Ayelet Shaked, the Israeli justice minister has done it again: She has spelled out Israeli Apartheid in unequivocal terms, and tied it directly to Zionism:
“There is place to maintain a Jewish majority even at the price of violation of rights.”
she said yesterday (Monday) at the Congress on Judaism and Democracy, as reported by Haaretz.
Shaked was speaking about Israel’s “Nation State of the Jewish People” bill, and made it clear that equality was essentially anathema to the “Jewish State”:
On the coalition’s intent to keep the word “equality” out of the nation-state bill, Shaked said that
“Israel is a Jewish state. It isn’t a state of all its nations. That is, equal rights to all citizens but not equal national rights.”
Shaked said the word “equality” was very general and the court could take it “very far,” adding that
“There are places where the character of the State of Israel as a Jewish state must be maintained and this sometimes comes at the expense of equality.”
She is thus echoing what she said half a year ago – 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”.
Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy had then thanked Shaked for telling the truth:
“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 he concluded:
“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.”
Shaked is once again making points which are a direct confirmation of the essential conclusions of last year’s shelved UN report on Israeli Apartheid, which elucidated the racist practices of the Israeli state and its inherent Apartheid nature. The report noted that
“Palestinian political parties can campaign for minor reforms and better budgets, but are legally prohibited by the Basic Law from challenging legislation maintaining the racial regime. The policy is reinforced by the implications of the distinction made in Israel between “citizenship” (ezrahut) and “nationality” (le’um): all Israeli citizens enjoy the former, but only Jews enjoy the latter. “National” rights in Israeli law signify Jewish-national rights.” (My emphasis).
That report caused great furor amongst Israeli leadership, and the UN Secretary General bowed to Israeli (as well as American) pressure to have it taken down for its supposed ‘anti-Semitic’ nature – but here is Israel’s Justice Minister confirming what it is essentially saying.
Shaked, who has a penchant for genocidal and fascist rhetoric, is very clear about why she wants the Nation State bill to be consolidated into a quasi-constitutional ‘base-law’: The purpose of the nation-state bill, she said, was to prevent a ruling like the one in the Ka’adan case in 2000 that banned discrimination against an Arab family who wanted to move to a small Jewish community that sought to bar them. Shaked wants it to be completely possible for a Jewish community to bar entry for Palestinian citizens on a racial basis. Indeed, Shaked referred to the Ka’adan ruling, saying that
“the argument over whether it’s all right for a Jewish community to, by definition, be only Jewish, I want the answer to be ‘yes, it’s all right.’”
Shaked again bemoaned that “universal values” were supposedly taking over:
“Over the past 20 years, there has been more of a focus on rulings over universal values and less over the Jewish character of the state. This tool [the nation state bill] is a tool that we want to give the court for the future.”
So Shaked wants to close the door on those small aberrations, where there appears to be a tiny crack in the wall of Israeli Apartheid. She wants it completely shut and bolted. And most important: the world needs to accept it as a legitimate ideology and policy.
Let it be noted, this is all about Israeli policy vis-à-vis its own non-Jewish citizens. This is not even about Israel’s 1967 occupation (although it of course indirectly affects Israeli policy in all territories).
On the one hand, one could be tempted to believe that Shaked is just fighting a battle against the courts, and that there is a supposedly liberal Supreme Court that can act as counterweight to this. But remember – the Supreme Court is essentially Zionist, and therefore it is always biased towards the “Jewish State”. Since that concept cannot be challenged in any meaningful way, and since Shaked is actually voicing Zionist ideology honestly and vociferously, one is left with very little meaningful agency to protest or counter this.
One agency is, of course, the civil, democratic grassroots means of protest: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).
But look what Supreme Court President Esther Hayut said at a recent anti-BDS conference. BDS is a “a civil wrong”, she said, and went on:
“Calling for a boycott is a means of coercion and not persuasion. It does not serve the basic principles of democracy, but instead undermines them by preventing a free exchange of ideas. As such, it is not worthy of the constitutional protection enjoyed by other forms of political expression.”
So, too bad – BDS is not protected speech, according to Israel’s highest court authority. And hence it is alright for the state itself to impose sanctions upon individuals for pursuing it:
“The imposition of legal sanctions is proportionate when the state is interested in defending itself against a boycott of civilians”, Hayut said.
It must become clear that this positioning is fascism in its very essence. The state may be ‘criticised’, by means that allow “exchange of ideas”, but not by means which the state itself deems may actually bring about change to its racial structure and hierarchy. This is not an unexpected external growth from a supposedly ‘democratic Zionism’. All this simply amounts to a further dropping of masks concerning the very essence of Zionism. It is Apartheid in its very nature.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak said a couple of years ago that “Israel has been infected by the seeds of fascism.” But he is the same ‘leftist hero’ who bragged about how the Israeli left had “liberated” the occupied territories, and bemoaned that the US didn’t recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital already 65 years ago. So Barak is saying that these “seeds of fascism” are just something that has “infected” Israel in the recent period. But they were there all the time, they are the seeds of the fruits of Zionism, which Barak is a subscriber to. It is doubtful that a ‘liberal’ such as Barak or his ilk, can ever ‘rescue’ Zionism from its more overt fascists such as Shaked.
The US has been through the Apartheid fairy-tale phase that Israel is in, with its ‘separate but equal’ legal doctrine, which maintained that even if there was racial segregation (literally Apartheid), African-Americans could still be considered “equal”, just “separate”. It took various Supreme Court rulings from 1950’s as well as the Civil Rights Act in 1964 to overturn this false notion of “equality”.
But Israel is working precisely the other way, and Shaked is confirming that the state ideology explicitly overrides equality. Truth be told, it has been so since day 1.
H/t P.S. Arihant