+972 Magazine » Dahlia Scheindlin http://972mag.com Independent commentary and news from Israel & Palestine Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:58:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8 How can you possibly oppose this war? http://972mag.com/how-can-you-possibly-oppose-this-war/93924/ http://972mag.com/how-can-you-possibly-oppose-this-war/93924/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 14:33:47 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=93924 Someone asked me an innocent question: “What is the position of Israelis who are against the war?”

There are obvious answers.

First, this is a disproportionate war that harms huge numbers of civilians. The IDF is bombarding an area that it has already imprisoned by occupation from 1967, and then through suffocating border, movement, import and export control since 2007. Its residents have been stateless since 1948. It is attacking by air, land and sea, while Hamas attacks civilians in Israel through rockets and now through terrorist infiltration, at an increasingly frenzied pace.

Right-wing nationalists attacking left wing activists during a protest in center Tel Aviv against the Israeli attack on Gaza, July 12, 2014. The protest ended with the nationalists attacking a small group of left-wing activists with little police interference. Three activists injured and one right-wing person arrested. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Right-wing nationalists attacking left wing activists during a protest in center Tel Aviv against the Israeli attack on Gaza, July 12, 2014. The protest ended with the nationalists attacking a small group of left-wing activists with little police interference. Three activists injured and one right-wing person arrested. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Second, escalation breeds escalation. The south of Israel has not been at peace for a decade, but in this war, the whole country is under attack. And “Protective Edge” made things even worse for the south; all the Israel casualties so far – as of today two civilian deaths, numerous wounded (including children) and one soldier killed – have been in the south. “Code Red” warnings in Sderot all these years were awful, but death is worse. On a good day, there is suffering in Gaza; now the death and destruction there is indescribable.

Third, most of the stated goals of the war seem impossible to fulfill. Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman’s blustery call to take down Hamas is hot air, unless Israel wants to full-out occupy Gaza (it doesn’t) or watch even more extreme groups take over. Destroying the “infrastructure of terror” also falls apart upon close inspection, since, as I have heard some say, “you can’t kill an idea.” The stated goal of the ground operation is to destroy tunnels into Israel where terrorists have tried to infiltrate over the last few days (following the air war). I certainly support preventing terrorists from reaching Israel. But tunnels can be destroyed, as many of the Rafah ones were by Egypt late last year, without going to war.

Fourth, the political and social consequences of the war will be a disaster in the short, medium and long term. In the short term, Hamas could easily become stronger, having become the defiant face of military resistance against Israel as diplomacy crumbles.

Palestinian women cry after Israeli air strike on Gaza Strip. (photo: Activestills.org)

Palestinian women cry after Israeli air strike on Gaza Strip. (photo: Activestills.org)

In the medium term, the best hope for the two-state political resolution in years is dead: that was the Fatah-Hamas agreement, which removed Hamas from government and could have led to elections. Jerusalem Post writer Gil Hoffman, speaking at a Limmud conference in Australia just a few days before the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, optimistically predicted that peace talks would resume immediately following Palestinian elections.

           Read +972′s coverage of the latest round of violence

None of that will happen now. The chances of a negotiated two-state agreement are even lower than when the Kerry talks broke down, if that’s possible. The internal Palestinian reconciliation process appears dead in the water. Once again, Israel will spend the next decade saying there is no partner, because if Hamas gets stronger, Mahmoud Abbas only gets weaker.

In the long term, I shudder to think about the souls of people who lost two, three, or 18 family members to Israeli bombs. The sobbing father who begged his child to wake up because he had brought new toys; the woman who told her sister in England to stay away and live, so that at least one of the family members would survive. I see what national trauma has done to the Jewish people more than 60 years following their darkest moments. The manifestations of Palestinian suffering in future generations will be terrible.

The fifth and final reason to oppose the operation is that previous wars have failed. Operation Cast Lead in 2008/9 begat Pillar of Defense in 2012, begat Protective Edge in 2014. Hamas was not toppled, Gaza was not disarmed. The only thing changing is the accelerating pace of the wars.

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But those reasons fall flat in the face of another simple question: past and future notwithstanding, what else can Israel possibly do when Hamas is firing rockets at its civilians? At me? Of course we prefer a political resolution in the long term. But first we must stop the aggression against Israelis today. “Ein ma la’asot” –  there is no other way.

This is the argument made by friends, family, the news, the cabinet, elected Parliamentarians of the left and the right alike.

Here is my extremely unpopular answer. There is no such thing as today devoid of yesterday and tomorrow; it is a fiction. The measures of the last ten days grow directly out of the measures in recent years. They will have devastating consequences in years to come. My criticism of this war is not “I told you so,” because some of us have warned for years that the status quo is illusory. Opposition to this war means finding a different response to predictable situations, so that there won’t be a next time, and in two years Israelis won’t have to say “this is no time to analyze the past.’”

Mourners at Dror Khenin's funeral. Khenin was killed near the Gaza border by mortar fire while delivering food to Israeli soldiers. (photo: Activestills.org)

Mourners at Dror Khenin’s funeral. Khenin was killed near the Gaza border by mortar fire while delivering food to Israeli soldiers. (photo: Activestills.org)

Finally, what do those opposed to the war propose instead? Israel already agreed to a ceasefire that was rejected.

With humility, because I simply don’t have perfect answers – find me someone who does – here are two observations:

First, Cast Lead ended with a unilateral, not agreed upon, ceasefire. The idea has already been raised by some commentators, as well as Meretz leader Zehava Gal-on, but has so far been ignored.

Second, like in 2012, there was another way: the reconciliation deal could have been cautiously welcomed; rewards and incentives could have encouraged Hamas pragmatism. The murder of three Israeli teens did not have to be disguised as a hostage-rescue effort for three weeks and leveraged to provoke the predictable violence of Hamas. Wrongful escalation from both sides could have been contained – of course, a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement would be the best mechanism for that. Eventually Palestinian elections could have been held; stabilization could have followed.

They say the best treatment is prevention. But nobody seems to care.

Update: Since the publication of this article, Israeli media has been given permission to report on two more soldiers who were killed earlier today.

