Israel has also offered its help in battling insurgencies in India, particularly with the Maoists — with, in particular, ‘intelligent’, semiautonomous drones. Sources told us that India has sent positive word (though not on-paper MOUs yet) for another lot of 100 drones over the next two or three years.
Not that Israeli drones in India are unprecedented. Israel has steadily been supplying drones to India, but nowhere close to these numbers. In December 2013, the Cabinet Committee on Security, headed by the then prime minister, Manmohan Singh, had approved about $300 million for 15 Heron (Machatz-1) drones from Israel. They were meant to build up to 40-plus Herons, each costing $10 million, with the rest for human-guidance systems and upgrades.
Modi has been working harder to improve his ties with Israel than at getting the Barack Obama administration to lift its ban on him. As erstwhile chief minister of Gujarat, Modi had developed a keenly friendly relationship with Israel, promoting Israel’s involvement with grassroots ventures from drip irrigation in agriculture to water recycling. Indeed, while Modi was building his bridges with Israel, the Congress government at the Centre set about quietly and increasingly involving, over the years, Mossad’s expertise at surveillance at the Republic Day Parade — which is, more than just a national-pride jamboree, India’s biggest defence exhibition.
Forty days before Narendra Modi took office, the incumbent foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, had announced that Israel was a “reliable partner”, and that the Congress government quietly acknowledged it. On a three-day visit to Israel starting 3 April as chair of the Indo-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group, Swaraj had said that the Congress government had not broken “the continuity in the foreign policy” vis-à-vis Israel and that there was “a lot of warmth in the relationship between the two countries…”
Hamas tells the Palestinians the simple truth: freedom comes at the cost of blood. The tragedy is that we usually provide the evidence. After all, the evacuation of settlements in Gaza came after the Second Intifada, not as a result of negotiations. The Oslo Accords came after the First Intifada; before that, Israel turned down even the convenient London Agreement between Shimon Peres and Jordan’s King Hussein.
Israelis are convinced they are fighting a terror organization driven by a fundamentalist Islamic ideology. Palestinians are convinced Israelis are looking to enslave them, and that as soon as the war is over the siege will be reinforced. Since this is exactly what Israel intends to do, as our government has repeatedly stated, they have no reason to stop fighting.
Hamas may accept a ceasefire soon. Its regime might collapse. Either way, it is only a matter of time before the next round of violence. Human lives are not cheaper for Palestinians than they are for us. But nations fighting for their freedom will endure the worst sacrifices. Like in Shujaiyeh.
Indeed, US intelligence officials confirmed that from the late 1970s to the 80s, Israel had “directly and indirectly” financed Hamas as a counterweight to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) “to divide and dilute support” for the secular movement for self-determination. But there was another agenda. “The thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the others, if they gained control, would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place,” said one US government official. “Israel would still be the only democracy in the region for the United States to deal with.”
In 2001, Times of Israel columnist Ellis Shuman reported for the Israel Insiderthat former Knesset parliamentarian Michael Kleiner, leader of the far right Herut party who has just been elected president of the Supreme Court of Netanyahu’s Likud, “suggested replacing Arafat, even if it meant the Hamas would take his place. According to Kleiner, the entire world recognises the Hamas as a terrorist organisation so Israel’s continued efforts against a radical Palestinian leadership would not be condemned.”
That year, according to Ha’aretz, Silvan Shalom — then Israeli finance minister and current minister of energy and water — told the cabinet that: “Between Hamas and Arafat, I prefer Hamas.” None of the ministers protested, notedHa’aretz. Shalom went on to describe Arafat as “a terrorist in a diplomat’s suit, while the Hamas can be hit unmercifully. Everyone will understand who we’re dealing with, he implied, and there won’t be any international protests.”
As former Times editor George Szamuely observed in New York Pressmagazine in 2002, Israel’s support for Hamas “even continued after the 1993 Oslo accords,” as suicide bombings inside Israel continued. Hamas, he remarked, “served Israel’s purpose admirably by suggesting to the American public that the conflict in the Middle East pitted democratic Israel against all-or-nothing fanatics who wanted to drive the Jews into the sea. Israel’s refusal to surrender conquered land and its continued building of settlements in violation of innumerable UN resolutions could then all be justified as perfectly reasonable responses to an implacable enemy.”
