Category Archives: Zionism

My Parents Founded a Settlement, Now Trump Could Make Their Dream Come True

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.776450

My Parents Founded a Settlement, Now Trump Could Make Their
Dream Come True

Yair Svorai Mar 12, 2017 4:37 AM

U.S. President Donald Trump’s “two-state and one-state” pronouncement
last month effectively signaled the demise of the Oslo Agreements – a
significant reversal of the long-established U.S. position, now in
contrast with a near-universal international consensus. It also supports
the continuation of Israel’s colonization of the territories it has
occupied since 1967.

Indeed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed the spirit of
occupation-as-usual by demanding “security control” over the entire area
west of the Jordan River, proclaiming, in the words of The Nation’s
Rashid Khalidi, “A permanent regime of occupation and colonization,
ruling out a sovereign independent Palestinian state, whatever fictions
of ‘statehood’ or ‘autonomy’ are dreamed up to conceal this brutal
reality. Trump’s subsequent silence amounts to the blessing of the U.S.
government for this grotesque vision of enduring subjugation and
dispossession for the Palestinians.”

The expansion of Jewish settlement in, and control of, Palestine has
followed a consistent pattern for about 100 years: people replacement –
the replacement of Palestinians by Jews. It is crucial to understand the
timing of such expansion: whenever the opportunity arises. And, for
Israel, Donald J. Trump is a historical opportunity on a grand scale.

In 1907, the leadership of the World Zionist Organization sent Dr.
Arthur Ruppin on a fact-finding mission to Ottoman Palestine. Ruppin, a
German-Jewish economist and lawyer, subsequently developed a plan with
the ultimate goal of establishing Jewish self-rule in Ottoman Palestine,
where Jews were a small minority (between 6 and 9 percent).

The plan included establishing new settlements in such a way that over
time they would form a mass of settlements – Israel’s first settlement
bloc – to be used, much like today, as a geopolitical leveraging tool.

In the following three decades, prior to the Holocaust and before anyone
could imagine the horrific fate awaiting European Jews, the foundation
of the State of Israel was set in place via the creation of elaborate
pre-state institutions, buttressed by small waves of immigrants whose
political orientation ranged from Zionist socialists to right-wing
ultra-nationalists.

Among the latter were my parents, Moshe and Tova Svorai, arriving as
children from Eastern Europe in the early 1920s and belonging to the
most far-right elements of the Zionist movement – Betar and Brit
Habirionim, followed by the Irgun, and then the Lehi (Stern Gang); both
of these were pre-state Jewish terrorist organizations.

In the big-picture sense, left-wing and right-wing Zionists wanted the
same thing – a Jewish state in Palestine. The differences among them
were largely semantic: a matter of political style, timing and competing
approaches on how to reach that goal.

The elephant-in-the-room facing Zionism was – then, as now – ignored:
the land was already populated by Palestinian Arabs, who had been there
for centuries. Ignoring the physical reality, from early on Zionist
terminology was designed to perpetuate the myth of an empty land
awaiting its lost people: “A land without a people for a people without
a land.”

A dunam here and a dunam there

Following the original Ruppin Plan, the expansion of Jewish settlement
started with land acquisitions from absentee Arab landlords, culminating
in a military campaign to drive the native population off its land. As
the old Zionist saying goes, “A dunam here and a dunam there” (a dunam
is approximately equal to a quarter of an acre), whenever the
opportunity arises.

The same opportunistic vigor was used to remove the Palestinian people
from what was soon to become Israel.

The best known milestone in the removal of the Arab population was the
Deir Yassin massacre of April 9, 1948, conducted by Irgun and Lehi
forces, designed to scare Palestinians and cause them to flee their
homes, towns and villages.

Israel’s War of Independence consisted of other massacres, too. The war
itself followed Plan Dalet (Plan D), carefully developed by the
“moderate,” mainstream Haganah leadership to expand the territory of the
future state beyond the UN Partition Plan and to remove as much of
Palestine’s Arab population as possible. Then, as now, the goal of the
Jewish state has been to maximize its land area and to minimize the
Palestinian-Arab population residing in it.

This was the Nakba, the catastrophe – a term used by the Palestinian
people to describe the loss of their homeland: the disappearance of
entire communities totaling some 750,000 people, who were forced out of
their country. Post-1948 Palestine was a drastically changed land: about
500 Palestinian towns and villages had been emptied of their
inhabitants, their homes mostly razed and their lands divided among the
Jewish kibbutzim (communal farms) and villages.

The term Nakba, which is central to Palestinian nationhood as much as
the Holocaust is for Jews and slavery is for African-Americans, is
shunned by most Israeli Jews for obvious reasons: Even the mere
implication of responsibility for the Nakba war crimes is unacceptable.

Those Palestinians who managed to remain, now known as “1948
Palestinians,” were placed under military rule, with their basic civil
rights – such as the freedom to assemble, travel and claim their
properties – removed. In addition, most of their lands were confiscated
by the newly created Jewish state and transferred to kibbutzim and villages.

Military rule lasted until 1966 and assured that the dispossession of
the Palestinians could be carried out in a well-organized and highly
controlled manner – “a dunam here and a dunam there” – with the remnants
of the subject population confined to specific territories, in many
cases restricted to their villages, homes or jail cells.

‘This will belong to us’

The Green Line – the 1949 armistice line separating Israel from the West
Bank of Jordan – followed the line of Jewish settlements put in place
during the 1920s-’40s, in close adherence to the Ruppin Plan. It is
probably the first example of how “facts on the ground” proved to be
crucial for the success of the Zionist project, something that Ruppin
appreciated possibly before anyone else.

But the old Green Line was irregular and left a great deal of fertile,
hilly land on the other side. And then there was Jerusalem, whose
eastern parts, including Temple Mount, were also on the other side of
that border. Standing with my parents near the Montefiore Windmill in
the early ’60s, looking at the Old City on the other side of the
then-border, I vividly remember my astonished reaction to hearing my
mother say, “One day, this too will belong to us.” She was soon to be
proved right.

The swift military victory of the 1967 war offered an unprecedented
opportunity for Israel to expand in all directions. Jerusalem was the
nationalist-religious pinnacle; even more importantly, the last
remaining parts of old Palestine were now there for the taking – the
West Bank and the Gaza Strip, totaling 22 percent of historic Palestine.
Ditto the Syrian territory of the Golan Heights, and Sinai (which was
subsequently returned to Egypt under a separate “peace agreement”
following the 1973 war).

Since 1967, under the so-called “moderate” and “extreme” Israeli
governments led by the Labor and Likud parties, some 130 settlements and
100 outposts have been established in the West Bank, with a population
of some 400,000 Jewish settlers. Additionally, some 200,000 Israelis
live in East Jerusalem.

Any relocation of the occupier’s population into occupied territories,
whether into government-established settlements or so-called “rogue”
outposts, is considered illegal according to international law and
conventions.

When they were in their 60s, my own parents were among the founders of a
settlement in the northern West Bank, where they spent the rest of their
days. They were firm believers in the absolute and exclusive right of
the Jewish people to its biblical homeland, and remained committed to
making their personal contribution to their cause to the very end.

They were guided by Lehi’s “18 Principles of Rebirth” essay, which
defined biblical Israel as starting at the Nile and reaching to the
Euphrates River – a vast territory that includes parts of Egypt and
Saudi Arabia, most of Jordan and Syria, and all of Lebanon.
Incidentally, a large number of Israeli right-wingers, among them
Netanyahu and members of his government, admire Lehi and its principles
– including, at least in spirit, its territorial desires.

Immediately after the 1967 war, the Syrian population of the Golan
Heights (some 130,000 people) was forced out by Israel, 1948-style,
leaving the territory largely empty for Israeli colonization to take
root. Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights followed in 1981.
(Netanyahu is now seeking U.S. recognition from Trump of Israeli
sovereignty over the Golan Heights.)

Erasing the past

And the Nakba continued. The initial period after the 1967 war included
a number of known cases where West Bank villagers were expelled from
their homes by an Israeli military command attributed to Gen. Yitzhak
Rabin. Among them were the villages of Imwas, Yalo and Bayt Nuba in the
Latrun area, which were subsequently razed. (I visited the three
destroyed villages in August 1967. There was very little left other than
broken stones and fruit trees bursting with fruit left unpicked by
villagers, now turned refugees.) In an attempt to eradicate the villages
from history and erase them from public memory, the victors attempted to
conceal their crimes by planting a recreational forest, named Canada
Park, on the land formerly owned and cultivated by these villagers – a
concealment method that had been used before.

As for the rest of the West Bank, in a slow process that has lasted
nearly 50 years – and which continues to this day – the Palestinian
population has been stripped of much of its land and pushed into
Bantustan-like areas surrounded by Jewish settlements. The territory is
now dissected into enclaves designed by Israel to assure a discontinuity
of Palestinian land, thereby guaranteeing that a viable Palestinian
state cannot be established.

“Facts on the ground” work in both directions: the presence of one
population (Jewish) and the absence of another (Palestinian). Now, most
of the Jordan Valley has been cleared of the Palestinian population; in
hamlets of the poorest population – the Hebron Hills Bedouin – families
are routinely uprooted and forced out of their shacks.

And throughout the West Bank, bit by bit, “a dunam here and a dunam
there,” Palestinians are forced out by Jews. Houses are demolished, land
is taken or its cultivation is prevented; olive groves are uprooted by
settler thugs with full impunity, under the watchful gaze of Israel’s
occupation army – euphemistically called the Israel Defense Forces. And
Israeli government policy greatly restricts Palestinians in the West
Bank from using their land and natural resources, especially water
required to cultivate crops.

Thus, while Israeli settlements enjoy unrestricted water usage with lawn
sprinklers galore, Palestinian farmers who dig out a 10-foot-long
(3-meter) trench to collect and divert rainwater into a field or
vegetable garden risk punishment and the destruction of their fields and
gardens.

And the Nakba continues. A similar crackdown on Israel’s Palestinian
citizens takes place with predictable regularity along similar patterns
– as witnessed most recently by the destruction of the Bedouin village
of Umm al-Hiran, whose population is to be corralled elsewhere in the
Negev and its lands designated for a new Jewish settlement. The more
things change, the more they stay the same.

This is a very short list of the evils of Israel’s occupation – all of
this, and much more, has been widely reported over the past five
decades, and documented in great detail by UN agencies, multiple
international aid organizations, foreign consulate staff and local civic
organizations, both Palestinian and Israeli. (The death and destruction
in Gaza, its collapsed infrastructure, economy, essential public health
facilities, child nutrition and basic resources of livelihood require
separate coverage.)

The Oslo II (“Taba”) Agreement divided the West Bank into Areas A, B and
C – a division that is used by Israel to divide and rule, confine and
control the local Palestinian population.

The experience of 1948 and the early years of statehood have proven most
beneficial to Zionist colonialism. A slow and methodical acquisition of
land, this time by means that are entirely illegal, coupled with
strategic removal and confinement of the Palestinian population,
resulted in settlement blocs – vast land areas that are largely
Arab-free and a network of highways, other infrastructure projects and
state institutions serving the Jewish-only settlements.

This is nothing short of new-age apartheid, where the indigenous
population is not only of no value to its colonial masters – not even as
a source of cheap labor – but it is essential for the success of the
colonial project that it be removed: the more of “them” that are gone,
the better off “we” are. That people-removal process is called ethnic
cleansing, which is a crime against humanity under the statute of the
International Criminal Court.

All of this has been carried out mostly in plain view, under the world’s
watchful eye. It has also been made possible and indirectly funded by
the United States, under Democratic and Republican administrations alike
– notwithstanding outgoing President Barack Obama’s lame-duck UN
Security Council non-veto move, and various U.S. declarations about
Israeli settlements being “a threat to peace,” or making it “almost
impossible … to create a contiguous, functioning Palestinian state.”
Both true, but meaningless.

Despite the rhetoric, the United States has been the primary enabler of
Israel’s occupation: military aid (currently $38 billion over the next
10 years), including the very latest technologies, and close military
coordination; tax exemptions for donations to Israel, including to
organizations that fund settlements; global diplomatic protection; and
the lending of legitimacy to a state whose actions would have otherwise
made it a global pariah long ago.

Thus, under the guise of a never-ending “peace process,” the United
States has acted as a dishonest broker and purveyor of broken promises,
e.g., a “two-state solution” where the territory of the imagined state
is eaten up by the other, already existing regional-superpower state
while “peace talks” continue. It’s like the pizza analogy where two
parties engage in lengthy negotiations over the splitting of a pie,
while one of them keeps eating the slices. Over these past 50 years, the
United States has facilitated the replacement of the Palestinian people,
bit by bit, one dunam and one person at a time, as Israel grabs every
opportunity that arises, paid for by Uncle Sam.

For Israel, the election of Trump to the highest office in the land
presents a historical opportunity on a grand scale to accelerate both
settlement expansion and the process of people replacement.

Never before has a U.S. president expressed such unbridled support for
an Israeli government – especially one that is widely seen as the most
right-wing, aggressive Israeli government ever.

In light of the new opportunity, the Israeli government has unleashed a
wave of settlement construction permits in the West Bank and East
Jerusalem – so far totaling about 6,000 homes for Jewish settlers – and
announced the creation of a new settlement.

In addition, a new law allowing the confiscation of privately held
Palestinian land for the benefit of Jewish settlements was recently
passed. As journalist Jonathan Cook explained in The National, “In
practice, there has never been a serious limit on theft of Palestinian
land. But now Israeli government support for the plunder will be
explicit in law.” The Nakba continues, vigorously.

Reality could not be much uglier and the future could not look much
bleaker – most especially for Palestinians, but also for Israeli Jews.
As Haaretz writer and occupation expert Amira Hass noted, “It’s hard to
admit that the Zionist ideology and its product – Israel – have created
a thieving, racist, arrogant monster that robs water and land and
history, that has blood on its hands under the excuse of security, that
for decades has been deliberately planning today’s dangerous Bantustan
reality, on both sides of the Green Line.”

Perhaps hard to admit, but crucially important to recognize.

The writer, a former Israeli, has lived in the United States for 45 years.

Lieberman: Disloyal Israeli Arabs Should Be Beheaded

Lieberman: Disloyal Israeli Arabs Should Be Beheaded

MK Ahmad Tibi compares Yisrael Beiteinu head’s vision to a ‘Jewish ISIS’; foreign minister also reiterates support for transfer.
http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/1.646076

Ha’aretz, 9.3.2015

Israeli Arabs who are disloyal to the State of Israel should have their heads chopped off, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said at an elections conference at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya this week.

“Whoever’s with us should get everything – up to half the kingdom,” Lieberman said Sunday, in a reference to King Ahaseurus’ pledge to Queen Esther as described in the Book of Esther, which tells the story of the Purim holiday celebrated last week.

But Israeli Arabs who are disloyal to the state deserve a different fate, the chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu said at the “Voting for Democracy – 2015 Elections” election conference, Channel 2 News reported.

“Those who are against us, there’s nothing to be done – we need to pick up an ax and cut off his head,” Lieberman said. “Otherwise we won’t survive here.”

Prominent Israeli Arab MK Ahmad Tibi, who is No. 4 on the Arab parties’ Joint List ticket, suggested a situation like that described by Lieberman would result in a Jewish version of the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Joint List “will remove racists’ and fascists’ heads only through democratic means – bringing as many [Knesset] seats as possible and active participation in the election,” The Jerusalem Post quoted Tibi as saying Monday. “The stronger we are, the weaker the Jewish Islamic State will be.”

Lieberman also reiterated his position advocating the transfer of at least some of Israel’s Arab citizens.

“There is no reason for Umm al-Fahm to be part of the State of Israel,” Lieberman said about a northern Israeli town populated by Arab citizens of Israel, according to the Channel 2 report. “Citizens of the State of Israel who raise a black flag on Nakba Day – from my perspective, they can leave, and I’m very happily willing to donate them to Abu Mazen,” he said, referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/1.646076

The Disturbing Alliance Between Zionists and Anti-Semites

http://forward.com/opinion/363545/the-disturbing-alliance-between-zionists-and-anti-semites/
Opinion

The Disturbing Alliance Between Zionists and Anti-Semites

Suzanne Schneider, Forward (New York), February 19, 2017

Between the congressional hearing for David Friedman, the visit of Benjamin Netanyahu, and President Trump’s refusal to address the rising tide of anti-Semitism, it’s been a tense time within the American Jewish community. For those on the right, Trump’s abandonment of the two-state solution, much like Friedman’s nomination, comes as an assurance that the new administration will firmly commit itself to an expansionist form of Zionism. And along with the presence of Jared Kushner within the President’s inner circle, keeping Friedman and Bibi in the wings is taken by many as a signal that Trump is not really an anti-Semite, despite surrounding himself with figures of questionable persuasion. According to this logic, the strong commitment by Trump and Steve Bannon to Israel undermines any suggestion that they harbor antipathy toward Jews. Yet, for many centrists and liberals, the idea of Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon working together causes endless confusion: How could the descendent of Holocaust survivors find common cause with the ideological leader of the alt-right?

The answer may lie in the history of the Zionist movement, a history which demonstrates that there is no inherent contradiction between Zionism and anti-Semitism. The two ideologies have in fact often worked in concert to achieve their shared goal: concentrating Jews in one place (so as to better avoid them in others). Even before the modern Zionist movement arose in the late 19th century, Christian philosophers and statesmen debated what to do with the “oriental” mass of Jewry in their midst. As the scholar Jonathan Hess of the University of North Carolina has noted, one “solution” popular among Enlightenment figures who harbored anti-Semitic feelings was to deport Jews to a colonial setting where they could be reformed. Johann Gottlieb Fichte, among the founders of German Idealism, noted in 1793 that the most effective protection Europeans could mount against the Jewish menace was to “conquer the holy land for them and send them all there.”

Indeed, Zionism crystallized as a political movement among European Jews explicitly to solve the problem of political anti-Semitism. For Zionist pioneers like Leo Pinsker and Theodor Herzl, anti-Semitism was an inevitable phenomenon that would occur at any time and place where Jews were a sizable minority. Normal relations with other nations could only be established by moving Jews to a place where they were a majority. Thus rather than pushing contemporary states and societies to devise new ways of accommodating difference, Zionist thinkers of Herzl’s generation ascribed to the logic that the Jewish “problem” could only be settled by removing Jews from European states.

The idea that Jews belong not in their actual place of residence and origin, but in the Holy Land, was of course not a position that all Zionists ascribed to, either then or now. Yet it is not hard to see the very problematic logic that links such assertions to the sort of blood-and-soil nationalism that led to the destruction of European Jewish life. Nazism of course grew out of this context and insisted that Jews could never really be German. The Nazis, however, took this conclusion to a radically new place: it was ultimately extermination, rather than resettlement, that drove the Nazi position.

