By Abukar Arman
Prominently written on history’s ‘gate of shame’ are these haunting words: Hubris never had a worse enemy than itself; you may ask these specialists: Hitler, Pharaoh, or perhaps Lucifer. So, the extreme arrogance and the above-all-laws attitude expressed by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as his apartheid regime committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the so-called 11 day war is likely to be remembered as Israel’s self-administered demise.
The newly formed coalition government led by another darling of the extremist settlers—Naftali Bennett—asserted its commitment to continue business as usual.
Israel has been viciously oppressing the Palestinian people for more than seven decades while most of the American and Western media groups were providing disinformation or highly sanitized versions of the reality on the ground to keep their audiences oblivious and apathetic.
Defining the Crime
The most heinous and indeed most politicized form of oppression is what is known as genocide or ethnic cleansing.
Semantic smoke screening is often used to veil one brand of genocide or another, to accentuate the suffering of one community over others with similar experiences, to underscore sanctity of certain lives over others. Most of us, for one reason or another, have internalized such moral cognitive dissonance, therefore it is seldom challenged, And those who directly or indirectly challenge that mindset are labeled anti-Semite.
You may recall the storm of controversy and slanderous campaign targeting the prominent African-American film director, Spike Lee, after he tweeted: ‘American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust.’
Whether one calls it ‘Holocaust’, ‘Shoah’, or ‘Nakba’, or cataclysmic suffering or the catastrophic one, there should be no exceptionalism in such crimes against humanity. The Palestinian people have been suffering physical, economical, political, and psychological holocaust like no other society in contemporary history.
When it comes to this issue, we need to find a footing in the moral clarity of the younger generation. It does not matter whether genocide was executed in 100 days as in Rwanda, or in 4 years as in Nazi Germany, or in decades as in apartheid Israel. The latter is executed incrementally by way of relentless daily brutality, extreme humiliation, periodical invasions, economic strangulation, mass imprisonment, torture, expulsion, home demolitions and land-grab to uproot the indigenous Palestinians in order to build, as the Jewish human rights organization B’Tselem put it, a regime of Jewish supremacy.
So unless we play politics with justice and in the fundamental worth of human lives, we should accept the fact all aforementioned cases represent the same evil. And in that spirit, and with utmost respect to the sentimental or collective history value of Nakba, this analyst will deliberately use ‘the indigenous Palestinian holocaust’ to remind the world that the cry ‘never again’ should not be a selective moral outrage.
Nature of the Beast
While ‘apartheid’ does provide historical reference to the racism that drives much of what the Jewish state does, it does not capture the magnitude of the horrific oppression and dehumanization that the indigenous Palestinian people live under.
If the apartheid regime could deliberately target homes, apartments or commercial towers that are the headquarters of international media such Associated Press, Aljazeera, and host of other aid organizations and civil societies on a broad daylight, try to imagine what they could do away from the cameras and media scrutiny.
Since 1948, indigenous Palestinians have been ‘cleansed’ out of much of the land that was once known as Palestine, and that vicious process is now in full force to put the last few nails on the two-state solution that has been dangled in front of the Palestinian authority for so long time. In the West Bank—an area recognized under the international law as an occupied territory—has been peppered with over 400 Israeli colonies with more than 600,000 Jewish settlers
However, if you are somewhat confused due to the false narratives advanced by certain politicians, think tanks, and media groups and you found yourself sitting on the fence on who is the oppressed and who is the oppressor, you might need to read the Human Rights Watch’s 217 page damning verdict entitled A Threshold Crossed.
Ironically, outdoing its trademark arrogance, in less than two weeks after the report ignited broad debate over the nature of the Israeli regime, Benjamin Netanyahu started in-your-face orgies of war crimes and crimes against humanity violations. So much in violation of the international law that if they were committed by another country in the world, the apartheid-protecting world’s moral police, otherwise known as the U.S., would have mobilized a ‘coalition of the willing’ to invade that country and brought it down into submission.
But, if you still find yourself unconvinced that Israel is a racist country, let the ill-famed Jacob The ‘Settler’ tell you how the last apartheid regime in the world operationalizes land grab and justify it. In the video, a courageous Palestinian female home owner confronts Jacob (Yaakov Fauci) who literally stole her home and tells him: you are stealing my house. He responds with this heartless colonial logic: “If I don’t steal it, someone else (another settler) will….so what’s the point?” Here is him doing what he called a “damage control”.
Will the Current ‘Cease fire’ Bring Lasting Peace?
The short answer is ‘no’; because this cease fire is not grounded on a sound political settlement, Hamas that should be part of any political solution is still considered by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, and the apartheid forces are still provoking and violating Islam’s third holiest mosques, al-Aqsa.
