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by Stephen Lendman
Israel is no democracy. It never was one. For sure not now. Netanyahu is a world-class thug. He exceeds the worst of Sharonian evil.
Extremists around him reflect hardline fascist rule. They control Knesset poiicy. They hold over 80% of its seats.
They overwhelm moderate voices. They treat Arab representatives like potted plants. They have no say whatever. Israeli Arab citizens are enfranchised in name only.
Peace, equity and justice are convenient illusions. Hardline rule prevails. State terror reflects official policy. So does institutionalized racism.
Jews alone are wanted. Muslims are persecuted for praying to the wrong God. Occupied Palestinians have no rights whatever.
Militarized harshness controls all aspects of their lives. They're marginalized, terrorized, and brutalized. Persecution haunts them.
Crimes against humanity persist. World leaders able to intervene responsibly do nothing.
Washington supports Israel's killing machine. Generously with billions of dollars in weapons, technology and other aid.
Both countries partner in crime. One fascist regime supports another. Ruthlessness defines their agenda. They give rogue state lawlessness new meaning.
They're guilty of every crime imaginable and then some. Repeatedly. Unaccountably. Shamelessly. Unapologetically.
Horrific abuses occur daily in both countries. Police state viciousness reflects official policy. Palestinians suffer most of all.
For 67 years and counting. With no relief in sight. They're unwanted, hated and abused. They're persecuted for not being Jews.
The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque is Islam's third holiest site. After Mecca's Sacred Mosque and the Mosque of the Prophet in Madina.
Israelis consider Jerusalem their historic capital. Their national and religious center. Their symbol of Judaic revival and prominence.
At the expense of Muslims they want excluded altogether. On October 8, Israeli police attacked Palestinian Al-Aqsa Mosque worshipers.
Dozens were hurt. Security guards said assaults began at 7:30AM. Ahead of hardline Israeli visits. Celebrating Sukkot (the annual fall Feast of the Tabernacles).
Attacks were lawless. Malicious. Vicious. Police used tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and clubs. According to Mosque director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani:
Police fired stun grenades at the Mosque itself. Doing so set one area ablaze. Fire fighters were delayed access to extinguish it.
"The compound was emptied of Muslim worshipers," said al-Kiswan. Israeli forces did so to give extremist Jews free access.
Where they don't belong unless Muslims invite them. It doesn't matter. Israel does what it pleases.
Palestinians taking refuge were forcibly removed. Others were locked inside. They were trapped unable to leave.
Israeli military spokesman Micky Rosenfelf lied. He claimed "masked Arabs (threw) stones, blocks, iron bars" and other objects at Israeli forces near the Moroccan gate.
Three police officers were lightly injured. Since early Tuesday, Israeli forces restricted Al-Aqsa access.
Only Palestinians 60 and older were allowed inside. Elderly men and women had to prove their ages.
They had to leave their identity cards with police before entering the compound.
Israel's tourism ministry intends letting Jews enter Al-Aqsa through the Cotton Merchants Gate, as well as the Moroccan Gate used by non-Muslims.
Palestinian anger followed. According to Al-Aqsa's Islamic endowment department Jerusalem affairs legal counsel Ahmad Ruwaidi, no notice of what Israel plans was received.
He called it "unacceptable." Palestinian religious sites are a "red lines" he stressed. Violating them can't be tolerated.
Palestinian MK Taleb Abu Arar said opening another gate constitutes one "to war."
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi added:
"Israel is creating a new reality at the expense of Palestinians, their religious rights, sites, and historical identity."
"They are violating the sanctity of religious sites without consequences, which completely terminates possibilities for peace and will ultimately drag the whole region into disastrous clashes."
Moderate Israeli leaders want Jews excluded. They fear profaning the Second Temple's inner sanctum once located on this site, they believe.
Extremist Jews do what they please. They go where they don't belong. They're mindless of Palestinian rights.
Their leaders are responsible for most occupation harshness. Netanyahu and likeminded fascists reflect their views.
Operation Protective Edge (July 8 - August 26) left large parts of Gaza in ruins. Initial reports suggested Israeli authorities indefinitely delayed dozens of truckloads with building materials gaining entry.
