Who can save Israel now? Labor leader emulates Netanyahu

Israel/Palestine
on 34 Comments

Last summer liberal Zionists heralded the newest Labor leader in Israel, Avi Gabbay, as a dynamic Mizrahi who might revive the party. Ehud Barak called Gabbay’s selection a “revolution,” and the New York Times said the self-made millionaire represented “electrifying” “liberal forces” in opposition to conservative Likud.

Gabbay had brought a “new spirit” to the party, the Times’s Isabel Kershner said. While Gabbay declared, “[T]o all those who thought the Israeli citizens had lost hope in change, to all those — tonight is the answer.”

Well, in the last few days Gabbay has done his best to imitate Benjamin Netanyahu by saying he would never evacuate settlements and never form a governing coalition with Palestinians.

Gabbay’s comments are a good sign of just how far right the Jewish Israeli polity has gone today. The American press has largely ignored the news, typically, but liberal Zionists have condemned him. For instance, Daniel Seidemann tweeted,

Bad news: head of our “moderate opposition” is a racist, political invetebrate. Good news: he speaks English, so you’ll hear it yourselves.

Here’s the news. Six days ago Haaretz quoted Gabbay saying that he would never form a governing coalition with the Joint List, which is mostly Palestinian. But he would make a coalition with rightwing Jews.

“We will not share a government with the Joint List, period,” Gabbay said at a political forum in Be’er Sheva. “Let that be clear.”…

Gabbay didn’t reject the possibility of being part of a governing coalition alongside Kulanu, Yisrael Beiteinu and the ultra-Orthodox parties…

The leading Palestinian politician in Israel, Ayman Odeh, said Gabbay was no different from Netanyahu.

“Someone who doesn’t view Arab citizens and their elected representatives as a legitimate group, doesn’t present a real alternative to the right,” he said.

“Since the days of Ehud Barak, the Labor Party has strived to be a pale replica of the right – and the citizens always choose the original. To be drawn into the delegitimization campaign led by the prime minister against Arab citizens is a huge gift to the far-right coalition headed by Netanyahu and the settlers.”

Two days after that, Gabbay threw his support behind the settlers, saying that he wouldn’t evacuate illegal settlements as part of a peace deal. The Times of Israel reported, “New leader shifts main opposition party sharply to the right.”

“I won’t evacuate settlements in the framework of a peace deal,” said Gabbay… If you are making peace, why do you need to evacuate?”

Elaborating on his comments, Gabbay said the notion any peace deal would by necessity require the evacuation of settlements is mistaken.

“I think the dynamic and terminology that have become commonplace here, that ‘if you make peace — evacuate,’ is not in fact correct,” he said.

A lot of Labor Zionists were upset. Jewish Insider reported:

Left-wing figures blasted Gabbay for trying to appease the settlers. Tzipi Livni, Gabbay’s partner in the Zionist Union, sent out an SMS message stressing that Gabbay’s stance does not reflect her “Hatnua” party’s position, nor that of the Zionist Union, while Labor MK Itzik Shmuli tweeted that “separation into two states is an existential interest that will require painful concessions and evacuation of territory.”

Gabbay later walked it back, telling Ynet that the only settlements he wouldn’t evacuate were the big settlement blocs. Gabbay said the point was separation:

“I think we should aspire to reach an agreement with the Palestinians based on the principle of separating from the Palestinians, and based on the two states to two peoples principle.”

So that’s what it’s all about: the “principle” of separating Jews and Palestinians. I understand the resort to partition as a means of separating hostile groups. But ennobling that separation as a “principle”– that’s the essence of Zionism. Zionists want to have a Jewish majority by any means. And to hell with the Palestinians who are left in that state; they can’t be members of the governing coalition.

You have to ask, When have things been all that different in Israel? The settlement project began under Labor. And Labor has often formed coalitions with far-right Jewish parties while eschewing coalitions with Palestinians. Labor never wanted to have Palestinian partners in its governing coalitions because doing so would undermine that government’s legitimacy in the Jewish state.

