Gideon Levy calls out Israel’s fundamental, racist religion: Zionism

Israel/Palestine
on 91 Comments

Gideon Levy published a column in Haaretz yesterday that goes to the furthest extent I have seen in Israeli mainstream media in challenging Zionism. He calls it a movement that “contradicts human rights, and is thus indeed an ultranationalist, colonialist and perhaps even racist movement, as proponents of justice worldwide maintain”. 

His piece, titled “Minster of Truth”, was a typically sarcastic one, set against the background of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who had said earlier in the week that

“Zionism should not – and I’m saying here that it will not – continue to bow its head to a system of individual rights interpreted in a universal manner”.

Levy takes Shaked’s words and elucidates the message further:

“Thus Shaked believes, as do so many around the world, that Israel is built on foundations of injustice and therefore must be defended from the hostile talk of justice. How else can the repulsion to discussing rights be explained? Individual rights are important, she said, but not when they are disconnected from ‘the Zionist challenges.’ Right again: The Zionist challenges indeed stand in contradiction to human rights.” 

And Levy is very clear about what opposing this will mean:

“Zionism is Israel’s fundamentalist religion, and as in any religion, its denial is prohibited. In Israel, ‘non-Zionist’ or ‘anti-Zionist’ aren’t insults, they are social expulsion orders. There’s nothing like it in any free society. But now that Shaked has exposed Zionism, put her hand to the flame and admitted the truth, we can finally think about Zionism more freely. We can admit that the Jews’ right to a state contradicted the Palestinians’ right to their land, and that righteous Zionism gave birth to a terrible national wrong that has never been righted; that there are ways to resolve and atone for this contradiction, but the Zionist Israelis won’t agree to them.”

The background is that Shaked was responding to the Supreme Court’s decision last Monday, ruling against indefinite imprisonment of African asylum seekers who refuse to be deported to a third country (typically Uganda or Rwanda). Whilst permitting the deportation of what the court terms “infiltrators,” the court limited the term of their imprisonment to two months. Now notice what Supreme Court President Miriam Naor wrote:

“During this time, it’s permissible to try to persuade him through means that don’t infringe on his free will, or to try to find other ways to deport him against his will”. 

This is the typical “light coercion” of the “Israeli democracy”, similar to the uniquely-Israeli expression “moderate physical pressure” as a legalized euphemism for torture.

Court President Naor adds: “Similarly, the state can consider alternatives to deportation, including the alternative of restricting his place of residence” (that is, within Israel).

Many people would naturally balk at this contempt for human rights. But for Israeli leaders, this was outrageous for the opposite reason: the court was too liberal.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, whilst welcoming the decision that “infiltrators” could be sent to third countries, nonetheless decried the court for depriving him of a “very important tool”, and criticized the court for allowing only voluntary deportations (in some cases).

“The decision not to allow the state to deport infiltrators against their will is very problematic,” Deri said. “We have to care for the citizens of Israel, the residents of south Tel Aviv and other cities where residents’ lives are unlivable.”

And Prime Minister Netanyahu? He said:

“We’ll have to enact new laws that will enable us … to send the illegal infiltrators out of our country.”

In saying that human rights must yield to “the Zionist challenges,” Shaked was basically making it clear, as Levy stated, that Zionism stands in opposition to universal human rights – intrinsically so. Levy seems to hedge, writing that Zionism is a “perhaps even racist movement” (my emphasis), but the hedge disappears when he describes Zionism as a colonialist and ultranationalist movement. In other words, Levy is calling Zionism racism.

The historical notion of Zionism as racism is clear to Levy, and he mentions the UN Resolution 3379 of 1975, equating Zionism with racism, in his second paragraph. I have also mentioned that resolution (which Israeli UN Ambassador Haim Herzog famously tore apart, and which was later rescinded), in conjunction with the recent UN agency commissioned report on Israeli Apartheid, which noted the “state’s essentially racist character”.

What’s also important to note in this case is the background – not of Palestinians, but simply of non-Jewish asylum seekers. This is an important notion, because it flies in the face of the notion of Israeli policies being merely a response to Palestinian aggression, as it were. There is no aggression here as such, and there are no Palestinians in this story. It is merely about the presence of non-Jews.

When Zionism’s founder Theodore Herzl wrote in his diary in 1895 that “We shall have to spirit the penniless population across the border … while denying it any employment in our own country”, he was not likely thinking of African refugees. But reality has shown that Zionism will enact such policies against anyone who endangers its racist, colonialist and ultranationalist designs.

So here we are: things are being said out loud. No more apologies. This is also evident in what Netanyahu recently said to a settler audience: “We are here to stay forever,” Netanyahu reassured. “We will deepen our roots, build, strengthen and settle” (as noted by Jonathan Cook).

And Levy sets the stakes:

“Now, then, is the time for a new division, braver and more honest, between those Israelis who agree with Shaked’s statement and those [who] disagree. Between supporters of Zionism and supporters of justice. Between Zionists and the just.”

Indeed, and not a moment too soon.

About Jonathan Ofir

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

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91 Responses

  1. amigo
    September 2, 2017, 3:08 pm

    ““We are here to stay forever,” Netanyahu reassured. “We will deepen our roots, build, strengthen and settle” ”

    Likud Platform.

    “d. “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

    The man is keeping his promises but forever is an awful long time.

  2. DaBakr
    September 2, 2017, 4:18 pm

    It’s hard to compare how levy is taken by the vast majority of Israelis from right to center left. Or to compare a figure in the US that is similar.

    Levy is about as popular as Glenn Greenwald, Noah Chomsky, Juan Cole… in other words, few Americans are aware of their work. And on top of that Levy is particularly hated by lot of Israelis that are not on the far left and just center left, center right and right.

    And Haaretz …. The ONLY Israeli newspaper MW ever quotes from is hardly a mass media production or mms. (Except that the msm it’s usually far left) it’s got a very small and dying base in Israel and the English version is popular with fringe leftists who are obsessed over the Israel Palestinian conflict. [It’s not like one day the public is going to slap their farheads and go, “dang! That Gideon guy is a genius. A hero! He’s the greatest.] not happening. We tolerate him of course. He is hated baby many but won’t be prevented from writing or saying what he wants. Israel has always had its cranks just as the US has its own. Alex Jones. Sarsour,. Bannon, BLM etc

    But he definitely riles up the mw base. that is a given.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 2, 2017, 5:32 pm

      dbakr’s comment another classic example of “ritual defamation” as described by laird wilcox https://medium.com/@YakovHirsch/on-barrie-weiss-ritual-damnation-and-the-end-of-jewish-culture-part-1-85e6fccf5592

      i recommend

      • Mooser
        September 2, 2017, 6:45 pm

        Good old mutter-and-spit “Dabakr”!

