Israel Independence Day Evokes Nazi-Era Slogan
Today is Israel Independence Day. It is also Nakba Day for Palestinians. Let’s not forget.
But in the Israeli celebration of the day, a live TV broadcast featured a flag-bearing color guard which formed the configuration of Hebrew words reading: “One people. One state.”
In the Israeli context, this is Palestine denialism. It says there is only one people in Israel, the Jewish people. For those who may choose to interpret the phrase in the context of world Jewry, it makes no sense. Saying the Jews are “one people” or “the single people” appears to deny the existence of other peoples.
The second portion of the slogan, “one state,” is exactly what it sounds like–a rejection of the two-state solution. There is only one state, Israel. There will never be a Palestine.
Those who are students of the Nazi era will hear a distinct echo of a Nazi era slogan: ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer. The first two elements of the slogan directly translate into the Hebrew words on the TV screen. The only element lacking was the Fuhrer.
There is an Israeli precedent which employed the entire Nazi era phrase in Hebrew. In 2014, during a far-right rally in support of Operation Protective Edge, some leftists employed guerrilla theater tactics, printing placards in Hebrew which read: “One people. One state. One leader.” Again, a direct translation from the original German. In the context of the Israeli far-right this slogan fit right in with the prevailing mood. None of the rally-goers understood the trick that was played on them. The photo of the placard I display here even shows the homicidal Israeli rapper, The Shadow, standing proudly behind it unaware that he’s endorsing Israeli fascism.
56 thoughts on “Israel Independence Day Evokes Nazi-Era Slogan – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
Only a sick minded person can see a simple message about unity between parts of a nation as a hateful message.
Richard – get out of the anti-Israel, anti-Zionism closet. Anyone who read one article of yours knows it. Isn’t it about time you stop hiding behind all those vague, empty titles such as progressive-Zionist etc’ What does it even mean?
@ Ginger: You’ve violated several comment rules & clearly didn’t read them as the instructions warned you before you commented. NO ONE accuses me of being anti-Israel. And I am NOT anti-Zionist either. Further, you know that I consider myself a Zionist. Nor do you get to determine what I am. If you don’t know what a progressive Zionist is then you’re even more of a moron than I thought.
Calling me “sick-minded” violates a few other rules. You seem to need some incentive to understand the rules here, so I’m moderating you. Only comments that respect these rules will be published.
I do not want to offence, but Wikipedia says so:
“The common denominator among all Zionists is the claim to Eretz Israel as the national homeland of the Jews and as the legitimate focus for Jewish national self-determination.”
If Israel/Palestine would be a one state with equal rights to all who live there (=one people), what would it do to Zionism with its core aims (national homeland for all Jews and Jewish national self-determination)? It is clear to all, that a modern society were halve (or more) of the population/citizens are non-Jews could not tolerate the homeland to all Jews (=automatic citizen rights) option and the self-determination for Jews in Israel/Palestine.
There are two possibilities for the one state – one nation reality
* the Jewish domination (Zionism) continues and leads to this worsening primitive religious apartheid and massive ethnic cleansing
* real equality to all who live in Israel/Palestine, which makes much of Zionism as a national/religious ideology less “consistence”.
You are right, and I think that Richard is best to answer your question.
I f I understand Richard correctly, the key difference , between “liberal Zionism” and the “progressive” form that he advocates, is allowing the Law of Return to apply to Palestinians as well as Jews, and full national rights for Palestinian Arabs, including the returnees, in Israel. This of course means allowing Palestinians to reclaim their homes in pre-67 borders. I don’t see how this is consistent with any definition of Zionism.
Richard, are you referring to the old “cultural Zionism” of Ahad HaAm?
As you said, you don’t owe anybody an explanation, but I see a certain incoherence here. I don’t own the word Zionism, but what you seem to be advocating (at least from what I gather in your comments and in the “about” page) seems to empty all meaning from the concept of Zionism. Since without a Jewish majority and Jewish sovereignty , the Jewish homeland would simply be yet another place where a lot of Jews live.
