“ENOUGH OF THE CLAPTRAP” – Kobi Niv on the most important truth about Israel in Palestine

I don’t know how many more texts I’ll yet translate, but I’m so glad to have translated into English this article by Kobi Niv in Haaretz (Hebrew), 2017/12/27, in which an Israeli-Jewish columnist states incisively & succinctly what I feel is the most important truth about Israel in Palestine. I agree with every word, & have felt this way for a long time now. Its title in Hebrew, Dai laKishkush, די לקשקוש, “ENOUGH OF THE CLAPTRAP”, is a riff on the Israeli left’s slogan Dai laKibush, די לכיבוש.
& I’ve made a meme of the first four pars because they say the essence of it all. I hope it will be widely read & shared.

kobi niv

The Hebrew original of the entire text follows. המקור העברי כולו בהמשך

& here is my translation of the entire text:

ENOUGH OF THE CLAPTRAP
The occupation, the occupation, the occupation, the occupation – how many more times will we keep saying and hearing that it – whatever it is – is all because of the occupation, and that we can’t go on with the occupation, and that only ending the occupation will bring peace, and woe to us if we don’t end the occupation, and that the occupation corrupts, and Enough of the Occupation. And which occupation are we speaking about, the one whose ending will supposedly bring the peace and the sababa?[1] The occupation of ’67.

But the occupation of ’67 is the continuation of the occupation of ’48. This is the historical truth. The occupation of ’67 is the continuation – historical, incessant and inseparable – of the occupation of ’48.

The lie that we keep telling ourselves is that from ‘48 to ’67 there arose and existed here a model democratic state, without occupation and without oppression, but in ’67 there fell upon us the curse of the Six-Day War, which turned us, unwillingly and sadly for us, into occupiers & oppressors.

All this is as true as that a chicken is a giraffe. Because the State of Israel, in the borders of ’48 or ’67 or 2017, was conquered/occupied[2] from the Palestinians who lived in it, to establish, in their place, a state for Jews. The conquest/occupation of ’48 was the beginning of this process, and the conquest/occupation of ’67 was its continuation. It’s not the case that before there was no occupation here and now there is an occupation. All such talk is claptrap.

First of all – during all the years of the State of Israel’s existence, in its various borders, the vast majority of the Palestinians under our rule have lived under a military occupation regime. From the establishment of the state until 1966, in the sweet and little Israel of once upon a time, all the Palestinian “Israeli Arabs” lived under what was called “military government”. In ’66 this military government was as-it-were abolished, but in fact was replaced by a rule of police oppression. A year later already came the Six-Day War, and since then the decisive majority of the Palestinians under our rule continue living under an occupation regime. And in fact nothing has changed. That’s how it is here and how it’s always been.

Secondly – “the horrors of the occupation” that we do speak about today, for example the case of Elor Azaria, are like nothing compared to the horrors which that pure and tiny state perpetrated under the enlightened “left” governance of Ben-Gurion, like the blowing up of the homes in the village of Qibya with all its inhabitants, an action in which more than 60 civilians were killed, most of them women and children, in ’53, or the massacre in Kafr Qassem in which 43 civilians were killed, women and children among them, in ’56.

Moreover – during the ’48 occupation we destroyed numerous Arab villages, we killed and expelled their inhabitants, and on their ruins we established settlements. The ’67 occupation dis much more enlightened. We almost don’t destroy villages and don’t expel their inhabitants. We “only” build settlements on their lands.

This is why the occupation of ’67 is not the problem, and ending this occupation will not bring an end to the problem. The problem is the Nakba, and until the State of Israel acknowledges, loudly and clearly, its responsibility for the disaster of the Palestinians, our bloody war with them will continue.

Yet not only the government, but also the absolute majority of Israel’s Jewish citizens, including the most “leftist”, are not willing to even think about this.
Quite the opposite. What we all say to Palestinians who dare to just mention the Nakba is ”There was no Nakba, and if you keep saying there was a Nakba, we’ll do you another Nakba, got it?”

______________________________
1 sababa – an Arabic word, صَبَابَة‏ ,. that has become a commonplace Israeli-Hebrew slang term for all’s cool, everything’s fine.
2 The Israeli-Hebrew word kibush, כיבוש, means both conquest and occupation.

