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  Israel is a state in denial

Catholic New Times, Feb 23, 2003 by Yahya Abdul Rahman

Senior lecturer of Political Science at Haifa University and the Academic Director of the Research Institute for Peace at Givat Haviva



Israel is a state in denial.

At least that was the message conveyed by Ilan Pappe in a public lecture at the end of January. Pappe, a senior lecturer of political science at Haifa University and the academic director of the Research Institute for Peace at Givat Haviva in Israel, entitled his McGill University talk in Montreal, "Israel, a State In Denial." In his lecture Pappe pointed out that in 1948 two very conflicting events took place in the land of Palestine.

"In that year," stated Pappe, "the Jewish National Movement, Zionism, reached its most important and significant moment in history when, after 2,000 years of exile and persecution, Jews exercised their right to self-determination on the land of Palestine and gained international legitimacy to that land."

But, in the same year, notes Pappe, the same people who fulfilled a longtime, dream of the Jewish people committed collective crimes, against the indigenous Palestinian population. Five hundred villages and 11-towns were destroyed and 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their land.

"In the collective Israeli-Jewish memory," said Pappe, "very few people remember or want to remember this less pleasant side of this story."

Pappe mentioned that in the media and in educational and political systems in Israel, people recall the events of 1948 as the "Day Of Independence," the moment of the end of the Jewish exile after 2,000 years and the celebration of "Jewish self-determination."

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The other side of the story, the systematic uprooting of a people, the destruction of the local population and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine "is totally omitted and erased from the collective memory of Israelis," Pappe stated.

"The paradox between a pleasant and a positive chapter in history and the unpleasant and the un-positive chapter in history is partly solved in Israeli history by erasing the unpleasant side of history," he said.

Palestinian expulsion erased

Pappe noted that Israeli textbooks, media outlets and politicians have totally erased this narrative and replaced it with a new story that says the Jewish state welcomed Palestinians in Palestine. But it was outside Arab leaders who called on the local population to leave, and the Jews pleaded with them to stay.

"In fact," said Pappe, "this story is a mythology. This Israeli side of the story was presented as being professional and objective, while the Palestinian narrative was seen as being pure propaganda."

It was not until the late 1980s, with the work of Pappe and Israeli historian Benny Morris, that people began to hear a different story, which, in fact, was being told by Palestinians ever since 1948.

"But the Palestinian version of events, due to the powerful, worldwide Zionist propaganda, did not win credibility," stated Pappe.

But Pappe also noted that Israel is not only in denial over the events of 1948, but also regarding at least three other important issues: the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the October 2000 Palestinian uprising and the suffering of the Palestinians, especially after April 2002, and Israel's contribution to that suffering.

From its very beginning, said Pappe, the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, which only represents 20 per cent of historic Palestine, has been a brutal affair with daily house demolitions, expulsions and killings. Amidst the denial in Israeli society is the belief that the occupation is in fact an act of benevolence and modernization and that they are bringing the message of enlightenment and progress to the Palestinian people.

"Israeli academics actually produce "empirical evidence" which shows that life under Israeli occupation has actually improved their condition," said Pappe. "While the 1948 story was helped by the media, the denial of the occupation is helped by Israeli academia."

'Israel is an army with a state'

With regards to the second Palestinian uprising in October 2000, a new denial within Israel set in, argued Pappe. While the occupation was bad enough from 1967 to 2000 with collective abuse of the rights of the Palestinian people, after October 2000 there was a serious deterioration in the conditions in which the Palestinians were facing.

"Here, the state of denial is even more bewildering because we are talking about the beginning of the 21st century where there is global media and easy access to information everywhere and people are supposed to be more opened-minded and sober about mythologies.

"Yet compared to the period of 1967 to 2000," continued Pappe, "the Israeli Jewish society is in this third state of denial and even less willing to face up to the reality, and is much happier with ignorance compared to the preceding uprising."

Pappe argued that this third state of denial created a consensus within Israeli society which brought Ariel Sharon into power, and will most likely bring him back to power.

He stated that especially since October 2000, Israel has become an army with a state instead of a state with an army. "You can see that with the high percentage of generals in the government and the fact that the army is deriding the main policies against the Palestinians. The media, however, portray it the other way around by stating that politicians make decisions that the army is executing, but, in fact, the opposite is true," said Pappe.

The final state of denial

The fourth and final state of denial, which Israel has been in since April 2002, said Pappe, is perhaps the most significant. Since then, the Palestinian people have been living under almost constant curfews, constant closures and suffering and rampant malnutrition. "This," said Pappe, "is the kind of mood we are facing in Israel."

But Pappe tried to end his lecture on a more positive note. He said that "You can lie to some of the people some of the time, but not to all of the people all of the time.

"The mechanisms of denial in Israel are very effective because if you use it again and again it becomes more and more effective. It is a mechanism of denial that begins from the cradle to the grave.

"If you want to keep a self-image of being the only democracy in the Middle East and keep and maintain an outer image of belonging to the world of human and civil rights and universal values, there is a limit to how far you can maintain a gap between such a desire and the reality of the world," he stated.

Pappe argued that Israel's hold on the American media helps it to get away" with a behaviour--both in the past and the present--where other countries that committed such acts would have been labelled as pariah states and would not be accepted in the community of nations.

"But the way that Israel is represented in America will not hold much longer, and it is even now beginning to. crack," argued Pappe.

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Pappe noted that "there is dear-cut evidence for a growing movement of protest or a construction of a peace coalition within Israel although right now it is very small.

"Most of Israel's Jews have to understand that there is a price tag attached to their behaviour. If you inflict evil on another people, you will have to pay for this.

"I would rather see pressure from the outside than the current practice of suicide bombs as a means that will bring about change in Israeli policy. In fact, I think it is more effective than the suicide bombs, which I don't condone morally or politically."

Pappe concluded his lecture by saying: "If I, as an Israeli Jew, succeeded in getting out of the state of denial, there is no reason why others should not also."

Yahya Abdul Rahman writes for the Montreal Muslim News (www.mont realmuslimnews.com) in Montreal PQ.

 

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Date:
19 Jan 2003
Time:
17:41:35

Comments

Coming to your town..


Date:
17 Dec 2003
Time:
05:18:16

Comments

Americans on the "american question"...uuummmm Malcolm X maybe???what is the "jewish question".....to hold a certain position such as preterism is wholly legitimate but to post such an article as Jews on the Jewish question is to prove ....what????that you have justification for such a blatently racist viewpoint.....do I need to find for you examples of the daily hatred poured out by the PA inciting their own children to murder.America experiences the bombing of the twin towers and the whole world is persuaded to join forces in the war on terror ....a war that Israeli's are subject to every minute of every day ....I am really dissapointed to find such bigotary on a Christian site.....you ought to heed the Apostle's words..... 13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as (21) I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might (22) move to jealousy (23) my fellow countrymen and (24) save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the (25) reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but (26) life from the dead? 16 If the (27) first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. 17 But if some of the (28) branches were broken off, and (29) you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that (30) it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19 (31) You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." 20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you (32) stand by your faith. (33) Do not be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's (34) kindness, (35) if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also (36) will be cut off. 23 And they also, (37) if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For (38) I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this (39) mystery--so that you will not be (40) wise in your own estimation--that a partial (41) hardening has happened to Israel until the (42) fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "(43) THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB." 27 "(44) THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, (45) WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS." 28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are (46) enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for (47) the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the (48) calling of God (49) are irrevocable. 30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. He will remove ungodliness from Jacob...(don't please tell me the church is "spiritual" Jacob).I think it is perfectly fair and reasonable to question the acts of any state ,particually one with a democratic constitution.I wonder what the same people have to say about the rights of their brethren in Syria,Jordan,Iraq and Saudi Arabia where converting to Christianity will get you a death sentence.Get a grip on reality.


Date:
09 Apr 2004
Time:
18:51:50

Comments

One would think that the Lord Christ, as Perfect, Holy, Just and Righteous as He is, would have made man's thinking, his heart, his conscience, clearer adn able to understand, so that the Truth of Israel be known. Ultimately, there will never be peace until there is final peace .


Date:
22 May 2004
Time:
06:22:18

Comments

The late, great English writer, Arthur Koestler (see "Darkness at Noon") was Jewish. He did not support the Israeli State. In "The Thirteenth Tribe", he documented the descent of modern Jewry from the mass conversion of the Khazars of eastern europe. Accordingly, only 20% of modern Jewery are descendents of Abraham. Modern Judaism developed in the centuries after Christianity and should be rightly thought of as a heretical departure from the true Israel (the Church). The same can be said for Islam. Christians who believe and know the Bible should be missionaries to Jews, Muslims and other cultists. We should not support them in their futile attempts to deny the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.--Lewis Whaley


Date:
22 May 2004
Time:
06:23:23

Comments

The late, great English writer, Arthur Koestler (see "Darkness at Noon") was Jewish. He did not support the Israeli State. In "The Thirteenth Tribe", he documented the descent of modern Jewry from the mass conversion of the Khazars of eastern europe. Accordingly, only 20% of modern Jewery are descendents of Abraham. Modern Judaism developed in the centuries after Christianity and should be rightly thought of as a heretical departure from the true Israel (the Church). The same can be said for Islam. Christians who believe and know the Bible should be missionaries to Jews, Muslims and other cultists. We should not support them in their futile attempts to deny the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.--Lewis Whaley

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