Archive for category conspiracy of enablers

Jewish leaders mustn’t be afraid to reject unethical policies

  • Published 10:33 19.12.11

Jewish leaders mustn’t be afraid to reject unethical policies

Disheartening as it must be for those still committed to the organization, maybe Morrison’s letter will serve as a flaming baton of change — if others are ready to grasp it and run with it.

By Mira Sucharov Tags: Jewish world Palestinians East Jerusalem

I didn’t know Seth Morrison before last week, but now when I attend board and committee meetings, it’s Seth that I think about.

In an article in The Forward, Morrison announced his decision to step down from the board of directors of the Washington metropolitan area’s Jewish National Fund.

His action was meant to protest the JNF-KKL’s widely-publicized move to expel the Sumarin family from their home in East Jerusalem.

It wasn’t the first time Morrison had publicly criticized JNF policy. In a January 2011 op-ed in the Jerusalem Post, Morrison was measured in his criticism of the organization, at that time around the issue of Bedouin land claims.

“The JNF’s reputation and ability to effect positive change would be enhanced by a decision not to plant trees on lands that are in dispute with the Bedouin,” he wrote. But almost a year later, Morrison clearly felt that the organization had pursued actions that required a much harsher response than a gently-chiding op-ed.

In an interview over the weekend, I asked Morrison how he came to his decision to resign from the board.

“I felt three things,” he told me. “I did not have the power to change it from within; this was just more egregious than I could tolerate, and as someone who works in media and marketing…I felt that by going public with the resignation I could do more to stop these evictions than I could by staying and advocating against them.”

Whether to pull a seat up to the table and evoke change from within, or whether to protest and try to bring about change from the outside, is something we should all regularly be asking ourselves in whatever capacities we operate communally. It is also a question with which I personally and frequently grapple.

As a political scientist as well as a blogger, columnist and public commentator, I have been trained to analyze and critique. Most public commentators and intellectuals hope our words — about why, how, and what shall be — will eventually have an impact.

But I am not only an arms-length commentator. I am also active in Jewish communal leadership on various issues and in various organizations. Like Seth, I consider myself to be a progressive. And like Seth, I am drawn to getting involved in the mainstream as well. I like to see if I can invest these organizations with the change ethic that I hold dear.

Two years ago, my community sponsored Brigitte Gabriel, a noted Islamophobe, to speak. I wasn’t on the committee that made the unfortunate selection of speaker, but I was invited to captain a table for the event. After unsuccessfully trying to get the committee to reconsider its choice of speaker, I grudgingly accepted the task. In the end, the event was even more disturbing, and Gabriel’s remarks more hateful, than I had feared.

A few days later, I ran into an acquaintance at my neighborhood cafe and recounted the events to her. “What do you expect?” she said. “You hang out with those people, you’re gonna get what you got.” Her cynical response helped spur me to actually redouble my efforts to stay involved. Because once cynicism sets in, the game is over.

With the tireless help of others, I ultimately achieved what initially seemed an unlikely outcome: the issuing of a community-wide letter from the head of the organization distancing it from Gabriel’s hateful views.

Fast-forward to these past few weeks: like many others, I had been following the Sumarin family eviction issue with great concern. I had attempted to share the controversial JNF issues with another friend who is a highly committed JNF supporter. But it was only when Morrison’s open letter was published in The Forward that I felt I finally had an appropriate instrument, one that struck the right note, one that was written by an insider.

Disheartening as it must be for those still committed to the organization, maybe Morrison’s letter will serve as a flaming baton of change — if others are ready to grasp it and run with it.

Morrison is now putting his efforts towards running for one of the vacant positions on the J Street board. And while he made clear to me that quitting one board and running for another were “totally parallel and unrelated,” (in fact he had applied to the J Street board weeks before coverage appeared about the eviction) to me they tell a story of the inherent tension between being committed to big-tent politics and progressive values. How big can the tent actually be before it collapses?

It’s never easy to stand apart from a group to which one has committed resources and through which one has no doubt developed relationships. But if it’s never an option; if our organizational energies are meant to be unconditional love — like that between parents and children, we forfeit the ultimate tools of democratic and civil change. No one said change is always easy, and no one said it’s never a little messy along the way.

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The acts of perfidious traitors throughout Jewish history

We, the Traitors
07/10/11

“THERE ARE situations in which a real patriot has no alternative but to be a traitor,” wrote the distinguished German journalist, the late Rudolf Augstein, in a review of one of my books in the late 1980s.

“My Friend, the Enemy,” described, among other things, my meeting with Yasser Arafat. It was the first encounter between an Israeli and the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It was held in the heat of the battle for Beirut in 1982, and to get it I had to cross enemy lines.

In the 14 years leading up to that initial meeting, I maintained regular contact with the PLO’s leadership, though it was officially defined, at that time, as a terrorist organization and identified with the arch-terrorist Arafat. I reported those contacts to Yitzhak Rabin, while he was prime minister (1974-77). Needless to say, it was only 11 years later that Israel concluded a treaty with the PLO, our prime minister embraced Arafat and those ministers who wanted to put me on trial as a traitor were themselves making pilgrimages to him.

WHEN AUGSTEIN wrote his comment, he was thinking, especially, of Nazi Germany’s most famous case of treason: the 1944 plot led by Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Von Stauffenberg, a war hero who lost an eye and several fingers in WWII, had many qualms before deciding to strike. As a real patriot, he came to the conclusion that only the killing of Hitler could save Germany from the approaching disaster of defeat, and the unnecessary death of hundreds of thousands of people in a lost war. But he had sworn allegiance to the Fuehrer, and as a devout Catholic he considered the breaking of an oath to be a very grave matter. A rebellion in wartime was, of course, treason.

Almost all Germans would agree today that such an act of treason was moral and just. Hence, the street where the German general staff headquarters was then situated, and in whose yard von Stauffenberg was executed, is named for him today. Here, then, treason and patriotism dwell together.

Claus von Stauffenberg was not a leftist. On the contrary. he was a man of the Catholic right, very conservative, a scion of many generations of a noble family. But more often, it is left-wingers who face accusations of treason. That charge may be the curse that rightists – worldwide, but particularly in Israel – most often level at leftists: that they betray their people and their homeland.

According to the right-wing view, the left undermines national resolve and helps an enemy that is scheming to destroy us. The Left almost always opposes increasing the defense budget, preferring to spend the money on social services such as education, health and welfare. It holds the individual at a higher level of importance than the nation and the state. It seeks peace and, to this end, is ready to make concessions to the enemy. In the Israeli-Palestinian arena, it is ready to cede parts of the land that the Almighty himself promised to the Jewish people. In short, despicable traitors.

