Thursday, March 11, 2010

What will it take to dismantle the Apartheid character of the Zionist State?

In the last 62 years, the state of Israel has transformed itself from a colonial, settler Jewish state to a Zionist expansionist empire, albeit without an emperor, in the heart of the Middle East where through its racist and apartheid policies and programs it has ensured that the only way the indigenous Palestinian people could live there is by relegating upon themselves a third-class status, which is worse than what the Apartheid regime had imposed upon the Black indigenous people of South Africa. That transformation was aided and facilitated by the powerful western states, the Jewish Lobby, their pro-Israeli politicians, donors, sympathizers (thanks to the Holocaust industry and the Hollywood), merchants and promoters of war. The Israeli leaders and its ‘Amen Corner’ within the Capitol Hill have been abusing the U.S. promise to stand by a “secure” Israel as a blank cheque to undermine the stated American aims for the region. Between 1990 and 2010, the number of settlers almost quadrupled from about 78,000 in 1990 to around 300,000. Had it not been for such financial aids, military assistance and strategic cooperation the settler enterprise could not have survived, let alone do its war crimes unchecked and unpunished.
The Middle East is, however, not Israel alone. There is oil, produced in the surrounding Muslim countries, which the USA and other western friends of Israel need. That is where the face of US and EU public diplomacy comes that tries to present itself as a mediator to find an accommodation for the displaced, indigenous Palestinians in the Holy Land. In such negotiations, the United States ends up as “Israel’s lawyer” rather than an honest broker. As noted last month in a NY Times Op/ed column, there is little hope for shifting the domestic constraints and overcoming the overwhelming power of the Jewish Lobby for the Obama administration to deliver on its promise for a viable Palestinian state. With never-ending settlement activities inside the Occupied Territories of East Jerusalem for the last four decades a two-state solution seems an impossible reality. Day by day, inch by inch, the physical space for the second state, Palestine, is disappearing. America has allowed this self-defeating process to advance to near irreversibility. In fact, it has helped fund it.
The Zionists and the friends of Israel, inside and outside the apartheid state, ignore the simple truth that past persecution of the Jews cannot be a license to subjugate another people, the Palestinians. Through their devious ploys and sinister plans, let alone savagery and war crimes, the Zionists have managed to hijack and tarnish Judaism -- the religion of the great prophets of the Bible. Outside a hardcore band of Christian Zionists, there are very few sympathizers today for the Zionist state. Little do these cheerleaders realize that Israel’s own misguided policies are to blame for an erosion of public sympathy! Some of the Israeli veterans of the operation against Palestinian enclaves are also getting tired of being used as killing machines. In their testimony, cited in a booklet by the organization “Breaking the Silence” and quoted in the Goldstone Report, these veterans said that the rules of engagement included directives like “"if you see any signs of movement at all, you shoot.”
When the civilized world cries out foul about the despicable treatment of the Palestinians inside the Occupied Territories, esp. the genocide in Gaza, Israeli leaders equate activities of the Hamas to the Nazis in Germany. It is doubtful that any historian of stature would buy that comparison between Hamas and the Nazis, or between the London Blitz and the Qassam rockets on Sderot. In the Blitz, 400 German bombers and 600 fighter planes killed 43,000 people and destroyed more than a million homes. Hamas' Qassams, perhaps the most primitive weapon in the world today, have killed 18 people in eight years. Whom are the Zionists fooling? And if we can compare Hamas to the horrific Nazi killing machine, why shouldn’t others compare the Nazis' behavior to that of Israeli soldiers that killed thousands of Palestinian civilians?
How long can the Israeli leaders and their partners-in-crime blackmail the guilt-ridden western world? How long can they count on the support received from the financially-troubled West? As I write, some 15 million Americans are still without job, hundreds of schools are closing down for lack of funding, and millions don’t have basic healthcare. And yet, in his FY2011 budget request to Congress, President Obama included a record-breaking $3 billion in military aid to Israel. That tax money could have been used instead to provide more than 364,000 low-income households with affordable housing vouchers, or to retrain 498,000 workers for green jobs, or to provide early reading programs to 887,000 at-risk students, or to provide access to primary health care services for more than 24 million uninsured Americans. The contribution from my state of Pennsylvania alone towards military aid to Israel in the FY2009-2018 is $1.275 billion. This tax-money could have been spent instead for needed domestic programs, such as, to provide 15,483 households per year with affordable housing grants, or provide 21,167 job seekers per year w/green jobs training, or provide 37,702 children per year w/early reading education, or provide 1,032,659 people per year w/primary health care. According to the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, during the Bush Administration Israel killed at least 3,107 innocent Palestinian civilians, most of them by hi-tech U.S. weapons provided to Israel at taxpayers’ expense. It won’t be too long that ordinary Americans would wake up to realize how their hard-earned tax money is spent to finance a foreign government that has indirectly contributed to their troubles and demand a change of their ‘no-question asked’, ‘blind-eye’ attitude towards Israel from their elected representatives.
Israelis must recognize that if they are against a viable Palestinian state living side by side then there will be one state between the river and the sea and very soon there will be more Palestinian Arabs in it than Jews. What then will become of the Zionist dream? Will they prefer that alternative? As children and grandchildren of ghetto-living European Jewry they ought to know that a democracy reserved for privileged citizens while all others are denied individual and national rights and kept behind checkpoints, barbed wire fences and separation walls manned by Israel’s military, is not democracy. That is why the current status quo is no solution, and will only weaken the very foundation of the Zionist state. It’s time for President Obama to ask such tough questions in public and demand of Israel that it work in practice to share the land rather than divide and rule it.
In the 1980s the Pretoria regime caved under the overwhelming weight of economic sanctions that were imposed from outside. These sanctions eventually forced the regime to change its apartheid character and become a democracy that it is today. In a Financial Times column, Henry Siegman wrote, “Prospects for such international action may serve as the only remaining inducement for Israel to accept a two-state solution. Not only its legitimacy but its survival as a Jewish and democratic state depends on it.” (Feb. 23, 2010) Will Israel need such a push to change her characteristics? Or, will it self-correct its inhuman ways before such sanctions are imposed from the civilized world?

Human Rights Watch World Report, 2003, Human Rights Watch, p. 460.
For more information on IAW, see:
No less demagogic was Netanyahu’s attack on the Iranian regime. “They shoot demonstrators there,” he protested vehemently, as if they don't do that in Bil'in, Na'alin and other occupied territories against the Palestinian demonstrators.

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