Steven Sahiounie, journalist and political commentator
The armed conflict between the Palestinian people of the West Bank and Gaza continues against the Israeli forces who maintain the over 5 million residents under a brutal military occupation, with no human rights, and no freedom in sight.
Steven Sahiounie of MidEastDiscourse interviewed Sami, the Bedouin, a Palestinian writer and blogger. He is originally ethnically cleansed from Ashdod, in Occupied Palestine, but living as a refugee in the West Bank Occupied Palestine. As an activist for Palestine, he has been arrested several times and spent some years in the zionist jails for resisting the zionist occupation. He’s been blogging exclusively about Palestine in different sites and in his blog www.samibedouin.wordpress.com
#1. Steven Sahiounie (SS): Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the targeted assassinations of three leaders of Islamic Jihad in Gaza. It appears Netanyahu did so for his own benefit, because he faces huge domestic political issues. What is your view on this situation?
Sami the Bedouin (SB): Netanyahu didn’t invent, or start the Israeli assassination policy against the Palestinian leaders and activists; he just continued a systematic and continuous state-sponsored policy. Steering the attention away from the Israeli internal dilemma and saving Netanyahu from the masses of demonstrating Israelis could be a side and temporary result for attacking Gaza but we can’t blame only Netanyahu for that longstanding policy, or even the current wave of assassination that was decided and carried out by the Israeli cabinet, ie, the whole Israeli government, plus, there was a massive support from the whole Israeli political spectrum for the killing, although most of the victims were civilians.
Now, to understand the Israeli systematic assassination policy you have got to know that it is an integral part of all the Israeli governments as “Israel” has been using Death Squads even before it was established, and once it was terrorist groups of Lehi, Irgun, and Stern. Most of the Zionist leaders were directly involved in this systematic policy and the assassins mostly become the top leaders of “Israel”, like Begin, Shamir, Sharon, Barak, Livni, Bennett, Shaked and the list is endless.
This policy was started as early as 1930s when the Jewish National Fund JNF had compelled an inventory that included the topographic location of each village with detailed information including husbandry, cultivated land, number of trees, quality of fruit, average amount of land per family, number of cars, shop owners, Palestinian clans and their political affiliation, descriptions of village mosques and names of their imams, civil servants and more. The final inventory update was finished in 1947 with lists of “wanted” persons in each village targeted in 1948 for search-and-arrest operations with those seized summarily shot on the spot in cold blood.
The assassination policy is an Israeli built-in strategy in order to weaken the Palestinian leadership within the major Zionist target of committing what is known to be a political genocide against the Palestinian people to deprive it from its able leadership to pave the way to subordinate, submissive and compromising leadership.
#2. SS: There are building, and ongoing tensions in the Occupied West Bank, between the Israeli occupation forces and the Palestinian people. There have been many raids, attacks and deaths and injuries. How do you see the situation today?
SB: Occupation is the source of all the long standing and ongoing tension between the occupier and the revolting. Since 2019 there has been a dramatic rise in the settlers attacks against the Palestinians and their properties from uprooting olive and vine fields, to attacking sheep herders and even shooting sheep and goats, demolition of houses and building structures, to vandalizing mosques and churches, to throwing stones at the passing Palestinian cars killing and wounding innocent civilians, to the daily harassment and humiliation at the checkpoints. All these settlers’ atrocities are supported by the Israeli official policy coupled to not only the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) inability to protect its citizens, but its direct involvement with the occupier in the security coordination, which has built up a growing frustration among the Palestinian youth to protect their people personally by forming armed groups.
Another main factor of the tension is the provocative settlers raids on the Aqsa Mosque in a well-known plan to demolish it and build the Israeli alleged temple, these raids are carried out by the most racist Zionist settlers attacking the native Jerusalemites and cursing Islam and the prophet Muhammad in a clear way to provoke the natives.
I don’t think there is a near solution for the whole situation, but it is going to get even worse by time for different reasons;
Israel’s in ability and unwillingness to stop the settler’s atrocities, but will keep providing protection for the extreme right racists, as the current Israeli government is far-right and racist itself.
The deep and systematic corruption in the PA which generates the masses mistrust and revolt against it which means more militant groups including from Fateh party itself to take the streets against the default PA that is cooperating with the occupier.
There is no political horizon that could give hope, on the contrary there is expansion in the settlement and the settlers attacks.
I expect mass revolt against the PA at a certain point like a foolish act by the PA police, or by the death of Abbas. It is hard to guess, but the possibility is around the corner.
