Israel seems destined to become this century’s “Germany”.
Fascism can take many forms and for many reasons I don’t believe Israel is ever going to closely resemble Germany. Yet the admonition — never forget — seems to be being forgotten by Israelis themselves. Neither should anyone else forget the scale of World War II in which 60 million people died. That’s why analogies with that period should be used very cautiously.
Well, yes it’s not on the same scale but the ideology is similar. A supremacist culture that brutalizes a population they believe to be subhuman and want, in some way, to eliminate them.
In Germany you had the Nazis spewing their propaganda about Jews and inciting violence and hatred. It’s not the scale; it’s what ideology leads to the violence and horrific slaughter and is the same ideology and process, though not on the same scale, happening again?
In Israel, certainly politicians like Netanyahoo, Lieberman and Bennett do their fair share of inciting hatred, like Netanyahoo’s recent comments about revenge and blaming Hamas for the 3 killed Israelis, which turned out to be a big lie used to start another slaughter of Palestinians. But even worse is the hate speech and incitement from the religious community in Israel.
While many in Israel are secular: religious fanatics are populating the military and settlers in the West Bank. Secular or religious, the population naturally tends to give the rabbis more credibility than politicians. Here are some comments by Israeli rabbis:
Dov Lior, the rabbi of the settlement of Kiryat Arba, issued a religious ruling permitting the total destruction of Gaza if Israel’s military leaders deem it necessary.
Israeli Rabbis, Shapira and Elitzur who wrote the “King’s Torah”, said that the commandment against murder
“refers only to a Jew who kills a Jew, and not to a Jew who kills goyim. All civilians of the enemy population ‘rodef,” or villains are therefore fair game for slaughtering.”
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel for 10 years who died last
year, said that Palestinians are “snakes” and “accursed, wicked ones” and that “It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them.” Netanyahoo called Yosef, “among the greatest rabbis of our generation.
The horrors of the slaughter during WWII certainly can’t be compared to the killing being done in Gaza. I was born in a DP camp in Germany to a father who was a survivor of Auschwitz and a mother that was an ostarbeiter, so I am under no illusion that the events are comparable in scale or human suffering. However, I feel the same propaganda of hate directed at a defenseless population is prevalent in Israel and, unfortunately, it is also being promoted here in the U.S.
–“That’s why analogies with that period should be used very cautiously.”–
Of course if you want to be truly cautious you would have to wait until there are 60 million dead in an Israeli sponsored war before making the comparison. (Obviously a nation of 6 million Jewish people will not be able to expand like Nazi Germany. The Israelis couldn’t even hold southern Lebanon.)
But a citizenry that is to the right of Netanyahu — as you pointed out earlier — and cheers the destruction of schools is definitely showing signs of a Nazi-like mentality. And their sense of racial superiority and victim-hood seems to be getting worse every year. If a Jewish Israel becomes impossible in a couple of decades, a nuclear Masada — or Sampson option — becomes a real risk. The idea of being totally defeated in the Holy Land by such ‘inferior peoples’ might be too painful for them.
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