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  • A message from a Jewish friend - Haaretz Editorial -

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/.premium-a-message-from-a-jewish-friend-1.8596122
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    The leading Democratic presidential candidate sent an important message to Israel Wednesday. Israel would be wise to listen. During the 10th television debate among the party’s presidential candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders called the Israeli prime minister a “reactionary racist.” His opponents did not respond to this characterization of Benjamin Netanyahu. Sanders also said he would consider returning the U.S. Embassy to Tel Aviv and promised to protect Israel’s security but also not to ignore the Palestinians’ suffering.

    Sanders’ statements accurately reflect the new winds blowing through his party, which has been the American Jewish community’s political home for decades, and ought to gladden every lover of peace and justice in Israel. After years in which the United States paid only lip service to opposing the settlements while providing practical support to the occupation and almost every Israeli military operation, Sanders’ words are sweet music to the ears of anyone who believes that without vigorous steps by Washington, including conditioning American aid on a change in Israeli policy, no such change will ever happen.

    Nevertheless, it’s hard to ignore the fact that a politician who may well reach the White House called Israel’s prime minister a “reactionary racist,” and nobody in the Democratic Party came to his defense. This is the rotten fruit not just of Israel’s policy of occupation, which Netanyahu did not begin, but also of his one-party policy in the United States. Netanyahu’s Israel has put all its hope and trust in the Republican Party in general and in President Donald Trump’s administration in particular, while riding roughshod over the tradition of maintaining good relations with both parties. And now, the check has come due. Netanyahu, who boasts of his close relationship with the U.S. administration, has opened a worrying gulf between Israel and the Democratic Party, Israel’s traditional friend in Washington.

    Sanders is a friend of Israel. He is proud of his Jewishness and says that he will see to the welfare of the state. His voice is the new voice of his party, and he may well reach the White House. In order to repair Israel’s relationship with the man who might become the most important leader in the world, which has sunk to a nadir, Benjamin Netanyahu must be replaced Monday, Election Day.

    Haaretz Editorial

    https://seenthis.net/messages/828017 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • The Holocaust as a pretext for annexation

    Zeev Sternhell

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-holocaust-as-a-pretext-for-annexation-1.8472451
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    The joint operation by Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu to grant American legitimacy to the annexation of Palestinian territories was leaked just as the memorial ceremony of the World Holocaust Forum was taking place at Yad Vashem. It’s hard to conceive of a more cynical combination: In Jerusalem, anti-Semitism was used to silence the expected worldwide opposition to the annexation plan.

    And thus the anti-Semitism that brought catastrophe upon the Jewish people was turned into a cynical and shameless political tool by Israel. Jerusalem turned anti-Semitism into the ultimate weapon against any call for the removal of even a few Jews from the West Bank and against the idea of dividing the land fairly. To the nationalists, any policy that doesn’t completely mesh with the Israeli interest as they see it is tantamount to anti-Semitism.
    Trump’s Unreal Deal: No Peace, No Plan, No Palestinians, No Point. Listen to Haaretz’s podcast

    The talent of Netanyahu and his minions for using the Holocaust and anti-Semitism as a currency requires no further proof, and Europe’s cowardice and inability to stand up to the Israeli right’s blackmail is also notorious. Likud’s Israel has branded denial of the occupation and the apartheid in the territories as anti-Zionist and then equated this anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Europe is, justifiably, racked with guilt feelings toward the Jews; this account will never be closed, but it still doesn’t justify Europe’s forgiving attitude toward Jewish-Israeli nationalism and racism.

    Paradoxically, this forgiving stance also ends up amounting to active support for the destruction of Israel as a liberal, democratic and Jewish society. Every reasonable person understands that annexation without equal rights for Palestinians means the establishment of a new apartheid state – creating such a reality isn’t exactly one of the EU’s reasons for being. Who in Western Europe is willing to lend patronage to this act and let the Jewish nationalists exploit the unforgivable past to entirely drain Jewish nationalism of any drop of liberal values?
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    Beyond all the discussion on what constitutes the religious and national Jewish identity, Zionism was an answer to European anti-Semitism and one solution to the oppression of the Jews and the mortal danger they were in. Escape to the New World was the favored solution for 90 percent of those who fled Europe before the gates of the United States were closed in the early 1920s.

    The Zionist solution proved itself because all other doors were locked, and after the Holocaust it gained worldwide legitimacy. But now the nationalist right is trying to expand this legitimacy for freedom and independence to include occupation and annexation. This is the epitome of the cynical and shameful exploitation of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism for the Israeli government’s political needs.

    Now comes the question: How to make the liberal world understand that there is no connection between anti-Semitism and savage criticism of the occupation and annexation, or of other aspects of Israeli policy in the territories?
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    The German president expressed remorse in a way that inspires respect. Under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, his country absorbed a million non-Christian and non-European refugees in an attempt to show that it is free of racism. But Germany and France, which has its own anti-Semitism issues, act like they’re afraid of their own shadows when touching on the sensitive nerve of criticism of Israel.

    The right’s propaganda has managed to convince many of the best West European liberals that such criticism amounts to opposition to Zionism, which amounts to denying Israel’s right to exist – and therefore amounts to anti-Semitism. This is a total lie, and Israelis should be the first to shout this truth from the rooftops.
    zeev sternhell

    Zeev Sternhell

    Haaretz Contributor

    https://seenthis.net/messages/823401 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • One person, one vote for Israel-Palestine

    Gideon Levy

    – Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-one-person-one-vote-for-israel-palestine-1.8443289
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    The Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan brings with it good news and bad news. It will put the final nail in the coffin of that walking corpse known as the two-state solution – that’s the good news. It will also create a new reality in which international law, the resolutions of the international community and especially international institutions are meaningless.

    Filled with the hope that the U.S. president instills in us, in his great mercy, let’s begin with the good news. Once his proposal is made public, no one will ever be able to talk with any seriousness about the two-state solution. It was probably never born, but now it is clearly dead. There is no Palestinian state and there never will be.

    The gall of America to support Israeli annexation now and the establishment of a Palestinian state only “in the future” – as if the burning issue were annexation, not the occupation – is only an ornament for the casket. The Palestinian Authority, the European Union, the United Nations, the Jewish establishment and the Zionist left will no longer be able to mention this option without making complete asses of themselves.

    How would European countries dare mention the two-state solution without disgracing themselves? How would the Zionist left dare speak of the creation of a Palestinian state? Where exactly? Between Bethlehem and Beit Ummar, with the monstrosity of the annexed Gush Etzion bloc in the middle? Between East Jerusalem and Jericho, with greater Ma’aleh Adumim in between? A Palestinian Lilliput, Mini Palestine, a miniature park with tiny-scale models of buildings and people in a grotesque demonstration of a just solution.

    With the Jordan Valley and most of the West Bank settlements under Israeli sovereignty, the Palestinians are guaranteed not to have a state, half-state, city government or neighborhood. Nothing but a penal colony. With the Jordan Valley and most of the settlements annexed, Donald Trump makes official the establishment of the apartheid state to be known as the State of Israel. What Herzl began in Basel, Trump finished in Washington.

    From now on, it will be impossible to let the international community, especially the pretentious and self-described seeker of the good, keep paying lip service to the two-state solution. There is no such thing. There never was. There never will be. If the international community, and with it the PA, hope to ever solve the Palestinian problem, they have just one way forward: the establishment of a democracy between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Nothing else is left.

    Europe, which has turned into the muzzle of critics of the occupation, must adopt a new language, the language of equal rights. The world has two choices: It can recognize apartheid or it can support the one-democratic-state solution. Europe can’t continue to embrace Israel and talk about “shared values” with the official apartheid state. It will have to remember, finally, how it behaved with that state’s predecessor, South Africa, and how Europe and a version of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement led to the fall of that regime.
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    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the PA will also have to say goodbye to the dream. It has been shelved. It has been replaced by a different dream, and they will have to take it on, speak its language and work to make it come true – that or give in to apartheid in exchange for the fistful of dollars promised by the Americans. It’s the same for Israel, of course. Their dream, a Jewish state, has also been shelved. Zionism is over. You remained silent, you supported, you ignored. Now deal with it.

    Trump’s news and the world’s capitulation, however, is much more portentous. Trump is creating not only a new Israel, but a new world. A world without international law, without honoring international resolutions, without even the appearance of justice. A world in which the U.S. president’s son-in-law is more powerful than the UN General Assembly. If the settlements are permitted, everything is permitted.

    What was won with brutal military force shall be liberated only with force. In the world of Trump and the Israeli right, there’s no room for the weak. They have no rights.

    From now on, it’s one person, one vote – the single vote of Trump (and Benjamin Netanyahu), or the equal vote of every person living in Israel-Palestine. Europeans, Palestinians and Israelis: The time has come to choose between the two.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/822408 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • The contract on Corbyn
    Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. His real sin is to fight against injustice in the world, including the version Israel perpetrates
    Gideon Levy Nov 28, 2019
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-contract-on-corbyn-1.8192769
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    The Jewish establishment in Britain and the Israeli propaganda machine have taken out a contract on the leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. The contract was taken out a long time ago, and it was clear that the closer Corbyn came to being elected prime minister, the harsher the conflict would get.

    On Tuesday it reached its climax in an article by the chief rabbi of Britain, Ephraim Mirvis, in an article in The Times. Mirvis has decided that the anxiety of British Jews over Corbyn is justified and he is not fit to be prime minister. He called on Jews not to vote for Labour in the election on December 12.

    Born in South Africa and a graduate of Har Etzion Yeshiva in the settlement of Alon Shvut, Mirvis is the voice of British Jewry. In Capetown, Johannesburg and Har Etzion, he should have learned what apartheid was and why one should fight it. His parents did so, but one doubts that he learned the moral lesson from the regions of disenfranchisement in which he lived in South Africa and the West Bank.

