organization:knesset

  • What Israel would look like if more students learned Arabic
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/06/israel-arabic-hebrew-language-idf-nationality-law-school.html

    How unpopular is Arabic in Israel? It turns out that just 1.6% of Jews in the country studied Arabic in school. Only 26% of Israel’s adult population speaks Arabic, with the overwhelming majority of them Arab citizens. Only 0.5% of Jews in Israel are able to read a book in Arabic.

    Students in Israel are only required to study Arabic in middle school, and then for just three hours per week. Schools in the religious nationalist education system barely learn Arabic at all, and the same is true in ultra-Orthodox schools.

    (...)

    There is a problem in academia, too. Professor Elie Podeh, former head of the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University, told Al-Monitor that he believes there is a connection between the “attitude toward peace” and interest in learning Arabic. “There has been a decline in the number of people studying the humanities overall,” he said. "This includes a noticeable decline in registration in several Middle Eastern Studies departments. Between 70 and 90 students register with the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Hebrew University every year. It is quite possible that there would have been greater interest among students in the 1990s, when the mood in the country was different.”

    In October 2015, the coalition and opposition agreed to pass the initial reading of a law that would have required Israeli students to learn both languages, Hebrew and Arabic, starting in the first grade. Since then, however, the law has been held up by the Knesset’s Education Committee.

    #israël #arabe

  • Israël : la crise politique affaiblit un peu plus le plan de Trump
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/010619/israel-la-crise-politique-affaiblit-un-peu-plus-le-plan-de-trump

    En dissolvant la Knesset pour organiser de nouvelles élections en septembre, le premier ministre israélien a plongé son pays dans une crise politique évitable. Et peut-être sabordé « l’accord du siècle » du président américain.

    #PROCHE-ORIENT #Israël,_Jared_Kushner,_Donald_Trump,_Palestine,_Benjamin_Netanyahou

  • En Israël, Netanyahou échoue à former une coalition, la Knesset dissoute
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/300519/en-israel-netanyahou-echoue-former-une-coalition-la-knesset-dissoute

    Les députés israéliens ont décidé dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi de dissoudre le Parlement, après que le premier ministre sortant Benjamin Netanyahou a échoué à former un gouvernement de coalition dans le délai qui lui était imparti.

    #PROCHE-ORIENT #Alain_Dieckhoff,_Benjamin_Netanyahou,_Benny_Gantz,_Likoud,_travaillisme_israélien,_Joan_Deas,_Israël

  • Quand l’extrême-droite défend la laïcité en Israël | Un si Proche Orient
    http://filiu.blog.lemonde.fr/2019/05/26/quand-lextreme-droite-defend-la-laicite-en-israel


    Avigdor Lieberman, le chef d’Israel Beytenou

    L’ultra-nationaliste Lieberman s’oppose fermement aux partis religieux, ce qui complique la constitution par Nétanyahou d’un nouveau gouvernement.

    Malgré sa victoire aux élections du 9 avril, Benjamin Nétanyahou n’est toujours pas parvenu à constituer un nouveau gouvernement. Le marchandage entre les différentes composantes de sa coalition, qu’il souhaite ancrer très à droite, se complique en effet de la posture offensive d’Avigdor Lieberman sur la laïcité. Cette personnalité ultra-nationaliste, ministre de la Défense jusqu’en novembre dernier, s’oppose de plus en plus ouvertement aux partis religieux, que leur poids à la Knesset rendait jusqu’alors intouchables. Une partie de l’extrême-droite se retrouve ainsi en Israël à lutter contre l’emprise des rabbins fondamentalistes, un combat que le centre et la gauche avaient largement délaissé ces dernières années.

    L’immigration de centaines de milliers de Juifs originaires de l’ex-URSS, dans les années 1990, a profondément transformé la société israélienne. La composante russophone est aujourd’hui estimée à au moins un million de personnes, pour près de sept millions de citoyens juifs d’Israël. Les immigrants venus de l’espace soviétique ont bénéficié de la « loi du retour » qui permet l’installation en Israël des Juifs, ainsi que des descendants ou conjoints d’un Juif à la première et à la deuxième génération. Un tiers environ de ces russophones ne sont cependant pas considérés comme juifs selon les critères du grand-rabbinat, contrôlé en Israël par les ultra-orthodoxes. Cette population russophone se distingue d’ailleurs par sa pratique religieuse relativement faible, voire par un athéisme ouvertement revendiqué.
    […]
    Lieberman se situe donc résolument à l’extrême-droite, même si son jusqu’au-boutisme à l’encontre des Palestiniens a été débordé par le développement d’autres formations organiquement liées aux colons et à leur frange la plus radicale. En outre, l’intégration progressive des russophones, dont une proportion toujours croissante est née en Israël, a réduit le vote captif en faveur d’Israel Beytenou, tombé à 5 députés lors des législatives du mois dernier. L’habile politicien qu’est Lieberman s’est dès lors métamorphosé en défenseur intransigeant de la laïcité, une posture qui lui vaut un certain écho au-delà de sa base traditionnelle, tant les diktats des partis ultra-orthodoxes, eux-mêmes maîtres du grand-rabbinat, sont mal ressentis par les Israéliens les moins religieux. Lieberman a ainsi déposé devant la Cour suprême un recours contre les tests ADN parfois pratiqués à la demande des tribunaux rabbiniques, seuls compétents en matière de mariage, pour confirmer l’identité juive des conjoints. Il a également prôné l’institution d’un mariage civil, pariant sur la popularité d’une telle revendication.

    Lieberman, à qui Nétanyahou a promis le ministère de la Défense, exige désormais l’application effective de la conscription militaire aux ultra-orthodoxes. Ceux-ci sont de fait exemptés, au nom de leurs études rabbiniques, de l’obligation de servir dans l’armée, durant 32 mois pour les hommes et 24 mois pour les femmes. La Cour suprême a invalidé ce dispositif d’exemption et sommé la Knesset d’adopter un régime de conscription qui ne soit plus discriminatoire, un ultimatum que Nétanyahou entend bien repousser, sous peine de s’aliéner le soutien des deux partis ultra-orthodoxes, forts chacun de 8 sièges à la Knesset. Lieberman joue dès lors sur une corde très sensible dans l’opinion, mais aussi sur les équilibres les plus délicats de la future coalition gouvernementale. Il compte bien capitaliser sur le rejet du deux poids-deux mesures dont abusent les étudiants des séminaires talmudiques, exemptés des obligations militaires, tout en bénéficiant souvent d’aides gouvernementales.

  • Comment Israël arme les dictatures à travers le monde

    Arming dictators, equipping pariahs: Alarming picture of Israel’s arms sales - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    Extensive Amnesty report cites Israeli sales to eight countries who violate human rights, including South Sudan, Myanmar, Mexico and the UAE ■ Amnesty calls on Israel to adopt oversight model adopted by many Western countries ■ Senior Israeli defense official: Export license is only granted after lengthy process
    Amos Harel
    May 17, 2019 5:59 AM

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-arming-dictators-equipping-pariahs-an-alarming-picture-of-israel-s

    A thorough report by Amnesty International is harshly critical of Israel’s policies on arms exports. According to the report written in Hebrew by the organization’s Israeli branch, Israeli companies continue to export weapons to countries that systematically violate human rights. Israeli-made weapons are also found in the hands of armies and organizations committing war crimes. The report points to eight such countries that have received arms from Israel in recent years.

    >> Subscribe for just $1 now

    Often these weapons reach their destination after a series of transactions, thereby skirting international monitoring and the rules of Israel itself. Amnesty calls on the government, the Knesset and the Defense Ministry to more tightly monitor arms exports and enforce transparency guidelines adopted by other Western countries that engage in large-scale weapons exports.

    In the report, Amnesty notes that the supervision of the arms trade is “a global, not a local issue. The desire and need for better monitoring of global arms sales derives from tragic historical events such as genocide, bloody civil wars and the violent repression of citizens by their governments …. There is a new realization that selling arms to governments and armies that employ violence only fuels violent conflicts and leads to their escalation. Hence, international agreements have been reached with the aim of preventing leaks of military equipment to dictatorial or repressive regimes.”

    >> Read more: Revealed: Israel’s cyber-spy industry helps world dictators hunt dissidents and gays

    The 2014 Arms Trade Treaty established standards for trade in conventional weapons. Israel signed the treaty but the cabinet never ratified it. According to Amnesty, Israel has never acted in the spirit of this treaty, neither by legislation nor its policies.

    “There are functioning models of correct and moral-based monitoring of weapons exports, including the management of public and transparent reporting mechanisms that do not endanger a state’s security or foreign relations,” Amnesty says. “Such models were established by large arms exporters such as members of the European Union and the United States. There is no justification for the fact that Israel continues to belong to a dishonorable club of exporters such as China and Russia.”

    In 2007, the Knesset passed a law regulating the monitoring of weapons exports. The law authorizes the Defense Ministry to oversee such exports, manage their registration and decide on the granting of export licenses. The law defines defense-related exports very broadly, including equipment for information-gathering, and forbids trade in such items without a license.
    Stay up to date: Sign up to our newsletter
    Email*

    The law does not include a clause limiting exports when there is a high probability that these items will be used in violation of international or humanitarian laws. But the law does prohibit “commerce with foreign agencies that are not in compliance with UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit or limit a transfer of such weapons or missiles to such recipients.”

    According to Amnesty, “the absence of monitoring and transparency have for decades let Israel supply equipment and defense-related knowledge to questionable states and dictatorial or unstable regimes that have been shunned by the international community.”

    The report quotes a 2007 article by Brig. Gen. (res.) Uzi Eilam. “A thick layer of fog has always shrouded the export of military equipment. Destinations considered pariah states by the international community, such as Chile in the days of Pinochet or South Africa during the apartheid years, were on Israel’s list of trade partners,” Eilam wrote.

    “The shroud of secrecy helped avoid pressure by the international community, but also prevented any transparency regarding decisions to sell arms to problematic countries, leaving the judgment and decision in the hands of a small number of people, mainly in the defense establishment.”

    The report presents concrete evidence on Israel’s exports over the last two decades, with arms going to eight countries accused by international institutions of serious human rights violations: South Sudan, Myanmar, the Philippines, Cameroon, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. In some of these cases, Israel denied that it exported arms to these countries at specifically mentioned times. In other case it refused to give details.
    Israeli security-related exports

    In its report, Amnesty relies on the research of other human rights groups, on documentation published in the media in those eight countries, and on information gathered by attorney Eitay Mack, who in recent years has battled to expose Israel’s arms deals with shady regimes. Amnesty cross-checks descriptions of exported weapons with human rights violations and war crimes by those countries. In its report, Amnesty says that some of these countries were under sanctions and a weapons-sales embargo, but Israel continued selling them arms.

    According to the organization, “the law on monitoring in its current format is insufficient and has not managed to halt the export of weapons to Sri Lanka, which massacred many of its own citizens; to South Sudan, where the regime and army committed ethnic cleansing and aggravated crimes against humanity such as the mass rape of hundreds of women, men and girls; to Myanmar, where the army committed genocide and the chief of staff, who carried out the arms deal with Israel, is accused of these massacres and other crimes against humanity; and to the Philippines, where the regime and police executed 15,000 civilians without any charges or trials.”

    Amnesty says that this part of the report “is not based on any report by the Defense Ministry relating to military equipment exports, for the simple reason that the ministry refuses to release any information. The total lack of transparency by Israel regarding weapons exports prevents any public discussion of the topic and limits any research or public action intended to improve oversight.”

    One example is the presence of Israeli-made Galil Ace rifles in the South Sudanese army. “With no documentation of sales, one cannot know when they were sold, by which company, how many, and so on,” the report says.

    “All we can say with certainty is that the South Sudanese army currently has Israeli Galil rifles, at a time when there is an international arms embargo on South Sudan, imposed by the UN Security Council, due to ethnic cleansing, as well as crimes against humanity, using rape as a method of war, and due to war crimes the army is perpetrating against the country’s citizens.”

    According to Amnesty, the defense export control agency at the Defense Ministry approved the licenses awarded Israeli companies for selling weapons to these countries, even though it knew about the bad human rights situation there. It did this despite the risk that Israeli exports would be used to violate human rights and despite the embargo on arms sales imposed on some of these countries by the United States and the European Union, as well as other sanctions that were imposed by these countries or the United Nations.

    In response to letters written to the export control agency, its head, Rachel Chen, said: “We can’t divulge whether we’re exporting to one of these countries, but we carefully examine the state of human rights in each country before approving export licenses for selling them weapons.” According to Amnesty, this claim is false, as shown by the example of the eight countries mentioned in the report.

    Amnesty recommends steps for improving the monitoring of defense exports. It says Israel lags American legislation by 20 years, and European legislation by 10 years. “The lack of transparency has further negative implications, such as hiding information from the public,” Amnesty says.
    File photo: Personnel of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), assigned as South Sundan’s presidential guard, take part in a drill at their barracks in Rejaf, South Sudan, April 26, 2019.
    File photo: Personnel of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), assigned as South Sundan’s presidential guard, take part in a drill at their barracks in Rejaf, South Sudan, April 26, 2019.Alex McBride/AFP

    “The concept by which the Defense Ministry operates is that it is not in the public interest to know which countries buy weapons here, how much and under what conditions. This is an erroneous conception that stems from the wish to conceal, using the well-worn cloak of ‘issues of state security and foreign relations’ as an excuse,” it adds.

    “The veil of secrecy makes it hard to obtain data. In our humble opinion, the information we have gathered and presented in this report is the tip of the iceberg. Most of the evidence is based on official reports issued by the recipient states, such as the Facebook page of the chief of staff in Myanmar, or the site of the Philippine government’s spokesman.”

    The authors say attempts to maintain secrecy in an era of social media and global media coverage are absurd and doomed to fail.

    “Let the reasonable reader ask himself if the powers that sell weapons are concerned about harm to state security resulting from making the information accessible, or whether this is just an excuse, with the veil of secrecy protecting the interests of certain agencies in Israel.”

    Amnesty says Israel ranks eighth among the exporters of heavy weapons around the world. Between 2014 and 2018, Israel’s defense exports comprised 3.1 percent of global sales. Compared with the previous four years, this was a 60 percent increase. The three largest customers of heavy weapons sold by Israel are India, Azerbaijan and Vietnam.

    But the report says defense industries are not the largest or most lucrative contributors to Israeli exports. According to the Defense Ministry, defense exports comprise 10 percent of Israel’s industrial exports. “Defense-related companies in Israel export to 130 countries around the world,” the report says. “Of these, only a minority are countries designated by the UN and the international community as violators of human rights.”

