If granted one simple wish to raise awareness in the US Congress about where America’s annual Israel subsidy goes, it would be this: before the next pro-Israel vote, members of Congress would sit down and watch YNET’s ninety second video of Israeli settlers holding a Purim Party in East Jerusalem in the neighborhood where Israel is forcibly evicting Arabs who have lived there for generations so Israelis like these can move in.
It’s not an atrocity, not the casual cruelty of soldiers at a checkpoint, or “at war” against a defenseless civilian populace in Gaza. These are Israelis far from the stresses of combat, Israelis in a festive mode. They are singing a song of praise for Baruch Goldstein, the American born Jewish doctor who shot and killed twenty-nine Palestinian worshipers in Hebron in 1994.
“Dr. Goldstein, Dr. Goldstein" their song goes, "Everybody loves you.”
Obviously, the songsters represent a very small slice of Israel opinion: very few Israelis would openly praise the slaughter of unarmed worshipers. And equally obviously, there are extreme racist nationalists in almost every country in the world. There are small groups of neo-Nazis In Germany, and other places.
But the truth is also this: in no other country which is an “ally” of the United States is the racist far Right more deeply embedded in the state structure, more encouraged and empowered by a freely-elected democratic government. Remember, these are the kinds of Israelis that the Netanyahu government is now, as part of official policy, moving into houses in the most symbolically rich and contested real estate of a city holy to three religions. They are the kinds of Israelis whom the government will then protect with troops and police, and whom prominent mainstream American Jews will subsidize with tax deductible contributions. They are, quite literally, the vanguard of Zionism today.
And because of America’s support for Israel, financial and diplomatic and rhetorical, the singing settlers are now a big part of the face of America itself, the face we show to the Arab and Muslim world. So, honorable members of Congress, watch a bit and see what our dollars are paying for. Ninety seconds is all I ask.