Israel on its own with its racist policies
In the first issue of Captain Israel the hero/Israel creates an oasis in what was previously “the wilderness”, settles in an “empty land”, and miraculously wins battles against “vastly superior forces” against tremendous odds. It is produced by StandWithUs and distributed round whatever gatherings of young persons it can reach. See Captain Israel: Comic book nationalism at its most stupid
Israel is today at the extreme right end of the political spectrum and is being distanced from the family of enlightened nations.
By Zeev Sternhell, Ha’aretz
November 01, 2013
One weekend last month a thousand members of the French Socialist Party, including cabinet ministers and leading party activists, gathered in Paris to discuss the National Front, a radical right-wing party that, according to recent polls, is expected to significantly increase its electoral strength. The purpose of the conference was to arrive at a profound understanding of the National Front phenomenon and its broad historical and intellectual dimensions, and to create tools for fighting ethnic and racist nationalism.
In light of what is happening today, a simple fact must be understood: The chauvinistic, racist right is an integral part of European culture and is a built-in element in European ethnic and cultural nationalism. Furthermore, it must be understood that the emergence of the chauvinistic, racist right in the 20th century was not just an incidental result of the First World War and the crises that erupted in its wake. Many people are now asking the frightening question: Are we witnessing a return to the 1930s?
An Israeli participating in this conference could not help but compare the situation in Europe with what is happening today in Israel, and could not resist recalling that the last time the Israeli left held a similar discussion was the period immediately following the debacle in the 1977 elections. The Israeli left shuns ideology; it clings to “pragmatism,” which is nothing but crass opportunism, because by being “pragmatic,” it hopes to prove that it is fit to be the ruling party. Second, in failing to vigorously oppose the ethnic, religious and messianic perception of nationhood that is being promoted by the right, the Labor Party’s leftist establishment is actually collaborating with the right.
Graffiti painted in English on a Palestinian girls’ school in Hebron, signed JDL (Jewish Defence League). The JDL was founded by [the very racist and right-wing] Rabbi Meir Kahane in New York City in 1968,and operates in several countries. It has been branded a terrorist organisation by the FBI, and was outlawed by Israel in 1994 for terrrorist atacks. But it still exists and attracts supporters.
In the situation currently prevailing in Europe and Israel, those who do not wage an all-out war on xenophobia and racism are, in effect, making peace with the existence of the most destructive phenomenon in modern history. Ultimately, one must ask whether the current wave of xenophobia is not in principle similar to the anti-Semitism that, in the 1930s, confronted the Jews who lived in western Europe or immigrated there. In other words, is “Islamophobia” today replacing anti-Semitism as a social ill? All of the various groups comprising the European left find this question highly disturbing. Everyone is aware that radical right-wing groups are gaining strength on the European continent – even in countries where the growth of the radical right is surprising, such as Norway, which does not have a high rate of unemployment or poverty and which has a superb welfare system. Many people today are reluctantly admitting that the source of the problem is to be found deep inside European culture and the European concept of organic nationalism.
Jerusalem Day 2013. The new holiday is always an aggressive assertion that Jerusalem has been reunited as the capital of Israel. It is notable as attracting almost exclusively young men and a rise in racist attacks on non-Jews. Photo by Ashernet and published by Stand for Israel. It is on the itinerary of American tourists.
When comparing Europe and Israel in 2013, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that among Western states, the country where the radical right is the most powerful (and is even in power), and where the left is the weakest, is Israel. Here as well, the source of the problem is to be found in the country’s culture, in the concept of the nation as a tribe and in the problematic definition of Jewish identity. It is even harder to avoid the conclusion that the Israeli right – from the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu to Habayit Hayehudi – is very far to the right of Marine Le Pen’s National Front. Compared to most of the cabinet ministers and Knesset members, Le Pen looks like a dangerous leftist.
Israel is today at the extreme rightist end of the political spectrum, and its rightist groups are among the worst and most dangerous of those currently operating in democratic societies, with the exception of neo-Nazi groups. Israel is gradually being distanced from the family of the world’s enlightened nations – by laws being proposed in the Knesset that are founded on openly declared ethnic and national discrimination, and by the oppressive regime in the West Bank.
As in Europe, the key to Israel’s continued survival as an enlightened country is in the hands of the so-called moderate right and in the hands of those who wallow in the mud that is called the political center, such as the leader of the Yesh Atid party, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, and his followers. In a time of crisis, who will they side with and where will Israel’s Labor Party turn to? Will it turn to the hardline nationalists who each day are causing Israeli society to deteriorate, or to the left, which sticks by its principles and fights for them?
Israeli man confronts an African asylum seeker after an anti-African rally in south Tel Aviv, December 31, 2012 . Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
New York Times Solicits Then Rejects Video of Anti-African Racism in Israel
By Rania Khalek, Dispatches from the underclass
October 18, 2013
You can tell a lot about a media outlet by how it covers Israel. A recent case in point is the New York Times.
The Times recently posted a short video entitled, “Free Style In Tel Aviv“, which showcases Israeli hipsters in Jaffa, a Tel Aviv neighborhood with an “eclectic style inspired by the area’s famous flea market.” Of course there’s no mention of Jaffa’s indigenous Palestinian inhabitants who were ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias in 1948 to make room for the Israeli Jews featured in the piece. Nor is there any acknowledgment that ethnic cleansing of Palestinian citizens of Israel continues at a gradual pace to this day, in an atmosphere of violent anti-Arab and anti-African racism that plagues the heart of Israeli culture. But who cares about dispossession when there are funky Israeli hipsters to celebrate, am I right?
Here’s an excerpt from the video (transcribed by Phil Weiss at Mondoweiss):
Omri Aviv. Hipster. “I really love the Jaffa area because it’s funky with a true Israeli look. … funky and authentic.”
Ofir Siman-Tov, on wearing women’s clothes in Jaffa: “This neighborhood is relaxed, chilling, and there’s freedom in the street.”
Tmima Svitelman: “There’s certainly an eclectic style here that I like very much, and I hope they preserve it.”
In stark contrast, The Nation recently posted “Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land,” a short video produced by journalists David Sheen and Max Blumenthal. The mini-documentary reveals Israel’s brutal racism towards African migrants in disturbing scenes of nationalist rallies led by mainstream Israeli politicians proudly declaring their hatred of Africans and leading n-word laden chants demanding “the infiltrators” return to the countries they fled, all in the name of preserving Israel’s Jewish character. This is the Israel that most major US news outlets are loathe to acknowledge.
As it turns out, Sheen and Blumenthal’s video was originally commissioned solicited but ultimately rejected by the New York Times. In an interview with Consortium News, Blumenthal explains how it all went down:
I was asked to submit something by The New York Times op docs, a new section on the website that published short video documentaries. I am known for short video documentaries about the right wing in the US, and extremism in Israel. They solicited a video from me, and when I didn’t produce it in time, they called me for it, saying they wanted it. So I sent them a video I produced with my colleague, David Sheen, an Israeli journalist who is covering the situation of non-Jewish Africans in Israel more extensively than any journalist in the world.