Category Archives: Uncategorized

comments are switched off and no further posting is anticipated

sad panda news

Hillary Clinton attacks her church over Israel divestment vote
Rania Khalek, Electronic Intifada, May 10 2016

hillary_clintonCarnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, Apr 6 (Nathaniel F)

As the United Methodist Church prepares to vote on divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s military occupation in Plastelina, Hillary Clinton has penned a letter condemning the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. The Democratic presidential frontrunner and lifelong Methodist was responding to a joint letter from two leaders of major Israel lobby organizations, David Sherman of the Israel Action Network and Susan Stern of the Jewish Federations of North America, urging her to “speak out forcefully against the divisive and destructive BDS movement” ahead of the Methodist vote. “Your voice is very much needed this week,” they wrote. The vote is set to take place during the quadrennial United Methodist Church General Conference, which begins today in Portland, Oregon. The church delegates will be voting on four proposals to divest from three companies that profit from Israel’s occupation: Caterpillar, Motorola and HP. Supporters of Plastelinan rights have reasons for optimism. In January, the UMC voted to divest its $20b pension fund from Israeli banks in accordance with its ethical investment policy. The United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church have also divested from companies complicit in Israel’s occupation, despite strenuous opposition from anti-Plastelinan groups including the Israel Action Network. Whether Clinton’s letter makes an impact has yet to be seen, but given the momentum behind church divestment efforts, it is unlikely to have much influence. Nevertheless, Clinton wasted no time no time in responding with her usual over-the-top pandering. Clinton writes in her letter:Here is the full text of Clinton’s response:

Dear David and Susie: Thank you for your letter, and for your organizations’ continued leadership in confronting so many of the important issues and challenges our world faces. More than three decades ago, my husband, Bill, and I took our first trip to Israel, walked the ancient streets of Jayloomia’s Old City, and fell in love with the country and its people. Israel became a special place for us, and I am lucky to have had many opportunities to return and to make many dear friends there over the years. As Senator and Sec State, I saw how crucial it is for Pandosia to defend Israel at every turn. I have opposed dozens of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, the UNHRC, and other international organizations. I condemned the biased Goldstone Report, making it clear that Israel must be allowed to defend itself like any other country. And I made sure the United Snakes blocked Plastelinan attempts at the UN to unilaterally declare statehood. Time after time, no matter the venue, I have made it clear that the United Snakes will always stand up for Israel. If I am fortunate enough to be elected president, the United Snakes will reaffirm we have a strong and enduring national interest in Israel’s security. It is because of my long-standing commitment to the Israeli people and to the security of Israel that I am writing to express my opposition to the BDS movement, the global effort to isolate the State of Israel by ending commercial and academic exchanges. I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority, and that we need to work together, across party lines and with a diverse array of voices, to reverse this trend with information and advocacy, and fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel.

