Netanyahu Rewrites History

October 26, 2015
by Cesar Chelala

In Shakespeare’s famous play “King Lear” Lear says, “When we are born we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.” I was reminded about these words after reading Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu state that a grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, an Arab nationalist and a zealous foe of Zionism, was one of the main instigators of the Holocaust. With his assertion, Netanyahu not only shows his ignorance of history but, more seriously, contributes to the demonization of the Arab peoples, particularly the Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s words intend to give the impression that resistance of the Palestinians is based on their hatred of the Jewish people, and not in the miserable occupation that they have been undergoing for decades. Although it has been historically proved that Husseini met with Hitler in 1941 seeking his support, there is no evidence that he communicated to Hitler the idea of the “final solution”. This is not the first time that Netanyahu makes such an outrageous assertion. He said something similar in a speech before the Knesset in 2012.

Netanyahu’s statement was later denied by a spokesman of the German Government who, in an unusual move, admitted that Nazi Germany was exclusively responsible for the murder of 6 million Jews. Although he later toned down his original assertion, Netanyahu’s words only serve to inflame an already violent situation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s declaration wasn’t an ordinary slip of the tongue. He read it from a prepared text that soon after it was spoken was translated into Hebrew and appeared on the Prime Minister Bureau website. Prof. Dina Porat, chief historian of Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and professor at the Department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University said that Netanyahu’s statements were “completely erroneous, on all counts”. More pointedly, she declared to Haaretz, “Hitler did not need anyone to encourage the final solution. In terms of the facts, there’s no debate…all these actions, Hitler’s obsessions, have no link to the mufti”.

According to Porat, Hitler told the mufti that he “would continue his plans” which had already began, and didn’t need the approval of the mufti. Porat said that Hitler’s plans to exterminate the European Jews were drawn years before his meeting with Husseini, and there are even references to it in “Mein Kampf” which was published in 1925.Läs mer

Netanyahu’s Latest Ethnic Cleansing Scheme: Forcibly Displacing East Jerusalem Arab Residents

By Stephen Lendman
Global Research, October 26, 2015

Israeli media report he may revoke the longtime Arab population’s permanent residency status, his scheme for curbing Israeli initiated violence, a sure-fire way to increase it exponentially throughout the Occupied Territories.

The fate of over 370,000 East Jerusalemites hangs in the balance. Netanyahu’s proposed scheme sounds ominously like Hitler loading Jews on trains for death camps.

Where will this huge population go if forcibly expelled?

What does Netanyahu have in mind – greater ruthlessness and mass murder than already? For sure with full US support for whatever he does, no matter how outrageous!

Israel’s Channel 2 news said the scheme was discussed during a weekly security meeting earlier in October. Netanyahu was quoted saying:

“We need to examine the possibility of canceling their residency. There needs to be a discussion about it.”

Permanent East Jerusalem Arab residency is de facto Israeli citizenship. Imagine another nation deciding to displace, deport or otherwise remove a significant segment of its population. Overwhelming world outrage would follow, likely punitive measures slapped on the offender.

Israel already imposed unprecedented East Jerusalem movement restrictions, adding checkpoints and erecting separation barriers between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, encircling Palestinian ones, preventing them from entering or exiting without permission, subjecting them to intrusive searches, a clear example of collective punishment ignored by the world community.

Will it remain silent if Netanyahu implements his latest scheme? Will it let him destroy a vital Arab community, home for the capital Palestinians claim for a future state, including Islam’s third holiest site?

According to Channel 2, no further discussions were held since the proposal was raised – focus so far on implementing other draconian measures.Read more

Israel and the Rotten Soul of the West

October 23, 2015
by John Wight

The rotten soul of the Western political establishment is never more exposed than when it comes to the issue of Palestine. It is here where the hypocrisy, double standards, and political cowardice that is its truth is at its most extreme.

Bad enough that the Palestinian people have been forced to endure a decades-long negation of their human, natural, and national rights; the injustice they have suffered is compounded tenfold by the complicity of the West in denying their rightful status as an oppressed people struggling against a cruel and vindictive oppressor. Stripped of all of the embroidery and obfuscation that has been allowed to distort the contours of this struggle, here lies the root of the issue and the biblical suffering that has and continues to flow from it.

