Azaria’s conviction will end a totalitarian ideology

Israel/Palestine
on 26 Comments

This is one in a series of columns by Yakov Hirsch on Hasbara Culture, and its impact on discourse and politics in Israel and the U.S. You can see the other columns here.

In the beginning of January 2017, Israeli sergeant Elor Azaria is going to be found guilty for the execution of Abd al Fatah Al-Sharif lying prostate on the ground in Hebron last March 24. And the Israeli political reaction to that verdict will be transformative. It is then that the hasbara culture cultivated by Benjamin Netanyahu will at last be confronted by a sane Israel led by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

The discourse that will resound in Israel in defense of Azaria will be incoherent to anyone who is not an adherent of the hasbara culture that now permeates that society. Naftali Bennett, the education minister under Netanyahu, has already been saying that Azaria needs to be pardoned if convicted.

We have already heard from soldiers who say they will go “AWOL” or even desert should their fellow combatant be convicted of manslaughter charges by the military court.

Jeffrey Goldberg epitomizes Hasbara Culture (Photo: Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images)

Jeffrey Goldberg epitomizes Hasbara Culture (Photo: Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images)

The saga of the Murdering Medic is so important because it has revealed the way that “hasbara” – or the Israeli tradition of spinning its actions to try and make them acceptable to the world – has so deeply affected the spinners themselves that hasbara has hardened into an Israeli construction of reality, so much so that the many participants in that reality no longer think it is necessary to even spin bad events.

Observers who think the Israel of 2016 is an Israel of Netanyahu “cowering before the settlers” are wrong in my opinion.

The real struggle in Israeli leadership is who can control a sacred ethnocentric discourse of Jewish persecution and innocence. That is what has shaped Israeli politics in recent years: the heavyweight battle between Netanyahu and Bennett over control of the reins of hasbara culture.

Let us recall the Israeli government reaction to the video of the killing when it came out last March. Here, after all, was irrefutable evidence of the IDF behaving as its worst critics around the world claim that it does. The whole scene in its hideous naked glory — with the indifferent Israeli soldier “bystanders” to the shooting, as well as the congratulatory hand shake for Azaria from his friend the settler leader Baruch Marzel at the end (as Larry Derfner revealed)—was a nightmare for the difficult business of hasbara.

The video gave the lie to the carefully cultivated image of the world’s most moral army.

We all braced ourselves for the Israeli effort to spin the video: if only to argue that it was an aberration from the IDF norms.

But that is not what happened. What happened is that high officials in the government said, we saw exactly what you saw in that video, and it is fine.

Let’s go back to the timeline. A couple of days after the killing, Amos Harel in Haaretz described it as a “coldblooded execution” and an inevitable one, but he anticipated official condemnation.

“The chief of staff, who was once a brigade and division commander of soldiers in the territories, knows [that]… Animal-like behavior like that seen in Thursday’s incident in Hebron can quickly become the unwritten procedure for units in the field. That is the reason that the shooter was immediately arrested, an unusual move for the IDF these days, and the reason for the sharp public condemnations issued by [chief of staff Gadi] Eisenkot and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon…”

“Meanwhile, we’ve seen no right-wing campaign in support of the shooter.”

Even Netanyahu was on board at this point. He said

“that the soldier’s conduct does not represent the army’s values and even insinuated that the soldier failed to act in accordance with the military’s open-fire rules.”

This story might very well have ended there were it not for hasbara culture. Azaria would have been a bad apple. Even the most moral army in the world has a bad apple or two!

But then Education Minister Bennett came into the picture. Three days after the killing, he began lecturing Netanyahu in the very way Netanyahu lectures human rights groups.

“This soldier was sent by the State of Israel to defend against terror during war,” he said before entering the [Cabinet] meeting. “That some of this country’s leadership has jumped to conclusions before the trial is a mistake and are dancing to the tune of B’Tselem…”

Once the Azaria incident got defined as a story of “us” vs our “enemies,” Netanyahu had nowhere to go except to agitate with Bennett. Because it is Netanyahu himself who has cultivated the world view that the Palestinian on the ground should be killed.

