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Indictment of Netanyahu and his response overflow with electioneering bigotry against ‘Arabs’

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Yesterday’s announcements of indictments against Israeli PM Netanyahu were laced with anti-“Arab” bigotry. Netanyahu said angrily the goal of the attorney general is to put a leftwing party in power with “Arab” support. And in a bribery charge the AG announced, Netanyahu allegedly sought frontpage coverage from Walla News of his infamous threat in the last election, 2015, that Arabs were coming to the polls in droves, in exchange for government favors to Walla’s owner.

The bigotry should cause sensible people to reflect on a core principle of the Jewish democracy that the current campaign is highlighting: No government can be formed with a Palestinian Arab party as a coalition partner. It just will not happen, and recent developments show it.

All the liberal Zionists are now hoping that “Blue and White,” the vaunted centrist bloc, wins the plurality of 120 parliamentary seats in April, as is projected, and then will be able to knock off the hated Netanyahu. But there is increasing speculation that the only way Blue and White will be able to form a governing coalition is by moving right, and forming a parliamentary majority coalition with Netanyahu’s party, Likud. Same policies, different front man.

The reason Blue and White would do so is because it CANNOT reach out to the voters of the left, because that would mean forming a coalition with Palestinian parties. There’s a “stigma” in reaching out to Palestinians, Michael Koplow of Israel Policy Forum says, generously. Mitchell Plitnick at Lobelog is more to the point. It’s pure “bigotry.” Three days ago, Plitnick writes, Blue and White leader co-leader Yair Lapid “made it clear how much fear his party has of being labeled as partners with ‘the Arabs.’”

Referring to Arab citizens of Israel, he told a cheering crowd in a recorded speech aired by Israel Radio on Monday morning, “We didn’t speak with them, we didn’t ask them… We won’t form a government with the Arab parties, we will contact Likud.”

So while the hope existed that Blue and White might reach a majority by employing a “blocking” vote of five or six Palestinian members of Knesset who would agree to vote on its side and thereby block Netanyahu from getting to 61, but not serve in the Blue and White government, Blue and White is pretty much ruling that out. While Netanyahu is trying to scare voters with just that prospect.

Meanwhile, the former leading opposition party, Labor, the rough equivalent of the Democratic Party here, has released its new political agenda. “Three Paths to Separation.” The separation refers to separating from Palestinians.

This sure sounds a lot like the Democratic Party in the Jim Crow South here 60 years ago.

Avi Gabbay, leader of the Labor Party during a press conference presenting the Labor party ‘separation plan’ in Tel Aviv on February 27, 2019. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90
Banner read, The three paths to separation.

Labor also is promoting the fact that it has an Israeli general as second on its list for the Knesset. “Labor has some elderly hawkish base, they want to preserve them,” Tal Schneider explains at J Street. General Tal Russo supervised Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012 that B’Tselem says killed 87 civilians and 69 combatants in Gaza, raising “suspicions that the military violated International Humanitarian Law (IHL).”

Labor needs to keep up with Blue and White, which has three generals in its leadership, none of whom is very articulate, but Israeli Jews defer to generals. Gantz’s short speeches boil down to, “I was a chief of staff for the IDF, and you knew how I managed things, the way I worked, the way I did things,” Tal Schneider says.

“In Israel being a high ranked officer is sometimes enough for these people to present themselves to the public without getting into specifics. [Gantz] doesn’t talk about the economy at all. We have no idea of his agenda in housing, anything, energy, public transportation, health care crisis.”

So that’s the Israeli Jewish polity. It’s overwhelmingly anti-Palestinian and militaristic.

American liberal Zionists are feeling hopeful right now. They are all visualizing the downfall of Benjamin Netanyahu (count me in on that).

And they are crowing about the American Jewish criticism of Netanyahu for working with an extremist racist party Otzma Yehudi, the Jewish Power Party, to try to hold onto power. And yes, this is a special moment. American Jews across the board spoke out against the idea of horsetrading with the heirs of Kach, a terrorist organization aimed at removing Palestinians from the land, and even AIPAC and the American Jewish Committee condemned the deal as a threat to Israel’s “democratic and Jewish” brand, while

Batya Ungar-Sargon, who along with Bari Weiss is the new voice of the American Zionist consensus, wrote, “Wow. This truly is a Rubicon moment for the American Jewish community.”

