There is little that surprises me these days regarding the callowness of the media towards the Israeli-Arab conflict. But the Wall Street Journal has sunk to a new low with its publication today of an op-ed (Islamic State Understands One Thing: Force) by senior Israeli minister and Bayit Yehudi leader, Naftali Bennett. In his bio at the bottom of the page, it notes he is minister of education and diaspora affairs. That sounds so neat and tidy. So professional.
What his bio doesn’t say is that he’s an avowed stone-cold Arab-killer, and proud of it. An Israeli reporter likened him to Captain Kurtz, the hero of Apocalypse Now and Joseph Conrad’s novella. Both characters are guilty of wholesale murder and genocide of the natives, one in Vietnam and the other in the Congo.
A few months ago Bennett boasted during a cabinet meeting (see below) that he’d killed “many Arabs” during his military service. And he was proud of it. In fact, a controversy broke out because journalists revealed that he’d actually botched one of his military operations and caused the deaths of 100 Lebanese refugees and 4 UN soldiers:
“Bennett’s force met with highly effective mortar fire of a Hezbollah unit near Kafr Qana. It was then that he realized he couldn’t prevail on his own. He needed a battery of IDF 155mm howitzers [to come to his rescue], which hit a refugee camp and killed 102 civilians.”
A few weeks ago, at the height of the latest Intifada, he was pictured proudly strapping an exposed pistol in his pants while appearing in public.
Yesterday, Israeli-Palestinian Knesset member Haneen Zoabi decried Israel’s banning of the country’s major Muslim organization, the Islamic Movement. She ridiculed the false claim that this group and ISIS are the same or have the same goals. She reminded them that IM had never organized or advocated any terror attack. Instead, she asked the MKs to remember:
There are ministers…here who are proud they killed. There is an education minister who said: “I, in my time, killed Arabs.”
In his reply, Bennett accused her of “lying,” claiming to correct her by saying he hadn’t said he killed “Arabs” but terrorists, and he added: “it’s unfortunate we didn’t kill more.” Of course, the notion that there is a distinction in his mind between “Arab” and “terrorist” is ludicrous. There is no difference. Besides, this article quotes the precise statement Bennett made in a cabinet meeting in which he used the word “Arab” and not the word “terrorist:”
Bennett: “If you catch terrorists, you have to simply kill them.”
Amidror: “Listen, that’s not legal.”
Bennett: “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there’s no problem with that.”
So here we see that it was not Zoabi who was lying, but Bennett himself. He also added in his reply to Zoabi: “Anyone who raises his hand against the State of Israel must die.” These aren’t the words of a statesman or even a politician, they are the words of a stone-cold killer.
Among other bon mots in his WSJ article, he argues that the U.S. policy of drone strikes will fail: “Ground troops will be needed.” I can just imagine Captain “Naftali” Kurtz donning his combat gear once more for another foray into the heart of ISIS-darkness!
“To win, the world needs to go on the offensive.”
Indeed, the same sort of offensive which murdered over 100 innocent Lebanese civilians, who were expendable because there is no difference for Bennett between “Arab” and “terrorist.” “Offensive,” indeed; but not the military kind.
Then he has the chutzpah, given his record, to add:
“Soldiers may be put in harm’s way, but the number of civilian lives saved will be much higher.”
Not Arab civilians, mind you. But Israeli civilians. Bennett doesn’t care how many Arab civilians he killed or the west kills going after ISIS. There is only one civilian he cares about–the right kind. The one the color of your skin and mine (if yours is white, that is).
There is a further irony here: among the main military opponents of the Assad regime are ISIS and al-Nusra. Both are bloodthirsty Islamist killers. Al-Nusra is affiliated with Al-Qaeda. ISIS is the latter’s arch-enemy. Using its typical strategy of creating divisions among its Arab enemies by propping up proxies, Israel has thrown massive amounts of logistical and tactical support to al-Nusra in its fight in the Golan. So you’ll have to pardon me when I feel sick to my stomach hearing Bennett brag about Israel’s successful strategy of fighting Islamist terror. In reality, Israel supports Islamist terror too. But it’s the “right” sort of Islamist terror because it’s Israel’s pal.
Bennett’s not a big fan of democracy either. When push comes to shove, he’ll take security over individual rights any day:
Liberty, freedom of speech and human rights are pillars of our democracies, but in Israel we balance them with national-security needs. Privacy is occasionally and under certain circumstances invaded
No, actually freedom of speech and human rights are not pillars of Israeli democracy. When he says they are “balanced” in Israel with national security, “Shorter Bennett” for that is: they are subsumed by national security. In effect, there are no rights for any Israeli who comes a-cropper with the security services. Largely those are Palestinian citizens, but even some Jews have been swallowed in the maw of the national security state.
On a final note, the title’s claim that ISIS understands only one language, force; is a hoary-old racist saying going back decades (Ben Gurion offered a variant here) in the Zionist movement: the only language Arabs understand is force, is the original Hebrew version. Which shows once again that Bennett makes no distinction between “Arabs” and “terrorists.”
I’ve also noted here before that Bennett’s party proudly opposes gay marriage and includes an MK who brought pigs to his own anti-gay pride march. But let’s not sweat the small stuff here (not that homophobia is small stuff) when we’re talking about Israeli ministers who support Arab-murder and genocide publishing their bon mots in the WSJ.
Next up in WSJ:
Kim Jong Ill: The Only Language U.S. Terror President Understands is ‘Boom!’
Pamela Geller: Take the Battle to the Friggin’ A-rabs!
Vladimir Putin: I Killed a Chechen Terrorist with My Bare Hands!