@ Yehuda: Not quite right. It doesn’t necessarily mean Palestinians may claim the specific homes they owned in 1948. If anyone asked me (& they haven’t) I’d urge a massive rebuilding project of the destroyed Palestinian villages so that they may be repopulated. Such new-old towns & villages would serve as a magnet for those seeking to return to Israel. I’d urge Palestinians returning be compensated so that they may buy any properties they used to own at fair market rates, so that the current owners might sell them to them if they wished.
Personally, I don’t think a Return of 400,000 or so Palestinian refugees need cause major social or economic disruption to an entire society.
I don’t believe sovereignty is inherent in a reglion or religious group. It is inherent in a state or country. Israel has sovereignty, not a particular religion. So if you want Israel to be purely Jewish then expell the Palestinians & you will have your race-pure state. And you must concede that you’ve become a disciple of Meir Kahane and Israel is a theocracy ruled by rabbis or monarchs who are Davidic descendants, or politicians deputized by them. If you don’t, then you must share the state somehow.
@Richard : “And you must concede that you’ve become a disciple of Meir Kahane and Israel is a theocracy ruled by rabbis or monarchs who are Davidic descendants, or politicians deputized by them. ”
No, that is black and white thinking. I most certainly do not want a religious theocracy. (I actually think the clergy, including Jewish, is a scam, but that’s another discussion. I am disgusted by the religious parties). I see Jews as a people, and they must have a homeland that is majority Jewish. It is not religious sovereignty, it is national sovereignty for Jews, who choose to participate in the project. Yes, we have to share the state with its non-Jewish inhabitants, which is why I still favor a 2 state solution. I don’t see how we can turn the clock back. I know we’re not discussing other countries, but if Israel was born in sin, so were most nation states that exist today. I don’t know where you get the 400k from, but as long as you’re throwing out a number, it’s negotiable…
@ Yehuda: It doesn’t matter what you want or claim to want. Your support of Occupation makes you a supporter of the current settler regime. You have only one path outside this one: to unalterably oppose Occupation & call for its immediate end, a Palestinian state, a shared Jerusalem and ROR. It’s either Kahane or democracy. You can’t have both.
You can have a homeland that is NOW majority Jewish. But there is no way you can guarantee this forever. The majority will depend on demographic trends, not on ideology or Jewish supremacism.
You’re also confused about Israeli Palestinians. You have to share the state with them. But that has nothing to do with a 2 state solution. You can’t expel current Israeli citizens to Palestine (which doesn’t even exist). You must recognize them as fully equal citizens of your state, which they aren’t. Palestine is a separate issue. But at this point it is a dead letter. And saying you support 2 states is like telling me you support the return of the dinosaurs to earth. I dare you to make it happen. Till then, you have to deal with the here and now, not pipedreams. And if your here & now is Occupation, you are a Kahanist, or might just as well be one.
The Geneva Initiative did demographic surveys and concluded that around 400,000 Palestinians would seek to return within 67 borders. That’s just as good a figure to start with as any. The hasbara notion that 6 million or 8 million Palestinians will return to 67 borders is ludicrous. Financial incentives to resettle in Palestine can also further reduce the number. But there is no doubt that several hundred thousand Palestinians will want to return. This will not harm Israel, in fact it will strengthen Israel in the long-term.
@ SimoHurtta: You are not offending. Questions that are asked sincerely, even ones that challenge my point of view, are not offensive.
A “homeland” is not the same as a unitary state dedicated to a single religion or ethnicity. A homeland is a place where a people may make a home. It does not preclude another people making a home there as well. Yes, this is a different point of view than classical Zioninsts like Ben Gurion, etc. But it is a point of view that has always existed in Zionism as a legitimate alternative to the mainstream.
I believe that Zionism will and must exist in a form that permits 2 peoples to live in one state in full equality. I believe that democracy must be the governing principle, rather than religion or ethnicity. This doesn’t mean that religious or political rights or even ethnic identity of the minority is suppressed. All must be honored. Hopefully, under a social contract or constitution.
But anyway, these are my own personal beliefs of what is just & right. I’ve not been entrusted by anyone to negotiate on their behalf, so let’s just leave them at that.
“I believe that Zionism will and must exist in a form that permits 2 peoples to live in one state in full equality.”
The area has always been shared by many different ethnicities. (It was never exclusively Jewish.) Even more than 2 peoples should be no problem :-).
That would be in accordance with the text (and the spirit) of the Balfour Declaration.
RS – “I believe that Zionism will and must exist in a form that permits 2 peoples to live in one state in full equality”
So… by now you accept the fact there are millions of Jews in Israel. But did they have a right to come in the first place? Does a progrrsive-Zionist believe the Arabs should have accepted it?
Does this concept has anything to do with Jews or the land of Zion? or is it another liberal thought that is applied anywhere, and in Israel as well?
@ Ginger: I think talking about rights regarding events that happened three quarters of a century ago is a waste of time. What does it matter whether the Jews fleeing the Holocaust had rights to come or not? They came. Let’s deal with the result of their arrival & righting the wrongs that resulted from this.
BTW, the “Arabs” have accepted Israel. So there’s no debate about that. Though you seem to believe erroneously that there still is.
@Richard – “I think talking about rights regarding events that happened three quarters of a century ago is a waste of time”.
SERIOUSLY? Then why are we even discussing the Right to Return for Palestinians? The 400k refugees you mentioned above (conservative number as their are aparently 6 million Palestinians in diaspara) have never lived in Israel. Out of the original refugees, how many are still alive? They must be almost 70 by now.
This is funny how some part of history we shouldn’t bother discussing but other parts should follow us any second of the day.
Also, in your definition of Zionism I haven’t find the word Zion, Israel or Jew. Just a boat load of ultra-Liberalism. So the question remains – what is progressive-Zionism??
@Ginger: Israel expelled Palestinians from their homes from 1948 right up to the present day. Yesterday Israel destroyed the homes of Palestinians. This is not an ancient claim or wrong. This is one that continued unabated for 70 yrs.
If you deny refugees the right to return based on the fact that they never lived in Israel, then you should have no problem cancelling the Law of Return, based on the fact that Diaspora Jews who make aliyah have also largely never lived in Israel. So you have no problem with that, I assume?
You don’t have as clue about my definition of Zionism if you can make such an idiotic claim that it doesn’t reference Jews, Israel or Zion. I simply can’t take you seriously enough to waste time answering your stupid questions. I take seriously people who don’t have an antagonistic agenda. You do.
Richard – if you have written about your definition of Progressive Zionism somewhere, please provide me with the link. I will gladly read it an try to figure out other way of looking at Zionism.
@ Ginger: Look up terms like progressive Zionism or critical Zionism in my blog’s search feature. My world view is integrated into the blog itself. I don’t believe I’ve ever written a specific blog post dedicated to the subject. Besides, I find defining Zionism rather boring and useless. It’s like asking someone to define the air or water. You breathe it, you drink it. It’s part of you. Why do you need to define it? Besides, if you were to try to do it there are hasbarists like you who will come along & try to pick apart what you write. I don’t believe in serving myself up on a plate to my enemies.
Richard – first I want to salute you for allowing my post and not keep it moderated.
But then – you really avoided the subject. Saying Progressive Zionism is like Air or Water may sound good but it is clearly not the case. I just looked up a bunch of pages and many of them put Progressive and Liberal Zionism in the same boat. Reading you blog for awhile I learnt you despise Liberal Zionism. I bet you’ll dozens of different definitions each one tailors by the specific author of whatever article.
What I’ve learnt from your blog is that you oppose occupation, you believe everything Israel do is evil and you wish the world would have been a better place.
Clarifying your beliefs may be hard and picked upon but it will elevate you from a blogger who harshly criticize any action done by Israel to a person who shows other a clear path of thinking about the situation.
@ Ginger: I don’t “harshly criticize any action done by Israel.” But I do criticize the ones which are unjust & immoral. In case, you didn’t know, I’m under no obligation to be a cheerleader for policies which are ill-conceived. Israel has people like you for that.
I told you to move on. You clearly thought that was a suggestion. It wasn’t.
[comment deleted–you have been moderated due to comment rule violations. Future violations will result in your being banned outright.]
