A Palestinian, An Israeli, A European, A European Pan-Arabist Face off on the Ultimate Question of Israel’s Legitimacy: Is There Any Life After Zionism?
Exclusively for the Spanish newspaper Diagonal, two heavyweights of pro-Palestine intellectual activism, Khalid Amayreh and Gilad Atzmon, enter the polemic between the Spanish thinkers Santiago Alba-Rico and Raúl Sánchez-Cedillo about the State of Israel’s historical responsibility in the Middle East tragedy
Introduction: Nailing the Nail, by Manuel Talens
As I am one of those who thinks that Zionism is a form of racism and I refuse to accept the false deduction that any attack against the institutional apparatuses of the State of Israel has something to do with anti-Semitism (but with politics indeed), I usually like Alba-Rico’s materialistic texts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and not only due to the limpid and beautiful writing that characterizes his style, but also for ideological correlation. I liked therefore his piece “Israel is the Danger” (Diagonal, N.º 35, 19-07-2006). Several weeks later, I read with uneasiness Raúl Sánchez-Cedillo’s replica, “The danger is infinite war and fanaticism” (Diagonal, N.º 38, 14-09-2006), a compendium of crypto-Zionist same-old-stories usually repeated by decaffeinated left-wingers to turn things to their sophisms’ advantage. The dialectical confrontation of both thinkers deserved a dignified debate, I told to myself, and without thinking twice I requested the collaboration of two important writers of the Palestinian resistance’s theoretical environment: one of them is Gilad Atzmon –– an ex-Jew, a musician, a novelist and a ferocious enemy of Zionism from a non-Marxist stand –– and the other is Khalid Amayreh, a respected Palestinian writer and journalist who regularly collaborates with Middle East International and Al-Ahram. Both gladly accepted the challenge so I started the motor of Tlaxcala –– the network of translators for linguistic diversity, to which I belong –– and translated both Alba-Rico’s and Sánchez-Cedillo’s texts into English in order to make them accessible to my guests. Later I translated into Spanish for Diagonal the reflections they remitted me. As well, other Tlaxcalans are translating the whole group of essays into French, Italian and German (other languages will follow) so that in a few days the multilingual versions can be consulted on www.tlaxcala.es as well as on other alternative websites. Readers can find below “Israel is the Danger” and “The danger is infinite war and fanaticism”. Afterwards I give the floor to Khalid Amayreh’s “Zionism must be Dissolved for Peace” and to Gilad Atzmon’s “Spin is the Danger” so that both authors keep nailing the nail of an unconditional and necessary defence of Palestinians totally devoid of any Zionist (i.e. racist) obstacles. The debate is served. Come and inform yourself, friendly reader, and participate in it if you wish.
Israel is the Danger By Santiago Alba-Rico
For at least 60 years the West has been making an unprecedented investment in weapons, dollars and words to hide two simple and terrible ideas that put together, should make us tremble: The first one is that Palestine constitutes the moral crack of the globalised world, the vertebral point at which mankind is already breaking apart. The second is that Israel constitutes the greatest threat not only to both the life and dignity of Palestinians but for any hope of peace and stability on our planet.
Perhaps Palestinians are not the most punished people on earth, but they are indeed the most openly punished people on earth; perhaps they are not the people who have suffered the most but they are the people whose sufferings are the most uninterruptedly visible. Paradoxically, this visibility (beyond the lies) makes the victims even more vulnerable; it confers a kind of biblical dimension to the aggression: the boisterous authority of a divine intervention, and in front of it, the objects of God’s anger, are demeaned both morally and ontologically. The result of this effort is the paradox that the more brutal Israeli aggressions are, the guiltier we find their victims. The more openly contrary to Law the Israelis are, the more unjust and condemnable the Resistance and the very existence of Palestinians appear to be.
To the eyes of the world the legitimate capture of an invader soldier in fact appears to be at once a monstrous crime and the very origin of the monstrous Israeli answer: The answer that threatens to kill 1,200,000 people and to destroy two sovereign countries; Zionism’s religious source of legitimisation is this euphemistic concept that cowards call “disproportionate use of force”: any defence against Occupation is responded to with a plague, and the very “disproportion” of such a punishment proves at the same time, both the existence of Yahweh and the victim’s abjection.
