One of the negative characteristics of the Israeli “Left” is how it terms the military rule over the West Bank and Gaza “The Occupation.” Part of the Left even accuses Palestinians who claim there is no difference between Petah Tikva and Ariel of being like the Right, because “that’s what the Israeli Right claims.” For most Palestinians, however, this exaggerated and Orwellian talk of “The Occupation” blurs Israel’s real shame, and the skeleton buried deep in the closet: The brutal and criminal occupation of 1948.
Ethnic cleansing and massive land expropriation, and then settlement of that land, are the mother of all disgraces — even if Israelis refuse to recognize it as such in public, and even if they try very hard to ignore what most Arabs are saying. Israelis’ designation of the ’67 occupation as “The Occupation” is intended, among other things, to either obscure or prevent any engagement with the Nakba. As such, most of Israel’s pseudo-Left is actually composed of Nakba deniers.
One of the most worn-out claims used to avoid referring to the crimes of ’48 as an “occupation” is that the Nakba, or the “War of Independence” to use the laundered Zionist expression, was necessary for the national project of establishing a state for the Jewish people following World War II.
Another claim, put forward mostly by the Israeli Right, is that Palestinians refused the 1947 UN Partition Plan. This claim has always seemed to me to be void of any foundation or basic logic, and is therefore not worth addressing. Let’s see those who wave this claim around agree to distribute their homes and land to people who have arrived from overseas to dispossess them, and then we can talk about it.
A national project?
The argument that it was necessary to establish a state at the expense of the native population, while justifying it because of the persecution experienced by the occupiers, is pathetic at best. Many good people have already spoken about Zionism’s cynical exploitation of the memory of victims of the Holocaust. But to the ears of Palestinians, these self-justifications along with exaggerated talk of the “The Occupation,” as if there was no other disaster and open wound, sounds more than just pathetic.
These statements are intended to blur Israelis’ responsibility for those bloody events. It’s important to bleeding-heart Zionist left-wingers that Arabs and Jews don’t need to be enemies, but less important to listen to Palestinians and understand how traumatic ’48 still is — and how much impact it still has, even for the third generation after the Nakba.
It’s not just the diaspora of millions of refugees from the Nakba, most of them living in substandard conditions in camps. It’s also the lack of recognition of the greatest injustice ever done to the Palestinian people. When you don’t recognize your direct responsibility for the catastrophe of another, how can you expect them to live with you in peace or believe in your coexistence slogans?
Living in the past
Far too many Israelis, seeking to exempt themselves from Palestinian claims that the lack of recognition over ’48 remains an open wound, feel at ease preaching to Palestinians that they should “let go of the past.” And this is coming from the people who claim to be returning to the land of their ancestors from thousands of years ago. The hypocrisy is boundless.
Ignoring and forgetting the past is another negative feature of the “Zionist Left.” Israelis constantly make use of their biblical right to Palestine and continually remind the world of their past persecution — so it’s precisely the leftists among them whom you would have expected to understand Palestinians’ insistence on remembering the crimes of the past. Especially when those same persecuted people are the ones who caused these injustices.
The Nakba will never disappear from the Palestinian discourse as long as no solution to the distress of Palestinians is found, because it is still ongoing and its implications are still being felt. Arabs are still being kicked out of their homes in order to settle Israelis, and not just over the Green Line (see, for example, Umm al-Hiran, and how mixed cities are being Judaized).
The sad truth is that recognizing the Nakba necessitates recognizing the original occupation of 1948, which Israelis are scared to confront. You can shout peace slogans until the cows come home, but as long as you ignore the rights of the refugees of 1948 to return to their land at the expense of the settlers in Ein Hod, for example, those words are meaningless.
Do you want to engage with Palestinians as equals? Do you want to insist that you refuse to see them as enemies? Do you want to strengthen real leftist values? Then start repeating: The occupation is 69 years old, not 50. When more Israelis come around to this line of thinking and stop denying the Nakba, perhaps then more and more Palestinians will begin refusing to see them as enemies.
