Monday, January 05, 2009

Socialist Aotearoa: Palestine’s long torment

Palestine’s long torment

by Anindya Bhattacharyya

The Gaza Strip is effectively the world’s largest prison camp.

Zionist terror gangs drove its population from their homes during the creation of Israel in 1948.

That event – known in Arabic as the Nakba (catastrophe) – saw 750,000 Palestinians ethnically cleansed. They fled to the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and to other countries.

Prior to this Britain controlled Palestine. The British imperialists had promised the land to both the native Palestinian population and to the Zionists, who had settled there over the previous 50 years.

Zionism was a Jewish nationalist movement that arose in Europe in the late 19th century as a response to the growth of anti-Semitism.

Zionism’s founder Theodor Herzl argued that anti-Semitism could never be defeated and that Jews should found a new “homeland”. Only a small minority of Jews backed this. Herzl and his supporters looked to the major powers for support.

In 1917 the British foreign secretary Lord Balfour gave official backing to their colonial ambitions. He hoped that a Zionist state in Palestine would serve the interests of British imperialism.

After the horror of the Holocaust, when Nazi Germany exterminated six million Jews, Zionism became a majority trend amongst Jews.Tragically, some Jews went from being the oppressed in Europe to becoming the oppressor in the Middle East.

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