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.
About the author: Rami Younis is 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.
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This article by Professor James Tracy first published in August 2015 is of particular relevance in relation to the “fake news” campaign directed against the alternative and independent media.
In a bitter irony, the media coverup of the CIA’s covert support to Al Qaeda and the ISIS is instrumented by the CIA which also oversees the mainstream media.
Since the end of World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis. CIA publicists and journalists alike will assert they have few, ...
Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that “Al Qaeda” is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Courtesy of World Affairs, a journal based in New Delhi, WMR can bring you an important excerpt from an Apr.-Jun. 2004 article by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence.
“I first heard about Al-Qaida while I was attending the Command and Staff course in Jordan. I was a French ...
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We live in a time when the earth’s ruling elite has willfully created this foreboding, seemingly suicidal endgame scenario, using US Empire to prod, orchestrate, and push the world into two enemy camps in a West ...
Will the election of Republican George W. Bush as President usher in changes in foreign policy with regard to Serbia, Yugoslavia, and the Balkans? Will there be a continuation of „humanitarian interventionism“, „military humanism“, „economic globalism“ and „globalization“?
The Bush Administration foreign policy team has rejected the selective humanitarian interventionism of the Bill Clinton/Al Gore Administration, as espoused by Madeleine Albright and James Rubin. John Hulsman, Balkans adviser to Bush, announced that Bush was concerned about „imperial overstretch“ and has rejected a foreign policy that uses the US military in „nation building“. Hulsman has announced a „philosophical sea change“ in Balkans ...
According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine.
But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the ...
Comparing testimony from Vietnamese women and American soldiers, Gina Marie Weaver, in her book Ideologies of Forgetting: Rape in The Vietnam War, finds that rape of Vietnamese women by American troops during the US invasion of Vietnam was a “widespread”, “everyday occurrence” that was essentially “condoned”, even encouraged, by the military, and had its foundation in military training and US culture. She explores why US rape in Vietnam was so common, and why this aspect of US behavior has been virtually “erased” from “narratives of the war”. She stresses the issue is also important as rape in the US military continues ...
Congratulations to the city of Kaunas, Lithuania, once known also as Kovno (in Yiddish Kóvne) on its selection as Europe’s “Capital of European Culture” in 2022, sharing the title with Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg.
The city’s leaders now have a splendid opportunity to take the moral high road in dealing with a number of ghosts from the present and the past. To start with the present, will the city’s officials now act rapidly to avoid a public perception disaster by moving this year’s neo-Nazi parade away from the city center during the February 16th Independence Day celebrations? Previous years’ marches have on occasion glorified actual Kaunas Holocaust collaborators, causing deep pain to Survivors ...
Was Serbia attacked in 1999? To answer that question, Milica-Hänsel Radojkovic draws on period documents (including Willy Wimmer’s letter to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder). He highlights the unacceptability of the Rambouillet proposals, designed to justify a war that had already started.
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The prophets and forecasters for the coming year have already set out their global vision ranging from rising economies to catastrophic global wars.
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When considering United States President Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, we learn many things about him:
+ He is desperate to hold onto his base, which includes so-called Christian fundamentalists, who unquestioningly support Israel;
+ His interest in ‘the ultimate deal’ between Palestine and Israel is non-existent;
+ He has no regard for the opinions of the U.S.’s closest allies;
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Genocidal corporate media presstitutes follow the all-too-familiar script of blaming the victim for the crimes perpetrated by aggressor nations.
NATO terrorists, for example, are invading and occupying Syria, and the Syria government is blamed for the ensuing disasters, but the presstitutes omit this this from their narratives and instead find creative ways to blame the al Assad government whose duty it is to protect Syria, its sovereignty, and its territorial integrity. When terrorists are occupying cities, as they do in Syria, innocent people will always be victimized, including during government operations to clear out the terrorist infestations, but the presstitutes blame ...
Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War.
(* indicates successful ouster of a government)
China 1949 to early 1960s
East Germany 1950s
Iran 1953 *
Guatemala 1954 *
Costa Rica mid-1950s
British Guiana 1953-64 *
Iraq 1963 *
North Vietnam 1945-73
Cambodia 1955-70 *
Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *
Ecuador 1960-63 *
Congo 1960 *
Brazil 1962-64 *
Dominican Republic 1963 *
Cuba 1959 to present
Bolivia 1964 *
Indonesia 1965 *
Ghana 1966 *
Chile 1964-73 *
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The truth is that no government will allow a protest to go on endlessly to the extent that it begins to destabilise the country and economy.
— Wei Ling Chua, Tiananmen Square “Massacre”?: The Power of Words vs. Silent Evidence, 100.
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In Reuters’ article, “U.S. flexes muscles as Asia worries about South China ...
The history behind Palestine and Israel is a history of Jewish European settler-colonialism — i.e., Zionism. And since racism is a symptom and a tool of settler-colonialism, Zionism is also viewed as anti-Semitism, and as ethno-supremacy or Jewish supremacy, Arabophobia and Islamophobia.
The triangulation of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Arabophobia in the history of Palestine and Israel is part of the settler-colonial movement of Zionism and is not a “new history” in the sense of the term as introduced by Israeli historian Benny Morris in 1980 to humanize, in Israeli academic discourse, the victims of Zionism. It simply reflects modern terminology and ...
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