Saturday, August 18, 2007
Diego Traversa - 2007: The Year of the Lion
The events that mark the historical journey of the Israeli State have an odd thirty-year cadence.
* 1917, Balfour Declaration and consequent willingness of English imperialism to concede a “national homeland” for the Jewish people.
* 1947, UN Resolution for the partition of historical Palestine into two entities, one destined to the future Jewish State and the other for the native inhabitants, in other words, the Palestinians.
* 1977, year of the historical shift in Israel: after thirty years of Labor-socialist-progressive dominance, a coalition government led by Menachem Begin’s Likud is installed. Further, there are the signs of the first breakthrough in the resolute Arab refusal to recognise Israel: the historic visit of Sadat to Jerusalem.
Now, if mathematics is not an opinion, this year is the next step in that tradition, thirty years from the latest stage in the development of Zionism in Palestine and, excepting major upheavals, there doesn’t seem to be any earth-shattering political change on the horizon.
Are we really so sure of that?
Allowing for a rapid consideration, it seems to me that the above-mentioned dates brought about one of the most serious miscarriages of justices ever perpetrated in history, and that their succession is nothing more than a catastrophic climax: rather than a “national homeland”, 1917 gave way, through diplomatic means, to a regional homeland that today seems like one of the most tormented on the planet; in 1947 there was the ratification of an absurd imperialist decision to divide a territory exactly with the same gluttony, insensitivity and arrogance that was used every time that Europe was redesigned after very bellicose or political upheaval (Metternich and the Vienna Congress, the Paris Conference, etc.) in which the resident population had absolutely no say in the matter; lastly, in 1977, while in Italy trade union leader Luciano Lama was being kicked out of the Universities by radical students, in Israel the political program of massive settlement building was kicking the Palestinian people out of their homeland, taking from them even what little remained for them in the West Bank, stuffing them into remote reservations, as the Americans did with the natives of that continent, thanks to the criminal policies of Begin who, driven by a Labor idea, set off extensive colonisation campaigns (both secular and religious).
Considering this progression, an initial thought comes to me: if in 2007 some great change should happen, this would certainly be detrimental to the Palestinian people, absolutely not to the Israelis. And, to tell the truth, it seems that it actually has been that way.
One has to be blind to not notice that there has indeed been a radical change.
In 2007, in my humble opinion, there has been perhaps the most extensive and aggressive Zionist propaganda campaign ever made, especially caused by the Israeli fear of seeing Hamas come to power. Not that this in itself says much, seeing as how in Israel there is little difference made between Hamas and Fatah: when there was Arafat, they pitted him against the religious extremists; now that the latter are in (relative) power, they are doing everything they can to support the “moderate” rivals who are more apt to settle with Israel on Israeli terms.
The fact of the matter is that in Israel they have noticed that after forty years of illegal occupation, privation and provocation, of injustice of every imaginable sort, the Palestinian people are still there, ready to express their dignity to exist yet again. In Israel they have noticed that there is a necessity for a strong political instability that will allow the continuation of the Zionist project (that, we must remember, foresees as a minimum requirement a single and homogenous – viable – territorial entity that is destined for Jews that extends from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, leaving aside the even more ambitious dreams of Jabotinsky and his followers that aspired to the conquest of the ENTIRETY of Palestine, that is, even those parts of land that the English destined to the Hashemites, the philosophy behind the birth of the Revisionist Zionist movement of which Begin, Shamir and Sharon have been the most famous exponents). And to do this, they have used the most terrible means possible, such as withholding funds that are owed to the Palestinians, bringing about commercial blockades, throwing dirt and infamy against a government elected by its people (whether or not it was democratic almost is of little importance: by chance are we as interested in knowing if the Colombians, North Koreans, Saudis, Iranians or Chinese democratically elect their representatives?) Are these the typical means that a democracy employs towards other governments?
It is clear that 2007 might be the next step ahead in favour of Zionism, taking into consideration the extremely great change that has taken place: the fracture of the Palestinian people into two branches, with the consequent exultance of all the philo-Zionists in the world. It is a fact that has actually brought to mind the hypothesis of the so-called “two people, three states” paradigm. A “Three for the price of two” offer that simply seems too good to pass up…
So there it is, 2007 is indeed the year of great news for the tireless Zionists. In that gigantic Middle Eastern melting pot, a new ingredient has been added: virulent Palestinian discord, a factor that can only benefit the treacherous Zionist plans (yes, doubt not, even the Zionists plan away…).
