Former Education Ministry Official Praises Bernadotte Assassination, Hints Swedish Foreign Minister Deserves Similar Fate
יו”ר המזכירות הפדגוגית לשעבר במשרד החינוך צבי צמרת רומז כי שרת החוץ של שבדיה תחוסל כפי שקרה לרוזן ברנדוט ב-1948 pic.twitter.com/fRZW5wGb4O
— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) January 22, 2016
Zvi Zameret, the former director for instruction for the Israeli education ministry has written an op-ed in Makor Rishon, Sheldon Adelson’s pro-settler newspaper, praising the 1948 assassination of UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte by Yitzhak Shamir’s Lehi gang. Zameret accuses Bernadotte of being an anti-Semite and claims that his views originated in a Swedish society that was suffused with this perspective. He claims that ridding the world of the Swedish Count was necessary to protect Israel’s new existence.
He wends his way through a long historical discourse involving material already well-known related to Bernadotte’s proposals, which were rejected by Arabs and Jews alike. Then he brings us up to the present day by alleging that remarks of the current Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom, demanding that Israel be held accountable for the 160 Palestinians killed over the past two months in the latest Intifada, stem from the same well of Swedish anti-Semitism.
Zameret hints that Wallstrom herself should share a similar fate to Bernadotte. Here is the passage in question:
“What do the things I have mentioned attest about Bernadotte? [They indicate] covert anti-Semitism, ignorance and arrogance, collaboration with senior elements in Israel [Hebrew University President Judah Magnes] and interests that play a decisive role. Has anything changed in the Swedish DNA in the decades following Bernadotte’s death? Nothing has changed.
The Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom, in the covert anti-Semitism which characterizes her, along with her ignorance and arrogance, and anticipation of the interests of her future Muslim voters–she too is attempting to battle against the basic foundation of the State of Israel. I am certain that her intentions will be defeated, just as were those of the disreputable Count Bernadotte.
When Barak Ravid tweeted this, Israelis disputed his interpretation of the passage, but he stuck to his guns. Whether Zameret advocates Wallstrom’s demise explicitly or implicitly is hardly important. Even if you accept the argument that he isn’t explicit, clearly the reason Bernadotte failed in his mission is that Jewish terrorists assassinated him. When you say you wish her intentions to be defeated just as his were, the line between murder and political defeat becomes exceedingly murky. Especially if you consider that future leaders of the State (Yitzhak Shamir and Lehi) were the ones who assassinated Bernadotte. Jonathan Offir offers a comprehensive summary of the full article here.
Note further, that Zameret indicates that Judah Magnes, because he supported Bernadotte’s approach, was a “collaborator” with the enemy. This is no different than the Israeli far-right leading the country today who accuse “leftists” of betraying the country by making common cause with foreigners like Wallstrom. We’re heading into very dangerous territory here, folks. Territory of bloodshed and death.
As with most of the Israeli far-right, history is not their strong suit. Zameret has forgotten the courageous efforts of Raoul Wallenberg, which saved hundreds of Jews in Hungary during the Holocaust. He also forgets the destination of the thousands of Danish Jews who escaped by boat during the same era: it was Sweden. In fact, one of Israel’s greatest national poets, Natan Alterman, praised the Swedes in a poem he wrote, The Swedish Tongue, to honor their heroic act. How quickly the current Israeli right forgets its history! Zameret also forgets that Sweden has an impeccable international reputation regarding upholding human rights for all peoples. All that is lost on this supposedly learned man.
Imagine, this was an individual entrusted with creating educational policy for the children of Israel. A pedagogical specialist who advocates the assassination of foreign leaders because they criticize Israel. Is it any wonder that Israeli youth come out of Israeli schools with full-fledged racist views?
Zameret’s views coincide with recent pronouncements by Israel’s leaders that Israeli NGOs and activists who support BDS may be considered traitors to the State. Once you label someone such, there is but a small step to murder. Indeed, this is precisely what happened in the run-up to Rabin’s assassination. Then, there were blood curdling cries of hate and vengeance against the prime minister for agreeing to the Oslo Accords and other imagined crimes against the State. We know the result.
