FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Is Palestinian Solidarity an Occupied Zone?

by GILAD ATZMON

Once involved with Palestinian Solidarity you have to accept that Jews are special and so is their suffering; Jews are like no other people, their Holocaust is like no other genocide and anti Semitism, is the most vile form of racism the world has ever known and so on and so forth.

But when it comes to the Palestinians, the exact opposite is the case. For some reason we are expected to believe that the Palestinians are not special at all –  they are just like everyone else. Palestinians have not been subject to a unique, racist, nationalist and expansionist Jewish nationalist movement, instead, we must all agree that, just like the Indians and the Africans, the Palestinian ordeal results from run-of-the-mill 19th century colonialism – just more of the same old boring Apartheid.

So, Jews, Zionists and Israelis are exceptional, like no one else, while Palestinians are always somehow, ordinary, always part of some greater political narrative, always just like everyone else. Their suffering is never due to the particularity of Jewish nationalism, or Jewish racism, or even AIPAC dominating USA foreign policy no, the Palestinian is always a victim of a dull, banal dynamic – general, abstract and totally lacking in particularity.

This raises some serious questions.

Can you think of any other liberation or solidarity movement that prides itself in being boring, ordinary and dull? Can you think of any other solidarity movement that downgrades its subject into just one more meaningless exhibit in a museum of materialist historical happenings? I don’t think so! Did the black South Africans see themselves as being like everyone else? Did Martin Luther King believe his brothers and sisters to be inherently undistinguishable?

I don’t think so. So how come Palestinian solidarity has managed to sink so low that their spokespersons and supporters compete against each other to see who can best eliminate the uniqueness of the Palestinian struggle into just part of a general historical trend such as colonialism or Apartheid?

The answer is simple. Palestinian Solidarity is an occupied zone and, like all such occupied zones must dedicate itself to the fight against ‘anti Semitism’. Dutifully united against racism, fully engaged with LGBT issues in Palestine and in the movement itself, but for one reason or another, the movement is almost indifferent towards the fate of millions of Palestinians living in refugee camps and their Right of Return to their homeland.

But all this can change. Palestinians and their supporters could begin to see their cause for what it is, unique and distinctive. Nor need this be all that difficult.  After all, if Jewish nationalism is inherently exceptional as Zionists proclaim, is it not only natural that the victims of such a distinctive racist endeavor are at least, themselves, just as distinctive.

So far, Palestine solidarity has failed to liberate Palestine, but it has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams in creating a Palestine Solidarity Industry, and one largely funded by liberal Zionists. We have been very productive in schlepping activists around the world promoting ‘boycotts’ and ‘sanctions’ meanwhile Israel trade with Britain is booming  and Hummus Tzabar is clearly apparent in every British grocery store.

All those attempts to reduce Palestinian ordeal into a dated, dull, generalised materialist narrative should be exposed for what they are – an attempt to appease liberal Zionists. Palestinian suffering is actually unique in history at least as unique as the Zionist project.

Yesterday I came across this from South African minister Ronnie Kasrils. In a comment on Israeli Apartheid he said : “This is much worse than Apartheid..Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic. We never had Jets attacking our townships; we never had sieges that lasted months after months. We never had tanks destroying houses.”

Kasrils is dead right. It is much worse than Apartheid and far more sophisticated than colonialism. And why? Because what the Zionists did and are doing is neither Apartheid nor is it colonialism. Apartheid wanted to exploit the African, Israel wants the Palestinian gone. Colonialism is an exchange between a mother and a settler state. Israel never had a mother State, though it may well have had a few ‘surrogate mothers’.

Now is the time to look at the unique ordeal of the Palestinian people. Similarly, now is the time to look at the Zionist crime in the light of Jewish culture and identity politics.

Can the solidarity movement meet this challenge? Probably, but like Palestine, it must first, itself, be liberated.

Gilad Atzmon’s latest book is: The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics

Gilad Atzmon’s latest book is: The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics

May 04, 2016
CJ Hopkins
Coming this Summer … Revenge of the Bride of Sophie’s Choice
May 03, 2016
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Resumé: What the Record Shows
Michèle Brand – Arun Gupta
What is the “Nuit Debout”?
Chuck Churchill
The Failures of Capitalism, Donald Trump and Right Wing Terror
Dave Marsh
Bernie and the Greens
John Wight
Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken Livingstone
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
Dean Baker
Time for an Accountable Federal Reserve
Ted Rall
Working for US Gov Means Never Saying Sorry
Dave Welsh
Hunger Strikers at Mission Police Station: “Stop the execution of our people”
John Eskow
The Death of Prince and the Death of Lonnie Mack
May 02, 2016
Michael Hudson – Gordon Long
Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
Paul Street
The Bernie Fade Begins
Ron Jacobs
On the Frontlines of Peace: the Life of Daniel Berrigan
Louis Yako
Dubai Transit
Bill Quigley
Teacher, Union Leader, Labor Lawyer: Profile of Chris Williams Social Justice Advocate
Patrick Cockburn
Into the Green Zone: Iraq’s Disintegrating Political System
Lawrence Ware
Trump is the Presidential Candidate the Republicans Deserve
Ron Forthofer
Just Say No to Corporate Rule
Ralph Nader
The Long-Distance Rebound of Bernie Sanders
Ken Butigan
Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude
Nicolas J S Davies
Escalating U.S. Air Strikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul, Iraq
Binoy Kampmark
Class, Football, and Blame: the Hillsborough Disaster Inquest
George Wuerthner
The Economic Value of Yellowstone National Park
Rivera Sun
Celebrating Mother Jones
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir and Postcolonialism
Mairead Maguire
Drop the Just War Theory
Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail