The Ultra-right Israeli Ministers Quash West Bank Palestinian Hopes

The NewYork Times can hardly be accused of being anti-Semitic as 4 recent reports expose the ultra Zionist policy  of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin.  Netanyahu and his key ultra-right cabinet members –Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir who together  bring critical 13 Knesset votes to Netanyahu’s campaign against Israel’s Judiciary and sponsoring active harassments by Israeli Settlers against West Bank Palestinians – the key component of Netanyahu’s current campaign against a 2-State solution which is to make the West Bank unlivable for Palestinians.
1-For Palestinians, the Future Is Being Bulldozed – The West Bank is policed by armed settlers and littered with destroyed houses that residents are forbidden to repair by the IDF.
2 -‘Buying Quiet’: Inside the Israeli Plan That Propped Up Hamas – Natanyahu’s deliberate scheme to finance and strengthen Hamas from 2006 to 2023
3 -Israel Knew Hamas’s Attack Plan More Than a Year Ago  soft speculation on  who knew?
4 – In 3 Opinions Thomas  Friedman has set a high standard for discussion of Israel – Palestine War
  a The Debate Israel needs about the War
  b The true complexions of the Israel-Hamas War
  c The Most revealing Nature of Israel since Oct 7. 
The Times writers echoed at the BBC
describe an ultra Zionist wing of the Israeli government which is committed to a completely subservient Palestinian population either expelled from their rightful lands or subject to utter subservience as spelled out in the Bulldozed Future story below.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Treacherous Support of Hamas
Netanyahu tried to  build up Hamas to quash The Oslo Accords and degrade the Palestinian Authority in the WestBank. His long term goals wasnullify any notions of a 2-state solution by showing neither Hamas in Gaza or PAF in the West Bank could be a nreliable partner.In effect, Netayahu were working to create an ultra-Zionist Judea- with no room for Palestinians.

The NYTimes writes “In interviews with more than two dozen current and former Israeli, American and Qatari reps, and officials from other Middle Eastern governments, The New York Times unearthed new details about the origins of the policy, the controversies that erupted inside the Israeli government and the lengths that Mr. Netanyahu went to in order to shield the Qataris from criticism and keep the money flowing to Hamas exclusively.

The payments were part of a string of decisions by Israeli political leaders, military officers and intelligence officials — all based on the fundamentally flawed assessment that Hamas was neither interested in nor capable of a large-scale attack. The Times has previously reported on intelligence failures and other faulty assumptions that preceded the attacks.

Even as the Israeli military obtained battle plans for a Hamas invasion and analysts observed significant terrorism exercises just over the border in Gaza, the payments continued. For years, Israeli intelligence officers even escorted a Qatari official into Gaza, where he doled out money from suitcases filled with millions of dollars.”

But the real plan was to short circuit any 2-state negotiations by promoting conflict of Hamas & PAF.
“Shlomo Brom, a retired general and former deputy to Israel’s national security adviser, said an empowered Hamas helped Mr. Netanyahu avoid negotiating over a Palestinian state. “One effective way to prevent a two-state solution is to divide between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,” he said in an interview. The division gives Mr. Netanyahu an excuse to disengage from peace talks, Mr. Brom said, adding that he can say, “I have no partner.”

The consequences of this treachery and Israeli contempt for Hamas ability to plan and mount an attack resulted in exactly that on October 07 2023; but more broadly the situation has wrecked into a more entrenched and intractable stalemate over a  2 -state solution while Israel’s democratic prestige plummets. Again, the NYTimes documents the catastrophic mismanagement by Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, the IDF, and Israeli Intelligence.
“Israeli officials obtained Hamas’s battle plan for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack more than a year before it happened, documents, emails and interviews show. But Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan as aspirational, considering it too difficult for Hamas to carry out.The approximately 40-page document, which the Israeli authorities code-named “Jericho Wall,” outlined, point by point, exactly the kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people – Israelis and foreign workers.

