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Patriot of a non-existing country (attempt at a manifesto)

It is our duty to hate Germany, since we love it. We must be accounted for when we speak of Germany: We, communists, young socialists, pacifists, lovers of freedom in all shapes… How easy it is to pretend Germany is composed solely of the nationalist societies. Germany is a divided country; we are part of it.

Kurt Tucholsky, 1929

In May 2004, Haaretz published a news item (Hebrew): The government of Israel opposed in the High Court of Justice a petition demanding that the title “Israeli” will appear under the “Nationality” rubric of the ID card.

The attempt to recognize an Israeli nationality, claimed the government, would undermine the Israeli state.

One can hardly think of an item more clarifying of the Israeli condition, the clash of “two nations in thy womb”, the struggle within the soul of Israel. The petitioners – including the late Shulamit Aloni of blessed memory, Uri Avneri, Yehoshua Sobol and others – argued that the Israeli Interior Ministry recognized some 135 different nations. It recognizes the mighty Assyrian nation; the ancient, stubborn tribe of the Samaritans; and the far-away Georgians.

There is, however, one nation it is unwilling to recognize: the Israeli nation.

The struggle in the High Court of Justice – spoiler alert: the Israelis lost – was part of the struggle for Israel. Our politics is so bitter because it is identity politics. It derives from the question what country would we like to see: if you will it, it is the question of “who’s a patriot.”

My right-winger readers have made it a habit of doubting my patriotism. And, indeed, by their measure I am not one. If patriotism is hatred of foreigners, subjugating another people, justifying the indiscriminate killing of people who were not circumcised at the age of a week or so; if patriotism is limiting rights according to ethnic origin, and using the injustices done to Jews to justify injustice by Jews – I want no part of such patriotism. I, furthermore, believe such a country lacks the right to exist. The world has enough ethnocracies as it is. I endeavor to see here a country based on citizenship, the much-maligned “country of all its citizens” so derided in Israel today.

I believe the ethnic state was, and is, a major source of suffering in the world. Often, religion and ethnicity go hand in hand. For instance, a loyal (i.e., right-wing) Frenchman was, naturally, Catholic. The Kroat republic of the 1940s was led by Catholic priests. The Russian Orthodox priests enflamed the ethnic cleansing in Serbia. In Afghanistan, the national struggle against the Soviet invaders mixed with religion, leaving us with the ticking bomb of a struggle against the unbelievers.

The same is true of Israel. When Judaism or some mutation of it (the most common is the cult of the uniform, which holds than anyone who served in the IDF deserves, if not to be called a Jew, the rights of a Jew) leads the country into ultra-nationalism. The Ministry of the Interior’s position is further mixing the issue of nationality with religion. It refuses to acknowledge the existence of an Israeli nationality, as doing so would mean nationality can be based on a non-religious basis – which, indeed, would undermine Israel as it is now. The idea that people could share citizenship merely by living in the same country is anathema to Zionism.

The supporters of a civilian state point to the Declaration of Independence: it promises full equality to all the country residents – and equality is incompatible with the concept of a “Jewish and democratic state.” A country can’t be both Jewish and democratic: a “Jewish and democratic” country is democratic to its Jews and Jewish to the rest of its residents.

The supporters of the ethnic state will point, correctly, to the fact that the writers of the Declaration of Independence never actually meant what they wrote. Israel’s founders wanted an ethnic state, and carried out a large ethnic cleansing to get it.  The Declaration of Independence was written so that the new country could have something to show the UN, which was busy at the time writing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This is what the struggle is about: Is there an Israeli nation, or just Jewish and Arab nations; shall we become partners, or stand forever on the edge of another ethnic cleansing; whether hatred of mankind or humanism – both of which can be found in Judaism – will become the face of the country; Is the Declaration of Independence a founding document, or just a camouflage rag?

Many in the left find it hard, in recent years, to love their country. They tend to abandon patriotism to the right. It is hard to, but we must, hate the country – because we love it. Hate its current face – and strive to change it.

