The Massacre of Kafr Qasim

Yossi Schwartz, ISL – the RCIT section in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 28.10.2021

A government to the right of Netanyahu

It is a common mistaken belief that the massacres the Zionist state committed against the native Palestinians ended in 1948. On October 29 1956, the first day of war on Egypt by the British, French and Israel imperialists, members of the Border Police were directed by general Shadmi to shoot and to kill anyone violating a curfew that was placed on Kafr Qasim, while the peasants worked in the fields and were not aware of the curfew. The Border Police shot and killed 48 men, women and children. One of the female victims had been pregnant.

Hypocritically the former President of Israel Rivlin in his visit to the village in 2014 said “I came here today, specifically during these difficult days to reach out my hand, in the belief, that your hands are outstretched to me and to the Israeli Jewish public in turn.” [1]

Hypocritically we say this because Rivilin compared the planned massacre to the resistance of the oppressed Palestinians that Israel kills almost daily. This was not the only massacre of Palestinians citizens of Israel after 1948, so was the massacre on land day when the Zionist police shot and killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel because they were protesting the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of donums of Palestinian land. In October 2000, Israeli police killed 13 Palestinian citizens during demonstrations in Israel. Despite the Or Commission finding no justification for the deadly force, not a single officer has been indicted for the killings.

This week a bill put forth by Aida Touma-Sliman, Ofer Cassif and Ayman Odeh, three lawmakers from Hadash calling for Israel to officially recognize the 1956 Kafr Qasem massacre, failed to pass the Knesset on Wednesday. 93 members of the racist Zionist parliament from the coalition and the opposition opposed it and only 12 support it. Following the debate MK Aida Touma-Sliman said and correctly so: “The change government, the unity government, the supposed Jewish-Arab government, toppled the bill to memorialize the Kafr Qasim massacre.” [2]

Meretz, who in Israel is considered a left-wing party, opposed the bill. Frej a Palestinian of 1948 member of the Meretz party who, is a Kafr Qasim resident instead of voting for the bill said: “You’re exploiting our pain for a few votes,”. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” Touma-Sleiman called back at Frej. Indeed, what is he doing in a Zionist party and one that sits in a government whose Prime Minister is to the right of Netanyahu?

“The Zionist Labor faction also voted against the law MK Ibtisam Maraana another 1948 Palestinian was absent. However she wrote earlier that “this morning journalists are asking me if I will go against my faction, and the answer is unequivocally no.” Vote for, contrary to the decision of their faction to abstain from voting. The four MKs of Raam also opposed – the bill.” [3]

Thus, the so-called left parties and their Arab members as well Ra’am are no more than a left cover for a right-wing government that stands to the right of Netanyahu’s government in relations to the Palestinians citizens of Israel and in the 1967 occupied lands.

What happened in 1956 and why?

Kafr Qasim is located in the “Little Triangle” that spreads from Kafr Qasim in the south all the way to Umm al-Fahm in the north. It is part of the lands the Zionist state occupied in 1948. Before 1967 the Palestinian citizens were subjected to a military rule and suffered many restrictions, part of the pressures on them to leave their homeland. The Zionist leaders including Ben Gurion were waiting for an opportunity like a new war with Arab states to force another ethnic cleansing mass exodus. The 1956 massacre — which was perpetrated during the Tripartite Aggression against Egypt — was planned at the highest levels, and aimed at terrorizing the population of the southern triangle to flee. However, thy failed as the residents did not leave. On Monday, 29 October 1956, the Israeli government and the military command decided to impose a curfew on the village. At 4:30 p.m. that day, a border police sergeant informed the mayor of the village of Kafr Qasim that a curfew would be imposed starting at 5 p.m. that evening. Hundreds of villagers who had left home in the morning to go to work in their fields had no way of knowing about the curfew until they returned and 49 were killed.

Ben Gurion’s government used a variety of tactics to cover up the massacre including censorship on the mass media. However they could not stop the news that a massacre had been carried out by soldiers under clear orders from the high military command to fire on citizens returning home. Journalists, activists, Stalinist members of the Knesset, and others went to the village and informed the public. This forced the Israeli government to bring the perpetrators to court. However, the officers in charge received a few years and were released and promoted after a short time and General Shadmi who gave the order was fined with one agora (a penny).

Clearly the Zionists who love to call opponents of the Zionist crimes and who characterize Israel as an apartheid state, Anti-Semites. are not different from the white settlers- colonialists in North America who massacred the native Indians to steal their lands and resources. However, the isolation of Israel is growing daily. Today we were informed that “Some 500 scholars, including the prominent linguist and Israel critic Noam Chomsky, accused a Scottish university of curbing free speech after a student was force to apologize for a 2017 essay which the university called “an unfounded anti-Semitic theory.” “The author, Jane Jackman, wrote that, “Whilst initially strengthening ties with the Jewish diaspora, Israel’s longer-term objective was to conscript and resource a cohort of grassroots Zionist supporters to carry the Israeli narrative into the broader sphere of society.” She also suggested that Jewish media downplayed an Al Jazeera series from 2017 suggesting that the pro-Israel lobby had unusual clout in the United Kingdom”. [4]

If telling such obvious true is Anti-Semitism what is not Anti-Semitic theory? It must be according to the pro Zionist that Israel has never killed a single Palestinians, that it never stole a Palestinian state! That it did not expel one Palestinians in 1948. That it is a great democracy-so great that it is a criminal act to call for its boycott! That it never banned human rights organizations. That it never arrested a single Palestinian. That it never bombed Palestinians civilian population in Lebanon or in Gaza, that it saved the lives of the Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila, that it is never a lie and all of those who say otherwise are Anti-Semites.

When it comes to governments and institutions that support the Zionist apartheid Orwell 1984 comes to mind. There is a totalitarian regime in which the ruling party has created a propagandistic language known as Newspeak, which is designed to limit free thought and promote the Party’s doctrines. Its words include doublethink which is reflected in the Party’s slogans: “War is peace,” “Freedom is slavery,” and “Ignorance is strength.” The Party maintains control through the Thought Police and continual surveillance.

This brings to mind the case of the apartheid in South Africa that the Western imperialists who like to speak of human rights, imposed sanctions only at the end of the regime when it was clear it cannot survive anymore as a tactic to preserve their investments in South Africa.

In these days the imperialists curtail the freedom of speech and attack the critiques of the Zionist state and its crimes as part of their attack on the democratic and social rights. For this reason, a growing number of workers and popular classes understand that in order to defend democratic rights, it is important to fight Zionism as well as the green pass.

Defend the right to free speech!

Down with the Zionist apartheid from the river to the sea!

For Palestine, red and free from the river to the sea!






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