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Netanyahu’s Academy-award performance of dehumanization is why the conflict persists

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What is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s message about the Palestinian people to the world? It is that the Palestinian people are not human beings like the rest of us. If they were, an agreement would have already been reached long ago.

Last week Netanyahu released a video with new evidence to buttress his claim and show “in just a few seconds” why the “conflict persists.”

On closer inspection, however, it is more accurate to say, that the Netanyahu video itself is a much better explanation of why the “conflict  persists.”

There is nothing like watching Netanyahu’s academy award performance, but you can read the words of his three-minute speech here. The Prime Minister begins: 

“I’ve just watched a video that shook me to the core of my being. In just a few seconds, it shows why our conflict persists. So here’s a short snippet:

Netanyahu then shows us a few seconds of video from an encounter at a demonstration in occupied Nil’in, followed by his explanation.

A Palestinian father holds up his 4-year-old son. He pleads with Israeli border police to kill his own child. He shouts, ‘Shoot this little boy!’ His boy.  He pushes his young son forward toward the soldiers and screams, ‘Kill him! Shoot him!’

The boy pauses. He is scared. Any child would be.

He turns back, looking at his father for guidance.

With his shirt tightly tucked into his bright red shorts, the boy ambles forward towards the soldiers. One of them extends his hand in friendship. The boy gives him a high-five. [Another snippet of video]

It’s hard to make a four-year-old hate.

Notice that in the first sentence Netanyahu says not one but two things that are are as far removed from reality as you can get.

1. Netanyahu states the video shook him “to the core of his being.” You have to be an idiot not to realize that Netanyahu was thrilled when seeing this video. In fact I predict it will not be the last time we see this image of the IDF soldier “extending his hand in friendship” and the Palestinian 4 year old boy responding with a “high five.”

Remember: Netanyahu didn’t just see the “snippet” of video he is showing everyone else. Netanyahu saw the whole video and others too. He knows the truth of the demonstration from which he took a snippet. He saw the journalists and lots of cameras behind the Palestinian father. And Netanyahu was well aware that Ayoub Sroor knew his son’s life was not in jeopardy, even from the trigger happy Israeli Defence Forces, with all the media around.

But Netanyahu just can’t help himself. He had to say the most preposterous lie about his reaction to the video, that it “shook him to his core.”

2. Netanyahu says that “In just a few seconds, it shows why our conflict persists.”

Really, is that what it does? Again think about what Netanyahu is saying. Netanyahu knows the truth that the 4 year old boy was quite safe from anyone shooting him when his father taunted the border police with “shoot him.” Netanyahu also knows that whatever was motivating Ayoub Sroor to shout  “shoot him” at the border police, the last thing he actually wanted to happen was anyone shooting his son. But still Netanyahu must push all bounds of chutzpah and human decency, and claim this man, who has been grievously injured by Israeli government policies, was trying to somehow get his son killed by calling out “shoot him,” (how exactly would that work?)  and that is why the Israeli Palestinian conflict persists.

Ayoub Sroor is the reason for the intractability of the hostilities between the two sides!

Even on its own terms what Netanyahu is attempting to do in this video is scandalous. He is taking the action of one man and saying Look at them. Look at the Palestinians.  THEY “encourage” people to murder their own children.  

And now look at us, Netanyahu says. 

Imagine your own child at that age. Think of his smile. Imagine her laugh. Picture the unrestrained joy and innocence that only a child possesses.

Encouraging someone to murder a child – let alone your own child – is probably the most inhumane thing a person can do.

This is not the first time Netanyahu is doing, his Look at YOUR own children routine, in English.

This type of dehumanization, in the English language, is done by only one man.

Pay attention to the way Netanyahu he holds our hands, as he talks us and walks us through, that 4-year-old’s “amble,” away from his disappointed father whose “pleading” for his son’s death went unanswered, into the extended arms of friendship of the occupation soldier.

This is Kafkaesque and macabre. How would any decent person take the side of Benjamin Netanyahu against  Ayoub Sroor?

