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David Ben Gurion

  • Using education to normalize horrific acts of violence

    This is how the Israeli education system makes it possible for generation after generation of Israelis to accept the most brutal forms of state violence.  By Gil Gertel October provides Israelis a number of opportunities for self examination, one of which happened just a week ago, on October 14. On that night in 1953, 600 Israeli soldiers — half of an infantry battalion — raided the Palestinian village Qibya, located just over a kilometer from Israel's border with the West Bank, then under Jordanian control. The soldiers opened fire, threw grenades, laid explosives, and blew up 45 homes. Sixty-nine residents of Qibya, the majority of…

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  • For Israelis, Palestinian refugees are a constant, lurking threat

    A new government public relations clip shows Israeli Jews as the perpetual victims of history. But once upon a time Israeli leaders were able to consider the pain of others, too. The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs managed to out-do itself on Thursday when it released its latest hasbara (state-sponsored PR) video of Jews as eternal victims of persecution in their homeland. The clip tells the story of Rachel and Jacob, two contemporary Israeli Jews who live in a large, comfortable home, which is meant to be a metaphor for the Land of Israel. Slowly, the couple's home is invaded and…

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  • Fight anti-Palestinianism as we would anti-Semitism

    While anti-Semitism is considered a serious moral failing in Western society today, anti-Palestinianism is not even recognized as a phenomenon worthy of being studied.  By Jeremiah Haber By “anti-Palestinianism” I understand prejudice against Palestinian Arabs based on perceived negative qualities of Palestinian cultural or natural identity. Views such as “Palestinian Arab culture is a culture of death and martyrdom,” “Palestinian Arabs hate Jews because of incitement,” “Palestinian labor is inferior” are examples of this prejudice. Attempts to justify these prejudices are inevitably based on selective data, generalization, and bias. [tmwinpost] By “anti-Semitism,” I understand prejudice against Jews based on perceived…

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  • There is no 'day after' Netanyahu

    Short of allowing Palestinians to establish an independent state, there is nothing Netanyahu won't do to ensure his political survival. Liberal Israeli columnist and Channel 10's top political commentator Raviv Drucker published a piece in Haaretz Sunday, in which he waxes optimistic about the "day after Netanyahu" and who could possibly take over and bring the Israeli Right back to its proper, "sane" place. [tmwinpost] Drucker, of course, knows that barring some unforeseen circumstances, the "day after Netanyahu" is far, far away. Far enough for him to propose Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon as Netanyahu's possible successor. While Drucker hasn't forgiven…

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  • The roots of anti-Mizrahi racism in Israel

    The founders of the state, Jews of Ashkenazi origin raised on European ideas, viewed 'Oriental Jews' as backward and primitive from the moment they began arriving en masse on Israel's shores. "An Ashkenazi gangster, thief, pimp or murderer will not gain the sympathy of the Ashkenazi community (if there is such a thing), nor will he expect it. But in such a primate community as the Moroccans' — such a thing is possible." - David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, 1959 Israel's media was abuzz Monday following the release of an overtly racist commercial targeting Mizrahi Jews. The commercial for the upscale…

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  • New Jewish settlements planned 'on top of' Bedouin villages

    The Israeli government approves a plan for five new settlements in the Negev/Naqab. Rights group says the plan, like Israel's overall policy regarding its Bedouin citizens, is discriminatory. The Israeli government on Sunday approved a plan for five new Jewish settlements to be built in the Negev (Naqab) in the south of Israel. The plan, which was submitted by Housing Minister Yoav Galant of Kulanu, threatens to displace thousands of Bedouin from their homes. [tmwinpost] Two of the settlements are due to be built where Bedouin villages already exist, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). The…

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  • A living legacy of displacement

    The impulses that drove the dispossession of the 1948 war are still acted on today, on both sides of the borders it forged. “Did you know I’m afraid of sleeping? … I’m scared of sleeping and waking to find myself in a strange land whose language I can’t speak. I’m scared I won’t wake up.” —Elias Khoury, Gate of the Sun There is an old Palestinian house on Ba’al HaTurim Street in Jaffa that sits quietly behind the trees. It is the kind of building that one could walk past every day and not see. I failed to notice it until…

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  • When will Israel stop seeing Palestinians as a 'demographic threat?'

