Netanyahu won. Now what?

Israel/Palestine
on 84 Comments

So he won and I have to say I am relieved. There wll be no more endless cycles of pointless ‘negotiations’ with Israel pretending that some day it will agree to a two-state solution while continually escalating both settlement (colony) building and the maltreament of the Palestinians. Now everyone will see that the Palestinians were right all along and that Israel has never been a partner for negotiations. 

There is no real political Left in Israel and if the other side got to form a government, all we would have seen is more of the same. Now we’ll see if the EU has the decency and conviction to enact proper sanctions. Then of course there is the US. The US Administration might stall for a while, but we’ll see if they have what it takes to do the right thing. Israel is no friend to the US and the sooner they realise it the better. 

Israel is on a slippery slope of its own making. Get your popcorn, sit and watch. Israel is becoming more radicalised than ever before. Certainly much more than when I was growing up there. Of course I could be wrong — and I hope I am — but I think Israel’s pathological siege mentality will now become more pronounced and more evident to outsiders. Israel has for a long time been readying itself for when the time comes, to bunker down, live with austerity and give up the fancy lifestyle the country has become increasingly accustomed to in the last 20-25 years. They can do this. 

Israel has always prepared itself psychologically and economically to being isolated. All that openness to the rest of the world that Israel has enjoyed increasingly in the last generation or so, and Israel’s acceptance by others, have always been seen as temporary in the eyes of most Israeli Jews. They had always expected it to end and had the mentality of ‘let’s enjoy it while it lasts and make the most of it while we can’. Fundamentally Israeli Jews believe that the world hates them because they are Jewish (in their mind it has nothing to do with colonialism or the Palestinians). So although Israel has brought its own situation upon itself, that is not how Israeli Jews see it. They believe things are ‘happening to them’ for no fault of their own. They expect isolation and have dropped all pretences to pander to the West and are behaving more in line now with their true nature. Even less radical people will become radicalised now in Israel. There will be even more propaganda and more brainwashing than ever before. 

Netanyahu really does represent most Israeli Jews even though some of them do not like him. But the reasons they do not like him are not what you expect. Most Israeli Jews identify with Netanyahu’s perception and understanding of what the rest of the world is like and of the world’s relationship with Israel. After all Netanyahu is a product of Israeli society just like I was, and believe me, when you have that kind of psychology and that incredibly effective, powerful propaganda machine all around you, it is easy to believe that what you see is really how it is… Israeli Jews have always lived in a psychological ghetto and it’s that ghetto that I got out of back in 1991. 

Life will get very difficult for Jews in Israel soon enough, and many with dual citizenship will abandon ship. Those who remain will be the die-hard fanatics and zealots who are dangerous because they might have the psychology of murder suicide. I believe that before it is over, things will get really bad there and extremely dangerous. Israel will become much more fanatic and extremist than ever before with a lot less inhibitions. 

I am therefore worried about the Palestinians and wonder how much more of this they could possibly take and what they can expect in the next few months and years. Israel isolating itself is more dangerous for the Palestinians because world public opinion will no longer be a moderating factor on Israel’s behaviour. And believe it or not, it did have a moderating effect. What you have been seeing so far and what Palestinians have been experiencing is not yet the worst. Gaza gives you the idea of what Israel has in mind for all Palestinians. 

So the message to those of us who support the Palestinians is to get ready to escalate our support. It is about to get very very tough. With Netanyahu at the helm the end of colonialism and occupation is nigh, but it is about to get a lot worse before it gets better.

About Avigail Abarbanel

Avigail Abarbanel was born and raised in Israel. She moved to Australia in 1991 and now lives in the north of Scotland. She works as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor in private practice and is an activist for Palestinian rights. She is the editor of Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).

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84 Responses

  1. seafoid
    March 18, 2015, 6:43 am

    Yossi Israeli is very unwell. Everyone hates him, or so he thinks

    link to haaretz.com
    “But we learned, when we see him sending out tweets, texts and a video saying “Hurry friends, the Arabs are going out in droves to vote, bused in by the left” – we see in that moment what he really thinks of the 20% of Israeli citizens who are Arab.
    They are the enemy. They are a danger. They and their votes are to be feared. Their walking peacefully to their places of voting is an existential threat, just like every Palestinian organization of every political stripe. Just like Iran and ISIS and BDS. Just like the Obama administration. ”

    Is this book available in Hebrew? Couldn’t JStreet do something useful and buy a copy for every Sabra ?
    link to amazon.com

    • philadelphialawyer
      March 18, 2015, 9:25 am

      Funny how the authoritarian/racist right always talks about the Other being “bused in” to vote. Some weird combination of scorn for those who take mass transit and the desire to suppress voters who they don’t agree with/hold in contempt/want to continue to oppress.

  2. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    March 18, 2015, 6:46 am

    Excellent article, which describes what I believe to be the inherent pathology of Israeli society. Deep down – or not that deep down – it’s all about how the world hates the Jews, and that therefore nothing Israeli Jews do really matters. Everyone will hate them anyway. Combine that with an obsession with ‘security’, lording it over a captive people, and 2OO nuclear weapons, and you have got one hell of a scary mix. A veritable witches’ brew.

    This leader or that leader is really neither here nor there. That said, a Netanyahu victory has been the least worst option. Now it’s up to the rest of the world to decide how to deal with a country which has yet again voted in an openly racist leader who has made it quite clear that the occupation should last forever.

    Over to you, world.

    • bintbiba
      March 18, 2015, 7:37 am

      Thank you, Avigail Abarbanel ! Perfect article.

      You bring reconfirmation to my feelings,doubts and fears. Now I want to cry, cry, cry !!

      Now what we have to apprehend, or rather dread, is the ‘worst ‘ that has to happen before the ‘better’ can emerge in the end !

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        March 19, 2015, 4:03 am

        bintbiba — thank you and I’m so sorry to cause you sorrow but what else would a good person feel in the face of such circumstances?

        I am a psychotherapist and people usually do not seek help or recognise they need it until things get really bad for them. The majority of people come to therapy when everything else has failed and their lives are in a complete mess or totally unsustainable. While they still think they can manage or cope, they keep going, even if it is evident to everyone else that things are dire…

        What upsets me the most here is that Israel can get as messy as it likes and do nothing about it, but it is the Palestinians that are paying the price and for no fault of their own. A person can delay getting help all they like, if no one other than themselves is affected by their situation. But when that person has children he or she does have a right to inflict this on them.

        Unfortunately, Israel feels completely *entitled* to inflict suffering on the Palestinians (it’s called ‘destructive entitlement’ in family therapy). Israeli soceity is genuienly sick and does not have the capacity to see reality for what it is. This is why it is so important that the world intervenes decisively. I think Netanyahu’s re-election must be the prompt for this, since Israel’s outrageous misbehaviour and disregard of decencey and international law have so far not been enough to lead to serious action against Israel…

    • mayanlongcount
      March 18, 2015, 2:06 pm

      well put. except w the will of a sensible populous focussed on a peaceful future, the state of israel can leave its checkered past behind. stop the killing.

      • bintbiba
        March 19, 2015, 5:47 am

        Avigail….
        I agree with you 100% …. It is not you at all that has caused me sorrow, …. I just can’t but see the reality of what is to come…. while I sit in the comfort of my home in London . It does have to get worse before it gets better.
        Thank you for gracing the pages of Mondoweiss… you bring all that is good and decent.

  3. eljay
    March 18, 2015, 7:30 am

    Zio-supremacists – people of the Jewish faith living in their respective homelands around the world – desired a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine.

    By means of terrorism and ethnic cleansing, they established their supremacist state – a state of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews; a state in which non-Jewish Israelis were and remain second-class citizens.

    For over 60 years and with impunity, Zio-supremacists have maintained and expanded their supremacist state by stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land.

    They refuse to honour their obligations under international law. They refuse to accept responsibility and accountability for their past and ON-GOING (war) crimes. And they refuse to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

    But they are the victims. Even as they knowingly and willingly and intentionally continue to steal, occupy and colonize, and to oppress, torture and kill, they are the eternal victims. :-(

    Zio-supremacists are truly hateful and immoral people.

    • mayanlongcount
      March 18, 2015, 2:08 pm

      i approve of the term zio-supremacists. mind if i borrow it??

      • eljay
        March 18, 2015, 8:06 pm

        || mayanlongcount: i approve of the term zio-supremacists. mind if i borrow it?? ||

        Not at all. :-)

  4. marc b.
    March 18, 2015, 8:03 am

    thank you, Avigail. the psychology of murder suicide. I am afraid you’re right. I still believe that Jews, Muslims, Christians, could coexist in a single, democratic state, but the unleashing of forces you describe would be the undoing of that possibility.

  5. Marnie
    March 18, 2015, 8:22 am

    “Fundamentally Israeli Jews believe that the world hates them because they are Jewish (in their mind it has nothing to do with colonialism or the Palestinians). So although Israel has brought its own situation upon itself, that is not how Israeli Jews see it. They believe things are ‘happening to them’ for no fault of their own. They expect isolation and have dropped all pretences to pander to the West and are behaving more in line now with their true nature. Even less radical people will become radicalised now in Israel. There will be even more propaganda and more brainwashing than ever before.”

    This is a horrifying truth. I believe this explains very clearly why that “little thing called the rest of the world (Naftali Bennett)” doesn’t matter at all, because no matter what one says or does, the only thing they hear is “You hate us because we’re Jews, nothing else”. I think that’s been paraphrased enough here by the hasbarists hanger-ons. Is there any cure for this particular pathophysiology? I only see the zionist state imploding, fulfilling the murder/suicide pact that seems to be the mentality of this particular Jewish herd. My hope is with the Joint List.

  6. Rodneywatts
    March 18, 2015, 8:25 am

    Thank you Avigail for what is a truthful and yet very sad report. My heart has always been of a similar kind to Phil’s and I probably share in some ways his disappointment at the election result. Of course our immediate concern is for the safety of ALL the peoples of I/P, particularly the Palestinians, and consequently the safety of Jews if and when anti-Israel sentiments turn into anti-semitic acts of violence.

