Op-ed: Is Christian Zionism Misguided?

There’s no question the birth of the Jewish State in 1948, followed by such miraculous victories as the Six-Day War, caused many Christians to sense a paradigm shift had taken place in the heavenlies. That after nineteen long, painful centuries God was again intervening on behalf of the Jews.

This understanding delivered a crippling blow to the lie of Replacement Theology. Because how could this be happening if God had indeed replaced the Jewish people with the Church as His only covenant people, as RT taught?

Christian Zionism, which had always been a small stream within Christendom, suddenly became a raging river of support. Worldwide ministries like the ICEJ, Friends of Israel and CUFI sprang up. The words of Isaiah to “comfort, comfort My people” were seen as a mandate for the Church today to stand with both the beleaguered state and Jews worldwide – prayerfully, economically and politically. Tens of thousands flocked to Jerusalem to say, “God loves you!”

But now, decades later, doubts have crept in. Whispered questions demanding answers. Like, if God brought the Jews home, why don’t they live more godly? Why is abortion allowed? Why do we see hedonism, materialism and even blatant sexual perversions on display? Why don’t they give God more glory for their military and economic successes, rather than tout their own ingenuity and strength? And although it’s the only country in the Middle East where Christianity is growing, why is freedom to share the gospel still hindered?

Adding to these disturbing thoughts is the steady acid drip of those who slander Israel as an oppressor nation that built its state on stolen Arab land. And enforces apartheid policies.

It’s no wonder even many Christians Zionists are asking what will it take to bring Israel to her knees? Worse, wondering if God was ever in this restoration as others have argued.

I believe the problem lies not with them, but us. The poison of Replacement Theology is still with us. For by such judgmental demands we are embracing the same hypocritical attitudes of the nations that hold the Jews to a higher standard in order to condemn them. We point a self-righteous finger at their imperfect society, conveniently forgetting these same things are rampant in our own so-called Christian nations. And churches.

And we judge their spiritual qualifications as if we had earned our own righteousness in Messiah. Did God require us to clean up our sin first to come to Yeshua? Or did He instead grant us the grace to repent so He could forgive us? Well, He promised the Jews no less when He said, “a deliverer will come from Zion to remove ungodliness from Jacob” (Rom. 11:26).

My advice, dear Christian, is have patience. And do not doubt what you first believed. God is still working. Hundreds of promises throughout the Bible assure us – and them – of the restoration of Israel prior to the coming of Messiah’s kingdom.

And if it is not now, when?

Source: http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=26984

Zionism blamed for plight of Shias in Al Quds rallies

‘Al-Quds Day’ was observed all over the country on Friday, where peace loving people belonging to all faiths including Christians, Muslims and other communities joined hands in this global and prestigious movement to expose the true face of Zionism and barbarism.

Allama Sajid Ali Naqvi in his message said, “The Al-Quds Day is a day of solidarity with the oppressed innocent Palestinian civilians in their struggle against the racist oppressive Zionist-Apartheid Regime (Israel).” He said that he has very serious concerns about the financial aid being sent to Israel and the political and diplomatic support provided by the US, Canadian and UK government. He said undue support is used by the Israel to perpetrate oppression of innocent civilians, extend illegal occupation, and increase horrific crimes against innocent civilians.

Protest rallies were brought out across the country including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kasmir.  The demonstrators chanted slogans ‘stop barbarism against innocent Palestinians’ etc. Protests were staged across the country to condemn the massacre of Palestinians by Israel.

Central ‘Al-Quds’ Rally held in Islamabad started from Melody Chowk to Aapara Chowk in which hundreds of people participated.  Central secretary general(SUC)  and vice president Markazi Al-Quds Committee Pakistan Allama Arif  Hussain Wahdi, and Syed Sikandar Abbas Gillani , Allama Mushtaq Hussain Hamdani, Tasswar Abbas, Molana Kosar Qummi and Molana Qasim Jaffari participated in the rally and said that today is day of peace- and justice-loving individuals around the country and this a time to standup against cruelty, terrorism in Pakistan, Burma, Yemen, Kashmir, Syria Iraq and especially in Palestine.

