Zionism and Palestinian diaspora
THE birth of Zionism was the direct result of the persecution of European Jews over many centuries.
Zionism was established as a political, religious and ethnic creed or philosophy to find a final solution to the “Jewish Question” The area of Palestine was designated for the rebirth of the Jewish nation and named as the Jewish Homeland, because it was considered to be their birth place going back 3000 years in time.
The founder of the world Zionist organization was Theodore Herzle who in 1885 floated the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine. He believed that there was no room for Arabs in a future Jewish Homeland.
The Zionists wanted the entire area for themselves to settle and absorb millions of Jews from all over the world and thus solve the Jewish question for all times to come.
Zionist political influence, their fanatical dedication to the cause and financial backing by extremely powerful bankers and industrialists such as the Rotchilds resulted in the signing of the Balfour declaration in 1917.
This declaration approved the establishment of a new state as the national home of the Jewish people in the ancient landmass of Palestine.
The ultimate aim of Zionism was the complete acquisition and possession of Eretz Israel.
The methods used to achieve this goal were numerous and included: Expulsion by terror tactics and intimidation, confiscation of property, denial of Palestinian identity, eradication of Palestinian villages and ill treatment of Palestinians in the occupied areas.
The intent of dispossession was evident in the early writings of Theodore Herzle. Today there are over seven million Palestinian refugees, an additional four million in exile and half a million are internally displaced persons.
Between 1948 and 1950 at least 800000 Palestinians were made refugees because the Palestinian leaders did not accept the UN resolutions and they lacked any leadership.
The only leader of the Palestinian Arabs was Amin Al Husseni also known as the grand Mufti of Palestine who high tailed it to Saudi Arabia and asked for political asylum.
The disastrous 1967 war with Israel resulted in a shameful defeat for the Arab countries like Egypt, Jordan and Syria resulting in another 3, 50,000 refugees.
Israel even today has not been able to expel all the Palestinians and has resorted to a policy of subjugation and intimidation.
The state of Israel now endorses illegal policies including terror, assassinations, land grab and denial of civic facilities to rid the land of its Arab population.
All these acts have been noted and condemned many times by the UN general assembly, the UN Human Rights Commission, amnesty International and many other world organizations.
Palestine today is a torn bleeding and shattered land. It is a festering wound and a dangerous dormant volcano that could erupt into a major conflagration with global repercussions.
After the Camp David Accord hopes were raised for some permanent solution of the conflict and finally the Palestinian Authority was created under the Oslo Accord in 1994.
Palestinians themselves have major differences of opinions and a severe lack of unity between the various factions in the Palestinian Authority.
There are however no second opinion about the Palestinian diaspora and there is universal consensus that the Palestinian dispossession at the hands of Zionist Zealots has been a high price paid by few groups or people in world history.
The intifada in Palestine gave birth to a raging and volatile debate within Palestine and across the world wherever there are groups of Palestinian refugees.
The Palestinians themselves are bitterly divided about the course of action to be followed or how the struggle for freedom is to be conducted. Some believe in violent struggle but are divided on the issue of targets.
Another group believe in passive resistance or peaceful disobedience along the pattern of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. In the absence of an established institution or policy making body these debates took place in drawing rooms, coffee houses and militant gatherings and within the kitchen cabinet of Yassar Arafat during his life time.
Different groups have different opinions and plans but consensus of opinion is still a pipe dream.
Another minor group believes that the time for armed struggle is over and the Palestinians should now depend on American handouts to achieve their political aims and objectives.
Majority of the Palestinians want peace with honour and all of them agree that until the ideology called Zionism is rooted out there will never be peace and harmony in the region.
There cannot be any two opinions about the fact that as long as there is any state in the region that defines nationality on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion lasting peace cannot be achieved.
Zionism is the remnants of a sanctioned racial ideology in the world. This ideology has been equated with fascism, apartheid and Nazism. Israel believes in ensuring a Jewish Majority in its political charter.
Jewishness is their main driving force. The Palestinian struggle is very much a human struggle which will continue to its logical end.
Zionism has no place in this century it will have to be ended from the body politic of the world.
Similar philosophies like apartheid and fascism have found their final resting place on the dust heap of history.
—The writer is Professor of History, based in Islamabad.