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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Israel’s battle crimes in Gaza are by design, not default | Israel-Palestine battle


The grotesque scenes of loss of life and destruction in Gaza are a reminder that for Israel, violence is just not incidental, unintended or coincidental. It’s half and parcel of its colonial DNA.

Just like the French in Algeria, the Dutch in Indonesia and South Africa, the Belgians within the Congo, the Spaniards in South America and the Europeans in North America, the Zionists have additionally dehumanised the natives of the land as a precursor to or justification for guilt-free repression and violence. However colonialism should not be conflated with Judaism. If something, the Jews have traditionally been the victims of racism for hundreds of years, rendering a lot of them anti-colonialists.

In 1948, Israel was established on the ruins of one other individuals, the Palestinians. It was made right into a Jewish majority state by the deliberate ethnic cleaning of the land’s 750,000 Palestinian inhabitants. Since then, Israel has maintained safety by state repression, navy occupation, bloody wars and numerous massacres in opposition to civilians.

Nazareth, town of my beginning, was one of many few to be spared from ethnic cleaning however solely as a result of a navy commander named Benjamin Dunkelman, a Canadian Jew who led the seventh Brigade of the Israeli military, refused to hold out his superiors’ evacuation order for this Christian majority metropolis, as he later wrote, primarily out of concern of the worldwide repercussions.

About 400 different Palestinian cities and villages weren’t so fortunate. They had been all depopulated, and a majority was solely decimated. Their inhabitants had been both killed or kicked out. The properties in them had been both demolished or confiscated. They got new Hebrew names. These Palestinians who tried to return to their houses had been both shot or forcibly despatched to neighbouring international locations.

In his ebook, Sacred Panorama: The Buried Historical past of the Holy Land Since 1948, Meron Benvenisti, an Israeli political scientist, writes: “Not for the reason that finish of the Center Ages had the civilised world witnessed the wholesale appropriation of the sacred websites of a defeated spiritual neighborhood by members of the victorious one.”

Since then, Israel has set its eyes on the individuals per se, no matter its management or theirs. Palestinians are seen by Israel both as an enemy from inside that should be eradicated or as a demographic menace that must be eliminated. It’s no coincidence that since its inception, Israel has established an oppressive regime of “Jewish superiority”. This regime was prolonged after the 1967 battle and occupation to everything of historic Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore the Palestinian cry, “From the river to the ocean, Palestine will likely be free.”

For many years, Israel has used disproportionate pressure and carried out numerous massacres in opposition to Palestinian civilians as a type of revenge, punishment and deterrence. Final month, the Palestinians commemorated the seventieth anniversary of the bloodbath of Qibya, the place, in retaliation for a Palestinian assault on an Israeli settlement that killed three individuals, together with two kids, Israeli forces underneath the management of Ariel Sharon attacked the West Financial institution village of about 2,000 inhabitants, killing 69 Palestinians, largely girls and youngsters.

That very same vengeful mindset has been utilized 70 years later in Gaza. It’s a deterrence technique, intentionally geared toward harming civilians to distance them from their leaders and the teams preventing of their identify. At present, the Israeli propaganda machine is busy collating determined and indignant cries, actual and manufactured, from Gaza residents projecting blame on Hamas for bringing Israel’s wrath upon them.

Israel by no means accepts an “eye for a watch” in its confrontations with the Palestinians. It insists on a ratio of 1 to 10 or 20 in terms of its civilian casualties vs Palestinian civilian casualties. Therefore, the Palestinian civilian should pay a heavy worth in every conflict, no matter any ethical or authorized consideration.

Nowhere is the dissymmetry extra pervasive than in Israel’s 56-year navy occupation of the West Financial institution and Gaza, which by its very nature is a perpetual system of violence in opposition to civilians. Technology after technology of Palestinians have needed to endure a racist, grotesque and unlawful navy occupation that has included every day humiliations, collective punishment, land confiscations, and the destruction of lives and livelihoods. For Gaza, this has meant a 17-year siege of the strip by a dreadful and inhumane navy blockade, navy incursions, bombings of civilian infrastructure and extra.

Though Israel claims it has “no selection”, its occupation is in actual fact pushed by technique, not by necessity. All through the previous six a long time, Israel has managed the Palestinian territories partially to colonise them by a whole bunch of unlawful settlements on stolen Palestinian lands, partially to carry their inhabitants hostage till their leaders settle for its political dictates, which is by definition a type of state terrorism, which implies utilizing violence in opposition to civilians for political ends.

One other necessary issue behind Israel’s violence in opposition to Palestinian civilians, as I defined right here, is hatred – hatred that’s propelled by concern, envy and anger.

Israel fears all that’s Palestinian steadfastness, Palestinian unity, Palestinian resistance, Palestinian poetry and all Palestinian nationwide symbols. Such concern generates hatred as a result of a state that’s at all times afraid can’t be free. Israel is indignant on the Palestinians for refusing to surrender or give in, for not going away – distant. They refuse to cede their fundamental rights, not to mention concede defeat. Israel can also be envious of Palestinian interior energy and outward pleasure. It’s envious of their robust beliefs and readiness to sacrifice.

In brief, Israel hates the individuals of Palestine for impeding the realisation of the Zionist utopia over all historic Palestine. And it particularly hates these residing in Gaza, as I wrote final 12 months, for turning the dream right into a nightmare.

However the reply in Gaza and the remainder of Palestine can’t be extra killing and extra occupation. In reality, Israel’s ongoing industrial-scale slaughter and nationwide repression of the Palestinians, in retaliation of Hamas’s grotesque October 7 assaults in southern Israel, is each totally felony and terribly silly. Israel has tried to stay by the sword for the previous 75 years, however it has sowed extra of the identical insecurity, infamy and anger. Repeating the identical technique many times and anticipating totally different outcomes is certainly silly. If it continues to disclaim the Palestinians a life and a future, Israel additionally will find yourself with no life or future price residing on this Arab area.

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