Weiss herself flung the American Jewish criticism in our face:

This is Jewish leadership. And it exposes the strawman erected by anti-Zionists: That legitimate criticism of Israel is smeared as anti-Semitic. This is criticism of Israel. No one mistakes it for something else.

Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum celebrated the ability of American Jews to insert themselves into Israeli politics because, hey, Israelis call on American Jews to act on their behalf politically all the time.

The idea that non-Israeli Jews should not comment on the goings on in a Jewish state or the actions of a prime minister who has publicly claimed the authority to speak for and represent Jews everywhere is abject nonsense. Israelis often ask their American Jewish counterparts to take U.S. candidates’ views and attitudes toward Israel into consideration, which is a logical request, but it must go the other way as well. With the amount of time, money, effort, and emotional capacity that American Jewish organizations and American Jews spend on supporting and thinking about Israel and making it a central part of their identity, “sit down and shut up” is simply not an acceptable theory of how American Jews should act when they see something in Israel that they don’t like or that goes so far in offending their sensibilities as the Otzma Yehudit gambit went.

The question that we must ask Michael Koplow and Batya Ungar-Sargon (and Ron Kampeas too, who believes, correctly, that American Jews influence Israeli leaders) is What’s the red line?  When one Zionist party after another refuses to have anything to do with “Arabs,” and even Labor insists on a policy of “separation” from Arabs, shouldn’t American Jews be exercising more influence? Shouldn’t we be pulling from our own playbook in the States? Remember Rabbi Heschel with Martin Luther King?

Abraham Joshua Heschel, left, and Martin Luther King Jr.

I’d argue that all these political developments support a very common-sense conclusion: There is something fundamentally wrong with the concept of a “Jewish and democratic state” that explains the unending resistance to the concept on the part of its second-class citizens. And maybe it wasn’t the main strand of Zionism when Zionism got going, but this is the way it’s worked out. Face the reality.

P.S. There’s one good sign in this mess. Meretz, a leftwing party that is sort of like the Democratic left, has issued a list of parliamentary candidates that includes a Muslim and Druze politician high in the order. Meretz, which has eschewed the Zionist brand, can actually claim to be non-racist in that it has Issawi Frej and a renowned Druze school principal, Ali Shalalha, in its fourth and fifth positions. “Meretz may be appealing a little bit more to the Muslim Druze community than the past. I’m not saying that they will have tons of new voters coming from that direction, but they might,” Tal Schneider says to J Street. Though there is a real danger that Meretz will not reach the 3 percent or so necessary to be given the minimum of four seats in the parliament.

Correction: This post originally stated that the Labor banner includes the word Hafrada. It does not. 

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33 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay on February 28, 2019, 5:11 pm

    … Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum …

    The idea that non-Israeli Jews should not comment on the goings on in a Jewish state … is abject nonsense. …

    The idea that the religion-based identity of Jewish comprises a right to a supremacist “Jewish State” is abject – and hateful and immoral – nonsense.

    Hey, Mike, do you believe that non-Jewish Israeli refugees, expats and descendants – non-Jews up to n-generations removed from Israel – have a right to comment on the goings-on in an Israeli state?

  2. Nathan
    Nathan on February 28, 2019, 5:40 pm

    No, Phil, the word in the banner is not “hafrada”. Obviously, you don’t even know the letters of the Hebrew alphabet (it doesn’t take more than an hour or two to learn 22 simple symbols). The word there is “hippardut”. The term is not the Hebrew equivalent of apartheid (you don’t really understand the language, and you don’t understand the codes of the Israeli political debate). The term is used in order to express the idea that there be a withdrawal from territories even without an agreement with the Palestinians. It means “parting ways”, so the banner says “three paths to parting ways”. You could also translate it as “three ways to say bye-bye”.

