Mock campaign supporting two-state solution reveals liberal Israeli racism

Israel/Palestine
on 35 Comments

“We will soon be the majority!” says a huge billboard in the heart of Tel-Aviv in Arabic, showing Palestinians with Palestinian flags. As Walla reports (Hebrew), many Israelis have “erroneously thought this to be a hostile takeover of the media by Palestinian terror organizations”. But this is a completely Israeli, Zionist campaign – in fact a liberal-Zionist campaign from the ‘center’ of politics.

A parallel television campaign is running at the same time. It starts by saying the phrase in Arabic, and then translating it into Hebrew with a caricatured Arabic accent. The ad ends with warnings from various Israeli security officials saying that soon ‘they’ will be the majority and that there’s no choice – we “have to separate from the Palestinians – now!”

The campaign is meant to frighten Jewish Israelis. It’s meant to spur them into action. This is actually the work of an Israeli ‘liberal’ organization called “Commanders for Israel’s Security.” The movement is comprised of some 200 senior commanders of IDF, Shin Bet, Mossad and police, and was endorsed by former PM Ehud Barak at last year’s Herzliya Conference.

Typically, the English description of the organization’s work that appears on the front page of its website is much more politically correct than the Hebrew version. The English version seems to be along the lines of a ‘two-state solution’, described as ‘two-states for two peoples’:

“The Government of Israel shall initiate a regional process to consolidate political-security arrangements with the Palestinians and the Arab States. These arrangements will grant Israel permanent and recognized borders that ensure Israel’s security, its solid Jewish majority and the democratic character of the state for years to come.

The agreement with the Palestinians will be based on the principle of “two states for two peoples” and the 1967 line with arrangements and adjustments as dictated by Israel’s security and demographic needs. Only this path will prevent the creation of a bi-national state.

Realities in the Middle East make it necessary, and the Arab Peace Initiative makes it possible to achieve a combined agreement – with the Arab States and the Palestinians – that significantly enhances Israel’s national security interests.

Israel’s security forces have the power to secure the borders agreed upon by the government of Israel and endorsed by the Israeli people.”

So far, it seems to dovetail rather nicely with the ‘Kerry logic’.

But it’s somewhat different when you open the Hebrew version which is much more candid.

When opening their front page in Hebrew, a 20-second audio description runs automatically and describes the organization’s four goals as:

1)     Strengthening security of Israeli citizens

2)     Strengthening our standing in the world

3)     Mending the tear in the nation

4)     Opening for future negotiations

The message ends with the slogan: “No waiting for a partner – we’re taking the initiative. Security now! Peace – later.”

At the center of the Hebrew front page there is a more elaborate description. It starts with the red headline “No partner is not a strategy.” This is a reference that leans heavily upon Barak’s slogan after his fictitious ‘generous offer’ in Camp David 2000, and the belief that ‘there is no partner for peace’. The headline on the page both strengthens the ‘no partner’ claim, as well as the need to take unilateral action. But what is that action, exactly, when it is said in Hebrew? Here is the rest of the Hebrew description of the goals, on the front page:

“SECURITY FIRST is an outline for an independent Israeli initiative, not reliant upon a partner.

The outline reflects the attitude, that between viable peace and passive alleviation of the existent threats, there exists a wide array of possibilities for initiative that would improve and promote the national goals of Israel.

The plan presents NEW APPROACH combining the need to enhance the personal and national security and the need for full security control of West Bank, preserving conditions which will enable, with time, negotiations regarding final-status and improvement of Israel’s regional and international standing.” [my emphases in last paragraph].

In other words, the emphasis of the initiative is not really ‘peace’ – that’s for ‘later’. Its emphasis is security, the one word which can unite Israelis like no other, and of course Israel’s PR image. “Full security control of the West Bank” is the goal while leaving the matter of possible negotiations to an indefinite point in the future.

