FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Being Honest About the Dominant Zionist Narrative

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.

 
More articles by:

Neve Gordon is a Leverhulme Visiting Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies and the co-author of The Human Right to Dominate.

Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
Robert Koehler
Playing War in Syria
Tamara Pearson
US Shootings: Gun Industry Killing More People Overseas
John Feffer
Trump’s Trade War is About Trump Not China
Morris Pearl
Why the Census Shouldn’t Ask About Citizenship
Ralph Nader
Bill Curry on the Move against Public Corruption
Josh Hoxie
Five Tax Myths Debunked
Leslie Mullin
Democratic Space in Adverse Times: Milestone at Haiti’s University of the Aristide Foundation
Louis Proyect
Syria and Neo-McCarthyism
April 19, 2018
Ramzy Baroud
Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy
Vijay Prashad
Undermining Brazilian Democracy: the Curious Saga of Lula
Steve Fraser
Class Dismissed: Class Conflict in Red State America
John W. Whitehead
Crimes of a Monster: Your Tax Dollars at Work
Kenn Orphan
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Karl Grossman - TJ Coles
Opening Pandora’s Box: Karl Grossman on Trump and the Weaponization of Space
Colin Todhunter
Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail