Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas Party, which represents religious extremists, once said that the Arabs are snakes, and prayed for a plague to befall the Palestinians. Recently, he included all non-Jewish peoples in his hatred and bigotry, when he said during a religious sermon, “Non-Jews were created to serve Jews. We will sit back like effendis and the non-Jews will serve us. That’s why God created the world.”
I said in the past that Ovadia Yosef is a swine. He then proved my opinion of him again. The man is not your average extremism. He is behind a religious party that won eleven seats in the last Knesset elections, and that has four ministers in the Netanyahu government including the party chairman Eli Yishai, who is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.
Extremism is not exclusive to one party or one sick Rabbi and his myths. It involves wide scale brainwashing: When a female soldier sang at a ceremony commemorating the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, three religious soldiers left the hall, but were subsequently punished by being imprisoned for one week. Meanwhile, the Military Rabbinate told the soldiers that visiting monasteries is “idolatry”, even if they did that for tourism not for religious purposes.
Then there is the oath of allegiance to Israel, which pushed hundreds of young Israelis to demonstrate in front of the Knesset, describing the decision as racist and undemocratic.
The decision imposed an oath to a “Jewish and Democratic" state. But a state cannot be democratic if it is exclusive to the followers of one faith, which reminds me of the countries of the former Soviet Union. Back then, each and every one of those countries had the word "democratic" in its name precisely because they were undemocratic, and it seems that Israel is now reviving that loathed Soviet tradition.
This toxic atmosphere has made Israeli universities themselves a target for extremists. For instance, the Im Tirtzu group, which is made up of extremist right-wing students, demanded the President of Ben-Gurion University Professor Rivka Carmi to expel professors with a “left-wing” agenda, threatening to put pressure on the university's donors to end their support for the university.
According to Israeli newspapers, extremist students from Likud and other groups orchestrated a campaign against the Israeli lecturers in the University of Haifa that criticize the Israeli government and the army. The university refused to punish those professors, and insisted on their right to freedom of speech and opinion.
Also, we all heard about the Israeli academicians who call for a global academic boycott of Israel in support for the Palestinians under occupation.
In other words, Netanyahu’s government is in the doghouse as I said yesterday, not because of the hostility of Arabs and Muslims, or their media "savvy", but because of the policies of this government and the extremism of its supporters.
The issue then is not limited to the UN General Assembly or the Human Rights Council, but also encompasses Israeli peace advocates and Israeli academicians who oppose such policies and write and boycott [to this end].
In such an atmosphere, the blackout imposed by the traditional media is futile. The news is all over the internet and in blogs, and those who read these blogs are more numerous and more determined when it comes to their exercise of freedom.
The supporters of Israel have lost all credibility. They even now attack J-Street just because it is moderate, and despite the fact that it is pro-Israeli. Their pretext is that the financier George Soros, who is of Hungarian origin, contributes to J-Street. However, Soros is Jewish, and yet, he is being accused of anti-Semitism because he once said that George W. Bush and Israel are factors behind increasing anti-Semitism.
I even read an attack by a Likudnik website against American universities, represented by the Association of American University Presses (AAUP). This association has 135 members, including 95 in the United States and 40 abroad. According to the most recent statistics of the books it publishes (2005), a total of 10159 books were published by the [member] universities.
I did not understand in the beginning the reasons for the attack on university presses which publish books on specialized issues such as the environment, immigration, capitalism, and the history of American warfare. Then I found an item involving Israel which included two books: One on the Israeli nuclear weapons written by Avner Cohen, and it is clear from his name that he is Jewish, and the other on Palestinian women and politics in Israel.
Two books out of ten thousand put the university presses in the dock. In my opinion, such tactics have backfired, and the lies of Israel and its gang abroad no longer fool anyone.