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Ethnic Cleansing of Invented People. By Miko Peled
Mostafa Tamimi from Nabi Saleh, Bahjat Zaalan and his son Ramdan from Gaza died on my fiftieth birthday and just a few days after Newt Gingrich declared them an invented people. They were murdered by the Israeli terrorist organization, the IDF, an organization that is supported and funded by the US. One Israeli terrorist shot the invented Tamimi in the head with a tear gas canister, and another Israeli terrorist fired a rocket that murdered the invented Zaalan and his boy Ramadan. Both terrorists were educated and trained by Israel, and armed by the US. The Israeli terrorists are not invented but quite real, and they are safe, protected by the apartheid regime that trained and sent them on their missions, and the Israeli court system will make sure that they are never brought to justice. This is how Israel’s well-oiled ethnic cleansing machine operates.
The Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine is not a thing of the past but an ongoing campaign that is executed by three arms of the State of Israel: The education system, a dedicated bureaucracy and the security forces. The education system is dedicated to indoctrinating and producing soldiers and bureaucrats who will execute and enforce the ethnic cleansing. The bureaucracy is charged with making rules that make life unlivable for Palestinians. Rules that restrict Palestinian access to their lands, and restrict their ability to travel freely to work and school. This same bureaucracy then demands that Palestinians pay for permits to be allowed do these very same basic things that they were denied. The security forces, the most obvious of which is the IDF, are charged with enforcing the restrictions, fighting off the resistance, armed or peaceful, and terrorizing the “invented” people of Palestine.
Since my father was a general and I served as a soldier in the IDF terrorist organization, people often ask me how is it that Israeli children who are raised in a Western style democracy become such monsters once they are in uniform? The detailed answer can be found in my book, The General’s Son due out in February 2012, but the short answer is this: Education – Racism requires a mindset that is fashioned by education. In order to rationalize and justify the ethnic cleansing the Israeli education system portrays Palestinians as culturally inferior, violent and bent on the annihilation of the Jews, and at the same time, void of a true national identity. Palestinian national identity is but a figment of some anti-Semitic imagination.
Israeli children are educated to see the Palestinians as a problem that must be solved and as a threat that must be eliminated. They can go through life, as I did growing up in Jerusalem, without ever meeting a Palestinian child. They know nothing of the life or culture of Palestinians who quite often live only several hundred meters from them.
Palestinians are portrayed as an existential threat through absurd comparisons like that of Yasser Arafat to Hitler, the Palestinians to Nazis, and the Palestinian resistance to Al Qaeda. Since Israeli kids never meet Palestinians what they learn in school, particularly in the school textbooks, is all that they know. In fact it is remarkable that even though they live so close to one another, much if not all of what Israelis know about their Palestinian neighbors comes from high school text books and popular racist stereotypes. Israelis don’t know that Palestinians never had an army, that they do not posses a single tank, a single warship or fighter jet, that they don’t have a single artillery battery and do not in fact pose a military threat at all. According to a new book by Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, not a single photo of a person who is a Palestinian exists in Israeli textbooks and there are millions of Palestinians in and around Israel. Israelis don’t learn about Palestinian doctors and teachers, engineers and writers. They don’t learn Palestinian poetry or prose and they don’t read the works of Palestinian historians.
At a recent lecture I mentioned the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and someone called out: “What ethnic cleansing?” People are unaware of the ethnic cleansing taking place in Palestine because Israel hides it well and the mainstream media doesn’t care enough to ask. In mainstream peace groups and dialogue groups that discuss Palestine/Israel, a basic Israeli condition is not to bring up issues like the ethnic cleansing because Israel doesn’t like to talk about it.
But for the past 64 years ethnic cleansing of Palestine is what drives the Zionist policies towards Palestinians. All Zionist governments and all Zionist political parties left right and center support the ethnic cleansing. The Israeli judicial system lets the Israeli authorities get away with abuse, theft and murder as long as they are perpetuated against Palestinians. Had these same crimes been committed against Israeli Jews they would have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Zionist supporters like to bring up the fact that on November 29, 1947 the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into a Jewish sate and an Arab state. What is left out of the Zionist story is that within one year of the vote Israeli forces had managed to capture close to 80% of Palestine, destroy close to 500 Palestinian towns and villages, kill scores of unarmed civilians and force the exile of some 800,000 Palestinians.
Then, when the UN passed resolution194 in December of 1948, calling for the refugees to be allowed to return to their homes, Israel proceeded to build cities and towns, parks and highways for the use of Jewish Israelis on Palestinian land. Then the Knesset began passing laws that prohibit the return of the refugees and allow the new state to confiscate their lands.
