By Jafar M Ramini
Since the late nineteenth century the Zionist movement and its drumbeaters have perfected the art of propaganda. There is a Yiddish word for it, ‘HASBARA’.
This last week has seen a renewed vigour in this art form, simply because of the visit of Mr. Obama to the Middle East followed by his Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, trying to inject some life into the dead and buried so-called ‘peace process’. As Thomas Paine once said, it is like ‘trying to administer medicine to the dead.’ But you must hand it to the Zionists, they don’t miss a trick. They know that deep in their hearts they will never ever sanction any accommodation with the Palestinians or the Arabs. The Eretz Y’Israel plan is still alive and kicking and being meticulously implemented, yet they play the game. After all, they invented the game, they invented the rules and their supporters are the referees. The unfortunate and most affected victims of this game and the ‘hasbara’ that attempts to make it acceptable to the world audience are us, the Palestinians. To quote George Orwell, ‘political language is designed to make lies truthful and murder acceptable.’
Mr. Kerry, in his latest tour of the Middle East visited Turkey, Jordan and then Ramallah and delivered his instructions to the three aforementioned countries outlining the US vision of how to resuscitate the comatose peace process, according to Israel’s wishes and commands. He then went, cap in hand, to Israel soliciting their attention. What he got was acquiescence and obedience from the Arabs and utter rejection from Netanyahu and the current crop of racist, apartheid settlers and members of his government.
Mr. Kerry got the usual No’s from Israel: No to defined borders, No to removal of illegal Jewish settlements, No to pre-conditions by the Palestinian Authortity. As a matter of fact, No to anything that would change the status quo or remotely alter the course that Zionism has embarked upon and the original plan of Eretz Y’Israel.
April 8th was the annual commemoration of the Holocaust in Israel and all over the world. Of course Mr. Kerryy, the US Secretary of State was in Israel and he paid homage. I too salute the memory of all the victims of the Nazis.
The following day, on April 9th, both my wife and I were to attend the commemoration ceremony of the massacre of Deir Yassin. On that notorious day of April 1948 almost all the inhabitants of a small village near Jerusalem were savagely slaughtered. The aim of this barbaric assault was to send a message to the Palestinian peaceful civilian inhabitants of other towns and villages that ‘we are coming and nothing will stop us’. That was the catalyst for many unarmed and unprotected Arab villagers to flee from their homes in anticipation of the horrors that were coming their way. And come they did. Village after village, town after town were ethnically cleansed and completely erased off the map. Five hundred plus.
Chaim Weizman, the first President of Israel referred to the massacre as this “miraculous simplification of our task,” and David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel said that “without Deir Yasin there would be no Israel.” The Jewish leader responsible for the massacre, Menachem Begin, who went on to become Prime Minister of Israel, said it had been worth a thousand army tanks in the fight against the Palestinians. In fear tactics alone.
The brutal occupation, terrorising and ethnic cleansing of our people continues in the full glare of the international community. Yet we are not allowed even a sigh of regret to express our pain and our frustration.
Is this humane? Is this acceptable?
Nevertheless, we turned up to commemorate this appalling event in our tragic history. It was a beautiful, serene evening, in London, with nostalgic songs and dances of Palestine, contrasting with re-enactments from the exact words recorded in Hansard of the shocked and horrified reaction from members of the British parliament at the time and the ineptitude of the then Secretary for the Colonies of how to deal with it. We left the church to the compelling sound of the lute as young Palestinian boys and girls distributed olive twigs in the name of peace.
The next evening, April 10th, I attended a dinner to examine the global impact of Israel’s dissenting voices organized by a group called Facilitate Global. The keynote speakers were Professor llan Pappe, a noted Israeli historian and Miko Peled, an Israeli ex-army officer and the author of ‘The General’s Son’. Both of these learned gentlemen are the product of the Israeli/Zionist system. They both toed the line and did what they believed they had to do to advance the cause of Zionism. That is, until they started to examine what they knew to be the truth and their own consciences. The result of which propelled them 360 degrees in the opposite direction, rejecting everything that Zionism stands for.
