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For The Record  

FTR#‘s 1316 & 1317 Fireside Rant about the Gaza War and Israeli Palestinian Conflict Parts 1 and 2

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FTR#1316 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

FTR#1317 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: Mr. Emory has long found dis­cus­sion of the Israeli-Pales­tin­ian con­flict deeply frus­trat­ing. Attacked by par­ti­sans from both sides, he deliv­ers an inci­sive analy­sis of some key points.

This will be the last two pro­grams in which he deals with this issue.

Key Points of Analy­sis and Dis­cus­sion Include: A link to a pro­gram record­ed in 1983, dis­cussing fas­cist-Zion­ist con­nec­tions; Dis­cus­sion of a Gehlen-Dulles mis­sion to staff the Egypt­ian intel­li­gence ser­vice with Nazi war crim­i­nals, includ­ing Adolf Eich­mann; Dis­cus­sion of “Bor­mann Jews;” Read­ing of the Hamas Char­ter, which is undi­lut­ed Nazi ide­ol­o­gy; A break­down of Netanyahu’s con­nec­tions to the milieu of the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion; Dis­cus­sion of the con­cen­tra­tion of eco­nom­ic pow­er in Israel; Dis­cus­sion of Shel­don Adel­son’s bankrolling of the Israeli right-wing; Dis­cus­sion of Adel­son’s Macau casi­no busi­ness as the ori­gin of his mon­ey; Dis­cus­sion of Macau as an inter­na­tion­al gold laun­der­ing cen­ter; Dis­cus­sion of Por­tuguese fas­cism (Macau was a Por­tuguese colony until the late 1990s); Dis­cus­sion of short-sell­ing in the Israeli stock mar­ket in the run-up to the Octo­ber 7 attacks; Dis­cus­sion of the Likud par­ty’s send­ing of an emis­sary to the nation­al con­gress of Gian­fran­co Fini’s Ital­ian fas­cist par­ty; Review of the Grand Mufi’s rank of Major Gen­er­al in the Waf­fen SS and his role as the first leader of the Pales­tin­ian nation­al move­ment.

1a. http://emory.kfjc.org/archive/misc/m_30b.mp3

1b. One pos­si­ble rea­son for the CIA’s reluc­tance to dis­close Eichmann’s where­abouts is the fact that Eich­mann worked for the CIA as a “con­tract agent” in Egypt! (A con­tract agent is an oper­a­tive who signs on to per­form an indi­vid­ual assign­ment for the CIA—as opposed to a career employ­ee or CIA “offi­cer.”) Eich­mann was one of a num­ber of SS war crim­i­nals who worked to devel­op the Egypt­ian secret ser­vice and gen­er­al staff on a mis­sion that was launched under the aus­pices of Gen­er­al Rein­hard Gehlen and his CIA boss, Allen Dulles. In charge of intel­li­gence for the East­ern Front dur­ing World War II, Gehlen jumped to the CIA with his entire orga­ni­za­tion, which became the CIA’s depart­ment of Russ­ian and East­ern Euro­pean affairs, the de fac­to NATO intel­li­gence orga­ni­za­tion and, ulti­mate­ly the BND—the intel­li­gence ser­vice for the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many. The Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion retained all of its Nazi char­ac­ter, uti­liz­ing many of the most noto­ri­ous SS offi­cers and war crim­i­nals. The Gehlen/Dulles oper­a­tion that employed Eich­mann was real­ized under the aus­pices of SS colonel Otto Sko­rzeny. Sko­rzeny had been in charge of com­man­do oper­a­tions for the Third Reich, was one of Hitler’s per­son­al favorites and was a leader of the post­war ODESSA network—the dead­ly SS under­ground that oper­at­ed around the world. For more about Sko­rzeny, ODESSA, Gehlen and oth­er ele­ments of dis­cus­sion, use the search func­tion avail­able on this web­site. Note how Sko­rzeny, oper­at­ing under the aus­pices of CIA and Gehlen, was able to pro­mote a Nazi and fas­cist agen­da in Egypt! As we shall see below, the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion was a Tro­jan Horse for the Under­ground Reich.

. . . If there were any doubts that Skorzeny’s alle­giance to the Unit­ed States was of an oppor­tunist nature and tem­po­rary, they were dis­pelled by his actions in Egypt and the Mideast. Even his deep hatred of the Sovi­ets was for­got­ten when it inter­fered with his per­son­al ambi­tions. Egypt pre­sent­ed Sko­rzeny the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pro­mote fas­cism; to estab­lish a Nazi clique whose influ­ence would be felt by the West Ger­man gov­ern­ment to restore Ger­man pres­tige in the Mideast, and to become a wealthy man. He didn’t allow the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pass . . .


Sko­rzeny: Hitler’s Com­man­do; by Glenn Infield; St. Martin’s Press [HC]; Copy­right 1981 by Glenn B. Infield; ISBN; 0–312-72777–1; p. 205.

1c. A CIA-sup­port­ed coup in Egypt oust­ed King Farouk and replaced him with Gen­er­al Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nass­er. The lat­ter even­tu­al­ly became Egypt’s head of state. Dulles want­ed to retain U.S. influ­ence in Egypt and turned to Gehlen to recruit per­son­nel suit­able for the job. Gehlen turned to Sko­rzeny and his father in law Hjal­mar Horace Gree­ley Schacht, the Amer­i­can-born for­mer finance min­is­ter of Ger­many. 

. . . The CIA, under the influ­ence of Allen Dulles, select­ed Egypt­ian army Gen­er­al Mohammed Naguib to head the gov­ern­ment. . . . The takeover of the coun­try by Naguib, with Nass­er play­ing the role of a shad­owy dic­ta­tor in the back­ground, opened the door wide for the three silent con­spir­a­tors of Hitler’s regime: Gehlen, Schacht, and Sko­rzeny. As Gehlen stat­ed in his mem­oirs: ‘We found Arab coun­tries par­tic­u­lar­ly will­ing to embrace Ger­mans with an osten­si­bly ‘Nazi’ past.’ And Naguib was quick to ask for help. Since his revolt had the back­ing of the CIA and he was aware that Gehlen was col­lab­o­rat­ing with the U.S. intel­li­gence agency, his request for some­one to train his secu­ri­ty forces went to Pul­lach, Gehlen’s head­quar­ters south of Munich. Gehlen and Schacht were in com­plete agree­ment that the man for the job was Otto Sko­rzeny. Dulles, aware of Skorzeny’s anti-Sovi­et role dur­ing the imme­di­ate post­war years when the West­ern nations des­per­ate­ly need­ed help, con­curred. Sko­rzeny went to Egypt as Naguib’s mil­i­tary advi­sor. It was a deci­sion the Unit­ed States would regret in lat­er years.

Ibid.; pp. 205–206.

1d. Again, note that the Gehlen/Skorzeny/Schacht milieu was able to pur­sue an essen­tial­ly Nazi agen­da under the aus­pices of CIA/Dulles. As will be seen below, many U.S. offi­cials were unaware of the Sko­rzeny mis­sion, and report­ed on devel­op­ments in Egypt with great alarm.

There was, of course, anoth­er rea­son for­mer Nazis were quick to accept the Egypt­ian invi­ta­tion. It once again pit­ted them against the Jews and the new­ly estab­lished Israeli nation. As the Jud­is­che Rund­schau stat­ed in 1951: ‘As for Skorzeny’s anti-Semit­ic and fas­cist propen­si­ties, this is undoubt­ed­ly true. Sko­rzeny read­i­ly admits his strong anti-Semi­tism.’ Gehlen, too, had reser­va­tions about the rela­tion­ship between the new West Ger­man gov­ern­ment and Israel. ‘I have always regard­ed it as some­thing of a tragedy that West Ger­many was inevitably dragged into an alliance with the state of Israel against the Arab coun­tries,’ he stat­ed in his mem­oirs. ‘I always regard­ed their [Arabs] tra­di­tion­al friend­ship for Ger­many as of immense val­ue for our nation­al recon­struc­tion. And at the request of Allen Dulles and the CIA, we at Pul­lach did our best to inject life and exper­tise into the Egypt­ian secret ser­vice, sup­ply­ing them with the for­mer SS offi­cers I have men­tioned.’

(Ibid.; p. 207.)

1e. The per­son­nel with whom Skorzeny’s Nazis worked were open­ly admir­ing of the Third Reich.

. . . . If there was any doubt that Naguib was pro-Ger­man, his pub­lic state­ments cleared up the mis­un­der­stand­ing. ‘I want you to believe me when I say that I have not changed the great admi­ra­tion I have for the Ger­mans. Their effi­cien­cy, their extra­or­di­nary gifts as sci­en­tists and tech­ni­cians, and their loy­al­ty are quite unique. I have been notic­ing all these qual­i­ties in recent times, watch­ing the work of the Ger­man offi­cers and experts in my army.’ Dr. Nored­dine Tar­raf, one of Naguib’s most impor­tant sup­port­ers and lat­er Min­is­ter of Health, was even more explic­it when speak­ing of the Ger­mans, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Nazis. ‘Hitler is the man of my life. The Ger­man dic­ta­tor had been an ide­al leader who ded­i­cat­ed his life to the real­iza­tion of his noble ambi­tion. He nev­er lived for him­self but for Ger­many and the Ger­man peo­ple. I have always wished to live like him.’

Idem.

1f. 

. . . . Sko­rzeny felt at ease among Egypt­ian offi­cials with this atti­tude. His first task was to orga­nize a staff of for­mer SS and Wehrma­cht offi­cers to train the Egypt­ian army and secu­ri­ty forces. He select­ed care­ful­ly, mak­ing cer­tain that each offi­cer he brought to Egypt was a diehard Nazi, an expert mil­i­tary tac­ti­cian, and was anti-Semit­ic. Among those recruit­ed by Sko­rzeny were SS Gen­er­al Oskar Dirlewanger, who had com­mand­ed a brigade com­posed of poach­ers, crim­i­nals, and men under the sen­tence of court-mar­tial dur­ing the War­saw ghet­to upris­ing and whose actions against the Jews had earned him the nick­name ‘Butch­er of War saw’; SS Colonel Adolf Eich­mann, the offi­cer Himm­ler charged with the destruc­tion of mil­lions of Jews and who lat­er would be kid­napped from Argenti­na by the Israeli secret ser­vice and smug­gled back to Israel to stand tri­al [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s]; SS Gen­er­al Wil­helm Farm­bach­er; Panz­er Gen­er­al Oskar Mun­zel; Leopold Gleim, for­mer chief of Hitler’s per­son­al guard and Gestapo secu­ri­ty chief of Ger­man-occu­pied Poland; and Joachim Daem­ling, for­mer chief of the Gestapo in Dus­sel­dorf. To han­dle med­ical prob­lems, Sko­rzzeny recruit­ed Dr. Hans Eise­le, who had been chief med­ical offi­cer at Buchen­wald con­cen­tra­tion camp, and Hein­rich Willer­man, for­mer med­ical direc­tor at Dachau. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 207–208.

1g.  The para­graphs that fol­low are of great sig­nif­i­cance. Indica­tive of the mul­ti-polar tex­ture of the U.S. polit­i­cal and nation­al secu­ri­ty bureau­cra­cies, many Amer­i­can oper­a­tives report­ed with great alarm on the Nazi recrude­s­cence in Egypt. They were unaware of the CIA/Dulles/Gehlen/Skorzeny col­lab­o­ra­tion.

. . . . U.S. offi­cials, many of them unaware that Allen Dulles had encour­aged Gehlen to pro­vide Naguib with Ger­man mil­i­tary advis­ers, became wor­ried when so many infa­mous Nazi offi­cers appeared in Egypt. Even Dulles became con­cerned when it was report­ed to him that Sko­rzeny was meet­ing often with Gamal Abdel Nass­er, the Egypt­ian army lieu­tenant colonel who seemed to be giv­ing more orders than Naguib. A secret let­ter, Embassy Dis­patch 2276, from Jef­fer­son Caf­fery of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to the Depart­ment of State in Wash­ing­ton, indi­cates that inquiries con­cern­ing Skorzeny’s activ­i­ties in Egypt were being con­duct­ed. ‘On June 14, the local press announced that Otto Sko­rzeny had an hour’s inter­view with Gamal Abdel Nass­er on June 12. Aside from recall­ing that he was in charge of the spe­cial com­man­do unit which kid­napped Mus­soli­ni and point­ing out his expe­ri­ence in the train­ing of com­man­dos, the press gave no fur­ther details. The Coun­sel of the Ger­man Embassy states that he and his col­leagues had no pre­vi­ous infor­ma­tion con­cern­ing the vis­it. They are try­ing now through con­tacts among the Ger­man Mil­i­tary Mis­sion to find out what Sko­rzeny is up to. The Ger­man Coun­selor remarked that it was dif­fi­cult to keep track of this indi­vid­ual because he resides in Spain, but the Ger­man Embassy knew that when he was here the last time, four or five months ago, he talked to the Egyp­tians about the sup­ply­ing of small arms and the train­ing of the com­man­dos. On the gen­er­al sub­ject of the activ­i­ties of Ger­man offi­cers in Egypt, the Ger­man Coun­selor said that a for­eign office offi­cial came to Egypt recent­ly to inves­ti­gate them fol­low­ing Sir Win­ston Churchill’s speech in which he men­tioned their activ­i­ties. . . .’

Ibid.; pp. 208–209.

1f.  Note that the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, under Kon­rad Ade­nauer and his emi­nence grise Hans Globke (see para­graph 4), active­ly pro­tect­ed the Sko­rzeny oper­a­tion. And Eich­mann was used as part of the Sko­rzeny oper­a­tion! It is fas­ci­nat­ing to note that the first Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist unites were formed under the tute­lage of Sko­rzeny!

 . . . . This secret dis­patch and oth­ers that fol­lowed from Egypt indi­cate that U.S. offi­cials and even CIA agents were woe­ful­ly unaware of what the Nazis were real­ly doing in Egypt. The Ade­nauer gov­ern­ment was well aware of Skorzeny’s pres­ence in Egypt and con­doned his actions on behalf of the new Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many. The pre­tend­ed ‘igno­rance’ of the Ger­man Coun­selor was mere­ly a face-sav­ing move and an effort to deceive the U.S. Embassy. . . . Sko­rzeny was already train­ing an Arab for­eign legion in com­man­do tac­tics. This secret unit was com­prised of 400 for­mer Nazis and Gestapo vet­er­ans and used a train­ing base at Bil­beis in the Delta. He also helped orga­nize and train the first Pales­tine ter­ror­ists and planned their ini­tial for­ays into Israel by way of the Gaza Strip about 1953–1954. . . . [Empha­sis added.]

Ibid.; p. 209.

2. Bor­man­n’s busi­ness oper­a­tions have includ­ed Jew­ish par­tic­i­pants as a mat­ter of strate­gic intent. In turn, this has giv­en the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion con­sid­er­able influ­ence in Israel.