After the war was over, the Palestinians who remained within the newly created Jewish state were forced to become citizens of a state that despised them and saw them as a “problem” and a “threat.” They were designated as “The Arabs of Israel” a designation that stripped them of a national identity and denied them any rights to the land and provided them very limited rights as citizens. From being the rightful owners of their lands and their country they now existed at the pleasure of the new owner of the land, the state of Israel. Palestinian refugees were forced into concentration camps, conveniently called refugee camps, and those that tried to return were shot. A military unit was created for the purpose of punishing Palestinian refugee who “infiltrated” back into their homeland, now called Israel. It was called Unit 101, the notorious Ariel Sharon led it and it made a name for itself as a murderous gang with a license to kill Palestinians.
So regardless of the myth, now perpetuated by Newt Gingrich among others, that says there was no forced ethnic cleansing, we know today that the creation of Israel was made possible through a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing, conducted by the Jewish militia, involving massacres, terrorism, and the wholesale looting of an entire nation.
Newt Gingrich, being the history buff that he is, might be interested in a story I mention in my book The General’s Son, about my mother. She was born and raised in Jerusalem and she remembers the homes of Palestinians families in neighborhoods in West Jerusalem. She told me that when she was a child, on Saturday afternoons she would go for walks through these neighborhoods, admiring the beauty of the homes, watching families sit together in their beautiful gardens. In 1948 when the Palestinian families were forced out of West Jerusalem, my mother was offered one of those beautiful, spacious homes but she refused. At age 22, the wife of a young army officer with little means and with two small children, she refused a beautiful spacious home, offered to her completely free because she could not bear the thought of living in the home of a family that was forced out and now lives in a refugee camp. “The coffee was still warm on the tables as the soldiers came in and began the looting” she told me. “Can you imagine how much those families, those mothers must miss their homes.” She would ask and she continued, “I remember seeing the truckloads of loot, taken by the Israeli soldiers from these homes. How were they not ashamed of themselves?” there are thousands upon thousands of homes in cities all over the country that were taken.
Moving forward now to 1967 and the myth that Israel was fighting for its existence as it was attacked by Arab armies from all directions. Much was written about this but nothing is more revealing than the minutes of the meetings of the IDF general staff from June 1967, just prior to the war. According to the generals, one of whom was my father, Matti Peled, not only was there no existential threat but the generals clearly state that the Egyptian army needed at least a year and a half before it would be ready for war and therefore this was an opportune time to attack and destroy it. The army pressured the cabinet to authorize an attack and indeed the cabinet approved an attack against Egypt. The IDF destroyed the Egyptian army and then went on to attack Jordan and Syria. It took the IDF six days and 700 casualties to kill an estimated 15,000 Arab forces, take the West Bank, the Golan Heights and The Sinai Peninsula. One may like to think this was a miracle but it was a well-planned, well-executed attack against countries that had no viable military force. The Israeli army had thus fulfilled its goal of conquering the entire Land of Israel, and the De-Arabizing of Palestine could now proceed into the West Bank and Gaza.
Since the early days of the State of Israel the IDF made it its mission to be the most brutal bully in the region. Today the IDF has one purpose: to conduct an all out war against Palestinians by terrorizing Palestinian civilians, kidnapping children from their homes and using brutal force against protesters. We are reminded of the intensity of IDF cruelty every so often, the latest major display being the three-week bloodbath in Gaza that began on December 27, 2008. Hundreds of tons of bombs were dropped by Israeli pilots on Gaza, followed by a massive invasion of land forces. All this for the purpose of terrorizing a defenseless civilian population that includes 800,000 children.
Now that Israel has been in control of the West Bank for over four decades it had built and invested there heavily. But all of the investment and construction in the West Bank was made to bring Jews into the West Bank. Palestinian lands are being taken at an alarming pace, their homes are destroyed and thousands are incarcerated, while industry, roads, malls, schools and gated communities with swimming pools are being built for Jews only. Water, which is the scarcest resource of all, is controlled and distributed by the Israeli water authority, as follows: Per capita, Israelis receive 300 cubic meters of water per year. In comparison, per capita Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza receive 35-85 cubic meters per year, while the World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 100 cubic meter of water per person per year. But what is even worse is that per capita, Israeli settlers in the West Bank are allocated 1500 cubic meters of water per year. Jews in the West Bank live with green lawns and swimming pools while Palestinians quite often get no water at all. Perhaps invented people have no need for water.
