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McCarthyism and Fascism in Israel

28 August 2010 | Michael Warschawski | Alternative Information Center (AIC)

When a state awards itself the right to demand from its citizens an expression of loyalty to the state and when it conditions their citizenship on this same loyalty, it no longer possesses any connection to democracy. In a democracy, the state is loyal to its citizens and obligated to protect them unconditionally. Loyalty to the state and a demand from its citizens to serve it are characteristics of fascist regimes.

In the past two years Israel has taken several steps toward becoming a fascist regime. True, Israeli democracy, defined as a “Jewish and democratic state,” is problematic in several aspects: it removes from the democratic norm approximately 3 million residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory who are living under its rule for more than four decades, together with the 1.2 million Palestinian citizens of Israel – who do enjoy various civil rights but are not part of the governing landscape as the state of Israel defines itself as “the state of the Jewish people” and not as a state of its citizens and absentee residents.

On the table of the Knesset are various legislative proposals, proposals which are strange from the perspective of accepted democratic norms, and which question even the ethnic democracy existing in Israel to date. Only in fascist regimes, and under Stalinist authoritarianism, the citizenship of one born a citizen (and not those naturalized as a mutual decision between the person and the state) is dependent on the good will of the state: Nazi Germany, for example, annulled the citizenship of Jews, as did Vichy France. The USSR annulled the citizenship of Leon Trotsky.

The state of Israel is marching on the path to becoming a fascist regime, and on the way there are benchmarks. One of them is McCarthyism. The essence of McCarthyism is to compile lists of disloyal citizens, to delegitimize them and primarily to sow fear in the hearts of others such that they will not consider questioning the boundaries of national consensus, much less to cross them. The Institute for Zionist Strategies is the seemingly respectable side of “Im Tirzu,” while the latter is composed primarily of right wing young people who crudely attack real and imagined leftists, while the Institute for Zionist Strategies researches the level of “objectivity” of institutions of higher learning, counts what it dubs post-Zionism and demands “balance”. “The group of critical sociologists,” write researchers of the Institute, “gradually took over the departments of sociology in some of the campuses, control that continues to this day despite the weak identification with the Israeli public in all of the universities. Apart from Bar Ilan University, there exists a clear post-Zionist bias in the department of sociology, and it is particularly pronounced in the campuses of Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva…what is common to all of the “post-Zionist” researchers is an undermining of the foundations of the Zionist ethos.”

“It is not serious to catalogue researchers according to whether they are Zionists or post-Zionists, as if these are the only two possibilities…a step reminiscent of the work of Senator Joseph Mcarthy,” said one lecturer, and another added ““this is a threatening message toward everyone who does not think and teach in “the correct manner”. This is part of a mechanism of intimidation.”

In a normal country the university presidents would throw these arguments out the window: academia is not a pirate institution between right and left, between Jews and Arabs, between Ashkenazis and Mizrahis, but an institution composed of the best experts in the subjects taught there, with no regard for origin or opinion (in another blog I will write of the need for affirmative action in Israel). Alas, this is not so with the president of Tel Aviv University, Professor Joseph Klafter, who demanded to receive the reading lists for several courses in the Department of Sociology. “Figures on the right are attempting to categorise and label academics in a step intended primarily to cause intimidation. The university president should not have cooperated with such a thing,” said one lecturer.

If we intend to halt the continued deterioration of Israel into a fascist regime in which a lecturer or public servant will be forced to express loyalty to the regime and its leaders, the witch hunt in universities must be stopped immediately, and the sooner the better.

Translated to English by the Alternative Information Center (AIC).

August 29, 2010 - Posted by | Civil Liberties

5 Comments

  1. “When a state awards itself the right to demand from its citizens an expression of loyalty to the state and when it conditions their citizenship on this same loyalty, it no longer possesses any connection to democracy.” – The USA does the same thing, every person vows this when they immigrate to the USA or if they are born there… why not write an article about the USA too, oh wait you only hate Israel….hmmmmmmm

    I would rather vow loyalty to my country than live anywhere near you antisemitic/anti-Israel bigots, at least here I live a safe and good life ;)

    Comment by Israel Muse | August 29, 2010

    • Yes of course, how could I have forgotten!!!

      Every immigrant to the US must vow loyalty to the US as a White Christian nation.

      I would never live where all people weren’t required to submit to racial dominance!!! We must be quite the same you and I. Gee!!!

      Comment by aletho | August 29, 2010

  2. I dont care about racial dominance, you do, we dont have that problem here ;)

    We dont have white supremists, klu klux klan, neo-Nazis and whatever else you have there…

    I dont care to be called a racist, really i dont – Ide rather be a racist than be forced to be like other people are and be forced to change my religion like we have had to do over thousands of years and be forced to put up with the rest of the worlds crap when we have enough of our own and you guys just make it harder is all…

    you just add to the mess, thats all you accomplish, you will NEVER be rid of racism or zionism or any ism for that matter, you can try but you will fail, its human nature to want to protect our own just as much as the Palestinians want to protect their own, there is no difference, except I dont bad mouth the Palestinians, they are good people with SHIT leaders who just want control…

    we are good people also with SHIT leaders who dont control us but they also dont protect us enough from people like you either…

    we suck at PR, we suck at media, we suck in all of the things that really shouldnt matter but truly do matter in todays world, however we are at least very compassionate people and sensitive too and this is why you have people like me being very annoyed when reading articles like this when it is completely out of context and completely your own opinion without even really knowing us, just thinking you know us…

    I know hundreds of Americans and Europeans, I like most of them but even if I didnt, I wouldnt be saying things like you do because it is not fair unless I know people for sure are what you say people are…

    I lived in many western countries in my life and I know a lot of people in the world, everyone is different, everyone has a different story to tell… this story that you are telling all the time is old news and not original at all, the same that my response is not original because Im sure you have heard it before too…

    Why can you not want to first get to know people and a country first before judging them so harshly? to really know us…

    Comment by Israel Muse | August 29, 2010

    • “…they also dont protect us enough from people like you either..”

      Well there I. M., just what exactly would you have them do to people like me.

      Comment by aletho | August 29, 2010

      • woooo what a smart comeback…. as I said not original and very predictable ;)

        so why can you not want to first get to know people and a country first before judging them so harshly?

        Comment by Israel Muse | August 30, 2010


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