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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bani Israel

Teramat banyak Allah Perkatakan tentang Bani Israel ini di dalam Al-Qur-an. Salah satu daripadanya ialah yang berikut.

Surah Ai-Isra’ Ayat 4-8 (17:4-8) (Terjemahan ka Bahasa Malaysia)

4) Dan Kami menyatakan kepada Bani Israil dalam Kitab itu: Sesungguhnya kamu akan melakukan kerosakan di bumi (Palestin) dua kali dan sesungguhnya kamu akan berlaku sombong angkuh dengan melampau.

(5) Maka apabila sampai masa janji (membalas kederhakaan kamu) kali yang pertama dari dua (kederhakaan) itu, Kami datangkan kepada kamu hamba-hamba Kami yang kuat gagah dan amat ganas serangannya lalu mereka menjelajah di segala ceruk rantau (membunuh dan membinasakan kamu) dan (sebenarnya peristiwa itu) adalah satu janji yang tetap berlaku.

>>>> Munkinkah ini merujuk kepada manakala Bani Israel dihancurkan oleh Nebucatnezar dan kemudian oleh Empayar Rom yang akibatnya mereka bersepah di seluruh negara-negara?<<<

(6) Kemudian (setelah kamu bertaubat), Kami kembalikan kepada kamu kekuasaan untuk mengalahkan mereka dan Kami beri kepada kamu dengan banyaknya harta kekayaan dan anak pinak, serta Kami jadikan kamu kaum yang lebih ramai pasukannya.

>>>>Munkinkah ini merujuk kepada Bani Israel dari zaman perang dunia pertama hingga kepada masa kini?<<<

(7) Jika kamu berbuat kebaikan, (maka faedah) kebaikan yang kamu lakukan adalah untuk diri kamu dan jika kamu berbuat kejahatan, maka (kesannya yang buruk) berbalik kepada diri kamu juga. Oleh itu, apabila sampai masa janji (membalas perbuatan derhaka kamu) kali kedua, (Kami datangkan musuh-musuh kamu) untuk memuramkan muka kamu (dengan penghinaan dan keganasannya) dan untuk memasuki masjid (BaitulMaqdis) sebagaimana mereka telah memasukinya pada kali yang pertama dan untuk menghancurkan apa sahaja yang mereka telah kuasai, dengan sehancur-hancurnya.

>>>>Munkinkah ini merujuk kepada apa yang akan terjadi terhadap Bani Israel seterusnya?<<<

(8) Mudah-mudahan Tuhan kamu akan mengasihani kamu (kalau kamu bertaubat) dan jika kamu kembali (menderhaka), maka Kami pula akan kembali (menyeksa kamu di dunia); dan kami telah jadikan Neraka: Penjara bagi orang-orang kafir (pada hari akhirat).

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(Terjemahan ka Bahasa Indonesia)

4) Dan telah Kami tetapkan terhadap Bani Israil dalam kitab itu: "Sesungguhnya kamu akan membuat kerusakan di muka bumi ini dua kali dan pasti kamu akan menyombongkan diri dengan kesombongan yang besar."

(5) Maka apabila datang saat hukuman bagi [kejahatan] pertama dari kedua [kejahatan] itu, Kami datangkan kepadamu hamba-hamba Kami yang mempunyai kekuatan yang besar, lalu mereka merajalela di kampung-kampung, dan itulah ketetapan yang pasti terlaksana.

(6) Kemudian Kami berikan kepadamu giliran untuk mengalahkan mereka kembali dan Kami membantumu dengan harta kekayaan dan anak-anak dan Kami jadikan kamu kelompok yang lebih besar.

(7) Jika kamu berbuat baik [berarti] kamu berbuat baik bagi dirimu sendiri dan jika kamu berbuat jahat maka kejahatan itu bagi dirimu sendiri, dan apabila datang saat hukuman bagi [kejahatan] yang kedua, [Kami datangkan orang-orang lain] untuk menyuramkan muka-muka kamu dan mereka masuk ke dalam masjid, sebagaimana musuh-musuhmu memasukinya pada kali pertama dan untuk membinasakan sehabis-habisnya apa saja yang mereka kuasai.

(8) Mudah-mudahan Tuhanmu akan melimpahkan rahmat [Nya] kepadamu; dan sekiranya kamu kembali kepada [kedurhakaan], niscaya Kami kembali [mengazabmu] dan Kami jadikan neraka Jahannam penjara bagi orang-orang yang tidak beriman.