    These are mostly poor countries and the scope of defense exports to them is small compared to the rest of Israel’s exports. According to Amnesty, banning exports to the eight countries would not sting Israel’s defense contractors or their profits, and would certainly not have a public impact. “There is no justification – economic, diplomatic, security-related or strategic – to export weapons to these countries,” the report says.

    Amnesty believes that “the situation is correctable. Israel’s government and the Defense Ministry must increase their monitoring and transparency, similar to what the vast majority of large weapons exporters around the world do except for Russia and China.”

    According to Amnesty, this should be done by amending the law regulating these exports, adding two main clauses. The first would prohibit the awarding of licenses to export to a country with a risk of serious human rights violations, based on international humanitarian law.

    The second would set up a committee to examine the human rights situation in any target state. The committee would include people from outside the defense establishment and the Foreign Ministry such as academics and human rights activists, as is customary in other countries.

    “Monitoring must not only be done, it must be seen, and the Israeli public has every right to know what is done in its name and with its resources, which belong to everyone,” the report says.

    A policy of obscurity

    A senior defense official who read the Amnesty report told Haaretz that many of its claims have been discussed in recent years in petitions to the High Court of Justice. The justices have heard petitions relating to South Sudan, Cameroon and Mexico. However, in all cases, the court accepted the state’s position that deliberations would be held with only one side present – the state, and that its rulings would remain classified.
    File photo: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to a military commander along the Gaza border, southern Israel, March 28, 2019.
    File photo: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to a military commander along the Gaza border, southern Israel, March 28, 2019.Itay Beit On/GPO

    Monitoring of exports has substantially increased since the law was passed, the official said. The authority endowed to the Defense Ministry by this law, including imposing economic sanctions, prohibition of exports and taking legal action against companies, are more far-reaching than in other countries.

    “The process of obtaining an export license in Israel is lengthy, difficult and imposes onerous regulations on exporters," he added. “When there is evidence of human rights violations in a country buying arms from Israel, we treat this with utmost seriousness in our considerations. The fact is that enlightened states respect the laws we have and are interested in the ways we conduct our monitoring.”

    He admitted that Israel does adopt a policy of obscurity with regard to its arms deals. “We don’t share information on whether or to which country we’ve sold arms,” he said. “We’ve provided all the information to the High Court. The plaintiffs do receive fixed laconic responses, but there are diplomatic and security-related circumstances that justify this.”

    “Other countries can be more transparent but we’re in a different place,” he argued. "We don’t dismiss out of hand discussion of these issues. The questions are legitimate but the decisions and polices are made after all the relevant considerations are taken into account.”

    The intense pace of events in recent months – rounds of violence along the Gaza border, Israel’s election, renewed tension between the U.S. and Iran – have left little time to deal with other issues that make the headlines less frequently.

    Israel is currently in the throes of an unprecedented constitutional and political crisis, the outcome of which will seriously impact its standing as a law-abiding state. If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu succeeds in his plan to halt all legal proceedings against him, legislating an immunity law and restricting the jurisdiction of the High Court, all other issues would pale in comparison.

    There is some logic to the claim that Israel cannot be holier than thou when it comes to arms sales in the global market, and yet, the Amnesty report depicts a horrific image, backed by reliable data, but also makes suggestions for improvement that seem reasonable.

    Numerous reports over the last year show that the problem is not restricted to the sale of light weapons, but might be exacerbated by the spread of cyberwarfare tools developed by Israel and what dark regimes can do with these. Even if it happens through a twisted chain of sub-contractors, the state can’t play innocent. Therefore, it’s worthwhile listening to Amnesty’s criticism and suggestions for improvement.
    Amos Harel

  • Netanyahu pushes law to neutralize High Court oversight and uphold his immunity - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-netanyahu-pushes-law-to-neutralize-high-court-oversight-and-uphold

    Commentaire de Charles Enderlin sur FB :

    Il s’agit de démolir la démocratie israélienne au profit d’une majorité parlementaire de circonstance constituée d’ultra orthodoxes anti sionistes et de racistes

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to advance a far-reaching bill that would allow the Knesset and government ministers to ignore rulings of the High Court of Justice in administrative matters, not just in cases where it strikes down legislation. The proposed law would permit the annulment of a High Court decision to rescind Netanyahu’s immunity, if such a decision is made.

    #israël

  • https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/united-states-iran-war-consequences-by-amin-saikal-2019-05?a_la=e

    https://www.youscribe.com/BookReader/Index/3055187/?documentId=3456363

    La guerre ou l’affrontement est le dernier point à réaliser. Même si la guerre est la continuité de la politique autrement.

    Il ne faut pas oublier que l’Iran est en guerre des nerfs avec USA depuis la chute du Chah en 1979 ; il est donc à tenir compte de la volonté et de la capacité militaire et civile comme les kamikazes engagés pour la cause de l’Islam chiite . Par voie de conséquence, l’Iran est plus prête que jamais pour crever cette abcès avec les américains.

    Il y a un point qui me semble important est le mélange des genres entre un pouvoir exécutif qui gouverne et un peuple divisé en opposition et pro-État islamique , je veux dire qu’une guerre civile est vite déclenchée comme la situation au Maroc qui ne cesse de se dégrader entre des pro-système de Makhzen et des oppositions qui veulent un autre système politique ,par exemple une première république marocaine. Donc si l’étincelle prend effet nous n’assisterons pas à une guerre classique ,une guerre des tranchés mais un coup de pousse à l’opposition à l’intérieure de la société iranienne.

    Et la question des missiles iraniens qui peuvent atteindre le burg Al Arab en Emirate ou l’autre burg de bouregrgue à Rabat n’est pas là, la question mais plutôt de s’interroger sur la concentration autour de l’Iran et de Téhéran que les iraniens sont censés défendre avant toute autre contre-attaque dans les bases américaines qui encerclent l’Iran .

    À l’exception d’Israël qui peut être la cible de premier plan et une valse des missiles qui détruiront les bases symboliques ,à savoir le mur de lamentation ,le knesset, le centre nucléaire dans le désert de Negev,...la précision des missiles est devenues aujourd’hui,un jeu d’enfant.

    Mais il existe un autre point plus psychologique est celui de la mentalité de Trump à supposer qu’il s’agit d’un va-t-en-guerre . Or Trump cache toujours son jeu politique et la question qui s’impose qui est l’identité de celui qui pousse Trump à la guerre ? Sans doute ses conseillés tel Bolton qui a une force d’influence et qui est un pro Israël dont personne ne sait pourquoi et comme indication ce genre de conseillers travaillent avec des petits calculs, une cuisine interne et profonde.

    Et le renforcement des militaires dans la régions est pour consolider les bases américaines car Trump ne fait pas confiance au régimes des mollahs qui peuvent s’aventurer facilement or la réalité est à l’opposée car Khameneï ne s’aventure pas et le régime iranien fait la séparation des variables et donc tout est calculé au moindre détail y compris l’aventurisme des kamikazes et je dirais plus Nasrallah qui est un fervent partisan de l’Iran ne peut s’aventurer en direction d’Israël qu’après le feu vert de Téhéran .

    Il faut aussi souligner que si les bases américaines sont détruites et militairement possible ,vu l’arsenal des missiles que l’Iran en possède ,alors ,il y va de soi, que tous ces pays arabes tomberont comme un château de carte et cette chute favoriserait ainsi une guerre civile et une opposition plus musclée. Et tout cela n’est pas dans l’intérêt des américains donc l’affrontement n’aura pas cet ampleur mais ce qui existe une sorte de dissuasion de l’autre . D’autres analystes poussent le jalon encore plus loin et avertissent Trump de ne pas s’enliser comme cela fut autrefois avec le Vietnam .

    Si Trump s’engage c’est pour sa politique intérieure , il veut un deuxième mandat et il n’y a pas mieux que la guerre à outrance. Il est rare qu’un président élu remet tout en cause la politique de son prédécesseur et c’est là où le bât blesse , quel est le jeu politique qui est toujours caché de Trump de dire la chose et son contraire de promettre et de ne pas tenir de ses propres promesses et quel est donc cette quintessence qui peut engendrer la libération des peuples arabo-musulmans surtout dans le monde arabe ? Car le reste du monde est calme et vit paisiblement … il ne faut pas oublier que Biden qui se prépare à la prochaine élection américaine est pour la poursuite de la politique d’Obama et donc à son tour de remettre en cause tout ce que fait actuellement Trump y compris cette guerre supposée avec l’Iran .

    Pour Trump , il s’agit d’un autre mode de fonctionnement ou de communication sur une guerre car selon d’autres conseils des lobbys juifs ,les mollahs ou les arabes sont comme des enfants gâtés qu’il faut être sévère et frapper fort pour qu’ils aient peur et d’exploiter l’Iran , une idée forte connues des colonialistes d’autrefois et qui marche ,sous conditions, encore aujourd’hui ,par exemple la politique étrangère de la France liées le plus souvent par le côté militaire , la destruction de la Libye,Syrie,Irak, Maroc, Algérie... rachid.elaidi@gmail.com

  • Les végans meilleurs soutiens de Nétanyaou ? Israël terre promise du vegan-washing Paul Aries - 24 Avril 2019 - Le Grand Soir
    https://www.legrandsoir.info/les-vegans-meilleurs-soutiens-de-netanyaou-israel-terre-promise-du-veg

    Un site végan me soupçonnait récemment d’antisémitisme (ce qui est un comble) parce que j’évoquais l’importance du lobby végan en Israël dans ma Lettre aux mangeurs de viandes qui souhaitent le rester sans culpabiliser (Larousse). Je vais cependant récidiver en m’abritant derrière le site autorisé de la Chambre de commerce France-Israël qui titrait, au lendemain de la réélection du candidat de la droite la plus dure : « Le véganisme : clé de la victoire de Nétanyaou ? ».

    La thèse, même sous forme interrogative, mérite le détour pour qui connait Israël. Il est exact que pour emporter les voix des « amis des animaux », Netanyahou a annoncé arrêter de consommer de la viande. Lors d’une conférence de presse donnée le 10 mars 2019, la députée Sharren Haskel, membre du parti du Likoud et proche de « Bibi », a annoncé que le Premier ministre et toute sa famille « avaient opté pour le végétarisme ». « Pas entièrement », a-t-elle ajouté à mi-mot. La presse conclut qu’en « s’entourant de cette figure appréciée par les défenseurs des bêtes, « Bibi » a probablement gagné des points dans les urnes ». Beaucoup de sites dont Actualité Israël ont repris aussitôt cette analyse. Sharren Haskel a joué effectivement un rôle central dans la véganisation de la droite. Ex-membre volontaire des commandos de la police des frontières, opposée récemment aux projets d’amélioration de la situation juridique des gays, reconnue comme proche idéologiquement du Tea Party des Etats-Unis, elle n’a cessé de se droitiser, au fils des années, expliquant, par exemple, qu’« ll n’y a pas d’armée plus morale dans le monde que la nôtre » (sic). Les journalistes s’interrogent cependant : « Deux questions émergent lorsqu’on constate l’importance de ces mouvements en Israël : y a-t-il un lien entre l’antispécisme et la spécificité historique d’Israël, à savoir sa définition comme « Etat des Juifs » ? Ensuite, cet engouement pour la cause animale a-t-il un lien avec le conflit israélo-palestinien ? ». La faute politique du candidat travailliste aurait été de ne jamais préciser si, de son côté, il mangeait encore du poulet, lit-on sous la plume des experts.

    L’instrumentalisation du véganisme à des fins politiques ne date pas cependant de cette seule période électorale ni même de la présence de Sharren Haskel. Nétanyaou se dit depuis longtemps favorable aux « lundis sans viande » et l’armée israélienne se proclame végane (alimentation et vêtements).

    Les faits sont assez têtus pour permettre de raconter une tout autre histoire. Cette pseudo « première nation végane » (comme on le lit dans la presse) reste l’un des pays au monde consommant le plus de viande (80 kilos par personne et par an contre 66 en France), notamment de poulets (57 kilos), et les végans, avec 8 % de la population, n’y sont guère plus nombreux qu’ailleurs… Alors pourquoi Israël passe-t-elle pour être le paradis des végans dans le monde ? L’Etat israélien est l’inventeur du vegan-washing en tant que stratégie politique.

    Israël a été d’abord le laboratoire d’une expérience grandeur nature, en matière de conversion, puisque 60 % des téléspectateurs réguliers de l’émission de télé-réalité « Big Brother » ont changé leur façon de manger. Tel Gilboa (née en 1978), fondatrice du Front israélien de libération des animaux (ALF) en 2013, a remporté la sixième édition de « Big Brother » en 2014, en utilisant, avec la complicité de la production, l’émission pour propager, en prime time, le véganisme, et ceci durant trois mois et demi… Végan France titrait le 10 février 2016 : « Une activiste végane remporte « Big Brother » ». Elle portait pour la finale un T-shirt « Go Végan », son opposant en finale (Eldad) était aussi végan, comme d’ailleurs 4 des 18 occupants de la « maison ». On sait aujourd’hui qu’elle a bénéficié d’une véritable mise en scène, un autre candidat était un pseudo-éleveur bovin engagé par la production et dont le rôle était de provoquer et de pousser la participation végane, la production a même autorisé l’ami de Tal à venir parler de véganisme devant les résidents de la « maison » et leur a projeté une vidéo sur l’industrie des œufs, de la viande et du lait, séance enregistrée puis projetée à la télévision, avec une séquence montrant les résidents fondant en larmes. Yoram Zack, directeur de la production, a prononcé un discours après sa victoire : « Il y a cent neuf jours vous êtes entrée dans la maison pour accomplir une mission. Vous êtes venue ici pour servir de voix à ceux qui ne peuvent pas parler . »

    Cette belle aventure n’est pas sans lien avec le fait que le gouvernement israélien a choisi de faire des biotechnologies (notamment dans le domaine agricole) un secteur de pointe, avec la fondation de plus 1 350 firmes, dont 612 créées depuis 2007, et qui mobilisent 20 % du total des investissements. Un exemple : la start-up SuperMeat commercialise une viande vegan friendly , grâce à un blanc de poulet issu de cultures cellulaires, les cellules sont prélevées par biopsie puis cultivées industriellement en laboratoire, elles se nourrissent d’acides aminés d’origine végétale et de glucose. L’association #L214 a relayé l’appel aux dons à SuperMeat sur Facebook. Le professeur Yaakov Nahmias, cofondateur et directeur de recherche de SuperMeat, est aussi directeur du Grass Center for Bioengineering de l’Université hébraïque de Jérusalem et membre du Broad Institute de Harvard et du Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Ces projets sont soutenus par des organisations comme l’ONG A #Well-fed_World (Un monde bien nourri) qui distribue de l’alimentation végane aux nécessiteux. Cette ONG travaille avec le Fonds international pour l’Afrique afin de généraliser des repas scolaires strictement végétariens (Éthiopie). La #Modern_Agriculture_Foundation et l’université de Tel-Aviv ont lancé, en 2014, un projet de viande de poulet cultivée, sous la direction d’Amit Gefen, un des principaux experts mondiaux en ingénierie tissulaire. La firme #Jet-Eat vient de lancer la première imprimante alimentaire 3D végane…au monde.

