Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ilan Pappe: Israel rides the rollercoaster of mass hysteria

Ilan Pappe for the Electronic Intifada:
"Spending a week in Israel these days is like being trapped within a scene from the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Like Jack Nicholson in the lead role of that classic film, you might not be insane but the doctors and nurses who run the psychiatric ward manufacture every few minutes a collective hysteria to keep everyone in the grip of fear and hatred. Everyone is an enemy, every a visitor an existential threat.

A retired French activist in her sixties — part of the most recent Welcome to Palestine fly-in — is met in the airport by a military brigade and massive police force that left much of Israel at the mercy of its petty criminals who had a field day while the officers of the law went to arrest the invading aliens who came from Europe.

A week earlier, a poem by an 85-year-old honest and noble Nobel laureate, G√ľnter Grass, which warned against an Israeli attack on Iran and pleaded with the Israelis to show compassion towards the occupied Palestinians, was depicted as a text that is not only worse than Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf but one that could have a similar impact on history. Hence, the national response was entrusted to the hands of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of the Interior Eli Yishai who banned the entry of the ageing bard."

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