There is a reason Palestinian-American Zionist Ray Hanania is known as the dumbest Arab in North America, and lest anyone attempt to unseat him from that position, he regularly adds to his stupidity. In his latest effort to maintain a safe distance between himself and any potential challengers Ray is calling on Palestinians under occupation in Palestine 48 to form a peaceful Civil Rights movement to confront ethnic cleansing, colonialism and occupation:
“THE AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE OF THE 20TH CENTURY IS NO DIFFERENT THAN THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE OF PALESTINIANS LIVING IN ISRAEL AND UNDER OCCUPATION. BUT WHAT PALESTINIANS NEED IS A CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT THAT IS TRULY DRIVEN BY PEACEFUL PROTEST AND THAT CAN HELP RESTRAIN THE URGE TO VENGEANCE AND REVENGE.”
This is a totally absurd statement, and if, by any stretch of the imagination, one manages to come up with parallels between the two struggles, they would be so generalized and decontextualized to render them utterly meaningless. Statements are not merely a collection of words. They convey meaning and provide the structure within which we understand the subject matter. The struggle in Palestine is not a Civil Rights struggle and the language of Civil Rights is misleading and distorts the ongoing 68-year old Palestinian Nakba.
After attacking Palestinian “violence”, the Palestinian-American who once called on Palestinian Christians to join with Israel against the Muslims and defended Israeli massacres in Gaza, went on to add the following:
“A strong civil rights movement based on this principle of responding to aggression peacefully and the belief that Israeli attitudes can and will be changed through moral courage and strength can change things in Israel. It can make Israel less violent, less oppressive and more responsible for its actions.”
Zionist violence against Palestinians is nothing new. Indeed, it was the only method by which foreign colonizers were able to invade Palestine, ethnically cleanse the country, and set up a racist, exclusivist state. Hanania must not be aware that between 1948 and until the late 1960s Palestinians did not engage in any “violence.” The colonial Zionist entity continues to exist through the application of systematic mass violence, and any comparison of it to the armed resistance of the colonized and occupied indigenous population is immoral. As far as appealing to the colonial society, Ray can learn from the words of former Black Panther activist Assata Shakur: “nobody in the world has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.”
The ongoing Palestinian Nakba cannot be ended through a Civil Rights movement or by appealing to the moral sense of the Zionist occupiers. Zionism is a racist colonial project, expansionist by nature and fascist in its methods. It is illegitimate for its underlying racist ideology, land theft and ethnic cleansing of indigenous people. This colonial project must be defeated just as all racist ideologies and structures must be defeated wherever they may be found. Regardless of the variety of opinions among Palestinians under occupation as to the ideal path towards their liberation, there is a consensus that it can only come to an end through the dismantlement of the Zionist colonial entity, the liberation of all of Palestine, and the return of all refugees and their descendants to their homes, towns, and villages. The language that must be employed to describe the Palestinian reality is the language of decolonization and liberation. The role of Arab-Americans is to support this struggle, not to lecture Palestinians about “Civil Rights” and peaceful methods from the comfort of their suburban, American living rooms.