Bottom line, no one should be all that surprised that Gabbay is a political invertebrate and a racist… These attitudes are the product of Jewish nationalism. It’s time liberal Zionists caught a clue.

Thanks to Scott Roth and Todd Pierce.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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34 Responses

  1. yonah fredman
    October 20, 2017, 1:02 am

    Actually not surprising. Gabbay comes from Kulanu and he won the labor leadership because he was a new face and all the old faces have failed. He is not really Bibi light, more like Yair Lapid II. It was Lapid who said, that he would make no coalition with the Zoabis, and this is the majority position. Rabin had two votes in the Knesset, almost 25 years ago, one on the first oslo accords of 93, which won the Knesset vote by a relatively easy margin and the oslo II accords which won the Knesset by two votes 61-59.

    I don’t hate Zoabi, but I’m not running for Knesset in Israel, where the changing rules have forced all the Arab parties to join as one, and i think they increased their share of the knesset as a result of that collaboration, but i think it is natural to say that Zoabi is not a natural partner to someone who doesn’t hate Israel.

    The settlements statement shows his amateur status. If push comes to shove and this guy gets in, he might see his interest in reaching a peace, he’s not going to run on the platform, oh, i’m going to give them everything. that’s amateur reporting.

    there is a racism problem in Israel. but this is just politics.
    this tempest in a teacup does not impress me. if labor plus yair lapid can get a good amount of the votes, they could form a government, but i’m not betting on them. netanyahu stinks, and most israelis don’t think too much of him, but they are not willing to cast their lot with any “peacemaker” “concessions maker”. they don’t believe in peace or in concessions.

    • Mooser
      October 20, 2017, 1:14 pm

      ” they are not willing to cast their lot with any “peacemaker” “concessions maker”. they don’t believe in peace or in concessions.”

      Masadadammerung here we come!

      • oldgeezer
        October 20, 2017, 2:11 pm

        @Mooser

        It’s impossible to argue with him. Now if only other zionists could be as honest.

      • Mooser
        October 20, 2017, 4:45 pm

        “Now if only other zionists could be as honest.”

        I just love the confidence of “yonah’s” analysis. That Israel will go on oppressing, murdering and plundering the Palestinians, with the unwavering support of Jews all over the world, that he is perfectly willing to postulate.
        But the idea that events may lead to a lessening of Zionist power, or maybe even that Jews have better things to do than save the world from the Palestinians, and might have to make “concessions”, that’s not even worth considering.

        No trauma ‘long him!

      • gamal
        October 20, 2017, 5:24 pm

        “But the idea that events may lead to a lessening of Zionist power, or maybe even that Jews have better things to do than save the world from the Palestinians”

        A hardly viewed talk by the Iraqi Jew Sami Ramadani, a key part of the Stopthewar group in the UK who just recently had a media on trial event which some might think worth looking up, but a year ago Dr. Ramadani in his lovely soft voiced Arabic accented English, kind of covered everything relevant to ME for citizens of the west, Sociologist, Activist, Academic, Jew, Arab, Londoner….there is a lot here for anyone willing to listen.

        https://youtu.be/j0iYhN_M6sU

      • oldgeezer
        October 20, 2017, 6:31 pm

        @Mooser

        Ah yes but they do so only because they are victims. Amnd when it blows up in their face they will wail they are the victims again.

    • eljay
      October 20, 2017, 3:40 pm

      || yonah fredman: … i think it is natural to say that Zoabi is not a natural partner to someone who doesn’t hate Israel. … ||

      Zoabi is not a natural partner to someone who believes that the religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to hold it the right:
      – to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; and
      – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

      || … there is a racism problem in Israel. … ||

      Dunno about a racism problem, but there’s definitely a colonialism, (war) criminal and religion-supremacism problem in Israel. It’s called Zionism.

      • JosephA
        October 21, 2017, 12:25 am

        Gamal,

        That video was dead-on accurate, very thoughtful.