Related:
PHOTOS: Police arrest 30 Palestinians in anti-war protest
This is a war of choice. Netanyahu’s choice
On dual standards and the hypocrisy of peace

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Israel, state of all its victims http://972mag.com/israel-state-of-all-its-victims/93614/ http://972mag.com/israel-state-of-all-its-victims/93614/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 09:40:17 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=93614 Like the failed peace process or the policy of severing Gaza from the West Bank, the plight of the Bedouin in Israel is one more long-term problem that there is just no time to solve.

Two Israeli sisters, 10 and 13, were wounded yesterday by Hamas rocket fire in the Negev. One of them is in critical condition with stomach wounds and underwent emergency surgery in Be’er Sheva, according to Israeli news. Maram and Atir Wakili are Bedouin; their grandfather Ibrahim, interviewed on Channel 10, explained that they live in far-flung areas where they are unable to hear sirens. And if they had heard one, they had no protected area where they could take refuge.

Ibrahim heads a council that represents unrecognized Bedouin villages. These clusters of tents and shacks scattered around the region lack basic infrastructure and services, including water lines and electricity grids, because they do not formally exist. Some have been destroyed by government order dozens of times; after more than six decades of neglect, recent government attempts to formalize their status were roundly criticized by human rights organizations and some Bedouin groups. They argued that the community had not been sufficiently consulted in the process, and that the solutions were coercive and unfair as a result.

A Palestinian child plays among the ruins of buildings destroyed by Israeli air strikes in the 2008-2009 war known as Operation Cast Lead, July 4, 2012. (Photo by RyanRodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian child plays among the ruins of buildings destroyed by Israeli air strikes in the 2008-2009 war known as Operation Cast Lead, July 4, 2012. (Photo by RyanRodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

The plan has been scrapped. The villages remain unrecognized and under-serviced. “We asked the government and the Home Command to provide us protection,” said Ibrahim Wakili, speaking of the rocket attacks. “But to this day, nothing has been done.” He continued, “We don’t want wars, we are against wars. We don’t want our children to die, not in Israel and not in Gaza.”

They are not the first Israelis physically wounded in the conflict. But perhaps because there have been so few, each story stands out. One elderly woman was at home when a rocket landed in her living room, she told reporters from her hospital bed, speaking in Russian through a translator. In Ashdod, a direct rocket hit on a gas station created a large ball of fire. One driver, partly disabled from injuries in the Yom Kippur war, was unable to flee his vehicle and was seriously wounded. A 16-year-old teenager in Ashkelon sustained medium to serious shrapnel injuries when a rocket landed about 30 meters away from him.

           Read +972′s full coverage of the operation in Gaza

It is hard to grasp each such sickening story among Palestinians, with over one thousand wounded - not to mention over 190 killed – and zero contact with any, hardly even through the news. Israeli psychology depends on their victims being numerous and faceless. Israel trembles at the thought of more individual symbols of Palestinian suffering. Just not another Mohammed Abu Khdeir, or Mohammed al-Dura. Eighteen family members in Gaza killed by IDF airstrikes are hardly discussed here.

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So what will the Bedouin sisters’ situation mean to most Israelis? They may confront two immediate thoughts: how terrible it is that the state doesn’t provide the Bedouin towns with sirens or shelters because it doesn’t recognize them; and how terrible it is that Hamas fires rockets at Bedouin just because it hates Israel. Most will reflexively relate only to the latter.

Further, another major news item will help blot out nagging doubts: the IDF released footage of an aerial attack on a Gaza target that was aborted when the pilot discovered there were children in the area. Broadcasters and headlines puffed with pride showing footage that was clearly supplied for “hasbara” purposes. This item has made its way across the airwaves all day yesterday, part of the barrage of narrative nuggets coming faster and thicker than rockets: Israel is precise. Israel is the most moral army. When there’s a war, we do better than anyone else.

But like this whole war, the obsession with daily strategy and short-term legitimacy means deeper and longer-term issues are the real victims.

The Bedouin of the Negev are cut off from Palestinians in Gaza or the West Bank, distinct from other Arab communities in Israel, rebuffed by Jewish Israeli society. Now their children are among the youngest Israeli victims of the war so far, as a direct result of their status: “lower than fourth-class citizens,” their cousin told Haaretz.

Like the failed peace process, like the policy of severing Gaza from the West Bank, like the years of rocket fire on Israel’s southern residents, the 47-year military occupation of Palestinian territories and the stateless wandering of so many since 1948 – the plight of the Bedouin in Israel is one more long-term problem that there’s just no time to solve. We’re at war.

Related:
The unfolding lie of Operation Protective Edge
The occupation will last forever, Netanyahu clarifies
How Netanyahu provoked this war with Gaza

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Polls: Two-state solution was a casualty, even before the war http://972mag.com/polls-two-states-was-a-casualty-even-before-the-war/93418/ http://972mag.com/polls-two-states-was-a-casualty-even-before-the-war/93418/#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 15:39:22 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=93418 Turns out most Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian state – until they read the fine print.

There is a natural obsession with short-term, immediate details of the situation in Israel and Palestine: where is the siren or rocket or bomb? How many bodies are piling up in Gaza? Israelis’ memory at present seems to go back only a few weeks, to the murder of three teens that they believe set off this cycle.

But for Palestinians, there was life before the Israeli kids were murdered, and it wasn’t good. Many are seething under a reality of no prospects, no citizenship or statehood, rage at their leaders, rage at their occupiers. What both sides share was a realistic lack of hope for the recent negotiations for long-term resolution.

While leaders again proved them right, public support for the two-state solution may become the long-term victim of the accelerated cycles of aggression.

Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres in Jordan, May 26, 2013 (Mark Neiman / GPO)

Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres in Jordan, May 26, 2013 (Mark Neiman / GPO)

Several new surveys paint a dismal picture for this paradigm.

