‘Zionism is Racism’: The Recurring War to Extinguish Palestine

Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip continue. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Issa Khalaf

Despite its inherent irrationality, its rage against its victims who will not lie down or die, Israeli violence is driven by the prime political-ideological-territorial-exclusivist-supremacist directive: cleanse the Palestinians from Palestine.

It’s truly astonishing that, after a century of Zionist sadism against the Palestinian people in intention, word, and deed—ceaseless dreams, plans and projects to expel, cleanse, and separate them from Jews, cruelty and denial of the Palestinians’ humanness and being, their invisibleness to the colonizers—self-awareness eludes most Israeli Jews in this most unholy of lands.

How easy it has always been for Israeli Jews high and low including academics, rabbis, generals, ministers, and leaders to employ racist, rabidly dehumanizing categories to describe Palestinians, recently, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s “human animals” remark.

Israel is a special place: psychosis, chosenness, superiority, victimhood, unconscious guilt, projection, and displacement against victims are causally far removed from this deep corruption of the Zionist mind and spirit.

Their Western imperial sponsors and enablers are no less crazy, projecting and inverting their own decline of power and decay of societies, geopolitical and strategic setbacks, and expiation of guilt for the Holocaust into a blessing of evil and murderous ferocity and genocide against innocents, rationalized as civilization against barbarism, virtue against depravity, enlightenment against ignorance: all grist for the Zionist mill.

The Israeli state of today, and much of its indoctrinated society – including relatively recent immigrants who account for over a quarter of its population and are shallowly rooted in the land – is imbued with a peculiar Zionist secular messianism, religious nationalism, and intolerance whose mania is disappearing Palestine.

The mass expulsion project of 1948 remains unfinished.  This, in the face of historic Palestine (Israel and the occupied territories) containing more Palestinians than Israelis.

Israeli state terror against the Gaza Strip, a sprawling concentration camp whose babies, children, women, entire families and multiple generations, its old and infirm and everything else that lives and breathes, its trees and farms, residential districts, schools, universities, mosques, hospitals, and humanitarian shelters, its infrastructure, have been repeatedly, over decades, annihilated, extirpated.

Despite its inherent irrationality, its rage against its victims who will not lie down or die, Israeli violence is driven by the prime political-ideological-territorial-exclusivist-supremacist directive: cleanse the Palestinians from Palestine.

This, the presence of another people on the land chosen to be colonized, there for thousands of years and whose will and persistence—what the Palestinians call sumud or steadfastness/perseverance—cannot be broken, is the source of the Zionist “problem.”

One can go on about moral and legal constraints of violence, on both sides, in the current war against the Palestinians.  What good human being can hurt another?  What good human being cannot share the humanity of the other?

However, do we merely ignore the great asymmetry in power?  The right of the occupied and colonized Palestinian people under international law to resist through armed struggle?  The countless sacrificial efforts in the past century to resist first the British colonial regime and its Zionist partners then the state of Israel through boycotts, protests, strikes, demonstrations, rebellions, guerrilla war, mass civil disobedience, non-violent resistance, Gandhian-like protest to no avail?

The Palestinians’ weekly 2018-2019 peaceful protests, the Great March of Return near the Gaza-Israel border, were met with Israeli violence, including snipers shooting the knees of Palestinians to maim them.  Two hundred and fourteen, including 46 children, were murdered and over 36,000, including 8,800 children, were injured.

Israel is a victim and has the right to defend itself as much as the American settlers were a victim of the Native Americans or of slavery, the Spanish a victim of the indigenous peoples of the Southern Hemisphere, the voortrekking, apartheid-constructing Afrikaners a victim of the indigenous black people of South Africa, and so on.

Of course, the oppressed, humiliated peoples in these and endless other historical examples commit their own retributive acts. It’s the cycle of evil.

Here is Tikkun’s version of legality and morality:

“The unfolding horror in Israel and Gaza is an escalation of decades of state-sanctioned violence by Israel against Palestinians.  We condemn the horrific actions of Hamas against Israeli civilians. We likewise condemn Israel’s unbridled bombing and cutting off access to all basic needs, including food, water, electricity, and medical care.  Attacks on Palestinian and Israeli civilians are repugnant.”

Here is the authentic morality of Dr. Gabor Mate, a Holocaust survivor as an infant and whose grandparents and most of his extended family were killed in Auschwitz, in his interview with Russell Brand: The Israeli “murderousness” and “humiliations” of the Palestinians “couldn’t have been in any other way.

Because…you couldn’t have created that exclusive Jewish state without oppressing or expelling the local population… It’s the longest ethnic cleansing operation in the 20th and 21st centuries.  It’s still going on…There are no two sides [my italics].

It is always a complex question but in terms of power and control, it is pretty straightforward.  There was a land with a people living there; another people wanted it.  They took it over and they continue to take it over.  And they continue to discriminate against, oppress, and dispossess that other people…”

Israel never let go of the Gaza Strip in 2005, but merely withdrew after 38 years of occupation to lay a medieval siege from land, air and sea, its 6000 colonial settlers in some 21 settlements controlling 40% of the Strip’s choicest beach front locations forced out by Palestinian resistance.

More industrially efficient to occupy, immiserate, starve and kill Gaza’s concentration camp inmates from without than from within.  Gaza’s some 2.3 million captive people—half children under 18, half of those under 15; packed into 140 square miles; 70% refugee descendants from 1948; cruelly, systematically “de-developed,” as Sara Roy conceptualized it—comprise a laboratory in which Israeli settler-colonialism has had free reign to practice its violent fantasies on the Palestinians since at least 1967.

The war criminal Benyamin Netanyahu dubs Gaza “sin city” and whose goal is to turn the Strip into “islands of ruin” and a “deserted island,” his ministers calling for holocaust (shoah) on the Palestinians.  Israel’s president Isaac Herzog effectively said all Palestinians are collectively responsible for attacks on Israel: “It is an entire nation out there that is responsible.  It is not true this rhetoric about civilians not being aware, not involved.”

The colonial-settler project and its concomitant ethnic cleansing are on steroids, the Israeli government ruled by a fanatical set of sociopathic war criminals.  The lunatics have been loosed by those in the West who insist on the superiority of their own moral virtues and values.  It’s an extraordinary sight to behold US secretary of state Antony Blinken, a fervid neo-con Zionist like many in the Biden administration and the US Congress, nearly weeping in his delivery of a message of solidarity to Netanyahu and Israel.

It’s now persona unveiled for the Israeli rulers.  With Israel’s total war on innocents (including use of white phosphorous), collective vengeance, mass forcible transfers, and perfidy, it smells an opportunity for another historic expulsion of the Palestinians in Gaza, victory defined as the genocidal emptying of the Strip.  Such a scenario was always hoped for and planned.

For the Israeli regime and its Washington allies and lobby the abiding principle is not peace and justice, cooperation, morality and international law, but hegemony and subjugation: the prospect of strategically annihilating resistance allies of Iran, at any human cost, can’t be passed by.

While the world outside the Western states including Russia, China, and India is talking sanity, the US government is giving Israel a carte blanche to indulge in war crimes.

We face potential, horrific regional war, perhaps involving major powers, if the US is drawn into a catastrophic geopolitical web of escalation and intervention.

It’s been forever clear for those with eyes to see: Redemption and healing, regaining one’s humanity, is through Palestine only, that is, the realization of Palestinian freedom and liberation and dignity, through righting wrong; permanence and belonging and survival are through embrace and coexistence, equal rights and freedoms and citizenship.  Instead, we hurtle towards inhumanity.

Ten thousand innocents may perish, thousands of them children, multiples more injured and maimed, if the slaughter which has already taken thousands continues for many more weeks or months.

Multitudes of innocents are disallowed the narration of their own end, their humanity, their existence, their memory.

They will die sickening deaths, their individuality, identity eternally silenced.  What is the end goal?  Expelling as many as possible outside Gaza? Turning Gaza into empty, uninhabitable wasteland?  Installing a quisling “authority”?  This madness is the ultimate Zionist logic of land without people.

-Issa Khalaf has a D. Phil. in political science and Middle East Studies from Oxford University. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

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1 Comment

  1. It seems to me that when people have had their land stolen and they are corralled behind a concrete wall and have had all hope and aspirations for a future of freedom and all of their daily movements controlled ,they are given no choice but to resist with whatever means at their disposal the jews are treating Palestinian people the same way that they were treated by the Nazis the west is helping the jews to subjugate the Palestinian people and its a total disgrace.

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