Palestinians and Israelis will pay a heavy price for unchecked Jewish settler terror

The Middle East Monitor published this article on 29/12/2015

Image from the Middle East Monitor

Palestinians and Israelis will pay a heavy price for unchecked Jewish settler terror

The recent Israeli wedding video in which revellers danced with knives and guns, and stabbed pictures of Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh, who was burnt to death by Jewish settlers, should trouble Israel’s supporters and society. A wedding is an occasion for friends and family to celebrate the union of two people. Instead, this particular wedding was a festival of hate and murderous celebration of the burning alive of a Palestinian baby (and presumably his mother and father, both killed in the same attack). Instead of raising a glass to the happy couple, they raised guns and knives in hate and a determination to continue along this path.

Israel’s Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who identified quickly the attack on the Dawabsheh family as “Jewish terror” has not pursued its perpetrators with the same vigour as his security forces chase Palestinians who are suspected of violent attacks against Israelis. Initially, he claimed that the government “believes they know who carried out the terrorist attack, but there is difficulty in putting them on trial.” He said that he hopes that, “we’ll find the evidence necessary in order to bring the perpetrator of this heinous attack to justice.”

However, while there has been some condemnation, including from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the outrage of ordinary Israelis does not match the seriousness of the incident. Netanyahu himself tried to play down this and other terrorist acts committed by Jews, refusing to equate them with Palestinian “terror”. “There is a difference between Arab terror and Jewish terror,” he claimed. “Here we condemn and they [the Palestinians] praise.” He was referring clearly to the terrorist attacks that resulted in deaths of Palestinians, those of the Dawabsheh family earlier this year and Muhammed Abu Khdair in 2014.

According to Netanyahu, “Unlike Jewish terror, which is limited in scope, Arab terror attacks us incessantly and is widespread.” Israeli society condemns Jewish terror, he insisted, whereas “in the Palestinian Authority they name squares and streets after terrorists.” The reality, of course, is that Israel names boulevards and squares after Jewish terrorists, including Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir.

If one only counts the attacks on Abu Khdair and the Dawabsheh family as Jewish terror then it is possible to dismiss them as isolated incidents. However, there has been a worrying rise in settler violence, coordinated under the label of “price tag” attacks which target Palestinians on both sides of the Green (1949 Armistice) Line. They have included attacks on mosques and churches, the most recent of which was against the Church of Loaves and Fishes on the Sea of Galilee, which was damaged after being set on fire in a “price tag” attack by Jews.

In addition, there are almost daily incidents of settlers uprooting olive trees, attacking Palestinians tending to or harvesting their crops and, in the case of Hebron, attacking children on their way to school. The incidents in the West Bank included a worrying attack in which a Jewish extremist tried to stab a “rabbi for human rights”.

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) has also faced minor acts of vandalism. An army reserves post was ransacked by settlers at Yitzhar in April 2014. At the time, Ya’alon vowed “to fight domestic terrorism, against those outlaws who attack IDF commanders, soldiers and Border Police who are doing their utmost day and night to safeguard the country and citizens. The State of Israel will not tolerate such criminal activity, which is terrorism in all respects.”

The “arson” attack on Jerusalem’s Jewish-Arab school in 2014 demonstrated that not only Palestinian establishments and property is at risk of Jewish terror; Jewish targets could also be attacked if the perpetrators judged them to be promoting peace or coexistence.
In June 2013, the Ynet website reported that there had been a “price tag epidemic” with 788 attacks having taking place in 18 months. Palestinian officials claimed that, by August, there had been 375 such attacks this year alone.

Jewish terror is not a new phenomenon. Israel itself was created as a result of the terror that drove 750,000 Palestinians out of their homeland in 1948. Terrorist organisations such as the Irgun and the Stern Gang epitomised this terror. Israeli MK Tzipi Livni, whose father Eitan served in the Irgun, considers him to have been a “freedom fighter”. The Irgun, though, was a terrorist organisation which carried out attacks not only against the British Mandate authorities but also Palestinian civilians.