A survey of Palestinians from June by the right-leaning Washington Institute for Near East Policy found that more than twice as many respondents now support “reclaiming all of historic Palestine,” than those who choose “end the occupation and reach a two state solution.” In response to +972’s query, the Institute says this is a new finding compared to similar (but not identical) questions asked in the past, when support for a two state-solution typically ranged between 40-55 percent. Here is the data (n= 1200 Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza, margin of error, +/-3%):

Please state your view about the main Palestinian goal for the next five years

- The goal should be to work toward reclaiming all of historic Palestine from the river to the sea: 60%
- The goal should be to end the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and achieve a two state solution: 27%
- The goal should be to work for a one state solution in all of the land, in which Arabs and Jews will have equal rights in one country, from the river to the sea: 10%

Two further questions on this topic yielded similar data: one asked how people would perceive a negotiated two-state solution (accept that as end of the conflict, or continue seeking to liberate all of historic Palestine) and what people believe the leadership’s actual goal in such a case would be (to end the conflict, or liberate historic Palestine in phases). Again, roughly twice as many chose the “all of Palestine” option.

I usually advise against trusting a single survey for an unusual finding. The key is to see if other surveys show similar trends. They do. A Pew Research poll from April and May 2014 (with a sizable sample of 1000 each – Palestinians and Israelis) provides similar insight.

In this comparative poll, when asked “Do you think a way can be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to co-exist peacefully or not?”

- 63 percent of Palestinians said “no.”
- Israelis were split in half (45% “no” to 40% “yes”)
- Jordanians, who have greatest interest in seeing such an arrangement, expressed skepticism: 39 percent said “no,” 29 percent said “it depends”  and 26 percent said “yes”- making Jordan among the most optimistic of the seven nations tested.

There is a certain irony here: According to the survey, Palestinians may retain a maximalist dream, but Israel is the one that is actually physically expanding its sovereignty over the territory under question.

        Read: The only two-state solution that might work

At first glance, a recent Haaretz poll showed different results. Sixty percent of Israelis said they support an agreement with the establishment of a Palestinian state (from a representative sample of 500 – which means that probably fewer than 100 Arabs were polled – and error of +/-4.4%).

“If the Prime Minister reached an agreement in the framework of which a Palestinian state would be established alongside Israel would you support or not support the agreement?”

- Support: 60%
- Do not support: 32% (Haaretz’s article uses this wording, rather than “oppose”)

Nir Hasson of Haaretz writes that compared to similar (not identical) polls in December 2012 (just weeks after the last Gaza war), the current data represents a drop from around two-thirds support then.

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However, when simple details are given about the two-state agreement, support crumbles. The basic outline in the subsequent question mirrors the Camp David talks from 14 years ago, and many doubt whether this formula is even applicable anymore.

Consider that in the framework of an agreement, most settlers are annexed to Israel [sic – ds], Jerusalem will be divided, refugees won’t return to Israel and there will be a strict security arrangement, would you support this agreement?”

- Yes: 35%
- No: 58%

As a pollster, the contrast between the idea of a two-state agreement and the lack of support for the detailed version is dramatic enough to warrant methodological suspicion. When my polls show results like that, I automatically check for technical errors or glitches in data processing.

But supporting data from other polls and questions usually signal that there is no technical error, only the contradictions of human nature. Notably, there is little contradiction given findings from two polls nearly one year ago that are remarkably similar, which I wrote about then: when the Prime Minister presents a general agreement, 55 percent supported it; when the details are given (without mentioning the Prime Minister), precisely the same portion accept or reject it (38% to 56%) as this year.

Further, in the current poll, when asked if people would prefer to evacuate settlements for a peace agreement, or give up on an agreement to preserve settlements, Israelis are evenly split (45% to 43% respectively – a statistical tie). The 43 percent who resist dismantling any settlements, since the question didn’t specify, are probably mostly right-wing. It’s not hard to imagine another 15 percent drawn from the center or even self-described left who are in no mood for this arrangement at present.

There are other ominous findings: the majority of Israelis supports unequal rights for Palestinians:

If Israel were to annex territories, do you think it should give Palestinians living there full rights, including the right to vote in Knesset, or partial rights, without Knesset vote?

- Full: 31%
- Partial: 56%

So when shown the details, the majority of Israelis are opposed to a two-state agreement and support denying civil rights to Palestinians. This finding may be mitigated by the fact that 62 percent do not support Naftali Bennett’s plan of annexing Area C. But that itself is mitigated by the fact that Israel is already doing so.

It is worth noting that all three surveys were conducted just prior to the kidnapping of the Israeli teens and the current escalation. But there is little reason to think the events will have a strong impact on these specific questions, given long term trends in public opinion, and on the ground. But if they do, that impact is unlikely to favor the classic two-state formula.

Related:
After Kerry, only BDS may save the two-state solution
COMIC: Why even god can’t reach a two-state solution
The only two-state solution that might work

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Gaza is terrible? Try daily life http://972mag.com/gaza-is-terrible-try-daily-life/93284/ http://972mag.com/gaza-is-terrible-try-daily-life/93284/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:40:11 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=93284 Gaza is unlivable and Tel Aviv is surreal. Then there’s all the rest.

I spent today at a meeting of Israelis and Palestinians in East Jerusalem, planned well before the current escalation. Around 7:30 a.m., I was showering when sirens went off, followed by three low booms. Since the shower is about the only comfortable place in the sticky coastal area these days, I didn’t move. It no longer seemed interesting enough to post on social media. At 8:30 a.m. I picked up two colleagues and we drove 38 miles (60 kilometers) from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. With a bit of morning traffic, we arrived just after 9:30 a.m.

H, a Palestinian conflict resolution expert in her 40s from a town near Hebron, was also supposed to attend the meeting. She left home, about 23 miles (37 kilometers) from Jerusalem as the crow flies, in time to be there at 9:30. At 10:30 the organizers began getting text messages from her.

I asked for her permission to publish them here, almost unedited. She agreed on condition that I do not use her full name.

10:30am

“I am still trying to leave Hebron. Dura my home town is closed because of clashes last night after settlers kidnapping a 15 year kid beating him breaking his legs and tossing him way out of main road..Shabab got angry and it was a long night. Will do my best but please know I am trying. Writing after stopping on the side of the road too dangerous! ! Last night in gaza my family lost members of its extended clan!!crazy shit all around!!!!fuck this life I cannot take it anymore.”

