Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ofer Winter

“Indirect victims of Holocaust”? Palestinians were colonized since 1869

When Gaza was attacked during the summer, Angela Merkel promised to “stand by the side of Israel.”

The German chancellor has done much more than offer verbal support for Israel’s crimes. Under her leadership, the Berlin government has been equipping Israel with submarines that reportedly carry nuclear weapons.

France built the 6 submarines and Germany provided the finance from German taxpayers’ pockets’.

France was the only supporter for colonizing and partitioning Palestine before WWI and the main power after WWII to delivering sophisticated weapons and nuclear plants.

The first settlement was established in 1869 in a land donated by the Ottoman Sultan close to Jaffa.

Beginning 1882, Edmond de Rothschild invested $100 million over the next 17 years to purchase land and build colonies.

Lord Balfour acknowledge the partition of Palestine in 1917. A year later, both France and the US president ratified Balfour declaration. The western powers had already set their mind in partitioning Palestine before WWI ended.

During its mandate over Palestine, England cracked down on the countless Palestinians uprising and civil disobedience (Intifada) using extreme forms of violence and torture techniques. England refrained from persecuting the extremist terrorist Jewish factions such as Jabotenski, Begin, Shamir, Irgun…

At the start of WWII, England trained thousands of Jews in Palestine on how to demolish bridges, plant bombs and execute assassination… The Palestinians were denied enlisting in the army.

Merkel may sympathize with Israel on account of the Nazi behaviour, but she and Max Blumenthal are not to ignore the fact that Palestine was already planned to be partitioned long time ago and have to desist throwing sands in the eyes of the world community.

Emran Feroz in The Electronic Intifada this November 14, 2014

Germany made Palestinians “indirect victims of Holocaust,” says author Max Blumenthal

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The German chancellor and the Israeli prime minister met with their respective cabinets in Jerusalem in February. (Saeed Qaq / APA images)

Some German politicians have tried to muzzle debate about Israel by denouncing its critics as “anti-Semites.”

The American journalist Max Blumenthal — author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel — faced such a smear on a recent speaking tour in Germany.

A number of elected politicians alleged that a scheduled talk by Blumenthal and his colleague David Sheen in a Berlin theater would serve “to promote anti-Semitic prejudice.”

This was deeply ironic: both Blumenthal and Sheen are themselves Jewish. The politicians denouncing them failed to produce any evidence that they are hostile towards fellow Jews.

Blumenthal spoke to Emran Feroz in Stuttgart.

Emran Feroz: You recently witnessed the destruction caused by Israel in Gaza. What scenes had the most effect on you?

Max Blumenthal: Emergency operations had to be performed in dentist chairs, while the bodies of dead children had to be laid in ice boxes, which were originally designed for ice cream. Those were probably the most shocking testimonies I heard.

EF: Not long after your trip to Gaza, you started using the hashtag #JSIL (Jewish State of Israel in the Levant) on Twitter. Making this kind of comparison between the group Islamic State and Israel is taboo in Germany. Why did you dare to do this?

MB: It is strange that you equate, in Germany, IS with Hamas or describe the entire Palestinian national movement as “heirs of the Nazis,” while there is such an outrage regarding my comparison. It was not a direct one-to-one comparison, but I wanted to point out the hypocrisy behind supporting one religiously exclusive state that forces minorities out of its territory while attacking another.

EF: But by using this hashtag, you must be suggesting that Israel and IS are somehow similar.

MB: Sure, they are. The “Jewish state” has no internationally recognized borders. The same relates to the “Islamic State.”

Both constructs have emerged after the original indigenous population were partly expelled and ethnically cleansed.

In the case of Israel it was the Palestinian indigenous population; in the case of the IS [they] are the Christians, Yazidis, Shiite Muslims (and even Sunni Muslims).

Both “countries” rely on a religious exclusivity in the Levant.

And both think they represent all Muslims and Jews worldwide and thereby help inspire Islamophobic and anti-Semitic sentiments.

Both the Jewish state and the Islamic State recruit confused young men from around the world as foreign fighters to engage in atrocities.

When Israel’s defenders failed to address the comparisons on their merits, they simply attempted to hijack the #JSIL hashtag by declaring it stands for the “Jewish State of Israel Lives.”

EF: IS fighters behead their victims and then spread the videos of the beheadings through YouTube and social media. Do Israeli soldiers also make such videos?

MB: During the last attack on Gaza, the Israeli army killed civilians via drones and Jewish Israeli citizens celebrated the killings on Facebook. Some Israeli citizens gathered on a hill in the border town of Sderot and celebrated the bombing of the military with chips and beer. I find that this is not less macabre and disgusting. (How about pouring gasoline in the mouth and setting a Palestinian youth on fire?)

EF: How present is religious extremism inside the Israeli military?

MB: It is very present. A major figure of the last military operation in the Gaza Strip was commander Ofer Winter, who was celebrated as a national hero. Prior to the mission Winter said to his troops, that the Palestinians had sinned against God and therefore all must be punished.