    • bcg
      bcg on February 28, 2019, 6:40 pm

      @Nathan: I don’t speak Hebrew, but according to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafrada:

      Hafrada (Hebrew: הפרדה‎ lit. separation) is a term used to refer to the policy of the Government of Israel to separate the Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territories from the Israeli population…Hafrada” as a policy was shortened from gader ha’hafrada, “separation fence”. It refers to the general Israeli policy of separating Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank in areas controlled by Israel under the Oslo Accords… In Israel, the term is used to refer to the concept of “segregation” and “separation”,

      So according to you and Wikipedia the two words have the same meaning. But if you had a more substantive comment on the content of this article, what would it be?

    • annie
      annie on February 28, 2019, 7:09 pm

      “there be a withdrawal from territories”

      of what? the settlers? the soldiers? the occupation? what does this mean nathan?

    • JohnSmith
      JohnSmith on February 28, 2019, 8:49 pm

      Has Nathan been one of those idiots who claim that Palestinians never existed because there is no letter “P” in Arabic? (Shhh, nobody tell them about the letter “F”!) Whatever super-high-level genius Nathan has in the field of linguistics, I’m going to continue to believe in civil rights and decency and humanity and just not repeatedly killing thousands (millions?) of people in repeated ethnic-cleansing war crimes. The amazing achievement of the creation of modern Hebrew (and the lamentable destruction of Yiddish, with its possibly more notable artistic achievements and influence) will not dissuade me from basic decency and humanity. (Rats! Hasbara and stupid games are foiled again!)

    • YoniFalic
      YoniFalic on March 1, 2019, 2:22 am

      Modern Israeli Hebrew has words with overlapping meanings. היפרדות, הפרדה both mean separation or separateness as does the Afrikaans word apartheid (literally apart-hood — something of a neologism in Afrikaans, for it is unattested before 1929).

    • philweiss
      philweiss on March 1, 2019, 9:35 am

      thanks for correction!

      • Nathan
        Nathan on March 1, 2019, 9:26 pm

        Phil – I see that your article has been changed. I suppose that this means that you accept my criticism that you have commented on the meaning of a Hebrew term without knowing the abc’s of the language. Still, it must be repeated that you don’t understand the codes of the political debate in Israel. When a politician speaks of “separation” or “parting ways”, the intention is unilateral withdrawal from some territory. In the first version, you understood this as apartheid, and in this new version you speak about Jim Crow. You simply don’t follow the debate in Israel, and so you cannot explain to your readers what someone else is saying.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on March 2, 2019, 4:50 am

        Nathan: “Phil – I see that your article has been changed. I suppose that this means that you accept my criticism that you have commented on the meaning of a Hebrew term without knowing the abc’s of the language.”

        Haprada and Hipradut are interchangeable in Israel’s political discourse and refer to the same segregational policy.
        https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%9E%D7%93%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%99%D7%95%D7%AA_%D7%94%D7%94%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%93%D7%94#cite_note-1

        Nathan: “When a politician speaks of “separation” or “parting ways”, the intention is unilateral withdrawal from some territory.”

        Nathan – I see that your comment has been changed. I suppose that this means that you accept my criticism that you have commented on the meaning of seperation without knowing the abc’s of Labor’s political agenda.

        Nathan: “When a politician speaks of “separation” or “parting ways”, the intention is unilateral withdrawal from some territory.”

        Withdrawal of what? Illegal settlers? Illegal occupation soldiers? Illegal souvereignity? Illegal violation of the right to self determination for more than half a century?

        It just means to make the segregation borders of the Apartheid Junta more transparent.

    • Talkback
      Talkback on March 1, 2019, 9:36 am

      What Nathan won’t tell you is that haprada/hipardut (both ‘seperation’, transitive and intransitive) are related to the same root and that nothing in Labor’s three-way-seperation plan indicates “withdrawal from the territories” but only “includes an immediate end to building outside settlement blocs, legislation to compensate settlers living outside the bloc to relocate, and a referendum on the future status of Palestinian neighborhoods on the outskirts of Jerusalem.”

  3. wondering jew
    wondering jew on March 1, 2019, 12:22 am

    Israel was established as a revolution against Jewish unilateral disarmament. We need an army and a land were the upshots of this revolution. And the army needs to make us secure was the first order of business. The security established by the army during the war of independence was achieved by exiling large numbers of Palestinians.