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Terjemahan ka Bahasa Inggeris. (Yusuf Ali)

4) And We gave (clear) warning to the Children of Israel in the Book, that twice would they do mischief on the earth and be elated with mighty arrogance (and twice would they be punished)!

(5) When the first of the warnings came to pass, We sent against you Our servants given to terrible warfare: they entered the very inmost parts of your homes; and it was a warning (completely) fulfilled.

(6) Then did We grant you the Return as against them: We gave you increase in resources and sons, and made you the more numerous in manpower.

(7) If ye did well ye did well for yourselves; if ye did evil, (ye did it) against yourselves; so when the second of the warnings came to pass (We permitted your enemies) to disfigure your faces, and to enter your Temple as they had entered if before and to visit with destruction all that fell into their power.

(8) It may be that your Lord may (yet) show Mercy unto you; but if ye revert (to your sins), We shall revert (to Our punishments): and We have made Hell a prison for those who reject (all Faith).

3 comments:

The Hidden Nine 369 said...

The following might illustrates sentences 4 and 6.

The Politics Of Israeli Extermination Campaign

By James Petras

03 January, 2009
Countercurrents.org

Because of the unconditional support of the entire political class in the US, from the White House to Congress, including both Parties, incoming and outgoing elected officials and all the principle print and electronic mass media, the Israeli Government feels no compunction in publicly proclaiming a detailed and graphic account of its policy of mass extermination of the population of Gaza.

Israel’s sustained and comprehensive bombing campaign of every aspect of governance, civic institutions and society is directed toward destroying civilized life in Gaza. Israel’s totalitarian vision is driven by the practice of a permanent purge of Arab Palestine informed by Zionism, an ethno-racist ideology, promulgated by the Jewish state and justified, enforced and pursued by its organized backers in the United States.

The facts of Israeli extermination have become known: In the first six days of round the clock terror bombing of major and minor populations centers, the Jewish State has murdered and seriously maimed over 2,500 people, mostly dismembered and burned in the open ovens of missile fire. Scores of children and women have been slaughtered as well as defenseless civilians and officials.

They have sealed off all access to Gaza and declared it a military, free fire zone, while expanding their target to include the entire population of 1.5 millions semi-starved prisoners. According to the Boston Globe (December 30, 2008): Israeli military officials said their target lists have expanded to include the vast support network on which the Islamist movement relies to stay in power “…we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel (my emphasis)”. A top Israeli in its secret police apparatus is quoted saying, “Hamas’ civilian infrastructure is a very sensitive target” (ibid). What the Israeli Jewish politicians and military planners designate as “Hamas” is the entire social service network, the entire government and the vast majority of economic activity, embracing almost the entire 1.5 million imprisoned residents of Gaza.

Israel’s ‘target’ list thus involves the ‘total population’, using the totality of its non-nuclear weaponry and for an unlimited time period (until the ‘bitter end’ according to the Israeli Prime Minister). Israel’s defense ministry spokesman has emphatically reiterated the Jewish’s state’s totalitarian war concept emphasizing the targeting of civilians: “Hamas has used ostensibly civilian operations as a cover for military activities. Anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target.”

Like all totalitarians in the past, the Jewish state boasts of having systematically pre-planned the extermination campaign – months in advance – up to and including the precise hour and day of the bombing to coincide with inflicting the maximum murder of civilians: The rockets and bombs fell as children were leaving school, as graduating police cadets were receiving their diplomas and as frantic mothers ran out from their homes to find their sons and daughters.

The mass military extermination campaign was a follow up of its non-stop total economic embargo and unremitting selective assassination campaign of the previous two years: Both were designed to purge Palestine of its Arab population, first via mass hunger, disease, humiliation and violent intimidation and the proxy power grab by the PLO Quislings under Zionist puppet Abbas. When they discovered that mass hunger and selective Israeli murder only strengthened the population’s links to its democratically elected government and the resolve of the Hamas government to resist Israel, the Israeli regimes unleashed its entire arsenal of weapons, including its new ‘American gifts’ up-to-date 1000 pound ‘bunker buster’ bombs and high tech missiles to incinerate large numbers of human beings within their deadly radius and to obliterate Palestinian civilization.

