Liz Burbank on the Palestine Holocaust


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

11/25/07 History & Memory: Sub-planting 
Palestinian Memory Dialectics of Terror Meaning 
of M.E. 'Peace'

Posted November 24th, 2007 by liz burbank
Sub-planting Palestinian Memory
By Dr. Elias Akleh

"If you look for Palestine on any modern map you 
will not find it. Palestine had been wiped off 
the map and replaced by Zionist Israel."

"After the Jewish Holocaust the whole world cried 
"never again". Yet the same victims of the 
Holocaust, and their descendents, are now 
perpetrating a similar Holocaust against the 
Palestinians Š. The international slogan "never 
again" had thus become an empty cry."

The attached report was presented to scholars at 
the 41st Oral History Convention in Oakland, 
California on November 27th, 2007. It has been 
slightly modified to fit publications.

Palestinians share one common experience with 
North and South American Native Indians, with 
Australian Aborigines, and with New Zealand 
Ma'oris. They all have been subjected to settler 

Settler colonialism, usually technologically and 
militarily more advanced, is based on the erasure 
of already existent people, their culture and 
their memory, and substituting it with new 
foreign national entity that builds new culture, 
new history and new memory. To do this, settler 
colonialists have to get rid of the native 
people, their physical evidence, their history 
and their memory. They have to wipe off their 
existence from the world collective memory.

In the case of Palestinians, the name of their 
country has already been wiped off the map. If 
you look for Palestine on any modern map you will 
not find it. Palestine had been wiped off the map 
and replaced by Zionist Israel.

The plan of wiping Palestine off the map 
originated within the First Zionist Congress in 
1897, when a programme for the colonization of 
Palestine by Zionist settlers was approved to 
pave the way for the establishment of an 
exclusive Jewish state in the heart of the Arab 

Britain, the super colonial power at the time, 
adopted the programme, which started to 
materialize with Balfour Declaration in 1917 when 
the British government promised to use "its best 
endeavours to facilitate the establishment in 
Palestine of a national home for the Jewish 

This decision was taken regardless of the 
Palestinian's national aspiration and without 
asking them whether they wanted to give their 
country away to strangers or not. Palestinians 
were dehumanized and disregarded, their existence 
was not even acknowledged, hence came the Zionist 
slogan "Land without people for people without 

To establish a Jewish settler-colonization in 
Palestine, Zionists needed land, people 
(settlers), and economy. They started to acquire 
land, and to encourage Jewish immigration and 
settlements and building a segregated economy. 
This process continued from 1918 to 1948 when the 
state of Israel was declared on usurped 
Palestinian land.

Although Jews were then a minority comprising 
only 30% of the population and possess a mere 6% 
of the land, still they announced the 
establishment of the state of Israel. 
Subsequently Arabs declared war on Israel. 
Hearing this, one would imagine that Arab 
countries had amassed huge well equipped armies 
to attack Israel. The fact was that most of the 
Arab countries at that time were still either 
under occupation or had just come out of it and 
had poor resources. Arab countries were able to 
amass only 23 thousand troops while Israel had 93 
thousand well equipped troops. Israel was 
receiving heavy arms from Europe through 
communist Czechoslovakia (through Zatic military 
base). The defeat of the Arab armies thus was 
clear and inevitable.

As a result of this war Israel occupied 78% of 
Palestine, about 75 hundred thousand Palestinians 
(two thirds of population) were kicked out of 
their homes and made refugees, and more than 400 
Palestinian villages were completely razed off 
the ground.

Occupying most of Palestine ushers the first 
phase of establishing the Zionist colonial 
settler entity. Setting up the base was 
accomplished. The second phase is to get rid of 
the people.

In his book, "Birth of Palestinian Refugee 
Problem", Israeli historian Benny Morris quoted 
Yousef Weitz, the director of the Jewish National 
Fund's Land Department, from his diary as saying:

"It must be clear that there is no room in the 
country for both people (Palestinians and Jews) Š 
the only solution is a Land of Israel, at least a 
western Land of Israel without Arabs. There is no 
room here for compromise Š There is no way but to 
transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring 
countries Š Not one village must be left, nor one 
Bedouin tribe."

In his book "Dispossed- the Ordeal of the 
Palestinians" (1982) the Israeli writer David 
Gilmour states that expulsion was the most common 
method used to make people leave their homes by 
force. Terrorism and the use of propaganda to 
spread fear of terrorism were the most grotesque. 
Here are some eyewitness accounts of such method. 
A Palestinian woman from "Safsaf" describes what 
happened in her village when Israeli troops 
occupied the village:

"As we lined up, a few Jewish soldiers ordered 
four girls to accompany them to carry water for 
the soldiers. Instead they took them to our empty 
house and raped them. About seventy of our men 
were blindfolded and shot to death, one after the 
other, in front of us."

Many similar atrocities were perpetrated at 
several places and are well documented. Let us 
look at an alternative viewpoint from an Israeli 
soldier, who himself described the actions of his 
fellow Israeli troops:

"They killed some eighty to one hundred Arabs, 
women and children Š Another soldier boasted that 
he raped an Arab woman and then shot her. Another 
Arab woman with a day-old baby was employed in 
cleaning jobs in the yard Š She worked for one or 
two days and then was shot with her baby. Š 
Cultured and well mannered commanders who are 
considered good fellows Š have turned into low 
murderers, and this happened not in the storm of 
the battle and blind passion, but because of a 
system of expulsion and annihilation. The less 
Arabs remain, the better"

The second phase of settler colonialism is the 
erasure of natives' physical evidence. I would 
like to emphasize here that wiping off 
Palestinian villages was a pre-meditated scheme 
planned and partially implemented long before the 
establishment of the state of Israel.

Zionists started by buying Ottoman's feudal 
properties from absentee rich families and 
kicking out by force the Palestinian farmers, who 
lived on and cared for the land for hundreds of 
years. One such example was the property of 
"Sarsaq" family consisting of 240 thousand Donums 
of land in Haifa Valley and "Marj Ibn Amer" 
valley with 23 Palestinian farm towns on the 
land. In 1921 the "Sarsaq" land was acquired by 
the National Jewish Fund, who forcefully kicked 
out 8 thousand Palestinian farmers and leveled 21 
out of their 23 villages. Some of the razed 
Palestinian villages were Jinjar, Sufsafa, Tel 
Alfarr, Jalod, Alfulah, Al-Affula, Tel el-'Adas, 
Jeeda, Tel al-Shummam, Quamoon, Jibata, 
Khuneifus, Al-Harithia, and Al-Harbaj.

They also acquired similar properties in Hula 
Valley and Beesan Valley, where they razed 70 
other Palestinian farm villages and evacuated 
their inhabitants.

Many Palestinian villages, which survived 
destruction during 1948 war, were later erased 
(wiped off) after the war. Records of the 
Association of Archeological Survey, housed in 
the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem, show that a 
plan to wipe off Palestinian villages was 
implemented jointly by the Israeli Lands 
Administration and the Jewish National Fund in 
1965, and was carried on for several years. The 
plan intended to wipe off all traces of 
Palestinian villages in order to destroy any hope 
for the Palestinian refugees to return to their 

The Israeli Association of Archaeological Survey 
was established in 1964 to issue permits for the 
destruction of Palestinian villages. By 1967 this 
association had approved the wiping off of about 
100 villages inside 1948-occupied Palestine 
(Israel). After 1967 the Association turned its 
attention to destroying Palestinian villages in 
West Bank and Golan heights. On December 2006 
Roni Bar-On, Israeli Interior Minister declared 
his ministry's approval on a plan to demolish 
more than 42,000 homes of Palestinian Bedouins in 
Negev Desert. This plan will wipe off 45 
Palestinian villages housing more than 86,000 
Palestinian Bedouins, who in 1958 were evacuated 
out of their land and confined to a piece of land 
in the desert known as the Triangle. Although 
paying taxes to Israeli government like any other 
town, these 45 villages were not recognized by 
the Israeli government, and received no civil 
services at all.

The destruction of Palestinian history, culture, 
and wiping off their memory, continued by 
changing names of Palestinian towns and villages, 
and replacing them with Jewish names. Moshe Dyan, 
a previous Israeli Defense Minister, said in a 
lecture he gave at the Technion University in 
Haifa in March 19th 1969:

"we came here to a country that was populated by 
Arabs, and we are building here a Hebrew, a 
Jewish state; instead of the Arab villages, 
Jewish villages were established. You even do not 
know the names of those villages, and I do not 
blame you because these villages no longer exist. 
There is no single Jewish settlement that was not 
established on the place of a former Arab 
Village. You do not even know the names of these 
Arab villages, and I do not blame you because 
geography books no longer exist. Not only do the 
books not exist, the Arab villages are not there 
either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul, 
Kibbutz Gv'at in the place of Jibta, Kibbutz 
Sared in the place of Huneifis, and Yehushua in 
the place of Tel al-Shuman. There is not a single 
place built in this country that did not have a 
former Arab population." (Haaratz, April 4th, 

The policy of wiping off Palestinian names and 
replacing them with Jewish names was adopted by 
first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion 
since the establishment of Israel in 1948 when he 
established a special committee from historians, 
geographers, geologists and Torah experts, whose 
task was to wipe off the Canaanite and 
Palestinian Arabic names and substitute them with 
Jewish names. So Tel Rabi' became Tel Aviv, Um 
Rashrash became Eilat, Shu'fat became Nevi 
Yachob, Beit Jala became Gilo, Za'tara became 
Tabbuch, Beisan became Beit Shean, Qualandia 
became Atarot, Beit Mahseer became Beit Me'er, 
Artof became Hartuv, and so on.