It’s often claimed that Israel’s reason for escalating this punitive regime to a new level of severity was to cause the overthrow of Hamas after its 2007 seizure of power in Gaza. The claim doesn’t stand up to serious scrutiny. Removing Hamas from power has indeed been a policy objective for the US and the EU ever since the Islamist movement won the 2006 parliamentary elections, and their combined efforts to undermine it helped set the stage for the ensuing Palestinian schism.
Israel’s agenda has been different. Had it been determined to end Hamas rule it could easily have done so, particularly while Hamas was still consolidating its control over Gaza in 2007, and without necessarily reversing the 2005 disengagement. Instead, it saw the schism between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority as an opportunity to further its policies of separation and fragmentation, and to deflect growing international pressure for an end to an occupation that has lasted nearly half a century. Its massive assaults on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9 (Operation Cast Lead) and 2012 (Operation Pillar of Defence), as well as countless individual attacks between and since, were in this context exercises in what the Israeli military called ‘mowing the lawn’: weakening Hamas and enhancing Israel’s powers of deterrence. As the 2009 Goldstone Report and other investigations have demonstrated, often in excruciating detail, the grass consists overwhelmingly of non-combatant Palestinian civilians, indiscriminately targeted by Israel’s precision weaponry.
Israel’s current assault on the Gaza Strip, which began on 6 July with ground forces moving in some ten days later, is intended to serve the same agenda. The conditions for it were set in late April. Negotiations that had been going on for nine months stalled after the Israeli government reneged on its commitment to release a number of Palestinian prisoners incarcerated since before the 1993 Oslo Accords, and ended when Netanyahu announced he would no longer deal with Mahmoud Abbas because Abbas had just signed a further reconciliation agreement with Hamas. On this occasion, in a sharp departure from precedent, US Secretary of State John Kerry explicitly blamed Israel for the breakdown in talks. His special envoy, Martin Indyk, a career Israel lobbyist, blamed Israel’s insatiable appetite for Palestinian land and continued expansion of the settlements, and handed in his resignation.
The challenge this poses to Netanyahu is clear. If even the Americans are telling the world that Israel is not interested in peace, those more directly invested in a two-state settlement – such as the EU, which has started to exclude any Israeli entities active in occupied Palestinian territory from participation in bilateral agreements – may start considering other ways to nudge Israel towards the 1967 boundaries. Negotiations about nothing are designed to provide political cover for Israel’s policy of creeping annexation. Now that they’ve collapsed yet again, the strategic asset that is American public opinion may start asking why Congress is more loyal to Netanyahu than the Israeli Knesset is. Kerry had been serious about reaching a comprehensive agreement: he adopted almost all of Israel’s core positions and successfully rammed most of them down Abbas’s throat – yet Netanyahu still balked. Refusing even to specify future Israeli-Palestinian borders during nine months of negotiations, Israeli leaders instead levelled a series of accusations at Washington so outlandish – encouraging extremism, giving succour to terrorists – that one could be forgiven for concluding Congress was funding Hamas, rather than Israel, to the tune of $3 billion a year.
Israel received another blow on 2 June, when a new Palestinian Authority government was inaugurated, following the April reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas endorsed the new government even though it was given no cabinet posts and the government’s composition and political programme were virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor’s. With barely a protest from the Islamists, Abbas repeatedly and loudly proclaimed that the government accepted the Middle East Quartet’s demands: that it recognise Israel, renounce violence and adhere to past agreements. He also announced that Palestinian security forces in the West Bank would continue their security collaboration with Israel. When both Washington and Brussels signalled their intention to co-operate with the new government, alarm bells went off in Israel. Its usual assertions that Palestinian negotiators spoke only for themselves – and would therefore prove incapable of implementing any agreement – had begun to look shaky: the Palestinian leadership could now claim not only to represent both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but also to have co-opted Hamas into supporting a negotiated two-state settlement, if not the Oslo framework as a whole. There might soon be increased international pressure on Israel to negotiate seriously with Abbas. The formaldehyde was beginning to evaporate.
