Editor's note: Professor Adi Ophir teaches philosophy at Tel Aviv University, but Jeff Halper lectured long time ago only for a short period at Ben Gurion University
New Book: The Plight of the Palestinians. A Long History of Destruction
Sunday, 25 July 2010 14:30
“The Plight of the Palestinians. A Long History of Destruction”, edited by Professor William A. Cook (Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010) is a collection of articles about the ongoing Palestinian Genocide by about 3 dozen variously eminent humanitarian writers from around the world.
I have been resolutely writing about the Palestinian Genocide and the immense injustice to the Palestinian people for many years. The essence of this atrocity is that in 1880 there were about 500,000 Indigenous Arab inhabitants of Palestine and about 25,000 Jews in Palestine, of whom about half were Jewish immigrants. In 1917 the British betrayed the Arab people by promising Palestine as a Homeland for Jews in the hope (not to be realized) that the Russian Zionists would succeed in keeping Russia in the First World War. However the 1917 Balfour Declaration had a condition that there was to be no detriment to either Jews or Indigenous Palestinians – a condition to be grossly violated by racist British, racist American and racist Zionist perfidy. In 1948 0.8 million Palestinians were driven from their homes by racist Zionist terrorists (the 1948 Nakba) to be followed by a further 1967 Nakba in which a now nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel seized all of the Holy land plus parts of Lebanon and Syria and Egypt, imprisoning several million more Palestinians.
The last 43 years has seen a worsening Palestinian Genocide by Apartheid Israel: post-invasion non-violent and violent excess deaths total 0.3 million; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths total 0.2 million; refugees total 7 million; 85% of West Bank Christian Palestinians have fled; 1.5 million Occupied Palestinians (50% children, 75 % women and children) are abusively imprisoned in what the Catholic Church has described as Israel’s Gaza Concentration Camp; 2 million Occupied Palestinian (50% children, 75 % women and children) are abusively imprisoned in dwindling West Bank Bantustans in what heroes in the fight against South African Apartheid have called Apartheid conditions; 1.5 million Palestinian Israelis suffer under highly discriminatory, race-based Apartheid laws; Apartheid Israel deliberately murders over 6,000 Occupied Palestinians each year (mostly children), with about 90% dying from racist Zionist-imposed deprivation and 10% being violently killed (for details see “Palestinian Genocide”: http://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/ ; and “Palestinian Genocide Essays”: http://sites.google.com/site/palestinegenocideessays/ ).
“The Plight of the Palestinians. A Long History of Destruction”, edited by Professor William A. Cook, is a timely anthology in which outstanding, anti-racist, humanitarian scholars (many of them Jewish) describe the horrible reality of the ongoing Palestinian Genocide that is a blot on Jewry and a blot on Humanity.
The book begins with an Acknowledgment of collaborators, writers, journals and of writers whose works were offered but could not be included in this collection. The editor then provides a series of succinct Biographies of the various authors (that are provided in an even more succinct form below). The scholarly accounts of what is described throughout the book as the ongoing Palestinian Genocide are prefaced by an Introduction, “The Untold Story of the Zionist Intent to Turn Palestine into a Jewish State” by William A. Cook (Professor of English at the University of La Verne, Southern California, USA). The remainder of the book is composed of separate chapters with similarly self-explanatory titles by particular authors, each chapter deriving from an article previously published in various media.
I will not review the book as such (notably because I am one of the authors) except to say that the authors are all defenders of human rights throughout the world; that I feel greatly honoured to be in the company of such eminent anti-racist, humanitarian scholars and writers; and that Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity – we must follow the example of that noble Palestinian of 2,000 years ago, the Good Samaritan, who saved the savagely beaten Jew, and resolve that, like the Good Samaritan, we cannot walk by on the other side. It must be noted that many of the book’s contributors are Jewish and following the example of the Good Samaritan in standing up for the brutally maltreated Palestinians.
The book cover summarizes the contents thus: “The Plight of the Palestinians: A Long History of Destruction is a collection of voices from around the world that establishes in both theoretical and graphic terms the slow, methodical genocide taking place in Palestine beginning in the1940s, as revealed in the Introduction. From Dr Francis A. Boyle’s detailed legal case against the state of Israel to Uri Avnery’s “Slow motion ethnic cleansing”, Richard Falk’s “Slouching towards a Palestinian Holocaust”, and Ilan Pappe’s “Genocide in Gaza”, these voices decry in startling, vivid and forceful language the calculated atrocities taking place, the inhumane conditions inflicted on the people, and the silence that exists despite the crimes – nothing short of state-sponsored genocide against the Palestinians.”
