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30 things you need to know about the Palestine-Israel conflict

There is no shortage of debate around the semantics of the Palestine-Israel conflict. SELIN KARA, a British-born human rights activist, put together this useful 30-point list to explain the conflict in simple terms.

1. It’s not a conflict. It’s an apartheid situation.

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2. It’s the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land as a result of violent Zionist colonialism committed by terrorist groups Haganah (now the IDF) and Irgun, initially aided by the British.

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3. Zionism is the political ideology fathered by Theodor Herzl, which led the colonial settler movement in Palestine.

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4. Herzl and co considered settlements in Argentina, Kenya, Uganda, Northern Sinai (Egypt), and Cyprus before selecting Palestine to colonise.

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5. Israel is none other than a white supremacist state. Despite what white people tell you.

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6. The “two-state solution” and “peace process” are non-existent concepts. Despite what liberals tell you.

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7. There was an ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 made up of countless massacres and mass exodus, often referred to as the Nakba: the catastrophe.

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8. Fighting colonial occupiers is none other than resistance*, therefore Palestinian “terrorism” is myth.
*Article 1(4) of the First Additional Protocol (IAP) to the Geneva Conventions: “… armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist régimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination…”

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9. Being anti-Israel is not being anti-semitic. Despite what white people may tell you.

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10. Israel’s foreign ministry has a special undercover team of paid workers whose job is to surf the internet 24 hours a day spreading positive news about Israel.

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11. The Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement does scare Netanyahu and has been successful in severing multiple contracts with Israel, for example G4S announcing that it will sell its Israeli operations.

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12. The UN passed the UGeneral Assembly resolution 3379 resolution in 1975 which determined Zionism as a form of racism and racial discrimination. It actually happens to be the only resolution to be revoked in the history of the UN. Pro-Israel and pro-Zionist lobbying as well as the government of Israel worked so relentlessly to nullify this resolution, and eventually succeeded in 1991.

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13. Israel’s racism extends to Sudanese and Eritrean migrants, with many MP speeches stating black people are “cancer”. Israel has built a special detention centre just for black migrants.

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14. Palestine is separated into two distinct areas of land, namely Gaza and the West Bank. This is as a result of UN involvement in the partition plan of 1947, which Palestinians did not consent to. Israel went on with it anyway.

15. West Bank is occupied with soldiers and Uzi-toting settlers living in the Palestinian area, whilst Gaza is subject to F16 airstrikes and drones.

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16. Israel is a nuclear state with approximately 400 nuclear warheads. They even provided South Africa’s apartheid regime with assistance in developing its own bomb in the 1970s, in return for 600 tons of yellowcake uranium.

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17. Since the removal of Israeli settlements and soldiers from Gaza in 2005, there have been over 6 large military “operations” in Gaza, 3 of them being major massacres. (Including Operation Protective Edge)

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ALSO READ: After Operation Cast Lead: why I volunteered as a doctor in Gaza

18. If you are wondering, “but Palestinian rockets!?”, see point 7.

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19. Israel has used the internationally banned chemical weapon of white phosphorus in the 2008 massacre of Gaza, as well as state-of-the-art military aircraft for every military bombing campaign that they’ve carried out.

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20. The US has used a total of 78 vetoes since joining the UN in 1951. 42 of them have been in favour of Israel.

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21. Current US military aid to Israel stands at $3.7 billion annually, which is about $10.2 million in military aid each day. Beginning in 1962, this amounts to roughly $100 billion spent so far.

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22. There is no such thing as “Israeli hummus”. Or Israeli salad. Or falafel. Or Israeli food. There is, however, a thing called cultural appropriation. The only thing that is Israeli, is the occupation.

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23.The Palestinian “territories” are grouped into areas A and B. Area A comprises of 18% of the land in the West Bank, and includes all the Palestinian cities, and much of the Palestinian population of the West Bank. Area B comprises approximately 22% of the West Bank, encompassing large rural areas. Israel retains control over Area B, while the remaining area covers 60% of the West Bank. Israel retains complete control of this area and is home to an estimated 180, 000 – 300, 000 Palestinians, as well as to a settler population of at least 325, 000 living in 125 settlements and approximately 100 outposts. Israel retains control of security and land management in the remaining area and views the area for service of its own needs, like military training, economic interests, and settlement development.

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24. There are approximately 500 watchtowers, 100 fixed checkpoints (an unknown number of floating checkpoints), 250 settlements, 500,000 aggressive settlers, night raids, violent repression of Friday protests, denial of medical access, administrative detentions, demolition notices, bulldozers at 6am, high velocity tear gas, skunk water, surveillance cameras, segregated roads, and a very high concrete wall that cuts across the territory annexing parts of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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25. Palestinians living in the West Bank cannot travel to Gaza without a permit, which is often impossible to get.

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26. There are regular Friday protests across villages in the West Bank against the occupation which are often met with live ammo, steel coated rubber bullets, snipers, tear gas and skunk spray.

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27. Skunk spray is a chemical that smells of sewage which is sprayed onto protesters and their homes as a means to humiliate and deter them. It was developed in Israel and has become a characteristic tool of the Israeli occupation.

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28. Israeli settlers often watch bombs explode over Gaza as a form of entertainment from their settlement rooftops.

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29. Palestinians who were forced to exile during the Nakba cannot return to Palestine.

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30. Israel uses a method known as pinkwashing to gloss over their continued subjugation of Palestinian people. This means that they focus on the ways that they are supposedly liberal and support gay rights movements, ignoring the way that they continually trample on the basic human rights of Palestinians.

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And there you have it.

This is part of a special series called Apartheid 2.0, which The Daily Vox is running this month in partnership with Al Jazeera’s Palestine Remix.

Featured image by Saffiyah Patel

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