Written by Ashraf Tantish
Published 2nd June 2009
Source: The Palestine Telegraph
Gaza, June 2, (Pal Telegraph) – Sixty years ago this May, the Zionist movement in Palestine took over seventy-five percent of the country through conquest and transformed it into a Jewish state.
The Palestinian population in the area expelled or terrorized into fleeing , became refugees in the surrounding countries. The Jewish state, known as Israel , was to become a fait accompli.
The Palestinians were then dubbed the “Arab refugees” and were to be settled or resettled in under populated regions of the Arab world .
Israel began to define itself as a state whose quarrel with the Arabs had to do exclusively with post-1948 issues.
The Palestinians, fragmented and leaderless, were seen by the Western world purely as a refuge problem, not a national problem, the West , afflicted with a whole body of racist mythology about the identity of the Palestinians began to view the people of Palestine as a problem that , in time would be resolved in the context of billion dollar loans for resettlement. Surely , a new generation of Palestinians , it was argued, that grew up solely in the Arab countries, will ultimately be assimilated. The Palestinian conflict will be transformed into an inter-state conflict between Israel and the Arab states, having to do with territorial disputes, diplomatic recognition and the rest of it.
The Palestinian , however, sixty years after the dismemberment of their country, or sixty one years after the Belfour declaration, have belied these attempts to deny their existence , to impose settlements over their heads and to reach decisions in the absence of their representatives.
The Palestinian struggle, now as then, in the Gaza Strip and West Bank are known. They are to achieve statehood and freedom and a very democratic Palestine. There will be no recognition of Israel , no coexistence with Zionist apartheid, and no attempt to legitimize Israeli occupation.
In the other words, the struggle of the Palestinian people is identical to any other struggle that confronts settlers-colonialism and apartheid movements in the Third World.
The Zionist movement, like other settler-colonial movements before it has predictably clung to the values and aspiration of arrogant racism: the natives are an inferior people; their land and its resources are fair game for exploitation; and might is right.
Zionism , as we have seen in it action in the past sixty years, and which Palestinians know better than any other people in the world (if for no other reason than they have chafed under it all this time), has had one component to it that separates it from other racist movements. Zionism has never been fixed, and remains, publicly, always undefined in its territorial and political ambitions.
The reason for that is that the Zionists have always taken care not to be committed to aim which are difficult to achieve, or to proclaim certain intentions which may provoke such opposition as to make them unrealizable, accordingly, Zionist ideology developed and crystallized gradually as the Zionists grew in strength and numbers. Whenever any stage during which certain gains were realized came to an end, the ideology itself officially changed and became more clear in its quest for other, broader objectives.
In this regard, consider the territorial of aspect of Zionism. By the 1947 the Zionists, proclaiming that the borders were delineated by the united nations partition plan of that year, represented their final goal of their claims on Palestine as these borders. A year later, after they had conquered another twenty five percent of Palestine in the war of that year, their conquests became non-negotiable.
Between 1948 and 1967, there were no public statements made by Israeli leaders about the West Bank and Gaza as being “biblical Israel”, when these territories were taken over that years. Leftwing and rightwing Zionists immediately began to speak of greater Israel. Today, no one has bothered to ask Netanyahu and his party whether they have changed their political platform regarding the whole of Gaza, West Bank, Syria, and Lebanon being part of great Israel.
Whenever certain Israeli leaders show flexibility( which is rare), as a result of the need to make some gestures to the international community , this does not conceal their continued adherence to the principles of conquest, expansion, terror and racism.
This adherence is neither accidental, tactical nor dictated by existing political conditions, it is rooted profoundly in the ethos of Zionism.