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How I learned to stop worrying and acknowledge the Nakba

For more than seven decades, Israelis haven’t been able to come to terms with the consequences of the Nakba. To do so, they’ll have to confront the hard truths about 1948, and shed their moral superiority.

By Michal Talya

Palestinians in the city of Ramle surrender to Israeli forces during 1948 war. (Eldad David/GPO)

Palestinians in the city of Ramle surrender to Israeli forces during 1948 war. (Eldad David/GPO)

The first time I ever heard a testimony about the Nakba was nearly two decades ago from a Bedouin man named Khalil who lived in the Negev/Naqab. I remember how difficult it was for me to believe that he was speaking the truth. In fact, I was convinced that as he told stories of cruelty meted out by both Israeli soldiers and policymakers, he was blowing things out of proportion — that he was under the influence of his “Oriental imagination,” trying to benefit from his status as a victim.

In the room were a handful of Israelis and a few dozen people from other countries, and it was unbearable to hear someone tarnishing me and the collective with which I identify — to watch someone debunking the foundatoins of the moral image I had of Israel. I had always fallen on the left side of the political spectrum, yet it was difficult for me to believe that Israeli soldiers could behave this way. And he was only telling his and his family’s personal story.

Khalil’s testimony made me aware that there was an entire story that had been hidden from me. All of us, graduates of the Israeli education system, Jews and Arabs, learned history and civics from textbooks that distorted and hid the difficult truths that led to Israel’s establishment.

Since then, I have listened to many more personal Palestinian testimonies, continuing to read and learn about the Nakba from various historical sources. In 2003 I began holding an annual meeting, which have taken place ever since, between Israeli Jews and Arab citizens on Memorial Day and Independence Day, where people could hear each other’s stories and share their pain and their hope.

Reading a recent investigative report — by Hagar Shezaf in Haaretz — on Israel’s attempt to conceal archival documents on the Nakba was a kick to the stomach. Within the pain of that kick lie a number of insights, including the understanding of just how brittle the moral basis of Israel’s founding was, and the extent to which the country’s leaders tried and continue to try to hide that fact.

The Zionist narrative always portrayed Israel’s military victory over the Arab armies in 1948 with pride and patriotism. But when it came to the Arab population of the country the official narrative twisted facts and hid the truth. Israelis were taught that the Arabs allegedly fled on their own accord, as if we didn’t need to make any effort to clear the land. This is how the founders of the state built a story on which an entire generation of children, including my parents, were raised. Decades later, Israeli children are still being raised on that very narrative.

In the eyes of the newborn state, it was necessary to paint things as such. Israel’s leaders knew they would lose international support should those war crimes come to light, especially the mass expulsion of a civilian population (85 percent of the Arab population was forced into exile due to the Zionist enterprise).

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That is precisely why hiding the truth was necessary on two levels. One was practical, allowing Israel to maintain good relations with other countries. The other was internal, having to do with the Jewish collective self-image, which perceives the Jew as both spiritually and morally superior. According to this idea, Jews could do no evil or murder in cold blood. On a personal level, this kind of psychology made room for extremists who could easily be condemned, but certainly not a squad of soldiers in uniform carrying out orders. And if the acts carried out in the name of Jewish nationalism become too aggressive — whether in 1948 or today — then there must be some way to justify them.

Those who founded the state had a genuine need to tell a righteous story about themselves because the truth of what happened did not match their self-image as good human beings. The proud New Jew who worked the land — the tough tsabar — had an expectation of himself to act morally. After all, he was a member of the Chosen People, a light unto the nations.

One of the reasons we have not been able to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for over 100 years has to do with our self-perception as the Jewish people on three fundamental levels: the traditional-religious level, according to which  we are spiritually and therefore essentially superior to all other nations; the cultural level, according to which we believe our morality is greater than of all other nations (this can be seen as the secular interpretation of the religious layer); and the historical-sociological level, in which we perceive ourselves as the ultimate victims of the world’s cruelty, manifested in anti-Semitism throughout the course of Western history and until today.

It is that final level that creates the largest mental block for Israelis, as it deludes us into perceiving Palestinians as playing the very same victimizing role that the pharaohs, the Romans, the Crusades, and the Nazis did, rather than seeing them as a people who have resisted Zionism since its onset simply because it comes at their own expense.

