In February 2020, billboards were erected in Tel Aviv depicting the political leaders of Hamas and of the Palestinian Authority as blindfolded and kneeling, as if, one might reasonably think, they are about to be shot. They were endorsed by an Israeli Jew Nave Dromi, leader of the ‘Israel Victory’ project. The slogan is ‘Peace is made only with defeated enemies.
Umberto Eco draws attention to 14 ideas around which fascism can congeal. one of these is the idea of the enemy, and an obsession with plots and conspiracies. This poster signifies the Palestinians as the enemy ‘within’, plotting to annihilate the Jews, through terrorism sponsored by Hama and the PA.
To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia.
The article in Haaretz by Gideon Levy identifies a xenophobic billboard in Tel Aviv and calls it fascist. I am suggesting that we can see here Eco’s elements of fascism: a) the enemy within (within the zionist idea of Eretz Ysrael, or Greater Israel); b) the obsession with terrorist plots by the Palestinians (as opposed to their legitimate resistance and fight for justice); and c) the idea of being besieged: the only way to defeat the enemy that is besieging us is to destroy them.
Billboard in Tel Aviv reading ‘Peace is made only with defeated enemies.’
According to Nave Dromi the head of the Israel Victory Project, a project of the Middle East Forum-Israel, this billboard depicts:
… billboards we hung that showed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas defeated.
Three of the 14 elements around which fascism can congeal are, according to Umberto Eco : a) xenophobia; b) the need for an enemy to establish public acceptance of racist; and c) elitist supremacist policies . And all three are signified in this billboard.
is it now possible to see this billboard is a visible signal telling us that Israel is now a fascist state – enacting terrible crimes against humanity whilst the world looks on and does nothing.
Levy identifies Nave Dromi as an individual in Israel who endorses Israel’s Zionist ethnic cleansing policies. She endorses her racist and murderous view here.
Israeli military tower next to the Jerusalem Hebron road
It is almost too shocking to be able to respond coherently. Levy, see link to article above, does a fair job. I would only add, from my alien foreigner perspective, that: a) an occupied people have the right under international law to respond militarily against military targets, and b) it is palpably clear from seeing the settlements scarring the landscape, monitoring the military checkpoints and passing by the massive concerted military observer posts along the Jerusalem Hebron (and settlement Kiryat Arab) Road (see above), that Israel is enforcing a genocidal regime of forced displacement.
The concept of the defeated enemy as used here, signifies the need for the total defeat, or the complete absence of resistance to Israeli oppression, which in turn signifies the total destruction of Palestinian identity everywhere. This is the genocidal ideology behind the Israel Victory project. And, this is also one of the key motifs in the 2020 USA/Israel so-called peace plan for Palestine which forbids any Palestinian resistance to their oppression.
On the basis of inciting hatred at least, and genocide by implication, Nave Dromi should be charged with crimes against humanity. The international community should rebut Israel’s Zionist ideology that claims land based on biblical myth and should identify and prosecute Israel’s crimes for what they are.