When this is summed up, one wonders how this really differs from Netanyahu, when he had to backpedal from his promise that there will be no Palestinian state under his watch? Netanyahu’s pre-election remarks were for the Israeli public to get him elected (and they arguably did), but he had to do an ‘international version’ in English after the elections for some cosmetic diplomatic damage control. Netanyahu reassured international audiences by saying “I want a sustainable and peaceful two-state solution, but circumstances have to change for that to happen.” In the end every side got what it wanted – Israelis knew Netanyahu meant what he said before elections, and the US could say that he endorsed two states again and that there’s ‘hope’.

The Commanders for Israeli Security, whilst ostensibly separating themselves from the ‘delusional’ recent suggestions for annexation of West Bank territories by rightwing ministers (as the organization’s head Genreal (res.) Amnon Reshef notes in the Walla interview), nonetheless portray a no less nationalistic vein and attitude. Its main motto is ‘separation’, naturally in order to secure the sacred Zionist goal of Jewish demographic superiority and sovereignty. But whilst it emphasizes the diplomatic aspect and the need to preserve ‘democracy’ in the English face, it works on a much more coarse, nationalistic and blatantly racist line in the Hebrew version directed at Jewish Israelis, and its Arabic mock campaign just takes the cake.

It’s not strange for centrist, liberal Zionists to say their goal is “maximum Jews on maximum land with maximum security and with minimum Palestinians” – that’s MK Yair Lapid’s line.

The Commanders for Israel’s Security reveal in their campaign the true, racist face of liberal Zionism.

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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35 Responses

  1. eljay
    January 16, 2017, 10:48 am

    … It’s not strange for centrist, liberal Zionists to say their goal is “maximum Jews on maximum land with maximum security and with minimum Palestinians” – that’s MK Yair Lapid’s line. …

    One religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine containing as small as possible a “demographic threat” + absolution of obligations under international law and accountability for past and on-going (war) crimes = what Zionists like jon s refer to as “peace”.

    • Mooser
      January 16, 2017, 5:12 pm

      Funny tho, the Zionists here try to scare us with how powerful Israel is, but in Israel Zionists try to scare each other with how fragile and demographically helpless Israel is.

      • eljay
        January 17, 2017, 2:22 pm

        Israel: Powerfully fragile.

  2. US Citizen
    January 16, 2017, 3:19 pm

    Hilarious – The agreement with the Palestinians will be based on the principle of “two states for two peoples” and the 1967 line with “arrangements and adjustments as dictated by Israel’s security and demographic needs.”

    Of course, no mention of security for the Palestinians from the illegal settler squats who will not stop their fanatical, messianic rampage for sure.

    Silly me, I get it now; Palestinians only have those rights which do not conflict with the “right” that Israeli Jews had to steal most of their land.

    Oh my yes, Israels definition of “peace” means Jewish supremacism and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

    Most certainly Israel would want peace…once it is done ethnically cleansing all of Palestine.

    I think I’ll grab a bottle of wine, a bag of popcorn and a deck chair and enjoy the sh*t show that is Israel to come.

    • GodWPalestine
      January 18, 2017, 7:03 am

      I lived in what they call “Israel” for most of my life and boy I tell you I’m not scared if I go to hell when I die because nothing can be worse than living hell on earth especially with the orthodox Jews and the special laws pop up when a settler kills Palestinian is always mental and when Arabs build on their own lands is illegal while settlements are fine!
      Seriously, I don’t know how lawmakers and lawyers survive there…
      And that is possible for Arabs to be the majority since every single Jew has a second nationality mainly American, once my Jew friend told me “when you go to NY throw your shoe up in the air and it will end on an Israeli head”.

  3. Atlantaiconoclast
    January 16, 2017, 8:09 pm

    It has been clear to me for years that Israel will eventually annex huge parts of the West Bank, and press for the bits of Palestine that remain to be confederated with Jordan, as if that makes things ok for the dispossessed Palestinians. If you read the comments section across the internet, the Hasbarists clearly think or dishonestly argue that Palestinians came from Jordan, and that Jordan is the only true Palestinian homeland. I can see Israel making a take it or leave it offer with large-scale support from our stupid and craven American politicians.

    And I find it so ironic that Jewish senators like Al Franken have been grilling Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions about his role in the desegregation of Alabama, but would never in a million years acknowledge and criticize the presence of Jim Crow in Israel and the occupied territories. This hypocrisy on the part of the Jewish establishment must be exposed.

