By Rima Najjar
You can justify what’s happening now to Palestinians in Gaza only if you can justify our Nakba – the violent establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine in 1948 against the will of Palestinian non-Jewish Arabs, the vast majority at the time.
UK Jewish Voice for Labor (JVL) is calling for “an unconditional end to Israel’s inhuman siege of Gaza.”
They should be calling for the end of Israel’s Zionist Apartheid regime, i.e., the end of the Jewish state that is now in control of the whole territory, and all borders of historic Palestine and call for one secular democratic state.
They should be questioning why it is that when Jews immigrate to historic Palestine, they are said to be emigrating from the “diaspora” to the “Land of Israel” by law, while Palestinian Arabs (Muslims and Christians alike), refugees and exiles seeking return to their lands and property as specified by Res194, are said to be a “security threat” or a “demographic threat” in their own homeland.
Palestinians are gunned down even when they attempt to return only symbolically. Following the establishment of Israel, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion issued a shoot-to-kill order against any returning Palestinian Arab, most of whom were desperate civilians seeking to recover their crops, property, or homes.
The Irish Republican politician Gerry Adams is saying, “There can be no justification or excuse by Israel for the calculated slaughter by Israeli military snipers of unarmed Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border with Israel.”
He should be saying, instead, there can be no justification for our Nakba. The fact that Israel’s response to Palestinian resistance is the same, no matter what form of protest they make, is a clear indication that the very existence of Palestinians on this earth is Israel’s problem.
Seventy years after our Nakba, the US blocks a Security Council statement condemning Israel’s massacre of protestors at the border.
And “the British government remains unrepentant after all these years. It has yet to take any measure of moral responsibility, however symbolic, for what it has done to the Palestinians.”
Palestinians, who are no match to Israel’s military power now bolstered by $3.8 billion annually in U.S. aid, have only the strength of the justice of their cause.
As Edward Said put it:
“Remember the solidarity shown to Palestine here and everywhere… and remember also that there is a cause to which many people have committed themselves, difficulties and terrible obstacles notwithstanding. Why? Because it is a just cause, a noble ideal, a moral quest for equality and human rights.”
– Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.