A price tag attack in Beit Hanina, northeast Jerusalem. June 24, 2013.

A price tag attack in Beit Hanina, northeast Jerusalem. June 24, 2013. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi
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The youths of the Jewish state are attacking Palestinians in the streets of Jerusalem, just like gentile youths used to attack Jews in the streets of Europe. The Israelis of the Jewish state are rampaging on social networks, displaying hatred and a lust for revenge, unprecedented in its diabolic scope. Some unknown people from the Jewish state, purely based on his ethnicity. These are the children of the nationalistic and racist generation – Netanyahu’s offspring.

For five years now, they have been hearing nothing but incitement, scaremongering and supremacy over Arabs from this generation’s true instructor, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Not one humane word, no commiseration or equal treatment.

They grew up with the provocative demand for recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state,” and they drew the inevitable conclusions. Even before any delineation of what a “Jewish state” means – will it be a state that dons tefillin (phylacteries), kisses mezuzot (doorpost fixtures with prayer scrolls), sanctifies charms, closes down on the Sabbath and keeps strict kashrut laws? – the penny has dropped for the masses.

The mob was the first to internalize its true significance: a Jewish state is one in which there is room only for Jews. The fate of Africans is to be sent to the Holot detention center in the Negev, while that of Palestinians is to suffer from pogroms. That’s how it works in a Jewish state: only this way can it be Jewish.

In the Jewish state-in-the-making, there is no room even for an Arab who strives his utmost to be a good Arab, such as the writer Sayed Kashua. In a Jewish state, the chairman of the Knesset plenary session, MK Ruth Calderon (from Yesh Atid – the “center” of the political map, needless to say), cuts off Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al), who has just returned all shaken up from a visit to the family of the murdered Arab boy from Shoafat, impudently preaching to him that he must also refer to the three murdered Jewish teens (even after he did just that).

In a Jewish state, the High Court of Justice approves the demolition of a murder suspect’s family home even before his conviction. A Jewish state legislates racist and nationalist laws.

The media in the Jewish state wallows in the murder of three yeshiva students, while almost entirely ignoring the fates of several Palestinian youths of the same age who have been killed by army fire over the last few months, usually for no reason.

No one was punished for these acts – in the Jewish state there is one law for Jews and another for Arabs, whose lives are cheap. There is no hint of abiding by international laws and conventions. In the Jewish state, there is pity and humane feelings only for Jews, rights only for the Chosen People. The Jewish state is only for Jews.

The new generation growing in its shadow is a dangerous one, both to itself and its surroundings. Netanyahu is its education minister; the militaristic and nationalist media serves as its pedagogic epic poem; the education system that takes it to Auschwitz and Hebron serves as its guide.

The new sabra (native-born Israeli) is a novel species, prickly both on the outside and the inside. He has never met his Palestinian counterpart, but knows everything about him – the sabra knows he is a wild animal, intent only on killing him; that he is a monster, a terrorist.

He knows that Israel has no partner for peace, since this is what he’s heard countless times from Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. From Yair Lapid he’s heard that they are “Zoabis” – referring dismissively to MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad).

Being left wing or a seeker of justice in the Jewish state is deemed a crime, civil society is considered treacherous, true democracy an evil. In a Jewish state – dreamed of not only by the right wing but also by the supposed center-left, including Tzipi Livni and Lapid – democracy is blurred.

It’s not the skinheads that are the Jewish state’s main problem, it’s the sanctimonious eye-rollers, the thugs, the extreme right wing and the settlers. It’s not the margins but the mainstream, which is partly very nationalistic and partly indifferent.

In the Jewish state, there is no remnant of the biblical injunction to treat the minority or the stranger with justice. There are no more Jews left who marched with Martin Luther King or who sat in jail with Nelson Mandela. The Jewish state, which Israel insists the Palestinians recognize, must first recognize itself. At the end of the day, at the end of a terrible week, it seems that a Jewish state means a racist, nationalistic state, meant for Jews only.

