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Peter Myers Digest: China TV says "Jews dominate finance and internet sectors"

(1) During Gaza conflict, China TV says "Jews dominate finance and internet sectors". Israel says 'antisemitic'(2) Prior to outbreak of protests, Far Right threatens Palestinians with Expulsion, "Death to Arabs"(3) Buses carrying Palestinians to Jerusalem were stopped; but they walked, & were picked up by local Palestinians(4) Forced expulsions and raids on Al-Aqsa lead young Palestinians to overcome their fear(5) Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, using stun grenades and rubber bullets(6) Evictions in Jerusalem & raids on Al Aqsa undermine 'Trump Peace' with Arab states(7) Internal Jewish-Arab rift: Arab Israelis turn on their Jewish neighbors(8) Biden defends unconditional US aid to Israel(9) Israel bombards Gaza; far-right Jewish thugs, football hooligans and settlers joined the fray(10) Evictions and Al-Aqsa incite fighting; Hamas destroys Trump 'peace'(11) Israel destroys Gaza underground infrastructure; but Hamas rockets reached Tel Aviv(12) Economist broaches the "one-state reality"(13) UN resolution on Gaza/Palestine received 24 votes in favour, 9 against and 14 abstentions(14) Australian ABC bans using the term "apartheid" in relation to Israel(1) During Gaza conflict, China TV says "Jews dominate finance and internet sectors". Israel calls this stmt 'antisemitic' Accuses Chinese State TV of 'Blatant Antisemitism' in Gaza Conflict Coverage'We are appalled to see blatant antisemitism expressed in an official Chinese media outlet,' the Israeli embassy to China tweetedThe Associated PressMay. 19, 2021 10:56 AMIsrael's Embassy in China is protesting what it describes as "blatant antisemitism" on a program ran by the overseas channel of state broadcaster CCTV discussing the ongoing violence in Gaza and elsewhere.In a tweet, the embassy said "we have hoped that the times of the ‘Jew's controlling the world' conspiracy theories were over, unfortunately antisemitism has shown its ugly face again.""We are appalled to see blatant antisemitism expressed in an official Chinese media outlet," the tweet said.Israeli embassy spokesperson Erez Katz Volovelsky said the embassy had nothing to add to its tweet and had so far received no reply from CGTN, which CCTV operates for foreign audiences, similar to Russia's RT.On the Tuesday CGTN broadcast, host Zheng Junfeng questioned whether U.S. support for Israel was truly based on shared democratic values, saying "some people believe that U.S. pro-Israeli policy is traceable to the influence of wealthy Jews in the U.S. and the Jewish lobby on U.S. foreign policy makers.""Jews dominate finance and internet sectors," Zheng says, speaking in English. "So do they have the powerful lobbies some say? Possible."Zheng then accused the U.S. — China's top geopolitical rival — of using Israel as a "beachhead" in the Middle East and a as proxy in its campaign to defeat pan-Arabism.There was no immediate comment from CCTV.China has long been a strong backer of the Palestinian cause and in recent days, the Foreign Ministry has castigated the U.S. for blocking a statement in the United Nations Security Council condemning the violence.Yet, since establishing formal diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, Beijing has nurtured close economic, technological and military ties, including the purchase of early model Israeli drones.Judaism is not one of China's officially recognized religions, however, and stereotypes about Jews as shrewd businesspeople and market manipulators are common among the Chinese public.(2) Prior to outbreak of protests, Far Right threatens Palestinians with Expulsion, "Death to Arabs" protests: The mob 'breaking faces' learned from Israel's establishment4 May 2021A quarter of Israeli Jews recognise their rule over Palestinians as 'apartheid'. The question is whether they think that's a bad thingMiddle East Eye – 4 May 2021Inside the Israeli parliament and out on the streets of Jerusalem, the forces of unapologetic Jewish supremacism are stirring, as a growing section of Israel's youth tire of the two-faced Jewish nationalism that has held sway in Israel for decades.Last week, Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the far-right Religious Zionism faction, a vital partner if caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands any hope of forming a new government, issued a barely veiled threat to Israel's large Palestinian minority.Expulsion, he suggested, was looming for these 1.8 million Palestinians, a fifth of the Israeli population who enjoy very degraded citizenship. "Arabs are citizens of Israel – for now at least," he told his party. "And they have representatives at the Knesset [Israeli parliament] – for now at least." For good measure, he referred to Palestinian legislators – the elected representatives of Israel's Palestinian minority – as "our enemies sitting in the Knesset".Smotrich's brand of brazen Jewish racism is on the rise, after his faction won six mandates in the 120-member parliament in March. One of those seats is for Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the neo-fascist Jewish Power party.Ben Gvir's supporters are now in a bullish mood. Last month, they took to the streets around the occupied Old City of Jerusalem, chanting "Death to Arabs" and making good on promises in WhatsApp chats to attack Palestinians and "break their faces".For days, these Jewish gangs of mostly youngsters have brought the lawless violence that has long reigned largely out of sight in the hills of the occupied West Bank into central Jerusalem. This time, their attacks haven't been captured in shaky, out-of-focus YouTube videos. They have been shown on prime-time Israeli TV.Equally significant, these Jewish mobs have carried out their rampages during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. [...]Turning a blind eyeHuman Right Watch's detailed report concludes that western states, by turning a blind eye to Israel's long-standing abuses of Palestinians and focusing instead on a non-existent peace process, have allowed "apartheid to metastasize and consolidate".Its findings echo those of B'Tselem, Israel's most respected human rights organisation. In January, it too declared Israel to be an apartheid regime in the occupied territories and inside Israel, towards its own Palestinian citizens.Despite the reluctance of US and European politicians and media to talk about Israel in these terms, a new survey by B'Tselem shows that one in four Israeli Jews accept "apartheid" as an accurate description of Israel's rule over Palestinians. What is far less clear is how many of them believe apartheid, in the Israeli context, is a good thing.Another finding in the survey offers a clue. When asked about recent talk from Israeli leaders about annexing the West Bank, two-thirds of Israeli Jews reject the idea that Jews and Palestinians should have equal rights in those circumstances.The mob in Jerusalem is happy to enforce Israel's apartheid now, in hopes of speeding up the process of expulsion. Other Israelis are still in denial. They prefer to pretend that apartheid has not yet arrived, in hopes of easing their consciences a little longer.