Israel Shamir

The Fighting Optimist

Gaza Is Better Than Auschwitz

As a teenage girl, kidnapped and locked in a cellar by a paedophile maniac, scratches his horrible leering face with her sharp nails, Gaza sends her homemade rockets to Tel Aviv. They can’t cause much damage; they are just bits of rusty iron, dangerous in the unlikely event of a direct hit, but they woke up the beast in the monster. He carefully took away every sharp object from her reach, he starved her for years to make her placid and compliant, he made sure she’d have no chance to see or gain freedom, and all of a sudden such terrible pain, such deep scratches! I have the right of self-defence, he shouts while unleashing his F-16 jets to bomb her into the stone age; and his sidekick, the senile US President, repeats after him: he has the right of self-defence! As long as she scratches, he may and should smack her! No cease-fire until she is beaten into obedience; and the US vetoed the Security Council resolution supported by 15 out of 16 members. To be on the safe side, the White House approved the sale of precise weaponry to Israel for the sum of $735 million, so they would be able to do a 9/11 to any high-rise of their choice, not only in New York. And they used the weapons to great effect.

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The vetoed resolution said what should be done right away. Israel should cease bombing Gaza, refrain from interfering with holy sites, stop grabbing Palestinian homes and lands. The US refused to approve that. This is far from enough: the violated girl should be let out of the cellar. That is, Palestinians should be allowed to move freely in their own land. The Israeli army should get out of Palestinian land. The blockade of Gaza should be removed. A goy and a Jew should have equal rights, as in the US. All apartheid laws should be made null and void. Human dignity respected. And then the girl should also be allowed to live in peace. Stolen lands and homes restored to rightful owners; refugees returned, free elections taking place. But we are very far from this point.

My friends and colleagues thought the Palestinians of Gaza could inflict defeat on Israel, or at least cause considerable pain to the maniac. Alas, not yet. The Palestinians are improving their response ability. During the First Intifada (1987), they used stones against the army; in the Second Intifada (2001), they used guns; at this Third Intifada (2021) they use rockets. But they are defeated each time, and their life becomes worse with each defeat. Before the First Intifada, Palestinians could move freely; before the Second Intifada, they had their autonomy in the West Bank; now they have none worth its salt; and what will be taken away from them after the present round of struggle we shall see. That’s why, though the Palestinian position is quite awful, the ordinary Palestinians of the West Bank are not all that keen to enter an armed struggle against the formidable enemy. Desperate young people, who see no future worth living, enter such a struggle. And Gaza, this prisoner’s managed open-air-jail administration, stepped into the breach. For Gazans, there is little difference between a life that is a living hell and death that may be better. They are being severely punished for their bold action.

Jews of Israel didn’t suffer much, though more than they expected. Their famed intelligence failed them again. The Shabak, the internal intelligence service, predicted Gaza wouldn’t respond by actions beyond protests at the land grab in Jerusalem and the invasion of the al-Aqsa Mosque. They were wrong. The Shabak was certain Gaza had no rockets able to reach Tel Aviv, or just a few, in the worst case scenario. They were wrong again. The Shabak didn’t expect the thoroughly tamed Palestinians of Israel, the second-class citizens of the Jewish state, would rise in revolt. But it happened.

The centre of this rising is Lydda (Lod), the city of St George; the saint is buried here, in the beautiful old Orthodox church. By the UN partition resolution of 1947, this Palestinian town was supposed to become a part of the Palestinian state, but Jews occupied it, massacred its inhabitants, expelled survivors and repopulated it with freshly imported North African Jews. Still, a sizable Palestinian minority survived and clung to their homes. After years of terrible discrimination, they rose against their Jewish masters in revolt, for the first time since 1948. The same happened in Jaffa and Acre, cities with a similar history.

The bands of armed militant Jews, assisted by police, ran a classic anti-Arab pogrom, as supposedly Cossacks did against Jews in the beginning of the twentieth century.

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They broke windows, burned shops, firebombed Arab apartments; mobbed Arabs on the street. Such pogroms took place all over Israel, even in Jewish Bat Yam, where an Arab had had an ice cream parlour for years. It was utterly destroyed. An Arab child has been burned (not fatally) by a Molotov cocktail thrown by a Jewish militant. Pogroms did happen over a hundred years ago in the Ukraine (incidentally, never in Russia proper), but then Russian writers lamented and expressed their solidarity with suffering Jews. Now, almost no Jewish writers have expressed their sorrow or stood with the Arabs. The Israeli Arabs, that is Palestinians with Israeli citizenship went out today (Tuesday) on national strike in support of their disenfranchised brethren. And the West Bank is also waking up.

