Cultural revolution needed in israel

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Here is an editorial (July 9) from Ha’aretz a leading israeli paper.

 

The sentiments expressed would never see the day in a North American paper so terrified are the editors of the Israeli lobby. Read the bilge coming daily from the National Post and from the likes of John Baird our sorry excuse of of a Foreign Affairs Minister.They have never walked in Palestinian shoes, never tasted the bitter herbs of Palestinian life under occupation. It is always “Israel has a right to defend itself” and send missiles into such a concentrated area as Gaza.

 

As Jerry Haber my favourite Orthodox Israeli professor recently wrote yesterday “ And the world? Well, the world reports two things: the number of rockets fired against Israel, and the number of casualties on both sides. Nobody cares that that the firepower that  hits in Gaza in a few days  is more deadly and horrific than what falls in Israel in a few years.
The editorial:
Jewish Hate of Arabs Proves: Israel Must Undergo Cultural Revolution

Abu Khdeir’s murderers are not “Jewish extremists.” They are the descendants and builders of a culture of hate and vengeance that is nurtured and fertilized by the guides of “the Jewish state”: Those for whom every Arab is a bitter enemy, simply because they are Arab; those who were silent at the Beitar Jerusalem games when the team’s fans shouted “death to Arabs” at Arab players; those who call for cleansing the state of its Arab minority, or at least to drive them out of the homes and cities of the Jews.

 

There are no words to describe the horror allegedly done by six Jews to Mohammed Abu Khdeir of Shoafat. Although a gag order bars publication of details of the terrible murder and the identities of its alleged perpetrators, the account of Abu Khdeir’s family — according to which the boy was burned alive — would horrify any mortal. Anyone who is not satisfied with this description, can view the horror movie in which members of Israel’s Border Police are seen brutally beating Tariq Abu Khdeir, the murder victim’s 15-year-old cousin.

 

The Israel Police was quick to label the murderers “Jewish extremists,” meaning they aren’t part of the herd, they are outliers, “wild weeds.” This is the police’s way of trying to justify a sin, to “make the vermin kosher.” But the vermin is huge, and many-legged. It has embraced the soldiers and other young Israelis who overran the social media networks with calls for revenge and with hatred for Arabs. The vermin was welcomed by Knesset members, rabbis and public figures who demanded revenge. Nor did it skip over the prime minister, who declared “Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created.”

 
Abu Khdeir’s murderers are not “Jewish extremists.” They are the descendants and builders of a culture of hate and vengeance that is nurtured and fertilized by the guides of “the Jewish state”: Those for whom every Arab is a bitter enemy, simply because they are Arab; those who were silent at the Beitar Jerusalem games when the team’s fans shouted “death to Arabs” at Arab players; those who call for cleansing the state of its Arab minority, or at least to drive them out of the homes and cities of the Jews.
No less responsible for the murder are those who did not halt, with an iron hand, violence by Israeli soldiers against Palestinian civilians, and who failed to investigate complaints “due to lack of public interest.” The term “Jewish extremists” actually seems more appropriate for the small Jewish minority that is still horrified by these acts of violence and murder. But they too recognize, unfortunately, that they belong to a vengeful, vindictive Jewish tribe whose license to perpetrate horrors is based on the horrors that were done to it.

 

 

Prosecuting the murderers is no longer sufficient. There must be a cultural revolution in Israel. Its political leaders and military officers must recognize this injustice and right it. They must begin raising the next generation, at least, on humanist values, and foster a tolerant public discourse. Without these, the Jewish tribe will not be worthy of its own state.

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13 Comments »

  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    Sad to say it- money is buying Harper’s support of Israel. All about Jewish votes- translated into remaining in political power. No “measured response” from Baird on this fughting – full one sided outright condemnation of the bad guys -Hamas!

  2. 2
    mushafta Says:

    Globe and Mail:
    “The PMO says Harper reiterated Canada’s steadfast support for Israel and its right to defend itself against terror attacks. Both leaders agreed that Hamas must end its targeted attacks on Israeli citizens.”

    Strange. It was Netanyahu who walked away from the peace process. What are an oppressed people to do if their oppressor continually refuses to back down from oppressing them?

