excesses of Sharon's government have been such that even erstwhile
ardent Zionists have started speaking out against them. We give room
to Jewish voices here, which either do not agree with Zionism at
all, or do not agree with the means by which the idea of Zionism has
been furthered in Israel, turning the country into an apartheid
retired senior diplomat, born in Austria in 1925 where he lived
under German rule from 1938 to 1940. He then managed to escape with
his immediate family to the United States. Mr. Heichler served in
the US Army during World War II, becoming a US citizen in 1944. He entered the
Foreign Service in 1954 and retired as a minister- counselor
in the American Foreign Service in 1986 after serving at seven posts abroad, in addition to Washington
a Jewish refugee from the Nazis who narrowly escaped the Holocaust,
I feel free to express negative views of the Zionist experiment,
Israel's policies, and one-sided US support of Israel without fear
of being instantly branded a Jew-hater. Jewishness, I insist, does
not require I may belong to a minority, but I count myself among the
Jews who oppose the Zionist movement. Perhaps it was in part because
of Nazi insistence on defining me as a member of a different,
"non-Aryan" race that already as a boy I came to regard
Judaism as first and foremost a religious faith and community. As a
young teenager in Nazi-occupied Austria, I was offended by what
struck me as parallels between Nazi and Zionist definitions of the
Jews as an ethnic group.
I first read The Jewish State, the "bible" of the Zionist
movement written by founder Theodor Herzl (comparable in its
political influence to Uncle Tom's Cabin), I came across the naive,
romantic slogan coined by this Austrian Jewish journalist,
"People without land, come to the land without people!"
That sentence alone persuaded me to regard the Zionist
experiment in Palestine as based on a hopelessly unrealistic
premise, doomed to create the tragic, insoluble problem which now
confronts us daily in news, in order to keep the issue alive as a
weapon to use against Israel. Today the population of the
territories occupied since 1967 is growing much faster than that
of Israel, and there is no obvious solution to that equation.
I could envisage a reasonably quick and comprehensive solution to
the crisis in Israel/Palestine, I would not have entitled this US
piece "The Insoluble Problem." I do believe that certain
steps are possible to mitigate the crisis, but here, too, I am
pessimistic that moderate or even drastic changes in American policy
will improve our relations with the region, at least over the short
advocate that we adopt a much tougher stance, using our massive
assistance program much more effectively as leverage to insist on
Israeli compliance with UN resolutions and our longstanding demands
that settlement construction cease. Already existing settlements in
the occupied territories should be dismantled. As for our dealings
with the Palestinian side, there is a steady deterioration of Jewish-Palestinian
relations and to a dead end. One could ask whether: Israel might
have done better to face the wrath of the world and openly annex the
conquered lands back in 1967 rather than render their occupation
irreversible through the back-door method of building all these
Israel has succeeded only in creating three classes or, better yet,
"castes" of people: Jewish citizens of Israel;
Palestinians with citizenship rights in Israel proper; Palestinians
living in the occupied territories without any apparent rights or
protection against arbitrary measures taken against them by the
Israeli authorities. Is it possible to imagine a surer recipe for
anger, hatred and violence?
the event of withdrawal, Israel must repatriate the settlers,
daunting though the size of the problem (200,000 people) makes this
task. But they cannot be left behind without facing almost certain
am deeply skeptical that the "Palestinians will find not only
the PLO, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, El Sendero
Luminoso and so on and so forth, ad infinitum, guilty of terrorism,
but equally so the government of Ariel Sharon with his brutal and
futile efforts to impose "peace" on the Occupied
Territories, equally guilty the increasingly brutal Israeli military
which is harassing, maiming and killing innocent people, including
women and children, wantonly razing civilian homes, tearing up their
streets and roads, keeping people pent up and prevented from going
where they need to go in order to earn a livelihood. Can there be a
more cruel historical irony than Jews inflicting on Palestine's
native population forms of harassment, suffering and horrors
reminiscent of what their forefathers were condemned to experience
at the hands of the Nazis half a century ago? A plague on both their
houses, I say‑Arab and Israeli terrorists both in their
pursuit of policies and actions which create no solutions but only
more rage, more violence, m must be automatic, even at the expense
of American interests in the Middle East and around the world. I
fear that the consistent US "tilt" toward Israel, our
unwavering support of Israeli policy, stems from fear by our elected
officials of a specter called "the Jewish vote." I
fervently hope that this "Jewish vote" is a political
myth, that in reality there is no such bloc vote. Having suffered
Nazi hatred and persecution at first hand, I am like the child
"once burned, twice careful," and I worry that, fed by
blind support of Israeli policies and actions by many American Jews,
and by powerful lobbies like AIPAC (the America‑Israel Public
Affairs Committee) and even the terrorist gang known as the Jewish
Defense League, Anti‑Semitism may increase rapidly in America.