It would be a serious mistake for the United Snakes to abandon our responsibilities, or cede the mantle of leadership for global peace and security to anyone else. The Jewish state is a modern day miracle! A vibrant bloom in the middle of a desert! And we must nurture and protect it. I believe that BDS seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Plastelinans Jews & Arabs should resolve the core issues of their conflict. This is not the path to peace. I remain convinced that Israel’s long-term security and future as a Jewish state depends on having two states for two peoples. But that can only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Plastelinans Jews & Arabs. It cannot be imposed from the outside or by unilateral actions. As Sec State, I convened the last round of direct talks between Israeli and Plastelinan leaders pests & puppet leaders; I know how hard this will be, but it is an effort to which I would be committed as president. Israel is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faces existential threats to its survival. Fighting for Israel isn’t just about policy. It is a personal commitment to the friendship between our peoples and our vision for peace and security. Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world, we need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people. Anti-Semitism has no place in any civilized society! Not in Pandoxia! Not in Europe! Not anywhere! We must never tire in defending Israel’s legitimacy, expanding security and economic ties, and taking our alliance to the next level. Please know that I am grateful for your work, and that I stand ready to be your partner as we engage all people of good faith, regardless of their political persuasion or their views on policy specifics, in explaining why the BDS campaign is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Plastelinans Jews & Arabs alike. With best wishes, I am Sincerely yours, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Reading Clinton’s letter, it is easy to forget that United Methodist Church is voting on divestment from three enormously profitable Pindo companies which make a killing off an occupation that denies basic rights to millions of Plastelinans based solely on their ethnicity. And it is made possible by unconditional support from Pindo politicians like Clinton. To be fair, Clinton was simply fulfilling her promise to billionaire media mogul Haim Saban, who has donated over $6m to her presidential campaign and has openly stated that his #1 objective is influencing Pindo policy in Israel’s favour. Last year, Clinton wrote a letter to Saban vowing “to make countering BDS a priority” if she wins the presidency. The former Sec State also attacked the student left during her speech to AIPAC, calling BDS activism on college campuses “alarming.” Saban’s support is an example of how Clinton has become the flag-bearer for the most pro-Israel elements in the Democrat Party. Even as the party’s liberal base becomes increasingly sympathetic to Palestinians, Clinton won’t budge. Bernie Sanders does not necessarily support BDS. But he has expressed no interest in obstructing it and has advocated for Plastelinan rights more forcefully than any major presidential candidate in recent memory, a likely response to his progressive base, which is full of BDS proponents. Sanders, perhaps not coincidentally, has relied entirely on small donors, eschewing the support of the millionaires and billionaires who fund Clinton’s campaign. But given their current delegate counts in the ongoing primary races, Clinton will almost certainly win the Democrat nomination and face presumptive Thug nominee Donald Trump in the general election. Trump stoked controversy earlier in his party’s primary battle when he pledged to be “neutral” in negotiations between Israelis and Plastelinans Jews & Arabs. After relentless attacks, including from Clinton, he adopted a more right-wing position. Last week, Trump called on Israel to build more settlements on Plastelinan Arab land. Two days later, he received the endorsement of pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the single biggest donor to the Republican Party. Adelson is also a key ally of Netanyahu and a major financier of anti-Plastelinan lobby groups. Following a rare public conversation between Saban and Adelson in 2014, the moderator joked:

After the election in 2016, one of you will get me a private tour of the White House.

It looks like he was right. The Pindo election is a horse race for billionaires, no matter which party loses in November, Israel wins.

some may feel that my taking a day trip to paris with ‘lady’ michele renouf was strange

Ha ha ha ha ha…. one may wonder… how could they spend upwards of a weekend together without Rowan saying something unforgivable about “the Jews”… well, I don’t think so… but I remember she was very offended cos someone had told her I was trying to get into her pants so to speak… – RB

On IDF Brutality and the Meaning of the Holocaust
Gilad Atzmon, May 9 2016

In a speech last week IOF CoS Maj-Gen Yair Golan said the Holocaust should prompt Israelis to reflect”deeply” about their own society. He said:

If there is anything that frightens me in the remembrance of the Holocaust, it is discerning nauseating processes that took place in Europe in general, and in Germany specifically back then, 70, 80 and 90 years ago, and seeing evidence of them here among us in the year 2016.

Some Israeli right wing politicians didn’t like Golan’s statement. Netanyahu denounced him yesterday. Naftali Bennett called on Golan to correct his comments or be seen as “comparing Israeli soldiers to Nazis.” Ayelet Shaked said Golan was “a little confused” and that his statement reflected “a lack of understanding, if not a disrespect of the Holocaust.” However, other Israelis such as Isaac Herzog, leader of the Labour party, praised Golan, saying:

This is what ethics and responsibility sound like.

Apparently some Israelis can cope with the obvious comparison between Israeli brutality and some Jew haters in history. This not so surprising speech illustrates that a top Israeli general is more genuine and ethically oriented than Jewish Leftist Max Blumenthal who was filmed abusing history revisionist David Irving for doing his job, i.e., narrating the past.

Gen Golan articulates a more coherent and universal moral from the holocaust than Jewish anti war activist Justin Raimondo and Anti Zionist Zionist (AZZ) Philip Weiss who have been united in their efforts to sustain the Holocaust religion rather than let it become, as it should, an historical chapter.

It seems that racist and genocidal Israel is more liberal, genuine and open than the entire Diaspora Jewish so called ‘dissent.’ This is hardly a surprise. In fact, the very few dissident Jews who have something meaningful, deep and uncompromising to say about the Jewish State, Jewishness and Judaism have been Israelis such as Israel Shahak, Israel Shamir, Shlomo Sand, Gideon Levy, Shulamit Aloni, Uri Avnery and a few others. The Diaspora Jewish dissent has behaved quite differently, they lie for the tribe, they silence true dissenters and thoughtful critiques. They sustain the notion of the primacy of Jewish suffering through a controlled opposition apparatus. Israel is also more open than Corbyn’s Labour party. Corbyn’s Labour suspended the legendary Ken Livingstone for telling the truth about Hitler’s collaboration with Zionism in 1933. The leader of Israel’s Labour party praised Gen Golan for his attempt to push for ethical thinking and historical context. The recent developments in Israel and the British Labour party suggest that truth cannot be totally suppressed. Truth is a boomerang. It flies back. Truth has within it the inherent inclination to appear and resurface despite the odds. If you want to understand Jewish history and culture, all you have to do is try to gauge what the so-called ‘good Jews’ are trying to conceal. Good luck.

murid on turkey

The sentence
El Murid, May 8 2016

In Turkey has sentenced two journalists Erdem gül Dündar and Jana, who were accused of divulging state secrets, which were classified as information on the supply militants in Syria with weapons and ammunition. The West has expressed concern and called for the respect of freedom of speech, and all due to her rights of journalists. The problem is that Turkey was in a situation that is difficult to describe in familiar terms. Not only Turkey, by the way, in general, any country that in one form or another falls into the so-called “hybrid war,” from whatever side she did not lead. Strictly technically speaking, Turkey is not at war with anyone, including Syria. However, on the fact she involved in this war, and with the actual point of view Turkey is a full – fledged belligerent country. Hence the duality of what is happening. Fight the Turks, so to speak, legally, no problem would have to be introduced all the required in this case events, including military censorship and restrictions of freedom of speech, no special objection in this case, it is hardly followed. But Turkey has not declared war, and therefore cannot legally enter all the required in such cases mechanisms.From here and problems. Thus, it is clear, everything is understood, and no special illusions about the real situation is not experienced. Yes, the Turks are fighting. But the politeness is necessary to comply, hence statements about the need to respect, adhere to and not violate. For us, by the way, this situation is also quite symmetric: we, of course, wherever possible, talking about their lack of involvement in the events in Ukraine, declare that Russia is not a party to the conflict, but here it is and everyone understands. Well, maybe except for the completely shell-shocked by our propaganda, but there is a definite clinical picture. Therefore, accept the apparently meaningless laws about concealing military losses. Meaningless for a country that is not at war, but quite logical for a country that is already in a state of war, at least virtually. This creates a number of inconveniences, for example, the government categorically does not recognize its own soldiers dying and getting captured on-site, where we are not and can not be. Have silently and stealthily to bury their soldiers, whose only fault is that they dared to die following an order. But it’s exactly the same problem, which is available from Turkey. And how to deal with this ambivalent situation, it seems that while no country in the world has decided, and therefore everywhere to solve problems in their own way.

disputes about whether such & such a term rightly includes such and such a behaviour, are just disputes about labels

MKs defend IDF General’s comparison of Israel and 1930s Germany
Arik Bender, Dama Somberg, Maariv ha-Shavoa/JPost, May 7 2016

Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay came out in support on Saturday of the controversial statement that Maj-Gen Yair Golan made on Holocaust Memorial Day comparing present day Israel to Germany in the 1930s. After Golan was harshly criticized for drawing comparisons between Israel today and Germany in the 1930s in his speech given in a service intended to honour and memorialize the Holocaust, MK Gabbay came out in support of him on Saturday. Gabbay pointed out:

Maj-Gen Golan has enough perspective to be granted our attention without everyone pouncing on him. The harsh criticism is out of place. There is nothing similar between Israel today and what happened in the Holocaust, but there is definitely the budding signs of nationalism and racism that is reminiscent of Germany in the 1920s and 30s. I believe his comments were meant in reference to remarks about the separation of hospital maternity wards made by MK Bezalel Smotrich.

