In recent weeks, Palestinians in Jerusalem have mobilized en masse to defend their basic right – to live in their own homes, homes to their families for several generations – against the attempts of the Israeli government and extremist settler organizations to drive them out and replace them with Jewish settlers in a policy that can only be called ethnic cleansing.
They have been confronted with violent colonial repression, which was expressed in particular with the attack on the Al-Aqsa Compound on Friday 7 May as end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approached.
Since 10 May, the Israeli army has been carrying out a violent bombing campaign against the Gaza strip in retaliation for the demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinans of Jerusalem and rocket attacks.
In Jerusalem and other mixed cities, as well as the violence perpetrated by the police and Israel Defence Force, far-right Jewish groups have attacked Arabs in the streets. In Jerusalem alone, hundreds of Palestinians have been injured and dozens imprisoned.
As a result of this violence there have been at least 83 deaths in Gaza (including 16 children) 3 in the West Bank. 7 Israelis have also been killed.
Western news sources lead on the rocket attacks from Gaza, Israeli prime minister Netanhayu and other politicians call for “calm” while Biden says that “Israel has the right to defend itself” and calls for a return to the situation pre-10 May as if that had been an acceptable situation. Almost inaudible criticisms of the Israeli settler policy do nothing to change this stance of the “international community” – they will back Israel to keep their status quo in the region.
There can be no calm in this situation of colonial aggression. There is not “equal responsibility” for the violence. The settler colonial state of Israel is practising a form of apartheid and ethnic cleansing and Palestinians are denied all democratic and national rights. There will not be a “just solution” without the accordance of full rights to the Palestinians.
The current worldwide expressions of solidarity with the Palestinians – in widespread street demonstrations, in football stadiums from Chile to Scotland – must be strengthened and become an ongoing powerful movement to hold Israel accountable for its crimes.
This is the meaning of the BDS (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions) campaign, which must be strengthened and developed to impose sanctions against Israel.
Support for the Israeli state must stop!
An end to the civil and military occupation!
Equal democratic and national rights!
The right to self-determination and the right of return for the Palestinian people!