Let's end all of this talk about Israel being a democracy. That society has worked very diligently to earn the title fascist
. A nation does not become a true democracy simply by holding elections (in which only certain people may vote). Democracy and fascism are psychological states -- ways of looking at the world. They are part of the soul.
What has happened to the Israeli soul? What kind of person has been shaped by the Israeli indoctrination program
-- which is comparable to, and obviously modeled on, the Hitlerjugend movement? This report
by Bekah Wolf demonstrates what modern Israel has devolved into...
Yossi* wants to make it very clear from the beginning of our discussion that I cannot use his real name. Rotem, his friend who is also translating, explains, “He is afraid. We’re all afraid. The fascists are searching for our Facebook profiles, for any information about us on the internet. They are hunting us.”
What first may seem like hyperbole is in fact exactly what pro-Palestinian, anti-occupation Jewish-Israeli activists have been describing for the last week: mobs of right-wing fascists chasing peaceful protesters and violently attacking them in the centers of West Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
“The police were just cowards,” Rotem said. “They left us to face a group of fascists who wanted to kill us. They actually told us that.” The demonstrators there to support the people of Gaza tried to leave the area. Yossi explained what happened next. “We ran down the street and the fascists followed us. We ran into a cafe and about 20 of the fascists came inside after us. They completely destroyed the cafe.”
Yossi said, “this is nothing compared to the violence used against Palestinians every day.” Even during periods of relative calm, he says, “Palestinians are attacked every day. Every day.” What’s different, Rotem said, is that it is now being visited on other Jews, “in the heart of Tel Aviv.”
I asked what they saw as the cause of the surge of violence and fascist rhetoric in Israeli society. Yossi explained it this way: “The differen[ce] between the pilots bombing Gaza every day and the hooligans in the street is that the hooligans aren’t killing people.” In other words, the mentality required to massacre Gazans and that which leads to assaulting those who you don’t agree with are one in the same. Rotem lays the blame at the increasingly right-wing government and their direct incitement. “[Naftali] Bennett and others like him are encouraging this kind of violence. They are calling Palestinians animals and us traitors.” He believes it’s part of a coordinated campaign to incite violence. “It used to not be politically correct to talk like this. You used to only say these things behind closed doors. Now it’s out in the open.” The people on the streets attacking Palestinians and left-wing Israelis, he said, “are just the soldiers.” This is the result of “twenty years of denying democracy, of working against the Supreme Court, against minorities” he said.
Typical Israeli Twitter message
Send leftists to the gas chambers & please take them there in garbage trucks
The Israel of America's imagination bears no relationship to the actual state. From a recent Haaretz piece
(behind a paywall, but excerpted in a comment here
The new State of Israel will no longer tolerate any opinion that is different, any alternative idea. Subversive ideas are out of the question; even asking questions that few people ask will be utterly prohibited. The people will speak in unison, like in a chorus, as uniform as the Red Army Choir. The media, too, will speak in one voice, declaimed right out of the statements dictated to it by government and army spokesmen.
None of this is a dream. The nightmare is already here.
We may criticize the army and the defense establishment, but only from one direction: Why didn’t they let the army win? Let it “do its job,” beat the hell out of them, bombard them, crush them even more, conquer even more, cut off the electricity, tighten the siege and ramp up the killing, pain and devastation as much as possible; to exalt the might of the troops, to praise the daring of the pilots. To bring the Arabs back to the Stone Age and Gaza to the Middle Ages. That is allowed. The most moral thing on earth — as much as possible; doubting it is forbidden. One may also cry victim without limit. Ignorance will be crowned as a national goal.
Yes, Israel holds what it is pleased to call elections. But fascism is not a system of governance; it's a mentality. As long as that mentality holds sway, even a nation which calls itself a democracy (and which stages a vote at regular periods) may fairly be identified as fascist.
I would argue that America has had dangerously fascistic periods: The McCarthy era gives us one example, as does the year-long run-up to the Iraq War. A number of people have argued that the Confederacy was the first experiment in fascism.
Would it have been less fascist if it had survived long enough to hold
Perhaps we should look even further back if we want to locate the origin of the fascist impulse. The murderous relocation of the Cherokee and other native tribes began during the Jackson administration. Jackson was elected democratically; he was both popular and populist. Does this fact make the "Trail of Tears" any less atrocious? The Indian Relocation Act becomes more
vile -- not less -- when we note that it was created by elected representatives of the American people.
If Germany had held a perfectly fair election in (say) 1938, who would have won? You know damned well.
I'll say it again: Fascism is not a system of governance; it's a mentality