Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support.

Click here to help us keep going

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Why Palestinians aren't standing up for Israeli leftists

The Israeli Left with which most Palestinians are familiar speaks the same language as the Right — of segregation and safeguarding a racist regime. The ‘other Left’ needs to develop a new discourse, and we should all hope it succeeds.

The anti-occupation protest proceeds along Route 60 in the West Bank, November 27, 2015. (Mustafa Bader/Activestills.org)

We must ask ourselves why so many Palestinians don’t see the events of recents weeks as an indication of something that might affect their own struggle. (Photo of joint Jewish-Palestinian anti-occupation protest, by Mustafa Bader/Activestills.org)

The Left in Israel has been subject to what appears to be a serious and concerted attack in recent weeks, directed primarily at anti-occupation NGOs and activists. And while the Israeli media has done a decent amount of reporting on the matter, and as members of the Left talk about a dangerous political turning point, the Palestinian Left hasn’t expressed any interest.

You won’t find much coverage about the attacks against the Israeli Left on Palestinian websites based in the West Bank, or even those inside Israel. There also hasn’t been much of an outcry by politicians from the Joint List, the third-largest political slate in Israel, which is mostly Palestinian but also enjoys the support of some Jews.

We must ask why so many Palestinians don’t see the events of recent weeks as an indication of changes that might affect their own struggle. Why aren’t they joining forces and rallying to support the persecuted Jewish Left, which has found itself under attack?

The answer is wrapped up in two failures that play off of one another: the inability of the Zionist Left in Israel to create a space for the “other Left,” non-Zionist Jews and Palestinians; and the failure of the “other Left,” the non-Zionists, to work harder to distinguish itself from the old Zionist Left.

While we are still internalizing this era of institutionalized ethnic segregation inside Israel, the Palestinians are looking to the UN, the EU, and international peace activists from Europe to Latin America to Scotland in an attempt to thrust the injustices being done to Palestinians to the top of the international agenda.

Desegregating the struggle

Palestinians rarely address Israelis and Israeli society directly. The tragic reality is that Palestinians, far too many Palestinians, do not see a place for Israelis in their struggle. They have not found a way reach Israelis without being filtered out by the regime’s various mechanisms, from the media to political echelon. It will always be difficult for Palestinians to trust Israeli partners, for it will always be easy for them to compromise their dedication to the Palestinian struggle. Buried somewhere in their Jewish privilege, a sliver of Zionism will probably always remain, even if most Israelis aren’t aware of it.

And can you really criticize that unwillingness or hesitance to engage when most of the Israeli Left lies somewhere between the Labor party and Meretz? When in the same week that 12 Palestinians were killed, most of the Left was busy speculating about whether or not an electrical short set fire to B’Tselem’s offices?

A firefighter stands in front of the charred door of B’Tselem’s offices in Jerusalem. (Photo: Fire Department Spokesperson)

A firefighter stands in front of the charred door of B’Tselem’s offices in Jerusalem. (Photo: Fire Department Spokesperson)

The Left that most Palestinians are exposed to is the mainstream Left. The Left that most Palestinians know is that which we hear from the rostrum in the Knesset, whose political language is almost identical to that of the Right. They are familiar only with the Left that is a central player in the Zionist project, and which supports and advances those same policies intended to preserve the place of one nation (the Jewish nation) over another nation (the Palestinian nation, but others as well).

It is the same Left that insists Palestinians are a minority in Israel, which recognizes a 20 percent minority within the Green Line but ignores the fact that far more Palestinians live under Israeli rule. And if they all had rights, the Palestinian “minority” would be closer to 50 percent. The same Israeli Left that believes the conflict can be resolved through the paradoxical idea of a Jewish and democratic state, and which continues to talk about a two-state solution along ’67 lines as if that is still happening. True, that Left uses less violent language, and even less violent actions (when it’s not in power, at least), but always within the confines of the Zionist discourse and Herzl’s vision.

That is the Israeli Left with whom Palestinians are familiar, a disappointing Left that refuses to process that the Zionist discourse it insists on will never defeat the Right’s Zionist discourse, which is far more authentic. It will always be 20 steps behind the dizzying pace of the steadfast Right, especially as the country rides on a wave of incitement against its Palestinian citizens, outlawing Palestinian political movements, and the increased persecution of human rights groups and Palestinian activists.

The Left needs to change

A protest in solidarity with human rights and anti-occupation organizations that have come under attack, Tel Aviv, December 19, 2015. (Oren Ziv/Activestills) ‘The political space in which the Left is allowed to exist is narrowing rapidly.’

