This is an extremely well written and well articulated analysis and should be read by everyone who wishes to understand the ongoing, 100 year old colonial conflict in Israel/Palestine.
Rewind the clock more or less than a century and you will find a world teeming with settler colonies engaged in battle with ‘unruly natives.’ Today only one remains; Israel is the last of a dying breed, the last of the settler colonies.
The conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is often described as unique – as a conflict with no historical precedent. But viewed through the eyes of an imperial historian it is on the contrary reassuringly, or rather, depressingly familiar. In a largely post-colonial world, colonial conflicts are certainly harder to spot. But there are also less savoury grounds for not recognising the events of today’s Middle East as analogous with those who took place in America, Africa and Australia in the age of imperialism: simply because the treatment of the indigenous peoples of these continents have been universally brandished as immoral…
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Imagine a full page ad in the New York Times and other high circulation newspapers that ran with the following text:
We are calling on Prof. Elie Wiesel and Rabbi Shmuel Boteach to stop the ritual crucifixion of Christian children. In the name of Christian children worldwide and in order to save the Jewish religion that you so besmirched with your actions, we are calling on Messrs. Wiesel and Boteach to stop using the blood of Christian children in your religious ceremonies.
Most people would rightfully consider such ad to be a blood libel. And indeed this is more or less the essence of the infamous blood libels against Jews that repeated themselves every so often, mostly during the middle ages: upon the unexplained death of a Christian child, a number of Jews would be summarily arrested and put on trial for his killing. The allegation of child ritual sacrifice and crucifixion would turn into an assertion that is held by the court to be the truth while the defendant is left to prove his innocence. At the end of the trial, the Jewish suspects would commonly be executed for the crime.
Drawing from the Jewish experience, “Mr. Holocaust” Elie Wiesel seems to have concluded that no abuse of Palestinians is complete without a good old blood libel, therefore decided to craft one of his own and circulate it in the form of a newspaper ad shown here. Wiesel’s blood libel ad uses the same tactic: it does not call for the investigation of the use of children as human shields but rather asserts this allegation to be an a-priori irrefutable fact and demands that Hamas stops using this practice. His accusation is also similar: Hamas is engaging in ritual child sacrifice. But unlike the old blood libels against Jews, Wiesel does not provide evidence, even as tenuous as it might be.
The Holocaust Priest and his conniving partner, the self-appointed “America’s Rabbi” Shmuel Boteach, even take their blood libel a step further: they choose to carry out their evil deed over a medium in which they know the Palestinians cannot even defend themselves: Western newspapers. Thus they deprive the defendants even the most basic right that was granted to Jews in blood libel trials: the right to plead innocence.
While Elie Wiesel knows that Hamas most likely does not subscribe to the New York or LA Times, the ad serves a practical purpose: to demonize Palestinians and enable Israel to continue carrying out its atrocities while blaming the victim. This is the true agenda of this Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
In addition to a-priori culpability, the human shield blood libel makes another implicit assertion: that Israel is morally superior to (the lowly) Palestinians. This is a reflection of Israel’s dogmatic and delusional belief in its moral superiority, despite all evidence, which allows it to commit continuous crimes against humanity without any compunction or feeling of wrongdoing.
The implied narrative of the human shield scenario goes like this: when a soldier of the “most moral army in the world” (as brainwashed Israelis typically refer to their military), in his tank, F-16 or Apache helicopter, notices a Hamas fighter using a child as a human shield, this soldier, being such a superior, humane being, refrains from shooting at them and holds his fire. Yet 500 mangled and blown up bodies of children, even if indeed had been used as human shields, refute this very assertion. In fact, the very allegation that dead children are a result of being used as human shields makes the implicit confession that Israel still shoots them! Apparently human shields are not a very effective strategy when you deal with an army that doesn’t mind blowing up the fighter along with his child human shield.
These lies that self-refute are just a manifestation of the clinical pathology of the Zionist propaganda machine. I can assure you that Netanyahu and his gang of sociopaths sleep very well at night. They have no qualms about the death of Palestinian children as they can always retreat into the bunker of lies and self deception they have created for themselves. Even more so the Holocaust author and his buffoon Rabbi sidekick who are as removed from the reality of the Gaza massacre as they are from a far away galaxy. For them it is all about tribal loyalty – facts, truth and morality be damned.
There are hundreds of foreign reporters in Gaza, yet none of them claims to have witnessed the mythological bird invented by Israeli propaganda, known by its name “child human shield”. It is impossible that in the age of ubiquitous smartphones, 500 children in Gaza have died from Israeli shells without any documentation of this modern Yeti, nor has any reliable testimony been recorded about its existence. This is a Big Lie in the Goebbelsian scale that Israel and its Zionist sympathizers in the US have been propagating through coy and unquestioning Western media outlets, repeating it so often until the calumny gains traction.
