Arab Americans fight back against biased media coverage of Israel-Palestine violence
Ongoing protests against the biased, one-sided coverage of the violence between Israeli and Palestinians. The violence from Gaza was provoked by years of violence by Israel and Jewish settler terrorists without any response from the outside world that has taken thousands of innocent Palestinian civilian lives, destroyed hundreds of Palestinian homes and resulted in hundreds imprisoned without judicial rights. Palestinians have a RIGHT to stand up to Israel’s violence and fanaticism and it is immoral for Americans to defend Israel while closing their eyes to Israel’s ongoing campaign of terrorism.
By Ray Hanania
While Secretary of State Anthony Blinken went on a tsunami of television news appearances to defend Israel after its months of anti-Arab violence exploded in a push back from Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Arab Americans are speaking out forcefully to counter the lies that minimize Israeli violence against Arabs while exaggerating violence against Israelis.
Palestinians in Gaza, who have been subjected to years of constant brutality, missile attacks and extra-judicial killings by Israel’s military, struck back on Saturday turning the tables on Israeli violent brutality and killing spree.
Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed during the past year and no one cared. The response to the Israeli violence by the IDF and armed Jewish settler movement was subdued and mild. But when the tables were turned, and Palestinians fight back against the Israeli assaults, President Biden and his administration and the mainstream news media responded with unrestrained bias and falsehoods stereotyping all Arabs while also dwnplaying Israeli violence that provoked th eattacks.
Arab Americans are hosting rallies to counter the pro-Israel lies and propaganda in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and Houston.
“Israel has killed Palestinians almost everyday and yet the mainstream American news media and the American politicians have remained silent,” one activist planning the rally said. “But when Palestinians respond to the cruelty and brutality by Israeli and the terrorist settler movement, the Palestinians are demonized, described as terrorists and Israel is portrayed as an innocent victim that did nothing to warrant the attacks.”
“You cannot condemn Hamas and Palestinian violence if you do not ALSO condemn violence by Israel’s government and the Jewish terrorist settler movement. If you do condemn only one side, you are complicit in the killing of innocent civilians, Jews, Christians and Muslims”
— RAY HANANIA
In fact, Israel has done much to provoke Palestinians, destroying hundreds of Palestinian homes, killing hundreds of Palestinians including men, women, the elderlya nd children, arrested andbrutalized Palestinians without ever formally charging them and presenting facts, and continues to confiscate Palestinian owned lands for the exclusive use of the racist Jewish settler movement.
In Jerusalem, the hatred of Palestinians by Israel exploded in violence including empowering Jewish citizens to spit ona nd confront Christian Arab churches, priests and nuns without consequence, an environment that fueled the animosity and anger.
“Israel engages in a creeping form of violence, one spread out on a day to day basis. So, when one or two people are killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers, the mainstream American news media shrugs. It’s not a story. But they ignore the cumultaive act of terrorism created by the constant ongoing Israeli violence as hundreds and thousands are killed during this slow, ongoing process of ethnic cleansing. When Hamas fires rockets and responds to the Israeli violence, Israelis and the media portray it as an unprovoked act of terrorism, igonring everything Israe has done to create the problems.”
In Hebron, Israeli continued their terrorism targeting outspoken Palestinians who have tried to put a spotlight on Israel’s violence.
From the Friends of Hebron organization:
“As the world watched the latest surge of violence in the holy land, Israeli soldiers and settlers seized on the opportunity to arrest and torture our director Issa Amro. While we bring you this news, we also invite you to participate in the 2023 Olive Harvest campaign!
“Issa was detained and tortured for ten hours in an Israeli army base by soldiers and settlers in army uniform. He was beaten and kept very tightly handcuffed, blindfolded and gagged. He was kept and tortured alongside other Palestinian detainees in the army base. You can read the whole report here.
“Israel is not defending itself,” Issa Amro stated. “It’s occupation, it’s apartheid, it’s Jewish supremacy. I saw that today with the soldiers. They don’t distinguish between anybody. They see us all as their enemy. But we will never give up.”
Israeli Forces Torture and Arrest UN-Recognized Human Rights Defender Issa Amro
(Hebron, West Bank) Today at noon, UN-recognized Palestinian Human Rights Defender Issa Amro was brutally beaten, tortured and detained by Israeli forces near his home in Tel Rumeida, Hebron. Amro was detained and tortured for ten hours in an Israeli army base while being denied access to medical care and communication with his lawyer, who was not told of his whereabouts. No reason was given for his detention. The detention came hours after Israel declared a state of war.
Amro was arrested outside his home in the neighborhood of Tel Rumeida, Hebron, which also serves as a community center for nonviolent methods of resistance. Mohammad Natsheh, a volunteer with Youth Against Settlements, witnessed the arrest. Less than three hours after reporting the incident, Natsheh similarly disappeared.
