Monday, July 12, 2021

Vox Popoli: Restitution

Given that Israel is attempting to seek restitution from Poland for German crimes against Jewish property committed 80 years ago, it is perfectly reasonable for the 700,000 indigenous Arabs whose property was seized by Jews even more recently to seek similar restitution from Israel.

Israel claims to represent Jewish demands for restitution in Poland. I wonder, shouldn’t the same rule be applied to the Palestinians? Shouldn’t Israel put the same moral law into play and acknowledge the Palestinians’ right to their land, villages, cities, fields, and orchards?

While in Poland, it was Nazi Germany that brought a disaster on the county’s Jewry. In Palestine, young IDF and Jewish paramilitary groups committed colossal crimes against the indigenous population. While Nazi Germany ceased to exist in 1945, the IDF is still with us. The Labour party is still active and is even a member of the current governing coalition. The Likud Party, being the offspring of the Irgun and the Stern Gang, is, by far, the biggest party in the Israeli Knesset. The Israeli and Zionist institutions that were responsible for the 1948 crime have never ceased to exist. They have never owned their crimes, let alone repented.

Holocaust survivors have been compensated by different means for the crime that was committed against them by Europeans. Israel benefited from a large reparations deal with the German government. The Palestinians, however, are still living in open-air prisons and refugee camps, subject to blockades and constant abuse.

The time is ripe for Israel to own up to its horrendous past. By now, Israel should accept that the Palestinian cause is not fading away or evaporating into thin air. If Israel seeks to reconcile with the region, it must first apply to itself that moral code that it demands Poland to follow.

Those who refuse to accept the principle that the law which applies to others also applies to them apparently fail to understand that this refusal renders them completely unfit to dwell in the same society as those to whom the law applies.

The law-abiding cannot countenance the lawless.