Netanyahu can’t be on the B’Tselem side of this fight!

It should be stressed what the environment is in Israel since the so called “knife intifada” started.

Naftali Bennett states that “terrorists must be killed, not freed”; Yair Lapid clarifies, “You have to shoot to kill anyone who pulls out a knife or a screwdriver”; Bezalel Smotrich cries, “A terrorist who sets out to murder Jews, whatever his age, must not return alive”; and Gilad Erdan declares, “Every terrorist must know he won’t survive the attack he is about to commit.”

Bennett best summed up the government line on Azaria:

“Talk of a murder charge against a combat soldier during a combat operation is a moral mistake that blurs the lines between good and evil. I expect this mistake to be mended.”

Netanyahu then reversed himself. He called the parents of the accused medic, and described Azaria as “one of our children.” He later compared his empathetic call to calling a parent of an IDF soldier fallen in combat.

In Netanyahu’s Israel, hasbara culture is the only game in town. You’re either on the side of hasbara culture and all that’s good in the world, or you’re on the side of the devil. Remember what hasbara culture ideas Netanyahu most champions. From his speech at the teens’ funeral in 2014:

“A deep and wide moral abyss separates us from our enemies. They sanctify death while we sanctify life. They sanctify cruelty while we sanctify compassion.”

That statement and Bennett’s statement of “a moral mistake” in blaming Azaria is why I insist that we are dealing with hasbara culture.

Hasbara began as the need to make sense to outsiders, to spin reality. But these leaders are no longer concerned with that project: they will not convince unindoctrinated outsiders that Azaria doesn’t belong in prison with this type of talk. Any ordinary person seeing that video realizes that Elor Azaria does not represent “good” and his going to prison is not a “moral mistake.”

But for the indoctrinated these statements fall on fertile soil. Bennett is reflecting the Israeli experience of reality when he says that the idea of charging Azaria “blurs the lines between good and evil.” We are good, they are evil. Bennett is saying that the scene of the Azaria shooting of Abd al Fatah Al-Shari is “sacred.” It’s part of the us vs them, good vs bad, narrative that is at the heart of hasbara culture. Hasbara culture understands Jewish history as one long morality tale. It is the foundation of an extreme Jewish ethnocentric narrative, which in its telling, started over two millennia ago and runs through all of hasbara culture’s tendentious telling of Jewish history up to today.

We are going to be hearing a lot more of this kind of talk after the inevitable guilty verdict for Azaria in early January.

But we will also be hearing pushback from Israelis who understand how the rest of the world sees reality.

To understand the other side of this ideological battle, you must recall Gen. Yair Golan’s Holocaust memorial speech of last May, when, alarmed by the rising chorus of voices that excused Azaria’s conduct as the appropriate way to treat Palestinians, he warned that Nazi currents are alive in Israeli political culture today. The speech resulted in the sacking of Golan’s former boss, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who had defended the speech to Netanyahu.

This duality is also what the whole circus surrounding the Amona settlement is about. Once Bennett agitates and defines the struggle on behalf of the Amona settlers as being the same as the sacred struggle in Jewish and Zionist history, Netanyahu becomes Bennett’s hostage.

Ideological moderation is no longer an option at this late date of Benjamin Netanyahu’s political career. His Manichean scorched earth holy wars against his “leftist” political and cultural enemies is Netanyahu’s signature use of toxic hasbara culture for his personal gain; for electoral success.

And Netanyahu’s big political problem these days is Bennett wanting to become the new overseer of hasbara culture. Netanyahu can never let that happen – or he is done.

This is not just about securing the support of the pro-settlement voters. It’s about securing the support of the entire political culture of Israeli society.

And Naftali Bennett is no ordinary right-wing politician. He has constantly been trying to wrest control of hasbara culture from Benjamin Netanyahu.  He knows that it is the key to Netanyahu’s success.

This also explains the state of the left in Israel today. The left in hasbara culture is on the side of “them” and the “bad” of Jewish history.

As a recent poll has shown, nearly half of Israelis think the left are “traitors.”

In short, there is no place for the “left” in the totalitarian ideology of hasbara culture.

