Purim, the Jewish holiday that happened a few days ago is a strange one. It’s an amalgam of genocide and celebration, drunken revelry, hitting perfect strangers in the street (with toy hammers), raucous noise, and donning crazy costumes. It’s a little bit Halloween and a little big Super Bowl. But there’s a dark underlying savagery to this holiday. That’s because, according to the Book of Esther, the king’s advisor, Haman, plots the extermination of the Jews of Persia. He fails and in the process it is his entire family and supporters who are wiped out on scaffolds erected throughout the kingdom, originally meant for the Jews. There is no other way to describe this than genocide. What other holiday you can think of celebrates mass murder?
So Purim is one of those truly weird holidays when everything is turned topsy-turvy. Not only may you drink, you are commanded to get soused–until you can’t tell the difference (adloyada) between the name Haman and Mordechai (the Jewish hero). I may be a bit of a control freak, but imagine being commanded to drink till you can’t tell the difference between Hitler and Anne Frank? It’s downright disconcerting.
This bizarreness has carried over to latter-day Israel. Last year, Israeli high school students costumed themselves as hooded Klansmen with other students in black-face in chains and about to be lynched. Not terribly edifying. But this year, things got weirder still.
Israeli-Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi just may be the most hated figure in Israel as far as Jews are concerned. She plays a similar role to the one Malcolm X played in 1960s America. Just as Malcolm infamously said after the Kennedy assassination that it was the “chickens coming home to roost” and that violence is “as American as apple pie;” similarly many of Zoabi observations about Israeli life have stuck in the craw of Jews. They hate her for sailing on the Mavi Marmara. They hate her for saying that Palestinian terror is a direct response to Israeli Occupation. Malcolm was murdered. There are many Jews who would love to see Zoabi get the same fate.
Threats against her life are a regular occurrence. There are Facebook accounts which feature her face in a gunsight. Only last week (before Purim), the Interdisciplinary Center, a private institution known for producing graduates who enter Israeli intelligence and similar fields, hosted a colloquium on Israeli feminism. Zoabi was invited to speak. As she did, a thug associated with Kahanist Baruch Marzel (a Knesset candidate) threw a can of soda at her which drenched her head. Zoabi’s press representative was struck and injured by a flag pole. In this Walla headline, she exclaims: “This could easily have ended in murder.”
Imagine, at an event showcasing Israeli feminism, a bunch of male retards violently assault two Israeli women. Not to mention that it’s shameful that IDC, a so-called academy of learning couldn’t protect its own guests. There’s a lesson there.
Not to be outdone, this year on Purim another Jewish genocidaire featured this image of himself dressed as Jihadi Jew, preparing to “decapitate” an associate dressed as an ISIS hostage and wearing a Zoabi mask. The image was sent to an Israeli media outlet which published it under the title, Provocation. I’ll say.
Those of you who know something about the history of radical movements will remember the fate of Rosa Luxembourg. She was the Jewish Communist who tried to found a worker’s republic in post-WWI Germany. For her troubles, she and her lover were both assassinated in 1919 by soldier-thugs who eventually became proud members of the German Nazi army. This is what may be coming for Israel. I will not say that someone will murder Haneen Zoabi. I dearly hope that this is not so. But there is so much hate, expressed so overtly, that it almost can’t help but lead to murder.
Remember 1995? When Bibi shouted from the balcony in the heart of Jerusalem like Hitler at Nuremberg? Yigal Amir was there lapping it up. Along with the settler rabbis pulsa di nura, this was all Amir needed to commence his plot. Within weeks Rabin had been assassinated. Bibi was an accessory to murder, though never charged. If such an event happens again, you’ll hear the same crocodile tears from Israelis of all stripes (though much less so because mere “Arabs” don’t merit the level of mourning a Jew would). But the breast-beating won’t change anything. This is an entire nation going, not so slowly, mad. And led by their dear leader, Der Bibi.
Following on the ISIS theme, Avigdor Lieberman had his own little beer hall putsch last night rallying his Party’s troops for the coming election. Rightist politicians always throw red meat to their followers during such election carnivals. Lieberman didn’t disappoint. In fact, he outdid himself. He railed against “Arabs” who flew black flags of mourning on “Israel Independence Day” (Nakba is the tragedy that dare not speak its name or fall from Yvet’s lips). He said that if such people refused to do their share and serve in the IDF, then there’s nothing to be done for it but to “lift an ax and chop their heads off,” as ISIS does to its enemies.
As you read this I know lots of images and thoughts are flowing through your mind. But the prevailing thought in my mind is that we now have our own Israeli version of ISIS. Perhaps Lieberman, who was a bar bouncer in Moldova, had a bit too much to drink himself on Purim and couldn’t tell the difference between Israel and ISIS.
One of the many ironies of this macabre affair is that the event at which Lieberman made these remarks was called “Choose Democracy 2015.” Yessir, democracy Yvet-style means lopping off the heads of those to whom you’d like to deny democracy. Remember Alice’s topsy-turvy world? Where everything is the opposite of what it appears to be?
On Twitter, they’re calling Israel, #JSIS. But I prefer #JS for “Judean state.” That is, a rump settler state with a new Davidic monarchy. It’s ruled not by democracy–that’s out. Rather, it’s run by halacha. But a peculiar form of Jewish law as interpreted not by learned rabbis studying sacred tomes in book-lined studies, but rather by settler rabbis bearing Uzis and AK-47s and backed by a settler militia.
There is a law in Israel against incitement. Under it, Lieberman should be charged, convicted and jailed. Instead of Zoabi being expelled from Knesset, Lieberman should be. As should the author of the Zoabi Purim stunt. But none of them will be censured. In fact, they’ll be rewarded. Lieberman’s voters will reward him by rallying to his cause and offering his even more seats in the next election.
Following on the ISIS-Purim theme, we have yet another political hopeful, Anat Roth, running 16th on the Bayit Yehudi (Naftali Bennett’s Party) list. Roth is a former Peace Now activist who like Irving Kristol, was “mugged by reality.” Palestinian reality, that is. That turned her into a raving right-wing lunatic. Yuval Steinitz underwent a similar transformation. Now, he repeats his Likudist slogans robotically, like the best of the Likudniks.
Roth thought of an ingenious Purim photo to share with her Facebook Friends. She dressed a friend in an ISIS costume, replete with sharp-edged knife in her belt. Roth donned an orange hostage jumpsuit and lowered her head in mock-preparation for the blade. The caption for the photo: “Either we get a large [election turnout for] Bayit Yehudi–or we get this.”
Remember my recent post in which I portrayed the melee at another Party rally in which gay activists heckled Bennett for his homophobia and destroying the Israeli social safety net with his government policies? For their trouble, they were assaulted and injured by Party thugs with the police refusing to take any action whatsoever. Far-right political violence in Israel? As Israeli as felafel and pita.
There will be those apologists for this lunacy who will say it’s aberrant, not characteristic of the entire nation. But it’s easy to see that a foreign minister and candidate for Knesset are the lifeblood of this Judean settler state once known as Israel. You can’t put this down to a few rotten eggs or bad apples.