The leftists in Israel and around the world counter that they are the real patriots, for it is they who seek a healthy society, which is the real foundation for national security. After all, only citizens who feel part of the homeland and the state will support it wholeheartedly.

Moreover, no state can wage endless wars. The state and the individual need peace, for only in peace can a state develop all its spiritual and material resources. According to the left, those on the right cultivate feelings of hatred, fear and prejudice against aliens, both those in other lands and among the minorities within the state.

In order to win the support of the masses, the right seeks constant security tension and war adventures, an atmosphere to justify their own distorted worldview. That is why the right wing is a threat to the state and its citizens, and will ultimately bring about national disaster, which in our case would be the destruction of the “Third Temple” that is the renewed Jewish commonwealth. In short, despicable racists.

OUR OWN history includes instances of betrayal that long preceded that of the German von Stauffenberg.

Many years ago I had lunch with someone who was then a key figure in the Israeli economy. During the conversation I suggested that Shimon Bar Kochba, who led the failed Jewish uprising against Rome, in 132-135 C.E., was a crazy adventurer, that the Zealots of the Great Revolt who had preceded him were criminals and that the Maccabees too, before them, had fought a murderous civil war.

The banker stared at me with a look of endless astonishment in his clear blue eyes. He had never heard such strange views. On the spot, I decided to write a series of articles on the subject. They were published serially in Haolam Hazeh, and did not cause an uproar.

Some time later, however, Yehoshafat Harkabi, a former head of Military Intelligence and at the time a historian at the Hebrew University, wrote a book in the same vein, and the dam burst.

The Zealots’ rebellion against Rome, he wrote, was an act of madness. In present-day terms, they could be called extreme right-wingers. Sensible people such as King Herod Agrippa II warned about the futility of the adventure against the huge military might of the Roman superpower. But the Zealots silenced those voices, murdered whoever spoke against the revolt and seized control over the Jewish community. When the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem, in 70 C.E., Zealot groups burned one another’s stores of grain, certain that they were not needed because the Almighty himself would redeem his holy city.

One of the sensible people who remained in the city-gone-mad was Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai; he rightly predicted what would happen. Ben Zakkai pretended to be dead, had himself smuggled out of town in a coffin, approached the Roman commander and requested permission to settle in Yavneh and open a spiritual center there.

This was out-and-out treason: deserting the front, cowardice, maintaining contact with the enemy, collaboration. When I was an adolescent, I was a member of the Irgun pre-state underground, and we organized a mock trial for him. He was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. The Zealots were our heroes.

But the Jewish people’s collective wisdom in fact hailed Ben-Zakkai’s treason. His move is widely seen as enabling the survival of Judaism during the 2,000 years of Diaspora. In other words: His treason saved the people. His act was the patriotic one. The Jewish community was able to remain on its land and flourish until the appearance of the next madman, Bar Kochba, another member of the extreme right, to use today’s terminology.

The historical verdict on the Maccabees is more positive. They are favorably etched in the Jewish consciousness, whereas the Zealots’ activities are recalled in the mourning of Tisha B’Av. The Maccabees’ activities, on the other hand, are celebrated during the holiday of Hanukkah, and the Zionist movement has hailed them as freedom fighters who liberated the Jews from oppressive alien rulers.

And indeed, in contrast with the Zealots and Bar Kochba, the Maccabees had a realistic view of the political situation of their day. They made alliances and managed the rebellion wisely. But the Maccabees’ war, in the second century B.C.E., was first and foremost a civil war. We say the Maccabees conducted a murderous campaign against the Hellenists – but who were the Hellenists? They were the people who adopted the most enlightened and advanced culture of their day, approximately equivalent to American or general Western culture today.

The “national religious” camp of those days and the counterparts of today’s “hilltop youth” regarded the Hellenists as traitors, precisely the way today’s leftists are branded. (This, however, did not stop the Hasmonaean kings, who succeeded the Maccabees, from adopting Greek culture themselves, as some of their names show ).

MANY CENTURIES later, the baton of crazy messianism passed to Shabbetai Zvi.

His teachings captivated, with the speed of wildfire, the Jewish masses around the world. Only a small number of Jews dared oppose this madness, and they were the “traitors” of those days. When the bubble burst, and the so-called messiah converted to Islam, it became clear that his opponents had been right. But this did not move the masses to embrace them. On the contrary, as Gershom Scholem tells us, after Shabbetai Zvi’s disgrace, the hatred for his opponents became still more bitter.

And we still haven’t mentioned the arch-traitor, the prophet Jeremiah, who preached surrender. He was a real defeatist, and for this, the right-wing rulers of sixth and seventh century B.C.E. Judah tossed him into a pit of mud. Yet, his words were incorporated into the Bible while those of his adversaries were forgotten.

ONE CAN draw countless examples from the histories of other peoples too. At times of crisis, the real patriots, those who call for peace and compromise, – in short the “lefties,” – are considered traitors, whereas the nationalists of all types, the warmongers, the inciters of hatred, are perceived as patriots.

It is of them that the British man of letters Samuel Johnson said that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

Published in Haaretz, Oct.7, 2011 as The acts of perfidious traitors throughout Jewish history

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Why the Middle East Will Never Be the Same Again

Why the Middle East Will Never Be the Same Again

The Palestinians won’t achieve statehood, but they will consign the ‘peace process’ to history.

By Robert Fisk

photo by Ahmad Mesleh

September 20, 2011 “The Independent‘ – -The Palestinians won’t get a state this week. But they will prove – if they get enough votes in the General Assembly and if Mahmoud Abbas does not succumb to his characteristic grovelling in the face of US-Israeli power – that they are worthy of statehood. And they will establish for the Arabs what Israel likes to call – when it is enlarging its colonies on stolen land – “facts on the ground”: never again can the United States and Israel snap their fingers and expect the Arabs to click their heels. The US has lost its purchase on the Middle East. It’s over: the “peace process”, the “road map”, the “Oslo agreement”; the whole fandango is history.

Personally, I think “Palestine” is a fantasy state, impossible to create now that the Israelis have stolen so much of the Arabs’ land for their colonial projects. Go take a look at the West Bank, if you don’t believe me. Israel’s massive Jewish colonies, its pernicious building restrictions on Palestinian homes of more than one storey and its closure even of sewage systems as punishment, the “cordons sanitaires” beside the Jordanian frontier, the Israeli-only settlers’ roads have turned the map of the West Bank into the smashed windscreen of a crashed car. Sometimes, I suspect that the only thing that prevents the existence of “Greater Israel” is the obstinacy of those pesky Palestinians.

