There Is More To America Than Donald Trump
A demonstration was held in Christchurch on 04 July, as a protest against Netanyahu's declared intention to annex the West Bank. Part of the demonstration was a bit of street theatre, enacting Israeli soldiers evicting Palestinians from their house before demolishing it.
The date of 04 July was deliberately chosen, because of Trump's support for annexation.
I was one of the speakers. Here is what I said.
Martin, my husband, and I , are passionate about the plight of the Palestinian people, because we've been there, to the West Bank, to Israel, not to Gaza. Seeing first-hand the reality of what Palestinians go through and yet retain their dignity and tradition of hospitality, is a life-changing experience
We're about to watch a bit of street theatre about the demolishing of Palestinian houses. The West Bank is already is the process of annexation, without calling it that. This has been going on decades: demolishing Palestinian houses, villages, wells, schools, isolating Palestinians from their land and water wells and springs and from each other, creating bantustans.
Let's not forget to talk about people, what's being done to people. We met a Palestinian whose house in Anata, in the West Bank, was demolished by the Israeli army. He told us,” When you demolish a house, you demolish a family.”
The father's pride, his self-worth, is demolished by the shame of not being able to shelter his own family. The children's confidence in the ability of their parents, their own parents, to protect them, suffers. Demolishing schools can be thought of as a way to demolish childhood, with its hopes and dreams
The Zionist agenda has always been, not just to take over land and resources but to erase knowledge that Palestinians are or ever were, a people with a history, culture, traditions, poetry.
The treatment of Palestinian children, including incarceration, by the Zionist regime is a whole story in itself.
Now the talk is about openly, publicly, annexing the West Bank. In particular,
it's the productive agricultural land along the Jordan River Valley, with its water resources including access to the Jordan River itself that Israel especially craves to possess fully.
We visited areas of the Jordan Valley 11 years ago. We met farmers, back then, forbidden to access their traditional water supplies, even aquifer water under their feet.
Israel wants, with international approval, to speed up an ongoing process of acquisition and dispossession.
Whatever the Israeli regime does to the Palestinian people, they get away with. The West is quiet, or speaks of disapproval but takes no action. This is true, not just of the US but, as we all know, the US backs Israel politically and financially.
There is of course a strong connection between the US and Israel. And it's not so clear cut which country dominates the other. The Israel Lobby in the US is very powerful, powerful enough to silence mainstream media , politicians, and academics. There is frankly a fear, in many circles, of criticizing any actions of the Israeli regime, a fear of being labelled 'anti-semitic'. This fear is not just in America. Look what happened to Jeremy Corbyn.
Since it's Fourth of July today, let me make one comment about the US.
There is more to America than Donald Trump and other powerful figures.
For example: there is the black academic and longtime civil rights activist Angela Davis.
She says that American blacks have, for a longtime, not just been aware of the Palestinian struggle but even inpired by the the way Palestinian people continue to remain, in her words, “ steadfast for so long, refusing to give up and accept permanent subjugation and injustice”. Angela Davis supports the BDS movement, the call from Palestinian civil society, for non-violent outside help, a call that, in turn, was inspired by the South African anti-apartheid struggles.
Angela Davis feels that there is a world-wide solidarity among the oppressed, who believe that “We are all in this together.” No one is free unless everyone is free.
A final question ..Why Now? Why now, Donald Trump's so-called 'deal of the century' and Netanyahu's open declaration in front of the entire world of his intention to annex the West Bank?
It's political. Donald Trump wants to be re-elected in November. He wants massive funding for electioneering from some very wealthy American Zionists. As well, Trump wants the votes of right-wing evangelicals who believe that the annexation is God's plan.
And Netanyahu? He's unpopular now because of corruption scandals. He wants the support of right-wing violent religious settlers who think it is God's will that they expand and dispossess Palestinians.
Netanyahu wants to go down in Israeli history , as the leader who fullfilled the Zionist vision of a greater Israel.
It's politics.... politics.