. . . . Since the found­ing of Israel, the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many had paid out 85.3 bil­lion marks, by the end of 1977, to sur­vivors of the Holo­caust. East Ger­many ignores any such lia­bil­i­ty. From South Amer­i­ca, where pay­ment must be made with sub­tle­ty, the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion has made a sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tion. It has drawn many of the bright­est Jew­ish busi­ness­men into a par­tic­i­pa­to­ry role in the devel­op­ment of many of its cor­po­ra­tions, and many of these Jews share their pros­per­i­ty most gen­er­ous­ly with Israel. If their pro­pos­als are sound, they are even pro­vid­ed with a spe­cial­ly dis­pensed ven­ture cap­i­tal fund. I spoke with one Jew­ish busi­ness­man in Hart­ford, Con­necti­cut. He had arrived there quite unknown sev­er­al years before our con­ver­sa­tion, but with Bor­mann mon­ey as his lever­age. Today he is more than a mil­lion­aire, a qui­et leader in the com­mu­ni­ty with a cer­tain share of his prof­its ear­marked, as always, for his ven­ture cap­i­tal bene­fac­tors. This has tak­en place in many oth­er instances across Amer­i­ca and demon­strates how Bor­man­n’s peo­ple oper­ate in the con­tem­po­rary com­mer­cial world, in con­trast to the fan­ci­ful non­sense with which Nazis are described in so much ‘lit­er­a­ture.’ So much empha­sis is placed on select Jew­ish par­tic­i­pa­tion in Bor­mann com­pa­nies that when Adolf Eich­mann was seized and tak­en to Tel Aviv to stand tri­al, it pro­duced a shock wave in the Jew­ish and Ger­man com­mu­ni­ties of Buenos Aires. Jew­ish lead­ers informed the Israeli author­i­ties in no uncer­tain terms that this must nev­er hap­pen again because a rep­e­ti­tion would per­ma­nent­ly rup­ture rela­tions with the Ger­mans of Latin Amer­i­ca, as well as with the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion, and cut off the flow of Jew­ish mon­ey to Israel. It nev­er hap­pened again, and the pur­suit of Bor­mann qui­et­ed down at the request of these Jew­ish lead­ers. He is resid­ing in an Argen­tine safe haven, pro­tect­ed by the most effi­cient Ger­man infra­struc­ture in his­to­ry as well as by all those whose pros­per­i­ty depends on his well-being. Per­son­al invi­ta­tion is the only way to reach him. . . .

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 226–227.

3. The pro­gram relates an inci­dent in which orga­nized crime king­pin Mey­er Lan­sky tried to black­mail the Bor­mann group, which result­ed in his removal from Israel.

. . . . A reveal­ing insight into this inter­na­tion­al finan­cial and indus­tri­al net­work was giv­en me by a mem­ber of the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion resid­ing in West Ger­many. Mey­er Lan­sky, he said, the finan­cial advi­sor to the Las Vegas—Miami under­world sent a mes­sage to Bor­mann through my West Ger­man SS con­tact. Lan­sky promised that if he received a piece of Bor­man­n’s action he would keep the Israeli agents off Bor­man­n’s back. ‘I have a very good rela­tion with the Israeli secret police’ was his claim, although he was to be kicked out of Israel when his pres­ence became too noted—and also at the urg­ing of Bor­man­n’s secu­ri­ty chief in South Amer­i­ca. At the time Lan­sky was in the pent­house suite of Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, in which he owned stock. He had fled to Israel to evade a U.S. fed­er­al war­rant for his arrest. He sent his mes­sage to Bor­mann through his bag man in Switzer­land, John Pull­man, also want­ed in the Unit­ed States on a fed­er­al war­rant. Lan­sky told Pull­man to make this offer ‘which he can’t refuse.’ The offer was for­ward­ed to Buenos Aires, where it was greet­ed with laugh­ter. When the laugh­ter died down, it was replaced with action. Mey­er was evict­ed from Israel and was told by Swiss author­i­ties to stay out of their coun­try, so he flew to South Amer­i­ca. There he offered any pres­i­dent who would give him asy­lum a cool $1 mil­lion in cash. He was turned down every­where and had to con­tin­ue his flight to Mia­mi, where U.S. mar­shals, alert­ed, were wait­ing to take him into cus­tody. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 227–228.

4. Next, the pro­gram presents the read­ing of long text excerpts con­tained in this post.

5. Then again, this should come as no sur­prise. Exam­ine the Hamas char­ter. The doc­u­men­t’s text has very lit­tle at all to do with Islam and is, for all intents and pur­pos­es, undi­lut­ed Nazi ide­ol­o­gy.

For our strug­gle against the Jews is extreme­ly wide-rang­ing and grave, so much so that it will need all the loy­al efforts we can wield, to be fol­lowed by fur­ther steps and rein­forced by suc­ces­sive bat­tal­ions from the mul­ti­far­i­ous Arab and Islam­ic world, until the ene­mies are defeat­ed and Allah’s vic­to­ry pre­vails. …The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Mus­lims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Mus­lim! there is a Jew hid­ing behind me, come on and kill him!

The ene­mies have been schem­ing for a long time, and they have con­sol­i­dat­ed their schemes, in order to achieve what they have achieved. They took advan­tage of key ele­ments in unfold­ing events, and accu­mu­lat­ed a huge and influ­en­tial mate­r­i­al wealth which they put to the ser­vice of imple­ment ing their dream. This wealth [per­mitted them to] take over con­trol of the world media such as news agen­cies, the press, pub­li­ca­tion hous­es, broad­cast­ing and the like. [They also used this] wealth to stir rev­o­lu­tions in var­i­ous parts of the globe in order to ful­fill their inter­ests and pick the fruits. They stood behind the French and the Com­mu­nist Rev­o­lu­tions and behind most of the rev­o­lu­tions we hear about here and there.

They also used the mon­ey to estab­lish clan­des­tine orga­ni­za­tions which are spread­ing around the world, in order to destroy soci­eties and car­ry out Zion­ist inter­ests. Such orga­ni­za­tions are: the Freema­sons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith and the like. All of them are destruc­tive spy­ing orga­ni­za­tions. They also used the mon­ey to take over con­trol of the Impe­ria ist states and made them col­o­nize many coun­tries in order to exploit the wealth of those coun­tries and spread their corrup­tion there­in. As regards local and world wars, it has come to pass and no one objects, that they stood behind World War I, so as to wipe out the Islam­ic Caliphate. They col­lect­ed mate­r­i­al gains and took con­trol of many sources of wealth. They obtained the Bal­four Dec­la­ra­tion and estab­lished the League of Nations in order to rule the world by means of that orga­ni­za­tion. They also stood behind World War II, where they col­lect­ed immense ben­e­fits from trad­ing with war mate­ri­als and pre­pared for the estab­lish­ment of their state. They inspired the estab­lish ment of the Unit­ed Nations and the Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their inter­me­di­ary. There was no war that broke out any where with out their fin­ger prints on it…

Their scheme has been laid out in the Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion, and their present [con­duct] is the best proof of what is said there… With­in the cir­cle of the con­flict with world Zion­ism, the Hamas regards itself the spear head and the avant-garde. It joins its efforts to all those who are active on the Pales­tin­ian scene, but more steps need to be tak­en by the Arab and Islam­ic peo­ples and Islam­ic asso­ci­a­tions through out the Arab and Islam­ic world in order to make pos­si­ble the next round with the Jews, the mer­chants of war.

“The Hamas, MI5, BBC Axis” by Melanie Philips; 6/19/2007.

7. “Right Before Hamas Attacked Some­one Short­ed Israeli Stocks And Funds;” Moon of Alaba­ma; 12/04/23 

The Israeli Haaretz head­lines:

Did Hamas Make Bil­lions Bet­ting Against Israeli Shares Before Octo­ber 7 Mas­sacre?
Giant gam­bles against Israel on the mar­kets in Tel Aviv and Wall Street days before Hamas’ attack made bil­lions. Some­body seems to have known about the plan in advance

An archived ver­sion is now avail­able.

We know that Bat­teridge’s law of head­lines says:

Any head­line that ends in a ques­tion mark can be answered by the word no.

It was there­by not Hamas which prof­it­ed from unusu­al short posi­tions but like­ly some­one else.

The Haaretz sto­ry is based on a very recent study by two law pro­fes­sors with expe­ri­ence in mar­ket reg­u­la­tions from New York Uni­ver­si­ty and Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty.

A PDF file of the study, Trad­ing on Ter­ror?, is avail­able at the Haaretz site.

Its abstract says:

Recent schol­ar­ship shows that informed traders increas­ing­ly dis­guise trades in eco­nom­i­cal­ly linked secu­ri­ties such as exchange-trad­ed funds (ETFs). Link­ing that work to long­stand­ing lit­er­a­ture on finan­cial mar­kets’ reac­tions to mil­i­tary con­flict, we doc­u­ment a sig­nif­i­cant spike in short sell­ing in the prin­ci­pal Israeli-com­pa­ny ETF days before the Octo­ber 7 Hamas attack. The short sell­ing that day far exceed­ed the short sell­ing that occurred dur­ing numer­ous oth­er peri­ods of cri­sis, includ­ing the reces­sion fol­low­ing the finan­cial cri­sis, the 2014 Israel-Gaza war, and the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic.

Sim­i­lar­ly, we iden­ti­fy increas­es in short sell­ing before the attack in dozens of Israeli com­pa­nies trad­ed in Tel Aviv. For one Israeli com­pa­ny alone, 4.43 mil­lion new shares sold short over the Sep­tem­ber 14 to Octo­ber 5 peri­od yield­ed prof­its (or approx­i­mates avoid­ed loss­es) of 3.2 bil­lion NIS on that addi­tion­al short sell­ing. Although we see no aggre­gate increase in short­ing of Israeli com­pa­nies on U.S. exchanges, we do iden­ti­fy a sharp and unusu­al increase, just before the attacks, in trad­ing in risky short-dat­ed options on these com­pa­nies expir­ing just after the attacks.

We iden­ti­fy sim­i­lar pat­terns in the Israeli ETF at times when it was report­ed that Hamas was plan­ning to exe­cute a sim­i­lar attack as in Octo­ber. Our find­ings sug­gest that traders informed about the com­ing attacks prof­it­ed from these trag­ic events, and con­sis­tent with pri­or lit­er­a­ture we show that trad­ing of this kind occurs in gaps in U.S. and inter­na­tion­al enforce­ment of legal pro­hi­bi­tions on informed trad­ing. We con­tribute to the grow­ing lit­er­a­ture on trad­ing relat­ed to geopo­lit­i­cal events and offer sug­ges­tions for pol­i­cy­mak­ers con­cerned about prof­itable trad­ing on the basis of infor­ma­tion about com­ing mil­i­tary con­flict.

3.2 bil­lion New Israeli Shekel are about $800+ mil­lion. And, as I under­stand it, those only were the prof­its from a small part of the whole oper­a­tion.

I am not qual­i­fied suf­fi­cient­ly to judge the study but the quot­ed sources and data seem rea­son­able.

EIS is an exchange-trad­ed fund that tracks Israeli shares in New York. The spike in shorts vol­ume of EIS was indeed hefty.

The short options were only for a very lim­it­ed peri­od. At least some would have expired on Octo­ber 13.

So it def­i­nite­ly looks as if on Mon­day, Octo­ber 2, some­one was sure enough on that soon some­thing ‘bad’ would hap­pen to Israel. That some­one had enough mar­ket knowl­edge and mon­ey to take the risk of a false alarm in exchange for a huge poten­tial prof­it.

Who that per­son or group was is for any­one to guess.

8. “Israelis Aban­don Polit­i­cal Left Over Secu­ri­ty Con­cerns After Octo­ber 7” by Sheera Frenkel; The New York Times; 12/19/2023.

9. “Israel Found the Hamas Mon­ey Machine Years Ago. Nobody Turned It Off” by Jo Beck­er and Justin Scheck; The New York Times; 12/16/2023.

. . . . That mon­ey, Amer­i­can and Israeli offi­cials now say, helped Hamas build up its mil­i­tary infra­struc­ture and helped lay the ground­work for the Oct. 7 attacks. . . .

Discussion

4 comments for “FTR#‘s 1316 & 1317 Fireside Rant about the Gaza War and Israeli Palestinian Conflict Parts 1 and 2”

  1. 80 per­cent of famine cur­rent­ly being expe­ri­enced around the globe is tak­ing place in Gaza. That’s the chill­ing sta­tis­tic recent­ly shared by Arif Husain, chief econ­o­mist for the UN World Food Pro­gram, who described the hunger being expe­ri­enced by Gazans as unprece­dent­ed in its sever­i­ty. It’s a cat­a­stro­phe. And also, seem­ing­ly, part of the plan of Israel’s far right gov­ern­ment. At least that’s what we can rea­son­ably con­clude based on the dis­turb­ing state­ments recent­ly made by Israeli Finance Min­is­ter Beza­lel Smotrich, who explained in an inter­view how the only long-term hope for Gazan is to per­ma­nent­ly reduce the pop­u­la­tion of 2 mil­lion peo­ple down to about 100,000–200,000. Through ‘vol­un­tary’ per­ma­nent relo­ca­tion to neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. “Let’s think out of the box,” as Smotrich put it.

    As we’re going to see, while the Israeli gov­ern­ment insists that the star­va­tion tak­ing place is due to a com­bi­na­tion of Hamas’s theft of aid sup­plies and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty not deliv­er­ing enough aid in the first place, Philippe Laz­zari­ni, the head of the Unit­ed Nations agency that aids Pales­tini­ans, calls that “base­less mis­in­for­ma­tion” and points to the enor­mous logis­ti­cal hur­dles imposed by Israel on the deliv­ery of that aid. Beyond that, Israeli offi­cials actu­al­ly warned that they were going to be block­ing aid from enter­ing Gaza as the war was unfold­ing, with Defense Min­is­ter Yoav Gal­lant stat­ing on Octo­ber 9, “I have ordered a com­plete siege on the Gaza Strip: There will be no elec­tric­i­ty, no food, no fuel, every­thing is closed...We are fight­ing human ani­mals, and we are act­ing accord­ing­ly.” And while Israel has, in recent weeks, allowed for 100 to 120 trucks to enter a day, that’s just a frac­tion of the esti­mate 500 trucks that are need­ed.

    So with star­va­tion grow­ing in Gaza, it appears that the Netanyahu gov­ern­ment has adopt­ed a strat­e­gy of using hunger to encour­age the ‘vol­un­tary’ mass relo­ca­tion of the Gazan pop­u­lace. Which is the kind of plan, at best, will result in the war crime of mass eth­nic cleans­ing. But keep in mind that if it does­n’t work, the end result is still going to be the mass depop­u­la­tion of Gaza in the form of dead starved Gazans. And this can only go on for so long before that phys­i­o­log­i­cal break­ing point is reached across that pop­u­la­tion of 2 mil­lion peo­ple. We’re enter­ing the third month of this war. That’s three months of intense star­va­tion already, with no real end in sight. And as Finance Min­is­ter Smotrich made obvi­ous, the worse that human­i­tar­i­an cri­sis gets the more we’re going to be hear­ing about the need for a mass ‘vol­un­tary’ relo­ca­tion plan:

    The Jerusalem

    Smotrich: Day after is dif­fer­ent with only 200,000 Arabs in Gaza

    “What needs to be done in the Gaza Strip is to encour­age emi­gra­tion,” Smotrich told Army Radio.

    By TOVAH LAZAROFF
    DECEMBER 31, 2023 18:52
    Updat­ed: JANUARY 1, 2024 13:50

    The best option for Gaza would be for the Pales­tini­ans to vol­un­tar­i­ly immi­grate to oth­er coun­tries, leav­ing only a small Arab minor­i­ty that sup­ports Israel, Finance Min­is­ter Beza­lel Smotrich told Army Radio on Sunday.“If in Gaza there will be 100,000 or 200,000 Arabs and not 2 mil­lion the entire con­ver­sa­tion on ‘the day after’ will look dif­fer­ent,” he said.

    “Let’s think out of the box,” urged Smotrich who heads the Reli­gious Zion­ist Par­ty. He is among those who believe it’s imper­a­tive to recon­struct Israel set­tle­ments in Gaza as the best way to ensure that ter­ror groups such as Hamas do not return to that enclave to threat­en Israel.

    Gaza can’t con­tin­ue to be a “hot­house” in which 2 mil­lion peo­ple are nur­tured by hatred of Israel and fed with the idea of destroy­ing it, he said.

    “This is what has been hap­pen­ing in Gaza for 75 years,” he said.

    Smotrich has made sim­i­lar com­ments in the past

    What needs to hap­pen is emi­gra­tion through an inter­na­tion­al plan, by which the res­i­dents of Gaza would be vol­un­tar­i­ly relo­cat­ed, Smotrich said.

    “They [Pales­tini­ans] want to go. They have been forcibly held against their will in a ghet­to for 75 years” in pover­ty and told that the only res­o­lu­tion to the sit­u­a­tion is to destroy Israel and return to Haifa and Tiberias, Smotrich said.

