Editor: It is important for people in the broader community to understand that not all Jews support Israel’s reactionary and aggressive war-like policies against the Palestinian people’s long standing and legitimate political grievances.
While Israeli policy is sycophantically and mindlessly supported by the Canadian Jewish establishment, many people within the Jewish community reject Israel’s draconian, Romanesque policies. What Israel is doing in Gaza is a crime against humanity, in the same way in which the Germans destroyed the Czec village and inhabitants of Lidice as a reprisal during the Second World War.
Today there is an increasingly large and vocal group of progressive Jews in Canada and the U.S., such as those in Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) and other organizations, who are now publicly condemning and protesting Israel’s policies. In this regard it is necessary to differentiate between Judaism as a religion and Zionism as an expansionist political ideology.
One of the most damning indictments of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians comes from six former heads of Israel’s anti-terrorist intelligence service, the Shin Bet (like the CSIS or the CIA). The 2012 Israeli-made documentary, The Gate Keepers (now on DVD), interviews the former heads of this Israeli intelligence service which advises their government on policy regarding the Palestinians.
They don't pull their punches. Six of the past heads of the Shin Bet bluntly state that Israel has, since the failure of the Oslo Accord, consistently negotiated in bad faith with the Palestinians and they deem Israel’s policy in the Occupied Territories to be a failure, both militarily and politically.
One of the early heads of the Israeli Shin Bet baldly stated that “Israel is similar to the Germans during World War Two.” Another said, “We are a military occupying power.”
So say the men who make policy for the Israeli government. This open and savage criticism of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians comes from its own intelligence service, not from a hostile source.
Gaza now reminds me of Goya’s The Disasters of War and Picasso’s Guernica. All peace-loving people should stand with Ishmael, my Palestinian brother.
Shalom and salaam,
Richard Deaton, Ph.D., LL.B.