    As opposed to the horrid Corbyn, Mirvis sees nothing wrong with the continued occupation; he does not identify with the struggle for Palestinian freedom, and he doesn’t sense the similarity between the South Africa of his childhood, Har Etzion of his youth and Israel of 2019. That is the real reason that he rejects Corbyn. The Jews of Britain also want a prime minister who supports Israel – that is, supports the occupation. A prime minister who is critical of Israel is to them an exemplar of the new anti-Semitism.

    Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. He never was. His real sin is his staunch position against injustice in the world, including the version Israel perpetrates. Today this is anti-Semitism. The Hungarian Viktor Orban, the Austrian Freedom Party and the extreme right in Europe are not the danger to Jews. Corbyn is the enemy. The new and efficient strategy of Israel and the Zionist establishment brands every seeker of justice as an anti-Semite, and any criticism of Israel as hatred of Jews. Corbyn is a victim of this strategy, which threatens to paralyze and silence Europe with regard to Israel.

    British Jewry might not be faking its anxiety, but it is certainly magnifying the danger. There is anti-Semitism, though less that what is presented, certainly on the left. About half of British Jews are considering fleeing if Corbyn is elected. Let them flee. The survey that showed this could actually encourage anti-Semitism: Are the Jews of Britain conditionally British? To whom is their loyalty?

    The future of all British Jews is much more secure than the future of any Palestinian living under the occupation, and even more secure than that of any Arab living in Israel. Jews are persecuted and are victims of discrimination and racism less so than the Palestinians in the Israel they hold dear. Moreover, Islamophobia in Europe is more common than anti-Semitism, but people talk about it less.

    Mirvis presents no evidence of Corbyn’s anti-Semitism. It sufficed for him to note the fact that Corbyn described as “friends” those who “endorse the murder of Jews” – a reference to Corbyn’s comments on Hezbollah and Hamas. Corbyn is indeed a very harsh critic of the occupation, supports the boycott and compares the closure of Gaza with the siege of Stalingrad and Leningrad. These are anti-Israeli positions, but not necessarily anti-Semitic. The Jews of Britain are blurring this difference as are many Jews throughout the world, intentionally. One can (and should) be a harsh critic of Israel without being anti-Semitic.

    If the Jews of Britain and their chief rabbi were more honest and courageous, they would ask themselves: Isn’t Israel’s brutal occupation policy the strongest motive for anti-Semitism today? There is anti-Semitism, it must be fought, but it must also be recognized that Israel supplies it an abundance of excuses and motives.

    The Jews and Israel’s true friends should hope that Corbyn is elected. He is a statesman who can change international discourse about the occupation and the struggle against it. He is a ray of hope for a different world and a different Israel – and what more could we want.

    #Jeremy_Corbyn

    https://seenthis.net/messages/813334 via Loutre


  • Eliminating violence in the Israeli Arab community is in everyone’s interest

    Ayman Odeh

    – Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-stopping-violence-in-israel-s-arab-community-is-in-everyone-s-inte
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    Two weeks ago I visited Kafr Yasif in the north to console the Dirawi family after their son Adib was murdered. In the mourners’ tent, the father Naif angrily told us that the police had barely been in touch with him since he buried his son. Every victim is an entire world, but the sadness and anger are shared by thousands of families in the Arab community who have lost their dear ones – 1,386 people killed since 2000, 73 this year alone. We are in an emergency situation.
    Haaretz Weekly Ep. 43Haaretz

    This situation isn’t inevitable, it’s a direct result of the government’s helplessness and the police’s criminal indifference. The solutions are on the table, and for years we have been demanding every possible platform: enforcement campaigns, stations for collecting guns, and education budgets that will stop the unbridled violence. The Joint List of Arab parties called an emergency conference in the Knesset; we had 65 MKs sign a demand that the prime minister implement a system-wide plan for a battle against crime. Our demands fell on deaf ears.

    Those in the government who seek to shirk responsibility for the personal security of the citizens resort to benighted arguments to transfer responsibility to the victims themselves. I’ve stopped counting the times I’ve been asked about the “culture of murder” in Arab society. A quick glance at the data for Palestinians in the territories is enough to understand how unfounded this claim is: The annual average number of murder victims in Jewish Israeli society is eight per million, similar to the West Bank’s nine per million. In the Gaza Strip the number is 11 per million.

    Before the events of October 2000, when 13 Arab demonstrators were killed by the police, the average number of Arabs killed in Israel was identical to that in Jewish society. But since then the numbers have climbed, and today the annual average is 46 per million, almost six times the average in Jewish Israeli society and in Palestinian society in the occupied territories.
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    We must acknowledge the painful fact that had Adib Dirawi been named something like Aviv Dershowitz, the police wouldn’t have ignored his father and would have done everything possible to prevent a situation where within two decades 3,000 Jewish children would become orphans – as is the case in Arab society.

    The Arabs who have been murdered are not only the victims of violent crime, they are victims of government racism. When our streets are bleeding and the government sees us as enemies instead of citizens, we have no choice but to change the rules of the game. Last week we stopped waiting for the government to provide us with the right to life and security; we took to the highways to take it by ourselves.
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    Tens of thousands of Arab citizens left their homes to force the government and police to recognize their demand to eliminate crime. They blocked highways, and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who was in no rush to protect 20 percent of the country’s citizens from criminals, woke up and invited the Joint List’s leaders to a meeting. In the coming days we will meet and repeat our demands on behalf of the tens of thousands of demonstrators in the streets.

    The fight against crime will succeed in the end, but the road ahead is long and we must walk down it together. Our future in the country will be shaped by the battles we wage over it. In the last election many Jewish citizens spoke about an Arab-Jewish partnership. This is our opportunity to turn the words into deeds. I call on all Jews who believe in democracy to join us in a battle for a society without guns. Eliminating violence is in the civic interest of us all, and a shared struggle is the way to build a shared society.

    MK Ayman Odeh is the chairman of the Joint List.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/805574 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel election results: Ayman Odeh with Shin Bet bodyguards? - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com

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    Shortly after the exit poll results were released on Tuesday night, talk began of Ayman Odeh heading the opposition in the next Knesset. Then the whispers started: Odeh with Shin Bet security service bodyguards? Odeh in an official state car, an armored one even? Odeh in official meetings with foreign heads of state?

    You must be joking.

    Even worse: Odeh provided with sensitive intelligence from defense briefings. Israel’s next existential crisis. But commentators did not take long to put us at ease: There are ways to get around the law, they said, the Knesset can choose a different opposition leader, he doesn’t need to hear everything, the Shin Bet will find a way, no need to worry, have faith in Israeli democracy.

    The votes were still being counted in the only democracy in the Middle East, and racism and ultranationalism already reared their ugly heads. No, of course, not the vulgar racism of Benzi Gopstein and Michael Ben Ari, who actually took a severe blow in the election, and not that of Benjamin Netanyahu, who stirs up anti-Arab fear. No, this is the hidden kind, which goes down easy, dressed in excuses about security, and is immeasurably more dangerous because it’s nicer and more commonplace. Barely an eyebrow will be raised.

    Political correctness in Israel permits treating all Arabs like a suspicious object, even the head of the Knesset’s third-largest party. It’s chilling to think just how politically correct this discussion is: Odeh was portrayed from the start as a traitor, who cannot be trusted with state secrets because it’s obvious he’ll betray his country and pass them on to the enemy. This line of talk lacks all legitimacy, yet it is not only the remit of seasoned Arab-haters. Serious people bring it up for serious debate.
    Knesset member Ayman Odeh at a protest against the failure of police to protect Arab citizens.
    Knesset member Ayman Odeh at a protest in Shfaram against the failure of police to protect Arab citizens, May 20, 2019. Gil Eliahu

    That’s the illusion of Israeli elections: They create the false impression that the state’s Palestinian citizens are part of the game. It’s the same with the Israeli propagandist’s hollow response to the accusation of apartheid: We have Arab legislators, in contrast to the blacks in apartheid South Africa, ergo we don’t have apartheid. But when the Arabs succeed and they become the third-largest faction in the Knesset, as they did (again) in this election, then the masks come off, and the game is over.
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    Their representatives can chair the decorating committee, submit parliamentary questions and even represent the Knesset in parliamentary delegations, but they cannot be privy to state secrets because the state, after all, is not truly their state.

    The subtext of this discussion is despicable. If Odeh cannot head the opposition, then wouldn’t it be better to bar Arabs from serving in the Knesset altogether? If they will always be suspected of treason, then they don’t belong in the legislature. What will we do then with our show of egalitarian democracy?

    Thin is the cloak of democracy, and its fragility became painfully obvious as soon as the polls closed. As it turns out, the opposition leader must in effect belong to the coalition: the coalition, that is, of accepted convention, of Zionism, of the Jews. Otherwise he has no place in this undemocratic democracy. First, we reject the possibility of the Arab parties joining the governing coalition a priori, now they’re not even fit for the opposition.

    Israel wants only good Arabs in the Knesset, if at all, and it wants an opposition-free opposition, one that isn’t bothersome, that doesn’t resist, that is not different – her majesty’s opposition. Behind all this hides the national identity of Odeh and his colleagues in the Joint List. Israel isn’t ready to see a Palestinian Israeli in a senior official position. The security excuse is groundless, of course. Odeh and his colleagues are much more loyal to Israel than it is to them; anyone who has been elected in accordance with the law has the right to know everything.

