Monday, August 18, 2014

Siding with an aggressor or its victims?

Nasir Khan, August 18, 2014

The latest Israeli war on Gaza and its incredible atrocities on a besieged people have deeply stirred many people around the world. While such barbarous destructions and massacres were taking place many powerful governments in the West have openly sided with the aggressor. One reason for their doing so is to follow the lead of the United States on Israel-Palestine issue. Therefore all talk of 'Israel has the right to defend itself' simply means that Israel can do do whatever it wants with the captive people of Gaza. That means if it wants to kill those resisting the occupation then it has a free hand to do so. The United States and its allies will make sure to protect the Israeli leaders and war criminals against any charges of crimes and crimes against humanity.

If we don't want to become victims of our own verbal confusion then we need to distinguish between Judaism and Zionism. Those who follow Judaism can broadly be said to be Jews. This broad category also includes some Jews who don’t follow Judaism but still are regarded as Jews. Zionism on the other hand is a political ideology that has used the religious identity of Jews to enlist their support for the Zionist cause and objectives. As a result many Jews have been drawn to the Zionist project and politics. But again this should not lead us to the mistaken belief that all Jews are Zionists. It is not difficult to see that all Jews are not Zionists. There are many Jews who are against Zionism and its hijacking of the majority of world Jewry to its political objectives by misleading propaganda and falsification of political realities.

While discussing Zionists, we know there are many Christian Zionists as well as some Zionists from Islamic and Hindu communities whose love for Israel and Zionism is because of their myopic outlook and hatred directed against Islam and its followers.

As far as my own understanding of the theologies and the mainstream religious traditions of the Abrahamic faiths is concerned, I find nowhere any tradition that exhorts believers to side with an aggressor or obey the criminal diktat of an occupier. Instead, all people with human conscience who can see right from wrong have to struggle against an aggressor and be on the side of the victims.
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