I have simply set out below the various chapters of the book below, with the chapter number, author, key author biographical details, article, title and date of original publication..
I- The Human Tragedy
1. Steve Lendman (BA Harvard, MA, University of Pennsylvania; former marketing research analyst with large US corporations; progressive US economist, writer and broadcaster; coordinator with Professor Michel Chossudovsky, University of Ottawa, Canada, of the Center for Global Research, Canada), “Israel’s Slow Motion Genocide in Occupied Palestine”, (11-26-2008).
2. Dr Gideon Polya (BSc, University of Tasmania, PhD, Flinders University; Australian biochemist and academic, La Trobe University; progressive writer on war , genocide, human rights and the climate emergency; author of “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds”, “Body Count,. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” and “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History”), “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide”, (3-6-2008).
3. Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize-winning US journalist, author, war correspondent and foreign correspondent for major US newspapers; currently senior fellow at The Nation Institute; 2002 Amnesty International Award for Human Rights journalism; taught at Columbia, New York and Princeton Universities; author of “American Fascists” and other books) , “The Lessons of Violence”, (1-28-2008).
4. Karen Koning AbuZayd (BSc, De Pauw University, Indiana, MA , McGill University, Montreal; lectured at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda and Juba University, Sudan; worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for 19 years; commissioner-general for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA) since 2005), “This Brutal Siege of Gaza Can Only Breed Violence”, (1-23-2008).
5. Sonja Karkar (founder and president of the Melbourne-based Women for Palestine; cofounder of Australians for Palestine (AFP); editor of AFP News; publishes extensively about the plight of the Palestinians and maintains websites dedicated to telling the world about Palestine and the Nakba), “The Weeping Olive Trees of Palestine Weep”, (9-4-2007).
6. Professor Richard Falk (BS, University of Pennsylvania, LLB, Yale University; JSD, Harvard University; Emeritus Professor in International Law, Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara; served on UN Human Rights Inquiry Commission for the Palestine Territories and many other important bodies; famed author of 37 books) , “Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust”, (6-29-2007).
7. Patrick Cockburn (Middle East correspondent of The Independent; formerly wrote for the Financial Times; author of several books, notably “The Occupation: War, Resistance and Daily Life in Iraq” and co-author of “Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession”; awarded the 2004 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Reporting and the 2009 Orwell Prize for Journalism; writes extensively for various media) , “Gaza Is a Jail; Gaza Is Dying”, (9-7-2006).
8. Dr Paul Craig Roberts (graduate, Georgia Institute of Technology, PhD, University of Virginia; assistant secretary of the Treasury under Reagan and famed as the Father of Reaganomics; economist and nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate; former editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service; a top US journalist in mainstream and alternative media) , “The Shame of Being an American”, (7-22-2006).
9. Andrea Howard (a psychiatric case manager in the central US; she has organized for local and national organizations focussing on social justice issues), “Israeli Immunity for Genocide”, (7-3-2006).
10. Paul de Rooij (Dutch mathematicians, economist and writer based in London, UK; a committed activist for the Palestinians since the First Intifada, he has written extensively for “alternative” media 'including Z magazine, Agenda, Counterpunch, Arab Media Internet Network , Miftah and various media research journals) , “Palestinian Misery in Perspective”, (6-3-2004).
11. The late Professor Tanya Reinhart (1943-2007; MA, Hebrew University Jerusalem, PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology (under Professor Noam Chomsky); professor of linguistics and literary theory, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Israeli linguist, author and peace activist; wrote many articles for Israeli and US journals ) and Jon Elmer (honors graduate in political science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Canadian freelance writer and photojourmalist specializing in the Middle East; worked as a photojournalist in numerous countries , including Palestine; a former editor and columnist for the Dalhousie Gazette) , “A Slow, Steady Genocide”, (9-11-2003).
II- Propaganda, Perception and Reality
12. Dr. Elias Akleh (Palestinian-born US writer; expelled from Haifa in the 1948 Nakba ; expelled from Beit Jala in the 1967 Nakba; writes extensively for “alternative media” such as Global Research, Media With Conscience News, Dissident Voice, Information Clearing House, Palestine Think Tank and The Palestine Chronicle), “Gaza’s Holocaust”, (3-20-2008).
13. Ramzy Baroud (Palestinian-American journalist; former Al Jazeera producer; taught at Curtin University, Perth, Australia; editor-in-chief of The Palestine Chronicle; his work has been published in or broadcast by numerous mainstream and alternative media world-wide; author of “Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion” and “The Second Palestinian Intifada”), “Big Bang or Chaos: What’s Israel Up To?”, (3-20-2008).
