Press TV has interviewed Paul Larudee, co-founder of the Free Palestine Movement in San Francisco, to discuss the increasing violence by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territories during the holy month of Ramadan.
A rough transcription of the interview appears below.
Press TV: Why would you say that this crackdown and this pressure or repression of Palestinians has seen such an upsurge in the last few months?
Larudee: There has been an upsurge in pressure and in repression, in killing, in making life more miserable on an ongoing basis. It has been ramped up for years, for decades even and the practice has been to create misery to an extent that is greater than it was, let’s say a month ago or two months ago or three months ago, but then to hold it steady for a while, wait for any international comments to die down and then to raise it again.
Israel is in the process of ethnically cleansing Palestine and it will make life as miserable as possible, of course during the month of Ramadan that makes it easier for them to make things miserable for Palestinians.
Press TV: Well, speaking of Ramadan, on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan which is fast approaching, Muslims around the world including Palestinians hold International Quds Day rallies. Now these are rallies that are held in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. How do you see Israel reacting to that this year?
Larudee: The only way they could possibly react to it, if they react at all, it will be with greater repression, with more arrests, with more killing and they will use it as an occasion to make things worse.
They might possibly have some international condemnations even from their good friend, the United States, possibly not certain by any means but that is not going to stop them because there is never anything practical that is done that causes them any harm and it is all part of their project to make Palestinians disappear, basically disappear from Palestine if not from other places.
Press TV: Well speaking of international condemnation, Ban Ki-moon has visited the Gaza Strip which this visit will be his last in his capacity as the UN secretary general. Many in Gaza have said that the situation there has worsened since he has become the UN secretary general. Do you see it that way too?
Larudee: Well, of course it’s worsened. It’s worsened during the term of every secretary general that has been there, that is because over time the situation has been worsening. It is not necessarily dependent on who is the secretary general of the United Nations, although I have to say that in the case of Ban Ki-moon, he was giving a press conference in Lebanon and he required the map of Palestine in the room where he was to be covered over so that no one would see the map of Palestine. So he is not a friend of Palestine.