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Israel Faces Its Detractors

The Israel that many admired through a myopic lens has been brought into improved focus, a ruthless state that has similar characteristics to the Nazi state — virulent nationalist, irredentist, militarist, racist, repressive in occupied territories, ethnic superiority, thought control, and genocidal. One major difference between the Nazi Germany and apartheid Israel is that Nazi […]

The post Israel Faces Its Detractors first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Israel that many admired through a myopic lens has been brought into improved focus, a ruthless state that has similar characteristics to the Nazi state — virulent nationalist, irredentist, militarist, racist, repressive in occupied territories, ethnic superiority, thought control, and genocidal. One major difference between the Nazi Germany and apartheid Israel is that Nazi Germany had no religious attachment; Israel is emerging as a theocracy. This difference solicits a comparison between Israel as a Jewish theocratic state and the now defunct Islamic Caliphate, known as Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

The need to compare Israel with ISIS comes from Israel’s attempt to associate Hamas with ISIS. Israel’s worldwide propaganda machine (Hasbara) previously ordered that references to Hamas be preceded by the word terrorist, as if the two words were one word. After decades, the Pavlovian response to the characterization assured that when hearing the word Hamas the adjective terrorist naturally flows to the brain. The terrorism that Israel and its Mossad have inflicted on the Palestinian Lebanese, Syrian, and Iranian people, as well as hundreds of innocents from several nations throughout the world, are never discussed. After the October 6 Hamas attack on southern Israel, which incorporated unnecessary excesses, Hasbara issued a new link for attachment to Hamas, “Hamas is ISIS,” declared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. When uttering those words, Netanyahu should have looked in the mirror. A comparison determines that the founding of the Israeli and short-lived ISIS state and securing themselves as unique and dominant authorities have similarities.

Foreigners created the lands

Foreign fighters entered Syria and Iraq and allied with domestic populations to gain territory and incorporate the territory into the Islamic State (IS). Many of the fighters were from the Caucasus and Europe, were not Arab nationals, and sympathized with the ISIL cause.

In 1948, the Israeli forces contained few fighters who were born in the British Mandate; most were immigrants from previous decades and volunteers from Western nations. Foreigners to Palestine engaged in the capture of Palestinian land that enabled the creation of the enlarged Israel and the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians.

Uniting the people

The Islamists spoke of uniting the Arab Muslim people and inaugurating another Golden Age of Arab civilization in the Levant. Out of what? Just as the elements that produced the great Hellenist civilizations no longer exist for the Greek people, the elements for reviving an Arab civilization no longer exist for the Arab people. The Mongol onslaught broke the ties that bound the Arab peoples — devotion to the same religion, a House of Wisdom that contained the first university, which translated Greek and Indian texts and became a center for advancements in humanities, sciences, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine, and governance of Muslim Arabs for Muslim Arabs. The modern Muslim Arabs have more in conflict than in solidarity and no longer pursue the uniquely creative efforts of their ancestors. Go through the numbers and we find that ISIL appeals to a small disaffected group who define for others what is Muslim and who is Arab.

The Zionists spoke of uniting world Jewry and recreating a homeland for all Jews in a land they claim was once a home and empire for Jews. Because Judaism is not a religion that governs or attracts those who need strong devotion, religion originally did not play a role in their mission. Nor were the Zionists uniting a people — Jews around the globe did not share a common language, history, or culture and could not be classified as a nation any more than the Mennonites and Jehovah Witnesses can be considered peoples. The Zionists’ thrust was one of narrow disaffection, of belief that Jews would never be accepted in any nation. Its appeal, minuscule to Jews at the time of its beginnings, tended to unify Jews by sharing woe, harm, and victimization, a process of uniting psyches by trauma. Present-day Israel still clings to the traumas and uses the Old Testament to give it legitimacy and a focus for all Jews.

Recreating the ancient empire

The previous Golden Age of the Arab world lasted for 600 from 622 AD to 1258 AD, and, as happened to other civilizations, capitulated to superior military forces. The use of the term Caliphate and its designation as an incorporation of the Arab people into a unified body is an exaggeration. Competing dynasties — Umayyad in Damascus and later Iberia, Abbasid in Baghdad, Fatamid in Egypt, and the Turkish Ottoman Empire, Muslim but not Arab — can claim the term Caliphate, but all have disappeared from history and so has the Caliphate. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Mongols, and a host of other civilizations had several dynasties, but neither the Italians, Greeks, Egyptians, nor other communities of today are considered heirs or recreations of these previous civilizations. The Golden Age of Arab domination of the Levant is not myth; the modern Caliphate is myth, has no definition in the present, and no return to the past.

History, archaeology, and anthropology dispute the assertion that the Jews of today have a unique relation to the wandering Hebrew tribes and that these tribes secured a foundation as a civilization or an empire. There might be some slight genetic connection but the dispersal of the original tribes and Jews throughout the world, together with conversions, have modified the DNA and a new genetic pool has arisen. There are no significant traces — administration, monuments, buildings, weapons, accepted history, independent writings, tools, implements, or structures — to substantiate that the ancient Hebrews were other than wandering and hilltop tribes, with some communities having periods of urban concentration. No history or records by other civilizations during the time of the Israelites mention the supposed accomplishments of David and Solomon.

History of the ancient Hebrew people rests on the acceptance of the Old Testament as a historical narrative. The Bible resembles literature by a people and not an authentic history of a people — a saga with historical occurrences. Its tone, language and stories are mainly derived from Ugaritic literature of the 12th century B.C. Canaanite city-state of Ugarit and from previous Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian, and other ancient texts, stories, and legends. Listen to these other voices and we find echoes of the Old Testament. Several of the Psalms were adapted from Ugaritic sources; the story of the flood has a near mirror image in Ugaritic literature.

