Ze’ev Sternhell Warnings on the Growth of Israeli Fascism
It Can Happen Here
By URI AVNERY

The German name Sternhell means bright as the stars. The name fits: the positions of Professor Ze’ev Sternhell indeed stand out sharply against the darkness of the sky. He warns against Israeli fascism. This week, Israeli fascists laid a pipe-bomb at the entrance of his apartment and he was lightly injured.

The choice of victim seems surprising at first. But the perpetrators knew what they were doing.

They did not attack the activists who demonstrate every week against the Separation Wall in Bil’in and Na’alin. They did not attack the leftists who mobilize every year – this year, too – to help the Palestinians pick their olives near the most dangerous settlements. They did not attack the “Women in Black” who demonstrate every Friday, or the women of “Machsom Watch”, who keep an eye on events at the army checkpoints. They attacked a person whose entire activity is in the academic field.

The struggles on the ground are essential. But their main purpose is to influence public opinion. That is the main battlefield, and there the man of letters has an important part to play.

On this battlefield, two visions confront each other, two visions that are as far apart as the West is from the East. On the one side: An enlightened Israel, modern, secular, liberal and democratic, living in peace and partnership with Palestine as an integral part of the region. On the other side: a fanatical Israel, religious, fascist, cut off from the region and civilized humanity, a people that “dwells alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations” (Numbers, 23:9), where “the sword will devour for ever” (2 Samuel 2:26).

Ze’ev Sternhell is one of the outstanding guides of the enlightened vision. His positions are bright as the stars, resolute and incisive. Not a surprising target for the Neo-Nazi pipe-dreamers and pipe-bombers.

* * *

THE FIELD of Sternhell’s academic expertise is the origins of Fascism, a subject that has occupied me all my life. The reasons for our interest are similar: Nazism left an indelible stamp on our childhood and fate. As a child, I witnessed the rise of Nazism in Germany. As a child, Sternhell saw it in Poland, when, after the death of his father, he lost his mother and sister in the Holocaust.

“He who has been scalded by boiling water is cautious even with cold water,” a Hebrew adage goes. Those who experienced Fascism bursting into their lives in childhood are sensitive to the slightest symptom of the outbreak of this disease. In 1961 I wrote a book called “The Swastika” (which exists only in Hebrew), in which I tried to crack the code of the roots of Nazism. At the end of the book I posed the question: Can it happen here? My unequivocal answer was: Yes, indeed.

Because of this, I am sensitive to every warning sign in our society. As a journalist and magazine editor, I shone the searchlight on all such signs. As a political activist, I fought against them in the Knesset and in the street.

Sternhell, on his part, after a military career, is a pure academic. He uses the instruments of academia: research, teaching and publication. He strives for exact definitions, without seeking popularity or avoiding provocation. In one of his articles years ago he asserted that the violent response of the Palestinians to the settlements is quite natural. By this he attracted the lasting wrath of the settlers and the extreme Right, which made an effort to prevent him from receiving the Israel Prize, Israel’s highest distinction.

Now the pipe-bombs are speaking.

* * *

WHO LAID the bomb? A lone individual? A group? A new underground? The terrorists from the settlements? That’s for the police and the Shin-Bet to find out.

From the public point of view, the matter is much more simple: it is quite clear in which flowerbed these poisonous weeds grow, which ideology serves as fertilizer, and who is spreading it.

Israeli Fascism is alive and kicking. It is growing in the flowerbed that produced the various religious-nationalist underground groups of the past: the group that tried to bomb the Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount, the underground that tried to assassinate the Palestinian mayors, the “Kach” gang, the perpetrator of the Hebron massacre Baruch Goldstein, the murderer of peace activist Emil Gruenzweig, the murderer of Yitzhak Rabin and all the underground groups that were uncovered at an early stage before their deeds could bring them to public notice.

These acts cannot simply be attributed to individuals or “rogue groups”. There exists a definite fascist fringe at the margin of Israel’s political society. Its ideology is religious-nationalist, and its spiritual leaders are mostly “Rabbis”, who formulate its world view and the practical application. These Jewish idolaters do not work in secret. On the contrary, they offer their wares on the open market.

This sector is

Ze’ev Sternhell Warnings on the Growth of Israeli Fascism
It Can Happen Here
By URI AVNERY

The German name Sternhell means bright as the stars. The name fits: the positions of Professor Ze’ev Sternhell indeed stand out sharply against the darkness of the sky. He warns against Israeli fascism. This week, Israeli fascists laid a pipe-bomb at the entrance of his apartment and he was lightly injured.

The choice of victim seems surprising at first. But the perpetrators knew what they were doing.

