Disarm Israel: A Utopia or a Vision for Peace
July 28, 2009
By Ilan Pappe
[Contribution to the Reimagining Society Project hosted by ZCommunications]
Whenever the possibility of establishing an independent Palestinian state is mentioned by Israeli politicians, they take for granted that their interlocutors understand that the future state would have to be demilitarized and disarmed, if an Israeli consent for its existence is to be gained. Recently, this precondition was mentioned by the current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu in response to President Barrack Obama's two states' vision presented to the world at large in his Cairo Speech in this June. Nentanyahu made this precondition first and foremost for domestic consumption: whoever has referred in the past to the creation of an independent state alongside Israel, and whoever does so toady in Israel envisage a fully armed Israel next to a totally disarmed Palestine. But there was another reason why Netanyahu stressed the demilitarization of Palestine as a condito sin qua non: he knew perfectly well that there was no danger that even the most moderate Palestinian leader would accept such a caveat from the strongest military power in the Middle East.
In Israel, as in the West, the vision of a demilitarized Palestine is accepted as feasible scenario where it would be regarded as totally insane and unhelpful to imagine a peace based on the demilitarization of Israel as well. This disparity in the attributes of statehood is part of a much larger imbalance in the international community perception of, and attitude towards, Israel and Palestine.
For most Israelis it would seem sheer lunacy to contemplate any future without the army playing a dominant and supreme role in the lives. Not for nothing, do scholars regard Israel not as a state with an army, but an army with a state. The state appears in the works of some brave critical Israeli sociologists as a prime case study for a modern day militarized society; namely one in which the army affects deeply every sphere of life.[i] Imagining an Israel without such influence is more than a utopian vision, it is really an end of time scenario.
And yet demilitarizing both Israel and Palestine in the long run maybe the only way of ensuring normal and peaceful life for everyone who lives there and everyone who ought live there like the millions of Palestinian refugees who were expelled from their homelands in 1948 and ever since. But this article does not evolve around one meaning of the verb Disarm, it is based on a wider, and admittedly a more fluid, interpretation of the verb. The more extended definition, it will be argued here, turns the idea of Disarming Israel into a more concrete political plan rather than a utopian scenario for a very distant future when the peace of the prophets would prevail.
Long before one can contemplate any significant reduction of arms, let alone disarmament of anyone involved in the Palestine issue, there is a need for a very different kind of disarmament as a pre condition for any successful reconciliation in Israel and Palestine. The wider context of disarmament is focused on Israel and less on Palestine, at least in its initial stages. There in no other current political, economic and military imbalances as the ones that exist between Israel and the few hundred Palestinian fighters (even the term fighters for these Palestinians begs some stretching of our imagination). As these imbalances were there ever since 1948, it stands to reason that only a transformative processes in the attitude and nature of the stronger party in the equilibrium will kick off any significant reconciliation on the ground. Throughout the one hundred years or so of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Zionist movement and later the state of Israel were the stronger party and its policies towards the indigenous population of Palestine changed very little at that period.
This article is written under the premise that only a fundamental change in the basic Israeli policies towards the Palestinian and Palestine can lead to a change of attitude towards the Jewish settler community that came to Palestine in the late 19th century and colonised the land. Contrary to the conventional Israeli and Zionist narrative, still trumpeted proudly in the West today, the harsh anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian policies of the Jewish state are not a reaction to Palestinian hostility or general Arab animosity; these very policies are the cause of the regional antagonism towards Israel and the Palestinian enmity to it. And hence, disarming here is a search for a way of exposing what lies behind the Israeli policies against the Palestinians since they are the source of the conflict and the reason for its persistence. Since these policies have by now triggered the introduction of nuclear weapons to the region, the death of tens of thousands of Palestinians, thousands of people in the neighbouring Arab countries, almost twenty thousand Jews in Israel, inflamed a new wave of anti-Semitism as well of Islamophobia and finally strained unnecessarily the relationship of the West with the Muslim world, these policies are a deadly weapon and as such should be disarmed.
These policies are the product of a certain ideology, Zionism, or to be more precise of a certain interpretation of the Zionist ideology. And hence disarming here means first and foremost persuading Israeli Jews that arming themselves with this ideological spectacles harms not only their Palestinian victims, but disables them from leading normal, quiet and secure life in the country they have chosen in the end of the nineteenth century as their homeland.