This article was originally published in Hebrew on Local Call.
About the author Rami Younis:
A Palestinian writer and activist, Rami graduated From Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he started his political activism with the “Tajamoa” student group (National democratic union of Palestinians).
He is one of the founders of the Palestinian activist group, “Khotweh” (a “step” in Arabic), which was very active on the issues of home demolitions and Palestinian identity in Lyd and Ramleh, mixed Jewish-Arab cities in occupied historical Palestine, especially among youth.
Rami started his professional life in the pharmaceutical and tech industries. He later served as a parliamentary consultant and spokesperson for Palestinian member of Knesset Haneen Zoabi.
On one of his many travels, Remi found himself being asked why people don’t see more Palestinian travelers. After thinking about it for a second he coined the phrase: “Because we’re preOCCUPIED with other shit,” which he hasn’t stopped repeating ever since.
The role of Jewish figures and that of the State of Israel in the Ukrainian crisis has not gone unnoticed considering that this community represents less than 1 percent of the population. However, a secret report in the hands of the Netanyahu administration confirms that Ashkenazi Jews do not originate from the Levant, but are the descendants of the Khazars. This little-known population founded a Jewish empire in the tenth century on the banks of the Black Sea. Therefore, some Zionists see in Ukraine a possible second Israel.
The Times of Israel, an independent Israeli newspaper that counts among its staff ...
Yom HaShoah/Holocaust Remembrance Day: A state-sponsored institution in Vilnius rewrites history to the delight of Europe’s new ultranationalists
This past winter here in Vilnius, the charming capital of Lithuania, was much like any other. During long solid weeks of subzero temperatures, as the flow of tourists and roots-seekers slowed to a trickle, I adjusted the route of my daily walk to pass by up to a dozen top tourist sights. Day after day, there was one constant: The most popular, winter-defying “must-visit” for foreigners is “The Museum of Genocide Victims.” Perhaps there is something grotesquely sexy about “genocide.” Maybe the promise ...
A Reuters news report under the names of presstitutes Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold shows how devoid the West is of honest, intelligent and responsible journalists and government officials. http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-nato-summit-idUKKCN0ZN2NN
First we will examine the dishonesty or incompetence of the reporters and then that of Western government officials.
Emmott and Siebold describe NATO as a “Western defense alliance.” Since the Clinton regime NATO has been an alliance for waging offensive war, a war crime under the Nuremberg rules established by the United States. Under the NATO banner a number of countries have been bombed, invaded, and had their governments overthrown by ...
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Israel occupies Palestinian territory; destroys Palestinian olive groves and poisons Palestinian sheep; sprays Palestinian homes with sewage; sabotages Palestinian water supplies; cuts off power to Palestine; terrorizes Palestinians for hours at checkpoints, including the sick, infirm, and pregnant women, some who are forced to give birth ...
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Addressing an audience at Tel ...
The Israeli historian Benny Morris has been very vocal of late in denying that Palestine was ethnically cleansed of Arabs in order for the “Jewish state” of Israel to be established. In a series of articles in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Morris has debated the question with several of his critics who contend that ethnic cleansing is precisely what occurred. Not so, argues Morris. So who’s right?
It’s worth noting at the outset that, while such a debate exists in the Israeli media, the US media remains, as ever, absolutely silent on the matter. Americans who get their information about the ...
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“Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches.” Ariel Sharon(2)
With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World’s 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China ...
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In the 20th century, ...
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The World must demand an end to race-based Apartheid Israel after the example of post-Apartheid South Africa and its replacement by a unitary state in Palestine with ...
Myth #1 – Jews and Arabs have always been in conflict in the region
Although Arabs were a majority in Palestine prior to the creation of the state of Israel, there had always been a Jewish population, as well. For the most part, Jewish Palestinians got along with their Arab neighbors. This began to change with the onset of the Zionist movement, because the Zionists rejected the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and wanted Palestine for their own, to create a “Jewish State” in a region where Arabs were the majority and owned most of the land.
