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Friday 22 August 2014

The General's Son Comes Home: Miko Peled: "Gaza reminds us of Zionism's original sin"


Two men were targeted in Rafah on a motorcycle just few minutes ago: photo via Solidarity Gaza on twitter, 21 August 2014

Gaza reminds us of Zionism’s original sin: Miko Peled, The Electronic Intifada, 19 August 2014

The morning after Lailat al-Qadr, the death toll in Gaza was approaching its first thousand.

Al-Qadr -- the night before the last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan -- is believed to be the night when the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. I spent this special night with friends in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah after participating in the “48K March” for Gaza.

The march began in Ramallah and went to Qalandiya checkpoint. What began as a peaceful event with families bringing their children and even babies in strollers, ended with young Palestinians with gunshot wounds being rushed in ambulances to the local hospital.

Qalandiya crossing was fortified and air-tight, and the Israeli soldiers stationed on top were shooting live ammunition at the crowd.

As the ambulances were speeding through the crowd, I couldn’t help but wonder why there is no hospital between Qalandiya and Ramallah, a good distance which includes the municipalities of Jerusalem, al-Bireh and Ramallah.

Today morning in Beit Ommar, 21 August 2014: photo via CemDM, 21 August 2014

The following night I was scheduled to leave Palestine to return to the United States. But Israeli forces sealed all the roads from Ramallah to Jerusalem for the night, and they were likely to be sealed the following day as well.

Today morning in Beit Ommar, 21 August 2014: photo via CemDM, 21 August 2014

At the crack of dawn, when things had quietened down, my friend Samer drove me to a checkpoint that he suspected would be open. It was open, albeit for Israelis only, and from there I made my way back to Jerusalem.

That evening, as I was preparing to leave for Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, people around me were trying to calm me down. “Don’t aggravate them, cooperate and they will be nice,” they said. “Why go through all this unnecessary inconvenience?”

They were talking about the “Smiling Gestapo,” Israeli security officers at Tel Aviv airport that go by the squeaky clean name of the Airport Security Division.

Israeli police arrest a protester in Haifa during a protest against the assault on Gaza, 18 July: photo by Faiz Abu Rmeleh /  Active Stills via Electronic Intifada, 19 August 2014

Non-cooperation and resistance

Listening to this, I was reminded of Jewish communities under the Nazi regime who believed that if they cooperated and showed they were good citizens then all would be well. But the road from cooperation to the concentration camps and then the gas chambers was a direct one.

The policies of racist discrimination and humiliation at Ben Gurion airport, and the policies of ethnic cleansing and murder of Palestinians in Gaza, emanate from the same Zionist ideology.

As we have seen over the past seven decades, cooperation and laying low do not make things ok.

Cooperation with the Israeli authorities might lead to short-term relief but it also validates Israel’s “right” to terrorize and humiliate Palestinians with our consent, “we” being all people of conscience. Whether we are Palestinian or not, the call of the hour is non-cooperation and resistance against injustice.

Free Gaza protesters in Oakland  block Israeli cargo ship Zim Piraeus from docking on the West Coast: photo via Block the Boat / Joe Catron on twitter, 18 August 2014

Today, Israel and its supporters lay the blame for the violence in Gaza on Hamas. But Israel did not start its assaults on the Gaza Strip when Hamas was established in the late 1980s. Israel began attacking Gaza when the Strip was populated with the first generation refugees in the early 1950s.

Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, are not faced with an option to resist and be killed or live in peace. They are presented with the options of being killed standing up and fighting or being killed sleeping in their beds.

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Shuja'iyya, Gaza City: photo by Heidi Levine / SIPA / REX via Ben White on twitter, 18 August 2014

“Sea of hatred”

Gaza is being punished because Gaza is a constant reminder to Israel and the world of the original sin of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the creation of a so-called Jewish state. Even though Palestinian resistance has never presented a military threat to Israel, it has always been portrayed as an existential threat to the state.

