Fascist Rulers of Israel: Extreme, Extremer,
By Uri Avnery
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, January 22, 2016
Avnery commenting on the Israeli war of aggression on Gaza
Uri Avnery writing on the
Israeli Apartheid Wall built in the Palestinian territory of the
Gaza under Israeli-Egyptian siege for 10 years 2007-2016
Extreme, Extremer, Extremest
well-known, Israel is a "Jewish and democratic state".
That is its
AS FOR Jewish, it's a new
kind of Jewishness, a mutation.
For 2000 years or so, Jews were
known to be wise, clever, peace-loving, humane, progressive, liberal, even
Today, when you hear these attributes, the State of
Israel is not the first name that springs to mind. Far from it.
for "democratic", that was more or less true from the foundation of the
state in 1948 until the Six-day War of 1967, when Israel unfortunately
conquered the West Bank, the Gaza strip, East Jerusalem and the Golan.
And, of course, the Sinai peninsula which was later returned to Egypt.
(I say "more or less" democratic, because there is no completely
democratic state anywhere in the world.)
Since 1967, Israel has
been a hybrid creation – half democratic, half dictatorial. Like an egg
that is half fresh, half rotten.
territories, we should be reminded, consist of at least four different
(a) East Jerusalem,
which was annexed by Israel in 1967 and is now part of Israel's capital
city. Its Palestinian inhabitants have not been accepted as nor applied to
be Israeli citizens. They are mere "inhabitants", devoid of any
(b) The Golan Heights,
formerly a part of Syria, which was annexed by Israel. The few Arab-Druze
inhabitants who remain there are reluctant citizens of Israel.
(c) The Gaza Strip, which is
completely cut off from the world by
Israel and Egypt, acting in collusion. The Israeli navy
cuts it off at sea. The minimum the inhabitants need to survive is allowed
to come through Israel. The late Ariel Sharon removed the few Jewish
settlements from this area, which is not claimed by Israel. Too many Arabs
(d) The West Bank (of the Jordan
river), which the Israeli government and
right-wing Israelis call by their Biblical names "Judea and Samaria", home
of the largest part of the Palestinian people, probably some 3.5 million.
It is there that the main battle is on.
FROM THE first day of the 1967 occupation, right-wing
Israelis were intent on annexing the West Bank to Israel. Under the slogan
"the Whole of Eretz Israel" they launched a campaign for annexing this
entire territory, driving the Palestinian population out and setting up as
many Jewish settlements as possible.
The extremists never hid their intent of “cleansing” this land
entirely of non-Jews and establishing aGreater Israel from the Mediterranean
Sea to the Jordan River.
This is a very difficult
aim to achieve. In 1948, during our so-called "War of Indepedence", Israel
conquered a far larger territory than allotted to it by the United
Nations, but was forgiven. Half the Palestinian population of the country
was driven out or fled. The fait accompli was more or less accepted by the
world because it was achieved by military means in a war started by the
Arab side, and because it happened soon after the Holocaust.
1967, the situation was quite different. The causes of the new war were
disputed, David had turned into Goliath, a world-wide Cold War was on.
Israel's conquests were not recognized, not even by its protector, the US.
In spite of several new Israeli-Arab wars, the end of the Cold War
and many other changes, this situation has not changed.
still calls itself a "Jewish and democratic state". The population in
"Greater Israel" is by now half Jewish and half Arab, with the Arabs
gaining. Israel proper is still more or less democratic.
In the occupied Palestinian territories,
a dictatorial (Israeli) "military government" is in charge, with hundreds
of thousands of Jewish settlers trying to push out the Palestinian Arab
population by all means available, including fraudulent acquisition of
land and terrorism (called "retaliation").
Israel proper, the government belongs to
the extreme Right, with some elements that would be called
"fascist" anywhere else.
The Center and Left are impotent.
The only real political fight is between the
radical Right and the even more radical extreme Right.