Jeffrey Goldberg by Steve Voss, Bloomberg

Jeffrey Goldberg by Steve Voss, Bloomberg

It is one thing for Netanyahu and Bennett to drag Israeli politics into the narrow and confined space of hasbara culture. The state of Israel must work these things out for itself.

But as an American and a Jew, my concern is the fact that hasbara culture also dominates our discussions of the conflict.

That is the achievement of Jeffrey Goldberg and his followers, who are ready to use the Holocaust and anti-Semitism and other smears against any mainstream voice that is out of line.

Goldberg has said that Jill Stein is crazy for supporting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. For the same alleged crime, going to a BDS rally, he has accused a Norwegian rock band of being Nazis.

What Netanyahu has done with hasbara culture in Israel Jeffrey Goldberg has done with it here: created a sacred discourse that no one in the mainstream can contradict. In fact, ever since Andrew Sullivan left the scene, no one has confronted hasbara culture directly here.

And therefore, the Elor Azaria case is a crisis for Goldberg, too. The video of the murdering medic set off a chain of events in Israel in which hasbara culture is NOW facing a serious confrontation. Leading figures have become dissidents, accusing Netanyahu and Bennett and others of fostering fascistic strains in Israeli society. This drama is only going to accelerate when as I believe, Azaria is convicted in January.

Goldberg has had almost nothing to say about Azaria. The reason is obvious. Azaria executing someone because the hasbara culture voice in his head told him to may not be a problem for Naftali Bennett and Israeli leaders, but it is a big Stop sign here. Azaria exposes Goldberg’s achievement: Because in the sacred and tribal socially-constructed reality Goldberg has created, all Palestinian resistance is motivated by hatred for Jews. That is why they attempt to stab soldiers.

But the video of the medic calmly killing an incapacitated Palestinian on the ground exposes what is really going on there. Haaretz’s Gideon Levy described the Israeli policy in the territories:

a policy – to kill, kill and kill. No taking prisoners, no arrest procedures, no rules of engagement. Every knife or scissors wielder, every stone or firebomb thrower and every car rammer – or anyone who is seen to resemble one – must die.

Jeffrey Goldberg has attacked Haaretz as a dissident publication, but his career ambitions do not allow him to say what he really thinks about the “plight” of the Israeli soldier while the world is looking at the Azaria video. Because what Elor Azaria thinks about Palestinian resistance is what Jeffrey Goldberg thinks about Palestinian resistance: It’s all about the Jews. Jeffrey Goldberg’s whole career has been one long tendentious effort to define opposition to Israel as opposition to Jews, as being motivated by a hatred of Jews. And that “social construction of reality” about Abd al Fatah Al-Sharif, which Elor Azaria experienced when he said “the terrorist must die” is what Jeffrey Goldberg has been preaching to the Jewish community and everyone else for the past twenty years.

But when even Israeli leaders have said that the case exposes fascism and Nazi currents in Israel, it is too dangerous for an ambitious “liberal” like Goldberg to say a word in Azaria’s favor.

It is not a surprise that the only thing Jeffrey Goldberg had to say about the case was to retweet a Shmuel Rosner article, whose only coherent message is that the Azaria trial is a PR disaster for Israel. Rosner repeated former defense minister Moshe Arens’s warning about the case:

“Elor Azaria’s Trial Should Never Have Become a Public Affair”

That is precisely Goldberg’s feeling. The case should never have become a public matter because it has only exposed the fact that Hasbara Culture is now run amok in Israel. And when Azaria is convicted, all hell will break loose. A broad segment of society will be outraged; a few sane Israelis will plead for the rule of law. Netanyahu will defend the medic. And Barak will try to unify an anti-Netanyahu coalition.

Goldberg must have felt like the luckiest person in the world when he got promoted to being editor in chief of The Atlantic two months ago. Who could expect the new editor with his huge workload to share his opinion about what was going on in Israel!

I have done my best to show how the Elor Azaria story and its reverberations in Israel have been spun by the hasbarists here. The people who have made a career out of obfuscation and obscurantism about all things Israel (from Max Boot to Bret Stephens to Eli Lake) continued to do so in our discourse. We will return after the Azaria verdict to assess how these “journalists” who claim to be the biggest experts America and the Jewish community have to offer on Israel did on their real life quiz about what the Azaria story was really about.

