It all began, they say, with the Biblical Noah’s son, Shem, who spoke a Semitic language, and who’s progeny lived in the Levant, Mesopotamia, the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. This includes us, Palestinians. In fact, a DNA study of Jews and Palestinian Arabs (according to Wikipedia) found that we were closely related. I truly believe that. However, I also believe that due to that entire region being ravished throughout the millennia by all sorts of invaders and occupiers to whom raping women was considered a war trophy, there must be very few Pure Semites left. Is there a DNA test that can rule definitively on this?
My mother and her sisters had green or blue eyes, their hair was reddish brown, or blondish, their skin was lily-white. In fact, I used to tease my mother: so now which one of your great-great-great grandmothers was raped, or willingly succumbed to one of those blonde Crusaders? The truth is that while it could have been a crusading knight, it could also have been one of the many Greek, Russian or other light-skinned pilgrims and migrants who always converged, and often settled, in Jerusalem and her surroundings. We, originally Pagan, Jewish, Christian and/or Muslim women, who are the descendants of Shem, having been targets of violence throughout the centuries, may very well have non-Semitic blood waltzing through our veins.
All this brings me to the issue of Semitism and anti-Semitism. I am anti Israeli Government policies that pertain to the Palestinian, Middle Eastern and Arab people. I am not anti Israeli people, or anti Jewish people, or an anti-Semite. How can I be an anti-Semite when I am possibly a Semite too? And, yes, I have said very harsh words about Bibi and Israeli Government policies throughout time, and I stand by them. I am also against the symbiosis that is going on between the British/American politics/evangelical extremist Christianity and radical Zionism and how that has muddied the political waters of the Middle East.
Throughout time, extremist religious figures have used corrupt politicians to advance their agendas, and vice versa. The result has been numerous wars with otherwise reasonable people getting mired in the inflammatory hype, as well as the bloodshed and hatred that have engulfed us human beings for centuries. How senselessly unnecessary!
One of our myriad problems is that the world has been conflicting anti-Semitism with anti Israeli. They are not necessarily one and the same. We have all been reading about how there is a rise in race attacks directed at Jews all over Europe, as well as some here in the US. These attacks have flared up now and then and throughout history, and they were mainly in Europe where, as an example, an Englishmen, Oswald Mosley, as far back as 1930, ranted about “the organized corruption of press, cinema and Parliament” which he blamed on Jews. There were also many others such as him. And then, of course, we have the infamous Hitler who touted the Aryan race and oversaw one of the most horrific crimes in history: the genocide on the Jewish people. In fact, anti-Jewish seems to be an old and, yes, anti-Semitic tradition of Christian Europe. And so is anti-Muslim, which has been another anti-Semitic European tradition going back to the Crusades.
Recently, in Germany, a Syrian refugee attacked and killed an Israeli man wearing a kippah. That Syrian fellow most probably killed because he was angry, frustrated, had probably lost some family members, was uprooted, penniless, maybe radicalized, and now found himself in an alien culture for which he, as many, many people from the Middle East region blame Israel. Most of us from that territory know beyond a doubt that Israel’s policies were one of the prime instigators for all the devastation that has – and still is – occurring over there. That Syrian is not the only angry man. However, he, too, same as an increasing number of anti-Israeli Europeans, might ignorantly and wrongfully conflict being anti-Israeli with being anti Jewish.
This was not the case with President Mahmood Abbas of Palestine when he said something to the effect that Jewish bankers/financiers are what caused the Holocaust and other massacres. He is very well aware, after all, that Jews did not bring the genocide upon themselves. It was not the first time he had said things like that. Abbas apologized on Friday, May 4, as well he should have. I know that he is definitely frustrated and very angry at Israeli Government behavior regarding the Palestinians especially. Most of us are! However, as the head of a state, his words were wrong. Very wrong. He can voice his anger at the Israeli Government, at its Cabinet, at Bibi. He can say that they are criminals, child-killers, murderers, assassins, or whatever. But, he cannot slur the entire Jewish people. That’s not acceptable.
I am fully aware that worse religious slurs and discriminating adjectives have been bandied about the Palestinian people whether they came from Netanyahu, or his cabinet ministers, or some of the settlers. Moreover, the atrocities being manifested by the Israeli Government in Gaza and the Middle East are criminal, to say the least. However, they are not any justification for slurring the Jewish religion, or all Jews, because two wrongs do not make a right. Plain and simple!
Having said all that, my reasoning and logic are in tandem with my humongous emotions, for I don’t remember having as heavy or dejected a heart as I do today (except for the first few years of the Lebanese Civil War which began in 1975, and which ensured the continuation of the conspiracy to destroy every country bordering Israel). The memories of today, the Day of the Palestinian Nakba in 1948, are fraught with images of my grandparents and parents who never, ever coped with their tragic sense of loss and grief after leaving Palestine. It is that deep sense of loss, utter helplessness, and unfettered humiliation that has fuelled the rage felt by generations of Palestinians, my self included. It is that same sense of loss and grief that overwhelmed me at the start of 1975 and which has continued unabated throughout the years since then as I view a devastated Middle East whose calamities are not yet over.
This brings me to Bibi Netanyahu who is no doubt an arch criminal, liar, propagandist and hypocrite. His recent spectacle regarding Iran that was given television coverage galore was disgusting to say the very least! And I am sure that the entire Middle East region’s blood pressure skyrocketed after listening to him! I know that mine did! However, and as we all know by now, he wasn’t acting out this drama for the Israeli people, Iran, or the entire region. He was aiming it at one person: Donald Trump, and the obvious reason for sending this abysmal message through the ether was because he thinks that the American President is a gullible sap whom he can bend to his will, and he, together with all those who love war in the US establishment, proved to be right, because as soon as Trump’s puppet strings were yanked by that Master of Deceit, the Israeli Government felt that it had received the green light to rampage and destroy more of that miserable region then they have so far with no restraints whatsoever!
It is unjust, shameful, and a total abuse of power and of every religious, legal and social agreement amongst decent and civilized human beings. It is tragic! Indeed, that is why I have such a sad and heavy heart today, the Day of our Nakba and the beginning of the total destruction of the Middle East and its people by some of the same progeny of that Shem who, it is said, fathered us all. What a dismal legacy that is!