learning from israel

It still works: yelling ‘Antisemitism!’ as soon as the Israeli apartheid regime is being criticized. It works in Germany, it works in France, and most of all it works in the United States. One of the recent cases involves the City Council of Seattle. They voted down 5-4 a bill that would have prohibited the city’s police department from conducting training with Israel’s military or police forces. Up till now more than a thousand senior US police officers have participated in such a training, hoping to see what the Israeli counterterrorism and security practices can teach them for the repression at home.

According to Forward (Forverts) the initial idea of banning the Seattle police from training by Israeli forces “was later modified to ban training with the military or police of any country that is not party to certain international human rights treaties, or that has been found by an international court or the United Nations to have violated human rights conventions.

Human rights groups as well as the United Nations General Assembly have accused Israel of violating the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that ‘the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.’”

Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Zionist group that has campaigned against the police exchanges, supported the legislation. The local Jewish federation as well as the Anti-Defamation League, which runs police delegations to Israel, opposed it. As happens so often in similar cases, the Zionist supporters succeeded in turning the debate in the City Council to the question whether the proposal was antisemitic or not – and you all know: there’s no stronger discursive weapon in North America or Western Europe than the accusation of antisemitism.

Forward also mentions two other recently failed initiatives against Israeli apartheid and colonialism: “Two weeks ago, the Burlington, Vermont, city council voted to withdraw a resolution to boycott Israel. Last week, the teachers union in Los Angeles voted to “indefinitely” delay a boycott vote.” But the good news is that these initiatives have been taken at all. And in fact, not a week passes without Forward (top title: Jewish. Fearless. Since 1897.) mentioning initiatives of Jewish US citizens to criticize the Israeli occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territory and the apartheid regime it imposes.

This may suggest that finally cracks and fissures are appearing in the for a long time overwhelming consensus in the US American hearts and minds that it is OK for Israel to chase and kill Palestinians. Opposing the apartheid system necessarily involves decolonising the mind. The success of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement against the South African apartheid regime in the 1980’s could be a source of inspiration. In the US, as in many other countries, the coalitions of (African-American) grassroots movements, college students, NGO’s, churches and political organisations eventually forced politicians and governments to impose economic and cultural sanctions and to cut ties with companies and institutions that held interests and partnerships in South Africa. And this could happen, Mohammad Shabangu writes in The possibility of thought, because “although initially a tough sell to a certain generation of white Americans, BDS eventually managed to position itself not only as a legitimate response to human rights violations in South Africa, but also as a moral obligation to ‘decent Americans.’”

Mohammad Shabangu is a South African academic who currently teaches contemporary world literature at an elite liberal arts college in Maine, USA. He acknowledges that a significant number of his students – although they might be sympathetic towards the South African BDS movement that they themselves have never known – would consider BDS in relation to Israel to be anti-semitically inflected. “The ultimate task would be to get them to be confident with the notion that denouncing Israel or Zionism and their own country’s endorsement of Israeli policies cannot be equated with disfavoring or hating Jews/Judaism, …”. But at the same time, he realizes that “many Americans simply do not know—and indeed how could they, given the navel-gazing posture of US news networks—that in reality the actual victims of the Israeli state’s aggression are the five million Palestinians who are violently evicted from their homes twice and thrice over decades; who are rendered stateless; who have lived through a lifetime of collective punishment, afflicted by merciless killings of innocent civilians like flies to wanton boys; affected by checkpoints that impede freedom of movement; relegated to what amounts to crowded bantustans, permanently walled in and encircled by an Israeli military that hunts them down and periodically airstrikes them while they sleep, destroying swaths of residential units in the process. They don’t really know about Israel’s targeted destruction of economic and administrative infrastructure such as water and electricity supplies; they surely must not know about the pleasure and sense of accomplishment Israel derives from that, just so a few hundred settlers can claim their share of yet more illegally occupied territory. And through all of this, Israel can count on unconditional subsidy from US taxes. They cannot begin to imagine the scale of the crimes against humanity that this silence has upheld for decades.”

As far as I can see, the informational situation in Western Europe is but slightly better than in the US. The mainstream media only pay attention to the occupation and colonisation when something visually attractive happens in the ‘conflict’ between Israel and the Palestinians: some violence, some destruction, some sympathetic victim. That’s why, when it comes to Palestine and Israel, BDS still has to work on the decolonisation of the minds, on making Israel and its propaganda machine lose grip on public opinion, on trying to understand the complexity and complicacy of the Palestinian situation, … in short, “to think of BDS as an invitation to think, and think again”, as Shabangu calls it. The BDS movement may be under fire from the state apparatus in several Western European countries, but on the other hand, the millions of dollars yearly spent by the Israeli government to counter it, have not been able to stop it yet.

At the end of the 1970’s I distributed through the trade union where I did my civilian service a huge poster ‘No to Outspan Oranges from South Africa’, showing a black boy’s head squeezed upon a juicer.