    A secondary goal was establishing a country that lived up to the credo of equality. but this goal was practically an afterthought compared to the goal itself of an army, a land and security.

    One question is: how secure is Israel? How secure has the army made Israel? How secure can Israel be if its survival depends on excluding Palestinians from its voters rolls at the same time as it controls their lives and settles sometimes violent civilians in their midst, protected by the law and protected by the credo of security?

    It would seem that possession of nuclear weapons should be sufficient to consider Israel’s security a needless worry. But this is not true. One need only read comments here that indicate an expectation of the dismantling of the Zionist regime, meaning a defeat for the revolution against unilateral disarmament. One need only read the threats of Hassan Nasrallah and his Iranian sponsors and the unanimous adoration that his threats and his movement receive on this web site to realize that Israel should not feel safe and secure. Even if this was not the case, politicians would magnify threats in order to garner votes, by citing their own reliability vis a vis security compared to their opponents. But the second intifada especially shows that Israel’s security is not a completed deal and thus if this first goal is still unfinished the second and very secondary goal of “all men created equal” becomes a luxury that they feel they cannot afford.
    If security would be considered a done deal coalitions with Arab parties based upon common goals regarding the economy, housing and other mundane issues would be sensible. But security in its broader worry about Iranian weapons and Hezbollah’s tunnels is by no means a done deal. The nation state law if it proves anything proves Israeli insecurity regarding its self definition that needs to be asserted by such a law. Thus the insecurity is not only physical but ideological as well.
    It is this ideological insecurity that makes coalitions with the Arab parties nearly impossible, for all the Zionist parties feel a need to assert their Zionism as a major or understood feature of their philosophy and the philosophy of all the Arab parties reflect antiZionism (to a greater or to a lesser degree) as their basic philosophy. Thus it becomes impossible for a Zionist party to form a coalition with an antiZionist party. If Zionism were considered a done deal these ideological differences could be relegated to the category of minor inconvenience. (We agree on everything but a philosophy that makes no difference and thus a coalition makes sense.) But this insecurity makes it clear that Zionism is not a done deal.
    This would be true even if the opposition party was Labor as it was last time, led by Herzog, which even though it no longer touted the diplomatic mission of settling the Palestinian versus Jewish Zionist struggle as its main goal, still intimated a change on the diplomatic front if they were chosen rather than Likud. But now the opposition party is decidedly to the right of the Labor Party of 2015. In its essence it is promoting itself as Likud without Netanyahu or Likud without corruption or Likud without its worst excesses. But certainly the 3 generals (and one TV personality) are not touting diplomatic progress as their priority, they are touting Zionism and security as their essence and not Netanyahu as their advantage. And as such an expectation for them to create a coalition with the Arab parties is outlandish.

    • eljay
      eljay on March 1, 2019, 8:37 am

      || wondering jew @ March 1, 2019, 12:22 am ||

      So very many words just to say: The religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to embrace it the right…
      – to be supremacists in a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of (geographic) Palestine”; and
      – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

      • eljay
        eljay on March 1, 2019, 8:53 am

        It’s funny (but not at all surprising) that you’re able to generate so much blather to justify and defend your preferred brand of evil, but when it comes to responding to my simple, straightforward question

        Do you agree with me that Zionists should:
        – apologize for and stop conflating all Jews with Israel and Israel with all Jews; and
        – apologize for and stop smearing people with baseless and destructive accusations of anti-Semitism?

        …the most you can muster is a tiny paragraph of evasion.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on March 1, 2019, 3:15 pm

