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Book review: “The Plight of the Palestinians. A Long History of Destruction”

by: Dr Gideon Polya
Sunday June 17, 2012 - 00:59

“The Plight of the Palestinians. A Long History of Destruction”, edited by Professor William A. Cook (Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010) is a collection of articles about the ongoing Palestinian Genocide by about 3 dozen variously eminent humanitarian writers from around the world. There are 7 million Palestinian refugees and it is accordingly timely to re-visit this book in Refugee Week that in 2012 will be celebrated from Sunday 17 June to Saturday 23 June, to coincide with World Refugee Day (June 20).

The appalling dimensions of the ongoing Palestinian Genocide can be summarized by the following statistics: in 1880 there were about 500,000 Arabs in Palestine and about 25,000 Jews (half of these being immigrants). Today after a century of violent, US- and UK-backed Zionist colonization, there are some 12 million Palestinians, of whom 6 million are forbidden to live in Palestine, 1.6 million are Palestinian Israelis with restricted human rights and who represent 20% of the Israeli population, 2.5 million are Occupied Palestinians living without human rights under military rule in West Bank mini-Bantustans, and 1.6 million are Occupied Palestinians without human rights and highly abusively confined to what the Catholic Church has described as the Gaza Concentration Camp for the asserted crime of being Indigenous Palestinians still living in a tiny patch of the land continuously inhabited by their forebears for thousands of years to the very dawn of agrarian civilization. Since 1936, 2 million Palestinians have been killed, 0.1 million violently and 1.9 million by war-, expulsion- and occupation-imposed deprivation. There are 7 million Palestinian refugees. Of 12 million Palestinians only 6.7% are permitted, albeit as Third Class citizens, to vote for the Apartheid Israel government ruling all of Palestine plus an ethnically cleansed slab of Syria.

I have been resolutely writing about the Palestinian Genocide and the immense injustice to the Palestinian people for many years. The essence of this atrocity is that in 1880 there were about 500,000 Indigenous Arab inhabitants of Palestine and about 25,000 Jews in Palestine, of whom about half were Jewish immigrants. In 1917 the British betrayed the Arab people by promising Palestine as a Homeland for Jews in the hope (not to be realized) that the Russian Zionists would succeed in keeping Russia in the First World War. However the 1917 Balfour Declaration had a condition that there was to be no detriment to either Jews or Indigenous Palestinians – a condition to be grossly violated by racist British, racist American and racist Zionist perfidy. In 1948 0.8 million Palestinians were driven from their homes by racist Zionist terrorists (the 1948 Nakba) to be followed by a further 1967 Nakba in which a now nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel seized all of the Holy and plus parts of Lebanon and Syria and Egypt, imprisoning several million more Palestinians.

The last 45 years have seen a worsening Palestinian Genocide by Apartheid Israel in the Palestinian Occupied territories: post-invasion non-violent and violent excess deaths total 0.3 million; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths total 0.2 million; refugees total 7 million; 85% of West Bank Christian Palestinians have fled; 1.6 million Occupied Palestinians (50% children, 75 % women and children) are abusively imprisoned in what the Catholic Church has described as Israel’s Gaza Concentration Camp; 2.5 million Occupied Palestinian (50% children, 75% women and children) are abusively imprisoned in dwindling West Bank Bantustans in what heroes in the fight against South African Apartheid have called Apartheid conditions; 1.6 million Palestinian Israelis suffer under highly discriminatory, race-based Apartheid laws; Apartheid Israel deliberately murders over 6,000 Occupied Palestinians each year (mostly children), with about 90% dying from racist Zionist-imposed deprivation and 10% being violently killed (for details see “Palestinian Genocide”: http://sites.google.com/site/palest... ; and “Palestinian Genocide Essays”: http://sites.google.com/site/palest... ).

“The Plight of the Palestinians. A Long History of Destruction”, edited by Professor William A. Cook, is a timely anthology in which outstanding, anti-racist, humanitarian scholars (many of them Jewish) describe the horrible reality of the ongoing Palestinian Genocide that is a blot on Jewry and a blot on Humanity.

