[News] Kushner as a Colonial Administrator: Let’s Talk About The ‘Israeli Model’

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Thu Jun 13 12:32:59 EDT 2019


http://www.palestinechronicle.com/kushner-as-a-colonial-administrator-lets-talk-about-the-israeli-model/ 
<https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Kushner-as-a-Colonial-Administrator-Lets-Talk-About-The-Israeli-Model-20190613-0009.html> 



  Kushner as a Colonial Administrator: Let’s Talk About The ‘Israeli Model’

Ramzy Baroud - June 12, 2019
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Palestinians do not need to be lectured on how to meet Israeli and 
American expectations, nor should they ever aspire to imitate the 
undemocratic Israeli model.

In a TV interview on June 2, on the news docuseries “Axios” on the HBO 
channel, Jared Kushner opened up regarding many issues, in which his 
‘Deal of the Century’ was a prime focus.

The major revelation made by Kushner, President Donald Trump’s adviser 
and son-in-law, was least surprising. Kushner believes that Palestinians 
are not capable of governing themselves.

    *RELATED:
    What Lies Beneath: The US-Israeli Plot to 'Save' Gaza
    <https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/What-Lies-Beneath-The-US-Israeli-Plot-to-Save-Gaza-20180905-0026.html>*

Not surprising, because Kushner thinks he is capable of arranging the 
future of the Palestinian people without the inclusion of the 
Palestinian leadership. He has been pushing his so-called ‘Deal of the 
Century’ relentlessly while including in his various meets and 
conferences countries such as Poland, Brazil and Croatia, but not Palestine.

Indeed, this is what transpired at theWarsaw conference 
<https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/led-middle-east-summit-warsaw-190212230343271.html> 
on ‘peace and security’ in the Middle East. The same charade, also led 
by Kushner, is expected to be rebooted in Bahrain 
<https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2019/5/20/bahrain-convenes-summit-to-sell-deal-of-the-century> 
on June 25.

Much has been said about the subtle racism in Kushner’s words, reeking 
with the stench of old colonial discourses where the natives were seen 
as lesser, incapable of rational thinking beings who needed the 
civilized ‘whites’ of the western hemisphere to help them cope with 
their backwardness and inherent incompetence.

Kushner, whose credentials are merely based on his familial connections 
to Trump and family friendship with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin 
Netanyahu, is now poised to be the colonial administrator of old, making 
and enforcing the law while the hapless natives have no other option but 
to either accommodate or receive their due punishment.

This is not an exaggeration. In fact, according to leaked information 
<https://www.israelhayom.co.il/article/655631> concerning Kushner’s 
‘Deal of the Century,’ and published in the Israeli daily newspaper, 
‘Israel Hayom’, if Palestinian groups refuse to accept the US-Israeli 
diktats, “the US will cancel all financial support to the Palestinians 
and ensure that no country transfers funds to them.”

    *RELATED:*

    *Delusional 'Deal of The Century' Leaked: Palestinians Lay Down
    Arms, US Intervention in Gaza*
    <https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Delusional-Deal-of-The-Century-Leaked-Palestinians-Lay-Down-Arms-US-Intervention-in-Gaza-20190508-0011.html>

In the HBO interview, Kushner offered the Palestinians a lifeline. They 
could be considered capable of governing themselves should they manage 
to achieve the following: “a fair judicial system ... freedom of the 
press, freedom of expression, tolerance for all religions."

The fact that Palestine is an occupied country, subject in every 
possible way to Israel’s military law, and that Israel has never been 
held accountable for its 52-year occupation seems to be of no relevance 
whatsoever, as far as Kushner is concerned.

On the contrary, the subtext in all of what Kushner has said in the 
interview is that Israel is the antithesis to the unquestionable 
Palestinian failure. Unlike Palestine, Israel needs to do little to 
demonstrate its ability to be a worthy peace partner.

While the term ‘US bias towards Israel’ is as old as the state of Israel 
itself, what is hardly discussed is the specific of that bias, the 
decidedly condescending, patronizing and, often, racist view that US 
political classes have of Palestinians - and all Arabs and Muslims, for 
that matter; and the utter infatuation with Israel, which is often cited 
as a model for democracy, judicial transparency and successful 
‘anti-terror’ tactics.

According to Kushner a ‘fair judicial system’ is a condition sine qua 
non to determine a country’s ability to govern itself. But is Israeli 
judicial system “fair” and “democratic”?

