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  • The emergence of nanobot society
    OUTRAGED HUMAN













    So, they injected it into the military, police, emergency services.... Now everyone is injected with a device with a "real IP ADDRESS"....






    0:00

    Thank you very much. So one word of notice before we begin,

    0:03

    all the technologies that you are going to see here now are real.

    0:06

    And with that said

    0:07

    I'd like to first tell you the story about

    0:10

    this uh... little girl named Dana

    0:12

    she's very special for me because she's my daugther

    0:14

    and Dana was born with a leg condition requiring frequent surgeries like this one

    0:19

    uh... she had when we were in Boston

    0:21

    and um... I remember taking her to that particular surgery

    0:25

    and uh...

    0:26

    I rembember her being admitted and she was excited at first

    0:31

    and then just before they got into her the OR

    0:33

    I looked at her and she was... afraid, she was little worried and

    0:38

    who wouldn't be? Because surgeries today are complicated

    0:41

    and they're often very risky.

    0:42

    Now let's imagine a few years into the future, into the near future hopefully,

    0:47

    Dana will arrive to hospital for her ??? surgery

    0:50

    and instead of being prepped for anesthesia for the OR

    0:54

    the surgeon will just take a syringe and inside the syringe

    0:58

    there are millions of tiny robots, of tiny machines

    1:02

    that will be injected into Dana's bloodstream.

    1:04

    They will autonomously locate the place they need to be in,

    1:08

    they will excite out the injured tissue,

    1:11

    then will remove dead cells,

    1:13

    then they will...

    1:14

    stimulate and guide the regrowth of healthy cells across those tissue gaps,

    1:18

    they will release drugs that relief pain and reduce inflammation

    1:23

    and all the while Dana will be sitting on the chair

    1:25

    eating a sandwich, reading a book, might be the next

    1:28

    twilight saga book which she'll be able to read because she will be 16 by then

    1:32

    And...(giggles)

    1:33

    uh... when these robots

    1:35

    have completed their job they'll simply disintegrate

    1:39

    and disappear from her bloodstream the next day.

    1:42

    So these nanobots have been envisioned in the past 30 years

    1:45

    by people like Eric Drexler, Robert Freitas and Ray Kuzweil.

    1:49

    Today I'm going to show you that these robots exist

    1:51

    here in Israel.

    1:54

    I'll show you this syringe

    1:56

    which I've brought from my lab.

    1:58

    So this syringe has inside it a thousand billion robots.

    2:03

    So these robots are each fifty nanometers

    2:06

    long as you can see in this slide under the microscope.

    2:11

    Fifty nanometers is about 2000 times thinner than the thickness of your hair

    2:16

    OK? And... umm... These robots were born actually 3 years ago

    2:20

    in a research I did with Shawn Douglas, now a UCSF Professor.

    2:24

    But over the past year and a half

    2:25

    in my group at Bar-Ilan University

    2:27

    We've been developing and testing robots for a variety of

    2:31

    medical and therapeutic tasks.

    2:33

    We've invented ways of making them safe for use

    2:37

    and non-inmunogenic

    2:38

    and we learned how to tune their stability in our bloodstream

    2:41

    to fit either short-term or long-term

    2:44

    even days long medical procedures.

    2:47

    So to carry out medical and therapeutic procedures in our body

    2:50

    with the upmost precision,

    2:51

    we need to be able to control molecules

    2:53

    Controlling molecules is a very simple challenge

    2:56

    in modern scientific knowledge.

    2:58

    OK? Let's speak for example about the class of molecules we know as drugs

    3:02

    So despite...

    3:04

    amazing progress made in the past four decades

    3:06

    the way we think about drugs and we the way we use drugs

    3:09

    has been essentially unchanged

    3:11

    and it's similar as two hundred years ago

    3:14

    right? You hear about about big pharmaceutical companies

    3:17

    spending huge amounts of money

    3:19

    searching for better, safer drugs.

    3:22

    Attempts that usually fail.

    3:24

    OK? but,

    3:25

    searching for let's say a safer cancer drug,

    3:28

    half it is a concept that has a flaw in it.

    3:30

    Because searching for a safer cancer drug

    3:32

    is basically like searching for a gun that kills only bad people

    3:36

    We don't search for such guns,

    3:37

    what we do is training soldiers to use that gun properly

    3:42

    Of course in drugs we can't do this because it seems very hard

    3:45

    But there are things we can do with drugs

    3:47

    for example, we can put the drugs

    3:49

    in particles from which they difuse slowly.

    3:51

    We can attach a drug to a carrier

    3:54

    which takes someplace but, this is not real control.

    3:57

    When we were thinking about control we're thinking about

    4:00

    processes is the real world around us

    4:02

    and what happens when we want to control a process

    4:06

    that's beyond our capabilities as humans

    4:08

    we just connect this process to a computer

    4:10

    and let the computer control this process for us.

    4:13

    OK? So that's what we do.

    4:15

    But obviously this cannot be done with drugs because

    4:19

    the drugs are so much smaller than the computers as we know them

    4:23

    The computer is in fact so much bigger

    4:25

    it's about a hundred million times bigger that any drug molecule.

    4:28

    Our nanobots which were in the syringe

    4:31

    solve this problem because they are in fact

    4:34

    computers the size of molecules.

    4:36

    and they can interact with molecules

    4:38

    and they can control molecules directly,

    4:40

    so just think about all those

    4:42

    drugs that have been withdrawn from the market

    4:45

    for excessive toxicity

    4:46

    right?

    4:47

    It doesn't mean that they are not effective,

    4:49

    they were amazingly effective,

    4:51

    they were just guns shooting in all directions

    4:53

    but in the hands of a well-trained soldier

    4:56

    or a well-programed nanobot

    4:58

    using all the existing drugs

    5:01

    we could hypothetically kill almost any disease.

    5:05

    So we might not need even new drugs.

    5:07

    We have amazing drugs already,

    5:09

    we just don't know how to control them, this is the problem

    5:11

    and our nanobots...

    5:13

    hopefully solve this problem and I'll show you how.

    5:15

    So there is an interesting question "how do we build

    5:19

    a robot or a machine the size of a molecule?"

    5:21

    so the simple answer would be: we can use molecules

    5:25

    to build this machine.

    5:26

    So we're using molecules, but we're not using just any molecule.

    5:30

    We're using the perfect, most beautiful molecule on earth, at least in my opinion,

    5:34

    which is DNA.

    5:36

    And in fact every part of the robot,

    5:38

    every part of out nanorobots:

    5:40

    Moving parts, axis, locks, chasis, software,

    5:44

    everything is made from DNA molecules.

    5:46

    And the techonology that enables us to do this

    5:49

    originated thirty years ago when the pioneering works of Nadrian Seeman,

    5:52

    culminating 7 years ago in the works of Paul Rothemund from Caltech,

    5:56

    which was also featured in TED,

    5:58

    and it's called DNA origami.

    5:59

    Now in DNA origami we do not use a piece of paper,

    6:02

    we use a single long strand of DNA

    6:05

    and we fold it into virtually any shape we want.

    6:08

    For example these shapes, so these are actual microscopic images

    6:12

    of shapes the size of molecules that were folded from DNA.

    6:16

    so the smiley you see here in the center of the screen for example

    6:19

    are a hundred nanometers in size

    6:21

    and we make billions of them in few... in a single reaction.

