By Tariq A. Al-Maeena
Jan 4, 2017
Every time I see world figures solemnly commemorate victims of the terrorism of Daesh (the self-proclaimed IS), I want to shout out loud about another series of terrorist activities that has been going on before our eyes for almost seven decades.
That terrorism has been orchestrated by none other than the descendants of the Holocaust, who today form the Israeli government. Israeli occupation forces have been systematically murdering and maiming the innocent in Palestine for more than 60 years.
News about the crimes that Hitler committed against various groups during World War II did not travel very fast, as in those days there were no instantaneous broadcasts of live pictures and film illustrating the viciousness of the Nazi occupation. There was no international condemnation during those atrocities.
Today, we cannot forgive ourselves for keeping quiet. And we cannot be selective. Who can forget the tragic image of a father shielding his eight-year-old son, as Israeli forces callously shot him dead while the cameras were running? Or the image of Rachel Corrie, an American from Seattle who defiantly stood in the face of Israeli bulldozers, only to be violently crushed to death by the Caterpillar’s blades?
Or the images of an eight-year-old girl shot in the head by an Israeli sniper out for target practice? Or of two children, one eight and the other 10 years old, who were slaughtered as they were playing outside their homes? Or four Palestinian children playing by the sea and mercilessly shot down by Israeli aircraft while Israeli civilians vocally expressed their glee? All this at the hands of Benjamin Netanyahu who, like his predecessor Ariel Sharon, is a man with war crimes coursing through his soul, and with no obvious intention to seek peace.
Does no one wonder about a monstrous and illegitimate wall being built in and around Palestinian land? In the face of objections from some quarters around the world, Israel continues to go ahead. Is this what you would expect as a peaceful overture from a government that does not hesitate to remind the world of the Holocaust, but continues to disregard most international calls for restraint?
From the killing fields of Sabra and Shatila in the 1980s, to the documented cases of ethnic cleansing in Jericho, in Jenin, in Bethlehem and a host of towns and villages across Palestine, the cries for justice ring hollow in the minds of Netanyahu and his henchmen, as they continue to remind the world of the first Holocaust and demand collective guilt.
In 2012, Hagit Ofran of the Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now denounced Netanyahu’s government for encouraging and legitimizing new settlements “in a deceitful way.” She said, “The Israeli government is proving its true policy, that instead of going for peace it is building new settlements. This is the first time since 1990 that the government of Israel decides on establishing new settlements, and the government›s maneuver, of establishing a committee to establish the settlements, is a trick aimed at hiding the true policy from the public. All the years these outposts weren›t legal, the state said they aren›t for real, and now they suddenly are.”
Noted American author and icon Noam Chomsky added his own thoughts. An 88-year-old Jew and an individual who had lived through the Holocaust of World War II, Chomsky said, “I thought 40 years ago and I think today that people who call themselves supporters of Israel are, in fact, supporting its moral degeneration, its increased international isolation and possibly its ultimate destruction.
“I think these policies are suicidal and immoral. For the past 40 years, Israel has pursued a policy very consciously of preferring expansion rather than security,” he asserted.
A prominent Israeli journalist who had previously worked for the right-wing Jerusalem Post admitted that his country had indeed become an “apartheid” state. Bradley Burston said, “I used to be one of those people who took issue with the label of apartheid as applied to Israel. I was one of those people who could be counted on to argue that, while the country’s settlement and occupation policies were anti-democratic and brutal and slow-dose suicidal, the word apartheid did not apply.
“I’m not one of those people any more. Not after the last few weeks. Not after terrorists firebombed a West Bank Palestinian home, annihilating a family, murdering an 18-month-old boy and his father, burning his mother over 90 percent of her body – only to have Israel’s government rule the family ineligible for the financial support and compensation automatically granted Israeli victims of terrorism, settlers included.”
Daesh draws a lot of publicity and vocal condemnation and rightly so in its terror activities against civilians, and yet the world remains mysteriously silent about the daily state-sponsored terrorist activities of the Israeli government against the Palestinian people in which human lives are lost.
Are we missing something here? What is the difference? Daesh and Israel appear to be of the same mold.