    Cette belle aventure n’est pas non plus sans lien avec la possibilité que donne le #vegan-washing de laver plus blanc l’Etat d’Israël et sa politique de colonisation.

    Gary Yourofsky, le meilleur VRP végan en Israël
    Le militant étasunien Gary Yourofsky est l’un des nouveaux visages du véganisme israélien. Sa vidéo a été visionnée par plus d’un million d’habitants sur une population de huit millions, ses conférences font le plein et attirent l’élite de la société y compris des politiques comme Tzipi Livni (ancienne agente du Mossad, ancienne députée, elle vient d’abandonner la politique) … à tel point que la presse se demandait si Netanyaou n’irait pas la prochaine fois dans le cadre de sa stratégie assister à une conférence de Yourofsky. Gary Yourofsky ne recycle pas seulement les plus vieux clichés du végétarisme, l’humanité serait herbivore, toutes les maladies majeures seraient dues à la consommation carnée, car il se veut aussi ouvertement misanthrope et « dérape » souvent : « Au fond de moi, j’espère sincèrement que l’oppression, la torture et le meurtre se retournent dix fois contre les hommes qui s’en moquent ! Je souhaite que des pères tirent accidentellement sur leurs fils à l’occasion des parties de chasse, pendant que les carnivores succombent lentement à des crises cardiaques. Que chaque femme emmitouflée dans la fourrure doive endurer un viol si brutal qu’elle en soit marquée à vie. Et que chaque homme couvert de fourrure se fasse sodomiser si violemment que ses organes internes en soient détruits. Que chaque cowboy et chaque matador soit encorné jusqu’à la mort, que les tortionnaires du cirque se fassent piétiner par des éléphants et lacérer par des tigres . » Gary Yourofsky a pris position également en faveur d’Israël contre la Palestine : « Alors que les Israéliens sont dans un processus de destruction des industries de viande, de produits laitiers et d’œufs – ce qui amènera à l’éradication des camps de concentration pour les animaux, les Palestiniens et leurs sympathisants “droitdelhommistes”, psychotiques, sont en train de construire encore plus de camps pour les animaux ! […] Les Palestiniens sont le problème. C’est le groupe de personnes le plus psychotique du monde . »

    Cette position n’est malheureusement pas isolée. Eyal Megged appelle Netanyahou à faire d’Israël la terre des droits des animaux plutôt que de chercher inutilement une paix impossible avec les Palestiniens . Aeyal Gross, professeur israélien de droit international, s’insurge : « Le végétarisme devient un outil pour améliorer l’image des forces de défense israélienne, ou celle d’Israël dans son ensemble […] À Tel-Aviv aujourd’hui, il est beaucoup plus facile de trouver de la nourriture dont la préparation n’a pas impliqué l’exploitation des animaux que de trouver une nourriture dont la production n’a pas entraîné l’oppression et le déracinement d’autres êtres humains ». Le mouvement palestinien de défense des animaux dénonce Israël comme le premier pays du monde à faire du vegan-washing (blanchiment de l’image par le véganisme comme d’autres font du green-washing alors qu’ils bousillent la planète). On peut lire sur le site de Palestinian Animal League la mise en garde suivante : « Israël utilise le vegan washing pour couvrir les dégâts causés aux vies palestiniennes et au véganisme en Palestine, et obtient maintenant le soutien international de végétaliens bien connus, qui sont intentionnellement ou involontairement des outils dans le jeu de vegan washing du « paradis végétarien ». Les Palestiniens dénoncent ainsi le rôle d’institutions de propagande comme Vibe Israël qui invite d’éminents blogueurs végétaliens à visiter « l’empire végan appelé Israël ». Le mouvement palestinien accuse aussi Binthnight Israël, une association de défense d’Israël auprès des juifs du monde entier, d’avoir ajouté à son programme « Israël pour les végans »… Les palestiniens rappellent que la plus grande partie des productions véganes est réalisée dans les colonies israéliennes illégales à l’intérieur des territoires palestiniens.
    
Le gouvernement israélien, et notamment, son armée communique sur « Tsahal, l’armée la plus vegane au monde… », de là à soutenir qu’elle fait une guerre propre, le passage est souvent étroit).

    Cette propagande consistant à utiliser le véganisme pour légitimer la politique d’Israël fonctionne à plein au sein des multiples relais communautaires. Le JForum.fr (portail juif francophone) a ouvert un Forum sur « Israël, terre promise des végans ». Infos-Israël.News ajoute qu’Israël, paradis pour les végétariens mérite le détour et le soutien actif… L’association végétarienne de France titre « Ici, il fait bon être végé ! » et intègre Tel-Aviv « nation végane selon le Ministère du tourisme » dans les lieux de vacances de tout bon végan. Tribune Juive se fait l’écho cependant du débat qui secoue la communauté.

    Israël champion du vegan-washing ?
    Jérôme Segal nous aide à comprendre les raisons du véganisme israélien. Il y voit déjà une idéologie de substitution pour une gauche orpheline de victoires. Il cite le rôle des juifs, comme Peter Singer et Henry Spira, dans la naissance du véganisme. Il prolonge, également l’analyse de Jean Stern, selon lequel le pinkwashing était une stratégie politique visant à promouvoir Tel-Aviv comme capitale mondiale de la tolérance envers les minorités sexuelles dans le seul but de présenter le pays autrement que comme un Etat épinglé par des associations humanitaires pour ses manquements aux droits humains. Jérôme Segal parle donc du vegan-washing comme d’une stratégie délibérée servant les intérêts militaristes, colonialistes, économiques de l’Etat israélien. Le journaliste Gidéon Levy (éditorialiste au quotidien Haaretz) explique que le véganisme permet de mieux camoufler ce qui se passe en Cisjordanie. La gauche israélienne a tenté naturellement de surfer sur ce courant végan (comme certains dirigeants politiques de la gauche française le font encore). Conséquence : la gauche est de plus en plus marginalisée en Israël, au point que le seul parti qui ose encore se dire de gauche aujourd’hui, Meretz, n’a obtenu que 3,6 % des suffrages en avril 2019. Ce n’est pas pourtant faute d’avoir fait des efforts, puisque Tamar Zandberg, député du Meretz, est l’organisateur de la journée végane, au sein même de la Knesset, réunissant tous les députés…

    La gauche et les milieux écologistes israéliens ne parviendront à retrouver une parole forte qu’en se portant à la défense de l’élevage paysan israélien et palestinien.

    Paul Ariès

    #végan #biotechnologies #véganisation de la droite #antispécisme #vegan-washing #SuperMeat #vibe_israël #végétalisme #tsahal
    #sharren_haskel https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharren_Haskel
    #gary_yourofsky https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Yourofsky
    # Tzipi_Livni https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tzipi_Livni
    . . . . . . . . .

  • New York Times : l’auteur de la caricature anti-sioniste dénonce la « machine de propagande juive » – Site de la chaîne AlManar-Liban
    http://french.almanar.com.lb/1349878

    Perso, l’aspect antisémite du désormais très célèbre dessin de presse ne m’avait pas sauté aux yeux... Suis-je le seul dans ce cas ou bien atteint, bien malgré moi, d’un antisémitisme inconscient ?

    Le caricaturiste portugais Antonio Moreira Antunes, auteur du dessin controversé publié la semaine dernière dans le New York Times qui représente le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu sous la forme d’un chien, a rejeté les accusations d’antisémitisme, affirmant que les critiques faisaient partie de la « machine de propagande juive ».

    La publication du dessin a suscité un tollé aux Etats-Unis et en ‘Israël’, de nombreux responsables ayant vivement condamné la caricature, ainsi que le journal newyorkais.

    Antonio Moreira Antunes, qui dessine pour le journal portugais Expresso, a déclaré mercredi à CNN que les Juifs n’étaient pas « au-dessus de la critique ».

    Selon le dessinateur, les appels à l’antisémitisme ont été « lancés à travers la machine de propagande juive », qui considère que « chaque fois qu’il y a une critique, c’est parce qu’il y a un antisémite de l’autre côté ».

    « Or ce n’est pas le cas », a-t-il précisé.

    Lundi, Antunes a déclaré que le dessin était « une critique de la politique israélienne, qui a un comportement criminel en Palestine aux dépens de l’ONU, et non des Juifs », a rapporté le journal Expresso.

    « L’étoile de David aide à identifier une figure [Netanyaheu] peu connue au Portugal », s’est justifié le caricaturiste à Expresso.

    Le caricaturiste a fustigé « la droite juive qui ne veut pas être critiquée », et qui « quand on la critique, nous répond +Nous sommes un peuple persécuté, nous avons beaucoup souffert… c’est de l’antisémitisme+ ».

    Antunes a affirmé avoir été personnellement affecté par les excuses présentées par le Times depuis la publication de la caricature, affirmant que le journal aurait dû considérer son travail comme « un problème politique et non religieux ».

    Suite aux réactions provoquées par la publication du dessin, le journal Expresso a tenu a clarifié cette semaine sur son site web qu’il « a toujours défendu la liberté d’expression et d’opinion, rejetant l’affirmation selon laquelle la caricature était antisémite, et qualifiant Antunes de « dessinateur de renommée internationale. »

  • ’Entrance not permitted to minorities’: Jerusalem City Hall’s discriminatory regulations to kindergartens
    The Reform movement in Israel’s advocacy arm is demanding that the city change the instructions it distributed, which violate the law
    Nir Hasson | Apr 20, 2019 9:22 PM | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-jerusalem-municipality-orders-minorities-be-denied-entry-to-city-s

    The Israel Reform movement’s anti-racism organization is demanding the Jerusalem Municipality immediately cancel instructions ordering kindergarten teachers and support staff deny entry to people belonging to minority groups.

    The instructions, published by the emergency and security department of the Jerusalem municipality and distributed to the city’s kindergartens and pre-schools, order that “outsiders many not enter kindergarten premises,” adding that “as a rule, entrance is not permitted to minority groups.”

    According to the instructions, if minority groups want to enter the school, “the local security officer must be notified.” In Israel, the Hebrew term “minority groups” usually refers to Arabs and other non-Jews.

    In its appeal, the Racism Crisis Center, operated by the Israel Religious Action Center - the advocacy arm of the Reform movement in Israel - said that the municipality instructions to comprehensively prohibit outsiders and non-Jewish minorities from entering kindergartens harm their right to human dignity and equality, and therefore is wrong, illegal and forbidden.

    “Arabs in Israel are viewed as dangerous as it is, even in the absence of any real and specific indication that they pose a potential threat. As a result, they become immediate suspects, and are targeted, more than any other sector, due to alleged security reasons which are based on religious and ethnic stereotypes,” the letter states.

    “אין לאפשר כניסת זרים לגן. ככל, אין אישור לכניסת מיעוטים”
    זו ההוראה של עיירית ירושליםם לגנים. בני מיעוטים, גם אם הינם אזרחי ותושבי המדינה, הם בגדר זרים, ומסוכנים בברירת המחדל!.
    בעירייה אמרו שיתקנו את ההוראה - אבל מה עוד צפוי לנו אם הגזען סמוטריץ’ יעמוד בראש משרד החינוך? pic.twitter.com/zOXzCFqpo0
    — MK Aida Touma-Sliman (@AidaTuma) April 18, 2019

    Tweet by Touma-Sliman with a photo of the Jerusalem Municipality instructions.

    The appeal adds that “protecting the security of kindergarten children and personnel is of the utmost importance. However, the security considerations, as important and worthy as they may be, don’t justify the gross discrimination against non-Jews. We request that the municipality reexamine the matter and retract any instruction that discriminates against minorities.”

    The Jerusalem municipality said in response that “security procedures for educational facilities are set by the Israel Police and the Education Ministry. The Jerusalem municipality operates in accordance with those procedures. The instructions you are referring to were distributed a year and a half ago. We are grateful for the attention paid to the manner the instruction was written and we will act to fix it soon.”

    Arab Member of Knesset Aida Touma-Sliman tweeted in response, “Minority groups, even if they are citizens and residents of the country, are seen as foreigners and dangerous by default … What else awaits us if that racist [MK Bezalel] Smotrich is appointed as head of the education ministry?” - referring to far-right, newly reelected Knesset member, who is said to likely be the next education minister

    #apartheid

    • « Entrée interdite aux minorités » : les règlements discriminatoires imposés aux jardins d’enfants par l’Hôtel de Ville de Jérusalem
      22 avril | Nir Hasson pour Haaretz |Traduction SM pour l’AURDIP
      https://www.aurdip.org/entree-interdite-aux-minorites-les.html

      La branche du mouvement réformiste israélien chargée du plaidoyer demande à la Ville de modifier des directives qui violent la loi

      L’organisme antiraciste du mouvement réformiste israélien demande à la municipalité de Jérusalem d’annuler immédiatement des directives enjoignant au personnel enseignant et de service des jardins d’enfants de refuser l’accès aux personnes qui appartiennent à des groupes minoritaires.
      Ces directives, publiées par le département Urgence et sécurité de la municipalité de Jérusalem et distribuées aux jardins d’enfants et écoles maternelles de la ville, indiquent que « les personnes extérieures à l’établissement ne doivent pas pénétrer dans ses locaux », précisant qu’« en règle générale, l’entrée n’est pas autorisée aux membres de groupes minoritaires ».

      Selon les directives, si des membres de groupes minoritaires souhaitent pénétrer dans l’école, « l’agent de sécurité local doit être prévenu ». En Israël, le terme hébreu « groupes minoritaires » désigne habituellement les Arabes et autres non-Juifs.

