What Will Be Consequences For Suffering Israel Has Sown? – OpEd


As the world remains focused on Israel’s revenge massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip, where it has killed some 24,000 people, including more than 10,000 children, Tel Aviv has opened an unmonitored front in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Although Israeli soldiers and armed settlers have been engaged in ongoing brutal attacks against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories since taking over the lands in 1967, Israel is using the “cover” of its war in Gaza to increase the violence.

Since the Gaza war began in October, armed extremist settlers, backed by Israeli soldiers, have stepped up their illegal campaigns of intimidation and violence to evict Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem.

If you are Palestinian and dare to speak out against the Israeli carnage in the Gaza Strip, you can be beaten, detained without charge and even killed. Israel, which censors media coverage of its military attacks, then issues press releases placing all the blame on the victims.

Palestinians have no one to support them or to pressure the Israelis to end their violence. Tel Aviv has international carte blanche to do what it wants. And if you dare to challenge Israel, you are demonized as “antisemitic.”

The mainstream Western news media largely avoids reporting on Israel’s carnage, but always showcases on newspaper front pages and leading TV reports when Palestinians respond with violence. So, uneducated Americans, for example, only see detailed news reports about the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas and very little of Israel’s violent response.

As a consequence of the news media’s widespread complicity, human rights groups that monitor the Israeli violence are struggling to post updated information. There is just so much. 

Since Oct. 7, there have been at least 24 incidents of Israeli settlers — often with military support — targeting, beating and/or killing Palestinians in the West Bank, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. These incidents have included the firing of weapons at Palestinian homes and mosques, the widespread destruction of civilian homes and property, the destruction of farmland, food storage facilities and harvesting equipment, damage to vehicles, attacks against restaurants and other food establishments, and the uprooting and destruction of olive trees.

When the unarmed Palestinians resist, they are often shot. They have no means of legal redress against the Jewish perpetrators. Meanwhile, Israel does not even need any evidence to arrest and imprison Palestinians accused of similar crimes, which are far less frequent than the violence of the Israeli-backed settlers.

Americans often ask me why Palestinians attack Israelis, but they never ask why Israelis attack Palestinians. In fact, most Americans do not really care when Palestinians are the victims of Israeli violence. This is particularly true of the country’s lawmakers, as most of the 535 members of the US Senate and House of Representatives have embraced one-sided denunciations of Palestinians, while only about 40 members have spoken out against Israeli injustices.

South Africa seems to be the only nation that is willing to do something to challenge this biased system, which turns a blind eye to violence against Palestinians while exaggerating and augmenting the denunciations of violence against Israelis.

South Africa has the courage to defend the rule of law and to protect civilian rights. Its government — 30 years on from removal of the racist apartheid regime that ruled the country until 1994 — has filed a genocide lawsuit against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

Despite claiming to care about civilians, the pro-Israel US administration of President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken has denounced this case as “meritless” in an effort to give Tel Aviv international cover. Despite all their feigned concern for Palestinian civilians, Biden and Blinken’s only real concern is to defend Israel’s continued attacks in Gaza, while preventing any other Middle Eastern country from entering the conflict to stop the carnage. 

Biden and Blinken do not want the war to “expand” because that might forcibly curb Israel’s indiscriminate violence against Palestinians. They have one concern, which is the same as Israel’s concern: to secure the release of the Israelis taken hostage on Oct. 7. They do not care about the thousands of Palestinian civilians who have essentially been taken hostage by Israel over the years.

The majority of the Palestinians in Israel’s prison system are denied the right to contest their detentions in open court. They are tortured, beaten and sometimes killed. Family members rarely get a chance to see them and they are denied legal representation.

As of Nov. 1, the Israeli authorities held 7,000 Palestinians from the Occupied Territories for a wide range of alleged “security offenses.” More than 2,000 of them are held under what Israel calls “administrative detention” — a form of hostage taking in which the detained have absolutely no rights and are often never charged.

When will they be released? When will their stories be detailed on the major American television networks’ nightly news programs? These shows sympathetically report on and profile the Israeli hostages, ginning up anti-Palestinian hatred and sympathy for Israel to prevent the American public from asking questions about Israeli war crimes.

A well-known saying states that you always reap what you sow. Well, Israel has been sowing a lot of suffering recently. We do not know when it will reap the consequences, but we know they must be coming.

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian-American former journalist and political columnist. Email him at [email protected].

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