The Right to Exist: Who Has It? Where Is It? Why?

By Gary Corseri

Does Israel have a ‘right to exist’? Do we?

It’s a shibboleth of the Zionist entity: ‘Israel has the right to exist!’

But what is this ‘Israel’? What is this ‘right to exist’?

Where is it written? Is it in Holy Scripture? “The Song of Songs”? “The Book of Job”? “Proverbs”? “Ecclesiastes”? 

Is it written in stone on two tablets by the finger of God?

What does it mean when a people declare that they have the “right to exist” as they please because they are a “democracy,” but other people have no such right? I solemnly declare my elections legitimate—the will of my people–, but …  it is obvious that you people over there (in Gaza, in Turkey, in Iran, etc.) do not have the capacity to choose leaders who can represent your true interests! 

What does that mean?

Israel refuses to negotiate  with Hamas—will not recognize the political leadership that the Palestinians chose in internationally monitored elections—because, Israel declares, Hamas will not recognize Israel’s “right to exist.” 

And why should Hamas recognize that “right”? What is always unspoken are the words, “the right to exist as we are now, as we have been, and as we shall become.” Recognize me, and suffer all my faults! Recognize my right to exist as I am, have been and will be—and forfeit your right to challenge me legally for illegal seizures of property, for expropriations and appropriations, for illegitimate detainments, incarcerations, torture, homicides.

In effect, Israeli commandos unilaterally declared that Aid Activists on a flotilla in international waters had no “right to exist.” 

When Ahmadinijead of Iran quoted the Ayatollah Khomeini that the Zionist entity would wither away and disappear from the page of history, the entity and its media stooges in the U.S. and elsewhere accused Iran of threatening to “wipe Israel off the map of the earth.” Israel declared Iran an “existential threat” and threatened, in turn, to destroy the Iranians with the 200 nuclear weapons that they will neither confirm nor deny possessing (even though everyone knows they have them!).

Orthodox Jews, including the ultra-conservative Hasidim, are among those most loudly proclaiming that the state of Israel has “no right to exist.” Their viewpoint is hermeneutical: they believe that Israel will be established among the nations after the Mashiach (the Messiah) comes. They believe it is heretical for politicians to reverse the process. First the Mashiach, then the state. That’s the way they read the Hebrew.

Then, do Orthodox Jews have the “right to exist”? (At last report, Israel had not threatened them with its nuclear bombs).

“We the people” in the infant republic of the United States, did not think much about the existence of Native Americans, women or slaves.  Some three score years after our founding, we did not think Mexico had a “right to exist” north of the Rio Grande. We did not think Hawaii had the right to exist as a sovereign nation. Nor, in spite of promises made at the time of the Spanish-American War, did we think the Philippines had the “right to exist” as anything other than a U.S. colony in Asia (we needed the coaling stations!). 

Is it simply power that determines the “right to exist”?   

During the Cold War, the US and its allies decided the Soviet Union had no right to exist. We were prepared to obliterate the world to prove our point—certain nutjobs among us were. One of our soldiers, a Lieutenant Calley, thought he was “just following orders” when he decided that hundreds of villagers in a hamlet called My Lai in Vietnam—unarmed men, women and children—had no “right to exist.” He “wasted” them.

Does the U.N. determine who has the “right to exist”? Does Tibet have that right? Does Palestine? Does Kurdistan?

Suppose the good people of Vermont decide that they are sick and tired of bank bail-outs, oligopolies, kakistocracies, phony American elections, our media of the absurd, oil-slick corporations with more legal rights than “persons,” and artery-clogging, greasy fast food? In a sterling, transparent, democratic election, the vast majority of the state elects leadership that claims its place among the nations of the world as “The Glorious, Independent, Technicolor, Outstanding Republic of Vermont” (which a media wag soon dubs the “GIT OUT of “R” Vermont republic). Does the Glorious, Independent, Technicolor, Outstanding Republic of Vermont have the right to exist?

The Zionist state demands the right to exist as a Zionist state—a non-signatory of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, bristling with nuclear weapons. Did Yahweh come out of the clouds and declare that this state alone can break all the rules of international decorum with impunity, without censure?

When did Yahweh make that announcement? Was it on the Rachel Maddow show? Was it on Larry King?

If there is a "right to exist," is there not an equal right to resist–occupation, oppression, thievery, rape, duplicity?

Suppose we started from the other end? Suppose we assumed that no one had the “right to exist,” but that everyone—and every species—could enjoy the “privilege” of existence? How would we order the world then? 

The Zionist zealots ask, Why don’t the Palestinians produce a Gandhi, a Martin Luther King to lead them? But where is the Zealots’ Martin Buber–a Jew who exhorted the Jews, and all humankind, to live in harmony with others—with different species, too—with God, too—in an “I and Thou” relationship? 

The Zealots have raided the Kingdom of Heaven. Like Lucifer, the Angel of Light, they will be transmogrified by their pride and arrogance, and lust for power. And … they will fall, corrupted from within.

– Gary Corseri has posted and published articles, fiction, poetry and dramas at Palestine Chronicle, Common Dreams, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, The New York Times, Village Voice and hundreds of other venues internationally. His books include the novels, A FINE EXCESS and HOLY GRAIL, HOLY GRAIL. He contributed this article to

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