No Auschwitz ever housed 1,200,000 prisoners; but Gaza does just that. No Auschwitz was openly celebrated nor accepted; Gaza is. What the Nazis hid, making their victims sacred this way, Israelis exhibits without shame, making their aggression sacred this way. The crime’s publicity feeds the religious, extralegal sources in the heart of Zionism, offering the world its twisted justification. Perhaps the world can support this aggression against Palestinians without stopping it for now. But it will not be able to indefinitely support this religious aggression in the public eye without fostering rebellion, breaking apart, or both.
Perhaps Israel is not the most unjust and criminal State in History, but it is the one that has been at it for a longer period of time and with greater impunity. It was born with a crime and every minute of its citizens’ “normality” is contemporary to a new crime. It permanently has its origin before its eyes and permanently lives in the enlarged violence of that origin, like in a Greek curse. During an interview back in 1984 Ariel Sharon said he was willing to kill one or two million Arabs if it meant that later on Israel could become a “normal country” with an immoral past but a clean and decent present. By that he meant that Palestinians are our “Indians”, our “Moorish”, our “Jews.” But no, as long as your Palestinian “Jews” resist, you will be condemned to permanently living in your criminal past (and to balance those origins against the “mythological”: the Holocaust). In doing so, you will have to continue to violate all laws, to kill children in their beds, to demolish houses, to pull up orchards, to build walls, to kidnap women, to bomb mosques, to lock millions of people to survive in ghettos and languish in the open, to kill thousands of people of hunger and thirst, to go mad by this hubris of Yahweh … and to send your plagues into Lebanon, Syria and perhaps Iran. Your law necessarily implies this mortal dilemma: either Dominion or Apocalypse.
Israel gathers in its forge Al-Qaeda’s scorn for life, Iran’s “fundamentalism”, South Africa’s former racism, North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, old Belgium’s colonial nationalism and China’s military force. This unparalleled concentration of dangers, encrusted in the planet’s most fragile and coveted area, is economically, militarily and politically supported by the US –an unleashed imperialist superpower. It is also consented to by both the EU and most of the world’s governments, including the tyrannical and worthless Arab regimes. Those who do not see the danger of it are loudly calling for the Exterminating Angel.
This paper appeared originally on the Spanish bi-weekly newspaper Diagonal, No. 35 (19 July, 2006).
The danger is infinite war and fanaticism By Raúl Sánchez Cedillo
We published “Israel is the danger”, by Santiago Alba-Rico, in DIAGONAL No. 35 (p. 5). This author states that “at least for the last 60 years the West is making an unprecedented investment […] to hide two ideas: […] that Palestine constitutes the moral crack of the globalised world. The second is that Israel constitutes the greatest threat […] for any hope of peace and stability on our planet.” This is an answer to such a text.
In spite of the difficulty of this question I want to go straight to the point: Alba-Rico’s thesis, exposed in the title and riveted throughout the text, is well known to us, because it is part of the war of statements that since the beginning of the 20th Century constantly has accompanied the territorial dispute between Palestinian Arabs and Jews (who became Israelis after 1948). But the disturbing thing is that this contribution by a Westerner – sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and, therefore, pan-Arabist – does not add any ideas, arguments, proposals or new approaches to the problems. Instead, it helps to consolidate (in our ethical willingness as well as in our indignation before the infinite war where the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is nowadays inserted, and in our desperation before the Middle East populations’ continuous suffering) – both the hate and fanaticism that will prevent us from saying or doing anything valuable as Westerners, anything different from adding both our longing for vengeance and our blindness to a conflict that ceased to be regional a long time ago. One that, as Alba-Rico points out, is heading towards a catastrophe that will destroy our capacity of a rational and collective resistance and will certainly make us share our quota of horror and death. Nevertheless, it seems that this mad “anti-imperialism” considers some catastrophes more acceptable than others.
