The endgame is to wear away hope until nothing but acceptance of Israel’s total and complete victory feels possible.
I was a student at An-Najah University in the West Bank in 1999 when I was arrested at an Israeli checkpoint for not having a residency permit.
During the court case that ensued, the Israeli judge told me that when it came to my punishment, I had a choice: prison or the cemetery.
He was not using the word “cemetery” literally. He meant exile to the Gaza Strip, from where I had come. Isreal’s policies, I realized then, were intentionally designed to turn Gaza into a huge, living graveyard, a cemetery.
The 52-year (71, actually) occupation, decade-long siege, and repeated attacks on Gaza are meant to drum this reality into Palestinians in the occupied territories and beyond.
The recent Israeli military escalation in Gaza had the same logic, even if the motivations were different.
While Israel did not diverge in its degree of force or its targets, including civilian women and children, the political machinations behind it were specific to the
Netanyahu used the escalation to show his far-right coalition partners his determination and ability to subdue Gaza
Recently re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking to form a coalition that will keep him in power until the end of his term.
Netanyahu used the escalation to show his far-right coalition partners his determination and ability to subdue Gaza.
Former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, after all, resigned in November 2018 in protest against what he claimed was a weak Israeli response to Hamas rocket fire.
Lieberman rejected the truce that Egypt had brokered and demanded a draconian change in policy.
Hence, the recent directives of the Israeli political-military cabinet led by Netanyahu, to intensify strikes against Gaza, are an implied invitation to Lieberman and his bloc to join Likud and its coalition once again.
Divide and rule
Netanyahu’s recent attack on Gaza also involves maintaining a division among Palestinians in the occupied territories, in particular the separation between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Israel’s periodic attacks on Gaza are designed to weaken and embarrass Hamas, but not dislodge it from power, ensuring that the Fatah-Hamas rivalry remains. *(Isreal uses Gaza as a weapons lab. The others in the West Bank are used for terrorist training, Palestinians are useful for this purpose only)
In the West Bank, Netanyahu is pursuing a policy of steady annexation with US and Arab support.
He also wants to maintain a weak Palestinian Authority (PA) under Fatah that continues security coordination with Israel so that the direct costs of Israel’s occupation are subsidised by foreign donors.
Israel’s periodic attacks on Gaza are designed to weaken and embarrass Hamas, but not dislodge it from power, ensuring that the Fatah-Hamas rivalry remains.
Moreover, Netanyahu wants a Palestinian negotiating partner that he can easily dismiss as unwilling to accept peace on Israel’s terms and unable to implement any agreement.
As such, it is in Israel’s interest that Hamas stays in power in Gaza and the PA continues in the West Bank, provided that both parties remain on the brink of an abyss and unable to overcome their predicament.
Indeed, Netanyahu declared during the election that he would continue to sustain this division by preventing Gaza from returning to the PA at all costs.
Essentially, he desires a stability through which he can control Palestinian land and people and continue to convince a toothless international community that occupation and violence against Palestinians is necessary for Israeli security.
In this fashion he can achieve his goal of perpetuating the occupation without taking responsibility.
Instead, local powers will bear the blame for the persistent lack of peace, while he devotes himself to expanding normalization with Arab states without the obstacle of the Palestinian cause.
The spirit of defeat
In the long term, Netanyahu aims to engender a spirit of defeat in Palestinians. This will be achieved by wearing Palestinians down in both Gaza and the West Bank through continued excessive force and a multitude of “disciplinary” measures, such as closed borders and checkpoints, segregated roads, home demolitions, collective punishment, and assassinations.
His ideal result: for Palestinians to give up and recognise Israel’s victory, a strategy that American historian Daniel Pipes has dubbed “the victory caucus”.
Israel believes that the key to this victory hinges on the subjugation of Gaza, which is a prelude to the subjugation of the West Bank.
Hamas’s Ismail Haniya with Palestinian Fatah delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmad during a reconciliation meeting in Gaza (AFP)
Israel’s goal is to uproot Gaza from its national context and isolate it in particularly dire living conditions, thereby subjugating the people of the besieged enclave while also communicating to Palestinians everywhere that struggle and resistance are futile.
Furthermore, if Israel can subjugate Gaza with little or no international criticism, especially from the US, then it can do the same in the West Bank.
In the West Bank, the right-wing settler movement is essential to the success of this strategy.
The settlers believe Israel has a historical and religious right to the occupied territory, despite generations of Palestinians living on that land, and they have support from the Trump administration.
A genuine reconciliation
All the while, the UN promotes compensatory discourse, such as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov’s constant warnings against Gaza’s worsening situation.
Such discourse implicitly shows the UN’s failure to counter Israeli policies and practices, as well as a renunciation of international responsibility to recognize and advocate for Palestinian rights.
The recent escalation, like all previous ones, was subdued, but the calm will not last. Netanyahu will rekindle the Gaza front whenever his policies require it, whether to preserve his government coalition or perpetuate division between the West Bank and Gaza in the event of a potential Palestinian rapprochement.
Challenging this cycle of violence and death requires genuine Palestinian reconciliation that empowers the Palestinian people and reinforces their existence on their land.
This should involve all factions coming together to draft a national agenda capable of defying the occupation and resisting Israel’s attempts to oppress and subdue Palestinians.
The agenda should express the demand for the right to a decent life – an outcome that is only possible with the end of the siege and military occupation of Palestinian land and the Palestinian people.
Well, that’s never gonna happen, Talal Ahmad Abu Rokbeh (author of this admirable post). But indeed, right thinking people will keep throwing the proverbial rock at the devil wherever he shows himself if for no other reason than to be on the right side. Ameen.
” We have already shown that there has never been such a misfortune as Zionism and there never will be again. (Introduction to Daas Harabbanim, 1902, p. 22) Imagine how it will be if, G-d forbid, the idea of Zionism becomes a reality. Then the sinners will be kings, the troublemakers will be high officials, and the young snakes will be leaders. Then your enemies will rule over you!” (Introduction to Daas Harabbanim, 102)Rabbi Pinchas Eliyahu Rothenberg,rabbi of Piltz, Russiaf4f4c5 (c. 1902)
Brits are not aware of the centrality of Israel and its interests that is at the core of the Brexit debate.
Britain is in a state of political turmoil. The government and the main opposition party have both lost their way and, together, they have completely lost the trust of the people.
In the last few weeks we have witnessed a landslide exodus from both the Tory and Labour parties to the slightly more rational, principled and patriotic alternatives: the truly conservative wandered to the Brexit Party and the remainers, who previously voted Labour, migrated to the more humane Liberal Democrats.
Brits are critically divided over Brexit. It is fair to say that most do not fully grasp what Brexit is anymore.
They were deliberately not informed of the political discussion over Brexit and what it would mean for the future.
Brits feel betrayed by the political class and in truth, they have been subjected to gross and treacherous treatment by their politicians and media.
Brits are not aware of the centrality of Israel and its interests that is at the core of the Brexit debate.
