De joodse kolonisten

Eyal Warshavsky: Ginsburgh.
“Smotrich’s ‘Decisive Plan’ draws on Ginsburgh, things he’s said. About how the Palestinians must capitulate; that those who capitulate can stay, those who don’t will be destroyed or expelled.”

Een Europees product van late datum: kolonialisme als zionistisch project uitmondend in een joodse staat. We ervaren nu wat door Europese koloniale machten eeuwenlang inheemse volkeren is aangedaan. Zij plukken er nog steeds de bittere vruchten van.
De feitelijk grondleggers van wat Israël ging heten waren de Britten en Fransen, de greep op aardolie hun doel. Vervolgens leverden de nazi’s het motief. Miljoenen slachtoffers waren ervoor nodig om het zover te krijgen. In de ogen van zionisten waren ze op z’n minst medeschuldig aan hun lot: “Hadden ze maar tijdig naar Palestina moeten emigreren, dan was hen dit niet overkomen.”
Ben-Gurion riep in 1948 de staat Israël uit, vooralsnog genoegen nemend met het verdelingsplan voor Palestina en mordicus gekant tegen een Jeruzalem onder internationaal toezicht van de Verenigde Naties. Zijn plan was een Groot Israël en die droom wordt momenteel verwezenlijkt mede dankzij nota bene joden die de staat Israël zeiden te verachten. Het kan verkeren.
Een mensenleven oud is inmiddels dit Fremdkörper in Arabisch gebied, tot de tanden toe bewapend, als atoommacht, eveneens een droom van Ben-Gurion, wederom met dank aan de Fransen, maar ook aan het apartheidsregime in Zuid-Afrika. Over het democratisch gehalte valt een vergelijking te trekken met de even oude Duitse Bondsrepubliek. Over de hele linie valt ze in het nadeel van Israël uit. Democratie is er een wassen neus, was er niet (nog) onafhankelijke justitie, het enige correctief waarover deze staat beschikt om de schijn van een democratische rechtstaat hoog te houden. Als deze horde genomen is kan definitief een verlicht despotische regime gevestigd worden.
Wie zal koning en heerser zijn over een Groot Israël, gereinigd van niet-joodse smetten? De eigen schepping als vrij geworden jood, de Golem, zal herrijzen. Een fascistisch ideaal, de maakbare mens in een superieure staat.


The eulogy delivered by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed at the funeral of two terror victims should be required reading for anyone who wants to gain insight into contemporary Israeliness, which is coalescing with the worldview of settlers

The funeral of Hallel and Yagel Yaniv, on February 27, at Mount Herzl, Jerusalem. “Every Jew who is killed simply for being a Jew is holy,” declared Rabbi Melamed.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Avi Garfinkel

“Frame and hang,” television journalist Amit Segal wrote in the wake of the unusual decision by the editors of the Hebrew-language weekly newspaper Makor Rishon to devote the cover of their March 3 magazine not to a photograph but to a text: the eulogy delivered by Rabbi Eliezer Melamed at the funeral of Hallel and Yagel Yaniv, the two brothers who were murdered in a terrorist attack in the West Bank town of Hawara on February 26. The CEO of Makor Rishon, Doron Bainhorn, noted that “the rabbi’s eulogy should be studied in the schools” – and he’s right.

It’s an exemplary text, not only in the sense that it is well-written and moving, but also because it is a stellar example of the settler way of thinking, which is also becoming the general Israeli way of thinking, certainly that of the government. Anyone who wants to understand Israeliness – where it came from and where it’s headed – should read this text.

Rabbi Melamed stated: “Every Jew who is killed simply for being a Jew is holy.” In other words, the only reason for terror attacks is fathomless hatred of Jews, which is not related to the deeds of the Jews or their behavior, or to the perpetrators’ feeling that Jews have wronged them. In Melamed’s world, there is no dispossession of people from their land, no expulsion, no acts of violence against innocent Palestinians, no damage to property, no acts of humiliation. Palestinian attacks cannot be seen as revenge for actions of Jews, in the way that Jews avenged the Yaniv brothers’ murder in Hawara.

According to Rabbi Melamed, such acts are driven by pure antisemitism: Jews are being murdered solely because of their Jewishness. This of course does not explain why Palestinians don’t customarily murder Jews in other places in the world. The division is simple and sharp: The Jews are victims, the Palestinians are offenders.

It bears noting that in Melamed’s eyes, every Jew who is killed for his Jewishness is called holy, with the emphasis on “every.” In other words, even murderers, rapists, thieves and other sinners rise to the level of holiness simply as a consequence of the circumstances of their death, and it makes no difference if in their lives they were miscreants. Melamed extends the classification of holiness to the entire settler population: “If this is what is said about every Jew, surely it should be said about the settlers living on the front line of settlement of Judea and Samaria.”

