27 comments

  1. Thank you Philip for speaking such truth and honesty to a largely ignorant and indifferent world! Sadly, many Jews have given up the universal values of Judaism that sustained Jews throughout their history when they suffered like the Palestinians do from violence and persecution: universal love for all humanity, the prophetic call to justice for all, acknowledgement of the Torah’s teaching that all humans are made in the image and likeness of the Creator. Like Apartheid South Africa, Israeli Apartheid to will find itself along with the Zionist heresy a part of the dust heap of history. This cannot come soon enough and it will be better for everybody Jews included.

  2. There are so many distortions of reality, tendentious interpretations and outright lies in this article that is hard to know where to begin. Just an example : Israeli banknotes have on them portraits of poets ,poetesses and writers and not political or military figures.
    But the whole argumentation is flawed by the willfully amalgamating the situation in Israel proper and in the Occupied Territories (Area C ,as Areas A,B are controlled by the Palestinian Authority.)
    Israeli Arab citizens enjoy the same rights under the law as the Jewish citizens and are present in all aspects of political , economical, social and cultural life. They are members of the Knesset, police and IDF officers, diplomats, hold high ranking jobs in the civil service, provide a high percentage of the doctors, pharmacists and nurses in all hospitals and health care clinics etc. etc.
    Of course there are instances of racism and discrimination , but not as official policy (as in the apartheid South Africa).
    I don’t know what you saw at the airport, but go through any big city or campus and will see lots of young girls and women wearing hijabs and men sporting Islamic style beards .Buses display continuously the routes in Arabic and all municipal and state institutions display signs in Arabic.
    You seem to ignore the fact that nearly 50% of the Jewish population is original from Arab countries and Arab/Middle Eastern food is omnipresent all over Israel (as a matter of fact falafel and shwarma stands are pretty familiar sights also in European cities, eastern and western).
    Of course not everything is ideal and there is a strong undercurrent of mistrust between the parties, as practically everybody on both sides has lost somebody close in the nearly 100 years of conflict.
    Israel took a chance and left Gaza only to get a launching pad for missiles on its doorstep so it is understandably weary of repeating this experiment with the West Bank.
    Ben Gvir is not more representative of the Israeli public than the ” Break the Silence ” critics .
    And two more things : you can even today take a bus from Tel Aviv to Amman , Cairo or Sharm El Sheikh or a plane to Abu Dhabi or Dubai and if you want to stroll in a shouk you can go to Nazareth, Ramla, Lod or even in Tel Aviv where the Carmel Market has a (rather gentrified) feel of the Middle East

    1. If things are so great, please explain how the illegal Jewish settlements are fair to the Palestinians or how Palestinians have to go through checkpoints on their own which Israelis sail right through?

      1. @Miriam
        The illegal Jewish settlements are not at all fair and many of them have indeed declared illegal by Israeli courts.
        It is unfortunate that Palestinians have to go through checkpoints and Israelis (both Jews and Arabs) sail right through, but that is a direct result of the terror attacks , in which more than 20 Israelis have been killed from the beginning of the year and hundreds injured.
        Even more terror attacks have been stopped by the Israeli and Palestinian authorities, and checkpoints are part of it.
        Even in Israel, things are not so great yet and additional effort is required to improve the lot of Arab citizens, but the situation is nowhere as described in the article.

    2. If there were serious distortions in Phil’s article, you have not pointed them out. Maybe new Israeli banknotes feature writers and poets but previous ones show Weismann, Herzl, Ben-Gurion, and Golda Meir. Are you saying that decades of reports that describe the severe Israeli repression, which terrorizes communities, isolates individuals, produces anxiety, institutes immobility, disables breadwinners, and hinders family strength are false?. Are you not aware of the purposeful denial of agriculture, water rights, and fishing rights, willful ruin of cherished olive and orange groves, and interference in acquiring livelihood and employment, which reduces ontological security and accelerates the deterioration of the Palestinian community? Without laws and leaders to protect them, aren’t the Palestinians victims of intentional destruction?
      As for Palestinians in Israel, you forgot to mention they are not able to buy property, not able to obtain loans, not able to live anywhere they want, not able to return to their stolen lands, not able to rebuild their destroyed villages, and, by Israel’s Nation State Law, are reduced to 2nd class citizenship. You write “Ben Gvir is not more representative of the Israeli public than the ‘Break the Silence’ critics.” Didn’t the public vote Ben Gvir’s Party into power and won’t he hold a government office?
      Seems Phil only wants to alert the world to social injustice, which is a worthwhile endeavor and you want to prevent that, which is not pleasing.

