By Mazin Qumsiyeh
(source: Ma’an News Agency)
It is not easy to remain a racist oppressor and it is getting harder to keep deflecting the critics by asking them to focus on nonexistent threats (like Iran).
The Human Rights Council accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza and the Israeli government panics and deals with it as a public relations challenge. Israeli human rights groups challenge Israeli home demolitions in Jerusalem and a UN expert panel names Israel as profiting from Ivory Coast blood diamonds.
Heads are buried in the sand. Israeli leaders are either foregoing trips (to Europe where they may be arrested for war crimes) or going to speak and heckled and challenged by human rights activists (e.g. Olmert’s tour of the US).
Israel is being called to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Spain is fuming after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asks the right-wing government of Italy to retain control of UNIFIL. An Amnesty International study shows how much Israel steals and deprives Palestinians of water. The list is endless. Israel, however, has lots of money from US taxpayers and from extortion and from deluded Jewish Zionists around the world. Zionism deploys legions of lobbyists and media/hasbara people and they are all working overtime. Some are members of the US Congress and managed to pass resolutions that violate US laws but please Israel. One Israeli apologist heckled Jewish American Anna Baltzer and Dr Mustafa Barghouthi on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Wednesday night. Desperate, mean actions are taken in last ditch attempts to maintain a costly Jewish state with racist laws. Israeli jails are filling with human rights activists, conscientious objectors, civil resistors and even journalists. Psy-ops (psychological warfare) are being waged by Israel to crush resistance to its colonial activities and stem the increased exposure in the era of the Internet (when a video of settlers attacking olive pickers and cutting olive trees can circulate to millions in seconds). We see more denial of entry to internationals, petty denial of education rights to Palestinian students as the case of Berlanty Azzam, who was deported to Gaza from Bethlehem where she was three credits away from her degree in Business Administration, and desperate moves to hide the atrocities. All this (much of it backfiring) is reminiscent of what happened to South Africa in the 10 years preceding the end of apartheid. Thus, we are optimistic that we are in the final stage. The boycotts, divestment, and sanctions movement is mushrooming. More Israelis are joining the human wave demanding justice and equality and the Zionist movement has become more desperate in its fraudulent use of "anti-Semitism" and "self-hating Jews" to silence the critics. Even some life-long Zionists have started to question the direction of the movement and its increasingly ghettoized mentality. Others remain in their racist and ultimately self-destructive ways (several homes demolished in Jerusalem and in the Negev just the past two days creating far more animosity). Instead of taking advantage of the weaknesses inherent in a racist ideology bent on ethnic cleansing, some Palestinians fell into the trap created by the Oslo process of talking about endless negotiations and elections for a "Palestinian Authority" (PA). In my humble opinion, the PA has already outlived its usefulness (it was supposed to be interim for five years anyway and now it is 16 years). The only elections we should be talking about are elections to the Palestinian National Council and rebuilding the PLO. This is be critical to avoid reducing the Palestinian question to the form of the Bantustans/ghettos in the West Bank and Gaza and who rules these ghettos. It is time to reshape and reinvigorate the struggle for freedom. And once Palestinians are free, the Jews who live here will be freed from the self-imposed chains of Zionism and racism. Mazin Qumsiyeh is a professor at Bethlehem University. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke and Yale. He is now president of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People.
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