This article only prescribes one highly specialized aspect of its associated subject.(July 2021)
Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. It is sometimes considered to include adjoining territories. The name was used by Ancient Greek writers, and was later used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, and the Islamic provincial district of Jund Filastin. The region is more commonly known as the Land of Israel (Hebrew: ארץ־ישראל Eretz-Yisra'el), the Holy Land or Promised Land, and historically has been known as the southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, Syria, ash-Sham, and the Levant. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt, Syria and Arabia, and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics.
(alphabetical... by author/source)
- People don't feel that safe being part of something that will be associated with the U.S. They get intimidated because they think they'll be on some type of grid.
- Kefah Abukhdeir, a Palestinian American in Jerusalem originally from Atlanta, talking about trying to start a chapter of Democrats Abroad for Palestinians in Highly Motivated': In Israel, U.S. Voters Lean Toward Trump published November 3, 2020
- Palestine is the cement that holds the Arab world together, or it is the explosive that blows it apart.
- Yasser Arafat, as quoted in TIME (November 11, 1974) Vol. 104, No. 20.
- If you want to see the picture, you have to see whole picture, if you talked about violence, let's talk about 4000 Palestinians killed during the last five years while from Israeli side a few hundreds killed, So if you want to talk about the violence and you called this violence "terrorism" Israel kills more, more Palestinian than Palestinian kills on Israel, Second, You have to see both sides. You talk about Hamas, what they did in Israel but don't talk about Israel and what they did in Palestinian Territories, and they commit assassinations from time to time and in public, they said "we're going to kill..." It's the whole picture.
- Bashar al-Assad, Interview with Charlie Rose, (2006)
- Not there's no Holocaust, let say they exaggerated the Holocaust. We don't say many people...but they say there's Holocaust but they are exaggerating, so there's such perception of this event of this title, the Holocaust, in our region...It's not the matter how many were killed, six million or one million, or half...killing is killing, I mean how many Soviets were killed? eight million, so why didn't we talk about them? the problem is not how many were killed. How do they do use it? what do the Palestinians have to do to the Holocaust to pay the price? This is one question we asked...We know that there was massacre against Jewish and against others...what's going on in Palestine we see it the same way, but you don't see it the same way...
- Bashar al-Assad, Interview with Charlie Rose, (2006)
- Had this 'Spring' been genuine, it would've started in the backward Arab countries. Were it a call for freedom, democracy, justice, it would've began in the most oppressive and tyrannical states. The states behind every hardship that befell this nation, and every war against it. States behind the intellectual and religious deviation and moral decline. Their existence is the best success for the west and the main reason for Israel's continued existence. There is no clearer evidence than their current stand regarding the Israeli aggression against Gaza. Where is the 'alleged' zeal and passion that they showed towards Syria or the Syrian people? Why haven't they supported Gaza with money and arms? Where are their jihadists and why didn't they send jihadists to defend our people in Palestine?
- Bashar al-Assad, 2014 Presidential Inauguration Speech (2014)
- Dear Lord Rothschild, I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet. "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
- Arthur James Balfour, Balfour Declaration (November 2, 1917)
- Though it will supposedly stave off Israeli annexation of the West Bank and encourage tourism and trade between both countries, in reality, it is nothing more than a scheme to give an Arab stamp of approval to Israel’s status quo of land theft, home demolitions, arbitrary extrajudicial killings, apartheid laws, and other abuses of Palestinian rights.
The deal should be seen in the context of over three years of Trump administration policies that have tightened Israel’s grip on the Palestinians: moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and creating a so-called peace plan with no Palestinian participation or input.
While no U.S. administration has successfully brokered a resolution to Israel’s now 53-year-long occupation, the Trump years have been especially detrimental to the Palestinian cause. Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi wrote on Twitter that with this deal, “Israel got rewarded for not declaring openly what it’s been doing to Palestine illegally & persistently since the beginning of the occupation.”
- Medea Benjamin in The Deceptive Trump, UAE-Israel ‘Peace Deal’, Consortium News, (14 August 2020)
- Among the most brutal aspects of this period for Palestinians have been the loss of support for their cause in neighboring Arab states. The Arab political party in Israel, Balad, said that by signing this pact, “the UAE has officially joined Israel against Palestine, and placed itself in the camp of the enemies of the Palestinian people.”
The UAE’s change from supporting Palestinian dignity and freedom to supporting Israel’s never-ending occupation is a calculated move by UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, a shrewd Middle East dictator who uses his country’s military and financial resources to thwart moves towards democracy and respect for human rights under the guise of fighting Islamic terrorism.
- Medea Benjamin in The Deceptive Trump, UAE-Israel ‘Peace Deal’, Consortium News, (14 August 2020)
- The U.S. corporate media usually report on Israeli military assaults in occupied Palestine as if the United States is an innocent neutral party to the conflict. In fact, large majorities of Americans have told pollsters for decades that they want the United States to be neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But U.S. media and politicians betray their own lack of neutrality by blaming Palestinians for nearly all the violence and framing flagrantly disproportionate, indiscriminate and therefore illegal Israeli attacks as a justifiable response to Palestinian actions.
The classic formulation from U.S. officials and commentators is that "Israel has the right to defend itself," never "Palestinians have the right to defend themselves," even as the Israelis massacre hundreds of Palestinian civilians, destroy thousands of Palestinian homes and seize ever more Palestinian land.