      Dans sa demande, le Centre de lutte contre le racisme (IRAC), qui dépend du Centre israélien d’action religieuse - branche du mouvement réformiste israélien chargée du plaidoyer – souligne que les directives de la municipalité interdisant globalement aux personnes extérieures à l’établissement et aux minorités non juives de pénétrer dans les jardins d’enfants bafouent leur droit à la dignité humaine et à l’égalité, et qu’elles sont donc condamnables, illégales et inadmissibles.

  • Netanyahu’s Coalition May Help Stave Off Indictment - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/world/middleeast/netanyahus-coalition-may-help-stave-off-indictment.html

    Netanyahu protégé de la justice pour prix de son élection. Ca ne traîne pas !

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who emerged from this week’s election poised to win a fourth consecutive term, may benefit from an effort by his right-wing coalition to protect him from prosecution on possible corruption charges.

    At least one right-wing party expected to join his new governing coalition has been open about its goal of passing a law granting immunity to Israeli Parliament members, including prime ministers.

    Mr. Netanyahu, who worked on Wednesday to consolidate support for a new coalition, is on track to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, but also the first to be charged with a crime while in office.

    “If Netanyahu gains the public’s trust in the coming elections,” Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the Union of Right Wing Parties, wrote on Twitter last month, “it will be imperative to enact a law that will prevent him standing trial.”

    Mr. Smotrich said parliamentary immunity was necessary to honor the people’s democratic choice and ensure smooth government. By Wednesday, his party was projected to win five seats in the 120-seat Knesset, or parliament.

    An aide said on Wednesday that Mr. Smotrich was demanding the post of justice minister and another leader of his party wanted to be minister of education.

    #israel

  • Israël vote pour l’apartheid (Gidéon Levy)
    Gideon Levy 7 avril 2019 | Haaretz | Traduction SM pour l’Agence Média Palestine
    http://www.agencemediapalestine.fr/blog/2019/04/09/gideon-levy-israel-vote-pour-lapartheid

    L’élection de mardi entraînera à coup sûr un résultat : une centaine de membres de la prochaine Knesset seront des partisans de l’apartheid. Ce fait est sans précédent dans les États démocratiques. Cent législateurs sur 120, une majorité archi-absolue qui soutient la continuation de la situation actuelle, à savoir l’apartheid.

    Avec une majorité pareille, il sera possible pour la prochaine Knesset de déclarer officiellement Israël comme État d’apartheid. Face à un tel soutien à l’apartheid et compte tenu du caractère durable de l’occupation, aucune propagande ne pourra réfuter cette vérité toute simple : presque tous les Israéliens souhaitent que l’apartheid continue. Leur culot – ce qu’on appelle chutzpahen yiddish – atteignant des sommets, ils qualifient cela de démocratie, alors même que plus de 4 millions de personnes qui vivent près d’eux et sous leur domination n’ont pas le droit de voter pour cette élection. (...)

  • Cent des cent vingt députés élus mardi en Israël seront les partisans de l’apartheid. Une tribune de Gideon Levy

    Israel is voting apartheid - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-is-voting-apartheid-1.7089338

    There will be one certain result from Tuesday’s election: Around 100 members of the next Knesset will be supporters of apartheid. This has no precedent in any democracy. A hundred out of 120 legislators, an absolute of absolute majorities, one that supports maintaining the current situation, which is apartheid.

    With such a majority, it will be possible in the next Knesset to officially declare Israel an apartheid state. With such support for apartheid and considering the durability of the occupation, no propaganda will be able to refute the simple truth: Nearly all Israelis want the apartheid to continue. In the height of chutzpah, they call this democracy, even though more than 4 million people who live alongside them and under their control have no right to vote in the election.

    Of course, no one is talking about this, but in no other regime around the world is there one community next to another where the residents of one, referred to as a West Bank settlement, have the right to vote, while the residents of the other, a Palestinian village, don’t. This is apartheid in all its splendor, whose existence nearly all the country’s Jewish citizens want to continue.

    >> Even for the wild West Bank, this is a shocking story

    A hundred Knesset members will be elected from slates referred to as either right-wing, left-wing or centrist, but what they have in common surpasses any difference: None intend to end the occupation. The right wing proudly says so, while the center-left resorts to futile illusions to obscure the picture, listing proposals for a “regional conference” or “secure separation.” The difference between the two groupings is negligible. In unison, the right and left are singing “say yes to apartheid.”

    As a result, this election is so unimportant, so far from crucial. So let’s cut the hysteria and the pathos over the outcome. Neither civil war nor even a rift is in the offing. The people are more united than ever, casting their vote for apartheid. Whatever Tuesday’s results may be, the country of the occupier will remain the country of the occupier. Nothing defines it better than all the other marginal issues, including the Zehut party’s campaign to legalize marijuana.

    So there’s no reason to hold our breath over Tuesday’s results. The election is lost in advance. For the country’s Jews, it will shape the tone, the level of democracy, the rule of law, the corruption in which they live, but it won’t do a thing to change Israel’s basic essence as a colonialist country.
    Stay up to date: Sign up to our newsletter
    Email*

    The far right wants the annexation of the West Bank, a step that would make permanent in law a situation that has long been permanent in practice. Such a step would present a tempting advantage. It would finally rip off Israel’s mask of democracy and might finally generate opposition both in the country and abroad.

    But no person of conscience can vote for the fascist right wing, which includes people who advocate the expulsion of the Palestinians or the construction of a Third Temple on the Temple Mount, the destruction of the mosques there, or who even dream about extermination. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allegedly more moderate Likud party wishes only to maintain the current situation, meaning undeclared apartheid.

    The center-left seeks to engage in deception, with not a word about an end to the occupation from either Kahol Lavan or Labor, or even about lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip. Benny Gantz’s party has ambitious plans for a regional conference, making history, and “deepening the process of separation from the Palestinians along with uncompromisingly maintaining … the Israeli army’s freedom of action everywhere.”

    It has been a long time since such a document whitewashing the occupation has been written in all its disgrace. And the Labor Party isn’t lagging behind. The most daring step it’s proposing is a referendum on the refugee camps around Jerusalem in which only Israel’s would vote, of course.

    And that comes on top of well-worn declarations about settlement blocs, Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and a halt to settlement construction outside the blocs, meaning continuing settlement construction with full force. “Paths toward separation,” this party, the self-righteous founder of the settlement enterprise, calls it. Paths toward deception.

    Peace? Withdrawal? Dismantling settlements? Don’t make the Zionist left laugh. Not much is left, two and a half tickets, the fringe: Meretz and Hadash-Ta’al, which support a two-state solution — that faltering train that has already left the station — and Balad-United Arab List, which is closest to advocating a one-state solution, the only solution left.

    Vote apartheid.

  • ’The formation of an educated class must be averted’: How Israel marginalized Arabs from the start - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-avert-the-formation-of-an-educated-class-israel-marginalized-arabs

    As early as 60 years ago, Israel’s political leadership gave up on the attempt to integrate the country’s Arabs and grant them equal citizenship. A document drawn up for an internal discussion in Mapai, the ruling party and forerunner of Labor, in September 1959, proposed the implementation of policy based on the following approach: “We should continue to exhaust all the possibilities [inherent in] the policy of communal divisiveness that bore fruit in the past and has succeeded in creating a barrier – even if at times artificial – between certain segments of the Arab population.”

    • Documents from Israel’s first decades reveal the leadership’s efforts to divide and alienate the Arab citizenry
      Adam Raz | Mar. 28, 2019 | 10:26 PM

      “There’s no place for illusions that this combination [of tactics] could turn the Arabs into loyal citizens, but over time it will reduce to some extent the open hostility and prevent its active expression.” – From a document containing recommendations for dealing with the Arab minority in Israel, September 1959, Labor Party Archives

      As early as 60 years ago, Israel’s political leadership gave up on the attempt to integrate the country’s Arabs and grant them equal citizenship. A document drawn up for an internal discussion in Mapai, the ruling party and forerunner of Labor, in September 1959, proposed the implementation of policy based on the following approach: “We should continue to exhaust all the possibilities [inherent in] the policy of communal divisiveness that bore fruit in the past and has succeeded in creating a barrier – even if at times artificial – between certain segments of the Arab population.”

      The assessment that the Arab public would never be loyal to the Jewish state remained entrenched in the following decade as well. For example, it underlay a lengthy document written by Shmuel Toledano, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Arab affairs. In July 1965, the document served as the point of departure for a top-secret discussion between Toledano and the heads of the Shin Bet security service, the Mossad, the Israel Police, the Foreign Ministry and the Education Ministry (representatives of the Arab public weren’t invited).

      According to the document, “We must not demand from the Arab minority loyalty in the full sense of the word, to the point of identifying with the goals of a Jewish state (ingathering of the exiles and other values related to the national and religious way of life of the Jewish people). Such a demand is neither practical nor legitimate.” Instead, “We should strive for the Arabs’ passive acceptance of the state’s existence and for them to become law-abiding citizens.”

      These two documents address diverse issues having to do with the life of Israel’s Arab citizens. They help illuminate the state leadership’s official efforts to prevent the politicization of Arab society as well as its resistance to the emergence of a modern leadership among the country’s Arabs. These discussions were held, it bears noting, at a time when the majority of the Arab community in Israel (the exception being residents of Haifa and Jaffa) lived under a military regime – which was not lifted until 1966 – that included a permanent night curfew and a need for permits for traveling in the country.

      One item on the agenda of the 1965 discussion was the “Arab intelligentsia” in Israel. The document drawn up in that connection stated emphatically, “The formation of a broad educated class must be averted as far as possible.” Reason: An educated class tends to adopt “positions of radical leadership.” Accordingly, the document recommended “gradual solutions.” For example, “The entry of Arab students into institutions of higher learning should not be encouraged, but into professions and industries that hold the promise of appropriate employment.” The document elaborates: natural sciences and medicine – yes; humanities and law – no.

      The core of the Toledano document is its recommendation to block creation of political associations among the Arabs “in order to prevent the establishment of separate political entities on a national basis.” From the state’s point of view, the Arab electorate should manifest itself in the form of support for the Zionist parties. The latter, for their part, should open “their gates” to the Arabs and integrate them into their ranks “gradually and experimentally.”

      The grounds for this approach can be found in the 1959 document. It states that the policy of divisiveness pursued so far regarding the Arab population “has allowed the state, during the period of its existence, to prevent the consolidation of the Arab minority into a united bloc, and in large measure has given the leaders of each community an outlet to deal with their communal affairs instead of with general Arab affairs.”

      A perusal of the documents generates a feeling of sad irony. In the 1950s and ‘60s, the Israeli leadership acted vigorously to prevent the establishment of independent Arab political parties. The aim was to have slates of Arab candidates appended to the Zionist slates via “satellite parties,” and for Arab representatives to be guaranteed places in the parent parties. In other words, independent Arab parties conflicted with the establishment’s interests.

      Today, in contrast to the establishment’s position at the time, the Arab parties are independent entities, while the Zionist parties have hardly any Arab representatives. But this is an illusory reversal: Substantively, little has changed. Whereas the goal of integrating Arabs into the Zionist parties in the country’s first decades was intended to depoliticize the Arab community, their displacement from the big parties today only preserves the separation between the peoples and distances the Arab community from the centers of decision-making. If at the outset the Arabs were a fig leaf, today they have become a scapegoat.

      In opposition 70 years

      Even today, separation remains the underlying rationale of the near-absence of Arab MKs in the center-left parties. Not only does the current situation reflect the will of the parties’ leaders (which include parties that don’t even have a primary), at times they seem to be competing among themselves over who is most hostile to “the Arabs.” The Labor Party, for example, has shown in recent years that it has no interest in true activity by Arabs within it, and its slate of Knesset candidates doesn’t guarantee a realistic slot for an Arab representative. Similarly, among the first 40 places on the Kahol Lavan ticket, there is only one Druze woman, in 25th place.

      The Mapai document states that “stable rule in the country is inconceivable with most of the Arab minority in the opposition.” That evaluation has been refuted. The Arab public has been in the opposition for 70 years, lacking any real strength, even though this is not what most Arab citizens want. A survey commissioned by Haaretz before the 2015 election campaign found that 60 percent of the Arab community would like to join the government, and only half the respondents made this conditional on its being a left-wing government.

      The Arabs would like to play a concrete role in the decision- and policy-making processes. Electorally, this poses a threat to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule. At the same time, it’s clear that his opponents are toeing the same line, explaining to the public that “the Arabs” are beyond the pale, and even factoring them into an equation of “neither Kahane nor Balad” – referring an unwillingness to contemplate either a coalition or even a blocking majorith with either the far-right Otzmat Yisrael party or the nationalist Arab party Balad.

      In this sense, keeping the peoples apart no longer necessitates segregation that’s maintained by ordinances and regulations. The military government may have been abolished, but its spirit still rules, on the right, in the center, on the left – everywhere.

  • États-Unis. Fronde au parti démocrate contre l’influence israélienne
    Sylvain Cypel > 12 mars 2019
    https://orientxxi.info/magazine/etats-unis-insurrections-au-parti-democrate-contre-l-influence-israelien

    Rashida Tlaib fait partie de ce que l’on appelle aux États-Unis « l’escouade des 4 ». Quatre nouvelles élues, classées « progressistes », entrées à la Chambre des représentants à l’occasion de la vague démocrate qui a vu ce parti engranger son plus grand succès électoral depuis 1974 et reprendre aux républicains la majorité dont ils disposaient depuis 2010. Ces quatre femmes sont toutes jeunes, beaucoup plus à gauche que ne l’est l’appareil du parti, et issues des « minorités » : Rashida Tlaib est palestinienne (née à Detroit, au Michigan, un État qui regroupe la principale population d’origine syro-libano-palestinienne aux États-Unis) ; Ilhan Omar est une réfugiée somalienne ; Ayanna Pressley est une Afro-Américaine et Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez est portoricaine. Toutes partagent enfin un point commun peu fréquent dans le parti démocrate : elles défendent ardemment la cause palestinienne. (...)

