Can we really? In our name, horrors are committed, supposedly so that we would be able to “sleep well at night”. To have a “safe haven”, while others are uprooted from their homes, maimed and killed for protesting the injustice.
We constantly downplay this horror, because looking it in the eye means not only scrutinizing Israeli policy, but its very existence as a “Jewish state”. It means to scrutinize Zionism, and so few want to do that.
This is really what is looking at us through the fences at the Great March of Return. Sure, many want to frame it as “terrorist”, not because of the actions, but because of the notion – the notion of “return” is for Zionists synonymous with “destruction” and “denial of our right to exist” – as a “Jewish state”, that is.
This is why Zionists (that’s really another name for Israeli apologists), fear this notion so much. It’s not because they are threatening to “infiltrate the border”. We don’t have a border to Gaza because we never delineated it, so they can’t infiltrate it. What we have is a massive outdoor prison fence perimeter. And we don’t want those prisoners to remind us that we threw them there and threw away the key.
And Zionists love to be cynical about Palestinian rights. “Oh, how unrealistic”, they go. “Can’t they just accept their defeat?”.
But this is not really a war as such. It’s an ethnic cleansing, it’s Apartheid – and you know what it’s all part of? Colonialism.
Oh, let’s not pretend. Every Zionist knows deep in their hearts, that not only were the Palestinians expelled as an act of ethnic cleansing, but that the denial of their return is a present and active confirmation of that ethnic cleansing, which every Zionist is today and now an ideological active part of. To be a Zionist, is to be an ethnic cleanser. It’s a horrible logic, and probably offensive to most ‘liberal-Zionists’ because of its language, but that’s what it is.
Calling the return of Palestinians “unrealistic” is like the Apartheid regime calling appropriation of equal rights “unrealistic”. In fact, that’s exactly what it is. We are supposed to believe, that maintaining Apartheid is “realistic”. To whom, might we ask. And what merit does this “realism” really have?
That’s why many Israelis are often amused by cynical “humor” about the horrors they inflict. It reduces them to a level that they don’t have to deal with morally. A prime example of it is when Israeli Air Force Chief Dan Halutz was asked about the assassination of Hamas Military Chief Salah Shehadeh in Gaza, 2002. The assassination involved a one-ton bomb dropped upon a residential building. In addition to Shehadeh and his aide, the “collateral” was 13 civilians, including eight children, and many dozens wounded. In a discussion of the morality of such an act, Halutz was asked what he felt. His answer:
“No. That is not a legitimate question and it is not asked. But if you nevertheless want to know what I feel when I release a bomb, I will tell you: I feel a light bump to the plane as a result of the bomb’s release. A second later it’s gone, and that’s all. That is what I feel.”
Halutz later became Chief of Staff, and a much later probe into the event concluded (2011), of course, that the act was “imperative”, “justified” and “lawful”.
See, that’s how we sleep tight at night. It’s because we don’t feel, and it’s not legitimate to do so. Oh, yes, we can feel for “our own”, so much feeling. But those “others” are basically just terrorists, in some way and form.
And it’s all part of that great big paradigm – “defending ourselves”, because of our “right to exist”. We are not merely defending ourselves as individual people. The bigger picture is always the Jewish State – always. Israel is thus doing this on behalf of all Jews, by its own proclamation – in order to secure them a “safe haven”, an “insurance policy”. This is what it’s about. This is where it all stems from. The rest is commentary.
And for this colonialist construct to exist – Israel continually ethnically cleanses Palestinians – and this happens in all denominations of the territories under the control of Israel – not only in territories it occupied in 1967. It continually subjugates them, besieges them, and inflicts upon them an incremental genocide in various forms and levels. Any dissent to this is deemed “incitement”, any resistance generally seen as “terrorism”.
Israel cannot stop doing this, because the human nature is to resist such injustice, and in order to crush that resistance you need to apply violence. Of course, the resistance itself is labelled “violence”, in order to justify the violent blow against it.
Many ‘liberal Zionists’ have believed that this is possible to solve by simply addressing 1967 as the starting point of it all, and provide remedy accordingly – two states. But the nationalist thrust of Zionism would not allow this. It was never in the cards anyway, as the 1967 conquest was not made for the purpose of a “2-state solution”, but rather for “finishing the job” of 1948 – the conquest of all of historical Palestine.
The ‘liberal Zionists’ somehow believed that if 1948 was forgotten and put away, a fictive start with 1967, without an actual return of refugees and with “less than a state” for Palestinians might, somehow, legitimize the original massive ethnic cleansing of 1948. But this was unrealistic – not because Palestinians wouldn’t concede to a ‘2-state solution’ (in fact, they did, long before Israel became ostensibly willing to negotiate it) – it was unrealistic because no Israeli leader would give up control over Palestinians, in order to maintain ‘options’ for the future, under the notion of ‘security’, of course.
And ironically, the Israeli colonialist dominance has also basically eradicated any remaining pretense and facade, laying on the ground bare a reality of a one state – what Zionists really always wanted and dreamed of. But that state can only be ‘Jewish’ by Apartheid – as was and is the case also in the 1948 paradigm.
So the people across the fence in the Great March of Return, they are merely a mirror to this. Their presence near the fence is a gigantic mirror, saying not only “we are still here”, but ” this is who you are”. And Israel wants to shatter that mirror, so it sends hundreds of snipers to shatter it. And every attempt to shatter it shatters another life. And the mirror only grows stronger.
Oh, how Israel hates that mirror. Away with it! Who is the most beautiful of them all? And the most moral? Israel! Only Israel!
The ‘Jewish State’ is only an image. In reality it is the colonialist Apartheid genocidal state. And it proclaims itself as the representative of all Jews all over the world, existing for our behalf, as it were.
All Jews should consider whether they can bear possessing such a mirror for their narcissistic self-image, while it tears apart Palestinian existence and has done for over 70 years.
And the alternative, smart guy, you ask? Justice, freedom, equality. Unrealistic you say? They said the same in South Africa only a few decades ago.