Avi Dichter’s Spanish Self-Expulsion, 1492/2010
One of the most traumatic events of Jewish history was the Spanish expulsion of its large Jewish community beginning in 1492 by the newly triumphant Catholic monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand. This event marked the beginning of the infamous Inquisition, one of the darkest moments in European history.
Israeli MK, Avi Dichter faced his own self-induced expulsion from Spain recently after he was invited by a Spanish NGO to address a conference about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. When the Spanish justice ministry informed him that it could not guarantee him immunity from arrest for his role in the Salah Shehade murders and Operation Cast Lead, he angrily cancelled his trip, thus expelling himself from Spain before he even arrived.
But most entertaining is this ridiculous self-aggrandizing statement from Dichter quoted by Yediot Achronot, which shows that the movement for international accountability for possible Israeli war crimes is powerful and effective in that it’s getting their attention:
“This is not the first time I’ve encountered a situation that entails such a risk, entering a foreign nation and not being certain whether I would be able to leave amicably, without getting arrested. It is important to remember that this is not merely a threat to Avi Dichter; such an arrest also has the ramification of a threat to the nation itself. It’s strange that it is people from the Palestinian Authority, who operated there as part of the Palestinian security mechanisms, and have a very dubious record, can enter the country without trouble. The Spanish must assume responsibility for this matter and I am optimistic that we will extricate ourselves from this in the end.”
He is only partially right: of course this is both an attack on Avi Dichter and his political record and on the Occupation policies of the State. No, it is not a “threat to the nation.” That’s where the self-aggrandizement comes in. This is a threat to the nation’s current policies. A threat, by the way, that will largely evaporate when the nation changes those policies. The article notes that Mohammed Dahlan was to be one of the Palestinian participants. In this, I agree with Dichter. Dahlan too should be in the dock at the Hague along with Dichter.
As for extricating itself from the issue as Dichter so confidently predicts, there is one way to do that: negotiate a settlement along the lines of the Saudi Initiative. Till then, Israel and its apparatchiks like Dichter will remain entangled in this thicket of their own making.
H/t Rupa Shah
40 thoughts on “Avi Dichter’s Spanish Self-Expulsion, 1492/2010 – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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when ever i came across statements like that:
“from arrest for his role in the Salah Shehade murders ”
i can’t help it, and i thank G-d that views like yours didn’t exist 60 years ago.
if view like your exist 60 year ago, Hitler would have still been in power today. Europe would have been under German occupation etc.
Eisenhower would have been trailed as a war criminal, so would have been Montgomery, Patton, Bomber Harris, LaMay and others.
I take it it’s another slow day in the Hasbara Office
Why do you think that anyone who doesn’t share your view must be representing a formalized form off representation? As a second generation to holocaust Auschwitz graduates, as someone who reads more than just this blog, I formulate my opinions based on facts not fiction.
Facts such as that our enemies are radical, extreme, armed to the teeth, and don’t like us much.
Your status as offspring of Holocaust survivors doesn’t instill in you political clairvoyance or especially clear vision about the political reality in which you live. In fact, it may poison you in that respect as it does many other Israelis who are obsessed about seeing the evils of the past in contemporary reality.
Israel’s enemies are the ones you will have to make peace with someday–otherwise you & your state are doomed. It’s really your choice.
Kobi it’s “you” who are now running the Warsaw ghettos and Auschwitzs in Middle East. It is “you” who are exploiting millions and stealing their rights to descend life. It is “you” who are blackmailing halve a continent with attacks, nuclear weapons, nerve gases and bacteriological weapons. Your parents or grandparents were victims for a while in their life, you have not been. You have been and continue with increasing force to be the oppressor. For your parents (or grandparents) their victim phase took a tragic decade. The Palestinians have been suffering for several decades.
By the way Kobi why do you think that the Palestinians, Lebanese or Syrians do not like Israeli Jews very much? One doesn’t have to be a Albert Einstein to figure out the reason. The walls, millions of mines, graveyards filled with corpses and stolen apartments, factories and fields might give you to figure why. Israel has behaved its whole existence in such a violent way which doesn’t encourage neighbours and acquired slaves to be friends “you”. “You” never gave them a chance.