Though the scope of destruction was not yet known in the 1930’s and early 1940’s, many nevertheless find it astounding that there were attempts by right-wing Zionists during these years to establish ties with Nazi Germany. Numerous scholars have noted the fascist sympathies of certain members of the Revisionist Zionist camp, who bitterly feuded with mainstream Zionists and denounced them as Bolsheviks. The antipathy was apparently mutual, as David Ben-Gurion in 1933 published a work that described Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the founder of the Revisionist movement, as treading in the footsteps of Hitler. The Zionist Right’s flirtation with fascism reached its tragic peak in 1941 when Lehi, Avraham Stern’s paramilitary splinter group, approached Otto Von Hentig, a German diplomat, to propose cooperation between the nationally rooted Hebraic movement in Palestine and the German state. Nazi Germany declined his generous offer, having stumbled across quite a different “solution” to the question of Jewish existence.

It has been with this history in mind that I approach contemporary debates about Donald Trump’s presidency and the alliance it fosters between members of the white nationalist “alt-right” on one hand, and a certain segment of American Jews, on the other. The argument that the latter should work with the former because they all share a commitment to “Greater Israel” belies the fact that not all allies, or alliances, are created equal. When Richard Spencer voices his admiration of Zionism (because, in his understanding, the movement stands first and foremost for racial homogeneity), we should realize that this is not incidental to his suggestion that America might be better off with a peaceful ethnic cleansing of those population segments that are not of white, European descent. Do American Jews really believe that they will pass muster within such a state? And are the swastikas and other acts of intimidation that have been so abundant since Trump’s victory really just peaceful incentives to realize that our true home is in a land far, far away?

The answer must be a resounding “no.”

Jewish life flourishes in pluralistic societies within which difference is not a “problem” to be resolved, but a fact to be celebrated. The alliance of right-wing Zionists and the alt-right should not be viewed as an abnormality, but the meeting of quite compatible outlooks that assert — each in their own way—that the world will only be secure once we all retreat to our various plots of ancestral land. Nationalist thinking of this sort wrought more than its fair share of damage during the twentieth century. Let’s not enact a repeat performance in the twenty-first.

Suzanne Schneider is a historian of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Zionist movement, and a director and core faculty member at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.
The Forward’s independent journalism depends on donations from readers like you.

Why is Benjamin Netanyahu trying to whitewash Hitler?

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/why-benjamin-netanyahu-trying-whitewash-hitler

Why is Benjamin Netanyahu trying to whitewash Hitler?

Ali Abunimah Lobby Watch 21 October 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnXS146cxLE
Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly asserted that Adolf Hitler had no intention of exterminating Europe’s Jews until a Palestinian persuaded him to do it.

The Israeli prime minister’s attempt to whitewash Hitler and lay the blame for the Holocaust at the door of Palestinians signals a major escalation of his incitement against and demonization of the people living under his country’s military and settler-colonial rule.

It also involves a good deal of Holocaust denial.

In a speech to the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Netanyahu asserted that Haj Amin al-Husseini convinced Hitler to carry out the killings of 6 million Jews.

Al-Husseini was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the highest clerical authority dealing with religious issues pertaining to the Muslim community and holy sites during the 1920s and ‘30s, when Palestine was under British rule.

He was appointed to the role by Herbert Samuel, the avowed Zionist who was the first British High Commissioner of Palestine.

In the video above, Netanyahu claims that al-Husseini “had a central role in fomenting the final solution. He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ he asked. ‘Burn them!’”

There is no record of such a conversation whatsoever, and Netanyahu provides no evidence that it ever took place.

The Mufti did meet Hitler, once, but their 95-minute conversation took place on 28 November 1941. Husseini used it to try to secure the Führer’s support for Arab independence, as historian Philip Mattar explains in his book The Mufti of Jerusalem.

By then, Hitler’s plans to exterminate the Jews were already well under way.

Hitler’s orders
In her classic history The War Against the Jews, Lucy Davidowicz writes about the preparations among Hitler’s top lieutenants to carry out the genocide: “Sometime during that eventful summer of 1941, perhaps even as early as May, Himmler summoned Höss to Berlin and, in privacy, told him ‘that the Führer had given the order for a Final Solution of the Jewish Question,’ and that ‘we, the SS, must carry out the order.’”

She adds: “In the late summer of 1941, addressing the assembled men of the Einsatzkommandos at Nikolayev, he [Himmler] ‘repeated to them the liquidation order, and pointed out that the leaders and men who were taking part in the liquidation bore no personal responsibility for the execution of this order. The responsibility was his alone, and the Führer’s.’”

Davidowicz also explains that “In the summer of 1941, a new enterprise was launched – the construction of the Vernichtungslager – the annihilation camp. Two civilians from Hamburg came to Auschwitz that summer to teach the staff how to handle Zyklon B, and in September, in the notorious Block 11, the first gassings were carried out on 250 patients from the hospital and on 600 Russian prisoners of war, probably ‘Communists’ and Jews …”

According to Netanyahu’s fabricated – and Holocaust denialist – version of history, none of this could have happened. It was all the Mufti’s idea!

The Mufti in Zionist propaganda
Why would Netanyahu bring up the Mufti now and in the process whitewash Hitler?

The bogus claim that the Mufti had to persuade reluctant Nazis to kill Jews has been pushed by other anti-Palestinian propagandists, notably retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.

As Columbia University professor Joseph Massad notes in his 2006 book The Persistence of the Palestinian Question, Haj Amin al-Husseini has long been a favorite theme of Zionist and Israeli propaganda.

Husseini “provided the Israelis with their best propaganda linking the Palestinians with the Nazis and European anti-Semitism,” Massad observes.

The Mufti fled British persecution and went to Germany during the war years.

Massad writes that al-Husseini “attempted to obtain promises from the Germans that they would not support the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Documents that the Jewish Agency produced in 1946 purporting to show that the Mufti had a role in the extermination of Jews did no such thing; the only thing these unsigned letters by the Mufti showed was his opposition to Nazi Germany’s and Romania’s allowing Jews to emigrate to Palestine.”

Yet, he adds, “the Mufti continues to be represented by Israeli propagandists as having participated in the extermination of European Jews.”

Citing Peter Novick, the University of Chicago history professor who authored The Holocaust in American Life, Massad notes that in the four-volume Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, sponsored by Israel’s official memorial Yad Vashem, “the article on the Mufti is twice as long as the articles on [top Nazi officials] Goebbels and Göring and longer than the articles on Himmler and Heydrich combined.”

The entry on Hitler himself is only slightly longer than the one on Husseini.

In a 2012 article for Al Jazeera, Massad explains that “Zionism would begin to rewrite the Palestinian struggle against Jewish colonization not as an anti-colonial struggle but as an anti-Semitic project.”

Keystone of Zionist mythology
The story of the Mufti has thus become a keystone for the Zionist version of Palestinian history, which leaves out a basic fact: the Zionist movement’s infamous agreement with Hitler’s regime as early as 1933 .

The so-called Transfer Agreement facilitated the emigration of German Jews to Palestine and broke the international boycott of German goods launched by American Jews.

Massad explains: “Despairing from convincing Britain to stop its support of the Zionist colonial project and horrified by the Zionist-Nazi collaboration that strengthened the Zionist theft of Palestine further, the Palestinian elitist and conservative leader Haj Amin al-Husseini (who initially opposed the Palestinian peasant revolt of 1936 against Zionist colonization) sought relations with the Nazis to convince them to halt their support for Jewish immigration to Palestine, which they had promoted through the Transfer Agreement with the Zionists in 1933.”

Indeed, the Mufti would begin diplomatic contacts with the Nazis in the middle of 1937, four years after the Nazi-Zionist co-operation had started.

Ironically, Massad adds, “It was the very same Zionist collaborators with the Nazis who would later vilify al-Husseini, beginning in the 1950s to the present, as a Hitlerite of genocidal proportions, even though his limited role ended up being one of propagandizing on behalf of the Nazis to East European and Soviet Muslims on the radio.”

It should be kept in mind that many Third World nationalist movements colonized by the British were also sympathetic to the Nazis, including Indian nationalists. This was primarily based on the Nazis’ enmity toward their British colonizers, and not based on any affinity with the Nazis’ racialist ideology. It was certainly on this basis that India’s Congress Party opposed the British declaration of war on Germany, as Perry Anderson notes in The Indian Ideology.

Indeed, the Mufti made it clear to the Germans as well as to the fascist government of Benito Mussolini in Italy, as Mattar states, that he sought “full independence for all parts of the Arab world and the rescue of Palestine from British imperialism and Zionism. He stressed that the struggle against the Jews was not of a religious nature, but for Palestinian existence and for an independent Palestine.”

That Husseini met Hitler and had relations with the Nazis is no secret. But the fabrications of Netanyahu and other Zionists should be seen for what they are: an attempt to falsely blame Palestinians for Europe’s genocide of Jews and in the process erase from memory Zionism’s own collaborationist history with Hitler’s genocidal regime.

This vile propaganda can have no other purpose than to further dehumanize Palestinians and justify Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing and murder.

Netanyahu’s attempt to blame Palestinians for the Holocaust is itself a form of genocidal incitement.

The Single-state Solution Is Already Here

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.680882

The Single-state Solution Is Already Here

Now, of all times, out of the fire and despair, we must start talking about the last way out: one Israeli state with equal rights for both Jews and Arabs.
Gideon Levy
Oct 17, 2015 8:28 PM

Here is irrefutable proof that the one-state solution should not even be considered: the bloodshed, hatred and fear currently washing over the country. Advocates of the two-state solution and, especially, those who seek no solution, those Israelis who saw the one-state solution as treason and heresy, are now proclaiming victory. “There, that’s what the binational state will look like,” they are saying. “It will be a bloody, endless civil war.”

The same intimidatory arguments that were used for years against the two-state solution (the “Auschwitz borders”) are now being enlisted against the one-state solution. Now, as then, everything is judged according to the contours of the current, depressing reality, and it doesn’t occur to anyone that another reality is possible.

The nationalists say, “An agreement will never be possible with those bloodthirsty people.” The center-left says, “There’s no way to live together.” The common denominator is racism, and the assumption that the hatred will last forever. To this we must add the arguments over the Jewish state’s sanctity and the end of the Zionist project. In short, one state means the end of the world.

And now to the facts. One state already exists here, and has done so for 48 years. The Green Line faded long ago; the settlements are in Israel, and Israel is also the settlers’ land. The fate of the two million Palestinians who live in the West Bank is decided by the government in Jerusalem and the defense establishment in Tel Aviv, not by Ramallah. Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, is their ruler far more than Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is. They are clearly part of the binational state and have been its subjects, forcibly, for some three generations. This state has three regimes: democracy for the Jews; discrimination for the Israeli Arabs; and apartheid for the Palestinians. But everyone lives in one inseparable state.

The binational state that was born in 1967 is not democratic. In fact, it’s one of the worst states in the world, because of the military dictatorship it upholds in part of its territory – one of the most brutal, totalitarian regimes in existence today. It is also one of the most racist states, since it determines its residents’ rights based solely on their nationality. This is the one state that is washed in blood right now, and will continue to be washed in blood as long as it remains in its malicious, nondemocratic format.

Those who say the current bloodbath is proof that Arabs and Jews can’t live together base this on the current state of injustice. And they’re right. If Israel continues to be a state of iniquity, Jews and Arabs will never be able to live together in peace. But the growing few advocating the one-state solution are not thinking of this state – quite the opposite. They wish to undermine it and establish a different, more just and egalitarian regime. When that is established, the hatred and despair will most likely be forgotten.

One may not want to believe this, of course, but one must not deceive. You cannot deny the possibility of life together with arguments based on the existing conditions. Blood is being spilt because of the injustice, and stems from it. How can you rule out in advance the possibility that in a democratic, egalitarian state, different relations will be formed? There are quite a few historic precedents of hatred and horror that dissipated when the injustice dissipated.

We could go back to the two-state solution, of course. Not a bad idea, perhaps, but one that has been missed. Those who wanted a Jewish state should have implemented it while it was still possible. Those who set it on fire, deliberately or by doing nothing, must now look directly and honestly at the new reality: 600,000 settlers will not be evacuated. Without evacuation, there will not be two states. And without two states, only the one-state solution remains.

Now, of all times, out of the fire and despair, we must start talking about the last way out: equal rights for all. For Jews and Arabs. One state is already here, and has been for a long time. All it needs is to be just and do the right thing. Who’s against it? Why? And, most important, what’s the alternative?

Selected letters by Elias Davidsson

Selected letters by Elias Davidsson

To Mr. Helmut Kohl, Chancellor, Germany, April 23, 1991 (198)
To Mr. Teddy Kollek, Mayor of the City of Jerusalem, August 14, 1991 (179)
To the Jewish Chronicle, London, August 18, 1991 (177)
To Mr. Marc Eyskens, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brussels, Belgium, August 24, 1991 (182)
To Mr. Enrique Baron Crespo, President, European Parliament, Strasbourg, August 24, 1991 (183)
To Mr. Eberhard Diepgen, Mayor, City of Berlin, Germany, August 24, 1991 (186)
To Newsweek, October 5, 1991 (199)
To the Permanent Representative of France in the United Nations, October 19, 1991 (201)
To Mr. Melvin Salberg, Anti Defamation League, New York, November 19, 1991 (40)
To Sir David Hannay, UK Mission to the United Nations, January 7, 1992 (225)
To Sir David Hannay, UK Mission to the United Nations, June 8, 1994 (300)
To the Guardian, July 10, 1994 (296)
To the Economist, April 21, 1996 (298)
To the Editor, The Economist, January 9, 1997 (87)
To Mr. Jean-Pascal Delamuraz, Minister of Economy, Berne, Switzerland, January 10, 1997 (81)

David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s Segregationist Founder

http://forward.com/opinion/israel/308306/ben-gurion-israels-segregationist-founder/

David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s Segregationist Founder
Seth J. FrantzmanMay 18, 2015

‘The danger we face is that the great majority of those children whose parents did not receive an education for generations will descend to the level of Arab children,” Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared at a July 1962 meeting. He was speaking with the head of a teachers federation on the question of whether to segregate “Mizrahi” children, whose parents came from Muslim countries, from “Ashkenazi” children in school.

In the document from the Labor Party archives, revealed recently in Haaretz, a shocking image is conjured up. Did Israel’s first leader really consider segregating Jewish children according to country of origin? Why did he use racially tinged terms of abuse, worrying that Israel would become “Levantine” and “descend” to be “like the Arabs”?

The document is emblematic of a tragic Israeli problem, the legacy of the disastrous policies put in place in the early years of the state that at the time seemed in line with prevailing European concepts but did irreparable harm.

Consider the case revealed on April 9 by author Orna Akad at the blog +972. She related how 23 years ago she went to a workshop at the community of Neve Shalom. “One of the participants in the workshop was also a member of the community’s admission committee… we came up to her full of hope and said proudly that we are a couple, a Jewish woman and an Arab man, and that we would like to register and appear before the community’s admission committee,” Akad said. The woman had bad news: “We are a community which encourages life together in coexistence, but we are opposed to mixed marriage.”

If you are perplexed, you should be. Israel’s small communities have an unusual way of organizing themselves. An “acceptance” or admissions committee regulates almost every single community outside a major town. You can’t just move to a place, you have to ask to be admitted. It is why a May 2012 headline screamed, “Sderot activists win right to move to Kibbutz Gevim.” They didn’t want to be kibbutz members, just to live in an expansion area of the kibbutz. But one committee member had blocked them, reportedly saying, “We are trying to introduce new blood into the community, but new blood needs to match what is already there.” The newcomers were not “attuned to community life.”

  How did some 1,000 communities in Israel become gated communities, so that people who are Arab, Ethiopian or other minorities can be denied the right to live where they want either directly or as result of euphemistic rulings like that they are “not attuned to community”? This is one of the main legacies of 1950s Israel.

Admissions committees created ethnically homogenous Jewish communities (Yemenites in one place, Hungarians in another). Worse, a segregated education system for Jews and Arabs cemented total separation so that 99% of pupils study in either Jewish or Arab schools through the end of high school. The education system was put in place in 1949, but it should have been obvious that “separate development” was a road to future disaster.

David Ben-Gurion is often portrayed as a mythical formative figure in the early years of the Jewish state. In Anita Shapira’s 2014 biography she lionizes him: “He knew how to create and exploit the circumstances that made its [Israel’s] birth possible.” Peter Beinart similarly paints a picture of early Israel endowed with liberal and socialist principles. “Labor Zionists insisted that the character of Jewish life in Palestine, and of the eventual Jewish state, was as important as the state itself.” The well-known author Ari Shavit wrote in his book, “My Promised Land,” that “the newborn state [of Israel] was one of the most egalitarian democracies in the world.” Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen romanticized Israel’s early years as “fighting intellectuals, rifle in one hand and a volume of Kierkegaard in the other.”

There is a massive nostalgia and a total misunderstanding of the nature of the state in those years. Israel was not egalitarian in the 1950s; it was a divided society, in which Arab citizens, having watched the vast majority of their community flee or be expelled from the country in 1948, were kept under military-imposed curfew. It was a society in which security concerns trumped civil rights, in which nationalistic military parades were common, and ethnic and religious divisions were cemented.

The founders of the state saw themselves as embarking on a massive social engineering experiment. As these new documents reveal, Ben-Gurion imagined that the Jews who had come from Arab countries would soon outnumber Jews of European origin — “In another 10-15 years they will be the nation, and we will become a Levantine nation, [unless] with a deliberate effort we raise them…” he said. The country had a responsibility to elevate this population from its many generations of living in, as he disparagingly put it “downtrodden, backward countries.” The disdain for Arab culture was extreme, despite the fact that Arabs in British Mandatory Palestine held high positions, were the intellectual elite of the country and had a sophisticated society.

The discrimination of the 1950s haunts Israel today. It persists in the media, as when Tel Aviv’s Ashkenazi elite is referred to as a “white tribe,” or when Russian immigrants are mocked as having “crime in their blood” and a successful Arab citizen like TV host Lucy Aharish is described in one article as not “dressing like an Arab.” The segregated schools and admissions committees created a balkanized society. Rather than romanticizing the leader who perpetuated these divisions, people should imagine an Israel in the future that reforms the failed legacy. Reduce segregation and encourage diverse communities. Interrogate the past, don’t whitewash it.

Seth J. Frantzman is the opinion editor of The Jerusalem Post.

The Taste of Mulberries

The following beautiful texts are taken from the book “Israel, an Apartheid State” by Uri Davis, Zed Books Ltd, 1987.