A protest in solidarity with human rights and anti-occupation organizations that have come under attack, Tel Aviv, December 19, 2015. (Oren Ziv/Activestills)

The Palestinians threw in the towel a long time ago and instead raised an apartheid flag — each for his or her own. Our reality is pulling us deeper and deeper into institutionalized ethnic segregation. And when most of the Jewish Left remains so far disconnected from the Palestinian Left, it has failed to challenge that reality we have been handed. We will not succeed at building any sort of cooperation like that, certainly not any type of cooperation that can convince Palestinians they have a partner with whom they can walk hand-in and build common values without the segregation of walls, sieges, race, ethnicity or religion.

The fact that we so long ago lost our moral compass and the understanding that every person has equal rights means that the Israeli Left needs to change. We need a different Left, one that builds cooperation which can cross the Israeli-Palestinian divide, and the Ashkenazi-Mizrahi divide. Only that kind of Left has any chance of posing a serious challenge to ethnic segregation in Israel.

That “other Left” is weak and disorganized today, and for the most part exists only in the minds of small groups of people on both sides of the ethnic, racial and political divides. Most Palestinians have never heard of such a Left. And in a time when a discourse of racism and segregation rules, that “other Left” must find a way to build a universal discourse in both Arabic and Hebrew, one which leaves behind the dilapidated slogans that have clung to us for decades.

Maybe, if we embark on such a path, we can hope to call this place home with pride, a place that improves the lives of all of its citizens, and which safeguards their dignity and security. That “other Left” has a long, difficult road ahead if it wants to survive the current assault with its head held high. We should all root for it and hope it succeeds and grows, even as it finds itself in the crosshairs of a regime increasingly reminiscent of our darkest days.

A version of this article first appeared in Hebrew on Local Call.

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. Gustav

      Yes, yes, yes, we know…

      The only left acceptable to nationalistic Palestinian Arabs are Jewish leftists who are against the idea of a Jewish nation state and who want to see it’s replacement by a mythical “democratic secular state” which would inevitably turn into the 23rd Arab Muslim majority state. Hamas is there to make sure of it.

      Yes, we know exactly what the majority of the Palestinian Arabs want. They want justice for Arabs and they don’t care what happens to Israeli Jews (I am being kind when I say “they don’t care”…).

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        I guess that was a message from the Right’s authentic Zionist discourse. Or whatever. Actually it wasn’t even that, at all. It was a message from the inauthentic, fear-mongering Netanyahu discourse that Edo Konrad deconstructs here:
        http://972mag.com/are-israels-existential-threats-slowly-disappearing/116041/

        But I really doubt Sawsan Khakifé thought she was going to constructively engage that discourse or cares to try. She, in an effort to build authentic bridges, is critiquing the mainstream left, not the mainstream right and not an inauthentic branch of the mainstream right. I don’t think she thinks you’re even in the ballpark or even the parking lot of the ballpark.

        “The tragic reality is that Palestinians, far too many Palestinians, do not see a place for Israelis in their struggle. They have not found a way to reach Israelis without being filtered out by the regime’s various mechanisms, from the media to political echelon…. Most Palestinians have never heard of such a Left. And in a time when a discourse of racism and segregation rules, that “other Left” must find a way to build a universal discourse in both Arabic and Hebrew, one which leaves behind the dilapidated slogans that have clung to us for decades.”

        Heaven forbid we actually listen to Ms. Khalifé and seek a universal discourse rather then be the first one to parachute in to try to patch, with dilapidated slogans, the tiny hole she pokes here in the filter.

        Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        If Israel wants a “Jewish state” then it shouldn’t rule over a large underclass of Palestinians, because that would be…..apartheid.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          You are right. We would prefer not rule over them. We would prefer them to have their own state. But if the Palestinian Arabs won’t sign a peace deal and agree to the two state solution, then we would rather rule over them instead of us being ruled by them.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Who is “we”? Not the people in your government:

            Silvan Shalom: “”We are all against a Palestinian state, there is no question about it.”

            Tzipi Hotovely: “We are opposed to a Palestinian State…This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that… We expect as a matter of principle of the international community to recognize Israel’s right to build homes for Jews in their homeland, everywhere.” “We need to demand sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, and nothing less than that.”

            Naftali Bennet: “I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state…There is not going to be a Palestinian state … it’s just not going to happen.”

            Bogie Ya’alon: “We should find another way, not just talking about the 1967 lines and a Palestinian state.”

            Ayelet Shaked: “We should manage the conflict and not give up on any centimeter of land.”

            Uri Ariel: “We need to state clearly that there won’t be a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River.” “There will be just one state between the Jordan River and the sea, and that is the State of Israel.”

            Yisrael Katz: “I am opposed to a Palestinian state. It is unacceptable, mainly because of our rights to this land.”

            Danny Danon: “Enough with the two-state-solution. Land-for-peace is over. We don’t want a Palestinian State. We need to apply Israeli sovereignty over all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. We are a nationalist government and not a government that will establish a Palestinian government on 1967 lines.”

