Gideon Levy Criticizes The Israeli Government Ignoring The Colonial Fact


The situation in the Gaza Strip is an infamous event that will be remembered as a landmark of the atrocities of our time, in vicious competition with so many other situations of human mistreatment.

The experience the Gaza Strip is being made to suffer comes from the application of the technique that IshhakLeibPeretz attributed to Zionism, of constraining the victim the same way the cat strangles the mouse without spilling blood. n.1

There are those who denounce this heinous staggering. As Gideon Levy in (“À Gaza, Israel fait des expérimentationssur des humains in situation de stress et de privations”, 2/7/2017, translation by Dominique Macabies.) In English, “Israel Experiences with Human Suffering in Gaza, / 7/2017, translated by Javier Villate, Levy is a noted journalist from Haaretz, who has been taking progressive distance from the Zionist government’s policies

Levy, as a Zionist, probably a “leftist”, relentlessly criticizes the policy pursued by Netanyahu’s government. And we could be satisfied with that, if we are aware of his basic Zionism, of his acceptance of the Israeli fact as colonialism of occupation, the outburst and looting of the native population, and that he nevertheless rebels against these last phases of so much brutalization.

But Levy has been progressively considered as the standard-bearer of the Palestinian people’s advocacy and as a relentless critic of the fascist band of Netanyahu’s cabinet, so this deserves some clarification.

He lucidly exposes the process of experimentation with the suffering and deprivation of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. But strives to equalize the responsibilities between Palestinian and Israeli authorities, which in effect means lessening the true responsibility of Zionism in general and the Israeli government in particular, on its design of death by atony, consummation, exhaustion, induced and progressive asthenia of the historical native inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, plus the enormous overpopulation established in that territory due to Israeli expansionist policy. n. 2

Levy informs us that on last June 11. Abbas called on the Israeli government to cut power supplies to the Gaza Strip (a progressive cut that as from the beginning of July has grown to give only 2 hours or 2.5 hours of daily energy). Levy correctly interprets Abbas’s extortion as responding to the PA (and formerly PLO) confrontation with Hamas, the Islamic group that rules the Gaza Strip.

But how is it explained that Abbas gives orders of action to Netanyahu? What a wonderful investment! Until now, since the Oslo Accords in the mid-1990s, it was Netanyahu who gave orders – or requested – to Abbas; to repress Palestinian unrest for example. For this, he supplied the weapons; not so much the instructions, as the Israeli government and the PA leadership had previously agreed that the US military would train the PA police.

When Levy tells us that “Israel collaborates in a despicable way with the PA”, what is certain is that Israel acts despicably. The verb, “collaborate” however does not correspond. But this distribution of blame serves Levy to conclude: “Adversaries can not be divided into good or bad; they are all bad”.

With this proposition, apparently of great moral stature, Levy overlooks the true character of the Palestinian-Israeli intricacy: a colonialism of implantation, which Zionism has been putting forward since the early twentieth century, and which, like all colonialisms of the type comes along with purging racism, and where “all the parties in conflict” are not the evil, but the colonial and racist project in very first place. It is this project that puts the bad ones, even if they come dressed as polite young men (this demarcation in turn, does not sanctify all actions of the colonized, but it avoids false equidistance or equivalences).

Later in his article, Levy reviews the situation in which Palestinians “are victims of the political machinations plotted at their cost, the egotistic battles between Abbas and Hamas, between Egypt and Hamas, between Israel and all the others whose consequences reach and affect children’s breathing machines in the pediatric service in Al-Rantisi “.

The comparison between Abbas and Hamas egos is improper, as Abbas is a leader (bureaucratic, successor to the charismatic Arafat) and Hamas is an organization that may or may not have egomaniacs, but it does not correspond to equalize them. Here too, the biggest problem is that Levy eludes  or tempers the decisive weight of Israeli choking bloodless policy over the Gazan population: it is the killer cat that Perets referred to, that wise and fearing Jew just before the founding of the Zionist state.

Levy goes a step further in excusing the State of Israel: “The PA and Egypt are fully responsible for this crime. Crime is the word. We are in 2017 and millions of human beings are depraved of access to electricity that means depriving them of oxygen and water. Israel [on the other hand] carries with a clear responsibility because Gaza, partially, has always been [sic] under Israeli occupation. Certainly, Israel has withdrawn its military and its settlers from the Gaza Strip, but retains an exclusive responsibility in many other aspects of life there”. What does Levy mean that Israel has partially occupied the Strip? It has been totally occupied since 2006, blocking any contact of the rest of the world with the Gazan territory, either by air, sea or land. There are many dead who remind us. The fact that the occupation is made “from the outside” does not take away that character (of control, of total occupation).

Levy’s description is incredibly biased. Levy suggests that withdrawing the military and settlers from the Strip up to 2005 has been something, -let us say-positive. He scamps the fact that Ariel Sharon`s strategy – also called The Lion God – when he was commander in chief of the Israeli army, of removing the Jewish population from the Strip was to be able to harass it without limit. What have they done since? If until 2005 it was possible to admit talking about a partial occupation, since 2006 it is total, absolute.

In the withdrawal operation of the 5000 fanatic settlers -who had been occupying lands in the Strip- provided with magnificent facilities, incredible comforts in that deserted  fringe, deployed thanks to generous contributions of the United States and of the Jewish-American community. Before leaving, the colonists themselves demolished their facilities and comforts, which could have served materially, even more in a territory cerebrally impoverished like the Strip. But they not only left nothing they had built, the “beautiful villas”, their facilities and gardens, but after destroying  everything, they were “careful” to leave all the debris, detritus and garbage in the occupied Palestinian lands .

In face of this situation now so desperate, Levy attributes “responsibility” to Israel, but qualifies that of the PA and Egypt as “heavy responsibility”. Comparisons are heinous, but it is worthwhile to trace origins to understand situations and not to conceal them.

Translation from the original Spanish: Julia Majlin and Guillermo Azzi

Author’s blog:


1.- Esperanza y temor, Asociación Racionalista Judía, Buenos Aires, 1947.

2.- With only about 350 or 400 km2, a coastal strip of about 45 km long by between 6 and 15 km. wide. Its current population is estimated at 1 700 000 inhabitants, which gives about 5000 inhabitants per km2, including in that very small territory the urban, the rural and the coastal. The Strip has been brought into a situation where all energy supplies are cut to less than 5% of the usual consumption of any more or less peripheral country, and all its territory systematically contaminated with detritus that Israelis conscientiously lead to their soil (which is in the way to the sea); Unable to make use of sea water except for a narrow strip, suffering an increasingly suffocating blockade since 2006, unable to provide themselves of reconstruction material after the bombings they have suffered for several times, nor for health care, nor for repair of productive structures, holding back the supply of water, electricity, food …

Original in Spanish:


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