31 Jan, 2023

When Terrorists Call Their Victims ‘Terrorists’

Bruce Katz

For immediate publication 

Montreal, January 31, 2023 

 On January 26, 2023 Israel’s racist apartheid regime in Tel Aviv launched a murderous attack on the Jenin refugee camp, reminiscent of its barbaric attack on the same Palestinian refugee camp in 2002. (In April 2002, during Israel’s ‘Operation Defensive Shield’, 52 Palestinians died in the Jenin refugee camp, according to a UN report at the time). The January 26 raid at the Jenin camp killed ten Palestinians, wounded dozens more and caused great damage to buildings and property. Israeli forces used live bullets, missiles, drones and armored vehicles. The following day, January 27, 2023, the same apartheid regime carried out multiple air strikes on the al-Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza. All of this done with malice aforethought.  

The present extreme-right wing Israeli coalition government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, is now in the process of sealing off Palestinian homes – preparing them for demolition – thereby expediting the forced removal of Palestinians from their land, which is what the Zionist project in Palestine has been about from its inception. The justification for this continued ethnic cleansing is that the very ‘moral’ state of Israel will ‘retaliate’ against the families of ‘terrorists’ who have attacked Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers. 

 In other words, the criminal apartheid regime that practices state-sponsored terrorism against Palestinians (and Bedouin) calls its victims ‘terrorists.’ These periodic massacres of Palestinians is referred to by the IDF colloquially as ‘trimming the weeds,’ thus reducing the Palestinians to ‘untermenschen’ (subhumans), weeds that require occasional ‘trimming.’ Let it be stated that under that part of International Law as regards ‘Belligerent Occupation’ : “The civilian population of an occupied territory owes no allegiance to the occupying power . . . After effective occupation of territory, members of the territory’s armed forces who have not surrendered, organized resistance movements and genuine national liberation movements may resist the occupation.” In short, the Palestinians have the right to defend themselves by force of arms against a hostile military occupation. 

In the meantime, Western corporate media refers to the Israeli-sponsored massacre as a battle between Israeli forces and ‘militants.’ A contrived and expressly misleading narrative.  

Israel’s campaign of relentless terror enacted against the Palestinian population is committed with absolute impunity thanks to the complicity of much of the West’s political class, a complicit and indolent corporate media which systematically covers up Israeli extra-judicial murders and war crimes, and despotic Arab regimes that have chosen once again to stab the Palestinians in the back by ‘normalizing’ with the apartheid state. 

It is the continued illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, the brutal and dehumanizing system of apartheid and the terrible living conditions under which the Palestinian population lives, which causes the spiral of violence which is now unfolding in what appears to be the start of a third Intifada. The extremism of the present Israeli coalition government should be seen not as a new phenomenon, but rather the logical playing out of the inherent fascism and racism of Zionist revisionism as initially envisioned by the extreme right-wing fascist Vladimir ‘Zeev’ Jabotinsky whose vision has been carried forth by a succession of Israeli coalition governments from Menahem Begin onward.  

The late Israeli professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz wrote after the 1967 war and the start of the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, that the State of Israel had become more sacred than Judaism and Jewish humanist values and that the military, ideologically-inspired occupation would spur what Leibowitz referred to as ‘Judeo-Nazism,’ which would have a dehumanizing effect on both victims and victimizers. The ‘Kristalnacht’-like, settler-led pogroms supported by the Israel Defense Forces against Palestinian civilians corroborates what Leibowitz prophesied. That is only too clear. The murderous raid on the Jenin refugee camp, the bombardment of Gaza and the killing of Israeli Jews outside a synagogue are part of its manifestation. 

PAJU calls on the International Criminal Court to finally launch its investigation into war crimes committed by the Israel Defense Forces in the occupied Palestinian territories including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza and to indict those members of the Israeli Knesset where such an indictment is warranted. 

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Info: kab1@videotron.ca 

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