For many people, salvation is not of the Jews but of the Palestinians by Richard Mather
A short excerpt:
"No, Palestinianism in its fullest sense is a wide-ranging quasi-religious ideology that appeals to all faiths and none. It appeals to Christians, Muslims, and even some Jews. It appeals to hardcore communist atheists and religious fanatics alike. It is the belief system of anti-Semitic movements like BDS and the International Solidarity Movement. It is a unifying belief system that blames all the world’s problems on the Jews and promises salvation by promising to eradicate Zionism and establish a State of Palestine between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea."
Mathers then launches into an a tirade about anti-Semitism (specifically anti-Jewish anti-Semitism) as if that has something to do with being Palestinian.
The religion of Judaism, and indeed the ethnicity of being Jewish, are entirely different than the ideology of being political Zionist. Political Zionism is the "entity", primarily in the form of the modern day Israeli government as ring leader, that knowingly and consistently creates anti-Jewish sentiment in folks who don't know the difference between a political identity, and an identity that is religious and/or ethnic; then blames Palestinians for the anti-Jewish sentiment created by the criminal injustices of political Zionism. It is an invalid assumption, and never a given that someone Jewish (religion and/or ethnicity) is a political Zionist. Not even all Israelis are political Zionists. Nor is embracing the ideology of political Zionism exclusive to folks who are Jewish. In fact many Christian Zionists are more vile in their misleading claims about Palestinians.
So how did this blog article come to my attention? It was suggested as a "related link" for a post about a new Kairos Publication: Life with Dignity (downloadable). Related? Ha! I think not.
Clearly young Mr. Mather misses the boat about what it means to be Palestinian by presenting a convoluted hasbara explanation about what being Palestinian is NOT. Thus his comment becomes a limiting effort based on describing what political Zionists want the world to think being Palestinian is. Shame, shame.
And of course he also takes unwarranted hasbara pot shots at the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) and International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Clearly he wasn't paying attention, once he reached the age of responsibility, to the worldwide process of South Africa being persuaded by worldwide boycott, divestment, and sanctions, to end apartheid.
Any of his comments that could vaguely ring true (like "oppression of women and minorities in a Palestinian state, the imprisonment of journalists and dissidents, and the political legitimisation of far right Islamist groups like Hamas") are a direct result of the government of Israel's criminally illegal ongoing occupation. Equating the currently Israeli occupied Palestinian territory and people, collectively, with an independent self-determined nation of Palestine is nonsense. Brutally occupied nations are not self-determined independent nations.
"The sooner Zionism and the Israeli state pass into history, say the Palestinianists, the sooner there will be peace in the Middle East. Despite the obvious drawbacks to this scenario, such as the oppression of women and minorities in a Palestinian state, the imprisonment of journalists and dissidents, and the political legitimization of far right Islamist groups like Hamas, Palestinianists remain zealous in their commitment to the creation of a twenty-third Arab state."As far as I have ever known in my numerous decades as an American who has been paying close and on-going attention to these issues since before my age of majority, and after having done historical research necessary for understanding, the only political ideology I could honestly say has ever truly and universally been associated with being Palestinian is "end the occupation" (other than live and let live which is not political, and a generosity of spirit which is an inseparable part of being Palestinian, and . . . well, the good list of Palestinian characteristics goes on and on). Other than that a Palestinian is someone who lives in the region that has been known as Palestine for millenia before the ancient Kingdom of Israel existed, and during the times when the region of Palestine was a part of other ancient empires. Its geographical position makes it a unique region, more geographically unique than many nations. Clearly the region of Palestine has always been a desirable piece of real estate for numerous reasons primarily because of its propinquitous geographical location to neighboring regions. Control of the region and it's people has long been wanted by those who were not native to the region of Palestine.
As a discussion, "end the occupation" with its numerous related sub-topics has unlimited potential for resolving the issues, including issues of regional violence (and has had since Israel declared itself a nation in 1948) - were it not for the efforts of ideological political Zionism to prevent and silence civil and factual discussion among people, organizations, and nations, about how to realistically end the occupation.
Mather also wants to complain about the region of Palestine being between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea . . . as it always has been. Yes, Palestine has been recognized as that region for millennia. We find it carved in stone in Ancient Egypt in numerous historic records. We find it recognized as such in the Encyclopaedia Judaica in modern times. What incredible arrogance considering the ideology of political Zionism wants to claim the territory of modern day Israel as being "from the Nile to the Tigris-Euphrates". As such it seems that modern day Israel is still competing with what was once the territory of ancient Babylon which at one time also included the region of Palestine.
And, yes, ancient Israel also existed for a relatively short period of time in the region of Palestine . . . before the internecine divisiveness that lead to a division of land resulting in a smaller kingdom of Israel and an additional kingdom of Judah, both for another relatively short period of time.
Mather's territorial complaint is a bad case of trying to rewrite history in its efforts to blame occupied Palestinians for Israel's crimes, and a bad case of projection i.e. "the pot calling the kettle black", through his characterization of what he deludes himself into imagining is "Palestinianism" - and worse what he wants everyone else to imagine.