Comment by Khalid Amayreh in O. East Jerusalem
One of the most repulsive expressions of Israeli racism is the firmly-held belief that a Jew is superior to and more important than a non-Jew.
According to this unholy principle, which most Israeli Jews see as an unquestionable truism, a Jewish life is more important than a non-Jewish life, and a Jewish blood is far more important than a non-Jewish blood.
Unfortunately, it is upon this manifestly racist concept that the entire Israeli justice system is based.
This scandalous perception of the Jew-gentile relationship encompasses all aspects of Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people. It also explains the institutionalized racism against the native Palestinians, especially in the occupied territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Take for example, the Shalit affair and how Israel managed to kill, maim, detain and torture thousands of innocent Palestinians in order to coerce Hamas to release the man who probably has become the world’s most famous prisoner.
Two years ago, Gilad Shalit, the son of a French immigrant couple, was taken prisoner by Palestinian resistance fighters during a cross-border attack outside the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian operation was first and foremost aimed at forcing Israel to release Palestinian hostages in Israeli jails.
However, instead of trying to resolve the matter wisely, the Israeli army ganged up on the nearly totally unprotected Gaza, murdering hundreds of civilians, bombing public buildings and destroying essential civilian infrastructure such as roads, bridges and power stations.
In the process, the Israeli air-force annihilated entire Palestinian families, including women and children without the slightest compunction.
Moreover, thousands of Palestinians, including intellectuals, lawmakers, cabinet ministers and professionals were violently abducted and dumped in Israeli dungeons and detention camps, mostly without charge or trial.
Generally speaking, Israeli behaviors following the capture of Shalit were very much similar to the way the Nazi SS reacted whenever a German officer was killed or captured by the resistance in Europe during the Second World War.
In truth, Shalit, a prisoner of war, could have been released from the very inception had Israel shown any modicum of good will, respect and above all some justice toward her Palestinian victims.
However, as always, and consistent with the Chosen People complex, the Israeli government acted arrogantly and impetuously on the racist premise that a Jew’s right to freedom exceeds and overrides the entire Palestinian people’s right to life and freedom.
This probably sums up the entire philosophy of Zionism, which is based on the concept of Jewish supremacy, just as Nazism was based on the concept of Aryan supremacy, the ubermensch.
Today, as many as 10,000 Palestinians (or untermenschen) are detained in Israeli detention camps in obviously inhuman conditions, many of them because of their thoughts, views and non-violent political activities.
Some are sentenced to lengthy terms on largely fabulous and flimsy charges such as “constituting a grave danger or a threat to the security and survival of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.”
A few months ago, the Israeli army issued a written statement stating that any Palestinian caught walking in the vicinity of charity compounds in the town of Hebron, which the Israeli army had closed down and confiscated, would be sentenced to six years in jail.
What is particularly scandalous is that when a given Palestinian prisoner’s term expires, he or she is not allowed to go home. Instead, in numerous cases the prisoner is sentenced to an open-ended imprisonment known as “administrative detention.”
This writer knows academics and college professors whose originally unjust prison terms ended six years ago, but are non the less still languishing in Israeli jails and detention camps due to the mood of the “judge” who with a strike of a pen can extend the incarceration of a given detainee for six more months or even six more years.
Earlier this week, an “administrative detainee” who has been released after spending 34 months in jail intimated to this writer that he still didn’t know why he was imprisoned for such a lengthy period in the notorious Kitziot detention camp in the Negev desert.
When “Sarmad,” the nom de guerre of the settler judge at the Kitziot camp asked the Hebronite prisoner why he thought he was arrested, the prisoner told him simply “I really don’t know.”
Then Sarmad asked the prisoner: “do you go to the Mosque?”
The Prisoner answered “Yes, I do.” Then Sarmad told the prisoner rather unhesitatingly “that is it…you are guilty of going to the mosque and praying there. This is why you are here.”
Needless to say, entrusting Jewish settlers, who are inculcated with indescribable hatred for non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular, is very much like entrusting Nazi judges with the administration of justice for Jews.
Indeed, for these so-called judges, a Palestinian is simply guilty even if proved innocent. He is guilty for being a Palestinian and refusing to die and disappear.
Then there is that silly mantra of Palestinians having Jewish blood on their hands which prohibits Israel from setting them free unless, of course, they are swapped for Jews, even Jewish corpses, detained by the “enemy.”
Well, what about the tens of thousands of Israeli Jews who have Palestinian blood on their hands? Is Jewish blood redder or more sacred than non-Jewish blood? Doesn’t this racist discourse give credibility to anti-Semites?
Beside, why is it that an Israeli soldier who knowingly and deliberately murders a Palestinian school child on his/her way to school is only charged with a frivolous charge (such as misusing IDF-issued weapon), while a Palestinian freedom fighter who kills or injures an Israeli occupation soldier in battle is treated as a common criminal with no chance of being freed from jail.
The answer is, of course, crystal clear. It is Zionist-Jewish racism, the chosen-people complex.
Israel can get Shalit released from Hamas’s custody the moment it realizes that Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody are as human as Shalit, and have beloved ones awaiting their release from jail.
But then such a realization would contradict and even undo Zionism, an evil ideology that is based on racism and brutality.
Hence, the problem.