This conflict is not and never has been about Israel’s right to exist or Israel’s security. It is not and never has been about Hamas or its Charter. It is not even about a two state or a one state solution – at least not anymore it is not. It is about whether we take a stand on the side of an oppressed people or with their oppressor.

In this regard we must give thanks to Malcolm X for washing the bullshit from our eyes: “If you aren’t careful the newspapers will have you hating the people being oppressed, and loving the people doing the oppressing.”

Make no mistake, the political mainstream and its media echo chamber know exactly what is going on in Palestine, and they are well aware of its root cause. Yet, regardless, they continue to provide Israel with their unstinting and unwavering support. Even more, they genuflect at the feet of this apartheid state.Read more

The Chaos in Jerusalem: a Warning of Things to Come

by Jonathan Cook

Among Palestinians and Israelis, the recent upsurge in violence has been variously described as the children’s, lone-wolf, Jerusalem and smartphone intifadas. Each describes a distinguishing feature of this round of clashes.

The steady erosion of Fatah and Hamas’ authority during the post-Oslo years, as the Palestinian factions proved incapable of protecting their people from the structural violence of the occupation, has driven Palestine’s politically orphaned children to the streets, armed with stones.

The growing hopelessness and sense of abandonment have led a few so-called “lone wolves” to vent their fury on Israelis with improvised weapons such as knives, screwdrivers and cars. These attacks have attracted the most publicity, becoming the equivalent of the second intifada’s suicide bomber. But they serve chiefly as a barometer of Palestinian despair.

Jerusalem is the center of events, with the Palestinians’ only unifying symbol, al-Aqsa mosque, at its heart. For Palestinians, the incremental takeover of the compound – and the West’s indifference – is like watching the mass dispossession of 1948 play out again in slow motion.Red more

Germany refuses to accept Netanyahu’s claim Palestinian inspired Holocaust

Germany has said it has no reason to change its view of history after Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said Adolf Hitler had been persuaded to carry out the Holocaust by a Palestinian leader.

Before a trip to Berlin, Netanyahu provoked incredulity and anger among many when he claimed in a speech that Hitler had only wanted to expel Europe’s Jews and that the idea to exterminate them had come from the then mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.Read more

Netanyahu under fire after accusing Palestinian grand mufti of inciting Holocaust

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has come under fire for accusing the World War II Palestinian grand mufti of convincing Adolf Hitler to exterminate the Jews. The bold claim has been deemed incorrect by historians and Israeli opposition leaders.

Speaking to the Zionist Congress on Tuesday, Netanyahu spoke of a series of attacks by Muslims against Jews in Palestine during the 1920s, stating that those assaults were instigated by Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem at that time.

Al-Husseini flew to meet Adolf Hitler in Berlin in 1941, and that meeting was instrumental in the Nazi leader’s decision to launch a campaign to exterminate Jews, Netanyahu said in his speech.

“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’”

Netanyahu then alleged that Hitler asked what he should do with the Jews – to which al-Husseini replied: “Burn them.”

The comments immediately received a backlash from opposition politicians and Holocaust experts, who accused Netanyahu of twisting historical facts.

Palestinian officials said Netanyahu appeared to be absolving Hitler of his crimes in order to blame Muslims.

“It is a sad day in history when the leader of the Israeli government hates his neighbor so much that he is willing to absolve the most notorious war criminal in history, Adolf Hitler, of the murder of 6 million Jews,” said Saeb Erekat, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s secretary general, as quoted by Reuters.Read more

The Single-State Solution is Already Here

by Gideon Levy

Here is irrefutable proof that the one-state solution should not even be considered: the bloodshed, hatred and fear currently washing over the country. Advocates of the two-state solution and, especially, those who seek no solution, those Israelis who saw the one-state solution as treason and heresy, are now proclaiming victory. “There, that’s what the binational state will look like,” they are saying. “It will be a bloody, endless civil war.”