Even so, trying to be optimistic and willing to demonstrate comprehension and solidarity to the long-suffering Palestinian people, we can try to turn the data of the problem in its head.
Yes, because while our politicians yammer on about everything and everybody without in reality understanding anything at all, the more careful observers should not let the slight changes that are taking place escape our attention, verifying that, in reality won’t bring about the success of Zionism, but rather, its unweaving.
Everything, in nature, has a beginning and an end.
If we take into account the three dates previously given, we can even in a poetic way imagine the development of Zionist events in terms of biological development: 1917, conception, 1947, birth, 1977, maturity.
Therefore, could 2007 be the year of aging? (For that of death, it’s a little bit early, but, never say never…)
Who knows, maybe all of these major upheavals are not what they seem to be. Maybe the situation is not all that rosy for the grandchildren of Herzl and his brutal, irrational dream.
There are all the elements there in order to come to such a conclusion.
Let’s start from a simple idea: just as the Zionists, in order to justify (pathetically and arrogantly, for sure) their undertaking, claimed that there was no such thing called Palestine. If we are willing to call a spade a spade, we have even more reason to claim that no such thing as a Jewish State exists, given that constitutional rights acknowledge, as a necessary condition for such a definition, the specification of precise confines. Seeing as how Israel simply does not have definitive confines, it can’t be called a State. Therefore, the Palestinians are totally entitled to carry through their goal, as much as and even more than the Zionists who have sacked their land. Because it’s sacking we’re talking about, despite the improbable justifications and essential propaganda that has been presented as a benevolent Zionist project, dedicated only to guaranteeing a land for a people dispersed throughout the world and desirous only of “normalisation”.
If it is true that before 1948 the Zionists didn’t engage in outright theft, since they bought property from Arab absentee landlords and there they built their various Kibbutz, it is also undeniable that the portion of land inhabited by the Jewish community was little to nothing in comparison to the overwhelming Arab majority, certainly not enough to allow them to claim any kind of national sovereignty. Then, as a matter of coincidence, the “war of liberation” broke out, as the Zionists call it, and they are right about that: because, actually they did “liberate” large areas inhabited by Arabs, “cleansing” them of their Palestinian population. All of this is the contrary of a irredentist war, one that usually breaks out to reclaim a land that is inhabited by a majority of a given ethnic community in order to liberate it from those who they consider to be invaders who have no cultural and historical relationships with it. Curiously, the Zionists had planned it all out rather well; beforehand they “evacuate” a hostile population and after, with the wave of a magic wand, they affirm, “See? Now we are the majority. Give us a State, please…” If that’s not sacking, I don’t know what is…
Further, that supposed Jewish “people”, seeing that it had been so kindly donated a State, does not present all of the characteristics that constitute the primary condition for the demand of self-determination: language, customs, local traditions, culture connected to a specific territory (unless one insists upon stubbornly closing his eyes and claiming that a Yemenite Jew has much in common with a German or Lithuanian one). We’ve heard a lot about Jewish rights to a land based on presumed past connections dating as far back as 2 or even 3 thousand years. This is something that should make anyone having good sense see how illogical it is. It would be like, for instance, tomorrow we Italians wanting to newly conquer Istanbul because it was an antique Roman territory and we decided to even take the name Constantinople out of its dusty chest. How silly and irrational that demand sounds as long as it takes precedence over the objective and evident historical situation. In the case of Israel, going against what the Palestinians (Jews, Christians or Muslims that they might have been… ah, yes, many even can’t think that a Palestinian could have been Jewish!!) have been living for centuries. What seems ridiculous is that while the Jews are working hard to dig deeply in the search for archaeological artefacts that will attest to their millenary connection with the Palestinian territory, the roots of the Palestinians to their land is so very evident that, absurdly, they ignore it or try to diminish it, as if it had no importance at all.
This is just a basis for discussion, just to clarify that the Palestinian cause has to be morally supported against the historical Zionist injustice.