Moshe Dayan, the famed Israeli general with the eyepatch, described this in a speech in April 1956. He spoke in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, an Israeli settlement on the boundary of the Gaza Strip where Israeli tanks park each time there is a ground invasion of Gaza.

“Beyond the furrow of this border, there surges a sea of hatred and revenge,” Dayan said then. Ironically, when six months later Israel had occupied Gaza and my father was appointed its military governor, he said that he saw “no hatred or desire for vengeance but a people eager to live and work together for a better future.”

We just want to know.. "HOW" to protect innocent children from the criminal army??!: photo via Sabreena-Gaza on twitter, 21 August 2014

Still, today, Israeli commanders and politicians say pretty much the same: Israel is destined to live by the sword and must strike Gaza whenever possible. Never mind the fact that Palestinians have never posed a military challenge, much less a threat to Israel.

After all, Palestinians have never possessed as much as a tank, a warship or a fighter jet, not to say a regular army.

WATCH OUT!! Israeli warplane is hovering!!: photo via Mohammed Y. Ismail on twitter, 18 August 2014

So why the fear? Why the constant, six-decade-long campaign against Gaza? Because Palestinians in Gaza, more so than anywhere else, pose a threat to Israel’s legitimacy.
Israel is an illegitimate creation brought about by a union between racism and colonialism. The refugees who make up the majority of the population in the Gaza Strip are a constant reminder of this.

Gaza severely short of water for drinking and bathing: photo via Haitham Sabbah on twitter, 21 August 2014

They are a reminder of the crime of ethnic cleansing upon which Israel was established. 

The poverty, lack of resources and lack of freedom stand in stark contrast to the abundance, freedom and power that exist in Israel and that rightfully belongs to Palestinians.

This was Palestine airport after Israel destroyed it... Israel lives off blood and destruction: photo via Gaza Writes Back on twitter, 21 August 2014

Generous offer

Back at Ben Gurion airport that night, I was told that if I cooperate and plead with the shift supervisor it would make the security screening go faster. When I declined this generous offer, I was told they “did not like my attitude.”

They proceeded to paste a sticker with the same bar code on my luggage and give me the same treatment Palestinians receive.

  20 Palestinians killed today, 48 in two days. 2069 killed & 10310 injured since July 8: photo via Dr Bassel Abuwarda on twitter, 21 August 2014

As I write these words, the number of Palestinians murdered by Israel in Gaza has exceeded two thousand. Ending the insufferable, brutal and racist regime that was created by the Zionists in Palestine is the call of our time.

Criticizing Palestinian resistance is unconscionable. Israel must be subjected to boycott, divestment and sanctions. Israeli diplomats must be sent home in shame. Israeli leaders, and Israeli commanders traveling abroad, must fear prosecution.

And these measures are to be combined with disobedience, non-cooperation and uncompromising resistance. This and only this will show mothers, fathers and children in Gaza that the world cares and that “never again” is more than an empty promise.

Miko Peled is the author of The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine

 Three kids from Reefi Family have been killed by Israeli attack this morning while they were played football: photo via MoonNor27 on twitter, 21 August 2014

We will stay as long as our flag Is waving: photo via Culé MD Gaza on twitter, 21 August 2014

Questions to Ask Your Pro-Israeli Friends: photo by Haitham Sabbah, 21 August 2014 

Why is Netanyahu unhappy? He heard you weren't engaging with his paid trolls on Twitter: photo via Joe Catron on twitter, 21 August 2014

U.S. accuses Israel Police of targeting slain Palestinian boy's family: photo via Ian56 on twitter, 21 August 2014

"This is GaZa: When one falls, thousands join the resistance. Israel can't bomb us to give up": photo via Aamir - GAZA on twitter, 21 August 2014

 "This is GaZa: When one falls, thousands join the resistance. Israel can't bomb us to give up": photo via Aamir - GAZA on twitter, 21 August 2014

Even the nazism didn't devastate Al Shejaiaa neighborhood like IOF did !!: photo via Hussein - Gaza on twitter, 21 August 2014

A story of a massacre that couldn't kill the will of those young kids to live!: photo via abdallahsaladi on twitter

A Good morning bombardment on Rafah city !!!: photo via Mo'men Ashour on tweiier, 22 August 2014


TC said...

