Lecturer details falsity of Israeli religious claims

The Department of Geography in the Faculty of Arts at Birzeit University organized a lecture on the religious premises of the Israeli state on January 15, 2018. The lecture, entitled “The Jewishness of the State and its Associated Interdicts,” was delivered by researcher and Head of the Cultural Department of the Employees’ Association Aziz Al-Assa.

Dr. Hussein Al-Rimmawi, a professor in the Department of Geography, facilitated the lecture. In his introductory remarks, he said, “We have to acknowledge that Israel is not what it purports to be. Israel twists and turns the fabric of history to its own liking, and projects an image that is, to put it in mild terms, unequivocally false.”

Dr. Al-Assa began his lecture with a rebuttal of the assumption that Israel is a state founded on religion, “Israeli is not a religious state; it is a Western colonial project in the Middle East that was the result of mutual pacts with the European colonial center.”

“While Israel asserts the claim that Palestine is linked on a foundational level to the Jewish religion,” added Dr. Al-Assa, “Palestine was not always the target of their ‘Jewish State’ goals. “Jewish leaders began considering creating a ‘home for the Jews’ after persecution in Europe, and one of the earliest projects that they came up with was a Zionist state in Grand Island, New York; another option was the north-western coast of the Arabian Peninsula; and a Zionist home was also proposed next to the Chinese Manchuria.”

“Clearly then, the Israeli claims of basing their state on religious foundations is incorrect. The truth of the matter is that the Zionists were prompted by, and through the facilitation of, Europe. Europeans knew that if you conquer Palestine, you conquer a strategic position that acts as a gateway to three continents.”

“A disorganized, divided East, particularly the Arab region, is key to Europe remaining the cultural, financial, and trade center of the world. Napoleon knew this 150 years ago; Balfour knew this in 1917; and Herbert Louis Samuel, the intensely Zionist High Commissioner of Palestine, knew this in 1920.”