Professor Joseph Massad of Columbia University spoke Wednesday evening, April 28 at a well-attended meeting sponsored by the Columbia-Barnard Students for Justice in Palestine.
His topic was "Colonialism as Peace"
I'm not going to reconstruct his entire talk, I was too mesmerized to take notes. But my aging brain did retain the main points. So the following is an enthusiastic paraphrase.
According to the Zionist dictionary colonialism is defined as peace. Thus, when Israel expands its West Bank colonies (known as "settlements" in the Israeli lexicon -- something that sounds peaceful, calming and, well, settled) it is practicing peace. If colonialism is peace then anti-colonialism is war and resistance to colonialism is terrorism.
The acts of aggression come when the Palestinians, mistakenly seeing the places where they and their ancestors have lived for centuries -- if not longer -- as their rightful home, resist, and thereby practice terrorism. This terrorism requires the Zionist state to practice self-defense to safeguard their security.
Now we see the problem is really one of translation, the Palestinians need to understand the true meaning of peace, terrorism, self-defense and security. If they would only willingly surrender to anything and everything the Israeli government does and might do in the future, then everything would be nice and peaceful.
Their lack of a sophisticated grounding in semantics, syntax and grammar has brought about the situation of Israel not finding a reliable negotiating partner to join Israel in the peace process. This is a truly lamentable situation for the peaceful, self-defending government and armed forces of Israel to be in.
Netanyahu, Leiberman et al are doing their best to practice peace and all they get in return is terrorism, which necessitates self-defense. Israel knows, as do all modern, western people know: that when colonial stealing of land takes place (peace) this is a benign act of compassion. If this good deed is opposed, then there is no alternative except to fight terrorism.
Israel needs for the Palestinians to take part in the peace process so they can be demobilized, demoralized and tied up in endless windbaggery. This is known as being a trustworthy partner in peace. Cynics might call this being tied up like a sheep for shearing, but cynicism is a bad thing.
Now that this topic is finished we can go on to the real meaning of the term West Bank.
When the Zionist state talks about the West Bank what they really mean is half of the West Bank. Their definition of the whole West Bank does not include East Jerusalem, or an expanded area of control around East Jerusalem, or other areas that they really don't want to give back.
So when then Prime Minister Barack met with Yassir Arafat at Camp David in 2000 and offered him 91 per cent of the West Bank for a Palestinian state what he really was saying is that Arafat could have 91 per cent of 50 per cent. How could Arafat have turned down such a generous offer? The proposed Palestinian state would also have been contiguous! How about that for generosity?
When the Zionists say a contiguous state what they mean is a noncontiguous state on the West Bank divided into three cantons (and Gaza would be the fourth canton) criss crossed by Jews-only roads and surrounded by IDF bases. One of the problems that caused Arafat to reject such a good deal is that he didn't understand the real meaning of the words West Bank and contiguous. He didn't consult a Zionist dictionary for these terms.