‘Are you a fucking leftist?’ –Israeli fascists target anti-occupation activists in Tel Aviv

Activism
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Right wing protesters attacking an anti-war on Gaza demonstration in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Twitter/ActiveStills.org)

Right wing protesters attacking an anti-war on Gaza demonstration in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Twitter/ActiveStills.org)

Yossi* wants to make it very clear from the beginning of our discussion that I cannot use his real name.  Rotem, his friend who is also translating, explains, “He is afraid.  We’re all afraid.  The fascists are searching for our Facebook profiles, for any information about us on the internet.  They are hunting us.”

What first may seem like hyperbole is in fact exactly what pro-Palestinian, anti-occupation Jewish-Israeli activists have been describing for the last week: mobs of right-wing fascists chasing peaceful protesters and violently attacking them in the centers of West Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

On Saturday night, July 12, a few hundred demonstrators gathered in Habima Square in Tel Aviv to protest the ongoing massacre in Gaza, organized by the Coalition of Women for Peace.  Habima Square, according to Rotem, is the place for “mainstream” protests in Tel Aviv.  Hundreds of demonstrations have been held there, though none in recent memory had turned as violent and ugly as Saturday night’s.  While demonstrators chanted and held signs in the square, a group of approximately 60 counter-protesters, some wearing shirts with fascist logos prominently displayed, arrived and began menacing the crowd.  Police were not doing much to separate the two groups.  Some of the demonstrators had already dispersed, sensing the tension with the counter-protestors, and then a siren sounded, indicating an incoming rocket from the resistance in Gaza.

“The police were just cowards,” Rotem said.  “They left us to face a group of fascists who wanted to kill us.  They actually told us that.”  The demonstrators there to support the people of Gaza tried to leave the area.  Yossi explained what happened next. “We ran down the street and the fascists followed us. We ran into a cafe and about 20 of the fascists came inside after us.  They completely destroyed the cafe.”  A chair was raised and crashed over Yossi’s head.  It was only when he lost consciousness that the police were called.  Yossi was evacuated by friends to the hospital.

On Monday, Yossi decided he wanted to return to the cafe and apologize.

“I felt bad,” he said.  “It is a cafe in my neighborhood.  It wasn’t the owner’s fault that the fascists got violent.  I wanted to apologize.”

Yossi describes himself as rather “strange” for a “left-wing activist”.  He comes from a religious family and wears a yarmulke, a rare sight among the largely secular Jewish-Israeli left.  He’s in his early twenties and says he’s been going to demonstrations in support of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and inside Israel, as well as social justice issues.  He went to the cafe and was chatting with the owner without incident until the bartender asked him, “are you a leftist?”  Yossi replied that he was, which the bartender found odd, considering that Yossi was religious.  Yossi gave the example to the bartender of the Naturei Karta, an orthodox sect that is strictly anti-Zionist when a customer in the cafe got up to confront him.

“Are you a fucking leftist?” he asked.  “Do you love this country?”

Yossi replied that he did not, in fact, love the state, and said in English, “Judaism is not Zionism.”  Rotem interjects at this point to explain, “this may seem like an obvious thing to say, but in Israel, it’s not.”

Yossi, wary of the increasing tension, tried to leave the cafe.  The customer began to laugh at him.  “Were you the one injured on Saturday?” he asked.  Yossi replied that he was, and was in fact hospitalized.  The man began shouting and getting aggressive with Yossi, who took out his phone and snapped a picture of the enraged customer.  Yossi described what happened next with a sense of shock in his voice.

The customer grabbed Yossi by the hair and threw him to the ground, insisting that he give him the phone to delete the picture.  Yossi suggested he would show the owner that he was deleting the picture but the customer would have none of it and again threw him to the ground and beat him.  Yossi saw a police officer outside and tried to go to him when the customer threw him down again.  Yossi blacked out for a moment and when he came to the customer was trying to physically throw him outside.  The owner by this point was also trying to throw Yossi out of the cafe, saying he was causing trouble.  Finally, Yossi managed to leave and call friends and the police, though both he and Rotem want to make clear that they don’t trust the police and don’t believe in using them anyway.

It is a level of violence that neither Yossi nor Rotem have seen before.  Not aimed at other Jewish-Israelis, at least.  Rotem was particularly appalled that throughout the assault, no one lifted a hand to help Yossi or to interfere.

Both Rotem and Yossi want to make it clear, though, that they recognize violence itself is nothing new.  Yossi said, “this is nothing compared to the violence used against Palestinians every day.” Even during periods of relative calm, he says, “Palestinians are attacked every day.  Every day.”  What’s different, Rotem said, is that it is now being visited on other Jews, “in the heart of Tel Aviv.”

