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Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Zionist Dream Excludes Other

Khalidi, Walid. Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic History of the Palestinians 1876-1948. Washington DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1991.

"From the beginning of their colonization of Palestine, the architects of the Zionist "dream" excluded from consideration its potential consequences for the Palestinians. The reality of Zionism as translated on the ground was rarely perceived as diverging from the dream, which was (and still is) regarded as pristine; and divergence between the reality and the dream was only a momentary aberration from the dream. Thus the ineluctable link between Zionist action and Palestinian reaction was banished from Zionist consciousness. Since 1948, with the exception of a small Israeli peace movement, the Israelis have succumbed to an emotional and intellectual condition (to which an oppressor is prone) that complements the Palestinians' obsession with the past. This condition is characterized by an acute aversion to scrutiny, with all its moral implication, of Zionism's historical record in Palestine since the 1880's. So great has their aversion been (and so compelling the apparent psychological need for it)that, with the help of historical revisionism and rationalization, the Israelis have convinced themselves and their supporters either that the Palestinians did not exist at all before 1948, or--if they did--that the Palestinians were the initiators of the conflict and the tormentors of Zion. The Israelis' final refinement of this line of reasoning has been to categorize their Palestinian victims under such rubrics as "fanatics" and "terrorists," the sources of whose behavior must be sought in specious, atavistic fountainheads. Thus have the motives behind Palestinian resistance to Zionism and Israel been traced comfortably away from the context of the conflict itself, and equally from those of Israeli introspection and moral responsibility (14)."

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