So, not only did they erase the indigenous 
peoples' memory, they have sub-planted a new 
memory in its place.

Israel is intent on destroying all Palestinian 
and Islamic cultural city landmarks. Religious 
places and buildings, especially Muslim mosques, 
were destroyed, neglected to collapse, or turned 
into museums, art galleries, pups, clubs, senior 
citizens shelters, and stables for farm animals.

Muslim Palestinians were not allowed to renovate 
or build new mosques. Renovation and 
strengthening the bases of Al-Aqsa mosque for 
example was hindered by Jerusalem municipality. 
Building permits were withheld, and building 
materials were not allowed to pass through 
Jerusalem old gates to the mosque. The ancient 
Islamic Council building and its adjacent Islamic 
"Ma'man Allah" cemetery in West Jerusalem are 
important historic and cultural Palestinian 
landmarks. The Israeli government is destroying 
the internals of the Islamic Council building to 
build western-style apartments, and digging up 
the cemetery to build a Jewish Museum of 
Tolerance on its place. It is so ironic and 
hilarious to destroy someone's historical place 
to build a museum of tolerance!!!!

After the Jewish Holocaust the whole world cried 
"never again". Yet the same victims of the 
Holocaust, and their descendent, are now 
perpetrating a similar Holocaust against the 
Palestinians. It is true that Palestinians are 
not being gassed, yet their children are targeted 
daily by Israeli snipers, their civilians are 
routinely murdered by Israeli artilleries and air 
raids, their homes are destroyed by Israeli 
bulldozers, their land is being usurped by 
Israeli settlers, their natural resources are 
exploited and abused by the Israeli government, 
and their economy is being choked by restrictions 
and sieges. Palestinians are imprisoned within a 
high wall snaking through and around their 
cities. They are being starved to death. If this 
is not another Holocaust I don't know what is. 
All this is happening while the world is watching 
silently. The international slogan "never again" 
had thus become an empty cry.

Dialectics of Terror

"If you kill one person, it is murder. If you 
kill a hundred thousand, it is foreign policy." 

by M. Shahid Alam

I doubt if I have come across a more pithy 
statement exposing the hypocrisy of America's war 
against terrorism; but this is what I read, well 
before September 11, 2001, on a car-sticker in 
the commuter parking lot in Attleboro, 
Massachusetts, USA.

States are founded on a monopoly over violence, 
which has nearly always included the right to 
kill. In fact, that is the very essence of the 
state. States seek to enforce this monopoly by 
amassing instruments of violence; but that is 
scarcely enough. They also use religion, ideology 
and laws to deligitimize and root out violence 
stemming from non-state agents.

This monopoly over violence creates its own 
problem. Unchallenged, the state can turn the 
instruments of violence against its own 
population. This leads to state tyranny. The 
state can also wage wars to enrich one or more 
sectional interests. This defines the dual 
challenge before all organized societies: 
restraining state tyranny and limiting its 
war-making powers.

Often, there has existed a tradeoff between 
tyranny and wars. Arguably, such a tradeoff was 
at work during the period of European expansion 
since the sixteenth century, when Europeans 
slowly secured political rights even as they 
engaged in growing, even genocidal, violence, 
especially against non-Europeans. As Western 
states gradually conceded rights to their own 
populations, they intensified the murder and 
enslavement of Americans and Africans, founding 
white colonies on lands stolen from them. Few 
Westerners were troubled by this inverse 
connection: this was the essence of racism.

The United States is only the most successful of 
the colonial creations, a fact that has left its 
indelible mark on American thinking. It is a 
country that was founded on violence against its 
native inhabitants; this led, over three 
centuries of expansion, to the near extermination 
of Indians, with the few survivors relocated to 
inhospitable reservations. Its history also 
includes the violence - on a nearly equal scale - 
perpetrated against the Africans who were torn 
from their continent to create wealth for the new 
Republic. Such a genesis, steeped in violence 
against others races, convinced most Americans 
that they had the divine right - like the ancient 
Israelites - to build their prosperity on the 
ruin of other, 'inferior' races.

In addition to the manipulations of a corporate 
media, this ethos explains why so many Americans 
support the actions of their government abroad - 
in Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile, Vietnam, Iran, 
Palestine or Iraq, to name only a few. It is 
unnecessary to look too closely into these 
interventions since they are undertaken to secure 
'our' interests. Even if they result in deaths - 
the deaths of more than three-quarters of a 
million children, as in Iraq - to borrow a 
felicitous phrase from Madeline Albright, "the 
price is worth it."

Of course, few Americans understand that their 
country has long stood at the apex - and, 
therefore, is the chief beneficiary - of a global 
system that produces poverty for the greater part 
of humanity, including within the United States 
itself; that this system subordinates all social, 
cultural, environmental and human values to the 
imperatives of corporate capital; a system that 
now kills people by the millions merely by 
setting the rules that devastate their economies, 
deprive them of their livelihood, their dignity 
and, eventually, their lives. The corporate 
media, the school curricula, and the Congress 
ensure that most Americans never see past the web 
of deceit - about a free, just, tolerant and 
caring United States - that covers up the human 
carnage and environmental wreckage this system 

The wretched of the earth are not so easily 
duped. They can see - and quite clearly, through 
the lens of their dark days - how corporate 
capital, with United States in the lead, produces 
their home-based tyrannies; how their economies 
have been devastated to enrich transnational 
corporations and their local collaborators; how 
the two stifle indigenous movements for human 
rights, women's rights, and worker's rights; how 
they devalue indigenous traditions and languages; 
how corporate capital uses their countries as 
markets, as sources of cheap labor, as fields for 
testing new, deadlier weapons, and as sites for 
dumping toxic wastes; how their men and women 
sell body parts because the markets place little 
value on their labor.

The world - outside the dominant West - has 
watched how the Zionists, with the support of 
Britain and the United States, imposed a 
historical anachronism, a colonial-settler state 
in Palestine, a throw-back to a sanguinary past, 
when indigenous populations in the Americas could 
be cleansed with impunity to make room for 
Europe's superior races. In horror, they watch 
daily how a racist Israel destroys the lives of 
millions of Palestinians through US-financed 
weaponry and fresh-contrived acts of malice; how 
it attacks its neighbors at will; how it has 
destabilized, distorted and derailed the 
historical process in an entire region; and how, 
in a final but foreordained twist, American men 
and women have now been drawn into this conflict, 
to make the Middle East safe for Israeli hegemony.

In Iraq, over the past thirteen years, the world 
has watched the United States showcase the 
methods it will use to crush challenges to the 
new imperialism - the New World Order - that was 
launched after the end of the Cold War. This new 
imperialism commands more capital and more lethal 
weapons than the old imperialisms of Britain, 
France or Germany. It is imperialism without 
rivals and, therefore, it dares to pursue its 
schemes, its wars, and its genocidal campaigns, 
under the cover of international legitimacy: 
through the United Nations, the World Bank, IMF, 
and World Trade Organization. In brief, it is a 
deadlier, more pernicious imperialism.

Under the cover of the Security Council, the 
United States has waged a total war against Iraq 
- a war that went well beyond the means that 
would be needed to reverse the invasion of 
Kuwait. The aerial bombing of Iraq, in the months 
preceding the ground action in January 1991, 
sought the destruction of the country's civilian 
infrastructure, a genocidal act under 
international law; it destroyed power plants, 
water-purification plants, sewage facilities, 
bridges and bomb shelters. It was the official 
(though unstated) aim of these bombings to sting 
the Iraqis into overthrowing their rulers. Worse, 
the war was followed by a never-relenting 
campaign of aerial bombings and the most complete 
sanctions in recorded history. According to a UN 
study, the sanctions had killed half a million 
Iraqi children by 1995; the deaths were the 
result of a five-fold increase in child mortality 
rates. It would have taken five Hiroshima bombs 
to produce this grisly toll....

The terrorist attacks of 9-11 shocked, perhaps 
traumatized, a whole nation. Yet the same 
Americans expressed little concern - in fact, 
most could profess total ignorance - about the 
deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi 
civilians caused by daily bombings and crippling 
sanctions over a period of thirteen years. Of 
course, the dollar and the dinar are not the 
same. American deaths could not be equated on a 
one-to-one basis with Iraqi deaths. If indeed so 
many Iraqis had been killed by the United States, 
those were deaths they deserved for harboring 
ill-will towards this country. They were after 
all evil. And evil people should never be given a 
chance to repent or change their evil-doing 

However, it would appear that there is greater 
political cunning at work in the conception of 
these attacks. Al-Qaida gave the Bush hawks what 
they wanted, a terrorist attack that would 
inflame Americans into supporting war against the 
Third world; and the Bush hawks gave al-Qaida 
what they wanted, a war that would plant tens of 
thousands of Americans in the cities and towns of 
the Islamic world... An act of terror is nearly 
always attributed to a failure of intelligence, 
security, or both. Instantly, President Bush 
declared that 9-11 was an act of war (making it 
the first act of war perpetrated by nineteen 
civilians), and proceeded to declare unlimited 
war against terrorists (also the first time that 
war had been declared against elusive non-state 
actors). In the name of a bogus war against 
terrorism, the United States claimed for itself 
the right to wage preemptive wars against any 
country suspected of harboring terrorists or 
possessing weapons of mass destruction (what are 
weapons for if not mass destruction?) with an 
intent (US would be the judge of that) to use 
them against the United States...

In the more recent past, Islamic societies have 
been divided, fragmented, backward, outstripped 
by their European adversaries, their states 
embedded in the periphery of global capitalism, 
and their rulers allied with Western powers 
against their own people. These divisions are not 
a natural state in the historical consciousness 
of Muslims....  since 1917 the Arabs have faced 
settler-colonialism in their very heartland, an 
open-ended imperialist project successively 
supported by Britain and the United States. This 
Zionist insertion in the Middle East, 
self-consciously promoted as the outpost of the 
West in the Islamic world, produced its own 
twisted dialectics. An exclusive Jewish state 
founded on fundamentalist claims (and nothing 
gets more fundamentalist than a twentieth-century 
imperialism founded on 'divine' promises about 
real estate made three thousand years back) was 
bound to evoke its alter ego in the Islamic 
world. When Israel inflicted a humiliating defeat 
on Egypt and Syria in 1967 - two countries that 
were the leading embodiments of Arab nationalism 
- this opened up a political space in the Arab 
world for the insertion of Islamists into the 
region's political landscape. One fundamentalism 
would now be pitted against another.  This 
contest may now be reaching its climax - with 
United States entering the war directly. It is an 
end that could have been foretold - this did not 
require prophetic insight. In part at least, it 
is the unfolding of the logic of the Zionist 
insertion in the Arab world. On the one hand, 
this has provoked and facilitated the growth of a 
broad spectrum of Islamist movements in the 
Islamic world, some of which were forced by 
US-supported repression in their home countries 
to target the United States directly. On the 
other hand, the Zionist occupation of one-time 
Biblical lands has given encouragement to 
Christian Zionism in the United States, the 
belief that Israel prepares the ground for the 
second coming of Christ. At the same time, 
several Zionist propagandists - based in 
America's think tanks, media and academia - have 
worked tirelessly to arouse old Western fears 
about Islam, giving it new forms. They paint 
Islam as a violent religion, perennially at war 
against infidels, opposed to democracy, fearful 
of women's rights, unable to modernize, and 
raging at the West for its freedoms and 
prosperity. They never tire of repeating that the 
Arabs 'hate' Israel because it is the only 
'democracy' in the Middle East.

There are some who are saying that the United 
States has already lost the war in Iraq; though 
admission of this defeat will not come soon. One 
can see that there has been a retreat from plans 
to bring about regime changes in Iran, Syria, 
Saudi Arabia and Egypt. There is still talk of 
bringing democracy to Iraq and the Arab world, 
but it carries little conviction even to the 
American public. There is new-fangled talk now of 
fighting the "terrorists" in Baghdad and Basra 
rather than in Washington, New York and Los 
Angeles. And now after two years of bristling 
unilateralism, after starting an illegal war 
which sidelined the Security Council, the United 
States is courting the Security Council, seeking 
its help to internationalize the financial and 
human costs of their occupation of Iraq. It is 
doubtful if Indian, Polish, Pakistani, Egyptian, 
Fijian, Japanese or French mercenaries of the 
United States will receive a warmer welcome in 
Iraq than American troops. This 
'internationalization' is only likely to broaden 
the conflict, possibly in unpredictable ways.

What can be the outcome of all this? During their 
long rampage through history, starting in 1492, 
the Western powers have shown little respect for 
the peoples they encountered in the Americas, 
Africa, Asia and Australia. Many of them are not 
around to recount the gory history of their 
extermination through imported diseases, warfare, 
and forced labor in mines and plantations. 
Others, their numbers diminished, were forced 
into peonage, or consigned to mutilated lives on 
reservations. Many tens of millions were bought 
and sold into slavery. Proud empires were 
dismembered. Great civilizations were denigrated. 
All this had happened before, but not on this 
scale. In part, perhaps, the extraordinary scale 
of these depredations might be attributed to what 
William McNeill calls the "bloody-mindedness" of 
Europeans. Much of this, however, is due to 
historical accidents which elevated West 
Europeans - and not the Chinese, Turks, or 
Indians - to great power based on their 
exploitation of inorganic sources of energy. If 
we are to apportion blame, we might as well award 
the prize to Britain's rich coal deposits.

In the period since the Second World War, some of 
the massive historical disequilibria created by 
Western powers have been corrected. China and 
India are on their feet; so are Taiwan, South 
Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. These 
countries are on their feet and advancing. But 
the wounds of imperialism in Africa run deeper. 
The colonial legacies of fragmented societies, 
deskilled populations, arbitrary boundaries, and 
economies tied to failing primary production 
continue to produce wars, civil wars, corruption, 
massacres, and diseases. But Africa can be 
ignored; the deaths of a million Africans in the 
Congo do not merit the attention given to one 
suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. Africa can be 
ignored because its troubles do not affect vital 
Western interests; at least not yet.

Then there is the failure of the Islamic world to 
reconstitute itself. As late as 1700, the Muslims 
commanded three major empires - the Mughal, 
Ottoman and Safavid - that together controlled 
the greater part of the Islamic world, stretching 
in a continuous line from the borders of Morocco 
to the eastern borders of India. After a period 
of rivalry among indigenous successor states and 
European interlopers, all of India was firmly in 
British control by the 1860s. The Ottoman Empire 
disintegrated more slowly, losing its European 
territories in the nineteenth century and its 
Arab territories during the First World War, when 
they were divvied up amongst the British, French, 
Zionists, Maronites and a clutch of oil-rich 
protectorates. Only the Iranians held on to most 
of the territories acquired by the Safavids. As a 
result, when the Islamic world emerged out of the 
colonial era, it had been politically fragmented, 
divided into some forty states, none with the 
potential to serve as a core state; this 
fragmentation was most striking in Islam's Arab 
heartland. In addition, significant Muslim 
populations now lived in states with non-Muslim 

Why did the Muslims fail to reconstitute their 
power? Most importantly, this was because Muslim 
power lacked a demographic base. The Mughal and 
Ottoman Empires - the Ottoman Empire in Europe - 
were not sustainable because they ruled over 
non-Muslim majorities. More recently, the Muslims 
have been the victims of geological 'luck,' 
containing the richest deposits of the fuel that 
drives the global economy. The great powers could 
not let the Muslims control 'their lifeblood.' 
They suffered a third setback from a historical 
accident: the impetus that Hitler gave to the 
Zionist movement. Now there had emerged a 
powerful new interest - a specifically Jewish 
interest - in keeping the Arabs divided and 

It does not appear, however, that the Islamic 
societies have accepted their fragmentation, or 
their subjugation by neocolonial/comprador 
regimes who work for the United States, Britain 
and France. We have watched the resilience of the 
Muslims, their determination to fight for their 
dignity, in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Palestine, 
Chechnya and Mindanao - among other places. In 
the meanwhile, their demographic weakness is 
being reversed. At the beginning of the twentieth 
century the Muslims constituted barely a tenth of 
the world's population; today that share exceeds 
one fifth, and continues to rise. Moreover, 
unlike the Chinese or Hindus, the Muslims occupy 
a broad swathe of territory from Nigeria, Senegal 
and Morocco in the west to Sinjiang and the 
Indonesian Archipelago in the east. It would be 
hard to corral a population of this size that 
spans half the globe. More likely the 
US-British-Israeli siege of the Islamic world, 
now underway in the name of the war against 
terrorism, will lead to a broadening conflict 
with unforeseen consequences that could easily 
turn very costly for either or both parties...

M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at 
Northeastern University. His last book, Poverty 
from the Wealth of Nations, was published by 
Palgrave in 2000. He may be reached at 
•••@••.•••. Visit his webpage at© M. Shahid Alam


[Liberal imperialist-zionists claim] Palestinians 
have been under occupation for 40 years - since 
1967. In fact, Palestine has been militarily 
occupied since 1948, 59 years. The call purposely 
omits the massive stealing of land between 1948 
and 1967. This position is characteristic of 
Zionists who think the state they have set up in 
Palestine is ultimately legitimate, that at least 
the land besides the West Bank and Gaza is 
rightfully "Israeli." This is an idea that should 
be rejected[in U.S. left 'end the occupation' 

Richard Hugus,
(from) What 'Israel's right to exist' means to Palestinians

Recognition would imply acceptance that they 
deserve to be treated as subhumans.

By John V. Whitbeck

...To demand that Palestinians recognize 
"Israel's right to exist" is to demand that a 
people who have been treated as subhumans 
unworthy of basic human rights publicly proclaim 
that they are subhumans. It would imply 
Palestinians' acceptance that they deserve what 
has been done and continues to be done to them. 
Even 19th-century US governments did not require 
the surviving native Americans to publicly 
proclaim the "rightness" of their ethnic 
cleansing by European colonists as a condition 
precedent to even discussing what sort of land 
reservation they might receive. Nor did native 
Americans have to live under economic blockade 
and threat of starvation until they shed whatever 
pride they had left and conceded the point...