        Thanks for sharing!

    • yonah fredman
      October 20, 2017, 4:53 pm

      I would say that between 15 to 25% of Israeli Jews would choose painful concessions for a hudna, meaning a cease fire of 50 years, to be renewed in 50 years. (and with the prominent role of hamas in the palestinian national movement that is really what is on the table). these 15 to 25% of the israeli jewish voters will vote “left” parties no matter what. gabbai wants to win the centrist voter.

      gabbai’s statement, in answer to the “is there someone to talk to?” said, “some say yes and some say not, but it’s the security people who say yes”, is his way of saying that his lot will be tossed in with those security people, if ever elected.

      i can’t see him getting elected.

      on the topic of zoabi. i get a kick out of watching israelis foam at the mouth at zoabi, similar to them foaming at the mouth at gideon levy. this is what happens when personality and ideology create provocateurs, not in the technical sense re: security services, but people who provoke. gideon levy and zoabi are provokers.

      zoabi reflects a natural anger against zionism and as such i accept her as a natural force. i consider the leader of that Joint List party to be a reasonable man and it is merely the machinations of the past Knesset’s larger parties trying to encourage the consolidation of parties that led to the existence of the Joint List. So i have no problems with making a coalition with the joint list, because the leader is more important than zoabi.

      I am in favor of a hudna of 50 years. I think the palestinians and the israeli jews are not natural enemies in terms of temperament, only in terms of turf and a hudna of 50 years would improve the situation.

      • Mooser
        October 20, 2017, 8:32 pm

        “I would say that between 15 to 25% of Israeli Jews would choose painful concessions”

        What percentage of Israeli Jews would “choose painful concession” if they were forced to by deteriorating conditions? Do you think the percentage would be any higher?

      • echinococcus
        October 20, 2017, 10:59 pm

        between 15 to 25% of Israeli Jews would choose painful concessions for a hudna

        How painful?

      • Mooser
        October 21, 2017, 12:54 pm

        “How painful?”

        I Googled it, and only 8.75 to, at most, 21.3% are willing to accept concessions which are “mildly irritating”.
        “Yonah” must verify his figures before we can discuss this.

      • Nathan
        October 21, 2017, 3:26 pm

        Yonah – Who is offering a hudna for 50 years? The Hamas position has been that they offer Israel a hudna for 10 years. Such was the hudna that the prophet Muhammad made at Hudaybiyyah, and Hamas is copying that idea (Muhammad broke the agreement after two years, and that should be an obvious hint as to what the intention might be). The hudna is based on withdrawal to the 1967 lines and the return of all the refugees and their descendants. Afterwards, the armed conflict against Israel continues.

        So, this now the question arises: What exactly is the grievance that justifies the return to armed conflict after 10 years. It’s not the grievance of occupation, nor is it the grievance of refugees (both those grievances will have been rectified in order to earn the 10 year hudna). After so many years of being told that “it’s the occupation, stupid” – now we are being told that it’s not the occupation (or the refugees). It’s something else, right? Well, maybe we should be busying ourselves with that something else.

        No one is going “to make painful concessions” in order to have a cease fire for ten years. No one is going to do so even for the imaginary 50-year hudna (there is no such thing in Islam anyway). The issue is ending the conflict, period.

        In the Oslo Accords, it was agreed that the next agreement will be the end of conflict (“final status”). What would be the point in making a new agreement if no one feels obligated by the former agreements? It’s a better idea sticking to the existing understanding that the next step is negotiating the end of conflict.

        One more insight for you to consider. This conflict is a very low-intensity conflict. Both sides can live with it on a permanent basis. Perhaps, you believe that the situation is so unliveable that you would make concessions just to have a break in the conflict for 10 years. Well, it’s not so. No one has a problem continuing the conflict (and the international pressures) into the coming generations. A hudna is not such an enticing offer (and it’s not going to last very long anyway). Ending the conflict would be something else.

