During every presidential election campaign, we hear all kinds of crazy and stupid sh*t from the candidates, especially from the Republicans, who insist on turning back the clock – way back, at least by several decades – when Blacks couldn’t vote and women didn’t have as many rights. Some would like to take us back even further, to the time when workers had no rights, there was no Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, smoking was encouraged to kids, there was no talk of the environment or climate change, child labor wasn’t illegal and white men felt like real white men, not like now!
But, it seems like in recent years, the crazy and stupid talk has intensified. Former Arkansa Governor Mike Huckabee says: “Roe v. Wade is like the Holocaust, only worse”, and that if elected, he’d consider using the National Guard to stop women from having abortions. Jeb Bush says that women on welfare “should be able to get their lives together and find a husband.” Rand Paul says: “if there is a war on women they won because women in my family are incredibly successful.”
And, what’s even crazier than the idiots making such stupid remarks is that the crazier they get, the more popular they become with the brainwashed conservative base. Donald Trump was for a while the champion of crazy talk (until he was dethroned by Ben Carson) and sure enough he was the most popular among the Republican base and is still the second most popular. Everyone knows about his insult against Mexican immigrants when he called them criminals and “rapists”. In 2006, when as the guest of The View TV show, he was asked what he thought of his daughter posing in Playboy, he said: “I don’t think Ivanka would do that although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
But, not to be outdone, Ben Carson showed that when it comes to saying batsh*t crazy and outrageous things, he’s better at it than anyone else. And the more crazy things he said, the more popular he became. To appease right wingers who are against any kind of healthcare for the poor, he called.
Obamacare “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery”. “In a way”, he went on “it is slavery, because it is making all of us subservient to the government.” He also called it worse than 9/11. He even compared abortion to slavery and thinks abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape and incest.
To win favorability from right wing extremists who think the government is trying to get their guns, he said America “is very much like Nazi Germany”. “You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population”. He also said that Jews could have prevented the Holocaust if they had guns. He told Fox News in September 2014 that President Obama might declare martial law and cancel the 2016 Election so he can continue being president. He threw another bone to the religious whites when he said Muslims seeking political office should be administered a test in order to protect the Constitution.
While in Ferguson, Mo., he denied there is any police racism. He said he didn’t see any racism. He even attacked Planned Parenthood, which provides healthcare services to the poor and Blacks. “One of the reasons that you find most of their clinics in black neighborhoods”, he opined, “is so that you can find way to control that population”. His popularity continued to rise among Tea Partiers when he suggested doing away with Medicare and Medicaid. Despite lack of evidence for claims of voter fraud among Blacks and Latinos, the conservatives kept making an issue of it in order to deny Blacks and the poor the right to vote. Dr. Carson came down again on the side of the racist conservatives and said: “anyone caught involved in voter fraud should be immediately deported and have his citizenship revoked.”
Just so gays didn’t feel left out, he also went after them when he called homosexuality a “choice”. Because, he said, “a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight and when they come out, they’re gay.” He also compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia.
While he complains that the U.S. has become too much like Nazi Germany, ironically, if anyone tries to bring fascism to the US, it would be he. But, as dangerous as someone like him can be for the poor and the minorities, what worries me isn’t crazies like Ben Carson or Donald Trump, who aren’t and won’t be supported by the billionaires, the Wall Street and the “smart money” (an actual phrase among big investors on Wall Street). What worries me is Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who can and will get the support of bankers and the 1% in order to maintain the current course and the status quo.
In an opinion piece for Washington Post, yesterday, Steven Levitsky, professor of government at Harvard University and Glen Weyl, an Assistant professor of economics and law at the University of Chicago, who admit to be “lifelong Zionists”, announced that in order to “save” the “Jewish state” and ensure its “survival” and prevent its failure as a state for Jews, they have reluctantly come to the decision to boycott Israel (without mentioning the BDS – Boycott, Divest, Sanction – movement, anywhere, which in itself is interesting), “until it seriously engages with a peace process that EITHER establishes a sovereign Palestinian state OR grants full democratic citizenship to Palestinians living in a single state” [emphasis added]. They emphasize repeatedly that their concern and reason for the boycott is for Israel’s survival. Whatever their reason and motive, I welcome and applaud their decision, but find it necessary and imperative to address several of their assertions in support of the settler and apartheid state that are insensitive towards Palestinians and their suffering and are even racist and which end up leaving them still on the wrong side of history and justice, despite their commendable decision.
