An open letter from Jerusalem - Uriel Kon

Operating Protecting Edge

Uriel Kon is an Argentine born Israeli. He is a writer and publisher and vocal opposer to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This is a translation of an open letter he published, calling the Jewish community to stand up against Zionism.

Shame, anger, impotence – what I feel living in, or aside of, Israeli society. In their great majority we are talking about a heap of individuals who have been the victims of a systematic brainwash, since they were kids. Washed brains and professional brain-washers. Perpetrators that somehow managed to develop a denial mechanism, a complete insensitivity to other people’s suffering – all this in combination with an indelible feeling of superiority, paradoxically mixed with ignorance, vulgarity and a virulent racism. Racism and discrimination, applied both in the personal as well as the institutional levels.

A society that never searched nor wanted peace, like the Israeli society, is destined to disappear. That is the destiny of ethnic democracies. To speak now is dangerous: the papers and online news sites in Hebrew narrate the war in ways that do not give the smallest space to doubt. The news are uttered like fragments of the indoctrinating discourse, that one that is repeated like a mantra in the bar, the café, the universities, from parent to child, from officer to soldier. That is why there are no interstices in the local imaginary, there is little of a left, little criticism – they are abolished. Self-criticism is treason. The look, a mix both of pleasure and hatred, of the Israeli Sabra is too evident.

A couple of minutes ago I bumped into an Argentine friend. We agreed that it is impossible to speak with most Sabras. Their eyes change, they roll back in – they look like zombies. Their bitterness and rudeness are innate, but they grow exponentially with hatred. For them the war, all Israeli wars are moral affairs – they were impossible to avoid. These are wars imposed by the enemy. And they are the oasis of the Middle East, the miracle of the Chosen Ones. Or like Ney Matogrosso says: they are the rose of Hiroshima. They shoot and cry; cry while they kill and build new settlements in the Occupied Territories. They do not want to kill but they kill. They want peace in war. And they believe it!

Do not get confused anyone visiting Tel Aviv – mini-shorts central, a place of American pop and multi-sexuality. Underneath the manicured grass, of people walking dogs or skating, behind the petty local literature – a literature of infantilism and daily dramas. Behind the posh boutiques and the corporate or artistic world creeps a warmongering perversity, a sanctification of ones’ and others’ death. There is cult of the eternal conquest and oppression.

And yet all these words, all these adjectives, were intended as a request, to my Jewish friends, to those who – like me – grew up inside the Jewish communities of Latin America, with that after-taste of Yiddish leftism, with a certain joy in living surrounded by different human beings, seduced by diversity: the time has arrived to separate ourselves from Israel, to separate Judaism from the doctrine of this ill-fated country. Against what we have learned in school, zionism is racism. The prototype of the Aryan-Israeli failed, and like during the last weeks of nazism during the war, they want to eradicate us all, they want to blow up all the bridges. They want to die in their auto-hatred and their erotic passion for war.

No more support for Israel. No more money that was and will be destined to build forests over destroyed Palestine villages. The money will keep on building infrastructure for settlements in the Occupied Territories, in order to spoil any plan of territorial division. Money that is used to kill people, murder children, test new weapons, to create new zombie-soldiers lacking any independent ideas.

Staring at these people on the face, and more during times of war, is scary. Faces of people that feel nauseous when they hear the words “human rights”. For them human rights are anti-Semite – them who are the first anti-Semites in the world, who mock those who do not live in Israel, considering them half-human. They are the ones using the history of Jewish People to kill. And all to create a flat country, lacking creativity, humanism, literature, imagination. They have created a country in which military men are cultural heroes. A country in which women, to receive equal rights, become and imitate men. Their inner world denies the imagination of a peaceful territory, in which life, creation, and happiness replace the erotism of violence.
How do I live in this country? How can I reconcile with the idea that my taxes support the perpetuation of an oppressive and antidemocratic system? These are the things that I have been asking myself for some years now. In the past I entertained the narcissist and innocent idea that maybe I could contribute towards change, that things could change. But now I think the only solution is re-emigrating – it will be hard but not impossible. I think I am getting closer.

