Yossi Schwartz, ISL the RCIT section in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 14.02.2022
“Amnesty International last week joined two other well-known human rights groups in saying that Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians within its borders and in the West Bank and Gaza amount to apartheid. Israel rejects those allegations as anti-Semitic, saying that, among other things, they ignore the rights and freedoms enjoyed by its Arab citizens” [i]
It is not surprising that the reactionary Islamist Ra’am party that is part of the government led by the far-right PM Naphtali Bennett uses its rotten role to defend the Zionist state against the Palestinian people and the human rights organizations by denying that Israel is an apartheid state. This is a gross betrayal of the Palestinian people and is used by the Zionist’s propaganda machine.
In the same week, the Zionist undercover police killed three Palestinian members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a coalition of armed groups l affiliated with Fatah in Nablus -the West Bank. The Zionist police claimed that the three were suspected of shooting on vehicles of the Israeli army. Mansur Abbas the head of the Ra’am stated: “I would not call it apartheid,” Abbas said in response to a question at an online event organized by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a DC-based think tank. He noted that he was in a governing coalition with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and could join the cabinet if he wanted to” [ii]
For those like Mansur who do not learn from history, history teaches those lessons. He is not the first Palestinian who has served the Zionist masters and paid heavily for that treason.
In April 1936, the Palestinians revolted against the Zionist settler colonialists and British imperialist rule in Mandate Palestine. The British counter-revolutionary campaign crushed the revolt by 1939, by using troops, official and unofficial violence, torture, collective punishment, and mass detention diplomacy. The Zionists joined the British. The British supported local Palestinian collaborators to divide and defeat the rebels.
The pro-Government and pro-Zionist was the Palestinian Nashashibi family that organized irregular, militia-style ‘peace gangs’ fasa’il al-salam in Arabic. The Zionists in Palestine also aided these gangs.
“British support for the peace bands peaked in December 1938 when they supported a Nashashibi sponsored public meeting at the village of Yatta near Hebron, a gathering attended by the senior British commander in Palestine, General Richard O’Connor, and by leaders of the Nashashibi family” [iii]
“Fakhri Nashashibi with his uncle and head of the family, Ragheb Nashashibi, led the collaboration during the revolt, for which the Mufti Husayni-backed gunmen assassinated Fakhri Nashashibi in Iraq in 1941. Another influential who joined the Nashashibies was Abd al-Hadi ” A person Britain subsidized ‘and paid each man in his peace band £P6 per month, as opposed to the insurgents’ usual pay of 30 shillings to £P4, some of which came from levies and extortion of Palestinian villages.30 The willingness to pay a good wage shows how seriously the British authorities took the peace bands. By comparison, a British Palestine police constable earned around £P15 per month, so £P6 for an Arab fighter was a good salary, especially considering the typical differences in wages between colonial masters and subjects” [iv]
“The peace bands were an official opportunity for brigandage, seized on by elements within the Nashashibi family and by ‘Abd al-Hadi to make money, settle old scores and play out long-standing feuds, ‘an ideal opportunity for the waging of private or semi-public feuds, and the opportunity has not been allowed to slip. Murder, abduction, robbery, attack, and counter-attack have been the order of the day” [v]
In 1948 Raghib al-Nashashibi escaped Palestine to Egypt, but after Jordan occupied the West Bank Raghib al-Nashashibi became a minister in the Jordanian government and the first military governor of the West Bank in Palestine. Thus he just changed the master and when Palestine will be red and free the books of history will call him a traitor.
The National Liberation League in Palestine (Arabic: عصبة التحرر الوطني في فلسطين, ʿuṣbat at-taḥrīr al-waṭaniyy fi filasṭīn) split in 1944 from the official Palestine Stalinist Party. “In its memorandum addressed to the United Nations in August 1947, it called for an end to the British Mandate over Palestine, the withdrawal of foreign armies, and the establishment of an independent democratic state that would guarantee equal rights for all its residents, Arab and Jewish” [vi] However in 1948 like the official Stalinist party the National Liberation League supported the creation of the Zionist state.
“After the outbreak of the Arab–Israeli war on 15 May 1948, the National Liberation League organized a broad campaign to persuade Palestinians to remain in their homeland and not flee from it. It opposed the entry of the Arab armies into Palestine, and in July 1948, issued “an appeal to the [Arab] soldiers” in which it called upon them “to return to their own countries and direct their strikes instead at the colonial occupiers and their lackeys.” Then, a communiqué addressed to “the Arab peoples” in October 1948, issued jointly by the league and the Iraqi, Syrian, and Lebanese Communist parties, emphasized that the rulers of the Arab countries “did not declare war to prevent the partition, as they claimed, but rather to bring about partition as Britain wants.” Meanwhile, the Zionist movement exploited the Palestine War “to consolidate its rule and expand into the Arab part [of partitioned Palestine], as well as to justify its embrace of American imperialism and to open the door for American economic and military influence to make inroads into the territory of the Jewish state and in Palestine as a whole.” [vii]
The NLL was pathetic in its illusions about the nature of the state of the settler colonialists. Not only did it support the creation of Israel but expected the Jewish workers to help them while in the real world these same workers who were Zionists participated in the looting. On May 10, 1948, a few days after the occupation of Haifa by the Zionist army it issued a leaflet that said:
“To the “Jewish workers and democratic forces”
“We, the members of the National Liberation League that unites in it the workers and progressive Arab intelligentsia, write to you from “occupied” [sic] Arab Haifa, beyond the barriers that the reactionary and imperialist (forces) set between us. We address you because we want to bring the truth out. 90,000 Arabs lived in Haifa and Balad al-Sheikh, and on behalf of the 4,000 Arabs who remained [in the city], we write to you today. 15 days ago the Haganah forces occupied Haifa with British consent while murdering many innocent people and looting homes and businesses. . . . 15 days have passed since the “occupation” [sic] but the looting continues. . . . The restrictions on the movement of the Arabs in Haifa, on the return to their homes and the opening of their businesses prevents the return to normal life. Arabs are also prevented from returning to their work in the port and elsewhere, and electricity and water supply are still cut in the Arab neighborhoods. We, the few Arabs who decided to continue living in the place where we were born, are willing to struggle and fight for our human existence, for our right to live in our city. We cannot sit quietly while observing the destruction of our economic life, the looting of our homes, and the unemployment of our workers. However, we know that our struggle is your [the Jewish workers’] struggle as well, and we hope that you will help us to radically change the situation. Democracy and friendship between the two peoples in the country would be severely damaged by what is happening in Haifa today. You can make a difference, which is why we address you. The military rule in Haifa should be brought to an end! Conditions of peace, freedom, security, and labor should be provided for the peaceful Arabs who remained in Haifa, and to those who want to return to the city. Conditions should be made to weaken the reactionary and imperialist forces and to strengthen democracy and independence in the country“[viii]
Not a few members of the NLL were expelled from the country and arrived in Jordan.
Down with the Zionist Apartheid state!
Down with the collaborators with the Zionist state!
[iii] Matthew Hughes Palestinian Collaboration with the British: The Peace Bands and the Arab Revolt in Palestine, 1936–9 Journal of Contemporary History 2016, Vol. 51(2) 291–315
[vi] The Palestine Communist Party 1919–1948 https://www.paljourneys.org/en/timeline/highlight/23736/palestine-communist-party
[viii] Dr. Abigail Jacobson Between National Liberation and Anti-Colonial Struggle: The National Liberation League in Palestine Working Paper 3 August 2012