In February, I published a translation of a Ynet article which reported that Israel had located itself as post-Brexit Britain’s gateway to the world: “Once out of the EU, Britain will have to sign separate trade agreements with each state, and Israel will be the first,” Ynet wrote.
Just to remove any confusion, it added “Israel has become Britain’s strategic ally.”
And of course, “the British government totally disregard the boycott campaign against Israel.
On a political level, they boycotted the boycott.”
Britain under Theresa May has been reduced into a colony of Israel’s.
Brits have become increasingly aware that 80% of their Tory MPs are members of the Conservative Friends of Israel, which is a foreign pressure group dedicated to the interests of another state.
Those who have been puzzled by the insane institutional Israel lobby campaign against Corbyn and the Labour party (BOD, Jewish Chronicle, CAA, etc.) can now figure out what the motivation behind it was: Corbyn in 10 Downing Street might well interfere with Israel’s plans for post-Brexit Britain.
The truth is starting to unveil itself. Theresa May, a staunch Zionist, has been working tirelessly to bring about a Brexit ‘deal.’
The Ynet article suggests that such a deal could work for Israel. Brexit enthusiasts smelled a rat, they could see that May’s Brexit offering didn’t fit with what they had in mind.
But they couldn’t see the full picture since the prominence of Israel in post-Brexit plans was never discussed in the British press.
In September, 2018 Barry Grossman, the Tel Aviv British embassy’s Director of International Trade, used the Ynet platform to explain to Israelis why Brexit is good for Israel.
“Israel and Israelis can reap huge benefits from Brexit,” Grossman wrote. “Since the Brexit referendum, the British government has declared that Israel is one of its priority markets.
The UK is already Israel’s second largest trading partner in the world, and annual trade between the two countries is worth well over $7 billion.”
No one in the British media cared to delve into the significance of Israeli-British relations to Brexit.
The topic has never been mentioned in the British national media.
But remainers are in no better position. They are also clueless about the actual corrosive elements that divide their Kingdom and pull it into chaos.
Corbyn and his dysfunctional party did nothing to clarify the situation.
How is it possible that no one in the Labour Party has been brave enough to touch upon the centrality of Israel in the current Brexit debate?
How is it that, despite the revelation in Israel’s biggest news outlet that Brexit was designed to make Israel great again, not one brave Labour MP, including the so-called ‘leader,’ could say so out loud?
The answer is obvious: like the Conservative party, Labour is an occupied zone.
It is dominated by fear of the Israel lobby, Jewish pressure groups and the compromised and Zionised British media.
This alone is devastating, but unfortunately, the centrality of Israel in the current Brexit crisis goes much deeper.
Though it is clear to most Brits that Brexit exposes a clear rift between an emerging nationalist ideology and progressive philosophy: not many realise that both contemporary nationalism and progressive philosophy are deeply inspired by two rival Jewish political schools of thought.
For Right-wing agitators, the Alt Right, anti-Muslims and anti-immigration activists, Israel and its current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, have become a major source of inspiration.
Similarly, it is Jewish progressive ideology that arouses pro-immigration campaigners, open-borders enthusiasts and multi culturalists globally and especially in the UK and USA.
It is the pervasiveness of Jewish ideologies within both Right-wing nationalist and New Left discourses that sustains the dominance of the Israel lobby and Jewish pressure groups within British political parties, media and academia.
My study of Jewish ID politics suggests that as in America, Britain isn’t just influenced by one Jewish lobby or another, rather the entire British political, cultural and spiritual spectrum has been reduced into an internal Jewish debate.
Brits struggle to see it because their media and academia work tirelessly to conceal this development.
I guess that some must believe that it is safer (for reason to do with public safety and community relations) to keep nations in the dark.
Tommy Robinson, who managed to excite and mobilise thousands of Brits in the run-up to the European Parliament election by spreading an anti-Islam message, is an ardent Zionist who supports Israel and is openly supported by pro-Israel right-wing elements and members of the British Jewish community.
The British media is hostile to Robinson and never misses any opportunity to paint him as a vile racist, but his connections with the Jewish State are kept hidden from the public.
However, Robinson is just an example. The many Brits who support a hard Brexit are inspired by the desire to reinstate rootedness, to close borders, to revive past British glory.
It is inspired by Netanyahu’s policies. Like Donald Trump’s unoriginal promise to erect a wall on the Mexican border, many Brits would like to see their kingdom protected by an Israeli-style anti-migrant barrier.
In my recent book, Being in Time – A Post-Political Manifesto, I stress that while the old, good Left promised to unite us in a fight against capitalism, regardless of our gender, religion, skin colour or ethnicity, it was the New Left that taught us to speak ‘as a’: as a Jew, as Gay, as Black, and so on.
Instead of being one people united in the struggle for justice and equality, within the post-political realm the so-called ‘left’ is pushing us toward endless identity battles.
This has practically managed to turn societies into the twelve tribes of Israel.
The Identitarian revolution was inspired by a few Jewish ideological and philosophical schools including, most importantly, the Frankfurt School.
It is actually Jewish Identitarian philosophy and the success of Jewish Identitarianism that inspires most, if not all, contemporary Identitarian politics.
It is not surprising that it also motivates the contemporary Labour party and dominates the US Democratic Party.
It has been established that a chief funder of the Identitarian revolution is financier George Soros and his Open Society Foundations.
Soros may genuinely believe in the Identitarian future: It is cosmopolitan, it is global, it defies borders and states, but far more significantly, it also functions to divert attention from Wall Street, the City of London and capitalist crimes: as long as Identitarians fight each other, no one bothers to fight Wall Street and corporate tyranny. Soros didn’t invent this strategy. It has long been named ‘divide and conquer.’
British people certainly remember that it was Soros who used the pages of The Guardian to warn Brits of the inevitable implications of Brexit.
They may find themselves wondering why a Hungarian-American globalist financier interfered in their national affairs.
Brits may have been puzzled when the same Guardian castigated Nigel Farage as an ‘anti-Semite’ for referring to Soros as “the biggest danger to the Western World.”
But much more shocking is that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, known for his blunt opposition to banking and capitalism, endorsed a video that attributed ‘antisemitism’ to critics of Soros.
Really important video which spells out the vile and destructive nature of antisemitic conspiracy theories. pic.twitter.com/Nm9xc8j7Vc
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) March 1, 2019
The above shows the depth of the spiritual, cultural and ideological influence of Jewish politics in Britain and in Brexit in particular.
While Israel is the prototype of a nationalist and patriotic system for Brexiters, the remainers who support globalisation, immigration and multiculturalism are emulating the Jewish Diaspora’s rival progressive position.
These two contradictory Jewish schools of thought are deeply entrenched within each of the two opposing ideologies tearing Britain apart.
Soon Brits will have to choose whether they prefer to be nationalists and xenophobes like the Israelis or as cosmopolitan, multicultural and assimilated as the Jewish progressive Diaspora.
