Category Archives: occupation

Petition! Lift Travel Restrictions from Palestinian Journalist!

SIGN THE PETITION To:  Israeli and Palestinian Authorities  -Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh, who lives in the West Bank, has been invited to attend a media conference in Germany. As required, he set about to request all of the necessary travel documents, including a visa that needs to be granted from the German representative office in Ramallah. After routine questioning regarding his political affiliations, it was not only determined that he was not a member of any party, nor formally associated with any organisation, but it was clear that he had never been arrested or detained by Israeli authorities. Mr Amayreh was granted an entry visa to Germany. However, the Israeli military authorities have refused to give him a permit to leave the West Bank. No Palestinian can travel abroad without receiving such a permit beforehand, otherwise he or she would be turned back once arriving at the Israeli-controlled border terminal at the Allenby Bridge.

Mr Amayreh then went to his local District Coordination Office in Dura, where he was informed that his information was forwarded to the Shin Bet (General Security Services) of the Israeli government. Then two days later, the GSS informed the Palestinian office that Amayreh was “barred from leaving the West Bank for security reasons.” No further explanation was given.

His fortune in obtaining the required travel permission did not change as he applied to the Civil Administration Headquarters in Hebron, a metallic pen holding persons seeking the mandatory permission even to go to East Jerusalem for medical treatment, where it is not unusual to find them huddled and waiting their turn for ten or more hours, under the watchful eye of Israeli military watchtowers.

The Palestinian Civil Affairs Coordination Office in the West Bank was also unable to mediate on his behalf, as they too are entirely dependent upon the decisions, without clarification, evidence or justification, made by the Israeli Security division.

There is indeed no justification for the violation of this man’s civil and human rights, and along with him, the rights of all others who are denied freedom of movement with no justification whatsoever. The Occupation authorities, while they have no sovereignty over citizens of the Palestinian Authority, dictate what must be done with those citizens and the world seems to consider the violation of their rights acceptable and normal praxis. These people are not pawns on a chessboard, but are individuals who seek the basic liberties that all democracies are obligated to provide for their people. The Palestinian Authority does not exercise its duty of guaranteeing civil liberties to its own citizens, and treats them as if they shall be subject to the whims of the Occupier.

We ask for the immediate revision of the decision regarding Mr Amayreh, so that he is granted the documents necessary for him to exercise his freedom of movement allowing him to continue to provide for himself and his family in the work that he is employed in, as well as for the Palestinian Authority to assume a position that sets the freedoms of its citizens as a priority that is greater than the perceived “security” risks declared by the agency of the State of Israel.http://www.petitiononline.com/k1h2a3l4/petition.html

http://palestinethinktank.com/2008/05/28/petition-lift-travel-restrictions-on-palestinian-journalist/

Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry: Lies are Truth

The people in the press staff of the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry are talented science fiction writers. Almost nothing that they write has any bearing on reality, and it seems that they use Orwell’s 1984 as a guidebook for news dispatches. All that they need to do is look at the facts on the ground (terminology that was invented by the hasbara commission, more than likely, because it is something different than reality. It has a bit of the sense of imposition of a negative reality that cannot however be challenged by ‘ordinary’ people), and turn them on their heads. War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. That’s exactly how the Israeli PR staff represents reality with their warped mirror.

I do suggest, for those who, like myself, find some pleasure in reading nonsense to subscribe to their newsletter or to read it on their site. It is just about as absurd a thing one can find to read. The trouble with it is: it’s taken seriously by the Big Mass Media and a lot of the dispatch services never verify any of the information that is released. If you wonder just why everyone is so wrong about Israel and Palestine, look no further.

On 7 May, this was their press release. I will deconstruct it. Their original in Israeli Blue.

Behind the Headlines: Hamas holding civilian population in Gaza hostage.

How’s that for a shock headline? It is as if the people of Gaza are in a concentration camp and kept hostage. Well, they are, of course, but it’s not Hamas who has locked them in and thrown away the keys, but this does not matter. Israel KNOWS that people are going to notice sooner or later that Gaza has become the place on earth where the greatest number of people are confined and held hostage, but passing the stick to Hamas is going to resolve any nasty questions about who is keeping them prisoner.

By seizing the fuel, food, and medical supplies that Israel is transferring to the Gaza Strip, and using the supplies itself, the Hamas terror organization is basically holding the civilian population of Gaza hostage.

Ah, so all of these wonderful things have been delivered by generous Israel to Gaza? No one has seen any of it, so it must be the bad guys of Hamas who have diverted all of it and probably are storing everything in warehouses, or selling it on the black market. The crossings have all been closed, but no one should become aware of the fact, unless they wonder how a million and a half people can get by without replacement of the material that is consumed. Naturally, it’s not a good idea to indicate to people that a blockade has been made in order to break the resistance of these people, which at least are classified as civilians by the people who bomb them indiscriminately when it suits them. But for Israel, all that material has arrived, in fact, Israel itself is transferring it to the Gaza Strip! But since things have a material presence, they don’t just disappear, the culprit for these enormous quantities of goods simply NOT BEING THERE has got to be the bad guys. Hamas can’t let anyone see all the truckloads of material, including fuel, that Israel is donating. Seizing it for political purposes, so they can justify the uprising. Well, of course, none of that is true. Since the siege started last fall, nothing has entered into the Gaza Strip, and very little has gotten out. The population is indeed being held hostage, but Israel is doing a three card shuffle – blame it on Hamas (repeat as well that they are a ‘terror organization’ so that it’s easier to insert in a copy and paste journalist report.

 

Israel has continued to supply fuel, food, medical supplies and other humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip, despite Hamas attacks precisely on those crossings Israel must use to transfer the supplies. 

Israel has supplied nothing, nor have they let anyone else do so. Yet, to deny material sustenance would be a crime against humanity, because the occupier is obligated to provide for the people who are being occupied. However, Israel will state that they no longer occupy the Gaza Strip. “We left! The settlers are gone,” they say. Well, one does not have to have colonial presence to exact control over a territory. All that needs to be done is to control its borders, and Israel does just that: stick them in the prison and let them fight it out between themselves is the policy that Israel has decided to enact in order to bring Gazans to their knees or, failing that, make them beg for Fatah to take control of the elections Hamas won, therefore, giving Israel the electoral results they wanted but were denied. Israel controls the air space, territorial waters, offshore maritime access, and the border between Israel and Gaza, with most of the crossings being closed even for those needing medical assistance. Egypt controls the southern border. This means that they are committing crimes against humanity by denying Gazans aid, food, fuel and freedom of movement. But, they won’t admit it. In fact, that’s what the lie about Hamas taking the materials is there to cover. 

