The State of Israel and the Second Holocaust in the Making: Consequences of Israel without Palestine

The State of Israel and the Second Holocaust in the Making: Consequences of Israel without Palestine

Bola A. Akinterinwa 

The State of Israel was established on 14th May, 1948 in consonance with the November 2, 1917 Declaration of the British Prime Minister, William Balfour, who promised a Homeland for the Jews. The promise was made against the background of competing Zionist and Arab nationalism that was compounded by genocide, also called holocaust, of the Jews in German occupied territories in Europe. The Jews and the Palestinians were then stateless. This situation prompted the Zionists to request for a homeland from the British Prime Minister. 

The classical Zionists hinged their request on biblical injunctions which talked about a ‘Land of Israel.’ And true enough, Joshua 1:4 talked about the ‘Entry into the Promised Land’ while Genesis 15:18 talked about the Lord’s promise to Joshua: that the original extent of the land promised to Abraham was to be given to Israel. But who were the Israelis? As shown in the Ancient Map of Israel, Israel was about 150 miles from Dan to Beersheba. Its greatest width was put at 75 miles across. As told in Genesis 17:8, the borders were the reflections of God’s promise. God said: ‘I assign the land you sojourn in to you and your offspring to come…’

In this regard, the Jews see themselves as the Israelis and the people of God. They held the view that they naturally constituted not only a nation by sociological determinants, but also the Nation of God. They considered that they should be able to have the Land of Israel for the purposes of restoration of Jewish independence. More important, they argued that their nationalism should be affirmed, that assimilation of Jews could never be the solution because it was not desirable and possible. Classical Zionists believed that the only way to contain anti-Semitism was separation and self-determination. This was the background to the request for a separate homeland for the Jews in 1917. Britain, then having the League of Nations’ Mandate over Palestine, promised them a Homeland. Britain and the United States worked tête-à-tête through the United Nations to make the establishment of the State of Israel possible, but the Arab Palestinians contested it, thus laying the first foundation for a fresh foreseeable holocaust.

From the Old to the New Holocaust

Palestine was divided into two in 1948: 56% of it was allocated to the Jews to form their State. The Arab Palestinians considered it as most unfair and, therefore, decided to resist it by going to war on 15 May, 1948, that is, a day after the proclamation of the State of Israel. The United States stood like the Rock of Gibraltar behind the new State. The joint war sponsored by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria against Israel was neutralised. This eventually led to the beginning of Israeli occupation of part of the 44% land meant for the Palestinians but which was refused for various logical reasons. The defeat of the Arabs did not end there. There were the 1967 Six-Day War, the 1973 Yom Kippour War, and the October 7, 2023 Hamas-Israeli saga, all of which have also led to further occupation of Palestinian land, because the Arabs have always lost in all the wars. 

The second foundation for the new holocaust was undoubtedly laid on October 7, 2023 when the Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel. It was most unexpected. The attack raised questions about Israel’s invincibility. It raises questions about how to prevent a recurrence, which requires going beyond the traditional four major dynamics of the Israelo-Arab conflict since 1917: Zionist quest for a homeland, British acquiescence to the quest, Arab nationalism, and international politics of duplicity in the matter. These dynamics explain why Israel has always been in a permanent situation of war without end and why the likelihood of existence of peace in the future is very remote. For instance, when the Hamas penetrated Israel and not only killed, at least, 1,200 people, but also took many Israelis into hostage, Israel was disappointedly cut unawares. This prompted Israel’s resolution to wipe out the Hamas, in particular, and all Palestinians, in general. Israel has said that it is not interested in any peace. Israel is vehemently opposed to any 2-State approach to the Israelo-Arab conflict. The reason for this position cannot be far-fetched: Israel wants a State exclusively reserved for the Jews. The long term interest is to push out all Arabs from Palestine and repopulate the territory with the Jews, but forgetting to learn lessons from the first holocaust of which they were the first victims. It is this aspect of refusal to learn lessons from the past, and therefore preferring to be myopic, that the foundation of the second holocaust awaiting the Israelis is laid.

The first holocaust, that is, the genocide of the European Jews by Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945, not only took place during the Second World War, the current genocide, not of the Jews but of the Arab Palestinians by the Israelis, has the great potential to precipitate a second genocide of the Jews by people having sympathy for Palestinians. In the first genocide of Jews during World War II, about six million Jews were criminally and mercilessly killed. The murder of the Jews, indeed, began when Germany’s Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933.

Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, had an ideology of superiority of German race or of the Aryan Race, according to which Germans were superior to all other races in the world. Hitler talked about Aryan to refer to a ‘pure German race’ or Herrenvolk who must have the responsibility to conduct and manage global affairs. In the eyes of Hitler, the Aryans had the most pure blood, pale skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. All other peoples of the world were considered impure. In fact, the Jews were perceived to be evil and a major threat to the purity of the Aryans. 