      • Mooser
        October 22, 2017, 2:29 pm

        “One more insight for you to consider.”

        Shorter “Nathan”: ‘Why on earth would a Jewish person live in peace, when he can make Aliyah into eternal war and uncertainty. I mean, it’s not like we have anything better to do, and there’s so many of us to sacrifice for the cause.’

      • jon s
        October 22, 2017, 4:11 pm

        Yonah,
        I suggest that you check out the “peace index”:

        http://www.peaceindex.org/indexMonthEng.aspx?num=325

  2. yonah fredman
    October 20, 2017, 1:45 am

    I would add that the major issue that is on deck to be solved next is not the west bank, but gaza, as in creating some port as has been discussed here:
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-1.815337

    • Citizen
      October 20, 2017, 6:32 am

      I wonder if Richard Spencer is thinking about a port for his ethno-state too?

      • yonah fredman
        October 20, 2017, 4:56 pm

        How come it’s the same people who cast aspersions on anne frank, who get the biggest kick out of Richard Spencer’s analogy.

      • oldgeezer
        October 20, 2017, 6:33 pm

        @yonah

        Good question. Why not ask some of the zionist leaders. They are quite buddy buddy with the neofacists and neonazis.

      • Mooser
        October 20, 2017, 8:27 pm

        ” people who cast aspersions on anne frank”

        They shouldn’t do that. That’s what killed Cleopatra.

      • echinococcus
        October 20, 2017, 11:02 pm

        He has one already, where he belongs among the current owners, and it’s called Ashkelon –that, incidentally, gave its name to the scallion. Not Mobile.

      • Mooser
        October 21, 2017, 12:57 pm

        ” Ashkelon –that, incidentally, gave its name to the scallion.”

        Nope, that was Booker T. Jones.

      • echinococcus
        October 21, 2017, 8:08 pm

        and the shallot!

  3. Kay24
    October 20, 2017, 5:55 am

    Unfortunately, this politician knows that to win votes, and the approval of the people, he must continue with Netanyahu’s policies and legacy….polls show the majority of Israelis want the occupation, and illegal settlements, to continue. The evil that is zionism. No politician that announces he/she wants to end the occupation, and give back illegal lands, will ever make it in zionist land. All at the expense of the true victims of this terrible conflict, the Palestinians.

  4. Misterioso
    October 20, 2017, 10:52 am

    Beyond words:

    https://theintercept.com/2017/10/19/to-get-hurricane-rebuilding-money-in-texas-contractors-must-promise-they-wont-boycott-israel/

    “To get hurricane rebuilding money in Texas, contractors must promise they won’t boycott Israel”

    Zaid Jilani, The Intercept, Oct. 19/17

    EXCERPT:

    “IF YOU’RE A Texan looking to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, you’d better not boycott Israel.

    “That’s the message being sent by the state, which has banned any contractor who supports the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, or BDS, campaign from receiving state funds.

    “If you’re confused why the two things are related, look to a bill that Texas’s Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law in July.

    “House Bill 89 prohibits the state from entering into contract with a business unless it ‘does not boycott Israel; and will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract.’ The law applies even to businesses that would refuse to buy products made in illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land — as it defines Israel as both Israel proper and ‘Israeli-controlled territory.’”

  5. echinococcus
    October 20, 2017, 12:59 pm

    One cannot help being enthusiastic about this “liberal”, a registered criminal against peace and war criminal:

    Tzipi Livni, Gabbay’s partner in the Zionist Union, sent out an SMS message stressing that Gabbay’s stance does not reflect her “Hatnua” party’s position…

    When Zionists, laboliberal and non, disagree about what should be talked about within “the framework of a peace deal” they are talking about ***talk*** only. Meaning what they will talk about during “negotiations” designed to delay any conclusion by another 10, 20, 40 years –as long as it takes to complete the ongoing genocide.

    If the last 70 years haven’t already made that crystal-clear to all, the next 70 years will be no different.

  6. Ossinev
    October 20, 2017, 1:58 pm

    @Yonah Friedman
    “I would add that the major issue that is on deck to be solved next is not the west bank, but gaza”

    Have to agree with you on that one boyo. Unless the Yahoo , Zioland`s latest all singing all dancing Moses , can wave a stick and reverse those pesky Anti – Semitic Mediterranean currents all that floating poo and associated smells washing up on the Tel Aviv beaches might lead to a fair number of the Chosen upping sticks and moving back to Brooklyn.

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israeli-jets-destroying-gaza-water-and-sewerage-systems-284613778

    To be fair I think that the Yahoo,Liebermann,Herr Bennett and Co did threaten to bomb the “shit” out of the place if Hamas continued to fire Halloween rockets into the Ancient Historic Homeland (AHHhhhhh !!). – that`s Zioland btw not New Jersey.

  7. Kathleen
    October 21, 2017, 9:56 am

    “So that’s what it’s all about: the “principle” of separating Jews and Palestinians” Sounds like Gabbay drank the kool aid…

    On separation has anyone watched “One of Us” Just finished on Netflix. Intense, brave and heartbreaking. So many tears. Want to go find Etty and her children. What the fuck is up with the courts that judge? Really worthwhile documentary. http://www.indiewire.com/2017/09/one-of-us-trailer-documentary-tiff-netflix-1201873078/

  8. Marnie
    October 21, 2017, 2:06 pm

    “We will not share a government with the Joint List, period,” Gabbay said at a political forum in Be’er Sheva. “Let that be clear.”…

    “Gabbay didn’t reject the possibility of being part of a governing coalition alongside Kulanu, Yisrael Beiteinu and the ultra-Orthodox parties…”

    Who can save ‘israel’ now? Should israel be saved is the bigger question IMHO and I say absolutely not.

    • Mooser
      October 22, 2017, 1:29 pm

      ““We will not share a government with the Joint List, period,” Gabbay said at a political forum in Be’er Sheva. “Let that be clear.”…

      And I thought Beersheba was where the Israeli Left lived and taught.

      • amigo
        October 23, 2017, 2:29 pm

        “And I thought Beersheba was where the Israeli Left lived and taught.” Mooser

        Jon S was right there in the front line demanding equality and Justice for the Occupied , or is that Besieged , Palestinian People .Can.t you see his placard –” GO HOME GABBAY” , This is “Left ” country, you are not welcome here.

    • just
      October 22, 2017, 5:45 pm

      “Who can save ‘israel’ now? Should israel be saved is the bigger question IMHO and I say absolutely not.”

      There is that, Marnie…

      This is a very interesting article that is pertinent:

      “In the crosshairs: Israel’s war of attrition on political dissent

      The attempt to outlaw Israeli human rights organizations means the Jewish state may soon be forced to shed its image of a liberal democratic state. Are Israelis ready for that? …

      … This war has been years in the making — it is, after all, a project of patience. The collapse of the Oslo process and the consequent foundering of the peace camp gave rise to a galvanized brand of right wing, one that sought to carefully undo the work of its predecessors in the Zionist Left. Doing so required a number of carefully crafted steps: supplanting peace negotiations with endless settlement building; creating physical and psychological distance between Israelis and the reality in the West Bank and Gaza; marking Palestinian citizens of Israel, long suspected as fifth columnists by the Israeli establishment, as enemies of the state; and silencing political dissidents through draconian legal warfare, and often the threat of real violence.

      A bygone era

      Breaking the Silence, from its onset, aimed straight for the heart of the Israeli consensus. Long before its members toured American campuses and spoke to the United Nations, the organization was simply a way for members to hold a frank conversation about the things they did and saw as soldiers of occupation. There was nothing especially revelatory about the group; public discussion about the goings on in the occupied territories was not uncommon in the early 1990s, as the First Intifada awakened a significant part of the Israeli public to the deleterious nature of holding a civilian population hostage while plundering its land and labor.

