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 encompasses historic events to which the Zionist mind is still largely closed.
These historic events are simple in their broad outline. Zionist Jews (self-proclaimed atheists) decided to build a Jewish state in Palestine and ended up taking much of the land by force and expelling most of the Palestinian non-Jewish Arab population, preventing them from returning.
Now Israel is occupying the rest of the territory the World Zionist Organization didn’t manage to take and continues to “settle” it.
In The Ends of Zionism: Racism and the Palestinian Struggle, Joseph Massad writes:
Zionism as a colonial movement is constituted in ideology and practice by a religio-racial epistemology through which it apprehends itself and the world around it… It is no longer contested, even among many Israelis, that the impact of Zionism on the Palestinian people in the last one hundred years includes: the expulsion of a majority of Palestinians from their lands and homes, the prevention of their return, and the subsequent confiscation of their property for the exclusive use of Jews; imposing a military apartheid system on those Palestinians who remained in Israel from 1948 until 1966, which since then has been relaxed to a civilian Jewish supremacist system of discrimination; and the military occupation and apartheid system imposed on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and their population for the last thirty-five [now fifty-one] years as well as continued colonization of these occupied territories.
In that sense, the history of Jewish European settler-colonialism — i.e., Zionism — behind Palestine and Israel (as opposed to history as Zionist “narrative” or myth) has the voice of reason behind it, because it reveals an atrocity that must be redressed.
Acknowledging and taking accountability for Israel’s historic and ongoing crimes against Palestinian Arabs is the first step in resolving the Nakba. The historic details regarding why and how these tragic events happened have filled many books, but they are beside the point.
The broad outline by itself has the voice of reason if you also consider justice as reasonable and injustice as unreasonable.
What is reasonable or plausible, for example, about Ivanka Kushner now being able to buy a house in Jerusalem and “return” to Israel by dint of her conversion to Judaism and her American husband’s Jewishness, but Ghada Karmi, a Muslim Palestinian Arab being denied return to her homeland and not even allowed to buy back her own father’s stolen house?
In Humanizing the Text: Israeli “New History” and the Trajectory of the 1948 Historiography, Ilan Pappe, who is famously known for his The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, writes:
One thing is clear when analyzing the fortunes of Israeli new history from the time of its inception in the late 1980s until its brief/temporary disappearance in 2000: historical reconstruction is closely linked to general political developments and upheavals. In societies torn by internal and external rifts and conflicts, the work of historians is constantly pervaded by the political drama around them. In such geopolitical locations the pretense of objectivity is particularly misplaced, if not totally unfounded.
Radical Jewish dissident historians like Ilan Pappe in Israel are vital to a history that has the voice of reason on its side. They are a bridge to a wider public in Israel.
Palestinians often wonder what it takes to break through to the consciousness of Western publics with regard to the 70-year-long tragic history of Palestine.
I believe that the best way of shifting Western publics’ opinion from supporting Israel to supporting the Palestinian cause is to continue emphasizing what has already taken place through the demise of the so-called “peace process” and “two-state solution” — the realization, so long obscured, that the problem of Israel lies in its nature as a Zionist settler-colonial project in Palestine, rather than as a military “occupier”.
In Why the term ‘Israeli occupation’ must be rejected, Ramzy Baroud writes,
…It is often argued that Israel is an occupier that has violated the rules of occupation as stated in international law. This would have been the case a year, two years or five years after the original occupation had taken place, but not 51 years later. Since then, the occupation has turned into long-term colonization.
Many people believe that the Great March of Return has had so much positive journalistic reactions in Western media because the protest is essentially non-violent — i.e., it cannot be said to threaten Israel’s security and so the deadly force Israel uses is “disproportionate” and criminal.
That’s as far as Palestinian non-violent action goes. It doesn’t do anything to change Western publics’ perceptions of Israel as a legitimate Western-like state protecting its “borders” (albeit with disproportionate force) against a sea of Arabs or their perceptions of Palestinians as “rioters” and “barbarians” whose sole evil wish is to kill Jews.
Non-violent resistance has its uses, certainly, but it must never be pushed on an oppressed and brutalized people, in my view, as a higher moral ground of resistance.
Additionally, the emphasis on the tactic of non-violent resistance implicitly delegitimizes other forms of resistance, making saints out of some Palestinian martyrs and hunger-striking prisoners held under administrative detention (i.e., those imprisoned without charge) and accepting Israel’s justification for the execution and imprisonment of thousands of other Palestinians.
