27 September, 2006

By Ghali Hassan*

For its entire existence, Israel has been portrayed as a “civilised” society with Western “liberal democratic principles”, defended by an “heroic” army. Western media coverage has been bluntly biased in favour of Israel regardless of the enormity of Israel’s war crimes and Israel’s violations of international law and civilised norms. This Israel, however, is a fabrication, rather than a reality. It is built on a fiction.

Decades-long vilification and dehumanisation of Arabs and Muslims by Western governments, the inherently racist media and the Zionist entertainment industry of Hollywood have conditioned successive generations of Westerners (and non-Westerners) to blind anti-Arab/anti-Muslim racist stereotypes. From the U.S. to Europe and to Australia, the increasing persecution and alienation of Muslims and Arabs has been legitimised through governments’ introducing new laws and legislation singling out Arabs and Muslims. In addition, Western governments are using the event of 9/11 and the “threat” of terrorism to instill fear, encourage Islamophobia and secure public consent to perpetuate war against Muslim and Arab nations.

In the U.S., the Zionists’ influence – led by the pro-Israel Jewish lobby and the Christian Zionists – on the U.S. media, educational system, political institutions, and national psyche is total. For example, the Palestinians “are almost completely dehumanised”, wrote the late Edward Said. However, all Muslims, regardless of nationality bear the brunt of today’s racism. According to a Washington Post poll taken in March 2006, a majority of American citizens believe that “Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence”. And so, the killing of Muslims, and the destruction of their countries becomes more acceptable to a Western public and neutralises anti-war sentiments [1]. In other words, racism mobilises the public behind war. I recount this racism because once again we face the rising threat of a new and more powerful clone of Fascism.

By contrast, the “Israelis” – Jews who live in Israel – are portrayed as “civilised” and “peace-loving” people. Israeli soldiers, who deliberately train to kill Palestinian school children and women, and use Palestinians as human shields, are portrayed as “heroes”. Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity are not only covered-up in Western media but also justified as “self-defence” operations. The so-called “Jewish State” where 25 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line with the highest child poverty rate in capitalist countries, is called the “shining light on the hill”. The high levels of corruption among Israeli politicians and military elites, and the massive military aid provided by Western governments are taboos in Western media.

Based on its current ideology of a “Jewish-only State” and its brutal treatment of Palestinians, Israel is an Apartheid state [3, 4]. Although anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism is endemic to the militarised “Israeli society”, Israeli laws also discriminate against any non-Jews. Even Jews are classified according to their ethnicity, and Americans – Israel’s unquestionable supporters – are considered “unworthy Gentiles”. In fact, Israel is the only state where racial contempt and the ethnic cleansing of all Palestinians is an official ideology [5], and has been Israel’s formidable tool of occupation and expansion. Israel is doing everything to normalise and legitimise this Fascist ideology.

Like Germany under Adolf Hitler, Israel is meticulously pursuing genocide in Palestine. Israel treats Palestinians in particular, and Arabs in general, as Untermenschen [subhumans]. Israeli leaders consider all Palestinians (men, women and children) as legitimate targets, and justify the daily murder of defenceless Palestinians as “militants” and “terrorists”. As during Fascism, Western media – with relentless efforts – have normalised and legitimised Israel’s terror and brutality in the Western conscience. The illegal Israeli occupation of Arab lands, the daily murder of innocent Palestinian civilians by Israeli occupation forces, the destruction of vital civilian infrastructures, and the illegal kidnappings, imprisonment and torture of Arabs are not considered grounds for legitimate resistance. There are at least 10,000 Arab prisoners (mostly Palestinians and Lebanese) in Israeli prisons; including hundreds of women and children. Israel – backed by the U.S. and Western governments – has a total monopoly on violence in the region.

While Israel is portrayed as a “democracy”, Israel denies basic human rights to more than 1.2 million “Israeli Arabs” (20% of Israel’s population) – Palestinians who remained within Israel’s created borders in 1948. As a “Jewish-only State”, Israel abnegates the right of the Palestinian minority to national equality based on the formula of “democratic” principles. In addition, Israel is systematically dividing its Palestinian minority into separate ethnic entities in order to assimilate them into “Israel society” and removes Palestinian national identity. Israeli leaders and a large majority of “Israelis” are in favour of ethnic cleansing (‘transfer’) all Palestinians. The criminal and illegal policy is continuing in different parts of Palestine, including Jerusalem where, until recently, Palestinians made up the majority of the population [2].

Furthermore, following HAMAS’s victory in the January Palestinian legislative elections, Israel, backed by the U.S. and the EU, imposed collective punishments on the entire Palestinian population (in Gaza and the West Bank) in order to coerce the population and undermine the democratically-elected HAMAS government, on the fabricated pretext that the resistance and political movement must renounce violence and recognise Israel. But when has Israel recognised the Palestinians and renounced violence?

