May 11, 2014
Zionism is a system that chafes against the world. With its idea of a chosen people and its privileged control of states and institutions, where one whisper behind the scenes can outweigh the voice of millions, it offends us as an injustice. That injustice continues day in and day out for all the world to see in Palestine as occupation soldiers arrest even small children and shoot young demonstrators with impunity, as settlers burn olive trees and go on rampages of theft and harassment, and as settlers and soldiers together increase their attacks on the sacred buildings and grounds of the al-Aqsa mosque.
The idea that nothing is sacred seems to be at the front of zionist ideology. This may be the motive for the terror we associate with it. We are stupefied by the brazenness of the repeated attacks on Lebanon, the bombings of Gaza, the rocket assassinations of Palestinian leaders, bulldozer and tear gas rifle murders of solidarity activists, the massacre of humanitarian volunteers on the Mavi Marmara, home demolitions, the killing of Palestinians in their own streets and on their own farmland. Perhaps this is the point — brazenness inspires fear, and fear inspires obedience. They seem to think that if you can sufficiently shock your enemy and the rest of the world, you have control. For people in the US, 9/11 would be the paradigm of this. Zionist planners Michael Ledeen and Philip Zelikow have defined covert US foreign policy by promoting the ideas of “creative chaos” and the power of “the searing event,” respectively, to establish the “new world order.”
But fear is not effective in the long run. We may immediately see through the act that tried to impose it, or, when we have had time to think, instead of being mystified, we are disgusted. As they say, the truth comes out; lies are hard to maintain. In the end perhaps this is because some things have remained sacred — human dignity, the right to live, the right to have a place to live, the innocence of children, the beauty of nature — and we remember that. Our feeling for these things is of a spiritual nature, and can’t ultimately be taken away by the aggressive and predatory weapons used by those who have power in the world.
Zionism chafes because each of the several million people it has expelled remember that they had a home in Palestine, and they know that to have that home back is their right. It is a constant irritant to the Arab people who have not yet been forced out, each of whom have a story to tell of wrongs committed against them during the nightmare of occupation. After 67 years of attack and dispossession, zionism has built up a long list of souls who have been wrongly treated and who have not forgotten.
This is the context in which one might understand the case of a Palestinian activist named Amer Jubran. The facts of Amer’s life are comprised of a number of wrongs attributable to zionism. His family was forced to leave the area of al-Khalil in Palestine before he was born. They went into exile in Jordan. Amer’s grandfather was shot by an Israeli soldier in Palestine and left to bleed to death in the middle of a road. His relatives who remained in Palestine live under occupation and undergo each day the harassment and mistreatment which we all know now are the Israelis’ method of making all the rest of the indigenous people leave. At college age Amer chose a second country of exile – the United States. He may not have known then but he soon learned that he had moved to a country which zionism had made its principal host (in the biological sense). He brought the cause of Palestine with him. In 2000 he was arrested for protesting an “Israel Day” celebration in a wealthy suburb of Boston. A long court struggle followed, and he was found not guilty. He was arrested again 2002 during the Ashcroft-inspired attack on all Arabs and Muslims in the US, which Ashcroft waged through immigration authorities. This arrest followed two days after a march for Palestinian rights in the streets of downtown Boston which Amer helped to organize, and which had wide support. But one person whispered, and the deed was done. Another long court struggle followed. In 2004, unable to stand up against the stacked deck which is the US judicial system, he was forced to leave the US and return to Jordan.
In Jordan Amer began working at his family’s business and started a family, but continued to raise the cause of Palestine. In 2006 he was beaten and arrested at a protest at the zionist embassy in Amman. In 2010 he gave a lecture at the American University in Beirut and was under noticeable surveillance both leaving and returning to Amman. Just a few days ago, May 5, 2014 he was arrested at his home in Amman by the Jordanian secret police, the Mukhabarat, and has since been held in an unknown location with no charges and no representation by a lawyer. No one is able to reach him. His most recent arrest is due to his being a supporter of the resistance to the zionist project in the entire region. Where Zionism is concerned, it is no different in Jordan than in the United States. Zionism is indeed a world movement. Politically motivated police and judicial harassment of critics of zionism can be found on every continent.
It is amazing that so many power structures in so many parts of the world have been so thoroughly invaded so that a relatively few people could steal the relatively small piece of land which is historic Palestine. But there it is. And there is the constant irritation which this theft has brought about in the world. The irritation will not go away until the injustice is addressed. It will chafe and spring up in odd places forever until the truth is able to come out.