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Sam Bahour

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Attorney Sabri Jiryis (L) and Sam Bahour standing on the rooftop of the 113-year-old Saint Elias Church in the Palestinian village of Fassouta in the Western Galilee. The South Lebanon skyline is in the background.

Anyone who thinks that stopping the next Israeli annexation of additional parts of the West Bank would bring peace closer would be well-advised to peel away the veneer of democratic façade, one that covers an Israeli plan with only one goal in mind—completing the campaign of ethnically cleansing Palestinians—on both sides of the Green Line—that started with the creation of the State of Israel.

Palestinian Authority employees wait to withdraw cash from an ATM outside a Bank of Palestine branch in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 2, 2020. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

The latest Israeli military order allows forces to seize funds in Palestinian banks. The political motivation behind this “legal” hogwash is the Israeli desire to punish the Palestinian leadership for refusing to stop making welfare payments to those Palestinians who were, or continue to be, detained in Israeli prisons—political prisoners,—in addition to welfare payments made to families of martyrs. It is important to note that nearly one million Palestinians have gone through the Israeli prison system since the start of Israeli military occupation in 1967.

In a book dismissing the Palestinian refugee issue, Israeli authors Einat Wilf and Adi Schwartz totally absolve adherents of the Zionist ideology from any historic responsibility for planning and executing a strategy in which dispossessing Palestinians from the land was premeditated intention. The authors are hasbarists.

Inspired by this week’s Academy Awards, Sam Bahour offers a review of Benjamin Netanyahu’s performance at AIPAC: “Israel should heed the advice of Palestinians (echoing another Oscar winner) and just Get Out! Still, it’s no laughing matter, no film fantasy. America is increasingly more diverse. Colonialism is outdated. And young Jews are less and less attached to Israel. So, unless the state Bibi heads mends its ways, it could soon be Gone with the Wind.”

Sam Bahour says Michael Chabon’s “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” should come with a warning label READ WITH CAUTION IF YOU ACTUALLY LIVE UNDER A JEWISH ISRAELI MILITARY OCCUPATION because “between the seriousness of the political premise, the gut-wrenching humor, the community involved, the concept of a collective return of land as even being imaginable, the real, day to day stories—love, death, addiction, work, relationships, etc.—interspersed, and the burning of the Dome of Rock, which already happened once in reality and is being threatened again these days, it’s just too much for a person living under an actual Jewish (or so believed)-inspired military occupation to handle.”

When Sam Bahour asked his colleague in Gaza about her biggest dream, her answer made an impression on him: “I dream of what life would be like with 24-hour electricity.” This was the answer of a single, mid-career, western educated, professional woman who lives in the more affluent part of Gaza City. Her response suggests the depth of despair among Palestinians throughout Gaza.

The U.S. is not a neutral mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; it is an active participant and is guilty of the crimes being committed by Israel against Palestinians, most recently, the mass killings and destruction Israel wrought on the Gaza Strip during the summer. The reality that the U.S. is an active supporter of unimaginable suffering may very well be the motivating force behind the U.S.’s adamant attempts to block the Palestinians from using any of the internationally recognized tools of accountability to hold Israel responsible, such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to opportunities for justice by superpowers like the U.S., something is wrong—deadly wrong.