Or Britain could choose a third route. The Kingdom can liberate itself by looking inward and deciding what is it about Britain, about its history, culture and heritage that they like and want to reinstate.
BRASILIA –- Jair Bolsonaro became Brazil’s first president to attend an Israel Independence Day ceremony this week.
An ardently pro-Israel Christian, the right-wing politician was honored at a Wednesday event marking Israel’s 71st anniversary at the Israeli embassy in Brasilia, where he received a commemorative plaque.
If Brazil and Venezuela are to survive this dark, dark period, the peoples of these respective great nations must come to terms with the simple fact that it is not merely “Imperialism” which is seeking to destroy their nationalist-socialisms and impose economic neoliberalism on their societies, but International Jewry’s ZIO-IMPERIALISM which is seeking to impose TOTAL neoliberalism on their societies in the political, financial, cultural and even spiritual sectors, hence the blatant “Christian” Zionist surge as of recent.
Resistance on all fronts is the only antidote to this growing poisonous trend, and if it is not fiercely engaged in, as Venezuelan President and Chavez successor Nicolas Maduro is desperately attempting to do now, then the darkness is not only going to continue, but worsen to levels not seen since Guatemala in ’54, Brazil in ’64, Chile in ’73, Argentina in ’76 and in more recent times, Honduras in ’09, ALL PUT TOGETHER. Our full solidarity with the Latin American peoples in the face of Empire Judaica’s storm.* Welcome To Post-Coup Brazil, Where Jews and “Christian” Zionists Run Wild
Amid flourishing ties between Jerusalem and Brasilia, Jair Bolsonaro joins country’s supreme court president and senate president at Israeli embassy event
When Jair Bolsonaro was elected President of Brazil there were people on the nationalist right who lauded him as ‘Brazil’s Trump’ and some kind of ‘Nationalist’.
(1) The problem with that thesis is that Jair Bolsonaro is a man completely beholden not to Brazil’s national interests but to those of Israel.
Bolsonaro is an evangelical Christian along with his wife
(2) and a significant part of his support base are members of the Brazil’s rapidly growing community of evangelical Christians.
(3) – in addition to a significant number of converts to Judaism –
(4) that are indoctrinated by the ‘Israel Right or Wrong’ attitudes of so-called ‘patriotic’ evangelical Christians in the United States.
(5) He also happens to be a friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(6) and has openly prostrated Brazil’s national interests to vote however Israel wants him to on issues regarding the Middle East at the United Nations.
(7) He also claims that Palestine ‘isn’t a state’ and has moved to close the Palestinian embassy in Brazil’s capital of Brasilia on this spurious basis
(8) – which was immediately walked back by his advisers but he is now being pressed to enact it in person by the Israeli Prime Minister
(9) with the latter confident he can force his puppet to do his bidding –
(10) and even Israeli media – such as the leading newspaper ‘Ha’aretz’ – has pointed out that Bolsonaro’s election is a significant boon for Netanyahu’s government given that current Israeli ambassador to Brazil – Danny Dayan – is an Israeli settler and the previous left-wing Brazilian government of Dilma Rousseff refused to recognize him as a result.
(11) Therefore it is no surprise to read ‘World Israel News’ reporting that:
‘To underline Israel’s importance to his supporters, president-elect Bolsonaro has vowed to include the Jewish state on his first presidential trip abroad. He gave his first foreign press interview to the right-leaning Israeli daily Israel Hayom.’
(12) So in effect Bolsonaro not only is to visit Israel first in his presidency – scheduled for March 2019 –
(13) but also gave his first interview as President-Elect to ‘Israel Hayom’ (literally ‘Israel Today’) which is owned by jewish neo-conservative sugar daddy and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and was ghost-edited by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until it was exposed by the questioning of Arnon ‘Noni’ Mozes – owner of the competing Israeli newspaper ‘Yedioth Ahronoth’ – and has been the subject to an ongoing corruption investigation ever since.
(14) Another good example of Bolsonaro attitude is that when he was stabbed in the street while successfully campaigning for election to the presidency.
He refused to be treated by Arab or Muslim doctors and demanded only jewish doctors treat him because ‘he is a Christian’ (15) and Netanyahu attended Bolsonaro’s inauguration in person.
(16) Others are that Bolsonaro has immediately forced through a law requiring that jews in Brazil get every jewish holiday off as if it were a national holiday
(17) and spent millions of taxpayer dollars purchasing drones from corruption scandal plagued IAI (‘Israel Aerospace Industries’) to be used by the Brazilian agricultural sector. (18)
Add to that the fact that Bolsonaro has a Hebrew first name ‘Jair’ – which means ‘To Spread Light’ –
(19) and that his son Brazilian congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro is close to titular ruler of the United States Jared Kushner
(20) and acts as diplomatic back channel between the jewish-dominated US administration of Donald Trump and the incoming Bolsonaro administration in Brazil.
(21) In essence then it is easy to see that despite gaslighting by so-called ‘nationalists’ claiming that Bolsonaro is a ‘nationalist’. The Brazilian President-Elect is a willing agent of the Israeli state not a Brazilian nationalist who wants to put the Brazilian national interest first.
They all gotta go
US-Israeli support for overthrowing Maduro is part of a broader regional agenda targeting Palestinian solidarity.
While various important factors and elements have fueled the dire situation in Venezuela today, Israeli meddling in Latin American affairs is one that is rarely mentioned.
After the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, his successor, Nicolas Maduro, soon faced the challenges of a capsizing economy, hyperinflation, and shortages of medicine and food fueled by low oil prices, despite the country’s massive reserves.
Protests against the worsening socioeconomic situation have led to polarisation and a political stalemate. There are pro- and anti-government camps, with no alternative third option or any hopes for an internal reconciliation.
The emergence of self-declared interim President Juan Guaido, backed by countries including the US, Canada, Australia and Israel – even as the United Nations and Venezuela’s top court and military reject his leadership, while Maduro has called for early elections – begs the question: whose interests is he representing?
Struggle for self-determination
Venezuela’s political chaos has resulted from a combination of the country’s extreme vulnerability as a petro state and the consequences of imperialist policies and endeavours that fuel internal corruption.
But the US-Israeli support for overthrowing Maduro is part of a larger agenda to cement an anti-Palestinian campaign in Latin America at the expense of the Venezuelan people.
Although most Latin American countries supported the UN Partition Plan of 1947, which officially established the state of Israel and led to the Nakba, the region has been broadly friendly to Palestinians, hosting the largest Palestinian presence outside of the Arab world.
Solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination was at its height during the Chavez years up until today, with the leadership making outspoken criticism of Israel’s flagrant violations of international law. Venezuela severed diplomatic ties with Israel in 2009 over its military campaign in Gaza.
The recent UN Palestinian statehood vote, along with Palestine’s broader bid for statehood, has strong support in Latin America, including in Venezuela
The Bolivian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) was founded by Venezuela and Cuba during the Chavez era.
