Saturday, September 13, 2014

Zionists Gone Wild: Lebensraum in Israel-Palestine

by Eric Brothers © 2014
Jewish "settlement" in Israel-occupied West Bank.
It was shortly after completing ‘Operation Protective Edge,’ a seven-week war against the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip, that Israel announced its taking nearly 1,000 acres of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank in order to build a new Jewish city.

Operation Protective Edge was sparked by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers who lived in the West Bank.  Israel’s response to the brutal act was a crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank.  At the time, however, there was no proof whatsoever that Hamas was involved in the killings. The land taken by Israel is in the region where the three teens were killed.

Israeli bombs hit Gaza 2014.
The end result of the war includes the following:
  • The death of between 2,000 and 2,143 Gazans (including 495-578 children)
  • The wounding of between 10,895 and 11,100 Gaza civilians.
  • The death of 66 Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers, 5 Israeli civilians and I Thai civilian.
  • The wounding of 450 IDF soldiers and 80 Israeli civilians.
  • The UN and human rights organizations say that 70-75% of Palestinian casualties were civilians. And six days after the carnage in Gaza was over Israel announced its latest land grab in the West Bank.

The Israeli land policy in the West Bank is tantamount to Lebensraum, a policy developed in Nazi Germany. 

Lebensraum (literally ‘living space’) was the Nazi policy of territorial expansionism as being a law of nature for people of superior races to displace people of inferior races. This was especially true if the people of the superior race were overpopulated in their existing territory. This seems to be the framework upon which Israel has been building settlements in the occupied West Bank, which is the remnant of Palestine with an Arab population.

Lebensraum in Israel: The white is Jewish land and the green is Palestinian.
The Lebensraum policy of Israel essentially assumes the ‘superiority’ of Jews over others, and gives them the right to displace Palestinians due to their ‘inferiority.’ Additionally, Israeli Lebensraum must be ethnically homogeneous to avoid intermixing with ‘inferior’ Arabs.

The controversial idea of Lebensraum in Israel was the theme of an editorial by Israeli writer Yossi Sarid in the pages of Haaretz.  In 2011, Sarid wrote, “Suddenly we are short of space here in Israel, which has become full to capacity and needs Lebensraum.  Every cultured person knows that this is a despicable German concept, banned from use because of the associations it brings up.  Still, people are starting to use it, if not outright then with a clear implication: We are short of land, we are short of air, let us breath in this country.”

Jewish "settler" in West Bank harasses Palestinian women.
Sarid’s belief in Jewish superiority over the Arabs is implied in his writing: “We were fortunate when we occupied the West Bank because had we not done so, where would we come to live? And who knows how high housing prices would have risen?”

Israeli acceptance of the need for Lebensraum is much more complex than a desire for affordable real estate.  Israel wants to be a Jewish state, not a democratic, tolerant state with a heterogeneous population. There are currently 550,000 Jewish “settlers” living in the occupied West Bank.  Given the opportunity, the majority of Israelis would take the entire West Bank and give it to “settlers.” But then what would happen to the Arabs living there now? They would continue to be persecuted and victimized and forced to leave their ancestral home and become part of the Palestinian Diaspora.

Jewish "settlers" in West Bank taunt Arab woman.
It was in 2010 that Carlo Strenger and Menachem Lorberbaum wrote that Israel had to choose between two European traditions: “the Enlightenment with its emphasis on universal individual rights and divisions of powers, or that of political romanticism with its emphasis on the connection between an entity called ‘the nation’ and land.”  Another way of expressing that is nationalism. The Lebensraum policy is part and parcel of both political romanticism and nationalism. Israel considers itself a Jewish state and obviously does not want its non-Jewish residents.

Jewish "settlers" take over Arab land in West Bank.
A recent example was reported in the Jerusalem Post.  Human Rights Watch published a report dated 9.9.14 that says Israel’s policies towards African asylum-seekers are coercing them to leave, even though they face dangers in their countries of origin, which is a breach of international law.

The report states that about 7,000 asylum-seekers, mostly from the Sudan, have left Israel in the past two years.  The Israeli government has mostly refused to process asylum-seekers claims for refuge status, and those it has reviewed have overwhelmingly been rejected.  The report says that Sudanese and Eritreans in Israel are given two choices: either live in fear of spending their lives locked up in detention camps in the desert, or risk detention and abuse in their homeland.
African migrants protest Israeli asylum policy in Tel Aviv.
Former interior minister Eli Yishai is quoted as saying in 2012, “Until I have the possibility of expelling them, I will lock them up in order to make their lives miserable.” Current Israeli interior minister Gideon Sa’ar said earlier this year that “the purpose of our policies is to encourage the illegals to leave.”

The report says that Sudanese and Eritreans in Israel are given two choices: either live in fear of spending their lives locked up in detention camps in the desert, or risk detention and abuse in their homeland. “International law is clear that when Israel threatens Eritreans and Sudanese with lifelong detention, they aren’t freely deciding to leave Israel and risk harm back home.

Intolerance for others, which is an important element of Lebensraum, began well over a hundred years ago for Zionists. According to historian Avi Shlaim, throughout its history up to the present day, Zionism “is replete with manifestations of deep hostility and contempt towards the indigenous population.”

The evidence of this behavior goes back to 1891 when Ahad Ha'am, who, after visiting Palestine that year, published a series of articles criticizing the aggressive behavior and political ethnocentrism of Zionist settlers. Ha'am wrote that the Zionists "behave towards the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, trespass unjustly upon their boundaries, beat them shamefully without reason and even brag about it, and nobody stands to check this contemptible and dangerous tendency" and that they believed that "the only language that the Arabs understand is that of force."

The German roots of Zionism encompass much more than Lebensraum.  Unlike French nationalism, which developed from Enlightenment thought and considered all men equal, Zionism sprang from German idealism and romanticism with its emphasis on the “Volk” and organic connection with the Fatherland. Dr. Hans Kohn points out that Zionism defined Jewish identity, borrowing organicist, determinist terms such as “blood, destiny and organic folk community” from nationalist German thought to describe the Zionist definition of Jewish nationhood. Kohn writes that his Zionist friends felt that “a man of Jewish ancestry and cultural heritage could never be a true German, Italian, Frenchman or Dutchman.  He is bound to remain alien everywhere except in his own ‘ancestral’ soil.” This “biological determinism” runs counter to the spirit of the Enlightenment.
German-Jewish writer Hannah Arendt.
Dr. Hannah Arendt writes on the same theme in her essay, “Zionism Reconsidered.” She traces the “crazy isolationism” of the Zionists back to an “uncritical acceptance of German-inspired nationalism.” Arendt finds this ideal to be based on an irrational belief that the nation is “an eternal organic body, the product of inevitable growth or inherent qualities.” This view explains “peoples not in terms of political organizations but in terms of biological superhuman personalities.”

The Germanic “blood, soil and destiny” theme of Zionism is most clear when considering the allegedly unique, unbroken connection for 4,000 years between the Jewish people, aka the People of the Book, and the Land of the Bible. What makes it even more irrational is that Zionists are secular Jews who say that God promised them the land of the Bible. And any Jew (or non-Jew) - religious or atheist - who agrees with them helps justify seemingly endless wars, the persecution of Arabs and others, and constant breaking of international law - with no end in sight.

Other source:

Abdul Wahab Al-Massiri, The Racial Myths of Zionism.

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