Maher Awawdeh, Director General of External Media at the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information, speaks incisively about Zionist crimes against humanity in Palestine, one of the worst post-II World War.
Edu Montesanti: How do you evaluate the meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime-Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on February 15? “I’m looking at two-state and one-state” formulations, President Trump said during a White House news conference with Mr. Netanyahu. “I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one.”
Maher Awawdeh: One feels sorry for having such a passive position by the President of superpower-America, as leaving the solution to “the one that both parties like.”
This can have only one meaning that is letting Israel enjoy unchallenged impunity and violation to international law. The solution that Israel likes is that of land without Palestinians.
In fact Israel is actually acting according to this attitude. One only needs to have a look at the expansion of settlements across the West Bank and Jerusalem, the siege of Gaza, all of which can only have one goal, which is to have the Palestinian people leave their homeland.
Israel seems to be totally indifferent to the world and international law, because of the support it enjoys by the US and some western countries.
There is no country in the world that detains remains of dead civilians it killed and keeps them as bargain chips for over 40 years other than Israel.
There is no country that moves its militant immigrant population into occupied territories, by force, without the consent of the original and legitimate owners of the land.
There is no country in the world that openly builds separation walls right inside the territories it occupied by force and builds separate roads for its nationals, while denying the occupied nationals access to such roads.
Israel is the only country that denies the occupied people, the Palestinians, access to telecommunication technology; such as the 3G technology.
Israel is the only country that openly acknowledges enforcing a calorie restriction ration system against the besieged Palestinians in Gaza Strip.
Israel is the only occupier that oppresses the Palestinians and expects them to show gratitude for that.
We believe that the US should revise its policies in respect to democracy and human rights principles that are indivisible and can’t be enjoyed by some and denied for others. Ending the Israeli occupation is the only way to achieve peace in the region.
The Palestinian people should be able to enjoy all the rights the world nations enjoy. Land theft and daily murders and intimidations can’t bring stability nor peace. Israel must take the ICC and ICJ most seriously and the several international tribunals are but examples that Israel must remember, while these mechanisms are expected to take up their responsibilities towards the protection of the oppressed and suffering Palestinians.
Edu Montesanti: Why cannot Israel and the Palestinians decide alone the question? Why do Palestinians need a third party to get an agreement?
Maher Awawdeh: Israel seems to be determined to go all the way to a worse and more horrible apartheid model by combining occupation, land grab, ethnic cleansing and playing the role of chronic-victim, while enjoying the unconditional US support.
The Palestinians have already made their historical decision by recognizing state of Israel over more than two thirds of historical Palestine, while Israel signs agreements and then violates them.
The Palestinians are the occupied oppressed, who demand for statehood and independence like any other free country.
A third fair party is a must to ensure that Israel complies and respects the agreements it signs. Israel effectively controls all of the Palestinian land and controls all aspects of life. Thus having a fair third party is paramount to achieving justice and peace.
There are dozens of international resolutions and UN Security Council resolutions that Israel continue to violate, thus, there is a need for a third party to have this humanity nightmare come to a speedy and just end.
In fact, the situation will continue worsening, murders committed by Israel against the Palestinians, unless the free world wakes up to the fact that occupation corrupts, not only the free world but Israel as well. Just remember Tom Hurndel and Rachael Cure, Israel doesn’t even blink at killing any non-Israeli, without limiting that to Palestinians.
The army that kills injured civilians, while under control and then consider the murderer soldier a national hero and even ask school students to wear military uniform in solidarity with the murderer, this can only end with sincere, fair intervention efforts that observe international law and integrity principles.
Edu Montesanti: You know the Western media distorts the facts involving this massacre against Palestinians, Mr. Maher Awawdeh. Please number the crimes or at least some of them commited by Israel.
Maher Awawdeh: The bias and/or negligence or ignorance of the Western media concerning the Palestinian cause is well known, there were several recent incidents, such as the Israeli army murder of Abdul Fattah Elsharif in Hebron, although he was bleeding and controlled on the ground.
Many western media simply focused on the farce trial by Israel to the murderer Israeli soldier and showed him as a foolish ignorant boy instead of showing his real terrorist character and the military incitement to murder among the Israeli soldiers.
That soldier was sentenced to 18 months in prison, although he is still at large. The farce prison sentence is uglier and more criminal when compared to prison sentences ordered by the same Israeli court against Palestinian children, whom the court sentences to several years just for alleging they were throwing stones at the strongest army of the world.
The western media did very little in covering the many murders of Palestinian women and children at Israeli checkpoints and even ignored videos of Israeli soldiers planting knives near the bodies of Palestinian children after killing them to allege they were attacking soldiers.
Edu Montesanti: How do you evaluate the Western media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
Maher Awawdeh: I see it as negative, considering endless examples of using the situation of occupation and lack of Palestinian control to borders, thus you see many of such outlets simply entering the Palestinian territories without meeting the official Palestinian requirements for international journalists.
