Israel's war is against all Palestinians

Palestinians were being massacred and turned into refugees by Zionists decades before Hamas was even thought of.

Israel's war is against the Palestinian people as a whole – in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank as well as Gaza. Why does a supposedly civilised state commit such horrendous acts of inhumanity, in defiance of international law and natural justice? Why doesn't the Security Council meet to both condemn this insane ideologically-driven Israeli barbarity and vote to impose sanctions until it stops? The answer is complicity. This complicity takes different forms. The Pentagon admits that Israel was allowed to draw from a local US arms stockpile in the past week to re-supply it with grenades and mortar rounds. British political leaders speak lamely of Israel's right to defend itself while never, at any time, acknowledging that same right to captive Palestinians. Other supporters of Israel fall silent or mouth platitudes as the outrage grows.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) reports that this past weekend, “Israeli soldiers killed 3 Palestinians as the West Bank erupted in mass protests beyond anything seen in years, while some 7000 anti-war protesters in Tel Aviv were taunted with chants like 'Death to Arabs', and worse.” Where does this racism come from? Ultimately it is Zionism, the founding ideology of Israel, whose aim is to rid the whole of Palestine of all who stand in the way of its territorial ambitions for a 'Greater Israel'. On 11 July 2014, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a press conference in Tel Aviv, making clear Israel's determination never to allow Palestinian self-determination in any part of Palestine. The Times of Israel reported Netanyahu's words as follows “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.”

For many Jewish organisations such as JVP, and individuals around the world, it is the fact that Zionism commits its inhumanities in the name of all Jews that is especially painful. It is extraordinary that the most powerful states and public figures should have so unquestioningly accepted and promoted the Zionist project. In a letter to David Lloyd George in February 1919, Arthur Balfour wrote, “The weak point of our position is of course that in the case of Palestine we deliberately and rightly decline to accept the principle of self-determination”. In a reply to Lord Curzon, Balfour stated flatly that “in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country …. The Four Great Powers are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land”. 'Right or wrong, good or bad', this is a political mind in the grip of an ideology – devoid of both reason and humanity.

The adoption by world powers of this monstrous attitude has led to decades of untold cruelty and injustice and the atrocities we see being enacted today will continue until political Zionism is brought to an end. The Israeli precedent for targeting civilians began with acts of terrorist violence such as the blowing up of the King David Hotel by the Zionist Irgun on 22 July 1946, resulting in the death of 91 people and a further 46 injured. The attack also had the approval of another Zionist terrorist gang, the Haganah. A further example of atrocity practised in the interests of establishing a Zionist state came on the morning of 9 April 1948 when the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a Palestinian village with about 750 residents. The village lay outside of the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the so-called Jewish State. Regardless of UN and international law, Zionism's Plan Dalet decreed that it should be taken, and the Haganah directed the Irgun and the Stern Gang to do the bloody job. Over 100 men, women and children were systematically murdered and 53 orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City of Jerusalem. All this occurred decades before Hamas was even thought of. Sadly, the recent deliberate targeting by Israeli forces of women and children sheltering under the UN flag is symptomatic of a deeply entrenched contempt for the Palestinian people.

The world community has inherited an obligation to restore justice to a betrayed people. As a first step, the Security Council must meet urgently to impose meaningful sanctions on the Zionist state and hold the Israeli leadership to account for its gross violations of international law. Eventually, the only long-lasting solution possible will be the establishment of a Zionism-free, rational, non-discriminatory state for all the people that belong in the small geographical area of Israel/Palestine.

So long as our leaders postpone taking decisive action in defence of the Palestinian people the responsibility will have to remain with the rest of us. Support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) must grow stronger, setting an example to our governments and making Israel's leaders painfully aware of the outrage and disgust that their uncivilised inhumanities engender. In the end they will be held to account.

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