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The only remaining hope in Gaza is knowing this nightmare can be brought to an end

Opinion
on 29 Comments

The latest round of alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza has resulted in a new massacre in the besieged Gaza Strip. Thirty-four people including four families and eight children were murdered as they slept in their own houses within 48 hours. More than 100 have been critically injured. The scenes of the amputated bodies of the Abu Malhous family are etched into our psyche for generations to come. We will tell our remaining children about this heinous massacre the same way our parents and grandparents told us about the Deir Yassin massacre.

But will this nightmare come to an end?  

One question foreign journalists keep asking me is about Israel’s endgame, its strategy after keeping Gaza on life support since 2007? I assume black South African were never asked about the apartheid regime’s endgame and strategy, or African-Americans about the motives behind the infamous Jim Crow Laws. But, we Palestinians are cursed with the need to respond to this kind of question about the oppressor’s grand motives behind torturing, occupying and even killing us. We, after all, are the victims of Western enlightenment! 

Right from the beginning, Israel’s policy toward Gaza has been genocidal, no matter whether this happens at a fast rate (three massive wars on Gaza within a period of five years,) or in slow motion, as embodied in the imposed medieval blockade. Gaza is an open-air prison; two-thirds of its inmates are refugees entitled to their right of return in accordance with UN resolution 194. They are a constant reminder of the original sin committed in 1948. Israel wants to punish them for their resistance, for not being subservient subjects, and make them give up on their internationally guaranteed right of return. 

The right of return is the theme of our grand narrative, one apartheid Israel feels the need to completely eradicate. Add to this the fact that the Gaza Strip has been the cradle of Palestinian resistance against Israel’s multi-tiered system of oppression, namely occupation, colonization, and apartheid. 

Forget about Benjamin Netanyahu’s need to solve his domestic problems with his arch rival Benny Katz, and his intention to divert the attention of the Israeli public from charges of corruption and abuse of power raised against him. That was not the case in 2009, 2012 and 2014. This, in fact, is an unchanging policy toward native Palestinians, one that is not unlike any other settler-colony. 

Once again, we Palestinians have to be clear about what we want. As many of us have argued, we have given up on the official bodies of the international community to condemn these heinous crimes and act to put an end to them within the foreseeable future. Instead, we count on civil society organizations and freedom-loving people to act in any possible way to put pressure on their governments to end diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel and institute sanctions against it for all these war crimes and crimes against humanity.  

Is it an exaggeration to say that we are extremely appalled by the complicit silence of the international community, including the Arab and Islamic world? The international community by and large for generations has failed the Palestinian people. This is why we, Palestinian civil society, prefer to address international civil society organizations to take whatever step however small to show their support for Palestine and rejection of Israeli genocidal war crimes and crimes against humanity by demanding from their governments to sanction the only remaining apartheid state until it complies with international law. It worked against the inhumane apartheid regime in the second half of last century and ultimately led to its demise in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela as the first African president of multi-racial South Africa, and the creation of a new secular democratic state for all of its citizens regardless of race, gender, and ethnicity.

This is the only remaining hope we are nurturing these days, knowing very well that the nightmare can be brought to an end. 

Haidar Eid

Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza's al-Aqsa University. He has written widely on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including articles published at Znet, Electronic Intifada, Palestine Chronicle, and Open Democracy. He has published papers on cultural Studies and literature in a number of journals, including Nebula, Journal of American Studies in Turkey, Cultural Logic, and the Journal of Comparative Literature.

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29 Responses

  1. Misterioso on November 21, 2019, 9:43 am

    Lest we forget what “Israel’s” stated objective was from the get go regarding its 2005 “disengagement plan” for the occupied Gaza Strip:

    “‘The significance of the [then proposed] disengagement plan [implemented in 2005] is the freezing of the peace process,’ Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Ha’aretz. ‘And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a [U.S.] presidential blessing [i.e. President George Bush] and the ratification of both houses of Congress.’ Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz for the Friday Magazine. ‘The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,’ he said. ‘It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.’” (Top PM Aide: Gaza Plan Aims to Freeze the Peace Process, Ha’aretz, October 6, 2004)

    • Misterioso on November 21, 2019, 1:02 pm

      BREAKING NEWS!!

      How sweet it is!!!

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/21/world/middleeast/netanyahu-corruption-indicted.html?campaign_id=60&instance_id=0&segment_id=18983&user_id=bbd8b8c4d4cadb846d549e3dea58b318®i_id=5378188ing-news

      The New York Times, Nov. 21/19

      “Netanyahu Indicted on Corruption Charges, Throwing His Future Into Doubt”

      “The first prosecution of a sitting Israeli premier deepens the political paralysis in a country that has had two inconclusive elections this year, and may be headed to a third vote.”

