Dare To Compare - Israel
By Ghali Hassan
09/26/07 "ICH" -- -- Few days ago, I had a long e-mail message
from someone with the “Jews for Peace” group. The message
starts: “I am very annoyed by your comparison of Israel with
Nazi Germany … There is no Auschwitz in Palestine, and the
Palestinians have not experienced a holocaust. Palestinians are
free to leave any time they wish.” I do not know anything about
the group, but a response is in order:
Thank you for your e-mail. I take it you have never been in
Occupied Palestine to see the facts on the ground. Or you are
ignorant of Israel’s policies against innocent and virtually
defenseless Palestinians with nowhere to go to.
I do not compare Israel with Nazi Germany. Israel is a Zionist
settlers’ colony founded on land theft and terror against the
Palestinian people; Nazi Germany was not. However, I do – like
most people – compare Israeli policies in Palestine with those
of the Nazis. If you deny what happened in Palestine in 1948 (Nakba)
when thousands of Palestinians were murdered, and an estimated
800,000 Palestinians were terrorised and ethnically cleansed
from their homeland in a deliberate and systematic policy of
mass expulsion by Jewish terrorist organisations, you deny “the
holocaust” ever took place.
Honest Jews who experienced and survived the holocaust have
often made the comparison between Israel’s brutal treatment of
the Palestinian people and the Nazis’ brutal treatments of Jews
and others. I am reminded of a letter to the Israeli Press
twenty-five years ago in which Shlomo Shmelzman wrote: “In my
childhood I have suffered fear, hunger and humiliation when I
passed from the Warsaw Ghetto, through labour camps, to
Buchenwald. I hear too many familiar sounds today, sounds which
are being amplified by the war. I hear about ‘closed areas’ and
I remember ghettos and camps. I hear ‘two-legged beasts’ and I
remember ‘Untermenschen’ [subhumans]. I hear about tightening
the siege, clearing the area, pounding the city into submission,
and I remember suffering, destruction, death, blood and murder …
Too many things in Israel remind me of too many things from my
childhood”. (Ha’aretz, August 11, 1982). Israel is consciously
matching all of Hitler’s crimes, killing and depriving
Palestinians of basic human rights. Only the methods are
Furthermore, various Israeli politicians today, including the
hardcore Fascist Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who
migrated from Moldova to Israel in 1978are advocating a harsher
policy of ethnic cleansing and mass murder of Arabs in Palestine
as a conclusion to Israel’s conquest of Palestine. In fact, a
majority of Israeli Jews (64%) advocates this Fascist form of
thinking. (Ha’aretz, 22 June 2004).
You write: “Gaza is free”. I am sure you learned this fraud from
at least four sources of Zionist propaganda: the pro-Israel
Jewish Lobby; the deranged ignoramus American Zionist, Alan
Dershowitz; U.S. mainstream media; and the BBC. Gaza is not
“free”. Gaza is a large fortified Concentration Camp. Since
2000, the entire population of Gaza (1.5 million) has been under
total blockade with disastrous consequences. Anyone who tries to
get out risks being murdered.
As a result of this premeditated collective punishment, Gaza has
run out of food and medicine. Palestinians, children and infants
in particular, are dying of starvation, malnutrition and
preventable diseases. Without electricity, hospital and
emergency centres operate infrequently, depriving the sick and
injured of medical care. So, Gaza is a Camp not much different
from the Nazi’s Camps. Indeed, Israelis have started to call
Gaza the “Ghetto”.
The criminal blockade of Gaza was tightened after the democratic
elections of January 2006. The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS)
won the elections in exactly the manner U.S. and the EU (the
West) had called upon them to do – free and fair democratic
voting. Unfortunately, “democracy” for the U.S. is only if the
elected government serves U.S. interests. The criminal blockade
is tightened on daily basis in violation of international law
and civilised norms.
You are being naïve about the hyped evacuation of a few thousand
illegal Jewish settlers from Gaza. I repeat: This was another
Israeli fraud designed for mass propaganda aimed at diverting
public attention away from Israel’s terror. As one Israeli Labor
politician wrote recently: "The goal is to perpetuate Israeli
control in most of the West Bank, and to repel any internal or
external pressure for a different political solution. The
Palestinians will be left with seven enclaves connected by
special highways for their use."
The building of illegal colonies (the so-called "settlements")
has accelerated dramatically, along with the illegal Apartheid
Wall – described by some as ‘much worse’ than the Berlin Wall –
confiscating Palestinian land and water resources and tearing
Palestinian communities into small enclaves, dividing them from
each other. With the completion of the Wall, some 1.6 million
Palestinians will have access to no more than 12 per cent of
historic Palestine which makes it impossible to establish a
viable Palestinian state. In addition, the Israeli Occupation
Force (IOF) is carrying out Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing,
emptying Hebron of its original Arab inhabitants and Judaising
the Jordan Valley, building illegal colonies, and making the
so-called “Two-State” solution impossible. (See: Régis Debray,
Le Monde Diplomatique, August 2007).