And look what happened! A few years later apartheid in South Africa was (officially) over – partially thanks to international solidarity and the efforts of BDS in the rest of the world. What was possible then, should be possible now. The basic continuous effort this requires is countering the allegation that critique on Israeli colonisation and apartheid amounts to Jew hatred.

Une réflexion sur “learning from israel

  1. As an Israeli, my blog seeks to implant a vision of how Israelis can successfully rule our homelands. Three basic visions: (1) Establish the Torah as the Written Constitution of the Jewish Republic of States. (2) Establish the Federal Court System by building the 6 Cities of Refuge. The foundation of Israeli justice stands upon trying and imposing justice to compensate for damages inflicted upon other Jews in an immediate manner. Unlike Western systems which build prisons, Israeli justice limits the power of imposing fines strictly to judicial authorities. Persons guilty of physical damages can receive lashes. Capital Crimes cases can result in one of 4 types of dead penalties. (3) Building a wide and deep canal which connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Salt Sea. The purpose and objective of this canal, to maintain the integrity of the salt sea. To convert water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. To introduces these gases, combined with sand or salt, back into the atmosphere with the intention to cause rain to fall in the deserts of Sinai and the Sahara, to cause the desert of the Sinai and North Africa to bloom.

    The Post 6 Day War formulation of an EU anti-Zionism Foreign Policy.
    The anti-Zionist campaign in Poland began in the summer of 1967 following the outbreak of the Six Day Arab-Israeli war, but reached its main and most dramatic stage in the spring of 1968. In the summer of 1967 the Cold War and political subordination to Moscow caused the Communist leaders of Poland to side with the Arab States of Middle East. Two weeks later, the Polish communist party leader Wladyslaw Gomulka introduced a domestic, anti-Jewish dimension into the ongoing anti- Israeli campaign, by comparing Polish Jews sympathetic to Israel to a subversive “fifth column” and claiming that “one should have only one fatherland.”

    This 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict served as the means of strategic planners in France to build an idol image. Which casts Israeli soldiers and the State of Israel as an enemy to be fought both in the Middle East and on French soil. Such a representation of Israel and the Jews, shared but not limited or restricted to the French Left in the 1960s and 1970s, the Christian Left, close to the newspaper Témoignage Chrétien and the “second left” like the PSU (Parti Socialiste Unifié). These groups took the side of the Balestinians, and portrayed them as martyrs of the Jews. The Christian Left also supported anti-Zionist actions, and Zionism pictured as a new form of colonialism (following the seminal article of French orientalist Maxime Rodinson “Israël, fait colonial?” published in 1967).

    The British take of post 1967 Israel … London perceived Israel as a hegemonic regional power closely allied with the USA. Twentieth-century Orthodox Jews, similarly opposed and depised the Zionist agenda; condemned for its efforts to inspire Jews to make aliya to “our” homeland, embrace “our” history as the Cohen nation, that governs “our” ancestral homelands through righteous court achieved justice among “our” diverse peoples.

    Based upon the Pesach song Dayenu (דינו), the faith of keeping Shabbot; that Jews maintain and keep “our” Joy. HaShem will remember the sworn oath cut at the Brit between the Pieces, and redeem g’lut Jewry from foreign oppression and injustice; Rabbi Akiva laughed when he saw the fox depart from the destroyed Holy of Holies for this exact reason.

    Post WWll, France pretended that it had never surrendered to the Nazis, and in fact had won the war; its pulling this rabbbit out of a hat, occurred through the demand to sit as a permanent member of the US Security Council. Much like Egyptian Arabs revisionist historians pretend that Egypt won the Yom Kippur war in 1973.

    Except for the period of the Algerian War to maintain the old French empire, when its interests embraced Israel during the 1956 Suez crisis, specifically, the French far right embraced a fervent anti-Zionist perspective. Today Paris rushes to the aid of the Arab world (from Palestine to Iraq). The French perceive and feel threatened by Israeli dominance in the Middle East. French propaganda now labels the Jewish state as an instrument of international capitalism.

    The attempts to “poison the wells”, how the public should view the post 1967 State of Israel, does not limit itself to EU Capitals. Revisionist historians and philosophers introduced a sham Left\Right subterfuge to camouflage hostility to an Independent Jewish state which did not require the support of some Foreign Great Power to maintain its national independence.

    Judith Butler, an American philosopher in the field of political philosophy & ethics, compared Hamas and Hezbollah as “social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left.”[[Petra Marquardt-Bigman, “Defending Judith Butler in The Ivory Tower”, The Algemeiner Journal, September 7, 2012.]] Ms. Butler later justified this opinion, as reported by the Progressive Judaism anti-Zionist publication Mondoweiss (Archived from the original on December 28, 2012): “”… those political organizations define themselves as anti-imperialist, and anti-imperialism is one characteristic of the global left, so on that basis one could describe them as part of the global left.””

    No. Anti-imperialism does not limit itself, restricted only to the ‘global left’. This patently false declaration hides the Right\Left sham schism. Nation States have interests. The unique interests particular to each and every Nation State, all governments strive to protect and defend these national interests — independent of any so-called Right\Left sham schism.

