It is a waste of time for any supporter of justice in Palestine to write a letter to the editor of the Times; it won’t get printed, for that newspaper wears its support for Israel on its sleeve. This was very evident in a Leader column under the heading “Partners for Peace: Israelis should worry that Palestinians are losing faith in a two-state solution” (23 September); referring to the “clashes” in Jerusalem, the Times says that they are taking place on “the Temple Mount”. They are, of course, taking place in the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa because the authorities are allowing Jewish settlers to enter the mosque compound to perform their own religious rituals; Muslim worshippers are being denied entry. Al-Aqsa doesn’t even get a mention in the Times narrative.
The thrust of the column is that a poll has revealed that support for a “two-state solution” is diminishing amongst Palestinians. This is hardly surprising given the ongoing colonisation of Palestine by Israel, and yet you will search the article in vain if you are looking for any mention of the military occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Israel’s “repeated military actions in the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip” have been “spurred by Palestinian rocket attacks”, which ignores that such rockets have been fired in the face of the Israeli occupation and an 8-year siege which has destroyed the Palestinian economy in Gaza. The Leader writer glosses over this uncomfortable fact by claiming that the economy in the West Bank has “grown prodigiously in the past decade”, which is a myth; there is a bubble of economic activity around Ramallah benefiting a small, compliant Palestinian elite at the expense of the vast majority of people still struggling under the occupation.
Predictably, resistance to the occupation is reduced to “terrorist attacks” by the Times, and the writer brushes off the only party to have won free and fair democratic elections in Palestine — Hamas — as a “terrorist group”. Denial of the Palestinians’ legitimate right to resist Israel’s occupation by any means at their disposal is prevalent in the West, not least in Murdoch-owned media, but that doesn’t make that right any less legitimate. Zionists and their supporters have collective amnesia about the terrorist roots of their state, which is an insult not only to the Arab victims of Jewish terrorism but also to the memory of the British soldiers, police and civil administrators murdered by the Stern Gang, Irgun and Haganah Jewish terrorist groups in the run-up to the end of the British Mandate over Palestine in 1948.
There is no mention in the article of the shooting of an unarmed 18-year old young woman, Hadil Hashlamoun, in Hebron by Israeli soldiers yesterday (Tuesday) morning; she was left to bleed for 30 minutes and died in hospital of her wounds. Those who shot her stood around and laughed. Israeli lies about the incident have been exposed elsewhere.
What is striking, is that the Times Leader writer chooses to refer to Palestinians who believe that “they can bus-bomb their way to a better future” as “immoral and deluded”. No mention of the immoral nature of the occupation which leads Israeli soldiers to kill Palestinians like Hadil apparently at will (and, no doubt, impunity). Nor is there any mention of the checkpoints; the house demolitions; the settlements; the Wall; the pollution; the killings; the settler violence; the racism. In short, there is no mention at all of the things which make Israel not only totally worthless as a “partner for peace” but also demonstrate on a daily basis that it has no intention whatsoever of working towards peace. “Israeli politicians” do indeed “appear content to let the status quo continue” because that is the nature of the Zionist ideology underpinning the state of Israel. It thrives on racism and oppression because it demands as much Palestinian land with as few Palestinians on it as possible in order to create “Eretz Israel”, Greater Israel. Anyone who thinks that a “two-state solution” is likely, let alone possible, is “deluded”.
Nowhere else in the world are the victims of criminal acts expected to “negotiate” with the criminals for an end to the crimes carried out against them. Nowhere else in the world are the victims portrayed as the villains, and vice versa. Nowhere else in the world does the “security” of the criminals take precedence over the right of the victims to have redress and recourse to justice. Nowhere else, apart from Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
Israel is a nuclear-armed, military state hell-bent on destroying every last vestige of Palestinian presence in what we used to call “the Holy Land”. The only existential threat in place is being faced by the Palestinians as they struggle to hold on to their land.
The Palestinians aren’t to blame for this mess; apart from Israel, we must look to the people who support it in its criminality, who turn an indulgent blind eye to its misdemeanours for entirely selfish reasons, usually to do with votes and campaign funds, and profits on arms sales. Media outlets like the Times play their part with such one-sided Leader columns which they know will carry some weight, for historical reasons as much as anything else. The Times used to have a good name, but no longer. By supporting Israel in the way that it does, and ignoring the brutal reality of life for Palestinians under occupation, the Times is entirely immoral and deluded too.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.