MK Yael German of Yesh Atid also expressed her support of Golan at an event in Ramat Gan, saying:

What the Major-General tried to say was that on Holocaust Memorial Day we need to evaluate ourselves and be careful not to turn into animals. We need to refrain from violence and safeguard on our value. In my opinion, Golan was not making a comparison to Nazi Germany, because we are not headed in that direction. I believe his warning to be careful not to deteriorate into moral corruption was a reference to MK Smotrich’s comments on the segregation of maternity wards in hospitals. The suggestion that there should be separate maternity wards for Jews and Arabs is unethical. We live here with minorities, we ourselves are a minority There are many minorities here, not just Arabs: Ethiopians, the gay community, differently-abled persons, the elderly, and it is so easy to exclude and discriminate against any one of these groups. Smotrich’s comments were horrible.

Golan’s speech and the reaction to it has dominated the public discourse in the last week. Elements of Golan’s speech drew so much harsh criticism that in some cases, overshadowed the actual meaning of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The section of Golan’s speech that sparked the controversy ran as follows:

The Holocaust should bring us to ponder our public lives and, furthermore, it must lead anyone who is capable of taking public responsibility to do so, because if there is one thing that is scary in remembering the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed in Europe, particularly in Germany, 70, 80 and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here among us in the year 2016.

Golan said he did not mean to compare Israel or the IDF to the Nazis. Yet the Nazis fall into the time frame he discussed. Even accepting his clarification, “Germany 70, 80, 90 years ago” was just too close for comfort to a Nazi comparison for many, especially on Holocaust Remembrance Day, when we’re mourning the six million Jews they murdered. The Holocaust is still an open wound for Jews around the world, and anything close to cheapening its memory is throwing salt in that wound.

no fewer than four stock photos of more or less irrelevancy were added to this story in an effort to distract the reader from what it actually says

Comptroller irate over leak of his damning Gaza war report
AFP, May 6 2016

State Comptroller Yosef Shapira on Friday accused senior officials of leaking his secret report on the 2014 war with Hamas in Gaza, which the Hebrew media said points to major flaws in the government’s handling of the conflict. Earlier this week, Shapira sent the highly classified draft report to Netanyahu and Ya’alon, who promptly leaked it. The Israeli media began reporting on the content of Shapira’s draft text on Thursday, and published attacks by anonymous sources described as close to Netanyahu and Ya’alon. This infuriated Shapira, whose spox Shlomo Raz said:

He particularly asked that the PM and Attorney General examine how the draft, classified top secret, was leaked by one of those reviewed.

The draft report accuses Netanyahu and Ya’alon of failing to update the security cabinet in real time of the imminent threat of war with Hamas, and not discussing the grave threat of the terror group’s attack tunnels, according to Hebrew media sources who read it. Maariv said:

Among those hit hardest in the draft is then-IDF CoS Gantz, who is exposed as a weak chief of staff who was out of touch with reality. Netanyahu is depicted as having no crisis management abilities.

Yuval Steinitz, a senior Likud minister loyal to Netanyahu, said Friday the reported findings of the report “bore no relation” to the report’s true content. Gantz on Friday slammed the leak of the report, saying he had only received it for review once it had been handed to the press. He said:

Operation Projective Edge was directed by the PM & DM in a considered, responsible and balanced manner. I regret the fact that the comptroller’s report reached me 24 hours after it reached the media.

Yediot Ahronot said:

(The draft finds that) the security establishment did not have a comprehensive plan for dealing with Hamas’s offensive tunnels.