Just as Netanyahu, who delivered a fiery speech shortly before Rabin’s murder should’ve been arrested for incitement, so should Zameret be investigated. But he won’t be. Because he’s saying precisely what Bibi thinks. Instead, he’ll be given a medal or a nice juicy consulting contract with the ministry.
Another aspect of Zameret’s article that disgusts is that the Lehi assassin who pulled the trigger & murdered Bernadotte, Yehoshau Cohen, was never charged for his crime. Nor was Shamir, who ordered it. No one was. The closest Israel came to a gesture of apology was to offer Bernadotte’s widow a Jewish National Fund forest in his name. The forest, of course, would be planted on ethnically cleansed land. Imagine such a gesture offered to the memory of a man who devoted his entire life to aiding refugees (including thousands of Holocaust survivors whom the Nazis repatriated just before the end of the War).
Cohen became a trusted member of David Ben Gurion’s security detail and one of the state-founder’s best friends. On her death-bed, Zameret recounts that Cohen’s wife said to the killer that the bullets he shot “weren’t fired in vain.” That his crime (my word, not hers) was worthy.
We often note that Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir were assassins with blood on their hands. But somehow Ben Gurion gets off scot-free as a statesman of sorts. In this instance we note that Ben Gurion chose as his best friend a hardened Lehi assassin. Speaks volumes.
15 thoughts on “Former Education Ministry Official Praises Bernadotte Assassination, Hints Swedish Foreign Minister Deserves Similar Fate – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
Indeed, this man is an extremist, and should be arrested for incitement.
“clearly the reason Bernadotte failed in his mission is that Jewish terrorists assassinated him” – NOT CLEAR AT ALL.
Ignorance and Arrogance were the reasons for the failure to get support by either Arabs or Jews according to Zameret. He simply implies that Wallstrom is suffering exactly from the same thing which will ensure the failure of any plan she might have.
@ Ahistorical: I’ve changed your handle because to claim your name as “History” does an injustice to the term. For you to claim that the assassination of an international diplomat doesn’t not cause the failure of his mission is just plain dopey. Now, if the assassination had caused Ben Gurion to sober up & renounce Lehi terrorism & destroy the terror gang & embrace international mediation, then Bernadotte’s murder would not have been in vain. But as Bernadotte’s assassin was actually one of Ben Gurion’s best friends, that didn’t happen.
Nor do I need you to summarize your scanty version of Zameret. People can read and interpret for themselves without your selective version.
National leaders (and other politicians) often call for death and destruction abroad — they call for war, for assassination, they delight in the immiseration of what they regard as other-and-lesser people. Is this incitement to CRIME? Perhaps not, because in the countries where they live, there may be no law against “free speech” or against providing advice to the government, etc.
I would sure like to see an ENFORCEABLE international legal regime to punish such calls, for they are indeed incitement to INTERNATIONAL DISORDER.
I hope this article is republished (often and broadly) in Sweden.
“Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat… First and foremost, terrorism is for us a part of the political battle being conducted under the present circumstances, and it has a great part to play… in our war against the occupier.”
Shamir – one of the three men who ordered Bernadotte’s murder.
“A recent event has revealed to us that this Yishuv is not on course for the abyss. Indeed it is already right at its edge. I say “revealed to us” but who is this “us”? Those who see what is to be seen are frightfully few.The way the man in the street speaks of what happened is even worse than what actually happened. Those with sight must therefore speak the truth more forcefully …”
Martin Buber on the murder of Count Bernadotte.
“Zameret has forgotten the courageous efforts of Raoul Wallenberg, which saved hundreds of Jews in Hungary during the Holocaust”
Moreover, Bernadotte himself, as one of the heads of the Swedish Red Cross, was responsible for liberation of several thousand persons — over a thousand of them Jews — from German concentration camps in early 1945.