Meanwhile we can only cross our fingers and hope that Jeffrey Goldberg– “no greater journalist writing in the country today,” and our biggest expert on Israel– will take a break from his busy schedule and share his wisdom with the rest of us. What has Elor Azaria wrought?

About Yakov Hirsch

Yakov Hirsch is a professional poker player and dog trainer. His twitter handle is @Yakovhirsch and his articles are posted at yakovhirsch.com.

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26 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan
    December 14, 2016, 11:00 am

    Israeli society is in a state of moral decay. It is not stable. The Azaria story is a abomination . There will be something worse next year. Netanayahu has presided over the decay. Bennett is a real Nazi.

    Goldberg would defend the klling of 3 kids on a beach in Gaza by accusations of blood libel but Bennett blames the kids.

    • amigo
      December 14, 2016, 1:39 pm

      “Goldberg would defend the klling of 3 kids on a beach in Gaza by accusations of blood libel but Bennett blames the kids. “Maghlawatan

      Not sure if you have been watching CNN who are broadcasting puke inducing hypocritical condemnations of Syrian/Russian slaughter of children in play grounds.I naturally condemn these atrocities but am aghast at the level of attention given , especially when these hypocrites at CNN spent most of their time during the Gaza 2014 Lawn mowing ops , defending Israel,s right to defend itself and ignoring Israeli crimes.

      2 cases in point.

      1, Samantha ( give me )Power is busy at the UN asking the Russian FM the following , “Is there no crime you will not commit in Syria such as bombing civilians , many of them children . Have you no shame.”

      This from the apologist for Israel,s abundance of war crimes.Too much.

      2, Josh Earnest (I believe ) is almost animated in his condemnation of the killing of three kids in a playground , as he should be but recall how deeply disturbed he was(nt) when Israeli naval forces slaughtered 4 Palestinian Boys playing on a beach in Gaza , not to mention the bombing of UN shelters that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians.Mum,s the word at CNN when Israel is involved.

      Do these people truly think everyone in their audience is a moron or is suffering from stunted vision.

      • just
        December 14, 2016, 6:50 pm

        I’ve shouted aloud every single time that Samantha was given air time today on MSM with her puke- worthy hypocrisy wrt the horrible events and deaths in Syria. Is it ‘fake news’? What’s really going on and who is to blame?

        “Are you incapable of shame?’: Samantha Power criticises Syria, Iran and Russia over Aleppo – video

        The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, tells the security council that the Syrian government and its allies Russia and Iran bear responsibility for killings of civilians in Aleppo. Using strong language, she accuses the three member states of putting a ‘noose’ around civilians in the city. ‘Is there no execution of a child that gets under your skin?’ she asks. ‘Is there literally nothing that shames you?’”

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/dec/14/are-you-incapable-of-shame-samantha-power-criticises-syria-iran-and-russia-video

        A former US ambassador at the UN thought it “worth it” to kill so many Iraqi children and other civilians.

        “During his presidency, Bill Clinton presided over the most devastating regime of economic sanctions in history, that the U.N. estimated took the lives of as many as a million Iraqis, the vast majority of them children. In May of 1996, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Madeleine Albright, who at the time was Clinton’s U.N. ambassador. Correspondent Leslie Stahl said to Albright, “We have heard that a half-million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And — and, you know, is the price worth it?”

        Madeleine Albright replied, “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.” ”

        https://www.democracynow.org/2004/7/30/democracy_now_confronts_madeline_albright_on

        How many more innocents and valiant defenders of their homelands have been slaughtered since those sanctions?

        Can you even imagine Sam Power Sunstein speaking of the ritual slaughter of imprisoned (Gazans) and Occupied Palestinians (all of them) by Israel in the same way that she did of the actual people of the ME yesterday???

        I hope the day comes… I pray for it… Peace with justice must prevail.