      EXERPT:
      JERUSALEM — “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted Thursday on bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges in a set of long-running corruption cases, immediately throwing his political future into doubt and heightening the uncertainty and chaos surrounding Israel’s fitful, yearlong struggle to choose its next leader.”

      • Kay24 on November 21, 2019, 2:25 pm

        Finally the war criminal is held accountable for something (though not for war crimes). Hope he gets plenty of time in a jail cell, which will give him plenty of time to count the number of unarmed civilians that were killed under his orders.

  2. Elizabeth Block on November 21, 2019, 10:47 am

    Someone writing recently (in the Israel Times?) said that if Gazans would give up their dream of returning to their lost homes and settle for making their lives where they are, in Gaza, they could do that.
    Really? Does anyone think Israel would allow Gaza to develop its economy, refrain from bombing factories and farmers’ fields, let Gazans export what they produce and import what they need, travel freely, etc.?
    I don’t think so.
    And I still wonder, and people sometimes ask: Why do the Israelis hate Gaza so much? I can only say – bad conscience. Gaza is full of refugees who fled there (or were dumped there) in 1948, 1956, 1967, etc. Gazans are a living, breathing reminder of the price paid, and who paid it, for what Israel has become.

    • mondonut on November 21, 2019, 11:48 am

      Does anyone think Israel would allow Gaza to develop its economy

      The Israelis absolutely would allow it. Assuming of course the Gazans declared peace with Israel and an end to their claims. Which of course first requires they dispose of Hamas, the other terrorist groups and end their affiliation with Iran.

      • Misterioso on November 21, 2019, 1:00 pm

        @mondonut

        Utter bull crap unworthy of further response!!

        BTW, it’s long since time that you got a real job.
        You’re an utter flop in the Hasbara racket.

  3. mondonut on November 21, 2019, 11:52 am

    Speaking of war crimes, every missile launched at Israeli civilians qualifies. Also, once again, UNGA 194 provides no right of return. And there are few (if any) real refugees in Gaza. Anyone in Gaza who identifies as a Palestinian, is a Palestinian living in Palestine.

    • eljay on November 21, 2019, 12:24 pm

      || mon donut: … And there are few (if any) real refugees in Gaza. … ||

      And yet those few (if any) real refugees are prevented by Israel from returning to their homes and lands in Partition-borders Israel.

      || … Anyone in Gaza who identifies as a Palestinian, is a Palestinian living in Palestine. ||

      And yet those Palestinians in Gaza are prevented by Israel from freely traveling into, out of and throughout Partition-borders Palestine.

      • mondonut on November 21, 2019, 2:22 pm

        @eljay, And yet those Palestinians in Gaza are prevented by Israel from freely traveling into, out of and throughout Partition-borders Palestine.

        Probably because there is no such thing as Partition-borders Palestine. You might as well condemn the Israelis for preventing the Palestinians free access to the land of Westeros. However, the people of Gaza are free to leave through Egypt and go to wherever will have them.

      • eljay on November 21, 2019, 2:46 pm

        || mon donut: Probably because there is no such thing as Partition-borders Palestine. … ||

        Sure there is, donut: Geographic Palestine was partitioned and Israel accepted and was recognized as a state within its / Partition borders. The rest of geographic Palestine – most of which Israel has stolen, occupied and colonized – belongs to Partition-borders Palestine and to the FCoJ.

        || … However, the people of Gaza are free to leave through Egypt and go to wherever will have them. ||

        donut, Egypt is not liable for the unjust and immoral actions of Israel which include preventing Palestinians from freely travelling into, out of and throughout Partition-borders Palestine.

      • mondonut on November 21, 2019, 6:24 pm

        @eljay, Geographic Palestine was partitioned…

        This should be good. Please indicate the exact date of the Partition and please refer to the actual document executed between the two parties involved. Given that the UN General Assembly has no authority to vest territorial rights to either Jews or Arabs, we know that it did not happen with the 1947 resolution. And we know that as the Arabs rejected the 1947 resolution and unlawfully took up arms against Israel instead, that the resolution never became operative in law or fact despite Israel’s expressed willingness to accept it

        And we know it did not happen in the Israeli Declaration of Independence, which identified the GA Resolution as recognition of the natural and historic right of the Jewish people in Palestine. And which repeated the Israelis willingness to accept the partition that never became operative in law or fact.

        So you must know of some other document or treaty signed and executed between the two parties. Please do tell.

      • eljay on November 21, 2019, 8:57 pm

        || mon donut: … This should be good. … ||

        It should.

        But Zionists have never been content to contain their Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacism to within the generous slice of geographic Palestine that was handed to them.

