Ethnic cleansing is not genocide, but it does carry with it atrocious acts of mass killing and butchering. Thousands of Palestinians were killed ruthlessly and savagely by Israeli troops of all back grounds, ranks and ages. None of these Israelis was ever tried for war crimes, in spite of the overwhelming evidence. ((See "Completing the Job," Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2006) p. 179-198. See also "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," by Ilan Pappe review by Stephen Lendman, Global Research, February 7, 2007.))
Rivlin also does not address the land seizures from Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes but remained in Israel. These individuals were considered Israeli citizens, but still lost all of their property. These individuals are called "present Absentees," an Orwellian phrase if there ever was one. Here is how one Israeli academic, Gabriel Piterberg, describes the phrase and how it relates to Israel: "How the founding myths of Israel dictated conceptual removal of Palestinians, during and after physical removal. The invention of 'retroactive transfer' and 'present absentees' as the glacial euphemisms of ethnic cleansing." ((See "Erasures," by Gabriel Piterberg, New Left Review, July-August 2001; see also "Unrecognized' Palestinians," by Stephen Lendman, ICAHD website, September 09, 2007, published in Occupation Magazine, September 9, 2009.))
Nor does Rivlin acknowledge that most of the Zionist leadership wanted all of Palestine without its Arab population and this wish "miraculously" came true. ((One unrestrained expression of this view is found in the book They Must Go, by Rabbi Meir Kahane (New York: Grossett & Dunlap, 1981).)) Palestinian leadership, inept as it was, cannot be blamed for everything.
Veteran Israeli Peace activist, and former Knesset member, Uri Avnery had the following to say on the Goldstone Commission findings:
Is there no limit to the wiles of those dastardly antiSemites?
Now they have decided to slander the Jews with another blood libel. Not the old accusation of slaughtering Christian children to use their blood for baking Passover matzoth, as in the past, but of the mass slaughter of women and children in Gaza.
And who did they put at the head of the commission which was charged with this task? Neither a British Holocaustdenier nor a German neoNazi, nor even an Iranian fanatic, but of all people a Jewish judge who bears the very Jewish name of Goldstone (originally Goldstein, of course). And not just a Jew with a Jewish name, but a Zionist, whose daughter, Nicole, is an enthusiastic Zionist who once "made Aliyah" and speaks fluent Hebrew. And not just a Jewish Zionist, but a South African who opposed apartheid and was appointed to the country's Constitutional Court when that system was abolished.
All this in order to defame the most moral army in the world, fresh from waging the most just war in history!
Richard Goldstone is not the only Jew manipulated by the worldwide antiSemitic conspiracy. Throughout the three weeks of the Gaza War, more than 10 thousand Israelis demonstrated against it again and again. They were photographed carrying signs saying 'End the massacre in Gaza', 'Stop the war crimes' 'Israel commits war crimes', 'Bombing civilians is a war crime'. They chanted in unison: 'Olmert, Olmert, it is true They're waiting in The Hague for you!'
Who would have believed that there are so many antiSemites in Israel?! (( "Those Dastardly AntiSemites," by Uri Avnery, Information Clearing House, September 19, 2009.))
Avnery also commented on the reaction of Israelis to the accusations of Israel committing war crimes:
The instinctive reaction in such a situation is denial. It's just not true. It never happened. It's all a pack of lies.
By itself, that is a natural reaction. When a human being is faced with a situation which he cannot handle, denial is the first refuge. If things did not happen, there is no need to cope. Basically, there is no difference between the deniers of the Armenian genocide, the deniers of the annihilation of the Native Americans and the deniers of the atrocities of all wars.
From this point of view, it can be said that denial is almost "normal". But with us it has been developed into an art form. (( "Those Dastardly AntiSemites," by Uri Avnery, Information Clearing House, September 19, 2009.))
The 2009 Israeli election which occurred after the attack on Gaza saw a further shift to the right in the Israeli electorate. Right-wing parties that were once considered racist fringe parties had moved into the Israeli mainstream and Kadima, founded by Ariel Sharon, found itself on the left of the Israeli political spectrum. The out emigration of more than one million Israelis, ((Emigrating from Israel is called Ayeridah (going down). Immigrating to Israeli is called "Aliyah" or "ascent". Demography is a sensitive topic for Israelis and there is considerable debate over the numbers of emigrants and their reasons for leaving Israeli. See "Israel's demographic dilemma," by Howard Skutel, International Perspectives, March/April 1987, p. 21-23. A YNet News article reports that 800,000 Israelis are living in the United States. See "Demographic threat a myth: The Jewish majority west of the Jordan River will remain strong," by Yoram Ettinger, YNet News, February 9, 2006; see also, "Recent Trends in Emigration from Israel: The Impact of Palestinian Violence," by Ian S. Lustik, paper presented at annual meeting of the Association for Israel Studies, Jerusalem, June 14-16, 2004; and also "Aliyah sees 9% dip from 2005," by Moti Bassok, Haaretz, February 21, 2007; "Emigration from Israel exceeds immigration, report," Deutsche PresseAgentur (dpa) April 20, 2007 posted on the St. Louis Jewish Community's web site. To quote the article: ".... Maariv newspaper reported that approximately a quarter of the Israeli population was considering emigration. Almost half of the country's young people were thinking of leaving the country, the report said. Their reasons included dissatisfaction with the government, the education system, a lack of confidence in the political ruling class and concern over the security situation.")) clearly has had some effect on Israel's politics. Many Israelis who were opposed to the direction Israel politics was taking and being opposed the continued occupation of the West Bank left Israel. Many of these emigrants did not want their children to do their compulsory military service in the Occupied territories and be part of a perpetual war with the Arabs. This exodus supplemented by the immigration of militant right-wing Zionists and right-wing religious Zionists to Israel, in my opinion, has resulted in a decided shift towards the right in Israeli politics. This shift has supported the rise of politicians like Avigdor Lieberman who openly calls for the expulsion of the Arabs. Here is what one Jerusalem born Israeli expatriate had to say on the shift in Israeli politics:
The Arab citizens of Israel, traditionally ignored by left and right Zionists as a "barely tolerable" minority, embody the impossibility and futility of the attempt to achieve ethnic purity by means of division. A few years of rising racism inside Israel turned its Arab citizens into a "ticking bomb" of the "demographic danger", and unleashed unprecedented attacks against them by the right wing, with little to no response from the Zionist left. Avigdor Lieberman gained his startling achievement in Tuesday's elections by riding this wave to its natural conclusion. His revolutionary idea - giving up not only territories in the West Bank and Gaza but even territories of Israel proper, in order to get rid of as many Arabs as possible - confused and embarrassed the Zionist left. It had also exposed the absurdity and moral unacceptability of the whole Zionist idea by taking it to its only rational conclusion. If having a Jewish state is the most desirable goal, than getting rid of the nonJewish citizens is the only rational way to go about it. And hey, it is all to take place in a very benign way: no more talks of "transfer", but an adoption of the "lefty" slogans of division. And all this under the new sinister banner "No loyalty - No citizenship".