I asked what they saw as the cause of the surge of violence and fascist rhetoric in Israeli society.   Yossi explained it this way: “The differen[ce] between the pilots bombing Gaza every day and the hooligans in the street is that the hooligans aren’t killing people.”  In other words, the mentality required to massacre Gazans and that which leads to assaulting those who you don’t agree with are one in the same.  Rotem lays the blame at the increasingly right-wing government and their direct incitement.  “[Naftali] Bennett and others like him are encouraging this kind of violence.  They are calling Palestinians animals and us traitors.”  He believes it’s part of a coordinated campaign to incite violence.  “It used to not be politically correct to talk like this.  You used to only say these things behind closed doors.  Now it’s out in the open.”  The people on the streets attacking Palestinians and left-wing Israelis, he said, “are just the soldiers.”  This is the result of “twenty years of denying democracy, of working against the Supreme Court, against minorities” he said.

“I don’t want to say it will get worse before it gets better, but….” Rotem said, his voice trailing off.  The sense of urgency then returns to his voice.  “It’s only going to get worse if the left doesn’t stand against it,” he said.  “We are trying to organize. People can’t be afraid to be loyal to Palestinians.  I don’t care if we get beaten again and again.  We need to stand against the fascists.” “I’m a teacher,” he told me, “I wasn’t even really an activist.  But I am now.”

*Not his real name

About Bekah Wolf

Bekah Wolf has worked in Palestine since 2003. In 2006 she co-founded the Palestine Solidarity Project with her husband, former administrative detainee and current popular committee leader Mousa Abu Maria. She lived for 4 years in her husband's village of Beit Ommar, Hebron District and currently splits her time between the U.S. and Beit Ommar with her daughter Rafeef.

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51 Responses

  1. Marnie
    July 18, 2014, 11:10 am

    As awful as this is I’m not surprised at all. I’ve lived here for 13 years and hate what I see and hear. It is frightening; but there has got to be a way to do something. There are so many angry people here, screaming and yelling is the way most of them communicate. They have done an excellent job indoctrinating the masses with this madness and I feel so sad.

    • Mooser
      July 18, 2014, 12:33 pm

      “It is frightening; but there has got to be a way to do something.”

      Marnie, when the very survival of the Jewish People is at stake every single day, and when there are so many who appear to be loyal to Zionism, but are not, people are going to get a little excited.
      Of course there’s a way to do something, and Israel is doing it right now!
      Of course, there is one impediment. As you well know, Israel is so new, so unique, and the process of its coming into being and flourishing so extraordinary, that neither the study of history or of human psychology or politics can provide us any answers. There’s just no way to draw a conclusion, is there?

    • Fairfax
      July 19, 2014, 4:50 am

      Dear Mooser, the survival of Israel is not at stake. The survival of something referred to as “the Jewish People” is not at stake. The survival of the security / military / industrial (dare I say proto-fascist: yes I dare) regime is not at stake. What is at stake is the survival of the people in Gaza, who starve, are bombed, deprived of medicines, blockaded, assaulted and murdered. It is absurd for Israel to claim the status of victim as it systematically murders the Palestinians of Gaza, and stands by while its own citizens are bashed by the new Brownshirts / Blackshirts / SS of their right wing. The reality is clear to all who will look. Look away Dear Mooser, you don’t want to see. Warwick.

  2. seafoid
    July 18, 2014, 11:11 am

    What is Gurvitz saying about the latest flowering of Jewish hatred in the Disneyland ? He has been predicting this for a long time.

    • Mooser
      July 18, 2014, 12:55 pm

      “He has been predicting this for a long time.”

      Oh, that ain’t nothin’! I’ll have you know, Seafoid, that late last night, when it was pitch-dark, I predicted the sun would come up this morning! And I was right.

  3. just
    July 18, 2014, 11:17 am

    wow. I have to agree that this is the result of the massive and eternal incitement by the GoI.

    • seafoid
      July 18, 2014, 11:59 am

      It’s also about the complicity of parents and educators and the requirements of an out of control Israeli Army. They had to mould the population to work the occupation and the collateral damage is now clearly visible.

      • Mooser
        July 18, 2014, 12:35 pm

        “They had to mould the population to work the occupation and the collateral damage is now clearly visible.”

        But remember, just like Bogey and Bacall had Paris, Israel has its birth and idyllic pre-occupation years to look to as a model?

      • Mooser
        July 18, 2014, 12:42 pm

        “They had to mould the population to work the occupation and the collateral damage is now clearly visible.”

        But remember, just like Bogey and Bacall had Paris, Israel has its birth and idyllic pre-occupation years to look to as a model?

        Wouldn’t surprise me in the least (in fact, I expect it) for Israel to sponsor phony “leftists” to manipulate opinion about Israel’s actions, that is, to provide a phony locus for hope. And they will do that more often than once every seven years.

