[News] The Palestinian Bubble and the Burning of Toddler, Ali Dawabsha
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 4 11:08:18 EDT 2015
The Palestinian Bubble and the Burning of Toddler, Ali Dawabsha
by Ramzy Baroud <http://www.counterpunch.org/author/ramzy-baroud/>
August 4, 2015
One-and-a-half year old Ali Saad Dawabsha became the latest victim of
Israeli violence on July 31. He was burnt to death. Other members of his
family were also severely burnt in a Jewish settlers’ attack on their
home in the village of Duma, near Nablus, in the West Bank.
A spokesman for Rabbis for Human Rights told Aljazeera Arabic
this is the tenth attack on Nablus by settlers in July. A statement
issued by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) provided an even
more alarming statistic
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=766760>, putting the number of
Jewish settlers’ attacks, some of them lethal, at an estimated 11,000
since the end of 2014.
Ali Dawabsha is not the first Palestinian child to be burnt to death,
although the story of Mohamed Abu Khdeir
was tortured and burnt alive by a group of Jewish extremists in July
2014 now serves as a hideous benchmark for Israeli settler violence,
which is often conducted under the watchful eye of – or as part of
larger violent campaign led by – the Israeli army.
Despite Israeli political theater and statements of condemnations
following Abu Khdeir’s grisly murder, Israeli violence against
Palestinians is part and parcel of Israel’s Occupation policy, draped in
numerous crimes gone unpunished.
Little Ali is no different from the 490 Palestinians killed
Israel’s last summer war on Gaza, which killed nearly 2,200
Palestinians, mostly civilians. The Dawabsha family home, which was
completely burnt, (while Ali’s mother, father and brother, Ahmed, all
sustained serious burns) was no different from the 20,000 Gaza homes
which, according to the UN
destroyed during the Israeli carnage in the Strip.
The West Bank and Gaza, despite physical separation and Palestinian
factionalism, are united by a rapport of suffering and a trail of blood
that proves stronger than the Hamas-Fatah dispute. They are also united
in the perception of Israel, which sees Ali and all Palestinian toddlers
as a demographic threat
the ‘Jewish identity’ of the state.
In its statement, the PLO held Israel ‘fully responsible
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=766760>‘ for Ali’s murder and
the burning of his family and their home. The “brutal assassination” of
Ali is “a direct consequence of decades of impunity given by the
Israeli Government to settler terrorism,” said PLO Official, Saeb Erekat.
Of course, the statement is accurate, and if these words were uttered by
anyone other than the ‘Chief Negotiator’ of the Palestinian Authority
(PA), one could have taken them seriously. Alas, such statements only
highlight the duplicity and contradiction of the official Palestinian
position. In fact, one cannot help but feel that the PA is partly
responsible for Ali’s death. The reasons are as follows.
Israel’s impunity is encouraged by many factors, including US-Western
backing and the lack of international will to hold Israel – Government,
army and settlers – accountable for their crimes. But that impunity is
also encouraged by the Palestinian leadership itself, which lives in a
massive political and economic bubble in Ramallah, in the West Bank.
Erekat is a resident in the Ramallah bubble. His job consists of two
main aspects: to sustain the charade using all the right sounding words,
that the PA and Israel are locked in some sort of a perpetual conflict
(although they are not) while concurrently working closely with Israel
to ensure the survival of the PA.
The PA cannot exist without Israeli support, as Israel’s military
Occupation and illegal settlement expansion cannot be sustained without
the security arm of the PA, which has suppressed any serious resistance
to Israel in the West Bank. Using ‘security coordination’, the PA
apprehends any Palestinian who dares pose a threat, real or imagined, to
the Israeli occupation and the settlers.
In other words, the PA helps in ensuring the safety of the settlers,
like those who killed Ali and many others like him.
Naturally, facing little or no resistance, the settlements are growing.
The latest planned expansion was just announced by Israeli Prime
Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu
who plans to construct hundreds of new illegal settlement homes on
confiscated Palestinian land, in the Jewish settlements of Pisget Ze’ev,
Ramot, Gilo and Harhoma in Jerusalem.
In his statement, Erekat did not forget to link the murder of Ali: “We
cannot separate the barbaric attack that took place in Duma last night
from the recent settlement approval by the Israeli Government, a
Government which represents an Israeli national coalition for
settlements and Apartheid.”
But he, along with his boss, Mohammed Abbas, intends to do nothing about
it. On the contrary, despite his and other PA officials’ fiery
statements, the constant message the PA, in actuality, sends to Israel
is that Palestinians are okay with the status quo, and business will
carry on as usual, burnt babies or not.
Consider this as an example: the PA Central Council voted in March
halt negotiations and security coordination with Israel. The decision,
meant for public consumption mostly, hardly mattered, as top PA
officials, including Erekat himself, held recent ‘secret’ talks
Israeli Government officials in Amman, Jordan.
According to Tayseer Khalid of the “Democratic Front for the Liberation
of Palestine”, speaking to Ma’an, “Sadly the PLO Executive Committee and
Palestinian leaders know about such meetings only from the Israeli media.”
‘Sadly’, indeed, especially since the Amman meeting was designated as a
‘trust-building’ strategy (a clue that America had a hand in it), and
which included Erekat and Israeli Interior Minister, Silvan Shalom.
But that is, in fact, the actual PA strategy in all of its deficiencies
and contradictions. The cornerstone of that strategy is to sell as many
brands, no matter how conflicting, to different groups of people for the
sake of self-preservation. Erekat is, perhaps, often the scapegoat,
since he is the most visible face of the PA apparatus but numerous
others, too, are implicated in selling mirages to the Palestinian
people, while taking part in preserving the very violent occupation that
is destroying Palestinian society, robbing it of land, water, and dignity.
A few hours after Ali’s murder, PA officials were scheduled to line up
in Ramallah, in front of Abbas, as four new ministers were being sworn
in. The revamping of the so-called unity government
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=766752> took place without the
approval of Hamas
thus hammering the last nail in the Palestinian Unity coffin which never
actualized, to begin with.
The four new ministers, who ultimately have no real authority under the
rule of the Israeli Occupation, will read al-Fatiha (verses of the
Quran) on the soul of Palestine’s latest ‘hero martyr’, little Ali. A
real or fake tear by one or more officials might be highlighted in the
Ramallah media to accentuate the emotional bond between the Ramallah
bubble and all Palestinians. The charade will carry on for a few more
months or years, where the PA will fight against the Occupation using
every word available, and fight for the occupation using every means
This is the sad tale of the Palestinian leadership and its Ramallah
bubble, which is yet to burst.
/*Dr. Ramzy Baroud* has been writing about the Middle East for over 20
years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media
consultant, an author of several books and the founder of
PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom
Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London). His website is:
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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