by Stephen Lendman
Israel is above the law. It's exempt for observing rule of law principles. It's free to rampage extrajudicially.
It kills and kills again. It does so with impunity. It justifies lawlessness the old-fashioned way. It lies. It's standard Israeli practice.
It calls legitimate self-defense "terrorism." It calls acts of aggression "self-defense." It calls nonviolent Palestinian men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm existential threats.
Israel's only ones are those it invents. World leaders able to act responsibly do nothing. They support Israel's worst crimes. Doing so makes them complicit.
Washington is worst of all. Both countries partner in crime. America supplies billions of dollars in annual aid, the latest weapons and technology, and unconditional support.
Media scoundrels turn a blind eye to Israel's worst crimes. Occupation harshness is ignored. Besieged Gazans don't matter.
NAKBA mass slaughter and displacement never happened. Lawless settlements are OK. Israel is more victim than aggressor.
Palestinians choose conflict over peace. They're responsible for their own misery. Daily Israeli security force violence goes unreported. So do settler crimes.
Peace process pretense is legitimate. Police state Israel is the region's only democracy. It's an oasis in a sea of despotism.
It's rap sheet includes horrendous crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. It's a malignancy in a troubled region. It's a threat to humanity.
Zionism is "a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses," says Joel Kovel. State-terror is official Israeli policy. So is torture. Numerous other abuses are standard practice.
Homemade rockets, small arms and rocks are Palestinians' only defense. Imagine them against the most sophisticated/powerful weapons.
Imagine never knowing when they'll be used. Imagine Israel manufacturing reasons to do so. Imagine the terrible toll it takes. Imagine horrific crimes. Imagine them without accountability.
In its 2013 State of Israel report, Amnesty International (AI) said:
"Israeli forces responsible for the killing and injuring of Palestinian civilians (as well as) torture and other ill-treatment of detainees continued to evade accountability."
"Periodically throughout the year, Israeli military forces carried out air strikes on Gaza..." More on the latest one below.
The IDF "continued to (use) live ammunition to enforce the land and sea 'exclusion zones' inside Gaza's perimeter and territorial waters, killing at least six civilians and injuring others."
"Israeli leaders publicly advocated bombing Iranian nuclear sites."
"The myriad restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on the movement of Palestinians amounted to collective punishment of the population of Gaza and the West Bank, in violation of international law."
AI condemned Gaza's suffocating siege. It discussed:
• forced West Bank/East Jerusalem evictions and demolitions;
• impunity Israel enjoys;
• acts of aggression like Operation Pillar of Cloud;
• detentions without charges or trials;
• horrific prison conditions;
• torture and other ill-treatment;
• compromised freedoms of expression and assembly;
• oppressing conscientious objectors; and
• denying refugees and asylum-seekers safe havens.
B'Tselem publishes numerous reports on Israeli human rights abuses. A December 31 one discussed a five-year high in Palestinian West Bank fatalities.
B'tselem Director Jessica Montell said:
"The sharp rise in fatalities in the West Bank only serves to intensify concern about the lack of accountability."
Investigations when conducted are whitewashed. Practically no one is ever held accountable. Failure to do so "indicates a disregard for human life," said Montell. Palestinian ones don't matter.
In 2007, B'Tselem published a report titled "Ghost Town: Israel's Separation Policy and Forced Eviction of Palestinians from the Center of Hebron."
It discussed "protracted and severe harm to Palestinians (from) some of the gravest human rights violations."
An unnamed Israeli official acknowledged "a permanent process of dispossessing Arabs to increase Jewish territory."
• Hebron is the West Bank's second largest city. Its central area once thrived. On January 16, B'Tselem headlined "Ghost town: A tour of downtown Hebron."
Photos showed the result of Israel's "strict segregationist policy...(E)ntire neighborhoods have been deserted."
Once viable areas are abandoned. It's happening throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Palestinians are forced out. Jewish development replaces them. Crimes against humanity repeat. They do multiple times daily.
Conditions are intolerable. Human suffering is extreme. Palestine is an open-air prison. Israel's Separation Wall isolates them.
It entraps them. It steals their land. It has nothing to do with national security. It's ethnic cleansing. Other daily crimes against humanity persist. Western media ignore them.
On Sunday morning, multiple Israeli air strikes targeted Gaza. A Palestinian man and child were injured.
Gaza health ministry spokesman Ahraf al-Qidra said a 22-year old man was taken to Al-Shifa Hospital. He sustained serious injuries.
