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‘Peace Now’ video against binational state features scary soundtrack: Muslim call to prayer

on 46 Comments

More than a year ago Peace Now in Israel (Shalom Achsav) posted the above video in Hebrew, calling on Israelis to save Israel from “downfall” by giving up the territories and working to establish a Palestinian state– two states for two peoples.

The video has lately been translated and reposted by leftwing Israelis critical of Peace Now. You will see that at :47 the video warns that if Israel annexes the territories, “Israel will become a binational state, without a Jewish majority.” At this point the wail of the muezzin, or Muslim call to prayer, is heard. So: A liberal group is employing Islamophobia. (The recent Nation issue on Islamophobia pointed out the connections between Zionism and Islamophobia.)

Also, the video says that there are 300,000 settlers. This is a vast understatement of the number that, among others, Trudy Rubin has used, 722,000. It surely leaves out all the East Jerusalem settlers.

Ofer Neiman sent me the video, which its translators titled, “Peace Now’s ethnic-supremacist ideology as expressed in their own campaign.” He writes:
I also think there is a socio-political reason why Peace Now have become so repugnant. Until a few years ago, they had grassroots activists. I was one of them. The activists always pushed in the direction of more genuine peace and human rights campaigning, not (just) sheer populism. Nowadays Peace Now is not a mass movement, and the show is run by PR hacks. It has never been a democratic movement, No official membership, and no elected board.

This is the same problem that I have had with J Street. It doesn’t represent the rank-and-file you see at the conferences, it’s non-democratic. And of course the same criticism is made of AIPAC; it doesn’t represent American Jewish opinion.

P.S. Amos Oz has long been associated with Peace Now and he also made the ethnic claim at J Street’s conference earlier this year: There is a Palestinian family and an Israeli family, and we can’t be in a state together. And liberal Zionists regularly say that there are “too many Arabs.” Here and here.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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46 Responses

  1. seafoid on October 4, 2012, 10:18 am

    They should change their name to Peace 1982

    Peace now looks like one person, one vote.

    • Mooser on October 4, 2012, 3:20 pm

      “Peace now looks like one person, one vote.”

      Which would be great, as soon as you tell me who, and how, is going to impose this on the Israelis, and who will supervise the elections, count the votes, and see that the results are simply ignored, or that, and this is, looking at the past, Zionists don’t simply start using private means, that is death squads, to terrify Palestinians out of any political activity. Until those questions are answered, a one state solution is simply the equivalent of locking the Zionists and the Palestinians in a room and telling them to work it out, except the Zionists have guns.
      Now, I’m sure there’s a simple answer for this, a big overwhelming circumstance I am overlooking (I can do that, easily) which insures none of this will happen, that one man, one vote will ensure democratic political results. But I’d feel a lot better if somebody would tell me what it was (and if you happen to know what “diddy-wah-diddy” means, too, that would be awesome). As far as I know, how states set themselves up, how they treat their constituent groups concerning the other identificatory (and very practical) aspects of their personhood (“race” religion, ethnic groups, family etc.) and how they manage their internal security and policing are pretty much the state’s own business.

      • seafoid on October 4, 2012, 4:56 pm

        Do you think the status quo is sutainable, Mooser?
        The Zionists will wake up at some stage. Ethnic cleansing would be suicide. Israel will decline slowly. Central Tel Aviv will be reclaimed by nature and twinned with Detroit.

      • W.Jones on October 5, 2012, 1:00 am


        Billy Crystol has said that the current situation is good. Certainly the settlers like it. If it continues and does destroy the “2 State Solution”, which it may have already, what is to stop it from being an Apartheid situation? Who is going to make them institute integrationa nd one-man one vote if they don’t want to? They already have a bad situation and the powers that be are apparently OK with it, as are its supporters like Crystol. J-Street and Peace Now may want democratic and independent Segregation, as liberal nationalists have for a long time, but they still define themselves as dedicated to the ethnic state, albeit with some serious criticisms for being excessive.

