Opinion |

In Israel, Signs of Judgment Day

This country is so sunk in darkness that it has become a beacon for the world’s fascists. Fascist movements consider Israel a warm, loving home

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with the president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte during their meeting in Jerusalem, September 3, 2018.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with the president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte during their meeting in Jerusalem, September 3, 2018. Credit: AFP
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

It seems that the messianic nationalist forces that dominate the country are now galloping vigorously toward their goal – establishing a purely Jewish state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea – without any attempt to beautify it. But even now, en route to the desired goal, many Jews are looking in the mirror and don’t recognize themselves. In the Gospel of Mark it says, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” A pure Jewish state there will never be, but a fanatic, benighted state is only a step-and-a-half away.

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The country is so sunk in darkness that it has become a beacon for the world’s fascists. Fascist movements consider the State of Israel as a warm, loving home. The list of cheerleaders is long, albeit sickening: from U.S. President Donald Trump, who is creating chaos in the world order, to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who, after finding the world’s arms depots closed to him, found succor in Israel; right-wing parties and movements in Europe, for whom Israel has become a primary pilgrimage destination; to the intervention by Israel, or those acting on its behalf, in bloody conflicts all over the world, and the supply of arms to any madman who’ll pay the price. And let us not forget the ultimate acquisition: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is wreaking havoc in the Arabian Peninsula.

It turns out that the State of Israel, which, according to the Zionist vision, was meant to absorb persecuted Jews from around the world, is also open to those whose ideological fathers persecuted Jews. On the other hand, a Jewish young woman, Julie Weinberg-Connors, who would be an asset to any country, was to be expelled from the nation-state (if the leaders of Meretz had not intervened).

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In the spirit of the day, then, it is time to update the Law of Return and rename it the “Law of the National Home of the Scum of the Earth.” The international extreme right feels so much at home in Israel that the American president has taken the reins and replaced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in leading the war against the Palestinian people – halting aid to the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, closing the PLO offices in Washington, freezing aid to hospitals in East Jerusalem, and, last but not least, halting aid to Jewish and Arab youth organizations working for peace and coexistence.

The situation is so embarrassing that even Netanyahu, contrary to his usual practice, did not rush to welcome the decision to close these hospitals – after all, to be photographed holding aloft the death certificates of hospitals is too cruel, even if the patients are Palestinians. Even MK Bezalel Smotrich, guardian of the purity of the Jewish race, remained silent.

And here’s another sign of Judgment Day: Yair Lapid, who enthusiastically cheers every move by Trump, who a few days ago praised his decision to stop aid to UNRWA, remained silent over the closure of the PLO office in Washington. After all, if there is no Palestinian Authority, it means going back to the days of direct occupation and patrols in the streets of Ramallah and Jenin.

Both of Israel’s camps, the coalition and a large part of the opposition, have adopted the approach that the more blows aimed at the Palestinians, the better it is for the Jews. You never hear a single word condemning the American potshots at the Palestinians. But in the end, it won’t be Trump or his national security adviser, John Bolton, who pays the price. It will be the Israeli public.

The time has come for sane people here to change their attitude and tell Trump and his administration to stop their suffocating bear hug. A suffocating bear hug is not only embarrassing, it also distorts the senses, which does no one any good. On Yom Kippur eve, there would be nothing better that to breathe some fresh air and think, free from the Trumpists’ life-threatening embrace.

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