 

It is apparent that Hamas is targeting the crossings in order to prevent the transfer of humanitarian aid to the civilian population, thus both needlessly depriving its own population as well as causing an artificial humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Clearly, Hamas wants to create a crisis in order that international pressure will be placed on Israel.

It is apparent to those who invent this lie, and it is tragic that many believe it! Hamas does not have any control over the crossings of incoming goods. Nothing has been turned back or stashed away for the simple reason that nothing has been delivered! The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is far from artificial. It is real and evident to anyone who has access to view it. Clearly, the crisis was created by Israel, but passing the buck of the ‘international pressure’ is the only remedy that Israel can come up with. They have no intention to break the siege. It is in their interests to continue it to the bitter end. Unfortunately, neither Gazans nor Hamas can do anything to change this. We are going to see a long, hot summer ahead, and Israel is doing damage control. 

Recent reports indicate that not only is Hamas depriving the civilization population, it is allocating the supplies for its own use.

Then, we get a flaming headline:

Hamas steal fuel from the civilian population

A Jerusalem Post report, on the 29th of April, ( ) states that Hamas stole 60,000 liters of fuel from the civilian population of Gaza. This was confirmed by the head of the Palestinian Authority’s gas agency, who added that Hamas gunmen had raided the Palestinian side of the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, stealing at least 60,000 liters of fuel meant for the Gaza power station, for use in their own vehicles.Of course, this quote is in quite a few papers, all of them stating that Mohahed Salama stated as such to Israeli Radio. I’ve been unable to find any other source to confirm this. As a matter of fact, Israel doesn’t like to quote him when he stated something much more sinister: 

 

Mojahed Salama, head of the PA Petrol Agency in Gaza, said that fuel imports Sunday showed a 40 to 50 percent reduction in diesel and benzene supplies and a 12 percent reduction in fuel for Gaza’s power plant. “We sent the supplying company the same daily requests, but they said they were sorry and that because of the new imposed sanctions they could only send us a reduced quantity”, Salama told Reuters. A spokesman for Dor Alon, the Israeli energy company that supplies Gaza, said the company had “received instructions” from the Defense Ministry and was “acting according to those instructions”.
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-172296528.html

So, who is stealing fuel from the civilian population? Ask the Israeli Defence Ministry all about their instructions.

Of course, these international reports are very worrying if one takes them by the soundbites provided by Israel. Take the London Independent report:

The London Independent reports on the artificial crisis caused by Hamas, which even caused the UN to suspend food aid to 650,000 refugees in the Gaza Strip after running out of fuel for its delivery vehicles. An emergency tanker sent to the Nahal Oz terminal was turned back by demonstrators, and was forced to return empty.  EU condemns Hamas actions which lead to further suffering of the Palestinian population.Now, that sounds really awful. But, if someone actually did read the article they would find these quotes:

 

Both sides agree that storage tanks on the Gaza side of the terminal are full, with stocks of up to 1 million litres of fuel. But Mahmoud Khozendar, the distributors’ vice-chairman, said that was only enough to meet three or four hours’ demand. They needed at least 10 times as much as Israel was prepared to deliver.Did you see what I saw? That last line kind of sticks like a pin in the cheek. They needed at least 10 times as much as Israel was prepared to deliver.

 

And this quote from the same article:

 

Last night Hamas proposed a six-month cease-fire with Israel, saying the Gaza Palestinian group would stop firing rockets into the Jewish state if Israel lifts its blockade of the coastal strip at the same time, Egypt’s state run Mena news agency reported.

The report came after a day of closed-door meetings between Egypt’s powerful intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who has been mediating between Hamas and Israel, and Hamas’ strongman, Mahmoud Zahar.

Under the international boycott imposed after Hamas seized Gaza by force last June, Israel’s declared policy has been to allow in enough fuel, food and medical supplies to keep people alive, but not enough for them to live well.

So, even the best article that Israel propaganda experts could fine from an independent source point out something that doesn’t make Israel look too wonderful:

Namely, Hamas has offered a cease-fire of the Qassam Rockets (which at any rate cause limited damage). It is willing to come to a solution to have the blockade lifted. Evidently, while this is what Israel claims is behind the blockade, when action is taken to do so, they refuse to accept it and blame Hamas of being terrorists and depriving their own people of things they need to live. Ah, but remember, Israel admits it will KEEP PEOPLE ALIVE, at some level of survival, but they are going to have to suffer. Sounds like Auschwitz to me. 

On 24 April, the Presidency of the EU stated that Hamas activities were obstructing and even preventing humanitarian work by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).This is terrible news. Let’s see what else is on that press statement by the EU:

 

…the Presidency urges regular and unrestricted delivery of fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip in order not to aggravate further the humanitarian crisis there. The Presidency reiterates the EU’s call on all parties to work urgently for the controlled re-opening of the crossings in and out of Gaza for both humanitarian reasons and commercial flows.In other words, they are calling on Israel to put an end to their policies and to urgently act so as not to aggravate the humanitarian crisis that everyone knows is in full swing.

 

But let’s conclude this press release.

 

Hamas nationalizing fuel supplies meant for the civilian populationIn another report, Nissim Keinan of Israel’s Second Radio channel reported on 4 May that Hamas was in fact holding the civilian population hostage. 

 

Nissim Keinan, nationally famous for his Voice of Israel broadcasts from the Sderot and Gaza regions, told Arutz-7 the IDF Gaza offensive accomplished a “drop in the ocean” of what needs to be done.

Who is this reporter? I never heard of him, but he’s very famous in Israel. Here is something to give us an idea of who our source is:

 

Nissim Keinan is the voice heard several times a day on national radio, reporting from the south on Kassam rockets in Sderot, terrorist activity from within Gaza, and nearly everything else that goes on in that area of the country.

Speaking with Arutz-7´s Hebrew newsmagazine on Monday, Keinan said, “Yes, it was a successful operation, but it appears that the terrorist activity will simply revert right away to the way it was before. We’re talking about looking for a needle in a haystack – because Beit Hanoun, where the offensive took place, is just a small town of 30,000 people; but what about Beit Lahiya and all its terrorists? And what about Jebalya, and the entire area of the Shati refugee camp, and the Khan Yunis area, and Dir el-Balach – I mean, the entire place is swarming with terrorists. Just because you took care of one place and confiscated weapons and ammunitions, it still doesn’t mean that you´ve achieved the goals.”

