A bereaved Israeli father’s outcry against Israeli Jewish fascism

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Rachel Elior
Jerusalem, Israel / 160522

“The occupation is an insufferable moral injustice and a terrible existential mistake which will bring about the end of the democratic state of the Jewish people” – Tzvia Greenfeld

“This is not a passing storm”
“The transformation of the ‘liberation’ of the territories into the occupation of the people living in the territories: this is the trigger that is motivating this terrible Jewish fascist process”. – Aharon Barnea, a bereaved father, who writes [in a letter to the editor in Haaretz, May 22, 2016]:

This is it, the time has come to put out there all the fury and the feelings of suffocation and failure that are flooding me. Seventeen years ago my beloved son Noam was killed, one of the last victims of a long and futile war that a weak leadership was incapable of ending. He was killed at the feet of the Beaufort – a symbol the arrogance, the megalomania and the mad fantasies of Israel’s leaderships, concurrently with the “Four Mothers” outcry “Get out of Lebanon safely”.

Noam was born in 1977, the year of great hope, when a brave leadership proved with deed that that the region, with Egypt at its head, was willing to accept us, that the curse of Arab hostility is not God’s curse, and that humans were capable of eliminating it. During all those years signs kept flashing that this was not a fantasy, that it depended on us, on Israel’s leaders, and that all of us, if we had been attentive to the other, if we hadn’t fallen into the depths of the sin of greed and arrogance, could have overcome the hatred, the fear and the Arab and Palestinian resistance.

But our leadership, both the political and the religious, chose to foster in our people the illusion of power, chose to foster the primeval fear of the other, the feeling of a people that will dwell alone as a determinative curse, a fantasy of a “Jewishness” that alienates itself, that rejects all humanistic discourse. What has been spread out before us is the brutalization of a large and growing public, the corruption of moral values, the rule of violence over our everyday lives, the silencing of criticism – in brief, opening the gates wide to Jewish fascism in Israel. And the most terrible of all is that the spectacle spread out before us is not limited to the political dimension, which means this is not a passing storm, a nightmare from which we will wake into a different reality. We are facing a real existential danger. An Israel such as this, which will become neither Zionist nor democratic – its right to exist may become fundamentally undermined, God forbid.

It is clear to me today that the transformation of the ‘liberation’ of the territories into the occupation of the people living in the territories: this is the trigger that is motivating this terrible Jewish fascist process. This is the process that has engendered the false messianism in whose name every crime, every act of racism and ever violation of the other’s rights are presented as acts of historical justice and as sacred deeds.

The exclamation marks are crying out from the wall.

Aharon Barnea

I’m sharing this post by Rachel Elior & my translation of it so that readers can sense some of the anger & frustration that many (but apparently not enough) Israelis are feeling after the recent political developments. I sympathize deeply with both Rachel Elior and Aharon Barnea & the many who share their views. But I need to add that I don’t entirely agree with all of their understandings of the situation, & that I stand with those few Israelis who realize that the real “trigger” is not the occupation that began in 1967, but the Nakba, which began in late 1947, of which the occupations since ’67 is but an extension & a continuation; & that the real foundation of Israeli-Jewish fascism is Zionism itself, the idea that one can create a Jewish homeland with Jewish sovereignty over the homeland of its non-Jewish inhabitants. The State of Israel was never & could never be “the democratic state of the Jewish people”: it could not be democratic because it was & is ethnocratic; & it could not be a state of the Jewish people because the Jews in the world are not a national political entity & most Jews are citizens of other nations.

The Palestinian Nakba – &… the Jewish Nakba

Sharing this Facebook post from a couple of days ago, both for the pics of the protest march in Dublin marking the 68th anniversary of the (ongoing!) Palestinian Nakba, & for the dialogue that developed in the comments, until the remarking of the Jewish Nakba…
To see the entire post with the comments, click on the date link that appears immediately beneath my name (Richard Flantz) at the very top of the post, or here.

& here I’ll insert some paragraphs of my remarks in the dialogue, in slightly changed order, with a few additions &/or editings inside square brackets:

The UN partition proposal was one no sane self-respecting Arab Palestinian could possibly accept (to reverse what Brando says in The Godfather: “Give them an offer they can’t accept”). Therefore neither the Arab Palestinians nor the Arab League are in any way responsible for the Nakba.