- US policy must be reversed to reflect international law and the shifting US opinion in favor of Palestinian rights. Every Member of Congress must be pushed to sign the bill introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum insisting that US funds to Israel are not used "to support the military detention of Palestinian children, the unlawful seizure, appropriation, and destruction of Palestinian property and forcible transfer of civilians in the West Bank, or further annexation of Palestinian land in violation of international law." Congress must also be pressured to quickly enforce the Arms Export Control Act and the Leahy Laws to stop supplying any more U.S. weapons to Israel until it stops using them to attack and kill civilians. The United States has played a vital and instrumental role in the decades-long catastrophe that has engulfed the people of Palestine. U.S. leaders and politicians must now confront their country's and, in many cases, their own personal complicity in this catastrophe, and act urgently and decisively to reverse U.S. policy to support full human rights for all Palestinians.
- Today, I announce that following a thorough, independent and objective assessment of all reliable information available to my Office, the preliminary examination into the Situation in Palestine has concluded with the determination that all the statutory criteria under the Rome Statute for the opening of an investigation have been met.
I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine... In brief, I am satisfied that (i) war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip ("Gaza")...; (ii) potential cases arising from the situation would be admissible; and (iii) there are no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice.
- I, along with my Office, execute our mandate under the Rome Statute with utmost independence, objectivity, fairness and professional integrity. We will continue to meet our responsibilities as required by the Rome Statute without fear or favor.
- The Prosecutor is satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to initiate an investigation into the situation in Palestine under article 53(1) of the Rome Statute, and that the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction comprises the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza (“Occupied Palestinian Territory”). The Prosecutor nonetheless requested the Pre-Trial Chamber to confirm the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in Palestine, under article 19(3).1 Such a ruling will presumptively resolve this question for the purpose of the Court’s future proceedings—according to the principle of res judicata, subject to articles 19(2) and (4)—and place the conduct of further proceedings by the Court on the soundest legal foundation. 2. As the Prosecution recalled, this course of action was taken, exceptionally, in light of the uniquely complex legal and factual issues associated with the Occupied Palestinian Territory and contrary views expressed.
- By seizing the Pre-Trial Chamber of this matter, under article 19(3), the Prosecution sought a forum in which the legal representatives of victims, the referring State (Palestine), Israel, and other States and interested parties could assist in the proper determination of the presented question. The Prosecution expresses its appreciation to the Chamber for convening such a process,5 and to the numerous legal representatives of victims,6 States Parties, intergovernmental organisations, and amici curiae, who have answered this call.... Given this inclusive approach—aiming to ensure, through a fair and transparent process, that the Court reaches a proper determination of jurisdiction, and where the Prosecution itself acknowledged the need to ventilate and resolve the divergence of legal opinions by bringing this matter on its own volition to the Chamber—the adversarial tone of a small minority of participants would seem to be misplaced. The Prosecution approached this situation with the independence and impartiality required by article 42 of the Statute, as it always does.
- The ultimate purpose of my book is to present facts about the Middle East that are largely unknown in America, to precipitate discussion and to help restart peace talks (now absent for six years) that can lead to permanent peace for Israel and its neighbors. Another hope is that Jews and other Americans who share this same goal might be motivated to express their views, even publicly, and perhaps in concert. I would be glad to help with that effort.
- There are two interrelated obstacles to permanent peace in the Middle East: Some Israelis believe they have the right to confiscate and colonize Palestinian land and try to justify the sustained subjugation and persecution of increasingly hopeless and aggravated Palestinianand Some Palestinians react by honoring suicide bombers as martyrs to be rewarded in heaven and consider the killing of Israelis as victories.
- Israel will never find peace until it is willing to withdraw from its neighbors’ land and to permit the Palestinians to exercise their basic human and political rights... The current policies are leading toward an immoral outcome that is undermining Israel’s standing in the world and is not bringing security to the people of Israel.... These same premises, of recognizing Israel, acceptance of all past agreements, and the rejection of violence, will have to be accepted by Hamas and any government that represents the Palestinians. The long-term prospects are not discouraging... an overwhelming majority of Palestinians and Israelis support peace for Israel based on the acceptance of Israel of its international borders with some modifications, with justice and peace for the Palestinians. An early exchange of the three Israeli soldiers for some of the 10,000 Palestinian prisoners will expedite the peace process.
- I have support for the Palestinians in general…the top priority in my international life has been to bring peace to Israel and its neighbors. I think the only way to do it is to treat the Palestinians fairly and let them have their own state alongside Israel.
- Jimmy Carter quoted in Jimmy Carter on Jerusalem, Trump and 'the Prince of Peace', CBN news (17 May 2018)
- A war crimes complaint has been filed against President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump adviser Jared Kushner in the International Criminal Court (ICC).... The complaint, filed by Middlesex University law professor William Schabas on June 30 on behalf of four Palestinians who live in the West Bank, states “there is credible evidence” that Trump, Netanyahu and Kushner “are complicit in acts that may amount to war crimes relating to the transfer of populations into occupied territory and the annexation of the sovereign territory of the State of Palestine.”...
