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.


3 thoughts on “A bereaved Israeli father’s outcry against Israeli Jewish fascism

  1. רחל העירה לי במסר פרטי: המכתב מרגש ונוגע ללב ומתמצת את מה שרבים כל כך מרגישים. דברי האב נאמרו ליד קבר בנו ביום הזיכרון
    Rachel commented to me in a private message: The letter is moving and touches the heart, and sums up what so many feel. The father spoke these words beside the grave of his son on Remembrance Day.


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