    “I think that we have to solve the prob­lem of Gaza and to reha­bil­i­tate its res­i­dents” in oth­er coun­tries, Smotrich said.

    ...

    Israel had with­drawn from Gaza in 2005, destroy­ing 21 Jew­ish set­tle­ments there, and hand­ing the area over to the Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty. Hamas forcibly seized con­trol of the enclave in 2007 in a bloody coup, forc­ing the depar­ture of the Pales­tin­ian Authority’s Fatah par­ty.

    The Unit­ed States and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty want to see a return of the PA to Gaza and have reject­ed any plans to relo­cate Pales­tin­ian res­i­dents. The PA, Egypt, and Jor­dan have issued sim­i­lar con­dem­na­tions.

    In a speech on Sun­day, Pales­tin­ian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Abbas said, “We will not allow dis­place­ment, whether from the Gaza Strip or the West Bank.”

    Smotrich pushed back stat­ing that in the after­math of the Hamas-led Octo­ber 7 mas­sacre against South­ern Israel, in which over 1,200 peo­ple were killed and some 250 were tak­en hostage, the only way to ensure Israeli secu­ri­ty was vol­un­tary relo­ca­tion of many of the Pales­tini­ans in Gaza.

    Once the war is over and Hamas has been destroyed, set­tle­ments must be rebuilt, he explained.

    “We have to con­trol the ter­ri­to­ry and to con­trol the ter­ri­to­ry there must be a civil­ian pres­ence there,” he said.

    ...

    ————–

    “Smotrich: Day after is dif­fer­ent with only 200,000 Arabs in Gaza” By TOVAH LAZAROFF; The Jerusalem; 12/31/2023

    ““Let’s think out of the box,” urged Smotrich who heads the Reli­gious Zion­ist Par­ty. He is among those who believe it’s imper­a­tive to recon­struct Israel set­tle­ments in Gaza as the best way to ensure that ter­ror groups such as Hamas do not return to that enclave to threat­en Israel.”

    ‘Think­ing out of the box’. That’s how Finance Min­is­ter Beza­lel Smotrich, of the far right Reli­gious Zion­ist Par­ty, spun his plan for the per­ma­nent eth­nic cleans­ing of 90 per­cent of Gaza. But that was­n’t his only spin. Smotrich kept empha­siz­ing how this need­ed to be a “vol­un­tary” process. As if there was any­thing vol­un­tary about the deci­sions civil­ians make in a war zone:

    ...
    Gaza can’t con­tin­ue to be a “hot­house” in which 2 mil­lion peo­ple are nur­tured by hatred of Israel and fed with the idea of destroy­ing it, he said.

    “This is what has been hap­pen­ing in Gaza for 75 years,” he said.

    ...

    What needs to hap­pen is emi­gra­tion through an inter­na­tion­al plan, by which the res­i­dents of Gaza would be vol­un­tar­i­ly relo­cat­ed, Smotrich said.

    “They [Pales­tini­ans] want to go. They have been forcibly held against their will in a ghet­to for 75 years” in pover­ty and told that the only res­o­lu­tion to the sit­u­a­tion is to destroy Israel and return to Haifa and Tiberias, Smotrich said.

    “I think that we have to solve the prob­lem of Gaza and to reha­bil­i­tate its res­i­dents” in oth­er coun­tries, Smotrich said.
    ...

    So get a bet­ter sense of how the Netanyahu gov­ern­ment is like­ly going to impose this ‘vol­un­tary’ man­date on the Gazan pop­u­la­tion to just per­ma­nent­ly leave, here’s a reminder that the Gazan pop­u­la­tion is cur­rent­ly expe­ri­enc­ing the worst star­va­tion in the world today, with half of Gazans already at risk of star­va­tion. Half may not be the 90 per­cent fig­ure Smotrich is shoot­ing for, but it’s progress. It’s also a war crime and one with no end in sight:

    The New York Times

    Half of Gazans Are at Risk of Starv­ing, U.N. Warns

    More than 90 per­cent of Pales­tini­ans in the ter­ri­to­ry say they have reg­u­lar­ly gone with­out food for a whole day, accord­ing to the Unit­ed Nations.

    By Liam Stack, Gaya Gup­ta and Abu Bakr Bashir
    Jan. 1, 2024

    Walaa Zaiter’s four chil­dren have been hun­gry for weeks, but she can bare­ly find them food.

    They ask for sand­wich­es, fruit juice and home­made Pales­tin­ian dish­es like she used to cook before the war began. In a fleet­ing moment of inter­net access, she said, she once caught the chil­dren hud­dled around her phone to watch a YouTube video of some­one eat­ing French fries.

    The most they can hope for these days, she said in a recent tele­phone inter­view, is a can of peas, some cheese and an ener­gy bar dis­trib­uted as a family’s rations by the Unit­ed Nations once a week in Rafah, a city in south­ern Gaza where they fled to in ear­ly Decem­ber to escape Israeli bom­bard­ment far­ther north. It is not near­ly enough to feed her fam­i­ly of sev­en.

    ...

    Israel’s war in Gaza has cre­at­ed a human­i­tar­i­an cat­a­stro­phe, with half of the pop­u­la­tion of about 2.2 mil­lion at risk of star­va­tion and 90 per­cent say­ing that they reg­u­lar­ly go with­out food for a whole day, the Unit­ed Nations said in a recent report.

    Arif Husain, chief econ­o­mist at the World Food Pro­gram, said the human­i­tar­i­an dis­as­ter in Gaza was among the worst he had ever seen. The ter­ri­to­ry appears to meet at least the first cri­te­ria of a famine, with 20 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion fac­ing an extreme lack of food, he said.

    “I’ve been doing this for about 20 years,” Mr. Husain said. “I’ve been to pret­ty much any con­flict, whether Yemen, whether it was South Sudan, north­east Nige­ria, Ethiopia, you name it. And I have nev­er seen any­thing like this, both in terms of its scale, its mag­ni­tude, but also at the pace that this has unfold­ed.”

    Eylon Levy, an Israeli gov­ern­ment spokesman, con­tend­ed that Israel did not stand in the way of human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance and blamed Hamas, the Pales­tin­ian group that rules Gaza, for any short­ages. He accused Hamas of seiz­ing some of the aid for its own uses. He did not pro­vide evi­dence, but West­ern and Arab offi­cials have said that Hamas is known to have a large stock­pile of sup­plies, includ­ing food, fuel and med­i­cine.

    ...

    More than 20,000 Pales­tini­ans have been killed in the war, accord­ing to the Gaza Health Min­istry, and it has destroyed much of the territory’s civil­ian infra­struc­ture and econ­o­my. Israel has also imposed a siege on Gaza for months now, cut­ting off most water, food, fuel and med­i­cine.

    Philippe Laz­zari­ni, the head of the Unit­ed Nations agency that aids Pales­tini­ans, said he recent­ly saw des­per­ate­ly hun­gry Gazans stop the organization’s aid trucks in Rafah, raid their food sup­plies and devour them on the spot.

    “I wit­nessed this first­hand,” he told a news con­fer­ence in Gene­va two days after vis­it­ing Rafah at the south­ern end of Gaza. “Every­where you go, peo­ple are hun­gry, des­per­ate and ter­ri­fied.”

    Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of col­lec­tive­ly pun­ish­ing Gaza civil­ians for the actions of Hamas and of “using star­va­tion of civil­ians as a method of war­fare.” Both are poten­tial war crimes.

    “For over two months, Israel has been depriv­ing Gaza’s pop­u­la­tion of food and water, a pol­i­cy spurred on or endorsed by high-rank­ing Israeli offi­cials and reflect­ing an intent to starve civil­ians as a method of war­fare,” said Omar Shakir, the Israel and Pales­tine direc­tor at Human Rights Watch.

    “World lead­ers should be speak­ing out against this abhor­rent war crime, which has dev­as­tat­ing effects on Gaza’s pop­u­la­tion,” he said.

    At the begin­ning of the war, Israeli offi­cials vowed to deny human­i­tar­i­an aid to Gaza.

    “I have ordered a com­plete siege on the Gaza Strip: There will be no elec­tric­i­ty, no food, no fuel, every­thing is closed,” Defense Min­is­ter Yoav Gal­lant said on Oct. 9. “We are fight­ing human ani­mals, and we are act­ing accord­ing­ly.”

    Noth­ing was allowed in for the first two weeks. Then some deliv­er­ies began to flow, but no fuel was allowed in until Nov. 18.

    In recent weeks, Israel has allowed 100 to 120 trucks to enter Gaza each day, said Dr. Guillemette Thomas, a Jerusalem-based med­ical coor­di­na­tor for Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders. That is still far less than the 500 trucks that entered each day before the war, and far below what is need­ed, she said.

    Mr. Levy, the gov­ern­ment spokesman, pushed back recent­ly against the idea that Israel was pre­vent­ing or slow­ing the flow of aid.

    “We cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly reject the despi­ca­ble and libelous alle­ga­tions that Israel is some­how obstruct­ing the deliv­ery of human­i­tar­i­an aid into Gaza,” he said on Dec. 20.

    “If they want more food and water to reach Gaza, they should send more food and water to Gaza,” he added, refer­ring to inter­na­tion­al aid groups. “And while they’re send­ing more aid, they should con­demn Hamas for hijack­ing aid deliv­er­ies and divert­ing them to its fight­ers. Their silence is shame­ful. We will not accept inter­na­tion­al offi­cials deflect­ing blame onto us to cov­er up the fact they’re cov­er­ing up for Hamas.”

    But Mr. Laz­zari­ni said on Fri­day that it was “base­less mis­in­for­ma­tion” to blame the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty for the lack of aid into Gaza. He said deliv­er­ies were “lim­it­ed in quan­ti­ties and rid­dled with logis­ti­cal hur­dles” imposed by Israel.

    Those include a com­pli­cat­ed and lengthy ver­i­fi­ca­tion process, a ban on the deliv­ery of com­mer­cial goods to mar­kets and pri­vate busi­ness­es, and restrict­ed access to much of Gaza, either because of airstrikes, fight­ing or Israeli mil­i­tary check­points.

    Gaza spi­raled so quick­ly into human­i­tar­i­an cat­a­stro­phe when the war began because it had already been deep in cri­sis for many years.

    Israel and Egypt imposed a block­ade on the ter­ri­to­ry after Hamas seized pow­er in 2007, large­ly cut­ting off Gaza’s eco­nom­ic activ­i­ty with the out­side world. The block­ade made up to 80 per­cent of Gazans reliant on human­i­tar­i­an aid even before the war, the Unit­ed Nations said.

    Azmi Keshawi, an ana­lyst for the research orga­ni­za­tion Inter­na­tion­al Cri­sis Group, said that even if Israel says it does not view its war as one against Gaza’s pop­u­la­tion, it is civil­ians who are pay­ing the heav­i­est price.

    “Our dai­ly night­mare is to go hunt for food,” said Mr. Keshawi, who fled his home in Gaza City in the north and now lives in a tent on a side­walk in Rafah with his chil­dren. One of his chil­dren was injured by an Israeli airstrike, he said.

    “You can­not find flour,” he said. “You can­not find yeast to make bread. You can­not find any kind of food — toma­toes, onions, cucum­bers, egg­plant, lemon, orange juice.”

    When food can be found for sale, he said, the prices have sky­rock­et­ed. In Rafah, a sack of flour that might have cost $13 before the war now sells for $138 to $165.

    Thou­sands of dis­placed peo­ple who fled to Rafah, one of the few so-called safe zones in Gaza today, now strug­gle to pay for a can of tuna, which once cost less than 30 cents and is now more than $1.50, or a can of corned beef, which once cost about $1.40 but now is more than $5.50, he said.

    “These peo­ple left home with no mon­ey,” Mr. Keshawi said. “Sur­viv­ing becomes a chal­lenge.”

    Tahrir Muqat, 46, said she had fled her home in Gaza City and now lived with four rel­a­tives, includ­ing a baby, in a school in Mag­hazi refugee camp in cen­tral Gaza. There is vir­tu­al­ly no reg­u­lar run­ning water, and on the rare occa­sions when it does turn on, peo­ple stock­pile it in the toi­let bowl and drink from that, she said.

    She waits in line for hours each day to get two packs of feta cheese and three crack­ers from aid work­ers at a shel­ter. Then she and her rel­a­tives go from door to door, beg­ging for scraps at ruined hous­es crammed with dis­placed peo­ple.

    “Most of the time we get a ‘No!’ with insult­ing com­ments like ‘Go back to Gaza City! Every­thing has become too expen­sive since you arrived!’” Ms. Muqat said.

    She said she had once seen chil­dren eat­ing rot­ten toma­toes that they had found in the street.

    ...

    ———–

    “Half of Gazans Are at Risk of Starv­ing, U.N. Warns” by Liam Stack, Gaya Gup­ta and Abu Bakr Bashir; The New York Times; 01/01/2024

    “Arif Husain, chief econ­o­mist at the World Food Pro­gram, said the human­i­tar­i­an dis­as­ter in Gaza was among the worst he had ever seen. The ter­ri­to­ry appears to meet at least the first cri­te­ria of a famine, with 20 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion fac­ing an extreme lack of food, he said.”

    With half of Gazans already at risk of star­va­tion, we should­n’t be sur­prised to learn that 1 in 5 are already starv­ing. With that num­ber grow­ing by the day. 90 per­cent of Gazans now report reg­u­lar­ly going a whole day with­out food. Is this the ‘out of the box’ per­sua­sion Smotrich was refer­ring to? Because it’s hard not to notice how mass star­va­tion is accom­plish­ing his stat­ed goal. Gazans are inevitably going to be forced to ‘vol­un­tar­i­ly’ leave giv­en the alter­na­tive of sim­ply starv­ing to death:

    ...
    Israel’s war in Gaza has cre­at­ed a human­i­tar­i­an cat­a­stro­phe, with half of the pop­u­la­tion of about 2.2 mil­lion at risk of star­va­tion and 90 per­cent say­ing that they reg­u­lar­ly go with­out food for a whole day, the Unit­ed Nations said in a recent report.

    ...

    “I’ve been doing this for about 20 years,” Mr. Husain said. “I’ve been to pret­ty much any con­flict, whether Yemen, whether it was South Sudan, north­east Nige­ria, Ethiopia, you name it. And I have nev­er seen any­thing like this, both in terms of its scale, its mag­ni­tude, but also at the pace that this has unfold­ed.”

    ...

    More than 20,000 Pales­tini­ans have been killed in the war, accord­ing to the Gaza Health Min­istry, and it has destroyed much of the territory’s civil­ian infra­struc­ture and econ­o­my. Israel has also imposed a siege on Gaza for months now, cut­ting off most water, food, fuel and med­i­cine.

    ...

    At the begin­ning of the war, Israeli offi­cials vowed to deny human­i­tar­i­an aid to Gaza.

    “I have ordered a com­plete siege on the Gaza Strip: There will be no elec­tric­i­ty, no food, no fuel, every­thing is closed,” Defense Min­is­ter Yoav Gal­lant said on Oct. 9. “We are fight­ing human ani­mals, and we are act­ing accord­ing­ly.”

    Noth­ing was allowed in for the first two weeks. Then some deliv­er­ies began to flow, but no fuel was allowed in until Nov. 18.

    In recent weeks, Israel has allowed 100 to 120 trucks to enter Gaza each day, said Dr. Guillemette Thomas, a Jerusalem-based med­ical coor­di­na­tor for Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders. That is still far less than the 500 trucks that entered each day before the war, and far below what is need­ed, she said.
    ...

