‘Is the Zionist dream based on the repeated slaughter of civilians?’

Israel/Palestine
on 42 Comments

The Gaza slaughter has produced some excellent journalism in the United States. At a time when all of us are spiritually exhausted and despairing, it is worth recognizing some signal interventions by people of historical insight. The question in my headline comes from a superb interview of Henry Siegman at Democracy Now, in which he seems to abandon Zionism before our eyes. That’s at the end of this post. And I’m afraid I won’t get to Charlie Rose’s superb interview of Khaled Meshaal, revealing a supple, calm, mature political actor, but that also must be acknowledged.

First, Wejdan Abu Shammala has a moving piece up at the Washington Post, “The awful decisions I’ve made to protect my Palestinian children from this war,” describing the deliberations she goes through every night when putting her children to bed in Gaza, trying to figure what arrangement will be least likely to result in the family all being killed.

Please notice that the piece ends by recalling elders’ memories of the Nakba, the fundamental Palestinian experience of Zionism:

My children, as with all children in Gaza, will need therapy following this carnage. Most, of course, will not receive it.  They will enter adulthood remembering these days and the soldiers, F-16s and drones that were heedless of their nighttime cries and terror. Their mothers and fathers — unable to guard their children from these horrors — will need psychological help. And grandparents may have it worse of all, since the midnight terror this month feels terribly like the nights nearly seven decades ago when they were expelled from their homes in what became Israel, never to return.

Again in the mainstream, Rashid Khalidi has an excellent essay in The New Yorker, titled “Collective Punishment in Gaza,” explaining that Palestinian conditions must produce violent resistance, and we should know this from what happened in South Africa and Northern Ireland. A friend points out that such an argument has rarely if ever appeared in the US mainstream. Khalidi’s thrilling argument (can’t wait for him to be on with Erin Burnett or Chris Hayes or Charlie Rose):

In the past seven or more years, Israel has besieged, tormented, and regularly attacked the Gaza Strip. The pretexts change: they elected Hamas; they refused to be docile; they refused to recognize Israel; they fired rockets; they built tunnels to circumvent the siege; and on and on. But each pretext is a red herring, because the truth of ghettos—what happens when you imprison 1.8 million people in a hundred and forty square miles, about a third of the area of New York City, with no control of borders, almost no access to the sea for fishermen (three out of the twenty kilometres allowed by the Oslo accords), no real way in or out, and with drones buzzing overhead night and day—is that, eventually, the ghetto will fight back. It was true in Soweto and Belfast, and it is true in Gaza. We might not like Hamas or some of its methods, but that is not the same as accepting the proposition that Palestinians should supinely accept the denial of their right to exist as a free people in their ancestral homeland.

This is precisely why the United States’ support of current Israeli policy is folly. Peace was achieved in Northern Ireland and in South Africa because the United States and the world realized that they had to put pressure on the stronger party, holding it accountable and ending its impunity. Northern Ireland and South Africa are far from perfect examples, but it is worth remembering that, to achieve a just outcome, it was necessary for the United States to deal with groups like the Irish Republican Army and the African National Congress, which engaged in guerrilla war and even terrorism. That was the only way to embark on a road toward true peace and reconciliation. The case of Palestine is not fundamentally different.

Roger Cohen has a column up at the New York Times that is getting 100s of comments, titled “Zionism and Its Discontents.” In it he defends being a Zionist (a defense he is sure to continue in a forthcoming memoir) but he is obviously uncomfortable with the Zionist reality of occupation. And he recognizes the inevitability of violent resistance:

What I cannot accept, however, is the perversion of Zionism that has seen the inexorable growth of a Messianic Israeli nationalism claiming all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River; that has, for almost a half-century now, produced the systematic oppression of another people in the West Bank; that has led to the steady expansion of Israeli settlements on the very West Bank land of any Palestinian state; that isolates moderate Palestinians like Salam Fayyad in the name of divide-and-rule; that pursues policies that will make it impossible to remain a Jewish and democratic state; that seeks tactical advantage rather than the strategic breakthrough of a two-state peace; that blockades Gaza with 1.8 million people locked in its prison and is then surprised by the periodic eruptions of the inmates; and that responds disproportionately to attack in a way that kills hundreds of children.