fear that blind Jewish support of Israel will sooner or later give
rise to suspicions of divided loyalty. It may seem absurd (for now),
but as a retired US Foreign Service officer, I have nightmarish
visions of the Jewish state."
rabbis and professionals have told me recently that they fear for
their jobs should they even begin to articulate their doubts about
Israeli policy‑much less give explicit support to calls for an
end to the occupation."
Israeli actress "It is no longer my country"
me, this business called the state of Israel is finished... I can't
bear to see it anymore, the injustice that is done to the Arabs, to
the Beduins. All kinds of scum coming from America and as soon as
they get off the plane taking over lands in the territories and
claiming it for their own ...I can't do anything to change it. I
can only go away and
let the whole lot go to hell without me."
American talk show host
is "inflicting, not fighting, terrorism"
have been a Zionist my entire life. I would die for Israel. But
watching the suffering of the Palestinian people, I'm also becoming
can't round up Palestinian young men and put numbers on their arms
to make it easier to identify them." "That reminds the
world, that reminds Jews, of what Hitler and the Nazi pigs inflicted
on the Jewish race during the Second World War."
(Reporter, Philadelphia Weekly)
my experience as a Jewish reporter, I've heard a great deal about
"not airing our dirty laundry." I have often been told -
verbally, in Jewish publications and in synagogues- that even if I
have doubts about the Israeli government and its treatment of
Palestinians, I should keep quiet about it and be steadfast in my
support of a nation that needs to exist. And I was happy to oblige,
because wasn't it important, above all, that Israel endure - this
vulnerable and a relatively new country penned in by nations that
would like to make it disappear?
now Israel has crossed a line, and I and many, many American Jews
like me will not be able to cross it with them.
have always loved Israel as much as my own country, and I always
believed I would move there one day, even if it was two days before
I died. The desire to "return" to Israel is a current of
longing that runs, I think, through the blood of many American Jews.
And I am no exception.
these days it strikes me as ridiculous that while the "law of
return" allows me to go to Israel and live there as a Jewish
citizen, no questions asked, people who are born there- Palestinians
- don't have the rights I would enjoy if I moved there. What's wrong
with that picture?
defensive politics reminds me of basketball, of all things. Some
players are defensive players - that's what they do and that's what
they're good at. But when called upon to play offense, they go too
far because they're afraid of not doing enough. Those players are
the dangerous ones, because you never know when they'll elbow you in
the ribs to make a play.
has been on the defensive since 1948, and there's no question that
for the most part, that was the only way to play the game. But over
the years, that defense has looked more and more like a hostile and
brutal offense. How many lives need to be destroyed before Israel's
immunization from harm is ensured?
frankly embarrassed that Israel, in the name of preventing further
oppression of the Jews, has now become the oppressor. The hypocrisy
is enraging. And as an American Jew, I'm ashamed of my own
government's lack of action.
Palestinians less deserving of freedom and independence than, say,
Bosnians or South Africans? Why was it a terrible thing to intern
Japanese during World War II but acceptable to intern generations of
Palestinians in the same kinds of camps? I can't take the double
though people don't want to talk about it, this is also about race.
Here in the U.S., the rhetoric of racism was fashioned by slavery,
by World War II, by Ezra Pound-the list goes on. That's why it's
shocking to hear Jews talk about Arabs using similar terminology,
including lampooning physical characteristics and religious beliefs.
couple days ago, I was surfing MSNBC.com and found a photo that
represents the physical and racial divide between Israelis and
Palestinians. Two Israeli soldiers stand above a bloody dead body as
another Israeli soldier takes their picture. One soldier stands
proudly, hand on gun. The other is looking down at the body and
the most disturbing photo. It reminds you of those corny snapshots
of a guy holding a big fish aloft, proud of his catch. Only this
time it's a Palestinian, not a fish.
this point, neither side can see the other as human beings. Suicide
bombers and their terrorist brethren don't think about the lives of
the individuals they kill. They think of them only in terms of
death: How many did we get this time?
