Legitimate and Illegitimate Discourses on Palestine and Israel.
The Unique Suffering of the Jewish People
Let there be no doubt. During World war Two the Jewish people of Europe have suffered severe dehumanization. In movies such as “Der Ewige Jude” (12) an entire people was in propaganda movies denounced as rats, as a pest, that needed to be removed to safeguard a healthy German population and a strong Germany.
European Jews were systematically deprived of their humanity. It does not matter if the number of six million murdered Jews has been significantly reduced after later years research; the fact remains that countless human beings suffered the most appalling abuse. An abuse that hardly would have been possible if the German population had not been manipulated into perceiving them as a pest.
Jewish lobbies often argue, that the suffering of the Jewish people was unique, and that they therefore must be granted special rights and privileges. It is an argument, that is often used within the context of finding justification for Israel`s aggression in the illegal occupation of Palestine.
With all due respect for those who suffered, but the argument is invalid. Besides the danger of the indescribable suffering of the European Jews being willingly or unwillingly abused to justify the infliction of suffering on others, Palestinians, there are many, like David E. Stannard (13) who rightfully argue, that declaring the so called holocaust as a unique event, and the positioning of the suffering of the Jewish people as unique suffering, belittles the many other genocides that have been taking place, and those which may come.
Forced labor in the former Belgian colony Congo has, even though the exact numbers are somewhat disputed, contributed to the death of approximately 20 % of the colonies population (14).
It is clearly problematic that the claims of the uniqueness of the Jewish suffering is not only false, but that it leads to the very relativism in the evaluation of human life that is one of the root causes of the holocaust itself, and of countless other massacres, acts of genocide, innocenticide, and ethnic cleansing.
It is a root cause for the atrocities that those who survived the holocaust, and those who today claim to be the victims representatives, are claiming to deplore. With all possible empathy for the victims of the National Socialists persecution, the unique suffering is not a valid argument for the establishment of a Jewish state or the state of Israel on the territory of the Palestinian people.
Finally, the insistence of some Jewish lobbies that the suffering of the Jewish people is unique, while shamelessly abusing the legitimate suffering of millions of Jews for an extortion racket, which the Jewish American scholar Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein (15) documented in his book “The Holocaust Industry” (16) is contributing to strong, world wide, anti Jewish sentiments. It is reinforcing many of the stereotypes that have contributed to the Jewish people being targeted by National Socialists in the first place.
The Historical Argument.
If the historical argument, which is based on the fact that Jewish people were living in historical Israel in biblical times is to be validated as justification for the establishment of the modern state of Israel there arise a number of problems that are inconsolable with modern international law.
The author of this article is German, born in the region of Germany from where Teutonic people once emigrated northwards to the Danish territory known today as Thy. Another remnant of that period is that Danes call Germans Tysker.
Those German tribal people had a distinct culture and religion which is still maintained by some German people. Based on the historical argument, a strong lobby should be able to lobby a superpower like the USA into accepting the argument, and German people could initiate a mass migration into Northern Denmark.
They could then, alter the demographics of the area and it would be perfectly legal to provide a Thy-Passport to anyone who could document West German ancestry. Finally, if the Thy region was divided between Germans and Danes, it would be legitimate to occupy it entirely, to evict Danes from their houses, to force them to live in enclaves with walls around them to protect the occupier. The historical argument is so problematic that it would provoke countless conflicts throughout the world. It is an often used, but never the less absolutely invalid and a most dangerous argument.
Legitimacy via the Balfour Declaration.
According to todays legal standards,the Balfour Declaration (17) would be considered illegal. Even according to the standards of the period when it was signed it is illegal. The argument that it lends legitimacy to the state of Israel is equivalent to arguing, that any colonial power or nation that is victorious in a war and an occupying power, has the right to significantly change the demography of an occupied territory.
It is absolutely problematic, and created a precedence that since has given rise to other conflicts and illegal practices, such as the ongoing establishment of a so called independent Kosovo. Imagine for a moment, that Denmark, which still maintains a semi colony on Greenland, granted the Jewish people a homeland on Greenland.
Would the Inuit on Greenland have the right to resist, and if necessary by making use of politically motivated violence. The argument is invalid, and the inherent consequences of this type of argument are most dangerous for the peace.
Legitimacy by Virtue of the United Nations.
On 14 May 1948 the provisional government of the self proclaimed state of Israel, led by Ben Gurion, informed the then US President Truman and the world that the state of Israel was established. Ben Gurion asked Truman to recognize Israel on behalf of the USA.(18) The US Administration recognized the government of Israel as de facto government within the course of minutes. After failed attempts, it was fully recognized as a member of the United Nations in 1949 (19).
It is important to remember, that the establishment and recognition of Israel happened within the context of a rapidly developing cold war, involving the USSR and the Warsaw Treaty nations on one hand and the USA, the UK, France, and allied as well as occupied nations on the other. It was by no means clear weather Israel would become an ally to the one or the other side of the divide. One must admit that the Israeli politicians played their hand wisely, gaining maximum support from the USA. A support that has since been so extended that some historians perceive Israel as a part of the American Republic.
The problem with the argument that the recognition of Israel by the United Nations provides legitimacy for the state of Israel is that the United Nations, by recognizing Israel, contradicted main tenets of it´s own charter. The right of Palestinians, Arab, Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike, was grossly neglected by allowing the establishment of a new state within the territory of another, without at least a referendum.
The argument that the State of Israel has achieved legitimacy by being recognized by the United Nations Security Counsel and the United Nations General Assembly is thus at least highly problematic, and most likely legally invalid.
END of Part 3
All opinions presented in this piece are the opinions and analysis of their author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the IMEMC.
About the Author:
Dr. Christof Lehmann is a clinical psychologist as well as political advisor. Besides his clinical work, Dr. Lehmann has for now 29 years been working as political advisor.
HIs clients, include 2 Presidents, one Prime Minister, and many other high profile politicians. Among them, in 1982, H.E., the late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat.
Dr. Lehmann is a life long peace activist and advocate for Palestinians right to statehood, self-determination, the right to return, an end of the occupation.
On August 28 2011, Dr. Lehmann started the news blog nsnbc to help break western media´s embargo on truth. My articles are published worldwide.
All references are attached to Part One.