The despicable murders of Abu Khdair and the Dawabsheh family are, therefore, only the tip of the iceberg of rising Jewish terror by which Israeli society has not been stirred sufficiently to call for major action against it by the security forces. I believe that this is part of a concerted effort by Israeli leaders to avoid labelling what they are acts that reasonable people would call terrorism; they want to deny that they have home-grown Jewish terrorists in a state which claims to be in an ongoing fight against terrorism. The Israeli media is also reluctant to use the term terrorist to refer to Jews who carry out violent acts against Palestinians; it prefers “rightists” or “extremists”. Israeli society needs to acknowledge that it has a problem, to understand it and to deal with it.

Writing in Haaretz, Samuel Heilman asks, “Who taught the Jewish radical settler youth to celebrate murder?” when discussing the settler wedding video. “Seeing these Jewish zealots of the hilltop youth and their supporters makes me think that education for incitement and hatred is going on no less in their schools and communities,” he observed. “The same calls that have been heard demanding that the Palestinians change and reform their children’s education if they truly want peace must now be issued in the Jewish community.” I believe that this is the kind of demand that Israelis of all political persuasions should be making in order to understand and then deal with settler hatred and violence.

As settlers develop a terror infrastructure, safe in the knowledge that the state basically condones it, those Israelis who want to see a peaceful resolution to the conflict could soon face settler violence for advocating any evacuation of settlements under a peace agreement. Many of the 600,000 illegal settlers now in East Jerusalem and the West Bank might even join the “price tag” enterprise to delay any evacuations, thus turning Israeli settlers against other Israelis. The Palestinians are already paying a heavy price for Jewish terrorism, but Israelis could also soon be paying a “price tag” for it.

Professor Kamel Hawwash is a British Palestinian engineering academic based at the University of Birmingham. He is a commentator on Middle East affairs and is Vice Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. He writes here in a personal capacity.


As the Greek Parliament reognises Palestine, Turkey normalises relations with Israel

Tis the season of good will and anyone looking at a horrible 2015 from a Palestinian perspective knows they would welcome some good news.

This year’s Christmas present came in the form of a call for another European Government to recognise Palestine. This time it was the turn of the Greek Parlisment to overwhelmingly call on its Governmrnt to recognise the state. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was in attendance and warmly thanked Greece for this gesture.


This follows votes in anumber of European Parliaments including Britian and Ireland. However, only Sweden has recently recognised Palestine as a state at state level.

Aljazeera teports that the resolution is non-binding and not by the Greek state, so as “not to disturb good relations with Israel”, according to a statement released by the Greek foreign Ministry.

But at the same time, Greece has also been strengthening its ties with Israel. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras recently visited Israel stressing the importance of the bilateral relations between Greece and Israel. More worryingly, while visiting Israeli President Rivlin he wrote in the guest book ” With great honor to be in your historic capital and to meet your excellencies.”


No state, except Israel recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and all embassies are in Israel’s actual capital Tel Aviv.

But a more worrying development for Palestinians across historic Palestine has been the about turn of the Turkish Government in recent days. Turkey froze its relations with Israel following the latter’s deadly attack on the Mavi Marmara, part of the siege breaking flotila of 2010 which Israel raided in international waters and killed 10 turks.

Since then, Turkey has insisted on compensation for the attack and the lifting of the siege on Gaza. However, recently it ahs been reported that the two sides were very close to a deal to normalise relations and that the lifting of the sige on Gaza was not on the cards.

Israel has agreed to pay compensation to the families but “under the deal, all Turkish lawsuits against Israel will be cancelled, and Turkey will prevent senior Hamas operative Salah Aruri from entering its territory and acting from there, the source said”.

mavi marmamra

Hamas in particular is feeling the pressure exerted on Turkey by the USA and Israel.  One of its top operatives, Salah Alaruri,  had to leave Turkey as part of the new understanding with Israel.

