Trending Topics:

Entitled ideology supporting ‘incineration’ of Gaza resonates with Nazi ideology — Siegman

on 24 Comments
Henry Siegman

Henry Siegman

An astonishing piece by Henry Siegman, at the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center, goes further than this Jewish leader, who escaped the Holocaust himself, has gone before. Siegman categorically defends the right of resistance for a subject people exposed to the violence of occupiers in occupied lands and says Palestinians may exercise the same right of resistance exercised by Jewish people in the 1940s. He uses the words “Dresden” and “incineration” to describe the destruction of Gaza, and then explicitly likens Netanyahu’s ideology of Jewish exceptionalism to the ideology of the Nazis.

Siegman’s argument about the right of resistance of a people told their “subjugation is permanent”:

An occupying power is under obligation in international law to do two things: to end the occupation, and until it does so, to protect the population under its occupation.

Israel is in blatant violation of both of these obligations.  The security threats to its own citizens it invokes to justify its assaults which regularly result in the killing of far more Palestinian non-combatants than militants are triggered by its occupation.  An occupied people told by its occupiers its subjugation is permanent, and that they will never be allowed to exercise the right to national self-determination and sovereign existence on territories recognized by the international community as their rightful patrimony, has every right to resort to resistance, including violent resistance, to achieve its freedom, for they are reacting to the violence that is keeping them illegally under occupation. It is a right exercised by the Jewish people when their own struggle for statehood was challenged.

Here he speaks of the Nakba and the hypocrisy of the liberal Zionists who say that it was justified to create Israel, but offer no such immunity to Palestinians seeking self-determination today:

The war crimes committed by Israel’s armed forces during its War of Independence have been documented by Benny Morris in his book Righteous Victims, and more recently by Ari Shavit in his book My Promised Land. Both argue that because there would have been no Jewish state without these crimes (an unproven and doubtful claim), they must be accepted as a necessary evil. It is a dispensation that neither author, nor Israelis in general, are prepared to extend to Palestinians still struggling for their people’s independence and statehood.

Here he says that messianic Zionism recalls Nazi ideology:

Too many Israelis seem to believe they have a God-given right to occupy, suppress, disenfranchise and displace non-Jews—particularly Arabs—in Israel. That right seems to be implied in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence that Palestinians affirm the State of Israel as the historic homeland of the Jewish people…

That belief may also account for the fact that adherents to a Jewish religious tradition that stresses the sanctity of human life and man’s creation in the image of the divine react so callously to the destruction of innocents, as Israelis have, 80 to 90 percent of whom have approved Israel’s incineration of so many of Gaza’s non-combatant population. It seems not to have occurred to them that this sense of special entitlement that characterizes their behavior resonates an ideology that led to the Holocaust even as they invoke the memory of the Holocaust in justification of measures they say are intended to prevent its recurrence.

Of all democracies in the world, Israel is probably the only one in which a member of its parliament, Ayelet Shaked, who publicly advocates genocide of the residents of Gaza, has not been expelled from her political party, Habayit Hayehudi, or from Israel’s parliament…

Here he describes Israel’s growing isolation and the prison that it has built for Palestinians in the name of two-state solution, entailing ethnic cleansing and apartheid. Notice that he repeats the word “incinerate” and says that the memory of that incineration will keep Palestinians from accepting subjugated status.

Now that Israel is faced with a rising wave of  orldwide outrage—yet to reach its apogee—as the true scope of the killing and destruction wrought by Israeli forces in Gaza is being exposed, Netanyahu again finds it expedient to describe Abbas as a peace partner who can be relied upon by Israel to serve as gatekeeper for the prison in which the victims of Israel’s latest “lawn mowing,” both living and dead, are interred. …

He is counting on the Palestinians and the international community’s frustration and despair over a two-state outcome to enable Israel to proceed with unilateral measures that create disconnected Palestinian enclaves and the annexation to Israel of much of the West Bank. It is an arrangement, he believes, that would enable Israel to escape the stain of apartheid by granting nominal “full citizenship” to the few Palestinians remaining in the areas annexed to Israel.
But he is mistaken; it will not happen. Too many Palestinian mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters have seen their loved ones incinerated to allow Israel to escape the consequences of its ethnic cleansing and the resulting apartheid.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

24 Responses

  1. just
    August 21, 2014, 11:32 am


    What’s that sound? Why, it’s the sound of the Zionist narrative crashing and their previous ‘rules’ being smashed to smithereens!

