“Israel has not changed for the worse, it’s always been bad”

The quote above is from a Mondoweiss article by Avigail Abarbanel with the headline It’s time for American Jews to recognize that they have been duped (by Zionism).

Who is Avigail Abarbanel?

This very courageous Jewish lady who now lives in Scotland is a psychotherapist (which means that she treats psychological disorders). She was born in Tel Aviv in 1964. During her two years of compulsory service with the Israeli army in which she became a Staff Sergeant, it invaded Lebanon. In 1991 she left Israel to make a new life in Australia. (I quote below her explanation of why she abandoned Israel). In 2001 she renounced her Israeli citizenship.

That done she became an activist for Palestinian rights. She supports a one-state solution and a full right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants. She says: . “To state it clearly, I no longer believe that Israel has a right to exist as an exclusively Jewish state at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

Her explanation of why she supports BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) as a non-violent way to try to pressure Israel to abandon its occupation and to transform itself into a free and democratic state for all of its people is this. “I support BDS because given Israel’s psychology and philosophy of life, I do not see any hope that it will ever change its ways of its own accord.”

Avigail’s Mondoweiss article is an expression of her frustration and at times fury at what she regards as the “disconnect” in so many Western Jewish minds. Her main point is that many American and other Western Jews who are becoming increasingly uncomfortable and even troubled by Israel’s policies and actions are wrong to believe that Israel “has suddenly got worse and become immoral.” She puts it this way.


Still steeped in Israel’s Zionist mythology fueled by generations of Israeli Hasbara (propaganda) efforts, Western Jews truly believe that Israel used to be better but that it has gotten worse, moved to the right. Israel has always been right-wing, if right-wing in this context means committing and then whitewashing Zionist settler-colonialism and its obvious and characteristic evils. Israel has not changed for the worse, it’s always been bad.

The psychological rot in the Israeli psyche runs deep and I felt it from the moment I became aware of myself. In hindsight I know that this is why I left in 1991. I left to save my life and my sanity. Israeli society has always been sick because you can’t build something healthy on a criminal foundation, where so much abuse has been, and still is being inflicted on others. Not everyone in Israel is a psychopath. Ordinary people don’t do so well when they live a lie and cover up evil deeds. Just watch the psychology in families where child abuse is committed and not acknowledged. It’s torturous. American Jews either do not know or refuse to acknowledge that Israel is a settler colonial project. If they knew or if they acknowledge it, would it make a difference to their opinion?

I will not trust American Jews and their supposed left-liberal values until I see intellectual honesty. I want to see true human courage to cope with the feelings that facing the truth about Israel can bring up. As long as they exclude the Palestinians, I won’t believe or trust any good deeds, or any humanitarian sentiments that Jews around the world have for marginalized, oppressed groups. Until they show true moral courage and conviction indiscriminately, I am just not buying it.

I don’t have time or respect for those who are Progressive Except on Palestine (PEP). I am not being paid a commission by Ilan Pappé’s publishers but I will not be able to respect Western Jews until The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Ilan’s book)becomes an essential read for every member of the Jewish community out there and until things are discussed honestly.

Willful blindness means you base your views on fiction or a distorted version of reality, and this leads to a schizophrenic, nonsensical existence. But even more importantly it is nothing less than full collusion with a massive crime against humanity. I hold every Zionist Western Jew who is an apologist for Israel, or who supports it, complicit in Israel’s crimes. The truth is out there for everyone to read about and see in great details. There is no excuse for this kind of dishonesty. It is time American Jews faced the truth and drew the obvious conclusions from it.


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