        I don’t disagree that the situation would unravel, but I am unsure how we know it to be so. Halper points to the US dispossession of the Native Americans as a case in point.

      • seafoid on October 5, 2012, 5:01 am

        “Halper points to the US dispossession of the Native Americans as a case in point.”

        The Canadian tribes didn’t have nuclear weapons.

        On a slightly different tangent, I saw something about the life of Barry Commoner yesterday

        His 4 truths were

        “Everything is connected to everything else.
        Everything must go somewhere.
        Nature knows best.
        And there is no free lunch.”

        That is what the native people told the whites. They were right.

      • wondering jew on October 4, 2012, 10:19 pm

        Hey Mooser, Happy Sukkos. (Does your one man band of Judaism observe Sukkos?)
        On to the topic: It sounds to me like you won’t be satisfied until some army other than the IDF controls Ben Gurion Airport (and other vital spots). Am I wrong?

      • Inanna on October 5, 2012, 12:11 am

        I’d be quite happy with a Chapter 7 intervention by the UN to enforce it. Let’s call it a Special Tribunal for Israel.

      • Walid on October 5, 2012, 6:31 am

        “I’d be quite happy with a Chapter 7 intervention by the UN to enforce it. Let’s call it a Special Tribunal for Israel.” (Inanna)

        Chapter 7 is a Security Council thing and if you can’t get the US to go along with a simple condemnation of Israel, how do you expect it to go along with a special tribunal for Israel? It’s like everything else in the US about Israel; you can criticize and make fun of the president of the US, the queen, the pope, the Qur’an and so on, but you can’t be critical of Israel.

      • bilal a on October 5, 2012, 8:05 am

        When the Muslim community consists of an educational elite that made Hijra to a disbeliever land for money, dont expect much push back. Indeed the only Muslim seminary in the USA prepares Imams to serve as religious officers in the US Army . Not exactly the foundation to build a lobbying effort to oppose well funded and dedicated AIPAC.

      • Inanna on October 5, 2012, 9:14 pm


        I’m not expecting the US to suddenly do what I proposed. I’m suggesting that if a country like Lebanon can be impelled by the UN to do what it apparently cannot do on its own, then, in principle, Israel can also be impelled by the UN to do what it cannot do on its own. The obstacle that Mooser puts up is, I think, not insurmountable in principle but is, as you point out, insurmountable in practice. But hopefully that may change in the future. Either that or we just go in an liberate Palestine.

      • gamal on October 5, 2012, 12:55 am

        why just look at South Africa its all sorted now blacks dont suffer from racism, now its social pathology, sorted for justice and harmony, its not what you do to people its what you call it that matters, say law and order and poverty is never the result of fundamental injustice, its a personal failing, one state will be like that shining city on hill the USA, where equality fraternity and neo-liberalism rule, much to the chagrin of us anti-white denialist mishlings ( arabic: hajeen).

    • Citizen on October 5, 2012, 2:46 am

      “Peace now looks like one person, one vote.”

      How that work out in the Balkans, switching top priority from tribalist to citizen? How’s Kosovo these days?

      Maybe some day not so far away we will see UN air strikes and boots on the ground in “Greater Israel”?

      • seafoid on October 5, 2012, 6:26 am

        I’ll raise you India.

  2. dimadok on October 4, 2012, 10:21 am

    Very symptomatic- even the “Peace Now” are bad here. Surely there be more sympathy for you, Phil, in Israel- the only question I’m curious about, who will be your new friend? Fringe movements or infringed people?

    • Mooser on October 4, 2012, 3:25 pm

      “Fringe movements or infringed people?”

      You must be one of those Jewish atheists or something, but seriously, dimadok, prayer-shawl jokes? Say, maybe you could get a big laugh if you lit a cigarette off the Eternal Light!
      But, of course, that sickening disrespect for Judaism is, well, typical of your sort.

