An important messsage from Galia Golan
Combatants for Peace activist & leader in the Israeli Peace Camp for over 50 years:
We are all in this together – battling (or waiting out) the coronavirus. Pandemics, by definition, do not know borders, even as we may close borders to try to limit the spread. Everywhere, it seems, people are coming together to help each other – neighbors making sure we have food, communicating with those living alone (and others), looking for solutions and sharing information.
Yet, I’m ashamed and embarrassed to say – this is not the case here. I’m ashamed and embarrassed to say, here the occupation continues. It is in fact horrifying: as we try to cope with this medical emergency, quarantine and lock downs, the Israeli army, my army, continues as if nothing has changed, as if Palestinians are not human beings like us Jews, as if we must continue to sow fear and dread. Unbelievable as it is, soldiers, from my army, the Israel Defense Forces, continue their middle of the night invasions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, some even in protective medical gear, destroying, frightening and arresting. Unbelievable as it is, soldiers, from my army, continue to move about the Jordan Rift Valley harassing local communities, destroying their tents, depriving them of livelihood and shelter, and more.
I don’t understand who gives these orders. Orders that should be accompanied by a black flag (the designation by the army for an order that should be rejected, disobeyed, as wrong, immoral, cruel and evil).
The occupation has never been good, just, or justified, and many of us have long struggled to see it ended. There were so many awful things that we in the peace movement protested, so many things we tried to block and stop – whether the occupation was denying people their basic rights in area C or it was collaborating with the settlers in Hebron and elsewhere. But somehow, what is going on now, in the time of the Coronavirus, is beyond belief, beyond exaggeration.
And to add to this shame, we are about to have a government, still under Netanyahu, now joined by Gantz – a duo that supports the Trump plan and is likely to go for annexation, perhaps under the cover of the medical emergency.
We cannot let all this go on. And we certainly can’t let people continue to ignore the occupation even as they express concern over the (very real) threats to democracy in Israel.