“Like other progressive Jews”, they begin their piece, “our support for Israel has been founded on two convictions: first, that a state was necessary to protect our people from future disaster; and second, that any Jewish state would be democratic, embracing the values of universal human rights that many took as a lesson of the Holocaust.” This is a common thread among most Jews who claim to be “progressive” and who are indeed liberal about many domestic issues, from wealth and income inequality to healthcare and education to women’s and gay rights, etc, except when it comes to the occupation of Palestine and the apartheid “Jewish state” or to wars against Muslim countries to make Israel feel safe. What the authors of the piece still don’t realize or choose to ignore is that their “conviction”, which apparently they still hold, that “a state was necessary to protect our people from future disaster”, completely ignores what such a state created for Jews in Palestine would mean for the Palestinian people already living there. And how could such “Jewish state” be “democratic, embracing the values of universal human rights”, if it was going to be a “Jewish state” and for Jews? Wasn’t the occupation and ethnic cleansing and evictions implied and inherent in such a state? After all, it wasn’t going to be created on a barren planet. In fact, wasn’t the state founded on war, massacres and acts of terror against and displacement of the indigenous Palestinians, right from the start?
Wasn’t all that enough to be against the idea of Zionism to begin with? Did the occupation have to cause so mush suffering and misery and so many deaths and atrocities that it would begin threatening the very survival or viability of the state in order to finally compel such “progressive” Jews to oppose its policies and boycott it, if only out of concern “for its survival”? I guess so because these “progressive” professors thought that a “temporary” occupation was necessary, as they explain in their piece: “undemocratic measures undertaken in pursuit of Israel’s survival, such as the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the denial of basic rights to Palestinians living there, were understood to be temporary”.
But, what does a “temporary” occupation mean, anyway? Is it temporary in the sense that it continues only until the resistance to it has been crushed and eliminated? And is an occupation okay if it’s temporary? So, I guess all the ensuing massacres, displacements, ethnic cleansing and denial of basic human rights to Palestinians was “supposed to be temporary”, too, and were therefore alright, especially since they were necessary for the Jewish state to be established. With that logic, the Holocaust was also supposed to be “temporary”. It wasn’t going to go on for ever. At some point, enough Jews would be killed to put an end to the genocide. In fact, the current Israeli leadership also believes and hopes that the continuation of the occupation, which is the result of a stubborn resistance, is also temporary. They’ll end the occupation when there is no more Palestinians to occupy. The difference is that the latter group don’t think the continuation of the genocide will lead to the “isolation” or inviability of the Jewish state. Nor do they care about their isolation or pariah status enough to end the occupation of West Bsnk and Gaza, which incidentally are the only territories the professors consider occupied. Otherwise, neither the Israel’s leaders nor these professors seem to be the least concerned about the Palestinians and what the occupation means and does to them.
But, “temporary” or not, the continued occupation of West Bank and Gaza has become a concern to the authors only because, in their view, it threatens the survival of Israel, as a Jewish state. This is not an interpretation of their piece. They make that point abundantly clear in several parts of their article: “Israel has embarked on a path that threatens its very existence”, they fear. “International pariah status is hardly a recipe for Israel’s survival”. “It is the occupation itself that truly threatens Israel’s long-term security” and “making the occupation permanent, Israel’s leaders are undermining their state’s viability.” And that “we love Israel, and we are deeply concerned for its survival”. And finally, “we recognize that some boycott advocates are driven by opposition to (and even hatred of) Israel. Our motivation is precisely the opposite: love for Israel and a desire to save it”. They couldn’t have made it any clearer that their concern is for the survival of the state, which was founded on land occupied during the 1947-1948 colonial war when they killed thousands of Palestinians and drove millions into refugee camps, rather than out of compassion for the victims of the occupation or any sense of justice and humanity.
The professors do agree with giving back West Bank and Gaza, now that Israel’s security conditions have improved thanks to “weaker” Iraq and Syria and having one of the most powerful militaries in the world equipped with nuclear bombs and the missiles to catty them. However, they display their desire for separating the two peoples from one another, which is really a racist ideology and one of the underpinnings of Zionism. They express hope that Israelis would acquiesce to “evicting their countrymen from West Bank settlements”, ostensibly to make room for a separate Palestinian state, in West Bank and Gaza, an idea, which is known as “the two state solution”. But, what if some Jews were not recently settled there and lived there since before the occupation? Why should they have to move? And why is it necessary to separate the two peoples? Didn’t they live together for millennia before the arrival of European Zionist Jews and the start of the war? And what kind of a state would the Palestinians’ be if it’s only over disjointed pieces of land interconnected and surrounded by Israeli military checkpoints with Israel controlling its air, land and water, isolated from the outside world, with Israeli forces ready to go in at any time and arrest anyone they want? That, they hope, would finally give the Jewish state the legitimacy it’s been seeking, discredit any future Palestinian resistance to the occupation, make the Right of Return for refugees moot and out of the question and acquire for the regime the mandate to either evict all Palestinians who remain within Israeli borders or discriminate against them within an apartheid system.
