Tasnim – A political analyst and author based in London condemned Israel as “a terror state” and “the embodiment of unfettered fascism” for its ongoing crimes against Palestinians and said the Tel Aviv regime has justified its existence in the blood of the innocent.
“Israel has justified its existence in blood and rationalized its longevity in war and criminality,” Director of Programs at Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies Catherine Shakdam said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
“Israel has become the embodiment and expression of unfettered fascism,” she added.
Shakdam is an expert commentator and political consultant. Her writings have appeared in Foreign Policy Association and the Guardian among many other media outlets. Catherine is also the co-founder of Veritas Consulting.
The following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: On Friday, Israeli forces shot dead four Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, as tens of thousands gathered in a mass demonstration in the besieged Gaza Strip demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees. The latest deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed by Israel since the protests began in late March to 45. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, more than 6,000 have been wounded. For the past five Fridays, tens of thousands of Palestinians have gathered near the borders in the Gaza Strip for what has been dubbed the “Great March of Return”. Israel has responded with snipers firing live ammunition, as well as tank shelling and airstrikes. What do you think about the developments and the Israeli regime’s crimes?
Shakdam: I will say that as far as cruelty goes, nothing Israel does surprises me … the very inception of Israel as a Zionist state was sealed in the blood of the innocent. Israel has justified its existence in blood and rationalized its longevity in war and criminality. Israel has become the embodiment and expression of unfettered fascism. Tel Aviv does not look upon Palestinians as people anymore but an impediment to its exceptionalism. Israel has justified its crimes by arguing that others committed greater crimes still against its people.
There is nothing rational in the engineering of a genocide on account another was carried onto you. If anything it should allow for greater empathy and compassion to the suffering of others. Instead, trauma has given way to an exceptional, and state-run form of hatred characterized by terrorism. Israel, it needs to be said, is a Terror state – from its policies towards Occupied Palestine to its systematic negation of Palestine as a political and sovereign reality scream terrorism.
Israel wants to terrorize Palestinians out of Resistance. It wants to perpetrate enough heinous crimes as to suffocate Palestinians into forfeiting their identity, their rights, and their future. If there has been an escalation in violence, it is not in intensity but rather in the desire to make violence known to the rest of the world. Israel has become so entitled and arrogant in its fascism that it no longer cares to hide its crimes. It is no longer afraid or ashamed of its calls for ethnic cleansing. It no longer fears any public backlash. This is how certain Israel feels of its control over foreign nations -namely western capitals. The real issue is not so much that Israel is committing crimes, it is that we are allowing for those crimes to go unchallenged. Israel acts according to its hateful nature … it is us who have failed Palestinians.
Tasnim: Israel has rejected international calls for probes into recent deaths and insisted that its open-fire rules for Gaza will not change. Some Western states, particularly the US and Britain, who call themselves champions of human rights, have supported the Tel Aviv regime’s crimes against Palestinians. The UN has also failed to restore the rights of the people. What is your assessment? What role can Muslim countries play in protecting the rights of the oppressed people of Palestine?
Shakdam: If anyone is still under the impression that the United Nations serves any meaningful purpose – at least as far as international law goes, then they are deluding themselves. The United Nations has no other purpose than to reinforce the will of an elite whose exceptionalism and sense of entitlement is nauseatingly pernicious.
As far as Muslim countries go, allow me to ask the following: what Muslim countries? Identifying as a Muslim country sadly does not mean that such country espouses Islamic principles. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, for example, identify as Muslim and yet it has unleashed hell onto Yemen: murdering, torturing, starving, looting, pillaging, raping …
How many so-called Muslim countries have allowed for their territories to become training fields for Daesh militants? How many Muslim countries have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the suffering of their fellow Muslims in Myanmar?
I would go as far as saying that most Muslim countries have been a plague onto the Islamic world and the world in general.
The issue lies in a profound lack of leadership – and by that, I mean real leadership. The kind of leadership that forces state institutions to exist in harmony with Islamic principles. As of today, only one Muslim country fits that description: the Islamic Republic of Iran.
We all would like to think that Muslim countries will feel compelled to act on behalf of Palestinians on the premise that Islam demands that we act against any and all form of tyranny … but that would be to assume that such a principle still holds within the Islamic world. Only a minority has remained true to such a principle. Only a majority lives still by such a tenet.
Tasnim: Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), has recently said that Israelis “have the right to have their own land” and that formal relations between Tel Aviv and Riyadh could be mutually beneficial. Given the fact that the Saudi regime once opposed Israel’s right to exist, what do the comments signal to the world’s public opinion? Do the remarks have an impact on the oppression against Palestinians?
Shakdam: Allow me once again to answer your question with another. MBS is basing his assertion on a fallacious logic. Yes, in theory, every nation and every people is entitled to safety and freedom within the limits of their sovereignty BUT and this is a big BUT – are we ready to bestow such entitlements on criminals?
Can a thief claim entitled ownership over goods he stole from their rightful owners on account enough time has gone by to lay such a claim? Are we ready to allow for such a legal precedent to become the norm?
If Daesh was to invade sections of Paris, how much time would be needed to go by before Daesh could ‘rightfully’ claim sovereignty over such sections?
Criminals hold no rights over their victims. To say otherwise would be to reward criminality … but then again I’m sure such a concept eludes the Saudi prince. He is himself a grand criminal after all. It stands to reason for MBS to hold Israel in such high esteem that he is willing to grant them rights they do not possess nor deserve.
If we were to follow Saudi Arabia’s logic to the end, that might is right, then Palestinians would have no rights. This is of course preposterous.