Israel in deep denial

Denial is not a river in Egypt. It does describe modern day Israel.

Phil Weiss who began the indispensable blog Mondoweiss usually goes to Palestine rather than Israel to check things out and report on them. A rabbi I know calls Mondoweiss “hateful” as it is decidedly non-Zionist. This time Weiss stayed totally in Israel where 20% of the citizens are Palestinian—excuse me “Arabs”–in Israel Palestinians do not exist.

His report is instructive.
This political culture can be frightening. On Jerusalem Day I was in the crowd of Jews entering the Damascus Gate into the Old City and though I saw religious joy, I also saw intolerance and ethnocentrism at every hand. A group of religious men chanted in defiance of the Palestinians surrounding them, “The people of eternity are not afraid of a long path.” An Australian man swigging tequila told me, “Jerusalem is the soul of the Jewish people and it is our capital forever.”

Really, what does Jerusalem have to do with his life down under? Put another way, what kind of lout would brandish a liquor bottle in a militarily occupied Muslim Quarter of a country not his own? And look at the illegal Jewish settlers there. They’ve made a home in the Muslim quarter, and are passing out water.


The Aussie lout

A telling comment here:
Aside from the boorish Aussie lout,Weiss met Itmar who assured him,”There is no occupation,“Because god gave you the land?”
Then there was Yossi Gurvitz:

“All these people are living in denial, This is apartheid. David Ben Gurion warned about apartheid 50 years ago and it has come to pass.I tell anyone under 25 who is here: Flee.”  

A professional army, highly disciplined? Robots.

An Israeli woman police officer lost control with Palestinian women. Evidently this officer was tasked to handle Palestinian women. One woman she slapped when she did not immediately obey an order, two others she also abused. If there was anything like a professional occupying army her commanding officer would have told her to take a break and get out of there, But no; that behavior is condoned. All Israel supports it, more or less consciously. And of course, there is a legal double standard: the cops do nothing to stop the Jewish settlers saying Death to Arabs.


Of course there is always a price to be paid if you are a Jew of Conscience. Weiss:

None of my hosts even acknowledged a heroic action of Palestinian resistance during my visit, the prisoners’ hunger strike for better conditions. There is a complete blocking out of the real conditions of countless subjects of their government.

Phil Weiss like all dissidents has paid a price for his independent thinking, for his ongoing exposure in Israel/Palestine of the horrendous and too long suffering of Palestinians. He wrote that he had lost jobs for his opinions and even his own mother called him vile. This is very tough to take for anybody. How would a Toronto Jew exist as a Phil Weiss? Most, and I could name many high profile members of the community who know what’s going on, but totally evade the obvious. One needs to be absolutely  grounded to take such a prophetic position. Most simply cannot do it. Such a commitment demands major sacrifices in ones life.



Weiss’s conclusion is,” American Jews are all that can save Israel from the ideology that envelops it. That change won’t come from Israelis. I used pseudonyms for my four hosts, Anat, Allon, David, and Itamar, so as to protect their privacy.

Much gratitude to Mondoweiss


1 Comment »

  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    Keep the news coming Ted!
    So many are in denial. I meet many Palestinians who fled years ago and know full well the situation, but are too busy and too disinterested to take any action beyond ignoring it.

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