Israel’s campaign of violence against non-violent political opposition

Israel is now a nation governed by its reptilian brain. In response to the slightest challenge, it lashes out as though in each and every moment, its life were under threat.

Israel now only has one way of responding to criticism: to accuse its critics of being violent. By claiming critics are by their nature violent, violence then becomes the state’s necessary and unavoidable form of defense.

Israel has no political answers to its political critics — only the use of force, tear gas, detention, deportation and the occasional bullet in the head.

Having presented the arrival of a few hundred European tourists as a violent threat, Israeli paranoia thereafter needed some form of ‘proof’ for justifying its fears, thus today the Israeli press if filled with headlines like this:

Foreign pro-Palestinian activists clash with IDF in West Bank

Joseph Dana questions whether their is any basis for the reports. And in the video below showing “clashes” yesterday between non-violent protesters and the IDF, it’s clear that objective and accurate reporting would describe such events with very different language and headlines like this:

IDF attacks unarmed protesters in the West Bank

Dana writes:

According to media reports carried by all major news outlets in Israel, four ‘air flotilla’ passengers were arrested/detained Saturday in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh during an unarmed demonstration this morning. Haaretz, in its headline story, is citing reports by Channel 10 (Heb), that four ‘air flotilla’ activists have been taken for questioning after they had been arrested in the demonstration. The Jerusalem Post, citing unnamed ‘organizers’, claims that air flotilla passengers are clashing with security forces in Nabi Saleh. The paper does not cite the name of the organizations that the ‘organizers’ are representatives of. Ynet is reporting that activists might be involved in demonstrations in Nabi Saleh and Qalandiya but they provide nothing to substantiate their claims. None of these reports seem to based on facts on the ground in Nabi Saleh.

Kobi Snitz, an Israeli activist with the Anarchists Against the Wall, told me by telephone from Nabi Saleh that he has not seen any ‘air flotilla’ passenger in the course of the day. He told me that four people were indeed arrested, but they were all Israeli Jews from Tel Aviv. In fact, the Israeli activists are being charged with assaulting soldiers despite clear video footage to the contrary according to Snitz. Snitz did comment that there were international activists present in the demonstration but ‘they were definitively not arrested or taken in by Israeli forces.” Other villagers in Nabi Saleh told to me that they were unaware that ‘air flotilla’ passengers were present in their demonstration today. I have not been able to reach anyone present at the Qalandiya demonstration at the time of this writing.

News outlets often make mistakes and +972 is no exception. However, it is strange for a story that is based almost entirely on unsubstantiated reports to become the headline of every major newspaper website in Israel. When rumors of arrests of air flotilla passengers began this morning, Yossi Gurvitz contacted the IDF spokesman for a confirmation of the story. He was given a categorical rejection of claims that air flotilla passengers were targeted for arrest in the West Bank. No comment was given about air flotilla activists involved in demonstrations in Nabi Saleh.

Shir Hever notes:

The hundreds of activists being deported from Israel’s airport, or denied the right to board the planes to begin with, are mostly European citizens, who have the same right which every Israeli enjoys when visiting Europe. As an Israeli citizen, I can take a plane to any European country without worrying about being denied entry. I don’t need to lie at the airport. Tens of thousands of demonstrators who fly to G8 meetings to protest them are also not denied entry. Still, European citizens visiting Israel and even more so if they are visiting the OPT, are interrogated, placed under surveillance and political controls.

The European Union has a reciprocity policy regarding countries whose citizens enjoy a free visa, and expects these countries to offer the same treatment to European citizens that Europe awards their citizens. So far, European governments (as well as the Canadian and US governments) do not concern themselves too much with the rights of their own citizens in Israel.

A proper response by France, Germany and the UK to the current mass deportations would be to suspend the visa agreement with Israel and demand that every Israeli citizen apply for a visa (like citizens of most countries in Africa and Asia), until Israel gives its reasons for expelling each and every activist who wishes to visit the OPT. Such a response is sure to remind the Israeli public that control over the Palestinian population in the OPT also carries responsibilities, and abusing those responsibilities carries consequences.

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5 thoughts on “Israel’s campaign of violence against non-violent political opposition

  1. delia ruhe

    I, too, noticed that word “clashes” last night in a Ha’aretz article but without any explanation of what those clashes consisted of. Zionist Israel needs activists to be violent, just as it needs there to be wide-spread antisemitism. It’s a bit like the US on the hunt for an “enemy” since the fall of the USSR. How else can these two hyper-militarized states justify their militarism?

    Both states have for decades been trying to make war useful again, but both states have lost more wars than they’ve won. What would happen to their national identities if they cut back their military establishments and, like, say, Switzerland, had merely a domestic defense force? Think about it. The arms trade, currently dominated by the US and Israel, would implode. Unemployment in both states would triple.

    Not until journalists and academics start putting their analyses constantly in this context will the general public begin to understand that militarism (if not war) went out of style with the invention of the nuclear bomb. Until that happens, we will continue to endure the threat-inflation and fear-mongering in which both the Israeli and the American state indulge.

  2. anon

    Throwing stones is violent. It’s how some countries still execute people. If you want to call stoning to death nonviolent, go ahead, but if you try to do it to someone who can fight back, you will get what you deserve.

  3. dickerson3870

    RE: “Israel is now a nation governed by its reptilian brain.” – Woodward

    SEE – Israelis afflictions: instilled memory and paranoia vera ~ By Uri Avnery, Redress, 7/10/11
    Uri Avnery considers the psychological disorders underlying Israel’s response to criticism and peaceful protest, most recently manifested in its over-reaction to the humanitarian flotilla to Gaza, and the Israeli publics generally docile acceptance of what their government and media tell them.

    (excerpts)…I saw on TV the results of a scientific investigation by Israeli researchers into “instilled memory”. Their experiments show that people who have seen something with their own eyes, but are told by everybody else that they have seen something else, start to suppress their own memory and “remember” that they saw what the others had allegedly seen. Neurological research then showed that this is can actually be seen happening in the brain: the imagined memory replaces the real. Social pressure has done its work: the instilled memory has become real memory.
    I believe that this is even truer for an entire nation, which is, of course, composed of individuals. I have seen this many times…
    There is a mental disorder called “paranoia vera”. Patients adopt a crazy assumption – e.g. “everybody hates me” – and then build an elaborate structure around it. Every bit of information which seems to support it is eagerly absorbed, every item that contradicts it is suppressed. Everything is interpreted so as to reinforce the initial assumption. The pattern is strictly logical – indeed, the more complete and the more logical the structure, the more serious is the disease.
    Among the accompanying symptoms are belligerent behavior, recurrent suspicions, disconnection from the real world, conspiracy theories and narcissism.
    It seems that whole nations can fall victim to this illness. Ours certainly appears to have.
    The whole world is against us. Everybody is out to destroy us. Every move is a threat to our very existence. Everyone critical of Israeli policy is an anti-Semite or self-hating Jew…

    SOURCE – http://www.redress.cc/palestine/uavnery20110710

  4. Observer

    Anon, you didn’t watch the clip did you? No one was throwing stones — the only people throwing anything were IDF thugs and goons, throwing what seem to be stun grenades and gas. It is incredible that you can still portray a reactionary, dangerous bully, armed with the latest hi tech weaponry, as a victim that needs to defend himself.

    Anyone watching the clip can see who the oppressor is, and who are the victims anon.

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