Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Israel's Chilling Executioners---And Ethnic Cleansers, Genociders, Forced Expulsionists And Concentration Campers
As I’ve written before, I don't think the Star of David has become the new swastika or that an increasingly authoritarian and right wing Israel is becoming an avatar of Nazi Germany. But today’s Dish has a compendium of esteemed and influential Israeli hardliners whose eliminationist proposals for dealing with the Palestinians in Gaza really do sound disturbing historical echoes.
The most disturbing part is that these hardliners---the deputy speaker of the Knesset who was appointed by Netanyahu, a former head of Israel's national Security Council, Israel's former chief rabbi and the head of the largest youth group in the world--- are not, as Andrew Sullivan points out, "fringe figures. " They are also people who have a welcome place among pro Israel supporters here. Sullivan points out that none of these people have suffered any consequences so far for their statements, which leads him to ask the simple question:
which leader of another American ally has appointed a man who favors genocide and ethnic cleansing as the deputy speaker of the legislature? Which other democracy has legitimate political parties in the governing coalition calling for permanent occupation of a neighboring state – and deliberate social engineering to create a new demographic ethnic reality in that conquered land? Putin’s Russia has not sunk that low.
Sullivan says that Gaza’s "grotesque" death toll is a "distillation" of the mindset of the Israeli hardliners he quotes in his post and reveal “ at best a chilling contempt for Arab life and at worst, with the shelling of schools and shelters, a policy of indiscriminate hatred and revenge."
To see in front of one’s nose is a constant struggle. But I see evil in front of noses here – and evil that is gaining strength because of willful American blindness.
During the ill-starred Kerry peace negotiations, the Israeli right and the enablers in the lobby here raised the issue of Palestinian “incitement” against Israel ---i.e. propaganda that delegitimiazed Israel’s right to exist, or school curricula in the Palestinian educational system that taught schoolchildren to “hate” Jews. Is this kind of Zionist incitement---in this case a set of utterly crude and dangerous proposals for ridding Gaza of its problematic residents --- any different?
In fact, I think it’s worse, because it's coming from people who, nominally speaking are supposed to "share" American values. In fact though there’s a very, very dark strain of thought that is emerging in our “ally” that really needs to be brought out into the light so that we, as Americans, can see just what the US-Israel “special relationship” really entails.