The Israelis believe that they are the chosen people; their way of thinking is disconnected from reality and they accuse anyone who disagrees with them of anti-Semitism - so claimed Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy during a lecture he gave at Trinity College in Dublin last week.
The lecture was held as part of "Israeli Apartheid Week" at Ireland's oldest university. Levy was the keynote speaker at the event. He spoke with a PLO flag at his side.
Levy slammed the Israeli media, saying that its slanted reportage attempts to legitimize crimes against the Palestinians. Levy accused the media of pushing the army to act against Palestinians; He said that the news outlets presented Operation Cast Lead as a war, even though there was barely any resistance on the Palestinian side; for every Israeli that died in the operation, he said, there were at least 100 Palestinians.
"The Israeli media is dehumanizing the Palestinians systematically year after year, decade after decade and that is, in my view, the best explanation to this unusual phenomena in which the Israelis... live so much in peace with themselves," he explained.
He went as far as saying that an Israeli "propaganda machine" undermines any anti-Israel opinion. The few groups that dare to take a stand against the occupation by holding rallies and refusing to serve in the army are delegitimized.
According to Levy, this phenomenon has lead to a situation in which "five million Israelis are deeply convinced today that they are right and seven billion people of the world are wrong".
The journalist also addressed last May's Gaza-bound flotilla, saying Israel attempted to depict the peace activists aboard the Mavi Marmara as terrorists. He also claimed that the events surrounding the incident prove that Israel does as it pleases even in international waters.
Levy called the settlements a crime, and said that Israel never intended to achieve peace – which is why this has been the longest peace process in history. He accused the government of making up excuses and dumping the blame on the leaders on the opposing side: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas.
'Occupation is addiction'
Levy added that Israel's demand to be recognized as a Jewish state is ridiculous; he said that the Israeli occupation is like an addiction, and that friends of the State should help it kick the habit.
"With the huge dramatic turmoil in the Arab world in the last few weeks... finally there is a new spirit in the world and in the Arab world and tyrannies will not last forever," he said. "The Israeli occupation is by far one of those tyrannies."
Levy wrapped up the lecture with a story of a Palestinian girl who was killed while sleeping in her mother's arms by a missile that was fired at her house in Khan Younis.
Haaretz responded to Levy's speech by saying that he is "entitled to the complete freedom of speech that the newspaper gives its senior writers."
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