Just a normal democracy

Here is a news item from Israel, which is, we are assured in the West by many politicians, commentators, and lobbyists, a regular democracy, if not a multicultural paradise.

Nazareth Illit, which has recently come under threat of an Arab demographic takeover, now is headed to be the religious-Zionist capital of the lower Galilee…

The article goes on to describe various initiatives intended to boost the city’s Jewish population, as a response to an increase in the number of Palestinian citizens who have moved in, keen for a better standard of living. The projects, overseen by the town’s mayor Shimon Gapso, include the renovation of “an old school building to house 15 young families from the former Gush Katif yeshiva of Torat HaChaim” – in other words, former residents of a Gaza Strip colony.

Apparently, one of the other figures involved in these efforts is MK Uri Ariel, who in 2008 “called on the government to encourage Israeli Arabs to “willingly emigrate” from Israel and from large cities within it”. Another personality is Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, who spent years living in the Hebron area settlements.

The piece concludes by reprinting a message from Mayor Gapso that appears on Nazareth Illit’s website:

“It is time to call a spade a spade. Just as Ben-Gurion and Peres said in the 1950’s that the Galilee must be Jewish, we say the same about Nazareth Illit: It must retain its Jewish character. Our goal is to bring 3,000 families within five years… We have been in contact with various ideological groups, and we are definitely considering building a hareidi-religious neighborhood as well. The primary goal is to put the brakes on the demographic deterioration…”

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Robert O. Paxton’s The Anatomy of Fascism

The Anatomy of Fascism by Robert O. Paxton- now out in Hebrew!
The Anatomy of Fascism by Robert O. Paxton- now out in Hebrew!

I just came back from a two-week vacation. (I mention this almost completely irrelevant fact because in the field of activism we don’t seem to talk about the perfectly natural human need for rest.) In the throes of contemplating whether to flip over to my backside, or give my ass a bit more quality sun-time, I managed to complete a task I’ve been working at for months (yes, months! That’s how much I needed a vacation): Reading Robert O. Paxton’s ‘The Anatomy of Fascism.’

The Anatomy of Fascism – Mini Book Review

There’s a lot of historical data in The Anatomy of Fascism. Numbers, names- things I’ll never remember because they’re not much use to me, and frankly, they make for a very boring read (with respect to the author’s obvious hard work, dedication and love of his profession). Another thing that makes The Anatomy of Fascism a boring read is that pitfall of most history books: The empire point of view. I couldn’t care less about the Fuhrer and Duce’s political contortions into power, just like I don’t care about the in-house bickering of the Likud and Kadima. Telling me of the empire without any moral stance (except for some small, simplified statement near the end of the book that all this is something we should be repulsed about) is not only uninteresting, it’s also as unethical as the third monkey.

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The Seven Laws of Noah

In a recent post on Israel’s PR campaign, Tali Shapiro mentioned an article “about something called the “Jewish Values Lobby” trying to get employers in Zefed to force “Arab” (Palestinians don’t exist in NRG) workers to sign a statement, where they’ll keep the Seven Laws of Noah, as a prerequisite to their employment.”

Here’s more on that story, courtesy of a translated item from Maariv.

Do Arab workers in businesses in Tzefat and the surrounding area need to fulfill commandments from the Tanach? This is the opinion of activists from the “Jewish Values Lobby,” who are starting a campaign to persuade employers to ask their workers to sign a religious statement according to which they will undertake to observe the Seven Noachide Laws. These include prohibitions against eating parts of a live animal, serving idols, desecrating Hashem’s name, immorality, robbery, and violence.

This initiative, which is expected to take Israeli Arabs by storm, was officially launched today. Lobbyists will visit businesses in Tzefat and the surrounding communities, which employ hundreds of Arabs living nearby, and they will ask them to sign their employees on a commitment to observe the Seven Noachide Laws.

“I hereby sign that I will undertake to observe the Seven Noachide Laws and declare my faithfulness to the Jewish nation according to Jewish values,” it is written in the statement. “I know that if I am caught violating any one of these laws, my employer will be allowed to fire me with no prior notice nor compensation.”