The book begins with an Acknowledgment of collaborators, writers, journals and of writers whose works were offered but could not be included in this collection. The editor then provides a series of succinct Biographies of the various authors (that are provided in an even more succinct form below). The scholarly accounts of what is described throughout the book as the ongoing Palestinian Genocide are prefaced by an Introduction, “The Untold Story of the Zionist Intent to Turn Palestine into a Jewish State” by William A. Cook (Professor of English at the University of La Verne, Southern California, USA). The remainder of the book is composed of separate chapters with similarly self-explanatory titles by particular authors, each chapter deriving from an article previously published in various media.

I will not review the book as such (notably because I am one of the authors) except to say that the authors are all defenders of human rights throughout the world; that I feel greatly honoured to be in the company of such eminent anti-racist, humanitarian scholars and writers; and that Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity – we must follow the example of that noble Palestinian of 2,000 years ago, the Good Samaritan, who saved the savagely beaten Jew, and resolve that, like the Good Samaritan, we cannot walk by on the other side. It must be noted that many of the book’s contributors are Jewish and following the example of the Good Samaritan in standing up for the brutally maltreated Palestinians.

The book cover summarizes the contents thus: “The Plight of the Palestinians: A Long History of Destruction is a collection of voices from around the world that establishes in both theoretical and graphic terms the slow, methodical genocide taking place in Palestine beginning in the1940s, as revealed in the Introduction. From Dr Francis A. Boyle’s detailed legal case against the state of Israel to Uri Avnery’s “Slow motion ethnic cleansing”, Richard Falk’s “Slouching towards a Palestinian Holocaust”, and Ilan Pappe’s “Genocide in Gaza”, these voices decry in startling, vivid and forceful language the calculated atrocities taking place, the inhumane conditions inflicted on the people, and the silence that exists despite the crimes – nothing short of state-sponsored genocide against the Palestinians.”

I have simply set out below the various chapters of the book below, with the chapter number, author, key author biographical details, article, title and date of original publication.

I- The Human Tragedy

1. Steve Lendman (BA Harvard, MA, University of Pennsylvania; former marketing research analyst with large US corporations; progressive US economist, writer and broadcaster; coordinator with Professor Michel Chossudovsky, University of Ottawa, Canada, of the Center for Global Research, Canada), “Israel’s Slow Motion Genocide in Occupied Palestine”, (11-26-2008).

2. Dr Gideon Polya (BSc, University of Tasmania, PhD, Flinders University; Australian biochemist and academic, La Trobe University; progressive writer on war , genocide, human rights and the climate emergency; author of “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds”, “Body Count,. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” and “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History”), “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide”, (3-6-2008).

3. Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize-winning US journalist, author, war correspondent and foreign correspondent for major US newspapers; currently senior fellow at The Nation Institute; 2002 Amnesty International Award for Human Rights journalism; taught at Columbia, New York and Princeton Universities; author of “American Fascists” and other books) , “The Lessons of Violence”, (1-28-2008).

4. Karen Koning AbuZayd (BSc, De Pauw University, Indiana, MA , McGill University, Montreal; lectured at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda and Juba University, Sudan; worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for 19 years; commissioner-general for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA) since 2005), “This Brutal Siege of Gaza Can Only Breed Violence”, (1-23-2008).

5. Sonja Karkar (founder and president of the Melbourne-based Women for Palestine; cofounder of Australians for Palestine (AFP); editor of AFP News; publishes extensively about the plight of the Palestinians and maintains websites dedicated to telling the world about Palestine and the Nakba), “The Weeping Olive Trees of Palestine Weep”, (9-4-2007).

6. Professor Richard Falk (BS, University of Pennsylvania, LLB, Yale University; JSD, Harvard University; Emeritus Professor in International Law, Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara; served on UN Human Rights Inquiry Commission for the Palestine Territories and many other important bodies; famed author of 37 books) , “Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust”, (6-29-2007).