    Henry Siegman– bravo!

    • Pixel
      August 21, 2014, 12:28 pm


    • lysias
      August 21, 2014, 12:45 pm

      The taboo against pointing out the increasingly obvious similarities between Nazi and Zionist ideology has broken down.

      • American
        August 21, 2014, 7:01 pm

        lysias says:
        August 21, 2014 at 12:45 pm
        The taboo against pointing out the increasingly obvious similarities between Nazi and Zionist ideology has broken down>>>>

        I never went by that taboo anyway but glad to see someone like Seigman being blunt about it…about time.

        This is the next thing that has to fall:
        ”It seems not to have occurred to them that this sense of special entitlement that characterizes their behavior resonates an ideology that led to the Holocaust even as they invoke the memory of the Holocaust”

        The special entitlement has to end….its the crux of the problem among it supporters.

  2. seafoid
    August 21, 2014, 12:33 pm

    “That belief may also account for the fact that adherents to a Jewish religious tradition that stresses the sanctity of human life and man’s creation in the image of the divine react so callously to the destruction of innocents, as Israelis have, 80 to 90 percent of whom have approved Israel’s incineration of so many of Gaza’s non-combatant population.”

    the hypocrisy at the heart of Zionism

    “As Jews and as Zionists, whose sacred mission is to create a just world, we need a state and we will kill numberless children to make that state secure, as we define it”

    The Israeli right wing is well on the way to fascism.

  3. seafoid
    August 21, 2014, 12:37 pm

    ” It is an arrangement, he believes, that would enable Israel to escape the stain of apartheid by granting nominal “full citizenship” to the few Palestinians remaining in the areas annexed to Israel.”

    They made the fatal mistake of promising the Palestinians a state. Bibi and the rest of the bots are all sizzle and no steak and the Palestinians know that.
    Apartheid is not going to work.

  4. justicewillprevail
    August 21, 2014, 12:53 pm

    Now we have zionists openly declaring it is ok to kill children, there can be no doubt where they are headed. They have done everything they can to dehumanise Palestinians, but instead have dehumanised themselves to such an extent they think this behaviour is normal. And of course, the reluctance of governments, particularly the US, to sanction them has allowed them to believe they can get away with anything. Every time they push the boundaries of acceptable behaviour they find no one has the guts to call them out, or stop the money flow, so they are increasingly emboldened to act even more cold bloodedly and savagely. Now they think they are untouchable. Hearing an Isis member calmly justify the killing if innocents is stomach churning enough, what is the difference between that and Netanyahu and co’s chilling justifications for the murder of innocent civilians, especially children? Fundamentalists who have lost contact with any shred of humanity they once had. Killing corrupts absolutely, so that it becomes acceptable to do again, especially when there is no sanction or restraint available. They need to be called to account for their crimes, instead of trying to wreck the mechanisms which we’re put in place to try and prevent such horrendous brutality. Well said, Henry Seigman, who now can expect a vicious campaign of abuse.
    See also Desmond Tutu’s recent article in Haaretz.

    • rpickar
      August 21, 2014, 11:11 pm


      lets not also forget that the blood of 20000 Japanese, who have nothing whatsoever to do with the Middle East, were killed by Israel in the 2011 Tsunami and sabotage of Fukushima. Mossad certainly thought that that was ok.

      • justicewillprevail
        August 22, 2014, 1:41 am


      • RoHa
        August 22, 2014, 7:49 am

        Just to clarify things here.
        There are several claims involved with this story. They include the idea that the systems of the Fukushima reactors were disabled by the Stuxnet virus (created by Israel to attack Iran), that explosives and nukes were used to destroy part of the Fukushima plant, and that the tsunami was not a natural event.

        I’m inclined to suspect that the Stuxnet virus played a part, but I find the idea of nukes in the Fukushima plant a bit hard to swallow.

      • JeffB
        August 22, 2014, 9:37 am


        Thanks for the clarification, I had no idea what he meant.

        Robert —

        Fukushima doesn’t have remotely the same system as Stuxnet was designed to attack. As for causing massive underwater earthquakes… if you believe Israel is remotely that much more technologically advanced then the rest of the civilizations on the planet then they can easily establish a global empire and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it. There is nothing left to discuss.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2014, 1:12 pm

        “There is nothing left to discuss.”

        Nope, after “Annie Hall” and “The Lion King”, what’s left to say?

      • justicewillprevail
        August 22, 2014, 2:27 pm

        Praise The Lord. Please stick by this resolution.

  5. Boomer
    August 21, 2014, 2:40 pm

    If Mr. Obama would display half the empathy and moral courage that Mr. Siegman displays, Americans would not be condemned to remain complicit in crimes against humanity. Instead, Mr. Obama reveals himself to be a sociopathic coward, and we continue to enable the perpetrators.

  6. CitizenC
    August 21, 2014, 2:55 pm

    Well said Henry Siegman. But courageous Israelis like Israel Shahak, Y Leibowitz and others compared Zionism with Nazism decades ago. Moreover, everything that is happening now was inherent in Zionism from the start, though it has taken many contingencies to come to fruition.

    There has never been anything positive about Zionism. It was, as the classical critics said (Berger, Shahak, Marxist internationalists), a reaction against liberalism and the assimilation and integration of Jews. Zionism held anti-Semitism to be a permanent, irrevocable, natural condition, and attempted to build a positive program from that.

    Zionism is colonialism, but much more. Its basic opposition is not Jewish settler vs Arab indigene in Palestine, but Jew vs gentile everywhere. It is Jewish racialism, best compared with Nazism, as Siegman acknowledges, with which it notoriously collaborated, as it did with other anti-Semitism from the outset.

    The classical view of Zionism as racialist and reactionary still is not espoused by the left, which clings to chimeras like binationalism and Zionist “socialism” or ignores the question, and limits critique to “the occupation”.

    For a 1974 statement by Shahak comparing Zionism to Nazism see

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      August 22, 2014, 1:56 am

      CitizenC- Leibowitz conflated post 67 occupation with Nazism. Did he ever equate Zionism with Nazism? I don’t think so. Please produce evidence: a quote of Leibowitz that supports this contention about his attitude/position. I think you are wrong.

      • CitizenC
        August 22, 2014, 9:45 am

        Yonah, in Judaism, Human Values and the Jewish State, he rejects Zionism with such statements as:

        “the social reality before their eyes is not the Jewish people as represented by three thousand years of history but the territorial administrative framework we have erected in the past generation. I myself have no interest in this framework as such, and consider the idea that it possesses intrinsic value a clear-cut expression of chauvinism that is partly naive, partly brutal, or to use a stronger term—an expression of fascistic mentality.”

        This is from a 1966 interview, revisited in 1974, but the remarks appear to belong to the 1966 part. It’s on p 194, in “Jewish Identity and Israeli Silence (1966)”

    • RoHa
      August 22, 2014, 8:06 am

      ” but Jew vs gentile everywhere. ”

      This point is not sufficiently recognized. When the Zionist says “We matter and you don’t”, the “you” does not refer solely to Palestinians.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2014, 1:18 pm

        ” but Jew vs gentile everywhere. ”

        Yup, those are just the cudgels I want to take up! I mean, look at the odds! How can we lose?

  7. seafoid
    August 21, 2014, 3:41 pm

    I think this may be the last lawnmowing episode. Britain and France are working on a UNSC res to lift the siege and reopen the link between gaza and the WB. Yossi Israeli may have to find another source of punitive revenge porn. He might evenbe forced to go back to vanilla sex with Mrs I.

  8. seafoid
    August 21, 2014, 4:53 pm

    The Israeli right wing is an organism that becomes more extremist by the year. Sharon is beginning to look like a moderate now, 14 years after al aqsa.

    There are a few factors driving it I think

    1. Jewish power- they never had serious political power in the modern era and they don’t know how to use it responsibly

    2 The land fetish – they got all their Christmases at once in 1967 and Messianism took off. Of course! The Holocaust was necessary to gain the Promised land! That’s why Marek Edelman wanted nothing to do with Zionism.