“Today, settlers in army uniform prevented me from reaching my house,” Issa Amro stated. “The settlers in their army uniforms jumped on me and arrested me. I was handcuffed very, very tightly and made to sit for hours on a small chair. They blindfolded and even gagged me because I was asking for help. I was kicked and hit many, many times by the soldiers. They rejoiced and tortured other Palestinian detainees in the Israeli military base.”
“Israel is not defending itself,” Issa Amro stated. “It’s occupation, it’s apartheid, it’s Jewish supremacy. I saw that today with the soldiers. They don’t distinguish between anybody. They see us all as their enemy. But we will never give up.”
In February, Amro was filmed being brutally assaulted by an Israeli soldier in front of a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist in a video that garnered more than 16 million views on Twitter. A few months earlier, Israel forces had beaten and arrested Amro for filming a video of a soldier beating up a left-wing Israeli activist.
Issa Amro is a Human Rights Defender recognized by the United Nations, the European Union and the U.S. State Department. He is the founder of the grassroots group Youth Against Settlements and the Executive Director of the American NGO Working for Peace and Justice. In 2016, Amro was indicted by Israel on 18 charges condemned by Amnesty International as “baseless” and “politically-motivated.” A 2017 letter from numerous U.S. Representatives to the Secretary of State encouraged Israel to reconsider the charges. In 2021, Amro met with U.S. Secretary Blinken.
On Sunday, Arab Americans protested at the White House against the racist biased coverage and false one-sided denunciations of Palestinians while ignoring Israeli atrocities.
Join Palestinian Youth Movement, Maryland 2 Palestine, the ANSWER Coalition, PSL DC, and others SUNDAY (TOMORROW) at 1PM ET in front of the White House (1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW) to mobilize and demand freedom for Palestine!
RALLY: STAND WITH PALESTINE!
Blinken has been hysterically lobbying every Arab country to condemn the Palestinians in a flury of dozens of TV appearances, telephone conferences with Arab leaders, in a manner he has never done to standup to Israeli violence.
This week, Palestinian Journalist Mohammad Salhi was targeted and “killed by an Israeli army bullet” while covering events along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, according to the news agency, WAFA. An Israeli military spokeswoman said they couldn’t confirm the journalist’s death because they didn’t have information about when and where it occurred.
On May 11, 2022, prominent Palestinian AMERICAN journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead by an Israeli soldier while covering a raid on the Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank. Palestinian and Arab journalists are targeted. But when the victims are American and Arab, the United States responds with a wishy washy call for an “end to violence’ Never condemning Israel and even cooperating to allow Israel to escape accountability.
Aid organizations have stepped up to help the victims of Israel’s terrorit strikes against civilian targets.
Anera Responding to Significant Humanitarian Needs in Gaza and the West Bank
October 7, 2023 | Washington, DC — The unprecedented events and escalation in the conflict of the past day have already created significant humanitarian needs that are almost certain to grow substantially. A few days ago, Anera delivered 12,000 bags of IV solutions to Gaza’s largest hospital to help prepare for emergencies. We are ready to respond to what will likely be a large humanitarian need in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Anera President & CEO, Sean Carroll, said today,
“It is still early to know just how big the humanitarian response needs will be, but, unfortunately, we expect the needs will be large. We have recently delivered medicines and medical supplies to the main hospitals in Gaza. We are working now to procure more from donors and locally.”
Anera staff are participating in all relevant humanitarian coordination bodies to ensure coordinated and appropriate local and international response.
Arab and Muslim American Organizations have demanded fairness.
This statement is from
The United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the nation’s largest American Muslim civil society umbrella organization, which issued a statement to reaffirm its unwavering support for the Palestinian people and their right to freedom from the Israeli occupation.
The recent unprovoked and continuous attacks by Israel on Palestinian towns, cities, and refugee camps have resulted in the tragic loss of Palestinian lives. We condemn Israel’s targeted and indiscriminate killing of civilians, including innocent children, women, and the elderly, and we denounce the inhumane siege imposed on the nearly 2 million inhabitants of Gaza, a clear violation of international law and an implied declaration of open war on the Palestinians which oblige them to be in constant self-defense.
The silence surrounding these grave injustices is nothing short of complacency. It is our firm belief that justice is the cornerstone of lasting peace. No security measures can bring true peace in the absence of justice.
We call upon the United States government, which provides military, economic, financial, political, diplomatic, and limitless support to Israel, to exert pressure on the occupation regime to immediately cease these atrocities. It is evident that the longstanding policy of unbridled support for Israel has failed to bring peace to Israelis and Palestinians. To achieve stability in the region, a serious reevaluation of a fair and balanced policy is imperative.
