The Enduring Injustice of Palestine

As Israel joins Saudi Arabia in its anti-Iran/anti-Shiite project, the fate of the Palestinians has been pushed down the ranks of Mideast priorities, but the fight against this injustice will not end, says John Pilger.

By John Pilger

When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them.

In 1948, some Palestinians, uprooted by Israel’s claims to their lands, relocated to the Jaramana Refugee Camp in Damascus, Syria

One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter.

“Arabs,” they said, “nomads.” The words were almost spat out. Israel, they said, meaning Palestine, had been mostly wasteland and one of the great feats of the Zionist enterprise was to turn the desert green.

They gave as an example their crop of Jaffa oranges, which was exported to the rest of the world. What a triumph against the odds of nature and humanity’s neglect.

It was the first lie. Most of the orange groves and vineyards belonged to Palestinians who had been tilling the soil and exporting oranges and grapes to Europe since the eighteenth century. The former Palestinian town of Jaffa was known by its previous inhabitants as “the place of sad oranges.”

On the kibbutz, the word “Palestinian” was never used. Why, I asked. The answer was a troubled silence.

All over the colonized world, the true sovereignty of indigenous people is feared by those who can never quite cover the fact, and the crime, that they live on stolen land.

Denying people’s humanity is the next step – as the Jewish people know only too well. Defiling people’s dignity and culture and pride follows as logically as violence.

In Ramallah, following an invasion of the West Bank by the late Ariel Sharon in 2002, I walked through streets of crushed cars and demolished houses, to the Palestinian Cultural Centre. Until that morning, Israeli soldiers had camped there.

I was met by the centre’s director, the novelist, Liana Badr, whose original manuscripts lay scattered and torn across the floor. The hard drive containing her fiction, and a library of plays and poetry had been taken by Israeli soldiers. Almost everything was smashed, and defiled.

Not a single book survived with all its pages; not a single master tape from one of the best collections of Palestinian cinema.

The soldiers had urinated and defecated on the floors, on desks, on embroideries and works of art. They had smeared feces on children’s paintings and written – in shit – “Born to kill”.

Liana Badr had tears in her eyes, but she was unbowed. She said, “We will make it right again.”

What enrages those who colonize and occupy, steal and oppress, vandalize and defile is the victims’ refusal to comply. And this is the tribute we all should pay the Palestinians. They refuse to comply. They go on. They wait – until they fight again. And they do so even when those governing them collaborate with their oppressors.

Bodies of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra camp in Lebanon, 1982. (Photo credit: U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees)

In the midst of the 2014 Israeli bombardment of Gaza, the Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer never stopped reporting. He and his family were stricken; he queued for food and water and carried it through the rubble.  When I phoned him, I could hear the bombs outside his door. He refused to comply.

Mohammed’s reports, illustrated by his graphic photographs, were a model of professional journalism that shamed the compliant and craven reporting of the so-called mainstream in Britain and the United States. The BBC notion of objectivity – amplifying the myths and lies of authority, a practice of which it is proud – is shamed every day by the likes of Mohamed Omer.

For more than 40 years, I have recorded the refusal of the people of Palestine to comply with their oppressors: Israel, the United States, Britain, the European Union.

Since 2008, Britain alone has granted licenses for export to Israel of arms and missiles, drones and sniper rifles, worth £434 million.

Those who have stood up to this, without weapons, those who have refused to comply, are among Palestinians I have been privileged to know:

My friend, the late Mohammed Jarella, who toiled for the United Nations agency UNRWA, in 1967 showed me a Palestinian refugee camp for the first time. It was a bitter winter’s day and schoolchildren shook with the cold. “One day …” he would say. “One day …”

Mustafa Barghouti, whose eloquence remains undimmed, who described the tolerance that existed in Palestine among Jews, Muslims and Christians until, as he told me, “the Zionists wanted  a state at the expense of the Palestinians.”

Dr. Mona El-Farra, a physician in Gaza, whose passion was raising money for plastic surgery for children disfigured by Israeli bullets and shrapnel. Her hospital was flattened by Israeli bombs in 2014.

Dr. Khalid Dahlan, a psychiatrist, whose clinics for children in Gaza — children sent almost mad by Israeli violence — were oases of civilization.

A Dead Infant

Fatima and Nasser are a couple whose home stood in a village near Jerusalem designated “Zone A and B,” meaning that the land was declared for Jews only. Their parents had lived there; their grandparents had lived there. Today, the bulldozers are laying roads for Jews only, protected by laws for Jews only.

Pope Francis praying a separation wall in Palestine on May 25, 2014. (Photo credit: Pope Francis’s Facebook page.).

It was past midnight when Fatima went into labor with their second child. The baby was premature; and when they arrived at a checkpoint with the hospital in view, the young Israeli soldier said they needed another document.

Fatima was bleeding badly. The soldier laughed and imitated her moans and told them, “Go home.” The baby was born there in a truck. It was blue with cold and soon, without care, died from exposure. The baby’s name was Sultan.

For Palestinians, these will be familiar stories. The question is: why are they not familiar in London and Washington, Brussels and Sydney?

In Syria, a recent liberal cause — a George Clooney cause — is bankrolled handsomely in Britain and the United States, even though the beneficiaries, the so-called rebels, are dominated by jihadist fanatics, the product of the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and the destruction of modern Libya.

And yet, the longest occupation and resistance in modern times is not recognized. When the United Nations suddenly stirs and defines Israel as an apartheid state, as it did this year, there is outrage – not against a state whose “core purpose” is racism but against a U.N. commission that dared break the silence.

“Palestine,” said Nelson Mandela, “is the greatest moral issue of our time.”

Why is this truth suppressed, day after day, month after month, year after year?