    A unity government is bad news, but every cloud has a silver lining: It could challenge Israel. Let’s welcome opposition chairman Ayman Odeh. He will speak immediately after the prime minister at every important debate in the Knesset. He will have a security detail, he’ll be driven in an official state car — and let Israeli Jews explode with anger.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/802474 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • If there’s such a thing as a murderous culture, then it exists in Israel - Opinion
    Gideon Levy
    dénonce le racisme ordinaire de deux intellectuels israéliens @Haaretz

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-if-there-s-such-a-thing-as-a-murderous-culture-then-it-exists-in-i
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    This is what the editor of Haaretz’s Culture and Literature supplement, Benny Ziffer, wrote on his Facebook page upon returning from paying a condolence call in the settlement of Ofra: “En route I looked at the Palestinian villages alongside the Jewish communities, and I thought of how for the Palestinians murder is a type of sport or enjoyment, perhaps a substitute for erotica. From that perspective we will never have anything culturally in common with them.”

    And if that weren’t enough, Ziffer also wrote, “Regarding this evil and undignified people living among us, we can only yearn for the land to vomit it out, because it isn’t worthy of this land, which is full of Jewish blood that it has spilled.”

    His post generated no comment. Ziffer has apparently exhausted his allotted attention. By contrast, Yaron London succeeded in raising a bigger momentary storm with less serious remarks: “Arabs are savages … they don’t only hate Jews, they kill their own first and foremost.”

    More than one straight line connects London and Ziffer. Their comments reflect the spirit of the times in Israel.

    Both were once considered leftists; the unbridled right still considers London to be one. Both are extraordinarily talented, brilliant intellectuals, of enviable erudition. Sometimes it’s tempting to say that because of their rare media talent their remarks should be forgiven, lest we be left with Ayala Hasson and Yaakov Bardugo. In contrast to their images as avant garde, they express what many people think, not to mention the majority opinion in Israel, which only the rules of political correctness keep from breaking out into the consensus.

    More than they are racists, London and Ziffer are disseminating lies. I was sitting in London’s studio when he said his piece; I tried to respond in real time but to no avail. So I will try here.

    We examined the past decade; those murderous, bloodletting Palestinians, have since January 2009 killed 190 Israelis. How many Palestinians were killed by Israel, the seeker of peace and goodness, which will never have anything culturally in common with the Arabs? Some 3,500. Israel was 18 times more murderous. Was it for sport? Erotic pleasure? Of course not, but the blood speaks: Israel draws far more of it.
    An Israeli soldier temporarily detains a Palestinian youth in the village of Kfar Qaddum, West Bank, August 23, 2019.
    An Israeli soldier temporarily detains a Palestinian youth in the village of Kfar Qaddum, West Bank, August 23, 2019.AFP
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    Is it permitted to say that it’s Israeli culture to spill blood wholesale? According to London, yes. There is something called national culture, even if it’s a culture of killing. But when one speaks about genetic characteristics, it’s racism. One can even generalize, as London said, a generalization will always be unjust to the individual and the exceptional. But it has to based on reality, and the reality is that the enlightened whites have, in the past 100 years, massacred more people than all the Muslims and savages combined. Not only were Hitler and Stalin not Muslims, since World War II the United States, the land of the free, is guilty of more killing than any other country. Most of its mass killers are decidedly non-Muslim.

    Someone who generalizes isn’t necessarily a racist. But he may turn out to be a liar. If there’s a culture of killing, it actually exists in Israel. Soldiers and policemen who shoot to kill as a first choice testify to a warped morality. Fear, hatred, self-pity, the security cult, dehumanization and an itchy trigger finger are all Israeli cultural traits that lead to this mass blood-letting, but woe unto anyone who dares define Israel as having a murderous culture. He’d be condemned as an anti-Semite. The Palestinian people, on the other hand, are one of the most restrained people in history in its violent resistance to occupation and injustice. That’s the truth, there’s no denying it.

    Israel actually likes cultural and national generalizations, especially when they glorify its image. The “Jewish genius,” “the chosen people,” “Jewish morality,” and “eternal Israel,” are evidence of baseless arrogance. Ziffer has every right to think that the Palestinians enjoy murder and London can think they are savages compared to us, the enlightened and developed. It is our right (and duty) to answer them: There are no lies more abominable than these.
    Gideon Levy

    https://seenthis.net/messages/799052 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Apartheid under the cover of a Jewish state -

    | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-apartheid-under-the-cover-of-a-jewish-state-1.7402080
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    The smell of shampoo wafted through the bathroom. Steam covered the mirror and blurred the image of the person standing in front of it. The guy who had just gotten out of the shower hadn’t even dried himself off before reaching for his phone. Before getting into the shower he had angrily debated right-winger Bezalel Smotrich about whether Israel should draft ultra-Orthodox Jews into the army.

    “Bezalel, damn it, look at the facts,” he had tweeted before getting into the shower. It’s no coincidence they wrote in the newspaper that Yair Lapid, the No. 2 in Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan, is the only person in the party with a killer instinct.

    >> Read more: The next big bang of Israeli politics | Analysis ■ Democracy for every Israeli and Palestinian. It’s not hard | Opinion

    The shower didn’t take his mind off the argument. “And another thing, Smotrich. Israel has to be a state of all its citizens.”

    Boom. Smotrich quickly replied: “Thank you, Yair, for finally putting it out there.” And Abba Eban’s protégé, new Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, hastened to join in: “A seriously outrageous anti-Semitic remark … the slogan of the enemy.” Help.

    Now the candidate for prime minister had to dry himself off and do some damage control. “Somebody really misunderstood what he was reading,” Lapid tweeted. “I’ve been totally against a state of all its citizens all my life. Israel is a Jewish and democratic state, and that’s how it will remain. What I wrote referred to LGBT rights.”

    What he followed up with was characteristic Lapid: “The following are two facts about a state of all its citizens: 1. I’m against it. 2. I’m not going to tweet from the shower anymore before drying off.” So now the reader understands the message correctly: Israel has to be, yet doesn’t have to be, a state of all its citizens.

    Drying off or not, this is something that actually took place on Twitter the other day, and it might have been funny. But it’s not. Once the steam lifted the picture was clear: racism in all its ugliness. Lapid meant Jewish members of the LGBT community, to whom the state also belongs. But it’s not a state of all its citizens. That’s what happens when you live a lie: You get confused in the shower.

    If Israel is a democracy, it’s a state of all its citizens. There is no democracy that isn’t a state of all its citizens. From America to Germany, all are states of all their citizens. If they weren’t, to whom would they belong? Only to their privileged citizens. There’s no such thing as a democracy that belongs only to the privileged of one nationality.

    The state belongs to everyone. A regime that segregates and discriminates is called apartheid. There is no other name. The fact that Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel amid suspicions he supplied information to Hezbollah, was the first to draw attention to this obvious truth doesn’t detract from it one iota. A state of all its citizens isn’t “the slogan of the enemy,” as the new foreign minister put it. It’s the heart and soul of democracy.

    But the center-left feels exactly the same as the right and doesn’t recognize this simple truth. From their standpoint Israel is a democracy for its Jews and a guesthouse for its Arabs. Let’s thank Lapid’s towel for returning things to their proper place. One moment he was in favor of a state of all its citizens and the next he was against. He has been against it all his life, like almost all Israeli democrats.

    How can a democrat be against a state of all its citizens? Only in Israel. In no other democracy is there room for such a question. The state belongs to everyone. Equally.

    The right’s annexation plan will soon raise questions about the citizenship of millions of Palestinians. But in present-day Israel, right, left and center are talking apartheid – under the cover of the slogan a Jewish state. That’s the real slogan of the enemy, the enemy of democracy. This combination doesn’t work. It’s an oxymoron. Either Israel is a state of all its citizens and it’s a democracy, or it’s a Jewish state and it’s apartheid.

    It’s good that the steam from Lapid’s shower lifted quickly and he could return to the truth he shares with Smotrich. Zionism’s eternal truth. It’s an undemocratic truth. Smotrich at least admits to it, Lapid tries to hide behind a towel.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/788874 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Why I don’t give lectures in Israel about the occupation -
    Gideon Levy
    Opinion -
    Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-why-i-don-t-give-lectures-in-israel-about-the-occupation-1.7170563
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.7170588.1556397498!/image/169244474.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/169244474.jpg

    What will the tiny handful of Israelis for whom fighting the occupation is paramount do now? What will they do, the people who will not consent to living in an apartheid state? The election results left no room for doubt: Israel lacks a critical mass of opponents to the occupation. The pro-annexation camp beat the camp that’s in favor of perpetuating the occupation. That’s the story, in a nutshell.

    Some of the people who voted for Kahol Lavan or other parties would like to be rid of the albatross around their necks, but it’s not their No. 1 priority. Loathing for Benjamin Netanyahu, the corruption in government and the Eurovision Song Contest are much higher up on their agenda. And what do these people think could possibly end the occupation anyway? Nothing. It’s no biggie.

    The minority that refuses to give up on opposing the occupation can throw in the towel now when it comes to trying to win over Israelis. There’s no one to talk to, and nothing to talk about. There is no partner in Israel, no buyers. Only a handful of warriors remain, the few and the brave.

    One can wait for a miracle — or a disaster — or one can shift to the only arena where hope is still possible: overseas.

    That’s where the fate of the regime in South Africa was decided, at the end of the day, and that’s where the fate of the regime in Israel-Palestine might possibly be decided one day. For now, it’s the only option.

    The argument that this is an undemocratic action aimed at bypassing the will of the people obviously sets a new standard of chutzpah. It’s akin to the claim that the international sanctions against South Africa constituted interference in the country’s domestic affairs.

    There, too, there were democratic elections, for whites only, and a majority of the whites had their say and supported apartheid. So what? Did that have anything to do with democracy? Could the international community sit by idly?

    The occupation is not an internal Israeli matter, and it has nothing to do with democracy. Israeli Jews who control Palestinians using brutal military force are an international matter.