  4. Justpassingby
    July 18, 2014, 11:21 am

    France ban palestine protests
    link to middleeastmonitor.com

  5. seafoid
    July 18, 2014, 11:30 am

    link to haaretz.com

    “The new State of Israel will no longer tolerate any opinion that is different, any alternative idea. Subversive ideas are out of the question; even asking questions that few people ask will be utterly prohibited. The people will speak in unison, like in a chorus, as uniform as the Red Army Choir. The media, too, will speak in one voice, declaimed right out of the statements dictated to it by government and army spokesmen.

    None of this is a dream. The nightmare is already here. “Quiet — we’re shooting” during times of war and also during times of calm. Criticism will be confined to clearly limited subjects: classroom size and the price of cottage cheese may be criticized,; so can tycoons and the coffee prices at Ben-Gurion airport. The theater and cinema may be criticized too, all within the bounds of good taste, of course.

    Exposes about mayors and singers who cheated on their taxes and politicians who fired their maids are allowed, but not a word about war crimes. The fighting press will fight against road accidents, but never, of course, against the rules of engagement. Writing about crime families is fine, but writing about the crimes of the occupation and the settlements is off-limits. The weather forecast will not be subject to censorship at all.

    In times of war, the situation is different, of course. When the cannons roar, we may not even let out a peep. We may criticize the army and the defense establishment, but only from one direction: Why didn’t they let the army win? Let it “do its job,” beat the hell out of them, bombard them, crush them even more, conquer even more, cut off the electricity, tighten the siege and ramp up the killing, pain and devastation as much as possible; to exalt the might of the troops, to praise the daring of the pilots. To bring the Arabs back to the Stone Age and Gaza to the Middle Ages. That is allowed. The most moral thing on earth — as much as possible; doubting it is forbidden. One may also cry victim without limit. Ignorance will be crowned as a national goal.”

    • Marnie
      July 18, 2014, 12:41 pm

      Do you live here too – you’ve nailed it, unfortunately.

      • Mooser
        July 18, 2014, 3:17 pm

        “Do you live here too “

        Save yourself, leave today. It’s not your job to fix Israel.

  6. seafoid
    July 18, 2014, 11:39 am

    Are there any stats for the number of Jews in the US who abandon Judaism via intermarriage ? I can’t see how the ongoing developments in Israel are going to bring US Jews closer to Zionism although perhaps Hoph or Jon can spin it for me.

    • Mooser
      July 18, 2014, 12:49 pm

      Excuse me seafoid, but how does a Jew who intermarries in the US “abandon” Judaism?
      How insulting can you be? Do you think I married my wife (25 years last week!) because I didn’t like Israel? And what, you think falling in love with a non-Jewish women makes me forget thee, O Jerusalem? (Or however the hell that goes).

      “US Jews closer to Zionism although perhaps Hoph or Jon can spin it for me.”

      It’s very simple, seafoid! Remember the old “National Lampoon” cover? “Buy this magazine or we will shoot this puppy!” It’ll be some version of that.
      They will try and blackmail American Jews.

  7. Robert
    July 18, 2014, 12:24 pm

    Seafoid,

    I’m intermarried (2007), and in the early years I took closer interest in Judaism because I was going to be the Jewish leader in the family. This led to a lot of internet exploration of what was going on, discovering Mondoweiss in 2010. I have uncovered an absolute ocean of lies, and I discovered that I was lied to in Hebrew school when I was growing up, about practically every issue. The internet is causing a Reformation, just like the Gutenberg Bible led to the Protestant Reformation.

    I have left Judaism permanently, and I now have a “don’t talk about it” policy with my family, to reconnect with them and maintain the peace.

    • Mooser
      July 18, 2014, 3:21 pm

      “because I was going to be the Jewish leader in the family.”

      Wait a minute! I’m intermarried, too, a quarter century last week, as I mentioned (try and stop me!) When do get to be a Jewish leader, instead of just “her Jewish husband” It’s not fair! Everybody gets to be a Jewish leader except me. Am I the only Jewish follower?

    • Mooser
      July 18, 2014, 3:26 pm

      “I have left Judaism permanently”

      Did you send in the form 3300wp? (Application for permission to permanently leave Judaism). If you haven’t, Robert, you are still on the books. You’ll want to take care of that.

      • droog
        July 18, 2014, 5:17 pm

        every algo in has-bot central has to be going ballistic by now,
        what’s that movie quote:
        [Smashing the door to bits with an axe]
        ” Wendy, I’m home.”

      • W.Jones
        July 19, 2014, 12:43 pm

        Mooser,

        When Spinoza and Trotsky were formally placed under Herem, did that count as leaving the religious community, or was it merely a form of censure, like being called a heretic? If the latter, then I believe that under religious law there is no way to leave, only to be considered an apostate.

        Of course, a person can consider himself whatever he wants.

  8. Mooser
    July 18, 2014, 12:25 pm

    For real down-home fun, spend some time at Talking Points Memo, and compare the way Josh Marshall “As a Zionist and a Jew” deals with the Crimean shoot-down, and the Russian separatists generally, and how he deals with the Gaza story. Oh well, at least he told us to be prepared for the tendentious.