Furthermore, we urge Arab and Muslim countries that have normalized relations with Israel to reconsider their approach in pursuit of peace and stability in the region. We must remember that the concept of “land for peace” has been long proposed, only to be ignored and dismissed by Israel, causing humiliation and disgrace to those who proposed it. Normalizing relations should never come at the expense of the Palestinian people’s rights to their lands. There can be no true peace that disregards the sanctity and Muslim rights of the Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds Alshareef. These holy places belong to the 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide and should never be disregarded or dismissed. We hold the Muslim countries, individually and collectively, responsible for the safety and sanctity of Al-Quds and the holy places.
In solidarity with the Palestinian people and in the spirit of international justice, we call upon the United States government, Arab and Muslim governments, and the global community to exert maximum pressure on Israel to halt its provocations and adhere to international demands to respect Palestinian rights to their lands, properties, and lives. Only when these rights are recognized can genuine and lasting peace be achieved for all parties involved.
MedGlobal, one of the most prestigious emergency medical relief organizations int he world called for an end to the violence:
In light of the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza and the surrounding region as well as the expected further deterioration and escalation, MedGlobal is launching a major humanitarian campaign to help the injured and support the hospitals receiving them.
We pray for peace and stand with the innocent victims.
Our team is currently safe, and we are coordinating closely with local hospitals in Gaza to address their medical needs. Immediate needs are critical care medications, and surgical, orthopedic, and vascular supplies, all of which will provide life-saving support.
Since 2018, MedGlobal has been sending volunteer medical teams to help build healthcare capacity among our Palestinian colleagues and has been providing primary and secondary healthcare by supporting hospitals, clinics, dialysis centers and mobile clinics in partnership with the local community.
We urge you to help and support NOW.
Your donations will save lives.
Dr. Zaher Sahoul
Congresswoman Betty McCollum was one of the few members of Congress whoc alled for an end to all of the violence, while members of congress like Lindsey Graham and other Republicans and Democrats expressed support for Israel’s violence against Palestinian targets in Gaza.
McCollum Statement on Terrorist Attacks in Israel
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) released the following statement today after Gaza militants fired rockets and attacked nearby areas in a surprise assault on Israel:
“The U.S. government and the international community must immediately unite in denouncing the escalating violence in Israel and Gaza, and demand the immediate release of all hostages,” McCollum said. “These appear to be serious acts of war, and war is never the answer. I call upon the U.S. State Department to brief Congress about the situation immediately when the House of Representatives returns to Washington next week. While we await more information, my heart goes out to all those families impacted by this violence.”
The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) called out th ehypocrisy of the medi aand politicians urging an end to ALL of the violence, emphasizing that Palestinians have a right to defend themselves and to protect themselves from Israeli violence that continues without condemnation.
The unprecedented and ongoing resistance by Palestinians from Gaza, that caught Israel by surprise, did not happen in a vacuum. This is the response of a people pushed beyond endurance.
For decades Israel has been perpetrating unspeakable crimes against humanity, collective punishment, and has sustained an open air prison for Palestinians in the blockaded Gaza Strip. It has allowed for the relentless and daily attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinian towns and cities, and the desecration of Holy sites.
Palestinian families have been mercilessly torn apart, and generations of Palestinians have grown up in the grip of violent oppression by an occupying force. To overlook or minimize these facts is to lack depth in understanding and compromise moral clarity.
Palestinians are asserting their right to self-determination and unequivocally demanding their freedom. Never underestimate the will of an oppressed and occupied people to be free.
Statement from Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Open Letter to UN Security Council: Member States Must Address Root Causes of Palestinian Struggle, and Protect the Palestinian People from Retaliatory Israeli Atta
Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights call on the UN Security Council to address root causes and protect the Palestinian people from Israeli attacks. As Member States of the UN Security Council (UNSC) convene to discuss the events unfolding on both sides of the Green Line in Palestine, which started on 7 October 2023, Member States must consider Israel’s 75-year settler-colonial apartheid regime, 56-year illegal occupation, and 16-year unlawful blockade and closure of the Gaza Strip as the root causes of the Palestinian plight. UN Member States hold primary responsibility for the violence in Palestine through their inaction and complicity in Israel’s systematic and widespread violations, and must protect the Palestinian people against Israeli retaliatory attacks.
On 7 October 2023, Palestinian armed groups in the occupied Gaza Strip carried out a number of military operations. Israel has been waging war against the Gaza Strip since its illegal occupation in 1967, and for over 16 years has declared the entire Gaza Strip a “hostile entity”, imposing a land, air and maritime closure, and subjugating Palestinians therein to measures of collective punishment, in violation of international law. In this time, Israel has carried out at least seven massive military offensives since 2008, which have rendered the Gaza Strip uninhabitable. Between 2010 and 2019, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recorded 3,624 Palestinians and 203 Israelis killed, and 103,207 Palestinians and 4,642 Israelis injured, in the decade.