A second point, one might object that the Palestinians have chosen to live side-by-side with Israel in a State of their own.
Here we are faced with a great distortion. The Palestinians have accepted the hypothesis of Two States exactly when the Jews accepted the Partition plan. Practical and tactical decisions, that don’t however substitute the true goals.
Just as how the Jews in 1947 were certain that no matter how things went, they never would have abandoned their dream of creating a single territorial entity for themselves from the Jordan to the Mediterranean (proof of this is the incredible perseverance to not let up on the West Bank, or as they call it, their beloved Judea-Samaria, upon which the State of Palestine is supposed to rise, and is instead dotted by hundreds of colonies full of fanatical religious nuts or by Jewish immigrants attracted to the place by the trick of fiscal facilitation), the same can be said of the Palestinians who, driven by simple necessity, will be forced into accepting the hypothesis of Two States in order to not risk losing that small portion that remains. If the Israelis and the Palestinians really wanted to live in two adjacent States, by now there already would have been these States, one next to the other. But Israel’s aggressive, racist policies based on colonisation, is there for everyone to see and demonstrates the impossibility of such a hypothesis: only egotistical, incompetent politicians, ones who are profiteers, aren’t aware of Israel’s behaviour, in fact, they accuse the Palestinians of being the ones who resort to violence.
Rather, Israel is described always as an absolute good, the only democracy in the Middle East, the light that comes from the European civilisation and illuminates the backward Arab world.
Israel makes concessions that the Arabs refuse; Israel is pacific, the Arabs are blood-thirsty vampires (and God only knows how the most militarised nation on the face of the earth can be the one that tends so strongly towards tranquillity and peace…. It brings to mind the cartoon of a child who asks his father, an army general: ‘Dad, tonight I dreamt of a world without war,’ and the father reprimands him saying, ‘Don’t worry son, it was only a bad dream’…). Israel has free elections, free press, freedom of speech while the Arab States are authoritarian regimes, its press is subservient to power and women can only be out in the streets if they are dressed like black cockroaches.
Yes, these are the stereotypes and the modern vision that everyday we are force-fed, with its scope of merely denigrating, diminishing and humiliating that marvellous (especially regarding its cuisine and legendary hospitality) Arab-Muslim culture for mere geo-political and financial interests.
Being able to tolerate the lies, the distortion and the misrepresentation that politicians, journalists and pseudo-experts propagate day after day is truly a hard task.
This is the point, though.
Politicians think that we are idiots and that we are malleable. Unfortunately for them, they aren’t able to notice (if they ever were in the past) the changes that are just below the surface and are able to be summarised in one simple question: setting aside the moral issue of wanting to give a State to a “people” by taking another people’s territory away from them; are we sure that the solution of Two States in really and truly feasible?
Unfortunately, in their approaching senility (it seems to me that the average age of Italian politicians is over 60 years of age), they haven’t noticed that in the last ten years people don’t refer that often to newspapers (at least here in Italy) or at any rate, in order to satisfy their own thirst for knowledge, they don’t only read the newspapers, but they make continual use of what may be the greatest invention of the century: Internet.
A place that, given the enormous quantity of data, helps to train, understand, illuminate, learn and find explanations. All it takes is a dose of goodwill, without bias or preconceived ideas, and anyone can make a generic and true opinion on any argument.
When I see Italian politicians praise Zionism and Israel to the seventh heavens, saying what they will of the Palestinian question, my blood pressure rises, because I understand just how ignorant and hypocritical they are.
I may not be a refined expert on matters of the Middle East, but I can easily affirm that sometimes I know more about it than all of those arrogant figures who, only for the fact of being in Parliament, think they are telling us what the truth is.
Their complete incapacity and lack of courage in affirming their ideas comes essentially from their ignorance, specifically of Middle Eastern issues (then there are the interests of the Lobbies, but that is another matter).
Do you really think that a Fini, a D’Alema, a Calderoli, and yes, even a Bertinotti or a Napolitano have ever really had the time to investigate just what the Middle East is (not to mention those politicians who probably don’t even know where it is located)? Do they know what Zionism is, with all of its shades and currents? Which politicians can say what the origins of the various Shamirs, Sharons, Begins and Jabotinskys are? What does the original English text (that they don’t even speak) of UN Resolution 242 say, with that slight of hand that specifies an Israeli withdrawal “from territories”, rather than “from the territories”? Can they say what a Fellah is? Do they know when the Arab League was founded? Can they say what happened at Deir Yassin in April 1948?