I hate this urge to compare what Israel does, to what the greatest tormentors of the Jews, the Nazi’s, have done. In some cases these comparison are only made to hurt. In other cases they seem to be made in the hopes of making people listen up by means of a shock effect (‘Listen you are doing the same as was done to you. You have become Nazi’s yourselves!’). In any case; the examples are usually not chosen because the comparisons as such are very apt.
What Israel does to Gaza is an outrage but Gaza does NOT equal the Warsaw ghetto. Israel is making life unbearable for many Palestinians in the occupied territories, but they are NOT deported to camps where they are gassed or otherwise killed with industrial efficiency.
The claim that Israel is running ghetto’s and “Auschwitz’s” (plural no less) is therefore made first and foremost because the Jews THEMSELVES were treated in this manner, not because the comparisons are so good. This is what makes such comparisons perverse and counterproductive.
They will not make people listen up; on the contrary, people are instantly turned off. Also, because the comparisons are exaggerated the very real suffering of the Palestinians gets to be considered trivial in comparison.
Just stick to the facts, they are serious enough.
Furthermore I find these statements really insensitive and offensive: “Your parents or grandparents were victims FOR A WHILE in their life. For your parents (or grandparents) their VICTIM PHASE took a tragic decade.”
When you are, as is often the case, the only member of your family to have survived, when you have witnessed incredible cruelty, your ‘victim phase’ continues throughout your life, and actually gets more acute as you approach old age.
Just like that, you’re banned. Read the comment rules to find out why. If you’d read & followed them earlier you wouldn’t have gotten into yr current pickle. Calling me a kapo or enabler of Hitler will get you banned every time..
I understand that equating anyone to Hitler or the nazis is a most offensive demarche and should never be done. I have been treated to the same “reductio ad hitlerum” myself when debating with one of the two parts in this conflict.
With all due respect, sir, I see Israel being described as running “the Warsaw ghettos and Auschwitzs in Middle East” just a few posts above.
That is why I am asking you to please reinstate full writing privileges to Mr Kobi (whom by the way I do not know) for this time.
Of course I meant to say “debating with (people rooting for) one of the two parts in this conflict”. I am not involved in the peace process, just reading blogs 🙂
After he was banned he e mailed me a threat. No one comments here who behaves in such a way.
And you have misunderstood what Kobi wrote. He didn’t merely mention Hitler, he associated my name w. Hitler. A far worse offense than any you’ve pointed to.
I was called an antisemite by a person from Israel because of my being a member of a pretty famous humanitarian organization working for human rights worldwide (and in the ME); and I was called an antisemite and a racist because “arabs are semites too” as I was trying to persuade a pro-palestinian guy that Israelis too have a right to their human rights being respected. Nobody’s blood is redder isn’t it?
In that sense I no longer care about Hitler, claims of anyone being an antisemite (me included) and the like. I think that war can distort human nature and reactions, so I try to be tolerant.
I love Israel, and personally what disturbs me more is when I see Israel’s existence (and I am not a nationalistic person) being equated with or described as the outcome of “the evil Zionist plot” by so many people discussing the about conflict. But of course I got used to that as well.
I didn’t know of the threats you received, and that changes the picture completely.
I have diff. issues to deal w. than you, as a blog owner. If I let one commenter compare me to Hitler w/o taking action, it becomes grist for all the anti-Silverstein websites that exist (& yes, there are more than one believe it or not) or other smearmeisters who take pleasure in following such rhetoric & amplifying it elsewhere to my detriment. If I were just commenting at someone’s blog as you are it would matter less. But my situation is diff. My reputation & the consistency of my pt of view is very important.
I have to do the same when there are virulently anti Semitic or anti-Israel comments made as well. So I try to be consistent in that. Those commenters too are banned & their comments usually not published.
“I was called an antisemite by a person from Israel…”
So what? If I had 25 cents for every time I have been called an anti-Semite and much worse, I could retire and live in luxury for the rest of my life. Get over it.
I have been called an anti-semite, and sometimes the accusation included my parents and grandparents! (Just being from Europe seems to be enough apparently.) It is simply stupid and better ignored.
