OPN_190531 Netanyahu-1559305634840
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during statements to the press in Jerusalem, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Image Credit: AP

Groups born out of the Zionist movement who believe in fascist ideas and racial supremacy theories often call Jews a “superior race” and “God’s chosen people”, while labelling Arabs as “backward”. Not surprisingly Israeli leaders, top army officers, Knesset members and cabinet ministers have appeared in the public life embracing the beliefs of these groups.

Updated recordings published by the Israeli Channel 13 news showed two rabbis at the Bnei David religious academy promoting racism and Jewish supremacy. In one recording, Rabbi Eliezer Kashtiel, head of the Academy was heard telling his students: “Being a slave to a Jew is the best. They’re [the Arabs] glad to be slaves, they want to be slaves.”

He said: “All around us, we are surrounded by peoples with genetic problems; ask an Arab ‘where do you want to be?’ He wants to be under the occupation.” He added: “Yes, we’re racists. We believe in racism … There are races in the world and peoples have genetic traits, and that requires us to try to help them.”

In another clip, Rabbi Giora Redler can be heard praising Hitler’s ideology during a lesson about the Holocaust. “Let’s just start with whether Hitler was right or not,” he told students. “He was the most correct person there ever was, and was correct in every word he said … he was just on the wrong side.”

Redler goes on to say that pluralism is the “real” genocide being perpetrated against the Jewish people”. “The real Holocaust was not when they murdered the Jews, that’s not it. All these excuses — that it was ideological or systematic — are nonsense,” he said. “Humanism, and the secular culture of ‘We believe in man,’ that’s the Holocaust.”

Shift to the right

For some time, many in Israel have been intent on pursuing the colonialist settlement project. The country has failed to live up to its international promises to defend the occupied population under its control. Moreover, the recent elections have shown a very large shift towards the right, which is consistent with the values of colonial militarism.

“The next government will be much tougher if we take into account the fact that the right-wing parties are talking about the annexation of Judea and Samaria [the West Bank],” wrote the historian and expert on Israeli national security, Prof. Shilo Rosenberg.

He said, “The next government will be established as a government of immunity against being brought to trial, the possibility of annexing all areas is very high.”

A recent editorial in Haaretz said: “In the occupied territories, Palestinians are the owners of the land but the [Jewish] settlers became house owners. The reality in the country of settlement outposts is that the settlers are above the law and the Palestinians are crushed beneath it.”

Indeed, “Inside [Israel], police do not fear to investigate the prime minister, but act with the settlers like a leaf shaking in the wind,” the newspaper said.

It added that “Shabak [Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency] does not deal with these attacks as terrorism and places a limit for interference to thwart them in the absence of a responsible government. When settlers act like gangs, it is the responsibility of these institutions to curb Jewish terrorism.”

Abnormal state

Recently Yigal Elam, the known Israeli historian, wrote: “The state is, first and foremost, the rule of law, this is its essence, it is not the authority of the people, or the rule of the majority, it is not either the rule of the elites.” He added: “But things have been mixed up with us lately. Israel has given up and removed from under its feet the rule on which any civilised country stands, because the state, which does not recognise its civil content as a priori, appears to be an abnormal state.”

Elam concluded: “With the [new Israeli] National Law, the principle of achieving and guaranteeing equality in the social and political rights of all citizens, regardless of religious, ethnic or gender affiliation, is removed. Within such a situation, Israel is not a state but a quasi-state, because the state that denies its civil essence is not worthy of being recognised as a State”.

On the same note, the left-wing Israeli journalist Michel Warschawski waxed eloquent: “The national project for the establishment of a Jewish state created a regime that carries out fascist practices and is based on an aggressive military tendency that threatens the security of those who are supposed to represent them and protect them. Israel became a deadly threat to the largest Jewish group [in Israel] on our planet.”

He added: “Our friends in South Africa used to tell us not to use the term apartheid …. but when Rev. Desmond Tutu visited us in the country, he said that what is happening here is worse than apartheid; it is a colonialist system of fascism, colonialism, fascism and ethnic cleansing as well.”

There will be no real viable political solution with present Israel, which will continue to “plant” and “fatten” the colonial settlements, perpetuating the looting of Palestinian land and restricting the freedom of Palestinians in the West Bank.— Professor As’ad Abdul Rahman is the chairman of the Palestinian Encyclopaedia.