Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
    08 Jun '07
    07 Apr '17 20:00

    "Israel sunk in 'incremental tyranny', say former Shin Bet chiefs."

    "“Incremental tyranny [is a process] which means you live in a democracy and
    suddenly you understand it is not a democracy any more,” Ayalon told a small group of journalists, including the Guardian, ahead of the event.
    “This is what we are seeing in Israel. The tragedy of this process is that you only know it when it is too late.”

    Ayalon cited recent moves by ministers in the Netanyahu government to
    change the laws to hit groups such as Breaking the Silence by banning
    them from events in schools and targeting their funding, while also
    taking aim at the country’s supreme court and independence of the media.

    Issues of freedom of speech and expression have become one of the key
    faultlines in Israeli society – in everything from the arts to journalism –
    under the most rightwing government in the country’s history."
  2. Zugzwang
    08 Jun '07
    07 Apr '17 20:06

    "Netanyahu has taken Israel’s crackdown on Jewish dissent to a new low."
    ---Mairav Zonszein

    "Dan Shapiro, the US ambassador to Israel – an American Jew who speaks Hebrew and
    who does not hide his deep bond with the country – made a simple observation last week:
    Israel, he said, seems to have “two standards of adherence to the rule of law: one for
    Israelis and another for Palestinians”.

    This is a simple fact. While he probably did not mean to call Israel out for its two separate
    systems of law – but rather for not enforcing the law as effectively when it comes to
    Israeli culprits as it does for Palestinian ones – everyone interpreted it this way. It is, after
    all no secret that Israel invented an intricate military-legal system for regulating its control
    over the Palestinian population living in the lands occupied in 1967 precisely in order to
    entrench separate systems for Israelis and Palestinians."

    "This incident is emblematic of the crackdown on Jewish dissent that has become
    commonplace in Israel. Human rights organisations and activists who document aspects
    of Israel’s demonstrable system of occupation, discrimination and human rights violations
    have become the targets of a concerted campaign of delegitimisation – including
    parliamentary legislation to inhibit their operations, public denunciations by political
    leaders, incendiary videos, and the accusation that they are foreign moles and liars."

    "Being anti-occupation is now deemed synonymous with being anti-Israel and anti-Jewish,
    the treasonous stance of an enemy of the state. This of course has always been the
    case for Palestinians resisting Israeli occupation, whether those who live on the West
    Bank and are therefore non-citizens, East Jerusalem residents whose residency can be
    revoked at any moment, or citizens of Israel who suffer from systematic discrimination
    and whose citizenship is increasingly called into question. Now this has spilled over to
    Jewish Israeli dissidents. The witch-hunt against the tiny Israeli left is palpable. Working
    to end Israeli occupation, or even just exposing its facts, makes you a target. It can
    pursue you whether you are a human rights activist, an artist, an academic, a former
    soldier or even the country’s president: Reuven Rivlin has been the target of rightwing
    incitement for months, most recently for speaking at a Haaretz conference in which
    Breaking the Silence also participated."

    "For most of its existence, Israel has been providing democratic cover for an undemocratic reality.
    This is what the right is so busy trying to keep under wraps, and the more permanent
    and entrenched occupation becomes, the more work they have to do. Israel, after all,
    cannot be a democratic, liberal and free society while it exerts systematic, unaccountable
    control over millions of people. As the left saying goes: The occupation corrupts the occupier.

    Israel already uses an extensive arsenal of military, legal, social, cultural and economic
    tools to suppress Palestinian nonviolent resistance. It is now doubling down its efforts to
    normalise its policies of oppression, inequality and intolerance by openly applying these
    tactics to Jewish citizens. But the truth of occupation is undeniable. No amount of
    name-calling, intimidation or violence can ever change this reality."
  3. Zugzwang
    08 Jun '07
    07 Apr '17 20:11

    "Netanyahu wants to repress my group, Breaking the Silence. May, don’t help him."
    --Yehuda Shaul

    "As Netanyahu made his way back to Israel, the Knesset passed the regulation bill, a
    land expropriation law that seeks to retroactively legalise the theft of Palestinian land by
    Israel for the benefit of settlement development.

    There’s nothing new about stealing Palestinian land for the purpose of settlement expansion.
    This is what Israel has been doing for nearly 50 years. It’s the only way we could have
    installed 700,000 Israeli settlers across the green line. Sometimes this land grab is
    achieved by declaring Palestinian land “state land” (Israeli property), and sometimes by
    sealing an area off for security purposes.

    What’s new about the passing of this bill is that legislation concerning what goes on in
    Palestine – which until now was subject to the Israeli Defense Forces (the sovereign
    entity in Palestine) – was decided for the first time by the Israeli parliament, a body that
    Palestinians cannot vote for, and which therefore does not represent them.

    In so doing, the Israeli parliament took my country one step closer towards being an apartheid state.
    But more than anything else, the regulation law clearly indicates that the Israeli government
    is neither interested in ending the occupation nor in achieving a two-state solution."

    "This has been the protocol: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, since the start of the
    second intifada in September 2000. The sole purpose was to intimidate the Palestinian
    population through what we called “creating a sense of persecution”. Because this is
    what you have to do, when you want to maintain control over millions of people with no
    rights, and with no endgame in sight. The only way to do it is to induce constant fear, and
    as soon as this fear becomes routine, ramp it up more, to no end.

    This is the kind of behaviour was carried out in the interest of bolstering occupation, not
    ending it. These are not the policies implemented by people who desire to live peacefully
    alongside millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, but rather by those seeking to
    control them forever."