        eljay- Zionists feel that the destruction of Israel (or the replacement of the Zionist regime by a Hamas regime) will endanger the most important Jewish project of the past millennium and as such they view attacks on Israel as attacks on the Jews. They should not apologize for this. I think there are a handful of honest people who are willing to admit that though the dissolution of Israel will be a grave danger to the Jews living in Israel/palestine, that despite that danger, they are loyal to the Palestinians and the harm that has been done to them and even if the result of this regime change is not a democratic result, they still feel that the damage must be undone. these people are not Jew haters in my view, although the policy that they advocate will result in harm to the Jews. (on the other hand those who do not concede the danger of the future Palestine to its Jews are dishonest. I don’t call them antisemites but since their dishonesty or naivete covers up for their blindness to the damage that they are advocating I can see where some might term this blindness as antisemitic, because the net effect will be negative towards a large number of Jews and to this important Jewish project.)
        So , NO. they should not apologize, unless they change their minds, and since they feel that the end of the Zionist regime will be a mighty blow to the political interest of the Jews as a totality, I understand their viewpoint even though I do not agree with it and view it as sometimes destructive.
        As far as smearing people, each individual case needs to be discussed separately. sometimes like that of corbyn, their politics and rhetoric is so puerile or supercilious or condescending or 7th grade, that the only way to account for such behavior is to call the offender antisemitic. I would not label them as such, but i do not expect Zionists to apologize nor would i say that they should apologize. I have my views and they have theirs.
        So, NO. I do not call on the Zionists to apologize.
        The battle for the future of Israel Palestine is one of primary importance to a large segment of the Jewish people and as such some Zionists get carried away and label everyone who opposes their viewpoint as antiSemitic. I think that such thinking is not useful and it would be wiser to go slow with such accusations. But since i do not expect them to apologize I see no need to call on them to apologize. If I was in a position of fame and power and thought that some people might change their thought patterns based on my calls to apologize, then I might reconsider and in some cases I might call on people to apologize. but given my relative anonymity, I do not see the need to call on them to apologize. it would serve no purpose.

        (I wish more people and more Jews and more Zionist Jews would agree with me, but “they should apologize” statements are silly.)

      • eljay
        eljay on March 1, 2019, 3:29 pm

        || wondering jew @ March 1, 2019, 3:15 pm ||

        Such an overabundance of words just to say that you think Zionists should not apologize for but should instead continue with:
        – conflating all Jews with Israel and Israel with all Jews; and
        – smearing people with baseless and destructive accusations of anti-Semitism.

        You and your fellow Zionists are…what was that word you used to describe Corbyn? Oh, right, that’s it: Twats.

        You Zionists are hateful, immoral, hypocritical twats.

        But thanks for taking the time to reply.   :-)

      • RoHa
        RoHa on March 1, 2019, 9:07 pm

        “Zionists feel that the destruction of Israel (or the replacement of the Zionist regime by a Hamas regime) will endanger the most important Jewish project of the past millennium”

        If Israel is the most important Jewish project of the past millennium, then Heaven preserve us from Jewish projects! Israel is evil in conception, evil in creation,and evil in conduct.

        “They should not apologize for this.”

        No, they should repent and apologise for being Zionists.

        “The dissolution of Israel will be a grave danger to the Jews living in Israel/palestine”

        Possible future harm to Jews does not justify past and present real harm to Palestinians. The best project Jews could now undertake is working to reduce that risk while providing justice (or the closest possible approximation thereto) for the Palestinians.

    • Talkback
      Talkback on March 1, 2019, 9:54 am

      wondering jew: “Israel was established as a revolution against Jewish unilateral disarmament. We need an army and a land were the upshots of this revolution. And the army needs to make us secure was the first order of business. The security established by the army during the war of independence was achieved by exiling large numbers of Palestinians.”

      Thank you for explaining why Israel is an Apartheid Junta. And no. There was no war of “independence”. Independent from whom? It was a paramilitary/terrorist coup d’etat and conquest including the expulsion of Palestine’s nonjewish majority to establish a Jewish national oligarchy.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on March 1, 2019, 11:12 am

      “Israel was established as a revolution against Jewish unilateral disarmament.” “WJ”

      There’s a street-corner in New York that’s a lot more peaceful since “Yonah” got a job commenting on Mondoweiss.

    • Brewer
      Brewer on March 1, 2019, 2:14 pm

      “the threats of Hassan Nasrallah and his Iranian sponsors ” in a nutshell:
      “If you attack us again, we will retaliate”.

