As Israeli Jew, I refuse Zionism and oppose the normalization between Israel and muslim countries
"These Arab dictators try to get US and Israeli support for their regime against Iran and their own people's democratic inspirations. Why should Indonesia join this trend of dictatorial betrayal?" said Ronen Skaletzky.01 Januari 2021 14:18
Ronen Skaletzky, Israeli Jew who refuses Zionism and opposes the normalization between Israel and muslim countries. (Ronen Skaletzky for Albalad.co)
He had served in the Israeli army for three years, 1979-1982, with his last rank were sergeant. He also involved in the Israeli invasion against Lebanon in 1982.
But Ronen Skaletzky is an anomaly comparing with common Israeli Jews. He refuses Zionism and opposes the normalization between Israel and Arab countries. So, he also supports the official position of the government of Indonesia which will never open a diplomatic relationship with Israel till the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital created.
He insisted the muslim majority countries had open a formal relations with Israel - Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco - just for their own national interests but not to help the issue of Palestine. "So these Arab dictators try to get US and Israeli support for their regime against Iran and their own people's democratic inspirations. Why should Indonesia join this trend of dictatorial betrayal?" said Ronen Skaletzky in an exclusive interview with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co via WhatsApp yesterday.
Skaletzky, 59 year-old, is married with a muslim Indonesian woman and has a daughter. He and his family were living in Indonesia for 12 years from 2007 and currently living near Netanya, Tel Aviv, Israel. But in the next few years, they will go back to live in Indonesia.
As an Israeli citizen, how do you see about Indonesia-Israel normalization?
The reason there is no normalization now, is clearly, due to the handling of Palestinian people and territory by the Zionists Israelis. Most Indonesians are muslim, and naturally they feel solidarity toward suffering of muslim anywhere. Most of Palestinians are muslim and hence there is no surprise here.
In my opinion, there will be normalization with Israel when Israel will treat Palestinians as equal and fairly, adhere to the international law and implement a fair solution. This, by far, is not the current situation.
Israel is actually doing the exact opposite these days. It is enough to follow the publication of the Israeli human rights organization, B'tzelem, online.
The Palestinian just cause was abandoned in recent years by many traditional supporters due to many external factors, globally. The wars US and its allies started or were involved in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria caused instabilization of the entire region, and huge waves of refugees flooded EU, which caused anti-muslim sentiments there.
The dictators of the Arab countries started to feel threatened by the Iranian regime, as it seems the Iranian regime and the public opinion in most muslim majority countries fit each other. So these Arab dictators try to get US and Israeli support for their regime against Iran and their own people's democratic inspirations. Why should Indonesia join this trend of dictatorial betrayal?
The Palestinian power to get justice and fairness is diminished these days. They must have strong powers to support their cause to survive as a living society. They are currently almost alone in their political struggle for their basic human rights. Why to normalize relationship with Israel now?
Indonesia is very important for the Palestinian struggle and if it normalize relationship with Israel, the Palestinians will feel frustrated, betrayed, and left to their own fate. Is this what the moral conscience of Indonesians wants? I doubt it.
So, do you oppose against normalization between Indonesia and Israel?
I do not see how normalization between Israel and Indonesia will help the Palestinian cause and make this world a better one.
I see the opposite. It is a prize for offenders of the international law. It is a prize to an oppressive regime, and it will encourage Israel and other types of oppressive regime around the world to do the same, and look for business instead of improving human rights records. This is not the type of development I want to see in our world.
I fully support the official position of the government of Indonesia in this issue.
Imagine that you are a strong guy who adapted long time ago an abused child.
Now the abusers ask you to abandon that child, be a friend of him, and he offers you many benefits. Will you do it? That's exactly how I see the situation.
What about in the context of bilateral trade relations not a diplomatic relationship?
Currently, it is legal for Israeli and Indonesian private sectors to have trade deals between them. I have no problem with that, if companies who listed in the UN's list of companies working in the Occupied Territories are not involved.
You were a soldier and involved in Israeli invasion against Lebanon 1982. How could you change your mind on Israel-Palestine conflict?
Very simple. Everything Israel is doing, it try hard to justified by evidences and "justice". When you sit at home, it is easy to believe it. When you are there in the battlefield, you recognize the cynical self-supporting lies. When you use independent logical critical thinking and research, the facts are impossible to deny.
So, do you agree on the term of the occupation of Israel against Palestine?
Sure. Actually, I see the establishment of Israel as the last European colonial project. The Zionist movement contact empires to find solutions for European Jews who suffered a lot from the rise of nationalism and racism in Europe of the 19th century. They were considered Palestine and Uganda, without thinking about the will of their population.
They chosen Palestine at the end because of the Jewish religious origin and ancient Israelites (which many Palestinians are probably their descendants) history in Palestine. At the time, the Zionists decided to create a state in Palestine they were about 18 millions European Jews in the world and less than 1 million Palestinians.
They plan to give equal rights to Palestinians. However, the Jewish Holocaust killed 6 millions Jews, the Jews in the Western world did not want to move to the Middle East and the Jews in Eastern Europe were forbidden by Stalin from going there.