  9. Mooser
    July 18, 2014, 12:56 pm

    What happened to “Hostage”? I thought he was here when I came back, and he was pretty much the reason. But now he is being referred to as “late, lamented”. Did something, God forbid, happen to him?

    • Danaa
      July 18, 2014, 2:54 pm

      Mooser, Hostage got unhappy over the Chomsky debates and is taking an extended “leave of absence”. The Chomsky thingy even got me sucked in again – the dude is irresistible! and a spring chicken he even ain’t…

      Between you and me, Mooser (because no one can hear, right?) it’s a jewish intellectual thing. After all, there are still food fights over poor old Trotsky – it’s like the guy was never brought down! and I did not even mention Marx yet…

      Chomsky just has a way of getting the brainy all on fire (I need to think about that some more. May be this could be weaponized…). And the Lib Zio is full of brains – splattered everywhere on the nets. Not to mention the anti-zio – – burning even brighter.

      Seriously though, it’s all about BDS. The final frontier. Time to take a stand. With us or outside “us”. The “it’s all America’s fault” crowd vs the “It’s all israel’s fault” rabble-rousers. Of course, you and I (and perhaps another couple thousand, or million, including some Chinese and Indians) know it’s not so simple as to be one or the other. I am learning a lot from reading these days about the fight of the Romans with the Goths. Of course, a couple thousand years later (give or take a few decades), the Goth went all German-like (or french…) and the Romans went Italian (BTW, in case you are tempted to ascribe me any historian credentials, nothing could be further from the truth. I can make anything I want into Goth, including vandals and Visigoths. Such vikinganization saves me from Chomsky and/or Trotsky worship pits – or temples).

      PS I know none of this applies to you, as you wisely stick to plumbing and carpentry as the ways to enlightenment.

      • Kris
        July 18, 2014, 5:09 pm

        @Danaa, if you are in contact with Hostage, please tell him that his excellent comments are very much missed.

      • American
        July 19, 2014, 10:06 am

        Danaa says …..

        ” With us or outside “us”. The “it’s all America’s fault” crowd vs the “It’s all israel’s fault” rabble-rousers. Of course, you and I (and perhaps another couple thousand, or million, including some Chinese and Indians) know it’s not so simple as to be one or the other. ”

        In my observation of millions of net comments most people do think its both Israel and the US. The US is blamed for supporting criminal Israel.
        And most people have drilled down to the core of US political system being corrupted and bought by Pro Israel money as the reason and do blame the US politicians.
        Chomsky is the only one I am familiar with that dishonestly promotes it as “strictly” the US’s fault.
        Even Israel lover MJ has laid the political corruption at the feet of the I-lobby(s) and zio orgs .
        So it really is pretty simple—money=political corruption+ craven career self interest of politicians.
        Add a US media under the control of I-First influences who will shoot down and eviserate any official or politican who might try to tell a bit of truth to the public and there you have the ‘whole story’ as they say.

      • Keith
        July 19, 2014, 4:33 pm

        AMERICAN- “Chomsky is the only one I am familiar with that dishonestly promotes it as “strictly” the US’s fault.”

        Chomsky says no such thing, yet you and other Mondoweiss commenters continue to misrepresent him at every opportunity. It is like a group dogma which binds the Mondo social network together. I suspect Hostage took a break from the ongoing intellectual dishonesty of the Mondo Chomsky bashers which he was powerless to correct.

      • American
        July 19, 2014, 8:00 pm

        keith says…..

        ” I suspect Hostage took a break from the ongoing intellectual dishonesty of the Mondo Chomsky bashers which he was powerless to correct.”

        Hostage could try to ‘correct us’…..all he needs to do is provide the ‘proof’ that everything Chomsky’s claims as US “motives” is true.
        He cant do that because the actual facts of many US actions and misadventrues contridict Chomsky’s its all capitalist & empire claims.
        I have given you at least 2 examples —-with the actual evidence and facts –of US actions Chomsky claims were US ‘empire’ motivated and not Israel related and proven his claims were not true.
        You either refuse to look at them or you see them but cant defeat the facts so you dont address the information and stick your head in the sand and follow your Pied Piper.
        So believe want—you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink.
        I not wasting my time on it again.

      • W.Jones
        July 19, 2014, 8:36 pm

        Hello, Keith.
        Like you, I would disagree with American that Chomsky portrays Israeli abuses as “strictly” the fault of the US. Nonetheless, Chomsky considers it “primarily” the fault of the US. When it comes to criticizing Chomsky, I prefer to focus on what he actually says in order to avoid misrepresentation.

        Chomsky was asked:

        “Do you think it’s is a good idea to push the idea of divestment from Israel…?”

        Chomsky replied:
        “I regard the United States as the primary guilty party here, for the past 30 years… Our primary concern, I think, should be change in fundamental US policy, which has been driving this thing for decades.”