  3. talknic on October 4, 2012, 10:44 am

    It actually leaves out hundreds of thousands of illegal settlers. Israel has never legally annexed any of the territories it acquired by war by 1949. No borders were changed by the Armistice Agreements of 1949. Israel’s internationally recognized borders have not changed since the day they were first recognized by the USA 15th May 1948.

    • Theo on October 5, 2012, 8:06 am


      The only real effective solution could be that an outside force, (a disappointed and highly upset USA or NATO?) will knock a few head together, break a few bones of the zionist bullies, and sends ALL settlers back where they came from, as they are poison for any country.
      After that Israel moves bact to the in 1948 declared borders, gives up all its nuclear weapons and a great part of their airforce and armor, because as long as they have them there is always that itching to go and attack and bomb a neighboring city or country.
      In return the NATO could station a symbolic force of a few thousand soldiers in Palestina and Israel, acting as trip wires.
      If anyone acts outside the rules we send in the turkish special forces with their long knives. During the korean war the communists were scared of them more than our planes.

  4. anonymouscomments on October 4, 2012, 1:08 pm

    they also say, the common lib zio refrain-

    “two states for two peoples”

    WTF does that mean? 20% arabs in israel are just an unwelcome, unrepresented, marginalized vestigial organ from an incomplete ethnic cleansing in 1948-1951?

    i’ve come to the conclusion, that the strain of zionism that emerged triumphant (over some benign forms) IS racism. yes it was largely a reaction to racism, but lets not ignore the fact that there always WERE and ARE jewish racists, well before israel, like in all ethno-religious groups. and israel with its strain of zionism, is irredeemably racist. the UN should revisit this concept, they seem to have had it right.

  5. giladg on October 4, 2012, 1:55 pm

    Why is it, that when the mask comes of, it is those on the Left who are the racists? The settlers, the Zionists as you like to call them on this site, are the ones who are far more open to living with others than what they are incorrectly painted to be.

    • Inanna on October 5, 2012, 12:16 am

      The settler version of living with others – stealing land, separate and better roads, schools, water supply, general infrastructure, separate laws and governing system, destruction of the property of the natives to ‘encourage’ them to ‘voluntarily’ transfer. Which is really a continuation of 1947/8.

      Yes, the ziocaine is strong in you giladg.

  6. ColinWright on October 4, 2012, 2:09 pm

    giladg says: “Why is it, that when the mask comes of, it is those on the Left who are the racists? The settlers, the Zionists as you like to call them on this site, are the ones who are far more open to living with others than what they are incorrectly painted to be.”

    Your hypocrisy and dishonesty is breathtaking.

    • Dexter on October 4, 2012, 3:20 pm

      Tell me about it Colin…I hope the Hasbara brigade pays this court jester well.

    • Mooser on October 4, 2012, 3:33 pm

      “Your hypocrisy and dishonesty is breathtaking.”

      So it would appear at first glance, but then I noticed that “giladg” has reduced, at one stroke, the number of Zionists considerably. Now, it’s only the settlers who are “Zionists”. Everybody else in Israel is just regular folks who happen to be there, having returned to the “old home place”. I wonder if this is more of the not-a-Zionist syndrome?

      • giladg on October 4, 2012, 5:36 pm

        Yes Mooser, we know your type who love to tell us that “any Jew in the Middle East is a Zionist cancer that must be removed”. You probably have this plastered on your forehead. Religion of peace, my foot.

      • ColinWright on October 4, 2012, 7:49 pm

        giladg says: “Yes Mooser, we know your type who love to tell us that “any Jew in the Middle East is a Zionist cancer that must be removed”. You probably have this plastered on your forehead. Religion of peace, my foot.”

        You know, I hate to defend Mooser, and he’ll probably be ungrateful anyway, but while I have heard Mooser say just about anything you could imagine, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him that.

        Such a remark would be grossly anti-semitic.

      • thankgodimatheist on October 5, 2012, 5:12 am

        “Yes Mooser, we know your type who love to tell us that “any Jew in the Middle East is a Zionist cancer that must be removed”. You probably have this plastered on your forehead. Religion of peace, my foot.”