The original conception of the phrase "Israel's 
right to exist" and of its use as an excuse for 
not talking with any Palestinian leaders who 
still stood up for the rights of their people are 
attributed to former US Secretary of State Henry 
Kissinger. It is highly likely that those 
countries that still employ this phrase do so in 
full awareness of what it entails, morally and 
psychologically, for the Palestinian people.

However, many people of goodwill and decent 
values may well be taken in by the surface 
simplicity of the words, "Israel's right to 
exist," and believe that they constitute a 
reasonable demand. And if the "right to exist" is 
reasonable, then refusing to accept it must 
represent perversity, rather than Palestinians' 
deeply felt need to cling to their self-respect 
and dignity as full-fledged human beings. That 
this need is deeply felt is evidenced by polls 
showing that the percentage of the Palestinian 
population that approves of Hamas's refusal to 
bow to this demand substantially exceeds the 
percentage that voted for Hamas in January 2006...

The Myth of Middle East Peace
Deception as Truth

...How can any serious person consider the 
probability of peace in Palestine when the Olmert 
government includes the racist party of Avigdor 
Lieberman who advocates the expulsion of 
Palestinians from their land, and has, in effect, 
achieved a "Targeted assassination" of the summit 
before the invitations went out (Ha'aretz, Yossi 
Verter, "Assassinating Annapolis," 15/11/07)? How 
can any serious person consider the probability 
of peace when the broker of record is the United 
States, the erstwhile Godfather of the Neo-con 
Zionists that control both Israel and the 
multitude of AIPACs ... the hypocrisy of our 
government and that of Israel for putting forth 
yet one more time a faux peace plan that will do 
nothing but provide the Israeli dominated think 
tanks with fodder to show how ungrateful the 
Palestinians are for not accepting the remnants 
of the land left to them as Israel locks them 
into Bantustans where millions have to survive on 
pittance, dependent on the world for basic 
necessities since Israel has stolen their water, 
their crops, their access to waterways on the 
east and west, and requires that they recognize 
the legitimacy of the state that devastated their 
culture while that state has yet to recognize the 
right of Palestine to exist; and worse, that they 
stop their legitimate defense of their occupied 
country in full compliance with international law 
while Israel cries wolf becoming in their turn 
the Mandate government they, as terrorists, 
fought against, asking the world body to condemn 
the just and protect the criminal; and, finally, 
as a feeling world reacts with weeping and 
supplications to the international community that 
justice might at last come to the Palestinians...

How ironic to cry to the world that Jews are 
victims of terrorists, heartless terrorists who 
blow themselves up killing in the process 
innocent people while they are the children of 
such slaughter, as the blowing up of the King 
David Hotel attests and as the Hagana admit they 
executed, only they had the means to blow up the 
innocent without killing themselves, and for that 
one becomes a terrorist and the other a defender 
of his country. How ironic that Israel goes 
before the UN to decry Iran's proclamation by its 
President that "Israel will be wiped off the 
map," when that translation is not correct but 
serves their purpose, calling on the UN to 
condemn Iran for intended genocide while they 
have been in the slow, agonizing process of 
ethnically cleansing the people of Palestine for 
60 years. How ironic that our American main 
stream press touts the new peace initiative as 
one proffered by Israel attempting to provide yet 
once more peace in Palestine when Olmert's 
government can remain in place only if he denies 
the very premise of peace, the just return of 
Palestinian land to its owners and full 
recognition of a contiguous Palestinian state 
capable of managing its own affairs independent 
of Israel... Thus does deception masquerade as 
truth ...the "redemption of Zion" means in 
reality a "sovereign Jewish state which would 
embrace Palestine and probably eventually 
Trans-Jordan," in short, a plan to steal lands 
already occupied by other people.

Unconstitutional Ramallah Government Wage War on the Poor and Needy
Hiyam Noir, PalestineFreeVoice

On the WestBank the care-taker government of 
Fatah has made a decision to disband the 
Palestinian aids giving committees.Hamas 
described these measures as - "a war on the 
poor." Salam Fayyad, said Thursday - that his 
Ramallah "government" ( Fatah affiliated, illegal 
and supported by USA) were disbanding and 
restructuring the aid - giving committees to 
eradicate factional partiality, Riyad Al-Maliki 
the Fatah, "information minister " - said, the 
reason for the decision to destroy well 
established social aid programs, is to 
"restructure the committees to be able to exclude 
committee members, whom were elected to the 
Palestinian Legislative Council and to local 
councils"...Read the full article / Leggi 
l'articolo completo:

Facts regarding Israel's Fuel and Electricity Cuts to the Gaza Strip

Regarding the fuel cuts: * On Sunday, October 28, 
Israel's military ordered the private fuel 
company, Dor Alon, to provide 15% - 20% less fuel 
than the quantity ordered for Gaza residents.Gaza 
residents purchase fuel from Dor Alon via an 
agreement with the Palestinian Authority, and the 
fuel is transferred through Nahal Oz, on the 
Gaza-Israel border. Israel does not permit fuel 
to enter Gaza via the sea, the airspace, or the 
border with Egypt. * Essential services, 
including purifying and pumping drinking water, 
treating sewage, operating garbage collection 
trucks and ambulances, and operating the 
generators that power hospitals and other public 
buildings depend on fuel and the electricity 
generated by fuel....

"our own...", referring to U.S. must include 
Palestinian well as other amerikan state 
sponsored genocidal holocausts

Our Own Holocaust Denial: One Million Dead in Iraq
By Mark Weisbrot

Institutionally unwilling to consider America's 
responsibility for the bloodbath, the traditional 
media have refused to acknowledge the massive 
number of Iraqis killed since the invasion. The 
estimate of more than one million violent deaths 
in Iraq was confirmed again two months ago in a 
poll by the British polling firm Opinion Research 
Business, which estimated 1,220,580 violent 
deaths since the US invasion. This is consistent 
with the study conducted by doctors and 
scientists from the Johns Hopkins University 
School of Public Health more than a year ago. 
Their study was published in the Lancet, 
Britain's leading medical journal. It estimated 
601,000 people killed due to violence as of July 
2006; but if updated on the basis of deaths since 
the study, this estimate would also be more than 
a million. These estimates do not include those 
who have died because of public health problems 
created by the war, including breakdowns in 
sewerage systems and electricity, shortages of 
medicines, etc.

Statement by the New England Committee to Defend 
Palestine on the Anniversary of the Balfour 


The Balfour Declaration led to the dispossession 
of land and displacement of the Palestinian 
people.  The colonization of Palestinian can be 
seen as the most recent overt manifestation of 
colonial history lasting for centuries in Asia, 
Africa, and the Americas. The same European 
powers that sought to divide up the non-European 
world in 1917 occupied Turtle Island (the North 
American continent) in 1492.  As Europeans 
ethnically cleansed the Americas of their 
indigenous populations, they claimed that they 
were bringing "civilization." These same powers 
forced millions of Africans onto boats and 
brought them here against their will as slaves in 
the name of American "freedom."  And  it is these 
same racist powers today who continue to force 
their way of life  onto the rest of the world, 
finding ever-new justifications for doing so, in 
complete contempt of decency, humanity, and world 
opinion. The rhetoric of "manifest destiny" has 
been replaced by the "war on terror" but the 
methods and goals are equally racist and 

On November  2nd, Palestinians all over the world 
remember that the Nakba ("catastrophe") of 1948 
was the direct result of the European colonial 
project articulated by Balfour in 1917. 

Slave Sovereignty: Palestinian Elections Under Occupation

Many Palestinians are boasting that they will 
soon enjoy, again, the most free and democratic 
elections in the entire Arab World. The only 
problem is that electing a Palestinian president 
while still under the boot of the occupier is an 
oxymoron. Sovereignty and occupation are mutually 
exclusive. The world, including many 
well-informed readers, seem to think that the 
Palestinian people is actually practicing the 
ultimate form of sovereignty by freely choosing 
its own president. This is easily extrapolated in 
the heads of many to mean that Palestinians are 
in a way free. So what's all this talk about 
occupation? Notice, for example, how little media 
attention is given now to the almost daily 
killings of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli 
occupation forces. Of course, the only thing that 
matters is who is running; who is not; what 
Mahmoud Abbas might have intended to say; or what 
Marwan Barghouti could have done only if . 
Bulldozing houses in Rafah, expanding colonies in 
Hebron and killing innocent children in Beit 
Lahya is simply a bore, a peripheral story, an 
ordinary occurrence in the midst of an election 

There are several things wrong in this picture, 
least of which is the fact that it is false.

First, some facts. This Sunday, Palestinians in 
the West Bank and Gaza will be electing the 
president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), not 
the president of the Palestinian people. The 
former is an organ created according to the 1993 
Oslo agreements between the Palestine Liberation 
Organization (PLO) and the government of Israel, 
according to which the PA will do little more 
than run the educational, health, municipal and 
taxation services. In addition, it will do its 
very best to provide security for Israel, mainly 
by clamping down on the armed resistance factions.

Israel and the United States helped create the PA 
specifically to control the occupied territories, 
-- while maintaining the foundations of 
occupation, of course -- and eventually to sign 
some "peace" treaty that would exonerate Israel 
from its legal and moral obligations to allow the 
repatriation and compensation of the Palestinian 
refugees, to comprehensively withdraw its entire 
colonial apparatus from the West Bank and Gaza -- 
not just by removing its army but also its Jewish 
colonies, illegal under international law -- and 
to end its system of racial discrimination 
against its own Palestinian citizens.

