Palestine/Israel Apartheid News: 7/20/11: It’s apartheid– Desmond Tutu endorses TIAA-CREF divestment project

INDEX (stories follow)

Watch the body language of the IOF soldier, see if it reminds you of anything, or arouses any special feelings. It’s a short clip.

I have no doubt that Palestinians will be victorious, sooner than later

from Mondoweiss by Seham

Officer points loaded weapon into face of Palestinian, Palestinian does not back down.

PopoutMore from Haaretz:

According to B’Tselem, a human rights organization that uploaded the video, on June 18 IDF forces came to arrest a youth from the village for allegedly throwing stones when his cousin stopped the IDF officer to try to prevent the arrest.

The video shows the IDF officer, a First Lieutenant, shouting and pushing the Palestinian man and then immediately cocking his loaded gun into the man’s face. When the man continued to fight with him, the IDF officer again pointed the gun at him.


EVENTS

It’s apartheid– Desmond Tutu endorses TIAA-CREF divestment project in N.C. newspaper

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

In the British press, Israeli general warns of unchecked ‘Jewish terror’ in W.B.

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

Knesset Stifles Voice of Israeli-Palestinian MK

Israel seizes last flotilla boat in int’l waters 40 miles from Gaza

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

Zionists panick over possible loss of Murdoch

from Jews sans frontieres by Levi9909

Destination? Gaza!: The Freedom Flotilla II meets the Israeli military

from Mondoweiss by Steve Fake

Would the South be free if Freedom Riders had experienced a media blackout in the north?

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

Pro-Israel myopia on Murdoch

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

Murdoch on Gaza

HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Israel ‘maintains an apartheid regime,’ Israeli general says in ‘Haaretz’

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss
ZIONISM = RACISM
HISTORY & ANALYSIS

Turkish Jews say that when Israel does bad stuff, they get blamed as ‘Israelites’

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

Being Jewish in Turkey, before and after the Mavi Marmara (part 1 of 2)

from Max Blumenthal by Max

Being Jewish in Turkey, before and after the Mavi Marmara (part 2 of 2)

from Max Blumenthal by Max

Mead consecrates Jewish nationalism and American nationalism on the rock of anti-Semitism

from Mondoweiss by Jack Ross

An American tours Israel, looking for the Palestine his father never knew

from Mondoweiss by Boulos

The Israeli movie “Lebanon”: How the Israeli terrorists feel bad when they kill and commit massacres and why you should feel bad for Israeli war criminals

Headlines for July 20, 2011

EVENTS

It’s apartheid– Desmond Tutu endorses TIAA-CREF divestment project in N.C. newspaper

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

Have you noticed that the boycott movement is largely ignored by the mainstream American press? The nonviolent movement to bring human rights to Palestine– overlooked. The new Israeli law against boycott advocacy may thaw this policy. Desmond Tutu got a piece into the Charlotte Observer this past weekend endorsing the Jewish Voice for Peace initiative! It has some great strong facts in it, probably new to his readers? Excerpts:

I, for one, never tire of speaking out against these injustices, because they remind me only too well of what we in South Africa experienced under the racist system of apartheid. I have witnessed firsthand the racially segregated roads and housing in the Occupied Palestinian territories. I have seen the humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children at the checkpoints and roadblocks. I have met Palestinians who were evicted and replaced by Jewish Israeli settlers; Palestinians whose homes were destroyed even as new, Jewish-only homes were illegally built on confiscated Palestinian land.

This oppression, these indignities and the resulting anger are only too familiar. It is no wonder that so many South African leaders in the anti-apartheid struggle, including Nelson Mandela and numerous Jewish leaders, have found ourselves compelled to speak out on this issue.

Though the situation deteriorates daily, I am not without hope. ..

More than two decades later, another wave of divestment has emerged, this time with the goal of ending Israel’s 44-year-old occupation and its unequal treatment of the Palestinians.

The TIAA-CREF campaign is important because it is one of the most broad-based divestment efforts in the U.S.: thousands of professors, doctors, students, and many other people of conscience are coming forward demanding that the suffering of the Palestinians not be ignored in the company’s bottom line. The campaign originated with a call from the American group Jewish Voice for Peace, whose members understand that ending the occupation means a better future for both Israelis and Palestinians…

In the British press, Israeli general warns of unchecked ‘Jewish terror’ in W.B.

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

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In the Independent. Catrina Stewart reporting. Is this in the New York Times? Why isn’t it on the front page. For as the Independent tells us, these are the people, the settlers, who have pwn’d Barack Obama:

A senior Israeli army commander [Major General Avi Mizrahi] has warned that unchecked “Jewish terror” against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank threatens to plunge the territory into another conflict…

Some fear that the surge in violent attacks against Palestinians could compound rising frustrations with the stalled peace process and trigger more violent riots.

“The army is very afraid that [action by settlers] at a critical moment could set off a Third Intifada,” said Adam Keller, spokesman for Israeli human rights body Gush Shalom, referring to a mass Palestinian uprising.

“The fact that the army is nervous is making the settlers more aggressive,” he said

Knesset Stifles Voice of Israeli-Palestinian MK

from Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place by Richard Silverstein

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haneen zoabi knessetYisrael Beiteinu thug assaults Zoabi on Knesset rostrum during debate last year on Gaza flotilla (David Vaknin-AP)

The Only Democracy in the Middle East is once again showing its true colors by further stripping parliamentary privileges from its only female Israeli-Palestinian member, Haneen Zoabi.  As a result of Knesset action today, she will no longer be allowed to address the Knesset or vote in committee debates.

Last year, the lovers of democracy in the Knesset stripped her of her diplomatic passport, financial assistance for legal support she might require (and believe me, Israeli Palestinian MKs need tons of such support because they are under continual investigation by the Shabak), and the right to visit countries having no relations with Israel (cf. virtually all Arab countries).

To think all these wonderful new developments were brought to us by the Knesset “Ethics” committee.  It’s like Alice in Wonderland where the White Rabbit tells Alice that a word means exactly what he wants it to mean regardless of what its real meaning is.  In the rest of the sane world this would be considered a travesty of ethics.  In Israel, it represents the epitome of ethics. If this isn’t a climb down the rabbit hole, I don’t know what is.