Moving directly from its totalitarian vision to its military blueprint to the savaging of Palestinian population centers, the Jewish state destroyed the principle university with over 18,000 students (mostly women), mosques, pharmacies, electrical and water lines, power stations, fishing villages, fishing boats and the little fishing port that provided a meager supply of fish for the starving population. They destroyed roads, transport facilities, food warehouses, science buildings, small factories, shops and apartments. They destroyed a women’s dormitory at the university. In the words of the Israel leader: “…because everything is connected to everything…” it is necessary to destroy each and every facet of life, which allows humans to exist with some dignity and independence.

The Israeli totalitarian leaders knew with confidence that they could act and they could kill with impunity, locally and before the entire world, because of the influence of the US Zionist Power Configuration in and over the US White House and Congress. They knew they had the full backing of all the major Israeli political parties (Right, Left and Center), trade unions, mass media and especially public opinion. Israeli state terror is backed by 81% of Jewish Israelis according to a poll taken by Israel’s Channel 10 (Financial Times December 30, 2008). Israeli totalitarian violence and extermination of Palestinians is extremely popular among the Jewish electorate, especially in raising support for the Labor Party candidate Minister Ehud Barak. They knew they would ‘succeed’ with virtually no casualties because they bombed, burned and dismembered a defenseless population totally lacking the minimum means to defend themselves from F16 bombers, helicopter gun ships and missile assaults. The vile depravity of the assault on the defenseless population is matched by the utter cowardice of the Israeli military command and its cheering bloodthirsty public ensconced behind their aerial monopoly. They suffered no threats of aerial retaliation, no wounded or dead pilots, helicopter gunners, as wave after wave swept in and over a defenseless imprisoned population in a crowded and besieged ghetto.

Hundreds of tanks and armored carriers are prepared to invade once the cities and towns have been leveled, once the population is too weakened by starvation to resist, once the leaders and fighters have been murdered and the normal Palestinian institutions of law and order have been pulverized, making way for the corrupt thuggish collaborators of the so-called Palestinian Authority…then and only then, will the Israeli General staff risk the skin of a precious Jewish ‘soldier’ and risk the anxiety and worry of their kin in Israel and the US.

Overseas Allies: The Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations (PMAJO)

From the moment that the Israeli Government decided it would destroy the newly elected Hamas government and punish the democratic electorate of Gaza with starvation and murder, the entire Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) in the US, including the PMAJO, pulled all stops in implementing the Israeli policy. The PMAJO encompasses the fifty-two Jewish organizations with the largest membership, with the greatest financial clout and the most influential backers. The most prominent lobbyist within the PMAJO is AIPAC, which has over 100,000 members and 150 full-time operatives in Washington actively pressuring the US Congress, the White House and all administrative agencies whose policies may relate to the interests of the State of Israel. However Israeli political extends far beyond its non-governmental agencies. Over two score legislators in the Congress and over a dozen senators are committed Zionists who automatically back Israel’s policies and push for US funding and armaments for its military machine. Top officials in key administrative positions, in Treasury, Commerce and the National Security Council, senior functionaries in the Pentagon and top advisers on Middle East affairs are also life-long, fanatically committed Zionists, who consistently and unreservedly back the policies of the State of Israel.

Equally important, the majority of the largest film, print and electronic media are owned or deeply influenced by Jewish-Zionist media moguls who are committed to slanting the ‘news’ in favor of Israel. The composition and influence of the ZPC is central to understanding three main characteristics of Israel’s power: (1) Israel can commit what leading United Nations and international human rights experts have defined as ‘crimes against humanity’ with total impunity; (2) Israel can secure an unlimited supply of the most technologically advanced and destructive weapons and use them without limit on a civilian population in violation of even US Congressional restrictions and (3) scores of almost unanimous United Nations condemnations of the construction of genocidal apartheid barriers against a native population, starvation embargoes and the current extermination campaign in Gaza are always vetoed by the US representative.

Many critics of Israel’s genocide in Gaza also condemn what they call ‘the complicity’ of Washington or ‘the United States’ without clearly identifying the actual socio-political forces influencing policy-makers or the ‘dual’ political loyalties and identities of the ‘American’ politicians who have long-standing and deep allegiances to Israel. As a consequence, most critics fail to counter, protest or even identify the ideology and politics of the organized power configurations which define US complicity with Israel, who intimidate potential critics, who write and mouth the pro-Israel editorials in the mass media and who filter out any criticism, any truth…even when Israel engages in sustained bloody extermination campaigns.

