Pro-Israel thugs attack Anadolu Agency correspondent in Paris

A group of protesters assaults Anadolu Agency female correspondent during pro-Palestinian rally in Paris
File photo of a man with an Israeli flag standing near a pro-Palestinian rally, outside Downing Street during Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the UK, September 9 2015

File photo of a man with an Israeli flag standing near a pro-Palestinian rally, outside Downing Street during Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the UK, September 9 2015

A pro-Israel group Saturday assaulted an Anadolu Agency correspondent in the French capital Paris while covering a rally in support of Palestine.

Hajer M’tiri was attacked as she was photographing a group of anti-Palestinian protesters who has also gathered at the scene, after getting permission from French police on the site. One of these protesters attempted to push her down, after which several others joined in on assaulting her. Despite M’tiri’s immediate complaint, the police remained inactive.

Hundreds of people had gathered to celebrate the Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation and called for sanctions against Israel.

Watch: Jewish Defence League brutally attacks 55 year old school teacher

Earlier, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and CRIF – Representative Council of the Jewish institutions of France- requested a ban on the rally, arguing it was “anti-Semitic.” However, Paris Police Prefecture gave a green light to the rally, which it said did not pose a threat to the public order and call for “racism and anti-Semitism”.

“We are here to require sanctions against a state which refuses to comply with French regulations (Official Gazette of 24 November 2016),” organisers said in a statement.

According to Palestine’s official statistics agency, Israel has until now appropriated a whopping 85 percent of historical Palestine – some 27,000 square kilometres – while leaving only 15 percent to the Palestinians. The agency went on to note that, since the beginning of 2017, the Israeli authorities had demolished more than 1,341 Palestinian homes and structures in the West Bank and Jerusalem, displacing a total of 1,620 Palestinian residents.

The innocent imprisoned. Movement restricted. Trade suffocated. Homes demolished. Human rights abuses are rife in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We do not take a position on issues of statehood.

We stand with those demanding that all sides respect human rights, and that perpetrators of human rights abuses are brought to justice.

Not content with wiping Palestine off the map, Israel has done the same to part of Syria too

The border between Israeli occupied Golan Heights and Syria [Eviatar Bach/Wikipedia]

The border between Israeli occupied Golan Heights and Syria [Eviatar Bach/Wikipedia]

For several years, throughout the height of Israel’s anti-Iran war-mongering and propaganda, we were told that a nuclear Iran threatened to wipe the Zionist state “off the map”. In fact, this claim was based on a mistranslated statement by the then Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. What he had actually called for was for Israel’s political regime to “vanish from the page of time” in a similar fashion to the Soviet Union or the South African apartheid regime.

As with so much Israeli propaganda, this was yet another case of a psychological phenomenon known as projection. This is where an aggressor projects onto their victim the aggressor’s own crimes.

Subconsciously, the aggressor knows that what they did to the victim was wrong, but must justify or deny the crime in order to live with themselves. They then live in fear that the crimes they have committed will be revisited upon themselves in revenge. They then convince themselves that the victim deserved the crime all along because of this imagined revisitation.

In the case of Israel this is invoked regularly as propagandists ramp up fears that Israel’s enemies want to “wipe Israel off the map” or “push the Jews into the sea”. In both cases, these sentiments are based on fabricated and/or mistranslated reports.

The historical record shows beyond doubt that it is Israel which has, in reality, wiped an entire country off the map: Palestine. And it is Israel which pushed Palestinian refugees into the sea during the 1947-48 Nakba, the appalling ethnic cleansing before, during and after the establishment of the state of Israel on Palestinian land. This was done, quite literally, as Ilan Pappé recounts in his seminal book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine; Palestinian refugees were actually pushed into the sea while fleeing for their lives. Some escaped by boat to Lebanon, hoping to return when the fighting died down.

Palestine no longer appears on English-language maps, whereas it did before 1948. In its place is “Israel”, sometimes with vague dotted lines around the West Bank and/or Gaza Strip, with the status of those particular occupied territories remaining vague and undefined.

More to the point, the Zionist militias that ante-dated the Israeli army mostly succeeded in the goal of creating a Jewish majority state in a country — Palestine — which was overwhelmingly not Jewish. They did this by driving 750,000 people into exile at the barrel of a gun and under fear of being massacred (as many were).

Today millions of Palestinians, the descendants of those 750,000, still live in exile in refugee camps which have become established concrete facts on the ground, and the wider diaspora. Yet the desire for the implementation of the legitimate right of the refugees to return remains one of the few points of almost unanimous consensus in the divided Palestinian body politic.

Moreover, there is a less well known ethnic cleansing for which Israel is responsible, one that came in the wake of its 1967 war of aggression against surrounding Arab countries. Not content with wiping Palestine off the map, Israel has done the same to that part of south-western Syria known as the Golan Heights.

Following Israel’s illegal conquest and occupation of that territory in 1967, more than 125,000 native Syrians were either forcibly removed from their homes, or compelled to flee by the threat of war. Israel then set about to systematically destroy hundreds of Syrian villages to make the prospect of those Syrians returning to their land highly unlikely. Israeli settlements built for its Jewish colonists have been built on the ruins of the destroyed villages. Sometimes these were cynically named after the village that had been literally wiped off the map, and given Hebraic names.

At the end of last year Israel announced that it was using the cover of the war in Syria to expand the settlement of Katzrin. That particular settlement was built on the land of Qasrin, a former Syrian village long since demolished by the Israelis.

New research released by Syrian Golan human rights group Al-Marsad shows that the number of villages destroyed by Israel in this way was greater than originally thought. Up until this month, it was believed that Israel had destroyed between 240 and 260, but the new research shows that the true number was much higher, with 340 villages and farms wiped off the map. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it, but this is no propagandist rhetoric. This has happened, and Israel has done it.

The now-corrected discrepancy seems to be down to various factors, including inaccurate maps and Israel’s non-recognition of the demilitarised zone in the Golan between Syrian and Israeli armed forces.

A new map published by Al-Marsad provides a stark illustration of how extensive Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Golan Heights has been. The green dots representing the destroyed villages cover the map along the length and breadth of the territory. Only a few Syrian villages remain there now, in the north near the demilitarised zone.

Nevertheless, despite Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Syrians, the Golan Heights was and remains Syrian. The Israeli occupation of Syrian territory must end immediately, just as the occupation of Palestine must end.

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