      The consensus at the time certainly did not espouse the establishment of a Palestinian state, but talk of the human cost of maintaining the occupation — that is, how military dictatorship was affecting Israelis first and foremost — was not yet considered taboo. On the contrary, rolling back the occupation piecemeal could be considered a veritable form of patriotism. In that sanguine era, Breaking the Silence would have fit hand in glove.

      But the Israel of Oslo no longer exists. Gone are the days when soldiers could have a safe space to discuss the traumas they endured by beating civilians and raiding homes. And while neither the Right nor the Zionist Left has ever been particularly fond of these groups (Prime Minister Rabin once famously maligned Israeli human rights group B’Tselem for hindering his ability to effectively fight Hamas suicide bombings), they did provide something of a countervailing force to Israeli policies.

      We just want quiet
      Today the status quo allows Israel to maintain its occupation with relatively little trouble; the costs of war or sporadic violence are worth the price for maintaining control over nearly every aspect of Palestinian life if it means Israelis get to live b’sheket, in peace and quiet.

      Quiet for Israelis, however, means something quite different for Palestinians. And so, as Israeli intransigence increased, so too grew the calls from within and outside to place pressure on the Jewish state to do what it now seems incapable of doing: granting Palestinians their basic, fundamental rights. Breaking the Silence, realizing it could no longer mobilize a public that had grown accustomed to quiet, decided to take its battle to the international community. The government, abetted by a sycophantic media hungry for high ratings, would no longer tolerate this kind of behavior, placing Breaking the Silence — along with groups such as B’Tselem — in its crosshairs.

      … The Israeli government no longer fears a mass, violent uprising reminiscent of the Second Intifada. Armed with the most advanced military technology in the world and a docile Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, Israel has managed to turn military dictatorship into a feature, rather than an aberration, of its policies. Public acquiescence means the occupation can march on, that the government’s war on human rights will certainly face little resistance.

      “Israeli society is obeying the dictates of a government that doesn’t want people to know, that wants people to look the other way,” Jewish American author Michael Chabon told me as we drove through the hills of the West Bank earlier this year. “The disinclination to see the occupation only serves the policies and agenda of the Israeli government. It makes sense then that Breaking the Silence would engender the harassment it encounters.” The psychological distance between the glitzy boulevards of Tel Aviv and the refugee camps of the West Bank, then, is not a bug — it’s built in to the design. Attempts to upend that distance, to bring the occupation home, will not be tolerated.

      The chilling effect does not mean Israeli human rights organizations have closed up shop. On the contrary: B’Tselem announced last year that it would stop working with the Israeli army after 25 years, while Breaking the Silence has repeatedly proven that it is willing to face the onslaught head on. The very existence of these groups is often used to portray Israel as a pluralistic liberal democracy. The question is whether Israelis are prepared for the day that veneer fully unravels before their eyes.”

      https://972mag.com/in-the-crosshairs-israels-war-of-attrition-on-political-dissent/130328/

      BDS !!! Expose the truth, tell your leaders to pay attention and/or vote them OUT and tell them why!

      • Marnie
        October 23, 2017, 12:47 am

        Isn’t it terrifying what an innocuous word like quiet has come to mean in ziospeak; just like what they did to the meaning of like mowing the lawn. There’s no end to the depravity.

  9. just
    October 22, 2017, 5:46 pm

    “Who can save ‘israel’ now? Should israel be saved is the bigger question IMHO and I say absolutely not.”

    There is that, Marnie…

    This is a very interesting article that is pertinent:

    “In the crosshairs: Israel’s war of attrition on political dissent

    The attempt to outlaw Israeli human rights organizations means the Jewish state may soon be forced to shed its image of a liberal democratic state. Are Israelis ready for that? …

    … This war has been years in the making — it is, after all, a project of patience. The collapse of the Oslo process and the consequent foundering of the peace camp gave rise to a galvanized brand of right wing, one that sought to carefully undo the work of its predecessors in the Zionist Left. Doing so required a number of carefully crafted steps: supplanting peace negotiations with endless settlement building; creating physical and psychological distance between Israelis and the reality in the West Bank and Gaza; marking Palestinian citizens of Israel, long suspected as fifth columnists by the Israeli establishment, as enemies of the state; and silencing political dissidents through draconian legal warfare, and often the threat of real violence.