Ironically, the PA at best represents a minority 
of the Palestinian people, those in the occupied 
West Bank and Gaza strip. The majority of 
Palestinians, refugees and Palestinian citizens 
of Israel, are not represented by the PA. Here's 
where the real paradox lies: how can an entity 
that represents no more than one third of the 
people of Palestine be expected to meaningfully 
and legally sign away the rights of the remaining 
two thirds? Easy. Redefine the Palestinians to 
preclude those unwanted two-thirds. Since Oslo, 
the mainstream media in the west, and puppet Arab 
media as well, have done just that. They have 
used the term Palestinian exclusively to mean 
those resident in the occupied West Bank and Gaza 
alone. Problem solved!

Well, not quite. Those two-thirds cannot be 
easily written out of history and out of the 
identity of Palestine. They are increasingly 
becoming well-organized, politically active and 
they have developed their own channels of 
expression, if not yet their own frames of 
representation. Plus, many Palestinians in the 
occupied territories are themselves refugees who 
yearn to return to Haifa, Jaffa, Lydda, Majdal 
and Acre, all in what is now Israel. In all 
semi-accurate public opinion polls, the number 
one issue of political interest for Palestinians 
in the West Bank and Gaza has consistently 
remained the right of return for the refugees. So 
it seems that the PA project may not after all 
yield the expected returns on the 
Israeli-American investment.

Given this picture, shouldn't any form of 
sovereignty, albeit limited, help Palestinians 
declare their independence of Israel? But that's 
precisely the problem. The Palestinians are not 
free; they should not be giving the world the 
impression that they are. They are a nation under 
a very real and brutal occupation that is 
committing crimes with utter impunity and passé 
colonial arrogance. They should remind the world 
in every occasion that the only just and enduring 
solution to the conflict in the region can be 
attained by ending Israel's oppression -- in all 
three forms mentioned above -- not by changing 
the Palestinians' perception of it. They should 
struggle to revive the moribund structures of the 
PLO, the only organization that ever represented 
all Palestinians. All three components of the 
Palestinian people urgently need a single, 
democratically elected body to represent their 
interests and to shoulder the responsibility for 
their fate. This task is well beyond the ability, 
the job description or the best intentions of the 

Ten years after Oslo, the PA's political function 
seems to have become restricted to acting as an 
accessory to colonial rule, allowing Israel to 
maintain its oppression, while appearing to the 
world as engaged in some peace process. Since 
Oslo, the formerly closed doors have opened to 
Israel: in Europe, Africa, Asia and even in the 
middle of the Arab World. The once formidable 
Arab boycott of Israel has all but collapsed, 
allowing Israeli businesses to reap massive 
profits, boosting the Israeli economy to record 
growth rates, just before the second intifada 
broke out. In fact, the only peace that this Oslo 
process has achieved is the deadly silence of the 
oppressed while the oppressors go on with their 
regular business.

A presidential election under these circumstances 
can only help Israel cover up its speeding 
colonization of what remains of Palestine, while 
the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are 
busy celebrating their superior "democracy."

When the slaves are distracted with "free" 
elections of their deputy jailers, the masters 
can only rejoice.

Omar Barghouti is an independent Palestinian 
political analyst. His article "9.11 Putting the 
Moment on Human Terms" was chosen among the "Best 
of 2002" by the Guardian. He can be reached at: 

Anti-Israel? For Arabs to recognize Israel means 
surrender of their legitimate sovereignty... this 
could be construed as anti-Arab.

by Kim Petersen

  "Has any People ever been seen to give up their 
territory of their own free will? In the same 
way, the Arabs of Palestine will not renounce 
their sovereignty without violence."

-- Vladimir Jabotinsky, early-20th Century Zionist

The western corporate media is apoplectic over 
remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud 
Ahmadinejad to students attending a conference in 
Tehran called "The World without Zionism."

Ahmadinejad rejects Iran granting recognition to 
Israel or normalizing relations with the Jewish 
state. And why should Iran?

The geographical territory on which Israel is 
demarcated is land that was stolen from the 
indigenous Palestinians in a most violent manner, 
nowadays referred to as ethnic cleansing.

Ahmadinejad did not mince words when he said: 
"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the 
fire of the Islamic nation's fury, [while] any 
[Islamic leader] who recognizes the Zionist 
regime means he is acknowledging the surrender 
and defeat of the Islamic world."

The New York Times and Associated Press both 
characterized Ahmadinejad's statements as 
anti-Israel. [1] In other words, Ahmadinejad is 
accused of being opposed to something that he 
doesn't even recognize as existing -- an absurd 

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres 
declared Ahmadinejad's comments "tantamount to a 
crime against humanity" and he called for the 
expulsion of Iran from the UN -- a rather 
hypocritical ploy.

In June 1967, then Israeli Foreign Minister Abba 
Eban revealed Israel's contempt for the UN: "If 
the General Assembly were to vote by 121 votes to 
1 in favor of 'Israel' returning to the armistice 
lines [pre-June 1967 borders], 'Israel' would 
refuse to comply with the decision."

There is nothing unusual in this statement. 
Israel, after all, by its own reckoning points 
out that from 1967 to 1988 the UN Security 
Council passed 88 resolutions against it. The UN 
General Assembly passed 429 resolutions against 
Israel during that time. This makes Israel the 
most flagrant violator of international law. [2]

That the UN agreed to a partitioning of Palestine 
in 1947 was treasonous. It was a sop to 
imperialism, racism, ethnic cleansing, and human 

Nonetheless, in 1950, the UN General Assembly 
granted membership to Israel but under certain 
conditions. UN General Assembly Resolution 273 
decreed that Israel must implement UN General 
Assembly Resolution 181 that defines the borders 
of Israel and Palestine and Resolution 194 that 
recognizes the right of return for Palestinian 
refugees. Israel has so far refused. UN General 
Assembly Resolutions, however, are not binding 
under international law.

Ahmadinejad has a violent solution. He cited the 
late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: "Israel must be 
wiped off the map."

Here Ahmadinejad words accord completely with the 
expectations of Israel's first Prime Minister, 
David Ben Gurion:

Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab 
leader, I would never make terms with Israel. 
That is natural: we have taken their country. 
Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that 
matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come 
from Israel, it's true, but two thousand years 
ago, and what is that to them? There has been 
anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but 
was that their fault? They only see one thing: we 
came here and stole their country. Why should 
they accept that? [3]

Was Ben Gurion therefore anti-Israel?

As for Iran, how can it be anti-something that it 
doesn't even recognize? For Arabs to recognize 
Israel means a surrender of their legitimate 
sovereignty. Contradictorily, this could be 
construed as being anti-Arab.

Kim Petersen, Co-Editor of Dissident Voice, lives 
in the traditional Mi'kmaq homeland colonially 
designated Nova Scotia, Canada. He can be reached 
at: •••@••.•••.


[1] Nazila Fathi, "Iran's New President Says 
Israel 'Must Be Wiped Off the Map,'" New York 
Times, 27 October 2005 [2] Reference Desk, "The 
U.N.'s Record Vis a Vis Israel," Arutz Sheva. [3] 
Quoted in Nathan Goldman, "The Jewish Paradox" in 
Tony Seed and Gary Zatzman (Eds.) Dossier on 
Palestine (Shunpiking, 2002), p 72. The dossier 
is a most informative compendium on Palestine.

The Reconciliation Game is for Saving the 
Occupier his Criminal Operatives . Beware of it 
Beware of those playing the Double side Game

Sheikh Majeed Al-Gaood

...The Reconciliation they want is the one 
leading to normalization with the Occupation his 
Project , the acceptance of all his Results . It 
also means the complete submission to the current 
situation imposed on Iraq his people . Wich means 
the ending of the National Resistance the 
acceptance of the Sectarian Ethnical! Division of 
Iraq . This Reconciliation is the way to grant 
success to the American Project his enlargement 
to include all of the Arab Countries ; which 
would allow Israel to realize all its goals in 
the region . The goals representing a part of the 
American-Zionist Project..

The Notion of the "Jewish State" as an "Apartheid 
Regime" is a Liberal-Zionist One

by Gary Zatzman

The cause of Palestine consists of the 
restoration of the national rights of the 
Palestinian people and enabling the Palestinians 
to exercise their right of self-determination in 
their own territory. Theirs is the territory 
illegally mandated to Great Britain by the League 
of Nations in 1920-21 and subsequently 
"partitioned" by the United Nations in 1947 to 
establish a so-called "Jewish state" enclave for 
the Zionist movement. Enabling the Palestinians 
to exercise their right of self-determination in 
their own territory means implementing the 
Palestinians' right to return to their lands and 
to be restored in the property/properties that 
were taken from them in the course of acts of 
conquest by the Zionist movement, and in clear 
cut violation of international law, during 
1947-48 and again in June 1967.

Many activists in this highly just cause have 
been drawing comparisons between the regimen of 
bantustans and separate laws imposed on the 
native population by the tiny apartheid 
white-racist minority's regime in South Africa 
between 1948 and 1991 and the "legal" regime by 
which the Zionists' regulatory authorities at all 
levels -- up to the Knesset/legislature and the 
Cabinet/executive, as well as throughout the 
armed forces -- have continued to secure their 
own presence and dominance by extending their 
control over every possible aspect of 
Palestinians' lives.