Can you Mario deny the existence of Gaza ghetto, the Israeli prison camps, walls around Palestinians, the check-points and deliberate humiliation, economical exploitation, land and water theft, olive tree burning etc? The only point in recent history where a country which could be described as developed has done such things in massive scale to others are Germany between 1932-1945 and Israel from 1948 until today. Which are the historical “points” to which the Israel’s recent new laws and procedures favouring a religious group (Jews) can be compared? The only one are South Africa and the Third Reich. We criticising Israel have not made those laws and have not suggested those “loyalty oaths” and small communities rights to choose their inhabitants.
What makes the whole thing so absurd is that those supporting Israel’s violent behaviour and human rights abuse use constantly the Holocaust as the ultimate excuse to create a new holocaust to others. Pretending to be a victim in order to justify hurting others. Just like Kobi did.
Nobody likes being equated to Hitler or the nazis. So, if you are speaking metaphorically when describing Gaza as the Warsaw Ghetto, and the treatment of Palestinians at the hands of Israeli forces as Auschwitz, my opinion is that you shouldn’t.
If you are serious instead, my opinion is that you are wrong in drawing such comparisons. For the simple reason that the policies of the nazis against the Jews and the Gypsies in Europe were planned and deliberately implemented with a view to entirely exterminating those two peoples. Israel never intended to exterminate the Palestinians, and the current situation of continual violations of human rights by the two parts is the consequence of the war.
Indeed this war is depriving of their humanity and of their common sense all those who are involved in it. So you can witness hate speech being aired on the Palestinian and Arab media, and you have on the other hand jewish settlers attacking innocent arab civilians, and the soldiers humiliating prisoners, and Hamas firing rockets randomly into civilian areas, and disgusting graffiti of mavet la’aravim or legaresh et ha’aravim etc. etc. But all this ever degrading situation is a consequence of the war, it was not planned in advance.
On the oath of allegiance I have written elsewhere in this blog that IMO it is in line with other similar laws currently in force in many countries around the world, and I do not think that the Israeli law is specifically racist. Rather all these laws (the Israeli law included) raise the serious problem of the legitimacy of nation-states. This is point is difficult to understand for someone who lives in the USA, where many religious and cultural groups live together, which makes illegal for the administration to favour one such religious or cultural group above the others. Traditional European nation-states to the contrary are based on the assumption that the administration represents the ehtno-linguistic group owning the land.
Your entire last paragraph is a repeat of what you’ve already written & which various people have rebutted. Follow the rules & do NOT repeat yrself. That’s just a way to sneak in an opinion you’ve already raised & others have already responded to. Repetition is dull. So you repeat yrself & I have to repeat the rebuttals I’ve already made of yr sorry arguments. How dreary. So don’t do it. Not to mention that the loyalty oath is off topic in this thread. Stay on topic.
“On the oath of allegiance I have written elsewhere in this blog that IMO it is in line with other similar laws currently in force in many countries around the world…”
Cite one country in the world besides Israel that even contemplates requiring its citizens to declare an oath of loyalty to an ethnicity or religion or race to which they do not belong.
Kobi, 60 years ago it was 1950. Hitler was dead, Germany was split into two states, & was occupied by French, British, American & Russian troops.
You’re right about Dahlan. Palestinians don’t need mercenaries like him speaking on their behalf!
As far as Dichter is concerned I’m just upset someone warned him. And why would an NGO invite him to speak on peace anyway?? Maybe it was intended as a trap. If so, too bad he was warned about a possible arrest.
THe NGO is run by a former Spanish foreign minister. I don’t know if he’s a right winger or was a minister in the current gov’t. If he was in the Aznar gov’t it would make more sense why he invited these Palestinian & Israeli losers to talk peace.