    6:24

    Now since 2006 several researchers, really talented ones,

    6:28

    have been expanding the limits of the technically feasible in DNA origami

    6:32

    and now we have an astonishig array of shapes and objects which we can build

    6:35

    using this technique.

    6:36

    And these researchers also gave us computer-aided design tools

    6:41

    that enable everyone

    6:43

    very very simply to design objects from DNA

    6:46

    So these CAD tools amazingly

    6:49

    enable us to focus o n the shape we want

    6:52

    forgetting the fact that these structures are in fact assemblies of molecules.

    6:57

    so this is for example a shape the computer can actually turn into DNA molecules.

    7:02

    and the output of this CAD software, as you can see,

    7:05

    is a spreadsheet with fragments of DNA

    7:08

    which you can attach to a message and send to a company

    7:11

    one of two dozen companies that make DNA by order and you'll get those DNA's

    7:16

    several days later to your doorstep

    7:18

    and when you get them all you need to do is just mix them in a certain way

    7:23

    and these molecular bricks will self-assemble into

    7:26

    millions of copies of the very structure that you designed using that CAD software

    7:30

    which is free by the way, you can download it for free.

    7:34

    So, let's have a look at our nanorobots.

    7:38

    So, this is how the nanorobots look like, it's built from DNA as you can see

    7:42

    And it resembles a clam shell in which you can put cargo

    7:45

    You can load anything you want starting from small molecules, drugs,

    7:49

    proteines, enzymes, even nano-particles. Virtually any function

    7:54

    that molecules can carry out, can be loaded into the nanobot

    7:57

    and the nanobot can be programmed to turn on and off

    8:01

    these functions at certain places and at certain times

    8:05

    this is how we control those molecules

    8:07

    and so this particular nanorobot is in an off state, it's closed,it's securely

    8:12

    sequestres anything, any payload you put inside

    8:16

    so it's not accessible to the outside of the robot,

    8:18

    for example, it cannot engage target cells or target tissues

    8:22

    But we can program the nanobot to switch to an on state

    8:26

    based on molecular cues it finds from the environment

    8:30

    so programming the robot is virtually like assemblying a combination lock

    8:34

    using disks that recognize digits,

    8:37

    but of course instead of digits we are assemblying disks that recognize molecules.

    8:42

    So these robots can turn from off to on and when they do

    8:47

    any cargo inside is now accessible,

    8:49

    it can attack target cells or target tissues

    8:52

    or other robots which you'll see later on.

    8:54

    And so we have robots that can switch from off to on

    8:58

    and off again, we can control their kinetics of transition.

    9:02

    We can control which payload becomes accessible at which time point

    9:05

    Let's see an example how these robots for example control a cancer drug

    9:12

    So what you can do is you can take nanobots,

    9:14

    you can put the nastiest cancer drug you may find

    9:17

    into the robots, even a cancer drug

    9:19

    that's been withdrawn because of excessive toxicity

    9:23

    Ok? When the robot is locked

    9:25

    and you put them in your mixture of healthy cells and tumor cells

    9:29

    nothing happens, no cell is affected, because the robot

    9:32

    safely sequesters those drugs inside.

    9:35

    When we unlock the robots

    9:37

    all cells die because the cargo inside the [robot] attacks anything on sight.

    9:42

    So all cells eventually die. In this case this is a fluorescent molecule

    9:46

    to help us see better the output.

    9:48

    But when we program the nanobots to search for tumor cells particulary,

    9:53

    so only the tumor cells

    9:56

    uh... only the tumor cells die because

    9:59

    the robot doesn't care about the bystander cells, about the healthy cells.

    10:04

    So it does not harm them at all.

    10:06

    And we have nanorobots in our lab that can target

    10:09

    about ten types of cancer already and other cell targets

    10:12

    and my team keeps expanding this range monthly.

    10:17

    So these are nanorobots and to another topic

    10:22

    organisms in nature, like bacteria and animals

    10:26

    have learned very early in evolution that working in a coordinated group

    10:29

    conveys advantage

    10:31

    and capabilities beyond those of the individual

    10:34

    and since we are interested in

    10:36

    very complex medical procedures, very complex therapeutic settings,

    10:40

    we're wondering what we could do

    10:42

    if we could engineer artificial swarm behaviors

    10:46

    into our nanobots as well so we could have extraordinarily large groups of nanobots

    10:51

    Can we teach them to behave like animals, like insects

    10:55

    and how do you do this? So the question is interesting.

    10:58

    So you could think one way to do it would be

    11:01

    to look at a natural swarm like this one of fish

    11:04

    and simulate the dynamics of the entire swarm and then try to write the codes

    11:09

    in molecules of course

    11:10

    that mimic the same behaviour

    11:12

    this is virtually impossible, it's impractical

    11:15

    what we do is we take the single fish or a single nanobot in our case

    11:20

    and you design a very basic set of interaction rules

    11:23

    and then you take this one, this nanobot, you make a billion copies of it

    11:27

    and you let the behaviours emerge from that group

    11:31

    let me show you some examples of the things we can already do

    11:35

    for example, just as ants

    11:38

    can shake hands and form physical bridges between two trees

    11:42

    or two remote parts of the same tree,

    11:44

    we already have nanorobots that can reach out for each other

    11:47

    touch each other and shake hands in such a way

    11:49

    they form physical bridges.

    11:51

    Then you can imagine these robots

    11:53

    extending, making bridges extending from one-half

    11:56

    to the other half of an injured tissue,

    11:58

    an injured spinal cord for example

    12:00

    or an injured leg in the case of Dana, my daughter

    12:03

    and once they stretched over that tissue gap

    12:06

    they can apply growth factors, as payloads, and those growth factors

    12:10

    stimulate the re-growth and guide re-growth of cells across the gap.

    12:14

    So we already did that and...

    12:17

    we have robots that can cross regulate each other just like animals do in groups

    12:21

    and this is amazing because as you can see here

    12:24

    you can have two types of robots, Type-A and Type-B

    12:28

    they can cross regulate each other, such that "A" is active

    12:32

    while "B" is not and viceversa.

    12:34

    So this is good for combination therapy

    12:36

    with combination therapy we take multiple drugs, right?

    12:39

    and sometimes two or more of these drugs

    12:41

    can collide and generate side effects,

    12:43

    but here you can put one drug here, one drug here

    12:46

    and the robots will time the activities so that

    12:49

    one drug is active, the other is not and then they can switch

    12:52

    and so two or more drugs can operate at the same time without actually colliding.

    12:57

    Another example that we did is the quorum sensing.

    13:00

    Now quorum sensing is great, it's a bacterial inspired behaviour

    13:05

    It means nanorobots can count themselves

    13:08

    and they can switch to "on" only when reaching a certain population size

    13:12

    this is a mechanism invented by bacteria in evolution

    13:15

    and they regulate amazing behaviours based on just their population density

    13:18

    for example, bioluminescence, this one of the well-studied examples

    13:23

    so our robots can count themselves and switch to on

    13:26

    only when reaching a certain population size which we can program.

    13:29

    This is great because this is a mechanism of programming a drug

    13:33

    to become active only when reaching a certain dose

    13:36

    around the target, regardless of its inherent dose-response curve.

    13:41

    One last I'm gonna show to you is computing,

    13:43

    so this nanobots can do computing.