Palestinian refugees play in an impoverished area in Gaza City on January 17, 2018, after the White House froze tens of millions of dollars in aid to UNRWA. (Wissam Nassar/Flash90)

Palestinian refugees play in an impoverished area in Gaza City on January 17, 2018. (Wissam Nassar/Flash90)

These three components of Jewish-Israeli identity are responsible for the gap between our collective high self-esteem and the actual way we have conducted ourselves vis-à-vis the Palestinians over the last century. This self-image of a superior and simultaneously persecuted people allows us to live this gap without spiraling into cognitive dissonance.

If we could give up on the perception of “the most moral army and nation in the world,” we could — 70 years down the line — take a brave look at ourselves and into our neighbors’ eyes and say: “Yes, this is what our founding fathers did. This is what the Zionist enterprise did to you. We acknowledge what happened.” Perhaps after 70 years we could have understood that we are a nation like any other — neither a morally superior people nor the ultimate victim of the world’s anti-Semitism, who deserves compensation at the expense of others. That instead, we are human beings who commit cruel acts when fighting for our lives, that we are nation with a commitment to take others into consideration to the best of our ability.

Jewish culture, the Hebrew language, and our national history are both important and precious to me. Yet I want to disassociate them from the package deal which ties them to the State of Israel under the banner of a “Chosen People” who are perpetually persecuted. We are a people like all others with complex problems that demand complex solutions. But we should strive for a more moral solution. Not because we are Jews but because we are human beings. It is important that we take responsibility for our still-censored past so that we can see ourselves for who we really are — so that we can take responsibility and change the reality we are creating for ourselves and those around us.

Michal Talya is an Israeli psychotherapist, social activist, and rabbinical student at the Hebrew Union College. She is also the founder of the project ‘Together in Pain, Together in Hope,” which has held an annual gathering of Israeli Jews and Palestinians on Israel’s Memorial Day and Independence Day since 2003. A version of article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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    COMMENTS

    1. itshak Gordine

      As usual on this site, blah blah, self-flogging and intellectual masturbation. The Jewish people are still engaged in the liberation of their land. In all war there are unfortunately collateral victims. Let’s not forget that one million Jews were expelled from Arab countries in the 50s and 60s (I am one of them) without receiving any help from anyone (no UNWRA for Jews) . What is surprising is that a handful of individuals choose the narrative of those who occupy their land. Let’s not forget that the notion of “Palestinian people” is quite recent. It was invented by the Soviets in the second half of the 20th century. Even Arab leaders admit it when they are together. During the persecution of the Jewish people, many people came to settle in the Land of Israel. Now they claim ownership, and no Jew can accept it.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        @Itshak: Follow the link provided in the article:

        https://972mag.com/truth-commission-uncovers-the-history-of-bedouin-dispossession/100053/

        “An informal ‘Public Truth Commission’ set out to find exactly what happened to the Negev Bedouin between 1948 and 1960. While Bedouin witnesses told stories of massacres, rape and expulsions, former Israeli soldiers said they were just following orders.”

        Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        The term “Palestine” has been used to refer to the region for thousands of years, since the Ancient Greeks.

        Is this “Palestine is modern” canard something they teach you in school/Yeshiva, or do you know better (and knowingly lie about it)?

        Reply to Comment
        • Itshak Gordine

          Ray, you’re doing a sweet mix. “Palestine” is a name given by the Romans to this land after defeating the Kingdom of Judah and driving out the Jews. The Jews have lived on this land for more than 800 years and they are back now. They are developing and defending it against counterfeiters of history.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You are nothing if not disarmingly blunt and indiscreet, Halevy. All you are saying is might makes right and you will “defeat” and “drive out” the indigenous (for centuries now) inhabitants of Palestine, simply because they are not Jews. All you are saying is that you Israeli Jewish settlers are the new Romans, and tough, get used to it. At least we know where the battle lines are drawn and by what ethic you live. (But give the Romans their due, they never based rights and privileges on ethnicity and race, as do you.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            The name “Palestine” predates the Romans. The ancient Egyptians and Assyrians referred to the area as “Peleset” and “Palashtu/Pirishtu” respectively. These are generally considered by historians to be transliterations of Hebrew “Pelesheth.”

