Sheikh Jarrah demo featured thrilling speech by Israeli artist Sara Benninga

on 19 Comments

A brilliant speech by a young woman named Sara Benninga at the Sheikh Jarrah demonstration last week was spotted by Jerry Haber. Benninga is an artist, and a fine one. And she’s a leader. Why isn’t this in the American press? Why isn’t Benninga on the front of American Jewish newspapers?

We are all the new Left that is emerging in Israel and Palestine.

We are not fighting for a peace agreement. We are fighting for justice. But we believe that injustice is the main obstacle to peace.

There will be no peace until the Ghawi and Hanoun and al-Kurd families return to their homes. Because peace does not grow on a soil of discrimination, oppression and theft.

There is a new Left in town and that Left stands with the people of Sheikh Jarrah tonight and will continue standing with them until justice defeats fanaticism.

But there is also a new Right in town.

A Right awash with fanaticism and racism that seduces the masses with nationalist rhetoric.

The new Right does not care about the welfare and well-being of human beings. The new Right only cares about ethnic, tribal, Liebermanistic loyalty.

For the new Right charity begins at home only for Jews. And what makes a person a Jew is the fact that they are not an Arab.

The new Right has nothing to offer except for endless war.

The new Right is the empty wagon that went off the rails: religious and secular Jews who have nothing but hatred of the other: the Arabs the refugee, the leftist.

19 Responses

  1. potsherd
    March 8, 2010, 11:08 am

    Nice rhetoric. Justice.

    Much the same message as Avraham Burg.

  2. Rehmat
    March 8, 2010, 11:19 am

    Professor Nurit Peled Elhanan is worth reading:

    link to

  3. Mooser
    March 8, 2010, 11:24 am

    Here’s an excellent post on the Israeli left and justice:

    link to

  4. Richard Witty
    March 8, 2010, 11:28 am

    Peace is still the valid goal. If it takes justice to accomplish, wonderful and important.

    • Chaos4700
      March 8, 2010, 11:31 am

      …but not essential, as far as you’re concerned. Cute.

    • Chaos4700
      March 8, 2010, 11:33 am

      Out of curiosity, Witty, what is your attitude toward justice with regards to the prosecution of Nazi collaborators in the present day? Are you willing to just “let it be” in that case?

    • Citizen
      March 8, 2010, 11:53 am

      Witty, why wouldn’t it take a sense of justice accomplished to make any peace with a tenable claim to durability? I asked you this question because you used the word “if.”
      If is always a little word with a big meaning. One paltry example, didn’t the Versailles Treaty set up WW2? Please clarify your use of the word “if” in your comment.

      • Mooser
        March 8, 2010, 11:55 am

        Sure Witty, graveyards are very peaceful.

      • Chaos4700
        March 8, 2010, 12:03 pm

        Well, unless it’s an Arab graveyard in Jerusalem, surrounded by land developing vultures. But besides that.

  5. Richard Witty
    March 8, 2010, 1:39 pm

    The dancers return.

    Justice is always thought of in terms of “justice for me”. It is a true summary of most Palestinian activists and solidarity activists comments. How many think seriously of what would constitute mutual justice, and actually willingly compromise in any regard on that basis?

    I’ve heard respectful comments from Rashid Khalidi that indicate to me some sense of the humanity of Israeli civilians and their right to self-govern. I’ve not heard it from the primary advocates of a single state. The focus of BDS is one-sided, and therefore very difficult to be confident in, especially given the very brutal precedents of Palestinian “dissent”.

    Peace on the other hand is by definition mutual, consensual, a realization as a goal more than just an assertion as a goal.

    It takes the Palestinians’ legal and other cases to be heard, clearly, respectfully. But, it definitely does not regard non-compromising demands as “international law”.

    What is meant by “right of return”, specifically, and in a way that dissent is committed and bound by? Or is going to remain a vague term useful for opportunism?

    • Chaos4700
      March 8, 2010, 1:41 pm

      Justice is always thought of in terms of “justice for me”.

      Witty, you are for the reputation of Jewish humanism, what Bernie Madoff is for the reputation of Jewish financial acumen.

      • Richard Witty
        March 8, 2010, 1:57 pm

        You didn’t get my point?

        The metaphor for justice is balance (mutual), not a swinging pendulum (er wrecking ball).

        The swinging pendulum is retribution not justice, punitive, as stated in the BDS published platform.

      • Mooser
        March 8, 2010, 2:43 pm

        And Jews are supposed to be exempt from retribution? I was hoping maybe to be free from revenge or even hatred, but retribution, no one is exempt from.

        I don’t think you know what that word means, Witty. You keep on saying “retribution” like it was something bad.

      • Chaos4700
        March 8, 2010, 2:49 pm

        He keeps saying “justice” and “international law” as if those were something bad. Does Witty apply the same scouring skepticism to Jewish “right of return” to a “homeland” they were never born to, as he does to refugee Palestinians? No. Because he is blatantly racist.

      • sherbrsi
        March 10, 2010, 12:32 am

        No. Because he is blatantly racist.

        If this is true, then the commentors of this site could do better than to indulge him.

      • Chaos4700
        March 10, 2010, 1:13 am

        Meh. In a backhanded way Witty’s doing us a favor by exposing Zionism for the ugliness it truly is. Why block that? It’s the best service Witty can do, showing us the apex of Zionism truly is.

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