Even the most superficial browsing of Israeli English language newspapers would dismantle the myth of Israel as a democratic state. Twenty percent of Israel’s population are Palestinian Arabs yet there is almost no mention of them or their rights in mainstream papers like ‘Haaretz’ and ‘The Jerusalem Post’ or if they are mentioned at all it will be in the context of stories such as the one I read in ‘Haaretz’ today, where a right wing nutter demands that Palestinians living in Israel should swear an oath of allegiance to Israel and the Jewish nature of the state and that they should do compulsory military service.(1) Strange though that I am calling the man a “right wing nutter”; not in Israel, of course, where his views that “the Land of Israel is the exclusive inheritance of the Jewish people” and “Israel is a Jewish state for Jews and the Arabs living in that state are guests,” are, in fact, mainstream. Indeed, this is what over 90% of the Jews in Israel believe. It means that the 20% of the population that is Palestinian and which was not quite ethnically cleansed in 1947/8 have less rights in Israel than some Jew born in London or New York or Beijing or ….. get the picture? Their families have been in the land of historical Palestine for generations but they have less rights there than an unborn Jewish child on the other end of the planet. This is all reflected in a press that is so Jewish and Israel obsessed and myopic that for the thinking reader it quickly becomes offensive. Who do these people think they are and do they think the rest of us are really that stupid? For instance, there is a headline in today’s ‘Haaretz’, “Olmert refuses to rule out Gaza offensive as he meets Livni, Barak on truce’ and it is followed up by a report that actually says, “Meanwhile, a Qassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck an open field in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council early Wednesday. No injuries or damage were reported in the attack.”(2) Small rocket, landed in open field, couple of babies probably died in Gaza today, wakey, wakey! Yet, this is the Israeli media and establishment actually selling some sort of conflict of two equal parties to its Jewish citizens and the rest of the world, while exaggerating the threat to its own its existence and this is the daily drivel that the majority of Israelis believe and that we would have to call “mainstream” news.
It might then come as no surprise then that when in an interview last wednesday, another right wing nutter, the controversial Likud figure Moshe Feiglin, argued that Israel should formally annex the West Bank and pay each Palestinian family $250,000 to move away,(3) he is only expounding a view that is increasingly becoming that of the majority of Israelis. Not to worry that this is a man who once described Hitler as, “an unparalleled military genius”, while going on to say that “Nazism promoted Germany from a low to a fantastic physical and ideological status. The ragged, trashy youth body turned into a neat and orderly part of society and Germany received an exemplary regime, a proper justice system and public order. Hitler savored good music. He would paint. This was no bunch of thugs. They merely used thugs and homosexuals.”(4) What the hell, $250,000 is a lot better than the Palestinians who had to leave their homes sixty years ago got and it is certainly a lot better than the millions who died in the death camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Sachsenhausen and elsewhere got. Indeed, he is actually being extremely generous for a man who also said, “There is no Palestinian nation. There is only an Arab-speaking public which has suddenly identified itself as a people, a negative of the Zionist movement, parasites. The fact that they hadn’t done so earlier only serves to prove how inferior they are. The Africans have no nations either. Only Zulus, Tutsis.”(5) Who do these people think they are kidding with their “Jewish democracy” crap? This is a man who is prominent on the list of Likud Party members for a seat in the knesset. Of course, the reality is, while a lot of Israelis wouldn’t agree with his views on Hitler, the majority would when it came to his opinions on the Palestinians and a solution to the “Palestinian problem”. That this is so is reflected in the maintream media in the “Jewish state”.
After the failed attempt on Hitler’s life in July 1944 the last of Germany’s “independent” newspapers, ‘Die Frankfurter Zeitung’ was closed much to the regret of Dr Josef Goebbels who once said that he would be bored if there were only the party press to read. Of course, to get any sort of “independent” opinion imagination would have been required when reading between the lines. At best, the style in the paper did offer a sort of alternative. However, at the end of the day ‘Die Frankfurter Zeitung’ supported the Hitler regime, while allowing the Nazis to say to their critics that they had an independent press. It wasn’t quite credible back then and when I read the Israeli press today I am only surprised that a fascist regime today is getting away with it elsewhere.