It was an interesting and informative evening as they charted the process of their transformation from Zionists to rejectionists. During the Q&A session, I asked them that in the light of the recent electoral results in Israel and the obvious shift to the right, did they see any glimmer of hope for accommodation between Israel and the Palestinians?”
Both of them replied that it doesn’t matter where any Israeli government stands, be it right, left, centre or on the moon, any accommodation and compromises for the Palestinians is not on the Zionist agenda. In fact, they said, their agenda is a system of settlers-colonialism and apartheid where there is only room for the Jews.
Miko Peled went further when the question of the Palestinians’ right of return was brought up. He said, “ No way will the Zionists accommodate such a thought.” And then he elaborated by showing us the absurdity of the Zionist argument that they, after 3000 years have the right of return to their ‘ancestral home’ while the Palestinians, who have continuously lived in Palestine for 2000 years and were ejected by brute force only a mere 65 years ago have not.
It can only be apartheid.
This morning, Friday 12th I woke up to a piece of vitriol against Archbishop Desmond Tutu that was first published in the Jerusalem Post.
I shall leave it to you, my dear friends and readers, to form your own opinions of the lies and fabrications by Mr. Barry Shaw, in this disgraceful attack on Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
I, on my part, shall direct the attention of this deluded Zionist and hasbarist to the work of the many well informed and widely published and respected Jewish scholars who dispute and utterly discredit every syllable he has uttered.
Professor Norman Finklestein
To name but a few.
Mr. Shaw, you may be able to fool most of the people most of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. The world is awake. The world is aware. The world is turning away from your hasbara and towards the untarnished truth.
** Below is the text of the op-ed by Barry Shaw, published April 12, 2013 in the Jerusalem Post, entitled: Archbishop Tutu, revisit Israel! click here
“What is it about Archbishop Desmond Tutu, apartheid and Israel? Why is it that Israel, and only Israel, is the one country that drives this clergyman to apoplexy? Not Syria, not Sudan, not Nigeria, not Mali, where thousands of fellow Christians are slaughtered as you read my words. Not even Mauritania, where the minority Arab Muslims apply ethnic cleansing, torture and even slavery against his fellow black religionists. No. It’s only Israel that gets his goat.
Now we read that Tutu has added his endorsement to a billboard campaign on the New York subway castigating Israel as being the one and only apartheid state in a wicked world.
Amazingly this Anglican bishop has joined with the American Muslims for Palestine, keen to add yet another Shari’a state to the region in place of the one and only Jewish one, depriving the Middle East of the exclusively liberal democratic nation where apartheid is the last thing being practiced.
In the scrawl of his message, he says how distressed he was during his last visit to the Holy Land: “It reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa.”
I have no idea where he visited in Israel that reminded him of the shameful townships I saw during my trip to South Africa last year. There I witnessed the crime of the apartheid of poverty his political party is inflicting on millions of Africans who live in tin shacks with no electricity or sanitary system.
Decades after the removal of the white regime, Tutu’s South Africa has done little to relieve the poverty or reduce the murderous crime statistics. What is it they say about people who live in glass houses? The same applies to those who tolerate tin shacks.
THE LAST time Tutu visited Israel was way back in 1989. At the time, he offended many by insensitively saying about the Holocaust during a visit to the Yad Vashem memorial, “We pray for those who made it happen, help us to forgive them and help us so that we in our turn will not make others suffer.”
To say these words at that place in the heart of the Jewish state was deeply hurtful. Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center called it “a gratuitous insult to Jews and victims of Nazism everywhere.”
In 2002, the archbishop revealed an inherent anti-Semitism when, with a slip of the tongue at a public lecture on divestment from Israel, he said, “People are scared in this country [the US] to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful – very powerful.”