            Zeev Elkin: “The basic situation is that this territory belongs to us.” “There is no place for a Palestinian state, not in temporary borders and not in any other configuration. This is our land, and it’s our right to apply sovereignty over it. Regardless of the world’s opposition, it’s time to do in Judea and Samaria what we did in [East] Jerusalem and the Golan.” “I do want a Jewish presence here. Which raises the question: What do you do with the Palestinian population? And I don’t think the answer to that question can be found right now.”

            Yariv Levin: “We must leave behind the slogans of ‘land for peace’ and ‘two states for two people'” because “the two state solution is no solution” “We will try, slowly but surely, to expand the circle of settlements, and to afterwards extend the roads… At the end of this process, the facts on the ground will be that whatever remains [of the occupied West Bank] will be merely marginal appendage.”

            Miri Regev: “The expression Palestinian state should not be used.”

            Ofir Akunis: “My objection to a Palestinian state stems primarily from the fact that our right to the land is eternal and irrevocable. The Land of Israel is the property of the Jewish People and there is no people in the world that would surrender its motherland.” “I will oppose any outline that includes two states… This is my ideological and historical position.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Who is we? We are the Israeli people, the majority of us. We the voters who elect and vote out governments. Governments are OUR servants not the other way around.

            Right now we elect Likud because they look after our interests best. They don’t buckle under pressure and give up everything for nothing in return which is what people like you insist we should do. But you can insist, threaten or even stand on your heads for all we care. So long as we perceive that Likud represents our interests best, we will vote for Likud. As soon as we get convinced that they are not the party that is able to defend our country best, we will vote them out.

            PS
            And don’t think that by ruining our economy and trying to blame Likud for it, you will be able to pressure us into voting them out. That won’t work. We won’t vote in a government who will give up on our security interests.

            Reply to Comment
          • Carmen

            “Who is we”?

            “We” means you, not everyone else and certainly not the over 20% non-Jewish citizens. The Palestinian people are intelligent enough and certainly patient enough (70 years, but who’s counting, right?) but definitely realize after the last “operation” in Gaza in 2014 (with over 95% of israelis supporting the rain of death unleashed on men, women and children) and the last election resulting in the most right wing fanatics in israeli history having the reins, that there is no “left” left. And if some of the so-called “left” are getting just a taste of the love from the right, so what. Go back to America, UK, Australia or wherever you came from. The “historic” land of the Jews is found in antiquity, and that’s if you believe the book. The zionists are modern day dinosaurs that are heading for extinction and by their own hands too.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            By the way, you criticize our government for being against a Palestinian state…

            So how come you don’t criticize the author of this article for wanting only a Palestinian state?

            In this very article she virtually admits it. You might also remember the quote which I presented to you from an interview which Khalife gave. This is what she said…

            “I think we can’t as Palestinians bid for statehood unless all Palestine is reunited. Maybe Palestinians can benefit from the bid. But the West Bank is not Palestine. I see the Galilee, al-Quds [Jerusalem], Haifa and Acre also as part of Palestine.”

            You betray your bias Benny. You are critical of those Israeli leaders who oppose a Palestinian state. But you are not critical of Palestinian Arabs who are against the state of Israel.

            Bias anyone?

            Reply to Comment
      • Israel

        Oh goodie, Gastuv the mindless Zionist parrot is back. Here, squawk at this:

        Isghael is already “the 23rd Arab Muslim majority state” and should join the Arab league.

        Millions of indigenous Palestinians remain there, and the mamzer Zionist filth who, decades ago bribed and blackmailed and bombed hundreds of thousands of Arab-Jews…all the way to Isghael, made sure of it.

        Moreover, mamzer Zionist filth like you don’t care what happens to Jews, because you don’t care about Jews, you only care about your precious Isghael (and I am being kind when I say “you don’t care…”).

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Oh dear, must be a full moon…

          The fact that this two bit little hater calls himself “Israel” shows up his juvenile mentality. Every word that he writes oozes hatred of Israel yet he adopts the pseudonym Israel. Who would do that and say what this idiot says? Only someone who knows that he stands on very weak ground and has nothing real to say so he hurls abuse. And he is clearly enraged, LOL.

          Reply to Comment
          • Israel

            Oh dear must be a full Zionist loon…

            The fact that this two bit little psychotic Zionist hater refers to himself as “we” shows up his juvenile mentality. Every word that he writes oozes hatred and he adopts multiple aliases to spread vicious anti-Semitic blood libels about Jews, and the indigenous Palestinians of the Holy Land. Who would do that and say what this Zionist oxygen thief says? Only someone who has lost touch with reality and is so full of self-righteous indignation and hatred that he is compelled to hurl abuse. And he is clearly an enraged little Zionist kimpetoren sorely in need of a kimpet-tzettel, LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Oh dear, super parrot, fearless guardian of hapless anti-Zionists, springs to the rescue. His weapon is squaking and screeching in a high pitched voice about Zionists and hobgoblins. We are shivering in our boots, LOL, LOL, LOL…

            Reply to Comment
    2. guacamole

      in all respect, this article is very one-sided! although the Interpretation oft the divided left might be true, a big element of Palestinian indifference towards violence on Israeli leftists is that Palestinian education doesn’t divide between “good Israeli” and “bad Israeli” its all a bunch of horrible asshole Israelis and I believe this is the strongest explanatory element which is being completely neglected. you can’t just blame one side, be it the occupants, for the failure ofso many Palestinians to recognize that there are enough leftists who indeed are interested in active peace discourse!