    This is exactly why international institutions were established and why foreign policy exists, and this is exactly why there are judges in The Hague. For 52 years, millions of Palestinians were never asked for their opinion, and for that reason there are few issues that require the intervention of the international community more urgently. It is not only a legitimate sphere of action, it is mandatory — including for Israelis.

    Contradictory messages are emanating from this arena. There are signs of loss of interest and fatigue over a conflict that refuses to be resolved. Ultranationalism, xenophobia and Islamophobia bolster support for Israeli colonialism.

    But at the same time, there are reinforcements in the form of new, almost revolutionary voices, that will not accept this. In Europe and in the United States there arose a generation that did not know the Holocaust and was unwilling to accept the occupation.
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    There is today no greater source of hope than the astonishing changes in the U.S. Democratic Party and the U.K. Labour Party. The rise of these parties to power could herald a new international language toward Israel. There are countries where people are only waiting for the signal to join in.

    The fall of the occupation is likely to be dramatic, not gradual, and the house of cards that seems today to be at the height of its powers, with greater international support than ever before, could collapse in an instant. That’s what happened in South Africa.

    The formula is a simple one: the dissolution of the existing formula, according to which it benefits Israel and the Israelis to continue the occupation. As long as it exists — and it does exist — there is no possibility of change. The moment one of the components is removed, the Israelis will begin asking themselves, for the first time in their history, whether it’s all worth it and whether they are willing to pay the price.

    The answer is clear. There are few Israelis who will be willing to sacrifice their quality of life for the settlement of Ofra, which they have never been to and will never go to.

    It’s necessary to take action in the international arena without any guilt feelings, because it is the only hope. It needs additional Israeli voices. I am occasionally asked, “Snob, have you ever given a lecture in Israel?” but in Israel no one cares about the occupation. Occasionally the word “treason” is mentioned, too. It’s the silent ones who are the real traitors, in Israel and, even more so, abroad.
    Gideon Levy

    Gideon Levy
    Haaretz Correspondent

    https://seenthis.net/messages/777656 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • In a Jewish state, the Zionist left can offer the Arabs nothing but empty words - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-how-pleasant-when-brothers-sit-together-1.7164824
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.7165387.1556152635!/image/501379797.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/501379797.jpg

    It didn’t work once again for the Zionist left. Like the song says: They promised a dove, an olive branch, they promised peace, spring and blossoms … And once again they got Benjamin Netanyahu.

    The Zionist leftists tried everything. They promised peace and security, settlements and two states, Mizrahim and Ashkenazim, and nothing worked. Only one choice remained, the doomsday weapon, the wildest wild card of all: to join with the Arabs. Only thus could they return to power, wrote the pundits. Why didn’t they think of that before? How good and pleasant it is when brothers sit together, center-left with “Israeli Arabs,” as they are popularly called, in denial of them being Palestinians.

    It’s good that this recognition has finally sunk in; it’s too bad that it’s hollow and hypocritical, like most ideas of the center-left. Even when the Zionist left reaches the right understanding, they aren’t ready to pay the price for it. As usual, they want to have their cake and eat it too.

    A Jewish-Arab partnership as well as a Jewish state. It’s doomed to failure. Dear Zionist leftists, don’t count on the Arab vote. You’re not worthy of it.

    First of all – now you come to us? After all the years of military administration and after the riots of October 2000, the discrimination, exclusion and dispossession (just go to Taibeh or Hura), suddenly you remember that we exist? Oh well, better late than never. But what exactly does the center-left have to offer the Arabs in the state of the Jews? Empty words. What equality, without which there can be no genuine partnership, can exist in a Jewish-democratic state? What brotherhood can prevail in a country whose Law of Return fundamentally discriminates against Arabs? What is there waiting for them in a country whose discourse is all Jewish and only Jewish? Where nearly all of the land is designated for Jews and many public workplaces are closed to them? And that’s before we’ve even said a word about the nation-state law.

    There is only one way that Jews and Arabs can really go together: in a democratic, egalitarian state of all its citizens. Is this what anyone on the Zionist left who proposed joining together meant? If so, he cannot be a Zionist. This built-in contradiction must be exposed: Zionism and egalitarianism cannot go hand in hand.

    From the depths of its failures, the center-left suddenly discovered the potential of the Arab vote. It tried the religious and sought out the Mizrahim and ultimately was stuck with the Arabs, the last bastion of non-rightist votes. But the Zionist left has nothing to offer them aside from a few budgetary crumbs. It has no intention of paying the real price that has to be paid for going together, which would spur Israel’s Arabs to vote Kahol Lavan, Labor or Meretz.

    They will only do so en masse in a country that shakes off its Zionist scaffolding, which may have been necessary once, but is no longer so. They will do so in a state in which an Arab prime minister or defense minister or health minister is a matter of routine, as it should be in any multinational democracy. They will do so when the Arabic language will be the language of the country just as Hebrew is, and when they stop being called a “minority.” What minority? An equal number of Jews and Palestinians now live under Israeli control between the Jordan River and the sea. This moment of numerical equality, which many not last very long, ought to have been celebrated with a declaration of intent to establish an egalitarian democracy. Instead, nearly 5 million Palestinians live under occupation and another nearly 2 million live under the nation-state law.

    This is not what the advocates of joining together mean. They just want keffiyehs at party conventions and votes at the ballot box. The right has been winning for 40 years, and the left still doesn’t get that it has nothing more to offer. For 40 years now, it has lost its way.

    The solution is admittedly revolutionary and not an easy one to accept, but it is the only one: Detach the Zionist label from the leftist label and switch to what every liberal left in the world is dedicated to. Offer the obvious: Democracy for all.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/777530 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Cent des cent vingt députés élus mardi en Israël seront les partisans de l’apartheid. Une tribune de Gideon Levy

    Israel is voting apartheid - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-is-voting-apartheid-1.7089338
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.7089634.1554589090!/image/1545814342.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/1545814342.jpg

    There will be one certain result from Tuesday’s election: Around 100 members of the next Knesset will be supporters of apartheid. This has no precedent in any democracy. A hundred out of 120 legislators, an absolute of absolute majorities, one that supports maintaining the current situation, which is apartheid.

    With such a majority, it will be possible in the next Knesset to officially declare Israel an apartheid state. With such support for apartheid and considering the durability of the occupation, no propaganda will be able to refute the simple truth: Nearly all Israelis want the apartheid to continue. In the height of chutzpah, they call this democracy, even though more than 4 million people who live alongside them and under their control have no right to vote in the election.

    Of course, no one is talking about this, but in no other regime around the world is there one community next to another where the residents of one, referred to as a West Bank settlement, have the right to vote, while the residents of the other, a Palestinian village, don’t. This is apartheid in all its splendor, whose existence nearly all the country’s Jewish citizens want to continue.

    >> Even for the wild West Bank, this is a shocking story

    A hundred Knesset members will be elected from slates referred to as either right-wing, left-wing or centrist, but what they have in common surpasses any difference: None intend to end the occupation. The right wing proudly says so, while the center-left resorts to futile illusions to obscure the picture, listing proposals for a “regional conference” or “secure separation.” The difference between the two groupings is negligible. In unison, the right and left are singing “say yes to apartheid.”

    As a result, this election is so unimportant, so far from crucial. So let’s cut the hysteria and the pathos over the outcome. Neither civil war nor even a rift is in the offing. The people are more united than ever, casting their vote for apartheid. Whatever Tuesday’s results may be, the country of the occupier will remain the country of the occupier. Nothing defines it better than all the other marginal issues, including the Zehut party’s campaign to legalize marijuana.

    So there’s no reason to hold our breath over Tuesday’s results. The election is lost in advance. For the country’s Jews, it will shape the tone, the level of democracy, the rule of law, the corruption in which they live, but it won’t do a thing to change Israel’s basic essence as a colonialist country.
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    The far right wants the annexation of the West Bank, a step that would make permanent in law a situation that has long been permanent in practice. Such a step would present a tempting advantage. It would finally rip off Israel’s mask of democracy and might finally generate opposition both in the country and abroad.

    But no person of conscience can vote for the fascist right wing, which includes people who advocate the expulsion of the Palestinians or the construction of a Third Temple on the Temple Mount, the destruction of the mosques there, or who even dream about extermination. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allegedly more moderate Likud party wishes only to maintain the current situation, meaning undeclared apartheid.

    The center-left seeks to engage in deception, with not a word about an end to the occupation from either Kahol Lavan or Labor, or even about lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip. Benny Gantz’s party has ambitious plans for a regional conference, making history, and “deepening the process of separation from the Palestinians along with uncompromisingly maintaining … the Israeli army’s freedom of action everywhere.”

    It has been a long time since such a document whitewashing the occupation has been written in all its disgrace. And the Labor Party isn’t lagging behind. The most daring step it’s proposing is a referendum on the refugee camps around Jerusalem in which only Israel’s would vote, of course.

    And that comes on top of well-worn declarations about settlement blocs, Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and a halt to settlement construction outside the blocs, meaning continuing settlement construction with full force. “Paths toward separation,” this party, the self-righteous founder of the settlement enterprise, calls it. Paths toward deception.

    Peace? Withdrawal? Dismantling settlements? Don’t make the Zionist left laugh. Not much is left, two and a half tickets, the fringe: Meretz and Hadash-Ta’al, which support a two-state solution — that faltering train that has already left the station — and Balad-United Arab List, which is closest to advocating a one-state solution, the only solution left.