  2. Maghlawatan
    December 14, 2016, 12:20 pm

    The only thing that will end the totalitarian ideology is political power of sufficient heft. No sign of that. The majority of Israeli Jews is undemocratic. Mizrahi from the Middle East. Orthodox both Middle East and European. Russians. Settlers . The percentage of thinking Israelis might be as low as 20. Jewish blessedness is so politically attractive. Zionism itself is deluded. Ben Gurion thought it doesn’t matter what the goys think. All that matters is what Jews do. But what goys think is very important. A society in moral crisis has no self discipline, no red lines.

  3. Mooser
    December 14, 2016, 12:35 pm

    ” will take a break from his busy schedule and share his wisdom with the rest of us.”

    Last I heard, he was boot-scooting in his tassel loafers and singing “The Gambler” in the first person; ‘I know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run’.

  4. amigo
    December 14, 2016, 1:46 pm

    Azaria will be found guilty and given a pardon followed quickly by a promotion.Israel needs it,s idf thugs to be committed to “getting the job done ” a euphemism (in Israel ) for “resolving “the demographic problem , a euphemism , (in Israel) for getting rid of the droves of Arabs , who make life uncomfortable for Israel,s Ubermensch.

  5. eljay
    December 14, 2016, 2:11 pm

    Azaria’s conviction will end a totalitarian ideology

    I doubt it.

  6. Maghlawatan
    December 14, 2016, 3:21 pm

    Azaria is a product of the Israeli education /Army /yeshiva system. there are hundreds of thousands more like him with a sick sense of entitlement. The occupation breeds them. the idea that Israel is normal and Azaria a freak is sadly wrong. Azaria is a child of Netanyahu’s Israel.

    • Marnie
      December 16, 2016, 12:44 am

      I think Azaria represents most, if not all, israeli zionists. They dedicated songs to him, calling him a king. He has a huge fan base. He’s normal because most of his compatriots feel the same way. He took his time and casually ‘neutralized’ the fallen, helpless, no longer a threat Abd al Fatah Al-Sharif (if he ever was a threat, other than a breathing Palestinian youth).

  7. yonah fredman
    December 14, 2016, 4:44 pm

    Hebron is the nuttiest place with the nuttiest partition in all the west bank. Sending an 18 –year old kid into hebron is horrible, particularly during the knife intifada.

    Zionism and viewing every pregnant Palestinian as a demographic problem creates or more accurately exacerbates the tender situation creating hate or worsening hate. But the west bank with the settlement project and that to the nth power in hebron, the atmosphere is toxic.

    Yakov hirsch seems to have a definite vision of how the azalea verdict will play out and I am agnostic. Is it a hunch or is it an accurate read.

    • Mooser
      December 14, 2016, 7:02 pm

      .” Sending an 18 –year old kid into hebron is horrible, particularly during the knife intifada.”

      Gosh, “Yonah” your ability to put the problem into a fair perspective is outstanding. You are right, Hebron duty should be restricted to those IDF persons 21 or older.

    • just
      December 14, 2016, 7:12 pm

      “Yakov hirsch seems to have a definite vision of how the azalea verdict will play out and I am agnostic. Is it a hunch or is it an accurate read. ”

      I cannot resist. Apologies to the challenged.

      • Yakov Hirsch
        December 18, 2016, 10:55 pm

        just December 14, 2016, 7:12 pm
        “Yakov hirsch seems to have a definite vision of how the azalea verdict will play out and I am agnostic. Is it a hunch or is it an accurate read. ”

        Just, nice catch.

  8. Helena Cobban
    December 14, 2016, 7:16 pm

    This seems like a very bizarre form of argument, right through. Not just YH’s apparent “conviction” that Azaria will be convicted– really? But also the argument, as expressed in the headline that this will “end hasbara culture”… or even that, as YH writes: “the hasbara culture cultivated by Benjamin Netanyahu will at last be confronted by a sane Israel led by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.”

    Excuse me? A “sane Israel led by former PM Ehud Barak”? What has YH been smoking? Barak– who was Netanyahu’s comrade-in-arms for many years in the atrocity-committing commando group Sayeret Mekhel? Barak– who twisted and turned the truth in the way he lured Arafat into the fatal Camp David talks then lied vociferously about what had happened there? This is the guy who might lead a “sane” Israel?

