Stuffed skins masquerading as human beings*After the notorious Geula Cohen lost her Knesset seat in the recent elections, Peres commended her in exalted terms, and deplored that "we will miss very much", her absence from the Knesset.[Shahak's own note. I know I'm trying to focus on Rabin here but Peres is quite old and, no doubt, when he dies we'll be subject to all the nauseating hagiographies on him that we have had to endure on the limb-breaker Rabin.
In his excellent article ("The 'Golda, please don't leave us' neurosis", Hadashot Supplement, July 3), Doron Rosenblum asks: "What is the meaning of this obsessive urge - manifest in particular in the [Israeli] Labor party - to request the resigning leaders to remain in power". I think I can provide him with an answer.
Prof. Gideon Doron, who had been a member of a strategic team advising Rabin during the electoral campaign, thus explained (Al Hamishmar, June 26) Labor's electoral strategy to Amiram Cohen: "One of our central aims was to convey an image of Rabin as the true-blue successor of Begin". In other words, Rabin really had nothing to say as himself, but with the help of his "strategic team" he could at least disguise himself as Begin's look-alike. True, at a different time he would disguise himself as Begin's political enemy. But in general, Rabin's lifetime political career has amounted to no more than a game of adopting different disguises.
Since Ben-Gurion's retirement, his successors from among the [Israeli] Labor party and its "leaders", have done nothing apart from practitioning the art of adopting disguises. All the "leaders" of Labor have thus been no more than stuffed skins. Inside those skins there is straw, but no principles. It means that they really are not themselves, but their own look-alikes. The stuffed skin labeled as "Shimon Peres" has beaten all the records of achievement. It could be exhibited as several look-alikes at the same time: as Geula Cohen*, as a believer in paradise to be soon established in the entire region, and under other semblances.
Haaretz, 28 August 1992
Best of intentions?This one detail's Rabin's culpability in Baruch Goldstein's Hebron massacre
Yoel Markus writes ("No miracle is going to happen", Haaretz, August 21) that "the new Israeli government has the best of intentions" about conducting the peace talks. But the proposals of this government which he himself quotes are identical with what had been already proposed by Begin [in 1981], except for some changes to Palestinian disadvantage which, according to Markus, are necessitated by the fact that "the Territories have in the meanwhile been filled with Jewish settlements".
It follows that if this government has "the best of intentions", Begin's government had them too. The reverse is also true: If Begin didn't have "the best of intentions", Rabin has them neither. Rabin's "best of intentions" are relative, compared with the madness of Shamir or Sharon. But if we recall the bone breaking orders, we can only conclude that Arens had better intentions [toward the Palestinians] than Rabin.
In my view, no fundamental difference exists between Likud and Labor. Both parties are part of an overgrown, clumsy and demented core of Israeli politics. A real change in Israel is possible only after these two core parties, which date from the 1920s already, will at last come to the end of their days.
Hadashot, 11 August 1992
A gross breach of the military disciplineI don't know if anything has changed since then.
The story of Mattay Cohen (Shishi, April 15) about the army doctor who refused to provide medical treatment to a Druze soldier upon noticing that "he bore an Arab family name" should remind all of us that the Israeli army career of the murderous doctor, Baruch Goldstein, had also begun with his refusal to provide medical treatment to non-Jews, and that the army hadn't drawn any consequences from this refusal. In addition to the breach of the Hippocratic Oath and the sheer inhumanity of such behavior, both cases under this discussion amount to a gross breach of the army's standing orders and of military discipline in general.
The massacre perpetrated by Goldstein could have been prevented. The heaviest responsibility for the failure to prevent it falls in my view on the high army command in 1984-85, and on the then Defense minister, Yitzhak Rabin. Rabin and his high command should have decided to court-martial Goldstein for disobeying orders and to dismiss him from the army. But the Israeli army and the individual who is commanding it behave in the same hypocritical and irresponsible way now as then. By refusing to deal with the current case of an army doctor who openly announced that "he refused to provide medical treatment to soldiers with an Arab family name", they show that they have neither learned nor forgotten anything.
Kol Ha'ir, 22 April 1994
Here's a letter condemning Rabin together with the whole of the zionist "left":
Sabra and Shatila No. 2No change there then.
As was reported in the [Israeli] papers last week, some bombs and missiles dropped or fired by [Israeli] Airforce on the Hizbollah camp in Lebanon had been equipped with a delayed action mechanism. As one who was involved in investigating the Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians in 1982, I can testify that claims to the effect of the use of delayed action bombs and missiles, obviously aimed under such circumstances against the medical rescue teams and the already wounded, which were at that time made and never denied by Israel, were later confirmed. I regard the use of delayed action bombs under such conditions as equivalent to throwing bombs at a Red Star of David ambulance.25 In my view the premeditated barbarity on the part of a state which deliberately hits medical personnel in the process of rescuing the wounded is far worse than the Sabra and Shatila massacre.
If the present Lebanese claims (again not denied by Israel) about the use of delayed action bombs are correct - and I am afraid they are correct - I can only conclude that Rabin is worse than Sharon and Meretz is worse than Rabin. And the Peace Now. is not even worth mentioning.
Shishi, 10 June 1994
Finally, here's an extract from a letter with a withering attack on Yasser Arafat that equals anything that Shahak has said against any Israeli leader. I just want to note here that Shahak's letter was written a little over a year after a number of us left the Palestine Soldarity Campaign over its support for Oslo, a set up we believed to be doomed to failure and tantamount to a victory parade of zionism over the Palestinians:
It follows that Rabin's support of settlements by constructing a network of apartheid roads connecting them cannot be interpreted as mere tactics. It is a part of a grand strategy resting on two foundations: the intensification of apartheid in the Territories and hostility to any form of Palestinian democracy. The Israeli "peace camp", whose main preoccupation is to worship Arafat's personality, adheres to the same goals. This explains why it differs from Rabin so little. Both Rabin and the "peace camp" support - at least tacitly - any massacre of Palestinians if only it is perpetrated by Arafat's gangsters. The differences which exist between Rabin and, say, the tiny "peace block" about the settlements, are middling as compared to the view they share that Israeli interests dictate the preference for massacring the Palestinians by Arafat rather than by Israel.Now that's what we like, a bit of balance.
Such policy objectives are more immoral than those of Yitzhak Shamir. And they stand no chances of materializing. As all records beating liar in the Middle East, Arafat cannot be relied on to keep promises he gave to massacre the Palestinians for Israel's benefit. He will massacre them only when it will suit his own interest. Likewise, Peres does not intend in 1994 to develop the Territories, just as in 1965, when he headed the Rafi party, he did not intend to fulfill his promise to give a car to every Israeli worker. Millions of dollars which in August  Peres obtained from the Holst Fund for Arafat, were "invested" in trying to massacre Arafat's foes in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Even this attempt ended in failure.
The present "peace process" is immoral because its aim is to intensify the apartheid regime, in the Territories. But it is also doomed to fail because it rests on an accord with a dictator who is a failure even as a dictator. Unlike such dictators as Assad, Arafat is unable to keep agreements he signs.