Prolegomena: The Taste of Mulberries

by Havah ha- Levi

(a) The Female Snake

Someone said something about Tantura…1

Soft hills rolled silently into each other’s embrace [towards the beach] and right on the edge of the hills there was a dense plantation of low palm trees clustered on the beach. A scenery of soft and misty dream. Only the feeling of nausea returns to trouble me.

At a short distance from the cluster of palms there was a group of empty houses.

Some of them were slightly damaged, but generally, the houses were intact and beautiful. Everything [about the houses] was very neglected, empty and filthy. A few ancient shoes exposed their seams along the footpath. There in the deserted village of Tantura the kibbutz set up the summer camp for its children.

The houses were cleaned up. A large long tent was erected to serve as a dining hall. The place was a paradise for children.

I remember the heat of the scorching sun over my tanned skin. The salt taste of the sea water. The swimming competitions. The beautiful and quiet beach. And thirty or forty happy children. Really happy.

And yet I listen to my memories. I try to redraw the lines that chart my memory.

There are things that already had their beginning in another place.

There were these half scornful sentences, such as: if the Arabs come, they will steal you first. You are blonde and the Arabs like blonde girls; if the Arabs come, they will see your golden head in the dark and will steal you first. They will think perhaps that it is a ball of gold; here is an Arab shoe. Such sentences …

Towards the end, two days before the conclusion of the summer camp, they asked who wanted to go on a tour and listen to Motke telling stories about the conquest of Tantura. I went, too.

We went into the cluster of palms, and the leader of the summer camp, a nice jovial kibbutznik who evidently loved children, was already there telling something. I lagged behind as usual. I walked along daydreaming and slightly bored. When I eventually caught up with the group, they were all standing near a large house which had perhaps originally been situated at the edge of the village, and I remember the words: ‘We attacked at both ends. Most of them had already run away. Suddenly a huge Arab came out behind this house and began to run. I shot him, and he jumped in the air like a rabbit, turned a somersault and fell’.

Even today I do not know whether this was a factual description of what had happened. But at our place, they used to say that if you kill a snake, you should throw it away or hide it, because if it is left exposed, all the snakes (the family? the tribe?) will come to the place to look for it and this could be very dangerous. And that if you kill a bee that has stung you, it is likewise necessary to throw it away or hide it, since otherwise all the bees will come there after its smell. And that if you kill a lion, the lioness will always come to search for it.

And then, suddenly, together with the Arab, shot in the air with his white kufiyya and black agal, all the Arabs who had lived there in these houses, who had worn those shoes now discarded on the footpaths, the children who had run about naked on the beach, the fat, erect women who had carried the jars on top of their heads… they all came out suddenly in my imagination to look for him. I recalled the warning not to leave the corpse of the snake in the place where it had been killed because the female snake will come to look for it and I turned to look behind me, terrified. There was nothing there. Only the beautiful houses and the sea. A bit angry and a bit curious, I thought about this bad Arab who had come to attack our soldiers. I thought he had deserved to die like that, yet he did not seem to have been dangerous when he was shot there in the air, like a rabbit. I wanted to know if he was from this village, or from another place.

We returned to the beach and ate a water melon. I wanted to have the ‘heart’ of the water melon, but I never got it because I always arrived late. Everything lost its taste. I told my friend: Mira, I am already fed up with this summer camp. I want to go back home.

She looked at me surprised, beautiful, suntanned: ‘Why?’

(b) The Taste of Mulberries

The name of the villages was Sarkas, which probably refers to the former origin of its inhabitants, Circassians, who came, I would not know how, to the Middle East and settled here.2Anyway, when I came to know the village, all of its inhabitants were Palestinian Arabs. In fact, I never came to know the village properly; I was never there, though this is only half the truth, and I shall return to that later.

In our eyes, the eyes of children four or five years old, the village was represented by two women: Khadija and Hanifa. Maybe they were more courageous than the rest, or maybe they served as something like the ‘Foreign Office’ of the village. They often walked about in the kibbutz, and as far as I can remember they were mainly preoccupied with the picking of khubeiza (mallow) leaves which grew in wild abundance along the roadside. When we asked why they pick the khubeiza, we were told that the Arabs cook the leaves and eat them. And so, the first thing lever knew about Arabs was that they eat khubeiza. I also knew, of course, that they ride on camels, since the camels used to pass through the kibbutz and occasionally camp there; I knew that they ride on donkeys along the white road which probably stretches up to the very end of the world. But at that time there were also in the area British soldiers (the Mandate) and Australian soldiers (World War II), and thus it was imbedded in my consciousness that Eretz Israel3 consists of us, as well as passers by: Arabs, British, Australians …

About that time they all disappeared, and I really did not notice their disappearance all that much. Of course, the departure of the British was accompanied by much talk on the radio and in the yard of the kibbutz. But as to the fact that Khadija and Hanifa ceased to show up – well, there are many events that pass through the universe of any child, and he or she accepts their appearance os well as their disappearance as a matter of fact. Later, I came to know that the village had been destroyed by bulldozers, and I was a little scared. And then I forgot, und many years passed be fore Sarkas again emerged before my eyes as a place where people lived.

The destroyed village was made into the kibbutz garbage dump. I do not know who was the first to discover that in the midst of the ruins and the dust und the stench there remained a mulberry tree. A huge mulberry tree, which, In summer, produced huge mulberries: black and deliciously sweet. The mulberry trees in the kibbutz were grown on much water and their fruit was therefore somewhat watery, and anyway they were much too high to climb. But this mulberry tree was low, spreading wide, and heavily laden with fruit, to the deep delight of a little girl who was rather quiet and clumsy and who loved mulberries. And thus, every Saturday we would go on pilgrimage to the mulberry tree, stand around it for hours and eat of its fruit and return home with hands and faces blackened by the dark dye of mulberry sap. Never, not once, while standing there among the ruins and the dust under the scathing sun did we talk or think of the inhabitants of Sarkas who lived here: where are they? Where did they go? Why?

From the distance of fifteen years of difficult political development, I watch this group of children devouring mulberries in the midst of a destroyed village, and I just cannot comprehend: how? Wherefrom this utter blindness?

For many years I would walk on Saturdays to Sarkas. At times with company. At times alone. Now Sarkas was no longer embodied in Khadija and Hanifa. Now Sarkas was reduced to the stench of the kibbutz garbage dump and the mulberries In summer. On either side of the road to Sarkas there were sabr cacti hedgerows along all roads, but today they have all disappeared, except in books and in Arab villages, where they still remain. In summer the sabr would bring forth their fruit, and raise masses of tiny red and orange flags glued to their rounded green flagpoles in a summer festival. And when the sabr fruit was ripe, the Arab women would appear out of nowhere, fill their big tin containers with the red and orange fruit and walk away. Today I remember these Arab women and I ask myself: where did they come from? Who were they? Were they exiled inhabitants of the of the village? And in the evening, when they eat the fruit that they had gathered or when they sell it at the roadside, do they feel the taste of their lost homes?

But at that time I did not think of them in the least. The Arabs were something whose temporary provisional existence was eternal. They pass along the white mild on a donkey-cart, emerging out of somewhere and going on to somewhere else, Only once, for some reason … There was a big scout night game, a sort of test of courage. I hid behind the sabr hedgerows and waited for my pursuers to pass by. I sat there in the dark for a long time, quietly. I was not afraid. And all of a sudden they were with me. The women of Sarkas. The women who pick khubeiza along the roadside. The women with the long knives who steal wheat from the fields of the kibbutz. The women with the water cans and the bundles of dry wood on their heads. Slowly, slowly, they slipped by on their bare feet, black and silent. Their round outline, like the sabr cacti leaves, merged with the darkness around, silent.

Today there stands on the site a huge plant for the processing of agricultural products. An exemplary cooperative venture. And the hill? The hill of the village of Sarkas, where is it? The entire area was levelled down, and around the huge factory orange groves were planted, and there is not one single cut stone left as testimony. Yet, I remember. I testify.

In 1961, a very young woman from kibbutz Giv’at ha-Sheloshah married an Arab youth who was employed in her kibbutz. The kibbutz refused to allow them to remain there, and they applied to join ‘my’ kibbutz. The debate on whether they are to be admitted or whether they are not to be admitted extended over one and a half years and shook the kibbutz in a way that no other subject ever did, either before or since. The debate cut across families, and brought sons to rebel against their parents, brothers against brothers and husbands against wives. The leadership of the Ha-Shomer ha-Tza’ir kibbutz federation was called to present its position (opposed), and threats of leaving the kibbutz on this matter were voiced in both camps. In the end, the ‘mixed couple’ was not admitted to the kibbutz. Both camps were already tired of endless debates and rows. In a bitter discussion which I (who supported their admission) had with one of the leading opponents he told me: ‘Do you know that Rashid is a son of the village of Sarkas? Do you think he can live here, raise his children here and always see across the street the hill which was his village, and not think anything?’

At that moment, together with the scorching sun and the dust, I felt in my mouth the taste of the mulberries, and I understood what homeland means, and also, for the first time, vaguely and at a distance and a little bit afraid, I understood that this homeland, the homeland of the songs and of school textbooks, is simply just the taste of mulberries, and the smell of dust, and the moist earth in winter, and the colour of the sky, and that it is a homeland not only for me, but also for Rashid Masarwa. At that very moment, in the midst of the heated discussion, the taste of mulberries and the shock, I remembered one fearful memory.

It was towards the end of the 1948 war, after we had won the war and defeated the Arab armies and had a state of our own. We were lying in bed. Eight children in the children’s house. It was night. From the distance we heard the heavy and rumbling noise. It was not very far away, but one could clearly hear that the noise did not come from inside the kibbutz. And the noise went on and on and on. I asked what this protracted and continuous noise was, and one of the children told me that two kibbutz members had gone with bulldozers to Sarkas to destroy the houses of the Arabs. In real fear of Arab revenge I asked: ‘But what will the Arabs do when they come back and see that we have destroyed their homes?’ And he then answered: ‘That is why we destroy their homes, so that they do not come back’.

I then knew that the matter was lost. The home of Rashid was destroyed then so that he would not return. So that he, his mother in the long black robe who walks erect with the bundle of wood magnificently balanced on her head, and all his brothers and sisters who run barefoot on the stones would not return. And also now they will not let him come back.

In December 1972, the entire country was shaken with what was dubbed in the press as the ‘affair of the espionage and sabotage network’. Some thirty Arab youths and six Jewish youths, Israelis, were arrested on charges of forming a ‘sabotage organization’, operated by Syrian intelligence, whose object was ‘to damage the security of the state’. One of the Jewish detainees, a youth aged 26, was a son of my kibbutz. Another detainee from the Arab village of Jatt, was a youth named Mahmud Masarwa. In his defence speech he stated as follows:

The Honourable Court, Your Honourable Judges,

My father was born in the village of Sarkas, near kibbutz .. , in the vicinity of Haderah. My father was the son of a peasant. In 1948, he was removed from his land, expelled by force. Their lands were confiscated. Their homes were destroyed. On the site a factory for the kibbutz was built. My father was compelled to go out and seek work as a labourer in order to feed … [his family]. We went to live in such a tiny house: twelve people in the space of metres times 3 metres. In 1957, I remember this quite well, one year after the Sinai war, my father told me and my brother who sits here [in the court room]: ‘Go out to work in order that you at least help me to finance your studies .. .’ (Quoted from the official Protocol of the court proceedings.)

‘My brother who sits here in the court room!’

His brother who sat there was Rashid Masarwa who, in 1961, applied to be admitted to the kibbutz together with his Jewish wife. It was Rashid Masarwa who told the members of the kibbutz:

I want to live here as a loyal kibbutz member like everyone else, but I want my children to know that their father is an Arab, and I want my children to know the Quran, and I want them to celebrate all the Jewish holidays, but also know what Ramadan is, and that their grandfather and grandmother will come to visit them here in the kibbutz, and that my children will also go to the village to be with their grandfather and grandmother in the holidays.

Now he is sitting here, Rashid Masarwa, and watches his brother being sentenced for wanting to take by the force of arms what he himself had hoped to gain by application and consent, and all the brotherhood among the nations in the world could not be of any avail to them.

In the Ramleh central prison the son of the dispossessing kibbutz und the son of the dispossessed village met again. Only one youth, one Udi Adiv, from that kibbutz. resolved in his mind to cross the road. But the world has no space to accommodate the naive.

And if prisoners in jail do dream – both prisoners, no doubt, see in their dreams the colour of the sky, and perhaps they also savour the taste of mulberries.

1 Tantura is a Palestinian Arab village on the Mediterranean coast, some 13 km north of Caesaria. In 1944 its population was estimated at 1,470 Muslim and 20 Christian inhabitants. It was occupied by the Israeli army in 1948 and subsequently almost completely destroyed. All of its inhabitants were expelled and made refugees. The lands of the Palestinian Arab village of Tantura are now cultivated by the Israeli Jewish kibbutz Nahsholim (established 1948; population 350; area of cultivation 1,500 dunams). [Footnote probably by Uri Davis]

2 After the Russian conquest of Circassia from the Ottomans in 1878, many Circassian clans and families loyal to the Ottoman regime emigrated to various countries throughout the Ottoman empire. The Ottoman Sultan Abd al-Hamid extended his support to the Circassian resettlement and made lands available to them in Palestine, inter alia, where there are two Circassian villages, Kufr Qama in Lower Galilee and Rihaniyya in Upper Galilee. The attempt to settle Circassians in the Northern Sharon, in the northern coastal plain, where they established the village of Sarkas failed, and the original Circassian inhabitants were gradually replaced by native Palestinian Arabs. In 1947 the village population totalled some 400 inhabitants. [Footnote probably by Uri Davis]

3 The Hebrew designation of historical Palestine.

 

Jewish volunteers for racial supremacy in Palestine

http://electronicintifada.net/content/jewish-volunteers-racial-supremacy-palestine/13695

Jewish volunteers for racial supremacy in Palestine

by Joseph Massad
The Electronic Intifada
4 August 2014

The European Christian fight for anti-Semitism was always a fight to grant Christians superior rights to Jews and to institutionalize that superiority as racial and religious supremacy.

In response, the European Jewish fight against anti-Semitism was and remains a fight against the reduction of the rights of Jews (if not their elimination altogether in the case of the Nazis), against the project to render European Jews an inferior species of citizens, and against white European Christian supremacy.

This has been a historical fight that multitudes of non-Jews have joined on both sides. However, ultimately it was European Jewish fighters against anti-Semitism and their gentile allies who won this key battle against inequality, oppression, racial and religious discrimination and genocide.

The European Jewish and Protestant fight (the latter preceded the former by three centuries) for Zionism, in contrast, has been and remains a fight to grant European Jews more rights than non-Jews (and non-European Jews) on a religious, ethnic and racial basis.

This superiority would be granted especially vis-à-vis Palestinian citizens of the Jewish settler-colony (if not eliminating their rights altogether as many Zionist Jews call for), as well as eliminating the rights of the Palestinians in the territories Israel occupied and colonized since 1967 and those it expelled and exiled since 1948 outside the borders of their homeland.

Multitudes of Jews and non-Jews have also joined this historical fight for racism, discrimination and colonialism. The Palestinians and their Jewish and non-Jewish allies refuse to give up and continue to resist Zionism’s insistence that European (and other) Jews must have superior and supremacist colonial, racial and religious rights in Palestine.

The Jewish fight for Zionism (which has never included and still does not include all Jews) is the exact opposite of the Jewish fight against anti-Semitism (which also never included all Jews); the former is a fight for European Jewish supremacy while the latter is against European Aryan and Christian supremacy.

This in a nutshell exposes the outright Zionist lie that claims that the struggle against anti-Semitism and the struggle for Zionism are one and the same.

Recruiting Jews to kill Palestinians

This is important to consider when we examine the international Zionist Jewish brigades that have volunteered to join the Israeli colonial army with much eagerness to kill Arabs and Palestinians. This has been a successful project in light of the mobilizational Zionist and Israeli Jewish propaganda in the last seven decades among the Jewish communities of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Argentina, to name the most prominent Jewish communities outside Israel.

This propaganda campaign aimed at transforming members of these communities from fighters against white Christian supremacy into fighters for European Jewish racial and colonial supremacy.

The dissemination of racist Israeli Jewish culture internationally goes hand-in-hand with Zionism’s pan-Jewishism, whereby, just as anti-Semitism speaks against all Jews, Zionism claims to speak for all of them — and reassures Jews that Israel is their country and that they should move to colonize it, failing which it would function as a spare country awaiting their arrival on a need to colonize basis.

That the major North American and European organizations that claim to speak for Jews have endorsed Israel’s right to speak for them and have been the major conduits for the hateful racist Israeli Jewish propaganda against the Palestinian people makes them fully complicit in the ongoing slaughter and oppression of the Palestinians. This is especially so given that they openly support anti-Palestinian Israeli colonial policies and urge their respective governments and media to do the same. (We must keep in mind these organizations and their wealthy leaders are not elected by members of the Jewish communities but appoint themselves as their representatives and speak for them in these organizations’ newspapers, which constitute what is referred to as the “Jewish” press.)

This is not to say that members of the Jewish communities are not pro-Israel and fervently anti-Palestinian, which they are in their majority, but it is to say that polls have shown them to be less murderous and hateful than the organizations claiming to represent them.

Thus, Israel has created a hegemonic racist Jewish culture that does not only dominate Israeli Jewish communities but also Jewish communities in Europe and its settler colonial extensions (in the Americas, in Australia and in South Africa). This, however, was never sufficiently successful to produce millions of Jewish volunteers for Israel’s colonial cause (no matter how much European and American Jews support Zionism and Israel, few would want to fight or die for it). But it did create the conditions for thousands of young Jewish (mostly male) fighters for European racial supremacy to join the Israeli colonial army seeking to prove the superiority of European Jewishness (and a concomitant European Jewish manliness) by slaughtering Palestinians.

The Israeli colonial army advertises several programs to accommodate international Jewish volunteers for the oppression of the Palestinians. It provides them with the option to serve in the Israeli army in “full combat and support roles,” namely in its “Mahal” program, to fulfill their commitment to the Zionist cause of European Jewish supremacy without necessarily having to become Israeli citizens.
There is also the smaller “Marva” program in which young teenage Jewish recruits for Zionist Jewish supremacy can participate “in this immersive army program, serving alongside fellows from countries around the world.”

Israel’s killing machine proudly declares that “over 300 Jewish teens from all around the world volunteer to serve” in the Israeli colonial army annually as part of the four thousand “Jewish and non-Jewish” volunteers who “fly to Israel and volunteer in the IDF [Israeli military] for several weeks.” These may not be impressive numbers, but there are more.

One of the programs engineered to recruit Jewish youth for racial and religious supremacy is the “Garin Tzabar” project. Garin Tzabar means “cactus seed,” or “Sabra seed,” in reference to Palestine-born Israeli Jews, hence the importance of this program as a reproductive and masculinist project aimed at populating the Jewish settler-colony with more Zionist Jews committed to the superiority of European (and other) Jews over Palestinians.

