Stop living in denial, Israel is an evil state

Israel may not be Nazi, nor even a fascist state. Yet it is a member of the same terrible family, the family of evil states. Just consider these acts of evil perpetrated by the state.

Israel may not be Nazi, nor even a fascist state. Yet it is a member of the same terrible family, the family of evil states. Just consider these acts of evil perpetrated by the state...

Israel may not be Nazi, nor even a fascist state. Yet it is a member of the same terrible family, the family of evil states. Just consider these acts of evil perpetrated by the state…

By Gideon Levy 

After we have cited nationalism and racism, hatred and contempt for Arab life, the security cult and resistance to the occupation, victimhood and messianism, one more element must be added without which the behaviour of the Israeli occupation regime cannot be explained: Evil. Pure evil. Sadistic evil. Evil for its own sake. Sometimes, it is the only explanation.

Eva Illouz described its signs ‘Evil now’ on Haaretz late last month. Her essay, which challenges the idea of the banality of evil, considers the national group as the source of the evil.

Using philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s concept, she finds a “family resemblance” between the Israeli occupation and history’s evil regimes.

This similarity does not mean that Israel is Nazi, nor even fascist. And yet it is a member of the same terrible family, the family of evil states. It is a depressing and brilliant analysis.

The evil that Illouz attributes to Israel is not banal, it cannot happen anywhere, and it has political and social roots that are deeply embedded in Israeli society. Thus, Illouz joins Zeev Sternhell, who warned in his impressive and resounding essay about the cultural soil out of which fascism is now growing in Israel ‘The birth of fascism’ featured on Haaretz Hebrew edition, July 7.

But alongside these analyses, we must also present a brief history of evil. We must present the instances that combine to create a great and horrific picture, a picture of Israeli evil in the territories, so as to stand up to those who deny the evil.

It is not the case of the individual – Sergeant Elor Azaria, for example, who is being tried for the death of a subdued Palestinian assailant in Hebron – but the conduct of the establishment and the occupation regime that proves the evil.

In fact, the continuation of the occupation proves the evil. Illouz, Sternhell and others provide debatable analyses on its origins, but whatever they are, it can no longer be denied.

One case is like a thousand witnesses: the case of Bilal Kayed. A young man who completed a prison term of 14.5 years – his entire sentence – without a single furlough, without being allowed to at least say goodbye by phone to his dying father; a clear sign of evil.

About six weeks ago, Kayed was getting ready for his release. A representative of the Shin Bet security service – one of the greatest agencies of evil in Israel – even showed him a photograph of the home his family had built for him to stir him up even more ahead of his release.

And then, as his family waited impatiently for him at the crossing point and Kayed grew ever more excited in his cell, he was informed that he was being thrown into administrative detention for at least another six months, without trial and without explanation.

Since then, he has been on hunger strike. He is cuffed to his bed. His family is not allowed to see him. Prison guards never leave his room and the lights are not turned out for a moment. Evil.

Only evil can explain the state’s conduct toward Kayed – only an evil state acts this way. The arbitrary announcement, at the last moment, of a senseless detention is abuse, and the way he has been treated since then is also abuse.

Only evil can explain the detention last week of another young man, Hiran Jaradat, whose brother Arif, who had Down syndrome, was killed in June and whose father died two days ago. He is under arrest for “incitement on Facebook” and was not released to attend his father’s funeral. Evil.

The continuation of the detention of poet Darin Tatur – evil. The destruction of the tiny swimming pool that the residents of Khirbet Tana in the northern West Bank had built for themselves – evil. The confiscation of water tanks from a community of shepherds in the Jordan Valley in the July heat – evil.

A great many of the decisions of the occupation regime that decides the fates of individuals, families, communities, villages and cities cannot be explained without evil. The list is as long as the occupation. The extortion of sick people from Gaza to enlist them as collaborators, the blockades on cities and towns for weeks, the Gaza blockade, the demolition of homes – all evil.

Banal or not, its existence must be acknowledged and it must be recognized as one of the most influential values in Israel. Yes, there is an evil regime at work in Israel, and therefore it is an evil state.

(Source / 10.08.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

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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