תמונה של תעמולה נאצית ופוסט של הצל
זהו, אין פאנצ’ pic.twitter.com/P60HPLykKs
— Achiya Schatz (@schatzah) July 6, 2018
One of the most poisonous (and popular) Israeli performers is named HaTzayl (“The Shadow”). He’s what we would call here in America a rapper. But unlike African-American rappers, he raps hate. Not only hate of Palestinians, but hate of his fellow Jews.
He posted to Facebook, where he publishes much of his learned social commentaries, this cartoon. It features a hip secular Tel Aviv cosmopolitan (what the Nazis once called a “rootless cosmopolitan,” code-word for “Jew”) sporting an evil smirk and goatee, meeting a soldier who holds a weapon. Behind the soldier’s back the beatnik holds a knife he’s about to plunge into the soldier’s back. The civilian has ‘Meretz’ emblazoned on his shirt.
That is the political party calling itself “left Zionist.” Imagine an anemic version of the Democratic Party espousing a skin deep version of a progressive political platform. That’s Meretz. As far as I’m concerned it’s what I call parve politics. Politics with aspirations but little substance. And that is what Israeli fascists are calling a threat to the nation. Imagine what they think of Palestinians…
The “knife in the back” meme has a long history in fascist discourse. I’m featuring here two anti-Semitic propaganda cartoons, one published in Austria in 1919, which blames the Jews for Germany’s World War I defeat. This notion was adopted by Adolf Hitler, himself a WWI veteran, and developed into his rabid anti-Semitic ideology which led to the Final Solution. Later, Nazi Germany exploited the same concept in the third cartoon showing a Jewish arm plunging a dagger into the back of a Wehrmacht soldier.
The Shadow is not an aberration. He is one of the more popular entertainers in Israel. He is Israel in some sense.
There is a law against incitement in Israel. It’s often used against Palestinians who post nothing more incriminating than poetry on Facebook. It’s almost never used against Israeli Jews who post far more vitriolic garbage on social media.
I predict that in this case, if the police investigate at all, they will not proceed with any charges against The Shadow. That’s because he has it in the bag. He is one of Israel’s own. The police either agree with his views or, even if they don’t, they wouldn’t dare take down such a popular figure.
And that is how fascism begins. It struts its petty pace upon the stage full of sound and fury, signifying nothing…but hate. That hate metastasizes into violence, and violence in mass murder. We’ve seen this movie before in history. We know how it ends.
Israel is well on the road to its own version of the Final Solution. It may not end in 6-million dead. Maybe only 100,000 or a million. Maybe the 6-million Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories will end up thrown into the sea, as Israel used to accuse it Arab neighbors of planning. Maybe they’ll end up under a palm tree in the Sinai under Trump’s deal of the century. That would allow Israelis to argue that they were doing Palestinians a favor when they actually could have exterminated them and chose magnanimously to only ethnically cleanse them.
Israeli settlers want to return to a fantasy past of Davidic monarchy with a rebuilt Third Temple. They want to exterminate or eliminate non-Jews from their new kingdom. They want a settler version of the Islamic state. A theocracy ruled by halacha. Not a normative version of Jewish law. But rather a fundamentalist version.
This way lies madness. And it’s the direction Israel is taking. Ah yes, I hear you say: it’s all an exaggeration. Never happen, you say. That might’ve been what the Tutsi thought when they first began hearing vitriolic Hutu radio broadcasts calling for their extermination in 1994; or what the Bosnians said before Serbian militia slaughtered 8,500 at Srebrenica in 1995; and certainly what many European Jews said in 1935 or 6 or 7.
All I can say is that I have been writing this blog since 2003. When I began I was a liberal Zionist who believed in the two-state solution. Those 15 years have wiped out any starry-eyed idealism I had about liberal Zionism; and any faith I had in the Israeli state to join the family of nations as an accepted partner. In another 15 years or less, we will likely be much farther along the road to disaster.
It will be a disaster not just for the State of Israel, but for all of world Jewry. I know there are anti-Zionists who believe the only place for Jews is the Diaspora; and that Israel is a poison in the Jewish body politic. But if Israel goes full-fascist and self-destructs it will also hurt all of us.
I’m not saying the Jewish people will also follow suit. We will survive the maelström just as Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai survived the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and built his academy in Yavneh. It eventually led Jewish practice away from a Temple-centric model to a decentralized rabbinic-synagogue model, which prevailed for centuries in the Diaspora. Similarly, world Jewry could survive the collapse of Israel should that happen. But the aftermath will be painful and the suffering great.