How ironic. Nationalism is truly one of the most eroding philosophies in life. de Tocqueville wrote that all free people appear glorious to themselves but national pride does not manifest itself equally in all. The irony at play is that the Jewish state of Israel, founded as a refugee for prosecuted Jews, has since its earliest days been prosecuting and oppressing the native people, the Palestinians.
Zionism has never reconciled its ambitions in the Middle East with the rights of the native people. While Zionism was still an idea its proponents spoke about “a land without a people for a people without a land.” They did not mean literally that the land of Palestine was depopulated. They knew that at the time of the passage of the Balfour Declaration the land which Zionists sought to colonize was nearly 90% Arab. Instead what the meant by their rallying cry was “a people” as in “us” and “only us” while the Palestinians do not merit “people-hood” and should be brushed aside for the objectives of Zionism. The first primer of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, likened the Palestinians to children. And at the first Zionist conference in Basel, Switzerland the father of Political Zionism, Theodore Herzl, addressed the question of how to build a Jewish state in a land nearly all Arabs. And his answer was simple: quoting the French proverb, “Those who desire the ends desire the means.” And Zionism has always dealt with Palestinians and Arabs with the maxim.
That all forms of violence and degradation and humiliation to be visited on the Palestinians in the name of Zionism are justified.
And as Israel grows more desperate in acts of colonialism and violence, Israeli nationalism grows cruder still:
Maariv reports in Hebrew on a new phenomenon, skinheads in Jerusalem. According to the translated report, thanks to Ofer: This youth is not wearing a Kippah, it’s a skinhead haircut, with a menorah, and he’s wearing a Kahanist t-shirt. These youths now convene at certain venues in Jerusalem, such as the central bus station, after last week’s explosion, to attack Arabs and incite others to join them. The police made no arrests when a group attacked a Palestinian woman last week near the bus station.
How ironic. The victims of history have adopted even the same styles of their oppressors to inflict terrorism and destruction against an innocent people. And, yet, Israelis still are self-righteous and believe that contrary to all evidence they are the victims and not the uprooted and occupied Palestinians. George Orwell once wrote, “All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side … The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them”