Zionism and the Morality of Acceptance

An article in Canada’s Globe and Mail starts off with a claim by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “[t]he only truly free Arabs living in the Middle East are the one million who live in Israel…” ((Paul Koring, “Time for Palestinians to say ‘I will accept a Jewish state’: Netanyahu,” Globe and Mail, 24 May2011. ))

Netanyahu’s statement plummets the depths of Israeli Jewish racism.

Netanyahu also stated, “I will accept a Palestinian state,” and he called upon Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to say, “I will accept a Jewish state.”

While Netayahu claims to accept the idea of a Palestinian state, Israel has been colonizing and splitting the West Bank into Bantustans. Israel’s actions do not match the rhetoric. It is transparently racist. Why not be fully forthright and call for acceptance of what Israeli Jews have been carrying out: the creeping expansion of Israel into the West Bank and Old Jerusalem?

The G&M piece if rife with factual omissions, disinformation, and contradictions. For example, the article states, “Israeli PM reiterates that Israel will never return to the boundaries that preceded the 1967 war.” The Palestinian state is to be dictated by Israel, not by international law, and not by the United Nations. It is a de facto admission that territorial theft and dispossession is ongoing while focusing on Netanyahu’s supposedly being willing to recognize a Palestinian state. The obvious question is: what form a Palestinian state would take?

The G&M also proffers supposed justification for the land theft: the perpetual assertion that Israel requires it for defense. Usually theft generates ill will and the requirement to defend possession of what was stolen against attempts to reclaim what rightfully belongs to someone else.

Netanyahu claims, “Less than one half of one percent” of the Middle East’s 300-million Arabs “are truly free and they all live in Israel…”

What about the 800,000 that were expelled by the Jews? ((See Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oneworld Publications, 2006).)) Why are Arab voices in Israel not making the claims that Netanyahu makes. Is he speaking of the truly free Palestinians who have been removed from Jerusalem to make room for Jewish homes? About Bedouin settlements that are razed because Israel refuses to grant zoning approval? Is he talking about the Arabs who are free to purchase land from the Jewish National Fund? Netanyahu’s actions signify agreement with the freedom of Arabs to be dispossessed.

Netanyahu asserted the land of historical Palestine/Israel “was Jewish land for the thousands of years.”

Religious affiliation does not mean ethnic affiliation. Ashkenazi Jews, the majority in Israel, are East European Jews with zero or minimal ties to the ancient Jews who lived in Palestine. Ask Sholmo Sand, Israeli historian and author of The Invention of the Jewish People. ((See Zaid Nabulsi, “A Terrible Disease of the Mind: Part II,” Dissident Voice, 19 August 2010. ))

Such research was obviously beyond G&M’s writing and editorial staff.

Netanyahu criticized Iran’s purported seeking of a nuclear bomb. This is the same Netanyahu who will not make the commitment that all Arab leaders (and Iran) made to a nuclear free zone in the Middle East. ((Mark Weiss, “Israel to boycott nuclear-free Middle East plan,” Irish Times, 31 May 2010.))

Words and deeds are different. The risibility of claiming to accept the idea of a Palestinian state while usurping lands for colonies in the West Bank is patently farcical.

One protestor at Netanyahu’s speech recognized this. G&M writes that Netanyahu used the protestor’s outburst as “evidence of the democracy that Israel and American share, adding that protesters couldn’t have made such a statement in the sham democracies of the Middle East.”

Protestors couldn’t have made such a statement in the Middle East? Apparently Netanyahu did not notice that such statements result in eviction and arrest in the USA. ((See Bill Quigley, “Over Two Thousand Six Hundred Activists Arrested in US Protests,” Dissident Voice, 24 May 2011.)) G&M was apparently unable to recognize the absurdity that stared the medium in the face.

Let us be factually and morally accurate and acknowledge that the state of Israel is established on the state of what is historical Palestine.

So what should Zionists be saying? ((And only would they say so if they reject the major Zionist tenet that the land they call Israel is reserved for Jews only.))

  • I will acknowledge and apologize for our ancestors’s role in the Nakba.
  • I accept we should apologize for past and present injustices against the Palestinian people.
  • I accept that we should pay reparations for all the wrongs that we committed against the Palestinian people.
  • I accept the right of return to one’s homeland.
  • I accept that all people who live in a territory be treated equally, be accorded equal human rights, be accorded equal respect [and mind you, that would be acceding to a gross injustice because that would be according foreign interlopers, racists, war criminals, disposers, people guilty of genocidal intent and actions equality with their victims … but it would be a step in the right direction].
  • I accept that we should seek forgiveness from Palestinians and seek to share the land equitably and live in peace.

The bathos of G&M reporting is obvious when compared to the JTA which admits, “Netanyahu did not appear to offer anything new by way of substance for his vision of peace with the Palestinians…” ((Uriel Heilman, “Bibi to Congress: No compromise on Jerusalem, refugees or Jordan River presence,” JTA? 24 May 2011. ))

However, what should one expect in the way of reporting from G&M? It mirrors the political reality in Canada, a country whose citizens (40% of voters) choose an openly Zionist-supporting majority government. Canada is a country where most of the citizenry do not even other to ask its own Original Peoples to accept the colonial state because they consider it an irreversible, historical fact-on-the-ground.

Kim Petersen is an independent writer. He can be emailed at: kimohp at gmail.com. Read other articles by Kim.