The translated document, which was reviewed by The New York Times, did not set a date for the attack, but described a methodical assault designed to overwhelm the fortifications around the Gaza Strip, take over Israeli cities and storm key military bases, including a division headquarters.Hamas followed the blueprint with shocking precision. The document called for a barrage of rockets at the outset of the attack, drones to knock out the security cameras and automated machine guns along the border, and gunmen to pour into Israel en masse in paragliders, on motorcycles and on foot — all of which happened on Oct. 7. For over a year the Jericho Wall plan circulated widely among Israeli military and intelligence leaders, but experts determined that an attack of that scale and ambition was beyond Hamas’s capabilities, according to officials. “

Underlying all of this is a broad contempt for Palestinians and Hamas among Israeli elites – the Netanyahu cabinet, the top echelon of the military leadership and key Intelligence agencies. This contempt for Palestinians is duplicated by the hardened Hamas contempt for the State of Israel and huge segments of its own Palestinian population. What can you expect from the top Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh who resides safely in Hamas headquarters in Qatar?

The Palestinian  Future is Being Bulldozed

What is happening on the West Bank to Palestinians is eerily like the Nazi treatment of vermin. Itamar Ben-Gvir has acknowledged a deliberate racial bias against West Bank Palestinians. While Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich denied the existence of a Palestinian people or nationhood over the weekend, as  reported by Times of Israel. Is it a surprise that since October 7th 2023, the number of West Bank Palestinians killed now amounts to 240? This is more than all the Palestinians killed in 2022. But the NYTimes tells the full story of Israeli systematic persecution of West Bank Palestinians.

Reporter Megan Stock describes in the NYTimes  the new reality for West Bank Palestinians:
“The men came alone that morning, leaving families and sheep behind, and climbed the hill to see what was left of their village. On the sun-bleached crest, they found a scene of wreckage: The windows of the makeshift clinic had been smashed, household furniture lay shattered; sections of the schoolhouse had been burned to ash. There were drifts of clothing and stray shoes spread on the ground throughout the abandoned village, small things dropped in haste when the families fled.

The Palestinians who live (or lived) in this hilltop hamlet had decamped in terror a few weeks earlier. A gang of Israeli settlers — their neighbors — had been tormenting them for weeks, they explained, beating them up and threatening murder if they didn’t leave.”

The ensuing Palestinian encounter with an Israeli Administrator invokes Holocaust shadows:

On the hilltop, an official with Israel’s Civil Administration awaited them in boots and camouflage. The administrator is part  of the powerful bureaucratic arm of Israel’s military occupation. “How did he know we were coming?” the village head, Fayez Til, told me he wondered as he walked over to the official. Mr. Til was plainly dressed and distinctly unarmed, in comparison with his visitor. He speaks Hebrew and studied nursing at Hebron University and treated patients at the village clinic before the settlers started marauding.

The uniformed administrator laid down the law in soft, even tones: If you insist on coming home, he told Mr. Til with an air of generosity, you can — so long as you accept its trashed condition. “It’s as is,” he said, as if he were selling a house. Army drones had photographed every detail, he explained. If the residents moved so much as a stone or pulled a tarp over an unroofed house, it would be considered an illegal construction, and there could be trouble.

Mr. Til and the others were incredulous. They pressed: What if it rains? What about the summer sun? The official held firm: You move things, you put up a tarp, you break the law. And then, having delivered this discouraging welcome, he drove off.

Mr. Til and the other men paced and muttered, absorbing the official’s message. By fleeing their homes, they had shown that it was possible to frighten them off the land; now their position appeared even more precarious. Fuad Al-Amor, who oversees a council of 24 villages in the South Hebron Hills, including this one, put it succinctly: “It’s easy to leave. It’s not easy to come back.”