But we are now talking of much greater matters. This vote at the UN – General Assembly or Security Council, in one sense it hardly matters – is going to divide the West – Americans from Europeans and scores of other nations – and it is going to divide the Arabs from the Americans. It is going to crack open the divisions in the European Union; between eastern and western Europeans, between Germany and France (the former supporting Israel for all the usual historical reasons, the latter sickened by the suffering of the Palestinians) and, of course, between Israel and the EU.

A great anger has been created in the world by decades of Israeli power and military brutality and colonisation; millions of Europeans, while conscious of their own historical responsibility for the Jewish Holocaust and well aware of the violence of Muslim nations, are no longer cowed in their criticism for fear of being abused as anti-Semites. There is racism in the West – and always will be, I fear – against Muslims and Africans, as well as Jews. But what are the Israeli settlements on the West Bank, in which no Arab Muslim Palestinian can live, but an expression of racism?

Israel shares in this tragedy, of course. Its insane government has led its people on this road to perdition, adequately summed up by its sullen fear of democracy in Tunisia and Egypt – how typical that its principle ally in this nonsense should be the awful Saudi Arabia – and its cruel refusal to apologise for the killing of nine Turks in the Gaza flotilla last year and its equal refusal to apologise to Egypt for the killing of five of its policemen during a Palestinian incursion into Israel.

So goodbye to its only regional allies, Turkey and Egypt, in the space of scarcely 12 months. Israel’s cabinet is composed both of intelligent, potentially balanced people such as Ehud Barak, and fools such as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the Ahmadinejad of Israeli politics. Sarcasm aside, Israelis deserve better than this.

The State of Israel may have been created unjustly – the Palestinian Diaspora is proof of this – but it was created legally. And its founders were perfectly capable of doing a deal with King Abdullah of Jordan after the 1948-49 war to divide Palestine between Jews and Arabs. But it had been the UN, which met to decide the fate of Palestine on 29 November 1947, which gave Israel its legitimacy, the Americans being the first to vote for its creation. Now – by a supreme irony of history – it is Israel which wishes to prevent the UN from giving Palestinian Arabs their legitimacy – and it is America which will be the first to veto such a legitimacy.

Does Israel have a right to exist? The question is a tired trap, regularly and stupidly trotted out by Israel’s so-called supporters; to me, too, on regular though increasingly fewer occasions. States – not humans – give other states the right to exist. For individuals to do so, they have to see a map. For where exactly, geographically, is Israel? It is the only nation on earth which does not know and will not declare where its eastern frontier is. Is it the old UN armistice line, the 1967 border so beloved of Abbas and so hated by Netanyahu, or the Palestinian West Bank minus settlements, or the whole of the West Bank?

Show me a map of the United Kingdom which includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and it has the right to exist. But show me a map of the UK which claims to include the 26 counties of independent Ireland in the UK and shows Dublin to be a British rather than an Irish city, and I will say no, this nation does not have the right to exist within these expanded frontiers. Which is why, in the case of Israel, almost every Western embassy, including the US and British embassies, are in Tel Aviv, not in Jerusalem.

In the new Middle East, amid the Arab Awakening and the revolt of free peoples for dignity and freedom, this UN vote – passed in the General Assembly, vetoed by America if it goes to the Security Council – constitutes a kind of hinge; not just a page turning, but the failure of empire. So locked into Israel has US foreign policy become, so fearful of Israel have almost all its Congressmen and Congresswomen become – to the extent of loving Israel more than America – that America will this week stand out not as the nation that produced Woodrow Wilson and his 14 principles of self-determination, not as the country which fought Nazism and Fascism and Japanese militarism, not as the beacon of freedom which, we are told, its Founding Fathers represented – but as a curmudgeonly, selfish, frightened state whose President, after promising a new affection for the Muslim world, is forced to support an occupying power against a people who only ask for statehood.

Should we say “poor old Obama”, as I have done in the past? I don’t think so. Big on rhetoric, vain, handing out false love in Istanbul and Cairo within months of his election, he will this week prove that his re-election is more important than the future of the Middle East, that his personal ambition to stay in power must take first place over the sufferings of an occupied people. In this context alone, it is bizarre that a man of such supposed high principle should show himself so cowardly. In the new Middle East, in which Arabs are claiming the very same rights and freedoms that Israel and America say they champion, this is a profound tragedy.

US failures to stand up to Israel and to insist on a fair peace in “Palestine”, abetted by the hero of the Iraq war, Blair, are responsible. Arabs too, for allowing their dictators to last so long and thus to clog the sand with false frontiers and old dogmas and oil (and let’s not believe that a “new” “Palestine” would be a paradise for its own people). Israel, too, when it should be welcoming the Palestinian demand for statehood at the UN with all its obligations of security and peace and recognition of other UN members. But no. The game is lost. America’s political power in the Middle East will this week be neutered on behalf of Israel. Quite a sacrifice in the name of liberty…

Robert Fisk is Middle East correspondent for The Independent newspaper

© 2011 The Independent

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Dogs of War by Uri Avnery

Such terrifying dogs have not been seen since the Hound of the Baskervilles.

They have been bred by an ardent admirer of the late “Rabbi” Meir Kahane, who was branded by the Israeli Supreme Court as a fascist. Their task is to protect the settlements and attack Palestinians. They are settler-dogs, or, rather, dog-settlers.

All our TV stations have reported on them at length and lauded their effectiveness and ardor.

All in preparation for “September”.

SEPTEMBER IS not just the name of a month, the seventh in the old Roman calendar. It is the symbol of a terrible danger, an unspeakable existential menace.

In the next few weeks, the Palestinians will ask the UN to recognize the State of Palestine. They have already mustered a large majority in the General Assembly. After that, according to the official assessment of our army, all hell will break loose. Multitudes of Palestinians will rise, attack the “Separation” Wall, storm the settlements, confront the army, create chaos.

“The Palestinian Authority is planning a bloodbath,” Avigdor Lieberman cheerfully asserted. And when Lieberman predicts violence, it would be unwise to ignore him.

For months now, our army has been preparing for just such an eventuality. This week it announced that it is training the settlers, too, and telling them exactly when they are allowed to shoot to kill. Thus it confirms what we all know: that there is no clear distinction between the army and the settlers – many settlers are officers in the army, and many officers live in settlements. “The army defends all Israelis, wherever they are,” is the official line.