In other words, what is this “Israeli-Palestinian Question” they talk about as if they are experts?
This issue risks being too involved, but I would merely like to stress that these poor, mad politicians shouldn’t drive us nuts with their absurdities.
In the first place, this issue requires people who are serious and well-informed. In the second place, it’s not necessary to have a bias, to root for one side or the other. Politicians, in dealing with foreign politics and therefore with realities that are meant for others to make the decisions (that is, the populations whose lives are directly affected by a particular reality), have the task and the duty to set themselves apart as objective parties, as intermediaries, and not as supporters of this or that political faction. They should base their politics on an awareness of an objective reality.
Furthermore, as carriers of values and inalienable rights that are inspired by the advanced Western civilisation (especially we Italians, who have to export even wider that power system that the whole world envies, the Mafia), these politicians are called to work for their dissemination in the world, possibly without wars, through cultural and economic exchange. Otherwise, they should stop talking about liberalism and democracy, and they should proudly affirm that war is an honest instrument (rather than speaking hypocritically about humanitarian wars…) and they should be more honest in saying: ‘Ok, we want to settle in that specific area because it’s geo-politically strategic for us.’ They’d even be more respected for it.
It’s a waste of time to try to fool people, intervening in Iraq and in Afghanistan to “export” democracy and freedom and at the same time to forget all the rest. It’s just not believable and this trickery is simply no longer tolerable.
All the more reason that they should start to take into account the fact that thanks to Internet, people are far less apt to have the wool pulled over their eyes to such extreme levels. They can’t keep on defending and covering up their geo-political interests under absurd lies such as the Clash of Civilisations and other such idiocies.
If they really are concerned about politics, the serious kind, they had better start acting so that people are able to find interest in them again, rather than hypocritically wondering about the reasons that the public has lost interest, rightly convinced that current politics is little more than a mere bartering of interests and a tangle of stratagems.
Politicians should come back to seriously dealing with politics and all it implies, in the first place, an awareness that politics is based on compromises made between parties, taking off from a condition of objective reality.
In the case under examination, reality tells us that Zionism, meant as an instrument to give a country to the Jews, has failed, because substantially the Zionist idea was defective to begin with. The Jews already did have a country, just as a Catholic or a Muslim had one. Instead, turning this idea upside down, wanting to avoid the assimilation and disappearance of the Jews, it was decided to give them a State, with all that it has brought about.
It is this starting point that the politicians, in their stubbornness, don’t care to recognise, to admit or that they simply don’t want to understand. But, they repeat ad nauseam, with an emphasis that should make us begin to suspect their motivations, that “Israel has the right to exist.”
In what way and where?
Israel does NOT have a right to exist because it is not the fruit of the history of a people who invoke their self-determination as much as it is the product of the madness of political thinkers. It has no such right because it was born on the stream of antiquated doctrine. The reactionary and nationalistic doctrines that were typical of the late 1800s were its sources, and they certainly did not foresee, as today they would like us to think, of the use of democratic means for their realisation. A realisation that is impossible to bring about with democratic and pacific means. The mediocrity of such thinkers lies precisely in their incapacity to be able to predict what developments could have come about from undertaking such an enterprise. And given their considerations, the difference between what they predicted and what has actually happened is so enormous that one can only draw the logical conclusion and say that Zionism is already dead and buried. The final ending to it was its guaranteeing a safe harbour to Jews, following the tragic events of the Shoah. Well, what has Israel become for the Jews? An enormous armed Jewish ghetto that is supposed to guarantee the future of Judaism. But, ironically, this last Jewish ghetto is the last place on earth in which the Zionist axiom of wanting to give a secure “nation” to the Jews is in total contradiction to reality, seeing as it is the only place in the world where a Jew is not safe, given the surrounding hostility.
This alone is more than sufficient to declare the failure of Zionism, the absolute worthlessness of those thinkers who had conceived it (Hess, Gordon, Herzl, just to cite the most important ones) and the anachronistic nature of Israel, especially if one takes into account that the majority of Jews live outside their “nation”, demonstrating that modern society has overcome all its limits and is able to guarantee coexistence between various religions.