Although not identical, the colonialist and 
racist pedigrees and impacts of each system of 
oppression are structurally comparable. However, 
whereas the solution in South Africa always 
turned upon finding some new form of state in 
which majority rule would prevail and 
white-racist privilege be finally extirpated, the 
cause of Palestine entails eliminating the 
Zionist junta's so-called "Jewish state" of 
European-American colonialist privilege and 
restoring to the Palestinians what the Zionists 
stole. How does disabling the racist provisions 
of the laws and regulations of the State of 
Israel, and reforming the "Jewish-only" element 
to become fully inclusive of the entire 
population, bring the Palestinians any closer to 
restoring what the Zionists stole?

The questions of justice involved -- of 
compensation for damages inflicted, including 
restitution of what was illegally taken, 
destroyed or disabled -- are very different in 
the two cases. For all its serious and undoubted 
evils and the numerous crimes against humanity 
committed in its name, including physical 
slaughters, South African white-racist apartheid 
was not premised on committing genocide. Zionism, 
on the other hand, has been committed to 
dissolving the social, cultural, political and 
economic integrity of the Palestinian people, 
i.e., genocide, from the outset, at least as 
early as Theodor Herzl's injunction in his 
diaries that the "transfer" of the Palestinian 
"penniless population" elsewhere be conducted 
"discreetly and circumspectly." The fact that the 
present day heirs of his outlook practice this 
genocidal policy in ongoing slow motion, so to 
speak, over decades rather than in one fell 
swoop, and that their assault on the 
Palestinians' identity as a people is not 
confined to acts of physical extermination, does 
not make their practice any the less genocidal.

Strategically speaking, all those compelled to 
fight for their self-determination against 
imperialist oppression must rely on organizing 
and waging the struggle of their own people first 
and foremost. Utilizing contradictions among 
their enemies may become tactically highly 
important at very specific moments of these 
struggles. At such moments, the forces waging the 
internal struggle may indeed organize their own 
external front of support. However, actually to 
orient one's strategy according to what use can 
be made of such contradictions is a waste of time 
that can even become fatal for people's movements 
in our day. The world has already long been 
witness to what befell the momentum for national 
liberation in South Africa after international 
finance capital assembled a black-majority 
successor regime to white-racist apartheid behind 
a façade fronted by Nelson Mandela after 1991. 
The path to this betrayal was paved in the 1980s 
by the excessive focus on the role of 
international boycotts and other activities 
external to South Africa and -- most importantly 
-- beyond the control of the forces actually 
fighting for national liberation (the most 
effective were precisely those few actually 
organized by the fighting forces and their 

Today, it is increasingly seen how many of those 
active in the cause of Palestine who have been 
eliciting or repeating the comparison of Zionist 
rule with white-racist apartheid rule are also 
advocating boycotts and similar methods in the 
name of "strengthening the external front of 
solidarity," etc. Professor Ilan Pappe, for 
example, who has been supporting some forms of 
academic boycott of Israeli universities, has 
bluntly declared that the reason to pursue the 
route of building such external pressure is that 
the road of building such pressure "peacefully" 
within Palestine itself has come to an end! If, 
however, the road of building such pressure 
peacefully within Palestine itself has indeed 
come to an end, why not just as reasonably 
conclude that the time has come to ramp up the 
struggle for Palestinians' national liberation by 
better utilizing illegal alongside all remaining 
legal opportunities to advance this struggle? The 
issue is neither "peaceful" versus "violent" 
methods of struggle, nor the form of struggle 
organized as external support (divestment, 
boycotts, etc.), but purely and simply: what 
force organizes?

The line of freelance organization of external 
"support" for the cause of Palestine is liberal 
Zionism at its most diabolical: it is liberal 
Zionism at work plotting to seize control of the 
Palestinian movement for national liberation on 
one of its most vital points. Organization of 
external "support" for the cause of Palestine is 
a matter for those actually waging the struggle 
for national liberation within Palestine to 
tackle, to give the direction and designate 
organizations and individuals to do it.

Interestingly, the comparison of Zionist 
oppression with white-racist South African 
apartheid no longer passes muster with Archbishop 
Desmond Tutu or other prominent leaders of the 
ANC-led struggle against apartheid. The 
archbishop explicitly commented that what he was 
been able to witness and learn about daily life 
under Zionist occupation in the West Bank alone 
is already many times worse than anything he 
experienced during apartheid. If such a 
determinedly non-revolutionary activist has 
already seen through the falsehood of the 
analogy, the time would seem to have ripened to 
set this analogy aside once and for all and 
remain clear-eyed about, as well as vigilant 
against, the liberal Zionists' aim and presence 
in the cause of

Gary Zatzman is co-editor of Dossier on Palestine. He can be reached at:


Zionism is the Issue: Building a Strong Pro-Palestinian Movement In the US

By Lana Habash and Noah Cohen

"...[We are losing the media war,"] said Colonel 
Daniel Reisner, head of the international law 
branch of the IDF Legal Division, in an interview 
in the Fall 2002 Harvard Israel Review. "...It 
takes a long time to explain Israeli settlements 
to the uninitiated..."

In fact, Israel would have definitively lost the 
propaganda war a long time ago if the matter had 
been left entirely to its right-wing supporters 
within the US and Israeli political 
establishments. Faced with images of refugee 
camps buried in rubble from Israeli missiles, 
children attempting to hold off tanks with 
stones, and Palestinian cities surrounded by 
prison walls, our political leaders can think of 
nothing to say but the empty formula, "Israel has 
a right to defend itself." Such phrases do not 
even emanate from the brain; they are a reflex 
reaction to any criticism of Israel. Since 
thought is no longer involved in framing this 
mainstream discourse, such leaders are incapable 
of adapting to the more and more widespread 
recognition of Israel' s racism and its genocidal 
policies against the Palestinian people.

This is why Zionist critics of Israel have become 
so crucial in the effort to maintain support for 
the colonial regime. In a speech before the 
Jewish Federation in New Orleans in March of 
2004, Alan Dershowitz acknowledged the 
seriousness of the current climate of opposition: 
"On 50 percent of American campuses there is not 
a single, not one, professor who is prepared 
publicly to speak on behalf of Israel and its 
right to exist as a Jewish, Zionist state. It is 
not cool to be a Zionist on campuses today in 
America." He thus recommended to university 
students attempting to build support for Israel 
on US campuses that they must gain control of 
both sides of the discourse, and thus "assert the 
label pro-Palestinian." At this point, the 
primary work of ensuring that no serious 
opposition emerges within the US against an 
untenable apartheid regime is performed by these 
self-appointed "pro-Palestinians," who criticize 
Israel' s most extreme actions while 
simultaneously asserting its "right to exist," 
and- more importantly- denying any action to 
Palestinians that effectively exacts a 
significant cost upon Israel.

This crucial work of support shows itself most 
dramatically in the anti-war movement, where it 
is primarily carried out by "Middle East" or 
"Palestine/Israel" peace groups and task forces. 
These groups have succeeded largely in keeping 
the discussion away from clear positions of 
support for the Palestinian struggle as an 
anti-colonial liberation struggle against racism 
and apartheid, in favor of one with positions 
like the following:

- Opposition to the "cycle of violence," 
according to which Palestinian acts of armed 
self-defense, or Palestinian attempts to reclaim 
land by exacting a cost on its colonial 
occupiers, are equated with Israel' s 
programmatic genocide and structural violence 
against native Palestinians as if they were the 

- Support for the "right to self-determination" 
of "both peoples" (meaning that settlers have a 
right to self-determination on land they have 
taken and now occupy by military force, and this 
right is somehow compatible with the right of 
native people to self-determination on their own 

- "Dialogue" between Israelis and Palestinians as 
a "bridge to peace," regardless of the material 
circumstances of injustice and racist oppression 
under which such "dialogue" takes place.

In general, the most important function of the 
Zionist pro-Palestinians is to enforce two 
boundaries in the discourse:

1) the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state; 2) 
the illegitimacy of violence against Israelis.

These two positions form a litmus test for 
inclusion in the forums of the "peace movement." 
One is regularly asked to demonstrate a 
commitment to these two points before one is 
allowed to give a speech at a rally or a talk in 
an educational community event.

To talk about the inherent racism evident in 
Israel' s foundation and formation (which 
necessarily brings into question its 
international legitimacy) or the necessity and 
legitimacy of an armed anti-colonialist 
Palestinian resistance goes outside the bounds of 
this discourse. When these boundaries are broken, 
the limits are reinforced through a series of 
accusations ranging from "anti-Semitism," on the 
one hand, to "ideological purism," 
"sectarianism," and "divisiveness," or, at best, 
being "impractical" or "not strategic" on the 
other. The first of these accusations tends to be 
made by ideologically committed Zionists; the 
last, by well-intentioned people who consider 
themselves representatives of the "tactical 
left," persuaded that they must maintain an 
alliance with left-Zionists for the sake of 
credibility or other strategic gains. In this 
case, the left-Zionist position maintains its 
dominance precisely through such an alliance: 
without the tacit support of non-Zionists or 
anti-Zionists (in some cases cowed by the threat 
of the accusation of anti-Semitism, in some cases 
kept in line by an argument about the limits of 
"realism") this dominance would be broken by 
those who reject Zionism as a form of racism.

