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Progressives need to ‘punch’ in 2 directions

By Ralph Seliger

Drawn in by a Haaretz alert about a lethal attack on Israelis in Beersheva, I found another story about a threat against Palestinian homes.  This is from the Haaretz article about the attack by an ISIS supporter who murdered four (pictured here) and injured two, including mothers of young children and a Chabad rabbi:

Hamas and Islamic Jihad spokespersons praised the attack. Hamas spokesperson Abdel-Latif al-Qanou called it an “heroic act,” vowing that the group’s “battle against the occupation continues and we will not stop.”

Islamic Jihad spokesman Tariq Salmi said that the attack was “a natural response to the crimes of the occupation in the Negev,” adding that Israel “must realize that the Palestinian people will not surrender.”

Hundreds of right-wing activists are gathering at the scene of the attack.

This is the story as headlined in The Times of Israel (click on title for web link):

ISRAEL’S DEADLIEST TERROR ATTACK IN YEARS

4 killed, 2 wounded in stabbing attack at Beersheba mall; terrorist shot dead

Arab Israeli from southern Bedouin town stabs woman at gas station, rams cyclist, then attacks others at shopping center; attacker was formerly imprisoned for Islamic State ties

This links to, and quotes from, that Haaretz article on Israel’s unjust actions and policies regarding Palestinian housing:    

House Democrats Ask Blinken to Stop ‘Destruction and Displacement’ of Palestinian Village

About 300 Palestinians are set to lose their homes in the village of Walaja, outside Jerusalem, drawing U.S. lawmakers’ sharp protest against the planned Israeli action

The northern half of Walaja, a Palestinian agricultural village, is located within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, but residents do not receive services from the municipality or from the State of Israel. Instead, they rely on the Palestinian Authority for services ranging from education to trash collection. The village has not had a master plan since the 1967 de facto annexation of East Jerusalem, preventing residents from being able to build new homes legally. Out of necessity, residents built dozens of homes without permits over the past 54 years.

“It is our understanding that residents have done everything they can to overcome the lack of a master plan – even submitting their own 15 years ago with the assistance of an architect and a nongovernmental organization with expertise in planning,” the members of Congress stated. “This plan was rejected in January 2021 by the Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee, claiming the village lands hold ‘great scenic and environmental value, with a contiguity of open areas and ancient, extraordinary agrarian cultural values,” they noted, decrying this reasoning as “unjust and contradictory.”

Israel’s Supreme Court is slated to hear Walaja residents’ appeal on March 30. “There have already been a number of demolitions in al-Walaja in recent years in areas not protected by court injunction. If residents lose their appeal, there is a very real and proximate prospect that they may lose their homes, their community, and their way of life,” the lawmakers added.

Both such instances of violence against Israelis and the ongoing injustice perpetrated against Palestinians exemplify the challenges moderate and progressive supporters of Israel face. We should make it clear that we oppose both; they are connected.  Palestinian violence reinforces hardline and oppressive Israeli policies, which in turn inspire terrorist “resistance.” 

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