- Palestine acceded to the Rome Statute, thereby becoming a member of the States Parties of the International Criminal Court. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) filed an amicus brief on March 16, 2020, urging the ICC to confirm its jurisdiction over Palestine. IADL bureau member Richard Harvey wrote: The ICC’s normative power and legal authority will be strengthened by confirming its jurisdiction over the State of Palestine, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, and opening an investigation into the Palestinian situation. Thereby the equal rights of all peoples to justice for international crimes will receive much-needed affirmation.
- Recently, hundreds of PBS stations around the United States were scheduled to broadcast a powerful new Frontline documentary: One Day in Gaza. But viewers tuning in found that it had been replaced by a slightly updated Frontline report on Robert Mueller that had been broadcast two months before and had been streaming online ever since. PBS no longer has the Gaza film listed on its schedule. The documentary was to be aired on the one-year anniversary of events that took place on May 14, 2018, when tens of thousands of men, women, and children in Gaza gathered with the intention of deploying the tactics Gandhi had used in freeing India from British control. The demonstration that day was the 8th march in what Gazans named the Great March of Return. Palestinians months earlier had announced their plan for a mass, peaceful demonstration in which Gazans would march for an end to Israel’s crippling 12-year blockade and, especially, for their right to return to homes stolen by Israel... Palestinians’ right to return to their homes and ancestral land is well established in international law.
- Israel had responded by immediately deploying a hundred snipers. In the first seven weekly marches, Israeli forces killed about 50 of the marchers and injured over 7,000. During the 8th march on May 14, the day depicted in the film, Israeli forces killed 60 more and shot 1,000 – an average of one person every 30 seconds.
- The legacies of Mandela and Arafat can never be underestimated. They were at the forefront of fighting for freedom for their people. Therefore it is important that we recognise the struggle of the Palestinian people and look at concrete ways in which we can assist them....We need to fight settler colonialism that is taking place in occupied spaces. We need action based on international law... we need your support to confront the continuous attacks that have been taking place at the UN and attacks against international legitimacy and the multilateral valued based international system.
- Ismail Coovadia (Former South African ambassador to Israel) quoted in LOOK: 'It's important that we recognise the struggle of Palestinian people' by Noni Mokati (29 November 2018)
- For 40 years, Israel has been ruled mostly by a series of right-wing governments – more and more openly racist and abusive of Palestinian rights. It’s not the land of tree-planting, kibbutzim and “a country treating its Arab minority nicely” that we were sold as youngsters.
- That’s why a large number of proud Jewish Americans – raised to believe in civil liberties and open discussion – are appalled by the campaign to muzzle Rep. Ilhan Omar, as well as Speaker Pelosi’s role in it. We’re also appalled that human-rights-abusing Israel is virtually off-limits to debate.
- 9/11... has been worked up, magnified out of all proportion... So you have not been allowed to forget it, just as the Israelis make the Holocaust — an unbelievably terrible happening — something which humanity must on no account ever forget. They have raised it as a great symbol of their pain and suffering, allowing them any excess in relation to the Palestinians. Jewish people everywhere — rightly, because of what happened to so many Jewish people before Israel was created — have lived daily in the remembrance of that event when 6 million Jews died in the death camps of Germany. But so did millions of other people: Gypsies, Poles, Hungarians, Romanians and Russians died in the same way, in the same places. We do not hear these laments from the Russians or the Poles or the Gypsies, from the people of Romania or any of the Eastern European countries. I am not trying to diminish the importance or the horror of the death camps, but humanity cannot go on forever holding them up as an illustration of how horrible humanity can be to itself. That, I think, is a profound mistake on the part of the Jewish people and the Israeli government in particular, so that the world will never see their experience as other than through the eyes of their own self-pity. It prevents them from seeing the reality of their own intolerance and intransigence in relation to the people of Palestine. p 41
- The best proposal that has been offered to Palestinians for a solution to their problem and the creation of a Palestinian State was put forward at the Camp David agreement and was rejected by Mr Arafat — rightly so, because it was unfair and unjust and would not have lasted for that very reason. Nothing will last which is basically unjust and unfair, because the people will inevitably revolt against it. Maitreya advised Mr Arafat not to sign the agreement. That is one of the reasons — there are many — why Mr Sharon hates, loathes, Mr Arafat, and why the Americans have tried to sideline Mr Arafat and get a Prime Minister in his place. [Speaking in 2004.]
- It is not possible for the Palestinians to sign an agreement which gives them something like 40 per cent of their homeland. The West Bank belonged, until the pre-emptive attack by Israel in 1967, to the King of Jordan. Maitreya asked King Hussein of Jordan (at the Conference which Maitreya held in April 1990 in London) if he would give up sovereignty of the West Bank for it to become a homeland for the Palestinian people. The good King of Jordan, now dead, agreed to the proposal, and so the West Bank became the possible homeland, with the Gaza Strip, for the Palestinians.