(3) Buses carrying Palestinians to Jerusalem were stopped; but they walked, & were picked up by local Palestinians generation of Jerusalem Palestinians emergesThe events during the month of Ramadan appear to have given birth to more courageous Palestinian youth activists in Jerusalem, who have maintained smiles in the face of arrest.May 11, 2021For years, researchers focusing on the city of Jerusalem have been sounding the alarms of the Israelization of Palestinians in the city. But if anything, the last few weeks have shown Palestinians in Jerusalem don't only have a strong national backbone but have totally broken the Israeli deterrence efforts by smashing their own wall of fear.As the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is increasingly absent due to Israeli policy and their own incompetence, the leaderless Jerusalemites have developed their own agenda and have bonded even more powerfully with their fellow Palestinian citizens of Israel. Social media and cellphone networking were best exemplified May 8 when scores of buses carrying Palestinians from various cities in Israel were stopped and prevented entry into Jerusalem by the Israelis.With the holy city some 20 kilometers (12 miles) away, the passengers decided to continue on foot. When their story emerged on social media, hundreds of Jerusalemites jumped in their cars and picked up their supportive brethren. Local restaurants extended invitations to the visiting Palestinians to enjoy their iftar meal at their eateries free of charge.Some social media accounts and broadcasts, some of which were reportedly censored by the tech giants, also documented the protests throughout Palestine. From Jenin to Nazareth to the Gaza Strip, and from Amman to Rabat to London, protests in support of the Jerusalemites were overwhelming and lifted the spirits of those who had chosen to take on the powerful Israeli army with their bare hands and their extraordinary courage.Having broken the fear barrier and having destroyed hundreds of cameras that follow their daily moves, especially in the Old City of Jerusalem, Palestinians were able to translate their huge numbers into a political position that forced Israel to cancel the annual anti-Arab rally — Jerusalem Day — held to commemorate Israel's unification of the city.One of the more interesting features of the Palestinian protests was the decision of young Palestinians to smile as they were being arrested or attacked by the powerful Israeli security forces. These smiles — recorded on cellphones and distributed widely — reflected a new paradigm of fearless young Palestinians who consider their dignity and freedom more important than the social welfare that the Israelis bestow on the residents of East Jerusalem as part of trying to make them more Israeli.Fifty-four years after the Israeli occupation and the unilateral annexation of Jerusalem, the city is more divided than it has ever been. This division was physically obvious when the Israelis had to place a huge truck just up the hill from the New Gate in order to prevent all access, as the fortified Israeli security barriers simply were unable to control the large number of Palestinian protesters. [...]The city of Jerusalem and its crown jewel — Al-Aqsa Mosque — have proven once again to be the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and despite Israeli hopes that Palestinians will forget this cause, the new generation of Palestinians in Jerusalem are more confident and courageous, and willing to stand up to the Israeli occupiers in a show of strength that has attracted local and international attention.(4) Forced expulsions and raids on Al-Aqsa lead young Palestinians to overcome their fear East Jerusalem: Forced expulsions and raids on Al-AqsaAnger on the Palestinian street has grown over the demolition of Palestinian homes and forced evictions in East Jerusalem.By Mel Frykberg11 May 2021Occupied East Jerusalem – After three consecutive nights of Israeli security forces raiding the Al Aqsa Mosque during prayers and weeks of police trying to stop Palestinians from accessing the Old City during the holy month of Ramadan, occupied East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank are on a knife's edge.The past few days have seen sit-ins and protests by Palestinians angry at the impending forced expulsion of a number of Palestinian families from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, one of many neighbourhoods whose residents are finding themselves expelled.Hundreds of Palestinians have been wounded after being shot at, beaten and arrested. Scores of Israeli police have also been injured.Tense atmosphereOn Monday, observers were tense as they awaited an annual march of hardline right-wing Israelis through the Old City of Jerusalem to mark what they call "Jerusalem Day", the commemoration of the day Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 war – an illegal act under international law.Officials from both sides had called for the march to be cancelled, something the police did only at the last minute late Monday afternoon.By the time the march was called off, a tense atmosphere had already settled on the area as the security crackdown on protesters resumed.Groups of Israeli settlers walked to the Western Wall earlier in the day, watched by Israeli security forces positioned on the partition between West Jerusalem and the occupied east.In occupied East Jerusalem, tyres from the previous evening's clashes continued to smoulder as rocks, horse dung and blood littered the streets while the foul smell of skunk water permeated the air. Small groups of settler youths could be seen walking around occupied East Jerusalem suburbs.Palestinians are not able to build new homes in occupied East Jerusalem; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) estimates only 13 percent of the area is allocated to Palestinians for construction.Israel pounds GazaAfter struggling – sometimes for years – to get the required building permits, many have been forced to build without permits, which results in the homes consequently being demolished. Years of demolitions and forced expulsions have contributed to the Palestinian anger.In Gaza, dozens of Palestinians were killed as Israel continues to bomb the besieged enclave in retaliation for rockets fired at Israel after Palestinian factions in Gaza warned that continued Israeli violations in Al-Aqsa would lead to a harsh response.In addition to fears that Israel is trying to Judaise occupied East Jerusalem in favour of a Jewish majority, there are fears of hardline Israelis destroying Al-Aqsa Mosque.A group called The Temple Mount Faithful Movement are actively advocating for the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the