June 2, 2010, Page 2

EDITOR: The Lunatic State of the Jewish State

In Israel, as well as abroad, the full lunacy and vileness of this latest Israeli war crime is becoming clear to all who can read. Israeli propaganda has worked overtime, based on the kidnapping of the activists, isolating them from the whole world, confiscating all their material evidence, on top of the brutalities of maiming and murdering many of them. This meant that for the last few days, only the the voice of Israeli propaganda was available to the international media. Fictional narratives, more complex than most Hollywood scripts, were woven and reinforced by what must be the largest propaganda machine anywhere.

Of course, this matter little now. The facts are now coming out, and many inquiries will be conducted and will establish the full horror of this murderous piracy. The world will not be fooled by this anymore. In Israel, however, the public, and the elites are fully behind this latest crime, as they always were behind the ones committed before. They no longer matter, of course. Anyone waiting for internal transformation must be seriously delusional; there shall be no such change ever – the change will come from outside, from the outraged millions, who watch disbelievingly as their own governments, yet again, do nothing to stop mayhem, murder and lawlessness by the Israeli regime. It is interesting to note that the public support of the Israelis for the war crimes committed in their names everywhere – in Beirut, in Gaza, in the rest of Palestine, in Dubai, and now on the high seas, not for the first time – is much higher than that enjoyed by the apartheid regime in its heyday! Israel is a Jewish military democracy, for Jews only, and as such, all its Jewish citizens are responsible for what is done in their name, unless they act against the crimes. Because of this continued unstinting support, there is no hope for change in Israel, and we should not expect it or try to bring it about. It is a waste of time and effort – Israelis are living in a parallel universe, where normal legalities do not exist, and morality is absent, where racism and apartheid are still ruling the day.

The change will come from us, from the enraged and caring millions, angry with the duplicity of their own governments and their collusion with Israeli crimes; the international community is now realising it is up to all of us to do what many did during the apartheid days – to isolate and ostracise and isolate this pariah military and piratical regime, this State of Lunacy and lawlessness. We will all need to stop any relationship with this entity of crime: no products to be purchased, no touring in Israel, no conferences there, no invites and collaboration with Israeli academics and institutions who do not declare their unequivocal opposition to the occupation and its iniquities. The resolution of this conflict will only be reached by the annulling Zionism and its racism, its military and ‘civil’ racist machineries, the total removal of all settler communities, and the return of Palestinian refugees, as well as the payment of full compensation to all those who were hurt by the Zionist enterprise over the last few decades.
The way to achieve this is by the careful and thoughtful but total BDS – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, that will lead to a Just peace and a stable and long-lasting political order in Palestine. Anything else will just lead to more murder, and to a likely destabilizing of the region, and towards exporting militant radicalism and possibly terrorism to all parts of the globe, as a result of an obvious failure of the west to deal with this colonial and imperialist abscess.

Haim Bresheeth

Patrick Cockburn: PR dangerously distorts the Israeli sense of reality: The Independent

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

An old Israeli saying describing various less-than-esteemed military leaders says: “He was so stupid that even the other generals noticed.” The same derisive remark could be applied almost without exception to the present generation of Israeli politicians.

Such healthy scepticism among Israelis about the abilities of their military and political leaders has unfortunately ebbed in recent decades. As a result, Israelis are left perplexed as to why their wars, military interventions and armed actions have so often ended in failure since the 1973 war, despite the superiority of their armed forces.

The latest example of this is the assault on the Gaza aid convoy by naval commandos, a confrontation initiated by Israel which thereby ensured that the convoy’s organisers achieved their objectives to a degree beyond their wildest dreams. By using assault troops in a police action against civilians with predictably bloody results Israel managed to focus international attention on its blockade of Gaza, which the world had hitherto largely ignored. The Israeli action infuriated Turkey, once its strongest ally in the region, and strengthened the claim of Hamas to Palestinian leadership.

The capacity of Israel to shoot itself in the foot needs explanation. From the beginning the operation was idiotic, since Israel was always likely to look bad after any confrontation between élite troops and civilian protesters. Even more ludicrous is the Israeli explanation that their élite and heavily armed soldiers were at risk of their lives because they had to use thick gloves to protect their hands when sliding down cables from a helicopter and therefore could not use their weapons.