(Compare Cohen to a hardboiled Joe Klein saying that Cast Lead 2008-2009 was indiscriminate but this attack is very precise, and we can’t trust reports of civilian casualties. Compare him to burnt-to-a-crisp Richard Cohen saying that Israel is the victim in the Gaza conflict and this should be plain to anyone who’s not an anti-Semite.)

Finally, Henry Siegman, the agonized liberal Zionist former leader of the American Jewish Congress, was on Democracy Now and said the civilian slaughter in Gaza makes him question the purpose and end of Zionism. This is great eloquence. I am waiting for younger liberal Zionists to have even an eyeblink of Siegman’s epiphany:

The kind of slaughter that is taking place there– when one thinks that this is what is necessary for Israel to survive? That the Zionist dream is based on the slaughter– repeated slaughter of innocents on a scale that we’re watching these days on television– that is really a profound, profound crisis, and should be a profound crisis in the thinking of all of us who are committed to the establishment of the state and to its success. That leads one virtually to a whole rethinking of this historical phenomenon.

In that interview with Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh, Siegman also undertakes a discussion of moral equivalence, and finds that the Palestinians under occupation are doing what any people would do.

[When Obama says that] No country would agree to live with that kind of threat… What he doesn’t add and what perverts this principle, undermines the principle, is that no country and no people would live the way that Gazans have been made to live. And consequently this moral equation which puts Israel on top as the victim, that has to act to prevent its situation from continuing that way, and the Palestinians in Gaza… who are the attackers. Our media rarely ever points out that these are people who have a right to live a decent normal life too. And they too must think, what can we do to put an end to this?

Seigman went on to give a spirited defense of Palestinian resistance:

What if the situation were reversed, and the Jewish population were locked into, were told, “Here, you have less than 2 percent of Palestine, so now behave. No more resistance. And let us deal with the rest”? Is there any Jew who would have said this is a reasonable proposition, that we cease our resistance, we cease our effort to establish a Jewish state, at least on one-half of Palestine, which is authorized by the U.N.? Nobody would agree to that. They would say this is absurd. So the expectations that Palestinians—and I’m speaking now about the resistance as a concept; I’m not talking about rockets, whether they were justified or not. They’re not. I think that sending rockets that are going to kill civilians is a crime. But for Palestinians to try, in any way they can, to end this state of affairs—and to expect of them to end their struggle and just focus on less than 2 percent to build a country is absurd. That is part of—that’s propaganda, but it’s not a discussion of either politics or morality.

Countering Netanyahu’s allegations of Palestinian incitement, Siegman points out that Israeli terrorist leaders became prime ministers, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir; and that the Nakba is a living memory for Palestinians fighting for sovereignty.

[Ari] Shavit, some years ago, had an interview with Benny Morris and said to him, “My God, you are saying that there was deliberate ethnic cleansing here?” And Morris said, “Yes, there was.” And he says, “And you justify it?” And he said, “Yes, because otherwise there would not have been a state.” And Shavit did not follow up. And that was one of my turning points myself, when I saw that. He would not follow up and say, “Well, if that is a justification, the struggle for statehood, why can’t Palestinians do that? What’s wrong with Hamas? Why are they demonized if they do what we did?”

I can only add that Siegman’s vision and moral clarity are on full display in the second part of that excellent interview, in which he urges a struggle for Palestinian rights within a single state as the way out of this madness (even as he holds out hope for such a struggle producing a two-state solution). I don’t see how you can attain this understanding without also endorsing BDS.

 

42 Responses

  1. eGuard
    July 31, 2014, 1:33 pm

    So three weeks into the bombing of Gaza, and after 1100 killings, Roger Cohen starts crying for himself. Being a Zionist is really isn’t easy these days. It also comes in handy to cover his back, later on. (the same crying that brought Tom Friedman his Pulitzer prize). Basically he likes Zionism, racist as it is, but he still hasn’t figured out what to do with the violence that comes with racism.

    And all that gets him an applause mentioning at Mondoweiss.

