The Israeli government’s longstanding operations and statements have fuelled the belief that their objective is to displace the Palestinian population in Gaza to Egypt—an open secret to many. The justification for the existence of the state of Israel is rooted in the historical suffering of Jewish people from antisemitism in Europe, leading to the idea that they must create a Jewish state.
While Uganda and Argentina were initially considered for the Jewish state, the World Zionist Organization, with British support, settled on Palestine. The justification was based on the historical presence of Jewish kingdoms in the region thousands of years ago. However, this argument exposes a glaring hypocrisy when faced with the question of supporting the return of millions of Palestinian refugees scattered worldwide.
Zionist apologists often struggle to justify supporting the return of Jewish people while rejecting the return of Palestinians. Many Palestinian refugees have more recent connections to historic Palestine through their fathers and grandfathers being born there. The rejection of the just return of these refugees, driven by concerns about changing the ethnic makeup of the land, underscores the systematic racism employed to create and maintain a Jewish majority.
For genuine justice, liberation, and lasting peace, millions of Palestinians must be granted the right to return. This notion aligns with the concept of decolonisation, seeking to rectify the injustice of ethnic cleansing that was carried out to establish a Jewish majority.
In addressing media questions with a focus on historical context and justice, your responses emphasise the interconnectedness of the issues:
Question: Did this conflict start on the 7th of October?
Answer: To the Zionists, this conflict started on the 7th of October; to Palestinians, it began with their ethnic cleansing from their homeland.
Question: Do you condemn Hamas?
Answer: I condemn the environment that gave rise to Hamas—the ethnic cleansing and expulsion of the Palestinian people required to establish the state of Israel.
Question: Does Israel have a right to exist?
Answer: Do the millions of Palestinian refugees around the world have a right to return? I believe their return can pave the way for a just and civil society.
Question: Is peace possible?
Answer: Justice and liberation are prerequisites for peace; the millions of Palestinians must be given the right to return.
Question: Why don’t Arab countries accept Palestinian refugees?
Answer: Palestinians belong in Palestine, just as European Jews are believed to belong to that land.
Question: Do you accept that “From the river to the sea” is considered antisemitic?Answer: Just as Palestinians lived freely from the river to the sea before their expulsion, I believe they have the right to return. Why accept European Jews returning but not Palestinians?
Winston Churchill’s quote encapsulates a historical perspective, emphasising the need to critically examine past viewpoints: “I do not apologise for the takeover of the region by the Jews from the Palestinians in the same way I don’t apologise for the takeover of America by the whites from the Red Indians or the takeover of Australia from the blacks. It is natural for a superior race to dominate an inferior one.”.
In the echoing corridors of history, the argument presented here finds resonance in the words and efforts of Azmi Bishara, a Palestinian intellectual, political philosopher and author who has passionately emphasised the need to address the historical injustices and the right of return for Palestinians. His advocacy contributes to the growing chorus demanding recognition of the historical realities that underpin the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As we navigate the complexities of this historical struggle, there is optimism in the air—a growing awareness and awakening to the truth. People around the world are increasingly recognising the need for a just resolution, one that acknowledges historical realities and champions the right of return for millions of Palestinians.