The nature of the fiasco should cause little surprise because such botched Israeli military actions have been the norm for years. The 1982 invasion of Lebanon was discredited by the massacre of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Christian militias loosed on them by Israeli army commanders. Syria, not Israel, became the predominant power in Lebanon. In south Lebanon, the Israeli army fought a long and unsuccessful guerrilla war against Hizbollah. The bombardments of Lebanon in 1996 and 2006 left Hizbollah stronger, and a similar attack on Gaza in 2008 failed to weaken Hamas.

The problem is that nobody believes Israeli propaganda as much as Israelis. Pro-Palestinian activists often lament the fluency and mendacity of Israeli spokesmen on the airwaves and the pervasive influence of Israel’s supporters abroad. But, in reality, these PR campaigns are Israel’s greatest weakness, because they distort Israelis’ sense of reality. Defeats and failures are portrayed as victories and successes.

The slaughter of civilians is justified as a military necessity or somehow the fault of the other side. Opponents are demonised as bloodthirsty terrorists. Comforted by such benign accounts of their activities, Israeli leaders are consumed by arrogance because they come to believe they have never made a mistake. Denial that errors have occurred makes it extremely difficult to sack generals or ministers, however gross their incompetence or record of failure.

Many Israelis privately take their own propaganda with a pinch of salt, though the number is diminishing. But abroad, the most third-rate Israeli politicians strut before fawning audiences as heroic defenders of the state. Not surprisingly they return home with a dangerously inflated idea of their own abilities and in a perilously self-important mood.

The Israeli propaganda machine, official and private, has been running full throttle in the last few days justifying the assault on the aid convoy to Gaza. Probably spokesmen feel they are performing well given the weakness of their case. In fact, they do nothing but harm to Israel. The greater their success in denying gross and culpable mistakes, the more likely it is that the perpetrators will hold their jobs – and the more likely it is that the mistakes will be endlessly repeated.

Gaza flotilla activists deported to Jordan claim Israeli mistreatment: The Guardian

Israel deports 124 pro-Palestinian activists to Jordan and transfers 200 more to Tel Aviv airport amid increasing calls for independent inquiry into deadly assault
Wednesday 2 June 2010 09.15 BST
Israel today started deporting all the detained activists seized during its botched raid on an aid shipment to Gaza, as some of the first to be freed spoke of their mistreatment at the hands of the Israelis.
A group of 124 pro-Palestinian activists from 12 Muslim nations crossed the border in five Jordanian buses. Another 200 activists have been transferred from a holding centre to Israel’s airport near Tel Aviv, a prison service spokesman said. The remaining activists will be released throughout the day, the spokesman said.

Yesterday Israel had indicated it might prosecute some of the activists.
The decision to free the detainees came as more accounts from those on the ships began to emerge.
One Briton who was on one of the boats heading towards Gaza arrived back in Britain last night.
IT professional Hasan Nowarah, from Glasgow, described the moment the aid flotilla was stormed by Israeli troops.
He told Sky News that the Mavi Marmara ship was surrounded by helicopters and Zodiac assault craft.

“All you could see was screaming and bullets. Out of the blue as I looked around our ship, all I could see were hundreds of Zodiacs. Hundreds of Zodiacs full of soldiers, and big ships, lots of ships, and I believe as well submarines in the sea.”
The assault left nine dead and dozens wounded and has led to criticism of Israel and increasing calls for an independent, impartial inquiry.
One of the group deported to Jordan today, Walid al-Tabtabai, a Kuwaiti politician who was on board one of the ships with other activists from Muslim countries, said: “The Israelis roughed up and humiliated all of us, women, men and children.

“They were brutal and arrogant, but our message reached every corner of the world that the blockade on Gaza is unfair and should be lifted immediately.”
Like many passengers on the flotilla he insisted there were no weapons on any of the ships.
Algerian Izzeddine Zahrour said Israeli authorities “deprived us of food, water and sleep and we weren’t allowed to use the toilet”.
“It was an ugly kidnapping and subsequently bad treatment in Israeli jail,” he said. “They handcuffed us, pushed us around and humiliated us.”

