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The Chris Hedges Report with Israeli historian Ilan Pappé on Israel's end game in Gaza and the future of the Israeli apartheid state


“Religious nationalism is to religion what National Socialism was to socialism,” warned Leibowitz, who died in 1994. He understood that the blind veneration of the military, especially after the 1967 war that captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem, was dangerous and would lead to the ultimate destruction of democracy. “Our situation will deteriorate to that of a second Vietnam, to a war in constant escalation without prospect of ultimate resolution.” He foresaw that “the Arabs would be the working people and the Jews the administrators, inspectors, officials, and police — mainly secret police. A state ruling a hostile population of 1.5 million to 2 million foreigners would necessarily become a secret-police state, with all that this implies for education, free speech and democratic institutions. The corruption characteristic of every colonial regime would also prevail in the State of Israel. The administration would have to suppress Arab insurgency on the one hand and acquire Arab Quislings on the other. There is also good reason to fear that the Israel Defense Force, which has been until now a people’s army, would, as a result of being transformed into an army of occupation, degenerate, and its commanders, who will have become military governors, resemble their colleagues in other nations.” He warned that the rise of a virulent racism would consume Israeli society. He knew that prolonged occupation of the Palestinians would spawn “concentration camps” for the occupied and that, in his words, “Israel would not deserve to exist, and it will not be worthwhile to preserve it.”

The decision to obliterate Gaza has long been the dream of Israeli fanatics, heirs of the fascistic movement led by the extremist Meir Khane, who was barred from running for office and whose Kach Party was outlawed in 1994 and declared a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States. These Jewish extremists, which today make up the ruling coalition government, are orchestrating the genocide in Gaza, where hundreds of Palestinians are being killed or wounded a day. They champion the iconography and language of their homegrown fascism. Jewish identity and Jewish nationalism are the Zionist versions of blood and soil. Jewish supremacy is sanctified by God, as is the slaughter of the Palestinians, who compared to the Biblical Ammonites, massacred by the Israelites. Enemies — usually Muslims — slated for extinction are subhuman who embody evil. Violence and the threat of violence are the only forms of communication those outside the magical circle of Jewish nationalism understand. Millions of Muslims and Christians, including those with Israeli citizenship, are to be purged. 

Joining me to discuss what the occupation of Palestine has done to Israeli society, and what the results of the current murderous campaign in Gaza and the West Bank portends for Israel in the future, is Ilan Pappé, professor of history at the University of Exeter in Great Britain, who has described what Israel does to Palestinians as “incremental genocide.” He has written numerous books, including The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories and The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, which his French publisher has ceased publishing despite a surge in sales since the Oct. 7 attacks, part of the concerted campaign by Zionists and their supporters to discredit and censor narratives that are critical of Israel.

The Chris Hedges Report
The Chris Hedges Report Podcast
Covering US foreign policy, economic realities, and civil liberties in American society.