‘Life Prevails’ by the late Ismael Shammout

I have written a number of essays recently comparing events in occupied Palestine to events that took place in Eastern European countries that were occupied by the nazis.
The zionists cannot see the similarities, they condemn anyone that can. At the same time they never deny those similarities… they ignore them.
People living and suffering as a result of this brutality cannot ignore it, neither can any justice loving person that is aware of the situation. Mary Rizzo presented the following essay on her blog as part of a series. I present it here to give you a Palestinian’s view of the situation.

Zionism must be Dissolved for Peace
By Khalid Amayreh (Al-Khalil, occupied Palestine)

As a Palestinian who has been living under the yoke of Israeli military occupation for over 39 years and who lost three innocent uncles to the occupation’s bullets, I should have no problems comparing Israel with Nazi Germany.

It is true that Israel has not introduced gas chambers into Palestinian towns and villages. However, Israel has been killing and tormenting Palestinians non-stop in a variety of ways which, in their brutality and sheer evil, don’t really differ in substance from Nazi behaviour.

Moreover, it is paramount to remember that the German holocaust didn’t start with Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, but rather with an idea, with a book and with a Kristalnacht, the sort of things that are so rampant in Israel’s collective thinking these days as the Israeli Jewish society continues to drift toward religious and jingoistic fascism.

This is not liberal Zionism giving way to religious Zionism as some pro-Israeli apologists would argue. There is no such a thing as liberal Zionism or democratic Zionism. These are contradictions in terms.

Zionism, we are told, is about “building a national homeland for the Jews.” However, for millions of its victims, Zionism is about the extirpation, expulsion and dispersion of the bulk of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland to the four corners of the world by way of organised terror and violence. This is the ugly side of Zionism that much of the West doesn’t want to see.

Indeed, from the very inception, Zionism viewed Palestine as a land without a people for a people without a land. This arrogant denial of my people’s very existence didn’t originate in ignorance of reality. It was rather an expression of virulent and violent racism, very much like those white European barbarians who exterminated six million native American Indians and called the genocide “Manifest Destiny.”

The Zionists did know that Palestine was populated by hundreds of thousands of Christians and Muslims. In 1898, a Zionist delegation visiting Palestine to assess the feasibility of making it a Jewish State, sent a pithy telegram summing up the situation. “The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man.” Yet, the Zionist movement insisted with unflinching determination on wresting the bride from her lawful husband.

That was a sheer act of rape, it still is an act of rape and will always be an act of rape, no matter how much the mythmakers are celebrated and their myths are glorified.

In fact, despite the passage of fifty years of “Jewish Statehood,” Israel’s undeclared but ultimate goal remains the expulsion of most or all of Palestinians from the area extending from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea.

Indeed, any casual observer of the Israeli media these days will be affronted, nearly on a daily basis, by remarks and statements by Israeli officials, including Knesset members and cabinet ministers, calling for “transferring” the Palestinians, not only from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, but also from Israel proper.

“Transfer” is not an innocent term. It is no less than a euphemism for genocide, at least a partial genocide, since it is almost impossible to effect the wholesale removal and ethnic cleansing of millions of people from their motherland without resorting to mass murder and mass terror.

Well, was not this the method used quite liberally by the legions of Zionism to force the bulk of the Palestinian people to flee their hometowns and villages in 1948? Didn’t Menachem Begin, in his book The Revolt refer to the Deir Yassin Massacre as a miracle because it made hundreds of thousands of terror-stricken Palestinians flee in fear.

It is imperative that we call the spade a spade, especially when in the hands of our gravediggers. The Zionists are comparable to Nazis because their actions and behaviour are comparable and similar to Nazi actions and behaviour.

For as the Nazis sought to obliterate Jews as a people, the Zionists have been seeking to obliterate the Palestinians as a people. This is more than Golda Meir saying dismissively “what Palestinians?” or some Israeli officials referring to us contemptuously as “Never-landers.” The systematic destruction of some 460 Palestinian towns and villages by Israel (1948-52) was a Nazi act of the highest order. It embodied total disregard and total denial of “the other” on no ground other than the victims being non-Jewish. (The relics of some of these towns can still be seen even today and are meticulously documented in Walid Khalidi’s monumental work All That Remains).

