Ghassan Salhab: The dance of death

Painting by Marwan Rechmaoui

From lundimatin, #421, 25/03/2024

No, we do not want to catch up with anyone. But what we want is to walk in the company of man, every man, night and day, for all times.

Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

How can we not question ourselves even more each day in the face of Israel’s bloodthirsty and senseless headlong flight, this endless one-upmanship. Whatever the word to define, extermination, carnage, butchery, ethnocide, deportation, genocide, “on the way to…”; the desire of Israeli State to be done with the Palestinian population is now indubitable and irreversible.

Whether this is done on a small, medium (in the West Bank), or large scale (in Gaza), it is impossible today not to realise it. It is impossible not to see what the Palestinians film day and night, witnesses to their own annihilation, impossible not to come across the numerous videos of Israeli soldiers, or diehard settlers, hiding nothing of their crimes, going even to the point of claiming them loud and clear. It is impossible not to see them, not to hear what they proclaim, what they invoke. It is impossible even to continue to use the famous date that we know, to continue to claim that Hamas and others are at the origin of… and not the direct consequence of the deliberate refusal of the Zionist movement (as diverse as it may be) to not take place, to not take time and place on this earth; at the expense of the natives, of course. From the very beginning, this movement has always known how to play and thwart any negotiation or project to reach any agreement, even if it is more costly for the opposing party to do so.

Are we to believe that, by dint of saying and repeating to oneself, of repeating and repeating to oneself at every turn, in every assembly, every group, every crowd, with every microphone and camera held out, that they are the pure and direct descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel, that it is still and always about this land where milk and honey flowed, this land promised by the one God to the descendants of the patriarch Abraham, that they have finally found it again after centuries of wandering, of dispersion, of disasters and tragedies – and it matters little now, we know, that Europe is the only one responsible for what almost was their extinction, for which it (Europe) does not tire to wash its hands of any responsibility at the expense of another inferior population, an ex-colonized one, moreover -, of repeating to oneself and repeating over and over again that they are the pure descendants of the chosen people (these two words, all the same: pure, chosen!); that by convincing themselves of it, much more than by wanting to persuade others, they ended up unwaveringly believing in it. Whether they are believers or not, they are not sobered by this fable. And may the flood come for the others, those who are in excess! The designated victim, the Jew, the victim of all time would finally be rewarded.

It will soon be six months that the Palestinians have been filming, recording, without interruption, their own death, their own martyrdom, as their executioners have been doing, in a mirror effect that they themselves still do not realise, so much have they been seized with frenzy, intoxicated with their disproportionate firepower, filming, recording, staging their own crimes. That these executioners are in a messianism more exacerbated than ever, under the influence of blind vengeance – that the story of October 7 was over-dramatised, that it was tainted with enormities, semi or counter- truths, omissions, with no real investigation, changes nothing in this fury; rumour and legend have always been stronger than the facts, and of course everything was going well before this famous date – or that they simply want to return to their “previous” normality, professional soldiers and reservists, political leaders and simple citizens alike, whatever their social class, whatever their function, not to say the overwhelming majority of the Israeli population. What they however fail to realise is that they are recording their own death as well, their own annihilation. They will not realize it until it’s too late, and it’s already too late.

I published here, on December 18 of the previous year, a text, where I wrote that this nameless butchery, this apartheid regime maintained at all costs, is more akin to a form of suicide than to the blindness specific to any power too sure of itself, that this suicide could carry us all into endless death. I had written again – and more than one of us think this way – that we have no other choice but to live or die together. It is a question of achieving not this vague “two states”, but a real confederation. It will certainly take more than one generation, to go through a coexistence of two federations, with a clear horizon of a confederation. The different residents concerned will decide on the lines and rules to be established. But I can only repeat the last words of the text mentioned: is it not more than too late, as the Zionists are so full of themselves.

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