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Israeli Army Radio Program Host Likens Palestinians to Cannibals, Abu Mazen to a Donkey

avshalom kor bible contest

Avshalom Kor hosts the Israeli Bible contest

I don’t know what it is about Galey Tzahal, but their staff and radio presenters embody the worst, most Islamophobic aspects of Israeli society.  I’ve posted here in the past about the racist Facebook post of the station manager telling a ‘joke’ about Israeli Jews celebrating the Arabs who died in Israel’s wars on Remembrance Day (Yom Ha’Zikaron).  Then there were similar racist statements by another program host in which he said he hoped the next U.S. president would “hate Arabs.”

Today, Haaretz reports (Hebrew) that yet another host, Dr. Avshalom Kor, who ostensibly airs a show ‘celebrating’ the Hebrew language, launched into a vicious diatribe against Palestinians.  Kor is a 35 year veteran of the radio station.  The audio of his program (Hebrew) is here.  Among the other things he had to say were these:

Palestinian postal letters were “letter bombs.”  Palestinian stamps featured images of a sniper firing on and wounding an innocent bystander.  When Palestinians talk of a woman being “a bombshell,” they’re not talking about her being ‘a blonde.’ Palestinians in general have an urge to kill and he compared them to cannibals.

Speaking of the Palestinian ambassador killed in Prague by an explosion of the safe in his residence, he said that only Palestinian diplomats use bombs as part of their briefing materials.  “Everyone,” Kor joked, “keeps in his safe what is dearest to his heart.”  In mentioning the ambassador’s wife, who was also injured in the blast, he quoted the Talmudic rabbis who said that the marriage of two ‘fools’ (the mentally-ill) is not legally recognized.  Why?  Because ‘no man lives willingly with a snake.’

In a play on words between the name of the ambassador, Jamal, and the Hebrew word gamal (“to repay”), Kor said that Egyptians pronounce the name Gamal.  When Israel ‘brought the PLO back’ (his words, not mine) to Palestine from Tunisia, it ‘repaid’ Israel with bombs like the one that killed him.

Kor spoke with derision about the Palestinian celebrations that accompanied the release of the latest round of prisoners (“murderers of children,” he called them) from Israeli jails.  It reminded him of the story of the man captured by a tribe of cannibals.  The chief gets to eat his face, others his ears and hands and feet.  ‘When they [the Palestinians] speak to us about the heart of the matter, pretty soon they’ll leave [words] aside and get right to the [literal] heart of the matter [i.e. cannibalism].’

He characterized PA leader Abu Mazen as a donkey and likened him to the saying about a donkey climbing a ladder: “Can a donkey like him, who welcomes murderers with official government celebrations, climb the rungs of the ladder of peace?”

Keep in mind that it’s Bibi Netanyahu and Israeli hasbara NGOs like Palestine Media Watch and MEMRI who feast on bits of supposed Palestinian incitement against Israel.  They latch onto protests like the ones at Al Quds University and falsely claims Nazi salutes were delivered.  But they forget incidents like this that aren’t rare at all in Israel.  In other words, there is just as much and probably more racism and hatred aired on Israeli airwaves as on Palestinian.  Israeli apologists, however, ignore it because it spoils the narrative they’re creating.  One which many in the U.S., including Hillary Clinton, have been brainwashed to believe.

Finally, though Kor supposedly honors the Hebrew language and Judaic traditions in his program, he does nothing of the sort.  This is not the Judaism I know.  Nor is it one I recognize as being normative.  Instead, it is a religion of hate that he espouses.  A shameful, embarrassing rump version of Judaism.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • pabelmont January 13, 2014, 3:50 PM

    Sounds like incitement to me (anti-Arab incitement and incitement to hate).

    My rule of thumb is that whenever Israelis viciously accuse Palestinians of something, it is a safe bet that it is something that they, themselves, routinely do — in the other direction. This must seem safe to them — because so much of the world’s press grants Israel and Israelis a “safe pass”, impunity, immunity. But it might also be because DOING something hateful excites somehow a desire to refocus the hatefulness, to export it to the hated OTHER.

    I haven’t kept a list, but hatred, incitement, racism, and “salami-tactics” all come readily to mind.

  • dickerson3870 January 13, 2014, 6:26 PM

    RE: Palestinian postal letters were “letter bombs.” Palestinian stamps featured images of a sniper firing on and wounding an innocent bystander. When Palestinians talk of a woman being “a bombshell,” they’re not talking about her being ‘a blonde.’ Palestinians in general have an urge to kill and he compared them to cannibals.

    SEE – “Israelis afflictions: instilled memory and paranoia vera” ~ By Uri Avnery, gush-shalom.org, 7/10/11
    Uri Avnery considers the psychological disorders underlying Israel’s response to criticism and peaceful protest, most recently manifested in its over-reaction to the humanitarian flotilla to Gaza, and the Israeli public’s generally docile acceptance of what their government and media tell them.

    [EXCERPTS] I saw on TV the results of a scientific investigation by Israeli researchers into “instilled memory”. Their experiments show that people who have seen something with their own eyes, but are told by everybody else that they have seen something else, start to suppress their own memory and “remember” that they saw what the others had allegedly seen. Neurological research then showed that this is can actually be seen happening in the brain: the imagined memory replaces the real. Social pressure has done its work: the instilled memory has become real memory.
    I believe that this is even truer for an entire nation, which is, of course, composed of individuals. I have seen this many times. . .
    . . . There is a mental disorder called “paranoia vera”. Patients adopt a crazy assumption – e.g. “everybody hates me” – and then build an elaborate structure around it. Every bit of information which seems to support it is eagerly absorbed, every item that contradicts it is suppressed. Everything is interpreted so as to reinforce the initial assumption. The pattern is strictly logical – indeed, the more complete and the more logical the structure, the more serious is the disease.
    Among the accompanying symptoms are belligerent behavior, recurrent suspicions, disconnection from the real world, conspiracy theories and narcissism.
    It seems that whole nations can fall victim to this illness. Ours certainly appears to have.
    The whole world is against us. Everybody is out to destroy us. Every move is a threat to our very existence. Everyone critical of Israeli policy is an anti-Semite or self-hating Jew. . .

    SOURCE – http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1310296614/

  • Davey January 13, 2014, 11:00 PM

    The thing I have trouble understanding is how the average Israeli came to “hate” Arabs. It is one thing that the Zionist enterprise sought to displace the native inhabitants in 1948 and now in the WB, attach their property, liquidate their rights, expel them, imprison them, torture them and finally kill a great many of them (tearfully, of course.) But having done so to such a profound extent, carrying off this implausible enterprise decade after decade, doing all this, why should it, at this point of near total success, come to “hate?” Israelis should be grateful that Arabs have not been successful in resisting generally. Having largely succeeded, what bother “hating” these defeated people? I don’t get it. Palestinians did not incite this violence against peaceful Jews. Jews came and incited war and took their country. The “hate.” if any, should be the other way.

    And where is it in Jewish “tradition” that Jews are encouraged to kill gentiles IN ORDER TO possess their property, which is pretty much all that Zionism amounts to? What sage provided such approval? And if this is ok, shouldn’t the entire gentile world be concerned for their property? Who’s next?

    • Richard Silverstein January 14, 2014, 12:03 AM

      @ Davey:

      where is it in Jewish “tradition” that Jews are encouraged to kill gentiles IN ORDER TO possess their property, which is pretty much all that Zionism amounts to? What sage provided such approval?

      No sage. And I vehemently object to this anti-Semitic canard. I’ve reacted this way to this same inanity before. I’m hoping it wasn’t you who raised it. But do not do so again. I’m very serious about this. Normally, I would delete this comment as a comment rule violation. But I want to keep it here to warn both you and anyone else who takes it in their mind to spout such nonsense. It will bring automatic banning.

      There is a Midrash saying that Jews retained property of the Egyptians which they’d borrowed before the left Egypt in the Exodus. There are also Biblical passages in which the Israelites destroyed tribes with whom they were at war, including their livestock, etc. But there is nothing in the Midrash or any other Jewish sacred text I’m aware of that comes remotely close to saying what you’ve mentioned.

      Please do NOT bandy rumors and unfounded myths about here, whether pro or anti-Israel.

      • David ben Yahoo January 14, 2014, 1:45 AM

        [comment deleted for comment rule violation]

      • yankel January 14, 2014, 2:00 AM

        Let me say first that I haven’t met an Israeli — neither a diaspora Jew — openly advocating killing Gentiles for their property. That Palestinians should be dispossessed for Zionism’s sake then hunted as terrorists when they resist, is the more acceptable way of looking at it.

        One has to consider the book of Joshua and the way it’s perceived by the national-religious settler movement.

        In short, the book describes the execution — with significant heavenly help — of the divine command to annihilate the native peoples of Canaan (31 kingdoms, as far as I recall), thoroughly incinerate their property and inherit their real estate.

        In Israeli history narration, the term “Hitnakhaloot” (literally: converting someone else’s real estate into one’s own) refers to this period of removing the native population and taking possession of their land by the ancient Israelites (African refugees, according to the Bible).

        As it happened, when the national-religious settlers’ movement took practical leadership of the Zionist ideological settlement in the occupied territories, they chose precisely this term — “Mitnakhalim” — and this is how they’re still referred to by most Israelis.

        • Richard Silverstein January 14, 2014, 3:10 AM

          @ yankel: That’s right & that’s what I referred to in my comment about Biblical conquest. Those undoubtedly were brutal, genocidal wars, which I’ve written about & excoriated regularly here. But to claim that the rabbis decreed under Jewish law that Jews may kill Gentiles in order to steal their property is false.