How easy it is to pretend that Israel is composed solely of the Likud Center and the settlers. We must be accounted for, when we speak of Israel: universalists, humanists, opponents of militarism, socialists, anarchists, lovers of freedom in all shapes. Israel is a divided country; we are part of it.

This article was originally published in Nana News in May 2004. It still contains some basic truths about Israel and what is wrong with itThe 2004 case meandered its way through the court system, until the High Court of Justice ruled in 2013 against it, claiming the existence of an Israeli people was not proven. It’s unlikely a similar petition would stand a chance within the next decade or two.Schermata 2017 08 21 alle 22.43

Video: ‘Very fine people on both sides’


When President Trump claimed in an unhinged, angry press conference on Aug. 15th that there were “very fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville, he endorsed a group of neo-Nazis and white supremacists whose stated goal is to create an ethnically cleansed, white-only state.P.S. – The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist site whose editors helped orchestrate the Charlottesville insanity, trumpets the President’s endorsement:

Trump Defends Charlottesville Nazis Against Jew Media Lies

The entire Jewish media is pretending that the violence at Charlottesville was initiated by our side, while painting the opposition as good boys who didn’t do nuffin’… That, of course, is a disgusting distortion of reality…

Hail Trump!

Hail Our People!

Hail Victory!

Sources used in the above video:
Charlottesville: Race and Terror (VICE News/HBO)
How White Supremacists Branded Hate in Charlottesville (NYTimes)
Heil Trump in Charlottesville
Trump’s Press Conference, August 15th
Schermata 2017 08 21 alle 22.36

In Blow to Iran, Egypt Becomes Surprise New Player in Syria

To Israel's delight, Cairo's involvement is already showing results

A new and surprising player has recently entered the Syrian arena and has already contributed to establishing local cease-fires: Egypt received Saudi and Russian “permission” to conduct negotiations between the rebel militias and the regime, both in Ghouta al-Sharqiya (east of Damascus) and the northern neighborhoods in the city of Homs. In both cases, it managed to get a cease-fire deal signed – in the former on July 22, in the latter in early August.
Both areas are part of the de-escalation zones on which Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed in May, in consultation with the United States. But this is the first time Egypt has played an active role in diplomatic negotiations between the warring parties that produced positive results.
From Israel’s standpoint, Egypt’s involvement is important. Any country engaged in blocking Iran’s influence in Syria serves Israel’s interests. But that’s especially true when said country is Egypt, which is Israel’s partner in the war on terror in Sinai and an ally (together with Saudi Arabia and Jordan) with whom it sees eye to eye about both the Iranian threat and the danger of Syria disintegrating into cantons.
Israel is also involved in discussions about the de-escalation zone in southern Syria that runs along Syria’s borders with both Israel and Jordan. Over the weekend, an Israeli delegation headed by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen began talks on the issue with senior U.S. officials in Washington, and a meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During these discussions, Israel will presumably push the superpowers to encourage Egypt’s involvement in Syria, thereby ensuring another Arab partner (alongside Jordan) that will be sympathetic to its interests.
Egypt’s involvement is the result of a diplomatic about-face that began when Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi took office in 2013. His predecessor, Mohammed Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood, had severed Egypt’s relations with Syria. But Sissi repeatedly said Egypt “supports national armies in solving crises in the region and maintaining security” – a clear expression of support for President Bashar Assad’s regime and its army.
Lest there be any doubt, Sissi also said “Assad is part of the solution” in Syria, and allowed Egypt’s intelligence chief to meet publicly with his Syrian counterpart, Ali Mamlouk, in Cairo. One such meeting took place in October 2016. The Arab media has also reported several other meetings between senior Egyptian and Syrian officials over the past year.
This past week, a delegation of senior Egyptian businessmen and chamber of commerce officials attended a trade fair in Damascus. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem lavishly praised this Egyptian show of support, saying the delegation’s size and seniority “reflect our Egyptian brothers’ desire to strengthen relations between our countries.”
Given the Arab boycott of Syria and the latter’s expulsion from the Arab League, the Egyptian delegation’s attendance wasn’t merely a matter of business interests: it was a clear diplomatic statement.
Sissi favors Assad remaining in power because he fears Syria will collapse otherwise, with potentially serious consequences for Egypt. Until recently, though, this policy wasn’t well received in Riyadh, which demanded Cairo fall in line with its position that Assad’s departure is a precondition for any diplomatic solution.
Saudi Arabia even punished Egypt for supporting a Russian resolution at the UN by halting its supply of cheap oil to the country. That forced Cairo to buy from other sources at market prices, taking a hefty chunk out of its already strained budget.
At the same time, Egypt’s relationship with Russia grew closer, despite its renewed friendship with Washington after U.S. President Donald Trump entered office and voiced support for Sissi – in marked contrast to the Obama administration’s chilly attitude toward him. But Moscow and Washington were no substitute for Egypt’s diplomatic and economic ties with Saudi Arabia; nor could they reconcile Cairo with Riyadh.
The turning point came when Egypt joined Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in imposing sanctions on Qatar, which was even more important to Riyadh than the Syrian issue. Moreover, Riyadh has recognized it cannot achieve either a military or diplomatic victory in Syria, and that its policy of supporting the anti-Assad militias has produced no real benefits, since it has neither forestalled nor reduced Iranian influence in Syria.
So, when Turkey invaded Syrian territory as part of what Riyadh views as a tripartite alliance between Turkey, Iran and Russia – one in which Saudi Arabia, like the United States, plays no part – the kingdom decided on a strategic U-turn. It seemingly now prefers Egypt’s involvement to Turkish involvement – and certainly to an Iranian role.
For Russia, this U-turn is important. According to some reports, Egypt is working to renormalize relations with Syria. If it actually does so, this would grant the Assad regime formal Egyptian legitimacy and, ultimately, broader Arab legitimacy as well. Egypt could thereby pull the rug out from under Turkey’s efforts to be the power broker in Syria, while also giving Syria an Arab alternative to its dependence on Iran.
But it would be going too far, at least at this stage, to predict that Iran’s role in Syria will wane due to Egypt’s involvement. The Syrian regime owes its very survival to Iran and Russia. Even under a diplomatic agreement, these countries will continue to serve as Syria’s strategic depth.