    Vote apartheid.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/772904 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel’s leftist media pushing for war with Gaza -

    This is journalism that betrays its mission, fully and voluntarily co-opted over the most important issue of all
    Gideon Levy
    Mar 27, 2019

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-s-leftist-media-pushing-for-war-with-gaza-1.7063744
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.7063766.1553720413!/image/2950201196.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/2950201196.jpg

    If there’s another war with Gaza, God forbid, it will be largely due to the incitement of the leftist media. If war is avoided, it will be largely thanks to the restraint of that media’s bête noire, the rightist Benjamin Netanyahu. Left and right, baying for blood in near-unison, clamoring for action. This periodic psychosis, journalism that pushes for war while still being considered leftist, has become the norm. This is our warrior journalism, fighting for war.

    It works like this: First, for years they systematically and deliberately ignore the motives and justifications for Palestinian violence. They conceal the oppression and the occupation. It’s all terror, they’re all terrorists. Then they inflate the scope of the damage. Finally, they demand unimaginable vengeance. A primitive rocket that destroys a home in a farm community takes on the dimensions of an apocalypse. A few people were injured: near-genocide.

    >> A war now will strengthen Hamas | Opinion ■ Choose calm, not punishment | Editorial

    The headline, “A miracle: Tony the dog took some shrapnel and saved Grandma Susan,” is a parody of journalism. There were a flood of stories about Grandpa, Grandma, the children and the shrapnel. It’s emotional and familiar and it incites, and to hell with proportionality and professionalism.
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    Tens of thousands of Gazans who never had a swing in their yard as in Mishmeret are still homeless from the last war, but no one hears about them. In Mishmeret they are promising that the house will be rebuilt by Independence Day, but in Gaza there’s no Independence Day and no one to rebuild. Not a word is written about life under siege, dying cancer patients, hunger, unemployment and the fear of airstrikes in a land without bomb shelters. The press conceals this, derelict in its duties. Soldiers hit a blind man in his bed and kill a man in his car, for nothing; there are almost daily killings in the West Bank, and not a word. Only the destruction of the home in Mishmeret. The inescapable conclusion is that Israel mustn’t hold back.

    A diplomatic reporter, a former military reporter, coldly asks the prime minister next to his plane in Washington, “How is it that there are no reports yet of fatalities in Gaza?” Indeed, how come you haven’t killed anyone yet, Benjamin Netanyahu? We’re all waiting. Army Radio puts on a Gaza man who describes a little of the suffering there, together with a man from Sderot, and social media erupts in screams: How dare they compare a Gazan to a Sderot resident, an animal to a human being? Army Radio, turning cowardly and insensitive, will no longer interview Gazans. Only in Sderot is there suffering, only one side of the fence are there human beings. Only in Mishmeret are there children. The headlines call out, “Enough,” “Exact a price.” Time is of the essence, there must be killing. It’s not enough to destroy a hundred homes. It should be a thousand, and with blood.

    The experts in the broadcast studios: Hit them. Deterrence. The usual ridiculous clichés: “We can’t let this go.” Why not, in fact? “We can’t show restraint.” Why not? “We cannot remain silent.” Perhaps that’s preferable? And no one would even dream of lifting the blockade: That’s insane.
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    Bombing a helpless land: That’s logical. Generals argue over who was the hero who assassinated Ahmed Jabari, and no one calls it what it was: murder. All this is in the leftist media, many of whose journalists will vote for Benny Gantz or for Meretz, but that’s a trivial detail. What’s important is that they’re responsible for Israelis receiving tendentious, brainwashed information, a dialogue between the right and the extreme right. This is journalism that betrays its mission, fully and voluntarily co-opted over the most important issue of all.

    The picture that it paints is that Palestinians were born to kill. They are beasts, we are human beings. They impose war on the most peace-loving country, a war that it so does not want. But the war that is never enough is now our dream. If Netanyahu doesn’t get that, then we, the leftist journalists, will explain it to him. It could end in the Gazan city of Rafah and in blood. If not this time, then the next. Thank you, Yedioth Ahronoth; see you around, Israel Hayom; good-bye to the television channels and the radio stations, we’ll meet at six, after the next war.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/770567 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • The Golan Heights first

    Trump gave Syria and its allies a renewed pretext for possible military action
    Haaretz Editorial
    Mar 24, 2019

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/the-golan-heights-first-1.7046251
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.7044647.1553202958!/image/1209353108.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/1209353108.jpg

    U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement that “it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights” received an enthusiastic welcome in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who got a shot in the arm from Trump at a low point in his election campaign, welcomed this “Purim miracle.” His rival Benny Gantz, whose party’s leading lights helped push for American recognition of the Golan’s annexation, said in a statement that Trump was cementing his place in history as a true friend of Israel.

    That Netanyahu and Gantz were both delighted is no surprise; the annexation of the Golan and the settlements established there enjoy widespread support in Israel. Since the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Syria has refrained from any attempt to recover the Golan by force, preferring to maintain the quiet and conduct peace talks that achieved nothing. The Druze residents of the northern Golan have also accepted Israeli rule without rebelling.

    The settlements on the Golan were established by the Labor Party, rather than the messianic Gush Emunim movement that settled the West Bank, and the Israelis who live there are termed “residents” rather than “settlers.” The beautiful vistas, the empty spaces and the snow on Mount Hermon are especially beloved by Israeli tourists.

    >> Read more: Trump’s Golan tweet brings U.S. to Syria through the back door | Analysis ■ Trump’s declaration: What does it mean and what happens now | Explained ■ How Secret Netanyahu-Assad backchannel gave way to Israeli demand for recognition of Golan sovereignty

    Nevertheless, despite the quiet and the internal consensus that sees the Golan as an inseparable part of Israel, this is occupied territory that Israel retains in violation of both international law and the principle at the basis of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 — that the acquisition of territory by war is unacceptable. Israel accepted this principle, and six prime ministers, including Netanyahu, have held talks with the Syrians on returning the Golan in exchange for peace.

    The most recent talks were cut short by the outbreak of Syria’s civil war eight years ago, and the implosion on the other side of the border spurred appetites here for perpetuating the occupation with U.S. backing. During President Barack Obama’s tenure, that idea seemed hopeless. But Trump, no great fan of international laws and agreements, acceded happily to the Israeli request.

    Trump’s announcement and the applause that greeted it in Jerusalem send the troubling message that Israel is no longer interested in a peace agreement. It’s true that Syria, having fallen apart, is now weak and will settle for diplomatic censure, and in any case the chance of resuming negotiations in the north is near zero. But Trump gave Syria and its allies a renewed pretext for possible military action.
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    In the near term, the U.S. green light to annexing the Golan will deepen the Israeli delusion that U.S. approval is sufficient to revise the world map and contribute to erasing the 1967 lines as the relevant reference points for solving the Israeli-Arab conflict. The U.S. recognition will inevitably increase pressure from the right to annex Area C of the West Bank (which is under full Israeli control), intensifying the occupation and the bloody conflict with the Palestinians.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/769504 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • If Palestinians have 22 states, Israeli Jews have 200

    The notion that the Palestinians have 22 states to go to is a blend of malice and ignorance: The Palestinians are the stepchildren of the Arab world, no country wants them and no Arab country hasn’t betrayed them
    Gideon Levy
    Mar 16, 2019 1

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-if-palestinians-have-22-states-israeli-jews-have-200-1.7023647
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.7023886.1552780116!/image/847907101.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/847907101.jpg

    Here we go again: The Palestinians have 22 states and, poor us, we have only one. Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t the first to use this warped argument; it has been a cornerstone of Zionist propaganda that we’ve imbibed with our mothers’ milk. But he returned to it last week. “The Arab citizens have 22 states. They don’t need another one,” he said on Likud TV.

    If the Arab citizens of Israel have 22 countries, the state’s Jewish citizens have almost 200. If the prime minister meant that Arab citizens could move to Arab countries, it’s obvious that Jews are invited to return to their country of origin: Palestinians to Saudi Arabia and Jews to Germany.

    Netanyahu belongs in the United States much more than Ayman Odeh belongs in Yemen. Naftali Bennett will also find his feet in San Francisco much more easily than Ahmad Tibi in Mogadishu. Avigdor Lieberman belongs in Russia much more than Jamal Zahalka belongs in Libya. Aida Touma-Sliman is no more connected to Iraq than Ayelet Shaked, whose father was born there. David Bitan belongs to Morocco, his birthplace, much more than Mohammad Barakeh does.

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    The notion that the Palestinians have 22 states to go to is a blend of malice and ignorance. Underlying it are the right wing’s claims that there is no Palestinian people, that the Palestinians aren’t attached to their land and that all Arabs are alike. There are no greater lies than these. The simple truth is that the Jews have a state and the Palestinians don’t.

    The Palestinians are the stepchildren of the Arab world. No country wants them and no Arab country hasn’t betrayed them. Try being a Palestinian in Egypt or Lebanon. An Israeli settler from Itamar is more welcome in Morocco than a Palestinian from Nablus.

    There are Arab states where Israeli Arabs, the Palestinians of 1948, are considered bigger traitors than their own Jews. A common language, religion and a few cultural commonalities don’t constitute a common national identity. When a Palestinian meets a Berber they switch to English, and even then they have very little in common.
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    The suggestion that Israel’s Arab citizens move to those 22 states is despicable and mean, well beyond its reference to a common language. It portrays them as temporary guests here, casting doubt on the depth of their attachment to their land, “inviting” them to get out. The amazing thing is that the ones making such proposals are immigrants and sons of immigrants whose roots in this country still need to withstand the test of time.

    Palestinians are attached to this country no less than Jews are, possibly more so. It’s doubtful whether the hysterical clamoring for foreign passports would seize the Arab community as it did the Jewish one; everybody was suddenly of Portuguese descent. We can assume that there are more people in Tel Aviv dreaming of foreign lands than there are in Jenin. Los Angeles certainly has more Israelis than Palestinians.