This is all a punishment for Zoabi exercising her parliamentary and citizen’s rights to oppose Israel’s siege of Gaza by sailing on the Mavi Marmara last year.  Interesting that some of my readers, when I protested against her being pilloried in Knesset and physically attacked by right wing MKs, they pooh-poohed my concerns and said I was making a mountain out of a molehill.  Now I say, “right back at ya fellas.”  What the Likud dominated Knesset is doing is a slow auto da fe of Zoabi’s democratic rights as a member.  It is shameful.  It is anti-democratic.  But alas it is entirely typical of latter day Israel.  Or at least its political system.

Who wishes out there to claim that Israel is a democracy?  That it treats its Arabs well?  I dare you to try to address this outrage in any meaningful way short of admitting it’s a travesty of justice and democracy.

Israel seizes last flotilla boat in int’l waters 40 miles from Gaza

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

PopoutFrom the US Boat to Gaza:

Earlier today, the Israeli navy took control of the one boat from Freedom Flotilla II that had made it into international waters on their way to Gaza. The French-flagged boat – Dignite/Al Karama – carried 16 people from France, Canada, Greece, Sweden and Tunisia. They were stopped about 40 miles away from Gaza and after several hours the Israelis took control of the boat, bringing it to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

There are no reports of any injuries and we have heard the passengers were being arrested. We do not yet know how long they will be detained or what will happen to the boat.

We urge you to contact the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC to call for the immediate release of these people. And – most importantly – we must call on the Israeli government to end the siege and blockade of Gaza, and to treat the people of Palestine in compliance with international law!

Zionists panick over possible loss of Murdoch

from Jews sans frontieres by Levi9909

I thought the Jewish Chronicle might be a lone Jewish voice so lacking a moral compass that they are panicking out loud over the possible demise of the Murdoch empire.

Anyone following the way Israel is portrayed here in Britain will be concerned. Murdoch’s publications (from time to time, at least) provide rare counter blasts against the prevailing winds of anti-Israeli hostility. His commitment to Israel is resolute. In a speech last year to the Anti-Defamation League he spoke of “the disturbing new home that antisemitism has found in polite society – especially in Europe”, and of “an ongoing war against the Jews”.
As long as Rupert is at the helm, The Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun are safe from the anti-Zionist consensus.

Anti-zionist consensus in the UK media? Wow!

But it’s not just here. Yanks and aussies are worried too. Here’s Ron Kampeas on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency website:

“His publications and media have proven to be fairer on the issue of Israel than the rest of the media,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “I hope that won’t be impacted.”

And for Australia:

Murdoch’s affection for Israel arose less out of his conservative sensibility than from his native Australian sympathy for the underdog fending off elites seized by conventional wisdoms, according to Isi Liebler, a longtime Australian Jewish community leader who now lives in Israel.

There’s something grotesque about the way these zionist Jewish leaders can only worry about how the discomfiture of such a repulsive character affects Israel.



     

Destination? Gaza!: The Freedom Flotilla II meets the Israeli military

from Mondoweiss by Steve Fake

The French-flagged ship, Dignité – al Karama, was halted by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) en route to the shores of Gaza this morning. The small vessel was boarded and reportedly towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod. There were 16 people on the boat, with French, Greek, Tunisian, Canadian, and Swedish passengers among them. As coalition organizers stated, “It is now the representative of the entire Freedom Flotilla II.”

The ten passengers, three crew, and three journalists, including the respected Israeli journalist, Amira Hass, Greek coalition representative Vangelis Pissias, al-Jazeera television, and a French member of parliament, were in frequent contact with land teams until being cut off by Israeli forces.

The boat was stopped while still in international waters and before entering Gazan waters (let alone Israeli waters, which the flotilla has never planned to enter).

It became the sole representative of the flotilla to escape the clutches of the Greek coast guard when it was able to depart from the island of Kastelorizo late Saturday and head towards Port Said, Egypt on Monday.

The ship did not dock in Egypt (for fear of being trapped by yet another government bowing to U.S.-Israeli pressure), but rather anchored in international waters off the Egyptian coast overnight – precluding the threat of another predawn raid like the IDF pulled last year – to set sail in the morning for Gaza.

Before embarking on their final Tuesday morning run, the activists had previously sent messages from the Mediterranean exclaiming, “Morale here is like the sky and sea, very good …. Gaza, off we go, stay connected!!!”  ………..more…….

[Interesting example of how Twitter can keep you up on current news that is blacked out by the Free Mainstream Corporate Media…]

Would the South be free if Freedom Riders had experienced a media blackout in the north?

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

Why isn’t the New York Times doing this cutting-edge  journalism? Harriet Sherwood of the Guardian goes out with Gaza fishing boats to see what they are up against, and as Israeli gunboats close in on them inside Gazan waters she files a bunch of frightening tweets. If the Times did this kind of journalism, it might actually help the poor fishermen of Gaza! A couple tweets. From today!!

IDF coming very close. Sirens. Banking hard causing a lot of backwash for our small motor boat…
6 or 7 troops on bridge, all armed. We have cut our engines…

IDF still firing on Oliva the human rights boat. They are trying to drown it says my translator…

Pro-Israel myopia on Murdoch

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

Is Murdoch’s reversal good for the Jews/Israel? is the only question for the JTA. And no it isn’t! Murdoch who has made philo-semitism a great principle of action, who said that the world can’t survive without Israel… “’Is this curtains for pro-Israel Murdoch?’ the London Jewish Chronicle asked in a column last week.” Etc. (Thanks to Ali Gharib and Jeff Blankfort)

Murdoch on Gaza

“In a speech Murdoch gave when receiving the American Jewish Committee’s National Human Relations Awardin March 2009, less than three months after the end of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, he referenced Gaza and said: “The free world makes a terrible mistake if we deceive ourselves into thinking this is not our fight. In the end, the Israeli people are fighting the same enemy we are: cold-blooded killers who reject peace … who reject freedom.””
HUMAN RIGHTS

Israel ‘maintains an apartheid regime,’ Israeli general says in ‘Haaretz’

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

A few years ago Terry Gross of Fresh Air attacked Jimmy Carter for using the word “apartheid” to describe the situation in the Occupied Territories. How will she reckon with Shlomo Gazit? How many Americans and American Jews will even contend with a retired Major General in the IDF, a past head of the intelligence service and one of the Israeli negotiators at Oslo, when he says “The legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime.” Of course it’s in Haaretz, not in the American press.