On his allegation Alba-Rico spares no rhetorical resources to deepen the wound of suffering and transform it into an incentive to anti-Israeli rage. However, up until now only in revisionist texts we had found the heuristic virtues of comparison taken to the extreme of putting side by side both Gaza and Auschwitz’s respective capacities to house prisoners – and of course [according to Alba-Rico] the first “camp” is much worse. Let’s ask ourselves the following question without even considering what the famous revisionist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could think about it: what cause might have led left-wing writers to scorn both the Shoah’s historical and ethical meaning and that human invention called Vernichtungslager, i.e., extermination camp? What cause might have led to such an outrageous comparison which is just the opposite of exercising both the memory and thinking of contemporary history’s most terrible thing? A thing that, as Primo Levi wrote, has indelibly printed in our skin “the shame of being men.” Part of the Western left which considers itself “anti-imperialist” has fallen ill of fanaticism and imposture in front of a reality it no longer understands and keeps clinging to some myths that are neither based upon real human beings nor upon the causes of their incommensurable suffering.
A new account
Nothing will impede that the (numerous) Israeli hawks take their country to disaster, nor that the Jihad apostles of various confessions sink forever both the cause and the existence of the Palestinian people as a collective subject if we are not capable right away to do a da capo, i.e., a new account of both the Middle East problem and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict which allows us to think and practice a resistance leading to peace in the region (and in the world) as well as to achieve a justice that doesn’t mean the annihilation of the other radical enemy. But it will be necessary to subject to criticism all narratives fixing the terms of a war between peoples and States. There can’t be any historical justification either of the conquest – the “great Israel” – or of the “great vengeance” encoded from the foundation of the State of Israel in the motto “throwing the Jews to the sea.”
To achieve that we need rigor, the reverse and distortion of perspective – that Umkehrung in which the best Nietzsche focused his solitary battle against rabies nationalis, i.e., the “feelings of vengeance and resentment” that were already concentrated at the end of the 20th Century on the apostles of a then recent coinage, “anti-Semitism.” The reviled “Zionism” was a son of rabies nationalis which devastated the first half of the 20th Century and brought the greatest suffering to the European Jews in all their history as a community. Zionism is nationalism, the collective will to have a State held by the ones who never had one since the Diaspora. Is Zionism worse than any other nationalism, especially after the disappearance of the progressive content of “national liberation” (with its corollary in both Lenin and others’ extraordinary conjecture): the socialist revolution? From this point of view, it carries out as much violence as it does inevitably any nation building. However, it is accused of a “crime”: the fact of having been constituted as a State in 1948, after the UN washed its hands with a resolution establishing the partition of the colonial territory of Palestine that both responsible Arab and Palestinian politicians didn’t accept, declaring war against the newly born State of Israel. Or perhaps the crime was the gradual migration of Jewish pioneers from the beginning of the 20th Century to settle in Palestine, to buy lands and to build a political community, and a future Jewish State? The Palestinian Nakba [catastrophe] began then, when the rejection by pan-Arabist elites of what was irreversibly conveyed a political and military defeat that has been deepening since then. That is the permanent tragedy, marked by war, resistance and the countless political and diplomatic disasters of both the Palestinian leadership and the pan-Arabist States from the Six Days War to PLO’s self-annihilation after Oslo. Nobody can hide the State of Israel’s terrible present and past crimes, the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by both the Irgun and Haganah during the 1948 war known nowadays thanks to “new Israeli historians” nor the madness embodied by the Israeli elites from some time ago. Nevertheless, Israel’s existence cannot be put into question, at least as the starting point of a perspective of peace and justice. In 1968 Jean-Paul Sartre considered “insane” to attribute the “aggressor’s role” to the State of Israel in the 1948 war. The intoxicating use of the “Zionist and imperialistic plot’s” old story on Israel’s foundation has from then on contributed to make impossible Palestinian people’s historical objective, that is, a viable and democratic State in the area.
This paper appeared originally on the Spanish bi-weekly newspaper Diagonal, No. 38 (14-27 September, 2006).
Zionism must be Dissolved for Peace By Khalid Amayreh (Al-Khalil, occupied Palestine)
As a Palestinian who has been living under the yoke of Israeli military occupation for over 39 years and who lost three innocent uncles to the occupation’s bullets, I should have no problems comparing Israel with Nazi Germany.