  4. YoniFalic
    YoniFalic on March 1, 2019, 2:06 am

    Palestinian colloquial Arabic has a /p/ sound. It is unaspirated like /p/ in Italian but a little closer to /f/. People that have an aspirated /ph/ (not an /f/) in their language (some Yiddish dialect speakers, German speakers, and English speakers) hear unaspirated /p/ as a /b/, but that phonemic problem lies with the hearers and not with Palestinians.

    The Masoretes were not native Hebrew speakers and heard phonemic distinctions that ancient Hebrew speakers probably did not. Ancient Hebrew speakers probably did not hear a distinction between unaspirated /p/ and /f/ or between /b/ (bet with dagesh) and /v/ (bet without dagesh).

    From the confused transliteration of פ into ancient Greek and ancient Latin, we must suspect that the Palestinian pronunciation of /p/ (unaspirated and intermediate between unaspirated Italian /p/ and /f/ is congruent with ancient Hebrew pronunciation of פ while the Modern Israeli Hebrew (MIH) pronunciation (either aspirated /ph/ or clear unaspirated /p/ full stop) is a bogus fake European mispronunciation just as MIH is a bogus fake artificial European language created by white racist European colonial-settler invader-genocidaires (like my family) as part of the ridiculous propaganda narrative, which asserts that modern Jews descend from ancient Judeans, who are actually ancestors of Palestinians.

    It is interesting that hasbarah-mongers do not ever discuss the MIH mispronunciations of vav as a /v/ and not as a w like Arabic wāw, which colloquial Palestinian Arabic speakers can say unlike native MIH speakers, who must learn with effort to say this phoneme properly.

    • Elizabeth Block
      Elizabeth Block on March 1, 2019, 8:57 am

      Who cares?
      The human vocal apparatus can make hundreds of sounds. No language uses more than a few dozen. (How many anglophones know what “LL” sounds like in Welsh?) Many languages have two or more sounds that are similar, which native speakers can distinguish but others cannot.
      What has any of this got to do with equality and justice, or inequality and injustice?

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic on March 1, 2019, 10:29 am

        You will have to ask racist Zionists that make fun of balestine why the issue is so important.

        I never made fun of Palestinians in this way when I was an evil patriotic Israeli.

        My grandfather may have been an evil mass murderer and genocidaire in 47-8, but he was always careful in his pronunciation and had totally contempt for Israeli command of Modern Israeli Hebrew.

    • Nathan
      Nathan on March 2, 2019, 9:37 am

      Yoni – It certainly is interesting to learn from you about problems that I never could have imagined actually existed. For example, I learned from you about there being in Hebrew a “fake mispronounciation”. Wow, that must really be a terrible phenomenon, much worse than just a regular mispronounciation (and to think that the world remains silent about it). I was absolutely horrified to learn from you that the Israelis pronounce the letter vav as “v”, and (to add insult to injury) this issue is never discussed among the hasbarah people. I didn’t know that Modern Israeli Hebrew is “a bogus fake artificial European language”. I can’t imagine that they actually faked their artificial language, and that no one at BDS demands the immediate end to such linguistic shenanigans.

      Actually, Yoni, to be quite serious now, you do teach us something that is worthy to think about. Obviously, Hebrew is a normal language which has become the native language of millions of people. How they pronounce their language is also legitimate and normal. It is, after all, their language. Why, then, have you gone off the deep end, attacking something so trivial with your illogical combination of adjectives? The answer is that the revival of Hebrew is VERY impressive. It’s a real wonder, an absolute “wow”. But for an obsessive anti-Israel activist like yourself, it’s just impossible to accept that there is something so special about Israel. So, Hebrew becomes another issue on the endless list of complaints.

      Once upon a time, Azmi Bishara was being interviewed on Israel TV, and he raised all sorts of grievances about Israel. The interviewer asked him if there is, nevertheless, something about Israel that he has something positive to say. On the spot, without the slightest delay, he gave an answer: “The birth of the Hebrew language is very impressive…” You don’t have to be “more Catholic than the Pope”. If Azmi Bishara can express his amazement about the successful revival of Hebrew, you too can get a hold of yourself and drop the nonsense.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on March 4, 2019, 1:06 am

        The creation and promulgation of Modern Hebrew is certainly impressive, but it was not a good thing to do.

        At its most benign, it created yet another language barrier in a world which already has too many.

