Video: West Bank colonies “protect London, Paris and Madrid,” Israeli minister says

This video titled “Israel – Fighting for Your Freedom” by Naftali Bennett neatly shows how Israeli politicians seek to exacerbate and exploit Islamophobia for the benefit of Israel.

Bennett, economy minister and leader of the ultra-racist Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party, stands on a hill in the occupied West Bank and, apparently addressing a European audience, declares: “Your war for freedom of speech starts right here.”

But more specifically, according to Bennett, it depends on Israel and its violent settlers continuing to occupy and steal Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Here’s what Bennett says:

I’m standing on the hills of Judea and Samaria, what many call the West Bank. Tel Aviv is just nine miles in back of me [sic]. To the north we have Hizballah. To the east we have ISIS. To the south we have Hamas.

Israel is in the forefront of the global war on terror. This is the frontline between the free and civilized world and radical Islam. We’re stopping the wave of radical Islam from flowing from Iran and Iraq all the way to Europe.

When we fight terror here, we’re protecting London, Paris and Madrid. If we give up this piece of land and hand it over to our enemies, my four children down there in Raanana will be in harm’s way. It’s just one missile away from hitting them.

To expect us to give up this land does not make sense. Your war for democracy starts here. Your war for freedom of speech starts right here. The war for dignity and freedom starts right here.

Violent policies

While Bennett markets himself as a lover of freedom and democracy in English, in Hebrew he boasts about how many Arabs he has killed.

Similarly, Ayelet Shaked, a senior lawmaker in his party, also became notorious last summer when she openly advocated genocide of the Palestinians.

Now Bennett seeks to exploit the rising tide of anti-Muslim hatred, turning it not just into generic support for Israel but specifically into support for Israel’s most violent and racist policies: its occupation and colonial theft of Palestinian land and its subjugation of millions of Palestinians to a system of permanent apartheid.

Bennett is of course not alone in trying to exploit recent incidents in Europe for Israel’s benefit. His coalition partner and election rival Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to exploit the recent shooting attacks in Paris and Cophenhagen to exhort European Jews to abandon their homelands so they could fill up the West Bank settlements.

Bennett’s video can also be seen as an effort to make a “positive” case for Israeli colonial settlements, amid a growing European boycott.

Stoking fear

Bennett’s party did well at Israel’s 2013 election and hopes to do better at elections next month, on a program of unmitigated violence and hatred towards Palestinians in particular and Arabs and Muslims in general.

It is in the interests of peace to counteract the bogus but dangerous and self-fulfilling “conflict of civilizations” narrative, to seek common ground among the largest numbers of people and to refuse to demonize whole populations on the basis of the acts of a tiny minority.

By contrast, the strategy of Israeli leaders, as Bennett’s video shows, is to stoke up as much fear and hate as possible.

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Comments

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Thou shalt not kill. Any dignity due one person is due to all. Hatred and racism only build more of the same. We are one world. There is no "them." All refusal to respect such simple basics is complicit determination to profit from hatred.

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too bad for Bennett,
the world embraces BDS because they aren't that stupid. If Israel is the big weapon wrecking Iraq and Syria, (bin Laden?), then what are all those US soldiers doing? And what are Israeli forces doing with all those US funds & fighter jets? (besides killing civilians?)
We also know that it is creating violent resistance, not defeating it.
We also know that Bennett does not speak for the world's Jews, either. If the ballot were opened up to all of them, he would be thrown out with the rest of his bloodthirsty creeps.

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Bennett says ISIS is the danger from the east.
But, oddly, ISIS has not targeted or threatened Israel. I wonder why that is.

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I never trust "protection" from a state with hate culture, warmongering,
a society with militairy culture starting at toddler age. Israel is in an aggressive position since its founding in 1948. What does Israel show us: how to make war against defenseless children, women and men, how to destroy homes and throw its inhabitants into the street, how to cut water and electricity supply for the citizen, how to imprison two millions of citizen and bombard them with white phosphore etc... Israel will not survive. This state is in a false timeline.
Israel is a big fraud referring to international law. Jabotinsky's 'Iron Wall' will make suffocate Israel. All by its own horrors. I deplore these poor and stupid Israelis not seeing its own dramatic end.

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No they do not, and they don't protect any Canadian cities either.

The "settlers" are a deadly danger to world peace and deserve eviction and total loss.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.