As Palestinians continue to die, the history of their betrayal by the “Free World” tells us why

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History professor, Juan Cole. Photo courtesy of Juan Cole.

Juan Cole, a renowned history professor at the University of Michigan and expert on the Middle East and South Asia, joins host Robert Scheer on this episode of the Scheer Intelligence podcast to tackle inconvenient truths ignored by the media in the history of Israel and Palestine. This includes the conflation that criticizing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is somehow a form of Holocaust denial. This view of history distorts and whitewashes the deep antisemitic history of Western European culture, Scheer and Cole argue.

Cole describes the history of what came to be the current state of affairs in Israel and Palestine as a sort of Rube Goldberg machine where the European-spawned-Holocaust fueled the migration of European Jews to Palestine and the ouster of the inhabitants there who had nothing to do with the German-led barbarism against the Jewish people. 

Never fully confronted, the gravest barbarism in modern history that Europe had created came to be ignored in the postwar period. In one of the most bizarre moral distortions in human history, the West shifted responsibility for the horror of the annihilation of European Jews to the Palestinian olive farmers in what is now greater Israel. That is the deeply immoral, rhetorical scam that continues to define the West’s responsibility for this continuing tragedy.

“You have this exchange of populations, this ethnic cleansing: Jews sent to Israel and Palestinian sent out of Israel. But the Palestinians that were sent out of Israel didn't have a stable framework for their lives, they became stateless people, for a while,” Cole said.

In terms of the Palestinians as victims of colonialism, Cole said, “The Palestinians are among the great unresolved problems created by the modern era of this industrial ethnic nationalism and settler colonialism that came together in Palestine in this very unfortunate way.”



Joshua Scheer