    *RELATED:
    Trump’s Deal of the Century Will 'Officially Make Israel an
    Apartheid State': French Envoy to US
    <https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Trumps-Deal-of-the-Century-Will-Officially-Make-Israel-an-Apartheid-State-French-Envoy-to-US-20190421-0011.html>*

Israel does not have a single judicial system, but two. This duality 
<https://www.pij.org/articles/1680> has, in fact, defined Israeli courts 
from the very inception of Israel in 1948. This de facto apartheid 
system openly differentiates between Jews and Arabs, a fact that is true 
in both civil and criminal law.

“Criminal law is applied separately and unequally in the West Bank, 
based on nationality alone (Israeli versus Palestinian), inventively 
weaving its way around the contours of international law in order to 
preserve and develop its ‘(illegal Jewish) settlement enterprise’,” 
Israeli scholar, Emily Omer-Man, explained 
<https://www.pij.org/app.php/articles/1682> in her essay ‘Separate and 
Unequal’.

In practice, Palestinians and Israelis who commit the exact same crime 
will be judged according to two different systems, with two different 
procedures: “The settler will be processed according to the Israeli 
Penal Code (while) the Palestinian will be processed according to 
military order.”

This unfairness is constituent of a massively unjust judicial apparatus 
that has defined the Israeli legal system from the onset. Take the 
measure of administrative detention 
<https://www.btselem.org/administrative_detention> as an example. 
Palestinians can be held without trial and without any stated legal 
justification. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been subjected to 
this undemocratic ‘law’ and hundreds of them are currently held in 
Israeli jails.

It is ironic that Kushner raised the issue of freedom of the press, in 
particular, as Israel is being derided for its dismal record in that 
regard. Israel has reportedly committed 811 violations 
<https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181203-report-israel-committed-811-violations-against-palestinian-journalists-in-2018/> 
against Palestinian journalists since the start of the ‘March of Return’ 
in Gaza in March 2018. Two journalists - Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu 
Hussein -were killed 
<https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190330-israel-killed-267-palestinians-in-gaza-during-great-march-of-return/> 
and 155 were wounded 
<https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2018/10/gaza-great-march-of-return/> 
by Israeli snipers.

Like the imbalanced Israeli judicial system, targeting the press is also 
a part of a protracted pattern. According to a press release issued by 
the Palestinian Journalists Union last May, Israel has killed 
<https://english.palinfo.com/news/2019/5/1/Israel-killed-102-Palestinian-journalists-since-1972> 
102 Palestinian journalists since 1972.

The fact that Palestinian intellectuals, poets and activists have been 
imprisoned for Facebook 
<https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/07/dareen-tatour-sentenced-months-prison-poem-180731084215893.html> 
and other social media posts should tell us volumes about the limits of 
Israel’s freedom of press and expression.

It is also worth mentioning that in June 2018, the Israeli Knesset voted 
<https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Knesset-advances-bill-limiting-filming-IDF-soldiers-560496> 
for a bill that prohibits the filming of Israeli soldiers as a way to 
mask their crimes and shelter them from any future legal accountability.

    *RELATED:
    Why Israel Feels Threatened by Popular Resistance in Palestine
    <https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Why-Israel-Feels-Threatened-by-Popular-Resistance-in-Palestine-20180409-0012.html>*

As for freedom of religion, despite its many shortcomings, the 
Palestinian Authority hardly discriminates against religious minorities. 
The same cannot be said about Israel.

Although discrimination against non-Jews in Israel has been the raison 
d’être of the very idea of Israel, the Nation-State Law of July 2018 
further cemented the superiority of the Jews 
<https://www.vox.com/world/2018/7/31/17623978/israel-jewish-nation-state-law-bill-explained-apartheid-netanyahu-democracy> 
and inferior status of everyone else.

According to the new Basic Law, Israel is “the national home of the 
Jewish people” only and “the right to exercise national 
self-determination is unique to the Jewish people.”

Palestinians do not need to be lectured on how to meet Israeli and 
American expectations, nor should they ever aspire to imitate the 
undemocratic Israeli model. What they urgently need, instead, is 
international solidarity to help them win the fight against Israeli 
occupation, racism and apartheid.

/- Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine 
Chronicle. His latest book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto 
Press, 2018). He earned a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University 
of Exeter, and is a former Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for 
Global and International Studies, UCSB./

-- 
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863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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