New from FMEP
In this episode of “Occupied Thoughts,” FMEP non-resident fellow Peter Beinart is joined by Khaled Elgindy (Middle East Institute) and Elizabeth Tsurkov (New Lines Institute) to discuss how Israeli and Palestinian officials have responded to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, and how these responses are playing in the U.S. political world.
“United Nations Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk accused Israel of apartheid in a report submitted Tuesday to the UN Human Rights Council, the latest example of such accusations emerging in the international arena.”Permanent alien rule over occupied territory and its indigenous population is the antithesis of international humanitarian law and, in recent decades, the inexorable Israeli occupation has become indistinguishable from annexation,” wrote Lynk, a Canadian academic who has served in his position since 2016…He highlighted three points to validate his accusations that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians constitutes apartheid – the first being “an institutionalized regime of systematic racial oppression and discrimination…where Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs in East Jerusalem and the West Bank live their lives under a single regime which differentiates its distribution of rights and benefits of the basis of national and ethnic identity, and which ensures the supremacy of one group over, and to the detriment of, the other.” Lynk, pointing to Israeli acts of “arbitrary and extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detention, collective punishment,” and “a fundamentally flawed military court system and the lack of criminal due process,” stated that the alleged repetition of these over long periods, and their apparent endorsement by the Knesset and Israel’s judicial system, “indicates that they are not the result of random and isolated acts but integral to Israel’s system of rule.”” See also “U.N.Investigator Accuses Israel of Apartheid, Citing Permanence of Occupation” (NYT) and read the full report here.
“This policy memo examines decolonization in the context of international law and increasing recognition of Israeli apartheid. It offers recommendations for how Palestinians and allies should strategize an effective anti-apartheid movement through legal avenues and posits that an anti-apartheid movement across colonized Palestine and in exile can help Palestinians regain their political agency and reassert their unity…While popular mobilization by Palestinians across colonized Palestine and in exile will ultimately be key to Palestinian liberation, international law can help to advance this effort by building external pressure and generating tangible consequences for Israel’s ongoing crimes. The apartheid framework offers an avenue for accountability and enables Palestinians to challenge Israel’s fragmentation and build a united struggle.”
“The second meta-argument [in Amnesty International’s February 2022 Apartheid report] is that denying the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to the land and homes from which they were displaced in 1948 is the central mechanism of that policy principle. The decision to refer to the Palestinian refugees in a report on Israel’s present responsibility and steps required for a future of justice, equality, and reconciliation is a unique one, which breaks through the narrow bounds of Jewish-Israeli political discourse. Within that discourse, the right of return is usually addressed in terms originating from the Israel propaganda machine: from “there was a war and they lost it,” to the claim that the return of Palestinian refugees is synonymous with the end of Jewish existence in Israel. Reading the “apartheid report” offers an opportunity to realize that the opposite is true: it is preventing refugee return that constitutes an ongoing existential threat.”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government will approve the creation of 10 towns in the Negev on Sunday, in response to Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Beersheba in which four people were murdered….“This historic and exciting decision has strategic and national importance in strengthening the settlement of the Negev,” said Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked. “Creating 10 new communities is Zionism in all its glory.”” See also “Israel: Four killed in alleged stabbing attack at Beersheba” (Middle East Eye)
“The residents of the annexed portion (Ein Juweize) of al-Walajeh, a traditional Palestinian agricultural village located along the southern perimeter of East Jerusalem, are under acute threat of being forcibly uprooted from where they have lived and cultivated the land for centuries. A court injunction, currently preventing the demolition of 38 homes, could be lifted by the Supreme Court in nine days, subjecting residents to wide-scale displacement…On March 30, 2022, a decisive Supreme Court hearing will be held on the al-Walajeh residents’ 2018 appeal (see more below), which is currently protecting the 38 homes from demolition…Roughly a dozen additional homes not protected by the appeal likewise face impending demolitions, four of which were carried out over the past six months, including one in December 2021. Nearly half of the homes in the annexed part of al-Walajeh have received demolition orders, and approximately 30 have already been executed since 2016. These mass demolition orders, which are a direct result of the absence of urban planning, threaten to uproot hundreds of al-Walajeh residents for a second time.”
“Herders and other Palestinians in the Hebron hills and across the West Bank are at constant risk of being forced to leave their homes or communities. Legal experts have warned that this may amount to ‘forcible transfer,’ a severe violation of international humanitarian law. This risk is generated by what humanitarian organizations have identified as a ‘coercive environment,’ the multiple policies and practices related to the military occupation and the Israeli settlement enterprise. Israeli forces restrict Palestinian movement, construction and development. Israeli settlers routinely attack or intimidate Palestinians, often backed up by Israeli forces who stand idly by or intervene on the part of the attackers. In 2021, most Palestinians injuries following the actions of settlers, resulted from the intervention of Israeli forces rather than directly from the settlers’ actions.” See also: “Palestinians resisting forcible transfer is Massafer Yatta” (OCHA), “‘The world doesn’t care when the victims are Palestinians, they will keep selling weapons to Israel,’ says activist” (MEMO), Opinion | When the Judge Ruling on the Fate of Palestinians Is Himself a Settler (Haaretz // Amira Hass) and “‘Let us live our lives’” A call for justice from Masafer Yatta” (Eyewitness Blogs)
“Soldiers posted in the West Bank have recently received instructions from their commanders that in any shift at a checkpoint or guard post they must enter the details and photos of at least 50 Palestinians to the IDF’s “Blue Wolf” tracking system. A soldier who doesn’t make the quota, they were told at the briefing, will not be relieved from duty at the end of their shift and will be forced to remain on duty until they make quota. The Blue Wolf system, which the army has been using for the past two and a half years, is a database into which the details and photos of Palestinians are uploaded, enabling their tracking and monitoring…In November, the Washington Post published an investigation exposing the IDF’s massive use of the system on the Palestinians in the West Bank. According to the expose’, the details of Palestinians unconnected to terrorism, about whom there is no intelligence, are uploaded to the system. The soldiers are required to take the photos of randomly chosen Palestinians with their cell phones, and upload their details to the system. The article noted that according to estimates, the system holds the photos of thousands of Palestinians – including children and the elderly.”
“According to data issued quarterly by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 December 2021, there were 4,271 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in detention facilities including 145 children (12-17 years). In the case of children there was a 6% decrease in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 8% compared with 2020. Five children were held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 64% of child detainees were transferred to prisons inside Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Conventionand the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court…Each year Israeli soldiers conduct between 3,500 – 4,500 search and arrest operations in Palestinian communities in the West Bank. This averages out at 10-12 operations each day. In over 80 percent of these cases the operations occur at night and involve the arrest of between 250-500 children.”
“…the state has no qualms about the denial of basic rights to some citizens based on their national-ethnic affiliation, in order to ensure a solid demographic advantage for the Jewish population within its territory – something it considers crucial to its national security. Although policies of demographic engineering have not been foreign to Israel since its founding, this explicit recognition of the demographic motive puts Israel below the bar set by apartheid South Africa…If the Israeli legislature admits today that a violation of the most basic rights of its Palestinian citizens is legitimate in the name of Jewish demography, where will the red line be drawn? What would prevent the Knesset from legislating a limit on Palestinian births in Israel, or financially punishing families of Palestinian citizens for every child born after the third? However unrealistic such ideas might appear today, tomorrow they could be seen as crucial to Israel’s “national security”.”
“Despite the walls and fences, Palestinians have always managed to enter Israel. While there is no data, people in the West Bank have begun crossing in increasing numbers over the last few years in search of better-paid work. That used to entail playing a deadly cat-and-mouse game with the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) – but since the pandemic hit, the situation appears to have relaxed. Dror Etkes documents illegal Israeli construction in the occupied Palestinian territories for his NGO Kerem Navot and spends most of his time roaming the West Bank in a beaten-up Chinese car. He estimates there are now hundreds of breaches in the barrier, which an unknown number of people use each day. The IDF might occasionally dig a new trench to stop vehicles, he said, but have not moved to fix any of the fences. “The Israeli public was sold this wall as a necessary security measure. My understanding is there’s been a change of policy, and soldiers are now supposed to turn a blind eye to the Palestinians coming in,” he said. “Israel knows it needs to relieve the economic pressure in the West Bank and it benefits from the cheaper labour. Which raises the question: if [the wall] is just an arbitrary construction, why is it here at all?””