While there is no proof of the use of children as human shields by Hamas fighters, there is tons of evidence for the use of Palestinian children as human shields by Israel’s military, including the Goldstone Report which found evidence that Israel used Palestinian civilians as human shields in operation Cast Lead. In fact, human shields was a widely used tactic by Israel’s military during the first Palestinian intifada (uprisings) against stone throwers. Here is one of them (keep in mind that in order to replicate this strategy, Hamas would have to use Jewish children as human shields, something that even Wiesel does not claim is happening):
Wiesel’s ad also feigns regret over the death of children, but even these crocodile tears are as fake as a three dollar bill. Let’s be honest: Wiesel, the Jewish victimhood salesperson, and Boteach, the rabid Zionist Rabbi, do not give a rat’s ass about dead Palestinian children. If they had, they would have called on Israel to stop its offensive or avoid dropping one-ton bombs or artillery shells in residential areas. They could even use their clout to go to Gaza or pick up the phone and speak with Hamas representatives to tell them about their great concern for Gaza children and the alleged child sacrifice. They could have called on Israel to lift the siege or end its 47 year occupation altogether. They could have called for citizenship and equal rights for Palestinians. But it would be naive to assume that these two scoundrels have good intentions. Their sole agenda in spreading the libel in Western media is to demonize and dehumanize Palestinians with the most racist and vile of accusations: that is, that Palestinians do not love their children and are purposely causing the death of their children in order to make Israel look bad. The ad takes the demonization of Palestinians a step further, evoking Biblical themes and comparing it with ritual child sacrifice. That’s how Satanic those Palestinians are, the Holocaust survivor tells us.
The irony of history that the preacher of Holocaust and Nobel Peace Prize laureate is now demonizing and spreading blood libels against the people, who like the Jews 73 years ago, are locked in a ghetto and slaughtered wholesale with modern warfare weaponry, has not evaded people’s eyes. More than anything, it gives us a glimpse into the extreme ethnocentric and insular world of Wiesel and Boteach in which such miscreant thoughts and racism sprout unchecked. This world is enabled by a paralyzed American society, ever fearing accusations of antisemitism, and which has put Jews on a pedestal as a class beyond reproach, let alone a Holocaust survivor. This is what enables Boteach to refer to the Presbyterian Church as “a rotting corpse”, knowing that he is immune to backlash or criticism. Neither Wiesel nor Boteach will be made to apologize and retract their racist blood libel ad. They will not be asked to resign their posts or made pariahs by media outlets. And this immunity awarded to American Jews translates directly into impunity for Israel.
That such deranged persons can view the wholesale slaughter of children as an act of child sacrifice by Hamas speaks volumes about their mental world in which a Jew is forever and ever a victim, even as he drops a smart one-ton bomb on a four story residential building, bombs UN shelters or razes an entire neighborhood in the Gaza ghetto, burying its occupants alive, killing hundreds of elderly men, women, children and babies.
For this affront to humanity, Elie Wiesel should be tarred and feathered and his crown of martyrdom taken away from him. He should be shamed twice: once for creating a modern day blood libel and a second time for using his Holocaust card to justify Israel’s atrocities and to shift the blame to the victim. This man should be rejected and denounced by every reasonable human being and exposed for the racist hypocrite garbage that he is.
With all that being said, it would be appropriate to end with a ray of hope and optimism – that Wiesel and Boteach do not represent American Jewry. Young American Jews, according to recent surveys, are drifting away and are no longer willing to toe the Zionist line. Israel’s brutality has alienated much of a younger generation, Jews and non-Jews alike. Killing children and babies is simply not cool, and no amount of propaganda can forever put lipstick on the murderous Zionist apartheid pig. And this is our great hope for a better future.
Atheism is cool, atheism is trendy, atheism is the new religion which will cure all of mankind’s ailments and rid it once and for all from the scourge of humanity called war. So we are told. This chic new age movement, popularized in recent years by young IT workers across the internet, has produced a few celebrity spokespersons such as Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens and more recently celebrity neuroscientist Sam Harris, who under pressure from readers for the inherent contradiction between atheism and support for the theocratic ethnocracy Israel, penned a hideous apologist essay titled Why I Don’t Criticize Israel. This was all happening while Israel was raining down one ton bombs on defenseless Palestinian refugees in Gaza, razing entire neighborhoods and achieving an 80% score in the killing of over one thousand uninvolved elderly men, women, children and babies.