For even if you believe God gave the land of Israel to the Jews, Ayoub Sroor was only minding his own business in the belief that his land, the land that had been his family’s forever, was indeed actually his and his family’s. And he still thought that– even after he was brought the news that the land he thought was his would be needed by Israel. Even the biggest supporter of Israel MUST recognize that that is Ayoub Sroor’s reality as he knows it.

Watch this video of Sroor and his children. This man was not bothering anybody when got a knock on the door with the bad news, that his land wasn’t his anymore.  Watch another  video: further interactions with people like the men who first knocked on his door. Look at the body language of these soldiers, look how they carry themselves. They have walked over many men tied up beneath them before. They look more like a drug cartel militia than a army. (They do not seem to think that Ayoub Sroor is a human being just like them.)

Netanyahu knows the whole miserable story of what the State of Israel has done to this poor man. Because when it comes to Netanyahu selling his alternative reality to the world, you can rest assured that while we get a “snippet” of a video explaining why the “conflict still persists,” Netanyahu knows a whole lot more than a “snippet” about the situation.

Again, that snippet:

He pushes his young son forward toward the soldiers and screams, ‘Kill him! Shoot him!’

The boy pauses. He is scared. Any child would be.

He turns back, looking at his father for guidance.

With his shirt tightly tucked into his bright red shorts, the boy ambles forward towards the soldiers. One of them extends his hand in friendship. The boy gives him a high-five.

It’s hard to make a four-year-old hate.

Every word of course chosen carefully by Netanyahu, and probably practiced, in front of a mirror more than a few times. This is his bread and butter. This can’t be left to an underling, or to Jeffrey Goldberg, to explain the Palestinian man trying to have his child killed, right down to the money shot, a “high five” of the child and the IDF soldier.

This is the poison Netanyahu needs to keep  spouting. It is what has kept him getting reelected: The dehumanization of the enemies of the Jewish people.

It is brilliant and effective. What Israeli  wants to think about what goes on “over there?” And Netanyahu tells them they don’t have to. He absolves his people of the responsibility that every parent knows to teach their child: the need to empathize with the other, with the person on the other side, with the person you’re fighting with.

But Netanyahu says that does not apply to Jews. Because our enemies are child killers, ISIS, Nazis. He tells the Israeli electorate, “Hate away.” 

I would give Mr Netanyahu a few questions to ponder if he could: What would a society look like if they believed the things you’re telling them about their enemies? How long will “the world”, who unlike you believes the Palestinians are human beings like the rest of us, continue to just look on as you talk the talk and walk the walk of the most dangerous demagogues in history?

While you view all the extrajudicial killings that goes on in your society as a healthy Zionist response to the Nazis of the Levant, the rest of the world is beginning to see a very different picture. They see a country in denial and willing to believe anything  to stay in denial. And they see the  products of your ideology all over the place. People who understand what they’re seeing in Israel must be  wondering what will happen in the (unlikely) event the Murdering medic of Hebron gets a harsh sentence for killing a Palestinian suspect lying incapacitated on the street. The Jewish Israeli response to that verdict might finally force some issues out into the open. If riots break out all over the country, Jeffrey Goldberg will be hardpressed to keep on repeating, “I refuse to write anything that make neo-Nazis happy.”

 Mr Netanyahu, do you have any idea how idealistic people around the world look at this video? They find it revolting. You don’t seem to realize, they see right through you. They see your “performance” here and elsewhere, and they know: whatever side that man is on, the other side must be the just one.


Yakov Hirsch

Yakov Hirsch is a professional poker player and a writer. His twitter handle is @Yakovhirsch and his articles are posted at

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34 Responses

  1. oldgeezer on August 11, 2016, 11:41 am

    And today Netanyahu claims to care more about Palesrinians than their own leaders. There is probably someone more vile than this cretin somewhere in this world but I have never heard of him. Pure evil.

    • Kay24 on August 11, 2016, 11:45 am

      Yes, pure evil. Unfortunately, America and its leadership pretends what he says is the gospel, and keeps pandering to him and his nation, sending billions in aid and weapons. He is also notorious for his lies, exaggerations, and false justifications for his own crimes against humanity.

      As long as zionism exists we will be controlled and lied to.

