The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,
but because of the people who don't do anything about it
Occupation magazine - Commentary
Send To friend
Red Rag column - Trump and Ze`evi - Advice for Ilana Dayan
By: Gideon Spiro
14 November 2016 (English translation 1 December 2016)
There is much symbolism in the fact that two men accused of rape have received high state honours in close succession. Rehavam Ze’evi in Israel and Donald Trump in the USA. Two men who have distinguished themselves with their attitudes of humiliation, contempt and aggressiveness towards women. The journalist Jonathan Freedland of the British newspaper
characterizes Trump in the following words: “a stew of racism, misogyny and casual violence bubbling below the surface of American life. […] He has mocked opponents for their looks, belittled women … damned ethnic and other minorities in crude, bigoted language, jeered at disabled people, beaten his chest with bellicose promises of state-sponsored violence that would trample on the US constitution and trigger a third world war, and told dozens of lies every day.” … He represents the danger of “a would-be dictator … whose contempt for basic democratic norms, from the importance of a free press to the need to respect the outcome of a democratic election, suggested a lurch towards fascism.” 
The violence and the contempt that he harbours for women did not prevent millions of women from voting for him, like the slave who tells his owner, “I love my master”.  Was this a failure of democracy which carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction? Or failure of American capitalist democracy?
Brainwashing under American democracy, according to which the owner of capital is symbol of success, has caused millions of embittered and unemployed Americans to vote for a member of the oligarchy that has caused their sad condition.
In a socialist democracy the Trump phenomenon could not have happened, either because civilized welfare policies would have prevented income gaps of withering poverty on the one hand and ostentatious wealth on the other, or because a person who represents values like those of Trump would have been disqualified from standing for election.
For the Israeli extreme Right, which burns mosques and admires Ze’evi, it is but natural to join up with the Ku Klux Klan, which saw Trump’s victory as a wake-up call to return to burning Black churches, like in the 1950s and 60s. (See the film
If, as is often said, the USA is the leader of the free world, then the civilized public must expect hard times.
The session to honour the memory of Rahavam Ze’evi was one of the low points in the history of the Knesset. Many critics of the event emphasized the testimony of female soldiers who were raped by him, which made it easy for his supporters to take refuge in the claim that the man is dead and cannot give his side of the story. And indeed there is a problem here, for cases have been known in which men who were accused of serious sexual offenses managed to refute the accusations after police investigations and confrontation between the accused and the victims.
And moreover, public figures who have died are targets for biographies that expose details that were not known while they were alive. But the facts that were known during Ze’evi’s life – his links to the criminal underworld, the murder of prisoners, planting a bomb at the apartment of the journalist Sylvie Keshet in order to silence her,  and his racist views, including calling for the transfer of Arabs – are enough to disqualify him from having a special law passed to honour his memory.
What would we say if the American Congress passed a law honouring the memory of a leader of the racist organization, the Klu Klux Klan? For Ze’evi was an Israeli version of that.
The fact that the head of the leader of the opposition and the current leader of the Labour Party, Isaac Herzog, participated in the glorification and praise of Ze’evi, is a manifestation of the racist and militaristic foundations that abide within that party, which also calls itself the Zionist Union.
Advice for Ilana Dayan
Welcome to community of the abominations of the extreme Left. I say this as one who once tried to remove from myself the label of extreme Left, because I think that I am moderate Left. I eventually came to understand that it was a waste of breath, and the label has remained in place. Since the prime minister labelled you as an extreme leftist, the stain has stuck to you and no word-sanitizer can remove it. The camp of those labelled as extreme Left is today a persecuted minority, but its members are the finest of human beings, who thirst for justice and equality. There is no doubt that the day will come when you will be filled with pride at being counted among this group.
1. “Who is to blame for this awful US election?”
, 7 November 2016.
(Quotes from Freedland that appeared in the Hebrew original of this column are from a Hebrew translation of Freedland’s article, published in
on 9 November 2016)
2. Exodus 21:5-6.
3. From the French Wikipedia article on Ze’evi: (translation) “He retired with the rank of major-general (àìåó) in 1974. The same year, however, he organized, with the help of the mafia chief Tuvia Oshri, a bomb attack against Sylvie Keshet, a journalist at the daily Yedioth Ahronoth.”
The information on the bomb attack on Keshet is in the French and Hebrew Wiki articles on Ze’evi, but not the English one.
Translated from Hebrew for Occupation Magazine by George Malent
Links to the latest articles in this section
The US and nuclear programs in the Middle East
How can Israel, Palestine return to a two-state solution?
A matter of concrete debate