How Jewish fundamentalism takes hold of Israeli democracy

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ISTANBUL

The recent Israeli attacks on the Palestinians, as well as the reactions of some Israeli politicians and journalists, as well as some extremist groups, to the unfolding events have demonstrated how dangerous this current trajectory can be, not only for the Palestinians but also for the Palestinians. future generations of Israel itself.

The sight of ultra-nationalist Jews – as we have seen in numerous video reports – celebrating the so-called “conquest of Jerusalem” in front of the Western Wall while in the background smoke billows from a tree on fire near Al-Aqsa The mosque as the clashes continued was worrying in many ways. The Jewish extremists danced and sang with glee, oblivious to the fire raging in the holy place right next to them. Many people found this image very disturbing and frightening as it showed the motivations and anger of certain Jewish groups, not only against the Palestinians but also against the Islamic identity of Jerusalem.

What is more alarming at the moment are the racist arguments advanced by various representatives of the Israeli media against Palestinian civilians. Here are a few examples: On her Twitter account, Attila Somfalvi, a well-known Ynet News presenter, called for the “removal” of neighborhoods in Gaza and a “second Nakba”, by which he actually meant mass murder. Palestinians. Another Israeli journalist Ben Caspit also proposed to destroy an entire area of ​​Gaza.

What strikes us as particularly remarkable is that the same arguments can be made by journalists from various political factions in Israel. Naveh Dromi, for example, who is supposed to be at the center – some even describe her as a “leftist” – also called for a “second Nakba”. Worse, as seen in mainstream Israeli media, journalists with extremist views blacklist their colleagues who do not follow Netanyahu’s propaganda by demanding that they be prosecuted and that those whose actions and statements serve no purpose. that “ultimately leading society astray” be punished.

Sadly, even some left-wing politicians have had to seek police protection as they constantly receive threatening messages in response to their criticism of the policies of Netanyahu and his party, Likud. This is not entirely surprising, given Israel’s current highly fragmented political landscape. Still, it should be noted how the propaganda of the Jewish elites has a significant negative impact on the region and the prospects of any kind of peace agreement. This can be seen in interviews conducted by American journalist Abby Martin with ordinary Israelis in West Jerusalem. As his interviews reveal, ordinary Israelis for the most part repeat the arguments of media elites, such as “We gave them Gaza, they should live there, not here”, “Palestinians should go and live in Arab countries” , “They (the Palestinians) are terrorists, Israel has the right to defend its citizens,” and so on, while turning a blind eye to the oppression of the Palestinians for all these decades.

All of this indicates that as a result of the political crisis and the state’s alarmist policies, racism has become normalized in Israeli society, as evidenced by both the media and political discourse. Voices for peace are easily marginalized, and as a result, society is rapidly moving away from the prospect of peace. In these circumstances, where racism and Islamophobia are normalized, the media, as we said before, provokes society by using populist and extremist language. As a result of systematic dehumanization, the Palestinians have been reduced to a horde of enemies who deserve only to be wiped out.

We must also point out here that the rhetoric so widely used by the Western media also, in a way, encourages Israel’s aggression. For example, Deutsche Welle (DW) journalists were given formal instructions on how to write about Israel, the red line being to avoid accounts that emphasize aggression, discrimination and colonialism. from Israel. Even the Israeli Air Force’s complete destruction of the Jalaa building, which housed international news agencies such as Al Jazeera (AJ) and Associated Press (AP), did not receive the attention it received. deserved. While the media can play a crucial role in peacebuilding and conflict resolution, when it comes to Israeli aggression, the global media play the ostrich. The colonial nature of the Zionist project, or, more precisely, of the State of Israel, is today – and unfortunately always has been – a near-taboo subject in many Western media circles.

Therefore, the extremist Jewish media narrative displays all the hallmarks of a colonial narrative by emphasizing the alleged uniqueness of the Jewish nation in its relentless pursuit of sovereignty over Palestinian land. In particular, denying the presence of Palestinians in the territories coveted and then seized for new Jewish settlements has been the most important factor that has shaped the mainstream Israeli media into what it is today.

The literature on the relationship between democracy and the media is extensive and contains a wide range of views. Almost everyone recognizes that the media have a huge impact on our democracies as long as they serve the interests of all of society. Some, like Bourdieu (1972), argue that the notion of “public opinion” does not actually exist and that it only serves the interests of the political elite. In this sense, what is happening in Israel is of great concern. The Israeli media are under serious threat, with Jewish fundamentalism threatening to take over Israeli democracy entirely. Thus, it is of paramount importance for those who truly appreciate democracy to take immediate action in response to the current threat facing Israelis.

Another point worth mentioning here is the “religious” nature of the fundamentalist Jewish agenda and how it is perceived, or rather, how it is never mentioned by the Western media. It is crucial to pay attention to this issue because the nature of “holy war” as a decree in Judaism – “milhemet mitzvah” (war by command) – should not be overlooked. This is because anyone who studies Israeli politics can easily see how Jewish extremism has passed from the hands of the secular elite to the hands of ultranationalist religious groups since the 1960s. When a group claims to do something on behalf of the Islam, the Western media never fail to qualify it as “Islamic terror”, “jihadism” and so on. As a result, the term “jihad” has become synonymous with “terrorism” in the Western media, which has masterfully removed it from its original meaning and context.

We will not discuss this unfair association and twisted portrayal in this short article as it has already been widely criticized. However, should we ask the following question: what about fundamentalist Jewish terrorism? The very motivations behind the Zionist notion of “promised lands” and their goal of erasing entirely the Islamic and Christian identity of the holy city of Jerusalem show undeniable parallels with what Daesh (ISIS) did in Mosul, Palmyra, Nimrud and other cities. So when hundreds of Jewish ultranationalists pursuing the “milhemet mitzvah” program attempt to enter Islamic holy places or when the Israeli police attack worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where are those who fear the “monsters jihad ”? A holy place turns into a battlefield, and we don’t hear much about it from some of the biggest players in the media business.

So, from the Vietnam War to the present day, we all understand the importance of the media in any type of conflict. The volume of racist arguments advanced by representatives of the Israeli media regarding the Palestinians, as well as the silence of the major media companies in response to this oppression, is of great concern. On the other hand, the political perspective of Israel, which is now dominated by far-right and religious extremists, poses a threat not only to Palestinians, but also to Israelis who do not support the agenda of the Jewish movements. extremists, far-right and ultra-nationalists.

In this “post-truth” era, there is a growing trend of alternative right-wing movements almost everywhere. But in this case, ironically, those who plan to destroy the lives of Palestinians once and for all have themselves once been the victims of genocide.

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