On March 29, at the yearly “March of the Flags,” a record number of far-right Zionists came out to commemorate the 1967 annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel. In previous years, Israeli security forces curbed the march somewhat by restricting its movement in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem. This year, however, the police were unable to control the marchers, or unwilling to deploy the forces necessary to do so.
The Palestinian residents were forced to lock themselves in their houses and close their shops as marchers banged on their doors and chanted racist slogans such as “death to Arabs” and “Shuafat is burning” (a reference to the horrific murder of a Palestinian teenager from the Shuafat neighborhood by Israeli civilians, who burnt him alive). The Zionist marchers beat Palestinian residents who tried to protest. Although one marcher pulled out a gun and threatened Palestinian residents, no shots were fired.
The record number of marchers this year and the free rein they were given to chant racist slogans in Palestinian neighborhoods are an expression of the rise of the Zionist far-right (such as Jewish supremacist groups) in the State of Israel, and the ongoing further rightward shift of the Israeli government.
Over a week has passed since this open display of extreme racism against Palestinians, and as usual, there is not a peep from the U.S. government — they aren’t even pretending to condemn this blatant expression of hate and open threat of violence. This is no surprise, though — they do nothing when Gaza is periodically bombed, or when the Palestinians of the West Bank are terrorized by settlers. Already in the first days of June alone, four Palestinians were murdered in the West Bank by Israeli forces and the U.S. has said nothing.
This terror against Palestinians is normalized because it is integral to Zionism – a nationalist movement based on the idea that the Palestinians should be removed from their land to make way for an exclusively Jewish state (Israel). This Israeli state has deep military-industrial ties with the United States, and therefore enjoys the protection of the world’s greatest superpower. The racist “March of the Flags” is another . expression of Zionism – the murderous ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.