On Friday, 29 February 2008, Israel's deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai threatened Palestinians in Gaza with a "holocaust, "telling Israeli Army Radio: "The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves."
This date will go down in history as the beginning of a new phase in the colonial conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, whereby a senior Israeli leader, a "leftist" for that matter, has publicly revealed the genocidal plans Israel is considering to implement against Palestinians under its military occupation, if they do not cease to resist its dictates. It will also mark the first time since World War II that any state has relentlessly --and on live TV --terrorized a civilian population with acts of slow, or low-intensity, genocide, with one of its senior government officials overtly inciting to a full-blown "holocaust," while the world stood by, watching in utter apathy, or in glee, as in the case of leading western leaders.
For an Israeli leader who is Jewish, in particular, to threaten anyone with holocaust is a sad irony of history. Are victims of unspeakable crimes invariably doomed to turn into appalling criminals? Can anything be possibly done to break this vicious cycle, before the state that claims to represent the main victims of the Nazi holocaust commits a fresh holocaust itself?
Before addressing those questions, however, isn't it exaggerated and pointedly counterproductive, one may ask, to compare Israel's crimes against the Palestinians, no matter how brutal and inhumane they have been, to Nazi genocide? Besides, isn't each crime unique and worthy of attention in its own right as a violation of human rights, of international law, of universal moral principles? The answer is yes: each crime is unique, and nothing Israel has done to date comes even close, in quantity, to Nazi crimes. But when victims-turned-perpetrators openly admit their intentions to carry out a unique form of offense that they are most familiar with, and they actually commit repeated acts that are qualitatively reminiscent of that crime in their unbridled racism and the ghastly level of disregard for the value and dignity of the human life of the "other" that is inherent in them, then their threats ought to be taken seriously. Everyone is called upon to react, to act in any way to stop this crime-in-progress from reaching its logical conclusion.
The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA), despite its lack of political independence and its disputed mandate, is called upon to immediately exonerate itself from the popular accusation of complicity. Azmi Bishara was among the most prominent of those who issued this harsh indictment, in reaction to the announcement by the head of the PA in Cairo that al-Qaida had infiltrated Gaza, and that the projectiles fired indiscriminately by the Palestinian resistance at Israeli towns and settlements provide the excuse for Israel's aggression. The credibility of this complicity assertion was compelling enough to prompt Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the Israeli crime in unprecedented austerity and hyperbole, describing it as "more than a Holocaust."
Arab regimes, especially Egypt's and Jordan's, as un-elected, illegitimate and subservient to the US as they may be, are still expected to distance themselves from Israel's lethal war of aggression on Gaza. After all, their continued diplomatic and commercial ties with Israel, as well as their implicit justification of Israel's crimes through their repeated and gratuitous vilification of Hamas, have convincingly labeled them in the eyes of their respective publics, not to mention the wider Arab public, as accessories in crime.
European governments, chiefly in France, Britain and Germany, have to also answer to the serious charge of collusion in Israel's crimes against humanity, prevalent among wide Palestinian, Arab and Muslim majorities. They have not only stayed silent in the face of Israel's willful killing of innocent civilians, many of whom are children, in the course of the last few days in Gaza; they have continued to treat Israel with reverence, celebrating its so-called 60th anniversary, a gruesome event of ethnic cleansing and colonial ruin itself, showering it with economic, political and scientific support that significantly contributes to its impunity.
The US government, on the other hand, cannot be accused of abetting Israel's acts of genocide in the same league as all the above sinister accomplices. It is and has always been a full and proud partner in planning, bankrolling and executing those crimes against the Palestinians, not to mention its own unmatched criminal record in Afghanistan, Iraq and, before both, Vietnam. When our own Nuremberg moment arrives, when Israeli war criminals are finally prosecuted in an international court, a substantial space in the defense chamber will have to be reserved for US commanders and political leaders. Without American partnership, expressed in immeasurable military, economic and diplomatic aid, Israel could not have committed all its racist and colonial crimes with such impunity.
Going back to the question of whether anything should and could be done to stop Israel, the answer is a certain yes. South African apartheid crimes were challenged not only by the heroic struggle of the oppressed masses on the ground in South Africa; they were also fought by worldwide campaigns of boycott, divestment and sanctions against the regime, with all its complicit economic, academic, cultural, and athletic institutions. Similarly, international civil society can, and ought to, apply the same measures of non-violent justice to bring about Israel's compliance with international law and basic human rights. Even the threat of sanctions has proven effective enough in the past to halt Israel's repeated campaigns of death and devastation.
If all those images of tens of Palestinian children torn to pieces, all those recurrent episodes of wanton killing and destruction by an occupation army against a predominantly defenseless civilian population, go unpunished, the world may well witness a new holocaust indeed.
Omar Barghouti is an independent political analyst.
Global Research Articles by Omar Barghouti
Due to your short sighted view it might be difficult for you to grasp what I have commented. I hope you'd spare a few minutes to read the following essay, try to learn things from other's perspective... then maybe you'll know why I have made such comments. The address is:
What is happening to innocent men women and children is easily the most disgusting act of genocide that has occured since the holocaust and for anyone who doubts the evil that motivates the anti-Islamic movement perpetrated by jew and gentile alike, read the Zionist manifesto. Isreal along with its supporters, has plans for the middle east that will see the slaughter of millions of innocent people. It is indeed a saddening thought to face an enemy that the world is too afraid to acknowledge because of the financial implications of sanctions, and boycotts. Something must be done, not to perpetuate hatred and war, but to help the innocents involved. May Allah have mercy on us all.
Very distorted statement.
You have left out Mubarak of Egypt, Hussien of Jordan, and the rest of the "muslim" leaders who turn a blind eye to the killing of innocent Palestinians and have "peace" treaties and secret meetings with their leaders. Hint: Musharraf of Pakistan.
Remember Black September and the reason why the name was used?
As Muslims we are told to tell the truth.
Telling half truths is not the way to do it.
BTW INSHA ALLAH there will come a time when Israel will cry "wolf" and America will look the other way....be patient.
our sad state of our countries whether its Palestine, Iraq, or Afghanistan. And I also get angry when we blame our leaders because they have been selected by us. The solution is to correct ourselves first...educate and educate your community by sharing your wealth whether its in form of money or form of any other like sharing what u have been gifted by Allah. If we educate one person then we have done our share on
this earth and the rippling effects can reach far beyond...Thank you
The coward Muslims that you mention about are brave enough to exercise their head and save them jumping headlong into hell by listening to the commanding voice of the defeated foe that can not help any longer. He expects Muslims to come to his aid and make him a god. PUH! Should a louse be respected because it lives on and bites the head? It is time to comb down the little beast and kill it on the rock. The Almighty God wants to save as many Muslims as turn to Him with their heads on them.
Even now the cowardly voice is heard in this article when the world's attention is called to destroy little Israel from being a Nation in the middle ease with defending ability. The sheer numbers without head shall be a dead host marching forth for the victory of the grave. Shalom.
Salam! Unfortunately, I have no choice but to disagree with you. You seem to think that only a few of the Israelis are responsible for the incidences in Palestine. Either you don't know what really is going on out there or you are trying to prove something about yourself to some Westerners.
It is not the few, but the majority of the Israelis who support the suppression of Palestinian rights. There are a few Israelis who oppose this. But the funny thing is this that even those few Israelis migrated to Israel from somewhere else in the world and claimed the beautiful orchard and home that a Palestinian once owned. And as a consequence, the Palestinian ended up in the slum as a degraded human being with sub-standard life style.
Please know what you are talking about before you say anything.
"Don't punch me in the eye, and then cry because I beat you with a club. Stop punching me in the eye." You and many of those who support Israel unconditionally (probably due to your inherent hatred for Islam and Muslims) always say things like these. You conveniently forget why I punched you in the first place. Before I punched you, you forgot that you have punched me! You support state-sponsored terrorism, but not the other kind, while you should not support any of them. You keep quiet when Israel kills people in a wedding ceremony, or buries a mother along with her child, alive! But you spring into action in favor of Israel when a desperate Palestinian blows up something in Israel. Put aside your double-standard and your one-sided policies and come to the table with a clean heart. Then you will learn to say what is right. You forget how the problem started - it started when so-called civilized world forced a whole nation to give up what they built and end up in the slums along with its young ones to make room for another? Will you accept it if someone tells you that the home that you have built with your hard work is not yours anymore, and that it is going to be occupied by someone migrating from the another part of the world? I think you will be the first to take up arms and tell them to go to hell!
And Mr. Ramesh Chander, you are talking about shutting down all support to Palestinian. How about the 90 billion dollars annual aid package from the US to the Israelies? And did you not read the news? Soon after Ms. Rice returned from the middle east convincing Abbas to return to the peace talk, Israel marched its army into the Gaza strip. I wonder if Israel really wants peace!
