The Zionists have used old European settler-colonial justifications to support their need to steal Palestinian lands since Nakba Day and kill Palestinians who oppose their colonial plunder.
Colonization by settlers is laborious. It takes unceasing effort and cunning, not to mention the sickening pleasure colonizers get from violently repressing indigenous opposition, to steal the land of locals.
The Zionist movement and the state of Israel have been devoted to this long-term plan from their birth, and they are still steadfastly adhering to it now. In that regard, Israel is more exemplary than uncommon in the history of European settler-colonies.
Jewish colonists were hard at work last week building their newest colony on stolen Palestinian land close to the Palestinian town of Mukhmas on the outskirts of colonized East Jerusalem, which also happened to be the 75th anniversary of the Jewish settler-colony. As part of their continued plunder of Palestinian lands intended for Jewish colonization, Israeli officials were also razing a Palestinian elementary school.
The Israeli military launched a number of strikes in the West Bank and Gaza during the last several weeks in an effort to quell the tide of ongoing Palestinian resistance to Jewish colonization, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians, including women and children.
The obvious truth is that Jewish colonization of Palestine is a never-ending process. The first Russian and Ukrainian colonists from Odesa arrived in 1882, beginning a process that is still going strong today.
But stealing Palestinian lands did not happen without resistance from the local populace. Palestinian peasant resistance met the Jewish colonists as they started farming the land that had been taken from one of their first colonies, which they called Petah Tikva, in 1884. When the colonists expanded their farming operations to more of the stolen land in 1886, this situation worsened even more. A number of the colony’s Jewish residents were hurt during the peasants’ attack, and one of them later passed away.
31 Palestinian peasants were detained by Ottoman authorities as a result of pressure from European consuls who supported the colonization of Palestinian land by European Christians and Jews. This did not stop Palestinian resistance, however, as from 1884 and into the 1890s, Palestinian peasant resistance targeted Jewish colonies, including Gedera, Rehovot, Nes Ziyyona, and Hadera. According to historians, “there was hardly a Jewish colony which did not come into conflict at some point with” the local Palestinian peasants.
The main ten years of the twentieth century saw one more expansion in Jewish colonization and Palestinian obstruction. Peasants near Tiberias who had lost additional land to the European Jewish colonies attacked the colonists in April 1909. Radi Saffuri, a Palestinian Christian peasant from the village of Kafr Kanna, was shot and killed by Chaim Dubner, one of the European Jewish colonists.
The Muslim and Christian workers of Kafr Kanna fought back, killing two of the settlers. Saffuri was maybe one of the earliest Palestinian casualties of the pioneers’ lethal dread. The dozens of Palestinians Israel has brutally murdered in recent days are only the most recent victims.
Over the course of the past century and a half, the Zionists have used a number of traditional European settler-colonial arguments to justify their need to steal Palestinian lands and kill Palestinians who resist their colonial theft. These arguments still have the same amount of credence in the exclusive and racist mainstream newspapers of the imperial West as they did when they were first used.
In fact, US and EU imperial officials wield Israeli propaganda with the same fervor as the majority of Western European and American mainstream pundits, who have never wavered in their support for colonial endeavors.