All murder and purposeful killing or harming should be condemned, no matter who the perpetrators are.

When, however, people, no matter who, become partisan, then murder and mayhem continue. Those who genuinely desire solutions to end this behaviour have to unite, no matter how difficult and challenging.

Sadly, this has not been the case for many centuries. Religious wars and bigotry have crushed peace and inflicted destruction. Nothing has changed in the 21st century. The same hate and ignorance continue to prevail. Antisemitism, Islamophobia and many other irrational beliefs prevail because humans are too often incapable of uniting. They always find ways to be divided. In the end, only their extinction will solve this eternal dilemma unless they can find the remedy. The only remedy is a culture of unity and this appears extremely unlikely.

To attempt to remedy the problem of antisemitism, the West made a dreadful error. Instead of attempting to unite dissenting voices, they took from one to give to another. This led the emotions of hate to heighten and lengthen, not shrink and dilute. By meddling, their remedy merely made the situation much worse. It was obvious from the beginning that it was not going to work, yet they persisted anyway. Those who meddle without uniting the oppressed will always be complicit in a destructive outcome. They may attempt to deny their role or excuse it, but the complicity is already malignant.

The state of Israel should have never been created on the land of other ethnicities. The remedy should have been a space, not based on religious fiction, that enabled a belief system to coexist with others. Instead, it became a site of resentment, anger and destruction.

For a detailed and nuanced narrative explaining this history, please read the following:

The western media have thrown their faux sympathies and anger behind the state of Israel. Why they continue to rewrite history on such a catastrophic scale should be explained by them. It cannot all be malice. Much of it must be ignorance of the suffering endured for so long.

To partially understand this suffering, we need to look to the very recent past. The international law-breaking, murder and mayhem by one side against the other have been ignored. The dialectics of history have remained hidden to most because the corporate media has chosen to hide them. When the events of October 2023 occurred, most people merely responded to the bang and paid no attention to the long fuse. They even forget the other bangs from the past because they are rarely reminded of them by the corporate media.

Thankfully, the fuse is being explained continuously, but it remains far from the general consciousness of the public because the corporate media prefers it that way. The following narrative from 2022 should have been No 1 on all news outlets, with intelligent, experienced voices explaining it to the nations. As should every other report detailing lawbreaking and atrocities. But they were not.

We must remedy it. Too many respond to the partial and not the whole. No workable unifying remedy will ever exist without it.

The state of Palestine

Israel’s persistent oppressive and discriminatory governance over Palestinians in both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) is considered by some to be a form of apartheid under international law. Furthermore, Israeli officials are alleged to have committed the crime of apartheid. In August 2022, Israeli forces launched a three-day offensive in the occupied Gaza Strip, during which they allegedly committed war crimes, further exacerbating the impact of a 15-year Israeli blockade that is deemed illegal collective punishment and further divides Palestinian territory. Israel intensified its restrictions on Palestinians’ freedom of association and imposed arbitrary limitations on freedom of movement, particularly in the northern West Bank, ostensibly in response to attacks by Palestinians on Israeli soldiers and settlers. The year witnessed an increase in the number of Palestinians killed and seriously injured unlawfully by Israeli forces during West Bank raids. Administrative detentions of Palestinians reached a 14-year high and allegations of torture and ill-treatment persisted. Israeli forces also demolished the Negev/Naqab village of al-Araqib for the 211th time, and 35 Palestinian-Bedouin communities in Israel remained unrecognised, placing their residents at risk of forced displacement. Authorities failed to process asylum claims for thousands of asylum seekers and imposed restrictions on their right to work.

Background: In March, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the OPT found that the political system in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip met the evidentiary standard for apartheid. In November, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing reached the same conclusion regarding Israel’s policies of home demolitions. Several states, including South Africa, condemned Israeli apartheid, echoing statements by Palestinian, Israeli, and international human rights organizations. Nevertheless, Israel continued to enjoy impunity with the support of key allies.

In October, the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, concluded that the occupation of the OPT is unlawful due to its permanence and Israel’s annexation measures. These measures included the retroactive authorisation of settlement outposts by the Israeli Supreme Court.

In November, Israel held its fifth election in three years after the collapse of a coalition government that continued to discriminate against Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. The vote was polarised between supporters and opponents of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with consensus on maintaining Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories. The right-wing bloc, led by Netanyahu and a religious-nationalist coalition, secured a majority of seats and formed a government in December.

Apartheid: In February 2022, Amnesty International released a comprehensive report demonstrating how Israel was imposing an institutionalised regime of oppression and domination against the Palestinian people, affecting Palestinian citizens of Israel, residents of the OPT, and Palestinian refugees denied the right of return. Israeli officials were accused of responsibility for the crime against humanity of apartheid, which falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). In March, Israeli authorities reinstated the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (temporary order), which restricted Palestinian family unification to maintain a Jewish demographic majority.