    This spiral of violence needs a far greater understanding than this blind, childish, simplistic Harper response.
    There are two sides in this conflict Harper! Not one! How about a statement on Israel’s resolute position of continued oppression of the Palestinian people?

  3. 4

    Thanks for that article, Frank. I am happy Ted is NOT dead. But, his post shows that he is hopelessly one sided. Whatever confirms his prejudice, that’s the truth; whatever challenges it, that’s biased and suspect. Ted is an absolutist par excellence. Unable to engage in a back and forth dialectic towards a more complete grasp of the truth. Although you cannot acquire much learning from these posts of his, overall it is a real education in how cognitive biases work. So for that I am grateful.

  4. 5
    mushafta Says:

    Ted is sticking up for an oppressed people- no different from South African blacks in the ’80s under Apartheid.

    Too bad our media has such an unbiased perspective- the Palestinians have it tough enough!

  5. 6

    You keep sticking up for these “oppressed” people, and just watch what happens when these “oppressed” jihadists become a majority here. Just look at the facts. You are so blinded by your anti-Israel prejudice. You have a need to put everything into these neat categories of oppressed and oppressor. The reality is more complex. Let’s write something on the oppression in Muslim countries, the murder of Christians, the burning of Churches, the hanging of homosexuals, the oppression of women, etc. Let’s see that. But we won’t see that, because you are afraid.

  6. 7

    Every year at about this time, radical Islamic students–aided by radical anti-Israel professors–hold an event they call “Israel Apartheid Week.” During this week, they try to persuade students on campuses around the world to demonize Israel as an apartheid regime. Most students seem to ignore the rantings of these extremists, but some naïve students seem to take them seriously. Some pro-Israel and Jewish students claim that they are intimidated when they try to respond to these untruths. As one who strongly opposes any censorship, my solution is to fight bad speech with good speech, lies with truth and educational malpractice with real education.

    Accordingly, I support a “Middle East Apartheid Education Week” to be held at universities throughout the world. It would be based on the universally accepted human rights principle of “the worst first.” In other words, the worst forms of apartheid being practiced by Middle East nations and entities would be studied and exposed first. Then the apartheid practices of other countries would be studied in order of their seriousness and impact on vulnerable minorities.

    Under this principle, the first country studied would be Saudi Arabia. That tyrannical kingdom practices gender apartheid to an extreme, relegating women to an extremely low status. Indeed, a prominent Saudi Imam recently issued a fatwa declaring that anyone who advocates women working alongside men or otherwise compromises with absolute gender apartheid is subject to execution. The Saudis also practice apartheid based on sexual orientation, executing and imprisoning gay and lesbian Saudis. Finally, Saudi Arabia openly practices religious apartheid. It has special roads for “Muslims only.” It discriminates against Christians, refusing them the right to practice their religion openly. And needless to say, it doesn’t allow Jews the right to live in Saudi Arabia, to own property or even (with limited exceptions) to enter the country. Now that’s apartheid with a vengeance.

    The second entity on any apartheid list would be Hamas, which is the de facto government of the Gaza Strip. Hamas too discriminates openly against women, gays, Christians. It permits no dissent, no free speech, and no freedom of religion.

    Every single Middle East country practices these forms of apartheid to one degree or another. Consider the most “liberal” and pro-American nation in the area, namely Jordan. The Kingdom of Jordan, which the King himself admits is not a democracy, has a law on its books forbidding Jews from becoming citizens or owning land. Despite the efforts of its progressive Queen, women are still de facto subordinate in virtually all aspects of Jordanian life.

    Iran, of course, practices no discrimination against gays, because its President has assured us that there are no gays in Iran. In Pakistan, Sikhs have been executed for refusing to convert to Islam, and throughout the Middle East, honor killings of women are practiced, often with a wink and a nod from the religious and secular authorities.

    Every Muslim country in the Middle East has a single, established religion, namely Islam, and makes no pretense of affording religious equality to members of other faiths. That is a brief review of some, but certainly not all, apartheid practices in the Middle East.