    In 19th Century British politics, for example, prior to even a whiff of Socialism, the sham schism which divided British Party Politics, centered upon the division between the Liberal vs. the Conservative Parties. The two Party system which defines American Politics deceives the sheeple with a similar sham schism. Both Democrat Johnson and Republican Nixon expanded the US war of imperialism in SouthEast Asia. Government, like a ship at sea, maintains the course which its strategic interests dictate. Irrespective of which Party dominates a particular National Government, following a so-called democratic election.

    Anti-Zionists portray Israel as a corrupt racist, settler colonialism state that has no redeeming qualities. This opinion closely resembles the justifications for the “Final Solution”. European Anti-Zionism resembles the 1967 3 ‘No’s of Khartoum. (1) Removal of the Samaria separation barriers which separates Israelis from the captured Balestinian refugee populations. (2) Implementation of a so-called right for all Balestinian refugees, together with all generations born thereafter, to return to Israel. (3) A guarantee of legal equality of Arabs refugee populations as equals to Jewish citizens of Israel.

    For over 2000 years stateless Jewish refugees never witnessed anything close to these conditions. Yet anti-Zionist Capitals across the EU, Russia, the US, and UN, as a simple matter of routine, they condemn Israel for its stiff necked intransigance and Apartheid.

    As previously expressed in an earlier article, Washington exploited the “Racism card” (held up its sleeve). In that ‘poker game’, Washington destroyed both South Africa and Libya’s gold based economies, to protect the US petro-dollar monopoly. In all matters of strategic State interests, Government leaders compare to a whore in church; who preaches fire and brimstone sermons that crucifies the flock. That imposes harsh demands, which condemns them for their failure to uphold the values of chastity, virtue, and modesty.

    Anti-Zionist rhetoric propaganda seeks to uphold Israel unto some pie in the sky: “higher moral values”. The “congregations” of its own nationals and Leaders, never once has anyone sought to impose such outrageous demands. But should Israel fail to maintain these ‘higher moral obligations’, this proves conclusively that the Devil inspired and established the Jewish State!

    Only 6% of the separation barrier, build as a response to Arab bus bombings of children school buses, exists as a Wall. Yet the propaganda MSM media, which these hostile countries promote, continually refer to the separation barrier as both abhorrent, unjust, and a Wall. Picture rhetoric of a high imposing Wall, plays on the ‘tear down the Berlin Wall’ sentimentality of the ignorant sheeple masses who support the efforts to boycott Israel.

    The BDS website in October 2015 announced a broad goal of turning Israel into “a pariah state”. A more recent publication:
    [[https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/04/27/threshold-crossed/israeli-authorities-and-crimes-apartheid-and-persecution]]
    condemns Israel for disrespecting the “rights” of stateless foreign refugee populations captured as a result of the 1967 victory.

    A 2016 article summarizes how Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Balestinian Rights.
    [[https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/01/19/occupation-inc/how-settlement-businesses-contribute-israels-violations]]. Never once does this tuma ilk of propaganda ever ask two basic & simple questions. (1) Did Jordan attack and invade Israel in 1967? (2) Did all UN member States, except for Britain and Pakistan – in 1950 – condemn and denounce as illegal the Jordanian nationalization of Israeli Samaria?

    Propaganda rhetoric stands upon the basic assumption of guilt. All the UN General Assembly condemnations from Zionism is Racism etc., stand on this cracked foundation. Israel has become a phobia (defined as an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation) of the propaganda organs of the mass media news of virtually all countries; whose imperialism strategic objectives centers upon carving up the Middle East into ‘Spheres of Influence’ divided and distributed between the Great Powers – like as occurred following the Allied victory in WWl, and the division of China in the late 19th Century.

    The fog of anti-Zionist propaganda immediately collapses unto clarity, by asking a simple question. Based upon the Israeli unilateral withdrawal of about 6000 ‘settlers’ from Gaza, what would happen if Israel withdrew the some 600,000 ‘settlers’ from Samaria and East Jerusalem; an action required to create a Balestinian country?

    Anyone familiar with the near Civil War disaster of the Gaza unilateral withdrawal experiment, knows – without the slightest doubt – any attempt to unilaterally impose a similar decree upon the Israelis living in Samaria and East Jerusalem, would result in a catastrophic Jewish Civil War. The first rule upon which all Israeli government’s stand – the first cause of successful government: to prevent Jewish Civil War between ourselves. Israel needs a Lebanese or Syrian Civil War, like it needs a 45 slug shot between its eyes!

    If Israel collapsed into political chaos and social anarchy, foreign soldiers from the EU, Russia, the United States and UN would not immediately “occupy” and govern this “territory” that had collapsed into total Civil War? If Israeli society fell upon itself into brutal cannibalism, Egypt, Jordan, and other Arab countries would not likewise strive to reconquer “Arab” territory?

    A short discussion of the 2 State abomination which the British imposed as their price for India to attain political Independence as a nation.

    Over 1 million people died in this imposed 2 State solution. So when Europeans cry about Peace and Justice – Just know European defrocked Great Powers only seek fraud.

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