Archive for April 30th, 2017

Israeli novelist: truth to power

April 30, 2017

Phil Weiss and James North did a nice piece of reporting on Dorit Rabinyan’s publicity tour to the USA. The best-selling israeli writer stunned the israeli Foreign Ministers in Stephen Wise Free Synagogue with her blistering criticism of Israel.

Not reported in the USA or Canada.

Rabinyan’s third novel is a best seller in Israel and it’s a real scandal.


Imagine a love affair between a Israeli Jew and a Palestinian.It’s not possible. It simply can’t be.

Say it isn’r so Dorit! How could you?

Here in Toronto we can’t believe that this stuff is news but in the deeply racist Israel it is a shocker.

The novel was so controversial that the education ministry took it off the curriculum.the reason given in “the only democracy in the Middle East” is that “it would damage Jewish identity by promoting assimilation.”

For those who still romanticize Israel this disgusting racism is a pandemic in Israel and the cornerstone of state policy which is called hafrada or separation. Think the monstrous illegal wall as symptomatic of this racism. The state must keep the Palestinian incubus from infecting Israeli blood. The official policy knows as we in this multicultural city of Toronto know, that people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and religion can live in amity and love with one another simply because we’re human.But Israel like the US south of the 50’s wants segregation.

Living next to the USA and watching Jim Crow segregate African-Americans—and still ghettoize them in all major American cities—turns our stomachs. Watching our first nations shoved to reserves and treated as the Other continues to shame us.

Here’s what the brave Rabinyan said in NYC:

Rabinyan said the book’s message was that “the other” is equal to you, but that message was being fought by an Israeli government of “nationalists who have taken hostage of what we call Israel.”

I get furious when I am being reminded of all those accusations I had to suffer from the Minister of Education himself who had twisted fragments of my book on the 8 o clock news in front of the whole nation and blamed me as being the enemy of the nation, just by humanizing the other, just by redeeming the other from this suffocating sack of generalization that is being done by the government in the past two decades ever since the assassination of Rabin.

Israeli democracy is being shaped by this sorceress and his apprentices. Mr Netanyahu and all this Bennett, Regev, all these stupid apprentices, they follow him and his demagogue rhetoric. And you know, your president, I think he was an apprentice of his as well. Because he has internalized so many of his methods. They have the same sponsor, as you well know. The one responsible for brainwashing Israelis’ minds is an American billionaire. Sheldon Adelson. He is nurturing Bibi’s regime…adelson reportedly gave betwen $25 and $35 million to Trump’s campaign.

Rabinyan said that the education committee that had barred her book from the curriculum was acting at the behest of Bennett, for whom she had choice words:
It was a committee that was very much wanting to please their master. Their master is a religious rightwing propaganda demagogue. I stop here with the adjectives because I go rude.

The main fault of the book in the eyes of the government is that it might encourage identification with Palestinians. And we certainly don’t want that.

And Israel’s leadership knows that once ordinary Israelis who are kept apart from Palestinians actually meets “the other” they will realize what I came to know very early on the playgrounds of my city, there are only fellow human beings who desire the same things I want. But Israel persists in hafrada and that’s why Zionism is dying everywhere.
Rabinyan addressed Aviad Ivri, Israeli consul for cultural affairs in New York who was in the audience.

This government, and you can pass it on, our prime minister had radicalized empathy to that extent that even feeling for the other, even considering the other to be worth being sorry for is considered nowadays in Israel to be a radical action. It’s an unbearable thought. I can see your face! Empathy is our cure– this is the only way we can get free out of this conflict.

The prophetic lives and too often it appears as a New York Jew Paul Simon wrote 50 years ago:

The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls and whispered in the sounds of silence.

The prophetic today once again appeared in the voice of a israeli novelist on April 26 in a New York synagogue.