I'm worried about what we won't see on TV. In online reports from
international observers, I read about two ambulances stopped by
Israeli forces in Ramallah. One belonged to the Palestinian Red
Crescent Society and the other to the Ministry of Health. In both
cases the crew, including paramedics, were arrested. Later on, even
the injured were arrested. Denying medical aid is something U.N.
peacekeeping forces would never allow‑nor is it something the
U. S. would condone in any context but this one.
those of us who have been too afraid to question events - not
wanting to be disloyal and ever afraid that such doubts would
consign Israel to a bleak fate - we must ask ourselves now what
purpose our silence has served. Has our passivity played a role in
securing a place for Ariel Sharon, who every day gets closer to the
kind of military despotism Jews have feared for years? On the other
hand, if we are willing to speak, what can we say about a man, a
government, that is utterly without humanity?
get me wrong: I am equally and to be honest, sometimes more
devastated by the injuries on the Israeli side. I have cousins and
friends living in Israel and I fear for their safety. I also fear
for Israel itself. More than anything, I want it to prosper. But for
now and for a change I'm going to concern myself with justice, not
sentimentality. I may be called a traitor, but I won't be silent
Open Letter to American Jews, Passover Eve, 2002
People, Yesterday I was informed of an interesting phenomenon: a
peace - supporting Jewish organization called Tikkun published an ad
in favor of us, the Israeli reservist refuseniks, and was
immediately bombarded with hate mails and phones from other American
Jews. What is more interesting is that even other Jews considering
themselves supporters of peace have denounced the Tikkun ad, to the
extent that some of the Tikkun Advisory Board members are resigning
in order to minimize the personal damage to themselves. This has so
saddened, alarmed and angered me, that I find myself setting aside a
half-day at the eve of Passover, and writing this open letter to you
all. As is my habit, it is quite long, so please bear with me.
of the `civilized' attacks, so I understand, were seemingly aimed at
this or that detail of the Tikkun ad. This is nothing new to me...
They range from petty nit-picking to plain ludicrous, and each and
every one of them can be refuted to dust in a matter of minutes. But
the moment you refute them, new specific arguments sprout up like
mushrooms. It is clear that there is something very general and non-specific
behind all this criticism.
if you allow me, I will start from the general and only later turn
to a couple of these specific issues.
general theme is the tribal theme. A very very loud voice (and in
Israel nowadays, it is the only voice that is allowed to be fully
heard) keeps shouting that we are in the midst of a war between two
tribes: a tribe of human beings, of pure good - the Israelis
and a tribe of sub-human beings, of pure evil - the Palestinians.
This voice is so loud, that it has found its way even to the op-ed
pages of the New York Times (William Safire, March 24 or 25). To
those who find this black-and-white picture a bit hard to believe,
the same voice shouts that this is a war of life and death. Only one
tribe will survive, and so even if we are not purely good, we must
lay morality and conscience to sleep, shut up and fight to kill or
else, the Palestinians will throw us into the sea.
this ring a bell to you? It does to me. As a little child growing up
in Israel under Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan, all I heard was that the
Arabs are inhuman monsters who want to throw us into the sea, they
understand only force, and since our wonderful IDF has won the Six
Day War they know not to mess with us anymore or else. And of
course, we must keep the Liberated Territories to ourselves, because
there's no one to talk with. Then came the Yom Kippur war, and for a
child of 7 it was the perfect proof that indeed the Arabs want to
throw us into the sea, and what a great opportunity it was for our
glorious IDF to teach them a lesson.
prayed for the war to continue to its natural and final end the
complete surrender of all Arab armies. I was too small to evaluate,
then, how the war really ended; all these cease-fires and talks were
too complicated and boring, much more boring than a war. And it
seemed humiliating that WE should withdraw in these cease-fires; I
remember that the re-opening of the Suez Canal was portrayed in our
mass media as a kind of defeat.
few years passed and a funny thing happened: those throw-us-into-the-sea
Arabs came to talk with us, and in exchange for all of Sinai they
wouldsign a full peace. The IDF chief of staff (the late Motte Gur,
later a Labor Party minister) shouted that it is a hoax, that we
should not believe Saadat, but the politicians had to sign. Already
a teenager, I went and protested against the withdrawal from Sinai.
