Israel

country in Middle East
(Redirected from Israel's)
For Patriarch of the Israelites, see Jacob.

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in the Middle East, situated at the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea. It shares land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan on the east, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, which are claimed by the Palestine, and Egypt to the southwest. It contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's financial and technology center is Tel Aviv, while Jerusalem is both its self-designated capital (though unrecognised by the United Nations) and its most populous individual city under the country's governmental administration. Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is internationally disputed. In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a "Jewish and Democratic State". Its head of state is President Isaac Herzog and its head of government is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It doesn't matter what the world says about Israel; it doesn't matter what they say about us anywhere else. The only thing that matters is that we can exist here on the land of our forefathers. ~ David Ben-Gurion

See Also: 2023 Israel–Hamas war

Arranged alphabetically by author or source:
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Quotes edit

 
The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems... But only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel, they can get everything. ~ Geert Wilders
 
You don't need to do nation building in Israel, we're already built. ~ Benjamin Netanyahu
 
You don't need to export democracy to Israel, we've already got it. ~ Benjamin Netanyahu
 
Israel is not what is wrong about the Middle East, Israel is what is right about the Middle East. ~ Benjamin Netanyahu
 
For the rest of our lives, and the lives of our children, we are going to be confronted by people who don't want to live peacefully in a secular pluralistic world because they are desperate to get to paradise, and they are willing to destroy the very possibility of human happiness along the way. The truth is, we are all living in Israel; it's just that some of us haven't realized it yet. ~ Sam Harris
 
If the light of Israel is extinguished, we will all face darkness... That is why we are all Israel. ~ Geert Wilders
 
Israel remains and embattled democracy in the midst of authoritarian states, and the birthplace of the kibbutz to which tens of thousands of youth from around the world have turned for a living lesson in human equality. ~ Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin
 
Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
What would the Israelis do if they could do what they want? They would live in peace with their neighbors. ~ Sam Harris
 
The Israeli people understand now what I always say... We will defend ourselves on every front, defensively and offensively. ~ Benjamin Netanyahu
 
Israel is not just fighting for itself. Israel is fighting for all of us. ~ Geert Wilders
 
Israelis take great pains not to kill children and other noncombatants. The Israelis do not want to kill non-combatants, because they could kill as many as they want, and they’re not doing it. ~ Sam Harris

A edit

 
You talk about Hamas, what they did in Israel but don't talk about Israel and what they did in Palestinian Territories, and they commit assassinations from time to time and in public. ~ Bashar al-Assad
  • The Hamas attack... shook the Middle East and shattered many assumptions and misconceptions about the region. It’s not that Israel was shocked at the daring nature of the attack, but that Israel had long assumed that the Palestinian problem is dead and that there is no need to engage in a so-called peace process — even if managed by the U.S., the least neutral party in the Arab-Israeli conflict outside of Tel Aviv. Reflecting the belief in the death of Palestine as a question, the Biden administration was the first U.S. administration since Lyndon Johnson to not even attempt to launch a peace process regarding the Palestinian problem, demonstrating its belief that the issue is over.
    Joe Biden fully subscribed to the Jared Kushner school of thought and diplomacy, which believes Arabs don’t care anymore about Palestine and Israel can simply reach peace agreements with individual Arab states, after which Arab public opinion would follow. Little is being said about Biden adopting Kushner’s view of Middle East politics, which makes Palestine irrelevant in U.S. foreign policy in the region.
  • I feel Israel should have the arms it needs, but the long-range solution for peace is in direct negotiations with the Arabs. Period."
    • Bella Abzug Bella!: Ms. Abzug Goes to Washington (1972)
  • If you want to see the picture, you have to see whole picture, if you talked about violence, let's talk about 4000 Palestinians killed during the last five years while from Israeli side a few hundreds killed. So, if you want to talk about the violence and you called this violence "terrorism" Israel kills more, more Palestinian than Palestinian kills on Israel, Second, You have to see both sides. You talk about Hamas, what they did in Israel but don't talk about Israel and what they did in Palestinian Territories, and they commit assassinations from time to time and in public, they said "we're going to kill..." It's the whole picture. Anyway, doesn't matter what label we put, if you want to have the solution, we have to deal with the facts, not the terms. whether they are terrorists or not, this is not the problem. we have to deal with the facts, and the facts if you don't have peace, you will have more blood-letting
  • I myself tell people that Israel is the only place that Jews can live where they don't have always to be thinking about being Jewish. For, as you are aware, the practice of Judaism is, in practice, impractical for many of us Jews.
  • I am opposed to our keeping all of the West Bank. It's plain that the time has not yet come for Arabs and Jews to be together. All that I really want is to live in a Jewish State. It's a remarkable paradox: the Left is now for policies which would separate the communities while the very far Right, living right there in the occupied territories, are in reality working for integration. Left and Right have exchanged positions, turned completely around. A true paradox! But you know, all such abstractions are relative...(HC: Do you ever ponder what seems to have gone wrong here in Israel?) YA: Oh, I don't like to complain. We now have our Jewish State. The reality is far from the ideal. The Jewish people have married Israel, this land. But as in a real marriage, things have cooled down. Complaining about it sounds like an old man complaining about his age. An old couple should just live together. That's all. It is, after all, perfectly normal. We have, after all, passed the honeymoon stage, passed the romance, but this is, nonetheless, a true marriage. Such is my Zionism. I am, you see, beyond illusions. In America people, without the slightest intention of doing so, every year repeat "Next year in Jerusalem." Now that is what I call true cynicism.
  • Some of the students that come to me who are pro-Palestine – I say… don’t demonize Israelis and don’t demonize the Jewish people.

