Israeli Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi is once again stirring up a hornet’s nest among Israeli Jews. For those not well versed in how she is perceived, imagine Malcolm X in the year or two before he died, when he was reviled by white America as a white-hating firebrand and inciter of racial violence. She has been threatened with death too many times to mention, including a Facebook group which put a bull’s-eye right above her forehead.
Invited to address a Dutch Jewish leftist group, Platform Stop Racism and Exclusion, in Amsterdam on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, Zoabi took the opportunity to link the victimization of European Jews by the Nazis to the suffering of Palestinians under Occupation. Zionists insist they have a monopoly on suffering and the world’s sympathy and exploit the Holocaust regularly for this purpose. Having a Palestinian probe the issue and point out both the flaws in the argument and the implications racial hatred may have in today’s Israel-Palestine conflict is simply maddening.
That is why Zoabi is not just vilified, but under constant police investigation and repeatedly scolded by her Knesset colleagues who strip her legislative privileges for her temerity. Another impact of her activism is to rebut the Likudist meme that Palestinians are the modern incarnation of Nazis (remember Bibi’s false claim that the Mufti told Hitler to “burn them”?). Zoabi, in effect, turns the tables and notes that it is the Israelis who are adopting many of the practices of the Nazis, if not yet the cardinal one of genocide.
The coverage of Zoabi’s speech is incomplete. Most Israeli news outlets paraphrase bits of it. And I don’t yet have a transcript of her remarks (UPDATE: I do now here). But a Dutch newspaper published an interview with her just before she spoke this evening. In it, she goes over the points she would’ve likely made in her talk:
Faced with criticism from Netherlands, Zoabi said by telephone, they can “just laugh.”
“I’m used to it, that I am accused of being anti-Semite or Hamas supporter. The fact is that I stand up for the Palestinian people. This makes many Israelis, and apparently others angry. That is the real reason for the sedition against my person. ”
Do you understand that Israelis feel that you undermine the state?
Zoabi: “For Israelis, the Palestinians have no right to resist. After all, they find that there is no occupation of Palestinian territory. In their eyes, the Palestinians do not suffer humiliation, arrests, land grabbing and so on. Israel is in total denial of the occupation, the harassment of Palestinians, of crimes against humanity. If you demonstrate against it, you’re supposedly agitating. They even have a problem with Europeans supporting the Palestinians, who they seek to prevent entering the country. Israel is the one who incites against the truth. Every critical European voice it silences by calling it anti-Semitic. ”
What do you think of the accusation that you are an anti-Semite?
“That is political terror. A method to impose silenced on people . Any criticism of [Israeli] oppression is called anti-Semitism. ” But I’m not making that oppression. I did not create the reality. How do they want me to react to it? They expect that I should agree with it? Israelis seem to think we will not resist. ”
What does the commemoration of Kristallnacht for you personally?
“It is very important to commemorate Kristallnacht. I stand up for freedom, dignity and human rights. Kristallnacht was an important stage on the way to the demonization of Jews. If the majority of the Germans and the rest of the Europeans had not demonized the Jews, there would have been no Holocaust. For me, the silence of the majority an important role. Not everyone agreed, but they kept their mouths shut in the face of demonization of the Jews. ”
How do you explain the link between Kristallnacht and the situation in Israel and Palestine?
“The majority of Israelis supports the suppression and demonization of Palestinians. The message of the Kristallnacht is precisely: do not be silent. Of course we have no problem with Jews. But in this country privileges are to be given to one group, in this case the Jews. That is the wrong message. You can not combat racism and oppression by handing out privileges. Racism must be countered by equality, justice and human rights.”
972 Magazine journalist, Avi Blecherman affirmed Zoabi’s views about the decline of Israeli society into a semblance of proto-Nazism in this Facebook post I translated:
A society doesn’t lose itself in a single day. For the Germans too it took time. We’re speaking of a long process of deterioration until the inevitable catastrophe. We [Israelis] are on the way there. The last remnants of what morality we had are breaking down, sinking into a mire of self-righteousness and victimhood. We’re turning our neighbors into sub-humans, murderous beasts: we must not buy from them, live next door to them, permit our daughters to be defiled by them. Most of all, we must “neutralize” them, destroy and plunder their homes, and deny them citizenship, which they only had on a conditional basis anyway.
