Gaza in Context

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by Neil Godfrey

For the background to what is happening now in Gaza, see the series of posts on Nur Masalha’s book, Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of “Transfer” in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948. I see that I never did complete that series. I stopped at the beginning of 1948. I shall have to rectify that — but for a serious understanding of today one does need to look at the roots — before 1948 —  to understand what Zionism is really all about, and to understand how we could be witnessing the beginning of the final chapter of that movement.


For those interested in the “longue durée” picture, here is my overview of Keith Whitelam discussion of the “rhythms” of Palestinian History —

Palestine lost its history first to the European imperial powers and then to a Zionist construction of the past which rapidly became its national narrative.

The Palestinians themselves have been written out of history. So much so that many even claim that they had no roots in the land and belong back in the desert with the other Arabs….

If the Palestinians do not possess a past, they cannot possess a national consciousness or be a people. Therefore, they have no right to a land or a state.

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Neil Godfrey

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2 thoughts on “Gaza in Context”

    1. If my use of the term “Zionist” in the following should convey in some readers the idea of a “racist intent” or antisemitism, I implore you to read of a new most welcome development among Jewish persons in Australia: The Jewish Council of Australia (see also Jewish Council of Australia launches to provide expert voice on antisemitism and racism in Australia).

      Re your youtube link, there can never be enough of these sorts of public awareness programs. After Oct 7 I resumed posting on Nur Masalha’s research but as the events in Gaza unfolded everything about that early history felt so meaningless. What is happening now makes memories of the past seem pointless — although of course the past informs us of the long-term character and intent of the Zionist movement. I recently read David Marr’s Killing for Country and saw that our history of taking the land from the aborigines was no different from the way Zionists have been taking the land from the Palestinians. What makes it all so Kafkaesque is the West’s permitting it all to continue as if it is some sort of plan for ultimate good by a God-ordained government to do its duty.

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