Back in the 1980s there was a catchy girl band hit, Walk Like an Egyptian. Today, Yediot Achronot reports the Hilltop Youth are teaching Israel to curse like a settler, strongly but cleanly, and even in code. Instead of “Nazi scum,” you can now expect to hear the mellifluous “son of perverse rebellion,” or even more succinctly “son of Rahab” [whore].
Some sensitive souls among the extremist settlers must’ve been distressed to hear some of the foul language out of the mouths of the Hilltop Youth when faced with IDF soldiers pulling them from their illegal outposts. So they’ve published a new booklet with more appropriate language to use in cursing the authorities. This should go down as part of a longer essay entitled, Rhetoric of Occupation:
Upon…the start of the settlement outpost demolition season, here is the newest hit in [extremist settlements] Ramat Migron and Shvut Ami: the phrasebook for spoken curses. In a manner similar to the [phrases used on the] IDF two-way radio network, people in the Judea and Samaria hilltops will also start to talk in uniform curses.
A new booklet currently being distributed among the hilltop youth contains rules of behavior for the demolition of settlement outposts, and curses recommended for use in response to…police officers. From now on, the young people will use cleaner language and curses that incorporate Biblical themes, with more contemporary and sophisticated curses. “Garbage” and “scumbag”—out, “vinegar from wine” [phrase traditionally used to denote the wicked son of a righteous father] and “Indian”—in.
The “phrasebook” is very up to date, and so, for example, if a policeman acts without using judgment, he should be asked: “Who sent you, Ehud Barak the moron?” following the statements made by Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini this past Wednesday about Barak. A policeman wearing a kippa will be called a “Mafdalnik” [i.e., supporter of the defunct moderate religious party]; a patrolman who reneges on his promises will be called “Bibi,” and if a leftist policeman comes to a settlement outpost, he should be called “Son of Rahab” [i.e., son of a whore, cf. Joshua 2:1].
…The introduction to the booklet…states: “There are no words to describe the feelings of a young man who encounters an ambush of policemen who knock the stuffing out of him, or a young woman who is beaten by violent Border Policemen…It is necessary to respond to policemen who crudely use foul language.”
…From now on the soundtrack of the evacuations will sound different…Right wing activist Itamar Ben Gvir said to Yedioth Ahronoth: “This booklet should lead to soul-searching among the policemen who participate in demolishing settlement outposts. We should not, of course, generalize about all policemen, many of them try to maintain restraint, but there are also policemen who do not, and they are the ones for whom the curses are intended.”
The event: “A policeman who scalps people and uses a club”
The curse: “Indian”
The event: “A policeman who acts without sense and without judgment”
The curse: “Who sent you, Ehud Barak the moron?”
The event: “A policeman who hits and hurts girls”
The curse: “Do you beat your wife, too? Pedophile!”
The event: “A policeman from a good right wing family who strays from the path and becomes an enemy of Israel”
The curse: “Vinegar from wine”
The event: “A policeman with a kippa who participates in demolishing homes”
The curse: “Mafdalnik”
The event: “A policeman from an extreme left wing background who puts into practice the views that he brought from home”
The curse: “Son of perverse rebellion” [see 1 Samuel 20:30], “Son of Rahab”
If the Hilltop Youth think this will undermine the resolve of the IDF they must be smoking a powerful drug. But an even more critical question is whether the IDF commanders and defense minister have the will to uproot illegal settlements. They are the key to this process and no amount of clean cursing or euphemisms will change that.