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Op-Ed: Zionism Needs To Go

Dorji Dhatsenpa

Contributor

Via Al Jazeera


In the early hours of April 9th, 1948, fighters from the Irgun, a terrorist paramilitary Zionist group, set off for the village of Deir Yassin. 


According to the Interactive Encyclopedia of the Palestine Question, Deir Yassin was an entirely civilian and prosperous Palestinian village who signed non-aggression pacts with neighbouring Jewish villages, such as Givat Shaul in the wake of the ongoing civil war. Mordechai Gichon, a Haganah intelligence officer at the time, would even go on to state in the Nakba documentary, “1948: Creation and Catastrophe” that, “[Deir Yassin] was completely peaceful.” A peaceful co-existence between Palestinians and Jews is unthinkable according to the Zionist narrative of uncivilized Palestinians. 


Zionist fighters attacked and left 110 Palestinians from an entirely civilian and peaceful village dead.  According to Charles D. Smith – a historian at the University of Arizona – bodies were thrown down wells, grenades were thrown into homes, and civilians were mutilated and had their body parts cut off. Otthman Akkel recalls the Deir Yassin massacre in the documentary saying, “They hit Haj Ahmed on the head and took [his] child and threw him into the oven. [...] Then they took the father and threw him after the son. They told him, ‘Follow your son.’ [...] I started running.” The documentary then covers the survivors of Deir Yassin, who were hauled onto Irgun trucks and paraded around the streets of Jerusalem, where Israeli spectators mocked, stoned, and spit on these villagers. The accounts of Deir Yassin spread like wildfire among Palestinian villages and would only serve to accelerate the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.


Palestinian armed resistance is consistently viewed in a vacuum, isolated from the Zionist ideology and regime that creates and condemns it. Despite the moral immunity and victim identity Israel feigns when faced with such forces, we must not forget Israel is the active instigator by depriving an entire people of their right to live. Israel, through its escalation of colonial violence against civilians over the decades, has made the horrors of October 7th an inevitable reaction against this violence. 


Deir Yassin is only one example of Israeli-sanctioned violence against the Palestinians, and now with the genocidal campaign of “self-defence” that Israel has launched on Gaza, the horrors of the Nakba that Palestinians have faced under Israeli occupation have finally been revealed for what they really are: the unfolding of a settler-colonial genocide. Israel, since October 7th, has been documented by the press as carpet bombing the Gaza strip, shooting and blocking civilians who seek humanitarian aid, endorsing genocidal policy and rhetoric from the highest levels of its government, and engaging in mass dispossession and expulsion of its subaltern population. 


The only path for justice in the Middle East is an end to the Zionist occupation, an apartheid state whose end goal is the extermination of its colonized population. For Jewish readers, this may sound like a call to deprive the right to self-determination, and possibly an incitement towards anti-semitic violence.  Yet, as the right to self-determination is enshrined in international law, it comes at a great irony that Jewish self-determination comes with the arrival of The Palestinian Question in Israel and, most notably, that this level of violence is normalized and sanctioned by the Global North. This hypocritical discourse surrounding the Jewish right to self-determination, with its frequent weaponization of the Holocaust to silence valid criticisms of the State of Israel, can very easily be broken through by asking ourselves the simple following questions.


If the Jewish people achieved self-determination through the UN 1948 Partition Plan, why did Israel, according to a video by Vox, annex and bomb Jordanian, Syrian, and Egyptian territories? If the PLO and Hamas are the sole reason for Israel’s violence against Palestinians, then why did Deir Yassin happen? If four Palestinian children were shelled dead after playing hide-and-seek in a fisherman’s wharf, why did Israel lie and say they were Hamas, according to an article in The Guardian? And why has Israel, according to an article in Medeaite bombed and destroyed all functioning hospitals in Gaza, executing civilians point-blank in its wake?


Zionism, in its plain historical form, is a matter of genocidal aggression against its settler-colonial subject. We have seen it in the massacre of Deir Yassin and now in the continued indiscriminate bombings of Palestinian civilians, under the pretext of fighting terrorism. We cannot afford to let this become an ambient genocide as Israel shows no signs of cancelling a Rafah offensive and, although governments are globally beginning to cave under public pressure, it is simply not enough. 


The Zionist occupation needs to go and Palestinians need all their land back. We cannot wait for Palestinians to be memorialized in al-Nakba museums to act on our moral conscience.


Viva intifada.


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