At this point Netanyahu seized on the 12 June disappearance of three young Israelis in the West Bank like a drowning man thrown a lifebelt. Despite clear evidence presented to him by the Israeli security forces that the three teenagers were already dead, and no evidence to date that Hamas was involved, he held Hamas directly responsible and launched a ‘hostage rescue operation’ throughout the West Bank. It was really an organised military rampage. It included the killing of at least six Palestinians, none of whom was accused of involvement in the disappearances; mass arrests, including the arrest of Hamas parliamentarians and the re-arrest of detainees released in 2011; the demolition of a number of houses and the looting of others; and a variety of other depredations of the kind Israel’s finest have honed to perfection during decades of occupation. Netanyahu whipped up a demagogic firestorm against the Palestinians, and the subsequent abduction and burning alive of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem cannot and should not be separated from this incitement.
For his part, Abbas failed to stand up to the Israeli operation and ordered his security forces to continue to co-operate with Israel against Hamas. The reconciliation agreement was being put under serious pressure. On the night of 6 July, an Israeli air raid resulted in the death of seven Hamas militants. Hamas responded with sustained missile attacks deep into Israel, escalating further as Israel launched its full-scale onslaught. For the past year Hamas had been in a precarious position: it had lost its headquarters in Damascus and preferential status in Iran as a result of its refusal to give open support to the Syrian regime, and faced unprecedented levels of hostility from Egypt’s new military ruler. The underground tunnel economy between Egypt and Gaza had been systematically dismantled by the Egyptians, and for the first time since seizing control of the territory in 2007 it was no longer able regularly to pay the salaries of tens of thousands of government employees. The reconciliation agreement with Fatah was its way of bartering its political programme in exchange for its own survival: in return for conceding the political arena to Abbas, Hamas would retain control of the Gaza Strip indefinitely, have its public sector placed on the PA payroll and see the border crossing with Egypt reopened.
In the event, the quid pro quo Hamas hoped for was not permitted to materialise and, according to Nathan Thrall of the International Crisis Group, ‘life in Gaza became worse’: ‘The current escalation,’ he wrote, ‘is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement.’ To put it differently, those within Hamas who saw the crisis as an opportunity to put an end toWeissglass’s regime gained the upper hand. So far, they appear to have the majority of the population with them, because they seem to prefer death by F-16 to death by formaldehyde.
Read the list of demands and judge honestly whether there is one unjust demand among them: withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces troops and allowing farmers to work their land up to the fence; release of all prisoners from the Gilad Shalit swap who have been rearrested; an end to the siege and opening of the crossings; opening of a port and airport under UN management; expansion of the fishing zone; international supervision of the Rafah crossing; an Israeli pledge to a 10-year cease-fire and closure of Gaza’s air space to Israeli aircraft; permits to Gaza residents to visit Jerusalem and pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque; and an Israeli pledge not to interfere in internal Palestinian politics such as the unity government; opening Gaza’s industrial zone
Richard Falk, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said Israel carried out a “systematic and continued effort to change the ethnic composition of East Jerusalem”.
Falk, an 82-year-old American, said that in recent years Israel had made it more difficult for Palestinians to reside there while encouraging the building of new Jewish settlements, which are illegal under international law.
Falk, an emeritus law professor at Princeton University, said that more than 11,000 Palestinians had lost their right to live in Jerusalem since 1996.
"The 11,000 is just the tip of the iceberg because many more are faced with possible challenges to their residency rights," he said.
Falk, who is Jewish, described Israeli policies as bearing “unacceptable characteristics of colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing”.
"What is called occupation is now more widely understood to be a form of annexation, the embodiment of apartheid in the sense that there’s a discriminatory dual system of law, giving legal protection to the Israeli settlers and subjecting the Palestinian population under occupation to a continuing existence without rights," he said
The attack on Gaza comes by Saudi Royal Appointment. This royal warrant is nothing less than an open secret in Israel, and both former and serving defense officials are relaxed when they talk about it. Former Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz surprised the presenter on Channel 10 by saying Israel had to specify a role for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the demilitarization of Hamas. Asked what he meant by that, he added that Saudi and Emirati funds should be used to rebuild Gaza after Hamas had been defanged.
