» Lees verder
» Lees verder
In his book Memories, the first Israeli PM and pragmatic early Zionist, David Ben Gurion writes about his early years in PÅoÅsk, Poland.
“For many of us, anti-Semitic feeling had little to do with our (Zionist) dedication. I personally never suffered anti-Semitic persecution. PÅoÅsk was remarkably free of it… There were three main communities: Russians, Jews and Poles. … The number of Jews and Poles in the city were roughly equal, about five thousand each. The Jews, however, formed a compact, centralized group occupying the innermost districts whilst the Poles were more scattered, living in outlying areas and shading off into the peasantry. Consequently, when a gang of Jewish boys met a Polish gang the latter would almost inevitably represent a single suburb and thus be poorer in fighting potential than the Jews who even if their numbers were initially fewer could quickly call on reinforcements from the entire quarter. Far from being afraid of them (the goyim), they were rather afraid of us (the Jews). In general, however, relations were amicable, though distant.” (Memoirs: David Ben-Gurion (1970), p. 36)
Ben Gurion is very explicit when describing the balance of power between Jews and Poles in his town in the early days of the 20th century. âFar from being afraid of them, they were rather afraid of us (the Jews).â
Jews were indeed very powerful in Poland in the first years of the 20th century. The Jewish socialist party, the Bund, was a leading political force in the 1905 Revolution particularly in the Polish areas of the Russian empire. In the early stages of that Revolution, the Bundâs military wing was the strongest revolutionary force in Western Russia.
The Vow, the Bundâs anthem didnât leave much room for imagination, it declared war and practically sentenced to death those who didnât fit with their political agenda:
âWe swear our stalwart hate persists,
Of those who rob and kill the poor:
The Tsar, the masters, capitalists.
Our vengeance will be swift and sure.
So swear together to live or die!â
âTo wage the holy war we vow,
Until right triumphs over wrong.
This attempt to tackle the issue of Zionist political violence will not constitute a quantitative and historical research, but will seek to explore the patterns and to analyze the motives behind the violent political practices carried out by the Zionist movement in Palestine over a period of more than a hundred years.
Before embarking upon this complex task, there is a need to shed some light on the phenomenon of general violence and its diverse patterns. This will be done by giving some internationally accepted definitions of violence in general and political violence in particular.
Definition of Violence
In addition to the complex socio-political nature of the phenomenon of violence, and the large ideological charge it carries in its fold, we find many different definitions. Therefore, there is no single comprehensive definition that researchers and writers can adopt, because the class biases of those who developed these definitions dominate their social consciousness, therefore their thinking affect the concepts and definitions they produce.
However, I will present some definitions, adopted by international bodies, and others employed by some writers, which can give us somewhat clear definitions and a relative scientific credibility.
An internationally acceptable definition of violence is that of the World Health Organization. In one of its World Reports, the WHO defined violence as:
“… The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.”
Moreover, political violence is some kind of collective violence that could be perpetrated by groups, as well as, by states and thus be called state violence. Consequently, it includes “…economic violence … such as attacks carried out with the purpose of disrupting economic activity, denying access to essential services, or creating economic division and fragmentation…”
American philosopher Hanna Arendt, distinguished between violence and power by arguing that “… Violence can be justifiable, but it never will be legitimate. Its justification loses in plausibility the farther its intended end recedes into the future…”
Arendt found that violence and racism are interconnected and interrelated. She asserted that “…Violence in interracial struggle is always murderous,
A recent article by Philip Weiss on the Mondoweiss website lays out an argument that most liberal Jews, like Weiss, are hesitant to support, namely that Jewish power, and more to the point its money, as exercised through the so-called Israel Lobby in the United States and elsewhere, has been the principal enabling force behind the international pariah that the state of Israel has become.
Weiss notes how “most observers accept the antisemitism redlines echoed lately by Bernie Sanders: you are not to speak of an outsize Jewish role in politics. So few write about the Israel lobby, though they know it to be a significant force…” In other words, Sanders, liberal to the core and ostensibly supportive of Palestinian rights, draws a line that forbids any real discussion of Jewish power in the United States even though everyone who has not been asleep is more than aware of just how powerful American Jews, and by extension Israel, are.
Weiss details how the vast sums of money raised by both Democratic and Republican Jews has distorted American politics since the time of President Harry S. Truman. He describes how president after president has backed down versus Israel when confronted by Jewish power and observes that “This is not just a domestic political question, it’s a foreign policy problem. The Israel lobby is the root cause of the Israel Palestine conflict. Consider the two…main causes of the conflict. 1, Israeli settlement/colonialism (or in Zionist terms, the effort to liberate European Jewry from persecution by establishing a Jewish homeland in historical Palestine). 2, Palestinian resistance to 1. Neither of these historical forces would still be a source of serious conflict 71 years after Israel’s establishment were it not for the lobby. Without the blind support of the United States, Israel would have made a deal a long time ago. The country would have followed through on the historic Palestinian concession of 1988 followed by the Arab Peace Initiative of 2001, and accepted partition of the land on highly favorable terms (Israel gets 78 percent). Without U.S. support, Israel would have been internationally isolated and would have grabbed the deal. The Israelis have been able to continue to devour the land only because the United States supports the occupation in international fora,
This article was originally published in July 2019
In explosive investigation, Haaretz reports that Israeli defence officials have been sealing off historical files about the mass expulsion of Palestinians in 1948
Israel’s Ministry of Defence has been systematically sealing archival documents for at least a decade to conceal evidence of the Nakba, the mass expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians during the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, Haaretz has revealed.
A secretive security department in the defence ministry has overseen the ongoing project, taking historic files and putting them away in vaults. In some cases, historians cited documents in their work that later disappeared, Haaretz reported.
Yehiel Horev, former head of the department which goes by the Hebrew acronym Malmab, told Haaretz that it made sense to hide the details of what happened in 1948 because the documents could “generate unrest” among Palestinians in Israel.
When asked why files were removed that had already been highlighted by researchers and others, Horev said the objective was to undermine the credibility of history written about the era.
Papers on Israel’s nuclear project and the country’s foreign relations were also reportedly transferred to vaults.
Some of the sealed documents reveal details of looting, massacres of Palestinians, forcible expulsion, and demolition of villages by Israeli militias, based on interviews with Israeli generals and soldiers who fought in the 1948 war, Haaretz reported.
A book by Israeli historian Benny Morris – The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 – referred to one of the documents, quoting details of a massacre in the Palestinian village Safsaf in Galilee, based on notes written about a 1948 briefing given by the former chief of staff of the Haganah, the Israeli army’s predecessor.
According to what Morris published, the notes said: “Safsaf 52 men tied with a rope. Dropped into a pit and shot. Ten were killed. Women pleaded for mercy. [There were] three cases of rape. Caught and released. A girl of 14 was raped. Another four were killed.”
This document, along with others, has disappeared from the Israeli archive, after Malmab’s team censored them, according to Haaretz.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below.