  3. It felt much the same when I went there in 1983. One day I went to the Yad Va Shem (?spelling) – the Holocaust Museum in Tel Aviv – and it was utterly overwhelming, I cried and cried… Later in the same day, I saw a group of 3 Palestinian Arab youths, aged about 16 or 17, being berated by an old Israeli man, a Hasidic Jew (black hat & ringlets). They were clearly terrified of him. I thought, in England if an old guy tried that kind of behaviour, he wouldn’t last very long… How did they get like this? Surely after their own history, they must know what it feels like to be scapegoated. It was done to them, and now they do it to their Palestinian neighbours. Everywhere I went, it was the same; the Jewish people seemed to regard them little better than ‘dogs’. (‘They are disgusting, like dogs’, one of them told me). It was horrible – I’ve seen the Israelis with different eyes ever since

  4. Victims that became perpetrators- I do not want ever to see any more programs about Nazi concentration camps. The ever present stark brutish bullying Zionist Israeli behavior toward Palestinians, the rank injustice. aggression and naked cruelty of it that thrives on its own sadism is an evil not far from the fact of the Nazi gas chamber. When you cannot breathe without having a gun pointed at you wherever you are “allowed” to go. What does it have to say about the moral core of the USA government in its closed minded and lavish provisioning of killing machines to this abomination of a country?

    1. “I and the public know
      What all schoolchildren learn:
      Those to whom evil is done
      Do evil in return.” [Auden wrote]

      1. @Rob Roy
        You are right.
        That is one of the root causes of Palestinian terrorism.
        The problem is that the Israeli public perceives that even when good is done ( as in retreating from Gaza, agreeing to autonomy of the Palestinian Authority) in return they still get evil.

  5. For tiny Israel, it’s a matter of survival. Some 99% of the Mideast region consists of the many Arab countries, most of which are apartheid states, and racists put the “apartheid” label on Israel.

  6. Thank you for your truth telling article. During the time back in 2005-2008 when I was in Israel and Palestine, the discrepancy was so obvious. Apartheid in so many ways, especially in the West Bank.

    As for the nation Israel, policy dictates that at least 75% of the population be Jewish. A Jew anywhere in the world can immigrate to Israel and immediately be given citizenship and subsidy. Not so with a Palestinian.

  7. “… racists put the “apartheid” label on Israel.” Racists? No, it was the UN.
    And all the rest of us who prefer “democracies” to insist on equal treatment of all its citizens. Palestinians are not free in Israel. Their lives are controlled by the apartheid state run by people who feel superior when, in fact, they are lesser in every way. I feel the same way there as in the US and wonder where are the actually good people are and why don’t they insist on decent leadership. Israel and the US, and the UK, are led by immoral people that the rest of us can’t seem to change.

    1. @Rob Roy
      Arab citizens of Israel are subject to the same laws as the Jewish citizens and and are much freer than in most Arab countries.

      1. And this proves that the Jews were arbitrarily entitled to claim all of Palestine for themselves, by any means necessary?

        A “Jewish state/entity”, as you so conveniently conflate the issue, for your own deceptive and disingenuous purposes, are not one and the same thing, just as the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate are not one simplistic document.

        So, as you seem to be a ‘person’ speaking out, not only on behalf of all rabid Nationalist Israeli Zionist zealots, but on behalf of international Jewry; so too were the German Nazi rabid zealots acting out in the name of the entire German people, in their attempt to exterminate all of European Jewry.

        Israel’s cunning, historic, sleight of deception towards indigenous Arab Palestinians, is disgustingly astonishing. The utter guile is evil incarnate; no different than the earlier genocidal action of German ethnic Nationalism against practitioners of the Jewish religion.

        It directly opposes the humanity in the term ‘human rights’.
        By artful dodging and manipulation of the international justice system, over time, it has managed to turn all of Palestine-Israel into one big prison, for all of the indigenous population.

        At least fifty percent of the one-state of Israel-Palestine population is Arab Palestinian, and they have no right to vote in the one-state they are now confined in.

        ‘Democracy’ is about the principle of equal rights etc., for all persons – the demos (the populace as a political unit, especially in a democracy) – Oxford English Dictionary.

        The separation brought about by the application and enforcement of ‘Apartheid’ methods by the Israeli state, is the very antithesis of democracy.
        There are no true democracies in all of western Asia; Israel is not the exception, no matter what Israelis prefer to claim.

        Once upon a time, in bygone ‘daze’, not so long past, white racist Apartheid South Africa too – like Israel is still doing today, in the so-called Middle East, used to claim that it was the only democracy in Africa.

        Today, South Africa may, by law, legitimately be entitled to claim it is a political democracy, for all, but where egalitarian economic distribution of the country’s wealth is non-existent – it is still unilaterally controlled by a very small white oligarchic minority, it remains a de-facto Apartheid state, just as is Israel.