I have nothing against atheists or their preachers. In fact, I believe that the vast majority of atheists do not base their political views and analysis on the theism-atheism paradigm. However, I can see the sinister side of this ideology when it is adopted by the Western establishment to be the new vanguard in imperial wars against third world countries, which are “too religious” to their taste, and thus pushing the West back into colonial mode of interventionism and carrying the white man’s burden. It is not surprising that once these writers are adopted by the American establishment, they would stop being philosophers but instead become ideological weapons in the hands of neoconservatives and other supporters of a global empire, and by extension become advocates for the colonial offshoot Israel, warts and all.
Sam Harris could have answered the title of his essay with one sentence:
Because I know on which side the bread is buttered and I want to keep my writing and public speeches career which is possible only if you are adopted by the mainstream establishment in America.
But instead, Sam Harris gets the kosher stamp by going into a long diatribe of Zionist apologetics, performing mental gymnastics that display his ignorance as well as his belief in Jewish exceptionalism. Don’t worry: if his audience is American, they will not notice. After all, they were also taught to uphold the myths that underlie support for the Jewish State.
There is no mention of apartheid, colonialism or the dispossession and ghettoization of Palestinians anywhere to be found, except for a limp lip service to “I oppose a state based on religion” which is followed with a “but”. That already gives you a hint of the level of political analysis to expect from this charlatan. Harris is just there to impose some sort of rationalism on the West’s support for the colonial project in Palestine. The notion that Jews perhaps should live in Palestine as equals instead of a Jewish supremacist state, does not cross his mind, neither that this is the root cause of violence, much like S. Africa was under the rule of white supremacists. For Harris, like the intellectual dwarf that he proves himself to be, it is all about religion.
I understand Harris may not be an expert on Israel/Palestine: after all, this is not his forte. In that case he should have avoided the subject altogether. But what follows is a truly shocking piece of propaganda that seems to have been written by a third grader or by a US politician who is handed a script by his AIPAC lobbyist. It would take a lot more than one essay to debunk and analyze the mental fart that Harris produced so I will concentrate on just a few points.
1. Jews = Victims. This is known as The Sacred Equation, the axiom of all axioms, the point of departure from which all political thought emanates, such as the big bang of political analysis. Harris holds this to be an incontrovertible truth as he claims, in the wording of a layman: “the rest of the world has shown itself eager to murder the Jews at almost every opportunity“. Well indeed the Holocaust has been a terrible genocide, the worst of its kind in history, but awarding Jews the perpetual victim title and Israel the victim state designation, even as they are slaughtering children in Gaza, is an extension that is not awarded to anyone else. No group of people are perpetual victims or perpetual victimizers. Each crime should be judged separately and blanketing Jews with preordained victimhood means that they are absolved of any possible crime, even the most atrocious one. In fact, many people, horrified by what they witness in Gaza, started entertaining the thought that they may be witnessing the first genocide in history where the genocided people will be blamed for their misfortune and the perpetrator portrayed as victim with the warped narrative printed in history books (and if you don’t believe that such bending of history can be done, just read Zionist official history books that blame the victims for the crime against humanity which is the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine). That is a logical consequence of holding one group of people above the rest of mankind. Jews are no different than any other group of people and are quite capable of committing crimes just like anyone else and awarding them moral impunity is encouraging ever growing future atrocities, all the way down to genocide. There is no reason to treat Jews differently for good or for bad.
Since Harris upholds #1, then by logical extension it follows that:
2. Jews are good, Muslims are evil. Harris’s proof: you can be an atheist Jew but not an atheist Christian or Muslim. This is truly a bizarre statement that relegates being a Jew to one’s ancestry or a cultural belonging, i.e. accepting the Zionist interpretation of Judaism and a degeneration of a religion into ethno-nationalism. The question should follow, if that’s the case, why should Palestinians pay the price so that Jews can eat lox and bagels? They can do it anywhere else in the world last time I checked. Here is another mental fart that Harris produces: “They have been brutalized by this process—that is, made brutal by it. But that is largely the due to the character of their enemies.” What Harris is saying is something which could not been said about any other group of people. That is, Jews are pure and benevolent. If they behave badly it is because of their enemies, and their enemies are the bad guys as you know. This is a paraphrase of Golda Meyer’s “we cannot forgive them for making us kill their children“. And if an acclaimed writer such as Harris adopts the world view of a crude troglodyte such as Golda, any other trail of diarrhea left by his pen should come as no surprise.
