Tue 11-June-2024

From the river to the sea – a call for rightful decolonization

Friday 19-April-2024

Israeli media is celebrating another win for its narrative, as the US Congress passed a resolution condemning the Palestinian resistance chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, as anti-Semitic. The resolution’s text reads like a series of snippets that supposedly justify the anti-Semitic nature of the slogan but, instead, comes across as Israel’s exhausting propaganda that shields it from accountability for colonialism, war crimes and even genocide.

The text is typical of the usual conflation between Jews and Israel, purporting that the slogan promotes violence “against the state of Israel and the Jewish community globally”. It also partially states, “Whereas the slogan ‘‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’’ is an anti-Semitic call to arms with the goal of the eradication of the State of Israel, which is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.” In political terms, this would mean decolonization – the dissolution of a colonial structure which the international community legitimized and recognized, despite it being built upon the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. There is no anti-Semitism in decolonization – only a political right.

To allegedly prove a point, the resolution brings in Iraq’s former President, Saddam Hussein, Al-Qaeda’s Osama Bin Laden, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and several Hamas members, besides peddling several allegations that have since been proven false, such as Hamas beheading babies on 7 October. The resolution would only be taken seriously by Israel’s allies, who do not question the Zionist manipulation of anti-Semitism to suit its expansionist agenda. Even with the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

How come a slogan – a resistance call that is not backed up with any tangible resistance support for Palestine – prove to be dangerous in the bigger scheme of things, when Israel is eliminating the Palestinian people from Gaza?

“Hateful rhetoric obstructs peace efforts”, the resolution partly states. And genocide does not? Or is US Congress now advocating for genocide for peace, in much the same way Israel would prefer peace – without Palestinians?

The slogan has been used by allegedly “violent protestors” – where is the proof? Or is the Zionist construction of violence one where the colonized and their supporters are calling upon political rights to be recognized? The resolution claims that the slogan “perpetuates hatred against the state of Israel and the Jewish people”. Another false claim – Israel has perpetuated hatred against itself and any hate spilling over for Jewish people is a result of Israel equating Judaism and Zionism together, despite the difference. To put it simply, Jews are objects in the eyes of Israel – tools for colonial expansion to be used and exploited. Jews who are not Zionist recognize this fact, just as Christians who are Zionist do not, for example.

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” speaks of Palestine without Zionism, of Palestine with roots in a history that Israel is frantically trying to eradicate. There is no violence in Palestinians remembering their land. No incitement but an assertion of what rightfully belongs to Palestinians. Colonialism breeds the need for anti-colonial struggle, and that is where the focus should shift – on the anomaly of a European colonial ideology thieving land that is not theirs, and committing genocide to retain it.

-Ramona Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, book reviewer and blogger. Her writing covers a range of themes in relation to Palestine, Chile and Latin America. Her article appeared in MEMO.

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