Resistance until victory - Palestinian prisoners show the way

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As Donald Trump repeats the mythmaking claims of US presidents to be able to bring ‘peace’ to the Middle East, the mass hunger strike of Palestinian political prisoners has forced Israel’s allies to check themselves. The street protests across occupied Palestine against Trump’s plan for an embassy in Jerusalem have pushed the plan back onto the shelf. Despite (and because of) the US government’s more open verbal support for Zionist settlements, a continuation of imperialist sponsorship and the anti-resistance actions of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA), the crisis for Netanyahu and the Israeli ruling class remains. The movement of the prisoners expresses Palestinian determination for an alternative.

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Fight Israeli apartheid ... and PA collaboration

On 15 March, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) published a report labelling Israel a ‘racist state’ and an ‘apartheid regime’. Its support for Palestinian demands for boycott, divestment and sanctions on the Zionist state caused imperialist uproar. US-led pressure forced its withdrawal and the resignation of one of its instigators, ESCWA under-secretary Rima Khalef. The full report can be read on the Electronic Intifada website. Written by Virginia Tilley, professor at Southern Illinois University, and Richard Falk, former UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian Territories, the report compares the Israeli occupation with the system that sustained apartheid in South Africa. It highlights the following characteristics:

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Zionists ban free speech - universities collaborate

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Manchester University FRFI Society demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners. Pic: Andrew McCoy

Using the pretext of the government’s Prevent strategy, universities across Britain are suppressing support for the Palestinian people on student campuses. This became evident during the annual ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’, which takes place during March in universities across the world. Such censorship has received vociferous support from Zionist organisations emboldened by slanderous media labelling of opponents of the Israeli colonial-settler state as anti-Semites.

Anxious to comply with a letter from Universities Minister Jo Johnson titled ‘Tackling anti-Semitism on campus’, which called on them to subject Israeli Apartheid Week events to special scrutiny, several universities cancelled or obstructed student Palestine solidarity activities:

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Palestine: Zionists tighten their grip

Trump Palestine Jerusalim

Trump’s election as US president has given confidence to the Israeli right that their plans for settlement expansion will not be held back. Three days after the Washington inauguration the Zionist regime announced the construction of 2,500 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank. The fact that many of these are planned for the illegal Beit El settlement near Ramallah, the site of settler violence against protests by Palestinians living in the area, shows that Israeli leaders expect no significant constraints from the new US presidency. The plans come as Israel accelerates house demolitions and land grabs in historic Palestine and proposals to annex other illegal settlements. Trump’s stated aim of moving the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem has become another flashpoint for Palestinian protests. Louis Brehony reports.

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President-elect Donald Trump: friend of Israel

The farce that was the US elections provided no real choice between two reactionary candidates. Nowhere was this more evident that in their policy towards Palestine. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump guaranteed the continued alliance of the US government with the Israeli occupation with unconditional support for the expanding number of illegal Israeli settlements.

Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman, Co-Chairmen of the Israel Advisory Committee to Donald Trump, released a statement on 2 November 2016 outlining the core positions of a Trump Administration which spoke of an ‘unbreakable bond’ between the US and Israel. It acknowledged Israel as ‘a staunch ally of the US and a key partner in the global war against Islamic Jihadism’ and promised that

‘a Trump Administration will ensure that Israel receives maximum military, strategic and tactical cooperation from the United States, and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will not limit the support that we give. Further, Congress will not be limited to give support greater than that provided by MOU if it chooses to do so.’

To appeal to Republican Zionists who were initially doubtful of Trump’s commitment to Israel compared to Hillary Clinton’s more obvious support, he promised under his presidency to ‘recognise Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state’ and move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Should this happen, it would make a ‘two-state’ solution impossible and strengthen those Zionists who want to seize the entirety of historic Palestine.

Nica Evans