The simple fact is, Ginger, that about twenty percent of those with Israeli citizenship are Palestinian and that this message about “ein Volk, ein Reich” niet voor hen geldt – zomin als het fascistisch-Duitse equivalent voor de Duitse Joden gold.
Does one have to be “sick-minded” to notice this? One would be purblind not to notice it.
Such slogans point to an implicit program. We are not “ein Volk, ein Reich” yet – but we will get there.
Where exactly does it say “hey, we are talking only about the Jews” ?
Yesterday, Yom HaZikaron, commemorated ALSO those Druze, Circassian, Israeli Arab (Muslim and Christian) and Beduins that fell in the defense of the state of Israel.
One state, one people – Israelis.
@ OneIsraeli: I dare you to find a single reference during Independence Day to Israeli Palestinian dead. You won’t find one & you know you won’t.
And don’t sloganeer. If you want to do that go to Arutz 7. Next time you do that you’ll be moderated. And READ the comment rules.
The dead are not commemorated during Independence Day, but during Memorial Day, Yom HaZikaron:
“Head commander of the Bedouin Reconnaissance Unit, Itamar Gadir, talks about the loss of his cousin, Ayman, who was killed 12 years ago.”
About “sloganeering”, sure, that’s one way to read it. Another is to understand that I quoted the problematic phrase in question, followed by an en dash to express the parenthetical meaning of the word that follows. In this case, explaining the meaning of the problematic phrase as being simply “Israelis”.
I wasn’t referring to Bedouin, who serve in the IDF. I was referring to Israeli Palestinian Muslims (Arab) or Christians.
No Beduins ? Not a problem.
“Nonetheless, a small number of Palestinian citizens from the country’s Muslim and Christian communities have chosen to join the army. Dr. Kanaaneh says the figure of 3,000 is her best estimate after many failed attempts to get the military to provide precise numbers.[…] A surprising number I interviewed tried to compare themselves to Muslim-Americans or African-Americans serving in the US military. They said that through army service they expected to become Israeli like other Israelis.[…]”
@OneIsraelu: Nope. You claimed these Israeli Palestinian Muslim & Christian recruits were memorialized on Yom Hazikaron. They weren’t. Prove what you claim and don’t move goal posts in middle of the game.
There have been at least 8 Israeli Arabs killed while serving in the IDF. Their names are commemorated in a monument in the village of Arara. The funeral of one of them, Sa’id Jujah (z”l) was attended by the President.
@ OneIsraeli: Again, you’re not supporting your own specific claim. You claimed Palestinians were memorialized this past Yom HaZikaron. They weren’t.
Since you’ve tried & failed three times, you’re done in this thread. Move on to another thread, but do not post in this one again.
You asked: Where exactly does it say “hey, we are talking only about the Jews” ?
Culture Minister Miri Regev (who was responsible for the ceremony) said:
“The phrase ‘one people, one nation’ is an expression of the just aspiration of the Zionist movement since its inception: to establish a JEWISH state.”
There you have it.
Iran is an Islamic state. Would you say Iranian Jews are not part of the Iranian people?
@ OneIsraeli: Iran has only been an Islamic state for 35 yrs. Before then, it was a country with a glorious civilization, which treated its Jewish citizens better than Israel treats its Palestinian citizens. Even since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has treated these Jewish Iranians quite well.
Israel as a state has only existed for 70 yrs. Big difference.
Sorry, but that has no bearing whatsoever in this particular argument.
When a country consisting of all immigrants from all over the world like the US stresses that they are nevertheless one people, it has a totally different connotation than when a country like Israel does so. Why?
Israel forbids re-migration of people who used to be inhabitants based on the fact that they are NOT Jewish, and encourages, even begs for immigration from all over the world by people who ARE Jewish. To then use the slogan “one people, one nation”, stressing that Israel is a JEWISH state as Regev does clearly indicates: “hey, we are talking only about the Jews”. Is that really so hard to understand, or do you not WANT to understand?
