Al Nakba and Canada
by Mazin Al Nahawi
The Canadian government has a history of supporting apartheid, along with other destructive policies from mining, to militarism, and backing up big corporations stealing from poor nations.
(Victoria, BC) It is a shame that John Baird and his boss Stephen Harper haven’t learned yet from Canada’s colonial past.
For over a century, the Palestine question has been described as the most complex political issue of our modern time. A very “complicated” equation that after a half of a century of Zionist colonization to set up and establish a colonial “Jewish state” in Palestine, a mathematician, none other than Einstein himself, had something to say about the crimes committed in his name as a Jew, and in the name of Judaism.
In a letter by Einstein to the Zionist, Shepard Rifkin, executive director for “American Friends of the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel”, dated April 10, 1948 (the date is very important, it’s only a month before the illegal creation of the Zionist state in Palestine), he wrote:
Mr. Shepard Rifkin
When a real and final catastrophe should befall us in Palestine the first responsible for it would be the British and the second responsible for it the Terrorist organizations build up from our own ranks.
I am not willing to see anybody associated with those misled and criminal people.
(Signed, ‘A. Einstein’)
It didn’t require more than three lines to solve this “complex” matter, and it seems that Einstein was very confident in naming the culprits for the “catastrophe in Palestine”, as he precisely described it. One month after that letter, the Palestinian Arabs began to call the day of the creation of the Israeli occupation state, which consisted of the robbery of their homeland and existence, as AL NAKBA (Cataclysm or Catastrophe). That was 65 years ago.
The fact that someone like Einstein could figure out such a complicated issue can not eliminate the complexity of the matter. Indeed, Palestinians are still waiting, because 65 years was not enough for most of the “civilized world” to understand the Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice and to acknowledge its root causes.
Unlike the Zionist sympathizers, apologists and propagandists nowadays, the Zionist leadership who committed genocide against the indigenous Arabs of Palestine in order to establish a “Jewish state” in a land that originally had less than 3.5 % Jewish population by 1880s1, were more frank about the colonial nature of their Zionist project, and from its beginning and early formation stages.
Theodor Herzl, an Austro-Hungarian, journalist and the father of the political Zionist movement, wrote in his diary:
We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country… expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.2
More sickening, and in order to accomplish his fantasy plan and “buy” Palestine from the Turks, Herzl was ready to exploit the Turkish crimes against the Armenians and “to influence the European press (in London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna) to handle the Armenian question in a spirit more friendly to the Turks.” 3 In his admission, he used his profession and betrayed his integrity as a journalist. A journalist must have principles, morals, integrity and honesty, and Herzl, at his best, was an excellent professional propagandist.
Russian colonialist Chaim Weizmann, the first president of the Zionist state, in an address to the English Zionist Federation on September 19, 1919:
By a Jewish National Home I mean the creation of such conditions that as the country is developed we can pour in a considerable number of immigrants, and finally establish such a society in Palestine that Palestine shall be as Jewish as England is English or America American.4
Concerning the issue of Palestine’s native population, Weizmann, in his remarks about the 1917 Balfour declaration, on record with the Jewish Agency Executive, stated:
With regard to the Arab question – the British told me that there are several hundred thousand Negroes there but that this matter has no significance. 5
The British colonialists were not less racist toward the Arab Palestinians. They had already sponsored and incorporated the Zionist colonization in their own imperial project to dominate the East Mediterranean strategic position and secure the on-going theft of its resources. Balfour, the author of the shameful Balfour Declaration, explained the British position toward the natives of Palestine:
For in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country… The four great powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desire and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land. In my opinion that is right. 6
Of course, the natives who suddenly inhabited Balfour’s “ancient land“ and their whole existence are only a matter of “desire and prejudices” and for the sake of humanity they needed to be expelled to open the door for Britain’s new 20th Century Crusade and expand its imperial needs.
