RAMALLAH, Feb 23 (JMCC) - When journalist David Cronin tried to carry out a citizen's arrest of Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman in Brussels Tuesday, he did so thinking of his experiences on a trip to the occupied Palestinian territories
Writing for the Electronic Intifada, Cronin explains that
he was shocked by Israeli actions in Silwan
, where he witnessed clashes.
The decision to confront Lieberman was taken following a recent visit to the occupied Palestinian territories. Spending a Friday afternoon in the Silwan area of East Jerusalem felt like being transported back to Derry or Belfast in the early 1970s. I was shocked by how Israeli soldiers and police in full riot gear were firing tear gas at young boys who were doing nothing more sinister than throwing stones at the forces of occupation.
It was my first time in Silwan in almost two years and there had been a marked proliferation of Israeli flags there since my previous visit. That was a sure sign that Palestinians who have lived in East Jerusalem for many generations are being forced from their homes to make way for Israeli settlers. The dispossession is taking place so that an extremist group called Elad can realize its plans for the City of David archaeological park. With the official blessing of the Israeli state, Elad believes that Israeli settlers have more rights to live in the area than its actual residents, because remnants of a three-millennia-old royal palace may have been discovered in Silwan.
Apartheid is the best word I can think of to describe the machinations of these settlers and their friends in government. Although apartheid is synonymous with South Africa, it has been recognized as a crime by the United Nations since 1973. The relevant UN convention refers to the dominance of one racial group over another. Israel was always intended to be a state based on a toxic notion of racial supremacy; Theodor Herzl, the founding father of political Zionism, wrote back in 1896 that he wished to set up an outpost of civilization against barbarism.