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Home » Briefings, The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Causes, Consequences, and the Impending Abyss

Zionism in Gaza’s Shattered Mirror

January 15, 2009 No Comment

By M. Shahid Alam, Professor of Economics, Northeastern University

At a time when Palestinian men, women and children, corralled in the ghetto of Gaza since 1948, are daily, hourly, relentlessly, being bombed from the air, land and sea, it is instructive to turn to some of the founding fathers of Zionism, and ask what they might have thought about this obscene consequence of their messianic vision.

In the writings of these founding fathers, the Palestinians rarely merit even a passing reference. You can pore through one of the earliest statements of the Zionist credo, Moses Hess’ Rome and Jerusalem, but you will find not a single reference to ‘Muslims’ or ‘Arabs.’ Twice, the word ‘Palestinian’ enters this venerated text; the first time, it appears in connection with the training of Jewish youth for the “life of a Palestinian farmer;” and the second refers to the “Jerushalmi Palestinian Talmud Sanhedrin.” Palestine always exists, inscribed on some divine tablet, as Israeli land; but there are no Palestinians.

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