Since then it has been whittled away by the building of settlements by the Israelis over much of the West Bank. They are huge conglomerations of buildings with walls and a little army round them to keep them secure, and roads built throughout the West Bank connecting them. These divide up the West Bank, until what is offered the Palestinian people is about 40 per cent of the original land. That is the reality, and that is why Maitreya advised Mr Arafat not to sign the agreement. That was the best proposal that there has been. The building of settlements has gone on and on. They have completely decimated the West Bank, cutting off the Palestinians from their land, their orchards, making it impossible for them to earn a living. p.43
- Now they are building the wall. That is done coldly, professionally, in response to what they call the terrorism of the people of Palestine who are using the only methods they have to get any redress, or a semblance of the freedom which Israel wants for itself. The early Israelis taught the Palestinians about terrorism. Israel was formed by terrorism. There were a number of gangs, like the Stern gang and the Irgun Zeva’i Le’umi. They fought as terrorists against the British and the Palestinians, and ‘won’ the area we know as Israel. They fought and wrestled for that land just as the Palestinian people are fighting to hold onto the little bit of land that they could call home. It is so unfair, and it has the weight of the American government and the strength of the American dollar and army behind it. There will never be peace in the world while that situation pertains. If there is no peace in Palestine, there will be no peace in the world as a whole. p 44
- up to 3,000 people died at a stroke in the Twin Towers, but the government has manipulated the situation and created ‘a war against terrorism’ as a result. There can never be a war against terrorism, which is worldwide, not a State or country. It is a fantasy, but it gives this government the right to make war on whichever country they feel is aiding and abetting terrorist activity.
They are aiding and abetting terrorist activity themselves. They support Israel to the tune of £3 billion a year just for armaments, so that the Israeli army is the most powerful in the area, and one of the most powerful in the whole world. It has the nuclear bomb. No one thinks it should not have a nuclear bomb. Why was Iraq not allowed to have a nuclear bomb? Why should Iraq not have weapons of mass destruction if Israel is allowed to have weapons of mass destruction? One of the reasons given by the present American administration for attacking Iraq was that it had 19 resolutions against it from the United Nations which have not been carried out. Israel has 63 resolutions against it which have not been carried out. Why? Because America has a veto in the Security Council and will not allow the resolutions to go further. That is the kind of government, I am afraid, that is in power in America. It is a power which aids and abets the oppression of the Palestinians while at the same time pretending, going through the motions of helping, to set up a state of Palestine within the Israeli State. p. 42
- Many observers, including myself, had long since ceased to believe there ever was any serious intention on the part of Israel to permit a meaningful Palestinian state to come into being alongside Israel; successive far-Right election victories have exposed the true face and end game of the Israeli Right — endlessly enabled by the charade of the so-called US “peace process.”
- The US has given Israel everything it wants and more without negotiations: Jerusalem as the capital of Israel for Jews only, massive military subsidies more than to any other country in the world, the end of any pretense on limiting Jewish encroachment onto ancient Palestinian lands, ever more draconian security controls over Palestinians, and now even sweeping attempts to criminalize within the US any efforts by Americans to boycott Israeli firms operating on Palestinian lands.
- Israelis and Palestinians live on the same piece of land namely; Palestine that is located between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean. This is a disputed land. In 1948 the majority of the population, three quarters of the population were Palestinians. Less than a quarter of the population were Israelis. They managed to expel the Palestinians from their homes and unilaterally declared a state called Israel. This is inadmissible under international law. No one can legally declare a state on a disputed territory.
- No influence, direct or indirect, over the Holy Places of Islam will ever be tolerated by Indian Mussulmans. It follows, therefore, that even Palestine must be under Mussulman control. So far as I am aware, there never has been any difficulty put in the way of Jews and Christians visiting Palestine and performing all their religious rites. No canon, however, of ethics or war can possibly justify the gift by the Allies of Palestine to Jews. It would be a breach of implied faith with Indian Mussulmans in particular and the whole of India in general.
- The Muslims claim Palestine as an integral part of Jazirat-ul-Arab. They are bound to retain its custody, as an injunction of the Prophet. But that does not mean that the Jews and the Christians cannot freely go to Palestine, or even reside there and own property. What non-Muslims cannot do is to acquire sovereign jurisdiction. The Jews cannot receive sovereign rights in a place which has been held for centuries by Muslim powers by right of religious conquest. The Muslim soldiers did not shed their blood in the late War for the purpose of surrendering Palestine out of Muslim control. I would like my Jewish friends to impartially consider the position of the seventy million Muslims of India. As a free nation, can they tolerate what they must regard as a treacherous disposal of their sacred possession?
- But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice. The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood? Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in France are French. If the Jews have no home but Palestine, will they relish the idea of being forced to leave the other parts of the world in which they are settled? Or do they want a double home where they can remain at will? This cry for the national home affords a colourable justification for the German expulsion of the Jews.
- And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it in the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart. The same God rules the Arab heart who rules the Jewish heart. They can offer satyagraha in front of the Arabs and offer themselves to be shot or thrown into the Dead Sea without raising a little finger against them. They will find the world opinion in their favour in their religious aspiration. There are hundreds of ways of reasoning with the Arabs, if they will only discard the help of the British bayonet. As it is, they are co-shares with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.
