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Red Rag column: the slave revolt
By: Gideon Spiro

17 October 2015 (English translation 28 October 2015)

The Slave Revolt

The mass media – radio, television, the press and most of the social media on
the Internet – are pounding into our heads that a “wave of terror” is sweeping
over the country. Throw in the two words “incitement” and “death”, and we have
the position of the Israeli government and its followers on the spontaneous
Palestinian uprising that is disturbing their serenity. The position of the
Netanyahu government is simple and simplistic: the Palestinian knife-attacks
are the result of incitement in Palestinian social media with the
participation of all Palestinian political figures, from Palestinian National
Authority President Abu Mazen down to the latest spokesperson for Hamas. This
version is also accepted by both of the (so-called) opposition parties, There
Is A Future and the Zionist Union (there is no more Labour Party since it
erased every hint of a left-wing position, however paltry).

Netanyahu, in his familiar role as he-man, promises total war against “terror
and incitement”, but he cannot leave the box of thinking based on relations of
force, so his solutions amount to nothing but intensifying the oppression.
Former Mossad and Israel Security Agency (ISA) people fill the airwaves as
experts giving advice that always fits within the force-based structure
supplied by Netanyahu and his advisors. Their contribution amounts to joining
the unending babble that pours out of all receivers. Security incidents are a
festival for all whose trigger-fingers are itchy and who long to take part in
“liquidations of terrorists” that are nothing but extra-judicial executions.
The government has called on citizens who own guns to carry them when they go
out and not to hesitate to kill whomever arouses suspicion or constitutes a
threat. There have been cases in which vengeful mobs have demanded that police
shoot to death Palestinians who were already shot but not killed, and the
police acceded to the demands of the public and shot them again and again
until there was no doubt that they were dead, and the public applauded. There
is no justification at all for shooting with live ammunition in order to kill
and calling it “neutralizing a terrorist”. For neutralizing a person who is
endangering the public there are taser guns. MK Yair Lapid, the dictator of
his party, which bears the name “There Is A Future” (Yesh Atid), which I hope
will disappear soon, has called on the public to kill terrorists. He is
continuing the “proud” tradition of his father, Tommy Lapid, a dangerous
quasi-fascist who proposed in a live television broadcast to put six car-bombs
in the centres of six Palestinian cities. Dorit Beinish, in her previous role
as State Attorney, considered prosecuting him for that. To me it was sad to
witness once again the moral corruption of journalists. Every news presenter
uses the government’s sanitized language. When Arabs come to the studio, they
are not interviewed but interrogated. The news-readers and commentators see
themselves as an arm of the ISA. As for incitement, Netanyahu seems to suffer
from blindness when it comes to the Israeli social media. The Israeli social
media are infused with incitement against Arabs and leftists, including calls
for their murder.

Now I will try to restore to words their true meanings. What has been
happening here in recent weeks is not a “wave of terror” but a spontaneous
slave revolt. Israel has been keeping the Palestinian people under conditions
of slavery for nearly fifty years. I assume that within every Palestinian
there is a little Spartacus in a dormant state, who can be awakened any time.
A 19 year old youth does not need incitement to know he is living in crap. His
parents are defeated, the light has gone out of their eyes. He heard from a
relative that his parents were arrested and underwent torture. They do not
talk about it, a phenomenon familiar among Holocaust survivors. His soul longs
to help his parents, but he does not know how; he has already been summoned to
report to the ISA in his area and warned “not to do anything stupid” and told
that if he reports on his friends’ activities he will be rewarded. He was born
into the Occupation, as were his parents. He sees no light at the end of the
tunnel, and has lost hope for change. He comes to the conclusion that his
death would be better than his life. The Spartacus that was heretofore dormant
wakes up and decides that on his way to freedom from enslavement he will take
as many of the masters as possible with him. Israelis love to play the victim
and immediately adopt the self-pitying tone of “again they want to kill Jews”.
I don’t think he cares if the person he stabs is a Jew or a Druze or a Pole
who happened to come across his path.

He does not know who is Left and who is Right, who is for the Occupation and
who is against it. To him we all belong to the master nation. The Spartacus in
him says: I will not depart this world without a struggle against the
Occupation. I have no pistol, no rifle, no missile, tank or airplane. I only
have my friend the knife and with it I will go into battle.

I have sketched here a young Palestinian, a product of my imagination, but
this reflects a situation that exists within many Palestinian families. Where
are the terrorists? Patience, they’re coming. Let us attend our first lesson
on the subject of terrorism.