Amos Gilad, the Israeli defense establishment’s point man with Mubarak’s Egypt and now director of the Israeli defense ministry’s policy and political-military relations department told the academic James Dorsey recently : “Everything is underground, nothing is public. But our security cooperation with Egypt and the Gulf states is unique. This is the best period of security and diplomatic relations with the Arab.”
The celebration is mutual. King Abdullah let it be known that he had phoned President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to approve of an Egyptian ceasefire initiative which had not been put to Hamas, and had the Jerusalem Post quoting analysts about whether a ceasefire was ever seriously intended.
Mossad and Saudi intelligence officials meet regularly: The two sides conferred when the former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was about to be deposed in Egypt and they are hand in glove on Iran, both in preparing for an Israel strike over Saudi airspace and in sabotaging the existing nuclear program. There has even been a well sourced claim that the Saudis are financing most of Israel’s very expensive campaign against Iran.
Why do Saudi Arabia and Israel make such comfortable bedfellows? For decades each country has had a similar feeling in their gut when they look around them: fear. Their reaction was similar. Each felt they could only insure themselves against their neighbors by invading them (Lebanon, Yemen) or by funding proxy wars and coups (Syria, Egypt, Libya).They have enemies or rivals in common - Iran, Turkey, Qatar, Hamas in Gaza, and the Muslim Brotherhood. And they have common allies, too - the US and British military industrial establishments, Fatah strongman and US asset Mohammed Dahlan who tried to take over Gaza once, and will probably be at hand when next required.
Seeing a region swept by popular protests against leaders who couldn’t provide for their citizens’ basic needs, Hamas opted to give up official control of Gaza rather than risk being overthrown. Despite having won the last elections, in 2006, Hamas decided to transfer formal authority to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. That decision led to a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization, on terms set almost entirely by the P.L.O. chairman and Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas.
Israel immediately sought to undermine the reconciliation agreement by preventing Hamas leaders and Gaza residents from obtaining the two most essential benefits of the deal: the payment of salaries to 43,000 civil servants who worked for the Hamas government and continue to administer Gaza under the new one, and the easing of the suffocating border closures imposed by Israel and Egypt that bar most Gazans’ passage to the outside world.
Yet, in many ways, the reconciliation government could have served Israel’s interests. It offered Hamas’s political adversaries a foothold in Gaza; it was formed without a single Hamas member; it retained the same Ramallah-based prime minister, deputy prime ministers, finance minister and foreign minister; and, most important, it pledged to comply with the three conditions for Western aid long demanded by America and its European allies: nonviolence, adherence to past agreements and recognition of Israel.
Israel strongly opposed American recognition of the new government, however, and sought to isolate it internationally, seeing any small step toward Palestinian unity as a threat. Israel’s security establishment objects to the strengthening of West Bank-Gaza ties, lest Hamas raise its head in the West Bank. And Israelis who oppose a two-state solution understand that a unified Palestinian leadership is a prerequisite for any lasting peace.
Still, despite its opposition to the reconciliation agreement, Israel continued to transfer the tax revenues it collects on the Palestinian Authority’s behalf, and to work closely with the new government, especially on security cooperation.
But the key issues of paying Gaza’s civil servants and opening the border with Egypt were left to fester. The new government’s ostensible supporters, especially the United States and Europe, could have pushed Egypt to ease border restrictions, thereby demonstrating to Gazans that Hamas rule had been the cause of their isolation and impoverishment. But they did not.
Instead, after Hamas transferred authority to a government of pro-Western technocrats, life in Gaza became worse.
Qatar had offered to pay Gaza’s 43,000 civil servants, and America and Europe could have helped facilitate that. But Washington warned that American law prohibited any entity delivering payment to even one of those employees — many thousands of whom are not members of Hamas but all of whom are considered by American law to have received material support from a terrorist organization.