rebuilding of the Third Jewish Temple in its place. [...]Youth empowermentWhile an outbreak of violence was expected, a new, unexpected element that has taken some analysts by surprise is the level of Palestinian determination to stand up to the occupation and their lack of fear in confronting Israeli forces."There is a strong feeling of empowerment among the youth. There is a lack of fear and a collective feeling that defending Sheikh Jarrah and Al-Aqsa falls on their shoulders," said Jallad."They have lost faith in their politicians or the international community to help them gain their rights."Palestinian lawyer and activist Noura Zakarneh said losing East Jerusalem was the first step to losing Palestine."When we protest in Ramallah in support of our brothers and sisters in East Jerusalem we are not asking for something but demanding what was taken from us by force," Zakarneh told Al Jazeera."It is our duty as Palestinians to stand by our people. This time we can't keep silent as the issue goes beyond Jerusalem and involves the whole of Palestine."Israeli analyst, Ohad Hemo, from Israel's Channel 12 TV, said Jerusalem proved that Palestinian youths had broken the barrier of fear they had and that Israeli deterrence had been eroded.Despite Israel's economic and military strength, in addition to strong international political support, it appears that military force can only go so far.(5) Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, using stun grenades and rubber bullets Sheikh Jarrah became a flashpoint in latest Israeli-Palestinian conflictCritics of Israel say the planned evictions in the East Jerusalem neighborhood discriminate against Palestinians.May 13, 2021The ongoing unrest across Israel can be explained in part by the planned evictions of dozens of Palestinian families from an East Jerusalem neighborhood they've called home for decades. Here's how Sheikh Jarrah became a major driver of the current Israeli-Palestinian crisis.Who lives in Sheikh Jarrah?Located north of Jerusalem's Old City, the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood is named after the personal physician of Saladin, the Muslim general who captured Jerusalem from the Crusaders.Today, Sheikh Jarrah is home to generations of Palestinian families. The 1948 war that established the state of Israel displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, many of whom fled to territory that was then controlled by Jordan. In 1956, 28 refugee families moved into Sheikh Jarrah with the support of Jordan and UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.But in 1967, Israel captured Sheikh Jarrah, along with the rest of East Jerusalem, and then annexed what is considered occupied territory by much of the international community. The Palestinians envision Jerusalem as part of their future state.Who does the land belong to?Under a 1970 Israeli law, Jewish property owners and their heirs can reclaim land if they can prove they had ownership prior to 1948. The Palestinians do not have that same right.In the decades since the property law was passed, pro-Jewish settler groups, including the US-based Nahalat Shimon organization, have launched a wave of lawsuits seeking to reclaim land in Sheikh Jarrah. The UN estimates roughly 1,000 Palestinians across East Jerusalem — nearly half of them children — are at risk of eviction. The left-leaning Israel-based rights group Ir Amim says 70 of those families are from Sheikh Jarrah.Palestinian residents say Israeli settlers have stoked tensions in the city. In a video that made the rounds on social media, an apparent settler is heard telling a Palestinian woman, "If I don't steal your home, someone else will steal it."In an effort to reduce tensions, Israel's Supreme Court delayed a Monday appeal hearing that is to determine whether four Palestinian families at imminent risk of eviction could stay in their homes. Israel's attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, was given an additional 30 days to review the case. [...]How did Sheikh Jarrah become a flashpoint?Sheikh Jarrah is about a mile away from the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where Palestinians say Israel imposed unnecessary restrictions on their gatherings during the holy month of Ramadan. Protesters in Jerusalem's Old City also began marching in solidarity with the Palestinians who for weeks have been staging sit-ins and demonstrations over the pending evictions in Sheikh Jarrah.Tensions boiled over Monday when Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, using stun grenades and rubber bullets against Palestinians they said were throwing stones. Hundreds were left wounded at Islam's third holiest site, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.In recent days, the militant group Hamas has responded by firing a barrage of rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip, prompting retaliatory airstrikes from Israel. As of Thursday, 103 people have died in Gaza and seven people in Israel, according to officials on both sides.(6) Evictions in Jerusalem & raids on Al Aqsa undermine 'Trump Peace' with Arab states End of Israel's IllusionMay 13, 2021SHLOMO BEN-AMIThe prevailing consensus among Israelis that Palestinian nationalism had been defeated – and thus that a political solution to the conflict was no longer necessary – lies in tatters. And even as the violence escalates, it has become clear to both sides that the era of glorious wars and victories is over.TEL AVIV – The sudden eruption of war outside and inside Israel's borders has shocked a complacent nation. Throughout Binyamin Netanyahu's 12-year premiership, the Palestinian problem was buried and forgotten. The recent Abraham Accords, establishing diplomatic relations with four Arab states, seemed to weaken the Palestinian cause further. Now it has re-emerged with a vengeance.Wars can be triggered by an isolated incident, but their cause is always deeper. In this case, the trigger, the eviction of Palestinians in favor of Israeli nationalists in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, touched all the sensitive nerves of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem, its humiliating control of access to the Al-Aqsa mosque, the ever-present memory of the 1948 Nakba (the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians when Israel was founded), and the grievances of Israel's Arab minority are all fueling the current flare-up.It may be true that the contested real estate in Sheikh Jarrah did belong to a Jewish family before 1948. But Palestinians saw the incident as part of Israel's unrelenting drive to "Judaize" Jerusalem, and a striking injustice, because the state of Israel was built partly on the abandoned properties of Palestinian refugees. While Jews are entitled to reclaim property they owned before Israel's founding, Palestinians may not. Those facing eviction in Sheikh Jarrah cannot recover the homes in Jaffa and Haifa that they once owned.On the face of it, the latest