They did not attack the activists who demonstrate every week against the Separation Wall in Bil’in and Na’alin. They did not attack the leftists who mobilize every year – this year, too – to help the Palestinians pick their olives near the most dangerous settlements. They did not attack the “Women in Black” who demonstrate every Friday, or the women of “Machsom Watch”, who keep an eye on events at the army checkpoints. They attacked a person whose entire activity is in the academic field.

The struggles on the ground are essential. But their main purpose is to influence public opinion. That is the main battlefield, and there the man of letters has an important part to play.

On this battlefield, two visions confront each other, two visions that are as far apart as the West is from the East. On the one side: An enlightened Israel, modern, secular, liberal and democratic, living in peace and partnership with Palestine as an integral part of the region. On the other side: a fanatical Israel, religious, fascist, cut off from the region and civilized humanity, a people that “dwells alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations” (Numbers, 23:9), where “the sword will devour for ever” (2 Samuel 2:26).

Ze’ev Sternhell is one of the outstanding guides of the enlightened vision. His positions are bright as the stars, resolute and incisive. Not a surprising target for the Neo-Nazi pipe-dreamers and pipe-bombers.

* * *

THE FIELD of Sternhell’s academic expertise is the origins of Fascism, a subject that has occupied me all my life. The reasons for our interest are similar: Nazism left an indelible stamp on our childhood and fate. As a child, I witnessed the rise of Nazism in Germany. As a child, Sternhell saw it in Poland, when, after the death of his father, he lost his mother and sister in the Holocaust.

“He who has been scalded by boiling water is cautious even with cold water,” a Hebrew adage goes. Those who experienced Fascism bursting into their lives in childhood are sensitive to the slightest symptom of the outbreak of this disease. In 1961 I wrote a book called “The Swastika” (which exists only in Hebrew), in which I tried to crack the code of the roots of Nazism. At the end of the book I posed the question: Can it happen here? My unequivocal answer was: Yes, indeed.

Because of this, I am sensitive to every warning sign in our society. As a journalist and magazine editor, I shone the searchlight on all such signs. As a political activist, I fought against them in the Knesset and in the street.

Sternhell, on his part, after a military career, is a pure academic. He uses the instruments of academia: research, teaching and publication. He strives for exact definitions, without seeking popularity or avoiding provocation. In one of his articles years ago he asserted that the violent response of the Palestinians to the settlements is quite natural. By this he attracted the lasting wrath of the settlers and the extreme Right, which made an effort to prevent him from receiving the Israel Prize, Israel’s highest distinction.

Now the pipe-bombs are speaking.

* * *

WHO LAID the bomb? A lone individual? A group? A new underground? The terrorists from the settlements? That’s for the police and the Shin-Bet to find out.

From the public point of view, the matter is much more simple: it is quite clear in which flowerbed these poisonous weeds grow, which ideology serves as fertilizer, and who is spreading it.

Israeli Fascism is alive and kicking. It is growing in the flowerbed that produced the various religious-nationalist underground groups of the past: the group that tried to bomb the Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount, the underground that tried to assassinate the Palestinian mayors, the “Kach” gang, the perpetrator of the Hebron massacre Baruch Goldstein, the murderer of peace activist Emil Gruenzweig, the murderer of Yitzhak Rabin and all the underground groups that were uncovered at an early stage before their deeds could bring them to public notice.

These acts cannot simply be attributed to individuals or “rogue groups”. There exists a definite fascist fringe at the margin of Israel’s political society. Its ideology is religious-nationalist, and its spiritual leaders are mostly “Rabbis”, who formulate its world view and the practical application. These Jewish idolaters do not work in secret. On the contrary, they offer their wares on the open market.

This sector is

Weekend Edition
September 20 / 21, 2008

Full-Spectrum Breakdown
Grasping at Straws
By MIKE WHITNEY

On Friday morning, Senator Christopher Dodd, the head of the Senate Banking Committee, was interviewed on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Dodd revealed that just hours earlier at an emergency meeting convened by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, lawmakers were told that “We’re literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system.” Dodd added somberly, that in his three decades of serving in public office, he had “never heard language like this.”

The system is at the breaking point, and despite Wall Street’s elation from the proposed $1 trillion dollar bailout to remove toxic mortgage-backed debt from banks balance sheets, the market is still correcting in what has become a vicious downward cycle. This cycle will persist until the bad debts are accounted for and written off for or until the exhausted dollar-system collapses altogether. Either way, the volatility and violent dislocations will continue for the foreseeable future.

