Perhaps Israel’s most respected statesman, former diplomat, Abba Eban, once said, “Nobody does Israel any service by proclaiming its right to exist.” That was then, in 1981. The now is a new age, a new era. A time of Israel’s swing to the far right wing. It is once again a time of war, but to say it’s a war of Hamas versus Israel is somewhat disingenuous.
For there has been a war between Palestine and Israel for, at the very least, 75 years, and at most, a century. And this is not a war around religion or between faiths or gods. It’s a war for that which is no longer being produced — land. Kudos to the authors of the Except for Palestine text, The Limits of Progressive Politics, Mark Lamont Hill and Mitchell Plitnick. The book, using history instead of myths, shows how the Palestinians received exceptions to the rules while Zionists got every break. They showed the emergence of the rightist Likud party and the ideas proposed by Ze’ev Jabotinsky.
They led right to this moment in Israeli history of war and iron walls. The book, Except for Palestine, shows how U.S. foreign policy was driven by domestic policy. And how both major parties played bipartisan footsies to make Israel a regional superpower in the Middle East. And while Hamas may have used a few low tech hang gliders, have you ever seen one engage with an F-14? I don’t think so.
What most US news agencies are loath to address is the realm of international law, especially when one considers the law of occupied territories and the right of the occupied to resist their occupation by any necessary means. The Palestinians are the indigenous people of the region.
They are thus equivalent to the Navajo, Apache, and Seminoles of the West, subjected to the settler colonialism of the invaders. It is they who have a right to exist. Is that not so? The indigenous of the U.S. were sent to the worst lands available, so called “reservations”. The Palestinians have been ghettoized, walled off by walls that violate international law, humiliated, and subjected to a century of dispossession and military repression.
Their decades of negotiations have led to nothing but more of the same. They want what all people want, freedom. With love, not fear. This is Mumia Abu-Jamal.