This country is doomed and it is shameful. We are shameful. And I do not want to live with the shame to which I was driven by the decision I made as a teenager.

[image source: Pedro/Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fanega/14455141437/in/photolist-o2mnWv-ogceWw-nYLK52-oiNTdU-nYKGzr-nYKrDK-ofHpYR-kZhoKZ-kZiRvE-jCmEVi-nTRG79-nZP2rb-ofPyMd-kE3E7H-nYvjkL-oiYbxt-ohfLPm-o11BAG-nZNEpJ-nZLog2-ofghhf-o12D4P-kEebbR-nAn5HE-nCpHLF-nCbJrb-nkV1FE-nZcc - used under Creative Commons Licence]

Comments

Indigo from Bue...
Aug 1 2014 09:36

It's sad that my Facebook comment has been deleted. And it is sad to hear some gratuitous accusations from this site admins.

If I hurt someone's sensibilities, I'm sorry, but I honestly don't think that writing an open letter denouncing Zionism because you are Jewish living in Israel gives you any merit (Is there something wrong with the word "Jew", "Jewish"? Because it seems to generate bad feelings (on others) when you utter it. I do not know how to call these fellow HUMAN BEINGS other than by their name. Unless you have the key to proper adjectivation, that is.)

We all know the facts and we all know who is the guilty party here. And I feel that, although his appeal is noble and sincere, it reeks of hypocrisy. Israel has been slaughtering civilians since its inception, and even before it, the Jewish paramilitary militias were raping and murdering Palestinians much like they are doing now. Why go live to such a place in the first place?

I simply thought the best act of support for the liberation of Palestine is for people like him, who have ackowledged the horror of living in Israel, is to precisely leave Israel, because they do not belong there in the first place, for being colonizers and oppressors.

And that is not the same to say no Jew belongs there. They have lived side by side with Palestinians in peace until the influx of European Jews, lulled by Zionism's dream of a "land without a people", became overwhelming and the pillage of land began.

I suggest you read some books to enlighten your over-sensitive intellect (and that is scholarly books, for your knowledge).

And you can ban people all you want. That clearly shows the fascist inside you (so much for your libertarian communism) and the cowardice to engage in meaningful and respectful debate.

But you seem to be lacking any respect whatsoever for people who think differently than you and who think that any comment criticizing a Jewish individual is in and of itself racist and antisemitic.

Go, ban this comment too. You have my permission.

Indigo from Bue...
Aug 1 2014 10:07

I could easily let it go and simply curse at it, but I feel that making gratuitous remarks and banning a fellow compañero simply because you feel your sensitivity has been hurt, not only makes you arrogant, intolerant and disrespectful, but throws your credibility down the drain.

You call me "idiot" and "antisemitic", but what should I call people like you then? Ignorant, to begin with, for failing to read things right. If you post articles on your site, at least you should get acquainted with the facts. I thought the letter to be, to begin with, of bad taste and definitely adding nothing new. A Jewish man who lives in Israel denouncing Zionism and Israel for being what they are only makes for sensational news, not well-informed and meaningful articles of debate and thought.

Now, if a regular individual said it, well, he'd be banned and labelled antisemitic! Funny that you haven't self-censored yourselves yet for posting it.

It makes me cringe to think that an ideology so rich as Anarchism can attract so closed a mind like yours.

No wonder Anarchism is full of internicine divisions. I'd like to be as far away of ignorants as possible.

Steven.
Aug 1 2014 10:46

You weren't banned for criticising a Jewish individual, you were banned for calling for Jews to be sent "back where they came from", which is anti-Semitic, not to mention fucking stupid. "Back where they came from" going back how far? Where they were born? Where their parents were born, grandparents, what?

Your comment is also particularly ironic as from your name it seems like you are of European origin yourself, which would mean that your descendants migrated to South America. Where of course Europeans massacred the indigenous people and took over the place. Does that mean you should be deported as well? Or are Jews the only Europeans who should be deported?

