By Alejandro Kirk, TeleSUR
Published Oct. 16 on El Mayadeen. Translation: John Catalinotto.
Four days ago I arrived in El-Khiam – a Lebanese town bordering Israel, located halfway between Syria and the sea – as teleSUR’s special envoy. It is mountainous, like all of Lebanon, and the houses are scattered over a wide area. The streets in the old parts follow the Mediterranean pattern, winding and narrow.
Many local people have moved to the north of Lebanon, fearing a new war with the neighboring occupier of Palestine. Here the memory of the Israeli invasions and their aftermath is vivid. A journalist and two elderly people killed in recent days by Israeli missiles in this area have been a harsh reminder.
El-Khiam has an arrow buried in its chest. It’s called Metulla, an Israeli apex of solid, modern buildings and wide streets, with fields of crops that are visible to the south. A hill dominates the position from the Lebanese side: the fences, the wall, the Zionist flags every 30 meters. With a telescope, one could see even the intimacy of these settlers’ homes.
That is, you could if they were homes, because the only thing you can’t see is people. Metulla would be a ghost town, if there were not a military contingent camouflaged among the evacuated homes. Metulla is a closed military zone, a combat zone.
On this hill, television journalists are stationed to send their dispatches, with “Israel” in the background. I do it too. It is an imposing space, and also revealing, because just by standing there you can understand the absurdity of the very existence of a European “state” on Palestinian soil, claiming that it owns it, that it has a divine right over it. You would understand this even without first-hand knowledge of the scale of the horror in Gaza, the West Bank, or Jerusalem.
It is enough to stand there, and look at the millenary villages – some Lebanese, others occupied Palestinian – to vividly imagine the Nakba, the Tragedy of 1948, the caravans of Palestinians walking, some barely clothed, through these same hills, pursued by Zionist gangs who were “cleansing” the land, to appropriate it, sanctified by the United Nations Security Council.
“Israel” was a macabre invention of the powers that dominated the planet, each with its own agenda.
None asked the Palestinians
None of the members of the Security Council, it seems, thought to ask the Palestinians if they would like European settlers to come and take their fields and houses.
None of those who decided to give away Palestinian land ever thought of establishing the Jewish state on European soil. In Germany, for example – the country that wanted to exterminate them, and seriously tried to do so, murdering more than six million. Or in Poland or Lithuania, the sites of innumerable pogroms and anti-Semitic persecutions. These are the countries of origin of the founders of Israel, where they left their families and ancestors to embark on a violent and fanatical adventure.
I was just this week in the famous “refugee camp” of Sabra and Shatila, in the center of Beirut. It’s a huge slum in the Lebanese capital, with the typical twists and turns of those slums – built without a plan, without permission and extending as far as possible. Tangles of electric cables block the sunlight in those narrow streets full of people, children and young people. There are already three generations of Palestinians waiting for the opportunity to return to their land.
Sabra and Shatila is famous, but distressingly so. In 1982, during an Israeli invasion, Lebanese militias, clients of Israel, entered the camp, killing by the score, while Israeli soldiers looked on complacently – first of all their leader and organizer of the massacre, General Ariel Sharon, who later became prime minister as a “moderate.” Between 500 and 3,000 dead were the result of the slaughter.
The people of Sabra and Shatila are the ones who fled from the fertile valleys I am privileged to observe today, to spend the rest of their lives in a concrete ghetto. None of them, surely, expected to die there, and then for their children and grandchildren to die enduring the eternal wait.
I read a Chilean communist deputy, of Jewish origin, condemning “categorically” the “abominable crimes of Hamas,” and also harshly criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the criminal blockade of Gaza. But she made no mention of the 2,500 civilians killed by Israel in eight days. Nor the more than 500 children among them. For her, a fighter for human rights, the problem is Netanyahu’s government, not the racist system in place in Palestine. The problem, for her, is a particular government, not the occupation itself.
Many “progressive” people claim to support the Palestinian cause, but reject “violence.” Many, since the start of the Al Aqsa Storm, are shocked, believing at face value the Western media narrative, which focuses on Hamas and not on the unprecedented fact of the united action of all Palestinian resistance organizations.
Mass murder Nazi style
[According to them] it’s okay to feel sorry for the Palestinians, to send them aid, to ask Israel to moderate the pace of genocide a bit, but it’s not okay for the slaves to revolt and lynch the master who discriminates, humiliates, tortures and kills them every day. Not that, that’s “terrorism.” That’s why they approve of Zionism “defending” itself by committing mass murder, Nazi style.
I was one of many who fell into the trap that it is right that there should be two states in Palestine: one with its original peoples, and another a European Zionist one, because it is necessary for the Jewish people to have a home of their own.
Who determined that the Jewish people are Zionist? Why should the Jewish people have a home of their own, exclusive and excluding, at the expense of a people as millenarian and Semitic as they are? Why can’t the Jewish people coexist with their Palestinian brothers instead of exterminating them?
Those who assert such bestialities are the Zionists, the Nazis of the 21st century. Those who use the suffering of the Holocaust as an ideology to exterminate a people they do not even consider as human, as the Chilean-Palestinian philosopher Rodrigo Karmy explained. Using the example of the German Nazis and any colonizer of [those they consider] “inferior races,” they give them the options to go and rot somewhere else, or die: exactly the option offered today to the people of Gaza.
Whatever the outcome of the Al Aqsa Storm, the settlers of occupied Palestine know that everything changed, that it will never again be possible for them to bring chairs and champagne to the hills to celebrate live and direct massacres of defenseless Palestinians, as in 2014. They know that they will never be safe anywhere anymore, that their mythical “invincible” army is unable to guarantee them anything.
In the USSR, in Vietnam, in Angola, other mythical invincible armies have already collapsed, because – as in Palestine – the adversary is not another army, nor a small group of rebels, but a people in rebellion, and with powerful allies.
For the first time since 1948, the regime is facing the nightmare of a war that it considers inevitable, but that it has no certainty of winning −− except at the price of Pyrrhus.