    The Israeli gov­ern­ment dis­miss­es crit­i­cism that Israel’s actions are cre­at­ing these con­di­tions and insist­ing that it’s both Hamas steal­ing aid and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty not send­ing enough:

    ...
    Eylon Levy, an Israeli gov­ern­ment spokesman, con­tend­ed that Israel did not stand in the way of human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance and blamed Hamas, the Pales­tin­ian group that rules Gaza, for any short­ages. He accused Hamas of seiz­ing some of the aid for its own uses. He did not pro­vide evi­dence, but West­ern and Arab offi­cials have said that Hamas is known to have a large stock­pile of sup­plies, includ­ing food, fuel and med­i­cine.

    ...

    Mr. Levy, the gov­ern­ment spokesman, pushed back recent­ly against the idea that Israel was pre­vent­ing or slow­ing the flow of aid.

    “We cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly reject the despi­ca­ble and libelous alle­ga­tions that Israel is some­how obstruct­ing the deliv­ery of human­i­tar­i­an aid into Gaza,” he said on Dec. 20.

    “If they want more food and water to reach Gaza, they should send more food and water to Gaza,” he added, refer­ring to inter­na­tion­al aid groups. “And while they’re send­ing more aid, they should con­demn Hamas for hijack­ing aid deliv­er­ies and divert­ing them to its fight­ers. Their silence is shame­ful. We will not accept inter­na­tion­al offi­cials deflect­ing blame onto us to cov­er up the fact they’re cov­er­ing up for Hamas.”
    ...

    But Philippe Laz­zari­ni, the head of the Unit­ed Nations agency that aids Pales­tini­ans calls those Israeli claims of inad­e­quate inter­na­tion­al sup­port as “base­less mis­in­for­ma­tion” that obscures the enor­mous logis­ti­cal hur­dles being imposed by Israel on the deliv­ery of that aid. The Israeli gov­ern­ment spokesman was trolling the world in the face of this unfold­ing cat­a­stro­phe:

    ...
    Philippe Laz­zari­ni, the head of the Unit­ed Nations agency that aids Pales­tini­ans, said he recent­ly saw des­per­ate­ly hun­gry Gazans stop the organization’s aid trucks in Rafah, raid their food sup­plies and devour them on the spot.

    “I wit­nessed this first­hand,” he told a news con­fer­ence in Gene­va two days after vis­it­ing Rafah at the south­ern end of Gaza. “Every­where you go, peo­ple are hun­gry, des­per­ate and ter­ri­fied.”

    Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of col­lec­tive­ly pun­ish­ing Gaza civil­ians for the actions of Hamas and of “using star­va­tion of civil­ians as a method of war­fare.” Both are poten­tial war crimes.

    “For over two months, Israel has been depriv­ing Gaza’s pop­u­la­tion of food and water, a pol­i­cy spurred on or endorsed by high-rank­ing Israeli offi­cials and reflect­ing an intent to starve civil­ians as a method of war­fare,” said Omar Shakir, the Israel and Pales­tine direc­tor at Human Rights Watch.

    “World lead­ers should be speak­ing out against this abhor­rent war crime, which has dev­as­tat­ing effects on Gaza’s pop­u­la­tion,” he said.

    ...

    But Mr. Laz­zari­ni said on Fri­day that it was “base­less mis­in­for­ma­tion” to blame the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty for the lack of aid into Gaza. He said deliv­er­ies were “lim­it­ed in quan­ti­ties and rid­dled with logis­ti­cal hur­dles” imposed by Israel.

    Those include a com­pli­cat­ed and lengthy ver­i­fi­ca­tion process, a ban on the deliv­ery of com­mer­cial goods to mar­kets and pri­vate busi­ness­es, and restrict­ed access to much of Gaza, either because of airstrikes, fight­ing or Israeli mil­i­tary check­points.
    ...

    And don’t for­get that it’s not just the lack of food. There’s no reg­u­lar run­ning water either. And as bad as star­va­tion is, dehy­dra­tion will kill you soon­er:

    ...
    Tahrir Muqat, 46, said she had fled her home in Gaza City and now lived with four rel­a­tives, includ­ing a baby, in a school in Mag­hazi refugee camp in cen­tral Gaza. There is vir­tu­al­ly no reg­u­lar run­ning water, and on the rare occa­sions when it does turn on, peo­ple stock­pile it in the toi­let bowl and drink from that, she said.

    She waits in line for hours each day to get two packs of feta cheese and three crack­ers from aid work­ers at a shel­ter. Then she and her rel­a­tives go from door to door, beg­ging for scraps at ruined hous­es crammed with dis­placed peo­ple.

    “Most of the time we get a ‘No!’ with insult­ing com­ments like ‘Go back to Gaza City! Every­thing has become too expen­sive since you arrived!’” Ms. Muqat said.

    She said she had once seen chil­dren eat­ing rot­ten toma­toes that they had found in the street.
    ...

    And then there’s all the dis­ease that comes with both no food and bad water. If the Gazans don’t flee, they are going to die. Those are the con­di­tions that have been cre­at­ed on the ground. Con­di­tions seem­ing­ly designed to encour­age as much ‘vol­un­tary’ emi­gra­tion as pos­si­ble. The sit­u­a­tion is dis­turbing­ly going accord­ing to the plan Smotrich seemed to be hint­ing at. The only ingre­di­ent that’s still need­ed is a place for them to flee to, with none of Israel’s neigh­bors yet will­ing to take in mil­lions of now starv­ing Gazans. Will the deep­en­ing of this human­i­tar­i­an cri­sis change those stances or solid­i­fy them? Time will tell, but not too much more time. Peo­ple need to eat. We’re either going to see a surge in aid deliv­er­ies. A surge in peo­ple flee­ing to oth­er coun­tries. Or a surge in death. Or maybe all of the above.

    But no mat­ter what hap­pens in the short run, it appears Israel is plan­ning on a depop­u­lat­ed Gaza in the long-run. Which is going to be a long-term war crime that’s only going to fes­ter for decades to come and erode what’s left of Israel’s inter­na­tion­al sup­port. It’s often point­ed out that, while you can mil­i­tar­i­ly defeat Hamas, you can’t mil­i­tar­i­ly defeat the idea of Hamas. And, while true, it’s also worth keep­ing in mind that the eth­nic cleans­ing of Gaza and oth­er war crimes envi­sioned by the cur­rent Israeli gov­ern­ment do actu­al­ly rep­re­sent a great way to defeat the idea of Israel. Or at least the idea of a non-fas­cist Israel that any non-fas­cist gov­ern­ment would want to sup­port.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 3, 2024, 5:38 pm
  2. It’s not real­ly a sur­prise, but it was treat­ed as such: Ben­jamin Netany­hu has been pub­licly rul­ing out any sort of “two-state solu­tion” for Pales­tine, much to the cha­grin of the Biden admin­is­tra­tion. And while it’s not hard to imag­ine that this has only increased the Biden admin­is­tra­tion’s desire to see Netanyahu replaced as soon as pos­si­ble, it’s worth not­ing that oppo­si­tion to a two-state solu­tion is no longer just what Netanyahu and his sup­port­ers back. Israeli, as a whole, has grown far more con­ser­v­a­tive since the Octo­ber 7 attack, with a grow­ing con­sen­sus that a much hard­er line needs to be tak­en with respect to the Pales­tini­ans which now includ­ed wide­spread oppo­si­tion to any sort of two-state solu­tion. It’s just part of what appears to be a pro­found social trans­for­ma­tion that’s tak­en place inside Israel, with the Israeli left see­ing its sup­port basi­cal­ly col­lapse.

    And this is all hap­pen­ing at the same time Netanyahu’s polls con­tin­ue to drop and more and more Israelis lose faith in his abil­i­ty to faith­ful­ly pros­e­cute this war. It’s the grim real­i­ty fac­ing any sort of prospects of a long-term peace deal emerg­ing from this: the Israelis by and large aren’t inter­est­ed in long-term peace deals at this point. Long-term peace­ful solu­tions have been tak­en off the table.

    But there’s anoth­er angle to this sto­ry that could end up being increas­ing­ly impor­tant over the long run: the Israeli left was increas­ing­ly giv­ing up on Israeli and con­sid­er­ing mov­ing abroad well before the Octo­ber 7 attacks. Netanyahu’s gov­ern­ment of extrem­ists and his push to defang the judi­cia­ry was the final straw for a grow­ing num­ber of Israelis, with large num­ber of doc­tors, aca­d­e­mics, and tech work­ers start­ing to look into mov­ing abroad. As ex-Mossad chief Tamir Par­do put it, “If we lose high tech, if we lose the doc­tors, if we lose the aca­d­e­mics, the coun­try won’t be here,” he said, while clar­i­fy­ing that Israel may end up look­ing like a cen­tral African coun­try “that’s stuck in the ’60s of the last cen­tu­ry.” Par­do went on to char­ac­ter­ize the new gov­ern­ment of extrem­ists as “worse than the KKK” in their racism and big­otry.

    That’s all part of the grim con­text of pub­lic spar­ring between Netanyahu and the Biden White House in recent days over a two state solu­tion. The real­i­ty is a grow­ing por­tion of Israeli has no inter­est in a two state solu­tion. And the part of Israeli soci­ety that is inter­est­ed is shrink­ing and pos­si­bly going to be giv­ing up and leav­ing the coun­try entire­ly in com­ing years as this dark trend plays out.

    Ok, first, here’s a NY Times excerpt from just over a month ago about the pro­found shifts in the Israeli psy­che. Shifts all in one direc­tion, towards a hyper-con­ser­v­a­tive state and mil­i­ta­rized solu­tions:

    The New York Times

    Israelis Aban­don Polit­i­cal Left Over Secu­ri­ty Con­cerns After Oct. 7

    Dis­en­chant­ed by the prospect for peace after a dev­as­tat­ing ter­ror­ist attack, Israelis are becom­ing more con­ser­v­a­tive in their pol­i­tics.

    By Sheera Frenkel
    Report­ing from Tel Aviv
    Dec. 19, 2023

    Maya Mizrachi gri­maced at the group of eight Israelis call­ing for peace with Pales­tini­ans in front of Israel’s mil­i­tary head­quar­ters this month in Tel Aviv.

    A year ago, Ms. Mizrachi, 25, had protest­ed along­side them, car­ry­ing a sign that called for Israel to end its mil­i­tary occu­pa­tion of the West Bank. Now, she had bumped into them by acci­dent, on her way home from a near­by ral­ly call­ing for the return of Israeli cit­i­zens held hostage in the Gaza Strip.

    “I don’t think there are more than eight peo­ple in all of Israel who would protest against the army right now,” said Ms. Mizrachi, who is a stu­dent. “I can’t even bring myself to do it.”

    She is one of a grow­ing num­ber of Israeli cit­i­zens eschew­ing the pol­i­tics of the left — ideas that include pro­mot­ing peace talks with the Pales­tini­ans, end­ing Israel’s occu­pa­tion of the West Bank and sup­port­ing a two-state solu­tion — since Oct. 7, when Hamas gun­men crossed into Israel in a sur­prise attack and killed rough­ly 1,200 peo­ple.

    In the well­spring of sad­ness, anger and fear that has gripped Israel since that day, a con­sen­sus has emerged that Israel needs to take a hard­er line with the Pales­tini­ans and embrace an even more mil­i­ta­rized state. And while pub­lic opin­ion of Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu is fal­ter­ing, sup­port for the poli­cies upheld by his right-wing gov­ern­ment is grow­ing.

    If the left has lost main­stream sup­port, Israel’s peace camp has been dri­ven vir­tu­al­ly under­ground. Activist groups say many mem­bers have aban­doned the cause, and those who remain com­mit­ted have strug­gled to find pub­lic places will­ing to accom­mo­date anti­war protests.

    ...

    Accord­ing to polls con­duct­ed in the two months since Oct. 7, Israelis have moved decid­ed­ly to the right on a num­ber of polit­i­cal issues, includ­ing sup­port for set­tlers in the West Bank, endorse­ments for far-right politi­cians, and even the re-estab­lish­ment of a mil­i­tary occu­pa­tion of Gaza.

    “The trau­ma of what hap­pened on Oct. 7 shift­ed Israeli soci­ety. It made them ques­tion the most basic tenets of whether they were safe in their homes,” said Tal Schnei­der, a polit­i­cal colum­nist for The Times of Israel. “They are call­ing now for more — more mil­i­tary, more pro­tec­tion, more hard-line poli­cies.”

    Left-wing par­ties in Israel have seen a steady decline over the past 20 years. In Israel’s last elec­tion cycle, the cen­ter-left Labor Par­ty won only four seats in the Knes­set, Israel’s Par­lia­ment, a sig­nif­i­cant decrease from the 19 seats it held in 2015. The Meretz Par­ty, one of the few left-wing Israeli par­ties to have held a seat in the past decade, failed to get enough votes to qual­i­fy in the last elec­tion.

    Last week, the head of the Labor Par­ty, Mer­av Michaeli, announced that she was step­ping down amid crit­i­cism that she was respon­si­ble for the party’s poor poll num­bers.

    “Nobody in this coun­try wants to talk about peace right now,” Ms. Schnei­der said. “Being a left­ist has become a dirty word,” she said, adding that while social­ly pro­gres­sive caus­es, like gov­ern­ment-backed wel­fare, remain pop­u­lar in Israel, they are increas­ing­ly divorced from Israel’s left-wing move­ments. “Many Israelis want more gov­ern­ment wel­fare pro­grams, but a con­ser­v­a­tive polit­i­cal lead­er­ship.”

    Polls con­duct­ed in Israel since Oct. 7 show the extent of the polit­i­cal shift. A sur­vey by Israel’s Chan­nel 12, one of the country’s most pop­u­lar broad­cast­ers, found that rough­ly one third of Israelis described them­selves as “mov­ing to the right” in the month after the Oct. 7 attacks, while far few­er report­ed that their pol­i­tics had shift­ed more to the left.

    In anoth­er poll, Israel’s Tel Aviv Uni­ver­si­ty found in Novem­ber the share of Israelis in favor of a two-state solu­tion was down from just a month ear­li­er, falling below one third of respon­dents.

    If the war has accel­er­at­ed the left’s decline, it has also hurt Mr. Netanyahu’s pop­u­lar­i­ty.

    For months before the war, the prime min­is­ter held togeth­er an unruly coali­tion of far-right par­ties that con­trolled 64 seats in Israel’s 120-seat Knes­set. Recent­ly, vig­ils for slain Israelis have turned into protests over Mr. Netanyahu’s lead­er­ship and calls for him to resign.

    “The coun­try has lurched to the right, but they no longer want Netanyahu as the leader of the right,” Ms. Schnei­der said. “It is a ques­tion of who can rep­re­sent the new right-wing views held by so many Israelis today.”

    Long­time Israeli peace activists said Israel’s lurch to the right is tan­gi­ble. In the offices of Stand­ing Togeth­er, an orga­ni­za­tion joint­ly found­ed by Israelis and Pales­tini­ans, the mood has been somber since Oct. 7.

    Mem­ber­ship has dropped, said Alon-Lee Green, a founder of the orga­ni­za­tion. When the group has tried to hold sol­i­dar­i­ty ral­lies between Israelis and Pales­tini­ans in pub­lic places, they have found them­selves turned away by local munic­i­pal­i­ties and the police.

    “We are being banned from pub­lic places,” Mr. Green said. “We are being told there isn’t an audi­ence for our mes­sage today,” he added. “There has nev­er been a more dif­fi­cult time to call for peace.”

    ...

    The towns and agri­cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ties that line Israel’s bor­der with Gaza were once bas­tions of the left. Many vil­lages there were found­ed as kib­butz­im, social­ist agri­cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ties. Over the years, many res­i­dents used their prox­im­i­ty to the Pales­tini­ans in Gaza to help deliv­er aid and run sol­i­dar­i­ty cam­paigns.

    On Oct. 7, the close­ness of those com­mu­ni­ties to the bor­der made them vul­ner­a­ble to the attack by Hamas ter­ror­ists. Well-known peace activists, includ­ing Vivian Sil­ver, a founder of Women Wage Peace, were among those killed. The attack made the sur­vivors rethink poli­cies they had pre­vi­ous­ly cham­pi­oned.

