Israelis long for the times when the state could act violently against the Palestinians without fear of repercussions as the fascist new government draws international condemnation.
Tens of thousands of Israelis have been protesting every week in what is referred to as a “struggle for Israeli democracy” since the installation of the new, most extreme government in Israel’s history, which includes a Kahanist minister of national security who was previously found guilty of supporting a terrorist organization.
Naturally, this description assumes that Israeli democracy does indeed exist and that it is currently under threat from fascist figures determined to obliterate it.
However, a careful examination of the messages conveyed by these demonstrations’ participants and spokespersons reveals that their true goal is to rewind time so that the apartheid regime in Israel can once again be marketed as a functioning democracy, allowing the international community to continue to ignore the crimes it commits.
With so much Palestinian blood on his hands, former Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon can pursue rehabilitation as a key speaker at demonstrations referencing democratic and equality values under the guise of this “struggle for democracy.”
The chief promoter of the blood libel against the late Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan, the former police commissioner Roni Alsheikh, has been another knight of democracy at the microphone. Alsheikh accused Qian of belonging to the ISIS group after he was killed by Israeli police during the demolition of the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran. This terrible lie was repeated even after it had been completely disproven. He was not heard to be reminded of this by any of the recent demonstrators.
The first woman to complete Israel’s Naval Officers Course was also invited to speak at one of the demonstrations as an apparent nod to feminism. God forbid that such a democratic protest would exclude women speakers. From that vantage point, it is evident that the fact that female fighters also took part in the most recent deadly Israeli military operation in Jericho is a sign of respect for the glorious achievements of Israeli feminism.
Beyond the speaker’s podium, Israel’s militarism is also becoming a key part of these protests. On Twitter, defenders of democracy are being joined by former senior security service officials.
Ehud Barak, the former chief of staff and prime minister, is one of them. As PM at the time, he is responsible for the deaths of 13 Palestinian citizens during protests in October 2000, when the Second Intifada began. He is also to blame for harming the relationship between Arab citizens and the state, perhaps more so than any other Israeli politician.
Another is Yair Golan, a former MK for Meretz who said he would “suppress and silence” those in his party who wanted to turn Meretz into a party that is both Jewish and Arab.
In the name of democracy, these two individuals, who have devoted the majority of their adult lives to suppression, destruction, and the intensification of the occupation, are calling for a civil rebellion against the new government.