B edit

  • After I visited Israel, I understood the theology of Judaism and its mythology-better than I had before. I understood the great blackmail which has been imposed on the world not by the Jew but by the Christian. We fell for it, and the Jews fell for it. Let me put it this way. When I was in Israel I thought I liked Israel. I liked the people. But to me it was obvious why the Western world created the state of Israel, which is not really a Jewish state. The West needed a handle in the Middle East. And they created the state as a European pawn. It is tragic that the Jews should allow themselves to be used in this fashion, because no one cares what happens to the Jews. No one cares what is happening to the Arabs. But they do care about the oil. That part of the world is a crucial matter if you intend to rule the world. I'm not anti-Semitic at all, but I am anti-Zionist. I don't believe they had the right, after 3,000 years, to reclaim the land with Western bombs and guns on biblical injunction. When I was in Israel it was as though I was in the middle of The Fire Next Time.
  • As the Liberty sat within eyeshot of El Arish, eavesdropping on surrounding communications, Israeli soldiers turned the town into a slaughterhouse, systematically butchering their prisoners... This and other war crimes were just some of the secrets Israel had sought to conceal... An essential element in the Israeli battle plan seemed to have been to hide much of the war behind a carefully constructed curtain of lies... Into this sea of deception and slaughter sailed the USS Liberty, an enormous spy factory loaded with the latest eavesdropping gear... the ship was a tired old second world war vessel crawling with antennae, and unthreatening to anyone - unless it was their secrets, not their lives, they wanted to protect... the Israeli navy and air force had conducted more than six hours of close surveillance of the Liberty off the Sinai and must have positively identified it as an American electronic spy ship. They knew she was the only military ship in the area. Nevertheless, the order was given to kill her and at 12.05 pm, three motor torpedo boats from the port of Ashdod, about 50 miles away, departed. Israeli air force fighters, loaded with 50mm cannon ammunition, rockets and napalm, followed. Without warning, the Israeli jets - swept-wing Dassault Mirage IIICs - struck. On board Liberty, Lieutenant Painter observed that the aircraft had "absolutely no markings", their identity unclear.
  • According to NSA documents - classified top secret... some senior officials in Washington wanted above all to protect Israel from embarrassment over the USS Liberty incident. "Captain Vineyard had mentioned during this conversation," wrote Tordella, "that consideration was then being given by some unnamed Washington authorities to sink[ing] the Liberty in order that newspaper men would be unable to photograph her and thus inflame public opinion against the Israelis... "
  • It doesn't matter what the world says about Israel; it doesn't matter what they say about us anywhere else. The only thing that matters is that we can exist here on the land of our forefathers. And unless we show the Arabs that there is a high price to pay for murdering Jews, we won't survive.
  • This life as a simple citizen and laborer has its benefits not only for the person himself but perhaps also for his country. After all, there is room for only one Prime Minister, but for those who make the desert bloom there is room for hundreds, thousands and even millions. And the destiny of the state is in the hands of the many rather than of a single individual. There are times when an individual feels he should do those things which only can and should be done by the many.
    • David Ben-Gurion, "Why I Retired to the Desert", The New York Times Magazine (28 March 1954), p. 47.
  • In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.
    • David Ben-Gurion, interview on CBS (5 October 1956), as quoted in Israel: Years of Crisis Years of Hope (1973) by Roman Frister, p. 45.
  • A lesson we ignore at our peril is that oppression undermines not only the rights, dignity, and lives of the oppressed but eventually the security of the oppressors as well. The apartheid system that’s been suffocating Palestinians for so long is now also undermining the safety of Israeli civilians.
  • Since 2007, Gazans have lived under siege, prohibited from leaving their open-air prison by a high-security militarized wall and platoons of Israeli soldiers. For the last 16 years, starting long before the latest escalation, access to most goods was banned. Gazans couldn’t even get construction materials to repair the homes, hospitals, water treatment facilities, and places or worship that Israel bombed repeatedly — in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2018 and 2021. Israel often denied emergency medical permits to leave the Strip, leaving many Gazans to die without care. Electricity was already limited. A 72-year-old woman in Gaza told a reporter last January, “It is hard to imagine, but we used to experience 24 hours of electricity each day in Gaza; now we are lucky if we get six.” Now there is none. Water was already unavailable except through expensive purchases from Israeli water companies. And food has long been scarce — by the age of two, 20 percent of Gaza’s children are already stunted. On October 9, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called for a “total siege” of Gaza. “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas — it’s all closed,” he said. For Gaza’s already impoverished and malnourished population, that’s not just collective punishment — it’s genocide ... If we’re serious about preventing violence, we need to change the conditions from which this brutality sprang. Sending more bombs, warplanes, guns and bullets won’t solve the problem.
  • Israel has fought one battle after another, clinging to survival in the decades after its people were systematically murdered during the Holocaust. But the story of self-determination and Arab-Israeli conflicts spills out far beyond the borders of the Middle East. Israel wasn’t just the site of regional disputes—it was a Cold War satellite, wrapped up in the interests of the Soviets and the Americans.
    The U.S.S.R. started exerting regional influence in a meaningful way in 1955, when it began supplying Egypt with military equipment. The next year, Britain and the U.S. withdrew financing for Egypt’s Aswan High Dam project over the country’s ties with the U.S.S.R. That move triggered the Suez Crisis of 1956, in which Egypt, with the support of the USSR, nationalized the Suez Canal, which had previously been controlled by French and British interests.
  • What has been lost during these decades throughout the Islamic world is the view of the man and woman on the street and children in the madrasahs that United States is an honest broker for peace. Having worked throughout the Islamic world for over 35 years, it is a tragedy that this has occurred, but when successive Presidents and other high ranking officials ask Israel not to expand settlements yet hardly voice a “public squeak” of opprobrium let alone some real expression of disapproval (such as a curtailment of military assistance, rescinding favorable trade provisions, etc.) when Israel continues to do so, what is the Islamic World to think about the even handedness of U.S. policy?
  • Israel is in an existential crisis. It can wall itself off and annex what it wants on the West Bank, and leave Palestinians in tiny truncated, nonviable bantustans that will become the spawning pools of terror. Or it can give the Palestinians what Oslo, Camp David, Taba and the 'roadmap' promised; a homeland, a nation and a state of their own. Israel is free to choose.
    • Pat Buchanan, Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency (2004)

