בממשלה מרוצים ממצעד הדגלים וטוענים שמדובר בקומץ או מיעוט שקראו קריאות גזעניות- תשפטו בעצמכם: pic.twitter.com/Kc76J2XZRr
— Oren Ziv (@OrenZiv_) May 29, 2022
Though I featured here some videos of the fascist chants of the 70,000 “celebrants” at Jerusalem Day, this new video shows the nadir of Nazi-like hate even more starkly. These are not human beings, let alone Jews. They are savage animals seeking to tear their prey limb from limb. For those who’ve seen the original Frankenstein film, they are the monster bent on revenge against his tormentors. The difference is that you feel some empathy for the Boris Karloff’s protagonist, considering the hatred and suffering inflicted on him by the villagers. In this case, you only feel disgust and revulsion.
The second video above has English captions. The chant, “Shuafat will go up in flames,” is a reference to settlers who kidnapped a young Palestinian boy, Mohamed Abu Khdeir, took him to a deserted Jerusalem forest, forced him to drink gasoline, doused him with more gasoline, then set him on fire. They burned him to death, then escaped. Police released a disgusting homophobic claim that the boy had been murdered by his own family because he was gay. Anything to deflect from the real killers, settler thugs. This what these monsters are celebrating.
One of the chants in the original (first) video above is edited out of the second, and is worth highlighting. It is a bowdlerized quotation from the Book of Judges. In it Samson, shorn of his hair and his strength by the Philistine honey pot, Delilah, is blinded and chained by his enemies They parade him in shame before revelers at a Philistine banquet. Then, he appeals to God to restore his strength for one final suicidal act of vengeance, in which he plans to topple the pillars of the temple and kill everyone in it (and himself). The original verse is:
“Lord, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes.”
These Jerusalem Day Judeo-terrorists-in-the-making change the word “Philistines” to “Palestinians.” As if to leave no doubt, they add a phrase only used to curse the worst historic enemies of the Jewish people, chiefly Adolf Hitler. They chant: “May their [Palestinian] name and [any] memory [of them] be erased.” It is the ultimate invective a Jew can hurl at an enemy.
Appeal to Diaspora Jews
To my fellow American Jews: is that what you’ve allied yourself with? Is this the Israel you dreamed of? I know it’s not the one I envisioned for the 35 years I was a liberal Zionist. Lift the scales off your eyes and see it for what it has become. It is an abomination. A chilul Hashem (“desecration of God’s name) in traditional parlance.
Do not ever make the mistake of believing that these “revelers” represent only themselves; or that they are a small extremist fringe. They ARE the State. They ARE Israel. If they were not, the government would have prohibited the march. By permitting it, Naftali Bennett gave a state-sponsored imprimatur to the violence. If they were not, Israeli voters would defeat the politicians who pander to this hate in return for votes. Instead, they vote for them in sufficient numbers to permit them to control the Knesset with a right-wing stranglehold. Nor must you make the mistake of believing, by some miracle, that Israel can be reformed or that there remains a chance for a Great (LIberal Zionist) White Hope, who will arise and smite the right-wing fascists and return Israel to its “humane” liberal Zionist past. Stop viewing Haaretz as a comforting reminder that Israeli liberalism is not dead; and see it instead for what it really is: a fig leaf pasted over the ugliness at the heart of this country.
This faded dream will never be. Rid your mind of it as even a faint possibility. Wake up. See with your own two eyes this State of Hate Israel has become. Turn away from it. Either that, or become a part of it. Be linked to its crimes as an accessory. There are only two choices. There is no middle ground. Either break with the Israel this state has become or be tainted forever with its Judeo-fascist stench.
Stop with equivocations and apologetics: Israel has not become this way because of its enemies. No one, not even rivals or enemies, forces a state to become cruel and homicidal. These are choices made by the nation itself. Choices they must own, no matter how much they plead victimhood.
Though I am very angry, I am also deeply sad. Israel has always meant a great deal to me. As I’ve written, all the way back to 1967, when I attended my first Israel rally at UN Plaza in New York, at which tens of thousands of Jews prayed for Israel’s survival during what we then called the Six-Day War, I have been a lover of Zion. While I was always a liberal Zionist critic of Israel’s excesses, the love remained powerful. The vision and hope remained strong.
But over the past 20 years, I was mugged by Israeli reality. In the 1980s, Meir Kahane became the champion of a rising Judeo-fascist movement. Though Israeli outlawed his political party, it had already made a Faustian pact with the settler movement. The latter grew in power and morphed into the dominant political movement in Israel. It took over all the levers of power including the judiciary, police, media and even academia.
There wasn’t any one moment of crisis when I realized I had to turn away from my earlier beliefs. It was a gradual process of alienation from what Israel had become. It was only then that I could re-examine everything I knew about Zionist history to understand that Israel did not suddenly become a fascist state. But that the seeds had been planted a century or more earlier at the very outset of the Zionist movement.
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.