Omar Barghouti: No State Has the Right to Exist as a Racist State
Excerpts from the article
After September 11th, Israel became much more belligerent and now really cares little about international opinion. During the seventies and eighties, even into the nineties, Israel was extremely sensitive to western public opinion. In the twenty-first century however, Israel has become less and less sensitive, because of its enormous power and its unparalleled influence on Washington, which remains the political master of the Europeans. And that is how Israelis look at things. “We have Washington in our pocket, who cares what the Europeans want?”….
I see it as the beginning of the end of Zionism itself. Israel and Zionism have lost whatever international respect and admiration they once had. They are steadily becoming pariahs. Israel, a state whose incessant ethnic cleansing and criminal dehumanization of the Palestinians is more or less out in the open, is now solely reliant on bullying, intellectual terror and arm-twisting of the international community and elected officials in the West to achieve its objectives. People around the world do not like or support Zionism, as several recent polls have shown; they are simply afraid of Zionism, and the difference is huge.
In the fifties and sixties of the last century, Europeans used to love Israel, the romanticized home of the kibbutz, as a beacon of “liberal democracy” in a region swarming with autocracy and “backwardness.” Europeans, after all, helped build Israel, in more ways than one; and they looked at it, ever since, as their «baby» in the middle of a «barbaric sea of Arabs». Israel was perceived as the enlightened, white, civilized entity in the middle of this jungle of unruly, brown natives of the South.
And while many Europeans have yet to be liberated from this racist, colonial attitude towards Arabs, Israel today has very little sympathy in Europe or anywhere else in the world. It has protégés that are handsomely paid, and extremely effective political lobbies that are very well oiled. With such tools, Israel has managed to dictate the discourse, the political line, in the European mainstream media, parliaments and power milieus.
Like their American counterparts, European officials are now often faced with the tough choice of duly following the official Israeli line or losing their careers – and, frequently, their reputations as well. European complicity in maintaining Israeli occupation and oppression is accordingly secured through threats, intimidation, bullying, not persuasion. This is the most significant loss historically, for Zionism. It has squandered the sympathy it once enjoyed and entirely lost its ability to touch the hearts and minds of people, even in the West. Zionism now gets what it wants only by the stick.