The Production of the Weapon
The Zionist movement appeared in central and eastern Europe in the late nineteenth century as a movement propelled by two noble impulses. The first was a search by Jewish political leaders for a safe haven for a community that was exposed increasingly to a hostile environment and anti-Semitic ideologies and which had the potential in escalating to something worse - as indeed it did in the genocide of the European Jews in the Second World War. The second impulse was a wish to redefine Judaism, the religion, in a new secular form, inspired by the spring of nations around them when so many cultural, religious and ethnic groups redefined themselves in the new intoxicating way of nationalism. As mentioned the search for security and new self determination was noble and normal at the time. However, the moment these impulses were territorialized, namely gravitated towards a specific piece of land, the national project of Zionism became a colonialist one. This was also normal at the times, when Europeans, for a plethora of reasons migrated to non-European lands, colonised for them by force of expulsion and genocide by their greed governments. But noble it was not. Where genocide occurred alas there was no way back, but where colonization did not deteriorate to such criminality, which was the norm, the settlers went back to their countries of origins and the colonised became independent. The territory coveted by the Zionist movement was Palestine, after other territorial options were examined, and in it lived the Palestinian people for hundreds of years.
The first sellers arrived in the 1880s without declaring openly their dream of taking over the land and without disclosing openly their desire to cleanse the land from its indigenous population. Until the 1930s, the leaders of the settler community was preoccupied with gaining international support and legitimacy which the British Empire gave them with the Balfour Declaration in November 1917 and with grounding a foothold as a state within a state, which the British mandatory government allowed them. In that period their main predicament was that the Jews in the world did not fancy Palestine either as their salvation or destination. It was only with the rise of Nazism and Fascism in Europe that the validity of Palestine as a safe haven for the Jewish people made sense and the community of settlers grew in numbers. Still until the end of the British mandate, it consisted only one third of the overall population and possessed less than ten percents of the land.
It is in the 1930s that the ideological weaponry, soon to be translated into real arms of destruction, was forged. A formula emerged which became consensual and almost sacred to those who led the Zionist movement then and those who lead the state of Israel today: The formula was simple: for the Zionist project in Palestine to succeed, the movement had to take over as much of the land of Palestine and make sure that as few Palestinians as possible remain on it. This was - as cynical as it may sound - due to a desire to build a democratic state. The hope was to maintain eternally a Jewish majority that would democratically decid and vote for keeping the country Jewish. In the 1930s, an additional recognition sprang: there was no hope that then, or in the future, the indigenous people of Palestine would either diminish by numbers, or give up their natural right to live on their land as a free people. Thus for the ‘existential' formula to succeed you needed military power of enforcement. This did not only mean building an army, but granting the military a prominent role and domination over any other aspects of life in Palestine as a Jewish community. Critical Israeli sociologists followed with astonishment how systematic and ever expanding was the process ever since the conscious decision to militarise Zionism was taken in the 1930s.[ii] Political leadership, economic captainship even social and cultural prominence are all won and gained due to a military background or a career in the security octopus that runs Israel. Moreover, the major decisions on foreign and defence policy - especially towards the Arab world in general and the Palestinians in particular - were taken ever since the 1930s by generals. The end result is only too visible today in Israel: the budget and the economy as a whole, as well as the socialization process and educational system, are all geared to service the army.
An Army with A State
Thus the process of militarization of the Israeli society was intense and exponential. Israel indeed became an army with a state. Two aspects are in particular worth stressing in this context. The first is the militarization of the educational system. Since this part of the reality ensures the a militarised view perception on life is reproduced again and again with each new generation of young men and women who will only able to view the reality through the perspective of an armed conflict, military values and wars. The second is the prominent economic role the arms industry in Israel plays in the state's national product and in particular who crucial it is for its trade balance and export. Israel is the fifth largest exporter of military arms in the world and hence any anti-militarised discourse, let alone action and activity, can also be easily portrayed as undermining the very survival of the Israeli industry and economy.
This paramount position would not have been won without an occasional proof that the military force was badly needed. There were two types of military action: one was a cyclic confrontation with regular Arab armies, not always initiated by Israel - the 1973 was an Egyptian-Syrian initiative, but all could have been avoided had not the Israeli army wished to be engaged in the battlefield for the sake of its own moral, its status and the its dire need to experiment with weapons and exercise its soldiers. More importantly, each war enabled Israel to extend its territory in a never ending quest for a living space. The last round of this kind of military competition was in 1973 and despite an Israeli attempt to engage the Syrian army twice in 1982 and 2006; the Israeli army did not fight a war against a conventional army in the last thirty five years. Most of its weaponry, the most sophisticated and updated one in the world, was produced for huge land and air campaigns between mammoth regular armies, but instead it has been used in the last thirty five years mainly against unarmed civilians and guerrilla fighters. The collateral damage is unavoidable as are the doubts about the Israeli ability to engage in a genuine conventional war.