As a result of the ascendancy of this alliance 
between left-Zionists and the "tactical left," 
Palestinians and other anti-Zionists and 
non-Zionists are faced with poor options for 
participation in movements for Palestine 
solidarity. For a Palestinian, there is always 
political space for participation as a victim, as 
long as one offers only stories of human rights 
abuses, but steers clear of any analysis. When 
Palestinians question Israel' s legitimacy or 
advocate for resistance that exacts a serious 
cost on Israel, they are accused of not 
supporting the peace agenda. "Peace" in this case 
is understood as maintaining the safety and 
security of Israeli citizens while Palestinians 
are subjected to racist domination and control. 
This leads many Palestinians and anti-Zionists to 
withdraw their support and consequently their 
voices from a broader movement that they find 
deeply racist and lacking in a strategy for 

The tactical left' s understanding of strategy 
bears some scrutiny. Palestinians bring a 
knowledge of nearly seventy-five years of direct 
experience with the failure of "strategic 
concessions." From the Palestinian strikes of the 
1930' s to the first and second Intifadas, the 
practical concessions that Palestinians were told 
would help liberate what was left of Palestine 
have consistently and systematically been 
transformed into mechanisms for crushing 
resistance and facilitating colonization. The 
case of Oslo is a good example. As the popular 
civilian uprising of the first Intifada gained 
momentum and international solidarity, the 
practical effect of Oslo was to accomplish what 
Rabin' s "Iron Fist" policy could not- crushing a 
popular civilian resistance. At the same time, 
the only long-term effect on the ground was the 
effective imprisonment of the entire Palestinian 
population through the creation of Israel' s 
infrastructure of military bypass roads and 
checkpoints, paving the way for further colonial 
expansion in the form of settlements. The 
situation has grown steadily worse for 
Palestinians through this "peace process" no 
matter who has been in office, be it Labor or 
Likud in Israel or Republican or Democrat here, 
or whether the movement' s call was to "support 
the Roadmap," "end the occupation," or "support a 
two state solution."

A Palestinian friend in the West Bank said at the 
time of the Aqaba summit in 2003, "When Israeli 
political leaders start talking about peace, we 
start storing food and water." While Israel 
escalates its military offensive in the West Bank 
and Gaza, and reaches new levels of horror in the 
technological refinement of its system of 
collective punishment through closure, the 
"peace" discourse grows ascendant throughout the 
entire ideological spectrum of Zionism. And yet 
this peace discourse is not merely a way of 
concealing the reality of policy, it must be seen 
as a strategic retreat in the propaganda war- a 
retreat to a line of defense in the face of 
historical circumstances that challenge the 
nature of the Israeli state. The simultaneous 
increase in militarism and ethnic cleansing, and 
the ascendancy of the rhetoric of peace, are both 
expressions of a fundamental crisis. It might 
therefore be useful to examine the significance 
of the two basic tenets of the discourse- the 
legitimacy of the state of Israel and the 
illegitimacy of violence against Israelis- within 
current history.

On the 'legitimacy' of the state of Israel

Half a century of victorious anti-colonial 
struggles offering immediate parallels to the 
liberation struggle in Palestine have changed the 
nature of the international debate about 
colonialism, settlement and racism. It is no 
longer possible for Zionists to speak openly in 
the language of "manifest destiny," as Jabotinsky 
could do in the 1920s- both acknowledging the 
resistance of native people to settlement, and 
justifying the need to crush that resistance by 
violent means in the name of expanding a white 
civilization. In the aftermath of Algeria and 
South Africa, white settlement is no longer 
acceptable as destiny- neither morally nor in 
terms of force. Even some in Europe and the 
United States came to see the Algerian resistance 
against a settler community- one of much longer 
standing than the one in Israel- as justifiable 
"by any means necessary." The campaign of 
international solidarity that worked to isolate 
South Africa as a pariah state- and ultimately to 
make Apartheid a crime against humanity- stands 
as an obvious threat to Israel, the last colonial 
state that practices racism by law.

On the level of propaganda, defending a 
colonial-settler state that defines itself in 
ethnic/religious terms is ultimately a losing 
battle. The majority of the world' s people 
reject colonialism; their global consensus has 
been to oppose Zionism as a form of racism- the 
position that reemerged as recently as 2001 at 
the UN Conference on Racism in Durban, South 
Africa. Those within the imperial nations who 
have allied themselves with anti-colonial and 
anti-imperial struggles will adopt this same 
consensus when the question is framed in terms of 
colonial history.

For Israel' s defenders, it is thus crucial to 
shift the debate away from this terrain. The 
question must instead be about a timetable for 
the implementation of UN resolution 242; or about 
the application of the Geneva Conventions to the 
West Bank and Gaza; or about the limits of civil 
liberties for Palestinians with Israeli 
citizenship; or about the feasibility of a 
limited recognition of the right of return, 
possibly through a form of compensation etc. etc. 
Criticism of Israeli policy is not only 
admissible, but necessary: a line of battle must 
be drawn around issues like these, and must be 
hotly contested by passionate adherents pro and 
contra, in order to ensure that it does not move 
onto the terrain on which Israel is destined to 
lose the battle- its illegitimacy as a state 
built on racism and land-theft.

On the 'illegitimacy' of violence against Israeli violence

The second Intifada marks a point of departure 
for the tactics of the Palestinian resistance. 
Although the great bulk of popular action still 
follows many of the forms that characterized the 
first Intifada and the long history of resistance 
before that- from non-compliance with unjust 
authority to armed resistance against military 
targets- military operations inside the Green 
Line have assumed a significant role. For the 
first time, Israelis living in such places as Tel 
Aviv or West Jerusalem have become objects of 
retaliation for the violence of settlement and 
occupation. The logic is clear: Israel has used a 
spurious claim of the need to maintain a 
"security" zone in order to justify its ongoing 
hold on the West Bank and Gaza; meanwhile, it has 
moved forward with a program of land 
confiscation, settlement and territorial 
expansion. Armed settlers have been given free 
rein to commit atrocities against Palestinian 
civilians; the army moves in to clear territory 
in the name of "security" whenever the process of 
violent settlement meets opposition. The 
resistance has turned this framework of 
justification back upon Israel: so long as the 
occupation continues, formerly "secure" 
territories will now be at risk; the expansion of 
the Zionist state will bring violence and 
insecurity into its own center.

The current praise of the first Intifada as 
"non-violent" is a striking departure from its 
description at the time: every form of resistance 
that is effective is called illegitimate and 
"violent." When Palestinians were able to exact a 
cost upon Israel through mass demonstrations and 
work strikes, Israel responded with devastating 
violence- a shoot-to-kill policy against the 
leaders of non-violent demonstrations, mass 
arrests, the "iron fist" policy of crushing the 
bones of young men and boys suspected of throwing 
stones at tanks. It then moved to eliminate 
Palestinians from the labor force, replacing them 
with settlers from Eastern Europe. Today the 
chorus of praise for the tactics of the first 
Intifada grows deafening, but only as a foil for 
the tactics of the second Intifada- tactics 
developed in the face of current necessity.

The second Intifada must be demonized precisely 
because it has been effective. In a recent 
interview on al-Jazeera- marking the fourth 
anniversary of the second Intifada- Secretary of 
State Colin Powell delivered the following 
comments: "What is the Intifada in its five years 
of existence? What has it accomplished to [sic] 
the Palestinian people? Has it produced progress 
toward a Palestinian state? Has it defeated 
Israel on the battlefield?...the Intifada has 
spawned terrorism and it has not achieved 
anything in these years, except the economy of 
the Palestinian communities has deteriorated, 
life in general has deteriorated, the Israelis 
have built fences to deal with this question, it 
has stopped us from being able to move forward 
with the many peace plans that we have put 

Powell' s need to minimize the significance of 
the second Intifada on the international stage is 
a clear sign of its achievements; his very use of 
the word Intifada, almost never uttered by 
members of the US political establishment, 
reveals the success of the resistance in setting 
its own agenda. In light of the U.S. and Israeli 
concept of "peace" demonstrated by Oslo- a peace 
which meant expansion of the area under Israeli 
control with a minimum of Israeli casualties and 
a minimum of international attention- Powell' s 
statement is a very high, if inadvertent, 
tribute: The second Intifada has succeeded in 
stopping the US from "moving forward" with such a 
"peace plan."

Powell' s comments also reflect a growing 
desperation among US and Israeli officials facing 
resistance movements now in both Palestine and 
Iraq that will not yield to any amount of force, 
and that are deaf to the seduction of 
negotiations and "peace processes" aimed at 
co-opting their leadership and undermining 
popular momentum. None of the age-old colonial 
tricks have worked in stopping either the second 
Intifada or the Iraqi resistance- neither the 
carrot nor the stick. Israel goes on demolishing 
villages or walling in cities; the US proposes 
its "Road Map to Peace," or sham elections for an 
occupation government; the Israeli Labor 
opposition proposes its Geneva Accord plan for 
Palestinian Bantustans; the resistance moves 
forward with a single purpose: strike the 
occupying force until the cost is more than it 
can bear.

The fact that the second Intifada has not 
crystallized its gains in the form of 
"diplomatic" or "political" achievements, as 
referred to by Powell, is a mark of its strength. 
Colonial regimes do not negotiate themselves out 
of existence in the interest of peace; they yield 
land when the cost of holding it- measured in 
lives and in privileges- is too high for their 
foot soldiers and their ordinary citizens to bear.

