A message (really list of questions) to Israelis and Jews who support the government of Israeli in its onslaught on Gaza
Two days ago, I wrote a message to the people of Gaza (https://popular-resistance.blogspot.com/2023/10/letter-to-gaza.html ). I think it is only fair to write a message to Israelis and Jews who support the government of Israel in its onslaught on Gaza. Now as all communication in Gaza is blocked and ground operations started, people will be killed in the thousands daily instead of in the hundreds daily (people can't even call an ambulance and horrific humanitarian conditions compound as all water, food and medical supplies are depleted). I must address you but not with requests but with 13 sets of questions.
Of course, I know that many Jews and decent Israelis do not support this. We are grateful for the hundreds of Jews who were arrested in congress in Washington DC and blocking Grand Central station in New York (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/10/28/protesters-shut-new-yorks-grand-central-station-demanding-gaza-ceasefire) as they opposed the ongoing genocide (and yes you know it is a genocide even from the statements by Israeli leaders – examples below). I know human inner deeper thoughts are sometimes repressed to score points. I know many of you are afraid that if Hamas is allowed to have Israel as a Jewish state so you feel it is an existential struggle. It is this fear that I wish to address here. I address you as a Palestinian Christian who formed many organizations, wrote books (including one on the merits of popular/unarmed resistance and another on “Sharing the Land of Canaan”). I address you as someone who was detained and arrested for such non-violent resistance together with fellow human beings of all religions (including Israeli Jews). I address you as a grandson of a brilliant man who was orphaned in WWI and who befriended a Jewish colleague in Ottoman-ruled Palestine before the British occupied our country and delegated a Zionist Jew to run it (Herbert Samuel who ruled Palestine 1920-1925 and made the first apartheid laws including segregating public schools). I address you as a scientist who studied human and biological diversity and assure you that these are healthy (I am against a Muslim, Christian, or Jewish state for this reason). I address you as a fellow human being that refuses to be dehumanized and refuses to dehumanize others. I will not lecture you. I merely want to ask you some pivotal and existential questions:
1) It has been 126 years since the first Zionist Congress had some debate about what to do with the indigineous people of Palestine if it is to be transformed to a Jewish state. After all this time and all this bloodshed, can you articulate honestly a solution that would entail equal rights and responsibilities? A win-win situation where both parties feel safe, secure, and are prosperous?
2) There are eight million Palestinian refugees or displaced Palestinians in the world. Their spirit of resilience seems stronger than ever (many led the millions who protested the war on Gaza). Do you think the actions in Gaza increased or decreased their insistence on their rights? What do you propose to do with them/us long term (15 million globally and half of us still in historic Palestine under the Israeli rule)?
3) There are some 2 billion Muslims and even more Christians in the world. This Holy Land is holy to them as it is to Jews and Samaritans and Bahai and others. How do you propose to both promote “Jewishness” of the country without alienating all those billions of people long term (after “winning” over Hamas)?
4) Since 1948 when there was minimal indigenous resistance, does it not seem to you that resistance keeps growing (both quantity and quality)? Regardless of what happens in this round of destruction, do you really believe you can militarily suppress all future uprisings? Since 1948, the “Zionist” response to resistance was to take more lands from Palestinians and build more colonies because that is what pains us Palestinians. Do you think this strategy is working?
5) There was a heavy price for creation of Israel as a Jewish state and the price keeps growing both in Jewish and Palestinian lives. Zionists claimed it was to create a safe haven for Jews. Questions: a) do you really think that it was fair to punish native Palestinians and remove for sins of other nations against Jews , b) do you think it worked (i.e. created a safe haven, who is safer today a Jew in Berlin or in Tel Aviv?), c) if this is an insurance policy in case of a future holocaust, what price in Palestinian and Israeli blood is it worth to keep going? (Since the ratio of deaths since 1948 has been 12 Palestinians for every Israeli, would the maximum price worth paying be 120,000 additional Palestinians to 10,000 Israelis, or 1.2 million Palestinians & 100,000 Israelis). How much suffering is the convenience of "Israel" as an apartheid state become not worth it?
7) You know and all informed people know that special interests determines policy not human rights and justice. Do you think Sunak, Macron, Biden, CNN and others support the Israeli government against the wishes of their people because they believe in it or because of lobbies? More importantly, do you feel this helps fight anti-Judaism (as it is now mistakenly but commonly referred to as anti-Semitism) or promote it? Does it promote such hatred to have created the last post-WWII refugee crisis and to engage in endless wars like this one on Gaza that so far killed 3000 children in three weeks by a military donning Menoras and stars of David as insignia and state emblems? Does it promote such hate for Zionism to support right wing fanatical racist leaders whether in India or Hungary (or even neo-Nazis in Ukraine)? Do the people count?