escalation of violence is following the template of all inter-ethnic wars. Muslims observing Ramadan shouted nationalist slogans and clashed with Israeli right-wing groups chanting "Death to the Arabs." The Israelis haughtily marched with their national flag on Jerusalem Day, marking Israel's capture in 1967 of East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, the site of the biblical Second Temple, and of Al-Aqsa, completed in the year 705. Battles in and around the Al-Aqsa compound erupted, with worshipers inside throwing stones at the Israeli police, who responded by firing rubber-tipped bullets and other projectiles, wounding hundreds.But the young Arab protesters could claim victory, for they forced the postponement of an Israeli Supreme Court ruling on the evictions in Sheikh Jarrah. They also forced the police to change the route of the Jerusalem Day march away from the Muslim Quarter in the Old City.The flare-up spilled over into pre-1967 Israel, where Islamist groups incited young Israeli Arabs. Mixed Jewish-Arab cities that were supposed to be exemplars of coexistence, such as Acre, Ramla, Jaffa, and Lod, erupted in an orgy of violence and vandalism. Lod was practically taken over by gangs of young Arabs. This was a pogrom, said Jewish residents. An old Jewish woman spoke of memories of Kristallnacht. The mayor of Lod drew the same comparison.But Jerusalem has emerged as the crucible of conflict. It offered Hamas a golden opportunity to assert its predominance over Israel's collaborators in the West Bank's Palestinian Authority and sweep away PA President Mahmoud Abbas's moribund leadership. Under Israeli pressure, Abbas had just canceled legislative elections for fear that Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2006, would win and extend its control to the West Bank.Abbas framed his decision as a protest against Israel's refusal to allow the Palestinians in East Jerusalem to participate in the elections. But the truth is that the PA's presence in East Jerusalem had practically vanished, with the vacuum filled by a mostly secular young Palestinian generation that turned the Temple Mount (Haram Al-Sharif to Muslims) into the symbol of their resistance to Israeli occupation.In the current eruption of violence, Hamas connected all the dots needed to gain primacy in the Palestinian national movement. It positioned itself as the protector of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, as the spearhead of the Palestinians' national and religious struggle against the Israeli-Jewish occupier, and also as the voice of the Arab minority in Israel proper.Israelis and their complacent government were caught off guard. Hamas conducted an unprecedentedly massive missile attack on Israeli cities. They even launched salvos at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, sending half the country's population to shelters. Israelis were left to wonder how their vulnerable home front could withstand a war with Hezbollah, the Iran-backed militia across the border in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah has an arsenal of 150,000 missiles many times more lethal than Hamas's.To make its case, Hamas was willing to pay a high price. Israel's punitive airstrikes on Gaza have been devastating, targeting Hamas military commanders with brutal efficiency. But Hamas knows that in the asymmetric wars of this era, a militia hidden among two million civilians in one of the world's most densely populated areas has practical immunity from defeat. Hamas also knows that the war's reverberation throughout the region will force neighbors like Egypt and Hamas's patron, Qatar, to mediate a ceasefire.From the debris of Gaza, Hamas will then claim victory, not necessarily on the battlefield, but in the minds of its people. At that point, Hamas will have achieved its main objectives: an utterly discredited PA and heightened prestige as the ultimate protector of Islam's holy shrines in Jerusalem.Paradoxically, Netanyahu has no interest in destroying Hamas. Quite the contrary: he has struck an unwritten deal with it against Abbas's PA, which his governments have consistently done all they could to weaken and humiliate. A Hamas Islamic state in Gaza offers Netanyahu the ideal pretext to reject peace negotiations and a two-state solution. Netanyahu even allowed Qatar to keep Gaza functioning by paying the salaries of Hamas's functionaries.Israel certainly cannot claim victory. The fragile coexistence between Jews and Arabs within its borders has been shaken. The prevailing consensus among Israelis that Palestinian nationalism had been defeated – and thus that a political solution to the conflict was no longer necessary – lies in tatters. And even as the violence escalates, it has become clear to both sides that the era of glorious wars and victories is over.Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister, is Vice President of the Toledo International Center for Peace. He is the author of Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy.(7) Internal Jewish-Arab rift: Arab Israelis turn on their Jewish neighbors Gaza rockets, Israelis most concerned over internal Jewish-Arab riftMillions of Israelis had to sit in shelters in recent days, in fear of Hamas rockets, but their greatest concern now is the crumbling of Jewish-Arab coexistence inside the country.May 14, 2021[...] On May 10, Israel marked Jerusalem Day, the annual celebration of the city's unification following the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. With tensions in Jerusalem increasing, Hamas fired six missiles toward the city, setting off the most extensive fighting between Israel and Gaza since the 2014 war.Just before the rockets landed, Yamina, Lapid, Abbas and four other parties had been putting the final touches on their broad-based coalition. The ensuing eruption of violence placed their initiative under grave threat. They all knew Israel would have to respond to the violation of its sovereignty.But the flare-up with Gaza was just a trailer for the real drama that unfolded within Israel, with young Arab Israelis, likely incited by Hamas, turning on their Jewish neighbors in two towns that had been symbols of coexistence — Lod and Acre. Israelis hiding out in safe rooms and shelters realized that the missiles threatening their lives were in many ways less dangerous than the rioting and lynching they were seeing in live footage much closer to home.On May 11, the town of Lod in central Israel turned into a war zone. The city in which religious Jews and Arabs live side-by-side, many in the same apartment blocks, was being torn apart. Arab gangs were torching synagogues and cars owned by Jews, throwing firebombs at Jewish homes and vandalizing property. The northern port city of Acre was also on fire, literally, with Arabs torching a popular Jewish-owned restaurant — Uri Buri — and hotel, where an 84-year-old Jewish man was severely injured by smoke inhalation.What stood out throughout these outbreaks of violence was the country's deeply flawed governance as reflected in its prolonged political crisis. Not only did the leadership appear helpless, the police seemed unable to control the spread of unrest, prompting some Jews to feel compelled to defend themselves. [...]Israel has been plagued with a political and civilian crisis for over two years. Its focal point is Netanyahu, standing trial on charges of bribery and corruption but still widely popular. This week's domestic unrest appears to echo this national crisis and will likely impact politics and life in Israel in the coming years. The coexistence between Arabs and Jews will face one of its greatest challenges. Israel's political leaders — Jews and Arabs — could channel it into positive directions of integration or revert to the paradigm of polarization and boycotts.