Hundreds of martyred Palestinians created a huge wave of empathy for the suffering people. There were massive demonstrations in New York, in Paris, in London and elsewhere. The Arabs in the Arab countries also demonstrated wherever they were allowed to. To be sure, Israel does not give a damn about demos abroad; they are used to condemnations. It is a part of Jewish experience, to be condemned with a very good reason. The Jews like to claim there is no reason at all, just “anti-Semitism”, but this claim rings hollow in face of the murdered children of Gaza. The Jews are condemned because they deserve condemnation.

Only a rabid antisemite would say Gaza is worse than Auschwitz. No, it is better, but only just. And it has gone on longer, year upon year, with no end in sight.

And this war has at last awakened the empathy of the world: this was a paramount reason for Gaza’s daring attack. Now, a fast rewind is needed. Ostensibly, the current events started over a week ago, when the Israeli court (probably the most immoral of Jewish institutions) ruled to expel some Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem and give the buildings to the Jewish Ku Klux Klan. Protesters were beaten by the police and gendarmerie; among the beaten, there was an MP (Member of Parliament/Knesset) from the Communist Party, a Jew by origin, who supported the Palestinians.

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Then during the last days of Ramadan, the Israeli police and army infested al-Aqsa Mosque. They dropped hundreds of shock grenades upon the worshippers; these grenades produced a rain of sparks. Some trees in the mosque compound caught fire. At that time, thousands of Jewish militants gathered at the Wailing Wall at the bottom of al-Aqsa. As they saw fire and smoke rise from the yard, they presumed the mosque was on fire, and they broke into triumphal cheering and singing, calling their god’s vengeance upon the goyim.

[Video Aqsa fire]

That was the moment the government of Gaza (Israelis prefer to call it “Hamas”, by the name of the biggest party; likewise we could call the Israeli government “the Likud regime”) issued its ultimatum: end your assault on the mosque, or we shall send our missiles upon your heads. Israelis laughed, Gaza responded, and the mini-war began. You could say that Gaza was too rash to take on the monster: they have no air defence, and the Israeli air force could and did kill the people in their hundreds and destroy their homes.

But this is the outline of micro-events; however, let us zoom out and consider the bigger picture. Trump and Kushner forced Arab states to “normalise” their relations with Israel, creating a full disconnect between Palestinian problems and the Arab states. The Palestinians had to fight to get back on the agenda. Otherwise, they would have been forgotten. The Jewish attack on al-Aqsa provided them with a good opening to go to war and put their cause on the agenda. This was a decision taken so that the Palestinians would not be forgotten. Yes, people would whisper “You know, this maniac keeps a teenage girl locked up in his cellar as a sex slave?” and they would be answered: “Old hat! Everybody knows that but it was long ago, and probably she is used to it and does not want to get out!” The girl had to scratch the bastard even at the cost of being beaten, just to remind you of her terrible fate.

Let is consider an even bigger picture. The only force able to influence the events radically is Iran. It is the only remaining strong state of Resistance. Iraq was broken by the US invasion of 2003, Syria was destroyed by the Arab Spring in 2011, Hezbollah is not strong enough to make Israel pay for her sins. Iran is the only one; and Iran is governed by a pro-Western neo-Liberal administration. Presently Iran is negotiating with the US in Vienna for a return the nuclear deal for the removal of sanctions. In June, Iran is having an election. Despite many limitations, Iran is a democracy, and people’s votes matter and they are counted, as opposed to, say, in Arizona. If the Vienna negotiations succeed, Iran will leave the resistance front, and the liberals will win the elections, returning Pax Americana to the Middle East.

However, the Gaza war revealed the Iranian moderates as weak foreign agents who can’t/won’t defend al Aqsa. It will cost them the election. If the moderates lose, hard-liners will gain. Ahmadinejad or his like will come to power. Iran will take again the central place in the Resistance. Americans will lose the Middle East. In the next confrontation, Iran will enter the fray.