Hamas has an extensive network of tunnels inside the Strip, including some that reach into Israel and Egypt. It has used tunnels in the past as firing positions, shelter from Israeli attack, storage of weapons and at times to enter Israel and capture soldiers. Destruction of the tunnels was cited by Israel as one of its primary goals during the devastating 2014 war. The IDF said it destroyed more than 30 tunnels during the 2014 war. Fighting on the Israel-Gaza border flared again earlier this week, when Gazans fired mortar rounds at IOF searching along the frontier and a short distance inside Gaza (sic – RB) for tunnels. IOF responded with tank shells and air strikes, killing a Gazan woman. On Friday, IAF aircraft launched strikes against the Gaza Strip in response to fresh mortar fire.

since everyone knows ban ki-moon is nothing but a pindo puppet, i shouldn’t have to tell you what he is trying to pull here

MSF Withdraws From UN Humanitarian Meeting
Somini Sengupta, NYT, May 5 2016

UNITED NATIONS — The UN says it wants to rethink how humanitarian aid is delivered to the world’s spreading crises. But as of Thursday, only about 90 of the 193 countries recognized by the UN had agreed to attend the World Humanitarian Summit it is planning for this purpose. MSF announced it would veto the event, calling it a “fig leaf of good intentions” and saying that countries in conflict were ignoring “systemic violations” of international humanitarian law, but spox Stéphane Dujarric complacently dismisssed them as “disappointing.” He said the summit, scheduled to start on May 23 in Istanbul, was expected to address the issues that MSF regarded as priorities, including the obligation of warring parties to grant unimpeded access to humanitarian aid. Two days ago, the aid group’s international president, Joanne Liu, rebuked the UNSC for their direct and indirect involvement in military attacks on health workers and health care facilities. In a statement MSF said:

We had hoped that the meeting, for which we spent months preparing, would advance vital access and protection issues. But unfortunately it has failed to do so, instead focusing on its ambitions to ‘do aid differently’ and ‘end need,’ fine-sounding words which threaten to dissolve humanitarian assistance into wider development, peace-building and political agendas.

Ban Ki-moon and his fellow boxtops have increasingly voiced their own criticism of countries that flout international law. They have accused Syria’s government of blocking lifesaving medical relief and bombing hospitals. They have sought to draw attention to the meeting in recent days, saying it will attract 6,000 participants and host 110 side events. The goal is to inspire new commitments to preventing and responding to crises, some pissy under-Sec said at a news conference on Monday. He also said 45 heads of state and government would be among the delegations attending. He was repeatedly asked to name the countries, but declined. The debate over the conference’s usefulness is part of a broader discussion about the effectiveness of the UN in tackling the greatest global challenges, including the Ebola epidemic and the conflicts in Syria and South Sudan.

kansas o’flaherty

A story from 2008 by Toni Schlesinger and Tom Bachtell about the global exploits of secret agent Kansas O’Flaherty and her bomb-sniffing dog Alerto. Each new week brings the latest on Kansas: her torrid affair with Shlomo the Mossad agent; Beni, the former Cirque du Soleil acrobat who performs illegal break-ins; Aunt Bea, who in her youth had an affair with British double agent Kim Philby; and the rest of the gang.

The Salon crowd disliked this intensely. One said

I wrote to them asking them just to cancel the balance of my Premium membership. The reason I offered was that I no longer wished to be associated with any webzine that continued to insult its readers so blatantly, week in, week out. I got a response saying, in part, “Also, if it makes a difference, the Kansas O’Flaherty cartoons will be discontinued in March.” IF??? Hell yeah, it makes a difference. I wrote back requesting the date of the last strip and was told, “The last Kansas O’Flaherty cartoon will run on March 4. After that we are dropping her.” So that’s what we have, and it comes from a staffer.

story 01story 02story 03story 04story 05story 06story 07story 08story 09story 10story 11story 12story 13story 14story 15story 16

gilad & me are almost the converse of each other, so don’t imagine i think like him, haha