We should not support terrorism - state-sponsored or otherwise.
And brother Suja is absolutely correct. I am frustrated with Muslims blaming America, or Israel, or Europe for problems in Palestine! In reality, we the hypocritical Muslims are to be blamed!
Look at history and present Muslims, They have contributed so much in Medicine, Engineering and Finances and many other areas. Muslims are talented, smart, and wherever they live they contribute good economy, give Islamic and good moral values. Muslims should use the resources to negotiate wisely in return for Industries and Infra-Sructure build up. Once these resources are done they will be ditched and no one will care. They have to stand up now and become independent in many areas, otherwise it will be too late.
Most of Muslim Leaders are UnIslamic, Crippled, Puppets, Selfish, appointed by Non-Muslims and follow their say.
Most Muslims depend totally on Non-Muslims for almost everything(eg:food-Goods-security).
Most Muslims see their Muslim brothers as third class people and serve westerners with the resources, helping Economy with billions of dollars in unnecessary contracts and purchases.
Most Muslims do not raise concerns when other muslim brothers are killed,not only that but provide their lands for military and bases to kill and invade their own muslim brothers.
How these Muslims-Leaders will face Prophet Muhammad and Allah on the day of Qayamat? if they believe in it.
This is a good article. However, I have to agree with some of the people who have posted their comments. The so called Muslim countries should really be ashamed of themselves. I can remember whenever South Africa was going through the same thing. I can remember African-Americans protesting and calling for boycotts. Colleges in the US were teaching about the Aparthide system and the Black colleges pushed for boycotts. I cannot even understand how Palestines neighbors can rest at night knowing that their brothers and sisters are being slaughtered like sheep.
We have to stop blaming others for out shortcomings. Honestly, if the Muslim countries wanted to stop these killings, they could. I pray that something is soon for the innocent victims.
We should never depend on others to solve our problems for us. We have the best book the Holy Quran. And we have the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). As someone posted earlier, these books need to be passed along to the so called Muslim leaders and Muslim governments.
Yes, the Umah is in a sad state of affairs.
Hold tight to the ropes of Allah.
Believe me US does not need the Saudis nor do they like them they are bleeding them to death anyway by taking all or most of the country's' resources. Why the leaders of Saudi Arabia give US president nuggets of gold as parting gifts, the other Arab countries roll out the red carpets for him. In the mean time he is killing their brothers and sisters in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and any other part of the world he can get his hands on with arms that I am sure that came from oil in that region of the world.
The rest of the world should be ashamed of it self. But it is not their fault Bush has poisoned the minds of people and instilled fear in all. With so much fear of Islam phobia and all Medias portraying Arabs and Muslims as terrorist it is hard for people to see the facts. That was the American Administrations purpose of the whole 9-11 to make the world hate Arabs, Muslims and Islam.
With all this good relations those oil rich countries of the gulf they can not say to Bush to push for peace in the Middle East by any means possible. Including sanctions than the other countries mentioned in your article most likely will follow suit.
But really shame on the world leaders and religious leaders that are silent where the killing and oppression of the Palestinians, Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere where human beings are oppressed that they are not doing more to push for peace.
individual's do! Let me give you an example: When some random
cartoonist drew a picture of the prophet in Denmark, it was
wrong for us to ruin the lives of millions by boycotting a nation
for the action of ONE individual! The people of israel have good
and bad people. There is no reason for us to ruin the businesses
and lives of some innocent israelis who got stuck in the conflict.
I have always recognized the basic problem that Israel represents to Arabs (Muslims), but to date I have never heard a solution that offers anything besides "Death to Israel, "Death to the Jews". As long as one side in the dispute offers only death and destruction, the other side will be justified in offering death and destruction in defense of itself. What should the Jews do? What can they do to satisfy Palestinians (Arabs Muslims ect.)? Is there anything, save suicide? So far it seems not.
If solutions aren't found that focus on peace and security, please don't cry about violence. Don't punch me in the eye, and then cry because I beat you with a club. Stop punching me in the eye. Because sooner or later, I'll just kill you and get it over with. The Jews are not going away. So now what?
I told you all so. Today, Arab leaders are boycotting Syria because of its relationship with Iran and standing against Israel. My brothers, enemy is within the Muslim world. Our rulers, scholars want Shia Sunni fight. They are not interested to stop Palestanian slaughter. Anybody stands up against Israel will be crushed by Sunni Muslim countries. By the way, I am not shia. Pure Sunni. Don't worry. Go to the above website. The issue is no more Palestanian problem who are dying in scores. Their children are dying. But how come you Syrians have relationship with Iran, that is the issue. We are in deep whole brothers and sisters.