Sorry, I was so much involved in Dutch correspondence today that this letter was affected by it. Here is the English version.:
The simple fact is, Ginger, that asbout twenty percent of those with Israeli citizenship are Palestinians and that this message about “ein Volk, ein Reich” doesn’t hold for them – as the fascist-German equivalent didn’t hold for the German Jews.
Is the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ which American kids recite every morning (at least in the movies) also fascist? Is ‘one nation under God better in any way??
Now you mention it. Yes. If you regard these texts as implicit programs you can read in the American one the desire for the inclusion of all – in the Nazi-German one that for the exclusion of some (and some). And I would say that that Hebrew text is in the same category.
@ Ginger: “Under God” was added in 1954. I never said that in school and mostly refused to recite it at all in school. But the Pledge makes no mention of the USA being “one people,” because we aren’t. We’re an ethnic mix of various peoples, which is what makes us great–and what will destroy Israel.
This is typical hasbara diversion from the real subject, which is the fascist tendencies roiling Israeli society.
Nation or People can both be translated as AM.
To write a whole post of your interpretation of a word for 3 seconds of choreography of a marching performance is overreach and desperate.
@ Ginger: I wasn’t aware that you’d been appointed editor here, nor that anyone asked for your opinion about what’s legitimate to write here. I’d suggest you confine yourself to comments that analyze specific issues of my post and not give generalized editorial direction.
@Richard- if this phrase bothers you, I can’t imagine what you think of HaTikva…
To some extant all nationalism sounds jingoistic. I wouldn’t read too much into it.
I guess when one hammers away at one’s computer in Seattle while 6MM Jews in da Holy Land are celebrating their brains out with BBQ’s by day and raging dance clubs by night, one finds remorse by creating and solving puzzles like this.
Grilled Palestinian is delicious I hear. It’s on the menu at The Shadow’s house I know for sure. Yours too, I’m sure.
Add that to the other animals you’ll be sacrificing on the sacred altar after you destroy the Haram al Sharif & rededicate the Third Temple!
Didn’t take you for an antisemite but this sound like a blood libel.
@111: Israel employs a Nazi era slogan and you accuse ME of a blood libel? If anyone has a right to raise that phrase it’s Palestinians, whose blood flows like Jewish blood in the days of Czarist pogroms.
Just a minor note: Nakba Day is on the 15th of May, it follows the Gregorian Calendar.
As I don’t read Hebrew, what is the transcription for “one people, one nation’ ?
@ Deir Yassin: Am echad, medinah achat.
Thanks, I though it might be ‘am’. I’ve noticed that ‘am israel’ is often translated by ‘the Jewish people’ so I guess Palestinians, Circassians, Druze etc are not included.
By the way, according to a Supreme Court ruling in october 2013 there is no Israeli people outside the Jewish people, so I guess it contradicts the hasbarists here about ‘one people, one nation’ including the non-Jews.
PS. I thought ‘medinat’ was ‘state’ and not nation (in arabic it’s ‘city’)
@ Deir Yassin: Excuse my sloppiness: medina is state (medinat is a contractional form–medinat Yisrael, State of Israel). But if I have my Herzl right, I think he used the word Staat. In German, I think that word may be interchangeable with “city” or “state.” I guess because at one time cities were states.
In German city is die Stadt and a state is der Staat. Herzl used in his pamphlet Der Judenstaat meaning by it a sovereign state for Jews. He did not mean simply homeland. Homeland in German is die Heimat or das Heimatland. Heimat and Staat are not necessary equal. A Palestinian could say his/hers Heimat is Palestine, but there is no Staat named Palestine.
The Dutch national anthem that is supposed to be the oldest in the world (dating from around 1570) forgets in its first and most frequently sung verse to mention the Dutch and refers to two non-Dutch entities instead. Many people who wholeheartedly sing about honouring the King of Spain haven’t got a clue what it is all about. And directly after the war that reference to “German blood” caused embarrassment. People were told to sing “Dietsen” instead of “Duitsen” (German). “Dietsen” was supposed to mean “of the people”. I have never checked up whether this is true.
Honesty compels me to relate that this oldie was for a while replaced by a now very embarrassing text. The English translation of the first line was “Whoever has Dutch blood in the v eins / free from foreign stains”. A text like that would cause a riot now.