    “The invisible, the unrepresentable, the transcendent is ‘represented’ by shaping a space devoid of figures, history, and legibility. The idol is the empty, depopulated landscape itself, the ‘natural scene’ in which ‘the Bible speaks in the language of nature,’ the altar on which the human sacrifice can be carried out.”
    — W. J. T. Mitchell, “Holy Landscape: Israel, Palestine and the American Wilderness”, Critical Inquiry (2000), 193-223 (p. 219).

    3 The settlers and the apartheid they need to stay in situ

    4 The education system – privatized, denied funding because of YESHA, feeder system for the IDF
    “Anti-Arab racism and anti-leftist incitement did not start this summer. Nor are they the product of an educational “error.” They are what could be expected from an educational system that for decades has been subject to a single narrative and a single curriculum and flees from any effort to confront multiple points of view.
    Young people shouting “Death to Arabs” prove the success of the educational system more than its failure. Such youths have internalized an aggressive worldview in which the strong side erases the “other” – be he Arab, poor or Mizrahi (a Jew of Middle Eastern origin) – just like they saw in school. Thus, in schools they recite Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which promises equal rights regardless of religion, race, or gender, but ignore the inequality between Jews and Arabs; they praise “equality of opportunity” for all, but don’t address the gaps between pupils from different socioeconomic backgrounds; they praise “national unity,” but marginalize the history of large swaths of the population. ”

    5 Netanyahu and his interventions. He never did anything to stop the extremists

    “Meantime, in Israel we are seeing the Jehovahiztion of the Israeli public. Ignorant, radical Jews are turning more to symbols of Jewish superiority than actual Jewish values. It’s getting harder to be a liberal except in Tel Aviv. Everyone is thinking about a second passport.
    This is a spiral that will leave Israel more fanatic, more religious, less able to communicate with the western world– and ironically more part of the extremism of the Middle East. I’ve been writing about the Jewish Brotherhood. Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood, our extremists have never had to face reality and soften. Because even when they wield power they claim that the real power is the hands of the liberal elites.
    Unlike the US, we have no constitution. No Basic Law grants equality. The Israeli religious right has blocked that. The only reason we have freedom of the press is because of the Supreme Court decisions. The right is already using this as a way of attacking the Supreme Court, which is becoming more fearful, less willing to use its power.
    Unless something drastic changes, and it could happen– I’m betting on the J14 movement– liberal Israel is dying, and it won’t be in existence in 5, or 10 years. Some elements will be kept as a figleaf, for the Zionist Jehovahist regime. The liberals will leave, those who can.”

    6 The Orthodox bulge – they are seriously extremist

    “Answering a question from a concerned reader regarding the Torah’s position on rape during war, Colonel Eyal Qarim of the Military Rabbinate wrote nine years ago – out of uniform – that ‘prohibitions against immorality’ are removed during war.
    Is it permitted for a Jewish soldier to rape a gentile woman during wartime? This question – based on the biblical mitzvah of Eshet Yefat Toar (“a comely woman”) – was referred to nine years ago (Hebrew) by Rabbi Eyal Qarim. The questioning party seemed anxious and worried, and wanted to know whether the iron-age mitzvah (religious deed) is applicable to IDF soldiers today.
    UPDATE: Following comments doubting whether rape was the issue of the Rabbi’s answer, I post here the question that he was asked:
    Is it allowed in our days [sic] for an IDF soldier, for example, to rape girls during a fight, or is such a thing forbidden?
    Rabbi Qarim answered thus:
    “The wars of Israel […] are mitzvah wars, in which they differ from the rest of the wars the nations wage among themselves. Since, essentially, a war is not an individual matter, but rather nations wage war as a whole, there are cases in which the personality of the individual is “erased” for the benefit of the whole. And vice versa: sometimes you risk a large unit for the saving of an individual, when it is essential for purposes of morale. One of the important and critical values during war is maintaining the army’s fighting ability […]”

    7 The Russian influence – Lieberman + 1 million others

    8 The general air of impunity, fed by American Jews and their kneejerk support

    9 the notion that history has ended

    10 the “why does the dog lick his bollocks” factor (Because he can)

    From the first leaflet in 1942 of the White Rose, a group of German students at the University of Munich, and their professor, calling for nonviolent resistance to the Nazi regime. They issued a few more leaflets, before they were hunted down and executed. Today they are German heroes.
    .”Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be “governed” without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. It is certain that today every honest German is ashamed of his government. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes – crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure – reach the light of day?