    Before Oct. 7, Lar­ry But­ler, 73, a res­i­dent of Nir Oz, con­sid­ered him­self a left­ist. As a mem­ber of Peace Now, he par­tic­i­pat­ed in ral­lies call­ing for the evac­u­a­tion of Israeli set­tle­ments in Gaza, which were dis­as­sem­bled in 2005.

    Now, dis­placed in a hotel in Eilat, a resort town on the Red Sea, Mr. But­ler has ques­tioned his beliefs. “I guess I’m some­where in the mid­dle,” he said, “but I’m def­i­nite­ly not left and I’m def­i­nite­ly not right.”

    In Tel Aviv, Ms. Mizrachi’s turn against the left came soon after Oct. 7, when she dis­cov­ered that a high school friend was among those killed at the Tribe of Nova music fes­ti­val.

    “The irony is that she was the biggest peace activist I knew,” Ms. Mizrachi said. “She was the one who got me involved in the move­ment to begin with,” she added. “I used to joke that she made me a left­ie. Now I can’t say that I am.”

    ————

    “Israelis Aban­don Polit­i­cal Left Over Secu­ri­ty Con­cerns After Oct. 7” By Sheera Frenkel; The New York Times; 12/19/2023

    “In the well­spring of sad­ness, anger and fear that has gripped Israel since that day, a con­sen­sus has emerged that Israel needs to take a hard­er line with the Pales­tini­ans and embrace an even more mil­i­ta­rized state. And while pub­lic opin­ion of Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu is fal­ter­ing, sup­port for the poli­cies upheld by his right-wing gov­ern­ment is grow­ing.

    As Ben­jamin Netanyahu’s polls grow worse, the pop­u­lar­i­ty for the kind tox­ic poli­cies he rep­re­sents has only grown more pop­u­lar. Surg­ing sup­port that’s come at the left­’s cost. Even as sup­port for left-wing poli­cies like gov­ern­ment-backed wel­fare remains. Israel is chang­ing as a result of the Octo­ber 7 attacks and the result­ing war and it’s not clear there’s a place for the Israeli left in its future:

    ...
    If the left has lost main­stream sup­port, Israel’s peace camp has been dri­ven vir­tu­al­ly under­ground. Activist groups say many mem­bers have aban­doned the cause, and those who remain com­mit­ted have strug­gled to find pub­lic places will­ing to accom­mo­date anti­war protests.

    ...

    Accord­ing to polls con­duct­ed in the two months since Oct. 7, Israelis have moved decid­ed­ly to the right on a num­ber of polit­i­cal issues, includ­ing sup­port for set­tlers in the West Bank, endorse­ments for far-right politi­cians, and even the re-estab­lish­ment of a mil­i­tary occu­pa­tion of Gaza.

    ...

    Left-wing par­ties in Israel have seen a steady decline over the past 20 years. In Israel’s last elec­tion cycle, the cen­ter-left Labor Par­ty won only four seats in the Knes­set, Israel’s Par­lia­ment, a sig­nif­i­cant decrease from the 19 seats it held in 2015. The Meretz Par­ty, one of the few left-wing Israeli par­ties to have held a seat in the past decade, failed to get enough votes to qual­i­fy in the last elec­tion.

    ...

    “Nobody in this coun­try wants to talk about peace right now,” Ms. Schnei­der said. “Being a left­ist has become a dirty word,” she said, adding that while social­ly pro­gres­sive caus­es, like gov­ern­ment-backed wel­fare, remain pop­u­lar in Israel, they are increas­ing­ly divorced from Israel’s left-wing move­ments. “Many Israelis want more gov­ern­ment wel­fare pro­grams, but a con­ser­v­a­tive polit­i­cal lead­er­ship.”

    Polls con­duct­ed in Israel since Oct. 7 show the extent of the polit­i­cal shift. A sur­vey by Israel’s Chan­nel 12, one of the country’s most pop­u­lar broad­cast­ers, found that rough­ly one third of Israelis described them­selves as “mov­ing to the right” in the month after the Oct. 7 attacks, while far few­er report­ed that their pol­i­tics had shift­ed more to the left.

    In anoth­er poll, Israel’s Tel Aviv Uni­ver­si­ty found in Novem­ber the share of Israelis in favor of a two-state solu­tion was down from just a month ear­li­er, falling below one third of respon­dents.
    ...

    And while Netanyahu’s pop­u­lar­i­ty is in decline, all signs point towards some oth­er right-wing fig­ure who will ulti­mate­ly replace him. What kind of fig­ure is that going to be in this polit­i­cal cli­mate?

    ...
    If the war has accel­er­at­ed the left’s decline, it has also hurt Mr. Netanyahu’s pop­u­lar­i­ty.

    For months before the war, the prime min­is­ter held togeth­er an unruly coali­tion of far-right par­ties that con­trolled 64 seats in Israel’s 120-seat Knes­set. Recent­ly, vig­ils for slain Israelis have turned into protests over Mr. Netanyahu’s lead­er­ship and calls for him to resign.

    “The coun­try has lurched to the right, but they no longer want Netanyahu as the leader of the right,” Ms. Schnei­der said. “It is a ques­tion of who can rep­re­sent the new right-wing views held by so many Israelis today.”
    ...

    Also note the direct vic­tims of the Octo­ber 7 attacks: kib­butz­im that were tra­di­tion­al­ly bas­tions of the Israeli left. Plus, a youth music con­cert. Inten­tion­al­ly or not, the Octo­ber 7 attacks appear to be a kind of death blow to the Israeli left:

    ...
    The towns and agri­cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ties that line Israel’s bor­der with Gaza were once bas­tions of the left. Many vil­lages there were found­ed as kib­butz­im, social­ist agri­cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ties. Over the years, many res­i­dents used their prox­im­i­ty to the Pales­tini­ans in Gaza to help deliv­er aid and run sol­i­dar­i­ty cam­paigns.

    On Oct. 7, the close­ness of those com­mu­ni­ties to the bor­der made them vul­ner­a­ble to the attack by Hamas ter­ror­ists. Well-known peace activists, includ­ing Vivian Sil­ver, a founder of Women Wage Peace, were among those killed. The attack made the sur­vivors rethink poli­cies they had pre­vi­ous­ly cham­pi­oned.

    ...

    In Tel Aviv, Ms. Mizrachi’s turn against the left came soon after Oct. 7, when she dis­cov­ered that a high school friend was among those killed at the Tribe of Nova music fes­ti­val.

    “The irony is that she was the biggest peace activist I knew,” Ms. Mizrachi said. “She was the one who got me involved in the move­ment to begin with,” she added. “I used to joke that she made me a left­ie. Now I can’t say that I am.”
    ...

    And that brings us to the fol­low­ing report from back in July, two and a half months before the Octover 7 attacks, about the dire warn­ing being issue by form Mas­sod chief Tamir Par­do, who led the agency from 2011–2016. Par­do not only warns that the gov­ern­ment of extrem­ists was “worse than the KKK” in terms of their racist and big­ot­ed atti­tudes, but that the coun­try faced a threat far more dire than any mil­i­tary threat. That would be the threat of non-extrem­ist Israelis sim­ply choos­ing to leave the coun­try. In par­tic­u­lar doc­tors, aca­d­e­mics, and tech work­ers. As Par­do put it, “If we lose high tech, if we lose the doc­tors, if we lose the aca­d­e­mics, the coun­try won’t be here”:

    The Times of Israel

    Ex-Mossad chief: Netanyahu allies worse than KKK, over­haul is his ‘mas­ter plan’

    Tamir Par­do claims PM is in con­trol, it’s an ‘urban leg­end’ he’s under thumb of extrem­ist part­ners; says poten­tial flight of doc­tors more wor­ry­ing than reservist refusals

    By ToI Staff 27 July 2023, 4:39 pm

    For­mer Mossad direc­tor Tamir Par­do on Thurs­day offered a scathing cri­tique of Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu, charg­ing that Netanyahu brought par­ties worse than the Ku Klux Klan into his gov­ern­ment.

    In an inter­view with Kan radio, Par­do said Netanyahu’s gov­ern­ment includes “hor­ri­ble racist par­ties” that are not far from the world view of the rul­ing Likud par­ty, includ­ing Finance Min­is­ter Beza­lel Smotrich’s Reli­gious Zion­ism and Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Ita­mar Ben Gvir’s Otz­ma Yehu­dit.

    The ex-spy chief claimed that they are even “a lot worse” than the Ku Klux Klan, ref­er­enc­ing calls by law­mak­ers for Israel to destroy the West Bank Pales­tin­ian town of Huwara.

    “The nation is break­ing into two and it doesn’t move [Netanyahu], he doesn’t blink, and a sec­ond after the vote fin­ished, the look of hap­pi­ness on the faces of MKs was a hor­ri­ble thing in my eyes,” he said, ref­er­enc­ing Monday’s Knes­set vote approv­ing the “rea­son­able­ness law,” which lim­its judi­cial review of gov­ern­men­tal and min­is­te­r­i­al deci­sions.

    The bill was part of the government’s efforts to over­haul the judi­cia­ry, which have ignit­ed sus­tained, mass pub­lic protests, and oppo­si­tion from mil­i­tary per­son­nel, busi­ness lead­ers, for­eign allies, and oth­ers.

    “The leader has lost his mind. Noth­ing that has hap­pened would have hap­pened if the prime min­is­ter didn’t lead this process,” he said, claim­ing it is an “urban leg­end” that Netanyahu is being led by extrem­ists in the gov­ern­ment.

    “Some­one took the Ku Klux Klan and brought it into the gov­ern­ment, and this is what hap­pened,” he said, adding that the fact that Netanyahu placed Smotrich as a min­is­ter with­in the Defense Min­istry proves that their views on the future of Israel are not far apart.

    Smotrich is a staunch oppo­nent of a Pales­tin­ian state, and has a his­to­ry of mak­ing inflam­ma­to­ry state­ments against Pales­tini­ans, Arab cit­i­zens of Israel, non-Ortho­dox Jews, and the LGBTQ com­mu­ni­ty, includ­ing once declar­ing him­self a “proud homo­phobe.” In 2021, he said David Ben-Guri­on, Israel’s first prime min­is­ter, should have “fin­ished the job” and kicked all Pales­tini­ans out of the coun­try when it was found­ed. Ear­li­er that same year, he said mem­bers of Israel’s Arab minor­i­ty com­mu­ni­ties were cit­i­zens “for now at least.”

    “[Netanyahu] is like a horse run­ning to a goal with blind­folds and ear muffs,” Par­do said, adding that Netanyahu has changed from the cau­tious leader that he knew dur­ing his time as Mossad direc­tor in 2011–2016.

    ...

    While Par­do said there is no doubt that Netanyahu received a man­date to gov­ern in the last elec­tion, he stressed that no prime min­is­ter com­mands a man­date “to change the social con­tract” of the State of Israel.

    Asked about reservists refus­ing to per­form their vol­un­teer ser­vice in the mil­i­tary in protest of the over­haul, Par­do said that recent reports that thou­sands of doc­tors were seek­ing advice to relo­cate abroad were “more hor­ri­fy­ing and scary than the sto­ry of the army.”

    Par­do said that even if there is a major war in the region, “there is no way” that the coun­try faces an exis­ten­tial mil­i­tary threat.

    “If we lose high tech, if we lose the doc­tors, if we lose the aca­d­e­mics, the coun­try won’t be here,” he said, clar­i­fy­ing that Israel may end up look­ing like a cen­tral African coun­try “that’s stuck in the ’60s of the last cen­tu­ry.”

    ———-

    “Ex-Mossad chief: Netanyahu allies worse than KKK, over­haul is his ‘mas­ter plan’” By ToI Staff; The Times of Israel; 07/27/2023

    “The ex-spy chief claimed that they are even “a lot worse” than the Ku Klux Klan, ref­er­enc­ing calls by law­mak­ers for Israel to destroy the West Bank Pales­tin­ian town of Huwara.”

    Again, this was Par­do’s take back in July, months before the night­mare of Octo­ber 7. The nation was “break­ing into two”. And not just over the extrem­ist invit­ed in the gov­ern­ment. It’s also the fact that the extrem­ists were invit­ed in, in part, because only they would approve of Netanyahu’s cor­rupt attempts to defang the judi­cia­ry:

    ...
    “The nation is break­ing into two and it doesn’t move [Netanyahu], he doesn’t blink, and a sec­ond after the vote fin­ished, the look of hap­pi­ness on the faces of MKs was a hor­ri­ble thing in my eyes,” he said, ref­er­enc­ing Monday’s Knes­set vote approv­ing the “rea­son­able­ness law,” which lim­its judi­cial review of gov­ern­men­tal and min­is­te­r­i­al deci­sions.

    ...

    “The leader has lost his mind. Noth­ing that has hap­pened would have hap­pened if the prime min­is­ter didn’t lead this process,” he said, claim­ing it is an “urban leg­end” that Netanyahu is being led by extrem­ists in the gov­ern­ment.

    “Some­one took the Ku Klux Klan and brought it into the gov­ern­ment, and this is what hap­pened,” he said, adding that the fact that Netanyahu placed Smotrich as a min­is­ter with­in the Defense Min­istry proves that their views on the future of Israel are not far apart.

    Smotrich is a staunch oppo­nent of a Pales­tin­ian state, and has a his­to­ry of mak­ing inflam­ma­to­ry state­ments against Pales­tini­ans, Arab cit­i­zens of Israel, non-Ortho­dox Jews, and the LGBTQ com­mu­ni­ty, includ­ing once declar­ing him­self a “proud homo­phobe.” In 2021, he said David Ben-Guri­on, Israel’s first prime min­is­ter, should have “fin­ished the job” and kicked all Pales­tini­ans out of the coun­try when it was found­ed. Ear­li­er that same year, he said mem­bers of Israel’s Arab minor­i­ty com­mu­ni­ties were cit­i­zens “for now at least.”

    “[Netanyahu] is like a horse run­ning to a goal with blind­folds and ear muffs,” Par­do said, adding that Netanyahu has changed from the cau­tious leader that he knew dur­ing his time as Mossad direc­tor in 2011–2016.
    ...

    And then Par­do get to what he views as the real exis­ten­tial threat to the long-term via­bil­i­ty of Israeli: large num­bers of high­ly skilled Israelis might sim­ply give up on the coun­try and leave:

    ...
    While Par­do said there is no doubt that Netanyahu received a man­date to gov­ern in the last elec­tion, he stressed that no prime min­is­ter com­mands a man­date “to change the social con­tract” of the State of Israel.

    Asked about reservists refus­ing to per­form their vol­un­teer ser­vice in the mil­i­tary in protest of the over­haul, Par­do said that recent reports that thou­sands of doc­tors were seek­ing advice to relo­cate abroad were “more hor­ri­fy­ing and scary than the sto­ry of the army.”

    Par­do said that even if there is a major war in the region, “there is no way” that the coun­try faces an exis­ten­tial mil­i­tary threat.

    “If we lose high tech, if we lose the doc­tors, if we lose the aca­d­e­mics, the coun­try won’t be here,” he said, clar­i­fy­ing that Israel may end up look­ing like a cen­tral African coun­try “that’s stuck in the ’60s of the last cen­tu­ry.”
    ...

