JNF Criminal Enterprise

Also see NION statements by:
Abigail Bakan | Smadar Carmon | J. Deutsch | Charnie Guettel | Henry Lowi | David Noble | Herman Rosenfeld | Suzanne Weiss

On Hypocrisy

By J. Deutsch

After the Holocaust, a common defense was “I didn’t know.” But now it is impossible to "not" know about Israel’s involvement in war crimes and ethnic cleansing against Palestinian people.

In critical areas now - around climate change, AIDS in Africa, the situation in the Middle East, people do more-or-less know the important facts. Now, when experts speak about these problems - they partly talk about the facts, and they partly talk about the hypocrisy as so many people evade these facts (see for instance George Monbiot’s book "Heat"
and Stephen Lewis’ "Race Against Time").

To paraphrase Al Gore, hypocrisy is all about 'convenient lies.'

I will talk briefly about some "types of hypocrisy" in the Israeli/Palestinian situation, and then about "reactions to hypocrisy".

Types of Hypocrisy

  1. Reversal of reality: when it is convenient, Israel portrays itself as the victim, not the aggressor. The truth is twisted so much that they take on their complete opposite meaning. In the Sabra and Chatila massacres, the Begin government accused critics of Israel as committing a ‘blood libel’ against Jews -- saying “no one will preach to us moral values or respect for human life, on whose basis we were educated and will continue to educate generations of fighters in Israel.”
  2. Hypocrisy in actions: when Baruch Goldstein shot and killed 29 Palestinians in Hebron, Israel confined 20,000 Hebron residents to their homes for two months while settlers were allowed to move around freely.

    Israel is always portrayed as a moral and enlightened country - for example: the inventor of drip irrigation. The town of Abu Dis has been used as an unsanitary dumping site of waste from West Jerusalem . . . Israeli companies in such fields as medicine and paint have also used the West Bank as dumping grounds in the last several years Israel has moved many of its polluting industries to locations in the West Bank - pesticides, fertilizer, aluminum, fiberglass and plastic manufacturers - their waste water flows toward Palestinian villages with no control . . . polluting adjacent Palestinian lands. In the intentional economic war against the people of Palestine, the ever worsening deterioration in standard of living leads to severe malnutrition in young children. Thousands of Palestinian youth are incarcerated and tortured, without access to their families, to legal help, to medical care (Defense for Children International/Palestine Section, and Physicians for Human Rights/Israel).

  3. Withholding of facts: the true enormity of Israel’s crimes is not reported and facts are isolated. We know about destruction of water treatment plant in Gaza last summer, but not about similar destruction in south Lebanon. Important facts are often never reported in the major media: in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon - approximately 17,000 civilians were killed by Israel – and 0 Israeli civilians were killed (Fisk and James Ron).

    Similarly, we never hear about the lynching of Palestinians by settlers. Marwan Bishara reports that after Sharon’s visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque and after the earlier killing of 6 Palestinians at the mosque in Jerusalem, and after the cold-blooded killing of 12 year old Muhammad Dura in Gaza . . . .’All over the country, and wherever they resided, even in the mixed Jewish and Arab cities, the Palestinians’ protest was further inflamed by Israel’s bloody response…with little interference from the state in defense of the Arabs. In Tiberias, Jews attacked and destroyed a 200 year old mosque, while lynchings of Arabs went on unabated in the first two weeks of October, 2000 . . . Near Nazareth, Israeli forces joined the mob in their assaults on inhabitants. Only after the lynchings of Arabs had got out of hand were some voices from the peace camp heard.”

  4. Horrific and unimaginable cruelty expressed in hypocrisy/deception: “Palestinians were suddenly having to defend their love for their children . . . Israeli propaganda succeeded in blaming Palestinian mothers for their families’ suffering instead of blaming the occupation forces that fired on their children indiscriminately . . . . One only needs to visit the cramped refugee camps of Gaza and the West Bank to see these children’s living conditions and how little, if anything, a parent can do to control the young ones who confront the Israeli aggressors. In short, while the Israeli military was killing and wounding children, the Israeli government was blaming their mourning parents for their deaths.”
  5. Collusion in hypocrisy: Martin, Harper, Madeline Albright, Alan Dershowitz, Bill Clinton, Bush . . . collusion in the Oslo peace process that provided the smokescreen for carving up the West Bank into Bantustans and decimating the Palestinian economy . . . Washington’s position insured Israel’s impunity in international circles and encouraged Israel to continue its violations of Palestinian rights.
  6. Hypocrisy in ideology: Israeli racism is not just an aspect of political Zionism but is intrinsic to the teachings of the Talmud. These attitudes are taught in Israel to children. It is important to look at Jewish chauvinism as a profound danger. Eminent journalists like Seymour Hersh and David Hirst write that nuclear weapons proliferation in the Middle East became inevitable when Israel developed its own nuclear arsenal; many (including Hersh and Podhoretz) believe that Israel would actually use its nuclear weapons.

    Of great concern too is the uncritical support given by North American organized Jews to Israel.

Reaction to Hypocrisy

  1. Most desirable reaction: challenge it. Shahak says “the real test facing both Israeli and diaspora Jews is the test of their self-criticism which must include the critique of the Jewish past . . . a detailed and honest confrontation of the Jewish attitude to non-Jews. Although the struggle against anti-Semitism and of all other forms of racism should never cease, the struggle against Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism, which must include a critique of classical Judaism, is now of equal or greater importance.

    For Freud . . . Monbiot . . . campaign for limits . . . for acknowledging reality and campaigning against ourselves.

  2. Hypocrisy is an easy solution . . . it is seductive to feel you’re on the right side.
  3. It protects people from feeling uneasy about their own dishonesties . . . being drawn in by Nixon excuses people from requiring honesty in themselves.
  4. Being honest is hard work . . . it means being self-limiting, challenging others, working hard to know the facts, opting for reality over fantasy wishes.
  5. Hypocrites bully others . . . throw people off balance and ask people to not rely on their own perceptions. It also makes people feel enraged - at times helplessly enraged - Stephen Lewis keeps writing that he’s almost apoplectic . . . Mograbi becomes speechless with rage in his film.
  6. Hypocrites turn the tables . . . make others feel ashamed and not themselves . . . disarming . . . like in Avi Mograbi’s film showing how Israeli soldiers shame him for being enraged when they are the ones who act shamelessly toward Palestinian children.
  7. It’s difficult to argue with a psychopath . . . Finkelstein vs Dershowitz. Dershowitz (a Harvard law professor who defends the use of torture and who wrote a book called "The Case for Israel") will never acknowledge his dishonesty, but it is important to uncover the lies.

Also see NION statements by:
Abigail Bakan | Smadar Carmon | J. Deutsch | Charnie Guettel | Henry Lowi | David Noble | Herman Rosenfeld | Suzanne Weiss

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