Garin Tzabar, according to the Israeli colonial army, has “already helped over 1,500 teens from all around the world join the IDF and approximately 70 percent of the immigrants have stayed in Israel after their service.”

Garin Tzabar is not the only volunteer program. There are others like the “Sar-El” program, which claims that it has brought between 1983 and 2011 “more than a hundred thousand volunteers to Israel … 
Staying in Israel for several weeks, the participants share a true IDF experience on IDF bases” (Israel refers to these European and American volunteers for Jewish racial supremacy as “lone soldiers”).
The Israeli military claimed that in 2012, “5,500 lone soldiers” were serving in its colonial forces whereas today it claims to have 4,600 volunteers, one-third of whom are Americans.

In the ongoing barbaric slaughter of Gaza Palestinians, two of the Palestinian baby-killing Jewish soldiers (as I’ve written previously, targeting and killing Palestinian children is an old Zionist tradition) who were killed by the Palestinian resistance were American Jewish volunteers for Jewish racial and colonial supremacy.
They quickly became heroes for the American press, “Jewish” and “gentile” alike. Indeed an article appeared in The Washington Post to show how these baby-killers are different from Muslim foreign fighters who volunteered to overthrow the Afghani communist government and more recently several Arab governments (“‘Foreign Fighters’ for Israel,” David Malet, 22 July 2014). Few, however, mention the White European and American Christian mercenary foreign fighters who have served tyrannies around the word since the Second World War.

Colonial recruitment

These Israeli volunteer programs build on the legacy of the four thousand Jewish volunteers who came to fight the Zionist colonial war of 1948 that captured Palestine and expelled its population and established the European Jewish-supremacist settler-colony. Known as Mahal, the main volunteer program included American Jews as prominent and important members assisting in Israel’s colonial conquest.

They included Mickey Marcus, an American Jewish US Army colonel who became Israel’s first brigadier general. Marcus’ Second World War experience was instrumental in breaking the 1948 “siege of Jerusalem.”

Other important Jewish volunteers included the Canadian officer Ben Dunkelman and US pilot Milton Rubenfeld, as well as British Jewish Major Wellesley Aron who helped in the recruitment of American Jews for Zionism’s colonial war. European and American Christian Zionist mercenaries also helped, especially in the Zionist air force. These colonial volunteers fighting for racism, especially from the UK, constituted almost two-thirds of the settler-colony’s air force during the 1948 war.

David Ben-Gurion, the Jewish settler-colony’s first prime minister, was so thankful to them that he stated that “the Mahal [volunteer] Forces were the Diaspora’s most important contribution to the survival of the State of Israel.” Indeed they were: 123 of them died in that colonial war.

Jews in the struggle against Israeli racism

But unlike Jews inside Israel, Jewish communities in Europe, North and South America, and even in Australia, live in cultures that are not fully controlled by Zionist propaganda and therefore are not fully under the sway of the racist culture that Israel seeks to impose on them. It is this that explains how an increasing number of prominent members in the Jewish communities of the US and the UK, among intellectuals and academics, are in the forefront of the struggle against Israeli Jewish racism and colonialism (in contrast with apartheid South Africa which had a substantial number of white anti-racist activists and intellectuals, only a few Israeli Jewish intellectuals have been able over the decades to escape Israeli racist brainwashing — a feat unto itself).

Today many American Jewish luminaries in academe oppose Israeli policies unreservedly. Whereas once Noam Chomsky was a lone Jewish academic voice critical of Israel, he is today joined by scores of Jewish academics and intellectuals in opposing Israeli policies (of course these Jewish academics along with anti-Zionist gentile academics remain a minority and are outflanked by the much larger Jewish and gentile academics who are militant enemies of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims).

Some, like the prominent American Jewish philosopher Judith Butler, have surpassed Chomsky in their opposition to Zionist and Israeli racism and colonialism, and are vocal supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and call for a one-state solution, both of which Chomsky does not support. In fact, a few Palestinian-American academics have also opposed both of these important positions or remained “neutral” on them (some used the rhetorical strategy, of “on the one hand this and on the other hand that”). Though in the last year some, fearing being left outside the leftist mainstream which has adopted these positions, have decided to show a belated “courage” in adopting these positions more than a decade after everyone else has.

And this is not limited to Jewish intellectuals but extends also to Jewish activists, especially groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (which, among many of its anti-racist activities, played an important role in helping Palestinians and others persuade the Presbyterian Church USA to divest from companies profiting from the Israeli occupation), and the countless Jewish students joining, and in a good number of cases, leading groups like Students for Justice in Palestine based on their commitment to fight racism and colonialism, values that are the diametrical opposite of Zionist colonial racism and fascist tribalism.

It is these Jewish fighters against Zionism and Israeli colonialism and racism that are continuing the Jewish fight against anti-Semitism but who remain unsung heroes in the American “Jewish” and “gentile” press that prefers to celebrate baby-killing Zionist Jewish volunteers for Israeli Jewish supremacy instead.

These Jewish fighters against racism have joined the Palestinian people and their international allies (Jewish and gentile alike) in fighting this ongoing historical battle against the forces of racial supremacy and colonial conquest. They understand well, as the Palestinian national movement has always understood, that the fight for Palestinian rights and liberation from the Jewish settler-colony is the latest phase of the historic fight against anti-Semitism and that the fight for Zionism is part of the war for European racial supremacy and colonialism.

The carnage that Israeli Jewish soldiers and international Zionist Jewish brigades of baby-killers are committing in Gaza (and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, let alone against Palestinian citizens of Israel) is but the starkest reminder of this unshakeable conviction.

Joseph Massad is professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University. He is author of the forthcoming Islam in Liberalism.

Racism is the Foundation of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge

http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/18732/racism-is-the-foundation-of-israels-operation-prot

Racism is the Foundation of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge
Jul 30 2014, by Joel Beinin

On 30 June Ayelet Shaked, chairwoman of the Knesset faction of the ultra-right wing ha-Bayit ha-Yehudi (Jewish Home) Party, a key member of the coalition government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu, posted on her Facebook page a previously unpublished article written by the late Uri Elitzur. Elitzur, a pro-settler journalist and former chief-of-staff to Netanyahu, wrote:

Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism… They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now, this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They must follow their sons. Nothing would be more just. They should go, as well as the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.

Shaked’s post appeared the day the bodies of three abducted settler teens­—Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach—were discovered. It has since received more than 5,200 “likes.”

For over two weeks, Netanyahu and the media whipped the country into a hysterical state, accusing Hamas of responsibility for abducting the teens without providing evidence to support the claim and promoting hopes that they would be found alive, although the government knew that the boys were likely murdered within minutes of their abduction. Their deaths provided a pretext for more violent expressions of Israeli anti-Arab racism than ever before.

The viciousness of Mordechai Kedar, lecturer in Arabic literature at Bar Ilan University, was even more creative than Shaked and Elitzur’s merely genocidal proposal. “The only thing that can deter terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them,” he said, “is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped.” As a university-based “expert,” Kedar’s heinous suggestion is based on his “understanding” of Arab culture. “It sounds very bad, but that’s the Middle East,” he explained, hastening to add, “I’m not talking about what we should or shouldn’t do. I’m talking about the facts.”

Racism has become a legitimate, indeed an integral, component of Israeli public culture, making assertions like these seem “normal.” The public devaluation of Arab life enables a society that sees itself as “enlightened” and “democratic” to repeatedly send its army to slaughter the largely defenseless population of the Gaza Strip—1.8 million people, mostly descendants of refugees who arrived during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and have been, to a greater or lesser extent, imprisoned since 1994.

Conciliatory gestures, on the other hand, are scorned. Just two days after Shaked’s Facebook post, Orthodox Jews kidnapped sixteen-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir from the Shu‘afat neighborhood of East Jerusalem and burned him alive in the Jerusalem Forest. Amir Peretz (Hatnua) was the only government minister to visit the grieving family. For this effort he received dozens of posts on his Facebook page threatening to kill him and his family. Meanwhile, vandals twice destroyed memorials erected to Abu Khdeir on the spot of his immolation.

The international community typically sees the manifestations of Israel’s violent racism only when they erupt as assaults on the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, or Lebanon. But Israel’s increasingly poisonous anti-Arab and anti-Muslim public culture prepares the ground of domestic public opinion long before any military operation and immunizes the army from most criticism of its “excesses.” Moreover, Israeli anti-democratic and racist sentiment is increasingly directed against Palestinian citizens of Israel, who comprise twenty percent of the population.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of the Yisrael Beytenu (Israel Is Our Home) Party made his political reputation on the slogan “No Loyalty, No Citizenship”—a demand that Palestinian Israelis swear loyalty oaths as a condition of retaining their citizenship. Since 2004 Lieberman has also advocated “transferring” Palestinian-Israelis residing in the Triangle region to a future Palestinian state, while annexing most West Bank settlements to Israel. In November 2011 Haaretz published a partial list of ten “loyalty-citizenship” bills in various stages of legislation designed to “determine certain citizens’ rights according to their ‘loyalty’ to the state.”

While Lieberman and other MKs pursue legal channels to legally undermine the citizenship of Palestinian-Israelis, their civil rights are already in serious danger. In 2010 eighteen local rabbis warned that the Galilee town of Safed faced an “Arab takeover” and instructed Jewish residents to inform on and boycott Jews who sold or rented dwellings to Arabs. In addition to promoting segregated housing, Safed’s Chief Rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, tried to ban Arab students from attending Safed Academic College (about 1,300 Palestinian-Israelis are enrolled, some of whom live in Safed). The rabbinical statement incited rampages by religious Jews chanting “Death to the Arabs,” leading Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy to dub Safed “the most racist city” in Israel. In Karmiel and Upper Nazareth—towns established as part of Israel’s campaign to “Judaize the Galilee”—elected officials have led similar campaigns.

Palestinian Israeli Knesset members receive regular verbal abuse from their Jewish “colleagues.” For example, Hanin Zoabi (National Democratic Alliance), who participated in the 2010 Freedom Flotilla to the Gaza Strip, which Israeli naval commandos attacked, killing nine Turks (one of whom also held US citizenship), has been particularly targeted. In the verbal sparring over the murder of the three teens Foreign Minister Lieberman called her a “terrorist.” Not to be outdone, Miri Regev (Likud) said Zoabi should be “expelled to Gaza and stripped of her [Knesset] immunity.” Other Knesset members—some from putatively “liberal” parties—piled on. [Update: Yesterday—29 July—Hanin Zoabi was suspended from Knesset].

Violence against Arabs in and around Israeli-annexed “Greater Jerusalem” is particularly intense. Much of it is the work of Orthodox Jews. The Jewish Defense League, banned in Israel in 1994 and designated a terrorist organization by the FBI in 2001, and several similar groups regularly assault and harass Arabs. The day of the funeral of the three abducted teens, some two hundred Israelis rampaged through the streets of Jerusalem chanting “Death to Arabs.” The previous evening, hardcore fans of the Betar Jerusalem football club, known as La Familia, rallied chanting, “Death to the Arabs.”  The same chant is frequently heard at games of the team, which is associated with the Likud and does not hire Arab players. Hate marches, beatings and shootings of Arabs, and destruction of their property, long common in the West Bank, have become regular events in Israel-proper in the last month.

The citizenship-loyalty bills, Safed’s designation as “the most racist city,” the attacks volleyed at Palestinian elected officials, and mob violence against Arabs all took place before Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July. The operation—more aggressively dubbed “Firm Cliff” in Hebrew—constitutes Israel’s third assault on the Gaza Strip since 2008. As of yesterday, 29 July, the Palestinian death toll in that operation has reached over 1,200, the great majority of them civilians. Thirty-two Israeli soldiers and three civilians have also died. Israeli security officials sardonically call these operations “mowing the lawn” because well-informed observers know that Hamas cannot be uprooted and is capable of rebuilding its military capacity. There is no long-term strategy, except, as Gideon Levy put it, to kill Palestinians. Major General (res.) Oren Shachor elaborated, “If we kill their families, that will frighten them.” And what might deter Israel?

[This piece originally appeared in a special weeklong series on the Stanford University Press blog, and is reposted here in partnership with SUP blog. The entire ten-part series can be found on the SUP blog.]

Dutch Christian volunteers defend Jewish state on social media

http://www.jta.org/2014/07/29/news-opinion/world/in-dutch-situation-room-pro-israel-volunteers-defend-jewish-state-on-social-media

From Dutch situation room, pro-Israel volunteers defend Jewish state on social media

By Cnaan Liphshiz July 29, 2014 1:22pm

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands Haim Divon nodded approvingly as he surveyed the small army of 50 men and women fighting for Israel.

Around a conference table in an office in the Amsterdam suburb of Buitenveldert, 30 volunteers were writing and collecting pro-Israel materials and transferring them to an editor who posted them on social networks.

Nearby, the graphics department churned out glossy logos and catchy memes that compared weather forecasts from London — partly cloudy with a chance of light showers — to that of Tel Aviv: Rocket volley with a chance of death.

This was not Divon’s operation. In fact, he and other embassy staff were making only their first visit to the situation room set up by Jewish and Christian volunteers to counter anti-Israel rhetoric online. Community leaders say the effort is unparalleled in Europe and a testament to the vibrancy of Dutch Jewry.

“What you have done here is amazing,” Divon told the group. “I think this is unique in Europe and this is exactly what we need to give us enough time to accomplish what we need in order to ensure the safety of the people of Israel.”

The volunteers at the Buitenveldert situation room began working last week out of the cafeteria of a local community center, which they converted into a space where 80 people can work in two 14-hour shifts each day. The volunteers have created hundreds of posts and articles on Israel, which they disseminate through the Holland4Israel Facebook group and on Twitter, among other social networks.

“The idea is to empower pro-Israel advocates who used to work out of their student apartments by giving them a community framework, interaction and facilities,” said Ron Eisenmann, a former community leader from Amsterdam who spearheaded the project with Rabbi Yanki Jacobs, director of the Dutch branch of the Chabad on Campus network, and Christians for Israel, an international network of Christian Zionists.

Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands Haim Divon, second from left, visiting the Holland4Israel situation room near Amsterdam, July 24, 2014. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

For some participants, the situation room is the only place outside their homes where they can express support of Israel without rebuke. After one of her classmates posted on Facebook that “f—–g Zionists are something that every Jew should be ashamed of,” one Jewish student decided she needed to be more discreet about her views.

“Most of my friends are left-wing non-Jews, so I knew they were no big fans of Israel,” said Naomi, a student in her 20s from an eastern Holland city with few Jews, who asked to be identified only by her first name. “But I was shocked by their attacks on me because of my comments online about Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Support for the Palestinian cause is strong in the Netherlands, which has seen a string of efforts to divest from Israel over its policies in the West Bank and Gaza. Earlier this month, Muslim demonstrators twice chanted menacing calls about Jews at rallies in The Hague. Separately, unidentified individuals smashed the windows of the home of a chief rabbi, the fifth attack on his residence in recent years.

But the kingdom is also home to one of Europe’s most active pro-Israel communities, led by the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI. The 40-year-old organization with 10 professional staffers, an online television channel and two research departments has given the Netherlands’ small Jewish community of 40,000 an outsized voice on Israel affairs unequaled by similarly sized communities elsewhere in Europe.

But it is the support of Christian Zionists that gives Holland’s well-organized Jewish community an extra push in its public diplomacy efforts, according to Binyomin Jacobs, Yanki’s father and the rabbi whose home was attacked.

“The supporters of Israel from Christians for Israel are an enormous help and an important element to the Jewish story here,” said Jacobs.

Representing hundreds of thousands of people in dozens of countries, Christians for Israel was founded in the Netherlands in 1979. Its international headquarters is still located in the town of Nijkerk, near Amsterdam.

Recently, the group launched several campaigns against PGGM, a major pension firm that divested from Israeli companies, and against several supermarket chains that reportedly agreed to boycott settlement goods. The markets denied they had made such a decision amid protests led predominantly by Christians.

Christians for Israel’s contribution to the pro-Israel effort during the current Gaza crisis was evident at a July 19 demonstration, where approximately 1,000 people — many draped in Israeli flags — packed Amsterdam’s Dam Square.

“I was surprised at how many Jews showed up,” said Sergiusz Licpyz, an Israeli living in Amsterdam. “They sang Hebrew songs and completely dwarfed the counter-demonstration of 30 pro-Palestinians, who ended up looking quite pathetic. I think they were also surprised.”

About 75 percent of the participants were Christians, according to David Serphos, a former Jewish community leader who helped set up the situation room with Eisenmann.

“Thank God for Christians for Israel because without them, that demonstration would have been different,” Serphos said.

Back at the situation room, Timo Erkelens of Christians for Israel’s youth group, Israelity, describes his involvement as a form of compensation for “all the horrible things” that befell Dutch Jewry. The Holocaust wiped out 75 percent of the community, the highest death rate in all of Nazi-occupied Western Europe.

“We are here to change the record,” Erkelens said.

Tags: holland4israel, david serphos, ron eisenmann, Binyomin Jacobs, jewish community of the netherlands, christians for israel, Rabbi Yanki Jacobs
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Cnaan Liphshiz is JTA’s news and features correspondent in Europe.

Israel bans radio advert listing names of children killed in Gaza

Israel bans radio advert listing names of children killed in Gaza

Human rights group B’Tselem will petition Israel’s supreme court after advert was deemed to be ‘politically controversial’
in Jerusale
The Guardian,
Aid agencies said on Wednesday that a child had been killed in Gaza on average every hour for the preceding two days. Photograph: Khalil Hamra/AP

The Israeli Broadcasting Authority has banned a radio advertisement from a human rights organisation which listed the names of some of the scores of children killed in Gaza since the conflict began 17 days ago.

B’Tselem‘s appeal against the decision was rejected on Wednesday. It intends to petition Israel‘s supreme court on Sunday in an effort to get the ban overturned.

The IBA said the ad’s content was “politically controversial”. The broadcast refers to child deaths in Gaza and reads out some of the victims’ names.

In its appeal, B’Tselem demanded to know what was controversial about the item. “Is it controversial that the children [aren’t] alive? That they’re children? That those are their names? These are facts that we wish to bring to the public’s knowledge.”

In a statement, the human rights group said: “So far more than 600 people have been killed in bombings in Gaza, more than 150 of them children. But apart from a brief report on the number of fatalities, the Israeli media refrains from covering them.” By Thursday morning, the death toll in Gaza had exceeded 700.

B’Tselem went on: “IBA says broadcasting the children’s names is politically controversial. But refusing to do so is in itself a far-reaching statement – it says the huge price being paid by civilians in Gaza, many of them children, must be censored.”

