by Stephen Lendman
Business executive/World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder’s NYT op-ed criticized Israel - while expressing love for a nation, inflicting enormous harm on Palestinians, its ordinary Jewish population through neoliberal harshness, along with many others regionally and beyond.
Calling Israel a “democratic state” defies reality. A nation from inception favoring Jews over Arabs is fundamentally anti-democratic and much worse.
The Nakba reflects decades of Palestinian suffering. A victimized Palestinian survivor earlier shared his memories, saying:
“I cannot forget three horror-filled days in July of 1948. The pain sears my memory, and I cannot rid myself of it no matter how hard I try.”
“First, Israeli soldiers forced thousands of Palestinians from their homes near the Mediterranean coast, even though some families had lived in the same houses for centuries.”
“My family had been in the town of Lydda in Palestine at least 1,600 years. Then, without water, we stumbled into the hills and continued for three deadly days.”
“The Jewish soldiers followed, occasionally shooting over our heads to scare us and keep us moving. Terror filled my eleven-year-old mind as I wondered what would happen.”
“I remembered overhearing my father and his friends express alarm about recent massacres by Jewish terrorists. Would they kill us, too?”
“We did not know what to do, except to follow orders and stumble blindly up the rocky hills.”
“I walked hand in hand with my grandfather, who carried our only remaining possessions-a small tin of sugar and some milk for my aunt’s two-year-old son, sick with typhoid.”
Survivors remember Deir Yassin. On April 9, 1948, Israeli soldiers entered the village violently. They machine-gunned houses randomly. Many inside were slaughtered.
Remaining villagers were assembled and murdered in cold blood. Among them were children, infants, the elderly and women - first raped, then killed. Estimates placed the death toll up to 120.
All of the above and much more was prelude to endless horrors to follow, decades of ruthless Israeli state terror, Lauder omitted from his ode to the nation he loves.
Even though expressing criticism, he ignored the dark side of a ruthless tyrannical state.
He cited two threats to its existence, what he called “a stark choice: Grant Palestinians full rights and cease being a Jewish state or rescind their rights and cease being a democracy.”
Zionists reject the reality of Israeli Ziofascist governance, a fantasy democracy, not the real thing. Nations favoring one religious or ethnic group over others are profoundly undemocratic.
Lauder favors a two state solution. What years ago was possible no longer is - not with Israel controlling over two-thirds of West Bank land, its most valued areas, stealing more through settlement construction, along with claiming Jerusalem as its exclusive capital.
The only viable solution today is one state for all its people, including for illegally occupied Palestinians, treating everyone equitably irrespective of their religion or ethnic roots.
Lauder ignored reality claiming “Trump and his team are wholly committed to Middle East peace.” Endless US-led aggression continues in multiple countries.
It’s just a matter of time before Israel wages another premeditated war on Gaza, maybe another Lebanon war, possibly intending escalated strikes on Syria.
Blaming Palestinians for “incitement and intransigence” turned truth on its head. Israel is the aggressor, Palestinians its victims.
Resisting tyranny is a universal right. Perhaps Lauder forgot. More likely, he never gave it a thought.
To his credit, he criticized “extensive Jewish settlement-building” in the Occupied Territories.
Hasn’t he noticed it’s been going on for half a century? Why is he likely now addressing it for the first time publicly?
Over 600,000 settlers, including many extremists, live on stolen Palestinian land illegally.
He correctly called what’s going on “blinkered Israeli policies… creating an irreversible one-state reality” without explaining Palestinians to be excluded from it - confined to increasingly shrinking isolated bantustans, he failed to explain.
Politically empowered religious fundamentalists represent another Israeli threat, he claimed
Most Jews worldwide reject Jewish and other religious extremism. It’s virulent in Israel.
“By submitting to the pressures exerted by a minority in Israel, the Jewish state is alienating a large segment of the Jewish people,” said Lauder, adding:
“The crisis is especially pronounced among the younger generation, which is predominantly secular.”
“An increasing number of Jewish millennials - particularly in the United States - are distancing themselves from Israel because its policies contradict their values.”
Lauder omitted what’s most important. Many younger generation Jews, millennials, and others reject a racist Jewish apartheid state, ruthlessly persecuting its Arab citizens and Occupied Palestinians, besieged Gazans most of all.
That’s what’s alienating them most of all, effective BDS and other activists educating people about a ruthlessly repressive Ziofascist Jewish state, inflicting enormous harm on millions of others.
Jews and non-Jews supporting peace, equity and justice fundamentally oppose Israeli ruthlessness.
Israeli religious fundamentalism is minor compared to its naked aggression and state terror, issues Lauder ignored.
He’s super-rich, living in a protected bubble - paradise for him and others as privileged, outside a daily struggle to survive.
Palestinians endure a living hell - brutalized under occupation, Arab citizens treated like a fifth column threat, Jews treated one way, Arabs another.
To his shame, Lauder pretended not to notice.
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