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Israeli Turned Palestinian Activist

By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 19 June 2012

  Israeli Turned Palestinian Activist


by Stephen Lendman


Popular 1965 Hal David/Burt Bacharach lyrics said "What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of." 


It applies aptly to how Israel treats Palestinians.


Daily headlines explain. They hardly vary from one day to the next.


On June 18, Israeli forces shelled northern Gaza. Two Palestinian men were killed. Four others were injured. IDF officials called them terrorists. They were innocent civilians threatening no one.


Other air strikes injured five Palestinians, including a woman and child.


Israeli soldiers shot and killed two so-called infiltrators. It's a spurious term Israel uses to declare Palestinians illegal on their own land in their own country. It's used to extrajudicially deport them.


Other Monday headlines said settlers killed two Palestinians. The IDF invaded Jenin city and its refugee camp. Clashes followed. Live rounds were fired. Daily incursions terrorize Palestinians. Arrests and detentions follow.


Earlier in June, 15 Silwan youths were kidnapped. Parents weren't told what happened. Gaza farmers are denied permission to export crops. Fishermen are attacked at sea. Israeli border guards use Palestinian children for target practice.


No deal looks imminent to free Mahmoud Sarsak. He's maliciously imprisoned unjustly. In protest, he's been hunger striking for over 90 days. Israel doesn't care if he lives or dies. 


Neither to PA authorities. They've done nothing to help him. He's a national hero facing imminent death. 


Their contempt for their own people is scandalous. They're concerned only for their own self-interest.


Courageous Israelis react to what's intolerable. On June 17, Press TV headlined "Ex-Israeli soldier wants to join Palestinian resistance," saying:


Former IDF soldier Andre Pshenichnikov, a Tajik Jewish immigrant, announced plans to "renounce his Israeli citizenship and move to....the Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem."


He once did restaurant and construction work there. He's traveling in Europe and will move on return. "He began questioning Israel's policies toward Palestine while he was still serving in the military."


He told AP:


"I hate Zionism....I want to be part of the Palestinian resistance....I call for other Israelis who support the existence of a state of Palestine to do the same, to come live in the West Bank or Gaza as Palestinians."


Haaretz columnist Amira Hass contributes important writing on Palestine. A daughter of two holocaust survivors, she reported several years from Gaza and Ramallah. She believes accurate reporting depends on it.


In December 2008, she sailed on the Free Gaza Dignity mission. It delivered vital medical and other supplies. UK Baroness Jenny Tonge and nine others traveled with her. 


They arrived unharmed. Others weren't as lucky. On return to Israel, Hass was arrested for entering Gaza without permission. She resided there several months longer. 


On return in May 2009, she was again arrested "for violating a law which forbids residence in an enemy state." 


Israel calls Palestinians wanting to live free in their homeland terrorists. Hass was painted with the same brush.


Pshenichnikov and other activist Israelis renounce what's intolerable to accept. Everyone should!


On June 18, Haaretz contributor Akiva Eldar headlined "Vice premier Ya'alon revealed Netanyahu's true intentions," saying:


He's a top Israeli official, a member of its security cabinet, and "one of the closest people to" Netanyahu. In an earlier interview, he "wipe(d) the makeup of the prime minister's face."


He explained the "illusion" of a two-state solution. When he was chief of staff, "he wanted to 'sear the consciousness' of Yasser Arafat so the Palestinian leader would realize" he had to bend to Israel's will.


Ya'alon now "wants Abbas to prove that the consciousness of every toddler in Ramalah is seared with the fact that" all Judea and Samaria belongs solely to Jews. Others aren't wanted. They won't be tolerated.


Moral and legal issues don't bother him. He calls persecuted Palestinians "aggressor(s)." He says "they have an ethos to destroy, while our ethos to build will triumph."


He's Israel's main strategist. He's "burying the two-state solution alongside Oslo," the road map, and other fake peace initiatives. Israel needs violence to maintain institutionalized state terror. 


Victims are called "aggressors." Propaganda regurgitates big lies. Vice premiers create them. Israeli politicians campaign on them. Innocent lives are destroyed to perpetuate their power.


Earlier Ya'alon told Likud's Jewish Leadership faction head Moshe Feiglin:


"(E)very time the politicians bring a dove of peace here, we as an army have to clean up after it."


He meant ruthless force, mass killing, state terror, and other efforts to prevent peace.


In Netanyahu's government, he's "(un)contaminated by dove droppings."


Israeli politicians devise new ways of preventing them. In writing about "Israel's New Wars,” Uri Ben Eliezer explained separation politics.


It "contains a connection." It isolates East Jerusalem and separates Gaza from the West Bank. Effectively it separates Palestinians from themselves and Israeli settlers.


At the same time, it gives Israel access to all valued Judea and Samaria land. It violates international law and Oslo. 


Israeli policies let political extremists legitimize occupation harshness, falsify notions of an Iranian threat, stoke fears of war, and convince people that territorial concessions threaten Israel's survival.


As chief Israeli strategist, Ya'alon's in charge of spreading big lies. At issue is too many people believe them.


Haaretz contributor Yitzhak Laor added more food for thought. Headlining his article "Israeli racism is embedded in daily politics of every state body," he said:


It requires political opposition to work. Hardliners incite anti-African migrant hatred. Doing so replicates European neo-fascism. "Anyone who stands in airport lines....understands how" dark-skinned people are persecuted.


Israeli and Western racism "divides people first and foremost by the color of their skin, and that's how it's always been."


Israel is especially tarnished. By law, it's a racist state. Its Basic Laws institutionalized it.


"On the basis of this racism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, National Union MK Michael Ben Ari, Interior Minister Eli Yishai and MK Ofir Akunis of Likud can join together and speak of "the danger to the Jewish state."


Israeli citizenship laws spurn non-Jews. Israeli rabbis act as "a separation fence between Jews and non-Jews."


Israel's 1950 Law of Return applies solely to Jews. It automatically grants entry and citizenship to people of Jewish ancestry. It states: "Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh (a basic Zionist Aliyah right)."


Non-Jews aren't wanted. Arabs aren't tolerated. Persecuting them ruthlessly exposes a festering sore. Doing it makes abhorrent policy look normal.


It calls Arab population growth "a cancer in the body of the nation." It claims educating Palestinian children is dangerous. 


It believes treating them equally subverts notions of Jewish supremacy, specialness, and uniqueness as "God's chosen people."


It states violence, not peaceful coexistence affirms it. So does confrontation, militarism, intimidation, and naked aggression.


It defends indefensible lawlessness. It believes non-Jews alone commit human rights abuses. Israeli belligerence is called self-defense.


Activists like Pshenichnikov, Hass and others resist. Growing numbers join them. Israeli crimes of war and against humanity are exposed to the cold light of day. 


They're in plain sight to see. They're too outrageous to ignore. Perpetuating them threatens its host and humanity. What better reason to become activist against them.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at 


His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"


Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


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