Israel is close to exploding. And that’s because Benjamin Netanyahu has successfully cultivated a new way of understanding the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Listen to the last two labor party prime ministers of Israel Ehud Barak and Yitzhak Rabin to hear what the difference sounds like. How did they speak about their Palestinian enemies?
In 1998, Barak, then-chairman of the Labor Party, said that if he were a Palestinian he might have joined a terrorist organization. When attacked by the Likud, the former chief-of-staff and the most decorated soldier of the Israel Defense Forces responded:
“What would they have wanted me to say, that if I were a young Palestinian who has from birth undergone a Palestinian experience, I would have become a third- grade teacher in an elementary school?”
Do Israelis lack empathy for Palestinian suffering?
Author: Akiva Eldar The storm generated by Knesset member Zuhair Bahloul of the Zionist Camp for refusing to label the…
Ehud Barak can be objective about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. He can see it from both sides.
Now listen to Yitzhak Rabin address the Palestinian people in 1994 a year and half before his assassination. Like Barak, Rabin had the ability to see the I/P conflict from the other side:
“I appeal now to the Palestinian people and say: Our Palestinian neighbors, one hundred years of bloodshed implanted in us hostility toward one another. For one hundred years we lay in wait for you, and you lay in wait for us. We killed you, and you killed us… Today, you and we stretch out our hands in peace. Today, we are beginning a different reckoning.
“…The new hope which we take with us from here is boundless. There is no limit to our goodwill, to our desire to see a historic conciliation between two peoples who have until now lived by the sword in the alleyways of Khan Yunis and the streets of Ramat Gan, in the houses of Gaza and the plazas of Hadera, in Rafah and Afula.”
How Israeli politicians took peace with the Palestinians off the table
Beyond the violence and disputes, Israeli leaders' adherence to conflict-supporting narratives creates psychological…
And this Rabin sentiment is genuine. He is telling Palestinians we both love this land and we can split it up.
How shocking Rabin’s outreach reads now indicates how much has changed in Israeli political culture.
Contrast those sentiments with what the Israeli discourse sounds today
What did Netanyahu say was Omar al-Abed’s motive for the killing of three Halamish family members in a west bank settlement? Netanyahu claimed he was a:
“Beast incited by Jew-hatred.” https://www.facebook.com/IsraeliPM/
This was no slip of the tongue. The Palestinian beasts motivated by anti-Semitism is Netanyahu’s explanation for the conflict.
And he has proselytized this understanding of Palestinian violence against Jews so well that it’s become conventional wisdom in Israel.
Reaction to Netanyahu's Hitler Comment
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel sparked a backlash for suggesting that a World War II-era Palestinian…
When a Palestinian recently killed an Israeli police woman in E. Jerusalem Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely proclaimed:
“Hadas Malka, heroine of the war of light against darkness, the war of purity against brutality,”
Only Israelis, not Palestinians, are entitled to mourn their dead
A single line passes between the death and bereavement ritual for the Israeli dead and the display of indifference…
That extreme Manichaeism is precisely what Netanyahu preaches:
“A deep and wide moral abyss separates us from our enemies. They sanctify death while we sanctify life. They sanctify cruelty while we sanctify compassion.”
This view of the Palestinian enemy has been behind a host of bitter battles between Netanyahu and Israeli security experts. Because whether Palestinians are born again Nazis or just like any other people under occupation will lead to very different policy prescriptions. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.802607
Netanyahu policies suggest he believes what he says about the Palestinians. Because if Palestinians are motivated by Jew-hatred what does it matter what Israel does anyhow? This is why Netanyahu overrules the security experts so often when they advocate for a policy of restraint in the Occupied territories.
Americans for Peace Now
On May 4th, the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, Israel’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Yair Golan spoke at…
It was “understanding” the Muslim perspective why the Mossad, the Shin Bet, and the IDF thought it “madness, sheer madness” not to remove the metal detectors from the Temple Mount.
Temple Mount crisis: Israeli defense chiefs believe metal detectors not worth the bloodshed
Israel's top brass assume Netanyahu knows what must be done to resolve the Temple Mount crisis. The question is if he's…
But Netanyahu is not inclined to ponder the Palestinian Muslim experience to help him reach a decision. Because “understanding” the Palestinian perspective is legitimizing the Palestinian perspective for Benjamin Netanyahu. And in Netanyahu’s Israel, legitimizing or empathizing with the Palestinian perspective and narrative is taboo.
There are no two sides to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. There is only the Jewish Zionist narrative.
That is the moral clarity Netanyahu has successfully sold to his people. But the result for Israel is a cultural catastrophe and an existential crisis.
Netanyahu's holy war, and the coming Jewish schism
Netanyahu's most impressive achievement is that he has associated his politics and even himself personally with sacred…
That is what the Elor Azaria case represents.
Elor Azaria was caught red handed on video executing a prone Palestinian in March 2016 in Occupied Hebron. Even a child watching the video can see the killing was an act of revenge against Abd al Fatah Al-Sharif for injuring his friend. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.710853
They recognize his “take that” expression at the end from the bullies in their school. So, what then are Azaria’s loudest supporters like Naftali Bennett shouting about? Have they found some exculpatory evidence for Azaria by scrutinizing the B’Tselem video?
Azaria's conviction will end a totalitarian ideology
The real struggle in Israeli leadership is not Netanyahu cowering before settlers, but who can control a sacred…
“Talk of a murder charge against a combat soldier during a combat operation is a moral mistake that blurs the lines between good and evil. I expect this mistake to be mended.”
Bennett: Pardon Hebron shooter immediately if found guilty
Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett called for the Israeli soldier on trial for killing a wounded and disarmed…
That Azaria arrived 10 minutes after the “combat operation” and was avenging his friend’s stabbing does not interest education minister Bennett. What Bennett finds morally objectionable is “good” Azaria going to prison for killing “evil” Abd al Fatah Al-Sharif.
This is the Israel of 2017. Look at the overreaction by Israeli political culture to the tragic killing of three Israelis by Omar al-Abed. Only in this new Netanyahu extreme Manichean world does it make any sense.
Netanyahu and Bennett have called for the death penalty for Omar al-Abed.
Netanyahu demands death penalty for Halamish terrorist
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said he supports the death penalty for the terrorist who killed three…
(Adolf Eichmann was the last person executed by Israeli) One Likud MK offered to personally execute Omer al-Abed family and another threatened the Palestinians with another Nakba if they don’t cut out the commotion. https://www.facebook.com/oren.pan
Senior Israeli gov't minister warns Palestinians of 'third Nakba'
Tzachi Hanegbi, a close ally of Netanyahu, threatens Palestinians with ethnic cleansing in response to the latest round…
This conflict whether the Palestinian people are a Nazi- Jihadi amalgam, fixated on killing Jews or like any other people under occupation will be on full display after the July 30th final judgment on the Azaria act. The question whether Azaria should be pardoned is a question whether Israel wants to be part of the western world. Because “we are the best good and our enemies are the worst evil” is not how trials are decided anymore unless that is you want to live in the Israel of Ofer Winter.
What was the rallying cry of then colonel, since promoted, Ofer Winter, commander of the elite Givati brigade as he sent his troops into Gaza in July 2014?
Israeli military struggles with growing clout of Religious-Zionists
Nowhere is the growing power and reach of religious nationalists in Israel more apparent than in its military. Some…
“History has chosen us to spearhead the fight against the terrorist Gazan enemy who curses, vilifies and abominates Israel’s God,”
It is this Manichean tribal perspective that can’t tolerate Elor Azaria going to prison. And it is this perception of the Palestinian people that needs to be discredited before it’s too late.