            As for “Palestine” as we pronounce it today, the Greeks (starting with Herodotus) actually used it before the Romans.

            Reply to Comment
          • David

            To be brief:
            The region between the Jordan River and the Med. Sea was referred to as “Palestine” by the Greek historian Herodotus (“the father of history”) during the 5th century BCE.

            100 years later, in the mid-4th Century BCE, Aristotle referred to Palestine while discussing the Dead Sea in his Meteorology.”Again if, as is fabled, there is a lake in Palestine….”

            Jewish historian Josephus’s (c.37-100 CE) The Jewish War, Antiquities of the Jews contains many references to both “Palestine” and “Palestinians.”

            Contemporaries of Jesus also routinely referred to Palestine as “Palestine.” In the first decade of the 1st Century, the Roman poet Ovid mentioned Palestine in both his famed mythological poem “Metamorphoses” and his erotic elegy “The Art of Love.” He also wrote of “the waters of Palestine” in his calendrical poem “Fasti.” Around the same time, Tibullus, another Latin poet, wrote of “the crowded cities of Palestine” in the section “Messalla’s Triumph” in his poem “Delia.”

            The Zionist claim that the Roman emperor Hadrian officially changed the name of the region to “Syria Palaestina” or simply “Palestine,” in 135 CE is contradicted by the fact that by then, the terms “Syrian Palestine” and “Palestine” had already been in use for over 600 years.

            To quote the opening sentence of the section entitled “Filastin” that appears in the book “Dictionary of the Lands,” written by geographer Yaqut ibn Abdullah al-Hamawi in 1225: “Filastin: It is the last one of the regions of Syria in the direction of Egypt. Its most famous cities are Ashkelon, Ramle, Gaza, Arsuf, Caesaria, Nablus, Jericho, Jaffa and Beit Guvrin.”

            By about 1300 CE there were virtually no Jews in Palestine, which was a recognized geographical concept using coinage with “Filistin” written on them. There were diaries of Palestinian travelers who said they missed “Palestine” and a distinctive Palestinian dialect of Arabic had evolved. From 1300 on, the vast majority of people who lived in Palestine were Christians and Muslims.

            Front. Genet., 21 June 2017
            “The Origins of Ashkenaz, Ashkenazic Jews, and Yiddish”

            “Recent genetic samples from bones found in Palestine dating to the Epipaleolithic (20000-10500 BCE) showed remarkable resemblance to modern day Palestinians.”

            EXCERPTS:
            “The non-Levantine origin of AJs [Ashkenazi Jews] is further supported by an ancient DNA analysis of six Natufians and a Levantine Neolithic (Lazaridis et al., 2016), some of the most likely Judaean progenitors (Finkelstein and Silberman, 2002; Frendo, 2004). In a principle component analysis (PCA), the ancient Levantines clustered predominantly with modern-day Palestinians and Bedouins and marginally overlapped with Arabian Jews, whereas AJs clustered away from Levantine individuals and adjacent to Neolithic Anatolians and Late Neolithic and Bronze Age Europeans.”

            “Overall, the combined results are in a strong agreement with the predictions of the Irano-Turko-Slavic hypothesis (Table 1) and rule out an ancient Levantine origin for AJs, which is predominant among modern-day Levantine populations (e.g., Bedouins and Palestinians). This is not surprising since Jews differed in cultural practices and norms (Sand, 2011) and tended to adopt local customs (Falk, 2006). Very little Palestinian Jewish culture survived outside of Palestine (Sand, 2009). For example, the folklore and folkways of the Jews in northern Europe is distinctly pre-Christian German (Patai, 1983) and Slavic in origin, which disappeared among the latter (Wexler, 1993, 2012).”

            Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        @Itshak Gordine Halevy:
        Facing atrocities committed is not “intellectual masturbation” and deliberate atrocities are not “unfortunate collateral.” Unless you have a cold, Slobodan Milosevich-like radical nationalist contempt. What if an aging member of the Waffen SS comes to you and says the Einsatzgruppen atrocities was mere “collateral damage”?
        “Jews expelled from Arab countries” is misleading counterfeit currency that counterbalances and justifies nothing.
        You demand self determination for Jews but deny it to Palestinians.

