“[So] the settlers can do whatever they want: build new settlements and enlarge existing ones, ignore the Supreme Court, give orders to the Knesset and the government, attack their “neighbors” whenever they like, kill Arab children who throw stones, uproot olive groves, burn mosques. And their power is growing by leaps and bounds…”
Avnery promises to show, in a future article, how the settlements can be removed…
Uri Avnery in his latest column outlines in his usual witty, ironic style the latest predictable moves from the Israeli political elite: “Minister of Defense Ehud Barak has announced that he is going to ask the US for a grant of another 20 billion dollars… Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu…[announced] that the Israeli army would never ever leave the Jordan valley…” With the Arab masses on the move “We shall have the historic chance to take part in the reshaping of the entire region”. But not, he says, with Netanyahu, Lieberman, Barak, Eli Yishai, Tzipi Livni, Shimon Peres and their ilk. “The stage must be cleared of this whole crop of dwarfs.”
Barak Ravid reports: “The diplomatic policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are harming Israel’s international standing, a senior Israeli diplomat said in his retiring letter on Tuesday, adding that he felt Israel’s declared stance regarding regional peace attempts was aiding in its own delegitimization.” And Gideon Levy finds Israel’s diplomatic corps today “comprised primarily of spineless propagandists void of values or a conscience”.
Uri Avnery writes about the slow but steady deterioration in Israel’s international standing, which is called “delegitimatsia” In Israel. Israel’s standing is indeed sinking, says Avnery, but not because of antisemites or self-hating Jews: “We are sinking, because we are on the wrong side of history.”
“Given Israel’s complaints over the lack of democracy in the Middle East, one would expect it to be encouraged by the winds of change blowing from Algeria, Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, and possibly Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Sudan. But this is not the case.”
Eyal Clyne, Barak Ravid, Zvi Bar’el and Gideon Levy report and ruminate…
Two stories from YNets news tell it all: National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari referred to members of the leftist organizations as “traitors who must be persecuted at any cost”; and Avigdor Lieberman said, “These organizations are terror supporters whose only goal is to weaken the IDF, weaken its resolve to defend the citizens of Israel…”
A further step was taken in the intimidation of Israeli human-rights and peace groups today when a proposal to establish a parliamentary investigatory committee to examine such groups was approved by the Israeli Knesset. Gideon Levy, Jonathan Pollack, Michael Manekin, Avraham Burg, former speaker of the Knesset, and others inveigh against it. And a Jewish Peace News 9 January mailing contains additional devastating critique…
Uri Avnery compares the euphoria in Israel today to that which followed the six-day war in 1967 – until 1973. Today, too, Israel is riding high in every way – economically, in terms of security and politically where “[t]he Israeli government rules Washington DC more firmly than ever”. But, he predicts, pride will have its fall. And, unlike in 1967, “[w]hen the inevitable crisis arrives, world public opinion will no longer be on our side. It will be on the side of the Palestinians.”
Jack Khoury reports: Israeli officials on Tuesday canceled a ceremony planned to honor the Palestinian firemen who assisted in battling the Carmel fire last week, after a number of crew members were refused permits to cross the border…
Uri Avnery writes about the Carmel fire: “What was revealed this week for all to see was a shocking landscape of incompetence and inability, irresponsibility and ass-covering, lack of planning and lack of foresight, lack of ‘staff work’ and lack of coordination between the various government offices. Many years of party corruption have led to a situation where at every crucial point the wrong person occupies the wrong position…”
Since the elections in February 2009, which brought one of the most right-wing government coalitions in the history of Israel to power, a flood of discriminatory legislation has been introduced in the Knesset… This short paper provides a list of 20 main new laws and currently-tabled bills that discriminate against the Palestinian minority in Israel and threaten their rights as citizens of the state, and in some cases harm the rights of Palestinian residents of the OPT.
Dozens of top municipal rabbis, their salaries paid by the state, signed a religious ruling to forbid renting homes to gentiles – a move particularly aimed against Arabs – and defended their decision with the declaration that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews. “Racism originated in the Torah,” said Rabbi Yosef Scheinen, who heads the Ashdod Yeshiva. “The land of Israel is designated for the people of Israel. This is what the Holy One Blessed Be He intended…” Prime Minister Netanyahu harshly condemned them and said such declarations were unacceptable. It will be interesting to see what he does about it…
PLUS: A late addition (posted 12 Dec): Richard Silverstein writes: “I couldn’t have made this up myself if I’d tried: the rabbis of the largely Yemenite city of Rosh Ha-Ayin, including the chief rabbi, declared a ban on hiring Arabs at stores which employ Jewish girls. I swear to you, it’s true…
And the Magnes Zionist writes of the “downhill slide of much of modern orthodox Jewry into what one may call ‘Kahanism lite’.”
The Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) has just published a comprehensive new report: “All-Out War: Israel Against Democracy.” This documents the increasing political persecution of peace and human rights organizations and activists, and describes the connections between the assaults led by Israeli government officials, security forces, courts, journalists, and extreme-right organizations in this well-orchestrated offensive on democracy.
Uri Avnery inveighs against those liberal Zionists, like Shlomo Avineri who sees no fascist tendencies in Israel and the leaders of Peace Now who act, he argues, as fig leaves legitimising Lieberman and the Netanyahu administration.
Noam Sheifaz: “Who leans to the left and who moves to the right? which paper supports Netanyahu and who goes after him?”
A short guide to the subtleties of the Hebrew press
Israel’s official goals with regard to the Gaza strip have been laid bare in a slideshow to the Turkel committee: they include separating the West Bank from Gaza in breach of the Oslo agreement.
Hagai El-Ad, executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, comments on Israel’s sad slide from democracy…
In this posting Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions reviews Israeli policy towards the Palestinians both within the occupied territories and in Israel itself – and the gap between words and deeds.
A sardonic exposure of “The enemies of Israel, [who] we were told, no longer believe that they can destroy Israel by force of arms. Instead, they have adopted a new strategy: to bring about the collapse of Israel by denying its very legitimacy… Shocking as it may sound, the headquarters of the Elders of Anti-Zion is located in Jerusalem…”
• Knesset members, From Kadima to The Kahanists, Signed a bill that says: Boycotting the products Of the settlements Is tantamount to Boycotting the State of Israel, And will be punished. A law that says that The settlements and Israel Are one and the same – Will inevitably intensify The world-wide boycott On the State [...]