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Soldiers detaining Palestinian schoolgirls for picking cherries is reminiscent of Germany in 30s — Misgav

Israel/Palestine
on 31 Comments

The conversation about Israel’s future inside Israel is (yet again) more honest than the one about Israel’s future in our mainstream media.

Last month the Israeli writer Amos Oz said that radical settlers are Hebrew “neo Nazis.” In doing so, he deployed a Holocaust analogy that is widely judged to be out of bounds in the U.S.

Now, writing in Haaretz, Uri Misgav has gone Oz one better and said that a Nazi spirit of hatred has entered Israeli public life and is reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s. “Not neo-Nazis, Judeo-Nazis…. Bloodcurdling bureaucracy and the banality of evil, here in the land of milk and honey.”

I’d note in particular that Misgav is shocked by the cherries story that B’Tselem reported the other day with the video above, in which four Palestinian schoolgirls aged 11-15 were detained by Israeli soldiers for allegedly picking settlers’ cherries. (Ilene Cohen wrote about the incident here).

Here are excerpts of Misgav’s essay:

Amos Oz got it wrong again. It’s not neo-Nazis. It’s Judeo-Nazis. Scions of a unique group which Yeshayahu Leibowitz Prophesized so well immediately after the great victory of 1967. Racism, murderousness and profound hatred originating in a religious-messianic worldview that is fueled by the occupation and settlement enterprise…

Israel will never be the Germany of 1942, but there is a moral obligation to prevent it from becoming like the Germany of 1932.

Nazism began as a marginal and disturbed ideology that at a certain stage suited the interests of Prussian militarism, the political right and wealthy businessmen, who were horrified at the blossoming of socialism. At first they snickered in secret at the Nazis, afterwards they aspired to exploit them for their own purposes, in the end it was too late.

In the state of the Jewish people it’s already too late. There is no place where we can take the shame and the terror. The center is apathetic. The left is defeated and afraid, in despair, emigrating, fighting among itself, just as in Germany of the early 1930s. Meanwhile generations of Israelis, incited and consumed with hatred, are flooding the public space, and there is nobody to confront them….

The big story is the atmosphere. Thirty years ago the entire country was in an uproar when Shin Bet security service agents killed two terrorists who were captured during a bus hijacking. Today anything goes. When there’s no border there are no limits. That is the price of the occupation and the rite of victimization.

A boy emerges from a known opening in the separation barrier in order to pick herbs, and is shot to death. Little girls return from school walking through a settlers’ orchard, and are detained for hours by Judea and Samaria District police after the owner of the estate complained that a few cherries were picked.

Also, note that the bus incident that Misgav mentions is at the moral center of the film The Gatekeepers– there too as a sign of how far Israel has traveled down the road of occupation. That film was embraced by liberal Zionists in the U.S. The real question is whether racial intolerance is not baked into the concept of a Jewish state. Misgav would seem to answer that it is, when he writes, “In the state of the Jewish people it’s already too late.”

Thanks to Omar Barghouti.

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About Philip Weiss

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

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31 Responses

  1. just
    just
    June 1, 2014, 11:40 am

    “Racism, murderousness and profound hatred originating in a religious-messianic worldview that is fueled by the occupation and settlement enterprise…”

    holy moley– more truth.

  2. AlGhorear
    AlGhorear
    June 1, 2014, 11:54 am

    Upside down justice system: Native Palestinian children and true owners of land and trees are detained for picking cherries from trees on land illegally stolen from them.

    • just
      just
      June 1, 2014, 12:00 pm

      Agreed for the most part.

      The word ‘justice’ has no place wrt to the wicked ‘system’ that the Zionists employ on a daily basis against the Palestinians.

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    June 1, 2014, 12:25 pm

    Phil: “The conversation about Israel’s future inside Israel is (yet again) more honest than the one about Israel’s future in our mainstream media.”

    I had to read it twice to see what you meant. You are right, of course. But I was distracted by [1] Israeli future inside (pre-1967) Israel or [2] future as discussed inside Israel.

    How’s this: “The conversation inside Israel about Israel’s future is (yet again) more honest than the conversation in the USA’s mainstream media about Israel’s future.”

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      June 1, 2014, 1:10 pm

      ;) in other words, it’s not that you don’t know this is one of Phil’s basics, but that you actually have a slight style complaint.