C edit

  • Israel will never find peace until it is willing to withdraw from its neighbors’ land and to permit the Palestinians to exercise their basic human and political rights... The current policies are leading toward an immoral outcome that is undermining Israel’s standing in the world and is not bringing security to the people of Israel.... These same premises, of recognizing Israel, acceptance of all past agreements, and the rejection of violence, will have to be accepted by Hamas and any government that represents the Palestinians. The long-term prospects are not discouraging... an overwhelming majority of Palestinians and Israelis support peace for Israel based on the acceptance of Israel of its international borders with some modifications, with justice and peace for the Palestinians. An early exchange of the three Israeli soldiers for some of the 10,000 Palestinian prisoners will expedite the peace process.
  • Whereas Western figures consistently claim that the radical Right national-religious movement does not "represent Judaism", the other, equally authentic side to the Judaic ‘story’ is the obverse.
What are the reasons for this shift? Part of it, has to do with the increased influence of national-religious sentiment as the Occupation grew into a broad-based subculture of Israeli society. The settler movement is more than simply the aggregate of those living in settlement homes: It includes an intellectual and educational framework; a vision of Zionism as Greater "Israel" - or of what Chaim Gans calls, “proprietary Zionism” – i.e. one which sees the land -- from the river to the sea -- belonging exclusively to the Jews.

D edit

  • It is outrageous that the state of Israel uses the carceral technologies developed in relation to US prisons not only to control the more than eight thousand Palestinian political prisoners in Israel but also to control the broader Palestinian population. These carceral technologies, for example, the separation wall, which reminds us of the US-Mexico border wall, and other carceral technologies are the material constructs of Israeli apartheid.
    • Angela Davis Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement (2015)
  • We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here. In considerable areas of the country we bought lands from the Arabs. Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahalal arose in the place of Mahalul, Gevat — in the place of Jibta, Sarid — in the place of Haneifs and Kefar Yehoshua — in the place of Tell Shaman. There is no one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.

