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Translation of an article
in Ma'ariv 24-04-2001

[Uri Avnery] / 21.4.01



"People, Atten-tion!!!"
The voice comes from thousands of loudspeakers covering the whole country: "Fourth glass, d-r-i-n-k!"

"Attention – m-o-u-r-n!"

"At ease – r-e-j-o-i-c-e!"

There are no loudspeakers in reality. No such orders, either. This is not the Soviet Union. What the hell, here we have democracy! Everyone can do what he bloody well wants! Provided, of course, that he does what the state demands of him or her.

April is the month of Zionist indoctrination. Between the 14th of Nissan and the 5th of Iyar, according to the Hebrew calendar, an intensive course implants the collective myths into the souls of every person in Israel. Anyone who wants to understand Israel must study the events of this month. Specially recommended to Palestinians.

It starts on Passover eve. The ceremony was fixed in its final form centuries ago, but it suits the most modern insights of psychology and pedagogy. It is an exercise of suggestion, bordering on genius.

It takes place in the most intimate family circle. The atmosphere conveys warmth and security. Everyone, from oldest to youngest, participates. Everyone has a well-defined task. Every detail is fixed: how many glasses of wine to drink and when, how and what to eat. All senses are activated: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching. The ceremony imprints on the mind of the small child an impression that will last for life. It is reinforced by annual repetition.

The book read aloud on this occasion is the "Hagada" (literally: "The Telling"). It fixes the national myth forever in the mind of the child. "We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt"- the basic image of the Jewish people as the victim. "In every generation, they tried to annihilate us" – the knowledge that "they", all the nations, in all the countries, at all times always tried and always will try to annihilate the Jewish people. From this emanates the conviction that the Jewish people is unique, a people alone, the eternally persecuted, different from all other nations and separate from them. And the climax: "Pour your wrath on the Goyim!"- a call to God to take revenge for the Jews.

The word Goyim has a double meaning. In classical Hebrew, Goy is simply a synonym for people. The Jews too are a Goy, albeit a "holy Goy". In the course of time, the word assumed the meaning of "the other peoples", and from there it became attached to the individual. Today, a Goy is any non-Jew – may he be Arab or Russian, Ethiopian or Alaskan. An abyss exists between Jews and Goyim. The Kabbala, a trend that is becoming more and more important within the religious community in Israel, considers the Goy closer to animals than to humans – who are, of course, the Jews.

One must bear in mind that the Hagada was born in the diaspora, when Jews were defenseless and unable to take revenge for their suffering. But when the Hagada is read in the new State of Israel, which has a huge army, it becomes a dangerous message: Don’t trust the Goyim.

A few days after Passover comes the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust. This is a day of collective memory, submerging all the media for 30 hours and more, pushing everything else aside. Dozens of official ceremonies fill the TV screens. All places of amusement are closed. At 10 a.m., the country stands at attention, every person freezes where he is.

About six million Jews were annihilated by the Nazis. Many were shot by the SS Einsatzkommandos, many were gassed in the death factories, many died of hunger and disease in the closed ghettos. It was not the only genocide in the 20th century, nor the only genocide perpetrated by the Nazis. But the Jews vigorously assert, not without justification, that the destruction of the Jews was totally unique.

The remembrance of the Holocaust after 56 years is considered a moral duty to the victims, but it is also a powerful political and propaganda instrument. It tells the Jewish child: all the peoples of the world were partners in the Holocaust. Those who did not murder, helped the murderers. Those who did not help, were silent. The Holocaust is indeed unique, but it is only one link in the long chain of persecution – one link and not the last one. Even a Jew who resides securely in Miami knows deep in his heart that tomorrow it can happen to him, too. Therefore he must support Israel, the safe haven for future victims. Don’t trust the Goyim.

Professor Yeshayahu Leibovitch, himself an observant Jew, said that the Jewish religion is dead, and that the Holocaust is the new religion uniting Jews around the world. After all, every Jew – even one who lived at the time in Palestine, or Morocco, or Canada – knows that had he fallen into the hands of the Nazis, he, too, would have ended up in the gas-chambers of Auschwitz.

Politically, the memory of the Holocaust is a powerful instrument indeed. It is claimed in Israel that the Palestinians are not rising up against the Israeli occupation but simply continuing the acts of the Nazis. Yasser Arafat is the successor of Hitler, as was Gamal Abd-al-Nasser before him. After what happened to the Jews in the Holocaust, Israel, the "State of the Victims", is allowed – indeed obliged - to take any action, cruel as it may be, to defend the survivors and prevent a second Shoah. Foreigners must not criticize Israel’s actions. If they do, they are anti-Semites, heirs to the Nazis.

A week after Holocaust Day comes great comfort. After the slavery in Egypt came redemption in the promised land. That was a miracle. After the Holocaust came the State of Israel, and that was a miracle, too.

But between the Holocaust and the Resurrection, a day is devoted to the Price. The Day of Remembrance for the fallen heroes lets every child participate in mourning those who gave their lives for the state. Again every Israeli freezes where he is and the whole people stands at attention when the sirens sound. As they tried to annihilate us in every generation, so did the Arabs try to destroy us when, at last, we set up our own state, and since then they have tried again and again. In order to defend ourselves we went to war after war. The military cemeteries are full, and continue to get bigger. Here they lie, row after row.

And then, in the evening, the day of mourning fades into the joy of Independence Day, the day of our miraculous redemption, our victory, the day when we stood up, the few against the many, and won. Again we defeated those who wanted to annihilate us, again God poured his wrath on the Goyim, again we are ready, united and righteous, to withstand the next pogrom, to defeat the next Hitler. As the jolly Israeli song goes: "We survived Pharaoh, we shall survive this too."

Teachers and parents know that the children in the first grades mix up all the festivals and days of mourning. They do not know who among the persecutors of Israel came before who: the Greek (Hannuka), the British (Independence Day), the Babylonians (9th of Av), the Nazis (Holocaust Day), the Egyptians (Passover), the Arabs (Memorial day), the Romans (again 9th of Av). It’s all mixed up. It’s all one and the same story. They are all evil Goyim. The mental world of Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres and Ovadia Josef was forged in the same workshop as the mental world of other Israelis.

Thus, Israel is bound by steel shackles to the Jewish myth, looking backwards, unable to act like a normal state, that looks forward and is able to make peace, to a live with its neighbors, to find its place in the 21st century.

Ein Entwurf zur Diskussion:
80 Thesen für eine neue Friedensbewegung

Gush Shalom


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