  2. Boomer
    July 31, 2014, 1:48 pm

    “At a time when all of us are spiritually exhausted and despairing . . . ”

    I often think how emotionally difficult it must be for you and the others who labor at Mondoweiss. Thanks to all of you for what you have done. Perhaps it will bear fruit some day. These are dark days, especially for those in Gaza, but also for those who would like to help them, or at least end American support for the slaughter.

    • Boomer
      July 31, 2014, 4:18 pm

      PS: From a review of “The Honorable Woman”

      “Whatever the series’ flaws, though, it effectively communicates an impressively high order of ambiguity. Near the very end of the series, an American newscaster talking about the latest spate of complicated developments in Israel-Palestine flippantly says, “It’s a wonder they even try”—meaning it’s a wonder anyone tries to make change in this impossible, thankless region at all. It is clear The Honorable Woman eschews, even disdains this perspective, even as its entire plot is a lesson in the impossibility of making change. It’s not hopeful or hopeless, it’s stalwart: You try because there is no alternative.”

      from: link to slate.com

      PPS: I just heard a great albeit short interview with Khalidi on BBC World Service. He is wonderfully articulate, and the interviewer let him speak.

  3. just
    July 31, 2014, 1:58 pm

    Thanks for drilling down on this, Phil.

    What Wejdan Abu Shammala wrote pierces the very heart of the matter. Why is safety and security for the Palestinians NOT a priority for all of us?

    Every surviving Palestinian is suffering from Israeli/US inflicted psychological trauma.

  4. Donald
    July 31, 2014, 2:03 pm

    I read the second part of the Siegman interview and found this quote from Bob Schieffer, apparently from a few days ago–
    —————————————

    BOB SCHIEFFER: In the Middle East, the Palestinian people find themselves in the grip of a terrorist group that is embarked on a strategy to get its own children killed in order to build sympathy for its cause—a strategy that might actually be working, at least in some quarters. Last week I found a quote of many years ago by Golda Meir, one of Israel’s early leaders, which might have been said yesterday: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children,” she said, “but we can never forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”

    ————————-

    In a sane country, there would be a campaign to have him fired for citing with approval this racist apologetics for killing children. What a disgusting human being.

    • just
      July 31, 2014, 2:54 pm

      Interesting article in The Guardian:

      ……At one extreme is Fox News, where last week Sean Hannity shouted down a Palestinian guest, Yousef Munayyer, because he would not condemn Hamas as a terrorist organisation, then proceeded to terminate the interview.

      Munayyer, director of the Jerusalem Fund in Washington, has appeared repeatedly on CNN where he is treated more respectfully. But he told me he is frequently brought on to answer accusations from the Israeli side, rather than explain the Palestinian perspective in the way that Israeli officials and commentators are allowed to lay out their case.

      “Most of the time I go on it is to be put on the defensive, in response to a conversation that’s framed around Israel’s security concerns first and foremost,” Munayyer said.

      Palestinians should face difficult questions about recognition of Israel, about Hamas’s policies and actions, about how peace would work in practice.

      But on the other side, I’ve rarely seen a major channel match that kind of routine close questioning of Israeli officials about the position of a government packed with ministers hostile to a Palestinian state, who advocate annexation of much of the occupied territories and who propose second-class citizenship for Arabs.

      Israel’s preferred representatives in the US media – Oren, plus the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, and Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev – all project the country as a liberal democracy, an unwilling occupier that is thirsting for peace.

      But that does not fit with the views of leading politicians back in Israel. Naftali Bennett, the economy minister and leader of the most powerful political party on the right, has said: “I will do everything in my power to make sure [the Palestinians] never get a state.”

      …con’t…

      link to theguardian.com

      • Kris
        July 31, 2014, 3:29 pm

        Thank you for this link, just, great article.

        I really appreciate it when commenters here share links, both to enrich the discussion, and also to provide references for what they are saying.

      • seafoid
        July 31, 2014, 4:01 pm

        always israeli security, never palestinian self determination . Only Jews are allowed agency . But now Gaza has phones that bypass israel’s jim crow framing

    • chocopie
      July 31, 2014, 3:19 pm

      Bob Sheiffer reveals himself to be a racist on the level of Golda Meir. Plus he reveals that he just found out last week about a quotation that’s been widely known for more than 40 years by anyone who has bothered to read anything at all about Israel.

