Things not always what they seem

Published on September 4, 2014

To the Editor,
Israel is often portrayed as being the Jewish David continuously threatened by the Arabic Goliath. While the well-oiled Israeli lobby media machine perpetuates and re-enforces this image, nothing is further from the truth.

In reality, Israel is a nation that is a danger to world and regional peace, and a danger to itself and to Jews in the Diaspora.

Israel has the largest standing army in the Middle-east. This army has the most modern and technologically advanced weaponry available. This alone seriously challenges the contention that Israel’s existence is in question.

Israel has in the order of 150- 200 nuclear weapons and follows what is called a policy of Opacity, that is, it neither confirms nor denies that it has a nuclear arsenal. No other country in the Middle-east, at this time, has nuclear weapons. Israel has steadfastly refused to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT, 1970), banning nuclear weapons, which has been signed by 190 countries. Thus, Israel joins rouge countries like India, Pakistan, South Sudan and North Korea as a nation that threatens world peace.

Israel over the years has refused to comply with at least 120 UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions condemning its various policies and actions in the in Occupied Territories. In short, Israel picks and chooses those international conventions and accords that it wishes to adhere to and ignores the others.

Israel uses the “external threat” argument as a way to create internal social and political cohesion to paper over profound internal problems and contradictions.

Israel was originally founded on the basis of secular Labourite Zionism. But as the rabid religious right has exerted its influence, as evidenced by its illegal settlements in the West Bank, those ideals have been ignored. Israel is increasingly becoming a polarized, stratified, and fractured society.

For example, two summers ago, more than 100,000 people demonstrated in Tel Aviv against poverty, and social stratification is based on whether one is an original immigrant (Sabra), or a European or North African Jew.

Perhaps one of the most condescending, ugly, and self-serving assertions made by those who mindlessly and unquestionably support Israel’s policies, in an attempt to bolster ethnic solidarity and crush internal dissent, is that Jews who challenge Israeli policy are either “Self-hating Jews “ or are “anti-Semites.” Not only is such an assertion circular or tautological, it is based on equating Judaism with Zionism, despite the fact that Judaism is a religion, while Zionism is an ideology.

Zionism and Judaism are not the same.

Recently in Tel Aviv on Aug. 16, 2014, 10,000 people came out to protest the Israeli invasion of the Gaza. Are all these Israeli protesters and peaceniks “self-hating “and “anti-Semitic” Jews?

Israel, based on its actions in the Gaza, is no longer, “A light unto the nations,” and should embrace the vision of its universal prophets.

Richard Deaton,

Stanley Bridge