Originally Posted on State Of Hawiya
Written by Linah Alsaafin and Budour Hassan
When Israel launched its most recent aggression on the Gaza Strip, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, the overwhelming majority of the Israeli public supported the aggression. Support for the massacre was by no means limited to right-wingers and blatant fascists; the cheerleaders also included Israeli Labor party (the largest “opposition” party in the Knesset), liberal minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, and Meretz, the self-proclaimed social democrats and “only Zionist leftist party”. The latter would eventually backtrack just like they did in the 2008- 2009 massacre, even claiming that they never actually supported the war from the get-go.
On 16 August, Meretz, along with Hadash, Peace Now and other “peace-loving” movements, organized a “peace rally” in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, attended by thousands of Israelis. Organizers of the rally described the turnout as a victory for the peaceful solution. Some went as far as to declare that the rally is a testament to the strength of the left and working-class in Israel.
Israeli Jahan M. gushed about the protest on his Facebook by writing: “Probably the largest Gaza anti-war protest in the world happening inside Israel itself, signs of the potential of workers and left activists in Israel, yet so much of the left across the world still doesn’t see this. Israel, like every other country in the world has a working class and like other workers and oppressed it is their fundamental interest to overthrow the rich who exploit their labour.”
Jahan M. effectively normalized Israel’s illegitimate existence; ignored the colonialist nature of Israel, and decontextualized working class solidarity from the inherent racist and Jewish supremacist ideology perpetuated by the Israeli labour union ever since its inception. Never mind that the rally was by no stretch of the imagination the largest anti-war rally in the world. Not even close! Never mind that the bulk of the organizers and participants represent the white bourgeoisie in Israel. Never mind that for most of those privileged cottage-cheese warriors, class struggle is nothing but a slogan they raise when they are bored or drunk. And never mind that despite the lamentation and crocodile tears, this rally received far more praise that it warrants.
Let’s put all of that aside for a moment. The rally wasn’t even about peace in the first place.
In this glorious peace rally, a song was dedicated to the Israeli soldiers who bombed the hell out of the besieged Gaza Strip, murdering over 2000 Palestinian men, women and children. One antiwar protester opposed war so staunchly that he wore-a Meretz t-Shirt while carrying an M-16 rifle. It was more of a show of patriotism, a platform to equate the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza with the “suffering” Israelis, and a desperate attempt to offer a different image of Israel.
To complete the show it was necessary to present Palestinian voices on stage, inviting Mohammad Barakeh, Hadash chairman, and another Palestinian activist from the Zionist group “Combatants for Peace” to join in the chorus of peace and love. Yet again, the Zionist left benefits from the collaboration of “house Palestinians” in order to reinforce the myth of joint struggle. The cosmetic Palestinian presence apart, the one protester who carried an assault rifle and wore a Meretz t-shirt epitomized all that the Zionist “left” stands for: the marriage between militarism, nationalism, and sham peace.
There is something peculiar, if not downright absurd about how Zionists twist words and their meanings to always cement their position on that righteous pedestal made out of salt. It is, after all, the natural inclination that the oppressor’s mentality automatically takes on. If belligerence doesn’t work, then a decontextualized uppity moral standing seems more persuasive: “Dear world, we want peace, but for all the wrong reasons.”
We want the army to stop bombing Gaza and to stop killing the Palestinians there because the images of dead babies kept in ice cream freezers due to a lack of space in the morgues make us slightly uncomfortable. (But don’t you dare talk about accountability.)
We want the army (which is very ethical but occasionally makes mistakes like just another army in the world) to take more precaution and to know better than to strike boys playing on the beach in the presence of the foreign press.
We want the army to act in accordance with the principle of proportionality, because you know, Israel never targets civilians and if it does, let’s just blame it on disproportionality and Khhhamas human shields, because heaven forbid we use the term genocide!
We want a return to the status quo and futile negotiations where Gaza will remain under siege for another lifetime; where the West Bank will revert to the Palestinian Authority-dictated open arms policy of normalization and sweet occupation; and where the pestering Palestinian youth in the 48 occupied territories preoccupy themselves with superficial things other than accumulating the kind of consciousness that rejects the very existence of Israel and breaks up once and for all with the citizenship discourse.
We want to silence the air sirens and have run out of ways to amuse ourselves in in bomb shelters. Taking selfies in shelters is longer a sufficient entertainment, honestly. And having to wait for temporary truce to get sunburned on the beach is insanely cruel.
It’s not an overstatement to say that those liberal Zionists are just as dangerous as their honest counterparts of Lieberman, Feiglin, Netanyahu and co. The Zionist left promotes the Jewish supremacy and oppressive colonial structure that has dispossessed and subjugated Palestinians for 66 years, albeit under the cloak of peace and co-existence and without paying any regard to achieving long-standing justice.
Suffice to say that peace without justice is a silly state of things that only serves to perpetuate the status quo by sugarcoating the colonization and occupation with a false rose-tainted aura of blamelessness and guiltlessness that does not rectify or deconstruct the damages inflicted by a fascist ethnocentric state that absolutely has no right to exist. The correct outlook that “just peace” very clearly invokes the dismantlement and end of the apartheid colonial occupying regime Israel is, the return of the 6 million Palestinian refugees to their homes and villages, towns, and cities they were ethnically cleansed from, the obliteration of Zionism in all of its forms, and self-determination for the Palestinian people in a country that will not tolerate oppression.
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