The Problem of Palestine is Zionism


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November 11, 2015 17:05 EDT

The solution to the problem of Palestine is the abolition of Zionism, says Ahmed Moor.

One measure of an argument’s weakness goes directly to its analytical precision. What are the facts? Do the arguments follow from the facts? What about the conclusions? What is the ethical frame of the argument and its conclusions?

I have been engaged in activism on Palestine for 13 years now. Long enough to monitor the emergence—and invariably—the lurching and the shuddering end of different Zionist arguments in that period. Thirteen years ago, outright misdirection and misinformation—there is no occupation, the Palestinians are nomadic Arabs and so on—were the main channels for Israel “advocacy.” It was the anemic extension of a set of arguments that had been made for decades.

The emergence of coherent storytelling through blogs and undirected journalism put an end to that. The hasbara machine, the command-and-control center of it in Tel Aviv, responded by blitzing the world with unappealing and bizarre videos that were “comedic” or “sexy.” Twitter, the razorblade of the Internet, quickly highlighted the futility of masking apartheid with blue theatrics.

Today, viable video-recording devices are ubiquitous. The widespread availability of cellphones that record in high definition has helped deliver apartheid’s brutality directly, in all its searing intensity, to viewers everywhere. After years of false equivalencies, we are left to wonder at a novel equality. Palestinians and Zionist-Israelis finally have equal access to audiences.

Inevitably, discerning viewers begin to ask meaningful questions: Why are the Palestinians so angry? Why are they so poor? Why is Israel always at war? And for Americans: Why is everyone so angry at America?

The Root of the Problem

The answer to any of those questions will yield the answer to all of them. In its simplest rendition, the answer to the first question is that the Palestinians have been dispossessed—of their homes, their lands, their peoplehood and their future. They’ve been bashed and ground underfoot by another people with a claim on the land—God or Arthur James Balfour wrote their deed.

When Zionist-Israelis claim that the conflict is complicated, this is what they’re talking about: A group of people, Ashkenazi Jews in Europe, suffered enormously through the Holocaust. Therefore, it is just and right that they secure their own colony, now a state, in Palestine. Meanwhile, the feckless Palestinians, in their stubborn and primitive regard for the value of their own lives and society, failed to appreciate the benefits of a “Jewish state” in their midst.

West Bank

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The Palestinians resisted Zionism, the movement to ascribe racial superiority to “Jewishness,” in their land. They resisted it in the 1890s, in the 1920s, in the 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and for the past 20 years. They will resist it so long as it exists.

And that’s the conflict at the heart of the conflict: the conflict over Zionism. The source of the checkpoints, the ghettos, the dispossession, the ceaseless drub of falling bodies in the streets. It is the suppurating wale or laceration inflicted upon the Palestinians by the savage forces of history and endless Zionist victimhood. Zionism is the latent logic, the embedded dimension of apartheid. It projects apartheid onto our damaged bodies and lives.

So, what’s the solution? A century ago, anti-Semitism exploded in Europe—how does anyone begin to address the malignancy caused by a hundred-year-old shrapnel wound?

The precepts that govern the practice of medicine operate here: An illness ought to be treated at its source. The problem of Palestine is not incitement. It isn’t impoverishment or a lack of opportunity or social media.

The problem of Palestine is simple. The problem of Palestine is Zionism. And the solution to the problem of Palestine is the abolition of Zionism.

Ultimately, that is the only argument that holds the truth, unwaveringly, over time. It is the only one that shears the wiry mistruths from our field of vision. It is the only one that will produce anything like justice in Palestine.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Maratr / Bas van den Heuvel /

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