As I write theses lines, Gaza, the largest Concentration Camp in history, continues to be under siege and constant bombardment by the Israeli army. At least 250 Palestinian civilians, 65 of them children and at least 30 of them women, were killed by the Israeli army since June 25, 2006. The 1.4 million Palestinian prisoners in the Camp are on the verge of mass starvation. The siege is part of Western governments’ collective punishment of the Palestinians for practicing their democratic rights.

In addition, Israel has been assassinating and kidnapping the democratically-elected leadership of HAMAS. The aim of these illegal and criminal policies is to bring-down the HAMAS government and to destroy the democratic aspirations of the Palestinians. Accordingly, Palestinians have only one choice; to submit to Israel’s terror and brutal occupation or risk being terrorised and starved to death by a brutal force.

On his visit to Israel on August 30, 2006, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has for the first time urged Israel to stop the daily killing of innocent Palestinian civilians, and has called on Israel to stop the indiscriminate shelling and bombing of Gaza. “Two hundred Palestinians have been killed since the end of June … This must stop immediately”, Annan said. “The closure of Gaza must be lifted; the crossing points must be opened”, he added. It is encouraging, but it was also ineffective and deceptive. It is important to remember that Kofi Annan was in the Middle East to serve Israel-U.S. interests at the expense of the Palestinians, and Arabs in general.

Meanwhile in New York, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland told reporters; “Gaza is a ticking time-bomb … You can not seal off an area which is a little bit bigger than the city of Stockholm and have 1.4 million people, of whom 800,000 are youth and children and then have 200 artillery shells a day going in there, virtually every day, seal off the borders … for people to live or even humanitarian supplies to get in”. Egeland stopped short of condemning Israel’s terror against the Palestinians. Gaza is a concentration camp, almost completely cut off from the outside world. The only difference between Gaza and the Concentration Camps is that the Camps had electricity and water, Gaza has none.

In Lebanon, in addition to the massive and indiscriminate destruction of the economy and civilian infrastructures, a large number of civilians, mostly women and children were massacred by the Israeli army. At least 1500 Lebanese civilians, a third of them children, were massacred during the Israeli aggression, and several thousands injured. The Nazi-like criminal attacks were designed to break the will of the Lebanese people resisting Israel’s terror. The U.S.-UK governments openly supported Israel’s war crimes and purposefully delayed an immediate “ceasefire”, preferring more bloodshed and destruction.

Just as the aim of U.S.-Israel is to destroy HAMAS and the Palestinian will to resist the Israeli occupation, the aim of the U.S.-Israel war on Lebanon is the destruction of Hizbullah as a political and resistance movement against Israel’s terror and the control of Lebanon. This U.S.-Israel ideology is flawed and failed because ideological aims are not achieved by violence and terrorism. Like HAMAS, Hizbullah is a grassroots organisation and is deeply embedded in the Lebanese society.

For 34 days, Israel indiscriminately dropped tonnes of U.S.-made bombs on Lebanon. The U.S. not only backed Israel’s terror but continued shipping more bombs to Israel and allowed Israel to destroy as much of Lebanon infrastructure and economy in flagrant violations of international law and the Geneva Conventions. In several Israeli attacks on Lebanese villages on the border with Israel, the Israeli army ordered the population to leave their villages. Once the people gathered their belongings and started leaving in trucks, minibuses and cars, they were cowardly attacked by Israel’s “heroic” army on open roads. Western media were quick to cover-up the atrocities calling these war crimes “daring operations” and “surgical strikes”.

Israel used terrorism openly and deliberately without being held accountable for its actions. When asked to justify Israel’s war crimes against innocent civilians in Lebanon and Gaza, Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Daniel Carmon said: “We cannot for sure prove that all the civilians in southern Lebanon were purely innocent civilians … There is hardly any distinction between Hezbollah and the civilian population … This whole region was a region in which you could not make the distinction between one and the other”. Carmon rightly defined Israel as a terrorist sate when he said; “Terrorism deliberately, deliberately targets civilians, innocent civilians”. This has been part of Israel’s racist ideology since its inception in 1948 on Palestinian land.

Unashamedly, Western leaders and the mass media called Israel’s aggression and war crimes, “legitimate Israel self-defence”, deliberately contradicting reports by the UN, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International showing that Israeli forces were violating humanitarian laws and deliberately targeted civilians and hence committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

To shield Israel from the responsibility of war crimes and remove Israel’s crimes from historical memory, an immediate international “donors” conference was held in Sweden on August 31, 2006. The conference was nothing more and nothing less than a shameful propaganda and had nothing to do with “aid” to Lebanon. Its aim was the removal of the suffering of Lebanese from Western conscience. The “erosion of historical memory” is very important in time of an ongoing propaganda campaign to prepare the public for another war, probably against Iran.