    13:45

    How's so? If you think about your computer at home,

    13:48

    the processor of the computer is in fact a gigantic swarm of transistors

    13:53

    In an i7 core for example you have 800 million transistors approximately

    13:58

    and they're set to interact in certain ways to produce logic gates

    14:02

    and these logic gates are set to interact to produce computations

    14:05

    so we can also produce computation by setting interactions between nanorobots

    14:10

    to emulate logic gates like you see here

    14:13

    and they form chains and they form pairs

    14:15

    and my team in Bar-Ilan University [has] already developed several architectures

    14:19

    of computing based on interacting nanorobots

    14:22

    and to prototype these

    14:24

    we are using animals, very interesting animals

    14:27

    these are cockroaches,

    14:28

    they are very easy to work with, the're very sweet,

    14:30

    they're actually from South America

    14:32

    and I'm a Soutamerican myself so I fell kinda related

    14:35

    [Laughter]

    14:36

    And hum... so what we do is we inject those robots into the cockroach

    14:40

    and to do that we of course had to put the cockroaches to sleep

    14:43

    have you ever tried putting cockroach to sleep?

    14:46

    We put in the freezer for seven minutes

    14:48

    in they fall asleep

    14:49

    and we can inject these nanorobots inside

    14:52

    and after 20 minutes they start running around, they're happy.

    14:55

    And those robots

    14:57

    while they're doing this, the robots read molecules

    14:59

    from the cockroaches' inputs

    15:01

    and they write their outputs in the form of drugs

    15:04

    activated on those cockroaches' cells

    15:06

    so we can do, we can see that and we already have, as you can see,

    15:09

    architectures of interecting nanorobots that can emulate logical operators

    15:14

    and you can use these as modular parts to build any type universal computer you want

    15:19

    [....]

    15:21

    that can control multiple drugs simultaneously

    15:25

    as a result of biocomputing, this is real universal computing in a living animal.

    15:30

    Now we already have systems that have [the] computing capacity

    15:33

    of an 8-bit computer like Commodore 64.

    15:36

    To make sure we don't lose control over the nanobots after they're injected

    15:40

    my team [has] developed nanorobots that carry antennae

    15:44

    these antennae are made from metal nano-particles.

    15:47

    Now, the antennae enable the nanobots

    15:49

    to respond to externally applied electromagnetic fields

    15:52

    so these nanorobots, this version of nanobots

    15:55

    can actually be activated with a press of a button on a joystick

    15:58

    or for example using a controller

    16:01

    such as the Xbox or Wii if you ever had the chance of playing with those

    16:05

    and you can see one of my students in the lab configuring an Xbox app

    16:09

    to control nanobots.

    16:11

    For example you can imagine nanorobots being injected

    16:14

    to Dana, my daughter for example,

    16:16

    and the doctor can guide those robots

    16:19

    into the site, into the leg and just activate them with a hand gesture.

    16:23

    And you can already see an example where we actually took

    16:26

    cancer cells and loaded robots with cancer drugs

    16:29

    and activated the drug by a hand gesture.

    16:31

    and we can actually kill cancer cells just by doing this,

    16:34

    as you can see here.

    16:36

    And the interesting thing is that

    16:39

    because the controller like the Xbox is connected to the internet,

    16:44

    the controller actually links those nanobots to the network

    16:47

    so they have an actual IP address

    16:49

    and they can be accessed from a remote device sitting on the same network,

    16:53

    for example, my doctor's smartphone

    16:55

    So, OK?, just like controlling a controller, this can be done.

    17:00

    The last thing I'm gonna show is, if you look at our body

    17:04

    you'll see that every cell type, every organ, every tissue

    17:08

    has their own unique molecular signature

    17:11

    and this is equivalent to a physical IP address made of molecules

    17:15

    and if you know these molecules

    17:17

    you can use those nanobots to browse the Organism Wide Web, as we call it

    17:21

    and you can program them to look for bits,

    17:23

    this could be for example signally molecules between cells,

    17:26

    and either fetch them for diagnostics

    17:28

    or carry them to different addresses.

    17:30

    And we already have robots that can hijack

    17:33

    signals between cells

    17:34

    and manipulate an entire network of communications between cells

    17:37

    and this is great for controlling very complex diseases in which many cell types

    17:43

    communicate and orchestrate to perpetuate a disease.

    17:46

    So before I finish I'd just like to thank

    17:50

    my amazing team at Bar-Ilan University

    17:52

    and all the colleagues that took part in this extraordinary journey,

    17:55

    starting from the George Chuch's Lab in Harvard

    17:57

    and ending today in Bar-Ilan University in the new Faculty of Life Sciences,

    18:01

    and I really hope that

    18:03

    anywhere between a year and five years from now

    18:06

    we'll be able to use this in humans

    18:08

    and finally witness the emergence of nanobot society.

    18:11

    Thank you very much.


    https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/nanobots-live-cockroach-thought-control/





    https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/nanobots-live-cockroach-thought-control/

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-scientists-use-nanobots-and-thoughts-to-administer-drugs/


    Israeli scientists say they have come up with a way for brain power to control when drugs are released into the body, by using tiny robots made out of DNA to deliver the medication internally.

    Researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan have built the nanobots to which medication is attached and then are injected into the body. The nanobots have a “gate” that opens or closes — thereby controlling drug release — depending on brain activity.

    In order to achieve this, the New Scientist magazine said, the researchers developed a computer algorithm that could tell whether a person’s brain was resting or carrying out some form of mental activity, such as math problems. A fluorescent-tinted drug was then added to the nanobots, which were injected into a cockroach placed inside an electromagnetic coil.

    Israeli scientists say they have come up with a way for brain power to control when drugs are released into the body, by using tiny robots made out of DNA to deliver the medication internally.

    This coil was then connected to an EEG cap worn by a person asked to perform mental calculations. The computer recognized increased brain activity by the cap wearer, which triggered the “gate” on the nanobots inside the cockroach, releasing the fluorescent drug that was visible as it spread through the insect’s body.

    The idea is to use the delivery system for people with mental health issues, which are sometimes triggered before sufferers are aware they need medication.

    By monitoring brain activity, the nanobots could deliver the required preventative drugs automatically,

    for example before a violent episode of schizophrenia.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2102463-mind-controlled-nanobots-could-release-drugs-inside-your-brain/


    The group has built nanorobots out of DNA, forming shell-like shapes that drugs can be tethered to. The bots also have a gate, which has a lock made from iron oxide nanoparticles. The lock opens when heated using electromagnetic energy, exposing the drug to the environment. Because the drug remains tethered to the DNA parcel, a body’s exposure to the drug can be controlled by closing and opening the gate.

    By examining when fluorescence appeared inside different cockroaches, the team confirmed that this worked.