F edit

  • It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land….I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.
    • Sigmund Freud Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren Ha Yassod, Vienna (Feburary 26, 1930)

G edit

 
Before 1948, world geography knew of no state such as Israel. ~ Muammar Gaddafi
  • I urge Israel to cease demolitions and evictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. All settlement activities, including evictions and demolitions, are illegal under international law. A revitalized peace process is the only route to a just and lasting solution...Only through renewing our commitment and redoubling our efforts towards a negotiated solution can we bring this cruel violence and hatred to a definitive end.
    • António Guterres, Secretary-General’s Remarks to the General Assembly Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East and Palestine, United Nations Secretary-General, Statements (20 May 2021)

H edit

  • Israeli society has always been very practical, very goal-oriented. A certain kind of egotism, self-centeredness goes with this a lack of empathy. The first of the new settlers who came here came voluntarily, like yourself. People tend to forget the difference between this and the postwar, more practical aliya. In order to start again in this land, the idealists wanted to forget, to obliterate their past. But when you amputate your past, you pay a price. Part of that is the failure of empathy.
  • (HC: What is your feeling about the current role of women in Israeli society?) SH: For myself, I have always done just what I wanted. I do have a sense that in Israel this is really less of a problem than in the United States. After all, in periods of emergency our women have always carried a heavy responsibility and functioned in most capacities in what still is, in some ways, a pioneer country. That makes it very hard to deny us appropriate roles. Moreover, it springs right from the Jewish family tradition of women serving as breadwinners while their husbands study. I know that Israeli society is famous for being rather macho. But my experience is that any woman who has something to say is listened to.
  • Israel isn't 'Jewish' in the sense that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are 'Muslim'... Israel is actually less religious than the U.S., and it guarantees freedom of religion to its citizens. Israel is not a theocracy, and one could easily argue that its Jewish identity is more cultural than religious. However, if we ask why the Jews wouldn’t move to British Columbia if offered a home there, we can see the role that religion still plays in their thinking.

I edit

  • On June 8, 1967, an Israeli torpedo tore through the side of the unarmed American naval vessel USS Liberty, approximately a dozen miles off the Sinai coast. The ship, whose crew was under command of the National Security Agency, was intercepting communications at the height of the Six-Day War when it came under direct Israeli aerial and naval assault...
    The Six-Day War between Israel and its neighbors Jordan, Syria, and Egypt was a conflict that the United States chose to stay out of... The countries directly involved were left to fend for themselves in what proved to be an overwhelming military and territorial victory for Israel — one that doubled the fledgling country’s size in less than a week.
    Though the United States refused to intervene on behalf of its ally, it was nevertheless eavesdropping on Israeli military communications during war. There, according to Bamford, lies the rub: Over the course of Israel’s remarkable territorial acquisition and military victory, it allegedly committed a war crime by slaughtering Egyptian prisoners of war in the city of El Arish in the northern Sinai.
  • WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People's Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People's Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called "Israel".
  • THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
    • Israeli Declaration of Independence (1948).

J edit

  • I had to take a short break from reading about what’s happening in Gaza. I saw one too many images of dead kids on Twitter and just had to lie down for a while.... People are going insane, in the same way they went insane after 9/11. In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks there was this shrieking emotional intensity which saw critical thinking go out the window and saw people’s minds consumed with a rabid lust for Muslim blood. People have a serious case of 9/11 brain this week, and it’s more than a little scary.... It is very fitting, then, that numerous political and media figures have been working to brand the attacks this past Saturday as “Israel’s 9/11”. After 9/11 everyone lost their minds and started believing a bunch of lies and consenting to power-serving agendas that went on to do orders of magnitude more damage than the initial traumatic event did, and we’re seeing that same infernal trajectory unfolding again today with Israel.

K edit

  • Like prosperous and peaceful Japan on the one hand, and war-torn and poverty-wracked Armenia on the other, Israel is a classic national-ethnic organism.
  • I've been to Palestine. It exists, right next to Israel. The problem is not that Palestine threatens or erases Israel. The problem is that there are Israeli soldiers all over Palestine.
  • We must remember: what is beautiful is the resistance, and that people can-and must-resist from their own authentic place in the world. we must reach out to Israelis fighting for peace, civil rights, and feminism without secretly feeling the Palestinians are more beautiful, because more besieged. One of the hardest acts of self-love for American radical Jews is to identify in this with Israelis, and I have come to believe it is a crucial stretch, for the alternative is denial of the Jewish connection. It is from this solid, self-knowing place that we can work towards peace and justice in the Middle East.
    • Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz "To Be a Radical Jew in the Late 20th Century" (1986) in The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women's Anthology
  • Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.
  •  

I am a Jew and want to live in a Jewish state. This is my inalienable right, the same as the right of a Ukrainian to live in Ukraine, the right of a Russian to live in Russia, the right of a Georgian to live in Georgia. I want to live in Israel. This is my dream, this is the goal not only of my life, but of the lives of hundreds of generations of my forerunners… I want my children to learn Hebrew, I want to read Hebrew newspapers, I want to go to the Jewish theater. What's bad in this? Where am I to blame? .. As long as I'm alive, I will devote all my efforts to obtaining permission to leave for Israel. And if you see fit to put me in jail, it won't change anything for me. And if I live to see my release, I will be ready to go to the homeland of my ancestors, even if for this I need to go by foot — Cited here by Yuli Kosharkovsky.