Source: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/07/10/city/zionism-blamed-for-plight-of-shias-in-al-quds-rallies/

Does an ‘ally’ have the right to redefine Zionism?

“The fact Obama linked the State of Israel’s legitimization to the Holocaust in that speech [Cairo 2009] was him adopting the Arab narrative: We’re here because of the Holocaust, not because of Jewish roots and 3,000 years of history.” – Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren, June 27, 2015

Michael Oren’s new book, Ally, has generated lots of attention. The mild mannered historian turned diplomat turned politician is now in the cross-hairs of the Obama administration, his political rivals at home and progressive Jewish figures. What has drawn such animus to Oren from the administration are some unpleasant truths about the US-Israel relationship under President Barack Obama that he reveals. As Newsweek reported, “Oren blames President Barack Obama for the sorry state of US-Israel relations and most of what’s wrong in the Middle East.”

As I have said for several years, I believe the president thinks of Israel as more a strategic liability than a strategic asset, and that his goal since day one of his administration has been to change the relationship with Israel and turn toward the Muslim world, particularly favoring the fundamentalist regime controlling Iran. Or, as Oren put it, to create some daylight between the two long-time allies. The White House has indeed supported some important military aid to Israel during these years, but meanwhile has jeopardized Israel and America’s foreign policy interests in pursuit of a friendship with the reliably unreliable mullahs of Iran.

One revelation that is not entirely new but is essential to address if your vision is a two-state solution based on a respect for both parties’ narratives is Oren’s assertion that the president believes Israel’s raison d’etre is the Holocaust, with only incidental incorporation of other Jewish history. This is very important, because if it becomes part of the mainstream narrative regarding Israel’s founding, Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state can be challenged, making it the only state in the world required to kneel and beg for its right to exist.

The charge that Israel exists only as a consequence of the Shoah has created both a firestorm and confusion among both American Jewry and the wider Jewish Diaspora. This is particularly relevant as the Palestinian Authority is currently attempting to delegitimize Israel by going to the ICC (International Criminal Court) seeking support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to question Israel’s right to exist. Therefore it is imperative to understand and educate America about what Zionism really is, and how the two most pivotal events of the 20th century affecting world Jewry relate to one another. In an era when much of the world, and many on American academic campuses, see Zionism as racism and colonialism it is incumbent upon pro-Israel supporters to communicate the truth clearly.

After President Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech in which he reached out to the Muslim world, his comparison of the plight of Palestinians to the survivors of the Shoah outraged many people.

Anne Bayefsky, who directs the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, challenged the president’s assertion that, “The aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied,” for, she said, “around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries. A Jewish homeland in Israel is not rooted in tragedy or in centuries of persecution around the world. It is rooted in a wondrous, unbroken, and spiritual relationship to the land of Israel and to Jerusalem for thousands of years.”

Former ADL leader and Holocaust survivor Abe Foxman responded that the president was implicitly asserting that Israel’s legitimacy is based on the “suffering of the Jewish people’s “tragic history” and not on their historic ties to the Land of Israel. Obama’s choice of words and his decision to mention only the Holocaust as a reason for the creation of the State of Israel “gave fodder to the many in the Arab world who argue against the legitimacy of Israel.”

So if the Holocaust had not occurred, would there be an Israel? According to Tom Segev, a center-left historian and a reliable critic of Israel who has written extensively on the issue, “The State of Israel would have come to being even without the Holocaust. It was a result of 30 years of intensive work by the Zionist movement.”

But rooted in the Muslim world is the irrational contradiction of both denying the Holocaust while perpetuating the narrative that the Arabs were unfairly made to pay the price for the Holocaust in the creation of Israel, with the forced imposition of a non-indigenous Jewish people on the region.

SO DID nations of the UN vote in 1947 to create Israel only out of guilt at their complicity in the genocide of the Shoah? Is Zionism simply a reaction to the Shoah? If, as President Obama and others contend, the creation of Israel is solely due to the Holocaust, then the Palestinians have an argument. It then follows that Zionism is not a many-centuries’ yearning to return to ancient land, but was a simply spur-of-the moment land grab.

Modern Zionism is not a reaction to the Shoah. It began well before WWII and the Holocaust, only partially motivated by the anti-Semitism that preceded the Shoah; recall Herzl’s reactions to the Dreyfus Affair. On the one hand, Zionism is an affirmation of the Jewish people’s 2,000-year-long yearning to return to their ancestral homeland, manifested in the daily prayers of the Jewish people.

On the other hand, the founders of Israel were mostly secular and atheist, seeing themselves as a people, rather than a religion, returning to their homeland.

Jews learned that without a national homeland, nations and communities infected with anti-Semitism offered at best temporary shelter, all too often as tides shifted offering only humiliation, expropriation and expulsion. The horrors experienced over the centuries in the Diaspora, punctuated by pogroms, inquisitions, crusades and culminating in humanity’s descent to its lowest level in the Shoah, made the prayers and hopes for salvation and return to Zion more desperate and poignant, but the yearning to return, “next year in Jerusalem,” was always there, in good times and bad.

Zionism is a modern word to describe an ancient desire to return to the Land of Israel. Necessity and modernity played a part, but the desire for a Jewish homeland started in earnest in the 19th century, and culminated in the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate for a Jewish national home in Palestine. The European and Russian anti-Semitism of the Kishinev pogroms, the Dreyfus Affair, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and WWI all occurred years before the Shoah.

As Israeli statesman, former defense minister and Haaretz columnist Moshe Arens said, “In the minds of some, the establishment of the State of Israel is linked to the Holocaust, or even seen as a direct result of the Holocaust.” Which is precisely why the writers of Israel’s declaration of Independence purposely omitted any reference to the Shoah.

International organizations and governments did write the international law to help create the modern state of Israel, but shrugged their shoulders when the state was immediately attacked at its birth by five Arab armies. As Holocaust scholar Yehuda Bauer said, “Israel didn’t come into being because of the Shoah, Israel exists in spite of it.”

It was Israelis who fought back and saved the country from extinction. It was a Jewish desire for millennia to return to the Jewish homeland that preserved the dream.

On the Jewish Agency for Israel’s website they ask the question: “Did the State of Israel come about because of the Holocaust? Imagine the Holocaust happening before a single kibbutz was built, before a flourishing Jewish culture had been reestablished in Israel, and without armed Jews fighting to defend themselves in the Land. Would any one have supported Jewish sovereignty in that situation? Surely not!” The Holocaust was a contributing factor to the timing and circumstances of the struggle for independence. It certainly affected the kind of Jewish state that was created, its population mix, its self-perception and its worldview. But the events that underpin its creation are located elsewhere.

The author is the director of MEPIN (Middle East Political and Information Network), a Middle East research analysis read by members of Congress, their foreign policy advisers, members of the Knesset, journalists and organizational leaders. He regularly briefs members of Congress on issues related to the Middle East.

How Zionism Corrupts Judaism

Judaism is a religion based on humanistic principles offering powerful arguments for social justice, but it has been hijacked by Zionists who have twisted it into an excuse for ethnic cleansing and mass murder, as Professor of Moral Theology Daniel C. Maguire describes.

Like the Palestinian people, Judaism is also suffering from siege and occupation. Zionism, a Nineteenth Century hallucinatory piece of fictive theology and a vicious ideology, has gotten a demonic grip on much of modern Jewish consciousness and has taken possession of U.S. policies in the Middle East.

Zionism is not Judaism; Judaism is 3,000 years old. Zionism is a heretical upstart based upon preposterous assumptions. In terms of theistic Judaism, Zionism teaches that God, the creator of everything in the universe from fruit flies to quasars, is also into real-estate distribution and has assigned Palestine to Jews or those who tenuously claim to be Jews … from dark-skinned Ethiopians to blue-eyed Russians.

The Prophet Isaiah (Illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company)

This God wants all non-Jewish Palestinians (some of whose ancestral roots in Palestine go back for millennia) to be removed or brutally occupied and periodically bombed and starved into submission. That is Zionist theocratic policy and it has been a raging success.