Aid agencies said on Wednesday that a child had been killed in Gaza on average every hour for the preceding two days, and more than 70,000 children had been forced to flee their homes. There has also been a spike in the number of premature births.

“The shocking number of children being killed, injured, or displaced in Gaza demands an unequivocal international response to stop the bloodshed,” Save the Children said. “Entire families are being wiped out in seconds as a result of the targeting of homes.”

Dr Yousif al Swaiti, director of al-Awda hospital, said: “We have witnessed many premature births as a result of the fear and psychological disorders caused by the military offensive. The number of cases of premature births per day has doubled, compared to the average daily rate before the escalation.”

Israeli bill aims at divide Palestinians along confessional lines

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/israeli-knesset-passes-bill-differentiating-christian-palestinians-1948-palestinian-communit

Israeli bill distinguishes Christians from 1948 Palestinians

By: Yazan al-Saadi
Published February 25, 2014
 
A Greek orthodox priest guards a chapel built inside the Orthodox Christian monastery of the Temptation near the West Bank city of Jericho, on February 22, 2014. (Photo: AFP- Thomas Coex)
 
Israel’s legislative branch, known as the Knesset, passed a controversial bill into law that defines 1948 Christians Palestinians as “non-Arabs”, Israeli media reported.
 
The new law – passed on Monday with a vote of 31 in favor and 6 against – for the first time differentiates Christian Palestinians from the rest of the Palestinian community, who had survived the 1947-48 ethnic cleansing by Zionist forces, and remained within the 1948 territories.

“This is a historic law. It’s the first time there is separate representation for Christians,” Likud Beytenu coalition chairman Yariv Levin, who proposed the bill, was quoted by the Israeli press prior to the the vote.

“Soon we’ll expand on this and give [Christians] all the separate representation they deserve,” he added.
Previously, Levin justified the bill as “an important, historic step that could introduce balance to the State of Israel, and connect us [Jews] with the Christians, I am careful not to refer to them as Arabs, because they are not Arabs.”

“The community in 1948 will not remain quiet. This is a major move by the forces of occupation and colonization, and there will be mobilizations just like how we saw the creation and continuation of Land Day protests within 1948 lands. We will see protests in the future.”

“We and the Christians have a lot in common. They’re our natural allies, a counterweight to the Muslims that want to destroy the country from within… We will use an iron hand and demonstrate zero tolerance of Arabs who tend to identify with the terror of the Palestinian state,” he added.

According to reports, the law will enforce a separate representation on the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity within the Employment Commission, by extending the number of panel members to ten, adding specific seats for the ultra-Orthodox, Druze, Christian, Circassian populations, and others.
 
‘Palestinian Christians are Arabs’
 
CIA statistics put the Arab Christian population living in Occupied Palestine at around 123,000. These people will be directly affected by the new law.

Arab members of the Knesset unanimously condemned the bill as a “racist” act and a “divide-and-conquer” tactic.

“Colonialists try to separate groups of natives. The prime example of this is South Africa,” MK Hanin Zoabi of the Arab political party, Balad, reportedly said to the media after the vote.

“We are the natives here and we have a clear identity, [we] are Palestinians, part of the Arab nation, and your law will fail. Part of the Zionist project is to oppress our identity, but I have the right to speak in the name of Palestinians.”

Khalid Musmar, an official for the Palestinian National Council, told Al-Akhbar,“The Palestinian Christian community will rebuke this before anyone else. The Palestinian Christians are Arab despite the wishes of anyone in the Knesset or otherwise.”

“They have always said they were Arabs and have fought side-by-side with their Muslim brethren, from the times of the Crusades to today. The Palestinian community, in all it’s colors and creeds, is a unified Arab community confronting occupation. They are struggling for a Palestinian nation with Jerusalem as it’s capital. This will not change by the acts of Knesset or anyone else,” the official said.

“The community in 1948 will not remain quiet. This is a major move by the forces of occupation and colonization, and there will be mobilizations just like how we saw the creation and continuation of Land Day protests within 1948 lands. We will see protests in the future.”
 
“If [Israel] wants to do right to the Palestinians in general and Christians in particular,” said Jumana, from the Galilee region of northern occupied Palestine, during a separate conversation with Al-Akhbar, “let them approve the return of the refugees and internally displaced Palestinians from the two Christian villages of Ekrith and Birem, who already have a court ruling allowing them to return to their destroyed villages.”

She added that this law comes at a time when “the government is attempting to make the drafting to the Israeli Army obligatory to Palestinian Christians, [and] this is completely not acceptable, since this is their way of dividing the Palestinian minority and fragmenting the community as a whole.”

In a similar vein, a 1948 Palestinian Christian from Nazareth, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, told Al-Akhbar, “I think [Levin’s comments] are outrageous and untrue. It is part of Israel’s broader attempt to segment and fragmentize the Palestinian community from one another inside Israel. Other examples of this are with the Bedouins and the Druze, and this is part of [Israel’s] attempt to break up what is a cohesive community. It won’t work.”

“I see myself as an Arab and so do other Palestinian Christians. [Levin’s] logic only reaffirms the agenda to separate and break-up minorities within minorities,” she added.

“There should be more representation of Palestinians in Israel in general. Christian Palestinians are just as repressed as Muslims.”

Israel’s elections bring ‘racism’ to the fore

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/10/israel-elections-bring-racism-fore-2013102184217401251.html

Israel’s elections bring ‘racism’ to the fore

Political ads banned after Jewish parties accused of using denigrating language towards Palestinians.
Jonathan Cook Last Modified: 21 Oct 2013 13:23

Critics say Israel’s local elections have brought out a tide of ugly racism, especially in ‘mixed cities’ [AP]
Nazareth, Israel – In some parts of Israel, voters in Tuesday’s elections will be casting a ballot not on how well their municipality is run but on how to stop “Arabs” moving in next door, how to prevent mosques being built in their community, or how to “save” Jewish women from the clutches of Arab men.

While the far-right’s rise in Israeli national politics has made headlines, less attention has been paid to how this has played out in day-to-day relations between Israeli Jews and the country’s Palestinian-Arab minority, comprising a fifth of the population.

According to analysts and residents, Israel’s local elections have brought a tide of ugly racism to the fore, especially in a handful of communities known as “mixed cities”, where Jewish and Palestinian citizens live in close proximity.

Jewish parties, including local branches of the ruling Likud party, have adopted openly racist language and fear-mongering suggesting an imminent Muslim takeover of Jewish communities in a bid to win votes.

“Israeli society has become more and more racist, and the candidates are simply reflecting this racism back to voters knowing that it will win them lots of support,” said Mohammed Zeidan, director of the Human Rights Association in Nazareth.

Last week, as electioneering intensified, Salim Joubran, an Arab judge, stepped in to ban adverts by the Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the cities of Karmiel and Tel Aviv.

Joubran, who is the first Arab in Israel’s history to chair the Central Elections Committee, which oversees elections, said the ads were “racist and almost certain to hurt the feelings of Arab Israelis and disrupt public order”.

In doing so, Joubran overruled the advice of the attorney-general, Yehuda Weinstein, who had argued that the committee had no authority to regulate online ads and posters.

‘Gentrifying’ neighbourhoods

Notably, Netanyahu and his ministers have refused to condemn or distance themselves from the campaigns run by their local branches.

In Jaffa, the commercial capital of Palestine before Israel’s creation in 1948 and now a mixed suburb of Tel Aviv, Likud ran ads against local Muslims. A third of Jaffa’s population are Palestinian, but they face increasing pressure to leave under a programme of “gentrifying” neighbourhoods.

One ad – using the slogan “Silence the muezzin in Jaffa? Only Likud can” – echoed threats Netanyahu made in late 2011 to ban mosques from using loudspeakers to call Muslims to prayer.

A Likud party spokeswoman declined to comment on Joubran’s criticisms.

Sheikh Ahmed Abu Ajwa, an imam in Jaffa, said: “This is a racist campaign but we must not forget that those who promote hatred against Muslims and Christians in Jaffa are simply following the lead of the government.

“It is a great impertinence to tell us we need to silence our mosques. We were here – and so were our mosques – long before Israel’s creation. If they don’t like it here, they are welcome to leave.”

Another poster, implying that Palestinian citizens are not loyal to Israel and that Likud would intensify moves to remove them from the city, said the party would “Return Jaffa to Israel”.

Joubran similarly banned a phone ad used by the Likud party in Karmiel, a so-called “Judaisation” city in the Galilee designed to bring Jews to a region with a large Palestinian population.

Jewish residents had received a recorded phone message from someone calling himself “Nabil” inviting them to a fictitious cornerstone-laying ceremony for a new mosque in the town.

Karmiel’s Palestinian residents, believed to number less than 2,000 in a city of 45,000 people, say they have not even proposed that a mosque should be built in the city.

Koren Neuman, head of Karmiel’s Likud electoral list, said the election committee’s decision was unjustified.

“Our message is that we want to keep our city Jewish-Zionist. That, after all, is the mission of the state of Israel. We’re not against anybody. But Karmiel is supposed to be a Jewish city and we must not allow its character to be changed.”

He added that at meetings with voters, “the fear that is raised is that the city will become mixed”, and there would one day be an Arab mayor.

‘Take our women’

Naama Blatman-Thomas, a local political activist, said Jewish parties in Karmiel had resorted to “dirty tricks” in response to the emergence of a joint Jewish-Arab party, Karmiel Rainbow, contesting the council election.

“When I have spoken to Jewish residents, the narrative in their minds is that their city is under threat of a takeover, that the Arabs will take our women, and so on. The views expressed in Karmiel are part of a much wider trend across the Galilee.”

Most communities in Israel are segregated on an ethnic basis.

However, in recent years Palestinians in the Galilee have started migrating to Judaisation cities such as Karmiel in growing numbers because Israeli land policies have deprived their own communities of land for new house construction, said Zeidan.

In rural communities such as the kibbutz and moshav where housing is available, vetting committees have been put in place to ensure housing is off-limits to Palestinian citizens.

But in cities such as Karmiel, homes are available for purchase if Jews will sell to Palestinian citizens. Blatman-Thomas, who is researching segregation policies in Karmiel for her doctorate, said Jews were emigrating from the city because of a shortage of employment opportunities, opening the way to Palestinians from the surrounding towns and villages to buy apartments.

Recent surveys show a strong aversion from many in the Jewish public to living in shared communities. According to the annual Israel Democracy Index, published this month, 48 percent of Jews would not want an Arab neighbour, while 44 percent favoured policies to encourage Palestinian citizens to emigrate from Israel.

Such sentiments have received official backing from municipal rabbis. More than 40 signed a decreein 2010 that Jews must not sell homes to non-Jews.

At that time, Karmiel’s deputy mayor, Oren Milstein, set up an email “hotline” on which residents could inform on Jewish residents who were intending to sell to Palestinian families. Milstein claimed he had managed to stop 30 such sales.

Dov Caller, a spokesman for Karmiel Rainbow, said the city’s attractiveness to Palestinian families in the area was a reflection of the discrimination they faced in their own communities.

“When they have the right to land for development, their own industrial zones, gardens, sports centre and decent schools, then Karmiel won’t be the only option available to them.”

‘Bleeding-hearts’

Similar tensions have erupted in Upper Nazareth, a Judaisation city built in the 1950s to contain the growth of Nazareth, the Biblical city of Jesus’ childhood.

Over the past decade, large numbers of Christians and Muslims have moved into Upper Nazareth, with some estimates suggesting of the city’s 55,000 population a quarter may now be Palestinian citizens, most of them from Nazareth.

The mayor, Shimon Gapso, has erected large Israeli flags at every entrance to the city in the run-up to the election, in a move he said was designed to make clear that Palestinian citizens were not welcome in Upper Nazareth.

Raed Ghattas, one of two Arab members of the local council, said Gapso’s whole election strategy had been based on a hatred of Arabs. “There are four candidates for mayor – for us, it is a matter of which one is the lesser evil. But Gapso is definitely the worst of a bad bunch.”

Earlier this year Gapso issued a pamphlet to residents warning: “This is the time to guard our home! … All requests for foreign characteristics in the city are refused.”

He has rejected building a church or mosque, allowing Christmas trees in public places or, most controversially, building an Arab-language schoolfor the 2,000 Palestinian children in the city.

Gapso stoked tensions further during the election by running a bogus election campaign using posters urging voters to “Throw the mayor out” that quoted prominent Palestinian politicians in Israel denouncing him.

Haneen Zoabi, a parliament member who is running for mayor of neighbouring Nazareth, was quoted as saying: “Upper Nazareth was built on Arab land. We will fight to the end against Shimon Gapso’s racism. [Send] the racist home; Arabs to Upper Nazareth.”

Defending his election campaign in an article in the Haaretz newspaper under the headline “If you think I’m a racist, then Israel is a racist state”, Gapso accused his critics of “hypocrisy and bleeding-heart sanctimoniousness”. The important thing, he wrote, was that his city “retain a Jewish majority and not be swallowed up in the Arab area that surrounds it”.

In another interview, he said: “95 percent of Jewish mayors [in Israel] think the same thing. They’re just afraid to say so out loud”.

Israel will not recognize an Israeli nationality

http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2013-10-15/i-am-israeli/
‘I am Israeli’

15 October 2013
Majalla blog – 15 October 2013
Israel will not recognize an Israeli nationality while it seeks to maintain Jewishness at all costs

Israel is almost certainly the only country that deceives the global community every time one of its citizens crosses an international border. It does so because the passports it issues contain a fiction.

When a border official opens an Israeli passport for inspection, he or she sees the passport holder’s nationality stated as “Israeli.” And yet inside Israel, no state official, government agency or court recognizes the existence of an “Israeli” national.

This month the highest court in the land, Israel’s Supreme Court, explicitly affirmed that it could not uphold an Israeli nationality. Instead, the judges ruled, citizenship and nationality in Israel should be considered entirely separate categories, as they have been since Israel’s founding in 1948. All Israelis have Israeli citizenship, but none enjoys Israeli nationality.

This fiction of Israeli nationality, contained in Israeli passports and presented to the international community, is not simply a piece of legal eccentricity on Israel’s part. It is the keystone of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state – and much depends on it.

From this simple deception, Israel has been able to gerrymander its population by excluding Palestinian refugees from their land and homes while allowing millions of Jews to immigrate. And the same deception has served to veil a system of segregation in legal rights – a form of apartheid – between Israeli Jews and the country’s Palestinian minority, who comprise a fifth of the total population.

The need to maintain the state’s Jewishness at all costs, meanwhile, is emerging as the chief obstacle erected by Israel to prevent a peace agreement with the Palestinians from being reached.

So how does this Israeli magician’s trick work? Perversely, nationality in Israel is based not on a shared civic identity, as it is in most places, but on one’s ethnic identity. That means for the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens, their nationality falls into one of two categories – Jewish or Arab. That is why Israel must lie on its passports: no border official would allow in a person bearing a passport that declared simply that they were “Arab” or “Jewish.”

The peculiarity of this classification system is further underlined by its anomalies. What does Israel do with the small number of non-Jews who marry an Israeli and then choose to naturalize? The answer is that the state can select from more than 130 nationalities. ‘Misfits’– those who are neither Jewish nor Arab – are typically assigned the nationality they held before they naturalized, such as French, British, American, Georgian, Ukrainian, and so on.

A great deal is at stake in this arcane system, which is why since 1948 the Israeli Supreme Court has on three separate occasions ruled against groups of Israeli citizens who have demanded the right to be identified as Israeli nationals.

This month, faced with a petition from a group called “I am Israeli,” the judges argued that recognizing such a nationality would threaten the state’s foundational principles. In the words of Justice Hanan Melcer, uniting Israeli citizenship and nationality would run “against both the Jewish nature and the democratic nature of the state.”

Anita Shapira, a professor emeritus of Jewish history at Tel Aviv University, concurred, saying that the petitioners were making a “revolutionary” demand.

However, Aeyal Gross, a Tel Aviv law professor, took a different view. The ruling, he wrote in the Haaretz newspaper, “will continue to obscure the possibility of having real democracy in Israel.”

So why the court’s aversion to an Israeli nationality? A clue is provided by the concept of citizenship in Israel. Another uncomfortable fact is that Israel has not one, but two citizenship laws: the famous Law of Return of 1950 gives every Jew in the world the right to come to Israel and instantly receive citizenship; the much less known Citizenship Law, passed two years later, confers citizenship, in very restricted circumstances, to non-Jews.

The primary purpose of the 1952 Citizenship Law was to give citizenship, belatedly and reluctantly, to the small proportion of Palestinians who managed to remain inside Israel in 1948 and their descendants. Today they are a substantial minority, and a growing one.

But as Israel has no immigration policy beyond the Law of Return, which applies only to worldwide Jewry, the 1952 law is also the only route by which a non-Jew can naturalize. In practice, that applies only to the tiny number of individuals who marry Israeli citizens each year and are prepared to enter a lengthy and usually antagonistic naturalization process. An additional law prevents most Palestinians outside Israel as well as Arab nationals from naturalizing, even following marriage to an Israeli.

The purpose of all this legal chicanery is to maintain Israel’s existence as a “Jewish state” – meaning the state of the Jewish people. It is, in other words, designed to perpetuate a system that has two main goals: ensuring a commanding Jewish majority inside Israel; and enforcing segregation in citizenship and legal rights based on ethnic belonging.

This segregation is possible because Israel, in addition to recognizing only ethnic nationalities, confers national rights on one national group alone – Jews. From that legal distinction flows much of the structural discrimination in Israel: Palestinians who try to claim equality, even in the courts, face a legal system in which their civic rights, as citizens, are always trumped by the exclusive, and superior, national rights enjoyed by the Jewish population.

Were the government or courts to decide that an Israeli nationality existed, all of that would come to an end. Recognition of an Israeli nationality, as government officials and the courts understand only too well, would entail equality between citizens – or a “state of all Israeli citizens,” a liberal democracy, as Israel’s Palestinian minority have been demanding at the ballot box for nearly two decades.

The reality is that a Jewish state requires structural segregation: in allocation of land, 93 per cent of which has been nationalized for the Jewish people, and resources like water; in residency, with Jews and Palestinian citizens living almost entirely apart; in education, where Jews and Palestinian citizens have separate and unequal schools; in employment, where vast swathes of the economy are defined as security-related, including the water, construction and telecommunications industries, and therefore open only to Jews.

But additionally and equally problematic, a Jewish state also privileges Jews who are not citizens, those living in Brooklyn or London, over Palestinians who actually hold citizenship. It does so through the bifurcation of citizenship and nationality.