I have my reservations about hereditary nobility, but Count Bernadotte was probably one of the people whose life made them deserve it the most. Even his death — while trying to bring peace, by non-violent means, to a war-torn foreign country — was probably more worthy than anything Mr. Zameret has accomplished in his entire life.
If the pressure and sanctions brought to bear by Wallstrom (allegedly due to the execution without trial of armed assailants during their assault or immediately thereafter) cause a soldier, policeman or armed civilian to respond to an assault a split second slower resulting in the death of innocent people, isn’t Wallstrom responsible for said death?
Of course when choosing a particular course of action, expediency is usually the driving factor and not morals.
When considering the historical example of the count, the count’s untimely demise led to the demise of an extremely one-sided international diktat (ironically towards the winner on the field of battle), thus changing the course of action of subsequent events.
When considering Wallstrom, would there be any change in the course of action of Sweden following any action in this regard? It is not obvious that this would result in a change in the course of events. In addition, at times it is expedient to have people who make particularly odious statements in the service of your opponents, as such people often are self harming.
Regarding Magnes, I always wondered if his demise was actually natural. He was an ardent foe of the state of Israel, and he was quite effective states side. He supposedly die of a heart attack on October 27th, 1948 (a month and a bit after the count, the war was is in its final push after the end of the second ceasefire)
So while the morals are similar in the parallel you (and Barak Ravid) are drawing, in terms of expediency there is a vast gulf between the two.
@ lepxii: Are you a nitwit or do you play one on TV? Of course Wallstrom isn’t protesting the killing of armed militants. She’s protesting fully one third of those murdered by Israel who had nothing to do with violence, but who were murdered anyway. Like this young physics student, a passenger in a taxi which was fleeing away from a separate attack on an IDF checkpoint. The boy was a completely innocent bystander, one of the many, many unarmed civilians Israeli forces kill almost daily.
As for Wallstrom being responsible for Palestinian deaths: you’re actually bordering on being a monster, an immoral monster. And if you make such a monstrous suggestion here again I’ll ban your racist, murder-apologizing ass.
Maybe in amoral Hasba-World, but not where the rest of us live.
That is a historical lie. There was no “diktat.” Now you’re angering me. I don’t like it when people flaunt ignorant opinions. But when you lie about history, that’s even worse. Bernadotte’s ideas were extremely pragmatic & also maintained a moral stance. But unlike you, he actually had sympathy for refugees, both Jews & Palestinians. For that he must be killed.
It took me five readings of this sentence before I could parse it’s dense, obtuse syntax. But you’ve had to do that in order to conceal your real meaning, which was: how has Tzameret advocating murdering Wallstrom had any real impact on real events. WIll she actually be assassinated? Of course, that’s a crapshoot isn’t it? You may willing to bet the odds on that happening, but most of the rest of us find that prospect repulsive. But as for your intimation that Tzameret’s idea will harm those settlerist-Palestine-hating Israelis more than it will anyone else: that could be.
Yet another historical lie. I’m seriously debating banning you. To claim Magnes was a foe of the State of Israel is like saying Isaiah or Jeremiah was anti-Semitic. It’s so far out in left field that it’s left the galaxy, let alone the stadium. Magnes loved Israel. He just didn’t want a state established based on evil, expulsion & naked, immoral force, which is what your pal Ben GUrion advocated. He wanted a state that was declared with the assent of Palestinians and Jews. And he was willing to wait for this and negotiate for it. He was willing to be patient & pragmatic, unlike Ben Gurion the expeller, ethnic cleanser, who was more comfortable with policies a Nazi would love, than policies Yochanan Ben Zakkai would’ve embraced.
Because I hate mendacity in the service of ideology I am moderating you. If future comments respect the comment rules & don’t advance patent lies, you comments will be published. If not…
Are you truly arguing the Magnes wasn’t anti-state of Israel? I didn’t say anti-Yishuv, or anti-Jewish (or anti-Jewish in Palestine).