For Israel and its Zionist supporters, the cease fire was a great opportunity to defuse the global moral outrage against the brutality of the apartheid regime and the above-the-law status secured to Benjamin Netanyahu who should have his day at the International Criminal Court.
Let’s be frank here, the apartheid regime has no incentive to change its modus operandi of constantly moving the goal post for solution by establishing new facts on the ground (more colonies and more Jewish settlers who mostly migrated from U.S. and Europe).
Moreover, under its current tactic, Israel deliberately destroys lives, significant number of residential and commercial towers, hospitals, schools, bridges, sacred places and other components of Gaza’s already frail infrastructure without suffering any consequences.
The U.S. provides the apartheid regime absolute protection with its ‘Veto Power’ at the UN Security Council and it mobilizes a few of her oil rich friends to bankroll the cost of reconstruction. Israel is like that spoiled boy who smashes all pottery on display at the store so his dad’s clients would pay for the damage. Apparently the ‘you broke it, you pay for it’ rule does not apply to Israel. So under such unchecked privilege and indeed power, why would Israel respect the international law and stop its war crimes and crimes against humanity?
Enhancing the Non-violent Strategy
No liberation is achieved and sustained at random, so those who have been at the forefront of the indigenous Palestinian struggle would have to think and act more strategically than ever before. And that may require pulling together divergent ideas, personalities, and priorities.
Some New and Old Ideas to Ponder:
Collecting and documenting property deeds, house keys, family photos, decapitated dolls, dead person’s shoes, bullet-ridden garments, and all other belongings that attest to the humanity that those indigenous Palestinians were denied in their lifetimes. These items should be displayed at a future museum to be named the Indigenous Palestinian Holocaust Museum.
Establish International Friends of Palestine Registry to list all organizations and activist groups for effective collaboration and motivation to sustain the global moral outrage, and intellectual intifada for liberty, justice and peace.
Organize, fundraise, and find pro bono legal services for victims and their families to file criminal and civil lawsuits against Israeli officials and military commanders at various U.S. courts and in other Western countries that will allow.
Streamline the anti-apartheid movements and Palestine liberation advocacy groups under one vision, distinctive logo and inspiring slogan.
Now that a federal judge has declared Georgia’s anti-BDS law to protect Israel as against the First Amendment, thus unconstitutional, the BDS movement (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) should reach every household using television, radio and other media ads as well as billboards.
Recruit celebrities, congressional figures, and other influencers to invite international media to cover their constitutionally protected civil disobedience and maybe subsequent arrests. In addition to the Israeli embassy, targets should include the State Department, Zionist and Right-Wing institutions, and all others that lend the apartheid regime funding and blind support. Imagine the curiosity and the debate it would’ve provoked if Senator Bernie Sanders—who is a Jew and a civil rights activist—getting arrested for protesting against apartheid Israel.
Establish a counter-MEMRI TV that archives and translates into English violence inciting hate-speeches by zealot Rabbis, politicians, settlers, and others. Also the abuses, provocations, and violence intended to make life unbearable for the indigenous Palestinian people.
Meeting with editorial boards of major newspapers such as New York Times, Washington Post, etc. as well as decision makers on television and cable news to pressure them for fair coverages and to place correspondents in Gaza to better educate their respective audiences.
Streamline speakers under one bureau that cultivates them to become well-versed on the liberation cause, to speak at various gatherings, conferences, human rights platforms, conferences such as the Congressional Black Caucasus, and call in right-wing and apartheid supporting radio programs with factual information to dispel their disinformation.
Organize a diverse team of social media savvy young men and women to monitor disinformation, to expose BOTS, disseminate factual information, and persuade the misinformed.
Solicit wealthy Muslims and non-Muslims to produce Hollywood films that tell this holocaust from the indigenous Palestinian perspective. These investments could produce films that are educational, empowering, and profitable.
Lastly and perhaps more importantly, build diplomatic, media, academia, think tanks, and social media activists alliance to pressure the U.N. to reform. And that reform must include restructuring of the Security Council and the absolute authority or ‘veto power’ granted to current 5 permanent members. Imagine if the permanent members were 9 and a ‘veto power’ required two thirds’ vote. Also, the UN must become an independently funded institution that is not politically beholden to one wealthy funder or another.
Though Israel has advanced militarily, scientifically, and in the fields of intelligence and entrepreneurship, the Zionist project is clearly a failed project of first degree. With U.S. taxpayers’ $4 billion annual free check, apartheid Israel is the mother of all ‘welfare queens.’ And that certainly is not sustainable.
America continues to lose a great deal of international credibility in its unconditional or absolute support of a ruthless colonizer and an apartheid regime that is bent on holocausting indigenous Palestinians for an exclusive Jewish state.