In July, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld a law allowing the interior minister to strip citizenship from individuals convicted of acts considered a “breach of allegiance to the state.” Since its enactment in 2008, this law has only been applied against Palestinian citizens. In September, the Israeli Appeals Tribunal approved the revocation of residency permits for 10 Palestinians in Jerusalem who were distant relatives of a Palestinian assailant. In December, Israel deported French-Palestinian human rights defender Salah Hammouri after revoking his East Jerusalem residency.

Unlawful Attacks and Killings: In August, Israel launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip, targeting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and its armed wing, leading to the destruction or damage of numerous Palestinian homes and the displacement of hundreds of civilians. Alleged war crimes were committed by both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed 151 Palestinians and injured 9,875, with reports of excessive use of force, unlawful killings, and apparent extrajudicial executions. According to Defense for Children International-Palestine, 36 children were killed by Israeli forces or settlers across the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Right to Truth, Justice, and Reparation: Israeli authorities continued to refuse cooperation with the ICC Office of the Prosecutor’s investigation into the situation in Palestine, despite the ICC’s decision in 2021 to initiate an investigation. They also failed to adequately investigate violations and crimes under international law.

Freedom of Movement: In the West Bank, a network of permanent checkpoints, roadblocks, and temporary barriers, coupled with a stringent permit system and biometric surveillance, continued to control and fragment Palestinian communities. In October, additional restrictions were imposed in response to Palestinian attacks, causing widespread disruptions and unlawful collective punishment. Notably, Israel revoked work permits for 2,500 Palestinians as a form of collective punishment.

In Gaza, the illegal Israeli blockade persisted, entering its 16th year, causing severe humanitarian challenges. Patients died while awaiting Israeli permits for life-saving treatment due to bureaucratic complications. The only power plant in Gaza faced fuel shortages due to Israeli closures.

Forced Evictions: Tens of thousands of Palestinians remained at risk of forced evictions in both Israel and the OPT, including shepherding communities in the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills. Israeli authorities demolished 952 Palestinian structures, displacing 1,031 Palestinians and affecting the livelihoods of thousands more. The Israeli Supreme Court upheld the forced transfer of over 1,000 residents from Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills and legalized the settlement outpost of Mitzpe Kramim.

Arbitrary Detention: Israeli authorities increased their use of administrative detention, leading to a mass boycott of Israeli military courts by hundreds of detainees. By the end of the year, 866 individuals, mostly Palestinians, were administratively detained, marking the highest number in 14 years.

Torture and Ill-Treatment: Israeli forces continued to subject Palestinian detainees to torture and ill-treatment, with internal investigations failing to address complaints properly. Solitary confinement conditions were particularly harsh, amounting to torture.

Freedom of Association and Expression: Israeli soldiers raided the offices of seven Palestinian civil society organisations in Ramallah in August, vandalizing equipment, seizing files, and issuing closure orders. The Israeli Central Elections Committee disqualified the Palestinian party Balad from participating in Israeli parliamentary elections in September, but this decision was later reversed by the Israeli Supreme Court in October.

Refugees’ and Migrants’ Rights: Israel welcomed tens of thousands of people fleeing Ukraine and allowed thousands of Jewish Ukrainians to settle under the 1950 Law of Return while continuing to deny Palestinian refugees the right of return. Asylum applications of nearly 30,000 African asylum seekers were rejected, with concerns of deportation to Sudan in certain cases. Government regulations restricted the work of 20,000 asylum seekers in specific industries.

This comprehensive summary highlights various human rights issues and challenges in the Israeli-Palestinian context. The following interview also details why the oppressed people of Palestine and beyond are planning a response to their oppressors that will eventually prevail.

Remedies have to be united. However, those who manage our lives from the very top of the hierarchy do not want such unity. They impose the remedies and the human cost is often cataclysmic. We must demand the facts and have the tools to deal with them, no matter what they reveal. Then we can become enlightened and respond together. If not, our self-destruction is inevitable and some may say desirable.

Jason Cridland

  1. Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity, 1 February
  2. “Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: A perfect storm of apartheid policies led to Salah Hammouri’s deportation”, 21 December
  3. “They Were Just Kids: Evidence of War Crimes During Israel’s August 2022 Gaza Offensive”, 25 October
  4. Israel/OPT: Continuing patterns of unlawful killings and other crimes further entrench apartheid, 11 May
  5. “Israel/OPT: The stifling of Palestinian civil society organizations must end”, 18 August

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