Most people don’t understand what happened on Thursday, but the build-up of bad news on the Lehman default and the $85 billion government takeover of AIG, triggered a run on the money markets and a freeze in interbank lending. The overnight LIBOR rate (London Interbank Offered Rate) more than doubled to 6.44 per cent. Bank of America reported overnight borrowing rates in excess of 6 per cent. Longer-term LIBOR rates also rose sharply. On Wednesday, jittery investors removed their money from money markets and flooded short-term US Treasurys for the assurance of a government guarantee on their savings even though interest rates had turned negative which means that their balance would actually shrink at the date of maturity. This is unprecedented, but it does help to illustrate how raw fear can drive the market.

The TED spread (the TED Spread measures market stress by revealing the reluctance of banks to lend to each other) widened and the credit markets froze in place. Borrowing three-month dollars on the interbank market and the U.S. Treasury’s three-month borrowing costs widened five full percentage points. That’s huge. The banking system shut down.

What does it mean? It means the Federal Reserve has lost control of the system. The market is driving interest rates now, and the market is terrified. End of story.

When the Fed announced its emergency program to dump $180 billion into the global banking system, short term Libor retreated slightly but long-term rates have remained stubbornly high. The noose continues to tighten. These rates are pinned to 6 million US mortgages which will be resetting in the next few years. That’s more bad news for the housing industry.

The entire system is deleveraging with the ferocity of a Force-5 gale touching down in the Gulf, and yet, Henry Paulson has decided that the prudent thing to do is build levees around the system with paper dollars. Naturally, many people who understand the power of market-corrections are skeptical. It won’t work. Libor is pushing rates upwards–that’s the “true” cost of money. The Fed Funds rate (2 per cent) is supported by infusions of paper dollars into the banking system to keep interest rates artificially low. Now the extreme pace of deleveraging has the Fed on the ropes. Trillions of dollars of credit is being sucked into a black hole which is raising the price of money. It’s out of Bernanke’s control. He needs to step out of the way and let prices fall or the dollar system will vanish in a deflationary vacuum.

The problems cannot be resolved by shifting the debts of the banks onto the taxpayer. That’s an illusion. By adding another $1 or $2 trillion dollars to the National Debt, Paulson is just ensuring that interest rates will go up, real estate will crash, unemployment will soar, and foreign central banks will abandon the dollar. In truth, there is no fix for a deleveraging market anymore than there is a fix for gravity. The belief that massive debts and insolvency can be erased by increasing liquidity just shows a fundamental misunderstanding of economics. That’s why Henry Paulson is the worst possible person to be orchestrating the so called rescue project. Paulson comes from a business culture which rewards deception, personal acquisitiveness, and extreme risk-taking. Paulson is to finance capitalism what Rumsfeld is to military strategy. His leadership, and the congress’ pathetic abdication of responsibility, assures disaster. Besides, why should the taxpayers be happy that the stocks of Morgan Stanley, Washington Mutual and Goldman Sachs surged on the news that there would be a government bailout yesterday? These banks are essentially bankrupt and their business models are broken. Keeping insolvent banks on life support is not a rescue plan; it’s insanity.

No one has any idea of the magnitude of the d

Twilight Zone / Dead on Arrival

Posted: 19 Sep 2008 03:23 PM CDT

WRITTEN BY Gideon LevyNothing helped. Not the pleas, not the cries of the woman in labor, not the father’s explanations in excellent Hebrew, nor the blood that flowed in the car. The commander of the checkpoint, a fine Israeli who had completed an officers’ course, heard the cries, saw the women writhing in pain in the back seat of the car, listened to the father’s heartrending pleas and was unmoved. The heart of the Israeli officer was indifferent and cruel. For over an hour, he would not let the car with the young woman in labor pass through the Hawara checkpoint on the way to the hospital in Nablus. Not to Tel Aviv; but to Nablus; not for shopping, not for work; but to get to the hospital in an emergency. Nothing helped.

Nahil Abu-Rada is not the first woman to lose her baby this way because of the occupation, and she won’t be the last. At least a half-dozen checkpoint births that ended in death have been documented here over the years, and nothing has changed. No punishments, no lessons, not even a request for forgiveness from parents who lose their children because of the coldheartedness of soldiers.

The occupation kills – never has this slogan sounded so true as on that night, two weeks ago, at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus. No convoluted excuse or explanation from the Israel Defense Forces spokesman (military sources were quoted the day after the incident, making this Moutrageous comment: “This baby would have died anyway”) can erase the simple, chilling fact that for officers and soldiers in the occupation army we have established, human feeling has become alien, at least when it comes to Palestinians. Or the fact that there are still officers and soldiers in the IDF who behave with such lack of feeling toward a woman in labor who is about to lose her child.

What went through the mind of the officer who refused to let Nahil pass? He saw her in agony, he heard her husband’s desperate pleas, and he surely knows how children come into this world and how they can leave it just aseasily, without lifesaving medical treatment.

The couple had gone to bed at nine. They woke up after midnight when Nahil, 21, suddenly went into labor; she was at the beginning of her seventh month of pregnancy. This was on the night between September 5 and 6, at their home in Qusra, a quiet and relatively well-off village east of the Tapuah Junction, at the foot of the Migdalim settlement in the northern West Bank.

The closest hospital was in Nablus, a 15-minute drive at night to the Hawara checkpoint, and then another 10 minutes from there to Rafidia Hospital, if all goes smoothly. But that night, nothing went smoothly.

The husband, Mu’ayyad, 29, called his brother Uday to come quickly with his car. The two brothers work in different industrial plants on the Ma’ale Ephraim settlement. They speak Hebrew well. Their father works as a gardener in Ma’ale Ephraim. They come from a family of 16 siblings, most of whom attended university; they had never been in any trouble. Uday’s phone’s ring tone is the Hebrew song “Hayal mishmar hagvul” (Border Police Officer), with the lyrics: “We were a pair of lovebirds, innocent and shy, suddenly it all ended, my heart is broken … You went to the army and love went with you, now I’m lonely and sad.” Now, Uday’s cell phone also carries a horrifying photograph of his brother’s dead baby.

Uday arrived within minutes and they carried Nahil to his red Opel and lay her down in the back seat. There is no ambulance in the village. Had they called for one to come from Nablus, it would take much longer, they thought. Uday drove quickly, using flashing red lights in the back, while Nahil lay moaning with her husband by her side. The brothers’ mother joined them in the car, too.

Shortly before 1 A.M., they reached the Tapuah checkpoint and after a delay of a few minutes, they were allowed to continue on their way. Nahil’s cries grew stronger. Every so often, she would anxiously ask her husband: Where are we? How much longer? Mu’ayyad reassured her: We’re almost at the hospital, just a few more minutes. Some minutes later, they reached Hawara.

The checkpoint was deserted. They stopped where cars are supposed to stop. “It’s the army: If you don’t stop the right way, they can shoot you and you can be killed,” Mu’ayyad explains later.

A soldier stood 25 meters away. Mu’ayyad began walking toward him carrying the identity cards of all the passengers in the car. “Come here a second; it’s an emergency. My wife is in labor and I have to take her to the hospital, to Rafidia,” Mu’ayyad said. The soldier said he’d have to consult his superior officer. “He walked really slowly, not in any hurry,” as Mu’ayyad describes it.

Adds Uday: “They’re working very quietly, very slowly, it’s all quiet. She’s yelling and they’re quiet. Moving very slowly.”

The soldier disappear

Palestine Think Tank Digest
David Baldinger – For The Murdered Children Of Palestine

Posted: 08 Sep 2008 01:36 PM CDT

By David Baldinger

Boy from Susiya almost dies from suffocation after journey to hospital is delayed by Israeli roadblock

Posted: 08 Sep 2008 01:18 PM CDT

On the 31st August, one and a half year old Omar almost died from suffocation as his journey from Susiya to hospital was prolonged from 5 to 20 minutes due to Israeli road block. Sunday afternoon Omar had caught a fever which caused his tongue to swell up and and fall back blocking his windpipe. As a part of the reaction his brain went into shock and closed his mouth. In order to save the boy from suffocation, it was crucial to get him to the hospital as quickly as possible.

Under normal conditions it would take the family 5 minutes to drive the direct road to the Al Er Demat hospital, but this road has been closed by a Israeli roadblock for the past 8 years. As Susiya is in Area C the Palestinians have no authority to build and repair roads without Israeli authorisation, which meant the family had to use an old dirt-road to get to the hospital. Even though they raced over the dirt-road to get to the hospital in time, the journey was still prolonged by 20 minutes.

Omar was only saved because his uncle managed to open the boy’s mouth and get his tongue out of his windpipe during the drive. Otherwise it would have been too late before they got to the hospital. When arriving to the hospital Omar was quickly taken care of and after spending 2 hours there he was discharged.

A similar incident ended fatally last year in the neighboring town of Tuwani as a 14 year old girl died from suffocation on the way to the hospital.

These two incidents are only examples of problems caused by the restriction of movement that Israel has imposed on the Palestinian population.

In 2007 the number of permanent checkpoints averaged 102 a month. On top of this, the army sets up dozens of temporary “flying” checkpoints every week. In addition, Israel has blocked access to severel main roads.

The system of restrictions on Palestinian movement, enables Israel to designate some of the roads in the West Bank for only the use of Israelis, mainly settlers living in the West Bank. Israel prohibits Palestinian vehicles from even crossing certain roads. Palestinians are forbidden to use, or are restricted in their use of, more than 300 kilometers of roads in the West Bank.

Via: International Solidarity Movement