What else does Israel need, then? What the settler-colonial entity unleashed in Gaza has nothing to do with the protection of its illegal settler population. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration of war, and what followed next, including the spread of misinformation and lies, was reminiscent of the “war on terror” narrative post 9/11, which was used to justify foreign intervention. Only, there is no war; it’s just yet another display of Israel’s colonial power and violence that traces its roots back to the then “unprecedented level of violence” that Palestinians experienced at the hands of Zionist paramilitary terrorists during the 1948 Nakba.
Who supported or even mentioned the Palestinians’ right to defend themselves back in 1948? No one. Palestine was ethnically cleansed, the major part of its population replaced by settler-colonialists, and all the UN could come up with was a very flawed right of return that placed all the burden of hypothetical coexistence on the Palestinian people. The colonialists became “neighbours”, and Israel was accepted as a full UN member state in 1949 largely due to the fact that some of the major 1948 Nakba atrocities happened before the state was established. Which means that the UN decided to ignore the establishment of Israel as a violent, settler-colonial entity founded on terrorism.
Under the guise of a state, and in line with what other colonial powers did to their former colonies, Israel’s impunity was guaranteed.
When the US and Israel comment on “unprecedented levels of violence”, therefore, we should revert to history. And if Israel wishes to play the card that it wasn’t established at the time of the Tantura massacre, for example, or Deir Yassin, one can always refer to the Kafr Qasem massacre in 1956, which was approved by the Israeli government and took place on the same day as the tripartite — Israel, France and the UK — attack on the Suez Canal. And Lydda. And Saliha. And Safsaf. And Jish. And Al-Dawayima. And Khan Yunis. And, and, and; all the way to Sabra and Shatila, Hebron and Jenin. And Gaza, of course.
Each of these examples draws attention to the annihilation of the Palestinian people in their own towns and villages. The international community stayed silent in years gone by, and has maintained its silence every time Gaza has been bombed by Israel.
Now, when Netanyahu declares war and a total siege on the entire Palestinian population in Gaza, the international community dares not speak of war crimes. Instead, it promotes Israel’s security and self-defence narrative, which plays into the terror narrative that the US and Israel are spreading. However, it is the Palestinian people who face Zionist terror and colonial violence, and have done for decades; “unprecedented levels of violence” for a population that was coerced into territorial appropriation, population elimination and replacement; which continues to face displacement, massacres and mass graves. Why else does Israel refuse to open the state’s Nakba archives completely for fear of the corroboration between Palestinian narratives of the Nakba and the atrocities that the Israeli government wants to keep hidden from sight?
From the Zionist paramilitary terrorists, to the colonial establishment and continuity of Israel, it is the Palestinians that have faced unprecedented levels of terrorism. Anyone who stands with Israel, therefore, is complicit, not only in terrorism, but also in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.
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