3. If you follow the line of faulty reasoning above, it is inevitable that you would reach the third conclusion: Israel is fighting the West’s battle. “The Israelis are surrounded by people who have explicitly genocidal intentions towards them” – this is where Harris drops all pretense of a political analyst and simply repeats Hasbara lines that he picked up somewhere, without critical thought. In fact, the entire sentence bears second thought. Harris is repeating the ages old colonial view of Israel as the enlightened white man’s fortress surrounded by murderous savages. The savages have no grievances. They are guided by nefarious congenital instincts. I don’t know whether Harris considers Egypt and Jordan, who have peace treaties with Israel, as genocidal maniacs. What is certain is that Harris buys the demonization of Hamas lock stock and barrel. It does not occur to him that people who have been abused for so long, dispossessed and herded into a ghetto would be so enraged that they may utter unbearable thoughts, such as did the long abandoned Hamas charter. But that doesn’t change the fact that Israel has been committing politicide for decades now against Palestinians. I can imagine Harris, as someone who grew up in an affluent suburb of Los Angeles, cannot understand the level of abuse over generations that it takes to reduce people into committing acts of desperation and to be driven into extremism. I should remind him, as well as other Israel apologists, that Israel has been abusing and dispossessing Palestinians long before the rise of Islam as a political force, which refutes his simple minded theory of “good Jews versus bad Muslims”. In fact, the rise of political Islam in Palestine is a result of the failure of the secular forces to show any achievements in the face of Israeli intransigence and continued colonial dispossession. “Radical” Hamas at several opportunities hinted it will agree to a state in the 67 borders and in the absence of it support the one state solution, i.e. an inclusive Palestine for Jews Muslims and Christians alike. But Harris, who is a layman who gathered tidbits about the conflict from mainstream media and Israeli Hasbara, seems to embrace the silly notion that the conflict is about religion. This is the level of thinking of a 13 year old, not a man of logic, which makes me question all his other claimed philosophical achievements.
Harris also displays his ignorance, claiming that “if we ask why the Jews wouldn’t move to British Columbia if offered a home there, we can see the role that religion still plays in their thinking“. As a privileged white man, Harris is generous enough to offer someone else’s land to Jews, just like the British Empire did almost a hundred years ago. Why not his home state of California? Of course that would be unthinkable that Harris would give up his lovely home so that Jews can have a Jewish demographic state in California. It’s easier to take land from defenseless indigenous populations. But here are some facts that contradict Harris’s claim: the Zionist movement was a small, almost insignificant movement among Jews prior to WWII. Even after the horrors of the Holocaust, the vast majority of Jewish refugees had no interest in immigrating to Palestine. They preferred the United States. It was only the closure of US immigration that redirected their ships to Palestine, in large part due to pressure by Zionists who viewed that it was their goal to “ingather” Jews from around the world to Palestine. This pattern demonstrated itself again in the 90’s, which I still remember clearly: a million Soviet Jews had no interest in immigrating to Israel, even though it was an established state at that time that offered them generous incentives to do so. I would not be exaggerating if I said it was around 99% of them that preferred to immigrate to the United States. Apparently Jews do not believe they should be confined in a certain geographical area because of their religion or imagined ancient ancestry. It was once again, because of the closing of US immigration to Soviet Jews, initiated and encouraged by Zionist sympathizers in the US, that Soviet Jews were diverted by subterfuge into Israel. It is all documented in the Israeli press, Mr. Harris, you can check on that. If old Sammy still doesn’t believe that, he can still ask his Jewish friends in the US why they are not moving to Israel.
Since non-religious Jews don’t seem to believe they belong in Israel (except for Israelis who are already born there) and religious Jews don’t need a state to be close to their religious sites as they have done for hundreds of years, what remains? A colonial project of ethnic dispossession that Harris and his ilk are left to defend as the new white man’s burden under the facade of atheism. That is something that Harris would have to improve his mental gymnastics skills to justify, which I am sure he will.
In the end of it all, it is colonialism and white supremacy all over again, which never left the West, just changed forms, receiving an intellectual veneer from the likes of Harris. It used to be that the white man’s burden was to bring religion to the savages, but nowadays, with the help of establishment philosophers such as Harris, the white man’s burden is to take away religion from the savages. Apparently the savages can never win unless they are white.
Does Bill Maher pretend to be an idiot, or is he really one? This is the question that came to my mind when I watched his latest puke-inducing fawning piece about Israel. The smug talk show host, for whom the expression “progressive except Palestine” was coined, plumbed new depths with his contempt for Palestinians and support for their oppressors.
Short explanation: “progressives except for Palestine (PEP)” describes the kind of people who are progressive in their beliefs in just about every way except when it comes to Palestine, where they become supporters of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and colonialism. That view is typically explained by their ingrained belief that Jews have a different DNA than the rest of mankind and therefore all standard measures and norms are dropped when Jews are involved. For example, if a non-Jew murders a person he is a criminal that should spend the rest of his days in prison but if a Jew murders a person there must be a good reason for it and he must be retaliating, therefore the victim is to blame. If a Jewish State practices apartheid with different sets of laws for Jews and gentiles and builds colonies for Jews-only, then they will extol the virtues of apartheid and colonialism! If the Jewish State locks refugees in a ghetto and liquidates entire families with American supplied military might, then it surely is because the victims did something wrong to deserve it! Bill Maher is the type of progressive that if in the future Israel decides to make dog food out of Palestinians, he would be the first to volunteer to be the brand’s spokesperson in national ads.
Here is Bill Maher, conducting a lively debate between an Israel supporter and another Israel supporter, moderated by a third Israel supporter. And a holy orgy of lies, distortions, misrepresentations and smugness ensues.
After watching the above spectacle it became clear to me that “progressive except Palestine” is insufficient to encapsulate Bill Maher’s world view. I had to leaf through my dictionary for a good hour in search of a better term. Fortunately, thanks to the richness of the English language, I finally stumbled upon the fitting expression to accurately describe Bill Maher: a piece of shit. So without further ado here are the top ten reasons why Bill Maher is a piece of shit:
1. The famed atheist who has gone as far as making an atrocious documentary movie where he mocks people of all religions for 100 excruciating minutes, turns out to be giving his endless support and admiration to… yes you guessed it… a state that was created based on religion, has religious parties in government, has no separation of religion and state and still bills itself as “The Jewish State”. Why does atheist Bill Maher support a religion-based state? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
2. Bill Maher repeats the lie and the myth that Arab states “started 8 wars against Israel” whereas in reality Israel started all wars against Arab states (including 5 invasions of Lebanon) with the exception of only one war – the 1973 Yom Kippur war which was in itself a limited war to reclaim territory occupied by Israel in 1967, and hence legitimate. Why does Bill Maher propagate unfounded myths on behalf of Israel? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
3. Bill Maher touts Jewish supremacy to Arabs by pointing to the fact that Jews have won more Nobel prizes than Arabs and that must be because of a higher percentage of “Jewish atheists” (whatever that means), which explains Arab backwardness according to him and Israel’s technological advances. Yet you would never hear Bill Maher advocating Apartheid S. Africa as a role model of a state and white supremacy as an ideology because whites won more Nobel prizes than blacks. Why? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
4. Bill Maher considers Israel morally superior because it could kill more Palestinians but it doesn’t. In the same way, Bill Maher would consider the US to be morally superior in Vietnam because it could have nuked the entire Vietnam but didn’t. Why is Bill Maher creating false morality arguments? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
5. Bill Maher who at some point called the US military budget “the world’s largest welfare program” and opposes such waste, doesn’t mind sending over $3 billion a year from his tax money, or around $2,000 annually for every single Israeli family, to subsidize Israel’s military. Why does Bill Maher believe American tax dollars are better spent on a foreign country than at home? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
6. Bill Maher helps one of his guests to spread the gigantic lie that Israel left Gaza and no longer controls it, even though the UN, the entire international community and even agreements that Israel signed view the Gaza strip as occupied territory, considered an integral territorial unit with the West Bank, both under occupation since 1967. Bill Maher would never claim that Warsaw Ghetto was not occupied by Germany because there were no German soldiers inside it. Why? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
7. Bill Maher tells Palestinians that they should forget their dispossession and move on, even though the majority of them still live under a repressive colonizing military occupation and some are locked in an open air prison behind walls and remote controlled machine guns. Would Bill Maher preach to Jews locked in the Warsaw Ghetto or in occupied Poland to forget and move on? Of course not. Why? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
8. Bill Maher blames Palestinian deaths on.. you guessed it… Palestinians. He upholds the mendacious claim that “Israel is defending itself” from rockets even though Israel is the occupying power and hence the aggressor. Bill Maher denies the occupied people the right to resist their occupation and incarceration. Why? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
9. Bill Maher makes the claim that “Hamas would wipe Israel off the map if it could” while ignoring the fact that it is Israel that has wiped and is still wiping Palestine off the map with colonies. Why does Bill Maher support the wiping off the map done by colonial immigrants but not the natives who were wiped off the map and who want to do the reverse? Because Bill Maher is a piece of shit.
