Posts Tagged ‘Haifa University’

Disgusting and Horrific! Israeli Minister Claimed Fascism Part of Israeli Identity

November 26, 2019

This really shows how twisted and vile Netanyahu and his coalition are. Yesterday the Jewish anti-Fascist, anti-Zionist activist Tony Greenstein, put up a piece about how he’d been contacted by an Israeli academic, Avraham Oz. Mr Oz is professor of Theatre at Haifa University and a long-standing supporter of the Israeli left. The professor was appealing for funding for the Alfa Theatre in Haifa. It is in danger of losing its state funding following allegations made by an informer, Shai Glick, to the government. Netanyahu’s vile administration is not only determined to expropriate and eventually expel the indigenous Arabs, but also to silence and harass dissenting voices in Israel. I gather from previous posts that it has launched attacks intended to stifle criticism and reporting of atrocities and other crimes against humanity from groups like Breaking the Silence, a veterans’ organisation, and the Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem. Regev has been part of this campaign in her capacity as Israeli Culture Minister. Last year she attempted to pass a ‘Cultural Loyalty’ bill, which would have denied funding to any work that did not respect the symbols of the state of Israel, viewed Independence Day as a day of mourning, or incited violence and terrorism. Tony points out that this would mean that any play about the Palestinian Nakba – their term for massacres and ethnic cleansing against them that was an integral part of the foundation of Israel as an independent state, would lose its state funding. And such a play may even face banning altogether.

It’s the kind of cultural repression found in Communism and Fascism. And what is truly sickening is that Regev actually said that she was proud to be a ‘Fascist’, and that Fascism was an integral part of Israeli culture! She also made a speech in 2002 declaring Sudanese immigrants to be a ‘cancer’ in Israel’s body. Not surprisingly, her critics produced mock images of her in Nazi uniform, which is anti-Semitic under the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, and Regev herself got upset.

Tony puts her remarks into context with the Zionists’ policy of allying themselves with real gentile anti-Semites in order to encourage the foundation of a Jewish state and Jewish immigration to it. He shows this went as far back as Chaim Herzog, who wrote that the Jews had been too hard on groups like the British Brothers’ League, which had campaigned against Jewish immigration to Britain in the early 20th century.

He also quotes Jewish authorities on the rabbinical condemnation of tell-tales like Glick. I’ve used similar quotes in some of my pieces attacking groups like the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the Gnasherjew troll army, who go through people’s social media posts looking for material they can use to accuse them falsely of being anti-Semites.

http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2019/11/israels-kulturkampf-culture-minister.html

Anti-Labour Jewish groups launch fact-free attack on Jeremy Corbyn

But it’s Regev’s comments applauding Fascism that utterly astonish me. I can only imagine the disgust and horror it must have caused self-respecting Jews everywhere, and indeed anyone, who had ever lost people in the struggle against Fascism. A Jewish philosopher described the ultra-nationalist ideology of the Israeli state as ‘Judaeonazism’. Obviously it’s a highly controversial term, but when ministers like Regev describe themselves as ‘Fascists’ and claim that Fascism is part of Israeli national identity, then it’s entirely justified. Buddy Hell in post about Zionism a few years ago at Guy Debord’s Cat described how one of the early Jewish settler groups in the 1920s were the Maximalist Legalists, who wanted to create a Fascist state similar to Mussolini’s in Italy. Regev’s comments about Fascism, consciously or not, hark back to them.

And now I see Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has decided to spout lies against Corbyn once again, accusing him of having not done enough against anti-Semitism.

The Labour leader certainly has and more than enough, as some of those allegations, such as those against Mike, Tony, Marc Wadsworth, Jackie Walker, Martin Odoni, Ken Livingstone and so on were unfounded and malicious. They were a cynical attempt to smear and purge decent anti-racists from the party as part of a wider campaign to oust Corbyn. Since Mirvis opened his mouth, and his mendacious splutterings were published in the Times, a number of left-wing bloggers have put on the Net the countless instances where Corbyn and his party have supported Jews against discrimination and racism.

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2019/11/26/heres-the-real-reason-chief-rabbi-mirvis-attacked-jeremy-corbyn-and-labour-hes-a-tory-and-a-racist-it-seems/

And Mirvis and his predecessor, Jonathan Sacks, also have questions to answer themselves about racism and bigotry.

A year or so ago, Sacks led a contingent of British Jews to participate in the March of the Flags. That’s when the Israeli equivalent of Nazi boot-boys parade through the Muslim part of Jerusalem waving Israeli flags, banging on doors and vandalising property. Sacks had been asked not to go, but he still went. And I also remember the anger he caused when he declared that Reform Jews were ‘enemies of the faith’ – which is the language of religious persecution. Mirvis and the Board also turned up to the mass demonstrations against Corbyn a few years ago, when they tried smearing him as an anti-Semite because he had not fully adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. That’s the definition that’s been criticised by Kenneth Stern, who formulated it, as chilling reasonable, genuine criticism of Israel.

