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Jacobin - May 11, 2021

This is nothing but a brazen land-grabbing scheme, an expansionist plan hatched in broad daylight and backed up by violent settlers. Netanyahu’s “Greater Jerusalem” vision plans to annex Jerusalem, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians — constituting nearly 40 percent of the city’s population, with thousands living beyond the “separation barrier” in East Jerusalem — are facing the daily prospect of displacement. Far-right settlers, armed to the teeth and emboldened by right-wing politicians, are insisting that the Israeli Supreme Court carry through the eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem.

... What is happening in Jerusalem, then, are not “clashes” between Israelis and Palestinians, as mainstream outlets would have you to believe. What is happening is the brutal daily reality of an occupying power, emboldened by unconditional US support and international apathy, exercising its military might against a stateless people living under its control, stripped of their basic human and civil rights. What is happening is a Netanyahu administration seemingly emboldened by the deafening silence from Washington, where the Biden administration has yet to take a clear stance on the its ongoing violation of Palestinian rights.

In Washington, the few exceptions to cowardly silence or pro-Israel cheerleading have come from left politicians.

Senator Bernie Sanders came out staunchly against the unbridled brutality of the government-backed Israeli settlers, tweeting: “The United States must speak out strongly against the violence by government-allied Israeli extremists in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and make clear that the evictions of Palestinian families must not go forward.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in a Twitter message: “We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents. Israeli forces are forcing families from their homes during Ramadan and inflicting violence. It is inhumane and the US must show leadership in safeguarding the human rights of Palestinians.”

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib shared a video on Twitter showing Israeli forces firing stun grenades into a Palestinian medical facility, saying: “There is no reason, none, to attack people while they are praying or seeking medical attention — other than to dehumanize and terrorize them.” Calling on President Joe Biden to intervene and prevent Israel from entering Temple Mount, where its forces have been attacking Palestinian worshippers, Tlaib further warned that “too many are silent or dismissive as our U.S. tax dollars continue to be used for this kind of inhumanity. I am tired of people functioning from a place of fear rather than doing what’s right because of the bullying by pro-Israel lobbyists. This is apartheid, plain and simple.”

Representative Ilham Omar also tweeted in solidarity with the Palestinian worshippers, writing: “This is happening as Muslims pray tarawih & tahajud in Palestine. Families who pray all night during Ramadan, the mosque is like home. Palestinians deserve to find refuge in a mosque and peace in Ramadan.” ...
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