Israeli rap star, Subliminal (aka Yaakov Shimoni), posted a racist, genocidal Kahanist screed on Facebook in response to the murder of an Israeli soldier, Eden Attias, on an Egged bus in Afula this week. While the killing of the sleeping soldier by a Palestinian boy was a horrifying crime, the response by one of Israel’s leading hip hop stars is chilling both because of its virulence and because of his celebrity. Israel, already a country filled with intolerance, race-hate and Islamophobia, will be further provoked by such anger from a popular performer beloved by the country’s youth.
This is how the Forward profiled him in 2008:
One of the best-recognized pop musicians in his home country, he is credited with opening up the Israeli music industry to American-style hip hop. But he also has campaigned against drunk driving, has been made a goodwill ambassador by the Israeli Ministry of Education and has been honored by the Prime Minister’s office.
This is what this model for Israeli youth wrote yesterday on Facebook (in case he gets a bout of conscience, the screenshot is preserved here):
Despicable murderer: may his name and memory be erased [a curse usually reserved for Hitler and the like]. What? Now he’ll enter an Israeli prison like a great hero! He’ll earn a few college degrees, grow up and join the leaders of all the main Palestinian terror groups. He’ll get out [of prison] to shouts of joy about “freedom fighters” and they’ll make him a mayor!
May the names and memories of all these ghouls [corpse-eaters] be erased! We should burn down these prisons with all of them inside. Not a moment later we should raze Jenin, whose residents boast that they’re a fortress of terror against Israel. Everything that they respect should be burned to ashes and erased.
Killers of children! Remember that if you push a little cat into a corner even he will flash his claws and fight like a tiger. It’s time to bare our claws, my brothers, and pressure this government to stop acting like a stack of cups! They even bandaged his [the killer’s] head. Poor guy, he probably got a scratch when he murdered the boy on the bus while he slept. It’s no joke. I expect from the ass-lickers [witnesses on the bus?] that they take his head off even before the police arrived, so that these cannibals would fear mixing it up with us. This is another one of those moments when I’m ashamed to be Israeli [i.e., that they didn’t kill the attacker]. People of Israel, awaken!
And for any leftist who hates what I wrote here–die already. If only what happened yesterday would happen to someone in your family, so that you would wake up from this fantasy you cling to that divides and weakens my people.
He later added a further “meditation” which was supposed to put the earlier post into some sort of context, but which did nothing of the sort:
My brothers: the things I wrote above were written in anger and great pain. I should clarify that I don’t believe in generalizations. Like when I wrote “leftist,” I meant a particular extreme leftist who wrote me privately offering reasons for the crime like Occupation, etc., etc. I’m no politician nor do I pretend to tell people how they should think. But I would expect some basic sensitivity among human beings rather than a search to justify the murder committed by a family of well-known Jew-killers.
…I’m against violence and extremism. Despite this I maintain that in order to deter the next murder or kidnapping means we have to deal with the murderer in the harshest way possible; and understand that any hesitation on our part will only lead to more murder or kidnapping.
…I have no problem with leftists, I say this in all seriousness…I wrote that about one specific person–extremists like him are the source of hate among brothers that besets our people.
Most importantly, I (half-Tunisian and half-Persian) have no problem with Arabs. They’re human beings and most of them dream about peace just like us. But I do have a problem with murderers who announce that their purpose in life is to murder us. From my point of view, no tolerance and the penalty of death for anyone caught [justifying lynching the attacker on the spot].
This is the same Subliminal whose Facebook page features snapshots with many of the most popular rappers in America. A celebrity appointed a goodwill ambassador by the Israeli Ministry of Education. What lesson does that teach young people, hmmm??
Towards the very end of the Forward article you’ll find this sop to left-wing opinion:
Left-wing critics who read more extreme sentiment in Shimoni’s message have pilloried him. Some claimed that the song “We’ve Come To Expel the Darkness” was a thinly veiled call for population transfer. Indeed, Shimoni is often portrayed as the right-wing counterweight to popular Israeli hip-hop band Hadag Nahash, whose members distinguished themselves with their introspective [!] approach to Israeli society and politics.
Being right-wing and pro-Israel has raised Shimoni’s international profile. When Subliminal toured France in 2004, his concerts were met with protests led by French leftists and members of the Arab and Muslim communities.
I can imagine he may have an even worse time of it in France the next time he dares to raise his head there.
H/t to David Sheen the distinguished archiver of Israeli-Jewish racism.
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.