An Excerpt from an interview with Israeli historian Ilan Pappe on 75 years Nakba, (the new Israeli protest movement, and discussing Palestine in Germany)
[This twitter image was not part of the article.]
One of the tragedies for me about the Nakba is that the people who were doing the ethnic cleansing and creating refugees, were themselves refugees. People fleeing Nazi Germany, obviously didn’t want to stay in Germany, but they were also being largely denied access to the UK or the US. Did European Jews have any alternative to fleeing to Palestine?
The people who devised and oversaw the ethnic cleansing arrived in Palestine, much earlier – before the Holocaust. And when they arrived in Palestine in the 1920s, they still had options to go elsewhere.
It is absolutely true that since the rise of Nazism and fascism, Britain and the United States closed their doors, and quite a lot of the Jews who came from Central Europe and from areas that the Nazis occupied, had very few options. Palestine was one of the only places they could go to, but they were not the main force that decided on, and or perpetrated the ethnic cleansing. Most of the crimes committed in 1948 were committed by Zionists, many of whom, such as Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Alon or Moshe Dayan, had been born in Palestine.
But definitely, one of the reasons that Jews came in large numbers in the 1930s to Palestine was that the West closed its gates for Jews who escaped from Europe. But I don’t think that most of the people who perpetrated this ethnic cleansing, were themselves victims of Nazi or fascist oppression.
Who were the people coming to Palestine? The Left was excited about communal Kibbutzim. After the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel, many felt that there was something socialist about young Israel. How accurate was that belief?
The early Zionists were people came from Eastern Europe. And some of them were definitely inspired not only by the ideas of nationalism and colonialism, but also by the ideas of socialism and communism.
We know for example about the most important group that came to Palestine in the 1920s. This core group went on to grow the leadership of the Zionist community until the 1970s, and they were part of a more international socialist movement. Some of them even took part in the 1905 attempt to overthrow the Tsarist regime in Russia.
So yes, it was a fusion of three or four elements. One was socialism. The second was a nationalism which defined Judaism not as a religion but as a national identity. Thirdly, modernism. It was very important for them to build the idea of the modern Jew. No less important was colonialism – the idea that you are entitled to take any part of the world outside of Europe, regardless of who lives there.
I think the most important thing was that they really believed–albeit wrongly–was that universal ideologies such as communism, and socialism, did not contradict settler colonialism. But of course, these two perspectives on life do not go together. One cannot be a socialist colonizer. … And actually, you’re much worse in your criminal attitude because you are trying to use enlightened ideas to justify the actions on the ground.
Our problem is not just the Bundestag resolution, but a self-censorship and lack of self confidence amongst the German Left regarding Palestine. How important you think is it to talk raise the issue of Palestine with a German audience?
Very, very important. Germany plays a very important role in this whole question. Germany’s justified guilt is manipulated in order to immunise Israel. Germany is an extremely critical political force in Europe. But it does not dare to take any bold actions as a political system, that would benefit the Palestinians and alleviate their suffering under Israeli oppression.
It’s very important to find a way of convincing the German public that they should not be intimidated. I come from a German Jewish family. I know very well what happened in Germany. We should not be intimidated by that particular chapter in history. On the contrary, that chapter means the Germans should be even more sensitive to the suffering of the Palestinians.
Germany should not deny the past, but instead say that this past requires a moral position on Palestine, not just on Israel. The Palestinians are a link in the victimisation chain that began in 1933. People in Germany who produce knowledge about Palestine–academics, journalists pundits, and definitely politicians–cannot act like they are part of the Israeli propaganda.
I know they are intelligent scholars, journalists, and politicians. It really breaks my heart to see them saying things that they know are not correct. The only reason they’re saying it is because of political, academic, or journalistic utility. They don’t want to be condemned as antisemites. This is more important in Germany than in any other country.
We have a great assignment of convincing them that, supporting the Palestinians is being anti-racist and anti-colonialist, and therefore cannot be an antisemitic act based on the mistaken belief that antisemitism is racism. This is easier said than done. But I think that academics should play a very important role here–in being accurate, in being accurate professional, in not abusing what they do as academics.
Germany always respected its academics, journalists, writers, intellectuals–but when it comes to Palestine, they behave like people with no backbone avoiding the desire to seek out the truth. And this is something that I think they should contemplate. Hopefully we can help them in this process.
We’re nearly out of time. Is there anything you’d like to say before we finish?
We should not give up on Germany. I’m beginning to give up on on the chances of changing Israeli society, but I’m not giving up on the younger German generation. We should still look at Germany as a place where there are processes that have not yet matured. And Germany’s is building itself all the time.
[Emphasis by webadmin]
For example Ilan Pappé: The Myth of Israel – YouTube 15min
(18) Ilan Pappe on the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. – YouTube 4min
Free Palestine from the evil of Zionism: bit.ly/_free-pal
( https://www.livingislam.org/v/free-palestine_e.php )
The cruelty of the supermensch
Shorturl of this page: https://wp3.livingislam.org/not-germany
Last updated on 2023-04-27 by w3admin