קובי ניב / די לקשקוש

הכיבוש, הכיבוש, הכיבוש, הכיבוש – כמה פעמים עוד נשמיע ונשמע שזה הכל, מה שזה לא יהיה, בגלל הכיבוש, ואי אפשר להמשיך בכיבוש, ורק סיום הכיבוש יביא את השלום, ואוי לנו אם לא נשים קץ לכיבוש, והכיבוש משחית, ודי לכיבוש. ועל איזה כיבוש אנחנו מדברים, זה שסיומו יביא לכאורה את השלום והסבבה? הכיבוש של 67′.

אבל הכיבוש של 67′ הוא המשך הכיבוש של 48′. זאת האמת ההיסטורית. הכיבוש של 67′ הוא המשך – היסטורי, רציף ובלתי נפרד – הכיבוש של 48′.

השקר שאנחנו מספרים לעצמנו הוא שמ-48′ ועד 67′ קמה והתקיימה פה מדינה דמוקרטית למופת, בלי כיבוש ובלי דיכוי, אבל ב-67′ נפלה עלינו מארת מלחמת ששת הימים, שהפכה אותנו, שלא ברצוננו, ולא עלינו, לכובשים ולמדכאים.

כל זה נכון כמו שתרנגול זה ג’ירפה. כי מדינת ישראל, בגבולות של 48′ או 67′ או 2017, נכבשה מידי הפלסטינים שישבו בה, כדי להקים בה במקומם מדינה ליהודים. הכיבוש ב-48′ היה ראשיתו של התהליך הזה, והכיבוש של 67′ הוא המשכו. זה לא שקודם לא היה פה שום כיבוש ורק עכשיו יש כיבוש. כל הדיבור הזה הוא קשקוש.

ראשית – במשך כל שנות קיומה של מדינת ישראל, בגבולותיה השונים, תמיד חיו ועדיין חיים רוב רובם של הפלסטינים שבשליטתנו תחת משטר כיבוש צבאי. למן הקמת המדינה ועד ל-1966, בישראל הקטנה והחמודה של פעם, חיו כל הפלסטינים “ערביי ישראל” תחת מה שנקרא “ממשל צבאי“. ב-66′ כאילו בוטל הממשל הצבאי הזה, אבל בעצם רק הוחלף בשלטון דיכוי משטרתי. שנה אחר כך כבר באה מלחמת ששת הימים, ומאז ממשיכים רובם המכריע של הפלסטינים בשליטתנו לחיות תחת משטר של כיבוש. ובעצם שום דבר לא השתנה. ככה זה פה מאז ומעולם.

דבר שני – “זוועות הכיבוש” שאנחנו מדברים עליהן היום, למשל מקרה אלאור אזריה, הן כאין וכאפס לעומת הזוועות שעשתה מדינת ישראל הקטנה והזכה ההיא, תחת שלטון “השמאל” הנאור של בן-גוריון, כמו פיצוץ בתי הכפר קיביה על יושביהם, פעולה שבה נהרגו למעלה מ-60 אזרחים, רובם נשים וילדים, בשנת 53′, או הטבח בכפר-קאסם בו נרצחו 43 אזרחים, בהם גם נשים וילדים, בשנת 56′.

זאת ועוד – בכיבוש של 48′ הרסנו כפרים פלסטיניים לרוב, הרגנו וגירשנו את יושביהם, ועל חורבותיהם הקמנו לנו ישובים. הכיבוש של 67′ הרבה יותר נאור. אנחנו כבר כמעט לא הורסים כפרים ולא מגרשים את יושביהם. אנחנו “רק” מקימים ישובים על אדמותיהם.

לכן הכיבוש של 67′ הוא לא הבעיה וסיומו של הכיבוש הזה גם לא ישים קץ לבעיה. הבעיה היא הנכבה. ועד שמדינת ישראל לא תכיר, בקול רם וברור, באחריותה לאסונם של הפלסטינים, מלחמת הדמים שלנו איתם תימשך.

אלא שלא רק הממשלה, אלא גם רובם המוחלט של אזרחי ישראל היהודים, כולל הכי “שמאלנים”, לא מוכנים אפילו לחשוב על זה.

ההיפך. מה שכולנו אומרים לפלסטינים שמעזים להעלות את הנכבה על דל שפתותיהם זה “לא היתה שום נכבה, ואם תמשיכו להגיד שהיתה נכבה, נעשה לכם עוד נכבה, הבנתם

 

 

 

 

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Update / Opiated, 2017/12/24–26

in wheelie

Last Friday evening, after discharge from hospital that morning; Nitza snapped me sitting on the chair of the wheelie-walker my community nurse brought me from Byron Hospital, on the gravel drive leading from our home to J&O&E&A’s, for a family get-together & dinner (which was truly wonderful, I felt so blessed).

