Living in denial like never before. I cannot think about one society that lives in such denial like the Israeli society, and again it includes left and right.
Gideon Levy Haaretz March 2, 2018
If liberty means anything at all, surely it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
Phil Weiss reported on Mondoweiss the obvious link between Israel’s brutal behaviour and the rise of anti-Semitism.
30 years ago Yehoshafat Harkabi director of Military Intelligence in his book Israel’s Fateful Hour made a similar point
“We Israelis must be careful lest we become not a source of pride for Jews but a distressing burden. Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character, which finds free and concentrated expression within it. Anti-Semitism has deep and historical roots. Nevertheless, any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world. In the struggle against anti-Semitism, the front line begins in Israel.”
While anti-Semitism has always been with us, after the Nazi madness Jews were well accepted in the Western world. They lived and do live secure lives and had so many not bought Zionist propaganda and stood mute as Palestinian lives were destroyed, anti-Semitism would be dramatically lessened.
Weiss writes below about another Israeli with the impeccable credentials of Harkabi who makes a similar point
On October 26 a former Israeli security official urged American Jews to restrain Israel’s “unjust” war in Palestine because it fuels anti-Semitism around the world. The statement is remarkable because that view is generally seen as anathema: saying that Israel’s actions have any role in the growth of anti-Semitism.
Ami Ayalon, a Navy commander and former head of the Shin Bet, spoke at a J Street conference and said that Israelis believe they are fighting a just war of defense for their existence, and that the world refuses to acknowledge that. But in fact Israel’s existence is established, and American Jews can see that Israel is engaged in an unjust war. (Emphasis mine)
What you see from the outside is us fighting two separate, totally different wars. The first is indeed a just war, a war to establish Israel within the 1967 borders based on international resolutions. You correctly say that we have won that war….
“We continue to fight a second war, a war in order to expand our border to the east, to build more settlements, and to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state next door. That second war is not a just war. It denies the Palestinians the right to self determination, which was recognized by the international community. As a former commander of the Navy and director of the Shin Bet, as a person who fought in too many wars, as someone who represents the views of a vast majority of the IDF top command, past and present, I tell you today that the second war, the unjust one, cannot be won with force alone. There is no military decision in this war. That is why unless we choose a totally different approach, this war will continue for generations to come, it will lead to more violence and terror. After we beat Hamas and Islamic Jihad, we will face ISIS. And after that, who knows what will come.
“But I can assure you it will definitely be more extremist. This second war to expand our borders will isolate Israel even more and increase anti-Semitism around the world, but the most important thing, the most dangerous thing, is that this war will be the end of Israel as the founding fathers of Zionism envisioned it. I’m here to tell you that the question of which war we are sending out young men into is tearing Israeli society apart…
“You see that reality. We in Israel refuse to see it. We cannot see it. We are too close to the events, we are in too much pain to see clearly. We still use the language of guilt, not of responsibility. We need you by our side on this long and hard road. We need you to tell us the truth the way you see it. So when we say [Hebrew phrase] which means, All Israel are responsible for each other, we are in a way saying, You have the right, and in times of crisis, like today when you see the writing on the wall and we do not or cannot, you also have the duty to stand up and tell us your truth. This is the real meaning of mutual responsibility.”
Ayalon said just that: that in the spirit of one Jewish people, American jews should tell Israel to stop making wars
H/t Adam Horowitz and James North.