The authors lament that “the occupation has become permanent”. But, which occupiers in history have not tried to make their occupation permanent? Which ones have voluntarily ended their occupation? Why would Zionist occupiers be any different? Israel in their assessment is only now “settling into the apartheid-like regime”. And, not even a full-fledged apartheid, but only “apartheid-like”. I wonder what a real apartheid looks like in their view.
“The settler population in the West Bank”, they go on, “has grown 30-fold, from about 12,000 in 1980 to 389,000 today”. It’s good that they bring attention to that, but isn’t that the purpose of a settler state, which they “love”? Wasn’t building settlements and settling Jews from around the world the main purpose and goal and in fact the raison d’être of Zionism? And, what’s so special about the current level of settler population that’s bothersome? It’s okay to evict tens of thousand (that is if we count only from 1967 levels and not 1948) of Palestinians and demolish their homes, but it’s not okay when it gets to hundreds of thousands?
“The West Bank is increasingly treated as part of Israel”, they add, “with the green line demarcating the occupied territories erased from many maps”. Wasn’t that the purpose of the occupation that was completed in 1967, which the professors approve of? Unless they believe that the occupation was only for “Israel’s security”! Actually, they do claim it was for its security, which is what its military and political leaders have been claiming: “occupation threatens the security it was meant to ensure”, they claim. It’s hard to know if they really believe that or they’re trying to soften the image of the occupation (which they only call it that about West Bank and Gaza), which was the purpose of that lie by Zionist leaders to begin with. Given the fact that they teach Government and Economics and Law and must know a thing or two about military occupations, I’d have to go with the latter.
It’s also quite telling that they consider “weakening of Iraq and Syria” advantageous for “Israel’s security” – a typical Zionist mindset, which sees everything from the narrow and nationalistic point of view of “Israel’s security” and cares not how many people have to be sacrificed for that elusive sense of “security”. Reading their words, one has to assume that they also condoned Israel’s 20 year occupation of Lebanon, which only ended thanks to the Hezbollah of Lebanon, or its bombardment of the country in 2006 or the occupation of Golan Heights from Syria or Sinai dessert from Egypt. It must all have been for its security. This is the kind of thinking that’s prevalent among supposedly “progressive” American Jews. Those dying in those devastating wars ostensibly for Israel’s security are all collateral damage and necessary. Isn’t that the rationale given by Israel’s security forces and military when shooting at Palestinian children who throw stones at occupation vehicles or those who peacefully protest the occupation?
“Today, there is no realistic prospect of Israel making the hard choices necessary to ensure its survival as a democratic state”, they add. This is another absurd claim by liberal Zionists, that Israel can be called “democratic”, even while its occupation troops are shooting and killing teenaged boys as young as 12 and 13 and violently arresting children and drag them to Israeli jails, and while, even to the admission of the authors, Palestinians living in their own occupied country don’t have the same rights as the Jews. How can an apartheid state engaged in ethnic cleansing and genocide be “democratic”? Isn’t that an insult to those who lose their children to extrajudicial killings by occupation soldiers? How would these Zionist Jews like it if we called Nazi Germany “democratic” when they were committing the atrocities against Jews out of concern for their security?
The authors add that “Israel, of course, is hardly the world’s worst human rights violator”, which trivializes and whitewashes the incredible and indeed genocidal treatment of the Palestinians. There are only two possible ways to interpret this statement: either the occupation forces are not committing horrendous atrocities, including arrests, torture and killing of Palestinians, including children, “targeted killings”, indiscriminate massacres, mass incarceration, shooting peaceful protesters and demolishing their homes, or that such atrocities don’t really count as one of the worst if not the worst human rights violations.
