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The member of Knesset who called for genocide — against the mothers of the ‘snakes’

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Shaked and Bennett

Shaked and Bennett

As any street smart New Yorker knows, “you can say anything about me, but when you start talking trash about my momma, you got a problem.” Especially so in the context of genocide and race war.

Legal scholar and pundit Jonathan Turley has a great post on inflammatory comments by Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Israeli Parliament from the ultra-nationalist and ultra-religious Jewish Home Party whose leader, Naftali Bennett has been touted as a future Israeli Prime Minister. [Editor’s note: The translation of Shaked’s comments that Turley posted was first published by The Electronic Intifada. Dena Shunra translated it.]

Turley cites a recent  Facebook posting by Shaked, which has been interpreted as a call for genocide. Turkish PM Recep Erdogan asked:”What is the difference between this mentality and Hitler’s?”

Shaked made her post the day before the Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and burned alive by six extremist Israeli Jewish youths. Her remarks are said to have contributed to the climate of revenge in Israel which led to this immolation murder and fed popular support, at least among Israeli Jews, for operations against Hamas in Gaza. These operations have been characterized as “collective punishment” against Palestinians living in Gaza and have triggered calls for a “war crimes” inquiry from top UN human rights official Navi Pilly.

Wrote Shaked on Facebook (italics, mine):

The Palestinian people has declared war on us, and we must respond with war. Not an operation, not a slow-moving one, not low-intensity, not controlled escalation, no destruction of terror infrastructure, no targeted killings. Enough with the oblique references. This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started.

I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to define reality with the simple words that language puts at our disposal. Why do we have to make up a new name for the war every other week, just to avoid calling it by its name. What’s so horrifying about understanding that the entire Palestinian people is the enemy? Every war is between two peoples, and in every war the people who started the war, that whole people, is the enemy. A declaration of war is not a war crime. Responding with war certainly is not. Nor is the use of the word “war”, nor a clear definition who the enemy is. Au contraire: the morality of war (yes, there is such a thing) is founded on the assumption that there are wars in this world, and that war is not the normal state of things, and that in wars the enemy is usually an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.

Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

Responding in the Independent (UK,) Israeli writer Mira Bar Hillel said Shaked’s remarks had brought her to the brink of burning her Israeli passport. Bar Hillel:

I can no longer stand by, while Israeli politicians like Ayelet Shaked condone the deaths of innocent Palestinian women and children.

She is young. She is pretty. She is a university graduate and a computer engineer. She is also an Israeli Parliamentarian – and the reason why I am on the brink of burning my Israeli passport. Because behind that wide-eyed innocent face lurks the Angel of Death.

Shaked’s “snake” metaphor is interesting. She must not have gotten the memo circulated by Pro Israel Language Police in the US banning words like “snakes.” And let’s not even mention the Nazi “vermin” metaphor. I also found it interesting that she would reference the “morality of war” while spewing the kind of venom that shows she has no idea what that morality involves. In fact, the kind of venom which is that morality’s utter nullification.

Above is a shot of Ayelet Shaked with her Jewish Home Party leader Naftali Bennett, who is close to Dan Senor, Mitt Romney’s foreign policy adviser and frequent talking head on American television. Those like Senor arguing “shared values” as the underpinning of the US-Israeli “special relationship” might take note. If I recall correctly, Rwandan political figures who made calls analogous to Shaked’s in the run up to, and during, the genocide there in the 1990’s, are barred from entering the US.

Postscript: Noted Zionist enthusiast Seth Lipsky, a former editor of the Forward and the New York Sun who paints portraits of Zionist historical figures like David Ben Gurion and Ze’ev Jabotinsky and has them hanging in the living room of his Brooklyn Heights townhouse, has a column in the New York Post today that might be read as a companion piece to Shaked’s provocative little genocidal screed. The headline of the digital version is “Hamas and Horoshima: The Grim Morality of Fighting Evil.” Lipsky, said by the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg to have “the most interesting mind in journalism,” likens Israel’s Gaza dilemma of 2014 to the situation the US found itself with Japan in 1945, implying the righteousness of a total onslaught against Hamas, hang the civilian casualties and talk of war crimes. I’ve read many deranged things since taking up the subject of the US-Israeli “special relationship” in the wake of the smearing of Chuck Hagel in early 2013. This is certainly going to be on my personal Top Ten List.

