Israel is a settler nation, a nation created from cleansing the natives from the territory they sought to occupy. Israel became a nation in 1948, a homeland for Jews in the ancient land of Israel, a land where they could live in peace and security. The story most people heard was a positive one. The true story was and is different. Israel was founded by and lives on terror. To read more about it than I am able to provide in this short blog, read “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” by Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, available in both paper and Kindle.
Looking back through Jewish history, one wonders how a people who have suffered pogroms and the horror of Hitler’s effort to cleanse Europe of all Jews recreate the horror against another people. It’s easy. Divide the world into “us” and “them,” see “them” as being in your way, and go from there. “We” are humans; “they” are are in our way. Jewish militias set out to cleanse the land of its indigenous Arab Palestinian population, home invasions, destruction of villages, and massacres. Upwards of 800,000 Palestinians fled to Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt’s Gaza Strip. There is no right to return to their homeland. Within Israel itself, Palestinians live second class lives. Recently Haaretz daily newspaper reported that Israel’s school system remains separate and unequal. going on to report that Arab (Palestinian) teacher trainees in Galilee receive half the budget of their Jewish peers.
Israeli society is built on racial and ethnic prejudice. If you are Jewish, you have privilege; if you are Palestinian, you have no right to complain or show anger. If you do, you may be killed or thrown in jail, some times for a long time. “Are Israeli soldiers human?” a little girl asks a neighbor. “Why the question?” the neighbor replies.“They shoot children,” she says. All too often this is true if the children are Palestinian.
If you are Palestinian and own a home, you can be evicted if you add to it and fail to get a building permit, even though your family may have lived in the home for years. In the Palestinian village of Silwan, extremist settlers are moving in and taking over homes of Palestinians, some of whom have lived in their home for many years. Last year one family’s home was taken over because a Yemenite Jewish family had owned it in the 19th century. That’s what happens when a society is built on racism, violence and lies.
If this is not enough, Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of the city of Safed, advises Jews to “kill Palestinians to get closer to God.” Rabbi Shlomo Mlmad, the chairman of the so-called Council of Rabbis in West Bank settlements, calls on settlers to poison Palestinians through their water supply. Rabbi Benzion Mutzafi’s reply to the question if he was allowed to kick an insurgent (Palestinian) or shoot him in order to kill him after he has been arrested by saying “It is not only desirable to do so, but it is a religious duty that you hold his head down to the ground and hit him until his last breath.” http://www.daysofpalestine.com/news/israeli-rabbis-killing-palestinians-religious-duty/#sthash.GgbgqpxM.dpuf
If this is not enough, other right wing rabbis advise poisoning the water of the Palestinians in a rabbinical call for genocide. http://thearabdailynews.com/2016/06/27/zionists-poison-well/
Responding to these facts, Israelis lie, make accusations of anti-Semitism (expanded to include criticism of Israel as being anti-Semitic), and show self-pity. Here is a quote from Israel’s former UN Ambassador Ron Prosor: “I stand before you to speak the truth. Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, less than half a percent are truly free – and they are all citizens of Israel. Israeli Arabs are some of the most educated Arabs in the world. They are our leading physicians and surgeons, they are elected to our parliament, and they serve as judges on our Supreme Court. Millions of men and women in the Middle East would welcome these opportunities and freedoms.” In other words, all of the accusations against Israel are lies. Mr. Prosor is using one of Israel’s primary defenses, denial.
“Nonetheless,” Mr. Prosor continues, “nation after nation, will stand at this podium today and criticize Israel – the small island of democracy in a region plagued by tyranny and oppression.” Glaring self-pity and denial, even in the face of irrefutable evidence. “There is nothing wrong with us,” Mr. Prosor says, it is with the Palestinians and our critics.
If Israel continues to persecute its Palestinian citizens and the Palestinian residents of the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Gaza, the results will be a racist, totalitarian society that many will compare to Hitler’s Germany. Where hatred and abuse of others rules, freedom and justice never does. Will Israel wake up and change? Under its current leadership it will not.
I should come to your blog more often. In the UK I work with a charity called “BAX” which stands for British Arab exchange and one of the things it does is organise scholarships for young people in the Gaza strip to come over to England and study. It is heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time. One young lady told us of her time there during the 2014 violence and how the longing to be able to sleep was her dominant emotion. She had such grace and lack of drama in the way she spoke that the words have remained with me since that day.
Thank you, Peter, for your comment about BAX. I shudder at the thought of my children or grandchildren growing up in Gaza. My friend Ramzy Baroud has told me about his growing up there and learning to dodge bullets. Israel’s history is hideous. I see it as a vicious mafia type criminal enterprise that denies the presence of Palestinians in Israel by making them call themselves Arabs, and has rabbis that approve of raping Palestinian women because “they aren’t human”. I see PM Netanyahu as an international Mafia Don. We must stand in solidarity with Palestinians wherever they are. Thank you, once again, for sharing what you have.