Lest there be any doubt, again, I applaud these two professors for their decision to join the boycott of Israel, especially since they supported it all their lives. I realize it probably wasn’t easy for them to break with the tradition and with other Zionist Jews. But, I also think that while we anti-Zionists welcome liberal Zionists into the BDS camp and show them our support and gratitude, we must be clear as to their real purpose and motivation, as well as our differences with them. We must point out the racism within all flavors of Zionism, including the liberal kind, and expose their proposed “two-state solution”, which is offered for one purpose and one purpose alone: to ensure the survival of the settler, apartheid state. We must be alert about any tendency or strategy which tries to keep the final goal of the Palestinian people and people of conscience among Jews and others, which is one secular and democratic state with equal rights for all, regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background from materializing. Joining our movement by such liberal Zionists is indeed welcome news and shows that our efforts are bearing fruit. But, we must also continue to teach the facts of the occupation and expose Zionism as the racist and inhuman ideology that it really is.
In an op-ed piece written in Wall Street Journal on October 16, Henry Kissinger admits what many of us have been saying for the past three years, which is that US priority in Syria has not been to defeat ISIS, but to use the terror organization to try and overthrow the government. This is the clearest indication ever, by someone who’s still consulted by U.S. policy makers and has inside information, of US reluctance to see Islamic State or ISIS terrorists defeated in Syria. On the contrary, according to Kissinger, the U.S. policy towards ISIS has been “inconclusive”: “The destruction of ISIS”, writes Kissinger, “is more urgent than the overthrow of Bashar Assad, who has already lost over half of the area he once controlled. Making sure that this territory does not become a permanent terrorist haven must have precedence. The current inconclusive U.S. military effort risks serving as a recruitment vehicle for ISIS as having stood up to American might”. And the results speak for themselves. More than a year of bombing in Syria, ostensibly to wipe out ISIS, left the organization stronger than ever, which forced the Russians to intervene. This is despite all US claims that their bombing campaign was directed against ISIS.
Kissinger advises against letting ISIS win tbe battle against the Syrian government, which is what Obama is trying to do: “The reconquered territories should be restored to the local Sunni rule that existed there before the disintegration of both Iraqi and Syrian sovereignty. As the terrorist region is being dismantled and brought under nonradical political control, the future of the Syrian state should be dealt with concurrently. A federal structure could then be built between the Alawite and Sunni portions”, which is what the Russians have been proposing.
Despite expressing regret and consternation about Russia’s increased role and stature in the region which, to his dismay, challenges the U.S. leadership, Kissinger admits that Russians have a legitimate concern about the spread of Islamist terrorism – which apparently is only a secondary concern, if that, to the U.S., whose primary focus is regime change in Damascus. He writes: “Russia’s principal concern is that the Assad regime’s collapse could reproduce the chaos of Libya, bring ISIS into power in Damascus, and turn all of Syria into a haven for terrorist operations, reaching into Muslim regions inside Russia’s southern border in the Caucasus and elsewhere”.
What Kissinger, who has knowledge of US plans and objectives, is saying is that the U.S. should stop trying to prevent the defeat of ISIS in the hands of Russia. He’s also admitting that the U.S. strategy of overthrowing any Middle Eastern government that acts independently of Washington is backfiring on the U.S. and fails to create a region compliant with US wishes. Speaking of decades past, he says through “US leadership”, “Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States were our allies”, and “the Russian military presence” had “disappeared from the region”. But, “that geopolitical pattern is now in shambles. Four states in the region have ceased to function as sovereign. Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq have become targets for nonstate movements seeking to impose their rule”.
He also indicates that “the Arab-Israeli war of 1973” helped “in stabilizing the Middle East order” to US advantage: “Russia’s unilateral military action in Syria is the latest symptom of the disintegration of the American role in stabilizing the Middle East order that emerged from the Arab-Israeli war of 1973”.
All in all, he’s complaining about the reduced ability of the U.S. to influence events in the region and about the increased role of Russia. At the same time, he’s also admitting that U.S. policy of non-stop regime change, which includes making alliances with terror organizations, which he himself was an active advocate for during his tenure as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State in 1970’s, is backfiring on the U.S. and destabilizing the region. But, the current U.S. policy makers see things somewhat differently. The current U.S. policy gives precedence to destroying any sovereign nation that doesn’t ally itself with the U.S.-Israel-Saudi Arabia axis towards achieving a total and unchallenged U.S. hegemony, over preventing the spread of Islamist terrorism, which threatens to engulf the region in more wars and which also can threaten Russia itself, which is something the U.S. is well aware of and intends to use against Russia to try and destabilize it, as it did against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in 1980’s. The U.S. doesn’t mind all the wars and massacres resulting from increased terrorism. They use war and terror whenever other options become too difficult or impractical. Kissinger himself did it during his time in government. But, the current US policy is that if they can’t do regime change in a “non-friendly” country, they’re happy to destroy it and make it ungovernable. The spread of terrorism is only a secondary concern. The primary focus remains regime change with all means necessary and available.