    As a boy, like so many in Europe, I was deeply affected by the films and reports of the concentration camps and what is known as the Holocaust. I also became aware of the atrocities of the Jewish terrorists in the Irgun and Lehi (Stern) gangs: British soldiers, policemen and innocent Jews were mudered. Yet our hope was that the founding declaration by David Ben-Gurion including reference to freedom, justice and peace for all inhabitants as envisaged by the prophets, would be enacted.

    Both in sadness and anger we look at Israel today, which in no way follows the teaching of the prophet Isaiah to be “a light to the gentiles”. Indeed we are again in days like those of the prophet Jeremiah who referred to the people along with false prophets and priests as adulterers, i.e. unfaithful to The Lord (Jer. Ch.23 v8 -10) paralleled by Isaiah ch.24 v4 -6.

    So, we in the UK and EU must stand up and actively persue justice for the Palestinians, particularly appropriate at this time when Israel has recently demolished shelters built by with EU money for the Bedouin. Also I note that the UK has just received a ticking off from the US for daring to be a founder member with China of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The times. they are a changin’!! The US needs to realise that it is losing friends and allies of substance, whilst being drained by its zionist fifth column. Thank God for Jews of conscience like you,Avigail, and long may your influence increase!

  7. Marnie
    March 18, 2015, 8:25 am

    “Fundamentally Israeli Jews believe that the world hates them because they are Jewish (in their mind it has nothing to do with colonialism or the Palestinians). So although Israel has brought its own situation upon itself, that is not how Israeli Jews see it. They believe things are ‘happening to them’ for no fault of their own. They expect isolation and have dropped all pretences to pander to the West and are behaving more in line now with their true nature. Even less radical people will become radicalised now in Israel. There will be even more propaganda and more brainwashing than ever before.”

    This is a horrifying truth. I believe this explains very clearly why that “little thing called the rest of the world (Naftali Bennett)” doesn’t matter at all – they are way past giving a shit and “no apologies” is the rule of the day because no matter what anyone says or does, the only thing they hear is “You hate us because we’re Jews, nothing else”. I think that’s been paraphrased enough here by the hasbarist trolls who frequent this site. Is there any cure for this particular pathophysiology? I only see the zionist state imploding, fulfilling the murder/suicide pact that seems to be the mentality of this particular Jewish herd. My hope is with the Joint List and I pray that the Palestinians will be the light of this nation.

  8. eGuard
    March 18, 2015, 8:45 am

    So he [Netanyahu] won and I have to say I am relieved. I still can not get used to the idea that more violence and injustice is good for Palestinians. No outsider should say so.

    At least this election gave proof in quotes that Netanyahu and Herzog are the violent racists they are. And nearly 50% of Israel voted for them. (Also, let’s not forget that it was necessary for “Arab” Israelis to vote by ethnicity to have a vote in knesset at all). The one and only Racist Democracy in the Middle East. Vote BDS.

  9. tombishop
    March 18, 2015, 8:52 am

    I believe Avigail is correct that this will take extremist forces in Israel to a new level. The same can be said for the neoconservatives in the U.S.

    The Real Story Behind the Republicans’ Iran Letter
    Moyers & Company

    link to billmoyers.com

  10. W.Jones
    March 18, 2015, 9:22 am

    So what’s up with the rainbow flags? Gays for a Hard Right?

  11. W.Jones
    March 18, 2015, 9:33 am

    “Life will get very difficult for Jews in Israel soon enough,”

    Why is that?

    • Sassy
      March 18, 2015, 10:12 am

      I think it is true because more and more Diaspora Jews, U.S. Jews mainly, will continue to become a larger voice and presence in this issue which, probably along with global BDS, will have some impact at least on the thinking of Israeli Jews. Sure, perhaps they’ll become more and more entrenched in their Apartheid racist ideology but we all know where that gets you after a while.

      Just a thought. I do think more and more Israelis will leave Israel too.

      • W.Jones
        March 18, 2015, 12:14 pm

        I think it is true because more and more Diaspora Jews, U.S. Jews mainly, will continue to become a larger voice and presence in this issue which, probably along with global BDS, will have some impact at least on the thinking of Israeli Jews.

        Sassy,
        Getting overly optimistic on this is a trap. You have to look at the survey data and pay attention to the generational gap:
        link to jcjcr.org

        Most Israelis under 30 don’t think Russian Israelis should have the right to practice Christianity, compared with a big majority of those over 50 approving of that right. You need to consider the major generational shift that has been very steady over the last 60 years. People are now Neocon Likud where decades ago they were “liberal” Labor.

        JVP and BDS have ‘some’ impact, but it will take a ton more of that to make a major reversal. AIPAC had 16000 delegates. how many did JVP have? 1000? And meanwhile JVP and others are up against major forces like Adelson.

        I am definitely not dismissing you. You are right on what is needed and you need to be encouraged. I just want you to be realistic so that you don’t get jaded over how much intense more output is needed to make a shift. (Maybe 8 times as much!)

      • Giles
        March 18, 2015, 12:31 pm

        I think US Jews will continue to back Israel no matter what. At least the vast majority of US Jews with power.

  12. philadelphialawyer
    March 18, 2015, 9:36 am

    ” Israel has for a long time been readying itself for when the time comes, to bunker down, live with austerity and give up the fancy lifestyle the country has become increasingly accustomed to in the last 20-25 years. They can do this. Israel has always prepared itself psychologically and economically to being isolated. All that openness to the rest of the world that Israel has enjoyed increasingly in the last generation or so, and Israel’s acceptance by others, have always been seen as temporary in the eyes of most Israeli Jews.”

    I wonder if this is really so. After all, white South Africans, particularly those of Boer descent, saw themselves as the ultimate outsiders, and their “Boer Trek” mentality, mythology and pseudo religion was based on going it alone. And yet, in the end, they could not bear being isolated from the Western world of culture, politics, art, sports, etc.

    “Fundamentally Israeli Jews believe that the world hates them because they are Jewish (in their mind it has nothing to do with colonialism or the Palestinians). So although Israel has brought its own situation upon itself, that is not how Israeli Jews see it. ”

    I wonder about that too. I think, “fundamentally,” more people than not in an oppressor class are at least conflicted, and do NOT accept the justifying lies and half truths and misrepresentation and BS arguments in toto. Again, I think that was true in apartheid South Africa, as well as in the Jim Crow South and in the slavery South that preceded it. I think, any such group, Boer-like, will circle the wagons, and pretend to the outside world that they really believe it is none of their fault, that it is all about unfair prejudice against them, and so on.

    But, deep in their hearts, “fundamentally,” they know it is not so.

    And, to me, one of the most telling indicators of this is the growing incompetence and cowardliness of the IDF. Folks who really believe in their cause, right or wrong, as the earlier Zionists did, are quite ready to die for it, and fight like demons. Folks who, in their hearts, when you strip away the crap they tell outsiders, know that their group are the oppressors and are fighting for nothing more than imperialism, colonialism, etc, do not make for good and brave soldiers. And so we have seen in Gaza and Lebanon.

    • W.Jones
      March 18, 2015, 12:15 pm

      Good points with more than a grain of truth.

    • Mooser
      March 18, 2015, 6:23 pm

      Bingo.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      March 19, 2015, 1:26 am

      philalelphialawyer, thank you for your interesting comments.

      I have no doubt that every oppressor group is conflicted within itself and that deep down Israeli Jews do know that they are guitly of something, even if they cannot admit or articulate it to themselves.

      However, there is something that in my field of psychotherapy we call ‘narcissistic guilt’. For reasonably healthy people who have a conscience, who are able to reflect on their own actions and who have the courage to face up to what they see in themselves, guilt is a functional feeling. It makes them realise they had done wrong and it propels them to make amends. When people lacking the above qualities (those who are unable to reflect, who are self-absorbed, who are chronically afraid and whose capacity for empathy is impaired) feel guilt, it feels like an intensely uncomfortable feeling they do not know what to do with. Rather than use it to make amends, it makes them even more angry and deepens their sense of entitlement. They then attack the person or persons that ‘make them feel’ guilty *because* from their point of view it is the person that triggers the guilt that makes them feel bad.

      By and large, if Israeli Jews do feel some guilt about what they have been doing to the Palestinians, I am afraid it is of the second variety, narcissitic guilt. I have observed this for a long time now. It makes them even more vicious and hateful towards the Palestinians rather than less. Instead of stop, take stock and make amends they feel the urge to do more harm and make the Palestinians who cause them to feel bad, go away…

      For Israel to be able to reflect and take stock properly is no small thing. Because if Jewish Israeli sociey was able to reflect and take stock properly , it would have to abandon the dream of a an ‘exclusively Jewish safe-haven no matter the cost’. Israel is in no way in a position to do this.

      The comparison with SA is appropriate but only up to a point. For Israeli Jews the existence of Israel is a matter of life and death. They believe that without Israel all Jews will perish. This is why from their point of view they cannot *afford* to reflect too deeply or take any reflections to their logical conclusion. The logical conclusion will mean an end to an exclusively Jewish state and the creation of a one state for all. To most Israeli Jews this translate to annihiliation.

      It is really important to understand all of this when we try to make sense of what Israel does and what it is. I am intimately familar with this because I was a product of Israeli upbriniging and education and for a long long time was still immersed in the same psychology, even long after I left. Only in my 30s I was finally able to start freeing myself from it, or rather as I see it now, heal from it….

      • seafoid
        March 19, 2015, 3:47 am

        A very interesting post, Avigail.

        “They believe that without Israel all Jews will perish -” I was wondering how valid this fear is when it has such an oppressive impact on a population of non Jews.

        Related to this is the problem of all religions that define membership too tightly in an age of globalization where marriage tends to be freer- why don’t they just change the rules on who is a Jew? Wouldn’t that save thousands of lives ?

