April 13, 2024


DUBAI: With the struggle in Gaza heading towards its sixth month, some are questioning if there may be any finish in sight to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. What is definite, nevertheless, is that Israel carries out a coverage of dehumanization of Palestinians to justify its occupation, in accordance with considered one of Israel’s most well-known journalists.


“Israel systematically, from its first day, dehumanized and demonized the Palestinians with the intention to keep their occupation, to take care of even the creation of the state of Israel,” Gideon Levy mentioned.


He mentioned Israel “may be very environment friendly in manipulating propaganda and brainwashing all around the world,” and is “the one occupier in historical past which presents itself as a sufferer.”


Levy, who has spent over 4 a long time as a journalist writing for the Israeli every day Haaretz masking primarily the Israeli-Palestinian battle, made these remarks on the Arab Information present affairs present “Frankly Talking.”



Gideon Levy has spent over 4 a long time as a journalist and columnist for the Israeli every day Haaretz. He spoke to Katie Jensen, the host of “Frankly Talking,” the Arab Information present affairs present. (AN picture)


Levy has been harshly essential of Israel’s actions, notably these carried out within the wake of the Hamas assault in southern Israel in October 2023 which resulted in 1,200 deaths and the kidnapping of 240 folks. Based on Gaza’s Well being Ministry, almost 30,000 folks, lots of that are girls and youngsters, have been killed to date in Israel’s retaliatory offensive.


Arab nations, notably Saudi Arabia, have been placing strain on Israel to conform to a ceasefire or cut back its offensive. The Kingdom has made the institution of a Palestinian state a prerequisite for any normalization offers, with Israeli officers eager on the thought of improved relations with Arab states.


Levy, nevertheless, doubts that any Israeli prime minister, together with present prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would go that far.


“I don’t see them … placing an finish to the occupation,” he informed Katie Jensen, host of “Frankly Talking.”


Israeli politicians is likely to be hoping for a repeat of the 2020-2021 Abraham Accords, which noticed Israel normalize relations with the UAE and Bahrain.



Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (2-R) grins from ear to ear after signing the so-called Abraham Accords with Bahrain International Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani (L) and UAE International Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (R), brokered by the US authorities beneath President Donald Trump (2-R), on the White Home in Washington, DC, on Sept. 15, 2020. (AFP/File)


Israel shortly additionally normalized ties with Morocco and Sudan.


“Possibly additionally they hope that, like within the Abraham Accords, through which they acquired fairly deal with out altering the coverage towards the Palestinians, solely by all form of lip companies for this,” he mentioned.


“I feel that every one the candidates for being prime minister in Israel, not solely Netanyahu but in addition the opposition, would nonetheless want to take care of an occupation slightly than to have regular relations with an necessary nation like Saudi Arabia.”


Even past the Arab world, Israel’s counteroffensive in Gaza has triggered worldwide backlash, together with South Africa’s landmark courtroom case towards Israel within the Worldwide Court docket of Justice. Nevertheless, Levy sees most of this as empty phrases.



This picture taken on January 26, 2024, exhibits the Worldwide Court docket of Justice panel assembled in The Hague through the studying of the genocide case filed by South Africa towards Israel over its assaults on civilians within the Gaza Strip. (X: @CIJ_ICJ)


“Sympathy towards the Palestinians may be very deep rooted among the many grass roots, however I do not see many leaders actually care in regards to the Palestinians. Sadly, they fall between the chairs for a few years now, when many statesmen give their lip service about solidarity with them, however lastly nearly no person is doing for them something and they’re left fairly alone, particularly in (the) final years,” Levy mentioned.


“Sure, there may be loads of speaking happening; condemnations, resolutions, rulings, guidelines, hearings, many, many issues. There is just one factor missing, and that is motion. That’s, taking measures.


“The world by no means took actual measures and the US, specifically, by no means took any measures to advertise its curiosity, to advertise its concepts. The US claims that it needs to see this struggle ended. And (on the similar time) it’s supplying Israel with extra ammunition and extra arms.”


Israel has realized “that you could very simply ignore the discuss and keep on with its coverage, as a result of Israel doesn’t pay any value for its coverage,” Levy mentioned.



A cargo of 155mm artillery shells provided by the US to be used by the Israeli military is transported on a truck alongside a freeway between the Jerusalem and Beersheba in southern Israel on October 14, 2023. (AFP)


With Palestinians themselves and leaders the world over calling for peace, Levy just isn’t sure that peace must be the highest precedence relating to talks on Palestine, however slightly justice for the Palestinian folks.


“I’m calling for justice, not for peace … perhaps peace would be the bonus that we’ll get out of it. However I’m not positive that two persons are prepared for peace, however there may be one individuals who deserve justice. And this should be pushed by the world.”


