EU unable to defend apartheid Israel By Ralph Schoenman

30 December 2011

Interview with Ralph Schoenman, political analyst and author of the Hidden History of Zionism, Berkeley.

The EU holds concerns and has criticized Israel over its treatment of the Arab minority inside the state of Israel yet at the same supports a colonial Jewish state.

Press TV talks with Ralph Schoenman, political analyst and author of the Hidden History of Zionism from Berkeley in a discussion about the contradiction of the EU report and posturing that appears to be against Israel’s treatment of minorities yet sanctifies and attempts to legitimize a colonial Jewish state. What follows is a transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Is news of discrimination against Arabs in Israel surprising at all?

Ralph Schoenman: The European Union’s secret report, as it’s been described in Haaretz and elsewhere (in Haaretz it’s an article by Barak Ravid called Jews and Arabs) and it states that the European Union should consider Israel’s treatment of its Arab population as a core issue – not second tier to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

But the European MBC that participated in this have stated that they support what they call a Jewish State and are looking for some cosmetic treatment of the Arab population ,as it were, – the Israeli Arabs as they’re called – the people who were driven out through massacre and whose remnants are part of what is called the Israeli Arab population inside the Green Line.

It’s a contradiction in terms. It flows from the fact that the Zionist colonial settler movement predicated its claims on the thesis that this was a land without a people for a people without a land. In other words, they defined the population there as having no status; they want to remove the Palestinian people from their land and from history.

Thus, the European Union’s attempts to legitimize and sanctify in perpetuity an exclusively colonial settler state in Palestine is fundamentally incompatible with the basic rights of the Palestinian people in their own country, namely Palestine, and there is no way to square that circle.

This entire posturing by the European Union regarding respect for the rights of Israeli Arabs is incompatible with the existence of the Zionist state itself in the same precise sense in which the rights of the African people in South Africa could not be reconciled with an apartheid colonial settler regime in the territory of South Africa. It’s the same issue – the same basic principles are reflected in it.

Press TV: Why has it taken so long for the Europeans to have woken up to the realities on the ground in Israel. Does this in a sense signal a shift in support away from Israel towards the Palestinian cause?

Ralph Schoenman: No, because the European Union’s commentary about the treatment of Israeli-Arab population, as a core issue, is strictly within the context of a “settlement” of the conflict based upon the permanent legitimization of Israel as an exclusively Jewish state.

I think it’s important to keep in mind that the Jewish National Fund, which preceded the formation of Israel, had a set of predicates and requirements, which were adopted by Levi Eshkol and by the Israeli Knesset as the permanent law of Israel. These requirements stipulate that in order to be entitled to own or hold land or to sharecrop it or work on it you’ve got to demonstrate possession of at least four generations of maternal Jewish descent.

That rather absurd notion was sanctified by orthodox rabbis – the religious establishment of Israel – as the determinant of what constitutes rights and what constitutes citizenship in this State of Israel.

So, as I often say on Press TV and elsewhere, if we were to have a law in the US or elsewhere that stated that to be entitled to have rights or to hold land or to work on land or to sharecrop land you had to show that you had no Jewish blood for at least four generations, people would understand readily the inherently racist nature of that kind of State and of legislation that enshrines these defining precepts.

I’m obligated to emphasize, and feel it very important to point out that, this egregious characteristic reflecting as it does the nature of the Israeli state, namely that it is predicated upon the racist discrimination and subjugation of the indigenous population, and, it follows, against those who hold different religious beliefs or no religious beliefs.

A theocratic society of this kind cannot afford real rights apart from the inherent dynamics of a colonial settler State. It requires a democratic and secular society in which rights do not flow from ethnicity or religious affiliation, and I say to you that this precept applies everywhere, not only in the Israeli Zionist state. It applies to Bahais; it applies to Copts; it applies to people of no religious convictions. that their rights should not dependent upon adherence to a particular religious point of view, because once that is enthroned as the basic constituent of rights in a society and in a State, it flows from this that all peoples who do not happen to hold those beliefs are without real rights in such a society.

And, of course, as we have often discussed, in a particular way the Zionist state both requires and deploys its colonial character as an instrument of imperialism.

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