Must read – Death in Gaza, Death in Toulouse ~ by Khalid Amayreh

[ PIC 23/03/2012 – 12:15 AM ]

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

Is there a connection between the al-Qaida attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse in southern France and the recurrent murder of Palestinian civilians by Israel in the occupied territories?

This is a question that Israeli officials and propagandists hate to hear. In fact, upon hearing the question, Zionists get convulsive, irate and defensive.

I am in no way suggesting that the attack on the Toulouse school was justified, and I am not one of those who are convinced that Israel’s occupation of Palestine and oppression of Palestinians, evil and barbaric as it is, makes every Jew under the sun guilty, let alone a legitimate target for revenge.

However, attacks against Zionist Jews, even abroad, must not be all that surprising in light of what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians and other Muslims for the past 64 years. It would be utterly naïve to pretend that Toulouse is located on a different planet.

Some Palestinian advocates would have a perfectly legitimate right to paraphrase Golda Meir’s infamous quote that “we may forgive Palestinians for killing our children, but we can’t forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”

So, if the killing of Jewish civilians is an acceptable justification and explanation for making Israel murder Palestinian children, then by the same token, killing Palestinian (and Lebanese) children should be a “legitimate” justification for the killing of Jewish civilians by aggrieved Arabs and Muslims.

In fact, I have no intention to create a moral symmetry between the two cases, as there is none in fact since Israel is the Palestinian people’s ultimate tormentor and grave-digger.

Unlike Palestinian children, who are murdered by Israel in order to break the Palestinian people’s will for survival and resistance, Israeli civilians are occasionally killed by Palestinians in the context of confronting a colonialist enterprise in Palestine that is aimed at effecting the annihilation of the Palestinian national existence.

The unrelenting narrowing of Palestinian horizons by a fascist-minded Israeli establishment, that is backed almost completely and without reservations by a wantonly obsequious American government that is at Israel’s beck and call provokes and invites defensive reactions on the part of the victims.

The American-English poet Auden said:

I and the public know,

What all school children learn,

Those to whom evil is done,

Do evil in return.

Besides, Israel is telling the Palestinian that “you have three choices: Either enslavement as water carriers or wood hewers, or deportation to the desert, or physical extermination.”

Israeli officials who are PR-sophisticated probably wouldn’t use the same words, but settler and religious leaders who seem to reflect more accurately the collective spirit and mindset of Zionist Jews would not hesitate even for one second to say it as it is. This is religion for them, not a merely changeable political discourse.

The problem doesn’t stop at incendiary words and declarations, such as Daniela Weiss’s who told a group of settlers a few years ago that the way to deal with the Palestinians was “Joshua’s way.” In other words, massacres, more massacres and still more massacres.

As we all know, Israel has been quite liberal in using Joshua’s sword against Palestinian Civilians. Not a month passes without several Palestinian children killed knowingly and deliberately by Israel. Indeed, as Israel is trying to reap maximum political and propaganda capital from the tragic incident in Toulouse, several Palestinian families are mourning the murderous deaths of their children at Israel’s murderous hands.

During Israel’s blitz on Gaza four years ago, more than 360 Palestinian children were killed by the “most moral army in the world.” Hundreds others were maimed and incinerated white Phosphorus.

The killer of the four Jews in Toulouse has paid with his life for his sinful act, but tens of thousands of Israeli killers, including child killers, are celebrated as heroes throughout their society. They probably will never be prosecuted for their murderous crimes.

Similarly, the innocent Palestinian, Lebanese and other Muslim victims around the world will go unwept by a morally duplicitous world media that views Jewish blood as purer as and redder than Muslim blood, whereas the morally right thing to do is not to differentiate between blood and blood, including Jewish blood and Muslim blood.

But the tragic truth is that the differentiation and discrimination is deep-rooted in the Jewish-Zionist mindset, including Talmudic circles which distorted the Commandment Thou shall not murder to mean “don’t murder a Jew” but you may very well murder a goy, even if he is totally innocent.

The killing of innocent people, whether Muslims or Jews or Christians or others, as a retaliation, is wrong and unethical. But wrong and unethical don’t mean “inevitable.” I believe the Toulouse killing was inevitable and Israel must bear at least a big share of responsibility for the incident.

This is unless Israelis and their leaders are a carbon copy of that Jewish mother in Russia whose son has been called up to serve the Czar in the war against Turkey. The story was related by the Israeli writer Uri Avery a few years ago. “Don’t overexert yourself’” she implores him, “Kill a Turk and rest. Kill another Turk and rest again…”

“But mother,” the son interrupts, “What if the Turk kills me?”

“You?” exclaims the mother, “But why? What have you done to him?”

I lost my three innocent paternal uncles to Israeli bullets a few decades ago. And up to this moment, I have never received a word of apology, or mea culpa from Israel, let alone compensation and damages for the horrendous crime.

Why does Israel behave in this manner? Do Jews really think that their lives have sanctity while ours don’t? Do Jews think that the Chosen People complex allows them to belittle the worth and value of non-Jewish lives as is clear from Israel’s words and deeds? Aren’t all humans humanly equal?

I hope and pray that the Toulouse ‘s murder won’t be repeated. But I know too well that this won’t happen as long as Israel continues to murder Palestinians, torment them, steal their land, and narrow their horizons.

One of the messages that keeps repeating itself throughout the Torah is “don’t oppress the aliens, for you yourselves were oppressed in the land of Egypt .” Had Jews paid real attention to these timeless words, the Toulouse incident probably wouldn’t have occurred.

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