by Amer Jubran
September 20, 2003
On September 7th, 2003, the European Union declared Hamas a global terrorist group. This verdict brings one to reflect on the historical relations between Europe and the Zionist project. Europe’s wars, colonial adventures, repression of Jews, and cultivation of Zionism are all at the foundation of the conflict in Palestine. In a just world, all of Europe’s resources would go to restoring justice to nations it has robbed and colonized -- from India, to Iran, to Vietnam, to China, to Algeria, to Libya, and to Iraq. Instead, Europe successfully affirms its racism and arrogance. The old days and glories of imperialist Europe have faded into oblivion, but Europe now looks to its offspring, the United States, for a return to empire.
The decision to list Hamas as a terrorist organization does not mean much in terms of logistics. Hamas doses not have any political organizations or political representation in the open. Hamas and its leadership do not have capital in Europe. Sheik Ahmad Yassin has no investments in a 401K plan in Europe; Dr. Rantissi does not trade stock at the London Stock Exchange. The decision is part of a Europe’s alignment with the global prerogatives of the US.
In the aftermath of September 11, deliberate and direct racism against Arabs and Muslims, using “security” as a pretext, became very common in Europe, just as it did in the US. However, there a pro-Palestinian movement emerging in Europe. This is evident in the growing numbers of pro-Palestinian organizations and political actions protesting Israeli and American policies against Palestine. Labeling Hamas “terrorist” is a convenient way to cover up attacks on Palestinians and their organizations -- a tactic Europe learned from the Untied States.
The US used this strategy to target Muslim and Arab groups in the wake of September 11. One example is its seizing of accounts belonging to charities like the Holy Land Foundation, which was responsible for feeding thousands of orphans in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla in Lebanon. Also, there is the case of Dr. Al-Arian in Florida who is being detained for six months and awaiting a trail in September of 2005. The charge against him is that he was a member of El-Jihad. Ironically, Dr. Al-Arian worked hard in 2000 working for Bush’s election campaign
Does Europe, which brags about the French resistance against the Nazis during WWII, understand that Palestine is undergoing no less of an occupation? Does it understand that Palestinians are suffering from a military attack based on genocidal policies and ethnic cleansing as means for fulfilling the mythological claims of Zionism? Does Europe, which brags of reaching the highest level of civilization, human rights, and liberties, support a “ state for Jews only” ? If Europe claims fairness and balanced politics, why it did not take measures against the Israeli mass-killing of children, its uprooting of trees, and its destruction of the land and people of Palestine?
What made Europe ignore this atrocity?
Are the Europeans politically independent, and do they intend to be part of the solution, or are they contributors to the problem? Europe exploited the whole world in the recent past. The move toward unification of Europe today may be an attempt to revive the good old days of colonialism and international piracy. Palestine and the Arab world, a kicking bag for the United States, could be just the place for Europe to practice its old ways -- hitting a vulnerable and devastated people like the Palestinians is relatively safe and would cost little.
Europe’s decision to support Israel is a blow to an oppressed and occupied people. Palestinians are fighting with no, or little means, for liberation from the racist ideology of Zionism which originally came from Europe. Imperial Britain planted a couple of million European colonial settlers in the heart of Arab world after the Balfour Declaration of 1917. After the Holocaust of WWII, Europe used Zionism as a way to rid itself of the consequences of what took place on its own soil. So much for concern for the Jewish cause.
Europe dispatched most of the colonial settlers who killed and stole the lands of indigenous people in North and South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Palestine. Europe gave us the Crusaders who massacred millions of Arabs, both Muslim and Christian, in the Middle Ages. At what point in its long history has Europe declared that it will atone for these crimes? At no point. Its legacy only continues.
For almost a century, Palestinians have paid for the Europeans’ mistakes. The last thing they need is lectures from Europe about morals and rightness and fairness. The world can’t help but see the hypocrisy of Europe calling someone else a “global terrorist group.”
Europe is joining the United States, Israel, and the Arab client regimes in the strangling of the Palestinians. Sharon is building walls inside of Palestine while the United States and Europe are building walls outside of Palestine – walls of injustice, racism, and lies.
Europe has not just stood by and watched the war against Palestine these many long years. Its imperial history was the foundation for the war. In this new century, it is now involved as a full collaborator in an even worse empire.