    • Mooser
      January 16, 2017, 9:07 pm

      “And I find it so ironic that Jewish senators like Al Franken have been grilling Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions about his role in the desegregation of Alabama”

      Jeff Sessions had a “role in the desegregation of Alabama”? Do tell.

      “This hypocrisy on the part of the Jewish establishment must be exposed.”

      That’s right, “Atlanta”! If the Israelis can have Jim Crow, why can’t the US?

      • Atlantaiconoclast
        January 16, 2017, 10:37 pm

        Seriously, what is wrong with you? Google Jeff Sessions for info about his role in desegregation. What part of the nation do you live in? Did you go to predominantly Black schools, live in Black neighborhoods, etc.?

        Jim Crow was government mandated segregation FYI. I know of no one who wants a return to that.

      • Mooser
        January 17, 2017, 12:09 pm

        “Google Jeff Sessions for info about his role in desegregation”

        Okay, I did The man is a regular civil rights hero, according to Brietbart!

    • jonjames
      January 17, 2017, 1:40 pm

      Those are interesting points. Most people around here support Israel, and I would say 95% of the churches. There is not a whole lot taught in the schools about Israel, except maybe it being a homeland set up for the Jewish people – especially refugees from the Holocaust. The Holocaust is still a big topic here. Several people from the churches here worked to help Jewish refugees during and after WWII.
      A pastor reminded me that the Bible describes Israel as God’s people. It is not meant to refer to a particular nation. And God’s people also includes the Christians. Interesting statement.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2017, 2:17 pm

        jonjames, when you say “Most people around here” are you speaking about a certain geographical area? because you made the claim before “Most American people (70+%) support Israel” which i countered with the latest brookings poll (wrt your 70% claim), which you ignored twice http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/lutherans-say-cut-off-aid-toisrael/#comment-866655 and http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/lutherans-say-cut-off-aid-toisrael/#comment-866436

        so now you’ve got this 95% of churches “around here”. so where are you?

      • eljay
        January 17, 2017, 2:28 pm

        || jonjames: … Most people around here support Israel, and I would say 95% of the churches. … ||

        It’s a shame that most of the people around there and 95% of the churches support oppression, colonialism and (war) crimes simply because they are committed by Jews.

        || … A pastor reminded me that the Bible describes Israel as God’s people. It is not meant to refer to a particular nation. And God’s people also includes the Christians. … ||

        Since “god” created everything, technically all people belong to ze.

      • Mooser
        January 17, 2017, 3:55 pm

        “homeland set up for the Jewish people – especially refugees from the Holocaust”

        Ah yes, there were as many as 300,000 Jews in Displaced Person’s camps after WW2.

      • jonjames
        January 17, 2017, 4:37 pm

        Thanks for your reply. I am in the southern US, but not deep south. I remember a Jewish man recounting his escape from Germany when he was a teenager. A Christian family helped him and his family get out of Germany and into Holland. From there they were able to get a ship to the US: one of the last ships out and one of the last allowed into the US. He said that once here they were helped by Jewish synagogues and some Christian churches in NYC. The government gave them no help, but they were thankful just to be here.
        I am thinking that a one nation plan would be a goal to try for. Let the Palestinian leaders and Israeli leaders work on it. Some leaders that could help could be General Gates, General Petraus, Sen. Joe Lieberman, Vice President Joe Biden, a representative from the Vatican, former vp Al Gore, Dr. Albert Moller, former sec. Rice. Secretary of State John Kerry has done enough and deserves a break.

      • Mooser
        January 17, 2017, 6:18 pm

        “Let the Palestinian leaders and Israeli leaders work on it. -Some leaders that could help could be General Gates, General Petraus, Sen. Joe Lieberman, Vice President Joe Biden, a representative from the Vatican, former vp Al Gore, Dr. Albert Moller, former sec. Rice.”

        Should they “help” one at a time, or all at once, or in teams of three ?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2017, 7:10 pm

        american officials should stay out of it, we’ve done enough damage.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2017, 6:36 pm

        “Most people around here support Israel, and I would say 95% of the churches. ”

        I ask again why this matters.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2017, 6:38 pm

        “Some leaders that could help …”

        Americans should stay well out of it. They have already caused enough trouble.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2017, 9:09 pm

        @Annie.