  2. Marnie on August 11, 2016, 12:16 pm

    This is one of the most vile men imaginable. Yes, I’m sure he practiced his little drama before a mirror if not a private audience. The use of English is just a ploy by this side show huckster to remind everyone who his target audience is. He knows what Ayoub Sroor meant by his actions and the chutzpah of this untermensch , to taunt a member of the IOF, has to be punished. Not with the usual bullet to the head but to make him appear an unfit parent. After all, no one loves children like the Israelis. I fear the next act in this soap opera of Netanyahoo’s is to take Ayoub Sroor’s children away from him, like the IOF has done so and for so long under the seemingly endless reign of King Netanyahoo, but 99.9% of the time the children are taken away from their parents in an ambulance, dead or dying. The soldier who high-five’d the child was acting – he was acting like he was a human being and saw the child as a human being.

    • a blah chick on August 11, 2016, 3:46 pm

      Think about it, this video “shook” him but not the one showing the dead babies in ice cream coolers in Gaza. The man is vile but he knows how to press those Zionist buttons.

    • Emory Riddle on August 12, 2016, 12:00 pm

      Vile? Sure.

      Atypical of the Israelis and their foreign agents/apologists?

      Not at all. There’s a reason Netanyahu and folks like him get consistently elected. Or brought into the American congress or onto American TV shows and treated like a hero.

  3. eljay on August 11, 2016, 12:44 pm

    King Bibi: … Encouraging someone to murder a child – let alone your own child – is probably the most inhumane thing a person can do. …

    1. There are far more inhumane things a person can do.

    2. I wonder how King Bibi feels about his god’s:
    – demand that Abraham murder his own child;
    – demand that the Jewish people annihilate every single Amalekite – children included; and
    – slaughter of all first-born Egyptian people and animals.

  4. amigo on August 11, 2016, 2:55 pm

    “. In fact I predict it will not be the last time we see this image of the IDF soldier “extending his hand in friendship” and the Palestinian 4 year old boy responding with a “high five.” –

    sure it wont.It will be added to all the other zionist propaganda pieces.

    1, The there no,s .

    2, There are no Palestinians.

    3, We have no partner in peace.

    4, The Arabs want to throw us into the sea.

    6, Israel was attacked by Arab armies .

    7, Jews made the desert Bloom.

    8, Israel has no nukes.

    9, Israel longs for peace.

    Yada , yada ,yada.

    Speaking of teaching children to hate!!!.

    I wonder what this would do to nietandyahu,s core of being.

    • a blah chick on August 11, 2016, 3:43 pm

      I’ve wonder where that little tow-headed gal is today. Probably manning drones and eating warm sushi.

    • xanadou on August 12, 2016, 2:35 pm

      So a tired, daily persecuted from the day he was born Palestinian, denied his basic human rights, from dignity and respect to basic utilities, this father loses his cool for a moment, and netanyahoo is shaken to the core of his being a zio flack.

      But this same netanyahoo is fine with little Israeli girls with pigtails tied with pink and white ribbons, whose mother(?) is close by, watching said little girls who had been brought to an Israeli military airfield that is getting ready to drop white phosphorus and record-breaking tonnage of TNT on defenceless Palestinian families. Judging by the presence of ammunition shells on the airfield, the latter is, likely, stuffed with aircraft in the state of readiness and being loaded with massive amounts of cartridges stuffed with deadly content and NO ONE – not the mother, not the airfield staff and officers, not even netanyahoo – No. One. is concerned that there is a possibility that those shells could explode.
      No, the Israeli salute to the Nazi-style PR stunt must go on. Mazeltov!

  5. DaveS on August 11, 2016, 5:01 pm

    When I watched this video a few days ago, I was so enraged that I considered anger management therapy. What a vile piece of shit. But Netanyahu’s “dehumanization” of Palestinians is only one of the more glaring examples of this process that is quite widespread. How often we hear that Israelis care more about Palestinian children than their own parents, that they willingly sacrifice their lives to make Israelis look bad. For the most part, it’s been a successful campaign.

    • Yakov Hirsch on August 11, 2016, 6:43 pm

      David Semel
      “For the most part, it’s been a successful campaign.”
      Too successful. No one seems to have given much thought to the result of the campaign on Israeli society itself.