    Now let’s turn to Israel. The secular Jewish state of Israel recognizes fully the rights of Christians and Muslims and prohibits any discrimination based on religion (except against Conservative and Reform Jews, but that’s another story!) Muslim and Christian citizens of Israel (of which there are more than a million) have the right to vote and have elected members of the Knesset, some of whom even oppose Israel’s right to exist. There is an Arab member of the Supreme Court, an Arab member of the Cabinet and numerous Israeli Arabs in important positions in businesses, universities and the cultural life of the nation. A couple of years ago I attended a concert at the Jerusalem YMCA at which Daniel Barrenboim conducted a mixed orchestra of Israeli and Palestinian musicians. There was a mixed audience of Israelis and Palestinians, and the man sitting next to me was an Israeli Arab, who is the culture minister of the State of Israel. Can anyone imagine that kind of concert having taking place in apartheid South Africa, or in apartheid Saudi Arabia?

    There is complete freedom of dissent in Israel and it is practiced vigorously by Muslims, Christians and Jews alike. And Israel is a vibrant democracy.

    What is true of Israel proper, including Israeli Arab areas, is not true of the occupied territories. Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza several years ago, only to be attacked by Hamas rockets. Israel maintains its occupation of the West Bank only because the Palestinians walked away from a generous offer of statehood on 97% of the West Bank, with its capital in Jerusalem and with a $35 billion compensation package for refugees. Had it accepted that offer by President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak, there would be a Palestinian state in the West Bank. There would be no separation barrier. There would be no roads restricted to Israeli citizens (Jews, Arabs and Christians.) And there would be no civilian settlements. I have long opposed civilian settlements in the West Bank, as many, perhaps most Israelis, do. But to call an occupation, which continues because of the refusal of the Palestinians to accept the two-state solution, “Apartheid” is to misuse that word. As those of us who fought in the actual struggle of apartheid well understand, there is no comparison between what happened in South Africa and what is now taking place on the West Bank. As Congressman John Conyors, who helped found the congressional Black caucus, well put it:

    “[Applying the word “Apartheid” to Israel] does not serve the cause of peace, and the use of it against the Jewish people in particular, who have been victims of the worst kind of discrimination, discrimination resulting in death, is offensive and wrong.”

    The current “Israel Apartheid Week” on universities around the world, by focusing only on the imperfections of the Middle East’s sole democracy, is carefully designed to cover up far more serious problems of real apartheid in Arab and Muslim nations. The question is why do so many students identify with regimes that denigrate women, gays, non-Muslims, dissenters, environmentalists and human rights advocates, while demonizing a democratic regime that grants equal rights to women (the chief justice and speaker of the Parliament of Israel are women), gays (there are openly gay generals in the Israeli Army), non-Jews (Muslims and Christians serve in high positions in Israel) and dissenters, (virtually all Israelis dissent about something). Israel has the best environmental record in the Middle East, it exports more life saving medical technology than any country in the region and it has sacrificed more for peace than any country in the Middle East. Yet on many college campuses democratic, egalitarian Israel is a pariah, while sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, terrorist Hamas is a champion. There is something very wrong with this picture.

    Alan Dershowitz

  7. 8
    mushafta Says:

    Jimmy Carter’s book “Israel, Palestine, Peace and Apartheid” describes the situation WORSE than South Africa!
    Take a look:

    “The book describes the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine’s citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank. An enormous imprisonment wall is now under construction, snaking through what is left of Palestine, to encompass more and more land for Israeli settlers. In many ways, this is more oppressive than what black people lived under in South Africa during apartheid. I have made it clear that the motivation is not racism but the desire of a minority of Israelis to confiscate and colonise choice sites in Palestine, and then to forcefully suppress any objections from the displaced citizens. Obviously, I condemn acts of terrorism or violence against innocent civilians, and I present information about the casualties on both sides.”

  8. 9

    Ah, but you are so out of date. Alan Dershowitz kicked the living crap out of that book, refuted it entirely in his series of book on Israel. Dershowitz argues like a lawyer, a careful lawyer who gathers all his evidence and exposes the lie. He so thoroughly refuted Carter, actually showed that he’s a liar–because he knows that what he says in certain sections of his book are not true. Have a look, your local public library will have the books: The Case for Israel and The Case Against Israel’s Enemies. If you are interested in the truth, you’ll check it out. If you are an ideologue, like Ted, you won’t bother. It is emotionally satisfying to remain in the safe zone of clarity and certainty, even if they are delusions.

