This week TV audiences were taken aback to hear and see an elderly woman on prime time blurting out, that Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine, go home to Poland, Germany, the United States and everywhere else. Remember, these people [Palestinian Arabs] are occupied and it's their land. It's not German, its not Poland. ... Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries?"
For many in Majority (non white) Mankind living in a world still just as politically, militarily and economically dominated by the Great Powers as when the Great Powers were their Colonial Masters, journalist Helen Thomas' emotional outburst undoubtedly struck a sympathetic chord. That Europeans should not persecute non-Europeans - as they have managed to do for the last few centuries. Even if these particular Europeans were once themselves horribly persecuted in Europe for being non-Aryan.
The peoples of the imperialist captive colonized world were not complicit in the wars between the empires that engulfed them. And they were without the complicity in the Holocaust that America, England, France and citizens of the Great Powers had to a devastatingly deep degree.
Indeed, most of Mankind was still under military occupation by these Great Powers when the United Nations was established by World War Two's winning colonial powers and their allies.
That little regard was taken for propriety, fairness and justice toward the non-European and indigenous colonized population of Palestine was nothing particularly unexpected. Centuries of racist domination had preceded this dividing up of Palestine by those same domineering Great Powers now able to use the name and agency of their newly created and controlled United Nations.
That there would be great bloodshed was not unforeseen. The intentional precipitous withdrawal of Britain from its protectorate territory was to extricate itself from involvement in, and feign non responsibility for the violence openly being prepared. It has always been dictum that empires see to keeping peace within lands they plunder, while seeking to take ultimate advantage of disturbance and disunity abroad - often as not encouraged if not arranged by empires.
Since that civil war generated by a less than fair partitioning of colonial territory, world public opinion has remained divided much along the same lines. Even with capitalist conglomerate media's powerful projection taking the side of the now modern and sophisticated Israeli state on all issues, Majority Mankind still sees its own colonial past and neo-colonial present reflected in the intentionally prolonged misery of the Palestinians.
Helen Thomas, of Arab descent, shot out an emotional reminder that the conquering Israelis are led for the most part by Europeans not indigenous to the ancient land of Palestine, most of them able to prove descent from indigenous ancient Hebrews, notwithstanding. The fair complexion of so many high profiled Israeli leaders today must certainly be noticed throughout that non-white greater part of humanity that suffered as colonial subjects and still suffer economic exploitation from the same privileged of the First World.
Helen Thomas has apologized. And obviously, she could never have meant literally that any Israeli citizens should leave their homeland. Her emotional outspoken reference to a history rarely considered was especially abrasive for those of us who appreciate that Jews leaving the Europe of the Holocaust behind had the feeling of coming home and not of becoming a guest population in yet another foreign land. But her embarrassing remarks did at least point in frustration to an aspect of history purposely ignored in Western media.
Though history can neither be undone nor corrected, only our accepting an honest understanding of history can point us toward present and future solutions.
The decades of Palestinian death and suffering, and to a lesser degree that of the Israelis, will never be made up for, anymore than the grizzly death and suffering of the Jews at German hands. But without investigating thoroughly the historical circumstances of both sets of death and suffering, there will be no progress toward preventing more of the same to arise. Cover ups engender continued suffering.
Well organized and intellectually and spiritually sound Socialist Zionists hand in hand with their socialist Arab brothers were slowly swept aside many decades ago. The dream of a Palestine that would include a Jewish homeland, as Einstein, Buber, Fromm, and later Yehudi Menuhin spoke for, went down before the call for a separate Jewish Zionist State from a stronger backed and politically influential group among the European immigrants. A Zionist state to be based on as much British Mandate Arab land as the colonial powers would be willing to award the Jewish settlers out of shame for their having built up Nazi German power through investments in full knowledge of Hitler's hatred of Jews. (A shame compounded over and over again by their having largely sat back and watched the unfolding wholesale arrest and internment of Jews.)
With all the enthusiastic incoming Jewish talent, trained professionals in the arts and sciences, educated workers and overseas financial support, how wonderfully could Palestine have developed for all in mutual recognition. Whether a Jewish homeland within a Palestinian state or a Jewish state federated together with an Arab state with free to maintain their cultures as do the French and Germans in Switzerland, in any scenario, immigrating European Jews, for their advanced training and modern society experience, would have had the dominant role in the development of a new Palestine, just as they now exhibit in the Israeli part of the land.