Take a look at the new map of the Palestinian Occupied
Territories produced by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). More than 45 per cent of the West
Bank is now off limits to Palestinians. East Jerusalem has been
systematically Judaised, its borders inflated, and the Arab
Palestinians there have become prisoners in their homes. They
are harassed on a daily basis by illegal armed extremist
settlers and the IOF. According to IMEMC News, some 1,835
Palestinian families have been forced to move from their homes
and at least 15, 000 Palestinians will be denied access to the
City when the illegal Wall is completed. All over the Occupied
Territories, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians “is in progress”
and has been since 1948. (See: Victoria Buch, Occupation
Magazine, September 2007).
The Occupied Territories of the West Bank, including major
population centres such as Nablus and Jericho, are split into
enclaves. Palestinians’ movement between them is restricted by
more than 572 roadblocks, an increase of 52 per cent compared to
376 in August 2005. These include 96 manned Israeli checkpoints
and 476 unmanned barriers (OCHA). At these roadblocks,
increasing numbers of desperately ill Palestinians and newborn
babies have died because Israeli soldiers and armed settlers
prevent people from reaching hospitals. Israel has already
formalised the de facto Ghettoisation of the West Bank through a
network of Jews-only highways that bypass and isolate
Palestinian towns and villages. Israel has created a system of
control the Nazis could only dream of.
You allege that: “Israel offered the Palestinians ‘land for
peace’ and a separate state, but the Palestinians refused the
offer”. First, peace for Israel, writes Henry Siegman, is a
“cover for [Israel’s] systematic confiscation of Palestinian
land” and premeditated violence against defenceless
Palestinians. Peace without justice is an empty rhetoric. That
is why Israeli leaders love all these countless “peace”
conferences. That was what the Oslo “Peace Process” was for.
(Henry Siegman, LRB, 16 August 2007). That is why Israeli
leaders love all these countless “peace” conferences.
Second, you are being very naïve to believe Israel’s
manufactured propaganda. The “offer” was a scam. Israel offered
the Palestinians nothing. In fact most of Israel’s criminal
policies are designed to destroy any chance of a viable
Palestinian state. The opportunity of a viable Palestinian state
has passed and it is no longer a possibility unless Israel
completely withdraws to pre-1967 boarders and implements all UN
Security Council resolutions. (See: Hussein Agha & Robert Malley,
NYR Books, 09 August 2001).
You also wrote: “Palestinians are free to leave any time they
wish”. Where to? Israelis can go where they come from, and most
Israelis are dual citizens, and have no problem returning to
their homes in the U.S. and Europe. Palestinians have nowhere to
go except to their homes in Palestine. Remember the common
saying: ‘Jews have always demanded rights when they were in the
minority, but they denied others the rights when they are in the
majority and exercise power’. Palestinians have an inalienable
right to return to their homeland.
Furthermore, you ignored the numerous diplomatic options offered
by Arab nations and rebuffed by Israel. Indeed, all Muslim
nations have offered Israel peace and recognition if Israel will
renounce violence and accept a just peace. Instead, Israel has
rejected every peace offer and continues to perpetuate violence,
because violence is the foundation of the “State of Israel”.
According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, PCHR,
Israeli Occupation Forces (the Israeli Army) crimes against the
Palestinians during the period of 16 -22 August, 2007 were:
· 16 Palestinians, including 3 children, were murdered by IOF in
the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
· 10 of the victims were extra-judicially executed by IOF.
· 18 Palestinians were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank
and the Gaza Strip.
· IOF conducted 30 incursions into Palestinian communities in
the West Bank and two ones into the Gaza Strip.
· IOF arrested 44 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in
the West Bank.
· IOF shelled fishing boats and arrested 8 Palestinian fishermen
Of course, Israel’s terror and war crimes continue
uninterrupted. Innocent Palestinian civilians, including
children, are murdered every day. Israel’s blockade of Gaza (as
mentioned above) continues with an international flavour that is
causing a humanitarian crisis. The Palestinians are defenceless
and unable to effectively retaliate against illegal and brutal
occupiers. It’s preposterous to compare Palestinian “violence”
with Israeli violence. Israeli Gestapo-like death squads are
murdering innocent Palestinian civilians and prominent
politicians with ease and impunity.
Israeli war planes continue to fly ‘sonic boom’ raids,
terrorising the civilian population and causing mental damage to
children and infants, and premature birth and miscarriage among
pregnant women. The deliberate murder of Palestinian children
(with impunity) for sport, and the use of Palestinian children
as human shields by the Israeli soldiers, is war crimes worse
than the Nazis’ crimes.