Another Russian colonialist, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the icon of the Zionist right wing, explained the Zionist aims in Palestine in his article “The Iron Wall”. He wrote:
We cannot give any compensation for Palestine, neither to the Palestinians nor to other Arabs. Therefore, a voluntary agreement is inconceivable. All Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in total, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy. Not only must this be so, it is so whether we admit it or not. What does the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate mean for us? It is the fact that a disinterested power committed itself to create such security conditions that the local population would be deterred from interfering with our efforts. 7
For Jabotinsky it was just another European settler colonization, like the United States, Canada or Australia. He was aware of Zionism as a colonial adventure with direct brutal assault against the indigenous natives. He stated:
My readers have a general idea of the history of colonization in other countries. I suggest that they consider all the precedents with which they are acquainted, and see whether there is one solitary instance of any colonization being carried on with the consent of the native population. There is no such precedent.” He added later: “Every indigenous people will resist alien settlers as long as they see any hope of ridding themselves of the danger of foreign settlement. That is what the Arabs in Palestine are doing, and what they will persist in doing as long as there remains a solitary spark of hope that they will be able to prevent the transformation of “Palestine” into the “Land of Israel”. 8
Moshe Dayan, a Zionist war criminal who helped form the Haganah gangs, and participated in organizing the terror and massacres against the Palestinians to expel them from their ancestors’ land, in a rare confession said:
Let us not today fling accusation at the murderers. What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before [the Palestinians’] very eyes we are possessing the land and villages where they, and their ancestors, have lived … We are the generation of colonizers, and without the gun barrel we cannot plant a tree and build a home. 9
Finally, David Ben Gurion, the main director of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, in a letter to his son in 1937, stated:
We must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force, to guarantee our own right to settle in those places then we have force at our disposal.10
The conscience of that Polish colonist surprisingly developed later when he told Nahum Goldman president of the World Jewish Congress:
“I don’t understand your optimism,” Ben-Gurion declared. “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is NATURAL: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it’s true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism: 11 the Nazis, 12 Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but for the moment there is no chance. So it’s simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will wipe us out. 13
Ben Gurion was an atheist. Still, while admitting to the Zionist theft of Palestine, he managed to talk about an imaginary friend in the sky, God and his “promised land”! And based on a book Ben Gurion published in 1918 in New York, he believed that the Arab natives of Palestine were the “flesh and the blood of old Judeans”,14 yet later when the same natives rejected his “Jewish state” in their land, he did not object to expelling them and stealing their land. Actually, with regard to the Arabs expulsion, he told a meeting of the Jewish Agency:
I don’t see anything immoral in it. 15
Now if I should put all these damning statements and confessions in one sentence to explain why the Palestinians are resisting it would be:
It is the occupation, stupid!
In spite of all of the Zionist leadership literature, writings, documented minutes of cabinet meetings regarding colonization and the plans to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous Arabs (See Plan Dalet), still Canada has sustained all manner of support for the Zionist project and its racist establishment, including military, while promoting itself as a “fair and peace-loving state”.
Before the Zionists decided on Palestine as a homeland for Jews, in their first conference in Basel 1897, Canadian Evangelicals were already sending their religious colonial settlers and crusades to “prepare” the land for the “return” of the Jews to quicken the Apocalypse. Even before Herzl initiated his efforts to approach the Ottomans, who were themselves occupiers in Palestine, a Canadian Christian Zionist, Henry Wentworth Monk, was working to accomplish that exact goal, to “buy” Palestine from the Turks.