The Jewish Values Lobby explained that this campaign does not contradict a directive from one of the Jewish leaders of the generation from two years ago against employing Arab workers in public places. “We recommend that people don’t employ Arab workers,” a spokesman from the lobby explained. “But unfortunately, there are many Jews who employ Arabs in their stores, so we decided to deal with reality.”

National mission

Commenting on the proposed building of a “Jews-only” building in Jaffa, the head of the development company in question was reported as saying: “We will continue to build throughout the Land of Israel. The national mission today is to bring rabbis and educators to every city in Israel, in order to strengthen Jewish identity in Israel.”

The phrase ‘national mission’ felt familiar – here are just a few other examples of this kind of language.

In the Negev

“After the cornerstone laying ceremony, in which Joseph Hess of JNF America participated, Mr. David Raisch, the local CEO, said that he was very excited to see the guests from the USA: “When we were evacuated from Gush Katif, we insisted on staying together as a community. We asked the government for a national mission, we told them we wanted a place no one else wanted to live in, and that’s how we ended up in Shomeria. It’s exciting for me to see you here today, because it makes me realize that building the eastern Negev is not just our personal goal, you are our partners to this task…””

“The significance of the Disengagement Plan is not only the evacuation of the Gaza Strip – it is also an increased effort to develop the Negev, the Galilee and greater Jerusalem. The Government of Israel, which I head, considers developing the Negev, the Galilee and greater Jerusalem a primary national mission – and views settlement as the number-one tool for doing so.” [PM Ariel Sharon] Continue reading “National mission”

Learning about Zionism the Goldstone Way

Richard Goldstone in Gaza
Richard Goldstone in Gaza

I waited a bit to have a complete picture of Ha’aretz (“the elite left”) coverage of the Goldstone lead UN report on Gaza. Israeli citizens could have learned something about the government and themselves through this report. Instead, I learn, yet again, how corrupted the media, the government and the people are, by the Zionist mythos.

Keeping the Myth Alive

The first Ha’aretz article (and all the subsequent articles that weren’t written by Amira Hass or Gideon Levy) about the report plays on the myth that both sides of this “conflict” (a.k.a. “occupation”) are on equal footing:

UN probe: Israel, Palestinians both guilty of Gaza war crimes

This title is, of course, misleading, as anyone who’s taken the time to read just the table of contents of the report, can see a clear ratio that puts Israel to shame. But the sillies don’t stop there; Not only is the title misleading, when reporting about the mission, it’s misleading in characterization of the article it heads! The article mentions the main points (I’ve rephrased, in order to avoid linguistic bias, such as calling a massacre “war”):

Continue reading “Learning about Zionism the Goldstone Way”

Sleeping with the Enemy – Zionism and Nazism and Other Kinky Collaborations

Sleeping with the enemyOn one of my blog post’s comment sections, a mini-debate ensued about the good ole’ Mufti’s meeting with Hitler, in which I pointed out to a link, involving Zionists with The third Reich, written by the Institute for Historical Review. It was later pointed out to me that the Institute for Historical Review is headed by someone who’s written for neo-Nazi publications. I’ve made the correction on the comment section, but I was definitely dissatisfied with the simplistic shelving of a source- even if I’m disgusted by its motives- as I felt there was academic merit to it. The world is far from black and white, and just as the Zionist Benny Morris’ work is regarded in academic discussion of Palestinian history, so can the writings of the Institute for Historical Review teach us about Zionist history. The rule of thumb would be, in these cases, to tread carefully and consider only the facts and not the conclusions.

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Recapping the Twilight Zone Media

TwilightZoneI have to admit, I’ve lost touch with the Israeli mainstream media. I’ve found so many alternative medias online that there really isn’t any point to turning on the telly, or buying a newspaper. But one must travel into the alternate universe known as Israel every so often. So I put on my goggles and nose plug and sink my hands deep into Ha’aretz’s front page, knowing this is as left as the mainstream media gets down here. What does the Israeli mind preoccupy itself with while the international boycott movement is growing and Israeli citizens are turned refugees right under its upturned nose?

USA Support
The number one obsession in Israel is US support, or rather the eating-our-cake-and-having-it-too notion of what we can get away with and still have US support.

Continue reading “Recapping the Twilight Zone Media”