Thanks to Zionist power and American complicit and compliant support, Jewish Israelis control 100 percent of Palestine and Syria’s Golan Heights. Non-Jewish Palestinians are either occupied or living under dehumanizing siege.

To forestall any charge of caricature, let the Zionists speak for themselves. Joseph Weitz, an administrator responsible for planning the takeover of Palestine, minced no words: “Between ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both people together in this country. … The only solution is a Palestine … without Arabs. And there is no other way than to transfer Arabs from here to the neighboring countries, to transfer all of them, not one village, not one tribe, should be left.”

David Ben-Gurion, a man of no known theological expertise, saw the invasion and occupation as an exercise in theology: “God promised it to us,” he said. Yitzhak Baer joined the pious Zionist chorus writing in 1947: “God gave to every nation its place and to the Jews he gave Palestine.”

One could be tempted to think that God would have preferred pre-Zionist Palestine. In the Nineteenth Century, Jews were four percent of the population, Christians, ten percent, and the rest were Muslims and all lived together in harmony and peace.

The Zionist success is brittle and becoming more so. Fifty years ago, a professor at Hebrew University wrote presciently: “Israel may be able to win and win and go on winning till its last breath, win itself to death. … After every victory, we face more difficult, more complicated problems. … The abyss if mutual hated will deepen and the desires for vengeance will mount.”

In the age of suitcase-size atomic weapons and micro-biological weapons and pinpoint accurate drones, a reality-check should tell Zionists that it is past time to take paths to peace that are open to them right now. United Nations resolutions and Arab offers are on the table based on returning to the pre-1967 borders.

Peace is there for the asking once Zionist stop the land-theft (euphemized as “settlements”) and comply with international law. Israel can choose peace or expansion; Zionist Israel is choosing expansion and continued ethnic cleansing.

Equating Zionism and Judaism

But here is the piercing point of Zionism: Zionism would not settle for the land of Palestine. It demanded that Zionism be identified with and conflated with Judaism. This perverse effort has worked well so that now any criticism of Zionist imperialism is called “antisemitic.”  “Antisemitic,” of course, is a misnomer since the occupied and besieged Palestinians are Semites, too.

What is meant is that any criticism of Zionist policies is anti-Jewish. Wrong! Even Adolf Hitler knew that Zionism is not Judaism: he despised Judaism, but in his Mein Kampf,  he had praise for Zionism. Hitler admired racist oppression wherever he found it. Indeed, Zionism’s fatal fault is that it is not Jewish.

In my judgment, as a scholar in the field of religion, Judaism is the most profound, inspiring and practicable moral vision to be found in any world religion. Christianity and Islam are blessed to be among its heirs. In the years 1250 to 1050 B.C.E., the early Hebrews pressed history to turn a corner in such a wise direction that modern democratic theory owes deep debts to their achievement.

The Exodus/Sinai story in novels, films and homilies suffered shrinkage. It got reduced to historical facticity, i.e., stuff that happened and got recorded by ancient scribes trying to get their facts straight. The Exodus-Sinai epic is not history; it is metaphor.

As Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman put it: “There was no mass Exodus from Egypt.”  Moses may not have been a single person but a composite of many figures assembled with literary freedom over centuries.

But that doesn’t mean nothing happened back there. Poetry happened. Revolutionary social experimentation happened. Forget the frogs and the parted seas engulfing the bad guys. What really happened was a social-political-economic revolution presented in epic form.

As Norman Gottwald shows in his monumental study The Tribes of Yahweh, those Hebrews (from apiru meaning outlaw) challenged the monarchical paradigm of one percent rule exemplified by Egypt. These poets were saying we need not live in the Egyptian model. The Sinaitic alternative beckons.

This Exodus-to-Sinai story is an epic poem in the genre of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid, but outstripping both Homer and Virgil in power and far-reaching effects. As Walter Brueggemann says it is as insightful and relevant as if it had been written yesterday. It has perpetual contemporaneity, the mark of a true classic.

People-Power

This epic poem was about people-power, about the 99 percent taking on the one percent. The story says you cannot trust the greed-driven one-percent. They are, as Micah said, “rich men who are full of violence, the city’s upper classes speak falsehood and their tongues frame deceit.” (6:12)

And he said that millennia before sub-prime mortgages and derivatives were cooked up like a witch’s brew. The exodus was a moral exodus from the one-percent rule in Egypt with all power moving to the top — to the Sinai model where “there shall be no poor among you” (Deut. 15:4).

