Monday, March 22, 2004

Does Israel really think that it can extinguish the flames of Palestinian nationalism by killing yet another Palestinian leader? Do you know how many Palestinian leaders Israel has killed over the decades, and how many bystanders and victims of mistaken identity were also killed by "the only democracy in the Middle East" (they do not mean Cyprus when they invoke that phrase in US)? Once, in the 1970s Israel killed a poor Moroccan waiter in a Scandinavian city only because he looked like Palestinian leader Abu `Ali Salamah, that Israel later assassinated in a car bomb in Beirut, along with tens of other innocent people. My best friend Amthal almost died in that explosion. Israeli and Zionist leaders always promoted the silly propaganda line that we have to kill this terrorist or that, and finish off this Palestinian organization or that, etc. In the 1970s, they would promote the argument that Palestinians left to their own devices would not consider attacking Israelis, that PLO leaders are mere pawns for KGB and some Soviet conspiracies. Now it is all about an Iranian and Syrian conspiracy. This morning I heard the highly incoherent and inarticulate Israeli foreign minister, who belongs to the fascist wing of the Zionist movement, asserts that Hamas, Hizbullah, and Al-Qa`idah are all the same. It is important for Zionist leaders now to thrown in Al-Qa`idah for special emphasis to US audiences. Alan Dershowitz produced a book on terrorism some months after Sep. 11 with a cover that places the faces of `Arafat next to Bin Laden. It became a best-seller. And if the US audience can still think that Iraq was behind Sep. 11, it is not that far of a stretch to link Abu Mus`ab Az-Zarqawi, to Al-Qa`idah, and then to Palestinian groups. Hamas has killed innocent Israelis (and you know that I am opposed to suicide bombings but blame the phenomenon on a history of Zionist subjugation and humiliation of the Palestinian people), but how many know that Israel has been regularly killing Palestinians (mostly civilians) over the past few weeks, the past few months, and the past few years and the past few decades? Some do not even know that, and some know and do not care, and some know and care, and others do not know and do not care. And how many consider Israeli killing of Palestinian civilians to fit into the rubric of terrorism? Or do the Muslim and Arab victims do not qualify for humanitarian attention? Not in the US for sure. This is the last country in which support for Israelis (45 %) exceeds support for Palestinians (some 11 % or so). Shaykh Yasin is now dead, Shaykh X and Shaykh Y will soon emerge, and then Israel will insist that they have to kill Z and Y and then all be well, and the Palestinian would then find the Israeli occupation to be pleasurable and enjoyable. And John Kerry and other Democrats (not to mention Republicans) will add their voices, and call on the Congress to give Israel the tools it needs to fight terrorism. Do you know that for much of the 1950s there was no Palestinian political violence, and unarmed Palestinians used to sneak through the border to check on their homes, groves, orchards, and cows, only to be shot like ducks by Israeli gunmen. Do you know that thousands of Palestinians were killed in that fashion? You can read about that in the book by Benni Morris (yes, that same advocate of ethnic cleansing) titled Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 When I watched the footage of the demonstrations this morning, I could only see the eyes of the children walking and chanting and some were even around the pool of blood, the site of Yasin's killing. Do you want to guess what those children would do in the future? And who will be blamed then? Some Micronesian conspiracy? I am a person committed to the the long-term co-existence of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and atheists and others in the region, but I am convinced that the future of Jewish existence in the region, including in the Holy Land, has been jeopardized by the actions and words of long bloody history of fire Zionism. This is the irony of Zionism after all. As Shlomo Avineri (a committed Zionist for sure) remarks in his book on the Making of Modern Zionism: how some (in my opinion all) Zionist leaders were committed nationalists in their own movement, but were unable to see the power of nationalism on the other side.