What is terrorism? Below is a definition I found in the Encyclopaedia of
Social Sciences. [1]

Terrorism [Heb. teror]: means of violence employed by a
ruling or victorious group against the ruled or the vanquished. As well as the
terror [Heb. eyma] they spread in their midst. The objective of
terrorism is always to paralyze the adversary’s spirit and strength to resist.
One of its features is the absence of any regularity or order in its
employment, such that it is impossible to foresee when, against whom and why
those means will be employed (executions, pulling people from their homes to
unknown places, expulsion, concentration camps, torture etc.). Also the
declaration of a state of emergency, inquisition, investigation, surveillance
by secret police, demands on the populace to inform, special courts – all
those are means of terrorism. (Volume 2, page 607)


This applies nearly perfectly to the character and policies of the Israeli
occupier. The entry was written by the late Dr. Yonah Fink in 1964, three
years before the war of June 1967. More than foreseeing the future, he
accurately described the hallmarks of a terrorist regime.

So where are the terrorists? I have the honour of presenting them to you.
Their names and addresses are known. Netanyahu, Yaalon, Bennett, Regev, Shaked
and the other members of the government. But they are just a link in a long
chain of terrorists. All Israeli governments since June 1967 are terrorist
governments. The Eshkol government began it with the annexation of East
Jerusalem and the establishment of a settlement in the Golan Heights. All IDF
General Staffs and Chiefs of Staff, the entire officer corps that have served
the Occupation and the settlements are terrorists. All members of the ISA are
terrorists, as well as the police in the Judea and Samaria District, as the
area is called in the language of the Occupation. All the military and
civilian judges who have given backing to the Occupation are also terrorists.
And let us not forget the banks that have opened branches in the Occupied
Territories in order to normalize the Occupation. And what about the
restaurant-owners that have employed Palestinian children under conditions of
slavery? They too are part of Israeli terrorism. And this is not a complete
list. Of course the level of responsibility differs depending on the role. A
terrorist soldier who is sent to wake up children at night and abduct them to
detention is not as guilty as the officer who sent him, and a terrorist who
works at a desk is not as guilty as a terrorist who actually tortures people.
But all the above are terrorists according to the definition provided in the
Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences. It is impossible to put an entire nation on
trial, even though most of them support the Occupation, and let us not forget
that there is also a substantial group that opposes the Occupation and
struggles against it. Even the Nuremberg trials included only a select group
of criminals based on their level of responsibility (and who had not managed
to hide or escape). I hope that one day there will be a historian who will
write the list of shame of Israeli terrorists.

Does this mean that I support the knife or the stone? Neither one nor the
other. I only recognize the right of a people under occupation to struggle for
their liberation from foreign rule. I do not dictate to the oppressed which
means to choose for their struggle, but if they ask for my opinion I will not
conceal my preference for non-violent struggle.

A few words now about the dilemmas of a person of the Left who opposes the
Occupation. I will write in the first-person plural, because the dilemmas are
not just mine. We oppose the Occupation and write and demonstrate against it,
but at the same time we are also members of the occupying nation. We pay taxes
to a terrorist government (and most of us have no choice in the matter,
because they are deducted from our paycheques). By virtue of being Jews we
enjoy many privileges that the apartheid regime confers on us. Among us are
gifted and important creators who receive prizes from the terrorist
government. I do not pass judgement, because I am aware of the constraints,
one has a family and children, and an award like that can help to meet growing
expenses. I have not forgotten that I too once thought it was possible to be
an employee of the state and to publish articles critical of the government’s
policies. A court ratified my dismissal and the withdrawal of my pension,
although the latter was restored to me upon appeal to the Supreme Court. In
leftist demonstrations at Rabin Square I have noticed a phenomenon that
repeats itself over and over: a demonstration ends and people stream to the
cafés and restaurants. The conscience is clean, because I have participated in
a demonstration.

Not everyone can do as the poet-author-playwright Shimon Tzabar. That gifted
man, who was guaranteed a place in the Israeli intellectual and artistic
elite, decided that he wanted no part in the Occupation, and in 1968 he
emigrated with his family to London, where he worked in construction. What we
are lacking in the Israeli Left is a steadfast leadership that is committed to
peace and equality at least as much the settlers are committed to their
interests, and a left-wing corps of “Hilltop Youth” to neutralize the right-
wing one. [2] Since we have neither one nor the other, fascism is passing, and
the future looks frightening.

To sum up: we are faced with not a wave but a tsunami of terror, at the hands
of a terrorist state in the face of attempts by isolated individuals who
despair of change.

Thus has Israeli converted the Jewish people from the People of the Book to
the People of Terror. It exports its merchandise in that field to other
terrorist states. The export of oranges, which once typified Israel on the
world stage, has been replaced by the export of systems and methods of terror.


Translator’s notes

1. An Israeli encyclopaedia of which the first volume was published by
Sifriyat Poalim in 1962. In Hebrew, Ha-Entziklopedia le-mada’ei ha-
hevra
.

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilltop_Youth


Translated from Hebrew for Occupation Magazine by George Malent
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