SUKUMAR MURALIDHARAN | 22 AUGUST, 2014
A Response to the ‘Discredited Falsehoods’ Rehashed by the Israeli Envoy to India
Children injured in Israeli air strikes on Gaza
At a time when the Zionist state is lobbying with western patrons to block a possible indictment before the International Criminal Court, when the U.S. is using all the resources it can muster to coax, cajole and bully a usually pliant Palestinian Authority into another ignominious retreat, it seems rather strange that the Indian Express should afford the Israeli ambassador a bully pulpit to rehash long discredited falsehoods (Daniel Carmon, “Not a zero-sum game”, The Indian Express, August 19, 2014, page 11 of Delhi edition.)
Mr Carmon begins with the expected denunciation of Hamas as a “terrorist” organisation. Sorry, he has missed the most recent soundings of international public opinion which hold that Hamas is articulating the common-sense of the Palestinian people that it represents by virtue of a free and fair election won in 2006. If that is terrorism in the Zionist ambassador’s perception, then we believe that the problem lies with him.
To accuse Hamas of a “violent seizure of control” over Gaza in 2007 is being a sore loser since it was the abject failure of a Bay of Pigs style takeover by Israel and the U.S. that led to that outcome. That the Palestinian Authority -- then as now under the nominal control of Mr Mahmoud Abbas -- played along with this devious plan stands to its discredit. But the Israeli stratagem of dividing the Palestinian resistance was not likely to enjoy unending success, given the Zionist state’s genetic make-up. Israel’s current mood of bloody-minded retribution is about avenging itself on the Palestinians since the two principal resistance organisations, Fatah and Hamas, moved towards ending the estrangement of 2007.
Zionism has long since depleted its moral armoury in seeking to persuade the world that night is day. And as he drones on about the Palestinians’ intent to destroy Israel, Mr Carmon should really answer a basic question about the foundational ideology of Zionism, which portrays Palestine as a “land without a people”.
It is this noxious ideology that was expressed in the bloodshed and terror in which the state of Israel was founded. It has continued to find expression in the internal political dialogue within the Zionist state (discretely conducted in the Hebrew language) about the forcible “transfer” of Palestinians out of the territory between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean.
Mr Carmon brings up the scare scenario of an Islamic caliphate between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean, but pauses not to explain the Israeli insistence that its Palestinian interlocutors should acknowledge the same territory as the eternal patrimony of the Jewish faith before peace negotiations proceed. He tiptoes around the character of the political discourse in Israel today, where Palestinians are routinely referred to in dehumanising terms. We refer here to the recent vituperations of Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, calling for the “concentration” of the Gaza Palestinians as prelude to their “extermination”. That was a shocking utterance which of course, the global media has done its best to sanitise or airbrush out of the record. But there is nothing really new here. Israel’s defence minister today, Moshe Ya’alon, while serving as army chief of staff in 2003, called the Palestinians an existential threat, akin to a form of cancer. And to parse the late unlamented Ariel Sharon’s public utterances since he began his public life as a Zionist enforcer with the Qibya massacre of 1953, is to open the window to the darkest recesses of Zionist ideology.
So we would like to tell Mr Carmon that the boot in fact is on the other foot. Certain questions arise which if the Zionist representative in India is in any sort of mood to answer, could take forward a dialogue about the true identity of the terrorist. First, we ask, does the ideology of the Likud and the constellation of right-wing parties – all with explicitly racist ideology – that governs his country today, recognise the Palestinians as a people? What specifically does the Likud charter which to all right-thinking people seems a manifesto steeped in racist intolerance, say about the possibility of a Palestinian state?
Given its refusal to countenance the remotest possibility of a Palestinian state, should one describe Israel’s pretence of seeking to resume peace negotiations as deliberate deception or charade? We would like to recall for Mr Carmon’s benefit, that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, recently warned that Israel risked becoming an apartheid state if it failed to utilise the shrinking opportunities available for a two-state solution. Mr Kerry of course was forced to recant under pressure from the right-wing in the U.S., but his late awakening to basic common-sense remains relevant. And we would like to ask Mr Carmon if he is comfortable with the thought of apartheid, which of course to all objective observers is no future prospect, but the past and present of Israel – in fact, part of its core ideology.
Finally, a lesson in history. The Likud as a political party is a lineal descendant of the terrorist gangs that were responsible for the King David Hotel bombing, the Deir Yassin massacre and the assassination of the U.N. peace negotiator Count Folke Bernadotte, to count only three of the darkest deeds from their distinguished track record. If the standard that Israel is imposing on Hamas were applicable, then the Zionist state should have been placed under comprehensive economic sanctions and blockaded when it voted Likud to power in 1977.
To represent the Hamas position in terms of the peace proposals it has rejected is to ignore the fairly clear demands it has placed on the table, consistent with the rights of the Palestinian people under all international instruments. The ending of the Gaza siege is principal among these and we see that Mr Carmon does trot out some fairly sterile statistics in an effort to establish that no such thing as a “siege” exists. Let us simply say that we are not convinced.
The empty numbers Mr Carmon throws out do not deflect attention from Zionist war crimes. Hamas he says, has launched 20,000 rockets against Israel since 2007. Now that sounds like a horrible piece of work. But in that time, in several rounds of attack, Israel has killed 5,000 Palestinians or perhaps even more. And the record is fairly clear for anybody who resists the blustering propaganda of the Zionists. Israel has at various junctures in the past, needled the Palestinians with provocative actions merely to portray before the fancifully titled “international community” that it has no partner for peace and should hence enjoy full freedom to terrorise and kill in the territories it occupies.
In the most recent instance, Israel began the campaign of provocation – seemingly intent on eliciting a response from the Palestinian resistance – simply because its paranoid insecurities were stirred by an agreement between Hamas and Fatah that raised the prospect of a unified Palestinian front. Hamas explicitly recognised Fatah’s primacy in any matter involving final status negotiations with Israel, which meant of course, that the 1988 amendment to the charter of the Palestinian resistance which explicitly recognised Israel’s right to exist, would hold the field. Yet for the Zionist state, it seemed just an intolerable prospect to face a unified Palestinian front when it has persistently refused to fulfil its side of the bargain for peace negotiations to resume.
From the denunciation of Hamas, the Zionist representative switches to a patronising tone. Sorry, Mr Carmon, Israel’s evacuation of land occupied by a war of aggression was no act of benevolence. The accusation that Hamas has been misusing international aid is laughable when so little of it has been allowed through. Your portrayal of night as day again falls at the first test of factual veracity. We know from former U.S. president Jimmy Carter that Israel has been in persistent violation of the domestic law of its principal benefactor, which forbids any form of military aid to states engaged in external aggression. We recognise that for a nation that has never grown up, that refuses to define its borders nearly seventy years after its formation, it is difficult to precisely identify when aggression is “external”. But clearly, the brutality of the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the suppression of the Palestinian intifada that broke out in 1987 – and then the sheer barbarism with which the second Palestinian uprising in 2000 was put down – puts Israel in the league of rogue states.
The statistics that Mr Carmon puts forward have no relevance when viewed in isolation from the magnitude of human needs in Gaza. He omits the basic point that the people of the Gaza strip have the right to determine what their needs are and seek their fulfilment independent of the caprice of a military occupier. For him to speak of Israel’s willingness to allow in “monitored” international aid is to deny the Palestinians their dignity and their rights as a people. Surely, the U.N. General Assembly had it right in 1975 about the basic characteristics of Zionism as a political ideology.