Noon

“Ok. I gave up. I am back to Dura. My brother was with me and so he also decided not to continue to Bethlehem. Muhammad Dudeen, the kid who was killed in Dura two weeks ago was a cousin from my mom’s side. My 14 year nephew is talking about martyrism all the time.  My niece who speaks English, French and Arabic is not sure if she wants to leave home to do a one year study abroad. My brother tells me in an angry voice that those who call for another intifada do not know that we want to just live and hear nothing about death unless it is for natural causes! Cancer seems more human than being blown up to pieces while walking in the street.

How can we take that darkness out of our lives? How can we humanize ourselves and the other when children are paying the price of this senseless death. Did we fail as social justice activists to advocate for just peace and non-violent resistance? What and how can we pick up the pieces of our shattered humanity?! Is giving up an option? Is it even reasonable? How can we move forward when children are watching and witnessing and experiencing this loud noise of hatred and violence?”

Related:
Live blog: Escalation in Gaza – July 2014
‘They left us no choice’: On military escalation and its Israeli rationale
Nobody should be a number: Names of those killed in Gaza

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A portrait of the enemy in Tel Aviv http://972mag.com/a-portrait-of-the-enemy-in-tel-aviv/93202/ http://972mag.com/a-portrait-of-the-enemy-in-tel-aviv/93202/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 18:10:06 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=93202 The enemy in Tel Aviv is a shapeless wail in the morning. It has no point of origin, it arises from the air, a warning without warning. A noise from a void.

The enemy is a tremble in coffee number one, a soft boom over bread and butter at the restaurant last night.  It is the grinning diners who twist toward me when I turn toward them: “Keeps things interesting,” they chuckle.

“How is the atmosphere in the South tonight?” asked the anchor on the news  to reporters in the South. “They’re used to it down here,” she gushes. “They’ve gathered all together, it’s almost like a happening of sorts. Would I go so far as to say the atmosphere is nice?  Yes! It’s nice,” she says.

The enemy is a fish tank in the shelter in my neighborhood park. Don’t be so cynical! That’s terrible. It probably means a lot to frightened children. Who wouldn’t be calmed by goldfish swimming circles in cool waters in the summer?

I know about being calmed by watching fish. My first teenage love and I sat at night in the dark, watching water that bubbled and glowed and fish moving silently in the tank in his tiny room, on a kibbutz in the South, 14 kilometers from Gaza. And I never felt so safe.

Late one night we left the kibbutz to pick up someone from a bus station somewhere. He put a pistol on his belt.

“Do you really need that?” I said.

“You never know,” he said.

“It’s not New York,” I said.

It was 1990 and I had stared at the faces of angry people on the subways for years. Here there is no face.

But we know what the enemy looks like: A pistol in his pocket, a siren in the morning. The only people we remember are the frozen photos of boys with bombs, dead already when their photos were found.

What enemy do they see from Gaza?

Ruins of a Palestinian home in the Az-Zaitoun neighborhood of Gaza city, destroyed during an Israeli airstrike, November 23, 2012. (Photo by: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Ruins of a Palestinian home in the Az-Zaitoun neighborhood of Gaza city, destroyed during an Israeli airstrike, November 23, 2012. (Photo by: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Related:
Live blog: Escalation in Gaza – July 2014
Dispatch from Gaza: You can never be emotionally ready
Why Netanyahu will lose this Gaza war, too

 

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‘Our’ murderers – what would Arendt and Buber say? http://972mag.com/our-murderers-what-would-arendt-and-buber-say/93098/ http://972mag.com/our-murderers-what-would-arendt-and-buber-say/93098/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 11:41:25 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=93098 There is soul-searching and there is the self-gratifying appearance of soul-searching. The deception of the latter lies within the words: ‘Tear out these wild weeds from among us.’

Confession: I held out hope, to the last minute, that the murderers of Mohammed Abu Khdeir would not be “mine” – Israeli, Jewish.

The hope that they would belong to some other group, even, god help me, Mohammed’s own people, is primitive. I must acknowledge, helplessly, that at this moment, I felt a greater sense of identification with the presumed killers due to tribal and arbitrary designation of birth: Jewish (assuming none of us are converts by choice). It feels as if their crime reflects on me more than a crime committed by the so-called “other.” As if the “other” is fundamentally different from me.

But I was not surprised. Jews, like every community in the world, contain good and evil people, and hopefully a few really good folks, like Martin Buber. Jews, like every other religious tradition in the world have a culture of goodness, schools of thought that nurture constructive, harmonious values; we also have culture, schools of thought, environments, politics and history too, that nurture violence, devalue human life, twist the straight tree of morality into the crooked timbre of humanity.

——-

On the morning after the news that six Jews have been arrested as the main suspects, descriptions are flying around. The Israeli authorities called them “Jewish extremists”; followed by immediate insistence that they are terrorists, including from security figures such as the Israeli defense minister.

Those distinctions give political insight and have legal consequences. “Jewish extremists” shows that Jewish Israelis have no trouble distinguishing regular people from fanatics when they’re our own. We don’t describe a Palestinian who kills a Jew as “Palestinian extremist.” For most Israelis “Palestinian” is sufficiently synonymous with extremism. Indeed, many Israelis hardly notice Palestinians except to point out acts of violence.

The terrorist label is important because it means the authorities can use extraordinary legal measures rather than due process. But “extraordinary” is misleading: those actions are daily fare for the many Palestinians unlucky enough to go through the military court system. There is much talk of destroying the Jewish families’ homes – from outraged rabbis to the mother of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. That’s precisely because it’s not “extraordinary”: home demolitions and other facets of non-democratic military rule have become the norm for occupier and occupied alike.

——–

The other common response is to call the killers names that place them outside the Israeli, Jewish or human community. Noting attempts to make them into “wild weeds,” or “vermin,” Haaretz’s editorial warns, “But the vermin is huge and many legged.” Dror Ider, writing in Israel Hayom called them the “impure margins” of society and Labor MK Eitan Cabel was quoted by Haaretz from his Facebook page: “They are not Jews – animals are not part of any religion.” This made brief waves on the Internet and the status was apparently edited, because it now reads:

[the killers] are not Jews. They are probably Jews in their own eyes, on their ID cards and even according to Halacha [Jewish law – ds]; but monsters do not belong to any religion – certainly not to Judaism.

The updated status is not much different: Monsters, animals, vermin, impure.