    The idea would be to automatically trigger the release of a drug when it is needed. For example, some people don’t always know when they need medication – before a violent episode of schizophrenia, for instance. If an EEG could detect it was coming, it could stimulate the release of a preventative drug.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxJPceCV51g Nanobots Successfully Used on Living Animal for the First Time - IGN News

    0:38

    to treat human ailments or weaponized

    0:40

    hijacked by a snake themed terrorist

    0:42

    organization and then used to destroy

    0:43

    Paris but I suppose it's only a matter

    0:45

    of time


    “This syringe has inside it a thousand billion robots.”

    https://outraged.substack.com/p/the-emergence-of-nanobot-society?utm_source=cross-post&publication_id=1087020&post_id=143145132&utm_campaign=956088&isFreemail=true&r=1sq9d8&triedRedirect=true&utm_medium=email

    Follow @zeeemedia
    Website | X | Instagram | Rumble

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/04/the-emergence-of-nanobot-society.html
    The emergence of nanobot society OUTRAGED HUMAN So, they injected it into the military, police, emergency services.... Now everyone is injected with a device with a "real IP ADDRESS".... 0:00 Thank you very much. So one word of notice before we begin, 0:03 all the technologies that you are going to see here now are real. 0:06 And with that said 0:07 I'd like to first tell you the story about 0:10 this uh... little girl named Dana 0:12 she's very special for me because she's my daugther 0:14 and Dana was born with a leg condition requiring frequent surgeries like this one 0:19 uh... she had when we were in Boston 0:21 and um... I remember taking her to that particular surgery 0:25 and uh... 0:26 I rembember her being admitted and she was excited at first 0:31 and then just before they got into her the OR 0:33 I looked at her and she was... afraid, she was little worried and 0:38 who wouldn't be? Because surgeries today are complicated 0:41 and they're often very risky. 0:42 Now let's imagine a few years into the future, into the near future hopefully, 0:47 Dana will arrive to hospital for her ??? surgery 0:50 and instead of being prepped for anesthesia for the OR 0:54 the surgeon will just take a syringe and inside the syringe 0:58 there are millions of tiny robots, of tiny machines 1:02 that will be injected into Dana's bloodstream. 1:04 They will autonomously locate the place they need to be in, 1:08 they will excite out the injured tissue, 1:11 then will remove dead cells, 1:13 then they will... 1:14 stimulate and guide the regrowth of healthy cells across those tissue gaps, 1:18 they will release drugs that relief pain and reduce inflammation 1:23 and all the while Dana will be sitting on the chair 1:25 eating a sandwich, reading a book, might be the next 1:28 twilight saga book which she'll be able to read because she will be 16 by then 1:32 And...(giggles) 1:33 uh... when these robots 1:35 have completed their job they'll simply disintegrate 1:39 and disappear from her bloodstream the next day. 1:42 So these nanobots have been envisioned in the past 30 years 1:45 by people like Eric Drexler, Robert Freitas and Ray Kuzweil. 1:49 Today I'm going to show you that these robots exist 1:51 here in Israel. 1:54 I'll show you this syringe 1:56 which I've brought from my lab. 1:58 So this syringe has inside it a thousand billion robots. 2:03 So these robots are each fifty nanometers 2:06 long as you can see in this slide under the microscope. 2:11 Fifty nanometers is about 2000 times thinner than the thickness of your hair 2:16 OK? And... umm... These robots were born actually 3 years ago 2:20 in a research I did with Shawn Douglas, now a UCSF Professor. 2:24 But over the past year and a half 2:25 in my group at Bar-Ilan University 2:27 We've been developing and testing robots for a variety of 2:31 medical and therapeutic tasks. 2:33 We've invented ways of making them safe for use 2:37 and non-inmunogenic 2:38 and we learned how to tune their stability in our bloodstream 2:41 to fit either short-term or long-term 2:44 even days long medical procedures. 2:47 So to carry out medical and therapeutic procedures in our body 2:50 with the upmost precision, 2:51 we need to be able to control molecules 2:53 Controlling molecules is a very simple challenge 2:56 in modern scientific knowledge. 2:58 OK? Let's speak for example about the class of molecules we know as drugs 3:02 So despite... 3:04 amazing progress made in the past four decades 3:06 the way we think about drugs and we the way we use drugs 3:09 has been essentially unchanged 3:11 and it's similar as two hundred years ago 3:14 right? You hear about about big pharmaceutical companies 3:17 spending huge amounts of money 3:19 searching for better, safer drugs. 3:22 Attempts that usually fail. 3:24 OK? but, 3:25 searching for let's say a safer cancer drug, 3:28 half it is a concept that has a flaw in it. 3:30 Because searching for a safer cancer drug 3:32 is basically like searching for a gun that kills only bad people 3:36 We don't search for such guns, 3:37 what we do is training soldiers to use that gun properly 3:42 Of course in drugs we can't do this because it seems very hard 3:45 But there are things we can do with drugs 3:47 for example, we can put the drugs 3:49 in particles from which they difuse slowly. 3:51 We can attach a drug to a carrier 3:54 which takes someplace but, this is not real control. 3:57 When we were thinking about control we're thinking about 4:00 processes is the real world around us 4:02 and what happens when we want to control a process 4:06 that's beyond our capabilities as humans 4:08 we just connect this process to a computer 4:10 and let the computer control this process for us. 4:13 OK? So that's what we do. 4:15 But obviously this cannot be done with drugs because 4:19 the drugs are so much smaller than the computers as we know them 4:23 The computer is in fact so much bigger 4:25 it's about a hundred million times bigger that any drug molecule. 4:28 Our nanobots which were in the syringe 4:31 solve this problem because they are in fact 4:34 computers the size of molecules. 4:36 and they can interact with molecules 4:38 and they can control molecules directly, 4:40 so just think about all those 4:42 drugs that have been withdrawn from the market 4:45 for excessive toxicity 4:46 right? 4:47 It doesn't mean that they are not effective, 4:49 they were amazingly effective, 4:51 they were just guns shooting in all directions 4:53 but in the hands of a well-trained soldier 4:56 or a well-programed nanobot 4:58 using all the existing drugs 5:01 we could hypothetically kill almost any disease. 5:05 So we might not need even new drugs. 5:07 We have amazing drugs already, 5:09 we just don't know how to control them, this is the problem 5:11 and our nanobots... 5:13 hopefully solve this problem and I'll show you how. 5:15 So there is an interesting question "how do we build 5:19 a robot or a machine the size of a molecule?" 5:21 so the simple answer would be: we can use molecules 5:25 to build this machine. 5:26 So we're using molecules, but we're not using just any molecule. 5:30 We're using the perfect, most beautiful molecule on earth, at least in my opinion, 5:34 which is DNA. 5:36 And in fact every part of the robot, 5:38 every part of out nanorobots: 5:40 Moving parts, axis, locks, chasis, software, 5:44 everything is made from DNA molecules. 5:46 And the techonology that enables us to do this 5:49 originated thirty years ago when the pioneering works of Nadrian Seeman, 5:52 culminating 7 years ago in the works of Paul Rothemund from Caltech, 5:56 which was also featured in TED, 5:58 and it's called DNA origami. 5:59 Now in DNA origami we do not use a piece of paper, 6:02 we use a single long strand of DNA 6:05 and we fold it into virtually any shape we want. 6:08 For example these shapes, so these are actual microscopic images 6:12 of shapes the size of molecules that were folded from DNA. 6:16 so the smiley you see here in the center of the screen for example 6:19 are a hundred nanometers in size 6:21 and we make billions of them in few... in a single reaction. 