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The only solution is recognition and compensation

December 6, 2018 at 4:16 pm

An elderly Palestinian and a child can be seen during the Nakba in 1948 [Hanini/Wikipedia]

Israel is a very modern country: a strong army, an advanced economy, a modern society and one of the world’s most powerful countries in innovation and scientific development in the field of high technology and nanotechnology. However, the most important thing Israel produces is news, as it is the largest news factory in the world.

Every week, every day and every hour, news is made and reported, continuously reverberating across the world given the domination of Zionist Movement parities over the world’s major newspapers and media outlets. Even before the current wave of satellite stations that broadcast an hourly news bulletin, the Israeli radio would broadcast an extensive news bulletin every hour and a summary every half an hour.

This excessive news reporting of every event occurring in Israel causes those who regularly follow the news to be constantly preoccupied and unable to find the necessary time to consider and assess the events of the past weeks, months, years and decades. They also don’t have enough time to reflect on the future.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 28 October 2018 [ODED BALILTY/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [ODED BALILTY/AFP/Getty Images]

There has been a flood of events in Israel reported this week, including recommendations issued by the police and legal bodies that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be tried in the courts on bribery charges and the repercussions this will have on the stability of his position. It also includes the calculated military provocations on the borders with Lebanon, carried out two days ago due to Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels and partisan actions regarding the expectations of early parliamentary elections in the next three to six months. Despite all of these events, what caught my eye and prompted me to look past these events and news (despite their importance) are two news reports in Israel’s Maariv newspaper last Wednesday and Friday.

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The report last Friday talked about the speech made by Ido Dissentshik when he received his honorary doctorate degree from Weizmann Institute of Science located in Rehovot.

Dissentshik acted as the chief editor of Maariv newspaper from 1985 to 1991 and was Chair of the Executive Board at the Weizmann Institute of Science from 2009 to 2017. Weizmann is one of the most prominent academic institutes in Israel and in the world and specialises in scientific research more than in education. It is also helpful to know that Ido Dissentshik’s father, Dr Arye Dissentshik, was one of the founders of the revisionist Betar movement with Jabotinsky. This later became the Herut Movement, and is now the Likud movement.

Dissentshik’s speech is especially important because it is known that the speeches of those who are honoured usually include a summary of their life experience and what they have learnt from it; similar to a will and final testiment.

In his speech, Dissentshik displayed his life story and the life of his family. He talked about his first birthday on 7 December when “not one candle was lit, but rather an entire city; the city of Pearl Harbour in WWII. A week before that, on November 30, 1941, Heinrich Himmler, leader of the Nazi Gestapo squadrons, one of Adolf Hitler’s most powerful and closest men, ordered the destruction of the Jewish ghettos and the killing of all the Jews of Latvia. Among the dead were my grandfather, grandmother, six uncles and aunts, and I do not know how many cousins and distant relatives. It did not take more than eight days to kill 25,000 Jews in a forest near the city of Riga, as the officer in charge of the liquidation operation sent a telegram on December 9, 1941 saying that the mission was completed.”

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From these tragic events, Dissentshik, who survived the massacre in his hometown because his father had immigrated to Palestine in the 1930s, in what he believed to be “moving from the circle of words to the circle of action”, goes on to recount his comfortable life, education and his marriage to one of the five most beautiful women in any country and of any age. This part of his speech also includes his talk about his military service as a combat officer in the ground forces. He talks about Israel’s scientific and economic achievements, and then expands on its military events and achievements.

“I was less than seven and a half years old in Tel Aviv when I saw the fighters from the Etzel movement moving towards Jaffa, and in 1948-1949 the War of Independence took place. The next war was in 1956, and in 1958 I enlisted and served as a combat officer in 1967. I fought in the Suez Canal in the 1969-1970 war, the War of 1973, and the First Lebanon War in 1982 (the invasion of southern Lebanon and the siege of Beirut). I also fought in the first Gulf War, when Iraqi missiles landed in Tel Aviv and in the Second Lebanon War, in 2006. Between these wars, countless terrorist attacks and violent acts of hostility occurred, as well as Israeli military operations and retaliations occurred continuously. There were also two intifadas and three with Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians,” said Dissentshik.

Photo from the Palestinian 'Nakba' in 1948

Photo from the Palestinian ‘Nakba’ in 1948

After Dissentshik speaks extensively about the major developments in the region and the world, he makes the observation that the world today, in his opinion, is similar to the situation in the 1930s. These are years of terror, murder, annihilation and destruction in the minds and memories of the Jewish community.

He then ends with his conclusion and lessons learned. He starts with the reminder: “We have had 70 good years to date, but I will take this opportunity to tell you that we have not yet reached comfort and stability. We must allow ourselves to stretch out in front of the our screens with comfort and relaxation. Our war is not over yet, that is if we want to prevent a major disaster and to live many good years.”

This conclusion is very suggestive and I find no better reply to it than apiece published in the same Israeli newspaper, Maariv, two days before. The piece, written by Ran Edelist, stated that Israel’s Channel 10 showed a report by Or Heller in which he interviewed Mike Eldar, who took it upon himself to expose the Israeli army’s crime, during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the siege of the capital Beirut, when an Israeli submarine launching a torpedo at a ship carrying 25 Lebanese citizens headed for Cyprus, sinking it. The torpedo was fired under false pretences, as the submarine commander falsely claimed he saw people wearing military uniforms on the back of the wrecked ship.

This good report ends with the conclusion that there is no logical solution to this tragedy, for which Israel bears full responsibility, except through explicit recognition and compensation for the victims.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Al-Quds Al-Arabi on 6 December 2018

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.