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Israeli ‘left’ hero Barak celebrates Trump’s racist warning about ‘Mohammed’ becoming Prime Minister

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Yesterday, the Israeli leftist hero Ehud Barak, congratulated US President Trump for saying to King Abdullah of Jordan that if a one-state solution comes to pass, “the prime minister’s name will be Mohammed.”

Barak was encouraged by Trump’s supposed clear-sightedness. He tweeted (Hebrew):

President Trump sees it from there. Netanyahu is blind to it from here. That’s how it is when a messianic vision, dread of investigations, and your own self-concern, instead of concern for Israeli citizens, blind you. It’s better that the suspect from Balfour [Balfour street in Jerusalem, the Prime Minister’s residence] listen to President Trump and to most of the citizens of Israel and stop the galloping towards the abyss. R-I-G-H-T  N-O-W.

This is certainly not the first time that the former Prime Minister Barak lauded Trump’s visions. Ahead of the US recognition of the ‘united Jerusalem’ as exclusive Israeli territory and the decision to move the embassy there, Barak congratulated Trump for the idea, gave it a green light at the Saban Forum, and bemoaned the fact that the move had not taken place 65 years ago.

Indeed, for some reason, such visions about the ‘united and eternal capital’ are not messianic for Barak. He brags about how the Israeli left ‘liberated’ the occupied territories for Jews, and he of course calls those lands by their Hebrew biblical names, Judea and Samaria.

Trump’s expression is perfect scare-mongering for Barak. Barak’s endorsement is completely compatible with campaigns such as the scare campaign last year, in which huge billboards in Arabic in Tel Aviv proclaimed, “We will soon be the majority!” showing Palestinians with Palestinian flags. That campaign was initiated by an Israeli ‘liberal’ organization called “Commanders for Israel’s Security”, comprised of some 200 senior commanders of the IDF, Shin Bet, Mossad and police, and was directly endorsed by Barak. The logic there is a unilateral ‘separation’ of Jews from Palestinians: “No waiting for a partner – we’re taking the initiative. Security now! Peace – later.”

Let’s just take a step back, and think about Trump’s actual ‘scare:’ that an Israeli Prime Minister might, one day, be called Mohammed; that is, that he (not she) would be a Muslim. A non-Jew. An Arab. A Palestinian. Think about it. It’s enough to say ‘Mohammed’, and all the associations are there, all of which are just unacceptable. Imagine, if someone did a scare campaign in the US warning people that if they don’t separate from Muslims, the President may, one day, be called Rashida (referring to the presumptive Congresswoman from Michigan, Rashida Tlaib). That would rightly be seen as contemptible racism. Not in Israel. In Israel it’s an existential norm. And it’s being applied by the left; Ehud Barak, from the left, is using the words of the racist-nationalist Donald Trump, to chide Netanyahu, on the right, for being blind.

Barak warns us that if the dreaded Mohammed becomes Prime Minister, it will definitely be the ‘abyss’. This follows his warning of a couple of years ago of the “seeds of fascism” in Israel, along with his hint that he might need to come to the rescue.

Barak obviously seeks to portray himself as the diametric opposition not only to Netanyahu, but to the right. Yet when all is said and done, the differences between right-wing and left-wing Zionism are rather cosmetic. It is not true that the right wants a binational state. It just envisions slightly different modes than the left. Two days ago, Carolina Landsmann did a report in Haaretz: “How Israeli Right-wing Thinkers Envision the Annexation of the West Bank: From granting the Palestinians the right to vote in Jordan to expelling them creatively – how rightists propose to apply Israeli sovereignty in the Palestinian territories”. The Israeli left has never really offered Palestinians a state. It was always ‘less than a state’, as Rabin said of the Oslo accords just before he was murdered. Barak made no ‘generous offer’ in 2000 really – his offer amounted to Bantustans. And he later admitted that the whole point of a Palestinian “state” was for that state to be “non-viable”. At the Herzliya Conference last year, he said:

“How can this non-viable state, which is surrounded, be an existential threat on Israel?… Existential threat on Israel? This sounds like either fabricated or visionary or completely crazy planning”.