No other political or geopolitical subject in the world provides as clear a test or measure for assessing one’s political positions and a way to distinguish people’s friends from foes as does Palestine. The reason for that is that no other people in contemporary history have suffered under U.S. and global imperialism for as long and as severely and unrelentingly as the Palestinian people. No other front in the global struggle against imperialism is as just and as urgent as the struggle of the Palestinian people against imperialism. And, no other front against the people of the world is considered as important and key, strategically and geopolitically, for US imperialism, and nowhere does the latter throw as much resources, both military and propaganda, to keep its military assets as in occupied Palestine. Israel is so indispensable for US imperialism that the U.S. will do anything to keep it to further its global imperial agenda.
This reality makes freeing Palestine the number one priority of the international movement for social and economic justice. A victory against Israel is a deciding and major and possibly even fatal blow to imperialism. This is the proverbial hill to be taken at all cost. This is where the battle raging against imperialism is most fierce and unforgiving. And this is where imperialism spends its most effort to mislead and misinform its population, with the full and compliant cooperation of all major media of the empire, which faithfully and reliably stay in line and maintain the empire’s fabricated narrative. Every effort is made to keep the truth about the occupation and brutal ethnic cleansing and genocide from the American people. In fact, no other project or strategic undertaking by imperialism has been the subject of as much propaganda and systematic disinformation, using all the corporate media to the best of its potential, as on the subject of Palestine and its occupation.
The struggle to free Palestine is therefore simultaneously a struggle against imperialism with far-reaching consequences for all the peoples of the region and beyond. The opposite is also true: opposing imperialism and its endless wars and atrocities overseas is at the same time also against Zionism and the colonial settler and apartheid state of Israel. This is why all supporters of Israel, without an exception, support or at the very least remain quiet and uncritical of US imperialism, including its military interventions, coups, regime changes, assassinations, bombings and wars. This group includes liberal American Jews who support Israel. You will hardly ever hear them criticize US interventions and wars in Middle East, which destabilize the region, consume trillions of dollars that could have been spent on social programs that these liberals ironically advocate for and which cause hundreds of thousands of deaths. These Zionist liberals who call themselves “progressive” supported the war on Iraq, the sanctions on and threats against Iran and now the one in Syria because they view them as threats to the apartheid state and of course they also support the genocide against the Palestinian people because they view them as a “threat” to the existence of the apartheid state. How a “progressive” can support the ethnic cleansing, frequent massacres and forced displacement of an entire people to make it possible for a colonial settler and apartheid state to exist is beyond me. The parallel to this is that all those who support and defend imperialism also uncritically and unconditionally support the Zionist state snd that includes the entire U.S. political establishment in both parties, including Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
This therefore makes Palestine the ultimate litmus test for progressives and leftists. It clearly defines who is and isn’t progressive. Liberals who support Israel out of a misguided and reactionary nationalism must make a choice between being on the side of US imperialism and the corporate empire that’s committing mass murder and war crimes in the Middle East that benefit and strengthen Israel and perpetuate the suffering of the Palestinians and the oppressed people of the region or oppose imperialism and its strongest and most reactionary and most brutal agent and client in the area.
The story of “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” has been nothing but one big lie from the beginning to now. All the statements by U.S. politicians and media for 67 years about both peoples claiming and fighting over the same land, about the “conflict” not having an easy solution and how this has been going on for ages and will never change are all lies and fabrications, deliberately told to obfuscate and hide a simple fact that’s the root of the “problem”, which is the occupation of Palestine by European Zionist Jews who went to Palestine to materialize their dream of a “Jewish state”.
It may at first sound like an innocent goal, but only if you completely disregard the millions of victims that such undertaking would necessarily have. Fair minded people who cared the least bit about freedom, democracy, peace and justice could have seen from the outset the disastrous consequences such a project would have for the Palestinians, whose fate was being decided in Europe and with no regard for their lives, livelihood and freedoms.
