Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, May 2010
We Will Not Forget, We Will Not Forgive
By Khalid Amayreh
PIC, May 24, 2010
“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Hunefis, and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that didn’t have a former Arab population.” Moshe Dayan, during an address to the Technion, Haifa , reported in Ha’aretz, April 1969
“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of changes in the air- however slight-lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” William O. Douglas.
As a Palestinian who has been living under the yoke of Israeli military occupation for over 43 years and who lost three innocent uncles and several other relatives, in addition to tens of thousands of my people to Zionist bullets and other tools of death, I should have no problems comparing Israel with Nazi Germany.
It is true that Israel has not introduced gas chambers into Palestinian towns and villages. (Gas chambers were not the main method of killing in Nazi Germany). However, Israel has been killing and tormenting Palestinians unceasingly in a variety of ways that, in their brutality and sheer evil, don’t really differ in substance from Nazi behavior.
Moreover, it is important to remember that the German Holocaust didn’t begin with actual abominable crimes such as Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, but rather with an idea, with a book and with a Kristallnacht, the sort of things that are so rampant in Israel’s collective thinking these days as the Israeli Jewish society continues to drift menacingly towards religious and secular fascism.
Indeed, any honest comparison between Israeli behavior and Nazi acts and behavior would reveal the striking similarity between Zionist and Nazi thinking.
The manifestly racist public discourse in Israel is an expression of a society that is poisoned by fascist thinking, a society without a moral or even a human compass. Fortunately, several Israeli intellectuals, such as former Knesset Speaker Abraham Burg, have spoken elaborately about the growing dearth of humanity and morality in Israel. However, instead of paying attention to these conscientious voices, the bulk of the Israeli society continues to slide toward the fascist abyss, which is more or less the same path that Germany faced prior to the Second World War.
This is not liberal Zionism giving way to religious Zionism as some Israeli and pro-Israeli apologists would argue. There is simply no such a thing as liberal Zionism or democratic Zionism or even human Zionism, just as there was no such a thing as liberal Nazism or democratic Nazism or human Nazism. These are stark contradictions in terms.
Indeed, the moment a Zionist Jew sets foot in Palestine and accepts, enthusiastically as is usually the case, to live on a piece of land seized or effectively stolen from its rightful proprietors and to live in a house seized at gunpoint from its native Palestinian owners, this Zionist Jew loses his humanity and becomes an evil person, knowingly or unknowingly. We all know that there were millions of people in Germany and other European countries who didn’t actually commit direct crimes such as murdering innocent people. But they did provide the “human” basis for Nazi criminality and their silence, tacit or explicit approval, was conducive to making the general Nazi discourse acquire a certain rationality if not legitimacy in the eyes of the people.
Zionism, we are told, is about ‘building a national homeland for the Jews.’ However, for millions of its victims, Zionism is a project of dispossession, it is about the uprooting, expulsion and dispersion of the bulk of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland to the four corners of the world by way of organized terror and violence. Indeed, Zionism has always been clear about one thing: The Palestinians would have to leave by ‘hook or by crook.’ And there is ample historical evidence to support this fact.
This is the evil side of Zionism that much of the West doesn’t want to recognize or even know about..
From its very inception, Zionism viewed Palestine as a land without a people for a people without a land. This arrogant denial of the Palestinian people’s very existence didn’t originate in ignorance of reality. It was rather an expression of virulent and violent racism, very much like those white European barbarians who exterminated untold millions of indigenous Americans and called the genocide ‘Manifest Destiny.’
The Zionists did know that Palestine was populated by hundreds of thousands of Christians and Muslims.
In 1897 two Austrian rabbis visiting Palestine to assess the feasibility of making it a Jewish state, sent a pithy telegram summing up the situation. “The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man.”
That ‘other man’ was none other than the Palestinian Arab nation, long established as a political entity.
Yet, the Zionist movement insisted with unflinching determination on wresting the bride from her lawful husband.
That was a sheer act of rape, it still is an act of rape and will always be an act of rape, no matter how much the myth is glorified and the mythmakers are celebrated. Needless to say, this act of rape has no moral legitimacy, and never will. It has no right to exist, and never will. How can an act of rape and theft acquire legitimacy. Does a theft become legitimate after the passage of 62 years?
This is, of course, unless the system of “right and wrong” upon which human existence is supposed to be based is decimated into smithereens and morphed into another system based on the laws of the jungle.
In 1948, the forces of Zionist terror ethnically cleansed more than 90% of Palestinians in pre-1967 Palestine, banishing them to the four winds. Now, they are dreaming or probably planning to do it again, and they want to ‘transfer’ millions of Palestinians to ‘the desert’ in order to maintain Israel’s pure Jewish identity and have more ‘Lebensraum’ for ‘God’s chosen people.’
Yes, despite the passage of nearly sixty years of ‘Jewish Statehood,’ Israel’s undeclared but ultimate goal remains the expulsion of most or all Palestinians from the area extending from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea.
Indeed, any casual observer of the Israeli media will be affronted, nearly on a daily basis, by remarks and statements by Israeli officials, including Knesset members and cabinet ministers, calling for ‘transferring’ the Palestinians, not only from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, but also from Israel.
