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Hebrew University
[Hebrew U] Hannan Hever: Only external interventions such as the BDS can stop the growth of “Israeli fascism”


Hannan Hever


Dr. Hannan Hever is a professor of Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.    He has previously taught at Northwestern University, the University of Michigan at Ann Harbor, and Columbia University.   He has published thirteen books about Modern Hebrew literature.  One of his books is entitled The Palestinian Nakba in Hebrew Poetry, 1948-1958.  He is currently a member of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute’s Publications Committee and a co-director of the Hebrew-Arabic Literary Space research group.


However, in addition to being a literary scholar, Dr. Hever has been involved in a series of problematic political activities.  For example, Dr. Hever signed onto a petition objecting to Israel joining the OECD.   In April 2010, Dr. Hever spoke at the Prince Alaweed Bin Talal Centre for Islamic Studies at Cambridge University, which is funded by the oppressive regime in Saudi Arabia.   The lecture that he gave was entitled “The Palestinian Nakba in Hebrew Poetry.”   Also in 2010, Dr. Hever signed onto a petition condemning the German political party Die Linke for supporting Israel and claimed that Germany and Die Linke were partially responsible for “Israeli crimes” due to the political positions that Germany and Die Linke have taken in support of Israel.  In January 2009, Dr. Hever signed onto a petition organized by Jews for Justice for Palestinians, which called Israel’s behavior during the Gaza War criminal, condemned the US for supporting Israel, condemned the EU for upgrading relations with Israel, called for international action against Israel, came out in support of BDS against Israel, called upon the UN to put sanctions on Israel, and came out in support of trying Israelis for their alleged “crimes.”   In 2002, Dr. Hever signed a petition calling upon the international community to take actions to stop the “Israeli occupation,” condemned Israel for taking over Yasser Arafat’s compound and imposing a curfew in Ramallah, despite the security situation that existed during that time, accused Israel of being an apartheid state and engaging in ethnic cleansing as well as war crimes, blamed the entire Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the “occupation,” came out in support of BDS, and called for Israelis to be tried for their alleged “crimes.”  And in 2001, Dr. Hever signed onto a petition in support of Azmi Bishara, who is accused of committing treason and espionage against the State of Israel.                 







In November 2010, Dr. Hever published an article in the Hebrew edition of Haaretz where he argued that supporting a loyalty oath for new Israeli citizens is paramount to fascism, that supporting the existence of a Jewish state is contrary to democracy, and that only external interventions such as the BDS movement can stop the growth of “Israeli fascism.”   



Hanan Hever: The Demasking Law

Posted by admin on Nov 15th, 2010 and filed under FEATURED COMMENTARIES, Israel, Others. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

By Hanan Hever, Haaertz – 12 Nov 2010 (Hebrew)
Translated by Lia Tarachansky, distributed by email

[Translator's note:  Please forgive my poor translation skills...  Hanan Hever is the father of Shir Hever, author of The Political Economy of the Israeli Occupation.]

The Loyalty oath law supports the stance of all the Zionist parties; It demasks the take over of fascism in Israel.

The new citizenship law is a good law. According to the latest trends, it works in the interests of Israel. First of all, it makes clear the state of affairs in the country, that in the past year or rather since the summer of 2010, the country’s fascist side strengthens. It will increase the international pressure on Israel and it looks like it may be the only thing that can rescue Israel from the current bleak state of affairs.

In essence, we aren’t talking about a revolutionary law. It doesn’t stand in opposition to the declaration of independence, rather it ratifies it. It is also not opposed to the position of all the Zionist parties. And hence, when the host of the Army Radio evening show, Yaron Velinsky tried to gather from Tzipi Livni (as from other opponents) why she opposes the law he got only verbal acrobatics. Even Ehud Barak attempted to add to the Loyalty Oath the declaration of independence, he did not differ from Avigdor Lieberman, and certainly not from Benjamin Netanyahu. He only strengthened the tight connection between the law and the declaration of independence. And indeed all the Zionist parties, including SHAS, revolve around the contradictory model of a “Jewish and democratic state”, when it is obvious that the country being Jewish must come at the expense of it being democratic.

Jewishness, that is race and ethnicity as outlined in religion, is an essential element to reciving equal rights in Israel. That means that the new law makes clear to non-Jews who wish to join that they will be doing so as inferior tenants and that the Jewish Israeli society is built on the basis of religious purity of blood, or strict religious practice. Therefore, Israel, despite its statments, is essentially a Jewish nation and is not democratic. It is one who occupies another nation while discriminating against its Arab citizens.

In fact, most of the parties agree to this. Therefore the difference between them and Lieberman is only in that he does what they appear to suppress but in essence, and with a wink, approve. That is, they don’t object but prefer to hide behind a mask of democracy. So Minister Yitzhak Herzog’s opposition to the law isn’t opposition to the disastrous concept of a “Jewish and democratic” country, but opposition to the concept being openly revealed.

All this also explains why fascism will and is already coming here. The basis of democracy is gone, among others due to the laws of emergency; because of the break in legitimacy of an active and critical parliamentary system; populism, nationalism, and xenophobia towards minorities; the making of an all-purpose government and an all out war against anyone who undermines the country’s founding myth – are the core of fascism here. The new law suggests, like fascism, a vision of totalitarian revival of ethnic nationalism.

Lieberman reads the political map clearly and understands that the Zionist parties will not be able to stop the process of suppressing democracy for ethnicity. But that they support his bending of democracy for Jewish ethnocentrism. Netanyahu, it seems, won’t be taking a strong position and then it will only take the foreseeable economic crisis for Lieberman to come out as the leader of a fascist Israel.

The only hope to stopping fascism won’t come from within. The weakening of liberal and democratic forces, trapped in the grip of their theological commitment to the Jewishness of the nation, is the first sign. In fact, examples in 20th century of fascism actually being stopped from within rather than from external war are rare. Therefore as the fascist face of the nation is unmasked more, the external forces will grow, whether through the growing economic boycott or by other means. So the Loyalty Oath law and the string of laws that will come after it (the Nakba Law, the Boycott Law, and others), will only strengthen the international pressure on Israel and only then, maybe, salvation will come.

Hanan Hever is a professor of Hebrew literature and the Hebrew University.

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