14. Jonathan Cook (UK writer based in Nazareth, Israel; writes for major UK and European newspapers as well as for “alternative” media; author of “Blood and Religion: Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State”, “Israel and the Clash of Civilizations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East”, and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments on Human Despair” ), “Israel Plots Another Palestinian Exodus”, (3-8-2008).
15. Jon Basil Utley (graduate of Georgetown University; co-founder of the Committee to Avert a Mid-East Holocaust and chairman of Americans Against World Empire; served on boards or councils of many organizations; research fellow at several institutes; has written widely on Developing World economics and foreign policy in scholarly journals and mainstream media; associate publisher, The American Conservative), “America’s Armageddonites,” (10-11-2007).
16. Kathleen and Bill Christison (former US CIA political analysts; travel regularly to Palestine; co-authored “Palestine in Pieces: Perspectives on the Israeli Occupation”; Kathleen Christison authored “Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on US Middle East Policy” and “The Wound of Dispossession: Telling the Palestinian Story”) “Dies It Matter What You Call It? Genocide or Erasure of Palestinians?”, (11-28-2006).
17. Professor Jeff Halper (born in the US; professor of anthropology at Ben Gurion University, Israel; author, lecturer, activist and co-founder of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD); author of “Obstacles to Peace’, Between Redemption and Revival: The Jewish Yishuv in Jerusalem and the Nineteenth Century”, and “An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel”), “The Problem with Israel”, (11-23-2006).
18. Adi Ophir (associate professor, Cohn Institute, Tel Aviv University; fellow, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute; author of “Order of Evils”, “Terrible Days: Between Disaster and Utopia”, and “Working for the Present”; founded and edited the journal for critical theory “Theory and Criticism” ), “Genocide Hides Behind Expulsion”, (1-16-2004).
19. Professor James Petras (emeritus professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York; adjunct professor at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; author of 67 books published in 31 languages, 600 articles in professional journals and over 2,000 articles in non-professional journals and mainstream media; extensive Internet commentary; latest book “World Depression Regional Wars” ) , “The Final Solution and Jose Saramago”, (4-2-2002).
20. Robert Fisk (famed Middle East correspondent for The Independent; holds more UK and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent; one of few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden (3 times); author of numerous books, notably “The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East”), “The British in Palestine, 1945-48: A Conveniently Forgotten Foreign Holocaust”, (9-3-2002).
III- Rule by Law or Defiance
21. Steve Lendman (see details for Chapter 1 above), “The Russell Tribunal on Palestine”, (5-16-2009).
22. Professor Ilan Pappe (Professor of History, University of Exeter, UK; formerly head of the Institute for Peace Studies, Haifa and chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian Studies, Israel; author of numerous books, notably “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” and “A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples”), “The Necessity of Cultural Boycott”, (6-24-2009).
23. Omar Barghouti (born in Qatar, moved to Ramallah, Palestine; bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University, New York; founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI);hw writes extensively about the Palestinian cause and human rights ), “European Collusion in Israel’s Slow Genocide”, (1-21-2008).
24. Professor James Petras (see details for Chapter 19 above), “The Israeli Agenda and the Scorecard of the Zionist Power Configuration for 2008”, (2-24-2008).
25. Professor Ilan Pappe (see details for Chapter 22 above), “Genocide in Gaza”, (2-20-2007).
26. Curtis F. J. Doebbler (a famed international human rights lawyer who has represented individuals around the world and also represented the Palestinian National Authority and the Hamas Government; he is the author of numerous articles, notably for Al-Ahram, Egypt; author of numerous books including “An Introduction to International Human Rights Law” and “International Criminal Law”), “Genocide Among Us”, (1-28-2007).
27. Kim Petersen (co-editor of Dissident Voice, lives in the traditional Mi'kmaq homeland colonially designated Nova Scotia, Canada; writes extensively about the human rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the Indigenous Arab Palestinians, and the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine), “Bleaching the Atrocities of Genocide”, (6-7-2007).
28. John Pilger (famed UK-based, Australian expatriate writer, award-winning investigative journalist and film-maker; Vietnam War correspondent for the Daily Mirror; he has written about 2 dozen books and made over 50 documentaries; twice winner of the top UK journalism award; author of “The New Rulers of the World”), “Looking from the Side, from Belsen to Gaza”, (1-18-2007).