The second use of the military power was for implementing the Zionist ideal and the formula upholding it and mentioned above - namely the need to maintain a hold over most of Palestine with as little Palestinians in it, if the Zionist project were to survive.
It began with a carefully planned scheme of ethnically cleansing as many Palestinians as possible in 1948 when the British mandate came to an end. The British government decided in February 1947 after thirty years of rule to leave the question of Palestine in the hands of the UN with a genuine hope not to be involved any more in a country they developed on the one hand but helped to destroy by their pro-Zionist and anti-Palestinian policy, on the other. After the tribulations of the Second World war, the demise of British power in the world, a devastating economic crisis and loss of men on the ground, London had enough.[iii]
The Palestinian political elite and the Arab neighbouring countries hoped the UN would deliberate long on what to do with a minority of settlers living amidst an indigenous majority, but they were wrong. The UN was quick to decide on granting more than half of the country to that minority. The world was looking of a quick way out of the Holocaust and forcing the Palestinian to give up half of their homeland seemed a very convenient and low price to pay. No wonder, the Palestinian leadership and the Arab League rejected publicly the UN plan. This plan was articulated in a UN General Assembly resolution in November 1947 offering the Palestinian mere 45% of their home land. The Zionist leadership although unhappy of being granted only 55% of the land, nonetheless realised that the resolution accorded them a historical international recognition in the right of dispossessing Palestine. The UN, on top of it, due to the Zionist acceptance and the Palestinian rejection rebuked the Palestinians, praised the Israelis and ignored the fact that on the ground Jewish forces began to evict by force the Palestinians from their homeland.
In February 1948, Within a year from the British decision to leave Palestine, the Zionist leadership began ethnically cleansing Palestine. Three months later when the British left, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were already refugees, pressuring the Arab world to take action. Which it did on 15 May 1948, but the limited number of troops it sent to Palestine were no match for the efficient Jewish forces and they were defeated. The ethnic cleansing continued and at the end of it almost a million Palestinians became refugees (half of Palestine's population) and with them disappeared half of the country's villages and towns, erased from upon the earth by the Jewish forces.[iv]
The use of force against the Palestinians as means of achieving control over territory and containment of population continued after 1948. It was used in 1956 to massacre Palestinian villagers who were part of the small minority of Palestinians who survived the 1948 ethnic cleansing and became Israeli citizens. Every now and then, but not too often, that minority would protest against its oppression and would be met by the powerful hand of the Israeli military and police authorities.
It was then used, and this time frequently, in the areas Israel occupied in June 1967: the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Whenever, the Palestinians under occupation protested and struggled against the occupation, the Israeli military responded with all its firepower. Hence, tanks, aircrafts, navy destroyers and all the other weaponry used in conventional war theatre against armies of similar might were mercilessly employed against the urban and rural areas of the dense West Bank and the Gaza Strip, wreaking havoc and destruction of unimaginable proportions. Similarly in two onslaughts on Lebanon in 1982 and 2006 similar force was used to devastate the Lebanese urban and rural spaces.
Three chronological junctures are particularly worth mentioning in this respect in order to illustrate the ferocity of armaments when it is employed in order to implement a century old colonialist ideology. In October 2000, a frustrated Israeli army just forced to withdraw from southern Lebanon by the Hezbollah responded with its entire sophisticated armoury against a fresh Palestinian attempt to resist the occupation. For the first time F-16s and the mighty Merkava Tanks were used in an urbicide to subdue the rebellion.[v] This same military might, but with more collateral damage and cluster bombs was used against Lebanon in 2006 after the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by the Hezbollah. Finally, as is only too familiar by now the Israeli army experimented with the most lethal updated weapons, such as phosphorous bombs and fibber glass shells that surgically amputate the victims, in order to quell a rebellious Gaza strip suffering under the yoke of closure and starvation for more than eight years.