6:24 Now since 2006 several researchers, really talented ones, 6:28 have been expanding the limits of the technically feasible in DNA origami 6:32 and now we have an astonishig array of shapes and objects which we can build 6:35 using this technique. 6:36 And these researchers also gave us computer-aided design tools 6:41 that enable everyone 6:43 very very simply to design objects from DNA 6:46 So these CAD tools amazingly 6:49 enable us to focus o n the shape we want 6:52 forgetting the fact that these structures are in fact assemblies of molecules. 6:57 so this is for example a shape the computer can actually turn into DNA molecules. 7:02 and the output of this CAD software, as you can see, 7:05 is a spreadsheet with fragments of DNA 7:08 which you can attach to a message and send to a company 7:11 one of two dozen companies that make DNA by order and you'll get those DNA's 7:16 several days later to your doorstep 7:18 and when you get them all you need to do is just mix them in a certain way 7:23 and these molecular bricks will self-assemble into 7:26 millions of copies of the very structure that you designed using that CAD software 7:30 which is free by the way, you can download it for free. 7:34 So, let's have a look at our nanorobots. 7:38 So, this is how the nanorobots look like, it's built from DNA as you can see 7:42 And it resembles a clam shell in which you can put cargo 7:45 You can load anything you want starting from small molecules, drugs, 7:49 proteines, enzymes, even nano-particles. Virtually any function 7:54 that molecules can carry out, can be loaded into the nanobot 7:57 and the nanobot can be programmed to turn on and off 8:01 these functions at certain places and at certain times 8:05 this is how we control those molecules 8:07 and so this particular nanorobot is in an off state, it's closed,it's securely 8:12 sequestres anything, any payload you put inside 8:16 so it's not accessible to the outside of the robot, 8:18 for example, it cannot engage target cells or target tissues 8:22 But we can program the nanobot to switch to an on state 8:26 based on molecular cues it finds from the environment 8:30 so programming the robot is virtually like assemblying a combination lock 8:34 using disks that recognize digits, 8:37 but of course instead of digits we are assemblying disks that recognize molecules. 8:42 So these robots can turn from off to on and when they do 8:47 any cargo inside is now accessible, 8:49 it can attack target cells or target tissues 8:52 or other robots which you'll see later on. 8:54 And so we have robots that can switch from off to on 8:58 and off again, we can control their kinetics of transition. 9:02 We can control which payload becomes accessible at which time point 9:05 Let's see an example how these robots for example control a cancer drug 9:12 So what you can do is you can take nanobots, 9:14 you can put the nastiest cancer drug you may find 9:17 into the robots, even a cancer drug 9:19 that's been withdrawn because of excessive toxicity 9:23 Ok? When the robot is locked 9:25 and you put them in your mixture of healthy cells and tumor cells 9:29 nothing happens, no cell is affected, because the robot 9:32 safely sequesters those drugs inside. 9:35 When we unlock the robots 9:37 all cells die because the cargo inside the [robot] attacks anything on sight. 9:42 So all cells eventually die. In this case this is a fluorescent molecule 9:46 to help us see better the output. 9:48 But when we program the nanobots to search for tumor cells particulary, 9:53 so only the tumor cells 9:56 uh... only the tumor cells die because 9:59 the robot doesn't care about the bystander cells, about the healthy cells. 10:04 So it does not harm them at all. 10:06 And we have nanorobots in our lab that can target 10:09 about ten types of cancer already and other cell targets 10:12 and my team keeps expanding this range monthly. 10:17 So these are nanorobots and to another topic 10:22 organisms in nature, like bacteria and animals 10:26 have learned very early in evolution that working in a coordinated group 10:29 conveys advantage 10:31 and capabilities beyond those of the individual 10:34 and since we are interested in 10:36 very complex medical procedures, very complex therapeutic settings, 10:40 we're wondering what we could do 10:42 if we could engineer artificial swarm behaviors 10:46 into our nanobots as well so we could have extraordinarily large groups of nanobots 10:51 Can we teach them to behave like animals, like insects 10:55 and how do you do this? So the question is interesting. 10:58 So you could think one way to do it would be 11:01 to look at a natural swarm like this one of fish 11:04 and simulate the dynamics of the entire swarm and then try to write the codes 11:09 in molecules of course 11:10 that mimic the same behaviour 11:12 this is virtually impossible, it's impractical 11:15 what we do is we take the single fish or a single nanobot in our case 11:20 and you design a very basic set of interaction rules 11:23 and then you take this one, this nanobot, you make a billion copies of it 11:27 and you let the behaviours emerge from that group 11:31 let me show you some examples of the things we can already do 11:35 for example, just as ants 11:38 can shake hands and form physical bridges between two trees 11:42 or two remote parts of the same tree, 11:44 we already have nanorobots that can reach out for each other 11:47 touch each other and shake hands in such a way 11:49 they form physical bridges. 11:51 Then you can imagine these robots 11:53 extending, making bridges extending from one-half 11:56 to the other half of an injured tissue, 11:58 an injured spinal cord for example 12:00 or an injured leg in the case of Dana, my daughter 12:03 and once they stretched over that tissue gap 12:06 they can apply growth factors, as payloads, and those growth factors 12:10 stimulate the re-growth and guide re-growth of cells across the gap. 12:14 So we already did that and... 12:17 we have robots that can cross regulate each other just like animals do in groups 12:21 and this is amazing because as you can see here 12:24 you can have two types of robots, Type-A and Type-B 12:28 they can cross regulate each other, such that "A" is active 12:32 while "B" is not and viceversa. 12:34 So this is good for combination therapy 12:36 with combination therapy we take multiple drugs, right? 12:39 and sometimes two or more of these drugs 12:41 can collide and generate side effects, 12:43 but here you can put one drug here, one drug here 12:46 and the robots will time the activities so that 12:49 one drug is active, the other is not and then they can switch 12:52 and so two or more drugs can operate at the same time without actually colliding. 12:57 Another example that we did is the quorum sensing. 13:00 Now quorum sensing is great, it's a bacterial inspired behaviour 13:05 It means nanorobots can count themselves 13:08 and they can switch to "on" only when reaching a certain population size 13:12 this is a mechanism invented by bacteria in evolution 13:15 and they regulate amazing behaviours based on just their population density 13:18 for example, bioluminescence, this one of the well-studied examples 13:23 so our robots can count themselves and switch to on 13:26 only when reaching a certain population size which we can program. 13:29 This is great because this is a mechanism of programming a drug 13:33 to become active only when reaching a certain dose 13:36 around the target, regardless of its inherent dose-response curve. 13:41 One last I'm gonna show to you is computing, 13:43 so this nanobots can do computing. 13:45 How's so? If you think about your computer at home, 13:48 the processor of the computer is in fact a gigantic swarm of transistors 13:53 In an i7 core for example you have 800 million transistors approximately 13:58 and they're set to interact in certain ways to produce logic gates 14:02 and these logic gates are set to interact to produce computations 14:05 so we can also produce computation by setting interactions between nanorobots 14:10 to emulate logic gates like you see here 14:13 and they form chains and they form pairs 14:15 and my team in Bar-Ilan University [has] already developed several architectures 14:19 of computing based on interacting nanorobots 14:22 and to prototype these 14:24 we are using animals, very interesting animals 14:27 these are cockroaches, 14:28 they are very easy to work with, the're very sweet, 14:30 they're actually from South America 14:32 and I'm a Soutamerican myself so I fell kinda related 14:35 [Laughter] 14:36 And hum... so what we do is we inject those robots into the cockroach 14:40 and to do that we of course had to put the cockroaches to sleep 14:43 have you ever tried putting cockroach to sleep? 