  Kievan Jew Boris Kochubievsky, in a letter to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU Leonid Brezhnev after having been refused permission to leave for Israel, November 1968. For this prose, he was awarded with 3 years in a penal labor colony.
  • One of the things that scares me is the global rise of right-wing movements in the United States, Europe and Israel. The American alt-right is in dialogue with similar movements in Israel, and this might pose a danger to both Israelis and Americans.
  • For some, the symbolic gesture of unequivocally supporting Israel (morally and/or financially) has been the core and sole expression of Jewish identity. As they begin-with great resistance and probably in secrecy-to question that support, they find themselves unable to define their Jewishness, particularly if they are not observant. Other Jews, active for the first time on a "Jewish" issue by opposing Israeli government policies, are also struggling to define their Jewishness and explain their emotional involvement with a country which, until now, they never identified with. The "far away" crisis is triggering the recognition of an emptiness in the Jewish self.
    • Irena Klepfisz "Khaloymes/Dreams in Progress: Culture, Politics, and Jewish Identity" in Dreams of an Insomniac: Jewish Feminist Essays, Speeches and Diatribes (1990)
  • [P]eople misunderstand Israel, and see it now in colonial, imperialist terms is because it’s a unique event in human history. The British colonization of North America, New Zealand, Australia, the Dutch in South Africa, they came to places that they had never been to. That’s colonialism. You put your people in there. You takeover. You marginalize the natives if you can. You may not succeed. In South Africa, that’s colonialism. So they see the Jews arriving in what’s called Palestine, and that’s the parallel, the only one they understand. They can’t put their heads around the fact that this is a people returning to their home. That they never gave up title to. They never gave up their longing for. It was repeated in their rituals three times a day, it wasn’t like once a year, let’s remember the homeland.
  • In recent years, the identification of many U.S. nationalist people of color with Palestinian liberation and the failure of the U.S.-Jewish community as a whole to take a firm stand against racist and colonialist Israeli policies have been added factors in obscuring places of potential alliance.
  • I want to see a flowering of Arab and Jewish cultures in a country without racism or anti-Semitism, without rich or poor or spat-upon: everyone beneath the vine and fig tree living in peace and unafraid. A homeland for each and every one of us between the mountains and the sea. A multilingual, multireligious, many-colored and peopled land where the orange tree blooms for all. I will not surrender this vision for any lesser compromise. No separate-but-equal armed camps turning their backs on each other across a pitted buffer zone. No Palestinian exile burning with dreams of return, injustice embittering generations of children who yearn always for the place of their ancestors: next year in the Galilee. No graveyard the size of a nation, Palestinian blood burning the ground and steaming up each morning, reeking of death. No fortress-state of Jews against all the rest of the world, generations of children growing up soldiers, believing themselves holy, believing there is no one outside the walls, believing fear is the only force that binds people together. I will accept nothing less than freedom.

L edit

  • That’s so astonishing that we are now the fifth day after the war, and you don’t see the government. They are still preoccupied with their own political careers, with all kind of political manipulations. Nobody takes care of the situation. The army is preparing itself for a ground operation. But except of the army — I was in so many homes which were bombed, so many people who lost their beloved one. Nobody came to them. Nobody offers them any assistance.
    Israel is really falling apart, from this point of view. And the man who governed Israel for the last 15 years is the one, and the only one, to be blamed, before anyone else. This goes without saying. And I guess at six after the war, as we say, million Israelis will go to the streets, and they will have only one demand: At least, Netanyahu, go home. If not, Netanyahu, go to court and be sentenced for this irresponsible policy that you have been committing.
  • This vicious circle will not be solved by power, not be solved by tanks, and not will be — nor will it be solved by troops, only by political agreement and, above all and first of all, lifting this criminal siege, for God’s sake, after 17 years. This siege, what it was about, to guarantee the security of Israel. So, what happened out of the siege except of the suffer of — unbelievable inhuman suffer of 2 million people? What did it contribute to the security of Israel, this siege? You see the outcome.