So he declared a literal “holy war” against the Palestinian people. This is not the only way Winter has expressed the religious extremism that is rising in Israeli society.

In one instance, an Israeli woman singer wanted to perform in front of [Winter’s] soldiers. He refused [permission] to do so and said that a woman is not allowed to do that.

EF: Many women are part of the Israeli army. This is celebrated in what are effectively promotional campaigns for Israel. How can there be misogyny in the Israeli military if it has many female members?

MB: What is not mentioned is the fact that it is more likely that these women are assaulted by their male counterparts in the army than by Palestinians. I think that only imperialist feminists argue that women can be emancipated in an army like the Israeli one.

Good examples of this type of feminism are political figures like Samantha Power or Angela Merkel or Tzipi Livni because their peculiar brand of feminism goes hand in hand with the imperialistic interests of the western powers who are so invested in majority Muslim countries, where the population is portrayed as culturally backwards and in need of “liberation.”

EF: During the last attack on Gaza, the family of Ibrahim Kilani — who are German citizens — were killed. His son Ramsis, who lives in Germany, said that up to today nobody has apologized to him. The German government has not called him a single time. How can you explain this behavior?

MB: The behavior of the German government shows not only the lack of interest in the rights of the Palestinians, but also the very lives of them. The life of these people is practically non-existent in Germany. They are the new “un-people.”

The German foreign minister issued condolences for the families of those German citizens killed on an airliner over eastern Ukraine, possibly by Russian separatists. But they’ve said nothing to the Kilani family.

The negation of Palestinian lives has been German policy since the days of Konrad Adenauer [chancellor of West Germany from 1949 to 1963].

In those days Israel had no problem to negotiate on Holocaust reparations with the head of the chancellery, Hans Globke, who was a known Nazi in the Third Reich. This cash flow from Germany went directly to the Israeli occupation machine that has made the Palestinians indirect victims of the Holocaust.

The current bloodshed is a result of this policy and every German should ask himself: how does this policy honor the Holocaust?

EF: Your willingness to make such statements probably explains why some German politicians do not want to see you here in Germany. What happened to you exactly?

MB: Some politicians, such as Volker Beck, a parliamentarian from Germany’s Green Party, had launched a campaign to silence us — me and the journalist David Sheen. The reason for this is the fact that they do not want to know of another version of Judaism and they certainly do not want to hear about the facts on the ground.

Their attitude actually promotes anti-Semitism.

It is simply anti-Semitic to equate Zionism with Judaism and to limit Jewish identity to the narrow confines of Israeli nationalism. For a gentile politician to do it is beyond disgusting.

EF: The Gaza Strip remains destroyed. And, according to some media outlets, a third intifada (actually the fourth if you don’t forget 1936 that lasted 4 years) is going to happen in the occupied West Bank. Is this really the case or is it just scaremongering?

MB: Last year the al-Aqsa mosque [in Jerusalem] was stormed “only” eight times by Israeli soldiers. This year this happened 76 times. Radical religious elements have announced that they want to demolish the mosque to build a Jewish temple. If this happens, the situation will take on global implications that will be approach the apocalyptic.

The whole conflict is taking on a religious dimension, which is devastating for all involved, and, as I said, will promote radicalization around the globe. I think the third intifada actually is at the door.

However, I believe that this word — intifada — does not adequately describe the situation. It is not effective enough to describe what is actually going on. At that time — in the case of the first and second intifadas — this term was appropriate.

Now with so many Palestinian political leaders in prison or dead and such a complex matrix of control imposed on them, a nationwide revolt cannot take place. What we are seeing is creative resistance with limited means occurring on a national level but at sporadic moments.

And it will continue and intensify as long as the status quo is in place. It is that deadly status quo that German foreign policy protects and promotes.

Emran Feroz is a Germany-based freelance journalist, blogger and activist. He is also the founder of Drone Memorial, a website listing victims of drone attacks. His Twitter account is @Emran_Feroz

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List of Israeli rape advocates of Palestinian women: US journalists to contact as expert on Palestinians and Middle East culture

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in the United States for the UN General Assembly on Sunday, the Israeli government press office emailed journalists a list of supposed experts to contact on various issues related to his visit.

All those listed hail from the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, a hotbed of right wing nationalism in Israeli academia.

Appearing twice on the Israeli government-approved list is Mordechai Kedar, a professor of Arabic literature at Bar-Ilan University who recently advocated for the Israeli army to use rape as a tool of war.

 Rania Khalek submitted this Oct. 10/2014

Israeli government promotes rape advocate as expert on Palestinians

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Israel promotes apologists for the kind of violence that leveled Gaza City’s Shujaiya neighborhood as “experts,” including one advocating rape.

(Ali Jadallah / APA images)

Rape as deterrence Speaking to an Israeli radio program following the discovery of the bodies of the three Israeli teens abducted and shot to death in the occupied West Bank in June, Kedar said,“Terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them — the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live.

