Avigail Abarbanel


The story of the 1916 Irish rebellion touches Avigail Abarbanel because she knows what it is like to be oppressed by a psychopathic authority and forced to rebel rather than to grow and develop. And colonialism perpetuates that structure. “The job of Israeli education was to prepare us to become good little drones who would not question or disobey, and who would be shaped into another generation dedicated to maintaining and continuing the Zionist settler-colonial project in Palestine.”

‘Why is it so important for indigenous people to maintain their identity? What is so bad with a particular way of life or culture disappearing?’ the lecturer at Macquairie University in Sydney asked 25 years ago. Now his student, Avigail Abarbanel, has the answer: Because colonialism entails a violent “policy of elimination” to overcome resistance.

Avigail Abarnabel grew up in Israel and came to view the society as a cult. Here she writes a letter to Israeli Jews explaining why she decided to leave: “I left the cult because I wanted to find out who I was. I refused to accept that the only purpose of my life was to defend the cult and allow it to continue.”

By using words like ‘occupation’, ‘conflict’ and ‘peace’ we play within the rules and the traps that Israel has created for us, writes Avigail Abarbanel. The real issue is ‘settler colonialism’ (and Jewish exceptionalism tries to explain that away).

Avigail Abarbanel says she is relieved Netanyahu won the Israeli elections: “There wll be no more endless cycles of pointless ‘negotiations’ with Israel pretending that some day it will agree to a two-state solution while continually escalating both settlement (colony) building and the maltreament of the Palestinians. Now everyone will see that the Palestinians were right all along and that Israel has never been a partner for negotiations.”