        Another question I had related to therapy.

        link to haaretz.com

        “Hassan, who has worked at the mental health center since 1991, spoke a lot in our conversation about the meaning of psychological treatment during periods of unrelenting and continuing trauma. “I came to the conclusion that such treatment is not ethical,” he said. “For 23 years, I have been trying to help children living in trauma, but there is no guarantee that they will not be affected again. It’s as if I am just preparing them to deal with something worse. You cannot provide true psychological treatment when the patients have no protection, no guarantee that it won’t happen again and soon, when what causes trauma never ends,” he said. ‘

        Israeli trauma seems to be in part manufactured via the education system. See Danon’s interview- link to youtube.com

        He’s Sephardi- his family were in the Middle East during WW2
        What is the value in treating manufactured trauma when it continues to be produced ?

        Strenger had a great piece pre the Gaza war about the psychological obstacles to peace.
        What do you think of his analysis ?

        link to haaretz.com

        “Almost every Israeli in the last 47 years has done military service in the territories. Almost all of them have had to do things that go against human decency and morality – often not for the sake of Israel’s security at large, but to protect some isolated outpost of settlers. If indeed Israel were to reach peace with the Palestinians and the Arab world, most Israelis would have to live with the painful realization that most of what Israel has done to the Palestinians was unnecessary; that Israel could have ended the occupation a long time ago; and that the energies and resources invested in the West Bank’s colonization could have been invested in Israel’s flourishing instead.
        This idea is too difficult to bear, and the regret would be unendurable. It is, therefore, psychologically imperative to create a narrative that explains why the occupation was inevitable; why Israel had no choice but to hang onto the West Bank; why all the sacrifice in human lives, moral turpitude and political isolation were necessary for Israel’s survival.
        Israel’s right-wing politicians instinctively know they need to reassert daily that the occupation is a military and moral necessity. This is why they keep explaining why a Palestinian state is an existential threat to Israel, and why Israel’s left has been selling empty illusions for decades. Of course, their case has been strengthened enormously by the second intifada and the shelling of southern Israel. But the constant fanning of fear not only serves Israel’s right politically. It also provides Israelis with a justification not only for the status quo, but for the expropriation, oppression and humiliation of Palestinians that Israelis have participated in for the last 47 years, to preserve the occupation.
        All of this is all-too-human. Only a few have the human strength of Moreh’s interviewees to look into the camera and say: “We did terrible things, and most of them could have been avoided if only the political leadership had realized that the occupation is Israel’s catastrophe.” Most Israelis, like most humans, need a narrative that justifies Israel’s actions as inevitable.
        3) Inability to let go of Zionism as a revolutionary movement
        This leads to the third psychological level. The history of Israel’s occupation and gradual colonization of the West Bank cannot be understood without the religious-Zionist movement that emerged from the 1967 war. The students of Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook interpreted Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War as the onset of the Messianic Age. Every hill, stone and village in what they call Judea and Samaria acquired theological meaning, and every new settlement had metaphysical significance. Israel was not occupying another people: It was fulfilling God’s plan for the Jewish people, and for humanity as a whole, by speeding up messianic redemption.
        Most Israelis do not share this messianic interpretation of the occupation. But deep down, many Israelis feel that the settlers are the real Zionists; that the rest of us have become complacent, ordinary citizens who have lost the revolutionary ardor that once characterized the Zionist movement. The settlers continue the ethos of acre after acre, of settling the land and building the country.
        This, I believe, is part of Israelis’ enormous difficulty in stopping the settlers in their drive to undermine the last remaining chance for the two-state solution. Somehow, Israelis feel that if there is no deeper meaning for our being here, the suffering, danger and insecurity were not worth the while. While Israelis may not fully share the settlers’ ideology, many admire them and feel that the settlers provide a laudable model to justify the whole Zionist project. ”

        Israel needs some kind of communal therapy.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        March 19, 2015, 4:28 am

        Seafoid, this is a fantastic contribution.

        As a psychotherapist I couldn’t agree more with the questionnable ethics of provideing so-called therapy for trauma when the bombs are still falling. In family and relationship therapy you never ever engage in therapy when there is violence or abuse. The first thing you do is to make sure that those who are being harmed are brought to safety. Later, when everything is calm and safe, we can offer therapy.

        Trauma therapy can only be effective, not to mention ethical, when people are safe. But when the bombs are stilll falling, when Palestinian chidlren are still harmed, still watching their world collapse around them repeatedly, their parents and siblings dismembered before them, when they have to face the ugly brutality of Israeli soldiers in their homes and their streets? Absolutely not. What they need is decisive intervention to stop all of that and save them.

        In itself, knowing that someone intervened on your behalf when you were the victim of a crime and of injustice is already the beginning of therapy and of healing. Short of that, only cynicism and mistrust ends up developing in the victim. The thing that hurts victims the most other than the abuse itself is that no one did anything about it. How the world will ever be able to explain to Palestinian children why it allowed Israel to continue to abuse them, and how these children when they grow up will ever trust the rest of the world, I do not know… I was an abused child myself and everyone around me turned a blind eye. So I know how hard it has been for me to heal not just from the abuse but from that disillusionment and realisation that no one cared enough or had enough courage to do something to help me. I work with clients in that situation all the time.

        So I completely agree and glad that you brought up this point. Everything else you bring up is great too. I just cannot see it in front of me when I am typing the comment. So I might post another one. Thank you again.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        March 19, 2015, 4:51 am

        Seafoid — Yours:

        “I was wondering how valid this fear is when it has such an oppressive impact on a population of non Jews.

        Related to this is the problem of all religions that define membership too tightly in an age of globalization where marriage tends to be freer- why don’t they just change the rules on who is a Jew? Wouldn’t that save thousands of lives ?”

        My response:

        To understand the concept of Jewishness you have to understand the social-psychology of cults. Cults are insualr, inward looking and fearful. They tend to be obssessed with their own survival in what they perceive is a very hostile world out there. They thrive on a mentality of specialness and differentness and on ‘us vs them’. Since Jews were persecuted, this makes Jewish people feel justified in their cultish belief system. All cults believe that they have only themselves to rely on and that no one outside their group can be trusted.

        To review and critique Judism and Jewishness and change them, would mean that they will transform and no longer be identifable as what they are. To those on the inside this is the very definition of annihilation. Being Jewish and surviving means passing on the principles and belief system of the group to subsequent generations. Many Jews, religious or not, feel a strong sense of tribalism and feel that it is belonging to the group that defines their identity. It makes them feel safe as well as real as people. In cults it is not the individual that is the centre of the group but the group itself. The individual is only valuable in as much as he or she is an organ of the whole collective.

        Survival as a Jewish people (religious or not and whatever that even means) is the most important principle in Judaism and by extension in Jewishness (which is a sense of identificantion with the group that is not based on religion as such). This is a really big deal.

        Israel is a state that was created by, and belongs to a cult. As such, anything truly democratic, universal, any openness to others, to the outside world, is by definition in conflict with the very essence of the cult. In Jewishness and in some sections of Jewish religion, everything and anything is permissible for the purpose of the survival of the group, including inflicting harm on others.

        In Israel, where I grew up, empathy to the ‘other’, the ‘outsider’ (Palestinians included) is actively discouraged and suppressed. The outsider is never to be trusted and represents an existential danger to the group. Only empathy, the recognition of our shared humanity, can mitigate fanatical tribalism in any group and any individual. It is much harder to hurt another even to save ourselves if we can feel empathy.

        If you can get the majority of Israeli Jews to wake up and feel empathy to the Palestinians, everything will change. But I am not holding my breath for all the reasons I explained above.
        Indeed therapy on a national scale is needed but once again I am not holding my breath…

        – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      • Sibiriak
        March 19, 2015, 5:26 am

        On guilt, cf. Eric Hoffer, “The True Believer”:

        “The most effective way to silence our guilty conscience is to convince ourselves and others that those we have sinned against are indeed depraved creatures, deserving every punishment, even extermination. We cannot pity those we have wronged, nor can we be indifferent toward them. We must hate and persecute them or else leave the door open to self-contempt.”

      • Sibiriak
        March 19, 2015, 5:35 am

        Avigail Abarbanel: “The logical conclusion will mean an end to an exclusively Jewish state and the creation of a one state for all. ”

        ———–

        Another logical conclusion might be: we should support the creation of a separate Palestinian state, so that Israel can continue to exist with a Jewish super-majority.

      • seafoid
        March 19, 2015, 5:43 am

        Avigail

        Many thanks for those insights.
        Re cults I was reminded of this

        link to nybooks.com
        “Nusayrism could be described as a folk religion that absorbed many of the spiritual and intellectual currents of late antiquity and early Islam, packaged into a body of teachings that placed its followers beyond the boundaries of orthodoxy. Mainstream Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, regarded them as ghulta, “exaggerators.” Like other sectarian groups they protected their tradition by a strategy known as taqiyya—the right to hide one’s true beliefs from outsiders in order to avoid persecution. Taqiyya makes a perfect qualification for membership in the mukhabarat—the ubiquitous intelligence/security apparatus that has dominated Syria’s government for more than four decades.
        Secrecy was also observed by means of a complex system of initiation, in which insiders recognized each other by using special phrases or passwords and neophytes underwent a form of spiritual marriage with the naqibs, or spiritual guides.
        It does not take much imagination to see how such beliefs, programmed into the community’s values for more than a millennium, and reinforced by customs such as endogamous marriage according to which the children of unions between Nusayris and non-Nusayris cannot be initiated into the sect—create very strong notions of apartness and disdain for the “Other.”

        Presumably Judaism is similar. It’s a specific form of group organization, basically. Nothing particularly special about it .

        Nusayriism/Alawism developed coping mechanisms over centuries in its natural environment . Understood by everyone else.

        And the problem of getting Zionists with their history of persecution and untreated Shoah trauma into a position of power (with the capacity for unlimited violence) via a colonial project where an identity had to be constructed (artificially) at the expense of the locals – it was just too much , wasn’t it ? The paradox of eternal victimhood and systematic military cruelty resulted.
        Incoherence.
        1948 eternal.

        The problem with national trauma on such a scale is that there is no “nice” way to fix it. BDS or war, basically.

        And there is never equilibrium. It will never settle to a level that is calm. That is one of the main problems with trauma.

