The two most significant turmoil’s in the Middle East today are Israel’s continued occupation, oppression and colonization of the Palestinian people reflected most recently in Operation Protective Edge as well as the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in relation to Syria and Iraq. Notwithstanding the normalization of suffering and injustice that the world has been conditioned to embrace in relation to the Palestinians and given Netanyahu’s constant warped comparison of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to Hamas, it is ironic but also not surprising that there are more similarities between the State of Israel and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in comparison to their differences in terms of significance and consequences in the region. This can already be demonstrated with pro-Palestinian activists coining the term the Jewish State of Israel and the Levant in reference to the State of Israel; as well as recent reports of protesters against African asylum seekers and refugees in Israel waving Islamic State style flags. It is further demonstrated with the fact that both share the same enemies, Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran reinforced by Netanyahu’s mentioning that Iran is a greater threat than the Islamic State which leaves us with the question- whose interests is the Islamic State serving?
The State of Israel was an idea created as a result of centuries of European anti-Semitism against Jews, motivated by a historical nostalgia of the ‘promised land’ and/or religious justification for a sense of a godly establishment or entity. The State of Israel was established through well funded and trained insurgencies of the Irgun and Hagana Stern gangs who committed the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 which included massacres such as Deir Yassin as well as mass rapes of the population. War crimes and crimes against humanity have been the basis of the establishment of the State of Israel and continue to this day through impunity such as the case of Operation Protective Edge. The Irgun and Hagana consisted of Jewish fighters from all over Europe, some of whom were well trained and have military experience from fighting against Nazis during World War II. The idea of the State of Israel stemmed from the political ideology of Zionism that believed in establishing a Jewish State via the colonization of the land of Palestine as the solution to the problem of anti-Semitism faced by Jews in Europe. This meant using terrorism to accomplish their aspirations and goals of expansionism and colonization via racism and new form of anti-Semitism against Arabs; the Palestinians in particular as well as minorities such as the Bedouins.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was an idea created as a result of centuries of European racism and Anti-Semitism against Arabs and Muslims as far back from the Crusades of 12th century that were repeated post World War I and the signing of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the most recent US-British invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the events that transpired on the ground thereafter. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is also motivated by a historic nostalgia of ‘the Ummah” and the “Caliphate” thereby reinforcing the same religious justification for a sense of a godly establishment and entity. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is the richest insurgency group in the world demonstrating its successful funding sources. The same way that the Irgun and Hagana were trained and funded by European powers such as the British that later became the target of these groups attacks, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are an off shoot of al Qaeda who were trained and funded by their former friends and now enemies; the United States of America in collusion with Pakistan and Israel under the watch of U.S Democratic Congressman Charlie Wilson via Operation Cyclone. The group also comprises of Arab and Muslim fighters from all over the world, especially Europe who are tired of being marginalized and subjected to the racism and new Anti-Semitism in those countries and are trying to establish a State for the Arabs and Muslims worldwide via expansionism, colonization and oppression as the solution in the land of Iraq and the Levant, the same way Jews decided on the establishment of a State as a safe haven in the land of Palestine. The Islamic State is also attempting to establish this via the racism and anti-Semitism against mainly Shia Muslims and minorities such as the Yazidis and Turkmens.
Setting aside that both Israel and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’s philosophical basis to their actions is Eurocentric in nature, both are committing war crimes and oppressing entire populations and people in the name of religion and historical nostalgia that attempts to restore dignity and resist centuries of humiliation by European regional molestation.. Most important of all, they comprise of people who have reached towards the explosive breaking point from the aftermath of being subjected to extreme racism and humiliation at home in North America and Europe via policy and law. After centuries of non-stop racism and humiliation that continues to this day, the humiliated have become the humiliators; inheriting the traits of their criminal Master’s and subjecting different people to the same treatment whereby the cycle of hate and racism continues while universities and institutions of ‘conscience’ are parroting the term ‘Peace.’
Without anti-racism education, war will continue to prevail and peace will continue to be what it is; a falsehood that distracts the world populace from the reality on the ground. The crimes of all crimes in international law are crimes of jus cogens such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The basis of these crimes stem from one and one thing only-racism and hate. Therefore, international law’s reliance on the use of force in restoring and maintaining international peace and security to prevent jus cogens crimes is unsustainable without the main focus being on compulsory anti-racism education including the criminalization of same. Otherwise, we will continue to have the rise of terrorist states, whether they are recognized by international law or not- history proves this as you cannot change the Master’s house built on racism and hate using the Master’s tools of racism and hate.
Ahmad Moussa is a Palestinian-Canadian writer and Visiting Professor at the University of Duhok, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.