“Jenin governorate in the northern West Bank is like a circle of fire that Israel is trying to put out, amid fears that it would spread to other areas in the West Bank, especially as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is drawing near, at the beginning of April. The Israeli army has recently intensified its raids on the city, which faces armed clashes on part of the Palestinian resistance fighters…The Israeli army has been highly relying on its special units to carry out arrests against alleged terrorists inside Jenin, often leading to the killing of Palestinians.” See also: “Jordan’s King Abdullah to visit Ramallah in bid to ease tensions ahead of Ramadan” (Middle East Eye)
A far-right activist has established an armed civilian unit of rangers to “save the Negev from problematic absence of personal security,” amid heightened Jewish-Arab tensions in Israel’s south. The initiative was initially supported by the police and the Be’er Sheva municipality, but on Tuesday, police walked back their endorsement. The unit was established by Almog Cohen, a regional coordinator for Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit. Cohen said in the past that he intends to recruit “armed men with a (gun) license,” who are interested in conducting patrols in the area amid growing panic over high rates of crime and claims that Israel exercises a lack of governance in the area.”
“Few remember the brief period, spanning just a few months in 1948-49, when the cease-fire line between Israel and Jordan ran through the Little Triangle – a concentration of Arab towns in north central Israel, roughly bounded by Baka al-Garbiyeh, Taibeh and Tira. Even the two families from Taibeh and Kalansua that own land there would have lived out their lives without ever remembering. That is, until they received a Kafkaesque reminder in 2017 when the Justice Ministry’s administrator general decided to seize the lands. The agency justified the seizure under the Absentee Property Law. They argued that the owners had been absentees during those few months, decades ago, when the border ran through the area. Even though the families never left their homes and became Israeli citizens after the war, the Supreme Court upheld the decision…In the ensuing legal battle, the families weren’t permitted to request that the land be returned to them, contrary to the wording of the law. Further, they were barred from seeing the maps upon which the state’s claim was based. The battle ended with these 7.5 acres in the state’s possession.”
“Now, a new investigation by the research group Forensic Architecture details how Israel has deliberately targeted archaeological sites in the besieged Gaza strip in a blatant attack on Palestinian cultural heritage. Over successive bombing campaigns, these sites along Gaza’s coastline, which include a Roman era fountain and an Iron Age rampart, are now facing an “existential threat”. Working with journalists, archaeologists and activists from Gaza and beyond, Forensic Architecture has collated a wide range of evidence to map and reconstruct these sites. It’s being called a pioneering form of “open source archaeology” and has the potential to be a significant tool in the fight against cultural erasure…As Al Haq, a Palestinian human rights NGO, explained in the context of Forensic Architecture’s report, “Targeting cultural heritage is not an empty gesture. Culture constitutes a visible expression of human identity. Depriving a people of their culture is tantamount to emptying them of the very substance that forms the backbone of their right to self-determination, especially in a context of cumulative, interconnected and systemic human rights violations.””
“Since May 2021, Israel has delayed and prevented the entry into Gaza of items needed urgently for maintenance and improvement of Gaza’s water and sewage systems, exacerbating the risk of collapse…According to information received by Gisha and other reports, Gaza’s roughly 500 civilian infrastructure facilities are facing a shortage of thousands of spare parts and other items, including valves, filters, pumps, pipes, electro-mechanical equipment, electric cables, replacement parts for service vehicles and parts for computers and computerized systems used for inspection, oversight, data collection and operation. The same malfunctions keep recurring in desalination plants and sewage treatment facilities because, in the absence of necessary parts, they are repaired using makeshift materials.”
“For those of us who have advocated for the use of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions as tools to advance Palestinian rights only to be told that they are illegitimate, the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlights Western governments’ willingness to embrace these tactics when policymakers identify with the victims of a crisis…Some of these boycotts targeting Russia or Russians are misplaced, sloppy, ineffective, and even downright unethical. But that doesn’t mean that BDS tools shouldn’t be deployed in Russia, Palestine, or elsewhere. If anything, the BDS campaign that has emerged from a call by Palestinian civil society is a model of what it means to use boycotts, divestment, and sanctions in a careful and purposeful way. By analyzing the routinely maligned Palestinian call for BDS, we can derive lessons about the right and wrong way to employ these strategies.”