      • Kay24
        July 31, 2014, 5:08 pm

        He wants to please his zio bosses. Maybe work past retirement and make money.

  5. concernedhuman
    July 31, 2014, 2:19 pm

    Captain R: “I and another soldier … are going in a little nearer, forward, to confirm the kill … Receive a situation report. We fired and killed her … I also confirmed the kill. Over.”

    Witnesses described how the captain shot Iman twice in the head, walked away, turned back and fired a stream of bullets into her body. Doctors at Rafah’s hospital said she had been shot at least 17 times.

    On the tape, the company commander then “clarifies” why he killed Iman: “This is commander. Anything that’s mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, needs to be killed. Over.”

    link to theguardian.com

    • Citizen
      July 31, 2014, 3:33 pm

      Didn’t Himmler give a sermon to his officer corps about this sort of thing? Let’s have another Ben Stiller flick about romantic nerdy: Israel in Gaza makes a good background. Hollywood best seller!

    • belewlaw
      July 31, 2014, 5:43 pm

      This happened in 2004. Horrible and relevant to current concerns, but it’s important not to suggest that the murder of this child is part of the current conflict.

  6. gracie fr
    July 31, 2014, 2:22 pm

    If the human cost of ongoing Operation Protective edge is too much to bear, animals belonging to Gaza farmers have paid an equally heavy toll. Horribly wounded by the same ordinance that has killed or maimed their human owners, they have bled to death or perished from dehydration….
    link to telegraph.co.uk

  7. eljay
    July 31, 2014, 2:44 pm

    >> Roger Cohen:

    What I cannot accept, however, is the perversion of Zionism that has seen the inexorable growth of a Messianic Israeli nationalism claiming all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River; that has, for almost a half-century now, produced the systematic oppression of another people in the West Bank; that has led to the steady expansion of Israeli settlements on the very West Bank land of any Palestinian state; that isolates moderate Palestinians like Salam Fayyad in the name of divide-and-rule; that pursues policies that will make it impossible to remain a Jewish and democratic state; that seeks tactical advantage rather than the strategic breakthrough of a two-state peace; that blockades Gaza with 1.8 million people locked in its prison and is then surprised by the periodic eruptions of the inmates; and that responds disproportionately to attack in a way that kills hundreds of children.

    This, as a Zionist, I cannot accept.

    Shorter Roger Cohen: “I and other Jews are entitled – by God and Holocaust (although not necessarily in that order) – to a (kinder, gentler) supremacist ‘Jewish State’. I cannot accept anything that denies us that state.”

    Peter Beinart: “Hear, hear!”

    • straightline
      July 31, 2014, 9:34 pm

      What I cannot understand is that these “liberal Zionists” have been told time and time again by many Zionist leaders that their agenda is for a Jewish state between the Mediterranean and the Jordan river and (in some cases) much more beside:

      link to jta.org

      The past leaders of our movement left us a clear message to keep Eretz Israel from the sea to the Jordan River for generations to come.

      .
      and they failed to grasp it. Why has the penny suddenly dropped? Or are they realizing that the game is up?

  8. American
    July 31, 2014, 2:45 pm

    ”What I cannot accept, however, is the perversion of Zionism that has seen the inexorable growth of a Messianic Israeli nationalism claiming all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River’>>>>

    I wonder what he ” expected” of zionism—the establishing of a jewish state on other people’s land—-he thought it would all be a” light onto the nations” after the crime of zionism’s original ‘injustice to Palestines?

    • seafoid
      July 31, 2014, 8:44 pm

      Agree. This week I keep on thinking of Kastner. They never cared about people. Sharon in Beirut in 82. Same thing. How Dershowitz rationalises it. And you eventually lose the plot when those kind of people are your leaders. I doubt they have it within them to find a mandela. Certainly not as long as AIPAC breathes.

  9. NoMoreIsrael
    July 31, 2014, 2:57 pm

    I listened to this thinking–holy cow! A prominent Jew who is NOT stark raving mad.

    You don’t see that much these days.

