On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence. Each May 15, Palestinians solemnly commemorate Nakba Day. Nakba means catastrophe, and that’s precisely what Israel’s independence has been for the more than 700,000 Arabs and their five million refugee descendants forced from their homes and into exile, often by horrific violence, to make way for the Jewish state.
Zionism today is the fence that encircles the Jewish people, granting it supremacy over the other people of this land. By Noam Rotem The State of Israel is a Zionist state. All of us, graduates of the Israeli educational system, knows this. Our first prime minister said it, Ehud Barak said it, even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it. This declaration can be found in our educational curriculums, and even in the IDF’s educational curriculum. That is all good and well, but nowhere have I been able to find a formal definition put forth by the Israeli government for the…
Use of word “Zionist” could be deemed criminal in some circumstances.
Before the advent of Zionism and Arab nationalism, Jews and Palestinians lived in peace in the holy land. Menachem Klein’s new book maps out an oft-forgotten history of Israel/Palestine, and offers some guidance on how…
The Intercept wrote an interesting article the other day about a student at George Washington University who was told they were not allowed to display the new Palestine flag in a dormitory window despite the fact many other nationalities are also displayed: https://theintercept.com/2015/12/09/gw-palestinian-flag/
Before you get too outraged at the article above remember it is common in places such as condo associations to ban people from displaying flags, including American flags, for exactly this reason. Believe it or not the American flag is even banned on some American college campuses: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765669825/American-flag-ban-on-college-campus-draws-lawmakers-rebuke.html
There has been a long debate and although there are some people in this world who may never accept Palestine as its own nation-state, the United Nations raised a Palestine flag for the first time in history this past September: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mahmoud-abbas/palestine-flag-un_b_8210418.html
What is Zionism?
Lets be honest here if you are reading an article from AnonymousHQ News, you are most likely a fan of the movie The Matrix. This particular movie is riddled with many philosophical and religions undertones in names and symbolism. Zion for example was the name given to the underground city of the humans, but in the bible for example Zion is the city of heaven. The places believers all hope to be; Zion is the city of God.
In ancient times Zion was the name of a real city which King David conquered. This city today is known as Jerusalem and this is the city where the Israeli Empire was built. At the height of which sat the infamous Temple of Solomon upon the top of the temple mount. You might remember the name Nebuchadnezzar, the name of the ship in the matrix? In real life Nebuchadnezzar was an Arab King who defeated Israeli forces and in doing so recaptured the city of David/Israel for Arab control. Nebuchadnezzar deconstructed the temple of Solomon and forced the Jewish people off of the land.
Jewish and Christian scriptures always prophesied of a return of the Israelite’s back to Jerusalem to return to their city and to build a new empire. In the early 20th century a philosophical/political movement began to build and grab hold. This is the beginning of what many people today call “Zionism“.
November 2, 1917 – British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour drafted something known as the Balfour Declaration which called for the establishment of a Jewish state in the then country of Palestine. Though many people including the Rothschild family supported the doctrine the establishment of Israel would not take place for another 30 years.
Everyone is well aware of World War II and the atrocities endured by the Jewish people as a result of the Nazi’s of Germany. A piece of history most people do not remember is the process of sorting everything out following the completion of the War. Did you know that Israel and the United Nations did not exist before WWII? Together with the Jewish community, the allied forces and the then newly formed United Nations began to conduct a series of hearings about what to do with the rebuilding effort in Europe. How should the land be divided to create new boarders, what countries should get what consideration, what should be done as punishment, how should people be helped et cetera.
One of the most hotly contested issues was what to do for the Jewish people, what reparations can be made? In 1947, as a result of centuries/decades of Zionist movement and in reparations for atrocities suffered by the Jewish people during World War II, the United Nations awarded the Jewish community a sovereign state in the territory of Palestine around the holy city of Jerusalem. This is the origins of the problems in the area as we observe them presently.
The United Nations Partitions Plan of 1947 established Israel in the area of Palestine around the city of Jerusalem. According to the original agreement with the United Nations the city of Jerusalem was to remain independent, an international city of the World not a city in Israel. Jordan and Israel would share the boarders of Jerusalem. The contract also established parameters limiting the number of migrants which could legally move into the newly established country.
This was a contract which could never be enforced. After the country of Israel was founded Jewish immigrants from all around the world flooded the country by the hundreds of thousands. By 1967 the country has grown so crowded it began to interfere with the activities of surrounding countries. Boarder conflicts soon spoiled over and the Six Days War of 1967 began.
In literally just six days the Israeli Military defeated three countries on three separate boarders. Israel defeated Egypt to the south gaining control of the Gaza Strip. Israel defeated Jordan to the east and captured the city of Jerusalem. Israel defeated the Syrians to the north and gained control of the West Bank. In just 20 years Israel went from a country which did not exist to a global military leader. To this day it is not known the true extent of Israel nuclear program.
Prior to WWII the area of Palestine was considered third world by modern standards and boasted one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. It is true, if it had come down to it the people of the area would have sided with the Axis Powers rather then the Allied Forces, but the area was so poor they never substantially contributed to the military efforts of WWII.
What you may not know about the Six Days War is that the United Nations, which helped established the Jewish country just 20 years before, called “Israel’s occupation of the lands acquired in the 1967 Six Days War illegal” – UN Secretary Kofi Annon – .