De-Arabizing the history of Palestine is another crucial element of the ethnic cleansing. 1500 years of Arab and Muslim rule and culture in Palestine are trivialized, evidence of its existence is being destroyed and all this is done to make the absurd connection between the ancient Hebrew civilization and today’s Israel. The most glaring example of this today is in Silwan, (Wadi Hilwe) a town adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem with some 50,000 residents. Israel is expelling families from Silwan and destroying their homes because it claims that king David built a city there some 3000 years ago. Thousands of families will be made homeless so that Israel can build a park to commemorate a king that may or may not have lived 3000 years ago. Not a shred of historical evidence exists that can prove King David ever lived yet Palestinian men, women, children and the elderly along with their schools and mosques, churches and ancient cemeteries and any evidence of their existence must be destroyed and then denied so that Zionist claims to exclusive rights to the land may be substantiated.
Once we connect the dots it is not hard to see that the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is only a small part of the Israeli Palestinian issue. The greater issue is the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the Zionist state. The way forward for Israelis and Palestinians alike is to oppose the ethnic cleansing by opposing all its manifestations. This means supporting the movement to boycott, divest and place sanctions on Israel, or BDS for short, it means actively participating in the popular non-violent struggle in Palestine and it means challenging the racist laws that govern Israel by defying them. There has to be a clear and unequivocal call to recognize that the IDF is a terrorist organization and its officers are war criminals. Furthermore, the reprehensible discrimination against Palestinians, whether they live in Israel/Palestine or not, practiced by the security officials at Ben Gurion airport and other points of entry to Israel/Palestine must be challenged. The struggle for a democracy in our shared homeland is no different than the struggle at Tahrir square and can in fact be seen as part of the Arab Spring.
Miko Peled is the son of an Israeli General and a staunch Zionist who came to realise that his side of the story is not the only side to the story, and who now dares to say in public what others still choose to deny.He is now a peace activist and an author whose book “The General’s Son” is soon to be released.
The Endless Parroting of the Zionist Narrative
When Russian defectors left the former Soviet Union and told stories to western media of oppression and injustice going on under the Communist regime in the Soviet Union, our media outlets joyfully lapped up every word. Regardless of whether what they were being told was accurate or not,our media parroted every single allegation that was made as if it were undeniable fact. So is the case when any dissenter from the countries we are allowed to vilify comes out. That’s what happens when our media is given information that it wants to hear. In the case of Israeli dissidents like Illan Pappe, Miko Peled, Uri Avnery, Amira Hass and Tanya Reinhardt their voices are utterly ignored. Only the official Zionist narrative has any real chance of getting reasonable amounts of space in our media. The voices of Greg Sheridan, Andrew Bolt and Christopher Pyne will always be available to sprout the official Israeli line as indisputable fact. It is indisputable because our media will not allow it to be disputed.
For every ten stories that unquestioningly detail the Zionist line, perhaps one contrary letter to the editor will be published. And so the coverage of the BDS here in Australia by our media is following the script to the letter. In The Advertiser, 6/7/11 Andrew bolt stuns us with his insightful analysis of the a particular BDS protest as “people picketing shops because their owners were Jews”. Bolt plays the race card in defense of a regime which both Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela regards as apartheid. No doubt Bolt, just like the Israeli regime at the time, had no problem being buddies with the South African apartheid regime. The likes of Sheridan and Bolt want us to swallow the line that criticism of Israel is just anti-Semitism in disguise. They don’t seem to realize that such a lame and tired excuse will not hold for ever. I’m sure Bolt would not tolerate such an excuse for the indigenous inhabitants of Australia. Allowing Aboriginals to play the race card and portray themselves as eternal victims is inexcusable, but to make such demands on Israel is pure anti-Semitism. His double standards are clearly on display for anyone who uses their brain.
Racism in the media towards Arabs is far more acceptable. At Sydney’s festival of Dangerous Ideas, Peter Hartcher, a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, spoke about the aberration that occurred in the Arab world with respect to its unique position of 40 years without democracy while democratic nations bobbed up everywhere else in the world:
“It seemed such an aberration that people started to come up with explanations for why it wasn’t an aberration but was in fact the normal condition and came up with what is an outrageous theory that Arabs are somehow genetically or ethnically disposed to enjoy autocracy and loving those who oppress them.” June 2011
These “explanations” of Arab inferiority have been given air by Zionist Israel and our media for years.
The true motivation for the BDS campaign is entirely based in the same struggle for human rights that motivated the campaign against apartheid South Africa. Just as the campaign for justice in South Africa was neither trying to achieve, nor did it achieve, the destruction of South Africa neither is the BDS campaign against Israel seeking its destruction in any sense or manner. Nor was it based in racist attitudes towards people of Dutch origin. Israel can exist without its version of apartheid. It can exist as a truly democratic state with true equality for all its citizens, Jew and gentile. It does not have to be a “Jewish State”. Biblically speaking, Israel was never a land that somehow belonged to Jewish people. Non-Jews were to be treated and loved as though they were Jews. Such a model for a one state solution would get my vote.
