In Peace Now’s daily news digest, this quote tops the list today:
Quote of the day:
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are under attack and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
–A quote by Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering, posted by Israeli Ambassador to Switzerland, Yigal Caspi, on Facebook, following the passing of the NGO bill.**
Caspi has removed the quotation. He clearly intended the comment as a warning to Israeli leaders. He is now under investigation for the statement. The NGO bill is a new law that forces leftleaning human-rights groups that receive substantial funds from overseas to wear labels when they come to the Israeli Knesset. Peace Now continues, “Another hot topic today was the comparisons to Nazis.”
Hebrew University lecturer Dr. Ofer Cassif wrote on Facebook that Justice Minister Shaked is ‘Neo-Nazi scum’ and told Army Radio afterward, “I think it’s fair to compare Israel to Germany in the 1930s, and not to the years of genocide.” Cassif pointed to the Im Tirtzu video and Shaked’s NGO law. The article in Ynet noted that the Facebook posts come in the wake of the passing of the NGO bill, but it doesn’t mention that the bill requires the (mostly left-wing) NGO representatives to wear a special badge when they visit the Knesset committees to indicate that they receive more than 50% of their contributions from foreign states. Cassif shared on Facebook the post by his colleague Professor Amiram Goldblum, who sharply criticized Shaked for not revealing that she received ‘blood money’ contributions from a Jewish Belgian donor who is now in jail for selling arms to rebels in Sierra Leone. Private donations are not required to be revealed by the bill. Cassif was not alone in his comparison of Israel’s right-wing government to the Nazis. Israeli Ambassador to Switzerland, Yigal Caspi, posted a quote by a Nazi war criminal that described how fascist governments get their people to follow them, by “denouncing the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” Caspi added: “We’re on the right path…” Now, the ambassador faces punishment by the Foreign Ministry. Oddly, the article by Yedioth’s Itamar Eichner did not mention the context of the posting of the quote: the government’s approval of the NGO bill that labels left-wing Israeli human rights organizations.
Let’s be clear: anyone on the American left who used Nazi analogies for Israel was shunned for doing so, but Israeli leaders throw the Nazi stuff around readily. (For good reason; we all know that victims model their abuser when they gain any power.)
The Nazi charges of course go to the treatment of Palestinians. The NGOs all care about Palestinians. In its news list, Peace Now also mentions the latest failure in the investigation of the Duma murderers, Jewish zealots who torched a sleeping Palestinian family in occupied territory last summer. (Peace Now is virtually alone among liberal Zionist groups in recognizing the significance of the Duma murders as evidence of lawlessness, racism, and the fear among Palestinians.)
Many friends are saying that Israel is cracking up. “The end,” “Imploding,” “It’s over,” are two comments I’ve heard in the last day or two. Even J Street seems rattled (“deeply concerned and disappointed”). New Yorker editor David Remnick just got back from Jerusalem and said on the radio this morning that the situation is “tragic” and that Israel bears the greater share of responsibility for the failure of peace talks.
This crisis has long been evident to Palestinians. The knife attacks are of course a symptom of their loss of any faith in the many promises of freedom they have been given. Now the questions are: How long can Israel play out this crisis, as yet another burp in the managed-conflict model of persecution. And having long said that the status quo is unsustainable, will American leaders at last take a stand against apartheid and colonization? Who will speak up here, and show real leadership? Bernie? (And, to be parochial: how many secular American Jews will openly take on their parents and say what they believe in their hearts, that Jewish nationalism, the idea of a “Jewish democracy” established on lands belonging largely to others, is a snare and a delusion?)