For instance, after a ...
Whilst Da’esh are constantly being compared to the Nazis, the real parallel – the West’s willingness to build up fascism in order to cripple Russia – is often forgotten.
The recent debate in the British House of Commons on bombing Syria saw the comparisons coming thick and fast. “Daesh are the fascists of our time”, said Labour MP Dan Jarvis; “this is the fascist war of our generation” opined Sarah Wollaston; whilst Hillary Benn rounded off the debate by explaining that “we are faced by fascists” and “what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated”.
The parallels are ...
The foreign policy of the United States in the post-Cold War era, driven by a doctrine of Exceptionalism and managed by a neoconservative strategy, has been responsible for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Nato’s war on Libya in 2011 and the covert war waged in Syria using Islamist proxies. It was also at the root of its involvement in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine in 2014. But the geopolitical advantage intended in each enterprise has brought the proverbial blowback.
The results are plain to see. Libya is now certifiably a failed state. Accompanying the destruction of ...
To mark so-called ‘Independence Day’, Palestinian citizens forced to study the book that paints them as inferior to Jews
Ramallah: An Israeli civics textbook under the theme of ‘Being a Citizen in Israel’, launched to mark the regime’s commemoration of the 68th anniversary of its establishment, has been slammed for its negative and dismissive attitude towards the native Palestinian citizens.
After the Israeli Education Ministry officially launched the textbook as part of the curriculum taught in Israeli schools, including those attended by Palestinian citizens, Palestinians reacted by condemning the move.
Israel on Thursday marks the 68th anniversary of its 1948 founding in Palestine, ...
Several years ago two very distinguished American scholars wrote a book, The Israel Lobby.
The book made a very understated case that the Israel Lobby has far more power over the US government and media than is good for America or Israel, as it silences constructive critics who are Israel’s friends. The two scholars were demonized by the Israel Lobby as advocating the return of the Holocaust.
The Israel Lobby presented itself as just a poor little weak thing unable to stand up to all the Nazis assailing Israel. Meanwhile the US Congress was unanimously passing outrageous resolutions handed to it by ...
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Hollywood Jewish royalty ...
Israel will soon bar all access to a Palestinian village whose farmers have continued a tradition stretching back thousands of years of tending stone terraces to grow crops in the fertile uplands outside Jerusalem.
These farmers are among the latest victims of Israeli efforts to put in place the final pieces of a Greater Jewish Jerusalem that will require “ethnically cleansing” tens of thousands of Palestinians from a city their families have lived and worked in for generations, human rights groups have warned.
The villagers of Walaja, many of them holding Israeli papers as “residents” of Jerusalem, were warned in November that they ...
June 5 marks the 50th anniversary of Israel’s Six-Day War of conquest. Any objective examination of that war, and the events leading to and following it, make clear that the dominant narrative in the United States is reality turned upside down. It is “fake news” that is perpetrated on the public by the corporate media continually, right up to the present day.
The Six Day War began on June 5, 1967. Israel launched the war against Egypt, Syria and Jordan with what could correctly called a “sneak attack,” although it is never referred to that way here. In the vocabulary of ...
Real Semites are the Palestinians.
Current Zionists Israelis genetically are not the Semites.
They are the real anti Semitic people.
Please world stop those anti Semitic warmongers Israeli Zionists!
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With the recruitment of novice French President, Emmanuel Macron, the US Israel lobby can now boast a powerful political agent inside the corridors of power of the Élysée Palace, to liaise with those agents already resident in the British Parliament and at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington. It is, of course, no small achievement to have managed to recruit half of the European Union as well as the United States Senate to support the dispossession of five million indigenous Arabs who have populated the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Gaza for over a thousand years.
No small achievement of the powerful minority Zionist movement ...
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