Update: Gazit will be in the U.S. on Monday, speaking at the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Longer quote:

Today I consider the continuation of our occupation rule in Judea and Samaria an existential danger. As I see it, this situation is threatening the main achievement to which I contributed 70 years ago: the establishment of a sovereign and democratic Jewish state. If we don’t separate as soon as possible from the Palestinian population on the ground, Jewish and democratic Israel will be unable to survive.

A few years ago I became a member of the public council of Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights. I can’t influence Israel’s diplomatic decisions, but I saw it as my duty to contribute to upholding the law in the occupied under our control. I believe that the Israeli government, the Knesset and the vast majority of the people want the law to be enforced in the area east of the Green Line, just as they want it to be enforced to the west of it. But in the present situation, unfortunately, there is no equal treatment for Jews and Arabs when it comes to law enforcement. The legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime.

ZIONISM = RACISM
HISTORY & ANALYSIS

Turkish Jews say that when Israel does bad stuff, they get blamed as ‘Israelites’

from Mondoweiss by Philip Weiss

Max Blumenthal is interested in what I’m interested in: the construction of Jewish identity in the wake of Zionism, the ways that Jewish “nationality” has affected our status as a minority in other countries than Israel, and the apprehension of anti-Semitism… He’s been in Istanbul, interviewing Sephardic Jews. Some interesting comments. I’ve included excerpts of two interviews below, but you should read the whole thing at Blumenthal’s site. Here’s his first interview with a Turkish Jew:

MB: What about the relationship of Turkish Jews to Israel? Are they pro-Israel?

E: They are basically pro-Israel and believe Israel’s side of the story, that Israel is defending itself and that the Palestinians use terror and provocations. But they don’t like the trouble Israel causes them….

MB: But you can’t understand why people feel angry about the way Israel treats Palestinians?

E: I understand they feel bad about the treatment of Palestinians. People in the world see us creating a Jewish nation that only benefits us at the expense of others. Sometimes I wonder why we can’t be accepted as normal in the world….

MB: What about you? Do you feel like Israel is part of your Jewish identity?

E: I don’t see Israel as a holiday place like other Jews do. It’s too much trouble and the food is horrible. I’m from here, I’m pretty much comfortable being Turkish, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be willing to cry out, “I’m Jewish!”

[Blumenthal’s friend] DUYGU: Do you think you could ever marry a non-Jew?

E: I dated Christian and Muslim men but parents want me to marry a Jew. An Ashkenazi Jew would be better than a non-Jew but they’re not Sephardic and it really comes down to preserving our culture. The community is so small that a lot of people are having trouble finding someone to date. So a lot of them are going to the US or Israel to find someone.

D: So being half-Jewish is not acceptable then?

E: It’s really not convenient to wind up with a non-Jew. It would be terrible for a child to be only half Jewish. They would have no community.

MB: Why couldn’t they just belong to humanity?

E: Humanity? Humanity doesn’t exist when you’re a teenager!

The second interview:

MB: Yesterday “E” told me that Israel’s actions sometimes cause problems for the Jewish community here. Do you agree?

B: Definitely. The big problem is that whenever something happens with Israel we automatically become “Israelites,” not Jews. I don’t see myself as an Israeli Jew — I’m Turkish. But whatever happens in Israel affects us here and safety becomes an issue. Some people here have fish minds and can’t distinguish between Jews and Israelis.

MB: So how has the phenomenon played out in your personal life?

B: I can give you an example. I was importing lingerie for five years. When Israel began bombing Gaza, I was importing all these brands from the states. And a trade magazine for the lingerie retailers [in Turkey] put out a boycott list that focused on Jewish owned brands. My brands were on the list. I’m not a public person so it’s hard to know that I’m Jewish at all. But my brands were listed because I’m Jewish. … The [Facebook] page said, “The owners of these brands help Israel in its efforts against Gaza.” What the hell do I have to do with Israel? These people don’t know the difference between Jews and Israelis. And the extremists take advantage of this [lack of distinction]…

MB: Do you think the government played a productive role at all?

B: The Prime Minister [Recep Erdogan] took a stand saying Jews are not Israelis, they are Turkish. He made the differentiation clearly. That was a very positive thing for us.

MB: Are you a Zionist? It seems like Israel does not factor into your identity very much.

B: I’m not a Zionist. Israel is an abstract place for me just like France. But there is a connection as a Jew and it is a safe haven in a sense. They are welcoming you with open arms and there is a sense of community. At least it’s better to be attacked as a community than on your own. Of course I’d rather go to London but if another Holocaust happens where will I go?

MB: Do you seriously think the Holocaust could happen again? It seems a little far-fetched to me.

B: Maybe? Who knows? It happened before and no one expected it.

MB: Do you have any interest in learning more about the history of the conflict in Israel-Palestine? Or what about taking a tour of the West Bank and seeing the occupation up close for yourself?

B: No, I don’t think I’d be interested in something like that. Right now Israel’s just an abstract place. I have been three times. Basically I go to the beach in Tel Aviv and come back…

Being Jewish in Turkey, before and after the Mavi Marmara (part 1 of 2)

from Max Blumenthal by Max

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During a brief trip I recently took to Istanbul, I had the chance to interview two members of the local Jewish community, which is one of the largest and most cohesive Sephardic communities in the Jewish diaspora. My primary interest was in how Jewish life has changed in Turkey since Israel’s deadly raid on the Mavi Marmara, but we also discussed the social characteristics and history of Turkish Jews.

Numbering around 26,000, Turkey’s Jews are guided by a constant focus on self-preservation. The community generally eschew collective political engagement and, in sharp contrast to the country’s Kurdish and Armenian minority groups, avoid mounting any challenges to the Turkish state. “All we ask for is equal treatment and living well,” said one of my interviewees. Though they are generally secular and liberal, intermarriage is considered out of bounds — even marrying an Ashkenazi Jew is suspect. Like other Sephardic communities throughout time, Turkish Jews have survived and prospered by relying on a simple formula of cultural assimilation and ethno-religious exclusivity.

The factor that most complicates Jewish life in Turkey (at least judging from my interviews) is Zionism. By now, most of the Jews who planned to emigrate to Israel have done so, either for ideological or economic reasons. Turkish Jews may privately support Israel, but unlike Jews in the United States, they make absolutely no show of it. However, both of my interview subjects told me that Israel’s behavior has impacted their lives in an entirely negative fashion.

