“Jews have been murdered again on European soil only because they were Jews, and this wave of terrorist attacks — including murderous anti-Semitic attacks — is expected to continue,” the Israeli prime minister told a weekly cabinet meeting last month.
Danish Muslims from the organization, The Network, form a “Ring of Peace” against terror at City Hall Square in Copenhagen Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Thousands of people of different faiths have gathered in Denmark and Sweden in a show of unity after attacks against Jews in Europe.
RABAT, Malta — With Jews among the victims of the deadly attacks in Paris and Copenhagen in January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has utilized both scenarios as a platform to call for a mass immigration of European Jews to Israel.
Speaking about the attack carried out on a synagogue in Copenhagen in January, Netanyahu stated: “Jews have been murdered again on European soil only because they were Jews, and this wave of terrorist attacks — including murderous anti-Semitic attacks — is expected to continue.”
“We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe. I would like to tell all European Jews and all Jews wherever they are: Israel is the home of every Jew.”
The Zionist fixation with maintaining a Jewish demographic majority and superiority has featured prominently in Netanyahu’s policies, particularly in the continued insistence on settlement expansion in the West Bank. Facilitating the propaganda is the Israeli Law of Return, a law first enacted in 1950 which stipulates that every Jewish person — defined as someone who has a Jewish mother or who converted to Judaism — is eligible to settle in Israel.
The law was intended to promote and achieve colonial expansion, especially in the aftermath of the Nakba of 1948, when Zionist paramilitary groups ethnically cleansed hundreds of Palestinian villages, destroying Palestinian history, demography, and culture. Application of the Israeli Law of Return ensures Zionist ambitions of a Jewish demographic majority — a necessary element for safeguarding Israel’s colonial project.
Since 1967, Israel has destroyed an estimated 1 million olive trees in Palestine. Such destruction has serious repercussions for both the livelihood of Palestinians, who are dependent upon olive produce, and their traditions. Some 5 million Palestinians are currently eligible for services provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), with roughly 1.5 million living in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. During last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid wrote an article in the Times of Israel in which a selective account of the Holocaust was used as a premise for defending the atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians in Gaza.
Encouraging mass migration
Israeli soldiers and relatives of new Jewish immigrants from the U.S. and Canada, wave Israeli flags to welcome them as they arrive at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Photo: Ariel Schalit/AP
As reported by YNet News, both Netanyahu and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman have cited radical Islam as a threat to Jews living in Europe, while not making much public mention of the threat it poses to other groups, including the Muslims affected by the attacks in Copenhagen and Paris. Netanyahu is also reported to have stated that the government would discuss “a $46 million plan to encourage Jewish immigration from France, Belgium and Ukraine.”
European leaders seem to have taken Netanyahu’s comments as an affront. French President Francois Hollande declared, “I will not just let what was said in Israel pass, leading people to believe that Jews no longer have a place in Europe and in France in particular.”
Hollande’s statement was echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who insisted, “We are glad and thankful that there is Jewish life in Germany again. And we would like to continue living will together with the Jews who are in Germany today.”
Denmark’s Chief Rabbi Yair Melchior also expressed his disagreement with Netanyahu’s declarations, asserting that “people from Denmark move to Israel because they love Israel and because of Zionism, but not because of terrorism.” Yet Melchior’s statement fails to take into account the concept of Zionism as a form of terrorism in which citizens of the state participate willingly as colonial settlers.
Historically, support for Zionist colonization was given a boost following the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. Little is said about Zionist exploitation of Jewish nationalism as a necessity for the construction of the settler-colonial state in historic Palestine, where Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived side by side in peace for centuries and all religious groups had equal rights. Ethnic cleansing, road segregation, the Separation Wall, and forced transfer remain a characteristic of Israel, which practices a form of apartheid that complements its settler-colonial activity.
As David Ben-Gurion, a Zionist leader and first prime minister of Israel, had stated: “If I knew it was possible to save all [Jewish] children of Germany by their transfer to England and only half of them by transferring them to Eretz-Yisrael, I would choose the latter — because we are faced not only with the accounting of these [Jewish] children but also with the historical accounting of the Jewish People.”
The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948 states, “The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles.”
The same argument for sustaining colonialism was also made by Yosef Weitz in 1967, following the Six Day War which enabled further expansion of Israel. Weitz, who served as director of the Department of Land and Afforestation affiliated to the Jewish National Fund, also wrote about “the need to sustain the character of a state which will henceforth be Jewish, and obviously in the near future, by the majority of its inhabitants, with a non-Jewish minority limited to fifteen percent.”
Palestinian Right of Return
Palestinian refugees flee violence following the creation of Israel in 1948.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Right of Return, enshrined in U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194, stipulates that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practical date.”
In 1974, U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3236 reaffirmed not only the right of Palestinians to self-determination without external interference and the right to national independence and sovereignty, but also insisted upon “the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted.”
The discrepancy within Resolution 194 lies in the U.N.’s inherent acceptance of Zionist colonization — a strategy which has not been challenged at an international level and hence facilitates not only the constant repudiation of Palestinian rights, but also Israel’s calls for mass immigration.
Furthermore, with the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Right of Return was mired in a series of contradictions — namely, the excessive control granted to Israel over Palestinian affairs which, in turn, facilitated Israel’s colonial expansion. As settlement expansion gained ground, Palestinian resistance, including the Right of Return, was normalized into a series of negotiations that disregarded the historical concept of Palestinian exile.
Israeli border policeman push Palestinian women during clashes in the Old City of Jerusalem, Monday Oct. 13, 2014.
What emerges is a pattern of colonial exploitation, manipulated according to current events, which various Zionist leaders have embarked upon in order to consolidate Israel’s settler-colonial character. Through its policies, including the funding of Israeli companies such as Elbit, the fulcrum of the surveillance and oppression of Palestinians, Europe has divested itself of its historical responsibility by aiding Zionism in its slow extermination of Palestinians. A report published by Stop The Wall, a Palestinian grassroots campaign against the Israeli Separation Wall, shows that the EU research program Horizon 2020 has approved funding for 205 research projects in which Israeli companies, including Elbit, will be taking part.
Recent tragedies — namely, the vandalism of Jewish graves in France and the deaths of Jewish people in Paris and Copenhagen — have provided additional fodder for Netanyahu and like-minded ministers, such as Lieberman, to misinterpret the aggression out of context. The ultimate aim was to enforce upon European countries the strategy of equating so-called “Islamic terrorism” with Palestinian resistance in a manner that diverts attention away from Israel’s colonial policies.