The US and Israel remain the only countries to vote against the annual UN resolution to end the more than half-century blockade against Cuba.
Furthermore, the recent UN vote in favour of Palestinian statehood, along with Palestine’s broader bid for international recognition, has strong support in Latin America, including in Venezuela.
Under the Trump administration, there has been a slow and steady shift to impose anti-Palestinian policies, such as cutting US aid to the UNRWA refugee agency and to the Palestinian Authority, along with introducing the “deal of the century”, which eviscerates any hopes for Palestinian national aspirations.
The Trump administration has empowered the extreme political right, spreading the neo-conservative ideology of Christian Zionism criminals throughout Latin America.
The UN vote to condemn the US embassy relocation to Jerusalem was rejected by Guatemala, Honduras and Brazil all with criminal leaders, amid regional moves to strengthen “security” ties with Israel.
Countries including Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and Ecuador have all recognized Guaido.
The presidents of Argentina, Ecuador, and Venezuela denounced Paraguay’s Lugo’s impeachment as a coup d’etat. In 2009 Honduras was a victim of a coup d’état. The people of Chili are definitely pro-Palestine and have many Palestinian citizens from the Palestine Nakba.
It is extremely telling that the Trump administration selected Elliott Abrams as the new US envoy to Venezuela, reinforcing the notion that the US and Israel see this situation as a perfect opportunity to overthrow Maduro and install a pro-Israel regime in the country.
Elliott Abrams testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington on 9 February 2011 (AFP)
Abrams was convicted for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal, which involved a US-Israeli plan to secretly supply Iran with weapons amid an arms embargo, in the name of freeing hostages. The ultimate purpose was to fund US-backed counterinsurgents and guerrillas fighting socialism or communism.
Abrams was also implicated in massive human rights abuses perpetrated by pro-US regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, and the Nicaraguan Contra rebels in the 1980s, which led to tens of thousands of deaths.
Abrams was later pardoned by the Bush administration and named deputy national security adviser to promote former President George HW Bush’s strategy of “adopting democracy abroad”, which included his role in a failed coup attempt against Chavez.
Abrams is also fiercely pro-Israel and was critical of the Obama administration for deeming settlement expansion in the Palestinian territories to be illegal, making him well-suited for the anti-Palestinian agenda in Latin America.
The direction in which Venezuela is heading does not look promising for the region, especially in relation to Palestinian solidarity, given the Zionist-related meddling, both historical and contemporary.
The successful takeover of Venezuela by pro-US forces will mean the cementing of anti-Palestinian politics through an interventionist policy that erases and “cleanses” Palestine from the region.
The hope lies with the people of Venezuela, civil society and grassroots movements in Latin America. Only time will tell whether they can halt this Israeli-backed project to end Palestinian solidarity on the continent.
As Google has buried deep non-Zionist articles on Palestine because obviously they are trying to hide the history from the newer generations. I am going to bring some back to life from my old posts.
A Report by Brian Johnston, Member of a group from the Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee which visited Palestine in August 2007
Jerusalem , viewed from a distance, looks as if some indignant heave of the land would send it toppling into the precipitous valleys that surround it, fulfilling the biblical promise: ” Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low.”
The city’s streets following irregularly wherever the difficult terrain dictates, recall the other part of that promise: “and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain”.
The city reflects the political divisions of the country at large. The Jewish Quarter exists as an act of violence against the Palestinians.
To dispossess a people, steal their land, demolish their buildings and then complacently inhabit the confiscated space in reciprocal view of the victims requires a carefully cultivated myopia apparent at all levels of Israeli discourse.
The Chief Architect of the District of Jerusalem, Elinoar Barzacchi, after returning from Europe, enthused, “In Rome I lived in the Old City.
In Paris I lived in Montmartre. Here, in the [Jewish] Quarter it looked to me like the most Jerusalemite thing there is, the most authentic, the most multicultural it can be.”
Eyal Weizmann comments, “Rather than a multicultural city centre the Jewish Quarter might better be described as an artificial, ethnically homogenous, gated neighbourhood, whose construction was made possible by the forced displacement of its inhabitants.
|Image of ( tal al rabeea ) in 1928 .. the Israeli entity changed its name to Tel Aviv|
It is a ‘biblical’ theme park, sending out further tentacles of Jewish housing and enclaves and religious study centers into the Muslim Quarter to which it is connected above street level via protected and exclusive roof paths.
The separation of this enclave from its surroundings is further enforced by the fact that all entrances and exits to the Jewish Quarter are guarded by border police, providing access, after body and bag scans, only to Jewish residents/settlers, tourists, and the Israeli army and police .
The “most Jerusalemite thing there is” is a space emptied of its native people. In the Palestinian section of Jerusalem , always under threat as more and more of its land is confiscated and its buildings seized or demolished, people go to work uncertain if their houses will still be standing when they return.
One reason the government gives to justify house demolitions is the lack of a building permit, that costs two thousand dollars and is almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain.
As the householder is not permitted to add to his house on his own land he is forced to build illegally as his family grows.
Then the Caterpillar bulldozers arrive without notice and, even with a family inside the building, begin destruction.
Often, only minutes are given for a family to be made homeless.
In a further sadistic twist, the householder is then exorbitantly billed by the municipality for the cost of the demolition. 18,000 houses in Palestine have been demolished in this way since 1967.
We met with members of the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions who showed us sites of such demolished houses, mounds of rubble where once a whole family lived and its children played. ICAHD’s goal is the Sisyphean task of rebuilding all demolished houses.
“To prevent an alliance between the West and the Arab world, especially with the most important Arab country- Egypt-was (and was to remain) Israel’s main goal. This had nothing to do with Israel’s security.
On the contrary, Ben Gurion’s policy was directed at preventing guarantees from being imposed on the Zionist state by the U.S. . Such guarantees would necessarily imply the achievement of a minimum agreement between Israel and the Arab world (definition of the borders, a “face-saving” solution for the Palestinian refugees).
The basic motivation was also clearly stated: the use of force was “the only way” for Israel to become a hegemonic power in the region, possibly in alliance with the West.
Nasser had to be eliminated not because his regime constituted a danger for Israel, but because an alliance between the West and his prestigious leadership in the third world, and in the Middle East, would inevitably lead to a peace agreement which in turn would cause the Zionist state to be relativized as just one of the region’s national societies.”
- Moshe Sharett and His Personal Diary
- Ben Gurion Goes to Sdeh Boker: Spiritual Retreat as a Tactic
- Retaliation for War
- “A Historical Opportunity” to Occupy Southern Syria
- Let Us Create a Maronite State in Lebanon
- Sacred Terrorism
- The Lavon Affair: Terrorism to Coerce the West
- Nasser: Coexistence with Israel is Possible. Ben Gurion’s Reply: Operation Gaza
- Disperse the Palestinian Refugees
The recently published Personal Diary of Moshe Sharett (Yoman Ishi. Tel Aviv: Ma’ariv, 1979, in Hebrew) now offers a decisive and authoritative contribution to the demystification of the myth of lsrael’s security and its security policies.
