May 16, 2022, Editorial of the Workplace Newsletters of the Etincelle fraction of the NPA, Translated from French.
Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known figure in all Arabic-speaking countries, was shot dead on May 11 in Jenin, a city that is officially under the control of the Palestinian Authority, during yet another Israeli army raid. A Palestinian-American journalist, a Christian born in Jerusalem, she had been covering the situation of the Palestinian people for 25 years, and regularly denounced the crimes and abuses of the Israeli army and police. She was shot in the head while carrying out her work.
After her assassination, the Israeli Prime Minister announced that Shireen Abu Akleh had probably been killed by Palestinian fire. In the face of numerous testimonies refuting this version, the State of Israel has spoken of conducting an investigation but refuses to allow for an independent investigation team; a weak, but typical way of hiding its responsibility.
However, there was no need for an investigation to be outraged over what happened at Shireen’s funeral, because images of the Jerusalem police circled the world. The funeral procession was attacked, Palestinian flags were torn from the coffin, and the coffin almost fell to the ground. It was quite symbolic.
The art of turning a blind eye
The least we can say is that the reactions of the countries allied with the State of Israel are tepid. All the state officials have voiced their support for freedom of the press, but none have condemned the apartheid that Palestinians are subjected to, nor the violence they suffer on a daily basis.
Faced with the scandalous images of police violence at the funeral procession, the EU condemned “the disrespectful behavior of the Israeli police,” the French state said it was “deeply shocked” and the American Secretary of State “deeply disturbed.” What profound declarations! However, the primary concern of these people is to ignore the reality of the Palestinian situation. And for good reason, as the Israeli government received President Trump’s thunderous support for its policy of colonizing the West Bank and expelling the Palestinians. And President Biden has maintained Trump’s position.
A policy of colonial expansion
The murder of the journalist is only the latest in a long series of attacks. According to Reporters Without Borders in four years at least 144 Palestinian journalists have been victims of Israeli police violence in the occupied territories. For the Israeli regime, the challenge is to prevent the actions of its army from getting too much publicity.
The government openly favors “illegal” and “legal” settlements in the occupied territories, razing entire villages and imprisoning hundreds of Palestinians every year (currently 4,500 are in prisons). In 2021, the Israeli NGO B’Tselem (whose goal is to document human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories) counted 313 deaths, including 77 in the West Bank.
Breaking out of the permanent state of war
The recent attacks in Jerusalem were a pretext for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to call on the Israeli civilian population to strengthen the “border police brigades.” He is relying on the most reactionary and racist forces to increase tension and pressure, not only on the Palestinians, but also on the voices in Israel that speak out against apartheid and colonial oppression.
This policy will only lead to new catastrophes, first of all for the Palestinian people, but also for the Jews of Israel who will never win peace in a field of destruction. To put an end to this vicious circle it will obviously be necessary for the those who live in the region, whatever their origin and religion, to fight together against their governments. We too must fight against our own governments, so that the Western imperialist powers (among others) stop supporting and arming at any cost a state that uses violence and segregation as the basis of its regime.