While third States are fast condemning the military actions of Palestinian armed groups, UNSC Member States need to be reminded of the number of missed occasions they had to prevent the escalation of violence. For decades, since it established its illegal occupation, Israel has failed to uphold its duties as Occupying Power, has entrenched its settler-colonial apartheid regime, prevented the Palestinian people from exercising their right to self-determination and return, and has been committing systematic and widespread human rights violations, amounting to international crimes, against the Palestinian people.
The past two years have been marked as the bloodiest of Israeli violence since the second Intifada. Between January 2022 and 30 September 2023, Israeli occupying forces (IOF) and settlers killed 426 Palestinians, including 89 children in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT)*. As of 19 September 2023, Israel arbitrarily arrested 5,200 Palestinians, including 170 children, and 1,264 Palestinians are currently held arbitrarily under administrative detention. Between 2022 and 30 June 2023, OCHA recorded 1,449 settler attacks, while Israeli occupying authorities demolished 436 Palestinian homes, forcibly displacing 1,660 Palestinians, half of whom are children.
The International Court of Justice, in its Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2004), called on third States to uphold their international obligations, including through non-recognition of Israel’s wrongful acts, including the obligation to not contribute to the internationally wrongful acts and the obligation to cooperate to bring the illegal acts to an end. Two decades later, the Wall not only still stands, it has been expanded to appropriate more Palestinian land, creating facts on the ground which have become a fait accompli, de facto annexation. Meanwhile, third States have largely turned a blind eye to their obligations to bring to an end any impediment resulting from the construction of the wall, as well as other violations, which operate to deny the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable right to self-determination.
The failure by third States to uphold the ICJ’s advisory opinion, as well as the numerous UN resolutions, has resulted in Israel’s aggressive and unrestrained construction of illegal settlements, its entrenchment of a discriminatory apartheid regime underpinned by impunity for international crimes. For decades, Palestinians have been calling on the international community to take concrete and meaningful actions, beyond statements of condemnation, to put an end to these violations, including imposing sanctions, arms embargoes and countermeasures against Israel. The international community’s lack of political will to hold Israel to account only emboldens Israel to continue committing crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.
The ‘Question of Palestine’ remains the permanent responsibility of the UN. As previously reaffirmed by the UN General Assembly (UNGA), “the United Nations has a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy”. Notably, the UN General Assembly decision to partition Palestine under Resolution 181 (II) into an ‘Arab’ and a ‘Jewish’ state completely disregarded the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. When Israel sought membership in the UN in 1949, it promised to respect all relevant UN resolutions. However, Israel has failed to implement every relevant UN resolution, including UNGA Resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, which requires Israel to fulfill the right of return of Palestinian refugees, displaced persons, and exiles, UNSC Resolution 478 of 1980 prohibiting Israel from altering the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and UNSC Resolution 2334 of 2016 demanding Israel to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.
We remind UNSC Member States of their obligation to protect the two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, who are at risk of retaliatory Israeli violence. So far, Israel has launched airstrikes, killing hundreds of Palestinians and wounding thousands, bombing residential buildings, has cut off electricity and asked Gaza residents to leave the besieged Strip, which, given the practical impossibility of such, may amount to threats to commit war crimes against civilians. We once more reiterate our call to the UN Security Council to referIsrael’s continuing acts of aggression, including its illegal occupation of the Gaza Strip for investigation to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Sixteen consecutive years of Israeli closure and repeated military attacks have driven Gaza into the brink of collapse and produced disastrous socio-economic conditions. Given the current status of Gaza’s crippled infrastructure, that does not allow it to cope with long periods of hostilities, Netanyahu’s reprisals will have far reaching and grave consequences for the medical response, and may arise in grave breaches including wilfully causing great suffering to the civilian population. Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship are also at risk of retaliatory Israeli Police and settler violence, and punitive mass arrests.
Given Israel’s decades-long illegal occupation and apartheid, the Palestinian people as a colonized people have a recognized right to exercise full external self-determination and independence from colonial, foreign domination and alien subjugation, as reaffirmed in UNGA Resolution 1514 of 1960 and Resolution 3246 of 1974.
Accordingly, Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights call on the Member States of the UNSC to:
1. Recognize and condemn Israel’s illegal occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid regime as the root causes underpinning the continuous waves of conflict in the territory;
2. Demand Israel’s immediate, unconditional and total withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory, as required in UN resolutions since 1967;
3. Call for the dismantling of Israel’s settler colonial apartheid regime on both sides of the Green Line;
4. Take concrete steps to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip, facing retaliatory Israeli attacks;
5. Sanction Israel’s illegal occupation, apartheid and acts of aggression through the application of an arms embargo, economic sanctions and countermeasures against Israel.
*According to Al-Haq’s documentation.
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