“What we saw was one of the biggest human rights disasters on the planet. A brutal and growing military occupation that thrives off U.S. sponsorship, soon to be strengthened even more by another US$38 billion in tax dollars—the largest military aid deal in history.”
This is the state of Israel today, and these are the opening words of Abby Martin’s latest episode in the series, "The Empire Files," who, along with her team, traveled to the region to witness firsthand the ruthless occupation of Palestine.
In the video highlighting essential historical context to Martin’s upcoming on-the-ground reports, the trajectory of Palestine’s colonization is presented.
“Before Palestine had borders it was a recognized nation, its cultural identity distinct, with deep roots in the land,” says Martin.
With the only perception many have of the region disseminated through biased, mainstream media and promotional Birthright videos, many perceive it as a refuge for Jews who are constantly “living under threat of genocide from Muslims.”
But as Martin recounts, the history of Palestine’s shrinking borders occurred through relentless violence, repression and forced expulsion, enacted intentionally upon and disparagingly at the region’s native Arab population.
Tracing the history of Zionism from its outset as a small, fringe ideology to a “fervent political movement,” Martin tells of how early Zionists promised to make Palestine a “vanguard against barbarism.”
From the divvying up of the region by colonial powers in the aftermath of World War I, to the creation of the state of Israel in 1947, the short video explains the malevolent history through which Palestinians lost control of their land.
It recounts the horrors of the 1948 war, which led to the creation of hundreds and thousands of Palestinian refugees that to this day have not been granted the right of return, as well as the horrors of the Six Day War in 1967 that saw almost 40,000 Palestinians killed.
The historical explainer concludes by citing the U.S. empire’s role in financing the military of the repressive settler colonial state, the justification for its suppressive rule constantly touted as “security from terrorism.”