  10. Jackdaw
    July 31, 2014, 3:03 pm

    And with what intent are rockets fired at Israeli civilian sites?
    Show?

    • Ron Edwards
      July 31, 2014, 4:06 pm

      Dershowitz Blitz alert: “Intent!” “Intent!” Because the BAD guy’s intention is always clearly villainous no matter how understandable or even admirable his action may seem, and the GOOD guy’s intention is unknowable, so even his most despicable act might be sanctified by his possibly spotless intention.

      Stuff it, you.

      • Jackdaw
        July 31, 2014, 4:54 pm

        @Ron

        ‘Stuff it’, I get.

      • Mooser
        July 31, 2014, 5:19 pm

        “Stuff it’, I get.”

        Jackdaw, If you do “get it” what the hell are you doing here? Since nothing you read here is true, and nobody accepts your generously offered, and completely disinterested correction, what are you doing here? Do you think if you ‘settle’ here and extract a high enough ‘price tag’ somebody will buy you a house, or some land?

      • Jackdaw
        July 31, 2014, 5:41 pm

        @Mooser

        ‘Stuff it’. I got.
        The rest of what Ron said, was incoherent.

        BTW. Where have you been these many months?
        Didn’t you promise your wife that you were going to give up blogging?

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2014, 10:55 am

        Jackdawf, Gai kaken oifen yam!

    • Danaa
      July 31, 2014, 9:45 pm

      The intent of the rockets is to hit military targets. Unfortunately they don’t have good guidance systems, so they miss their targets, sometimes by miles. I think israel should supply Hamas with some better fire control and navigation systems. Also perhaps more effective detonation and payloads, so there can be some actual damage, enough to produce heart rending photos of destroyed bases and power stations. If some rockets still stray from their targets, then Israel could also instruct hamas in hasbara tools, such as “oops, we didn’t mean to hit that school, but it’s IDF’s fault for having a recruitment center so close to it. When will Israel learn to love it’s own children more than it hates ours?”.

      How about it jackdow? care to help on this worthy endeavor?

  11. Ron Edwards
    July 31, 2014, 4:12 pm

    ‘Is the Zionist dream based on the repeated slaughter of civilians?’

    H’mmm … let me see … ummmm, I think, OK I’m reaching here, hold on … I got it, I got it, don’t rush me …

    Why, that would be a yes. I only wish this fellow had not observed two (2) horrific assaults using DIME weapons, white phosphorus, drones, and literal herding tactics upon live human beings, let alone a nine-year ecological oppression of a million-and-a-half people which amounts to constant torture, before figuring that out.

    I mean, come on! I’m supposed to applaud an epiphany that required this much cost?!

    • RoHa
      July 31, 2014, 6:49 pm

      It’s a rhetorical question.

      • RoHa
        July 31, 2014, 7:12 pm

        If we take it seriously, the only possible answer is a Young Person’s “Well, duuuuh! Like, hello?”

        And I agree with your moderated rapture. I suppose that we should be saying “better late than never”, but when we think of the moral blindness, the continual special pleading, the monumental self-deception that made it so late, it is difficult to rejoice.

      • Ron Edwards
        July 31, 2014, 10:20 pm

        I don’t need help in reading comprehension. I also trust yours and don’t need to explain my point.

      • RoHa
        August 1, 2014, 12:23 am

        I know you can read. I was offering agreement, not assistance.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2014, 5:12 pm

        “It’s a rhetorical question.”
        No, it’s not. I know what it would take to get me out of my house, get me to walk away from it and leave.

        Scroll down to the dated list from the British Colonial Office on the activities of the Zionists and you cab decide whether it’s a rhetorical or practical question.

  12. Annie Robbins
    July 31, 2014, 5:02 pm

    i stayed up way to late last night listening to the siegman interview. it’s just incredible. i recommend the whole thing.

  13. Kay24
    July 31, 2014, 5:15 pm

    That creep Regev is blaming Hamas for the massacre in the UN shelter. He says Hamas made that UN shelter into a war zone by operating there. What a damn liar. I am sick of these liars coming out of the sewers and not taking responsibility for their savagery. He is playing victims (a real Israeli habit now) and blaming every one else but themselves.