Unfortunately, this modus operandi of hateful racism and terror remains Israel’s central policy toward the Palestinian people. There is no clearer proof of Israel’s malicious intent than the intensive building of hundreds of Jewish-only settlements on occupied land. Yes, everything here is “Jewish-only.” Jewish-only settlements, Jewish-only roads, Jewish-only pools, even Jewish-only rights, since non-Jews are viewed by a growing segment of Israeli Jews as children of a lesser God or even outright animals.

And now we have this evil gigantic wall whose stated goal is to prevent Palestinian guerrillas from infiltrating into Israel whereas its real purpose is to carve and steal as much Palestinian land as possible.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice in Hague ruled that the Wall was illegal and ought to be dismantled. However, Israel, backed by its guardian-ally, the United States, arrogantly defied the ruling and implicitly accused the court and its judges of anti-Semitism.

In addition to the settlements, inhabited by the most violent and racist-minded Jews anywhere in the world, Israel has always sought to make Palestinian lives so unbearable in order to coerce them to emigrate.

To effect this evil goal, successive Israeli governments (Labor and Likud alike) employed every conceivable legal trick, including the introduction of dual justice systems, a liberal one for Jews and a harsh one for non-Jews.

One expression of this judicial apartheid is the open-ended incarceration of thousands of Palestinian activists, students, professionals and college professors as well as politicians, including lawmakers and cabinet ministers, without charge or trial. (Since 1967, Israel has arrested over 800,000 Palestinians).

When the notoriously insidious system of institutionalised repression failed to make significant numbers of Palestinians emigrate, Israel resorted to brazen physical harm in the form of terrorising and killing the Palestinians at the slightest “provocation”, very much like Hitler’s forces did throughout Nazi-occupied Europe more than sixty years ago.

Needless to say, Israeli “pacification” raids and incursions would leave many children and women killed, homes destroyed, farms pulverized, furniture vandalized and roads and infrastructures thoroughly bulldozed. In short, everything, every conceivable crime is committed by this Nazi-like entity, all under the rubric of fighting terror. And then much of the Western media would just parrot the Israeli narrative as if the Israeli army spokesmen were the paragons of veracity and honesty.

In the final analysis, when Jews (or anybody else) behave like Nazis, they should be compared to Nazis. Indeed, a country that sends its F-16 fighter-bombers to drop one-tonne bombs on apartment buildings in the middle of the night, where children and women are asleep, is not morally that far from the Gestapo mentality.

Moreover, an army whose soldiers blithely and gleefully murder children on their way to school and then verify the killing by emptying twenty more bullets into the child’s head, as happened with Iman al Hamas in Rafah nearly three years ago, and then the soldier is exonerated and given financial compensation, is not really an army of professional soldiers, but an army of thugs, gangsters and common criminals. It is an army that differs very little from the Wehrmacht.

Yes, Palestinian suicide bombers carried out attacks against Israeli civilians and killed scores of innocent Israelis, often in retaliation for the killing of Palestinian children by the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish settlers. I totally and unhesitatingly condemn these suicidal crimes against innocent Israelis.

Nonetheless, Israel can’t push the Palestinians to the edge of physical extermination and national demise and at the same time shout “Hamas, terror, suicide bombings.”

The American poet Auden wrote:

I and the public know,
What all school children learn,
Those to whom evil is done,
Do evil in return.

Indeed, what would any people do after 59 years of Nazi-like oppression that transcends reality? What would any people do when forced to choose between death at the Jewish slaughterhouse and death as suicide bombers?

Israel claims it doesn’t kill Palestinian children and civilian deliberately. This is a cardinal lie. Mistakes happen once, twice, ten times. But when the killing of civilians happens nearly on a daily basis, it means it is policy. In the final analysis, killing knowingly is killing deliberately.

Today, Israel, like the Gestapo did to the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto, is barring millions of Palestinians from accessing food and work. In Gaza, Israel, under the pretext of freeing a captured Israeli soldier, has bombed or destroyed the bulk of civilian infrastructure there, including schools, colleges, streets, bridges, charities as well as thousands of homes. Israel has also destroyed the only power station in Gaza, forcing 1.4 million Gazans to live in total or partial darkness.

This is the same Israel whose army has just destroyed much of Lebanon and dropped 1.5 million cluster bombs throughout southern Lebanon.Well, 1.5 million bombs can kill at least 1.5 million children.

