Palestine and the American Elections

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

Watching the first electoral video released by Donald Trump as a prelude to his election campaign, one cannot help but wonder whether to mourn for Palestine, suffering from a ruthless genocide that has claimed over 27 thousand martyrs, most of whom are women and children, or to grieve for the United States, drowning amid two candidates: One who fuels the genocide war with all his financial and military resources, while the other confronts the first candidate through historical, racial, and cultural ignorance, unleashing concepts, threats, and generalizations so alien to reality. These actions forewarn the danger of pushing the world into a volcano of resentment, hatred, and racism, which will only increase injustice, violence, wars, and massacres.

As you watch a video of Trump and another video where Republican Party candidates compete in urging Netanyahu, the war criminal, to annihilate Palestinians, you feel as if they perceive the entire world as a wild forest with the United States being the island of peace and security amid the world and the goal of those aspiring to lead this island being to further isolate and distance it from humanity, ethics, and international laws of war, as they fear of contaminating the island’s atmosphere. The only criterion to be considered a friend to the inhabitants of this island is to be a Zionist.

First and foremost, Donald Trump and the Republican Party candidates overlook that Jewish history attests that Jews lived their golden age among Arabs and Muslims. They escaped European persecution to find refuge in the embrace of Muslim and Arab nations, which welcomed them with love and harmony, because they are brethren in humanity, sharing a common belief in one God. This is a certainty for every true Muslim; that is, anti-Semitism did not arise among Arabs and Muslims because, first and foremost, they are Semitic believers. Secondly, anti-Semitism is a Western-made concept since its emergence in Europe and has evolved, particularly since the Zionists gained control over media, politics, and finance in the West, transforming it from hostility toward Jews to explicit animosity toward Arabs and Muslims.

Describing Muslims as “terrorists”, Trump demonstrated a shameful ignorance of Islam. One cannot be both a Muslim and a “terrorist”, as Islam is a religion of love, harmony, peace, and coexistence among followers of all faiths, devoid of racism, superiority, or exceptionalism in interactions. Jihad is the most sacred endeavor that a Muslim can undertake to alleviate injustice, uphold truth, and liberate humanity from the shackles of colonialism, occupation, humiliation, and oppression.

Trump says, “If you sympathize with Jihadists, we don’t want you in our country.” Some have distorted the terms Jihad and Jihadists, using them in a context completely contrary to their true meaning and purpose; Jihad for the sake of God and the path of truth is the highest level of faith. Trump’s anti-Semitism is directed at Muslims and their beliefs, as Zionists have gained control over media, politics, and finance in the West. Consequently, the United States and Europe are now influenced by anti-Arab and anti-Muslim Zionism. All that Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Claudine Gay, president of Harvard University, and thousands of professors, students, and freedom advocates around the world have demanded is to halt the genocide war led by “Israel” and supported by the United States against Palestinians, with generous support from the United States. This is a human and ethical duty for everyone witnessing these horrifying massacres perpetrated daily by the Zionists against innocent people, targeting women and children who only dream of a peaceful and secure life on their own land.

Therefore, the support provided by Yemenis, Lebanese, and Iraqis to the oppressed people in Palestine is an ethical and humanitarian endeavor, as Max Blumenthal stated. Similarly, South Africa’s legal actions to halt the genocide against the Palestinian people represent an ethical obligation for every nation and country that respects human dignity and rights in this world. History, which immortalized Nelson Mandela, despite being classified as a “terrorist” in the United States, will also immortalize South Africa’s efforts against genocide and killing, marking a significant and noble triumph for human dignity worldwide, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or nationality. This is the pinnacle of civilization, ethics, and honorable human compassion.

The fact that Trump threatened universities, students, and anyone daring to criticize the crimes committed by Zionism in Palestine evokes the dark history of Europe in the medieval times known as the “Witch Hunt” when thousands were condemned, tortured, and killed accusing them of spreading hatred, just like what Trump, Biden, and Netanyahu are doing now. Eradicating hatred requires entirely different factors and data from the path Trump and his counterparts are attempting to follow. What Trump expresses in this video fuels hatred, division, and racism. What is needed is precisely the opposite; we need a genuine and clear stance against injustice, wars, killing, and massacres, as well as the genocide of children, women, and doctors, a firm stance against the demolition of homes, schools, churches, and shelters over the heads of innocent armless women and children.

Trump’s threats provoke and exacerbate anti-Semitism in its contemporary form against Arabs and Muslims by fueling hatred and resentment toward them, instead of advocating for peace and harmony, and here is where the danger lies. The United States, still the world’s largest military power, supports and backs the massacres committed by the Zionist apartheid regime and the genocide against innocent civilians, on the one hand, and it fosters a spirit of division and hatred among people, on the other hand, instead of standing for justice and healing the rift between components of the human family based on peace, harmony, and equality in dignity and rights. In his speech, Trump appeared to promote the “Canary Mission”, a secretive but clearly non-academic political organization that uses its website to engage in defamatory attacks against college students who advocate for Palestinian rights and seeks to silence free and open campus discussion about the massacres perpetrated by “Israel” against the Palestinians in the hope of achieving this by threatening or damaging the careers of outspoken students and faculty and by striking fear into the hearts of vulnerable students – especially Muslims, people of Middle Eastern origin and people of color – so as to dissuade them and others from advocating publicly on matters of social and racial justice. This, in itself, contributes to the perpetuation of the massacre and attempts to intimidate people from supporting a population currently suffering under severe injustice. The strangest aspect of all is the absolute disregard for history and its clear and crucial lessons.

The overall colonial West was the main supporter of the apartheid regime in South Africa, with the Zionist entity being one of its staunchest supporters. However, the resistance of South African citizens and the liberation movements, which sacrificed thousands of martyrs and endured the most severe forms of suffering, ultimately triumphed, ending racism and apartheid. Despite this, all leaders of that movement and all freedom fighters were listed as “terrorists” by the United States. Yet, here is South Africa today leading the global conscience in defending the Palestinian people and trying to put an end to the heinous genocide they face simply because they refuse humiliation, occupation, and colonization. Isn’t this an important lesson for Western nations to understand that justice will prevail in the end and that all the intimidation, accusations, and labeling of resistance as “terrorism” will be futile? Using fear, terror, extortion, and anti-Semitic slogans to cover up crimes and genocide will not succeed.

Most nations of the world have struggled against occupation and colonization, and here is India, once a British colony, aspiring for its economy to become the third-largest in the world in the near future. People worldwide have unanimously realized that occupation and Western dominance are sources of affliction, poverty, and backwardness. No one agrees with Trump that “Israel” and America represent the pinnacle of Western civilization. There is no consensus with him that any power supporting genocide, injustice, the oppression of nations, intimidation, extortion, and the plundering of their wealth can be considered civilized.

While our peoples in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Palestine have indeed paid an expensive price to defeat terrorism supported by the United States and its intelligence and military apparatus, they have also altered misguided Orientalist equations regarding our peoples, countries, and religions. No Zionist president for the United States, no matter how strong or determined he/she might be, will be able to turn the wheels of history backward. The elections are still in their early stages, and it is in the best interest of any presidential candidate to find another issue to lean on, away from misleading illusions, distorting facts and justifying the disgraceful Zionist crimes against indigenous innocent and resilient people.

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