It seemed strange to me that most of the demonstrators were orthodox
all, it was a purely logical issue: the Arabs are not to be trusted,
that's what we've learned from day one. Well, lucky for the country,
the government and the majority ofthe people employed a different
logic, and the peace with Egypt was not missed.
the throw-us-into-the-sea paradigm immediately found new fields for
play. There was an inconvenient reality on the Northern border, and
even though the forces on the other side (Palestinians! Phew!) had
strictly adhered to a secret cease-fire for about a year, they were
Arabs and therefore could not be trusted. So we talked ourselves
into invading Lebanon and setting up a friendlier regime there. The
mastermind of the invasion was defense minister Ariel Sharon, and
Shimon Peres, then head of opposition, voted together with his party
in favor of the invasion. Only later, when it turned sour, and after
many refuseniks already sat in jail, would the main opposition turn
against the whole affair. For me at 16 it was also a turning point.
When I understood that the government had lied to me in order to
sell me this war, I turned from `center-rightist' to `leftist'.
Sadly enough, it has taken me almost 20 more years, in a slow and
painful process, to understand how deeply the lies and self-delusion
are rooted in our collective perception of reality.
when Peres withdrew most of our forces from Lebanon in 1985, the
Arabs could still not be trusted. And so, to soothe our endless
paranoia and suspicion, we created that perpetual source of death
and crime ironically known as "the Security Zone." It took
many years, a lot of blood and Four Mothers against almost all
politicians, generals, and columnists to finally pull us out of
Lebanon. In the long and hard way, we learned that even the Lebanese
are human beings whose rights must be respected.
not the Palestinians. Because the Palestinians are too painfully
close, like a rival sibling (and may I add because they have always
been so weak), we have singled them out for a special treatment.
Having them under our rule, we've allowed ourselves to trample them
like dirt, like dogs. We've been doing it even to our own
Palestinian citizens (especially before 1966), but we have perfected
our treatment in this strange no man's land created in 1967, and
known as the Occupied Territories. There we have created an entirely
hallucinatory reality, in which the true humans, members of the
Nation of Masters, could move and settle freely and safely, while
the sub-humans, the Nation of Slaves, were shoved into the corners,
and kept invisible and controlled under our IDF boots.
know. I've been there. I was taught how to do this, back in the mid-1980's.
I did and witnessed as a matter of fact, deeds that I'm ashamed to
remember to this day. And fortunately for me, I did not have to
witness or do anything truly "pornographic", as some
friends of mine experienced.
1987, this cruel, impossible, unnatural, insulting reality in the
Territories has been exploding in our face. But because of our
unshakable belief that the Palestinians are monsters who want to
throw us into the sea, we reacted by trying to maintain what we've
created at all costs. This meant of course employing more and more
and more force, with the natural result of receiving more and more
and more force in return. When a fledgling and hesitating peace
process tried to work its way through this mess, one major factor
(perhaps THE factor) that undermined it and voided its meaning was
our establishment's endless fear and suspicion of The Other. To
resolve this fear and suspicion, we chose the insane route of
demanding full control of The Other throughout the process. When
this Other finally decided that we're cheating him out of his
freedom (and having too many mental disorders of his own to
accommodate ours as well), violence erupted, and all our ancient
instincts woke up. There they are, we said in relief, now we see
their true face again. The Arabs want to throw us into the sea.
no one to talk with (no partner, in our beloved ex-PM's words), and
they understand only force. And so we responded as we know and love,
with more and more and more force. This time, the effect was that of
putting out a fire with a barrel of gasoline. And that's the moment
when I said to myself, NO, I'm not playing this game anymore.
what about the existential threat, you may ask? Well I ask you, have
you not eyes? Don't you see our tanks strolling in Palestinian
streets every other day? Don't you see our helicopters hovering over
their neighborhoods choosing which window to shoot a missile into?
type of existential need are we answering in trampling the
of terror, I hear you say. Let me use the wonderful words of my
friend Ishay Rosen-Zvi: `You are fighting against terror'? What a
joke. The Israeli government, in its policies of Occupation, has
turned the Territories into a greenhouse for growing terror!!!
have sown the seeds, grown them, nurtured them and then our blood is
spilled, and the centrist-right-wing politicians reap the benefits.