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ben

      Sternhell is correct: “Indeed, since the nation doesn’t want to know and its leaders are either partners to the oppression or too pusillanimous – Isaac Herzog and Yair Lapid lead this camp – only externally imposed sanctions will break its repose.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        And this man above pretends that we have no enemies to worry about.

        On the one hand we have intransigent Palestinian Arabs who still refuse to give up their old idea of Palestine from the river to the sea. On the other hand we have propagandists like Benny threatening sanctions unless we make it easier for the Palestinian Arabs to attain their maximalist goals.

        No, Benny, no we shouldn’t have existentialist fears, yea, not much…

        Reply to Comment
        • Israel

          And this mamzer above pretends that he has a brain.

          On the one hand we have intransigent indoctrinated foreign Zionist mamzer colonizers controlling Palestine from the river to the sea. On the other hand we have self-important psychotic Zionist mamzer whack jobs, like this obsessive-compulsive “Gastuv” fellow who’s threatening to unleash the Samsons unless “Benny” makes it easier for him to attain an erection and masturbate in peace.

          No, Zeyde-leh, you ain’t a “we”, or relevant.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Yes twit, I am part of the majority in Israel and I am very relevant otherwise you would not be so enraged, you would ignore me and wouldn’t carry on like a demented parrot.

            Reply to Comment
          • Israel

            Yeah, of course, tsatske-leh der mamehs, if your antipodean mother says so…LOL.

            Ok, irrelevant Zionist parrot, now squawk some more for your precious little mamzer state and show us what a good little enraged Zionist beryeh-leh and kimpetoren you are.

            Entertain us, irrelevant beryeh-leh!

            beryeh-leh!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Stupid just can’t help himself. He keeps on repeating himself like a demented parrot.

            Keep up your stupid chatter. The more you chatter the less propaganda you spew. It just show the world the mentality of the Aiiiiraaab lovers.

            This type of carrying on like a demented parrot is your written version of the brutal terrorist acts which you have been perpetrating for a 100 years.

            It is the written version of pent up rage when you know you have been thoroughly beaten in a man to man debate and you have nothing else to say. Rage on, stupid…

            I can play this game too though. Let’s see what the two of us can do to this magazine, eh? LOL.

            Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Keep fantasizing on the day the Palestinians cry uncle and say “Oh no! not another *Likudist* government!, not that!, we give up!, you can have Ariel and East Jerusalem!” What a hoot. And as if Labor did not birth and entrench the occupation. As if Labor did not entrench the system of second class status for Arabs and retain military rule long past when it was necessary to show them their place and avoid writing a constitution. As if Labor were not even more Ashkenazi Jewish supremacist than Likud. As if Herzog and Lapid did not lead “the left.” As if you understood one single word of what Khalifé wrote above. Keep fantasizing.

          My parting reply: I never said you don’t have a lot to worry about. With the burgeoning mess you and the government you have elected and re-elected have obstinately created you have lots to worry about. Yes you should be scared and scared existentially. And you’re doing it to yourselves, in plain sight. But as always, you’ll blame “the Arabs.” What a travesty.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ok Benny, and you just keep on fantasisizing that we will cry uncle. It is easier for us not to because if we would, it would mean death for us, or worse.

            We don’t have a choice. Your Palestinian Arabs do have a viable choice, they would not be dead if they cry uncle. In fact, they would be better off, the occupation would end, and they would have their own state.

            Reply to Comment
          • Israel

            Ok beryeh-leh, and you just keep on fantasizing about your mythical “jewish state” in Palestine and samsoning the entire Middle East…LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Mythical, stupid?

            Stop denying your own senses. We are here and we are staying even if it makes you poo in your Arab nappies, demented parrot.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Dan

      Except if you read Palestinian surveys, 70% object to the idea of a one state solution with equal rights for Jews and Arabs. What the new Israeli left does not recognize is that the other side is more racist and anti-liberal than its own, because it has ignores all the evidence of that.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Ben

      The truly pathetic, pusillanimous Isaac Herzog, Bibi-lite. Everything Khalifé says about the need for the “other left” is underscored by the unbelievably pathetic quality of Isaac Herzog. What a joke.

      http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.698391

      Herzog presents new diplomatic plan: Separation from Jerusalem’s Palestinian villages
      Two-state solution is impossible to realize under current conditions, opposition leader says, offers plan which includes completion of West Bank wall: ‘I wish to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible.’

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        BEN:”you have lots to worry about. Yes you should be scared and scared existentially.”

        Yet Benny was busy on the other thread trying to tell us that there is lotsa room for complacency and that because we are “a regional hegemon”, we can afford to withdraw for nothing in return. This is what he said…

        BEN:”that Israeli defense and intelligence never progressed beyond 1973 and the days of Aman, that Israel does not have decisive military and intelligence superiority in the region, that the United States and the Germans do not arm it to the teeth, and back it fully; that Israel is not a regional hegemon…”

        … for the record, I agree with Benny about what he says on THIS thread about our ‘worries’ not about what he recommends we should do about it…

        Unlike Benny, I am consistent. I am against being COMPLACENT!

        Benny on the other hand came to his conclusion that we should ‘cry uncle’ and just withdraw in return for nothing, nil, zip, nada…

        Then he tries to advance two self contradictory arguments to support his conclusion…

        1. Ah, gaw on he says, just withdraw, you know you can afford to, after all you are a regional hegemon…

        2. Or he says… Ya better withdraw because if ya don’t ya face an existential threat…

        In parting, I’ll say to Benny is that either way we still face an existential threat but if we sell ourselves short and withdraw for nothing (as he suggests), our existential threat would escalate off the scale…

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          The Brutalism of Gustav

          You’re a devotee of the spirit and practice of Ted Cruz (Israel version) but you manage to give even that an extra illogical, nonsensical twist:

          “…As the Republican strategist Curt Anderson observed in Politico, there’s no variation in Cruz’s rhetorical tone. As is the wont of inauthentic speakers, everything is described as a maximum existential threat…”

          http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/01/12/opinion/the-brutalism-of-ted-cruz.html

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Huh?

            How does that relate to what I said above?

            Fact: you contradicted yourself. You are always trying to have everything every which way…

            On another thread you ridiculed me for saying that we still face an existential threat and you said that we can afford to just withdraw because we are, to quote you, “we are a regional hegemon”…

            Here on this thread you claim that unless we withdraw we face an existential threat …

            Of course as I said above, I vehemently disagree with you about what is more dangerous for us. I happen to think that if we withdraw unconditionally, that woukd represent an existential threat to us. But your cynicism needs to be highlighted…

            …yes I said your cynicism. Because what you do, is you make up your mind about something without any evidence to back up your conclusion. You then go out and hunt for things to justify your conclusion and you don’t even care if those things contradict each other, you just assert and make claims…

            Now make up your mind, Benny…

            1. Are we a regional hegemon and therefore we don’t face an existential threat?

            2. Or are we facing an existential threat unless we go to water and give in to every demand that the Arabs and you extreme lefties are making on us, we are doomed (LOL)?

            Yea, Benny, I would really like you to clear this up for me. Care to have a go?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Please stop the playacting, Gustav. You know full well what I mean and are presenting clear opposites as the same. There is no existential threat to Israel from withdrawal to the 67 lines. There is a glaring existential threat to your idea, not mine, of a “Jewish state” if you let a defacto one state apartheid situation fester. You can stop pretending this is so difficult to understand.

            And what part of the comparison to Cruz do you not understand? It’s dead on accurate. Bullseye.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            The only play acting here is done by you Benny.

            You want us to withdraw in return for nothing. The PLO has still not amended it’s charter which talks about Israel’s destruction, despite their promise to do so in writing. And Hamas openly boasts that even if it will take them generations, they will destroy us…

            Right now we stand on their throat and are able to stop them from arming themselves with modern weapons with which they could come closer to be realizing their wet dream. But you claim that if we let them loose we will be safer?

            Who are you trying to kid Benny-leh?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Blah blah blah

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Aww Benny-leh, don’t be enraged. Take it like a mentch. Your claims have been thoroughly debunked.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            So sorry troll, I know you hunger for more, but please find succor elsewhere. We’ll leave standing your allzumenschliches statement:

            “Right now we stand on their throat”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Yep Benny-leh, that’s infinitely better from our point of view. It is better than them standing on OUR throats or us being dead.

            Sorry, I know you disagree. You’d actually like that but we are not going to oblige you even if you cry us lotsa tears…

            That last comment is sure to upset the resident guardian angel of this site, none other than super parrot. Watch him go off his rocker with abuse LOL.