      I had no problems to read it correctly immediately. And he is absolutely correct that Uri Misgav is an interesting Haaretz voice, maybe nobody so far noticed.

      But, strictly I have one minor offer too. Not that it is important. To stay in tune with mood in the air /Zeitgeist/1932 imagery, he should have kept out Kristallnacht or Kristallnacht like, especially if he gets the rise of the Nazis exactly right. Although, is he indicating there is nothing spontaneous about the stickers? Hmm? Well, yes, they somewhat cannot be. OK, even if it wasn’t spontaneous. Not quite there yet.

      Great article. I would be at a loss to pick out my favorite passages. I liked it all.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        June 1, 2014, 1:22 pm

        I was called for dinner, was already there and returned to check too late. There may be other “bugs”

        especially if SHOULD BE especially since

        obviously.

  4. Bumblebye
    Bumblebye
    June 1, 2014, 12:33 pm

    Despite his bemoaning, Misgav cannot bring himself to admit that settlers live on and farm stolen property:
    “owner of the estate”. I thought that particular land was known to be stolen even under Israeli law (let alone under international law). He is writing about a state supported thief calling out his/her state supported thugs on little kids. That is very nazi-esque, mid-30s ish.

  5. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    June 1, 2014, 1:22 pm

    Misgav compares Israel today to Germany in 1932, a very good point. Great oaks from tiny acorns grow. In this case, the quasi-Germany-in-1932 has already grown big and strong in Israel and BIG-ZION prevents Americans from knowing about it (by suppression, in our oligarchy-controlled media, of daily news of horrors inflicted by Israel and by Israelis on Palestinians).

    I wonder if this sort of analysis is getting any play in Germany today. Hope so. And everywhere else, of course.

    I suppose Dr. Ruth would find nothing to complain of. After all, the sex in Israel is said to be good. But, pace Dr. Ruth, sex is not everything. And someday many people who have forgotten them will remember their morals — and the history of Germany then and of Israel now.

  6. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    June 1, 2014, 1:29 pm

    it would seem that the Israeli draft law that would criminalize the use of the word Nazi back in January never got pass.

  7. Kay24
    Kay24
    June 1, 2014, 1:42 pm

    “Israel will never be Germany of 1942”, true, It will never try to wipe out all Palestinians like the nazis did, maybe because the world is watching them, and they need the world to survive. They also get away with most crimes.
    However, Israel does have nazi like tendencies ,and policies, that do result in the targeting and killing of unarmed civilians, mete out collective punishment, use deadly weapons and force on helpless civilians, steal Palestinian lands and resources, and basically make the Palestinians suffer so much, they will either leave, or risk getting killed. The cruelty, hatred, and arrogance, are all there. Perhaps this is a case of the abused becoming the abuser. Israelis are the nazis of our time.

    • amigo
      amigo
      June 1, 2014, 4:24 pm

      “Israelis are the nazis of our time.” Kay 24

      You surely mean most Israeli Jews.I cannot imagine, the Palestinians trying to get equality and justice in Israel are part of this modern day Slow Genocide.

    • Ron Edwards
      Ron Edwards
      June 1, 2014, 5:55 pm

      Overall, I agree with you completely. I offer a dissenting opinion about the details, which only reinforces my agreement with your final sentence all the more.

      1. Never say “never.” Both expulsion and direct elimination are not only verbally present in current Israeli rhetoric – and not merely fringe rhetoric – but they have been practiced to the fullest extent possible in the moment, more than once.

      2. The phrase “abused becoming the abuser” should be retired. The architects of misery in the combined areas of Israel proper, the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and adjacent parts of Lebanon and Jordan cannot lay claim to the heritage of Holocaust survivors. The actual and literal survivors of the Holocaust who arrived in Israel in the late 1940s did not enter the power echelons and policy-making apparatus of Israel. The more clear we can make the fact that Israelis have always been wretched and vicious toward the Holocaust survivors they pretend to represent, the better.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        June 1, 2014, 7:02 pm