M edit

  • The Balkans have had, in Winston Churchill’s marvellous phrase, more history than they can consume. New nations have worried that they do not have enough. When Israel came into existence in 1948, it was, despite the long connection of Jews with Palestine, a new state. With immigrants from all over Europe, and, increasingly, by the 1950s from the Middle East, building a strong national identity was essential if Israel itself were to survive. It was difficult to identify shared customs and culture. What did a Jew from Egypt have in common with one from Poland? Nor was religion a sufficient basis; many Zionists were resolutely non-religious. Although Hebrew was reviving, it had not yet produced a national literature. That gave history particular significance as a glue. In its declaration of independence, Israel called on the past to justify its existence. The land was the historic birthplace of the Jewish people: “After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration of their political freedom.” More recent history became part of the story, too. The Jews had managed to return in great numbers: “They made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community, controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country’s inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent nationhood.”
  • In 1953, the Israeli Knesset passed a law to commemorate the Holocaust (Yad Vashem) and the State Education Law. Their author was the minister of education and culture, Ben-Zion Dinur, who had been active as a Zionist educator and politician long before Israel’s independence. His view of history was rooted in the need to build an Israeli consciousness. “The ego of a nation,” he declared in the Knesset, “exists only to the extent that it has a memory, to the extent that the nation knows how to combine its past experiences into a single entity.” For Dinur and those who supported him (and many both on the left and the right did not), that meant teaching Israelis that there was and always had been an Israeli nation, that it had survived the long centuries of exile, and that it had always been focused on getting back to its lost lands. Israel therefore was the heir and the culmination of a long historical process. Dinur’s view has been much criticized for leaving out religion, for example, in the definition of Jewishness and for presenting an oversimplified view of Jewish history, but it has been very influential in Israeli schools. A study of textbooks used between 1900 and 1984 found that, increasingly as time went on, Jewish history was presented in terms of the establishment of Israel, that, among Jews in exile, the Zionist dream of a Jewish state was “the strongest and oldest” movement.
  • We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon — no alternative. The Egyptians could run to Egypt, the Syrians into Syria. The only place we could run was into the sea, and before we did that we might as well fight.
    • Golda Meir, as quoted in LIFE magazine (3 October 1969), p. 32.
  • Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!
    • Golda Meir, at a dinner honoring West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, as reported in The New York Times (10 June 1973).
  • Israel's occupation of the West Bank is illegal under international law.... "The study concludes that Israel is in gross violation of these laws and that the administration of the occupation has become illegal," Michael Lynk, the UN's former special rapporteur on Palestine, told the committee, unveiling the study. Because the occupation is illegal, the consequences should be the immediate, unconditional complete withdrawal of Israel's military forces, the withdrawal of colonial settlers, the repeal of all discriminatory laws and dismantling of the military administrative regime, he said.

N edit

  • We are awaiting aggression by Israel and any supporters of Israel. We will make it a decisive battle and get rid of Israel once and for all… This is the dream of every Arab.

O edit

  • Whether by Sweden's foreign minister condemning Israel merely for defending its citizens from terror, or France's foreign minister threatening to recognize Palestine unless Israel participates in his conference to recognize Palestine, Europe seems obsessed with Jews. Unfortunately, that obsession, characterized by the singling out and demonizing Jews while embracing their murderers, keeps European anti-Semitism thriving.
  • Especially from the 1920s onward, women's poetry in Israel has become increasingly a force to be reckoned with.
    • Alicia Ostriker Forward to The Defiant Muse: Hebrew Feminist Poems from Antiquity to the Present: A Bilingual Anthology (1999)
  • "I think the word is intractable. I blame the lack of live and let live. And which side is it coming from more than the other side? I think it is coming from people who call other people infidels. That's how it strikes me." Was she moved the first time she went to Israel? "Yes. Probably not like my father, who was simply swept away. He couldn't get over that he had ascended Mount Zion. I don't see any solution here. I'm despairing. That's where I stand."

P edit

  • The way the people in Nicaragua can separate the people of the US from the government. And that is partly a result of a decision by the Left. It's not just a strategy decision, it's true. It's a decision which the Left made in Vietnam, which was to divide the country. A very sensible, simple thing to do, to see us as opposed to the government. True too. It did not weaken the people of Nicaragua or Vietnam. So, I've never understood why my sisters and brothers on the Left haven't been able to do the same in relation to Israel. And if they'd done it a long time ago. I think things could have been different. If they had pointed out again and again: the people and the government, I mean, the difference at that time. A big majority of the American people were not yet against the war in Vietnam when the Vietnamese said, "We know you're not the government." There were maybe nine people on assorted street corners in '62, '63, '64 and the Vietnamese were already talking like that, right? So it's not as if you would have had to say the majority of the people in Israel are against this. Enough of them were in opposition. Why it wasn't done I-I know why it wasn't done. (Why?) Anti-Semitism. [all laugh knowingly]

R edit

  • Israel never strived for a decisive victory in Gaza. While it could militarily defeat Hamas, Israel could not overthrow Hamas without risking the possibility that a more radical organization would govern Gaza. Nor did Israel want to be responsible for governing Gaza in a postconflict power vacuum.
  • Neither Israeli nor Palestinian society is a seamless, monochrome garment: hope as well as difficulty lies in this recognition.
    • Adrienne Rich "Jewish Days and Nights" in Tony Kushner and Alisa Solomon, eds., Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2003) and A Human Eye: Essays on Art in Society, 1997-2008 (2009)