          Not to mention, that ancient history was full of rivers of blood. Tribes & nations engaged in these sorts of wars and campaigns over thousands of years. That doesn’t justify what the Israelites did. But to single them out saying our religion approves of this & even commands it, is a calumny.

      • Deïr Yassin January 14, 2014, 3:46 AM

        @ Richard
        I didn’t read Davey as you apparently did. I read his comment as a questioning (with a hint of dispair): how come that Zionism has hijacked Jewish tradition to justify the dispossession of the Palestinians. Maybe I’m wrong.

        • yankel January 14, 2014, 7:16 AM

          Like DY, I also read Davey’s “What sage provided such approval?” as an obviously rhetoric question.

          Obviously, what’s obvious to one isn’t necessarily so obvious to others…

  • Donald January 14, 2014, 9:17 AM

    I wasn’t sure which way to interpret davey’s second
    paragraph. But it seemed naive even if one takes it in the more
    harmless sense. People don’t need “sages” to teach them to have
    double standards on human rights–it’s the way people have been all
    through history. That also applies to davey’s question in the first
    paragraph. Israeli Jews hate Palestinians (or many do) in part
    BECAUSE Israelis have taken their land. It was the same in America
    between whites and Native Americans. If you want to steal someone’s
    land, you have to demonize them in order to justify it to yourself
    and after the deed is done, you still need to live with yourself,
    so the need for demonization continues. Plus, of course, in all
    such ethnic conflicts over land there are atrocities on both sides
    and each side has this way of seeing the horror of the Other’s
    atrocities, and not their own. Practically everything about Israeli
    history can be understood to some extent by looking at American
    history. On other comment threads elsewhere I’ve seen people
    compare Sharon to Andrew Jackson, both in terms of their deeds and
    how they were lionized by many of their countrymen. Some of them
    meant it as a compliment–it shouldn’t be taken that way as they
    were both ethnic cleansers and murderers– but it is a good

  • dickerson3870 January 14, 2014, 12:46 PM

    RE: “Finally, though Kor supposedly honors the
    Hebrew language and Judaic traditions in his program, he does
    nothing of the sort. This is not the Judaism I know. Nor is it one
    I recognize as being normative. Instead, it is a religion of hate
    that he espouses. A shameful, embarrassing rump version of
    ~ R.S. FROM NORMAN POLLACK (1/10/14):

    [EXCERPT] . . . Israel is determined not
    to have a settlement. Its characteristic mindset is obviously the
    militarization of Zionism and, to that end, making Judaism a State
    This is very different from the spirit
    immediately following World War II, when the socialist kibbutz was
    affirmed as the nation’s model. Judaism does not need
    Israel. It is a world religion with fundamental moral-ethical
    principles, all which Israel violates on a daily basis. When the
    oppressed become the oppressors, we have a profoundly sick
    psychoanalytic condition, the introjection of the crimes committed
    against it, now turned outward. That, I submit, has happened.
    Israel has left Judaism far behind, in its quest for power,
    superiority, expansion.
    , once the fountainhead of liberalism and
    radicalism, reaching a high point in the New Deal, and manifested
    not only in politics, but culture, and a saving remnant existing
    into the ’60s, incorporating true humanism and inclusiveness as
    part of the civil rights struggle (Schwerner-Goodman-Cheney),
    has degenerated into NeoCon warmongering, reactionary
    politics and social policy, superpatriotism, in sum, the forfeiture
    of all that made me proud of my heritage. To criticize now is to be
    pilloried as a self-hating Jew, whether said criticism is directed
    to Israel or US global policy–Joe McCarthy with a yarmulke,
    functional red-baiting by e.g. AIPAC under a different label. I
    shall continue to affirm my Judaism, wholly separable from Israel.
    . .
    . . . American support for Israel surely goes beyond
    residual feelings of guilt for allowing the Holocaust to occur and
    continue (e.g., by joining forces with Europe after the invasion of
    Poland, or later, the siege of Stalingrad), admiration, post-war,
    for suffering humanity, here, Zionism qua a crusade of the
    displaced persons for security in a new land, or devoted respect of
    Judaism as a foundation stone of religion in the West. Some of this
    may be true (on the level of sentiment, and political expediency in
    attracting American Jewry), but the US pro-Israel position
    has always been firmly grounded in realpolitik
    , at first
    a bastion or forward line in the Cold-War confrontation with the
    Soviet Union, relatedly, preservation of the Middle East as a
    sphere of influence centered on the world’s oil supply, and then,
    access to oil itself, freed from Left popular forces and the
    confiscation of US oil properties. But as Israel
    developed, and especially proved its military mettle to the US in
    dislodging and forcing out the indigenous Palestinian populace,
    along with a general posture of identifying with conservative
    regimes (apartheid South Africa, various dictators in Latin
    America) and somewhat rigidly following the American lead in
    international relations, concomitant with abandonment of a
    socialist-kibbutz vision in domestic organization in favor of
    becoming a Mossad-style world player and nuclear-armed military
    power, the US rejoiced at the special relationship.