In terms of advising people to read books, if you think "fascism" is not letting someone who wants the mass deportation of Jews post on an anti-racist Facebook page, then I guess I would respond "No U"

(PS you are also banned from here now so you can have a cry about that as well)

ocelot
Aug 1 2014 15:45
Steven. wrote:
You weren't banned for criticising a Jewish individual, you were banned for calling for Jews to be sent "back where they came from", which is anti-Semitic, not to mention fucking stupid. "Back where they came from" going back how far? Where they were born? Where their parents were born, grandparents, what?

Doubly moronic considering that going "back where they came from" is precisely what Zionists making aliyah think they are doing. Right through irony and out the other side...

Again
Aug 2 2014 03:06

Dear Steven,

I'm not here to cry about you banning me (but it’s a pity because I held the site in high regard). I write again because of the aggressive, gratuitous and personal insults and labelling without you engaging in dialogue about it. That, my friend, is fascist.

That you hold different views on this “conflict” is totally acceptable, unless of course you cannot justify it or substantiate it. That you censor these comments, is not. (And let's be fair and clear here, I did not post any abusive comments whatsoever.)

I have created another user (yes, ban it), so I can at least reply to your vicious insults, because otherwise, it is just you and your followers relishing yourselves at your own comments and actions.

The reason why your “mass deportation” claim doesn’t hold true here is the fact that all the individuals that went into Palestine after the infamous Balfour Declaration of 1917, were individuals lulled by Zionism to conquer Palestine —supposedly, a land without a people— and to “make the desert bloom”.

These same individuals armed themselves and through paramilitary groups like Hagana, Palmach and Irgun not only terrorized and expelled Palestinians with rape and murder, but they even scared the British away and made them leave (that is the British Mandate, in case you are not aware), which gave these same individuals carte blanche to ethnically cleanse the local population so they could have their own state. A clear example of this can be seen in the Deir Yassin massacre, and later on, in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacre.

How do you pretend to have a solution to this “conflict” when you are dealing with a racism that is deeply-rooted in their society? Characters like Ben-Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon and now Netanyahu, and calculated plans to appropriate and ethnically cleanse people, like Plan Dalet, should give you an idea of what these individuals were up to all along.

If you cannot engage in dialogue with me because of your bias and extreme over-sensitivity, do you think Israelis can? For me, yes, they should leave, but they will not and it is all my wishful thinking - my own personal and informed opinion, which I see was a mistake to openly expose here, and which absolutely does NOT make me a fascist, racist, bigot, antisemite or whatever you claim to say.

I should have expressed myself differently, but I was not aware that there was a Stalinist iron fist waiting on the other side in order to slam impure comments.

Either way, I still cannot understand how a comment like mine can hurt you and make you consider it offensive. Maybe you have some complex of your own that makes you banning people feel less guilty of your own disturbing thoughts? I hope I'm mistaken.

My thought “go back to whence they came from” is purely wishful thinking, and again, a personal thought that has not been respectfully debated, but rather attacked with unsubstantianted opinions. It was a thought looking to underline the fact that the vast majority of settlers are not locals but actually immigrants from the US and Europe. They have grown this hatred towards the “other” (Read some Brecht, compañero) which is and has always been the official position of Zionism and the state of Israel. Even the author states so, that they have been tricked to think differently and that he wishes to take no part in the bloodshed. That is why, I believe, he should leave. It would be the ultimate act of dissent and solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Do you know that many Palestinians that were displaced in the Nakba still have the keys to their homes? Homes that are now residential villages of Israel? They even have the tiles of the floor. There is a great injustice here that has nothing to do with immigration policies, Steve, but rather pillage of the land and genocide.

The difference with this and your personal statement regarding immigration is that the problem here is going to a country to live at the expense of the local population, stealing its resources and murdering and abusing them just because they are different. That is to say, willingly going and thriving, while the other side is bombarded and killed so you can leave “in peace”.

