Palestine: a story that needs retelling – By Paul J. Balles

By Paul J. Balles | Redress  20 February 2012

Paul J. Balles retells the story of Palestine, reminding us in brief and simple terms of the the basic, undeniable facts of the world’s worst, most obdurate and premeditated injustice.

I have a story to tell. This story has been told before. It can be found in several places on and off the internet, but not enough people have read it. If they have, it hasn’t sunk in.

It’s a narrative currently left out of the news of recent events – financial crises in Europe, Arab Spring with uprisings and occupy movements and elections in America.

The chaos has kept the spotlights away from Palestine, but the problem remains, and the story needs to be retold until enough people pay attention and share the simple truth.

Zion’s myth makers

Anyone who has read some of the history of Palestine knows that indigenous Jews and Palestinians had no trouble getting along. They lived, worked and played on the same land in Palestine. However, that’s not the way it’s told in the gullible West by the myth-makers of Zion.

The problems started when Jews in Europe invented Zionism for those Jews who wanted a Jewish state in order to escape from anti-Semitism in Europe.

At times, you can hear one of these Zionist attempts to distract people from the truth by calling anyone critical of Zionism anti-Semitic.

A huge gap exists between those accusations and reality. European Jews are not Semitic except in their use of Hebrew as one of the Semitic languages. Palestinians are Semitic for the same linguistic reason – they use a Semitic language.

To call anti-Zionists anti-Semitic is nothing more than a propaganda ploy designed to shut critics of Zionism up.

The Zionists lied about much to get their way in Palestine. According to Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, “They said that Palestine was empty when the Jewish settlers came there.”

The Zionists also spread the lie that “Israel was a land without a people for a people without a land,” says Phyllis Bennis of the Institute of Policy Studies. Palestine was not empty. There were farms and villages and towns with roads and commerce, a culture and an advanced society. Ninety-six per cent of the population was Muslim or Christian in the 19th century.

British duplicity in colonization

Following World War I, 65,000 Jews immigrated to Palestine when Britain implemented the Balfour Declaration, which the British had no right to make, carving a state out of Palestinian land.

The British had promised self-rule for the Palestinians. By the 1920s they supported the Zionist movement, denying the right of self-determination to the people in Palestine.

Clashes began when Jewish settlers tried to strip away land belonging to Palestinians. In the early 1930s the Jewish population remained under 17 per cent.

After Hitler rose to power, 174,000 Jews fled to Palestine, doubling the Jewish population. More arrived, adding 119,000 in five years.

This has been the pattern ever since. Bring settlers to Palestine under Israeli colonization and refuse to stop building settlements on Palestinian land.

A conference in March 2011 organized by the Palestine Society of London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), “Past is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine”, attempted to address the issue of colonization. It aimed:

…to understand Zionism as a settler colonial project which has, for more than a century, subjected Palestine and Palestinians to a structural and violent form of destruction, dispossession, land appropriation and erasure in the pursuit of a new Jewish Israeli society.

…for Zionism, like other settler colonial projects such as the British colonization of Ireland or European settlement of North America, South Africa or Australia, the imperative is to control the land and its resources – and to displace the original inhabitants.

When Zionists claim differently or label doubters anti-Semitic, they add a rationale for hatred of Zionists. They plant the seeds of self-destruction.

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