These responses are natural. After the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, so many tried to say of Yigal Amir, “he’s not one of us.”

They mask a deep denial: that the Jewish people contain not only good and bad individuals, but also culture that can nurture hatred, vengeance, violence, if we so choose.

There is soul-searching and there is the self-gratifying appearance of soul-searching. The deception of the latter lies within the words: “uproot them!” “Tear out these wild weeds from among us.”

Jews must look at the incubators of violence in our communities, not just within individuals: the sports fans chanting “death to Arabs,” the extremist interpretations of religious sources, the pulsa denuras, the macho aggression of everyday life, the banal militarism of our rule over Palestinians.

These states of mind have generous physical manifestations, but the violence is so common as to be invisible; many Israelis do not even identify it as violence. Even when nearly 7,000 Palestinians  have died since 2000 (over 1,600 of them children and women – and 1,230 Jews, 99 of them women or children); we cannot see that we perpetrate violence.

Seen in this light, the obsession with Palestinian incitement is little more than a psychological escape hatch from our own incitement, dressed up differently, with its regular crop of death.

——-

I am left thinking of Hannah Arendt, excoriated for observing the all-too-average nature of a mass murderer. Maybe the murderers of Naftali, Eyal, Gilad and Mohammed are no less awful and calculating, only their options were more limited.

For Arendt, Auschwitz was an “unprecedented crime.” But paradoxically, she means that it was unprecedented not in terms of tribal uniqueness – a crime against Jews – but because it was a crime against all of humanity. Eichmann too emerged from all of humanity. This is why she gently critiques Martin Buber for saying that he could not feel that “common humanity” with Nazis or Eichmann.

It was disappointing to find him dodging, on the highest possible level, the very problem Eichmann and his deeds had posed.

But since the world is not yet one true global human community, let’s start with our own. Jews and Israelis must not dodge, at the highest and deepest levels, the problem that the Jewish Israeli murderers of a 17-year-old Palestinian old pose for us.

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There is no war of images, only occupation http://972mag.com/there-is-no-war-of-images-only-occupation/93076/ http://972mag.com/there-is-no-war-of-images-only-occupation/93076/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 18:15:52 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=93076 The right-wing Israel crowd is on a mission to delegitimize every Palestinian activity that goes beyond silent submission to permanent foreign military rule.

Post-modern madness has Israelis very excited, for years now, about the notion that if Israel just “explains” its side of the matter, the world will come to its senses.

There is a deep and pervasive myth that Israel is hopelessly incompetent at communications. Israelis speak of Palestinian propaganda as a well-oiled machine, with tentacles in every news media, lobby groups in the halls of power and pressure groups controlling the minds of students and faculty in universities around the world. Many Israelis seem unaware that operating highly elaborate lobbies, media watchdogs and branding efforts – with generous funding and considerable sophistication – is a long-established Jewish activity. And it hasn’t saved Israel from a deteriorating global image.

Meanwhile, Israelis know that the Palestinian machine is a Svengali spinning lies into narratives that everybody believes. Palestinians’ clever use of film as a weapon exaggerates benign realities of an enlightened occupation by the most moral army into a Hollywood-produced image of hell. Right-wingers so thoroughly believe this that they have developed a nickname for the string of manipulative and manipulated video clips showing Israelis harming Palestinians: “Pallywood.” How to fight the scourge is a national obsession.

In the thick of the terrible escalation this weekend, an item on Israel’s Channel 10 claimed to explore the “stories behind” some of the most damaging videos that have made global rounds. The repulsive footage of Israeli border policemen beating a teenaged Palestinian-American while he is flattened and immobilized (a relative of the murdered youth Muhammed Abu Khdeir) is the very latest; David the “Nahlawi” is another; two weeks before that was  damning footage from Beitunia of soldiers shooting at demonstrators, some of them stone-throwers, resulting in two teenage deaths; before that the M16-whipping of a Danish activist, and the iconic Muhammed al-Dura affair, and so forth. Apparently these incidents are a purely a matter of image, with no connection to each other, only loosely tied to reality at all.

The Channel 10 story was actually about the “National-Zionist news agency” called “Tazpit” (Lookout), established to counter the images drawn from “partial, lying footage of what goes on in Judea and Samaria…” by the “enemies of Zionism,” as if Zionism is a universal value. The organization itself doesn’t say this on its English website, where it rather farcically tries to portray itself as a news agency. That text comes from the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism awarded to Tazpit in 2013, named for Irving Moskowitz, the American stalwart settlement funder. However, the Hebrew version is quite open about the agenda of transforming Israel’s negative image “because our information is not getting out…We at Tazpit will change that!”

A Palestinian B'Tselem volunteer documenting a protest in the south Hebron Hills, June 14, 2008. (Oren Ziv/Activestills)

A Palestinian B’Tselem volunteer documenting a protest in the south Hebron Hills, June 14, 2008. (Oren Ziv/Activestills)

This is one example of the severe problem with the way Israel thinks about the conflict – or doesn’t:

First, the meta-conversation is getting out of hand. The multi-layered system of non-transparent backing for an organization that lives in a world of prizes given for nurturing more image-making is an unforgivable distraction from the events themselves.

Second, the right-wing Israel crowd is on a mission to delegitimize every Palestinian activity other than mute submission to permanent stateless military rule. Violence against civilians of course is not legitimate. But it is quixotic to condemn violence against military targets in a military conflict, short of outlawing war altogether, as my grandmother has suggested of late. Civil resistance is also considered aggression: popular protests are condemned because of stone-throwing spoilers. Civil action such as BDS and the UN diplomacy are written off as attempts to delegitimize Israel rather than genuine protests of its policy.

Now even the most basic response to oppression – the attempt to tell the world, raise awareness, communicate suffering in order to seek help for ending it – that too is evidence of Palestinian incitement and lies.

The truth is that for mainstream Israel, there is no legitimate way for Palestinians to protest its policies.

A third problem is that Israel’s rejection of all Palestinian activity is so automatic that it extends to pretty much everything – even pro-Israel sentiments. So when Mahmoud Abbas gives an unprecedented recognition of the Holocaust, Israel scoffs. When Mahmoud Abbas condemns the attack against the three Israeli civilian youth, in Arabic, to an Arab audience, Israel shrugs.

