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Netanyahu is silent for 3 days over neo-Nazi violence, while his son says Black Lives Matter and Antifa are the real threat

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After a man participating in a white nationalist protest over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia rammed his car into a crowd of demonstrators, killing a 32-year old woman, and hundreds more paraded through the streets chanting epithets against Jews and people of color, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stunned many by remaining silent for three days. When he finally made a statement responding to the fatal demonstration and overt displays of racism, he did so on social media on August 15, which appeared after a tweet celebrating India’s 70 years of independence.

On Tuesday Netanyahu posted:

The car attack killed Heather Heyer, 32, a paralegal from Charlottesville. Police arrested James Alex Fields, 20, of Ohio for the killing, which was partially recorded on video.Netanyahu’s delay in condemning a resurgence of public displays of Nazism, at an event that hosted David Duke, the former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and Richard Spencer, founder of the alt-right, was harshly criticized in Israel.

Bradley Burston wrote in an op-ed for Haaretz, “This is the message of Netanyahu’s silence regarding Charlottesville: I am not the prime minister of the Jewish people. I am the prime minister of all of the Jewish people who are right-wing, pro-settlement, anti-Palestinian, pro-Me.”

Burston cited the fact that Netanyahu had once labeled a Palestinian leader as a Nazi. In 2015 Netanyahu stated, “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews.” Netanyahu said that the idea of exterminating the Jews came from the Mufti of Jerusalem. “What should I do with them [the Jews]?” Hitler asked. “And the mufti replied: ‘Burn them,'” Netanyahu said. The remarks sparked outrage from Jewish organizations, and the government of Germany.

What’s more, many neo-Nazi and white nationalist leaders have praised Israel. In a 2016 interview with Richard Spencer, Haaretz explored the alt-right’s founders reverence for Israeli policy as a model for his vision of an “ethno-state” of whites in the U.S. “[I]f Sheldon Adelson would promote the same immigration policy in the United States that Israel has, I would think that is a good thing,” he said. In the same interview Haaretz pointed out that Spencer acknowledged the Holocaust and disavowed Nazism for his own brand of nationalism–“I think it’s clear that Jews underwent tremendous suffering during World War II. I don’t deny the Holocaust”–and he said he supported cutting U.S. aid to Israel.

Months later when Donald Trump issued a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Spencer wrote positively on his website for the alt-right of the president’s remarks that did not mention anti-Semitism or Jews. Spencer called this the “‘de-Judification’ of the Holocaust.”

Other officials in Israel did issue explicit and more timely condemnations of the attack.

Naftali Bennett on Monday implored Donald Trump to “condemn and denounce the displays of anti-Semitism seen over the past few days.” On Tuesday after Trump said violence in Charlottesville was blame on “both sides,” and defended white nationalists for protesting the removal of Confederate statues and insisted there were “good people” among the crowds who chanted “Jews will not replace us,” the leader of the opposition Zionist Union Tzipi Livni chided:

Yet not all figures in Israel who released statements on the protests were disparaging to white nationalists and their apologists alone.

On Tuesday Netanyahu’s son Yair posted on Facebook that the true threat visible last weekend was the anti-racist protesters, specifically labeling the Black Lives Matter movement and Antifa, militant anti-fascists:

“To put things in perspective. I’m a Jew, I’m an Israeli, the neo nazis scums in Virginia hate me and my country. But they belong to the past. Their breed is dying out. However the thugs of Antifa and BLM who hate my country (and America too in my view) just as much are getting stronger and stronger and becoming super dominant in American universities and public life.”

The younger Netanyahu is currently being sued in a libel case for postings on the Facebook page of the Israeli think-tank Molad earlier this month. He called Molad “The Fund for the Destruction of Israel, funded by Soros and the European Union, is threatening me in the style of the Sicilian mafia. Actually, the term Bolsheviks suits them better.” 

In another translation of the same post, Yair is quoted as labeling the group the “Fund for the Extermination of Israel.” The comments were made during a public exchange of insults with the son of another Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, who is gay and has a Palestinian partner. Yair insinuated the relationship harmed Israel’s security and said the couple is among “the members of the Fund for the Extermination of Israel and their metastases.”

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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12 Responses

  1. MalcolmLeftly
    MalcolmLeftly on August 17, 2017, 1:53 pm

    When Netanyahu spoke in opposition to the President of the United States while addressing Congress it set several things in motion. One, was a false sense of confidence that the taking of political sides in the US will not have consequences. This was a big mistake.

    • kensington
      kensington on August 21, 2017, 3:42 pm

      Spot on! Delicious irony that President Obama was Bibi’s ‘enemy’ for his insistence to stop building settlements. Reports are Trump agrees with Obama, but won’t say so in public. So Bibi got screwed by The Donald. Moral: You make a deal with an anti-Semite, you deserve to get burned.

  2. Emet
    Emet on August 18, 2017, 5:16 am

    The truth Allison, if you are at all interested in it, is that the hate groups from both the Left and the Right go after Jews. This is the way of the simple man, who looks for simple answers to his problems. So instead of blaming himself for his own self-inflicted issues, he blames the Jews. The Palestinians do the same, by the way.

    • annie
      annie on August 18, 2017, 6:51 am

      “the way of the simple man, who looks for simple answers to his problems..instead of blaming himself for his own self-inflicted issues” concludes “hate groups from both the Left and the Right go after Jews.”

      but life/reality is not always as simple as the way of the simple man.

    • Emory Riddle
      Emory Riddle on August 18, 2017, 8:46 am

      Any evidence of this? Examples?

    • RoHa
      RoHa on August 18, 2017, 9:52 am

      Of course, there are some people who blame anti-Semites for their self-inflicted issues.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 18, 2017, 10:57 am

      ” blames the Jews…”

      Our survival as a people is a miracle! Everybody has it in for us, but we showed ’em!

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on August 18, 2017, 12:00 pm

      Re: Sabra and Shatila massacres.

      Just broadcast and well worth listening to.
      Canada’s CBC Radio, Wednesday August 16, 2017

      Linden MacIntyre revisits his journalism career for new novel

      Linden MacIntyre’s novels often explore the violence and cruelty that people inflict on others and how being a victim or witness to that violence can change someone profoundly and affect the people they love.

      A journalist for 38 years, working at CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning and CBC TV’s flagship current affairs shows The Journal and the fifth estate before retiring in 2014, MacIntyre’s latest book, The Only Café, revolves around an incident he covered for the CBC — the massacre of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in September 1982. It tells the story of a son who tries to solve the mystery of the death of his father, a Lebanese refugee and successful lawyer.

  3. Kay24
    Kay24 on August 18, 2017, 6:58 am

    The silence coming from the zionists, and their lobbies and affiliations in the US, was deafening.
    Where are the voices of their lobbies that are pushing for BDS to be banned claiming it is anti-semitic? The KKK and nazi groups here are their worst enemies, and yet no voices of protest, or condemnation, from Jewish groups and lobbies, that usually are eager to silence any kind of criticism of Israel, or those who show sympathy for the Palestinians. The same goes for Netanyahu, who should be offended that the nation that enables them, have citizens that openly attack them by chanting slogans against them. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    • annie
      annie on August 18, 2017, 7:09 am

      Where are the voices of their [zionist] lobbies

      the lobbyists (aipac etc) speak publicly through adl and congress members. hence, the publicized criticism of trump via lindsey graham (&cohorts) and others follow — what options do they have? this entire racist fiasco has been a (predictable) train reck of massive proportions.

  4. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb on August 18, 2017, 10:35 am

    Chip of the old block.

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