The ZPC and the Israeli War of Extermination in Gaza

The ZPC played a major role in all stages of Israel’s extermination campaign against Gaza including a sustained propaganda effort. The ZPC orchestrated a massive successful campaign through the extensive network of American mass media, which it controls and influences. It fabricated an image of the Hamas administration in Gaza as a terrorist organization, which allegedly seized power through violence – totally denying its rise to power through internationally supervised, democratic elections and its defense of its electoral mandate against a US-Israeli backed PLO military takeover. The entire Zionist Jewish leadership backed Israel’s land grabs, its ghetto wall around Palestinians, the hundreds of road blocks, the Jewish settlers violently taking over Palestinian homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the criminal, genocidal Israeli economic embargo on Gaza designed to systematically starve the Palestinians into submission. Throughout the two years of this Israeli extermination campaign, American Zionists played a major role in leading the servile US government at home and abroad in backing each totalitarian measure: The vast majority of local synagogues became bully-pulpits defending the starvation and degradation of 1.5 million Palestinian refugees in Gaza caged on all sides by deadly force and the ‘walling off’ into economically and socially devastating cantons of the 4.5 million West Bank Palestinian population under foreign occupation. The US Congress shamelessly followed the Zionist lead, backing every single criminal measure taken by the State of Israel and approving dozens of resolutions, which in most cases were entirely written by AIPAC lobbyists acting as unregistered agents of the Israeli government (contrary to US federal statute, which requires foreign agents and lobbyists to be registered as such). Israel’s demands for the most up-to-date US warplanes, including F-16s, Apache helicopter gun ships, and 1,000 pound bombs were secured by dint of effort of the AIPAC lobbyists and their clients in the US Congress. In other words, the American ZPC created the ideological cover and military instruments for Israel’s ‘total war’ against the defenseless Palestinian population. Equally important, prominent Zionist leaders in the US Congress and members of the foreign policy establishment blocked or vetoed any international criticism of Israel – securing its impunity and immunity from any of the Congressional sanctions usually enacted against criminal states. In other words, Israeli policy makers operated with the knowledge that there would be no negative economic, diplomatic and military repercussions to their launching the planned Gaza extermination campaign because they knew, in advance, that ‘their people’ were in total control of US Middle East policy to the extent of actually repeating verbatim each and every propaganda lie in defense of Israel’s total war against the entire population of Gaza.

In Defense of Israel’s War of Extermination

The Zionist-controlled US print media, in particular the New York Times and the Washington Post, systematically fabricated an account that fit perfectly with Israel’s official line defending its massive assault on Gaza: Omitting any historical account of the hundreds of Israeli armed incursions and ‘targeted’ assassinations of Palestinian leaders and officials (even in their own homes) which repeatedly violated the ‘cease fire’ agreed by Hamas and provoked its retaliation in self-defense of its people; omitting the years of an Israeli enforced starvation embargo of food and essentials that threatened the lives of 1.5 million Palestinians and led to the desperate efforts of the elected Hamas leadership to secure supplies for the people’s survival via tunnels across the Egyptian border and through missile attacks against Israel to pressure the Jewish state to negotiate an end of the criminal blockade.

The Conference of President of the Major American Jewish Organizations, and the vast majority of Jewish communal groups and congregations, gave enthusiastic and unanimous support to Israel’s total war, its extermination campaign against the captive Palestinian population of Gaza. Even as images and reports of the massive destruction, killing and wounding of over 2,500 defenseless Palestinians filtered in the mass media, not a single major Jewish organization broke ranks; only individuals and small groups protested. All the ‘Majors’ persisted in the politics of the Big Lie: the destruction of hospitals, mosques, universities, roads, apartments, pharmacies and fishing ports were all labeled ‘Hamas targets’. The systematic all-out assault by uncontested helicopter gunships against 1.5 millions civilians was erased by tendentious accounts of Hamas’ homemade missiles falling ineffectively near Israeli towns.