On Israel – the apartheid state, guilty of a crime against humanity and of more international law-breaking than any other– the silence persists among those who know and whose job it is to keep the record straight.

On Israel, so much journalism is intimidated and controlled by a groupthink that demands silence on Palestine while honorable journalism has become dissidence: a metaphoric underground.

A single word – “conflict” – enables this silence.  “The Arab-Israeli conflict”, intone the robots at their tele-prompters. When a veteran BBC reporter, a man who knows the truth, refers to “two narratives”, the moral contortion is complete.

There is no conflict, no two narratives, with their moral fulcrum. There is a military occupation enforced by a nuclear-armed power backed by the greatest military power on earth; and there is an epic injustice.

The word “occupation” may be banned, deleted from the dictionary. But the memory of historical truth cannot be banned: of the systemic expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland. “Plan D” the Israelis called it in 1948.

David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister

The Israeli historian Benny Morris describes how David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, was asked by one of his generals: “What shall we do with the Arabs?”

The prime minister, wrote Morris, “made a dismissive, energetic gesture with his hand”. “Expel them!” he said.

Seventy years later, this crime is suppressed in the intellectual and political culture of the West. Or it is debatable, or merely controversial.  Highly-paid journalists and eagerly accept Israeli government trips, hospitality and flattery, then are truculent in their protestations of independence. The term, “useful idiots,” was coined for them.

Accepting Awards

In 2011, I was struck by the ease with which one of Britain’s most acclaimed novelists, Ian McEwan, a man bathed in the glow of bourgeois enlightenment, accepted the Jerusalem Prize for literature in the apartheid state.

Would McEwan have gone to Sun City in apartheid South Africa? They gave prizes there, too, all expenses paid. McEwan justified his action with weasel words about the independence of “civil society”.

Propaganda – of the kind McEwan delivered, with its token slap on the wrists for his delighted hosts – is a weapon for the oppressors of Palestine. Like sugar, it insinuates almost everything today.

Understanding and deconstructing state and cultural propaganda is our most critical task. We are being frog-marched into a second cold war, whose eventual aim is to subdue and balkanize Russia and intimidate China.

When Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin spoke privately for more than two hours at the G20 meeting in Hamburg, apparently about the need not to go to war with each other, the most vociferous objectors were those who have commandeered liberalism, such as the Zionist political writer of the Guardian.

“No wonder Putin was smiling in Hamburg,” wrote Jonathan Freedland. “He knows he has succeeded in his chief objective: he has made America weak again.”  Cue the hissing for Evil Vlad.

Controversial maps showing the shrinking territory available to the Palestinians. Hardline Israelis insist that there are no Palestinian people, that all the land belongs to Israel and that it therefore inaccurate to show any “Palestinian lands.”

These propagandists have never known war but they love the imperial game of war. What Ian McEwan calls “civil society” has become a rich source of related propaganda.

Take a term often used by the guardians of civil society — “human rights.” Like another noble concept, “democracy,” “human rights” has been all but emptied of its meaning and purpose.

Like “peace process” and “road map,” human rights in Palestine have been hijacked by Western governments and the corporate NGOs they fund and which claim a quixotic moral authority.

So when Israel is called upon by governments and NGOs to “respect human rights” in Palestine, nothing happens, because they all know there is nothing to fear; nothing will change.

Mark the silence of the European Union, which accommodates Israel while refusing to maintain its commitments to the people of Gaza — such as keeping the lifeline of the Rafah border crossing open: a measure it agreed to as part of its role in the cessation of fighting in 2014. A seaport for Gaza – agreed by Brussels in 2014 – has been abandoned.

The U.N. commission I have referred to – its full name is the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia — described Israel as, and I quote, “designed for the core purpose” of racial discrimination.

Millions understand this. What the governments in London, Washington, Brussels and Tel Aviv cannot control is that humanity at street level is changing perhaps as never before.

A World Stirring

People everywhere are stirring and are more aware, in my view, than ever before. Some are already in open revolt. The atrocity of Grenfell Tower in London has brought communities together in a vibrant almost national resistance.

Thanks to a people’s campaign, the judiciary is today examining the evidence of a possible prosecution of Tony Blair for war crimes. Even if this fails, it is a crucial development, dismantling yet another barrier between the public and its recognition of the voracious nature of the crimes of state power – the systemic disregard for humanity perpetrated in Iraq, in Grenfell Tower, in Palestine. Those are the dots waiting to be joined.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

For most of the Twenty-first Century, the fraud of corporate power posing as democracy has depended on the propaganda of distraction: largely on a cult of “me-ism” designed to disorientate our sense of looking out for others, of acting together, of social justice and internationalism.

Class, gender and race were wrenched apart. The personal became the political and the media the message. The promotion of bourgeois privilege was presented as “progressive” politics. It wasn’t. It never is. It is the promotion of privilege, and power.

Among young people, internationalism has found a vast new audience. Look at the support for Jeremy Corbyn and the reception the G20 circus in Hamburg received. By understanding the truth and imperatives of internationalism, and rejecting colonialism, we understand the struggle of Palestine.

Mandela put it this way: “We know only too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

At the heart of the Middle East is the historic injustice in Palestine. Until that is resolved, and Palestinians have their freedom and homeland, and Israelis are Palestinians equality before the law, there will be no peace in the region, or perhaps anywhere.

What Mandela was saying is that freedom itself is precarious while powerful governments can deny justice to others, terrorize others, imprison and kill others, in our name. Israel certainly understands the threat that one day it might have to be normal.

That is why its ambassador to Britain is Mark Regev, well known to journalists as a professional propagandist, and why the “huge bluff” of charges of anti-Semitism, as Ilan Pappe called it, was allowed to contort the Labour Party and undermine Jeremy Corbyn as leader. The point is, it did not succeed.