Indeed, terror is the right-wing politician's best friend. You know
what? When you treat millions of people like sub-humans for so long,
some of them will find inhuman strategies to fight back.
that what the Zionists, and other Jewish revolutionaries, argued
about a hundred years ago in order to explain the questionable
strategies of survival that Jews used in Europe? Didn't our
forefathers say, Let us live like human beings, and see how we'll
act just like other human beings?
here's the deal. I hope that the first part of this letter made it
clear that I don't buy the they want to throw us into the sea crap.
It's just a collective self-delusion of ours. But more importantly,
I don't see tribes. I see people, human beings. I believe that the
Palestinians are human beings like us. What a concept, eh? And
before everything else, before EVERYTHING else, we must treat them
like human beings without demanding anything in return. And no (to
all die-hard Barak fans), throwing them a couple of crumbs in which
they can set up pitiful, completely controlled Bantustans in between
our settlements and bypass roads, and believing it to be a great act
of generosity, does NOT come close to answering this basic
requirement. This requirement is NOT negotiable; moreover, in a
perfect demonstration of historical justice, it is a vital
requirement for the survival of our own State.
that, and based on the lessons of modern history, especially that
ofthe Arab-Israeli conflict (as was briefly described above), I do
believe that the Palestinians will cahn down, and that the elusive
Security and peace will finally come upon us (as it did,
incidentally, for almost two whole years between Wye 1998 and Camp
David 2000). I don't have any insurance policy for that (well -
almost none, except the solemn promise ofthe entire Arab world), but
remember - I have this funny notion that they are human beings.
any case, we are seeing now all too well what type of insurance
policy the opposite paradigm is providing us.
the meanwhile, I refuse to be a terrorist in my tribe's name.
Because that's what it is: not a `war against terror', as our
propaganda machine tries to sell. This is a war OF terror, a war in
which, in return for Palestinian guerrilla and terror, we employ the
IDF in two types of terror. The more visible one are the violent
acts of killing and destruction, those which some people still try
to explain away as surgical acts of defense. The worse type of
terror is the silent one, which has continued unabated since 1967
and through the entire Oslo process. It is the terror of Occupation,
of humiliation on a personal and collective basis, of deprivation
and legalized robbery, of alternating exploitation and starvation.
is the mass of the iceberg, the terror that is itself along-term
greenhouse for counter-terror. And I simply refuse to be a terrorist
and criminal, even if the entire tribe denounces me.
leads me to the first specific subject: are we, the refuseniks,
being persecuted and denounced, or are we enjoying the wonderful
Israeli tolerance and democracy and exploiting it to make trouble?
I must admit that this is not yet the USSR or Pinochetis Chile, and
at least the Jews here enjoy a relative democracy... I first must
point out that the government and IDF also enjoy the image of
`letting us speak', and it serves them well. Secondly, in a rather
sophisticated manner the establishment (with the generous and
voluntary help of the mass media) is effectively shutting us up.
media has decided for us that there is no opposition. Thus, a
demonstration of 20,000 is reported in 5 seconds at the late-night
edition, and a demonstration of 500 outside a military prison is
completely ignored. The fact that right now there are over a dozen
refuseniks in jail - the largest number in twenty years - is hidden
from the Israeli public. The story of Captain (res.) Itai Haviv and
Sergeant (res.) Yair Yeffeth, who demanded a full military trial in
which they could prove that refusal is innocence and that the order
to serve in the Territories is illegal, was not told anywhere except
for a brief mention in the back pages of Haaretz.
the public, of course, didn't learn that the IDF evaded answering
these demands, and that Itai Haviv will spend the Seder night in
prison following a disciplinary hearing. I hope the readers are
intelligent enough to know that if the media wanted, these stories
would make the headlines.