Some did see and oppose it, including Jews who had already seen the worst that human beings were capable of in the name of racial superiority and ethnic cleansing. But, the lives and freedoms of the people of Palestine, who were being selected from thousands of miles away to be the next collective victims of oppression, mass murder and genocide, was the last thing on the minds of the European Zionists or the leaders of imperialist countries, who had just gone to a world war that extinguished some 40 million lives, over which imperialist country gets which part of the world to exploit and plunder.
Palestinians were Arabs. How important could their lives be, anyway? It’s not like they were Europeans or North Americans or Australians. Besides there were so many Arabs. In fact, one of Zionists’ arguments in defense of creating a “Jewish state” for Jews in Palestine was that there are many Arab countries where Palestinians could go live in. This of course flies in the face of another one of their lines, which is that Palestine was a land without a people for a people without a land. Palestinians, who supposedly didn’t exist, had to be massacred in the tens of thousands, terrorized, evicted from their homes and driven into refugee camps in neighboring countries in the millions and those surviving the onslaught would have to face a brutal occupation force that treated them like subhumans – even worse than animals – and used every opportunity to kill, imprison and drive out of the land of the Jews.
Any person with a trace of humanity and compassion could have seen where this was going. The founders and subsequent leaders of the state have made no secret of what it would take to make their “Jewish state” a reality: occupy the land and drive out Palestinians with “ultimate force”. Creating a state for a particular people with a particular religion or ethnicity at the exclusion of others means ethnic cleansing and forced displacement for those you succeed in driving out and apartheid and discrimination for those who remain. Neither of these is possible without racism. And racism is precisely what’s drilled into people’s heads in order to maintain the state.
But, what exactly is being maintained at the cost of so much bloodshed, oppression and misery for the victims of the occupation? Privileges for the “superior race”, which are denied to the “inferior race” and with that what’s sustained is hatred and violence. What’s maintained is the institutional discrimination, systematic killings – “targeted” and indiscriminate – arrests and detentions of even children, mass incarceration, beatings, home raids, home demolitions, humiliation, starvation, military checkpoints and occasional full fledged massacres, like the one in Gaza last year.
These atrocities naturally would invoke uprisings by the victims, which give yet another pretext to the occupiers to resort to even more violence, more oppression and more killings, made easy for the soldiers by the virtue of racism. And, that’s what we’re witnessing again in occupied Palestine these days. Genocide and mass extermination is the only logical outcome of such racism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. Any act of resistance on the part of the occupied is considered a threat and challenge to the state, especially when it’s by the “inferior race” who have no right to be there or to be alive, in the first place.
So, you see, this has nothing to do with which of the two peoples have the right to live there or which people the land belongs to. Nor is the situation due to a perennial and age old hostility between two peoples fighting over the same land. All these are distractions and diversions from the true root of the problem which is the occupation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid in order to take the land from a people with the wrong religion and ethnicity and settle those of the desired or chosen religion and ethnicity.
Only a secular and democratic state that treats all as equal human beings with equal rights, regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity can put an end to the “conflict” and the killings. The only way that can happen is for the Zionist state to be dismantled so the new can be created. That will take an international effort. All aid and support to the apartheid/settler state must end and people all over the world must join the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement.
Once again, as they have done so many times before, the Palestinians are rising up against the injustices, atrocities, oppression, the home demolitions, the harassments, the attacks, the home raids, the humiliations, the beatings and the arrest, torture and killing of their men, women and children in the hands of the occupation forces. And once again, Israel is responding with even more barbarism and violence. Netanyahu is promising to respond “aggressively”. They’re shooting protesters with live ammunition.
In this hugely uneven fight, where the occupiers have one of the most powerful and well armed militaries in the world and are receiving an unlimited help and support from the U.S. empire, two other groups are joining in on the side of the Zionist murderers.
One of those is the U.S. corporate media, which stays silent as Israeli forces keep shooting and killing Palestinians and dragging kids as young as 12 to jail and torture them and – this may sound unbelievable, even from psychopath Zionists who only know terror and violence and know nothing of humanity or human decency or shame – they “detain” and “interrogate” Palestinian children as young as 5 to get information on their elder family members! This has been reported by human rights organizations. Just google it. You can’t make this stuff up.
US media that says nothing about any of these incredible atrocities and acts of genocide, immediately open their filthy Zionist mouths and scream when a Palestinian gets enough of the oppression and crimes of the occupiers and attacks an Israeli. This is the second front against the Palestinians.