Events are moving quickly now. The remarkable Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) is succeeding, day by day; cities and towns, trade unions and student bodies are endorsing it. The British government’s attempt to restrict local councils from enforcing BDS has failed in the courts.

These are not straws in the wind. When the Palestinians rise again, as they will, they may not succeed at first — but they will eventually if we understand that they are us, and we are them.

This is an abridged version of journalist John Pilger’s address to the Palestinian Expo in London on July 8, 2017. John Pilger’s film, ‘Palestine Is Still the Issue’, can be viewed at http://johnpilger.com/videos/palestine-is-still-the-issue

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52 comments for “The Enduring Injustice of Palestine

  1. J. D.
    July 10, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Moving.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 11, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      …they refuse to comply

      • Peter Loeb
        July 12, 2017 at 7:19 am

        THERE SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ANY “SURPRISE” BY PILGER
        AND OTHERS

        Most of us have denied the horrible facts laid out for all to see in
        Thomas Suarez’ THE TERROR STATE (2017).

        While there are many sources, neglecting this documented history
        shifts the focus.

        —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  2. July 10, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    …a tragic story that could never be told in the mainstream press.

  3. Cal
    July 10, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    ”Why is this truth suppressed, day after day, month after month, year after year?”>>>>>>

    This is why. The Big Five media.
    To say not all Jews support Israel and its occupation/genocide of Palestine is true.
    It is also true that these individual Jews, with the exception of Murdoch, who control most of media are Israel supporters and control what the US public hears about Israel.

    # Comcast-
    Family owned. CEO Brian Roberts. Roberts was born into a Jewish family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Ralph J. Roberts, the founder of Comcast Corporation, and Suzanne Fleisher, a former actress and playwright

    Controls:

    NBC
    Telemundo
    Universal Pictures
    Focus Features
    USA Network
    Bravo
    CNBC
    The Weather Channel
    MSNBC
    Syfy
    NBCSN
    Golf Channel
    Esquire Network
    E!
    Cloo
    Chiller
    Universal HD
    Comcast SportsNet
    Universal Parks & Resorts
    Universal Studio Home Video

    # The Walt Disney Company–
    CEO Bob Iger. Iger was born to a Jewish family in New York City. Iger co-chaired a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on August 22, 2016

    Controls:

    ABC Television Network
    ESPN
    The Disney Channel
    A&E
    Lifetime
    Marvel Entertainment
    Lucasfilm
    Walt Disney Pictures
    Pixar Animation Studios
    Disney Mobile
    Disney Consumer Products
    Interactive Media
    Disney Theme Parks
    Disney Records
    Hollywood Records
    Miramax Films
    Touchstone Pictures

    #News Corporation –
    Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch was born on 11 March 1931 in Melbourne

    Controls:

    Fox Broadcasting Company
    Fox News Channel
    Fox Business Network
    Fox Sports 1
    Fox Sports 2
    National Geographic
    Nat Geo Wild
    FX
    FXX
    FX Movie Channel
    Fox Sports Networks
    The Wall Street Journal
    The New York Post
    Barron’s
    SmartMoney
    HarperCollins
    20th Century Fox
    Fox Searchlight Pictures
    Blue Sky Studios
    Beliefnet
    Zondervan

    # Time Warner –
    Owner Steven Jay Rechnitz deceased. Current President Jeffrey Lawrence “Jeff” Bewkes. Bewkes was born in Paterson, New Jersey,

    Controls:

    CNN
    The CW
    HBO
    Cinemax
    Cartoon Network
    HLN
    NBA TV
    TBS
    TNT
    TruTV
    Turner Classic Movies
    Warner Bros.
    Castle Rock
    DC Comics
    Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
    New Line Cinema
    Sports Illustrated
    Fortune
    Marie Claire
    People Magazine

    #Viacom- Same as CBS Owner –
    Sumner Murray Redstone. Formerly Sumner Murray Rothstein born in Boston, Massachusetts,

    Controls:

    MTV
    Nickelodeon
    VH1
    BET
    Comedy Central
    Paramount Pictures
    Paramount Home Entertainment
    Country Music Television (CMT)
    Spike TV
    The Movie Channel
    TV Land
    CBS Corporation- Same as Viacom
    CBS Television Network
    The CW (along with Time Warner)
    CBS Sports Network
    Showtime
    TVGN
    CBS Radio, Inc.
    CBS Television Studios
    Simon & Schuster
    Infinity Broadcasting
    Westwood One Radio Network

    • mike k
      July 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks. Revealing.

      • Cal
        July 10, 2017 at 3:38 pm

        And most important our Israel infected congress:..we cant be ”evenhanded;” in the I-P problem says Rep.Hoyer, whose sister was president of AIPAC at one time. Sickening!
        We need Eisenhower back.

        American congressman: US economic woes won’t affect Israel .. http://www.jpost.com/…/American-congressman-US-economic-woes-wont-affe…? Aug 11, 2011 –

        US Congressman Steny Hoyer says financial challenges “will not … American congressman: US economic woes won’t affect Israel … to Israel in the form of aid for its qualitative [military] superiority, or for its economic security.” –

        Hoyer at AIPAC
        http://www.democraticwhip.gov/content/hoyer-addresses-aipac-political-leadership-conference

        ”Let me say very clearly: as a member of the Democratic leadership and a long-time supporter of Israel, it is absolutely imperative that Members of Congress – especially our new members and those who have few Jews in their Congressional Districts – recognize the moral and strategic significance of the U.S.-Israel partnership. Furthermore, it is imperative that Israel’s circle of friends in Congress include non-Jews, too. For the reality is this: Israel’s safety and security is not a Jewish/non-Jewish issue. It is an American national security issue. I am confident in saying that two new Democratic members who have a better appreciation of that are Denise Majette of Georgia and Artur Davis of Alabama. Both were part of our delegation. Both are articulate, engaging African-Americans from the south. And both are committed supporters of Israel. There are some who believe that we must demonstrate more even-handedness in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. I do not.”