So, in 1948 when the British left, there were much more Arabs than Jews in Palestine.
To survive politically and physically, the Zionist Jews destroyed more than 400 Palestinian villages and expelled their population using massacres and other means. Till now, the Zionists refuse to let those Palestinians their property and land, and refuse to let them live in the land of their ancestors.
To prevent suffering, I do not say that Zionist Jews should return back to Europe but they should look for fair solution for the Palestinian cause. They are not doing it now. Most of the world agree on the solution but Israel and its colonialist friends do not support it.
Do you think Israel is an illegal state?
Legality is being defined by the international law and the UN, and it is legal. Its settlements in the occupied territories is illegal.
According to ultra orthodox Jews, like Neturei Karta, Jews are allowed to have a state after the Messiah comes. What do you think about that?
According to Jewish religious view, Jews are not allowed to create their own state in Israel till the Messiah will come. Zionists religious leaders made some acrobatics with it as religious leaders know. I am not follower of Judaism anymore. I am agnostic, so it is not my business.
Why do you reject the ideas of Zionism?
Because it try to find a solution for one ethnic group on the expense of another ethnic group.
According to you, how many percentages of Israeli Jews that oppose Zionism or against the normalisation between Israel and muslim countries?
I support normalization with all muslim countries after Israel start to respect the international law and implement fair and agreeable solution with the Palestinians and Syrians.
I guess based on other type of survey that about 0.7% of Jews in Israel think the same as me on this issue. Jews who are not Zionists usually do not live in Israel, unless they are ultra-religious like the group you mentioned before.
Have you spoken your anti-Zionism publicly?
Yes. You can look at my Facebook's wall and see many such posts of my friends here.
How many years you became a soldier and what was your last rank?
I served in IDF not more than what the Israeli law forced me: 3 years (age: 18-21) and
reserve service (age 21 to 40, 2 weeks to 1 month per year). I am sergeant.
During your service in military, have you humiliated a Palestinian?
Me? Never!!! But I saw many others doing it with no punishment. Usually soldiers belong to the low socioeconomic classes among Jews are doing it, as it gives them feeling of superiority.
Do you have any personal experience which made you sympathy towards Palestinians?
This is my born-with character. I hate injustice. I do not support the Palestinian culture. I feel it not fit my values but they have full rights to define their non-violent and non-oppressive fate.
Do you agree if East Jerusalem becomes the capital city of the State of Palestine?
In your view, among muslim countries which is more seriously and frankly supporting the Palestinians struggle?
Qatar, Iran, Malaysia and Indonesia. But they all do it because of muslim values, not because of care for human rights.
When did you commit your service in army?
Artillery. My job was to calculate the positions of cannons, and give direction (azimuth, elevation angle) and other parameters to the cannons teams of all the battalion.
During the war of 1982 I refused to do it, due to accident happened because of my miscalculation, and I decided to count the shells and give reports instead.
From what year to what year?
Can you share your story how did you have a wife an Indonesian muslim girl?
Yes. During my reserve service years, I decided to stop serving in the Occupied Territories because once my soldiers found a person that the Israeli ISS was looking for.
So, when I know I supposed to be called to serve in Gaza Strip, I flew to Indonesia using my US passport to check the situation in Aceh for Amnesty International (I was a member of them then). I met my wife on the way back at Polonia airport and airplane, Medan, when she was on her way to work for Japanese company in Malaysia. It was 1993. I met her every year, till she came to Israel in 1997 and we married.
Why you dont ask her to be Jewish?
Because she do not believe in Judaism. Why she need to fake her opinion? Anyway, I do not believe in Judaism either.
What are her and her parents reactions when they knew you are an Israeli citizen and Jews?
She knew it from the day we met at Polonia airport. She does not care. With her family there was no problem either. But the problem was that the status of her father in the village deteriorated and he bacame sick and died at age of 52.
Around 200 years ago the followers of Imam Bonjol killed about 200,000 Batak Mandailing and Angkola who refused to accept Islam. Her family was among those who run away and found shelter deep in the jungle, where their families live till now but their descendants became Muslim and Christians. They lost all the fertile lands they have in Sipirok, 200 years ago.
What do you like about Indonesia?
I love its nature, the way Indonesiand care for failed family members: the natural social security network. I love their politeness, and ancient music. I guess without the influence of foreign monotheist ideas, Indonesia today could be a much better place for its population and nature. Indonesian native animist believes respect nature.
Have you lived in Indonesia?
We were living in Indonesia for 12 years from 2007. Then my wife preferred to live in Israel because of the working atmosphere in the MedTech startsup arena where she worked before we moved to Indonesia.
I plan to return to Indonesia in few years from now. So, I maintain the requierements to keep my KITAP alive.
What is your occupation?
Offcially I am chemist, but I had 20 years of R&D posititons in the semiconductor industry till age 46 when we moved to Indonesia. I dedicate my life since then to promote ideas I see as progress for humanity. We have small businesses in Medan still active in food industry.