            PS
            It seems that if you guys can’t win a debate fair and square you prefer to lower the tone into plain abuse and stupidity. Hey I can descend to your level and give you your own medicine back. Let’s see how this site will look after super parrot shows up and we descend into low brow mud slinging. Hey guys, I can deal with you either way. Your choice it’s all the same to me. Gaw on, bring it on, do your worst, I know you have it in you…

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You’ve already entered the gutter, Gustav, and I have no intention of going there with you. You’re on your own. Bye bye.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Is that a promise? I’ll hold you to it I am sick of you at least as much as you are sick of me. You have zero integrity. The term psychopath is very apt. Who was it who called you that? Ah yeah. A number of people.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Poor Gustav. He’s enraged, and doesn’t have his right wing psychopathic sidekick–who posts under multiple names–to call me names today–so he has to do the dirty work himself. Yelling up at me from the gutter, all alone, without his attack dog. A most unfortunate sight. We’ll leave him alone.

            “He who is dissatisfied with himself is continually ready for revenge and we others will be his victims, if only in having always to endure his ugly sight. For the sight of the ugly makes one bad and gloomy.”

            Fröhliche Wissenbchaft : Fourth Book, 290. One Thing is Needful, Friedrich Nietzsche

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            This man, Benny, has zero introspection. He hurls accusations left and right but he forgets to look at himself. He is guilty of the very accusation that he levels at those whom he criticizes, me in this instance…

            …and in his above post he forgot himself. He sounds a lot like his alter ego, this bod, whom he mischivously named “Israel”.

            Benny, try and seek medical help. On second thought, don’t. Psychopats are incurable. You are stuck with your mental illness.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            …Telling, very telling…

            Benny quotes from Nietzsche. The national socialists were great admirers of Nietzsche too…

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            In your remark about Nietzsche you show your ignorance, your lack of education, and your malevolence. Nietzsche, who died in 1900, explicitly disavowed anti-Semitism and would have been utterly appalled at the national socialists. It is a complex but clear story how Nietzsche was criminally misappropriated by the them, but Nietzsche was fiercely opposed to anti-Semitism, contemptuous of its adherents, and as you should know, broke famously and decisively with a true anti-Semite, Richard Wagner. Nietzsche was anti-Christian but not anti-Semitic. Walter Kaufmann, among others, showed this more than four decades ago. It is indisputable. Nietzsche was in fact, if anything, contemptuous of the Germans. It is laughable that you should try, of all things, to smear me by associating me with Friedrich Nietzsche.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            I said nothing about antisemitism. I said the national socialists glorified Nietzsche.

            I did not smear you with Nietzsche, you smeared yourself with him. Telling… very telling because today, extreme lefties are using his teachings for the same purpose as the National Socialists did…

            “Today, Western leftist professors, intellectuals, and journalists have simply turned this process on its head: same attack but for the exact opposite reasons. Now they attack the Jews-not necessarily all Jews but those who do not accept the doffing of their identity as a people or strong religious belief–and their main contemporary product, Israel as symbols of all the things they supposedly part of their campaign against Western civilization, traditional viewpoints, nationalism, and capitalism.

            They are prepared, too, to admire Jews, on condition that they become–in the phrase of Isaac Deutscher–”non-Jewish Jews” who put the cause of revolution first and their own people’s interests last. On the previous occasion this happened, it led young Jewish Bolsheviks to work enthusiastically to destroy the Jewish religion, culture, and identity in the USSR, until the dictatorship they built up dispensed with them as well.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            That’s not even coherent. Your game here is to take a complex, deep subject–uses and misuses of Nietzsche’s contribution to modern thought–which is just complex enough that anyone can usurp it to their crass agenda–and bend it in the crudest, know-nothing way to a determined propaganda attack (and all because I quoted a single, memorable aphorism of Nietzsche!). Hence the use of the hackneyed device “simply turned this process on its head.” Of course!

            Your screed amounts to this: “You’re not allowed to confront the occupation, because without it we would lose our Jewishness. The opposers of the occupation inherently attack ‘real Jews.’ The occupation you see is our defense against the acids of modernity. And if you are opposed to the occupation this means you are an “evil postmodern leftist” engaged in an attack on “Jews who do not accept the doffing of their identity as a people or strong religious belief–and their main contemporary product, Israel.”

            This is actually extreme modern and mostly secular nationalism disguised by a veneer of “traditional” Judaism and claptrap about postmodernist evils. Blended opportunistically with outright idolatry, worship of land, fetishization of stones. It’s a toxic stew of these (con)fused elements.

            The fascist Naftali Bennet and Ayalet Shaked are its current exemplars. Jewish identity and culture depends on the control and subjugation of another people? Who your leaders openly regard as untermenschen culturally if not genetically? But you say it is “extreme lefties” who are using “teachings for the same purpose as the National Socialists did…”? Yeah? Did you just stand something on its head?

            One can as easily take such vague pseudo-intellectual rhetoric and bend it to the opposite purpose: “they attack the Palestinian Arabs -not necessarily all Arabs but those who do not accept the doffing of their identity as a people or strong religious belief–and their main contemporary product, Palestine as symbols of all the things they supposedly part of their campaign against Eastern civilization, traditional viewpoints, nationalism.”