      • Mooser on August 11, 2016, 7:02 pm

        . “No one seems to have given much thought to the result of the campaign on Israeli society itself.”

        “Yakov” that is unfair to the level of Israeli society. I think many people have thought long and hard about “the result of the campaign on Israeli society itself” and are working very hard and professionally to make it a success.
        And not, as you so uncharitably infer, by-guess-and-by-golly, either, but by using advanced techniques and knowledge of society.

  6. lonely rico on August 11, 2016, 8:50 pm

    Netanyahu oozes sleaze through every pore, and watching his nasty little video nearly made me lose my lunch. Unfortunately his creepy performance would seem to reflect the attitudes/mindset of a significant part of the population of his benighted country.
    It is nonetheless curious that the speech, in English, aimed primarily at an American audience, seems to have provoked no interest or comment in the NYT or the Washington Post ?

    • Marnie on August 12, 2016, 1:26 am

      Maybe because they don’t want to have to keep disabling their comments section?

      • echinococcus on August 12, 2016, 3:26 am

        Or because they feel it’s so damn fake it won’t fly, even in these here States, even with comments turned off.

  7. Shingo on August 12, 2016, 8:23 am

    Netenyhau is like some Mike Meyers Parody of a doctor evil. He’s like a really bad B grade actor who hams it up, but keeps getting the leading roles because of he’s rich uncle.

    He’s in such a protected bubble that he’s never confronted by anyone who is willing to call him
    on his bullshit. I have read accounts of how he’s been involved in screaming matches with US diplomats behind doors, but he’s clearly mastered the ability to switch off or dissociate himself from regality and has no shame.

    What a vile and decrepit piece of shit

  8. Shingo on August 12, 2016, 8:36 am

    What I find extraordinary about this video is that the IDF guy who was humane enough to hold out a hand to the boy, yet would likely it hesitate to shoot this boy or torture him were he tithe is a rock or help demolish his house and throw him out on the streets.

    Zionist thugs are masters of compartmentalizing their minds

  9. wondering jew on August 12, 2016, 9:03 am

    I agree that Bibi’s performance deserves to be mocked and skewered. The distance between Israel and the Palestinians vis a vis an agreement is difficult to determine at this time, partially because Bibi, who is in control for the foreseeable future, has no interest in an agreement. This lack of interest in an agreement seems to me to be impractical.

    if we consider the olmert proposals as point A and the Geneva “accord” of Beilin- Abed Rabbo as point B, there is not that much distance between point A and point B. Will Hamas, the newest player agree to Beilin-Rabbo?Unclear. So that’s the other aspect of the distance from here to an agreement. in fact point A is bibi, point B is olmert, point C is geneva “accord” and point D is Hamas. that is the distance that needs to be covered and so there is a reason beyond bibi’s stupidity or cruelty that this distance will not be easily covered soon.

    • Yakov Hirsch on August 12, 2016, 11:11 am

      Yonah, do you see how all the commentators are shocked and outraged as human beings by Netanyahu?
      And what are you doing what exactly? You have nothing to contribute that anyone here is interested in listening to. Do you know why Yonah? Because you were NOT shocked when you saw that video. Your brains first reaction to it was how to “spin,” it, distract from it, talk about something else, but certainly not outrage. Since everyone here knows that about you. This is the wrong forum for all that. All you will get is the contempt you deserve.

      • wondering jew on August 12, 2016, 11:37 am

        yakov, I’m sorry that you feel that everyone has to react the same way to what you write.

      • annie on August 12, 2016, 11:41 am

        how sorry yonah? do tell.

      • wondering jew on August 12, 2016, 12:21 pm

        annie- you’ve already informed us that you believe in only allowing the choir to participate in the comments’ section. yakov hirsch seems to belong to your church. on the street on east 14th street in manhattan, there were people who were capable of conversation and those who were only capable of hearing their own voices. i am sorry that yakov and you are incapable of conversation.

      • Mooser on August 12, 2016, 2:35 pm

        “All you will get is the contempt you deserve.”

        You know, if a person could conflate the contempt he purposely generates with actual persecution, why, he’d have an inexhaustible source of alienation, rage, and an excuse for just about anything, wouldn’t he? Wouldn’t he, “Yonah”?

