An astonishing piece by Henry Siegman, at the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center, goes further than this Jewish leader, who escaped the Holocaust himself, has gone before. Siegman categorically defends the right of resistance for a subject people exposed to the violence of occupiers in occupied lands and says Palestinians may exercise the same right of resistance exercised by Jewish people in the 1940s. He uses the words “Dresden” and “incineration” to describe the destruction of Gaza, and then explicitly likens Netanyahu’s ideology of Jewish exceptionalism to the ideology of the Nazis.
Siegman’s argument about the right of resistance of a people told their “subjugation is permanent”:
An occupying power is under obligation in international law to do two things: to end the occupation, and until it does so, to protect the population under its occupation.
Israel is in blatant violation of both of these obligations. The security threats to its own citizens it invokes to justify its assaults which regularly result in the killing of far more Palestinian non-combatants than militants are triggered by its occupation. An occupied people told by its occupiers its subjugation is permanent, and that they will never be allowed to exercise the right to national self-determination and sovereign existence on territories recognized by the international community as their rightful patrimony, has every right to resort to resistance, including violent resistance, to achieve its freedom, for they are reacting to the violence that is keeping them illegally under occupation. It is a right exercised by the Jewish people when their own struggle for statehood was challenged.
Here he speaks of the Nakba and the hypocrisy of the liberal Zionists who say that it was justified to create Israel, but offer no such immunity to Palestinians seeking self-determination today:
The war crimes committed by Israel’s armed forces during its War of Independence have been documented by Benny Morris in his book Righteous Victims, and more recently by Ari Shavit in his book My Promised Land. Both argue that because there would have been no Jewish state without these crimes (an unproven and doubtful claim), they must be accepted as a necessary evil. It is a dispensation that neither author, nor Israelis in general, are prepared to extend to Palestinians still struggling for their people’s independence and statehood.
Here he says that messianic Zionism recalls Nazi ideology:
Too many Israelis seem to believe they have a God-given right to occupy, suppress, disenfranchise and displace non-Jews—particularly Arabs—in Israel. That right seems to be implied in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence that Palestinians affirm the State of Israel as the historic homeland of the Jewish people…
That belief may also account for the fact that adherents to a Jewish religious tradition that stresses the sanctity of human life and man’s creation in the image of the divine react so callously to the destruction of innocents, as Israelis have, 80 to 90 percent of whom have approved Israel’s incineration of so many of Gaza’s non-combatant population. It seems not to have occurred to them that this sense of special entitlement that characterizes their behavior resonates an ideology that led to the Holocaust even as they invoke the memory of the Holocaust in justification of measures they say are intended to prevent its recurrence.
Of all democracies in the world, Israel is probably the only one in which a member of its parliament, Ayelet Shaked, who publicly advocates genocide of the residents of Gaza, has not been expelled from her political party, Habayit Hayehudi, or from Israel’s parliament…
Here he describes Israel’s growing isolation and the prison that it has built for Palestinians in the name of two-state solution, entailing ethnic cleansing and apartheid. Notice that he repeats the word “incinerate” and says that the memory of that incineration will keep Palestinians from accepting subjugated status.
Now that Israel is faced with a rising wave of orldwide outrage—yet to reach its apogee—as the true scope of the killing and destruction wrought by Israeli forces in Gaza is being exposed, Netanyahu again finds it expedient to describe Abbas as a peace partner who can be relied upon by Israel to serve as gatekeeper for the prison in which the victims of Israel’s latest “lawn mowing,” both living and dead, are interred. …
He is counting on the Palestinians and the international community’s frustration and despair over a two-state outcome to enable Israel to proceed with unilateral measures that create disconnected Palestinian enclaves and the annexation to Israel of much of the West Bank. It is an arrangement, he believes, that would enable Israel to escape the stain of apartheid by granting nominal “full citizenship” to the few Palestinians remaining in the areas annexed to Israel.
But he is mistaken; it will not happen. Too many Palestinian mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters have seen their loved ones incinerated to allow Israel to escape the consequences of its ethnic cleansing and the resulting apartheid.