        Snap!

      • Annie Robbins
        January 17, 2017, 9:15 pm

        great minds and all that RoHa, i just beat you to it ;)

        edit, i just realized from the time stamp i didn’t beat you to it Roha! mine just landed differently in the pile, i think i responded to mooser’s comment from the back page. didn’t see yours somehow. sorry. still, we’re both brilliant!

    • rosross
      January 17, 2017, 6:40 pm

      Israel has been stealing, annexing, Palestine for decades. There is no West Bank, there is only the country which ‘dare not speak its name’ – Occupied Palestine.

      What the Israelis and their supporters overlook is that the Palestinians have time, numbers and justice on their side, and a theocratic Jewish State based on religious bigotry will not be tolerated by a civilized world, regardless of what they attempt to do with the nearly six million Palestinians who fracture their fantastic dream of Jewish supremacy in Occupied Palestine.

  4. Elizabeth Block
    January 17, 2017, 9:49 am

    Wow. Black propaganda. But why should we be surprised. Shocked, yes, but not surprised.

    To borrow a phrase: Palestinians have no rights that any Israeli Jew is bound to respect.

  5. Jasonius Maximus
    January 17, 2017, 10:11 am

    The sad thing is that this is no different from current US foreign policy in the Middle East. Our leaders are constantly and publicly floating their vision for democracy and peace in the region, yet in reality the establishment of democracy and peace is not in any shape or form their prime objective or even on the agenda. That’s “for later”. Everything else falls under the vast umbrella of “security”.

    Bombing a civilian hospital? Security. Hundreds of indiscriminate drone strikes every single day of the week? Security. 1000 more boots on the ground? Security. $100 million in cash to the new leader of some obscure right-wing political party? Security. $30 million is cash to the opposing leader from another village, town or city? Security. Destabilizing the Assad regime, arming rebel terrrorist fighters to bring about a brutal civil war that has killed and displaced millions and millions of civilians? Security. Billions in arms sales of the best weapons and tech on the planet to a highly oppressive monarchy in Saudi Arabia that has since moved on to destabilize neighboring Yemen with American support and military intervention? Security.

    Our own Orwellian double-speak and actions are right out of the now 70 year old Israel playbook of eternal conflict, never-ending occupation and constant destabilization, displacement and dispossession. All in the name of bringing about “peace” and “democracy” and “securing our interests”. When our leaders use this language, as they do, we must be aware that there is, as they say, “no daylight between us and Israel.”

    These are “shared interests and values” every single US President and Member of Congress speak of when they quote from their AIPAC written policy manual. This is the kind of so-called “peaceful democratic values” they espouse. Not civil rights. Not equality. Not liberty and certainly not justice for all. Peace through “security”. Peace through the barrel of the biggest gun money can buy and under the trillion dollar jackboot of unending military occupation. As Orwell himself said, “War is Peace”.

    • eljay
      January 17, 2017, 10:24 am

      || Jasonius Maximus @ January 17, 2017, 10:11 am ||

      Well said.

      • ritzl
        January 17, 2017, 2:25 pm

        Yep.

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2017, 6:36 pm

        Yep

    • rosross
      January 17, 2017, 9:30 pm

      Remind me again why they supposedly ‘hate us?’

  6. Misterioso
    January 17, 2017, 10:58 am

    For the record:

    http://forward.com/fast-forward/360128/jared-kushners-east-village-tenants-appalled-at-his-white-house-appointment/

    The Forward, January 16/17
    Jared Kushner’s East Village Tenants Appalled at His White House Appointment

    “Tenants of almost forty buildings that Jared Kushner owns in the East Village are shocked about the appointment of their landlord as special advisor to the president, the Village Voice reported.

    “Kushner has been repeatedly accused of tenant harassment and lack of providing essential services, in one building tenants didn’t have cooking gas for five months.