“In any event,” Keinan continued without stopping, “it´s strange to hear the army talk of such great successes, when really it was just a routine operation. They moved the Kassam launchers southward, true – but you can fire Kassams from the south too, you know, and they also fire them from the north. Yes, the accuracy of the firing has been impaired, but they were never accurate; they just shoot and it hits wherever it hits.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/115008

The Summer Rain Offensive was a Drop in the Ocean of what needs to be done? So, Keinan thinks that 197 civilians and 48 children killed by the IDF is a good and positive thing? Sounds again, a hell of a lot like Auschwitz to me. So, I leave you to speculate on his final words here:

He stated that Hamas has nationalized all the fuel supplies transferred by Israel for the civilian population, and for operation of the electricity plant, and is using it solely for its own purposes. In addition, food sent by the donor countries is allocated in accordance with Hamas instructions. Of the thousands of tons of grains, food and fuel that were transferred, none was able to reach the civilian population.All of a sudden, he cares about the civilian population of Gaza? And I am Santa Claus.

 

See also Israel has what you like! Hasbara Instructions

Gilad Atzmon – Anatomy of an Unresolved Conflict

According to Hegel, attaining ‘self-consciousness’ is a process that necessarily involves the other. How am I to become conscious of myself in general? It is simply through desire or anger, for example. Unlike animals that overcome biological needs by destroying another organic entity, human desire is a desire for recognition.

In Hegelian terms, recognition is accomplished by directing oneself towards non-being, that is, towards another desire, another emptiness, another ‘I’. It is something that can never be fully accomplished. “The man who desires a thing humanly acts not so much to possess the thing as to make another recognise his right. It is only desire of such recognition, it is only the action that flows from such desire, that creates, realizes and reveals a human, non biological I.” (Kojeve A., Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, 1947, Cornell Univ. Press, 1993, p. 40). Following this Hegelian line of thinking, we can deduce that in order to develop self-consciousness, one must face the other. While the biological entity will fight for its biological continuity, a human being fights for recognition.

In order to understand the practical implications of this idea, let us turn to the ‘Master-Slave Dialectic’. The Master is called the Master because he strives to prove his superiority over nature and over the slave who is forced to recognize him as a master.

At first glance, it looks as if the master has reached the peak of human existence but as we shall see, this is not the case. As has just been stated, it is recognition that humans fight for. The master is recognised by the slave as a master but the slave’s recognition has little value. The master wants to be recognised by another man, but a slave is not a man. The master wants recognition by a master, but another master cannot allow another superior human being in his world. “In short, the master never succeeds in realising his end, the end for which he risks his very life.” So the master faces a dead-end. But what about the slave? The slave is in the process of transforming himself since, unlike the master who cannot go any further, the slave has everything to aspire to. The slave is at the vanguard of the transformation of the social conditions in which he lives. The slave is the embodiment of history. He is the essence of progress.

A Lesson in Mastery

Let us now try to apply the Hegelian Master-Slave Dialectic to the notion of Jewish ‘chosenness’ and exclusivity. While the Hegelian ‘Master’ risks his biological existence to become a master, the newborn Jewish infant risks his foreskin. The chosen infant is born into the realm of mastery and excellence without (yet) excelling at anything. The other awards the chosen baby his prestigious status without the requirement of facing any process of recognition. And in fact, the ‘chosen’ title is given to Jews by themselves (allegedly God) rather than by others.

If, for instance, we try to analyse the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the Hegelian mechanism of recognition, we realise the impossibility of any dialogue between the two parties. While it is more than clear that the Palestinian people are fighting for recognition, which they declare at every possible opportunity, the Israelis avoid the whole recognition issue altogether. They are convinced that they are already fully recognised in the first place. They know who they are – they are born masters who happen to live on their ‘promised land’. Israelis refuse to join the dialectic ‘meaning transformation’ game and instead divert all their intellectual, political and military efforts into demolishing any sense of Palestinian recognition. The battle for Israeli society is to suppress any Palestinian symbol or desire, whether material, spiritual or cultural.

Strangely enough, the Palestinians are managing quite well in their fight for recognition. More and more people out there are now beginning to understand the just nature of the Palestinian cause and the level of inhumanity entangled with the entire concept of Zionism and Jewish politics in general. More and more people out there find the Palestinian people and their spokesmen very easy to empathise with. Even the Hamas who were despised by most Western political institutions are now managing to get their message across. The Israelis, on the other hand, are falling behind in such manoeuvres. The average Western listener finds them almost impossible to sympathise with. While a Palestinian will call you to share his pain and misery, talking straight to your heart, the Israeli spokesman will demand that you to accept his views. He will insist on selling you a ready-made fantastic historical narrative; a repetitive tale that starts somewhere around Biblical Abraham, continues with a series of Holocausts and leads eventually towards more current bloodshed. It seems as if the Israelis, the masters, always present the same faceless story. Can Abraham and the Holocaust justify Israeli inhuman behaviour in Gaza? Not really, and the reason is simple, Abraham and the Holocaust and historical narratives in general do not evoke genuine emotional feelings. And indeed, the Jewish political world is so desperate to maintain its narrative that the last Holocaust has now been transformed into a legal narrative. The message is as follows: “beware, if you doubt my narrative you will end up behind bars.” This is obviously an act of desperation.

Following Hegel, we learn that recognition is a dynamic process; it is a type of understanding that grows in you. While the Palestinians will use all their available, yet limited, resources to make you look at their faces, in their eyes, to carry you into a dynamic process of mutual recognition, the Israelis would expect you to accept their narrative blindly. They would expect you to turn a blind eye to the clear fact that as far as the Middle East is concerned Israel is an aggressor like no other. Israel is an occupying regional super power, a tiny State heavily engaged in exploring different nuclear, biological and chemical arsenals. It is a racially orientated apartheid state that bullies and abuses its minorities on a daily basis. Yes, the Israelis and their supportive Jewish lobbies around the world want you to ignore these facts. They insist upon being the victims, they want you to approve their inhuman policies referring to Jews endless suffering.

How is it that Jewish politics has become aggressive like no other? It is simply the fact that from a Jewish political perspective, there is ‘no other’. The so-called other for them is nothing but a vehicle rather than an equal human subject. Israeli foreign affairs and Jewish political activity should be comprehended in the light of a severe lack of a ‘recognition mechanism’. Israeli and Jewish politics, left right and centre, is grounded on locking and fixing of meaning. They would refuse to regard history as a flux, as a dynamic process, as a journey towards ‘oneself’ or self-realisation. Israel and Israelis view themselves as if they are external to history. They do not progress toward self-realisation because they have a given, fixed identity to maintain. Once they encounter a complex situation with the surrounding world, they would then create a model that adapts the external world into their chauvinist self-loving value system. This is what Neo-conservatism is all about; this is what the fantasmic yet sickening newly emerging Judeo-Christian discourse is all about.

