News and analysis compiled on A Socialist In Canada, May 15 (Nakba Day), 2018
At least 58 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 wounded by Israeli gunfire in Gaza on May 14, 2018. Some 50,000 people had gathered as part of ongoing, Great March of Return events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the ‘catastrophe’ in 1948 when the new state of Israel expelled (ethnically cleansed) more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages.
The protest on May 14 was directed against the macabre ceremony some 80 kilometers away marking the provocative opening of a new U.S. embassy in the contested city of Jerusalem.
Enclosed are extensive news reports and reaction and analysis as well as two texts: the statement by UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and a commentary by UK broadcaster and longtime Palestine solidarity activist George Galloway.
* Israel kills 58 Palestinian protesters during deadliest day in Gaza in four years, by Ahmad Kabariti, Mondoweiss, May 14, 2018
At least 58 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 wounded by Israeli gunfire on Monday, May 14 as protest spread across Gaza in the bloodiest day in the strip since the 2014 war.
According to the Great March of Return organizers, around 50,000 protesters were gathered along the Gaza border as the new U.S. Embassy opened in Jerusalem. The casualty figures rose rapidly at the time of the embassy opening at 4 p.m. local time. Gaza’s health ministry reported that five minors were included among the injuries, and 116 people still considered in critical condition.
The toll number of fatalities since seven weekly rallies to demand Palestinians’ right to return to their original homes in Israel is now 107…
* Israel slaughters Palestinians marching to return, by Maureen Clare Murphy, Electronic Intifada, May 15, 2018
* Israeli army shoots dead dozens in Gaza’s bloodiest day since 2014, report by +972 Magazine, May 14, 2018
Fifty eight Palestinians have been killed and 2,771 wounded by Israeli military forces during demonstrations on the border with Gaza on Monday, May 14, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. This was the single bloodiest day in Gaza since Israel’s 2014 war against Gaza…
Reaction and analysis:
* Palestinians react to the U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem and Israeli violence in Gaza, interview with Noura Erakat, on CBS News, May 14, 2018 (nine minute interview) Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and assistant professor at George Mason University in the U.S.
* Interview with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, broadcast on CBC Radio One‘s ‘The Current, May 15, 2018 (seven minute interview, begins at 14-minute, 20-second mark of the weblinked broadcast) Mustafa Barghouti is General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative and President of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees.
* Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn condemns Israel ‘outrage’ against Palestinians, calls for action against those responsible, statement by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, published on his Facebook page on May 14, 2018 (full text is below)
* A short flight to Armageddon: Trump & Netanyahu bringing us closer to end of times, by George Galloway, published on RT, May 15, 2018 (full text is below)
* Western leaders betrayed Palestinians 70 years ago. There is no sign that is about to change, by Jonathan Cook, published in The National (UAE), May 13, 2018
* At 70th anniversary, Israel more than ever deserves a cultural and academic boycott, by Jonathan Cook, published in Middle East Eye, May 10, 2018
* Israel’s violence against the non-violence of Palestinians in Gaza, interview with author Norman Finklestein, on The Real News Network, with host Aaron Maté, part one, May 11, 2018 (14 minutes). The entire interview is in three parts; part two is here, May 14, 2018 (15 minutes). Norman Finklestein’s new, just-published book is Gaza: An Inquest Into Its Martyrdom.
* ‘Labour Friends of Israel’ in UK Labour Party blames Palestinians for Israel’s murderous rampage on May 14 that killed 58, wounded hundreds, report on RT, May, 15, 2018
* ‘Israeli toxic influence responsible for extreme U.S. policy’, interview with Max Blumenthal, on RT, May 14, 2018
* Killing Gaza, by Chris Hedges, Truthdig, May 13, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Israel’s blockade of Gaza—where trapped Palestinians for the past seven weeks have held nonviolent protests along the border fence with Israel resulting in scores of dead and some 6,000 wounded by Israeli troops—is one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. Yet the horror that is Gaza, where two million people live under an Israeli siege without adequate food, housing, work, water and electricity, where the Israeli military routinely uses indiscriminate and disproportionate violence to wound and murder, and where almost no one can escape, is rarely documented. Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen’s powerful new film, Killing Gaza, offers an unflinching and moving portrait of a people largely abandoned by the outside world, struggling to endure.
Killing Gaza will be released on May 15, to coincide with what Palestinians call Nakba Day—nakba means catastrophe in Arabic—commemorating the 70th anniversary of the forced removal of some 750,000 Palestinians in 1948 by the Haganah, Jewish paramilitary forces, from their homes in modern-day Israel. The release of the documentary also coincides with the Trump administration’s opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem…
Starting Tuesday, May 15, Killing Gaza can be viewed for a small rental fee at Vimeo On Demand…
* Netanyahu: Prime or Crime Minister?, documentary film on RT America, March 16, 2018 RT America’s Anya Parampil reports on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rise to power in this exclusive documentary special. Parampil explores Netanyahu’s corruption scandals and his rise to power. She speaks with Israelis and Palestinians to ask: Is Netanyahu a Prime or Crime Minister?