      • Jonathan Ofir
        September 3, 2017, 3:38 am

        Thanks Annie, I read. Indeed DaBakr’s whole response is avoiding the actual content. Rather than engaging in it, he seeks to smear Levy as an irrelevant fringe, his paper as a marginal fringe, and by extension Mondoweiss as irrelevant, because it is supposedly the “ONLY” Israeli paper Mondoweiss cites from… not only did my own article here cite and link to Jerusalem Post (see about “moderate physical pressure), I have cited countless times other mainstream Israeli papers, from left to right leaning, here on Mondoweiss. True, it would not always be a flattering citation, and I would often regard what I cite with critique or critical note (as I also do with Haaretz), but sometimes it’s just a benign citation that serves a purpose – even from Jerusalem Post as mentioned, and I will cite further right – Israel National News, Makor Rishon etc. That’s what we do in journalism – we look at what is written, anywhere, and address the content.

        But DaBakr is not addressing content. He’s simply doing the ritual defamation.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 3, 2017, 7:43 am

        jonathan, oh i know re multiple israeli news sources. it’s not even worth addressing his bs. the trolls just run rampant, driven off most of our old commenters.

      • Lillian Rosengarten
        September 4, 2017, 11:03 am

        Jonathan, thank you for this hopeful article. I no longer pay attention to anyone who supports any aspect of Zionism. We must follow in Gideon’s footsteps without fear to expose the myths of Zionism. We must understand Zionism as an ultra nationalistic, racist and genocidal regime completely devoid of humanity and twisted in its ideology that mirrors all too shockingly the Nazi racial laws.It is shameful that it can continue to do its beastly agenda as Germany,the US and deluded Jews remains complicit .For myself,a psychoanalyst, I am exploring the psychological roots of this heinous regime. Hello Annie, I miss you!

      • Donald Johnson
        September 4, 2017, 3:20 pm

        Yakov’s piece was great. I wish he was still posting here, but maybe the issue gets more coverage if people post in other places.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 4, 2017, 5:07 pm

        lillian! miss you too.

        donald, i agree. great piece. he’s got a part 2 up i just have not read it yet…soon.

    • Emory Riddle
      September 2, 2017, 6:40 pm

      “..perhaps even racist..” Even this guy you call a crank is pulling his punches.

    • Talkback
      September 3, 2017, 4:32 am

      DaBakr: “And on top of that Levy is particularly hated by lot of Israelis that are not on the far left and just center left, center right and right.”

      That’s not surprising. What you call “center left, center right and right” is in reality shades of right extremism in other countries and the only thing they value is racism/supremacism.

      DaBakr: “that is a given.”

      Like your pseudo intellectual halitosis?

    • oldgeezer
      September 3, 2017, 10:02 am

      @dabakr

      215 words and not a single one about the article. Way to go!

    • echinococcus
      September 3, 2017, 11:56 am

      Levy is particularly hated by lot of Israelis that are not on the far left and just center left, center right and right

      So who gives a rat’s a$$ what “Israelis” like? All polls confirm that more than at least 94%* of these illegal immigrants approve the ongoing genocide.

      *(censors, once again check the goddam polls)

    • Misterioso
      September 4, 2017, 10:52 am

      @DaBakr

      Fundamental truths well worth remembering:

      Then Secretary of State for India and the British cabinet’s only Jewish member, Lord Edwin Montagu’s response to Prime Minister Lloyd George following issuance of the illegal 1917 Balfour Declaration: “All my life I have been trying to get  out of the ghetto. You want to force me back there.”

      Henry Morgenthau Sr., renowned Jewish American and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, 1919: “Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history….The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights.  Zionism is… a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light.” (Quoted by Frank Epp, Whose Land is Palestine?, p. 261)                                                                                  

      Asked to sign a petition supporting settlement of Jews in Palestine, Sigmund Freud declined: “I cannot…I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state….It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land….I can raise no sympathy at all for the  misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.” (Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren HaYassod, Vienna: 2/26/30)

      Albert Einstein, 1939: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”

      Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, 1944:  “The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . . , I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”

      Zionism contains the seeds of its own inevitable collapse.

      • Nathan
        September 4, 2017, 8:34 pm

        Misterioso – The “fundamental truths well-worth remembering” are not really so fundamental, and I don’t think that they are so well-worth remembering. Lord Montagu is crying that someone is pushing him into the ghetto when in reality it was just a figment of his imagination.

        Henry Morganthau can be forgiven for seeing in 1919 that Zionism is a “stupendous fallacy” in Jewish history. At that time, at the end of the World War, things looked a bit grim. However, in the end, Zionism became an incredible success story. Quite unexpectedly, it actually fulfilled its ideology of moving masses of Jews to the country, teaching them the Hebrew language and establishing statehood. Morgenthau commits himself to fighting the “scheme”, but it was the same kind of fighting that you, too, are involved in (i.e. “bla-bla-bla”).

        Prof Freud predicted that Palestine would not become a Jewish state, and that fundamental truth turned out to be nonsense. Making predictions about the future is really quite tricky.

        Your quote from Einstein was really dishonest. He’s bemoaning the developing conflict with the Arabs, but he supported Zionism. You somehow forgot to mention that fundamental truth. You hoped that his worrying about the conflict would leave the impression with us that he opposed the Jewish settlement in Palestine. He was proud of it.

        Rosenwald of the American Council for Judaism (ACJ) tells us that the creation of a Jewish state “at this time” might well have “incalculable consequences”. It’s such impressive wisdom. Yes, founding a state puts you on the playing field with all the big guys, and you can’t possibly know how things might work out. On the other hand, founding the ACJ (just like writing comments in the internet about the eventual collapse of Zionism) has a very predictable impact on the outcome of events.

      • Mooser
        September 5, 2017, 11:50 am

        ” Yes, founding a state puts you on the playing field with all the big guys”

        And every one of the 100 million Jews in Israel knows it!

