Yesterday brought not one outrage du jour, but two from Israel. Defense minister Avigdor Lieberman denied 8 year-old Ahmed Dawabshe’s application for the official compensation offered all Israeli Jewish terror victims. The little boy’s father, mother and baby brother were all burned to death by Jewish settler terrorists. The attackers haven’t even been tried yet for their crimes though it is nearly two years since the crime.
Lieberman claimed Israel could not recognize Dawabsheh as a terror victim because he’s not an Israeli citizen. Note, that the Jewish settlers who incinerated both his parents and baby brother live right next door to him in the occupied West Bank and are Israeli citizens. Yet he is not and so is denied.
Israel further insulted the victim by presenting the PA with a $250,000 medical bill for Ahmed’s care. Palestinians were outraged at this effrontery, claiming Israel was charging Ahmed for his own care. Israeli authorities then tried sophistry. They hadn’t presented any bill to Ahmed. The world was supposed to interpret that as Israel presented no bill to anyone, which was a lie.
Further, those settlers did not have their homes demolished for their terror attack as any Palestinian attacker would. And because one of the group of attackers was a Shabak stoolie, this individual hasn’t even been named, charged or prosecuted in Israel (but he was outed here).
How the Hell does Israel have the chutzpah to shrey about a UN report documenting it is an apartheid state, when decisions like this confirm it a hundred-fold??
The second outrage was a Supreme Court decision finding that a former Argentine mass murderer who married a Jew and made aliyah to Israel to escape prosecution for war crimes, will not face justice for his crimes. The Court, finding that Teodoro Gauto did indeed lie on his Israeli citizenship application about his past, nonetheless refused to revoke his citizenship. It argued that his good behavior in the fourteen years since his arrival in Israel wiped out any crimes he committed beforehand. Essentially, the justices argued that if you are a good boy while you live among us Jews, it doesn’t matter how many goyim you killed previously (not that there were no Argentine Jews murdered). All this meant that he would never be extradited back to Argentina for trial.
An irony which Uri Strauss noted in a Facebook comment is that Israel has never shrunk from kidnapping war criminals in Argentina and flying them to Israel to face justice. Perhaps Argentina might want to take a trick from Israel’s playbook and kidnap Gauto to haul him back before an Argentine war crimes tribunal. I’m sure Bibi would squeal like a stuffed pig at the violation of Israeli sovereignty. But when has Israeli honored the concept national sovereignty when it wasn’t in its interest to do so??
The case against Gauto was brought by an Argentine Jew whose brother was murdered in the same facility in which Gauto served during the era of the military junta. Gauto, responding to the charges, claimed he was no murderer, but rather a low-level researcher who studied left-wing ideology on behalf of the real murderers.
As I’ve said here before, decades ago the Supreme Court represented the last bastion of democracy in this benighted country. But now, its ranks have been infiltrated by settler justices and rightist hacks whose decisions would make the judiciary of Nazi Germany proud. They rip Muslim babies from their biological mothers and offer them to Orthodox Jewish adoptive parents on the racist grounds that a Muslim baby will be offered a better future by Orthodox Jews than his biological mother would.
The Israeli Supreme Court is now just another one of the tired, dysfunctional, racist institutions leading Israel down the path to self-destruction. It’s days of championing justice or democracy are long behind it.
In the meantime, Hamas has issued a groundbreaking revision of its Charter, which now recognizes a Palestinian state within 1967 borders:
“Hamas considers the establishment of a Palestinian state, sovereign and complete, on the basis of the June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital and the provision for all the refugees to return to their homeland is an agreeable form that has won a consensus among all the movement members,” Meshaal said.
The new document also removes anti-Semitic passages that had populated the original Charter. It shows a Hamas that has become pragmatic and forward-thinking, while Israel sinks even further into a morass of moral turpitude.
The Charter does not recognize Israel itself. But given that the PLO did recognize Israel on behalf of the entire Palestinian people, and Hamas has never rejected this act of recognition, the Islamist movement has tacitly recognized Israel. At this point, at which Israel has completely turned its back on the Palestinians and rejected any form of compromise, I don’t think we should expect any better from Hamas. At some future date, when circumstances offer either an Israeli leader willing or compelled to recognize Palestinian national rights; or an international consensus that demands such recognition, I’m certain the movement’s positions will soften on this matter.
In a sense, this new effort is a reflection of inconvenient necessity. Gaza has almost no champions left in the Arab world. Turkey’s Erdogan made a flourish about his commitment to end the Israeli siege as the price of resumption of relations with Israel. In reality, he’s done very little to change anything in Gaza. Hamas split from Iran some time ago over its role in Syria. That turned off what had been a flowing spigot of financial and political support. With the overthrow of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government, Hamas faced an implacably hostile military junta which took power. So Hamas had to soften its former expressions of allegiance to the MB in order to curry favor with the generals. Egypt is now the only game in town as far as Hamas is concerned. It still controls all points of entry into the enclave. With the Israeli siege, Egypt is the only “escape-valve” that remains.
As long as Israel maintains an arch-rejectionist stance toward Palestine, only a one-state solution presents itself as viable. So in this sense, the hardline Islamists and hardline Israeli nationalists have the same goal: they each want a single state (though each side has contradictory views of what that state should look like). However, it seems highly unlikely the world will stand for Israeli nationalists running the sort of apartheid state they envision. Rather, the world will likely demand a democratic state, meaning that Israeli Jews will eventually become a minority and subject to the will of the Palestinian minority. This is an outcome the nationalists would abhor. But they are walking into that future with their eyes sealed shut. This allows them to see only the future they want, rather than the future the world will demand.
I don’t think anyone is foolish to believe that the Hamas initiative will change hearts and minds overnight. This will be a gradual transition in which the world will eventually come to see Hamas as a political movement that should and must be part of any future solution. Israel, in the meantime will natter on about this being the same-old Hamas now dressed as a wolf in sheep’s clothing; a Hamas still full of killers whose hands drip Israeli blood. That, what I call “terror-porn” approach to Hamas, worked as long as it was primarily a radical Islamist militia focussed on armed resistance. With this change, those shibboleths will lose their power and meaning. This will cause Israel to fall even farther back in its efforts to promote Brand Israel as the sole font of decency, democracy and tolerance in the region.