      • mondonut on November 22, 2019, 10:22 am

        @eljay It should.

        That’s all you have to support your fantasy? The Epstein letter? A letter that was fundamentally incorrect in its very first sentence?

      • eljay on November 22, 2019, 12:17 pm

        || mon donut: … That’s all you have to support your fantasy? … ||

        Zionism – the belief that the religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to embrace it the “right” to be supremacists, to have as large as possible a supremacist state and to do “necessary evil” unto others – is the fantasy, and like all supremacist fantasies it’s truly ugly.

        That’s what you have, donut.

        What I have are the facts that a proposal was made to partition geographic Palestine and – at the expense of the region’s indigenous population – Zionists took what was offered to them and have never stopped taking.

      • mondonut on November 22, 2019, 1:09 pm

        @eljay What I have are the facts that a proposal was made to partition geographic Palestine

        That’s correct, it is a fact that a proposal was made. Is it also a fact that despite Israel’s willingness to accept the proposal it was never implemented. Just another of the many missed opportunities by the Palestinians. There was no partition in law or fact and there are no partition borders. Stop the nonsense.

      • eljay on November 22, 2019, 2:31 pm

        || mon donut: … There was no partition in law or fact … ||

        I’m surprised to see a Zionist admit that Palestine was never partitioned, that there was never anything for Zionists to accept and that Israel was built not just on ideological fantasy and lies but on wholesale theft.

        I thank you for your candor, donut. ZioHQ won’t be as impressed.

      • RoHa on November 23, 2019, 1:39 am

        Yes, Eljay. Mondonut has pointed out that the creation of Israel was just a violent land grab, with neither legal not moral justification.

      • mondonut on November 23, 2019, 3:00 pm

        RoHa Mondonut has pointed out that the creation of Israel was just a violent land grab…

        No. I pointed out what the entire world (with the exception of a few oddball outliers) already knows, that although proposed the partition never happened. That Elijay now wants to pretend that was his opinion is laughable.

      • eljay on November 23, 2019, 6:18 pm

        || mon donut: … No. I pointed out what the entire world … already knows, that although proposed the partition never happened. … ||

        Right: There was “no partition in law or fact” of geographic Palestine, so there was never anything for Zionists to accept. The fact that Zionists weren’t given anything means they stole everything. Israel was built not just on ideological fantasy and lies but on the wholesale theft of geographic Palestine.

        I do sincerely thank you for this contribution, donut.

      • RoHa on November 23, 2019, 10:33 pm

        “I pointed out … that although proposed the partition never happened.”

        And thus, inadvertently, that what did happen was an immoral and illegal land grab.

      • echinococcus on November 23, 2019, 10:48 pm

        RoHa,

        The despicable Zionist propaganda device known as the Nut is not only producing more ludicrous material, he is also laying bare the irreconcilable contradictions of pseudo-legalists like Eljay. He clearly acknowledges the historic fact that there was no partition but a worthless proposal and that Zionist presence in Palestine is totally illegitimate without any exception… while still sticking to his recognition of a “right” of the illegitimate Zionist entity within the so-called “Partition borders”. Attempts to square the circle are easier than that. As an internal contradiction in any person’s system it should be enough to drive anyone up the proverbial wall. Eljay, advisedly, never tries to conciliate the two antithetical principles.

      • mondonut on November 24, 2019, 2:27 pm

        @echinococcus The despicable Zionist propaganda device known as the Nut…

        I expected this sort of ad hominem attack from Echi after calling him out on his open embrace of Palestinian war crimes, and his dead-ender opinions of I/P are no surprise to anyone. Suffice to say that I have no square to circle nor internal contradictions. The right of Israel to exist and its legitimacy are no different than any other country that exists, there was no illegal land grab, and I do not subscribe to the racist notion that the land between the river and the sea is for Arabs and Arabs alone.

      • eljay on November 24, 2019, 7:15 pm

        || mon donut: … I have no square to circle nor internal contradictions. … ||

        Of course not, donut. Everything is as your Zionist mind thinks it should be.

        || … there was no illegal land grab … ||

        Sure there was. As you very clearly pointed out*, there was “no partition in law or fact”. Since nothing was offered to Zionists, there was nothing for Zionists to accept. With nothing offered and nothing to accept there was only illegal land grab (and ethnic cleansing and the establishment of a religion-supremacist state and on-going military occupation, colonialism and (war) crimes).

        (*I’m as surprised as you must be by your admission, donut, but I do thank you for it.)

        || … and I do not subscribe to the racist notion that the land between the river and the sea is for Arabs and Arabs alone. ||

        But you do subscribe to the blatantly-supremacist Zionist notion that the religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to embrace it the “right” to have – at the expense of geographic Palestine’s indigenous population – as large as possible a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” between the river and the sea.