This post first appeared on William McGowan’s site, Coloring the News.

William McGowan

William McGowan is the author of three books: Only Man Is Vile: The Tragedy of Sri Lanka (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); Coloring The News: How Political Correctness Has Corrupted American Journalism (Encounter Books, 2002) for which he won a National Press Club Award; and Gray Lady Down: The Decline and Fall of the New York Times. (Encounter Books, 2010). A former editor at the Washington Monthly, he has reported for Newsweek International and the BBC and has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, the New Republic, Columbia Journalism Review and many other national publications. He lives in New York City and blogs at

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21 Responses

  1. gracie fr on August 2, 2014, 11:50 am

    In the weeks since the most recent Gaza war began on July 8, we have seen organized lynch mobs of Israeli youths prowling the streets of Jerusalem at night in search of Palestinians who have the misfortune to be passing by. Many restaurants and bars in downtown Jerusalem employ Palestinian waiters and kitchen staff; they tend to get off work around midnight or 1 AM, when they have to go home to their neighborhoods. Those are the dangerous hours. Dozens have been attacked. On July 25, two Palestinian men, Amir Jalal Shweiki and Samir Mahfuz, both twenty, were beaten unconscious near the northeast Jerusalem neighborhood of Neve Yaakov. They are still in the hospital. There have also been unconfirmed reports of incidents where the police either stood by or joined in with right-wing thugs, for example on July 24 when two Palestinians, Amir Mazin Abu Eisha and Laith Ubeidat, who were delivering bread to stores on Jaffa Road in downtown Jerusalem, were savagely attacked.

    A particularly terrible case occurred in early July when a train of the Light Rail, the electric tram, was surrounded in the border between east and west Jerusalem by an Israeli mob screaming “Death to Arabs!” A Palestinian Ph.D. student in Islamic studies at the Hebrew University, a woman well known to my colleagues, was caught in the tram and witnessed passengers trying to shove another Palestinian woman, a young mother with her baby, out of the carriage, into the hands of the mob. Most of the passengers, as so often in such cases, watched passively. Fortunately, the tram was eventually able to continue its journey, and the mother and child survived. On June 30, according to eyewitness accounts, right-wing youths repeatedly entered carriages of the tram looking for Palestinians to assault. …..

  2. Kay24 on August 2, 2014, 11:55 am

    Considering how zionists attack, and keep bringing up, the other side for making similar remarks, it seems the Israeli Jews have a sense of entitlement to make racist, anti Arab, ugly statements, and we should all accept that without any questions.

    This sense of entitlement is getting lame, since it is they who are inflicting death and injuries on those they oppress, and from whom they keep stealing lands. I am seeing more hate speeches coming from Israelis than from any other side. Hatred cannot be controlled in zio land.

    If the Palestinians are mothers of snakes, then Israelis are mothers of all things Evil . This young woman is trying to impress the extremists in her country, by making statements to make them thrilled to bits, that after all the hatred and savagery, that is part of their psyche, is shared by her too.

    • Marnie on August 2, 2014, 12:18 pm

      She can get away with it because she’s considered attractive; people, mostly men, are immune to the venom from this snake because her looks are distracting. She’s pretty, so she can’t be mean! I don’t think Tzipi Livni could get away with it. I think Shaked is someone who arouses the “Me Tarzan, you Jane” response in young israeli men and they want to protect “their women” from the “other.” She reminds me of Toyko Rose, Eva Braun, and any white woman in the US who was the impetus for the lynching of a black man.