In the Sinai model compassion was woven into the political economy. As Walter Brueggemann says, the Hebrew revolution which is the root of Judaism became “the first move toward a social safety net in the history of the world.”

Jan Dus says that what is contained in Exodus chapters 1 to 24 is the first ideologically-based socio-political revolution in the history of the world. The Judaism of Sinai and the prophets deserve two Nobel prizes, one in Peace and one in Economics. That is the stirring moral core of Judaism, the polar opposite of Zionism. It is this that should swell Jewish hearts with pride, not Zionism.

The poets of Israel warned that doom awaits societies that “grind the faces of the poor.” (Isa. 3:15) Security comes from planting a poverty-banishing justice (Isa. 32:17) not from kill-power.   You cannot build “Zion in bloodshed.” (Micah 3:10) That’s a message the Zionists will not abide.

“Neither by force of arms nor by brute strength” will the people be saved. (Zech. 4:6) The “song of the military” will be silenced (Isa. 25:5, 2) Prophetic Judaism scorns an over-reliance on violence. With the over-used sword beaten into a plowshares the earth could turn green with hope and not red with the mayhem we call war. (Isa.22:4; Mic. 4:24) That’s the dream that the poets of Israel dreamed and bequeathed to all humankind.

Suppose Israel Were Jewish

Israel and the United States both started out with ethnic cleansing. Is the superpower United States going to repent and hand the country over to the Native Americans? Is Israel the fourth strongest military power and the sixth strongest nuclear power about to dissolve itself? The answer is No to both those naive questions.

What Israel can do is accept the peace offered to it by its Arab neighbors and prescribed by the United Nations. In March 2002, 22 members of the Arab League offered to recognize Israel’s right to exist and have normal relations with Israel, no small concession that.

This offer has been repeatedly reconfirmed. In April 2002, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which includes 57 nations, concurred with the Arab League offer, and the Iranian delegation expressed its full approval.

The condition was Israel’s compliance with the United Nations Resolutions 194, 242, 338 and the return to the pre-1967 borders. Hamas has said it will acknowledge Israel’s right to live in peace within its pre-1967 borders. Israel can have peace or continued ethnic cleansing. It is currently choosing continued ethnic cleansing.

A morally Jewish Israel, embodied in growing groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, would make peace and in so doing transform the roiled politics of the entire Middle East. No one expects Zionist Israel to do that. Hence the growing BDS (boycott, divestment, sanction) movement.

The reigning assumption today is that it is pressure, not conscience, that will move Zionist Israel to choose peace.

Daniel C. Maguire is a Professor of Moral Theology at Marquette University, a Catholic, Jesuit institution in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is author of A Moral Creed for All Christians and The Horrors We Bless: Rethinking the Just-War Legacy [Fortress Press]).He can be reached at daniel.maguire@marquette.edu

Daniel C. Maguire / July 2, 2015

Correcting the Zionist Narrative of Israel

The Zionist narrative exists to justify the existence of the state of Israel. It is the narrative that dominates the perspectives of the US and Canadian governments as well as the mainstream media in North America. This narrative accepts as its starting point the right of a Jewish state to exist based on the fact that Jews lived in the biblical lands 2,000 years ago and that these lands belong to God’s chosen people: the Jews. But does this narrative reflect the truth? Or is it self-serving propaganda? After all, given this starting point, the inevitable outcome of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine was the ‘cleansing’ of the existing Arab population in that region because a Jewish majority was required to make a Jewish state viable.

Prior to the emergence of the Zionist movement in Europe in the late 1800s, the Jewish population in Palestine had remained steady at about four percent for centuries. And by all accounts the Jews lived in relative harmony with the Muslim majority as well as with Christians and the Druze. But European Zionists began urging European Jews to ‘return’ to the Holy Land with the objective of establishing a Jewish state.