Mauritanian Mohammed Gholam said Israel “wanted us to sign documents saying that we entered Israel illegally”.
An Algerian activist, who only gave her first name as Sabrina, accused Israeli commandos of taking a one-year-old child hostage.
“They point a gun to his head in front of his Turkish parents to force the captain of our ship to stop sailing,” she said.

A Jordanian government spokesman said there were 30 Jordanians in the group. Jordan is one of two Arab nations with a signed peace treaty with Israel. Kuwaiti ambassador Sheik Faisal Al Sabah said the group included 16 Kuwaitis. He said the other activists came from Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Yemen, Oman and Bahrain.

Turkey has led criticism of the raid, accusing Israel of committing a “massacre”, and the UN security council demanded an impartial investigation. There were reports in the Israeli media today that Israel had ordered the families of its diplomats in Turkey to leave that country because of Turkish anger at the raid.
Washington blocked an attempt at the UN security council for an international inquiry yesterday, issuing a mild statement regretting the loss of life. Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, later called the situation in Gaza “unsustainable”.

“Israel’s legitimate security needs must be met, just as the Palestinians’ legitimate needs for sustained humanitarian assistance and regular access to reconstruction materials must also be assured,” she said.
Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, said this morning that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was “an absolute humanitarian catastrophe” that was “not in Israel’s own long-term self-interest”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that Israel had “every right” to protect its people from terrorist threat, but said: “What I ask my Israeli friends and Israeli politicians and officials I meet is: what’s the strategy, where do you go next, how are you going to secure in the long term, not just day to day, the security which you rightly crave?”
Last night, the foreign secretary, William Hague, said 31 British nationals and a further 11 with dual nationality were known to have been detained after the seizure of the vessels as they attempted to breach the Israeli blockade of the territory.

The Foreign Office confirmed that 29 of the Britons had received a visit – with no complaints about their treatment.
Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, said that the detainees were being treated in line with international practice.

“We are not charging them with anything, we have detained them and we will help them leave our country,” he told the BBC.
There was concern among friends and relatives in the UK who complained that they were unable to establish contact with the detainees.

Rachel Bridgeland, whose partner, Peter Venner, 63, from Ryde, Isle of Wight, was on the Mavi Marmara, said that the government should be putting more pressure on Israel.
“It’s absolutely terrible not knowing what has happened to him and it’s terrible that the British government hasn’t done more, but they don’t want to fall out with Israel,” she said.

Flotilla attack: full UN statement: The Guardian

UN security council calls for impartial investigation into Israel’s assault on a flotilla carrying aid supplies to the Gaza Strip

Members of the UN security council meet in the wake of the Israeli raid on the Gaza aid flotilla. Photograph: Louis Lanzano/AP

The full text of a formal presidential statement adopted today by the United Nations security council on Israel’s action against an aid flotilla heading for Gaza:
The security council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza. The council, in this context, condemns those acts which resulted in the loss of at least 10 civilians and many wounded, and expresses its condolences to their families.

The security council requests the immediate release of the ships as well as the civilians held by Israel. The council urges Israel to permit full consular access, to allow the countries concerned to retrieve their deceased and wounded immediately, and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance from the convoy to its destination.

The security council takes note of the statement of the UN secretary-general on the need to have a full investigation into the matter and it calls for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards.

The security council stresses that the situation in Gaza is not sustainable. The council re-emphasises the importance of the full implementation of Resolutions 1850 and 1860. In that context, it reiterates its grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and stresses the need for sustained and regular flow of goods and people to Gaza as well as unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.

The security council underscores that the only viable solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement negotiated between the parties and re-emphasises that only a two-state solution, with an independent and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours, could bring peace to the region.

The security council expresses support for the proximity talks and voices concern that this incident took place while the proximity talks are under way and urges the parties to act with restraint, avoiding any unilateral and provocative actions, and all international partners to promote an atmosphere of cooperation between the parties and throughout the region.