        475. Letter From President Eisenhower to Swede Hazlett11. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries. Personal. Washington, November 2, 1956 (excerpt)

        ”As we began to uncover evidence that something was building up in Israel, we demanded pledges from Ben-Gurion that he would keep the peace. We realized that he might think he could take advantage of this country because of the approaching election and because of the importance that so many politicians in the past have attached to our Jewish vote.
        I gave strict orders to the State Department that they should inform Israel that we would handle our affairs exactly as though we didn’t have a Jew in America. The welfare and best interests of our own country were to be the sole criteria on which we operated.”
        http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1955-57v16/d475

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 10, 2017 at 10:46 pm

          Very enlightening.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 10, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      If the American media were to put forth the time and energy it bestows upon reporting a gorilla getting shot in a zoo, or a homosexual getting harassed in Sochi, and report every single one of the Israeli against Palestinian incidents, and report these matters objectively, then Americans possibly would raise up in protest against these Israeli crimes against humanity. After seeing the network list that Cal provided here, there is little to no hope that these crimes will ever get reported. To see how ineffective our media is over Israel, tomorrow ask your neighbor if they know what ‘BDS’ is. In fact, considering how our American media negates their duty as responsible journalists, their deliberate denial to not report these crimes, is a crime all and in of itself.

    • R Davis
      July 14, 2017 at 6:32 am

      Still – everyone calls for Main Stream Media to come about & they do not – they have their bread & butter to consider – one must look after oneself first.
      The thing is this – we don’t need all of the above mentioned any more .
      Look around you & see that they are obsolete all bar the shouting – you cannot fight progress.

  4. July 10, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Will There Be a Day Of Reckoning?

    Will there be a day of reckoning, and justice for the oppressed?
    Those hapless, miserable, unwanted millions who have nothing left
    Refugees living in numerous camps with nowhere to go
    Once they had homes, then along came the “helping” foe

    Invaders and “liberators” bringing “order” and “democracy”
    “Responsibility to protect:” Are these the words of hypocrisy?
    Bombs, missiles, tanks and planes deliver the carnage of deadly “gains”
    Cities destroyed, civilians killed and smouldering ruins just remain

    Others have had their lands stolen, and possessed
    By those in positions of power by “legalized” theft
    Corporate cannibals swallow and plunder the earth’s resources
    Aided and abetted by politically corrupt forces

    The system has been captured and evil rules
    Endless war is the plan of these bloodthirsty ghouls
    The stupid serfs kill, and obey, for their satanic masters
    Some of them even get medals from these warring bastards

    Lunatics are in charge, wearing expensive suits
    “Right Honourable” and “honourable” political galoots
    Idiots ordering idiots to kill, destroy, and maim
    Now we are seeing the brainwashed, obeying the insane

    All these depredations are financed by the ‘money changers’
    That Jesus ejected from the Temple’s hallowed chambers
    Now they operate freely in the corrupt and crooked financial world
    Profiting from the atrocities that gets millions killed

    Profiteers of slaughter, death and destruction
    Creating hell on earth is their role in perdition
    Satan’s helpers and willing partners in evil
    These are the monetary followers of the Devil

    It is said, “Money is the root of all that is evil”
    And it causes endless misery, wars and upheaval
    The “work” of the ‘money changers’ is truly satanic and sickening
    When, if ever: Will there be a Day of Reckoning?…

    [more info at link below]

    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2014/12/will-there-be-day-of-reckoning.html

    • mike k
      July 10, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Thank you Stephen. Your poems strike deep into the dark heart of evil in our beautiful world.

      • F. G. Sanford
        July 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm

        “The brainwashed obey the insane…” Now, there’s a ‘pearl of wisdom’ if ever one were enunciated.

    • Cal
      July 10, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      ” Will there be a day of reckoning, and justice for the oppressed?”>>>>

      Nope. Not until we get the Zionist Fifth Column out of the US.
      Or…maybe when the UN member countries take I-P in their own hands and make a show of economic force against the US and Israel.

    • July 10, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      When Americans pull the zionist tapeworm out of their rear ends, only then can a reckoning occur.
      Though such an event could pose a serious threat to this planet’s ability to sustain large plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, and sea life, because the zionist is nuclear armed and threatens to launch across the globe if it’s existence is threatened.
      Such a threat would require a that a modern capable air force be ready to reduce the zionist’s ability to burn the globe out of spite. If the zionist cannot have it’s way, it will ruin the globe for all, even for those who are indifferent.
      If we survive that, the Jewish citizens of nations across the globe will certainly feel some … social discomfort. Albeit well deserved discomfort.

  5. exiled off mainstreet
    July 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Another great article by a great writer. I appreciate his mentioning of Clooney as an enabler of jihadi thugs in Syria.

  6. Skip Scott
    July 10, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Thank you John Pilger. The struggle for truth and justice is a noble one, and you are a shining light among journalists. No doubt the zionist trolls will descend shortly to spew their propaganda; but for anyone with eyes to see, and ears to hear, the truth of your message in this article will prevail.

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

  7. mike k
    July 10, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    It is very hard to read the true words and images evoked by John Pilger. But I thank him for this strong medicine that we need to heal us of any illusions that all is right in our world. The refusal of so many to look at this and so many other horrible injustices shames us all. We need to use the pain these stories cause us as an inspiration to do all we can to help a world come into being where these kind of atrocities are no longer are possible.

