestinians for over 70 years, as the rest of the world condones, supports and – in the case of the United States- finances these ongoing atrocities. The U.S. has even appointed a special envoy to strengthen the so-called Abraham Accords, agreements with several Muslim countries that recognized apartheid Israel. The agreements were made by monarchs and dictators whose leaders are interested in power and profits, not human rights or international law, or the wills of their own people who overwhelmingly oppose such alliances.

Israeli ‘justice’ means complete leniency for any crimes committed by Israelis, and the harshest punishments possible for any ‘crimes’ of which Palestinians are accused. On July 6, an Israeli court acquitted an IDF terrorist in the murder of a 32-year-old autistic man who was on his way to the institution he attended. The terrorists, thinking this man was guilty of some crime, began yelling at him and pointing their guns at him. In fright, he ran and hit in a garbage room. The IDF terrorists followed him in and shot him four times as he cowered beside a garbage bin. This behavior hardly seems to be threatening to heavily-armed soldiers.

So this man, Eyad Hallaq, was executed for being exactly where he was supposed to be and doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing. And his murderer has been acquitted.

Compare this to the fate of young teenagers who are found guilty of throwing stones at occupation soldiers; they can, and often do, receive sentences of fifteen years in Israeli prisons where they are subjected to treatment that violates not only international law, but basic common decency.

Despite the unspeakable cruelty which Israel commits on a daily bases, and in which Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is completely complicit, one thing stands out today as it has for over seventy-five years: the resistance cannot be defeated. The United States and most of its European allies may turn a blind eye to Israel’s crimes against humanity; they may talk about Israel’s right to defend itself (akin to a rapist’s right to defend himself against his victim if she resists and fights back); they sometimes discuss how Israel has made an empty wasteland blossom like a rose, ignoring the fact the nation of Palestine was thriving on that ‘wasteland’ until 750,000 people were driven off so Israel could be established, and not considering how much more Palestine could have ‘blossomed’ or could ‘blossom’ today if the U.S. gave it $4 billion annually and protected it from any international criticism at the United Nations, as it does for Israel; these and other myths are not believed much outside of the U.S. halls of Congress, if even there. So many elected officials (this writer will not dignify them by calling them ‘representatives’) are more beholden to powerful Israeli lobbies that assist them in getting elected and re-elected than they are to any voter.

Yet despite it all, the people of Palestine resist. Despite the suffering they experience on a daily basis, the grief they all know from the tragic loss of loved ones at the hand of Israel, they persevere. They continue to attend university, knowing that their chances of gainful employment are limited because of the occupation; they raise families, despite the high risk that they will need, as some point, to bury one or more of their children because of Israeli brutality. They fight against the occupation, often just with stones, risking at least a long prison sentence, and at most, death. They continue to resist, as much of the international community ignores their suffering.

Although most of the world’s governments seem to have forgotten about international law and human rights, often blinded by their quest for power and profits above all else, the people of the world haven’t. Surveys indicate increasing support for the people of Palestine as hostility to the apartheid regime of Israel also grows. The people’s voices must be heard; they must be heard at the ballot box and on the streets; in editorials, letters-to-the-editor and in public forums. And those voices must be loud enough and strong enough to be heard everywhere, even, and possibly especially, in the halls of the U.S. Congress. It is long past time for the shocking injustices that the Palestinians suffer on a daily basis to end.

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Propaganda, Lies and False Flags: How the U.S. Justifies its Wars.