Recognized archaeologists (Israel Finkelstein, the director of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, William Dever, professor of Near Eastern archeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona, Ze’ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University, and Margreet Steiner, University of Leiden) have shown that the biblical history of an ancient Israel is mostly myth until the era of Omri in the 9th century B.C., and any attempt to refer to the myth has no definition in the present and no relation to the past.

Descendants of those who owned the land

ISIL claimed they were descendants of those who had close attachment to the lands and cultivated and possessed the soil. For centuries, mainly Arabs occupied the Levant, including historical Palestine, and, except for Israel, they now firmly control all of the Middle East and North Africa. The problem in the Arab nations is that the land and resources are controlled by few and are not properly distributed. Resolving that situation did not need an Islamic state; it needs more democratic states.

Can Jews correctly claim they are descendants of those who had close attachment to the lands, cultivated the soils, and owned them? The biblical twelve tribes of Israel retreat from history is presented as a mystery; described as the “Lost tribes of Israel.” Did they fall into a crack? How does this ridiculous description survive normal thought?

By 500 BC, the agrarian and pastoral Hebrew tribes had been absorbed into other empires — Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and later Greek and Roman. They formed a new group of Jews, who pursued urban trades throughout Mesopotamia and the Roman Empire. In the Persian Parthian and Sasanian Empires (248 B.C. to 641 A.D.), which housed the three great Jewish academies of Surah, Pumbadita, and Nehardea, the legacy and heritage of modern Jews and Judaism are best expressed. These academies codified the oral and written laws and produced the Babylonian Talmud, which became the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the basis for all Jewish law.

Although Jews lived in the Levant and controlled a small portion of the area during the short reigns of the Hasmonean kings, Jewish prominence and physical attachments to the ancient land of Israel and Jerusalem were not great and were mostly spiritual. Some remains of Jewish dwellings, burial grounds, and ritual baths can be found, but few, if any, major Jewish monuments, buildings, or institutions from the Biblical era exist within the “Old City” of today’s Jerusalem. The oft-cited Western Wall is the supporting wall for Herod’s platform and is not directly related to the Second Temple. No remains of that Temple have been located. This portion of the Western Wall lacks absolute proof of its being close to the “holiest of the holies,” and therefore has religious significance by default ─ there is no other apparent religious construction from ancient Hebrew’s Jerusalem.

In an attempt to connect ancient Israel to present-day Jerusalem, Israeli authorities apply spurious labels to Holy Basin landmarks.

Neither King David’s Tower nor King David’s Citadel relate to the time of King David.

Neither the Pools of Solomon nor the Stables of Solomon relate to the time or life of King Solomon.

Absalom’s Tomb is an obvious Greek sculptured edifice and therefore cannot be the tomb of David’s son.

Securing themselves as the unique and dominant authority

Troubling reports had the Islamic State destroying Christian churches and relics, most prominently those of the Assyrian Church of the East. Other destruction included the Temple of Baalshamin, one of the best-preserved ruins at the Syrian site of Palmyra, Mar Elian Christian Monastery, and The Imam Dur Mausoleum, an example of medieval Islamic architecture and decoration, and ancient sites, museums and libraries in Nineveh, Mosul, Hatra, Mari, and Nimrud.

Israel also consolidated its ethnic appearance.

Meron Rapaport, History Erased, Haaretz, July 5, 2007 reports that “during the 1950s, the nascent state and IDF set about destroying historical sites left behind by other cultures, particularly Muslims. This policy was so indiscriminate that even synagogues were destroyed.” Rappaport continues with information from Dr. Meron Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape, The Buried History of the Holy Land. since 1948 that said, “of the 160 mosques in the Palestinian villages incorporated into Israel under the armistice agreements, fewer than 40 remained standing. New Hebrew nomenclature replaced the Arabic names of more than 9,000 natural features, villages, and ruins.”


Equating Hamas, an organization that together with Iran has fought ISIS in its territory, has not been well received and is deliberately false. The Financial Times, John Reed in Gaza City JUNE 1 2015, “Hamas seeks to stamp out Isis in Gaza,” reports,

Night-time security checkpoints have gone up around Gaza City over the past month — the most visible sign of a crackdown by the ruling Islamist movement Hamas on local followers of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (or ISIS). In recent weeks, supporters of Isis have claimed credit for several bombings and Hamas has rounded up and imprisoned dozens of people, officials and analysts in Gaza say.

The Associated Press, as well as other news sources and institutions, explain why Hamas is not ISIS.

In contrast, Hamas is an exclusively Palestinian movement. Its members are Palestinian and its ideology, albeit violent, is focused on liberating what it says is occupied land through the destruction of Israel. While branded a terrorist group by Israel and its Western allies, its deadly attacks have been focused on Israeli targets.

During its 16 years of rule, Hamas built up a system of government that includes not only its military wing, but also tens of thousands of teachers, civil servants and police. The group also has significant support inside the West Bank and an exiled leadership spread out across the Arab world.

The Islamic State is no longer a caliphate and has little possibility of ever becoming a big “C again!” Examine carefully and focus intensely and soon the apparition becomes clear — if Israel is known as the Jewish state, then ISIL was unknowingly patterning its development (not its behavior) with similar principles to those of the Zionists. The rise of the nation-state under monarchs, which began in the 1500s and developed into nations guided by native people, has entered a new phase ─ get a group together, invade a weak foreign land, provide a false history to authenticate claims, and establish a new nation. The crushing similarity that seals the issue ─ ISIL had no defined borders and neither does Israel.

The post Israel Faces Its Detractors first appeared on Dissident Voice.

This content originally appeared on Dissident Voice and was authored by Dan Lieberman.

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