The conversation about Israel’s future inside Israel is (yet again) more honest than the one about Israel’s future in our mainstream media.
Now, writing in Haaretz, Uri Misgav has gone Oz one better and said that a Nazi spirit of hatred has entered Israeli public life and is reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s. “Not neo-Nazis, Judeo-Nazis…. Bloodcurdling bureaucracy and the banality of evil, here in the land of milk and honey.”
I’d note in particular that Misgav is shocked by the cherries story that B’Tselem reported the other day with the video above, in which four Palestinian schoolgirls aged 11-15 were detained by Israeli soldiers for allegedly picking settlers’ cherries. (Ilene Cohen wrote about the incident here).
Here are excerpts of Misgav’s essay:
Amos Oz got it wrong again. It’s not neo-Nazis. It’s Judeo-Nazis. Scions of a unique group which Yeshayahu Leibowitz Prophesized so well immediately after the great victory of 1967. Racism, murderousness and profound hatred originating in a religious-messianic worldview that is fueled by the occupation and settlement enterprise…
Israel will never be the Germany of 1942, but there is a moral obligation to prevent it from becoming like the Germany of 1932.
Nazism began as a marginal and disturbed ideology that at a certain stage suited the interests of Prussian militarism, the political right and wealthy businessmen, who were horrified at the blossoming of socialism. At first they snickered in secret at the Nazis, afterwards they aspired to exploit them for their own purposes, in the end it was too late.
In the state of the Jewish people it’s already too late. There is no place where we can take the shame and the terror. The center is apathetic. The left is defeated and afraid, in despair, emigrating, fighting among itself, just as in Germany of the early 1930s. Meanwhile generations of Israelis, incited and consumed with hatred, are flooding the public space, and there is nobody to confront them….
The big story is the atmosphere. Thirty years ago the entire country was in an uproar when Shin Bet security service agents killed two terrorists who were captured during a bus hijacking. Today anything goes. When there’s no border there are no limits. That is the price of the occupation and the rite of victimization.
A boy emerges from a known opening in the separation barrier in order to pick herbs, and is shot to death. Little girls return from school walking through a settlers’ orchard, and are detained for hours by Judea and Samaria District police after the owner of the estate complained that a few cherries were picked.
Also, note that the bus incident that Misgav mentions is at the moral center of the film The Gatekeepers– there too as a sign of how far Israel has traveled down the road of occupation. That film was embraced by liberal Zionists in the U.S. The real question is whether racial intolerance is not baked into the concept of a Jewish state. Misgav would seem to answer that it is, when he writes, “In the state of the Jewish people it’s already too late.”
Thanks to Omar Barghouti.