        Chomsky also said:

        you don’t have to have sanctions on Israel. It’s like putting sanctions on Poland under the Russians because of what the Poles are doing. It doesn’t make sense. Here, we’re the Russians.

        This is a problematic analogy by Chomsky. While Communist Poland did have some leeway, its overall domestic and foreign policies were significantly overseen and decided by the Russians, sometimes in contrast to most Poles’ desires.

        However, it is the Israeli government who sets its policies as to how it will treat the Palestinians. The Separation Wall, the Denial of the Right of Return, and Operation Cast Lead were not policies decided primarily in Washington.

      • Keith
        July 19, 2014, 11:48 pm

        AMERICAN- “…the actual facts of many US actions and misadventrues contridict Chomsky’s its all capitalist & empire claims.”

        Chomsky never says this. You are again building a straw man to attack. Most of Chomsky’s work simply documents the reality of US foreign policy with both quotes from declassified documents and the observed reality of US actions such as a network of about 1000 foreign US bases and the destabilization of countless countries, along with assassinations and the training of terrorists at the School of Americas, support for Syrian terrorists and Ukrainian neo-Nazis, etc. Chomsky rarely, if ever, refers to “empire” (although I do) and I don’t recall him tying this in with capitalism.

        American says: “You either refuse to look at them or you see them but cant defeat the facts so you dont address the information and stick your head in the sand and follow your Pied Piper.”

        Typical ad hominem BS. The only “facts” I get from you are claims to have previously provided them. The notion that Chomsky is a “Pied Piper” to a group of cultish followers is the same tired old mantra of the knee-jerk, lock-step anti-Chomsky bashers on Mondoweiss. That Hostage was unable to convince you of your errors is hardly surprising. Your anti-Chomsky dogma is an essential part of your persona and of your relationship with a group of your fellow Mondoweissers.

        Finally, I find it curious that you and other Chomsky bashers were so thrilled with Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. Or have I misread your comments on this?

      • Annie Robbins
        July 20, 2014, 2:01 am

        technically that quote you cited is not an ad hominem, just thought i’d point that out.

      • Keith
        July 20, 2014, 12:21 am

        W JONES- “Like you, I would disagree with American that Chomsky portrays Israeli abuses as “strictly” the fault of the US.”

        Ah, an attempt to appear reasonable and unbiased, how sweet. However, your next comments involve cherry picking Chomsky based upon a particular comment or essay taken out of context and overemphasized compared to his main body of scholarly work speaks otherwise

        You quote Chomsky as follows: “…you don’t have to have sanctions on Israel. It’s like putting sanctions on Poland under the Russians because of what the Poles are doing. It doesn’t make sense. Here, we’re the Russians.” You then disingenuously attack Chomsky’s analogy. Yet, Chomsky’s point is clear as clear can be: it is hardly necessary for the US to boycott Israel when all that is required is to end the long years of shameful support, the diplomatic and financial/military support. Perhaps you feel that the US bears no responsibility in this matter? Uncle Sam a helpless victim of the Israeli Lobby?

        Let me comment on another of your quotes. Chomsky says: “… Our primary concern, I think, should be change in fundamental US policy, which has been driving this thing for decades.”

        You disagree? Israel couldn’t do what it is doing without imperial support. And while one may disagree with the extent to which an Israel Lobby (however defined) influences US foreign policy generally and specifically in Palestine, Chomsky’s assertion that a change in US policy is necessary seems rather obvious, to me at least. Focusing on Israel while exonerating empire may make some folks feel good, but is hardly realistic. And Chomsky bashing among some elements of the left seem to me to be part of a broader effort to discredit an iconic symbol of resistance to empire and militarism.

      • W.Jones
        July 20, 2014, 3:29 am

        Hello, again Keith.

        The main point is that Chomsky mistakenly says the US is the “primary guilty party” that has been “driving” the Israel-Palestine conflict, although you are right that he doesn’t say that it is “strictly” the fault of the US. I will allow Chomsky’s full quote in context to speak for itself:

        “Do you think it’s is a good idea to push the idea of divestment from Israel the same way that we used to push for it in white South Africa? ”

        Chomsky replied:
        “I regard the United States as the primary guilty party here, for the past 30 years. And for us to push for divestment from the United States doesn’t really mean anything. What we ought to do is push for changes in US policy. Now it makes good sense to press for not sending attack helicopters to Israel, for example. In fact it makes very good sense to try to get some newspaper in the United States to report the fact that it’s happening. That would be a start. And then to stop sending military weapons that are being used for repression. And you can take steps like that. But I don’t think divestment from Israel would make much sense, even if such a policy were imaginable (and it’s not).
        Our primary concern, I think, should be change in fundamental US policy, which has been driving this thing for decades.