  9. 10
    mushafta Says:

    Israel’s behaviour to Palestinians has been unmerciful. Are you saying the United Nations condemnation of Israel for its treatment of this region over the years is also unjustified? The purpose of any blog is to express opinion. I happen to agree with Ted on this topic. You also are entitled to your opinion. But your attempt to ram it down my throat in the face of concrete physical evidence of bombings of civilian Palestinians simply destroys your argument. The violence on both sides needs to be condemned. But please, don’t give me this silly nonsense about the innocence of Israel!

  10. 11

    No one is saying Israel is innocent. Only Ted thinks in those simple categories. But did you read the links above? Why did the Palestinians keep rejecting all these offers from Israel? There would be a Palestinian state today if they accepted the offer of 97% of the Gaza Strip. The entire history of Israel’s offers is mind boggling. The Palestinians kept rejecting the offers, which were far better the farther we go into the past. You just don’t understand the mind of the Muslim radical and their hatred for Israel. You think that these are an oppressed people who want peace, who want peaceful co-existence, who are just angry at injustice, and if Israel would just get its act together, there would be peace. No, that’s the wrong paradigm. That’s an illusion. That’s what you don’t get. That’s called projection. If only that were true. If only! But it is not true. You don’t understand these people. George Bush did not understand these people, he did not understand Iraq–nobody did, except Sadaam Hussein. We understand westerners. But we don’t understand these people, we think they are just like us. They want to destroy Israel, wipe it off the map. Not because they are victims of injustice. Anything short of total destruction of Israel is unacceptable. You just don’t get that. And I understand that. The neat categories of oppressed and oppressor are easy to understand, easy to make sense out of a complex world, and having “made sense” of something is satisfying. But it is delusional. Lots of things make sense, but making sense is not the same as being true. This is why science is so important. Any researcher in medicine knows that a hypothesis is a possibility, not a necessity. All possible hypotheses make sense, but only one is true. Your neat categories or your model through which you interpret the Middle East helps you make sense out of things, but it is a false model. Read Dershowitz’ book. He’s a Harvard Law professor, a pre-eminent lawyer and scholar who is so meticulous with his sources. You cannot say that about Carter. Carter is a politician.

    In any case, when are we going to hear something about the oppression in countries like Iran or Saudi Arabia? Don’t you wonder why Ted focuses on Israel? Doesn’t that ever occur to you? Isn’t that a question that is staring you in the face, screaming for a reply? Isn’t the answer: “Because it is safer”? Israel is a safer target. We can still think within our simple Marxist categories, our Marxist paradigm, still see the world in terms of the neat division between oppressor and oppressed, victim and aggressor, ignore the injustices of the Arabs, and just focus on Israel, they won’t come after us, they are peace loving. I knew of a principal who was like that. The thugs of the school, the drug dealers, the bullies, the ones without a conscience, would get away with all sorts of injustices, and everyone knew that this principal was weak and had no guts to do anything. But if you were a great student, a real leader, and you got into trouble, watch out pal. The principal was unyielding and tough. Why? Because you were a safer target. He knew you wouldn’t slash his tires or stick a knife in his side.

    Why don’t you post something on Saudi oil? Why are we supporting an oppressive regime with imported oil? Or a post on the Muslim treatment of women? Why not? We all hate injustice and oppression.

    If you were to do some unbiased research, my dear mushafta, you’d begin to see Ted for who he really is: a charlatan. I promise you, you would, and it would be a freeing experience for you. What do you got to lose? Give it a try. Read what Dershowitz has to say and if you still feel that Ted is right, great. I respect that.

  11. 12

    Another interesting analysis:

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/07/12/israels-quandary-hamas-probably-weak-enough-to-eradicate-but-whoever-takes-their-place-will-likely-be-worse/?__federated=1

    Let’s have a discussion piece on the idea of an Islamic state vs the separation of state and religion.

    Let’s have a discussion piece on excessive modesty or the oppression of homosexuals in Middle Eastern countries.

  12. […] και τεράστιο. [Δείτε π.χ. το σχετικό άρθρο της Haaretz "Jewish Hate of Arabs Proves: Israel Must Undergo Cultural Revolution" (σε άλλο site, όχι στη Haaretz, διότι εκεί το άρθρο είναι […]


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