FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Being Honest About the Dominant Zionist Narrative

by NEVE GORDON

The Israeli mayor of Upper Nazareth, Shimon Gaspo, is an honest man. As part of his bid for re-election in the town which overlooks the ancient Palestinian city of Nazareth, he has launched a well-orchestrated political campaign. During the first stage, which began early in August, he furtively posted billboards which quoted left-wing politicians—including Haneen Zoabi from the political party Balad and Ahmed Tibi from the United Arab List-Ta’al—clamouring for his removal.

Zoabi was quoted as saying, “Upper Nazareth was built on Arab land. We will fight to the end against Shimon Gapso’s racism. [Send] the racist home; Arabs to Upper Nazareth.” The Tibi poster quoted the member of Knesset saying: “Shimon Gapso is racist scum and a neighbourhood bully who boorishly tramples the basic rights of Arab citizens to live wherever they want and to buy lands which, in any case, were theirs and were stolen from them by force!”

But because Gapso is an honest man, a few days after the self-initiated negative campaign had commenced, he admitted that he was actually behind it.  He then hung his “real” campaign posters.

One reads, “Upper Nazareth will be Jewish forever; no more shutting our eyes… this is the time to defend our home.”

Another poster reads: “I will not allow the city’s Jewish character to be changed. I will block the establishment of an Arab school and will build neighbourhoods for Jewish residents … Upper Nazareth is a Jewish city!”

In a letter to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, two Israeli organizations Tag Meir and the Israel Religious Action Center condemned Gapso’s election campaign as “consisting wholly of racist incitement.”  Writing on behalf of both organizations, Israel Religious Action Centre attorney Einat Hurvitz wrote that the remarks by Gapso on his campaign posters “do not belong in an equal, pluralistic society, especially not when made by an elected official. These are utterly racist quotes, since all of Gapso’s re-election campaign is based on a clear racist line – the prevention of equal resources from Upper Nazareth’s Arab residents, and an effort to drive out the Arabs from the city.”

Gapso, of course, did not remain silent. In an incredibly forthright Oped, which appeared in Ha’aretz, he complained that many people had been calling him a racist. “Sometimes they also call me a Nazi, a bully or even Hitler. One need only look at the comments on Haaretz’s website, [where people want] to put me before a firing squad,” he wrote; and then rhetorically asked the readers: “What’s my crime? What act of bullying did I commit?”

He, of course, immediately responds: “I made a clear and unequivocal statement that Upper Nazareth is a Jewish city. Yes — I’m not afraid to say it out loud, to write it and add my signature, or declare it in front of the cameras: Upper Nazareth is a Jewish city and it’s important that it remains so.”

After this pithy statement, Gapso lays out his manifesto. “If that makes me a racist,” he declares, “then I’m a proud offshoot of a glorious dynasty of ‘racists’ that started with the ‘Covenant of the Pieces’ [that God made with Abraham, recounted in Genesis 15:1–15] and the explicitly racist promise: ‘To your seed I have given this land’ [Genesis 15:38].”

He goes on to note that “When the Jewish people were about to return to their homeland after a long journey from slavery in Egypt, where they were enslaved for racist reasons, the God of Israel told Moses how to act upon conquering the land: he must cleanse the land of its current inhabitants.”

Fast forwarding 3000 years, Gaspo claims:

“The racist Theodor Herzl wrote ‘Der Judenstaat’ (‘The Jewish State,’ not ‘The State of All Its Citizens’). Lord Balfour recommended the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people. David Ben-Gurion, Chaim Arlosoroff, Moshe Sharett and other racists established the Jewish Agency, and the racist UN decided to establish a Jewish state — in other words, a state for Jews. The racist Ben-Gurion announced the establishment of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel, and during the War of Independence even made sure to bring in hundreds of thousands of Jews and drive out hundreds of thousands of Arabs who had been living here — all to enable it to be founded with the desired racist character.”

