What Does It Take: For a crimes against humanity charge?

If intentionally starving Palestinians to death, denying them food and an income, then shooting those who try to save their crops doesn’t count, what does?  Are comparisons to the Lodz Ghetto “unfair” because the Palestinians aren’t walled into a confined space…oh, wait, they are.

Israel settlers set fire to Palestinian fields in West Bank

Israeli soldiers shot Palestinians after their fields were set on fire by extremist settlers in the West Bank

Israeli soldiers shot Palestinians after their fields in the north of the occupied West Bank were set on fire by extremist settlers, reported Wafa news agency.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of the settlements file in the northern West Bank, told Wafa yesterday that the Israeli settlers took advantage of the hot weather to spread the fire they set in Burin village, south of Nablus.

He added that settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar set fire to fields in the village and when residents attempted to stop them, occupation forces shot rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas at the Palestinians.

According to the Times of Israel, Palestinians from Burin filmed ten masked settlers descending from the illegal Israeli settlement outpost of Givat Ronen, hurling stones at a construction site on the edge of the village before setting an adjacent field on fire and fleeing back toward their outpost.

Rights group Yesh Din said residents had told them that the masked settlers fled toward the Har Bracha settlement after setting the fire.

The rights group said another blaze was reported in the eastern part of Burin an hour later.

This sounds like an organized and coordinated attack, not “the israeli military showing up to defend squatters”.  Why were they right there, at the ready to fire after the arson if it wasn’t planned?

It’s not the only inhumane thing I’ve heard this year.  From Counterpunch, April 2020:

Spreading the Virus of Occupation: Spitting as a Weapon in the Hand of Colonial Israel

Spitting at someone is a universal insult. In Israel, however, spitting at Palestinians is an entirely different story.

Now that we know that the deadly coronavirus can be transmitted through saliva droplets, Israeli soldiers and illegal Jewish settlers are working extra hard to spit at as many Palestinians, their cars, doorknobs, and so on, as possible.

If this sounds to you too surreal and repugnant, then you might not be as familiar with the particular breed of Israeli colonialism as you may think you are.

[. . .]

Two particular elements in this story require a pause:

First, that acts of spitting at Palestinians and their properties, by both occupation soldiers and settlers, have been widely reported in many parts of occupied Palestine.

This means that, within a matter of days, the Israeli army and settlers’ cultures so swiftly adapted their pre-existing racism to employ a deadly virus as the latest tool in subjugating and harming Palestinians, whether physically or symbolically.

Second, the degree of ignorance and buffoonery that accompany these racist and degrading acts.

The power paradigm that has governed the relationship between colonial Israel and colonized Palestinians has, thus far, followed a typical trajectory, where Israel’s bad deeds often go unpunished.

Considering Palestine’s population density (847/km^2) is more than twice that of Israel (400/km^2) and the lack of medical resources due to blockades, Palestine has done surprisingly well.  Palestine‘s rate of COVID-19 infections (3150+ out of 5.05m) is one fifth that of Israel‘s (27,600+ out of 8.89m) and the death rate 1/18th (10 versus 326).

War crimes such as the intentional bombing of non-military targets like schools continue unabated.  Maybe the US will be too busy with COVID-19 to veto a UN resolution….



  1. says

    What a clusterfuck.

    On the one hand, Israel is surrounded by nations that fill their children’s TV programs with “kill ’em all” anti-Semitic propaganda. With those kind of neighbors, you can’t really blame the Israeli government for being a wee bit paranoid about possible threats.

    On the other hand, the shit they’re doing to the Palestinians… it’s like they decided that “Never again!” should be directly followed by “Not unless we/re doing it, I mean.” How the heck did the primary target of the Holocaust get to the point where they could look at the Final Solution and say “Yeah, that’s what we need to be doing!”

    I have no idea whatsoever what can, or should, be done. I hope somebody manages to figure it out.

    • says

      I say limit them to the bare minimum of arms. Turn them into the Japan Self-Defence Force – only enough weapons to defend, not enough to be the aggressors anymore.

      Also force them back to the 1967 borders, and create a Palestinian state. Every middle eastern islamic country would accept that.