You write "One side is a brutal occupying force armed to the teeth".
Well, US was armed to the teeth and still lost the war in Vietnam. US is now armed to the teeth and is losing in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It all depends upon how you fight.
If Palestinians were armed to the teeth, they will not blow up the jews, but also will blow up themselves; they just have not learned how to plan, organize and then fight.
You wrote "To the peoples of the world, if you think that the Judeo Nazis are only after the Palestinians, you are dead wrong. The Judeo Nazis are after world domination. They are after you freedoms, your resources, and your future. The Palestinians are only the first step, and then will come your turn.".
Well, the non-muslim world is not convinced of the danger of Jews/Zionism, so they are not going to fight them; rather they are increasingly establishing diplomatic relations with them and trading with them.
So, if the muslim world is paranoid of Zionism, then it is the muslim world who has to fight the jews alone, not the others.
Actually, muslims fought 4 wars in a period of 25 years; but got defeated each time. So, to avoid another war & defeat, Egypt signed a peace treaty with the Jews. So, did Jordan. Rest of the muslim world acts like a spectator in a foot ball game, merely cheering the palestinians from the bleechers, but never helping them. All muslims do is issue slogans and fatwas. Well, slogans and fatwas never won any wars. Neither did fiery speeches and sermons.
So, under these conditions, jews are quite safe.
As far as Romesh Chander is concerned, the war has already begun. Before going further, how come Israel then allowed 300 nukes while Iran is not? You wrote about honesty? Is this honesty?
Jewish people have raised their weapons against their own guardians. They forgot that their existence is contingent upon the existence of Muslims. Read the history.
Finally, I don't put any onus upon any European or American country about Palestanians. Their stand is same all along. They consider Israel as god. It is up to the Muslim countries to help Palestanians, otherwise go to hell. Asking help from Eruopeans is almost an indirect shirk. The criminal Muslim governments are more harmful to Palestanians than anybody else.
Under altered circumstances, Americans would support the Palestinians as freedom fighters and understand that they were driven to suicidal violence and terrorism by the criminality of the Israeli state. Morally, most persons believe that violence is justified in order to end violent oppression, and this is the case in Palestine.
Psychologically, people who are violated and oppressed will strike back in any way they can, especially when they have nothing more to lose. The Palestinians cannot take on the Israeli war machine, so in their intense anger, they attack any Israeli or supporter of Israel that they can reach. They use any means available, even if they can only throw stones at soldiers who are shooting at them, and even if they must kill themselves in suicide bombings since the Palestinian does not have a military backed by 90 billion dollar annual support from the US like Israel does. So, their body is their weapon. Also, what made the Palestinians behave the way they do? Shouldn't you think about that?
,it is a cheap and spineless way for them to hide their guilt and responsibilities, after all it is they who create this situation for the Palestinians.Why should the Palestinian pay for what Hitler did to the Jews?Why didn't they carve a part of Germany and give it to the Jews? That would have been poetic justice.Alas, the innocent Palestinians have to pay for Hitler's crimes.One would have thought that the Jews would have been a more compassionate people, after what they suffered at the hands of Hitler but instead their hearts have become harder and they have even taken pages from Hitler's book.
I agree with you we should let them fight it out but first the Palestinian must be armed equally to even up the odds and then sit back and watch how quickly they reclaim their land and dignity.
My message to Israel,America and the EU, you are the current writers of history.Be careful of the history you are writing.
do you know the meaning of occupation force?...check dictionary and then give suggestions.
To the peoples of the world, if you think that the Judeo Nazis are only after the Palestinians, you are dead wrong. The Judeo Nazis are after world domination. They are after you freedoms, your resources, and your future. The Palestinians are only the first step, and then will come your turn.
So, wake up, speak up and make your voices heard, or they will control your life and enslave you as they have enslaved the United States and much of Western Europe.
A Palestinian gunman just did his share of killing in a jewish school library. Should the world also boycott Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank? After all, both crimes are the same; just the parties are different.
Should EU stop all aid to the palestinians which amounts to Billions of Euros every year? I think so.
Let us be fair. Why pick on one party only. Both parties are guilty. So, let up treat both parties equally harshly. No kid gloves for anybody.
In my opinion, there is space for only one party in Palestine -- either Jews or muslims; they cannot live together; the history of 100 years proves that. So, let them have a war; winner takes all.