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Israel’s doomed ‘de-Hamasification’ and Russia’s winning ‘de-Nazification’


By Ramin Mazaheri  

Israeli regime’s actions over the years have shown that its ultimate goal is to clear Palestine of all non-Jews and consolidate the illegal occupation with the backing of its Western allies.

However, the regime’s stated goal at the moment, as its warplanes continue to pummel the densely-populated civilian areas in Gaza, is the complete obliteration of the democratically-elected Hamas government in the besieged strip in what can be referred to as “de-Hamasification”.

It’s useful to employ this term because there are many parallels – but far more contrasts – with Russia’s declared goal of “de-Nazification” as the impetus for its operation in Ukraine amid NATO expansionism.

The most notable contrast is how completely the West has accepted de-Hamasification as a reason to bomb Gaza indiscriminately, compared with how completely they refused in 2022 to even consider Russia’s argument that the de-Nazification of Ukraine required military force.

The moral and political illegitimacy of the doomed project of de-Hamasification is so obvious as to barely require mention, but still for US Congress members and European leaders, the idea that a “merciless” eradication of Hamas from the face of the earth – regardless of the civilian cost – is justified.

Never mind that the popular Hamas resistance group won elections in Gaza in 2006, for which an atrocious 17-year blockade was then imposed by the Tel Aviv regime, resulting in the coastal territory becoming an open-air prison and the worst concentration camp in the history of mankind.

The fundamental idea behind de-Hamasification is Tel Aviv’s insistence on “no to the 3Ds”: no to democracy, no to dissent against their Gaza concentration camp system and no to any diplomatic solution with Palestinians as a whole.

Just as Israel has no endgame to its planned invasion of Gaza, the regime’s insistence on “no to the 3Ds” means they will inevitably be forced to ignominiously retreat from the coastal strip yet again.

Thus the goal of de-Hamasification is a subset of the crisis-stricken regime’s overall plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Israel’s greed for illegal occupation of all of Palestine’s land makes this an undeniably imperialist war, and thus totally reactionary and unjustifiable.

Russia’s de-Nazification and Western response

How does de-Hamasification make us re-evaluate Russia’s insistence on the de-Nazification of Ukraine?

The superficial similarities between the two, and coming so close to each other on a historical timeline, surely make a comparison necessary.

Russia’s war, unlike the war of the Israeli war, is not imperialist in nature. It has no desire for all of Ukraine. Russia’s military operation is accurately classified as Moscow getting involved in what was then effectively an 8-year Ukrainian civil war, following the refusal of Kiev and the West to honor their signatures on the Minsk peace processes.

In 2014, Western officials brushed away any idea of the Nazification of Ukraine simply because comedian-turned-president Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish.

The belief that the West would accept the concept of de-Nazification was actually doomed from the start.

In March 2022 I wrote a column titled, “The Russian ‘de-Nazification’ PR disaster: How, why and what to do”. It had then become clear that employing the term “de-Nazification” was a terrible idea – even if it was easily understandable within Russia – as it short-circuited the collective Western brain, making them unable to even try and comprehend a situation in Ukraine that is far more complicated than the one-sided case of Israel’s systematic murder and robbery of Palestinians.

This is because the use of the word “Nazi” shuts down any attempt at serious political discussion in the West (a phenomenon known as “Godwin’s Law”), because the West refuses to acknowledge any type of successful critique of Liberal Democratic ideology, and German Nazism was indeed successful in Germany in large part because it correctly diagnosed the endemic, guaranteed failures of Liberal Democracy for the “99%”; because after World War II the West allied with the disgraced Nazis, granting Nazis safe haven, and thus were forced to downplay the actual threat posed by modern Nazis; because forcing a total misunderstanding of modern history is the only way Western leaders can fabricate domestic approval despite the constant failures of Liberal Democracy for their 99 percent.