“Since then,” the mayor concludes, “racially pure kibbutzim without a single Arab member and an army that protects a certain racial strain have been established, as have political parties that proudly bear racist names such as ‘Habayit Hayehudi’ — ‘the Jewish home.’ Even our racist national anthem ignores the existence of the Arab minority — in other words, the people Ben-Gurion did not manage to expel in the 1948 war. If not for all that ‘racism,’ it’s doubtful we could live here, and doubtful that we could live at all.”

Gapso’s clear-sighted analysis of the dominant Zionist narrative speaks volumes about Israel’s state in the new millennium.  With jingoist pride he reveals the logic of exclusion that defines the current Israeli political and social landscape.  The novelty is not so much in what he says, but that he is has no shame in saying it. The only thing that he forgets to mention, however, is that racism is not “natural,” something one is born with or should be proud of, but rather a trait one acquires by internalizing the horrific lie that certain human beings are less than fully human.

Neve Gordon is the author of Israel’s Occupation. He can be reached through his website.

This article was first published in Al Jazeera.

 

Neve Gordon is the co-author (with Nicola Perugini) of the newly released The Human Right to Dominate.

May 05, 2016
David L. Glotzer
Welcome to Fortified Europe: the Militarization of Europe’s Borders
Adam Szetela
Beyoncé’s “Formation” and the Boutique Activism of the Left
Bruce Lerro
Lost at Sea: Left Liberals Have No Party
Paul Cochrane
Hot Air in the Saudi Desert: a Kingdom in Descent?
Brian Terrell
My Visit to a Las Vegas Jail
Judith Deutsch
The Military’s “Securitization” of Climate Change
Phyllis Bennis
Kunduz Bombing: Proof the Pentagon Should Not Be Allowed to Investigate Itself for War Crimes
Chad Nelson
When Compassion is Terrorism: Animal Rights in a Post-911 World
Dan Arel
Making Sanders’ Dream a Reality Through Political Activism
Kent Paterson
Ten Years Later: Reflections on the Legacies of Immigrant Spring
Serge Halimi
Why Firefighters are Against Free Trade
Andrew Stewart
Green Bernie or Green Party Machine?
Binoy Kampmark
Yuri Gagarin in Space: the Politics of Cosmic Discovery
Hayes Rowan
This Naming of Things
May 04, 2016
Kshama Sawant
It’s Not About Bernie: Why We Can’t Let Our Revolution Die in Philadelphia
Conn Hallinan
Baiting the Bear: Russia and NATO
Joshua Frank
Hanford’s Leaky Nuke Tanks and Sick Workers, A Never-Ending Saga
Paul Craig Roberts
TIPP: Advancing American Imperialism
Ted Rall
Hillary to Bernie Supporters: Don’t Vote for Me!
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton and Wall Street’s Neoliberal War on Latin America
Leslie Scott
The Story of Jill Stein: Putting People, Peace and the Planet Before Profits
Ann Garrison
Building the Greens Into a Mass Party: Interview with Bruce Dixon
Tom Clifford
Crying Rape: Trump’s China-Bashing
Lawrence Davidson
Getting Rid of Bad Examples: Andrew Jackson & Woodrow Wilson
Ellen Brown
Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California?
Nelson Valdes
Is Fidel Castro Outside or Part of Mainstream Thinking? A Selection of Quotes
Jesse Jackson
Don’t Send Flint Down the Drain: Fix It!
Nathan Riley
Help Bernie Keep His Halo
Rivera Sun
Remembering Nonviolent History: Freedom Rides
Clancy Sigal
Rachel and the Isolationists: How Maddow Blew It
Laura Finley
Changing the Conversation About “The Woman Card”
CJ Hopkins
Coming this Summer … Revenge of the Bride of Sophie’s Choice
May 03, 2016
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Resumé: What the Record Shows
Michèle Brand – Arun Gupta
What is the “Nuit Debout”?
Chuck Churchill
The Failures of Capitalism, Donald Trump and Right Wing Terror
Dave Marsh
Bernie and the Greens
John Wight
Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken Livingstone
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail