Former PM notes ‘signs of fascism,’ but West ignores danger.
By Murray Dobbin 11 Jun 2016 | TheTyee.ca
Former Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon has warned of ‘phenomena of extremism, violence, and racism in Israeli society that threaten its fortitude.’
By now anyone even vaguely aware of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has heard the phrase ”the new anti-Semitism.” It is a clever propaganda piece aimed at anyone who dares criticize Israel for its illegal occupation of the West Bank and its continued brutalization of Palestinians in Gaza.
But in the space of two days, new critics emerged from within the highest positions of Israel state power. Moshe Ya’alon — until recently the Israeli Defence Minister — and Major General Yair Golan, the Israeli army’s deputy chief of staff, confirmed what many of Israel’s most vociferous (and vilified) critics have been saying for years: that Israel is heading down the road of extremism and racism.
Golan issued a warning that linked attitudes and actions in pre-war Germany with trends in Israel today. ”It’s scary to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here,” he said.
Moshe Ya’alon, then the defence minister, defended Golan. Within three weeks, he was pushed from the defence post and resigned rather than accept another role. Ya’alon too offered a warning about ”phenomena of extremism, violence, and racism in Israeli society that threaten its fortitude.”
But even such dire public warnings from members of the Israeli governing and military elite are having no discernible impact on the West’s carte blanche support for the Netanyahu government. It raises the question: Is there any development in Israel that would cause Western nations to intervene in the longer-term interests of Israel and say enough is enough? Just yesterday, Uri Ariel, the Israeli minister of agriculture made a proposal to annex a huge chunk of the West Bank and expel 300,000 Palestinians. Does that cross a red line? Does the West even acknowledge a red line?
Israeli political commentator Michael Brizon, who writes under the pseudonym B. Michael, concluded the failure of Western governments to criticize what is happening in Israel is itself a new form of anti-Semitism. Writing in a Haaretz op-ed titled ”Yet Again the Jewish People Face Great Danger and the World Is Silent,” Brizon lamented the fact that the greatest danger to Israel is now from within, not from its traditional enemies. ”With our very own hands, we anointed the Huns who rule over us.”
The irony for Michael is palpable: Israel’s promise has been lost, he wrote, and ”all that remains is a big mouth, brandished fist, and endless hidden hatred, militarism, paganism, and self-righteousness. And the world is silent.”
That silence is what terrifies Michael: ”…if you persist in your silence, you indifferent world, that will be categorical proof that you really are anti-Semitic, exactly as we’ve always been told.”
Did governor read Golan’s words?
As if to prove the point, just days after this piece was published, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order intended to punish companies and groups that join the BDS campaign — the Boycott, Divest, Sanction campaign to peacefully pressure Israel to…