      • eljay
        September 5, 2017, 1:23 pm

        || Nathan: … in the end, Zionism became an incredible success story. Quite unexpectedly, it actually fulfilled its ideology of … ||

        …establishing a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of geographic Palestine.

        It is truly an incredible story of the success of injustice and immorality that Zionism was able to accomplish this blatantly and unapologetically colonialist, (war) criminal and supremacist feat in a post-WWII era and with the support of the U.S. and other Western nations.

      • eljay
        September 5, 2017, 2:27 pm

        || Jack Green: Eljay … ||

        Jack.

        || … What’s criminal about Zionism? ||

        The (war) criminal stuff is criminal.
        The colonialist stuff is colonialist
        And the religion-supremacist stuff is supremacist.

    • WTraveler
      October 26, 2017, 5:55 am

      It appears that DaBakr has decided that if Gideon Levy is not popular in Israel, his message must be false. At one time in the United States, it was widely unpopular for slavery to be condemned as evil in the early to mid-1800s. It was also considered wildly unrealistic at one time to give women and African-Americans equal rights, including the right to vote. Since when is public popularity or acceptance by the mainstream to be the arbiter of truth and justice? Most Israelis are in utter denial about the endemic racism, injustice and brutality of the Zionist doctrine and its impact on the indigenous Palestinian population.

  3. yonah fredman
    September 2, 2017, 5:49 pm

    Let me take one section out of Gideon Levy’s article:
    “We can admit that the Jew’s right to a state contradicted the Palestinian’s right to their land and that righteous Zionism gave birth to a terrible national wrong that has never been righted; that there are ways to resolve and atone for this contradiction, but the Zionist Israelis won’t agree to them.”

    I would change the last sentence to the “overwhelming majority of Zionist Israelis won’t agree to them.”

    Bibi and Shaked and Jonathan Ofir wish to define Zionism as Bayit Yehudi Zionism and indeed this brand of Zionism is in the seat of power, but Levy also speaks of the righteous Zionism which gave birth to Israel and a contradiction that can be resolved and atoned for. This is antithetical to Bibi and Shaked, but to Ofir as well. He prefers his dichotomies clear cut and he does not relate to Levy’s fudging of the line.

    • rhkroell
      September 3, 2017, 12:52 am

      “We can admit that the Jew’s right to a state contradicted the Palestinian’s right to their land and that righteous Zionism gave birth to a terrible national wrong that has never been righted; that there are ways to resolve and atone for this contradiction, but the [overwhelming majority] of Zionist Israelis won’t agree to them.”

      I agree with Yonah’s revision of a passage from Gideon Levy’s article (with a few minor qualifications of my own):

      “Bibi and Shaked and Jonathan Ofir wish to define Zionism as Bayit Yehudi Zionism and [indeed this brand of Zionism] . . . is in the seat of power, but Levy also speaks of . . . [a] righteous [form of Zionism which] gave birth to a terrible national wrong that has never been righted . . . [T]here are ways to resolve and atone for [Bayit Yehudi Zionism or, better post-Zionsm] but the overwhelming majority of Zionist Israelis won’t agree to them.”

      How? Israel must become disengaged from the ideology of racism and colonialism and reclaimed as an ideology of emancipation, one which can be redeemed through the recognition of the Palestinians’ equal rights, their right of self-determination, and the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” to Palestine/Israel.

      I’ve always argued that the mere fact that Theodor Herzl was a believer in European colonialism, and apparently did not believe in either racial equality, democracy or universal human rights, does not mean that Zionism should be consigned to the archives of some national history museum.  Far from it.  In fact, I would suggest that many Zionists who emigrated to Palestine advocated working with the native population to establish a modern, social democratic state in which the indigenous peoples would have equal rights with the Jewish immigrants (like Herzl did in his futuristic novel ALTNEULAND [THE OLD-NEW LAND).

      • yonah fredman
        September 3, 2017, 2:22 pm

        rhkroell- I agree. A vision of reconciliation can be quite zionistic, survival in a specific place, that specific place. Groups devoted towards reconciliation on the ground are the pioneers, preparing for the future. Far away from the land and such activity this vision seems like an illusion, but as someone once said. If you will it, it is no legend.

      • echinococcus
        September 3, 2017, 5:32 pm

        ..that Theodor Herzl was a believer in European colonialism, and apparently did not believe in either racial equality, democracy or universal human rights, does not mean that Zionism should be consigned to the archives of some national history museum.

        Museum? It must be consigned to the trashcan and the bottom of the landfill, presto.

        I would suggest that many Zionists who emigrated to Palestine advocated working with the native population to establish a modern, social democratic state in which the indigenous peoples would have equal rights with the Jewish immigrants

        Your suggestion is a mixture of intolerable arrogance, racism and colonial patronizing, so typical of Zionists. Who invited you to even be there, let alone have the right to anything –to “generously” give some “equal rights” to an unasked-for “modern, social democratic state”? Zionists are invaders and that is it, #&^% your cheek.

        [Also, the censors at MW are invited to either come into the open and explain which “community standards” they are defending.]

    • Jonathan Ofir
      September 3, 2017, 2:19 am

      Yonah Fredman, I wondered over that word, “righteous”, as well. I am in fact not sure as to whether it is meant sarcastically or not. But it is a bit like with that other words, “perhaps”, where he writes “perhaps even racist”. It doesn’t really matter, because in the end, the qualification is overshadowed by the described reality.

      It’s not like Levy is writing a bible here. He’s saying something. I’m looking at what he says, and appraising it’s general message. You seem to see that as a more generalist approach. I am looking at the bigger message, and I agree with it wholeheartedly:
      Whatever Zionism was once meant to be, it’s gotta go, for all practical purposes and intents. Righting its wrong cannot include its preservation, because it is inherently racist. It will always stand in conflict with universal human rights.

      • Nathan
        September 3, 2017, 4:21 am

        You don’t define the term “Zionism” in your comment, Jonathan, so one has to guess your intention when you say that “it’s gotta go”. My guess is that you mean that Israel shouldn’t exist. If so, you don’t really have any criticism. An entity that shouldn’t exist is not being criticized. However, Gideon Levy is not opposed to the existence of Israel. He’s extremely critical of post-1967 Israel, and he enjoys slaughtering the “sacred cows” of Israeli society – but he is not talking about the demise of Israel within the Green Line. His criticism is criticism; i.e. he wishes to better his country, Israel. Mr Levy does NOT express any opposition to the rise of the Hebrew yishuv and to the founding of the State of Israel by the yishuv – neither does he wish to undo the results of the 1948 war. Israel, within the Green Line, is legitimate in his eyes, period.