Russia should be faulted for conflating obvious Ukrainian “Russophobia” with that group who killed 27 million of their ancestors – German Nazis. It’s an understandable but knee-jerk reaction, and to do so is to totally excise the economic, historical and intellectual aspects of early 20th National Socialism, which only helps to obscure the real role Nazism still plays in the Western society today.

What differentiates 21st-century Ukrainian Nazis from Hitler sympathizers in 1939 is that today’s Ukrainian Nazis care nothing for socialism and embrace free-market liberalism instead.

Zelensky’s media-fuelled rise thanks to Ukrainian oligarchs, or his open embrace of US hedge funds like BlackRock and banks like JPMorgan, are simply the tip of a Titanic-sized iceberg of proof that reveals he has never read Karl Marx’s compelling analyses of the failures of 19th century Liberal Democracy. 

In 2014, I wrote a column for Press TV titled “Ukraine: The Rise of the ‘Nalis’” to explain this historical shift of modern Nazism: “The combination of ultra-nationalists and ultra-liberals who have overthrown the Ukrainian government is indicative of a new type of political party in the region: Nationalist Liberals, or ‘Nalis’.”

After coming under the West’s inhumane sanctions campaign, there aren’t as many admirers of Western Liberal Democracy in Russia these days, but the open denigration of Liberalism which “Nalis” implies was perhaps a bit too modern and revolutionary for them in 2022.

Why Muslim lands would retain any faith in Western Liberal Democracy is beyond me, but 1.5 years into their military operation, Russia has certainly further lifted off their veil of what Iranians call “Westoxification”.

Russia’s use of the outdated description of Nazis was a total public relations failure in the West, but time has proven that Moscow was indeed right, overall.

The inevitable failure of de-Hamasification

What is so very inspiring right now is that the Western public is increasingly rejecting the alleged legitimacy of de-Hamasification, mainly because pro-Palestine voices have grown louder despite censorship.

The unprecedented access to “citizen journalism” in Palestine comes amid attempts by the Western media to distort the truth. Israeli atrocities – so very awful for so very long – are finally being revealed, and this means that Western moral, intellectual and political legitimacy is being eroded at a dizzying pace.

This collapse in Western prestige and sway has astounding ramifications for Western neo-imperialism around the globe.

Thus, the most notable contrast – the speed with which de-Nazification was rejected and the speed with which de-Hamasification was accepted – will eventually change under honest scrutiny, and then give way to parallel revisions.

Rejected in February 2022, the role of Nazism (and of the nefarious CIA) in Ukraine has slowly been acknowledged by the Western media class – Russia has been hugely vindicated in its claims, even if Western politicians cannot ever admit that their decades of Nazi sympathies are a problem.

The Western media acknowledgment of Ukrainian Nazis is usually dated to July 2023, with The New York Times article, “Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History”. Thorny, yes. Bygone history for the West? Hardly.

The one-sided nature of Palestinian suffering and unrepentant Israeli barbarity will revise Western public opinion against Israel even swifter than regarding Ukrainian Nazis.

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s absurd claim that “Hamas is ISIS” will be revealed for the lie it is, while time will easily show that Hamas is actually akin to the leaders of a slave revolt in the antebellum United States.

The comparisons and contrasts, as well as the terribly false claims followed by inevitable total revisions, of de-Hamasification and de-Nazification, are historically illuminating in how they deeply undermine Western Liberal Democracy as an ideology, a goal and a method of modern governance.

De-Nazification is undoubtedly prevailing in the long-embattled Donbas, while de-Hamasification is destined to fail in the besieged Gaza Strip.

What will be the West’s next disaster in understanding politics, promoting peaceful solutions and examining historical trends? Probably “de-Trumpification”, after the 2024 United States election, and whichever way that vote turns out.

What we know for certain is that we should never expect Western Liberal Democracies, which are guided by capitalism-imperialism, to turn out peaceful, or mutually beneficial for the non-West or even positive for their own masses.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent for Press TV in Paris and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His latest book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’. He tweets at @RaminMazaheri2.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

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