The Times of Israel, a leading Israeli newspaper, today published an article entitled: When Genocide is Permissable – in the context of the nation’s bombardment of Gaza which has killed 1,400 Palestinians, more than 80% of which are civilian and one third children.
Here is an excerpt from the piece:
…it’s now obvious that the US and the UN are completely out of touch with the nature of this foe and are therefore not qualified to dictate or enforce the rules of this war—because when it comes to terror there is much more than meets the eye.
I wasn’t aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems — and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate — that today’s wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live…
News anchors such as those from CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera have not missed an opportunity to point out the majority of innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of this war. But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian…
I will conclude with a question for all the humanitarians out there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?
After a wave of uproar from the international social media community, the post was taken down.
But this piece comes among a litany of calls from within Israel, supporting the deliberate slaying of Palestinians civilians on the basis that – as banners going up across Jerusalem neighborhoods state: “There are no innocents in Gaza.”
This dehumanisation of Palestinians is reaching epidemic proportions within Israeli society, from top to bottom.
Israel’s Deputy Speaker Moshe Feiglin recently called for the total ‘elimination’ of Gaza, while ruling Likud Party lawmaker Ayalet Shaked called for the murder of Palestinian mothers and their children.
Meanwhile, social media is ablaze with such rhetoric.
A Facebook page has been set up this week called “Standing With the IDF”, where women are encouraged to post revealing images of themselves covered in pro-IDF graffiti.
A Facebook page titled “The People of Israel Demand Vengeance!” set up in the wake of the murder of three Israeli teens is the same bizarre mix of sex and incitement. Teens post sun-drenched selfies, no different to so many others filling instagram…except for the fact they are holding placards calling for ‘Death to All Arabs’, or the one below, which reads: Hating Arabs is Not Racism, It’s Moral Values’.
And on the same page, this reaction to the kidnap and murder of teenage Palestinian Mohammed Khadir, in a so-called ‘revenge’ attack that saw the boy forced to drink petrol and burned alive.
All the seeds of the incitement of the past few years, all the nationalistic, racist legislation and the incendiary propaganda, the scare campaigns and the subversion of democracy by the right-wing camp – all these have borne fruit, and that fruit is rank and rotten. The nationalist right has now sunk to a new level, with almost the whole country following in its wake. The word “fascism,” which I try to use as little as possible, finally has its deserved place in the Israeli political discourse.
This observer is Israeli. This observer is Gideon Levy, writer and editorial board member of Haaretz newspaper, whose Grandparents fled to Israel in the 30′s as Nazi Germany annexed Czechoslovakia. A man who dare not use the word fascism lightly, uses it now – despite receiving threats of death and violence from his fellow citizens for so doing.
Gideon is joined by those 56 Israeli reservists who refused call up as a protest against the assault on Gaza, by the five thousand that attended the anti-war protest this week in Tel Aviv, by the likes of former IDF pilot Yonatan Shapiro who continue to speak out against Israel’s illegal occupation and war crimes.
But with 86% of Israelis opposing a ceasefire that would bring the massacre in Gaza to an end, it is only this brave minority of Israelis who stand apart from the fascist crowd.