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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Israel: An unsustainable idea of the century

According to Asma Aftab, Israel's policy hushes the voice of conscience and sanity by validating the misbegotten view of holy lands as the Jewish possession only.

At the time of its self-pronounced independence in 1948, the State of Israel was seen as a safe home to traumatized Jews immediately after WWII. The idea of an independent Jewish state presented well before the 2nd World War remains obscure from mainstream recognition, till 1896 when Theodor Herzl in his ‘a solution of the Jewish question’ kindled hope of a ‘promised land’ for the Jewish people (Jewish Chronicle, 1896).

Shortly after, in a companion article (Der Judenstaat, 1896) Herzl revealed the geographic location by suggesting the Jews start buying land in Palestine. Interestingly, in its earlier draft, Argentina was also proposed as an alternative for this ‘future state.’

Read more: How the State of Israel really came into existence

However, the later events demonstrated that the real target was the holy lands in Alquds, who, if given a choice, would prefer the barrens of Palestine over the rich agricultural land of Argentina had there been no ‘divine ordain’ behind choosing the former? Ironically, it was that the West, despite its secular outlook, offered a plain submission to this ‘Word of God’.

This has been consistently reflected in the rhetoric of major Zionists all around the world for whom the establishment of the state of Israel, far from being a mere chance, was, in fact, a conscious and schematic accomplishment of a religious utopia rooted in religious history and mythology.

Read more: Israel kick-starting a grand plan to rebuild the 3rd Temple?

In 2017, in an interview with Al-Jazeera, Naftali Bennett put forward a very ‘logical’ argument that, “This has been our land for 3800 years before Islam came to the world,” and, in the same breath, proselytized both Muslims and Christians to submit to the Biblical endorsement of Israel as the land of Jews.

What makes this discourse singular is that it does not come from an ordinary Jew speaking with some religious zeal, but from a man who, for many years since 2013, held important offices in Israel and has been one of the strongest candidates as the future premier of Israel.

Read more: Israeli aggression and bloodbath in Palestine-the new intifada

In that case, the state of Israel has paralleled no other in the world but India where a person with such a hardline religious view could make his way to the highest office and so unwilling to dislodge their ideological certitude touching the limits of insanity.

Israel’s violation of the UN resolution

Despite a long-held stance of the United Nations for a two-State formula promised in UN resolution 181, Israel managed to achieve an almost uncontested military might in the region under the all-inclusive protection of the United States and its Western Allies.

Since 1948, the Israeli expansionist designs are self-evident in their constant denial and violation of the UN resolution. With a series of annexation, it has occupied most of the territory defined in UN resolution as ‘Palestine’ with an effect that one sees no end to this expansionist policy of Zionist-lead-Israel.

Read more: US continues to support Israel expansionist annexation policy

For this reason, the renowned Anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé declares Nakba – the forced expulsion of the Palestinians from the land of their birth as unceasing until the Israeli state manages its control on every inch of the land which is not rightfully theirs.

Why is that the ‘victimized’ (perpetually so!) Jews after getting their dream state in 1948 opted to get involved in continued aggression and expansion with a simultaneous denial of similar rights to other groups?

It is as if the land ‘promised’ to them as the chosen people has been well beyond the current territorial bounds of Israel, making it quite legitimate for the Jews to claim that it in fact includes part, or full, of Jordan and/or Egypt or some or any territory of other neighboring countries?

Read more: Nakba and Holocaust: The tussle of rival memories

Politics of Zionism

The irony is doubled when we see how any objective debate on the question of Palestine in the wake of Israel’s aggression, in past and present, has been silenced or discouraged under the ludicrous and ahistorical pretext of anti-Semitism which systemically conflates any criticism against the genocidal acts by the State of Israel with an attack on the entire Jewish community.

In its most bizarre expression, it even portrays all anti-Zionist voices, within and outside the Jewish community, by framing them as anti-Semite bigots fanning another holocaust. Besides barring the world from an objective and dispassionate inquiry, this policy hushes the voice of conscience and sanity by validating the misbegotten view of holy lands as the Jewish possession only.

Read more: Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitism?

However, despite this effacement and obfuscation, one sees the presence of many voices which are critical to the Israeli policy with its violence and warmongering. The virtual space of social media has offered a silver lining as it does and will continue to reshape global opinion on the subject by giving alternative news backed by valid facts – something that the masses had been denied by the mainstream Western media.

One recent example of this criminal bias can be seen in the ridiculous reporting of the Israel-Gaza conflict in May 2021 with ‘2000 rockets fired by Hamas in Israeli territory’  and the human casualties ‘13 Israelis (including 2 children) vs. 256 Palestinians (including 66 children)’.

Read more: Children of war: Where is Israel’s morality?

It is time to invest the promise of this virtual space to counter and contest the fraught semantics and violent politics of Zionism. One can hope that having known the reality, the collective conscience of the world would not let Israel continue with such acts of belligerence and hostility.

The author is an Assistant Professor of the Department of English at Government College University, Faisalabad. She can be reached at asmaaftabkhan@gmail.com. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.