      • rhkroell
        September 4, 2017, 4:16 pm

        @ echino… I will grant you that some people may read my comment above as coming from an “arrogant” (Western/western) viewpoint, and since I was raised in the Global North and identify myself as a religious pluralist, there are probably some grounds for believing that. I was a religious skeptic for quite a few years, but I now feel the grounds for any religious skepticism are somewhat weaker than those of the religious pluralist position. For many, many years, I was a dogmatic atheist, but then I finally “advanced” (in my view) beyond any and all dogmatic epistemologies. That has been a choice I have made, personally, and is not considered by me to be a value judgment.

        Everything written in the paragraph above may qualify me as being an (almost) intolerably “arrogant” (Westerner/westerner) in my beliefs to some people nurtured in other environments and/or geographies on the planet Earth. But I doubt seriously that you can find any evidence whatsoever to support your claim that I am both a racist and a “patronizing” supporter of Western/western colonialism. You have no grounds for those claims (in my view).

        I also grant you that Israelis and Palestinians are the peoples who should ideally choose between some kind of a one-state or two-state solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. They had better hurry up, however, in my view, because this conflict seems to becoming more and more a geostrategic global problem that will, finally, be determined by the economic and political hegemons of our World System.

        If the Israelis continue to refuse to come to terms with the Palestinians (those who live in the open-air prison of Gaza, those living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and those who live in exile), make equitable restorations to them, and evolve/advance into the 21st-century as a negotiating member of our present-day economic and political World System, then the Deep State — and/or some U.S. president, chief executive or dictator — may decide it/he/she must intervene and solve the problem for all the rest of us on the planet.

      • echinococcus
        September 4, 2017, 11:04 pm

        Kroell,

        Another thing is the incredible distortion here:

        I also grant you that Israelis and Palestinians are the peoples who should ideally choose between some kind of a one-state or two-state solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

        This is where impudence becomes almost criminal: who asked you to “grant” the Zionist goal of “Israelis”, illegal interlopers and invaders, having any say in anything? The owners of the entire territory are the Palestinian people and no one else decides. And what is a “Palestinian/Israeli conflict”? All we’ve had until now is a turkey shoot of a totally defenceless population by armed colonial invaders. That cannot qualify as “conflict”.

      • rhkroell
        September 5, 2017, 3:05 pm

        “This is where impudence becomes almost criminal: who asked you to “grant” the Zionist goal of “Israelis”, illegal interlopers and invaders, having any say in anything? The owners of the entire territory are the Palestinian people and no one else decides. And what is a ‘Palestinian/Israeli conflict’?” –Echino . . . .

        Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

        That’s hilarious. I haven’t “granted” Israelis anything! You are being politically naïve, Nihil [Echino . . . .] Homine.

        Have you never heard the old legal adage: Possession is 9/10ths of the law? (“Possession is nine-tenths of the law — and don’t Aboriginal people know it?” Fourmile, Henrietta in G. Amareswar (ed), Bulletin of the Conference of Museum Anthropologists, No. 23:1990).
        Why don’t you try to lay some ground for your incorporeal claims, seriously. Be realistic, practical, pragmatic.

      • Mooser
        September 5, 2017, 4:22 pm

        “Have you never heard the old legal adage: Possession is 9/10ths of the law?”

        Yes, it applies to stolen property. If you posess the stolen property, you are about 90% guilty right there.
        There’s maybe a 10% chance you can prove you didn’t know it was stolen, bought it in good faith. Or something.
        But possession is, as you say 90% of the law.

      • RoHa
        September 7, 2017, 5:07 am

        I always treat adages with caution. They don’t seem to be good for cats.

      • Mooser
        September 8, 2017, 1:07 pm

        “Like the poor cat i’ th’ adage?”

        As I recall, he had a problem letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would”.

        So nothing was adaged to the kitty’s fish dinner.

    • Jack Green
      September 5, 2017, 1:47 pm

      Eljay

      What’s criminal about Zionism?

      • Jack Green
        September 5, 2017, 1:49 pm

        echinococcus

        Evidence that the Palestinians are the owners of the entire territory?

      • echinococcus
        September 5, 2017, 5:09 pm

        They are the invaded colonial people.
        And you don’t even have standing to ask. Go back to the steppe.

  4. CigarGod
    September 2, 2017, 5:55 pm

    The entire time reading your piece I heard Die Fahne hoch playing softly in the background.
    A horror theme.

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      September 4, 2017, 11:23 am

      Nathan, Israel can only exist when Palestinians are free. It cannot exist as a faux democracy. Israel as it exists now is a monstrosity.

      • Jack Green
        September 5, 2017, 1:53 pm

        Lillian Rosengarten

        “faux democracy”?

        Israel is rated 29 out of 167 countries according to the Democracy Index.

      • amigo
        September 5, 2017, 4:51 pm

        “Israel is rated 29 out of 167 countries according to the Democracy Index.” jacko

        Correct but you left out one small detail,

        Israel is in the “Flawed Democracy” column.

        Thanks a bunch for raising this issue.You are an invaluable source.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index#Democracy_Index_by_country_.282016.29

    • rhkroell
      September 5, 2017, 7:49 pm

      Wow! it’s hard to understand why Mooser and Echino . . . . misrepresent my comments and then harangue me for believing that Israel is a rogue state (meaning: a terrorist state) that commits war crimes and crimes against humanity every day and should be debased and “violated” by the U.S., Europe, and the international community for its many crimes and violations of international law.

      In my view the U.S. should dismantle all of Israel’s nuclear facilities, put U.S. troops on the ground in Palestine, dispossess Israelis of their businesses and homes and bring Palestinian refugees back home from around the world — on Israel’s dime — to take back their property, and collect damages (with compound interest added to the principal) for having been dispossessed of their property (in the years 1948 – 2017).

      But I’m (apparently) “soft” on Israel, in their view, for identifying Israelis as an occupying military force who must be persuaded to disarm and surrender all land in historic Palestine to an international tribunal which will decide their fate.

      • echinococcus
        September 5, 2017, 11:15 pm

        Kroell,

        There is no misrepresentation. You aren’t being criticized for being “soft”, as you say, but being or pretending to be excessively gullible, plus for ignoring Palestinian rights (which are not “equal”.)

