Israel’s Israel-Bashing Left

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“If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it,” Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in Ramallah on Saturday. And reiterated: “when a Palestinian state is established, it would have no Israeli presence[.]”

Even to say that Abbas’s words elicited yawns—let alone charges of racism and Nazism—among those who champion the cause of a Palestinian state would be an exaggeration, since even a yawn is a kind of reaction.

The Israeli Left, however, has been going pretty wild lately in leveling such charges—not, of course, against the respective Palestinian entities in the West Bank and Gaza but against Israel itself. And as usual, much of the venom is concentrated in the Israeli Left’s flagship publication, the daily newspaper Haaretz.

“The fire of hatred and racism is ablaze in Israel”—thus, no less, the paper opened its editorial on Thursday. And it extended the metaphor in Sunday’s editorial, charging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with supplying “fuel for the fires of racism and xenophobia.”

On Friday, columnist Ari Shavit wrote of Israel’s “xenophobic stench” and “xenophobic frenzy” and that “the virus of hatred is making Israel look and sound like a benighted racist country.”

Also on Sunday, columnist Zvi Barel, in a barely coherent rant, asked whether “Israeli racism [can] be eliminated through law, trial and punishment, or is it already part of the Israeli identity?” Barel also averred that for Israelis, “being Israeli means belonging to a separate race that also happens to be Jewish; what counts is the Israeli race.”

But even these were bested by another Haaretz op-ed on Sunday, this one by Hebrew University scholar Daniel Blatman. For Blatman, Israel is not just a swamp of racism but—no less—on the verge of Nazism. As he writes:

Millions of people in Germany who would not have defined themselves as anti-Semites and certainly not as Nazis were swept up in the messianic and pseudo-religious public atmosphere. Israel today is becoming slowly and increasingly swept up in “redemptive xenophobia.”… In the Israel of today, we can observe quite a few conditions whose presence in other societies and among other peoples led to racial separation, ethnic cleansing and even genocide…the domestic reality in Israel today is 1932.

What has prompted this latest flare-up on the Israeli Left, beyond its usual drumbeat of defamation? Mainly three things.

One was the now-famous “rabbis’ letter,” a statement earlier this month by about 50 municipal rabbis calling on Israeli Jews not to sell or rent homes to Arabs. The second, which followed soon after, was a rally on December 20 in Bat Yam, a town just south of Tel Aviv, against Arab-Jewish intermingling.

And the third was a rally the next day, December 21, in southern Tel Aviv. In this one the complaint was not about Arabs but, instead, about the area’s infiltration by mostly-illegal African migrants.

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  • muchiboy

    "READ: While here in the western context my red armband with a swastika and my white hood might seem extreme, but in the context of an Aryan Nations rally or a KKK meeting they are received with sympathy and understanding."

    With my mixed background,MixMChess,I would be as much of a target as you might be.If indeed Hitler had been victorious,it would only have been a matter of time that me and mine would have suffered for our race and opinions.Your views of the Palestinian People is disturbing and goes beyond historical fact and accusations.Your level of debate is disappointing and at a university level or even a high school level would merit a failing grade.Please try to debate facts and opinions without vile and untrue name calling.It adds nothing to the debate,merely highlighting your immaturity and lack of intellectual rigor and judgement.You have the makings of a good debater,but act like a punk at the keyboard.smarten up! muchiboy.

    • MixMChess

      "Your views of the Palestinian People is disturbing and goes beyond historical fact and accusations."

      Pot. Kettle. Black. What's more disturbing, what I say about the Palestinians or the fact that they are all true?

      "Please try to debate facts and opinions without vile and untrue name calling."

      Oh, boo hoo! So you are free to defame Jews and accuse Israel of unconscionable crimes but I'm not allowed to speak the truth about you and call you out for what you really are? I guess its only fair if we play by YOUR rules huh?

  • muchiboy

    "Why is it that Israeli textbooks can move past the rhetoric and provide an unbiased history whereas you and the Palestinians can't?"

