Avigdor Lieberman does not belong to this region, or even to this country. Lieberman is neither stupid nor dumb. If we attribute these qualities to him, we will have relieved him of his crimes. When he voices his violent incitement against the Palestinian citizens and Palestinians in the territories occupied in 1967, Lieberman directs his abuse to his extremist right-wing audience in order to gain support in the elections. He is not hesitant in exploiting any situation to practice violent incitement against the Arabs.
Lieberman is no different from his mentor Benjamin Netanyahu, who also is not reluctant in his incitement against the Arabs. Netanyahu also does not belong to the region or the country. The truth is blind racism and intense hatred has become a quality of the leaders of right-wing and centre party leaders. Furthermore, the Israeli Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett, who is supposed to represent an educational institution, incites against the Arabs and did not hesitate to threaten them after a demonstration in Wadi Ara last week.
For example, one result of the violent incitement chorus is the crime committed by the murderous soldier Elor Azaria. There are many soldiers like him in the Israeli army who have committed several war crimes. Israel has admitted that leniency with these criminals fuels their racism and encourages them to commit more crimes. Furthermore, their leaders fuel their blindness and make an effort to keep them from Arab affairs, which is clearly evident in their media outlets and websites’ negligence of the Arabs, except when it comes to inciting against them in tense atmospheres.
These racists who practice violent incitement, such as Lieberman and Bennett, do not want to see Arabs, but when they remember that they must attack them in order to appear as a “nationalistic individual”, they present demands to the Arabs, propose transfer ideas, and demand that they domesticate themselves. They do not need to be stupid to believe what they say.
They blame the Arabs for refusing to sell their land to the Jews. Has Israel left any land to the Arabs? Israel has trapped them in their cities and villages after having confiscated 97 per cent of their land and refuses to settle them in the towns established on their seized land. Moreover, the Arabs’ experience with selling land to the Jews has been extremely painful and sad, as before the Nakba, the Zionists bought land in Palestine in order to establish their entity on it, on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland. They used a racist term to describe this purchase; “clearing the land”.
Lieberman also blames the Arabs for not celebrating Israel’s Independence Day. However, the Arabs’ memories of this day are the scenes of displacement, expulsion and massacres, during and after the Nakba. They are reminded of the military rule, Land Day, scenes from October 2000, and the killing of dozens of young Arabs since then. The Arabs remember the racist practices in all official institutions, the erasure of their history, changing the names of the streets in the ancient Palestinian cities and replacing them with names of Zionist leaders.
There is no doubt that the Israelis, especially their leaders and their security institutions, are aware of the reasons behind the Palestinians at home’s sympathy and identification with their fellow Palestinians in the diaspora and their fellow Arabs. This is because nothing changed for the Palestinians in Palestine other than the state of Israel being imposed on them in 1948. Palestinians are brothers, cousins, people from the same village, city, or area, and if we want to look at it realistically, they are the Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Egyptian Arabs; they are neighbours, in laws and people from the same ethnicity.
Reality is continuing to narrate this truth, and the attempts of Israeli domestication do not seem to be changing this reality. This is for a very simple reason, i.e. the Palestinians in Palestine did not leave their homeland, but remained there, and more importantly, their homeland continued to live inside them.
The tragedy suffered by the Palestinians is the fact that this reality is not realised by all Israelis because the leadership has disregarded it. It is also because the people have been brainwashed, allowing Netanyahu, Lieberman and Bennett to exercise violent incitement against the Palestinians and distort the history of the country because they are not even remotely part of the country. These inciters are actually strangers in the country.
This article first appeared in Arabic on Arab48 on 11 December 2017
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.