Zvi Bar'el

Haaretz Correspondent

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/1.808039Schermata 2017 08 21 alle 17.17

Jew Loving is the Way Forward

By Gilad Atzmon

Once a week, a British Jewish institution publishes statistics that measure how much Jews are hated by their neighbours and how unhappy the Jews are in the kingdom. No other people thinks to measure and publish the statistics of their popularity.  A new poll by the Campaign Against Antisemitsm (CAA) published yesterday, reveals that one in six British Jews (17%) reported feeling unwelcome in Britain. Over a third (37%) said they had felt the need to conceal their Judaism in public. As if this weren't devastating enough, 31% of British Jews have considered moving abroad. And as you might expect, 80% reckon that the Labour party is too tolerant of anti-Semitism. 

However, another poll conducted by YouGov for the same CAA, also published yesterday, found that anti-Semitic attitudes in UK society  declined from 45% in 2015 to 36% in 2017.  

So while the Brits are rapidly becoming less ‘antisemitic’ the Jews are growing increasingly fearful of their neighbours.  

How do we explain this anomaly? The less hated British Jews are, the more insecure they seem to feel. 

If these statistics reveal a genuine behavioural dynamic, then we can assume that by the time British society is entirely consumed by love and admiration for their Jews, there won’t be a single Jew left in the kingdom. The Jews will all wander off to places where they can be genuinely hated.  

Amalek, Khmelnytskyi, Hitler were all wrong! Jew hatred doesn't break the Jews, on the contrary it seems to empower their existential enthusiasm. It is love that diminishes Jewish confidence. True harmony may as well, obliterates the tactics of  tribal survival. 

This is not an original observation.  There was a Jew who was around a while back who realised that loving your neighbour is the way forward. He was nailed to some wood but he came back. Of course, discussing love may cost me a few gig cancelations, but I will surely bounce back. loveyourfellowjew

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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