    Israel’s political and social outlook, rooted in its desire to be a 'Jewish state,' makes it impossible to view the Palestinians as anything but an existential problem, even those it accepts as citizens. By Amjad Iraqi Last week, Haaretz’s Ofer Aderet reported about the auctioning of a letter written by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, to then-Haifa Mayor Abba Hushi. In the letter Ben-Gurion rejected attempts to allow Palestinian Arabs to return to Haifa after fleeing during the 1948 war, stating that “until the war is over, we don’t want a return of the enemy.”  While the letter does…

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  • Stop blaming Mizrahim for everything wrong in Israel

    Despite what many commentators would have you think, Israeli elections were not decided by racism among Israel's Mizrahi population. By Leeor Ohayon Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election is largely credited to votes from the Mizrahi periphery, but to credit the Mizrahi periphery alone would be naïve. The Likud party, after all, is an Ashkenazi one at heart, with Ashkenazi supporters. The magnitude of Netanyahu’s win, as a result of his “gevalt campaign,” (a desperation blitz) actually came from the Ashkenazi Right — Jewish Home voters sacrificed their party to save Netanyahu. In a recent article, Larry Derfner condemned “poor” Mizrahi Israelis for…

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  • Netanyahu is not Ben-Gurion, and 2015 is not 1948

    The Israeli prime minister is not using his Congress speech to gain votes in this election, rather, he is using his election campaign to gain favor for the Congress speech and serve his megalomaniac vision of being the savior of Jews worldwide. Netanyahu's recent campaign video, released Saturday night, has nothing to do with the Israeli election and certainly does not target the Israeli voter. It is intended for U.S. President Barack Obama, the White House, American Jews and more broadly, U.S. Democrats. The video compares David Ben-Gurion's decision to declare independence in 1948 over the objections of then U.S. Secretary…

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  • How the Israeli media covers massacres: Lessons from 1953

    The killing was justified, the terrorists hid among the civilian population, the West is anti-Semitic, and on second thought, perhaps the whole thing never actually happened. From the 1953 Qibya massacre to Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli media is the same media, and the lies the same lies. By John Brown At 9:30 p.m. on the night of October 14, 1953, soldiers from Israel's Paratroopers Unit as well as Commando Unit 101 fired mortars at the West Bank villages (then under Jordanian control) of Qibya and Ni'lin. Following the barrage, over 130 soldiers swarmed Qibya, laying down land mines on the…

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  • After Kerry, only BDS may save the two-state solution

    Not even Ben-Gurion would be able to rally the political support necessary to displace masses of settlers as long as there is no price to be paid for the occupation. So how much longer can liberal Zionists sit and watch the status quo remain static? If instead of trying to persuade Israel to change, two-state supporters started holding it responsible for refusing to change, it could have a jarring psychological impact on the country and its leaders. Now that the Kerry peace talks have failed and everyone has given up hoping that Netanyahu will change, what's the new plan for…

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  • The death of an Israeli war hero and Palestinian 'incitement'

    Meir Har-Zion was a murderer, yet he was idolized this week by the Israeli media and the country's highest officials. The Hebrew media in Israel bid farewell this week to one of the IDF’s mythological heroes, Meir Har-Zion. Har-Zion was practically legendary when I grew up, the most celebrated warrior of the IDF's Unit 101, which carried deadly “retribution” operations across Israel’s borders. “Israel’s hero,” read the front page headline this morning on Israel Hayom, the widely read free daily. Similarly adoring coverage could be found on the pages of the Post, Times of Israel, and even the U.S.-based Tablet. “One of our…

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