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FUTURE OF AL AQSA and AL QUDS
#68



ISRAEL’s BEN-GVIR ENTERS AL-AQSA:
WHY WAS IT SEEN AS PROVOCATIVE ?
The far-right Israeli national security minister had been warned by Israel’s former PM that his move would spark violence.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/1/3/israel-ben-gvir-enters-al-aqsa-why-was-seen-provocative-explainer




ISRAEL FAR RIGHT MINISTER ENTERS AL AQSA IN ‘PROVOCATION’
Palestinians and several Arab countries condemn Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit, which they fear is aimed at changing the holy site’s status quo.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/1/3/in-provocation-israel-far-right-minister-enters-al-aqsa-compound


JEWISH SUPREMACY IS STATE POLICY SAYS NETANYAHU
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20230103-jewish-supremacy-is-state-policy-says-netanyahu/

American Jewish leaders are right to be worried. As Benjamin Netanyahu peels away at the façade that has maintained support for the occupation state within liberal Jewish constituencies in the US and elsewhere, they are discovering that their democratic image of Israel is but a figment of their imagination. Any remaining doubt about Israel's identity was erased last week when Netanyahu declared that the preservation of Jewish supremacy will be state policy.

"The Jewish people have an exclusive and unquestionable right to all areas of the Land of Israel," said Prime Minister Netanyahu at the head of the most extreme right-wing Israeli government ever. "The government will promote and develop settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel — in the Galilee, the Negev, the Golan, Judea and Samaria," he added in a series of tweets which outlined his policy priorities.

American Jewish leaders are right to be worried. As Benjamin Netanyahu peels away at the façade that has maintained support for the occupation state within liberal Jewish constituencies in the US and elsewhere, they are discovering that their democratic image of Israel is but a figment of their imagination. Any remaining doubt about Israel's identity was erased last week when Netanyahu declared that the preservation of Jewish supremacy will be state policy.

"The Jewish people have an exclusive and unquestionable right to all areas of the Land of Israel," said Prime Minister Netanyahu at the head of the most extreme right-wing Israeli government ever. "The government will promote and develop settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel — in the Galilee, the Negev, the Golan, Judea and Samaria," he added in a series of tweets which outlined his policy priorities.



According to the Palestinian legal centre Adalah, Netanyahu's declaration went further than the 2018 Jewish National State Law, which defines self-determination as unique to the Jewish people within the "State of Israel". Critics slammed the law as racist, because it denied the 20 per cent of Israel's population who aren't Jews the same rights as those granted to Jews. By declaring that the guiding principle of the new government is the preservation of Jewish supremacy in every inch of historic Palestine — "the Land of Israel" — including territories which are supposed to become a future Palestinian state, an Israeli prime minister has for the first time announced publicly that state policy in Israel will pursue the vision of Jewish extremists like the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. Although seen as a religious fanatic, the views of the founder of the proscribed terror group the Jewish Defence League (JDL) have become mainstream in Israeli politics.



Unsurprisingly, Netanyahu's announcement provoked a backlash. Several Jewish leaders in the US warned Israeli officials that racist and extremist steps taken by the far-right government would greatly harm support for Israel from American Jews. Representatives of several mainstream US Jewish organisations which are said to be the "backbone of the pro-Israel community in the US" attended the meeting at which the warning was issued.


Jewish Voice Peace, a left-leaning US organisation, outlined the ramifications of Netanyahu's announcement. "The new Israeli government is making Jewish supremacy official," the group said on Twitter. "This means increasing Israel's displacement, harm and possible expulsion of Palestinians. More land theft, greater restriction of movement, increased imprisonment, and more surveillance and censorship."


JVL described the shift as a "brazen and horrifying effort to ensure the state of Israel protects Jews exclusively" and accused the new Israeli government of entrenching forms of settler colonialism and Jewish supremacy. "The Israeli government's commitment to and reliance on settler colonialism has been evident since its beginning," it continued, while labelling Netanyahu's remarks as the "clearest iteration" of Israel's practice of the crime of apartheid.