29. William A. Cook (Professor of English at the University of La Verne, Southern California, USA; senior editor at MWC News, Prout World Assembly and the Palestine Chronicle; he writes extensively for major “alternative” media; author of “Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy”, “The Rape of Palestine”, “The Chronicles of Nefaria”, and “Psalms for the 21st Century” ), “Hope Destroyed, Justice Denied: The Rape of Palestine”, (1-7/8-2006).
30. Omar Barghouti (see details for Chapter 23 above), “Relative Humanity: the Essential Obstacle to a One-State Solution” (12-13/14-2003).
31. Uri Avnery (Jewish Israeli member of the Israeli Knesset, 1965-1974 and 1979-1981; founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement; he writes extensively about Palestinian human rights; author of “1948: A Soldier’s Tale, the Bloody Road to Jerusalem”, “Israel’s Vicious Circle”” and “My Friend, the Enemy”), “Slow Motion Ethnic Cleansing”, (10-9-2003).
32. Professor Francis A. Boyle (professor of international law, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; .J.D., A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University; a leading US expert on international law; he has written extensively about international law; involved in Biological Weapons legislation; served on the board of Amnesty International; author of “The Tamil Genocide” and other books), “Israel’s Crimes Against Palestinians: War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide”, (12-13-1997).
“The Plight of the Palestinians” authoritatively exposes the ongoing Palestinian Genocide and forces comparisons with other genocidal atrocities (for historical details of such atrocities see Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global Avoidable Mortality since 1950”, Polya, Melbourne, 2007, and F. Chalk and K. Jonassohn, “The History and Sociology of Genocide. Analyses and Case Studies”, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1990).
After the WW2 Holocaust (30 million, Slavs, Jews and Gypsies killed), the defeated Germans adopted a CAAAA (C4A) post-Holocaust protocol involving Cessation of the killing, Acknowledgment of the crimes, Apology for the crimes, Amends for the crimes and Assertion "never again to anyone". While in 1945 many Germans said that “they didn’t know” about what had been happening in Nazi-occupied Europe, Westerners can no longer say “we didn’t know” – the Awful Truth is only a few mouse-clicks away and “The Plight of the Palestinians” is only a few feet away in your local bookstore or library. .
What can decent, antiracist, humanitarian people do? Decent folk must (a) inform everyone they can about the ongoing Palestinian Genocide and (b) impose Sanctions and Boycotts against nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel and against all people, politicians, corporations and countries complicit in this ongoing genocidal atrocity.
January 16, 2004
A Response to Benny Morris
Genocide Hides Behind Expulsion
By ADI OPHIR
At some point in the interview, when the reader might think that Benny Morris has already said the most terrible things, he brings up, in passing, the extermination of the Native Americans. Morris contends that their annihilation was unavoidable. "The great American democracy could not have been achieved without the extermination of the Indians. There are cases in which the general and final good justifies difficult and cruel deeds that are carried out in the course of history." Morris seems to know what the general and final good is: the good of the Americans, of course. He knows that this good justifies partial evil. In other words, under specific conditions, specific circumstances, Morris believes that it is possible to justify genocide. In the case of the Indians, it is the existence of the American nation. In the case of the Palestinians, it is the existence of the Jewish state. For Morris, genocide is a matter of circumstances, that can be justified under certain conditions, all according to the perceived threat that the people to be annihilated represent to the people carrying out the genocide, or just to their form of government. The murderers of Rwanda or Serbia, that are standing trial today in international courts for their crimes against humanity, might like to retain Morris as an advisor.
The circumstantial justifications for transfer and for genocide are exactly the same: in some circumstances there's no choice. It is just a question of the circumstances. Sometimes you have to expel. Sometimes expulsion is not enough, and you must kill, exterminate, destroy. If, for instance, you have to expel, and those expelled insist on returning to their homes, there's no choice but to eliminate them. Morris documents this solution in his book on Israel's border wars in the 1950s. A straightforward reading might lead one to think that he is describing the State of Israel's greatest sin: the sin is not that Israel expelled the Palestinians in the course of a bloody war, when the Jews faced a genuine threat, but that they shot to death anyone that tried to return to their homes, and would not allow the defeated refugees to return to their deserted villages and accept the new authorities, and be citizens, as they allowed the Palestinians that did not flee. But Morris the careful commentator offers a different interpretation from Morris the historian: there was no choice. Not then and not today. He suggests that we see ourselves as remaining for at least another generation in the cycle of expulsion and killing, ready at any moment to take the harshest measures, when required. At the present stage we have to imprison the Palestinians. Under graver conditions we will need to expel them. If circumstances require, and if the "general, final good" justifies it, extermination will be the final solution. Behind the threat of prison and expulsion lies the threat of extermination. You don't need to read between the lines. He stated it clearly in the interview. Ha'aretz printed it.
