By Dan Lieberman
Israel still has plenty of land for population expansion and its preference to expand by stealing land from Palestinians indicates that nonchalantly making others invisible is a metaphor for making them physically extinct.
An unusual and pleasant experience occurred when I attended the webinar book launch of Never Again: Germans and Genocide after the Holocaust, authored by Dr. Andrew Port, Professor of History at Wayne State University. Skeptical of Germany’s anxiety in remaining identified with the genocidal Nazi past and its servile attempts to gain Jewish approval by assisting Israel, I audaciously framed a question for Dr. Port, “You say never again, but Germany supports Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people. How do you reconcile that hypocrisy?”
I admit that the question was poorly expressed and can be misinterpreted; Germany does not support Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people; Germany has contributed to Israel’s oppression and simmering genocide of the Palestinian people. In addition to German government reparations payments, estimated at $60 billion, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) sponsors the second-largest scientific research in Israel and German scientists represent the largest group of foreign scientists working in Israel. Between the years 2009-2020, the FRG accounted for 24 percent of Israel’s arms imports. Included in the weapons deals were submarines, which can be equipped with missiles, and four German-made corvette warships for patrolling the coast.
From Germany’s Relations with Israel: Background and Implications for German Middle East Policy, Congressional Research, January 19, 2007.
In 1999 and 2000, in perhaps the most high-profile German arms shipments to Israel since German unification, Germany financed 50% of the costs for three “Dolphin-class” submarines designed specifically for the Israeli navy. In August 2006, the German government committed to deliver and finance one-third of the costs, approximately 1 billion Euros ($1.3 billion), for two more submarines by 2010.
By not admitting that its assistance to Israel has dual use, Germany flirts between contributing and supporting Israel’s oppression — strengthening Israel economically and militarily and enabling donated and other resources to be made available to oppress the Palestinians. The FRG jumped to supporting the oppression when a majority of legislators in the Bundestag voted in favor of a motion to label the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement “as an entity that uses anti-Semitic tactics to fulfill its political goals.”
Knowing that moderators do not relish provocative questions, I did not expect my question would be fielded. To my surprise, Dr. Andrew Port, the book’s author interrupted the moderator and noted the question. Here are his words, as accurately as I could transcribe them from the posted video.
Dr. Polk: There`s a question about um, Germany and support for the Palestinian people. That was the first question and I am happy to respond to that even though you may not want me. Is that okay?
Moderator: Of course, please?
Dr. Polk: Yeah, it’s not the first time. So for those of you who can’t see, um, Dan has written, “You say never again, but Germany supports Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people. How do you reconcile that hypocrisy?”
I would say this, I used to be, I used to react to the Germans say, very allegedly to this claim that the Israelis were committing genocide in Israel. The more I did research and the more I learned about the UN genocide convention, I certainly can see why some people would make the case. And I’m not going to comment on that whether or not I do think it’s, um, it’s genocide. Um, but it is certainly a legitimate, um, question is, is it hypocrisy? Well, you know, I, I think, um, it’s not something that I Iooked at. I focused on Cambodia, on Bosnia, and Rwanda and I think it would be very interesting for someone to examine how Germans, uh, talk about it. Yeah, obviously work has been done on this and you know, Dirk Moses with this German catechism that he published, which led to a major debate has brought this topic out into the open. I, l, l think there’s a lot to be. So there is a hypocrisy. Well, you know Germans are in a very difficult position there and you can imagine, you can imagine what it would be like for the Germans to accuse Israelis of genocide, and l think we have to have an understanding for, for the past and for the, the difficult situation you know they face.
The professor displayed bravery in going out of script and expressing his thoughts on a challenging topic — is Israel committing genocide against the Palestinian people? My observation is that he was slightly equivocal, wanting to let the audience know that, by UN Genocide Convention, Article II, the charge is true but not willing to state his agreement. The question remains bogged in debate and polemical exercises that resolve nothing. Genocide never receives agreement until the deadly crime has culminated Then comes the usual soul searching, accusations, recriminations, and a chorus of, “Who can predict the future,” followed by “never again,” and followed by a genocide happening again.
Predicting the future is not difficult when a pattern of events of a contemporary situation compares favorably with those of an earlier period. Carefully study history, find previous events that duplicate contemporary events, trace the earlier history to its climax, and, voilà, assuredly the contemporary events will evolve with the same trajectory. Unless an external occurrence modifies the situation, similar circumstances most likely lead to similar conclusions.
A religious group feels constantly persecuted and desires to preserve its identity. Members band together and seek a new place to live their unique social and communal life in a promised land. After sputtering failures, the group, sponsored by investments and not by a national government, manages to establish itself on already inhabited foreign soil and attract adherents, financial assistance, and adventurers.
The group purchases land from the native population, establishes industries, seeks to win resources, competes with, and begins to pauperize the indigenous people. Friction leads to battles and total war. Security replaces reconciliation and becomes an excuse for the victors to impose severe restrictions on the defeated, steal their property, and oppress them. The native population is decimated and forced from its ancestral lands.
The previous narrative describes the Pilgrim voyage to their promised land and approximates the Zionist incursion into the Levant. An addition to the narrative has the native Pokanoket tribe initially assisting the Pilgrims in their endeavors. After being wary of the newcomers to his territory, the Pokanoket leader, Massoit, came to regard the English as benefactors. The Mayflower boat, perceived as a ‘walking island,’ the iron plows, muskets, and other material goods entranced the Natives and they saw themselves benefiting from a cordial relationship with the Pilgrims.
Palestinians were also willing to cooperate with the Zionists. Khalil Sakakini, a well-known Palestinian nationalist, essayist, and poet initially concurred.
I see no reason why the Jews and the Arabs cannot work together in this great country. There is room for all, and up to the present time there have been no serious quarrels. At the beginning, what little dissension arose has smoothed out, and I believe it is the desire at least of the younger and vigorous and open minded group of Arabs to do everything they can to work amicably with the Jews. We must say that the Jews have brought considerable progress, and as they are mainly spending their own money in developing the country, it would be wrong not to give them credit for efforts in trying to make a future and better Palestine.
After 40 years of a peaceful and helpful relationship, it became evident that the Pilgrims intended to reduce the indigenous people to servitude.
The Pilgrims bought their land from the Natives, but the Natives expected to continue to use the land’s resources. The colonists built fences where no fences had ever been before, closing off their property to make the land their own. Tensions had long existed due to the two cultures different ways of life. Colonists’ livestock trampling Native cornfields was a continuing problem. Competition for resources created friction. Regional economic changes forced many Natives to sell their land.”- Nathan Philbrick, Mayflower.
The wanting “all or nothing” Zionists pursued a similar path as the wanting pilgrims and their sponsor, Massachusetts Bay Colony. On November 3, 1918, a day after the first anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a delegation of the Muslim-Christian Association handed a petition signed by more than 100 notables to Ronald Storrs, the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration military governor.
We noticed yesterday a large crowd of Jews carrying banners and overrunning the streets shouting words, which hurt the feelings and wound the soul. They pretend with open voice that Palestine, which is the Holy Land of our Fathers and the graveyard of our ancestors, which has been inhabited by the Arabs for long ages who loved it and died in defending it, is now a national home for them. These are words which displease the heavens. How do the Jews expect Palestine to be a national home when the Muslims and the Christians never asked that it should be a national home for those of them who are not inhabitants of Palestine? We Arabs, Muslim and Christian, have always sympathized profoundly with the persecuted Jews and their misfortunes in other countries as much as we sympathized with the persecuted Armenians and other weaker nations. We hoped for their deliverance and prosperity. But there is a wide difference between this sympathy and the acceptance of such a nation in our country, to be made by them a national home, ruling over us and disposing of our affairs. We Muslims and Christians desire to live with our brothers, the Jews of Palestine, in peace and happiness and with equal rights. Our privileges are theirs, and their duties are ours.
The significant result of the Massachusetts Bay Colony settlements was the genocide of the local tribes, which led to the mass extermination of Native tribes throughout North America.
By violently expelling approximately three-quarters of all Palestinians during the period of 1947-1949, the Zionists set the stage for a genocide of the Palestinian people. In 1967, following Israel’s victory in the 6-day war, Israel displaced an estimated additional 300,000 Palestinians. Afterward, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank treated the Palestinians as if they were not there, giving little heed to the Palestinian need for resources, homes, water, agriculture cultivation, infrastructure, and institutions. The only time Israel gives attention to the Palestinians is when they want to take something from them, harass them, or injure them. Israel still has plenty of land for population expansion and its preference to expand by stealing land from Palestinians indicates that nonchalantly making others invisible is a metaphor for making them physically extinct.
Let those skeptical of the eventual genocide respond to questions: “Being continually encroached and reduced to diminishing living space, agriculture, water, and resources, what will happen with the Palestinians in the future?” If life becomes unbearable, where will they find a bearable life? With no leadership or nationality, how can Palestinians maintain ontological security, which is “a stable mental state derived from a sense of continuity in regard to the events in one’s life.” The latter two words are more than an esoteric expression. They define what the Palestinians lack and most need. The absence of ontological security accelerates the deterioration of the Palestinian community, a process caused by the severe Israeli repression.
The other doubt of an ongoing genocide cites the presence of six million Palestinians in Israel and the territories. Reports have about 6 million killed during a few years of the World War II Holocaust. Occurring behind enemy lines during a world war, and without the surveillance and communications available today, the WWII Holocaust was difficult to confirm and prevent. With present-day observation and communication tools, it seems implausible that an oppressor can bring about another holocaust and murder 6 million people in a similar manner and in a short period. Implausible, but not impossible; an accepted statistic has 800,000 Tutsis slaughtered in 100 days in the Rwanda genocide. Unfortunately, even today, in full view of the world, genocide can be done by several means. At this moment, foreign aid prevents the ultimate tragedy and keeps the Palestinian community alive.
According to figures compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, aid to Palestinians amounted to more than $40 billion between 1994 and 2020. The Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction totals its foreign aid in 2020 at 1.13 billion dollars, a hefty sum considering that the GDP of Mexico is 1.15 billion dollars. By replacing what should be Israel’s legal and financial commitments as an occupier power to its occupied with their financial assistance to the Palestinians, the U.S. taxpayers and other world peoples subsidize Israel’s theft of Palestinian property and the infrastructure created to oppress the Palestinians, another example of how the Zionists deceive the world. This foreign aid begs the questions, “What will be the fate of the Palestinians if the aid is completely cut,” and “Can it continue forever?” Will the Palestinians live at subsistence levels or will Israel meet its commitments as an occupying power and give attention to Palestinian needs? Given the Zionist past of deceit, lying, trickery, knavery, and criminal behavior, the former is most likely and, with its occurrence, the genocide will escalate. Discussing an anticipated method by which a country can initiate the destruction of a minority within its borders. is unpleasant. Not being aware is worse than feeling unpleasant.
One way to accomplish the deadly deed is by decreasing birth rates and increasing death rates, done by exiling youth, population control, and causing psychological problems that lead to physical problems. The latter is a daily activity that has been visited upon the Palestinians for decades — permanent and flying checkpoints, roadblocks, forcing families into basements while Israel military sleeps overnight in the house, stopping cars and beating the adult male, arbitrary and unjust detentions, punishment of family members for alleged offenses by a relative, allowing tilling of fields and tending of flocks only at prescribed times and specified entry places, and many, many other deliberate mechanisms that wound the Palestinian psyche and diminish ontological security.
If the population decreases by 5 percent annually, in 14 years, the population is halved, and, in 50 years, the population decreases to 10 percent of its initial amount. By these methods, the Palestinian population can be reduced from 6 million to 600,000. The remaining Palestinians will be faceless and wandering people among the many millions of Israelis.
Not wanting to know or not accepting what is obvious are compounded by not being able to handle the horror of the situation and not knowing what to do about it, which places the situation in the same category as previous genocides. The time has arrived to break tradition.
Reciting what to do is exceedingly complex and beyond the scope of this article. Four points:
(1) Everything must be done peaceably and within the law. The problem to be faced is that if the thrust is succeeding, adversaries resort to violence and lawless activities.
(2) The United States, Great Britain, and Germany are the principal culprits in setting the stage for the genocide of the Palestinian people. Their governments must be shamed and changed.
(3) The Jewish people are identified with committing the genocide. They and their synagogues should realize they must redeem themselves or face an eternal backlash for their support of Zionist Israel, which calls itself, “the Jewish state,” and has disgraced Judaism.
(4) Institutions, such as PBS and many “think tanks” should purge themselves of pro-Israel elements who use the institution to campaign for Israel, which, indirectly campaigns for the liquidation of the Palestinians.
Considering the prolonged suffering of the Palestinian people, almost 75 years of unendurable oppression, the genocide is superfluous. In the PBS documentary, America and the Holocaust, Deborah Lipstadt says, “If ‘the time to stop a Holocaust is before it happens,’ then it means you have to lay on the table the ingredients that go into it. Maybe these ingredients don’t add up to it… But if you’re seeing people assembling, in the kitchen, the same ingredients, you’ve got to say, you cannot wait until the meal is prepared.”
Well, Ms. Lipstadt and the rest of the world, don’t wait, inform the authorities in the government you now inhabit to get on the ball and thwart the predicted genocide of the Palestinian people.
Dan Lieberman publishes commentaries on foreign policy, economics, economics, and politics at https://dlieb10gmailcom.substack.com/.
26 May 2023