Israel Is a Colonial Power
August 15, 2001
There seems no end in sight to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Every act of violence on either side begets just more violence from the other, and the cycle of hatred, dehumanization, and retaliation spirals ever downward.
I deplore the Palestinian suicide bombers who have attacked Israeli civilians. Ends do not justify means. And I depart from some who say that people who are occupied by a foreign power have the right to resist by any means necessary.
I'm not an "any means" person. I believe that the means need to be moral as well as the ends, and that immoral means tend to tarnish the noblest of ends. Intentionally killing innocent Israelis-intentionally killing any innocent person-is an immoral act, plain and simple. It cannot be made less so.
But I also recognize that Israel has been intentionally killing innocent Palestinians, and I recognize that the victims, since the second Intifadah began last fall, have been overwhelmingly Palestinian.
I also understand that, at its roots, this conflict has almost everything to do with Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, now in its thirty-fourth year, and with the illegal settlements that Israel has erected.
Ariel Sharon may think he can crush the Palestinians by assassinating their leaders or by assaulting the populace with tanks and missiles, lavishly provided for by Washington. But he will not prevail.
Israel is the colonialist; Palestine the colonized. And, in the end, the colonialists lose. That's what happened to the Brits in India, the Belgians in the Congo, and the French in Algeria. And it's going to happen to the Israelis, as well.
The only question in my mind is how many hundreds or thousands of innocent people will needlessly die before Israel comes to its senses and withdraws, once and for all, from the Occupied Territories.