  8. thank you for writing about the injustice visited on Palestinians by the policies of the Israeli government, and supported by the USA. We are often referred to as a ‘Christian nation’ as if that somehow makes our crimes or our support of crimes against humanity permissible. A state authorizing the Killing of civilians is a war crime. We, the US, aid and abet these crimes and are guilty of same

    1. The heart of Christianity is Jesus, an exemplar of do no harm who taught plucking out the mite in your own eye before judging another. The reference to the USA as a Christian nation belies the psychological emotional blindness inherent in that assignation. The defense of compartmentalization. Revealing a schism in the psyche typical of alcoholic thinking. Into all good all bad dichotomy. To avoid ownership of the shadow. Which of course opens that door to wreak its havoc.

  9. So why go there? If you travel to Israel, spend money on a hotel and other things, you share in the responsibility even more than just being an American or a Jew.

    For any Jew,
    for any of us honest enough
    to admit it
    Israel is our dream
    turned to nightmare

    I remember as a child
    the dream trees planted
    in a desert made lush
    That dreamland of the imagination
    where all were Jews
    in the absence of
    the taunting hatreds
    and stones thrown with
    the stinging recriminations
    I knew too well

    A dreamland of traditions
    where only wisdom and love
    would fill the air
    where justice walked with mercy
    where we could all be
    free to live
    and heal

    A beautiful dream that,
    if somewhat misguided,
    ran aground on the
    stony shore of reality

    For any Jew
    honest enough to
    see clearly
    and admit it
    Israel
    has become our
    ultimate nightmare

    A place of hatreds
    and thrown stones
    of epithets and oppression
    our own hands turning
    to monsters
    the poison of nationalism
    and hubris that stalked us
    for a millennium of bloody nights
    we now claim as our own

    Justice and mercy
    discarded,
    who have we become?

    How many mikvahs
    will cleanse us now?
    Can we ever heal and become
    who we were who

    we should be?
    How long must we
    wander bent
    in rent rags
    and ashes How long
    a shiva
    for each vile act?
    for each murder?

    How can we begin
    to heal what we have
    injured lest
    the seeds of hate planted
    in that desert
    bloom into a future
    that will entangle us
    for generations

    Where do we begin
    or is it
    already
    too late?

    — Al Markowitz

    1. Al Markowitz – My heart felt torn to shreds by this oh so moving lamentation. Potent. Beautiful. Thanking the poet of you.

  10. With all the propaganda from the “old jew” (alteyid48) and Fabian, still the reality remains, stinking like a carp in the sun: the Zionist Jews stole the land of Palestine from its rightful owners, the Palestinian people, Muslim, Jew, and Xian.

    They stole it by violence with the complicity of countries that historically have despised Jews, exploiting, killing, or expelling them, and in so doing the Zionists committed the world’s greatest crimes – Crimes Against Peace and Crimes Against Humanity.

    They rule Palestine today as a series of ghettos and prison camps, using violence and lies, just as the Nazis and Zuidafrikaners did over “their” domains. And the world’s governments pretend to believe them, which is an enormous crime in itself.

    But, Fabian and AlteYid48, it cannot last and will not last for the same reason that the Tausendjaehrige Reich did not and could not last.

    But it cannot possibly end soon enough.

  11. The source of the problem in Palestine is the mistaken view that everybody in Europe who were killed and allowed to die in concentration camps were Jews. This fallacy has led to one’s perception that Jews deserve some kind of reparation. Palestine is that reparation.

    1. The Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate which envisioned a Jewish state/entity in Palestine predate the Holocaust

  12. @ A socialist libber
    Zionism is a political movement originating in 19th century Europe.
    Jews all over the world have yearned from their forced exile from the Land of Israel to return and have endeavored to do so over centuries. Even Saladin after defeating the Crusaders invited the Jews to return to Jerusalem!
    There is no de jure discrimination for Arabs in Israel and little de facto (related mainly to the fact that they are perceived by some as a security risk and / or a fifth column for the enemy). This is not propaganda but the facts of day to day life.

  13. @Em
    The Balfour Declaration and the British mandate are two documents.
    “At least fifty percent of the one-state of Israel-Palestine population is Arab Palestinian, and they have no right to vote in the one-state they are now confined in.”
    There is not such a thing as a one state of Israel-Palestine.
    There is the State of Israel whose Arab population (around 25%) has the right to vote and has parties representing it in the Parliament (Knesset) and even in the outgoing government.
    There are territories administrated by the Palestinian Authority where the Arab citizens have the right to vote in local elections and in national elections, to be held at the end of the 4 year mandate of Abu Mazen that began about 15 years ago.
    And there is Gaza , whose Arab citizens freely elected Hamas to lead the government and have to live with the consequences.

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