|By: Gideon Spiro|
19 December 2011 (English translation 25 December)
Those who have eyes in their heads and have not been narcotized by the establishment media in Israel know that Jewish terror has been going on in the Occupied Territories for forty-four years now. The whole settlement project is part of that Jewish terror. With the passage of years a division of labour emerged. The government of Israel, by means of the army, the Israel Security Agency and the police is responsible for state terror, and the settlers are responsible for privatized terror, which is based on local initiatives. Generally this division of labour functions harmoniously, the proof being that the state terror reacts to the privatized terror with a wink. However, as will occasionally happen among terrorists, there are fissures and conflicts within the terrorist organizations and a more extreme actor comes along that seeks to be the guardian of the “purity of the camp”, and then there is an explosion that is not always well-controlled. That is what recently happened with the terror of the young generation of settlers. The generation of settler-terrorists of the first years of the Occupation have become established and they live in villas in the old settlements; the young generation of today, the generation of the “outposts”, tells them and those who are responsible for administering the state terror: “Jews, there are still some Arabs we haven’t attacked, there are still some mosques that we haven’t burnt, there are still some hills that we haven’t stuck a peg in, there are still some Palestinian olive trees that we haven’t yet cut down – permit us to finish the job!”
This generational friction between the different kinds of terrorists recently produced a conflict in which the terrorists from the “outposts” generation attacked members of the army, who represent the establishment terror. There was a national outcry. Many supporters of state terror suddenly discovered that there is no law in the Occupied Territories, that the settlers are the kings and lords of the land, that the religious and nationalist extremism of those the so-called “hilltop youth” knows no bounds, as if they had just been dropped down from another planet. “A Jewish settler striking an officer of the Army of Occupation? What’s happened to us?” – the state-terror supporters ask, hypocritically. The prime minister took an energy pill and declared that any hand that is raised against a Jewish soldier will be cut off. So – just on time for Christmas, we have a new saint: the Jewish soldier against whom no hand must be raised. What rubbish. Jewish soldiers of an army of occupation are not sacred beings, and the raising of hands against them must be evaluated in the correct context. A soldier of an army of occupation who is violating human rights can be arrested. A soldier who is defending human rights must be defended and aided. The trouble is, in today’s Israel there is no such animal as a soldier who defends human rights.
The terror of the “outposts” generation is no “bad apple”; it is a legitimate child of the Occupation. As long as they were just attacking Palestinians, the Occupation authorities turned a blind eye. But now that soldiers of the Occupation have also begun to be victims of their dissatisfaction with the pace at which Palestinian property and lands are being appropriated, there is an outcry. The oft-repeated position of the right-wing government, that most of the settlers are “law-abiding” and only an extremist minority makes trouble, is groundless. There are no law-abiding settlers. All the settlers, whether they are more extreme or less so, are criminals under international law, which is binding on Israel, even though Israel ignores it.
A regime of oppression that is built on religious dogma and/or nationalist fervour will engender groups that are still more extreme and which will not be satisfied with what the regime offers them. The racist laws in the US south during the Jim Crow era were not enough for the Ku Klux Klan; al-Qaeda will not be satisfied with the “moderation” of the Muslim Brotherhood; and the “outpost” generation, which is our local version of the KKK, will not be satisfied with the scope of official state racism. Therefore they burn mosques, just as the KKK terrorists burned Black churches in the southern United States. (I recommend the film Mississippi Burning) It is but natural that the Knights of the Israeli KKK have recently burnt a mosque in Jerusalem and scrawled on its wall the abominable slogan “A good Arab is a dead Arab”, which is taken directly from the Nazi style-book, according to which a good Jew was a dead Jew.
The terrorists of the first generation of settlers are trying to appease the terrorists of the “outposts” generation by telling them in effect, “let the army and the government work at their pace, after all, they’re doing it for us.”
Mustafa Tamimi, age 28, was murdered in cold blood on International Human Rights Day as he was demonstrating in his village of Nabi Saleh against the theft of village lands by settlers. Tamimi, a Palestinian David armed with a small stone, stood vulnerable before the Israeli Goliath, armed and armoured from head to toe, and a tear-gas canister was fired directly at his head at short range. This army, say the veteran settlers to the hot-headed youngsters, is our ally. Let them do their job. Why antagonize them? You can continue to harass the Palestinians your way – which has been paved for you.
The terror of the “outposts” generation operates on both sides of the Green Line. On the Israeli side it is conducted by an organization called “Im Tirtzu”, which is about halfway between McCarthy and Mussolini and wages total war against whomever they perceive to be left-wing in the realms of culture, the media or the Academy. Alongside it in the Occupied Territories is another organization called The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, which is ready to wage judicial terror every time a peep is heard from the Left. And they have won victories. The Israeli-Palestinian radio station “All for Peace”  has been closed; the department of politics and government at Ben-Gurion University, which is home to a fair number of non-racist lecturers, is also threatened with closure; and the number of journalists who are afraid to attack the Netanyahu government and the settlers keeps growing. All this under the inspiration of right-wing Knesset Members who are working untiringly to pass legislation that will convert Israel into a Lieberman-Putin-style democracy.
The silence disturbs the government
All was quiet on the Gaza border. It went on too long – several weeks. The government and the army got nervous and decided to break the silence. The Israeli air force liquidated some Palestinians on Gaza’s main street. The IDF Spokesman said that the victim was responsible for an attack in Eilat five years ago. Is that true? There is no quick way to verify it for those of us who are not willing to take the word of the IDF Spokesman as if it were Torah from Sinai. Sometimes years pass before documents are discovered that prove that the army lied and misled the public with false declarations. Meanwhile the army has planted agents disguised as journalists in all the mass media outlets, and they are a disciplined bunch who repeat the IDF Spokesman’s statements like parrots.
What the IDF Spokesman did not report is that this “surgical” action also produced civilian casualties. Ten children from one family, ages six months to 13 years, were wounded. Two of them were wounded seriously, and died later. We know this from a report from Gaza. In response, the IDF Spokesman expressed sorrow and added that this is the price of war. The Palestinians responded to that act of Israeli state terror by firing rockets at southern Israel, and of course the air force could not pass up the opportunity that presented for more raids, because, after all, “Israel will not tolerate Palestinian terror”. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are duty-bound to passively accept Israeli terror.
When Jewish children are victims of Palestinian terror, international leaders – from the president of the United States through to the president of France and the chancellor of Germany on down to the prime minister of Britain and others – issue condemnatory statements. And that’s fine. But why are they so stingy with their condemnation when Palestinian children are victims of Israeli terror?
The great inventor
Newt Gingrich, who is currently leading in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, has declared that the Palestinian people are invented, that in fact they are just Arabs who should find their place in Arab countries. That’s his way of pandering to Jewish and fundamentalist Christian voters. His words pleased the ears of many in Israel.
In his eagerness to revile the Palestinians, Gingrich ignored the fact that it is not just the Palestinians who were invented; many other nations are inventions of historical circumstances. Before Zionism existed, when Palestine was a district within the Ottoman Empire, there was no Palestinian people in the way we understand the term today. A decisive contribution to the crystallization of Palestinian nationalism was made by Zionism itself, when it came along to claim the Land of Israel as a National Home for the Jews. Just as England invented the Australian people the moment it decided to convert Australia into a colony for British and Irish criminals, just as the conditions of grave hardship in Europe that generated waves of mass immigration to the USA, invented the American nation, which is itself reinvented every few decades due to demographic changes.
There are inventions which, from the moment they came to the world, cannot be returned back to the state they were in before they were invented.
Another innovation from the Right that rules Israel
MK Ofir Akunis of the Likud faction stated not long ago that Senator Joe McCarthy, the witch-hunter of the 1950s, was absolutely right. Those words are quite alarming, coming as they do from an MK who in the past has served as spokesman for Prime Minister Netanyahu. But Akunis is not the only one. There is a competition out there to see who can be the first to pulverize the last traces of democracy within the Green Line (Nobody even pretends that there’s democracy in the Occupied Territories). MK Danny Danon, also from the Likud, proposed that the issuance of drivers’ licences should be made conditional on the applicant signing a statement that he or she recognizes Israel as a “Jewish and democratic” state. The intention is clear: to embarrass Arab citizens, who almost certainly would refuse to sign, and thereby to get them off the roads, which would then be for Jews only.
Such proposals and declarations are part of the flood of bills that are intended to silence people, starve the human rights organizations by means of barring them from receiving donations from foreign governments and thereby to convert the media and the public sphere into the lap-dog of the Israeli Right. The husband of Marie Le Pen, the leader of the racist right-wing party in France, is currently visiting Israel. In an interview published in Haaretz, he said that his party is moderate in comparison to Foreign Minister Lieberman. And he knows what he’s talking about.
All this is well reflected in ads published by human rights organizations in Israel to mark International Human Rights Day on 10 December, which stated that the year 2011 saw a substantial retreat by democracy in nearly every possible parameter.
The New Year
To all my friends and readers, I wish a fruitful 2012, with the hope that it will be a harbinger of peace, the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, improved human rights and the defeat of racism. And I wish a Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it.