    Hundreds of years of living here have consolidated a Palestinian love of the land, with traditions and a heritage – no settler can match this. Palestinians have za’atar (hyssop) and we have schnitzel. In any case, you don’t have to downplay the intensity of the Jewish connection to this country to recognize the depth of the Palestinian attachment to it.

    They have nowhere to go to and they don’t want to leave, which is more than can be said for some of the Jews living here. If, despite all their woes, defeats and humiliations they haven’t left, they never will. Too bad you can’t say the same thing about the country’s Jews. The Palestinians won’t leave unless they’re forcibly removed. Is this what the prime minister was alluding to?

    When American journalist Helen Thomas suggested that Jews return to Poland she was forced to resign. When Israel’s prime minister proposes the same thing for Arabs, he’s reflecting the opinion of the majority.

    From its inception, the Zionist movement dreamed of expelling the Palestinians from this country. At times it fought to achieve this. The people who survived the ethnic cleansing of 1948, the expulsions of 1967, the occupation and the devil’s work in general have remained here and won’t go anywhere. Not to the 22 states and not to any one of them. Only a Nakba II will get them out of here.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/767933 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel Racist Knesset candidates borrow ideology from Labor’s occupation pioneers

    When Israeli governments in the 1960s and 1970s worked hard to steal Palestinian land while quoting God’s promises to atheists, they paved the way for parties promoting Jewish supremacy
    Amira Hass
    Mar 11, 2019

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-racist-knesset-candidates-borrow-ideology-from-labor-s-occupation-
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.7016779.1552340591!/image/3626003890.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/3626003890.jpg

    A twisted but single line stretches between Israel Galili and Bezalel Smotrich, between Yigal Allon and Levi Eshkol and Moshe Feiglin, and between Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin and Ayelet Shaked.

    We, the Arabs and the leftists, were right when we warned during the 1960s and 1970s that the settlement enterprise was a disaster. We erred in believing that the world would intervene in time and preempt the Lebensraum impulses, the urge to create “living space.” We thought that in the end, the heads of the Labor movement would learn from the expansionist impulses of other nations. After all, they were the sons and brothers of the victims of Lebensraum. But we were wrong. So now we’ll have Feiglin, the latest hot name in the gallery of those preaching to expel the Palestinians, sitting in the next Knesset.

    >> Read more: How Palestinian land goes from the Israeli army to the settlers ■ Israel forces Palestinian to raze his and his daughter’s homes with his own hands

    Racism is an ideology that evolves in order to justify and protect the excessive material and social rights that a certain group of people has acquired, due to years of historical circumstances. Like men, conquering nations find it hard to give up their accumulated spoils and profits and will do anything to hold onto them.

    Immediately after June 1967, the Labor Alignment government cynically manipulated international law, ravaged the occupied Palestinian lands to Judaize them, and developed bureaucratic methods to reduce the number of Palestinians living in the country. One can trace the cynicism and the line that stretches from Galili to settler-leader-turned-minister Uri Ariel in a new study by the Kerem Navot organization, titled “Seize the Moral High Ground,” which researches the history of orders to seize land for “temporary military purposes.” Seizing Palestinian land for military purposes and then transferring it to the settlements was not invented by Likud, but by the Alignment. The Alignment holds the copyright on steadily gnawing at Palestinian land while abusing its owners to give an established settlement another road, another water pipe, another security buffer zone.

    When the Labor governments worked hard to steal land on the grounds of security while quoting God’s promises to atheists, they paved the way for the hundreds of thousands of Jews who are now going to vote for parties promoting the ideology of a superior Jewish race – and these are many and varied, praise God. Eshkol allowed the destruction of the Mughrabi Quarter and dispersed its Palestinian residents to the winds to make way for the Western Wall Plaza, and Allon was the first minister to move to Jerusalem’s Old City.

    The occupation bureaucracy they developed prevented the return home of tens of thousands of Palestinians who found themselves outside the West Bank in the summer of 1967, and restricted Palestinian construction in Jerusalem with the help of planning laws. These governments laid the attitudinal foundations for the Third Temple, whose construction is being planned by some people with the utmost seriousness. The spirit of the mass expulsions of 1948, the desire to empty the land of Arabs, infused them.

    The racist-messianic justifications have persuaded an increasing number of Jewish Israelis, because the spoils acquired have grown tremendously over the years. It’s hard to give them up, and they want more. That’s why Benjamin Netanyahu hastened to explain that the State of Israel is not a state of all its citizens. He fears that votes might go from him to Feiglin and Kahanist candidate Itamar Ben-Gvir.

    When the world proved it could not block either the Alignment or Likud governments, the land gluttons proceeded to gorge themselves with redoubled enthusiasm. The armed, aggressive, murderous racism of the settlement messiahs and their servants is intensifying, because the inferior nation is not inferior. It is resisting. It is educated, eloquent and refuses to disappear. It is rooted in its land.

    Emboldened, the Feiglins and the Smotriches will try to expel masses of Palestinians. They will fail only if all the descendents of the Alignment – not just Ta’ayush activists and a handful of anarchists – prevent it with their bodies.

    Why is it hard for me to imagine the leaders of Kahol Lavan halting the trucks?

    https://seenthis.net/messages/766624 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Keep it up, Ilhan Omar - Opinion

    Neither Hamas nor a black day, but a glimmer of hope on Capitol Hill
    Gideon Levy
    Mar 07, 2019

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-keep-it-up-ilhan-omar-1.6999623
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.6999660.1551927496!/image/3661982762.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/3661982762.jpg

    Maybe Mogadishu will turn out to be the source of hope. This war-torn city was the birthplace of the most promising U.S. congresswoman today.

    Ilhan Omar is not only one of the first two female Muslim members of the House of Representatives, she may herald a dramatic change in that body. “Hamas has entered the House,” Roseanne Barr was quick to cry out; “A black day for Israel,” tweeted Donald Trump. Neither Hamas nor a black day, but a glimmer of hope on Capitol Hill.

    Maybe, for the first time in history, someone will dare tell the truth to the American people, absorbing scathing accusations of anti-Semitism, without bowing her head. The chances of this happening aren’t great; the savage engine of the Jewish lobby and of Israel’s “friends” is already doing everything it can to trample her.

    The president mentioned removing her from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Congress was set to pass a resolution, the second in one month, against uttering “anti-Semitic expressions,” specifically aimed at Omar’s statements.

    >> We support you, Ilhan the heroine | Opinion

    When will Americans and Europeans stop running scared every time someone screams “anti-Semitism”? Until when will Israel and the Jewish establishment succeed in exploiting (the existing) anti-Semitism as a shield against criticism? When will the world dare to distinguish between legitimate criticism of an illegitimate reality and anti-Semitism?

    The gap between these two is great. There is anti-Semitism one must fight, and there is criticism of Israel and the Jewish establishment it is imperative to support. Manipulations exercised by the Israeli propaganda machine and the Jewish establishment have managed to make the two issues identical.

    This is the greatest success of the Israeli government’s hasbara: Say one critical word about Israel and you’re labeled an anti-Semite. And labeled an anti-Semite, your fate is obvious. Omar has to break this cursed cycle. Is the young representative from Minnesota up for it? Can she withstand the power centers that have already mobilized against her in full force?

    Maybe it’s important that she knows there are people in Israel crossing fingers for her?

    Her success and that of her congressional colleagues, Rashida Tlaib from Michigan and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, could be the first swallows that herald the coming of spring. This is the spring of freely expressing opinions about Israel in America. Cortez already asked this week why isn’t bigotry aimed at other groups condemned just like statements against Israel are.

    >> As an American-Israeli, I am thrilled for the Palestinians and for Rashida Tlaib | Opinion

    What, after all, has Omar said? That pro-Israel activists demand “allegiance to a foreign country”; that U.S. politicians support Israel because of money they receive from the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, and that “Israel hypnotized the world.” What is incorrect in these statements? Why is describing reality considered anti-Semitic?

    Jews have immense power in the U.S., far beyond the relative size of their community, and the blind support given by their establishment to Israel raises legitimate questions regarding dual loyalty. Their power derives from their economic success, their organizational skills and the political pressure they exert. Omar dared to speak about this.
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    Just imagine what Israelis and Jews would feel if Muslim Americans had the same political, economic and cultural power Jews have. Such power, above all the intoxication with power that has seized hold of the Jewish establishment, comes with a price. Omar and her colleagues are trying to collect on it.

    Due to the Israel lobby, the U.S. does not know the truth about what is happening here. Congress members, senators and shapers of public opinion who are flown here ad nauseam see only Israeli victimhood and Palestinian terror, which apparently emerged out of nowhere. Islamists, Qassam rockets and incendiary balloons – not a word about occupation, expropriation, refugees and military tyranny. Questions such as where the money goes and whether it serves American interests are considered heresy. When talking about Israel one must not ask questions or raise doubts.

    This cycle has to be broken as well. It’s not right and it’s not good for the Jews. Omar is now trying to introduce a new discourse to Congress and to public opinion. Thanks to her and her colleagues there is a chance for a change in America. From Israel we send her our wishes for success.

    When will the world dare to distinguish between legitimate criticism of an illegitimate Israeli reality and anti-Semitism?

    https://seenthis.net/messages/765360 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Gantz, son of Holocaust survivor, mentions Bergen-Belsen but ignores the camp that is Gaza
    If Benny Gantz had the courage, he’d go to The Hague himself
    Amira Hass
    Feb 03, 2019

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-gantz-son-of-holocaust-survivor-mentions-bergen-belsen-but-ignores
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.6901192.1549228638!/image/1741943936.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/1741943936.jpg

    Benny Gantz frequently mentions his mother, a survivor of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Anshel Pfeffer wrote in Haaretz on January 30. My mother also survived Bergen-Belsen. The former IDF chief of staff’s mother encouraged him to continue fighting in Gaza, but not to stop sending food to its inhabitants. (To make things straight: Israel did not and does not send food to the Palestinians. The food is bought at full price from Israeli merchants and producers. What Israel can do is to prevent food and other essential products from entering Gaza, as it has done more than once.) My mother was revolted by generals, their wars against the Palestinians and the trafficking in the memory of the murdered Jews.