Opiated now, a second whole week,
& now that my oncologist (thankfully!) has found
the opiates & the doses that are working for me
(5mg of slow-release Targin am & pm,
& 2ml of 5ml/1ml Ordine for immediate relief when I need it,
on top of 2 tabs of Paracetamol Osteo three times daily),
& which (although they also make me more woozy
than high, & severely constipate me) help me now to make tolerable
the incessant strong pains in my right flank,
enough for me to still want to get up thru the pains
(sharpest while rising from lying down to sitting),
& to take my morning meds, to pull off thick socks & pyjamas
& put on shirt & pants,
& open my doors to the day.

& I’m feeling it’s the opiates
that will determine much
of the colors of my remaining days & nights.
& I opine that I’ve entered what may be my life’s final phase:
the opiated phase.

&, opiated, so much now also starts taking on rich new colors for me:
my own will to still be here & in consciousness,
my awareness of the constant & sustaining love & caring
of my dear life-partner Nitza, & of the always-there-for-me love & caring
of my sons, daughters-in-law, children & grandchildren,
as I give in to my new dependencies:
I never wanted to be a burden on anyone,
but I’m happy they want to be there for me,
& am learning to accept the truth that Nitza expressed yesterday:
‘You’re more a hero when you give up on being a hero.”
*
In hospital this week I was happy to learn from a whole-body bone scan
that these pains, in & around the right side of my waist,
sharp & incessant for several weeks now,
(which my GP thought might be from some metastasis
of the cancer discovered some 8 months ago in my upper right lung)
are not cancer-related: they’re from a fracture & degenerations & stenosis
in the lower spine & vertebrae.

The scan shows the cancer is spreading but not widely,
& not quickly metastatising, & isn’t the cause of these pains.
& it feels good to know this, like maybe more time left to live…
But, my GP does attribute to it my almost total loss of appetite,
my inability to keep most foods down, the bad taste in my mouth,
my significant weight loss (about 10 kg down from my 68 in May).

But it’s probably the opiates that are causing the loss of balance,
which makes me need to use a wheelie-walker to get around
where there aren’t walls or other props to lean on,
& that are causing the shakes, mainly in my left arm, & in my fingers,
which respond so erratically when I type (you wouldn’t believe
how many corrections in each line you read here!)
(but will & patience mostly get it right in the end.)

& with all this going on, I can’t move around much,
so my overall shortness of breath
from my extensive emphysema & COPD
(I have about 20% of my lung function left)
is now hardly ever a problem. Seated is my most frequent
& most comfortable position. Opiated & seated.
Happier still after a few vapes of mild bush herb
from my trusty Volcano (seems opiates don’t give you much of a high
when they’re working on pains), & I like & need that buzz
(& know that without it I couldn’t or wouldn’t have written any of this),
& with good music streaming into my ears.

Had another happy moment last week & wrote home from the hospital:
“Happy morning! First shits after about a week!
Last evening a nurse gave me a magic formula the nurses here use,
& at 5am I had to go! & it came out in a painless gush.
[a wonderful surprise, the happiest part of this particular episode
(I add now), because the last twice this fortnight
the breakthroughs had been so so painful!]
& again a couple of hours later
– & now again, had to stop writing this to get to the loo in time…
& I feel I’ll maybe need to go a few more times today. Anyway, it’s great relief.
I went to thank the nurse but her shift was over.
but another nurse gave me the formula, I copy it here so we have it on record:
20 ml Lactulose / 10 ml Agarol / 3-10 drops Ducolax.”
(But since that day, nada. At home now, & no formula till tomorrow
when the pharmacy opens after Boxing Day. But I had one good fart
& immediately shared the good news with Nitza. She laughed, & said
she remembered Yoram Kaniuk in one of his last writes celebrating a good fart,
& I happily remembered Yoram, & the time 50 years ago in Ramat Gan
when I translated his novel Rockinghorse for Harper & Row,
& in the next flash remembered learning, some 20 years earlier in Melbourne,
from the narrator of one of Robert Graves’ Claudiuses,
the importance of not repressing a fart.) 

