International

Israel-Palestine: A New Apartheid?

Who is Really The Victim Of This Conflict?

By: Chermo Toure

Rouzan al-Najjar attending to a wounded protestor before being killed by a Israeli sniper. (Credit: Heavy.com)

The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been going on for a while now. It seems like every year that comes and goes, the future for peace in the land of Canaan looks grim.

In recent years the Israeli government has been implementing policies towards the Palestinians in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank that is synonymous with apartheid in South Africa. The policies of the Israeli government have hindered the viability of peace between Israel and Palestine.

The Trump administration moved the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last year. This move by the Trump administration, with the encouragement of Israel, has upset many supporters of peace between Israel and Palestine.

The reason why this move is pivotal in this conflict is because both Israel and Palestine see Jerusalem as their capital. And with the United States moving its embassy to Jerusalem, the move favors Israel, and is a complete slap in the face to Palestine and the supporters of peace in the region.

Furthermore, the Israeli government passed a law that basically makes Palestinians living in the country second-class citizens. According to Vox, the law makes self-determination exclusive to Jews in Israel. This means that only Jews in Israel can determine what society and government they want to live under.

The law also states that Hebrew is the official language of Israel and Arabic would have a “special status” in the country. Before this law was enacted, Hebrew and Arabic were the official languages of Israel.

Many Arab-Israelis see this move as an attempt to ease their identities and histories. This also puts Arabs at an economic disadvantage because Hebrew is not taught well in Arab-Israeli communities.

Another part of the law, which is the most controversial, states that the settlements the Israelis are building in Palestine should be viewed as “a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.” This creates not just a regional problem for Israel, but an international problem.

The settlements that the Israelis are developing are considered illegal under international law. The reason why Israel isn’t suffering any repercussions is because the United States is backing them up.

Apart from the United States supporting Israel’s illegal settlements, the United States is also giving Israel $38 billion in military aid, according to the New York Times.

Furthermore, Israel has presumably been committing crimes against humanity towards the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

During a Palestinian protest at the border fence between Israel and Palestine in June of 2018, the Israeli army had killed four Palestinians and wounded 600. The Palestinians claimed they were protesting due to the unfair policies that the Israeli right-wing government had imposed on them.

The Israelis claimed that the Palestinians had threatened the lives of their troops during the protest by throwing rocks at the border fence between Palestine and Israel. The Israeli military used this to justify having snipers shoot live ammunition at the protestors.

One of the most notable casualties during the protest was a 21-year-old volunteer medic named Rouzan al-Najjar. Al-Najjar was killed by Israeli snipers while aiding a wounded protestor.

There have been other similar protests. One of the most recent protests happened in October of 2018, where seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops. The Israeli government has also been jailing Palestinians who speak out against the regime.

One prisoner, Khalida Jarrar, was arrested on several occasions by Israeli authorities since 2015. The government claims that she is a “security risk,” however they have yet to bring forward sufficient evidence to prove this.  

With all this being said, some supporters of Israel have said that criticizing the actions of the country is anti-semitic. But, how is it anti-semitic to state what they are doing? One would assume that the supporters of a fair peace deal between Israel and Palestine believe that anti-semitism is deplorable.

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