Arundhati Roy, Come September Speech, Santa Fe, NM, (29 Sep 2002) edit

  • Israel’s staunchest political and military ally is and always has been the U.S. The U.S. government has blocked, along with Israel, almost every U.N. resolution that sought a peaceful, equitable solution to the conflict. When Israel attacks Palestine, it is American missiles that smash through Palestinian homes. And every year Israel receives several billion dollars from the United States – taxpayers money.
  • September 11th has a tragic resonance in the Middle East, too. On the 11th of September 1922, ignoring Arab outrage, the British government proclaimed a mandate in Palestine, a follow-up to the 1917 Balfour Declaration which imperial Britain issued, with its army massed outside the gates of Gaza. The Balfour Declaration promised European Zionists a national home for Jewish people. (At the time, the Empire on which the Sun Never Set was free to snatch and bequeath national homes like a school bully distributes marbles.)
  • In 1937, Winston Churchill said of the Palestinians, I quote, “I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.” That set the trend for the Israeli State’s attitude towards the Palestinians. In 1969, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said, “Palestinians do not exist.” Her successor, Prime Minister Levi Eschol said, “What are Palestinians? When I came here (to Palestine), there were 250,000 non-Jews, mainly Arabs and Bedouins. It was a desert, more than underdeveloped. Nothing.” Prime Minister Menachem Begin called Palestinians “two-legged beasts.” Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir called them “grasshoppers” who could be crushed. This is the language of Heads of State, not the words of ordinary people.
  • In 1947, the U.N. formally partitioned Palestine and allotted 55 per cent of Palestine’s land to the Zionists. Within a year, they had captured 76 per cent. On the 14th of May 1948 the State of Israel was declared. Minutes after the declaration, the United States recognized Israel.

T edit

  • Israel has killed the two-state solution. That is why we must adopt a new strategy, and find a new partner for that strategy in Israeli society. We must kill the occupation and the [sense of] separation in the Israeli consciousness: The separation of people from one another is a question of consciousness. We must never return to this failed pattern of thinking. The future will not change if we continue to think with the same concepts of the past. The solution is a single state. If we believe we have a right to this land and the Israelis believe they are the ones who have a right to this land, we must build a new model. If both of us believe that God gave us this land, we must put history aside and begin to think about the future in different terms.
  • Israel is a very small place, as you know, there’s something that can feel very familial about it, which is both positive and not so positive at different times and different instances.
  • The sea is such a big part of life in Israel, of Israeli culture. You can actually taste it in the air.
  • For a long time I didn’t write about Israel at all. It’s such a volatile place and people have such strong opinions and everything you write about Israel is perceived as political...

U edit

  • The report concludes by saying that some of the Israeli government policies and actions may constitute “elements” of crimes under international criminal law, including the war crime of transferring part of your own civilian population into occupied territory. “The actions of Israeli Governments reviewed in our report, constitute an illegal occupation and annexation regime that must be addressed,” said Commissioner Chris Sidoti.
  • I am deeply alarmed by developments in Gaza after Israel launched a military operation this morning targeting members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement (PIJ), said Tor Wennesland the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. Persistent drivers of conflict, including school demolitions, breed a climate of mistrust and tension between Palestinians and Israelis and undermine the prospect of achieving a political solution, he said. ... The demolition followed an Israeli court order citing safety concerns in response to a petition by a settler organization. Currently, 58 schools, serving 6,500 children, face the threat of demolition due to a lack of building permits that are almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain, Mr. Wennesland said. A child’s right to education must be respected, he said, calling on Israeli authorities to cease such demolitions and evictions, which are illegal under international law
  • The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process on Wednesday expressed deep concern over the relentless expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. During the last three months, more than 10,000 housing units were advanced...“Settlements further entrench the occupation, fuel violence, impede Palestinian access to their land and resources, and systematically erode the viability of a Palestinian State as part of a two-State solution”, the senior envoy said. “I call on the Government of Israel to cease all settlement activity and dismantle outposts immediately, in line with its obligations under international law,” he added.. Mr. Wennesland also expressed concern over escalating violence in the occupied West Bank and Israel, at levels not seen in decades.... Palestinians, including children, were killed or injured during demonstrations, clashes, security operations, and attacks, while Israelis, including members of the security forces, suffered casualties also.
  • UN humanitarians expressed deep concern on Friday for all civilians in the Gaza Strip following Israel’s order for the entire population there to leave the north, amid ongoing airstrikes and a deepening humanitarian crisis. The development follows an announcement by UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, just before midnight Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, that UN representatives in Gaza had been “informed by their liaison officers in the Israeli military” that everyone living north of Wadi Gaza should relocate to southern Gaza within 24 hours. Some 1.1 million people would be expected to leave northern Gaza, Mr. Dujarric said, adding that the same order applied to all UN staff and those sheltered in UN facilities, including schools, health centres and clinics. The UN considers it “impossible” for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded, Mr. Dujarric said. Echoing that message, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many, said WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Press Release, quoted in Gaza: UN experts decry bombing of hospitals and schools as crimes against humanity, call for prevention of genocide, (19 October 2023) edit

