Zertal's Holocaust - Nationhood

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2007-03-25

I found a London Review of Books review of Israel's Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood by Idith Zertal, a recent compelling book that tells the history of the development of the ZIONIST policies in the state of Israel, from its founding to the present day -- i.e., its continuous wresting of the land of others with its messianic justifications -- also the creation of the false narrative of all the events its policies caused, and the national adoption of "sole victimization" theory for the Israeli public and the world.

There are several important Israeli writers and journalists who would agree with the description of this on-going history, as does Ilan Pappe.

But for me, although, as some say, it seems with Israel's founding a great social crime has been committed, it does NOT follow that for Israel TO CONTINUE TO EXIST the crime MUST CONTINUE TO BE COMMITTED. I see Israel's claim of an "existential threat" as false. If anything, the current threat comes from its own policies.

Israel's egregious policies of condoning the continual Palestinian land confiscation and colonization, the military checkpoint humiliations, the callous IDF treatment, the relentless military attacks on refugee camps, the impunity of settler thuggish behavior against Palestinian farmers, the massive wall building with its destruction of Palestinian daily life and agriculture within defenseless village communities, destruction of water sources and village wells, the by-pass highways for the sole use of settlers only throughout the occupied territories, and the hundreds of other cuts and mortifications that debase the lives of the essentially imprisoned population -- (including at a lesser degree the lives of the 20 percent of the Arab population who are "citizens" living within Israel proper but who are essentially second class as far as legal rights, with restrictive regulations and the totally segregated schools for their children) -- those are the immoral policies of ethnic cleansing that constitute the history of the Jewish state and that form the real "existential" threat.

The obvious conclusion for reasonable people is that all of those policies COULD be changed. Israel could expiate its original and on-going crime IF IT WISHED TO DO SO..

There have been many historical and current prescriptions for change given to Israel, from NGOs, from governments, from committees of the UN as well as the many votes of the UN. But Israel, with the help of the US has consistently ignored them -- also using as a justification the terrorism that its policies have (I believe deliberately) engendered.