    If the German people are already so corrupted and spiritually crushed that they do not raise a hand, frivolously trusting in a questionable faith in lawful order in history; if they surrender man’s highest principle, that which raises him above all other God’s creatures, his free will; if they abandon the will to take decisive action and turn the wheel of history and thus subject it to their own rational decision; if they are so devoid of all individuality, have already gone so far along the road toward turning into a spiritless and cowardly mass – then, yes, they deserve their downfall….”

    Therefore every individual, conscious of his responsibility as a member of Christian and Western civilization, must defend himself against the scourges of mankind, against fascism and any similar system of totalitarianism. Offer passive resistance – resistance – wherever you may be, forestall the spread of this atheistic war machine before it is too late, before the last cities, like Cologne, have been reduced to rubble, and before the nation’s last young man has given his blood on Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure some battlefield for the hubris of a sub-human. “

  9. DICKERSON3870
    August 21, 2014, 4:55 pm

    Siegman suggests that because of “messianic Zionism”, “[t]oo many Israelis seem to believe they have a God-given right to occupy, suppress, disenfranchise and displace non-Jews—particularly Arabs—in Israel.” He adds: “That belief may also account for the fact that adherents to a Jewish religious tradition that stresses the sanctity of human life and man’s creation in the image of the divine react so callously to the destruction of innocents, as Israelis have, 80 to 90 percent of whom have approved Israel’s incineration of so many of Gaza’s non-combatant population.”
    Siegman’s repeated reference to “incineration” brought to mind a recent human sacrifice involving incineration:

    [EXCERPTS] Chilling testimony from the main suspect in the July 2 murder of 16-year-old east Jerusalem resident Muhammad Abu Khdeir confirmed the brutal homicide was indeed rooted in revenge for the three yeshiva students abducted and killed by Hamas operatives in June. . .

    . . . During his testimony, the alleged ringleader behind the kidnapping and subsequent torture of Abu Khdeir, said he first discussed seeking revenge following the funerals of Gil- Ad Shaer, 16, Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16.

    “We began talking about what happened, about the kidnapped youths, and decided that they needed to be avenged,” he said in his testimony.

    “I was furious at [the killers] while the entire country was silently praying.”

    According to Ben-David, the three then agreed to go on a “human hunt” for an Arab victim.

    “We planned to hurt a soul, meaning to kill… to torture him and kill him,” he told police, adding that he wanted his victim “to know that he was about to die as a sacrifice for the Jews that were murdered.”

    To that end, Ben-David testified that he filled three empty bottles with the gasoline used to burn their victim alive. . .

    ~ from an article by Daniel K. Eisenbud on 8/13/2014 at titled “Abu Khdeir murder suspect recounts grisly killing”

  10. piotr
    August 21, 2014, 5:07 pm

    I would caution about the effect of cruel tactics on the popularity of Israel. Many Americans and Europeans like exactly that. While majority in USA “supports Israel”, I am much less sure if most of them buy into “culture of life, culture of death” meme. I just got a copy of “Food Politics” by Marion Nestle, which is a highly recommended book, mostly on the working of various food lobbies. The main difference with Israeli lobby is that they do not encounter as much opposition, so it suffices to “purchase” relatively few politicians to obtain a goal (say, maintaining protection for sugar growers). More to the point, Nestle tells the story of a defamation suit against Oprah. One trader in cattle futures lost a bundle after she emphatically agreed with a guest critical of practices in feeding the cattle, and told a reporter “We are taking the Israeli action on this thing … Get in there and just blow the hell out of somebody.” (footnote 12 on page 446 gives the source).

    I also recall browsing through the book of a certain Robert Bork (quite famous wingnut in his time) on the decline of American morals. In one passage he bemoaned the liberal impact on the education of children, inflicting on the small tykes such horrors like teaching about conflict resolution. “And they say nothing about the positive role of righteous anger!” (quote from memory).

  11. August 22, 2014, 8:44 am

    I think that the meaning here is that the term “Liberal Zionist” is an oxymoron. There apparently is no such thing as a liberal Zionist. You cannot be liberal with the property of others.

Leave a Reply