What’s different about the Great March of Return is that its demand of return connects the “occupation” and siege with the Nakba, dramatizing for a Western audience, through protest and resistance, the colonization of all of Palestine.
That demand, heard for the first time in the recent history of Palestinian resistance, is shifting the perceptions of Western publics.
Activists for justice in Palestine on social media have long used different tactics (primarily documenting and publicizing Israel’s violations of international law and human decency) to reach Western publics (to break through mainstream media in the West). The most effective are The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS – PACBI) campaigns that persuade academic big names and cultural and sports celebrities to take up the Palestinian cause.
Western publics are also becoming more aware of the Zionist backlash against BDS campaigns, especially as they impinge on freedom of speech.
Generally, addressing Western audiences, especially those on the Left, works by reference to progressive values applicable to injustices against all marginalized groups in Western society, as it brings home the incongruity of singling the Palestinian cause as an exception.
Western audiences are assumed to be part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, a term coined by George Orwell in the late 1930s in order to fight anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, this humanist tradition is tainted, because anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are now linked inexorably within it, and so combating one means combating the other.
Western civilization has long been defined by colonial conquest (with Islamophobia and Arabophobia in the Middle East) and imperial power; it is what gave birth to Zionism. Furthermore,
… once established in its position of military superiority, the colonial culture produces, through a whole range of media, an unending ‘series of propositions that slowly and subtly — with the help of books, newspapers, schools and their texts, advertisements, films, radio — work their way into one’s mind and shape one’s view of the world of the group to which one belongs’… Successful colonisation leads the oppressed to identify with the world view of the oppressor.
The Palestinian Authority now identifies with its oppressor so thoroughly that it did not shy away, as dictated by Israel, from cracking down viciously on Palestinians in the West Bank rallying against Mahmoud Abbas’s punitive economic measures in Gaza.
What will ultimately change Western Public’s perceptions are Palestinians themselves, however they choose to resist. They must insist on liberation — on decolonization and not simply on “ending the occupation”.
Originally published on 2018-06-19
About the author: Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank. She is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Source: Global Research
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
Fifty-one years ago today Israeli fighter aircraft and torpedo boats tried to sink the USS Liberty, a surveillance ship stationed off the coast of Egypt during Israel’s attack on Egypt and Syria. Israel was unable to sink the USS Liberty, but did manage to kill or wound almost the entire crew. Thirty-four Americans were killed and 174 were wounded.
There are two explanations for the attack. As Washington has blocked every attempt at an investigation, we do not know which one is correct. Perhaps both are the reasons for the attack.
One is that Israel, which was committing a war crime by ...
George Szamuely. Bombs for Peace: NATO’s Humanitarian War on Yugoslavia. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2013 (Distributed in the U.S. and Canada by the University of Chicago Press). Paper. Pp. 611.
In Bombs for Peace, George Szamuely, a senior research fellow at the Global Policy Institute at London Metropolitan University, has produced a revealing and sharply argued analysis of Western intervention in the Balkan wars of the 1990s. The primary focus of the book is on Western diplomatic and military interventions, which played a crucial role in the breakup of Yugoslavia and the plunge into conflict. Continued intervention fueled deeper conflict, as ...
The Federal Prison Industries (FPI) under the brand UNICORE operates approximately 52 factories (prisons) across the United States. Prisoners manufacture or assemble a number of products for the US military, homeland security,and federal agencies according to the UNICORE/FPI website. They produce furniture, clothing and circuit boards in addition to providing computer aided design services and call center support for private companies.
UNICORE/FPI makes its pitch for employing call center support personnel to firms thinking about off-shoring their call center functions. The logic is that, hey!, they may be prisoners, but it’s keeping the jobs in the USA that matters. Fair enough. ...
Editor's note: This article was written and originally published in March 2014
This article deals with the question of political and human/minority rights in the region of Kosovo & Metohija ten years after the „March Pogrom 2004“ and fifteen years after the NATO’s military aggression on Serbia and Montenegro and occupation of the region. An importance of this research topic is in a fact that for the first time in the European history a terrorist-style and mafia-ruled (quasi)independent state was created by a full diplomatic, political, economic, military and financial sponsorship by the West under the umbrella of the NATO’s ...
ISIS is Born in IraqThe origins of ISIS are buried beneath the rubble of the US occupation.It was out of this crucible of war and invasion that the original grievances were born, leading analysts to conclude that "the basic causes of the birth of ISIS" were the United States' "destructive interventions in the Middle East and the war in Iraq."1The framework underlying this being the exacerbation of Sunni-Shia tensions in the aftermath of the invasion, which previously have been inflamed through various other foreign interferences. These were highlighted by the sectarian brutality of the post-invasion Iraqi government, which then continued ...