A close reading of the most important propaganda organ of the PMAJO, The Daily Alert (TDA), during the first 5 days of Israel’s assault, reveals the propaganda tack taken by the leadership of the pro-Israel power configuration. TDA systematically worked to achieve the following:

1. Exaggerate the threats to Israel by the Palestinian missiles from Gaza, citing 4 Israeli deaths, while omitting any mention of the 2,500 Palestinian dead and wounded and the total destruction of their economy and living conditions (without safe water, electricity, food, cooking fuel, medicine and heat in the winter).

2. Promote Israel’s military assault as ‘defensive’, directed at eliminating Hamas rocket attacks while omitting mention of Israel’s clearly stated purpose of destroying all civil organizations, social welfare agencies, educational facilities, medical clinics and public security institutions connected in any way with the elected Hamas government and any auxiliary agencies.

3. Cite select statement from Israel’s allies and clients (Washington, the US media, Germany and the UK) blaming Hamas for the conflict without mentioning the vast majority of countries in the United Nations General Assembly condemning Israel’s brutality.

4. Reproduce Israeli slanders against any and all international human rights leaders and organizations that condemn the Jewish state’s policy of genocide against the native Palestinians. In this regard, TDA is the foremost ‘genocide denier’ in the United States and, perhaps outside of Israel, in the world.

5. Repeatedly cite Israeli political and military leaders’ claims of acting ‘with restraint’, ‘safeguarding civilians’, and ‘targeting military objectives’, even in the face of reports and images of mass civilian destruction and loss of life documented in the vast majority of (non-US) Western media.

6. Defend every Israeli bombing mission, every day, every hour, of every building, every home, and every economic, religious and educational institution in Gaza as ‘defensive’ or a ‘reprisal’, all the while quoting some of the most notorious, unconditional, perennial apologists of Israeli violence as if they were unbiased intellectuals, including Benny ‘Nuke Tehran’ Morris, Marty Peretz and Amos Oz.

7. The Daily Alert quotes US writers, journalists and editors who praise and defend Israel’s ‘total war’ without identifying their long-standing affiliation and identification with Zionist organizations, giving the false image of a wide spectrum of opinion behind the assault. Never has even the most moderate Jewish or Gentile critic of Israel’s massive extermination campaign appeared in any issues of The Daily Alert.

The principle American Jewish organizations have bombarded the US Congress, influencing, intimidating and purchasing the craven so-called ‘representatives’ of the American people, the media and public notables with lies in defense of Israel’s total war to exterminate a people. Their public, brazen, open complicity in genocide can be considered crime against humanity: The willful promotion of acts of a state designed to destroy an entire people.

And yet these willing accomplices, these ‘willing executioners’ of state mass murder go uncontested within the US political class. One of their leading mouthpieces in the incoming Obama Administration, Chief Presidential Adviser David Axelrod, even cites an Obama campaign speech defending Israeli assaults on the people of Gaza.

Israel arrogantly repudiates all calls to end this mass murder, because Israel knows that ‘its people’ are still in control of US policy toward the Middle East and will use their power in the new president’s administration to block any condemnation of this crime.

To date the entire human rights and anti-war movements have failed to even mention, let along challenge, the most powerful propaganda and political organizations, which influence US policy and manipulate the mass media in favor of Israel’s extermination campaign. They will play no restraining role on Israel’s totalitarian policies as long as its principle US backers are free to lie, manipulate and defend each and every crime.

There is little hope for an independent US Congressional policy as long as Israel’s war of extermination in Gaza can be defended by the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (and Zionist zealot) Congressman Howard Berman in the following terms: “Israel has a right, indeed a duty, to defend itself in response to the hundreds of rockets and mortars fired from Gaza over the past week. No government in world would sit by and allow its citizens to be subjected to this kind of indiscriminate bombardment. The loss of innocent life is a terribly tragedy and the blame for that tragedy lies with Hamas.” Thus Congressman Berman cynically omits the 2 years of Israel’s embargo, the daily ‘targeted’ assassinations of Palestinians, the ‘targeted’ missile attacks against civilians, the land, sea and air blockades and the blatant ‘targeted’ destruction of the infrastructure of Gaza. No government, indeed a democratically elected Islamist government, can stand by while its people are starved and murdered into submission. But according to the respected Congressmen Bermans of the world, only the lives of Jews matter, not the growing thousands of murdered, dismembered and mutilated citizens of Gaza – they do not count as people!

Naqs said...

May the following illustrates further point no.4

Qur-an 2:11) When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth", they say: "Why, we only want to make peace!"