As sad as it may sound, people who are not trained to recognise the other are unable to let them be recognised. The Jewish tribal mindset: left, centre and right, sets Jews aside of humanity. It does not equip the followers of the tribal mindset with the mental mechanism needed to recognise the other. Why should they do it? They have done so well for many years without having to do so. Lacking a notion of an other, indeed transcends one far beyond any recognised form of true humanist thought. It takes one far beyond ethical thinking or moral awareness.

Instead of morality, every debate is reduced into a mere political struggle with some concrete material and practical achievements to aim for.

Hegel may throw some further light on the entire saga. If indeed one becomes aware of oneself via the other, then the ‘Chosen subject’ is self-aware to start with. He is born into mastery. Accordingly, Israelis are not practicing any form of dialogue with the surrounding human environment since they are born masters. In order to be fair to the Israelis, I have to admit that their lack of a recognition mechanism has nothing to do with their anti-Palestinian feelings. As a matter of fact, they cannot even recognise each other – Israel and Israelis have a long history of discrimination against its own people (Jews of non-European descent such as Sephardim Jews are discriminated against by the Jewish elite, those of Western descent). But are progressive Jews any different? Not really. Like the Israelis and similar to any other form of tribal chauvinist ideology, they are continuously withdrawing into self-centred segregated discourse that has very little to engage or grab the interest of anyone besides themselves. Consequently, like the Israelis who surround themselves with walls, the Jewish progressive cells have already set themselves into cyber ghettos that are becoming increasingly hostile to the rest of humanity and those who supposed to be their comrades.

Historic Materialism

If one cannot establish relationships with one’s neighbour based upon recognition of the other, there must be another way of establishing a dialogue. If one cannot form a dialogue based upon empathy with the other and the rights of the other, one must pursue another mode of communication. It seems as if the alternative ‘chosen’ dialogical method reduces any form of communication into a materialistic language. Almost any form of human activity, including love and aesthetic pleasure, can be reduced to a material value. The Chosen political activists are well practised in using this method of communication.

Recently the Israeli ultra-Zionist author A B Yehoshua has managed to upset many American Jewish Ethnic leaders at the American Jewish Committee conference by saying: “You [Jews in the Diaspora] are changing jackets … you are changing countries like changing jackets.” Indeed, Yehoshua came under a lot of pressure following his remark, he was very quick to regret his statement. However, Yehoshua’s insight, while far from being original, is rather painfully truthful.

It is quite apparent that some politically orientated Diaspora Jews are engaged in an extremely fruitful dialogue with any possible core of hegemony. Yehoshoua’s criticism was fairly spot on. Following Yehoshua, once it is clear that a new country is becoming a leading world super power, it won’t take long before a wave of liberated assimilated Jews would try to infiltrate into its governing elite. “If China ever became the world’s foremost super power,” he warned, “American Jews would migrate there to assimilate rather than in the US.” (http://www.amin.org/eng/uncat/2006/june/june30-1.html).

A decade ago, at the peak of the legal battle between major Jewish institutions and the Swiss Bank, Norman Finkelstein stood up and said that very little remains of the Jewish Holocaust apart from various industrial forms of financial bargaining for compensation. According to Finkelstein, it was all about profit-making. Without any criticism intended by me about financial compensation, it appears as if some people are quick to translate their pain into gold. (It is important to mention that pain as well as being transformed into gold, can be transformed into other values such as moral or aesthetic ones). However, the possibility of transforming pain and blood into cash stands at the heart of the Israeli false dream – that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially the refugee problem, is resolvable. Now we know where this assumption originates. The Israelis, as well as Jewish leading institutions, are fully convinced that if they were happy to come to a financial settlement with the Germans (or the Swiss for the matter), the Palestinians would be equally happy to sell their lands and dignity. How do the Israelis arrive at such a strange conviction? Because they must know better than the Palestinians what the Palestinians really want. How? Because the Israelis are brilliant, they are the Chosen People. Moreover, the chosen subject doesn’t even try to engage with the human in the other. Sixty years after the Nakba, the mass the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinians, the vast majority of Israelis and world Jewry do not even start to acknowledge the Palestinian cause, let alone do they show any form of empathy.

When you talk to Israelis about the conflict, one of their most frequently used arguments is the following: “When we (the Jews) came here (to Palestine), they (the Arabs) had nothing. Now they have electricity, work, cars, health services, etc.” This is obviously a failure to recognise the other. It is typical of the chauvinist colonialist to impose one’s own value system on the other. In other words, the Israelis expect the Palestinians to share the importance they attach to the acquisition of material wealth. “Why should the other share my values? Because I know what is good. Why do I know what is Good? Because I am the best.” This arrogant and completely materialistic approach obviously lies at the heart of the Israeli vision of peace. The Israeli military calls it ‘the stick and the carrot’. Seemingly, when referring to Palestinians they actually have rabbits in their minds. But, as bizarre or even tragic as it may sound, the Israeli born, ultra-left Mazpen movement was not categorically different. They obviously had some revolutionary dreams of secularisation for the Arab world. They obviously knew what was good for the Arabs. Why did they know? Shall I let you guess? Because they were exclusively and chauvinistically clever. They were the Marxists of the chosen type. Hence, I wasn’t overwhelmingly surprised that as time went by, the legendary ‘revolutionary’ Mazpen and the despised neo-conservatism actually united into a single catastrophic message: “We know better what is good for you than you yourselves do.”

Both Zionists and Jewish leftists have a “New Middle East dream”. In Peres’s old fantasy the region turns into a financial paradise in which Israel would stand at the very centre. The Palestinians (as well as other Arab States) would supply Israeli industries (representing the West) with the low cost labour they need. In turn, they, the Arabs, would earn money and spend it buying Israeli (Western) goods. In the Judeo progressive dream the Arabs leaves Islam behind, they become Marxist cosmopolitan progressives (East European Jews) and join the journey towards a world revolution. As much as Peres’s dream is sad, the Judeo Marxist version is almost funny.

As it seems, within the Zionist dream, Israel would establish a dual coexistence in the region where the Palestinian people would be the eternal slaves and the Israelis their masters. Within the Judeo progressive cosmopolitan dream, Red Palestine will establish a dual coexistence in the region where the Palestinian people would be the eternal slaves of a remote Euro-centric ideology. If there is a big categorical difference between the two Judeo centric ideologies, I just fail to see it.