Turkish Jews experienced unprecedented levels of anxiety during Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008 and ‘09 and after Israel’s killing of 9 passengers on the Mavi Marmara in 2010. After the Mavi Marmara incident, the Turkish Chief Rabbi issued a statement mildly condemning the Israeli raid. My interviewees told me that despite Prime Minister Recep Erdogan’s declaration that “looking upon hatred at the Jews is…unacceptable,” (which they considered helpful) extremists scapegoated local Jews. Though the reactionary mood has dissipated, the trauma of shrinking from public view for several days was an experience my interviewees have not forgotten.

Neither of my interview subjects objected to my opinion that Zionism imperils Jews around the world, and especially outside the West. Indeed, their testimonies were proof of the crisis Israel has created in Jewish diaspora life. At the same time they displayed a complete lack of interest in engaging with the situation, either by examining the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, understanding the occupation, or developing a clear position on the issue. While Israel’s actions — and the reactionary tendencies of radical elements inside Turkey — undermine their sense of security, the Jewish state remains a distant abstraction that has only the most fleeting connection to their identity. And the Palestinians do not even merit a second thought.

My interview subjects both insisted I conceal their identities out of fear of upsetting their employers. Both are women in their late 20’s who studied at Western universities and speak nearly fluent English. Like many Turkish Jews, they are upper middle class, however, I can hardly present them as representatives of the entire community. On the other hand, neither of them knew one another, but they expressed a remarkably similar outlook. My friend Duygu, who arranged the interviews, occasionally chimed in. Here is the first in the two part series, an interview with “E,” a public relations consultant living in Istanbul:

MB: It seems like Jews in Turkey try to blend in or stay below the radar as much as they can, unlike American Jews who often advertise their Jewish identity.

E: I sort of disagree. On the one hand, we give our kids Jewish names but we also do our best to blend in. Our mentality is, yes, we are Turkish, but we have some differences.

MB: Is there any level of political engagement or lobbying on the part of Turkish Jews?

E: We are not political here. Not at all. We are scared to do it. In fact a lot of Jews voted for AKP [the Islamist party of Recep Erdogan] because they thought it was good for the economic situation. Ever since Ottoman times the Jewish community acted for the good of the community and never asked the government for anything. Which is completely different from other minority groups. All we ask for is equal treatment and living well.

MB: How much is the apolitical attitude driven by a survival instinct?

E: As a small community we try so hard to keep together. That’s the way we survived for so long. It’s our history. They teach it to us so much that the only way to survive is to stick together that we are almost programmed to believe it. We gather around marriages and holidays and slowly you start to develop a mindset where you want to preserve the culture. I’m really secular but I like the culture, the gatherings — it’s about getting together and celebrating. Also when we get together it’s an opportunity to gossip. Even in Turkish there’s an expression to describe people who gossip a lot: “Like a Jewish synagogue.”

MB: Do you see any discrimination against Jews by the state?

E: The discriminatory laws were all related to the Kurdish situation and the Muslim minorities. They never really applied to us. At the same time we are often seen as strangers, even in Istanbul. I sometimes will be asked, “Are you Turkish or not?” People would call my grandmother, “Madam,” which is how you refer to a foreigner in Turkey, instead of calling her by the Turkish way, which is “Lady.”

Another way discrimination plays out is through building laws. There was a rule — I’m not sure if it’s still in effect — against building non-Muslim places of worship. So all the synagogues we have come from the Ottoman times. And if we fill up a Jewish cemetery the state will seize it on the grounds that it is no longer usable. So the Jewish community here never lets its cemeteries fill up. To get buried in one you have to pay 25 thousand liras. But that law seems to have changed — I’m not really sure.

MB: What about the relationship of Turkish Jews to Israel? Are they pro-Israel?

E: They are basically pro-Israel and believe Israel’s side of the story, that Israel is defending itself and that the Palestinians use terror and provocations. But they don’t like the trouble Israel causes them. When there were protests at the Israeli consulate [after the Mavi Marmara incident], I felt really scared. I worked right next door and I was sitting at my desk all day thinking, “What if they found out I was Jewish and killed me? Maybe they are angry and ignorant. What will they do to me?” People from the office were joking with me that they would throw me to the protesters — they meant it in a friendly way of course.

MB: What do you think motivated the protesters? Did they have any legitimate grievance as far as you could tell?

E: They were really a bunch of extremists. And their protest was not normal for Turkish culture. They were out there for days, all day, and for the Palestinians! Palestinians are the best friends of nobody. They fought against us during the Ottoman Empire.

The government even made people in the state schools pause for one minute to show respect to the Palestinian people. I don’t understand why Turks care about Palestinians who used to be their enemies. Turkish people and Arab people are not usually friends. The relationship was always about profit. I don’t see the direct relationship. Palestinians don’t have money and Turkey doesn’t want their land.

MB: But you can’t understand why people feel angry about the way Israel treats Palestinians?

E: I understand they feel bad about the treatment of Palestinians. People in the world see us creating a Jewish nation that only benefits us at the expense of others. Sometimes I wonder why we can’t be accepted as normal in the world.

MB: How has life been for Turkish Jews since the Mavi Marmara?

E: After the flotilla things got a lot worse here. The average level of hatred [for the Jewish community] increased. Between 1 and 5 it the level of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel feeling used to be 2. Now it’s 4. It was really getting scary for a lot of us here after the Marmara [incident]. People were scared to go out for a few days. Outside the consulate there were fires, the burning of Israeli flags, lots of screaming. But [Recep] Erdogan made an important statement that the Turkish people are not against Jews; their problem was with the Israeli government.

We had another scary time in 2004 when Al Qaida placed bombs outside synagogues around Istanbul. All my friends were inside all day. When we heard the bombs go we actually thought the explosions were the sounds of celebrations at Bar Mitzvah parties. Now people are still afraid, but that doesn’t stop them from going to these places. There are several levels of security in our synagogues today beginning with a security check at the beginning and then people come and ask you questions.

MB: What about you? Do you feel like Israel is part of your Jewish identity?

E: I don’t see Israel as a holiday place like other Jews do. It’s too much trouble and the food is horrible. I’m from here, I’m pretty much comfortable being Turkish, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be willing to cry out, “I’m Jewish!”

DUYGU: Do you think you could ever marry a non-Jew?

