by Stephen Lendman
Israel is no democracy. It never was. For sure it's not now. Its current government is its worst ever. It's dominated by right-wing ideologues.
Belligerence, state-sponsored terrorism, militarized occupation, racist persecution, settlement expansions, and neoliberal harshness reflect official policy.
Netanyanu's a world class thug. His coalition partners are militantly hardline. They're ideologically over the top.
They abhor peace, stability, equity and justice. Their policies reflect racist hate. They prioritize occupation harshness. They threaten regional security.
They consider Palestinians "foreigners." They call them "infiltrators." So-called peace talks assure none at all. They're a sham.
Netanyahu demands unconditional surrender. He wants Palestinians denied all rights. He has full US support.
Israeli author Eyal Megged calls Netanyahu's government "fascist." He does so for good reason.
"I would…dare to suggest that in Israel of the early 21st century, the fascist atmosphere with all its trappings...reflects the public mood more than in the classic fascist regimes of the 20th century," he said.
"Here, fascist politics is made in the very image and character of the nation, even more than it was made in the image and character of the Germans and Italians."
"Here, there is no disturbed, perverted and violent minority that is forcing its will on an entire culture - rather, this is the culture of the majority."
"Glorification of the race, hatred and aggression toward strangers, and a lack of any compassion for the weak and helpless are the characteristics of the majority here."
Israel is its own worst enemy. Megged believes fascist governance will be its eventual undoing.
Israeli consultant Nadav Berman Shifman says public education reflects fascist values. Young minds are manipulated malevolently.
In December 1948, Albert Einstein, political theorist Hannah Arendt, philosopher Sidney Hook, military-industrial complex critic Seymour Melman, and others wrote New York Times editors. They expressed concern about Israel's new Freedom Party.
"It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine," they said.
Its leader, Menachem Begin, became a future Israeli prime minister. He and other party members spoke "of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state."
"It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future."
They "preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority."
"The undersigned," they said, took "this means of publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party."
They "urg(ed) all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism."
It took root in Israeli society. It's more virulent than ever now. It threatens world peace. It considers Palestinians and other Arabs subhumans.
Daily persecution defines Israeli policy. So does police state Knesset legislation. Discriminatory laws are commonplace.
They mock democratic freedoms. They discriminate against non-Jews. Recent legislation sought to institutionalize preferential treatment for "contributors to the state."
It's for military or public service. It discriminates against Israeli Arab citizens. They're exempt from military service. It's for historical, cultural and political reasons.
Preferential treatment Jews enjoy include employment, pay, benefits, education, healthcare, land for housing, related subsidies, and other privileges.
Bill language claims special treatment isn't discriminatory under Israeli law. Clear evidence reveals otherwise.
Longstanding Basic Law calls Israel the nation state of the Jewish people. It subordinates democracy to Jewishness.
It affords fundamental rights solely for Jews. It grossly discriminates against Arab citizens. So do numerous other laws.
So-called Jenin, Jenin legislation threatens free expression. It lets Israeli soldiers file class action suits against occupation harshness and IDF belligerence critics.
They can sue for defamation. They can whitewash Israeli crimes. They can punish critics exposing them.
On Sunday, Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislation members considered a controversial new bill. It calls for penalizing NGOs critical of Israel.
If enacted, it levies a 45% tax on foreign donations. It does so if one of its members supports boycott, divestment, and/or sanctions on Israel or its citizens.
It does it against groups wanting Israel held accountable in international tribunals.
It applies against organizations calling for resisting Israel's agenda. Israeli Attorney General is no champion of democracy.
This measure goes too far, he believes. He's against it. He'll submit a formal opinion challenging it.
He said bill provisions violate Israeli Basic Laws. He cited free expression and freedom of association. Enactment will have a chilling affect on donations, he believes.
"Limiting donations and harming non-profit organizations' free speech, and in general harming human rights is something done by a group of countries that it is doubtful that Israel wants to join," he said.
The measure is ideologically over the top. It lacks any sense of proportion.
Proportionality is important. Under Israeli law, authorities may challenge acts harming basic rights.
They can do so provided it's consistent with state laws, intended for a proper purpose, and avoids disproportionate harm.
The bill's preface says it "wants to reduce the involvement of foreign policy entities in Israeli democracy, which is conducted via financial support for non-profit organizations, whose goals, or activities in practice, grossly exceed the limits of the Israeli democratic discussion and are an attempt to cause real harm and are a significant and serious interference in the basic characteristics of the State of Israel and its sovereignty."
In 2011, similar legislation was proposed. Netanyahu supported it. Critics expressed opposition. It failed to pass.
On December 15, Haaretz editors headlined "The law to limit democracy," saying:
"Once again, a McCarthyist bill to persecute, abuse and silence civil society organizations has surfaced in Israel."
At issue is silencing free expression. If one group member criticizes Israeli policy, the organization can be targeted.
"Alongside criminal acts such as incitement to racism and aiding terror of an enemy state - which are banned in any case - the list of activities for which donations to the nonprofit would be taxed include statements (even if not explicit) such as the rejection of Israel as a Jewish state," said Haaretz editors.
Legislation targets critics wanting Israel held accountable for crimes of war and against humanity.
"This proposed law is a mortal blow to the freedom of political expression and one of its important by-products - the freedom of association," said Haaretz editors.
"The bill applies the destructive proposed arrangements to nonprofit organizations in general, even when a member of its management is acting completely as a private individual."
It targets free expression. It establishes a blacklist. It does so against outspoken critics.
It does it against individuals signing petitions or denouncing Israeli lawlessness in other ways.
Enacting it threatens to harm Israel's international standing more than already. It's increasingly isolated. It's the region's most despised nation. It's for good reason.
It's ruthlessly undemocratic. It threatens neighboring states. It maintains lawless militarized occupation.
It denies its Arab citizens equal rights. It's governed by fascist extremists. It's unfit to live in. Many fed up Israelis vote with their feet and leave.
Haaretz editors called for rejecting legislation too abhorrent to accept. Free expression is a fundamental right.
Previous articles said without it all others are at risk. Freedom in Israel is fast disappearing. It's vanishing in America.
Both countries support wealth, power and privilege. Israel recognizes only Jewish rights. Racism is institutionalized. Palestinians are ruthlessly persecuted.
Freedom increasingly exists in name only. Non-Jews have virtually none. Police state justice prevails. Knesset legislation assures it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.