(8) Biden defends unconditional US aid to Israel's Democrats are increasingly divided over IsraelAs the fighting in Gaza worsens, so does the split between President Joe Biden and the left of his partyMay 14th 2021UNTIL THE Middle East forced itself onto his agenda this week, President Joe Biden has had good reason to avoid the pursuit of peacemaking there that occupied so many of his predecessors: Not only does he want to focus on China, but the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has become the foreign-policy question that most sharply divides Democrats.This intra-party disagreement is breaking out into the open as violence intensifies in the region, with Hamas raining rockets on Israeli cities, Israeli forces bombarding the Gaza Strip, and communal unrest spreading to Israel's cities. About 130 people, mostly Palestinians, have died since the fighting erupted on May 10th. The Democrats' ascendant progressive wing has no patience for the party's traditional bedrock support for Israel, a position long held by Mr Biden.On Wednesday the White House issued a statement summarising a call between Mr Biden and the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. In keeping with such boilerplate statements by previous administrations of both parties, this one emphasised "Israel's legitimate right to defend itself". Progressives erupted.Ilhan Omar, a Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, tallied the Palestinian children killed to that point—13—and mocked Mr Biden's claims to be putting human rights at the centre of his foreign policy. "You aren't prioritizing human rights," she tweeted. "You're siding with an oppressive occupation." Another progressive congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, echoed that accusation and wrote that such statements "dehumanize Palestinians". In previous days Ms Omar had taken to Twitter to accuse Israel of "terrorism" and "ethnic cleansing"—language that would have been astonishing coming from an elected Democrat just a few years ago.The fighting has sharpened calls from some Democrats to put conditions on aid that America supplies to Israel. "Why are US tax dollars being used to fuel the repression, violence, and persecution of Palestinians?" asked Betty McCollum, the sponsor of a House bill to restrict such assistance, in an interview with Jewish Currents, a progressive journal. This year America is supplying Israel with $3.9bn in aid, almost all of it military assistance; Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of American aid, at $146bn, since the second world war.Mr Biden has shown no interest in applying that kind of pressure to Israel. During his presidential campaign, he called the notion of putting any conditions on aid, proposed by the progressive candidate Bernie Sanders, "bizarre". Mr Biden also reportedly intervened during the campaign to prevent Mr Sanders and his allies from including the word "occupation" in the portion of the Democratic Party's platform that touched on Middle East policy. While the left was pushing one way, Mr Biden, then as now, was also under pressure from the right. Bidding for Jewish and evangelical voters, his opponent, President Donald Trump, tilted American policy sharply towards Israel and went so far as to accuse American Jews who support Democrats, as the vast majority do, of "either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty". [...](9) Israel bombards Gaza; far-right Jewish thugs, football hooligans and settlers joined the fray all aroundIsrael bombards Gaza as it confronts mob violence at homeThings continue to escalate in the Holy LandMiddle East & AfricaMay 14th 2021LODFOR THE past four days, the world has anxiously watched Israel's border with Gaza, where, on the Israeli side, infantry and armoured battalions have been massing. Palestinian militants in Gaza have launched hundreds of rockets at Israel, which has responded with hundreds of air strikes. Scores of people have already been killed, mostly Palestinians. Then, on May 14th, the Israeli army launched a big new attack on Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza. The offensive included dozens of air strikes and artillery barrages. Hamas then fired more rockets."We will continue to do what we're doing with great intensity," said Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister. "This operation will continue as long as necessary." But Mr Netanyahu also has problems at home. In cities and towns across Israel, Arabs and Jews—all Israeli citizens with supposedly equal status—have clashed. Rioting and mob violence have left places such as Lod also looking like war zones: a line of burnt-out vehicles extended from the central marketplace to the city's entrance. Israeli leaders warned of civil war. "There is no greater threat now than these riots," said Mr Netanyahu a day before the Gaza offensive.Relations between Israel's Jewish majority and its Palestinian citizens, who make up 20% of the population, have never been great. But the country has not seen unrest like this since 2000, when some Arab Israelis protested in solidarity with their kin under occupation in Gaza and the West Bank during the second intifada. Today the violence is widespread. In Acre a rampaging mob torched a hotel, restaurant and shops owned by Jews. On the roads in the Negev desert, Bedouins stoned Jewish drivers. In Jaffa, a 19-year-old soldier was beaten and his skull fractured by Arabs.But after two nights in which Arabs accounted for most of the violence, far-right Jewish thugs, football hooligans and settlers from the West Bank joined the fray. In Bat Yam, a suburb of Tel Aviv, they destroyed Arab-owned shops. A video shared widely on social media showed Jews pulling a man, presumed to be Arab, from his car and beating him. They kicked and punched him, even as he lay prone on the ground. In south-eastern Tel Aviv, neighbourhood Jewish vigilantes looking for Arab targets attacked reporters and police instead.The crisis began when Israeli police clashed with worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque (Islam's third-holiest shrine) in Jerusalem. But it is fueled by the long-held grievances