The rise of fascism in Israel
Mon Apr 4, 2011 8:59PM
By Mohyeddin Sajedi
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
The popular movements of Arab nations have an anti-dictatorship and freedom-seeking identity and the first priority for the people is to change their current situation and to gain real participation in their political future.
Therefore, their demands, and thereby their slogans, have been based on their domestic affairs. Thus far, these movements have not taken an anti-imperialist form and have not confronted the presence of foreign superpowers in the region.
Naturally, new governments will be focused on solving internal problems in order to fulfill the promises they have made to their people.
Under such circumstances, Israel should not take an action that would agitate revolutionary public opinion in Arab countries. The situation with Palestine continues to live in the conscience of the Muslim and Arab world and Arab nations handling the dictators at home does not mean they have forgotten this historic problem.
Israel, upon the fall of its ally and strategic treasure Hosni Mubarak at the beginning of the popular uprisings, refrained from taking an extreme stance; but this was temporary and the pressure was not bearable for long. Israeli officials act in a manner as if nothing has happened in the Arab world and even as if the unfolding events have been in their favor. What is the reason for this? The answer can be found in the growing fascist tendencies that are not allowing them to practice self-restraint.
Zeev Sternhell wrote in the Ha'aretz daily newspaper wrote, "The legislation that passed in the Knesset that dark night last week, which makes ethnic inequality a legal norm, has no parallel in democratic countries because it contradicts the very essence of democracy." "Unlike Europe, where the right has significantly grown but is still not in power, in this country the racists, the extreme and clerical right is the government, with only a vacuum opposing it."
Recent studies in Israel suggest that the youth is embracing fascism much more than the past and the supporters of peace are diminishing. The success of the likes of Avigdor Lieberman in gaining more power has become a nightmare for those who consider Israel the bridge between the East and the West.
The influence of rightwing religious groups on judicial and executive organizations is on the rise. The head of the national security council as well as the head of Shin Bet are new people who have been endorsed by rabbis. New laws in parliament that prohibit Arabs from commemorating the anniversary of the creation of Israel as the year of 'Nikba' (catastrophe) and also the oath of allegiance to protect Israel point at a goal that Israel is moving toward. These laws only mean to deprive the Arabs in Israel of their rights.
Zeev Sternhell asks in his piece "how would we accept the news that to attain one of the most important positions in the country - chief of the Shin Bet security service -- the clergy’s consent was required?" "Of course, such sights would generate scorn and disgust."
Israel's biggest problem is that it is turning into a center for neo-fascism which finds allies only in right-wing extremist groups and parties in the West, whereas the world is moving towards strengthening human rights and opposing racial discrimination. Tendency towards fascism has always existed in Israel, but now it is legally practiced. Passing laws which limit the liberties and violate the rights of Arab Palestinians in Israel is slowly becoming a burden for Israel's Western allies.
After Israel's offensive against Gaza and the opposition of the world's public opinion with this act, Israel is in the danger of losing its legitimacy on a global level.
Israel, the only country which was established by a UN resolution, has forgotten that practicing democracy and observing the rights of its Arab citizens was the main condition for the recognition of this regime by Western governments. Now that the UN Security Council or the UN General Assembly might recognize Palestine as an independent state, Israel is facing a more serious danger.
Israel is moving along a path which Europe refers to as a humiliating period in its history; meaning the period of fascism, colonialism and racism. Accepting a fascist Israel will become harder for Europe, and Israel will gradually lose its supporters.
Israeli governments have violated the rights of Palestinians in different ways and have taken no measures to fight racism. But Israel's new government has turned this injustice into laws which practically make Tel Aviv a regime such as the one in South Africa during Apartheid.
From the Zionist point of view, land and identity are two elements which surpass everything. The main problem between Arabs and Jewish people in Palestine is not "citizen identity," it is "strengthening-violation" equation. Strengthening the rights of Jewish people means the violation of Palestinians' rights.
Because of this equation, Israeli governments have never been able to accept the equality between Arabs and Jewish people. But as a result of this equation, Palestinians' bond with their land and identity has increased, which has given them the power to be hopeful about the future
Now that according to the latest survey, Jewish citizens of the US no longer have any hope in Israel, an irreplaceable part of Israel's battery will be lost. When Israeli youth no longer seeks to achieve peace and refrains from being involved in war, Israel will turn into a burden for the West and its legitimacy crisis will soar.