American academic Marc Lamont Hill, the author of Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics, also reacted to Netanyahu's comments. The former CNN commentator was fired in 2018 for a speech at the UN where he called for justice and equality in historic Palestine. "We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grassroots action, local action, and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea," said Lamont Hill. Predictably, his comments were denounced as anti-Semitic by Israel and supporters of the apartheid state who called for him to be fired from his job at Temple University in Philadelphia where he is professor of media studies.

"In these remarks, Netanyahu is declaring ALL areas of historic Palestine to be Israel including the West Bank and East Jerusalem," added Lamont Hill. He shared Netanyahu's tweet while also appearing to compare reactions to the Israeli prime minister's remarks with his comments at the UN about establishing justice between the river and the sea. "He's claiming everything from the Jordan RIVER to the Mediterranean SEA. Is this a call to genocide? Is this a clear cry to eliminate Palestinians?" asked Prof. Lamont Hill.


He explained that his point about using the slogan "from the river to the sea" — a chant often heard at pro-Palestine rallies — was not a call for violence and remains, in fact, the opposite of what Netanyahu is calling for. It's hard to dispute Lamont Hill's claim. Israel was founded on the ethnic cleansing of three-quarters of the Palestinian population of Palestine and has maintained its domination of the territory through a brutal military occupation and violence. Indeed, the ethnic cleansing has never stopped. Further entrenchment and expansion of the same racist regime that subjugates non-Jews will only be feasible through yet more state terrorism and state-sponsored violence.


"I call for justice in all regions of historic Palestine," said the academic as he refuted the claim by one of his pro-Israel Twitter followers that the chant is anti-Semitic. In clarification, he said that he was pointing out how the same people who accused him of anti-Semitism are now silent when Netanyahu makes the same territorial statement in favour of Jewish supremacy.



Mark Lamont Hill is right to expose the double standards. No Western government or pro-Israel lobby group, including those which push the "two-state solution" — which Netanyahu's plan will kill forever — has said anything about the expansion of a regime of Jewish supremacy over every inch of historic Palestine. As my fellow MEMO columnist Yvonne Ridley argued at the time in Lamont Hill's defence, the pro-Israel lobby's ongoing efforts to weaponise anti-Semitism were dealt a major blow when Temple University resisted pressure to sack the professor. They and the many Western governments subsidising the apartheid regime of Israel have now suffered another blow. They have nowhere to hide from the hypocrisy of their unquestioning support for the occupation state.


APOCALYPSE IN PALESTINE :
THE RISE OF ISRAELI FANATICISM
Israel’s fanatics do not want a democratic state, they want a religious kingdom.
Marwan Bishara

https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2023/1/30/apocalypse-in-palestine-the-rise-of-israeli-fanaticism

These straight-talking maniacs say what they think and do what they say. Their vision may be disastrous, even catastrophic, but their candour is refreshing in the way it exposes the myth of a secular, liberal and enlightened Israel. Say what you may about Israel’s ruling fanatics [url=https://www.aljazeera.com/author/marwan_bishara_201132512858571875]but listen carefully to what they say. Unlike their coalition partner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they are blunt about their racism and bigotry.


One leading fanatic is Bezalel Smotrich, the head of the Religious Zionism party and Israel’s new finance minister. After a recording of him admitting to being a fascist became public in recent days, he retorted sardonically:  “I may be a far-right person, a homophobe, racist, fascist, but my word is my bond”.True that. And more.  He and his fellow zealots believe that: first, Israel cannot and should not be both Jewish and democratic; second, Israel has the exclusive right over all of what they call “the Land of Israel”, i.e. historic Palestine; and third, Israel should beware the ways of the liberal West, and reject American dictates or overtures.