One of the scenarios the army is preparing for, it was stated, is for Palestinians shooting at soldiers and settlers “from inside the mass demonstrations”. That is an ominous statement. I have been at hundreds of demonstrations and never witnessed anyone shooting “from inside the demonstration”. Such a person would have to be insanely irresponsible, since he would expose all the people around him to deadly retaliation. But it is a handy pretext for shooting at non-violent protesters.

It sounds so ominous, because it has happened already in the past. After the first intifada, which was considered a Palestinian success story (and brought about the Oslo agreement), our army diligently prepared for the second one. The chosen instruments were sharpshooters.

The second (“al-Aqsa”) intifada started after the breakdown of the 2000 Camp David conference and Ariel Sharon’s deliberately provocative “visit” to the Temple Mount. The Palestinians held non-violent mass demonstrations. The army responded with selective killings. A sharpshooter accompanied by an officer would take position in the path of the protest, and the officer would point out selected targets – protesters who looked like “ringleaders”. They were killed.

This was highly effective. Soon the non-violent demonstrations ceased and were replaced by very violent (“terrorist”) actions. With those the army was back on familiar ground.

All in all, during the second intifada 4546 Palestinians were killed, of whom 882 were children, as against 1044 Israelis, 716 of them civilians, including 124 children.

I am afraid that the preparations for the third intifada, which is anticipated to start next month, are proceeding on the same lines. But the circumstances would be quite different. After the events in Egypt and Syria, Palestinian protesters may react differently this time, and the “bloodbath” may be much more severe. So will international and Arab reactions. I imagine posters condemning Binyamin al-Assad and Bashar Netanyahu.

But most Israelis are not worried. They believe that the entire scenario has been invented by Netanyahu as a trick to end the huge social protest movement that is rocking Israel. “The young protesters demand Social Justice and a Welfare State, like children demanding ice cream while disaster is lurking around the corner,” as one of the colonels (ret.) put it.

THE SETTLERS and their dogs loom large in the upcoming scenarios.

That is quite logical, since the settlers now play a pivotal role in the conflict. It is they who prevent any peace agreement, or even meaningful peace negotiations.

It is quite simple: any peace between Israel and the Palestinian people will necessarily be based on ceding the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip to the future State of Palestine. A world-wide consensus on this is now in place. The only question is where exactly the border will run, since there is also a consensus about minor mutually agreed swaps of territory.

This means that peace would necessarily entail the removal of a large number of settlements and the evacuation of the settlers throughout the West Bank.

The Settlers and their allies dominate the present Israeli government coalition. They object to giving up even one square inch of occupied territory of the country God has promised us. (Even settlers who do not believe in God do believe that God has promised us the land.) Because of this, there are no peace negotiations, no freeze on building activities in the settlements, no move of any kind towards peace.

The settlers went to their locations in the West Bank specifically for this purpose: to create “facts on the ground” that would prevent any possibility of the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. Therefore it is quite immaterial whether it is the settlers who prevent the return of the occupied territories for peace, or whether the government uses the settlers for this purpose. It comes to the same: the settlers block any peace effort.

As the Americans would put it: It’s the settlers, stupid.

SOME NICE Israelis are indeed playing stupid, or really are.

It is now the fashion in certain circles to “embrace” the settlers in the name of national unity. Jews should not quarrel among themselves, they say, drawing on ancient Ghetto wisdom. Settlers are people like us.

Prominent among those who say so is Shelly Yachimovitch, a member of the Knesset and one of six candidates for the chair(wo)manship of the moribund Labor Party. For years she has done a good job as an advocate of social justice, never wasting a word on peace, occupation, settlements, Palestine and such trifles. Now, as part of her campaign, she has come all out for loving the settlers. As she put it: “I certainly do not see the settlement enterprise as a sin and crime. At the time, it was completely consensual. It was the Labor Party which promoted the settlement in the territories. That is a fact, a historical fact. “

Some believe that Yachimovitch is only pretending to feel this way, in order to garner mainstream votes for a takeover of the party, and that she intends to merge what remains of the party with Kadima, where she would try to displace Tzipi Livni and perhaps even become Prime Minister.

Perhaps. But I have a lurking suspicion that she really believes what she is saying – and that is an awful thing to say about any politician, male or female, of course.

BUT SERIOUSLY, there is no way to embrace the settlers and fight for social justice at the same time. It just can’t be done, even though some of the leaders of the social protest movement advocate this on tactical grounds.

There can be no Israeli welfare state while the war goes on. The border incidents of the last two weeks show how easy it is to divert public opinion and silence the protests when the banner of security is unfurled. And how easy it is for the government to prolong any incident.

Sowing the fear of “September” is yet another example.

But the reasons for the impossibility of separating social justice from security go deeper. Serious social reforms need money, lots of money. Even after reforming the tax system – more “progressive” direct taxes, less “regressive” indirect taxes – and breaking the cartels of the “tycoons”, tens of billion of dollars will be needed to rescue our schools, our hospitals and our social services.

These billions can only come from the military budget and the settlements. Huge sums are invested in the settlements – not just in heavily subsidized housing for the settlers, government salaries for many settlers (a far higher percentage than in the general population), but also for the infrastructure (roads, electricity and water supply etc.) and the large number of troops needed to defend them. The preparations for “September” show again how much this costs.

BUT EVEN this is not the full story. Beyond all these facts there is the main reason for the deformation of Israel: the conflict itself.

Because of the conflict, we are obliged to keep a huge military establishment. We pay for the armed forces, per capita, far more than the citizens of any Western country. Israel, a country of a mere 7.5 million people, maintains the fourth or fifth largest military establishment in the world. US military aid pays for only a small part of this.

Therefore, putting an end to the war is a necessary precondition for any real effort to turn Israel into a “Scandinavian” welfare state, with a maximum of social justice. The conflict is not just one item among many that must be considered. It is the main item.

You can love the settlers or hate them, oppose them or embrace them as much as you like – the fact remains that the settlements are by far the main obstacle to peace and the welfare state. Not just because of their cost, not just because of the pogroms their inhabitants carry out from time to time, not just because of the way they dominate the political system. But because of their very existence.

Unlike the hound of the Baskervilles, the dogs of the settlements are barking loudly. It is the sound of war.

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The extreme Israeli right’s alliance with lunatics

The extreme Israeli right’s alliance with lunatics

In recent years, the extreme Israeli right has developed an alliance with heads of the evangelical movement, who define themselves as Christian Zionists, some of whom believe that another Holocaust of the Jews will ensure the resurrection of Jesus.

