The Hebrew neo-Nazis and Trump

Why Israelis are remaining silent about U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments about ‘many fine people’ taking part in the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville | Gideon Levy in Haaretz.

(Aug. 20) – Israel has no moral right to judge U.S. President Donald Trump over his forgiving remarks about the neo-Nazis in his country.First, Israel wasn’t really shocked by what he said. After all, it is willing to accept anything from anyone who supports the Israeli occupation. That’s axiomatic at this point. Whether it’s a Hungarian fascist or an American neo-Nazi, as long as they support the occupation – even if they secretly hate Jews – they are considered friends of Israel and moral people.

The best of the “friends of Israel” today are fascists and evangelicals, xenophobes and Islamophobes. What’s most important is that they support the occupation. It’s only opponents of the occupation who are anti-Semites, and we will mount a special effort to combat them. We will forgive everyone else.

But there is also another reason for Israelis’ silence. It recalls the Yiddish saying about betrayal of one’s own guilt – that the thief thinks his hat is on fire. Neo-Nazis? We have a lot of our own “Made in Israel,” Hebrew equivalents of neo-Nazis, and the opposition to them in Israel is less than to neo-Nazis in the United States. A resolute counter-demonstration was organized by liberals in the face of the march in Charlottesville. What about here?

The sacred symmetry that Trump tried to create between attacker and attacked, between assailant and defender, between incitement and protest, between justice and evil – that was invented in Israel. Here we have the occupier and the occupied, a violent and at times even murderous right wing and a left wing that has never murdered, but they are deemed comparable.

Any assault by settlement thugs on Palestinian farmers on their own land is deemed a “clash.” Any Palestinian protest against the violence of the occupier is considered a “disturbance of the peace.” It’s a symmetrical brawl between the two peoples’ shepherds. After all, there are good and bad people among the settlers – just as Trump said with regard to his “alt-right.”

A protest of the anti-Arab Lehava group in Tel Aviv | Tomer Appelbaum

The Israeli alt-right is not neo-Nazi. But a thousand neo-Nazi flowers bloom on its margins that no one thinks about weeding out. Fascism in Israel has long been accepted. Neo-Nazis haven’t, but the distinction between the two is vague. If the extremist Lehava organization isn’t neo-Nazi, what is? If Beitar Jerusalem’s La Familia fan group isn’t neo-Nazi, what is? If the firebombing of the Dawabsheh family home in the West Bank village of Duma and the kidnapping and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir aren’t neo-Nazi acts, what are? And what about the Arabic-language highway sign near the settlement of Halamish declaring: “This area is under the control of the Jews. The entry of Arabs is forbidden and constitutes a risk to your life!”

The flag parade by Jews on Jerusalem Day is a state-sponsored neo-Nazi provocation, like the Purim rioting in Hebron. The Jewish community in Hebron is in essence neo-Nazi. Go see, judge for yourself. And the pools and Jewish communities along the way that are closed to Arabs? What will they do to any Arab who breaks the rules and sneaks into the Jewish swimming pool in Kochav Ya’ir – an Israeli community of people from the virtuous center-left, where a majority of voters support the enlightened Yesh Atid and Zionist Union parties? And what will they do in the Galilee community of Nofit if Arabs build houses there after expansion plans? After all, it’s not hard for us to imagine these people on the Zionist left objecting, even using unpleasant means, to Arabs coming into their communities.

The plan for surrender proposed by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) is neo-Nazi, despite all his protests. Among the three options he would provide to the Palestinians, there isn’t even one that is humane – and the third calls for their expulsion and destruction. What else do we need? And his wife’s objection to giving birth in the same room as a woman of the inferior race is also neo-Nazi.

Social media is full of frightful neo-Nazi statements – from wishing for the death of every dying Palestinian child, to similar wishes to those who tell the children’s stories. You cannot write this off as just as “a handful of deviants.” That, too, is the spirit of the times.

We cannot ignore the sentiments in this country, where there is a policy of organized and institutionalized racism against African asylum seekers. Pre-fascist sentiments are taking hold here – with manifestations of state-sponsored neo-Nazism – more than in any other Western country.

In the West, most contemptuous efforts are directed against foreigners. In Israel, they are directed mostly against the people who are native to the country. Complaining about Trump? That would already be the height of hypocrisy.

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.807833?utm_source=smartfocus&utm_medium=email&utm_content=opinion/.premium-1.807833&utm_campaign=Gideon+Levy&utm_term=20170820-04:44&writerAlerts=true

Gideon Levy is a Haaretz correspondent for Haaretz in which this article first appeared.

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1 Comment

Filed under Palestine, United States, West Asia (Middle East)

One response to “The Hebrew neo-Nazis and Trump

  1. David

    Israel is descending ever faster and deeper into the abyss of fascism.
    All so predictable.

    To wit:

    Prophetic comments by five eminent Jews:

    Then Secretary of State for India and the British cabinet’s only Jewish member, Lord Edwin Montagu’s response to Prime Minister Lloyd George following issuance of the illegal 1917 Balfour Declaration: “All my life I have been trying to get  out of the ghetto. You want to force me back there.”

    Henry Morgenthau Sr., renowned Jewish American and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, 1919: “Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history….The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights.  Zionism is… a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light.” (Quoted by Frank Epp, Whose Land is Palestine?, p. 261)                                                                                  

    Asked to sign a petition supporting settlement of Jews in Palestine, Sigmund Freud declined: “I cannot…I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state….It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land….I can raise no sympathy at all for the  misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.” (Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren HaYassod, Vienna: 2/26/30)

    Albert Einstein, 1939: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”

    Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, 1944:  “The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . . , I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”
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