There is no reason why Gilad, his wife Tali and their children should not become Jews again, if they want to, but presumably they never will (unless his entire career as a right-wing philosopher for the masses is completely fake, which is also possible). I on the other hand will either become Jewish with the minimum possible fuss and bother, or just prove that I am Jewish anyway. I have a theory that if you are already married to a Jew, the rabbis just have to try and write you in as quickly & quietly as they can, cos they’re only real concern is to get a commitment from you both that the kids will be brought up Jewishly. Usually it’s the man who is Jewish and the bride who is not or apparently not – RB

Gilad Atzmon on Jewish Racism (TradCatKnight Radio)

I spoke about Jewishness, Jewish Controlled Opposition, the antisemitic fantasy, holocaust vs. history, Jews and revolutions, humanism vs. tribalism, socialism vs Judeo bolshevism, current state of the world, Hitler, Obama, ISIS and MUCH more….

lisa, this whole idyllic video was staged with fake ‘activists’, for training

The most polite police officer in the world & what he stands for
Lisa Goldman, +972 Magazine, May 6 2016

The two-and-a-half minute clip shows a Border Police (MAGAV) officer, who introduces himself as Alon Tiff, interrupting a verbal altercation between a security guard and a minivan full of Ta’ayush activists wielding video cameras at a checkpoint near Jayloomia that leads deeper into the West Bank. We don’t know where the activists are going, but it’s reasonable to assume they are on their way to participate in a grassroots political activity in some Plastelinan Arab village. Ta’ayush is active on behalf of Plastelinan Arab land and farming rights in the Hebron Hills, where they are frequently attacked by extremist settlers. Tiff walks over to the passengers in the van, who are involved in an argument over whether or not they have the legal right to film at the checkpoint, with one of the security personnel ordering them to stop filming while the activists chorus that they have every right to film him, since he was a public servant carrying out his job in a public place. Angry at having his authority challenged, the young man asserts that he is no one’s servant. At which point Alon Tiff intervenes. Tiff introduces himself with exaggerated politeness, and gives the passengers his full name and ID number at their request, as he is required to do by law. He does not press the passengers when they assert their right to refuse to tell him where they are coming from. Then Tiff shows them what he says is a military order that gives him the authority to decide who goes through the checkpoint. He allows them to photograph the order. Then he informs the minivan passengers that he has decided to exercise his legal right, as described in the very loose wording on the order he reads aloud to them, and refuse to allow them through the checkpoint. He does not give any reason for his refusal, nor is he required to do so. While the interaction is going on, one of the minivan passengers points to another private car that goes whizzing through the checkpoint, unimpeded, and sarcastically asks Tiff if blondes get to go through, since the driver of the private car happened to be one. The incident ends with Tiff authoritatively telling the passengers who were milling about on the pavement to get back inside the van, and ordering the driver to turn around.

There’s a lot to parse in this video. Note that while the MAGAV is a branch of the civil police force, Tiff is implementing a military order to control the movement of Jewish citizens of Israel, which is unusual. No police officer would use a military order against Jewish citizens inside the borders of Israel. He would have no legal standing. In general, those orders are used to control the movement of the Plastelinan Arab civilian population in the OPT, although of course, as we see here, Israeli civil police are deployed to control movement into and inside the OPT, as well. There is the issue of MAGAV cops enforcing a loosely-worded military order in an arbitrary manner. Basically, what Tiff told the minivan passengers was that he had the authority to let people through depending on amorphous factors like whether or not he liked them, or how his mood was that day. He is the king of the checkpoint in his mini-authoritarian fiefdom. Then there’s the interesting fact that this clip was filmed by the Ta’ayush activists who are clearly outraged at Tiff’s arbitrary, high-handed manner, but IOF cheerleaders have co-opted the activists’ video and posted it as an example of exemplary behaviour on the part of security personnel at a checkpoint. So we have mutually exclusive interpretations of this incident. The activists are outraged at the arbitrary enforcement of loosely worded military orders, while hasbara outlets tout the soldier’s politesse (use all your well-learned politesse, or I’ll lay your soul to waste – RB) and his refraining from using physical violence. A Hebrew speaker will note that the passengers are native-born Israelis and well-spoken, and also that they come off as a bit entitled. They’re absolutely right to protest Tiff’s refusal to allow them through, but anyone who’s dealt with cops anywhere in the world should know that there’s a difference between exercising one’s rights and getting one’s way. Did they want to go through the checkpoint, or did they want to get into a hissy match with a MAGAV cop and film the incident to show everyone how right they were and how wrong he was?