    I wish these journalists would ask them if militants operated in civilian structures and Israelis were also in there WOULD THEY BOMB those structures with such indifference. It must be something they are smoking, but these israeli spokespeople lie so easily.

    • NoMoreIsrael
      July 31, 2014, 5:38 pm

      Quite so, kay

      I’ve made the point that most suicide bombings against Israel probably do not meet the definition of terrorism if we go by Israeli standards. If a blown up bus, discoteque or pizza parlor contains even one IDF member, then it’s a legitimate military target and Israel is guilty of using the civilians as “human shields.”

    • seafoid
      July 31, 2014, 8:47 pm

      They leafletted the people to leave their homes then they bombed the shelter- it is a terror campaign.pour encourager les autres.
      and the hasbara is focused on the tunnels. Because only Israelis matter.

  14. Nevada Ned
    July 31, 2014, 7:21 pm

    Khalidi’s piece was really great. Send the link around to your friends.
    It’s really a shame that Khalidi, who knows the score, does not have a regular media outlet. Meanwhile, idiots like Tom Friedman have a regular column in the NYT!

    Different topic:

    The point of the interview with Henry Siegman and the column by NYT bigfoot pundit Roger Cohen:

    It’s not that Siegman and Cohen are saying anything unusual. It’s WHO is saying it: two Establishment thinkers with impeccable Zionist credentials are having very serious reservations about the whole Israeli “project”. And in public, also.

  15. DICKERSON3870
    July 31, 2014, 8:29 pm

    RE: “Is the Zionist dream based on the repeated slaughter of civilians?”

    MY COMMENT: I think it can be argued that establishing and maintaining the “iron wall” of Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionism might very well be accompanied (but is not necessarily) by the “repeated slaughter of civilians”, especially civilians claiming the same land as the Zionists and not having the protection of the type of formal army associated with a nation-state.

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Iron Wall (essay)]:

    [EXCERPT] . . . [Ze'ev] Jabotinsky argued that the Palestinians would not agree to a Jewish majority in Palestine, and that “Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the
    native population cannot breach.”[1] The only solution to achieve peace and a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, he [Ze'ev Jabotinsky] argued, would be for Jews to unilaterally decide its borders and defend them with the strongest security possible. . .

    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

    ENTIRE ‘IRON WALL’ ESSAY: “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)”, By Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1923 – link to marxists.de

    P.S. ALSO SEE: “The Ethics of the Iron Wall”, By Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1923 – link to jabotinsky.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      July 31, 2014, 8:58 pm

      P.S. FROM MAX BLUMENTHAL’S “GOLIATH” – (PAGES 351-352)

      [EXCERPT] The men and women who set out to build a Jewish state in historic Palestine began with a dream of escaping from the crippling confines of European anti-Semitism into an imagined utopia in which Jews would be a normal people like the English or Germans and whose normality, even socialism, included aversion of nineteenth-century Western colonial-ism, an uplifting “mission civilisatrice,” as the French put it. Those who invented modern Zionism had little knowledge of, and no regard for, the actual people living in Palestine, then a province of the Ottoman Empire. And if they had any regard for them, it was expressed in typically colonialist terms. Zionism’s intellectual author, Theodor Herzl, a Viennese playwright and journalist, described the country “as a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an out- post of civilization as opposed to barbarism.” “All the means we need, we ourselves must create them, like Robinson Crusoe on his island,” the literary-minded Herzl told an interviewer in 1898. The Labor Zionist movement’s chief ideologue, Berl Katznelson, blunter than the dreamy Herzl, declared in 1929, “The Zionist enterprise is an enterprise of conquest.” More recently, and perhaps most crudely, former prime minister and Defense minister Ehud Barak described the goal of Zionism as maintaining “a villa in the jungle.”

      Those who dedicated themselves to the formation of the Jewish state may have formulated their national identity through an idealized vision of European enlightenment, but they also recognized that their lofty aims would not be realized without force. As Katznelson said, “It is not by chance that I speak of settlement in military terms.” Thus the Zionist socialists gradually embraced the ideas of radical right-wing ideologue Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who outlined an utterly unromantic strategy in his 1923 essay,“The Iron Wall,” for fulfilling their utopian ambitions.