The fourth and final issue should be obvious but apparently it is not. I have certainly written it before, so apologies to readers.

We campaign professionals know the power of images. Public opinion researchers, or at least those worth the job title, know the limit of that power: people are not stupid. The Cold War is over and in the long term, on major ongoing issues, I doubt that masses can be made to believe falsehoods that have no basis in fact.

That doesn’t mean every fact is true, of course. Each side’s media is full of one-sided representation, mistakes or sometimes even purposeful untruths. Nor do facts that serve one side negate all those of the other side. Admitting that Tarek Abu Khdeir was brutally beaten by Israeli authorities does not negate the rocks thrown at police in East Jerusalem or that rockets were fired from Gaza into civilian areas of Israel.

Pictures are worth a thousand words, but one truth is worth a thousand pictures. No one picture will change the fact that Israel is waging a war of occupation on the Palestinian people and it’s a real war, not a war of images.

Related:
The Israeli government’s official ‘lawfare’ contractor
One child’s detention in Hebron embodies the sickness of an entire regime
The questions people don’t ask about ‘staged photojournalism’
WATCH: Bringing Israelis face to face with Gaza closure

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Five possible consequences of Hamas-Fatah unity http://972mag.com/five-possible-consequences-of-hamas-fatah-unity/91598/ http://972mag.com/five-possible-consequences-of-hamas-fatah-unity/91598/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 21:40:02 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=91598 Hamas could be moderated by entering the mainstream, internationally acceptable Palestinian government. Or it could follow the Hezbollah model and slowly reverse Abbas’s legacy.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the swearing in ceremony for the new unity government, Ramallah, June 2, 2014. (Photo: Mustafa Bader/Activestills.org)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the swearing in ceremony for the new Palestinian unity government, Ramallah, June 2, 2014. (Photo: Mustafa Bader/Activestills.org)

The Hamas-Fatah reconciliation is either the end of days, or the dawn over new horizons. The deal is so confusing because it might mean one thing – or else the opposite.  Here are some of the polarized possible outcomes:

1. Fatah will become one with terrorists, OR terrorists were just co-opted by a more moderate political leadership.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Liberman look at this as Hamas spreading its terrorist stain over Palestinian politics. They probably fear the example of Hezbollah, which first took part in Lebanon’s elections in 1992, and went on to redefine the country.

The other perspective involves Sinn Fein the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, a terrorist organization. Sinn Fein became a signatory to the Good Friday peace agreement of Northern Ireland. The IRA laid down its arms for the sake of the accords.

Either option is a reality. But unlike Hezbollah, Hamas is not as directly dominated by other states. It is more accountable to its own people.

2. Hamas will get stronger, OR Hamas will get weaker.

The accord came about in part because Hamas was already weakened: opposing Assad for the slaughter in Syria angered Iran, Assad’s patron, and led to a slump in Iranian support for Hamas. Then the group lost its Egyptian patron, Mohammed Morsi, to Tahrir. Tunnels to Egypt closed, gas prices in Gaza soared and desperation grew. The political division is top priority among Palestinians. Hamas’ legitimacy was both eroded and limited.

Hamas surely thinks the move will make it more popular. But popular for what? Not for further isolation and bad alliances. Hamas seems to have concluded that it would be rewarded for political pragmatism, advancing elections, unifying Palestinians around the Fatah agenda of an independent Palestinian state within broad 1967 lines, through diplomacy not arms.

So Hamas as a political force might get stronger. But the meaning of Hamas – what it has been up to now – will probably get weaker.

3. Iran will have even more direct influence, OR less.

Meir Javedanfar, an Iran expert who lectures at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, explains that since the Hamas/Iran slowdown, Iran’s support has been partly, tentatively restored. “The relationship is nothing like what it was before.” he told +972 in an interview. “After the deal with the PLO, Hamas may decide they don’t need Iran anymore.” For that reason, said Javedanfar, “[the deal] is a golden opportunity for Israel to pull Hamas even further away from Iran.” Israel, of course, would only reward Hamas if it accepts the Quartet’s three main conditions: recognition of Israel, renouncing violence, and accepting all prior agreements. According to Munib al-Masri, a Palestinian businessman who helped negotiate the deal, that’s exactly what the reconciliation with the PLO and Fatah means, even if not said explicitly.

Javedanfar was blunt about the consequences for Iran: “if you really want to kick them in the feet, you bring Hamas away from Iran.”  Then, he said, the only remaining Iranian proxy in Palestine is Islamic Jihad. “After all the years and billions of dollars of Iranian money, that’s all they have to show for it in Palestine.”

4. Israel has a better partner, OR Israel has no partner.

For years, Israel has been saying it has no partner, and the heart of that argument was the political division. Now that argument is severely curtailed. Further, the political unity deal can symbolize the short but growing list of indicators that Hamas accepts a 1967-line based Palestine. I’ve argued that it’s no use waiting for grand declarations and fanfare – but that if we wish to see the signs of change, there are some.

Here’s another example of a sovereign that didn’t want to accept pragmatic changes among its extremist enemies.  In the late 1990s the guerilla/terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army and the politically moderate Democratic League of Kosovo were rivals. But when invited to negotiations with Milosevic that might have avoided international intervention, they went together. The delegation managed to agree on a deal to redesign relations with Serbia and avoid war. The sovereign state, Yugoslavia/Serbia refused. The resulting intervention devastated the remainder of Yugoslavia and Serbia lost all of its beloved Kosovo, forever. Not Israel’s first choice.

5. The deal is good for Palestinians, OR terrible for Palestinians.

It’s a safe bet that the large majority of Palestinians are supportive. The rift is their top problem (see, for example, page 4 here). They have been disappointed by previous deals that failed. This one stipulates that elections are to be held in six months, putting the democratic process, frozen since 2006, within reach. Elections make statehood look, feel and become more real.

Secular liberal Palestinians probably harbor concerns about increased Hamas influence in their society, and with good reason. But holding free and fair elections are good for political legitimacy and public buy-in. Participation equals building, building gives hope, and hope encourages people to struggle and demand the society they desire.

