A crucial point to keep in mind about the creation of a Zionist state in Palestine is not that Palestine was symbolically the ancient Jewish homeland but that its 20th century creation required, according to Theodore Herzl — the founder of “political Zionism” — an alliance with a European imperialist state in order to insure Israel’s survival.
By Sara Jane Olson Al Nakba Protest: Say Yes to Palestinians’ Right of Return
May 15, 2018
Today, on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel — and, for the Palestinians the observance of the Nakba or “the catastrophe” — the world sees the colonizing and punitive aspects of the Zionist government of Israel as it was 70 years ago when it massacred itself into existence with the forcible takeover of land, and as it is today, mowing down peaceful protesters with live ammunition, demonstrating policies of political murder, continuing land theft, and strangulating occupation.
The United Nations partitioned Palestine on November 29, 1947. Israel proclaimed itself a Zionist state on May 15, 1948. In those intervening six months, Israeli army units and their aligned terrorist groups reduced the Arab population of approximately 950,000 Palestinians to around 140,000. Among the main commanders of the killing and forcible expulsion outfits of the Palestinian people from their ancient lands were Manachem Begin and Yitzak Shamir, later both Prime Ministers of the Zionist government and partners with the United States on the international political stage. Their military process was one of sustained slaughter in village after village, savagely killing and mutilating in order to drive the Palestinian people in terror from their ancestral homes.
A crucial point to keep in mind about the creation of a Zionist state in Palestine is not that Palestine was symbolically the ancient Jewish homeland but that its 20th century creation required, according to Theodore Herzl — the founder of “political Zionism” — an alliance with a European imperialist state in order to insure Israel’s survival. Initially, after pursuing alliances with Germany (under the Kaiser), the Ottoman Empire, and Tsarist Russia, after World War I, early Zionists settled on collaboration with the British Empire, then in its decline. In its present form, Israel is a client state of the United States.
Palestine, at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries was a flourishing society infused with centuries-old culture and history. It was not, as Israeli revisionist history informs us, “a land without a people for a people without a land.” It was already inhabited. Its people had to be completely dispersed and their history wiped away. That’s what Zionist Israelis set out to do and they continue those policies until today through proselytizing a relentless fiction of Zionist colonial ideology and a well-honed state-based coercive apparatus.
Israel extols itself as the only democracy in the Middle East. If the South African Apartheid state was democratic, then so too is Israel. Israel maintains its unending militarism and aggression toward its neighbors by ideologically mongrelizing all Arab people in the geographical region apart from its strongmen leaders with whom Israel is more than happy to negotiate and excuse for any of their excesses. Israel promotes itself as a moral reminder of the WW II German Holocaust and keeper of the memory of those six million Jews who perished for their religion. Unfortunately, there is ample verifiable, historical evidence of sustained cooperation between early Zionist and Nazi leaders before and during WW II as European Zionists attempted to populate Palestine with young Jewish settlers, leaving the older European Jews to the machinations of the Nazi machine.
Colonial movements tend to exploit colonized people. Israel’s intention has always been dispersion and dispossession of the Palestinians. While all those who have in the past and who continue to this day to stand with the Palestinian people in their struggle for their right of return and reparations find themselves attacked by the Israeli state, the American federal government, and our own state and municipal governments, slandered as anti-Semitic, we must stand strong in our support. After all, if, after 70 years of continuous assault, the Palestinians remain determined in the face of continuous murder, torture, imprisonment, denial of rights, and occupation, we — their supporters — can deal with a little slander and spitefulness.
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