According to Gaza's border authority's Mounir al-Ghalban:
"We were notified by the Palestinian National Company that Israel has indefinitely delayed the entry of the 60 trucks into the Gaza Strip."
It did so despite "promises" otherwise. Ceasefire terms call for reopening Gaza's borders with Israel.
Israeli pledges aren't worth the paper they're written on. They're systematically violated straightaway. It's longstanding Israeli policy.
Israel routinely denies entry of building materials. It does so claiming they're for dual purposes. For underground tunnels. For fortifications.
They wouldn't be needed if lawless blockade ended. If Gazans were allowed to live normally. Freely. Without virtual incarceration in the world's largest open-air prison.
If they weren't preemptively attacked. If Israelis were held accountable for crimes of war and against humanity.
On October 8, Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said building materials will be allowed in next week.
It remains to be seen if true. For over eight years, Israel severely restricted imports and exports. Including concrete and other basic supplies.
It's hard imagining policy changed. Perhaps rhetorically only. It happened before. It's likely at least to some degree now.
Al-Sheikh said Israel intends letting families of incarcerated Gazans visit them in Israeli prisons. It remains to be seen. Or if restrictions prove too onerous in most cases for compliance.
Social ministry authorities want Gazans given permits to work in Israel. Since 2006, they've been almost totally barred.
According to Al-Sheikh, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and intelligence head Majid Farraj intend visiting Gaza.
They'll discuss reconstruction work. Billions of dollars are needed. Funds need to be raised. Decades perhaps are required to rebuild.
Expect future Israeli wars to cause more mass destruction. At issue is will Gaza ever be rebuilt?
Will Israel permit it? Will Gazans ever again live normal lives again? Will West Bank and East Jerusalem ones? Will liberation ever arrive?
Daily events give Palestinians pause. Multiple mostly pre-dawn neighborhood incursions terrorize West Bank families.
Arrests follow. So do beatings and other abuses. On October 8, Israeli soldiers failed for the fifth time to kidnap elderly Palestinian legislator Ahmad al-Hajj.
He wasn't home when soldiers arrived. Eyewitnesses said clashes erupted with local youths. Scores of injuries followed.
Invasions and assaults are part of everyday life. According to the Ahrar Center for Detainees' Studies and Human Rights, Israel imprisoned 28 Palestinian legislators without charges.
For belonging to the wrong political parties. Ones Israel targets for elimination. Or wants around for convenient enemies.
Rogue states operate this way. Israel is by far the region's worst. State terror haunts Palestinians' lives.
No one's sure from day to day if they'll remain free or be imprisoned. Perhaps be dead or alive.
On October 3, Haaretz interviewed outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt. General Benny Gantz. He has no regrets about committing genocidal high crimes against peace.
"The politicians defined the purpose and objectives, and we fulfilled everything that was demanded of us," he said.
Premeditated mass murder and wanton destruction are part of his portfolio. He expects "many years of quiet" following last summer's carnage.
At the same time, he ludicrously offered Gazans hope. They "need to live their lives," he said.
Despite longstanding Israeli policy to bomb, shell and invade the Strip any time for any reason or none at all.
Mass murdering near-defenseless Gazans in cold blood. Destroying their property, livelihoods and futures.
Gantz ends his term in January. His only accomplishments are mass slaughter and destruction.
He left Israel more than ever hated worldwide. It's a pariah state writ large. As IDF chief of staff, Gantz could have acted otherwise.
He could have refused lawless orders. He could have resigned in protest. No one forced him to ravage and destroy Gaza.
It wasn't because of Hamas rockets. Or threats to Israeli security. It was for reasons other articles explained.
They include preventing Palestinian self-determination, maintaining occupation harshness, continuing Gaza's blockade, sabotaging Fatah/Hamas unity, stealing Palestinian resources, preventing diaspora Palestinians from returning, controlling Palestine's borders, air space and offshore water, as well as maintaining Jerusalem as Israel's exclusive capital.
Don't expect Gantz to explain. He obeyed orders. He lacked courage to challenge them. He committed horrendous high crimes against peace.
He remains unaccountable despite indisputable evidence indicting him. He's unapologetic for his crimes.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III".
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.
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