    • L’évolution d’un David Rothkopf, ex-directeur de la revue Foreign Policy, est sur ce point très parlante. Longtemps supporteur d’Israël, il publiait il y a un an, après le vote à la Knesset de lois interdisant l’entrée du pays aux critiques de la politique coloniale israélienne, un article qu’il titrait : « Israël devient une voyoucratie illibérale et je ne parviens plus à le défendre ». « La rhétorique de la droite dure israélienne, qui se repaît de manière écœurante des souffrances qu’Israël inflige aux Palestiniens, de la mort d’une jeune fille de 16 ans et d’un paraplégique tués par les soldats israéliens, suggère qu’il faut désormais s’attendre au pire », écrivait-il. Et il concluait : « La politique que mène Israël a rendu beaucoup plus claire l’affaire que les Palestiniens proclament depuis des décennies quant au simulacre de démocratie israélienne. » Cela s’appelle un basculement. Rothkopf est un représentant typique des intellectuels juifs démocrates, de tout temps favorables à Israël et qui, comme lui, « n’y arrivent plus ». L’affaire Ilhan Omar, écrit-il, « a semé la panique à l’Aipac » ». La tentative d’assimiler toute critique d’Israël à de l’antisémitisme à échoué, et c’est heureux, ajoute-t-il. « Nous devons combattre l’antisémitisme, mais nous devons aussi combattre tous ceux qui n’ont aucun respect pour les pratiques démocratiques ».

      A mettre avec l’évolution de la situation aux États-Unis vis à vis de la Palestine :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/752002

      #Palestine #USA #BDS #Ilhan_Omar

  • Israeli Arab slate, far-left candidate banned from election hours after Kahanist leader allowed to run
    Jonathan Lis and Jack Khoury Mar 07, 2019 7:07 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/.premium-far-left-lawmaker-banned-from-israeli-election-for-supporting-terr

    Arab political sources say the move is evidence of racism and the delegitimization of Arab society in Israel, accusing Netanyahu’s Likud party of anti-Arab incitement

    The Central Election Committee disqualified the Arab joint slate Balad-United Arab List and Ofer Cassif, a member of politicial alliance Hadash-Ta’al, from running in the election on Wednesday, opposing the opinion of Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit.

    Michael Ben Ari and Itamar Ben-Gvir from the Kahanist, far-right Otzma Yehudit party had petitioned against both lists. The committee approved Ben Air to run in the election earlier Wednesday.

    The decisions will be referred to the Supreme Court on Sunday for approval. A ban against a party slate may be appealed in the Supreme Court, which holds a special “election appeals” process, while a ban on an individual candidate automatically requires approval by the Supreme Court if it is to take effect.

    Arab political sources described the disqualification of the Balad-United Arab List slate as evidence of racism and the delegitimization of Arab society in Israel and accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party of anti-Arab incitement.

    MK David Bitan petitioned on behalf of Likud against Balad-United Arab List, and Yisrael Beitenu chairman Avigdor Lieberman petitioned against Cassif. Petitioners claimed both lists and Cassif supported terror and ruled out Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and Democratic state. Mendelblit said he opposed all the petitions.

    Ben-Gvir presented the committee with findings he claimed should disqualify the Hadash-Ta’al slate. He mentioned a call from Ta’al chairman Ahmed Tibi to annul the Declaration of Independence, and quoted a Facebook post by Ayman Odeh, the head of Hadash.

    In the post, written following a meeting with Fatah member Marwan Barghouti at an Israeli prison, Odeh compared Barghouti to Nelson Mandela. “The meeting was moving, as well as speaking to a leader who shares my political stances.” Ben-Gvir noted Odeh defined Ahed Tamimi as an “excellent girl,” and said she showed “legitimate resistance.” Tamimi, a Palestinian teenage girl, served time in prison for slapping an Israeli soldier in 2018.

    Cassif was accused of equating Israel and the Israel Defense Forces with the Nazi regime, and it was noted that he called to fight “Judeo-Nazism,” expressed support for changing the anthem, and called Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked “Neo-Nazi scum.” He did not attend the session, but was called after committee chairman Justice Hanan Melcer insisted on his presence.

    “I come from an academic background, and my area of expertise is among other things the subject of Fascism, Nazis and nationalism in general,” said Cassif, explaining his comments. “When I speak to a friend or write a post as a private person, I use metaphors. When I used the aforementioned terms – they were metaphors.”

    In an interview last month, Cassif said Israel conducts a “creeping genocide” against the Palestinian people.

    The top candidate on the slate, Mansour Abbas, said he had expected that most of the representatives of the Zionist parties on the election committee would support the move to disqualify the slate, but added: “We are a democratic Arab list that is seeking to represent Arab society with dignity and responsibility.”

    Commenting on Benny Gantz, the leader of Kahol Lavan, which is ahead of Likud in recent polls, Abbas said: “There’s no difference between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benjamin Gantz.”

    Mtanes Shehadeh, who is No. 2 on the Balad-United Arab list slate said the decision to disqualify his slate was expected because he said the Central Election Committee has a right-wing majority and “is also controlled by a fascist, right-wing ideology.”

    His Balad faction, Shehadeh said, “presents a challenge to democracy in Israel” and challenges what he called “the right-wing regime that is controlling the country.”

    Sources from the Balad-United Arab list slate said there is in an urgent need to strip the Central Election Committee of the authority to disqualify candidates and parties from running in elections. The considerations that go into the decision are purely political, the sources said.

    Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka said the decision to disqualify the slate sends a “hostile message to the Arab public” in the country. “We will petition the High Court of Justice against the decision and in any event, we will not change our position, even if we are disqualified.”

    Earlier Wednesday, the Central Elections Committee approved Ben Ari, the chairman of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, to run for the Knesset.

    Meretz, Stav Shaffir (Labor) and the Reform Movement, who filed the petition to the Central Elections Committee to ban Ben Ari from running for Knesset, all said they would file a petition with the High Court of Justice against the committee’s decision.

    Prior to deliberations, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit submitted his opinion to the comittee, stating he was in favor of disqualifying Ben Ari from running for Knesset on the grounds of incitement to racism.

    In November 2017, for instance, at an annual memorial for Rabbi Meir Kahane, Ben Ari gave a speech in which he said of Israeli Arabs, “Let’s give them another 100,000 dunams [of land] and affirmative action, maybe they’ll love us. In the end, yes, they’ll love us when we’re slaughtered.”

    In May 2018, Ben Ari gave another speech in which he said, “The Arabs of Haifa aren’t different in any way from the Arabs of Gaza. How are they different? In that they’re here, enemies from within. They’re waging war against us here, within the state. And this is called – it has a name – it’s called a fifth column. We need to call the dog by its name. They’re our enemies. They want to destroy us. Of course there are loyal Arabs, but you can count them – one percent or less than one percent.”

    #Hadash

    • Outlaw Israel’s Arabs
      They are already regarded as illegitimate citizens. Why not just say so and anchor it in law?
      Gideon Levy | Mar 10, 2019 3:15 AM
      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-outlaw-israel-s-arabs-1.7003010

      The time has come to put an end to the stammering and going around in circles: Outlaw the Arabs, all of them. Make them all illegal dwellers in their land and have the Border Police hunt them down like animals, as they know how to do. They are already regarded as illegitimate citizens. It’s time to say so and to anchor it in law.

      Discerning the differences among them is artificial: What’s the difference between the United Arab List–Balad ticket and between the Hadash–Ta’al ticket (acronyms for the Arab political parties)? Why is only the first one on this list being disqualified? And what is the difference between the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens and those living under occupation?

      Why does one group have rights while the others don’t? The time has come to rectify the situation: Ta’al should be treated like Balad; citizens of the state should be treated like those under occupation. Anything less is like paying lip service to the guardians of political correctness, to a supposed semblance of fairness, to a deceptive image of democracy. Outlawing all the Arabs is the way to ensure you have a Jewish state. Who’s against that?

      Whoever thinks what I’ve written is wrong or an exaggeration isn’t reading reality. Disqualifying the Arabs is the issue that has the broadest consensus of the current election campaign. “I’ll put it simply,” Yair Lapid, the democrat, said. “We won’t form a blocking majority with the Arabs. Period.”

      Now I, will humbly put it simply, too: This is a revolting display of racism. Period. More than the torture of the residents of Gaza and the West Bank under the guise of security concerns, in this we see a broader Israeli racism in all its glory: Pure, unadulterated and acceptable racism. It’s not Balad, but the Arabs who are being disqualified. It’s not Ofer Kassif but the left that’s being disqualified. It’s a step-by-step slide down the slope and we can no longer shut our eyes to it.

      If this discourse delegitimizing our Arab citizens isn’t driving Israeli democrats mad – then there is no democracy. We don’t need any studies or institutes: A regime that disqualifies voters and elected officials because of their blood and nationality is not a democracy.

      You don’t need to cite the occupation to expose the lie of democracy – now it’s also apparent at home, within. From Benny Gantz to Bezalel Smotrich – all of them are Ben-Zion Gopsteins. The laws against racism and all the rest are only lip service. The Israeli Knesset has 107 lawmakers; thirteen of them, most of them among the best there are, are outside the game, they have less say than the ushers.

      Now we must try to imagine what they’re going through. They hear everyone trying to distance themselves from them, as though they’re a contagious disease, and they’re silent. They hear nobody seeking to get near them as though their bodies stink, and they avoid comment. The Knesset is like a bus that has segregated its Jewish and Arab passengers, an arena of political apartheid, not yet officially so, which declares from the outset that the Arabs are disqualified.

      Why even bother participating in this game that’s already been decided? The response should have been to boycott the elections. If you don’t want us, we don’t want you. The fig leaf is torn and has long been full of holes. But this is exactly what Israel wants: A country only for Jews. Therefore Arab citizens must not play this game and must head in their masses to the polling stations, just like the prime minister said, to poke Israeli racism painfully in the eye.

      For avowed racists, it’s all very clear. They say what they think: The Jews are a supreme race, the recipients of a divine promise, they have rights to this land, the Arabs are, at best, fleeting guests.

      The problem is with the racists in masquerade like Gantz and Lapid. I have a question for them: Why are Hadash and Ta’al not eligible to be part of a bloc? Why can’t you rely on their votes and why shouldn’t their representatives belong to the government? Would Ayman Odeh be any worse a culture minister than Miri Regev? Would Ahmad Tibi be any less skillful a health minister than Yaakov Litzman? The truth is this: The center-left is as racist as the right.

      Let’s hope no Gantz-Lapid government can be formed, just because of the Arab votes that it fails to have. That would be the sweetest revenge for racism.

    • La Cour suprême israélienne invalide la candidature d’un leader d’extrême droite
      La justice a interdit la candidature du chef d’Otzma Yehudit. Elle a approuvé la liste arabe, les présences d’un candidat juif d’extrême gauche et de Ben Gvir d’Otzma Yehudit
      Par Times of Israel Staff 18 mars 2019,
      https://fr.timesofisrael.com/la-cour-supreme-israelienne-invalide-la-candidature-dun-leader-dex

      (...) Les juges ont en revanche fait savoir que Itamar Ben Gvir, qui appartient également à la formation d’extrême-droite, est autorisé à se présenter.

      Ils ont aussi donné le feu vert à une participation au scrutin du 9 avril à Ofer Kassif ainsi qu’aux factions de Balad-Raam. Kassif est le seul candidat juif à figurer que la liste Hadash-Taal et il avait été disqualifié par la commission centrale électorale en raison de déclarations controversées faites dans le passé, notamment une dans laquelle il avait qualifié la ministre de la Justice Ayelet Shaked de « racaille néo-nazie ». (...)

      #Ofer_Kassif

  • Has the Jewish state forgotten to fight the anti-Semitic far right? - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    When Israel’s government and major Jewish groups cosy up to the global far right, it is a fundamental betrayal of Jewish history, Zionism and the Jewish values we believe in
    Hannah Rose and Benjamin Guttmann Feb 28, 2019

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-has-the-jewish-state-forgotten-to-fight-the-anti-semitic-far-right

    We, Jewish student leaders in the UK and Austria, were raised in and by the Jewish community, which embedded in us a fierce set of values. We were taught that every individual is deserving of equal respect and rights, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality or gender.

    These are not values we take lightly; these are the very foundations of our Jewish identity. The injunction to “treat the stranger justly” appears 36 times in the Torah, more often than any other commandment. Those qualities of justice and solidarity distinguished Abraham, who cared for the strangers who visited his tent, from the people of Sodom, who attacked them, and faced divine punishment.

    The Shoah survivor, author and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel famously declared: “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the centre of the universe.”

    It is therefore not only with shock, but with great disappointment, that we see the current government of our Jewish state, and some of our Jewish institutions, giving succour to those who discriminate against other vulnerable communities.

    In Europe, it is a fearful reality that the far-right is gaining power and popularity and that the survival of liberal democracy is no longer self-evident. Jewish experience teaches us that political intolerance usually ends with blame falling on Jews.

    Yet Israel, the place to which we, as Zionists, are deeply connected, has a government which not only tolerates these views, but invites their most prominent representatives to summits, not least the Visegrad Group, whose aspiration is a Europe of “illiberal democracies.”

    As a sign of the moral jeopardy this opens up, the formal summit was scuppered (despite bilateral meetings going ahead) not because of a principled move by courageous Israeli leaders, but because the Polish government took WWII historical revisionism more seriously than its relationship with Israel.
    Stay up to date: Sign up to our newsletter
    Email*

    Israel’s prime minister lauded the election of Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro who, among many other comments exposing his weak allegiance to democratic values, and endorsement of torture and racism repeatedly told a congresswoman: “I wouldn’t rape you because you don’t deserve it.”

    On Holocaust Memorial Day, the World Jewish Congress, one of the major Jewish organisations posted a video of Jair Bolsonaro claiming to support Holocaust remembrance. It is a struggle to believe that the same person who said he would be “incapable of loving a gay son” and they’d prefer his child to die in a car crash rathe than come out as gay, would respectfully and sincerely commemorate the WWII persecution of LGBT+ people in their thousands.
    Netanyahu and Bolsonaro in Brazil.
    Netanyahu and Bolsonaro in Brazil.Leo Correa/אי־פי

    Meaningful Holocaust remembrance looks at the lessons we can learn, and how we can take action to stamp out analogous hateful ideologies. If we take these responsibilities seriously, we can never embrace someone fundamentally opposed to the values behind Holocaust remembrance out of timidity and short-term political gain.

    The recent co-option of the racist Arab-baiting Kahanist political tradition into the Knesset is nothing less than an endorsement of the subjugation of the rights of others to the rights of Jewish people. Having struggled for thousands of years against those seeking to remove our rights, getting into bed with the far right in our own state is nothing short of an insult to our history and our Zionism as well as hypocrisy of the highest level.

    We understand states seek to protect their interests through realpolitik and pragmatism. But support for, or tolerance of the far-right, is alarmingly short-sighted. Not only is it strategically ill-advised for Israel to align itself with the global far right, it endangers local Jewish communities.