E: I dated Christian and Muslim men but parents want me to marry a Jew. An Ashkenazi Jew would be better than a non-Jew but they’re not Sephardic and it really comes down to preserving our culture. The community is so small that a lot of people are having trouble finding someone to date. So a lot of them are going to the US or Israel to find someone.

D: So being half-Jewish is not acceptable then?

E: It’s really not convenient to wind up with a non-Jew. It would be terrible for a child to be only half Jewish. They would have no community.

MB: Why couldn’t they just belong to humanity?

E: Humanity? Humanity doesn’t exist when you’re a teenager!

D: But in our group of friends we just see you as people who pray in a different language. So it seems that you see yourselves as more foreign than we see you.

E: Well we are the ones who have to keep our community together, not you.

Being Jewish in Turkey, before and after the Mavi Marmara (part 2 of 2)

from Max Blumenthal by Max

Yesterday I published the first of two interviews I conducted with Turkish Jews during a brief trip to Istanbul. The first interview is here. In the second, I spoke with “B,” a media professional in her late 20’s who studied at a liberal arts college in the United States. As with “E,” B was adamant that I not reveal her identity, telling me that she was “really scared” of complicating her situation at work. In our interview, B expressed the same cultural outlook as E and a similar attitude to Israel: while she complained that its actions towards the Palestinians affect her negatively as a Jew in a Muslim majority nation, the situation remains abstract and disconnected from her identity. In both cases, I found my interview subjects to be wise beyond their years. “I never took security for granted,” B told me. “I’m more ready for battle than [Americans]. So it’s completely logical that I would survive more easily in a challenging situation.”

Our interview follows:

MB: On a basic level what is it like being Jewish in Turkey and do you feel like you stand apart from the majority of Turks?

B: Being Jewish in Turkey has its ups and downs. Jews have an accent and when we speak in Turkish we stand out. I don’t know where it comes from but probably from Ladino. In the last 70 years Jews were pushed to speak Turkish and were constantly told the slogan, “Citizens speak Turkish.” At home the accent comes from your parents. It’s like a whisper. In the US for Jews the accent comes out when you are upset. Imagine if it came out without being angry!

MB: So how does that affect you in your daily life?

B: In the social world you are aware that you are an other. You can’t be sure what anyone’s idea of the situation is. But in the social arena you’re often surrounded by others like you. In the business world being Jewish is sometimes positive because we are seen as good at commerce and Jews almost always repay their debts here.

But to be honest I would say I’m putting in more effort than ever at work because the moment I slip up, I become the foreigner. At work there are always a few people I have to win over. I have to prove my Turkishness to them somehow. And then these people see me as “the good Jew.” But they don’t represent the general consensus. And I wouldn’t say there is any anti-Jewish movement in the country even though we are an easy target when people look for someone to blame.

MB: Why don’t you simply confront those people at work instead of trying to live up to their standards?

B: If someone came out and said, “the Jews are horrible,” I would confront them for sure. But sometimes it’s better to lead by example. Consistency will prove that I’m a good person.

MB: Yesterday “E” told me that Israel’s actions sometimes cause problems for the Jewish community here. Do you agree?

B: Definitely. The big problem is that whenever something happens with Israel we automatically become “Israelites,” not Jews. I don’t see myself as an Israeli Jew — I’m Turkish. But whatever happens in Israel affects us here and safety becomes an issue. Some people here have fish minds and can’t distinguish between Jews and Israelis.

MB: So how has the phenomenon played out in your personal life?

B: I can give you an example. I was importing lingerie for five years. When Israel began bombing Gaza, I was importing all these brands from the states. And a trade magazine for the lingerie retailers [in Turkey] put out a boycott list that focused on Jewish owned brands. My brands were on the list. I’m not a public person so it’s hard to know that I’m Jewish at all. But my brands were listed because I’m Jewish. Who am I? How do you know who I am? The magazine was a small publication in some rural city. I only knew about the boycott list because some salesman found it and showed it to me.

The boycott also spread on Facebook. Who knows if it distinguished between Jewish and Israeli? The page said, “The owners of these brands help Israel in its efforts against Gaza.” What the hell do I have to do with Israel? These people don’t know the difference between Jews and Israelis. And the extremists take advantage of this [lack of distinction].

MB: What about after the Mavi Marmara incident? What was it like for you and other Turkish Jews?

B: Everyone was scared to go to malls or synagogue. Not that I ever go to synagogue but in times of trouble I limit my risks. During the crisis some protesters blocked the entrance outside the Israeli consulate and were waving flags and shouting. Even if I wasn’t Jewish I would have been scared to go there. This wasn’t a peace march. The crowd wanted blood. If it came out that I was a Jew, what they have done to me?

MB: Do you think the government played a productive role at all?

B: The Prime Minister [Recep Erdogan] took a stand saying Jews are not Israelis, they are Turkish. He made the differentiation clearly. That was a very positive thing for us.

MB: Are you a Zionist? It seems like Israel does not factor into your identity very much.

B: I’m not a Zionist. Israel is an abstract place for me just like France. But there is a connection as a Jew and it is a safe haven in a sense. They are welcoming you with open arms and there is a sense of community. At least it’s better to be attacked as a community than on your own. Of course I’d rather go to London but if another Holocaust happens where will I go?

MB: Do you seriously think the Holocaust could happen again? It seems a little far-fetched to me.

B: Maybe? Who knows? It happened before and no one expected it.

MB: Do you have any interest in learning more about the history of the conflict in Israel-Palestine? Or what about taking a tour of the West Bank and seeing the occupation up close for yourself?

B: No, I don’t think I’d be interested in something like that. Right now Israel’s just an abstract place. I have been three times. Basically I go to the beach in Tel Aviv and come back.

MB: What do you think about anti-Zionist Jews and do you have any here in Turkey?

B: Whether a Jew is Zionist or not has nothing to do with their faith in Judaism. That’s not the issue for me. The issue is non-Jews failing to distinguish between Jews and Israelis. And of course [in the Turkish Jewish community] anti-Zionists would be accused of being self-hating. But who would even take such a stand? We’re not political here. Our only concern is self-preservation.

MB: When you studied in the US what were the principal differences you noticed between yourself and American Jews, and between you and Americans in general.