14:46 We put in the freezer for seven minutes 14:48 in they fall asleep 14:49 and we can inject these nanorobots inside 14:52 and after 20 minutes they start running around, they're happy. 14:55 And those robots 14:57 while they're doing this, the robots read molecules 14:59 from the cockroaches' inputs 15:01 and they write their outputs in the form of drugs 15:04 activated on those cockroaches' cells 15:06 so we can do, we can see that and we already have, as you can see, 15:09 architectures of interecting nanorobots that can emulate logical operators 15:14 and you can use these as modular parts to build any type universal computer you want 15:19 [....] 15:21 that can control multiple drugs simultaneously 15:25 as a result of biocomputing, this is real universal computing in a living animal. 15:30 Now we already have systems that have [the] computing capacity 15:33 of an 8-bit computer like Commodore 64. 15:36 To make sure we don't lose control over the nanobots after they're injected 15:40 my team [has] developed nanorobots that carry antennae 15:44 these antennae are made from metal nano-particles. 15:47 Now, the antennae enable the nanobots 15:49 to respond to externally applied electromagnetic fields 15:52 so these nanorobots, this version of nanobots 15:55 can actually be activated with a press of a button on a joystick 15:58 or for example using a controller 16:01 such as the Xbox or Wii if you ever had the chance of playing with those 16:05 and you can see one of my students in the lab configuring an Xbox app 16:09 to control nanobots. 16:11 For example you can imagine nanorobots being injected 16:14 to Dana, my daughter for example, 16:16 and the doctor can guide those robots 16:19 into the site, into the leg and just activate them with a hand gesture. 16:23 And you can already see an example where we actually took 16:26 cancer cells and loaded robots with cancer drugs 16:29 and activated the drug by a hand gesture. 16:31 and we can actually kill cancer cells just by doing this, 16:34 as you can see here. 16:36 And the interesting thing is that 16:39 because the controller like the Xbox is connected to the internet, 16:44 the controller actually links those nanobots to the network 16:47 so they have an actual IP address 16:49 and they can be accessed from a remote device sitting on the same network, 16:53 for example, my doctor's smartphone 16:55 So, OK?, just like controlling a controller, this can be done. 17:00 The last thing I'm gonna show is, if you look at our body 17:04 you'll see that every cell type, every organ, every tissue 17:08 has their own unique molecular signature 17:11 and this is equivalent to a physical IP address made of molecules 17:15 and if you know these molecules 17:17 you can use those nanobots to browse the Organism Wide Web, as we call it 17:21 and you can program them to look for bits, 17:23 this could be for example signally molecules between cells, 17:26 and either fetch them for diagnostics 17:28 or carry them to different addresses. 17:30 And we already have robots that can hijack 17:33 signals between cells 17:34 and manipulate an entire network of communications between cells 17:37 and this is great for controlling very complex diseases in which many cell types 17:43 communicate and orchestrate to perpetuate a disease. 17:46 So before I finish I'd just like to thank 17:50 my amazing team at Bar-Ilan University 17:52 and all the colleagues that took part in this extraordinary journey, 17:55 starting from the George Chuch's Lab in Harvard 17:57 and ending today in Bar-Ilan University in the new Faculty of Life Sciences, 18:01 and I really hope that 18:03 anywhere between a year and five years from now 18:06 we'll be able to use this in humans 18:08 and finally witness the emergence of nanobot society. 18:11 Thank you very much. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/nanobots-live-cockroach-thought-control/ https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/nanobots-live-cockroach-thought-control/ https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-scientists-use-nanobots-and-thoughts-to-administer-drugs/ Israeli scientists say they have come up with a way for brain power to control when drugs are released into the body, by using tiny robots made out of DNA to deliver the medication internally. Researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan have built the nanobots to which medication is attached and then are injected into the body. The nanobots have a “gate” that opens or closes — thereby controlling drug release — depending on brain activity. In order to achieve this, the New Scientist magazine said, the researchers developed a computer algorithm that could tell whether a person’s brain was resting or carrying out some form of mental activity, such as math problems. A fluorescent-tinted drug was then added to the nanobots, which were injected into a cockroach placed inside an electromagnetic coil. Israeli scientists say they have come up with a way for brain power to control when drugs are released into the body, by using tiny robots made out of DNA to deliver the medication internally. This coil was then connected to an EEG cap worn by a person asked to perform mental calculations. The computer recognized increased brain activity by the cap wearer, which triggered the “gate” on the nanobots inside the cockroach, releasing the fluorescent drug that was visible as it spread through the insect’s body. The idea is to use the delivery system for people with mental health issues, which are sometimes triggered before sufferers are aware they need medication. By monitoring brain activity, the nanobots could deliver the required preventative drugs automatically, for example before a violent episode of schizophrenia. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2102463-mind-controlled-nanobots-could-release-drugs-inside-your-brain/ The group has built nanorobots out of DNA, forming shell-like shapes that drugs can be tethered to. The bots also have a gate, which has a lock made from iron oxide nanoparticles. The lock opens when heated using electromagnetic energy, exposing the drug to the environment. Because the drug remains tethered to the DNA parcel, a body’s exposure to the drug can be controlled by closing and opening the gate. By examining when fluorescence appeared inside different cockroaches, the team confirmed that this worked. The idea would be to automatically trigger the release of a drug when it is needed. For example, some people don’t always know when they need medication – before a violent episode of schizophrenia, for instance. If an EEG could detect it was coming, it could stimulate the release of a preventative drug. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxJPceCV51g Nanobots Successfully Used on Living Animal for the First Time - IGN News 0:38 to treat human ailments or weaponized 0:40 hijacked by a snake themed terrorist 0:42 organization and then used to destroy 0:43 Paris but I suppose it's only a matter 0:45 of time “This syringe has inside it a thousand billion robots.” https://outraged.substack.com/p/the-emergence-of-nanobot-society?utm_source=cross-post&publication_id=1087020&post_id=143145132&utm_campaign=956088&isFreemail=true&r=1sq9d8&triedRedirect=true&utm_medium=email Follow @zeeemedia Website | X | Instagram | Rumble https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/04/the-emergence-of-nanobot-society.html
    OUTRAGED.SUBSTACK.COM
    The emergence of nanobot society
    So, they injected it into the military, police, emergency services.... Now everyone is injected with a device with a "real IP ADDRESS".... Thanks for reading OUTRAGED’s Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work. 0:00 Thank you very much. So one word of notice before we begin,
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  • The power of silence
    Validation. Empty space. Selkie, creator of Forest of the Fallen, flew up from Tasmania to tell the ASF Conference how it has grown to 131 powerful displays nation-wide