‘Transfer’ is not an innocent term. It is no less than a euphemism for genocide, at least a partial genocide, since it is almost impossible to effect the wholesale removal and ethnic cleansing of millions of people from their motherland without resorting to mass murder and mass terror.
Well, was not this the method used quite liberally by the legions of Zionism to force the bulk of the Palestinian people to flee their hometowns and villages in 1948? Didn’t Menachem Begin (may he rot in hell) in his book ‘The Revolt’ refer to the Deir Yassin Massacre as a miracle because it made hundreds of thousands of terror-stricken Palestinians flee in fear?
It is imperative that we call the spade a spade, especially when in the hands of our gravediggers. The Zionists are comparable to Nazis because their actions and behavior are comparable and similar to Nazi actions and behavior, and if Nazi actions and behavior were decidedly nefarious as they indeed were, then by the same token we must apply the same standards to the Nazis of our time. In the final analysis, when Zionist Jews think, behave and act like the Nazis of yesterday, they do become Nazis of today. No special treatment ought to be given to them. Right is right and wrong is wrong.
Indeed, just as the Nazis sought to obliterate Jews as a people, the Zionists have been seeking to obliterate the Palestinians as a people. This is more than Golda Meir saying dismissively “what Palestinians?”!! Or some Israeli officials referring to us contemptuously as ‘Never-landers.’ The systematic destruction of some 460 Palestinian towns and villages by Israel (1948-52) was a Nazi act of the highest order. It embodied total disregard and total denial of ‘the other’ on no ground other than that the victims being non-Jewish. The relics of many of these towns can still be seen even today and are meticulously documented in Walid Khalidi’s monumental work, ‘All That Remains.’
Unfortunately, this modus operandi of hateful racism and terror remains Israel’s central policy towards the Palestinian people. There is no clearer proof of Israel’s malicious intent than the unrelenting intensive building of hundreds of Jewish-only settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Yes, everything here is ‘Jewish-only.’ Jewish-only settlements, Jewish-only roads, Jewish-only pools, even Jewish-only rights and Jewish-only tunnels since non-Jews are viewed by Zionism (religious and secular Zionism) as children of a lesser God or even outright animals.
Israeli and Zionist apologists may not express these beliefs openly on CNN and BBC. They are not that stupid. But the daily crimes of the Israeli state, its army and especially its Nazi-like settlers, bear a clarion testimony to this virulent racism, which can only be compared to the ideology of the Third Reich.
Just take a look at this evil gigantic wall, the stated goal of which is to prevent Palestinian guerrillas from infiltrating into Israel, whereas the real purpose is to carve and steal as much Palestinian land as possible, under the largely false rubric of security, and to narrow Palestinian horizons further and further by effectively converting Palestinian towns and villages into de facto detention camps. Perhaps a visit to the northern Palestinian town of Qalqilya will be more eloquent evidence of the brutal ugliness of Zio-Nazism.
In 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that the Wall was illegal and ought to be dismantled. However, Israel, backed by its guardian-ally, the United States, arrogantly defied the ruling and implicitly accused the court and its judges of anti-Semitism.
In addition to the settlements, inhabited by some of the most violent and racist-minded Jews anywhere in the world, Israel has always sought to make Palestinian lives so harsh and unbearable in order to coerce them to emigrate.
To realize this evil goal, successive Israeli governments (Labor and Likud alike) employed every conceivable legal trick, including the introduction of dual justice systems, a liberal one for Jews and a harsh one for non-Jews.
One expression of this judicial apartheid is the open-ended incarceration of thousands of Palestinian activists, students, professionals and college professors as well as politicians, including lawmakers and cabinet ministers, without charge or trial. (Since 1967 Israel has arrested over a million Palestinians).
When the notoriously insidious system of institutionalized repression failed to make significant numbers of Palestinians emigrate, Israel resorted to brazen physical harm in the form of terrorizing and killing the Palestinians at the slightest ‘provocation’, very much like Hitler’s forces did throughout Nazi-occupied Europe more than sixty years ago.
Needless to say, Israeli ‘pacification’ raids and incursions, like Nazi pacification raids and incursions, would leave many children and women killed, homes destroyed, farms pulverized, furniture and house appliances vandalized and roads and infrastructures thoroughly bulldozed. In short, everything, every conceivable crime is committed by this Nazi-like entity, all under the rubric of fighting terror. And then much of the Western media would just parrot the Israeli narrative as if the Israeli army spokesmen were the paragons of truth and honesty.
A state that allows and instructs its army to bombard with heavy artillery densely populated neighborhoods, as happened on numerous occasions, before and after the murderous onslaught against Gaza more than a year ago, is a Nazi state par excellence, even if it evokes the Torah, God, Ten Commandments, and terror.
Moreover, an army whose soldiers blithely and gleefully murder children on their way to school and then verify the killing by emptying twenty more bullets into the child’s head, as happened with Iman al Hams in Rafah nearly three years ago, and then the soldier is exonerated and given financial compensation, is not really an army of professional soldiers, but an army of thugs, gangsters and common criminals. It is an army that differs very little from the Wehrmacht, the Gestapo and SS.