From 1978 to 1982, Levy labored as an aide and spokesman for Shimon Peres, the then chief of the Israeli Labor Celebration. In 1982 he started to jot down for Haaretz, and later labored there as a deputy editor.


He has lengthy written of his assist for a one-state resolution through which Jews, Arabs, and all residents have equal rights — a controversial opinion amongst each Israelis and Palestinians.


“There are 700,000 Jewish settlers within the occupied territories. No one goes to evacuate them. And there’s no viable Palestinian state with 700,000 Jewish settlers, a part of them very violent, all of them very ideological. I don’t see (a two-state resolution) occurring.”



Objects are scattered greater than per week after Jewish settlers attacked the occupied West Financial institution village of Wadi al Seeq on October 24, 2023. (AFP/File)


He added: “If not the two-state resolution, what’s left? Solely the one state … the one drawback is that it’s not a democracy.


“I’ve to inform my fellow Israelis, you possibly can’t have all of it. For those who wished a Jewish state, you needed to pull out from the occupied territories a very long time in the past.


“If you’d like a democratic state, you must quit the Jewish state since you can’t have it each, as a result of there are two peoples right here. Both you’re an apartheid state or you’re a democracy.”


Because the Israeli bombardment continues throughout the whole thing of Gaza, many Palestinians have begun to lose hope in their very own officers. Even one month previous to the beginning of the newest Israel-Hamas struggle, 78 p.c of Palestinians wished the resignation of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in accordance with a ballot by the Palestinian Middle for Coverage and Survey Analysis.



US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas within the metropolis of Ramallah within the occupied West Financial institution on Feb. 7, 2024, throughout a Center East tour, his fifth pressing journey to the area for the reason that struggle between Israel and Hamas in Gaza erupted in October. (POOL / AFP)


Observers now speculate whether or not there could possibly be a alternative for Abbas, one that might perform reforms and to revitalize the PA.


For Levy, jailed Palestinian dissident Marwan Barghouti could possibly be a contender.


“He was the one one who would actually unite the Palestinian folks, Hamas and Fatah, collectively. I believed additionally that he’s a person of peace. And he proved it in some ways,” he mentioned.


Barghouti was arrested by Israel in Ramallah in 2002, and two years later was sentenced to 5 cumulative life sentences on 5 counts of homicide.


“I hope he’s nonetheless able to main the Palestinians. I don’t have a greater thought. I’m undecided Hamas will settle for him at this time. Twenty years in the past, sure, (however) I’m undecided at this time,” Levy mentioned.


“I’m an amazing believer of him. And since I consider in him, and since so many individuals consider in him, Israel won’t ever launch him. And that’s so tragic.”



The portrait of jailed Palestinian dissident Marwan Barghouti (R) is seen together with that of the  late South African president Nelson Mandela at an workplace within the West Financial institution metropolis of Ramallah. Barghouti, in Israeli custody for almost twenty years after being convicted over a number of killings through the second intifada, is being in comparison with Mandela, who efficiently led the resistance to apartheid in South Africa. (AFP/File)


Notably since October, the favored rhetoric in Israel has more and more turned towards Palestinians, one thing that Levy blames on a mix of racism and dehumanization.


“For those who conduct such a brutal occupation over so a few years, in case you train your troopers and your younger folks, technology after technology, that there’s nothing cheaper, and there may be nothing cheaper than the lifetime of a Palestinian, I can let you know, if the Israeli military would have killed so many canines because it did (folks) in Gaza, it will be an enormous, big scandal in Israel.”


Along with this, Israeli information media, which Levy explains “doesn’t cowl the struggling of Gaza,” has performed a task in inflaming racist attitudes within the nation.


“They know Israelis don’t wish to see it, don’t wish to hear about it. It’s an consequence of a long time of brainwashing, a long time of humanization; as I mentioned earlier than, a long time of demonization of the Palestinians.


“Israelis don’t meet Palestinians anymore in any respect, due to the barrier of the (West Financial institution) separation wall. There’s nearly no contact anymore between the 2 peoples,” Levy mentioned, explaining that the Oct. 7 assault has led Israelis to lump all Palestinians in the identical class as Hamas and the perpetrators of the assault.



Contributors run previous a piece of Israel’s controversial separation barrier through the “Freedom of Motion Palestine Marathon” in Bethlehem within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution on March 10, 2023. (AFP/File)


“We’re in a really, very low second in historical past. And clearly the racism is now politically appropriate in Israel. It is sufficient to have one assault, like this horrible assault on the seventh of October, to make all the wrong political concepts as politically appropriate.


“As a result of after what they’ve completed to us, most of Israelis suppose, we now have now the precise to do and say no matter we wish, due to these horrible issues they did.


Within the minds of Israelis now, Levy mentioned, “all Palestinians should take accountability for the October 7 crimes, all of them took half in it.”