    Alison Bevege
    The stories sway in the wind, each one a person killed or injured by the covid gene-vaccines.

    The Forest of the Fallen is the exact opposite of a protest.

    When Tasmanian mother-of-three Selkie started the Forest in 2021, she didn’t anticipate the surprising power of acknowledgement.


    Loraine from Adelaide with Selkie (right) who started the displays, at the ASF conference in November. Pic: Alison Bevege
    “A co-ordinator from Tin Can Bay in Queensland is a narrative therapist and we spoke of the healing impacts the Forest was having on so many lives,” she said.

    For people who were injured, or lost their jobs, or lost a loved one, or suffered division in their families, this simple acknowledgement can bring a tremendous sense of relief just by recognising the suffering.


    “Having a sense of their story being validated by a tactile, optical display - this alone is so healing for them as many have had no recognition at all,” she said.

    “Some are completely left alone.”

    It’s a silent vigil open to any passer-by to wander in and quietly find out what has happened.

    “There are some out there who’ve experienced the loss of a loved one or are injured by the vaccines. They also set up the forests now and this gives them a sense of purpose, knowing that they are far from alone and can at least help to stop the perpetuation of deaths and injuries.”

    Speaking at the Australians for Science and Freedom conference at University of NSW on November 18, Selkie explained the magic of Forest of the Fallen which has now grown to 131 pop-up displays across Australia with more than 550 stories.

    It’s the magic of an empty space.

    Holding a space for sometimes angry people and a confused country that is still in denial

    Selkie said she found that taking herself out of the memorial was the most effective way to allow people to discover for themselves, quietly, what happened, and to process it.

    “All along I’ve stressed the importance on making sure the display is not affiliated with any other group, movement, religion or political party, keeping it open to all sets of eyes with no exclusion and no bias,” she said.


    This beautiful soul bought us chocolates and helped. Pic: Alison Bevege
    It’s free from politics, it doesn’t try to change people’s minds. It only has one message: stop looking away.

    “By taking away the mutual judgements and not disturbing the onlooker’s process, it’s allowing them the time to grasp what it is they are standing right in front of.

    “Taking away all other propaganda and signage was important as I saw this, too, deterred onlookers from reading the stories.”


    FoTF, High Cross Park, Randwick, November 18. Pic: Alison Bevege
    Selkie said when she first started Forest of the Fallen in 2021, about 95 percent of onlookers were disapproving and outright rude.

    “Today the tables have completely turned and now 95 percent of onlookers are supportive,” Selkie said, and even police have become helpful, sometimes stepping in to protect displays from the rare “angry noodles”.

    “I’m now writing a memoir as it has been a truly profound, incredible journey for me.”

    Selkie, who compiles the PDF master list to print, and coaches all the volunteer co-ordinators, found herself working seven days a week to make the Forests run smoothly, while homeschooling her youngest child.

    The stories used in Forest of the Fallen have been widely reported in corporate media or documented and checked by Jab Injuries Australia, and are willingly shared.

    Share

    Letters From Australia helped set up a Forest of the Fallen, and I witnessed the relief: it’s like rain in the desert.

    On November 18 at High Cross Park, Randwick, we set up a forest with the help of Phil Schultz whose brother Barry died 18 days after the Pfizer shot, Bridget from Coogee Stand in the Park, and Loraine from Adelaide.

    Many passers-by had stories of their own.

    A bright young Russian with sparkling blue eyes told of how his wife died not long after the gene-vaccine, but he was sure it was not related. Then he ran to the shops and bought us chocolates, and promised to help us next time.

    A man on a bike immediately started helping put up the stakes. He refused the jab after the first injected man at his office ended up in ICU. He wasn’t getting it after that, but saw his colleagues lining up. They were afraid for their jobs.


    “Bike man” had his own story to tell. Picture: Alison Bevege
    Two Texan tourists said nobody dares tread on their freedom, yet when the gene-vaccines came out people just rolled over.

    “I couldn’t undestand it,” said one.

    Phil himself had a chance to meet Loraine, with whom he is unexpectedly connected by his late brother Barry.

    When Adelaide doctor Barry Schultz’s story went into Forest of the Fallen for the first time, his widow Diane went to see the display, which Loraine was setting up.


    (left) Diane with Barry’s story in Adelaide. Pic: Loraine. (right) Barry’s brother Phil with Loraine in Sydney. Pic: Bevege
    Loraine told the volunteers that Barry was a new addition, and that he had delivered about 1500 babies in his career before he took the Pfizer shot which killed him 18 days later.

    Just as Loraine was explaining, Diane came up behind her - “That’s my husband,” she said.

    It was a wonderful moment for both of them. A lovely acknowledgement.

    This is the healing that Australia needs.

    Don’t look away.

    Thanks to Kevin Nguyen, the talented filmmaker who compiled a magnificent video of the Randwick FoTF above.

    You can do this, too

    REPORT your gene-vaccine injury to the TGA here.

    TELL your story to Jab Injuries Australia here.

    VISIT the Forest of the Fallen here.

    CONTACT Forest of the Fallen here: You can do this, too.

    SEE the Forest on Instagram here.

    WATCH the Forest of the Fallen videos on Odysee here.

    JOIN the class action for vaccine injured and bereaved here.

    CONNECT with jab injured resources at Coverse here.

    Updates: 27 November, added Diane’s pic from Loraine in Adelaide, corrected spelling. 28 November: more spelling corrections plus Barry delivered about 1500 babies, more than 1000.


    https://open.substack.com/pub/lettersfromaustralia/p/the-power-of-silence?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