7. Patrick Cockburn (Middle East correspondent of The Independent; formerly wrote for the Financial Times; author of several books, notably “The Occupation: War, Resistance and Daily Life in Iraq” and co-author of “Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession”; awarded the 2004 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Reporting and the 2009 Orwell Prize for Journalism; writes extensively for various media) , “Gaza Is a Jail; Gaza Is Dying”, (9-7-2006).

8. Dr Paul Craig Roberts (graduate, Georgia Institute of Technology, PhD, University of Virginia; assistant secretary of the Treasury under Reagan and famed as the Father of Reaganomics; economist and nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate; former editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal, Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service; a top US journalist in mainstream and alternative media) , “The Shame of Being an American”, (7-22-2006).

9. Andrea Howard (a psychiatric case manager in the central US; she has organized for local and national organizations focussing on social justice issues), “Israeli Immunity for Genocide”, (7-3-2006).

10. Paul de Rooij (Dutch mathematicians, economist and writer based in London, UK; a committed activist for the Palestinians since the First Intifada, he has written extensively for “alternative” media `including Z magazine, Agenda, Counterpunch, Arab Media Internet Network , Miftah and various media research journals) , “Palestinian Misery in Perspective”, (6-3-2004).

11. The late Professor Tanya Reinhart (1943-2007; MA, Hebrew University Jerusalem, PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology (under Professor Noam Chomsky); professor of linguistics and literary theory, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Israeli linguist, author and peace activist; wrote many articles for Israeli and US journals ) and Jon Elmer (honors graduate in political science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Canadian freelance writer and photojourmalist specializing in the Middle East; worked as a photojournalist in numerous countries , including Palestine; a former editor and columnist for the Dalhousie Gazette) , “A Slow, Steady Genocide”, (9-11-2003).

II- Propaganda, Perception and Reality

12. Dr. Elias Akleh (Palestinian-born US writer; expelled from Haifa in the 1948 Nakba ; expelled from Beit Jala in the 1967 Nakba; writes extensively for “alternative media” such as Global Research, Media With Conscience News, Dissident Voice, Information Clearing House, Palestine Think Tank and The Palestine Chronicle), “Gaza’s Holocaust”, (3-20-2008).

13. Ramzy Baroud (Palestinian-American journalist; former Al Jazeera producer; taught at Curtin University, Perth, Australia; editor-in-chief of The Palestine Chronicle; his work has been published in or broadcast by numerous mainstream and alternative media world-wide; author of “Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion” and “The Second Palestinian Intifada”), “Big Bang or Chaos: What’s Israel Up To?”, (3-20-2008).

14. Jonathan Cook (UK writer based in Nazareth, Israel; writes for major UK and European newspapers as well as for “alternative” media; author of “Blood and Religion: Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State”, “Israel and the Clash of Civilizations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East”, and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments on Human Despair” ), “Israel Plots Another Palestinian Exodus”, (3-8-2008).

15. Jon Basil Utley (graduate of Georgetown University; co-founder of the Committee to Avert a Mid-East Holocaust and chairman of Americans Against World Empire; served on boards or councils of many organizations; research fellow at several institutes; has written widely on Developing World economics and foreign policy in scholarly journals and mainstream media; associate publisher, The American Conservative), “America’s Armageddonites,” (10-11-2007).

16. Kathleen and Bill Christison (former US CIA political analysts; travel regularly to Palestine; co-authored “Palestine in Pieces: Perspectives on the Israeli Occupation”; Kathleen Christison authored “Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on US Middle East Policy” and “The Wound of Dispossession: Telling the Palestinian Story”) “Dies It Matter What You Call It? Genocide or Erasure of Palestinians?”, (11-28-2006).