        The fact is that the US is not the “primary” guilty party in the conflict. The Israeli State has decided to build the Wall, deny the right of return, and launch assaults on Gaza, and then it carried out those abuses. The US is a major, indirect enabler, if not supporter and funder, of those actions, but nonetheless it neither was the main decider and planner nor the direct executor.

        The problem with Chomsky’s analogy about sanctioning Poland is this. Chomsky is saying that it does not make sense to sanction Communist Poland for cracking down on Solidarity because it was Russia that decided on Poland’s policies. Poland was merely following Russia’s orders and Polish society was not really the decisionmaker. The analogy does not work, because the Israeli government is the main decisionmaker in its policies, which are not being planned by Washington.

        While Chomsky is right that you don’t “have” to sanction the State, and the US bears responsibility as a supporter, he is mistaken that sanctions are nonsensical. He mistakenly sees the US as the primary guilty party, as if Washington were like Moscow deciding Poland’s foreign policy.

        You asked:

        Chomsky says: “… Our primary concern, I think, should be change in fundamental US policy, which has been driving this thing for decades.”
        You disagree?

        Sure, we should change the fundamental policy of supporting the state when it abuses. The problem with Chomsky’s statement is twofold:
        (1) Solidarity activists should “primarily” be concerned with Israeli policy towards Palestine, since it is the Israeli policies that are directly abusing. For example, if your family is supporting a man who is abusing his spouse, then if you are a spouse abuse counselor whose job it is to stop the abuse, your primary concern should be about the direct abuse itself, although your family’s support should still be a major concern.

        (2) It is not really US policy that is “driving” Israelis on the issue. US policy may enable the settlements, but it is not “driving” the settlements. The driving force is of course the Israelis’ own policy on settlements.

        Chomsky is mistaken in putting the “primary” blame on the US, rather than on the State who planned and performed the actions he criticizes.

    • seafoid
      July 18, 2014, 3:00 pm

      He’s in administrative détention in ketziot prison. The Shit Bet called him in after a tip off from a collaborator(Hophmi )

      • Mooser
        July 18, 2014, 3:22 pm

        “The Shit Bet called him in after a tip off from a collaborator(Hophmi )”

        Every Zionist is a snitch. It’s a basic requirement. You don’t like snitching, you won’t like Zionism. It’s a big job, stealing a country, and everybody has to pull together! And those well, not pulling hard enough, or pulling in the wrong direction, must be called out!

  10. Bob_Salad
    July 18, 2014, 1:33 pm

    But that’s impossible! Israel is the only democracy in the ME! I smell a rat and think there’s been some kind of gross mistake here. The Israeli authorities would never permit the mindless persecution of a small number of people simply for having the effrontery to hold a different point of view? What poppycock.

  11. Bob_Salad
    July 18, 2014, 1:43 pm

    Are we witnessing fascism in action here? Seriously. Is this what it looks like? I’m sure it is, but I can’t quite believe it. It’s almost as if this isn’t happening. It’s simply incredible. How can this happen? How can there be so much hatred? And why is it that same hatred is being expressed so casually?

    I’m finding myself going through incredibly intense mood swings; saddened beyond belief and close to tears one moment; angry, unreasonable and full of righteous rage the next. I look at people around me on the subway and at work and everyone seems so fucking indifferent to what’s happening. Why is it all so fucking affecting? There’s no hope for Palestine is there? Seriously. There’s no hope for them. We’re incapable of making any meaningful difference which might in some way alleviate their suffering.

    I’m 44 years old. I don’t think I’ll ever see things the same way anymore.

    • seafoid
      July 19, 2014, 6:17 am

      There is a painting in the town hall in Siena, Italy from the 14th century called the allegory of good and bad government. Bad government is depicted by death, killing, fear, dysfunction and hatred. Israel has reached that dystopia.

    • American
      July 19, 2014, 10:12 am

      @ Bob_Salad

      Ditto.

  12. Stephen Shenfield
    July 18, 2014, 2:41 pm

    “The mentality required to massacre Gazans and that which leads to assaulting those who you don’t agree with are one in the same.”

    Not necessarily. Soldiers who kill people are usually (not always) just obeying orders. Some of them will say that “personally” they do not agree with the orders they are obeying. The vigilantes who assault “leftists” are giving vent to their hatred, acting on their own initiative. We may dislike both mentalities but they are not the same.

    When the police have orders to break up all protests and beat up and arrest all dissidents, that is dictatorship, the formal abolition of democratic rights. When vigilantes do the same job — perhaps even more effectively than the police ever could — the country concerned formally remains a democracy but formal democratic rights have become meaningless. In some ways that is worse.

    The fact that the methods long used against Palestinians are now being used against Jews demonstrates the fragility of democracy that is limited to one ethnic group. At a certain point members of the dominant ethnic group are also bound to lose their democratic rights. To be secure for anyone democratic rights have to be enjoyed by everyone.

    Much as I admire the courage of those Israelis who intend to continue protesting despite the murderous atmosphere, I don’t think there will be enough of them to make a real practical difference. It seems that it is already too late for change from within. The pressure will have to come from without.