      • echinococcus on November 25, 2019, 12:24 am

        “The right of Israel to exist and its legitimacy are no different than any other country that exists, there was no illegal land grab, and I do not subscribe to the racist notion that the land between the river and the sea is for Arabs and Arabs alone.”

        There you are. I rest my case on these pearls of wisdom from the Nut himherself, ie in the subject’s own words, straight from the mule’s mouth so to say.

        That’s even if calling the Nut ” despicable Zionist propaganda device known as the Nut” were “an ad hominem attack” as he proposes. Which of course it ain’t.

    • Misterioso on November 21, 2019, 12:57 pm

      @mondonut

      Sigh

      The right of return was enshrined in international law when the United Nations adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 1948) of which Article 13(2) states: “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country.” The United Nations adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948 (Resolution 217 A III), the day before Resolution 194 was passed. By gaining UN membership Israel agreed to abide by the Declaration’s terms.

      Another important document dealing with human rights, including the right of return, was the Fourth Geneva Convention (12 August 1949) of which Article 49 states “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.” Israel is a signatory to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
      (BTW, The legality and sanctity of the right of return was well demonstrated by the vigorous diplomatic and military efforts on the part of Western powers to ensure the return of refugees in Bosnia, Kosovo and East Timor.)

      As the Palestinian refugees’ right of return is an “inalienable” human right, under no circumstances can it be renounced by their leadership. It can only be surrendered on an individual basis. Indeed, it is not only the legal right of Palestinian refugees to insist on their right of return, it is their duty.

      Resolution 273: “Recalling [Resolutions 181 and 194] and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by [Israel]…in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions, the General Assembly… decides to admit Israel into membership in the United Nations.” Israel is the only state admitted to the UN on the condition that specific resolutions would be implemented.

      Over the years several UN resolutions have been passed affirming the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. One of the most important is General Assembly Resolution 3236 (22 November 1974) which acknowledges that all those made refugees since 1947 have an inalienable right to return. Paragraph 1 refers to the national inalienable rights of “the Palestinian people” and paragraph 2 provides that the General Assembly “[r]eaffirms also the inalienable rights of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return.”

      Mandatory UN Security Council Resolution 605 (22 December 1987) reaffirmed that all Palestinian refugees, including those of the 1947-48 conflict, have an inalienable right to return to their homes. Resolution 605 refers to “the inalienable rights of all peoples recognized by the Charter of the United Nations and proclaimed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

      BTW, there are thousands of Palestinian refugees and their descendants living in the occupied Gaza Strip, who were ethnically cleansed from Palestine by Zionist troops in 1948, including many of the 75,000 dispossessed and driven out by force of arms from Jaffa.

      • mondonut on November 21, 2019, 2:17 pm

        Misterioso, Sigh…

        – The UDHR is not a legally binding treaty. Although subsequently serving as the foundation of much international human rights laws, it is itself nothing more than a moral guideline.

        – Once again, UNGA creates no rights. GA resolutions never do, for anyone.

        – Israel did not agree to abide by UNGA 194 as a condition of UN membership. I have no idea why you persist in this nonsense. The phrase “taking note of the declarations and explanations” is where the UN took note of the Israelis saying no to that.

        – The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 was not retroactive to 1948, and dealt with international conflict and of the territory of a High Contracting Party. None of that applies.

        – UNGA 3236, another GA resolution that means nothing legally.

        – UN Security Council Resolution 605 has nothing to say about the RoR, it does not make the UDHR binding, not does it make anything retroactive to 1948.

        – And finally, persons who identify as citizens of a state, who are living within what they consider their state, such as Palestinians living in Palestine – are not refugees.

    • echinococcus on November 21, 2019, 5:52 pm

      The Nutt os still living in a hyper-protected environment.
      No, when you start a war of aggression and extermination, acts of war of any kind directed at the aggressor do not count as war crimes. Stop the war and get out if you don’t like it (you sound as you didn not like it.)

      • mondonut on November 21, 2019, 8:27 pm

        @echinococcus , acts of war of any kind directed at the aggressor do not count as war crimes.

        Echi is showing his true colors here. There is no such thing as war crimes when the violence is directed at the Israelis. Anything goes and he approves.

  4. Ossinev on November 22, 2019, 1:41 pm

    @Mondonut
    Are you falling asleep over your scipt or is it simply a case of not being able to find an approved Hasbarised answer. Once again a straightforward question – do you favour two states or a single state between the Jordan and the Med. ? Remember the “I favour peace” distraction is not an answer.

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