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Red Rag column - letter to settler Judge Mintz - missiles in Syria - Israeli post office propaganda
By: Gideon Spiro
10 April 2017

A letter I sent to Judge David Mintz

To the Settler David Mintz
Judge in the Supreme Court
The Settlement of Dolev
The West Bank

6 April 2017

Your Great Dishonour,

On 5 April 2017 the newspaper Haaretz reported that you ruled in favour of the expulsion from Israel of an Ethiopian woman and her 5-year-old daughter who is an Israeli citizen. The woman was married to a violent Israeli citizen, from whom she got divorced. Her only crime in your racist view is that she is not Jewish. It did her no good that she is in a new relationship with an Israeli citizen and that a baby was born to them, who is also an Israeli citizen.

The practical significance of your ruling is denial of the citizenship of her children, due to no fault of theirs. This is a travesty of justice, which reminds me of the denial of my citizenship by Nazi Germany. It is a wicked racist ruling, with which you mark with appropriate symbolism the beginning of your tenure in the Supreme Court. You are a scoundrel with judicial licence. [1]

While we’re on the subject of expulsion, what should be expelled is the cruelty that oozes from your perverse ruling. At the same time you should be expelled from the Occupied Territories, which you invaded without the permission of the owners. As a settler you are party to the large-scale theft of land and the regime of apartheid that confers on you the privileges of a land-thief behind the bayonets of the government.

Gideon Spiro

Tomahawks fly in reply to sarin gas

President Donald Trump finally got some relief on the international scene, after firing tomahawk cruise missiles at an airfield in Homs in Syria. The attack was justified as punishment for Syrian President Assad’s use of sarin gas against the civilian population in Khan Shaykhoun in southern Idlib. Among the victims were many children, and the pictures of the victims shocked world public opinion. No doubt the 6 year old civil war in Syria has reached the level of a catastrophe, which requires international mobilization to end it. The question to which I have no clear answer is, are tomahawk missiles the response that will put an end to the civil war?

Conspicuous in this context is the hypocrisy of the leaders of the Israeli government, who love to talk about morality while their hands are drenched with the blood of thousands of Palestinian children from 50 years of Occupation. The number of children who were killed in bombing by the Israeli air force in Operation Strong Cliff alone, including newborn babies, surpasses the number of children who were killed in the sarin gas bombings.

No doubt Assad is a cruel dictator and a war criminal who should be put on trial at the court for war crimes. But the crimes of Assad do not wipe away Israel’s crimes, even if they do not rise to the same level of cruelty as those of the Syrian dictator.

I would not support firing 60 tomahawk missiles at Israeli targets in order to put a stop to the Israeli Occupation. That goal can be realized by purely non-violent means like an international boycott.


Gideon Spiro says: Chapeau to the New Israel Fund for the Jubilee Haggadah. It is a laudable project. Thank you. [2]

Stamps as government propaganda

To mark 50 years of the Occupation, the Israel Post Office issued a series of commemorative stamps with attached information sheets (Jerusalem, the Golan, the Jordan Valley and the West Bank), which bear absolutely no relation to the historical truth. The text is primitive government propaganda.

For example, the “Fifty Years of Reunification Souvenir Sheet” says, in Hebrew and English:

On the 50th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem, the State of Israel is marking the historic event that took place in June 1967 with a series of events in Israel and abroad.

Jerusalem salutes its soldiers, embraces its residents, welcomes its guests and celebrates with all those who love it. Hundreds of thousands of peoples [sic] from all around Israel and the world will march, visit and pray during the festivities.

The Old City inside the ancient walls, the old neighborhoods outside those walls and the new neighborhoods built in this generation are all one city, special and unified. … Jerusalem is a metropolis that attempts to balance different beliefs and opinions, opposing tastes and habits. … a vibrant city that is open to different opinions and to people of all backgrounds. [3]

All is sweetness and light. No Arabs; no settler religious extremism; no transfer of Arabs; no discrimination, no provocations by yeshiva students; in short: no Palestinian Jerusalem under occupation and no Jewish municipality that torments its Palestinian residents. This style of propaganda is typical of the other souvenir sheets as well.

Translator’s notes

1. An ironic reference to a phrase coined by the famous medieval Spanish rabbi Nahmanides, who spoke of a person who does evil while adhering to the letter of religious law as a “scoundrel with Torah licence”.

2. ‘In the Jewish tradition, the fiftieth year is the year of liberty. As written in Leviticus, “Sanctify the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land for all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you.” This is the fiftieth year of the State of Israel’s rule over the Palestinian people. The time has come for liberty and peace.’


Translated from Hebrew for Occupation Magazine by George Malent

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