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Sam Bahour Writes on Open Democracy

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Israel’s self constructed image is crumbling

July 3, 2014. Palestinians inspect damages following overnight Israeli air strike, in Gaza City. Nine Palestinians were wounded. Demotix/Yazan Majdi. All rights reserved.

 

The reignited cycle of violence in Palestine and Israel provides the Israeli government with exactly what it has been begging for months for, violence. However, for once, Israel may be facing a new fact of life—as the sole military power in the conflict, it has the full ability to start a widespread campaign of violence, but it may no longer be the party who single-handedly decides how it ends. This particular round of violence has the potential to surprisingly end with political progress towards peace.

If this new, heartbreaking round of violence is what finally brings an end to the 46 years of Israeli military occupation, then the 11 Israelis and Palestinians who so brutally lost their lives this past two weeks would not have died in vain.

I refer not of the usual violence that the world has become numb to, such as 46 years of military occupation of Palestinians and their lands, nor the cries of desperation from Gaza that are stupidly expressed by misguided militants launching unguided, homemade-like projectiles indiscriminately into Israeli cities, but rather an escalation in violence that allows Israel to open the only playbook it knows in managing the conflict, one based on more violence.

This sad round of yet more Palestinian-Israeli violence is creating a nightmare scenario for the Israeli government. The extremist parts of the Jewish Israeli community and Jewish diaspora, particularly American Jews, are being seen in the open and across social media venues calling for Israel to ‘Kill all the Arabs’ and ‘Bomb Gaza into a parking lot’. Worse yet, Jewish Israelis are suspected of perpetrating a horrendous hate crime in Jerusalem, the murder, mutilation, and burning of a 16 year old Palestinian Jerusalemite who was walking home from morning prayers. The world is getting a peek into the Israel that Palestinians have been complaining about forever.

Shockingly, to the west, some of the violent outbursts coming out of Israel are being made by senior Israeli officials, including current ministers. Assuming the situation on the ground settles down, the damage done to Israel’s manufactured image of being a society aligned with western values has already been permanently disfigured, even given that the majority of Israelis, like the majority of Palestinians, deplore all the recent senseless killings. The current moment is possibly creating an opening for political progress if the international community acts expeditiously.

Maybe for the first time since Jewish terrorists in 1946 planted explosives in the King David Hotel, killing 91 and wounding 46 persons, and a Jewish religious student in 1995 assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in a public square in Tel Aviv, extremist elements within the Jewish Israeli society are being seen in the light that the Palestinians have been pointing out for decades. These Israelis are not only threatening Palestinians, but are now a threat to Israel’s future, no less a threat than violent Palestinian voices are to Palestine being able to realize its freedom and independence.

As the US’s latest efforts, spearheaded by Secretary of State John Kerry, slammed into a cement wall (figuratively and literally), President Obama put the entire Palestinian-Israeli issue on ‘pause’ until a path forward could be charted out. At least this is what the public has been led to believe. Reality on the ground does not corroborate the words emanating from the White House any more than the justification Israel is touting regarding the wanton actions they are engaged in with their campaign of collectively punishing an entire society based on an unsubstantiated assumption that two individual Palestinians may have murdered three of their citizens.

Israeli violence in Palestine is the norm. This has been true for over six decades. Until the key international actor in this conflict, the US, upholds its obligations under international law, no one should expect anything but more blood and tears. The US is no longer believable when it pretends that it is shocked by the deteriorating events on the ground. You can’t support the acquisition of land by force, fund and arm a state’s military occupation, cover-up diplomatically and politically for the state for over six decades, ignore dozens of UN resolutions condemning the actions of that state, and then turn around and be surprised that events are spiralling out of control.

Israeli citizens, Jewish and otherwise, as well as Christian and Muslim Palestinians in Palestine deserve a better global governance leader.