[sixties-l] Re: peoples and governments

From: Jeffrey Blankfort (jab@tucradio.org)
Date: 10/10/00

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    The are obvious differences between the relationships between Israelis
    and their government and those in South Vietnam and Nicaragua, then and
    now. Israel has a working democracy for its Jewish population and while
    discriminated against in virtually every other aspect of Israeli
    society, Israeli Arabs do have the right to vote for their own
    representatives and for now directly for prime minister. as well.
    This gives them a responsibility for their country's actions that cannot
    be laid at the feet of those living under a dictatorship, an oligarchy
    or any form of a police state. (The police state is for the Palestinians
    and for those Israeli Arabs who threatn the Israeli status quo.)
    Moreover, unlike Americans who were far from Vietnam and its horrors,
    Israelis cannot be excused by reason of ignorance from what their
    country has been doing to the Palestinians for the past half-century and
    to the Lebanese for the past 36 years. since they started bonbing that
    country in 1964, since they live right next door.  Moreover, within the
    Hebrew press, there are frequently articles that are so  critical of
    Israel policy that they would never be published here.
    In 1983 I spent four and a half months between Israel and Lebanon, two
    and a half months in the former, interviwing Israeli soldiers who were
    against the war in Lebanon, many of whom went to prison in protest
    against Israel's war in Lebanon, which I have written about recently on
    this list. I also interviewed tha late Israeli general, Matti Peled, who
    had been in charge of logistics in the 6-Day War. and had become an
    advocate of Palestinian rights and a friend.
    His opinion and that of others  in the Israeli left. of "Peace Now" and
    of their fellow Israelis was not complimentary. Personally, having never
    lived in the South or Southern Africa. I had never been in a country so
    overtly racist. Among the worst were the American Jewish settlers who
    found a welcome mat for the racism against people of color they brought
    with them from Brooklyn, from Queens, from Teaneck, NJ, from Los
    Angeles, and a rifle to enforce their settler colonies.  Of course, they
    never built anything themselves because is Israel, construction labor is
    considered demeaning "Arab labor" and although in the pre-state days it
    was considered honorable, it isn't today.  That's why Israel has to
    import laborers from Romania and Poland who they treat like dirt, not
    out of any feeling of revenge for how Jews were once treated. but
    because of a self-image of superiority over the goyim (non-Jews).
    At best, excluding the 15 to 20% of the Israeli population that is Arab,
    I suspect the number of Jews actually desiring a just peace with the
    Palestinians would barely fill a large football stadium.
    A couple of months ago I spoke with a well-known Israeli journalist, and
    not a Zionist, who was visiting the Bay Area and with whom I had spoken
    in 1993.  I asked her, at a public meeting, if the majority or any
    sizeable number of Israeli Jews are willing to give Palestinians a just
    peace, and she replied, shaking her head, that there aren't.
    One of the big problems in the US is that the first target of Zionist
    propaganda, that is, American Jews, are simply not only unwilling to
    face the reality of what Israel is doing and has been doing to the
    Palestinians and to the Lebanese. but they are not interested in hearing
    anything to the contrary.
    Jeff Blankfort
    Paula (PNFPNF@aol.com) wrote:
    > >The main problem I am having with some--by no means all--of the comments here
    > >re Israel's (recent) violence is the failure to distinguish between the
    > >Israelis and their government.  I do not recall that we made that mistake re,
    > >for example, the South Vietnamese entity and population, nor of hearing of it
    > >made re the U.S./us, e.g., by such groups as the Viet Minh or the Sandinistas
    > >(for instance).
    > >   Paula

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