THIS WEEK, a furious battle broke out between Binyamin Netanyahu together
with his Minister of Defense, Bogie Ya'alon, both of the Likud Party, and
the Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home
Party. Bennett, a wildly ambitious Rightist, makes no secret of his
intention to replace Netanyahu as soon as possible.
The kind of
language used by the two parties would be considered extreme even if used
between the coalition and the opposition. Between partners of the coalition
government it is, to put it mildly, rather unusual, even in Israel.
Compared to this, the language of the Leader of the Opposition, Yitzhak
Herzog, is practically polite.
Bennett said that Netanyahu and
Ya'alon hawk old and obsolete ideas and suffer from "mental paralysis",
thereby worsening Israel's already shaky standing in the world. Netanyahu
and Ya'alon, a former Kibbutz member and army Chief of Staff, accused
Bennett of stealing. According to them, whenever a good idea is aired in the
cabinet, Bennett runs out of the room and proclaims it as his own. Ya'alon
called Bennett “childish” and “reckless”.
Who is right?
Unfortunately, all of them.
In between stands (or rather sits) the
present army Chief of Staff, Gadi Eizenkot, son of immigrants from Morocco
in spite of his German-sounding name. In Israel, curiously enough, the army
chiefs are generally more moderate than the politicians.
proposed ameliorating the conditions of the Arab population in the occupied
territories, such as allowing the people in Gaza to build a harbor and come
into contact with the world at large. Amazing.
ALL THIS happened at
a conference of so-called security experts where everybody had his or her
The leaders of the opposition parties also took part. Yitzhak
Herzog of Labor, Yair Lapid of the centrist "There is a Future" party and
others had their say, but their speeches were so tedious that they were
reported only for fairness' sake. They grabbed some ideas from here and
there, called it "my plan" - with peace, if mentioned at all, deferred to
the very, very distant future.
Peace, one gathers, is
something nice, the matter dreams are made of. Not something for serious
What remains is a furious fight between the Far Right
and the Even Further Right.
Bennett, a former high-tech
entrepreneur, wears a kippah on his bald head (frankly, I always wonder what
keeps it there, perhaps sheer willpower). He does not hide his conviction
that he must replace the stagnant Netanyahu as soon as possible, for the
good of the nation.
Bennett accused the incompetent political
leadership of failing our brave soldiers and their commanders – an
accusation straight out of Mein Kampf, which is about to appear in Hebrew.
Netanyahu's only possible successor within his Likud party is Ya'alon,
a man devoid of any charisma or political talent. However, to succeed,
Bennett and his Jewish Home party must overtake Likud at the ballot box – a
very difficult thing to do. That's where the kippah comes in - Divine
intervention may be called for.
Speaking about divine intervention:
last week the Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom, criticized
Israel's legal system for having different laws for Jews and Arabs.
Netanyahu reacted sharply, and lo and behold – by sheer accident, a few days
later the Swedish press was full of stories about the corruption of
Wallstrom, who did pay less rent for her government apartment than she
ALL THIS could be amusing, if it did not concern the
future of Israel.
Peace is a dirty word. The end of the occupation
is not in sight. The United (Arab) Party is not even in the picture. The
same (almost) goes for Meretz.
On the left, despair is the synonym of laziness.
There is a mild debate about the idea that only the outside world can save
us from ourselves. This is now propagated by the respected former Director
General of our Foreign Office, Alon Lyel, a very brave ex-official. I don't
believe in this. The idea of running to the Goyim to save the Jews from
themselves is not one to gain wide popularity.
Bennett is right on
one point: stagnation, both mental and practical, is no solution. Things
must move again. I fervently hope that the young generation will give birth
to new forces and new ideas that will push aside Netanyahu, Bennett and
As to our much-lauded democracy: it appears that a group
financed by the government has for years paid a private detective, whose job
was to rifle through the paper baskets of peace activists to obtain
information on human rights and peace associations and personalities.