17. Professor Jeff Halper (born in the US; professor of anthropology at Ben Gurion University, Israel; author, lecturer, activist and co-founder of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD); author of “Obstacles to Peace’, Between Redemption and Revival: The Jewish Yishuv in Jerusalem and the Nineteenth Century”, and “An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel”), “The Problem with Israel”, (11-23-2006).

18. Adi Ophir (associate professor, Cohn Institute, Tel Aviv University; fellow, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute; author of “Order of Evils”, “Terrible Days: Between Disaster and Utopia”, and “Working for the Present”; founded and edited the journal for critical theory “Theory and Criticism” ), “Genocide Hides Behind Expulsion”, (1-16-2004).

19. Professor James Petras (emeritus professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York; adjunct professor at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; author of 67 books published in 31 languages, 600 articles in professional journals and over 2,000 articles in non-professional journals and mainstream media; extensive Internet commentary; latest book “World Depression Regional Wars” ) , “The Final Solution and Jose Saramago”, (4-2-2002).

20. Robert Fisk (famed Middle East correspondent for The Independent; holds more UK and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent; one of few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden (3 times); author of numerous books, notably “The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East”), “The British in Palestine, 1945-48: A Conveniently Forgotten Foreign Holocaust”, (9-3-2002).

III- Rule by Law or Defiance

21. Steve Lendman (see details for Chapter 1 above), “The Russell Tribunal on Palestine”, (5-16-2009).

22. Professor Ilan Pappe (Professor of History, University of Exeter, UK; formerly head of the Institute for Peace Studies, Haifa and chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian Studies, Israel; author of numerous books, notably “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” and “A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples”), “The Necessity of Cultural Boycott”, (6-24-2009).

23. Omar Barghouti (born in Qatar, moved to Ramallah, Palestine; bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University, New York; founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI);hw writes extensively about the Palestinian cause and human rights ), “European Collusion in Israel’s Slow Genocide”, (1-21-2008).

24. Professor James Petras (see details for Chapter 19 above), “The Israeli Agenda and the Scorecard of the Zionist Power Configuration for 2008”, (2-24-2008).

25. Professor Ilan Pappe (see details for Chapter 22 above), “Genocide in Gaza”, (2-20-2007).

26. Curtis F. J. Doebbler (a famed international human rights lawyer who has represented individuals around the world and also represented the Palestinian National Authority and the Hamas Government; he is the author of numerous articles, notably for Al-Ahram, Egypt; author of numerous books including “An Introduction to International Human Rights Law” and “International Criminal Law”), “Genocide Among Us”, (1-28-2007).

27. Kim Petersen (co-editor of Dissident Voice, lives in the traditional Mi’kmaq homeland colonially designated Nova Scotia, Canada; writes extensively about the human rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the Indigenous Arab Palestinians, and the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine), “Bleaching the Atrocities of Genocide”, (6-7-2007).

28. John Pilger (famed UK-based, Australian expatriate writer, award-winning investigative journalist and film-maker; Vietnam War correspondent for the Daily Mirror; he has written about 2 dozen books and made over 50 documentaries; twice winner of the top UK journalism award; author of “The New Rulers of the World”), “Looking from the Side, from Belsen to Gaza”, (1-18-2007).

29. William A. Cook (Professor of English at the University of La Verne, Southern California, USA; senior editor at MWC News, Prout World Assembly and the Palestine Chronicle; he writes extensively for major “alternative” media; author of “Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy”, “The Rape of Palestine”, “The Chronicles of Nefaria”, and “Psalms for the 21st Century” ), “Hope Destroyed, Justice Denied: The Rape of Palestine”, (1-7/8-2006).

30. Omar Barghouti (see details for Chapter 23 above), “Relative Humanity: the Essential Obstacle to a One-State Solution” (12-13/14-2003).

31. Uri Avnery (Jewish Israeli member of the Israeli Knesset, 1965-1974 and 1979-1981; founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement; he writes extensively about Palestinian human rights; author of “1948: A Soldier’s Tale, the Bloody Road to Jerusalem”, “Israel’s Vicious Circle”” and “My Friend, the Enemy”), “Slow Motion Ethnic Cleansing”, (10-9-2003).