    That was just a snap­shot of the enor­mous ten­sions roil­ing Israeli soci­ety. Ten­sions that pre­sum­ably have been trans­formed in recent months. How has that grow­ing despair among many on the Israeli left changed as a result of this con­flict? As we saw above, many Israelis have indeed become more con­ser­v­a­tive. But that’s sure­ly not uni­ver­sal­ly the case. What is going to hap­pen to that remain­ing Israeli left if the coun­try effec­tive­ly becomes a per­ma­nent, increas­ing­ly con­ser­v­a­tive and mil­i­ta­rized soci­ety locked in what appears to be a kind of per­ma­nent zero-sum con­flict with all its neigh­bors? What hap­pens when the shock of the events of Octo­ber 7 and the con­flict sub­side but the real­i­ty of a new per­ma­nent hyper-con­ser­v­a­tive Israeli take hold? Will the Israeli left stick around in a coun­try where it has no real future or even accep­tance any­more? Time will tell, but all signs are going towards a far right “Fortress Israel” future. A fortress with a lot few­er doc­tors, aca­d­e­mics, and tech work­ers than it will prob­a­bly pre­fer.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 21, 2024, 5:44 pm
  3. Sniper shots to the head aren’t an acci­dent. So when you find chil­dren arriv­ing at the hos­pi­tal with sniper shots to the head, you can be pret­ty con­fi­dent some­one aimed and fired at the heads of chil­dren. Which brings us to the fol­low­ing extreme­ly dis­turb­ing piece that recent­ly showed up in the Los Ange­les Times, authored by an Amer­i­can doc­tor who trav­eled to Gaza in Jan­u­ary. Dr Irfan Galar­ia describes a med­ical sys­tem in such dire con­di­tions that they were forced to per­form ampu­ta­tions using a Gigli saw, a tool from the Civ­il War-era.

    But of all the hor­rif­ic details in the piece, it’s the sniper shots to the head that are by far the most dis­turb­ing. One day, mul­ti­ple chil­dren, all about ages 5 to 8, were brought to the ER, all with a sin­gle sniper shots to the head. Their fam­i­lies had been return­ing to their homes in Khan Yunis after Israeli tanks had with­drawn. So snipers were appar­ent­ly be left behind and decid­ed to snipe chil­dren. Again, that’s not an acci­dent. Some­one saw the heads of these kids in their sniper scope and repeat­ed pulled the trig­ger. And while this was just one hor­ri­ble wartime anec­dote, with over 10,000 Gazan chil­dren already dead, it’s not like we can assume this was an iso­lat­ed inci­dent. It’s open sea­son on the Gazans.

    So with Israel increas­ing­ly in the grip of far right theo­crat­ic fanat­ics intent on turn­ing this con­flict into an excuse to basi­cal­ly eth­ni­cal­ly cleanse Gaza, ques­tions about whether or not the tar­get­ing of chil­dren is being unof­fi­cial­ly (or even offi­cial­ly) tol­er­at­ed by the Israeli mil­i­tary is some­thing we have to ask. Which brings us to the fol­low­ing reports below about exact­ly that: the hor­rif­ic extrem­ist indoc­tri­na­tion tak­ing place inside Israel’s mil­i­tary com­mu­ni­ties. In par­tic­u­lar, the explic­it­ly pro-Nazi lessons that were being taught at some of Israel’s elite pre-mil­i­tary acad­e­mies that have long served as a source for many of the IDF’s senior mil­i­tary offi­cers. It would be nice if this was as shock­ing as it should be.

    In par­tic­u­lar, back in 2019, it was dis­cov­ered that the Bnei David acad­e­my in Eli was teach­ing stu­dents that Hitler was cor­rect, with only one prob­lem. He tar­get­ed the wrong peo­ple. Or to put it in the words of Rab­bi Gio­ra Redler, “He was the most cor­rect per­son there ever was, and was cor­rect in every word he said… he was just on the wrong side.” Redler went on to argue that plu­ral­ism was the real geno­cide being per­pe­trat­ed against the Jews.

    Sim­i­lar lessons were taught by the head of the acad­e­my, Rab­bi Eliez­er Kashtiel, who instruct­ed stu­dents on how “The gen­tiles will want to be our slaves. Being a slave to a Jew is the best. They’re glad to be slaves, they want to be slaves...Instead of just walk­ing the streets and being stu­pid and vio­lent and harm­ing each oth­er, once they’re slaves, their lives can begin to take shape...All around us, we are sur­round­ed by peo­ples with genet­ic prob­lems. Ask a sim­ple Arab ‘where do you want to be?’ He wants to be under the occu­pa­tion. Why? Because they have genet­ic prob­lems, they don’t know how to run a coun­try, they don’t know how to do any­thing. Look at them.

    Jour­nal­ist David Sheen cov­ered this sto­ry in a 2019 lec­ture at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Zurich that also addressed the numer­ous awards and state acco­lades these fig­ures have received. At the end of the video (it’s less than 7 min­utes), Sheen dis­cussed the prize award­ed to some­one Sheen describes as prob­a­bly the most racist rab­bi in the coun­try: Rab­bi Yitzchak Gins­burgh, who actu­al­ly wrote a book jus­ti­fy­ing not just the killing of Pales­tin­ian adults but even the killing Pales­tin­ian babies. As we’re also going to see, Gins­burgh’s thou­sands of cult-like fol­low­ers have plans of their own for the future of Israel. Plans revolv­ing around over­throw­ing the gov­ern­ment and impos­ing a Jew­ish theoc­ra­cy led by a king, with Gins­burgh obvi­ous­ly as their king-of-choice.

    Here we are in 2024 with reports of child sniper vic­tims months into a con­flict that appears to being a not-exact­ly-covert eth­nic cleans­ing oper­a­tion. So we have to ask: how many rad­i­cal­ized sol­diers are there in the IDF at this point who have been put through what amounts to a Nazi mil­i­tary edu­ca­tion?

    And, yes, Hamas is guid­ed by a grotesque anti-sec­u­lar ide­ol­o­gy with roots in Nazism of its own. There was even that Hamas chil­dren’s pro­gram a decade ago that was encour­ag­ing audi­ences to “kill the Jews”. Hamas isn’t exact­ly a sym­pa­thet­ic enti­ty in this sit­u­a­tion. But kids sure are. Which is part of what makes this such a dark­ly dement­ed sit­u­a­tion. The more you look at the ide­olo­gies Hamas and these Jew­ish suprema­cists, the more sim­i­lar they appear. It’s increas­ing­ly turn­ing into a con­flict between mutu­al exter­mi­na­tion­ist move­ments. With kids in the crossfire...until there aren’t any more kids, which is kind of ide­o­log­i­cal point:

    Los Ange­les Times

    Opin­ion: I’m an Amer­i­can doc­tor who went to Gaza. What I saw wasn’t war — it was anni­hi­la­tion

    By Irfan Galar­ia
    Feb. 16, 2024 12:08 PM PT

    In late Jan­u­ary, I left my home in Vir­ginia, where I work as a plas­tic and recon­struc­tive sur­geon and joined a group of physi­cians and nurs­es trav­el­ing to Egypt with the human­i­tar­i­an aid group Med­G­lob­al to vol­un­teer in Gaza.

    I have worked in oth­er war zones. But what I wit­nessed dur­ing the next 10 days in Gaza was not war — it was anni­hi­la­tion. 28,000 Pales­tini­ans have been killed in Israel’s bom­bard­ment of Gaza. From Cairo, Egypt’s cap­i­tal, we drove 12 hours east to the Rafah bor­der. We passed miles of parked human­i­tar­i­an aid trucks because they weren’t allowed into Gaza. Aside from my team and oth­er envoy mem­bers from the Unit­ed Nations and World Health Orga­ni­za­tion, there were very few oth­ers there.

    Enter­ing south­ern Gaza on Jan. 29, where many have fled from the north, felt like the first pages of a dystopi­an nov­el. Our ears were numb with the con­stant hum­ming of what I was told were the sur­veil­lance drones that cir­cled con­stant­ly. Our noses were con­sumed with the stench of 1 mil­lion dis­placed humans liv­ing in close prox­im­i­ty with­out ade­quate san­i­ta­tion. Our eyes got lost in the sea of tents. We stayed at a guest house in Rafah. Our first night was cold, and many of us couldn’t sleep. We stood on the bal­cony lis­ten­ing to the bombs, and see­ing the smoke rise from Khan Yunis.

    ...

    Peo­ple also spilled into the hos­pi­tal: liv­ing in hall­ways, stair­well cor­ri­dors and even stor­age clos­ets. The once-wide walk­ways designed by the Euro­pean Union to accom­mo­date the busy traf­fic of med­ical staff, stretch­ers and equip­ment were now reduced to a sin­gle-file pas­sage­way. On either side, blan­kets hung from the ceil­ing to cor­don off small areas for entire fam­i­lies, offer­ing a sliv­er of pri­va­cy. A hos­pi­tal designed to accom­mo­date about 300 patients was now strug­gling to care for more than 1,000 patients and hun­dreds more seek­ing refuge.

    There were a lim­it­ed num­ber of local sur­geons avail­able. We were told that many had been killed or arrest­ed, their where­abouts or even their exis­tence unknown. Oth­ers were trapped in occu­pied areas in the north or near­by places where it was too risky to trav­el to the hos­pi­tal. There was only one local plas­tic sur­geon left and he cov­ered the hos­pi­tal 24/7. His home had been destroyed, so he lived in the hos­pi­tal, and was able to stuff all of his per­son­al pos­ses­sions into two small hand bags. This nar­ra­tive became all too com­mon among the remain­ing staff at the hos­pi­tal. This sur­geon was lucky, because his wife and daugh­ter were still alive, although almost every­one else work­ing in the hos­pi­tal was mourn­ing the loss of their loved ones.

    I began work imme­di­ate­ly, per­form­ing 10 to 12 surg­eries a day, work­ing 14 to 16 hours at a time. The oper­at­ing room would often shake from the inces­sant bomb­ings, some­times as fre­quent as every 30 sec­onds. We oper­at­ed in unster­ile set­tings that would’ve been unthink­able in the Unit­ed States. We had lim­it­ed access to crit­i­cal med­ical equip­ment: We per­formed ampu­ta­tions of arms and legs dai­ly, using a Gigli saw, a Civ­il War-era tool, essen­tial­ly a seg­ment of barbed wire. Many ampu­ta­tions could’ve been avoid­ed if we’d had access to stan­dard med­ical equip­ment. It was a strug­gle try­ing to care for all the injured with­in the con­structs of a health­care sys­tem that has utter­ly col­lapsed.

    ...

    I stopped keep­ing track of how many new orphans I had oper­at­ed on. After surgery they would be filed some­where in the hos­pi­tal, I’m unsure of who will take care of them or how they will sur­vive. On one occa­sion, a hand­ful of chil­dren, all about ages 5 to 8, were car­ried to the emer­gency room by their par­ents. All had sin­gle sniper shots to the head. These fam­i­lies were return­ing to their homes in Khan Yunis, about 2.5 miles away from the hos­pi­tal, after Israeli tanks had with­drawn. But the snipers appar­ent­ly stayed behind. None of these chil­dren sur­vived.

    On my last day, as I returned to the guest house where locals knew for­eign­ers were stay­ing, a young boy ran up and hand­ed me a small gift. It was a rock from the beach, with an Ara­bic inscrip­tion writ­ten with a mark­er: “From Gaza, With Love, Despite the Pain.” As I stood on the bal­cony look­ing out at Rafah for the last time, we could hear the drones, bomb­ings and bursts of machine-gun fire, but some­thing was dif­fer­ent this time: The sounds were loud­er, the explo­sions were clos­er.

    This week, Israeli forces raid­ed anoth­er large hos­pi­tal in Gaza, and they’re plan­ning a a ground offen­sive in Rafah. I feel incred­i­bly guilty that I was able to leave while mil­lions are forced to endure the night­mare in Gaza. As an Amer­i­can, I think of our tax dol­lars pay­ing for the weapons that like­ly injured my patients there. Already dri­ven from their homes, these peo­ple have nowhere else to turn.

    ———–

    “Opin­ion: I’m an Amer­i­can doc­tor who went to Gaza. What I saw wasn’t war — it was anni­hi­la­tion” By Irfan Galar­ia; Los Ange­les Times; 02/16/2024

    “I stopped keep­ing track of how many new orphans I had oper­at­ed on. After surgery they would be filed some­where in the hos­pi­tal, I’m unsure of who will take care of them or how they will sur­vive. On one occa­sion, a hand­ful of chil­dren, all about ages 5 to 8, were car­ried to the emer­gency room by their par­ents. All had sin­gle sniper shots to the head. These fam­i­lies were return­ing to their homes in Khan Yunis, about 2.5 miles away from the hos­pi­tal, after Israeli tanks had with­drawn. But the snipers appar­ent­ly stayed behind. None of these chil­dren sur­vived.

    Small chil­dren with sniper shots to the head are show­ing up in Gazan hos­pi­tals. That’s what this Amer­i­can doc­tor just report­ed wit­ness­ing in the Los Ange­les Times. As grue­some as it is to hear about bombs being dropped in areas known to be filled with civil­ians, even that’s not as delib­er­ate as the act of snip­ing chil­dren. But some­one in the IDF was appar­ent­ly doing this.

    And that grim sto­ry brings us to the fol­low­ing Times of Israel report from back in 2019 about the kind of theo­crat­ic extrem­ism that was being taught at Israeli pre-mil­i­tary reli­gious acad­e­mies. Not just Nazi-like extrem­ism but an actu­al­ly embrace of Nazism, includ­ing a deep respect for Adolf Hitler. He only got one thing wrong, which was that he tar­get­ed con­ser­v­a­tive Jews, but oth­er­wise he was cor­rect. Also, non-Jews want to be the slaves of Jews due to the genet­ic supe­ri­or­i­ty of the Jews. Yep. Those were the lessons being taught at these pre-mil­i­tary acad­e­mies in 2019. And the rab­bis behind these extrem­ist teach­ings are unam­bigu­ous­ly rad­i­cals, they aren’t exact­ly obscure rad­i­cals. Fig­ures like Rab­bi Eliez­er Kashtiel, the head of the Bnei David acad­e­my in Eli, whose grad­u­ates often go on to join Israel’s mil­i­tary elite.

    And, again, these reports are from 2019, almost 5 years ago. Israel’s far right theoc­ra­cy prob­lem has­n’t exact­ly got­ten bet­ter over the last five years. So when we find reports about Israeli snipers inten­tion­al­ly tar­get­ing small chil­dren, we have to ask: were any of these snipers by chance grad­u­ates of a school that gave them an edu­ca­tion in geno­ci­dal thought?:

    Times of Israel

    Embrac­ing racism, rab­bis at pre-army yeshi­va laud Hitler, urge enslav­ing Arabs

    Record­ings show instruc­tors at set­tle­ment acad­e­my open­ly pro­mot­ing Jew­ish suprema­cy; prin­ci­pal says Arabs want to live under Israeli occu­pa­tion due to their genet­ic infe­ri­or­i­ty

    By Tamar Pileg­gi
    30 April 2019, 10:17 am

    Two rab­bis at a pre-mil­i­tary reli­gious acad­e­my in a West Bank set­tle­ment were record­ed mak­ing deroga­to­ry and racist com­ments about Arabs, defend­ing Adolf Hitler’s world­view, and open­ly pro­mot­ing Jew­ish suprema­cy.

    In a series of undat­ed record­ings pub­lished by Chan­nel 13 news on Mon­day, Rab­bi Eliez­er Kashtiel, the head of the Bnei David acad­e­my in Eli, can be heard call­ing for the enslave­ment of the “stu­pid and vio­lent” non-Jews due to their genet­ic infe­ri­or­i­ty.

    “The gen­tiles will want to be our slaves. Being a slave to a Jew is the best. They’re glad to be slaves, they want to be slaves,” he told a class in one of the video clips. “Instead of just walk­ing the streets and being stu­pid and vio­lent and harm­ing each oth­er, once they’re slaves, their lives can begin to take shape.”

    “All around us, we are sur­round­ed by peo­ples with genet­ic prob­lems. Ask a sim­ple Arab ‘where do you want to be?’ He wants to be under the occu­pa­tion. Why? Because they have genet­ic prob­lems, they don’t know how to run a coun­try, they don’t know how to do any­thing. Look at them.”

    In the lec­ture, Kashtiel goes on to embrace racism against non-Jews.

    “Yes, we’re racists. We believe in racism… There are races in the world and peo­ples have genet­ic traits, and that requires us to try to help them,” he said. “The Jews are a more suc­cess­ful race.”

    In anoth­er clip from the Bnei David Yeshi­va pub­lished by Chan­nel 13, Rab­bi Gio­ra Redler can be heard prais­ing Hilter’s ide­ol­o­gy dur­ing a les­son about the Holo­caust.