Israel is already deep into free-fall towards the abyss. Prime Minister Fascist-yahu is already dripping into our brain the new comparison: Palestinians=Nazis. MK Yinon Magal has lately been quoted telling us that the time has come to stop talking about a single Nakba , and start talking about future ones. A ‘Blue and White’ Kristallnacht is coming, it’s only a matter of time, don’t worry yourself. We’ve taken on a role much closer to the Nazis, the closing of the ultimate circle.
In this passage, Blecherman refers to this Channel 10 interview with Bayit Yehudi resident-fascist MK, Yinon Magal. Among other candid statements he makes are:
…After the first Intifada, Rabin surrendered to terror and signed the disgusting, worthless Oslo Accord, the results of which we saw in the second Intifada and up till today.
Before Oslo, most of the world was with us– [rejecting] this folly that there is a people here, a so-called Palestinian people–there is no such people and there will never be such a state–and we must hack away at this hope. The Palestinians must understand that in war, whoever waves a knife–we can say “Meet Comrade Machine-Gun and Comrade Bullet” [a reference to Haim Guri’s 1943 poem of revenge in which he introduces Zionist weapons as characters who offer revenge for the murder of Europe’s Jews]; that we can count not just Intifadas, but Nakbas [a reference to the two Intifadas and one 1948 Nakba]. Whoever starts a war runs the risk of paying a very heavy price.
What interesting about the reference to the Guri poem is that it was written in 1943, both at the height of the Shoah in Europe and heightened confrontation between Palestinian and Jewish militias in Palestine. The “comrades” exact revenge not only against the Nazis who exterminated Jews, but also against the Palestinians for making it impossible to save more Jews in Palestine. Thus, Magal is closing a circle that Netanyahu began by linking the Nazis to the Palestinians.
As far as Israeli politics is concerned, Netanyahu has almost become a figure of the past. A bridge between the Likudist past of Shamir and Begin and the future of who knows? The Magals, Hotovelys, Shakeds, and Yaalons are the Likud of the future (see JVP graphic #IsraeliIncitement). Magal has promised Palestinians a future Nakba. He’s laid out on a silver platter the future plans of the Jewish state to ethnically cleanse its non-Jewish population. This is the sort of moral abyss Blecherman refers to in his Facebook post.
Anyone reading this who attempts to dismiss or minimize it, calling it rhetoric, is deluded. The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin began in just such incitement. Yinon Magal promises us a future Blue and White Kristallnacht, an Israeli Jewish version of the Third Kingdom, which we might just as well call the Third Reich.
You’re seeking consolation perhaps? No, there may not be a Shoah. Small consolation. No ashes of Palestinian corpses flying up chimneys. Just an ethnic cleansing of a few hundred thousand or million Palestinians.
Yesterday night, the day before MK Zoabi spoke in Amsterdam, a pro-Palestine activist, Christopher Ben Kushka, spoke on BDS at a Munich municipal hall. The event was hosted by a Jewish-Palestinian dialogue group. The Jewish community’s leader let loose with inflammatory invective likening BDS to Nazism, thereby linking it to anti-Semitism. Because of Germany’s historic past, anti-Semitism is illegal there. So successfully linking BDS to it would make the movement a criminal enterprise.
Participating in this charade is Germany’s Green Party in the person of Volker Beck. He’s the same individual who succeeded in getting Max Blumenthal and David Sheen ejected from the Reichstag, where they’d been invited to deliver a talk on Israeli racism toward African refugees. Beck exploited his position as a legislator to plant leading questions of the German security services:
Response of the Federal Government to a question posed by MEPs of the Greens on “Antisemitism in Germany”, March 3, 2015:
29. Does the German government consider the so-called BDS-Campaign aimed at Israel (BDS – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) to be anti-Semitic?
If so, why?
If not, why not?
a) To the knowledge of the government, how many supporters does this campaign have here in Germany?
b) Is the BDS campaign or its supporters, to the government’s knowledge, under the surveillance of the Federal Office of the Protection of the Constitution or any of the regional Offices of the Protection of the Constitution?
If so, why?
If not, why not?
* * *
The questions 29, 29a and 29b will be answered together.
The German government has no knowledge of activities by the named campaign that…would permit surveillance by the Federal Office of the Protection of the Constitution.
