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Amos Oz uses the n-word– calls settler zealots ‘neo-Nazis’

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Right wing publication publishes graphic of Amos Oz “Der Sturmer Style” mustache after he called Jewish extremists neo-Nazis. May 10, 2014 (Graphic: The Jewish Independent)

The benign term “Hilltop Youth” to name radical settlers deserves to be permanently canned. And after the latest wave of hate crimes perpetrated by these extremists against Christian and Muslim holy sites, the renowned Israeli writer Amos Oz called them “Hebrew neo-Nazis.”

At an event marking his 75th birthday last Friday, Oz said terms like hilltop youth and price tag were “sweet names for a monster.”

Oz added that in his mind, perhaps the only difference between neo-Nazis around the world and perpetrators of hate crimes in Israel is that “our neo-Nazi groups enjoy the support of numerous nationalist or even racist legislators, as well as rabbis who give them what is in my view pseudo-religious justification.”

Oz’s intervention comes at an important time. Haaretz is reporting sectarian tensions are running at an “all-time high” in Jerusalem. One scholar of Christianity, Yisca Harani, has even appealed to the churches to “keep their people inside” ahead of a rally planned for yesterday at Mount Zion. “There are some days it’s better not to be out and about in the streets.”

Israeli public culture seems to be experiencing an identity crisis. Haaretz readers woke up to another rude awakening yesterday, an editorial saying, “In Israel, Jewish terror exists.

Hate crimes by Jews against Arabs have become routine in Israel — not only in the West Bank, where they are an integral part of the occupation and settlement policy. Last month 16 incidents targeting Arabs were recorded in the West Bank and Israel, compared with 17 in the first three months of the year and 48 in all of 2013. But these attacks, euphemistically called “price-tag”…

(Also a terrific Amira Hass piece on the routine nature of Israeli soldiers bullying Palestinians.)

The other side isn’t taking it lying down. A settler council has filed a complaint of incitement against Oz.  The council chairman Sagi Keizler states:

“The author’s statements are grave incitement to racism, for which he deserves the Nobel Prize for racism, …the police won’t be able to ignore the author’s serious incitement.”

And this bizarre claim re their complaint:

“Keizler said he believes the police are going to arrest Oz later today.”

We are often told that no one should use the Nazi analogy for contemporary atrocities. Susan Page of USA Today said as much two weeks ago on MSNBC. But Israelis don’t feel that compunction. The new Jewish Independent published a graphic of Oz a picture of Oz sporting a Hitler mustache. The hateful graphic– of Oz “with facial hair,” as the Independent put it– accompanies a piece by American-Israeli Yori Yanover accusing Oz of “Der Sturmer style” and “a malevolent attack on the ‘Hill Youth.’”

There’s that benign expression again. Isn’t it time for the world to see these extremists for who they really are? 

(Hat tip Karen Platt)

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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20 Responses

  1. Kay24 on May 12, 2014, 11:11 am

    Considering all the hate crimes, fire bombing, murders, burning and attacking of Mosques and Churches, destroying of orchards, theft of land and trees, I think “neo nazi” is appropriate, and should be used by others too. They have truly earned that title.

  2. Woody Tanaka on May 12, 2014, 11:39 am

    “One scholar of Christianity, Yisca Harani, has even appealed to the churches to “keep their people inside” ahead of a rally planned for yesterday at Mount Zion. “There are some days it’s better not to be out and about in the streets.””

    If that doesn’t characterize life in a fascist state, nothing does.

    • bilal a on May 12, 2014, 5:45 pm

      Anti-Christian fascism is not unique to Israel. The Mozilla founder lost his job for expressing his religious views through a political donation.

  3. amigo on May 12, 2014, 11:41 am

    “The author’s statements are grave incitement to racism, for which he deserves the Nobel Prize for racism, ” keizler

    Only a racist religious fanatic would assume Nobel would reward Racists.

  4. lysias on May 12, 2014, 11:50 am

    Western media have also proved curiously resistant to calling the Right Sector extremists in Ukraine “neo-Nazi”, even though they have been seen in videos giving the Hitler salute, and though they seem to have been the perpetrators of that mass murder in Odessa, which was very much in the Nazi style. Also, they and their slightly more respectable Swoboda allies (with five seats in the Kiev coup government) very much honor the collaborator Bandera and the SS Galicia division.

  5. LeaNder on May 12, 2014, 12:14 pm

    “Der Stürmer” Streicher’s newspaper and the official organ of the Nazi party.