It is true that Israel has not introduced gas chambers into Palestinian towns and villages. However, Israel has been killing and tormenting Palestinians non-stop in a variety of ways which, in their brutality and sheer evil, don’t really differ in substance from Nazi behaviour.
Moreover, it is paramount to remember that the German holocaust didn’t start with Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, but rather with an idea, with a book and with a Kristalnacht, the sort of things that are so rampant in Israel’s collective thinking these days as the Israeli Jewish society continues to drift toward religious and jingoistic fascism.
This is not liberal Zionism giving way to religious Zionism as some pro-Israeli apologists would argue. There is no such a thing as liberal Zionism or democratic Zionism. These are contradictions in terms.
Zionism, we are told, is about “building a national homeland for the Jews.” However, for millions of its victims, Zionism is about the extirpation, expulsion and dispersion of the bulk of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland to the four corners of the world by way of organised terror and violence. This is the ugly side of Zionism that much of the West doesn’t want to see.
Indeed, from the very inception, Zionism viewed Palestine as a land without a people for a people without a land. This arrogant denial of my people’s very existence didn’t originate in ignorance of reality. It was rather an expression of virulent and violent racism, very much like those white European barbarians who exterminated six million native American Indians and called the genocide “Manifest Destiny.”
The Zionists did know that Palestine was populated by hundreds of thousands of Christians and Muslims. In 1898, a Zionist delegation visiting Palestine to assess the feasibility of making it a Jewish State, sent a pithy telegram summing up the situation. “The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man.” Yet, the Zionist movement insisted with unflinching determination on wresting the bride from her lawful husband.
That was a sheer act of rape, it still is an act of rape and will always be an act of rape, no matter how much the mythmakers are celebrated and their myths are glorified.
In fact, despite the passage of fifty years of “Jewish Statehood,” Israel’s undeclared but ultimate goal remains the expulsion of most or all of Palestinians from the area extending from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea.
Indeed, any casual observer of the Israeli media these days will be affronted, nearly on a daily basis, by remarks and statements by Israeli officials, including Knesset members and cabinet ministers, calling for “transferring” the Palestinians, not only from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, but also from Israel proper.
“Transfer” is not an innocent term. It is no less than a euphemism for genocide, at least a partial genocide, since it is almost impossible to effect the wholesale removal and ethnic cleansing of millions of people from their motherland without resorting to mass murder and mass terror.
Well, was not this the method used quite liberally by the legions of Zionism to force the bulk of the Palestinian people to flee their hometowns and villages in 1948? Didn’t Menachem Begin, in his book The Revolt refer to the Deir Yassin Massacre as a miracle because it made hundreds of thousands of terror-stricken Palestinians flee in fear.
It is imperative that we call the spade a spade, especially when in the hands of our gravediggers. The Zionists are comparable to Nazis because their actions and behaviour are comparable and similar to Nazi actions and behaviour.
For as the Nazis sought to obliterate Jews as a people, the Zionists have been seeking to obliterate the Palestinians as a people. This is more than Golda Meir saying dismissively “what Palestinians?” or some Israeli officials referring to us contemptuously as “Never-landers.” The systematic destruction of some 460 Palestinian towns and villages by Israel (1948-52) was a Nazi act of the highest order. It embodied total disregard and total denial of “the other” on no ground other than the victims being non-Jewish. (The relics of some of these towns can still be seen even today and are meticulously documented in Walid Khalidi’s monumental work All That Remains).
Unfortunately, this modus operandi of hateful racism and terror remains Israel’s central policy toward the Palestinian people. There is no clearer proof of Israel’s malicious intent than the intensive building of hundreds of Jewish-only settlements on occupied land. Yes, everything here is “Jewish-only.” Jewish-only settlements, Jewish-only roads, Jewish-only pools, even Jewish-only rights, since non-Jews are viewed by a growing segment of Israeli Jews as children of a lesser God or even outright animals.
And now we have this evil gigantic wall whose stated goal is to prevent Palestinian guerrillas from infiltrating into Israel whereas its real purpose is to carve and steal as much Palestinian land as possible.