        I agree Ron Edwards, to your point, many of the true Holocaust survivors are indeed suffering, neglected, and are not assisted enough by their government, who prefers to spend money on weapons, rather than help their own. I also agree that their horrible experiences are used by the opportunistic zionists, to justify their crimes, and keep crying victim.
        This is the latest update on the status of Holocaust victims in Israel:

        http://www.jpost.com/National-News/50000-Holocaust-survivors-in-Israel-living-in-poverty-report-finds-350178

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        June 2, 2014, 9:03 am

        The plight of true Holocaust survivors is one argument, but there are others. I think it is important to remember that the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians has been a very long process. It did not begin in 1947 but goes back to the establishment of the first Zionist settlements — well before the Nazis’ rise to power, World War Two and the Holocaust. What happened later was on a much bigger scale, but it was a continuation of an autonomous process already well underway. That process could have nothing to do with a Holocaust that had not yet taken place. (It is a basic principle of historical causation that later events cannot explain earlier events.)

        In a broader context Zionism can be regarded as a case of abused turning into abuser, but the abuse to which it was a response (among others) was the persecution of Jews in tsarist Russia — the empire that produced most of the early Zionists. But there is nothing unusual or remarkable about this transformation. It is not unique to Jewish nationalism. It is hard to think of any aggressive nationalism that has not drawn psychic energy out of the memory of past oppression at the hands of others. German nationalism is certainly no exception, with its roots in resistance to the Napoleonic invasion.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        June 2, 2014, 12:09 pm

        I’d suggest that these historical comparisons are never very exact but I do want to question the defence of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians based on the claim that ‘it’s nothing like as bad’.
        Our conception of ultimate evil from 42 is, I’d say, victimisation based on race actually expressed by mass imprisonment and exploitation, even in itself bringing high rates of mortality and brutally enforced, plus a further unconditional intention, carried out to a great extent and in a rapidly executed programme, partly concealed by the fogs of a major war, of exterminating all the victims and eliminating their culture, considered as somewhere between merely imitative and entirely worthless.
        What we have now in the area that concerns us is the confinement, enforced menacingly and sometimes lethally, of a huge mass of Palestinians, who are not considered to exist as a distinct cultural group, merely as a department of Araby. This situation cannot continue indefinitely as the population grows: people will have to leave one way or another. We immediately notice three differences – first, that this is confinement rather than imprisonment. so that if individuals can find a way to leave the area entirely, they are permitted to do so; secondly, that the programme and the pain it causes are highly prolonged, with no end in sight; thirdly that there is no unconditional intention, such as we discern in 42, of mass destruction.
        Many people, including many anti-Zionists and respected colleagues here, are deeply committed to the idea that these differences put the two situations on completely different moral planes. For my part, I don’t think that these planes are set apart by the whole span of the sky, or even by very much.
        ‘Live free or die!’ say the number-plates of New Hampshire. This may be slightly excessive rhetoric but it is still true that a sudden onslaught, bringing death, is not worse beyond all comparison than a decades-long onslaught bringing permanent inferiority and humiliation backed up by a intention (only a conditional intention, I accept) to use lethal force – conditional on that being the only way to punish violent resistance or in the last resort to keep the system in being. How much difference does the distinction between conditional and unconditional make?
        Things are bad around the Zionist system. They cannot be much redeemed by the claim that they are not as bad as something else.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        June 2, 2014, 12:14 pm

        Just to add that two things that are set apart by the whole span of the sky are hating things done by some people who are Jewish and hating Jews. The difference between what is reasoned and what is unreasoned.

  8. amigo
    amigo
    June 1, 2014, 2:00 pm

    Maybe Dr Ruth has the answer.

  9. weareone
    weareone
    June 1, 2014, 2:01 pm

    Thanks, Phil.

    This seems to me to be a very significant article for 2 reasons:

    1. The admission of the similarities between Nazism and Zionism from an Israeli perspective and also the exposition of who stood to gain from promoting Nazism- namely, militarists and businessmen. Perhaps similar interests are also involved in the promotion of Zionism.

    “Nazism began as a marginal and disturbed ideology that at a certain stage suited the interests of Prussian militarism, the political right and wealthy businessmen, who were horrified at the blossoming of socialism… afterwards they aspired to exploit them for their own purposes, in the end it was too late.”

    Yes, too late for many but not for those who profit from war.