of Israel's Arab minority. Though they are citizens and suffer fewer hardships and humiliations than Palestinians in the occupied territories, they are still not treated as equals to Jewish Israelis. For example, in 2018 the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed a law stating that the right of national self-determination is "unique to the Jewish people". Israel's non-Jewish citizens were excluded.In Lod, which has seen some of the worst violence, Jews and Arabs had long lived together without serious incident. But there were always problems, such as drugs and gangs, predominantly in Arab neighbourhoods. Some residents think the current situation stems from the police's failure to confront intra-Arab violence in the past. "The police don't even deal with the murders here among the Arabs," says Khaled Sarsour, a resident. "Now everyone is worked up because Jews were attacked, but where were the police when Arabs killed Arabs? The protests are wrong, but they're a result of neglect and discrimination. Al-Aqsa is just a small part of it."In some areas the police are now successfully keeping Jews and Arabs apart. But things are still tense. A curfew and the arrival of 500 border police have not calmed Lod. During a visit to a police command post in the city on May 13th, Mr Netanyahu spoke of detaining people without trial. "You have our backing, don't be afraid of commissions of inquiry," he told officers. Soon after he left a Jewish medic was shot and wounded in yet another incident.The prime minister also talked of using the army in Lod. But it is already over-stretched. Israeli soldiers are not only tied down outside of Gaza, they must also keep watch over the millions of Palestinians living in Jerusalem and the wider West Bank, which has remained relatively calm. And in the early hours of May 14th more rockets were fired at Israel—this time from Lebanon.Before all the trouble, Arab Israelis had been on the verge of a breakthrough that might have improved their lot. Jewish parties from across the political spectrum were in advanced talks with Ra'am, an Arab party, over forming a new government—one that would replace Mr Netanyahu. But the violence has put paid to those plans. Naftali Bennett, who was seen as a potential leader of that government, has reportedly resumed talking with Mr Netanyahu about a potential coalition. If the prime minister does hang on, he may have Palestinian militants to thank.(10) Evictions and Al-Aqsa incite fighting; Hamas destroys Trump 'peace' Jerusalem neighborhood key to halting Palestinian-Israeli fightingThe planned eviction of Palestinian families from their lands in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, claimed by Israeli settlers, has shed light on the neighborhood and its history.May 18, 2021RAMALLAH, West Bank — Planned evictions in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, as well as the Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and Muslim worshippers during the holy month of Ramadan, have been a detonator that triggered a confrontation in the Palestinian territories in the past weeks. The confrontation was quickly transported inside the Green Line (to cities within Israel), and escalated into a war on the Gaza Strip.Sheikh Jarrah has now become a key to reaching a truce. The Palestinian armed factions have set as a condition that any cease-fire negotiations between them and Israel includes the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and Al-Aqsa Mosque dossiers.On May 10, the conflict broke out in Gaza after Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, launched a rocket attack against the city of Jerusalem. The attack came in response to the repeated attacks by the Israeli Police against Jerusalemites at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and in Sheikh Jarrah, which wounded hundreds of Palestinians.A Hamas source who declined to be named told Al-Monitor that since the early hours of the battle, Hamas received calls from Arab, international and United Nations parties to push for a cease-fire in Gaza, and that it continues to receive such calls. He said that Hamas refused any cease-fire deal in exchange for a cessation of the Israeli aggression, and requires that Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah be included in any negotiations.The source noted, "This confrontation erupted for the sake of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah, and the resistance retaliated to the Israeli aggression and attacks on Jerusalem. Thus, the confrontation cannot end without [ensuring an end of Israeli attacks against] Jerusalem." [...](11) Israel destroys Gaza underground infrastructure; but Hamas rockets reached Tel Aviv victory picture for Israel in GazaThe IDF success in destroying Gaza underground infrastructure cannot erase photos of Hamas rockets reaching Tel Aviv.May 18, 2021This operation was supposed to be the jewel in Israel's crown, the result of impressive, painstaking intelligence collection mapping out the vast network of Hamas tunnels in the northern section of the Gaza Strip, including the fortified, fully equipped bomb shelter for the organization's leadership. The Islamist group had little idea that everything it was digging underground over the years was being documented by Israeli intelligence in order to compile a bank of bombing targets for future use. Israel had also devised a series of sophisticated ruses designed to force Hamas commanders to flee underground into what the military was dubbing the "metro," where they would be buried by heavy bombs bringing the tunnels crashing down on their heads.On May 13-14, one of Israel's top brass made what would turn out to be a hasty decision. The military launched its deception maneuver, which included spreading rumors of an imminent Israeli ground offensive in northern Gaza. The rumors were bolstered by the spokesperson of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), who issued an official announcement in the pre-dawn hours of May 14 broadly hinting at such an operation. The idea was to lure all the Hamas leaders into the tunnels where they would prepare to take on the invading enemy forces, allowing Israel to bomb them all.Hamas, however, did not fall for the ruse. Its Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar, head of its military wing Mohammed al-Deif, his deputy Marwan Issa and others did not believe the IDF would be launching a ground offensive and risk the lives of many soldiers just days after starting its relatively surgical aerial and artillery bombing campaign. Instead of hundreds of Hamas leaders, commanders and fighters rushing into the tunnels, only a few dozen hunkered down there. As of this writing, it is still unclear how many were killed, but the meticulous plan the IDF had prepared appears to have been wasted. The tunnels have caved in under the force of the depth charges, but those who ordered their digging are very much alive. ...