#3. SS: During Ramadan, the Israeli occupation forces repeatedly attacked worshipers at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and entered the Mosque several times while beating men, women and children. Recently, Jewish extremists threatened to raise an Israeli flag on the Mosque. In your opinion, what is the current situation, and what should be the response?
SB: It is clear that there is a Jewish intention, and plan to demolish Al-Aqsa compound and build their alleged temple on its site based on their Talmudic heresies of Armageddon and salvation. We should always remember that the 1929 massacre was intrigued by Jewish demonstrations holding Israeli flags calling for the demolition of the Mosque, a week of Jewish provocative marches resulted in that massacre. This shows us that the Jewish intention to demolish the Mosque, and build their temple, is not only a slogan but a real plan among the extremist Jewish masses, and they are getting stronger and stronger to dominate the government, as it is the case now.
Now, these extremist and provocative demonstrations are not only extremist, but mainstream, supported by the official Israeli government and police, where the Muslims are attacked, beaten and even killed inside while the Jewish extremists are given full protection and encouragement by the Israeli police accompanied by ministers in the Israeli government. All this happens while the PA is not only helpless and dumb, but in a full security cooperation with the occupying authorities.
Once again, this blocked and deteriorating situation breeds frustration among the Palestinian youths that would leads into more armed resistance, which, at a certain point might force the armed groups in Gaza to join the struggle.
#4. SS: We have all seen the UN report naming Israel as an Apartheid state. Meanwhile, the war crimes, and crimes against humanity continue being committed by Israel against the Palestinian people, and the international community takes no action. In your opinion, how can Israel’s impunity be stopped?
SB: The racist can never admit or internalize he is racist, on the contrary, he would try to justify his racism by religious or cultural motifs as it is the case in the Israeli Zionist society. They can’t see that there are over 60 racist laws that discriminate against the native Palestinians, these laws that were approved by the Knesset itself, ie, the Israeli government, which means racism is an official paradigm.
The Palestinian is discriminated against not only in and by the Israeli law, but in every aspect of his daily life, like building a house, traveling within or out Palestine where certain routes and roads are assigned for the less privileged Palestinians. Discrimination is not only against the Occupied Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, but it is a systematic policy even against the Israeli-Arab citizens, it is a built-in Israeli dogma that can’t be unplugged, but by de-zionizing Israel itself.
The whole west, especially the USA and Britain are complicit with the Israeli apartheid and racist regime. They provide not only protection in the UN institutions, but also a flood of political, military and financial support for Israel.
I don’t think the privileged racist would wake up one day to say I want to stop; it only can be stopped by real pressure from outside especially from the US, as it is the main patron for the Israeli regime. Stopping the Israeli impunity can’t be while the Israeli Jews are intoxicated by power and the endless and unconditioned political and military support. Real pressure, especially sanctions (like that against Iran and Russia) might do the job. This can start by supporting the BDS movement, but not sanction it. Fighting the BDS would worsen the situation and lead Israel deep into its racist apartheid regime.
In fact, and in reality, the Israeli Jewish society is growing more and more talmudically racist, and socially and politically an apartheid regime at its best, this could be good at the long run as all people would realize the racist nature of the Zionist colonial project from the very beginning as it has been based on ethno-religious paradigm. Racist regimes can’t change themselves from within by their privileged agents, but as it was with Nazi Germany, the Zionist-Jewish colony should and must be saved from outside power to save it from its own brutality.
#5. SS: China brokered a peace deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia. How can this new, and improved relationship affect the Israeli-Palestinian cause?
SB: The first and biggest loser by the Saudi-Iranian reconciliation is Israel, as it has been investing in Sunni-Shiite enmity for decades, but all of sudden, everything has turned upside down for the Zionist government. All the Israeli political plans over the past two decades were concentrated on breaking through the Sunni Arab governments to build a military alliance against Iran. It succeeded partially, but the latest Saudi-Iranian rapprochement has been a major slap for the whole Zionist project. This is coupled with the rising role of China in the Middle East, while the American involvement is retreating. On the other hand, we are witnessing a global power shift, gradual but steady from the West to the East at the economic and political levels.
In the long run, the Zionist project of Israel will lose especially when it is intoxicated by power and ideological blindness, just like the Nazis in their final years. I don’t believe the two states is a viable solution any more, but the only humane and plausible solution would be a one secular state for all, where everybody is treated equally, but when and how the racist intoxicated with power, mad dog would wake up? Only external blow or pressure would do the job, at the meantime I am too pessimist and expect another Srebrenica massacre if the world, especially the Americans wouldn’t wake up before it is too late.
Sami the Bedouin, a Palestinian writer and blogger
Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist