Until recently, many commentators on Palestinian-Israeli affairs had been loathe to discuss the parallels between Nazism and Zionism out of respect for those European Jews that perished during World War 2 at the hands of the Nazis. It was, perhaps, always hoped that the Palestinian-Israeli debacle might have been resolved peacefully and equitably for all before the parallels became too apparent.
Regretfully, there has been no such resolution and, particularly in the light of recent events in the Gaza and the resurgence of the extreme right-wing at the recent Israeli polls, the parallels are now inescapable and can no longer be ignored.
The most striking parallel between Nazism and Zionism is its basic aims. While Hitler and his Nazis sought to create a state of racial Germans and to expand the nation into a Greater Germany via ‘Lebensraum’ at the expense of peoples that occupied nations to his east, the Zionists seek to create a Jews-only racial nation at the expense of peoples that occupied the lands and the nations adjoining to create living space for a Greater Israel.
Just as Hitler and his Nazis were not content with the provisions of what they considered to be the restrictive terms of the Treaty of Versailles that created the post-First World War Weimar Republic of Germany, so the Israelis were not content with the provisions of the restrictive conditions of the 1948 UN Partition of Palestine that created the post-Second World War state of Israel.
Just as Hitler believed there was not enough living space for a future Germany to properly function and prosper under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles so Israel’s leader, David Ben-Gurion, believed that there was not enough living space for a future Israel to thrive and prosper within the terms of the UN Partition Plan.
And so within days of the Partition Plan having been approved by the UN on 29 November 1947, Palestinians protested and the Israelis used the protests as an excuse to attack Palestinians beyond the borders of the partition delineating the new Israel from Palestine and by December 1947 the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their lands by Israelis had begun in earnest with some 75,000 Palestinians being made refugees even at this early stage of the ethnic cleansing. By January 1948 there were mass expulsions of Palestinians by Israelis from several villages accompanied by several massacres including the Deir Yassin massacre. A hastily assembled Arab irregular volunteer army attempted to thwart the Israeli onslaught to little effect.
By the time the British mandate ended the Israelis had already grabbed substantial tracts of Palestinian lands. The day before the British mandate ended, Israel, on 14 May 1948, declared itself and independent state. The following day the British formally withdrew.
From day one the new Israeli state continued to move into Palestinian allocated lands. The Arab League, supported by Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, sent troops into Palestine to help the Palestinians protect themselves from Israeli invasion and aggression. Again, their intervention which became known as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, achieved little by way of stopping the Israelis grab more land that was not theirs or stopping the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from their lands, indeed, the Arab League’s intervention served only to give the Israelis further justification to annex even more of the Palestinian’s land and towns.
Just as Hitler’s armies moved in to newly occupied lands and began to ethnically cleanse it of Jews so Ben-Gurion and his thugs ethnically cleansed newly occupied Palestinian lands of Arabs.
Prior to the 1967 war, Israel had spent years provoking Syria over the Golan Heights where the Israelis sent bulldozers into the demilitarised zones gradually ploughing into Syrian territory testing and prodding Syrian patience. In the Gaza the Israelis provoked the Egyptians under whose jurisdiction the Gaza belonged. As the Arab nations reacted and began to gather their forces to deter the Israelis from further provocation, the Israelis used the ‘crisis’ as a casus belli to pre-emptively attack its Arab neighbours and seize the Gaza, as well as the rest of the Sinai from the Egyptians, the Golan Heights from the Syrians and the West Bank from Jordan who the Israelis had provoked earlier in November 1966 by attacking Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control.
Like Hitler, Israel always blamed the nations they went to war with for having started it yet such blame is totally transparent and merely used as excuses for invasion and annexation of land that did not belong to them.
Like Hitler, during times of relative quiet, the Zionists talked of peace but at the same time secretly planned for war. The Zionists still eyed the Lebanese lands to their north and pondered how Israel might flourish from the waters of the Litani River. In 1978 Israel used the civil war that had been raging in Lebanon since 1975 as an excuse to invade the country; the invasion was called Operation Litani but the occupation was cut short when the UN ordered the Israelis to leave. However, they left behind a militia loyal to the Israelis who vowed they’d return. In 1982, they did just that.
In early 1982 the Israelis secretly planned another invasion but the then US Secretary of State, Alexander Haigh, told the Israelis that such an invasion could not happen without there being some major provocation. By June 1982, Israel had manipulated just such a provocation from Yasser Arafat’s PLO, then based in Lebanon. On 6 June 1982 Israel again invaded Lebanon. This time the UN demand for the Israelis to withdraw was vetoed by the US. Ariel Sharon, then Israeli Defence Minister, used the opportunity of invasion and occupation to destroy the Palestinians in Lebanon where Arafat and his PLO were based. Israeli forces, supported by Lebanese fascist Phalangists, forced out the PLO which fled to Tripoli, and then attempted to murder all the remaining Palestinian civilians that were in the refugee camps at Sabra and Shatila.
The Israelis struggled to hold on to south Lebanon and by 2000 had found that the resistance movement Hezbollah was too much for the Israelis to sustain their occupation.
By around this time the Zionists had come to the realisation that their dream of a Greater Israel needed to be modified. The Sinai was returned to the Egyptians but the Israelis hung on to the Gaza Strip that they had by now begun to colonise with settlements. They had also begun to expand into the occupied West Bank with settlements and outposts. The Golan Heights, already taken during the 1967 war, had been thoroughly colonised and annexed into Israel.
Clearly, the Israelis had adopted a far more cautious approach to their expansionist dreams. Resistance to their expansionism had been much tougher than they had expected especially after having experienced how easy it had been for them in the early days in 1947 and 1948. With the world taking a keen interest in what was going on in this part of the world the Israelis knew that they would not be able to continue getting away with the crimes that they had managed to get away with so far. A new approach was called for; one that essentially involved taking two steps forward then one back in order to make it look as though Israel was actually conceding ground to the Palestinians. In September 2005, then Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, withdrew all the settlements from the Gaza ostensibly to demonstrate that he was willing to seek peace with the Palestinians. In reality the pullout was for far more practical reasons. The cost of keeping troops in the Gaza to protect the few settlers there was far too prohibitive. The hope was that, after pulling out, the Palestinians in the Gaza would continue to attack Israel thus providing a casus belli at a later date to launch an all-out invasion of the Gaza and the eventual transfer of its inhabitants. The ploy was to quietly put increasing pressure on the Gazans to make life intolerable for them in order to provoke them into launching attacks against the Israelis to deter them from continuing to pressure the Gaza. At the same time Israel used propaganda against Hamas by trying to expose the Gazans as being unreasonable due to the Israelis having given them their land back yet ‘they still choose to attack Israel’.
Just as the Nazis ghettoised the Jews of Europe into Warsaw and began to squeeze them into extinction and deportation for those that survived, so the Zionists of Israel have been planning the same for the Gazans. Just as the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto resisted the Nazis so the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip ghetto resisted Israeli attempts at deprivation, starvation and the destruction of any economy and production in the Strip. It is exactly the reaction that the Nazis wanted from the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto and it is exactly the reaction that the Zionists wanted from the Palestinians in the Gaza Ghetto. Ultimately the aim of the Zionists is to clear the Gaza ghetto of the Palestinians just as the Nazis ultimately cleared and razed the Warsaw Ghetto with the intention of rebuilding it and filling it with ethnic Germans.
Just as the Nazis used overwhelming military force to bomb their enemies into submission so the Zionists have used their overwhelming military might, particularly in recent years, to attempt to bomb their enemies into submission. In 2006, the Israelis claimed that one of their soldiers, Gilad Shalit, had been ’kidnapped’ by Gazan fighters. This was used as a casus belli to launch a Blitzkrieg on the Gaza which killed many innocent civilians and destroyed civilian infrastructure. Less than three weeks later, on the pretext that two of their soldiers had been captured, Israel launched a Blitzkrieg against the Lebanese people with their propaganda claiming that they were only attacking Hezbollah over the ‘kidnapping’. Despite their claims, the vast majority of those killed in the onslaught were civilians and, again, most of the destruction was to civilian infrastructure.
These attacks were designed to provoke Iran in to taking action against Israel by supplying Hezbollah with increasingly more sophisticated weapons to use against Israel in order to provide an excuse for the US and Israel to attack Iran to bring about regime change in Iran. This would then leave Israel free to deal with Hamas and Hizbollah hoping that their resistance would collapse without Iranian support.
But the Iranians didn’t bite. Hezbollah put up a stiff resistance and Israeli casualties began to mount. In the end the Israelis were unable to prevail and the US had to call a reluctant end to Israel’s escapade in to Lebanon via the UN after international condemnation of Israel’s actions.
But it hasn’t stopped the Zionists from trying again to rouse the Iranians by attacking Palestinians. In December 2008 Israel, on the pretext of claiming Hamas had broken a ceasefire agreement (when, in fact, it had been Israel that had broken the agreement) again launched a devastating attack against the hapless Gazan people. Again, the Nazi-like Blitzkrieg took its toll on Gazan civilians including many women and children. After the intial aerial bombing of civilians the ground forces rolled into the Gaza in tanks destroying and killing anything in their path including women and children that had come out of their homes waving white handkerchiefs in surrender whom they shot in cold blood.
Just as the Nazis had executed captured fighters in Eastern Europe and in the Warsaw Ghetto during the uprising there, so the Zionists executed captured fighters in the Gaza. Others were taken to Israel and are still yet to be accounted for.
Commentators and critics of Zionism have every right now to demonstrate and highlight, without any fear of being labelled an ‘anti-Semite’, the unmistakable parallels and comparisons between modern Zionism and twentieth-century Nazism. The Zionists and their supporters have abused for far too long the ‘anti-Semite’ label which they believe has protected them from accusations of behaving like the Nazis that once persecuted them.
The real shame now is that the term ‘anti-Semite’, which once was in legitimate usage to describe white-supremacist Jew-haters and their like, has now been reduced to a transparent propaganda label used to distract the world from the abuses and crimes of the Zionists as they emulate those that once persecuted them and who really were anti-Semites.
Despite being Semites themselves, one has to wonder if the true anti-Semites of the twenty-first century aren’t the Zionist criminals of Israel.