The Federal Government has not received information that might confirm the sense of the question.
The Federal Office of the Protection of the Constitution, likewise has no knowledge of surveillance of this campaign by a regional office of the Protection of the Constitution.
There you have it. Despite pressure from former progressives in Germany’s Green Party, the center-right government does not find BDS anti-Semitic and has no plans to place it under surveillance for being an anti-Semitic, criminal enterprise.
Compare this with the lies spewed by Benjamin Weinthal in his Jerusalem Post coverage of the same event:
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter on Friday refused a request from Israel’s consul- general in the city to pull the plug on an allegedly anti-Semitic event in a municipal building advocating a boycott of the Jewish state.
…[Israeli consul] Shaham told the Post on Saturday, “We are sorry that this anti-Semitic BDS group has been allowed to use a municipal room to call for a boycott against Israel, which is by law not allowed in Germany.”
He added that the boycott-Israel event is taking place two days before the memorial events for the 1938 Kristallnacht pogroms in Germany and “in a city that in which National Socialism had its beginning.”
“Those who do not see the anti-Semitic tone and character of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign do not want to see it,” Volker Beck, a Bundestag deputy for the Green Party, told the Post. “[Advocating BDS] is indeed protected by freedom of expression, but this should not be sponsored by a particular city’s municipality. I consider that unacceptable.”
Weinthal coyly attaches the phrase “allegedly” to the term “anti-Semitic” in his report. Who did allege the BDS event was anti-Semitic? Not the German government. But the Israeli consul general. On the strength of this specious claim unsupported by fact Weinthal can they convey the false impression that someone with credibility and standing has voiced the claim that BDS, and this event, are anti-Semitic.
Weinthal represents the depths to which the pro-Israel media machine goes in dredging up dirt; and confirms that some in the Israeli media are not reporters, but servants of the regime. Both the reporters and the regime are steeped in lies and paranoia as they desperately try to prop up a system that threatens to fall because it can no longer sustain its own weight.
At the event itself, 20 Jews acting in ways reminiscent of Hitler Jugend, screamed bloody murder throughout the event and stole the informational materials event organizers offered to the public. Police and security guards called to the scene had difficulty maintaining any semblance of order.
Arie Brand says
It is likely that the Israeli Right’s continuous references to Nazism will ultimately backfire. Those in a glass house should not throw stones. The similarities between that brand of state terrorism and the Israeli variety are becoming clearer by the day. Professor Leibowitz, who coined the term “Judeo-Nazis”, saw these similarities way back:
Sir Gerald Kaufman noted that the fact that the Nazis had killed his grandmother did not imply a right for the IDF to kill Palestinian grandmothers and he called Tipi Livni’s answer to a question about the slaughter in Gaza the answer of a Nazi:
Professor Zygmunt Bauman compared the fence cordoning off the West Bank to the walls around the Warsaw ghetto and stated among other things that Israel “took advantage of the Holocaust to legitimize unconscionable acts”
What are Israeli reactions to criticism along these lines from abroad? Tony Judt found the right word for it: “autistic”. He said that particularly in relation to Israeli reactions to criticism of its raid on the Ghaza flotilla but it can serve just as well to characterise the attitude of the Israeli Right in general:
“The characterization that comes to mind is “autistic.” Israel behaved in a way that suggests it is no longer fully able to estimate, assess or understand the way other people think about it.”
Arie Brand says
I relied on my memory in talking about Sir Gerald Kaufman’s speech – always a hazardous thing to do. Actually he called the answer of the spokeswoman of the IDF to a question about those killed in Gaza (that about half of them were “militants”) the answer of a Nazi. Sir Gerald supposed that Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw-ghetto could also have been called “militants”. He criticised Tipi Livni for stating that Israel could not negotiate with Hamas because they were “terrorists”. He recalled that Livni’s father was chief operations officer of the Irgun, the organisation that organised the blowing up of the King David Hotel in which more than 90 people were killed. “Israel was born of Jews’ terrorism” Sir Gerald said. In this context he also reminded people of Abba Eban’s saying that you make peace by talking to your enemies.
