Middle East Monitor / July 4, 2023
“We support Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups,” said the White House National Security Council as it weighed in on the occupation state’s attacks on Jenin’s refugee camp. The densely-populated camp has been hit with drone strikes in one of the biggest military incursions of the impoverished area in two decades. Residents were forced to flee, possibly creating yet another wave of refugees and displaced persons. According to Israeli media, the far-right occupation government informed the US of its plan to attack Jenin a week before the offensive began.
The US, of course, feigns oblivion at the increase in Israeli state and Jewish settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. However, the Palestinian people’s response to the ongoing violence and incitement is a development which the US and Israel are keen to stop. The narrative about Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a convenience that conceals the real intention, which is to prevent the new and unified Palestinian resistance from gaining strength across the occupied territory.
During a speech marking US Independence Day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded his country’s aggression at the Jenin refugee camp. “We are determining a new equation against terrorism, constantly,” he stated, while expressing gratitude to the US for its military assistance and manipulation of the discourse on freedom by remarking on America’s foreign intervention as liberating. “Freedom is precious and it’s never free. It often requires firm and decisive action against those seeking to spread terror and imperil free societies.” Netanyahu conveniently eliminated the colonial context that backs both US and Israeli politics, painting the colonized people’s legitimate anti-colonial resistance as “terrorism” in order to retain Israel’s democratic veneer and justify its settler-colonial violence.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority announced that its mission is “to protect the Palestinian people, and to put all its capabilities for that purpose.” Remaining silent instead of spouting gibberish would have been a better option. Since when has the PA put all its capabilities into protecting Palestinians? Its own security services are employed against the Palestinian people for the benefit not only of the cabal running the PA, but also the occupation state. Netanyahu himself told a Knesset committee last week that, “We have an interest in the [Palestinian] Authority continuing to work. In the areas in which it manages to act, it does the work for us.”
Has the PA forgotten its allegiance to Israel and the US to ensure that it remains in power? The US has indicated it does not wish the status quo to alter, in terms of having the PA at the helm for colonial purposes, while in his statement to the Knesset, Netanyahu added that, “”We need to eliminate [Palestinian] aspirations for a state.” Whatever statements the PA makes, the bottom line is that collaboration with Israel, whether ongoing or intermittent, is an affirmation of the colonial narrative that supports Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself.
The PA security services exist to serve Israel. The authority’s empty rhetoric in the face of Israel’s military aggression overlooks this undeniable fact. It also shifts the spotlight back to the US condoning the aggression in Jenin, and the fact that the PA knows that without the Israeli bombardments and aggression, the new Palestinian resistance will in time grow strong enough to force political change benefiting the beleaguered people of occupied Palestine. In the meantime, Israel’s “security” narrative reigns supreme as it is allowed to act with impunity.
Ramona Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, book reviewer and blogger; her writing covers a range of themes in relation to Palestine, Chile and Latin America