    Stürmer is still used in soccer, were it is used for the striker or forward.

    Strictly it is related to storm/Sturm, or someone that “storms” forward.

  6. seafoid on May 12, 2014, 2:08 pm

    Oz is representative of the side that lost in Israel. the secular educated ‘moderate” Ashkenazim who were comfortable with 1948 ethnic cleansing and the 50s laws against Palestinians but nothing post 70, (to cover at least the late 60s Jerusalem settlements) . Like it was possible to stop the process.

    The settler Nazis are people his father would have loved.

    • Walid on May 13, 2014, 2:15 am

      Oddly, he was the only Israeli to have his autobiographical book translated into Arabic and sold of all places in Beirut 4 years ago. Even more amazing was that it reportedly recounted the historical birth of Israel but related in a most inoffensive way as it did not contain the usual Israeli heroics bullshit but rather included the pain suffered for it by the Palestinians. The translation of the 2002 book, “A Tale of Love and Darkness” was initiated and funded by Elias Khoury, a Jerusalem peace activist Palestinian Christian lawyer whose father and his own son had been killed by Palestinian terrorists on separate occasions that mistook them for Israeli Jews.

      • ofern on May 13, 2014, 8:57 am

        Hi Walid

        This may be of interest

        Amos Oz’s Blindness

        by Orly Noy

        “This is also the message conveyed to our Palestinian neighbors: if you wish to figure out what’s going on here, whom you’re dealing with, and who holds the keys to your case, you must study “our story”. And this message, as it turns out, runs deep: “A Tale of Love and Darkness” was translated into Arabic thanks to the initiative and financial support of Adv. Elias Khouri, a dear man and a bereaved father who dedicated the project to the memory of his son, also with the belief that the book would constitute a key to the understanding of “their story”; an Arabic translation of a Hebrew book which cries out in Yiddish.”

      • Walid on May 13, 2014, 9:33 am

        Thanks, Ofer. Khoury’s son was shot while jogging by Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigade, his father that was well-off had bankrupt because Zionists seized all his assets in 48 and that had to take a job as a bookkeeper, died from a bomb in a booby-trapped refrigerator.

        From Wiki:

        “… On March 6, 2010, The New York Times reported that Khoury had paid to have Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness translated into Arabic and distributed in Beirut and other Arab capitals. Of his decision to pay for the translation and publication of the book, Khoury said: “This book tells the history of the rebirth of the Jewish people. We can learn from it how a people like the Jewish people emerged from the tragedy of the Holocaust and were able to reorganize themselves and build their country and become an independent people. If we can’t learn from that, we will not be able to do anything for our independence.”

      • Mikhael on May 13, 2014, 6:28 pm

        Walid says:
        May 13, 2014 at 2:15 am Even more amazing was that it reportedly recounted the historical birth of Israel but related in a most inoffensive way as it did not contain the usual Israeli heroics bullshit but rather included the pain suffered for it by the Palestinians.

        Walid, did you read the book? Oz indeed has empathy for the suffering of the Arab civilians during Israel’s independence war, because he is also a civilian survivor of the 1948 Arab siege of the Jewish-populated areas of Jerusalem whose family and friends suffered during the war. There are lengthy and vivid passages in the same book recounting the author’s experiences in the besieged Jewish section of Jerusalem, of desperately seeking cover to avoid shells fired by the Arab Legion, of neighbors huddling for safety from the shelling in his parents’ cramped apartment, of one neighbor who, going stir-crazy from the claustrophobia, went out for a walk and never came back but whose mangled body was identified by Oz’s father by the socks he had lent him, of one of his mother’s friends and a neighbor’s 12-year-old son shot in the head by Jordanian snipers. My father, a native Jerusalemite like Oz who also lived through that period as a young adolescent, also used to talk about subsisting on the hubeiza weed to stave off starvation during the siege and trying to calculate by the sounds of the artillery shot by the Transjordanian and Egyptian armies how much time there was to dash to the other side of the street and take cover.

        War is sucky for everybody, especially civilians, but the cultists of Mondoweiss see only one side.

    • aiman on May 13, 2014, 10:55 am

      Oz is part of the problem. His rationalisation of the Gaza invasion, and that of his daughter, reads like support for terrorism, a liberal support for murder. Ideologically, liberals like Oz only differ from the “hilltop youth” in their bedside manners. John Pilger has written a lot about this form of liberalism that supports war etc. and yet brandishes moral virtue.