In the end, the Israeli right and left meet together in the center, represented by lawmakers such as Yair Lapid, and the motto is:

“maximum Jews on maximum land with maximum security and with minimum Palestinians”.

This is what it’s always been about, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that a supposed leftist like Barak uses racist-nationalist slurs by a right-winger like Trump, to chide Netanyahu from the right, as it were, for not being Zionist enough.

Thanks to Ofer Neiman

Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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6 Responses

  1. eljay on August 20, 2018, 12:47 pm

    … Yesterday, the Israeli leftist hero Ehud Barak, congratulated US President Trump for saying to King Abdullah of Jordan that if a one-state solution comes to pass, “the prime minister’s name will be Mohammed.” …

    Mr. Barak would not congratulate a US President for expressing concern that if a one-state solution comes to pass the prime minister’s name will be Moishe. Like all Zionists, Mr. Barak is a supremacist hypocrite.

    • Misterioso on August 21, 2018, 10:24 am

      @eljay, et al

      “…if a one-state solution comes to pass, ‘the prime minister’s name will be Mohammed.'”

      Sounds good to me. If that is the outcome, the prime minister would be indigenous to the “one state” and fluent in the region’s dominant language, Arabic.

      • Misterioso on August 21, 2018, 6:56 pm

        @eljay, et al

        Just received:

        “Trump’s Remark that Israeli PM will be ‘Mohammed’ ignores how Apartheid Works”
        Juan Cole – 08/21/2018

        “In a conversation earlier this summer with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, the king told Trump about the possibility of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, which Abdullah said younger Palestinians increasingly favor. Trump is said by French and other diplomats present to have replied, ‘what you say makes sense. [In a one-state scenario,] the prime minister of Israel in a few years will be called Mohammed.’”

        The remark was made in jest, but it is a bad joke and displays complete ignorance of the lengths that Israel’s far right Likud government goes to make sure no such thing happens. It is called Apartheid. Trump’s expectation is like suggesting that in the Jim Crow south, an African-American could have been elected governor.”

  2. JLewisDickerson on August 20, 2018, 5:32 pm

    RE: “It’s better that the suspect from Balfour, [i.e., Netanyahu] listen to President Trump and to most of the citizens of Israel and stop the galloping towards the abyss. R-I-G-H-T N-O-W.” ~ Ehud Barak


    [EXCERPT] . . . As with everyone I know of in official political culture, [Thomas] Friedman asumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states.

    The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime. . .

    SOURCE –

    • Keith on August 20, 2018, 6:40 pm

      JLEWISDICKERSON- ” But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially.”

      This was essentially the contention of Israel Shahak who felt that Israel could not be understood without reference to the influence of medieval Talmudic laws.

      “It became apparent to me, as drawing on knowledge acquired in my youth, I began to study the Talmudic laws governing the relations between Jews and non-Jews, that neither Zionism, including its seemingly secular part, nor Israeli politics since the inception of the State of Israel, nor particularly the policies of the Jewish supporters of Israel in the diaspora, could be understood unless the deeper influence of these laws, and the worldview which they both create and express is taken into account.” (p1,2, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

  3. Ossinev on August 21, 2018, 7:43 am

    Barak said at the Herzliya Conference:
    “No one in the world thinks that we are Switzerland here, but I’m telling you, with full responsibility, no one in the world understands how come the government of Israel sees in a Palestinian state which is demilitarized– almost completely not viable, surrounded by the Israeli forces– the strongest army in the world, almost a nuclear superpower, backed by America, including technologies that they didn’t even give to their own soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan”

    He forgot to mention the cherry tomatoes but he did say”strongest army in the world” FFS you know ready to take on the Chinese and yes even the poodle Yanks if they stop doing as we say and yes he admitted to Zioland having Nuclear weapons (Shurely Shome Mhistake).

    Trump is a certifiable idiot. Barak is quite simply a d…head. They make for excellent bedfellows.

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