Without soul or memory, Europe is incapable of seeing the similarity between the images of death and destruction in the Warsaw ghetto, during the desperate Jewish uprising on 19 April 1943, and the images we see today of the Gaza Strip. The fate that Europe (and now also the US) legitimizes for those considered subhuman is the same: in Warsaw it was deportation to concentration camps and crematoria; in Gaza it is the strip reduced to rubble and scorched earth. Since they have nowhere to go, neither by land nor by sea, the fate of the people of Gaza is the same: death. Ultimately, this brutal policy is legitimized by what I have called the abyssal line, the line that has separated, since the beginning of colonial expansion, people considered fully human beings from those considered sub-human beings. It is no coincidence that we hear Israeli officials speak of Palestinians as animals.
At the time of the Warsaw guetto, Europe was dominated by Nazism and fascist governments. Today, Europe is dominated by democratic governments, some of which are even left-wing. What difference does it make? What is the political color of indifference? Why is it that the news is filled with voices of outrage and horror when a Russian bombing kills three people in Ukraine, whereas razing buildings, mosques, hospitals and schools with hundreds of people inside, and without warning, is reported as a legitimate response? Because the Ukrainians are white Europeans and the Palestinians are not? After all, weren’t the Jews also white and European?
Some news outlets (echoing their US sources) dared to characterize the Hamas attack as “unprovoked”, the same trope they have been using for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This year alone, 245 Palestinians have already been killed, including women and children, but this is not provocation “because nothing justifies the killing of Israeli civilians”. We don’t need to go back to the beginning, to the Balfour declaration of 1917 (the first authorization for the Zionists to settle in Palestine), or to the 60. 000 Jews who arrived in Palestine between 1933 and 1936, after several European countries refused to receive the Jews Hitler wanted to expel (it wasn’t yet the final solution), or the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948, which occupied more than 78% of the territory of Palestine, forcing 750,000 Palestinians into exile in their own land, destroying 530 villages and killing 15,000 Palestinians. Just think of 2006, the year in which Hamas won the elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council with 44.5% of the vote. These elections were free and fair, according to international observers, and since the Western world is the world of democracies in constant combat against autocracies, there was no reason for regime change. As it turned out, this result did not please the West. As has happened before in so many parts of the world under Western influence, Hamas’ victory was not recognized, the conflict between Fatah and Hamas was internationally instigated and what remains of Palestine was divided into two governments from 2007 onwards: the West Bank, controlled by Fatah, and the Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas. It was then that Gaza finally qualified as the largest open-air prison. It is now in danger of becoming the world’s largest cemetery or dump for world’s human and non-human waste.
For a long time my position has been one of strict obedience to UN resolutions [UNGA Resolution 3314 (1974); UNGA Resolution 37/43 (1982)]. I have therefore been defending the two-state solution. This solution has been made unfeasible by the continuous annexation of Palestinian land against international agreements. The conclusion seems obvious: either there are two states or there are none. The State of Israel is behaving more and more like a colonial state and, therefore, as an illegitimate state. It is now on the verge of culminating this policy of extermination in the good colonial tradition, of which its best ally, the USA, is one of the cruel examples with the final solution it imposed on Native Americans. Suppose the genocide of the Indians that took place then was taking place now, would any democrat or person of common sense have difficulty in declaring the US an illegitimate state?
If anyone with common sense had any doubts about the concept of state terrorism, they must have been enlightened by the actions of the State of Israel. However, since common sense today has little to do with the behavior of international institutions, it is quite possible that the International Criminal Court will continue to have doubts about accusing Israel, since Israel is “acting in self-defense”. This will go on until the last Palestinian in Gaza is gone. It means that an occupying country can destroy the occupied country if it resists occupation. This is surely the new norm of rules-based international relations, the sacrosanct creed by which the US and Europe continue to guide their international policy. Their international isolation is clear when we look at the world map and see which countries are calling for peace. The protagonist of world peace today is the Global South (in the sense of all the countries, many of them former European colonies, that oppose the international policy of the US and Europe). The only exception is India, today dominated by a prime minister who, according to Arundhati Roy, is turning the country into a fascist Hindu regime that is increasingly inclined to treat Islamic Indians as Israel treats Palestinians.
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