“The Israeli government rejected requests from Ukraine and Estonia in recent years to purchase and use Pegasus — the powerful spyware tool — to hack Russian mobile phone numbers, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. Israel feared that selling the cyberweapon to adversaries of Russia would damage Israel’s relationship with the Kremlin, they said…In the case of Ukraine, the requests for Pegasus go back several years. Since the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, the country has increasingly seen itself as a direct target of Russian aggression and espionage. Ukrainian officials have sought Israeli defense equipment to counter the Russian threat, but Israel has imposed a near-total embargo on selling weapons, including Pegasus, to Ukraine.” See also “Israel blocked Ukraine from getting potent Pegasus spyware” (WaPo) and “Forget Iron Dome: Ukraine Wants Israel’s Pegasus to Fight Putin” (Haaretz)
“We Palestinians, however, never witnessed any of the measures taken by social media platforms for Ukraine. On the contrary, these platforms actively participated in a campaign of online repression last May that systematically targeted and censored Palestinian voices while taking down content that spoke out against Israeli oppression…Amidst the uprising, 7amleh, the Palestinian digital rights organization where I work, documented more than 500 cases of digital rights violations between May 6 and May 19, 2021; 85 percent of those cases took place on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms (the number of actual violations is likely much higher)…By contrast, 7amleh also found that during the same period, 183,000 out of 1,090,000 Hebrew public conversations on social media platforms contained racism, insults, or incitement against Palestinians and Arabs, yet social media companies did not remove this content…Equally, the policies of social media companies, especially Meta, are largely based on existing power relations. In this case, the political and economic asymmetries that favor Israel greatly affect how the company moderates Palestinian content. For example, about $319 million were spent in Israel for social media ads in 2021, 95 percent of them on Meta platforms. This number is greater than the ads spent on by Palestinians, Jordanians, and Egyptians combined, making the Israeli advertising market one of the largest in the region.”
“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recruitment of the Holocaust and its lessons into Ukraine’s struggle during his speech to the Knesset Sunday night grated badly on Israeli ears. Speaking on behalf of all Israelis, or not, politicians were quick to angrily criticize his remarks – in general over the very fact that he made this historical comparison, and specifically over his description of the Ukrainian people as having chosen to save Jews…But this Israeli shock and outrage over Zelenskyy’s use of the Holocaust as one of his talking points would be much more convincing if we didn’t know that Israel itself has used this exact same tactic since its establishment. After all, using the Holocaust for foreign policy is something Israel invented first. And in recent years, this Israeli politicization of the Holocaust in international affairs has greatly intensified.”
“It is a story of how the dispossessed and powerless become powerful agents of dispossession themselves; of how Europeans see the backs of the Jewish refugees running for their lives, but we, Palestinians, see the faces of the soldiers and settlers taking over our land and our homes. The neat clarity of watching a refugee being transformed immediately — within a few hours or days — into a settler, deployed as a shield in Israel’s demographic-geographic frontier war against the mere presence of the native Palestinians between the river and the sea, illustrates the more complicated picture.”
“Kinzinger, a Republican lawmaker who has risen to prominence thanks to his criticism of former U.S. President Donald Trump, shared Zelenskyy’s sharp rebukes to Israeli lawmakers and noted these were “really good questions of Israel,” adding that “Israel’s reaction to Ukraine will have bearing on future aid from the U.S. to Israel. Pay it forward.” The Illinois lawmaker, who is not running for reelection, later acknowledged that he “grabbed the third rail of foreign policy” by saying Israel needed to pick a side and that future aid could be at stake, though he said he wanted to “double down” on his position.”
“After winning the esteemed Optasia Championship at Wimbledon, [#2 ranked squash player in the world Ali] Farag said the following: “No one should accept any killings in the world, or oppression, but we’ve never been allowed to speak about politics in sports, but all of a sudden now it’s allowed. And now that it’s allowed I hope that people also look at oppression everywhere in the world. The Palestinians have been going through that for the past 74 years, but I guess because it doesn’t fit the narrative of the media of the West, we couldn’t talk about it. So now we can talk about Ukraine, we can talk about Palestine.””