Haaretz Editorial

Against the backdrop of what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his spokesmen call the “delegitimization” of Israel, a “support event” was held in Jerusalem yesterday evening led by American preacher-broadcaster Glenn Beck. Beck was accompanied by personages identified with the Republican Party’s extreme right and a group of Christian Zionist evangelical leaders.

Beck never misses an opportunity to speak ill of U.S. President Barack Obama and to challenge his leadership. His television program fell out of favor even with rightist Fox Broadcasting, which took Beck off the air. A few weeks ago, Beck received publicity for comparing the young Norwegians who were killed by an extreme right-winger to the Hitler Youth. Hundreds of rabbis in the United States, from all streams of Judaism, have expressed disgust with Beck’s incitement on the air against Jewish financier George Soros and Jewish intellectuals “accused” of harboring liberal, leftist views.

In recent years the extreme Israeli right has developed an alliance with the heads of the evangelical movement, who define themselves as Christian Zionists. National religious rabbis and politicians connect with these preachers, including those who spread the belief in the need for another Holocaust of the Jews in order to ensure the resurrection of Jesus. These rabbis and politicians accept donations from these preachers. It is mystifying that people from Israel’s ruling party, Likud, foremost among them Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon and World Likud Chairman Danny Danon, have joined the circle of Beck’s fans. So has Atzmaut MK Einat Wilf.

One might have expected the government and police to prohibit the East Jerusalem Development Corporation (a government-municipal company ) from making available the archaeological park near the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Silwan neighborhood for the fulminations of extreme rightists. These are unnecessary and harmful fulminations that testify to Netanyahu’s distorted priorities.

It was just a few weeks ago that the government denied dozens of peace activists entry into Israel; they wanted to demonstrate nonviolently their support for the Palestinians’ struggle for independence. At the time, it was claimed that this was a “provocation.” The “support event” in Jerusalem was no less provocative.

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Promoting Jewish Victimhood as Guise for Victimizing Palestinians

Promoting Jewish Victimhood as Guise for Victimizing Palestinians

by Yves Engler

Last week the House of Commons unanimously passed a private member’s bill to establish a national Holocaust monument. While it is a good thing to commemorate the suffering of Jews in Europe, it is important to point out that uncritical support for Israel is part of the backdrop.

Edmonton Conservative MP, Tim Uppal, who introduced the private member’s bill, explained last year: ‘After I had decided on [accepting Minister Peter Kent’s proposal to put forward An Act to Establish a National Holocaust Monument], I ended up going to Israel with the Canada Israel Committee in July. Being there, and learning what I did about the Holocaust and Israel, just made me feel more reassured that this was the right thing to do and get this bill passed.’

Speaking in favour of the bill last week, Winnipeg NDP MP Jim Maloway also connected the planned monument to Israel. ‘I had the privilege and pleasure of traveling to Israel. . . . It was a very inspiring visit . . . I was amazed to see the progress made by Israel in turning deserts into productive lands and cultivating crops in the middle of the desert.’

Alongside its ardent support for Israel, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has promoted the commemoration of Nazi crimes and the idea that anti-Semitism is worse than other forms of oppression. Concurrently, they’ve repeatedly conflated criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

During a July 2007 meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Canada supported the appointment of a representative to the chair to report on anti-Semitism. Despite calls for a change in OSCE policy, Ottawa supported recognizing prejudice against Jews as a unique phenomenon, not one among many forms of bigotry. The OSCE meeting condemned all forms of racism, discrimination and ‘aggressive nationalism’ but added: ‘Recognizing its unique and historic character, [we] condemn anti-Semitism without reservation, whether expressed in a traditional manner or through new forms and manifestations.’

In mid-2009 the Conservatives created a National Task Force on Holocaust Research, Remembrance and Education. Headed by the fanatically pro-Israel group, B’nai Brith, the Conservatives invested $1 million in the project.

This Task Force was tied to a similar European initiative. In 2007 Ottawa applied to join the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, an organization that included 24 European nations and the U.S.. Created in 1998 the group promotes education of the genocide against European Jewry and ‘the unprecedented character of the Holocaust.’

An outgrowth of the Holocaust Task Force, the first ever Interparliamentary Coalition to Combat anti-Semitism meeting was held in London in February 2009. A number of conference participants expressed opposition to the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign and Canada’s representative, Minister Jason Kenney, said ‘The argument is with those whose premise is that Israel itself is an abomination and that the Jews alone have no right to a homeland. And in that sense anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.’

Last month Ottawa hosted and funded the second meeting of the Interparliamentary Coalition to Combat anti-Semitism. Prime Minister Harper told those gathered that ‘as long as I am prime minister, whether it is at the UN or the Francophonie or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand [in support of Israel], whatever the cost. Not just because it is the right thing to do, but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israeli mob tells us all too well, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are a threat to all of us.’

He went on to say that this ‘hateful ideology with global ambitions . . . targets the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish homeland, Israel, as the source of injustice and conflict in the world, and uses, perversely, the language of human rights to do so.’

Associated with the Interparliamentary Coalition to Combat anti-Semitism the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) was formed last year to investigate what it describes as ‘this oldest and most enduring of hatreds’. Yet Canada has changed significantly since Jews fleeing Hitler were refused entry and elite social clubs restricted their access. There is little anti-Semitism in Canada today, which even CPCCA architect, Irwin Cotler, has acknowledged.

The CPCCA is not designed to combat racism against Jews, but rather to undercut growing public support for the Palestinian cause. Cotler and Jason Kenney are trying to intimidate reporters, academics, union leaders and other public figures into staying away from criticizing Israel, lest they be accused of anti-Semitism.

In ‘The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering’, Norman Finkelstein argues that the American Jewish establishment has exploited the memory of the Nazi Holocaust for financial and political gain and to further the interests of Israel. Finkelstein claims that discussion of the Nazi Holocaust grew exponentially after the June 1967 Six Day war. Prior to that war, which provided a decisive service to U.S. geopolitical aims in the Middle East, the genocide of European Jewry was a topic largely relegated to private forums and among left wing intellectuals. Paralleling the U.S., the Nazi Holocaust was not widely discussed in Canada in the two decades after World War II. In fact, the Canadian Jewish Congress consciously avoided the subject.

Numerous other commentators also trace the established Jewish community’s interest in Nazi crimes to the Six Day War. ‘The 1967 war’. explained Professor Cyril Leavitt, ‘alarmed Canadian Jews. Increasingly, the Holocaust was invoked as a reminder of the need to support the Jewish state.’ President of the Vancouver Jewish Community Center, Sam Rothstein, concurred. ‘The 1967 war . . . was the one development that led to a commitment by community organizations to become more involved in Holocaust commemoration.’ Stephen Cummings, the founder of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center, said that ‘consciousness [of the Holocaust] has changed. Jews are much more proud, and that’s a post-1967 [phenomenon]. It was the event that gave Jews around the world confidence.’