To this day the Israeli occupation in Gaza is considered “a violation of international law” and is considered an “illegal occupation” by the United Nations: http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories
The Goldstone Report of 2009 included accusations of “crimes against humanity” committed at the hand of Israel against people of the Gaza Strip: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Fact_Finding_Mission_on_the_Gaza_Conflict
In 2014 the United Nations opened another investigation into potential War Crimes committed by Israel against the people of Gaza: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16119&LangID=E
Let it be noted that in all of those investigations against Israel, there was equal investigation into Arab and Palestinian forces for the same crimes. Though there is no denying conflict exists around of Jerusalem today, when we observe some of the immediate neighbors around Israel, as well as its past, Israel for the most part is a safe place to be relatively speaking. Let us all hope the future is brighter then the past.
One of our favorite guests, Mike Marqusee died last week. He appeared on This is Hell! six times, reporting on war protests, arguing with Chuck about Bob Dylan, and explaining his complicated views on Zionism, Judaism and his own religious heritage.
Here is Mike from 2008, talking about his book “If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew”
Once again, widespread popular unrest has broken out in Jerusalem. Since July, there have been clashes between young Arabs and Israeli security forces using tear gas, rubber bullets, live ammunition and truncheons.
Why are the Arab residents of Jerusalem taking to the streets?
Many feel provoked by increasing attempts by Jewish religious zealots to take over the third holiest site in Islam, the Haram al-Sharif, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.
Religious activists represented by umbrella groups like Temple Mount Organizations have openly stated that they intend to establish Jewish worship on this Muslim holy site, and to destroy its magnificent 7th century structures — the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock –and replace them with a new Jewish Temple.
Israel’s chief rabbi has lashed out at Jews attempting to pray at the site, suggesting that doing so should be “punishable by death,” as it could desecrate the ‘holy of holies’ — the place where Jews believe the arc of the covenant was once kept. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has also said that trips to the site by Israeli ministers and lawmakers were “provocative,” and could have a “destabilizing effect.”
Still, extremist religious Zionist parties like Habayit Hayehudi who support Jewish worship at the site are not outliers in Israeli society — they have ample representation in the Israeli government, parliament, security services and army.
Many Arabs also point to an ominous precedent. Since the 1967 war, Israel has controlled the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, which houses the Tombs of Patriarchs, a revered Jewish site. It has been a mosque continuously for nearly 14 centuries, barring an interruption during the Crusades, but Muslim worship there has been gradually restricted and parts of the mosque have been seized for exclusive Jewish worship. This step-by-step takeover only accelerated after the massacre of dozens of Muslim worshippers inside the mosque by an Israeli-American settler during Ramadan in 1994.
To understand the recent wave of violence, one has to look beyond just Haram al-Sharif, however.
Attempts to change the status quo of this unique religious site come after decades of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, which began in 1967. As non-Jews, Arab residents of Jerusalem are subject to overtly discriminatory laws, rules, regulations, and municipal and national spending patterns as regards building permits, education, public parks, garbage collection and every other urban amenity.
This is part of a consistent Israel policy to restrict the growth of the city’s Arab population, and to privilege and expand its Jewish component.
Jerusalem’s indigenous Arab residents have for over four and a half decades been subject to an inexorable barrage of attempts to segregate them in tightly restricted areas of the city, some of them walled and fenced off. Meanwhile, the expansion of the Jewish population into settlements all over occupied Arab East Jerusalem — which are a violation of international law — have been lavishly subsidized and supported by the Israeli state, backed by its oppressive security services.
Palestinians in Jerusalem consider themselves to be living under occupation, as does the United Nations. Even the United States voted for the 1969 UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s actions there.
The occupation is evidenced by the ubiquitous presence of heavily armed paramilitary border guards in Arab neighborhoods, the selective demolition of Arab-owned structures accused of violating building codes, the use of politically-motivated archaeological digs to take over strategic sites, and myriad other daily harassments and inconveniences.
The Palestinians of Jerusalem, who constitute 38 percent of the city’s total population, believe that Jerusalem is not governed for them or by them. They consider that it is run by the Israeli state for the exclusive benefit of its Jewish population, and with the aim of establishing complete Jewish hegemony in the city.
Before 1967, Jerusalem was divided between the Israeli-controlled West and the Jordanian controlled East. After the 1967 war, Israel annexed the entire city and remained an occupying force in East Jerusalem. Ever since then, these discriminatory Israeli policies have systematically aimed to carve the geographic and spiritual heart of Arab Palestine.
These provocations have created the conditions for a major eruption of unrest in Jerusalem, and perhaps beyond: in the rest of occupied Palestine and in the larger Arab and Islamic worlds.
The governments of the United States and European countries bear a major responsibility for leaving Jerusalemites to their fate at the hands of extremists inside and outside the Israeli government— vast sums of tax-deductible charitable donations from the United States support the settlements in East Jerusalem.
The nationalist-religious extremists at the highest levels of the Israeli government like Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennet, head of the Habayit Hayehudi Party, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, have gone out of their way to evince hostility toward Palestinians, whether citizens of Israel or residents of Jerusalem.
Bennet went on record saying that there should be “zero tolerance” for non-Jewish national identity and that Israel should prevent Jerusalem from ever becoming the capital of a future Palestinian state.
For all of these reasons, the ominous developments in and around the Haram al-Sharif are seen by Palestinians and many the world over as yet another attempt by religious zealots to rid this ancient city of its rich Arab and Muslim cultural history — which is also part of world heritage. If no one steps in to intervene, then the protesters in East Jerusalem will have no alternative to defending their dignity, and their holy places, by themselves.