      • Walid
        March 19, 2015, 8:24 am

        A interesting piece about the mysterious Alawis, seafoid. Their description almost fits to a T that of the other super secretive Ismaili-Shia offshoot, the Druze that originated at just about the same time in the 9th or 10th century. One of the few difference between both groups is in their concept of metempsychosis, which is limited to males only as women’s souls don’t possess any logic, so their souls don’t have the capacity to transmigrate. As with most Shia, their dominant spiritual head is Ali and not Muhammad, hence their Alawite name which means followers of Ali.Their “Alawi” designation resurfaced after 400 years only in 1920 after the fall of the Ottomans as during their reign, it was a pejoratif term to the ruling Sunni.

        Alawis believe their stay on Earth in a human form is due to their having fallen from grace; according to their books, beings were initially luminous bodies living among the stars for centuries during the age of the Great Luminous World but because they did not recognize Ali when he appeared to them in various forms, they were punished by relegating them to the Lesser World in the bodies of humans . This is what brought them to believe in the transmigration of their souls into animals and objects.

      • philadelphialawyer
        March 19, 2015, 8:37 am

        Avigail Abarbanel:

        Thank you for taking the time to reply in detail to my post.

        Assuming the validity of the model that posits two, discrete kinds of guilt, without overlap, one healthy and useful, leading to contrition and attempts to ameliorate, and the other counterproductive and pathological, leading to further crimes, still, a population as large as that of Israeli Jews is not likely to be composed of a huge majority of one and very few of the other. A group numbering in the millions, one would think, would have plenty of folks representing both kinds of guilt.

        “The comparison with SA is appropriate but only up to a point. For Israeli Jews the existence of Israel is a matter of life and death. They believe that without Israel all Jews will perish. This is why from their point of view they cannot *afford* to reflect too deeply or take any reflections to their logical conclusion. The logical conclusion will mean an end to an exclusively Jewish state and the creation of a one state for all. To most Israeli Jews this translate to annihiliation. It is really important to understand all of this when we try to make sense of what Israel does and what it is. I am intimately familar with this because I was a product of Israeli upbriniging and education and for a long long time was still immersed in the same psychology, even long after I left.”

        No doubt, you have first hand understanding of Israeli Jews, but I think you dismiss the analogy with white South Africans, particularly the Boers, too easily.

        For the Boers too had a notion that the existence of the apartheid State was a matter of life and death for their people. They too believed that racial equality would lead to the destruction of their people, and, perhaps also similar to many Israeli Jews, there was also a strong religious element at work here.

        Apartheid, like Zionism, was many things. It had a secular, pseudo scientific side. It was also grounded in the Boer historical experience, which, while not the same as the Holocaust, did involve taking on the British Empire at its height, and then being subjected to near genocidal measures (concentration camps, forced clearing of villages, killing of civilians) as that Empire was unable to crush the Boer Rebellion in any other way.

        Also like the Jews, perhaps even more so, the Boers are and were always a relatively small group, when viewed in a worldwide context. For the Boers, they were surrounded by Black Africans who, naturally enough, hated them. And, beyond that, by an indifferent Western world, ready, as they saw it, to sell them out to gain favor with a larger constituency. Sounds familiar, right, viz a viz Israeli Jews and the Arab and Muslim worlds and the West? And both Israel and the RSA went hyper military, all the way to the point of nuclear weapons, to address their fears. Both also had “an enemy within” as well as enemies outside of its borders. Both also routinely violated the sovereignty of their neighbors, again, as they treated their own fears as license to do unto others anything that appeared to assuage those fears. Etc, etc.

        Furthermore, there was a strong religious, messianic, persecution complex component to apartheid as well, again, similar to Zionism.

        I would also point out that, unlike the Zionists, the Boers actually did have a three hundred year history in the land of South Africa. Unlike the Zionists, the most ancient of which got off the boat in Palestine in the late 1800’s, with many more arriving much later, right down to the present day, the Boers were, by the late 20th century, truly indigenous to Africa, and, perhaps more importantly, literally had nowhere else to go. And, of course, there were few Boers elsewhere, unlike the still large Diaspora Jewish population. And so the notion that their very survival as Boers was bound up with the suprematist nature of their polity was even stronger than that it is for Jews in Israel.

        Thus, all the things in life that matter, material, spiritual, community, history, etc, were bound up in apartheid. And yet it fell to sanctions, eventually.

        Thanks again.

        Edited to add, re your further comments, that apartheid was also very much a cult, that the education system in the RSA was much like what is described in Israel, that young men in the RSA were called upon to do terrible deeds in the townships, in the bush, and across the borders, etc.

      • lysias
        March 19, 2015, 11:37 am

        You just have to read Mein Kampf to realize that Hitler genuinely felt that the continued existence of Jews threatened the survival of humanity, and that in particular the continued existence of Jews in Germany and what he considered their dominant position in socialism threatened the survival of the German people.

        Of course it was a totally irrational belief, but I see little reason to suppose that Hitler did not genuinely believe this. Many of the people in the Nazi movement and its fellow travelers no doubt paid lip service to this belief, but I think Hitler had persuaded a great many Germans of his belief.

      • seafoid
        March 19, 2015, 11:44 am

        Walid

        The Druze are really interesting- like a local version of the Jews. Same closed society, same strict rules on who belongs but they always kept it low key and taqiyya came in very handy. I think they manage the group and the future of the group better than the Israelis do. It’s all very well believing the group is special but it should only be done between consenting adults. And the Palestinians never gave their consent- The source of all Zionism’s problems .
        The Torah is a fine book but it has no place in Government.

        I would love to hear Walid Junbalat on how he sees Judaism and its place in the region.

      • RoHa
        March 19, 2015, 4:09 pm

        What fascinating ideas! Where did they get them from. I can’t recall anything in the Quran that would support the idea of the Grreat Luminous Age, and the idea precedes L. Ron Hubbard. It sounds to me like a derivative of the pre-Christian Gnostic ideas.

  13. Sassy
    March 18, 2015, 10:08 am

    Regarding this statement: “Israel has always prepared itself psychologically and economically to being isolated,” I disagree. Israel has, for its entire existence, been dependent on U.S. Food Stamps, U.S. taxpayer money. Not that this will stop any time soon, but they simply ain’t economically independent no could they exist without this funding.

    After spending a week with almost 1000 Jews at the Jewish Voice for Peace membership conference, I would say that Diaspora Jews will make a difference. I would further encourage everyone to join JVP (we are not Jewish but we are members). They and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation are the two primary U.S. sources of “push” on this issue, in my opinion.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 18, 2015, 10:59 am

      Did JVP unambiguously and unconitionally condemn the Gaza massacre?

      Does it endorse BDS?

      Does it accept that Palestinians have the right to resist occupation – by violent means, if they so choose?

      Forgive me, but I’m rather cynical about these ‘voices for peace’ which, when push comes to shove, are only really concerned about the ‘soul of Israel’.

      • Thalwen
        March 18, 2015, 1:16 pm

        Yes, JVP condemned and demonstrated and acted against the Gaza massacre.
        Yes, it endorses BDS.
        I too am sceptical about these types of orgs. having gotten into the movement by way of J-street and then being woefully disappointed when I found out that I was supporting an AIPAC clone, but JVP is different and very committed to the rights of the Palestinian people as well as doing a lot to challenge the Zionist-only rhetoric in the Jewish community.

      • eGuard
        March 18, 2015, 1:35 pm

        Maximus, there is the Mondoweiss report (Alex Kane) on the JVP congress.

        Did JVP condemn the Gaza massacre? – “Last summer’s assault on Gaza lead to a boom in JVP membership and donations, and a shift to the left among some liberal Zionists who decided to join JVP”. Yep. Liberal Zionists, that is: Zionists. ‘nuf said. (at the JVP home site: condemnation sure, but I feel something is missing. Does not read like a protest action, does it).

        Does it endorse BDS? “[This] was the first get-together since JVP changed its position on BDS from one of support for targeted boycotts and divestments to full endorsement of the BDS call”. Like pulling a tooth.

        I too am a bit cynical about the “peace”. Must have to do with that other word in there: being Jew as a prerequisite first and foremost. I predict that the Zionists will take over, just like at J-Street.

      • ToivoS
        March 18, 2015, 4:25 pm

        Did JVP unambiguously and unconitionally condemn the Gaza massacre?

        Yes, their membership surged after last August’s massacre.

        Does it endorse BDS?

        Yes

        Does it accept that Palestinians have the right to resist occupation

        Yes but they do not support armed violence.

      • echinococcus
        March 19, 2015, 1:58 am

        I read the replies and cannot for the life of me see much to be enthusiastic about. Anyone who does not fully support the right of invaded and occupied people to resist by all means they (not some Jewish kid from the Bronx) judge appropriate may –should– be suspected of being the last line of defense of the Zionists. Also, one of the responses admits that Zionists have joined.
        Anyway, this is probably of secondary importance, as not much is going to change in the US, with or without Jewish protest. The critical field now as far as regards outside pressure on Israel is Europe, and Asia.

    • W.Jones
      March 18, 2015, 12:06 pm

      Regarding this statement: “Israel has always prepared itself psychologically and economically to being isolated,” I disagree. Israel has, for its entire existence, been dependent on U.S. Food Stamps, U.S. taxpayer money. Not that this will stop any time soon, but they simply ain’t economically independent no could they exist without this funding.
      The article is suggesting that they may have a Masada complex that makes its dependency less relevant.

      The other thing to consider is that hardcore right wing supporters like Adelson sadly still much outnumber JVP.

  14. JohnWelch
    March 18, 2015, 10:33 am

    Time to spread BDS.

    There is nothing good in the election of a man who campaigned on a call to “the Arabs are about to takeover” and “no Palestinian state”. Hence, no negotiations…at least the Israeli government will not take part in them.

