Daily reports highlight what is being done to the Palestinians, riveting narratives of the repressions and violence committed against them. More attention is required to ascertain what can be done for them, preparation of a strategic plan that leads to their liberation.
Chilling to think the Palestinians may be doomed, but active and passive resistance, international protests, UN Declarations, boycotts, divestments, silent sanctions, myriad of articles, sympathetic words, and anger at Israel’s violent repression have not changed the direction of their struggle. Since 1948, the pendulum has swung in one direction, a consistent increase in repression and destruction of the Palestinian community. The Israel government now includes Religious Zionism, which won 15 seats, making it the second largest bloc in the expected ruling coalition. A Wall street Journal report, October 23, 2022, Israel’s Far-Right Itamar Ben-Gvir Poised to Become Political Force, by Dov Lieber and Aaron Boxer, indicates a rapid increase in the destruction.
Mr. Ben-Gvir has told voters that he hopes to make Israelis safer by deporting people who he believes undermine the Jewish state, executing terrorists and giving immunity to Israeli troops and police who shoot and kill Arabs who are seen holding stones or Molotov cocktails, even before they throw them.
Israel has the power to enforce a solution that maintains the security it claims it wants and enable the Palestinians the freedoms and ontological security they need. That power refuses a commitment to justice and replaces peace with pieces. Spurious use of the word “security” is just another means to rationalize the repression. Baseless attacks on Palestinian NGO’s, closing their offices, allowing a record number of 6,000 Jews to visit the flashpoint Haram al-Sharif, and permitting Israeli settlers desecration of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the city of Hebron, “where hundreds of settlers stormed the Ibrahimi Mosque, performed Talmudic rituals, and held a loud concert in its corridors,” are Israel’s latest attempts to deprive Palestinians of attachments to remaining institutions and end their hopes for ontological security. We witness the final elements of an insidious plan, in which the Zionists hope to break the will of the Palestinians and have them choose between leaving a domination that would have assigned them to a ghetto or submitting to a domination that assigns them to a ghetto; a choice between living in exile or slowly dying inside their plundered homeland. Either choice leads to genocide, the decline of the more than 2000 year-old Palestinian community.
Mohammad Abbas and his government are in a no win position, constrained by a military that can enforce its will on any Palestine leadership. International agencies have no political or military force, can only assist Palestine and not desist Israel; the Palestine diaspora, fearful of revenge attacks that can invalidate their status, are restrained; and a sympathetic world community protests but cannot get their governments to act. The United States (US) is the major culprit in support of Israel’s deadly activities, and the United Kingdom (UK) and Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) passively support the destruction. All three nations have refused to use their power to actively contain and reverse the destruction and remain prominent stakeholders in determining the fate of the Palestinians. They have been parties to genocides in the past, and for money, votes, and deception, they are willing participants in another genocide.
For 75 years, reports, articles, and media mention the human rights violations, killings, atrocities, and violence committed by Zionist Israel upon the Palestinian people. The oppression is more than violations of rights and obligations; Israel’s oppressive tactics form a pattern, a calculated attempt at genocide. Knowing it could not physically eliminate the Palestinians, Israel adopted a covert method of genocide, the denial of ontological security, a stable mental state derived from a sense of continuity of events in one’s life.
The severe Israeli repression terrorizes communities, isolates individuals, produces anxiety, institutes immobility, disables breadwinners, and hinders family strength, which creates loss of personal and community identity. Purposeful denial of agriculture, water rights, and fishing rights, willful ruin of cherished olive and orange groves, and interference in acquiring livelihood and employment reduces ontological security and accelerates the deterioration of the Palestinian community. Without laws and leaders to protect them, the Palestinians are victims of genocide.
The uniqueness of the unfolding genocide of the Palestinian people defies comprehension.
- Happening in an age of mass communication and world leaders failing to respond.
- Ongoing for 75 years, day after day, without relief, and no end in sight.
- Obviously planned, not initially, but placed in motion after the oppressors realized they could succeed.