    Morally speaking, this is inexcusable. Sacrificing the rights of other vulnerable groups because the far-right are supposedly “good for Israel” is an outrageous contravention of everything Judaism teaches.
    Anti-Semitic tags reading “Dirty Jew, get out” and a swastika graffitied on a door on Rue d’Alesia in Paris’ 14th arrondissement. February 21, 2019.
    Anti-Semitic tags reading “Dirty Jew, get out” and a swastika graffitied on a door on Rue d’Alesia in Paris’ 14th arrondissement. February 21, 2019.AFP

    Israel thus becomes partner to the legitimization of the far right’s whitewashing of their hateful ideology, not least their anti-Semitism, through a façade of skin-deep support for Israel.

    Human rights are Jewish rights and Jewish rights are human rights. We must be robust and we must be outspoken; any homophobe, any misogynist or any Islamophobe is no friend of the Jewish community.

    If there is any chance of eliminating discrimination against Jews and non-Jews alike, we must first look at ourselves. As Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin eloquently articulated: “You cannot say ‘we admire Israel and want relations with your country, but we are neo-fascists. Neo-fascism is incompatible with the principles and values on which the State of Israel was founded.”

    This is a cross-party political issue; no matter one’s views on border control or economic systems, as a people who have faced antisemitism for thousands of years, we must all be able to acknowledge that no individual should be discriminated against simply because of who they are.

    As Jews, we should know better than that.

    Benjamin (Bini) Guttmann is President of the Austrian Union of Jewish Students (JöH. Twitter: @bin_gut and @joehwien

    Hannah Rose is President of the UK Union of Jewish Students. Twitter: @hannah1_rose and @UJS_PRES

  • For U.S. Jewry, Kahanist caper casts Netanyahu as prince of darkness and Trump on steroids
    Even AIPAC broke its usual silence after Netanyahu legitimized followers of the infamous Rabbi Kahane, who was a household name in America before setting foot in Israel
    Chemi Shalev
    Feb 23, 2019 7:53 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-for-u-s-jewry-kahanist-caper-casts-netanyahu-as-prince-of-darkness

    The stench from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s foul deal with admirers of Meir Kahane’s rancid racism was so strong that it crossed the oceans and compelled even the normally obedient and circumspect organization AIPAC to break their silence. The extraordinary condemnation issued by AIPAC, flimsy as it was, is a symptom of the nausea that swept through American Jewry in the wake of Netanyahu’s unabashed efforts to legitimize the Kahane-inspired Otzma Yehudit party in order to ensure his re-election.

    The AIPAC statement could also confound Netanyahu’s plan to use his scheduled appearance next month at the group’s annual conference and turn it from a sure-fire platform for political propaganda to a risky gamble that could do him more harm than good. The thousands of delegates who will come to Washington on March 24 will undoubtedly try to maintain a semblance of business as usual and will likely accord Netanyahu the standing ovations he’s used to, but what was supposed to be a victory march on Netanyahu’s triumphant way to the White House has now turned into a tense arena with hidden dangers lurking in every corner.
    (...)

  • Kahane returns to the Knesset
    Feb 21, 2019 3:36 AM – Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/kahane-returns-to-the-knesset-1.6957376

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lust for power knows no limits. The pressure he brought to bear on Habayit Hayehudi and National Union – including a promise of the housing and education ministries, two seats in the security cabinet and a reserved spot on the Likud list for one of their members – bore fruit. Rabbi Rafi Peretz responded to Netanyahu’s call to unite with the Otzma Yehudit party, comprised of followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, which will receive slots No. 5 and No. 8 on the joint ticket.

    Thus, under the sponsorship of a prime minister who is prepared to sacrifice every principle and smash every institution in his battle to entrench his regime, the followers of Kahane will return to the Knesset riding like the Messiah on the donkey of religious Zionism.

    Kahane’s Kach party, which championed the deportation of the Arabs from all of “Eretz Israel,” was disqualified from contending for Knesset in 1988 because its platform contained racist incitement. It held a Knesset seat from 1984 until 1988. After the massacre by Baruch Goldstein, a Kach activist, at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in 1994, the government declared the Kach and Kahane Chai movements illegal terror organizations. Kach is also on the American and EU lists of terror groups. But none of this matters to Netanyahu, who is determined to win at any price.

    Otzma Yehudit is the political home of Kahane’s students and admirers, extreme Arab-haters who believe in Jewish supremacy, among them the founder of the Lehava movement, the radical-right group that opposes personal relationships between Jews and non-Jews. The Kahanists followed the “advice” of the party’s rabbis – Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer – who told them to accept the compromise because the fate of the Land of Israel is at stake. (...)

    #toujourspire

  • The Knesset candidate who says Zionism encourages anti-Semitism and calls Netanyahu ’arch-murderer’ - Israel Election 2019 - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/.premium.MAGAZINE-knesset-candidate-netanyahu-is-an-arch-murderer-zionism-e

    Few Israelis have heard of Dr. Ofer Cassif, the Jewish representative on the far-leftist Hadash party’s Knesset slate. On April 9, that will change
    By Ravit Hecht Feb 16, 2019

    Ofer Cassif is fire and brimstone. Not even the flu he’s suffering from today can contain his bursting energy. His words are blazing, and he bounds through his modest apartment, searching frenetically for books by Karl Marx and Primo Levi in order to find quotations to back up his ideas. Only occasional sips from a cup of maté bring his impassioned delivery to a momentary halt. The South American drink is meant to help fight his illness, he explains.

    Cassif is third on the slate of Knesset candidates in Hadash (the Hebrew acronym for the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality), the successor to Israel’s Communist Party. He holds the party’s “Jewish slot,” replacing MK Dov Khenin. Cassif is likely to draw fire from opponents and be a conspicuous figure in the next Knesset, following the April 9 election.

    Indeed, the assault on him began as soon as he was selected by the party’s convention. The media pursued him; a columnist in the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Ben-Dror Yemini, called for him to be disqualified from running for the Knesset. It would be naive to say that this was unexpected. Cassif, who was one of the first Israeli soldiers to refuse to serve in the territories, in 1987, gained fame thanks to a number of provocative statements. The best known is his branding of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked as “neo-Nazi scum.” On another occasion, he characterized Jews who visit the Temple Mount as “cancer with metastases that have to be eradicated.”

    On his alternate Facebook page, launched after repeated blockages of his original account by a blitz of posts from right-wing activists, he asserted that Culture Minister Miri Regev is “repulsive gutter contamination,” that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an “arch-murderer” and that the new Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, is a “war criminal.”

    Do you regret making those remarks?

    Cassif: “‘Regret’ is a word of emotion. Those statements were made against a background of particular events: the fence in Gaza, horrible legislation, and the wild antics of Im Tirtzu [an ultranationalist organization] on campus. That’s what I had to say at the time. I didn’t count on being in the Knesset. That wasn’t part of my plan. But it’s clear to me that as a public personality, I would not have made those comments.”

    Is Netanyahu an arch-murderer?

    “Yes. I wrote it in the specific context of a particular day in the Gaza Strip. A massacre of innocent people was perpetrated there, and no one’s going to persuade me that those people were endangering anyone. It’s a concentration camp. Not a ‘concentration camp’ in the sense of Bergen-Belsen; I am absolutely not comparing the Holocaust to what’s happening.”

    You term what Israel is doing to the Palestinians “genocide.”

    “I call it ‘creeping genocide.’ Genocide is not only a matter of taking people to gas chambers. When Yeshayahu Leibowitz used the term ‘Judeo-Nazis,’ people asked him, ‘How can you say that? Are we about to build gas chambers?’ To that, he had two things to say. First, if the whole difference between us and the Nazis boils down to the fact that we’re not building gas chambers, we’re already in trouble. And second, maybe we won’t use gas chambers, but the mentality that exists today in Israel – and he said this 40 years ago – would allow it. I’m afraid that today, after four years of such an extreme government, it possesses even greater legitimacy.

    “But you know what, put aside ‘genocide’ – ethnic cleansing is taking place there. And that ethnic cleansing is also being carried out by means of killing, although mainly by way of humiliation and of making life intolerable. The trampling of human dignity. It reminds me of Primo Levi’s ‘If This Is a Man.’”

    You say you’re not comparing, but you repeatedly come back to Holocaust references. On Facebook, you also uploaded the scene from “Schindler’s List” in which the SS commander Amon Goeth picks off Jews with his rifle from the balcony of his quarters in the camp. You compared that to what was taking place along the border fence in the Gaza Strip.

    “Today, I would find different comparisons. In the past I wrote an article titled, ‘On Holocaust and on Other Crimes.’ It’s online [in Hebrew]. I wrote there that anyone who compares Israel to the Holocaust is cheapening the Holocaust. My comparison between here and what happened in the early 1930s [in Germany] is a very different matter.”

    Clarity vs. crudity

    Given Cassif’s style, not everyone in Hadash was happy with his election, particularly when it comes to the Jewish members of the predominantly Arab party. Dov Khenin, for example, declined to be interviewed and say what he thinks of his parliamentary successor. According to a veteran party figure, “From the conversations I had, it turns out that almost none of the Jewish delegates – who make up about 100 of the party’s 940 delegates – supported his candidacy.

    “He is perceived, and rightly so,” the party veteran continues, “as someone who closes doors to Hadash activity within Israeli society. Each of the other Jewish candidates presented a record of action and of struggles they spearheaded. What does he do? Curses right-wing politicians on Facebook. Why did the party leadership throw the full force of its weight behind him? In a continuation of the [trend exemplified by] its becoming part of the Joint List, Ofer’s election reflects insularity and an ongoing retreat from the historical goal of implementing change in Israeli society.”

    At the same time, as his selection by a 60 percent majority shows, many in the party believe that it’s time to change course. “Israeli society is moving rightward, and what’s perceived as Dov’s [Khenin] more gentle style didn’t generate any great breakthrough on the Jewish street,” a senior source in Hadash notes.

    “It’s not a question of the tension between extremism and moderation, but of how to signpost an alternative that will develop over time. Clarity, which is sometimes called crudity, never interfered with cooperation between Arabs and Jews. On the contrary. Ofer says things that we all agreed with but didn’t so much say, and of course that’s going to rile the right wing. And a good thing, too.”

    Hadash chairman MK Ayman Odeh also says he’s pleased with the choice, though sources in the party claim that Odeh is apprehensive about Cassif’s style and that he actually supported a different candidate. “Dov went for the widest possible alliances in order to wield influence,” says Odeh. “Ofer will go for very sharp positions at the expense of the breadth of the alliance. But his sharp statements could have a large impact.”

    Khenin was deeply esteemed by everyone. When he ran for mayor of Tel Aviv in 2008, some 35 percent of the electorate voted for him, because he was able to touch people who weren’t only from his political milieu.

    Odeh: “No one has a higher regard for Dov than I do. But just to remind you, we are not a regular opposition, we are beyond the pale. And there are all kinds of styles. Influence can be wielded through comments that are vexatious the first time but which people get used to the second time. When an Arab speaks about the Nakba and about the massacre in Kafr Kassem [an Israeli Arab village, in 1956], it will be taken in a particular way, but when uttered by a Jew it takes on special importance.”

    He will be the cause of many attacks on the party.

    “Ahlan wa sahlan – welcome.”

    Cassif will be the first to tell you that, with all due respect for the approach pursued by Khenin and by his predecessor in the Jewish slot, Tamar Gozansky, he will be something completely different. “I totally admire what Tamar and Dov did – nothing less than that,” he says, while adding, “But my agenda will be different. The three immediate dangers to Israeli society are the occupation, racism and the diminishment of the democratic space to the point of liquidation. That’s the agenda that has to be the hub of the struggle, as long as Israel rules over millions of people who have no rights, enters [people’s houses] in the middle of the night, arrests minors on a daily basis and shoots people in the back.

    "Israel commits murder on a daily basis. When you murder one Palestinian, you’re called Elor Azaria [the IDF soldier convicted and jailed for killing an incapacitated Palestinian assailant]; when you murder and oppress thousands of Palestinians, you’re called the State of Israel.”

    So you plan to be the provocateur in the next Knesset?

    “It’s not my intention to be a provocateur, to stand there and scream and revile people. Even on Facebook I was compelled to stop that. But I definitely intend to challenge the dialogue in terms of the content, and mainly with a type of sarcasm.”

    ’Bags of blood’

    Cassif, 54, who holds a doctorate in political philosophy from the London School of Economics, teaches political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Sapir Academic College in Sderot and at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo. He lives in Rehovot, is married and is the father of a 19-year-old son. He’s been active in Hadash for three decades and has held a number of posts in the party.

    As a lecturer, he stands out for his boldness and fierce rhetoric, which draws students of all stripes. He even hangs out with some of his Haredi students, one of whom wrote a post on the eve of the Hadash primary urging the delegates to choose him. After his election, a student from a settlement in the territories wrote to him, “You are a determined and industrious person, and for that I hold you in high regard. Hoping we will meet on the field of action and growth for the success of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state (I felt obliged to add a small touch of irony in conclusion).”

    Cassif grew up in a home that supported Mapai, forerunner of Labor, in Rishon Letzion. He was an only child; his father was an accountant, his mother held a variety of jobs. He was a news hound from an early age, and at 12 ran for the student council in school. He veered sharply to the left in his teens, becoming a keen follower of Marx and socialism.

    Following military service in the IDF’s Nahal brigade and a period in the airborne Nahal, Cassif entered the Hebrew University. There his political career moved one step forward, and there he also forsook the Zionist left permanently. His first position was as a parliamentary aide to the secretary general of the Communist Party, Meir Wilner.

    “At first I was closer to Mapam [the United Workers Party, which was Zionist], and then I refused to serve in the territories. I was the first refusenik in the first intifada to be jailed. I didn’t get support from Mapam, I got support from the people of Hadash, and I drew close to them. I was later jailed three more times for refusing to serve in the territories.”

    His rivals in the student organizations at the Hebrew University remember him as the epitome of the extreme left.

    “Even in the Arab-Jewish student association, Cassif was considered off-the-wall,” says Motti Ohana, who was chairman of Likud’s student association and active in the Student Union at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s. “One time I got into a brawl with him. It was during the first intifada, when he brought two bags of blood, emptied them out in the university’s corridors and declared, ‘There is no difference between Jewish and Arab blood,’ likening Israeli soldiers to terrorists. The custom on campus was that we would quarrel, left-right, Arabs-Jews, and after that we would sit together, have a coffee and talk. But not Cassif.”

