Israeli forces carrying out air and ground operations against Palestinians in Gaza. Photo: Others 

By Yahya Habil

In the midst of this new chapter of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis, one of the most repeated phrases in defense of Israel’s latest actions has been that Israel has the right to defend itself against attacks on its territory and population.

The issue with this phrase and idea is that it measures Israel, a state whose foundation witnessed the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, with the same measurements that would be applied to measure other, ordinary countries.

In other words, what many need to understand or admit is that Israel is no ordinary country. It is a state that has its roots in the catastrophe or the “Nakba” which saw the mass expulsion and ethnic cleansing of the indigenous, Semitic Palestinian people.

Such a state, given the context of its foundation, ought to have its right of self-defense to be questioned.

On the other hand, the occupied, dispersed, and displaced Palestinian people’s right to fight for their freedom should not be questioned, as they are fighting for the land that they were stripped off of by the terrorist, Zionist paramilitary and military groups.

President Joe Biden with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.  Photo: Reuters 

This is exactly what many in the Western world fail to understand or admit. In a recent statement of his, former US President Barack Obama admittedly mentioned that many Palestinians were displaced as a result of the foundation of the state of Israel.

What President Obama might have not realised is that, by simply mentioning that historical fact, he automatically admitted that Israel’s foundation is stained by the reality that was the Nakba.

Yet, in the eyes of the Western media and its fellow Zionist sympathizers and allies, it is Israel that has the right to defend itself, and not the Palestinians. Furthermore, it is Hamas that is a terrorist group, and not Haganah or Stern.

Is this because questioning Israel’s foundational history automatically leads to the questioning of the foundational history of the United States, i.e. the leader of the Western world and a state whose foundation is also stained by the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous populace?

Israeli has attacked several hospitals in Gaza since the latest round of violence erupted. Photo: Reuters

The Palestinians, Hamas included, accepted the reality that the Israelis are going nowhere, hence why they committed to the UN resolutions and the two-state solution which Israel did not commit to.

Instead, Israel continued to expand into East Jerusalem and the West Bank (areas where Hamas does not even exist), evict Palestinians from their homes, and build more “illegal” settlements, bearing in mind that Israel’s settlements in the “1948 lands” such as Haifa, Acre, and Nazareth were also illegal to begin with.

Therefore, is it fair to say that the Zionist doctrine Israel is founded upon, which believes in a state exclusive to Jews, is what is impeding the arrival towards any peaceful solution?

Is it fair to say that, if peace is to be truly desired, Israel should reform its policies towards Palestinians and abandon the exclusionary, ethnocentric, and religio-centric ideologies that shaped it?

The author, Yahya Habil, is a Libyan freelance journalist focusing on African affairs. He is currently working with a think tank in the Middle East.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of TRT Afrika.

TRT Afrika