Ilan Pappe: When Israeli denial of Palestinian existence becomes genocidal

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Close-up, profile portrait of Israeli president

Sixty-five years on, Israeli President Shimon Peres still denies the existence of the indigenous population of Palestine.

(World Economic Forum / Flickr)

In a regal interview he gave the Israeli press on the eve of the state’s ” Independence Day,” Shimon Peres, the current president of Israel, said the following:

“I remember how it all began. The whole state of Israel is a millimeter of the whole Middle East. A statistical error, barren and disappointing land, swamps in the north, desert in the south, two lakes, one dead and an overrated river. No natural resource apart from malaria. There was nothing here. And we now have the best agriculture in the world? This is a miracle: a land built by people” (Maariv, 14 April 2013).

This fabricated narrative, voiced by Israel’s number one citizen and spokesman, highlights how much the historical narrative is part of the present reality. This presidential impunity sums up the reality on the eve of the 65th commemoration of the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine. The disturbing fact of life, 65 years on, is not that the figurative head of the so-called Jewish state, and for that matter almost everyone in the newly-elected government and parliament, subscribe to such views. The worrying and challenging reality is the global immunity given to such impunity.

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