    “Let’s just start with whether Hitler was right or not,” he told stu­dents. “He was the most cor­rect per­son there ever was, and was cor­rect in every word he said… he was just on the wrong side.”

    Redler goes on to say that plu­ral­ism is the “real” geno­cide being per­pe­trat­ed against the Jew­ish peo­ple, not Nazi Germany’s Final Solu­tion.

    “The real Holo­caust was not when they mur­dered the Jews, that’s not it. All these excus­es — that it was ide­o­log­i­cal or sys­tem­at­ic — are non­sense,” he said. “Human­ism, and the sec­u­lar cul­ture of ‘We believe in man,’ that’s the Holo­caust.”

    The com­ments drew wide con­dem­na­tion from oppo­si­tion law­mak­ers who called for pulling all state fund­ing to the Eli-based acad­e­my over Kashtiel’s and Redler’s remarks.

    ...

    After the footage was aired on Mon­day, Kashtiel and Redler, in a state­ment to Chan­nel 13, acknowl­edged mak­ing the remarks but claimed the com­ments were tak­en out of con­text.

    Kashtiel said he was “pained” that his “les­son on human rights” was mis­in­ter­pret­ed, telling the net­work he meant the pre­cise oppo­site, and was call­ing for “social respon­si­bil­i­ty and car­ing for the weak.” He said his ref­er­ences to slav­ery and racism were a “mod­ernist-social­ist inter­pre­ta­tion” of those con­cepts.

    In his les­son, Redler said he was sim­ply try­ing to “explain Hitler’s mor­bid log­ic,” and accused the media of a “cyn­i­cal smear” against him days before Holo­caust Remem­brance Day.

    Rab­bis teach­ing at the Eli acad­e­my — a dar­ling of the nation­al reli­gious camp for fun­nel­ing of thou­sands of reli­gious offi­cers into senior com­bat posi­tions in the IDF — have a his­to­ry of mak­ing con­tro­ver­sial and illib­er­al remarks.

    In 2016, the co-founder of the Bnei David acad­e­my, Yigal Levin­stein, was record­ed in class call­ing gay peo­ple “sick and per­vert­ed. In anoth­er lec­ture that year, Levin­stein claimed that draft­ing women to the IDF was mak­ing them “crazy” and stripped them of their Jew­ish­ness.

    Bnei David’s oth­er co-founder, Rab­bi Eli Sadan, preach­es against edu­cat­ing women, claim­ing that inde­pen­dent think­ing “neuters their most impor­tant capa­bil­i­ty… to build the home.”

    Last year, footage sur­faced of anoth­er Bnei David teacher, Rab­bi Yosef Kel­ner, lec­tur­ing stu­dents on women being “weak-mind­ed” and pos­sess­ing a reduced capac­i­ty for spir­i­tu­al­i­ty.

    In 2017, then-defense min­is­ter Avig­dor Liber­man vowed to defund the Eli acad­e­my, but the move was blocked by the attor­ney gen­er­al for legal rea­sons. Instead, Liber­man announced that he would restrict the num­ber of stu­dents as a puni­tive mea­sure for the “con­stant sex­ism” at the Eli acad­e­my.

    ———-

    “Embrac­ing racism, rab­bis at pre-army yeshi­va laud Hitler, urge enslav­ing Arabs” By Tamar Pileg­gi; Times of Israel; 04/30/2019

    “Rab­bis teach­ing at the Eli acad­e­my — a dar­ling of the nation­al reli­gious camp for fun­nel­ing of thou­sands of reli­gious offi­cers into senior com­bat posi­tions in the IDF — have a his­to­ry of mak­ing con­tro­ver­sial and illib­er­al remarks.”

    A dar­ling of the nation­al reli­gious camp that fun­nels thou­sands of reli­gious offi­cers into senior com­bat roles in the IDF. That’s how this report described the Eli Acad­e­my. Hence the nation­al scan­dal when it was revealed that the acad­e­my is indoc­tri­nat­ing its stu­dents in gen­uine Nazi-like lessons in the genet­ic suprema­cy of the Jews and, in turn, the genet­ic infe­ri­or­i­ty of Arabs (LOL). And it’s not just overt racism but a kind of Jew­ish ver­sion of the “white man’s bur­den” call to col­o­nize peo­ple ‘for their own good’ we recent­ly heard from Erik Prince. The Pales­tini­ans need­ed the Jews to occu­py and enslave them due to their genet­ic infe­ri­or­i­ty. Those were the lessons com­ing from none oth­er than the mouth of Rab­bi Kashtiel, the head of the acad­e­my:

    ...
    “The gen­tiles will want to be our slaves. Being a slave to a Jew is the best. They’re glad to be slaves, they want to be slaves,” he told a class in one of the video clips. “Instead of just walk­ing the streets and being stu­pid and vio­lent and harm­ing each oth­er, once they’re slaves, their lives can begin to take shape.”

    “All around us, we are sur­round­ed by peo­ples with genet­ic prob­lems. Ask a sim­ple Arab ‘where do you want to be?’ He wants to be under the occu­pa­tion. Why? Because they have genet­ic prob­lems, they don’t know how to run a coun­try, they don’t know how to do any­thing. Look at them.”

    In the lec­ture, Kashtiel goes on to embrace racism against non-Jews.

    “Yes, we’re racists. We believe in racism… There are races in the world and peo­ples have genet­ic traits, and that requires us to try to help them,” he said. “The Jews are a more suc­cess­ful race.”
    ...

    But Kashtiel was­n’t the only rab­bi espous­ing Nazi-like lessons. There’s also Rab­bi Gio­ra Redler, who appeared to make the case that the real geno­cide being com­mit­ted against the Jews is sec­u­lar­ism. And also that Hitler was right. Or rather, Hitler was “the most cor­rect per­son there ever was, and was cor­rect in every word he said… he was just on the wrong side.” In oth­er words, had the Nazis specif­i­cal­ly just exter­mi­nat­ed sec­u­lar peo­ples that would have been jus­ti­fied:

    ...
    In anoth­er clip from the Bnei David Yeshi­va pub­lished by Chan­nel 13, Rab­bi Gio­ra Redler can be heard prais­ing Hilter’s ide­ol­o­gy dur­ing a les­son about the Holo­caust.

    “Let’s just start with whether Hitler was right or not,” he told stu­dents. “He was the most cor­rect per­son there ever was, and was cor­rect in every word he said… he was just on the wrong side.”

    Redler goes on to say that plu­ral­ism is the “real” geno­cide being per­pe­trat­ed against the Jew­ish peo­ple, not Nazi Germany’s Final Solu­tion.

    “The real Holo­caust was not when they mur­dered the Jews, that’s not it. All these excus­es — that it was ide­o­log­i­cal or sys­tem­at­ic — are non­sense,” he said. “Human­ism, and the sec­u­lar cul­ture of ‘We believe in man,’ that’s the Holo­caust.”

    The com­ments drew wide con­dem­na­tion from oppo­si­tion law­mak­ers who called for pulling all state fund­ing to the Eli-based acad­e­my over Kashtiel’s and Redler’s remarks.
    ...

    Jour­nal­ist David Sheen held a 2019 lec­ture at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Zurich that delves more into the Naz­i­fied pre-mil­i­tary edu­ca­tion tak­ing place at these acad­e­mies and the numer­ous awards and state acco­lades these fig­ures have received. At the end of the video (it’s less than 7 min­utes), Sheen dis­cussed the prize award­ed to Rab­bi Yitzchak Gins­burgh, who Sheen describes as prob­a­bly the most racist rab­bi in the coun­try. As Sheen goes on to describe, Gins­burgh actu­al­ly wrote a book jus­ti­fy­ing not just the killing of Pales­tin­ian adults but even the killing Pales­tin­ian babies.

    So with that kind of insti­tu­tion­al­ized extrem­ism per­co­lat­ing though the IDF in mind, here’s a 2016 piece in the For­ward with much more about Gins­burgh and his fol­low­ing. A cult-like fol­low­ing that wants to over­throw the gov­ern­ment and enshrine him as King of Israel:

    For­ward

    The Kab­bal­ist Who Would Be King of a New Jew­ish Monar­chy in Israel

    By Natan Oden­heimer
    Octo­ber 14, 2016

    The crowd was eclec­tic, from stern, black-garbed ultra-Ortho­dox men to youths of both sex­es bedecked in col­or­ful, hip­pie-like clothes. They hailed from homes as far as Safed, the kab­bal­ist cen­ter in Israel’s North, and as remote as iso­lat­ed hill­top set­tle­ments in the occu­pied West Bank. Even a few New Age types from sec­u­lar Tel Aviv were in evi­dence.

    The 3,000 men, women and chil­dren at Tel Aviv’s new­ly ren­o­vat­ed Habi­ma Square last Decem­ber were wait­ing anx­ious­ly to hear Rab­bi Yitzchak Gins­burgh, the St. Louis-born mys­tic and schol­ar whose qui­et demeanor belies incen­di­ary schol­ar­ly writ­ings that are inspir­ing a gen­er­a­tion of Jew­ish suprema­cists.

    The venue marked some­thing of a main­stream com­ing-out mile­stone for Gins­burgh. Every year since 2011, in coop­er­a­tion with the Chabad Hasidic sect, Gins­burgh has held an epic event on “Redemp­tion Hol­i­day,” a Chabad-Lubav­itch fes­tiv­i­ty set for the 19th of Kislev on the Hebrew cal­en­dar — the day in 1798 that czarist author­i­ties in Rus­sia released Chabad’s founder, Rab­bi Schneur Zal­man, from jail. After years of stag­ing the event in heav­i­ly Ortho­dox Jerusalem, this was the first time that Gins­burgh, a long­time Chabad adher­ent, held the event in Tel Aviv, in one of the city’s most promi­nent sec­u­lar venues.

    An Amer­i­can trans­plant to Israel, Gins­burgh is best known for his teach­ings that seem to give license to Jew­ish vengeance attacks against Pales­tini­ans. His crit­ics claim that Ginsburgh’s influ­ence lies behind the worst Jew­ish ter­ror attacks of the past 20 years, from the assas­si­na­tion of Prime Min­is­ter Yitzhak Rabin, to the mas­sacre in Hebron of 29 Pales­tini­ans by Baruch Gold­stein, who he hailed and endorsed in a book soon after the mur­ders.

    But Ginsburgh’s fol­low­ers view him as no less than a prophet.

    “Sec­u­lar Zion­ism is stag­nant and has noth­ing left to offer. Even Bibi [Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu] does not know how to cope with ter­ror,” said Tzvi­ki Basok, a 29-year-old res­i­dent of the tiny West Bank set­tle­ment of Aha­ia who iden­ti­fied him­self as a devot­ed Gins­burgh fol­low­er. A father of six, Basok wore a dark-brown flat cap on his head, slim glass­es on his nose, and a per­pet­u­al­ly friend­ly smile that his shag­gy beard could not quite hide. “Gins­burgh,” he said, is the “only one who is will­ing to take respon­si­bil­i­ty over the entire­ty of the Jew­ish nation, accord­ing to Torah.”

    But Gins­burgh is not just about vio­lence against Pales­tini­ans. His wide net­work of schools and com­mu­ni­ties has, until recent­ly, been finan­cial­ly sup­port­ed by the Israeli gov­ern­ment and con­tin­ues to receive fund­ing from pri­vate donors in the Unit­ed States and Israel. And he has a vision for the state’s future: He wants to dis­man­tle it. In its place, he seeks to estab­lish a Jew­ish monar­chy. Indeed, some of his fol­low­ers hope to crown Gins­burgh him­self as their king. And though the num­ber of Israelis open­ly advo­cat­ing this right now is rel­a­tive­ly small, they have a pen­chant for action that has giv­en them a dis­pro­por­tion­ate impact on events.

    Ginsburgh’s stu­dents include the so-called Hill­top Youth — gag­gles of Jew­ish teens who roam the West Bank hill­tops and intim­i­date Pales­tini­ans through acts of van­dal­ism, arson and even mur­der.

    Just a few weeks pri­or to Ginsburgh’s Tel Aviv event, two of these youths, now under indict­ment, alleged­ly fire­bombed the home of a fam­i­ly in the West Bank Pales­tin­ian vil­lage of Duma. Two young par­ents and their 18-month infant burned to death. On the walls of the Dawab­sheh family’s home, the arson­ists daubed the graf­fi­ti mes­sages “Revenge” and “Long Live King Mes­si­ah.”

    Gins­burgh has a pro­pos­al for address­ing such out­breaks. In a 2014 pub­lic let­ter to 100 rab­bis, he declared that the only way to stop Jew­ish ter­ror actions, which he referred to as “uncon­trolled reac­tions of young­sters who care about Israel,” is for the gov­ern­ment and army to inter­nal­ize that “the entire­ty of the State of Israel (includ­ing what is called ‘occu­pied ter­ri­to­ries’) belongs sole­ly to the Nation of Israel, that it’s every Jew’s right to set­tle any­where he pleas­es, and that the role of the army is only to pro­tect Jews.”

    ...

    Gins­burgh is the spir­i­tu­al leader of the Od Yosef Chai (“Joseph Still Lives”) yeshi­va — a West Bank sem­i­nary that has pro­duced suc­ces­sive cohorts of rad­i­cal stu­dents impli­cat­ed in vio­lence against Pales­tini­ans—and the cler­i­cal emi­nence behind a wide net­work of vil­lages, neigh­bor­hoods, ele­men­tary schools, yeshiv­as, pub­lish­ing hous­es. He directs a youth move­ment, a news web­site, a cen­ter for Jew­ish psy­chol­o­gy and even a polit­i­cal move­ment, called Derech Chaim, of about 4,500 activists who sup­port the idea that “the essence of the Jew­ish State is to become the King­dom of Israel,” accord­ing to the movement’s offi­cial web­site. One of Derech Chaim’s major projects is the Hebrew Labor cam­paign, a title that white­wash­es the real pur­pose of the project: to con­vince Jew­ish busi­ness own­ers not to hire Arab work­ers.

    For more than 20 years, many of Ginsburgh’s insti­tu­tions were sup­port­ed by the State of Israel through the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion, the Min­istry of Reli­gious Affairs and the Min­istry of Wel­fare, receiv­ing mil­lions of shekels. Od Yosef Chai’s pub­lished finan­cial records, for instance, record bud­getary allo­ca­tions from the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion total­ing over $221,000 in 2007, a lit­tle more than $265,000 in 2008 and almost $293,000 in 2010.

    In 2011 the flow of cash from the state to most of his orga­ni­za­tions was stopped after the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion accept­ed a Shin Bet assess­ment that “lead­ing teach­ers” at Od Yosef Chai Yeshi­va fos­ter vio­lence by their stu­dents against the Israel Defense Forces and the Pales­tini­ans. Pub­lished records show that the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion still funds two of Ginsburg’s ele­men­tary schools in Jerusalem, Torat HaY­im and Ye’elat Chen, and that the Min­istry of Wel­fare sup­ports a side project of Od Yosef Chai yeshi­va in the Galilee.

    A spokesper­son for the Min­istry of Reli­gion and the Chief Rab­binate told the For­ward that the min­istry does not allo­cate funds to Ginsburg’s yeshiv­as but it does con­sid­er grad­u­ates of those yeshiv­as as eli­gi­ble can­di­dates to become state-approved rab­bis.

    Pri­vate donors also hand­some­ly sup­port Ginsburgh’s orga­ni­za­tions through tax-exempt Amer­i­can and Israeli not-for-prof­its. As report­ed by Haaretz jour­nal­ist Uri Blau, the Cen­tral Fund of Israel, head­ed by the New York-based Mar­cus fam­i­ly, has giv­en Gins­burgh $100,000–$160,000 annu­al­ly for sev­er­al years now; the yeshiva’s official’s web­site still sug­gests that dona­tions in the Unit­ed States should be made to the Cen­tral Fund of Israel, c/o Mar­cus Broth­ers Tex­tile, 980 6th Ave. NYC. Od Yosef Chai’s finan­cial reports show that Keren Hayesod, an Israeli arm of the Jew­ish Agency, made a one-time con­tri­bu­tion of $117,000 to the yeshi­va in 2013.