On the state level, Lester Pearson summarized Canadian foreign policy regarding Palestine. He was a devoted Christian Zionist whose memoirs refer to the Zionist state as “the land of my Sunday school lessons”. 16 The same Sunday religious “lessons” taught him the geography of his imaginary biblical holy land so he knew it “more than the geography of Ontario”. 17 If someone with these qualifications chaired the pivotal United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, there can be no surprise when later the Zionist state was carved out of historical Palestine. Pearson stated:
I have never waivered in my view that a solution to the problem was impossible without the recognition of a Jewish state in Palestine. To me this was always the core of the matter. 18
As if Palestine was a part of Pearson’s family property and the Arab “tenants” having no say. Gandhi, who luckily missed Pearson’s type of “school and lessons,” had the simple common sense which easily debunked the racist mentality of Pearson and his Zionist buddies. Gandhi wrote in September 1938:
The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood? Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews, partly or wholly as their national home. 19
It is important to note that Pearson upheld the racist Mackenzie Law which did not allow European Jews fleeing the Holocaust in Europe to enter Canada. His desire to “protect” Jews was not different from Ben Gurion’s who said:
If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I opt for the second alternative. For we must take into account not only the lives of these children but also the history of the people of Israel. 20
Talking of the imaginary history which many Zionists like Ben Gurion and Pearson have used to legitimize their crimes of ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Arab Palestinians, Tel Aviv University Professor of Archaeology Ze’ev Herzog summed up the major archaeological findings of 70 years of intensive excavations in Palestine with the following:
The patriarchs’ acts are legendary, the Israelites did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, they did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon, nor of the source of belief in the God of Israel. These facts have been known for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and nobody wants to hear about it.21
The core of the matter for colonialists like Pearson and his overseers in London and Washington is simply to allow greedy corporations, destructive oil and gas companies, to continue their theft of the resources and minerals underneath a “land without people.” “Balfour of Canada” or “Rabbi Pearson”, as many Zionists once called him, said: “Israel may assume an important role in Western defence as the southern pivot of current plans for the defence.” 22 Pearson’s devotion to Zionism did not add much to the nonsensical Zionist colonial narrative. Theodor Herzl already portrayed the prospective “Jewish state” as Europe’s “wall of defense against Asia” and an “outpost of civilisation against barbarism.”23
Let us remember Pearson’s true legacy: he “refused to call for Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, and had Canada deliver weapons to the French to put down the Algerian and Vietnamese independence movements.” 24 Many other atrocities are detailed in Yves Engler’s book, Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping – The Truth may Hurt.
Actually Noam Chomsky outlined what kind of war criminal Pearson was when he wrote in the foreword of Engler’s book:
Lester Pearson was a major criminal, really extreme. He didn’t have the power to be like an American president, but if he’d had it, he would have been the same. He tried. 25
So what John Baird did during his recent visit to Jerusalem, occupied Palestine is nothing but another example of the long bond and co-operation between the Canadian state and the Israeli occupation state.
Another obvious sign of the unconditional support, aid, and cover-up for the racist Israeli apartheid in Palestine, John Baird, still proud of the shameful ties, said:
Let me state at the outset, and for the record, that Israel has no greater friend in the world than Canada. I make that point around the world often. 26
The irony is that Canada refused entry to Jewish refugees who were trying to escape the European Holocaust and helped to block every escape route except Palestine. This same Canada is now claiming to be the greatest friend of the “Jewish state”. Herzl foresaw the help being offered by the anti-Jewish societies who do not accept Jews among themselves, but want them to “return to their ancient homeland”, Palestine. He predicted in his diary that:
The antisemites will become our most loyal friends, the antisemites nations will become our allies.27
The Canadian government has a history of supporting apartheid, along with other destructive policies from mining, to militarism, and backing up big corporations stealing from poor nations. Just ask Haitians about Canada’s part in dismantling and privatizing their country,28 but the Canadian corporate media does a good job of comforting and baby sitting the Canadian audiences.
In the past the Canadian government gave similar support and aid to the other European racist apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela said clearly:
But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.29
Not so in the case of Canada which acts as if it still does not “know” about its continuing complicity with apartheid. Although it was exposed in South Africa, it is still patiently waiting to be exposed in Palestine.
John Baird needs to visit the indigenous “reservations”, the Canadian bantustans style in his “democratic state” and listen to their vocabulary. Words like “Colonization” and “Decolonization” are very common and repeated consistently among the threatened indigenous people inside Canada and outside. Both terms express reality and solution to their struggle. But these words are absent and will never be heard in any of the mainstream corporate media.
A colonialist promoter like Baird should know that he is not welcome in Jerusalem, occupied Palestine, nor in Canada State if it were up to the indigenous people.
But unlike Einstein’s brain, the Zionist brains of Pearson, Harper and Baird are the average abnormal brains in the Canadian government, never evolved from their colonial racist limited mentality.
In 1904 a Canadian Christian Zionist called Reverend Lucas, who had qualifications to be a Sunday school teacher anywhere in Canada, wrote a book called Canada and Canaan, and in it he made this amazing note:
Canada instead of Canaan! Moses would have danced with joy. 30
Indeed, Canada and the Israeli apartheid in Canaan/Palestine are nothing but twin colonial settler states built on racism, genocide, and dispossession.