Because from Israel’s point of view they are included in its definition of a Jewish national, Jews anywhere in the world – even those who have never stepped foot in Israel – can buy property from the state in much of the 93 per cent of territory that was nationalized, and much of it seized from Palestinian refugees. Palestinian citizens, on the other hand, are mostly restricted to living on the 3 per cent of the land they have so far kept out of the state’s grasp.

In short, Israel conceives of itself as not chiefly representing Israeli citizens, nor even of representing Israeli Jewish citizens but as representing Jews all around the world – those who have citizenship as well as those who have yet to take advantage of it by immigrating under the Law of Return.

What does this have to do with the peace process? As international pressure has mounted on Israel in the past few years to concede a Palestinian state, Israel has raised a new precondition for successful talks: the Palestinian leadership must recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Most observers have assumed that this relates to Israel’s desperate need to prevent millions of Palestinian refugees claiming a right of return. They are partly right, but for the wrong reasons.

The future of the refugees has long been part of the final-status issues to be decided in talks. Even most Palestinians doubt that the Palestinian National Authority will insist on more than a symbolic return of a few, mainly elderly, refugees to Israel. So raising this again, in terms of recognizing Israel’s Jewishness, is largely redundant.

Israel’s logic is slightly different. Israel needs the Palestinian leadership’s acceptance of its Jewishness as a way to subvert any future claims for equality from Israel’s Palestinian minority. Were the Palestinian minority able to gain equal citizenship – by ending Israel’s strange conception of nationality – then they could make demands to reverse the perverse realities entailed by Israel’s definition as a Jewish state.

Foremost would be the demand to end the special immigration privileges enjoyed by Jews. The Palestinian minority would insist on an equal immigration law, giving their exiled relatives the same rights to become Israeli citizens as Jews around the world currently enjoy. And that would mean a right of return by other means.

So in shutting the door on an Israeli nationality this month, Israel’s Supreme Court also played another role: pushing the hopes of a peace agreement that bit further out of sight.

Zionism – the continuation of Judaism by other means

Zionism – the continuation of Judaism by other means

Yael Lotan


(Provenance: posted on the ALEF forum, based at the University of Haifa, on 27 September 2005, this article was circulated a few years earlier by Ms. Lotan’s daughter)

Anyone who wishes to discuss the phenomenon of Zionism immediately runs into the problem of how to define it. Unlike the European colonization of the Americas, for example, or the British domination of Kenya or India, the Jewish settlement in Palestine has been given various and contradictory definitions. The two commonest, and conflicting, definitions are: 1. ‘Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people;’ 2. ‘Zionism is one of the manifestations of European colonialism in the 20th century.’ I shall return to these definitions, their sources and limitations.

I propose to show that Zionism is an essentially Jewish phenomenon, and cannot be separated from Judaism (in the religious-historical sense of the term), and therefore its resemblance to either national liberation or colonialist movements is morphological rather than taxonomic, and leaves various aspects of Zionism unexplained.

What is Judaism?

A prayer called Hamavdil (the Separator), said by observant Jews every Saturday evening as the Sabbath ends, praises God who ‘separates the sacred from the profane’. Judaism is dominated by the idea of separation. What are the origins and rationale of this striking characteristic? – This question ought to be tackled with the tools of anthropology, psychology, history and sociology. There must be various reasons why Judaism has not been investigated with these tools, and why the few scholars who attempted to analyze the nature of Judaism tended to produce apologetics. One reason may be that some of the fathers of modern anthropology were themselves Jews (e.g., Franz Boas and Claude Levi-Strauss), and were unwilling or unable to tackle their ancestral culture with the same tools with which they tackled exotic ones. But then, neither did non-Jewish scholars apply to the religion which gave birth to Christianity the same analytical methods they applied unhesitatingly to alien cultures and religions. A rare and illuminating exception may be found in Mary Douglas’ famous book Purity and Danger, in which she discusses the purity laws in the Book of Leviticus, placing them in a broad anthropological context.

But this is a rare study, and it deals only with the primeval phase of Judaism. It can no more cover the subject of latter-day Judaism than a discussion of the early days of the American republic can cover the subject of the US today. It is time that someone applied the usual anthropological methods to the Shulhan Arukh – the all-embracing rule-book for observant Jews – in comparison with other old cultures, from the Hindu Brahmins to Papuan tribes. But even without all these, it is possible to outline some of the main features of Judaism.

1. The Old Testament defines the Yahwist deity in terms of what he is not: Jehovah is not the god of other tribes; He does not share his dominion over his chosen tribe with any other deity; Being a deity of the upper air, the wind and the surface of the earth, he has no dealings with what lies under the earth, namely, the world of the dead and the chthonic powers – which accounts for such biblical assertions as ‘The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence,’ and for the injunctions against the consumption of blood and necromancy; Jehovah requires from his followers to adopt signs to distinguish them from other people, e.g., circumcision, and the prohibition of work or lighting a fire one day a week. The Bible also lay down rules of separation between different kinds of field crops, a ban on yoking together an ass and an ox, on weaving fabrics with mixed animal and vegetable fibres, etc. In the course of time Judaism added more and more ritual separations, until it became totally dominated and obsessed by the business of keeping various categories of things apart – the pure and the impure, the sacred and the profane, kasher and taref (ritually clean and unclean meats), meat and dairy products, leavened and unleavened dough (during Passover), silk and cotton, men and women, adults and minors, and so on.

2. Judaism as we know it began to evolve in the time of the Second Temple, i.e., the fifth century BC. Thereafter, the principal separation, namely, between Jews and ‘Gentiles’, became entrenched, as the religious leaders Ezra and Nehemiah forbade inter-marriage between Jews and other people. Even the Samaritans, who were their brothers from the northern kingdom of Samaria, were rejected. Jews who adopted some of the ways of the world around them were reviled and shunned by the traditionalists (known in the New Testament as Pharisees). A Jew who assimilated culturally and socially with the Greeks and later with the Romans was regarded as an enemy. The Hellenistic civilization of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, which was largely extinguished by Christendom until the Renaissance, was utterly rejected by the Jews who remained faithful to their tribal religion. Christianity, with its ambivalent attitude towards Judaism, which gradually turned into vicious enmity, made the separation that much easier.

(It is important to distinguish between earlier examples of Jewish hostility to strangers – e.g., the story of Moses’ Ethiopian wife – which reflected ordinary xenophobia, and the later isolationism, which was anchored in religious law. The historical books of the Old Testament show that up until the time of the Second Temple there was constant inter-marriage between the Israelites and their neighbours.)

3. After the fall of Judea and the destruction of the Temple, in the year 70 AD, separateness became the hallmark of Judaism. Some other nations circumcized their sons, or worshipped a single god, sometimes even an unseen god (according to Tacitus, so did some Germanic tribes), or prohibited the eating of pigs, but these features did not lead to a spiritual or social alliance with the Jews. In later times Islam adopted the main tenets of Judaism, but was nevertheless rejected. The biblical verse ‘The people shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations’ became the motto of the Jews. Judaism adopted the Roman principle of descent through the female, since mater semper certa est – the mother is always known – and with it the notion that Jews are not only set apart by their religion, but are actually made of a different, purer, substance, which must not be defiled by mixed marriage. In a curious way, the religion and its rituals became almost secondary, because ‘A Jew, even if he transgresses, remains a Jew’ – meaning, that even if he ate pork or lit a fire on the Sabbath, he was still a member of the chosen people, and could always return to the fold. On the other hand, a Gentile can be circumcized and observe all the numerous rules, yet he remains a goy, and every effort is made to discourage goyim from trying to convert to Judaism. Thus Judaism does not really claim to be a universal religion, like Christianity and Islam, otherwise it would have sought to convert everyone. This is the great paradox: that the universal deity the Jews believe in is not interested in the rest of the human race, and maintains a separate arrangement with a particular tribe.

4. The Hebrew word Yahadut, which denotes both Judaism and Jewry, demonstrates that there is no difference between the faith and the people. The familiar Jewish saying that ‘It is not Israel who kept the Sabbath, but the Sabbath that kept Israel’, is perfectly true. The religion, with its endless prohibitions and rules of ritual purity, preserved the distinctive identity of its adherents. That was its function. At the same time, it held out an eschatological vision according to which at the End of Days the entire world will acknowledge the supremacy of Jehovah and recognize Jerusalem as his abode and the Jews as his priests – ‘a kingdom of priests and an holy nation.’ It does not suggest that all men will become Jews! The separation is therefore a cosmic phenomenon, and will continue even in the afterworld. In this it differs from the Brahmin caste – which resembles Jewry in having strict laws of purity and separation – since in the Hindu religion the individual’s caste-identity applies only to a single incarnation, and does not have a cosmic status.

Modern Times and the Enlightenment

In the 19th century the impact of the Enlightenment began to undermine Jewish isolationism. In Europe, where the majority of Jews lived, religious observance was visibly weakening and assimilation was increasing. As the surrounding society grew more secular and open, abandoning the identification of individuals by their religion, more and more Jews came to feel uncomfortable in their isolation. But for the violent crises which rocked European societies during that period, it is possible that most Jews would have assimilated, leaving only a few small Orthodox communities to cling to their traditional way of life. But the upheavals in Europe in the late 19th century exposed all the ethnic and religious minorities to existential dangers, and Jews were traditional targets of popular discontent and frustration. At this time, antisemism, whose origins were religious and whose roots went back to the Crusades, took on a secularized and racist quality. It has been argued that Jewish separateness provoked antisemitism, or at least exacerbated it. Even if so, it may not matter any longer. What is certain, however, is that the violent outbreaks of European antisemitism stimulated the mass emigration of Jews to America and other distant lands.

At the start of the 20th century, when assimilation was spreading from Western Europe to the more tradition-bound Jewish communities in Central and even Eastern Europe, there were three options for the preservation of Jewish identity. The first was the time-honoured Orthodox way – namely, the strict observance of the ritual laws, which amounted to a physical barrier to assimilation, since you cannot assimilate among people with whom you cannot share a meal or a drink, or pass your leisure time, let alone marry them. The second option was to preserve Jewish identity by means of ‘cultural autonomy’, as promoted by the Yiddishist movement known as the Bund – namely, by encouraging the distinctive Jewish culture in Yiddish language and literature, in music and various traditions. This popular movement could join the progressive current, support radical ideologies, and even adopt an anti-religious stance, for if there was a distinctive Jewish culture, it could help preserve their separate identity, even if the walls it built around them were not as impregnable as those of Orthodoxy. Finally, there was the territorial option – namely, Zionism.

Territorial Separation

What Zionism offered was a way of maintaining Jewish separateness in the most natural way: by a physical separation from the rest of mankind. In a Jewish State it would be possible to preserve the tribe without having constantly to resist assimilation. Moreover, it would be possible to achieve a ‘normalization’ of the Jewish people – while living apart, it would be ‘a nation among nations’, and like the others it would consist of different classes – workers and capitalists, religious and secular people – who would all be Jews. Furthermore, if masses of Jews gathered from all over the world to live in one place, their existence would be more secure than as minority communities in alien and sometimes hostile societies. But for this plan to succeed it had to be located in a place which would not only be empty of ‘Gentiles’, but would also have specific Jewish associations – namely, the ‘Land of Israel’ (the traditional Jewish name for Palestine). All attempts to create a territorial solution in another location – e.g., in the Argentine pampas, in Uganda or Birobidjan – were not Jewish solutions and remained ideologically and numerically insignificant.

During the first third of the century the Zionist option did not enjoy much success. The Orthodox option was still well entrenched, and progressive Jews were more attracted by the cultural, quasi-secular, option of the Bund. The rest were people who were not averse to assimilation, who regarded Judaism as a burden which any sensible person would prefer to drop. There is no doubt that but for the rise of Nazism and its consequences, Zionism would not have become in the latter half of the century the success story that it is.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the two definitions of Zionism quoted at the beginning of this article have been prevalent, not only in Israel but wherever the subject is raised. Secular Jews describe Zionism as one of the national liberation movements which arose around the turn of the century, and therefore define every Jewish community the world over as part of the Jewish People, or the Jewish Nation; we shall come back to the problems of this definition. Jews and non-Jews of Marxist background usually describe Zionism as a colonial manifestation, but this definition is not quite satisfactory either, as we shall see.

Zionism as a Movement of National Liberation

Zionism, then, offered to solve the problem of Jewish separateness by territorial means. Unfortunately for it, it turned out that the autochthonous inhabitants of Palestine, which the Zionist leadership had described as a handful of Ishmaelite nomads who could be ignored or driven out, were in fact a nation. Ben Gurion recalled how, when he disembarked at the port of Jaffa in 1906, he looked around him and grew alarmed: ‘What are all these Arabs doing in my country?’ – Did not Zionism promise to spare the Jews from having to build walls of separation”! This was the start of the Middle East conflict. And not only the conflict between Jews and Arabs. In the first decade of the century Zionist leaders bemoaned the fact that Jewish agriculturists in Palestine were employing ‘Ishmaelite men and women’ in their orchards and homes. What was the point of immigrating to the Land of Israel, they said, if there too they had to mingle with goyim, and ‘Gentile’ women worked in their kitchens and looked after their children? The solution proposed was to bring Jews from the Yemen – known from their communities in Jerusalem as deeply religious – and employ them instead of Arabs in the orchards and houses. This was in fact done in 1906 – the settlement called Sha’arayim was created near Rehovot, and populated with a Jewish community imported especially from Yemen. However, where the Ashkenazi families in Rehovot had received four acres each, the Yemenites received only one acre per family, thus ensuring that they would be unable to support their families by agriculture, and would have to go to work for their Ashkenazi neighbours.

But the definition of Jews as a nation is extraordinarily problematic. It’s perfectly obvious that the only common denominator between European and Yemenite Jews, or between, say, a Jew from Cochin and a Jew from Romania, is religion. (It is true that after two or three generations of living together in Israel something resembling an Israeli nation has come into being, just as an American nation and an Australian nation emerged in their time. However, the periodic flooding of Israel with masses of new immigrants hinders the crystallization of an Israeli nation; but this lies outside the present discussion.) And indeed, in Israel, after a century of local history, religion remains the framework of society. Israel cannot cease to be a ‘Jewish State’, or a ‘State of the Jews’. An editorial in the secular Israeli daily Haaretz expressed it thus: ‘The State was established to provide a national home for the Jewish people, and so it remains on the threshold of the 21st century. The Jewish people is a unique ethnic-national entity, combining religion and nationality… The rules governing the political scene in Israel are derived from the axiom that this is a Jewish State… This position is anchored in Supreme Court rulings and in the laws concerning the Knesset, which determine that ‘a party may not compete in the general elections for the Knesset if its aims or its acts oppose, openly or implicitly, the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people’ (12 February 1996). The formula ‘The Jewish people is a unique ethnic-national entity, combining religion and nationality,’ rests on premises which cannot be rationally sustained. What kind of ‘ethnic entity’ can contain both Russian and Iraqi Jews? Can the term ‘nationality’ do so? – Clearly not. The one and only common denominator is the religion, and with it the tradition, or myth, of a shared origin thousands of years ago. Where religion fails, Zionism sustains the myth of ethnic continuity by various other means – archaeology, the swearing of soldiers in Massada or at the Wailing Wall, and so on.

Zionism as a European Colonial Movement

People with a Marxist background apply to Zionism the terms they regard as universal, i.e., those of materialism, economics and class. And indeed, Zionist history as a whole resembles that of European colonialism. The early Zionist leadership was predominantly bourgeois European, and had strong links with the bourgeois European governments of the time. Moreover, it enjoyed the crucial support of powerful capitalist elements, such as the Baron Rothschild and others. Looking at the history of Zionism, from the imperialist ‘Balfour Declaration’ of 1917 to the present Western support for aggressive Israel, it is easy to draw parallels between it and, say, the French colonization of Algeria or Indochina. All the same, it is a different story. Between the 1920s and 1940s there was a popular Zionist slogan that often drew fire from the progressive wing: it was a call for ‘Hebrew Labour’ – i.e., ‘Employ Jews, not Arabs!’ But though it expressed indifference to the needs of the Arab labour force, it could not be defined as racism in the usual sense of the term, for we have seen that Yemenite Jewish labourers, who were not ‘European’, and did not differ ‘racially’ or culturally from their Moslem neighbours in Yemen, were actually imported to replace local Arab labourers. (The Jewish credentials of the Yemenite community were never in doubt. On the contrary – rabbis, cantors and radio announcers of Yemenite background were highly prized for their vast knowledge of Hebrew and its heritage.) But if not racism, what did the call for ‘Hebrew labour’ signify? – Quite simply, the traditional Jewish separation from the goyim, an application of the same principles Jews have lived by throughout the world for centuries.

By contrast, the European colonists in the Americas, Africa and Asia were attracted by the availability of a cheap labour force. People migrated from Europe to various parts of the world in order to enrich themselves by exploiting the natural resources of those countries by means of the local labour force. The Zionist settlement in Palestine from the late 19th to the mid-20th century was a different enterprise. Before World War II, most of the Zionist settlers came to Palestine of their own will, not so much driven by circumstances as impelled by ideological fervour, often leaving behind them far better conditions than those they encountered in the ‘Promised Land’. Those Jews who wished to better their condition materially emigrated to the Americas, to Australia and South Africa. As for the money that Jewish capitalists invested in the Zionist settlement – this was characteristic Jewish philanthropy (i.e., dedicated to Jewish causes), enlivened with sympathy for the new ideology. When these capitalists looked for profits, they invested in far more promising enterprises than the Jewish settlement in Palestine; (though they probably did hope that eventually there would be a self-supporting Jewish community in Palestine, that might in the fullness of time even become profitable.)

It is hardly surprising that the Zionist movement conducted itself in some ways like other European colonial movements, since the political thinking of its central leadership stemmed from the European worldview of its time. Even when these leaders proclaimed progressive views, they continued to identify with Western colonialism. (We must not forget that in those days even progressive people in the West believed in the superiority of European civilization.) Certainly, as far as the Zionists could see, colonialism was the only viable scenario, and all other strategies must have seemed totally unrealistic. Zionism rode on the skirts of European imperialism, and cooperated with it in order to win its support. When Britain was the dominant power in the Middle East, Zionism collaborated with it. Nowadays, when the dominant power is the United States, Israel serves American interests because they serve her own. Yet the aim of Zionism has been to serve not the interests of Britain or the United States, but the age-old Jewish goal of a separate existence.