(12) Economist broaches the "one-state reality" and PalestineTwo states or one?The peace process has become an obstacle to progressLeadersMay 29th 2021 editionMay 27th 2021Have more time and effort ever been devoted to peace to so little effect? America began overseeing talks between the Israelis and Palestinians three decades ago. But the Holy Land remains contested by two peoples who cannot bring themselves to live together. The fighting in May that left 242 Palestinians and ten Israelis dead accomplished nothing except to clear the field for the next round of fighting.The peace process set up in the Oslo accords in 1993 aims to create two states that agree to disagree—using land swaps, security guarantees, a deal to share Jerusalem and a limited "right of return" for Palestinians. Israel's prize was to be a thriving democracy and a sanctuary for Jews; for Palestinians it was the promise of self-rule. At times, peace has been tantalisingly close, only to recede again amid mutual recrimination.Today, however, instead of being a pathway to peace, the two-state "process" is barring the route. Everyone pretends that peace is still on the agenda when, in reality, it is not. That is a formula for strife. Almost everything that matters can be deferred with the promise that, one day, it will be resolved in a deal that is perpetually over the horizon. It is also a formula that, by default, leads to a single state.The idea that the two-state framework is harmful will not come as news to the Palestinians. Under it, the vision of a viable, contiguous, sovereign Palestine has receded. Palestinian territory in the West Bank is an archipelago in an expanding sea of Israeli settlements that are illegal under international law. Gaza is a solitary island, cut off by an Israeli and Egyptian blockade. The Palestinian Authority was supposed to be a government in waiting. Young Palestinians look on it as the agent of Israel's occupation, even as they laud Hamas, the violent Islamist group that rules Gaza, for standing up to Israel.In place of the stagnant two-state effort, the new Palestinian vision is to demand individual rights in one state. Those in Gaza and the West Bank resent needing Israel's permission (often withheld) to travel to see their families. The recent fighting was fuelled by a dispute over property in East Jerusalem, where most Palestinians are mere "residents". Even Israeli Arabs complain of inequality and rose up during the fighting in Gaza.That leaves Israel in a quandary. It has thrived under Oslo. GDP per head has grown by over half in the past 30 years. Its Iron Dome missile-defence system largely shields it from Hamas's attacks. A divided, weak Palestinian leadership suits Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, who shows little interest in the Palestinians. And it's not just him: the conflict did not feature much in any of the four elections Israel has held since 2019.This cannot last. The Oslo figleaf lets Israel claim that the occupation will be undone in a final deal. As the interim power in charge, it has no duty to extend full rights to the West Bank. But 54 years after the six-day war, the idea of a temporary occupation rings increasingly hollow.Without hope of an agreement, Israel's critics have begun to talk of a "one-state reality". This challenges Israel: as the Holy Land has as many Jews as Palestinians, it cannot remain both Jewish and democratic while permanently controlling all of that territory. Many critics of Israeli policy, including some liberal Jews, now compare the Palestinians' treatment to apartheid.The Palestinian demand for rights is resonating abroad, not least in the halls of America's Congress. By allying Israel to the Republican Party, Mr Netanyahu has helped make the Palestinians part of America's culture wars. Progressives in the Democratic Party have started to declare that Palestinian lives matter.America is Israel's most important ally. True, American aid matters less than it did and Israel now produces most of its own advanced weapons. It has relations with more countries, including its Arab neighbours through the Abraham accords. Yet if it drifts away from Europe and America and towards countries like Russia, China and populist India, it will be a blow to Israel as a Western, liberal and democratic ideal.More important, Mr Netanyahu's "anti-solutionism" leaves his country less able than ever to navigate a future with the Palestinians. His embrace of the Jewish far right makes eruptions more likely even as it fires up militant Palestinians—witness the recent communal violence in Israeli cities. The wall that seals off Israel from the West Bank has led to deeper distrust between Arabs and Jews. The settlements, once thought negotiable, have become permanent obstacles to peace.The status quo has served Israel well but is not sustainable. Sooner or later there will be a reckoning that requires a new formula for living next to the Palestinians. Adhering to Oslo while undermining it in practice feeds the reality of one state—because it makes two states harder to realise. ...This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline "Two states or one?"(13) UN resolution on Gaza/Palestine received 24 votes in favour, 9 against and 14 abstentions demands explanations for Argentina's vote at UN in favor of human rights probeTuesday, June 1st 2021 - 09:38 UTC The Government of Israel Monday summoned Argentina's ambassador to Tel Avil Sergio Urribarri following the South American country's vote at the United Nations (UN) to create a Commission to investigate the "alleged violations of human rights in Israel and the Gaza Strip."Argentina voted in concurrence with China, Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba, among 24 other countries, which was not welcome in Tel Aviv.Argentine President Alberto Fernández has explained that "before voting, I spoke with everyone. And I explained our diplomatic position. Nobody objected to me, and everyone understood me. Therefore, I do not believe that Argentina's vote at the UN will affect the negotiation with the Paris Club and the IMF,"Fernández maintains that his position followed that of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who now heads the United Nations' human rights department, which is also going to investigate Hamas and not just Israel.In any case, Argentina's decision is regarded as one that may interfere with current negotiations with western countries both for the purchase of vaccines against the coronavirus and for the restructuring of Argentina's debts with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Paris Club.The UN resolution received 24 votes in favour, 9 against and 14 abstentions. The motion was not backed by the United States, nor by any nation of the European Union or the rest of those that makeup Mercosur.Those against the resolution believe that such a decision puts Israel at the same level as the Hamas organization. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the UN initiative "shameful" and considered it to be "another example of the flagrant anti-Israeli obsession of the UN Human Rights Council."Meanwhile, the Argentine Delegation of Israeli Associations (DAIA) Monday conveyed its disapproval to President Fernández: "It hurt us to see Argentina voting in favour of countries that violate human rights," DAIA President Jorge Knoblovits told Fernández in a face to face meeting.The Argentine President now needs to smooth things over with the Jewish community after Argentina's vote."We told him that abstention for Argentina would have been the most prudent scenario," said Knoblovits after the meeting. He also explained that Fernández "made it clear to them that he has no problem with the State of Israel, but quite the opposite" and considered that "this is a matter that the State of Israel will handle with that of Argentina.""Being in a space with countries that are not democratic and systematically violate human rights, without individual freedoms or respect for minorities... Seeing the country vote with them hurt us," Knoblovits explained."As Argentine victims of two terrorist attacks, we have the standing to say that this vote should, in any case, have been an abstention," he insisted. "We hope that from now on we can take a joint action (with the Government) so that this (about the latest events in the Middle East) has no impact on Argentina," he added.(14) Australian ABC bans using the term "apartheid" in relation to IsraelFrom: "Gideon Polya" <>Subject: ABC bans use of term "Apartheid" re Israel Zionist-Subverted Australian ABC Bans Use Of Term "Apartheid" to describe Israel Gideon PolyaCountercurrents, 3 April 2021An extract follows:Dear fellow humanitarian,Complaint to the Australian ABC that falsely bans use of term "Apartheid" re IsraelThe Australian ABC (the Australian equivalent of the UK BBC) recently promulgated a ban on ABC journalists  using the term "apartheid" in relation to Israel. The ABC has asserted that such "use in relation to Israel remains contentious and contestable" and that "for our own reporters to use the term in an unqualified way would, therefore, constitute undue editorialising".William Shakespeare famously wrote: "What's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet". Conversely, racist Apartheid stinks whether it is European colonial laws, the Jim Crow laws of the US  Deep South, European anti-Jewish and anti-Roma laws from the UK to Russia, the 1935 Nazi Germany Nuremberg Laws, the 1948 South African Apartheid Laws, egregiously racist Australian laws  prior to the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act, the continuing and egregious de facto and de jure racism of Apartheid America, or the vile,  genocidally racist and anti-Arab anti-Semitic post-1948 Apartheid laws of Apartheid America-backed Apartheid Israel.These days the politically correct racist (PC racist) ABC would not dare adopting a policy of banning "undue editorialising" about any of the above obscene and racist laws -  except for those of Apartheid Israel. The taxpayer-funded ABC betrays its funders, Australians, Australia and Humanity by enforcing ABC journalist silence over Israeli Apartheid.War is the penultimate in racism and genocidal war the ultimate in racism. Fortunately  International Law by explicitly criminalizing Apartheid has called out the genocidal racism of serial war criminal and nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel and its principal nuclear terrorist and serial war criminal backers Apartheid America,  Apartheid Australia and the nuclear terrorist nations of NATO.Thus the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1976) and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (2002) explicitly condemn and criminalize "Apartheid".The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), The Fourth Geneva Convention (the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War) (1949) and the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1951) implicitly condemn Apartheid in all  its evil manifestations.A huge body of anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish scholars, writers, leaders, humanitarian  activists and organizations  condemn Israeli Apartheid. Notable in this huge body of decent humanity are numerous lawyers, Nobel Laureates and South Africans.The ethnic cleansing of 90% of Palestine means that a 2-state solution is dead. There is presently  a One-state Apartheid reality in Palestine as perceived recently by both Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem . Subjects of Apartheid Israel total 14.3 million comprising 6.8 million Jewish Israelis (48%), 7.1 million Indigenous Palestinians (50%), 0.4 million non-Arab and non-Jewish Israelis, 1.9 million Palestinian Israelis (Third Class citizens under over 60 race-based, Nazi-style discriminatory laws), and 5.2 million Occupied Palestinians (73% of Apartheid Israel’s Indigenous Palestinian Subjects, with zero human rights, subjected to extreme poverty, excluded from Jews-only areas,  and excluded from voting for the government ruling them i.e. subject to egregious Apartheid). The GDP per capita is a deadly $3,400 for the Occupied Palestinians versus $46,400 for the Occupier Israelis.The Occupied Palestinians are highly abusively confined to West Bank ghettoes under military rule (3.2 million) or to the blockaded and repeatedly bombed and shelled Gaza Concentration Camp (2 million). The various groups of Palestinian Subjects of Apartheid Israel are controlled not just by guns but by specific compulsory ID passes just as were non-European Subjects of Apartheid South Africa and indeed the Subjects of Nazi Germany-occupied Europe. There are also 8 million mostly impoverished Exiled Palestinians deriving from successive mass expulsions of Indigenous Arabs (800,000 in 1948 and 400,000 in 1967), and illegally excluded on pain of death from the homeland continuously inhabited by their forebears for thousands of years.Silence is complicity and those not condemning  Apartheid, Apartheid Israel and the ongoing Palestinian Genocide (2.2 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, and from deprivation, 2.1 million, since the Australia-assisted  British invasion of the Middle East in 1914) are complicit in these crimes. Under the Coalition Government Australia is second only to the US as a supporter of Apartheid Israel. The lying by omission of a cowardly and  Zionist-subverted ABC trashes Australia’s  international reputation, and risks the targeting of Australia with the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) that are increasingly being applied world-wide to Apartheid Israel and all of its supporters.For a detailed and documented account  of expert legal and humanitarian opinion about Israeli Apartheid see Gideon Polya, "Zionist-Subverted Australian ABC Bans Use Of Term "Apartheid" to describe Israel" , Countercurrents, 3 April 2021: .Yours sincerely, Dr Gideon Polya, Melbourne, Australian MPs, and Australian and global media, scholars and activists