* Israel ramps up support for Syrian rebels, ‘arming seven different groups’, by Amos Harel, Haaretz, Feb 21, 2018 The recent tensions along the Israeli-Syrian border have been mainly aerial. But due to developments in the Syrian civil war, real changes are also taking place on the ground in the Golan Heights.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn condemns Israel ‘slaughter’ of Palestinians, calls for action against those responsible
Today’s killing of dozens of unarmed protesters and the wounding of many more by Israeli forces in Gaza is an outrage that demands not just international condemnation, but action to hold those responsible to account.
This slaughter follows weeks of killings of Palestinian civilians demonstrating for their right to return, most of whom are refugees or the families of refugees. Coming on the day President Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, it underlines the threat to peace posed by the continuing and intolerable injustices faced by the Palestinian people.
The response from many western governments to this flagrant illegality, including our own – which bears a particular responsibility for a peaceful and just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict – has been wholly inadequate. They should take a lead from Israeli peace and justice campaigners: to demand an end to the multiple abuses of human and political rights Palestinians face on a daily basis, the 11-year siege of Gaza, the continuing 50-year occupation of Palestinian territory and the ongoing expansion of illegal settlements.
We cannot turn a blind eye to such wanton disregard for international law. That is why Labour is committed to reviewing UK arms sales to Israel while these violations continue.
The international community must at last put its collective authority and weight behind achieving a lasting settlement that delivers peace, justice and security for both Israelis and Palestinians, who have waited so long to achieve their rights. [End text.]
* * *
A short flight to Armageddon: Trump & Netanyahu bringing us closer to end of times
The biblical town of Armageddon is but a few miles as the bullets fly from the site of the latest Gaza massacre which has taken us further down the road to the end of times.
Its proximate cause was the latest Man-Child effort of Donald J Trump, this time to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv, with all the other embassies, to Jerusalem, half of which though annexed by Israel still constitutes Occupied Territory under international law.
It is a criminal offence to “make permanent changes” on “territory acquired by force” – which this territory was in 1967 when Israel seized it by force of arms.
Israel has made many such changes to Occupied Territories. For example, the Golan Heights still belongs to Syria despite the many illegal settlements built there, however much stolen oil is extracted there, or however many field hospitals for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and Al-Qaeda fighters Israel erects there. That like Jerusalem, the Golan has been illegally annexed makes no difference at all in law nor to every other government in the world. Except Trump’s government.
In fact every US president in the last 50 years has promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, at least whilst running for election. But campaigning is done in poetry, governing is done in prose and no president has followed through on this pledge. Except Donald Trump.
That his decision would entirely predictably lead to a bloodbath may not have occurred to Trump, but it certainly did to the professionals around him, from those aghast at the State Department to those salivating for the provocation, dripping from the moustache of the likes of John Bolton.
There have been many bloodbaths, of course, but there is reason to believe that this one may be of more lasting significance. It surely hastens the political passing of the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas for whom time and circumstance have run their course. It makes it more likely that the Palestinian Mandela, the prisoner Marwan Barghouti, will enter the race – from behind bars – to be his successor and make more likely his success.
It may – temporarily at least – complicate the all-but-consummated courtship between the Saudi Crown Prince MbS (Mohammad bin Salman) and Prime Minister Netanyahu, enjoined by their mutual antipathy towards Iran but now, inevitably, tempered by the Gaza massacre. The religious establishment in Saudi Arabia and the conservative forces are waiting for their excuse to strike back at the man who allegedly hung his relatives upside down in the Ritz-Carlton until their money fell out of their trouser pockets, and the massacre gives them a perfectly Kosher opportunity to do so.
It makes more difficult any complicity by any Arab ruler with any Israeli provocation against Iran. Many Arabs may be hostile to Iran but, after this week, many have rediscovered their antipathy towards Netanyahu.
The already-vaulting opposition to Israeli crimes against the Palestinians in Western countries – which has led to spectacular successes in the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement across several continents – will likely intensify too.
When I joined the movement in solidarity with the Palestinians back in 1975 you could have fitted the supporters of the PLO in Britain into a medium sized hall. Now you couldn’t fit them into Hyde Park or indeed all of Central London. Back then there was genuine affection for the State of Israel in all Western countries. Now nobody moves for Israel out of love, only out of interest. And interest too is waning.
The US is now defunct as a broker in the Middle East, that mantle surely passed smoothly to Russia this week.
For Trump and Netanyahu – on whom both their respective police forces may be closing fast – there is no way back. That they are steeped in blood so far that none could tell whether it is bloodier to go on or to go o’er is self-evident. Trump tweeted on the morning of the massacre that “This is a big day for Israel, a big day.” For once he was quite accurate. Just not in the way he could possibly have imagined.