Source: Dissident Voice
- The Population of Palestine: Population Statistics of the Late Ottoman Period and The Mandate (Ch 1, Table 1.4D) by Prof Justin McCarthy (Columbia University Press, 1990). [↩]
- The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, vol. 1, p. 88. [↩]
- The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, p.387. [↩]
- Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of “Transfer” in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948, by Nur Masalha, p. 41. And The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann: August 1898-July 1931, by Chaïm Weizmann, p. 257. [↩]
- Chaim Weizmann quoted by Arthur Ruppin [The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, by Noam Chomsky, p481. Source: Yosef Heller, Bama’avak Lamdina (Jerusalem, 1985), p.140]. [↩]
- Crossroads to Israel 1917-1948, by Christopher Sykes, (1965, reprinted Indiana University Press, Bloomingtron, IN, 1973), p. 5. [↩]
- The Iron Wall: We and the Arabs. 1923. [↩]
- Ibid. [↩]
- The Iron Wall, by Avi Shlaim, p. 101. [↩]
- See the full English translation of Ben-Gurion’s letter. The original Hebrew (from the Ben-Gurion Archives) – Source: Journal of Palestine Studies. [↩]
- The word “Semitic” is an adjective derived from “Shem”, one of the three sons of “Noah” in the Biblical mythology (Genesis 5.32, 6.10, 10.21). The term was first coined by a German “historian” theologist August Ludwig von Schlözer in Eichhorn’s “Repertorium”, vol. VIII (Leipzig, 1781), p. 161. Schlözer used the term to refer to the languages related to “Hebrew”, which is nothing but an appropriation of a square Aramaic (See: Hidden Histories: Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean, by Basem L. Ra’ad.) The term “antisemitism” was first used by Wilhelm Marr (1819-1904), a German racist nationalist Journalist, who created it in 1879 to describe the anti-Jewish campaigns in Europe. Ironically the Zionists themselves carry on the same term. [↩]
12.See: The Zionist-Nazi Collaboration, by William James Martin. [↩]
13.The Jewish Paradox, by Nahum Goldman, 1978, p. 99. [↩]
14.David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Eretz Israel in the Past and in the Present, 1918. [↩]
15. Righteous Victims, by Benny Morris, p. 144. [↩]
16.Personal Policy Making: Canada’s Role in the Adoption of the Palestine Partition Resolution, by Eliezer Tauber, p. 84. [↩]
17. Ibid [↩]
18.The Domestic Battleground: Canada and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, by David Taras, p. 129. [↩]
19.The Jews In Palestine, by Mahatma Gandhi. Published in the Harijan 26-11-1938. [↩]
- The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust, by Tom Segev, Henry Holt and Co., New York, First Owl Books Edition 2000, p. 28. [↩]
21.Ha’aretz Magazine, Friday, October 29, 1999 . [↩]
- Lester Pearson’s 1952 memo to cabinet. [↩]
- One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate, by Tom Segev, 2001, p. 150. [↩]
- See Yves Engler’s post: “The truth about Lester Pearson”. [↩]
- Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping – The Truth May Hurt, by Yves Engler. Publisher: RED Publishing (Mar 15 2012), p. 9. [↩]
- Address by Minister Baird to the American Jewish Committee May 3, 2012 – Washington, D.C. [↩]
- The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl. Vol. 1, p. 84. [↩]
- See this article: “Canada’s ‘Right Arm’: FOCAL’s Role in the Privatization of Haiti. And this one: A Very Canadian Coup d’état in Haiti: The Top 10 Ways that Canada’s Government Helped the 2004 Coup and its Reign of Terror. [↩]
- From President Mandela’s speech at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 04 December 1997, Pretoria. [↩]
- Lucas, D.V., Canaan and Canada. Toronto: William Briggs, 1904, p. 33. [↩]
About the Author
Mazin Al Nahawi is a Palestinian refugee from Safad, occupied Palestine. He finished the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts – Criticism Department, Damascus, Syria in 1996. Now he lives in Victoria, BC, Canada, on land that is the traditional territory of the Lkwungen, Esquimalt, and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.