Friday, July 25, 2014

Justin, You Need to Read This

While Justin Trudeau's pandering Liberal Party may praise Israel's "commitment to peace," Israeli society is displaying a darker, brutal face.

Lisa Goldman, director of the Israel-Palestine Initiative at the Washington think tank, New America, writes of an Israel utterly at odds with Trudeau the Lesser's obsequious drivel.

Goldman writes of, "a series of events that were marked by violence and incitement against the Arab population, from the government to the street. One member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, called for a war against the Palestinian people on her Facebook page. Another called an Arab legislator a “terrorist” during a parliamentary committee session, while still another, the leader of an ostensibly centrist party, submitted a proposal to ban an established Arab nationalist party with sitting members of the Knesset. The editor of a right-wing newspaper suggested that now was the time to transfer the Arab population out of the occupied West Bank. In Jerusalem, mobs of hyper nationalist youth rampaged through the cafe-lined downtown streets chanting “death to Arabs,” assaulting random passersby because they looked or sounded Palestinian. Most horrifically of all, a 17 year-old Palestinian boy from East Jerusalem was abducted from the street by six young Jewish men, three of them minors. The police found Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s corpse in the nearby Jerusalem Forest shortly after CCTV cameras recorded some young men forcing him into a car. He had been doused with gasoline and burned alive. Three of the six boys confessed to the crime and re-enacted it for the police.

This orgy of internecine violence was sparked by the mid-June abduction of three Jewish teenage boys – Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer and and Eyal Yifrah – who were hitchhiking in the West Bank. The army carried out a massive three-week manhunt for the boys, that included pre-dawn raids and dozens of arrests; it ended with the discovery of three corpses buried in a field near Hebron. And while the men who committed the crime were almost certainly Palestinian, Hamas has vociferously denied involvement even as the Israeli government continues to accuse them of masterminding the abduction and murder as an act of terrorism.

After the nationally televised funerals for the boys, with moving eulogies delivered by their mothers, the country seemed to explode. Ultra nationalists openly organized anti-Arab demonstrations via Facebook groups.

Something has broken down in Israeli society. Friends who always said they would never leave because they were too deeply rooted in the place, its language and their families are deeply worried and even despairing over the radical rightward shift of the mainstream political discourse. Several have said they were looking for opportunities abroad because they couldn’t see themselves raising their children in a country where dissent was slowly but surely being suppressed even as the national discourse hardened rightward.

Israel has always been a flawed democracy with many festering internal divisions. Its policies toward the Arab minority reflect the unresolved tension of a conflicted identity: Should Israel aspire to be a liberal democracy or a democracy for Jews? But in the five years since Benjamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister and formed a governing coalition composed of far-right, racist and anti-democratic parties, something very fundamental has changed in Israeli society. It feels as though the majority is willing to suspend essential elements of democracy in favor of Jewish nationalism. There doesn’t seem to be a place for dissent anymore.

The reduction of Gaza is an Israeli work in progress that has been going on for years. Within five years, ten at the outside, Gaza's dwindling fresh water supply should be exhausted, the groundwater rendered unfit for human consumption due to the engineered inundation of sea water. Meanwhile Israel continues building illegal settlements across the West Bank that render the very notion of an independent Palestinian state unachievable. This isn't a state of apartheid, it's a programme of incremental ethnic cleansing.

As for Trudeau and the neo-Liberal Party of Canada, their true colours are now completely beyond disguise.

MoS, the Disaffected Lib


  1. .. exceptional analysis.. journalism... that 2nd last paragraph is a blunt accurate notation... re 'the reduction of Gaza' .. When as a Canadian, I am confronted by our own elected public servant, Stephen Harper.. supporting that reduction (truly bizarre) what else can I think but that he and his Rapture Alliance Conservatude Cohort are ethically adrift, dazed confused regarding reality.. & morally bankrupt

  2. Mound and Lorne, it is encouraging that people like Lisa Goldman are speaking out. However the slaughter of women and children in Gaza continues. Our government and other political parties are playing patsy to Israel. It is incredible and heartbreaking.

  3. Other Jews have also strongly condemned what is happening in Gaza and lamented the apparent unfortunate loss of moral values among many Israelis:

    Even if it is true that Hamas intentionally put their women and children in harm's way (we have yet to see concrete evidence of this, e.g. civilians being chained to the missile launchers, or complaining bitterly of being held close to them against their will), it is Israeli shells and bombs which killed them, is it not? Only a morally bankrupt people will justify the slaughter of defenseless civilians, including babies, as the right to self defense.

    In reality, Gaza is a very small strip of land, about 5 miles wide and 25 miles long with a high population density of about 20,000 people per sq mile (quite close to that of NYC at 28,000 people per sq mile). The inhabitants are hemmed in by soldiers with guns at two ends (one side Israel, the other Egypt). The only other route of escape, the sea, is blockaded by the Israeli Navy. Where are the civilians to seek shelter even if they know that Hamas is caching their missiles and arms among them? Besides, as we saw yesterday, even seeking shelter in a UN designated school, did not protect them from harm.

    What is preventing Justin Trudeau and Mulcair from point outing the above? If it is fear of losing votes, perhaps they are just as morally bankrupt, eh?

  4. @ Anon. If you check out today's Guardian you'll find a report on the overwhelming support of the Israeli public for the Gaza onslaught. What's really disturbing is that the Israeli media are sanitizing their reportage and omitting mention of Palestinian death tolls.