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Red Rag weekly column: Left-wing assassination?
By: Gideon Spiro
28 August 2012

Is there a danger of a left-wing assassination?

Recently I read in one of the newspapers an article that posed the following question: in view of the strong criticism in the media of Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defence Minister Barak, including that they have a messianic impulse to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, which could produce a major catastrophe for Israel, is there a danger that a member of the extreme Left might assassinate the Prime Minister in order to prevent war with Iran? A kind of left-wing version of Yigal Amir’s assassination of Prime Minister Rabin? The temptation has grown in light of the success enjoyed by Rabin’s assassin. In consequence of his act the Right came to power and the peace process was stopped.

My answer is that such a danger hardly exists. I say “hardly” in deference to the requirements of prudence, but to all intents and purposes the chances are virtually zero. The radical Israeli Left in its various layers is basically quite vegetarian. Some of them, for example, Peace Now members, supposedly oppose the Occupation but at the same time oppose the refusal of soldiers to serve in the Occupied Territories. This is a kind of collaboration with the regime of Occupation and apartheid by one of the branches of the Left. And even the more radical part of the Left are basically a Left that is loyal to the laws of the State, who pay taxes and apply to the police for permits to hold demonstrations.

In short, contrary to the Right, which has set up a terror state in the Occupied Territories, and regardless of the right-wing lamentation about the “treasonous Left”, the overwhelming majority of the Israeli Left is composed of law-abiding citizens who play by the rules of the game. There is a left-wing minority who break laws in defiance of the Occupation and its laws, such as the military refusers of the Yesh Gvul movement, but they too do so while respecting the rules of the game: they are willing to stand trial and serve their sentences.

Moreover, the Left for the most part opposes individual terrorism. The overall picture is of a Left that in many ways is closer in style to Her Majesty’s Left than a revolutionary Left that is eager to seize power and implement fundamental change.

In conclusion: even though there is a vast amount of anger and frustration at the policies of Netanyahu-Barak among the Left, they do not pose a danger to anyone, because leftists have a system of values, balances and inhibitions that rule out solutions by “targeted prevention” – as it is called in the sanitized language of the Occupation.


Rachel Corrie, RIP

As these lines are being written, the news has just arrived that the Haifa District Court has turned down the suit by Rachel Corrie’s parents for compensation from the government of Israel for negligence.

Rachel, a peace activist from the USA, was crushed to death in the winter of 2003 by a bulldozer of the Occupation army while she was trying, together with her comrades in the International Solidarity Movement, to prevent the demolition of a house which would render another Palestinian family homeless.
The chances of finding an Israeli judge who would accept such a suit are like the chances of finding a judge in Saudi Arabia who will rule against the king. For it is clear that in a society in which the army is essentially the king, no judge will rule against it – and certainly not in favour of foreign citizens, parents asking for a little justice in the name of their daughter who was killed by the army. It was clear to me that the judge would hitch the justice system to the army’s cart.

And indeed that’s what Haifa District Court Judge Oded Gershon did. I learned from newspaper reports that the judge adopted the sanitized and mendacious military language of the Occupation. In the words of the judge, the bulldozer that crushed Rachel to death was being used for “exposure” in the context of “military operations against terror”. What is “exposure”? A refined word behind which stands the bulldozer, which with all its armour looks like a giant monster as it shaves off entire neighbourhoods, leaving thousands of innocent Palestinians homeless. It is the Occupation that is the terror.

The District Commander who declared the Gaza Strip a closed military zone left it open to settlers, who constituted the nucleus around which the Israeli terror infrastructure was built. The role of the bulldozers was to create fear, panic, dread and paralysis among the Palestinians. That fits the classical and academic definitions of terror. The terror of the Israeli Occupation generated the counter-terror of the Palestinians. Rachel Corrie came to an area saturated with violence in order to restore a small degree of human rights to those who had been abused, robbed and oppressed by the Israeli Occupation. She and her comrades were vulnerable to the Israeli terror, and for implementing her principles Rachel paid with her life.

Judge Oded Gershon was impervious to the excellent judicial presentation by Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein, who epitomized the humanitarian jurist. It was only natural that Judge Gershon, sitting on the judicial bench as a defender of Israeli terror, would rule that Rachel, a victim of the Israeli Occupation, was guilty of her death.

He is guilty of a travesty of justice.


”A new route to employment”

The headline is from the newspaper Maariv (12 August 2012), which reported on a new programme of the ministries of Education and Defence, in collaboration with Bar-Ilan University, which aims to turn distinguished combat soldiers into educators. Twenty demobilized combat soldiers who had high marks in the high-school leaving and psychometric exams will be enlisted into the programme.

The studies will take place at Bar-Ilan University and will last for four years for a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree as well as a teacher’s certificate. The course will be free of charge and the students will receive a stipend of NIS 2,000 a month. The director of the unit for demobilized soldiers at the Defence Ministry said: “This is a unique and ground-breaking programme, at the end of which distinguished combat soldiers will join the education system and impart values and quality education to children and youth in Israel. We acceded to the request of the Education Ministry and helped to construct the programme, which is a very important one, both in terms of employment and academia and especially from the educational and social standpoint.”

What is the connection between a distinguished soldier and a good teacher? A distinguished soldier has learned to kill human beings; what kind of values will he impart to his pupils? The army’s plan is clear: to wash the brains of schoolchildren from an early age and to channel them towards military service. Probably the army, along with the ministries of defence and education had noticed a certain softening of the desire to enlist among young people. The programme is intended to conserve a high level of motivation to enlist among schoolchildren. The programme projects a sense of pessimism about the chances for peace, for a society that desires life will seek teachers who will impart broad-mindedness and respect for human dignity, not people who distinguished themselves in destruction and killing and thrived in a hierarchical, rigid and undemocratic organization.

Translated from Hebrew for Occupation Magazine by George Malent
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