In 2004, the International Court of Justice in Hague ruled that the Wall was illegal and ought to be dismantled. However, Israel, backed by its guardian-ally, the United States, arrogantly defied the ruling and implicitly accused the court and its judges of anti-Semitism.
In addition to the settlements, inhabited by the most violent and racist-minded Jews anywhere in the world, Israel has always sought to make Palestinian lives so unbearable in order to coerce them to emigrate.
To effect this evil goal, successive Israeli governments (Labor and Likud alike) employed every conceivable legal trick, including the introduction of dual justice systems, a liberal one for Jews and a harsh one for non-Jews.
One expression of this judicial apartheid is the open-ended incarceration of thousands of Palestinian activists, students, professionals and college professors as well as politicians, including lawmakers and cabinet ministers, without charge or trial. (Since 1967, Israel has arrested over 800,000 Palestinians).
When the notoriously insidious system of institutionalised repression failed to make significant numbers of Palestinians emigrate, Israel resorted to brazen physical harm in the form of terrorising and killing the Palestinians at the slightest “provocation”, very much like Hitler’s forces did throughout Nazi-occupied Europe more than sixty years ago.
Needless to say, Israeli “pacification” raids and incursions would leave many children and women killed, homes destroyed, farms pulverized, furniture vandalized and roads and infrastructures thoroughly bulldozed. In short, everything, every conceivable crime is committed by this Nazi-like entity, all under the rubric of fighting terror. And then much of the Western media would just parrot the Israeli narrative as if the Israeli army spokesmen were the paragons of veracity and honesty.
In the final analysis, when Jews (or anybody else) behave like Nazis, they should be compared to Nazis. Indeed, a country that sends its F-16 fighter-bombers to drop one-tonne bombs on apartment buildings in the middle of the night, where children and women are asleep, is not morally that far from the Gestapo mentality.
Moreover, an army whose soldiers blithely and gleefully murder children on their way to school and then verify the killing by emptying twenty more bullets into the child’s head, as happened with Iman al Hamas in Rafah nearly three years ago, and then the soldier is exonerated and given financial compensation, is not really an army of professional soldiers, but an army of thugs, gangsters and common criminals. It is an army that differs very little from the Wehrmacht.
Yes, Palestinian suicide bombers carried out attacks against Israeli civilians and killed scores of innocent Israelis, often in retaliation for the killing of Palestinian children by the Israeli army and paramilitary Jewish settlers. I totally and unhesitatingly condemn these suicidal crimes against innocent Israelis.
Nonetheless, Israel can’t push the Palestinians to the edge of physical extermination and national demise and at the same time shout “Hamas, terror, suicide bombings.”
The American poet Auden wrote:
I and the public know,
What all school children learn,
Those to whom evil is done,
Do evil in return.
Indeed, what would any people do after 59 years of Nazi-like oppression that transcends reality? What would any people do when forced to choose between death at the Jewish slaughterhouse and death as suicide bombers?
Israel claims it doesn’t kill Palestinian children and civilian deliberately. This is a cardinal lie. Mistakes happen once, twice, ten times. But when the killing of civilians happens nearly on a daily basis, it means it is policy. In the final analysis, killing knowingly is killing deliberately.
Today, Israel, like the Gestapo did to the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto, is barring millions of Palestinians from accessing food and work. In Gaza, Israel, under the pretext of freeing a captured Israeli soldier, has bombed or destroyed the bulk of civilian infrastructure there, including schools, colleges, streets, bridges, charities as well as thousands of homes. Israel has also destroyed the only power station in Gaza, forcing 1.4 million Gazans to live in total or partial darkness.
This is the same Israel whose army has just destroyed much of Lebanon and dropped 1.5 million cluster bombs throughout southern Lebanon.Well, 1.5 million bombs can kill at least 1.5 million children.
I know that pro-Israeli apologists, including some who claim to be followers of the lofty leftist traditions of standing up against oppression, are tempted to create a certain moral symmetry between Israel and the Palestinians.
But, in all honesty, one might ask what symmetry is there between the rapist and his victim, between the occupier and the occupied, between the armed fanatical settler and the terrified Palestinian peasant who has to rely on Western peace volunteers for protection from settler vandalism and savagery?
