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May 12, 2021

Toothless outrage?

May 12, 2021

The planting of more and more squatter settlements on land owned by Palestinian families is among the actions that produced massive unrest in Jerusalem on Friday and Saturday. In particular, the Israeli plan to make dozens of families homeless in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood has raised tensions to a fever pitch. The Israeli government pretends not to recognize the property titles of many families there, and prevents them from making additions to their homes. When they do so anyway, the Israelis schedule them for demolition. This behavior is among the reasons that Human Rights Watch has just branded Israel an Apartheid state.

There were further Palestinian protests Sunday night in Jerusalem, as far right wing groups (the Israeli equivalent of Q-Anon) planned to parade through Palestinian neighborhoods waving Israeli flags, just to make it clear who is in control of people's lives there. Palestinians are not allowed to protest, and the Israeli commandos come in to break heads and throw stun grenades. For a Palestinian to wave a Palestine flag is a crime that could result in long years in jail. That is what the US press calls ‘clashes’ or ‘skirmishes,’ managing to avoid naming Israeli repression.

The Biden administration has revived the old, phony, language about a ‘two-state’ solution. Since Israel is unimpeded in building throughout the West Bank, 60 percent of which is under direct Israeli military occupation and 40 percent of which is under indirect Israeli military occupation, no two-state solution has been plausible for at least a decade and maybe more. Speaking of two states that can never materialize is just a way of, in Mitt Romney’s words, “kicking the can down the road.”

So the new construction in Palestinian East Jerusalem was denounced by Washington. But the denunciation is toothless. Netanyahu knows that it is toothless, and engaged in one of his favorite sports, owning the Libs in Washington. Jerusalem, he said, “is not a settlement,” it is the capital of Israel.

The Biden administration says that the ultimate disposition of East Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. So Washington disagrees, at the moment, with Netanyahu.

But President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken don't have a leg to stand on in rejecting, Netanyahu's position, since they decided to ratify the decision of the odious Trump to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Only a handful of countries has agreed to recognize undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a recognition that forestalls final status negotiations. Trump symbolically acquiesced in Netanyahu’s claims. Biden let the symbolism stand.

Although Israelis often attempt to use the 1947 UN General Assembly partition plan as a charter of legitimacy, it isn’t. It was never ratified by the UN executive branch, which is the Security Council, and so has no force of law.

Excerpted: ‘By Supporting Trump’s Move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Biden Enabled Israeli Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians’

Commondreams.org