Statehood and Tragedy

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – The Palestinians want the United Nations Security Council to decide on their bid for full membership of the world body within a fortnight, a leading official in the Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday.

Of course the US will veto. Hopefully, this action will at least galvanize peace talks and real negotiations.

But I doubt it. I don’t think the Israelis and their rabid supporters here are going to be satisfied until Israel owns the entire area.

This situation is so sad.

The Palestinians have been abused and persecuted for more than 50 years, thanks to the unilateral decision by the UN and Britain partitioning Israel in 1948 – which basically carved out the State of Israel by forcibly taking the land away from the people who were living on it – which made them homeless – and giving it to some other people, who were refugees and the survivors of Hitler’s Final Solution from all over Europe. These people were Poles, Germans, Italians, Czechs, French, and after the war, a lot of them ended up in refugee camps in Europe and in Cypress.

Because Israel had simply been decreed into existence in the midst of incredibly hostile enemies who had sworn to “wipe them off the map” and “push them into the sea,” Israel had to defend itself from all sides, and they continue to do so. Justifiably.

However, in “defending themselves” the Israelis have also contributed to and even caused the problems that go on today with the original inhabitants of the land.

A vast number of Palestinians – families with children – are still living in refugee camps with no power, no food, no running water or sanitation, no jobs and no hope. The camps are filled with rootless and angry young men and women who see no prospects for the future – only oppression and injustice… which makes the camps perfect breeding grounds for a new generation of terrorists.

The United States has been so blind in its support for Israel that it refuses to even see that Israel has been following in the bloody footsteps of its abuser toward the Palestinians. Any attempt to bring to light the tragic situation of the Palestinian people brings howls of anti-Semitism from the American right. Hamas fires their homemade rockets at Israel, which generally fail to even explode – and this justifies a bombing run by Israeli jets, armed with sophisticated weaponry that makes that little rocket fired by Hamas look like a rock fired from a slingshot. (Please note – I am in no way justifying the firing of rockets by Hamas; I am merely pointing out the vast difference in firepower between each side.)

Have you ever read about the last stand of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto?

If not, you should. The Jews of Warsaw were first walled into the ghetto, then systematically starved (much like the Palestinians have been walled into the camps in Israel), then loaded onto the trains bound for the Treblinka death camp. At first they boarded the trains meekly and voluntarily, wishfully believing the “resettlement” propaganda they were fed by the Nazis.

Eventually, the last Jews who remained in the ghetto figured out what was really happening to those who boarded those trains to Treblinka – and they decided to fight back. They took on the full might of the Nazis with terrorist tactics: snipers, guerilla raids, Molotov cocktails, and suicide missions – because that’s all they had.

The Nazis were terrified of the ghetto; they believed that it was inhabited by ghosts, because the Jews would pop up suddenly out of nowhere – from beneath manhole covers, from the sewers,  jump out from ruined buildings, from roof-lines and empty windows and blast the patrols with homemade bombs or shoot them down with smuggled guns and ammunition and then disappear as quickly and silently as they appeared.

In the end it took the full weight of the Nazi war machine nearly 4 weeks to crush the uprising of approximately 3,000 Jews in an area which encompassed only 1.3 square miles of the city of Warsaw – and to do it, they had to first flood the sewers with poison gas, burn down the remaining buildings, and then bulldoze the entire ghetto to the ground.

Nobody condemed the Jews for being terrorists. Leon Uris wrote a book, “Mila 18,” which tells the story of the fall of the Warsaw Ghetto, a story full of heroism, sacrifice and incredible courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

How can we not see the similarities now…?


5 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks, Leftside Annie. Great post. I, for one, am sick of tired of being accused of antisemitism just because I don’t think the government of Israel is totally in the right 100% of the time..I do not support their so-called “right” to defend themselves against “existential threats” – that just because someone might, at some future date, do something that might harm Israel, that this gives them the right to bomb those people or their facilities today. Preemptive strikes against threats that do not exist or are not imminent are not justifiable.

    The Israeli victory in the Six Day War was due to brilliant intelligence gathering. Egypt had been poised for war and had operated under the assumption that if Israel attacked, they would attack at first light in the morning. So, every day at dawn, they sent out their air forces to patrol the skies. When no Israeli planes were spotted, they flew back to Egypt, and the pilots were back in their homes by 9:30 AM. So the Israelis attacked them at 9:30 AM and wiped out 90% of the Egyptian Air Force on the first strike. As strategies go, it was brilliant, and it led to a quick and decisive victory.

    But it also led to the occupation of land not originally given to them by the rest of the world. Their claim to have a “right” to these lands rests on the idea of the existential threats – that their enemies would use that land to launch attacks on them – and is, to me, a weak argument. By continuing to build settlements in the occupied territories, they are fueling the hate and anger against them. And, frankly, they spit in our faces when they announce these settlements right before a visit to our country. I honestly do not believe that Israel wants to live peacefully with its neighbors. I think you’re right. They won’t be happy until it is all; their territory. Former PM Menachim Begin once said that he wanted to see Israel returned to its Biblical borders. Well, that ain’t ever going to happen any more than the Austro-Hungarian Empire being returned to its last borders.


    • Posted by Leftside Annie on September 24, 2011 at 10:22 am

      Thanks, Wayne. I was somewhat reluctant to publish this post, but I felt I had to.

      Over the years, I have gone from total support of Israel to seeing them as the schoolyard bully.

      Research says that abused children often grow up to be abusers themselves – and, shamefully, Israel has done exactly that.


      • We should never fear criticizing those who deserve criticism. We have a constitutional and moral right to criticize our own government, so why should we have to fear criticizing the government of Israel, or any other country for that matter? And, to avoid giving anyone an excuse to accuse me (wrongfully) of antisemitism, I try to be careful to direct my criticism at their government, and not refer to them as “the Jews”. Frankly, I couldn’t care less how many Israeli citizens are Jewish, my criticism of their government is just that – criticism of their government and the way it governs.

        I am always amazed that candidates for President of the United States, particularly Republican candidates, are free to put down as many American citizens as they want (especially us Liberals), even booing a gay soldier putting his life on the line in a war zone so that they could continue to enjoy their freedom to boo him, but say one thing negative about Israel, and you;re an anti-Semite for life.

  2. Posted by Leftside Annie on September 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    And, what’s even worse is that those clowns are actually taken seriously. They should have either been laughed off the stage – or booed off the stage months ago.


  3. Posted by Lurker111 on September 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    A report today says that Israel has okayed another 1000 living units in Jerusalem. SoS Clinton has denounced this as unhelpful (or whatever the diplo-speak was). What should be said is that, in view of this development, the U.S. is considering voting Abstain on the issue of Palestinian statehood. Pressure for pressure.


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