The Guardian September 12, 2001

Zionist state doctrine is racist colonialism

by Hans Lebrecht
Kibbutz Beit-Oren The nervous uproar that Israeli government circles and the Zionist-Israeli lobby in Washington are raising about the public debate at the UN Anti- racism Conference in Durban is understandable.
They are feeling the heat of world-wide public opinion for their brutal colonialist and racist oppression of the Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, which they administer by military means, including tanks, artillery and the most sophisticated US weapons. Through this policy more than two million Palestinians are suffering extreme poverty and starvation. They also object to being accused of racist discrimination against the one million strong Palestinian-Arab minority in Israel proper in all walks of public and social life during the entire 53 years of Israel's statehood. The Israeli establishment is enraged that so many representatives of NGOs and national leaders from all over the world are accusing Israel of violating international law, ignoring UN and Security Council resolutions and committing gross violations of human rights. They are also being pilloried for administering different juridical systems one for Jewish settlers who have been settled by the government on expropriated Palestinian soil and another for the dispossession of the indigenous Palestinian population in the occupied territories. The usual pretext put forward for all those atrocities maintains that the Palestinians are terrorists and murderers of children. That might fool a large portion of the Jewish part of the Israeli public, because not only Palestinians are killed in that war, but also the sons and daughters of Jews fall victim to their rulers' policy of colonialist occupation and suppression. The Palestinians fight their legitimate fight in the face of Israel's military machine by all the means at their disposal for liberation from foreign occupation and for their independent statehood. Kofi Annan UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan put the reality when stating that the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews was, beside the atrocities of two World Wars, the most heinous crime of the 20th century. "But we cannot expect Palestinians to accept this as a reason why the wrongs done to the Jews (at the hands of the Nazis) should excuse the wrongs done to them [by Israel]." Accusations raised against Israel's official policy of racist discrimination against its Palestinian-Arab citizens and its colonialist oppression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories which violate international law and UN resolutions, have nothing whatsoever to do with Anti-Semitism. The accusations are not raised against Jews as Jews, but against the Israeli State and its official Zionist state doctrine. Durban demonstrations Everybody could see on the TV screens that Jews were among the many thousands who demonstrated in the streets of Durban against the anti- Palestinian Israeli policy under the motto "Zionism equals Racism" and "Israel's occupation violates Human Rights". Those who held placards to show that they were Jews who oppose Israeli policy included some orthodox Jews clad in their traditional garb of Stremel, Kaftan and side-locks. There were conservative and liberal delegates of the Rabbi for Human Rights movement in Israel, which plays an active part in the peace movement. How can this conference and its deliberations be decried as being anti- Semitic in the face of such Jewish participation? That the White House is upset about the Durban conference, including the accusations against Zionism and the official Israeli policy of racism and racist oppression, should astonish nobody. We witness once more the US administration lining up with the Zionist establishment of Israel. It should be remembered that the UN in 1976 listed Zionism among the racist movements and ideologies, and that, thanks to the US, this was retracted in 1991. The US blocks any decision in the UN to impose sanctions against the Israeli policy of occupation or to establish an international force to defend the Palestinian population against the Israeli atrocities. It is not an accident that these things are on the agenda at Durban at the same time as the demand for the US and some European nations to recognise their historic responsibility for colonial oppression and the slave trade.

Back to index page