The Legitimate Ethnic Cleansing?

Israel is an apartheid state by any definition. It is based on depriving the Palestinians of their basic rights.

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On Tuesday morning, the death toll rose to 212 in Gaza. According to the UN, at least 40 schools and 4 hospitals have been completely or partially demolished. The US under Biden’s presidency has continued to support Israel despite the gravity of human rights violations towards Palestinians. The US once again placed domestic interests over human rights and blocked the Security Council’s statement for cessation of violence from the Israeli side. Meanwhile, the Israeli atrocities continue under the impunity granted by the cherry-picked laws pertaining to self-defense. Land theft, ethnic cleansing, systematic marginalization and violence going on in Gaza and the West Bank remind us of an event that isn’t a part of the ancient history: The Holocaust.

The creation of the state of Israel has many bases. Just like many other regions of the world, Palestine is still suffering from the aftershocks of the Age of Colonialism. What added to the misery is the Zionist Movement and the Holocaust. The Balfour Declaration laid the ground for the materialization of the aim for a Jewish state. Palestine, under the Ottoman Empire, had a Muslim majority with Jewish and Christian populations. The Balfour Declaration proposed by the Foreign Secretary of Great Britain had won the support of the League of Nations as well. The United States too fully endorsed the creation of a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim World. Despite the severe opposition by the local Arabs, the US and the UK didn’t refrain from taking an active part in exporting the Jews to Palestine after the Holocaust and the rise of antisemitism in Europe. Thus, Israel emerged on the map of the world in 1948 without the consent of native Arabs.

Since then, the region has been marked by violence, starting from 1948 as the Arab-Israeli war then the Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War, Lebanon War, and the first and second intifadas. A series of border skirmishes between Israel and Hamas is also commonplace. Israel doesn’t recognize Palestine while Palestine is still a nonmember observer in the UN. The majority of the states recognize Israel which is based on a settler population while a lesser number of states recognize the state for Palestinians who have been living on the land for centuries. Currently, the most conflict-prone regions are the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Recent escalations occurred after the forcible evacuation of Palestinians of AlSheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem by the Jews. Sheikh Jarrah is already composed of the Palestinian refugees who were further triggered by the biased decision of the Israeli Supreme Court giving legitimacy to the Jews to exile Arabs in Sheikh Jarrah who have been living there for generations.

After the resistance by the Arabs, the Zionists attacked Al Aqsa Mosque which is the third most sacred place for the Muslims on Earth. The Israeli police stormed into the building during the holy month of Ramadan and attacked the worshippers with rubber bullets and tear gas, wounding hundreds of unarmed Muslims and killing many. The incident didn’t get the attention of international media until Hamas retaliated after giving an ultimatum to the Israeli government to leave Al Aqsa Mosque. Israel, having one of the best air defense systems blocked most of the missiles coming from the Gaza Strip but its so-called retaliation was in sheer violation of all human rights and humanitarian laws. Iron Dome is intercepting the missiles from Gaza Strip and the Israeli citizens are under the protection of bomb shelters. Meanwhile, the airstrikes from Israel are ruthlessly targeting the civilian buildings, media centers, and densely populated regions causing heavy civilian casualties.  Under the cloak of self-defense, the state of Israel has deprived the Palestinians of basic human rights. The US is accomplice to Israeli terrorism by granting it immunity to escape any accountability on international forums. The incessant arms supply to Israel is also very detrimental for regional peace.

War is an ugly business, conflict is never without blood but currently, it is neither a war nor a conflict. There is no symmetry of power between Israel and Hamas. The casualties aren’t even comparable while the cause of Israel is clear. Israel is an apartheid state by any definition. It is based on depriving the Palestinians of their basic rights. The Israeli expansion is synonymous with the statelessness of the Palestinians as a  ‘one-state solution’ would never guarantee equal rights to all citizens in the region. A two-state solution would never be agreed upon by both sides as Israel practically controls all of Palestine and will never give a fair share to the Arabs. The international organizations and the states, most importantly the US are supportive of the ethnic cleansing by choosing silence and incentivizing Israel to continue inhuman attacks under the cloak of ‘self-defense’. Right now, the world is a silent spectator and the neutrality of observers is legitimizing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

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