Magnes opposed the partition plan, urged Marshall (US secretary of state) to impose sanctions on israel, and opposed an independent state post the declaration – he called for a federation (in which the Jewish side would be in numerical minority) called the “United States of Palestine”.
Magnes was very much opposed to the state of Israel – partly because he didn’t think it would succeed long term. He was pro-Yishuv (and part of the Yishuv), but anti-state.
As a student of history I always found the timing of his death suspiciously convenient considering his activities at the time – though I’ve never seen any definitive proof it wasn’t due to natural causes.
@ lepxii: You’re distorting Magnes’ views. He wanted a bi-national state. One in which Jews and Palestinians lived within one state but each exercised their rights as two peoples.
He opposed the creation of state which politically dominated its Palestinian minority. He opposed founding a state under the threat of war because he knew what the future held. And precisely the tragedy he envisioned is what happened. He knew Ben Gurion wanted both a state and war. And Magnes opposed the State because he knew the war would follow.
As for your lame-assed conspiracy theories, it’s not like we don’t have enough of them already. On the other hand, we know that Ben Tzvi had Jacob de Haan assassinated in 1920, so why isn’t it possible for Ben Gurion to do the same? One would hope not. I suppose the thought of the father of Labor Zionism assassinating a political rival would gladden your heart.
BTW, Magnes had a known heart condition & I don’t imagine cardiac care in 1948 Israel was very good.
Richard has already given you what you deserve but I would like to add my (or rather Avery’s) three cents worth. It is crystal clear to any one who has a followed the news and is not like you imprisoned in some right wing criminal phantasy, that the indiscriminate killings have often little to do with military necessity. Here is Avnery’s take:
“BY NOW EVERY ISRAELI has seen the TV clip several times – showing a 14-year old Arab girl being shot dead near the central market of Jewish Jerusalem.
The story is well known: two sisters, 14 and 16 years old, have decided to attack Israelis. The clip, taken by a security camera, shows one of them, clad in traditional Arab garb, jumping around on the sidewalk, brandishing a pair of scissors.
The whole thing looks almost like a dance. She is jumping around aimlessly, waving the scissors, threatening no one in particular. Then a soldier aims a pistol at her and shoots her. He runs to the girl and kills her while she is lying helplessly on the ground. The other girl is grievously wounded.
… almost all Arab perpetrators – including the wounded and the captured – are shot on the spot. How is this to be explained?
Most frequently, the facts are simply denied. But with the proliferation of security cameras, this becomes more and more impossible.
An argument often used is that a soldier has no time to think. He has to act quickly. A battlefield is no courtroom. A soldier often acts instinctively.
Yes and no. Very often indeed there is no time to think. He who shoots first stays alive. A soldier has the right – indeed, the duty – to defend his life. When in doubt, he should act. No one needs to tell me that. I have been there.
But there are situations when there is no doubt at all. If a handcuffed prisoner is shot, it is clearly a crime. To shoot a wounded enemy, lying helplessly on the ground, like the girl with the scissors, is disgusting.
The soldiers shoot and kill because they think that their superiors want them to. Probably they have been told to do so.”
Completely disgusting. Zameret wants those displaying anti-Semitic opinions killed, yet his philosophy and that of the current Israeli government/armed forces encourages a rising, soon to be raging, anti-Semitism among reasonable persons. A reaction that would be a mistake, as I’m certain there are plenty of Jews that wouldn’t support Zameret’s suggested actions. How many people does Zameret think the Likud would be able to assassinate before the world rises against Israel?
I hope Sweden invades Israel and puts it in its place
@ Karl Linnas: I don’t see how that would improve things. Do two wrongs make a right? Though I understand your anger at the threat against FM Wallstrom.
A Swedish invasion would put the insolent Israelis in their place and force them to cough up what was stolen from the Palestinians. Israel has not fought a significant enemy before and Sweden would make short work of Israel