Holocaust memorials proliferated after Israel smashed Egyptian-led pan-Arabism in six days of fighting. Nearly three decades after World War II, in 1972, the Canadian Jewish Congress and its local federations began to establish standing committees on the Nazi Holocaust. The first Canadian Holocaust memorial was established in Montreal in 1977.

Nazi crimes, particularly Canada’s various ties to these atrocities, should be widely studied and commemorated.

The Nazi Holocaust, however, should not be used as ideological cover for Israeli crimes. That is an injustice to Palestinians and an insult to Hitler’s victims.

Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy. For more information visit yvesengler.com.

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Israeli Criticism of Zionism by Ed Corrigan

Israeli Criticism of Zionism and of Israel’s Treatment of the Palestinians:

http://truthseeker313.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/israeli-criticism-of-zionism-and-of-israels-treatment-of-the-palestinians/

by Ed Corrigan
(for detailed footnotes go to weblink above)
Posted: August 20, 2010 by truthseeker313 in EXPOSE, Israel, TRUTH
By Edward C. Corrigan

There are many Israeli critics of Zionism and anti-Zionist Jews in Israel where the conflict with the Palestinians is most apparent.[1] In 1975 journalist Charles Glass estimated that 58 percent of Israel’s Jewish population fell into the antiZionist category. Most of this opposition was of a “leftist” variety. However, Glass also stated that “they represent 50 percent of the only significant debate in the country.”[2]

 

Yeshayahu Leibowitz, the renowned scholar of Judaism and philosophy and the editor of several volumes of the Encyclopedia Hebraica had the following to say about Zionism and Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians:

The big crisis of the Jewish people is that the overwhelming majority of the Jews genuinely desire to be Jewish but they have no content for their Judaism other than a piece of colored rag attached to the end of a pole and a military uniform. The consciousness and the desire to be Jewish did not vanish, rather they are transformed today into a JudeoNazi mentality.[3]

Gideon Levy, the highly regarded columnist from the Israeli daily Haaretz, has also made a comparison between Germany in the 1930′s and Israel today.

Thus comparing Germany of the 1920s and early ’30s to Israel at the start of the third millennium is not only permissible but imperative for gaining an insight into how barbarous regimes develop, grasping the differences (and there are many profound ones), and discerning the similarities, which ought to worry us.[4]

Another Israeli intellectual Yitzhak Laor in an article, “The soft underbelly and the victim,” published in Haaretz also makes an interesting allusion to the past.

The name of this Israeli ethos is “who are you to tell us?” We are destroying Arab East Jerusalem? Who are you to tell us that it is wrong? We killed masses of Palestinians in Gaza? Who are you to tell us anything? We have maintained a brutal dictatorship in the territories for 42 years longer than any other military occupation of the postWorld War II era? Who are you to tell us? We’re allowed. We’re your victims. The past belongs to us. We will do as we please with it.[5]

Here is what Gideon Levy writes on the prevalence of racism in Israeli society:

Now that we can use the term “racism,” the time has come to admit our society is absolutely racist, that all its components are racist. The legal system, for example, is no less tainted than Petah Tikva’s Morasha school. In many cases there is one law for a Jew and another for an Arab. The Bank of Israel, a state institution no less than the Morasha school, with 900 employees, has always been “clean” of Arab employees except sometimes one or two. Some 70,000 Israeli citizens, all Arab of course, are living in unrecognized villages, without electricity or running water, without an access road and sometimes without a school. Why? Because they are Arabs. Every week at soccer matches we hear racist epithets and chants, the kind teams in Europe are severely penalized for. Here, the referees do not even bother reporting them….

And we have said nothing yet about the attitude toward foreign workers, the occupation (the greatest racist curse) nor about the attitude toward Mizrahim since the founding of the state. The list is long and shameful.[6]

Here are the words of Yael Lotan, another Israeli author and journalist, on the subject of racism and criticism of Israel.

It should be perfectly legitimate to criticize Israel. Giving it uncritical, unqualified support in all its actions, its violations of dozens of UN Security Council resolutions, its policy of assassination and destruction that is a racist position, a position that says “Arabs don’t count, Arabs have no rights, Arabs are vermin and whatever is done to them in Palestine, Syria, Iraq or Lebanon is legitimate. And Islam is the same as Fascism.”

Now that is real antiSemitism.[7]

There was an interesting book review published in Haaretz, on February 29, 2008, written by Tom Segev. It was a review of a book titled, When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? (published by Resling in Hebrew). It is authored by Israeli historian Shlomo Zand (also spelled Sand). Prof. Zand teaches history at Tel Aviv University. The book became a best seller in Israel.[8] Segev writes:

…in one of the most fascinating and challenging books published here in a long time. There never was a Jewish people, only a Jewish religion, and the exile also never happened hence there was no return. Zand rejects most of the stories of nationalidentity formation in the Bible, including the exodus from Egypt and, most satisfactorily, the horrors of the conquest under Joshua. It’s all fiction and myth that served as an excuse for the establishment of the State of Israel, he asserts.[9]

This information and arguments have been around for a long time but it is interesting to see them published in one of Israel’s leading daily newspapers and presented in a best seller written by an Israeli historian.[10] Segev summarizes the arguments in Zand’s book as referencing many existing studies on groups that converted to Judaism, “some of which were written in Israel but shunted out of the central discourse.” According to Segev the book describes the Jewish kingdom of Himyar in the southern Arabian Peninsula, the Jewish Berbers in North Africa, Jews in Spain that arose from the Arab conquest, and Europeanborn individuals who had also become Jews. Zand also discusses the large Jewish Khazar Kingdom in the Caucasus. Segev writes,

We find, then, that the members of a variety of peoples and races, blond and black, brown and yellow, became Jews in large numbers. According to Zand, the Zionist need to devise for them a shared ethnicity and historical continuity produced a long series of inventions and fictions, along with an invocation of racist theses. Some were concocted in the minds of those who conceived the Zionist movement, while others were offered as the findings of genetic studies conducted in Israel.[11]

It is somewhat ironic that issues and subjects that relate to the Palestinians and Zionism that are virtually taboo in North America are openly discussed in Israel. These same subjects are much more openly discussed in Europe and in the rest of the World.[12]

The journalist Gideon Levy wrote the following commentary on Zionism and the Israeli Left in the Israeli daily Haaretz. Can you ever imagine seeing a similar opinion piece in the mainstream North American media? Levy wrote:

And what is Zionism nowadays? An archaic and outdated concept born in a different reality, a vague and delusive concept marking the difference between the permitted and the proscribed. Does Zionism mean settlement in the territories? Occupation? The legitimization of every act of violence and injustice? The left stammered. Any statement critical of Zionism, even the Zionism of the occupation, was considered a taboo that the left did not dare break. The right grabbed a monopoly on Zionism, leaving the left with its selfrighteousness.