  8. sierra7
    July 10, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    One of the most brutal, vulgar murderous crimes of the past 200 years is the denying of the Palestinians their homeland. The propaganda since the late 1800’s thru the whole of the 20th century carried on into the 21st boggles the mind……the Zionist lovers genuflecting to false history, bags of gold in re-election cycles, and the backing of that propaganda by the same refusing to admit to being part of one of the greatest crimes of modern history: The outright stealing of ones lands in order to procure those lands for themselves: the Zionists. There will be a reckoning someday; and those that are ignorant of this history will wonder as they stare with dumbfoundedness at either a scaffold built for them or some of their own children murderously brutalized in revenge. Yes more people are becoming a bit more aware of the crimes perpetrated in Palestine by the Zionists against the Palestinians; but not nearly enough to change anything substantial. The apartheid, fanatical Zionist government of Israel is a cancer in the ME. There will be no justice until the rest of the “civilized” world becomes aware that Israel must be disarmed and humbled and forced to either return all the lands stolen and or revamp totally it’s justice system to level the playing field between Palestinians and immigrating Jews. I’m glad JP mentioned the Jaffa oranges….it brought a bit of delight into my being. I’ve used that argument for decades when anyone brings up the statements by various former Israel PM’s that, “…..the land was empty before the Zionists made the land bloom!” How totally absurd! Pray tell then why have the famous Jaffa Oranges been enjoyed all over the world prior to the 20th century cultivated by not only the indigenous Palestinians but by sometimes both local Jews alongside in business together!! And the olives??????
    The West and the Zionist State all speak in forked tongue.
    Thank you JP for a good view of the illegal state of Israel.

    • Cal
      July 10, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      in case you ever need it here is the official British census of Palestine.. ..I don’t have time to go into the files right now but from memory –Muslim Arabs 726,000, Christian Arabs 66,000 , Jews 8000.

      Census of Palestine 1931. Population of villages, towns and administrative areas
      by E. Mills
      https://archive.org/details/CensusOfPalestine1931.

      You have to click and download the files.

      If you pay a lot of attention to the Zionist enterprise you will see what they have done is ‘ make up’ a mythical history for themselves — while they try to ‘erase’ the ‘others’ history.
      And not just the Palestines, for decades they have tried to rewrite (and denigrate) American history thru their minions in academia, the media and publishing…the drumbeat of the evil America and the evil white man was first kicked off in 2013-15 among mostly liberal Jewish internet pundits, writers ,etc .. Its original purpose was to deflect from criticism of “Jewish Supremacy”, as in Israel—-and cast the Palestine blame on ‘evil white men’ colonizing the Palestines instead. Then it became useful in stirring even more racial unrest so blacks could lead the fight against ‘evil America’—-less attention was paid to the Israeli problem, more people riveted to the domestic unrest.

      Unfortunately most people don’t connect the dots between such things such as removal of Confederate statues, changing the names of streets and College buildings that have any European Anglo connection to early America and etc…..they think that’s just a black-white racial thing among blacks—-to another dot where a Jewish writer writes that Geo Washington wrote a letter to a group of Jews ‘thanking them’ for their great contributions which was one of those typical lies with a grain of truth—Washington did write a group of Jews but not for that reason—-Washington was responding to a letter from them asking him to guarantee their freedom of religion–which he did in his response. But they claim it is a letter of praise for the Jews——Its this constant building of lies, some small, but layer upon layer, that most people dont have the historical education to recognize the lie and don’t bother to check out —-a always on propaganda machine trying to elevate themselves
      Its not the Arabs the Zionist hate most—its the gentiles, Europe,.the Anglo Saxons , including us Americans —who they blame for their holocaust and all their 2000 year travails.

      George Orwell said, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

      • Cal
        July 10, 2017 at 8:48 pm

        opps, jews should be 28,000

  9. Zachary Smith
    July 10, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    The soldiers had urinated and defecated on the floors, on desks, on embroideries and works of art. They had smeared feces on children’s paintings and written – in shit – “Born to kill”.

    .
    .
    .
    “The IDF Is Still the Most Moral Army in the World”

    Never mind that the Jan 05, 2017 Haaretz story is behind a paywall – the headline is all I need. This is Modern Israel – God’s Favorite People in action. They’re actually proud of the knuckle-dragging goons who make up their Army.

    Stealing, casual murder, and endless bullying and vandalism.

    Obviously they’re entitled to every US taxpayer dollar they get on 100-0 Congressional Votes. And to the continuing destruction by the US of small countries the little cesspool nation directs us to smash.

  10. John P
    July 10, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    It’s a plague. They use fundamentalist Christians who believe all Jews must return to the promised land, where ever that is – Arab Egyptologist have a good case for SW Arabia / NW Yemen.
    In Britain there are organizations, Conservatives for Israel and Labour for Israel. There are some similar organizations in Canada as well as one Zionist organization which advertises to help support students who want to act as aides in Parliament. This worries me ! If you can recall the supposed art students found in off limit areas of Washington government buildings around 2002. Some also came to Canada (Toronto and Ottawa) and were kicked out if I recall correctly. They selling art wasn’t their prime objective. There was only a small mention of the incident in one of out better papers. This may help you recall.
    http://www.salon.com/2002/05/07/students/

    Endangering travellers: Zionists have been caught at least 3 times using stolen Canadian passports for operations in the Middle East and one in Australia.
    Bunch it up with the USS Liberty and I just don’t see how politicians can have the gall to support such criminals. Money. Zionists have a cause and will support their ambition by funding politicians. That is why I think funding should come from a common cash source and somehow distributed by some equitable system. Why should a foreign country have so much world wide influence for an unjust cause?
    I think Zionists see the tide changing as Mondoweiss, Consortium News and the like are exposing the corruption, lies and nastiness of the Zionist movement. They seem to be moving faster, panic mode, towards their target.

  11. Miranda Keefe
    July 10, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Judaism and Christianity always have had a problem stemming from their ancient sacred texts that justify the ‘civilized’ invader taking the land and destroying the native population. For centuries it was only Christians who acted out this Biblical theme, now in the last hundred and thirty years it has also been Jews.

    It’s right there from Genesis through Nehemiah- God gives his chosen people the land of Canaan and they are to commit genocide in God’s holy name to make it there land. The stories begin with the faithful Abram journeying through Canaan as a ‘stranger in a strange land’ living among foreigners but having the promise that God will give all this land to his descendants. It becomes a family legacy with Isaac and Jacob, and peoples seen as cousin peoples, people descended from Abram and his nephew Lot, all become the ‘other’ not quite good enough to be God’s chosen and they two are to be slaughtered: Ammonites, Moabites, Ishmaelites, Edomites, Samarians.

    Moses as the most important Old Testament figure isn’t just about taking the Hebrews out of Egypt, but is also about taking them into Canaan to kill and take the land. He doesn’t actually get there, he just has the promise- although he does lead them in taking the land of the Ammonites and the Moabites. Joshua, the hero of Israel, the great man that is Jesus of Nazareth’s namesake, led the people in taking Canaan and not only killing all the men, but the women and children and cattle too. The Judges and the Samuel and Saul and David are about completing this campaign, and David is most famous for destroying the Philistines, by acting like he was their friend. These were a sea faring people who settled along the empty coast of Gaza, turned it into a vibrant culture, and gave their name to later inhabitants- Philistine in time became Palestine.

    Later on the stories say that the people of Israel and Judah were ‘corrupted’ by the remnant of the original people. The stories say it was really God with Assyria only God’s tool, that destroyed the kingdom of Israel and had its elite carted off to exile to disappear for all time. The common Israelites left in the conquered territory were no longer good enough to be God’s people, called “The People of the Land” and later “Samaritans.” Finally when the same thing happens to Judah, it’s elites, carried off to the kingdom of Babylon, don’t disappear- they become Jews and they prosper as merchants and under the Persians they become tools of Imperialism, sent back generations later to Palestine to again take the land away from the people living there- who are these people? They are the people of the old kingdom of Judah who weren’t rich enough to be taken into exile.

    At least this restoration was kinder and gentler. No orders to kill them all. Just have nothing to do with them- take all that is theirs and drive them from the land.

    I am a Christian and I follow Jesus. I am not a Biblical literalist- if I was I’d be some bloodthirsty, jingoistic, hateful, xenophobe who believes God wants the holy to slaughter the wicked. I believe that Jesus of Nazareth rejected this entire narrative. But I admit it is there in the sacred text and I’m not surprised that Christian and Jews, Western Civilization nurtured on these stories, has always acted this way.

    It is not a surprise that Zionists think this way. They believe God gave that land to them- in other ways they believe it was a Holy Act that Moses and Joshua and Samson and David killed off the original Canaanites and stole their land. They are simply doing it the third time.

    • mike k
      July 10, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      The so-called Christians didn’t settle for some desert land in the Mediterranean, they took a whole continent they then called the Americas, and exterminated as many natives there as was convenient. The Abrahamic faiths have worshiped a God of War and genocide.

    • Zachary Smith
      July 10, 2017 at 11:07 pm

      I am not a Biblical literalist- …

      Because you said that, I’ll add a remark that the “Exodus” was a fairy tale. Zero archaeological evidence as well as historically wrong. Also, just imagine the logistical problems of food, water, and sewage of hundreds of thousands of people and millions of animals in a freaking desert!

      None of that matters to the pious fundamentalists and their cynical Zionist handlers. Using an imaginary ancient genocide to justify a real and ongoing one is just spiffy with them.

      • Miranda Keefe
        July 11, 2017 at 3:07 pm

        Yes, I didn’t go into that much other than referring to ‘the stories’ rather than saying that’s what happened.

        I actually think that rather than the Restoration people being inspired by long standing stories of the Conquest, the truth is that the Restoration people created the Conquest stories to justify their own mistreatment of the native people of the land and their taking their property.

        The most likely story is that some folk escaped Egypt, but not an entire nation enslaved by Egyptians. These folk didn’t conquer Canaan, they just settled there, as they were the same people as who already lived there. Over time this people became Israel, a mix of YHWH worshippers and of Canaanitic pagans. In the end the YHWH worshipped took control and demonized the pagans as “the other” and started the myth that Hebrews weren’t Canaanites at all.

        • John P
          July 11, 2017 at 6:28 pm

          Miranda, you should take a look at:
          https://ashraf62.wordpress.com/

          The English (not the writers tongue) isn’t that good in places but the story I find fascinating. He isn’t an archeologist but he has taken a great interest in the findings of Egyptian Arab archeologists. To me the story fits the truth that no Egyptian text has ever mentioned the Exodus and they were noted for their thorough documentation.
          To me the Old Testament is so different from the New. The beginning is a fanciful tale of the beginning and then a peoples tribal identity embellished to the nth degree. The New Testament is the story of rebellion against unfairness between the haves (nobles and the Church) and the poor others.
          You will also find a lot of parallels between the Old testament story and much earlier Egyptian theology (Osiris, Isis and Horus) “The Pagan Christ” by Tom Harpur. He looks at the Bible as an allegorical tale of spiritual enlightenment, that true religion is the warming of one’s spirit when you do good for others. He finds many similarities between the two period tales.

  12. July 10, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    It is a pity that humans cannot think for themselves and question what is being told to them, particularly in this age when materialism seems to have driven out human good qualities. It leaves me wondering why the great philosophers have grappled with the question of good vs evil, right vs wrong, and the concept of doing to others what you would want done to you. Have human beings completely derailed off a moral track, with a minority retaining standards of morality?

    It does make me wonder, especially reading more and more anecdotal but true stories showing animals of other species taking actions of higher moral intent than vast numbers of humans do today.

    Israel is a particular case of some of the most wretched, vile actions by the leaders, yet the officials are not fully supported by their citizens.

  13. henry bonk
    July 10, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    This is the most one sided article I have ever read. No mention of Arab massacre of Jews in 1929, a pogrom in
    which 290 Jews were brutally killed. No mention that it was the Arabs who refuse the division of so-called
    Palestine and invaded with intention of driving Jews into the sea. This article would Pravda blush,
    and would be approved by Goebbels. By the way 800,000 Jews were uprooted and expelled from the Arab
    countries and ended up in Israel. This is not even propaganda, because the lies are so obvious, its more
    like Nazi style-the bigger the lie the better.

    • Skip Scott
      July 11, 2017 at 7:57 am

      Sounds like you think it’s time to mow the grass again Henry.
      “Hate is a fire that consumes the altar upon which it burns.” ~James Lendall Basford

    • John P
      July 11, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Henry before the rise of Zionism, the few Jews in Palestine were happy with their neighbours, Arabs both Christian and Muslim. They didn’t want the influx of foreign Jews to upset the orange cart. Zionism had a slow start but by ’28 they were spending 40% of their funding on land, buying it from rich absentee landlords and then telling those Arabs working that land to get lost. 1929 was a reaction to a cruel, political, callous decision to move Zionism forward to hell with the others.
      Then Henry, the partition of Palestine was very bias against Arabs. Jews by far the minority were offered the most and best land. Any thinking, sensitive person would realize how this racist tact would cause further rebellion. There was reaction in other Arab countries, and sadly some Jews were kicked out, but they had somewhere to go, the developing Israel. It’s like the Zionist organizations in north America and elsewhere persuading governments no to accept Jews fleeing Europe on ships, send them to Palestine to further the Zionist cause. Granted there was anti-Semitism, but Zionist pressure was probably the greater cause for further Jewish suffering in the search for refuge.
      As for the war in 1948, the new (truthful) historians will tell you Israel was never out manned or out gunned. They even had records on each Arab village, of who would and wouldn’t be a problem. The Arab countries provided few forces and they never came under a central command but worked independently which meant chaos.
      I will say though that we in North and South America should come to terms and realize what was done to indigenous people over here. Zionists should realize that in a more modern world with the communication systems available today, scrutiny is ever present and we have international laws.
      And Henry, Arab texts place Canaan (Kanaan in Arabic) in south western ancient Arabia. The town of Mizraim (Misrim) was a town in the same area and was on the camel caravan route. Slaves were used to unload camels at night and store wares in sheds. The chief was called Faraon ( sounds like Pharaoh). When the sailboat replaced the camel, the slaves lost their jobs and moved around the Levant.
      Sadly Mizraim was mistranslated and became Egypt along with Pharaoh. No Egyptian text calls the king Pharaoh.

    • Cal
      July 11, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      Dear Henry,

      Learn something from real history.

      http://www.archiveeditions.co.uk/titledetails.asp?tid=124
      Near & Middle East Titles:

      Zionist Movement and the Foundation of Israel 1839–1972, The

      These ten volumes draw together documents found in the British National Archives to trace the origins and development of the Zionist movement in the 19th and 20th centuries, with specific reference to the idea, and eventually the goal, of establishing a Jewish homeland .

      http://www.archiveeditions.co.uk/titledetails.asp?tid=65
      Near & Middle East Titles:

      Minorities in the Middle East: Jewish Communities in Arab Countries 1841–1974

      Historical Overview
      These documents explore the treatment and position of Jewish communities in Arab countries in the modern period and provide detailed accounts of treatment both of individuals at a local level and of regulation of the community at an institutional level. The first two volumes study the position of Jews during the Ottoman Empire in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Later volumes consider conditions in Iraq, Kuwait, Yemen, Egypt and the Maghreb states: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.
      The documents reflect the acknowledged historical generalization that the Jews found greater toleration under Muslim than under Christian rule; however, the situation changed abruptly in 1948, with anti-Jewish feeling increasing after the founding of the Israeli state, and succeeding years saw dramatic reductions in Jewish communities in the Arab world as emigration to Israel and elsewhere proceeded apace.”

  14. July 11, 2017 at 1:51 am

    John Pilger has retained a remarkable consistency of honesty and willingness to speak truth to power in the face of huge obstacles of injustice. The clarity with which he describes the Palestinian cause is a tribute to every Palestinian and an honor to the cause of justice that he serves.

  15. Vesuvius
    July 11, 2017 at 5:26 am

    Friends, please read Alison Wier’s “Against Our Better Judgment”, available at ifamericansknew.org

    She can tell you everything you need to know. The roots of zionism in America are very deep, indeed.

    • Cal
      July 11, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      Wier’s book is excellent…..well sourced and footnoted.
      The ZOA agenda continues today in AIPAC.
      Any American who reads this will want to see everything and everyone affiliated with Zionism and Israel thrown out of the US.

  16. Vesuvius
    July 11, 2017 at 5:27 am

    Correction: The author is Alison Weir.

  17. Paranam Kid
    July 11, 2017 at 9:52 am

    John, a well written, moving account of what you personally experienced, the Palestinians you got to know, and events in the world concerning the Palestinians. You hit the nail on the head, and the message is one of encouragement. But at the same time, I see israel digging in ever more deeply, and seemingly ever more successful in extracting more support from the likes of the EU, and US. Even ultra-nationalist Modi, running the show in India at the expense of non-Hindus, now seems to have found his soul mate in ‘yahu.