  3. MHughes976 on August 2, 2014, 1:06 pm

    I would note that these extreme theorists, Shaked, Gordon and so on, are resorting to the idea that where no social contract exists there is no natural or logical, and therefore no ethical, limit to acts of hostility, not even when it comes to the point of genocide or, as Hobbes says, ‘all means of force and fraud’ along the way.
    I would ask them to consider that this can only be, at most, part of the story. To remove all ethical limitation is to abandon your own right to complain in ethical terms about what hostile people do to you, that is your whole ability to think ethically at every point where your mind is concerned with conflict, that is your humanity. That is to license hatred directed against you. So logic does after all require that there be some intention at least to limit hostility somehow: so an intention to go as far as genocide, even as far as demonstrative slaughter, the mother of hatred, is after all illogical.

  4. chinese box on August 2, 2014, 1:06 pm

    Yes, the use of the term snakes reminds me of the “classic anti-semitic tropes” of the octopus, et al that we are always warned about here by certain posters… And biorabbi talking about Hamas being “de-fanged” on the other thread…imagine that. I guess it’s only wrong if you use it against certain semites?

  5. just on August 2, 2014, 1:23 pm

    “Above is a shot of Ayelet Shaked with her Jewish Home Party leader Naftali Bennett, who is close to Dan Senor, Mitt Romney’s foreign policy adviser and frequent talking head on American television. Those like Senor arguing “shared values” as the underpinning of the US-Israeli “special relationship” might take note. If I recall correctly, Rwandan political figures who made calls analogous to Shaked’s in the run up to, and during, the genocide there in the 1990′s, are barred from entering the US.”

    Dan Senor was front and center yesterday on CNN, spouting Israel’s official hasbara. Dan Senor brought us filthy lies via his vociferous support of the Iraq war. His association with Bennett and Shaked comes as no surprise. Never forget that he was the chief spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. from wiki:

    “Senor spent much of the 1990s working as a staffer on Spencer Abraham’s (R-MI) 1994 Senate campaign and then in his Capitol Hill office. He later worked for Senator Connie Mack (R-FL) and at AIPAC. During that time he caught the attention of Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, who introduced him to the neoconservative group affiliated with George W. Bush.[3]

    From 2001 to 2003, he was an investment banker at the Carlyle Group.[5]

    In the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and during the fighting, Senor was a Pentagon and White House adviser based in Doha, Qatar, at U.S. Central Command Forward; he was subsequently based in Kuwait, working with General Jay Garner during the final days of the invasion and was in southern Iraq when the Saddam Hussein regime fell.

    According to Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, Senor was known for the zealous spin that put a good face on the disaster unfolding in Baghdad (the Iraq War did not end until December 2011). Some statements he made to the press did not reflect the actual situation in the city.[6][7]

    Senor formally re-located to Baghdad on April 20, 2003. He traveled with General Garner’s team in the first American post-war civilian protection unit, becoming one of the first American civilians to enter Baghdad after the fall of the regime. In Iraq, Senor served as Chief Spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), as Senior Advisor to Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, and as adviser to the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. In the U.S., he was “a regular television fixture in the immediate aftermath of the 2003 Iraq invasion”, thus becoming “the face of the Bush Administration’s efforts in Iraq”.[3]

    Senor remained in Iraq until the summer of 2004. His 15 months working for the CPA from Baghdad made him one of the longest-serving American civilians in Iraq at the time. For his service, he was awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, one of the Pentagon’s highest civilian honors.”

    His association with Romney is but a footnote to his complicity in spreading lies to the world. He’s a parasite and warmonger of the first order. Just have a look at his history and with whom he associated. I’m much more concerned about his association with the Shaked and Bennett, than with Romney. The fact that he gets a platform after his many disgraces is really worrisome.

    There are indeed many “Angels of Death” that deserve to be profiled. Thank you William McGowan.