A Jewish and democratic state? The Zionist left said yes automatically, fudging the difference between the two and not daring to give either priority. Legitimization for every war? The Zionist left stammered again yes to the beginning and no to the continuation, or something like that. Solving the refugee problem and the right of return? Acknowledgment of the wrongdoing of 1948? Unmentionable. This left has now, rightly, reached the end of its road.[13]

One of the most prominent Israeli critics is Avi Shlaim. He is professor of international relations at Oxford University. Shlaim is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and the author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World and many other books.[14] Shlaim has commented on the character of the debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in North America,

On the other side of the Atlantic, on the other hand, the public debate on the subject of Israel is much more fierce and partisan, leaving relatively little space for the dignity of difference. The passion with which many prominent American Jews defend Israel betrays an atavistic attitude of “my country, right or wrong.”[15]

In an article published in the International Herald Tribune the Oxford professor addressed the question, “Is Zionism today the real enemy of the Jews?” His answer was Yes:

Sharon’s government is waging a savage war against the Palestinian people. Its policies include the confiscation of land; the demolition of houses; the uprooting of trees; curfews, roadblocks and 736 checkpoints that inflict horrendous hardships; the systematic abuse of Palestinian human rights; and the building of the illegal wall on the West Bank, a wall that is as much about landgrabbing as it is about security.

It is this brand of cruel Zionism that is the real enemy of what remains of liberal Israel and of the Jews outside Israel. It is the enemy because it fuels the flames of virulent and sometimes violent antiSemitism. Israel’s policies are the cause; hatred of Israel and antiSemitism are the consequences . . .

Israel’s image today is negative not because it is a Jewish state but because it habitually transgresses the norms of acceptable international behavior. Indeed, Israel is increasingly perceived as a rogue state, as an international pariah, and as a threat to world peace.

This perception of Israel is a major factor in the recent resurgence of antiSemitism in Europe and in the rest of the world. In this sense, Zionism today is the real enemy of the Jews. It is a tragedy that a state that was built as a haven for the Jewish people after the Holocaust is now one of the least safe places on earth for Jews to live in. Israel ought to withdraw from the occupied territories not as a favor to the Palestinians but as a favor to itself and to world Jewry for, as Karl Marx noted, “a people that oppresses another cannot itself remain free.”[16]

After Israel launched its attack on Gaza on December 27, 2009 Shlaim published the following statement criticizing Israel’s actions.

The only way to make sense of Israel’s senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by “an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders”. I used to think that this judgment was too harsh but Israel’s vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the Bush administration’s complicity in this assault, have reopened the question.. . .

This brief review of Israel’s record over the past four decades makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that it has become a rogue state with “an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders”. A rogue state habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practises terrorism the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfils all of these three criteria; the cap fits and it must wear it. Israel’s real aim is not peaceful coexistence with its Palestinian neighbours but military domination. It keeps compounding the mistakes of the past with new and more disastrous ones. Politicians, like everyone else, are of course free to repeat the lies and mistakes of the past. But it is not mandatory to do so.[17]

Many other Israelis also protested the Israeli assault on Gaza. For example there is a letter from 22 prominent Israelis who published an appeal in The Guardian. They wrote:

We, as Israeli citizens, raise our voices to call on EU leaders: use sanctions against Israel’s brutal policies and join the active protests of Bolivia and Venezuela. We appeal to the citizens of Europe: please attend to the Palestinian Human Rights Organisation’s call, supported by more than 540 Israeli citizens (http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/): boycott Israeli goods and Israeli institutions; follow resolutions such as those made by the cities of Athens, Birmingham and Cambridge (US). This is the only road left. Help us all, please!”[18]

Judge Richard Goldstone’s UN Commission of Inquiry which investigated the December 27, 2008 Israeli attack on Gaza and the Palestinian response made a number of findings that were critical of both Israel and Hamas. As reported in the New York Times, when, “Asked about accusations that he was antiIsrael,” Judge Goldstone acknowledged he was Jewish and said, “It is grossly wrong to label a mission or to label a report critical of Israel as being antiIsrael.”[19] While the UN Commission of Inquiry was widely attacked in Israel there were a number of Israelis who supported its critical findings.[20]

One of the most outspoken and courageous Israeli journalists is Amira Hass. Since 2000, Amira Hass has been the only Jewish Israeli reporter living in Occupied Palestine – formerly in Gaza City, and now based out of Ramallah. She is a correspondent for the Israeli daily Haaretz.[i]


 

There are many Israeli academics and intellectuals who are extremely critical of Zionism and of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.[21] To quote a study published by a group affiliated with the Israel Academia Monitor:

…The opinions and claims of Israel academics against Jews, Zionism and Israel are discussed and analyzed in this study. It is estimated that some 20 to 25% of people who teach the Humanities and Social Sciences in Israel’s universities and colleges have expressed extreme antiZionist positions, largely, though not exclusively, in regard to Israel’s policies and actions visàvis the Arab Palestinians . . . [22]

The fact is that many Israelis academics and activists have voiced strong criticism of Zionism and Israeli state policy toward the Palestinians.

Occupation Magazine which is published by a group of anti-Occupation Israelis has an archive of over 36,000 articles, many written by anti-occupation Israelis and Jews from around the world.[88] It also provides links to dozens of Israeli human rights organizations, many not listed in this article.[89] These Israeli human rights organizations include B’Tselem,[90] Machsom Watch,[91] Rabbis for Human Rights,[92] and The Israeli Public Committee Against Torture,[93] Yesh Gvul, the movement for soldiers of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories[94] and Refusniks, young Israelis who refuse to serve in the Israeli military.[95] For a collection of Israeli opposition to Zionism and opposition to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians one can review The Other Israel: Voices of Refusal and Dissent, edited by Roane Carey and Jonathan Shainin. It contains articles very critical of Israel’s policies, written by 27 prominent Israelis. The Forward was written by a prominent Israeli author and journalist Tom Segev.[96]

