We’re Not Buying It: Stop All Israeli Land Grabs, Stop All Israeli Rights Violations
New York City, NY (August 13, 2020) — Israel’s temporary suspension of formal annexation – at least for the moment – is not the news in Trump’s announcement. It is vital we stay focused on challenging U.S. support for Israel’s continuing system of apartheid, including ongoing de facto annexation of Palestinian land through land grabs, daily oppression of Palestinians, illegal settlement expansion, rampant rights violations and attacks on human rights defenders.
The current claim of suspending Israel’s attempt to annex Palestinian land, through Israel’s new trade agreement with the UAE, does nothing to halt its on-going creeping annexation or the apartheid regime it imposes on Palestinians. The fact that two countries which regularly violate human rights and which are already cooperating in undemocratic tech exchanges have announced a more public rapprochement is merely confirmation of the ongoing erasure of Palestinians; this agreement makes it seem like the ongoing brutality experienced by Palestinians is part of normal operations of a so-called democratic state.
Despite this or any trade agreement with any country, Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank are continuing to grow – and they are still illegal; Palestinian children are still being dragged from their beds in midnight raids by soldiers and held in military prisons in violation of international law; Palestinian homes are still being demolished; Israeli military law is still applied to Palestinians and their human rights are denied daily in violation of international prohibitions of apartheid and beyond.
The U.S. brokered trade deal between Israel and the UAE is merely the latest example of governments trading away Palestinian rights – and yet, as we’ve seen time and again, Palestinian resistance and international solidarity with Palestinians continues to grow. Normalization with the UAE facilitated by Trump erases Palestinians and ignores their rights and demands for self-determination.
It is precisely because of Israel’s ongoing oppression of Palestinians that international pressure is needed – so we need to keep up the pressure on our own government to stop enabling Israeli violations – including stop enabling partnerships between Israel and Arab dictatorships that will be rewarded by greater U.S. support and directly through campaigns like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement using non-violent pressure directly on Israel.
Stefanie Fox, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace: “A business deal between oppressive countries has nothing to do with justice. What matters is that Israel’s de facto annexation of Palestinian land and devastating apartheid system over Palestinians has been on-going for decades, with the unconditional backing of the United States. We won’t be fooled by attempts to normalize Israel’s human rights abuses while apartheid continues unabated. Regardless of Trump and Netanyahu’s latest distraction ploy, the Palestinian rights movement and international solidarity for Palestinian freedom grows stronger daily.”
Phyllis Bennis, JVP Board Member: “Netanyahu lies when he claims the Israel-UAE agreement is somehow about ‘peace for peace,’ as if the UAE was at war with Israel. In fact, the UAE has been at peace, indeed has been normalizing relations with Israel with U.S. support, for years – at the expense of Palestinian rights and those of the UAE’s own people. Israel’s de facto annexation of illegally-occupied Palestinian land continues, and while it does, no new Israel-Arab treaty has any chance of bringing peace. We need to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words: ‘Peace is not just the absence of war, but the presence of justice’.”
Stefanie Fox and Phyllis Bennis are available for interviews.
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. JVP has over 500,000 online supporters, over 70 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.