It was truly appalling to read such blatant fearmongering against peaceful Palestinians in the May 26 letter “Hamas in the wrong over Gaza marches,” by Honest Reporting’s Mike Fegelman. A simple search will tell you Honest Reporting is a well-funded pro-Israeli media watchdog that scans Canadian media and immediately responds to any criticism of the state of Israel.
But let’s talk facts.
On May 15, Palestinians ended a six-week campaign of non-violent resistance to the apartheid-like conditions in which they live. “The Great Return March” demonstrations were organized by Palestinian civil organizations, including women’s groups. The result was over 110 Palestinians killed and another 14,000 wounded.
Honest Reporting would have us believe that the Israeli army, the fourth largest military power, with a full arsenal of weaponry, including nuclear weapons, was forced to use extreme force against these unarmed Gazan protesters, men, women and youth attempting to bring their horrendous plight to world attention. Utterly ridiculous.
The United Nations Human Rights Commission has called the killings an “outrageous human rights violation” by Israel and have demanded that those responsible be held to account. Most major Western countries have expressed shock and the call for an independent inquiry has been loud and clear. South Africa went as far as withdrawing its ambassador to Israel.
What about Gaza’s two million inhabitants who live on the edge of starvation as a result of Israeli control of the border? Electricity runs only a few hours daily, hospitals lacks medicines and supplies, the water is not fit for human use, fisherman are unable to fish along their shore, and struggling farmers cannot access their olive groves. In addition, Gazans have lost control over their coastal oil and gas reserves, having been expropriated by Israel and Egypt. Gaza is an enclosed ghetto.
But it was not always this dire for the Palestinian people. Before 1947 Palestinians, Jews and Christians lived relatively respectful of one another. Following the Second World War, in an attempt to pacify Jewish Zionists, who used terrorist tactics such as a hotel bombing, in their quest for a future homeland, Palestine was arbitrarily carved up to make room for a Jewish homeland. Soon after a brutal Zionist army used military force to push over 750,000 Palestinians from their ancestral homes. Today, such activity would be described as “ethnic cleansing.”
Palestinian villages were bulldozed and historical records/books confiscated. And still the bulldozing continues to this day, so that more Israeli settlements can be built. Peace Now, an Israeli monitoring NGO, reported that settlement activity has surged with 2,783 settlements in 2017.
What then is the crime of the Palestinian people? Despite all attempts by the Israeli forces to crush and destroy them, the Palestinians have proved to be remarkably resilient and proud people. They continue to demand their right to return to their ancestral land, or at least to that part of Palestine mandated by the 1948 Partition. However, as recent map shows us, little remains left for a future Palestinian homeland. There lies the real crime.
I would request Mr. Fegelman stop with his ridiculous false arguments but explain to readers what justifies the demolition of the few remaining old Palestinian and Bedouin communities deemed to be part of the two-state solution. Of course, as long as Fegelman continues to be well-funded, I expect his endless propaganda will continue unabated. Thankfully, a recent Canadian survey showed the majority of Canadians support sanctions against Israel for its continued settlement activity.