Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, December 2011
Illegal Israeli Settlers Attack their Army Base
By Lawrence Davidson
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 20, 2011
Israeli presence in the Palestinian territories is illegal, according to international law, whether it is the presence of the Israeli occupation army or their fanatic militia, the illegal settlers, who live on stolen Palestinian property.
The Jews go to war (with themselves)
Lawrence Davidson views how Jewish settler racism and violence –
hitherto sanctioned by the Israeli state when exercised against
Palestinians – could escalate into civil war among Jews in Israel, the
United States and Europe.
This was not an exceptional event. The
subsequent indignation over the attack expressed by Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu ("red lines have been crossed") was, as Alex Fishman
writing in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth put it, staged
hypocrisy. The prime minister is certainly aware that for some time there
has been on-going skirmishing between the settlers and government security
forces. Right-wing settlers regularly throw rocks and fire bombs at police
and army vehicles and "physical altercations" between settlers and Israeli
police and soldiers are "almost routine". This is so despite the fact that
the government – both prime minister and Knesset – "either tacitly or
openly" support the settlers. Then why the hatred and why the attacks?
Prime Minister Netanyahu, belatedly noticing an erosion of government authority, has begun to set rules against settler violence when it is directed toward the army and police (but not toward the Palestinians). The New York Times reports that from now on such "radical Israelis" attacking soldiers or policemen will be treated just like "Palestinian militants". That is, they will be "detained for long periods without charge and tried in military courts".
Alas, this new toughness won’t work. For years Israeli governments have
looked the other way as thousands of armed religious fanatics organized
themselves and got stronger and more self-assured. Now, as Adam Keller of
of the Israeli peace bloc Gush Shalom
tells us, "the
golem has turned on its creator". These are the people who
assassinated Yitzhak Rabin. What makes Netanyahu believe that Israel’s
present army, police and courts which, reminiscent of the Weimar Republic,
regularly show sympathy and leniency toward these criminals, are going to
change their attitude on his orders? When a military reporter
asked a brigade
commander if he was prepared to act toward settler hostility in the same
manner as he would Palestinian hostility, he answered "you would not
expect me to open fire on a Jew... I am certain you didn’t mean that."
This climate of internecine hostility contaminates the Jewish diaspora as well. There is no rock throwing or armed men threatening violence, but the hatred is there. Jewish critics of Israeli behavior are categorized as "Israel-haters" or, alternatively, "self-hating Jews". This is often expressed with the same vehemence displayed by Israel’s settler fanatics. And, indeed, those pointing fingers in the U.S. are often supporters of the extremists on the West Bank.
Last week Howard Gutman, the US Ambassador to Belgium, addressed "a group of European Jewish lawyers gathered...to discuss anti-Semitism" Gutman told them that there was now two different kinds of anti-Semitism: a "classic" type that is "directed against Jews for being Jews" and "a newer form" that is a product of "the Israeli-Arab conflict and can therefore be mitigated by reducing Israeli-Palestinian tensions." This is actually a conclusion that was reached by Israel’s Defense Ministry as early as 1994. No matter, when Gutman’s statement became public "the long knives" came out "for another Jewish liberal who committed the sin of stating the uncomfortably obvious truth about a causal relation between Israeli policy and Muslim anti-Semitism."
The Republican Jewish Coalition’s Executive Director Matthew Brooks
revelation "outrageous" and one that "makes excuses for anti-Semitic
hatred and bigotry". Senator Joe Lieberman
remarks "inexcusable" and Representative Gary Ackerman of New York
Gutman himself might be anti-Semitic.
None of this Zionist extremism can be dismissed as a passing phenomenon.
It has been with us too long. In fact it has been with us since 1917 and
the Balfour Declaration. That is when a certain segment of European Jewry
began its obsessive drive to create and maintain a state for one group
only. It was then, and continues to be an inherently racist project.
Ideologies, like Zionism, that support such projects usually reject all
opposition. And opposition from erstwhile members of the in-group is the
very worst because it exposes the false nature of claims of ethnic,
religious or racial solidarity.
Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah & ccun.org.
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