In the Zionist revision of history, the Palestinians suddenly and irrationally began attacking the Jewish population in Palestine between 1920 and 1947, while Jews were simply defending themselves. But most of the Jews in Palestine by 1920 were not the Jews who had been living there for centuries; the overwhelming majority were European Zionists who had recently migrated and whose primary objective was to establish a Jewish state.

In the decade following the Balfour declaration in 1917, more than 100,000 Jews migrated to Palestine from Europe, and by 1948 that number had reached half a million. Many of these European Jews did not migrate to Palestine to co-exist in harmony with the Arab majority, but to help fulfil the Zionist goal of establishing a Jewish state with a Jewish majority. There are countless records of statements made by Zionist leaders between 1920 and 1948 on the need to remove all Arabs from the ‘Land of Israel’ in order to make a Jewish state with a Jewish majority viable.

Was there violence perpetrated by Arabs against the recently-arrived European immigrants? Yes, there was. But this violence was in response to the threat that the Zionist project posed to Palestinians and their lands—and in response to Zionist violence too. Consequently, it was the Palestinians who had lived there for generations who were defending themselves, not the European Zionists. After all, where were they supposed to turn for redress? Following the implementation of the British Mandate in 1922, the Palestinians were being governed by the same foreign government that had pledged in the Balfour declaration to create a Jewish state on their lands.

Many Zionists claim that the Palestinians were being unreasonable when they rejected the independence they were offered in 1947 under the UN Partition Plan that sought to establish the state of Israel on 56 percent of the territory of Palestine (despite the fact that Jews only constituted 32 percent of the population) and a Palestinian state on 43 percent of the land with Jerusalem decreed an international city to be governed by the United Nations.

But how would Israelis respond today if the United Nations passed a resolution declaring the partition of Israel so that the Christian minority in the country could establish a Christian state in the Holy Land? We know what the response would be, it would be a flat-out rejection, especially if that Christian state was to encompass 56 percent of Israeli territory. Therefore, the Palestinian rejection of such a proposal by foreign powers in favour of a Jewish minority who overwhelmingly consisted of recently-arrived European immigrants was a perfectly rational response.

A crucial part of the Zionist narrative is the claim that Palestinians voluntarily fled during the 1948 war to escape the conflict rather than being forcibly expelled in what the Palestinians call the Nakba, or the ‘catastrophe.’ But this is pure historical revisionism. Documents that have emerged from Israeli archives since the late 1980s have led many Israeli historians to challenge the long-established Zionist narrative about the creation of the state of Israel. These documents include the diary and letters of Israel’s ‘independence’ hero and first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, as well as the writings and military orders of other prominent Zionist leaders during the 1930s and 1940s. These documents make clear that the Zionist objective long before 1948 was the removal of the Arab population from Palestine in order to create a Jewish state with a Jewish majority.

Thanks to these documents, which verify the countless oral accounts of the forced expulsion provided by Palestinian refugees over the years, we now know that the more than 700,000 Palestinian refugees did not voluntarily abandon their lands as the Zionist narrative would have us believe. These documents show that the forced expulsion of the Palestinian Arabs began six months before Israel declared its independence and its Arab neighbours sent in their armies (previously Arab volunteers had fought with the Palestinians). And, in particular, that the infamous Plan Dalet was launched six weeks before the 1948 ‘independence’ war began. This plan called for the systematic expulsion of Palestinians from Israel and, in reference to it, Ben-Gurion wrote that “the cleansing of Palestine remained the prime objective of Israel.”

Creating a Jewish state with a Jewish majority anywhere in the world would have required the removal of the majority of the existing inhabitants. And, as these documents make clear, this is precisely what occurred in Palestine as Palestinian refugees were forcibly and systematically expelled from Palestine in 1948—and this expulsion began before the Arab armies attacked Israel in response to the Zionists unilaterally declaring independence.

Zionists also claim that a Palestinian state could have been established following the 1949 armistice when the West Bank and Gaza remained in Arab hands (controlled by Jordan and Egypt respectively). But why would Palestinians accept only 23 percent of the land as a state only two years after rationally rejecting 43 percent of the territory? And while it is true that Jordan had its own political agenda in occupying the West Bank, this in no way de-legitimizes the desire of Palestinians to achieve their own independent and sovereign state. Furthermore, the declaration of a Palestinian state on only 23 percent of the land would have constituted a de-facto recognition of Israel’s ownership of 77 percent of the territory.