The same intimidatory arguments that were used for years against the two-state solution (the “Auschwitz borders”) are now being enlisted against the one-state solution. Now, as then, everything is judged according to the contours of the current, depressing reality, and it doesn’t occur to anyone that another reality is possible.

The nationalists say, “An agreement will never be possible with those bloodthirsty people.” The center-left says, “There’s no way to live together.” The common denominator is racism, and the assumption that the hatred will last forever. To this we must add the arguments over the Jewish state’s sanctity and the end of the Zionist project. In short, one state means the end of the world.

And now to the facts. One state already exists here, and has done so for 48 years. The Green Line faded long ago; the settlements are in Israel, and Israel is also the settlers’ land. The fate of the two million Palestinians who live in the West Bank is decided by the government in Jerusalem and the defense establishment in Tel Aviv, not by Ramallah. Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, is their ruler far more than Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is. They are clearly part of the binational state and have been its subjects, forcibly, for some three generations. This state has three regimes: democracy for the Jews; discrimination for the Israeli Arabs; and apartheid for the Palestinians. But everyone lives in one inseparable state.

The binational state that was born in 1967 is not democratic. In fact, it’s one of the worst states in the world, because of the military dictatorship it upholds in part of its territory – one of the most brutal, totalitarian regimes in existence today. It is also one of the most racist states, since it determines its residents’ rights based solely on their nationality. This is the one state that is washed in blood right now, and will continue to be washed in blood as long as it remains in its malicious, nondemocratic format.Read more

Israel’s Defamation of Judaism: The Rape of the Palestinian People

by Norman Pollack

Israel has come a long way since 1967 in the construction of an apartheid state and society with respect to the Palestinians, in truth, the proto-Nazification of policy and conduct in which the gas chamber has been replaced by the more protracted denial of life to the victims of an ethnocentric/racial ideology achieved through the degradation of a whole people: a faucet of inhumanity left running, where genocide is administered in drips rather than in a torrent. But even the latter holds, as now, as the misery and hopelessness sinks into the consciousness of the oppressed, almost as a conscious strategy of still more acute humiliation in the hope that signs of resistance will give pretext and excuse for a show of force and further clamping down.Read more

Borderlands: the Settler’s Prussia

October 16, 2015
by Uri Avnery

Israeli democracy is sliding downwards. Sliding slowly, comfortably, but unmistakably.

Sliding where? Everybody knows that: towards an ultra-nationalist, racist, religious society.

Who is leading the ride?

Why, the government, of course. This group of noisy nobodies which came to power at the last elections, led by Binyamin Netanyahu.

Not really. Take all these big-mouthed little demagogues, the ministers of this or that (I can’t quite remember who is supposed to be minister for what) and shut them up somewhere, and nothing will change. In 10 years from now, nobody will remember the name of any of them.

If the government does not lead, who does? Perhaps the right-wing mob? Those people we see on TV, with faces contorted by hatred, shouting “Death to the Arabs!” at soccer matches until they are hoarse, or demonstrating after each violent incident in the mixed Jewish-Arab towns “All Arabs are Terrorists! Kill them all!”

This mob can hold the same demonstrations tomorrow against somebody else: gays, judges, feminists, whoever. It is not consistent. It cannot build a new system.

No, there is only one group in the country that is strong enough, cohesive enough, determined enough to take over the state: the settlers.Läs mer

Uri Avnery: Nasser and I

Uri Avnery
October 3, 2015

FORTY-FIVE YEARS ago Gamal Abd-al-Nasser died at the early age of 52. It is not an event of the past. It continues to have a huge influence on the present, and probably will on the future.

My meetings with him go back to 1948. I used to joke that “we were very close to each other, but we were never properly introduced!”

It happened like this: in July we were desperately trying to stop the advance of the Egyptian army towards Tel Aviv. The cornerstone of our front was a village called Negba. One evening we were told that an Egyptian unit had cut the only road to this kibbutz and dug in across it.

The company to which I belonged was a mobile commando unit riding on jeeps, each with two machine guns. We were ordered to storm the position and retake it at any costs. It was a crazy idea – you don’t use jeeps to attack dug-in soldiers. But the commanders were desperate, too.

So we advanced in the darkness along the narrow road until we reached the Egyptian position and were met with murderous fire. We retreated, but then the battalion commander joined us and led another attack. This time we literally overran the Egyptians, feeling human bodies under our wheels. The Egyptians fled. Their commander was wounded. As I later found out, he was a major named Gamal Abd-al-Nasser.

After that, the fortunes of war turned. We got the upper hand and surrounded an entire Egyptian brigade. I was a part of the besieging force when I was severely wounded. On the opposite side was Major Abd-al-Nasser.

FOUR YEARS later, Gingi called me in great excitement. “I must meet you immediately,” he told me.

Gingi is the Hebrew slang version of ginger, as the British call a red-haired person. This particular gingi was a small, very dark Yemenite. He was nicknamed Gingi because he had very black hair – that was our kind of humor then.

Gingi (his actual name was Yerucham Cohen) had served during the war as the adjutant of the Southern front commander, Yigal Alon. During the fighting, a short ceasefire had been arranged to allow both sides to retrieve the dead and wounded left lying between the lines. Gingi, who spoke excellent Arabic, was sent to negotiate with the emissary of the encircled force – Major Abd-al-Nasser.

As so happens, during their several meetings, a friendship sprang up between the two men. Once, when the Egyptian was very depressed, Gingi tried to comfort him and said: “Cheer up, ya Gamal, you will get out of here alive and have children!”

The prophecy was fulfilled. The war ended, the encircled brigade returned to a hero’s welcome in Cairo. Yerucham was appointed to the Israeli-Egyptian armistice commission. One day his Egyptian counterpart told him: “I was asked by Lieutenant-Colonel Abd-al-Nasser to tell you that a son has been born to him.”

Yerucham bought a baby suit and at the next meeting, gave it to his counterpart. Nasser sent back his thanks and an assortment of cakes from the famous Groppi Café in Cairo.

IN THE summer of 1952, the Egyptian army rebelled and, in a bloodless coup, sent the playboy king Farouk packing. The coup was led by a group of “Free Officers”, headed by a 51-year old general, Muhammad Naguib.

I published in my magazine a message of congratulation to the officers.

When I met Gingi, he told me: “Forget about Naguib. He is just a figurehead. The real leader is a fellow called Nasser!” So my magazine had a world scoop – long before anyone else in the world, we disclosed that the real leader was an officer called Abd-al-Nasser.

(A word about Arab names. Gamal is a camel, a symbol of beauty for Arabs. Abd-al-Nasser – pronounced Abd-an-Nasser – means “Servant of [Allah] the victorious”. Calling the man just Nasser, as we all did, conferred on him one of the 99 names of Allah.)

When Nasser officially became the leader, Yerucham told me in deepest secrecy that he had just received an astounding invitation: Nasser had invited him to come, privately, to see him in Cairo.

“Go!” I implored him. “This may be a historic opening!”

But Yerucham was an obedient citizen. He asked the Foreign Office for permission. The minister, Moshe Sharett, the renowned peace-lover, forbade him to accept the invitation. “If Nasser wants to talk with Israel, he must apply to the Foreign Office,” Yerucham was told. That was, of course, the end of the matter.

NASSER WAS an Arab of a new type: Tall, handsome, charismatic, a spellbinding orator. David Ben-Gurion, who was already getting old, was afraid of him, and perhaps envied him. So he plotted with the French to overthrow him.

After a short voluntary exile in a Kibbutz, Ben-Gurion returned in 1955 to his post as Minister of Defense. The first thing he did was to attack the Egyptian army in Gaza. By design or mistake, many Egyptian soldiers were killed. Nasser, angry and humiliated, turned to the Soviets and received large shipments of arms.

Since 1954, France was facing a war of liberation in Algeria. Since they could not imagine that the Algerians would rise up against France of their own free will, they accused Nasser of inciting them. The British joined the club because Nasser had just nationalized the British-French company that ran the Suez Canal.