Interesting that you mention Tony Judt and his reference to autistic behavior. I don’t know much about autism and am thankful for Tony Judt but I think there is insight to be gained from Judith Herman’s “Trauma and Recovery”, if you view the situation as illness, societal illness. This is so if you relate this to the Jewish collective experience,not all of us of course, but a certain reaction, widespread enough, that has been perpetuated nurtured and tolerated, passed on through the generations, one of perpetual victimhood. This lack of healing turns into sickness, is sickness. It’s a repetition or re-dramatization of past trauma, self inflicting ( collectively) again and again with the same hurt. It breeds, even loves this, this insecurity,these deep seated feelings of worthlessness. And in the process it makes victims similarly. The abused, abuses. And so on.
I don’t see how this communal sickness changes. It seems to be growing. The US is an enabler, very much so.
Deïr Yassin says
Talking about Kristallnacht, here’s a Tweet from the French section of the Jewish Defense League (which is not illegal in France, their flags are seen at every pro-Israeli ralley, also the ones that are officially labeled “demonstration against anti-semitism”, often attended by high ranking politicians, the Prime Minister Valls etc):
In this moment we’re entering Arab shops in order to sack them one after another.
Get out !”
I just went throught their Twitter, apparently it has been deleted since.
A single, month old tweet from a fringe group, does not a Kristallnacht make.
Deïr Yassin says
Nope, the Jewish Defense League is not a fringe group, though it’s officially banned in Israel, Kahanists are well represented among the settlers, and as I said, not only are they present at every pro-Israeli ralley in France, they also constitute the backbone of different groups that try to provoke at every pro-Palestinian demonstration or event.
But that’s not the point: just as Kristallnacht didn’t just happen in a vacuum but after years of escalation of anti-Jewish speech, so we’re seeing a more and more genocidal tone among the right-wing freaks in Israel.
But then again: I think we all know your job here.
“.. Volker Beck. He’s the same individual who succeeded in getting Max Blumenthal and David Sheen ejected from the Reichstag,..”
Ejected from the building after they hectored him to the extent that they even followed him into a public restroom.
Being followed into a restroom by that pair would make me very nervous.
BTW. That’s Bundestag, not Reichstag.
Kyle Renner says
” Ejected from the building after they hectored him to the extent that they even followed him into a public restroom.”
He slandered the pair of them idiotically in calling them “anti-Semitic” and David Sheen a “self-hating Jew”.
He ran away like the gutless coward he is (similar to you, of course– which is why you find common cause with him) when they called him out on his slanderous and patently ridiculous, idiotic remarks.
” Being followed into a restroom by that pair would make me very nervous.”
Because you’re a gutless coward and a loony who finds common ground with anyone who screams “self-hating Jew! Anti-Semitism!” at any Jew who has the temerity to stand up for Palestinian rights?
Dispense with the shameless hyperbole on your end.
Comment Rule #1. “. insults, baiting, vulgarity, harassment or abuse is not tolerated. Comments which question anyone’s mental health are not permitted”
Kyle Renner has insulted me by calling me a coward, and has questioned my mental health by calling me ‘a loony’.
Richard. Please inform Kyle that he has violated the blog’s comment rules.
Richard Silverstein says
@Hopper: It is not your job to tell me how to enforce the comment rules. You seem to have missed the rule saying that readers and commenters do not edit this blog and should not arrogate such privileges to themselves.
Not to mention that he called you those names after you gay-baited two activists, which was shameful. Try being decent & respectful & you won’t be called a gutless coward.
I do not believe you are a coward or loony. But I do believe you are misguided, sometimes a tiresome propagandist-apologist, & fact- challenged. And homophobic.
Kyle Renner says
To be honest I just called him that because of his idiocy and his sycophancy towards a politician engaging in slander, in accusing David Sheen and Max Blumenthal of “anti-Semitism” and otherwise being “self hating Jews”.
Richard Silverstein says
@Hopper: Saying you’d be afraid to be followed into a restroom by them is a nasty homophobic slur. As any hasbarist worth his shekels knows, Sheen & Blumenthal are both gay. You implied that they are also sexual predators who would attempt a bathroom molestation/ hookup.
I couldn’t care less how you respond to my comment. I put you on notice that homophobia or baseless insinuations that others may engage in sexual misconduct is not permitted here.