However, according to Hegel, it is the slave that moves history forward. It is the slave that struggles towards his freedom. It is the slave who transforms himself and it is the master who eventually vanishes. Following Hegel, we have good reason to believe that the future of the region belongs to the Palestinians, the Iraqis and nation Islam in general. One way of explaining why Israel ignores this understanding of history relates to the conditional detachment of the exclusive ‘chosen’ state of mind.

Welcome to Cuckoo land

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian doctor who lives and works in the occupied West Bank, referred to Israel as “trying to be David and Goliath at the same time” (Dr. Barghouti was speaking at a debate at the House of Commons, 22 Nov. 2000). According to Dr. Barghouti, this is impossible. He also claimed that “Israel is probably the only State that bombs a territory it occupies.” He found this very strange and even bizarre. Is it really strange to be David and Goliath simultaneously? Is it really strange to destroy your own property? Not if you are insane. The lack of mirroring (again, seeing oneself through the other) can lead people, as well as nations, into strange dark corners. The lack of a framework which would allow you to discern your own image through the other, the lack of a corrective mechanism, appears to be a very dangerous state of affairs.

The first generation of Israeli leaders (Ben-Gurion, Eshkol, Meir, Peres, Begin) grew up in the Diaspora, mainly in Eastern Europe. Being a Jew living in a non-Jewish environment forces one to develop a sharpened self-awareness and imposes a certain kind of mirroring. Moreover, early Zionism is slightly more developed than other forms of Jewish tribal politics for the simple reason that Zionism is there to transform the Jews into ‘people like other people’. Such a realisation involves a certain amount of necessary mirroring. However, this was not enough to restrain Israeli aggressive acts (e.g., Deir-Yassin, Nakba, Kafer Kasem, the ’67 war, etc.) but it was more than enough to teach them a lesson in diplomacy. Since 1996, young leaders who were born there have led Israel into the state of ‘chosenness’ (Rabin, Netanyahu, Sharon, Barak, Olmert). Whilst in their earlier years they were imbued with an intense traditional Jewish anxiety, as they grew up this was overtaken by the legacy of the 1967 ‘miracle’, an event that turned some of the ‘chosen’ ideologies into a messianic extravaganza. This fixation with absolute power exacerbated by Jewish anxiety coupled with ignorance of the ‘other’ leads to epidemic collective schizophrenia, both of mood and action; a severe loss of contact with reality that gives way to the use of excessive force. The recent “Second Lebanon War” was an obvious example for that matter. Israel retaliates with machine guns in response to children throwing stones, with artillery and missiles against civilian targets following a sporadic uprising, and with a total war to a minor border incident. This behaviour should not be explained by using political, materialist or sociological analytical tools. Much greater understanding could be gained by situating the conflict within a philosophical framework, which allows a better understanding of the origins of paranoia and schizophrenia.

The Israeli Prime Minister, representing both ‘David and Goliath’, can talk about the vulnerability of Israel, Jewish pain and Jewish misery in one breath and about launching a massive military offensive against the whole region in the next. Such behaviour can only be explained by seeing it as a form of mental illness. The funny/sad side of it is that most Israelis do not even realise that something is going terribly wrong. Being a born master leads to the absence of a ‘recognition mechanism’. Inevitably it leads toward blindness. This lack of a recognition mechanism results in a split psyche, being both ‘David and Goliath’ at one and the same time. It seems that neither Israel nor Israelis can any longer be partners in any meaningful dialogue.

Khalid Amayreh – Shimon Peres: the lying old man

Does Shimon Peres carry the genes of a pathological liar?

The question may sound facetious to many, but Peres’s apparent inability to distinguish between truth and falsehood makes the question quite valid.

At 84, Peres continues to dish out a daily staple of lies, including obscene lies.

This week, the “hero” of the Qana-1 massacre, told foreign correspondents based in Israel that “Hamas was standing in the way of Palestinian statehood.”

Well, this is, of course, a blatant lie, to say the least, because every honest person under the sun, Jew or gentile, knows well that the main obstacle impeding the realization of peace in the Middle East has been the intensive colonization of Palestinian land and unending expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied territories that belong to another people.

So how can we possibly buy the argument that Hamas is responsible for the building on the West Bank of hundreds of Jewish settlements, inhabited by hundreds of thousands of fascist-minded “settlers” who view non-Jews as animals in the shape of humans who should be enslaved by the “master race” as water carriers and wood hewers?

To be sure, Hamas is not an organization of angels. However, blaming the Islamic movement for the liquidation of the two-state solution is noting short of a pornographic lie.

Indeed, from its very inception, Hamas entrusted “peace negotiations” to the PLO, and said on numerous occasions that it would live with a Palestinian state covering the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Moreover, the movement, many of whose leaders have been brutally murdered by Israel, repeatedly voiced a willingness to reach a ceasefire with the Israeli occupation army on condition of parity and reciprocity.

Hence, it was Israel – not Hamas – that rejected peace, first by stealing Palestinian land from rightful proprietors at gunpoint and then, by pursuing a genocidal assault against the Palestinian people’s very existence. Needless to say, this ongoing onslaught has certain hair-raising commonalities with the Nazi onslaught against European Jewry during the Second World War.

Peres is not stupid, he knows the power of words and the magic of sound-bites. However, he often doesn’t say what he means, nor does he mean what he says, all for the purpose of eluding a world that dreads confronting Zionist lies.

Peres’s conception of “Palestinian state” is incompatible with the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, as well as being incompatible with international law and human rights.

“Mr. Peace,” as he is occasionally deceptively dubbed, would like the Palestinians to “settle for” a deformed, truncated and territorially discontinuous entity on “parts” of the West Bank, without East Jerusalem and certainly without the repatriation of millions of Palestinian refugees who were uprooted from their homes and towns and villages around this time sixty years ago, in a drama of deportation and exile that continues to this date.

Hamas, like 99% of Palestinians, does reject such a scandalous sell-out of inalienable Palestinian rights. Indeed, even Mahmoud Abbas, the Chairman of the American puppet regime in Ramallah, whom Israel views as “moderate” and an “acceptable peace partner” openly rejects such a humiliating surrender to Zionism.

A classical example of the consummate Zionist leader, Peres may think that deceiving the world and frustrating the hapless Palestinian Authority regime into capitulating to the Zionist reality will be good for the Jews and for peace.

He is absolutely wrong. Palestinians may be in a state of weakness at the present as opposed to Israel, a powerful state that draws much of its military, economic and technological superiority from its tight domination of American politics and policies. However, this anomalous situation can’t be perpetuated forever. Nazi Germany (Israel is undoubtedly an updated version of the Third Reich despite all the fanfare and hasbara to the contrary) didn’t last forever. Nor did diabolical Stalinism, which had much in common with Zionism in certain respects. A fact that is well known to historians.

Coercing the Palestinians to surrender to Zionism, either through brute force as Israel has been doing, or economic inducements as Peres is trying to do, or both, would only keep the embers of injustice smoldering thinly beneath the surface.

So, what Peres and his ilk view as “Jewish ingenuity” will eventually be proven an expression of visionless arrogance and poor statesmanship.

In addition to uttering his usual quotable but mendacious sound-bites about the Palestinians and their enduring plight, Peres is spending time these days trying to convince the world that Iran is Nazi Germany number-2 and its President Ahmadinejad is Adolph Hitler.

Well, how could any person with an iota of honesty and rectitude compare Nazi Germany, which destroyed Europe and caused the death of tens of millions of people, with Iran, a third world country whose only “crime” is its refusal to be subservient to the American-Zionist hegemony?

Besides, it is amply clear that Peres, who played a key role in introducing nuclear weapons to the Middle East via the French connection several decades ago, is utterly unqualified to lecture the world about an alleged Iranian nuclear threat.

To be sure, Israel, which possesses a huge arsenal of hundreds of nuclear bombs and warheads that are trained toward Teheran, Cairo, Damascus and Beirut (and perhaps Berlin as well), has no right to incite the west against the Islamic Republic. In the final analysis, Iran has an inalienable right to develop nuclear technology and even nuclear weapons to deter the mad dogs of Zionism, both in Tel Aviv and in Washington, D.C.

Nuclear weapons, like all weapons of mass destruction, are ugly and evil. However, America and Israel are first and foremost to blame for transforming our world into a jungle where one must be a fox, or a tiger or a venomous cunning snake in order to survive.

Israel claims that it has never threatened to decimate any country or any people and that its nuclear stockpile is for “peaceful purposes.”

But Israel has been decimating the Palestinian people for sixty years and some of its leaders who have a Hitlerian mentality are already threatening to inflict a holocaust on their victims.

For sure, had the Palestinians been strong, Israel would not have destroyed their towns, demolished their homes, bulldozed their farms before expelling them to the four corners of the globe.

In conclusion, Peres and other Zionist leaders can’t be trusted to tell the truth since Zionism and truth are inherently incompatible.

During his stint as Prime Minister in 1996, flowing the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Peres oversaw the Qana-1 massacre in Southern Lebanon when the Israeli Wehrmacht knowingly and deliberately murdered more than a hundred Lebanese civilians, including numerous children who had sought refuge at the UN peace-keeping forces’ headquarters at the village of Qana.

For those who have forgotten or don’t know, neither Peres nor Israel has had the moral courage to say “sorry.”

Obviously they both lack the moral caliber to do so. And their crimes are too colossal and too numerous to be atoned for.

Khalid Amayreh – An evil state that will disappear one day

Occupied East Jerusalem
30 April, 2008

Just as Israel inaugurated its misbegotten birth with genocidal ethnic cleansing sixty years ago, the evil brat of Zionism is marking its 60th anniversary with yet another spate of bloodletting.

On Sunday, 27 April, the Israeli “Defense” Forces (a more appropriate appellation would be the Jewish Wehrmacht) murdered a mother and her four children in Beit Hanoun, a northern Gaza suburb.

The mother and her kids reportedly were having breakfast when an artillery shell fired from an Israeli Merkava battle-tank hit their home, killing them instantly and mutilating their bodies.

The graphic, blood-splattered images of the mutilated children and their mother raised no eyebrows among Israeli leaders and the Zionist-Jewish public opinion. After all, these Nazi-minded and Nazi-hearted Zionists have been doing this for more than sixty years. And the world seems to be coming to terms with these crimes as a fact of life. This is at least how Israel views world reactions to its crimes against the peoples of the Middle East.

Anyone familiar with the Zionist way of thinking would tell you that whenever a pornographic carnage is committed by the Israeli occupation army, Israeli leaders don’t indulge in soul-searching over the barbarian behavior they engage in. Instead, they just activate their hasbara machine in order to control the resulting public relations damage and help exonerate Israel of any wrong doing before the eyes of the world.

Thus, these evil child killers have told us that their victims were killed not by Israeli artillery shells, but rather by Palestinian explosives! Well, didn’t these wicked liars claim that Muhammed Durra was killed by Palestinian snipers in order to tarnish Israel’s image?

This is of course not the first time the Israeli army murders an entire family in order to inflict “shock and awe” on a people as bent on living and surviving as Israel is bent on killing and murdering. Israel’s history, after all, has been an uninterrupted concatenation of massacres and war crimes. In fact, one would exaggerate very little by saying that Israel itself is a crime against humanity, and for that matter a continuing crime against humanity.

The latest carnage in Gaza didn’t occur in isolation. The entire Gaza Strip has been languishing under a harsh blockade that has much in common with the Nazi blockade of the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland in 1943.

This is a truth that many people in Europe and North America can’t bring themselves to accept, at least openly, because it is not politically correct to do so. Well, does the West need to see a full-fledged holocaust in Palestine in order to cast the holocaust guilt off its shoulders? Must Palestinian children be slaughtered every morning and every evening in order to finally bring about the long-awaited recuperation of Europe from the holocaust complex?

As a result of barring the estimated 1.5 million Gaza inhabitants from accessing food, work, medicine and fuel, the vast bulk of the population has been forced into abject poverty and virtual starvation.

Ill people who can’t find the needed medicine and required medical care in local health facilities, are left to succumb to their illnesses. It is believed that more than 200 innocent Gazan patients have so far died as a direct result of the callous Nazi-like siege.

This happens as Israeli officials appearing on western TV screens keep assuring the mostly nonchalant or morally-apathetic western audiences that under no circumstances would Israel allow a “humanitarian crisis” to develop in Gaza. Well, what, apart from lies, do we expect from Zionism, a Godless, satanic ideology based on murder, theft and mendacity?

What do we expect from a state that sends its crack soldiers to raid and terrorize orphanages and boarding schools in Hebron in the dead of night?

What do we expect from a state that confiscates donated food for orphaned children whose parents had been murdered by the Israeli army…a state that orders its soldiers to raid inventory warehouses and steal shoes, clothes, even underwear, of orphaned children under ten years of age?

What do we expect from a state whose soldiers murder 12-year-old school kids, and then verify the kill by emptying 20 more bullets into the small victim’s body to make sure that the dead or dying little girl or boy doesn’t pose a threat to the security and safety of the heroic soldier?

What do we expect from a state whose army bulldozers crush peace activists to death and then tells the world that “ the bulldozer driver acted in accordance with outstanding instructions and did nothing wrong.”

Obviously, a sate as such is a Nazi state par excellence.

Well, I know that Israel has produced good scientists and built good hospitals and made impressive achievements in science, technology and other fields.
But this doesn’t mean much in moral terms. Nazi Germany, too, produced many good scientists, built many good hospitals and made impressive achievements in science and technology.

Besides, what is the point of inventing advanced electronic devices and then using the technology in murdering and maiming sleeping children and women and other innocent civilians?

Indeed, what is the point of building a prosperous state on a foundation of oppression, mass murder and ethnic cleansing?

Israel may appear modern, vigorous and democratic to much of the outside world. But for us, the Palestinians, Israel is and will always be a murderer, a thief and a liar.

Israel stole our country away from us, ethnically cleansed our people, destroyed our homes, bulldozed our towns and villages, poisoned our water wells lest we return, and then expelled the bulk of our people to the four corners of the globe…these are the very people Israeli leaders and spokespersons now shamelessly call “terrorists.”

Yes, Israel is militarily and economically powerful; it has a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons, and pro-Israeli pressure groups control the American government as well as much of the media and show business in the United States.

So what?

Evil states, like evil people, do not last forever. And Israel will be no exception.

El Khoudary: Secretary General of UN has to take his responsibility

Manuel Musallam: Gaza would not die of hunger since it seeks freedom
Gaza Strip, 25 April, 2008 (PCAS) MP Jamal N. El Khoudary Chairman of PCAS beside Manuel Musallam pastor of Latin church in Gaza, held a joint press conference at Gaza today. Both confirmed that Gaza wouldn’t give up or die until it gets freedom at the end.

They said that siege is getting harsher by time and sneaking in all aspects of life. All this associated with great silence from all sides. They requested a quick intervention to ends the siege from all the people in this world.

Independent lawmaker, Mr. El Khoudary said that siege is hitting the life of Palestinians, especially after the UNRWA stopped its work due to the massive fuel crisis.

El Khoudary expressed solidarity of Palestinians towards UNRWA and urged the UN Secretary General, Ban ki Mon to adheret to his responsibilities regarding the siege on Gaza.

“Stoppage of UNRWA services would increase the crisis of Gaza and leave more people as the victims of poverty and hunger, especially since the poverty rate is 75% now. I wonder till when the world will be silent? Where are the morals of this world? The world is seeing all violations in Gaza and remains in silence.” El Khoudary said.

He touched upon the last repercussions of fuel crisis indicating that 32 water and sewage wells stopped.

Chairman of PCAS added that Israel is manipulating the fuel crisis in order to refuel Gaza back and to say there no siege.

“People need fuel to get food stuff from the crossings! But there is no fuel. About 90 medical materials of basic necessity are not available.”

By his part Pastor Manuel Musallahm asserted that Gaza would not die because of hunger but it will die in of battlefield seeking freedom.

He expressed his solidarity with 1.5 million civilians in the big jail of Gaza. “Israeli occupation is trying to preach their dignity and bury all of them supported by the blind world.”

Pastor Musallam said that there are about 11 thousand Palestinians captured by Israel among them children, women and ministers. Yet, the world says not a word about them while for one Israeli soldier trapped in Gaza in a battlefield, the world is turning things upside down.

At the end of his discourse, he appealed and asked all Christians to pray for Gaza and thanked all those who sympathized with Gaza.

Israeli “settler” in Italy’s Parliament

By Meron Rapoport

Almost 50,000 people live in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood, one of the largest in Israel. Up until now, it had no representative in parliament. As of this week, it does. Fiamma Nirenstein, a neighborhood resident for 10 years, was just elected to the Italian parliament. If we stick to the definitions of the UN, which views Gilo, on the capital’s southern edge, as a settlement, one could say that Nirenstein is the first settler to be a member of a non-Israeli parliament.

This week, in a series of phone calls to Rome, between the first reports of a close victory for the right-wing coalition, to which Nirenstein belongs, and the final reports of Silvio Berlusconi’s sweeping victory, Nirenstein explained several times that she has not requested Israeli citizenship but that this bureaucratic fact does not affect her identity. “I feel as though I made aliyah,” says Nirenstein in a conversation that fluctuates between Hebrew and Italian.

In the elections, Nirenstein did not hide her Israeliness. Her campaign was centered on the view that Israel is Western democracy’s vanguard in the struggle against world terror. “I ran for a place in parliament as a representative of the Liguria district. I held rallies in Genoa and other cities in the region,” she recounts. “But I didn’t talk with the people about local problems. I told them that the most important thing for their Italian identity is to stand by Israel’s side.” Nirenstein called her most recent book “Israele Siamo Noi” (“Israel Is Us”). By “us,” she was referring, of course, to Italians.

Even though Italy hasn’t experienced much in the way of terror attacks and the number of Muslim immigrants there is small compared with other countries in Europe, the talk about the importance of the fight against Islamic terror, or simply of how to deal with Islam in general, is very much present in contemporary Italian discourse. Oriana Fallaci devoted the last years of her life to writing books in which she forthrightly pegged Islam as the source of all the world’s evil. Berlusconi himself, the unquestioned leader of the Italian right for more than a decade, explained at one of his appearances a few days ago: “We must be conscious of the superiority of our culture, which gave prosperity to people in countries that adopted it and ensures respect for human rights and religion. This respect certainly does not exist in the Islamic countries.”

Perhaps this is the reason why Berlusconi and Gianfranco Fini, Berlusconi’s partner and the former head of the neo-fascist party, proposed that Nirenstein join their joint list, Il Partito della Liberta (“The Party of Liberty”).

Nirenstein’s father arrived in Italy during World War II, as a soldier in the Jewish Brigade. In Florence, he met her mother, who fought as a partisan against the fascist government and later against the Nazi regime. “I was born as a communist,” she says. In her youth she was part of the 1968 generation, founded the first feminist journal in Italy and worked at leftist newspapers.