  13. a blah chick
    July 18, 2014, 3:23 pm

    They’re on the way to becoming a full blown fascist state. This will entailed slamming some Jews into prison and then the squishy left will wake up.

  14. Shingo
    July 18, 2014, 8:22 pm

    I guess we can put to rest once and for all the claim that Israel is a progressive, tolerant and inclusive society.

    It also makes a mockery of the LGBT tolerance and acceptance, seeing as these are traditionally left wing issues.

    • seafoid
      July 19, 2014, 6:18 am

      That LGBT stuff is for hasbara purposes. Homo is an Israeli insult.

    • a blah chick
      July 19, 2014, 7:22 am

      Advocate.com, Jan 6 2014: “An Israeli transgender woman was assaulted by a group of masked men in their 20 Saturday morning…The suspects reportedly attacked the woman using pepper spray and a stun gun after leaving a nightclub in southern Tel Aviv early Saturday morning. Following the attack, the men fled the scene in two vehicles, but they were apprehended by police after a short pursuit.”

      11 were arrested and it turned out that 9 of them were officers of the Border Police! They claimed it was a prank because they were bored.

      Israel is becoming a nation of sadists.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 19, 2014, 8:58 am

        11 were arrested and it turned out that 9 of them were officers of the Border Police!

        oh my!

      • just
        July 19, 2014, 9:30 am

        Well of course they are bored– all the really ‘good stuff’ that they love doing is going on in Gaza.

        Love the masks– such an added delight! They were also used by the same goons when they beat the living daylights out of Tariq. Plus the poor woman should be honored that it was Officers who deigned to attack her.

  15. Shingo
    July 18, 2014, 8:53 pm

    Of course, if this had happened to Yossi in France or any other country, it would be headline news as an anti Semitic attack.

  16. oldgeezer
    July 19, 2014, 3:09 am

    This is o/t but I picked what I thought was the closest topic. It is related to I/P (why not P/I?) issue. I thought it was a documentary but it turns out to be a debate/interview. It’s al jazeera which some would reject but it’s an Oxford Union event in the UK. It features the interviewer, Dani Dayan. They also include a Palestinian intellectual, a representative of Gatestone (a zionist group) and two audience members (imo). The intro is loaded, as far as I’m concerned, in favour of the Palestinians through images and music but the conversation is balanced and real.

    This is the stereotypical conversation you would have with any zionist on any message board including here. It displays the total vacuous nature of the zionist argument. It’s almost funny to watch him dissemble and physically squirm.

  17. yonah fredman
    July 19, 2014, 9:56 pm

    Another reason not to fight a war in the summer, people are hot in the summer.

  18. DICKERSON3870
    July 20, 2014, 12:20 am

    RE: “‘Are you a fucking leftist?’ – Israeli fascists target anti-occupation activists in Tel Aviv”

    MY COMMENT: Speaking of Israeli fascists, it came as no surprise to me that the lads who confessed to abducting 16 year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, dousing him with petrol and burning him alive, are apparently loyal fans of the Beitar Jerusalem football club. In fact, according to a July 6 article at theguardian.com by Peter Beaumont, “sources said some of those arrested had been involved in a violent demonstration on the evening prior to the killing organised by La Familia, a racist group of supporters of Beitar Jerusalem football club. Participants in the protest chanted “death to Arabs” and attacked Palestinian passersby. Some of those arrested are believed to be known to police and to have criminal records.

    The reason I wasn’t surprised that these lads were Beitar fans of the La Familia (that’s Italian, isn’t it) ilk, is that I was familiar with origins of Beitar.

    FROM WIKIPEDIA AS OF 1/25/14 [La Familia (Beitar supporters’ group)]:

    La Familia are an Association football supporters’ group of Israeli Premier League club Beitar Jerusalem.[1] They are known for their opposition to Arab and Muslim players.

    • Organization
    The organization began in 2005 and occupy the eastern sections of Teddy Stadium. Estimates of the group’s numbers vary. A reporter put the number at a few hundred[2] while a leader of the group said that it encompassed a network of 3,000 supporters.[3] At a home match in 2008, a correspondent for the BBC said that the group was about 20% of the crowd. They are the most vocal in the stadium and some local fans follow their chants.[2][3]
    La Familia is proud of its Jewish identity. The group is notorious for chants that insult Arab and black players, and for displaying the flag of the banned Kach party.[2] Cheers with lines such as “death to the Arabs”[4] and “Muhammad is a homosexual”[5] are common. Unlike other top clubs in the country, no Arabs have ever played for Beitar. La Familia has continuously raised strong objections to any Arab transfers.[6] The group was adamantly against the signing of Nigerian Muslim (who lasted half a season in 2005) and the 2013 transfer of two Chechnyan Muslims.[7]
    The team has roots in the Betar Zionist youth movement and has been supported by several Israeli politicians on the political right throughout its history. La Familia has similarly been labeled far-right and is openly against those they view as being on the left.[4][8] The club has publicly condemned the group and has gone as far as barring it from a match.[7] Some Beitar fans have expressed embarrassment over the organization and openly oppose their ideals.[9][7]