    https://telegra.ph/The-power-of-silence-04-03
    The power of silence Validation. Empty space. Selkie, creator of Forest of the Fallen, flew up from Tasmania to tell the ASF Conference how it has grown to 131 powerful displays nation-wide Alison Bevege The stories sway in the wind, each one a person killed or injured by the covid gene-vaccines. The Forest of the Fallen is the exact opposite of a protest. When Tasmanian mother-of-three Selkie started the Forest in 2021, she didn’t anticipate the surprising power of acknowledgement. Loraine from Adelaide with Selkie (right) who started the displays, at the ASF conference in November. Pic: Alison Bevege “A co-ordinator from Tin Can Bay in Queensland is a narrative therapist and we spoke of the healing impacts the Forest was having on so many lives,” she said. For people who were injured, or lost their jobs, or lost a loved one, or suffered division in their families, this simple acknowledgement can bring a tremendous sense of relief just by recognising the suffering. “Having a sense of their story being validated by a tactile, optical display - this alone is so healing for them as many have had no recognition at all,” she said. “Some are completely left alone.” It’s a silent vigil open to any passer-by to wander in and quietly find out what has happened. “There are some out there who’ve experienced the loss of a loved one or are injured by the vaccines. They also set up the forests now and this gives them a sense of purpose, knowing that they are far from alone and can at least help to stop the perpetuation of deaths and injuries.” Speaking at the Australians for Science and Freedom conference at University of NSW on November 18, Selkie explained the magic of Forest of the Fallen which has now grown to 131 pop-up displays across Australia with more than 550 stories. It’s the magic of an empty space. Holding a space for sometimes angry people and a confused country that is still in denial Selkie said she found that taking herself out of the memorial was the most effective way to allow people to discover for themselves, quietly, what happened, and to process it. “All along I’ve stressed the importance on making sure the display is not affiliated with any other group, movement, religion or political party, keeping it open to all sets of eyes with no exclusion and no bias,” she said. This beautiful soul bought us chocolates and helped. Pic: Alison Bevege It’s free from politics, it doesn’t try to change people’s minds. It only has one message: stop looking away. “By taking away the mutual judgements and not disturbing the onlooker’s process, it’s allowing them the time to grasp what it is they are standing right in front of. “Taking away all other propaganda and signage was important as I saw this, too, deterred onlookers from reading the stories.” FoTF, High Cross Park, Randwick, November 18. Pic: Alison Bevege Selkie said when she first started Forest of the Fallen in 2021, about 95 percent of onlookers were disapproving and outright rude. “Today the tables have completely turned and now 95 percent of onlookers are supportive,” Selkie said, and even police have become helpful, sometimes stepping in to protect displays from the rare “angry noodles”. “I’m now writing a memoir as it has been a truly profound, incredible journey for me.” Selkie, who compiles the PDF master list to print, and coaches all the volunteer co-ordinators, found herself working seven days a week to make the Forests run smoothly, while homeschooling her youngest child. The stories used in Forest of the Fallen have been widely reported in corporate media or documented and checked by Jab Injuries Australia, and are willingly shared. Share Letters From Australia helped set up a Forest of the Fallen, and I witnessed the relief: it’s like rain in the desert. On November 18 at High Cross Park, Randwick, we set up a forest with the help of Phil Schultz whose brother Barry died 18 days after the Pfizer shot, Bridget from Coogee Stand in the Park, and Loraine from Adelaide. Many passers-by had stories of their own. A bright young Russian with sparkling blue eyes told of how his wife died not long after the gene-vaccine, but he was sure it was not related. Then he ran to the shops and bought us chocolates, and promised to help us next time. A man on a bike immediately started helping put up the stakes. He refused the jab after the first injected man at his office ended up in ICU. He wasn’t getting it after that, but saw his colleagues lining up. They were afraid for their jobs. “Bike man” had his own story to tell. Picture: Alison Bevege Two Texan tourists said nobody dares tread on their freedom, yet when the gene-vaccines came out people just rolled over. “I couldn’t undestand it,” said one. Phil himself had a chance to meet Loraine, with whom he is unexpectedly connected by his late brother Barry. When Adelaide doctor Barry Schultz’s story went into Forest of the Fallen for the first time, his widow Diane went to see the display, which Loraine was setting up. (left) Diane with Barry’s story in Adelaide. Pic: Loraine. (right) Barry’s brother Phil with Loraine in Sydney. Pic: Bevege Loraine told the volunteers that Barry was a new addition, and that he had delivered about 1500 babies in his career before he took the Pfizer shot which killed him 18 days later. Just as Loraine was explaining, Diane came up behind her - “That’s my husband,” she said. It was a wonderful moment for both of them. A lovely acknowledgement. This is the healing that Australia needs. Don’t look away. Thanks to Kevin Nguyen, the talented filmmaker who compiled a magnificent video of the Randwick FoTF above. You can do this, too REPORT your gene-vaccine injury to the TGA here. TELL your story to Jab Injuries Australia here. VISIT the Forest of the Fallen here. CONTACT Forest of the Fallen here: You can do this, too. SEE the Forest on Instagram here. WATCH the Forest of the Fallen videos on Odysee here. JOIN the class action for vaccine injured and bereaved here. CONNECT with jab injured resources at Coverse here. Updates: 27 November, added Diane’s pic from Loraine in Adelaide, corrected spelling. 28 November: more spelling corrections plus Barry delivered about 1500 babies, more than 1000. https://open.substack.com/pub/lettersfromaustralia/p/the-power-of-silence?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web https://telegra.ph/The-power-of-silence-04-03
    OPEN.SUBSTACK.COM
    The power of silence
    Validation. Empty space. Selkie, creator of Forest of the Fallen, flew up from Tasmania to tell the ASF Conference how it has grown to 131 powerful displays nation-wide
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  • My latest:

    UPDATE: Gaza Sufi family

    Please help me to prevent a beautiful Sufi family in north Gaza from starving this Ramadan!

    Thank you!

    https://open.substack.com/pub/drloveariyana/p/save-a-sufi-family-in-gaza-this-ramadan?r=2juwfo&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&showWelcomeOnShare=true
    My latest: UPDATE: Gaza Sufi family Please help me to prevent a beautiful Sufi family in north Gaza from starving this Ramadan! Thank you! ❤️ https://open.substack.com/pub/drloveariyana/p/save-a-sufi-family-in-gaza-this-ramadan?r=2juwfo&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&showWelcomeOnShare=true
    OPEN.SUBSTACK.COM
    Save A Sufi Family In Gaza This Ramadan
    "When we practice loving kindness and compassion we are the first ones to profit" - Rumi
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  • https://muslim.sg/articles/4-beautiful-significances-of-laylatul-qadr
    https://muslim.sg/articles/4-beautiful-significances-of-laylatul-qadr
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  • The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.


    Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity.

    Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino
    Post-Production: Adam Coley

    Transcript

    Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology.

    Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF.

    The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords.

    This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world.

    Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.

    You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that?

    Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names.

    On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality.

    Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms.

    The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity.

    That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth.

    Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes.

    Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army.

    There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is.

    So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories.

    So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that.

    Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that.

    Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this.

    So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust.

    Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story.

    The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah.

    And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here.

    And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head.

    Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs?

    Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment.

    They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture.

    Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza.

    Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities.

    They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him.

    His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on.

    So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians.

    Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit.

    Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were.

    And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now.

    Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily?

    Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody.

    So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill.

    Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die.

    Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them.

    I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims?

    These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians?

    Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire.

    Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again.

    That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone.

    Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations.

    Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong?

    Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt.

    So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say.

    I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state.

    Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that.

    Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration.

    It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power.

    They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel.

    Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff.

    Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know?

    These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple.

    Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity.

    Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com.

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    https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society

    https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave. Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity. Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino Post-Production: Adam Coley Transcript Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology. Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF. The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords. This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world. Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that? Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names. On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military. Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality. Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms. The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity. That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth. Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes. Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army. There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is. So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories. So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that. Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that. Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this. So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see. Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust. Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story. The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah. And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here. And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head. Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs? Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment. They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture. Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza. Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities. They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him. His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on. So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians. Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit. Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were. And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now. Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily? Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody. So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill. Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die. Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them. I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims? These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians? Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire. Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again. That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone. Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations. Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong? Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt. So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say. I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state. Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that. Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration. It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power. They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel. Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff. Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know? These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple. Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity. Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com. Creative Commons License Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license. https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    THEREALNEWS.COM
    The IDF's war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.
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  • Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today.

    His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir.

    The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious.

    “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists.

    Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy”

    Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium.

    “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad.

    He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad.

    He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility.

    By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours.

    And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.”

    The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy.

    Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”.

    The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.”

    Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.”

    On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”.

    Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews.

    At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance.

    The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed.

    And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army.

    The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group.

    When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.”

    “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.”

    For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father.

    “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”.

    His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.”

    He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

    And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view.

    His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.”

    Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.”


    https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’ This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today. His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir. The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious. “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists. Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy” Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium. “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad. He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad. He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility. By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours. And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.” The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy. Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”. The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.” Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.” On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”. Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews. At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance. The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed. And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army. The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group. When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.” “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.” For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father. “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”. His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.” He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.” And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view. His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.” Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.” https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
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  • Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today.

    His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir.

    The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious.

    “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists.

    Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy”

    Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium.

    “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad.

    He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad.

    He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility.

    By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours.

    And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.”

    The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy.

    Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”.

    The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.”

    Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.”

    On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”.

    Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews.

    At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance.

    The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed.

    And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army.

    The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group.

    When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.”

    “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.”

    For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father.

    “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”.

    His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.”

    He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

    And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view.

    His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.”

    Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.”


    https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’ This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today. His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir. The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious. “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists. Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy” Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium. “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad. He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad. He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility. By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours. And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.” The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy. Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”. The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.” Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.” On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”. Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews. At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance. The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed. And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army. The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group. When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.” “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.” For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father. “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”. His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.” He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.” And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view. His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.” Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.” https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    WWW.JEWISHVOICEFORLABOUR.ORG.UK
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    Graham Bash reviews this groundbreaking personal and political memoir by Avi Shlaim in which he laments the lost world of…
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