MINNEAPOLIS — What if I told you there’s a group of religious extremists destabilizing the Middle East?
Since their arrival in the region, this terrorist group has systematically oppressed the indigenous population and imposed strict rules over the practice of religion, both Islam and Christianity, and even attacked places of worship.
During one of this group’s most brutal, extended assaults in 2014, at least 2,300 people were killed, many of them children and most of them civilians. About 10,000 were wounded and at least 300,000 left homeless in the aftermath.
They’re engaged in a violent struggle to secure the region’s energy resources, and have engaged a lengthy blockade over a crucial port, preventing everything from crayons to medical supplies from reaching the region’s starving population.
Water and power are unreliable, and unemployment is rampant.
And this terrorist group regularly kills journalists, demolishes homes, hospitals, and schools, and targets key agricultural staples like olive trees to further damage the ability of the local population to survive.
You may have assumed I was talking about Daesh, an Arabic acronym for the terrorist group commonly known as ISIS or ISIL in the West.
But, actually, through its ongoing occupation of Palestine, Israel’s carried out all of these atrocities.
That’s the genius behind the hashtag #JSIL, created in 2014 by Rania Khalek, along with Max Blumenthal and other supporters of Palestinian liberation and human rights. JSIL stands for the Jewish State of Israel in the Levant, a play on ISIL, one of the names for Daesh.
JSIL illustrates that Israel is not held to the same standards as other actors in the Middle East, but instead is given a pass for human rights abuses and war crimes that we condemn in groups like Daesh.
Joining me to talk about this is Rania Khalek, an associate editor at the Electronic Intifada and a journalist whose work focuses on the Israeli occupation of Palestine, as well as its influence on the military-industrial complex and the police state.
Watch the latest full episode of Behind The Headline with Mnar Muhawesh:
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