“Fifty House Democrats urged US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday to prevent Israel from moving forward with the forced expulsion of 38 Palestinian families from the occupied West Bank village of al-Walaja…The members of Congress said they were concerned about the expulsion of 300 Palestinians, comprising exactly 38 families, and urged the Biden administration to work with Israel to “advance an equitable development plan that will formally authorize existing homes, provide for adequate municipal services, and allow for residential and other necessary development of the village”. According to the UN, al-Walaja has lost more than 85 percent of its lands since 1948, while 90 percent of the residents of the village and their descendants were forced out, many of them ending up in nearby refugee camps.”
“AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr and President Betsy Korn published a public letter on Friday defending their decision to endorse 35 Congress Republicans who voted not to certify the 2020 elections. “For decades, we have built the pro-Israel movement and our political organizing arm in Washington on the premise that everyone can and should be a friend of Israel, because a strong US-Israel relationship benefits both countries,” they wrote. “We make no apologies for this position. There are many important issues on which Americans disagree – but Israel should not be one of them.”” See also “Morally bankrupt’: outrage after pro-Israel group backs insurrectionist Republicans” (Guardian)” and “AIPAC’s pro-democracy ‘super PAC’ does not mention Israel in its mission” (JTA)
“As protests against police brutality raged in June 2020, senior Anti-Defamation League (ADL) employees recommended that the organization end its controversial practice of sending police delegations to Israel, according to a draft internal memo obtained by The Guardian and Jewish Currents. The memo draft—authored by ADL senior vice president George Selim and Greg Ehrie, its vice president for law enforcement and analysis, and addressed to ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt on June 9th—concluded that the law enforcement trips to Israel should be terminated in part because they were a source of “high controversy.” The delegations are the target of the long-running Deadly Exchange campaign, an initiative begun in 2017 by the activist group Jewish Voice for Peace, which argues that the program reinforces the use of brutal police tactics in the US. The ADL publicly dismissed that line of critique in the summer of 2020….The memo offers an unprecedented look at the ADL’s calculations as it sought to balance its commitment to civil rights with maintaining close ties to law enforcement around the country at a time of mounting criticism of police. It also reveals deep internal dissent over a program the ADL has publicly defended, showing an organization attempting to respond to the broader George Floyd moment, and to the specific concerns raised by activists whose claims it had long denied.”
Lawfare // Stifling advocacy for Palestinian rights & criticism of Israel
“Since 2016, 31 states passed laws or enacted executive orders voicing their opposition to the BDS movement and, in many cases, dictating that states boycott companies that support it.
The anti-BDS movement is ongoing. In the last year or so, however, legislators in Republican-controlled states have adapted laws criminalizing support for the BDS movement to criminalize all manner of other things conservative interests oppose. Both Texas and North Dakota, for example, have new laws prohibiting their states from investing in companies that support divestment from either the oil or gas industries, while Texas also has a law prohibiting investment in companies that support divestment from the firearm and ammunition industry. Similar legislation is pending in a further 14 states. Four states, Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, have drafted legislation that would make it illegal for the state to do business with companies that require their employees to receive COVID-19 vaccines. “It works on everything,” Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, said of the anti-BDS template. “If your logic is that the state has a right to deny contracts to people merely based on their refusal to give up their right to free speech on a given issue, you can apply that to anything. So it’s a matter of creativity here.”…What ALEC supports matters a great deal. The Republican-aligned nonprofit, comprised of state legislators and corporate representatives and funded in large part by the Koch brothers’ empire, holds immense sway in what legislation is introduced in states across the country…ALEC’s position means that the anti-BDS template will likely continue to be used as a cudgel against socially-conscious companies in the coming months. The frustration for a number of experts is that when ALEC was originally disseminating anti-BDS measures all over the country in years past, relatively few liberals and progressives sounded the alarm.”
“At the same time that Governor Abbott calls for boycotting Russia, he’s working to undo the right of Texans to use that very same tool. Our free speech rights concerning climate change, gun violence and the occupation of Palestine have already been undermined–who knows what’s next?” See also this FMEP podcast, Texas & the Constitutional Right to Boycott, with Bahia Amawi, Gadeir Abbas, and Peter Beinart.