Is there hope for a peaceful solution to this enduring bitter conflict? Certainly there is, and it lies in dismantling Zionism and the creation of a unitary, civic and democratic State in Palestine-Israel whereby Jews and Arabs live equally as citizens as many Jews and Arabs are living in Europe today.
I say Zionism ought to be dissolved because the concept of “Jewish State” necessarily implies intrinsic racism against non-Jews.
Fortunately, there are Jews of conscience and good will who would agree with this solution. These are our natural partners for peace.
Spin is the Danger By Gilad Atzmon
Along the years I have learned that while intellectual debates and ideological disputes are supposed to be an enlightening event, in most cases they just happen to be boring like hell. Yet, one way to spice up a dead debate is to expose the different methods and tactics employed by the debaters. In other words, rather than trying to evaluate or grasp a given argument based on what it is there to reveal, one may try to expose what a given argument is there to conceal.
In a recent piece published by Diagonal (“Israel is the Danger”), Santiago Alba-Rico maintains that Israel is the greatest threat for world peace. Alba-Rico appears to draw an ethical insight out of the late phase of Israeli brutality. Indeed, considering the level of aggression Israel performed in Lebanon and in Gaza this past summer, not much room is left for doubt. Israel is morally bankrupt.
Though Alba-Rico is presenting a proper argument, consistent, sharp, short and neat, his entire premise is somehow obvious. He simply charges the broad daylight murderer with murder. Yet, this is Alba-Rico’s greatest strength. Remarkable thinkers make complexity look simple in retrospective. They are there to shout that the king is naked before anyone else does. Great philosophers do not need any historical reasoning. They manage well without forensic evidence. They live happily without bibliographic references and endless quotes. They just communicate with reason applying reasoning. Philosophers who happen to engage in moral questions tend to correspond with the free ethical mind. This is exactly what Alba-Rico is doing with great success.
Alba-Rico is not a politician, he is not trying to suggest a solution to the conflict, he doesn’t make a call to ‘throw the Jews to the sea’. He just points out that Israel is leading us all towards an immanent catastrophe.
Alba-Rico’s task appears to be an easy one; he basically indicts the broad daylight slaughterer with murderer. Sánchez Cedillo on the other hand, is aiming at the impossible. In a piece published in Diagonal (“The Danger is Infinite War and Fanaticism”), Sánchez Cedillo tries to refute Alba-Rico by defending the case of Israel.
Indeed, Sánchez Cedillo chooses an incredibly difficult task; he set himself on a path that even Zionists have been trying to avoid for more than a while. In fact Zionists do not make a ‘discourse of justification’ anymore. With American backing and hundreds of nuclear bombs at their disposal, Israel’s right to exist is maintained by the sword or if to be more specific, by millions of American cluster bombs ready to be launched.
Sánchez Cedillo’s decision to present an argument for the right of existence of the ‘Jews Only State’, should be seen as a heroic task. After Jenin, Gaza and Beirut it is rather difficult to grant Israel a moral defence. Sánchez Cedillo does his best and this is why a thorough scrutiny of his argument is rather important. It serves as a glimpse into what is left out of the Zionist ‘discourse of justification’.
It is rather an established fact that within the post-war liberal democratic discourse the one who dominates the ‘meanings’ is the one who shapes reality. In other words, if you want to win you better learn how to spin. To spin is to dictate meanings. To spin is to help people stop thinking independently and ethically. To spin is to divert people’s attention, to detach people from reality, to detach people from themselves, to make one blind to one’s primal intuitions.
1. Code name ‘Israel’
Zionists tend to conceal the fact that Israel is just a code name for an expansionist and racially motivated national State. Israel is basically a code name for the ‘Jews Only State’. Israel isn’t just an innocent national State as Sánchez Cedillo tries to portray it, it is rather a racially orientated State with discriminating laws that as Hanna Arendt spotted already in the early 1960’s, are not categorically different from the infamous Nuremberg Laws.
Once we grasp that Israel ‘the signifier’ is not more than a ‘spin’ that is there to conceal the sinister Zionist racist agenda, we are then entitled to replace the so-called innocent word ‘Israel’ with its real meaning i.e., ‘The Jews Only State’.