Setting aside for the moment whether or not Israel has the right to exist (considering that for many we are talking about a God-given right!), European politicians and not only them, simply don’t see that many of the interested parties, Jews and Palestinians, are reflecting on the prospective that excludes the creation of what is known as “Two States for two People”. This is the objective reality of the future: the two rights are irreconcilable. The only true, democratic and just solution is one that the United Nations and the international community should support, putting aside strategic interests that induce them to root for one side or the other. A single democratic State, in which the rights of both communities are guaranteed but not allowing that one should predominate over the other. Allowing the right of Jews and Arabs to immigrate within the land, if they so desire, and (considering the Jewish need of safeguarding Judaism) to make the Middle East an example of civilisation, guaranteeing a spiritual centre for Judaism in Eastern land, as was already what the great thinker Ahad Ha-Am had promoted.
It is a sensible and rational project, that could immediately be implemented and one that would put an end to the hostilities once and for all.
One, if I may, I’d like to speak to an important politician and put him face to face with the evidence of reality. If I am allowed to, I’d choose to ask my questions to Blair, because Bush makes me sick just looking at him, and the politicians of my country make me nauseous just by hearing them. I’d like to be able to write him two (thousand) lines like this:
Dear Mr Blair,
You have been recently nominated by the Quartet with the title of “Middle East Peace Envoy”. I wish to give you my most heartfelt compliments, seeing as how now you will be able to present yourself once again like a good guy, after the enormous mud slung against you by the absurd and villainous accusations against you that were painting you as someone responsible for a rather sizeable crime such as the death of hundreds of thousands of people.
The Quartet has given birth to its Fifth Element, the saviour who will prevent the total destruction of the Middle East. If I were you, I wouldn’t let myself be discouraged by doubt and by the poisonous suspicions of those who ask how it is even possible that a warmonger like yourself, responsible, as they say, for the death of so many people can become a pacifist and flower child. To leave these doubts behind, I would advise you to first of all let your hair grow and then open your heart and, especially, to listen to the voice that comes from the Middle East, I am convinced that you, certainly equipped with natural auricular devices that are beyond the ordinary, will be able to fully absolve especially this task.
Listen, Mr Blair, to what the Israelis and Palestinians are invoking. The former are tired, they can’t go on like this any more, despite their doubtless military superiority, they are starting to notice that this situation can’t go on much longer for them. The latter, despite all the privations they are subject to, are ever more determined and steadfast. The more they are forced to endure starvation, the angrier they get (rightly so, I might add). In your view, is it really worth it all to shed more blood? How much longer can people be fooled into believing that Israel has a right to exist? For how much longer do you think that we can tolerate the lie of a democratic Israel, a State that maintains its Jewish ethnic majority must by way of force (and, I repeat, by way of force, inevitably) carry out a precise, structured and clear-cut discrimination against the other main ethnic component? For how much more time will you still think that we can accept the unjust preliminary condition that the Palestinians, if they want peace, have to first recognise the right of the State of Israel to “exist”? Have you ever asked Israel to do as much? To accept a right of existence of the Palestinians in their State? Perhaps you have, and maybe you are even convinced that Israel, righteous Israel, is truly intent on making peace and living a pacific coexistence. In words, maybe, but not in actions.
Actions speak louder than words, dear Mr Blair. And the actions of Israel are of a State that for 40 years has been occupying, after having started a war, the piece of land that was destined to the elusive Palestinian State. And on top of it, they have built hundreds of settlements, demonstrating in action, just how much they are truly inclined towards peace.