When a United Nations envoy offered to resolve this crisis by delivering the salaries through the United Nations, so as to exclude all parties from legal liability, the Obama administration did not assist. Instead, it stood by as Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called for the envoy’s expulsion on the grounds that he was “trying to funnel money” to Hamas.
For many Gazans, and not just Hamas supporters, it’s worth risking more bombardment and now the ground incursion, for a chance to change that unacceptable status quo. A cease-fire that fails to resolve the salary crisis and open Gaza’s border with Egypt will not last. It is unsustainable for Gaza to remain cut off from the world and administered by employees working without pay. A more generous cease-fire, though politically difficult for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would be more durable.
The current escalation in Gaza is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement. The road out of the crisis is a reversal of that policy.
The headline for the story in the NY Times about the killings yesterday was changed from “4 Young Boys Killed Playing on Gaza Beach” to “Boys Drawn to Gaza Beach & Into Center of Mideast Strife”. Some people on Twitter have decided to help the Times adjust headlines for historical events. A few of my favorites:
- “Blacks drawn to public streets and into center of stop and frisk.” - “Africans drawn to sugar and cotton plantations, and into decades of bondage and slavery” - “New Yorkers Drawn to Towers, and Into Center of Mideast Conflict” - “Jews Drawn to Camps, and Into Center of European Conflict” - “Africans Drawn to Shore, and Into Center of Atlantic Travel”
In 10 days, 223 people have been killed in Gaza. More than 1670 Gazans have been injured. Meanwhile, the last I checked, the grand total of Israeli casualties was 1. Can someone please confirm? I am afraid the total might have shot up to the genocidal figure of 2 Israeli deaths while I wrote this. Just trying to see how much ‘both sides are involved’ – nothing more.
Israeli politicians have rhetorically conflated Hamas with everything bad that ever happens in the region — “Hamas” has come to stand for the devil. With Gaza reduced to Hamas, 1.8 million people who live on the Gaza Strip (140 square miles) are made responsible for Hamas. This is a classic definition of the doctrine of collective responsibility, illegal by international law.
What does the language of “flatten” and “eradication” mean in the context where a politician calls for dialysis patients to be killed and hospitals to be bombed? So far, Israeli bombs have hit al-Wafa hospital, which is why international solidarity activists have now moved in as a human shield to protect the facility. Israeli bombs also flattened the Center for Disability in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, killing two disabled girls. At least forty children are confirmed killed by Israel strikes over the first four days of the Operation.
Hospitals are not the only sites that have been hit. The U.N. agency that runs schools in Palestine, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, reports that nine of its schools have been hit in Gaza City, Middle Area, North Area, Khan Younis and Rafah. The UN’s organisation for humanitarian affairs, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), provided numbers of the dead and mentioned that because the water and sewer infrastructure has been struck, 350,000 Gazans have lost these services. Three quarters of Gaza has no electricity — Feiglin’s hope is close to realisation. Jens Laerke of UNOCHA said, “Our aid workers on the ground report that people in Gaza are gripped by fear, the streets are empty and the shops are closed.” Gaza, in other words, has gone into the hibernation of terror.
The single most overwhelming item of evidence of Israel’s rejection of peace is, of course, the settlements project. From the dawn of its existence, there has never been a more reliable or more precise litmus test for Israel’s true intentions than this particular enterprise. In plain words: The builders of settlements want to consolidate the occupation, and those who want to consolidate the occupation do not want peace. That’s the whole story in a nutshell.
On the assumption that Israel’s decisions are rational, it is impossible to accept construction in the territories and the aspiration to peace as mutually coexisting. Every act of building in the settlements, every mobile home and every balcony, conveys rejection. If Israel had wanted to achieve peace through the Oslo Accords, it would at least have stopped the construction in the settlements at its own initiative. That this did not happen proves that Oslo was fraudulent, or at best the chronicle of a failure foretold. If Israel had wanted to achieve peace at Taba, at Camp David, at Sharm el-Sheikh, in Washington or in Jerusalem, its first move should have been to end all construction in the territories. Unconditionally. Without a quid pro quo. The fact that Israel did not is proof that it did not want a just peace.