    Time for the Palestinian Authority to press ahead in the International Criminal Court. Time for the US government to “forget” its veto…in the ICC and the UN.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      March 19, 2015, 1:22 am

      But how do you convince people that they should boycott Israeli goods, when they don’t even know that Israel has committed war crimes, and don’t know about Israel’s past and ongoing harm to America? I think the groundwork must be first laid via education. RED STATE America needs to be targeted to positively influence the largely Christian Zionist mindset there.

  15. Misterioso
    March 18, 2015, 11:30 am

    What now?

    Apart from increasing alienation of American Jews, Israel is on a collision course with the E.U. and the U.S.

  16. Abu Malia
    March 18, 2015, 11:32 am

    Thank you Avigail

    It was 2004 and the US presidential election was approaching crunch time. Osama Bin Laden was steadily releasing recorded statements that i suspected were designed to help lil’ Bushie get re-elected – after all, if you remember, the sentiment was you needed a tough guy to deal with Al Qaida – not the aloof, nuanced girly-men of liberal persuasion.

    I remember thinking, had i been an enemy of the US i too would prefer to have Bushie stay. Now, despite Phil’s well reasoned polemic yesterday of why he wanted Nuthinyahoo to go – keeping in mind also that I am an implacable enemy of Zionism and a strong “disliker” of everything Israel, I want him to stay.

    Screw them softly with a chainsaw imo, was what labor was going to offer the Palestinians anyway. Israelis are riding full gallop on a blind horse and i like it.

  17. SonofDaffyDuck
    March 18, 2015, 12:30 pm

    Like any other infection, this one had to come to a head…and it did. This is a terribly painful outcome for rational people, but it had to happen. Otherwise the ambiguity and obfuscation on issues of colonialism and racism and war would have continued to diffuse the focus on the actions of the Israeli government.
    Now, Bibi has made it clear: perpetual repression of the indigenous population….war on any who throw Israeli hegemony into doubt. The World clearly has before it a credo toward which it must respond.

    This is especially true of the Americans. Bibi’s principles have been laid out clearly. Will Congress continue to support them in contradiction to those which Americans purport to hold? Will it continue to veto expressions of it’s own policies in the UN?

    Confrontation of these things would be impossible without a Bibi victory.
    Be joyful in your sorrow.

  18. Colonel Blimp
    March 18, 2015, 1:19 pm

    It is interesting to watch Jews agonize. Jews can agonize better than anyone else in the world. Sadly, what the readers of Mondoweiss may only now just be realizing is that Netanyahu is the true face of Zionism. If you look back at the history of Zionism, you will note that it began in eastern Europe. I know Vienna isn’t eastern Europe, but the Austro-Hungarian Empire was part of that multi-cultural eastern Europe that included Russia. In both states the various nationalities and religious groups lived, more or less, in a state of perilous peace and would occasionally turn on each other. The collapse of Yugoslavia comes to mind. The founders of Zionism were either rabid nationalists or Marxists. There is nothing of the liberal Anglo-Saxon parliamentary tradition inherent in the Israeli political psyche; it is ethnic, inward-looking and suspicious of outsiders. The ultimate danger for Israel’s existence is that the U.S. may one day to pull the plug and stop sending hard-earned American taxpayer dollars. That may be the real significance of Likud’s victory.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      March 19, 2015, 1:45 am

      Some people agonise more or better, some people don’t. I am not sure I understand what you mean by ‘Jews agonise better than anyone’, and am also not sure how this contributes to the rest of your comment to be honest…

      But in terms of the history of Zionism, the founders of the Zionist movement, however they defined themselves politically, were people motivated by fear and arrogance. They were ruthless enough to think that it would be OK to remove the indigenous population of Palestine to create an exclusively Jewish safe-haven.

      This is a far bigger problem for me than anything else you might say about those people. The idea that one group of people believe they have a right to kick another group of people out of their home for whatever reason — natural resources, labour, creating a safe-haven for their own people — is outrageous and immoral whichever way you look at it. Nothing good can come out of this. A society built on such a foundation is bound to continue to exist with terrible internal conflict and to continue to act defensively, aggressively and arrogantly. That is unless they manage to destroy most or all of the indigenous people and a few generations later pretend they had done nothing wrong because their victims are not there to remind them of their crime. Australia is close to being such an example although the Australian Aborigines have not gone away completely.

      Israel, like the US and Australia is a settler-colonialist project that is right now still in progress. This is our biggest problem with Israel. As long as this is allowed to continue the Palestinians are at risk of a comprehensive genocide and we risk having a psychologically dodgy country with over 200 nuclear weapons right there to threaten everyone around them.

      • seafoid
        March 19, 2015, 3:21 am

        Did you ever read Original sins, by Beit Hallahmi, Avigail?

        Israel is actually a failed settler colonial project.
        Failed because the natives didn’t fade away.

        The Palestinians couldn’t be bought off with alcohol (US and Canada) or killed off with disease (US, Peru, Mexico) .
        The Zionists wouldn’t countenance intermarriage (Mexico) and genocide (Australia) is unfashionable.

        Unadikum is the Zionist nightmare. Every time it’s played Zionism fails a little more.

      • Avigail Abarbanel
        March 19, 2015, 3:27 am

        Seafoid — No I haven’t read him. But I think the book is on my shelf. Do you recommend? I agree entirely with the comment about Israel being a failed settler-colonial project.

      • RoHa
        March 19, 2015, 4:40 am

        Actually, in Australia we are becoming more and more aware of the crime that was committed against the Aborigines. An official apology was made in Parliament. Some TV stations include in the credits to programmes that the program was made on land originally owned by a particular group. School begin formal functions with a similar acknowledgment. We also have a TV channel devoted to programmes about Aborigines and indigenous peoples in similar situations. There is a movement which aims to have recognition of the original owners included in the Federal Constitution, and I expect it will succeed. The condition of the Aborigines is a social and political issue in Australia.

        Quite the opposite of the issue fading away.

      • Sibiriak
        March 19, 2015, 5:40 am

        Avigail Abarbanel: “… the founders of the Zionist movement, however they defined themselves politically, were people motivated by fear and arrogance. They were ruthless enough to think that it would be OK to remove the indigenous population of Palestine to create an exclusively Jewish safe-haven. ”

        ————-
        Well, after all, they were Europeans.

      • seafoid
        March 19, 2015, 7:39 am

        I think it gives a very good background as to why Zionism evolved as it did. I would recommend it.

      • just
        March 19, 2015, 9:15 am

        “Israel, like the US and Australia is a settler-colonialist project that is right now still in progress. This is our biggest problem with Israel. As long as this is allowed to continue the Palestinians are at risk of a comprehensive genocide and we risk having a psychologically dodgy country with over 200 nuclear weapons right there to threaten everyone around them”

        ~and~

        “Israel is actually a failed settler colonial project. Failed because the natives didn’t fade away.”

        Thank you both for this important and interesting discussion that includes the above quotes, cults, trauma and therapy.

        It’s really not that mysterious at all, but it is wicked and dangerous. Unchecked, it will prove more of a disaster for the Palestinians and their other neighbors. The motivations are identifiable and need to be understood in order to deal with it.

        Thank you for helping me understand, Avigail and seafoid.

        Avigail~ I am glad that you were “finally able to start freeing myself from it, or rather as I see it now, heal from it….” I hope that many Israelis and Zionists will avail themselves of the same ‘freeing’ and ‘healing’.

      • Walid
        March 19, 2015, 9:39 am

        “we risk having a psychologically dodgy country with over 200 nuclear weapons right there to threaten everyone around them”

        Just, that’s what Israelis would want you to go on believing, that with that other boogyman Samson Option.

        It’s a forgone conclusion that Israel is a nation of cowards that are in constant fear of getting hurt or getting killed, and for such people, taking their own lives to wipe out their neighbours with their nuclear shit is something Israelis would never do. I’m sure they are not averse to nuclear bombing a distant country with no risk of anything falling back on Israel, but what I’m talking about is the bombing of its neighbours with nuclear warheads.

        Keeping everyone spooked about what they may do is all a game. Keep in mind that these cowards can pick only on women, children and unarmed men.

      • just
        March 19, 2015, 9:56 am

        Just one more thing.

        It’s not like the 95% have to travel far in order to see humanity at work. The difference between the Palestinians and the 95% is clear in the activities of daily living. Many people have reported that they experience rudeness, shrillness, verbal attacks, etc when they visit Israel. It even happens on airplanes:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        It seems that this behavior is inculcated and cultivated.

        On the other hand and on the other side of the odious wall, many people report only kindness, generosity, smiles and welcome when they visit Palestinians. Just ask Max Blumenthal, Dan Cohen, or look to the sky and ask Rachel.

        When bombs fall on Gaza or Palestinians are attacked, other Palestinians and volunteers rush to help, not fearing for their own lives. They are not celebrated by the MSM~ heck, even the interminable assaults don’t cause a blip! Mads Gilbert was even banned by Israel from going to Gaza for his effrontery and support of Palestinians!

        link to rt.com

        When someone is attacked in Jerusalem, the mayor tackles the suspect, and becomes an instant hero and it makes headlines.

        The contrast is real, and it’s stark.

  19. Atlantaiconoclast
    March 18, 2015, 1:48 pm

    One thing that would change our policies toward Israel is if enough Americans learned about the false flag attacks of Israel on America, and the push by Israel for us to fight their wars. I see this as the only way to wake folks up. But I seem to be in the minority here in this regard.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      March 19, 2015, 1:48 am

      I do not know American society well enough and don’t really know how much influence the American public really has on the way it is being governed. But we can only hope…

  20. hophmi
    March 18, 2015, 1:49 pm

    Again, the risks of elevating Israeli voices that represent no actual constituency.

    “Israel has always prepared itself psychologically and economically to being isolated. ”

    That’s why the first world leader to congratulate Netanyahu was the Prime Minister of India, with whom Israel is developing a close trade partnership. That’s why every tech company in the world wants to be somewhere in Israel. Come on Avigail. Give up the agitprop. Israelis are not leaving en masse, and they’re unlikely to, and they are not all Netanyahu.

