Australia Says No to Netanyahu?



Correcting a misleading English translation of a brave Haaretz Editorial on the challenge now posed by the Joint List MKs to “the Jewish politicians who dream of […] stopping Israel’s slide down the nationalist-religionalist slope”

Today’s courageous & insightful Hebrew editorial in Haaretz is not about background, but about the future.

The thrust of this editorial has (IMHO) been watered down (to say the least), a few (one especially, see if you find it) of its statements have been misleadingly mistranslated, & a few somewhat awkwardly translated.
To offer a more accurate translation I’ve therefore made a few changes to Haaretz’s English translation (using strikethroughs for my deletions from that translation, & bold for my changes/contributions to it).

The first misleading moment is in the title.





The decision by the Joint List MKs not to attend former President Shimon Peres’ funeral stated has established a very highly significant political fact. The leadership of the Arab public rebelled against the narrative of the Zionist majority, which ignores the history and feelings of the minority, and demonstrated dual political independence – vis-à-vis the official Israeli establishment, represented by that Peres represented, and and vis-à-vis Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who came to the funeral.

Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh appeared on the establishment TV Channel 2, our “tribal campfire,” and faced barbs of criticism from the interviewers when he presented an opposing narrative – the memory of the Nakba, the massacre of Kafr Qasem,Qassem, and the Arabs killed during the events of October 2000, commemorated in ceremonies in the Galilee and Wadi Ara. Never has a political figure from the majority Jewish community attended these events and they are not covered on prime-time television.


Ayman Odeh MK (Hadash), leader of the Joint List

The boycott of the funeral thus achieved its goal: placing the opposing narrative of the Arab minority at the center of media and public center stage attention, backed by the power of the third-largest faction in the Knesset. The excoriations condemnations of Odeh and his fellow faction members for their impoliteness protest will neither disappear efface nor blunt their principled blur the fundamental demand that they presented: that the Jewish majority recognize, recognition by the Jewish majority of the suffering and the mourning of the Arab public as a necessary condition for the building of a shared identity and for political cooperation in the future.

The Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offers to Israel’s Arab citizens more funding, promises of employment integration into the employment market and promotions of advancement in the civil service, in exchange for silence sealing their mouths and forgetting obliterating their narrative. The prime minister often says the Nakba is a lie, that 90 percent per cent of the stories about it are not true and that people who make the events public cause whoever has published its history has caused damage to the State of Israel. No wonder his government insists on hiding the archive files that would expose some of the events of 1948 from primary sources.

Any additional funding and action to close gaps between Jews and Arabs is welcome and important. But they will not buy the silence of the Arab community nor inspire the singing of the national anthem “Hatikva” in the streets of Nazareth, Sakhnin and Umm al-Fahm. Only recognition of a parallel Israeli story, at the heart of which are immoral acts by the majority toward the minority, can be the basis for shared citizenship and true integration. Jewish history teaches us that peoples do not easily give up their narrative, even in the face of temptations and persecutions.

This is the challenge that has now been set before the Jewish politicians who dream of replacing the right-wing government and stopping Israel’s slide down the binational nationalist-religionalist slope. Their goal will not be achieved without the cooperation of with the Joint List and its voters. Instead of automatically taking a knee-jerk stand with Netanyahu and the extreme right, and chiding the Arabs for not being nice, they must find a way ways to win hearts in the heart of the minority community.

My thanks to Sol Salbe who suggested I post the corrections this way.

Questions &/or comments about anything in or about this corrected translation will be welcomed. So will likes!


A reminder (& another Would you believe?): Who tf (with a mad prompt from Obama) does Mr BB Netanyahu really think he is??

At the end of two wordy but not exactly worth-full White House videoed speeches, first by Obama and then Netanyahu following a meeting between them on 20 May 2011 (you can still see it on youtube, or read the entire transcript), Mr BB turned to Mr Barack & said:

bb obama

Mr. President, you’re the – you’re the leader of a great people, the American people. And I’m the leader of a much smaller people, the –

PRESIDENT OBAMA: A great people.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: It’s a great people, too. It’s the ancient nation of Israel. And, you know, we’ve been around for almost 4,000 years. We’ve experienced struggle and suffering like no other people. We’ve gone through expulsions and pogroms and massacres and the murder of millions. But I can say that even at the dearth of – even at the nadir of the valley of death, we never lost hope and we never lost our dream of reestablishing a sovereign state in our ancient homeland, the land of Israel.

And now it falls on my shoulders as the Prime Minister of Israel, at a time of extraordinary instability and uncertainty in the Middle East, to work with you to fashion a peace that will ensure Israel’s security and will not jeopardize its survival. I take this responsibility with pride but with great humility, because, as I told you in our conversation, we don’t have a lot of margin for error. And because, Mr. President, history will not give the Jewish people another chance.

So that’s who Mr BB Netanyahu thinks he is: the leader of the Jewish people, no less!
[in Hebrew, long before Zionism, long before the establishment of the State-of-Israel, the name “Israel” was also a synonym for “the Jewish people”, & Netanyahu, like all Ultra-Zionists, has long adopted this ambiguity & used it to further his Ultra-Zionist goals.]

& no-one protested. I did start to write something then, but couldn’t quite think of a good way to put it together. But I was moved to at last publish this today after reading  on Facebook Dov Khenin’s latest status, which shows the Hebrew Haaretz front-page top headline from 140914 [my translation]: ISRAEL ADVANCES RELOCATION OF THOUSANDS OF BEDOUIN THE WEST BANK of an article by Amira Haas ( today published the English version). Khenin wrote [my translation]: “Netanyahu doesn’t halt at [a] red [signal]. The evacuation & relocation of the Bedouin from the Jordan Valley is the the second step in the building push in the settlements. In the past this was called a “transfer”. In South Africa they called it cantonization. In Hebrew it’s called expulsion.”




How did 2 Posts (both re Tzipi Livni & Ultra-Zionism) Disappear from My Facebook Timeline?

On 140904 I published the following text-box on Facebook (I can’t ’embed it because it isn’t on my timeline anymore, so here’s the JPEG i posted there):

The UltraZionist Strategy crop

The link in the JPEG, if anyone wants to read Crooke’s entire still quite illuminating article is More recent developments, I might add, suggest that they won’t be able to continue counting on such “acquiescence” much longer…

Later that day, i found a post by Yaniv Aviv,  who shared  ‎Tzipi Livni-ציפי לבני‎’s photo & her accompanying text [my translation:]
Tzipi Livni's photo“The battle that is still ahead of us is the battle for world public opinion.
I took a brief vacation and this horrible placard greeted me, as it greets others who come to the square of a random town we passed through.
For those who don’t understand Greek, it says “Free Palestine”, and written inside the triangles of the Shield-of-David are the names of the towns Gaza, Jenin, Nablus and Hebron.
The use of the Shield-of-David is intended to combine the symbol we are so proud of with anti-Israeli hatred & propaganda.
I managed to tear a part of this placard, but it is clearer than ever that the battle before us is in the international arena. We have to act in every place in the world in order to make it clear who here is the terrorist and who is the state that protects its citizens from terror.”

Yaniv’s comment to his share was [my translation]: “This is the outcome of 47 years of Occupation, the orientation is only going to exacerbate.”

I added: “This is the same (if slightly older) Livni who is quoted in by Alastair Crooke as articulating what in my previous post I’ve called “The Ultra-Zionist Strategy Preventing a Just & Peaceful Solution in Palestine”, which has received only 2 likes & no comments. I’m not generally surprised when my posts don’t get likes or comments, but in this particular case I’m left really wondering: is what’s written there not timely any more? not relevant or valid in any way? or so obvious it isn’t worth mentioning?  or is Crooke’s name anathema? I’d just like to say here that I’d really appreciate some input on the content of that post, whether in a comment to this one or to that one.”

Not only have I had no comments, but both posts have disappeared from my Facebook timeline (it’s lucky I save my texts in Word etc before posting them). But I can’t help wondering is their disappearance an accident, a coincidence, or has some agency acted to remove them?