you keep hearing about us. That's the key word, ABOUT us. But you
don't hear us. You just hear people explaining, analyzing, mostly
(in a ratio of 99 to 1) attacking us. We have become the perfect
`hate hour' figures, to reunite the tribe against (have you read
1984?) Petty volunteer groups who organized against us, a mayor who
called upon local governments not to hire us, and a group of
industrialists who called employers to fire us, have all won their
moment in the spotlight. No one cared to mention that these are
blatantly illegal calls (no, the law is remembered only when we
`break' it). No one has tried to set limits to this discussion.
the prime minister in one of his rare public addresses blamed us for
the wave of terror (us, not his catastrophic policies). The IDF
chief of staff can't stop talking about us; he sees us as a bunch of
inciters with a hidden agenda. So, ironically, the only thing
protecting us from long-term gulag imprisonment and from losing our
jobs is public opinion, the rather large pockets of support and
sympathy among key sectors in the Israeli public, and yes, support
ads such as the one published by Tikkun. The moment the government
or IDF will think the lights are out, and no one sees or cares they
will find or invent the `legal' clause (Israeli politicians are
experts in this) and throw those they believe to be our leaders to
jail for long terms. Remember, even poor Abie Nathan was thrown in
for two years, just because he dared speak with PLO personnel about
that's nothing, because the moment our government will sense a
"lights out" situation - a huge terror attack, an American
attack on Iraq - there will be a horrible bloodbath in the
Territories, compared to which the last year and a half will be
remembered as a happy picnic. And that brings me to the second
specific issue, that of the Nazi allusion.
readers thought that the way the Tikkun ad said "obeying
orders" was an allusion to Nazi murderers' claim that they were
"just obeying orders." Rabbi Lerner has rightly pointed
out to these readers, that automatic execution of orders is a
characteristic of all dictatorship, not just the Nazi one, while
refusal on moral grounds is a sign of democracy. I agree, but let me
be less polite and politically correct. After all, it's just my
country that's going up in smoke as I write. What is this? Does
Israel have the exclusive monopoly of labeling all its rivals as
Nazis, and everyone else has to shut up, even when reality starts
speaking for itself?
that support the essentially Nazi idea of deporting all Palestinians
from the country, have been part of our Knesset and our
"legitimate" political map since 1984. Recent opinion
polls show that 35% of the Jewish public now supports this solution,
as it is sometimes called. Leaders, Rabbis, and just plain folk feel
free to call openly in the mass media to eradicate Palestinian
cities with or without their tenants. Last weekend, Gen. (res.) Effi
Eitam, fresh out of the military and all ready to take the
leadership of the religious public and become a deputy or
alternative to Netanyahu, received a flattering cover
story on Haaretz supplement. He unfolded his chilling ideology,
calling to expel those Palestinians who don't want to remain in the
Galilee and West Bank as serfs, to Jordan, and from Gaza to Sinai.
And he said this: why should us, the country poorest in land
resources, bear the burden of solving the Palestinian problem? Well
I don't know about you, but I remember some of the Nazi rhetoric in
that dark period between the Kristallnacht of 1938 and the beginning
of the war, when Jews were expelled from Germany but could find no
safe haven anywhere else. When I see a retired IDF general and
rising political star use the exact same Nazi rhetoric on Israelis
most liberal newspaper, without any criticism by his interviewer or
the editors my hair just stands on my head in horror.
move from the political scene back to the ground. My friend, Captain
(Res.) Dan Tamir, decided to refuse to serve in the Territories
about a year ago, after he realized what he'd done as a reserve
regiment's intelligence officer a few weeks before that. He realized
he had laid out the plans to convert a large Palestinian town into a
closed ghetto. You can find his full statement on our website,
www.seruv.org.il. The vast majority of Palestinians in the
Territories now starve in such ghettos; in those days of mercy when
they are allowed to leave them by foot and perhaps catch a taxi,
these taxis are forbidden from using most of the paved roads in the
why listen to a "leftist"? Let's hear it from senior IDF
officers. One of the top commanders in the Territories was quoted in
Haaretz (Jan. 25) as saying that in order to prepare for potential
battles in dense urban neighborhoods, the IDF must learn, if
necessary, how the German army operated in the Warsaw Ghetto. A week
later, the reporter confirmed this quote and the fact that this is a
widespread opinion in the IDF, and went further to morally defend
it. A small number of people, including myself, tried to raise a
scandal over this. One letter to the editor was published in Haaretz.