Between 1933 and 1948 Sharett guided the foreign relations of the Zionist movement, as head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, and from 1948 to 1956 he was lsrael’s foreign minister. In 1954 and 1955 he was its prime minister as well. The following pages present extracts from Sharett’s diary demonstrating the following points:
1 .The Israeli political /military establishment never seriously believed in an Arab threat to the existence of Israel. On the contrary, it sought and applied every means to exacerbate the dilemma of the Arab regimes after the 1948 war.
The Arab governments were extremely reluctant to engage in any military confrontation with Israel, yet in order to survive they needed to project to their populations and to the exiled Palestinians in their countries some kind of reaction to lsrael’s aggressive policies and continuous acts of harassment.
In other words, the Arab threat was an Israeli-invented myth which for internal and inter-Arab reasons the Arab regimes could not completely deny, though they constantly feared Israeli preparations for a new war.
2. The Israeli political/military establishment aimed at pushing the Arab states into military confrontations which the Israeli leaders were invariably certain of winning. The goal of these confrontations was to modify the balance of power in the region radically, transforming the Zionist state into the major power in the Middle East.
3. In order to achieve this strategic purpose the following tactics were used:
a) Large- and small-scale military operations aimed at civilian populations across the armistice lines, especially in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, then respectively under the control of Jordan and Egypt.
These operations had a double purpose: to terrorize the populations, and to create a permanent destabilization stemming from tensions between the Arab governments and the populations, who felt they were not adequately protected against Israeli aggression.
b) Military operations against Arab military installations in border areas to undermine the morale of the armies and intensify the regimes’ destabilization from inside their military structures.
c) Covert terrorist operations in depth inside the Arab world, used for both espionage and to create fear, tension and instability.
4. lsrael’s achievement of its strategic purpose was to be realized through the following means:
a) New territorial conquests through war. Although the 1949-50 armistice agreements assigned to Israel a territory one-third larger than had the UN partition plan, the Israeli leadership was still not satisfied with the size of the state, the borders of which it had committed itself to respect on the international level.
It sought to recover at least the borders of mandate Palestine. The territorial dimension was considered to be a vital factor in Israel’s transformation into a regional power.
b) Political as well as military efforts to bring about the liquidation of all Arab and Palestinian claims to Palestine through the dispersion of the Palestinian refugees of the 1947-49 war to faraway parts of the Arab world as well as outside the Arab world.
c) Subversive operations designed to dismember the Arab world, defeat the Arab national movement, and create puppet regimes which would gravitate to the regional Israeli power.*
Around 400 Arab towns and villages were depopulated during the 1948 Palestinianexodus.Some places were entirely destroyed and left uninhabitable; others were left with a few hundred residents and were repopulated by Jewish immigrants, then renamed.
The following testimony of a soldier who participated in the occupation of the Palestinian village of Duelma in 1948 is only the most recently disclosed of a long chain of evidence:
Killed between 80 to 100 Arabs, women and children. To kill the children they fractured their heads with sticks. There was not one house without corpses. The men and women of the villages were pushed into houses without food or water.
Then the saboteurs came to dynamite the houses. One commander ordered a soldier to bring two women into a house he was about to blow up. . . . Another soldier prided himself upon having raped an Arab woman before shooting her to death.
Another Arab woman with her newborn baby was made to clean the place for a couple of days, and then they shot her and the baby. Educated and well-mannered commanders who were considered “good guys”. . . became base murderers, and this not in the storm of battle, but as a method of expulsion and extermination. The fewer the Arabs who remain, the better. (quoted in Davar, 9 June 1979)
The claim that is being made is that Palestine has always been homeland of the Jewish people and thus they have an ancient claim to the land. Several of these people would tend to go as far as to say that it was their land until the Muslim invaders conquered it and threw them out.
It is absolutely pathetic for a group of people to lay claim to a land on the sole excuse that several thousands of generations ago, their ancestors used to live there. However, putting that aside, the claim is still inaccurate.
Firstly the people who lived in the land of Palestine were initially the Canaanites who weren’t Jewish. They were invaded by the 12 Hebrew tribes who conquered the land and established the Kingdom of Israel.
This Kingdom was later divided into two kingdoms; Judah and the Kingdom of Israel, both of which were soon afterwards destroyed by the Babylonians and Assyrians respectively (around 500 BC). By then, the Jews were exiled and Jerusalem destroyed.
The Persians later conquered the land and permitted the Jews to return. Persian rule was then replaced by Greek rule and Greek rule was later replaced by Roman rule. It was not until around 600 AD that the Muslims took over the land from the Romans.
Land Promised to the Jews by God
Before the creation of Israel (and it is
arguable that even to this very day) Jews are a minority in the region. So with all due respect, the majority of the population (Muslims) cannot even pretend to care what a God worshiped by a minority promised them.
The Jews Bought the Land
According to the official website of the Jewish National Fund the Jews purchased about 7% of the land of Palestine. The truth is, however, even this 7% is technically not “purchased” in its true meaning of the word since some of these lands were concessions made by the British during their mandate of Palestine in the 1930s.
And even, for the sake of argument, if we take the Zionists for their word and their claims that they purchased alot more lands from the Arabs, that still gives no one the right to establish a state. I own a house in a foreign country, do I have the right to establish my own state with laws and elections within that is completely independent of anyone else?
The Palestinian Jews, Christians and Muslims rejected mass immigration of foreign Jews from the onset. They were ignored by Britain. Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem 1947: “We wish to express our definite opposition to a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.”
The existence of the Zionist entity in the heart of the Arab-Muslim is in itself is strange.
A peace deal devised by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is expected to be released in June, after Ramadan, following repeated United States moves that appear to embolden Israel and hurt the Palestinians.
“If what we read is what is to be expected from this plan, then it seems that the objective of it is not a solution to the conflict, but to give pretext to the Israeli government to annex other portions” of the West Bank, Mansour told a small group of reporters at UN headquarters.
The main outcome of settler colonial projects is a rearrangement of physical spaces and indigenous people – a rearrangement that is neither peaceful nor passive, but constitutes a violent restructuring to make way for a new society with new social and spatial organization.
The Zionist settler colonial project that established the state of Israel in the place of Palestine in 1948 is no different. Zionists expelled 750,000 Palestinians in order to make room for the settler colonialists. 1
One hundred and fifty thousand Palestinians remained on the land, creating a demographic dilemma for the Israeli state. These Palestinians had to be incorporated as citizens but would remain excluded on the basis that they were not Jewish.
In 1967, the colonization of the West Bank and Gaza Strip saw the absorption of more Palestinians, yet rather than annex the territories and grant them citizenship, Israel placed them under military control.
In the early years after 1948, the Israeli state utilized various mechanisms to appropriate land, including legislative measures. Most notable was the Absentees’ Property Law of 1950, followed by the Land Acquisition Law of 1953.