    2. ” The real question is whether racial intolerance is not baked into the concept of a Jewish state. Misgav would seem to answer that it is, when he writes, “In the state of the Jewish people it’s already too late.”

    imo, this moves us into the next phase. I’ve posted articles and videos (http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-battle-of-words-in-palestine-it-is-not-apartheid-it-is-genocide/5384292; http://www.nkusa.org/activities/Interviews/20140321_Weiss.cfm- discussion of this topic begins around 10:00) on other threads in which the authors call for the dismantlement of israel, rather than one democratic state as a continuation of israel, because israel is an illegitimate occupation and Palestinian sovereignty must be reinstated.

    Also, this article seems to suggest that sociopathy may be so deeply ingrained within Zionist culture that they are unable to live in peace with others. As Sharmine Narwani said:( http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/7418 )

    “This is less the death of a Jewish state than it is the demise of the last remnants of modern-day colonialism. It is a rite of passage – we will get through it just fine. At this particular precipice in the 21st century, we are all, universally, Palestinian – undoing this wrong is a test of our collective humanity, and nobody has the right to sit this one out.

    Israel has no right to exist. Break that mental barrier and just say it: “Israel has no right to exist.” Roll it around your tongue, tweet it, post it as your Facebook status update – do it before you think twice. Delegitimization is here – have no fear. Palestine will be less painful than Israel ever was.”

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      June 1, 2014, 4:00 pm

      Yes, too late for many but not for those who profit from war.

      You think that’s where Avi’s line of thought would automatically end? I am not sure. I don’t think the camp of profiteers and the camp of “underestimaters” were necessarily congruent. Fact is, they underestimated Hitler, they thought they could control him. When they realized, they couldn’t: it was too late. That’s how I read it. We can ask him.

      I can see that your “Israel has no right to exist” quite possibly is meant to express defiance. Simply turning the Nethanyahu’s core demand around. No?

      Can you elaborate on the vision behind it in the real world, hopefully without ending up with another standard that includes “sea”? How do you think it should play out in reality? Or is it simply hot air?

    • Walid
      Walid
      June 1, 2014, 4:23 pm

      “Israel has no right to exist. ”

      Hi weareone, I think this is too extreme. The Palestinians themselves that have been suffering Israel’s malevolence all these past decades aren’t asking for as much.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        June 1, 2014, 4:52 pm

        What has no right to exist is a country in a condition where it disfranchises many of those subject to its sovereign power and has made no settlement with those for whose status as refugees it is responsible. The lack of right for the polity, which is an organisation of individuals, to exist like that implies a duty to exist on other terms, not a duty to cease to exist in the sense (the ridiculous sense) of dissolving all political relationships in the territory concerned; not even a duty to change the name. The rights of individuals to exist are another matter entirely, not dependent on what kind of polity those individuals live in.

    • eljay
      eljay
      June 1, 2014, 6:12 pm

      >> Israel has no right to exist.

      Israel exists and it should continue to exist – within its / Partition borders – as a secular and democratic Israeli state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees, equally.

      What does not have a right to exist is “Jewish State” – a fundamentally religion-supremacist state of and for:
      – its Jewish citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees (CIER); and
      – Jews elsewhere in the world with no CIER ties to the state.

  10. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    June 1, 2014, 4:32 pm

    Israel shows no sign of likeness to the conflicted, election-weary Germany of 32, subject to economic crisis, emergency forms of government and disruption by Nazi and Communist street fighters.

  11. weareone
    weareone
    June 1, 2014, 7:10 pm

    @LeaNder
    ” How do you think it should play out in reality? Or is it simply hot air?”
    I can envision a peaceful transition through pressure from the international community, sanctions and international law, as I’ve stated before. These methods have been responsible for many of the changes that were not considered possible, even a few years ago. BTW, just because your vision may be circumscribed does not qualify other opinions as “hot air.”

    Hi, Walid. Yes, I understand that this may seem extreme because some Palestinians, including the BDS movement, which I support, are not asking for as much, but imho, perhaps they are not demanding enough.

    • Walid
      Walid
      June 1, 2014, 10:48 pm

      “What has no right to exist is a country in a condition where it disfranchises …”

      That’s what I had on my mind and I’m sure so does weareone that’s for the “1S1P1V”. It’s the sick evil mentality that shouldn’t exist, not the people or the country. 12 years ago, the Arab states asked Israel to mend its ways and in exchange they’d normalize relations with it. Israel didn’t but some of them went ahead and did it anyway, so there wasn’t an incentive for Israel to change anything. Maybe now with the legal means at their disposal the Palestinians will finally do something about it. They just need the right leader to do so.