  • UN experts today expressed outrage against the deadly strike at Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, which killed more than 470 civilians on Tuesday and trapped hundreds under the rubble. The strike reportedly followed two warnings issued by Israel that an attack on the hospital was imminent if people inside were not evacuated.
  • “The strike against Al Ahli Arab Hospital is an atrocity. We are equally outraged by the deadly strike on the same day on an UNRWA school located in Al Maghazi refugee camp that sheltered some 4000 displaced people, as well as two densely populated refugee camps,” the experts said.
  • There is an ongoing campaign by Israel resulting in crimes against humanity in Gaza. Considering statements made by Israeli political leaders and their allies, accompanied by military action in Gaza and escalation of arrests and killing in the West Bank, there is also a risk of genocide against the Palestine people
  • An estimated 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, are in desperate need of prenatal and postnatal care. The number of internally displaced people across the Gaza Strip is estimated at around one million.
  • The unlawful denial of humanitarian access and depriving civilians of objects indispensable to their survival are also a violation of international humanitarian law, the experts warned.
  • "The complete siege of Gaza coupled with unfeasible evacuation orders and forcible population transfers, is a violation of international humanitarian and criminal law. It is also unspeakably cruel,” the experts said.

V edit

  • Israel is not consistent in its new anti-apartheid attitude... they took Israel away from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years. In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.
    • H.F. Verwoerd, as quoted in The Empire's New Walls: Sovereignty, Neo-liberalism, and the Production of Space in Post-apartheid South Africa and Post-Oslo Palestine/Israel., by Andrew James Clarno (2009), pp. 66–67

W edit

  • If it is proper to ’reconstitute’ a Jewish State which has not existed for two thousand years, why not go back another thousand years and reconstitute the Canaanite state? The Canaanites, unlike the Jews, are still there.
    • H.G. Wells, Palestine Dilemma, Sakran, Frank C., p.204
  • Israel has given Jews something whose lack cost millions of lives: a place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. These days, however, the Israeli government seems to believe that, far from the state's existing to insure the survival of Jews, Jews exist to insure the survival of the state…Of course, if Israel is to survive it needs people. But if it can't motivate enough Jews to go because they want to be there, its problem goes much deeper than a lack of bodies. And the fact is that the social and economic consequences of the occupation and the Lebanon war have not only made Israel a place fewer Jews want to go, but a place more and more want to leave. At the same time, despite the government's professed desire for more immigration from the Soviet Union and the U.S., it is doing its best to make life in Israel unattractive to the educated, secular-minded Jews of those countries by rewarding the militant nationalism of the religious right with increasing deference to its theocratic agenda. For Orthodox fundamentalists intent on getting religious law enforced by the state and imposing traditional religious values on a predominantly secular culture, their secularist opponents are in some sense not really Jews. Rather, they are carriers of alien and subversive modern values. The worm, as it were, in the apple of the Jewish nation. The right-wing religious parties have instigated the most serious challenge yet to the concept of Israel as a haven for Jews-their campaign to amend the Law of Return, which grants Jewish immigrants automatic citizenship, to include a religious definition of who is a Jew.
    • Ellen Willis “What the Pollard Case Means to Jews” (1987) included in No More Nice Girls: Countercultural Essays (1992)
  • The founding of the state of Israel and its startling rise to military dominance unsettled the Arab identity. In the low condition the Arabs found themselves in, they looked upon Israel and recalled the time when the Prophet Mohammed had subjugated the Jews of Medina. They thought about the great wave of Muslim expansion at the point of Arab spears and swords, and they were humbled by the contrast of their proud martial past and their miserable present. History was reversing itself; the Arabs were as fractious and disorganized and marginal as they had been during the jahiliyyah times. Even the Jews dominated them. The voice in the mosque said that the Arabs had let go of the one weapon that gave them real power: faith. Restore the fervor and purity of the religion that had made the Arabs great, and God would once again take their side.
    • Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (2006), p 46

Z edit

  • the foundation of the State of Israel which creates all sorts of contradictions and mixed emotions among a lot of longtime anarchists, who in many cases saw no alternative for Jewish survival as much as they were anti-statist, and hoped that somehow this experiment might move in that direction, that the kibbutzim in particular might help steer this new Jewish territory in a non-statist direction. Of course, that did not ultimately happen.

See also edit

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