But, there is also a third front, as if it weren’t enough: American “soft” Jewish Zionists, who get activated on social media and spew out their racist bullshit in a “softer” and less confrontational and more “peaceful” way, lecturing those of us who rightly put our finger on the occupation as the root of the problem and which needs to end for the hostilities to end, about the need for “both sides” to “stop killing each other”. They tell us “both sides are wrong”, that “both sides are committing violence against the other side”. This may sound evenhanded to the untrained eye, but is done with the purpose of obfuscating the real issue, which is the illegal occupation. As much as they disingenuously talk about “peace” and shed crocodile tears for those who get killed “on both sides” (as if there is even a comparison), what they really want to see and what they really advocate is for Palestinians to stop resisting and accept their faith under the occupation (or go live in another Arab country – a stupid and racist line used by Zionists). And many of such duplicitous “soft Zionists” actually consider themselves “progressive”!
Precisely because these fake “progressives” support the genocidal and apartheid Zionist state, which they know is dependent on US imperialism, you will never hear them talk about US imperialism and its crimes against humanity. They will talk about liberal issues like income and wealth inequality, about the need for raising the minimum wage, about healthcare for everyone and forgiving student debts, but never about US imperialism and its crimes against humanity, overseas. That’s because they know the survival of the racist settler state depends on the success of US imperialism and its war crimes and atrocities, one of those crimes actually being its support of the apartheid. They know the fate of the criminal state of Israel is tied to the fate of the criminal US state.
There isn’t much we can do (for now) about the first two fronts. But, we can and must be diligent about the third. We must expose the “soft” Zionists and show that what they really mean by “peace” in occupied Palestine is continued racism, ethnic cleansing and genocide, so that their “Jewish state” can continue to exist on the backs of the oppressed Palestinian people.
1. Palestine was uninhabited before the founding of the “Jewish state” and arrival of Jews looking for a country to make theirs. This is what radio disk jokey and one of the “judges” of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” show, Howard Stern, used on his radio talk show the other day to level an angry and virulent attack against Roger Waters of Pink Floyd Rock band, who’s an outspoken critic of Israel and Zionism. This argument actually confirms the fact that the state was created by European Jews who went to Palestine to establish a settler state for Jews at the expense of others. It also betrays the ethnic cleansing that was implied and intended and even openly admitted by the founders of the state. Founding of a “Jewish state” (or any other, based on a particular religion or ethnicity) will by definition be based on ethnic cleansing to insure the preferred ethnicity or religion attains majority. So, the first part of this argument is true and argues against Zionism, refuting their other arguments. The second part of this argument claims there were no people living in Palestine at the time of founding the state. Not only is this a clear fabrication of history and verifiable historical facts, including photographs and living breathing Palestinians, many of whom are living in refugee camps in neighboring countries, driven there by the war and terror imposed on them by arriving Zionists, it too is refuted by another of their arguments: that Palestinians could go live somewhere else (also mentioned by Howard Stern in his angry diatribe). If Palestine was uninhabited, why ask the Palestinians, who supposedly didn’t inhabit the land, to go live somewhere else? Howard Stern used both of those arguments, which contradict each other: that the land was inhabited AND that Palestinians could go live in another Arab country.
2. There are many Arab states, but there is only one Jewish state. Palestinians could go live in any of those Arab countries. This, of course, is a proposal, rather than fact or even opinion, and as such, has nothing to do with reason or logic and is in fact absurd and nonsensical. It’s also racist in that it considers all Arabs the same and that it would make no difference to them in which Arab country and under which Arab state they live. It’s like asking Colombians or Bolivians or any other Latin American people to go live in another Latin American country since they’re all Latin, speak the same language and are all Catholics. It also again betrays the ethnic cleansing inherent in this absurd argument. Howard Stern gave the example of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, where Palestinians could move to, to leave Palestine to Jews.
3. Being against Israel is the same as being against Jews and is therefore antisemitic. This is obviously a way to deflect criticisms of Israel by calling the critics who point to the illegitimacy of the settler and apartheid state and its ethnic cleansing as racists. During his angry rant against Roger Waters, against whom he leveled several epithets, Howard Stern kept asking: “what is it with Roger Waters and the Jews”, distorting Waters’ criticism and making it look like he’s against Jews, rather than Israel. No other state is equaled with the people living under it. No one would say criticizing the U.S. is racist against white Christians or criticizing the government of China is racist against the Chinese or of Saudi Arabia is racist against Arabs. Here too, once again, there is ethnic cleansing implied. Equating Israel with Jews implies Israel is the same as and for the Jews, only. To make that possible, Arabs must be driven out since they shouldn’t be the majority.