    • Walid
      Walid
      June 1, 2014, 10:57 pm

      “they are not demanding enough.”

      They never have, weareone, instead they relied on other Arabs to “fix things” for them. Most the help they got consisted of having money thrown at them, which of course was not enough either.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 2, 2014, 7:40 am

        Now that there’s an interim unity government for the Palestinian state; this state must push forward at the UN for full state status–even if the US withdraws funding and Israel refuses to pass along other funding, say, from the EU–and the US again vetoes any accountability for how Israel handles this new Palestinian government. I understand Palestinian elections are scheduled six months from now.

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      June 2, 2014, 8:49 am

      weareone, I shouldn’t have used hot air, a term an English friend used a lot.
      Maybe I should have tentatively asked, if you were in fact misusing Avi Misgav’s article to get something over that was on your mind, which you found much more interesting than the article itself. Or the article only seemed to confirm what was on your mind already?

      To the extend my response was emotional, my use of the term may be evidence–I did perceive yours as highly emotional, and wondered about the exact source of what felt like agitation–it was mainly a reaction to this “prophetic” passage:

      imo, this moves us into the next phase. I’ve posted articles and videos (link to globalresearch.ca; link to nkusa.org discussion of this topic begins around 10:00) on other threads in which the authors call for the dismantlement of israel, rather than one democratic state as a continuation of israel, because israel is an illegitimate occupation and Palestinian sovereignty must be reinstated.

      Also, this article seems to suggest that sociopathy may be so deeply ingrained within Zionist culture that they are unable to live in peace with others. As Sharmine Narwani said:( link to english.al-akhbar.com )

      Your nkusa.org did not work for me, but I looked a bit around in the interview section. Your link suggested it must be around there. Hmm, even if I correct the link, I cannot find the comment sections you allude to anywhere. Can you help? Are you alluding to the discussion on Press TV?

      Sociopath is a term whose usage is still mainly based on research of hard core criminals. There are new approaches in the field. … Can you tell me what you are trying to suggest with the usage of the term. It’s quite a bit of an innovation to use it for a culture instead of for a deviant individual.

      You may find this all very, very exiting, like a potential action movie to watch in the near future from the comfort of your armchair, but I doubt you are helping Palestinians. Of course my impressions from your words alone may be completely mistaken. Bad hermeneutics.

      If I where part of the larger Israeli misinformation camp, I would sent out messengers like you that hotly favor the idea Israel and its hawkish supporters claim is in fact the desire behind BDS: BDS seeks the destruction of Israel. So that undecided people that may already have this idea in their heads then stumble about exited comment like yours and leave again feeling the meme is completely justified.


      Ynetnews Special: Fascism in Jewish state? Experts divided on whether nationalistic trends in Israel tantamount to fascism, Uri Misgav

  12. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    June 2, 2014, 12:47 pm

    Thirty years ago the entire country was in an uproar when Shin Bet security service agents killed two terrorists who were captured during a bus hijacking.

    Is it really true what the writer says about how much things have changed in this regards? Were things really so good then?

    What about the expulsions of villages that continued in the 1950’s, and in the decades later? There were continued skirmishes with the Palestinians naturally on the receiving end since the 1948 war ended.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      June 2, 2014, 1:45 pm

      Yes, I think that there’s something of a myth of a Zionist golden age at work.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        June 2, 2014, 9:25 pm

        Right. On one hand they are labeled “terrorists” before they have actually attacked anyone. In normal parlance it would be “kidnapper.” So the author is implying that society thought harming awful people was bad.

        But look at the Nakba. Were Ben Gurion, Jabotinsky, Begin, and all the other leaders sacked because of that? Was and is it a scandal? Arguably, the Nakba and the killing of a thousand refugees who have tried to return surreptitiously after it is no less worse than many of the brutalities that have occurred since.

        The apologists like to point to scandals and then claim that any reaction against it proves that the society is moral, and then the apologists downplay or disregard other brutalities. Oren’s claim that the Palestinians’ recent killings were staged is another example of disregarding brutalities.

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