Here is the translation of the first verse of our puzzling national anthem:
William of Nassau
am I, of German1blood.
Loyal to the fatherland
I will remain until I die.
A prince of Orange
am I, free and fearless.
The king of Spain
I have always honoured.
That’s why, especially during the war, the 6th stanza resonated much more, and is still often accompanying the first stanza:
My shield and reliance
are you, o God my Lord.
It is you on whom I want to rely,
never leave me again.
Grant that I may remain pious,
your servant always,
and may defeat the tyranny,
which wounds my heart.
Uri Avnery, as sprightly as ever in spite of his 92 years, commented this week on the Israeli Declaration of Independence and the deliberate mistranslation of the term ” Hebrew”:
“THE INTRODUCTION is a reiteration of Zionist slogans. It purports to set out the historical facts, and very dubious facts they are.
“Jews strove in every successive generation to reestablish themselves in their ancient homeland…” Nonsense. They most certainly did not. For example, when the Jews were expelled from Catholic Spain in 1492, the vast majority of them went to the countries of the Muslim world, with none but a handful settling in Palestine.
Zionism, the movement to establish a Jewish nation in Palestine, was founded only at the end of the 19th century, when anti-Semitism became a powerful political force all over Europe, and the founders foresaw the calamities to come.
THE DECLARATION emphasized, of course, recent history: “On the 29th of November 1947 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel…”
That is a major falsification. The UN resolution called for the establishment of TWO states: an Arab and a Jewish one (and a separate zone of Jerusalem). Omitting the call for an Arab state changes the entire character of the resolution.
This was, of course, intentional. Ben-Gurion was already in secret contact with King Abdullah of Jordan, who wanted to annex the West Bank to his Transjordan kingdom. Ben-Gurion approved.
Ben-Gurion saw it as a major aim to eliminate any trace of a separate Arab Palestinian nation. The annexation of the West Bank by King Abdullah was tacitly approved – even before the first Jordanian soldier entered the country, ostensibly to save the Arabs from the Jewish State.
HERE IS the place to tackle these two fateful words: “Jewish State”.
Before the creation of Israel, when speaking about our future state, nearly all of us here used the words “Hebrew State”. This is what we shouted in innumerable street demonstrations, this is what was written in the newspapers and demanded in political speeches.
This was not an ideological decision. True, there was a tiny group of young writers and artists, nicknamed “Canaanites”, which was proclaiming the birth of a new “Hebrew Nation” and wanted nothing to do with the Jews in the Diaspora. Some other groups, including one founded by me, expressed similar ideas without reaching such absurd conclusions.
But in colloquial speech, too, people made a clear distinction between “Hebrew’ (things in the country, like Hebrew agriculture, Hebrew defense forces etc.) and “Jewish” (like Jewish religion, Jewish tradition and such).
So, why “Jewish State”? Quite simple: for the British administration, the population of Palestine consisted of Jews and Arabs. The UN partition plan spoke about a Jewish and an Arab state. The “Declaration of Independence” took great pains to emphasize that we were only fulfilling the UN decision. Hence: “We hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state, to be known as the State of Israel”.
(Note: “A” Jewish state, not “the” Jewish state.)
These innocent words have been quoted a million times to justify the contention that Israel is a “Jewish” state, in which Jews have special rights and privileges. This is accepted today without question.
However, it is generally overlooked that in one of the paragraphs, while “extending our hand to all neighboring states” it asks – in the Hebrew original – for cooperation with “the sovereign Hebrew people”. This is flagrantly falsified in the official translation into “the sovereign Jewish people”.
In the main sentence in the Hebrew original, the signers identify themselves as “…representatives of the Hebrew community in Eretz Israel…” The official translation says “the Jewish community in Eretz Israel”.”
“One state, one nation” is a simple outcome of “Two states for two nations”.
@ QWERTY: How about two states for one people??! I read that tweet recently on Twitter!
[Comment deleted. Expletives insults directed at me or other commenters earns you automatic banning.]
The Right of Return cannot be a big issue for Israel when it comes to real figures
put on the table by the PA: 150’000!