        What on earth?!!! Are you insane or something is wrong with you?!

    • joecatron on October 4, 2012, 3:56 pm

      Considering the source, you are doubtlessly, if partially, correct. But I think giladg’s biggest mistake is defining her or his fellow gutter racists of any stripe as a “Left.” Otherwise, s/he may be largely right.”Demographic threat” fearmongering, the most noxious racist discourse in occupied Palestine today, emanates largely from Tel Aviv’s Peace Now/Haaretz set; this video is only one small example.

    • giladg on October 4, 2012, 4:52 pm

      ColineWright, you have no idea how many Palestinians work with Zionists settlers on daily basis and there are good levels of understanding and mutual respect between them. The BDS movement touches both Israeli’s and Palestinians, but what do you care anyway.
      Your references to hypocrisy and dishonesty could not be further from the truth.

      • justicewillprevail on October 4, 2012, 7:04 pm

        Yes, those Palestinians sure have a lot of mutual respect for those settlers who are awarded more rights than the people who have always lived there, the settlers who dump their sewage on to them, ruin their fields and crops, steal their water, attack them, set fire to their mosques and then hide behind the IDF. Like slaves had a lot of understanding for their masters.

      • ColinWright on October 4, 2012, 7:42 pm

        giladg says: “ColineWright, you have no idea how many Palestinians work with Zionists settlers on daily basis and there are good levels of understanding and mutual respect between them. The BDS movement touches both Israeli’s and Palestinians, but what do you care anyway.
        Your references to hypocrisy and dishonesty could not be further from the truth.”

        You make it sound kind of like the Old South. Are we going to get some kind of weird riff on Gone with the Wind in forty years or so?

        I wonder how you say, ‘Ahs de fo’man. Ah says when its quittin’ time.’ in Arabic? We’ll need to know.

  7. hophmi on October 4, 2012, 4:09 pm

    “At this point the wail of the muezzin, or Muslim call to prayer, is heard. So: A liberal group is employing Islamophobia”

    You stretch this one an awful lot. The entire video is about why Israel should withdraw from the territories. Less than a second of it features the Muslim call to prayer

    If you’re going to call each and every argument like this Islamophobic, why aren’t you concerned at all with anti-Jewish sentiments in the Arab world, or the implicit argument in 1948 that was about too many Jews in the Holy Land?

    And you defame the people in Peace Now. They are good people; Yariv Oppenheimer puts up with a lot of crap. They spend a lot of time in the settlements, and they don’t mince words about what’s going on in Israel. And to their credit, they actually try to reach out to other Israelis to get things done, unlike those who simply foster a climate of hate for everything Israeli.

    Apparently, their single sin is to favor a Jewish state rather than a binational or Arab one, so you feel you have the right to bash who they are. That is exactly why I, and most others, find your brand of activism noxious.

    • chinese box on October 4, 2012, 5:01 pm


      I think you need to learn more about the history and goals of Peace Now. Edward Said was criticizing the ineffectual nature of their organization back in the 1980s. And nothing has changed since then. Peace Now has accomplished very little, other than acting as a fig leaf for Israeli crimes. The existence of Peace Now has been a roadblock to real justice for the Palestinians. The fact that they’re still touting 2ss when it’s no long possible just shows how disingenuous their organization is.

      • ColinWright on October 4, 2012, 9:36 pm

        To chinese box:

        I’d say that the two-state solution having gone south is forcing a lot of people to choose which side they’re on.

        Before, however deluded the notion, one could always fantasize about a ‘nice’ Israel: an egalitarian Israel, with equal rights and all the trimmings for a safely outnumbered Palestinian minority.

        Now, everyone’s got to pick. Do they want a racial supremacist, oppressive police state, or do they want no Israel at all?

        …and don’t kid yourself. Any state that gives the franchise to a gentile population that is close to 50% isn’t going to be ‘Israel.’ You can label it that if you want to, but it won’t be.