- But, in my opinion, they have erred grievously in seeking to impose themselves on Palestine with the aid of America and Britain and now with the aid of naked terrorism. Their citizenship of the world should have and would have made them honoured guests of any country. Their thrift, their varied talent, their great industry should have made them welcome anywhere. It is a blot on the Christian world that they have been singled out, owing to a wrong reading of the New Testament, for prejudice against them. "If an individual Jew does a wrong, the whole Jewish world is to blame for it." If an individual Jew like Einstein makes a great discovery or another composes unsurpassable music, the merit goes to the authors and not to the community to which they belong. No wonder that my sympathy goes out to the Jews in their unenviably sad plight. But one would have thought adversity would teach them lessons of peace. Why should they depend upon American money or British arms for forcing themselves on an unwelcome land? Why should they resort to terrorism to make good their forcible landing in Palestine? If they were to adopt the matchless weapon of non-violence whose use their best Prophets have taught and which Jesus the Jew who gladly wore the crown of thorns bequeathed to a groaning world, their case would be the world’s and I have no doubt that among the many things that the Jews have given to the world, this would be the best and the brightest. It is twice blessed. It will make them happy and rich in the true sense of the word and it will be a soothing balm to the aching world
- The death toll in Gaza has reached 213 as Israel continues to attack the besieged area by air, land and sea using U.S.-made warplanes and U.S.-made bombs. Health officials in Gaza say the dead include 61 children and 36 women. Over 1,400 Palestinians have been injured. The United Nations says 58,000 Palestinians have been displaced. Meanwhile, the death toll in Israel stands at 11 from rocket attacks fired from Gaza.
- Israel has relied heavily on U.S.-made weapons during its assault [on Palestine]. Israel reportedly used a GBU-31 bomb made by Lockheed Martin to bring down a high-rise building on Saturday which housed the offices of many media outlets, including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera.
Israel is also facing increasing criticism for targeting doctors and health clinics. On Monday, an Israeli strike damaged the only COVID-19 laboratory in Gaza. On Sunday, a massive Israeli airstrike killed Dr. Ayman Abu al-Ouf, who headed the coronavirus response at Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest hospital. He and two of his teenage children died in an Israeli bombing of the residential area of Gaza City that killed a total of 30 people. Another prominent doctor from Shifa Hospital, Mooein Ahmad al-Aloul, one of the only neurologists in Gaza, was killed in an airstrike on his home. Israel has also bombed many of the roads leading to Shifa Hospital, making it harder for ambulances to bring patients. According to the World Health Organization, Israeli strikes and shelling have damaged at least 18 hospitals and clinics.
- Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday “there are reasons to hope” for progress toward ending the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict after years of inaction. He said the United Nations will explore all initiatives to facilitate “a true peace process” based on the two-state solution. Clearly referring to the former US administration without naming then-president Donald Trump, the UN chief said “we were completely locked down in a situation in which there was no progress visible.”..."We have tried for a long time to make the Quartet meet, but we never had the agreement of all the members for that to be possible... And we have tried to have inclusive other formulas — possible of an enlarged Quartet with several other important players in the region, and unfortunately, this has not been possible until now... I think it became possible now,” he said, but stressed that a peace process can only be successful if it is based on a two-state solution and “all the international agreements that already exist in this regard.” Guterres expressed hope that elections “in the state of Palestine” and elections in Israel “will also contribute to create a positive environment for the future of the peace process… and for the rights of the Palestinian people, namely, its right to self-determination and its right to independence, to be fully respected.”
- There have been no substantive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in years, and the two sides are fiercely divided over the core issues of the conflict. At Tuesday’s Security Council meeting, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki called for the revival of the Quartet and reiterated Abbas’s call for an international peace conference “that can signal a turning point in this conflict.” He also expressed hope that “the US will play an important role in multilateral efforts for peace in the Middle East.” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow is convinced that the Quartet, working closely with both sides and Arab states, “can play a very, very effective role.”
- If there is a hell on earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza today. The destruction of media offices and the killing of a journalist in Gaza are extremely concerning. Journalists must be able to carry out their essential work, including in conflict zones, without fear of attack and harassment. They must be protected and respected. I am deeply distressed by damage to United Nations facilities in Gaza. United Nations premises are inviolable, including during armed conflict. Humanitarian installations must be respected and protected. United Nations agencies and our partners continue to provide aid to the people of Gaza... Access for humanitarian goods is paramount. Attacks by militant groups on areas surrounding crossing points are unacceptable. At the same time, Israel has a duty to allow and facilitate rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian aid – including food, fuel and medical supplies – into Gaza. Meanwhile, rockets fired by militants in Gaza have reached as far as Tel Aviv and its suburbs and Ben Gurion airport, claiming civilian lives, causing hundreds of injuries, and damaging residential and commercial property. Even wars have rules. First and foremost, civilians must be protected... Indiscriminate attacks, and attacks against civilians and civilian property, are violations of the laws of war...
- I urge the Israeli authorities to abide by the laws governing armed conflict, including the proportionate use of force. I call on them to exercise maximum restraint in the conduct of military operations. I likewise urge Hamas and other militant groups to stop the indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars from highly populated civilian neighbourhoods into civilian population centres in Israel, also in clear violation of international humanitarian law. Densely populated civilian areas must not be used for military purposes. But above all, what we must - and I am repeating my appeal - what we must achieve is an immediate ceasefire. I am also deeply concerned by the continuation of violent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, where several Palestinian families are under the threat of eviction. These developments were preceded by weeks of tension, including around the Holy Sites.
- Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General’s Remarks to the General Assembly Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East and Palestine, United Nations Secretary-General, Statements, (20 May 2021)
- I urge Israel to cease demolitions and evictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. All settlement activities, including evictions and demolitions, are illegal under international law. A revitalized peace process is the only route to a just and lasting solution...Only through renewing our commitment and redoubling our efforts towards a negotiated solution can we bring this cruel violence and hatred to a definitive end.
