Jewish tradition declares that children shall not be punished for the sins of their fathers. But it didn’t anticipate a son like the 19 year-old Yair Netanyahu, who appears to retain some of the harsh Arab-hatred that characterizes both his father, Benyamin, and 98 year-old grandfather, Ben Zion. I have written here of the latter’s call for hanging Arabs in the nearest town square to teach them who’s boss, a punishment he contends that was quite effective in the Ottoman era. Apparently, he doesn’t realize that the despotic Muslim Ottomans may not be the political model he wishes Israel to emulate. In 1989, Benyamin, his father advocated expelling Israeli Palestinian citizens from the State in a comment I’d personally never heard until I read it and published it here.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as they say. Here are a few of the choice racist comments (and a shorter English article) this excellent expose by Uri Blau attributes to Yair Netanyahu via his Facebook page. A few years ago at a time when Ehud Olmert was prime minister, riots broke out in the formerly Arab town of Akko (Acre), when an Israeli Palestinian mistakenly drove into an Orthodox community on Yom Kippur (a day when driving is forbidden). The result was this Facebook page created by the younger Netanyahu which stated:
As a Result of the Akko Pogroms, I Too Boycott Arab Businesses!
Those Arab sons of whores desecrated the holiest day of our year. This wasn’t in Syria or in Egypt. It was right here in the State of Israel–the Jewish nation’s only state. Because the leftist authorities won’t do anything regarding this matter and because the media will only trot out [before the cameras] the “poor Arabs,” it is up to us to do the minimum to restore our self-respect by boycotting all Arab businesses and products. Besides, I boycotted these shits even before!
Despite Netanyahu’s appeal for members to join the group, only 23 did, which seems a pretty lame performance for a soldier who serves now in the IDF international press liaison office (can’t you just hear Avital Leibovich, one of the army’s top PR flacks saying to a scrum of journalists, “anyone care for an interview with the prime minister’s son??”). It may be a mark of the degradation of the IDF’s core service values that Yair’s uncle, Yonatan, died a hero as a member of the elite unit that assaulted the Entebbe Airport in 1976, while his nephew serves as a military PR flack in 2011. How the mighty have fallen!
Returning to his Facebook account, just after the murder of the Fogel family by Palestinian militants, Netanyahu wrote this under the assumed name, Jesse Netan. My editorial comments are in italics, I couldn’t help myself!:
We Jews and Christians celebrate life and love, you Muslims celebrate hatred and death! I attended the funeral and saw the five bodies including the littlest of the babies [ed., this isn’t truthful as one does not see bodies at a Jewish funeral, only caskets]. When we Israelis accidentally harm a Palestinian boy in Gaza the entire nation mourns for the child of the enemy [ed., what country is he living in??] half the army goes to prison and we pay a lot of money to the family [ed., what planet is he living on??]. We have enough power to destroy Gaza in five minutes, but we operate there with utmost care against terrorists who intend to harm our citizens and to turn their own citizens into human shields.
Further, after the murder of this innocent family, they danced and celebrated in the streets, precisely like after 9/11!
Terror has a religion and it is Islam. Not every Muslim is a terrorist but every terrorist is a Muslim. Have you ever heard of anyone killing themselves with a bomb in the name of Jesus or Moses [ed., I suppose he forgot Masada and Trumpeldor]? NO! People blow themselves up only in the name of Allah!
There is no such thing as a Palestinian state. It is part of Israel. There never in history has been a Palestinian state. There is no such state and I hope there never will be. Palestinians are Arabs who settled in our country, but who emigrated from other Arab countries less than 100 years ago.
A mere two hours after Blau first turned to the IDF press office for a comment on the Facebook profile it was closed to public view. The army explained that Yair had been told what the expectations of him were and that he could not talk politics on his Facebook account. Of course, the IDF had no problem in general with the specific rage-filled/rejectionist racist views he expressed, only with the fact that they were “political.”
The family’s attorney strangely attempted to argue that Haaretz played a dirty trick on the young man by wrenching his comments “out of context.” Can he possibly explain in what context such comments might be acceptable?? He goes on to argue that some of the comments were made when the boy was a mere lad of 16 and a private individual (as if this makes them less offensive). He calls this a “cynical use of a young boy’s words.” And yes, of course the lawyer plays the Holocaust card, claiming that Yair was so overwrought because he was reacting to the anti-Semitic outburst of John Galliano, as the grandson of a man who lost his entire family in the Holocaust.
The family lawyer’s final words reek of hypocrisy and mendacity:
Yair is prepared to respect anyone who is ready to live in peace with Israel, whatever his identity. His parents, the prime minister and his wife believe in moderation and tolerance [!] and they respect every individual without respect to their religion [!], ethnicity or national affiliation and so they raised their son.
No mention of course of Bibi’s call for expulsion of Israel’s Palestinian citizens and how that squares with his life lived in moderation and tolerance.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.