        But in the context, it was even worse.

        It was a rejection of humanity. The Zionists moved into an Arabic speaking area, but rejected Arabic and, with it, Arabic society. Nor did they adopt one of the world’s other major languages. Instead they chose a language no-one else used.

      • Nathan
        Nathan on March 4, 2019, 9:08 pm

        So, RoHa, should I now assume that if the Zionists had become Arabic speakers (or if they had adopted one of the world’s other major languages) then you would give your approval of their having come to Palestine?

        One of the beautiful expressions of humanity is the diversity of languages. It’s like a garden which has a large variety of flowers of different colors. The loss of a language is the loss of a culture, and the unusual case of language revival is the restoration of a culture. It’s quite impressive that a seven year old child can read and quote the Bible in the original language. The revival of Hebrew was seen by those who revived it as the renaissance of an ancient civilization. Your seeing it as “a rejection of humanity” is simply a demonstration of an inability to see the world through someone else’s eyes. People throughout the world speak their own language (even if just a few thousand people know a particular language), and they see their language as a source of pride and the main expression of their own particular identity and culture.

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic on March 4, 2019, 10:15 pm

        The creation of Modern Israeli Hebrew is no more impressive than the creation of Esperanto.

        In many ways the creation of Esperanto, which has two million speakers and which had no large funders financing its establishment, is much more impressive.

        When we look at the creation of the artificial mandatory Hebrew and look behind the curtain, we find that the Zionist movement was rather ineffective in establishing mandatory Hebrew. The mandatory government enabled the Zionist school system to draw upon the extensive British experience in establishing Urdu and Hindi on the base of Hindustani. This development in India was instrumental in whipping up ethnic hostilities.

        Elements of the British government wanted to remain in Palestine permanently and viewed establishment of mandatory Hebrew a key to create permanent hostilities that would give the UK reason to stay in Palestine permanently.

        But for the British Mandatory government the fake artificial language of Modern Israeli Hebrew would never have been successfully established in the Yishuv.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on March 5, 2019, 2:34 am

        “So, RoHa, should I now assume that if the Zionists had become Arabic speakers (or if they had adopted one of the world’s other major languages) then you would give your approval of their having come to Palestine?”

        Don’t be silly. That does not follow from my comment.

        “One of the beautiful expressions of humanity is the diversity of languages. It’s like a garden which has a large variety of flowers of different colors.”

        It’s a blasted nuisance. I work with a variety of languages, and I am fascinated by them. My son is fascinated by beetles. I don’t see any beauty in having a variety of languages or in beetles.

        But even if there is beauty there, there is no need to add an extra one.

        “The loss of a language is the loss of a culture, and the unusual case of language revival is the restoration of a culture.”

        But there is no need to restore lost cultures.

        “The revival of Hebrew was seen by those who revived it as the renaissance of an ancient civilization.”

        And thus it was a rejection of the world around them.

        “People throughout the world speak their own language”

        What makes a language “their own language”?

        “and they see their language as a source of pride and the main expression of their own particular identity and culture.”

        So what?

      • eljay
        eljay on March 5, 2019, 8:31 am

        || Nathan: … The loss of a language is the loss of a culture, and the unusual case of language revival is the restoration of a culture. … ||

        Curious: Which culture was lost to the Arabic-speaking non-Jews of Palestine – the vast majority of Palestine’s inhabitants – that was restored to them by the revival of Hebrew (accompanied as it was by the creation of a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” and the demotion to second-class citizen status of those non-Jews who were not expelled from their homeland)?

      • RoHa
        RoHa on March 5, 2019, 9:58 pm

        “and they see their language as a source of pride and the main expression of their own particular identity and culture.”

        So what?

        And while you are trying to work out what, I will point out that in normal cases the group had the language already. It wasn’t foisted on them to make them a group.

        One example is the Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. They had a language already. But it seems that culture is being lost under the influence of the Hebrew language movement.

        If you had the ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes, you would be less impressed with Hebrew.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on March 5, 2019, 10:03 pm

        “In many ways the creation of Esperanto, which has two million speakers and which had no large funders financing its establishment, is much more impressive.”