As I write these words, Israeli soldiers killed five Palestinian
boys and girls, aged between 10 and 12, in cold blood. The
children had only been playing ‘tag’ in the backyard of their
home. Two days earlier, Israeli soldiers killed three boys while
they were collecting carob fruits. The Israeli alleged: “the
children approached the security fence”, Israel’s routine
pretext to justify murder. Then the Israeli Army admitted that
the killing occurred “by mistake”. Do you remember; when was the
last Israeli killed by Palestinians?
Furthermore, at least 11,000 Palestinians, including women and
children, are imprisoned without charge or due process in
notorious Israeli prisons. Palestinian prisoners are enduring
torture and abuse – justified by the Israeli Supreme Court as a
‘necessity’ – not dissimilar from those practiced by the Nazis
with complete disregard to human rights and human dignity.
Israel has used, and continues to use, all kinds of weapons to
kill Palestinians, including cluster bombs, napalms, and a new
“super-weapon” that uses heat and pressure to kill people
targeted across a wide area by sucking the air out of people’s
lungs and rupturing their internal organs. In addition, Israel’s
uninterrupted house demolitions of Palestinian homes and
destruction of agricultural land constitute war crimes.
It’s worth noting that Israel’s violence found unconditional
military support within the U.S. and European power
establishments. The recent $30 billion “aid package” to Israel –
paid by U.S. taxpayers – is a case in point, although
“Washington’s blind support for Israel exceeds by many times the
amount of direct U.S. aid to Israel” (Shirl McArthur, WRMEA,
July 2006). Israel’s usefulness is that it justifies U.S.
violence and military presence in the region.
Let’s not forget that Israel is a rogue state in possession of
the fourth largest military force in the world. Israel amasses
an arsenal that includes biological and chemical weapons and
more than 200 nuclear warheads. Israel is rightly considered by
the overwhelming majority of people around the world as the
biggest threat to world peace.
All the above mentioned Israeli war crimes against the
Palestinian people are so horrendous that they could be easily
pass for Nazis’ war crimes against Jews. The whole idea of
purely “Jewish State” in Palestine is based on the concept of
the “Master Race” adopted in the Nazis’ ideology of Herrenvolk.
Indeed, Jews consider non-Jews (Gentiles) as Untermenschen, or
lesser humans. In Israel, the 20 per cent Palestinians are
despised and denied equal rights in a deliberate discriminatory
policy considered worse than South Africa’s Apartheid. Unlike
South Africa’s Apartheid, Israel’s Apartheid is a real
Apartheid. (See: Chris McGreal, Guardian, 16 February 2006).
This racist policy led some Jews to stop associating themselves
with Israel in order to deflect criticism away from Jews.
Despite the criminal nature of Israel’s policies, few people
dare criticise Israel for fear of being labelled
“anti-Semitists”. Israel uses the cliché of “anti-Semitism” and
the holocaust to silence its critics. People who are falsely
accused of “anti-Semitism” pay dearly, losing their jobs and
livelihoods for daring to legitimately criticise Israel. Indeed,
anyone who criticises Israel's terror or rationally argues that
the pro-Israel Jewish Lobby in the U.S. has a significant
influence over U.S. policy is automatically labelled
“anti-Semitic”. The holocaust has been turned from a human
tragedy into a political tool and a multi-business industry. In
addition, Zionist Jews have succeeded in making the holocaust
unique and exclusive, belittling countless other genocide.
Zionist Jews have mastered the art of ‘religion manipulation’ to
justify violence and perpetuate a slow genocide in Palestine.
It should be acknowledged that there is a widespread
anti-Semitism campaign directed not against Jews, but against
Arabs and Muslims. Pro-Israel Christian Zionists, including the
Christian Right and pro-Israel lobbies in the U.S. and Europe,
have declared war not only on the Palestinians and Arabs in the
Middle East, but also on all Arabs and Muslims around the world.
With the bulk of Western media inherently pro-Israel and
anti-Muslim, Israel is portrayed as a “victim” defending itself
from the Palestinians who are often depicted as “militants” and
“terrorists”. In reality, the opposite is true.
In his last article in the Los Angeles Times (16 July 2007), the
deputy of HAMAS political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzook, put the
Movement’s view like this: “Why should anyone concede Israel’s
‘right’ to exist, when it has never even acknowledged the
foundational crimes of murder and ethnic cleansing by means of
which Israel to our towns and villages, our farms and orchards,
and made us a nation of refugees? … I look forward to the day
when Israel can say to me, and millions of other Palestinians:
‘Here, here is your family's house by the sea, here are your
lemon trees, the olive grove your father tended: Come home and
be whole again’. Then we can speak of a future together.”
Finally, Israel’s existence as a “civilised” nation depends on
Israel’s willingness to renounce violence, stop dispossessing
and murdering Palestinians, and resume the path of a peaceful
I encourage you to carefully read the sources I refer to in this
letter and reflect on the long history of Israel’s crimes
against the Palestinian people before you blindly attack me
again for daring to compare Israel’s policies in Palestine with
those of the Nazis.
Ghali Hassan is an independent writer living in Australia.
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