    Leftists always like to say that the sky is falling and that the election of right-wing leaders is great because it will show the world just how much the sky is falling.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      March 19, 2015, 12:59 am

      do you really believe half the things you say? And do you deny that you are a Jewish supremacist? Only a racist would not be able to see the harm done in his people’s name to another people. That fits you to a t.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      March 19, 2015, 1:33 am

      I guess we’ll just have to wait and see hophmi…

    • marc b.
      March 19, 2015, 8:07 am

      brilliant observation hophmi. no, they’re not all Netanyahu. some are Bennett and Lieberman and Yishai. but thank you for risking life and limb, continually fighting the good fight against the utterly clueless and completely ineffectual. time well spent.

    • philadelphialawyer
      March 19, 2015, 8:45 am

      “That’s why the first world leader to congratulate Netanyahu was the Prime Minister of India”

      Um, unless no world leader at all congratulated Bibi (which, by the way, is pro forma anyway, and doesn’t mean a thing), wouldn’t, by definition, one of them have to have been the first to do so? So what if it was India’s PM? India is not the pre eminent country in the world, not by a long shot. In any event, whoever it was, the same argument could be made….”That’s why the first world leader to congratulate Netanyahu was the President of France….” “….was the PM of Italy…” etc.

    • Keith
      March 19, 2015, 6:35 pm

      HOPHMI- “That’s why the first world leader to congratulate Netanyahu was the Prime Minister of India, with whom Israel is developing a close trade partnership.”

      So, the first leader to congratulate Netanyahu was the anti-Muslim, Hindu fascist Modi? You think that this is a harbinger of things to come and take pride in it? Once again, Zionists working together with fascists. I’ll just bet that you are a fan of the Ukrainian neo-Nazis too. Victorian Nuland is. So is Bernard-Henri Levy. Birds of a feather. Israel uber alles.

  21. JLewisDickerson
    March 18, 2015, 3:48 pm

    RE: “There wll be no more endless cycles of pointless ‘negotiations’ with Israel pretending that some day it will agree to a two-state solution while continually escalating both settlement (colony) building and the maltreament of the Palestinians.” ~ Avigail Abarbanel

    NOT SO! “EVERYTHING IS GOOD”* BECAUSE NETANYAHU WAS JUST LYING FOR THE ELECTION – HE’S REALLY A “PRAGMATIST”:
    “Deep Wounds and Lingering Questions After Israel’s Bitter Race”, By Isabel Kershner, New York Times, March 17, 2015

    [EXCERPTS] Benjamin Netanyahu was poised to return to power. But there was a cloud over his apparent turnaround, the result of an increasingly shrill campaign that raised questions about his ability to heal Israel’s internal wounds or better its standing in the world.

    He said there would be no Palestinian state under his watch.

    He railed against Israeli Arabs because they had gone out to vote.

    From the capitals of Europe, to Washington, to the West Bank, to the streets of Israel, even while his critics said Mr. Netanyahu had reaffirmed his reputation as a cynical, calculating politician, it appeared that his approach succeeded in drawing votes from other right-leaning parties. . .

    . . . Still, Mr. Netanyahu has a long history in power and has in the past demonstrated that he can change positions from campaigning to governing. His record is as a pragmatist, analysts said.

    I am sure that Netanyahu, with his broad historical perspective, if he is prime minister again, will be thinking long and hard about what legacy he will want to leave behind with regard to the demographic makeup of the country and its standing in the world, said Gidi Grinstein, founder of the Reut Institute, an Israeli strategy group. In the end I would not rule out his going back to the two-state solution, he said, referring to the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

    Tzachi Hanegbi, a Likud deputy foreign minister in the departing government, told reporters on Tuesday night that he expected the American administration to make an effort to renew the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. We would be very delighted to renew the negotiations, Mr. Hanegbi said, adding that it was up to the Palestinians. It is to the benefit of both peoples, he said. . .

    . . . Shmuel Sandler, a professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv, said Mr. Netanyahu had been fighting for his political survival. “Yesterday he was prepared to do anything, he said. But he added that Mr. Netanyahu knew he now had to repair his relationship with Mr. Obama. . . ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to goo.gl

    P.S. Danny Ayalon, former Likud ambassador to US predicts Bibi “will retract” disavowal of Palestinian state if he holds on. – link to politico.com

    * P.P.S. EVERYTHING IS GOOD
    D.A.F. [Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (German American Friendship)]:
    Sei still. Schließe deine augen.
    Bitte denk an nichts.
    Glaube mir. Alles ist gut. Alles ist gut.
    TRANSLATION:
    Don’t say anything. Close your eyes.
    Think of nothing.
    Believe me. Everything is good. Everything is good

    DAF – Alles ist Gut – Live Tivoli Utrecht (15-08-2010

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      March 19, 2015, 3:30 am

      Interesting spin what the NY Times is saying… Goodness me…

    • JLewisDickerson
      March 24, 2015, 1:48 pm

      RE: “Interesting spin what the NY Times is saying… Goodness me…” ~ Avigail Abarbanel

      SEE: “Humanism Hangs in the Balance; Israel vs. Judaism”, by Norman Pollack, Counterpunch.org, March 23, 2015

      [EXCERPT] . . . Let’s go back to the day after the election, Jodi Rudoren’s New York Times article, “Win Sets Netanyahu on Path to Remake Israeli Government,” (Mar. 18), in which, despite evidence to the contrary, she offers the prospect of his having a freer hand to move toward the Center: “Israelis emboldened [him] with a clear mandate in balloting on Tuesday, paving the way for him to lead a right-leaning and religious coalition that could be far easier to control, since his own party holds many more seats now…. While the new coalition will almost certainly be more purely conservative, it is also more narrowly tailored, potentially freeing its leader of the constraints that often guided his last government.” Nominally moving rightward, he “also has gotten rid of extremists in his own party, Likud, and shrunk the Jewish Home party, which he often placated over the last two years by expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank.” For the coalition to be “more narrowly tailored” suggests eliminating fanaticism for what is “more purely conservative,” in this case, in the words of Uzi Arad, his former national security adviser, “more ‘tough pragmatism’ than ‘stiff defiance.’” I find it otherwise, not only in the complexion of his coalition partners, including ultra-Orthodox parties, but his continued mobilization of opposition, if not worse, to Iran, and, domestically, everything from settlement construction to regional displays of toughness (e.g., once more, Gaza) to the precepts of market fundamentalism in shaping Israel’s economy.

      My New York Times Comment on the Rudoren article, March 19, follows:

      Israel is in a state of denial, whichever party or coalition of parties wins. In vain does one find soul-searching over the rape of Gaza, a chapter in the annals of barbarism and cruelty. Domestic issues are all well and good, but frankly are a diversion to what is central for peace and Israel’s long-term security: the Palestinian question and its corollary, settlements.

      To preserve the status quo, Israel has made itself an international pariah, a position on which Israelis seem to thrive. Besotted with hate and malaise, the Israeli citizen uses militarism as the national vehicle of cohesion: celebrate exploits of killing as a means of drawing together.

      Needless to say, this is a corruption of Judaism, which for centuries has expressed universal values of peace and mutual respect. The Great Paradox: The Jewish State is anti-Jewish, defaming and caricaturing a beloved faith founded on human rights and aid and succor to all deprived, displaced, and underprivileged. It is tragic that world Jewry increasingly supports current Israeli policies, which only encourages what we find today in Israel: Netanyahu and Herzog alike lack the moral courage to bring Israel into line with international law and morality. Whichever party or coalition wins, we will have more of the same: more Gazas, more settlements, more contempt for world opinion, in sum, the DESECRATION of Judaism itself by this arrogant, lawless nation acting in the name of Jewish values.

      ***

      Update: consider Jason Horowitz’s NYT article, “Do the Democrats and Israel Have a Future Together?,” (March 21), which reveals domestic forces of Reaction in full-court-press propaganda mode to bring the Democrats into line in support of Israel. Perhaps the whole topic is artificial if not ill-considered given the overwhelming bipartisan support for Israel in America regardless of particular political leadership on either side. Tempest in a tea pot? Probably, because Israel stands in the eyes of America’s political, military, and intelligence communities as code for a still deeper affiliation or attachment, spearhead for US global hegemony, not unlike Britain and NATO, in strategic importance for America’s whole counterrevolutionary agenda (rapidly extended now to the Far East through Pacific-First and the Trans-Pacific Partnership) to secure ideological dominance, the protection of oil supplies, and effective resistance to Left-movements for social change. Israel and America, bedfellows eternal, as the covers of militarism are neatly tucked in.

      Horowitz has a stellar cast of notables seeking to patch up differences—Elliott Abrams (Bush adviser on the Middle East, and as I recall, back further, architect of repression in Latin America), Ann Lewis, (close to both Clintons), Malcolm Hoenlein (Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations), for starters, AIPAC, and crème de la crème, Pastor Hagee’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI), not to be gainsaid in organizing pressures on Israel’s behalf—a blue-ribbon effort by shock troops to influence US policy. Add John Boehner, Michele Bachman, Ted Cruz, and Lindsey Graham to the foregoing mix and one has a revelatory look at, more than a Netanyahu cheering section, what constitutes Israel’s appeal for Americans: surely not the religious principles and faith of Judaism per se, but the retrograde policies of ethnocentrism, xenophobia, and the application of force to resolve all problems and reduce all tensions.