    According to Ohana, today a member of the Likud central committee, the right-wing activists knew that, “You could count on Ofer to fall into every trap. There was one event at the Hebrew University that was a kind of political Hyde Park. The right wanted to boot the left out of there, so we hung up the flag. It was obvious that Ofer would react, and in fact he tore the flag, and in the wake of the ruckus that developed, political activity was stopped for good.”

    Replacing the anthem

    Cassif voices clearly and cogently positions that challenge the public discourse in Israel, and does so with ardor and charisma. Four candidates vied for Hadash’s Jewish slot, and they all delivered speeches at the convention. The three candidates who lost to him – Efraim Davidi, Yaela Raanan and the head of the party’s Tel Aviv branch, Noa Levy – described their activity and their guiding principles. When they spoke, there was the regular buzz of an audience that’s waiting for lunch. But when Cassif took the stage, the effect was magnetic.

    “Peace will not be established without a correction of the crimes of the Nakba and [recognition of] the right of return,” he shouted, and the crowd cheered him. As one senior party figure put it, “Efraim talked about workers’ rights, Yaela about the Negev, Noa about activity in Tel Aviv – and Ofer was Ofer.”

    What do you mean by “right of return”?

    Cassif: “The first thing is the actual recognition of the Nakba and of the wrong done by Israel. Compare it to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in South Africa, if you like, or with the commissions in Chile after Pinochet. Israel must recognize the wrong it committed. Now, recognition of the wrong also includes recognition of the right of return. The question is how it’s implemented. It has to be done by agreement. I can’t say that tomorrow Tel Aviv University has to be dismantled and that Sheikh Munis [the Arab village on whose ruins the university stands] has to be rebuilt there. The possibility can be examined of giving compensation in place of return, for example.”

    But what is the just solution, in your opinion?

    “For the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland.”

    That means there will be Jews who will have to leave their home.

    “In some places, unequivocally, yes. People will have to be told: ‘You must evacuate your places.’ The classic example is Ikrit and Biram [Christian-Arab villages in Galilee whose residents were promised – untruly – by the Israeli authorities in 1948 that they would be able to return, and whose lands were turned over to Jewish communities]. But there are places where there is certainly greater difficulty. You don’t right one wrong with another.”

    What about the public space in Israel? What should it look like?

    “The public space has to change, to belong to all the state’s residents. I dispute the conception of ‘Jewish publicness.’”

    How should that be realized?

    “For example, by changing the national symbols, changing the national anthem. [Former Hadash MK] Mohammed Barakeh once suggested ‘I Believe’ [‘Sahki, Sahki’] by [Shaul] Tchernichovsky – a poem that is not exactly an expression of Palestinian nationalism. He chose it because of the line, ‘For in mankind I’ll believe.’ What does it mean to believe in mankind? It’s not a Jew, or a Palestinian, or a Frenchman, or I don’t know what.”

    What’s the difference between you and the [Arab] Balad party? Both parties overall want two states – a state “of all its citizens” and a Palestinian state.

    “In the big picture, yes. But Balad puts identity first on the agenda. We are not nationalists. We do not espouse nationalism as a supreme value. For us, self-determination is a means. We are engaged in class politics. By the way, Balad [the National Democratic Assembly] and Ta’al [MK Ahmad Tibi’s Arab Movement for Renewal] took the idea of a state of all its citizens from us, from Hadash. We’ve been talking about it for ages.”

    If you were a Palestinian, what would you do today?

    “In Israel, what my Palestinian friends are doing, and I with them – [wage] a parliamentary and extra-parliamentary struggle.”

    And what about the Palestinians in the territories?

    “We have always been against harming innocent civilians. Always. In all our demonstrations, one of our leading slogans was: ‘In Gaza and in Sderot, children want to live.’ With all my criticism of the settlers, to enter a house and slaughter children, as in the case of the Fogel family [who were murdered in their beds in the settlement of Itamar in 2011], is intolerable. You have to be a human being and reject that.”

    And attacks on soldiers?

    “An attack on soldiers is not terrorism. Even Netanyahu, in his book about terrorism, explicitly categorizes attacks on soldiers or on the security forces as guerrilla warfare. It’s perfectly legitimate, according to every moral criterion – and, by the way, in international law. At the same time, I am not saying it’s something wonderful, joyful or desirable. The party’s Haifa office is on Ben-Gurion Street, and suddenly, after years, I noticed a memorial plaque there for a fighter in Lehi [pre-state underground militia, also known as the Stern Gang] who assassinated a British officer. Wherever there has been a struggle for liberation from oppression, there are national heroes, who in 90 percent of the cases carried out some operations that were unlawful. Nelson Mandela is today considered a hero, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but according to the conventional definition, he was a terrorist. Most of the victims of the ANC [African National Congress] were civilians.”

    In other words, today’s Hamas commanders who are carrying out attacks on soldiers will be heroes of the future Palestinian state?

    “Of course.”

    Anti-Zionist identity

    Cassif terms himself an explicit anti-Zionist. “There are three reasons for that,” he says. “To begin with, Zionism is a colonialist movement, and as a socialist, I am against colonialism. Second, as far as I am concerned, Zionism is racist in ideology and in practice. I am not referring to the definition of race theory – even though there are also some who impute that to the Zionist movement – but to what I call Jewish supremacy. No socialist can accept that. My supreme value is equality, and I can’t abide any supremacy – Jewish or Arab. The third thing is that Zionism, like other ethno-nationalistic movements, splits the working class and all weakened groups. Instead of uniting them in a struggle for social justice, for equality, for democracy, it divides the exploited classes and the enfeebled groups, and by that means strengthens the rule of capital.”

    He continues, “Zionism also sustains anti-Semitism. I don’t say it does so deliberately – even though I have no doubt that there are some who do it deliberately, like Netanyahu, who is connected to people like the prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, and the leader of the far right in Austria, Hans Christian Strache.”

    Did Mapai-style Zionism also encourage anti-Semitism?

    “The phenomenon was very striking in Mapai. Think about it for a minute, not only historically, but logically. If the goal of political and practical Zionism is really the establishment of a Jewish state containing a Jewish majority, and for Diaspora Jewry to settle there, nothing serves them better than anti-Semitism.”

    What in their actions encouraged anti-Semitism?

    “The very appeal to Jews throughout the world – the very fact of treating them as belonging to the same nation, when they were living among other nations. The whole old ‘dual loyalty’ story – Zionism actually encouraged that. Therefore, I maintain that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are not the same thing, but are precisely opposites. That doesn’t mean, of course, that there are no anti-Zionists who are also anti-Semites. Most of the BDS people are of course anti-Zionists, but they are in no way anti-Semites. But there are anti-Semites there, too.”

    Do you support BDS?

    “It’s too complex a subject for a yes or no answer; there are aspects I don’t support.”

    Do you think that the Jews deserve a national home in the Land of Israel?

    “I don’t know what you mean by ‘national home.’ It’s very amorphous. We in Hadash say explicitly that Israel has a right to exist as a sovereign state. Our struggle is not against the state’s existence, but over its character.”

    But that state is the product of the actions of the Zionist movement, which you say has been colonialist and criminal from day one.

    “That’s true, but the circumstances have changed. That’s the reason that the majority of the members of the Communist Party accepted the [1947] partition agreement at the time. They recognized that the circumstances had changed. I think that one of the traits that sets communist thought apart, and makes it more apt, is the understanding and the attempt to strike the proper balance between what should be, and reality. So it’s true that Zionism started as colonialism, but what do you do with the people who were already born here? What do you tell them? Because your grandparents committed a crime, you have to leave? The question is how you transform the situation that’s been created into one that’s just, democratic and equal.”

    So, a person who survived a death camp and came here is a criminal?

    “The individual person, of course not. I’m in favor of taking in refugees in distress, no matter who or what they are. I am against Zionism’s cynical use of Jews in distress, including the refugees from the Holocaust. I have a problem with the fact that the natives whose homeland this is cannot return, while people for whom it’s not their homeland, can, because they supposedly have some sort of blood tie and an ‘imaginary friend’ promised them the land.”

    I understand that you are in favor of the annulment of the Law of Return?

    “Yes. Definitely.”

    But you are in favor of the Palestinian right of return.

    “There’s no comparison. There’s no symmetry here at all. Jerry Seinfeld was by chance born to a Jewish family. What’s his connection to this place? Why should he have preference over a refugee from Sabra or Chatila, or Edward Said, who did well in the United States? They are the true refugees. This is their homeland. Not Seinfeld’s.”

    Are you critical of the Arabs, too?

    “Certainly. One criticism is of their cooperation with imperialism – take the case of today’s Saudi Arabia, Qatar and so on. Another, from the past, relates to the reactionary forces that did not accept that the Jews have a right to live here.”

    Hadash refrained from criticizing the Assad regime even as it was massacring civilians in Syria. The party even torpedoed a condemnation of Assad after the chemical attack. Do you identify with that approach?

    “Hadash was critical of the Assad regime – father and son – for years, so we can’t be accused in any way of supporting Assad or Hezbollah. We are not Ba’ath, we are not Islamists. We are communists. But as I said earlier, the struggle, unfortunately, is generally not between the ideal and what exists in practice, but many times between two evils. And then you have to ask yourself which is the lesser evil. The Syrian constellation is extremely complicated. On the one hand, there is the United States, which is intervening, and despite all the pretense of being against ISIS, supported ISIS and made it possible for ISIS to sprout.

    "I remind you that ISIS started from the occupation of Iraq. And ideologically and practically, ISIS is definitely a thousand times worse than the Assad regime, which is at base also a secular regime. Our position was and is against the countries that pose the greatest danger to regional peace, which above all are Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and the United States, which supports them. That doesn’t mean that we support Assad.”

    Wrong language

    Cassif’s economic views are almost as far from the consensus as his political ideas. He lives modestly in an apartment that’s furnished like a young couple’s first home. You won’t find an espresso maker or unnecessary products of convenience in his place. To his credit, it can be said that he extracts the maximum from Elite instant coffee.

    What is your utopian vision – to nationalize Israel’s conglomerates, such as Cellcom, the telecommunications company, or Osem, the food manufacturer and distributor?

    “The bottom line is yes. How exactly will it be done? That’s an excellent question, which I can’t answer. Perhaps by transferring ownership to the state or to the workers, with democratic tools. And there are other alternatives. But certainly, I would like it if a large part of the resources were not in private hands, as was the case before the big privatizations. It’s true that it won’t be socialism, because, again, there can be no such thing as Zionist socialism, but there won’t be privatization like we have today. What is the result of capitalism in Israel? The collapse of the health system, the absence of a social-welfare system, a high cost of living and of housing, the elderly and the disabled in a terrible situation.”

    Does any private sector have the right to exist?

    “Look, the question is what you mean by ‘private sector.’ If we’re talking about huge concerns that the owners of capital control completely through their wealth, then no.”

    What growth was there in the communist countries? How can anyone support communism, in light of the grim experience wherever it was tried?

    “It’s true, we know that in the absolute majority of societies where an attempt was made to implement socialism, there was no growth or prosperity, and we need to ask ourselves why, and how to avoid that. When I talk about communism, I’m not talking about Stalin and all the crimes that were committed in the name of the communist idea. Communism is not North Korea and it is not Pol Pot in Cambodia. Heaven forbid.”

    And what about Venezuela?

    “Venezuela is not communism. In fact, they didn’t go far enough in the direction of socialism.”

    Chavez was not enough of a socialist?

    “Chavez, but in particular Maduro. The Communist Party is critical of the regime. They support it because the main enemy is truly American imperialism and its handmaidens. Let’s look at what the U.S. did over the years. At how many times it invaded and employed bullying, fascist forces. Not only in Latin America, its backyard, but everywhere.”

    Venezuela is falling apart, people there don’t have anything to eat, there’s no medicine, everyone who can flees – and it’s the fault of the United States?

    “You can’t deny that the regime has made mistakes. It’s not ideal. But basically, it is the result of American imperialism and its lackeys. After all, the masses voted for Chavez and for Maduro not because things were good for them. But because American corporations stole the country’s resources and filled their own pockets. I wouldn’t make Chavez into an icon, but he did some excellent things.”

    Then how do you generate individual wealth within the method you’re proposing? I understand that I am now talking to you capitalistically, but the reality is that people see the accumulation of assets as an expression of progress in life.

    “Your question is indeed framed in capitalist language, which simply departs from what I believe in. Because you are actually asking me how the distribution of resources is supposed to occur within the capitalist framework. And I say no, I am not talking about resource distribution within a capitalist framework.”

    Gantz vs. Netanyahu

    Cassif was chosen as the polls showed Meretz and Labor, the representatives of the Zionist left, barely scraping through into the next Knesset and in fact facing a serious possibility of electoral extinction. The critique of both parties from the radical left is sometimes more acerbic than from the right.

    Would you like to see the Labor Party disappear?

    “No. I think that what’s happening at the moment with Labor and with Meretz is extremely dangerous. I speak about them as collectives, because they contain individuals with whom I see no possibility of engaging in a dialogue. But I think that they absolutely must be in the Knesset.”

    Is a left-winger who defines himself as a Zionist your partner in any way?

    “Yes. We need partners. We can’t be picky. Certainly we will cooperate with liberals and Zionists on such issues as combating violence against women or the battle to rescue the health system. Maybe even in putting an end to the occupation.”

    I’ll put a scenario to you: Benny Gantz does really well in the election and somehow overcomes Netanyahu. Do you support the person who led Operation Protective Edge in Gaza when he was chief of staff?

    “Heaven forbid. But we don’t reject people, we reject policy. I remind you that it was [then-defense minister] Yitzhak Rabin who led the most violent tendency in the first intifada, with his ‘Break their bones.’ But when he came to the Oslo Accords, it was Hadash and the Arab parties that gave him, from outside the coalition, an insurmountable bloc. I can’t speak for the party, but if there is ever a government whose policy is one that we agree with – eliminating the occupation, combating racism, abolishing the nation-state law – I believe we will give our support in one way or another.”

    And if Gantz doesn’t declare his intention to eliminate the occupation, he isn’t preferable to Netanyahu in any case?

    “If so, why should we recommend him [to the president to form the next government]? After the clips he posted boasting about how many people he killed and how he hurled Gaza back into the Stone Age, I’m far from certain that he’s better.”

