The Tragedy of Palestine

By Julio Yao on May 17 2021

Photo: Bill Hackwell

The current confrontations between Israel and Palestine have their origin in ethnic violence and war crimes – with a clear intention of genocide – systematically committed by the former against the population and occupied territories of the latter in Gaza, Tans-Jordan, and Jerusalem.  The tragedy has roots in the expulsion of the Palestinians beginning in 1948, when they suffered a precedented systematic plan of looting and displacement, repression and exploitation.

Israeli Aggression against Palestine

Palestine declared itself an independent state in Algeria in 1988, and is recognized as such by 139 of the 193 members of the United Nations.  It is a “non-member state” of the UN, permanently blocked by Israel and its western allies, primarily the United States.  A review of some of the Israeli aggression against Palestine includes:

The Water War (1963-1967); the Six Day War  (1967); Operation Defensive Shield (2002); Operation Spring Rains  (2006); Operation Defensive Shield (2011); Operation Pillar of Defense (2012); Operation Protective Margin (2014); Marches of Return (2018).  Due to these armed operations carried out daily against a defenseless population, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed and many others have been imprisoned, robbed, mutilated and expelled from their homes and lands.

The UN Position

The Security Counsel of the United Nations has been the victim of U.S.  and western allies pressures and is paralyzed.  However, in 1975, it created the Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.  This Independent Commission presided over by Santiago Canton, from Argentina, in the 40th session of the Human Rights Council, stated that the Commission “has reasonable basis to believe that, during the Great March of Return in 2018, Israeli soldiers committed violations of human rights and humanitarian law, in some cases constituting war crimes or crimes against humanity.”  Similarly, the UN Chief of Operations in Gaza, Robert Turner, has classified the Israeli bombings of schools under UN authority as criminal acts, since in 33 cases he informed the Israeli authorities of the exact locations of all these installations.

The Position of Human Rights Watch

Recently Human Rights Watch stated that the dual policies of Israel awarding priviledge to Jews while repressing Palestinians.  “This finding is based on the general policies of the Israeli government intended to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians and in the serious abuses committed against the Palestinians who live in the Occupied Territories, including East Jerusalem.”  Human Rights Watch pointed out: “To deny millions of Palestinians their fundamental rights without any legitimate security justifications, solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish, is not simply a question of an abusive occupation.”

Tensions in the UN Security Council

The emergency meeting of the Security Council ended without a final declaration, due to the opposition of the U.S., maintaining that there would be no use in decreasing the escalation of the conflict.  The aerial bombing attacks that began on May 10 have killed more than 200 people.

In the absence of a resolution, the Russian Minister of Foreign Relations, Sergei Lavrov, called for a meeting of the Middle East Quartet: “Today we’ve come to the common opinion that the most pressing task is to convene the Quartet of international mediators — Russia, the United States, the UN and the EU,” Lavrov said.  The Russian minister and the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, agreed to support negotiations to achieve a Two State solution, Israel and Palestine, so that they can co-exist without violence.

Position of the U.S. and Panama

The U.S. supports Israel, through a diplomacy of force without concern for world peace.  The U.S. has never been interested in the fate or the human rights of the Palestinians, or of any other people, contrary to their deceptive slogan of defender of democracy and freedom.  Palestine is a nation kidnapped by a terrorist, racist, and genocidal state that extols an ideology, Zionism, closely akin to the Nazi-Fascist ideology of which they were the victims under Adolph Hitler.  But this tragic episode – this bitter memory – has not hindered Israel from practicing genocide against the Palestinians, since all their territorial acquisition involves the destruction of the inhabitants, and, what is worse, to justify their oppression they raise up the the myth of the ‘Promised Land.”

Unfortunately, according to the ministry’s communique on May 12, Panama has mimicked the hypocritical attitude of the U.S. exactly and obediently, and deals with the oppressed and the oppressors as if they were in an equal situation: “Panama energetically condemns the launching of missiles from Gaza to Israel.  On the other hand, the right of Israel to protect its citizens should be proportional, and with maximal restraint in the use of force.”

For the first time, Hamas launched about 130 missiles toward the capital of Israel in self-defense, which serves as a pretext for the Zionists, with their vast military superiority, to wipe the Palestinians off the map and take over all their territories.  In other words, Panama condemns Hamas for defending themselves against terrorists and executioners, at the same time as they beg Israel to please be merciful to the poor Palestinians.

But Palestine does not need pity, but rather solidarity, just like the solidarity that Palestine once extended to Panama.

Julio Yao is an international analyst, Honorary President and President in Charge of the Center for Strategic Asian Studies of Panama (CEEAP), former representative of Panama before the International Court of Justice, and member of the Panamanian Coalition of Solidarity with Palestine (COPASOLPA) . 

Source: Alainet, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English