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Israel's righteous fury and its victims in Gaza

January 04, 2009 By Ilan Pappe
Source: The Electronic Intifada

Ilan Pappe's ZSpace Page


(2 January 2009) -- My visit back home to the Galilee coincided with the genocidal Israeli attack on Gaza. The state, through its media and with the help of its academia, broadcasted one unanimous voice -- even louder than the one heard during the criminal attack against Lebanon in the summer of 2006. Israel is engulfed once more with righteous fury that translates into destructive policies in the Gaza Strip. This appalling self-justification for the inhumanity and impunity is not just annoying, it is a subject worth dwelling on, if one wants to understand the international immunity for the massacre that rages on in Gaza.

It is based first and foremost on sheer lies transmitted with a newspeak reminiscent of darker days in 1930s Europe. Every half an hour a news bulletin on the radio and television describes the victims of Gaza as terrorists and Israel's massive killings of them as an act of self-defense. Israel presents itself to its own people as the righteous victim that defends itself against a great evil. The academic world is recruited to explain how demonic and monstrous is the Palestinian struggle, if it is led by Hamas. These are the same scholars who demonized the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in an earlier era and delegitimized his Fatah movement during the second Palestinian intifada.

But the lies and distorted representations are not the worst part of it. It is the direct attack on the last vestiges of humanity and dignity of the Palestinian people that is most enraging. The Palestinians in Israel have shown their solidarity with the people of Gaza and are now branded as a fifth column in the Jewish state; their right to remain in their homeland cast as doubtful given their lack of support for the Israeli aggression. Those among them who agree -- wrongly, in my opinion -- to appear in the local media are interrogated, and not interviewed, as if they were inmates in the Shin Bet's prison. Their appearance is prefaced and followed by humiliating racist remarks and they are met with accusations of being a fifth column, an irrational and fanatical people. And yet this is not the basest practice. There are a few Palestinian children from the occupied territories treated for cancer in Israeli hospitals. God knows what price their families have paid for them to be admitted there. The Israel Radio daily goes to the hospital to demand the poor parents tell the Israeli audience how right Israel is in its attack and how evil is Hamas in its defense.

There are no boundaries to the hypocrisy that a righteous fury produces. The discourse of the generals and the politicians is moving erratically between self-compliments of the humanity the army displays in its "surgical" operations on the one hand, and the need to destroy Gaza for once and for all, in a humane way of course, on the other.

This righteous fury is a constant phenomenon in the Israeli, and before that Zionist, dispossession of Palestine. Every act whether it was ethnic cleansing, occupation, massacre or destruction was always portrayed as morally just and as a pure act of self-defense reluctantly perpetrated by Israel in its war against the worst kind of human beings. In his excellent volume The Returns of Zionism: Myths, Politics and Scholarship in Israel, Gabi Piterberg explores the ideological origins and historical progression of this righteous fury. Today in Israel, from Left to Right, from Likud to Kadima, from the academia to the media, one can hear this righteous fury of a state that is more busy than any other state in the world in destroying and dispossessing an indigenous population.

It is crucial to explore the ideological origins of this attitude and derive the necessary political conclusions form its prevalence. This righteous fury shields the society and politicians in Israel from any external rebuke or criticism. But far worse, it is translated always into destructive policies against the Palestinians. With no internal mechanism of criticism and no external pressure, every Palestinian becomes a potential target of this fury. Given the firepower of the Jewish state it can inevitably only end in more massive killings, massacres and ethnic cleansing.

The self-righteousness is a powerful act of self-denial and justification. It explains why the Israeli Jewish society would not be moved by words of wisdom, logical persuasion or diplomatic dialogue. And if one does not want to endorse violence as the means of opposing it, there is only one way forward: challenging head-on this righteousness as an evil ideology meant to cover human atrocities. Another name for this ideology is Zionism and an international rebuke for Zionism, not just for particular Israeli policies, is the only way of countering this self-righteousness. We have to try and explain not only to the world, but also to the Israelis themselves, that Zionism is an ideology that endorses ethnic cleansing, occupation and now massive massacres. What is needed now is not just a condemnation of the present massacre but also delegitimization of the ideology that produced that policy and justifies it morally and politically. Let us hope that significant voices in the world will tell the Jewish state that this ideology and the overall conduct of the state are intolerable and unacceptable and as long as they persist, Israel will be boycotted and subject to sanctions.