10. Bill Maher ignores the ongoing colonial context and the Jewish state’s policies of Jewish exclusivity, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, colonization and “Judaisation” on the expense of Palestine’s native population. He ignores Israel’s discriminatory laws, its state definition of Jews versus non-Jews, the denial of refugee rights, the violation of dozens of UN resolutions and the Geneva Convention, the millions of people under Israel’s rule without basic human rights for generations – all these monstrosities that have been going on since Israel’s foundation and that no progressive would ever support. Is it because Bill Maher is ignorant, pretending to be ignorant, or is it just because he is a piece of shit? I vote for the latter.
In its most recent assault on the defenseless population of Gaza, Israel is claiming to be “defending itself”, a preposterous claim parroted by the ever-so-subservient White House and Congress. To anyone with even a shred of knowledge of the facts, it seems outlandish that anyone would believe this absurd Orwellian language that turns oppressor and occupier into victim and victim into aggressor. So let’s review briefly Gaza’s history and put things in perspective:
Who are the Gazans and who are the real bad guys? Most Israelis are not aware that most Gazan Palestinians are refugees from what is now Israel, created during the 1947-1949 ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist forces. The Zionists – fresh colonial immigrants from Europe to Palestine under British colonial rule – aimed to create a “Jewish state” on a land populated by an overwhelming majority of non-Jews (Muslim and Christian Palestinians). They achieved this through violent expulsion in what is known as the Nakba (Palestinian catastrophe). Gaza is the small strip of land into which a large number of refugees from historic Palestine were herded. Thus most Gazans have land and property deeds which have been confiscated from them by the newly established Zionist state and were prevented from returning to their homes for the only reason of not being Jewish.
To this flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention, Israel added by shooting thousands of unarmed refugees who attempted to return to their homes (the Palestinians were then as they are now – a defenseless, mostly rural society without an army or a state). It later razed to the ground hundreds of Palestinian villages and wiped them off the map with the intent purpose of erasing the history and the people of Palestine.
The ethnic cleansing of Palestine created a surreal situation where the newly established Zionist state claims to be “defending itself” from the people it just dispossessed – a situation that continues to this day (imagine someone one day showing up at your door step, then forcing you out of your house where you and your family have been living for countless generations, and then when you try to reclaim it, convinces himself and others that he is a victim of your “irrational aggression”). And indeed, hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in houses that were confiscated from their legal owners who are now destitute stateless refugees languishing in refugee camps only a few miles away, while the refugees are being vilified for trying to reclaim what’s legally theirs.
Adding insult to injury, in 1967 Israel conquered the Gaza strip and then overnight the refugees came under the rule of the same state that had dispossessed them 19 years earlier. A happy reunion of the people and their land? Not so much. Then began a chapter known as Israel’s permanent “occupation” – a brutal regime of military repression and colonization in which Palestinians have no basic human rights, are allowed to work only as day laborers on their former land in menial jobs, and are subject to permanent military occupation where 6000 Jewish settlers planted by force in their midst by the Israeli colonial state are allocated 30% of the land of tiny Gaza and 70% of its scarce water resources. Israel creates a system of Apartheid, in effect to this day: one civilian law for Jewish settlers and another harsh military law and courts for Palestinians who sometimes live only a few hundred yards away.
In 2005, after having tortured (I know, I heard the screams of tortured Palestinians in the interrogation rooms of Israel’s notorious security services) and killed thousands of Gazans and leaving scorched earth behind, Israel decided that the cost of maintaining 8000 Jewish settlers in a handful of colonies was too high and decided to “disengage”, removing the settlers and soldiers from within Gaza but at the same time turning it into a giant ghetto, surrounded by walls and remote controlled machine gun turrets, a 300 yard death zone within the fence and a “warden” who even monitors the calorie intake for the 1.5 million inmates. “We put them on a diet” joked one of Israel’s top political advisors.
Once again, a permanent siege on a civilian population with scarce resources with an average income of $1/day, that prevents imports and exports. The entire world watches on and stays indifferent as humans locked in a giant ghetto resort to digging tunnels in order to smuggle food and basic necessities.
The bottom line: Israel expects Gazans to accept their fate and live peacefully behind walls and barbed wire, without an economy, future or slight hope for returning to their original land and homes, while the warden liquidates people as he pleases and shoots anybody who approaches the fence and continues his colonization drive in the West Bank.
As the horrors of the Jewish State start leaking into the world’s consciousness, Israel has embarked on a massive propaganda campaign to blame Hamas for Gaza’s misery, with the Western press generally going along for the ride, as it usually does when it comes to Israel.