Richard, with all due respect, i do not think Kobi called you a capo or a hitler enabler.
he clearly stated that your views would have brought folks like Eisenhower, Montgomery and others to trail.
it is not the same thing, if you’ll read the blog of the your friend Gurevitz then you will see that as much criticism that he has against the state of israel, he supported cast lead , not in the way it was carried, but supported the targets (he thought that the IDF needed more troops on the ground and less air power (his words)”פלישה קרקעית מסיבית, ובלי הפחדנות הרגילה. בהתחשב ביכולת הלחימה של החמאס, זה כנראה היה מעלה את מספר ההרוגים של צה”ל בעוד עשרה אבל חוסך מאות רבות של חיי אזרחים”
of the operation, you on the other hand do not miss an opportunity for your smear campaign, Salah Shada (which is what upset Kobi & upset me) wasn’t murdered he was killed and was a legitimate target (so is Gabi Ashkenazi by the way) saying he was murdered is twisting reality.
I’m not interested in what you claim he said. I read the words & know what he said & what he meant. I don’t like to have my name connected to Hitler in any way shape or form. Too many idiots have already done that to me & other Jewish progressives.
Operation Cast Lead was a war crime in its planning & execution. Those who planned & executed it (senior generals & political leaders) participated in this odious massacre. I could care less what you or Yossi Gurevitz think (& no, he is not my friend, but not because of this) on the subject. I know what I think & I know why I think it. I know too that international law will eventually catch up to the perpetrators (on both sides) & I await that day.
Calling Cast Lead a war crime is not a “smear.” It is the truth. You deny the truth. But the rest of the world knows it for what it is. Eventually you will have to acknowledge what everyone else in the world knows just as the Serbians were forced to do regarding Kosovo & Bosnia.
Salah Shehadeh (& again we’ve discussed the subject scores of times in this blog & I do not appreciate having to repeat the truth & correct yr lies as I’ve done w. others before you) was murder. They dropped a 2,000 lb. bomb on an apt. building in which there were 20 women & children totally unrelated to his alleged crimes. This is not just a targeted killing, which in itself is a clear violation of international law, it is wanton murder of civilians. This is why Dichter, Halutz & Almog will all face the dock in the Hague. The blood of children are soaked into their skin & under their fingernails.
Your saying Gabi Ashkenazi is a legitimate target for the same type of targeted killing as Shehadeh (if that’s really the numbskull statement you made) doesn’t comfort me in the least. These conflicts need to be resolved by negotiation & if necessary in a court of law–not at the barrel of a gun or tip of a missile.
“Salah [Shehadeh] wasn’t murdered, he was killed”
Political Zionistes and the rewriting of semantics.
Ethan Bronner in The NY in an article on Lieberman:
” . . . When, for example, relations with Turkey reached a crisis level after nine people DIED in May in Israel’s raid on a Turkish Flotilla”.
I guess you have to be an Israeli Jew to deserve the verb ‘murdered’ and then again, only if you’re loyal to the ‘Jewish AND democratic’ State.
Yes, the nine Turkish activists “died” spontaneously on the same evening of old age.
i forgot to include the links to gurevitz articles
this is the first – http://www.hahem.co.il/friendsofgeorge/?p=325 read third paragraph
this is the second – look at comment 7
Richard, you don’t like your name etc…..
well these are your views, its a valid thing to say that if your views were ruling 60 years ago, WWII may have had a different outcome. the draw to hitler kapo etc. this is all inside your head buddy.
as for shada, i am sorry but i have a much better first hand knowledge of the events, as i was part of the grater team who orchestrated that attack. Halutz, Dichter, and others you named will be prosecuted a day after Obama & Bush, it will never happen. Shada was a target, the international law by the way prohibits military personal, and terrorists to hide among civilians. if they do they are still consider valid targets they have no immunity and the liability for the death of innocent people is on them.
Israel is at war, the war was forced upon us, your notion of must reach peace is very noble but not applicable, as the conflict is not over land, the conflict is religious in it’s nature ( and i am as secular as secular can be) despite the Magnes view, Israel celebrated 62, and will celebrate 100 in 48 year.
back to WWII, American generals were never prosecuted as their was a clear vision of the bad / good guys.
that vision is a bit skewed today is some circles (such as yours) but with demographic changes in Europe it’s becoming as clear as vision can be.
it is going to get much worse before it will get better that is for sure. we will see you at 6 after.
No, it’s not valid. It’s a historically inept claim. And I simply won’t have my views or name associated in any way, shape or form w. Hitler. It’s in the comment rules as clear as day. And now Kobi has threatened me if he’s not reinstated within a week w. unspecified mayhem. He’s dealing with the wrong fella if he thinks threats will work on me.
