Palestinian writer and activist Mohammed El-Kurd delivered a speech at the UN on Monday, blasting the “Israeli settler-colonial regime” for its occupation of Jerusalem, The New Arab reported.
“Thank you for these groundbreaking speeches,” came the start to El-Kurd’s address. “I’m sure the occupation authorities are really concerned right now.”
Speaking on the United Nations on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, El-Kurd described the day Israeli Jewish settlers took half of his home in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem. He was 11 years old at the time.
He said that the Israeli settlement expansion has not only affected his home village of Sheikh Jarrah but also daily life in Silwan, Eissawiya, and Masafer Yatta in the occupied city of Hebron (al-Khalil).
“The UN has called this a war crime but I know this is theft,” he explained.
“The battle over Sheikh Jarrah is not legal in its essence, it is political. It is part of the larger systematic essence to Israelize the entirety of Jerusalem, my native city. My family and my neighbors understand this, we know first hand that the Israeli judicial system is created by those who benefit endlessly from the Israeli settler-colonial regime.”
Israelize is a term used to describe the erasure of Palestinian heritage and populations by Israel.
He spoke of how little faith Palestinians have in the justice system in the occupied territories, which he says is designed to protect Jewish settlers.
“As I speak to you, our lawyer is trying to convince a settler judge to rule against settlements. The word apartheid comes to mind, but saying there is an asymmetry in justice in the Israeli judicial system is an understatement. What we have on our hands is a colonialist ideologically driven system built by and for colonisers.”
Mohammed El-Kurd. pic.twitter.com/SWFWwrEJU7
— doha. (@vnusienne) November 29, 2021
With their fearless and unfiltered words, Mohammed El-Kurd and his sister Muna have been credited with catalyzing global uproar over Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights, including expulsions in Sheikh Jarrah and the deadly Israeli aerial assault on Gaza earlier this year.
But after a summer of global solidarity, El-Kurd said his Jerusalemite community can feel the world return to its silence.
El-Kurd went on to say the root cause for the suffering in Jerusalem goes beyond land and judiciary and roots in Israeli settler colonialism.
“The reality that Palestinians across 70 years of zionist rule have experienced this vocabulary is not theoretical. It is evident in the attempts to throw us out of our homes so that settlers can occupy them with the backing of the regime whose forces and policies provide violent support for the transfer of one population to install another,” he said, adding:
“I do not care whom this terminology offends.”
El-Kurd extended his solidarity to Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip which is suffering huge shortages of basic goods due to over a decade of a crippling siege by Israel.
Why is it that you can see videos of Palestinian homes being demolished and not raise an eyebrow? Happening now in the occupied South Hebron Hills… https://t.co/AWiCk3R53H
— Mohammed El-Kurd (@m7mdkurd) November 23, 2021
He also acknowledged Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, including his neighbor Murad, “an elementary school teacher who was robbed from his family and put into prison, slapped with trumped-up and fabricated charges only because he dared say no to ethnic cleansing”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Monday the situation in the region “continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security”.
The “persistent violations of the rights of Palestinians, along with the expansion of Israeli settlements, risk eroding the prospect of a two-state solution”, he said.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)