|By: Gideon Spiro|
31 October 2010 (English translation 4 November 2010)
Collaborators with evil
An international commission of historians has conducted an investigation into the extent of the German foreign ministry’s involvement in the crimes of the Nazi regime. Among the commission members was the historian Prof. Moshe Zimmerman of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The commission recently published its findings in a fat volume, nearly a thousand pages. The weekly supplement of the newspaper Haaretz (29 October 2010) dedicated an extensive article to the subject, and the picture that emerges is not a flattering one, to put it mildly. The German foreign ministry tried to play down the degree to which its employees collaborated in the crimes of the Nazi regime, but the foreign ministry archives prove that in reality the employees of the foreign ministry collaborated with the regime and its crimes.
Professor Zimmerman rightly points out that the Nazi criminals were not only wearers of uniforms whose blood-lust was reflected in their gleaming eyes. The murderers also included people in suits and ties, people with higher educations who read belles lettres, listened to classical music and attended elegant cocktail parties. And when they weren’t doing that they signed memoranda that sent people to the ovens. Not all employees of the foreign ministry were members of the Nazi party. Among the collaborators with the evil were many who were not members of the party at all. That’s how it is in disciplined bureaucracies that serve regimes without looking at them very closely.
Israel is not a Nazi state – not yet. But there are alarming signs that are reminiscent of the racist demon of the 1930s. There is much evil and crime in Israel, as well as military occupation, racism and apartheid. And here too, it is not just the army that collaborates with the evil. Without the collaboration of the wearers of ties, the whole complex could not move. Employees of the Israeli foreign ministry, all of them highly educated and with excellent taste in clothes, work day and night in Israel and all over the world to defend the Israeli government’s criminal policy of Occupation. Law professor Gabriela Shalev, a highly respected woman, who certainly sees herself as an open-minded and liberal person, has recently concluded her term of service as Israel’s representative at the United Nations, where she defended the crimes of the Gaza war.
The Council for Higher Education finances Ariel College in the Occupied Territories, even though its leaders know that the establishment of that institution was forbidden under international law. The education ministry finances the settler teachers in the Occupied Territories who inculcate in their students a doctrine that justifies the Occupation. We see the rotten fruits of their labours in the form of the Hilltop Youth  storm-troopers who uproot Palestinian olive trees, conduct pogroms against Palestinians and burn mosques. The establishment Israeli media, written and electronic, employs settlers as journalists in good standing, including the general manager of the state-owned Channel One – journalists who are parties to war crimes as defined in the Geneva and Rome Conventions.
The settler terrorist Hagai Segal, a member of the Jewish terror underground of the 1980s, members of which were convicted of the murder of Palestinian students and the wounding of the mayors of Palestinian cities,  is today a respected journalist who has a column in Yediot Aharonot, the best-selling newspaper in Israel, and hosts programmes on the Knesset television channel.
Incidentally, the murderers of the terror underground, who were formally sentenced to life in prison, were repeatedly granted amnesties, and not one of them sat in prison for more than 9 years. The amnesties were signed by the president of Israel, General Chaim Herzog, a Labour Party man who was the first governor of the West Bank after the June 1967 war. Just so you know that the indulgent attitude towards violent and murderous settlers is not only a characteristic of the Right.
The same can be said about the employees of the interior ministry and the ministry of housing who are partners in the construction of settlements, and the judges who give the crimes the imprimatur of legality. It is similar in the other governmental departments as well. Every department is a party to war crimes on one level or another. When all is said and done, they all follow orders.
Satisfaction in Israel
There is one country in the world where the publication of the 400,000 documents on the Wikileaks website that tell of war-crimes committed by the US army in Iraq was greeted with smiles of pleasure. That country is called Israel. The documents tell of the murder of over a hundred thousand innocent civilians and of devastation and torture committed by the American invasion army and its allies in Iraq.
Israelis are satisfied. After all, what is 1,400 killed in the Gaza War, or thousands of Palestinians killed in 44 years of Occupation, compared to hundreds of thousands of victims of the American army who were killed, wounded and crippled? – asks “Mr. Israel” with a wink. Where is the Goldstone who will write a report on the war crimes of the USA for the UN Human Rights Council? – responds the typical Israeli commentator. Who will now dare to preach to morality to us? – asks the Israeli consensus. A rhetorical question, of course. In the Israeli consensus, the Wikileaks publications are not an indictment of the USA but a kind of “business licence” for Israel to continue committing its crimes.
For that reason it is the duty of every human rights advocate to emphasize that the crimes of the USA do not whitewash those of Israel. Proponents of human rights in the USA will struggle against the criminals and the crimes of the regime in their country just as their Israeli counterparts do here.
The USA takes pride in the title “greatest democracy in the world.”
To proponents of that view, I always ask, “when?” During the era of slavery? When they were slaughtering the Indians? During the Great Depression? In the days of segregation in the southern states? During the McCarthy witch-hunts? In recent years when the Big Brother in Washington has been curtailing civil rights more and more under the cover of the “War on Terror”? But even if we accept for a moment the assumption that the USA is a model democracy, in everything related to foreign policy, the US is a cruel, criminal and murderous state that supports tyrannical regimes.
Whose who know the terrible consequences of the American involvement in Vietnam – two million killed, the use of chemical weapons that polluted Vietnam’s rivers, in consequence of which thousands of children are born with terrible deformities every year, will not be surprised by the atrocities that are revealed in the 400,000 documents that have been published in Wikileaks. The Vietnam war was based on lies that the president and his administration produced in abundance, and the same thing happened in Iraq. It was the same with the Korean war in 1950.
Israel is a good student of the US, for most of the wars that it initiated were also based on lies that the government fed the people, starting with the Sinai war in 1956 (Israel was a subcontractor for France and Britain – declining colonial powers), then the war of June 1967 (contrary to the brainwashing, the State of Israel was not facing destruction), on to the first Lebanon war of 1982 (the PLO did not attempt to assassinate Israel’s ambassador to the UK) and the second Lebanon war in 2006 (“We went in to free our abducted soldiers” – Olmert), all the way up to the invasion of Gaza, called “Cast Lead,” of December 2008-January 2009 (Israel violated the ceasefire agreement with Hamas and staged a provocation in order to justify the invasion).
The war in Iraq created a serious refugee problem. Over a million Iraqis fled from the hell in Iraq to neighbouring states, mainly Syria and Jordan. There are Israelis who believe that what the Americans are doing in Iraq permits them to do what they want here. Sitting in a drawer at the General Staff is a plan to expel a million Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan. A second Nakba along the lines of the second Lebanon war.
Former President George W. Bush, the initiator of the Iraq war, is a war criminal. He is walking the streets freely and now his Presidential Library is being built. Defence Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, Central Command chief until recently and the next Chief of Staff Yoav Gallant, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other heroes of the crimes of Gaza are undoubtedly encouraged by that fact. Not every criminal ends up like Mussolini. Most of them enjoy comfortable retirements and depart from this world at a grand old age.
Go to Turkey
The Israeli Right, in the Knesset and outside it, is currently at the height of a protracted orgy of racism the objective of which is to strip Arab citizens of their rights and to transmit to them every day the message of how much they are not wanted here. Better that they leave of their own will, before the government of Israel initiates something. The two most recent elements of this orgy:
The chief rabbi of the city of Safed in the Galilee, Shmuel Eliyahu, an employee of the State, who receives a salary from it, issued a religious ruling to the effect that it is forbidden for Jews to rent or sell apartments to Arabs. The background to the decision is that there is a college in Safed, the student body of which naturally includes some Arab citizens – all the more so as over 50 per cent of the population of the Galilee are Palestinian citizens of Israel. It is only natural that those students should rent apartments in Safed.
