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Pepe Goldman - The voice of an Israeli activist

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

My name is Pepe Goldman, I was born in Argentina in 1952 and at the age of 24, in March

1976, four days after the rise of the last military dictatorship, I immigrated to Israel.

Most of my young years in Argentina I lived under military dictatorships, each crueler than

the last. Night raids, abductions in broad daylight, torture and oppression in all areas of life

were an integral part of the life menu in a country that from 1930 to 1983 did not know

what an entire term of a democratically elected government was. This reality has led me to

form an intolerant and uncompromising position and political stance towards undemocratic

regimes and ideologies.

Like many other young people in the Argentine Jewish community, I received a non-formal

Zionist and socialist education, and by the same values ​​I educated hundreds of Jewish

youths. With this value charge I arrived in Israel, convinced that within the borders of 1948 a

democratic state lives and breathes for all its citizens, who must evacuate the territories it

occupied in the Six Day War to enable the establishment of an independent and sovereign

Palestinian state and return to being a worthy state again.

As a result of the political activity I started shortly after arriving in Israel in various

frameworks, party and non-partisan, my eyes were opened and I came to a number of

insights:

1. There is not and there was not a true democracy within the State of Israel. Although

there are democratic mechanisms (elections, separation of powers, etc.), the regime

is far from democratic in the essential sense that there is full equality for all citizens

of the state. The Palestinian population has been discriminated against since the

establishment of the state (military administration, lack of master plans for

construction in accordance with its demographic needs, discrimination in the

allocation of budgets and resources, etc.). Over the years, and as a result of the

nationalist strengthening of Israeli society and its governments, the anti-democratic

signs became even stronger (an expression of this is the anti-democratic legislation

of recent years).

2. The Nakba process did not end in 1948 and continues to exist even today, within the

Green Line and in all the occupied territories.

3. In the current reality, it is inevitable to regard our regime in the whole region, Israel

and occupied territories, as apartheid where there is rule for oppressors and rule for

oppressed (Israelis and Palestinians respectively), with two systems of laws, rights

and obligations.

As one who grew up under dictatorships and oppression, I cannot remain indifferent to

what Israel is doing to the Palestinians: the oppression, the unjustified military killings,

the violence of the privileged Jewish caste in the Occupied Territories, and the wrongful

practices of the Israeli forces that leave mental and physical scars among the Palestinian

population, specially children. And all this is happening in front of the indifferent eyes of

the Israeli Jewish society, which ranges from feeling victims to carelessness.

Nowadays, I am concentrating my activities on Taayush (coexistence in Arabic), a group

of activists that coordinates its work mainly in the southern Hebron Hills and assists

Palestinian communities in dealing with settler violence in the area, the arbitrary and

discriminatory behavior of Israeli security forces and legal battles over land ownership.

I also participate in the struggles of the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem in the

face of the constant threat of expelling its families from their homes for the benefit of

right-wing organizations based on discriminatory laws between Israelis and Palestinians

enacted in dubious Israeli democracy.

Another front of my activity is in the framework of the organization "Looking at the

Occupation in its Eyes" whose main purpose is to bring to the attention of Israeli society

the atrocities and crimes committed by the Israeli security forces and the Jewish settlers

against the Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories.


I do think that despite the difficult times, the violent reality and the permanent

incitement directed at us, activists for human rights, we must not stop working to end

the injustices of Israeli apartheid.



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