B: I went to a Bar Mitzvah in the US and it was like a Broadway show. It was for entertainment purposes and educational. For us in Turkey, Judaism is about religion. We get together for our ceremonies and in the synagogue, where many of our melodies come from traditional Ottoman songs, and I find solace in that.

On the more general question, the way I grew up is different from the way Americans grew up. I never took security for granted. I’m more ready for battle than they are. So it’s completely logical that I would survive more easily in a challenging situation than an American. That’s why America reacted the way it did to 9-11. Their whole naivete bubble popped in a day.

MB: What was is it like for you personally being in America right after 9-11?

B: For a long time I had worn a Chai necklace. But I eventually took it off, like I just didn’t feel like wearing it anymore. But after 9-11, suddenly I wasn’t Jewish enough because I wasn’t Ashkenazi, I was Eastern, and I have an Arab sounding last name. At my college I had to advertise that I was Jewish so I wouldn’t be seen as a Muslim. So I suddenly put my necklace back on and everything was okay. When I’m over there I feel a level of safety as a Jew.

MB: Your experiences remind me of a term that was used to describe Jews in the US but isn’t really used much anymore: “insider-outsider.”

B: Exactly. We are living with a foot in both worlds. But it’s hard to get through the door when you can’t use both feet.

Mead consecrates Jewish nationalism and American nationalism on the rock of anti-Semitism

from Mondoweiss by Jack Ross

Walter Russell Mead is the apotheosis of the American establishment in our time, which makes his pronouncements of great profundity exercises in extreme silliness. With that noted he wrote on his blog today, for some strange reason wishing to acknowledge the anniversary of the publication of Mein Kampf, a courageous stand against anti-Semitism in such high dudgeon as to be buffoonish. Because Mead fancies himself a high priest of America’s “civil religion”, which is in so many ways inseparable from Zionist ideology, there is much to be learned from deconstructing what he has termed “the five pillars of anti-Semitism”. Mead sternly informs us that “anti-Semitism involves belief in any or all of the following ideas” which are all “demonstrably false”:

Jews are more clannish than other people and act in concert to support a specifically Jewish agenda.

This means that the most convinced and stalwart anti-Semites living today are the editors of Commentary magazine.

Any perusal of the select works of Ruth Wisse, Jack Wertheimer, Daniel Gordis, and countless others I could think of have no clearer underlying premise than that there exists a transnational entity called “the Jewish collective”, that the political and other prerogatives of said collective must be secured by any means necessary, and that the treachery of the better number of American Jews is that they have embraced liberalism at the expense of the “norms of the community”.

Jews deploy extraordinary wealth with almost superhuman cunning in support of the Jewish agenda.

Some readers of this blog may be upset with me for saying so, but on this I take exactly the same position as Andrew Bacevich, who in an interview in which he chided leftists who make a panacea of the military-industrial complex in understanding the politics of American empire added “and I would say the same of those who make a single-minded focus on the Israel lobby – yes there is a military-industrial complex, yes there is an Israel lobby, but to focus narrowly on either or both is a panacea to avoid the deeper pathologies of American politics and society.” That being said, this is not the same thing as anti-Semitism, it is merely age-old adherence to a populist panacea. I can attest from personal experience that it is this, not Jew-hatred, in the hearts of those who adopt it.

As a religious and national minority, Jews cannot flourish without attacking the traditional values of their host society. In every country Jews seek to weaken national culture, unity, and cohesion.

The first sentence, at least, is again a thesis adhered to by no one more steadfastly than the aforementioned ideologues of Jewish collectivism. Indeed, probably no one in history ever believed this more devoutly than the classical Zionists. For what else can be the meaning of the virtually nonsensical argument that one can only live a “normal” or “fully Jewish life” in eretz yisrael?

Jews are not a national group or a people in the way that others are, they do not have the same right to establish a nation state that other peoples do.

If any statement in this whole discussion can be called “demonstrably false”, it is the exact opposite of the above statement; and it cannot be stressed often enough that for over a century before the end of World War II the belief that there existed a Jewish “nation” or “race” was the essence of anti-Semitism, and that the triumph of Zionism therefore represented the acceptance of a core doctrine of Naziism. I refer all readers to Shlomo Sand’s landmark The Invention of The Jewish People on the falsity of the existence of a “Jewish nation”.

As for the relative nature of Jewish nationalism to other nationalisms, there is no better statement than the following of the late great Tony Judt:

The problem with Israel, in short, is not—as is sometimes suggested—that it is a European “enclave” in the Arab world; but rather that it arrived too late. It has imported a characteristically late-nineteenth-century separatist project into a world that has moved on, a world of individual rights, open frontiers, and international law. The very idea of a “Jewish state”—a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded—is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is an anachronism.

Back to WRM:

Where Jewish interests are concerned, the appearance of open debate in our society and many others is a carefully constructed illusion. In reality, Jews work together to block open debate on issues they care about and those who resist the Jewish agenda are marginalized in public discussion.

With the caveat, of course, that one must replace the word “Jews” with “Zionists” or “the American Jewish establishment”, to any casual reader of this blog I need say no more. But to the extent that the existence and operation of the Israel lobby/American Jewish establishment conforms to narratives of classical anti-Semitism, if I may include here a plug for my book, it was precisely the cause for great alarm and outrage of the American Council for Judaism, and other opponents of the creation of the American Jewish establishment in the American Jewish Conference of 1943, that said conference could have been no better constructed if its principals actually were consciously seeking to bring into existence the fictional Elders of Zion.

Mead goes on to solemnly inform us, with a superhuman obliviousness to irony, that “In some countries these beliefs are so common that they are no longer recognized as an aggressive and communicable mental disease.” This deeply irrational belief that anti-Semitism is some kind of constant mystical force in history is central to the sacred story of Jewish nationalism, which, as I have argued elsewhere, is also the sacred story of American nationalism. That is, the belief of both Jewish nationalists and American nationalists that with the salvation of the Jews as the heroic outcome of the Second World War followed by the establishment of the State of Israel, the American Empire was the god which brought about the essential precondition for the millennium which the Living God would not – the redemption of Israel.

Walter Russell Mead has thus given us this meditation as part of his solemn duty to uphold and extend what some neocons refer to as “Americanism – the fourth great western religion”, and many more euphemistically refer to as “civil religion”. Because I am a Jew, there is only one thing that I can call this – idolatry – and must therefore oppose it with every fiber of my being.