In Rabbi Eliyahu’s opinion, which is shared by other rabbis in Safed and the region, Arab residences in a Jewish city constitute a danger to the purity of Jewish women. Mixing of populations must be prevented. If the rabbis had their way, the Arab students would be removed altogether; but if Arab students must study at the college, then they should return to their home villages every day after classes and let Safed preserve its Jewish purity.
Meanwhile the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Knesset, headed by the settler MK David Rotem, has approved a law that would effectively deny Arabs the right to acquire houses or land in Community Settlements [Heb. “yishuvim kehilatiyim”]. Thus the “Jewish fabric” – another whitewashed term from the workshop of Jewish racism in Israel – will be preserved.
As a refugee who immigrated from Nazi Germany because of its race-laws, I cannot but see the points of similarity between rulings of rabbis like Rabbi Eliyahu and Knesset bills like that of MK Rotem (a member of the party of Lieberman – also a settler) and the Nuremberg Laws.
What is written here is illustrated by a documentary film that was recently shown on television, which relates the story of the 11-year-old Palestinian child, Ahmad, from the Jenin refugee camp, who was murdered by soldiers of the Israeli Occupation. Of course, in the laundered language of the Occupation, Ahmad was not murdered but killed by a soldier who identified the toy rifle that Ahmad was holding as a real gun, so he shot him in the head. Ahmad was critically wounded and taken to the Rambam hospital, where attempts to save him failed. The soldier who shot him acted “according to orders,” and has not been punished, to the best of my knowledge.
Ahmad was brain-dead but connected to a respirator which kept his organs - the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and corneas – suitable for transplant. A nurse at the hospital, an Arab citizen, was sent to talk to Ahmad’s father in order to ask him to agree to donate his son’s organs. Here we have a scene that even a stage-director would have difficulty inventing: Israeli soldiers kill a Palestinian child, and an Israeli hospital asks the bereaved father to donate his son’s organs to Israelis.
The father, Ismail, an impressive man, asked for time to consult with his wife, with a clergyman and with friends. He got positive responses from all of them, and notified the hospital of his agreement. Ahmad’s organs saved the lives of six children. Among those who received organs was the three-year-old daughter of a Haredi  family. While the Haredi family was sitting in the hospital waiting for the outcome of the transplant, the girl’s father was asked for his reaction to the fact that the organ transplanted into his daughter came from a Palestinian child. His answer: I would prefer a donation of Jewish blood.
Later Ismail asked to visit the homes of those who had received his son’s organs, and he went to the home of the Haredi family as well. The child who received the organ – by the grace of God – is healthy. This time the Haredi family expressed their gratitude. During the short visit, the Haredi father did not repeat the racist stupidity that he had uttered in the hospital, but he replaced it with a different stupidity. He said to Ismail: What is there for you in Jenin, life is hard there. Why don’t you emigrate to Turkey?
That brings to my mind to the recent weekly homily of the Shas leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, in which he said that the Gentiles exist to serve the Jews.
Got that, Ismail? You gave your son’s organs, you have fulfilled your role of serving the Jews. Now go to Turkey.
1. Hilltop Youth: extremist and often violent young Jewish settlers who got their name from their habit of establishing settlement outposts on the tops of hills in the West Bank.
2. On 2 July 1980, extremist settlers planted bombs in the cars of Bassam Shakaa, mayor of Nablus, and Karim Khalaf, mayor of Ramallah. Bassam Shakaa lost both legs in the explosion and Karim Khalaf lost a foot. They also planted a bomb at the home of El-Bireh mayor Ibrahim Tawil, which exploded and blinded Israeli police sapper Suleiman Hirbawi as he was trying to defuse it. In July 1983, members of the Jewish terror underground randomly killed three Palestinian students at the Islamic College in Hebron. Among those convicted for their roles in the attacks was Hagai Segal.
3. Haredim (sing. and adj.: Haredi): ultra-religious Orthodox Jews.
Translated from Hebrew for Occupation Magazine by George Malent