    • just
      December 14, 2016, 7:35 pm

      thank you, Helena.

      (I cannot remember a time when there was a “sane Israel”)

  9. just
    December 14, 2016, 7:55 pm

    One just has to read Kate’s compilations to see that until and unless the US stands for something other than hypocrisy and hegemony in MENA and being complicit with Israel and the other thug nations, then nothing will change for the better.

    Read this:

    “Will Israeli soldier get away with videotaped killing of teen? EI 10 Dec by Ali Abunimah

    — An Israeli soldier facing trial for the killing of an unarmed Palestinian teenager that was shown on TV screens around the world may now get away with a slap on the wrist. Israeli Border Police combatant Ben Dery is charged with manslaughter in the slaying of 17-year-old Nadim Nuwara on 15 May 2014 – Nakba Day, when Palestinians commemorate their 1948 ethnic cleansing from much of their homeland. But Israeli media are reporting that the manslaughter charge may now be dropped.”

    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/12/favoring-annexation-palestinians/#sthash.66SCuqdu.dpuf

    To call Azaria a “medic” is an insult and offense to health care providers everywhere… he’s a cold- blooded assassin, and so is Dery.

    So are many, many more.

    “The same day, at almost the same spot, another boy, 16-year-old Muhammad Abu al-Thahir, was fatally shot in the back in almost exactly the same circumstances, and his killing too was captured on video.

    No one has been charged with killing Abu al-Thahir, and in March 2016 Israel closed the investigation claiming there was no evidence found to point to live fire from its forces.

    The killings left behind two bereft and devastated families.

    A third Palestinian boy, Muhammad al-Azzeh, then 15, was shot with live ammunition on the same day but survived. This was also captured on video.”

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/will-israeli-soldier-get-away-videotaped-killing-teen

    All captured on video. What makes anyone think that things will change when so many Israelis support Azaria?

    Q: When will Samantha Power shed tears and outrage for Palestinian, Iraqi, Afghan, Iranian, or Yemeni victims?

    A: Never.

  10. Marnie
    December 15, 2016, 12:29 am

    I don’t think this murderer’s verdict will change anything for the better. I don’t think there will be an awakening in israel that will move the majority of israelis to fight the power. I know I’m pessimistic but my eyes and ears tell me that nothing will change here. Netanyahooo seems to have taken the bait from the younger, crazier Bennett and Co., to ratchet up the vitriol.

    Netanyahu, the most dangerous man in the world – Opinion – Israel News
    Haaretz‎ – 1 day ago

    I look at news from the u.s. and around the world and feel even more pessimistic. It’s as if the powers that be are hell bent on the destruction of everything.

    Samantha Powers is a disgusting zionist shill, projecting her very own attributes onto someone else. Has she no shame? No.

  11. JLewisDickerson
    December 15, 2016, 4:45 am

    RE: “In the beginning of January 2017, Israeli sergeant Elor Azaria is going to be found guilty for the execution of Abd al Fatah Al-Sharif lying prostate on the ground in Hebron last March 24. . . Let us recall the Israeli government reaction to the video of the killing when it came out last March. Here, after all, was irrefutable evidence of the IDF behaving as its worst critics around the world claim that it does. The whole scene in its hideous naked glory — with the indifferent Israeli soldier ‘bystanders’ to the shooting, as well as the congratulatory hand shake for Azaria from his friend the settler leader Baruch Marzel at the end (as Larry Derfner revealed)—was a nightmare for the difficult business of hasbara. The video gave the lie to the carefully cultivated image of the world’s most moral army.” ~ Yakov Hirsch

    MY COMMENT: When I finally, with great reluctance, watched the extremely disturbing video of Azaria casually, cold-bloodedly executing Abd al Fatah Al-Sharif, I was reminded of an equally haunting video* from the past. It involved an execution of a suspected Vietnamese communist by a soldier of America’s closest Asian ally back in the 1968, South Vietnam. The biggest difference is that the video of the Vietnam execution was prominently featured on television’s evening news, whereas the video of the Hebron execution by a soldier of America’s preeminent ally in the Middle East seems to have been completely ignored by American television. I can’t help but wonder what accounts for the application of this glaring ‘double standard’ by American television. Perhaps the ADL can explain it. If not, perhaps Leslie Moonves (Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation — and a great-nephew of David Ben-Gurion) can enlighten us.