The intimidation by Israeli settlers and neighbors is flagrant and razor edge palpable:

Soon a beat-up Isuzu pickup crunched up the hill. Eyes darted and a ripple of attention slid through the morning air: the settlers. Like many Palestinians, the men of the village know their tormentors quite well. It’s usually the same people: their neighbors. Three settlers hopped down from the truck — young men who, in an American college town, would pass as worse-for-wear frat boys who’d just woken up after a rough night of drinking. Sunburned and insolent, they swaggered around, smoking cigarettes and demanding information from the villagers.

“You don’t live here anymore. You left. What are you doing here?” one of the young men asked Mr. Til. “Where are you sleeping at night?” “We didn’t leave,” Mr. Til replied quietly. His posture and tone were deferential. At least one of the settlers carried a pistol stuck in the back of his pants.

As a Palestinian civilian, Mr. Til is forbidden to own a gun, and even if the settlers hit him, he would be ill advised to strike back. Both law and practice are tilted against him. In the West Bank, settlers enjoy the full protection of Israeli civil and criminal law, while their Palestinians neighbors are subject to draconian military orders. That means, among other things, that Palestinians can be indefinitely imprisoned without charge.

Settlers, on the other hand, are routinely armed to the teeth. Many of them recently got government-issued assault rifles in a drive to harden Israeli defenses. The national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, a settlement dweller himself, was filmed passing out rifles to settlers.

“You left,” the settler yelled again, stepping close to Mr. Til. “Where did you sleep?” His two friends circled restlessly behind him. “This is our land,” Mr. Til said. “This is Jewish land for more than 3,000 years,” the young man said. Mr. Til sat on a boulder and lit a cigarette. The three settlers formed a triangle before him. One of them hocked theatrically and then spat.

After pacing and smoking for a while, the settlers piled back into the truck and left. They ignored my questions, saying, “I’m not interested.” One of them, a lean young man in khaki pants, called out menacingly to Mr. Til before they left: “We’re coming back to have a party here.”

Next the Israeli drones come sputtering their automated evil intents:

Next came a drone, buzzing overhead like some huge, ominous hornet, creeping low over the villagers’ heads, then swinging up into the air again, circling and hovering. The settlers use the drones to monitor and pester them, the men explained. The buzzing noises drive the sheep crazy, they added, causing the ewes to suffer miscarriages. “We’re not worried about how they talk and what they say,” a villager named Raed Battat told me dryly when I mentioned the settlers’ ominous visit. “We’re worried about what they do.”

Mr. Battat said his 72-year-old father had agreed to flee after settlers broke his solar panels, busted his water barrels and came at midnight to throw rocks at him through the windows. Still, Mr. Battat and Mr. Til tried to project determination. They would endure the attacks and hang on to their land, they insisted. But a faded conviction had come into their faces, and an unspoken understanding seemed to have taken hold. The mood on the hilltop had darkened. I tried to imagine the terror of spending the night up here, vulnerable under the sky to whoever might come.

When a photographer from The Times visited the village the next day, it was once again abandoned.
The consequences of  illegal settlers squeezing out West Bank Palestinian homes is inescapable:

When land keeps changing hands, inaction is also a kind of action. Negotiations have been dead since 2014, and Israeli military occupation of the West Bank is now so old that it more closely resembles annexation. Israeli officials make tortured arguments that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are legal. They’re not; international law prohibits occupying powers from transferring their own people to live on occupied land. And yet the settlements keep growing, feeding on the belief that Judea and Samaria (the biblical names preferred by settlers) are the God-given home of the Jews. Palestinians keep getting shoved into smaller spaces. In a book she wrote more than a decade ago, Megan  pointed out — as many others have — that, even then, there wasn’t enough contiguous land for a state.

I have stopped at 40%of a compelling story. But you should visit Bulldozing the WestBank Palestinians to complete  a relentlessly cautionary and distraught  scene. And if you are Jewish and find the story flawed or Anti-Semitic – Answer me this – is Israel doing unto the Palestinians what your forbearers had to endure just before the Holocaust?

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