Kosovo is Clinton Country: a 10-foot-high statue of Bill overlooks “Bill Clinton Boulevard” in the capital city of Pristina. Hillary is also memorialized in what has become the crime capital of Europe: right off the street named for her husband is a store named “Hillary,” featuring women’s clothing modeled after the putative Democratic party nominee for President. Pantsuits figure prominently. As Vice puts it: “While former President Bill Clinton has had a boulevard named after him, it’s without a doubt that his wife’s the real star out here.” Why is that?
As Gail Sheehy pointed out in her biography of Hillary, ...
Many Croatian schoolchildren know little about crimes committed under the country’s World War II-era fascist regime – but experts claim that the revisionist political environment is more to blame than the education system.The former Jasenovac concentration camp, one of the most important World War II historical sites in the former Yugoslavia, is around 110 kilometres from Croatia’s capital Zagreb - an hour and a half by bus.But no schools in Zagreb sent their pupils on trips to the Jasenovac Memorial Site last year.Out of a total of 909 primary schools in Croatia, only seven of them organised visits for pupils ...
President Donald Trump appears sui generis. Other troublesome populists, like Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, hold power. But no other nation of great influence is governed by someone so little rooted in reality and so much dominated by personality.
However, the president has a historical soul mate who ruled a century ago. The similarities are striking, though their lives obviously differed in important ways. One wonders: was the German Empire’s Kaiser Wilhelm II reincarnated as President Trump?
Wilhelm II was born in 1859 in the house of Hohenzollern. A grandson of British queen Alexandrina Victoria, he grew up in a life of wealth ...
There are horrific realities of history that must not be questioned, distorted or denied by anyone with even the slightest integrity or sense of decency.
The slaughter of millions of Jews in the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Majdanek, Belzec, Chelmno and Sobibor during the Holocaust of World War II falls squarely in this category.
So does the fundamental fact that this ultimate crime against humanity was perpetrated by Nazi Germany and its multinational fascist accomplices.
Any attempt to deny or to attempt to trivialise or minimise the enormity of this genocide, or to rehabilitate its perpetrators in any way whatsoever, is, simply ...
Dechani monastery in Metochia - one of the most important shrines of Serbian Orthodox Church (14th century)
The region of Kosovo & Metohija was a political center of mediaeval Serbia and makes the very essence of Serbian spiritual and cultural identity and statehood since the Middle Ages up today. The biggest and the most important number of Serbian Orthodox mediaeval monasteries and churches (for instance, Gračanica, Pećka Patrijaršija, Bogorodica Ljeviška and Visoki Dečani) are built exactly in Kosovo & Metohija and the headquarters of the Serbian Orthodox Church – Patriarchate established in 1346 was located (till 1766) in the city of ...
The United States is indisputably the world’s most frequent and extensive wager of aggressive war, largest occupier of foreign lands, and biggest weapons dealer to the world. But when the United States peeps out from under the blankets where it lies shivering with fear, it sees itself as an innocent victim. It has no holiday to keep any victorious battle in everyone’s mind. It has a holiday to remember the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor — and now also one, perhaps holier still, to recall, not the “shock and awe” destruction of Baghdad, but the crimes of September 11, 2001, ...
Six Years Later, Kosovo Still Wrong
In the early hours of March 24, 1999, NATO began the bombing of what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. For some reason, many in the targeted nation thought the name of the operation was “Merciful Angel.” In fact, the attack was code-named “Allied Force” – a cold, uninspired and perfectly descriptive moniker. For, however much NATO spokesmen and the cheerleading press spun, lied, and fabricated to show otherwise (unfortunately, with altogether too much success), there was nothing noble in NATO’s aims. It attacked Yugoslavia for the same reason then-Emperor Bill Clinton enjoyed a ...
Recently expressed by Turkey’s President R. T. Erdoğan a possibility to organize a national referendum on Turkish membership to the European Union (the EU) opened many questions of different nature followed by old and new problems.
A current European political concern is reflected in many controversial issues and one of those the most important is facing the EU about whether or not to accept Turkey as a full member state (being a candidate state since 1999). Turkey is, on one hand, governed as a secular democracy by moderate Islamic political leaders, seeking to play a role of the bridge between the ...
History has repeatedly demonstrated the need to view with the greatest skepticism U.S. imperialism’s justifications for its endless wars and interventions.