Let us take these gems one at a time. Today’s fanatics lament the early Zionists’ failure to rid the “Jewish State” of all its Palestinian inhabitants. They believe their forefathers were right to evict hundreds of thousands of Palestinians back in 1947-1949, but wrong to allow for a small minority to stay behind, or allow it to grow in numbers and influence.

Rabbi Meir Kahane, the departed guru of many of today’s fanatics, argued in a 1980 book with the telling title, They Must Go, that the Palestinians are a “cancer” in the body of the “Jewish State” that must be removed by whatever means necessary.

His present-day disciples, like the minister of national security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, also believe Israel is better off without its Palestinian citizens, but they reckon if Palestinians must stay, then can only be second or third-class citizens, vowing total loyalty to their Jewish masters.

Unlike their political and ideological partner, Netanyahu, who helped pass the racist law “Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People” in 2018, but continues to peddle the debunked “Jewish and democratic state” cliché, Kahane’s followers boast of Jewish supremacy in the “Jewish State”.  Indeed, as Kahane himself put it, “Those who refuse to give the Arab that right but tell him he is equal think he is a fool. He is not.”Indeed, he is not.

Unlike the Jewish fanatic who believes Israel must be a theocracy or the foolish and delusional liberal who is convinced Israel could be Jewish and democratic, the Palestinian Arab knows Israel must be a true democracy in order to be at peace with itself and its neighbours.

This brings me to the second point. Like all other religious fanatics, Israel’s fanatics believe “the end justifies the means” when fighting for the almighty. This includes the forced reconsecration or Judaisation of Jerusalem and its holy sites, including Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam, regardless of its catastrophic ramifications, peace and coexistence be damned.

Needless to say, there is “nothing novel about the victorious Jews’ takeover of sites sacred to the Muslims”, in the words of former deputy mayor of West Jerusalem, Meron Benvenisti. If anything, the new fanatics are simply picking up where their Zionist elders left off, but with more religious zeal.Combining messianic Judaism with Israeli chutzpah, these fanatics are determined and they are dangerous. They are upfront about deepening the occupation, multiplying the illegal Jewish settlements, and eventually annexing them altogether, regardless of the consequences.

Unlike Bibi, the spin doctor, they feel no need to lie or justify their disinterest in diplomacy and peace with the Palestinians. Many wish for an apocalyptic end to this age to pave the way for the advent of the “kingdom of heaven”.It is no surprise then, that they reject international law and the entire peace process jargon about the two-state solution, which Israel’s Western backers continue to peddle, either foolishly or dishonestly.Which brings me to the last point. Unlike mainstream secular Israelis who are passionate about the American style of life, the religious camp rejects the influence of liberal America on Israel and its way of life.


These fundamentalists wish for a kingdom, not a republic. They want Israel to live according to Jewish law and tradition, not Western liberalism or universal values on issues of gender, sexuality and family.  Although they get enormous financial and other assistance from the United States, they believe Jewish redemption in the land of Israel must be biblical, not American or liberal. They also insist on subjugating the country’s rather liberal Supreme Court to the whim of the parliamentary majority they are part of.

No wonder, then, that secular and liberal Israelis oppose the fanatical forces in power, who, they believe, are “turning Israel into an insular, suspicious, and chauvinistic Sparta” – to quote Israeli journalist Ari Shavit’s book, My Promised Land. But most of them focus only on the government’s domestic agenda while ignoring the violent occupation.  That is selfish and shortsighted – indeed foolish.


Israeli fanaticism is the culmination of decades of war, occupation, and colonisation. Israel’s fanatics and fascists draw their force and fervour from their messianic mission in the occupied Palestinian territories, where they have expanded their power base at the expense of the Palestinians. To stop the fanatics, concerned Israelis, Americans and others must do all to end the colonisation of Palestine, first and foremost.    It’s the occupation, stupid.
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FUTURE OF AL AQSA and AL QUDS - by globalvision2000administrator - 01-03-2023, 06:12 PM

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