- António Guterres, Secretary-General’s Remarks to the General Assembly Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East and Palestine, United Nations Secretary-General, Statements, (20 May 2021)
- As with all so-called humanitarian crises, it is essential to remember that the social conditions found across most of the countries of the South are the direct product of how these states are inserted into the hierarchies of the world market. Historically, this included a long encounter with Western colonialism, which has continued, into contemporary times, with the subordination of poorer countries to the interests of the world’s wealthiest states and largest transnational corporations. Since the mid-1980s, repeated bouts of structural adjustment — often accompanied by Western military action, debilitating sanctions regimes, or support for authoritarian rulers — have systematically destroyed the social and economic capacities of poorer states, leaving them ill-equipped to deal with major crises such as COVID-19. [...] One microcosm of this can be seen in the Gaza Strip, where over 70 percent of the population are refugees living in one of the most densely packed areas in the world. The first two cases of COVID-19 were identified in Gaza on March 20 (a lack of testing equipment, however, has meant that only 92 people out of the 2-million-strong population have been tested for the virus). Reeling from thirteen years of Israeli siege and the systematic destruction of essential infrastructure, living conditions in the Strip are marked by extreme poverty, poor sanitation, and a chronic lack of drugs and medical equipment (there are, for example, only sixty-two ventilators in Gaza, and just fifteen of these are currently available for use). Under blockade and closure for most of the past decade, Gaza has been shut to the world long before the current pandemic. The region could be the proverbial canary in the COVID-19 coalmine — foreshadowing the future path of the infection among refugee communities across the Middle East and elsewhere.
- Adam Hanieh, "This is a Global Pandemic – Let's Treat it as Such" (27 March 2020), Verso Books
- What do we know of the Palestinians? What would the Palestinians do to the Jews in Israel if the power imbalance were reversed? Well, they have told us what they would do. For some reason, Israel’s critics just don’t want to believe the worst about a group like Hamas, even when it declares the worst of itself. We’ve already had a Holocaust and several other genocides in the 20th century. People are capable of committing genocide. When they tell us they intend to commit genocide, we should listen. There is every reason to believe that the Palestinians would kill all the Jews in Israel if they could. Would every Palestinian support genocide? Of course not. But vast numbers of them—and of Muslims throughout the world—would. Needless to say, the Palestinians in general, not just Hamas, have a history of targeting innocent noncombatants in the most shocking ways possible. They’ve blown themselves up on buses and in restaurants. They’ve massacred teenagers. They’ve murdered Olympic athletes. They now shoot rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas. And again, the charter of their government in Gaza explicitly tells us that they want to annihilate the Jews—not just in Israel but everywhere... Imagine the Israelis holding up their own women and children as human shields. Of course, that would be ridiculous. The Palestinians are trying to kill everyone. Killing women and children is part of the plan. Reversing the roles here produces a grotesque Monty Python skit.
- Palestine is a state and the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction involving its cases, the ICC prosecutor ruled Thursday, which could pave the way for a war crimes investigation against Israel. A three-judge panel of the ICC Pretrial Chamber must now affirm the decision by Fatou Bensouda. Israel has been accused of committing war crimes in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip... Under Bensouda’s 60-page decision, the ICC may exercise its jurisdiction in “territory” that “comprises the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.”
- The International Criminal Court (ICC's) mandate to investigate war crimes has thus been hampered by the unwillingness of the world’s sole superpower to commit to the organization.... Recent statements...suggest that the United States is now preparing to go to war against the ICC itself, motivated largely by an effort to silence investigations into alleged American war crimes committed in Afghanistan, as well as alleged crimes committed by Israel during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip...
- We salute the Palestinian people of heroic mujahideen as well as every hero and heroine amongst the champions of self-sacrifice who confront the Zionist aggression with their lives and thus foil the wrong ideas of the American administrations which have acted in alliance with their artificial Zionist creation in the crimes they perpetrate and the shame they reap. Glorious and sublime are our martyrs in Palestine, Iraq and the nation as a whole. Long live Palestine, free and Arab, from the sea to the river. Long live Great Iraq and its valiant army of Mujahideen. Long live our glorious Arab nation.
- Anziska found proof in the notebooks of the state department...that the secretary of state, Alexander Haig, effectively gave Sharon the green light... The invasion led to the... massacre by Christian Phalange militiamen who “raped, killed and dismembered at least 800 women, children and elderly men while Israeli flares illuminated the camps’ narrow and darkened alleyways”....the invasion was “both a moral stain and a strategic disaster, undercutting US influence in the region and precipitating further military involvement in the Lebanese civil war”.
A document he discovered, he wrote this week in the New York Review of Books, “demonstrated how the slaughter of civilians in the Palestinian refugee camps of south Beirut was prolonged” by Morris Draper, an American diplomat who acquiesced in “Sharon’s “deceptive claim of ‘terrorists’ remaining behind”.
Anziska quotes the Israeli intellectual Amos Oz: “After Lebanon, we can no longer ignore the monster, even when it is dormant, or half-asleep, or when it peers out from behind the lunatic fringe … It dwells, drowsing, virtually everywhere...”
Anziska has made a major contribution to the history of this conflict. As the Trump administration repeats the errors of so many predecessors, with moves to delegitimize and defund the PLO, Anziska reminds us that America has always shared responsibility for the lopsided competition between Israel and the Palestinians... The US has been complicit in far too many of...[Israel's] useless “victories”.
