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Ray Hanania
Ray Hanania
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Israel Provoking Violence as a Political Weapon

Comment

There is absolutely no justification for terrorism. And the terrorist attacks committed recently in Jerusalem — all of them by Israeli and by Palestinians — should be denounced.

But unfortunately, that is not the case. The only terrorism being denounced are attacks by Palestinians against Israelis, including the recent killing of Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in Jerusalem where Israelis have been steadily attacking and oppressing Palestinians for years.

Not being denounced or showcased in the biased Israeli and biased mainstream American news media are the constant attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, acts that are documented only infrequently and incompletely in the hopes they can't be used as indictments against Israel's government.

The killing in the synagogue is not the result of norms in Palestinian society, but rather norms in Israeli society, which reject Palestinian rights and support oppression and abuse and violence and even terrorism against those Palestinians who are Christian and Muslim.

Ever since he was elected prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has said one thing very clearly: He opposes the peace process and creation of a Palestinian State as surely as rightwing Republicans who support him oppose the Affordable Care Act introduced by President Barack Obama.

In fact, Netanyahu has worked with the right in America to attack Obama, undermine President Obama's efforts to help the people of America and to use the very opposition as a basis to create more facts to justify more criticism.

That's not government. That's hatred.

Netanyahu is not interested in peace. But he is interested in lighting the fuses of hatred and division knowing that Palestinians, who live under the thumb of his brutal military occupation, can easily be pushed to extremism and engage in violence and even terrorism.

These acts of extremism, violence and terrorism are then exploited by Netanyahu and his government to justify his policies of opposing concessions to peace and rejecting the creation of a Palestinian state.

If there is any violence or acts of terrorism by Palestinians in Israel, it is the result of Netanyahu's racist hatred of Christian and Muslim Palestinians and his extremist and violent rejection of freedom for Palestinians.

The problem with Middle East peace today is that the majority of Israelis embrace Netanyahu's extremist conduct and his use of violent policies and refuse to recognize the right of Christians and Muslims to live in peace in their own state in lands Israel occupied by military invasion and free from racist acts and policies of discrimination.

That fundamental rejection to recognize the right of Palestinians to Statehood and the land grab nature of Netanyahu's government is the single most important obstacle to Middle East peace in Palestine and in the rest of the region.

Provoking Palestinians and oppressing the occupied civilian population with extremist measures and incendiary rhetoric that characterizes his administration is the cause of all of the violence that takes place against Israel.

Ironically, while Netanyahu and the equally racist mainstream Israeli media, like the virulent Israel Hayom newspaper, owned by Arab hater Sheldon Adelson, exaggerate the actions of a small minority of Arab extremists, they ignore the larger misconduct and abuse of Israeli soldiers and the terrorist settler movement which commits acts of violence and terrorism in Palestine on a daily basis.

The most recent increase in violence in the occupied city of Jerusalem only shows part of the problem, focusing on actions by a handful of extremist Palestinians, but ignores the larger extremist and violent conduct by Netanyahu and the Israeli government.

Every Palestinian has an absolute right to defend themselves against Israeli terrorism, and, in many cases, the violence against Israel is a direct reaction and response to terrorism by Netanyahu and the Israeli settler movement.

People who are abused, oppressed and violently attacked will rise up and resist and a few will resort to terrorism.

Instead of condemning the few Palestinians who engage in acts of indiscriminate violence, Secretary of State John Kerry should condemn the violent terrorism of the Netanyahu government and expose his extremist rejection of peace.

Netanyahu does not want peace.

As a consequence, Israelis are getting exactly what Netanyahu desires in order to make his rejection of peace that much more "justified" in his extremist mind.

Netanyahu, Adelson (who hates Obama as much as he has Christian and Muslim Arabs) and the terrorist settler movement want and encourage extremist violence by Palestinians so they can exaggerate and use those acts as a means of achieving their objective of destroying the peace process, undermining Obama and preventing the creation of a Palestinian state.

Don't just condemn the terrorism against Israelis. Condemn the terrorism against Palestinian Christians and Muslims, too. Otherwise your condemnation is politically motivated and irresponsible.

Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist managing editor of The Arab Daily News at www.TheArabDailyNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @RayHanania. To find out more about Ray Hanania and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

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