Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
_____________________

BSST

BSST is the leading charity focusing on small-scale grass roots cross community, anti poverty and humanitarian projects in Israel/Palestine
____________________

JfJfP comments


2016:

06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics

2015:

23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo

2014:

15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014

2013:

29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011

_____________________

Posts

Former editor of Maariv says ‘I’m Ashamed of Being Israeli’

tikun-olamAmnon Dankner: ‘I’m Ashamed of Being Israeli’

Richard Silverstein, 11 January 2011

Amnon Danker, former editor of one of Israel’s most popular dailies, Maariv, has written a scathing essay excoriating Israel and the current political situation there.  The terms he uses are savage and unsparing.  It’s rare for such mainstream cultural and media figures to speak in such unconditional terms about the state of latter-day Israeli society.

Here is my translation of the most important passages:

It’s quite clear that if our [national] life continues in the manner it has been evolving, good, moderate, balanced and humane individuals will no longer be able to live here.  Before our very eyes with results that grow every stronger, Israeli society is changing, the political culture is changing.  Checks and balances are violated and are swept to the winds by this awful spirit which blows through our lives and dyes them with an ever-deepening shade of black.

It seems that things that were repressed within the Israeli soul and well-hidden through shame are suddenly bursting forth with a sense of liberation, dancing obscenely in the public square.  It’s now acceptable to be overtly racist and to be proud of it.  It’s acceptable to disparage democracy and be proud of that.  Acceptable to steal and rob and trample on rights when it concerns Arabs.  And acceptable to be proud of this.  There are Knesset members for whom this is one of their specialties and they do it with smiles they don’t even bother to conceal.  There are entire parties whose tenor and tone arouse feelings of horror and terrifying memories [a reference to Nazism].

How is it possible for example that there are people who sat and calculated the needs for feeding children and removed these necessities from the list of products permitted to enter Gaza?  They sat and counted sweets and halva and toys and who the hell knows what else and crossed them out with an “x” and explained to us that this was a critical part of toppling Hamas’ rule.  And we took these wicked fools seriously and put our faith in them.  After what happened with the Marmara we lifted the sweets siege and even permitted the import of coriander into Gaza.  No disaster happened besides that we remained in this great exposed space loitering in front of the gates of Gaza though our own naked, wicked stupidity.

Worst of all is that the this wickedness wears a kippah on its head and is an observant Jew.  His head is bursting with rabbis letters [directing Jews not to rent apartments to Arabs] and books advocating murder [of Arabs, a reference to Sefer HaMelech by a settler rabbi advocating murdering Palestinian children], and racist publications, and pogroms perpetrated on Arab villages, and neo-Nazi expressions in the Knesset.  How it makes the blood boil to hear this stance advocated too many times by one rabbi or another, who truly does us a favor by not quite saying what we’re all really thinking.  That is, that it’s acceptable to think this way and that only for fear of the evil eye we have to quiet ourselves until the day comes when we can say what we really think and then we’ll really stick it to ‘em [the Arabs].

What adds to my sense of depression is the awareness that demographic processes are turning our society more and more religious, more and more racist and venomous, more and more withdrawn and violent.

For a man of my age who wasted serious parts of his life writing in newspapers about these issues, to see that I did all this out of great hope that has come to naught and was based on illusions and naiveté; what happens now is a particular type of bitterness and disillusion.  To see Israeli society change its nature so quickly, becoming something you never thought you’d see outside of nightmares, it breaks your heart.  To begin to feel ashamed at being Israeli, and to know with not a small amount of confidence that such a feeling will grow, it depresses you utterly.

I regret to say that there was a time when such a heartfelt cry moved me to tears, made me proud in a depressing sort of way that there were still Israelis who felt this way, who had a conscience, even if they were a beleaguered minority.  Now, I’m a bit more jaded.  Dankner is, no doubt an important voice, perhaps even an Israeli bellwether.  But there’s been too much “shooting and crying” among Israeli liberals.  This may be more of the same.

Or it really may portend the sort of wake up call that Israelis need to hear.  When the former editor of Israel’s most popular daily newspaper says he’s becoming ashamed of his own country, many may sit up and take notice.  So I give Dankner, Churchill’s famous two and a half cheers.

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.