The Western media is doing very little to shed light on the Israeli incitement to murdering and killing the Palestinians in the Israeli schools. Instead, that media focuses a lot on Israeli allegations against Palestinian schools, the same schools that Israel is demolishing and destroying.
The Israeli racist separation wall that walls out majority of the occupied West Bank and only leaves the Palestinian citizens away from their land, hoping that they eventually leave their land after Israel restricted their ace their farms, the Western media; such as the AFP published a photo named “70 walls around the world protecting national borders” including that Israeli wall.
The news agency simply ignored the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice that considered the Israeli wall and settlement as a crimes, which must be removed and prohibited the international community from facilitating or acknowledging that crime.
The State of Palestine has asked many such media outlets to visit hunger striking Palestinian prisoners in Israel, but they declined in most of the cases, or publish things that were totally distorted or biased to the criminal Israeli occupation. Israel has installed gates at the entrance of every Palestinian community and closes them according to the whims of criminal military officers hoping to have the Palestinians leave their country, but the western media rarely writes about the suffering of Palestinians because of these restrictions or the suffering of women who have to give birth at these gates while waiting for such soldiers to allow them to proceed to hospitals.
Edu Montesanti: How is life in Gaza and the West Bank?
Maher Awawdeh: In Gaza, as I mentioned before, Israel is operating a calorie racist system, as they acknowledged that, whereby Israel allows food to enter in quantities enough for people stay in a miserable life.
In Gaza you can’t travel for any reason, including medication or study. Israel rations electricity-generation fuel supply to limit power supply by 4 hours a day maximum.
Same thing applies for construction materials that are mostly needed to reconstruct the devastated housed that Israel bombed and destroyed in the several wars it waged against Gaza.
Edu Montesanti: Professor Avi Shlaim observed days ago: “Sadly, the Palestinians are handicapped by weak leadership and by the internal rivalry between Fatah and Hamas.” Your view on the internal politics among Palestinians, please, Mr. Maher Awawdeh.
Maher Awawdeh: The Palestinian leadership is restricted by the Israeli occupation restrictions, as no Palestinian leader can supply fuel for electricity in Gaza without the consent of the Israeli occupation army, for instance.
The Palestinian leadership has been lobbying for international support to end this Israeli occupation and we all know that all starts or ends at the UN Security Council, nonetheless, the Palestinian leadership has succeeded in expanding international recognition of the State of Palestine and solidarity with the Palestinian people by raising international public awareness on this issue, take for instance the several arrest warrants against Israeli leaders in different countries and the expanding boycott against Israel.
Yes, the internal Fatah-Hamas rivalry is negatively impacting the Palestinian cause, but one mustn’t forget the Israeli and international interventions in this issue; such as limiting Palestinian self-healing potential by means of restrictions on the Palestinian leadership or public, including the ability to have elections, reconstruct destroyed houses and run a smooth democratic life at large.
Edu Montesanti: What could we expect from Arab leaders from now on?
Maher Awawdeh: Many of the Arab leaders are too busy with their internal issues, nonetheless many of them continue to support the Palestinian cause, thus, we are hopeful that the Arab countries would step up their support at the international forums, including the UN and use their relations with the US and other countries to ensure a more balanced and urgency for ending this Israeli occupation.
Edu Montesanti: What is the solution to the conflict, Mr. Maher Awawdeh?
Maher Awawdeh: One can’t have illegal occupation and ongoing crimes while expecting to have this conflict resolved. Israel is if flagrant violation to international law and continues wasting time and opportunities for peace.
The Palestinians have already made a historical concession and recognized Israel, but Israel continues asking for more and doing nothing to meet the Palestinian minimum, which is a sovereign state along the 1967 borders. Israel must comply with the endless international resolutions calling for ending the conflict based on this position, otherwise, Israel is simply going for a one state apartheid regime that is already existing.
Edu Montesanti: Do you want a two-State solution?
Maher Awawdeh: Yes, I believe in the two-State solution where Independent Sovereign democratic State of Palestine can prosper, live in peace and contribute to international stability and peace.
Edu Montesanti: Why not a one-State solution?
Maher Awawdeh: If you read the recent UN report by ESCWA which the UN Secretary General ordered canceling it before ESCOWA Secretary General Rima Khalaf had to resign, you will see how Israel operates as a shameless Apartheid regime.
In historic Palestine, the Palestinians can make a great majority, do you think the US and the west will allow for that? In few words the answer is – Israeli racism won’t allow for that.
Edu Montesanti: What are the principal obstacles for a fair agreement and solutions?
Maher Awawdeh: Only one obstacle that is the Israeli disregard to international law that calls for ending the Israeli occupation and establishment of independent State of Palestine across the 1967 borders.
This Israeli disregard to international law is certainly unjustly shielded and supported by the US and several US countries.