Turkey and Greece are still good friends of the Palestinains. However, as Israel continues to oppress the Palestinians, and as the simmering Palestinian uprising continues, Palestinians need tangeable action to support them.

It is all very well for the Palestinian flag to fly at the UN and for rapturous applause to follow Parliamentary recognition votes ahich are all very welcome. However, while these serve to annoy Israel, it is only when states take a stand against Israel that it will begin to change course.

Israel’s Ambassador to the USA Ron Dermer, boatsted about sending gifts from the illegal settlements to ‘combat’ BDS.  If one arrives at the Whitehouse, President Obama should not only retrun the gift but should ask his Secretary of State, John Kerry to summon Dermer to the State Department and censure him for this provocative act.

Israel continues to enjoy impunity to steal, judaise, abuct, imprison and kill at will. It will only end its serial breaking of international Law when it faces real action from states that claim to be democratic, civilised and upholders of International Law.

Three Palestinian teachers named among top fifty in the World

From Ramallah News

The PA’s minister of education, Sabri Saidam honoured three Palestinian teachers for their recognition among the World’s top fifty teachers.

Fida’ Za’tar from Nablus, Hanan Alhurub fromRamallah  and Jawdat Jamil from Jerusalem’s suburbs received the ‘Nobel award for education’ or the Global teacher award from the Varkey GEMS Foundation

The minister congratulated the finalists and said that it was an achievement for the Palestinian education system under the brutal Israeli military occupation.

فوبيا الاعتقال تطارد ضباطا إسرائيليين ببريطانيا

تقرير للجزيرة نت يتضمن لقاءً معي عن اعتقال ثم الإفراج عن جندي إسرائيلي.


فوبيا الاعتقال تطارد ضباطا إسرائيليين ببريطانيا
محمد أمين-لندن

يبدو أن كابوس التعرض للاعتقال والمحاكمة سيبقى يطارد قيادات وضباط الجيش الإسرائيلي في بريطانيا، وذلك عقب تكرر حوادث توقيف سياسيين وعسكريين إسرائيليين على ذمة التحقيق.
وقد أعاد تسرب خبر تعرض ضابط احتياط إسرائيلي للتوقيف والاستجواب عقب وصوله الشهر الماضي لبريطانيا الأمل لدى النشطاء الفلسطينيين بإمكانية اعتقال ومحاكمة المتورطين في جرائم الحرب في غزة.

ووصف ناشطون فلسطينيون اعتذار بريطانيا عن توقيف هذا الضابط، وإطلاق سراحه لاحقا بالأمر “المخجل والمعيب”.

وكانت صحيفتا “جويش كرونيكال” التي تعنى بأخبار اليهود ببريطانيا و”يديعوت أحرونوت” أوردتا خبر توقيف ضابط احتياط إسرائيلي واستجوابه لدى وصوله المملكة المتحدة قبل نحو شهر، ليطلق سراحه عقب تدخل الخارجية الإسرائيلية.

وحذرت يديعوت أحرونوت من تعرض الضباط الذين شاركوا في حرب غزة 2014 ونشروا صورهم على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي للاعتقال على خلفية قضايا رفعها ضدهم نشطاء فلسطينيون في أوروبا.

  حواش: العلاقات القوية بين حكومة المحافظين وتل أبيب تمنع اعتقال الضباط الإسرائيليين (الجزيرة)

اعتذار معيب

وفي حديث للجزيرة نت وصف البروفيسور كامل حواش نائب رئيس حملة التضامن مع فلسطين اعتذار بريطانيا للضابط عقب إطلاق سراحه بالأمر المخجل والمعيب رغم تصويت بريطانيا في مجلس حقوق الإنسان لصالح اعتبار جرائم الحرب في غزة كجرائم حرب دولية. 