As such, Adolf Hitler wanted a New World Order that would be defined by Nazi Germany. He came up with the classification of races in which he placed the Aryans at the crescendo, with the Jews, Gypsies coming after, and the black people at the bottom. This was the genesis of the systematic killing of Jews residing in all German-occupied territories in Europe. They were seen as potential rivals that could taint the purity of the Germans. In this regard, an anti-Jewish legislation and programme was put in place to compel the Jews to emigrate or remain to be murdered. The main problem of the Jews was the difficulty in emigrating: finding a place to go to, the expensive costs of emigrating, the inclement environment of emigration, etc. 

Unavoidably therefore, the murder of Jews continued increasingly in the late 1930s until 1941 when the killing reached a large scale following the German invasion of the former Soviet Union in June 1941. Einsatzruppen (mobile execution) was adopted as a matter of policy in 1941. This policy enabled more than a million Jews to be killed even in their newly occupied territories. Jews were deported from their holding camps to be killed in purposely-built killing centres called death centres. They were thereafter moved to the concentration camps. As Wikipedia has it, ‘political opponents, homosexuals, prisoners of conscience, Roma, Jehovah Witness, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war and others were killed or died in camps as a result of neglect, starvation or disease.’

While this genocide of Jews in Europe was globally condemned and prompted the surviving Jews to seek unity and establish the State of Israel in 1948, the descendants of the same Jews that were persecuted during World War II are now the very people engaging in the persecution and genocide of the Gazan Palestinians today. Is the genocide of the Palestinian Hamas a reprisal for the genocide of the period 1941-1945? Is the October 7, 2023 surprise attack by the Hamas the profound causal factor of the Israelo-Arab conflict that began in 1948? Is it the biblical prescriptions that are responsible? How do we explain Israel’s policy determination to wipe out Palestinians beginning with the Hamas? With the policy attitude of Israel of seeking to exterminate Palestinians, and not limitedly to the Hamas, can there ever be peace in the world? With the adamant stand of non-preparedness to accept the two-state approach, does that point to the arrival of Jesus Christ sooner than later?

True enough, in the epistle of Mathew, Chapter 10, verses 34-36, Jesus Christ said: ‘do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.’ In Nigeria, for example, there is no peace in Nigeria as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency. Nigeria under Presidents Goodluck Jonathan, Muhammadu Buhari, and Ahmed Tinubu (PBAT) has been fraught with challenges of insecurity and inclement polity. One critical rationale appears to be the enemy within. President Jonathan has it that there were boko Haramists in his government. The Boko Haramists are still in government and in the current Government of PBAT. More thought-provokingly, is this situational reality a reflection of ‘one’s foes will be members of one’s household? In fact, Mathew 24: 7 also said: ‘for nation will rise against nation.’ Is the Israel-Palestine imbroglio a reflection of these biblical injunctions?

And true enough again, the Hamas launched an attack on Israel on October 7, which the Israelis considered unprovoked, and, therefore decided to retaliate on the basis of the principle of legitimate self-defense, but which the Hamas and other Arabs see as an act of longstanding frustration from the mistreatment by Israel in Gaza. In other words, the perseverance of the Hamas is believed to have reached its crescendo by October 7, hence the attack. In the same vein, Israel also appears to have been pushed to the level of deciding to kill every enemy before submitting to being killed by the enemy. Consequently, an insecurity lull has been created in which the Palestinian Hamas are increasingly garnering more international sympathy and the Israelis are being condemned for reckless, excessive abusive of international humanitarian law. A new anti-Semitism is again in the making. Quo Vadis therefore?

Israel without Palestine: Recidivist Insecurity

Israel without Palestine is precisely what Israeli foreign and defence policies are saying. Israel appears to have the strategic plan of completely exterminating the Palestinians from the Palestinian territory and this cannot but raise many questions: is the Palestinian land synonymous with the Land of Israel? Is it the land God promised to Abraham and his descendants? Is it the land that God directly gave to the Israelis? If it is, can the land ever accrue to the Palestinians no matter for how long the land dispute lingers? If it is not, how do we reconcile Israel’s non-readiness to accept the Two-State Solution suggested by the United Nations?

Considerable efforts were made at the level of the United States to encourage the establishment of a State of Palestine. In fact, the State of Palestine was created in the southern Levant of West Asia with Arabic as its official language and with its capital located in Jerusalem. The State has a population of about five million as at 2021, according to the World Bank. The problem, however, goes beyond the State of Palestine having met the international law requirements of having territory, population and government to exist as a sovereign state for the purposes of international relations. The critical problem is still recognition as a state.

Many scholars have argued that, in addition to the three elements aforementioned, a state can still not enter into international diplomatic relations if it is not first recognised. A non-recognised state cannot establish diplomatic ties with another sovereign state. Hence, four criteria must coexist before a state can exist properly. This partly explains why the State of Palestine was given the status of an Observer State at the United Nations General Assembly in November 2012. 139 of the total of 193 UN Member States have recognised the State of Palestine, compared to the 165 Member States that have recognised the State of Israel.