But of course, such propaganda that takes advantage of the ignorance of the general public easily crumbles by pointing out two stark facts: the colonization, torture, apartheid and military oppression lasted for 4 decades before Hamas came to power and in fact long before Hamas existed. In addition, the Zionist propagandists ignore the fact that in the West Bank the “moderate” Abbas is in charge, where he vehemently fights terror, jails Hamas activists and obeys every order he receives from Israel’s military echelon. Did Abbas get a state? No. Did Israel stop its apartheid, military occupation or colonization of the West Bank? No. In fact it has been accelerating them. This just proves that Israel, the colonial apartheid state keeps doing what it’s been doing, i.e. ethnic cleansing, colonization, oppression and apartheid, regardless of who represents the Palestinians or what they do. Israel is the embodiment of the Zionist ideology which aimed to create a “lebensraum” for Jews in Palestine on the expense of the Palestinians, something which has been done continuously since Israel’s establishment and has not stopped for one day ever since.
You may have heard by now about the controversy created by Pam Geller’s “American Freedom Defense Initiative” ad campaign on San Francisco buses and in New York City’s subway. The ads which call on viewers to support “civilized” Israel against “savage Jihadists”, by evoking a strong sense of patriotism (“American freedom”) in a battle between the sons of light and the sons of darkness, is a crass attempt to create controversy and generate headlines. They are as tactful as a KKK Grand Wizard in the middle of Harlem.
If I were a conspiracy theorist and if I hadn’t known Pam Geller’s true vile character and bigotry from her previous “work”, I would suspect that Ms. Geller was a Palestinian supporter. After all, the ads achieve exactly the opposite of what their declared purpose is. This failure is so obvious that even the ADL, the main Zionist mouthpiece within the US, was quick to distance itself and condemn the ads as racist.
So what does this ad do? Does it garner support for Israel from previous opponents? Does it affect undecided Americans in a way that they would shell even more of their taxpayers money into Israel’s coffers? Not by a long shot.
Pam Geller’s ad draws an implicit parallel between the “civilized” European settlers in North America and the “civilized” Jewish settlers in Palestine and between the “savage” native Americans and the “savage” Palestinian resistance fighters. These were the exact terms, still fresh in every American’s mind, that were used to describe the North American takeover by European settlers and to justify the dispossession of native Americans. The same goes in Israel as the Zionist colonial settler state, created through violence and the expulsion, dispossession and oppression of the natives of Palestine, views itself as being at war with the “native savages” of the Middle East.
The problem of course is that in America and most of the “civilized” world, it took countless genocides and destructions of local populations until the white “civilized” man realized the evils of colonialism and acknowledged his sins. Colonialism is passe, there is not much support for eradicating more native populations. The “savages” who at times scalped women and children were just resisting dispossession and defending their land against a foreign invasion. Their violence, as savage as it might have been, was just a small fraction of the violence and savagery inflicted upon them by the colonial invaders, who in essence decimated and genocided them.
Israel in that sense is just “behind”, as the last active colonial state in the world today, still refusing to recognize its past sins and failing to acknowledge its current ones. The cynical Israeli mindset is “we have to finish the job first, just like in America”, i.e. to decimate Palestinians to “manageable” levels, before they acknowledge any past injustices. It is no secret that many Israelis pray and hope for a “Jewish Hitler” who will bring about a final solution and rid the land of those pesky Palestinians altogether.
So back to Pam’s Islamophobic ads, which are a blessing in disguise. Are they likely to sway any supporter of Palestine or “undecideds” in favor of the “civilized” Israel? I don’t think so. The ads will appeal to bigots and those who already believe in the “war of civilizations” that the Zionist masterminds concocted. However, even a mildly intelligent American will be able to connect the dots, either consciously or subconsciously and realize that Israel is doing to Palestinians what has been done to native Americans. After having acknowledged its past sins, is America ready to support another colonial project of dispossession, if presented as such? I don’t think so.
And as for Palestine supporters, I suggest the following counter-campaign, inspired by the universal view of mankind’s shared struggle for justice and freedom:
In any conflict between oppressor and oppressed,
support the oppressed.
defeat Israeli Apartheid.
The basic tenet of Zionism, i.e. Jewish nationalism, is that “Jews” or a “Jewish nation” – a notional extra-territorial entity comprising of people of the Jewish faith throughout the world – have an exclusive right to a land which they call Eretz Israel (Land of Israel). Just speak to the average Israeli Jew for five minutes and they will tell you that “we (i.e. Jews, as opposed to Israelis) have a right to the land”. This belief is inculcated into Israeli Jews since childhood through Zionist indoctrination.