Is an informed opinion that claims that these very same people go back to their countries of origin inappropriate in this particular case? As I have stated before, the regular immigration claim does not hold true here, because Israel claims to be a Jewish state only, and the rest are second-class citizens at best, while the others are imprisoned because they are Arabs or are subjugated to abuse, like all those African peoples escaping war. That is unacceptable. This is not a country with equal rights. This is why I don't understand why my comments can angry you, when you cannot see (or do not know) the facts.

I doubt you believe Israel to be a democracy, but just look at its history at any given time and you will see it has always been based on hate and racial superiority. Should more opportunist settlers keep going to Israel to displace the Palestinian population and beat the rap because they are Jewish? I do not think so. Why is that idea so "moronic", "idiotic", "plain stupid"?

Is it possible to find a human being that sees the Jewish people as other human beings with the same responsibilities and accountabilities as the rest of humankind?

If you are going to reply or comment, at least do so with historical references or substantiate your statement with facts, not taking it to the personal realm. I detest cowardice and ignorance at any level.

*** For your interest, and this is a sincere suggestion, you might want to inform yourself and read something on this matter (and no, this is no right-wing literature, Steve. Sorry to disappoint).

*The Gun & the Olive Branch, by David Hirst (Faber & Faber, 2003)
*The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, by Illan Pappe (Oneworld, 2007)
*Hamas, by Azzam Tamimi (Olive Branch Pr., 2007)

And an amazing piece written by a Palestinian historian which refutes the idea that Palestinians just “left” by their own free will:

http://www.palestine-studies.com/enakba/exodus/Khalidi,%20Why%20Did%20the%20Palestinians%20Leave.pdf

*** And please, if you are going to keep censoring, would you be so kind to at least erase all my posts and comments from your site? (And that includes this thread as well, both your comments and mine). Now that you have enforced your authority, I’d rather you enforce it completely, so we can call it even and be fair. Otherwise, it is an injustice, because my voice will not be heard and I cannot refute your preposterous personal claims publicly nor the comments that may keep coming.

Indigo from Buenos Aires.-

Tyrion
Aug 2 2014 04:36
Again wrote:
I write again because of the aggressive, gratuitous and personal insults and labelling without you engaging in dialogue about it. That, my friend, is fascist.

Black Badger
Aug 2 2014 04:44

How can I down-vote this guy more than once? If only...

Ed
Aug 2 2014 09:53

Right, you've been banned again. Any future comments will be deleted as we don't want to legitimise the opinion that an ethnic group should be deported from a geographical area because of the (undoubtedly brutal and racist) crimes of the state they live in.

By your logic we should also deport the white populations of North America, Australia and, to be honest, people like you from South America (did you think Europeans turned up there with flowers and chocolate?).. they live there now, there are children born in Israel (as in America, Australia, South America etc) who have nothing to do with the terrorism the state they were born in was founded on..

Again wrote:
How do you pretend to have a solution to this “conflict” when you are dealing with a racism that is deeply-rooted in their society?

The worst thing about the situation is that we - or at least I - don't have a solution to the conflict.. however, your 'solution' isn't a solution at all.. it's the second-worst-case scenario: the deportation of one ethnic group to create an ethnically homogeneous state.. (second only the creation of an ethnically homogeneous state via genocide).. however we hope to solve the situation, that/those are the ends to be avoided..

Uncreative
Aug 2 2014 14:51
Again wrote:
I write again because of the aggressive, gratuitous and personal insults and labelling without you engaging in dialogue about it. That, my friend, is fascist.

That really got my back up about the third Reich as well, how all the workers organisations and prominent militants were labelled without engaging in a dialogue. Although obviously the most horrific bit, the bit that really shook my faith in humanity when I found out, was the camps they took people to where they made people read comments on web forums that were personally and gratuitously insulting towards them. These fascist outrages will go down in history as a monument to man's inhumanity towards man. Never Again!

Black Badger
Aug 2 2014 22:35

Can I say fuck off to this guy more than once?

Steven.
Aug 3 2014 12:24

admin: more comments from the returned banned anti-Semitic cretin removed. Any further posts by him will also be removed, so don't bother, go post on stormfront where people will share your views about the "Jewish people"