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Israeli leftwing party embraces settlements on occupied land

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Meretz Kibbutzim

Meretz Kibbutzim

It has been said that no coalition in Israeli politics has the ability to turn against the settlements, and here is further proof. The above image was posted on the Facebook page of Meretz, a leftwing party in Israel (and heroes of J Street, the US liberal Zionist group). The two Hebrew words at the top say, “What’s this?” And it’s a map of kibbutzes, or Jewish collective settlements, put together by the kibbutz movement.

Many of the kibbutzim (Hebrew for kibbutzes) are in the occupied territories, in the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights.

The Kibbutzim movement and the Meretz Kibbutzim supporters are sharing a map of Kibbutzim on stolen Palestinian land, including illegal settlements on occupied West bank land, and taking pride in it,” Ofer Neiman explains.

The map of some 250 kibbutzim was first posted by the Kibbutzim movement. It was then shared by a page called “Meretz – Kibutzim and Moshavim”. A snapshot of the Meretz sharing appears here, with Meretz’s logo at the top left:

Meretz shares map of kibbutzim in occupied territories

Meretz shares map of kibbutzim in occupied territories

Here is the Meretz link (which is alive, for now). You can see the green-and-blue Meretz logo on the left side of that page, too.

Zehava Golan, the head of Meretz, is a star at the liberal Zionist group J Street. (I found that speech moving and I believe I praised her for it).

So people in both the Labour Party and Meretz think it’s cool to circulate a list of their illegal settlements (and we haven’t even begun to discuss the role of the Kibbutzim and the Nakba).

The Kibbutzim Movement (formed in 1999), Neiman explains, represents a union of the Labour Party-affiliated United Kibbutz movement (Taka”m), and the Meretz-affiliated National Kibbutz movement (Kibbutz Artzi).

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5 Responses

  1. seafoid
    seafoid
    February 20, 2014, 11:12 am

    The Israeli right destroyed Meretz in the early 00s.
    And the Israeli education system turns out mostly drones. And the older Ashkenazi lefties gave up. So there are no votes in rationality in Israel. I suppose a lot of the thinkers have turned to drink, drugs or sex or else left.

    It is very sad.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      February 20, 2014, 1:31 pm

      The Israeli right destroyed Meretz in the early 00s.

      Please do not spread propaganda and hasbara, Seafoid. I know that you know so much better than that.

      The initiators of the settlement project was the Zionist left. They planted most of them there from the beginning, they are responsible for the major ethnic cleansing campaigns.

      The Zionist right didn’t “destroy” anything. It simply has began to do what the Zionist left has done for generations much more efficiently, thus rendering the Zionist left pretty useless as a movement.

      That’s why they have begun to talk about issues like economic inequality or gay rights. Those are the only issues the (mostly) secular Jewish Israeli public can vote on, so long as they can trust the Meretz and the Labor party to keep in line on the settlements.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 20, 2014, 1:48 pm

        Meretz were not Labor, Krauss. When I was over there in 2000 Meretz were still anti YESHA. Naomi Chazan gave a great speech in Jerusalem in November 2000 about where YESHA was going to bring Israel.
        My understanding was that Meretz were the intellectual Ashkenazi crowd, the film festival people. When Barak told Israel he was going to bring peace they got a boost. Israel was a very different country then. Sure there were all systems in place but people hadn’t given up.
        You can say that they are all Zionist but at least Meretz was decent.

        Israel hadn’t yet entered the sclerotic nihilistic phase.
        Sharon changed everything in that regard, the arsehole. And Bibi was the icing on the cake.

        Lieberman was unimaginable in 2000. Cast Lead was unimaginable.
        Meretz went over to the other side when Sharon became PM and Bush was Prez and “we make our own reality” was the key meme.

        I think a lot of Meretz people left the country, actually. Now the Haredi baby bulge is in its 20s and there are 700K settlers and it’s all gone to pot. No way to turn the clock back.

        Well done Likud.

        Here is an example of Meretz from 2004

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/boim-is-palestinian-terror-caused-by-a-genetic-defect-1.114942
        Boim: Is Palestinian terror caused by a genetic defect?
        By Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service

        Deputy Defense Minister Ze’ev Boim, addressing the issue of why much of local, regional and world terrorism is directed by extremist Muslims, asked Tuesday, “What is it about Islam as a whole and the Palestinians in particular? Is it some form of cultural deprivation? Is it some genetic defect. There is something that defies explanation in this continued murderousness.”Boim was speaking at a memorial ceremony for a the victims of a bus attack on the Coastal Highway 26 years ago. MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) said in response that “whoever says that Palestinian behavior is caused by a genetic defect has a brain defect himself and the values of a racist fascist.”
        “Boim is giving racism a bad name, and returning to the same kind of primitive, sickening and dangerous racism from which the Jews have suffered for many generations,” Zahalka said, and demanded that the law against racism be enforced following Boim’s statements.

        Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan also condemned Boim’s statements and demanded he retract them, reminding the crowd that Boim used to be a high school principal.Likud MK Yehiel Hazan supported Boim’s statements.

        He said the issue has not yet been investigated, but from his experience what Boim said was true. “Don’t believe an Arab, even one who has been in the grave for 40 years,” Hazan said¨

  2. goldmarx
    goldmarx
    February 21, 2014, 10:11 am

    The poster from a distance looks like a raised arm with an outstretched palm.

    Merely circulating a matter-of-fact listing of kibbutzim does not necessarily imply approval of their location. Was there something else on the poster that suggested otherwise? I don’t see anything there that looks like pride.

  3. clenchner
    clenchner
    February 21, 2014, 10:59 pm

    Shame on you both.
    You make an assertion “So people in both the Labour Party and Meretz think it’s cool to circulate a list of their illegal settlements” turn it into an inflammatory title ”
    Israeli leftwing party embraces settlements on occupied land” and insert a bizarre conclusion: “are sharing a map of Kibbutzim on stolen Palestinian land, including illegal settlements on occupied West bank land, and taking pride in it.”

    It’s just insane. This FB page, which isn’t even the main page of Meretz, posts a graphic and you use that one data point to demonstrate that the party has made a complete about face from opposing settlements to ‘taking pride’ in them?

    This is shallow and beneath you, Phil. Maybe not Ofer, who I don’t know, but come on. Not because I give two shits about Meretz, but because intellectual dishonesty doesn’t actually serve a good cause.

    The reality is much less nefarious. A relatively small number of kibbutzim are outside the Green Line in occupied territories. The vast majority of those were settled by Labor, not Mapam. Then the movements merged for economic reasons. And yes, there is a historic connection between Mapam kibbutzim and Meretz. So we have a weird situation where the unified kibbutz movement has a few stray entities which are settlements and a historic link to one third of the historic Meretz coalition.

    Meanwhile, Meretz is as opposed as ever the settlement project, and some junior staffer repeated a pro-kibbutz image showing where they are all located to foster some kibbutz pride.

    It would be pointless, but at least not misleading, to simply attack the entire kibbutz movement for being on stolen Palestinian land. (Pointless, because most of Israel is on such land, not the kibbutz movement in particular.)

    This is just another political attack on two staters using a very flimsy excuse, and asserting falsely that they aren’t even against the occupation.

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