Explained interrogatively, why is the State of Palestine given an observer status and not the status of full membership of the United Nations? As a non-Member observer, the State of Palestine cannot vote but can be allowed to speak at UN meetings. To what extent is the seriousness of purpose of the United Nations which is preaching the gospel of a 2-nation state as a solution to the conflict? What prevents the admission of the State of Palestine as a full member of the organisation, especially in light of the fact that the United Nations had been fully seized of the survival of the Palestinian refugees for more than 70 years? 

In other words, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was created in 1949 to cater for the needs of about 700,000 Palestinians displaced as a result of the Arab-Israel war of 1948. The UNRWA considers a Palestinian refugee as those people registered with it and whose ‘normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.’ Also eligible for possible needs-assistance are the descendants of the male Palestinian refugees, including adopted children. In this regard, is it not better to have a sustainable State of Palestine that is self-reliant than having millions of people within the framework of an UNRWA funded by voluntary contributions?

Besides, old Palestine comprises the current Palestine territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, considered as the State of Palestine, as well as the country of Israel. Both the so-called State of Palestine and the country of Israel were captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. If the whole world agreed that Israelis constitute a nation deserving of a separate identity, are Palestinians not also a nation deserving of their own identity? If the Israelo-Arab conflict has lasted for too long, it is not simply because of the postulation of Dennis Prager of the Middle East Institute of Columbia University’s School of International Affairs, who identified the problematic of the conflict as ‘one side wants the other side dead,’ or that the Hamas motto is ‘we love death’ while ’Israel loves life.’

The problem and the truth of the matter is that the great powers have been most insincere in the conduct and management of the conflict. The mere fact that Palestinians already living in Palestine before the partitioning of Palestine were in the majority, giving 56% of the land to Israel is a political fraud, regardless of whatever determinants considered. There is no disputing the fact that the Arabs promised to push Israel to the sea in 1948. We also do not have any qualms about Abdel Nasser’s promise in 1967 to destroy Israel. The truth is that neither the Arabs have been able to neutralise Israel nor has Israel been able to have peace and security of the mind. Israel is permanently living under fear and Arab threats. No one therefore trusts the other. 

From the perspective of the Holy Bible, God promised Abraham in Genesis 12 as follows: I will make you a great nation (Israel), and I will bless you and make your name great. I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you. In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. By fighting Israel, are the Arabs also fighting God? Can it be implied that they are also cursing God? In other words, is an attack on Israel an expression of curse on Israel? Can the discussion of the Israelo-Arab conflict disregard the provisions of the Holy Bible? Why is peaceful coexistence not feasible if it is not because of international politics? In the new world order that is in the making, what does the future have for the State of Israel and the Palestinians? We are told in Zephaniah 2: 4-7 that no one will be left in the City of Gaza, and the City of Ashkelon will be destroyed. Ashdod will be empty by noon, and the people of Ekron will be chased away. How terrible it will be for you who live by the Mediterranean Sea, you Phillistines. Is the destruction of Gaza not consistent with biblical injunctions?

Perhaps more interestingly, the word, Palestine, derived from a Greek word, Philistia, referring to the Ancient State of the Philistines, was given to the region in the 12th century by Greek writers. At times, the word, Levant, is also used to cover the modern-day Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. As such, it is difficult for both Arabs and the Israelis to lay any exclusive legitimate claim to Palestine. The truth is that Israel undoubtedly predates Palestine by more than one thousand years. It is equally true that, thereafter, the land also became a homeland primarily for the Arabs for more than one thousand years. In other words, the issue was never that any of the two races left the land for the other. They were, in fact, co-existing. This means that both peoples can lay legitimate claims to the land. The unresolved challenge, however, is how to explain the dominance of the Arabs in the land, how the Israelis had to be scattered all over the world beyond the criminal Aryan ideology, to the extent that the Israelis now have to be asking for a homeland.

 Whatever is the case, if millions of Palestinians currently live in the Gaza strip, West Bank, and Israel under the control of the State of Israel, can the extermination of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip be a permanent antidote to threats to enduring peace in Israel? What is it that the Israelis want to do with Gaza without Palestinians if it is not to eventually take effective ownership of the territory? Can this be internationally acquiesced to? To what extent can military offensives resolve the problem? Is Israel prepared for possible military reprisals from the world? Does Israel consider that there can be global resistance to their policy of territorial expansion? Does Israel ask questions about what the descendants of the Gazans killed today can do in the near and distant future? If the Palestinians have been losing the past battles, will they continue to always lose the war? Without jot of exaggeration, the way General Charles de Gaulle told the world that France only lost battles during World War II and not the War per se, cannot but be the same way Gazans of tomorrow will recall that they only lost the battles and not the Israelo-Palestinian war. The consequences of working towards an Israel without Palestine are enormous and beyond what the post-Netanyahu administration can easily manage. Israel should therefore learn how to make haste slowly in its war of genocide on Palestine. Time will tell, to borrow the words of Jimmy Cliff. 

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