Unless the elections are marred, for example, by banning who can run or who can vote. One of Israel’s first moves today was to threaten not to allow elections in East Jerusalem, according to Haaretz (Channel 2 reported that the threat relates to the whole West Bank).

But the more Palestine behaves like a state, internationally and institutionally, the more absurd it becomes for Israel to intervene in its internal affairs. While Israel still fancies itself master of its puppets, the Palestinians are playing a whole different game: of empowerment, self-determination, independence. Those are tough values to reject these days. When the world inevitably tips toward their perspective, the idea of foreign intervention in Palestine’s electoral affairs becomes anathema. Say hello to the future fodder for rage against Israel.

After so many false starts, this time is different. The reconciliation and unity government is a turning point for a Palestine that is not crying victimhood, but is gaining momentum and calling the shots. Consolidating the Palestinian vision gives them a greater chance of achieving it. Wasting energy in frantic struggles to respond, Israel is destined to fall behind.

Correction appended: An earlier version mistakenly referred to Hezbollah as a “foreign implant” in Lebanon. The intention was that Hezbollah is directly controlled, financed and backed by other states, as it appears above.

 

Related:
More than just the PA at stake in Palestinian reconciliation
True Palestinian reconciliation must include refugees
Why Fatah-Hamas reconciliation might just work this time

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Truth, tapes and two dead Palestinians http://972mag.com/truth-tapes-and-two-dead-palestinians/91215/ http://972mag.com/truth-tapes-and-two-dead-palestinians/91215/#comments Thu, 22 May 2014 08:45:08 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=91215 The raging debate about the death of the Beitunia teens will become eternally self-referential as each side pumps up its own greater narratives. Herein lies perhaps the greatest victory for the stronger side.

Two Palestinian teens were killed last Thursday, Nakba Day. Until yesterday, it was also true that the Palestinian teens were shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces. There is excessive documentation – eyewitnesses, news outlets, still photos and 12 hours of video from the security cameras monitoring the shack-like structures where they were shot, owned by a private Palestinian.

Members of the Palestinian national security forces carry the bodies of Nadim Seeam Abu Kara and Muhammad Abu Da'har during their funeral procession in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 16, 2014. Abu Kara and Muhammad Abu Da'har were shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes the previous day outside the Israeli-run Ofer prison following a protest commemorating the Nakba. Foreign press published that the two died in a Ramallah hospital after being shot in the chest during a protest to demand the release of thousands of Palestinians held by Israel. (Activestills.org)

Members of the Palestinian National Security Forces carry the bodies of Nadim Seeam Abu Kara and Muhammad Abu Da’har during their funeral procession in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 16, 2014. Activestills.org)

A week later, the IDF embraced different facts. It is conducting an investigation and here are the theories that have come out so far, according to news reports: the IDF used only rubber bullets, not live ammunition. It is not clear that Israeli forces did it; the youth might have been shot by Palestinian fire.  The youth who were brought to the hospital and died might not be the same youth who were shot. The 12 hours of video that shows them being hit, says an unnamed “senior security figure” to Haaretz, is “very likely fabricated.”

WATCH: Footage shows Israeli army’s killing of two Palestinian teens

These competing theories are like the opening shots (so to speak) in a race of narratives and obsession with angles. What was the direction of the shot? What could the soldiers see from their angle? Is a hospital report saying they were killed by live bullets credible? Should the graves be opened and a body exhumed, as the father of one of the dead has offered, to prove the truth?

There is something deeply disturbing about seeing these lines reappear almost verbatim as they have been spoken about previous incidents: in the case of Jawaher Abu Rahma, who died at a demonstration in Bil’in in 2011 after inhaling tear gas; or the towering symbol of Mohammed Al-Dura, the Palestinian child killed in crossfire during the Second Intifada, a symbol of martyrdom and manipulation to Palestinians and Israelis, respectively.

Why do public voices start playing with the truth? Mostly when they feel the truth will reflect badly on them. What does it means to manipulate the truth? Public figures are well aware that the post-modern mindset makes it hard to pin down facts. Throwing out theories, no matter how wild, raises doubts even if far-fetched. Using words inaccurately, or not admitting to one’s actions is another form. Accusing the other side of full-out conspiracy and elaborate fabrications is another.

In a recent article about Ukraine, The New York Times pointed out that facts are spun into fuses to light the fires for each side. Russian propaganda cries ‘fascist anti-Semites’ at Kiev, while Kiev calls pro-Russian separatists ‘terrorists.’ While I think the Times piece paints a naïve dichotomy between ‘healthy’ societies (like the US) and conflict situations, this line rings true:

The fragmentation of consensus about critical events and the degradation of legitimate political authority are like two apocalyptic horsemen riding together.

The apocalypse is solipsistic: the raging debate about the Beitunia teens, like Abu Rahma and Al-Dura, will become eternally self-referential as each side pumps up its own greater narratives. The IDF will continue to argue that the tape is fabricated, to frantically salvage its degraded political authority. It will become an example of Israeli righteousness and manipulative Palestinian wrongfulness and the whole community of blind-support for Israel will rally to this cause. Palestinians and supporters will continue to insist that unarmed victims are being murdered but nobody believes them or cares. That camp too will rally to its narrative.

Here lies perhaps the greatest victory for the stronger side. When the events move from hard facts to a battle of narratives, false symmetry emerges. My word against your word; my accusations of falsification and cover ups, versus yours. But the only thing false is the parity.

The Palestinians are a stateless people living under military occupation or as refugees. This situation began in 1948, which is why there are demonstrations that day – to protest the ongoing impossibility of their lives. Two Palestinian teens were shot and killed on 15 May, 2014 – that is a fact. The Nakba takes lives, physically and spiritually, to this day – that is its meaning.

Related:
WATCH: Footage shows Israeli army’s killing of two Palestinian teens
Beitunia killings and the media’s incredibly high bar for Palestinian stories
Human rights NGO: Investigate senior IDF officers over Ofer killings

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The burden, and wall, of Zionism http://972mag.com/the-burden-and-wall-of-zionism/90571/ http://972mag.com/the-burden-and-wall-of-zionism/90571/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 17:56:06 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=90571 Zionism has come to refer not to the many ways of building Israel, but to a litmus test. Any answer other than ‘I am a Zionist,’ is akin to being un-American in the 1950s.