At the start of the second Intifada, Sharon 
promised to crush the uprising within "one 
hundred days." Four years later, the most salient 
features of the current political reality are as 

- Immigration to Israel is now frozen; - more 
than 700,000 Israeli citizens live abroad and 
show no sign of returning; - tourism to Israel is 
at an all time low; - the Israeli economy is 
shattered, with unemployment at its highest 
(recent strikes by government employees in the 
aviation industry- on strike for lack of pay- 
show the close relationship between this item and 
the fall in tourism); - whereas Israel had once 
promised its citizens a whole host of benefits, 
it increasingly promises only one thing- 
security- and it is incapable of delivering even 
this; - the ratio of wealth between the poorest 
and the richest class within Israel has reached 
an unprecedented figure of about 1 to 21 
(compared with about 1 to 4 in the 1950' s).

Under these pressures, Israel now routinely 
engages in spasms of genocidal aggression- 
destroying whole villages, burying refugee camps 
in rubble- but for the first time, it has 
suffered significant losses. This has spawned a 
"peace movement" within Israel, concerned, like 
the peace movement in the US, primarily with 
minimizing the colonizer' s own casualties.

A man in a village in the south of the West Bank 
near Khalil (Hebron), one of the areas hit 
hardest by settlement and by closure, put the 
matter succinctly in a recent conversation. Asked 
how people in his village were coping with the 
economic devastation wrought by the more than 
four years of closure imposed since the beginning 
of the Second Intifada, he said:

"It gets worse and worse; it' s very hard. But 
this isn't the first time we've had to deal with 
occupation. We have been living with colonialism 
and resisting it for a long time now. We had 
checkpoints under the British. We know how to 
live from the land; we know how to share what we 
have; we know how to survive. But for the first 
time, they too are suffering. I don' t think they 
know how to cope with this."

In the face of this reality, solidarity activists 
must carefully assess their role. The primary 
tactic of repression is collective punishment 
aimed at isolating the resistance from popular 
support. If the international peace community 
offers its solidarity only on the condition of 
the Palestinian renunciation of armed struggle by 
condemning both sides equally, then its 
"solidarity" easily becomes a part of the 
counterrevolution. When non-violent peace 
activists stand with Palestinians at checkpoints 
or during the olive harvest- both to be a shield 
against violence and to bear international 
witness- the value of their solidarity is 
compromised if it is tied to a call for 
Palestinians to lay down their arms. Ultimately, 
land will only be reclaimed by raising the cost 
of holding it; there is no long-term protection 
from settlement and the violence of settlement as 
long as Zionists maintain their hold on land in 

Building Palestine solidarity

One can draw divergent lessons from the struggle 
against Apartheid in South Africa. On the one 
hand, the international anti-Apartheid movement 
demonstrated the possibility of building a 
successful international movement on broad 
anti-racist principles aimed at materially and 
politically isolating a racist regime. When the 
movement in the US against the South African 
Apartheid system started to gain momentum, 
American activists did not denounce isolated acts 
of repression but legitimize the white South 
African system as "democratic. "They did not 
support partition of South African indigenous 
land as a practical solution even if South 
African indigenous people rejected Bantustans.

On the other hand, the solidarity movement- with 
its overwhelming emphasis on pacifism and its 
attempt to frame the struggle against colonialism 
within the boundaries of a non-violent struggle 
for civil liberties- contributed to an 
international climate in which the ANC was 
pressured to negotiate peacefully with colonial 
landholders. Such negotiations have led to a 
situation in which Apartheid laws were defeated, 
but economic and resource Apartheid not only 
remained intact, but appear to be growing. Such 
recent developments as the privatization of water 
resources- with disastrous consequences for the 
native majority- illustrate the crucial failure 
of an anti-colonial struggle that fails to 
liberate land from settlement.

Palestine solidarity activists who wish to 
support a struggle for liberation can learn from 
both the successes and failures of past movements.

The task that lies before us in the United States 
is to build a movement that is genuinely 
pro-Palestinian. This means at least two things: 
opposing Zionism and supporting Palestinian 

1) Building broadly on anti-racist principles

The discourse on colonialism and racism developed 
through the anti-Apartheid movement, and shared 
by anti-globalization activists who oppose 
neo-colonial economic conquest, offers an 
existing framework in which to build on 
anti-colonial and anti-racist principles. Such a 
framework can provide the means of supporting the 
full spectrum of Palestinian rights within the 
existing Palestinian communities: the rights of 
refugees evicted from their land in 1948 and in 
1967; the rights of Palestinians with Israeli 
citizenship who live in unrecognized villages, 
who pay taxes and receive no resources, whose 
homes are razed for the expansion of neighboring 
Jewish settlements, who are not allowed to 
organize themselves politically to oppose the 
definition of the state as one that fundamentally 
excludes them, and who are subject to military 
occupation whenever they rebel physically against 
racism; and the rights of Palestinians in the 
West Bank and Gaza, who live under constant 
military occupation. The attempt to build a 
movement that focuses exclusively on the last- 
the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza- plays 
directly into the hands of those who wish to 
split various Palestinian communities from one 
another and who have no strategy for winning 
significant rights for any of these communities. 
It lends itself to co-option by left-Zionists 
whose fundamental interest is in bolstering the 
state that they also criticize. Building a broad 
movement means building with those who share a 
common opposition to racism, and thus breaking 
the alliance with left-Zionists, since this 
alliance ultimately serves a racist agenda.

Israel' s Law of Return and the Absentee Property 
Law of the 1950' s codified the boundaries of 
inclusion and exclusion in the state of Israel. 
Palestine solidarity activists should educate 
people about this legal framework as a form of 
Apartheid. The solidarity movement should assert 
the idea that racist states do not have a "right 
to security" or a "right to defend themselves." 
The role of the Palestine solidarity activist 
should include working to create insecurity in 
states committed to racism and genocide.

Inevitably, any attack on the legitimacy of the 
state of Israel results in spurious accusations 
of anti-Semitism. Our movement must have a 
strategy for dealing with such attacks that 
exposes rather than propagates racism. 
Unfortunately most Palestine solidarity groups 
deal with spurious charges of anti-Semitism by 
doing exactly what Israel expects and needs them 
to do- they engage left-Zionists to support 
Palestinian rights by promising support for the 
legitimacy and security of Israel. Instead, 
Palestine solidarity should be exposing the 
history of Zionism as a political movement that 
is deeply rooted not only in racism towards 
indigenous Palestinians, but in anti-Semitism and 
fascism in Western Europe. Instead of promoting 
an alliance with left-Zionists, Palestine 
solidarity should be building alliances with 
anti-racist groups and with others who are 
fighting against colonialism and for indigenous 
rights. For this reason, it' s important to point 
out the history of Israel in propping up other 
racist colonial projects- for example, supporting 
the white regime in South Africa and channeling 
arms to pro-US dictatorships in Central America. 
Similarly, the role of Zionist organizations in 
the United States in opposing progressive 
movements should be exposed- for example, ADL' s 
infiltration of leftist groups and collaboration 
with police and federal agents in the 1980' s in 
San Francisco.

2) Supporting the resistance struggle of the 
indigenous people, as defined by the indigenous 

Palestine solidarity must build solidarity with 
Palestinian resistance. Not a dunum of 
Palestinian land will be freed without a cost to 
those who now occupy it; no rights worth 
mentioning will be won without liberating land. 
In the famous phrase of Malcolm X "by any means 
necessary," the operative word is "necessary." A 
solidarity movement that demands of the 
Palestinian people that they choose tactics of 
resistance that result in devastating costs for 
the Palestinian community, without significant 
cost to Israeli occupiers, can' t be considered 

The US anti-war movement has repeatedly fallen 
into this trap: it has either explicitly 
denounced both the Palestinian and Iraqi 
resistance or has made its support for the 
self-determination of Arab people contingent on 
how they resist colonial oppression. By making 
itself the arbiter of appropriate tactics, it has 
denied the right of people facing genocide to 
determine the best methods at their disposal to 
inflict upon their oppressor a cost the oppressor 
is incapable of paying. The anti-war movement has 
not yet proven its ability to stay the hand of 
oppression, yet it has arrogated to itself a 
right to intervene in the tactical debate about 
opposing this oppression.

As part of the movement builds broadly on 
anti-racist principles, so should a sector of the 
movement play a strategic role in building 
support for the Palestinian resistance. These two 
areas of work must function in parallel. 
Participation in a broader movement should not be 
contingent on one' s willingness to denounce the 
resistance in Palestine. To ask Palestinians and 
other Palestine solidarity activists to silence 
their support of resistance only furthers the 
agenda of people who have an interest in keeping 
the resistance isolated.

Freedom for Palestine will not come as a result 
of a solution imposed by the U.S., Europe, or any 
other power: it will come from a struggle for 
liberation waged on the ground- both in 
Palestine, and in the region surrounding it- or 
it will not come at all. A solidarity movement 
that is genuine must find effective ways to 
support that struggle.

Divide and Conquer: The Politics of Palestinian Human Rights
  by Lana Habash

" . . . the American human rights framework as it 
has been applied to Palestinians has not only 
failed to stop human rights violations, but has 
facilitated the colonization and genocide of 
Palestinian people. It has done this by accepting 
the validity of the Jewish state and by giving 
only limited and conditional support to certain 
human rights for certain Palestinians living in 
certain areas at certain times."[...]

   *  liz burbank's blog

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