- At the beginning of 1968, the word Palestinian was generally used to refer to members of Arab guerrilla units, which were also frequently referred to in the Western press as terrorist organizations. These groups used the label Palestinian, as in the Palestine Liberation Front, the Palestinian Revolution, the Palestine Revolutionary Youth Movement, the Vanguard for Palestine Liberation, the Palestinian Revolutionaries Front, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. At least twenty-six such groups were operating before the 1967 war. In the leftist counterculture, these groups were termed "nationalist" and were gaining support, though they had little backing from the mainstream in Western countries. The support of such groups by SNCC was further isolating the once leading civil rights organization.
- When were Palestinians born? What was all of this area before the First World War when Britain got the Mandate over Palestine? What was Palestine, then? Palestine was then the area between the Mediterranean and the Iraqian border. Eastern West Bank was Palestine. I am a Palestinian, from 1921 to 1948, I carried a Palestinian passport. There was no such thing in this area as Jews, and Arabs, and Palestinians, There were Jews and Arabs.
- Golda Meir, "Iron Lady of Israeli politics", Thames TV (1970)
- (Balfour Declaration is) the root of the suffering of the Palestinian people and paved the way for the violation of their rights and the confiscation of their land and capabilities...the British government and everyone who participated in the implementation of this permit, (have responsibility over) the massacres and tragedies that the Palestinian people were subjected to, especially the crime of uprooting and displacing them, which is ongoing.
- Munib al-Masri, Palestinians are suing Britain, and why not?, Middle East Monitor, (October 20, 2020)
- On Friday The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) welcomed the news that the International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda reiterated her position that Palestine is a state for the purposes of transferring criminal jurisdiction over its territory to The Hague, Wafa News Agency reported.
- Bensouda confirmed her position that the ICC has jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. Palestine welcomes ICC report on jurisdiction over Palestinian territories, Middle East Monitor (2 May 2020)
- The Palestinian people [do] not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism... For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. While as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.
- Zuheir Muhsin, late Military Department head of the PLO and member of its Executive Council, in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw (31 March 1977)
- Adjoining Syria is Palestine, for which the British Government holds a mandate from the League of Nations. This is an even smaller country, with a total population of less than a million, but it attracts a greal deal of attention because of its old history and associations. For it is a holy land for the Jews as well as Christians and, to some extent, even the Muslims. The people inhabiting it are predominantly Muslim Arabs, and they demand freedom and unity with their fellow-Arabs of Syria. But British policy has created a special minority problem here—that of the Jews—and the Jews side with the British and oppose the freedom of Palestine, as they fear that this would mean Arab rule. The two pull different ways, and conflicts necessarily occur. On the Arab side are numbers, on the other side great financial resources and the world-wide organization of Jewry. So England pits Jewish religious nationalism against Arab nationalism, and makes it appear that her presence is necessary to act as an arbitrator and to keep the peace between the two. It is the same old game which we have seen in other countries under imperialist domination; it is curious how often it is repeated.
- During the World War the British armies invaded Palestine and, as they were marching on Jerusalem, the British Government made a declaration in November 1917, called the Balfour Declaration. They declared that it was their intention to establish a "Jewish National Home" in Palestine. This declaration was made to win the good will of international Jewry, and this was important from the money point of view. It was welcomed by most Jews. But there was one little drawback, one not unimportant fact seems to have been overlooked. Palestine was not a wilderness, or an empty, uninhabited place. It was already somebody else's home. So that this generous gesture of the British Government was really at the expense of the people who already lived in Palestine, and these people, including Arabs, non-Arabs, Muslims, Christians, and, in fact, everybody who was not a Jew, protested vigorously at the declaration. These people felt that the Jews would compete with them in all activities and, with the great wealth behind them, would become the economic masters of the country ; they were afraid that the Jews would take the bread out of their mouths and the land from the peasantry.
- The value of human rights is really the path to peace here...That’s a central thing that we need to make sure that we value the safety and the human rights of Israelis and we value the safety and human rights of Palestinians in that process that is similar on equal footing... Just like here in the United States, I don’t believe that children should be detained. I think that starting on those basic principles of human rights, we can build a path to peace together... We really need to make sure that we are valuing a process where all parties are respected, and have a lot of equal opportunity to really make sure that we are negotiating in good faith.
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (response to the question "What actions do you think can be taken to support movements towards peace both between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as within the entire region, such as the Abraham Accords?) AOC says human rights is central to peace between Israel and the Palestinians, by Jacob Kornbluh (April 5, 2021)
- The establishment of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has been considered illegal by the international community and by the majority of legal scholars.
- Marco Pertile in ""Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the OPT": A Missed Opportunity for the Development of International Humanitarian Law?". Italian Yearbook of International Law. (2005). ISBN 978-90-04-15027-0.
- It is the psychological problem of how to reconcile two powerful movements — the time-old yearning of the Jews to return to the Promised Land and to possess a home which is theirs as of right, and the Palestinian Arab desire for promotion to national status.
- Great Britain and Palestine: 1915 - 1939, Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1937
- September 11th has a tragic resonance in the Middle East, too. On the 11th of September 1922, ignoring Arab outrage, the British government proclaimed a mandate in Palestine, a follow-up to the 1917 Balfour Declaration which imperial Britain issued, with its army massed outside the gates of Gaza. The Balfour Declaration promised European Zionists a national home for Jewish people. (At the time, the Empire on which the Sun Never Set was free to snatch and bequeath national homes like a school bully distributes marbles.)
- Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman again lashed at Israeli policies in an interview published in a Palestinian-owned newspaper Thursday, calling the controversial Nation-State Law "racist" and a "mistake." Portman, born Neta-Lee Hershlag in Jerusalem, also told the London-based Al- Quds Al-Arabi that law “oppressed Palestinians.”... The Nation-State Law... defines Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people.” It also drops Arabic as an official language... it has stoked anger among critics who, like Portman, argue that it is racist. Portman said she “doesn’t agree” with the principle of the contentious law. "It’s a mistake… I only hope that we will really love our neighbors and work together," she said.
- Daniel Salami in Natalie Portman to Arab paper: Israel's Nation-State Law is racist, Ynetnews (13 December 2018)
- The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said last month that there was a “reasonable basis” to open a war crimes probe into Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip as well as Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. She also asked the court to determine whether she has territorial jurisdiction before proceeding with the case. Her request to the court, which exceeded the 30-page limit, was accompanied by a request to extend the page limit to 110 pages, citing “the unique and complex factual and legal circumstances in this situation.” ... According to Haaretz, the ruling means a decision on Bensouda pushing ahead with the case will be delayed by several months. International law expert Nick Kaufman wrote.. that the decision was a “slap in the face” of Bensouda.
- Israel, which is not a member of the ICC, has said the court has no jurisdiction and accused Bensouda of being driven by anti-Semitism... There was no immediate reaction from Bensouda. But she recently told The Times of Israel that accusing her of anti-Semitism was “particularly regrettable” and “without merit... I, along with my Office, execute our mandate under the Rome Statute with utmost independence, objectivity, fairness and professional integrity. We will continue to meet our responsibilities as required by the Rome Statute without fear or favor,” she said
- Palestine is not the original home of the Jews. It was acquired by them after a ruthless conquest, and they have never occupied the whole of it, which they now openly demand. They have no more valid claim to Palestine, than the descendants of the ancient Romans have to this country. The Romans occupied Britain as long as the Israelites occupied Palestine, and they left behind them in this country far more valuable and useful work. If we are going admit claims based on conquest thousands of years ago, the whole world will have to be turned upside down.
- Lord Sydenham, Hansard, House of Lords, 21 June 1922
- Right and wrong are the same in Palestine as anywhere else. What is peculiar about the Palestine conflict is that the world has listened to the party that has committed the offence and has turned a deaf ear to the victims.
- Arnold J. Toynbee. Forward to The Transformation of Palestine. Northwestern University Press, USA,1971.
- The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Thursday reiterated her position that Palestine is a state for the purposes of transferring criminal jurisdiction over its territory to The Hague... Fatou Bensouda’s view, laid out in great detail in a 60-page document, could pave the way for an investigation of alleged war crimes committed in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. “The Prosecution has carefully considered the observations of the participants and remains of the view that the Court has jurisdiction over the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” she wrote.
- On December 20, concluding a five-year preliminary examination of the “situation in Palestine,” Bensouda said she has “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed” in those regions by both the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas and other “Palestinian armed groups." At the time, she said that she herself believes the court indeed has jurisdiction to investigate possible war crimes in the regions, but, due to the controversial nature of the case, asked for a definitive ruling on the matter from a pre-trial chamber. Member states and independent experts were invited to weigh on the matter as well. “Such a wide variety of perspectives will afford considerable legitimacy to the Court’s ultimate decision,” Bensouda wrote. In the document she published Thursday, Bensouda reiterated that her position is not about the question of Palestinian statehood per se, but rather about whether the “State of Palestine,” which is a member of the ICC, can convey criminal jurisdiction to the court. In her view, Palestine indeed fulfills all required criteria to do that.
- The most taboo issue on U.S. campuses these days, in many instances, has to do with the vicious Israeli occupation of precious Palestinians. It’s very difficult to have a respectful, robust conversation about that. And I am unequivocal in my solidarity with Palestinian brothers and sisters. And as you’ve heard me say on many times, you know, if there’s a Palestinian occupation of Jews, then I’m unequivocally in solidarity with Jews. I hate injustice. I hate occupation. I’m not in any way going to stop talking about the Palestinian plight and predicament.
- The United States should have an equal and simultaneous support for both the legitimate security concerns of Israel, and the human rights, dignity and economic opportunities of the Palestinian people... I do not believe the settlements on the West Bank are legal. Also, I would rescind the president's affirmation of sovereignty of Israel over the Golan Heights. I understand the occupation of the Golan Heights, but only until there is a stable government in Syria with whom one can negotiate. According to international law, the occupation of a territory does not give the occupying country a right to annex it. Also, according to international law, the resources of the occupied territory are to be used for the good of those living there. I also do not support the blockade of Gaza.
- Both the Germans and the Zionists wanted as many Jews as possible to move to Palestine. The Germans preferred to have them out of Western Europe, and the Zionists themselves wanted the Jews in Palestine to outnumber the Arabs as quickly as possible. (...) In both cases, the purpose was a kind of 'ethnic cleansing', that is, a violent change in the ratio of ethnic groups in the population.
- Palestine Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter
- Riyad al-Maliki
- Palestinian National Authority
- What every American should know about Israel/Palestine
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