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Why Is Acknowledging Israeli Apartheid a Shock?
Posted on Mar 3, 2017
On Monday, Bernie Sanders gave a historic speech at J Street, the liberal pro-Israel lobby that still believes in a two state solution. The lying roll of soiled toilet paper that is Breitbart (Trump’s party organ) reported with horror that Sanders had addressed an “anti-Israel” group. Now, in the circles of President Bannon and his mini-me Steve Miller unless you wholeheartedly support the Likud colonization project and the erasure of the Palestinian people, you are “anti-Israel.”
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He talked about his love for Israel, his admiration for its accomplishments against the backdrop of the Holocaust, and his experience at a kibbutz near Haifa in 1963. Then he let his audience have it, Bernie-style:
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Many of those 720,000 were deliberately expelled by militant Zionist paramilitaries or by terrorist groups such as the Stern Gang and the Haganah. They have grown to millions now, many of them still living in squalid camps, in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. And no, that isn’t their own fault or that of their hosts. It is Israel’s fault. That so many of them are stateless, lacking citizenship and basic human rights, is also Israel’s fault, and is a result of deliberate Israeli policy.
Sanders dismissed Trump’s recent statements on a two-state versus a one-state solution as mere bloviating. He wanted to know what, in practice, a final settlement would look like:
What Sanders is doing here is demolishing typical Israeli propaganda points (hasbara) wherein Israel is simply a victim of the Palestinians and in which Palestinians are demonized as Khamas and terrorists and violent and irrationally angry. He is acknowledging that Palestinians are held under Israeli military rule in a state of occupation, decades after any war that might have justified such an occupation had ended.
Then he addressed the controversy over the Obama administration’s decision not to veto a UN resolution condemning the accelerating Israeli colonization drive in the Palestinian West Bank:
So lets see. Sanders acknowledged the Nakba or Catastrophe of displacement imposed on the Palestinians by Jews in 1947-48. He acknowledged the injustices and humiliations of the ongoing Occupation. He applauded the working of the international community to condemn this violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of occupied peoples.
What he said is simple common sense and common decency, and yet Sanders was condemned. In Trump’s America, it is a criminal offense to be a Mensch.
The other sensation caused by truth-telling about the horrors of the Israeli occupation of the stateless Palestinians concerns comedian Asef Harel, who signed off his Israeli television show with an epic rant against Israeli Apartheid. His argument is clear, and I will just leave you with it. For anyone who knows anything serious about the Mideast, there is nothing at all controversial in what Harel said. But it is causing waves. That is because on the issue of Israel, large numbers of people prefer to inhabit a fantasy land of their own imaginations rather than confront cold truths.
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