During Israel's celebration of their 50th anniversary as a nation there will be a festive spirit within the Zionist realm. Not so among the Palestinian people, where apartheid has swept away hopes of a self-governing future without a serious reset of political policy, both in Israel and in its patron state, the United States.
At the heart of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands is a movement that has been institutionalized, Zionism.
It seeks to claim the lands that consist of what religious Jews believe were given to them by God, called the "Promised Land" in the vernacular of their religion. Its origin is in the Jewish religion, but it does not stop there.
Zionism is not just the striving for a future spiritual hope, a paradise, one in which Jews would enjoy the benefits of being the self-proclaimed "chosen people of God." Zionism, at least in modern terms of understanding, is also a pursuit of supremacy, if not already the presumptive reality on the part of Zionists.
In the past fifty years, Israel having proclaimed itself to be a "Jewish state", Zionism, once a spiritual vision, has underwritten the moral and strategic goals of the nation-state of Israel. Its state mission is to seize land, hold it, defend it, and expand it to encompass the ancient borders.
Strategically, to the Zionist, it means subjugating the land and its people to Jewish rule.
The obvious problem, then, is that not everybody who inhabits the land are Zionist Jews, nor millions even Jews at all. At the end of 2016, the population of the lands was about fifty/fifty, Jews to Palestinians, and the birth rate among Palestinians is higher than with the Jewish residents of Israel. It is this population growth among the Palestinians that threatens the Zionist vision of the state.
Occupation of Palestine
In order to retain not only the land, but also the governance of the state, those who lead the state of Israel have made it improbable that Palestinians can regain any footing as a separate nation, nor any hope that Palestinians will have a strong voice regarding their own future peace and economic justice.
Today, Israel occupies the Gaza strip, isolating almost two million people from the rest of the world. The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is where the other significant population of Palestinians live. It is a region that Israel continues to creep into through the building of new settlements. Palestinians in the West Bank see Israel's expansion as encroachment upon territories that are theirs by international law. It is here that Israel's actions are viewed as searingly confrontational.
The corporate Western media has done very little to show the measure of injustice and oppression that Israel inflicts upon the Palestinians. The Israel lobby is said to be the strongest propaganda arm of the state, along with the organization, AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee). These institutions keep all but the tiniest political groups in the U.S. in tow.
The Terrorist Threat as a Tool of Oppression
Just as 9/11 has triggered government invasion of privacy and restricted movement for all Americans, the threat of terrorism against Israeli citizens has emboldened the Netanyahu government, and Palestinians are experiencing greater isolation, less freedom than ever before, and fear of violence by Israeli soldiers every day.
The corporate media in the United States has reported incidents of violent resistance and Palestinian attacks on Israel from a biased point of view, one that Americans have come to accept as the true version of these events. Slight shrift is given to the Palestinian view, that theirs is a struggle for freedom from Israeli oppression, and that the reported violence by Palestinians is, more often than not, retaliatory. With Israel and the strong lobby of the state commanding public opinion as they do in the U.S., the threat of terrorism is the tool used to defend Israel's warring actions in the name of defense. The threat of terrorism, indeed, has become the universal tool.
Green Party Statements in 2016 Election
Jill Stein, the Green Party's candidate for president in 2016, said in a campaign statement:
The Jill Stein campaign calls for ending support for governments committing war crimes and massive human rights violations, including Israel and Saudi Arabia.
It supports the BDS movement as a peaceful, nonviolent set of actions organized by civil society across the world aimed to end Israeli apartheid, occupation, war crimes, and systematic human rights abuses.
US foreign policy requires an emergency overhaul, from a program of total global military and economic domination, to a policy promoting international law, human rights and diplomacy. We must cease and desist from being, in the words of Martin Luther King, the greatest purveyor of violence world over. Our foreign policy currently serves war profiteers and fossil fuel companies, but not the American people or the cause of global justice, peace and security. Our failed wars of the past 14 years have cost us 5 trillion dollars, left over a million people dead in Iraq alone, and killed or maimed tens of thousands of US service men and women. Yet we – and the Middle East – are far less secure, not more secure.
In addition to ending our catastrophic and immoral wars for oil and markets, we must stop aiding and abetting the human rights violations and war crimes of our allies who are also massively defying international law. This includes the Israeli government and the rulers of Saudi Arabia.
With regard to Israel, the United States has encouraged the worst tendencies of the Israeli government as it pursues policies of occupation, apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, demolitions, blockades, building of nuclear bombs, indefinite detention, collective punishment, and defiance of international law. Instead of allying with the courageous proponents of peace and human rights within Palestine and Israel, our government has rewarded consistent abusers of human rights.
Therefore, the Stein campaign calls for ending military and economic support for the Israeli government while it is committing war crimes and defying international law.
Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party's candidate for vice president in 2016, said in October, 2016, in an interview with mondoweiss.net:
The linking of these struggles for liberation in Central America and South Africa with the struggles in the US is a part of the tradition of black internationalism, the center of which is a struggle against the continuity of the colonial, capitalism system. So the quite natural connection has always been with Palestine. In fact, one of the first real structural, organizational connections we point to is the fact that SNCC, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee issued a statement standing in solidarity with the liberation aspirations of the Palestinians in the mid-1960s. And of course there was a very negative backlash for that. So solidarity with Palestinian struggles for self-determination has always been part of the black internationalist tradition. The connection for us has always been clear.
Social Justice and Non-Violence, Key Values of the Green Party
Unlike the two parties that monopolize U.S. elections, the Green Party clearly stands for Palestinian freedom and against Israeli "occupation", a euphemism for apartheid.
Green Party members oppose U.S. funding of Israel, the settlements on the West Bank, the siege of Gaza, the brutality of the Israeli police force against Palestinians. Greens support Palestinian self-governance, their economic independence and justice, their freedom to travel as free people should be able to do.
For the two parties of the standing duopoly who occasionally express remorse over the victimization of Palestinians by the Jewish state, it can be nothing less than pandering to those in their parties who are slightly left of their mainstream politicians. How can it be anything else when they continue to fund Israel's system of apartheid to the tune of several billion U.S. dollars annually?
The Green Party offers voters and activists something the duopoly cannot, clarity of values. They are fighting an uphill battle, but one that must be fought for the sake of the American soul and for lasting peace in the world.