Now let us move the frame and consider the internal Palestinian arena. The last Palestinian elections took place in 2006; Hamas won fair and square, but the ruling Fatah refused to relinquish power. Only Gaza, being separated from the rest of Palestine, succeeded in a change of guard. Now the old president Mahmud Abbas promised to run elections in May 2021, but he postponed it again. His reason: Israel does not allow 300.000 Palestinians of Jerusalem to participate in the elections. If this reason evaporates, if Israel will allow the Palestinians of Jerusalem to vote, there is a good chance Hamas will win. It is not a sure thing either way: the Palestinians would have a choice between Fatah which collaborates with Israel, and Hamas which fights Israel. Life under collaborating Fatah is better and easier than under belligerent Hamas. But it is not good enough to give up hope of gaining dignity and freedom. The opinion polls are extremely unreliable; however, Fatah and Mahmud Abbas are worried they would lose the elections. In any cease-fire agreement between Gaza and Tel Aviv, the question of elections will be a deal breaker. Gaza will insist on allowing elections in East Jerusalem. If Israel allows that, there is a good chance of installing the less-prone-to-surrender Hamas in the West Bank. If Israel will let Marwan Barghouti out of jail (he is imprisoned for years for his participation in the Second Intifada) he stands a good chance of winning the elections as a Palestinian Mandela.

Did Hamas have electoral considerations in mind when it entered the battle? For sure; this is good and normal. Hamas has a record of standing for Palestinian rights, even for armed struggle. Fatah had it, too, but they lost it. So the Palestinians will have a real choice, that is, if the elections will ever happen.

Now let’s shift to the Israeli scene. For Netanyahu, this war is good. It broke out exactly on time to torpedo the creation of an alternative government, where he would be out of power and probably on his way to jail. However, an alternative Israeli government won’t be better for Palestinians. Naftali Bennett, a political leader certain to play a prominent role in the alternative government, is even more bloodthirsty than Netanyahu, and he called upon Bibi “keep fighting until Gaza is destroyed”.

By the way, Covid is dead in Israel. For the first time in a year, Covid news disappeared from the top of Israeli events. People do not care much about the damn virus when there are real problems.

And now for the even bigger picture. Russia expressed its support for the Palestinian cause. Putin said that Palestine is not a far, remote land for Russians; Russia demands Israel cease fire and observe the agreements and resolutions, including the safety of holy sites (read: al Aqsa). Putin’s adversaries in Russia are strong supporters of Israel. Liberal pro-Western anti-Putinists are Jewish or partly Jewish, and they are for Israel. Ethnic-nationalist anti-Putinist Russians (sometimes described as naziks, “little Nazis”) also support Israel and her “right” to deal with the hated darkies. For them, it does not matter that Palestinians are not darker nor lighter than Israeli Jews, it does not matter that Christian Palestinians fully support the Palestinian struggle, and that the top leader of Palestinian Christians Archbishop Theodosius Atallah Hanna (full disclosure: he baptized me and my family) said that the fight for al-Aqsa is the fight for the Holy Sepulchre, and the Christians and Muslims are fighting the same war as members of one family and one nation. Naziks are stupid.

What is worse for Putin, his allies in the media, Jews-for-Putin, (Dugin calls them the Sixth Column) like the popular broadcaster Soloviev, are all out for Israel. They could be relied upon to trash Ukrainians, or to point out European duplicity, but when it comes to Israel, they dig their heels in the sand. Russian state TV is a proxy for Tel Aviv. On Russian social networks, the pro-Israel crowd is by far the biggest and most aggressive; it also gets the support of Facebook management. You won’t be surprised to learn that I was banned on Facebook right away.

A good word for Erdogan. The Turkish president, and Turkish people are all out in support of Palestine. And their huge demos called upon Erdogan to send Turkish soldiers to liberate Palestine. Somebody should do it: the Palestinians can’t do it by themselves. Whoever liberates Palestine, will get renown beyond measure. But meanwhile, the Palestinians have to survive.

So apparently this war is not Armageddon yet. It is just another sordid campaign of Jews against disobedient natives. They got their portion of blood, they destroyed Gaza’s supply of water and electricity, they ruined its houses, and now they can placidly wait for the Gazans to be devastated by disease, hunger and occasional bombing raids. And then they will continue with their assaults. That is unless we stop them.

Israel Shamir can be reached at

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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