Israeli Zionism

It is natural that the Zionist movement could contain various currents, because they all flowed to the same destination – namely, a Jewish state, in which separateness would be automatic. (Today even secular Zionists are capable of describing the process of Jewish assimilation and inter-marriage in the Western world as ‘a demographic Holocaust’!) Many people believe that in a few generations the only Jews in the world, other than a handful of ultra-Orthodox communities who maintain their identity in the old, well-tried way, will be the citizens of the Jewish State. The rest will assimilate and disappear among the ‘Gentiles’. That is why Zionism remains the common programme of nearly all of the political parties in Israel, from Moledet on the extreme Right to Meretz on the Left. Its principal tenet is that there must be a separate Jewish political entity, and the only question left is by what means this may be achieved. Right-wingers believe that it is possible to suppress and perhaps expel the non-Jews living in Palestine, either gradually by driving them to emigrate, or by more violent means; at the very least they seek to confine the Palestinians to some scattered, closed, supervised reservations. At the other end of the scale, the most committed members of the peace camp voice a preference for a very small Israel, within the pre-1967 borders or even smaller, provided it is ‘all ours’ – meaning, without any Arabs, or only a tiny minority as a testimony to Israeli democracy. In this they closely resemble the white Afrikaner movement in South Africa, which, since the fall of Apartheid, has been clamouring for a separate white state in Natal Province.

The realization that Zionism is a continuation of Judaism by other means helps to explain how it can resemble European colonialism and at the same time differ from it in important ways, and also resemble national liberation movements in some aspects and be quite unlike them in others. The Holocaust provided Jewish isolationism with a retroactive, if paranoid, vindication, and is therefore never absent from Zionist propaganda and apologetics. (I say ‘paranoid’, because there is no reason to regard the Nazi extermination policy as an ongoing threat, any more than African-Americans are threatened with a return to slavery.) And, as stated before, today there is little point in arguing whether or not Jewish separateness itself provoked antisemitism. Even if it did, then – as in cases of rape – the victim is not to be blamed.

Today it is difficult to digest the paradoxes of the Israeli situation unless one considers the aim of Zionism. It is difficult to understand why in South Africa the reverse process is taking place – from Apartheid to unification, despite all the problems and obstacles – whereas in Israel even the popular peace-camp slogan, ‘Two States for Two Nations’, whose motives are ostensibly enlightened, strives towards the same goal as the Orthodoxy. There is, of course, a basic difference between the two main Zionist camps, but it may be illustrated by the following metaphor: the hawkish Right wants Israel to remain a thorn in the flesh of the Middle East, and prefers a state of hostility over a peaceable solution, whereas the dovish Left seeks to heal the inflamed wound and turn Israel into a kind of implant in the Middle East, something like a cardiac pacemaker or plastic hip-replacement – an essentially benign, non-infective foreign body.

There is no point in giving good and bad marks to history. The question is not whether the aim of separateness is good or bad, but what it signifies and where it must lead. Because the supra-national empires of Europe fell apart in the early years of this century, people often speak of our time as being the ‘era of the nation state’; but in reality we are living in an era of non-nation states. The dominant power in the world today, the United States of America, is not a nation state, nor is there such a state anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, from pole to pole. Similarly, Australia, Great Britain, India, China, Russia and Indonesia, are not nation states, and the same holds true for most of the African states. As time goes on, there are fewer and fewer countries whose inhabitants predominantly belong to a single ethnic-cultural group. The mass migrations of the past century have greatly eroded the national pattern, which was never as static as some people imagine.

In reality Zionism, though based on the concept of a ‘Jewish nation’, gave birth to a state based on religion, while at the same time trying to maintain a modern, quasi-secular, quasi-democratic guise. Yet though there are today some vigorous theocracies and semi-theocracies – chiefly in the Moslem world – they do have ethnic-cultural foundations to sustain them, which cannot be said about Israel, as any visitor soon perceives. People who believe that it will be possible in future to maintain a ‘Jewish State’ in Israel are deluding themselves. Not only the Palestinian Arabs, but all of human reality will prevent this dream from materializing. The question remains, how dearly will the inhabitants of this land still have to pay before a solution is found.

The last of the Semites

The last of the Semites

By Joseph Massad,

Jewish opponents of Zionism understood the movement since its early age as one that shared the precepts of anti-Semitism in its diagnosis of what gentile Europeans called the “Jewish Question”. What galled anti-Zionist Jews the most, however, was that Zionism also shared the “solution” to the Jewish Question that anti-Semites had always advocated, namely the expulsion of Jews from Europe.

It was the Protestant Reformation with its revival of the Hebrew Bible that would link the modern Jews of Europe to the ancient Hebrews of Palestine, a link that the philologists of the 18th century would solidify through their discovery of the family of “Semitic” languages, including Hebrew and Arabic. Whereas Millenarian Protestants insisted that contemporary Jews, as descendants of the ancient Hebrews, must leave Europe to Palestine to expedite the second coming of Christ, philological discoveries led to the labelling of contemporary Jews as “Semites”. The leap that the biological sciences of race and heredity would make in the 19th century of considering contemporary European Jews racial descendants of the ancient Hebrews would, as a result, not be a giant one.

Basing themselves on the connections made by anti-Jewish Protestant Millenarians, secular European figures saw the political potential of “restoring” Jews to Palestine abounded in the 19th century. Less interested in expediting the second coming of Christ as were the Millenarians, these secular politicians, from Napoleon Bonaparte to British foreign secretary Lord Palmerston (1785-1865) to Ernest Laharanne, the private secretary of Napoleon III in the 1860s, sought to expel the Jews of Europe to Palestine in order to set them up as agents of European imperialism in Asia. Their call would be espoused by many “anti-Semites”, a new label chosen by European anti-Jewish racists after its invention in 1879 by a minor Viennese journalist by the name of Wilhelm Marr, who issued a political programme titled The Victory of Judaism over Germanism . Marr was careful to decouple anti-Semitism from the history of Christian hatred of Jews on the basis of religion, emphasising, in line with Semitic philology and racial theories of the 19th century, that the distinction to be made between Jews and Aryans was strictly racial.

Assimilating Jews into European culture

Scientific anti-Semitism insisted that the Jews were different from Christian Europeans. Indeed that the Jews were not European at all and that their very presence in Europe is what causes anti-Semitism. The reason why Jews caused so many problems for European Christians had to do with their alleged rootlessness, that they lacked a country, and hence country-based loyalty. In the Romantic age of European nationalisms, anti-Semites argued that Jews did not fit in the new national configurations, and disrupted national and racial purity essential to most European nationalisms. This is why if the Jews remained in Europe, the anti-Semites argued, they could only cause hostility among Christian Europeans. The only solution was for the Jews to exit from Europe and have their own country. Needless to say, religious and secular Jews opposed this horrific anti-Semitic line of thinking. Orthodox and Reform Jews, Socialist and Communist Jews, cosmopolitan and Yiddishkeit cultural Jews, all agreed that this was a dangerous ideology of hostility that sought the expulsion of Jews from their European homelands.

 

The Jewish Haskalah , or Enlightenment, which emerged also in the 19th century, sought to assimilate Jews into European secular gentile culture and have them shed their Jewish culture. It was the Haskalah that sought to break the hegemony of Orthodox Jewish rabbis on the “Ostjuden” of the East European shtetl and to shed what it perceived as a “medieval” Jewish culture in favour of the modern secular culture of European Christians. Reform Judaism, as a Christian- and Protestant-like variant of Judaism, would emerge from the bosom of the Haskalah. This assimilationist programme, however, sought to integrate Jews in European modernity, not to expel them outside Europe’s geography.

When Zionism started a decade and a half after Marr’s anti-Semitic programme was published, it would espouse all these anti-Jewish ideas, including scientific anti-Semitism as valid. For Zionism, Jews were “Semites”, who were descendants of the ancient Hebrews. In his foundational pamphlet Der Judenstaat, Herzl explained that it was Jews, not their Christian enemies, who “cause” anti-Semitism and that “where it does not exist, [anti-Semitism] is carried by Jews in the course of their migrations”, indeed that “the unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America”; that Jews were a “nation” that should leave Europe to restore their “nationhood” in Palestine or Argentina; that Jews must emulate European Christians culturally and abandon their living languages and traditions in favour of modern European languages or a restored ancient national language. Herzl preferred that all Jews adopt German, while the East European Zionists wanted Hebrew. Zionists after Herzl even agreed and affirmed that Jews were separate racially from Aryans. As for Yiddish , the living language of most European Jews, all Zionists agreed that it should be abandoned.

The majority of Jews continued to resist Zionism and understood its precepts as those of anti-Semitism and as a continuation of the Haskalah quest to shed Jewish culture and assimilate Jews into European secular gentile culture, except that Zionism sought the latter not inside Europe but at a geographical remove following the expulsion of Jews from Europe. The Bund , or the General Jewish Labor Union in Lithuania, Poland, and Russia, which was founded in Vilna in early October 1897, a few weeks after the convening of the first Zionist Congress in Basel in late August 1897, would become Zionism’s fiercest enemy. The Bund joined the existing anti-Zionist Jewish coalition of Orthodox and Reform rabbis who had combined forces a few months earlier to prevent Herzl from convening the first Zionist Congress in Munich, which forced him to move it to Basel. Jewish anti-Zionism across Europe and in the United States had the support of the majority of Jews who continued to view Zionism as an anti-Jewish movement well into the 1940s.

Anti-Semitic chain of pro-Zionist enthusiasts

Realising that its plan for the future of European Jews was in line with those of anti-Semites, Herzl strategised early on an alliance with the latter. He declared in Der Judenstaat that :

He added that “not only poor Jews” would contribute to an immigration fund for European Jews, “but also Christians who wanted to get rid of them”. Herzl unapologetically confided in his Diaries that :

Thus when Herzl began to meet in 1903 with infamous anti-Semites like the Russian minister of the interior Vyacheslav von Plehve , who oversaw anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia, it was an alliance that he sought by design. That it would be the anti-Semitic Lord Balfour, who as Prime Minister of Britain in 1905 oversaw his government’s Aliens Act, which prevented East European Jews fleeing Russian pogroms from entering Britain in order, as he put it, to save the country from the “undoubted evils” of “an immigration which was largely Jewish”, was hardy coincidental. Balfour’s infamous Declaration of 1917 to create in Palestine a “national home” for the “Jewish people”, was designed, among other things, to curb Jewish support for the Russian Revolution and to stem the tide of further unwanted Jewish immigrants into Britain.

The Nazis would not be an exception in this anti-Semitic chain of pro-Zionist enthusiasts. Indeed, the Zionists would strike a deal with the Nazis very early in their history. It was in 1933 that the infamous Transfer ( Ha’avara ) Agreement was signed between the Zionists and the Nazi government to facilitate the transfer of German Jews and their property to Palestine and which broke the international Jewish boycott of Nazi Germany started by American Jews. It was in this spirit that Zionist envoys were dispatched to Palestine to report on the successes of Jewish colonization of the country. Adolf Eichmann returned from his 1937 trip to Palestine full of fantastic stories about the achievements of the racially-separatist Ashkenazi Kibbutz, one of which he visited on Mount Carmel as a guest of the Zionists.

Despite the overwhelming opposition of most German Jews, it was the Zionist Federation of Germany that was the only Jewish group that supported the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 , as they agreed with the Nazis that Jews and Aryans were separate and separable races. This was not a tactical support but one based on ideological similitude. The Nazis’ Final Solution initially meant the expulsion of Germany’s Jews to Madagascar. It is this shared goal of expelling Jews from Europe as a separate unassimilable race that created the affinity between Nazis and Zionists all along.

While the majority of Jews continued to resist the anti-Semitic basis of Zionism and its alliances with anti-Semites, the Nazi genocide not only killed 90 percent of European Jews, but in the process also killed the majority of Jewish enemies of Zionism who died precisely because they refused to heed the Zionist call of abandoning their countries and homes.

 

After the War, the horror at the Jewish holocaust did not stop European countries from supporting the anti-Semitic programme of Zionism. On the contrary, these countries shared with the Nazis a predilection for Zionism. They only opposed Nazism’s genocidal programme. European countries, along with the United States, refused to take in hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors of the holocaust. In fact, these countries voted against a UN resolution introduced by the Arab states in 1947 calling on them to take in the Jewish survivors, yet these same countries would be the ones who would support the United Nations Partition Plan of November 1947 to create a Jewish State in Palestine to which these unwanted Jewish refugees could be expelled.

 

The pro-Zionist policies of the Nazis

The United States and European countries, including Germany, would continue the pro-Zionist policies of the Nazis. Post-War West German governments that presented themselves as opening a new page in their relationship with Jews in reality did no such thing. Since the establishment of the country after WWII, every West German government (and every German government since unification in1990) has continued the pro-Zionist Nazi policies unabated. There was never a break with Nazi pro-Zionism. The only break was with the genocidal and racial hatred of Jews that Nazism consecrated, but not with the desire to see Jews set up in a country in Asia, away from Europe. Indeed, the Germans would explain that much of the money they were sending to Israel was to help offset the costs of resettling European Jewish refugees in the country.

After World War II, a new consensus emerged in the United States and Europe that Jews had to be integrated posthumously into white Europeanness, and that the horror of the Jewish holocaust was essentially a horror at the murder of white Europeans. Since the 1960s, Hollywood films about the holocaust began to depict Jewish victims of Nazism as white Christian-looking, middle class, educated and talented people not unlike contemporary European and American Christians who should and would identify with them. Presumably if the films were to depict the poor religious Jews of Eastern Europe (and most East European Jews who were killed by the Nazis were poor and many were religious), contemporary white Christians would not find commonality with them. Hence, the post-holocaust European Christian horror at the genocide of European Jews was not based on the horror of slaughtering people in the millions who were different from European Christians, but rather a horror at the murder of millions of people who were the same as European Christians. This explains why in a country like the United States, which had nothing to do with the slaughter of European Jews, there exists upwards of 40 holocaust memorials and a major museum for the murdered Jews of Europe, but not one for the holocaust of Native Americans or African Americans for which the US is responsible.

Aimé Césaire understood this process very well. In his famous speech on colonialism, he affirmed that the retrospective view of European Christians about Nazism is that

That for Césaire the Nazi wars and holocaust were European colonialism turned inwards is true enough. But since the rehabilitation of Nazism’s victims as white people, Europe and its American accomplice would continue their Nazi policy of visiting horrors on non-white people around the world, on Korea, on Vietnam and Indochina, on Algeria, on Indonesia, on Central and South America, on Central and Southern Africa, on Palestine, on Iran, and on Iraq and Afghanistan.

The rehabilitation of European Jews after WWII was a crucial part of US Cold War propaganda. As American social scientists and ideologues developed the theory of “totalitarianism”, which posited Soviet Communism and Nazism as essentially the same type of regime, European Jews, as victims of one totalitarian regime, became part of the atrocity exhibition that American and West European propaganda claimed was like the atrocities that the Soviet regime was allegedly committing in the pre- and post-War periods. That Israel would jump on the bandwagon by accusing the Soviets of anti-Semitism for their refusal to allow Soviet Jewish citizens to self-expel and leave to Israel was part of the propaganda.

Commitment to white supremacy

It was thus that the European and US commitment to white supremacy was preserved, except that it now included Jews as part of “white” people, and what came to be called “Judeo-Christian” civilisation. European and American policies after World War II, which continued to be inspired and dictated by racism against Native Americans, Africans, Asians, Arabs and Muslims, and continued to support Zionism’s anti-Semitic programme of assimilating Jews into whiteness in a colonial settler state away from Europe, were a direct continuation of anti-Semitic policies prevalent before the War. It was just that much of the anti-Semitic racialist venom would now be directed at Arabs and Muslims (both, those who are immigrants and citizens in Europe and the United States and those who live in Asia and Africa) while the erstwhile anti-Semitic support for Zionism would continue unhindered.

 

West Germany’s alliance with Zionism and Israel after WWII, of supplying Israel with huge economic aid in the 1950s and of economic and military aid since the early 1960s, including tanks, which it used to kill Palestinians and other Arabs, is a continuation of the alliance that the Nazi government concluded with the Zionists in the 1930s. In the 1960s, West Germany even provided military training to Israeli soldiers and since the 1970s has provided Israel with nuclear-ready German-made submarines with which Israel hopes to kill more Arabs and Muslims. Israel has in recent years armed the most recent German-supplied submarines with nuclear tipped cruise missiles, a fact that is well known to the current German government. Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak told Der SPIEGEL in 2012 that Germans should be “proud” that they have secured the existence of the state of Israel “for many years”. Berlin financed one-third of the cost of the submarines, around 135 million euros ($168 million) per submarine, and has allowed Israel to defer its payment until 2015. That this makes Germany an accomplice in the dispossession of the Palestinians is of no more concern to current German governments than it was in the 1960s to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who affirmed that “the Federal Republic has neither the right nor the responsibility to take a position on the Palestinian refugees”.

This is to be added to the massive billions that Germany has paid to the Israeli government as compensation for the holocaust, as if Israel and Zionism were the victims of Nazism, when in reality it was anti-Zionist Jews who were killed by the Nazis. The current German government does not care about the fact that even those German Jews who fled the Nazis and ended up in Palestine hated Zionism and its project and were hated in turn by Zionist colonists in Palestine. As German refugees in 1930s and 1940s Palestine refused to learn Hebrew and published half a dozen German newspapers in the country, they were attacked by the Hebrew press, including by Haartez, which called for the closure of their newspapers in 1939 and again in 1941. Zionist colonists attacked a German-owned café in Tel Aviv because its Jewish owners refused to speak Hebrew, and the Tel Aviv municipality threatened in June 1944 some of its German Jewish residents for holding in their home on 21 Allenby street “parties and balls entirely in the German language, including programmes that are foreign to the spirit of our city” and that this would “not be tolerated in Tel Aviv”. German Jews, or Yekkes as they were known in the Yishuv, would even organise a celebration of the Kaiser’s birthday in 1941 (for these and more details about German Jewish refugees in Palestine, read Tom Segev’s book The Seventh Million).

Add to that Germany’s support for Israeli policies against Palestinians at the United Nations, and the picture becomes complete. Even the new holocaust memorial built in Berlin that opened in 2005 maintains Nazi racial apartheid, as this “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” is only for Jewish victims of the Nazis who must still today be set apart, as Hitler mandated, from the other millions of non-Jews who also fell victim to Nazism. That a subsidiary of the German company Degussa, which collaborated with the Nazis and which produced the Zyklon B gas that was used to kill people in the gas chambers, was contracted to build the memorial was anything but surprising, as it simply confirms that those who killed Jews in Germany in the late 1930s and in the 1940s now regret what they had done because they now understand Jews to be white Europeans who must be commemorated and who should not have been killed in the first place on account of their whiteness. The German policy of abetting the killing of Arabs by Israel, however, is hardly unrelated to this commitment to anti-Semitism, which continues through the predominant contemporary anti-Muslim German racism that targets Muslim immigrants.

Euro-American anti-Jewish tradition

The Jewish holocaust killed off the majority of Jews who fought and struggled against European anti-Semitism, including Zionism. With their death, the only remaining “Semites” who are fighting against Zionism and its anti-Semitism today are the Palestinian people. Whereas Israel insists that European Jews do not belong in Europe and must come to Palestine, the Palestinians have always insisted that the homelands of European Jews were their European countries and not Palestine, and that Zionist colonialism springs from its very anti-Semitism. Whereas Zionism insists that Jews are a race separate from European Christians, the Palestinians insist that European Jews are nothing if not European and have nothing to do with Palestine, its people, or its culture. What Israel and its American and European allies have sought to do in the last six and a half decades is to convince Palestinians that they too must become anti-Semites and believe as the Nazis, Israel, and its Western anti-Semitic allies do, that Jews are a race that is different from European races, that Palestine is their country, and that Israel speaks for all Jews. That the two largest American pro-Israel voting blocks today are Millenarian Protestants and secular imperialists continues the very same Euro-American anti-Jewish tradition that extends back to the Protestant Reformation and 19th century imperialism. But the Palestinians have remained unconvinced and steadfast in their resistance to anti-Semitism.

 

Israel and its anti-Semitic allies affirm that Israel is “the Jewish people”, that its policies are “Jewish” policies, that its achievements are “Jewish” achievements, that its crimes are “Jewish” crimes, and that therefore anyone who dares to criticise Israel is criticising Jews and must be an anti-Semite. The Palestinian people have mounted a major struggle against this anti-Semitic incitement. They continue to affirm instead that the Israeli government does not speak for all Jews, that it does not represent all Jews, and that its colonial crimes against the Palestinian people are its own crimes and not the crimes of “the Jewish people”, and that therefore it must be criticised, condemned and prosecuted for its ongoing war crimes against the Palestinian people. This is not a new Palestinian position, but one that was adopted since the turn of the 20th century and continued throughout the pre-WWII Palestinian struggle against Zionism. Yasser Arafat’s speech at the United Nations in 1974 stressed all these points vehemently:

Israel’s claim that its critics must be anti-Semites presupposes that its critics believe its claims that it represents “the Jewish people”. But it is Israel’s claims that it represents and speaks for all Jews that are the most anti-Semitic claims of all.

Today, Israel and the Western powers want to elevate anti-Semitism to an international principle around which they seek to establish full consensus. They insist that for there to be peace in the Middle East, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims must become, like the West, anti-Semites by espousing Zionism and recognising Israel’s anti-Semitic claims. Except for dictatorial Arab regimes and the Palestinian Authority and its cronies, on this 65th anniversary of the anti-Semitic conquest of Palestine by the Zionists, known to Palestinians as the Nakba , the Palestinian people and the few surviving anti-Zionist Jews continue to refuse to heed this international call and incitement to anti-Semitism. They affirm that they are, as the last of the Semites, the heirs of the pre-WWII Jewish and Palestinian struggles against anti-Semitism and its Zionist colonial manifestation. It is their resistance that stands in the way of a complete victory for European anti-Semitism in the Middle East and the world at large.

Joseph Massad teaches Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians.

Discriminatory Laws in Israel: A data-base

Discriminatory Laws in Israel: A data-base

Discriminatory Laws in Israel: *There are more than 50 Israeli laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in all areas of life, including their rights to political participation, access to land, education, state budget resources, and criminal procedures. Some of the laws also violate the rights of Palestinians living in the 1967 OPT and Palestinian refugees.

See: http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discriminatory-Law-Database

Israel: Manipulating the World to Destruction

http://bravenewworld.in/2013/04/02/israel-manipulating-the-world-to-destruction/

Israel: Manipulating the World to Destruction
April 2, 2013 · by Sufyan bin Uzayr
By: Dan Lieberman
 
The Middle East crisis has reached a decisive point. From the entry of a relatively few Zionists to Palestine, the trajectory of the crisis has monotonically pursued a direction toward complete Zionist control of former Palestinian lands and complete disruption of Palestinian life. A startled world wonders how this happened, while neglecting the social and psychological manipulations that preceded each stage of the Zionists’ forward movement. Unaware of this strategy of conditioning, the world fails to apply necessary countermeasures and halt a more far reaching conflagration.
 
Manipulating a world to enhance a nation’s interests is not unique, and especially easy for a country that is a global economic and military power. Citizens relish the strength that gives them respect and advantages, refuse to regard the harm done to others and are blinded to the eventual retribution. Napoleon and Queen Victoria convinced their own and colonial subjects, for a while, that their armies, navies and administrations brought civilization and prosperity to subdued peoples. Nazi Germany had approval of its nationals and many peoples from other nations as its Panzers swept across a Europe that Hitler posed as one to which Germany would bring stability, peace and cleared of what he defined as the “scourge of liberalism.” The United States spread its influence with slogans of bringing freedom and democracy until injured peoples surveyed their dead and wounded and realized these were dubious phrases.
 
An expanding Israel is unique. Although not starting as a global economic and military power, Israel has advanced its frontiers with its own manipulations – convincing a part of the world that its development has been defensive, a reaction to events, and honestly implemented. Can we trust the words of a nation that, for whatever reason, occupies other people’s lands, has forced out the native peoples, committed a myriad of proven atrocities, changes daily the landmarks and artifacts of history to suit its agenda, and has maintained generations of Palestinians in oppressive and captive conditions?
 
The manipulated scenario describes dispersed Jews seeking a national home, obtaining it after fleeing the World War II Holocaust and arriving in the land of their ancestors, which, as Israeli education teaches students, was given to them by a vote from the United Nations. Because of consistent attacks upon the Yishuv, the Jewish residents in Palestine and their Israeli descendants were forced to defend themselves. Conflicts caused turmoil, and a major part of the Arab population of Palestine became displaced. Continuous wars, forced upon Israel by adjacent Arab nations, pushed development of a strong military whose decisive victories captured territory for defensive purposes. For security reasons, Israel expanded its boundaries and placed immigrants in strategic locations in the West Bank. Roads and a security wall, which happened to cut through Palestinian lands, became necessary in order to prevent terrorists from entering the homeland. Security measures demanded absolute control of Palestinian movements. Unfortunately, a poorly directed and recalcitrant Palestinian community has been responsible for its decline and egregious fate.
 
Facts create a contradictory scenario, which will have its detractors. However, any refutation should argue with the facts and not the overall scenario.
 
History contradicts the portrayal of Zionism as a mass movement by the Jewish people. The Zionist message prompted nations to question the loyalty of their Jewish citizens, served to impede their advances, and reinforced a race-baiting theory that Jews engaged in international conspiracies. Proof is shown by the Russian Jews, who had major problems and did not consider Zionism as a relief for their difficulties. Between 1881 and 1914, 2.5 million Jews migrated from Russia – 1.7 million to America, 500,000 to Western Europe, almost 300,000 to other nations, and only 30,000 – 50,000 to Palestine (ED: 15,000 returned to Russia). Plans for establishing a nation on Palestinian lands occurred long before World War II, and therefore the World War II Holocaust had no relation to the Zionist concept for the creation of a state. The settlers, of whom only 180,000 came from refugee camps, arrived in Palestine with no more verified connection with the ancient Hebrews than many other ethnicities. Known to archaeology and accepted history (not Biblical history) as mainly wandering tribes that established themselves in hilltop areas of Canaan, the Hebrews never formed a vibrant civilization or a unified nation of extensive administered territory. Not only is it unproven that the land to which European Zionists returned was a land of their forefathers, but the claim is supercilious – in a world of democratic law, legal qualifications, not self-proclaimed and spurious identifications that span thousands of years, determine land ownership, and the Zionists had no legal claims, while Palestinian people had occupied and tilled the area for generations.
 
Identification of Hebrews as Jews happened principally during the during the fifth century B.C., after Hebrews returned from exile in Persia with a more complete vision of monotheistic Judaism, and later in Mesopotamia during the fifth century A.D., where the center of Rabbinical Judaism composed the main body of Jewish law, the Babylonian (not the Jerusalem)Talmud.
 
Skip one thousand five hundred years to the 1948 War, when 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes and Israel refused to allow them to return to their ancestral lands. During the Palestinian exodus, known atrocities, forcible evictions and brutal attacks, all planned to intimidate Palestinian families to leave, have been documented. Israel destroyed 411 Arab villages, and engaged in several wars with its neighbors in which the kill ratio overwhelmingly favored Israel, and by which Israel doubled its original territory. For more than sixty years, Palestinians have seen their lands appropriated and their lives controlled by an Israel military authority. The Israeli army occupies the Jordan valley, and slowly clears it of Palestinian presence, while Israeli settlers, mostly immigrants from foreign nations, occupy the West Bank and East Jerusalem. All these endeavors have been declared illegal by several United Nation resolutions.
 
President Barack Obama’s recent voyage to Israel exposes and emphasizes the conditioning of the world community to acceptance of the Zionist agenda. It is difficult to believe that an erudite President Obama prepared the speech. Examine some of his statements.
 
I’ve borne witness to the ancient history of the Jewish people at the Shrine of the Book,
The Shrine of the Book only houses the Dead Sea scrolls and the Aleppo codex, which are controversial rewrites of Biblical scrolls and not historical documents. Touring Jerusalem’s Rockefeller Archaeological Museum and the Bible Lands Museum, which is across from the Shrine of the Book, demonstrates that there are few significant artifacts of an established Hebrew civilization in the Middle East – no constructions other than those from ninth century B.C. King Omri era, nor statues, monuments, roads, ships, national commerce, weapons, treasures, utensils, jewelry, communication, transportation, and significant documents, other than the Bible, that have survived and can be attributed to the efforts of the ancient Hebrews before the sixth century Babylonian invasion of the Levant.
 
It’s a story of centuries of slavery, and years of wandering in the desert; a story of perseverance amidst persecution, and faith in God and the Torah. It’s a story about finding freedom in your own land. And for the Jewish people, this story is central to who you’ve become. But it’s also a story that holds within it the universal human experience, with all of its suffering, but also all of its salvation.
 
These are Biblical stories, refuted by Israel’s most recognized archaeologists and historians, such as Prof. Ze’ev Herzog, Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho, Ha’aretz Magazine, Oct. 29, 1999.
 
Although the ancient Egyptians maintained detailed recordings of their lives and later academics compiled that history, no historical evidence has been presented of centuries of Hebrew slavery and their years of wandering in the desert. The Sinai desert has never exposed the wanderings and the Hebrew language did not exist during the supposed time. The “exodus” did not free the Jews – just the opposite – it has been used to keep Jews in perpetual bondage to a false sense of history and given them a conscience that sees themselves as eternal victims, and distracts them from realizing that they may also play a role in the injustices done to others.
 
For the Jewish people, the journey to the promise of the State of Israel wound through countless generations. It involved centuries of suffering and exile, prejudice and pogroms and even genocide. Through it all, the Jewish people sustained their unique identity and traditions, as well as a longing to return home. And while Jews achieved extraordinary success in many parts of the world, the dream of true freedom finally found its full expression in the Zionist idea — to be a free people in your homeland. That’s why I believe that Israel is rooted not just in history and tradition, but also in a simple and profound idea — the idea that people deserve to be free in a land of their own.
 
Mostly true, except for using the concept of a Jewish people. Two persons make a people, but a people don’t make a nation. A nation refers to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and history. The Jews, similar to the Mennonites, Jehovah Witnesses, Basques, and myriads of other religious and ethnic groups did not share the attributes of a nation. If it were otherwise, why has Israel’s thrust been to give its Jews a new frame of a nation – a common language, culture, descent and history. The Mizrahi, who came to Israel, were Arabs; the Europeans were Ashkenazi; the Ethiopians were Falasha and the Yemenites were from the Arabian peninsula. The differing languages, dialects, music, cultures and heritage of these ethnicities have been discarded and replaced by unique and uniform characteristics. With the destruction of each community went the destruction of centuries old Jewish history and life in Tunisia, Iraq, Libya and Egypt. All these immigrants became a new Jew, an Israeli Jew, which unlike the Iraqi Jews, who were probably the closest relatives to the ancient Jews, had no proven lineage to the biblical Hebrews.
 
If Obama is sincere in helping people from their journey as a people to a nation, he should give attention to the aspirations of the Kurds, Assyrians and Nubians. Each of these peoples, who have suffered greatly throughout history, and still suffer today, especially the three million Assyrians, have all the elements of a people and were well recognized and established as nations in previous eras. Maybe a little prejudice and favoritism to others permits them to be disregarded.
 
I know Israel has taken risks for peace. Brave leaders — Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin — reached treaties with two of your neighbors. You made credible proposals to the Palestinians at Annapolis. You withdrew from Gaza and Lebanon, and then faced terror and rockets. Across the region, you’ve extended a hand of friendship and all too often you’ve been confronted with rejection and, in some cases, the ugly reality of anti-Semitism. So I believe that the Israeli people do want peace, and I also understand why too many Israelis — maybe an increasing number, maybe a lot of young people here today — are skeptical that it can be achieved.
 
The two mentioned Israeli leaders could never redeem themselves for their severe atrocities against the Palestinians. Begin held office as Prime Minister during the first invasion of Lebanon and during the attacks on the Palestinian refugee camps at Sabra and Shatila. Excerpts from the Kahan Commission report.
 
On the evening of September 16, 1982, a force of about 150 Phalangists entered the Sabra and Shatila camps under Israeli protection. It subsequently developed that instead of restoring order, the Phalangists perpetrated a massacre in the camps. Estimates of the number of people killed and missing vary from about 460 (Red Cross estimates) to 700 (IDF intelligence estimate) to 2,000 (Palestinian estimates). There is no doubt that the victims included women and children, as well as unarmed men, and were mostly not Palestinian fighters killed in the heat of battle.
 
The Kahan Commission determined that Ariel Sharon and several others were at least negligent in their duty and should have known that there was a danger that such massacres might occur. Under these circumstances they should not have permitted the Phalangists to enter the camps, or should have at least taken steps to ensure that no massacres occurred, or should have intervened to investigate and stop the massacres once suspicious reports began coming out of the camps.
 
Yitzhak Rabin was responsible for the Palestinian Exodus from Lydda and Ramle in 1948. Historian Benny Morris wrote in “Operation Dani and the Palestinian Exodus from Lydda and Ramle in 1948″, Middle East Journal, 40.
 
At 13.30 hours on 12 July [1948]… Lieutenant-Colonel Yitzhak Rabin, operation Dani head Operation, issued the following order: ’1. The inhabitants of Lydda must be expelled quickly without attention to age. They should be directed to Beit Nabala,… Implement Immediately.’ A similar order was issued at the same time to the Kiryati Brigade concerning the inhabitants of the neighboring town of Ramle, occupied by Kiryati troops that morning… On 12 and 13 July, the Yaftah brigades carried out their orders, expelling the 50-60,000 remaining inhabitants of and refugees camped in and around the two towns….
 
Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces during the 1967 war, Yitzhak Rabin, was responsible for expelling about 5,000 inhabitants from three villages in the area between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (Emwas, Beit Nuba and Yalou) and having the villages destroyed. The Jerusalem Post of 24 October 1991, reported that “Rabin admitted to Canadian TV that he gave the order to destroy the villages. The inhabitants were not allowed to return nor bury their dead.”
 
Rabin, as Defense Minister, is also known for the infamous “break their bones” decree during the first Intifada (1987), a means to make impotent the Palestinian male population. Reports had Palestinian youngsters rounded up from their homes, brought to remote areas, and while soldiers held them, had their bones smashed. Amira Hass in Haaretz, Nov.04, 2005, described the feelings “when Palestinians were asked about Rabin.”
 
… this is what they remember: One thinks of his hands, scarred by soldiers’ beatings; another remembers a friend who flitted between life and death in the hospital for 12 days, after he was beaten by soldiers who caught him drawing a slogan on a wall during a curfew. Yet another remembers the Al-Am’ari refugee camp; during the first Intifada, all its young men were hopping on crutches or were in casts because they had thrown stones at soldiers, who in turn chased after them and carried out Rabin’s order.
 
Prime Ministers Begin and Shamir were known terrorists during the British Mandate, the former being responsible for the bombing of the King David hotel and the latter accused of playing a role in the assassination of UN representative Folke Bernadotte. Manipulations prevented their trial for criminal efforts. Israel leadership, except for Moshe Sharret, who was forced to resign the office due to his conciliatory attitude toward the Palestinians, have been nationalist hawks, have encroached upon Palestinian lands and those, after 1967, pursued a policy of constructing West Bank settlements.
 
The rest of Obama’s appraisals in the former paragraph of his speech is subject to interpretation, and it is doubtful that much of the world would interpret the happenings as he expressed them.
 
Here, in this small strip of land that has been the center of so much of the world’s history, so much triumph and so much tragedy, Israelis have built something that few could have imagined 65 years ago.
 
This severe exaggeration is constantly repeated. Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Emirates, South Africa and many other countries have shown more dynamic growth since 1950, and, unlike Israel, achieved the progress without huge aid from the United States and Germany. Israel’s major cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem (except for the Old City) are routine in appearance and activity. Amman, Jordan, with its engineering marvels of tunnels and bridges, has much more appeal than Tel Aviv. A trip through Israel does not reveal any special advancements – some interesting tourist areas, mostly from Roman and Crusader times, and sterile urban areas, with pockets of poverty and deterioration. As for making the desert bloom, bring in irrigation and anything will bloom. Maybe Israel’s irrigation and desalinization methods are slightly more advanced, but Israel does not have any proprietary methods that money cannot buy. The Negev is no more vital than Phoenix, Arizona or the farms that Qatar is building in the desert. Look at it another way – Israel has used huge quantities of water in a water deficient area and has destroyed the appearance of the biblical lands they claim to cherish, and which the Palestinians preserved for centuries.
 
At the Paris Peace Conference, the Zionists stated their mission and Israel has intended to fulfill that mission – incorporate all of former Palestine, and maybe more, into one Jewish state, or have nothing – and no Israeli Prime Minister dares to deter the Zionist state from its ultimate objective. Unlike, much of the world, the Arab nations are cognizant of Israel’s plans and scramble to prevent them. Despite the manipulation of rhetoric, the Arab world and Iran are consigned to an Israeli state, but not this Israeli state, not to a military state of exclusiveness, which treats Arabs as inferiors and promotes a singular group.
 
The world faces two choices – permit Israel to continue its expansionist polices and destroy the Middle East or bring democratic changes and level headed government to an Israel that is willing to share the country with the original landowners. The latter suggestion removes a major impediment to instability and conflict in the Middle East. Naturally, a corrupt and manipulated world will accept its own destruction.
 
About the author: Dan Lieberman is the Editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter. His website articles have been read in over 150 nations, while articles written for other websites have appeared or been linked in online journals throughout the world. Many of his works have been translated into French, German and Spanish. His articles have also served as teaching resources in several Universities and public courses, and some of his writings have become Internet Classics, with about 10,000 readers annually years after initial publication. Click hereto mail him.