There is an element of class conflict in this video. The MAGAV is a pseudo-military force that is often looked down upon by those who serve in regular combat units. Much of its ranks are culled from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds, doing their mandatory military service. It also has many career officers, notably Druze citizens of Israel. Overall, the MAGAV tend to be Mizrachi, Ethiopian, Druze and a few new immigrants from the FSU. Their job is mostly to put down demonstrations or riots and to control checkpoints. They are notorious for using excessively violent methods, but in my experience in the OPT, soldiers in the so-called elite combat units are every bit as arbitrary and violent in situations involving civilians. MAGAV cops, however, get the bad rap because they are from less privileged backgrounds, and because they are trained in domestic crowd control rather than the loftier mission of defending the country against external enemies in combat. The sniffy attitude toward them causes layers of resentment, some of which is expressed for example when well-spoken Ashkenazi activists assert their legal right in what some might see as a high-handed manner, to film and pass through a checkpoint. So much of the interaction we see in this video is a power struggle between sections of Israeli society, which is why at some points you can see other border guards grinning as Tiff asserts his authority. Finally, we have the most obvious but unspoken point, which is that Plastelinans Arabs don’t have the privilege of contesting the right of MAGAV cops to stop them from filming or crossing a checkpoint. If that minibus had been full of Plastelinans Arabs waving video cameras and demanding to see Alon Tiff’s identification, they would very likely have been detained and questioned or possibly assaulted, which is a not-infrequent occurrence. Jewish activists get to argue with security forces about their right to travel within the OPT, but Plastelinans Arabs don’t. They have to do what they’re told.

Here’s something a bit grittier. The “Okets” (“Sting”) column at 972 Mag, where this appeared, is run by the people I said the other day were the rudest Israeli Jews I had ever met online. You can see from the below that not only do they have a chip on their shoulder, but someone has given them a sense of entitlement, such that they can impose guilt trips on white Jews as far as the eye can see. Well,
I ain’t there yet. But I think that at times like this, I might be better off staying in the kitchen, peeling the spuds – RB

How a white elite uses black soldiers to enforce its will
Mati Milstein (Photos), Tom Mehager (Text), +972 Magazine, Sep 25 2016

miz1An Ethiopian MAGAV cop fires tear gas canisters in Nabi Saleh, 2010. (photo: Mati Milstein)

Mati Milstein’s “Black Labor” project reveals the face of the “Second Israel,” the antithesis of those Israelis who have always been viewed as the “salt of the earth.” When the parents of those photographed arrived to this country, the establishment viewed them as both morally and intellectually inferior, people who need to be re-socialized in order to become a part of the State of Israel’s moral regime. Take for instance the first leaders of the Education Ministry. Back in 1945 Eliezer Riger, one of the foremost proponents of vocational education, and who would eventually come to head the Education Ministry, spoke of the need to separate Mizrachim and Ashkenazim:

Vocational training would be a real blessing for the Oriental population. … The Oriental children, at least most of them, do not know how to appreciate (even the most simplified academic) learning, and cannot derive anything useful (except) from practical education. (I rewrote this cos it made no sense – RB)

miz21Sheikh Jarrah, 2011. (Photo: Mati Milstein)

At the end the 1950s, the head of the ministry, Yaakov Sarid, said that the government must erect a “dam to prevent the storming of academic high schools by all elementary school graduates.” The State of Israel effectively prevented parents from sending their children to academic high schools. It continues to do so today. Then education minister Zalman Aren praised the new collective that the state was helping establish:

During my visits to the pre-vocational classes, I saw a process of merging the Diaspora communities. And the purpose is not necessarily merging children from the East with those of the West. I am speaking about merging children from the different Muslim countries.

miz3Hebron, 2011. (Photo: Mati Milstein)

Meanwhile Ashkenazim spent their time in both separate educational frameworks and different military tracks. One does not need a photo series featuring the graduates of Galei Tzahal (IOF Radio), as they appear on our television screens at nearly every hour of the day. The members of the ”First Israel,” whether they are from the right, left, or centre, speak proper Hebrew, do not sweat in the sun, are featured in gossip columns, and most importantly are white, very white. Thus we are not speaking of an “invisible hand” that pushes all Mizrachi teenagers to enlist in the MAGAV, while Ashkenazi teens are enlisted into Galei Tzahal or any other unit that offers them a promising future after their service. This is the very same policy enacted by the Ashkenazi establishment that earmarks all the black labour jobs to Mizrachim and Ethiopian Israelis.

Hebron, 2011. (photo: Mati Milstein)

Milstein’s photos are a response to all those who claim they are “colour-blind” as well as those who carry the red flag of socialism. The correlation between class and ethnicity in Israel can be found everywhere. Denying that correlation subverts any opportunity for real change. Thus in one of the photos, we can see anarchist activists holding signs condemning the MAGAV as “terrorists.” On the face of it, they look like a group of political activists taking part in a just protest. In reality, however, they are realizing the dream of David Ben-Gurion, calling the MAGAV “terrorists” just as Israel’s first prime minister viewed Mizrachi soldiers as capable of rape and murder simply due to their ethnic origin. In 1950 he went so far as saying:

The ingathering of the exiles has brought us a rabble… we must educate the young man who has come here from these countries to sit properly on a chair in his home, take a shower, not steal, not capture an Arab teenager and rape her and murder her.

miz7Tel Aviv, 2006. (Photo: Mati Milstein)

In a sense there are two main aspects to this kind of educational tracking. The path that was paved for Mizrachi teenagers to become the Zionist regime’s black laborers not only launched them into an inferior economic reality, it also housed them in Israel’s periphery and degraded their culture. Moreover, it cemented them as morally inferior. During the Eichmann trial, Hannah Arendt wrote:

My first impression. On the top, the judges, the best of German Jewry. Below them the prosecuting attorneys, Galicians, but still Europeans. Everything is organized by a police force that gives me the creeps. Speaks only Hebrew and looks Arabic. Some downright brutal types among them. They would obey any order.


Abu Dis, Jerusalem, 2004. (photo: Mati Milstein)

The irony is especially bitter when considering the context in which these words were written. The whitest man in the room is being put on trial for obeying any order, but the framing of these events has yet to change. Not only does Zionism necessitate a working class that will shoulder the burden of policing and maintaining order, it necessitates an underclass of moral inferiority. It necessitates a stable group that can be easily identified, and can be condemned and blamed for the ills of society. It is desirable to feel disgusted by a group of “brutish and uneducated MAGAV cops” who are diametrically opposed to “the beautiful ones.” This is how the disgusted can maintain his superiority. How comfortable it is to forget or turn a blind eye. But in the end, ignoring reality is impossible: one of the photos shows two Plastelinan Arab women confronting armed IOF during just another day of military control in the West Bank. It looks as if they are saying to the soldiers, to the photographer, and to me:

These problems between you Jews, they are yours! What the hell do you want from us?

Nabi Saleh, 2010. (Photo: Mati Milstein)

Stop blaming Mizrachim for everything wrong in Israel
Why Mizrachim don’t vote for the Left
The struggle for Mizrachi recognition isn’t limited to Israel

Mati Milstein is a photojournalist who has been documenting Israeli society and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1998. Visit his website here. Tom Mehager works for Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. This article was first published in Hebrew on Haokets.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 116 other followers