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In Endorsement of Fascist Billboards, Nave Dromi Showed Her True Face. And That of Israel

Gideon Levy
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Billboard in Tel Aviv reading 'Peace is made only with defeated enemies.'
Billboard in Tel Aviv reading 'Peace is made only with defeated enemies.'Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Gideon Levy

I like reading opinion pieces by Nave Dromi. She’s straight-shooting, genuine, extreme, secular and doesn’t evade or equivocate: pure, distilled fascism, with no inhibitions and no masks. Who cares about The Hague. We’ll return to Gush Katif. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the last defense against the legal system. The Palestinians must apologize, “and if it were up to me, we wouldn’t forgive them.” That’s what she is – an avowed super-ultranationalist fascist who believes the Jews deserve everything and the Palestinians nothing; that human rights are for wimps and that the entire land is hers. She’s much more honest than the prevaricators of the center left.

I was impressed with her honesty even while reading her op-ed in Haaretz Wednesday (), in which she, this time in her role with the Israel Victory Project, defended the organization’s obscene billboards portraying the desired Israeli victory as the Palestinian leadership on its knees with its destroyed lands in the background. The essay summed up Israeli fascist thinking. It also represented far more than the extreme right; many dream of an Israeli victory like that, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh bound and blindfolded, their land on fire.

Formulated more mildly, the op-ed could represent the prevalent view of the Israeli mainstream. Israel conducts itself in accordance with Dromi’s values more than it does with any other values. So it’s best to call this by its name: fascism. The fact that Tel Aviv’s brave and determined Mayor Ron Huldai ordered the posters removed doesn’t mean the message has been erased. It is deeply inscribed in our society.

Dromi wants to put an end to the idea that it’s Israel that has to make concessions. What should it concede? It has stolen a country, expelled a people, dispossessed them of land, suppressed their freedom, trampled on their rights, killed, humiliated, injured and looted – and now it should also concede? Enough of this distortion. We must change the paradigm from concessions to demands. We haven’t demanded enough. We haven’t stolen enough. We haven’t shed enough blood. We haven’t humiliated or tyrannized enough. We must demand more. We must defeat terror, bring it down on all fours, eyes covered, we must stop seeing the enemy as a victim. Victim? What victim? They killed seven Palmah fighters in Beit Keshet in 1948; let them apologize first, as she demanded in a different essay.

Then comes the main argument, which is the heart of Zionism: The Palestinian claims to ownership of the land are baseless and unjustified. A people without a land came to a land without a people, and what do these nomads who ended up here by chance have to do with our land – it’s all ours and only ours. This is not a minority opinion; if it had been, the state would never have been established as it was.

On what basis do they have rights here? Because they were living here for hundreds of years? Because they were the overwhelming majority before the Jews came here in droves, most of them fleeing the horror in Europe? Because even today they are half the population of the land between the river and the sea, the longtime, native, rooted, nonimmigrant half? But they don’t have a divine promise, and the Bible doesn’t say a word about their rights, therefore they don’t exist. Bible stories provide more property rights than any Ottoman land deed. Simply put, the Palestinians aren’t Jews, and therefore they have no rights.

“But this conflict was forced on us,” wails the designer of images of surrender. Our little Srulik, on whom this conflict was imposed, really just wants peace. Like Dromi. Peace like that nauseating victory poster in Tel Aviv. In 1967 we sang “Nasser is waiting for Rabin,” and in 2020 the same writing is on the wall. “” is a word that doesn’t exist in Dromi’s Israeli dictionary. Palestinians are rejectionists. Where have you ever heard that a people refuses to surrender the way her victory poster portrays it? When has it ever happened in history that a people fights for its freedom, for its national rights, against its occupier?

Dromi is not some fringe phenomenon, an ideological curiosity. Deliberately provocative poster aside, she loyally represents Zionism from its beginnings to this day. This is what the state’s founders thought, and what Israelis think today. Read Dromi and see Israel, without the politically correct filters or the bleeding-heart liberals.

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