After the 1967 Six-Day War, a rift began to develop between her and her “communist comrades,” who saw Israel as an occupying country. “I was confused for a long time,” she says. “In 1982, I signed a petition against the First Lebanon War. Today I wouldn’t sign it. What did Israel gain from the withdrawal from Lebanon?”

To the right of Netanyahu

Her first visit to Israel was as a reporter, and it was only after this initial visit that she returned in 1992 for the long term. For two years, she ran the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Tel Aviv, and after the Rabin assassination, she decided she had to stay in Israel. “I had the feeling that this was the most interesting place in the world, and I also felt that the reporting on Israel was biased.” She did not obtain Israeli citizenship because she thought an Israeli passport would hinder her in her work, but aside from that, she also thinks that “every Jew in the world is an Israeli even if he’s not aware of it. Anyone who doesn’t know it is making a big mistake.”

In terms of the reality of Israel’s current political system, Nirenstein is located to the right of Kadima and Labor, and maybe even of Likud Chair Benjamin Netanyahu. She says she believes in the idea of two states for two peoples, but thinks the principle of “territories for peace” has been a failure. There’s no point in discussing it, she explains, until the entire Arab world is capable of recognizing Israel. Negotiations with Hamas are absolutely out of the question.

But there are polls which indicate that a majority of Israelis are prepared to negotiate with Hamas.

Nirenstein: “The public supports a compromise with Hamas, so that it will stop firing on Sderot. But morally speaking, there mustn’t be negotiations with Hamas, which thinks that Jews are the sons of monkeys and pigs. You can’t negotiate with cannibals, who eat human beings.”

It’s hard to argue with Nirenstein. Not just because of the poor quality of the phone connection to Rome, but also because she thinks that Israel is a beacon that should serve as inspiration for the entire West. “Israel is the vanguard of all the democracies in the world, and the time has come for Europe to recognize that,” she says.

But in the election campaign you met with Italians who barely know where Israel is. How did you persuade them that Israel is important to their lives?

“I said that Italy can learn a lot from Israel. It can learn what a true democracy is, how a democracy can survive in conditions of conflict, without forsaking its fundamental principles. Israel is a culture of life, a culture of people who are always seeking peace. Our problem in Italy is that sometimes we don’t know who we are. You can know who you are if you know your enemy and your friend. Israel is Italy’s friend.”

In other words, Islam is the enemy?

“I’m not saying that all Muslims are terrorists, or that all Muslims are criminals. But Hamas has announced that it wants to conquer Rome, to make it the outpost from which it will conquer all of Europe.”

And you think that Hamas really intends to conquer Rome?

“Rome is a very symbolic place in the eyes of radical Islam. Italy, with its Catholic culture, is an enemy in the eyes of Islam.”

Obviously, this all touches on one of the central issues in Italy’s recent election campaign: the immigrant issue. Fini, who is slated to be appointed parliament speaker in Berlusconi’s new administration, frequently talks about the need to ban illegal immigration. Even the moderate Social-Democractic party, led by the former mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, devoted a good amount of attention to the subject.

“People feel that immigration is threatening their cities, their culture,” Nirenstein explains. “Maybe it’s exaggerated, but the residents of Florence, for example, think of their city as a temple for the works of art that were created there. When they see the steps of the Duomo filled with immigrants, they’re in shock.”

I lived in Florence. I remember Italy as a tolerant country.

“It’s changed a lot. There are entire quarters that you can’t enter at night. There’s rape, there are assaults, there’s drug dealing. There are schools for immigrants where they don’t hang the crucifix. The immigrants have contempt for our culture. We gave them work and they scorn our values. There’s a deep contradiction between the more radical Islam and Italy’s values.

“The problem is that there is hardly any moderate Islam in Italy. Just the opposite. In Rome they built an enormous mosque. There are a lot of mosques in Italy, and very anti-Western madrasas operate in them. There’s polygamy, there’s wife-battering – it’s very common. There’s a father who killed his daughter for ‘family honor.’ It’s logical that Italians would notice and that there would be reactions.”

The straight-armed salute

In Nirenstein’s books, you don’t find the aggressive anti-Muslim sentiment that screams from every page of Fallaci’s books. But while she isn’t part of the wave of opposition to immigrants and Muslims that is sweeping Italy, she does belong to the new right that scored an impressive election victory this week. It seems that there is no such thing as a right way to be “right” in all of Europe: Berlusconi, the avowed capitalist and most avid pro-American in Europe, on the one hand, the Lega Nord (Northern League) with its wild incitement on the other, and then Fini and his former neo-facist party. Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy almost seem like communists in comparison to this bunch.

Nirenstein does not “completely” accept this definition. To her, Berlusconi is a centrist who also received votes from the left, because he’s “for the downtrodden” and wants to lessen their tax burden. Nirenstein sees herself as “a friend of the Northern League,” which just wants to turn Italy into a federal state. She feels this is a legitimate ambition, even if some of the League’s pronouncements are “unpleasant.”

Her closeness to the former neo-fascist party caused Nirenstein some discomfort during the election campaign, particularly after one of Berlusconi’s candidates for the Senate, Giuseppe Ciarrapico, proudly announced that he was and remains a fascist. According to Nirenstein, his candidacy “does not fit” with her candidacy as an avowed anti-fascist, a Jew and the daughter of a partisan, but she remained on the list nevertheless. “There’s no such thing as a perfect list,” she says.

Did you encounter people like Ciarrapico during the election campaign?

“At one of the election rallies I attended, in Genoa, someone gave the straight-armed salute. I went to the Allianza Nationale [the new name of the former neo- fascist party] people and asked who it was. I said that I protested, that I was stunned to see such a thing and that I did not want to see it again.”

But Fini himself used to do the straight-armed salute at rallies in the 1960s, when everyone knew where fascism had led to.

“I don’t know if Fini did that salute, maybe he did it in his youth. But I don’t know what more he could have done than to kneel at Yad Vashem. Is he supposed to kill himself?”

He may not have been able to do more. But how did you, as a Jew, the daughter of a partisan, feel alongside a man who supported fascism as an adult?

“He was a fascist like I was a communist, when I was indifferent to what Pol Pot did, when I admired Che Guevara. I see him as someone who has since developed.”

Post-election Italy, says Nirenstein, is a better place, a more stable place, a place without a radical left and a radical right. She doesn’t know yet what she’ll do in the new parliament. Nirenstein would like to deal with foreign affairs, but she knows she’ll have to pay a price: For now she’ll remain in Rome and bid good-bye to her good friends in Israel. She’s not giving up the house in Gilo, though. It will wait for the return of the parliament member from Rome.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/976069.html