    • Incidents
    During a December 2007 Toto Cup semifinal game between Beitar Jerusalem and the Israeli-Arab team Bnei Sakhnin, Beitar Jerusalem fans took up provocative chants that insulted Muhammed. The Israel Football Association (IFA) punished Beitar by forcing them to play their next game against Sakhnin with no fans present. Vandals set fire to the IFA’s offices and left graffiti threatening the life of the IFA chairman. The graffiti included the initials “LF” for La Familia, but the group denied involvement.[10][11]
    Beitar was disciplined in 2008 after fans disrupted a minute of silence to mark the death of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

    Later that year La Familia led a pitch invasion in what would have been a title-clinching win against Bnei Herziliya. The IFA deducted two points from Beitar and ordered that the next game be played behind closed doors.[12] In December 2011, fans yelled “Give Toto a banana”[2] towards Nigerian-born Toto Tamuz. The IFA again punished Beitar with a two-point deduction and another game in an empty stadium.
    Supporters stormed the Malha Mall after a match in March 2012 while chanting racist slurs. It was reported that Arab workers were harassed and beaten.[6]
    The club’s 2013 signing of two Chechnyan Muslims, Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev, raised anger from the supporters.

    Members of La Familia set a team office blaze after the announcement.[7] Fans walked out of a match in March that saw Sadayev score his fist goal for Beitar.[13]
    In June, 2014, three Israeli teenagers were abducted and found murdered in the West Bank. It was speculated that members of La Familia were the perpetrators of a reprisal attack on a Palestinian youth. The incident lead to a breakout hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.
    [REFERENCES]
    [EXTERNAL LINKS]

    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      July 20, 2014, 12:35 am

      ALSO SEE: “Suspicion and Hate: Racist Attacks On Arabs Increase in Israel”, By Julia Amalia Heyer, Spiegel Online, 6/05/13

      [EXCERPT] . . . Football fan Asi, 23, says that he isn’t a racist, just a nationalist. “I have no problem with Arabs, as long as they raise the Israeli flag and sing along when our national anthem is played.” Lieberman used the same logic to justify a bill he introduced calling for new citizens to deliver an oath of allegiance.
      Asi, who lives in a small village [in Israel] near Caesarea, supports the Beitar Jerusalem football club. On a Thursday evening, he and other Beitar fans are standing at an intersection in Herzliya. Asi has a friendly face and a neatly trimmed beard. Like his fellow fans, he is here to demonstrate against the club’s owner.
      When it was revealed in January that the Club planned to sign two Muslim Chechen players, the stands in the stadium became filled with hateful signs, with words like “Beitar — Pure Forever.” The fans chanted: “We are chosen, we are holy, but the Arabs are not.”
      Beitar Jerusalem, says Asi, that’s the holy menorah on a yellow background. The team, he says, can only win as a Jewish team, which is why Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to play in the club.
      Beitar’s management has since cancelled the contracts with the Chechens and sent the two men back home. There were simply too many problems [most especially, Israeli racism – J.L.D.], the club wrote in a statement.

      FROM WIKIPEDIA AS OF 1/25/14 [Betar]:

      (EXCERPT) The Betar Movement (בית”ר, also spelled Beitar) is a Revisionist Zionist youth movement founded in 1923 in Riga, Latvia, by Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky. Betar has been traditionally linked to the original Herut and then Likud political parties of Israel, and was closely affiliated with the pre-Israel Revisionist Zionist splinter group Irgun Zevai Leumi. It was one of many right-wing
      movements and youth groups arising at that time out of a worldwide emergence of fascism.[1] Some of the most prominent politicians of Israel were Betarim in their youth, most notably Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin
      , the latter of whom idolized Jabotinsky.[2]. . .
      . . . The group initially praised Mussolini for his anti-communism and fascist principles, leading it to adopt the black uniform shirt of Italian fascism for a short period. Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia, however, was seen as “cowardly” by Betar and led them to break with him shortly after.[12] . . .

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      AS TO THE FASCIST ORIGINS OF REVISIONIST ZIONISM, SEE: “The Hidden History of Zionism”, Chapter 6, by Ralph Schoenman

      [EXCERPT] . . . Mussolini set up squadrons of the Revisionist Zionist youth movement, Betar, in black shirts in emulation of his own Fascist bands.
      When Menachem Begin became chief of Betar, he preferred the brown shirts of the Hitler gangs, a uniform Begin and Betar members wore to all meetings and rallies – at which they greeted each other and opened and closed meetings with the fascist
      salute. . .

      SOURCE – link to marxists.de

      ‘ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to spiegel.de

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