        So everyone’s got to pick. Which side are they on?

      • chinese box on October 4, 2012, 10:39 pm


        True. When even Romney and Obama tacitly acknowledge that the peace process is dead, you’ve reached a fork in the road. The MSM will continue to cover for Israel for the immediate future though.

        But supporting Peace Now works out well for people like hophmi. It makes them look a little bit less hardline Zionist to their liberal friends, but at the same time they don’t have to worry about that organization ever actually doing anything to change the status quo.

    • bilal a on October 5, 2012, 8:16 am

      Why is a Multicultural One Stae solution preferable to self determination BOTH for the Jews , and the majority Christian and Muslim Arabs. ‘Separate but Equal’ didnt work in Jim Crow South, but neither has multicultural welfare statism.

      Jewish Talmudic scholarship had its flowering in the separate but equal arrangements made for Jews under the Caliphate; there is no compunction inreligion, which includes the religion of anti-theism. Having totalitarian liberals dominate Muslims and Orthodox jews is undemocratic.

      The Jews should remain in the West Bank and all of the Middle East and their religious autonomy should be respected– at least according to Islamic Shariah law.

      • gamal on October 6, 2012, 3:55 pm

        “multicultural welfare statism.” what is that?
        what is “multicultural” about this “welfare statism”?

        sorry its very small of me but i have to say the “there is no compunction inreligion,” is a classic, perhaps true sadly, really made me laugh from al-baqarra no doubt, but which ayat.

  8. German Lefty on October 4, 2012, 6:06 pm

    I wonder if the German flag (at 0:19) was put there intentionally.

  9. kalithea on October 4, 2012, 7:22 pm

    I guess I’ll have to repeat this again: THERE IS NO SUCH ANIMAL AS A “LIBERAL” ZIONIST. So called Liberal Zionists as this video proves have only one agenda: to save Zionism from itself (as if that were humanly possible!) and to benefit the tribe; I repeat: TO BENEFIT THE TRIBE above and beyone all else. Zionism is RACISM is BIGOTRY is ISLAMOPHOBIC and is SUPREMACIST at its core and to pretend that Zionism is democratic is a farce and hypocrisy of staggering proportions.

    This being said. Anyone who still pretends that the two-state solution is at all possible given something obvious called REALITY is a flat out LIAR. Trying to sell the two-state solution is like trying to sell menthol tobacco as non-carcinogenic. The two-state solution has become a toxic formula for APARTHEID with settlers dominating wide spread territory over patches of impoverished Palestinian land. The two-state solution is tantamount to hi-way robbery as the concrete and demographic landscape in the West Bank and Jerusalem prove. “Liberal” Zionists are in the snake oil business and in the business of pushing a hallucination on the ignorant and the desperate who are ready to buy into any illusion that offers them momentary gratification by ridding them of their guilt.

  10. W.Jones on October 4, 2012, 8:13 pm

    What if someone actually finds the muezzin call to be romantic-sounding music to the ears, similar to ancient chanting in churches and synagogues? What if someone values other cultures, diversity, and integration?

  11. wondering jew on October 4, 2012, 10:33 pm

    When the Arab spring endures the test of time and the Muslim majorities or the sectarian majorities display the democratic versatility that involves both reflecting the will of the majority while ensuring the security and freedom of nonMuslims or those not of the main sect, then those who cite the danger of binationalism can well be accused of hatred. Meanwhile we are not at that point. I think the middle east has some enduring to do. (All democracy is tenuous. American democracy is undercut by the senate and electoral college which give more power to those who live in sparsely populated, coincidentally predominantly white, states. The influence of money also undercuts american democracy. all democracy is tenuous. ) And when the Arab muslim countries emerge from their endurance with a proven ability to protect minorities, those who invoke the call of the muezzin can be appropriately labeled as haters. Until then they are realists. (Yes, it’s shorthand and thus smacks of glib hatred. And yes, it appeals to segments of our personalities that are less than laudatory, but there IS a political basis for fearing a binational state.)