      “Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population,”Jabotinsky wrote. “This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population—an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs.” According to Jabotinsky, residents of the Zionist yishuv (community) could not hope to enjoy a European standard of life in the heart of the Arab world without physically separating themselves from the natives. This would require tireless planning, immense sacrifice and no shortage of bloodshed. And all who comprised the Zionist movement, whether left, right, or center, would carry the plan to-wards fulfillment. As Jabotinsky wrote, “All of us, without exception, are constantly demanding that this power strictly fulfill its obligations. In this sense, there are no meaningful differences between our ‘militarists’ and our ‘vegetarians.’”

      One of the greatest misperceptions of Israeli politics has been that the right-wing politicians who claimed Jabotinsky’s writings as their lode-star were responsible for the most egregious violence against the Palestinians. While brimming with anti-Arab resentment and surging in influence, the Israeli right’s real legacy has consisted mostly of producing durable strategies and demagogic rhetoric. Until very recently, it was the Labor Zionists who bore the real responsibility for turning the right’s ideas into actionable policies. The dynamic was best illuminated by the way in which successive Labor Party governments implemented the precepts outlined in Jabotinsky’s “Iron Wall” under the cover of negotiations with the Palestinians.

      As early as 1992, the peace camp icon Yitzhak Rabin advocated the construction of a concrete wall to “take Gaza out of Tel Aviv,”closing off the Gaza Strip and West Bank to pave the way. But it was not until the violence of the Second Intifada accelerated that the process of what Rabin and Barak called “hard separation” became a plausible strategy. Suicide bombing confirmed to even liberal-minded Israelis the stereotype of the Arab native as inherently violent, incurable, and culturally retro-grade. By extension, the wave of terrorism ratified Jabotinsky’s original thesis. “Something like a cage has to be built for [the Palestinians],”the famed Israeli historian Benny Morris declared in a 2002 interview. “There is a wild animal that has to be locked up in one way or another.” . . .

      SOURCE – link to facebook.com

  16. kalithea
    August 1, 2014, 11:37 am

    Is the Zionist dream based on the repeated slaughter of civilians?’

    Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

    And there is no such thing as the Zionist dream; there is only the Zionist nightmare. Zionism is evil. Zionism is a supremacist ideology disguised as a Jewish colonial experiment which is bad enough! Zionism is much more than that; it’s a monumental crime against humanity happening in the 21st Century demonizing the victims of this crime and committing cumulative genocide through a series of inhumane stratagems meant to degrade the lives of these people until they collapse and die!

    These Palestinian victims have been stripped of their humanity and are being massacred under a catiously-worked plan of cumulative genocide. When you add up all the tactics Israel uses against the Palestinian people to deprive them, degrade their life, oppress and then repeatedly destroy and slaughter–what does it all add up to? GENOCIDE! It’s time to call a spade exactly what it is!

    Zionism follows its own devious playbook to fudge the law and rules of war.

    Example: Israel calls the capture of a military prisoner kidnapping when it happens to their side, and it calls it terrorist capture or prisoner of war when they do it to others. Israel tries to finagle International Law to be able to murder civilians repeatedly by pretending that if the enemy (in a crowded, urban environment) fires even a hundred meters or more from a civilian shelter; it has the legitimate right to bomb that shelter. There is no legitimacy here whatsoever – it’s a war crime, pure and simple! Israel pretends that its Apartheid system is legit; an Apartheid system that is part of a wider plan to degrade life, to torment and torture to the point of exhausting and choking life in Gaza and the West Bank.

    When is the world going to apply the rule of law with the criminal state of Israel like it does with everyone else that tries to defy the law by imposing serious sanctions? Are we to believe that the Law is for everyone or not?!

    An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere! MLK – Set my people free.

    What Israel is doing is an injustice and an affront to all humanity!

    • kalithea
      August 1, 2014, 12:42 pm

      The precise quote: *Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.*

  17. SQ Debris
    August 1, 2014, 11:32 pm

    Relevant to this thread, “When Genocide is Permissible” from the Times of Israel archive: link to archive.today

Leave a Reply