If one adds to the deadly arsenal Israel possess and which it had used in its sixty years of existence to the counter armament of its Arab neighbours, always engaged in a crazy arms race, first fed by the cold war then by the military industry in the world, one can see how any step towards defusing the ideological urge to use power could contribute to peace and reconciliation. Moreover, one has to consider the nuclear power Israel has which has not been used, although there are so far unfounded reports of the use of tactical nuclear weapons on several occasions. Atom bombs are still considered in Israel as a dooms day weapon to be used in case of an imminent defeat of the Jewish state. But I feel this is no more the main scenario in the political and military elite of the state. It is seen as the main factor enhancing the myth of Israeli invincibility, and hence the desperate attempt of Arab regimes such as in Syria and Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, Iran, to follow suit; all leading to an ever growing firepower keg that can explode at any given moment.
All this armament and its frequent use as noted is mainly, not exclusively, the product of an ideological paradigm. The paradigm assumes that a Jewish colonization of part of the Arab world was an inevitable and existential act for the Jewish people and could only be assumed by building formidable military power so as to gain full control of the land and reduce as much as possible the number of indigenous people on it. The arms amassed and their frequent use is not only a menace to the Palestinians, they prevent the Jews in Israel from leading a normal life and they pose a threat to the stability of the region, and quite probably beyond it. While defusing literally the arms, the arms industry and their employment is an impossible dream, and quite frankly a dangerous one as the Israeli aggression bred counter Arab aggression and armament that can end in a bloodbath of the people who live in Israel, if only one side is disarmed, diffusing of the ideology is feasible, reliable and peaceful.
Diffuse and Disarm: Past Attempts and A Future Road Map
In the 1980s, Israeli intellectuals, academics, playwrights, musicians, journalists and educators developed second thoughts about the validity of the Zionist ideology as their taken for granted reality. They were called for want of better term, post-Zionists; not anti-Zionists as their critique on Zionism varied in its intensity and severity. But all in all, their understanding of Zionism was very different from the way it was interpreted by the vast majority of Jews in Israel: in their depiction Zionism was and remained a settler colonialist movement, a militarised society and nearly an apartheid system. This post Zionist critique entered for a while into the public sphere and influenced, albeit in a very limited way, the educational curricula, some of the documentary films on Television and the general discourse. This new thinking was there for about a decade, during the 1990s. Then came the second Intifada, uprising, and the urge for openness subsided and almost totally disappeared.[vi]
The Jewish society in Israel in the beginning of the 21st century has closed the door it prised slightly in the 1990s. Today, it became even more rigid in its ideological convictions and intransigence. Hence, all the factors mentioned above about militarism and armament are still relevant in this time and age. But it is this exposure of a harsh ideological society that may harness the seeds for a future change. The logic of the present ideological realities, and their military implications, are that one cannot hope for a change from within in the near future. Without this change, arms production, their leathal employment and their deadly impact will continue unabated. So it is urgent to look for alternative ways of changing a public mind and a political system, with the realization that a change from within is right now impossible.
In the face of more than a century of dispossession and forty years of occupation the Palestinian national movement and activists were looking for the appropriate response to the devastating policies implemented against them. They have tried it all, armed struggle, guerrilla warfare, terrorism and diplomacy: nothing worked. And yet they are not giving up and now they are proposing a nonviolent strategy -- that of boycott, sanctions and divestment. With these means they wish to persuade Western governments to save not only them, but ironically also the Jews in Israel from an imminent catastrophe and bloodshed. This strategy bred the call for cultural boycott of Israel. This demand is voiced by every part of the Palestinian existence: by the civil society under occupation and by Palestinians in Israel. It is supported by the Palestinian refugees and is led by members of the Palestinian exile communities.
This became a valid option because of a fundamental shift in public opinion in the West. And indeed if there is anything new in the never-ending sad story of Palestine it is the clear shift in public opinion in the West. Britain is a case in point. I remember coming to these isles in 1980 when supporting the Palestinian cause was confined to the left and in it to a very particular section and ideological stream. The post-Holocaust trauma and guilt complex, military and economic interests and the charade of Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East all played a role in providing immunity for the State of Israel. Very few were moved, so it seems, by a state that had dispossessed half of Palestine's native population, demolished half of their villages and towns, discriminated against the minority among them who lived within its borders through an apartheid system and divided into enclaves two million and a half of them in a harsh and oppressive military occupation.
Almost 30 years later it seems that all these filters and cataracts have been removed. The magnitude of the ethnic cleansing of 1948 is well known, the suffering of the people in the occupied territories recorded and described even by the US president as unbearable and inhuman. In a similar way, the destruction and depopulation of the greater Jerusalem area is noted daily and the racist nature of the policies towards the Palestinians in Israel are frequently rebuked and condemned.