      Horowitz writes, “While a deepening polarization among American Jews about Netanyahu [I’m skeptical of this] puts Obama’s potential successor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a politically uncomfortable position, it is the transformation of Israel into a partisan issue that fills Democratic Jewish officials with dread.” This shouldn’t (mine), but for safety sake we see college campuses targeted, “trips of movie stars to Israel,” the usual, even African-Americans and Hispanics, an important part of the party base, enlisted in the cause, Republicans meanwhile active in pushing for a political realignment, as in Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, to bring Jews still further into their ranks. I will skip over the activities of Ron Dermer, a one-man dynamo, as Israel’s US ambassador, or Sheldon Adelson himself, a one-man Las Vegas version of Fort Knox, except to mention the former’s statement, popular no doubt in its sentiments for CP readers, but for me reeking in duplicity in one respect—the use of cultural issues to obfuscate the need for first addressing the more fundamental class and structural issues relevant to the democratization process as the vital context for then realizing rights dear to all of us. Horowitz quotes Dermer in what I take to be cynicism of the first water—forget Gaza, forget repression of internal dissent, forget support of dictators as standard procedure, none matters when you look at Israel’s civil liberties record (which I find wanting): “’I think the progressive case for Israel is an easy case to make,’” Dermer stated. “’We’re the only country that’s had a chief justice of the Supreme Court, a speaker of the Knesset and a prime minister who were women. You have gay rights in Israel…. And then you have respect for minority rights in Israel.’” I’m not buying. Tell it to those living for decades under Israel’s iron heel. Tell it to the children who survived the saturated bombing and shelling of Gaza blinded or with limbs missing. Tell it to the young men who have been unemployed and socially humiliated. But don’t, Israelis, tell it to yourselves, because in your state of profound denial, you won’t believe that others have been hurt by your actions.

      My New York Times Comment on the Horowitz article, same date, follows:

      Hora circles and singing Hebrew anthems will not cover over the war crimes Israel has committed in Gaza, nor its ethnic cleansing in general. Why is it Israel has the most favorable support in America from extreme right-wing groups? As for liberal Democrats, support there confirms the bipartisan consensus on war, intervention, drone assassination. A liberal Democrat is a Republican in everything but name.

      I grieve for Judaism. It was not always thus. Like Dermer I was raised in Miami Beach but decades earlier, my parents hardworking successful Lincoln Road merchants from Minsk (Mom) and Pinsk (Dad). I was deeply proud, as a young radical, of my Jewish heritage.

      Why not! Jews from say 1900-60 stood in the forefront of humanistic philosophy and learning, interpreted Torah in universal terms favoring welcoming the stranger and helping the underdog. In the arts, Jews were in the forefront of music, art, literature. I mourned the execution of the Rosenbergs, and like many other young Jews I threw myself wholeheartedly into the civil rights struggle (yes picketing Woolworth’s in Harvard Square to Mississippi Freedom Summer and Selma) and antiwar movement.

      World Jewry today led by the example of Israel forfeits its Jewishness via slavish devotion to a Militaristic State which oppresses the proverbial Other. Adelson speaks for many–but not me. Let the charade of Israeli democracy go on. God knows better. God, oddly, has always been for the victims, not the oppressors.

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to counterpunch.org

  22. just
    March 18, 2015, 5:20 pm

    Thank you, Avigail. I respect your assessments very much, and completely agree that “Israel is on a slippery slope of its own making”. This was the culmination of the massacre in Gaza, and the 95% of Israelis that cheered the PM on.
    ————–
    Gideon Levy nails it…again:

    “The first conclusion that arose just minutes after the announcement of the exit polls was particularly discouraging: The nation must be replaced. Not another election for the country’s leadership, but general elections to choose a new Israeli people – immediately. The country urgently needs that. It won’t be able to stand another term for Benjamin Netanyahu, who emerged last night as the man who will form the next government.

    If after six years of nothing, if after six years of sowing fear and anxiety, hatred and despair, this is the nation’s choice, then it is very ill indeed. If after everything that has been revealed in recent months, if after everything that has been written and said, if after all this, the Israeli phoenix succeeded in rising from the ashes and getting reelected, if after all this the Israeli people chose him to lead for another four years, something is truly broken, possibly beyond repair.

    Netanyahu deserves the Israeli people and they deserve him. The results are indicative of the direction the country is headed: A significant proportion of Israelis has finally grown detached from reality. This is the result of years’ worth of brainwashing and incitement. These Israelis voted for the man who will lead the United States to adopt harsh measures against Israel, for the man whom the world long ago grew sick of. They voted for the man who admitted to having duped half the world during his Bar-Ilan speech; now he has torn off his mask and disavowed those words once and for all. Israel said “yes” to the man who said “no” to a Palestinian state. Dear Likud voters, what the hell do you say “yes” to? Another 50 years of occupation and ostracism? Do you really believe in that?

    On Tuesday the foundations were laid for the apartheid state that is to come. If Netanyahu succeeds in forming the next government in his spirit and image, then the two-state solution will finally be buried and the struggle over the character of a binational state will begin. If Netanyahu is the next prime minister, then Israel has not only divorced the peace process, but also the world. Piss off, dear world, we’re on our own. Please don’t interfere, we’re asleep, the people are with Netanyahu. The Palestinians can warm the benches at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, the Israel boycotters can swing into high gear and Gaza can wait for the next cruel attack by the Israeli army.
    ……..

    Netanyahu is threatening to surpass David Ben-Gurion as Israel’s longest running leader. He is already in second place, and yet it’s hard to think of one significant achievement on his part. The list of damage he has done is long. But he is the nation’s, or much of the nation’s, chosen one. That choice must be respected, even if it makes it difficult to hope for a good outcome. The only consolation is that another Netanyahu term will prompt the world to act. That possibility is our only refuge.”

    link to haaretz.com

    I agree with him entirely. It’s not just Netanyahu, it is the majority of Israelis.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      March 19, 2015, 1:17 am

      Thus the illogic of sanctioning Iran, and hurting people there who have little influence on policy, vs. the failure of Westerners to support a boycott of Israeli goods, or to even consider boycotting Israel.

  23. Rusty Pipes
    March 18, 2015, 6:49 pm

    At today’s State Presser:

    QUESTION: Beyond congratulations, Jen, now that Mr. Netanyahu won, presumably on – by a decisive mandate, on the premise of not ever allowing a Palestinian state, what – one, what is your plan on this track and on the peace process? And second, when the Palestinians go before the United Nations, as they will, will you cast a veto or will you not cast a veto?

    MS. PSAKI: Well —

    QUESTION: Seeking recognition from the international community.

    MS. PSAKI: — we are not going to get ahead of any decisions about what the United States would do with regard to potential action at the United – UN Security Council. I will reiterate that it has long been the position of the United States under Republican and Democratic presidents, and it has been the position of successive Israeli governments, that only a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and independent Palestine can bring lasting peace and stability to both peoples. A two-state solution is the only way for the next Israeli Government to secure Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. We believe that it’s in the best interests of the United States, Israel, and the region.

    The prime minister, as we all know, in his comments earlier this week indicated that he is no longer committed to pursuing this approach. Based on the prime minister’s comments, the United States is in a position going forward where we will be evaluating our approach with regard to how best to achieve a two-state solution. Obviously, I’m not going to prejudge at this point what that means.

    QUESTION: I understand. But will you be a part of, let’s say, an international effort in this case to realize a Palestinian state?

    MS. PSAKI: Again, I’m not going to prejudge what that means, Said.

    QUESTION: Okay. Let me —

    QUESTION: Can I —

    MS. PSAKI: Go ahead.

    QUESTION: — just follow up very quickly on a couple more issues —

    MS. PSAKI: Okay.

    QUESTION: — on this thing. Now, the Palestinians are really considering dissolving the PA simply because it is bankrupt and it’s unable to pay any salaries or anything or even to perform its function. So in this case, what do you advise the Palestinians to do?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, we remain very concerned about the continued viability of the Palestinian Authority if they do not receive funds soon, either in terms of the resumption of monthly Israeli transfers of Palestinian tax revenues or additional donor assistance. The election just happened yesterday, as all of you know, so obviously we have not yet had the chance to discuss these issues with them.

    Roz.

    QUESTION: That was going to be my question. The lead Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, told anyone who would listen yesterday that it’s basically – the Palestinians basically have no choice now except to try to pursue recognition for an independent country outside of this framework, this negotiating framework. Have there been any discussions in the last 24 hours with President Abbas, with Mr. Erekat —

    MS. PSAKI: No.

    QUESTION: — with anyone else? Are there plans to have discussions about how to proceed, given that any such conversations realistically can’t be held with anyone in the Israeli Government until a new government has actually been seated?

    MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to make predictions. Obviously, Roz, we have regular discussions with representatives of the Palestinian Authority just like we have regular discussions with the Israelis. I’m also not going to prejudge what we would or wouldn’t do depending on what actions are taken. So it just – the elections just happened yesterday. I’m sure we’ll continue to discuss where we go from here.

    QUESTION: Is there an opportunity to reestablish some level of trust among the Palestinians that the U.S. is concerned about their aspirations to have an independent homeland?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, I think we’ve consistently stated that that is our position and that is our view, so there really should be no confusion about that.

    QUESTION: But is it not correct to say that given the prime minister’s stance that he unveiled in the last few days before the vote, that would seem to make it much more difficult now for your two-state solution to come into being?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, I think that’s why I just stated that given the prime minister’s comments, we’re in a position going forward where we will be evaluating our approach with regard to how best to achieve a two-state solution. Now our position remains that we continue to believe that the preferred path to resolve this conflict is for the parties to reach an agreement on final status issues directly. But certainly, while that’s been our position, obviously the prime minister’s position has changed.

    QUESTION: So how are you going to do that without Israel on board?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, I’m not going to prejudge what we’ll do. The election was yesterday. Those comments were made two days ago. So I’m sure we’ll continue to discuss.

    QUESTION: When you say you’re going to reevaluate the approach to how best to bring about a two-state solution, implicit in that, I think, but I just want to make sure, is that you are still going to push for a two-state solution.

    MS. PSAKI: Yes, absolutely.

    QUESTION: How exactly are you going to do that if one of the parties to the two-state solution is pushing back?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, we’ll remain in touch with key stakeholders to find a way forward. We’re not quite there yet.

    QUESTION: Well, no kidding you’re not there yet. You’re further away from it now than you have been probably ever before, because now you have a prime minister who’s been reelected or is about, looks like he’s about to form a government, who says that a two-state solution is not what is in the best interest of Israel. So how —

    MS. PSAKI: I understand that. That’s why I said we’re going to be evaluating.

    QUESTION: But I mean, trying over and over and over again the same approach which doesn’t work and is not going to lead to your – it was often said during the last iteration of peace talks that the U.S. can’t want a solution more than the two parties do. And now —

    MS. PSAKI: That remains true.