These laws allowed the state to appropriate land and title deeds from refugees on the basis of being absent from the country after November 29, 1947. The legislation was also applied to those who were displaced within the borders of the new state: Rather than recognize these Palestinians as internally displaced persons, Israel referred to them as “present absentees.” Israel’s main justifications – then and now – for seizing the land are the acquisition of it for public use and the preservation of the Jewish character of the state.
This justification was used at the beginning of March 1976, when the Israeli government announced plans to confiscate 20,000 dunums of land under the Developing the Galilee Program for the building of Jewish settlements and military training camps.
The Palestinian mass strike and protests on March 30 mainly took place in six villages in the Galilee that had been placed under curfew – Sakhnin, Arraba, Deir Hanna, Tur’an, Tamra, and Kabul – though they also occurred in the Naqab (Negev) and Wadi Ara. 2 Israeli police met the demonstrations with serious violence, shooting to death the six protestors and injuring hundreds more.
Land Day has become a date in which Palestinians throughout Mandate Palestine as well as in the diaspora organize land-based activities and reiterate their existential relationship with the land. The date also emphasizes the concept of sumud (steadfastness) as an important part of resistance to Israeli settler colonization.
Since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, various “legal” mechanisms and military orders have similarly facilitated the colonization of Palestinian land. These include the expropriation of land in the name of security, in which Israel effectively subverts the Geneva Convention, which allows occupying states to temporarily confiscate land for security reasons.
In this way Israel has seized land for at least 42 settlements, including the bypass roads that connect them to settlements across the Green Line. An equally devious mechanism is the use of an Ottoman and British Mandate law that allows the state to confiscate land for a “public purpose,” despite the fact that the areas seized have habitually been used by Palestinians for centuries for grazing purposes.
The implementation of the Oslo Accords in the early 1990s, which divided the West Bank into Areas A, B and C, furthered the expropriation of Palestinian land. Area C, which makes up 61% of the West Bank, is under full Israeli military control, including control over security and civil affairs.
Israeli policy in Area C is particularly aggressive, serving the needs of 325,000 Israeli settlers while simultaneously disrupting and restricting Palestinian communities.
In the Jordan Valley, which falls under Area C, communities are particularly vulnerable to displacement and theft of ancestral lands. The valley is a strategically important area for Israel, predominantly because it acts as both a buffer zone to Jordan and the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights, but also because of its agricultural richness thanks to its abundant water supply and fertile land.
The construction of the Separation Wall in 2002 also enabled Israel to acquire more West Bank land. Built to separate the West Bank from Israel proper under the guise of Israeli “security,” the wall has laid the foundation for the annexation of many settlements.
By placing the route inside the West Bank and not along the Green Line, Israel has de facto appropriated territory. The wall has separated Palestinians and cut off many agricultural communities from their land, and breaks the geographic contiguity of the West Bank.
Assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte, September, 1948: Count Bernadotte, a UN Peace mediator who had come to the Middle East 1948 to modify the Palestine partition plan in an effort to resolve Arab-Jewish disputes, was also assassinated by the group. The authors of “Israel” are not interested in peace and is not why “Israel” was created.
“Because those who are interested in peace, they will be more balanced, more reasonable. They don’t try to reinvent the wheel, they build on what exists and modify it … But to start from scratch, you throw away everything we have worked on for 25 years.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had vowed in the waning days of a re-election campaign he won on April 9 to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank — a move that likely rallied his right wing base in a tight race.
An Israeli land grab of Jewish settlements there would doubtless trigger condemnation from the Palestinians, who want to create their own state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, all territory Israel captured in 1967.
Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, and peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, have spent the past two years developing a proposal in the hopes of kick-starting dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.
But the Palestinians have refused to talk to US negotiators since Trump decided to shift the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and slash funding for Palestinian refugees.
Mansour said there was “no magic bullet” for Palestinian officials to use on the Trump administration.
“Some in the administration, they think: ‘Yes, what will help peace is break the legs of the Palestinians, break one arm and five teeth, and when they are on the ground they will come crawling to you for anything you offer them’,” Mansour said.
“Those who think that way don’t know the Palestinians.”
Mansour described strong support for the creation of a Palestinian state among Europeans, Russians and at the United Nations, that would see a one-sided Trump administration peace plan rejected internationally.
Any Israeli land grabs in the West Bank would yield a toxic race-based state akin to apartheid South Africa, in which Palestinians would be second-class citizens within Israel’s borders, said Mansour.
If Israel decided “to force a one-state reality, the Palestinian people will accelerate their reproduction machines and increase the number of Palestinians to face apartheid, because there is no name for it but apartheid,” Mansour said.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the head of the world body, secretary-general Antonio Guterres, had not seen a draft of the US peace plan, but said any deal should grant Palestinians their own country.
“The secretary general has met Mr Kushner and Mr Greenblatt on occasion, but as far as I know, no plan has been shared with the secretary general and it is a plan that is coming out of the United States, not out of the United Nations,” Dujarric said.
Kushner, who was a real estate developer before joining his father-in-law in the White House, has said the proposal is not an effort to impose US will on the region. He has not said whether it calls for a two-state solution, a goal of previous peace efforts.
His plan, which has been delayed for a variety of reasons over the past 18 months, has two major components. It will address core political grievances, such as the status of Jerusalem, while seeking to boost the flailing Palestinian economy.
Arab officials and analysts say the plan is likely to be biased towards Israel since the Trump administration has taken a tough line toward Palestinians, cutting off aid and ordering the PLO’s office in Washington shut.
Honduras will receive 1,001 Israeli soldiers to train the country’s army for border protection, fight against drug trafficking, investigation, and “counterterrorism”.
A multilateral military treaty between Honduras, Israel, and the United States will see the deployment of 1000 Israeli soldiers at Honduras. They will train the Armed Forces of Honduras (FFAA) and National Police (PN).
The main mission of the troops is to train for border protection to stop migrants fleeing Honduras to the U.S., especially children.
They also specifically target and assassinate human rights defenders, leaders of women’s rights movements, journalists and members of the oppositional party.
This would be the second time that Honduras is allowing foreign military personnel in the territory and the first time in Israel’s history to send troops abroad.
Apart from border protection, fight against drug trafficking, investigation, and counterterrorism will be offered as well.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I’ve ended payments to Guatemala, to Honduras and to El Salvador. No money goes there anymore. We were giving them $500 million. We were giving them tremendous aid. We stopped payment—to Honduras, to Guatemala and to El Salvador. We were paying them tremendous amounts of money, and we’re not paying them anymore, because they haven’t done a thing for us.
According to local news media El Heraldo, the presence of Israeli soldiers is part of bilateral cooperation between the two countries before Honduras transferred its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Israeli army will share space with the Joint Task Force-Bravo (FTCB) of the U.S. at the Jose Enrique Soto Cano air base in Palmerola.
Honduras also has an agreement of more than a million dollars with Israel in terms of purchasing arms, military equipment, and repowering ships and planes. The 10-year agreement was signed in 2016.