When we hear our media outlets crying injustice and racism as part of their criticism of the BDS campaign against Israel, we need to remember that it really was these same voices that cried foul when a grass roots movement started the BDS campaign to end apartheid in South Africa. The end of apartheid in Israel will be the beginning of the true fight against anti-Semitism not only in the Middle East but the rest of the world.
ACTION FOR PALESTINE
“That which is hateful to you, do not do to others. ” Rabbi Hillel (1st Century BC)
Religious Zionists of any description love to claim entitlement for the Zionist state to the land of Palestine based on a superficial understanding of the promises of God to Abraham as revealed in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament.
Proverbs 24:17 tells the descendants of Abraham “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth. And let not thy heart be glad when he is overthrown;”
Israeli pilots apparently found no problems in dumping bombs on Gazan children during the day and then going back home to celebrate Hanukkah, during operation Cast Lead, with their own families. The attack commenced at 11:30 in the morning of December 27th 2008. At this time of day the children of Gaza are on the streets as this is the time when the change of shift between morning school and afternoon school takes place. Children are either going home from school or going to school from home.
But to claim such callousness from Israelis is tantamount to anti-Semitism. Much safer to accuse Palestinians of child murder even though far, far more Palestinian children have died at the hands of the IDF than Israeli children have died at the hands of Palestinians. This is, of course, because (as every Zionist will tell you) Palestinians care little for their own children, using them as human shields at the drop of a hat. Zionist ideology has taught Israel’s youth that Palestinian life is at best worthless. Arabs are not worthy recipients of true compassion, let alone equal rights with Israeli Jews. Christian Zionism teaches us that Palestinian life is demonic. How can once cry at the destruction of the devil? All those who do cry for such people are surely in league with the forces of the anti-Christ!
Genesis chapter 18 relates the story of Abraham’s intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham pleaded with God to spare the wicked city if only ten righteous men could be found. Sadly there are no Abraham’s in Israel today. If there are any, the Zionist state does not esteem them as it says it does in the case of their founding patriarch. Zionism seeks to gain the inheritance of Abraham while resisting the spirit and heart of God’s mandate for the descendants of Abraham. Zionist Israel claims that no amount of righteous or innocent people could ever warrant mercy for the citizens of Gaza. Even an “eye for an eye” has been usurped by a mentality that was expressed by a Rabbi at Zionist mass murderer Baruch Goldstein’s funeral when he said that “one million Arab lives are not worth one Jewish fingernail.” But we should ignore such ravings. It is only the ravings of Arab extremists that should be taken as a true picture of Arab mentality.
Images of Gazan children who have been blown to pieces are never allowed to invoke compassion for Palestinians. If ever such images are shown, the context is always that these things happened because of the insanity and intransigence of groups like Hamas. Responsibility can never lay at the feet of the Israelis. This is an unwritten law in our society. Operation Cast Lead is the fault of Hamas we are told. It is as if the Israeli planes were manned by Islamic militants themselves. Whatever the scenario, Israelis are free to kill Palestinians at will. Any retaliation by Palestinians is quickly portrayed as evidence of the innately violent nature of Arabs toward Jews. Arabs should take their comeuppance and submit to the demands of civilised Israelis. No discussion of the reasons for Palestinian grievances are tolerated. The concept that Palestinian violence might have been provoked by Israeli dispossession and oppression of Arabs will receive the quickest accusations of anti-Semitic motivation that one can imagine.
But such lies can never last. I have as much faith in the ultimate decency of Jewish people (be they Israelis or not) as I do of Arab people or any people in the world today. Israelis will never be free while they continue to oppress their Arab cousins.
In the meantime, I think the words of Miko Peled, son of Matti Peled the Israeli General become peace activist, are sound advise for my Christian brethren who unconditionally support the Zionist state.
“So those people who want to associate themselves with Israel, Zionism and drape themselves in the Zionist flag – the flag that has come to symbolise intolerance, hatred, racism and brutality – they can feel free to do so. But they need to know this:
that when the trials begin and the tribunals take their place, and when the truth and reconciliation commission begins its work and they are finally shamed into admitting they were wrong, they need to remember to go down on their knees and beg forgiveness from the people they so greatly wronged.
They need to realise that we will never forget them and that their conscience will never allow them to forget that they supported the killings, that they draped themselves in the flag and that they mocked the bereaved.
The rest of us will move on in line with the rest of the Middle East which will follow the example of the people of Egypt to create something that will surely be a tremendous accomplishment – a democratic, secular state in our own shared homeland – a state where Muslims, Christians and Jews live as equals and educate their children to love their homeland with its multitude of cultures, its rich history and its promising future.”
Peled. M, The Generals Son. 2011
ACTION FOR PALESTINE