Mr Blair, do you really believe that people are so stupid or ignorant to believe that Israel is a democratic and independent State? Aside from the fact that it has no established borders, aside from the fact that it discriminates against a chunk of its own population, aside from the ethnic cleansing enacted since 1948, aside from its formidable military apparatus (the only true institution that is able to form, forge and unite the Israeli people, who otherwise would remain divided by profound cultural differences), aside from the doubt as to how such a warlike nation proposes itself as a guarantor for peace and democracy, I ask you:
Can one define as an independent State an entity that depends exclusively on financial contributions from the Diaspora community, as well as the State money from the American ally, and without which its entire economy would collapse? Can one define as a State a place where only a fourth of its citizens live? I mean to ask: we Italians number 60 million, but I am quite certain that there are not 180 million other Italian citizens living elsewhere… In Israel there are 5 million Jewish citizens, but the majority (a further 13 million), live abroad. Isn’t that a contradiction of sorts? If, as they say, this is a “people” that needs and has the right to a nation, why then aren’t you interceding through your friend Bush, inviting him to grant to the “chosen people” Montana or Nebraska or Florida (there’s enough sun, so that they can get tanned: following that Zionist myth of the “sabra” who is scorched by the hot sun…), seeing as how in America there is a greater number of “co-nationals”? Try to make a similar request towards him and let’s see how Bush responds…. I would bet that he would take you for a madman. Pity that this clearly evident mad idea didn’t seem that way when, on the contrary, having to pay the price were those backward people with brown skin who abstain from pork and usually bow down to the ground in the direction of Mecca while they pray.
Let’s be honest, Mr Blair. Palestine is not America. It hasn’t got its wealth nor its wide open spaces. If we think that, in spite of these things, the Americans had no scruples and they didn’t hesitate for a moment when it came to denying the sharing of the land with the Indians. How can one think that Jews and Arabs will be able to co-exist in two States alongside one another in a small and impoverished region such as Palestine? I’m not saying that a Jew could not, if he so chose, to go live in Palestine, but to then take this as an invitation to take the land from another people to give it to someone coming from abroad is completely unjust. It has been said that the Jews hadn’t robbed anything from the Palestinians. That they bought their country bit by bit and, given the millenary links to the land in question, they would then have put forth the demand of independence. As if buying land in a State is sufficient enough to demand the independence from someone. Without then taking into account that those who requested this, the Jews, were not even all that interested in such a project. Only a few Mitteleuropean Jews supported this idea, while the Jewish communities were not at all interested in founding a State, finding the very idea dangerous and absurd. Then there was Nazism, the cause of which, ignobly, the Zionists have coined the motto “never again” to push the Jewish masses into Palestine, despite the fact that Western societies, after the horror of the Second World War, learned to guarantee the rights of everyone, Jews included. To approve of Zionism means the outright denial that Western societies are able to assure the rights of the various religious communities and that would be a real offence, because this would implicate putting on the same plane democratic societies and authoritarian, illiberal and racist ones. It is nothing less than a moral victory of Nazism, sixty years after the end of the Second World War.
Unless you consider Jews as a people that has a right to a nation like any other people: that is, a “race” having specific physical and cultural characteristics, which is precisely what the Nazis claimed about (against) the Jews. In both cases, we see how the acceptance of Zionism isn’t possible without an inevitable re-evaluation of the Nazi regime (and we don’t aim at that in any way, shape or form). After all, Nazism and Zionism have very much in common, even the close relationship between officials, as was the case of Adolph Eichmann and Rudolph Kastner, the details of which are unknown to the masses (and for some people, they want it to stay that way, because otherwise it would make it quite clear just what Zionism really is).
Mr Blair, in trying to avoid the destruction of what the moral foundations of Zionism might be (a time-consuming question, better left to intellectuals), why don’t we speak a bit more concretely, let’s get “down to earth”, as you might say.
In that you are nominated as the new peace envoy in the Middle East, do you think you could illuminate me on what generic basis we can conceive of a Palestinian State? I’ll give you some advice first: don’t do like all the negotiators have done so far, demonstrating their complete incapacity or bad faith. Take the question head on and tell us how you intend upon resolving the vital issues of the question.
I’ll propose a mathematical model:
“The candidate must resolve the following problem: data X = decades-long existence of the problem of the Palestinian refugees and Y = the stubborn Zionist refusal to share the city of Jerusalem (Capital indivisible by two!), not being able to avoid Z = inevitable exponential expansion of the Jewish colonies and taking into account K = neurotic Zionist psychological state that will not accept living as neighbours next to enemies who are armed to the teeth, please demonstrate how it is possible to come up with an area that is sufficiently large to allow for those that are meant to be (P) = Palestinian institutions, build them a viable State that is not fragmented in Bantustans and then to explain how an Israeli will be able to accept that this will become a normal State like any other, that is, armed, furnished with a regular army, when Israel itself is worried about the existence of the simplest Swiss Army Knife or by homemade Qassam rockets”. In other words: what is the correspondence of P = 700X + Y/2 + Z^n + K?