    * VIDEO: ■ South Vietnamese general summarily executes a suspected communist

  12. Peter Feld
    December 15, 2016, 9:40 am

    Ehud “Villa in the Jungle” Barak is a great hope? And has the chops to beat Netanyahu and Bennet? Maybe, but I don’t understand the case for it.

    • Yakov Hirsch
      December 15, 2016, 2:13 pm

      Peter Feld December 15, 2016, 9:40 am
      “Ehud “Villa in the Jungle” Barak is a great hope? And has the chops to beat Netanyahu and Bennet? Maybe, but I don’t understand the case for it.”

      Peter, I believe if any fundamental change for the better is possible in Israel, the Kulturkampf that i am describing in this piece must happen first. Netanyahu has cultivated a sacred righteous hatred in Israeli culture against the “enemies” of the Jewish people. This is a ticking time bomb for Palestinians . Whenever the next Palestinian attack that kills a few women and children the reaction by the Israeli govt’s tribal revenge MUST be brutal. The people will demand it. The thirst for this tribal revenge will have to be satiated. That is Netanyahu’s doing. It is i believe where Netanyahu has taken Israeli society. It is my belief Israel society is in a much much worse place than ever before.
      Now read Gen Yair Golan’s Holocaust speech. I am writing for people who see a difference between Netanyahu and Golan.
      To me the difference between Netanyahu and Golan is vast. People like Golan are the only chance Israel and The Palestinians have left in my opinion. And Barak is the only one that has the gravitas to deliver the Golan message. I believe he will. Let’s return to this issue in a few weeks to see lay of the land after the Azaria verdict.

      https://peacenow.org/entry.php?id=18048#.WFLmXPkrJ3g

      • Maghlawatan
        December 15, 2016, 2:51 pm

        Yakov you are correct about the state of Israeli society. It’s like Prussia 2.0 with warmongering in its blood and society built around the military and Palestinians as Slavs..The only way to normalise Israel will be to take over the education system. I think Israel is headed for Masada

      • Mooser
        December 17, 2016, 12:10 pm

        “Now read Gen Yair Golan’s Holocaust speech. I am writing for people who see a difference between Netanyahu and Golan.”

        Golan can deliver a more liberal Zionism? Let’s hope so.

  13. pabelmont
    December 15, 2016, 10:23 am

    So, hasbara culture is revealed as cultural practice aimed at preserving and propagating (“projecting”) the worldview that Israelis (or perhaps Jews) are not human at all but divine, maybe angels, and can do no wrong (although, surprisingly, wrong can be done to them, so that they need police, border guards, army , navy, each of which is — because divine — the most moral in the world).

    But this practice rubs off on Americans so that Americans “of” hasbara culture also tend to treat Americans (or American armed forces especially as collectives) as semi-divine and semi-most-moral, to the end that they are largely above criticism on a human-rights basis. Samantha Power plays her part in this wondrous “projection” of American (and Israeli) power and divinity.

    • Yakov Hirsch
      December 20, 2016, 7:21 pm

      Mooser December 17, 2016, 12:10 pm
      “Now read Gen Yair Golan’s Holocaust speech. I am writing for people who see a difference between Netanyahu and Golan.”
      “Golan can deliver a more liberal Zionism? Let’s hope so.”

      Mooser, best i repeat my statement to avoid further confusion.
      “I am writing for people who see a difference between Netanyahu and Golan.”

      • Mooser
        December 20, 2016, 8:00 pm

        “I am writing for people who see a difference between Netanyahu and Golan.”

        Yes, you say above: “To me the difference between Netanyahu and Golan is vast.” You see a vast difference.

  14. Maghlawatan
    December 15, 2016, 3:39 pm

    The Mizrahi Jews are wasting their time living in a totalitarian society. There is a whole world out there ….

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