“. . . serene foreshadowing things to come . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Combatants for Peace
Combatants for Peace demonstration, January 15, 2016, Bethlehem. (Photo: Combatants for Peace)

❶ Israeli opposition leader warns of ‘uprising of hatred’ in Israel

  • background from Digest of Middle East Studies

❷ ‘No military solution’ say Israeli, Palestinian ex-fighters
❸ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  IS  LEFT  OF  THE  ISRAELI  LEFT?
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 18, 2016
Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog warned of what he called “growing hatred and racism” in Israel encouraged by right-wing politicians, adding that it could pave the way for further deadly violence, Hebrew-language news site NRG reported on Monday.
___”We are on the verge of an uprising of hatred, racism, darkness and upcoming killings and assassination based on the overwhelming internal hatred here,” NRG quoted Herzog as saying during a speech at a Zionist Camp parliamentary bloc session on Monday.
___”We hear hatred at every turn, whether it is directed towards women by military rabbis, by Ashkenazi Jews against Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews against Ashkenazis, from military school rabbis towards homosexuals, or between Arabs and Jews,” the Labor Party leader added, notably in reference to the recent appointment of Eyal Karim, who has implicitly justified the rape of women in times of war, as the new chief rabbi of the Israeli army.      MORE . . .

From Digest of Middle East Studies
Carlo Strenger . . . writes that “Mizrahi [Jews descended from Arab Jews] resentment” has led to “hatred and resentment towards Israel’s liberal secular Jews,” while noting that “The core values of liberal democracy have become associated with the so-called ‘white tribe’ of the secular Ashkenazi [European Jews] ‘elite’.” He concludes that “Israel’s secular liberals must cease apologizing for fighting for a liberal democratic Israel. We are not oppressors, but a minority . . . our ethics are not meant to discriminate against anybody, whether on grounds of ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation. The opposite is true: our ideals are the only ones that can ensure freedom and dignity for all.”
[. . . .]  The fear of the Orthodox other manifests itself in a notion that their birth rate endangers the state. Donniel Hartman, president of the Shalom Hartman institute [a pluralistic center of research in Jerusalem] noted “In truth, we have no desire to share our country with them and prefer that their integration be limited, all the while hoping for their religious assimilation” . . .  Yuval Elizur and Lawrence Malkin in The War Within: Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Threat to Israeli Democracy . . . described [the Haredim – Orthodox Jews who reject modern culture] as a “problem” that must be “solved.”
___The “battle” for Israel is viewed as one between its secular minority and the burgeoning Arab and Orthodox public. . .  Newspaper editor Amnon Dankner argued in 2011 that “what adds to my sense of depression is the awareness that demographic processes are turning our society more and more religion [sic], more and more racist and venomous, more and more withdrawn and violent.”

  • Frantzman, Seth J. “‘They Will Take The Country From Us’: Labor Zionism, The Origins And Legacy Of The ‘Other’ In Israeli Mass Media, And Hegemonic Narratives.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies 23.1 (2014): 156-189.   SOURCE.  

Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Daoud Kuttab
July 18, 2016
The request for a travel permit seemed terribly innocent. An international filmmaker was debuting a film about Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and wanted the Palestinian activist to be present at the premier in West Jerusalem. But the Israeli authorities denied Shifa al-Qudsi’s request.
___. . .  “I have received permits to visit my brother in jail in Israel, so why do they deny me a chance to attend a peace documentary?” she commented in a phone call with Al-Monitor from her home in Tulkarm.
___Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young’s “Disturbing the Peace,” about a brave group of Israelis and Palestinians, was screened July 14 at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. The film features four Israelis and four Palestinians, including Qudsi, who are part of Combatants for Peace, a nonviolent organization originally made up exclusively of members who had participated in the conflict as armed combatants on one side or the other.      MORE . . .

isaac herzog
Labor Party chief Isaac Herzog speaks in Jerusalem. (Photo: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

❸ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  IS  LEFT  OF  THE  ISRAELI  LEFT?
Ilan Pappé
Brown Journal of World Affairs, 2015

. . . being a leftist in Israel means opposing the ultra-Orthodox Jewish way of life, almost as though it were an existential threat. It is this clash of ideas that highlights the difference between Left as it is understood in the world and Left as it is defined in Israel. The clash between Left and Right in Israel is not about socioeconomic issues such as government spending, social welfare, or minority rights. It is rather a clash between a secular way of life and a more traditional and religious way of life. This is important to understand because  after  the  1967  war,  the  division  between  the  Zionist  Left  and  Right revolved around the question of whether or not Israel should withdraw from the territories it occupied in the June 1967 War. Quite a few of the ultra-Orthodox Jews supported withdrawal, as did the Zionist Left. However, this was not enough to form an alliance, as secularism was just as important to the Zionist Left as the idea of withdrawing from the 1967 occupied territories.
[. . . .]
Ultimately, it is impossible to reconcile a Zionist perspective with universal values associated with the Left. The history of the Zionist Left reveals genuine attempts to reconcile Zionism with universalism, but all these attempts have failed dismally. Yet, an alternative approach was always there, waiting for its historical opportunity to come forward as a universal agenda of peace and reconciliation for the sake of Israelis and Palestinians alike. Were such an agenda to be integrated into the Palestinian liberation project, it would become possible for the international community to rally around it. This can only happen when the two-state solution, which accepts and reinforces that there is conflict between two national movements that divide the land, is declared dead and gone. This has already been defeated as a possible solution, but a strong international coalition still supports it, and it will be a long process to undo this. It can only be replaced by a framework that recognizes that the conflict is between a settler-colonial movement, Zionism, a settler state of Israel, and the native population. Such a solution means, in essence, a decolonization of the whole of Palestine, which means reframing the relationship between the Jewish settler community (by which I mean the Israeli Jewish society as a whole), now in its third generation, and the native population.

  • PAPPÉ, ILAN. “What Is Left Of The Israeli Left? (1948-2015).” Brown Journal Of World Affairs 22.1 (2015): 351-367.    SOURCE.

Interview with Ilan Pappé 

“THE THREE CYPRESS TREES,” by Mourid Barghouti

Transparent and frail,
Like the slumber of woodcutters,
serene foreshadowing things to come,
the morning drizzle does not conceal
these three cypresses on the slope.

These details belie their sameness,
their radiance confirms it.

I said:
I wouldn’t dare to keep looking at them,
there is a beauty that takes away our daring,
there are times when courage fades away.

The clouds rolling high above
change the form of the cypresses.

The birds flying towards other skies
change the resonance of the cypresses.

The tiled line between them
fixes the greenness of the cypresses
and there are trees whose only fruit is greenness.

Yesterday, in my sudden cheerfulness,
I saw their immortality.

Today, in my sudden sorrow,
I saw the axe.

Mourid Barghouti.
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon. 

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