    “’Kushner has brought nothing but unaffordable, luxury housing to this community and to NYC at large,’ the Cooper Square Committee and Fourth Arts Block , who help organize tenants, said in a joint statement. ‘While we are in the grips of an intense housing crisis, and homeless rates are at an all-time high … Kushner has converted scores of affordable rent regulated apartments into luxury housing that rent for $3,000-$5,000 per month.’”

    “The two organizations also criticized New York mayor de Blasio who greeted Kushner’s appointment to his father-in-law’s White House and called him a ‘reasonable man.’”

    “Tenants complain that Kushner is using aggressive and loud renovation tactics to push them out of their apartment buildings, so that he can then raise the rent. One tenant, Edward Osborne, told the Village Voice he is ‘horrified by Kushner going to the White House. ‘I don’t think he’s demonstrated very good management principles.’”

    • Citizen
      January 17, 2017, 6:38 pm

      Kushner is a juvenile racist , and slum lord.

    • Marnie
      January 18, 2017, 12:45 am

      Well then, as far as policies wrt the zionist state and amerikkka’s past and present even-handedness in this region, Kushner’s just perfect! The settler scum can rest even easier now with einsatzgruppen-in-waiting staff from the tRUMP administration. With the gentrification experience tRUMP et al have had in NYC, imagine what they can do for the yishuv! They’ll probably get plenty of face time with Kushner before, during and after the conflagration on the 20th. Maybe even work out a ‘deal’ with eli dahan for temple construction.

      • jonjames
        January 18, 2017, 2:37 pm

        The recent Paris meeting did not accomplish much. It seems there are 70 countries aligned against Israel.
        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/01/13/paris-middle-east-peace-conference/96531010/
        See Pastor Begley’s thoughtful comments about the Paris meeting:

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2017, 6:34 pm

        “The recent Paris meeting did not accomplish much. It seems there are 70 countries aligned against Israel.”

        Don’t worry “jonjames”. If 180 million Jews united support Israel, Israel can defy the entire world with ease.

        Then, says “Pastor Paul “cometh sudden destruction” and folks, you got trouble. You’ll need your Bible to understand it.

      • RoHa
        January 18, 2017, 9:12 pm

        ” It seems there are 70 countries aligned against Israel.”

        Not enough.

        “Pastor Begley’s thoughtful comments”

        Thoughtful? He’s a Bible-bashing loony.

      • Marnie
        January 19, 2017, 12:54 am

        January 10, 2017 at 1:16 pm Who will stand for Israel ? US abstains in important UN vote. This is not good. Seventy nations against Israel ! – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/jonjames/#sthash.9aVoq3ri.dpuf

        “israel” is the catchy name for a country with the morals of ancient Rome under Caligula; maybe not that good, but close. I think you’re letting your heart, or your pastor, lead your head, jj. If it was called exactly what it is, apartheid israel, you might see things more clearly. The israel you fret about is a nuclear power, with one of the most well-fed armies in the world with advanced and innumerable weapons (combat tested on civilians!!!) btw, that have been provided mostly by their dear uncle sam.

        Your fear and worry should be for the civilians the IOF keeps bombing the daylights out of. How can a person of any faith be okay with that?

  7. Maghlawatan
    January 18, 2017, 3:18 pm

    I often wonder how Israel will end. Here is one possibility, taken from Greek mythology

    In the Greek myth, Procrustes was a son of Poseidon with a stronghold on Mount Korydallos at Erineus, on the sacred way between Athens and Eleusis.[1] There he had a bed, in which he invited every passer-by to spend the night, and where he set to work on them with his smith’s hammer, to stretch them to fit. In later tellings, if the guest proved too tall, Procrustes would amputate the excess length; nobody ever fit the bed exactly.[2] Procrustes continued his reign of terror until he was captured by Theseus, travelling to Athens along the sacred way, who “fitted” Procrustes to his own bed:
    He killed Damastes, surnamed Procrustes, by compelling him to make his own body fit his bed, as he had been wont to do with those of strangers. And he did this in imitation of Heracles. For that hero punished those who offered him violence in the manner in which they had plotted to serve him.[3]
    Killing Procrustes was Theseus’s last adventure on his journey from Troezen to Athens.

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