    If Gantz had the courage, he would go to The Hague himself, to the Dutch district court there. The judge would have to decide whether the Dutch court has the authority to hear a civil suit against the former Israeli chief of staff for war crimes in Gaza in 2014 – the killing of six members of a family in one bombardment. Gantz’s lawyer would argue that the judge should reject the suit because the court has no jurisdiction, and in any case Gantz has immunity because he did what he did for the State of Israel, in the framework of his state-sanctioned role. This is also whyIsrael pays for his legal representation.

    >> Read more: Like Netanyahu, Gantz plays on the anxieties of his would-be voters ■ 180 Palestinian women wounded by live Israeli fire since start of Gaza protests

    Suing for war crimes specific people, who were serving in official capacities, is based on the concept that human beings, even soldiers and certainly their supreme commander, are creatures capable of thinking and are therefore responsible for their actions. They are not just following orders. A civil suit for a war crime committed in another country is based on the concept that universal values exist and that when international law is breached, a third state has the right to adjudicate.

    If Gantz had the courage, he would leave his new Knesset (or cabinet) seat for a day or two and stand in The Hague before the plaintiff Ismail Ziada. But even if Gantz doesn’t go, two tracks of uprootedness, injustice and trauma, will intersect there. Europe made clear to Gantz’s parents, who were born in Hungary and Romania, that they were not wanted there. In fact, that they didn’t deserve to live. They were not killed, and they arrived in this country. In Israel we became the victors, and we continue to take revenge on those who have nothing to do with the expulsion and murder of the Jews.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/757830 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Toward a democratic, not Jewish, state

    A civil alternative to the right’s doctrines – one God, one people, one land and one leader – is urgently needed, and whoever has the courage and inspiration to stand at this front will win it all
    Avraham Burg
    Jan 25, 2019 1
    Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-toward-a-democratic-not-jewish-state-1.6872815
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.6872823.1548369190!/image/3872320177.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/3872320177.jpg

    The spirit in the election atmosphere is the spirit of the time, the insane Netanyahu spirit. That’s the wind blowing in the sails of his fervid supporters and defining his rivals. He is asking for the voters’ confidence to do more of the same and his opponents say “Just not Bibi.”
    Haaretz Weekly Ep. 13Haaretz

    For 35 years Israel has had no opposition. We have no experience and memories of alternative thinking anymore. There is nobody to offer a different kind of hope at the end of all the despair.

    >> Read more: Meretz leader Zandberg shines as stand-up comic in celebrity roast that showcased her party’s sad reality ■ The war that will decide Israel’s future won’t involve airstrikes, tanks or missiles

    Many years ago I contended for the leadership of the Labor Party, which at the time was stuck in the mire of the national unity government. It was characterized by no governance and little unity. That is exactly where the destruction of democracy and the nationalization of the political discourse, together with its turn to ultra-nationalism, began.

    At the time I planned to take Labor out of the government, to turn it into a civil alternative to the right’s doctrines – one God, one people, one land and one leader. I was told then: Your ideas are premature. Today I’m telling us all: In a moment it will be too late. Because this is exactly what is urgently needed, even more than before.

    In this sense Avi Gabbay is absolutely right to make the public commitment he is making – not to join Netanyahu’s next government. But this is an empty commitment. It deals with title and status, not with content. To replace Netanyahuism one must present a comprehensive, complete worldview.

    The right of recent years stands on five legs: sowing of fear, Jewish supremacy, abandonment of Western values, systematic weakening of the institutions of law and divisiveness.
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    After so many years of such thorough indoctrination it’s not enough to say “I won’t sit in the same government with him.” It must be self-evident – what’s needed is to “turn from evil.” But what does it mean to “do good,” what is the ideological content that will heal Israel from Netanyahu’s curse?

    The renewal of Israel must stand on a foundation of civil equality. There is no other supreme value capable of uniting the variety of our identities, with absolute commitment to a democratic way of life. To achieve it we must set up a coalition for civil equality including various parties, movements and interests, all of which have one ultimate goal: changing Israeli discourse from ethnic domination to equal citizenship for all. The coalition’s agenda should include:

    Redefining Israel from “a Jewish-democratic state” to “a constitutional democracy in which part of the Jewish people has established its sovereignty, and which belongs to all its citizens.”
    Proposing a civil constitution including complete civil equality, secularizing the public sphere, separating state from religion, a fair distribution of public resources and decent, fair “rules of the game.”
    Significantly minimizing the Law of Return and closing all the automatic fast tracks granted on the basis of (at times dubious) genetic connection to the Jewish collective.
    Changing the Israeli security concept, from the obsessive amassing of power to the constant striving for long-term political arrangements, including with the Palestinian people.
    Waiving the monopolies and privileges of Israel and the Jews between the Jordan River and the sea. Turning it into a shared space as much as possible, in which every person is entitled to the same rights and every nation has the right to self-determination and confederate partnership in every walk of life.
    Implementing a policy of affirmative action and justice to redress past iniquities to the excluded and discriminated-against populations in Israel, centering on the Arab population, until the goals of civil equality are met.

    Yes, all these things mean a painful parting from the Jewish comfort and supremacy zones. It’s a dramatic evolution from the ideas of 1948 and 1967 to a new model of society, in a world of populistic madness stretching from Washington to Ankara and from Moscow to Balfour Street in Jerusalem.

    Anyone who has the courage and inspiration to stand at this front, and is ready to pay the price, will win it all. And make all of us winners.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/755190 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Yad Vashem teaches the Holocaust like totalitarian countries teach history

    Yad Vashem is now paying the price of the many years in which it nurtured a one-dimensional, simplistic message that there’s only one way to explain the Holocaust

    Daniel Blatman SendSend me email alerts
    Dec 18, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-what-happened-to-yad-vashem-1.6759139

    The Warsaw Ghetto Museum, which the Polish government decided to establish eight months ago, is now at the center of a debate.
    This debate has political elements, but it’s mainly a clash between two views of what should be stressed when researching and remembering the Holocaust, and above all of what educational messages should be sent – what Israelis like to call “the lessons of the Holocaust.”
    Haaretz’s Ofer Aderet, in his article about the Warsaw museum, mainly discussed the political perspective, giving considerable space to the criticisms by Prof. Hava Dreifuss, a Yad Vashem historian. Dreifuss assailed the Warsaw museum and those who decided, despite all the problems, to take on a project whose importance is hard to overstate. This criticism deserves a response.

    First, the political context. There’s no more appropriate response to Dreifuss’ criticism than the old saying that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
    >> Budapest Holocaust museum: Orban’s grand gesture or a whitewashing of Hungarian history?
    Dreifuss works for an institution that in recent years has functioned as a hard-working laundromat, striving to bleach out the sins of every anti-Semitic, fascist, racist or simply murderously thuggish leader or politician like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte and Italy’s Matteo Salvini.
    My heart breaks when I see my colleagues, honest and faithful researchers of the Holocaust, giving tours of this historic museum, apparently under compulsion, to the evildoers the Israeli government sends to Yad Vashem to receive absolution in the name of Holocaust victims in exchange for adding a pro-Israel vote at international institutions. For some reason, Dreifuss has no criticism about this.
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    But for the Polish government (every Polish government, both the current one headed by the nationalist Law and Justice party and the previous one headed by a liberal centrist coalition), which is spending tens of millions of zlotys every year to preserve historical Jewish sites, Jewish graveyards and countless memorials, she has scathing criticism.
    Fear and demoralization
    A week and a half ago, Matti Friedman published an opinion piece in The New York Times about what’s happening at Yad Vashem, and it made for difficult reading. When you read his conclusions, your hair stands on end. He doesn’t quote a single Yad Vashem employee by name, because no one wanted to be identified. After all, they have to earn a living.
    Friedman described a mood of frustration, fear and demoralization among the employees because the current extremist, nationalist government has turned Yad Vashem into a political tool reminiscent of history museums in totalitarian countries.
    But the most astonishing thing Friedman reported is that the institution’s chairman, Avner Shalev – who turned the museum into an international remembrance empire, and who for years has viciously fought every attempt to present a different conceptual or research approach than that of Yad Vashem – is reluctant to retire, despite having reached the age of 80.
    >> How a Nazi sympathizer helped found one of Sweden’s most powerful parties
    The reason for his reluctance is that many people at the institute fear that when he leaves, his place will be taken by someone nominated by the relevant minister, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who will turn Yad Vashem into a remembrance institute in the spirit of Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi party. It would be interesting to know what Dreifuss thinks about that.
    Yad Vashem is now paying the price of the many years in which it nurtured a one-dimensional, simplistic message that there’s only one way to explain the Holocaust. Today, the institution is apparently willing to place its reputation for Holocaust research, which it has built over many years, at the service of a government that has recruited it to accuse anyone who criticizes Israel of anti-Semitism. So it’s no wonder that its researchers have become partisan explainers of the Holocaust.
    It’s one thing when, at dubious conferences with political leaders whose governments include former neo-Nazis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to pass resolutions calling criticism of Israel the new anti-Semitism. It’s another when a research and remembrance institute doesn’t stand courageously against all such attempts.
    Thus Yad Vashem would do better not to look for evidence that other governments are attempting to distort history and dictate nationalist content – not to mention engaging in Holocaust denial, as Dreifuss charges.
    The Polish angle
    Does any of the above justify the current Polish government’s position on the Holocaust? Obviously not. The Polish government has a problematic agenda in explaining the past, which we aren’t obligated to accept and in fact should even criticize.
    But Poland’s government hasn’t interfered with the work of the museum’s employees, who have now started working, and certainly not with the development of the museum’s narrative. Had Dreifuss and her colleagues gotten involved in this effort, as they were invited to do, they would have been welcomed. Had Yad Vashem offered its help and support instead of giving the project the cold shoulder, nobody would have been happier than we at the museum.
    >> Opening Italy’s ‘closet of shame’
    And now we come to the historical issue. To take part in the effort to establish the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, one has to agree that the Holocaust can be presented and explained from perspectives other than an ethnocentric Jewish, Zionist and nationalist one.
    One has to accept that the Holocaust can be studied in a way that sees Jewish history during this period as an integral part of Poland’s history under the Nazi occupation. One has to agree that the horrific Jewish tragedy that occurred during World War II can and should be understood in part by simultaneously examining – while noting both the differences and the common elements – what befell Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and others who were murdered alongside Jews in the vast genocidal expanse that occupied Poland became.
    To set up a museum with a humanist, universal and inclusive message about the Holocaust, one has to accept an approach that sees the Warsaw Ghetto – a horrific terror zone that caused the deaths and physical and spiritual collapse of hundreds of thousands of Jews – as one element of a much bigger terror zone in which hundreds of thousands of other people suffered and fought for their existence: the Poles who lived on the other side of the wall.
    The obvious differences between the fates of these two peoples don’t absolve the research historian, or a museum depicting the history of this period, from presenting this complex message and demanding that visitors to the museum grapple with its lessons.
    Therefore, the new Warsaw Ghetto Museum won’t be Yad Vashem. It will be a Holocaust museum in the heart of the Polish capital that remembers the fate of the 450,000 Jews, Warsaw residents and refugees brought to the ghetto.
    After all, the vast majority of them were Jewish citizens of Poland. That’s how they lived, that’s how they suffered, and that’s how they should be remembered after being murdered by the Nazis.
    Prof. Daniel Blatman is a historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the chief historian for the Warsaw Ghetto Museum.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/745683 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel’s Supreme Court, a place of deceit

