Israel’s march to catastrophe

Netanyahu is the man who breaks into your house, throws you to the streets and offers you some space in back quarters

Taha Najeeb November 12, 2015
The writer is a freelance contributor based in New Jersey. He works in the technology sector

Bibi Netanyahu has been making strange mouth noises again. With the certainty of one who has lost all terrestrial contact with reality, Bibi is convinced the Holocaust idea was whispered into Hitler’s ears by the Muslim cleric Amin al-Husseini. Plumbing deeper the depths of unreason, he went on to say he wants full control over West Bank, till things eventually stabilise — a time frame so generously elastic in Israel’s favour he may well declare the new Kingdom of David. But that’s Netanyahu, the kind of man who breaks into your house in the middle of the night, seizes your property, throws you to the streets, and then graciously offers you some space in the back quarters of your own house on the mildly insane condition that you respect the ‘stability’ of his happy existence.

But as with Bibi’s mental health, Zionism itself is in crisis. In the late 19th century, with the horror of Jewish persecution in most of Europe, the economic backing of an ascendant Jewish merchant class, the ground support of a rabbinical clergy hungry for relevance in its post-enlightenment irrelevancy — there it all was, the narrative, the backing, the divine mandate; an oil tanker that awaited the Zionist spark. The man to light the match stick was Theodore Herzl: a man without a religion, for a religion without a land. In an 1895 diary entry, Herzl wrote: “We shall endeavour to expel the poor population across the border unnoticed, procuring employment for it in the transit countries, but denying it any employment in our country.” He later added: “The process of expropriation and removal of poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”

Luck was on his side. In 1916, a war-weary Britain fighting the central powers needed America and Russia on its side. In this backdrop, a little money and political influence of some powerful Jews was most welcome. And so, the colonialists courted the Zionists. In 1918, this became official in the Balfour declaration. The Arabs protested, but Lord Balfour had this to say: “In Palestine we do not even propose to consult the inhabitants of the country …  Zionism has its roots in ancient tradition, in immediate needs and in hopes for the future that are much more important than the desires and prejudices of 700,000 Arabs who presently inhabit Palestine.”  The First World War ended with the British prevailing over the Ottoman Turks and Palestinian land falling under the British Mandate. This is when the Jews started entering Palestine, mostly through land purchase. In the 1930s, almost a quarter of a million Jews had entered Arab lands, sparking the Arab revolt (1936-1939). Some 5,000 Palestinian Arabs died at the hands of Jewish militias. For perspective: from eight per cent in 1917, the Jewish population expanded to 30 per cent by 1947, though the Jews still owned less than 10 per cent of Palestinian land. Matters were escalated to the UN and Arab hopes were high. The UN gave its verdict: the most senseless partition plan in the history of partition plans. Palestinian territory was to be split up, and Jews who owned 10 per cent of the land were handed 55 per cent of the territory, a sad day for Palestinians and the rules of arithmetic. Fighting ensued. Roughly 700,000 Palestinians fled their lands. For them, this was the day of the Nakba (catastrophe). For Israelis, it was a day of great celebration. Bitter and betrayed, the Arab armies attacked Israel — and lost. Israel went on to own 78 per cent of Palestinian land (Armistice lines, 1949). In 1967, the Arab countries attacked again — and lost again. This time Sinai, Golan Heights, West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, all went to Israel. The rest is history.

Here is the standard Israeli defence: burnt, shunned and persecuted across Europe in previous centuries, what were they to do? Murderous anti-Semitism made necessary a Jewish state, and what better place than Judea and Samaria. Besides, Muslims and Jews had existed in harmony during the Ottoman years. Yet the world still disapproves and reserves for Israel the ugliest double standards? The British and French cut the world up like deranged meat cleavers, the world remained silent. The Americans spoke the language of bombs, the world gently listened. The Muslims conquered India and demanded Pakistan, the world eagerly accepted. But come the question of Israel, and the world disapproves? That same world that stood still and watched as smoke rose from Auschwitz; when six million humans died and humanity with them. And what to say of the Arabs? When Egypt took over Gaza, the world turned away. When Jordan took over West Bank, the world yawned. When Israel proposed a return to Armistice borders, land swaps and end to settlements, Arafat declined. When Israel withdrew from Gaza, Gaza elected Hamas. The same Hamas which is more anti-Israel than it is pro-Palestine, and declares in its charter — its charter — the destruction of Israel as we know it.

