Palestinians’ plight and Zionism

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Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi

OFFICIALLY, International Quds Day is annually celebrated on the last Friday of Ramazan to imbibe our spirit of allegiance and determination to restore the erstwhile Palestinian control over the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Al-Quds. First, it was the Islamic Republic of Iran who took this initiative in 1979 to show the al-Quds solidarity by supporting the Palestinian cause while opposing Zionism and Israel. This year’s Al-Quds Day protests in the Gaza Strip follow more than two months of unrest on the border with Israel, where the Zionist IDF troops brutally kill the innocent Palestinian protesters. As for the Palestinians’ plight, the British plan to create a phony state of Israel in Mandatory Palestine in 1948 at the expense of Palestinians’ enforced expulsion via Zionist forces remains the most atrocious project of the Western imperialism whereby the local Palestinians have been deprived of their fundamental rights to live peacefully and freely in their own lands.
Put truly, without Great Britain, there would not have been an Israel for the Yishuv, or a catastrophe for Palestine’s Arab majority. And according to the British author Mark Roberts, The Balfour Declaration was a sham. Britain did not possess Palestine and had no right whatsoever to promise Zionism a place in Palestine. Palestine at the time was controlled and effectively owned by Ottoman Turkey. The Balfour Declaration did allow Zionism to say that its claim to Palestine had been recognized by a major power, and then to assert that the Zionist enterprise was therefore a legitimate one. But the legitimacy Britain conveyed by implication was entirely spurious.
At its origins, Zionism or the Weizmann doctrine of dispensationalism was a pure colonial project to serve the interests of wealthy European Jews who had financed European colonialism in the 19th century. It was a secular movement which used religion at later stages to recruit simple followers .In his only visit to Jerusalem in 1898, [Theodor] Herzl found in Jerusalem a miserable Jewish community, full of superstition and fanaticism, and preferred to build his intended capital in Galilee. Leading Zionists have expounded the priority of their aims clearly: to acquire land and bring Jews to colonise it. The Zionist programme was a gradual takeover of Palestine. It is the same today. But history and international law go against Zionist schemes. Since the 1967 war, which resulted in Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, Israel has kept the Palestinian economy in a state of permanent dependency, controlling flows of labor, production, taxation, land, and resource use. The 1993 Oslo Accord “codified” this dependency by giving Israel full control over the areas of customs and trade.
Political Zionism (the pivot of Jewish territorialism) has been destroying a culture and a people, and intentionally so. It is seeking to ethnically cleanse a land by any means possible: scaring Palestinian families so they flee to other nations, incarcerating Palestinian men for the simple crime of being Palestinian, harassing and damaging children both emotionally and physically (all well-documented), and yes, even killing them. Palestinians are killed by the Israeli military on a regular basis under the guise of “crowd control.” Zionist leaders argued that if Palestinians could not reconcile themselves to Zionism, then force majeure, not a compromise of goals, was the only possible response. Arab Zionists established a hostile position against Palestinian resistance on the grounds that, according to their perspective, resistance represents political Islam. Netanyahu and the American neocons currently view Iran as a greater threat in the Middle East than ISIS, and while they advocate US military intervention, they emphasize that such intervention should not empower Iran, notes the American thinker Stephen Sniegoski.
The whole concept of Israel’s “Jewishness” was set out in the “declaration of independence”, followed by Israel’s 1950 “Law of Return” for Jews. Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted on recognition of this as a precondition for talks with the Palestinians, following Obama’s use of the term at the UN in September 2010. Ex-prime minister Ehud Olmert had also used it as a precondition to talks. The question is; do Palestinians realise the impact and consequences of the term? Under the Zionist advocated philosophy nurtured by Netanyahu’s government, the Palestinian Arabs living in Israel, 20 per cent of the population will become a foreign minority. Thus their right to live on their own land will be removed. Their presence in historic Palestine is the material evidence that this was somebody else’s land before Israel was created and the “ethnic cleansing” began, but the Zionists will be able to deport them beyond the Jewish state.
In his important new book: The Battle for Justice in Palestine, Palestinian activist and Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah shows us why the need to dismantle Zionism and the Israeli occupation of Palestine remains an incomplete twentieth-century project of liberation made even more urgent by its role in propping up twenty-first century capitalism and racism. Abunimah provides the most complete description to date of what the British writer/historian John Collins has called a “Palestine that is becoming globalized and a globe that is becoming Palestinized.” Israeli apartheid, he argues, is a vanguard project of settler-colonial racism whose disciplinary apparatus provides a “prophetic index” for disempowered communities all over the world.
Under the neoliberal project, Evangelical Christians seem hell-bent on espousing the Bernard Lewis doctrine of Greater Israel deviously endorsed by Donald Trump’s unjust move of US Embassy shifting to Jerusalem. But despite this devilish Zionist imperialism and its agenda of Israel’s expansion via coercion, the ultimate reality is: Israel’s sovereignty cannot be established in the Palestinian occupied territories of West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Deportation or forced transfers of any part of the population of an occupied territory could amount to war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
— The writer, an independent ‘IR’ researcher-cum-analyst based in Karachi, is a member of European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on IR, Critical Peace & Conflict Studies.

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