“I think it was completely insensitive to have such a meeting at this point in time,” the Israeli PM said, explaining that the meeting took place shortly after Holocaust memorial day.”These are the days we mourn the murdered members of our people in the Holocaust and our fallen soldiers. The Israeli army is the one force that keeps our people safe today,” he said.Netanyahu claimed that he attempted to call Gabriel to explain his point of view after cancelling the meeting, but that the German Foreign Minister rebuffed him.
While Netanyahu’s move appears to be extreme and quite dumb, it actually fits coherently with his government’s orchestrated campaign against Israeli human rights organizations over the last two years. In recent months Netanyahu has called on European governments to stop funding and cooperating with Breaking the Silence, and Israel’s education minister Naftali Bennett has already effectively banned Breaking the Silence from giving presentations in high schools.Netanyahu’s move is situated well within the context of an increasingly tyrannical government that has now upped its authoritarianism a notch. Israel has been censoring and restricting the freedoms of Palestinians since 1948, it has been applying similar tactics to Israeli leftists for years and is now taking that strategy to its biggest European ally. And Netanyahu knows he will not have to pay any consequences for it. Gabriel has already said cancellation of the meeting would be “regrettable” but would not hurt or affect Israel’s ties with Germany in any way.The ultimatum and refusal to meet with a German diplomat is reminiscent of the tactics used by the Israeli government against peace activists who began meeting with PLO representatives in the 1970s. In this sense, Israel is now treating Israeli organizations who document occupation as if they were Palestinians: Persona non grata. Now, anyone who wants to merely meet with or listen to these persona non grata is also an enemy. And just like in 1975, when Israel decided to legislate a law banning Israelis from meeting with PLO members, don’t be surprised if the Israeli government’s next move is to outlaw B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence.
“When it comes to the hunger strike by terrorists in Israeli jails, I take the approach of Margaret Thatcher,” Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman wrote on Facebook, in reference to the former British prime minister who notoriously allowed Irish hunger strikers to die in prison in 1981.
An IDF brigade commander shot a Palestinian teen who threw a rock at his jeep, while the boy was running away, and then left him bleeding on the road. Initially, the colonel claimed his life was in danger. With each subsequent interrogation, the story changed. The military police determined the incident was a ‘professional error’ – bad aim – and closed the case despite evidence that tells a very different story.
To avert one’s eyes from the occupation is to cooperate with the wicked regime. To yield before violence is to strengthen it. To remain silent before racism is to legitimize it. To surrender to fear and intimidation is to accept this dark reality, allowing it to continue and intensify.Each day that goes by without resistance is another day of deteriorating democracy. Each day that goes by without a struggle is another day of violence against Palestinian children. Each day that goes by without solidarity is another day in which racism and nationalism trump morality and justice.Each day that goes by in which we neglect to merge our society’s tremendous forces — of all colors, ethnicities, and organizations — is another day which strengthens the violent nationalist occupying regime’s belief that nothing can stop it, and that they can carry on with their nationalist project of the occupation undisturbed. That they can continue to destroy, to injure, to harm, to kill.
The idea that one can detain and physically harm a person who doesn’t have the right to respond is one of the most revolting aspects of human existence. Last night this memory came back to me. Just a small episode — there are thousands of them every day. I wasn’t very far from shooting a man who probably had young children and parents waiting for him back at home.This situation, which has become so natural for us, just like for the police officer in East Jerusalem, allows us speak to an Arab from a position of superiority. As if we were his God, to demand his identification card, to slap him and shove him if necessary, even if he is the same age as your father or young enough to be your child. It is the most disgusting thing I carry with me from my army service.
Extremist Israeli settlers on Monday afternoon have sprayed racist slogans on the walls of the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem, according to local sources in the city.Sources said that the ultra-orthodox Jewish “Pay the Price” groups have vandalized the walls of the consulate located in East Jerusalem.Settlers also partially damaged and vandalized some of the cars parked outside the building.
This backdrop of impunity is probably one of the reasons why, despite the officer’s maniacal outburst, none of the Palestinian men in the video dared to hit him back in the same manner. Every one of them is mindful that the officer could easily arrest them, or worse, pull out and fire his gun. The officer might claim that the men ganged up on him and that he acted in self-defense — and the police would have believed him. If the men walked free, police units might raid their homes claiming that the residents were criminals or terrorists — and the media would have believed them.Thursday’s video thus captures a more subtle but pervasive aspect of Palestinians’ experience of state violence. It’s the knowledge that, even if you have done nothing wrong, you are unlikely to receive truth, justice, or respect from the authorities that claim to serve you. It’s the same knowledge shared by black Americans who are mindful of their every move when interacting with the police, wary that the slightest suspicion — most often inferred from the mere color of their skin — can be enough to get shot.As such, the Jerusalem video offers a glimpse into the realities of a city that imposes armed officers, backed by the power of the state, upon a discriminated and oppressed population who are seen and treated as menaces and enemies. The only “irregularity” in this case is that the police commissioner could no longer provide a cover for the officer to carry out his usual work.
The General’s Son is a book that Israelis should read as much as Palestinians. Needless to say, it is a book that is so enlightening in the inner depths of one man . It is a book about spiritual purification, enlightenment, and honesty. A path human beings are meant to take .. but mostly never do. Like Einstein, he believes, that the answers have changed. It is no longer one state, two states or three states.