    #Hadash

    • traduction d’un extrait [ d’actualité ]

      Le candidat à la Knesset dit que le sionisme encourage l’antisémitisme et qualifie Netanyahu de « meurtrier »
      Peu d’Israéliens ont entendu parler de M. Ofer Cassif, représentant juif de la liste de la Knesset du parti d’extrême gauche Hadash. Le 9 avril, cela changera.
      Par Ravit Hecht 16 février 2019 – Haaretz

      (…) Identité antisioniste
      Cassif se dit un antisioniste explicite. « Il y a trois raisons à cela », dit-il. « Pour commencer, le sionisme est un mouvement colonialiste et, en tant que socialiste, je suis contre le colonialisme. Deuxièmement, en ce qui me concerne, le sionisme est raciste d’idéologie et de pratique. Je ne fais pas référence à la définition de la théorie de la race - même si certains l’imputent également au mouvement sioniste - mais à ce que j’appelle la suprématie juive. Aucun socialiste ne peut accepter cela. Ma valeur suprême est l’égalité et je ne peux supporter aucune suprématie - juive ou arabe. La troisième chose est que le sionisme, comme d’autres mouvements ethno-nationalistes, divise la classe ouvrière et tous les groupes sont affaiblis. Au lieu de les unir dans une lutte pour la justice sociale, l’égalité, la démocratie, il divise les classes exploitées et affaiblit les groupes, renforçant ainsi le pouvoir du capital. "
      Il poursuit : « Le sionisme soutient également l’antisémitisme. Je ne dis pas qu’il le fait délibérément - même si je ne doute pas qu’il y en a qui le font délibérément, comme Netanyahu, qui est connecté à des gens comme le Premier ministre de la Hongrie, Viktor Orban, et le chef de l’extrême droite. en Autriche, Hans Christian Strache. ”

      Le sionisme type-Mapaï a-t-il également encouragé l’antisémitisme ?
      « Le phénomène était très frappant au Mapai. Pensez-y une minute, non seulement historiquement, mais logiquement. Si l’objectif du sionisme politique et pratique est en réalité de créer un État juif contenant une majorité juive et de permettre à la communauté juive de la diaspora de s’y installer, rien ne leur sert mieux que l’antisémitisme. "

      Qu’est-ce qui, dans leurs actions, a encouragé l’antisémitisme ?
      « L’appel même aux Juifs du monde entier - le fait même de les traiter comme appartenant à la même nation, alors qu’ils vivaient parmi d’autres nations. Toute la vieille histoire de « double loyauté » - le sionisme a en fait encouragé cela. Par conséquent, j’affirme que l’antisémitisme et l’antisionisme ne sont pas la même chose, mais sont précisément des contraires. Bien entendu, cela ne signifie pas qu’il n’y ait pas d’antisionistes qui soient aussi antisémites. La plupart des membres du BDS sont bien sûr antisionistes, mais ils ne sont en aucun cas antisémites. Mais il y a aussi des antisémites.

  • For Israel’s golden intel boys, it starts with terror and ends with greed Veterans of Israel’s famed signal intelligence corps, already well versed in violence against the helpless, are now indulging in rotten meddling abroad
    Gideon Levy - Feb 16, 2019 10:53 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-for-israel-s-golden-intel-boys-it-starts-with-terror-and-ends-with

    A coincidence brought together two stories in Haaretz last Wednesday. One reported on the sadistic abuse of two Palestinians by soldiers from the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, while the other told of astonishing meddling abroad by Israeli intelligence companies.

    Ostensibly the conduct of the battalion is more sickening. But actually the actions of veterans of the Mossad and the military’s signal intelligence unit, 8200, is much more disturbing.

    The abusive soldiers will be punished to some extent; usually they come from the margins of society. But the veterans of Israel’s top secret cyber-agencies are the new elite, the heroes of our time, beautiful and promising, the proud future of innovation and high-tech. Who doesn’t want their son or daughter to serve in 8200? Who isn’t proud of the Mossad’s work?

    But some of these good people do very bad things, no less infuriating than punching a blindfolded Palestinian in front of his son. At 8200 they don’t kill people or beat them up, but the damage the unit’s veterans do can be no less severe.

    The success stories are many. The name of the game is to start up a company, exit quickly and take the money. In T-shirts, sneakers and jeans they make money hand over fist. During their afternoon breaks they order sushi and play the video games “FIFA 17” and “Mortal Kombat.”

    Most of them come from 8200. Beneath their impressive successes, there is rot. The veterans of the biggest and maybe the most prestigious unit in the army, the new pilots, know everything. Sometimes too much.

    A long, disturbing article by Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker tells about these companies, particularly Psy-Group, made up of Mossad and 8200 veterans. There’s no place in the world they’re not interfering – from Gabon to Romania, from the Netherlands to the U.S. elections.

    There’s also nothing they won’t do; money covers everything. Project Butterfly, the war declared by Israeli cyber-mercenaries on U.S. campuses against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, was particularly disgusting. Psy-Group, with members of the old boys’ club – Ram Ben-Barak, a former deputy head of the Mossad and a Yesh Atid Knesset candidate, and Yaakov Amidror, a general and a former national security adviser – spied on anti-Israel activists on U.S. campuses and collected dirt on them.

    It’s like a war, the hero Ben-Barak told The New Yorker. The private Israeli firm works on U.S. campuses against political activists for $2.5 million a year. This money was contributed by Jews (who were promised they were “investing in Israel’s future”), some of whose children are students on those same campuses.

    Imagine if a foreign company spied on right-wing students in Israel and spread slander about them. But Israel is allowed to do anything. Uzi Arad, a former national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a Mossad veteran, told The New Yorker that he was ashamed of these mercenaries.

    These actions are being carried out by the best of our young people. According to The New Yorker, the Israeli companies control the global disinformation and manipulation market. They have a huge advantage. As Gadi Aviran, founder of the intelligence firm Terrogence, told the magazine: “There was this huge pipeline of talent coming out of the military every year,” and “All a company like mine had to do was stand at the gate and say, ‘You look interesting.’” It always starts with terror, real or imagined, and ends with greed.

    First we have a “huge pipeline of talent” familiar with the alleyways of Jabalya and Jenin in the West Bank, well experienced in violence against the helpless. The training grounds of the Israeli arms industry, unmanned bombers and lethal joysticks have led to lots of prestige and money for the state.

    Now, in the spirit of the times, we have the meddlers from the high-ups of the Mossad and 8200. And when one day somebody asks where the temerity came from to meddle like that, we’ll quote Amidror, who said: “If people are ready to finance it, it is O.K. with me.” Before we keep encouraging young people to join 8200 and take pride in the unit, we should remember that this rot also emerged from it.

  • Gantz, son of Holocaust survivor, mentions Bergen-Belsen but ignores the camp that is Gaza
    If Benny Gantz had the courage, he’d go to The Hague himself
    Amira Hass
    Feb 03, 2019

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-gantz-son-of-holocaust-survivor-mentions-bergen-belsen-but-ignores

    Benny Gantz frequently mentions his mother, a survivor of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Anshel Pfeffer wrote in Haaretz on January 30. My mother also survived Bergen-Belsen. The former IDF chief of staff’s mother encouraged him to continue fighting in Gaza, but not to stop sending food to its inhabitants. (To make things straight: Israel did not and does not send food to the Palestinians. The food is bought at full price from Israeli merchants and producers. What Israel can do is to prevent food and other essential products from entering Gaza, as it has done more than once.) My mother was revolted by generals, their wars against the Palestinians and the trafficking in the memory of the murdered Jews.

    If Gantz had the courage, he would go to The Hague himself, to the Dutch district court there. The judge would have to decide whether the Dutch court has the authority to hear a civil suit against the former Israeli chief of staff for war crimes in Gaza in 2014 – the killing of six members of a family in one bombardment. Gantz’s lawyer would argue that the judge should reject the suit because the court has no jurisdiction, and in any case Gantz has immunity because he did what he did for the State of Israel, in the framework of his state-sanctioned role. This is also whyIsrael pays for his legal representation.

    >> Read more: Like Netanyahu, Gantz plays on the anxieties of his would-be voters ■ 180 Palestinian women wounded by live Israeli fire since start of Gaza protests

    Suing for war crimes specific people, who were serving in official capacities, is based on the concept that human beings, even soldiers and certainly their supreme commander, are creatures capable of thinking and are therefore responsible for their actions. They are not just following orders. A civil suit for a war crime committed in another country is based on the concept that universal values exist and that when international law is breached, a third state has the right to adjudicate.

    If Gantz had the courage, he would leave his new Knesset (or cabinet) seat for a day or two and stand in The Hague before the plaintiff Ismail Ziada. But even if Gantz doesn’t go, two tracks of uprootedness, injustice and trauma, will intersect there. Europe made clear to Gantz’s parents, who were born in Hungary and Romania, that they were not wanted there. In fact, that they didn’t deserve to live. They were not killed, and they arrived in this country. In Israel we became the victors, and we continue to take revenge on those who have nothing to do with the expulsion and murder of the Jews.

  • Holy Land for Sale – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/01/07/holy-land-for-sale

    The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate is selling church land that’s ending up in the hands of Israeli settler groups. Its Palestinian Christian congregants are furious.

    JERUSALEM—On the eve of Orthodox Christmas, on Jan. 6, dozens of Palestinians lining the cobblestone roads of Bethlehem protested the convoy of the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, with chants of “traitor” as it made its way to Manger Square under heavy protection by Palestinian security forces. Representatives of Bethlehem municipality gave the patriarch the cold shoulder, refusing to meet him in the square as is customary.

    The protesters’ anger is erupting now because the Greek Orthodox Church, the second-biggest landowner in the Holy Land, has in recent years been embroiled in a real estate controversy.

    The church—which owns about one-third of the land in Jerusalem’s Old City as well as property in the West Bank and in Israel, including the plot on which the Knesset is built—has quietly sold off plots of land and property to frontmen and developers, with many ending up in the hands of Israeli settler groups. The practice of selling off church property or leasing it for decades has pitted the clergy, the majority of whom are Greek, against their Palestinian flock. As these deals began to surface, protests by the church’s majority Palestinian congregation have intensified, as has fear among Israelis whose homes are located on leased church land.

  • Israël réclame 250 milliards aux Arabes pour l’expulsion des Juifs - JForum
    https://www.jforum.fr/israel-reclame-250-milliards-aux-arabes-pour-lexpulsion-des-juifs.html

    Israël se prépare à demander une indemnisation d’un montant total de 250 milliards de dollars à sept pays arabes et à l’Iran pour les biens et avoirs laissés par les Juifs qui ont été forcés de fuir ces pays, à la suite de la création de l’État d’Israël.

    “Le temps est venu de corriger l’injustice historique des pogroms (contre les Juifs) dans sept pays arabes et en Iran, et de restaurer, pour des centaines de milliers de Juifs qui ont perdu leurs biens, ce qui leur revient légitimement”, a déclaré samedi le ministre israélien de l’Égalité sociale, Gila Gamliel, qui coordonne le traitement de la question par le gouvernement israélien, a déclaré samedi.

    Selon les chiffres cités samedi soir par le journal israélien Hadashot, les demandes d’indemnisation des deux premiers des huit pays concernés sont en cours de finalisation, Israël devant demander 35 milliards de dollars d’indemnisation pour la perte d’actifs juifs de Tunisie et 15 milliards de dollars à la Libye.

    Au total, le reportage télévisé a déclaré qu’Israël chercherait plus de 250 milliards de dollars auprès de ces deux pays, ainsi que du Maroc, de l’Irak, de la Syrie, de l’Egypte, du Yémen et de l’Iran.

    #israël #sans_vergogne

    • Israël réclame 250 milliards $ d’indemnisations aux Etats arabes !
      7 يناير، 2019
      https://algeriepress.com/israel-reclame-250-milliards-dindemnisations-aux-etats-arabes

      Des médias israéliens ont encore une fois rouvert le dossier des biens laissés par des Juifs dans un certain nombre de pays arabes qu’ils ont quittés pour la Palestine occupée.

      Ainsi, les Juifs réclament des indemnisations et envisagent même d’employer cette donne, provocante à l’endroit des Etats arabes-, lors des discussions prévues prochainement avec l’Etat de la Palestine.

      En effet, une télévision israélienne a annoncé dans un reportage que l’Etat hébreu a avancé pour la première fois une estimation officielle des biens laissés par des Juifs dans des pays arabes évaluée à 250 milliards de dollars, bien que la même chaîne n’a pas indiqué le montant de ces biens prétendus en Algérie.

      Un membre du parlement israélien (La Knesset) avait estimé, lui, que les biens laissés par les Juifs en Algérie s’élevaient à plus de 2 milliards de dollars, suggérant ainsi d’utiliser la carte des Juifs d’Algérie pour mettre la pression sur le gouvernement algérien afin de se montrer moins hostile vis-à-vis d’Israël et de cesser ses aides accordées aux résistants palestiniens. (...)

  • Scoop: Netanyahu rejected Russian plan to work with U.S. on Syria, Iran
    Axios - 20 déc 2018
    https://www.axios.com/russia-proposal-syria-israel-iran-united-states-c6d0bde9-583a-4dab-8a38-b2a21

    More than three months ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s national security adviser Nikolai Patrushev gave his Israeli counterpart a document. It contained an unofficial proposal for a deal between the U.S. and Russia on Syria and Iran intended to start a wider dialogue between Washington and Moscow to improve relations, two Israeli officials with direct knowledge tell me.

    Why it matters: The Russian proposal would have tied a U.S. withdrawal from Syria to an Iranian exit from the country, and provided the U.S. and Israel more influence over a future political settlement in Syria. However, it also called for a freeze on U.S. sanctions on Iran — something Netanyahu found unacceptable. Ultimately, the U.S. gave up much of its leverage in Syria with President Trump’s surprise announcement Wednesday of a unilateral withdrawal.

    Background: Last month, I reported that Netanyahu told a closed door hearing at the Knesset that Russia proposed a deal for pushing Iranian forces out of Syria in return for relief from some U.S. sanctions against Iran. We now know that Netanyahu’s comments referred to a document called the “Patrushev Paper.”

    The Patrushev Paper was given to Israel in a meeting that took place in Moscow on Sept. 13 — four days before the downing of a Russian military plane in Syria that kicked off a deep crisis between Israel and Russia.
    The two Israeli officials told me Russia’s proposal was that Israel would act as a facilitator between the U.S. and Russia and encourage the White House to start a dialogue with the Kremlin on Syria and Iran as an opening for a wider bilateral discussion.
    “They asked us to open the gates for them in Washington,” one Israeli official told me. (...)

    #Israel #Russie #Syrie #USA #Iran