- Foreigners, who could have lived elsewhere and have gained little by living on stolen Palestinian land, are principal protagonists of the genocide.
- An array of disbursed individuals, governments, and institutions, with no benefit to themselves, support and encourage the genocide.
Is it possible that faced with accurate knowledge, democratic people will support the protagonists of genocide?
These discouraging words resonate as a doomsday invitation, as a premonition to the last gasp of an indomitable people. Why? Dedicated people continue extraordinary efforts in fighting the oppression. Despite spectacular growth in acceptance of the Palestinian positions and converts to its cause, the oppression grows stronger and the Israeli juggernaut continues to pulverize the West Bank and Gaza. The exemplary, courageous, and meaningful efforts to combat the oppression are insufficient.
The lack of meaningful response to the misleading PBS documentary, America and the Holocaust, whose contents were reproached in a previous article, PBS Spurious Narrative of America and the Holocaust, signifies the weakness of the Palestinian movement. Activists failed to capitalize on an exceptional opportunity to expose and counter American media’s contrived shaping of American minds and alert Americans of their nation’s participation in the genocide of the Palestinian people.
In review and as talking points:
- An America, that enslaved people, stole lands, fought innumerable wars, and committed genocide of the Native American tribes, does not need attachment to the World War II Holocaust to survey and criticize its past.
- If the purpose of the documentary was to alert Americans to be more vigilant in their duty to assist oppressed peoples in escaping from genocidal actions, why didn’t it discuss contemporary genocides for a contemporary audience?
- The United States has played a direct role, economically, militarily and politically in supporting Israel’s calculated destruction of the Palestinian people. Wouldn’t that be an appropriate genocide to discuss?
- Put it all together and we have the obvious: The documentary has an agenda, which is to have the present and future generations of Americans believe they have committed a grave commission against the Jewish people and owe the Zionists and Israel continuous support in their destruction of the Palestinians, today, tomorrow, and forever.
Countering the spurious documentary and its agenda, in a manner that does not imply lack of recognition of the Holocaust, could solicit support from many groups offended by the insult to Americans’ sacrifices in World War II and PBS’ malicious use of the Holocaust. Showing that the documentary did not respect its own words — “If the time to stop a Holocaust is before it happens” ─ would expose America’s participation in the intended genocide of the Palestinian people.
Not challenging PBS and the documentary’s producers, Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein are major errors. At conferences they represent a few of the thousands of wartime snafus, errors in commission and admission, as a conspiracy against the Jewish people. The childish, immature, and exaggerated performances rival those of the Trump contingent of conspiracy theorists who falsely claim the last US election was stolen.
One example of the many specious comments, “America did do much more than any other nation in admitting Jews, but it could have admitted one million more,” contradicts an earlier comment from Sarah Botstein, “Instead of opening doors (to Jewish refugees), we shut them.” Ken Burns should be asked to specify the location of these one million refugees. Before U.S. entrance into the Second World War, potential Jewish refugees, about 500,000 who were able and eager to leave, came mainly from Germany and Austria and about 80 percent of them managed to find a place of refuge, with the United States taking in the vast majority. In spring 1941, Nazi Germany prevented emigration from its country and from its occupied nations. Escape doors were locked, and America could no longer play a vital role in enabling refugees to leave Europe. After December 7, 1941 and a declaration of war with Germany, U.S. authorities had no means to acquire first-hand information on the impending doom of European Jewry. The U.S. administration juggled rumors, sketchy information, and considerations of what to and how to do it until the Holocaust, which intensified in mid-1942, became completely verified in December 1942. With entire Europe a battleground in 1943 and the concentration camps located in Poland, how could any refugees, let alone one million, be lifted from the camps, travel through wartime Poland to ports, be placed on ships (how do they get to the ports?) and be escorted to America’s shores?
Other discussions that coincide with the PBS documentary arouse suspicions. The emphasis on increasing anti-Semitism and recent rash statements, one of which appeared during a PBS News Hour interview, that Jews are packing their bags and are ready to flee the next onslaught, create the suspicion of an arranged scheme.
Few people absorb details of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reports on the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States. If they did, they will learn that the reports demand attention but do not describe a desperate situation. There have been several murderous attacks in synagogues and, naturally, they create anxiety and feelings of threat. The violence, polarization, and hate in the United States engulf Jews in the same violence that engulfs all Americans and affects all aspects of U. S. society — schools, mosques, Black churches, Catholic churches, offices, and homes. Attacks on Jews are frightening, but not unique, and are a subset of attacks on all of the American public.
ADL reports contain mostly verbal and non-violent abuses. Included in the 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents of the 2018 ADL report are 1,015 instances of subjective harassment. One hundred of the harassment cases were a single spree of bomb threats made against American Jewish institutions. Israel police eventually arrested an Israeli Jewish teenager, who was evidently provoking hatred against fellow Jews to stir up the pot – a usual Mossad trick. Should those one hundred deliberate paddings of the statistics be included in the report? Are there other dubious harassments?
The subjective term “vandalism” accounted for 952 incidents, most of them being the tumbling of cemetery tombstones, which is a national recreation, and posting of Swastika drawings, such as “Swastika in Walgreens bathroom,” and “Nazi flag discovered in housing complex,” which were not specifically directed against Jewish persons. Tombstone vandalism is mainly performed by teenagers and rarely has a direct link to a specific prejudice.
The ADL report has 19 assaults against Jews in 2017 – certainly more than a few one is alarming. The statistic is less alarming when only six were considered as serious, and, of these, two of the more serious were (1) Jewish family harassed at local Target, and (2) A 12-year old boy was attacked on his way home from outside a synagogue after Friday night prayers (no detail of injuries or if attacked because of being Jewish).
Packing of bags in preparation for an immediate onslaught is a bit of a stretch. I understand African-Americans fearing police knocks on their doors, Chinese-Americans fearing the FBI will entangle them in espionage charges, and Palestinian-Americans hesitant to assist their compatriots because they may be accused of helping Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Jews are well protected by laws and institutions — government, private, and fraternal.
Examine these three simultaneous and highly publicized comments on Jewish life in America — rising anti-Semitism, America’s role in the Holocaust, and Jews packing their bags — each of which is controversial, somewhat exaggerated, and, noting their exposition occurring at the same time as increasing violence against the Palestinians, and it is not farfetched to assume all of these are related. The confluence has an agenda, which is the same as previously mentioned, “to have the present and future generations of Americans believe they have committed a grave commission against the Jewish people and owe the Zionists and Israel continuous support in their destruction of the Palestinians, today, tomorrow, and forever.” Supporters of the Palestinians have failed “big time” by not recognizing the need and advantage in countering the unholy trinity of the PBS documentary, false charges of anti-Semitism, and the ridiculous assertion that “Jews are packing their bags.”
Are the Palestinians doomed? Not a satisfactory question to ask and never to be answered in the affirmative. The preferred question is, “What are the recommendations to halt the trajectory toward genocide of the Palestinian people?” Other than BDS, nothing has proved successful; admittedly, it is a difficult task.
Daily reports highlight what is being done to the Palestinians, riveting narratives of the repressions and violence committed against them. More attention is required to ascertain what can be done for them, preparation of a strategic plan that leads to their liberation. Force is proportional to mass; the mass of Palestinian supporters equates to a mighty force. The Palestinians must find a way to harness that mass and direct the accumulated force in a coordinated effort that tells the world, “THIS IS A GENOCIDE,” and pulverizes the genocidal architects. Loud and clear, the Palestinians and their supporters need more decisive actions.
Dan Lieberman edits Alternative Insight, a commentary on foreign policy, economics, and politics. He is author of the non-fiction books A Third Party Can Succeed in America, Not until They Were Gone, Think Tanks of DC, The Artistry of a Dog, and a novel: The Victory (under a pen name)