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Israel-Palestine, The Eternal Proof That Violence Is The Absence Of Politics

Israel's military operation in Jenin is the latest escalation of bloodshed. Once again, the language of violence has prevailed because there is no political solution on the horizon.

Image showing a Palestinian man running as Israeli military vehicles fire tear gas near the eastern entrance to the Jenin refugee camp

A Palestinian man runs as Israeli military vehicles fire tear gas near the eastern entrance to the Jenin refugee camp

Pierre Haski


PARIS — Who still believes that a military solution is possible between Israelis and Palestinians? No reasonable person, apparently. And yet, once again, the language of violence prevails when there is no political solution possible or foreseeable.

This observation could have been made half a century ago just as it is being made today, following a rapid-fire full-scale war operation carried out by the Israeli army in Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank. A terrorist attack claimed by Palestinian Hamas islamists has also occurred in Tel Aviv.

We hadn't seen anything like this from Israel in 20 years — airstrikes, tanks, hundreds of soldiers assaulting a densely populated Palestinian city.

Violence at its peak

As a result, 12 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier are dead, over 100 injured, many have been arrested and around 3,000 people have been displaced from their homes due to the fighting in the Jenin refugee camp — refugees two times over.

As a response to this urban warfare, there was a car-ramming attack Tuesday in Tel Aviv, injuring nine people. The Palestinian driver was shot dead by a passerby.

This surge of violence is the result of a well-known, explosive mix: accumulated frustration, the radical activism of a new Palestinian generation, unhindered colonization, and Israeli politicians with dangerous rhetoric.

Image showing Palestinian youths holding flags near burning tires during the protest against Israeli military operations in Jenin.

Palestinian youths hold flags near burning tires during the protest against Israeli military operations in Jenin.

Ahmed Zakot / ZUMA

Same speeches

Since the beginning of last year, violent incidents have been multiplying in various forms — anti-Israeli terrorism, settler violence reminiscent of anti-Palestinian pogroms, and military operations. The death toll is rising at a pace not seen since the two intifadas in the 1980s and 2000s.

The speeches have stayed the same for so long. How many times has an Israeli Prime Minister, like Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Tuesday that “the fight against terrorism in Jenin will continue until it is eliminated”?

If violence could be eradicated through force, Israel, with its overwhelming military superiority, would have succeeded in doing so decades ago. It has been 56 years, almost to the day, since Israel took control of Palestinian territories in the 1967 war. The same goes for Palestinians.

Vicious cycle

It is, therefore, a dangerous deadlock because the current status quo is becoming increasingly unsustainable. It is exploding because the settler movement, which now has representatives within the Netanyahu government, is advancing its agenda.

The Minister of Internal Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, one of the leaders of the far right, recently encouraged an illegal settlement on Palestinian land. He expressed his wish for more settlements on every hill in the West Bank and called for a counter-terrorist military operation that would result in “hundreds, and if necessary, thousands of deaths.” These are his words.

Israelis and Palestinians are inexorably sinking deeper into the vicious cycle of violence.

These inflammatory statements are protected by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who cannot govern without the far-right. Now, Ben Gvir’s wish has become a reality with the large-scale operation in Jenin. Israelis and Palestinians are inexorably sinking deeper into the vicious cycle of violence.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

“I Am Palestinian” — When History Calls Us To Stand In Their Shoes, To Say Who We Are

There are certain watershed moments where the world comes together in defense of an idea or a people, or maybe both. A call from afar to stand up in the name of the Palestinian people.

Photo of a pro-Palestinian demonstrator in Berlin

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Berlin's central district on November 4 for a pro-Palestinian rally.

Ranjani Iyer Mohanty


CALGARY — Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 film “Spartacus,” starring Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier, is based on a true story of the leader of a momentous slave rebellion against the Roman empire circa 70 BC.

Near the end of the movie, when the slaves have been captured, the Roman general offers to let them all live if they reveal their leader, the gladiator Spartacus. In a show of solidarity and final act of bravery, the slaves stand up one-by-one, to declare: “I am Spartacus.”

And with that, all are crucified.

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