May 15, 2011

Israel commemorates the establishment of apartheid 63 years ago with massacre

Four people were reportedly shot dead by Israel Defense Forces troops Sunday as they opened fire on large numbers of infiltrators trying to breachDozens of Palestinians crossed the Israeli border and entered the village of Majdal Shams in a Nakba Day protest, May 15, 2011. Syria's southern border with Israel. Another four people were said to have been killed on the Lebanese side of its shared frontier with Israel, as Palestinian protests for the annual Nakba Day, which mourns the creation of the State of Israel, took hold across the region.

In Majdal Shams, which runs along the Israel-Syria border, scores of Palestinian refugees from Syria spilled into the town. The Magen David Adom rescue service said about a dozen others had been wounded. The Israel Defense Forces confirmed opening fire on infiltrators.(Haaretz)

Israeli soldiers respond to unarmed civil protest in the only way Israel knows, deadly violence. This coordinated protest by Palestinians refugees happened on four borders. But the Egyptian border was apparently quiet thanks to the the Mubarak clones who still rule Egypt. The Egyptian military government, still eager to serve the US and its unhinged mini-me, Israel, blocked the roads to Sinai, because "the timing was inappropriate." But the time is always appropriate for sucking up to the empire.

The Israeli press called the protesters "infiltrators," reviving a term used in the fifties for the thousands of Palestinians refugees who tried to get back to their homes after the expulsion. Between 1949 and 1954, Israeli forces, with shoot to kill rules, murdered about 5,000 Palestinians caught near the borders.

The term was offensive already then, declaring people "infiltrators" in their own houses, fields, and country. But today the term is also misleading. Those murdered in the fifties were mostly trying to be invisible and to get home. The eight murdered today were involved in a direct action commemorating the Nakba, inspired by the massive Arab awakening that has swept the region from Tunisia to Yemen. Like Assad, Qaddafi, and the kings of the Gulf, Israeli generals believe that if they kill enough people the protests will peter out. One cannot say that this strategy never works. It is a double-down strategy. Like every double-down strategy, whether it works or not depends on the quality of credit possessed by the player. If the defiance of the people remains steadfast, or, as often happens when people are martyred, grows stronger, sooner or later the carnage is too much for key allies and constituencies, and then it is over for the regime. But the Israeli Junta believes it has enough credit to withstand any bloodbath. Given Israel's dependence on the good grace of its Western supporters, we all have a role to play in seeing that it doesn't.

Apartheid is Murder. The time for ending it is yesterday.


16 dead counted so far. at least 90 injured. All dead in massacres on the Syrian and Lebanese borders. There was also a massive protest in Ramallah, Amman, Gaza, El-Arish.

The Lebanese government and army, like the Egyptian army, and like Hamas, like the PA police, tried to stop the protests. This is Shimon Peres's vision of the "New Middle East": all governments working together to defend Israel from popular anger.

The only wrinkle in this idyllic peace of the knaves is the people.


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