      • Mooser
        September 6, 2017, 1:31 pm

        ” Mooser… and then harangue me”

        Well, if it appeared as a “harangue”, then I apologize. But everybody gets that “possession is 9/10ths of the law” concept reversed.

  5. Citizen
    September 2, 2017, 6:05 pm

    Humanistic Justice will always fight Zionism. The arc is long; it will come to pass.

    • Mooser
      September 2, 2017, 8:53 pm

      I don’t know what convinces “yonah” that the Jews want to spend the next Century bragging that they conquered the Palestinians? Whoopee, the Jewish Army conquered a people who never had any kind of organized military force!
      The hosannas will be loud and long.

      • atime forpeace
        September 3, 2017, 7:30 am

        When you speak of the “righteous Zionism” that founded the country you are burying your collective heads in the sand and trying to give yourselves some fig leaf cover trying to find justification using the Holocaust as validation.

        This only makes sense in your own ethnic minds. Irgun and Lehi and any other group that ethnically cleansed and terrorized the Palestinians were no more righteous than the Europeans who ethnically cleansed the U.S of its Indian populations, or the Spanish Conquistadors ethnic cleansing of the indigenous in the lands they conquered by the sword.

        It does seem to be the way of the world as is the whitewashing of the crimes using whatever rational means that seem apropos to the societies doing the justifying.

      • CigarGod
        September 3, 2017, 9:43 am

        The actual weapons one has will never be as big and as evil as the weapons one is feared to have.
        As we all know, once a fear becomes strong enough, it turns into a fact…or is at least…monetized as such by the NYT, NPR, FOX, etc.

      • yonah fredman
        September 3, 2017, 2:33 pm

        Righteous zionism is levy’s phrase, not mine. To separate zionism from its historical context is to analyse some laboratory ideology in a white lab coat with available measuring tools. That’s not the world I know. The yehudim did not arrive in falestin out of idle frivolity or sheer malice. In fact leaving europe is the prescription for survival that a time traveler might offer the average European jew in the time period 1881 to 1939. Once a migration of that magnitude turns into a historical tide of movement, even those who sit and think will think new thoughts and among those thoughts was bound to come: we must do for ourselves. We need an army and a state. This thought emerged from the tidal wave of emigration and that tidal wave in retrospect was an urge to survive and thrive.
        Zionism is not pure. But it came from a specific history.

      • RoHa
        September 3, 2017, 7:59 pm

        “Zionism is not pure. But it came from a specific history.”

        So does practically everything. It is no excuse.

      • Mooser
        September 3, 2017, 8:44 pm

        ” Once a migration of that magnitude turns into a historical tide of movement”

        You mean a couple of hundred thousand people? Many of whom had to be coerced?

    • rhkroell
      September 6, 2017, 8:44 pm

      Thanks, I appreciate the apology, Mooser. Also, I agree that the adage works both ways (as you suggest) as a concept (and or maxim). Echino: Why don’t we agree to disagree and not waste each other’s time by debating? For me, your arguments are ginormously flawed, illogical and/or nonsensical — and you apparently feel the same way about mine — so there are no grounds for us to debate in the future.

      • echinococcus
        September 7, 2017, 12:33 am

        Kroell,

        What, exactly, is illogical and/or nonsensical about not disposing of any territory in Palestine without the full approval of a majority of entitled Palestinians?

        That is what international law commands. All the rest is total BS, no matter the inflamed statements on human rights and your thundering against Zionist excesses, and talk of equal rights and democracy and all those oh-so-beautiful things; it all boils down again to Zionist invaders remaining without express permission, and getting approval for it, too.

        One-state or two-state, as long as Palestinian sovereignty over all of Palestine is not clearly recognized and addressed, it all means stabilizing the invader presence and giving a new lease on life to Zionism. It may be a valuable compromise (which will only ever happen in your dreams, by the way) but there is no call to bullshit people about what it is.

  6. JosephA
    September 3, 2017, 1:47 am

    I am reminded of that wonderful book, Goliath, by Max Blumenthal.

  7. Jonathan Ofir
    September 3, 2017, 9:14 am

    Nathan, “Israel, within the Green Line, is legitimate in [Levy’s] eyes, period.”

    Levy has already walked away from the 2 state charade a couple of years ago. He’s been saying it’s dead, it was never born. In other words, he’s recognising that it’s a one state, and that this one state is doing all of the illegitimate things he reports and addresses. Now he’s also addressing its core ideology – which he even regards as a ‘religion’ (so have I) – Zionism. And he calls to relinquish it. Because he knows that the battle is about what kind of governance that one state of Israel will have: equality, or Apartheid.

    • Mooser
      September 3, 2017, 11:25 am

      “Levy has already walked away from the 2 state charade a couple of years ago.”

      Perhaps Mr. Levy will see The United State of Israel and Palestine and reconsider.

    • Nathan
      September 3, 2017, 2:11 pm

      Jonathan – Gideon Levy demands the withdrawal of Israel from the territories captured in 1967 without any conditions. Such a demand means that the Green Line is legitimate in his view. He regularly calls himself an “Israeli patriot”, so he certainly is not envisioning the demise of Israel. It would be hard to imagine that Mr Levy would object to a withdrawal from the West Bank, insisting instead that the West Bank and Israel become a single state. I surely couldn’t imagine his demanding that the Gaza Strip be re-captured so that it, too, could be incorporated into a single state with Israel and the West Bank.

      Interestingly, you call the single state “Israel”. I couldn’t imagine that the Palestinian population would ever agree to become citizens of Israel, even in the framework of a single state with total equality for all. Their official policy is a separate Palestinian state – but even if this position is just propaganda, still it would be unimaginable that they would agree to be annexed to Israel. It would have to be forced upon them (meaning that the conflict would remain unresolved). Indeed, one of the grievances of the Arab citizens of Israel is that Israeli citizenship was forced on them.

      • yourstruly
        September 6, 2017, 2:32 am

        Why not Palestine as the na of the , with liberty, justice and equality for all of its inhabitants? Those, that is who are willing to renounce whatever supremacist rights they may have wielded in now nonexistent Israel.

