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To Whitewash Occupation, Netanyahu Crew Casts Breaking the Silence Whistle-blower as Bogeyman

Right-wing sadists harass Israeli Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff to act against his own son

The Palestinian Authority is the best thing that ever happened to the Israeli right. Any doubts about such an assertion evaporate instantly when one watches a series of reports, aired this week by the newly established Kan public network, marking the 30th anniversary of the first intifada.
They depict the reality that existed before the Oslo Accords, before the advent of the Palestinian Authority when Israeli soldiers clashed daily and directly with thousands of Palestinian assailants and hundreds of thousands of their supporters. In those days, it was hard to conceal the occupation. In those days, everyone was Dean Issacharoff, the spokesman of Breaking the Silence, whose recent portrayal of his own assault as an Israel Defense Forces soldier on a Palestinian detainee in Hebron is now the focus of national controversy.
How times have changed since then. Now there is a PA that relieves IDF soldiers of most of its need to confront Palestinians. Now there is a harsh right-wing government in Israel that wants to beautify the occupation, and if possible, to make it vanish from Israeli minds altogether.
So now it’s acceptable to take one solitary combat soldier, such as Issacharoff – who seeks to protest the occupation by relaying his experiences as an occupier – and to depict him as an exception that proves the rule. He is being turned into a scapegoat that “shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited,” as the Book of Leviticus prescribes. One person is stained, but the entire community is absolved. One will be condemned, and everyone else can get back to turning a blind eye, as usual.
To her credit, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was the first to recognize the potential in Issacharoff’s testimony. Shaked realized that it’s a win-win situation for her and her radical-right fans. Either Issacharoff will be prosecuted, showing the world that Israel deals harshly with “deviant” behavior such as his, or he won’t be prosecuted, in which case Breaking the Silence will be cast as a bunch of liars.
In its formal announcement that the investigation will be closed, to which it added a highly unusual refutal of Issacharoff’s testimony, the State Prosecutors Office, out of pure negligence or criminal kowtowing or both, gave Shaked much more than she could have hoped for.
Next came Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, who may have been jealous of her coalition colleague. On a Saturday night television appearance opposite Breaking the Silence executive director Avner Gvaryahu, Hotovely showed that the potent compound of incitement and hysteria is not unique to Likud men alone. Hotovely then ignored Gvaryahu’s warning that the Palestinian who “proved” that Issacharoff was lying wasn’t actually the one he claimed to have attacked, and ordered an immediate diplomatic initiative that aims to use Issacharoff as leverage to persuade European governments to stop funding Breaking the Silence.
In this way, Hotovely gave right-wing sadists another source of entertainment, along the lines of the biblical story of Abraham and the binding of his son Isaac, ordering Israel’s newly installed ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, to act against Breaking the Silence and to portray his son as a liar.
Netanyahu and his cohorts on the right are building up Breaking the Silence as a terrifying bogeyman with which they can scare the natives and drive them to frenzy. After the New Israel Fund, Breaking the Silence has also been inducted into the sinister international conspiracy that wants to topple Netanyahu and/or destroy Israel – or both. They and their lies, not us and our deeds, are responsible for international condemnation of the occupation. It isn’t 50 years of controlling another peoples’ lives, avoidance of peace, assault on democracy and the rule of law, lack of pluralism or the persecution of anti-occupation “informers” that gives Israel a bad name. It’s Issacharoff, that unrepresentative freak, who is responsible.
Contrary to historical experience around the world, simple logic and thousands of witnesses who have served in the territories, the Israeli occupation – if you believe Issacharoff’s detractors – is apparently a model of good manners and genteel supervision devoid of violence and coercion. It’s more Disneyland than Gehenna, apparently.
Netanyahu and his ministers have a vested interest in making the occupation disappear, and much of Israeli public opinion is only too happy to play along with the big lie. If there is no occupation, one doesn’t have to contend with the havoc it is wreaking on the impressionable soldiers who serve it, with the lasting damage it has caused in Israeli society as a whole, or with the destruction that it portends for the concept of a Jewish and democratic state.
To paraphrase a familiar call used by anti-Semitic White Russian marauders a century ago, the current catchphrase in government circles is “Smite Issacharoff and save the occupation.”

Chemi Shalev

Haaretz Correspondent

read more: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.824139

To Whitewash Occupation Netanyahu Crew Casts Breaking the Silence Whistle blower as Bogeyman

Tags: #ICC4Israel, #politics, #IsraelLobby

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. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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