OPINION by Ebrahim Vawda
It is true that Israel has not introduced gas chambers into Palestinian towns and villages. However, Israel has been killing and tormenting Palestinians since 1948 in a multiplicity of ways which, in their brutality and sheer evil, don’t really differ in substance from Nazi behaviour. Moreover, it is paramount to remember that the German holocaust started with an idea, much like the idea of Zionism. The Nazi ideology was translated into brutal savagery similar to the actions of those who wish to realise their Zionist dreams. These are rampant in pro-Zionists collective thinking these days, that they continue to drift towards religious, xenophobic and hostile extremism.
In a full-page advert in the Sunday Times of November 8th, 2014, the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) has spent thousands of Rands in trying to demonise the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas. What they failed to mention is that the Palestinian catastrophe is now in its seventh decade and all efforts at reaching a political settlement has led to nowhere. Israel’s self-importance and pomposity in support of a “two-state” solution aside, the Zionist expansion into occupied territory has brought about a de facto one-state entity under Zionist power and control. Rashid Khalidi, of Columbia University and a political analyst of note, wrote: “ a ‘one-state solution’ based on enduring discrimination and oppression is ultimately unsustainable”.
Adam Shatz, in his compilation “Prophets Outcast: A Century of Dissident Jewish Writing about Zionism and Israel”, identifies the predicament as: “The Zionist solution to the Jewish question has created a whole new set of problems which it has so far proved to be incapable of solving”.
Another fact that must be confronted when dealing with the Palestinian Catastrophe is the Zionist narrative of “denial”. They fail to acknowledge the mass uprooting and dispossession of native Palestinians soon after the Nazi atrocities of World War II. A call for an inclusive and expanded understanding of the Nazi genocide is essential so that “never again” applies not to Jews only but to all of mankind, including Palestinians.
Do we distinguish between the sufferings of the African slave trade, the extermination of the Indians in America or the suffering inflicted upon the Jews in Nazi Germany? No! On the other hand, the Zionist lobby here and around the world always make the distinction between their suffering and that of the Palestinians. Any commemoration of the Palestinian Nakba within the Zionist entity is a punishable offence. This type of Zionist exceptionalism drives the parties further apart and can never be justified. Pro-Zionist supporters must not shy away from the fact that the founding of the Zionist entity is intricately bound up with the dispossession and ethnic cleansing of thousands of local inhabitants of the land. The violence against the Palestinian people begun in 1948, continues to this day. This is the truth. It cannot be discounted, disregarded, swept under the carpet, wished away or denied.
During the anti-colonial struggles on the African Continent and elsewhere, the term used was “liberation struggles”. In the Zimbabwean, Algerian, South African, Mozambican, Namibian struggles against colonialism, it was always referred as “liberation” struggles. They were not referred to as “conflicts”. The resistance fighters in all these cases talked about their fight against colonial and racial supremacists or their liberation from settler-colonialism. Why then is this classification not applied in the case of the resistance movements in Palestine?
Zionism has created a system which allows the domination and subjugation by one group over the other instead of equal rights for all. This systematic discrimination guarantees preferential status to Jews and is a feature of Zionist Law. There are over fifty Zionist Laws that discriminate in all areas of Palestinian life. Judaism preaches the oneness of God and this should be reflected in the oneness of humanity. Any suggestion that the All Mighty God has elevated one group of people unconditionally as the ‘chosen’ and then to use state machinery to discriminate against the other and credit God as the source of the injustice is blasphemous in nature.
To place the Zionists activities and engagements under the spotlight is unspeakable and almost sacrilegious. Nonetheless the truth of the matter is that the establishment of a state based on a single ethnic or religious identity in a space that is ethnically and religiously diverse must and will lead to either the politics of exclusion or total ethnic cleansing. The pro-Zionist lobby must stop rationalisations. Simply stated, the treatment of the Palestinians by the Zionist regime is disgraceful and despicable. It has rained untold misery and hardship on the people of the occupied Palestinian territories.
This is Zionism and hence the problem is Zionism.
Ibrahim Vawda is a senior Researcher at the Media Review Network. As an educator, he spent the last 14 years as a headmaster. A proud Muslim and keen internationalist, he is passionate about human rights issues. He has no respect for politicians.