Hamas’ coordinated rocket attack on Israel, which killed hundreds of Israeli citizens and brought a new Palestine-Israel War, is another chapter in the history and expansion of the Zionist settler state. To start with, this war is not a Hamas-Israel War or Gaza-Israel War as deliberately misnamed for Western propaganda machines. This verbal misnomer is nothing but a calculated ploy to make the world believe that this war has nothing to do with Palestine but everything to do with Hamas, described by the US President as “pure unadulterated evil”, and its Gaza headquarters. The misnaming is part of a long tradition in the West to sanitize the terror that Israel had unleashed over decades in Palestine and now set to unleash in Gaza, and to demonize every act of resistance by Palestinians.
Without condoning the rocket attacks or celebrating Israeli deaths, it should be pointed out that so far none of the Western leaders nor any of their media spokesperson had asked the most fundamental question, why did Hamas retaliate in that horrific manner? That act of Palestinian resistance marked the breaking point of a population that was suffocating under Israeli settler cruelties for decades. There is plenty of video footage to show how Palestinians in Gaza, including children were killed, how their women violated and stripped naked, how innocents were detained without any trial and how systematically Palestinian orchards and farms were destroyed by Israeli settlers particularly since the far right government of Netanyahu came to power. Were those incidents not newsworthy to the Western media? Why were those acts condemnable by Western leaders and their governments? In that situation what does the world expect from Gazans to get rid of their torturers and get out of their open prison?
If Ukrainian armed resistance against Russian aggression could be supported and blessed with money and weapons by NATO, what logic justifies the condemnation of Palestinian resistance and dubbing it as terrorism against Israeli aggression? Terrorists and terrorism are jargons used at convenience to suit conflicting objectives. Wasn’t it Ronald Regan who called the Taliban freedom fighters when it joined US soldiers to chase out the Soviet forces from Afghanistan? But when the same Taliban turned against America and wanted US forces to get out of Afghanistan, they became terrorists.
Gaza is part of Palestine and Israel’s acts of genocide and scorched earth policy to get rid of Gazans is part of a broader agenda to annex that land with Israel. To be more precise, this is part of Israel’s dream to erase Palestine from the world map with the connivance of US and its Western allies. This war is the continuation of the one started in 1948 with Britain’s duplicity and Gaza is the latest front where that war is continuing. When the war started in 1948 it was the Zionist terror groups such as Irgun that killed innocent Arabs and caused the Nakba or Catastrophe in 1948. Wasn’t it Irgun that bombed King David Hotel in 1946 and wasn’t it Irgun that massacred at least 107 Palestinian Arabs including children in 1948 in Deir Yassin? Wasn’t Israel’s former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin a member of Palmach, the terror unit of Haganah? It was terrorism supported by British imperialism that created Israel and now it is Israeli state terrorism supported by US imperialism that is on a mission to end Palestine.
Yet in spite of this imperialist betrayal of the Arab and Muslim world there is no justification to call for the destruction of Israel as some lunatics from that part of the world are crying for. Although controversially, unjustifiably and immorally created, Israel today is an internationally recognized state. But just as Israel has a right to exist so does Palestine and its people. The tragedy of Palestine is that the historic Jewish quest for a homeland, which started with a total lie condensed in a Zionist slogan, “land without people for a people without land” devised and popularized by the Anglo-Jewish writer Israel Zangwill, has turned into a diabolic mission to convert a community with four millennial history and right to that land into to a landless tribe to be forgotten by history.
What the world witnessing in Palestine today is an example of an incomparable betrayal and ingratitude in the history of humanity. For centuries, the Jewish community was treated like outcasts by Christian powers and condemned to live like nomads but in ghettoes all over Europe before Hitler came out with his horrific solution to get rid of the Jews. But during that nomadic existence Jews were welcomed, accommodated and allowed to live with dignity under Muslim rule. For example, between the Umayyad conquest of Spain in the 8th century until the expulsion of Jews from there in 1492, the Muslim kingdom created what the Spanish philologist Americo Castro called “Convivencia” where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in peace and harmony and created what Maria Rosa Menocal called “The Ornament of The World”. In another instance, during the Crusades when Christian armies entered Jerusalem the first people the so-called holy warriors massacred were the Jews and that was why the Jews welcomed Saladin when his Muslim soldiers recaptured that Holy City later. In short, what is now happening to the Palestinians is to make them landless and live like nomads and refugees as the Jews lived before Israel was created. And regrettably, one influential group in the Christian US believes very strongly that Israel should capture Palestine and rule for Jesus to return.
What is therefore unfolding now is a great conspiracy hatched between the Zionists and Western powers translated into action systematically to expel the Gazans from their land to create Greater Israel. The same fate awaits the West Bank also sometime later. In the meantime, that hackneyed diplomatic mantra of a two-state solution repeated like a broken record by all Western nations including Australia has lost its substance and credibility. No sooner Yasser Arafat agreed to sign that infamous Oslo Accord with Yitzhak Rabin in the presence of US President Bill Clinton to create what Edward Said described “Bantustan” separating Gaza from the West Bank with Israel in between, the fate of Palestine was sealed. Isn’t it a fact that each time the West initiates a negotiated settlement to the Palestinian problem, it always ends in loss of land to Palestinians and more land to Israel?
After the Popular Front of Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked an Israeli passenger aircraft in 1968, Yasser Arafat was asked by a TV journalist whether PLO wanted to destroy Israel through such acts. Arafat responded that PLO’s entry into Israel would not be direct but through other Arab states. This is the other side of Palestinian tragedy: the incapacity of Arab nations to counter Israeli offensive at least diplomatically if not militarily. Israel, through aggressive diplomacy, financial power, intellectual dominance and organized propaganda, had captured the hearts and minds of Western nations. In fact, Israel’s diplomacy targets not only to win the support of Western governments but more than that to win the sympathy of Western masses.
In contrast, the financially rich Arab nations seem to believe that if they could invite the Western leaders, entertain them and hug and kiss them they would win western support at least to Arab if not Muslim causes. While Israel’s diplomacy has a bottom up approach Arabs believe in top down access. When one adds to this contrast the vast gap between Jewish and Arab contributions to modernity one can understand why the Arab world doesn’t carry any weight and command respect in the international arena. Arabs have lost their international leadership, power and influence soon after Europe was awakened from its slumber. This is a vast subject that cannot be discussed in a few sentences but today’s Palestinian tragedy is an essential part of this historic decline.
The time has come at least to the UN to put its foot down and ask Israel to get out of Gaza and allow its people to live in peace. Condemn as much as it wants to the violence of Hamas but understand at the same time the mindset that drove those fighters to act so vengefully and cruelly. Even a cat is chased to a corner and trapped it will have no other alternative but to jump at the chaser. No one even with an iota of humanity should celebrate the death of innocent Jews or Arabs or any human being. Palestinians need sympathy with justice. Let the West stop sanitizing Israeli horror and demonizing Palestinian resistance.