        All of which is to say Talya’s analysis of the three components of Jewish-Israeli identity precisely exposes what you are doing. Nails it. You, Halevy, just provided documentary supporting evidence for Talya’s thesis. Nice job.

        Reply to Comment
        • itshak Gordine

          August 9 marks the 18th anniversary of the bombing that took place at the Pizzeria Sbarro in Jerusalem that killed 15 people, including 7 children and a pregnant woman .. The entity that governs in Ramallah pays 25800 NIS per month to terrorists committing this crime and their families. They are considered heroes. During this crime against humanity, the 5 members of the Schijeschuurder family died: Mordehai, Tzira and their 3 children: Raya, Avraham Yistshak and Hemda. Remember that two American citizens were among the victims. This act, along with a several others that have resulted in US casualties, prompted President Trump to take financial action against Ramallah. One of the brains of the attack, Ahlam Tamimi (a woman) told the “Palestinian authority TV” that she had no regrets. It would have been honest for 972mag to relate this fact. But 972mag seems not to care about the crimes committed against the Jews.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Ah, but the difference between you and me, Halevy, is that I don’t coldly and haughtily dismiss what you just wrote as “intellectual masturbation,” whereas you do, based on the ethnicity of who is the victim of the atrocity. I do call what you just wrote, in this context, an attempt to play the unilateral exclusive victim distraction card of the overlord, which is another way of stating the preceding sentence.

            For you, Jewish victims are lovingly given full names, complex identities, while Palestinian victims are dehumanized as faceless members of a horde.

            The other obvious point that seems lost on you, Halevy, is that the Sbarro bombing is not something denied or unpublicized by anyone. Whereas the Nakba is constantly, pervasively, as a matter of right wing ideology, denied. So the two things are not even comparable. The Sbarro bombing does not nullify the Nakba and the Nakba does not nullify the Sbarro bombing. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

            Reply to Comment
    2. Lewis from Afula

      I personally have come to terms with the consequences of the Nakba.
      The Jewish Nakba that is.
      A Nakba that 972 mag likes to ignore.

      As Itshak accurately puts it.
      This piece is just more blah blah, self-flogging and intellectual masturbation.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        Deflect, deflect, deflect…

        Reply to Comment
        • Lewis from Afula

          Ray deflects, deflects, deflects the Jewish Nakba.

          Reply to Comment
      • David

        Reality:
        To be brief:
        To quote Yehouda Shenhav, of Iraqi Jewish heritage and professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University: “Any reasonable person, Zionist or non-Zionist, must acknowledge that the analogy drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi [Arab] Jews is unfounded. Palestinian refugees did not want to leave Palestine….Those who left did not do so of their own volition. In contrast, Jews from Arab lands came to this country under the initiative of the State of Israel and Jewish organizations.” (Haaretz, 8 October 2004.)

        The late Yisrael Yeshayahu, speaker of the Knesset: “We are not refugees…. We had messianic aspirations.”

        Shlomo Hillel, former minister and speaker of the Knesset: “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.”

        During a Knesset hearing into the matter, Ran Cohen, member of the Knesset: “I am not a refugee….I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee.” (Haaretz, October 8, 2004)

        Needless to say, any Jew of Arab origin who feels he or she has a legitimate grievance against an Arab country should pursue it through international law. The bottom line, however, is that while Palestinians were expelled from their homeland by Jewish militias and the IDF through well documented force of arms, several massacres, mass rape and intimidation, they played no role whatsoever in the emigration of or any ill treatment and or loss of assets that Jews of Arab origin may have experienced in their former homelands. The two cases are separate and distinct, i.e., apples and oranges.

        Reply to Comment
    3. stan miller

      OK, I buy her argument to a point. But this is another article of battling atrocities. I guess in war things happen (my lai). But pointing out some atrocities does not in anyway shed light on the big picture. The Jewish people have come home and that is a fact of history. Yes, other people lived in the land and this will have to be resolved.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Eliza

      The article states:

      ‘Jewish culture, the Hebrew language, and our national history are both important and precious to me. Yet I want to disassociate them from the package deal which ties them to the State of Israel under the banner of a “Chosen People” who are perpetually persecuted.’

