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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

Gaza, A View From Istanbul: Why I Still Believe In Western Values

Palestinians are suffering under the Israeli regime and relentless bombardment of Gaza, yet the Western world, also known to be the "civilized" world, continues to support Israel. Turkey's complex relationship with Islamic and Middle Eastern countries as well as with the West brings back the most fundamental questions about the past and future.

Photo of a woman with a Palestinian flag painted on her face at a pro-Palestineian rally in Istanbul on Oct. 28

At a pro-Palestineian rally in Istanbul on Oct. 28

Murat Sevinç


ISTANBUL — Civilians in Palestine are being bombed in front of our eyes. The “civilized” world continues to stand witness to the reckless use of violence by Israel, as it has done so many times before. Yet a part of the world does not just witness the violence: It openly excuses and supports it — much the same as the blind eye turned for decades to the tortures suffered by the Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

The Palestinians are suffering under a rotten Israeli regime currently run by racists. The right-wing fanatics among the world's Jewish population in various parts of the globe are doing their best to wear down the anti-war supporters, who are doing their best to make their voice heard. We've heard these voices from both sides many times before. I believe the existence of the Jews who take to the streets of Tel Aviv and in the cities of the West to protest the Israeli assault on Gaza are the most meaningful acts of opposition. They are not many, but they are being heard and seen.

Turkey, meanwhile, is no less predictable. Everybody knows who will react to what, when and for what purpose. The ruling administration and some small opposition parties who share much in common perceive what’s happening from a window of pan-Islamism. Their current reaction is unfortunately not related to commitments to human rights or international law, or even from an anti-war stance against the fascistic attitude of the Israeli government.

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