Neve Gordon: Zionist History: A Short Quiz





Neve Gordon is the author of Israel's Occupation.

Be'er-Sheva, Israel - Not long after Israel celebrated its 64th Independence Day on April 26, a friend prepared a quiz of sorts. She read out loud political quotes to about ten guests who were having dinner at my house, and asked us to identify the politician who had uttered each statement.

Truth be told, none of my guests did very well on the quiz, but I thought that readers acquainted with Zionist history might do better and would be able to identify the source of each of the following statements. There is only one rule to this game: all search engines, including Google, are off limits.

  • "Does a bad law become a good one just because Jews apply it? I say that this law is bad from its very foundation and does not become good because it is practiced by Jews ... We oppose administrative detention in principle. There is no place for such detention."
  • "We do not accept the semi-official view ... wherein the state grants rights and is entitled to rescind them. We believe that there are human rights that precede the human form of life called a state."

My friend's quiz managed to expose just how far right Israeli politics, as well as the public discourse informing it, have shifted over the years; so much so that, within the current political climate, declarations once uttered by former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who passed away 20 years ago, can now only be reiterated by leftists....



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