His remarks were met with outrage. In 2005, in a reprinted version of his speech, he diverted his anti-Semitic reference to reflect an anti-Israel bias by replacing the expression “Jewish lobby” with “pro-Israel lobby,” but the anti- Semitic cat was already out of the bag.
Famed US attorney Alan Dershowitz called Tutu “a racist and a bigot” during the controversial Durban II conference in 2009.
Tutu is closely linked to a black liberation theology. This may have its place against the backdrop of the painful South African experience of blacks against whites. Where it loses its value and warps into a misguided racism is when people like him try to apply black liberation theology to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nothing can be further from the truth, and truth is what Tutu purports to promote, if one recalls his notable Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Tutu, as a man of truth, must reassess his opinion of Israel.
He wrote an op-ed piece in the Tampa Bay Times, in which he thanked the Jewish people for being on the side of the “disenfranchised, of the voiceless ones” during the dark days of Apartheid South Africa.
Jews and Israelis have always stood on the side of the suffering, while defending ourselves against those who come to harm us. Israel, more than most countries – including South Africa – has reached out to relieve the suffering of others with humanitarian aid and practical assistance, especially in times of grave distress. Universally millions have benefited from Israeli innovation, scientific, medical and agricultural achievements.
But Tutu turned his article into an anti-Semitic screed by adding, “Whether Jews like it or not, they are a peculiar people. They can’t ever hope to be judged by the same standards which are used for other people.”
Clearly he is among those who have never judged Israel by any decent standard.
This can be seen in his refusal to condemn, with the same passion and standard that he applies against Israel, the people who are persecuting his coreligionists in Africa and in the Arab world. Neither will we hear any condemnation from him for the blatant apartheid policies carried out against the Palestinians he purports to support in the Arab regimes where they find themselves without status, without work, without education, without freedom of movement, without representation, without a vote, solely because they are Palestinian in Arab and Muslim lands. Isn’t that pure apartheid? Instead, Tutu claims Israel has “oppressed more than the apartheid ideologues could ever dream about in South Africa.”
In Tutu’s words, Israel outdoes the white regime in South Africa as an apartheid regime.
IT’S ABSOLUTELY time for truth, Archbishop Tutu! I ask this clergyman to look carefully at whose side he is supporting.
We in Israel find his bias against us strangely troubling. Tutu and Israel should be joined by Judeo-Christian values and bonded in a unified fight against the same enemy that is persecuting and killing us both. Instead we find Tutu in the camp of our mutual enemy.
I call upon him at least to be a champion and protector of black Christians being victimized by the same cultural and religious hatred that is being waged against us both, even if he doesn’t care to defend our Jewish sense of survival, or support our dire need for Jewish self-determination in our Holy Land based on a historic injustice that has been perpetrated against Jews by both Christians and Muslims.
I implore him to search his soul, look to his core responsibility as a Christian leader, and reassess his position on these vital issues. Our decades old conflict with the Arabs is not a black-and-white issue. They are not the blacks, and we are not the whites.
If he looks closely at Israel, he will find us to be a Rainbow Nation. We are made up of refugees and people of many tongues and colors who have returned home from all over the globe, including Africa.
Our conflict is not one of black oppression. Neither is it one of apartheid. Rather, it is one of a tiny nation resisting a cultural and religious hatred as we struggle still to establish our Jewish liberation and self-determination.
Surely the archbishop is familiar with that concept? In supporting the Palestinians, he supports Mahmoud Abbas, who has declared, “I will never accept the Jewish State of Israel, not in a thousand years!” That, to us, is like someone saying, “I will never accept black rule in South Africa, not in a thousand years!” Such is the racist meaning at the heart of both statements. How can any learned person tolerate such a position? I ask him to reassess his attitude for the sake of truth and reconciliation among him, his country and Israel. Let me address him this way: Please come again to Israel. Let us introduce you to the true face of our nation. Open your heart and discover for yourself the people of our amazing land. Open your mind to the new experience of an Israel you do not know, and let us work, hand in hand, for truth and reconciliation between our two peoples.