“In a 768-167 vote, members of the Middle East Studies Association have voted in favor of a resolution endorsing the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions of Israel as a way to hold the government accountable for ongoing human rights violations…The resolution states that the boycott will not target individual students or scholars, and reiterates the right of individual MESA members to choose whether or not they wish to participate in an academic boycott. It calls for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions for their complicity in Israel’s violations of human rights and international law through their provision of direct assistance to the military and intelligence establishments.” See also “In Win for BDS Movement, U.S. Middle East Studies Association Endorses Israel Boycott” (Haaretz)
“This week marks the global #IsraeliApartheidWeek, an annual campaign that aims to mobilize grassroots support globally for the Palestinian struggle for justice and liberation. It is a grassroots mechanism to raise awareness about Israeli apartheid and to mobilize support to end this system of oppression. We put together this resource guide to help educate and decolonize our minds in our collective struggles against colonial power, apartheid, cultural appropriation and oppression.”
“In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service confers tax-exempt status to charitable organizations, allowing them to receive tax-deductible donations. Most donors would assume that an organization that targets marginalized communities would be disqualified from holding charitable status, however this report highlights ten organizations known for developing and advocating for policies that further systemic oppression globally through a variety of tactics including propaganda, discrimination, and displacement. What is more shocking than the IRS permitting these organizations to have charitable status is that these groups receive funds from Fidelity Charitable, the country’s biggest philanthropic foundation…Fidelity Charitable actively chooses to approve donations to organizations that, among other things, have advocated for forced sterilization of transgender people, support the recently-overturned Muslim Ban, fund illegal Israeli settlements, and facilitate the growth of Hindu nationalist ideology.”
Normalization // Abraham Accords
“Egypt hosted the first summit meeting with leaders of Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Monday and Tuesday, the latest sign of a swift realignment of Middle Eastern political alliances since Israel established diplomatic relations in 2020 with several Arab countries.”
“In the 18 months since the Abraham Accords were signed, people-to-people cultural exchanges and business ties have flourished between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Now, new defense cooperation appears to be emerging between Israel and Bahrain.
During a recent visit to Washington, Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa promoted “a new security architecture for our region that will help guarantee the security of the region as a whole,” Bahraini Ambassador to the U.S. Abdulla Bin Rashid Al Khalifa told Jewish Insider. This vision includes Israel — a country with which Bahrain did not have an official relationship even two years ago. Speaking to JI, Al Khalifa expressed a desire to engage with the American Jewish community and to grow cultural ties between Israelis and Bahrainis, in addition to the countries’ burgeoning defense relationship…The defense cooperation between Israel and Bahrain “is the first of its kind in the region,” said Al Khalifa, and “there’s more potential as we see more of the same tactics by state and non-state actors being used in the region. There’s ways in which our forces can learn from one another.”” See also “Israel, UAE to cooperate on clean hydroelectricity” (Al Monitor), “Bennett meets with Egyptian, Emirati leaders on Iran, regional alliances” (Al Monitor)
“During its 15 years, Khiam Prison in Lebanon saw detainees imprisoned indefinitely with no trial, food shortages, electrocution, denial of medical care and other grave issues, newly declassified Israeli documents show.”
“What emerges from this brief historical survey is that no Israeli Government, with one dubious exception, has been willing to accept Palestinian self-determination over the entire territory it captured in the June 1967 War. Rhetorical Western support for the elusive two-state solution makes them complicit in Israel’s continuing crimes against the Palestinian people. Fundamentally, however, it is Israel’s own opposition to Palestinian independence and statehood that make the much-vaunted two-state solution an illusion rather than a realistic possibility. If one recognizes, as I do, that the root of the problem is the Jewish supremacist character of the state of Israel, it follows that ending the occupation is not enough; Israel, too, needs to be decolonized. The Palestinian citizens of Israel are second-class citizens. True, they have the vote, but there is a whole raft of laws and practices that discriminate against them. A two-state solution would not address their problem. On the contrary, it would distance them further from the other branch of the Palestinian family. The best hope for resolving the century-old conflict between Jews and Palestinians lies not in the partition of Palestine but in building one democratic state from the river to the sea with equal rights for all its citizens, regardless of religion or ethnicity.”