            What you are engaged in here in your attack on me is just another version of the menace Noam Sheizaf explains here:

            It’s open season on anyone opposing the occupation
            http://972mag.com/its-open-season-on-anyone-opposing-the-occupation/116184/

            You are accusing Sheizaf and every Jewish +972 writer of being a “non-Jewish Jew” because he or she opposes the occupation, and opposes it in the most consistent, principled way, in which the human rights of Jews and non-Jews, Rightists and Leftists, are equally defended. It’s gets especially offensive and menacing when you say they put “their own people’s interests last.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            FACT: Nietzsche and his Ubermench theories have been used (maybe abused) by totalitarian regimes like the National Socialists and the Bolsheviks. And now you, Benny. That is worth mentioning. I really think so!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Used and abused. Not maybe. Definitely. Nietzsche was an opponent of nationalism. You’ve thrown in the Bolsheviks too so as to get the leftists and not just the Naftali Bennet types? In fact the way you, and Bennet, think about the left recalls the thinking of European fascism. Bennet recently told the Foreign Ministry there was something wrong with “their DNA.” I think Bennet is a creep. A scary guy. I’ll quote Sternhell, expert on European fascism:

            http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/.premium-1.610368?v=7B60DE6547A1792616257F8808841B08

            Interviewer: Is there anyone in Israeli politics who scares you?

            Sternhell: “The group led by [Naftali] Bennett and [Uri] Ariel scares me – I think they are extremely dangerous. I think that [Avigdor] Lieberman is a little less dangerous, because he lacks religious fervor. But they and the right-wing branch of Likud are truly dangerous people, because they really don’t understand what democracy is, what human rights are, and they truly and deeply hate the Arabs in a way that doesn’t allow for coexistence here. You ask whether there are similarities between Marine Le Pen in France and Bennett – of course there are. In some ways she is a dangerous left-winger compared to him. If Netanyahu really wants to enter the history books, he needs to dismantle the partnership with the right, split Likud and establish a centrist government with the support of the left, and not be ashamed to rely on the Arabs’ votes.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Nietzsche was an opponent of nationalism”

            …and that is good? You admire that Benny? Then how come you are not against Arab nationalism?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Poking fun at you is abusing Nietzsche? In fact Nietzsche valued sunniness and humor.

            “I once saw a storm raging over the sea, and a clear blue sky above it; it was then that I came to dislike all sunless cloudy passions that know no light, except the lightning.”

            You really should read Erich Heller’s “The Importance of Nietzsche.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Nope, you being an admirer of Nietzsche should raise alarm bells about you. After all, the National Socialists and the Bolsheviks too were admirers of Nietzsche.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Have you read Erich Heller yet? See also “The Disinherited Mind.” You have a lot of reading to do.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            We all do, Benny-leh. But sure as hell I won’t be reading your reading list, I might end up like you, God forbid.

            Enjoy njoy your Nietzsche and try to avoid becoming a national socialist or a bolshevik. Now do you wanna answer a fair and square question that I asked you before? Or are you in your usual avoidance mode when I highlight how one sided and hypocritical you are?

            BEN:”Nietzsche was an opponent of nationalism”

            …and that is good? You admire that Benny? Then how come you are not against Arab nationalism?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Gustav’s got his thick tar brush out and is flailing wildly. As usual, lots of blatant strawmen popping up.

            Nietzsche the fascist Bolshevik (?!)

            Benny the secret slavish “admirer” of Nietzsche and closet Bolshevik with sinister aims. Sound the alarm. (God does that not sound fascist?)

            Benny the Arab nationalist

            Noam Sheizaf the non-Jewish Jew with sinister aims. There’s a mutation in his “DNA.”

            Noam Sheizaf the “Jewish fool as only a Jew can be, such a great fool”

            “The Arabs” who can only dominate. It’s their “DNA.” No partner there, by definition.

            Gustav, look, you’re an extreme Jewish nationalist. You don’t even seem to realize it. Come out of the closet at long last. Stop trying to please the goyim with bourgeoise excuses about “all we want is security.” I think we’ve finally dissected your true aims, hidden even to yourself.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Benny the secret slavish “admirer” of Nietzsche and closet Bolshevik with sinister aims”

            Secret, Benny-leh? There is nothing secret about you. You are an open book. You are here, day in day out and you keep on repeating the same thing about how evil we are. About the evil things that Israel stands for and what poor innocent victims the Palestinian Arabs are.

            And your proposed solution is? It is that we the Jews of Israel should throw ourselves under the bus.

            No, Benny-leh, no amount of pecking by you with your sharp beak will make us do that. Are you incapable of grasping that? Or do you just enjoy the process of pecking? Well then, go on pecking, Benny-leh. Peck, peck, peck, peck, peck……

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Nietzsche was an opponent of nationalism”

            …and that is good? You admire that Benny? Then how come you are not against Arab nationalism?

