By Sarah Khan

Normalization of Palestinian apartheid is new normal

June 29, 2022 - 15:36

“The tale of Palestine from the beginning until today is a simple story of colonialism and dispossession, yet the world treats it as a multifaceted and complex story—hard to understand and even harder to solve.” ? Noam Chomsky 

The post-World war two eras is marked by several bloody conflicts exported by Europeans in former colonial entities. The birth of Israel in the heart of the Muslim world depicts one of the oppressive realities of contemporary political order in which a settler-colonial tyrant is catalyzing violent subjugation of once glorious Arab civilization. Statelessness, persecution, torture, humiliation, refugeehood, and resistance have practically become perpetual ingredients of Palestinian lives. Adding insult to injury, regional autocracies, for sake of political expediency and sustained existence, are inadvertently normalizing ties with blood-soaked regional pariah as Israelis would help perpetuate their unpopular rule.  Ironically, Zionist hatred towards anything perceived as Arab unravels every year when Nationalist flag march hits Jerusalem in all its ugliness and lunatic Jewish supremacists ecstatically chant “Death to the Arabs”.  This thorniest colonial episode poses a question mark upon entire edifice of international law since Palestinian victims of Israel’s perpetual systematic and murderous violence failed to seek justice. Even, justice for cold-blooded murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by the Israeli military in Jenin remains distant possibility. 

Israeli imperial designs have rendered Palestine into an open-air museum of ethnic cleansing. Unraveling Zionist expansionist agenda, an independent commission of inquiry set up by the UN Human Rights Council after the 2021 Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza Strip revealed that Israel is pursuing complete control over the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, by altering the demography through the maintenance of a repressive environment for Palestinians and a favorable environment for Israeli settlers. Earlier this year, Amnesty published a 280-page report on Israeli apartheid entitled “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity” which documented Israel’s seizures of Palestinian land and property, its unlawful killings, forcible transfer of Palestinian people from their land, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of nationality and citizenship to Palestinians. Human Rights Watch has equated Israeli policies against Palestinians to apartheid. To understand these bleak dynamics, its cogent to understand that the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is not raging between two sovereign states. Rather, it is a conflict between colonized people and their colonizer.

Entire neo-liberal apparatus championing fundamental freedoms and democratic ethos is complicit in betrayal of Palestinians. In this complex interdependent world, it’s impossible to conceal gory tales of tyranny but global media in connivance with international institutions, local elite and corporate interests has criminally put plight of Palestinians at back-burner. As the conflict in Ukraine rages, global outpour of support for Ukrainians, swift condemnation from a host of countries and subjective media coverage unraveled oriental duplicity. Media pundits, journalists, celebrities, philanthropists and political figures blatantly demonstrated their horrific double standards by underscoring their shock at horrors of war inflicted upon “civilized” European nation as if Muslim blood mercilessly spilled in global theaters of war is unworthy of sympathy. The dehumanization and dispossession of Palestinians by close ally of “free world” reveals that “Palestinian lives don’t matter”.  Dilating unspeakable ordeal of Palestinians, Richard Falk in his ground-breaking work “Palestine: The Legitimacy of Hope” explained politics of language by arguing that “unlawful Israeli behavior is portrayed as facts which gradually transform into conditions that are treated essentially irreversible for attempted de-facto legalization”. He suggested use of strong expository language to better understand assault on Palestinian self-determination by using terms such as “annexation”, “ethnic cleansing”, “apartheid” and “settler colonialism”. 

Muslim world is captivated by incredible resistance and enduring perseverance of Palestinians against relentless Israeli atrocities. Palestinian defiance is carving new history of resistance and despite decades of colonization, they can’t be conquered. Ibn Khaldun’s dictum that “oppression heralds the destruction of a civilization” must be a prescient prediction for downfall of Zionist monopoly. Israel is emboldened by blank cheque policy where it is not held accountable for crimes against humanity and United States is sponsoring its apartheid to cement neo-imperial claws upon Arab world. Edward Said in his work “The question of Palestine” elucidated these dynamics as “all issues surrounding Palestinians involve Great Power politics, regional disputes, class conflict, ideological tension, the animating power of Palestinian resistance is awareness of these simple yet enormously consequential questions”. 

Sarah Khan is MPhil in international relations from National Defence University Islamabad. She currently works at PTV World, the state broadcaster of Pakistan. 

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