I know that pro-Israeli apologists, including some who claim to be followers of the lofty leftist traditions of standing up against oppression, are tempted to create a certain moral symmetry between Israel and the Palestinians.

But, in all honesty, one might ask what symmetry is there between the rapist and his victim, between the occupier and the occupied, between the armed fanatical settler and the terrified Palestinian peasant who has to rely on Western peace volunteers for protection from settler vandalism and savagery?

Is there hope for a peaceful solution to this enduring bitter conflict? Certainly there is, and it lies in dismantling Zionism and the creation of a unitary, civic and democratic State in Palestine-Israel whereby Jews and Arabs live equally as citizens as many Jews and Arabs are living in Europe today.

I say Zionism ought to be dissolved because the concept of “Jewish State” necessarily implies intrinsic racism against non-Jews.

Fortunately, there are Jews of conscience and good will who would agree with this solution. These are our natural partners for peace.

The situation is not hopeless… as seen on THIS CNN video. These are just a few of the ‘Jews of conscience’ as mentioned in the essay.


  1. Behemoth101 said,

    October 29, 2006 at 11:25

    Desertpeace – a terrific and appropriate post. See my latest one on the same subject. VERY inspirational!

  2. DesertPeace said,

    October 29, 2006 at 12:07

    Thanks behemoth….
    I visit your blog daily… don’t always coment… but was there.
    Yours is an inspiration as well.

  3. CrazyComposer (aka Peter Amsel) said,

    October 29, 2006 at 16:33

    A truly shameful history for a people that SHOULD HAVE LEARNED A LESSON from history themselves.

    This is why, when I am asked, “why haven’t you gone to visit Israel if you’re Jewish?” I respond (not because my father lives there), “because Israel is an unjust nation, and I will not go to a land where I am welcome, but my brother is not.”

    In university I took a course, “Introduction to Islam” – it was taught by a professor who was a practicing Muslim and a really nice guy – a real mensch. In the first class (summer, 1991 – Gulf War I) he asked us to write on a piece of paper “why did you take this course”.

    He then took the responses and read some of them out loud. “I want to know more about the religion that started this war” – repeated several times. Then he got to “I want to know more about the religion of my brother, Ishmael.” As he read this he turned and looked right at me, and smiled as though he was going to explode with joy.

    I was the only Jew in that class, and I always sat next to a Muslim named – ironically, Isaac … I called him Isaac ben Ishmael, which was out of honour to his heritage – “ben” being the Jewish “son of” equivalent to the Arabic “Ibn”. He would call me “Peter Ibn Isaac” – and we would always laugh about it, because it always reminded us of the absolute stupidity of hatred based on religion or race.

    That course ended up being one of the most interesting courses I took in over eight years of post-secondary education, and I will always remember the key lesson: the actions of the fundamentalists are not reflections of what is written in the Qu’ran, nor do they represent “true Islam”, just as the idiocy spouted by the “Christian Right” or the “Christian fundamentalists” (emphasis on MENTAL) does not reflect the teachings of Jesus, nor what is found in the New Testament and what True Christianity is about.

    Religion divides and brings hatred into the world.

    One thing that I learned has always stuck with me, and when I tell this to other Muslims they always have a look of disbelief on their faces: Islam exists today because of a Christian.

    It is only because of the kindness of a Christian Ethiopian King in the time of the Calyps that Islam was not snuffed out. He gave them safe harbour while they were being pursued by Arabs from Mecca who wanted them killed for sedition. Had the King turned over his “guests”, there would be no Islam.

    Israel has a responsibility to history. It has failed. It will pay the price. A thousand Yom Kippurs may pass, but they had better rebuild the Temple – they need to start offering a continual sin-offering to make up for the atrocities that they have been committing … and even then, the rope around the high-priest is going to go slack several hundred times before there is any satisfaction (note: this in not “judgement” – this is purely according to what the Torah prescribes for the actions of a people that live in such disobedience to the law).

    Sorry … that’s just the way it is (now I understand why the Orthodox have been against Israel being declared a rabbinical state).


  4. DesertPeace said,

    October 29, 2006 at 17:27

    That was a truly beautiful comment Peter…
    Funny though… when I am asked why my son has never visited me in Israel I simply respond “because he is a nerd”…
    you just made a liar of me!

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