Need we mention the 1964 U.S.-manufactured Tonkin Bay incident, wherein a virtually non-existent Vietnamese navy was accused of attacking a U.S. destroyer? That false flag pretext was employed to launch the Vietnam War, during which four million Vietnamese were slaughtered in a 10-year U.S. conflagration verging on genocide. Or the more recent Iraq “weapons of mass destruction” lie that resulted in the U.S. murder of 1.5 million Iraqis?
Even if the latest sarin gas accusations against Syrian President Bashar Assad should ...
As Kosovo tries to stop its sons from going off to fight in Iraq and Syria, sympathy for their cause remains strong among some hardline Muslims.The calls stopped coming more than three months ago.Even while fighting in Iraq and Syria for the militants of Islamic State, Musli Musliu still checked in with his family regularly. He used to post photos on Facebook, showing a beaming young man posing with his comrades. One even shows him in a sweet shop.It was during one of those calls, in April, that he broke the news that his brother, Valon, had been killed. The ...
American foreign policy seems to be designed to infuriate everyone, friend and foe alike, though we realise the word “friend” is a euphemism for “useful for American interests.” In a futile attempt to reassert its world hegemony the American ruling class has ripped up or is forcing changes to, free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, with the EU and Pacific nations, ignores the World Trade Organisation rules, has reneged on the agreement it forced down Iran’s throat at the point of a gun with regard to a supposed nuclear weapons development, imposed economic blockades on Iran and Russia that ...
By now all international media resources; newspapers, magazines, TV channels, and internet social media, are busy reporting the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi; a Saudi reporter, who was loyal to the regime until he turned against Muhamad bin Salman (MBS) and his suppressive policies.
Once MBS was announced crowned prince in 2015 and started his war against Yemen, critic Khashoggi found it safer for himself to leave Saudi Arabia. He moved first to UK and later to USA. In his writings Khashoggi harshly criticized the policies of the young prince. Eventually he was lured to the Saudi consulate in Turkey, where ...
“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted” - D. H. Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature
Individual U.S. Presidents come and go, but the Oval Office is reserved for the Killer-in-Chief. If, as these war-mongers like to say, “the buck stops here,” then our latest incarnation of a “leader,” Donald Trump, has in a few months accumulated enough guilt to last endless lifetimes. There are no excuses. While the headlines scream distractions from the bloodbath, Trump and his “team” are slaughtering innocents in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and countless other places off the American ...
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) together with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network revealed a scheme of weapons supply to the terrorists of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.
There is no secret that the U.S. provides the so-called moderate opposition and Kurdish militia in Syria with arms and ammunition most of which are the weapons remained after the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact disbanded.
The U.S. DOD, through U.S. SOCOM, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, as well as Picatinny Arsenal, American military research, and manufacturing facility located in Dover, New Jersey, acquired arms in some Eastern European countries including Ukraine for their further ...
The first aspect to consider, following the US attack on Syria, is what Putin, Xi, and Rohani, leaders of the Russian Federation, the People's Republic of China, and Iran respectively, thought while American Tomahawks were hitting the Syrian air base of Shayrat.
The last three years of the Obama presidency highlighted two very different strategies being advanced simultaneously by the US and the nations opposing its imperialistic overreach, principally Russia, China and Iran. The latter have been seeking cooperation, while the US, with its big hammer, has characteristically been on the search for nails to hammer. Yet the management of international ...
The Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty
A Book Review: George Szamuely: “Bombs For Peace: NATO’s Humanitarian War On Yugoslavia”, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2013
Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor in the United States
Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo and the Rights of Serbian Minority: Ten Years after the “March Pogrom 2004”
The Origins and Ultimate Purpose of ISIS
Kosovo: Hillary Clinton’s Legacy of Terror
Croatian Schooling ‘Leaves Pupils Ill-Informed’ About WWII Regime
What Trump Has in Common with the Last German Emperor
Croatia Must Not Whitewash the Horrors of Jasenovac
A Short History of Kosovo & Metochia (not approved by Noel Malcolm!)
Pearl Harbor Day and the Fantasy of US Victimhood
Kosovo: An Evil Little War
Turkey and the European Union: The Question of Cultural Minorities and Their Religious Identities
Donald Trumpenstein: Self-Proclaimed “Cop of the World”
Hearts Beat in Kosovo for Islamist Warriors
American Foreign Policy Infuriates Everyone
International Hypocrisy: Reprimanding the Saudi Kingdom
The Killers from the Oval Office
How Ukraine Turned into An Arms Dealer? Supplying Weapons to Al Qaeda and ISIS-Daesh
Trump’s Political Suicide Pushes China, Iran and Russia Closer