      • Mooser on August 12, 2016, 2:53 pm

        “yakov hirsch seems to belong to your church.”

        Say what? “CHURCH”?
        And all this time I thought I was in a Jewish singles chat-room hosted by Congregation Beth-el-Mondoweiss!

        Well, as long as I’m here, I might as well light a candle and say a brioche for Our Lady of Perpetual Indulgence. As the Saucier’s Apprentice (who hoped to become a Chef Rabbi some day) said: “Lox Vobiscum.”

      • Yakov Hirsch on August 12, 2016, 10:35 pm

        “on the street on east 14th street in manhattan, there were people who were capable of conversation and those who were only capable of hearing their own voices”

        That was me. I used to go meditate on E. 14th st and 1st ave and I definitely heard my own voices

  10. catalan on August 12, 2016, 9:12 am

    Amazing article. This father is a wonderful human being and in fact reminds me a little of my father. Mr Hirsch is very observant.

    • Yakov Hirsch on August 12, 2016, 11:19 am

      Catalan, thank you.
      I wrote this for the people who screamed or felt like screaming when they saw that Netanyahu video. I screamed.

  11. Ossinev on August 12, 2016, 12:54 pm

    “He’s in such a protected bubble that he’s never confronted by anyone who is willing to call him on his bullshit”
    100% agree. Can`t recall ever seeing/being aware of an interview/debate where this loathsome creature has actually been challenged and exposed ( a la Norman Finklestein ) for what he is.

    I believe that he really started to go downhill at a rate of knots following the White House meeting in 2011 where he basically spoke to Obama as if he was a confused and naive schoolboy as opposed to the leader of the greatest superpower in the world. By way of comeback Obama said and did SFA so the Yahoo emerged thinking I can say and do no wrong when it comes to the special relationship and those special billions of dollars which these pathetic American goys keep giving.

    All this of course was heavily underpinned by his 2015 address to Congress when he basically stuck two fingers up to Obama. Again to date no identifiable slap in the face from Obama and the goy billions keep a coming.

    Of course one can always hope for a silver lining. Arrogant p….s like the Yahoo become convinced that they are untouchable and sooner or later will really overstep the mark and shaft themselves or be shafted by others (Ya`alon perhaps ).. Obama may still be quietly planning a payback before he leaves office (this latter looking increasingly unlikely ).

    If Trump is elected (again unlikely) but hypothetically if and if the Yahoo spoke to him /treated him like Obama then Donald being Donald would likely tell him effectively to f.. off back to his little country and find his own billions.

    As for Hillary if she is elected ? Yes she is currently bought and bent as an election funding requisite and has promised the Yahoo a priority snogfest if elected but after being elected ? I am not American and do not have a great knowledge of her personality traits but my distinct impression is that she likes to be the boss and for it to be clear to all and sundry that she is the boss and that she would not take kindly to being openly chided by a minor league self important moron like the Yahoo.

    • xanadou on August 12, 2016, 2:58 pm

      Ossinev, just for the record:

      The U.K.’s back of two fingers is equivalent in effect to the US back of middle finger salute.
      The Churchilian two fingers seen from the front/palm side of the hand is, of course, the V-for-victory salute.

  12. kev on August 12, 2016, 9:38 pm

    It has always seemed incredible to me how good the Israeli are at the art of propaganda judo… they whine all of the time about incitement and de-legitimization, yet they are masters at it, with dehumanization being just one aspect. Remember a few years back, with regard to the settlements, how it was all about “natural growth”? I don’t hear that one much anymore, certainly they haven’t allowed any “natural growth” to the Palestinians. But Israel controls and sets the message, and have been so successful at it that they believe that all that they have to do now is to control the message. Better messaging will solve all of their problems with international concerns about their treatment of Palestinians, and Israel won’t have to make any changes at all, just keep stealing land and building, “keep mowing the lawn” and managing the conflict, and no worries about actually reaching a peace agreement or providing rights to those under occupation or siege.

    Yes, the message can be powerful, but I don’t think that it is that powerful. And we have a counter-message: BDS.

  13. Ossinev on August 13, 2016, 7:57 am

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