History only repeats itself

The struggle of the Palestinian people to assert their own statehood and their right to exist is nothing new from a historical perspective.

For the last 500+ years, Europe and the Western world has permitted itself the privilege of deciding what does or doesn’t constitute statehood, and along with it the right to self-determination and the right to exist.

This is how Europe justified the genocide it committed in the Americas.

The West permits itself the same privilege today. You can see this when characters like Newt Gingrich are running around calling the Palestinians “an invented people” – as if he’s trying to give Eddie Izzard new material for his stand-up routines.

There are parallels between what’s going on today in Gaza and Palestine and the atrocities, for example, committed against Africans in the United States or the atrocities that Germany and Vichy France committed against the Jewish people in the Holocaust.

The first step to genocide and other like atrocities is denying the personhood of the targeted group. So white Americans, for example, told themselves that Africans aren’t really human. White Americans relied on fake science that turned other races into caricatures that we could denigrate and consider as “demonstrably” inferior to themselves. Germany under Hitler did something comparable to the Jewish people of Europe – blaming them for their economic woes and depicting them as a pest, a subhuman group that needed to be exterminated.

Today, the West is doing the same thing to Palestine by vilifying the people of Palestine as terrorists, by claiming that they have no legitimacy in self-determination because they are “an invented people”.

Obviously the cases are all different – and you could draw parallels elsewhere with a hundred other instances. But the pattern is always the same: In order to exterminate or subjugate, you must first denigrate. The Palestinians just happen to be the latest.

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