It would not be surprising if the Palestinians see in him an irredeemable enemy. For the Palestinians, Morris, along with the many Israelis who enthusiastically accept the logic of transfer and elimination, presents himself as the enemy against whom there is no choice but to fight to the death. "That's the Israeli mentality," the concerned Palestinian will say, "there's nothing we can do about it. The Israelis are prepared to do anything in order to negate our presence in their surroundings. There is a problem in the depths of Israeli-ness. The sense of victimhood and persecution takes a central place in the culture of Jewish nationalism. The people standing opposite us are ready to give up the last moral restraints every time that they feel threatened, and they tend to feel threatened whenever they become more aggressive. You can never compromise with people like that. Every compromise is a trap. The Oslo agreements prove it."
And indeed, Morris, with his words, creates the enemy with which one cannot compromise, exactly as the cages of occupation create the suicide terrorist with which one must not, and indeed, cannot any longer, compromise. When Morris speaks of the need for transfer, he is not describing something that already exists, but contributing to its creation. And not only transfer for the Palestinians. Morris suggests that Israelis should live out at least another generation chained to a the roof of a cage in which barbarians and incurable serial killers are imprisoned, and on the horizon he hints at an Armageddon: "in the coming twenty years there could be a nuclear war here." Under such conditions there is something not quite sane about the decision to stay here. According to Morris's analysis (that uses the language of pathology only to describe the Palestinians, of course), Israel has become the most dangerous place for the Jewish people. If Zionism is motivated first and foremost by a concern for the national existence of the Jewish people, this analysis must lead sane people to emigrate from Israel and leave the people of the "iron wall" to continue alone on the path to their national collapse.
A war to the death, in which one is ready to shed any moral restraint, is the result of a sense of 'no exit,' not necessarily a real lack of alternatives. The logic of Morris's words creates a feeling of no exit for both sides. In his research, Morris is generally careful and responsible, even conservative, sticking to details while avoiding generalities. Morris the interviewee is a lousy historian and an awful sociologist. His generalities about "a problem in the depths of Islam," on "the Arab world as it exists today" and on "the clash of civilizations" are not the result of historical research, but a smokescreen designed to rule out any possibility of such research. His statements about Palestinian society as a sick society deny the fact that if there is sickness there, then the Israelis-soldiers, settlers, politicians, and intellectuals like Morris himself-are the virus. If the Palestinians are serial killers, Israel is the traumatic event that haunts the killer. And this is not because of memories of the 1948 catastrophe (the Nakba). It is not the victims of the Nakba who have turned into suicide terrorists, but their grandchildren, people responding to the current form of Israeli control of the territories.
The trauma is what is happening today. On the day that Morris's words were published in Ha'aretz, the humanitarian coordinating organization of the UN in Palestine published a strong protest against harm to the civilian population of the old city of Nablus and the destruction of ancient buildings during the course of IDF activities in the city. One day a historian like Benny Morris will arise to document one by one the crimes committed in the course of operations like this one. For the time being, however, Morris himself is contributing to their denial, by discussing them in future tense. The cage whose establishment he calls for is already here, at least since April of 2002. To a certain extent, transfer is here as well. When Morris talks of expulsion, he is dreaming, so it seems, of the return of the trucks of 1948. But under the conditions of Israeli control in the territories today, transfer is being carried out slowly by the ministry of the interior, by the civilian authority, at airports and border crossings, by sophisticated means such as forms, certificates and denial of certificates, and by less sophisticated means such as the destruction of thousands of homes, and checkpoints, and closures, and sieges, that are making the lives of the Palestinians intolerable and leading many of them to try to emigrate in order to survive. Even if the number of new refugees is small for now, the apparatus that can increase their number overnight, is already working.
The most frightening thing in this interview is not the logic of mutual destruction that Morris presents. The most frightening thing is that this logic is creeping into Ha'aretz and peeks out from the front page of its respected Friday supplement. The interviewer and editors thought it proper to interview Morris. They appreciate the fact that he has dropped the vocabulary of political correctness and says what many are thinking but do not dare to say. If there is a sick society here, the publication of this interview is at one and the same time a symptom of the illness and that which nourishes it.
Professor Adi Ophir teaches philosophy at Tel Aviv University