Israel: In the Death Throes of a Racist Dream
By Susan Abulhawa
October 21, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "MEE"
- In 1845,
Leutenant Colonel George Gawler submitted a report detailing the
potential for Jewish colonisation of Palestine. The obstacles he
foresaw had to do with resources and the feasibility of convincing
Jews to immigrate to Palestine. No consideration was given to the
native Palestinian population already living there for centuries.
Decades later, in deciding the fate of Palestine,
then a so-called British mandate, Lord
Balfour declared: “We do not propose even to go through the form
of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.”
But faced with a Palestinian revolt, the British retreated,
realising the mistake of ignoring the will and humanity of the
indigenous population. Then, when zionists made their first conquest
of Palestine, expelling over 80 percent of the native population,
David Ben Gurion (the Polish-born David Grunn) predicted
triumphantly that the native population would surely disappear. “The
old will die and the young will forget,” he said.
He too was wrong, and many decades later, as this
zionist fantasy did not materialise, Israel hypothesised that brute
force and complete colonisation of the land would at last achieve
the eradication of Palestine’s indigenous society. Army chief of
staff, Raphael Eitan put it most honestly when he
said: “When we have settled all the land, all the [Palestinian]
Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like
drugged cockroaches in a bottle.”
Again, faced with the same mistake, Israel simply
escalated its brutality. “We have to kill and kill and kill, all
day, every day,” explained an
Israeli professor; and a prominent Israeli lawmaker raised this
call to genocide to include the murder of Palestinian mothers
and their babies, whom she called “little snakes”. And now, like a
petulant spoilt child who did not get his way on the Iran deal,
Netanyahu gathered his gangsters, stomping their feet on holy ground
to bring down the house, an epic tantrum for President Obama, as if
to say look what I can still do.
The new escalation to eradicate Palestine now is
to enlist the civilian population of Israel to arm itself and join
their military thugs against our unarmed civilian population. Videos
and news of recent random executions, stabbings, and the roaming
bloodlust of mob vigilantes abound on the Internet.
Our ancient society, though fragmented and
brutalised, stands defiant, persistent, passionate and steadfast.
Though traumatised and leaderless, we remain, rebellious, brave and
resolute. No matter where we are, occupied or displaced and
scattered around the world – Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, refugee
camps of Lebanon or Syria or Iraq, exile in a diaspora that reaches
every corner of the world - we continue to act in concert, bound by
a collective wound, one that Jews ought to understand.
How surprised they must be. How utterly
demoralised they must feel to have such great military might and
somehow stand weak and small against our rocks.
How breathless you, Israel, must feel. How
devastating it must be to fail so miserably at one task, year after
year, decade after decade. To have repeatedly intensified tactics of
death and cruelty but still not managed to crush us. To cart off
children by the thousands pissing their pants, and still find
that thousands have taken their place the next day, hurling rocks at
your tanks and guns. To
imprison them so young as they cry with fear, scream for their
mothers, only to grow up unbroken, defying and fighting you still.
demolish homes and whole towns, only to find that we rebuild and
multiply faster than you. To see us dance, study, marry, and have
babies through your endless siege, occupation, and slaughter
campaigns. To see us live after you have shredded our hearts with
grief and loss. To bomb and destroy
our schools, prevent children and teachers from reaching their
classrooms, and still face our literacy rate that rivals your own.
How frightened you must feel that we still do not
fear you; that in the recesses of our being, we are a triumphant
people and instead, it is you who is frightened. How profoundly
disappointing it must feel to destroy our villages, dig in Silwan,
under Al Aqsa and Al Shakhra decade after decade and still come up
forensic evidence to support your narrative, and simultaneously
be faced with the multitude of Palestinians whose native claims are
present, obvious, written, well known and undisputed. How frustrated
you must feel that those of us you barred from our homes, whom you
thought would forget, continue to write, create, protest, and expose
you abroad, gathering more and more momentum for the
Divestment and Sanctions campaign that is breaking the back of
your lies. How defeating it is to spend millions of dollars to
harass us abroad in order to silence us, only to find our voices
Israel has made and remade the mistake of every
colonial enterprise before them, because colonialism always arrives
with a sense of supremacy that does not look upon native peoples as
human. That is why Israel has always underestimated us. They do not
understand, nor do they appreciate that we possess the most
impulsive human lurch toward freedom; that our instinctive tendency
is firmly toward dignity.
I see Israel’s dilemma. I see their fear. The pain
of a racist dream that came so close but not quite. And I can
understand that the way they thrash about now –
violent, ugly, insanely insecure and incomprehensibly cruel – is
the throes of zionism’s death.
Abulhawa is a Palestinian writer. Her latest novel is
The Blue Between Sky and Water (Bloomsbury, 2015), with rights
sold thus far into 21 languages.