وعزا حواش هذا الأمر للعلاقات القوية بين حكومة المحافظين وإسرائيل، مدللا على ذلك بزيارة عمدة لندن لإسرائيل قبل شهر وتصريحاته الداعمة لها، واستخفاف العمدة في تلك التصريحات بالنشطاء اليساريين الذين ينظمون حملات مقاطعة لإسرائيل.

ولفت حواش إلى أن جهود المنظمات الفلسطينية في أوروبا تؤتي أكلها في مطاردة مجرمي الحرب الاسرائيليين، حيث إن هناك عريضة حاليا في إسبانيا تطالب باعتقال رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي بنيامين نتنياهو حال وصوله أراضيها.

كما أشار إلى أنه كان يتوجب على بريطانيا اعتقال هذا الضابط لأنه لا حصانة له، حيث تذرعت الحكومة البريطانية عند رفضها المذكرة التي وقعها أكثر من مئة ألف بريطاني في سبتمبر/أيلول الماضي للمطالبة باعتقال نتنياهو بأن القانون الدولي يوفر له حصانة، متسائلا لماذا لم يعتقل هذا الضابط الذي لا يتمتع بأي حصانة.

وتنشط المنظمات الحقوقية الفلسطينية والمحامون الدوليون للإفادة من القوانين الأوروبية المحلية والدولية في ملاحقة العسكريين والسياسيين الإسرائيليين المتورطين في جرائم حرب، في مسعى لاعتقالهم وتوقيفهم لدى وصولهم إلى الدول الأوروبية، وتقديمهم لمحاكمات عادلة.

كادمان: يجب عدم الاستسلام للعبة السياسة الدولية التي تعطل مسار العدالة (الجزيرة)

جهود قانونية 

وتعليقا على هذا الموضوع، قال الخبير القانوني الدولي توبي كادمان للجزيرة نت إنه لم يتم اعتقال وتوقيف هذا الضابط، بل تم استجوابه بشأن شكوى مقدمة ضده بمزاعم ارتكابه جرائم حرب خلال حرب غزة.
ورأى الخبير القانوني أن هذه الدعاوى تحتاج تحقيقات وأدلة، ولا يمكن التنبؤ بالخطوة المستقبلية دون معرفة طبيعة الأدلة المتوفرة.
وأكد كادمان أن المهم في هذه الحادثة، والذي لا يمكن إنكاره، هو زيادة الجهود المبذولة على الصعيد الدولي لتحقيق العدالة للفلسطينيين، لافتا إلى التطور الكبير ذي الدلالة بهذا التوقيف، فقبل ثلاث سنوات -حسب رأيه- كانت مساءلة جندي أو ضابط إسرائيلي في بريطانيا بتهمة ارتكاب جرائم حرب أمرا بعيد المنال ويصعب التفكير فيه.

وأضاف المتحدث ذاته أن الجهود على المستويين المحلي والدولي جنبا الى جنب مع انضمام فلسطين لعضوية محكمة الجنايات الدولية، ضاعفت من فرص توقيف مجرمي الحرب وإنهاء الإفلات من العقاب عن الجرائم المرتكبة من قبل أي شخص، سواء أكان إسرائيليا أو فلسطينيا.

ودعا كادمان إلى عدم الاستسلام للعبة السياسة الدولية التي تعطل مسار العدالة، حتى لو لم يعتقل نتنياهو في بريطانيا أو إسبانيا، مؤكدا وجوب الاستمرار في العمل جنبا إلى جنب مع المجتمع المدني على المدى الطويل لدعم العدالة ورفض الإفلات من العقاب.

يشار إلى أن الصحافة الإسرائيلية تتخوف من ملاحقة كل من شارك في العدوان الإسرائيلي على غزة صيف 2014، ممن نشروا صورهم على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، أو تم الكشف عن هويتهم، كما تحذر من توقيفهم على خلفية قضايا تقدمت بها جمعيات ومنظمات مناصرة للفلسطينيين في أوروبا.