After allowing Israel to completely and indiscriminately destroy Lebanon, the rich West pledged $347 million (the EU promised $117 million and the U.S. $230 million) in “aid” to rebuild Lebanon. It is estimated that the destruction of Lebanon economy and infrastructure will need more than $15 billion to repair and bring to a pre-war level. The Gulf Arab states will provide the rest of the $950 million. It is suggested that the “aid” is just part of war-profiteering. The conference’s naked hypocrisy was summed-up in the statement of Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson: “Our message should be clear and firm: you are not alone … War may be the business of some, but peace will always be our common duty”, he declared. Switzerland was the only Western country to condemn Israel’s war crimes against Lebanon.

Furthermore, it is true that world public opinion has shifted in favour of resistance against Israel’s terror, however, Jews remain silent. With the exception of a very few individual Jews, the vast majority of Jews and major Jewish organisations around the world unconditionally support Israel crimes against Palestinian civilians, and Arab civilians in general. Recently, America’s main organisation of Modern Orthodox rabbis (the Rabbinical Council of America) called on the Israeli military to be less concerned with the defenceless Lebanese civilians during Israel’s indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Lebanon.

Jews around the world were quick to condemn those who criticised Israel’s deliberate destruction of Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure and economy. Any criticism of Israel is immediately linked to past crimes against Jews. The charge of so-called “anti-Semitism” is used as a tool to bully and intimidate those who dare to criticise Israel’s terror and war crimes in the Middle East. The charge proves to be a deadly tool and has been used efficiently by Israel and Zionists around the world. For example, when German Minister for Development Aid, Heidemarie Wieczoreck-Zeul called for a UN probe into Israel’s indiscriminate use of cluster bombs to attack population centres and innocent Lebanese civilians, the Minister was accused of being “anti-Semitic” by the president of the Central Council of German Jews. The same charge was labelled against Ken Roth, the director of HRW for his very minor criticism of Israel’s deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on Lebanon.

In addition to this massive and well-established propaganda campaign in favour of Israel, Western governments continue arming Israel with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. For example, successive German governments supported Israel’s terror and provided Israel with new weapons (such as nuclear submarines). The justification in creating this excessively-armed and violent monster is that Israel is under threat and that by not arming Israel, Germany will risk accusations of being “anti-Semitic” and Germans’ image will be damaged world-wide. Of course, these are falsehoods. Israel was never under any threat and remains free from threat today. It is Israel who has never stopped attacking its neighbours, and who has refused to live in peaceful coexistence.

Under the UN fig-leaf, European governments (the EU) were quick to provide the largest military force masquerading as a UN force to protect Israel from a devastated Lebanon. The recent shameful and unjust UN Resolution (1701) – crafted by the US, Israel and France – is just a case in point. Despite the enormity of Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, Israel is overwhelmingly supported by Western governments, despite Israel’s ongoing occupation of Lebanese territory and the illegal holding of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.

The indiscriminate destruction of Lebanon by Israel serves Europe’s strategic interests and provides an “opportunity” for Europe to exert its old imperialist role in the Middle East. For decades, Lebanese and Palestinian civilians remained unprotected and subjected to daily Israel’s terror. As in 1982, the UN force is on Lebanon soil to protect Israel and watch Israel commit more war crimes against the civilian population. The Israeli siege (blockade) of Lebanon has been passed to the EU forces and Europeans may die protecting Israel-U.S. interests.

Just as Resolution 1701 was announced, Israeli forces – using the occasion to avenge their defeat in a cowardly fashion – raced into Lebanon and occupied more Lebanese territory. Israeli warplanes indiscriminately dropped thousands of cluster bombs on population centres. According to the UN, there are “359 separate cluster bomb strike locations that are contaminated with as many 100,000 unexploded bomblets”. Jan Egeland, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator said: “Every day, people are maimed, wounded and are killed by these weapons – It shouldn’t have happened … What's shocking and ... completely immoral, is that 90 per cent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution”, Egeland said. The reality is that Israeli was given time to commit more crimes just after Resolution 1701 was announced. Egeland also failed to condemn the ongoing flagrant Israeli violations of the so-called “ceasefire”.

Furthermore, the “Israelis” have been killing and ‘ethnic-cleansing’ Palestinians for six decades, often with UN complicity. Tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians, mostly women and children have been needlessly murdered by the “Jewish Sate” with full knowledge of the UN, and the U.S. Since 1948, the UN has shown itself to be a tool for promoting U.S.-Zionist and Western interests at the expense of the Palestinian people and against the vast majority of world public opinion.