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May 27, 2010

Britain vows to change policy allowing U.K. to arrest Israeli politicians: Haaretz

British Foreign Secretary William Hague says it is unacceptable for Israeli politicians to feel like they can’t visit for fear of being arrested.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Thursday that the new U.K. government is already looking into the issue of universal jurisdiction, describing the current situation as “unsatisfactory” and “indefensible”.

Judges in Britain can issue arrest warrants for war crimes suspects around the world under the Geneva Convention Act 1957, without any requirement to consult public prosecutors.
Speaking to reporters early Thursday, the Foreign Secretary said that “we cannot have a position where Israeli politicians feel they cannot visit this country and indeed not just Israel, but this could apply to many other nations as well. So this has to be put right. And that is well understood and agreed in the coalition government.”
A London court last year issued a warrant for the arrest of opposition leader Tzipi Livni over her role in Israel’s war in Gaza, launched at the end of 2008 when Livni was the foreign minister.

Livni reportedly cancelled a trip to the U.K. in December for fear of being arrested after the warrant was filed against her following an application by Palestinian activists.

Hague said he hopes “we’ll make a decision about this fairly soon. I can’t say exactly when but you can be assured that we’re working on it. We find it completely unacceptable that someone such as Mrs. Livni feels she cannot visit the United Kingdom. This is a country that wants to play a strong role in the Middle East peace process as we have just been discussing and for that Israeli leaders and others have to be able to visit the United Kingdom.”

Speaking to Parliament on Wednesday, the Foreign Secretary said: “We will take every opportunity to help promote peace and we will now examine how to deal with the totally unsatisfactory situation that has had the effect of barring Israeli politicians, among others, from visiting the U.K. without weakening our commitment to hold accountable those guilty of war crimes.”

A question of time: Haaretz

By Ari Shavit
The siren that sounded across the country yesterday did not signal a genuine emergency. No rockets fell in the center of the country, and no skyscrapers collapsed in central Tel Aviv. The Kirya defense compound wasn’t damaged, and Israel Air Force bases weren’t paralyzed. The army’s emergency storehouses weren’t torched, and no power plant was wiped out. Underground parking garages were not swamped with masses of people seeking shelter. The roads were not blocked by hundreds of thousands of urbanites pouring out of the cities. And Ben-Gurion International Airport was not overrun by frightened Israelis fleeing their country.
But let’s not delude ourselves: The national security situation is not good. Thanks to the unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, Israel now faces a strategic threat from the north. Due to the unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Israel faces the threat of rocket fire from the south as well. The Olmert war in Lebanon a year later strengthened Hezbollah to an unprecedented extent, and the Olmert war in Gaza in 2008-09 led to a dangerous erosion of Israel’s legitimacy.

As a result of these four lamentable events, as well as the development of rockets and missiles, the Israel of 2010 is under far greater threat than the Israel of 2000. Its ability to use decisive force against those who threaten it has been greatly restricted. The quiet is deceptive. The ice is thin, and there is no way of knowing when or where it will break.

The threat of the occupation is no less severe than the threat of rocket fire. The settlers are extending their reach by the day, as the complexities of the territories grow ever more complex. The Palestinians are slowly pulling back from the two-state solution, and the implementation of that solution is growing increasingly more difficult. The international community is showing increasingly more impatience with one of the two states. Because of the occupation, the demographic situation of the state of the Jews is intolerable, and the state’s moral situation is disgraceful. Because of the occupation, the political threat looms ever larger. Time is working against the State of Israel.

That’s not what the right thinks, though. The right is still spreading the word that, apart from one or two things, everything’s just fine. After all, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to put the brakes on U.S. President Barack Obama for a time. After all, Israel was approved for membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The economy is flourishing, summer’s almost here, and life is grand. Just as immigration from Russia saved us in the 1990s and high tech saved us in the following decade, the natural gas fields that have been discovered and those yet to be discovered will save us in the next decade. Israeli vitality will prove itself yet again. It will soon become clear that we can live perfectly well even in an impossible situation. The doomsayers can talk all they want, but everything will be fine. There’s nothing to worry about, nowhere to rush off to. If we don’t give in, Abu Mazen will give up. If we don’t blink, Obama will disappear. Don’t worry, promises the right, the State of Israel has time on its side.

The real argument is the one concerning time. The right believes that Israel has plenty of time, because time gives Israel the opportunity to create facts on the ground. The right believes that Israel was established as a fact on the ground, and will succeed as a fact on the ground.

But that is wrong. Israel was established because its founders created facts on the ground with one hand and won diplomatic recognition of those facts with the other. Israel was established because its founders recognized when time is on the side of Zionism and when time is working against it. But over the last few decades, that insight into time has gotten lost, as has the wisdom of equilibrium. The illusion has sprung up that military might and economic prosperity are enough to assure our future. A dangerous dissonance has developed between visible reality and its invisible counterpart. The relative quiet that the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet security service and high tech have granted us has become a toxic quiet. It has allowed us to celebrate our lives without seeing the circumstances of our lives. It has allowed us to ignore the threats that are closing in on us.

The argument about time is an argument about life and death. On the eve of the Yom Kippur War, the right thought there was still time. On the eve of the intifada, the right thought there was still time. Today, too, when the threat of rocket fire and the threat of the occupation are tangible and immediate, the right thinks there is still time. But the truth is that there is no time. If we don’t act in time, time will beat us. It is only the silent siren that warns us of the genuine emergency.

Israelis and Palestinians share route 443 again amid suspicion and fear: The Guardian

Court ruling granting right for all to use highway that cuts through West Bank is soured by new chain of army checkpoints
Bassam Kassab says the world should be outraged by ‘this apartheid system’. Photograph: Harriet Sherwood for the Guardian

As the afternoon heat shimmers on the surface of a four-lane highway whipping through the occupied West Bank, Hani Aburabah, a 45-year-old chicken farmer, drops down a slipway and walks towards a row of large concrete blocks forming a barrier across the road.

He is on his way home to his village of Beit Sira, a journey that takes him one and half hours. “I have to go round the globe in order to enter my village,” he says with a wry smile.

It wasn’t always so. Route 443, the road he has just come off, has been barred to Palestinian traffic for the last eight years – a symbol of the separation between the two sides of this conflict. Before 2002 Palestinians used it freely to get between nearby towns and villages in the West Bank; since then they have been forced to use circuitous and poorly maintained back roads, often quadrupling their journey times.

But from tomorrow the army will be forced to comply with an order from Israel’s high court to reopen the road to Palestinian traffic following a case brought by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (Acri).

Nobody is happy. Israeli drivers fear their security will be compromised; Palestinians say the reopening of the road is a farce, rendered worthless by the construction of new checkpoints.

“The IDF [army] say they are opening the road, but they are also building new checkpoints on our land,” says Bassam Kattab, 34, selling lemonade to workers passing through the concrete barrier.

Nearby, separated by an earth bank and a two-metre high metal fence topped with razor wire, some of the 40,000 Israeli cars that use route 443 daily are hurtling towards Jerusalem. Army watchtowers punctuate the length of the road.

Over the years a number of roads connecting Jewish settlements in the West Bank have been designated for exclusive Israeli use. The 443, however, is a strategic corridor between Israel’s two main cities, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. More than half its 15-mile length cuts through the West Bank. Privately owned Palestinian land was expropriated to develop the road in the 1980s, a move allowed by the high court on the basis that it would serve both Israelis and Palestinians.

For years, the road connected seven Palestinian villages along its route with each other and with the city of Ramallah, a hub for shopping, business and recreation. But following several attacks in 2001-2, in which six Israelis were killed, route 443 was closed to Palestinian drivers and access to their villages blocked.

Journeys that had taken moments suddenly took hours. Villagers say it wasn’t just an inconvenience: several have died while trying to reach hospitals on the back roads, they say. Then last December the court ruled in favour of the challenge brought by Acri.

More than 1,000 Israeli families have petitioned against the move. “They don’t want to risk their lives by using this road alongside Palestinian drivers,” says Nitsana Durshan-Leitner of Shurat HaDin, a law centre that represents them.

Acri believes few Palestinians will use the road even if they are allowed to. Along the route four army checkpoints are being established at which Palestinian vehicles will be searched and their drivers’ papers examined.

The aim, according to Acri, is to make it difficult if not impossible for the villagers to use the road while allowing the IDF to claim it has fulfilled the order of the high court.

This cuts no ice with Durshan-Leitner. “Even if it harms Palestinian lives by forcing them to spend more time on small roads, the rights of people using [the 443] are superior. The right to life is higher than the right to get somewhere five minutes earlier.”

Back at the concrete barrier near Beit Sira, Bassam Kattab has some questions. “Why are the people of Tel Aviv allowed to move freely, and not me? Why are we the forgotten people? Why aren’t there demonstrations all over the world to protest at this apartheid system?”

Bibi or Tibi?: Haaretz

By Gideon Levy
Bibi or Tibi? Barak or Barakeh? Dov Khenin or Hanin Zuabi? Practically every Jewish Israeli would answer that question with an automatic Pavlovian response, without a moment’s hesitation. Of course Bibi, certainly Barak. And even Khenin is better than his fellow MK Zuabi. Why? Because they’re Jews.

Their worldview, opinions or even qualifications and performance don’t matter one iota. The thought that an Arab citizen could ever lead the state is far beyond the boundaries of any public discourse in Israel. This is understandable, of course, in a state that wants so desperately to be completely Jewish and to ignore the large Arab minority. But it’s impossible not to notice this axiom’s shrill, disturbing tone. If it’s true about the prime minister, it’s probably true to a large extent in other aspects of our lives.
Somewhere else, one could and should call it racism. But not here. Here it’s simply self-evident, and to hell with the definitions and implications. A black man can be the president of the United States, minority representatives can be elected to any post in many countries, even to head of state in some. Only here is this inconceivable, even in an imaginary peace situation.

The thought of MK Ahmed Tibi or someone like him ever being prime minister is the greatest, most horrible threat hanging over our heads. Worse than the Iranian bomb. This is the ultimate intimidation weapon against all Israeli Jews.

Eldad Yaniv provided an excellent demonstration of this in his op-ed in Haaretz on Tuesday. Under a headline that could only be seen as ironic, “Zionists are not racists,” the creator of the “National Left” proved exactly the opposite. Zionists are indeed racists. In his piece, Yaniv threatened that “if we do not leave the territories … Ahmed Tibi will be prime minister.” A man who wants, justly and courageously, to shake the comatose left into action at any cost, in any way, has exposed the unsavory side of all Israeli Jews, both left and right.

Inadvertently, perhaps, Yaniv has proved that even among the Zionist left, it’s enough to scratch the surface of the pretty talk about justice and equality to reveal the racism and nationalism. These sentiments prevail there no less than on the right.

Tibi, of course, will never be prime minister here, and it’s doubtful whether he’d want to. His heart is with his people, the Palestinians. But the left wing, yes, the left, disqualifies him in advance. This disqualification doesn’t stem merely from his opinions. It stems first and foremost from his origin. For even if Tibi supported the Greater Land of Israel and believed that the Israel Defense Forces was the most moral army in the world, even if he were wondrously gifted, he’d still be ineligible, unfit, disqualified forever and in advance. At least the right-wing racists don’t hide their racist views. But the (national ) left is tainted with nationalism, too.

Is it even permitted to ask in these parts whether Tibi is more qualified than Bibi? Perhaps as prime minister he’d be less inactive than Benjamin Netanyahu? Perhaps he’d cause Israel less damage? Perhaps he’d bring on us fewer wars and less occupation? Perhaps he’d be more concerned about social justice for all the country’s citizens? Perhaps he’d be more liberal than a nationalist Jew? Maybe the election of a minority representative would one day make society more enlightened? Maybe it would send an amazing message to the world and ourselves?

But all these questions are entirely irrelevant. Tibi is an Arab, and an Arab – talented, moderate and even an Israel-lover – would never gain our confidence.

Why? Because he is an Arab. Period. This is true regarding the position of prime minister, and it’s true regarding the owner of the garage where we have our car fixed.

So let’s all take the masks off. When we say “a Jewish state” we mean a nationalist state. For how else could it be described? Moreover, when we say Jewish state, we are denying the chance that it would ever really be democratic.

Democracy? Only for the Jews in this state. The possibility that an Arab citizen with “equal rights” would ever head Israel frightens us all, including Yaniv, more than anything else.

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