    • pineywoodslim on August 2, 2014, 7:59 pm

      And Senor is married to Campbell Brown, former NBC star and daughter of former Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown who did time for an insurance scandal awhile back:

      From wiki–

      “In April 2006, Senor married Campbell Brown, then weekend anchor of Today on NBC[28] and host of Campbell Brown, formerly on CNN. They have two children.[29][30] His father-in-law is former Louisiana Insurance Commissioner and Secretary of State James H. “Jim” Brown, a Democrat.”

  6. Schatterjee on August 2, 2014, 1:26 pm

    I do not see Israel accepting any sane solution. The hatred and venom spewing out in the social media, the genocidal comments of the Israeli leaders in the press and television, make it impossible to see Israel adopt any other course than inflicting heavy damage to Gaza and itself and then withdrawing for another future round. An insane course that promises bloodletting every few years in war of attrition that Israel cannot win. Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Israel is just the latest example.

  7. ritzl on August 2, 2014, 1:54 pm

    Maybe Bar Hillel should explain why she stopped at “the brink” of burning her Israeli passport.

    That failure to follow through on ostensibly deeply-held beliefs is a huge part of why Israel feels it has a free pass to slaughter Palestinians time after time. She didn’t and doesn’t mean a word of it.

    Other than that, good article.

    • can of worms on August 2, 2014, 3:11 pm

      Yeah, Mira Bar Hillel’s righteous anger didn’t go down so well here either. Other than what you mention, you get the feeling she would not have been so much “on the brink” had the same sentiments been aired by someone else (let’s say, a working-class middle-aged brown-skinned woman), or just in private. It’s a common enough sentiment around here after all. It’s as if what had really bothered her was that this Shaked woman publicly polluted the image of Israeli ‘enlightenment’ and ‘innocence’ (which Bar Hillel naturally associates with the image of the Western, European-looking, upper middle class, well-educated Ashkenazim.) Desecrated and polluted, indeed. Makes you angry enough to almost burn your Id card and then write an article about it for the New York Times.

    • MHughes976 on August 2, 2014, 5:16 pm

      Bar H had an article in the Independent earlier this week whose headline was approximately ‘I only said I was thinking of burning my passport and all hell broke loose’ – she was of course able to cite all sorts of repulsive remarks by the ultras, so be a victim of their intolerance. Which she genuinely is – but also, as you say, ritzl, she’s not actually having to do anything inconvenient. But then I can say this and I haven’t got an Israeli passport to burn nor family in Israel to outrage.

  8. Ismail on August 2, 2014, 4:17 pm

    “Lipsky, said by the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg to have “the most interesting mind in journalism,” likens Israel’s Gaza dilemma of 2014 to the situation the US found itself with Japan in 1945…”

    Well, yes, the two are similar, although not in the way that Lipsky intends.

    The decision to drop the two atomic bombs on Japan had absolutely nothing to do with shortening the war, sparing the US the cost of a land invasion or defending the US from the (bankrupt and helpless) Japanese.

    We used the atomic weapons to cow Russia, to make sure no one thought to challenge our brand-new hegemony, that is, for political purposes (Counterpunch had a piece up a day or two ago making this argument, citing work from Alperowitz to more recent studies).

    Israel’s most recent terror assault also has nothing to do with finding kidnapped teenagers or stopping rockets or keeping Israelis safe. It is being performed for political purposes – to scupper the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, primarily.

    • oldgeezer on August 2, 2014, 7:32 pm

      I personally WWII would be left out of it.

      Germany was a first world, highly industrialized, state with one of the most powerful armies. Japan was also powerful. Italy…. Well they were the French of the axis powers. The UK, Russia were also mighty nations with first world powers. No offense to the US but I left it out as it helped Germany with financial and other resources before Germany declared war on it. US involvement was significant, no doubt about it. But on both sides.

      Israel is not embarking on extermination on an industrial scale. I have no qualms about accusing Israel of either ethnic cleansing or genocide. It’s apparent. But it is not exterminating all but the chosen race in the same way.

