In Hebrew, the word for “victim” is korban, which has a strong religious connotation akin to a ritual sacrifice. The term conveys the sense that the victim offered up his or her life on the altar and it’s meant to ennoble their suffering and sacrifice. One would expect this term to be used reverently regarding Israelis murdered in the current round of terror attacks. But not so.
For some Israelis, dying in a terror attack is not enough to establish your bona fides as a decent human being worthy of mourning. About a week ago, there was a terror attack on a public bus in which two Israelis were killed and several were injured. Among the most seriously injured was Israeli-American, Richard Lakin, age 76. He was a retired school principal who made aliyah in the 1980s, opened a school to teach Israelis English, and engaged in Israeli-Palestinian education initiatives. He volunteered with Yad B’Yad, the school which was torched by Israeli settlers about a year ago.
Lakin died yesterday of his wounds. His body wasn’t even cold before Shurat HaDin signed him up as the lead plaintiff in its Facebook lawfare lawsuit. I’m not certain how an ambulance chaser like that signs up a man who is near death for a lawsuit. But presumably, his family had power of attorney and signed on his behalf. It’s terribly disconcerting that a man who dedicated his life to promoting peace will be exploited for political purposes by right-wing Israelis who despise Palestinians. I can’t help but believe that Lakin would not have approved. But clearly his surviving family do.
When the Israeli gutter-classes on Facebook learned about Lakin’s “extreme leftist” views they lit up with hatred and venom that is almost too difficult to believe and too painful to read. The level of brutalism is beyond belief. The Judeo-Nazi chorus was led, as usual, by the Uber-Juden rapper, The Shadow (aka Yossi Eliassi). Another Israeli rapper known for his racist-populist views, Subliminal, called for burning Palestinians alive. It appears the murdering Jewish thugs who burned down the Dawabsheh home a month ago, killing all but a little boy who survived, were inspired by Subliminal’s moral example. And the next Israeli “leftist” murdered by his fellow Jews will have The Shadow to thank.
While in other western countries there is always an alternative music scene representing progressive artistic political values, in Israel music is dominated by crude, violent, nationalist hate. So what else is new?
Here is a sampling of the rapper’s Facebook page:
The Shadow: Today Richard Lakin died of wounds suffered in the bus attack. He was an English teacher and extreme-leftist activist with Tag Meir (a group against “Jewish terror”). Which shows you it doesn’t matter how many leftists there are. They will work for the Arabs, sell us out, and betray us in the name of Englightenment.
When the terrorist arrives, all your activism won’t do you any good. The only thing he will see is a Jew. For him, your blood is just the same for him as that of an Orthodox Jew or a settler sitting by your side.
I hope that his death will be a slap in the face that will wake them up to the part they play and shake them out of their illusion in which they’re living and cause them to take account of their beliefs. May his memory be for a blessing.
Yuvi Mouada: May his memory be for a blessing?? May his memory be erased!
Noam Shaharabani: It seems that Arabs do good things once in a while.
Yuval Segev: Don’t say his memory is for a blessing. A disgusting human being and it’s good he died. And don’t say I’m too extreme because that’s the only way the disgusting Left will understand…
Shahar Peretz: In short, another terrorist died.
Eviad Magidish: I don’t feel even a small bit of sadness. A leftist is just like a terrorist to me.
Mendi Mifi: An auspicious hour.
David Kadosh: In this case, the terrorist did the State of Israel a favor.
Rafael Dadon: Only in this way, when extreme leftists start dying in terror attacks, will they get some sense.
Bar Cohen: We need a “Super Like” button for events like this.
Malka Shelech: Great, one less leftist!
Miki Dahan: One less leftist to burn in Hell!
Efrat Stern: Irony–at first there was sorrow [at the death of the Jewish victims], but now it brings a smile to my face because this should be the fate of all leftists to watch as their illusions explode in their faces. I’m really not sorry. Not even sorry that he was a Jew or that he died.
Tair Tadona: At first I was sorry when I heard he died in the hospital of his wounds. But now I have a smile on my face–that this should be the fate of every deluded leftist alive.
Chen & Amir Kalkabani: May his death be for a blessing!
Eitan Zina: May they all die. They have it coming. I wish them what I wish every terrorist.
Neria Ivgy: Serious question–does this leftist teacher get to sleep with the 72 virgins?
Itzik Azoulay: The Shadow, you’re the pride of the Jewish people!
The irony of all this hate and incitement on this pro-Israel Facebook page is that Shurat HaDin is sueing the same company for allegedly encouraging Arabs to kill Jews. The hypocrisy of it all boggles the mind!
But I’m not finished yet. Alas there is more. Ten days ago, a Palestinian youth was walking down the street in Hebron. He was accosted by a settler who began screaming at him. He then pulled out a gun and shot the boy dead. After the murder, this is how the victim’s cousin described the scene:
Abed Sharbati, nephew of the eyewitnesses, added that after the attack, settlers set up tables on the spot where Quwamseh was killed and distributed food and drinks, “as if in celebration” Sharbati told MEE. This was still going on at the time of writing.
Nor is this an unusual occurrence. Rabbis for Human Rights describes the scene in Hebron in 1994, only a few hours after Baruch Goldstein committed mass murder (on the Jewish holiday of Purim), murdering 29 Palestinians:
Several hours after the massacre, Knesset member Hanan Porat showed up in Qiryat Arba and blessed the participant with a “Happy Purim” in front of the cameras. He even reminded them that “it is a duty to be happy in Purim”. Porat, among the settlement founders of the Yesha council, served at that time as the a Knesset member on behalf of the Mafdal (National Religious Party). The cheers of joy of Hanan Porat in the presence of the television cameras were interpreted as cheers of joy and admiration for the massacre that recently happened in the holy Cave of the Patriarchs.
So the next time you hear hypocrites like these whine about Palestinians who purportedly celebrate the death of Jews remember this lyric from the Broadway musical: “Anything they can do we can do better!”
My final word on this: I’ve written a number of times here when faced with such Israeli abomination that I’m really not sure a nation of such people deserves to survive. Even if it does, I’m not certain there’s enough humanity among those who aren’t infected with this cancer to carry on.
When Herzl devised the idea of a Jewish homeland he never told us that Israel must live at all costs. That Israel, in order to survive, is permitted to lapse into grotesqueness and horror. Would he ever have imagined that the Altneuland would be a cesspool of genocidal and even fratricidal rage?
Human beings live for a reason. They live for values. They live because life means something transcendent. Is life that is shorn of all humanity worth living? Is a nation shorn of all decency worth surviving?
H/t Amir Schiby
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.