    QUESTION: Well, right, but it doesn’t look like – one of the parties now says it’s absolutely opposed to that.

    MS. PSAKI: Yes, we’re aware. That’s why I addressed those comments.

    QUESTION: But I don’t understand. What’s the point of reevaluating it then if you’re – if there’s no way you’re going to achieve it? Or are you hoping that the prime minister maybe changes his mind, that this was just some kind of campaign rhetoric that he used to drum up support?

    MS. PSAKI: I’m just not going to outline the options, Matt, but obviously, we’re aware of the comments. Certainly, the fact that he’s changed his position is – has an impact and we’re certainly aware of that.

    QUESTION: All right. And then more broadly, we’re now in a situation where the Government of the United States and the Government of Israel are diametrically opposed on two extremely significant security – national, international security issues: the Iran negotiations and the Middle East peace process, such as is, was, or will be. Are you concerned at all that this is – that we find ourselves in a situation where the President and the prime minister of Israel are at such loggerheads on two of the most – two issues that the U.S. has traditionally regarded as being extremely important?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, I think no matter what government is formed – that’s obviously the process that they’re in now – we will continue our close military, intelligence, and security cooperation with Israel. This close security cooperation is essential to the security of the Israeli people and it certainly is in the interests of the United States. We’ve been long familiar with the views of the prime minister on Iran. We don’t think that his win has impacted the Iran negotiations or will. Certainly, his recent comments on opposition to the Palestinians having a state have caused us to evaluate our approach moving forward. But beyond that, there are issues we work together on that we will continue to.

    QUESTION: So the security relationship will stay the same regardless of this? That’s what you’re saying?

    MS. PSAKI: Yes.

    QUESTION: Did you answer – in response to the question earlier if the United States would continue to – given these two huge disagreements now, will the United States continue to be Israel’s protector at the UN and other fora? You may have answered that, or in response to the earlier question.

    MS. PSAKI: Well, what I said was we’re not going to prejudge what steps – any decision about what the United States may do at the UN. Obviously, Said has asked in the past about the ICC. We’ve said previously, we’ve made clear our opposition to Palestinian efforts to join the ICC – to join the statute of the ICC. This does nothing to further the aspiration of the Palestinian people. We still believe, obviously, that a negotiation between the two parties is the preferred outcome.

    QUESTION: Okay.

    MS. PSAKI: But we’ll continue to discuss these issues moving forward.

    QUESTION: All right. Well, that’s on the ICC. What about on a Security Council resolution that would call for a two-state solution?

    MS. PSAKI: As I said, we’re currently evaluating our approach. We’re not going to prejudge what we would do if there was a UN action.

    QUESTION: So you’re leaving open the possibility that the United States – this Administration – would not use its veto to protect Israel from a Security Council resolution that the Israeli Government thinks is harmful to its country?

    MS. PSAKI: Well, the prime minister’s recent statements call into question his commitment to a two-state solution. I think we all agree on that point. But that doesn’t mean that we’ve made a decision about changing our position with respect to the UN. I have nothing to outline for you on that today.

    • just
      March 18, 2015, 6:58 pm

      Thanks, Rusty.

      I appreciate Mr. Obama’s silence, and Mr. Kerry’s “brief”
      phone call.

      “The secretary of stat,e John Kerry, who has fought hard on the Middle East peace process, and was in Switzerland for the final stages of nuclear talks with Iran that Netanyahu has fought hard to scupper, pointedly refused to respond to questions about the Israeli election results.

      State Department officials later said that Kerry called Netanyahu to congratulate him on the results. “It was a brief phone call,” said Jen Psaki, his chief spokesperson. “They did not discuss substantive issues.””

      link to theguardian.com

    • Walid
      March 18, 2015, 9:56 pm

      “At today’s State Ptresser…” (Rusty)

      One has to feel sorry for Psaki; she’s put into a job where she is supposed to answer joutnalists’ questions but is not allowed to and Matt keeps asking questions that he knows all too well that Psaki cannot answer. It’s like water torture for Psaki; all she’s missing is the harlequin outfit.

    • Avigail Abarbanel
      March 19, 2015, 3:36 am

      Thank you for this Rusty. Like I said, the US will be stalling for a while and then we’ll see…

  24. Citizen
    March 18, 2015, 8:07 pm

    Surely, this is a joke–a bad one on the American and Palestinian people? Those AIPAC dollars are really hard and crusty, eh?

  25. JWalters
    March 18, 2015, 8:55 pm

    “It is about to get very very tough.”

    I agree. The reason is not because of Jewish supremacists in Israel, because there is no way such a small population of bigots can drag the world’s superpower around by the nose. The reason is the ultra-wealthy war profiteers behind them, for whom the Zionist bigots are merely pawns in a bigger game. These war profiteers are at the root of the so-called “war on terror”. They won’t easily give up their enormous war profits, nor their political and media control that enable those MIC profits.

    Right now they are desperately trying to sabotage democracy on all fronts to maintain control, creating “dysfunction” in government. They are probably running scared over increasing public awareness of devastating, incriminating facts about their role in starting the Iraq war. Chaos helps them maintain control by diverting attention and resources. A climate catastrophe or another war would help them maintain control. Disarming them without precipitating an Armageddon may be difficult.

    If Jewish Americans en masse could wake up to this reality and end their support for this unholy alliance of war profiteers and Jewish supremacists, their moral authority and political control would evaporate. That would certainly be a huge help.

    Some key Zionist myths are debunked by a founder of Israel here.
    link to consortiumnews.com

  26. David Doppler
    March 18, 2015, 11:21 pm

    There is the reality, and there is the version of it Netanyahu is celebrating. The reality is clearly stated by Jason Ditz at Antiwar: “Netanyahu Wins Surprise Plurality, Govt Still Unclear

    link to news.antiwar.com

    Without at least one of Kulanu, Yesh Atid, Zionist Union, The Joint List (Arab), or Meretz, the right only counts 57 seats, not enough to form a government.

    While Likud is talking about appointing Moshe Kahlon of Kulanu as Finance Minister, he’s not talking to them yet, and won’t until Sunday. He left Likud over disagreements with its leadership and formed his new party. He has a great deal of credibility, and has refused to say which way he will go. Likud also fraudulently used old recordings of his voice to urge voters to vote Likud at the last minute, not exactly prelude to a trusting coalition partnership.

    There is every reason to hope that Bibi’s “Election Victory” turns out to be just another speech to Congress: short-term megalomaniacal hero worship for the Leader, long-term harm to Israel. The Congressional standing ovation bounce faded in days, but the broken relationship with the US iremains. Now the so-called election comes down to coalition building, and, until Yair Lapid or Moshe Kahlon, or Isaac Herzog, or Ayman Odey, or Meretz announce they’re joining the fascists, THERE IS NO new Netanyahu government. But the further long-term damage of Netanyahu’s last minute rallying cries to Israel is obvious: Netanyahu and the Neocons never wanted peace, and are just a bunch of racist fearmongers, and the Israel Lobby has been selling phony goods to the US public for years, and is still trying to spin the current situation AS IF Netanyahu actually won anything, except the largest (25%) plurality, and the right at first crack at putting together a coalition.

    Yes, 25% of the electorate voted for his party, and 48% for the hard right and ultra-religious. But 52% didn’t, depending how Kulanu turns.

    So, I encourage everyone to calm down, and wait for a coalition to be announced. Until it is, there is no new government, only Bibi celebrating as if there were. Why join in his celebration? The Center Left plus Kulanu still have to vote their 63 seats.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      March 19, 2015, 1:11 am

      I wish I could be more hopeful that his ugly words and Palestinian state backtracking would wake up most Americans. I think too many here live in a “progressive” echo chamber, and fail to see how ingrained support for Israel is in this country. What I see, especially here in red state America, is ever more hate toward Muslims and near deification of Netanyahu. The Christian Zionism is intense and needs to be countered in a more organized way. One thing that could possibly wake these people up is for us to methodically and regularly expose Israel’s harm to America, including its record of false flag attacks, and its role in dragging us into the Iraq War. Beat the Zionists at their own game for once. And unlike them, we won’t have to lie.

  27. Rodneywatts
    March 19, 2015, 9:33 am

    This comment follows on from mine above, your own reference in final para re support for Palestinians and @lysias comment to Phil’s parallel post.

    Thank you @lysias for the following link to awful statement by EU’s High Representative (foreign minister)

    eeas.europe.eu/statements-eeas/2015/150318_01_en.htm

    Federica Mogherini is a relatively inexperienced diplomat/politician, and maybe can be forgiven, but I felt it important to write her the following –perhaps other EU members might also write more effectively

    “I write to seriously question the wisdom of the tenor and substance of this statement issued 15.03.2015. It was only about one week ago that the EU needed to condemn Israel’s demolition of shelters for Bedouin, built with EU money. This statement congratulates Netanyahu, which even president Obama and the US government have not yet done.

    I came across the statement first on the progressive, mainly Jewish website http://www.mondoweiss.net which I would recommend Ms Federica Mogherini access & read the two posts by Avigail Abarbanel and Philip Weiss. The comments would also be illuminating.

    Sadly Israel, born in hope, has become a monster. Netanyahu is a proven liar and con-man, who has led a government which continues in a multitude of criminal and illegal activities of occupation, settlement building, over 50 laws which effectively maintain an apartheid regime, with wanton killing of palestinians.

    The connection between Israel’s activities and the rise in anti-semitism in Europe cannot be denied. Do we really want to see more?!! “

  28. Mairead
    March 19, 2015, 12:31 pm

    Lovely essay, Avigail!

    My only objection would be to the term “radical”: I’m a radical, they’re reactionaries.

  29. Bornajoo
    March 21, 2015, 10:19 am

    Apologies for my very late comment. I just wanted to thank you for this outstanding essay as well as your generous replies to (mostly) excellent comments.

    “Narcissistic guilt”. Yes that really does explain so much about the mentality and attitudes of my family in israel and also of many of them here in the UK. Very enlightening.

    Thanks very much Avigail Abarbanel.

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