Mr Blair, I know I’m fooling around a bit, but in reality, there is very little to laugh about. Those who principally have little to be cheerful about are the desperate Palestinian masses, who don’t know where to turn for help.
They are constantly blackmailed, they have to additionally bear the constant burden of being accused of terrorism. That is the usual trick that the politicians and the powerful use when they aren’t able to seriously face these questions. The cowardice and perverse practice of labelling rivals in order to discredit them before anyone can do anything to combat that is shameful. I am sure you know what I’m referring to, seeing as how even you Englishmen have used this tactic in the past, especially against the Irish.
Mr Blair, besides the fact that terrorism derives from Jacobian matrix of the French Revolution, that is, State terrorism, I believe that with this stupid and cowardly method to get rid of one’s adversaries is no longer credible. Especially looking at the disastrous State terrorism campaigns that have been made since 2001 onwards.
To label Hamas as terrorism means supporting the idea that the Palestinian people, as a whole, is a terrorist people, judging by the popular support that the Islamic movement has. How long do you think you can fool people with these word games?
You might remember, Mr Blair that even the IRA had ample popular support: yet, look at what Ireland has become today. Yet, to stay on topic, think of the adoption of “terrorism” by the Jews themselves when they fought your co-nationals in 1948 and expelled them from Palestine. Why do you need to continually belittle the demands of a political entity by tagging them as “terrorists”? Do you seriously think that this lie of yours is believable?
Of course, the methods used by certain groups might be cause of some doubt, but, on the other hand, when two nationalist claims are clashing, it is extremely difficult to imagine that the factions in opposition are able to talk peacefully around a campfire and decide the fate of the territory. If you believe that the use of violence and attacks against civilians are terrorist acts, this is fine. Yet, this does not have a prerogative in any people in particular: in this sense, we are all terrorists, from Hamas to the Irgun, from you Englishmen to the Irishmen, from the Vietnamese to the Americans and their napalm raids.
In this sense, the tale of the Lion and the Hunter by John Henry Newman is very fitting. In case you are unfamiliar with is, let me briefly tell it. Because, honestly, I believe that in the Middle East, history needs to be rewritten, completely and once and for all.
“One day, a man invited a lion to his house and he welcomed him with all the hospitality one reserved for a king. The lion was allowed to move freely anywhere in the magnificent palace full of an infinity of wonderful things to admire. There were large salons, long corridors, all of which were decorated with great luxury. There was a collection of paintings and sculptures, works of great artists. The subjects that were depicted were varied, but the most magnificent one of all was the one that interested the lion the most: it was in fact a painting of the lion himself. While he went from one room to another, the owner of the palace always drew the lion’s attention to the indirect homage that the various groups of statues and paintings made to the importance of the tribe of the lions. Yet, there was an aspect in all of these works to which the guest, though remaining courteously in silence, was not left indifferent. No matter how varied the works were in style from one another, all of them showed a common element: the man always was depicted as victorious and the lion was always defeated.
When the lion finished visiting the palace, his host asked him what he thought of the marvellous things inside. The lion answered by complimenting the wealth of the owner and the artistry of his decorators, but he added: “If the lions were the artists, they would have had a better fate.”
With this tale, Mr Blair, I hope you have been able to see the evident meaning, and considering the times we live in, a meaning that is still valid. Given that you Englishmen are among the main parties responsible for the Middle Eastern disaster, thanks to your centuries-old imperialism, I will close this letter by inviting you to take advantage of the coincidence of the year, 90 years after the Balfour Declaration, history has put the destiny of the tormented Palestinian land into the hands of another Englishman. I fully hope, even if I am not that convinced of it, that you won’t make the same mistakes that your incapable forefather did and finally, once and for all, someone remembers the lions in question: the Palestinians. Their history does not deserve to be so ignobly vilified as it has been for far too long.
Diego Traversa and Mary Rizzo are Members of Tlaxcala