Middle East Monitor By Helmi Al-Asmar Fri., May 18, 2018
Gideon Levy (pic above) has written in Haaretz about the “absurd” situation whereby, in his words: “The leader of the Palestinian people is forced to apologise to the Jewish people” for saying something “anti-Semitic” about the Holocaust.
According to Levy, “The one who was robbed apologises to the robbers, the victim apologises to the rapist, the dead to the killer.” His article was headed, “Dear Occupiers, sorry if we hurt your feelings” and he pointed out that, “You don’t have to be an admirer of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to understand the depths of the absurd. You don’t have to be an Israel hater to understand the extent of the chutzpah.”
His country, Israel, has never apologised for the Nakba, he noted, “not for the ethnic cleansing, not for the destruction of hundreds of villages and the exiling of hundreds of thousands of people from their land.”
In fact, as this courageous journalist explained, “A nation that hasn’t stopped occupying, destroying and killing, and has never considered apologising for anything – anything – gets its victims to apologise for one measly sentence by their leader.” Predictably, he said, the apology was not accepted. “After all, the occupiers are so sensitive – and their feelings, and only theirs, must be taken into account.”
Israel didn’t apologise for the crimes of the occupation of 1967, added Levy, “or for the stealing of land and the construction of the settlements, or for the false arrests, the mass killing and the destruction of a nation’s life. Not one Israeli statesman today intends to do this as a necessary step toward a different future. But Abbas has to apologise, or [Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman and The New York Times will demand his head. In fact, they’ll demand it even after he apologises.”
On the same day that Levy wrote his article, Haaretz published an editorial that demonstrates the extent of the humiliation of the Palestinians as well as the chutzpah — arrogance — that Levy mentioned. It told readers about Dareen Tatour, 36, who was arrested two and a half years ago after publishing a poem under the title “Resist my people, resist them”.
Her indictment accused her of “publishing on various publications a call for violent acts or terrorism” on Facebook and YouTube, and “praising and identifying with acts of violence or terrorism.” This included, amongst other things, a short film showing masked individuals throwing rocks at the Israeli occupation forces, with the poem being recited in the background.
Tatour’s arrest is another type of state terrorism, as a result of which she has spent most of the past couple of years in prison and under house arrest.
As the writer of the Haaretz editorial puts it, “The Arabs in Israel are used to hearing cries of ‘death to the Arabs’, and a chance perusal of social media or the Knesset corridors is enough to see and hear the incitement – but no one is taken to court for that.”
There is little difference between the condemnation of Abbas and Tatour, as both of them are in cages. He is in Ramallah and she is in the village of Reina, near Nazareth. Both are victims, but they must apologise to their persecutors, or else.