Anyone who is remotely aware of the facts would have to agree that Palestine was ethnically cleansed in 1948 and the only discussion remaining is the one between those who, like the Zionist historian, Benny Morris, argue that it was morally justifiable and those, like the historian Illan Pappe, who would contend that it was morally reprehensible. Of course, ethnic cleansing is not only immoral it is illegal and this latter fact was given recognition almost immediately when, in December 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations, passed Resolution 194, Article 11 of which guarantees the right of return for the Palestinian refugees. The injustice is still, of course, to be resolved and it would not be totally wrong to see the numerous events since the “Nakba” as incidental to the events of 1948. Therefore, it is not only outwith the scope of this post to dissect all of the sixty years of this on-going conflict, it is also unnecessary even although such an analysis would cement our awareness of the moral and legal case for Palestine. For the purposes of this post it is, however, sufficient to confine myself to the two most important supports in the legal case for Palestine and then move onto what is happening today. These pillars are Resolution 194 and the UN Security Resolution 242 which demands that Israel withdraw from the territories that it occupied in 1967.
It is, however, not only Israel’s failure to comply with Resolutions 194 and 242 that should brand the Zionist state as the pariah, it is also its failure to fulfill its obligations as an occupying power, obligations that make it responsible for the population, which it is occupying. How does Israel fail to fulfill these obligations? On the West Bank by bullying at the checkpoints, by continuing to illegally build settlements, by restricting the movement, the industry and the commerce of the people who live there and by occassionally murdering them. One thing is obvious in the West Bank and that is, Israel would like to have no responsibility for the people under its occupation. How they might achieve this is shown in Gaza, which Israel pulled out of in 2005 but de facto kept control of. Indeed, it is almost reminiscent of Hitler’s plans for the “Untermenschen” in the east; give them the basics to live but no more than a primary school education and should they start to riot drop a few bombs on them. This is what has been happening in Gaza. For months we had a blockade that saw the people go hungry, then we had the illegal bombing of civilian areas that has left, at least, 450 dead and now this evening we have the IDF going in on the ground.
This is the peace that the Zionists are offering the Palestinians; Gaza and some “Bantustans” on the West Bank; the Palestinians can call it a state if they want to, but Israel will keep control of it and the Israeli “policeman” will be ready with his big stick should there be any dissent.
The ethnic cleansing of Palestine was immoral and illegal as is the on-going occupation of the West Bank and UN General Assembly Resolution 194 and Security Council Resolution 242 support this fact. Similarly international law is very explicit when it comes to the obligations of occupying powers and the bombing of civilians. Tonight in Gaza, however, it really is all too apparent that the Zionists really do inhabit their very own strange twilight zone and the latest news to come out of the area is that the Palestinian population have been urged to seek refuge. With the borders closed, how are they to do that? By disappearing into thin air, no doubt! Finally, Gaza didn’t just happen, it is a consequence of an ethnic cleansing that began in 1948, was cemented by the occupation, which began in 1967, and is continuing today. It will not be the last “incident”. However, even if it offers the Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere tonight little solace, the wheels of history are on their side; they will survive and that survival alone ensures that Zionism has no future and it is no future because it is illegal and immoral.
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