Gastschrijver Jamal Kanj December 22, 2023
Last week we witnessed what the Bible calls “you reap what you sow” when the Israeli army killed three fleeing Israeli prisoners. Israel sowed a culture of hate where the life of Palestinians, or non-Jews, was expendable. The Israeli soldiers in the neighborhood of Shejaiya, Gaza, followed standard army procedures by shooting three shirtless individuals waving white flags.
Was the killing a mistake, as posited by the Israeli army, or intentional according to the Palestinian resistance?
I disagree with assertions made by the resistance spokesperson, Abu Obaida, – who increases news viewership exponentially when he delivers his video messages – suggesting that the three prisoners were deliberately killed by the Israeli army. I reject it because the shooting was in keeping with the Israeli army’s lenient military rules when encountering Palestinian civilians. The three were shot to death because the Israeli army kills civilians with white flags. The trio were victims of their own culture’s self-inflicted hate.
I, however, agree with the spokesman’s premise that having Israeli prisoners alive poses a significant challenge for Benjamin Netanyahu and upends his priorities. The Israeli prime minister would rather wake up to the news that all of his prisoners are dead to free his hand and expand the war. As previously discussed, prolonging the war offers Netanyahu an opportunity to evade criminal accountability in Israeli courts. Additionally, the killing of more Palestinians satiates a culture thirsty for revenge and might diminish the public anger over his failures.
The Israeli systematic onslaught on Gaza intending to inflict a high level of pain, both physical and psychological suffering, is the product of a cultural mindset fixated on demonizing the other. This is obvious in the lopsided casualties following the Israeli invasion where the majority of the Israelis casualties are military personnel, while the vast majority of Palestinian victims are civilians. Failing to achieve any of its strategic objectives such as freeing Israeli prisoners, end the resistance or killing known leaders, Israel resorted to indiscriminate bombing of hospitals, and homes in an orgy of murder against the defenseless civilian population.
To the extent where to be alive in Gaza according to a report by Doctors Without Borders “is only a matter of luck.” Those “lucky” ones still face the grim reality of starvation which is used “as a method of warfare” as reported by Human Rights Watch. Yet, and despite well-documented reports from international organizations, any portrayal of Palestinian suffering in the Zio managed Western media, would typically follow a decontextualized preamble qualifier to remind readers, over again, of the “horrific Hamas” attack on October 7.
Within days this October 7, a herd of Western leaders raced to pay homage to the leader of the most racist Israeli government in the history of Zionism. The irony of racism is evident when these leaders mourn the roughly 900 hundred Israeli civilians, while normalizing, rationalizing, and providing material support to murder 20,000 Palestinian civilians, 70% of whom were children and women. Western prejudice became even more palpable when it took them more than 60 days to acknowledge the pain of Palestinians and before calling for a pause in the genocide.
The hyperbolic reaction of the West following the resistance counter attack against the post guards on the largest open-air prison, coupled with the abject disregard of Palestinian life is part of that ingrained subconscious racism. The same Western culture that once ignored the dehumanization of Jews in Europe, is blinded today by a new sin carried out by the progeny of those victims. Palestinians had paid for Europe’s original sin 75 years ago, and continue to do so. The life of Palestinians is being scarified today on the Israeli altar to atone for Western guilt and their past history toward their own Jewish population.
The West has bred an alien nihilistic Zionist culture of hate that grew to become a mirror image of Western White supremacy. As an example, Jewish Americans represent approximately 10% of the illegal Zionist settlers in the West Bank. These supposed “Jews” supported by organizations that fought for equality and integration in the U.S., but espoused racial/religious superiority and segregation in the “Jewish only” colonies established on lands stolen from Palestinians.
The descendants of the Holocaust survivors did not grasp the lessons of the Kristallnacht. They replay the November program, every November, every year, terrorizing Palestinians harvesting their olive trees and leaving behind shattered branches in lieu of glass. They did not learn from the stark black and white photos of European Jews shipped in trains to gas chambers, they updated the scene with colored pictures of Palestinian men removed from “safe shelters,” stripped down to their underwear and herded like sheep in open lories.
Hate is exemplified when the profound lessons of the European concentration camps become examples to be followed by Israelis advocating to flatten Gaza “just like Auschwitz” as expressed by Israeli politician David Azoulai in a recent interview. Azoulai not only called for making Gaza like Auschwitz, but also to order civilians to “go to the beaches,” to be loaded on Israeli ships and dumped “on Lebanon’s shores.”
Israeli dehumanization of Palestinians has permeated into all aspects of Western culture, government, media, movie industry, religious institutions, and public-school books. It is now creeping into the most celebrated educational institutions and infringing on the academic freedoms at the most prestigious and renowned American universities in order to normalize racism against Palestinians.
As such, it wasn’t just another one of Joe Biden’s gaffes when he dismissed the veracity of dead civilians in Gaza ostensibly because it came from Palestinian sources. This holds significance because he is directly engaged in promoting unverified Israeli falsehoods such as non-existing photos of “decapitated” Israeli children, or baselessly exonerating the murdering of civilians as human shields, or shamelessly parroting the Israeli unfounded claim of a supposed military command center under a hospital, and absolving Israel of the massacre at the al Ahli Baptist hospital. The Israeli dehumanization of Palestinians has imbued the walls of Biden’s White House, more deeply than he and his vice president are willing to acknowledge. Furthermore, the calls from Biden’s administration and European leaders for Israel to merely reduce killing, without demanding a cessation of civilian murders, underline the entrenched intuitive bigotry against those perceived as less than equal human beings.
As you celebrate the joy of Christmas, take a moment to ponder the somber reality that the first Christians, the original Palestinian Christians, will not be rejoicing in the blessings of Jesus’s birth this year. Instead, in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, native Christians will gather to mourn the modern crucifixion of Jesus’s message in Israel’s genocidal war on their brethren in Gaza, and to protest the inherent Western bias against their people.
*Jamal Kanj is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America, and other books. He writes frequently on Arab world issues for various national and international commentaries, A version of article was published on Al Mayadeen TV