Netanyahu and ‘Acts of Hooliganism’
One knows things are bad in Palestine when even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, known for his brutal heavy-handiness against the Palestinians, has to decry what he calls ‘acts of hooliganism’ against them. These behaviors, known as price-tag attacks, are committed against Palestinians and Israeli security forces by Jewish youth living in violation of international law in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. The point, apparently, is to extract a ‘price’ for actions taken against their illegal settlements. What actions Israeli security forces are taking, or have taken, were not mentioned.
In response, Mr. Netanyahu made this astounding statement: “I wish to condemn two phenomena that we have witnessed recently: Racism against Israeli Arabs and acts of hooliganism against Palestinians, without any provocation or justification”. He promised to “act with all legal means at our disposal to stop them."
This writer finds these to be most bewildering statements. How, he asks himself, can Mr. Netanyahu decry ‘acts of hooliganism’, which include brutal and vicious assaults, when his Israel Defense Forces (IDF) comprise one of the most brutal and vicious terrorist organizations in the world, killing, maiming and terrorizing Palestinians, on their own land, on a daily basis? How can he promise, with a straight face, to ‘act with all legal means at our disposal to stop them’, when he continually shows his complete disdain for international law by increasing settlement activity on Palestinian land?
And Israel has now devised a new way to torture and humiliate Palestinians. It has somehow developed a horrible smelling substance, ostensibly for use in breaking up unruly crowds of Palestinian demonstrators. The liquid is sprayed on people, and the smell is so offensive that they flee from it.
Well, one supposes this is better than the rubber bullets, which are about the most benign weaponry Israel ever uses against Palestinians and internationals supporting them. Yet current reports indicate that IDF terrorists go into peaceful neighborhoods, and spray the putrid fumes on private homes, where the occupants are merely trying to live as normally as possible under cruel and horrific occupation. Business as usual for apartheid Israel.
But getting back to the original point, Mr. Netanyahu seems to define ‘hooliganism’ somewhat differently than this writer understands the term. Some minor vandalism, graffiti on walls or cars, etc., might be viewed as hooliganism, but the term seems to stop short of assault and battery, and attempted murder. So these rampaging Israeli youths, attacking Palestinians because they dare to object to the theft of their land, are not, in this writer’s view, hooligans. They are criminals, guilty of hate crimes, and should be prosecuted as such. But in an apartheid nation such as Israel, that just isn’t going to happen.
But perhaps these ‘childish’ expressions of displeasure on the part of Israeli youths are excusable. The director of Child and Adolescent Clinical Services, Ruth Pat-Horencyzyk, said that these ‘youngsters’ probably suffer the psychological effects of surviving terrorist acts. Said she: “Those adolescents were exposed to terrorist attacks and developed post-traumatic symptoms… they tend to exercise twice as much risk-taking behaviors. Attacking innocent people just because they are Arabs, with no provocation whatsoever. And that’s very typical to people who feel in survival mode state.”
Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested by the IDF. Have they, and all Palestinians, not also been ‘exposed to terrorist attacks and developed post-traumatic symptoms’? Is this only an excuse for Israeli youths living in illegal settlements to attack Palestinians, but isn’t seen as justification for any violence perpetrated by Palestinian youths, most, if not all, of whom experience horrific terrorist attacks on a frequent basis, including the destruction of their homes to make way for Israeli-only roads and settlements, constant harassment by IDF terrorists, and the continued humiliation of their parents? Is there no sympathy for them when they throw a rock at a U.S.-provided tank that is patrolling their street, taking their land and making them homeless?
Mr. Netanyahu and his co-Zionists will not be satisfied until every vestige of Palestinian existence is purged from Palestine. That in 2013, one country can, with impunity, perpetrate the horrors that Israel inflicts on the Palestinians is beyond shocking. Not in the U.S. , of course, where the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has bought and paid for most of Congress and the White House. In those hallowed halls, such lofty concepts of ‘human rights’ and peoples’ right to self-determination are only offered conditionally. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, widely seen as the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, said this about Syrian rebels in 2012: “…we cannot ask the opposition to unilaterally give up their struggle for justice, dignity, and self-determination.” Yet during Israel’s barbaric bombardment of the Gaza Strip in November of 2012, she made this amazing statement: "The rocket attacks from terrorist organizations inside Gaza on these (Israeli) cities and towns must end and a broader calm restored." No comments now about not asking ‘the opposition (Palestine) to unilaterally give up their struggle for justice, dignity, and self-determination.’ Without a powerful lobby to influence and purchase U.S. so-called representatives, Palestinian human rights are not even considered.
If Mr. Netanyahu considers that barbaric assaults by Israeli youths on Palestinians are acts of hooliganism that must be stopped, he might want to consider his own such acts, on steroids, and think about stopping them. But no, a few words to the press to show his great concern, yearning for peace, desire for a fair and equitable solution, etc., etc., are always sufficient to mask his land theft, torture and terrorism towards the Palestinians. The U.S. press is always happy to report those oh-so-appealing sound bites, but somewhat more hesitant to inform their readers and listeners about the unspeakable sufferings endured by the Palestinians at the hands of apartheid Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the weak, spineless leader of Fatah which supposedly rules the West Bank, hesitates to petition the International Criminal Court for redress. Did he displease his U.S. puppet masters so severely last year, when he successfully petitioned the United Nations for recognition, that he dare not do it again? One can think of no other reason for him not to utilize Palestine’s new position in the United Nations to assist the suffering Palestinian people. Does he think Mr. Netanyahu will suddenly be filled with compassion for the Palestinians? Does he think U.S. president Barack Obama will decide to stop funding Israel and its terrorists? No, even Mr. Abbas is not so naïve.
It is long past time for Palestine’s incompetent and corrupt leadership to risk the financial wrath of the U.S. and go to the United Nations to seek redress for Israel’s countless crimes against Palestine. With each delay, more illegal settlements are planned and built, more Palestinian land is lost, and the prospects for a free, independent and prosperous Palestine fade. It is an unspeakable disgrace that the world community has tolerated this for so long, but it took a giant step toward rectifying the situation last November, when Palestine was admitted to the U.N. as a Non-Member Observer State. With Mr. Abbas recognized internationally as Palestine’s leader, the next move is his to make. That he has delayed this long only compounds his disgrace.