He continued: “The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped. That’s all. That’s the only thing that will bring him back home, in order to preserve his sister’s honor.”

It sounds very bad, but that’s the Middle East,” he reasoned. (or what he is a potential rapist seeking an excuse to justify his lust for Palestinian girls)

Kedar’s recommendation appears to have been implemented in Gaza, where several Palestinian men who were kidnapped and imprisoned by the Israeli army during “Operation Protective Edge” told the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights that they were tortured and “intimidated with threats that Israel would demolish their houses, kill their families and rape their wives.

When a group of Israeli feminists protested Kedar’s comments in a letter to Bar-Ilan University president Daniel Hershkowitz, the school responded by defending and whitewashing Kedar’s rape advocacy with racist tropes about the region.

“Dr. Kedar’s words do not, God forbid, contain a recommendation to commit such despicable acts,” insisted a Bar-Ilan University spokesperson in a joint statement with Kedar. “The intention was to describe the culture of death of the terror organizations. Dr. Kedar was describing the bitter reality of the Middle East and the inability of a modern and liberal law-abiding country to fight against the terror of suicide bombers.”  

Witch hunts

While Kedar faced no repercussions for inciting sexual violence, his colleague at Bar-Ilan University, Hanoch Sheinman, was disciplined by the administration for sending an email to students expressing sympathy for all those affected by Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Outraged by the implicit reminder of Gaza’s suffering, students and their families flooded the university with complaints, prompting the administration to issue an apology and admonishment of Sheinman.

Meanwhile, Kedar’s rape advocacy boosted his profile in the US, which he is scheduled to visit this winter for an academic speaking tour.

He told The Chronicle of US Higher Education that he received even more speaking invitations as a result of the outrage stirred by his comments, which he referred to as a “witch hunt.”

Kedar knows a thing or two about witch hunts given his role as chairman of the Israel Academia Monitor organization, one of many McCarthyite groups dedicated to purging Israeli universities of academics who identify with the left or question Zionism.

This was not the only instance of Kedar showing enthusiasm for crimes against Palestinians.

Kedar’s fervent rejection of basic rights for Palestinian inspired him to devise the “Eight State Solution,” a detailed proposal to split the occupied Palestinian territories into eight cantons, with the besieged and ghettoized Gaza Strip serving as a model. The end result would be apartheid on steroids. He even created a website exclusively devoted to the project, dubbed the Palestinian Emirates.

“The central strategic goal of the state of Israel should be to permanently remain in Judea and Samaria and to prevent Palestinian territorial contiguity,” argues Kedar, using Israel’s terminology for the occupied West Bank.

In Kedar’s bigotry-clouded view, Palestinians (and Arabs more generally) are inferior beings predisposed to violence, militancy and tribalism, therefore any Palestinian state would quickly become a hotbed for terrorism.

Hannibal architect

Another “scholar” listed as an expert by the Israeli press office is Yaakov Amidror.

Amidror, who served as a National Security Advisor to Netanyahu and as head of Israel’s National Security Council, is a co-architect of the Hannibal Directive, an unwritten Israeli military protocol that amounts to an order to kill captured Israeli soldiers to avoid politically painful prisoner swaps.

Amidror with his fellow military leaders Yossi Peled and Gabi Ashkenazi drew up the Hannibal Directive in 1986 following the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hizballah in then Israeli-occupied Southern Lebanon in the aftermath of a deal in which 3 Israeli soldiers were swapped for 1,150 Israeli-held Arab prisoners. 

The Hannibal Directive was reportedly implemented on at least three occasions during Israel’s latest assault on Gaza.

Givati brigade commander Ofer Winter, an ultranationalist religious Zionist who told his troops they were fighting a Jewish holy war, oversaw the most gruesome episode in Rafah, where his implementation of the Hannibal Directive resulted in massive and indiscriminate shelling that killed 190 Palestinians, including 55 children, in less than two days.

In the aftermath of the Rafah slaughter, Amidror denied that the intention of the Hannibal Directive is to execute the captured soldier, though he admitted to The Times of Israel that, “Soldiers [lives] can be risked,” adding that taking care to avoid civilian casualties in the event of an abduction is appropriate only if “you want to help the enemy.”

Nakba denialist

Efraim Karsh — cited in the Israeli governement press office email for his expertise in “Middle Eastern history and politics, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, superpower involvement in the Middle East, and Islamic movements,” — is a card-carrying Islamophobe and close associate of anti-Muslim demagogue Daniel Pipes.

Karsh has made a career out of Nakba denialism, insisting that Palestinians left present-day Israel in 1948 because their own leaders forced them out.

The Nakba, or catastrophe, refers to the pre-meditated and well-documented ethnic cleansing of 750,000 indigenous Palestinians by Zionist militias in 1947-48. Karsh has devoted entire books to absolving Israel of responsibility for this atrocity.

It is no wonder the Israeli government champions him as an expert on the region.


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