            Reply to Comment
    6. Susan

      “Palestinians rarely address Israelis and Israeli society directly.”

      This is a mistake. Israel is still a democracy and the only chance of ending the occupation is to change the mind of average Israeli. This has to include all Israelis whether they are Zionists or not.

      The Zionists wanted a small space where Jews could control their own destiny, because assimilation had not worked.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Leonore Mohill Gerstein

      The Left always sounds weaker than the right, because the Left does not appeal to people’s lowest instincts. Rather, the Left assumes that rational discourse and an appeal to our identification with humanity as such is the only path to equality and positive social change.
      It is disturbing to note that only one out of all the comments I read in response to this piece had any interest in a Jewish (whether Zionist or not) point of view. It suggests to me that your readership is not broad enough. You need to look harder for ways to promote dialogue across the divide. You can do it, +972!!!

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        I don’t agree. The left has some good concepts but it’s success depends on people’s cooperative instincts. After all, cooperation when it works, benefits all sides. On the other hand, lopsided (one sided) cooperation will benfit only the recipients and it disadvantages the side which gives. So where is the incentive in that?

        The reason why the extreme left fails and yes, why it sounds weak, is because they have lopsided (one sided) instincts. To them, there are the poor, or the opressed, or both. And that side can just do no wrong. Conversely, the rich and the powerful are ALWAYS wrong. Such attitudes don’t foster cooperation. It fosters confrontation.

        Now the moderate left (when they are on the ball), work on both sides. They persuade or even mildly admonish BOTH sides when necessary. That enhances the chance for cooperation because it makes them look like honest brokers not polemicists.

        This publication, and other similar publications, would do much better if they would not promote the idea that one side, us Israelis are always wrong and the Palestinian Arabs are always right. That attitude encourages both us and the Arabs to dig our heels in. They because they feel self righteous and vindicated. Us because we have our own grievances and concerns which we want resolved before we give up anything.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Same ol’ comfortable occupiers logic: “Let’s be ‘evenhanded’ and ‘balanced’ about this nice little occupation of ours. See here, the Japanese surrendered, why can’t they?” For years and years the United States assiduously promoted “evenhandedness” even as it stated and restated that the occupation was illegitimate, and for years and years Israel used that “evenhandedness” as a tactic, a ploy, to manage the conflict and gobble ever more land and transfer ever more thousands of its civilian population into occupied territory. And more recently to tell the US to go f itself. So, no thanks. The “moderate left” you have in mind is the utterly pathetic coopted one of Isaac Herzog and Yair Lapid.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Same old one sided polemics and denial of history.

            Your POOR innocent oppressed Palestinians are in this predicament because they made some very nasty and ill conceived decisions in the past. They wanted to snuff out OUR rights to nationhood with their sword. Because of that they are under occupation till such time as they promise to give up their aggression and sign a peace deal. You say they are willing to do so if we follow their dictates? Well, Benny, I am sorry but that’s not how the world works. Given their past behavior, we are not obliged to trust them. We have the right to set terms which to some extent minimize the very real risks that we take in giving up any lands. They certainly didn’t display anything like what Sadat exhibited in exchange for getting the Sinai back. When we see even a little bit of the same from your Palestinian Arabs, we are capable of compromizing. But right now, we only see the old attitudes from them.

            Don’t believe me? Then read what Hamas says. Read the PLO charter. And read even what the author of this article stands for. She is against the existence of the Jewish nation state because she pretends that a secular democratic state with equal immigration rights for Arabs can replace it. But we all know that it isn’t so because there are only two possibilities in the Middle East.

            1. A Jewish majority state.

            2. Or an Arab majority state.

            We have already tried the second option in the last 2000 years and it involved periodic pogroms and persecution of Jews. So we are not doing that again. EVER! Get it Benny? Now stop responding to my posts. I thought you said you are sick of me and I am certainly sick of you! In fact, not only am I sick of you but you positively disgust me.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Denying history does not change history. Everyone knows that in 1947 the UN voted for a two state solution. The Arabs not only rejected that resolution but they attacked the fledgling new state and continued their war against us ever since.

            You want to continue debating this, in spite of your self declared statement that you are sick of me (and my similar response to you)? Be my guest. I am game.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Israel attacks the Palestinians every day. In the present. Today. And for 49 years.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Yep, stone throwers, molotov cocktail throwers, spawners of suicide bombers, shooters of qasam rockets, kidnappers, knifers, murderers and terrorists.

            Fact, your Palestinian Arabs point blank refuse to sign a peace deal which means that they want their 100 year war to continue. Yes, those who espouse war and violence get attacked too. That is only shocking to one sided biased propagandists like Benny.

            Reply to Comment
    8. Click here to load previous comments