The military training agreement was joined by the U.S. because they have a permanent military base in Palmerola and want Honduras to guard their borders due to an upsurge of migrants going towards the North American nation.
The agreement was discussed between Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during the inauguration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
In Israel’s birth a terrible evil was committed
The following is a speech given on the panel “Exploring Liberation Theology in the Palestinian Struggle” during the International Conference on Palestine held at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs, İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim Üniversitesi, Istanbul Turkey, April 27-29.
Two years ago in Jerusalem, I celebrated the 30th anniversary of my book, Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation.
Though I use the word, “celebrated,” noting that my book is still relevant in our fast moving times, the very relevance of my book occasioned a mourning.
In the decades since its publication regression in Israel-Palestine rather than progress has been the watchword. What has unfolded during these decades is decisive. It has rendered the occupation of Palestine permanent.
It has brought us to the end of ethical Jewish history – from which there will be no return.
When I launched my Jewish Theology of Liberation I was unknown in Israel and elsewhere.
I remember wondering why the audience was overflowing. The atmosphere was tense. Something was in the air. In Jerusalem, I called for a (real) two state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
I called for the Prime Minister of Israel to confess to the Palestinian people the following: “What we, as Jews, have done to you, the Palestinian people, is wrong. What we, as Jews, are doing to you, the Palestinian people, is wrong.
We pledge to you a new beginning. Let us take the road of justice and equality into the future.”
I called for Israel, with the help of Jews around the world, to pay reparations to the Palestinian people. To put it mildly, my words were controversial.
Months after my book launch the Palestinian Uprising began. In 1989, a second edition was issued with a new Epilogue: “The Palestinian Uprising and the Future of the Jewish People.”
During this time I wrote a sequel, published in 1990, with a three part title that still resonates: Beyond Innocence and Redemption: Confronting the Holocaust and Israeli Power: Creating a Moral Future for the Jewish People.
With the Great March of Return and the recent Israeli elections, the thoughts contained in both books remain ingrained in Jewish history, albeit with a terrible twist: Within a permanent occupation, at the end of ethical Jewish history, what is the future for Jews and Palestinians?
My Jewish Theology of Liberation begins with the Exodus narrative.
In the Biblical account, Jewish nationality, culture and religiosity are forged in an act of liberation enacted by a liberating God. For me, though, the Exodus points to a more important fact about Jewish history: that the prophetic, which reappears in the Land, is our Jewish indigenous.
The critique of unjust power, especially within our own community, is the litmus test for the affirmation of God. Put simply: In Jewish life, No justice, No God.
With the creation of the state of Israel the equation of justice and God was already under assault. This is why that, after mentioning the Exodus, I shifted to the contemporary formative event of Jewish history, the Holocaust. Where was God and the prophetic at Auschwitz?
The state of Israel is a response to the twists and turns of European Christian history, culminating in the Holocaust.
Yet in Israel’s birth a terrible evil was committed, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
In Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation, I affirm Jewish empowerment after the Holocaust but question the cost of Israel’s empowerment.
At the same time, I point to an ethical path to redress the wrong done in the creation of Israel.
The first Palestinian Uprising represented the possibility for a reckoning and forward movement. In the decades since, Israel, with the assistance of the Jewish establishment in America and, surprisingly with the help of progressive Jews as well, foreclosed that possibility. Over the years both groups insured there would be no way forward.
A Jewish Theology of Liberation questioned what was occurring in the Jewish community in the United States. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Jewish community was among the most liberal communities in America – on civil and women’s rights and on economic, political and international affairs.
As the 1980s arrived, Jewish liberalism tacked right; neo-conservatism became the hallmark of Jewish thought and commitment. I wondered about this drift and the reasons for it.
Part of my Jewish Theology of Liberation centered on the question: Is the neoconservative drift of the American Jewish community occasioned and furthered by the increasing centrality of the Holocaust and Israel to Jewish identity?
Many of these understandings of Israel and the world come within a consciousness that endures today and is formative. Though highly political in its outward manifestations, it takes on an ultimate concern, one might say a theological one. In a Jewish Theology of Liberation, I identify this consciousness as Holocaust Theology.
Holocaust Theology begins in the 1960s and solidifies after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Whether justified or not, large parts of the Jewish world felt in the weeks before the 1967 war that the very existence of Israel was on the line.
Many Jews feared that if Israel was defeated, Jews in Israel would be annihilated; a second Holocaust would occur.
Thus Israel’s swift victory in the war seemed to some more than a military victory. Those, like Elie Wiesel, who experienced the Holocaust and feared another one, rejoiced.
For Wiesel, victory in the 1967 war was a miracle in the making, especially after he with other Jews felt that the world, indeed God, had abandoned Jews during the Holocaust.
Could Israel’s victory in the 1967 war be a redemptive response to the Holocaust?
Emil Fackenheim, himself briefly imprisoned during the war years, posited a new commandment in relation to the 1967 war, a commandment which he believed issued from the “Commanding Voice of Auschwitz” rather than the “Commanding Voice of Sinai” – “Thou Salt Not Grant Hitler Posthumous Victories.”
Elie Wiesel saw Israel’s victory as fueled less by its military might than by the victims of the Holocaust who, in his mind, pressed Israel’s forces to victory.
Holocaust Theology became the introduction to my Jewish Theology of Liberation for a variety of political and religious reasons, though mostly because it presaged a deep identity shift within the Jewish people as a whole.
Though controversial then and now, Holocaust Theology speaks to a people brutally assaulted, humiliated, maimed and murdered in Europe during the Nazi years. It speaks to the survival of an ancient people and tradition.
At least initially, Holocaust Theology also carried warnings about the misuse of the power Jews needed and had acquired, though mostly in the abstract and under a maximum definition of self-defense.
Holocaust Theology does not acknowledge what Jews initially did on the Palestinian people in the creation of Israel.
Nor does it address the injustice Israel continues to commit against the Palestinian people under a variety of forms of occupation.
For the most part, Holocaust Theology renders the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Palestinians themselves invisible.
Israel is a Jewish drama of innocence and redemption. When visible, Holocaust theologians define Palestinians as challenging the need for Jewish empowerment and, worse, actively opposing it.
Holocaust theologians do not understand the reasons Palestinians oppose Jewish power except to declare that Palestinians have a deep animus toward Jews and Jewish history.
Within Holocaust Theology, Jews who argue with Israel’s empowerment, or parts thereof, are painted with a similar brush.
In Holocaust Theology, Palestinians are mostly seen as anti-Semites. Jews who argue with Israel’s use of power against Palestinians are defined as self-hating.
The Interfaith Ecumenical Deal that emerges from the dialogue between Jews and Christians after the Holocaust was important in the early days of a Jewish Theology of Liberation. After the Holocaust, Jews instructed Christians to clean up their anti-Jewish theology.
Many Christians wanted to do just that. Part of the dialogue, insisted by Jews, was that Christians accept Jewish self-definition. This includes Israel as central to Jewish life.