The reality today in 2009 is described by the UN as ‘a human catastrophe'. The conscious and conscientious sections of British society know very well who caused and who produced this catastrophe. This is not related any more to elusive circumstances, or to the ‘conflict' - it is seen clearly as the outcome of Israeli policies throughout the years. When Archbishop Desmond Tutu was asked for his reaction to what he saw in the occupied territories, he noted sadly that it was worse than apartheid. He should know.
This qualitative change in public opinion and mood is visible in other Western countries; needless to say that in the vast world this has the been the case for years now. Similar mood prevailed at the hey day of Apartheid in South Africa. The reality there, then, and the reality in Palestine, now, prods decent people, either as individuals or as members of organizations, to voice their outrage against the continued oppression, colonization, ethnic cleansing and starvation in Palestine. They are looking for ways of showing their protest and some even hope to convince their governments to change their old policy of indifference and inaction in the face of the continued destruction of Palestine and the Palestinians. Many among them are Jews, as these atrocities are done in their name according to the logic of the Zionist ideology, and quite a few among them are veterans of previous civil struggles in this country for similar causes all over the world. They are not confined any more to one political party and they come from all walks of life.
So far the British government, and the other Western governments, are not moved. They was also passive when the anti-apartheid movement in Britain demanded of its government to impose sanctions on South Africa. It took several decades for that activism from below to reach the political top. It takes longer in the case of Palestine: guilt about the Holocaust, distorted historical narratives and contemporary misrepresentation of Israel as a democracy seeking peace and the Palestinians as eternal Islamic terrorists blocked the flow of the popular impulse. But it is beginning to find its way and presence, despite the continued accusation of any such demand as being anti-Semitic and the demonization of Islam and Arabs. The third sector, that important link between civilians and government agencies, has shown us the way. One trade union after the other, one professional group after the other, have all sent recently a clear message: enough is enough. It is done in the name of decency, human morality and basic civil commitment not to remain idle in the face of atrocities of the kind Israel has and still is committing against the Palestinian people.
The validity of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions option is a first step in triggering a process of disarming Israel from its lethal ideology and its practical and real arms. Boycotts and outside pressure have never been attempted in the case of Israel, a state that wishes to be included in the civilised democratic world. Israel has indeed enjoyed such a status since its creation in 1948 and, therefore, succeeded in fending off the many United Nations' resolutions that condemned its policies and, moreover, managed to obtain a preferential status in the European Union. Israeli academia's elevated position in the global scholarly community epitomises this western support for Israel as the ‘only democracy' in the Middle East. Shielded by this particular support for academia, and other cultural media, the Israeli army and security services can go on, and will go on, demolishing houses, expelling families, abusing citizens and killing, almost every day, children and women without being accountable regionally and globally for their crimes.
Military and financial support to Israel is significant in enabling the Jewish state to pursue the policies it does. Any possible measure of decreasing such aid is most welcome in the struggle for peace and justice in the Middle East. But the cultural image in Israel feeds the political decision in the west to support unconditionally the Israeli destruction of Palestine and the Palestinians. The message that will be directed specifically against those who represent offiiccally the Israeli culture (spearhead by the state's academic institutes which have been particularly culpable in sustaining the oppression since 1948 and the occupation since 1967), can be a start for a successful campaign for disarming the state from its ideological constraints(as similar acts at the time had activated the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa).
Outside pressure is effective in a state in which people want to be regarded as part of the civilized world, but their government, with their explicit and implicit help, pursues policies which violate every known human and civil right. Neither the UN, nor the US and European governments, and societies, have sent a message to Israel that these policies are unacceptable and have to be stopped. It is up to the civil societies to send messages to Israeli academics, businessmen, artists, hi-tech industrialists and every other section in that society, that there is a price tag attached to such policies
There are encouraging signs that the civil society, and particular professional unions, is willing to expand their pressure. The achievements are symbolic in legitimizing a demand for disarming the state from its practices and ideological prejudices.
Pressure is not enough if an effective diffusion of the ideology that produces the weaponry is desired. It should be complimented by a process of re-education in Israel itself. As noted in the beginning of this article, the chances for a change from within in Israel are very slim. A pressure from the outside is called for because there is an urgent need to prevent the continued destruction of Palestine and the Palestinian people. However that does not mean that one should give up the attempt to diffuse the ideological weapon by education and dissemination of alternative knowledge and understanding. The two are actually interlinked. Those very few, and brave, ones who toil relentlessly in Israel to re-educate their society from a pacifist, humanist and non Zionist perspective, are empowered by those who pressure the state to act along these lines and leave behind the old habits of aggression and militarization.
