From Golda Meir to Ben-Gvir: Examining Israel’s Supremacist Apartheid Legacy
Miko Peled, Orinoco Tribune, September 7, 2023 —
Remarks by Israel’s minister of national security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, saying his rights are superior to those of Arabs. He received the precise reaction he wanted – his comments were posted and repeated everywhere. His face was shown, and the video of him making these comments made waves worldwide. He, of course, knew that this would happen, and he is undoubtedly very pleased with himself. What is not clear is why we give him the attention.
Israel has a seventy-five-year history of dispossessing, murdering, stealing, and imposing a supremacist apartheid regime on Palestinians. Now, one government minister punk who cannot get enough of the limelight says what has been the practice since the Jewish supremacist regime has been in place. People all over the political spectrum are excited. Instead of giving him the attention, we would do well to focus on what needs to be done to get rid of Ben-Gvir, bring the cruel Zionist regime to an end and once and for all free Palestinians from the brutality they are subjected to.
Every Israeli cabinet since the state was established was made of racist war criminals. Barely three years had passed since the genocide of the Jews of Europe by the Nazis had ended before the Zionists commenced their crimes against humanity and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine; the massacres, and the theft of both private and public property by the Zionists and the apartheid regime, begun shortly after the collapse of the Third Reich.
What Ben-Gvir said is nothing new or of any particular interest. Palestinians have experienced Jewish supremacy as the Zionists have enforced it for generations. Most Palestinians alive today were born into this reality, as was Ben-Gvir. What is important to remember and state is that he and his constituents are no different than the early Zionists. The first generation of immigrants and their children committed the crimes of 1948, and they were all perfectly comfortable leading their lives as masters of a land they stole.
If anyone thinks that Ben-Gvir is any worse than Golda Meir, they are sorely mistaken. A new movie portraying the arrogant, ignorant, racist war criminal Golda Meir is now out.
Before being elected as prime minister, Golda Meir served in many important roles as a member of the Zionist elite. She was a member of the pre-state provincial government. During several fundraising trips to the United States, she raised millions of dollars to contribute to the so-called “war effort,” better known as the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. She represented the Apartheid state internationally and as an ambassador before becoming foreign minister.
Then, in 1969, she became Prime Minister of Israel and remained in power until she was forced to resign in 1974 due to the 1973 October War. Why people worldwide talk about her with admiration is a mystery; she certainly did nothing to deserve it.
Her role as prime minister during the war is the focus of the new movie, falsely portraying her as a great leader. The October War was the only war in which Israel took part but did not initiate, and the Israeli army was hit very hard. The Israeli government at the time was led by Golda Meir, who served as prime minister and Moshe Dayan, the famous general with the eye patch, as a minister of defense, and it was the pair’s arrogant policies and complete disinterest in peace that led to the war.
The Egyptian overtures to make peace with Israel began in earnest almost immediately after Anwar Sadat became president of Egypt in 1970, following the death of Gamal Abdel-Naser. The Israeli government, led by Golda Meir, mocked these overtures and demonstrated no interest in peace with Egypt.
Then, on October 6, 1973, the Egyptian and Syrian armies coordinated a brilliant joint attack that took Israel by surprise. The Egyptian military built bridges and crossed the Suez Canal, catching the few sleepy Israeli soldiers stationed there by surprise. The Syrian army rolled through the Golan Heights, nearly reaching the Sea of Galilee. Anecdotal evidence suggests the Syrians stopped for fear that they were entering into an ambush. But there was no ambush, only an arrogant army asleep at the wheel.
The Israeli military was not prepared, and this led to a massive number of Israeli casualties and prisoners of war. The Israeli military under Golda Meir’s watch, with arrogant commanders she appointed leading the charge, was nearly annihilated, with thousands of Israeli soldiers killed due to her criminal negligence. Heroism is the last thing that characterizes Golda Meir at that moment in time. Clearly, she was not only a war criminal due to her role in the crimes against the Palestinians but also a failed prime minister of Israel with her disregard for the lives of Israelis.
Old guard vs. new guard
Golda Meir contributed far more to the suffering of Palestinians than the racist loudmouth punk Itamar Ben-Gvir. It would be a grave mistake to think that the more “liberal” Zionists are less criminal than Ben-Gvir. The liberal Zionists make up the pilots, commanders and generals far more than the more fanatic settlers, and while their rhetoric may seem gentler, their actions are far more deadly.
An unbiased look at the progression within Israeli politics shows that there is a clear and direct line between the early Zionists like Golda Meir and Shimon Peres and today’s Zionists Ben-Gvir and his vile constituency of racists. Liberal Zionists love the so-called “old guard” of the Zionist establishment. People like Golda Meir, Shimon Peres and others. However, claiming they are less criminal, less racist or less violent than the Ben-Gvir settlers is nonsense. The “old guard” of Zionists, those who established the State of Israel, were deadly, and it was they who cultivated and brought about the Ben-Gvir settlers.
Adoring Golda Meir and despising Itamar Ben-Gvir means legitimizing the crimes of 1948 and pretending that the Ben-Gvir settler Zionists are just a problem of “a few bad apples.” But the new, young Zionist zealots militia who terrorize Palestinian communities throughout Palestine are the direct successors of the old guard. Just like there is no legitimacy to the Two-state solution idea, there should be no legitimacy given to the early Zionists. Both represent attempts to hide the true face and the horrors of Zionism.
Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”