Jack Ross is the author of Rabbi Outcast, a biography of the anti-Zionist rabbi Elmer Berger.

An American tours Israel, looking for the Palestine his father never knew

from Mondoweiss by Boulos

Boulos is a longtime friend of this site, a pseudonymous Palestinian-American scholar with a doctorate from an east coast school. Last week he sent Weiss several letters from Cairo following a visit to Israel. These emails are so powerful that we sought Boulos’s permission to publish them, with some edits to preserve his anonymity, because this young man has an academic career ahead of him…

Sorry for the long radio silence. I finished at [X university] and moved to [an east coast city] and started a new job there–teaching and doing a post doc. I also met a girl and that sort of occupied a lot of my time. That’s actually an understatement. I am, in fact, in Cairo right now and I just asked her to marry me–and have been in the Middle East since May and will be here till the end of August.

I took her to Israel earlier this summer to meet my family there and am hoping to make it to Lebanon later in the summer to meet the family there. It was a very strange experience going to Israel. My second time there. This time was different than my first. The border crossing was a lot smoother and less awful. Maybe crossing over with a girl and not as a single guy played a factor, I don’t know. She has been a number of times and has been held for up to seven hours because she has an Arab name, and even though she is a Christian, they assume she is a Muslim.

The Israel I experienced this past time was very much the Israel I experienced the first time I went, which was an Arab Israel. Not much interaction with Jews at all, though we spent one day in Jerusalem with an Israeli scholar friend of mine who took us around and showed us things, including an ancient structure. I was struck by how scared she was of everything: of Iran, of Hizbullah, of the Egyptian Revolution. I actually felt bad for her.

I went with one of my cousins one day to attend a lecture by Guy Bechor at the IDC [Interdisciplinary Center] in Herzliyya and was struck by how comedically awful it was, how full of cliches it was, and how unselfconscious he was when he pulled up Wikipedia on the powerpoint screen in the middle of the class to check a date.

Afterwards, my cousin and I went and got coffee and I was talking to her about what I thought of the lecture when an American in the class started talking to us; my cousin knew him and he told her he was getting married in July and was going to do it “over the Green Line” (i.e., in the West Bank) to “make a point.” We had an interesting conversation. He was a total pin head and was completely tangled up and trapped in a suffocating web of nationalist and religious mythology. It was interesting to see the worldview of someone who was an actor, at some very basic level, in the conflict. He spoke to me in perfect American English and so I asked him where he was from. He told me “Tel Aviv.” After speaking to him a little bit longer, I said to him, “Where are you really from?” He was from something like Oregon.

As we were walking out of the university, I was talking to my cousin in English and she told me to talk to her in Arabic because when Israeli Jews hear people speaking Arabic, it makes them scared.

I told my cousins there that I thought a one state solution was the way to go; I was struck by the impression that they don’t necessarily want one, though they never said that. Another impression which struck me: there are lots of ties between Palestinians on the West Bank and Palestinians in Israel proper. Palestinians in Israel go to Ramallah and go to the West Bank, I think, pretty regularly. They shop there, they have friends there, they have family there. Palestinians on the West Bank cannot go to Israel, but there is definitely a traffic that goes in one direction. It is illegal for Israelis to go to ‘Area A,’ but the government doesn’t seem to care if Arabs go. We drove to Ramallah thorough a back route and we weren’t stopped, even though it was illegal…

We crossed over at Eilat and ended up catching a ride to Jerusalem on a French tour bus which had an Israeli tour guide and driver. He was very friendly, both my fiancee and I thought he must have been French-born–his French was perfect–but the tour he was giving was complete and utter propaganda and hasbara. We heard about cherry tomatoes, we heard about Israel and potassium, we heard about Israel’s courageous choice to give up the Sinai for peace, we heard about Israel conquering the desert. As we drove through the West Bank, we got the line, “On the right is Judea and on the left is Samaria.” We passed a Bedouin shanty town and he told the group that the Bedouin earned 2K euros a month working in construction and chose to live that way.

We were in Jerusalem, actually, on Jerusalem day and saw all these people in their white outfits coming back from marches. The Israeli scholar friend of mine wanted to stay out of the Old City that day because it was going to be a mess, so we didn’t see any of the action, so to speak, but we saw some of the people coming back who must have been there. Because there are people there from all over the world, Jews and non-Jews, it probably is one of the most interesting places anywhere.

I don’t quite know what to make of all of it and how to process it. Definitely when you are in Israel, it is very possible to go on and live and be totally unaware of the West Bank, the occupation, etc. I think it’s harder to do that in Jerusalem, but it’s pretty easy to do in other parts of the country. out of sight, out of mind. some random thoughts for you…as if you cared.

I was just in [another city] last week, visiting some of my old teachers and they are all over me because I have not been publishing. I am not so vain as to think that you have been wondering the same about me, but I guess the answer to their question is, in addition to all the stress of the new job and teaching….Cherchez la femme.

[Weiss seeks permission from Boulos to publish the above, and he adds the following postscript]

The experience in Israel was a curious one. There are these incommensurable worlds at play there: there is a certain attractive logic to the hasbara claims that the French tour guide made: I mean, the cherry tomatoes in Israel really are amazingly tasty. The country does have good roads and they have made the desert bloom. The Zionists did take a place and do a lot of good things with it–but there are also the bad things they did with it, there is also the human cost that came with the taking of the country, there is also the dark, exclusivist worldview that animates religious Zionism, if not Zionism tout court.

What struck me this past visit is what struck me the time I went previously: there is a very Arab part of Israel: many of the street signs are in Arabic, you can get really excellent Arabic food–we even ate at a Lebanese restaurant outside of Jerusalem at one point–you can go through life, it seemed to me, and get by just speaking Arabic. Perhaps it is the same way with Spanish in many parts of the US. This Arab side of Israel does not get much press anywhere, I don’t think, including Israel.

It seemed to me, talking to my relatives, that the Israelis don’t really want the Arabs there. Wealthy Jews are buying up Jaffa, a traditionally Arab place, and driving up the rents such that the Arabs who lived there can’t afford to live there any more. If you have a family, your kids can’t afford to buy houses there when they get married and they will go live in Lyd and Ramleh instead. In Akka, I talked to a guy at the sandwhich shop where we had lunch. a little, semi-run down place which wasn’t touristy but which had delicious kefta sandwhiches. In Jaffa, he told me, they sell their land (i.e., the Arabs). Here, he said, we don’t sell. Wealthy Jews have been trying to buy properties in Akka and develop them.