It follows that non-Jews who reside on the land, even if they are the natives of the land for countless generations and have land deeds, are viewed at best as “guests” or “foreigners” (Ger in Hebrew), being there not by inalienable right but rather by the Jewish landlord’s “generosity” (as you have noticed, writing about planet Israel inevitably involves a lot of quotation marks) which they must work hard to justify. At worst non-Jews are viewed as interlopers, unwanted squatters, awaiting their turn to be ethnically cleansed.
The boundaries of the mythical Eretz Israel are unknown and subject to interpretation. Some Jews claim that it stretches all the way to the Euphrates river in Iraq, some interpret the Land of Israel to contain “only” current day Jordan, while others believe that it is confined to the Jordan river. Of course, Eretz Israel is just a mythological concept, much like Xanadu, subject to religious interpretation and limited by pragmatism to how far the Israeli war machine can expand the Jewish Lebensraum, to ethnically cleanse the natives and replace them with Jewish colonies. The lack of definition of the clear borders of the mythological Eretz Israel and the nebulous extra-territorial nature of the “Jewish Nation” help explain another feature of the Jewish state: that it is borderless, boundless and expansionist.
Zionism with its Jewish “national” claim over land is a pernicious ideology that has corrupted much of Jewish society since the onset of Zionism, although many current day Jews are not even aware that they have been unwittingly subscribed to this reprehensible creed which shares common roots with Nazi ideology.
Let’s be clear: a “nation”, whether Aryan, White Protestant, Arab or Jewish, does not have “rights to the land”, not even to the geographical area where it is confined to, let alone to a geographical area that it immigrated to such as is the case with Zionism. The demonstrably corrupting feature of this ideology is that while Moyshe Nusbaum is a decent fellow who would never dream of claiming Abdullah Rahim’s house and land to himself, as a “nation” Moyshe Nusbaum does exactly that. While Hans Gunther, a decent German, would never think of claiming Yehuda Goldstein’s property for himself, as an “Aryan nation”, Hans Gunther did exactly that.
Just as Hitler’s “Aryan Nation” claimed rights to the land of Germany, deported the Jews and confiscated their property, a “Jewish Nation” of Zionists claimed the land of Palestine, expelled the native Palestinians and expropriated their houses, lands, personal property and even bank accounts. There is no difference between the two with the exception that nowadays Nazism is considered the epitome of evil while Zionism, for its more nuanced bigotry and creeping ethnic cleansing, is considered acceptable. This poisonous ideology has corrupted not only Jews: because of Jews’ prominence and special status in the Western world and the tendency of religious people (and those who cynically use religion) to interpret spiritual religious text as a land registration deed, this warped Zionist world view has been dripping onto other turfs, mainly that of Christian Zionists but also some laymen gentiles and philosemites who now subscribe to the notion that “Jews have a right to the land”.
But this is of course a great fallacy: “nations” – an imaginary arbitrary construct – do not have rights to land or property – individuals do. States extend their sovereignty over territory but extending sovereignty still does not annul individual ownership rights. For the same reason “Jews” or a “nation of Jews” do not have a right to the land of Eretz Israel, Palestine or the Holy Land no more than they have a claim to China – individuals do, whether they are Jewish, Muslim, Christian or Druze.
Those who have been fooled to believe that Israel is fighting over sovereignty or that the current dispute with Palestinians is over borders must wake up from this illusion. Israel, as the “state of the Jewish nation” as it defines itself (and as an ethnic cleansing colonial state as we define it), is in a boundless continuous process of expanding the Jewish Lebensraum in which borders are only temporary armistice lines until further expansion. It takes the creed of “Jewish claim to the land” (as opposed to Israeli sovereignty over the land) and puts it into practice by ethnically cleansing non-Jews, confiscating their property and transferring lands in a one-way direction: from non-Jews to Jewish hands. As long as the ideology of “Jews claim to land” is not abolished (i.e. end of Zionism), the Jewish State will seek to expand and ethnically cleanse this notional territory of Eretz Israel, which has no defined borders.
In the same vein, winning or losing a war does not annul an individual’s right to his property or land – these are the most basic rules of humanity and such countries that violate these rules should be banished from humanity and be made pariahs, as they deservedly are. For this reason, Zionism is an ideology which must be confronted and exposed for its sinister nature. When America’s Vice President Joe Biden proclaims himself to be a Zionist to gain Jewish votes and campaign donations, we must remind him that being a Zionist means subscribing to a Nazi-like ideology which grants immigrant Jews from Europe a “right to the land”, to expel non-Jews and confiscate their property. Hundreds of thousands of Jews in Israel live in the houses of Mahmoud, Ibrahim and Karim, houses which they have not bought nor could have ever claimed ownership to as individuals. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Germany, their lives destroyed and property confiscated. This is the end game result of these nationalist creeds, to which Zionism belongs.