Whose right to exist?

By portable levantine

You must dehumanise the other to maintain occupation. To achieve and maintain the scale required, dehumanisation must be institutionalised after which the cycle cannot stop and you will logically arrive at the need to obliterate the other.

Israel does not want peace because it cannot exist in peace. Israel and peace is an oxymoron. Israel’s only lifeline is more aggression. Only more aggression can stop the rebound of nature and history.

This is precisely why Israel will not stop its aggressions. It cannot. Israel cannot exist with functioning indigenous nations as neighbours.

The father of Israel understood that very well:

We should prepare to go over to the offensive. Our aim is to smash Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, for the Moslem regime is artificial and easy for us to undermine. We shall establish a Christian state there, and then we will smash the Arab Legion, eliminate Trans-Jordan; Syria will fall to us. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria and Sinai.

David Ben-Gurion May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

Israel does not clearly define its borders because it is in an ever-expanding state:

It’s not a matter of maintaining the status quo. We have to create a dynamic state, oriented towards expansion.

Ben Gurion

In its continued aggression however, Israel ironically marches towards its own demise and with every aggression plants another seed of its own destruction. With every onslaught against Palestinians or their surroundings it ironically brings closer exactly what it wants to evade.

Like a gambler, it cannot stop. It will continue with its gamble towards assured ruin. Israel has demonstrated many times this extraordinary ability for self-ruin.

In 1982 it invaded Lebanon, and Hezbollah, formally came to being shortly thereafter.

In 1992 it killed Hezbollah’s Secretary General, only for one of the greatest leader’s in the region’s history to come in his place.

After 9-11 it campaigned hard for the US to invade and destroy Iraq only to give birth to the popular mobilisation forces.

In 2006 it waged war on Lebanon, only for Hezbollah to emerge victorious and forever dispel the myth of the invincible army.

In 2011 Israel worked hard on the war to destroy Syria, only for the resistance alliance to emerge stronger, more united and with Syria’s place at its centre reinforced, now forming an existential threat to the occupying state.

They worked hard and spared no effort to punish Iran and its people, sabotage a nuclear deal, and push the US toward a destructive war with Iran only for Iran to emerge stronger and pose an even graver threat to Israel.

With the inevitable return of the US to the nuclear deal, Israel will find itself in a much more difficult position than it was 20 years ago: its enemies united and very well prepared for confrontation, and a world that has grown tired of its shameless ethno-nationalism.

Never mind the show of support feigned by politicians and governments; the public, people around the world have had enough and now express their discontent openly and without fear of reprisal.

It is often asked whether Israel has a right to exist. Does it?

Is that the right question?

Can we also ask whether we have a right to exist?

Does Syria deserve to exist? Lebanon? Jordan? Iraq? Iran? Palestine? Yemen?

The alliance that Israel has formed an active and primary member of for the last 70+ years firmly believes that we do not deserve to exist and has worked hard to wipe us of the map: Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen, and simultaneously engages in acts of extraordinary projection.

The Israeli Palestinian conflict is not only a conflict over land, but a much larger conflict over the future and sovereignty over all of Western Asia. You cannot separate the two.

Israel’s main patron, the U.S., simply cannot have sovereign nations, truly sovereign, in the region. Its ability to extract economic value from western Asia cannot allow independence.

So, is this a history of Jews and Palestinians and other Arabs not being friends or is this a history of hegemonic aggression spearheaded by Israel causing havoc?

Every school child knows that there is no such thing in history as a final arrangement — not with regard to the regime, not with regard to borders, and not with regard to international agreements.

Ben Gurion, War Diaries, 12/03/1947 following Israel’s “acceptance” of the U.N. Partition of 11/29/1947 (Simha Flapan, “Birth of Israel,” p.13)

Much of the discourse avoids addressing this issue and returns to talk of a two state solution. It is a very strange and nauseating discourse through which I find many of our own acquiescing to rhetoric that describes a version of the world the west and Israel want to believe in. A space where bourgeois intellectuals are too cowardly to call out Israel for what it is in very clear and simple terms, where only they, a gifted and wise select few, solemnly and bravely understand the profoundness of a dilemma that can be solved by basketball games, orchestras, and ‘love’.

Our own form of political correctness within which you ask to ‘repeat after them’ that ‘Jews and Arabs can be friends’, where you want to make sure the pain and suffering of Palestinians in Gaza is known to Israels, or where you are waiting for them to humanise you, or waiting for ‘water-shed’ moments when Jews and Arabs will finally give each other collective hugs and we can live happily ever after.

This space and this language is not meant to understand and solve problems but to be suspended in intellectual self-congratulation and denial to pacify fighting against Israel. To impose their world vision and define what is the proper resolution ‘we’ need until their next act of aggression. Though an upper-class, privileged man, Edward Said masterfully described this space. But more importantly he ultimately engaged in the truest and most effective form of liberation scholarship and resistance:

He picked up a rock and threw it at the occupation.

We are fortunate that the future of Palestine and the region is not in the hands of the New York Times, or the Guardian, or professional intellectuals who are waiting for those turns of mass euphoria when Israelis finally see our humanness, or we walk the higher path by showing courage through restraint to aggression and non-violent resistance, or, as Jean Paul Sartre desired, we ‘stubborn Palestinians’ just accept Israel for him to redeem himself.

It is not our duty to redeem the sins of a dark era of European history. The holocaust is not my burden. I took no part in it. Neither did any member of my family. We did not partake in pogroms nor persecute any Jew nor do we accept anti-Semitism. My great-great-great grandfather ruled over Northern Palestine in the 18th century and the Jewish community grew under his reign in Galilee.

We are not anti-Semites. That creed lives elsewhere, was born elsewhere. Our capacity to accept the other is still intact and we still draw important distinctions between Jews and Israel.

Our problem begins with an illegal occupying state that is a pillar of foreign hegemony and intervention. A fact that I’ve found most Israelis unwilling or incapable of accepting or understanding. Their denial and arrogance will only serve to prolong a failed project and they must understand there can only be one state.

There is serious talk already within the resistance axis of the day after. How will we govern? How do we reconstruct? How do we manage the return of millions of Palestinians to their homes? How do we maintain coexistence with former Israelis who remain? These questions are seriously discussed and plans are already being drawn.

The strategy of the resistance axis has always been to avoid all out war but to be very well prepared for it. The strategy is not to throw anyone in the sea, but to return land to its owners and dismantle a tool that perpetuates violence and chaos.