In all its wars against Arabs, almost all Israeli attacks were premeditated acts of aggression deliberately and indiscriminately targeting civilians. The so-called Israeli “heroic” army is a myth fabricated by Israel and the West to promote fabricated images. For six decades, Israeli soldiers are trained to kill school children, women and unarmed demonstrators, and to assassinate unarmed Palestinian men. The modern and expensive U.S.-supplied F-16s, Apache and Cobra helicopters, and the Israeli Merkava tanks have terrorised defenceless a population by bombing schools, houses, hospitals and refugee camps. It’s a different story when Israeli soldiers confront an enemy (like Hizbullah fighters) trained and prepared to fight back. Israel has rarely fought a real war and won.

The “six-day” war was a myth designed to enforce a fabricated image of Israeli military superiority over the Arabs. It is “the myth of invincibility”. In 1967 there was no “six-day” war when the Israeli army – backed by Western forces – allegedly “defeated” a “threat” by the “Arab armies”. It was a premeditated and pre-emptive act of aggression against Jordan, Syria and Egypt who were armed with primitive second-hand Russian bric-a-brac. The heavy air and land attacks were orchestrated by Western governments and Israel, which saw Arab forces, retreated. A halt to Israel’s aggression was enforced by Western powers and allowed Israel to expand by illegally occupying Arab lands in Egypt, Syria and the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza.

Whereas the pretext of WMD was a fabricated lie to justify the Anglo-American aggression against Iraq, needlessly destroying the country and killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, we saw another fabricated “threat” used to annex Arab land. In 1982, Menachem Begin admitted that Israel was not threatened by the Egyptians, and that the “threat” was a fabricated lie to justify attacks on the Arabs.

Although Israel withdrew from Egyptian territory after signing a peace treaty with Egypt, Israel still illegally occupies the Golan Heights in Syria and the Palestinian Territories, including Jerusalem. UN Resolution 242 called on Israel to unconditionally withdraw from all occupied Arab land. In addition to its non-compliance of Resolution 242, Israel is in violation of countless UN Resolutions.

In recent times, the heavily-armed Israeli army was unable to break the lightly-armed Palestinian Resistance and occupy the Jenin Refugee Camp or the Gaza in six days. The recent Israeli aggression against Lebanon is another example. Despite the enormity of the war crimes committed against Lebanon, the Israeli army was defeated on the border by the heroic Resistance of Hizbullah fighters.

Furthermore, very few people know today that in 1973 Israel was defeated and the war against Egypt marked a turning point in the course of history of the Middle East. On October 6, 1973, Egyptian forces were able to cross the Suez Canal – the largest water barrier ever crossed in the history of warfare – and overcome Israel’s enormous fortified sand barriers, and broke through Israel’s Bar Lev line. Israeli General Ishi Javitch admitted on September 16, 1974 that; “The Arab armies have achieved a major portion of their objectives. They proved that they are able to overcome fear and to fight a war with unparallel valour. They proved that they are able to cross the Suez Canal barrier. They took the Canal by force”. The reality of the 1973 war is clearly displayed at the Cairo’s Museum in Egypt.

Finally, since 1948, Israel is perpetuating a myth that has led the world to believe that everything “Israelis” do is heroic, peaceful and democratic and must be supported. And so a decades-long massive propaganda campaign and billions of dollars – U.S. and European taxpayers – in aid have gone to support this fabricated Israel at the expense of the native defenceless Palestinian people. If the present Israeli genocidal policies continue to be tolerated, it would expand and initiate a Palestinian holocaust.

It is therefore incumbent upon all civilised peoples in the world not only to expose Israel as a violent and racist “Jewish-only sate” in gross violation of international law and civilised norms, but also to oppose with all their might Israel’s militarism and occupation of Arab lands.

Most importantly, however, Israel must be held accountable for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. Peace does not come with perpetual violence. Israel must renounce violence and withdraw from occupied Arab lands, allows the re-emergence of independent Palestine for all Palestinians to return to.

* Ghali Hassan live in Perth, Western Australia.


[1] Rami El-Amine, Anti-Arab Racism, Islam and the Left, Mrzine, September, 2006.
[2] Elodie Guego, 'Quiet transfer' in East Jerusalem nears completion, Forced Migration Review, 06 September 2006.
[3] Uri Davies, Israel: An Apartheid State. Zed Books: London (1987).
[4] Chris McGreal, Worlds Apart, The Guardian, 06 February, 2006.
[5] Gideon Levi (2006). One Racist Nation, Ha’aretz, 27 March, 2006.

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