Lurching Toward Gomorrah: Growing Israeli Fascism - by Stephen Lendman
Disturbing signs are ominous. On November 8, Israel demolished and ransacked a Negev Bedouin Arab mosque in Rahat, removing it for Jewish development. Professor Yousef Salamah called it "a criminal act," done on the pretext that it was unlicensed. "These are not new acts but were preceded by many incidents and attacks, when the Israeli authorities demolished dozens of mosques inside Israel, turning some into museums, barns, restaurants, synagogues and parking lots."
Five Bedouins, Israeli citizens, were arrested for protesting. Others were attacked. On November 8, Haaretz writers Jack Khoury and Yanir Yagnar headlined, "Defiant Bedouin(s) rebuild Rahat mosque razed by state," saying:
Along with a one-day general strike, residents laid a foundation to rebuild. Yusuf Abu Jama, local leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement said: "If they continue to destroy it, we will rebuild the mosque over and over again."
Southern District commander Yohanan Danino said: "The mosque was born in crime and as a symbol of the radicalization and escalation of the members of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement within Rahat...."
Look for another demolition and more confrontation, denying Israeli Arabs equal rights with Jews, but even theirs are eroding. Israel is now unsafe for anyone challenging state authority, no matter how repressive its policies.
On November 8, Haaretz writer Noah Kosharek headlined, "Supreme Court okays Jewish-only buildings in Jaffa," saying:
The Court approved three apartment buildings solely for Jews in the mixed Ajami neighborhood, "even as it implied that such a project could constitute discrimination." Most modern states reject segregation out of hand. Israel practices it as policy.
On November 9, at 3:00AM, Israeli soldiers stormed Bil'in village, targeting two homes, looking for Ashraf al-Khatib, a wounded demonstrator, shot in the leg weeks earlier, protesting for village rights. In recent years, Bil'in has been repeatedly raided, its residents arrested for peacefully resisting occupation and Israel's Separation Wall, systematically destroying the village.
On November 11, Haaretz writers Nir Hasson and Shlomo Papirblatt headlined, "Gang suspected of attacks on Arabs in Jerusalem," saying:
"Young (Jewish) men have reportedly been roaming in and around Independence Park seeking Arabs to attack, trying to identify them by their accent." Two already were assaulted. Also a Chilean tourist mistaken for an Arab. In July, another Arab was stabbed.
Other incidents occur regularly, too numerous to list, both in Israel and the Territories. Besides wars, repeated incursions, lawless land seizures, killings, arrests and torture, they include middle-of-the-night home raids, assaults against nonviolent protestors, farmers, fishermen, women and children. Their crime: being Muslims in a Jewish state or on land Israel occupies, systematically stealing it dunum by dunum as well as depriving non-Jewish citizens of their rights. Where this ends worries many, including Uri Avnery, founder of Gush Shalom, "The Peace Bloc."
In his October 25 article titled, "Weimar in Jerusalem: Israel on the Footsteps of Nazi Germany," he said as a young boy he witnessed firsthand:
"the collapse of German democracy and the ascent of the Nazis to power. The pictures are engraved in my memory - the election campaigns following each other, the uniforms in the street, the debates around the table, the teacher who greeted us for the first time with "Heil Hitler."
For Averny and many others, the "all-important question in Israel with growing concern (is whether) the Israeli republic is collapsing. For the first time, this question is being asked in all seriousness."
Netanyahu's Welfare Minister, Yirzhak Herzog, worries that "fascism is touching the margins of our society." He's wrong, says Averny. It's "not only touching the margins, it is touching the government in which he is serving, and the Knesset, of which he is a member."