The result was the 1956 Suez adventure: Israel attacked the Egyptian army in the Sinai desert, while the French and the British landed in their rear. The Egyptian army, practically surrounded, was ordered to return home as hastily as possible. Some soldiers left their boots behind. Israel was intoxicated by this resounding victory.

But the Americans were angry, and so were the Soviets. US President Eisenhower and the Soviet President Bulganin issued ultimatums, and the three colluding powers had to withdraw completely. “Ike” was the last American president who dared to face down Israel and the US Jews.

Overnight, Nasser became the hero of the entire Arab world. His vision of a pan-Arab nation moved into the realm of possibility. The Palestinians, deprived of their own homeland which was divided between Israel, Jordan and Egypt, saw their future in such a broad nation and admired Nasser.

In Israel, Nasser became the ultimate enemy, the devil incarnate. He was referred to officially and in all the media as “the Egyptian tyrant”, and frequently “the Second Hitler”. When I proposed making peace with him, people considered me insane.

CARRIED AWAY by his immense popularity throughout the Arab world and beyond, Nasser did a foolish thing. When the Israeli Chief of Staff, Yitzhak Rabin, threatened the Syrians with invasion, Nasser saw an easy way to demonstrate his leadership. He warned Israel and sent his army into the demilitarized Sinai desert.

Everybody in Israel was frightened. Everybody except I (and the army). A few months before, I was informed in secret that a leading Israeli general had confided to friends: “I pray every night that Nasser will send his army into Sinai. There we will destroy it!”

And so it happened. Too late Nasser realized that he had walked into a trap (as my magazine announced in its headline.) To stave off disaster, he issued blood-curdling threats “to throw Israel into the sea” and sent a high-ranking emissary to Washington to plead for pressure to stop Israel.

Too late. After a lot of hesitation, and after getting explicit permission from US president Lyndon B Johnsen, the Israeli army attacked and smashed the Egyptian, the Jordanian and the Syrian forces within six days.

There were two historic results: (a) Israel became a colonial power and (b) the backbone of pan-Arab nationalism was broken.

NASSER REMAINED in power for another three years, a shadow of his former self. He obviously did some thinking.

One day my French friend, the renowned journalist Eric Rouleau, asked me to come urgently to Paris. Rouleau, an Egyptian-born Jew working for the prestigious French newspaper Le Monde, was at home with the Egyptian elite. He told me that Nasser had just given him a long interview. As agreed, he submitted the text to Nasser for confirmation prior to publication. After some consideration, Nasser struck out a crucial section: an offer to Israel to make peace. It was essentially the offer that formed the basis for the Sadat-Begin peace agreement nine years later.

But Rouleau had the full interview on tape. He offered to give me the text, so that I could transmit it to the Israeli government on condition of total secrecy.

I rushed home and called a leading member of the Israeli government, Finance Minister Pinchas Sapir, who was considered the most dovish member of the cabinet. He received me at once, listened to what I had to say and showed no interest at all. A few days later, during the Black September crisis in Jordan, Nasser suddenly died.

WITH HIM died the vision of pan-Arab nationalism, the rebirth of the Arab nation under the flag of a European idea based on rational, secular thought.

A spiritual and political vacuum was created in the Arab world. But nature, as we all know, does not tolerate empty spaces.

With Nasser dead, and after the violent end of his successors and imitators, Sadat, Mubarrak, Gaddafi and Saddam, the vacuum invited a new force: Salafi Islamism.

I have warned many times in the past that if we destroy Nasser and Arab nationalism, religious forces would come to the fore. Instead of a fight between rational enemies which can end in a rational peace, it will be the beginning of a religious war, which will by definition be irrational and allow for no compromise.

That’s where we are now. Instead of Nasser, we have Daesh. Instead of the Arab world led by a charismatic leader, who gave the Arab masses everywhere a sense of dignity and renewal, we are now facing an enemy which glorifies public beheading and wants to bring back the seventh century.

I blame Israeli and American political blindness and sheer stupidity for this dangerous development. I hope we still have enough time for it to be reversed.