      • Jonathan Ofir
        September 6, 2017, 2:59 am

        Nathan, earlier you wrote “You don’t define the term “Zionism” in your comment, Jonathan, so one has to guess your intention when you say that “it’s gotta go”. My guess is that you mean that Israel shouldn’t exist.”
        Allow me to quote professors Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley from their UN commissioned report on Israeli Apartheid from earlier this year (p. 18):
        “Finally, identifying apartheid as a regime clarifies one controversy: That ending such a regime would constitute destruction of the state itself. This interpretation is understandable if the State is understood as being the same as the regime. Thus, some suggest that the aim of eliminating Apartheid in Israel is tantamount to aiming to “destroy Israel”. However, a state does not cease to exist as a result of regime change. The elimination of the Apartheid regime in South Africa in no way affected the country’s statehood”.  http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/israels-palestinian-resist/

        I need not add a word to that.
        Now in relation to ceasing the military occupation of 1967 – yes Israel should do that by international law. It’s also part of the BDS demands. It doesn’t preclude a wish for a one democratic state. A wish for a one democratic state does not preclude acceptance of international law. The question is not what that state may be called. The question is what its governance will be. The rest is quite semantic, really.
        Right now, it’s all one big Israel with Palestinian Bantustans, and whilst you write “re-capture” Gaza, that is highly misleading terminology. Gaza is by all means “captured”. It is occupied, it is besieged, and worse.

    • Misterioso
      September 4, 2017, 10:56 am

      In the long run, one state is inevitable.

      • JosephA
        September 7, 2017, 12:43 am

        …in which Jonathan Ofer “drops the mic”. Thank you for addressing those logical fallacies.

  8. rhkroell
    September 3, 2017, 11:37 am

    I would concur with Jonathan that the term “righteous Zionism” as used by Yonah in his comment above should be read ironically, not that Yonah necessarily intended to employ the term “righteous Zionism” in an ironic manner. In tragic irony the writer often uses words that mean one thing to the narrator/writer, but mean its opposite to some character(s) in (and/or readers of) the work. That is precisely why in one of my “qualifications” of Yonah’s revision I suggest that the term “post-Zionism” would be a better term to employ than retaining the older term Zionism, much less the term “righteous Zionism.”

    Also, readers should without a doubt distinguish Herzl’s characterization of the official term Zionism he employs in his deadly serious political pamphlet Der JUDENSTAAT [THE JEWISH STATE] (1896) from the “New Society” Herzl described in is his later utopian novel ALTNEULAND [THE OLD-NEW LAND] (1902).

    • atime forpeace
      September 3, 2017, 3:02 pm

      My observation (critique) of the usage of the term “righteous Zionism” can be diluted down to what seems to me to be a universal ideal that says to those of Jewish descendency that Israel was founded with the most righteous of intentions but has somehow gone astray in these latter years.

      All that Zionism has lost has been the cover of the mainstream press which due to more accessible channels of information has opened that ideology up to more and more criticism.

      Maybe in the writings of Herzl one can make the case that during the early years when the refugees arrived into the land and they co-mingled and learned to live among the existing inhabitants can one make the claim that there was ever such a thing as righteous Zionism, if Zionism meant the ingathering of the diaspora Jews back into their ancestral lands.

      There came a point early in the past century when the militant vision espoused by the intellectuals of Neocolonial Jewish Zionism exposed itself as a project to make Israel a land without a people for a people without a land.

      If you look into what the early intellectual and ideological Zionists did to the Judaic Rabbis of the late 19th century and early 20th century that tried to resist and push back on Zionism because they feared that the ideology would take Judaism and impose an idol: Zionism, in its place, can you see that the intent of Zionist was to replace Judaism with their neocolonial settler ideology.

      The old Rabbis are being proven correct, it has happened just as they feared.

      • MHughes976
        September 4, 2017, 4:01 pm

        Righteous in its objection to the ill-treatment suffered by Jews in Europe, unjust in its assumption of a right, in certain circumstances, to ill-treat others.

  9. German Lefty
    September 3, 2017, 2:47 pm

    I am watching the TV debate between Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz, candidate for chancellor. Schulz was asked about refugees and integration. He replied that for example some Palestinian refugees who come to Germany are anti-Semitic because they reject Israel and that Germany cannot tolerate this anti-Semitism. Now I know that I will NOT vote for him.

    • mcohen..
      September 3, 2017, 6:46 pm

      interesting.i would have thought that anti semitism would open most doors in europe.so only israel is expected to live side by side with the purple peaceful people.and with bds will be forced to.

  10. Marnie
    September 4, 2017, 12:07 am

    “We’ll have to enact new laws that will enable us … to send the illegal infiltrators out of our country.”

    Why bother with ‘laws’ booboo? For years the zionists have denied their plans to remove palestinians, either by killing them outright or annexation or any maneuvering possible. For years they got a soft pushback from the rest of the world. Booboo is being hailed as king by some here. Not a word from washington. So now they can stop pretending. There is no need. They won’t even bristle when compared to nazis. So finally, they’re owning up to what they’ve been accused of for so long and what is the response by the non-third world countries? Nothing. The palestinians have known for some time that there is no bite in the bark of the u.s. and europe and there is nothing but bite with no bark at all booboo and company.

    • Jack Green
      September 4, 2017, 4:07 pm

      Marnie

      In the last 40 years, Israel has annexed ZERO land.

      • amigo
        September 4, 2017, 4:25 pm

        “In the last 40 years, Israel has annexed ZERO land.” jacko

        In the last 100 years , Israel has “legally” annexed ZERO land.

        Btw , as requested by you , I gave you proof that the occupation is “Illegal” and you failed to show as usual.

      • Mooser
        September 4, 2017, 4:33 pm

        “In the last 40 years, Israel has annexed ZERO land.”

        Okay, “Jack”, time for you to start back-pedaling and equivocating. Would you rather start with the time, or the amount of land?

      • eljay
        September 4, 2017, 6:55 pm

        || Jack Green: … In the last 40 years, Israel has annexed ZERO land. ||

        Frustrating, isn’t it? But remember: In the last ~70 years, Israel has stolen, occupied and colonized most of Palestine. Annexation might be a bit dicey right now what with all those non-Jews who have refused to be subjugated, cleansed and/or killed, but it’s only a matter of time. Don’t lose hope, ZioJack.

      • Marnie
        September 5, 2017, 12:19 am

        So interesting that you chose to argue about annexation of land, but nothing else, and you’re wrong about that too booboo.

      • Mooser
        September 5, 2017, 11:12 am

        “So interesting that you chose to argue”

        “Jack” doesn’t argue. He just declares and runs.

  11. Ronald Johnson
    September 4, 2017, 9:58 am

    I am delighted to see a reference to Laird Wilcox, of Olathe Kansas, 1990, in definition of Ritual Defamation. Let me observe that, ritual defamation works! I would cite examples,, except that to bring up the names would re-inflict the pain and possibly renew the rituals. Organizations working for Middle-east peace having any sympathy for the Palestinians have to be 100% cautious in word and deed to avoid providing “ammunition” for ritual defamation. Say nothing, do nothing, capable of being taken out of context, exaggerated, or misrepresented.

    That includes offering comments on Mondoweiss. The Electorate is a herd that will not defend its own when individuals are isolated and attacked.

  12. Maghlawatan
    September 4, 2017, 12:42 pm

    There is no point about talking about Israel without talking about trauma.
    Israel is fucked because of trauma.
    Judaism developed over millenia with normal people.
    Now Israel has Judaism in its procrustian bed of trauma.

    • MHughes976
      September 4, 2017, 2:04 pm

      Judaism contains a great deal of reflection on both triumph and trauma often seen in very political terms.

    • Mooser
      September 4, 2017, 4:29 pm

      “Now Israel has Judaism in its procrustian bed of trauma.”

      Which wouldn’t be so bad, except we can’t eat procustrians.

      • Brewer
        September 6, 2017, 4:46 pm

        You haven’t lived if you haven’t had a procrustean served on a bed of spinach, smothered in garlic butter. That’s how we have ’em down our way. Trick is you have to cut the legs off to get ’em on the bed.

  13. Dan Walsh
    September 6, 2017, 8:39 am

    @ DeBakr – “Levy is about as popular as Glenn Greenwald, Noah Chomsky, Juan Cole… in other words, few Americans are aware of their work. And on top of that Levy is particularly hated by lot of Israelis that are not on the far left and just center left, center right and right.”

    Ghandi was hated by the British
    Rosa Parks was hated by white Southerners
    Christ was hated by the Pharisees
    White Rose was hated by the Nazis
    Nasser was hated by the Egyptian elite
    Luther was hated by the pope
    Obama was hated by the Republican Party

    Q: What was the point of your comment?

    Think you that rational Americans care a twit what Israelis think? Think again. Gideon Levy personifies personal moral courage and he will always be welcome in my home.

    And please, be sure to quibble with some aspect of one of my examples but don’t, whatever you do, deal with/focus on the fact that Zionism is imploding.

  14. Dan Walsh
    September 6, 2017, 9:05 am

    @ rhkroell

    “I would suggest that many Zionists who emigrated to Palestine advocated working with the native population to establish a modern, social democratic state in which the indigenous peoples would have equal rights with the Jewish immigrants”

    Fine suggestion, and it may even be accurate. However, time has a way of altering things in ways pioneers did not foresee. We Americans we have the tragic lessons of the Penns – started out sweetly with William but after his death his sons took over…see the “Walking Purchase”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_Purchase

    In summation, even if Zionism arose from the very best of intentions and even if many of the early Zionist colonists aspired to the egalitarian goals you so poignantly refer to…contemporary Zionism is deranged and still oppresses the Palestinian people-as-policy and still relies on universal ritual defamation and still dehumanizes across the board.

    Decent people everywhere are obligated to point this out at every turn. To fail to do so is blatant antisemitism.

    1986 poster by Israel Prize-winning artist David Tartakover entitled:

    Do Not Approach It As An Enemy

    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/poster/do-not-approach-it-as-an-enemy

    Feel free to quibble.

    • Brewer
      September 6, 2017, 4:55 pm

      The caption to Tartakover’s art should be inscribed in large letters over every entrance to Palestine:

      “And if you should come to inherit your homeland: Do not approach it as an enemy.

      But come to the inhabitants in the spirit of peace.

      Not by malice, by transgression or animosity will you build the homeland of your forefathers, but by love and mercy, by righteousness and faith.

      And you will love the inhabitants of the land for they are your brothers of your own flesh, and you will not disregard them”.

      Rabbi Binyamin

  15. catalan
    September 6, 2017, 10:17 am

    “contemporary Zionism is deranged and still oppresses the Palestinian people-as-policy and still relies on universal ritual defamation and still dehumanizes across the board”
    So you believe this – but how does that help the Palestinians? If there is ever going to be peace, how is insulting Israel bringing you closer to that goal? Or do you believe in a military solution, where Israel is destroyed but the Palestinians somehow survive? Or do you believe that boycotting Israeli products and Caterpillar is going to bring peace? Shouting “you are bad and I am just so much better than you” is great for here, but I promise you, it changes nothing. Actually, people have a way of responding poorly to insults.

    • Talkback
      September 6, 2017, 11:12 am

      catalan: “Actually, people have a way of responding poorly to insults.”

      And to pathetic accusations like yours.

      • Mooser
        September 6, 2017, 3:37 pm

        “Actually, people have a way of responding poorly to insults.”

        Better ease up on “catalan”. I think he is hinting he will stop commenting if he’s insulted.

    • eljay
      September 6, 2017, 11:38 am

      || catalan: … Shouting “you are bad and I am just so much better than you” … changes nothing. Actually, people have a way of responding poorly to insults. ||

      You make a good case for why Zionists and the “Jewish State” of Israel should heed this bit of advice.

    • Brewer
      September 6, 2017, 5:15 pm

      “how does that help the Palestinians?”

      There is a school of thought that regards truth as efficacious in every way, like a powerful disinfectant.
      This is opposed to the Zionist view that truth is irrelevant – subservient to ideology.

  16. Stogumber
    September 7, 2017, 12:01 am

    Catalan has asked some difficult questions. By what means do you think to reach your goals, and in what way will your means determinate your results? I still miss the answers.

    Civilization is a (in most cases) successful agreement to respect each other’s “borders” – in the broad and the narrow meaning of the word. The kind of anti-civilizational fanatical cosmopolitanism which is promoted here has some right – it serves the interestst of a small cosmopolitan class -, but it will never be popular, even not with the Palestinians. Palestinians will not want to sacrifice their ethnicity, nor will they want to admit unlimited numbers of Africans into their state.

    • echinococcus
      September 8, 2017, 1:20 am

      “Stogumber” (John de…?)