A much tougher letter, which I wrote, was never published, nor was
my plea for a phone discussion with an editor ever answered. The
issue just died down. No one in Israel or in the Jewish public
abroad was interested. Where were all these holy souls, who now
scold Tikkun because they indirectly allude to the Nazi horror,
where were they all when a senior IDF officer proudly called, `in
order to beat the Palestinians, let's be Judo-Nazis'?
my letter to Haaretz I went further. Knowing the IDF mentality and
adding one to one, I concluded that the IDF is operationally
prepared to invade refugee camps an utter, indefensible war crime -
and through this leak to the press it is starting to pressure the
government and prepare the public opinion for the invasion. The
letter was not published. It was sent on February 2. A few weeks
later we all saw the horrors ofthe refugee camp invasions and the
bloody revenge attacks that followed culminating on Passover eve.
And you know what? Army generals and colonels morally and
professionally pat themselves on the back, because these invasions
"prevented terror", and killed only dozens and not thousands.
(Note: in fact, the major reason limiting the bloodshed was the
"terrorists" responsible decision not to turn the camps
into all-out battlegrounds. But this may change in the next round.)
truth, I have little hope that the Israeli public will wake up. The
Israeli public, in its fear and confusion, has made a decision
(aided by the politicians and mass media) to go to sleep and wake up
only after it is all over. But it won't be over, because while our
mind sleeps our muscles tighten the death grip, instead of doing the
only sensible thing (which requires an open mind) which is to let
go. Will you guys join the hypocrite mobs who sing lullabies to
Israel and pounce upon the refuseniks, upon Tikkun, to shut us up?
Or will you finally take responsibility and be the true friends
that Israel needs now even if it means not being "nice" to
Israel for a while?
you sit tonight at the Seder table, please remember the dozen or so
refuseniks that spend this Seder in a military jail. More importantly,
please remember the thousand or so people, three quarters
Palestinians and one quarter Israelis, who were here with us a year
ago and have been murdered. Most of them could have been here with
us, if you and we had acted sooner. We have now acted, done what
little we can do. Please think of the many thousands that may be
doomed soon, if you continue sitting on the fence.
you have a happy Holiday of Freedom; Please help us struggle free
from fear, racism, hatred and the deaths they produce.
is heresy. If we examine the deeds and the actions of the Zionists
we can see that they are an irreligious group which attempts to
enforce irreligiousity upon all those who come in contact with
them. For example, their courts of law are based upon non-Torah
sources. Practically speaking, we see that they are irreligious
and they force irreligiousity although it must be noted that in
Israel one finds a Ministry of Religion and one also encounters
people who refer to themselves as `religious Zionists'. This fact
should not blind us to the central fact that the purpose of Zionism
and its essential character was to deny religion and to go away
from religion. The fact that there are signs of religion in the
Zionist government is simply a tactic which they use. It is an appendage
to their true self which is anti-religion.
we see in the writings of the Zionists themselves, their purpose
was to construct a new image of the Jewish people - to create a
new Jewish people. Their goal was to change a people who were
constituted on the basis of faith and Torah and to substitute for
that a people who are free from both faith and Torah. This does not
necessarily mean that they would actively try to destroy religion
but merely by saying that religion is a matter of personal conscience
- that each person can decide for themselves whether or not to
obey the religion, that religion becomes a private affair. By so
saying this, they have destroyed the intrinsic character of the
Jewish people, that character being an acceptance of Torah.
find that they refer in their writings to `freedom' and `tolerance'
so that their State or in their conception of the Jewish people a
Jew would have a right to accept or reject religion. In fact in the
history of the Zionist State we sea an active attempt to destroy
what way have they tried actively to destroy religion In Israel
today the hatred towards religion and towards religious Jews extends
from one end of the country to the other. If we examine the history
of the Israeli State we see that each group of immigrants that was
brought in from countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Iraq and Iran
and today Russia, the government conducts an active campaign to
wean them away from the practice of religion. At times it is a
violent campaign. Those that tried to stop this government attempt
were at times killed. That happened in certain cases. It was not a
standard policy. The standard policy was to take Jews away from
Judaism. As a witness to that we see the many organizations that
were founded with the express purpose of preventing the government
and the Zionists from pulling Jews away from Judaism. New immigrants
have been especially susceptible to what they were trying to do.