Not his name. Call people by their proper names please, esp. if they’re not from your own ethnic or religious group.
A big mistake to make such an admission. Big. Now you’re on an even shorter leash as you’ve essentially admitted that you were a direct accessory to a potential war crime. I would rather not have known that, but since you felt you had to boast, you will face much greater scrutiny here.
A despicable lie. International law does not allow, defend or excuse this massacre. Never. And do not attempt to prostitute international law to suit yr needs. It’s deeply offensive.
Shehadeh was not fighting when he was killed. He was in a residential apartment building inhabited by 20 other civilians including women & children. There is NO possible defense of this slaughter. NONE. Don’t even try.
No, I’m afraid the liability of these deaths is on you.
More despicableness. The murder of 20 innocents & one allegedly guilty man was not “forced” on you. You made that choice & seem proud of it. You make me sick. Totally, utterly sick.
Wrong, wrong, utterly wrong. The conflict is POLITICAL, not religious. Not religious at all. But you & the settlers and a few Palestinian fundamentalist extremists will try to make this into a holy war between religions. To the extent you all succeed is the death of Israel and possibly of Palestine as well.
Not likely if people like you have any say in the matter.
OFF TOPIC. I warn you, every comment violation puts you in danger of it being yr last. Every one. You’re on a very thin edge.
Nice to get an admission that I was right a few weeks ago when I figured out you were in army intelligence. If you couple that little factoid with the mathematical quote above you understand why “Army Intelligence” is an oxymoron.
Durrr derp dee derp.
Amazing how low you people can sometimes go. It’s a typo/silly mistake, give it a rest.
Care to elaborate or is it one of the “leave Britney alone” kind of things?
You mean that you can’t add & think 62+48=100? Ok, I won’t mention it again.
Most of the Israeli apologists who slum here are either from Rotter or former military intelligence (or at least claim to be so) or both. I’ve got a guy I just banned who’s now threatening to wreak vengeance on the site &/or my reputation. Some of these people have too much time on their hands, which was how my site was taken down a few months ago.
# Ari Jay)
“Israel is at war, the war was forced upon us”
To paraphrase Gideon Levy: Israel is the ONLY force of occupation in history convinced of its own eternal victimhood.
“Shada was a target, the international law by the way prohibits military personal, and terrorists to hide among civilians”.
As far as I know military personnel on duty are a legitimate target, and operational military personnel active in a civilian setting makes that setting a legitimate target. Policemen and political figures responsible for the military are not considered as a legitimate target.
So if Shahadeh is regarded as “military personnel” the question arises whether he was off duty, as the bombing targeted the house in which he was residing with his family; this bombing might in fact be regarded as targeting civilians. If Shahadeh is to be considered as a political leader or as a high ranking official instead, again he should have not been considered a legitimate target.
If Shahadeh was a terrorist he should have stood trial, and in Israel there is no death penalty. Which means he was killed without proper trial. As it seems to me, this is a general problem with all instances of targeted killings.
Hamas too targets civilians but one cannot justify the breach of humanitarian law because of an equivalent breach of the same law by the other conflcting party.
Would killing Gabi Askhenazi or Yoav Galant at home while having dinner with his wife & children constitute a legitimate military target for Hamas or Hezbollah? I don’t think so.
So you agree the the killing of the 250 unarmed Gaza police cadets was a war crime?
We agree at least about targeted killing.
AriJay wrote that Shahade was a military target, and therefore it was legitimate killing him even if he was amidst civilians, because it was either his fault being there or the civilians’ (or possibly both). I just tried to suggest that he was not.
I feel really sorry for disturbing the ongoing discussion in this blog. I won’t in the future.
Yes, that part of yr comment was completely on topic & legitimate. But the last paragraph justifying the loyalty oath was not.
Dichter’s really being ridiculous with his quote but Spain really has no business arresting him. Unless they can bring Inca back from the dead, that is.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but what kind of person boasts about being involved in dropping a one ton bomb on an apartment building at midnight when
everyone is guaranteed to be at home?