Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only ask one time of year, but when we do, we mean it. Without your support we can’t continue to bring you the very best material, day-in and day-out. CounterPunch is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. Help make sure it stays that way.
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.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
James McEnteer
Eugene, Oregon and the Rising Cost of Cool
Norman Pollack
The Great Debate: Proto-Fascism vs. the Real Thing
Michael Winship
The Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears
John Steppling
Fear Level Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?
James Russell
Beyond Debate: Interview Styles of the Rich and Famous
September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Debate Night: Undecided is Everything, Advantage Trump
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail