What to the Palestinian is the Fourth of July?

Barely a word about this in the mainstream American media. Barely a word about it from libertarian defenders of property rights. But lots of caterwauling about “cancel culture” and Critical Race Theory, and lots of empty rhetoric about the “freedom” we brought the world with the Revolution of 1776.*

Israel has sent demolition notices to residents of about 100 homes in Silwan, warning their abodes–housing more than 1,500 people–are to be destroyed.

The Israeli occupation has been far longer in duration, and far more intense, than the military occupation that produced the American Revolution. It violates every right in the Bill of Rights. It flouts every principle of the fight against Jim Crow from 1865 to the present. It re-enacts almost every injustice visited on Native Americans.

Yet Americans support it with foreign aid assistance to the tune of $3-4 billion a year. They allow 501c3 tax exempt US-based organizations to promote ethnic cleansing of exactly the sort described in the Al Jazeera article linked above. They support Israel, and expect others to support it, with righteous, character-assassinating zeal.

This is what it looks like on the ground:

–a neighborhood destroyed in the name of mythology and frivolity by authorities who demand that the inhabitants destroy their neighborhood with their own hands, or else foot the bill for the crime of taking up space in their own homes.

That’s what the Fourth of July means to Palestinians, at least this Fourth of July–expropriation, house demolition, and forcible mass displacement in the name of Israeli ethnocracy, with Americans footing the bill.

*That said, mainstream coverage appears to be improving. I previously blogged a piece from The New York Times on property issues in greater Jerusalem. This piece from the Times, though a month old, is balanced and informative. This piece from NPR brings things more up to date. Better still (though also dated), is coverage at The New York Review of Books. For more sustained coverage, though, you have to abandon American sources and read foreign ones, like Al Jazeera. For more detailed ground-level coverage, there’s the work of BT’selem, Al Haq, Human Rights Watch, the Good Shepherd Collective, Mondoweiss, and reporting by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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