8) Why do you think there are thousands of Jews around the world (especially young Jews) opposing Zionism and what the state of Israel is trying to do in their supposed name?
9) Do you really think it is good for Israel to promote lies (hasbara) in order to get its message across (it I Hamas’s fault, Israel tries to protect civilians, Israel made the desert bloom etc)? Do you think it is good to silence free speech (including calls for BDS) via intimidation, pressure, and new laws in Western Countries? Is this a good, long-term strategy to win hearts and minds (especially when modern technologies allow us to find the truth)?
10) In your heart-of-hearts do you really think millions of Palestinians will give-up on Palestine and simply move on? Do you think Palestinians have a right to self defense? Do you really think allowing Palestinians autonomy in 15% of historic Palestine without Jerusalem and without refugees allowed to return to their homes and lands is a decent solution? (even if it is called a state but without real sovereignty)? How many of you actually think that there is no other solution other than stronger Israel dictating its will (because we are a in a “bad neighborhood” a racist attitude). Regardless, doesn’t this situation mean that Israel stays a large ghetto itself fending those savage terrorists called Palestinians, Lebanese etc? Is that really a healthy way to live (even if you have advanced economy with high tech, billions of US and German taxpayer money etc.)? The US itself has millions of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus etc living in one country – do you think that is not a good way to live?
11) Is there no other way? Why is it so hard to accept and work for a true democratic secular country where all rights are protected by law (minorities and majorities – see https://onestatecampaign.org/en/ and http://qumsiyeh.org/sharingthelandofcanaan/ )? Please do not give me the facile answers about they will throw us into the sea, Zionists literally through Palestinians into the sea in 1948 and that is why we have Gaza being 2/3rd refugees.
12) Do you think Palestinian lives are as worthy as Israeli lives?
13) If fear keeps you silent, can you reflect on other situations of injustice where fear kept people silent? Isn't it impossible to be neutral on a moving train (especially one heading to a cliff)? When does “never again” be “never again to any people” and how can Israel become a “light unto the nations” instead of the torch that lights WWIII?
I know many of you do not care to answer these questions let alone to think outside the box for our collective future. That is of course up to you. History will record what happened unless we get into WWIII and we have no people left to write.
“There will be no food, no electricity, no food, no fuel. Everything is closed. We are fighting animal people, and we are acting accordingly” Yoav Galant, Israeli Defense Minister on 9 October 2023
“We will turn Gaza into an island of ruins” Benjamin Netanyahu 8 October 2023
”We are dropping hundreds of tons of bombs on Gaza. The focus is on destruction, not accuracy” Daniel Hagari, Israeli army spokesperson 10 October in Haaretz
Anima Humans will be treated accordingly, you wanted he’ll and you’ll get hell” Ghassan Major General of the Israeli army October 9 Social media post
“There is an entire nation who are responsible. This rhetoric about civilians supposedly not being involved is absolutely untrue (…) We will fight until we break their backs” Yitzhak Herzon, Israeli President Press conference
“Jericho missile! Doomsday weapon! That is my opinion. Powerful rockets to be fired without limits/borders. Gaza to be smashed and razed to the ground. Without mercy” Tally Gotliv :okud Partly, 9 October on X/Twitter
“Wipe out their families, their mothers and their children. These animals must not be allowed to live any longer” Ezra Yachin, Israeli Veteran who participated in the ethnic cleansing of 1948 (Nakba)
“Now there is only one goal: Nakba. A Nakba in Gaza that will dwarf the Nakba of 1948” Ariel Kellet, :Likud Party Politician 7 October on X/Twitter
"The only thing that needs to enter Gaza are hundreds of tons of explosives, not one ounce of humanitarian relief" Itamar Ben Gvir (Israeli minister in Charge of Police and arming setters)
"They should go, as well as the physical homes in which they raised the snakes in. Otherwise more little snakes will be raised there" Ayelet Shakid
"We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children, We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children " Golda Meir (old but shows the racist ideology)
"I am here today not only as the US Secretary of State but also as a Jew … as long as the US exists, you will never have to do this [alone] because we will always be with you" US Secretary of State Blinken 12 October [already hundreds of special US Delta force boots are on the ground).
Words have outcomes. Here are some images (both of reslilence and pain)