    Ideologically, Washington gives away nothing. This was love at
    first- or at least second-sight, testified from early on by the
    close working relations between the military and intelligence
    communities of the two countries. Now, perhaps more than
    ever, because of America’s struggle to maintain its global
    hegemony, it not only sanctions but applauds every abuse of the
    Israeli government, possibly acting as enablers for inhumane
    thought and practices which might otherwise not have materialized
    had such back-up not been provided. In any case, America’s overall
    policy toward Israel reveals its own ethnocentrism, militarism, and
    disregard for international law. To see Israel is to see America
    with clear eyes. . .

    SOURCE –

  • Gal January 20, 2014, 5:31 AM

    You took it so far out of context.
    I think everyone with a decent level of hebrew would enterpret these examples above as “jokes” containing double meanings in hebrew (that’s the point of his 2 minutes show), and yes, with some sarcasm and political view involved, but not comparing palestinians to caninbals!

    Richard, your first paragraph shows that you are very disconnected from things in Israel. Galei Zahal is known for it’s “left wing” hosts, and they are mostly attacked from the right side. if you ask me, i think these attacks are not appropriate, and i think it is possitive that the IDF station allow all opinions to be heard.
    that’s why i think this “attack” on Avshalom Kor is hypocrite: while every morning (prime time) you can hear the political views of the hosts, including when they are interviewing the politicians , Haaretz picked 2 minutes broadcast about hebrew double meanings which no one hears and created a storm from 2.5 jokes.

    • Richard Silverstein January 20, 2014, 12:15 PM

      @ Gal: As happens so often, commenters like you attempt to associate the views expressed in the post with me personally as if those views originate with me, when they don’t. It makes it so much easier to discredit them by saying I don’t know Hebrew well (wrong) or that I can’t possibly understand nuance (I do) or that I’m not in Israel & therefore can’t possibly understand anything happening there (again wrong). So here’s the scoop, Gal. The article originated in Israeli media. The Israeli reporter covered the story & summarized Kor’s offenses. I’m merely the messenger & you know you don’t kill or smear the messenger, right?

      Your attempt at explaining Kor’s maudlin racist humor as “jokes” is itself disingenuous. Whether joke or not makes no difference. Both are equally offensive and indicative of Kor’s racist core & perhaps at the racism among listeners drawn to his show.

      As for Galey Tzahal being “leftist,” that’s like something the Tea Party would say of Obama, calling him “socialist.” Only someone on the far right would consider a radio station replete with racist hosts and station managers to be “leftist.” God help Israel when people like you define racists as being “leftist.”

      • Gal January 20, 2014, 12:42 PM

        First of all – I didn’t suggest that you came up with the story and all the other words you put in my mouth. I read “Haaretz” daily at home and therefore I read it when they published it. But if you knew the nuances etc. you wouldn’t interpret it as comparing palestinians to cannibals and so on.

        About the radio station- I am not on the far right but even though I can say it’s clear. if you want I can give you the names of the hosts and the schedule, you can look them up and see yourself. But if you want to stick to 2 minutes show about double meanings in Hebrew (!) because Haaretz found it outrageous, go on. As I said, I think it is hypocrite to make a big deal about “what views should be presented in the IDF radio station” only when it’s against one’s (not yours, Richard) views.

        • Richard Silverstein January 20, 2014, 5:40 PM

          @ Gal: Again, the reporter, a native Hebrew speaker and intelligent person is the one who “interpreted” the cannibal joke as referring to Palestinians, which of course it was meant to by the speaker. Any insinuation by you either that it doesn’t–or that because it’s a joke that somehow empties it of any racist content or intent–is specious.

          As for Kor’s “2 minute show.” It’s run for 35 years on the air. WOuld you care to compute how many on air minutes that is? How much hatred and “humor” Kor has disseminated to his Israeli audience over that span?

          Further, you attempt to turn this into a situation involving a single odd person with two minutes of air time a week, when I clearly noted that this is the 2nd such Galey Tzahal program host profiled as racist, along with the station manager, a third racist. Somehow you manage to avoid dealing with this as a meaningful pattern.

          Now if Galey Tzahal truly wanted to rid itself of the charges of racism it could respond by saying it was dumping Kor and would never employ a program host with such views. But instead it’s protected him and said what a valuable contribution he’s made. That’s a bunch of racists honoring one of their own.

          You’re done in this thread. Do not respond further here. Move on to another thread if you wish to participate further.

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