32. Professor Francis A. Boyle (professor of international law, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; .J.D., A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University; a leading US expert on international law; he has written extensively about international law; involved in Biological Weapons legislation; served on the board of Amnesty International; author of “The Tamil Genocide” and other books), “Israel’s Crimes Against Palestinians: War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide”, (12-13-1997).

Final comments

“The Plight of the Palestinians” authoritatively exposes the ongoing Palestinian Genocide and forces comparisons with other genocidal atrocities (for historical details of such atrocities see Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global Avoidable Mortality since 1950” (Polya, Melbourne, 2007; also including a succinct history of every country in the world and now available for free perusal on the Web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/ ) , F. Chalk and K. Jonassohn, “The History and Sociology of Genocide. Analyses and Case Studies” (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1990), Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (Polya, Melbourne, 1998, 2008; now available for free perusal on the Web: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com.au/ ), Matthew White , “Atrocitology” (Text, Melbourne, 2011) and John Withington , “A Disastrous History of the World” (Piatkus, London, 2008).

After the WW2 Holocaust (30 million, Slavs, Jews and Gypsies killed), the defeated Germans adopted a CAAAA (C4A) post-Holocaust protocol involving Cessation of the killing, Acknowledgment of the crimes, Apology for the crimes, Amends for the crimes and Assertion "never again to anyone". While in 1945 many Germans said that “they didn’t know” about what had been happening in Nazi-occupied Europe, Westerners can no longer say “we didn’t know” – the Awful Truth is only a few mouse-clicks away and “The Plight of the Palestinians” is only a few feet away in your local bookstore or library. For what numerous outstanding anti-racist Jews and anti-racist non-Jews have to say about the pure evil of racist Zionism see “Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/jewsa... and “Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/nonje... ).

The Palestinians are not the only victims of racist Zionism. Thus 1950-2005 avoidable deaths from deprivation in countries partly or completely occupied by Apartheid Israel now total 24 million (see Gideon Polya, Chapter 3. Correlates and causes of post-1950 avoidable global mass mortality, “Body Count”: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com... ). 12 million Muslims have died from violence or war-imposed deprivation in the Zionist-backed US War on Muslims since 1990, the breakdown being 4.6 million (Iraq), 5.6 million (Afghanistan), 2.2 million (Somalia), 0.1 million (Palestine) and 0.1 million (Libya), noting that refugees from these countries total 5-6 million (Iraq), 3-4 million (Afghanistan), 2 million (Somalia), 7 million (Palestine) and 1.3 million (Libya). A further 2.5 million refugees were generated by US-backed war in NW Pakistan (see Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/musli... ).

The racist Zionists and their neocon, CIA and MI6 backers have also perverted the Western democracies that have now become Neocon American and Zionist (NAZI)-perverted Murdochracies and Lobbyocracies in which Big Money determines public perception of reality and votes. This also comes at a high human mortality cost. Thus it is estimated that 1 million Americans die preventably each year due to Neocon American and Zionist (NAZI) fiscal perversion of committing trillions of dollars to killing Muslims abroad rather than keeping Americans alive (see “One million Americans die preventably annually in USA”, Countercurrents, 18 February 2012: http://www.countercurrents.org/poly... ). For details of further criminal subversion by racist Zionists see “50 Ways Racist Zionists (RZs) & Israeli State Terrorism (IST) threaten Australia & YOUR country too”, Bellaciao, 14 March 2010: http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?ar... ).

What can decent, anti-racist, humanitarian people do? Decent folk must (a) inform everyone they can about the ongoing Palestinian Genocide, (b) urge the sidelining of racist Zionists from public life as has already happened to like racists such as the Nazis, neo-Nazis, Apartheiders and KKK, and (c) impose Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel and against all people, politicians, products, corporations and countries linked to this ongoing atrocity.

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by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
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Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)