In case you consider the tragedy of Gaza worth your attention, you may have wondered about Miko Peled, who he is, and why he is saying what he's saying and doing what he's doing.

His work was called to our attention by a Somalian friend six years ago, at the time of the horrible Dec. 2008-Jan. 2009 Israeli offensive against Gaza.

(By now you may have a hard time sorting out these brutal offensives. That was the particularly gruesome one that featured the massive use of white phosphorus against the civilian population of Gaza -- a "war crime", if executed by anybody but the Israeli Occupying Forces.)

Miko has continued in this necessary and valuable work.

His perspective is unique.

It's known that Israel employs a large staff of disinformation personnel whose job it is to troll the alternative media sites that attempt to present impartial views of events.

You can pretty much determine whether a source is credible and authoritative by the volume of troll personnel deployed to sabotage it.

A talk Miko Peled gave two years ago, at the time of Operation Cast Iron (or Brass Balls was it), is perhaps the most salient example of this.

Of course it's not just everything that Miko is saying that's the bother -- it's everything about who he is.

Miko Peled speaks out.

Mose23 said...

The potency of myth is something terrible.

The BBC has fallen for the lie of a possible objectivity on this issue. This is a struggle (I would say a class struggle) and you cannot help but take a position.

We haven't watched the link all the way through but it looks sharp as anything.

Thank you again, Tom.

Mose23 said...

Great to see the people of Oakland taking action: the descendants of Bobby Seale.

TC said...

The potency of the myth is even greater than the potency of the terrific explosives -- and that's saying something; today a "precision strike" stated as intended to target a Hamas operative in one of 48 apartments in a 14-storey high-rise brought down the whole high-rise.

But it's finally the Deceit Wing of the Hasbara Brigades that makes them even more terrifying than the artillery and air divisions.

What places Oakland in the class struggle is the fact that the majority remains underclass and continues to struggle.

This latter aspect makes Oakland an exception among large American cities.

But organization and discipline of the kind the Panthers briefly achieved is certainly not something that can be conjured out of thin air. The past four years of organized resistance to the use of the Port of Oakland in facilitation of Zionist business has created and galvanized this local pocket of peaceful resistance.

Like the entire struggle against Israeli apartheid, it has been a struggle of the weak against the strong, marked by one defeat after another for the weak.

It's the forlorn pluck of the resisters that's the encouraging thing of course, the sign of life, the spark that indicates the survival of a fire beneath the embers.

Very small spark, dim, barely visible in the larger picture.

The five days of blocking the unloading of that boat did get a fair amount of notice. Mostly in Israel, where an Israeli Hasbara Brigade troll traveling under the identity of one "Shira Abel" complained publicly, long and loud, that some furniture she had ordered was delayed in arriving.

Whether it was the astonishing chutzpah of the plaint, made while thousands are dying and displaced every day in Gaza, or the suspicion that the complainant is a sock puppet in IOF employ, it caused revulsion and fury in some circles.

The growing evidence of sock puppet warfare -- yesterday a site called Common Dreams showed that a particular American individual, Harvard grad to boot (Jason Beck I believe was the name), has been delivering anti-Semitic messages on social media comment threads, under some 30+ false identities, evidently to create the impression that those who oppose Israel are all nutjobs.

And here we'd thought 'twas tother way round...

TC said...

For those who are interested in truth...

23 August 2014: "Gaza's 9-11": Israel destroys high-rise building in Gaza

That's a lot of explosive tonnage to take out one suspected Hamas operative. Fifty families lived in that building.

A "surgical strike" equivalent to smashing an ant colony with a gigantic hammer, in order to take out one ant?