And more, Jews in the dialogue insist Christians accept the centrality of Israel to Jews as the main vehicle of repentance for their sin of anti-Semitism.
To further this understanding and imbue it with theological significance, Christians developed a Christian Holocaust Theology.
In Christian Holocaust Theology, Christians and the Christian covenant are dependent on their Jewish forerunners and Jewish empowerment, especially in Israel.
Since Jewish Holocaust Theology sees Jews as innocent in suffering and empowerment, including in the creation and maintenance of the state of Israel, any criticism of Israel vis-a-vis Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is deemed a return to anti-Semitism.
Quite soon after the 1967 war, the Jewish-Christian dialogue morphed into the Interfaith Ecumenical Deal. In this deal, Christian repentance for the sins of anti-Semitism is assured by Christian silence on the plight of Palestinians.
As with Jewish Holocaust Theology, Christian Holocaust Theology and the Interfaith Ecumenical Deal has a deep and abiding political impact in Europe, the site of the Holocaust, and in the United States, where an increasingly empowered Jewish community demands Israel be most favorably set apart in American foreign policy.
Combined with the rise of Evangelical Christianity in America and in different parts of the world over the last decades, the concerted effort to suppress the indigenous Jewish prophetic becomes obvious.
Jewish Holocaust Theology is explicit on this point with a logic spelled out in the following way: “The Jewish prophetic turned inward threatens the empowerment of Jews, especially in Israel; Taken to its final demand for justice for the aggrieved, in this case Palestinian freedom, the Jewish prophetic threatens the very existence of Israel; In so doing, the Jewish prophetic, intentionally or not, lays the groundwork for a second Holocaust.”
Yet in its inception, and against the odds, a Jewish Theology of Liberation recognized and was part of the revival of the Jewish prophetic precisely on the point Jewish Holocaust Theology feared most: Israel’s unjust power wielded against the Palestinian people.
Though Israel’s invasion of Lebanon and the crushing of the Palestinian Uprising in the 1980s mark the beginnings of this fracture in Jewish consciousness, it was during and after the second uprising in 2000 and beyond that a final prophetic break occurred.
The initial division between what I have called Constantinian Jews or, if you prefer, Empire Jews, and Progressive Jews, occurred within the second Palestinian Uprising. Progressive Jews criticized the Jewish establishment with regard to Palestinians.
Yet the criticism was often paternalistic toward Palestinians and critical of Jews who see the crisis in Israel-Palestine more critically. The second Palestinian Uprising confirmed that Progressive Jews essentially functioned as the Left-wing of Constantinian Judaism.
A third group of Jews, Jews of Conscience, realized that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is permanently imbedded in Israeli and Jewish life. Jews of Conscience understand that the Constantinian-Progressive Jewish axis is complicit in an injustice that will continue.
Only by refusing this axis can Jews and Palestinians be saved from a future characterized by a permanent occupation and, by definition, the end of ethical Jewish history.
If we fast forward to the present, the continuing relevance of a Jewish Theology of Liberation becomes clear. In writings since 1987, I have narrated the failure of Israel and the Jewish establishments in America and elsewhere. As well, I have narrated the explosion of Jewish prophetic movements over the last decades.
Attempts at detailing and expanding a Jewish Theology of Liberation are ongoing and include critical historical analysis of Israel’s founding, the importance of international law, the expanding BDS movement and questions about the coloniality of Israel and Jewish life.
Though all have their importance, they make sense only in the broader framework that a Jewish Theology of Liberation provides. The central question I raised more than thirty years ago remains: Has Jewish empowerment in Israel and elsewhere empowered Jews? Or has the abuse of that empowerment enslaved Jews in and outside of Israel?
I speak as Passover comes to an end. But this year, as a Jewish Theology of Liberation enters its fourth decade, with an occupation that has, in my view, become permanent, I suggested that Passover be, literally, passed over.
In essence, out of conscience, and in light of the situation in Israel-Palestine, especially but not limited to the maiming and murdering of Gazans participating in the Great March of Return, I argued that all attempts at reforming Jewish life, including in the political and religious arenas, should be suspended. Hence my #NoPassover signage in my writing running up to Passover this year.
Just days before Passover and a week or so before I boarded the plane for Istanbul, I read of three young Gazans who attempted to cross back across the border into what is now Israel. All three were shot by Israeli soldiers, then held in Israel.
Ten days later the lifeless body of the 16-year-old, Ishaq Abd al-Mu’ti Eshtawi, from Rafah City, was returned. When I saw the story I wrote in my diary: “The Israeli soldiers carry the wounded Gazan away. His crime? Trying to return home. So they shot him and took him in. Now he’s returned. To his other home. Dead.
I ask: When is silence better than empty words of outrage and deliverance? At least change the subject. Out of respect for the dead and the living. Who tomorrow might be murdered. #NoPassover.”
Sometimes I am asked where would I begin if I were to write a Jewish Theology of Liberation today from scratch. I could not begin with the Exodus, since Jewish liberation cannot be a one-sided affair and, besides, we are now aware of the complications of the Exodus narrative from a variety of perspectives, including Israel’s Biblical entry into the land and the consequences for the native inhabitants.
I could not begin with the Holocaust either, since the Holocaust today functions as a blunt instrument against the aspirations of the Palestinian people and, as well, a blunt instrument against Jews of Conscience who embrace the prophetic.
Israel, of course, has failed to bring the redemption from the Holocaust it initially promised. Just the opposite has occurred. Today, Jews in Israel and beyond are enslaved to an empowerment characterized by ethnic cleansing, occupation and land theft.
As the Jewish philosopher, Hannah Arendt, predicted in the 1940s, the formation of Israel has led to the militarization of Jewish life within and outside the state of Israel.
The post-Holocaust Jewish hope for a demilitarization of the global community has given way to Israel’s free use of violence which, in turn, only encourages threats of violence against it.
A Jewish Theology of Liberation might begin with an addition to Emil Fackenheim’s 614th commandment or, more to the point, the positing of another commandment.
While the 614th commandment represents the resolve for Jewish continuity after the Holocaust, crystallized in an empowered Israel – “Thou Shalt Not Hand Hitler Posthumous Victories” – the 615th Commandment places the desire for Jewish continuity and need for Jewish empowerment in a second after: after the Holocaust and after Israel – and what Israel has done and is doing to the Palestinian people.
The 615th Commandment? “Thou Shalt Not Murder Those Who Resist Your Oppression.”
Fackenheim believed, what with the silence of God during the Holocaust and thus of Sinai, the 614th commandment was issued by the Commanding Voice of Auschwitz. The 615th commandment combines the Commanding Voice of Auschwitz with the Commanding Voice of Palestine.
It is only by hearing and heeding these two voices that Israel, indeed Jews around the world, can move into an ethical future characterized by justice and equality.
It must be noted that everywhere Zionists go in the world, by proxy, everything holy is destroyed. ISIS was instructed to destroy “all that is holy”. THAT, is Zionism.