      Similarly Hamas (and some of the other groups) are also not Nazis. I don’t care what the charter says… They are more of a citizen militia and they are not a first world state.

      The comparisons are wrong. I have on many occassions been tempted to point out the similarities between Israeli tactics and Nazi tactics of the same period but to do so clouds the whole issue as the comparison fails beyond the individual tactics (sometimes more than one combined).

      I prefer to argue what is supposedly illegal and moral right versus wrong. A much harder argument to win but it’s the right one to win.

      There is no justification for what Israel does and has done but leaving Nazis out of this, on all sides, shouldn’t hamper the Palestinian moral and legal case which is unassailable.

  9. kma on August 2, 2014, 4:46 pm

    whoah, who taught that lady to hate?
    she’s got it down so well, she could be describing herself… oh, wait minute – it’s not just coincidence.

    our leaders here never do explain what they mean by “shared values”. glad to have that clarified.
    not sure if we picked up the torture habit from Israelis, but they generously shared their occupation tactics with us… shooting families at checkpoints, second strikes hitting rescue workers, holding prisoners forever without charges, calling everyone “terrorist”, hatred of muslims…. shared values. what’s next? burning people’s children alive?

    • Shingo on August 3, 2014, 7:32 am

      whoah, who taught that lady to hate?

      Must fe those nasty school text books in Israeli schools.

  10. oldgeezer on August 2, 2014, 7:43 pm

    I haven’t been able to find a videoof it but Shaked was interviewed on bbc this week.

    Marnie may be right about men being more subject to her beauty (studies show beauty is define by symmetry in both genders) but I was absolutely shocked by the depth of her hatred and bile even having been disgusted reading her words.

    It will eventually show up on youtube or elsewhere and it’s worth seeing

  11. Denis on August 3, 2014, 1:51 am

    Shaked and Mordechai Kedar were both able to play the genocide card without using the “G”-word.

    Yochanan Gordon showed the world he is just as hateful as those two, but not as smart. Going viral with the “G”-word has gotten him absolutely disemboweled online.

    Even his own father dumped his piece, probably because it was such a grammatical travesty as to be an embarrassment to the entire tribe, who are rumored to be quite articulate.

  12. just on August 3, 2014, 8:41 am

    “MK Miri Regev (Jewish Home) on Sunday asked the Attorney General to strip MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) of her Knesset immunity. The request came after Zoabi allegedly refused to appear as scheduled for questioning by police over statements she made that got her suspended from Knesset work – on the claim that she did not have to speak to police because she had immunity.

    Zoabi is supposed to be under investigation for incitement to violence and insulting a public employee.

    The Knesset Ethics Committee last week barred Zoabi from the Knesset committees and plenum for six months. This is the most severe punishment that the Ethics Committee can mete out to a Knesset Member, according to the Rules of the Knesset. The decision follows complaints filed against Zoabi by several MKs, including Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud), following her statement that the murderers of the three Jewish yeshiva boys are not terrorists and even sought to justify the act.

    “It is unfathomable that Zoabi can do as she likes with the forces of the law in Israel,” said Regev in her letter to the Attorney General. “I call on the Knesset to put an end to this farce and to put her on trial for incitement.””

    If they have laws against incitement to violence, then the entire GoI needs to be arrested!

  13. Vera Gottlieb on August 3, 2014, 10:01 am

    She might be a university graduate, she might be pretty, she might be a Parliamentarian but…she is pure trash – to say the least. This trash is not needed anywhere on this planet.

  14. Israel’s government consists of genocidal maniacs, shameless land-thieves and sadistic oppressors.

    Israel has always been FAR, FAR GUILTIER of the savagery that it accuses its enemies of. Irony as a form of abuse.

    It is as if, on top of everything else, Israel needs to LAUGH at the helpless people it torments and slaughters.

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