It was sad to me when I asked him if I could get jibneh akawiyeh in Akka, this sort of Akka cheese that my dad likes and which you can get in America. My family in Jaffa had never heard of it, though the older people, who were born before ’48 had. The guy in Akka knew of it but said you couldn’t get it any more. A few people made it in their houses but it was not available as it had been in the past. There had been changes, he said. I assumed he was talking about 1948 and all that.

The Palestine that my father never knew–he was born in ’49 in Beirut–is gone in Palestine and now survives in the diaspora. Even linguistically, there are words in arabic that I knew from my father which the younger people don’t know anymore in Jaffa, but the old people know them. it’s like the diaspora is a time capsule. This is one thing that hit me when I went the first time and it hit me again this time: Palestine is dead. At some level, the Zionists did win. The clock cannot be turned back.

Another thing that struck me about the Arab Israel: one of the most heart breaking things is to see how badly Arabs in Israel would love to go and visit Syria and especially Lebanon. They watch Lebanese satellite t.v., they know Lebanese fashion, they know the Lebanese dialect, and they are a few hours’ drive from Lebanon, but it might as well be in outer Mongolia. At the port of Jaffa, there is a very neat map of the Mediterranean which shows how far various Mediterranean port cities are from Jaffa and it is absolutely striking to see how far (or rather, close) Tyre, Sidon, and Beirut are to Jaffa. In history, one often talks about continuities and discontinuities, and it is in such moments that one is struck by how both co-exist so strongly in such a place–a new language, a large number of immigrants from all over the world, what is essentially an American colony (one feels, when one passes into Israel from an Arab country, that one has just entered America)–but underneath it are also traces of that same, common Levantine culture that used to exist there and which made Jaffa, Haifa, Akka, Tyre, Sidon, etc., all part of a similar cultural continuum….

More inchoate thoughts for you: the situation is a royal mess. In my very unexpert opinion, I think that Israel as it stands right now is probably a sinking ship and is unsustainable. The US and Europe, if they somehow found the political will or testicular fortitude could perhaps force a two-state solution, but I think that it may in fact ineradicably be in the DNA of right-wing Zionism to oppose the establishment of any kind of Palestinian state west of the Jordan. Which means that what is going to eventually happen is the death of the current state of Israel–secular and Jewish–and the gradual emergence of something else. I don’t know what it will look like and am not persuaded that it will be a nice place to live for anyone, but the current state of Israel won’t last another decade. Haaretz is basically the opposition party and my impression is that it represents about 2% of the population.

The Israeli movie “Lebanon”: How the Israeli terrorists feel bad when they kill and commit massacres and why you should feel bad for Israeli war criminals

I always despised liberal and “leftist” Zionists as much as I despise revisionist Zionists.  A liberal Zionist is a typical Zionist: but he is characterized with more moral pretentions.  The movie Lebanon does not deviate from the Israeli propaganda trash.  It is the same set of clichés.  I don’t understand why there was acclaim for this tedious movie.  We have seen that before: that Israeli war criminals are often guilty about their killings sprees and massacres.  This is the message that Israeli liberals and leftists want us to believe: that there is a few Israeli terrorist soldiers who sometimes feel bad about the massacres they perpetrate against Arabs.  In reality, there is no such evidence at all.  The rate of desertion in the Israeli terrorist army is very low indeed.  It seems that Israelis perpetrate war crimes and atrocities with relish.  In fact, I think that Israeli soldiers are very much like SS in Nazi Germany: in that they go beyond the orders to derive pleasure from extra massacres and war crimes. The film is tedious and annoying and shows an obsession with urine: it must be Zionist thing.  Typically, Arabs don’t exist as human beings in the movie.  There is a Syrian soldier: and he only screams and moans (he is played by an Israeli actor).   And there are the two Phalange militia men: they are shown as brutal: in fact, one of the most brutal scenes in the movie is when one of the Phalanges threatens in horrific language the Syrian soldier.  You are supposed to conclude that Israelis are too humane to do that.  Left unmentioned in the movie is that those very savage Phalanges were trained by the Israeli army  itself.  The Syrian soldier was shown to be seeking the mercy of the Israeli army.  Total propaganda stuff that you expect from media advocacy for Israeli war crimes.  The Israeli war criminals are typically humanized: we see them talk about their families and about their mothers and such.  The message?  Unlike Arabs, Israeli killers are human being who have second thoughts about their killings.  Oh, yeah.  We did not see any mercy or second thoughts in the various successive invasions and aggression from Israel in Lebanon over the decades.  I was in South Lebanon during the Israeli invasion and occupation of 1982: I did not see any evidence that the terrorist occupiers were doing their killing job with any hesitation.  They seemed to be deriving pleasure.  At one point in the movie, they let a child walk away.  That is such bullshit: I have seen scores of children being taken by Israeli soldiers and I heard first hand their accounts about torture by Israeli occupiers and seen the bruises on them when they returned.  Just read the last report of B’tselem.  The movie also shows a scene when a Palestinian fighter takes civilian hostages: this was such a fabrication.  I never ever heard that Palestinian fighters in 1982 ever took civilian hostages.  It does not make sense. Why would they do that?  Like the lives of Arab civilians is so precious for Israelis and Palestinians resorted to hostage taking to deter Israeli aggression against them?  Such an invention.  And notice that the only brutal Israeli officer (or soldier) in the movie is named Jamil: implying that he was Druze.  As if Arabs who are allowed into the Israeli terrorist Army easily reach command positions (Druzes are allowed to serve in the Israeli terrorist army, and Bedouins and South Lebanon Army war criminals are allowed to).  And like every Israeli movie of its kind, there is a lot of Israeli male bonding going on, and a celebration of the male figure. Women are marginal and sexistly talked about.  The only Arab women in the movie, are stripped naked for no reason or explanation whatsoever.  I guess this was titillating for a culture predicated on sexual Orientalism.  The viewer is supposed to watch the movie and feel sorry for those hesitant Israeli terrorists.  I watched the movie (and of course, did not pay a penny to benefit the Israeli film industry) and only felt contempt and detestation for those terrorists.
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This entry was posted in Apartheid, BDS, Gaza, Human Rights, Israel, Palestine, Zionism. Bookmark the permalink.

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