    We all need to remember that with few exceptions,e.g.Nazism,most wars and conflicts ,including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,are not simply good vs evil,not black and white,but rather something in between.You and me,we have taken sides in a conflict that is both contentious and complex with valid and legitimate grievances, if not recognized and acknowledged, on either side.
    Like settlement and peace talks between the two or three combatants themselves,we need to find common ground and that means give and take,recognizing past wrongs,legitimate but fair security concerns,etc.Even putting yourself in the other sides shoes is an option.One only has to look at the fair,successful some might say magnanimous treaties of WWII vs the one sided treaty of WWI to recognize what can come out of wisdom and fairness.And above all,we need to see the others as human,in every way,not unlike us.muchiboy

  • muchiboy

    "Why is it that Israeli textbooks can move past the rhetoric and provide an unbiased history whereas you and the Palestinians can't?"

    We all need to remember that with few exceptions,e.g.Nazism,most wars and conflicts ,including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,are not simply good vs evil,not black and white,but rather something in between.You and me,we have taken sides in a conflict that is both contentious and complex with valid and legitimate grievances, if not recognized and acknowledged, on either side.
    Like settlement and peace talks between the two or three combatants themselves,we need to find common ground and that means give and take,recognizing past wrongs,legitimate but fair security concerns,etc.Even putting yourself in the other sides shoes is an option.One only has to look at the fair,successful some might say magnanimous treaties of WWII vs the one sided treaty of WWI to recognize what can come out of wisdom and fairness.And above all,we need to see the others as human,in every way,not unlike us.muchiboy

    • MixMChess

      While your musings on the philosophy of debate and conflict may be interesting you still haven't answered my very simple question…

      Why is it that Israelis can move past the rhetoric and provide an unbiased history whereas you and the Palestinians can't?

  • muchiboy

    "Why is it that Israeli textbooks can move past the rhetoric and provide an unbiased history whereas you and the Palestinians can't?"

    We all need to remember that with few exceptions,e.g.Nazism,most wars and conflicts ,including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,are not simply good vs evil,not black and white,but rather something in between.You and me,we have taken sides in a conflict that is both contentious and complex with valid and legitimate grievances, if not recognized and acknowledged, on either side.

  • muchiboy

    Like settlement and peace talks between the two or three combatants themselves,we need to find common ground and that means give and take,recognizing past wrongs,legitimate but fair security concerns,etc.Even putting yourself in the other sides shoes is an option.One only has to look at the fair,successful some might say magnanimous treaties of WWII vs the one sided treaty of WWI to recognize what can come out of wisdom and fairness.And above all,we need to see the others as human,in every way,not unlike us.muchiboy

  • muchiboy

    Like settlement and peace talks between the two or three combatants themselves,we need to find common ground and that means give and take,recognizing past wrongs,legitimate but fair security concerns,etc.Even putting yourself in the other sides shoes is an option

  • muchiboy

    "Let me know if you need more proof Ronald Grant, otherwise shut the heck up and quit trolling. We are all sick of you're garbage and rantings. Go back to your Hamilton Ontario inmates you neo-Nazi corrections officer"

    Your posts are both disturbed and alarming,MixMChess.They have become irrational and unacceptable.I enjoy debate,even intense,heated debate,but you continue to cross the line.From this point on,I will simply block your comments while continuing to subscribe to FPM and engage in debate with all mature,rational subscribers.muchiboy

  • MixMChess

    "Your posts are both disturbed and alarming,MixMChess.They have become irrational and unacceptable.I enjoy debate,even intense,heated debate,but you continue to cross the line.From this point on,I will simply block your comments while continuing to subscribe to FPM and engage in debate with all mature,rational subscribers.muchiboy"

    Oh that's right you are allowed to cross the line and defame Jews and Israel but no one is allowed to call you out on it. Do us all a favor and block yourself from posting any of your rhetorical garbage.