*
Eight months ago, after the cancer diagnosis
& the oncologist’s prognosis
of 6–12 more months of life if I don’t do chemotherapy
& maybe 2 years if I do, I did a few hours of good meditation
(with guidelines from a dear friend),
& I chose to live what remains of my life
without the anxieties & recurring appointments,
scans, constant engagements with my condition,
& without the fears of possible toxic side-effects
a course of chemo would probably entail.
I chose, as my GP summed it up nicely,
“quality of life over quantity of life.” It was she, too,
who described the relatively symptom-free period I experienced
until the side pains started as a “plateau”.
& now it seems I’ve started rolling downhill.
Or maybe I’ve just hit another plateau, who can know? An opiated plateau.

My oncologist now recommends I start some “mild” chemotherapy,
which he says I can always pull out of
without irreversible toxic side-effects
& which I can continue for as long as it works for me, if it works for me,
& if it doesn’t I can then maybe try a course of immunotherapy,
which may be risky because it might trigger one of my 2 auto-immune disorders
(psoriasis, which hospitalized me three years ago
when it flared up all over my body,
but has since been well-controlled through a high weekly dose
of the immune-depressant methotextrate) & might also enhance the other (polymyalgia rheumatica, when all your muscles ache,
especially when you use them, but that one’s been actively painful
for  some months now). & it mightn’t trigger them,
he says we can’t know unless we try, & it mighn’t come to that,
the mild chemo might work. He says he has helped many people with his methods.
I want to trust him. I look into his eyes as he speaks, & see sincerity,
real caring, & confidence, the things I know I want to see & need to see.
I can never know for sure, he may be a very good actor. Yet I feel to trust him,
& to give it a shot. I have an appointment with him a few days from now,
& will give him my decision then. Opiated, like now.

I’m writing this opiated update
for those few friends who have recently asked me how I’m doing;
& for other friends who might want to know;
& mostly for myself, to record my thoughts & feelings
at this maybe final juncture of my life;
& for maybe others whom maybe I don’t know
& who maybe don’t know me, but who may find some interest or value
in the expressed thoughts & feelings
of someone in a situation like mine now & here.
& I’m hoping I’ll be able to follow it up with yet more
such updates further along the line…
& I’m writing it in lines & strophes of verse,
because that’s how it comes best to me.
Is it poetry? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t think it matters.

& yesterday evening I had the sharpest pain yet
in this phase, getting up from an afternoon nap
after lying on my bed facing the doors open outwards
instead of my usual position facing indoors
& the pain was like an anguished 9 out of 10
& lasted like an hour. But it too subsided,
after a dose of Ordine. & later, when I told Nitza,
she said “When you get such pain,
think of the pain women go through giving birth”.
& that’s another good thing to remember.

with wheelie

As I started wheelie-walking up the drive, Nitza called me to turn around, & snapped me again.

It never happened לא היה ולא נברא

My English translation, today (70 years after November 29, 1947) from the Hebrew translation by Anton Shammas (2006), which was posted today on Facebook by Michael Kaminer

תרגומי לאנגלית, היום (70 שנה אחרי ה29 לנובמבר 1947), מתרגומו העברי של אנטון שמאס (2006), שהועלה היום בפייסבוק ע”י מיכאל קמינר

taha never happened

“Israel” & “Australia” continuing their/our crimes against humanity

I feel I have to share these 5 articles (including one brave editorial) published during the past week in Haaretz & The Guardian:

Editorial: Israel’s Right to Steal Palestinian Land

Israel is acting like a criminal organization that operates according to its own laws
Haaretz Editorial Nov 17, 2017
https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/1.823308

Israel Arrests 15 in East Jerusalem for Conducting Polls on Palestinian Authority’s Behalf

Overnight raids part of Israel policy barring Palestinian Authority activities in East Jerusalem
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.824061

Israel Approves Plan to Send Asylum Seekers to Rwanda or Jail, Close Detention Center

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.823726

Manus Island: PNG police move into detention centre and tell refugees to leave

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/23/manus-island-png-police-move-into-detention-centre-and-tell-refugees-to-leave


Manus humanitarian crisis a ‘damning indictment’ of Australia’s refugee policy: UNHCR

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/22/manus-humanitarian-crisis-a-damning-indictment-of-australias-refugee-policy-unhcr

Best mates: I add this fairly recent pic of the happy “leaders” of these two settler-colonialist countries, although the responsibility for these crimes is not theirs alone, but of all those who have voted for them & their ilk for decades…

bibiturnbull