A 12-year old boy suffered moderate wounds. An Israeli military spokesman lied. He said the IDF attack followed a homemade shell fired into the Western Negev.
Palestinians respond after multiple Israeli acts of aggression. It bears repeating. Israel calls legitimate self-defense "terrorism."
It calls preemptive high crimes "self-defense." Days earlier, Israeli missiles injured four Palestinian children. One woman was hurt.
On Sunday, Israeli soldiers kidnapped 12 Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus residents. Mahmoud Da'ajna is a recently released Israeli prisoner. He lives in East Jerusalem.
He didn't remain free long. Israeli police rearrested him. They lied citing a "tax related" issue. Israeli authorities didn't want him released in the first place.
Expect other former Palestinian prisoners treated the same way. It's commonplace Israeli practice. Its deals aren't worth the paper they're written on.
On December 31, Da'ajna was freed. On January 19, he was rearrested. Bethlehem area witnesses said Israeli forces invaded violently. They broke into Palestinian homes.
They ransacked them. They damaged property. They kidnapped nonviolent residents. It happens throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It persists daily.
On Saturday, eight Palestinian Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron residents were arrested. Israeli soldiers stormed the Aida refugee camp.
They did so violently. They used live fire, rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades. They did so indiscriminately.
They broke into multiple homes. They forced residents outside in the cold. Detainees were abducted on the pretense of being wanted by Israel's intelligence service.
State terror is official Israeli policy. Multiple community incursions occur daily. In the week ending January 15, Israeli forces conducted 75 - nearly 11 a day on average.
At least 66 Palestinians were arrested. They included seven children. They're treated like adults. Israel makes no distinction.
Human rights abuses are horrific. At least 10 Palestinian civilians were wounded. So was an international activist.
Gaza was attacked. Israel conducted five airstrikes. Civilians suffer most. Property is indiscriminately damaged or destroyed. Homes are targeted. So are schools and mosques.
Israeli naval forces targeted Palestinian fishermen. They confronted them violently. They opened fire. No casualties were reported. Occasional deaths occur.
Border area shooting incidents are commonplace. Israel confronts peaceful protesters violently. On Sunday, hundreds of Gazans demonstrated against Israel's buffer zone.
They did so peacefully. Israeli forces attacked them violently. They used live fire and tear gas. At least two Palestinians were wounded.
An IDF spokeswoman lied saying the army "was unaware of the incident." Demonstrators marched peacefully. They did so near Israel's border fence.
They supported Palestinian farmers. Israel destroyed their citrus trees. A Gaza Youth Coalition statement said:
"Israel destroyed most of our citrus trees. (It) prevents us from importing or exporting any products."
Near daily attacks occur. Farmers risk injury or death on their own land. Israel's so-called buffer zone (on stolen Palestinian land) is a free-fire zone.
Soldiers target Palestinians walking within or near it. Young children are targeted like adults.
On Sunday, dozens of Israeli settlers began farming on stolen al-Hathaleen village land. Soldiers accompanied them.
Palestinian farmers wanting their stolen land back are attacked. These type incidents and similar ones happen multiple times daily.
Palestine resembles a war zone. Imagine the worst of human rights abuses. Imagine living under these conditions. Imagine world leaders able to help turning a blind eye.
Imagine horrific human suffering. Imagine it persisting for decades. Imagine a ruthless occupier. Imagine harshness it imposes unaccountably.
Israel gets away with murder and much more. Palestinian torment continues. Relief is nowhere in sight. Conflict resolution is a convenient illusion. Maybe someday. No time soon.
Mustafa Barghouti is a Palestinian physician. He's a leading political/human rights activist. Ongoing peace talks aren't about conflict resolution, he said.
They're more sham than solution. They're "about deceiving the Palestinians and the international community," said Barghouti. Israel wants apartheid conditions "legitimi(zed)."
It wants the worst of occupation harshness continued. It wants Palestinian rights ruthlessly denied. It wants pain and suffering inflicted.
It wants what Palestinians won't accept. The film "When I Saw You" is must viewing. It's been out for months. It's being shown in New York's Museum of Modern Art.
European cinemas showed it. So did Middle East ones. It's coming to other US cities. It won the Berlin International Film Festival Best Asian Film award. Palestinians produced it.
It's disturbingly realistic. It's about Israel's 1967 Six Day War. It's about displaced Palestinians wanting to go home.
It's about refugees denied their fundamental rights. It's about resistance and hope. It's a child's eye-view of what happened.
It reflects life in Occupied Palestine today. Resistance and hope persist. Palestine's liberating struggle continues.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.