    Court, a Place of Deceit
    East Jerusalem residents have learned that while justice may be meant to be seen, it’s not necessarily meant to be heard

    Ilana Hammerman
    Dec 05, 2018 2:39 AM

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-s-supreme-court-a-place-of-deceit-1.6719983

    “Go, and try to understand every word spoken in this chamber, which hover for a moment in its enormous space, before escaping to the sides and above through the many cracks in its walls,” I muttered to myself several weeks ago in Chamber C of Jerusalem’s Supreme Court.
    From those words I could decipher, I learned that in the case being heard there are people seeking to remain living in their homes and there are others who claim that the land under these homes belongs to them, and thus the homes as well. And some claim the destiny of the land is not the destiny of the homes. One belongs to so-and-so and his descendants, while the other belongs to another person and his issue. Plus, there are documents attesting one thing and others attesting to another. And there are documents related to this parcel of land but not to its neighbor.
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    I also understood that the petitioners representing the people seeking to stay in their homes – who are making legal arguments on their behalf, pleading persistently, shouting beneath the enormous domes – are wasting their time. For the destiny of the people who have sent them here has already been determined, and the Supreme Court, sitting on high, believes that it does not have the authority to discuss the evidence they bother to formulate in the Hebrew language that is not their own.
    It turns out that all the evidence was already discussed exhaustively in a lower court, which already ruled that the residents are themselves the trespassers. And because they delayed – the proceedings intended to get rid of them were unfortunately for them done without their knowledge – the statute of limitations applies to some of their lawsuits.
    This is not the first time that I have wondered whether the acoustic conditions in this chamber do not bear witness that while justice may be meant to be seen, it is not necessarily meant to be heard. Nor is it the first time that I have thought while sitting in it that perhaps it is better that way. For more than one of the details debated here lack content that should really interest human beings who have the brains to understand and the tools to take interest and learn the facts. And indeed, I know the facts well, and so this list will end with a decisive decision.

    On that fall day, November13, the Supreme Court discussed the fate of dozens of people who have lived for 64 years in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Israeli law had made it possible for three Israeli associations – the Council of the Sephardi Community in Jerusalem, the Committee of Knesset Israel and Nahalat Shimon – to evict them from their homes and to replace them with other people.
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    The judges, after masquerading briefly while as people sincerely and innocently seeking to decide without bias between the attorneys wrangling at their feet, then began to play their true role. They obeyed the law, and with it the policy determining what the law is, and ruled against the petitioners, and in favor of the three associations; the appeal was denied.
    And what does Israeli law state, and in particular, what are its practical implications, what is the personal tragedy to which it condemns its victims? Because the law here serves to cover for usurpation and ideology, things are best explained simply without leaving this issue to legalists.
    A woman my age, sitting with me in her house, from which she is to be evicted, explained the story in simple terms, albeit it with agitation. Here is a summary: Her parents were born in Jaffa and raised there. She was born in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, to which her family was expelled/fled in 1948. As part of a family reunification program, she went from there to Sheikh Jarrah to live with her husband, who also comes from a family of refugees from Jaffa. That family had been lucky enough to find temporary shelter with relatives in Jerusalem, and the Jordanian regime, the sovereign at the time, allocated her and other refugee families land in Sheikh Jarrah in 1954, and the UNRWA funded the construction of their homes.
    Some 40 members of her family, including her, her children and her grandchildren, live there. Meanwhile, they became subjects of Israel, which tripled the size of Jerusalem in 1967 and extended civilian law over all of it. According to that system of laws and to the decisions of the courts of the new sovereign, the entire compound in Sheikh Jarrah, where hundreds of families live, now belongs to those who made themselves the inheritors of the small Jewish community that had bought it during the Ottoman period.
    Therefore, this family, like its partners in misery who were already evicted and the dozens of others destined to be condemned in future cases – can expect soon to receive notice of an eviction date from the bailiff’s office. If they don’t leave of their own free will, they will be evicted by force in the dead of night. The woman who told me the story kept looking in my eyes, asking: “Perhaps you will tell me where we should go to now? Where to?”
    A week later, on November 21, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal of hundreds of other Jerusalem Palestinians – residents of Batan al-Hawa in the Silwan neighborhood. These residents are being harassed by other Israeli groups: Ateret Cohanim and Elad. Regarding this appeal as well, exacting hearings had already been held in Chamber C, and then too I really tried to grasp the legal thinness in their tale before they drift off through the traditional openings in the lofty dome. And this story also deserves being told in the language of man.
    It goes like this: At the end of the 19th century, merciful Jews bought a modest site in the village of Silwan, which then was outside Jerusalem, to build under cover of Ottoman law, a poorhouse for Yemenite Jews who couldn’t find a roof to live under in the holy city. Not many years later, the land was full of violent altercations and the poorhouse residents were forced to evacuate their homes. Years passed. They and their successors spread across the country.
    The country’s rulers changed three times, and self-proclaimed heir also arose: Atret Cohanim. It was clever in various ways – the time was the beginning of this century and Silwan had become a Jerusalem neighborhood crowded with tens of thousands of Palestinians, and the ruler was now the State of Israel – and demanded and received the inheritance from the Administrator General, who had received it from the state, which authorized him to determine what would be done with properties in Jerusalem that had once belonged to Jews. Based on this procedure, the courts in Israel awarded Ateret Cohanim rights to the compound in the heart of Silwan. And now justice will be done without pity.
    You can read in full how everything unfolded, if you want, in the 2015 investigative report published by Nir Hasson in this paper . It’s a tale spiced with bribes paid behind closed doors, people who were tempted to condemn their souls in order to attain a more comfortable life and, above all, the story of M, the resident of a West Bank settlement, whose hand is in everything but whose name it is forbidden to publish, lest it be to his detriment. The story does not end well or fairly, or even with finality, as the rejection of the petition makes clear – it just gets worse.
    Thus, you may want to go the trouble of visiting the neighborhood for yourself, in order to see the explosive and forlorn reality that the splendor of Chamber C in the Supreme Court swallowed in its entirety, like it swallowed the more modest site in Sheikh Jarrah. The law that rules here is the law of naked power. The military regime that embitters the lives of thousands to protect a few dozen Jews, who settled among the thousands in homes whose residents were already evicted, and to protect the stylized national park established next to them for the thousands of visitors streaming here. The sovereign here is the Elad organization. Thanks to its iniquities, you can see how the lives of thousands of Palestinians here are imprisoned and destroyed, and feel the cracks that are gaping in their residences because of the tunnel dug under them for the greater glory of Israel’s ideological archaeology.
    And if you don’t want to venture into areas unfamiliar to you and to your worldview, remain at home, but turn on your honest brain and the integrity of your heart. It will not take much to persuade you that all the legal hairsplitting that has for decades filled the courts of the Jewish-democratic state with hearings on the fate of the homes and lands of people in the territories conquered in 1967 collapses and is crushed like so much straw, in spite of the opposition by lawyers who continue to insist on defending human rights and serving as extras in an absurd farce. For one and only one law whispers yet thunders here behind the scenes, and only that one triumphs over this theater of deceit – the law of the godly promise written in a book that is thousands of years old: “For I give all the land that you see to you and your offspring forever” (Genesis 13:15).
    Thus, this and nothing else is the lesson: Until the statute of limitations is applied to this ancient law, there will be no justice here. For whether the god who made the promise still lives on high and watches his creatures in great sorrow from there, or whether he has been redeemed and died – here, on Earth, in this unholy land, the lives of tens of thousands of people are being destroyed and will be destroyed many times over, because of those who appointed themselves as the arm of power of the sole rulers.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/741232 via Nouvelles d’Orient