BOTH IN ISRAEL and in the U.S., the term “apartheid” is being used more and more to describe Israel’s occupation. At the end of December, Rabbi Henry Siegman, a former director of the American Jewish Congress, described Israel’s settlements as an “irreversible colonial project” that, if not halted, will have Israel “cross the threshold from ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ to the only apartheid regime in the Western world. Denial of self-determination and Israeli citizenship to Palestinians amounts to ‘double disenfranchisement,’ which, when based on ethnicity amounts to racism.”
Remember that Palestinians MPs are regularly ejected from the Knesset for far less than this kind of barracking and violation of parliamentary protocol. Notice also that the Knesset TV spends as much time, if not more, focusing on the heckler than Zoabi, implicitly legitimising his anti-democratic behaviour.But when Zoabi accuses the soldiers of “murder” at about 4.30-min into the video, all hell breaks loose. A dozen or more Jewish MPs rush to the podium and start circling Zoabi like a pack of baying hyenas. By this stage, when Zoabi is being physically threatened by a number of MPs in the parliament chamber, you might think it would be time for some of them to be forcefully ejected, if only to indicate that this subversion of the democratic process will not be tolerated. But not a bit of it. They are treated with kid gloves.
Canadians are not racist. The problem is with Indigenous peoples — we are invisible. Martin further alleges that Canadians are “a generous people” that will “rise to the occasion” to support others in need — if they are aware of the issue. Had these statements been made by anyone else, I might have let this insanity slip by as a severe case of willful blindness. However, . .. this racism has also infected every level, branch and institution of the municipal, provincial, territorial and federal governments.
In Alpher’s view, the liberal Zionist ideal of Israel as a “Jewish and Democratic state” is rapidly disappearing from the public discourse. Faced with a choice, Israel is choosing to become “Jewish” rather than “democratic”. “You [Jews in the diaspora]” he said, “now have a problem reconciling your Jewish and Zionist ideals with the present State of Israel. We Israelis have created a major problem for you”.
Rather than calming the tantrum, Canadian political leaders often contribute to the hysteria of certain Jewish groups. During the recent debate to condemn the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign MPs repeatedly accused a movement demanding Israel comply with international law of being “anti-Semitic”. The terms “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Semitism” were invoked over 80 times in a debate to justify Jewish/white supremacy in the Middle East.
Haftom Zarhum, a 29-year-old Eritrean, was lynched by Jewish Israelis simply because he looked different. After being shot in the legs, a mob circled him like hyenas over a bleeding prey throwing a bench over his head and chanting the unofficial Zionist’s anthem of hate: “Death to Arabs, Arabs out!” and “Am Israel Hai”.
Sleep deprivation, sometimes for days at a time; being bound hand and foot to a chair, with movement restricted for hours on end; being subjected to shouting, swearing, threats, spitting, and indignities; exposure to extreme cold and heat; little and substandard food; being denied the possibility to shower or change clothes for days and even weeks; incarceration in a small, foul-smelling cell, usually in solitary confinement, for many days.