      It seems that the author can see that the belief of ‘choseness’ makes it difficult if not impossible for Israeli Jews to have a clear-eyed view of Jewish cruelty of the Nakba but does not want to give up the ‘choseness’ inherent in Judaism but to merely ‘disassociate’ it from the State of Israel. How could this ever be really possible?

      Nor it Jewish blindness to the cruelty and injustice of the Nakba particular just to Israeli Jews. There is a fair bit of this amongst many Jews living in western liberal democracies.

      All groups or peoples who have committed grave injustices to others seek to see their actions in the most favourable light possible and demonize their victims. Nothing special about that. But these attempts to live with the sins of their fathers or grandfathers without passing judgement on them are rarely so well supported by their religion. It really is time for Jews to really come to terms with the silliness of ‘choseness’ and the trap it presents. This is no small thing given the importance of ‘choseness’ in Judaism and Jewish thought.

      How liberating it would be to really accept that there is no genetic Jewish superiority, there is no moral superiority displayed by Jews in general and that just like there is nothing in the scriptures or practices of other religions powerful enough to prevent gross cruelty, there is really nothing either in the scriptures or practices of Judaism that has or can do so. How liberating it would be for Jews to fully accept that they are as good/bad as intelligent/stupid etc as others.

      This may just allow Israeli Jews who have began to question the mythologies of the creation of Israel to see that the oppression of the Palestinians has not come resulted from Jews ‘fighting for their lives’ but it also a function of the fact that as the current dominant group, they can. People who have power generally like to exercise it and some do so in the cruelest manner. Think of the killing of the people of Gaza, of the continuing seige, think of the continuing midnight raids on West Bank Palestinian homes to arrest Palestinian children – that is if they still have a home given the rate of home demolitions and the refusal of the Israeli authorities to allow building permits to Palestinians. Then maybe the author would shrink a bit from seeing the Nakba as a historical event only. Its still happening and its the present generation of Israeli Jews carrying on the work of their fathers.

      The issues at hand are not all that complex. No people has the right to dispossess another of their land and resources. Though this has happened many times, there is no God-given right to do so. No people has a right to rule over another people under the guise of an occupation with the intention of making their lives as miserable as possible in the hope that they will leave their ancestral lands. The issue for Zionist Jews is how hard it actually is to acknowledge the suffering of others (given the importance of Jews being perpetual victims) and that this suffering has been and is still being meted out by Israeli Jews.

      There is all made even more difficult given the current spin being meted out by many establishment Jewish leaders within Israel and outside; that anti-semitism is a virus that infects the goyim world that can never be cured but merely controlled and then viola it mutates into another form. Thus many Jewish leaders try to paint those who champion human rights for Palestinians are merely suffering the latest mutation of the anti-semitism virus. There are many barriers being presented by religious Jewish leaders to prevent any clear-eyed view of recent Jewish history by Jews. Apparently, according to the good folk of the Jewish establishment groups, the first manifestation of anti-semitism took the form of hating Jews because of their religion, then it was because of their race and now it is because of their Nation-State. Presumably, once this latest manifestation of anti-semitism is controlled, the virus will morph back to hated because of religion. Who knows, but anti-semitism will still be there because it must be there.

      That is what makes it so complex for Jews of good conscience. I cannot see how Jews of good conscience can hold onto the idea of ‘choseness’ in any serious way. So, its not just a matter of ‘disassociating’ choseness from State of Israel but from Jewishness itself.

      Reply to Comment
      • Neal

        Eliza, wow! You said a lot.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Thank you for this very thoughtful and penetrating statement.
        If we look at a typical English language publication directed at American Jews, the Jerusalem Post, it seems to me the Post is an outright propaganda organ devoted to purveying exactly this message of “chosen” entitlement and reducing all resistance anywhere to “anti-Semitism” or to “terror.” I sometimes think the the Post’s editors and writers get paid for how many times they can pack the word “terror” or “terrorism” into the headline and the text, as noun, adjective, adverb and verb. And that the paper should be renamed “The Daily Non-Stop Bulletin of all Worldwide Anti-Semitism Events Everywhere, While Assiduously Avoiding Covering the Occupation’s Cruelties.”

        Reply to Comment
      • Michal Talya

        Dear Eliza,

        Your statement is sharp and clear , I identify with all you wrote. I did mean to point the necessity to disassociate the chosennes from Judaism itself, and not ony from the Jewish state. Unfortunately didn’t make it to formulate it as clear as I should have. Do you read Hebrew as well? If you do, I’d like to send you privately the full article I wrote before shrinking it for the publication in ‘Sicha Mekomit’. There I relate also to the present atrocities done under occupation, and also to the problem of supremacy inherent in Jewish belief and practice.

        Reply to Comment
        • Eliza

          Thank you for your response. I do not speak Hebrew.

          It did occur to me that your article was silent on the broader question of choseness within Judaism rather than positively condoning it. I know that there is always an article word count and some things have to be left out which invariably opens up the opportunity for attack on views not stated or opinions not held by an unfair or less than generous reading. Which is what I did.

          Slightly off topic is a recent article by Yossi Gurvitz (Mondoweiss August 9, 2019) about Rabbi Eliezer Kashtiel who is apparently connected to a military religious college. He is quoted as saying:

          Yes, we are racists, of course we are. There are races in the world and nations that have genetic attributes, and demand that we (the Jewish people) will think of how to help them. The fact that someone is your inferior is not a reason to deride him or eliminate him, but help him.’ And

          ‘I want to occupy you, to merge you – then you’d be a part of a great success. You will benefit from being my slave..’

          The ‘slave’ being the goyim in general and the Palestinian in particular.

          We can all easily condemn this. BTW I assume that this expression of choseness is extreme within much of Israeli society even thought it is within the parameters of accepted debate.

          But I am Australian of European descent and the reality is that these sentiments are not so different from the attitudes once commonly held by European settlers towards the Indigenous Aboriginal population. There was a genuinely held belief that the indigenous were racially inferior and would inevitably die out as they were no longer fit for purpose given the arrival of a superior race of people, being us. Eventually this resulted in what is known as the ‘soft pillow’ policy of trying to make their extinction process as painless as possible with some of the lighter skinned mixed children being ‘rescued’ from their indigenous families and raised under white guardianship to join the ranks of the lowly skilled. Never quite called them slaves but certainly they could only aspire to occupy the lowest ranks of the white working class. This only started to change well after WWII.

          My issue is not that these attitudes ever existed in the days before we understood that there is no such thing as biological races. Nor should we be surprised that those in the ascendency invariably think rather well of themselves and meanly of others.

          There are two issues. Firstly, how hard it is for any generation to acknowledge and come to terms with the failings of their forefathers even after the premises underpinning their forefathers’ actions or behaviours has been discredited with time. Additionally, how come we all still get hoodwinked by ascendency to claim our relative wealth or advantages as being as the just deserts of our inherent merit rather than the consequences of current day ascendency. Israeli society is not alone in this.

          There are many differences between the circumstances surrounding the settler colonization of Australia and the settler colonization in the creation of Israel and I don’t want to push it too far. But one thing that Australia had (and has) going for it that Israel has not, is that we have precious little exceptionalism. There is no glorious or heroic past for us; we started out as a penal colony of the UK where the unwanted petty criminals who got caught were sent along with some Irish political prisoners. We have never had the seduction of ‘being chosen’ to entrap us into foolish notions of ourselves.

          Our religion has never set out to encourage us to see ourselves as special because we belong to the religion or for want of a better word, race. No, the ‘specialness’ is in the religion itself and the only neighbourly thing to do is to encourage others to sign on up. This has obviously been problematic in the past and been a cause of suffering to others but it has never made those belonging to the church think they are inherently superior simply because they belong to that religion. They just think the religion is superior. It seems to me that it was so much easier for us to discard any notion of being racially, morally or intellectually superior to the Indigenous Aboriginal people than it can ever be for people bought up on Judaism where there is emphasis on ‘choseness’.

          I cannot see how choseness or (any exceptionalism) can ever be anything but a conceit and a trap or how it can be disassociated from Israel unless Israel is disassociated from Judaism and becomes a truly secular state for all its citizens with equal rights where one’s religion is a private affair.

          Reply to Comment
    5. itshak Gordine

      August 9 marks the 18th anniversary of the bombing that took place at the Pizzeria Sbarro in Jerusalem that killed 15 people, including 7 children and a pregnant woman .. The entity that governs in Ramallah pays 25800 NIS per month to terrorists committing this crime and their families. They are considered heroes. During this crime against humanity, the 5 members of the Schijeschuurder family died: Mordehai, Tzira and their 3 children: Raya, Avraham Yistshak and Hemda. Remember that two American citizens were among the victims. This act, along with a several others that have resulted in US casualties, prompted President Trump to take financial action against Ramallah. One of the brains of the attack, Ahlam Tamimi (a woman) told the “Palestinian authority TV” that she had no regrets. It would have been honest for 972mag to relate this fact. But 972mag seems not to care about the crimes committed against the Jews.

      Reply to Comment
      • Lewis from Afula

        Shush,
        Your spoiling the traitors’ narrative !

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        “It would have been honest for 972mag to relate this fact.”

        Well, no, it would have been strangely off point. So every year around July 22nd a +972 writer should, as well, “relate the fact” of the Irgun’s bombing of the King David Hotel and every year around the 9th of April the Magazine should “relate the fact” of the Deir Yassin massacre carried out by the Irgun and Lehi? Will Arutz Sheva do the same?

        The magazines of the world will instantly have to triple their page numbers to meet this odd publishing maxim of yours, Halevy. Why don’t you send a mass email to the world’s newspapers, magazines and journals demanding this brilliant practice commence forthwith?

        But wait, I thought you settlers were the amazing, world-record-breaking, tree-hugging environmentalists, with an ahem, burning desire to save the trees. Do you realize how many trees will be cut down to implement your new publishing credo? Better establish a committee to study this complicated policy proposal of yours, first, Halevy. You can’t be too careful when it comes to trees.

        Reply to Comment
      • David

        Rabbi Perin, in an eulogy for mass murderer, Baruch Goldstein, 1994: ‘One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.’ (New York Times, Feb. 28, 1994)

        Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party and former Israeli Chief Rabbi, described the Arabs as ‘serpents’ and in his Passover sermon, he stated that ‘the Lord shall waste their seed, devastate them and vanish them from this world. It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.’

        P.M. Menachem Begin, in a speech to the Knesset, referred to the Palestinians as ‘two-legged animals.’

        P.M. Yitzhak Shamir: ‘ [The Palestinians] would be crushed like grasshoppers… heads smashed against the boulders and walls.’ (N.Y. Times, April 1, 1988.)

        Rafael Eitan, Israeli Chief of Staff: ‘When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.’ (N.Y. Times, 14 April 1988.)

        P.M. Ehud Barak: ‘The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, the more they want.’ (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 30, 2002)

        Furthermore:
        https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-education-minister-to-speak-at-confab-honoring-rabbi-who-praised-hebron-massacre-1.7619653

        “Education Minister to Speak at Confab Honoring Rabbi Who Praised Hebron Massacre” Haaretz, August 9/19 by Shira Kadari-Ovadia.

        EXCERPT:
        “Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich will be guests of honor as Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, seen by many as a spiritual figure for violent settler extremists, receives prize.”

        “Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz and Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich are set to give speeches at a conference which will also honor a rabbi who praised the 1994 Hebron massacre and was previously charged with inciting racism.”

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    6. duh

      Though it’s important to acknowledge the 1948 ethnic cleansing by the Zionist armed groups, we also need to acknowledge the ideologues whose work led to their formation: Herzl, Ruppin and Ben-Gurion among others – all premeditated population removal in their early days as Zionists. Albeit through paying off or coercing non-Jews to leave the borders of the eventual state. Regardless of the circumstances, whatever state the Zionists built would’ve been a device to enforce population removal.

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    7. Luigi Nonono

      Anti-Semitic trash!

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      • Ray

        Lame net-handle!

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        @Luigi: In light of the content of this article by Michal Talya, and the exchange between Eliza and Talya above, did you mean this reply of yours to be satire? It reads that way.

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