Cars torched during the settler pogrom in Hawara last month. – Credit: Moti Milrod

And what is the meaning of holiness, according to Melamed? “They ascended and became sanctified in the holiness of the whole of Israel, to the point where no living being can stand as tall in their presence.” Which is to say that holiness is the supremacy of the holy over those who are not holy, of settlers over those who are not settlers.

This is a critical point at a time when Jewish supremacy in Israel is being transformed into Jewish-religious and Jewish-settler supremacy over secular Jews, certainly over those on the left. It explains why Hardalim (ultra-Orthodox nationalists) do not feel guilt or shame when they demand additional resources from the state (such as a higher allocation per student), while insisting on contributing less – via property tax reductions, tax benefits, abridged military service for hesder-yeshiva students, or total exemption from military service and from work for Haredi men.

From the point of view of the Hardalim, there is no undercutting of equality here in the broad sense. Equality calls for equal treatment for equals, but in their view Torah students and settlers are simply more equal, and therefore deserve more. This is the underlying reason for what many secular individuals see as greed, piggishness, lack of solidarity, looting and plundering of the public coffers in budgetary deliberations, or in discussions about the obligation to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and participate in the labor market. According to these religious Jews, whoever contributes more deserves more – an argument that, by the way, is in contradiction to the criticism they level at the high-tech personnel who are opposed to the regime coup, claiming that “Just because you pay more taxes, doesn’t mean your voice is worth more.”

However groundless it may be, it’s necessary to understand that the feeling of supremacy among these religious Jews is authentic, even and indeed especially in places where it reaches absolute absurdity. “We did not return to our country to dispossess Arabs of their homes,” Rabbi Melamed explains, “but rather, to add goodness and blessing to the world. The Arabs could also benefit from this.”

In this disjointed world, the Arabs living in the territories, who do not even possess the status of citizens with equal rights, are supposed to count the presence of the settlers among them as a blessing. Rabbi Melamed, who heads the Har Bracha Yeshiva, doesn’t enumerate what blessing, exactly, the settlers have brought to their neighbors. The right of the Arabs, like the right of every person, to reject a blessing that is offered them has no place in Melamed’s world. By this logic, secular society too must accept the learning community’s occupation with the Torah as a blessing that protects them and their identity, and also finance it, even if the secular public thinks, “mistakenly,” that they have no need for it.

The eulogy on the cover of the Makor Rishon magazine.

The left-wingers must advance, and with appreciation, the settlements they are opposed to, because the settlers “continue to settle our holy land, and protect the people and the land with their very bodies.” Here too, Melamed does not bother to explain how children, the elderly and women who do not bear arms and settle in the midst of a hostile Arab population are defending the land. Nor how a project that is tearing the people apart is actually protecting the people. It’s a given, a basic assumption that will receive no examination precisely because it’s flagrantly mistaken.

Toward the conclusion of the eulogy, Rabbi Melamed reiterated the anachronistic cliché to the effect that the settlers “will continue to build the land and make the wilderness bloom,” as if nearly all the construction taking place in the land was not being done by Arab workers and other gentiles. As though the land were an empty wilderness. As though the bulk of building and of the working of the soil done by Jews – almost all of it, in fact – was not done long ago, at the hands of secular, socialist pioneers who rebelled against Jewish law.

The title given to Melamed’s eulogy, “To Die and to Conquer the Mountain,” is a paraphrase of Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s Betar movement hymn, “To Die or to Conquer the Mountain.” The secular Jabotinsky at least recognized the possibility of loss and failure, which in turn is liable to end in disaster, as happened during the period of the revolt against the Romans: “To die or to conquer the mountain – Yodfat, Masada, Betar.” But in Rabbi Melamed’s text, the word “or” is replaced by “and.” According to Melamed, “If we need to live, we will live; and if we need to die, we will die, and after us, our friends will continue to conquer the mountain.”

Even if we die, as did the Jews on Masada in the year 73 or 74 C.E., the mountain will be conquered. It will be a success. And why all this? Because true success is not measured in this world, but in the next: “All the holy Jews appear to be dead, but in the world of truth, they are very much alive… By dying for the sanctification of Hashem [God], they connected to the source of life.” What is important is the world of truth, not the world of the lie, which is to say, the reality in which we live and from which so many settlers are worryingly disconnected.

What we need is not to conquer the mountain, but to descend from it, and fast.

Haaretz24 maart 2023

Bron uitgelichte foto: Haaretz

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