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Aimee Smith: Peaceful Coexistence For the Middle East

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    How to Bring Peaceful Coexistence Back to the Middle East Aimee Smith http://www-tech.mit.edu/V124/N5/aimeesmith.5c.html To quote William Blum, If love is
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 26, 2005
      How to Bring Peaceful Coexistence Back to the Middle East
      Aimee Smith
      http://www-tech.mit.edu/V124/N5/aimeesmith.5c.html


      To quote William Blum, "If love is blind, patriotism has lost all five
      senses." People with senseless devotion towards Israel are no more
      ready to take an honest look at that country's past and present than
      those who allow their love for the U.S. to protect themselves from its
      genocidal past and present. A well-funded pro-Israel lobby, repression
      of Arab immigrants, and the climate of hate against all things Arab or
      Muslim means we in the U.S. receive a very skewed picture of the
      world, making it difficult for those of us who still like to make
      decisions and assessments based on facts.

      Apartheid is a system that allows a minority identity group to
      dominate a majority group through various means, but most explicitly
      through disenfranchisement. In South Africa, this was carried out
      rather directly by barring indigenous blacks from voting. Thus, the
      minority group of white descendants from Europe created a mechanism
      for making decisions that attended to the interests of that minority.
      There were other aspects to the system that were degrading and
      humiliating to the indigenous Africans such as pass systems,
      "whites-only" areas, and repression against those who sought to
      transform the society into a more just one based on universal and
      equal human rights for all people living in South Africa.

      Israel used a slightly different scheme to bring about the similar
      effects. Again, a mostly European minority dictates to the majority of
      indigenous people. Just as with apartheid-based South Africa,
      colonization would require that the large indigenous population be
      divided and conquered. Zionism traces its roots to the same unjust
      ideology that created Nazism -- that a state would be made up of
      members of an ethnically “pure” group rather than all living
      within a geographic region. The disturbing genocidal past of Europe
      with its pattern of Jewish exclusion and sometimes outright massacres
      of Jews promoted the rise of the Zionist idea of a state for Jews, and
      nothing accelerated the movement more than the rise of Nazism with its
      concomitant crimes against humanity. Nevertheless, the fact that some
      Zionist leaders collaborated with the Nazis and fascists (see, for
      example, Lenni Brenner's 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the
      Nazis) should come as no surprise -- these ideologies are linked at
      the conceptual level. As with the Crusades of centuries ago, Zionism
      is a case of the sickness of Europe's racism being inflicted on Palestine.

      The Zionist project required dividing the local population and
      shifting the demographics by a combination of immigration of Jews from
      Europe and ethnic cleansing of the existing non-Jewish inhabitants,
      the Palestinians. The division project began in the last part of the
      nineteenth century through the reinvention of Hebrew to serve as the
      spoken language of Jews instead of Arabic, the language of the
      Palestinians. Zionists used Hebrew to drive a linguistic wedge between
      the Jewish and non-Jewish Palestinians. Before that time, Hebrew was
      reserved for prayer and religious study, much as Latin was for
      Catholics thirty years ago. In 1917, when Lord Balfour of Britain
      promised a homeland for Jews in Palestine, Jews were 8 percent of the
      population. One of the founders of Zionism, Theodore Herzl, argued
      that the relationship with colonial powers was mutual: "We should
      there form a part of a wall of defense for Europe in Asia, an outpost
      of civilization against barbarism... [Europe] would have to guarantee
      our existence."

      By 1947, there were 620,000 Jews to 1.3 million non-Jewish
      Palestinians. The U.N. partition plan offered 54 percent of the
      fertile land for the Jewish state and the remaining 46 percent for the
      majority. Brutal Zionist paramilitaries expanded this more than
      generous offer to swallow up 78 percent of Palestine, driving out
      large numbers of inhabitants through fear and terror spread from
      massacres and atrocities such as those carried out in Deir Yassin.
      Various sources put the number of exiled Palestinians in this period
      between 650,000 and one million. Here begins the "refugee problem,"
      since those who were forced out or fled were not allowed to return --
      a right guaranteed in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. In the
      meanwhile, the Zionist architects were satisfied to have a Jewish
      state with a non-Jewish Palestinian population below 20 percent -- a
      comfortable enough majority to allow for one person, one vote.

      Israel is the only country where "nationality" is listed on every ID
      card. And make no mistake, membership in the preferred nation has its
      privileges. The "right of return," while denied to those people who
      were actually removed from the land, is available to Jewish people
      from anywhere in the world -- even converts such as a group of Incas
      from South America that recently "returned." The religion-based land
      use laws are described further in works such as Ralph Schoenman's
      Hidden History of Zionism. "National lands" are to be sold, rented,
      leased or worked on by Jews only, and these lands make up 92 percent
      of Israel. The Israeli courts struck down these laws, but they have
      yet to be revised in any meaningful way. Non-Jews offered employment
      in violation of these laws are as vulnerable to exploitation as
      undocumented workers here in the U.S. Citizenship doesn't get you much
      in Israel if you are not Jewish.

      The climate for non-Jews with Israeli citizenship is the gentler side
      of the Israeli apartheid coin. The remaining occupation of lands
      seized in 1967 is the other side of that coin. Annexing these lands
      would require non-Jewish Palestinians in these areas to be given
      citizenship, ending the demographic Jewish majority within Israel. The
      military rule in these occupied territories, the West Bank and Gaza
      Strip, includes systematic torture, targeted assassinations, and
      incarcerations that Schoenman and others have documented extensively.

      Whatever crimes Zionist leaders carry out, certainly many people who
      emigrate to Israel do so for many reasons and base their decisions on
      skewed information. Nevertheless, it is a crime to benefit from this
      Israeli apartheid. The way to end this crime against humanity is to
      immediately dismantle Israel. It is past time for a new incarnation of
      Palestine, giving equal human rights to all indigenous and
      non-indigenous present in the region, allowing those who were exiled
      to return to their homes and lands, and allowing the long tradition of
      religious tolerance and coexistence that characterized Palestine
      before Zionism to be allowed to be practiced once again.

      Aimee Smith PhD is an alum of the Department of Materials Science and
      Engineering.

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