Intifadas, Aliyahs, failed peace accords and death — this is the grotesque plotline of this Israel-Palestine narrative. What is clear is that things cannot carry on like this. Israel is five-feet deep already; it must stop digging. The erection of giant walls snaking through the West Bank, the expanding settlements, the inhuman blockade of Gaza and the disproportionate use of force (80 per cent civilian deaths is not ‘collateral damage’, it is genocide); no, this is not survival for security, this is an arrogant contempt for international law of a country stuck to the wrong side of history. If things remain the same, America will ultimately be forced to withdraw from Israel all its support, and things could well go the way of the South African apartheid regime which tumbled down the precipice the moment America released its grip.

The truth for the Zionists is this: Israel’s ceaseless border expansion is making a two-state solution increasingly impossible, and this means Israel is surviving on borrowed time. With the return of Palestinian refugees, this could mean either a Jewish apartheid state (where a Jewish minority rules an Arab majority), which the world will not accept; or a democratic secular state (according to Israel’s own declaration of independence) and that would mean, by simple demographics, the end of Zionism.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2015.

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bigsaf | 6 years ago | Reply Doubt it happens any time soon. Despite the killing of the 2 state solution by the current right-wing Israeli govt, Israel is going to keep the native Palestinians stateless as long as possible. The world is already tolerating the land grab expansion, occupation and apartheid human rights abuses. There's been only meagre actions such as labelling illegal settlement produce by the EU or the Palestinians gaining observer status at the EU, but has yet to take Israel to the Hague for war crimes. The US still has Israel's back with vetoes and military aid and won't change course despite current frayed relations. Oh, and not surprising the prejudiced anti-Muslim/anti-Arab narrative in these comments used against the Palestinians, who indeed are the displaced and oppressed victims.
ariely shein | 6 years ago | Reply Israel’s march to catastrophe-------Zionism itself is in crisis Is claimed by the righter I cannot predict the future. But looking back to the recent history and achievements- and based on facts and not propaganda words I can say that Zionist is not in crisis unlike the Arabs that are in a catastrophic crisis. On the contrary Israel builds a successful road marching to a brilliant for the benefit of all the citizens. All this despite day one attacks by Arabs armies- daily terror- boycotts with land 800 times larger than Israel and population count 75 times higher and fabulous reach in natural resources Pls consider to joint Israel experience, invest in life, building and people’s prosperity and not hate, death, destruction and people subjugation. 1: Arab countries trend the last 75 years. -By the end of WW2 the Arabs states were listed second to USA of prosperity. Before Europe- China- Japan -Today the Arabs states are on the bottom of world prosperity- only before some of the poorest countries in the world. And this despite the unprecedented energy well in human history. -Today Arabs are running away by the millions from the Muslim countries paradise- to infidel’s countries. No-one immigrates to the Arabs or Muslim heven Israel trend the last 69 years. -Israel soon after the end of WW2 was one of the poorest countries worldwide> Many people lived in tends and food quarters were strict managed by the government. -Today Israel is part of the OECD- with an annual income of $40000 per head, number 3 in world life span- number 7 in people’s happiness – number 1 on number of engineer per 1000 people. -2015-over 20.000 French Jews start their life in Israel- the Zionist Jewish country, preferring Israel on top on USA- France- Canada and any Muslim country 2: Last week international news about Israel achievements; Only a few appetizing examples: 1:Israel is one of the few teams taking part in the international researching groups of the universe dark matter. Located in Gran Sasso National Laboratory of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN-LNGS), the largest underground laboratory in the world for astroparticle physics.. 2:Israeli photograph received first place in the 42and annual world Festival of Underwater pictures, held in Marseilles France. 3:U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter: 'There's no question that American lives have been saved by Israeli technology - the Israelis have contributed more than Europe' They're in a league that has very few members'. 4:Gulf States want a multi $billion Iron Dome- developed and manufactured by Israel. The purchase will be through Raytheon, the US partner of Israeli developer Rafael 5: NASA administrator Charles Bolden said that the USA space agency taps Israeli innovation and technology. Israeli technology is an important part in NASA space missions. Last week international news about Arab countries achievements? No appetizing examples- better not to count. Browsing the news it is impossible to find any positive contribution!
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