        Esperanto is the language of the Akademio Internacia de la Sciencoj in San-Marino.

        http://www.ais-sanmarino.org

  5. Ossinev
    Ossinev on March 1, 2019, 9:47 am

    @WJ
    ” One need only read the threats of Hassan Nasrallah and his Iranian sponsors and the unanimous adoration that his threats and his movement receive on this web site”

    “unanimous adoration” what a grandeloqent claim. I don`t it`s a question of worship , adoration or even Allah/God/Yahyeh forbid lust. At best I think you will find that it is simply an acknowledgement that under his leadership and direction whatever you may think of him personally Hezbollah has become a military force to be reckoned with.

    As for “Israel” needing to “feel safe and secure”. Brutal Racist Apartheid Colonies don`t deserve to” feel safe and secure”. Reap what has been sown.

    Tick tick

  6. Ossinev
    Ossinev on March 2, 2019, 10:45 am

    @Nathan
    “The answer is that the revival of Hebrew is VERY impressive. It’s a real wonder, an absolute “wow”. Leading to a classic Zio non sequitur =
    “On the spot, without the slightest delay, he gave an answer: “The birth of the Hebrew language is very impressive…” You don’t have to be “more Catholic than the Pope”. If Azmi Bishara can express his amazement about the successful revival of Hebrew, you too can get a hold of yourself and drop the nonsense”

    Bishara was talking about a “birth” and you then proceed to talk about a “revival”. A little bit of “artifice” methinks.

    Who would have realised that you were nearly fluent in bollocks. Keep on practising and you may become fluent in absolute bollocks.Middle East/Middle Earth the possibilities are endless.

  7. just
    just on March 5, 2019, 10:53 am

    “Israeli Arab Party Sues Journalist for Calling It a ‘Terrorist Organization’Israeli Arab Party Sues Journalist for Calling It a ‘Terrorist Organization’ …

    Balad has filed a libel suit against journalist Amit Segal for 280,000 shekels ($77,000) for calling the Israeli Arab party a “terrorist organization.” Segal’s remarks were made on Channel 12 News and in the Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

    Last week, Balad asked Segal, Channel 12 and Yedioth Ahronoth to publish an apology and go back on his statements, but the party did not receive a reply.

    The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court, asks the court to order Segal to remove the link to the article involved, publish a public apology and pay the compensation for violating libel laws.

    Two weeks ago on “Meet the Press” on Channel 12, Segal called Balad an “armed terrorist organization” that should be banned from running in the Knesset. Other participants on the show’s panel reminded him Balad has members in the Knesset already, and in response Segal said he blames the Supreme Court for that.

    Dr. Mtanes Shihadeh, a candidate for the Knesset in the upcoming election on behalf of the Balad-United Arab List joint slate, said the party’s policy was not to file lawsuits against those who incite against us “so as not to turn a political dispute into a dry legal dispute. But Segal, who is known for belonging to the far-right, crossed the line and used his position to harm the party during the election campaign.”

    “We will not allow the legitimacy of Balad to be damaged, which represents the nationalist stream in Arab society and which espouses the most democratic platform – a country of all its citizens,” added Shihadeh.

    Segal tried to use the section of the Basic Law on the Knesset on the disqualification of parties to explain his remarks, even though Balad has been approved by the High Court of Justice time after time, said Khaled Titi, the attorney who filed the libel lawsuit on behalf of Balad. “In any case, we cannot accept applying the label ‘terrorist organization’ to a legitimate party that operates according to the law.””

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-arab-party-sues-journalist-for-calling-it-a-terrorist-organization-1.6996710?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    This racist is only following orders from the PM. the IOF generals, and the Israeli street. They are all brainwashed.

    (For those that haven’t heard: … “Haneen Zoabi announced earlier this month that she is resigning after 10 years in office. According to Zoabi, she has been subject to “character assassination, ongoing incitement, unceasing attempts to make me disappear, to silence me, disqualify me and distance me from the political arena.” She added that the time has come to change her place for the sake of a stronger Palestinian generation ”

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/.premium-israeli-arab-balad-party-picks-new-election-slate-after-high-profile-resignations-1.6898778)

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