  12. PauldeRooij on October 5, 2012, 4:07 am

    Uri Avnery (Who’s Laughing, Nov 2010) wrote that senior Peace Now operatives have met with the Foreign office making a point that they served a useful purpose in providing an image that Israel was not all right-wing/settlers, but that there was also a liberal side. Avnery writes:

    The topic of the meeting is even more amazing. As reported, the Peace Now people proposed “cooperation” with the Foreign Office. It would be good for you, they told their host, to distribute Peace Now material around the world, in order to show that Israel is not only a state of occupation and settlements, but also of peaceniks. That would improve the image of the state and help the Foreign Office to silence the critics. In other words: the “Senior Peace Now Members” are prepared to serve as fig leaves for Netanyahu’s government and for Lieberman’s Foreign Office. They offer them an alibi. The Peace Now movement enjoys a very positive reputation all over the world. People remember them for the giant protest demonstration after the Sabra and Shatila massacre. The impression is widespread that it is the sole peace movement in Israel. The world media treat it graciously, while practically ignoring all other Israeli peace forces.

    Maybe yet another indication that PN is part of the problem, and they are simply meant to be a hasbara figleaf.

  13. thankgodimatheist on October 5, 2012, 5:00 am

    “New” historian Avi Shlaim revises his view; he doesn’t believe a 2-state solution is possible anymore:
    “There is a solution to this conflict – a two-state solution – but Israel has systematically undermined the possibility of a viable Palestinian state. Today we have reached a point where it is barely conceivable, given the magnitude of the presence of the Israeli state on the West Bank. I have shifted therefore to supporting a one-state solution with equal rights for all the state’s citizens. ”

    • thankgodimatheist on October 5, 2012, 5:02 am

      “Some observers have gone so far as to say that there is clear evidence of an apartheid system, both in Israel and the West Bank. “Israel, within its pre-1967 borders, is a flawed democracy, but still a democracy,” says Shlaim. “Israel plus the Occupied Territories is an ethnocracy in which one ethnic group is in complete control and there are two classes of citizens. The real debate is whether Israel has already become an apartheid state or whether it is on the road to becoming one.” Noting that some contest whether the word ‘apartheid’ is justified, he cites two examples. The first is the construction of separate roads for settlers in the West Bank, which Palestinians are not allowed to use. The second is the law which bans Palestinians from the Occupied Territories from gaining citizenship, even if they marry an Israeli citizen. “The facts speak for themselves,” he says. “Looking at the whole spectrum of differential rights, it seems to me that you have to conclude that Israel has become an apartheid state.””

  14. wes on October 5, 2012, 6:19 am

    binational state of mind
    reminds of the alhambra in stand at the pool and wonder what went wrong.could it be the relegion -taliban destroying buddha,s-or could it be the natural rise and fall of civilizations-the jews have always been in the background as court advisors but never to the what have we to offer to the
    binational state of mind
    personally i feel that a good starting point would be between women arab and hebrew. in the areas of education-an understanding.
    between men no,the wounds of war are too raw but as they say where woman go men are sure to follow
    listen to this womens
    binational state of mind

  15. Miura on October 5, 2012, 7:35 am

    Excerpt from a Chomsky interview from a time when the “Peace Process” seemed like an exciting prospect:

    One good thing that has happened in Israel is that for the first time, a significant, authentic peace movement has developed. I don’t mean Peace Now, which is largely there in order to convince American liberals that they should continue to support Israel…As far as Peace Now goes, I met with their activists while I was there, and I read their literature. They refuse to take a position. They are extremely evasive. They say things vaguely like “Palestinians have rights.”…They say something, and then they retract it. But Peace Now does much worse. Their statements are much more evasive…Peace Now is a very establishment group. They say in private that they see their role as ensuring that American liberals and liberals in the American Jewish community don’t give up on Israel. I consider them very damaging. They are very harmful for the cause of peace. I have told them that many times.

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