      Palestinians will not want to sacrifice their ethnicity, nor will they want to admit unlimited numbers of Africans into their state.

      You really cannot see any difference between a whole camel and a gnat, can you?

      • Mooser
        September 8, 2017, 1:11 pm

        “You really cannot see any difference between a whole camel and a gnat, can you?”

        Well done, “Echin”

  17. just
    September 7, 2017, 7:30 am

    Thank you, Jonathan. I respect your work and analysis very much.

    Gideon Levy is indefatigable in his honesty and quest for justice.

    “In Arab East Jerusalem: Zionism’s Model Apartment …

    There’s one like it in every construction project, the model apartment. Anyone who wants to see what the building will look like when it’s completed, comes to see the model apartment. The up-to-date Zionist project also has a model apartment – on Kunder Street, not far from Nablus Road, in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. It’s worth visiting.

    This apartment is where they should bring all the Birthright participants, to show them what the Zionist project, in whose name they are brought here by the tens of thousands, really looks like. Other guests of Israel, those who ask whether there’s apartheid here, should also be brought to the house on Kunder Street.

    This is where their questions will end. This is where the Shamasneh family lived for 53 years, as renters. This is what it’s like in Zionism’s model apartment.

    This act of eviction is nothing new, of course. It’s as old as the entire Zionist project. Eight family members, including an 84-year-old man in a wheelchair, were evicted from the apartment because before 1948, its owner was Jewish. Now the house has been returned to the owner’s heirs, the descendants of the late Haim Ben Sulimani Yan’i.

    What could be more just than that? There was a house, it was restored to its owners. Even the Supreme Court (which the libelous right sees as “post Zionist”), Israel’s lighthouse of justice, whose beacon shines afar, legitimized the eviction four years ago when it denied the family the right to appeal. The three justices at the time, Edna Arbel, Hanan Melcer and Noam Sohlberg, may have squirmed in their seats before writing their verdict, it was so difficult for them, but that’s how Supreme Court justices always acted in occupation issues, before making the abomination kosher.

    Ultimately they were relieved. They denied the appeal request “with a heavy heart” and stated: “These matters cannot raise any principled legal issue.” They also said: “The pretext of distorting justice doesn’t exist.” Then they ruled: “Indeed, it isn’t easy to evict a person from his home, all the more so when it’s an elderly man who has lived in the property for many years.”

    Not easy, but it can be done. In a humanitarian gesture the justices gave the family 18 months to leave their home. Where else can you find such merciful judges but in Jerusalem? They too, of course, are part of the Zionist project – evicting and moaning; evicting and uttering sanctimonious statements. At Umm al-Hiran and at Sheikh Jarrah.

    The house on Kunder Street is the Zionist project’s model apartment, because here you get it all in a refined, condensed form. Here Israel says, without stammering: Entrance for Jews only. Exit for Arabs. Not only the right of return, but the right of property is also exclusively for Jews. A Jew who lost his home in 1948 will have his house returned to him with all respect. A Palestinian – and there were hundreds of thousands of them – has lost it forever. Two justice systems on an ethnic basis. In other languages it’s called apartheid. There’s no other name for it.

    The court will say in its defense that it only dealt with the question of whether the renter was a protected tenant. The simplistic, narrow view is always good in these issues, even in the Supreme Court. Most Israelis would say it’s all legal, the court approved it, didn’t it? What more could we ask of a Jewish, democratic state of law? The heirs will also feel that justice has been done as far as they’re concerned, and have already leased their house to the new settlers – right-wing, ultra-Orthodox, well guarded activists. Another dunam and another goat, as the Zionist saying goes, and Sheikh Jarrah will be Jewish. Another dunam and another goat, and the transfer will intensify and the apartheid state will stand on legal foundations.

    This is the state of all its Jews. There’s no other way to excuse the brazenness in which Israel declares that correcting the injustices of 1948 is for Jews alone, while most of the victims were Palestinians.

    Justice can only exist in one format: equality for everyone. But Zionism continues to say “no” to this singular justice. To say that in 1948 there were only Jewish refugees is an especially insolent version of Nakba denial. For what is the difference between the heirs of the owners of the land on which my house is built, on the ruins of Sheikh Munis, and Haim Yan’i’s heirs? In the model apartment on Kunder Street, all shame has been lost.”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.810974

    • just
      September 7, 2017, 8:10 am

      Levy and Levac pen another brutally honest article today with photos:

      “A Southern Israeli Village’s Fate: Bedouin Out, Jews In

      Eight months ago, Yakub Abu al-Kiyan was killed by police during a protest against the demolition of Bedouin houses to make way for Jewish ones; his widow and 10 kids are living in a tent next to the rubble of their home …“They killed Yaakov and Musa,” he says, referring to his uncle and to his grandfather, Musa, Yakub’s father, who died 21 days after his son was killed, possibly from heartbreak. …

      … “We’ve lived here for 62 years without getting a thing from state, which settled us here. And now the state rewards us with murder – a state that employs all its force against its citizens,” Raad says. “We asked for a partner who would come and talk with us. Who would bring a real offer. But they don’t want an agreed-upon solution. They want to do things by force. Why is there only an enforcement unit that operates against the Bedouin, the [Israel Police’s] Yoav Unit? Is there a unit against people from the Caucasus? Against the Russians? The Ethiopians? Why is there an enforcement unit only against us?

      “We suggested that we live together, one next to the other,” he continues. “But the Hiran charter states that the community will be only for Orthodox Jews. Why did Yakub and Musa have to be killed in order to bring Yaakov and Moshe instead? It’s no small thing, what happened on January 18. The world knows what happened here. Now they want to do things by force again, but without anyone noticing. To remove Umm al-Hiran from the ‘front,’ to soften things, so it’s not felt – and then to expel us. We don’t know what to expect, but we haven’t lost hope. A hope that’s 2,000 years old.”

      Adds Raba: “Aren’t we citizens? I tell my friends from Hebron: You live better than us. You have land. We don’t even have that.”

      Her daughter, Maryam, points to the concrete ceiling that lies crushed on the ground. “This is where we did our homework, and here’s where we played, so we wouldn’t bother Dad, who liked quiet.”

      Every month Raba visits Yakub’s grave, at nearby Tel Shoket. She was there early this week, too, with two of her children. What do you tell her husband in his grave? “That God will help.” ”

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.811082

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