Saturday, June 11, 2016

News From the Holy Land (June 11, 2016)

According to Ronen Bergman in the New York Times many of the military leaders of the State of Israel "detest" Prime Minister Netanyahu.
But above all, the clash between the political and defense establishments can be summed up in two words: Benjamin Netanyahu. Many of the military and intelligence officers who have served under him simply detest him. “I told Netanyahu that a chasm of non-confidence had opened up between him and them,” Uzi Arad, a former national security adviser, told me. “He is the worst manager that I know,” said Meir Dagan, the former director of the Mossad. “I quit the job because I was simply sick of him.”

In 2010, Mr. Netanyahu got into a serious fight over Iran with Mr. Dagan and his two colleagues, Yuval Diskin, the former director of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, and Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, the former I.D.F. chief of staff. The military and intelligence leaders believed that the prime minister’s plan to attack Iran’s nuclear installations was politically motivated by electoral considerations and would embroil Israel in a superfluous war. Moreover, they thought he was going about it illegally, bypassing the cabinet. (Ronen Bergman, Israel’s Army Goes to War With Its Politicians, New York Times, May 21, 2016.)
Palestinians remember what Jaffa was like before the mass expulsion of Palestinians in 1947-9.
In Jaffa the Dajani family name harkens a time of past prestige, of a distinctly Palestinian-Arab sort. Before their diaspora the clan made their fortune in agriculture and were prominent landowners. Jaffa’s first modern hospital took the Dajani name after an endowment. Dajani said his father was treated there for an ear infection with penicillin shortly after the first round of mass production of the antibiotic, a sign of Jaffa’s affluence and modernity.

Dajani tracked down that hospital.

“I found the fountains in the garden,” he said of the old medical facility. The fountains were just where his father told him to look. When he laid his eyes on them, it was like seeing through time: “I got something back.”

“It showed we were a really strong, well established society in Palestine and we must live in the future together,” he said. (Allison Degar, The sacking of Jaffa during the Palestinian Nakba, as narrated by three Omars, Mondoweiss, May 15, 2016.)
In Israel it is the case that Palestinian citizens of Israel are exempted from serving in the army.
Palestinian Israelis do pay taxes, but they are exempted from serving in the Israeli army, though they constitute roughly one-fifth of the country’s population. That’s because they are not considered sufficiently loyal to the country, for obvious reasons: Israel is constituted as a “Jewish state,” and many of its enemies are Palestinians, people who were forced off their lands to permit the state’s establishment, or who now live under occupation with no rights, right alongside Jewish colonists who have full rights, and have to serve in the army. So the Israeli army is overwhelmingly Jewish (though many Druze serve). ...

Americans ought to be asking, Why would you want to have a society that one-fifth of the population wouldn’t want to defend? Because the definition of citizenship overlaps with a tribal definition that is highly exclusive, and not at all equal, is why. (Phillip Weiss, ‘Everyone’s a veteran’ in Israel, says Junger. Well, not really, Mondoweiss, June 3, 2016.)
Militarization in youth movements in Israel. (Israel Social TV, June 9, 2016.)

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