But the settlements were only a touchstone of Israel’s intentions. Its rejectionism is embedded far more deeply – in its DNA, its bloodstream, its raison d’être, its most primal beliefs. There, at the deepest level, lies the concept that this land is destined for the Jews alone. There, at the deepest level, is entrenched the value of “am sgula” – God’s “treasured people” – and “God chose us.” In practice, this is translated to mean that, in this land, Jews are allowed to do what is forbidden to others. That is the point of departure, and there is no way to get from there to a just peace. There is no way to reach a just peace when the name of the game is the dehumanization of the Palestinians. No way to achieve peace when the demonization of the Palestinians is hammered into people’s heads day after day. Those who are convinced that every Palestinian is a suspicious person and that every Palestinian wants “to throw the Jews into the sea” will never make peace with the Palestinians. Most Israelis are convinced of the truth of both those statements.
The Israeli government committed three crimes after the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967: It defined the Palestinians there as non-Jewish immigrants to Israel, according to the Citizenship and Entry Into Israel laws (as though they chose to live in Israel, rather than Israel being the party that “entered” their home); confiscated from them about 24,500 dunams (about 6,050 acres) of land, mainly private, which were allocated for construction for Jews only; and imposed draconian building restrictions on the Palestinians in the area it left to them.
Those who implement this policy are generations of interior ministers and officials of the ministry and the municipality, its mayors, clerks, planners and architects. And also the police and the National Insurance Institute, the enforcers, and the High Court, which approves directly or indirectly.
These crimes were the source of the other official crimes, laws and regulations, walls and restrictions, which have turned East Jerusalem into what it is today – a collection of impoverished, crowded neighborhoods, with an insufficient infrastructure, a shocking school dropout rate and few employment opportunities, cut off from the rest of the Palestinian territory. And every resident lives in fear that his permanent residence status will be revoked and he will be expelled. The bottom line: Living in constant humiliation.
Israel’s undeclared goal regarding the residents of East Jerusalem is to expel them from the city, or at least to limit their number and weaken them as a national community. Its clear message is: The Palestinians are inferior. Not human beings like us. The racist murder is an extreme but self-evident translation of the message, the policy and the goal.
In the West, headlines over pictures of the three Israeli settler teens refer to Israel’s reign of terror over Palestine as a “manhunt” and “military sweep.” Portraits of innocent young Israeli lives emerge from news outlets and the voices of their parents are featured in the fullness of their anguish. The US, EU, UK, UN, Canada and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) condemned the kidnapping and called for their immediate and unconditional release.
[But] When our children throw rocks at heavily armed Israeli tanks and jeeps rolling through our streets, we are contemptible parents who should be bear responsibility for the murder of our children if they are shot by Israeli soldiers or settlers. When we refuse to capitulate completely, we are “not partners for peace,” and deserve to have more land confiscated from us for the exclusive use of Jews. When we take up arms and fight back, kidnap a soldier, we are terrorists of the extreme kind who have no one to blame but ourselves as Israel subjects the entire Palestinian population to punitive collective punishment. When we engage in peaceful protests, we are rioters who deserve the live fire they send our way. When we debate, write, and boycott, we are anti-Semites who should be silenced, deported, marginalized, or prosecuted.
What should we do, then? Palestine is quite literally being wiped off the map by a state that openly upholds Jewish supremacy and Jewish privilege. Our people continue to be robbed of home and heritage, pushed to the margins of humanity, blamed for our own miserable fate. We are a traumatized, principally unarmed, native society being destroyed and erased by one of the most powerful militaries in the world. Rachel Frankel went to the UN to plead for their support, saying “it is wrong to take children, innocent boys or girls, and use them as instruments of any struggle. It is cruel…I wish to ask: Doesn’t every child have the right to come home safely from school?”
Given the daily violence perpetrated against Palestinian children by Israeli soldiers (such as the presumed kidnaped Israeli teen), I wonder if Ms Frankel means to exclude our Palestinian children from that statement.