In his commentary, Sánchez Cedillo suggests that “Israel’s existence cannot be put into question, at least as the starting point of a perspective of peace and justice.” At first glance, this quote appears as an innocent legitimate statement. However, once we replace the word ‘Israel’ with its real ideological meaning we end up with: “The Jews Only State’s existence cannot be put into question, at least as the starting point of a perspective of peace and justice.”
Clearly, from an ethical point of view, the altered quote is a self-revealing flaw. Obviously, the concept of ‘Jews Only State’ must be put into question prior to any discussion concerning ‘peace’ or ‘justice’. Worryingly enough, Sánchez Cedillo knows it all pretty well, yet rather than reasoning with his readers he prefers to spin, to divert their attention, to win a debate while concealing the truth.
2. There’s no business like Shoah business
In his rebuttal Sánchez Cedillo dismisses any comparison between Auschwitz and Gaza. His argument looks valid at first glance: While Auschwitz is a ‘death camp’ Gaza is ‘just’ a giant Jail with over a million starved prisoners who are indeed daily shelled and blitzed by the almighty army of the ‘Jews Only State’, yet, let’s face it, the prisoners still breathe. One may happen to admit that this is indeed a wining argument as long as one is mentally, intellectually, emotionally or physically circumcised. Indeed, Zionists and their apologists fail to understand why the above argument doesn’t manage to break through the walls of the Jewish ghetto and the Zio-centric discourse.
I will try to help them out. Since it is the Zionists and their apologists who categorically block any possible re-thinking and revisionism process to do with WW2 and the Nazi Judeocide, the Shoah itself is rapidly becoming a political spin rather than a vivid and genuine ethical enlightenment. Rather than confronting the holocaust critically, Europeans are now subject to laws that determine the truth of Auschwitz. Rather than confronting Auschwitz ethically as free beings, Europeans are doomed to accept a singular strict narrative with a precise moral and political implication, not to say interpretation. In other words, it is the Zionist hegemony over the historical discourse that transformed Auschwitz into an isolated dry fact that loses its relevance as I write these lines.
On the other hand, the truth of Gaza, Jenin, Bint Jabel and Southern Beirut is the outcome of a genuine ethical reaction evolving within the free mind and the free spirit. To feel for the Palestinian is the direct outcome of merely being in the world. This is why it takes so many shapes and forms. While Auschwitz has become an integral part of contemporary Western politics and is intrinsically associated with everything we detest in the Western political discourse, to feel for the Palestinians is to reclaim humanism, to join David defeating Goliath.
At the end of his rebuttal Sánchez Cedillo insists that “Israel’s existence cannot be put into question”. In case one asks oneself why exactly, Sánchez Cedillo is quick to come up with the answer. “In 1968 Jean-Paul Sartre considered ‘insane’ to attribute the ‘aggressor’s role’ to the State of Israel in the 1948 war”. So, you think to yourself, “the ‘Jews Only State’ should be granted an unconditional and unlimited right to exist just because the great Jean-Paul Sartre was either misinformed or just intellectually lame in 1968.”
I would allow myself to suggest that if this is the best spin the defenders of Israel manage to come up with, Israel and Zionism better count on the sword alone. At least intellectually, the right to exist of the ‘Jews Only State’ seems to be insupportable.
The Spanish philosopher Santiago Alba-Rico has written numerous essays and books on Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics. He has been living in the Arab world for the last eighteen years and has translated into Spanish the Egyptian poet Naguib Surur and the Iraqi writer Mohamed Judayr.
Raúl Sánchez Cedillo is a member of the Universidad Nómada (Spain)
Gilad Atzmon is a well-known jazzman, writer and activist. His website is http://www.gilad.co.uk/
Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian writer and journalist.
Mary Rizzo is a US-born writer and translator living in Italy. Her blog is http://peacepalestine.blogspot.com/
All Spanish texts translated into English by Manuel Talens and revised by Les Blough and Mary Rizzo. Talens and Rizzo are members of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity (www.tlaxcala.es). This text can be fully reproduced as long as its contents are respected and its authors and source are mentioned.
Long live the Palestinian people!