    A bygone era

    Breaking the Silence, from its onset, aimed straight for the heart of the Israeli consensus. Long before its members toured American campuses and spoke to the United Nations, the organization was simply a way for members to hold a frank conversation about the things they did and saw as soldiers of occupation. There was nothing especially revelatory about the group; public discussion about the goings on in the occupied territories was not uncommon in the early 1990s, as the First Intifada awakened a significant part of the Israeli public to the deleterious nature of holding a civilian population hostage while plundering its land and labor.

    The consensus at the time certainly did not espouse the establishment of a Palestinian state, but talk of the human cost of maintaining the occupation — that is, how military dictatorship was affecting Israelis first and foremost — was not yet considered taboo. On the contrary, rolling back the occupation piecemeal could be considered a veritable form of patriotism. In that sanguine era, Breaking the Silence would have fit hand in glove.

    But the Israel of Oslo no longer exists. Gone are the days when soldiers could have a safe space to discuss the traumas they endured by beating civilians and raiding homes. And while neither the Right nor the Zionist Left has ever been particularly fond of these groups (Prime Minister Rabin once famously maligned Israeli human rights group B’Tselem for hindering his ability to effectively fight Hamas suicide bombings), they did provide something of a countervailing force to Israeli policies.

    We just want quiet

    Today the status quo allows Israel to maintain its occupation with relatively little trouble; the costs of war or sporadic violence are worth the price for maintaining control over nearly every aspect of Palestinian life if it means Israelis get to live b’sheket, in peace and quiet.

    Quiet for Israelis, however, means something quite different for Palestinians. And so, as Israeli intransigence increased, so too grew the calls from within and outside to place pressure on the Jewish state to do what it now seems incapable of doing: granting Palestinians their basic, fundamental rights. Breaking the Silence, realizing it could no longer mobilize a public that had grown accustomed to quiet, decided to take its battle to the international community. The government, abetted by a sycophantic media hungry for high ratings, would no longer tolerate this kind of behavior, placing Breaking the Silence — along with groups such as B’Tselem — in its crosshairs.

    … The Israeli government no longer fears a mass, violent uprising reminiscent of the Second Intifada. Armed with the most advanced military technology in the world and a docile Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, Israel has managed to turn military dictatorship into a feature, rather than an aberration, of its policies. Public acquiescence means the occupation can march on, that the government’s war on human rights will certainly face little resistance.

    “Israeli society is obeying the dictates of a government that doesn’t want people to know, that wants people to look the other way,” Jewish American author Michael Chabon told me as we drove through the hills of the West Bank earlier this year. “The disinclination to see the occupation only serves the policies and agenda of the Israeli government. It makes sense then that Breaking the Silence would engender the harassment it encounters.” The psychological distance between the glitzy boulevards of Tel Aviv and the refugee camps of the West Bank, then, is not a bug — it’s built in to the design. Attempts to upend that distance, to bring the occupation home, will not be tolerated.

    The chilling effect does not mean Israeli human rights organizations have closed up shop. On the contrary: B’Tselem announced last year that it would stop working with the Israeli army after 25 years, while Breaking the Silence has repeatedly proven that it is willing to face the onslaught head on. The very existence of these groups is often used to portray Israel as a pluralistic liberal democracy. The question is whether Israelis are prepared for the day that veneer fully unravels before their eyes.”

    https://972mag.com/in-the-crosshairs-israels-war-of-attrition-on-political-dissent/130328/

    BDS !!! Expose the truth, tell your largely pitiful and complicit ‘leaders’ to pay attention and/or vote them OUT and tell them why!

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