In 2018, the government advanced thousands of housing units, including most which can be found in isolated settlements deep inside the West Bank, outside Israel’s pre-1967 borders. These are settlements that, in any two-state solution, Israel will have to evacuate. According to Peace Now, those who build these places have no intention of achieving peace and a two-state solution.
The latest announcement, which as an aside was cynically passed on Christmas while most Western governments are on holiday, shows that Netanyahu is willing to sacrifice Israeli interests in favor of an election gift to the settlers in an attempt to attract a few more votes from his right-wing flank.
Elderly women, families, children, and of course young men in the occupied Palestinian territories are regularly treated with brutality by Israeli forces. International laws are in place to protect vulnerable populations, but Israel ignores such laws – and gets away with it. Simple, common decency ought to elicit restraint on the part of the occupier, but does not.
These very brief stories are snapshots of Israeli cruelty between December 15 and 17, 3 days out of the 50+ years of violent occupation which the United States endorses and supports to the tune of over $10 million a day.
The lawsuit against Airbnb’s de-listing of Israeli settlement properties sounds pretty flimsy: religious discrimination (illegal settlements are by definition all-Jewish); failure to provide equal access (Palestinians are barred completely – and it’s their land); Airbnb is siding with Palestinians against the occupation (everything about the occupation and settlements is illegal, so, yeah).
Israeli security agency Shin Bet admitted to the use of torture on Palestinian prisoner Fares Tbeish, but claimed the actions were necessary; Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that the “enhanced interrogation” methods were acceptable. This is the second such ruling in the last 12 months. A number of human rights groups have documented “routine use of torture” by Israeli forces, although the practice is against international law.
Palestinian rights groups and local governments have challenged an Israeli law that seeks to the annex of parts of the West Bank. The Israeli government responded to the petition, stating that “the Knesset [is permitted] to legislate laws everywhere in the world” and that it is authorized “to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries via legislation that would be applied to events occurring in their territories.”