There’s absolutely no substance to Mirvis’ recent sputterings. It’s just more noise from a Tory, writing in the Tory press, and an arch-Zionist afraid of reasonable criticisms against Israel.

Like what is the country doing appointing a self-identified Fascist as its Culture Minister?

Now I realise that Regev may have made her comments well before Mirvis became Chief Rabbi, but you have to wonder what his reaction to Regev’s words were. He is, after all, a friend of Netanyahu’s as well as Boris Johnson, and while British Jews aren’t responsible for what the Israelis do, the Chief Rabbinate and Board of Deputies have shown themselves to be staunch Zionists. So it has to be asked of them how they saw Regev’s statement and what they did, as supporters of Israeli, to protest against it.

My guess is that Mirvis and the Board did nothing. They’re quite content to let Israel behave like a Fascist state, and Israeli ministers call themselves Fascists, so long as it isn’t reported and they aren’t criticised for it.

And David Rosenberg, another Jewish anti-Fascist and critic of Israel, published a post in which he recalled how, when he was growing up in ’70s and ’80s, the Board tried to stop Jews from joining the marches then against the NF and BNP by groups like the Anti-Nazi League. Or go to meetings and concerts by organisations like Rock Against Racism. The Board claimed it was to stop them being exposed to anti-Zionist propaganda, but others suspected that there was more than a little of real racism against other minorities there as well.

And that’s why they hate Corbyn: because he is a genuine opponent of racism and anti-Semitism, while they just want to stop criticism of Israel.

 

Ilan Pappe on Israel’s Founding Myths and the Oppression of the Palestinians: Part 2

May 26, 2016

Pappe also attacks the myth that the Israel’s only committed one massacre during the 1948 War, that at Deir Yassin. In fact there were many. He recounts the experience of history student, who studied a massacre by the Israelis of the inhabitants of a village near Haifa. The student also collected the oral testimony, not just of the Palestinians, but also of the Israeli soldiers who took part. He was then threatened with legal action by the head of the army unit from which the soldiers were taken. The student didn’t have Pappe’s strong constitution, and buckled under the pressure. He wrote an apology for what he’d written. He then immediately regretted his retraction, and tried to retract it, but this was rejected by the court. The University also placed him under enormous pressure to amend his dissertation. Pappe, who was not his supervisor, stepped in, stating that it was all true and he would go to court to defend the historical reality of the massacre. He states that so far the army hasn’t sued him.

As for himself, he states that there was a period back in the 1990s during the Oslo peace process, when it looked like his ideas were becoming more acceptable. He noticed that some of the school text books drew partly on his work when discussing the country’s origins. In 1998 Israeli television broadcast a series on the country’s history as part of the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation. This also was partly informed by his work. He also states that the university management were keen to show him off or have him around when foreign visitors came to look around. This changed when the Oslo peace negotiations fell apart. Instead he became very much persona non grata. The university at several times tried to force him out. He also recalls how he was blocked from attending an academic conference at the University because of his views. So he hired one of the lecture rooms, which anyone was free to do, to give his own conference. On his way there he physically accosted by one of the security guards, who pulled him away to one side, and said down his phone to his superiors, ‘We’ve got him,’ as if he were some wild animal. Eventually, he was allowed to give his talk in the University canteen, so long as he did not stand up and kept his head down. Then it was all right as it wasn’t a conference, but a social gathering.

He acknowledges that the persecution he has experienced has been nothing like the harassment of his Palestinian colleagues. He also describes how he dealt with his personal notoriety by opening his home to anyone who wanted to hear his views. When he moved to the village, where he now lives, the local newspaper ran a piece attacking him. He so said that every Thursday night, his house would be open to anyone, who wished to talk to him. He then found his front room full of 50 people, which it certainly wasn’t designed for.

Regarding Israel’s future, he felt that if the country finally faced up to the injustice it had inflicted on the Palestinians, it could go two ways. It could become more left-wing, and more open to the rest of the Middle East. He believed that as an historian, this was quite possible, as Ottoman history showed that the Jews fared better there than Europe. Or it could become more right-wing, intolerant, with walls to keep out foreigners, ruled by a theocracy. He said that Israelis are decent people, and if you explained the facts to them, they did indeed accept the terrible things that had been done by the Israeli state. But at the moment, he thought that it was more likely that Israel would become more right-wing and intolerant. He also held out the possibility that this would also work to the good in the long run, as sometimes you need terrible things to be done to you to make you aware of what’s happening.

He makes it very clear that Israel at the moment is a deeply racist society, and talks about the processes by which Israelis grow up to hate the Palestinians. One of his students is in the Israeli army’s propaganda unity. He told him that when the army is especially pleased with them, it gives the squaddies a treat. They are shown the film of a bomb being dropped on Gaza from the point of view of the plane that dropped it, as it falls all the way down. This is a bomb that killed many civilians, just to get one terrorist.

Here’s the video: