When the PA’s security forces suppress Palestinian protests against Israeli crimes, it is time for it to be disbanded

  
Screenshot from Middle East Eye video

The past few days have seen an escalation of violence by Israeli occupation forces that could have ignited a third intifada. Dozens of Palestinians have been attacked, injured and arrested by Israeli forces in and around Alaqsa mosque in Jerusalem. This Jerusalem uprising has been to protect Alaqsa mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam from repeated, uncoordinated ‘visits’ by extremist Israelis, accompanied by heavily armed and violent Israeli occupation forces.

Palestinians fear that Israel is planning to divide Alaqsa between Jews and Muslims as a prelude to its replacement with a Jewish temple. Their fears are well founded as Israel has already occupied and divided the Ibrahimi mosque in Alkhalil Hebron.

   
 The Ibrahimi Mosque, divided.

But in recent days Palestinians have not only faced Israeli thuggery, both in Jerusalem and the West Bank, they also faced an immoral, shameful crackdown by Palestinian Authority security forces. The crackdown has been against Palestinians protesting against this Israeli violence.
This video emerged of an example of this from Friday 18 September 2015, where PA forces attacked Palestinians protesting in Bethlehem against Israeli aggression and violence at Alaqsa mosque and in other parts of Jerusalem. 

The PA has of course condemned the Israeli escalation but rather than lead coordinated peaceful protests by the people, it sent its forces to put these down while its leaders were nowhere to be seen.

  

If the millions spent to train the PA security forces cannot keep Palestinians safe from IDF and settler terror, then that is terrible, but for these forces to be used to brutalise Palestinians is shameful and renders them in the eyes of Palestinuans as subcontractors to the occupier, Israel.

In democracies, leaders always say that a Government’s first duty is to protect its citizens and I agree. As Palestinians aspire to full statehood, democracy and independence, they are entitled to expect their leaders to act in the same way as established democracies. But as the PA is failing to fulfil this first duty of a Government one has to question if it can achieve anything else for the Palestinians.

Senior members of the PA see its shear  existence as an achievement for Palestinians. You only have to visit Ranallah to see the magnificent ministries and the rebuilt Muqara’a to appreciate this. But I’m afraid that when it turns its security forces on its people to stop their protests against the occupation, it’s achievements are nullified.

 it is not worthy of being given the benefit of the doubt. It really is time for it to be disbanded.

Updated 21/9/2015

The New York Times reports “Palestinian Officers Disciplined After Video of Beating”.

This is good but the PA must support, not curtail protests against the Israeli occupation and its daily crimes.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership win is a boost for equality, justice and human rights, but with realism

Jeremy Corbyn MP won a landslide victory in his bid to become Labour Party leader, with 60% of the votes cast going to him. It quickly emerged that this was reflected in the various voting groups. The main exception is the Parliamentary Labour Party. There are claims that 90% of MPs do not support his win.

Commentators took to the air in force, some claiming a historic victory and others claiming a catastrophe and even the death of the Labour Party. Many predicting Corbyn will not last a year.

  

The Conservatives predictably are scaremogering, claiming that Corbyn’s election poses a serious threat to the economy and security of the UK.

Those campaigning for causes Corbyn has supported tirelessly, including the Palestinians are elated but realistic about what Corbyn’s Labour Party can do to support them.

Corbyn’s priority must be to deliver equality in the UK. The gap between rich and poor is in need of shrinking. He needs to deliver on the principles he has stuck to throughout his political life. He needs to steer Labour to immediately becoming an effective opposition and then electable in 2020.

Those of us who support equality and justice will want him to succeed.

But he is also now in a position where the causes he has supported have an opportunity for exposure to wider sectors of the British public. The human rights driver rather than business should gain prominence. This applies particularly to the Palestinian cause. 

Whereas Prime Minister Cameron argues for stronger business links with Israel, Corbyn can argue for sanctions against Israel because of its serial abuses of Palestinian human rights.

  
To effect a major change in UK policy away from immoral support for Israel to just support for Pslestinians will take time. 

Supporters of Palestinian rights can at least be assured that for the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in 2017, Labour’s leadership won’t rush to celebrate this terrible milestone in British history.