Mass expulsion and intimidation of Arab Palestinians began before the war of the 15.5.48 invasion (a significant proportion fled before it. Ran Greenstein writes ’Benny Morris in The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, estimates (based on Israeli military sources) that about half of the total numbers of refugees lost their home BEFORE 14/5/1948, in Haifa, Tiberias, and dozens of other towns and villages.’

Arab Palestinians didn’t initiate or direct the invasions or the actions of the invading armies, & cannot be held responsible for war crimes & atrocities committed by them, such as those of the Jordanian army [in Jerusalem]. How can you suggest that because the Jordanians did that, there is something wrong or dishonest ot dishonorable in commemorating the Nakba that is contuiningly being suffered by the Arab Palestinians?

Permanent war is what Zionism means & does & has to do. Netanyahu wasn’t lying when he said Israel will always have to live by the sword. & there’s little point thinking about solutions proposed in the past. Today the only decent, humane, just solution is to give up the Jewish state idea & keep on living a Hebrew life in a binational state of Palestine (Eretz-Yisrael) as equal citizens with its other inhabitants. But before that can happen Israelis will have to acknowledge their crimes, acknowledge the Nakba, express their deep regret & shame for what they have done to the non-Jewish people who lived in Palestine before the Zionist incursion, offer acceptable restitution, confirm the Palestinian Right of Return & give up the right of Diaspora Jews to “return” and immediately become citizens of this state.
I imagine you’ll say that it’s wrong & dangerous to deprive Diaspora Jews of this privilege they’ve had these last 68 years, because, hey, they might need a haven from antisemitism. To that I’ll say that today there’s no more dangerous place in the world for a Jew than in Israel, the country state that has to live by its sword.

Yes, [&] there [also] is a Jewish Nakba. No, not the Shoah. That was horrendous, immeasurably, immensely. But it ended, after six years. Its impacts & effects haven’t ended, but the crimes committed then stopped being committed there. But beside the Shoah of the Jews there is the Jewish Nakba, which began the moment the Palestinian Nakba began: the Nakba, the catastrophe, of the Jewish psyche, the Israeli-Jewish psyche & the Diaspora-Jewish-Zionist psyche: the degenerative mass psychosis that justifies building a homeland on an existing population’s homeland & expelling & banishing multitudes of them for life & holding the remaining population under military occupation &[/or siege &] so much more that is neither Jewish nor humane… [& living with the suppressed guilt, & robbing Israeli boys & girls of their youth & some of them of their lives & turning them into oppressors &/or beneficiaries of oppression & dispossession, destroying the consciences & the capacity for empathy of generation after generation… & more…]

[& I should have added: & yes, its name should be an Arabic name, the Arabic name for what Arab Palestinians have suffered & are still suffering as a consequence of the Jewish Nakba.]

I’ve made a meme of the par about the Jewish Nakba:

jewish nakba meme

The difficulty Israelis have in acknowledging the Nakba isn’t only political. [… It’s] also psychological.

This status – by Idan Gillo, in Hebrew – is a gem! It says more concisely & precisely what I have long felt but never been able to express about Jewish Israelis’ non-acknowledgment of the Palestinian Nakba. With thanks to Miri Barak for sharing it & for her brief memoir of her moment of realization. I just had to share the pictured Hebrew post, with my English translation of it.

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Independence ? עצמאות

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Made this meme today, the “day after”. I wrote it in Hebrew, & translated it into English.

A few days before, I posted the meme below on Facebook only (thinking this blog probably has few readers of either Hebrew or Arabic [by the way, if there are, how about letting me know?]). It has two words in it. On top, the Hebrew word עצמאות, Atzmaut, Independence; and below it the Arabic word/s النكبة, al-Nakba, the Nakba. In the Hebrew word the fourth letter, א, alef, is skewed downwards (almost completely upside down) as if it’s falling out of the word. Which would make the word עצמות, atzamot, bones. & as Ran Greenstein noted in a comment to the post, “if you take it [the alef] out, you get Yom Ha’atzamot (Day of the Bones), which is what some ultra-orthodox Jews in Jerusalem used to call Independence Day”. & alef is not only the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the letter that precedes the first letter of the first sentence of the first book of the Hebrew Bible, & not only represents what comes first (even before In the Beginning), but also, on its white background,  it is reminiscent of the voting slip of the Ashkenazi-Zionist Mapai hegemony that instituted this so-called Independence which since its inception is dependent on the ongoing Nakba.

atzmaut nakba