I didn’t join a Labor Zionist youth movement at 14 because I thought of myself as a Zionist. Actually I shied away from group identities, bouncing among social cliques at school and staying away from team sports. My parents just didn’t know what to do with me one summer and they heard about a nice Jewish camp, not too expensive.

The Habonim-Dror camp turned out to be a tiny gaggle of barely 100 kids and counselors, some of them bona fide 60s leftovers in the mid-1980s, with a fetish for socialist values and arguments we felt sure were intellectual. When heated discussions went on too long, counselors let us skip team sports. In fact they let us skip for pretty much any reason. Things were a little crazy – one day each summer, the 17-year old campers held a “revolution” and tossed out the (delighted) counselors for 24 hours. There were not a few parental lawsuits.

I was hooked, and determined not to miss the year on kibbutz after high school. My fascination with the idea of Israel was growing and the social bonds were strong. Some of those people became friends for life and a few of us even moved here.

I don’t remember anyone asking me if I was a Zionist, or caring if I had said I wasn’t. We talked about terribly important substance – the socialist ethics of pooling our money to buy cigarettes that some wanted and some (only some!) hated; the concept of tikkun olam; learning the spectrum of left and right political parties in Israel, and how some of them opposed holding “the territories”; we learned about Berl Katznelson and Ahad Ha’am – but I don’t recall any fixation on the label “Zionism.”

An American is an American. A Frenchman is a Frenchman, or woman. Israel too has a dynamic debate about what makes a person Israeli: the declaration of independence says all its citizens are equal regardless of religion, race, or gender. The Right loves to point out that other countries also restrict borders, rights and privileges to people who embody the national identity.

But the parallel to other countries is inaccurate, because Israel has two definitions that further narrow who is in or out; who the state legitimizes and invests in, and who it tries to reject. One is the identity of “Jewish.” The other is “Zionist.”

Defenders of Israel’s Jewish identity argue that Western states are implicitly Christian; minorities and immigrants are supposed to accept that in exchange for the basic tenets of rights and freedoms guaranteed by formal laws. Israel does not have to be any different.

But Israel, by contrast, tries to formally define itself as Jewish. Instead of allowing “Israeli-ness” to develop into a blend of its (current) majority, fusing with its minorities like in France or America, Israel would like to narrow “Israeli” identity to the Jewish aspect – through a Basic Law proposal, an amendment to the Citizenship Law, Right of Return and draft laws. Maybe the current leadership isn’t interested in preserving the Jewish numeric majority, as witnessed by creeping annexation policies, so it hopes to anchor the character of the state through legislation. There are also unwritten codes, such as favoring army service for employment, or unequal resource distribution, to divide the favored from the marginalized.

Inside this first inner demarcation, there is yet another, even narrower, boundary being drawn: Zionism.

In over a century of the modern usage, the term has never meant one thing alone. Its myriad tributaries merged and parted like the waters of the world’s great rivers.  Like a political party in Israel.

But lately, Zionism has come to refer not to the many ways of building Israel, but to a litmus test. The test is your label: you are “Zionist” – no matter what you mean by that – or else you are post-, anti-, non-Zionist.

Israelis  participate in the march of the Flags on May 20, 2012, Jerusalem (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israelis participate in the March of the Flags during ‘Jerusalem Day’ on May 20, 2012, East Jerusalem (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

This means two things simultaneously. First, inside Israel, any answer other than “I am a Zionist,” is akin to being un-American in the 1950s.

Self-anointed spokespeople of Zionism, Im Tirzu, use it as a symbol of total worship of the state at the expense of other rights. Their mission is to out those who think otherwise and they campaign to strip such people of their platforms. The pressure on Ben-Gurion University department of politics and government to disavow faculty members is the best example.

In the public domain, the distinction of Zionist or non-, post-, anti-Zionists is used to delegitimize people, and portray them as outside the consensus.

Yet that use of Zionism is solipsistic: it refers only to itself, having gutted this rich world of all substance.

There’s a second current meaning. For Palestinians, Zionism has equaled racism from the famous UN resolution onward – and before. For them Zionism is both the occupation from 1967 and their ongoing 65-year-old stateless wandering that began in 1948 (even the Jews wandered in Sinai for only 40 years). In the name of Zionism, Palestinians’ collective historic trauma was denied (understandably making their demand for recognition of their experiences more vociferous). To this day, they live as people in bondage, subject to military rule and stunted political growth.

Zionism to them is a symbol of all that they have endured, continue to endure, and the fact that their past and sometimes present is often ignored unless they turn to terrorism. Then Israel and the world (rightly, but inevitably) resist demands based on violence.

These days, when I meet Palestinians for the first time, they sometimes ask a few litmus questions of their own. Including: “Are you a Zionist?”

Am I? I accept the historic fact of Jews settling from the late 19th century onward in their ancient homeland, fleeing persecution which culminated in the Holocaust, and I know we established a state by force against the native population. I don’t justify that violence but nearly all states are born in conflict and suffering, which is apparently inevitable. Like numerous other states, I believe Israel must recognize that history, that damage, and find ways to redress the suffering of the people it has harmed.

I flatly reject ongoing aggression against Palestinians. I fundamentally recognize human rights of all. Someone asked me if I support Palestinian rights: I do not. Human beings are born with rights – one does not get to ‘support’ or ‘oppose’ them. I support my country recognizing those rights and ensuring that all people under its control can realize them.

In the internal Jewish debate, I hold some positions that some might accuse of being non-, anti-, or post-Zionism. I also moved here from the U.S., took citizenship, have paid taxes for 17 years, and work on political campaigns for Israeli parties who call themselves Zionist when I generally support their programs. One fellow even told me that an article I wrote here on +972 Magazine helped him make the decision to move to Israel. The labels turn out to be meaningless and irrelevant.

In short, Zionism has been reduced to a wall: a ghetto wall separating Jews from other Jews, that we have built ourselves and a eight-meter high concrete separation wall, separating Jews from Palestinians.

It is a burden.

Related:
Why I oppose recognizing Israel as a Jewish state
How a Zionist can oppose the Jewish state
Denying ‘Israeli nationality’ only perpetuates discrimination

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