And the fire storms over Gaza created by the heavy use of White Phosphorus over in densely populated neighborhoods? Well, I am sure that Hitler and his cohorts would have had much to learn from the Nazis of our time.
In 2002, Portuguese Noble Laureate Jose Saramago, who won the Noble Prize for literature in 1998, toured the occupied Palestinian territories and saw for himself the extent to which Israeli repression of Palestinians resembled Nazi behavior during World War II. Here is some of what he had to say about his impression following the tour.
“We must ring all bells in the world to tell that what is happening in Palestine is a crime, and it is within our power to stop it. We can compare it to what happened in Auschwitz, even if we consider the differences in place and time, it is still the same thing. From the military view point, Ramallah is the barracks, and the Palestinians are the prisoners inside.”
When challenged by some Israeli spokespeople that the Israelis were not shipping Palestinians to concentration camps, Saramago retorted, telling them, “Gas chambers are not the only way to kill people.”
In fact, Israel has been waging a ‘total war’ on a virtually completely unprotected civilian population, and this fact alone should justify the Zionist-Nazi analogy. The blitzkrieg in Gaza was too eloquent to need further explanation using human words?
According to the Israeli Hebrew Daily Ma’ariv, quoted by the famous British journalist Robert Fisk, an Israeli officer advised his troops to study tactics adopted by the Nazis in the Second World War.
“If our job is to seize a densely populated refugee camp or take over the Nablus Casbah, an officer must analyze the lessons of past battles even to analyze how the German army operated in the Warsaw Ghetto.” (see Robert Fisk, The Independent, London , 30th March, 2002)
Well, the Israelis don’t have to learn much from the Nazis or anybody else. In many respects, the Israeli army has succeeded in emulating and surpassing the Gestapo, the SS, and the Wehrmacht.
The Israeli army shoots and murders wounded civilians. The Israeli army destroys homes, occasionally right on top of sleeping civilians; the Israeli army bulldozes farms, olive groves, citrus orchards, agricultural fields as collective punishment, and Israeli tanks smash their way through the walls of refugee camp shanties, without the slightest regard for the inhabitants.
Like the Nazis’s victims were treated, Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza , from 15 to 60 years of age, are routinely rounded up, many are stripped naked, handcuffed, harshly interrogated and tortured. Politicians are kidnapped and held hostage and left to suffer, often without food and water. And Israeli occupation soldiers are give carte blanche to torment, humiliate and even kill innocent civilians at evil roadblocks manned by equally evil soldiers and border policemen.
In some cases, these soldiers even force innocent Palestinian youngsters to drink their (the soldiers’) urine as was reported by the Israeli press on several occasions.
As with the Nazis, hundreds of wounded Palestinians are left to die as Israeli troops deliberately block ambulances, and Israeli warplanes, including F-16s and Apache helicopters, rain bombs and missiles on major towns and refugee camps, such as Rafah, Khan Younis, Beit Hanoun, Jabalya, and on cities such as Hebron, Bethlehem and Nablus. Indeed, the discovery of a single resistance fighter often results in the destruction of a huge multistory building as this writer witnessed in Hebron several times.
And yes, like the Nazis detained and interned thousands of Jews in special camps called concentration camps, the Israeli government also imprisons thousands of Palestinians in detention camps
Israeli propagandists would argue that Israel could, from a purely military viewpoint exterminate six million Palestinians in a few days and that it doesn’t do so for ‘moral and ethical reasons.’
This is simply a big lie. If Israel were truly concerned about ‘moral and ethical considerations’ it wouldn’t be carrying out these horrendous daily crimes in Gaza, including the imposition of this criminal blockade which is meant to starve and torment innocent people just because they had the audacity to elect a political party that Israel and its huge proxy-like American colony didn’t like.
The real reason preventing Israel from carrying out a final solution against the Palestinians is the international public opinion and the feared political ramifications.
Is there hope for a peaceful solution to this enduring cancer? Certainly there is, and it lies in dismantling Zionism and the creation of a unitary, civic and democratic State in Palestine-Israel whereby Jews and Arabs can live equally as citizens as many Jews and Arabs are living in Europe and North America and many other parts of the world today. This is because the two-state strategy upon which current American-led peace efforts is irreversibly dead given the ubiquitous proliferation of Jewish-only settlement and the nearly complete Judaizing of Arab East Jerusalem.
I say Zionism ought to be dismantled because the anachronistic concept of ‘Jewish State’ necessarily implies intrinsic racism and violence against non-Jews. Indeed, Israel is constitutionally defined as the state of ‘all’ Jews irrespective of where they live. This means that Israel is also the state of millions of people around the world who are not Israeli citizens, while it is not a state of nearly one quarter of Israeli citizens who are followers of different religions. This scandalous anomaly must come to an end if there is to be peace and stability in Palestine/Israel.
Finally, Israel must not delude itself into thinking that it has achieved a final victory. It has not and it won’t. Because the conflict will remain open-ended until the slate is wiped clean.
Sixty-Two years are nothing in the history of this region.
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