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Amos Oz: Settler Price Taggers are “Hebrew Neo-Nazis”

anti christian price tag

Anti-Christian price tag graffiti: “Jesus is garbage.”  (Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)

He’s only forty years late, but Amos Oz has finally gotten religion and has given extremist settlers a name they’ve deserved ever since Yeshaya Leibowitz first called them “Judeo-Nazis.”  Oz’s term for them is “Hebrew neo-Nazis” as described in this Yediot story (Hebrew and in English):

“I can’t bear the term “price tag” and the prettified term “hilltop youth,” I can abide even less.  It’s time we looked this monster in the eye.  ”

Price tag and hilltop youth are sweet, saccharaine names, according to the author, for a monster.  It’s past time to call it by its proper name.  We wanted to be a nation like all the other nations.  We longed for a Hebrew thief and a Hebrew whore [classical Zionist tropes].  Now there are Hebrew neo-Nazis.  This is their proper name.  There is nothing that the neo-Nazis do in Europe which the Hebrew neo-Nazis don’t do here.

In this news report of the speech, the newscaster quotes Oz saying that if Israel doesn’t arrive at a two state solution then it will become a binational state with a Jewish minority and that this will be a galut (exile) worse than any other. You can watch the newscast here (starting from the 50 second mark).

I don’t wish to make more out of the “neo-Nazi” statement than it’s worth.  Oz is a classic liberal Zionist and supporter of two states.  Despite his ability to see the poison within the Israeli body politic.  He hasn’t yet been able to free himself of the shackles that chain him.  Last year, he said in a speech that he supported two states–not going on a honeymoon but getting a fair divorce.  The problem with the marriage-divorce metaphor is that Israel is the husband seeking a divorce after stealing all the joint assets. How can there be a “fair divorce” when the ex-husband leaves his ex-wife with nothing in the settlement?  Not to mention that he refuses to move out of the house they own jointly and week by week he displaces his wife from the few rooms in the house she has left.

In his liberal Zionism, Oz joins other distinguished Israeli writers like David Grossman and A.B. Yehoshua whose blinkered vision prevents them from seeing the conflict clearly.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Bessam May 10, 2014, 2:38 PM

    “There is nothing that the Nazis did in Europe which the Hebrew neo-Nazis don’t do here.”

    Are we then to assume that Hebrews in Israel have gas chambers at the ready, or that the Germans did not?

    • Richard Silverstein May 10, 2014, 8:32 PM

      @ Bessam: An Israeli reader points out to me that Oz was referring not to the historic German Nazis, but today’s European neo-Nazis. I updated the translation.

  • breakingthesilence May 10, 2014, 8:28 PM

    Ethnic cleansing is, according to the UN definition, a form of genocide. If the only thing that separates the Israeli right-wing from the Nazis is the possession of gas chambers that doesn’t make the fascist, exterminationist Israeli state less Nazi-like. Israel stole all its land from the Palestinian people and will have no legitimate right to exist until it is an actual democracy with the full right of return for the Palestinians and significant compensation. Racist, settler-colonialist Israel is the shame of the Jewish people, a shame it will take centuries to live down!

    • David May 10, 2014, 9:15 PM

      About Oz: Better late than never.

      I do agree that Israel is producing, by design, a sort of genocide. The Germans were only really at it for a few years. Israel has been pushing the envelope on “disappearing” Pals for decades and decades.

      The divorce metaphor fails to mention that the husband despoiled and abused the wife prior to consummation (and after) and these facts should be brought before the court in the “divorce.” He should make her whole prior to any divorce settlement. California might be a good jurisdiction for the proceedings (for reasons I won’t go into!) .

  • Donald May 13, 2014, 11:48 AM

    ” Last year, he said in a speech that he supported two states–not going on a honeymoon but getting a fair divorce. The problem with the marriage-divorce metaphor is that Israel is the husband seeking a divorce after stealing all the joint assets.”

    That’s the biggest problem. Here’s another–there’s no way a 2SS can work unless both sides cooperate on a host of issues–water rights, pollution, etc… In the long run they have to like and respect each other or the solution will fall apart . Oz wants a solution where the Palestinians are given a few table scraps and the Israelis don’t have to bother with them anymore. Which gets back to what you said. And it won’t work.

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