A powerful aspect of the Zionist narrative has been the portrayal of Palestinians as terrorists. Palestinians have lived under Israeli military occupation since 1967 and some have turned to armed struggle to achieve their liberation. So while it is true that Palestinian groups have targeted Israeli civilians through suicide bombings and other violent acts, the narrative has effectively portrayed Israelis as the victims while obscuring the state terrorism that has been perpetrated by Israel.

The resort to armed struggle should not come as a surprise given that the international community has repeatedly failed the Palestinian people, with the most powerful nations, particularly the United States, consistently siding with Israel. For instance, despite Israel’s repeated violations of international law, the Palestinians have never been able to obtain justice because the United States has used its veto power in the Security Council on 41 occasions to ensure that the numerous UN resolutions condemning Israel’s illegal occupation and refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their lands are not enforced.

Meanwhile, the state terrorism perpetrated by Israel is rarely addressed by the international community. The Zionist narrative that portrays Israel as the victim has succeeded in obscuring the fact that a hugely disproportionate number of Palestinians have been killed in the long-running conflict. Over the past 15 years, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, 8,701 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis compared to 1,138 Israelis killed by Palestinians. The disparity in the number of Palestinian children killed is even greater with a total of 1,772 killed during that period compared to 93 Israeli children.

This reality was never more evident than in the Israeli military’s seven-week assault on Gaza last year. According to the United Nations, the Israeli military killed 2,025 Palestinians, including 1,483 civilians, of whom 521 were children. Additionally, more than half a million Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes by the assault. Meanwhile, 71 Israelis died, of which 66 were soldiers. And yet, it is the Palestinians who are portrayed as the terrorists.

Zionists also claim that Palestinians are not serious about negotiating a two-state solution. It is true that many Palestinians do not want a two-state solution if it prohibits the more than five million Palestinian refugees who now live in camps from returning to their lands in Israel. But the Zionists are also adamantly opposed to a two-state solution—and always have been. The aforementioned documents released from Israeli archives illustrate how Ben-Gurion and other Zionist leaders wanted to incorporate the West Bank into the state of Israel back in 1948. This Zionist attitude is also evident in the statements of contemporary Israeli government officials. Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, recently declared, “This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that.” Hotovely went on to refer to the Torah to provide justification her claim.

Perhaps the most blatant illustration that the Zionists have never seriously considered a two-state solution is the Israeli government’s long-standing policies promoting the building of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. There is nothing temporary about these illegal settlements that now house half a million Jews in the Occupied Territories; making it clear that Israel has no intention of relinquishing these lands to allow for the creation of a Palestinian state.

One only has to travel around the West Bank to realize that there is no possible way that a viable, contiguous Palestinian state can be established while the settlements remain in place and under the control of Israel. A related factor that has further undermined the possibility of establishing a viable Palestinian state is the fact that the Jewish settlements have appropriated most of the best agricultural lands and water resources in the West Bank.

The Zionists have effectively re-written the history of Israel and it is this misrepresentation of the past and present that has dominated the Israel-Palestine narrative. But one only has to visit the many national parks in Israel that have been established on the land of expelled Palestinian villagers to understand the degree to which historical revisionism has taken place in Israel. The plaques in these parks tell of the numerous ancient and past civilizations that existed on these lands but they do not mention a single word about the Palestinians who lived there just a few decades ago—and who had lived there for more than a thousand years. There is no clearer example of how the Zionist narrative has not only attempted to revise history, but has tried to erase it.

Garry Leech is an independent journalist and editor of Palestine Journal. He is the author of numerous books including Capitalism: A Structural Genocide (Zed Books, 2012); Beyond Bogota: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia (Beacon Press, 2009); and Crude Interventions: The United States Oil and the New World Disorder (Zed Books, 2006). ). He is also a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Cape Breton University in Canada.

GARRY LEECH / Counter Punch / June 21, 2015