Yaakov Sharett, a former intelligence officer and the son of the former prime minister of Israel, has predicted a dark future for the country.
“The State of Israel and the Zionist enterprise were born in sin,” Yaakov Sharett, the son of Moshe Sharett who was Israel's first foreign minister and second prime minister, told Haaretz in an interview.
Sharett, 95, heavily critcised Israel’s state mentality and opposes aliyah, the migration of Jews to Israel and occupied Palestinian territories, and called for emigration from Israel.
Despite being a former member of Israel's internal security service, Shin Bet; a former volunteer of the Jewish Brigade in the British Army during World War II; and a member of the government’s liaison bureau for immigration from Eastern Europe, Sharett opposes Israel’s founding principles.
“This original sin pursues and will pursue us and hang over us. We justify it, and it has become an existential fear, which expresses itself in all sorts of ways. There is a storm beneath the surface of the water,” he added.
Sharett, who is the son of one of the men who signed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948, predicts a dark future for Israel.
“I reached my age in peace. Financially, my situation is reasonable. But I fear for the future and fate of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
Sharett described himself as a collaborator against his will, and said: “I’m a forced collaborator with a criminal country. I’m here, I have nowhere to go. Because of my age I can’t go anywhere. And that bothers me. Every day. This recognition won’t leave me. The recognition that in the end Israel is a country occupying and abusing another people.”
His children, grandchildren and great children have already moved to New York and Sharett is happy for them.
Sharett said the conflict was created when Zionism called on Jews to move to Israel and establish a sovereign state.
"Have you seen anywhere in the world where the majority would agree to give in to a foreign invader, who says, ‘our forefathers were here,’ and demands to enter the land and take control?”
“I see in this whole transformation of the majority [Arab] to a minority and the minority [Jewish] into a majority as immoral,” he said.
According to him, Zionism has disappeared for breaking its promises, and now, Israel’s national agenda is “blood, death and violence.”
Bringing Jews living in the Soviet Union to Israel
Yaakov Sharett was born in 1927 in a Jewish community in Palestine. He attended Columbia University and Oxford University where specialised in “Sovietology,” and learned fluent Russian - which is also his father’s native language.
In the 1960s, he went to the Soviet Union to work for the Israeli Embassy in Moscow and founded and led Nativ, Israel's identity-building program for soldiers who are immigrants but feel disconnected from their Jewish roots.
Sharett worked as “first secretary” in the embassy and liaised with Jews who had an interest in Israel and Zionism. However, he was expelled on charges of espionage.
He was invited to Riga to send a letter from a person who claimed himself as Jewish, but it was a trap.
“Two hulks jumped me, picked me up off the ground, without considering that I had diplomatic immunity,” he described the incident.
He was “caught while spying, touring various parts of the Soviet Union to establish espionage ties and distributing Zionist anti-Soviet illegal literature,” at the time, Soviet media reported.
After returning to Israel, he worked for military intelligence in the new Russian department. Now, he expresses disappointment over the Russian migration.
“The people that I so much wanted to come here turned out to be right wing and nationalist – the result of years living half-assimilated and needing to hide their origin. Now they turned to the most fanatic and extreme side. I took part in bringing my enemies here. Avigdor Lieberman is a settler. Politically, he is my enemy,” he added.
On May 15, 1948, some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled into refugee camps that still exist in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.
The Palestinians were to suffer further when the West Bank and Gaza fell to the Israelis during the 1967 war.
Millions of Palestinians, including those displaced with the establishment of Israel, now found themselves having to live under military occupation, as well as further Israeli expansionism in their lands.
According to Palestinian figures, roughly 640,000 Jewish settlers now live on 196 settlements (built with the Israeli government's approval) and more than 200 settler outposts (built without its approval) across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
International law regards both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there as illegal.