    Yes BDS is making some inroads, but israel is allowed to tighten its racist laws on a daily basis, Palestinians’ lives are only getting worse. From what I see, hear and read I can only conclude that there will no measurable positive change for the Palestinians in at least 1 generation down the road, if not 2. Before we know it israel will be celebrating 100 years of occupation, if not annexation.

  18. bobzz
    July 11, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    “…if we understand that they are us, and we are them.”

    We live in our own little whirlpools of individualism, and that level of understanding is foreign to us—or if we had it, we lost it.

  19. July 11, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Well said and well written Mr Pilger. I would not expect anything else. Spoken like a true investigative journalist. As you have mentioned more and more we the sheeple are no longer drinking the Koolaid and we have switched over to the red pill stopped taking the blue pill.
    Historical context I see Israel as a western anglo-zionist colonial outpost and to me it is the 10nth crusade. History tells us from past experience that the last nine crusades all ended badly forthe exceptional west this one will end as well. Most of us have reached the point of no longer accepting western excetional group thk about nything and everything . We have all become St Thomas’s doubting toms . Long live a free and liberated Palestine.
    Post Scriptum : The next Saladin the Great is just around the corner and Damascus will not fall

  20. John P
    July 11, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    What a lot of hypocrisy !!! On the news tonight some government members are stating over Trump’s son’s revelations that one should say no when a foreign government tries to influence governmental function. What do they think AIPAC, Israel and its lobbyists do ????

  21. Em Sos
    July 11, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Your lifetime global body of work continues to shed an ever more desperately needed light on the encroaching darkness that is; in these now especially perilous times, rapidly crushing the very dignity of all of humanity.
    Thank you for your steadfast leadership in the persistent pursuit of truth and dignity, on behalf of a so-called compassionate, critically “thinking species”.

  22. Jaker
    July 13, 2017 at 8:25 am

    This is a conflict of over a thousand years, Islam verses the world.
    Study the partition of India to see the future of Judea.

    • Bernie
      July 13, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Good point, Jaker.

  23. Bernie
    July 13, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I would recommend that the author, who is so interested in spreading freedom and tolerance, go spend a few months living in Gaza, and dress up like a woman and where a jewish star. If you survive, please report back.

  24. Bernie
    July 13, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Which kibbutz did the author work at, and what is the legal history of the lands it occupies? What are his sources for the stories about Israeli soldiers defecating on private property? I suspect he doesn’t have any sources except here-say. Meanwhile Hamas spends its time and money donated from bleeding heart misguided supporters shooting rockets into Israel, hoping to provoke a response that will kill some children. Dead children are great for fund raising.

  25. R Davis
    July 14, 2017 at 6:23 am

    “a possible prosecution of Tony Blair” – & John Howard of Australia – don’t forget Johnny Howard.

  26. R Davis
    July 14, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Israel is the size of a postage stamp.
    They worry that the Palestinians will out breed them.
    In Israel infertility is a massive problem.
    There is also the at risk behavior by Israel to consider.
    Israel is perusing conflict with Iran & Russia with a pronounces zeal.
    Are they mad ?
    Do the have a death wish ?
    As a result Jews are discreetly leaving Israel on mass.
    If Israel’s zealous, at risk behavior towards Iran & Russia continues – why, they shall be no more – problem solved.
    Is it wise to extend your reach beyond your grasp – I wonder.

  27. Julian
    July 14, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Should we mention that once the state of Israel was declared, all neighbouring Muslim/Arab countries declared war and vowed to wipe Israel and the Jews off the map? Should we mention that the majority of Lebanon’s population is made up of Palestinians, who have created a criminal-Islamist state within a state in the form of the Hezbollah and still demand to be called refugees, despite only a minority having been actually driven from “their” home? Should we mention that after the war of 1948, hundreds of thousands of Jews were driven from Muslim countries and became refugees? Why are these facts always brushed under the table when talking about the most coddled and overrated “refugees” ever? Israel has made several peace offers over the decades and the Palestinians have rejected every single one, instead choosing to resort to terrorism because a Jew got too close to the Dome of the Rock… Israel was repeatedly attacked by its neighbouring Muslim nations like Egypt and Syria and was almost always completely outnumbered. The Israelis fought for survival, the Muslims for the annihilation of Israel. And many have made no secret of their seething antijudaism, vowing to finish what Hitler started.

    Both sides have blood on their hands, no argument there. But why is it that Israel is constantly being pressured into stooping to the Palestinian’s demands while no pressure is put on the Palestinians to just shut the fuck up and take the offer? And it’s not like their very good at running a state… look at where the Hamas is in power: poverty, Islamic extremism, corruption, etc. Like it or not, Israel is a successful state and outclasses the Arab world in terms of military power, education, technology, education, industry, agriculture and statehood by lightyears. Israel has more universities than all other neighbouring countries put together. Israel has produced dozens of Nobel Prize winners, the Islamic world maybe three or four.

  28. Brady
    July 15, 2017 at 2:12 am

    In response to the above post by Julian, that is an inaccurate assessment and historically false. I could address each falsehood point by point, but suffice it to say the analysis wreaks of ideological dogma. Using an expletive in supporting the argument is a clear display of how lacking the argument’s premise is. Trolling on another site would, I’m sure, be appreciated by the other long time readers who post here regularly.

    • Brady
      July 15, 2017 at 4:31 am

      Correction; it should read, the analysis reeks of ideological dogma, not wreaks.

  29. jnan
    July 15, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    ” The hexagon with the 6 sided triangle and 6 points … literally 666 the mark of the beast” !

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