4. According to the Bible, Palestine belongs to Jews. If we take the Bible as a historical record, which is by far the more respectful way to treat this argument, all that it conveys is that thousands of years ago, Jews lived there. Others make that same argument, without invoking the Bible. But, what does that have to do with creating a state for Jews only? The issue isn’t whether Jews lived there or not. Jews lived in Palestine, as they did in places that ended up to be a part of many other countries. Arabs also lived there and so did Christian Armenians. Palestine was not a homogeneous nation inhabited by only one people. Not many nations are. There are several ethnicities and religions living in most countries, including in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Egypt, Lebanon and most others. The problem is the cleansing of the land of one people to make room for and settle another (ethnic cleansing) and giving rights and preferential treatment to one “desired” people, while suppressing and discriminating against another (apartheid).
5. Those who are against Israel, want to push Jews into the sea or otherwise expel or kill them. This argument turns the reality on its head and claims exactly the opposite of the real story, which is that Israel is the one actually doing everything it can to make Palestinians leave (it also says they should) and is keeping those who were driven from their homes from returning to their homes from refugee camps, where they have been living for 67 years. Anti-Zionists don’t want to see Jews or anyone else expelled (with the possible exception, in my view, of those who went to occupied Palestine in recent years to settle in illegally built settlements in violation of international laws). What anti-Zionists want is that all people be treated equally with the same rights, regardless of their religion or ethnicity (end of apartheid) and the end to the occupation of Palestinian lands and settlement building for Jews and the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes (end and reversal of occupation and ethnic cleansing) and the establishment of a secular and democratic state for all peoples of the land (dismantling of the state of Israel).
6. If Palestinians are allowed to go back to their homes from which they were driven into refugee camps and become equal citizens with equal rights to Jews, then the state of Israel as a “Jewish state” won’t be possible. This is like saying if South Africa were to end its apartheid when it still was, then it would not be apartheid anymore. This once again shows that Israel is indeed built on ethnic cleansing and apartheid. A secular and democratic state that represents all the citizens equally won’t be concerned which ethnic group will be the majority. Since a democratic state won’t discriminate against any minority, the minority won’t need to kick out the majority by the use of military power to make itself the majority and then keep the majority out by force to maintain its apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
7. Both Israelis and Palestinians are committing violence against each other. They both need to stop killing each other. This assertion pretends to be fair and evenhanded, but its real purpose is to ignore and make people forget that this is not a reciprocal or even fight where both sides are guilty. By putting equal blame on both sides, those who make this argument hope we’d forget about the occupation, racism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid which ultimately leads to genocide. They want us to forget that one side is the occupier and the other the occupied. One side is committing genocide and the other is resisting. One side has one of the most powerful militaries in the world and most advanced and lethal weapons, while the other doesn’t even have an army and is no match for the military power of the occupiers. It’s like saying both the rapist and his victim who resists are equally guilty of violence hoping we’d be distracted from and forget the rape itself. It’s like saying the Nazis who were trying to exterminate the Jews and the Jews who occasionally resisted were both to blame for the violence. Just to be clear and make sure Zionists don’t use this point to attack and discredit me, I’m not saying Israel has killed as many Palestinians as Nazis killed Jews, What I’m saying is that equating the occupiers and perpetrators of ethnic cleansing with those who put up a resistance to it is absurd, illogical and above all dishonest with the goal of whitewashing the occupation, atrocities and the crimes.
Whatever arguments Zionists, including those who advocate “two state solution”, throw at us, they can’t get away from the fact that Israel is founded on racism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. The creation of such a state has to involve military occupation of the land, forced displacement of the indigenous population and apartheid and discrimination. Such a state can’t help but commit atrocities and ultimately genocide against the natives it tries to cleanse the land of and keep out, since there will naturally be resistance. And, facts bear this conclusion out. There are daily killings of Palestinians with total impunity, home raids in the middle of the night, widespread incarceration and torture, including of children, as reported repeatedly by human rights organizations, home demolitions, shooting at stone throwing children, military checkpoints, a wall of separation and occasionally, even a full-fledged military attack against the besieged and defenseless people, using fighter jets, tanks, attack helicopters and navy ships, killing thousands of people whose land has been occupied and who have no way of defending themselves. These are the naked facts that Zionists can’t get away from. We should all be armed with these facts to spread the truth to the American people and try to turn the tide.