Jake Javanshir is an Iranian Jew whose family emigrated to Israel in 1950. Jake knows Israel well: he grew up there and served in the army, and he has many family members there still. Jake confides that, years ago, he became disillusioned with Israeli politics and moved to Canada. He has visited Israel a few times since, and was saddened by the “deterioration of [Israeli] society’s humanity” and the rising discrimination and abuse of Palestinians, inside Israel and especially in occupied Palestine territories. In his most recent visit, a few months ago, he was disturbed to witness how Israeli society has become openly extremist, racist and totally intolerant of Palestinians.
Jake is a member of Don Heights Unitarian Congregation in Toronto and a member of CUSJ. The email below, sent originally to CUSJ forum, is shared with his permission.
Time and time again I am dismayed to note that very well-meaning Western people who already know some of the history of the last 150 years, starting with the first Zionists, still find excuses for Israel or have the idea of being “nice and balanced” and buy into talks about it being a “complex situation” etc. I thought that over the years we have seen, read and witnessed enough to realize that Israel has taken the wrong path.
Of course, the “first sin” was when the British, like Lord Balfour and others, with the cooperation of the Americans and influential small groups of Jews, helped to promote the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine. Remember that the British and others at the time were, in one way or another, Antisemites. For them it was a good way to get rid of the European Jews, while assuaging their guilt over the Holocaust. It resulted with horrific atrocities to the indigenous Palestinians in 1947-48.
Almost all European Jews did not want to go to that “undeveloped desert area” – (this is well documented). They wanted to go mainly to the UK and North America. And once it became apparent that the Zionists’ aim was to get rid of the indigenous residents by any means, the European Jews, including the Jews who lived in Palestine, were totally against the Zionists. They called them terrorists who did harm to Jewish life and identity. They did not want them around Palestine.
The Oriental Jews, (of the Middle East and North Africa), had no interest in establishing a Jewish state there or anywhere else. They were very comfortable and had a good life, in every country where they lived.Also remember that many of the Oriental/Sephardi Jews suffered some backlash in those countries as a result of the horrific actions of the Zionists in 1947-1948, and they suffered great discrimination in Israel by the European Jews, after they emigrated to Israel, due to intense Zionist propaganda. By the way, originally the Zionists did not want any Oriental Jews. They meant to establish a Jewish white European country in Israel. Later they were forced to change course due to demographics and needing cheap labor.
As to whether the Jews need or are owed a state, my opinion is, absolutely not. Here is my reasoning:
* First, Jews are neither a race nor a nation – they are simply people around the world who share one faith, but have geographic and cultural differences, just like people of other religions. They are not homogeneous at all.
For example, some years ago, when the population was about six million, 33 different parties ran for election… thirty-three! That shows you the divisions of that society and hatred between factions. (As they say in Israel, ‘The Arabs are ones who keep us together’.)
* Second, no country had the right to give someone else’s land to a group who did not live there, and the Jews had no right to take it, as they did with acts of brutality too numerous to count and too difficult to imagine.
* Third, many Jews did not want to go to Israel, knowing as they did that they would do as well or better in the West, which proved to be true. Most Jews still have no desire to settle there.
* Finally, having an exclusive Jewish state, as Israel declared recently with the “nation-state law,” is, in the long run, the worst thing that could happen to Israelis, to Palestinians living in Israel and occupied Palestine territories, to Israel’s neighbours, and to the world. For a single religious state to amass so much power with the support and influence of evangelical Christians around and total support in many ways from many countries in the world, is inevitably destructive, racist, nationalist and elitist. (Lately, Israel is intensely seeking the friendship and support of groups that are white supremacists in US and Europe, who were and are Antisemites, but now they have found a “new Jew”- the Muslims).
Israel was artificially and destructively created, and still behaves as a psychopath who is getting worse day by day. Israelis of today have a psychotic problem: On one hand they feel superior to everyone else, on the other hand they feel that they are forever victims. This is the result of decades of brain washing aimed at eliminating any feeling of empathy toward the Palestinians/Arabs, and eliminating public resistance from Israelis in relation to the occupation, so the land theft can continue.
I and other peace seeking activists are told that “being enraged and using inflammatory language at times”, is not contributing to peace, and that we should be “balanced” and “talk nice to Israel” in order to convince them to change their ways. I can tell you, as have many Israeli/Jewish scholars and writers – this will have zero results.
It is said that the only way to affect Israel is by outside pressure. Israel has deteriorated to a place of no return, period. In today’s Israel you have extremists and super-extremists. The Left, having shrunken to a very small group, is marginalized and forcibly silenced.
Outside pressure will not come from politicians or governments, since they have a vested interest in dealing with Israel, from whom they buy weapons and other items to “fight terror” and moreover, they fear being labeled as Antisemites. Israel sells arms around the world to anyone, without limits: to Myanmar regime, Rwanda in the days of the massacre, billions of dollars to former South Africa’s white regime, to South Sudan’s murderous regime, to all drug lords and dictatorial rulers in central America and South America, former Soviet countries, China, India, the West and more. That’s how they buy silence and cooperation.
Keep in mind that Israel is benefiting enormously from the Occupation. It has no incentive to make peace. It benefits from stealing land and resources in many ways, including the Golan Heights; selling billions of dollars of products to West Bank Palestinians; developing new arms and surveillance products and testing them on the Palestinians. Getting billions of dollars from many sources which allows them to develop it all.
Israel achieves this by eliminating any possibility of peace, while placing the blame for this state of affairs on the Palestinians. Just look at what’s happened in the last 50 years, as every successive Israeli government acted to prevent peace and promote conflict. Not one of them wanted genuine peace. In fact, Zionists/Israelis later expressed regret that they did not take over the West Bank in 1948.
Which brings me to the point about the importance of educating the public. Once more and more people everywhere know the truth, it will put pressure on governments and Israel. The more people know, the more they’ll buy into BDS and similar measures. One example: For the past 15 years, a few Jews and non- Jews have been standing in front of the Israeli consulate for one hour every Friday, handing out material. This is also done in other cities. Informing the public of the truth and Israel’s deeds and hidden agenda is of great importance. Standing up to those who support Israel unconditionally, is also important and should not be feared.
I did not suggest that everyone should fly into a rage. That said, I am definitely angry – every decent person who knows the truth should be somewhat angry. If I’m forwarding material which shows Israel in a bad way, it’s because that is what I must do to educate people. Until people face the facts, they have no motivation to stand against Israel and our/other governments. Just imagine if you yourself had not been informed through many channels in the last few years.
Israel imprisoned two million Palestinians in Gaza and put 800,000 Jewish Taliban in the West Bank, and assassinated many. Israel has made peace an impossibility. This knowledge should stop us from “being nice and balanced” and move us to take peaceful actions.
We must stop making excuses for Israel.– Jake Javanshir