The list of writers in The Other Israel include Ami Ayalon, former head of Israel’s General Security Service or Shin Bet; Yigal Bonner professor at Tel Aviv University; author David Grossman; Aviv Lavie Haaretz media reporter; attorney Shamai Leibowitz; Ishai Menuchin, a major in the Israeli Defense Forces Reserves and head of Yesh Gvul (the Israelis organization of selective refusal); Dr. Yigal Shocat former Surgeon General for the Israeli Airforce; Gila Svirsky chair of B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories; and Sergio Yahni co-director of the Alternative Information Centre, among others already cited in this article.[97]

There is a growing concern amongst some Israelis that there is a growing rift between diaspora Jews and Israeli Jews. Professor Yehezkel Dror, the founding president of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI), “offered a somber take on relations between Israel and Diaspora Jewry” and pointed “the finger of blame at Israel’s leadership for the growing rift between the two.” Professor Dror stated that, “There is no ignoring the fact . . . that at the heart of the rift between Israel and Jewish communities abroad lies the notion that Diaspora youth have a negative views of Israel politically, nationally and socially.” [98]

Gideon Levy in an interview with Mario Vargas Llosa, the prizewinning Peruvian writer and a laureate of the prestigious Jerusalem Prize, published in Haaretz quoted the distinguished author saying that “only the dissidents will save the State of Israel.”[99]

Other critical voices from Israel’s academia and activists circles include the late Professor Israel Shahak former Chair of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights;[23] the late Baruch Kimmerling, Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem;[24] retired Anthropology professor Jeff Halper now head of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions;[25] Tel Aviv University professor Gary Sussman;[26] Felica Langer, a well known human rights lawyer who left Israel and now resides in Germany;[27] Michael Warschawski, co-founder of the Alternative Information Center;[28] Eitan Bronstein Chair of Zochrot, which means “Remember,” and works to remind Israelis about the Nakba or Palestinian catastrophe;[29] the late linguist and journalist Tanya Reinhart, Professor of theoretical linguistics and Media and Cultural Studies at Tel Aviv University and at the University of Utrecht;[30] the late Victoria Buch professor at Hebrew University;[31] Avi Kleinberg, professor of History at Tel Aviv University;[32] Dr. Yossi Dahan, Chair of the Adva Centre, manager of the Human Rights Division at the Academic College of Law in Ramat Gan, and an editor of Ha’Oketz;[33] author Gershom Gorenberg;[34] Sammy Smooha a sociologist who served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Haifa;[35] Yossi Swartz professor at the Tel Aviv University Law School;[36] Allegra Pacheco, an Israeli human rights attorney, noted for prosecuting the first Israeli torture trial;[37] Rabbi Arik Ascherman, head of Rabbis for Human Rights; [38] Hannah Mermelstein, cofounder and codirector of Birthright Unplugged;[39] Carlo Strenger, professor of psychology at Tel Aviv University;[40] Oren Yiftachel, Geography professor Ben-Gurion University;[41] New Israeli Historian Ilan Pappe, presently the Chair of the History Department at the University of Essex in England, and formerly of history department of the University of Haifa in Israel;[42] world renown author Jacobo Timerman;[43] Neve Gordon Chair of the Political Science Department at Ben-Gurion University;[44] Avraham Oz, associate professor of theater at the University of Haifa;[45] Dror Etkes, who headed Peace Now’s Settlements Watch Project for five years and now heads the Land Advocacy Project of Yesh Din, a group working against violation of Palestinians’ rights by settlers;[46] Erik Schechter, the former military correspondent for The Jerusalem Post;[47] Yosefa Loshitzky, Professor of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at the University of East London;[48] Yacov Ben Efrat of Challenge Magazine;[49] Amos Oz, who Steven Plaut describes as “arguably Israel’s bestknown writer;”[50] and another famous Israeli writer with an international reputation, A.B. Yehoshua;[51] Tikva Honig-Parnass, editor of Between the Lines;[52] author and journalist Amnon Kapeliouk;[53] Oren Ben-Dor, professor of Legal and Political Philosophy at the School of Law, University of Southampton, UK;[54] Gilad Atzmon, author of two books and numerous articles, and also one of the most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe;[55] prolific writer Israel Shamir;[56] Amia Lieblich, professor of Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of numerous books on the psychology of Israeli society including Tin Soldiers on Jerusalem Beach;[57] Haaretz columnist Nehema Shtrasler;[58] IsraeliAmerican human rights lawyer Sari Bashi;[59] Adam Atsan an IsraeliAmerican who is involved in Kesher Enoshi: Progressives For Activism in Israel;[60] author Akiva Orr;[61] David Newman, professor of political geography at BenGurion University and editor of the International journal, Geopolitics;[62] author Susan Nathan;[63] author and journalist Yael Lotan;[64] Israeli Television correspondent Yigal Laviv;[65] professor of political science at Tel Aviv university Ze’ev Maoz;[66] Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken;[67] Haaretz editor Danny Rubinstein;[68] and Yitzhak Laor, one of Israel’s most distinguished poets, novelists and a longtime editor and writer for the daily newspaper Haaretz, who also edits an independent journal of literature and political thought, Mita’am;[69] Adi Opir professor of philosophy at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University and also a fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute;[70] Akiva Eldar, Israeli journalist and author, currently chief political columnist and editorial writer for Haaretz;[71] journalist Meron Rapoport;[72] an orthodox Jewish studies professor who writes under the nom de plume of Jeremiah (Jerry) Haber and runs the Magnes Zionist blog;[73] B. Michael one of Israel’s most respected journalists who until recently with writing for Yedioth Aharonoth;[74] Ran HaCohen professor at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Comparative Literature and a literary critic for the Israeli daily Yedioth Achronoth;[75] journalist Shraga Elam;[76] Hillel Cohen Research Fellow at the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem;[77] Haaretz journalist and editorial Board member Avirama Golan;[78] Shai Lahav Editor of the art and culture supplement to Ma’ariv, the country’s most rightwing newspaper;[79] journalist and former IDF conscript Seth Freeman;[80] Yehouda Shenhav professor at Tel Aviv University and the editor of Theory Criticism, an Israeli journal in the area of critical theory and cultural studies;[81] Eyal Sivan, one of Israel’s leading film makers;[82] Elana Maryles Sztokman, author, educator, writer, researcher and regular contributor to The Jerusalem Post;[83] Adam Keller journalist and a founder of The Other Israel;[84] and Gideon Spiro, a former Israeli Sergeant and journalist;[85] Israeli Professor Ada Yonath 2009 Nobel Prize winner for chemistry;[86] to name only a few of the many Israelis who are anti-Zionist, non-Zionist or extremely critical of Zionism and Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.[87]

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