The New York Times: The Palestinians are waging a "flag" battle against the Israeli right

The New York Times: The Palestinians are waging a "flag" battle against the Israeli right While the Israeli police and settlers increasingly and continuously target the Palestinian flag, Israeli lawmakers are working to pass laws criminalizing raising it, in a move that the Palestinians consider a prelude to criminalizing the Palestinian identity.  A report published by the American newspaper " New York Times " said that Palestinian flags are not banned in Israel, but the Israeli occupation forces and settlers always tear them down.  The report pointed out that these flags were also constantly targeted by Israeli lawmakers, which the Palestinians consider a targeting of their identity.  In this context, the Times referred to the incident of Palestinian Sheikh Abdullah Al-Hajj, who resides in the Islamic Quarter of Jerusalem, where Israeli settlers organized the flags march.  During this march, the pilgrim raised the Palestinian flag, before the settlers attacked him and the police, who quickly confiscated the flag and arrested him.  "After I raised the flag, I didn't care what would happen to me, if I was killed, my bones broken, or arrested," Al-Hajj said.  The report indicates that although the Palestinian flag is not banned in Israel, it is increasingly being pursued by the authorities who are trying to suppress any manifestation of Palestinian nationalism, and this is especially evident in East Jerusalem, which is inhabited by Palestinians.  Even during US President Joe Biden's visit to Israel in mid-July, the American flags were flown in all of Jerusalem, including the outskirts of East Jerusalem, and the Palestinian flags were removed for hours.  Attempting to criminalize Palestinian identity  Last month, the Knesset passed a draft resolution in the first reading, prohibiting the raising of the Palestinian flag in universities, although its fate is not known after the collapse of the government.  In the occupied West Bank, settlers remove Palestinian flags from Palestinian cities, sometimes with the protection of the Israeli army.  As for occupied East Jerusalem, the flags are spread in the settlers’ homes, but the Palestinians cannot raise their flag, so they resort to drawing the flag in its four colors, black, white, green and red, on the walls.  And raising the flag, the report asserts, is not prohibited in Israel, so the Israeli police have resorted to legal interpretations, such as affecting public order, to arrest and convict Palestinians for the flag.  In response to the newspaper’s questions, the Israeli police said that “the act of lifting is not a crime,” but that when it endangers human life, “the field commander has the authority to take all measures to stop the threat and maintain public order.”  Earlier this year, deputies in the extremist Likud party submitted a bill that would criminalize raising the flag of an enemy state or the national authority in state-funded institutions, that is, universities and colleges. Whoever is caught in flagrante delicto faces imprisonment for one year and a fine of no more than 10,000 shekels. The project gained support when it allowed students at Ben-Gurion University to commemorate the Nakba and raise the Palestinian flag, angering some Israelis.  Although the project received support in the first reading, the government's collapse means submitting it again to the next government.  Many battles are taking place in several regions, around the raising of the Palestinian flag, and the battle over the flag is still ongoing and "almost daily".

While the Israeli police and settlers increasingly and continuously target the Palestinian flag, Israeli lawmakers are working to pass laws criminalizing raising it, in a move that the Palestinians consider a prelude to criminalizing the Palestinian identity.

A report published by the American newspaper " New York Times " said that Palestinian flags are not banned in Israel, but the Israeli occupation forces and settlers always tear them down.

The report pointed out that these flags were also constantly targeted by Israeli lawmakers, which the Palestinians consider a targeting of their identity.

In this context, the Times referred to the incident of Palestinian Sheikh Abdullah Al-Hajj, who resides in the Islamic Quarter of Jerusalem, where Israeli settlers organized the flags march.

During this march, the pilgrim raised the Palestinian flag, before the settlers attacked him and the police, who quickly confiscated the flag and arrested him.

"After I raised the flag, I didn't care what would happen to me, if I was killed, my bones broken, or arrested," Al-Hajj said.

The report indicates that although the Palestinian flag is not banned in Israel, it is increasingly being pursued by the authorities who are trying to suppress any manifestation of Palestinian nationalism, and this is especially evident in East Jerusalem, which is inhabited by Palestinians.

Even during US President Joe Biden's visit to Israel in mid-July, the American flags were flown in all of Jerusalem, including the outskirts of East Jerusalem, and the Palestinian flags were removed for hours.

Attempting to criminalize Palestinian identity

Last month, the Knesset passed a draft resolution in the first reading, prohibiting the raising of the Palestinian flag in universities, although its fate is not known after the collapse of the government.

In the occupied West Bank, settlers remove Palestinian flags from Palestinian cities, sometimes with the protection of the Israeli army.

As for occupied East Jerusalem, the flags are spread in the settlers’ homes, but the Palestinians cannot raise their flag, so they resort to drawing the flag in its four colors, black, white, green and red, on the walls.

And raising the flag, the report asserts, is not prohibited in Israel, so the Israeli police have resorted to legal interpretations, such as affecting public order, to arrest and convict Palestinians for the flag.

In response to the newspaper’s questions, the Israeli police said that “the act of lifting is not a crime,” but that when it endangers human life, “the field commander has the authority to take all measures to stop the threat and maintain public order.”

Earlier this year, deputies in the extremist Likud party submitted a bill that would criminalize raising the flag of an enemy state or the national authority in state-funded institutions, that is, universities and colleges. Whoever is caught in flagrante delicto faces imprisonment for one year and a fine of no more than 10,000 shekels. The project gained support when it allowed students at Ben-Gurion University to commemorate the Nakba and raise the Palestinian flag, angering some Israelis.

Although the project received support in the first reading, the government's collapse means submitting it again to the next government.

Many battles are taking place in several regions, around the raising of the Palestinian flag, and the battle over the flag is still ongoing and "almost daily".

Previous Post Next Post