  7. goldmarx on May 12, 2014, 5:47 pm

    Hilltop Youth = Hitler Youth?

  8. DICKERSON3870 on May 12, 2014, 8:42 pm

    RE: “At an event marking his 75th birthday last Friday, Oz said terms like hilltop youth and price tag were ‘sweet names for a monster’.” ~ Annie

    Montezuma’s Ariel Sharon’s Revenge
    • Spawn of Frankenstein Ariel Sharon
    • Nobody Does Excrement Like Ariel Sharon!
    • Fertilize Your Hilltops the Natural Way, With Genuine Excrement of Ariel Sharon®.
    • Always Fertilize Using The Legendary Manure Of Ariel Sharon®: “It Covers The Hilltops Like The Dung”
    • Trust Israel’s Leading Producer of Manure: Ariel Sharon’s Premium Grade Excrement® (Specially Formulated For Use On Hilltops)

    SEE: “Fighting Settlers’ Impunity and Immunity”, by Pierre Klochendler, Inter Press Service, 12/16/11

    [EXCERPT] . . . The Israeli occupation, particularly the future of wildcat settlements built by settlers without formal government approval has been a simmering issue ever since their creation during the 1990s.
    In 2005, former head of the State Prosecution Criminal Department Talia Sasson published a landmark report on the question. Commissioned by then prime minister Ariel Sharon, the report found the Israeli government guilty of “institutional lawbreaking” and of the theft of private Palestinian land to covertly establish over a hundred “illegal outposts”.
    The damning irony is that the “outposts” were a 1997 initiative by none but Sharon himself, then foreign Minister under Netanyahu, who’d urged settlers to seize hilltops in order to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.
    The report recommended criminal investigation against those allegedly involved in the scheme, but it was shelved. Repeated injunctions have since pressed successive governments to address the issue. . .


    • DICKERSON3870 on May 13, 2014, 12:50 pm


      SEE:“Jews protect Palestinians in harvest of hate” ~ By Donald Macintyre in Awarta, West Bank, The Independent (U.K.), 10/10/08
      Israelis cross religious divide to shelter olive farmers from settlers’ attacks

      [EXCERPTS] . . . Born in Tel Aviv, Ms Siew served in the army, took a university degree, then a teacher’s diploma. Thirty-six years ago, she took the tough decision to emigrate to London, telling her parents: “I won’t come back until there’s peace.” Ms Siew, who is now 64, remains an Israeli citizen but now lives with her British husband in Hebden Bridge. She has kept to her word, except that each autumn she comes back to stay in her hometown with her relatives and spends each day of the two-month harvest season picking olives on Palestinian farmland in the West Bank.
      And Ms Siew does that for a purpose. Up on the ridge above us, you can see the red roofs of Itamar, a notably hard-line Jewish settlement, and she is here to help protect the Palestinian farmers from the threat of settler violence which has so often scarred the olive harvests.
      . . . Last year, she was in a group in the South Hebron Hills confronted by settlers who fired shots from a pistol and an M16 assault rifle, despite the presence of the army and police. “Then one of the soldiers said, ‘Look, one of them is coming down with a jug of water for you’. The settler emptied the jug over me. It was full of human shit.” . . .


  9. Palikari on May 12, 2014, 9:36 pm

    Those extremists are not “neo-Nazis” or “terrorists”, they are just thugs. And therefore they should be prosecuted.

    • annie on May 13, 2014, 1:28 am

      therefore they should be prosecuted.

      my understanding is prosecutions are not leading to convictions (iow the exact opposite of palestinians prosecutions leading to 99% conviction rates),it appears the civilian courts seems unwilling to meter out justice to these perps. . therefore authorities are considering imprisoning suspects via administrative detention. by the same methods applied to palestinians. ..labeling their crimes terror or intending to commit terror.

      • DaBakr on May 13, 2014, 1:34 am

        So…calling them Jewish zealot “neo-nazis” is the solution then? Got it.

    • pjdude on May 14, 2014, 10:09 am

      While I’ll agree with you on neo nazi they certainly are terrorists. I know you might have trouble understanding that given how your country has basterdized the term away from its meaning. Terrorism isn’t about killing it’s about causing fear to coerce a political or religious viewpoint. The hilltop youth, the settlers in general and the idf all use terrorism on the routine. Israel was founded by terrorism it’s at the core of its ideals to pretend otherwise is to ignore history

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