existence of these several organizations not necessarily Neturei
Karta but several organizations that were working to prevent the
Zionist attempt to destroy Judaism is proof to what the Zionists
were trying to do.
then is the Zionist opinion of what a Jew is if they have gone away
from the definition of someone who accepts the Torah and practises
true definition of a Jew is faith and Torah. Zionism says it is
cannot explain the root of antisemitism because I am Jewish. Zionism
itself is the greatest enemy of the Jewish people. It has caused
untold suffering to the Jewish people. The extent that Zionism
caused anti-Semitism is a secondary point. The major point is that
Zionism has created havoc amongst the Jews themselves.
the fact that Zionism is a spiritual threat to the Jewish people,
the early Zionists actually wrote that it would be profitable for
the Jewish people to have anti-Semitism. They wrote that we should
actually try to encourage anti-Semitism to force the Jews to opt for
Zionism. This is the connection. Anti-Semites in Europe actually
took Zionist writings which emphasised Jewish `differentness' and
used these writings as an excuse for their anti-Semitism. There was
a practical connection as well as the spiritual connection.
is no doubt that the sufferings which the Jewish people endure are
spiritual sufferings that God imposes on them for various sins. One
of the punishments for transgressing the Three Oaths mentioned above
- that the Jews were to be sworn by God not to rebel against the
nations and visit to re-establish their nationhood by military might
- was that God said that he would allow the Jaws to be slaughtered.
He would allow their flesh, so speak, to become open to anyone to
attack them, so certainly there was a connection in that sense
between anti-Semitism, Nazi persecution esc. Because Jews having
transgressed these oaths thereby left themselves open to such
authentic Jewish people are opposed to the notion of a State
altogether, there would be no problem whatsoever in Jews living in
the area of Israel and Palestine. For hundreds of years there were
Jewish communities of Prayer and study in the area that the State of
Israel rules today. Those communities lived in complete peace with
the surrounding Arabs. Not only in Israel, but also throughout the
Arab world, traditionally Jews and Arabs lived together in peace.
There were other lands where there was conflict. The Arab lands were
completely peaceful for the Jews. That was the way it was in
Palestine and that could continue in the future. There would be
communities of Jews that would be interested in prayers and study
and that could be under a Palestinian State in absolute peace and
harmony - as it has always traditionally been in Jerusalem and other
cities in Israel.
Jewish philosopher 1878-1965, a key supporter of Zionism until he
became disillusioned with Herzl's political programme:
the Jews returned to Palestine, the decisive question was, `Do we
Jews want to go there as an ally, a friend, as a brother, as an
integral part of the community of Near Eastern peoples or as the
representatives of European colonialism and imperialism? This
discrepancy between aims and means, between the goal and how to
achieve it, divided the Jews in Palestine into opportunists who were
determined to grab from the concessions as possible and us who
simply wanted to be allowed to live in Palestine together with our
Arab neighbours, on a plain of equality. The majority of Jews
preferred to learn from Hitler rather than from us. Hitler showed
the world that history does not go the way of the spirit but rather
the way of power and if a people is powerful enough, it can kill
with impunity. The question of the Palestinians is decisive for
Israel, yet so far as I can see, Israel does not recognise any Arab
rights at all!"
American Jewish Writer in 1981
you want to be both the agents and pawns of colonialism, racism and
super-power imperialism? Do you want utter moral and spiritual
desecration of the sacred Torah at the hands of atheists,
materialist and opportunists? How can you ever feel secure living
off the stolen property of an entire people, you have dispossessed
of home and country? If not, then conclude a just peace with the
Arabs without delay and grant the Palestinians their human rights in
full, before it is too late and disaster confronts you! Jews! You
must choose between Judaism and Zionism, you cannot have both!"
Party of Britain
|Date Published: June
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