But I am not naive. I know that even the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinians would not be enough to produce such a shift in the Western public opinion; it is even more unlikely that the crimes committed in Gaza would move the European governments to change their policy towards Palestine.

And yet, we cannot allow 2009 to be just another year, less significant than 2008, the commemorative year of the Nakba, that did not fulfill the great hopes we all had for its potential to dramatically transform the Western world's attitude to Palestine and the Palestinians.

It seems that even the most horrendous crimes, such as the genocide in Gaza, are treated as discrete events, unconnected to anything that happened in the past and not associated with any ideology or system. In this new year, we have to try to realign the public opinion to the history of Palestine and to the evils of the Zionist ideology as the best means of both explaining genocidal operations such as the current one in Gaza and as a way of pre-empting worse things to come.

Academically, this has already been done. Our main challenge is to find an efficient to explain the connection between the Zionist ideology and the past policies of destruction, to the present crisis. It may be easier to do it while, under the most terrible circumstances, the world's attention is directed to Palestine once more. It would be even more difficult at times when the situation seems to be "calmer" and less dramatic. In such "relaxed" moments, the short attention span of the Western media would marginalize once more the Palestinian tragedy and neglect it either because of horrific genocides in Africa or the economic crisis and ecological doomsday scenarios in the rest of the world. While the Western media is not likely to be interested in any historical stockpiling, it is only through a historical evaluation that the magnitude of the crimes committed against the Palestinian people throughout the past 60 years can be exposed. Therefore, it is the role of an activist academia and an alternative media to insist on this historical context. These agents should not scoff from educating the public opinion and hopefully even influence the more conscientious politicians to view events in a wider historical perspective.

Similarly, we may be able to find the popular, as distinct from the high brow academic, way of explaining clearly that Israel's policy -- in the last 60 years -- stems from a racist hegemonic ideology called Zionism, shielded by endless layers of righteous fury. Despite the predictable accusation of anti-Semitism and what have you, it is time to associate in the public mind the Zionist ideology with the by now familiar historical landmarks of the land: the ethnic cleansing of 1948, the oppression of the Palestinians in Israel during the days of the military rule, the brutal occupation of the West Bank and now the massacre of Gaza. Very much as the Apartheid ideology explained the oppressive policies of the South African government, this ideology -- in its most consensual and simplistic variety -- allowed all the Israeli governments in the past and the present to dehumanize the Palestinians wherever they are and strive to destroy them. The means altered from period to period, from location to location, as did the narrative covering up these atrocities. But there is a clear pattern that cannot only be discussed in the academic ivory towers, but has to be part of the political discourse on the contemporary reality in Palestine today.

Some of us, namely those committed to justice and peace in Palestine, unwittingly evade this debate by focusing, and this is understandable, on the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) -- the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Struggling against the criminal policies there is an urgent mission. But this should not convey the message that the powers that be in the West adopted gladly by a cue from Israel, that Palestine is only in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and that the Palestinians are only the people living in those territories. We should expand the representation of Palestine geographically and demographically by telling the historical narrative of the events in 1948 and ever since and demand equal human and civil rights to all the people who live, or used to live, in what today is Israel and the OPT.

By connecting the Zionist ideology and the policies of the past with the present atrocities, we will be able to provide a clear and logical explanation for the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions. Challenging by nonviolent means a self-righteous ideological state that allows itself, aided by a mute world, to dispossess and destroy the indigenous people of Palestine, is a just and moral cause. It is also an effective way of galvanizing the public opinion not only against the present genocidal policies in Gaza, but hopefully one that would prevent future atrocities. But more importantly than anything else it will puncture the balloon of self-righteous fury that suffocates the Palestinians every times it inflates. It will help end the Western immunity to Israel's impunity. Without that immunity, one hopes more and more people in Israel will begin to see the real nature of the crimes committed in their name and their fury would be directed against those who trapped them and the Palestinians in this unnecessary cycle of bloodshed and violence.

Ilan Pappe is chair in the Department of History at the University of Exeter.

tamdalyell said...

"We had fought wars to end all wars. The first and second world wars were billed as such. After killing more than 70 million people, maiming many millions more, razing innumerable towns and cities to the ground, we still have wars, we still have no peace"

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
Prime Minister Of Malaysia 1981-2003.