Actually, I didn’t know that Blumenthal was gay.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Hopper: But you did know that Sheen was, which reaffirms my conviction that what you intended or insinuated was a gay slur. Try it again & I’ll kick you outa here so fast your head will spin.
Arie Brand says
The German members of parliament who invited Blumenthal and Sheen to the Bundestag (four women: Inge Höher, Annette Groth, Heike Hänsel and Claudia Haydt) are, I understand, all members of “Die Linke” (The Left) i.e. the party of the hero of “toilet-gate”: Gregor Gysi. Two of them (Höher and Groth) had first hand experience with Israeli brutality since they were on the Gaza flotilla.
The history of the German left is extremely convoluted. But I gather that “Die Linke”‘s reluctance to criticise Israel has mainly to do with its aspiration to be a junior partner in a possible future coalition with the SPD and the Greens. “Die Linke”s part origin in the East German SED and Gysi’s supposed participation in Stasi- activities make it all the more eager to appear to be acceptable to the “main stream” as far as Israel is concerned.
Tonight MK Haneen Zoabi will give a presentation:
The Legal System in Israel: Legalization of Racism
Location: CREA, Nieuwe Achtergracht 170, 1018 WV Amsterdam | 09-11-2015 – Starts at 20.00 hrs |
See also facebook #event
Thx for coverage .. much appreciated!
And not a word about the murderous campaign of the Palestinians.
What campaign is that? Is it the one resisting the theft of their land and patrimony, the one resisting the Judaization of East Jerusalem? If this campaign is “murderous,” how much more deadly is the Israeli assault on Palestinians, the one continuing the program of 1947-49? The resistance of Palestinians is far more heroic and meaningful than the celebrated French Resistance during WWII. Palestinians have set the bar on resisting foreign imperialists.
[comment deleted: off-topic. Make sure every comment you write is directly related to the topic of the post.]
Stubbing an 80 year old lady on the back is a murderous campaign and it is not resistance of Palestinians.
Richard Silverstein says
@gilead: Sorry bub but you don’t give hekshers to Palestinians about what is kosher & treif. When they need a posek from Reb Gilead they’ll know where to find you. In the meantime, when you stop murdering 73 yr old Grannies on their way to lunch maybe they’ll stop stabbing 80 yr old Jewish Grannies. Do you think a Jewish Granny’s blood is redder than a Palestinian Granny’s?
BTW, in the interest of improving yr English, “stubbing” & “stabbing” are 2 quite different activities.
Reb Gilead says
Killing or stabbing old people is wrong.
Thanks for the English corrections
Richard Silverstein says
@ Reb Gilead:
Killing or stabbing old people, young people, children, civilians is wrong. But you, curiously, didn’t condemn the murder of the Palestinian Granny. Only when I pointed out the hypocrisy of your position did you make a mealy-mouthed attempt to be even-handed. Which isn’t really being even-handed, since Israel kills six times more Palestinian old people and children than Palestinians kill Israelis. It’d be nice to see from you six times the condemnation of Israel compared to Palestine.
Kyle Renner says
Whine, whine, whine.
As to a coming Kristallnacht, I defer to people far more expert than I.
On a rather different point, a point of giving in or refusing to give in to propagandists: I ‘m sick and tired of hearing the State of Israel referred to as the “Jewish State”. (I don’t really understand how a state can reasonably be said to be “Jewish”. Did it have a Jewish mother?)
But if people want to refer to Israel with a nickname (as apparently they do) and also for people who wish to paraphrase the “Jewish state” moniker, I suggest an alternative moniker like “The State North-East of Egypt” or “The State at 31° North and 35° East”.
That way, when some twit (let’s say, Ms. XYZ) says, “Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of the Jewish state”, one can paraphrase that as “Ms. XYZ has referred to Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of the State North-East of Egypt” — thereby calling attention to Ms XYZ’s coyishness (or worse) in refusing to simply refer to Israel when that’s what she meant.
Israel – The Jewish Glitch.
Israel – The Jewish (very sic) State .
Arie Brand says
As to a name for Israel: when you give the term “robber state on the Mediterranean” as a cross word puzzle clue it wouldn’t give too much of a problem.
Arie Brand says
Richard your spamfilter seems to lead its own life. Sometimes things get through, at other times they don’t – even if one uses the same computer. I sent a post almost a day ago and it still seems to stick in the jaws of your filter.