I would like to mention in this respect one particular group ‘New Profile'.[vii] It is committed to introduce to, and disseminate among, the younger Israelis the idea of pacifism. They are the ones who inform young recruits that even according to the Israeli law you are allowed to declare conscientious objection from serving in the IDF on pacifist grounds. They produce educational material to counter the militarized educational system and take part in debating these issues. They became potentially so successful that the Israeli security service declared them a menace and a threat to national security. Their pure, simple message of the sanctity of life, the stupidity of war and militarism, is not yet connected to a more mature political deconstruction of the reality in Israel and Palestine, but it will be one day and could serve a potent transformative agent. And maybe because it is so pure it is so effective.
The Palestinians of course have an agency in this as well. Non-violence, rather than violence, has less immediate effect on alleviating an oppressive reality, but has long term dividends. But on one can interfere at this stage in the liberation movement torn by different visions and haunted by years of defeat. What is important is ask for a Palestinian contributing to a post-conflictual vision free of retribution and revenge. A non militarised vision for both Jews and Arabs, if transformed from the realm of utopia and hallucination into a concrete political plan can help enormously together with the outside pressure and the educational process from within in disarming ideologically the state of Israel.
Finally, the Jewish communities in the world, and in particular Western world, have a crucial role to play in this disarmament. Their moral and material support for Israel indicates endorsement of the ideology behind the state. Thus it is not surprising that in the last few years a voice of the non-Zionist Jews is increasingly heard under the slogan ‘not in my name'. The main weapon official Israel uses against the outside pressure or any criticism for that matter is that any such stance is anti-Semitic. The presence of Jewish voices in the call for peace and reconciliation accentuates the illogical way in which the state of Israel tries to justify the crimes against the Palestinians in the name of the crimes perpetrated in Europe against the Jews.
The project of disarming Israel is thus presented here as an ideological diffusion. It begins with asking people concerned with the realities in Palestine and Israel, for whatever reason, to learn the history of the Zionist project, to understand its raison d'être and its long term impact on the indigenous people of Palestine. Hopefully such knowledge about the history would associate the violence raging in that land with the historical roots and the ideological background of Zionism as it developed throughout the years.
The recognition of the past and present role of the ideology that necessitated the building of a fortress with one of the most formidable armies in the world, and one of the most flourishing arms production industry, enables activists to tackle tangible goals in the struggle for peace and reconciliation in Israel and Palestine, and in the general struggle for disarmament in the world
An efficient process of ideological diffusion should avoid unnecessary demonization, a clear distinction between political systems and ‘people' as such, a good understanding of knowledge production, of information manipulation as well recognition in how educational systems are indoctrinated and who governments engage with conjuring up a world distorted representations and demonised images. This is an essence a strategy of activism that would begin a a very tough dialogue with a state and a society that wishes to be part of the ‘civilized' world, while remaining racist and supremacist. In it lives a society that does not wish, or is unable, to see that its ideological nature and its policies locate it within the group of rouge states of this world. For good or for worse, what academics in the West would teach about Israel, what journalists would report about it, what conscious and conscientious people would think about it and what eventually politicians would decide to do about it, is a key for a drastic change in the horrific reality on the ground in Israel and Palestine. This dismal reality has repercussion not only to peace in the Middle East but in the world as a whole. But it is not a lost case, and now is the time to act.
[i] Uri Ben Eliezer, The Making of Israeli Militarism, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.
[ii] Henry Rosenfeld and Shulamit Karmi, ‘The Emergence of Militaristic Nationalism in Israel', International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, 3:1 (Fall 1989), pp. 30-45.
[iii] See Ilan Pappe, Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-1951, London: MacMillan, 1988.
[iv] See Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2006.
[v] The wish to use as fierce military power as possible in order to regain the power of deterrence in admitted by the most senior military generals in the book Boomerang written by two senior Israeli journalists. See Raviv Druker and Offer Shelach, Boomerang, Tel-Aviv: Keter, 2005.
[vi] See Ilan Pappe, ‘The Post-Zionist Discourse in Israel', Holy Land Studies, 1:1 (2002), pp. 3-20.
[vii] See their website www.newprofile.org