    Gins­burgh also runs his own sep­a­rate not-for-prof­it edu­ca­tion­al out­let, the Gal Einai insti­tute — which works close­ly with his pub­lish­ing house of the same name — to fundraise in the Unit­ed States, although most of his dona­tions, pub­lic records show, come from pri­vate Israeli donors and small busi­ness­es such as the Israeli real-estate com­pa­ny ICOM.

    Gal Einai’s younger, more dynam­ic jour­nal­is­tic sis­ter is the Jew­ish Voice, a media out­let that gives Gins­burgh-inspired instant expla­na­tions for cur­rent events as they unfold. In late sum­mer 2015 the fire­bomb­ing of the Dawab­sheh family’s home in Duma moved Israeli secu­ri­ty forces to con­duct a sweep of sus­pect­ed Jew­ish ter­ror­ists. Quick­ly, the Jew­ish Voice pro­mot­ed a wide­ly cir­cu­lat­ed peti­tion call­ing for their release. Ginsburg’s name was the first in the long list of estab­lished rab­bis on the pub­lic peti­tion.

    ...

    Ginsburgh’s own path from a tra­di­tion­al Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty in St. Louis to the fore­front of Israel’s rad­i­cal reli­gious fringe is part­ly unknown, part­ly cloud­ed by myths. The way Ginsburgh’s fol­low­ers tell it, the future kab­bal­ist became a ba’al teshu­vah, or returnee to tra­di­tion­al Judaism, at the age of 14 after a strik­ing encounter with a Hasidic Jew. Oth­ers, who knew him lat­er in life, say that it was a rab­bi in Philadel­phia who paved Ginsburg’s path to Torah when he was 18 or 19.

    ...

    In 1965, Gins­burgh immi­grat­ed to Israel, where he lived in Jerusalem and con­tin­ued to immerse him­self in his stud­ies. Then, after the 1967 Six-Day War he was part of a small group that pio­neered the revival of the Jew­ish Quar­ter in the Old City of Jerusalem.

    It was also around this time that Gins­burgh dis­cov­ered Chabad. The encounter inspired him to jour­ney to the heart of the move­ment, in the Crown Heights sec­tion of Brook­lyn. He stayed in New York for a few months and stud­ied with Rab­bi Men­achem Mendel Schneer­son, the sect’s influ­en­tial grand rab­bi.

    The expe­ri­ence trans­formed him; to this day he con­sid­ers him­self part of Chabad even though, to a sig­nif­i­cant extent, he has diverged from the Chabad doc­trine and cre­at­ed one of his own.

    Today, Gins­burgh and Schneer­son resem­ble each oth­er. Ginsburgh’s long white beard, pale skin, black Chabad attire and even his ges­tures — like rais­ing a hand to empha­size a cru­cial point, or his con­cen­trat­ed nod when music is play­ing — are rem­i­nis­cent of Schneer­son. His ties with the sect remain close.

    There is anoth­er sim­i­lar­i­ty: Schneer­son was rou­tine­ly hailed by his acolytes as the Jew­ish mes­si­ah whose com­ing was pre­dict­ed by bibil­i­cal prophets, but nev­er pub­licly accept­ed or dis­avowed these beliefs. Sim­i­lar­ly, Ginsburgh’s fol­low­ers do not just sup­port his calls for an Israeli monar­chy; they believe he should hold the crown. But Gins­burgh has care­ful­ly avoid­ed either con­firm­ing or dis­avow­ing his inter­est in the posi­tion.

    In the late 1960s, Gins­burgh returned to teach in Jerusalem, where he got mar­ried and even­tu­al­ly moved to Kfar Chabad, the Chabad-only vil­lage near Lod in cen­tral Israel, where he even­tu­al­ly raised six chil­dren. And by the ear­ly 1970s, he was amass­ing a fol­low­ing. “He was kind of their guru,” said Dov, who moved to Israel him­self around that time and recon­nect­ed with his for­mer study part­ner. These ear­ly dis­ci­ples seemed to grav­i­tate toward Gins­burgh, who exud­ed a spir­i­tu­al self-con­fi­dence, Dov said.

    By the ear­ly 1980s, Gins­burgh was quick­ly becom­ing a leader among the West Bank rad­i­cal youth. In 1983 he helped found the Od Yosef Chai yeshi­va in the Pales­tin­ian city of Nablus. And in 1989, 30 of Ginsburgh’s stu­dents went on a ram­page in the vil­lage of Kifl Hares near Nablus shoot­ing and killing a 13-year-old Pales­tin­ian girl. Gins­burgh tes­ti­fied on their behalf in an Israeli court, say­ing, “It should be rec­og­nized that Jew­ish blood and a goy’s [non Jew’s] blood are not the same.” It is a phrase that he would repeat, in one iter­a­tion or anoth­er, time and again.

    In 1994, the Amer­i­can-born set­tler, Gold­stein, mur­dered 29 Pales­tin­ian Mus­lims in Hebron as they knelt in prayer at the Cave of the Patri­archs, where, accord­ing to tra­di­tion, the bib­li­cal fig­ures Abra­ham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives — all of them revered also in Islam — are buried. Soon after, Gins­burgh wrote his most infa­mous work: a pam­phlet titled “Baruch Ha Gev­er,” or “Blessed Is the Hero­ic Man,” that inves­ti­gates the spir­i­tu­al and moral virtues of Goldstein’s mas­sacre. The title, per­haps not inci­den­tal­ly, also invoked Goldstein’s own first name, sug­gest­ing he was the hero­ic man. “The life of Israel is more impor­tant than the life of goy­im,” Gins­burgh wrote there. “If there is a chance (even a slight one) that the goy will work (even indis­creet­ly) to harm the life of Israel, then you don’t care for the life of the goy — more­over the best goy is a dead one.”

    Ginsburgh’s pam­phlet inspired the pub­li­ca­tion of a col­lec­tion of arti­cles in a book, also enti­tled “Baruch Ha Gev­er,” that explored the per­mis­si­bil­i­ty of killing Arabs accord­ing to Jew­ish law. The edi­tors of the books were con­vict­ed of incite­ment for racism in 1996. In April of that same year, Gins­burgh gained notice in Amer­i­can Jew­ish cir­cles when he told the New York Jew­ish Week that Halacha, or tra­di­tion­al Jew­ish law, would “prob­a­bly per­mit” seiz­ing an unwill­ing non-Jew for a liv­er trans­plant to save the life of a Jew.

    “Jew­ish life has infi­nite val­ue,” he told the news­pa­per. “There is some­thing infi­nite­ly more holy and unique about Jew­ish life than non-Jew­ish life.”

    In March 1996, Gins­burg was detained with­out charge or tri­al — a prac­tice usu­al­ly reserved exclu­sive­ly for Arabs — for 60 days on the direct order of Prime Min­is­ter Shi­mon Peres. The state cit­ed him as an imme­di­ate threat when, after a spate of ter­ror­ist attacks, he alleged­ly told his stu­dents that it was “imper­a­tive under Jew­ish law to revenge the Arabs.” In his appeal, Gins­burgh didn’t deny these words; he instead argued that his prais­ing of revenge against Arabs, “… isn’t enough to assume — at least not to the need­ed degree of prob­a­bil­i­ty — that because of these words his stu­dents will harm Arabs.”

    Debrief­ing the Knes­set three days after the deten­tion order, Min­is­ter of Inter­nal Secu­ri­ty Moshe Sha­hal said: “Yitzchak Gins­burgh is one of the most extreme of the so-called rab­bis. He con­sis­tent­ly preach­es for revenge, he jus­ti­fied the mas­sacre at the Tomb of the Patri­archs…. He has influ­ence over his fol­low­ers, who see his inter­pre­ta­tion of Jew­ish law as a per­mis­sion, and even an instruc­tion, for action.”

    But less than three weeks lat­er, Supreme Court Judge Dalia Dorner ordered Ginsburgh’s release. She crit­i­cized Peres’s admin­is­tra­tive deten­tion order, say­ing that “it was nev­er proved that his state­ments… may bring his stu­dents to attack Arabs.”

    Since then, some of Ginsburgh’s stu­dents have been accused and jailed count­less times for attack­ing Arabs, in some cas­es, shoot­ing and seri­ous­ly wound­ing them. But author­i­ties have been frus­trat­ed in prov­ing a link between some­thing Gins­burgh said and a spe­cif­ic vio­lent action.

    “In my per­son­al opin­ion, [Ginsburgh’s] words count as incite­ment and he should have faced charges a long time ago,” Car­mi Gillon, a for­mer head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s domes­tic secu­ri­ty and intel­li­gence ser­vice, told the For­ward in a phone inter­view. “The argu­ment against charg­ing him is that it is impos­si­ble to draw a direct line between some­thing he said and a spe­cif­ic ter­ror attack. But this is the crux of the issue: Often­times in the case of incite­ment, there is no smok­ing bar­rel and we need to trust oth­er evi­dence.”

    The rab­bi first moved to Yitzhar in 2001, when the Israeli army, as part of the Oslo peace agree­ment, with­drew from Nablus, where his Od Yosef Chai yeshi­va had pre­vi­ous­ly been locat­ed, at a site reput­ed by leg­end to be the bur­ial place of the bib­li­cal patri­arch Joseph. Yitzhar is known as one of the most extreme West Bank Jew­ish set­tle­ments, and as if in line with his new loca­tion, Gins­burgh pub­licly called at the time for a “rev­o­lu­tion” and a “new Jew­ish coun­try” where Jew­ish law would replace sec­u­lar gov­ern­ment. Israel’s secu­ri­ty ser­vices raid­ed the school in 2010, after pub­li­ca­tion of “The King’s Torah,” a book by two of Ginsburgh’s top dis­ci­ples there that jus­ti­fies the killing of non-Jews, includ­ing infants, if there is rea­son to believe they will grow up to harm Jews.

    For Gins­burgh, “The sec­u­lar Zion­ist enter­prise is the shell before the fruit,” mean­ing the redemp­tion, said Shlo­mo Fis­ch­er, an Israeli soci­ol­o­gist who has stud­ied his work. “The Israeli gov­ern­ment is basi­cal­ly evil. It is pre­vent­ing the redemp­tion. So what he is say­ing is that we need some­thing total­ly dif­fer­ent.” To Ginsburgh’s fol­low­ers, the rab­bi him­self is the only one who can bring that about.

    The extent of his fol­low­ers’ devo­tion is dis­played at his events. This past March, dur­ing Purim fes­tiv­i­ties on the third floor of a syn­a­gogue in the Nach­laot neigh­bor­hood in Jerusalem, some of his stu­dents were singing and danc­ing. “You know who this is?” one of them asked anoth­er. Before his friend could reply, he answered: “The rab­bi is the Mes­si­ah King! He is our king and our Mes­si­ah.” Eliyahu Pelee, the 22 year-old son of one of Ginsburgh’s clos­est stu­dents, who was raised in Yitzhar, told the For­ward that for his fol­low­ers, Gins­burgh is unques­tion­ably the per­son for the job of monarch.

    In the past 10 years, Gins­burgh has some­what toned down his vio­lent rhetoric, even decry­ing the use of vio­lence to achieve the tru­ly Jew­ish state of which he dreams. But his influ­ence con­tin­ues through his stu­dents. In June 2014, secu­ri­ty offi­cials were cit­ed in an arti­cle in the Israeli dai­ly Haaretz blam­ing a spate of vengeance attacks on a group of about 100 rad­i­cal activists in Yitzhar who based their actions on Ginsburgh’s teach­ings.

    Duma, site of the arson attack that killed the three Dawab­sheh fam­i­ly mem­bers, lies between Yitzhar and Kfar Tapuach, a strong­hold of fol­low­ers of Rab­bi Meir Kahane, the late right-wing Brook­lyn-born reli­gious nation­al­ist. Kahane advo­cat­ed mass expul­sion of all Arabs from Israel and the West Bank and, in a kind of fate­ful con­ver­gence, one of the prize stu­dents to emerge from Ginsburgh’s yeshi­va is Meir Ettinger, a Kfar Tapuach native and Kahane’s own grand­son. Today, Ettinger has come to promi­nence as a rad­i­cal anti-state ide­o­logue in his own right while remain­ing a close asso­ciate of Gins­burgh. In a blog post last year, Ettinger advo­cat­ed strate­gi­cal­ly dri­ving the Israeli Pales­tin­ian con­flict toward “expul­sion” of non-Jews. Israeli author­i­ties believe he is the leader of a group called The Revolt — a West Bank cell that aims to over­throw the state—and jailed him with­out charge or tri­al in July 2015. He was released only this past Feb­ru­ary.

    In a recent rare inter­view, Ettinger’s wife said, “All of [Ettinger’s] ideas are advised by the Torah’s opin­ion, espe­cial­ly by Rab­bi Yitzchak Gins­burgh; he gets all of his ideas from him [Gins­burgh] and tries to be his sho­far.”

    ————

    “The Kab­bal­ist Who Would Be King of a New Jew­ish Monar­chy in Israel” By Natan Oden­heimer; For­ward; 10/14/2016

    “But Gins­burgh is not just about vio­lence against Pales­tini­ans. His wide net­work of schools and com­mu­ni­ties has, until recent­ly, been finan­cial­ly sup­port­ed by the Israeli gov­ern­ment and con­tin­ues to receive fund­ing from pri­vate donors in the Unit­ed States and Israel. And he has a vision for the state’s future: He wants to dis­man­tle it. In its place, he seeks to estab­lish a Jew­ish monar­chy. Indeed, some of his fol­low­ers hope to crown Gins­burgh him­self as their king. And though the num­ber of Israelis open­ly advo­cat­ing this right now is rel­a­tive­ly small, they have a pen­chant for action that has giv­en them a dis­pro­por­tion­ate impact on events.”

    The for­mal impo­si­tion of a Jew­ish theoc­ra­cy ruled by a king. That’s the plan. Or at least, that’s the plan of Rab­bi Gins­burgh and his thou­sands of zeal­ous fol­low­ers. And based on the decades of state sup­port, it’s hard to avoid the sus­pi­cion that a lot more peo­ple are very open to tak­ing Israel in this direc­tion:

    ...
    Gins­burgh is the spir­i­tu­al leader of the Od Yosef Chai (“Joseph Still Lives”) yeshi­va — a West Bank sem­i­nary that has pro­duced suc­ces­sive cohorts of rad­i­cal stu­dents impli­cat­ed in vio­lence against Pales­tini­ans—and the cler­i­cal emi­nence behind a wide net­work of vil­lages, neigh­bor­hoods, ele­men­tary schools, yeshiv­as, pub­lish­ing hous­es. He directs a youth move­ment, a news web­site, a cen­ter for Jew­ish psy­chol­o­gy and even a polit­i­cal move­ment, called Derech Chaim, of about 4,500 activists who sup­port the idea that “the essence of the Jew­ish State is to become the King­dom of Israel,” accord­ing to the movement’s offi­cial web­site. One of Derech Chaim’s major projects is the Hebrew Labor cam­paign, a title that white­wash­es the real pur­pose of the project: to con­vince Jew­ish busi­ness own­ers not to hire Arab work­ers.

    For more than 20 years, many of Ginsburgh’s insti­tu­tions were sup­port­ed by the State of Israel through the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion, the Min­istry of Reli­gious Affairs and the Min­istry of Wel­fare, receiv­ing mil­lions of shekels. Od Yosef Chai’s pub­lished finan­cial records, for instance, record bud­getary allo­ca­tions from the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion total­ing over $221,000 in 2007, a lit­tle more than $265,000 in 2008 and almost $293,000 in 2010.

    In 2011 the flow of cash from the state to most of his orga­ni­za­tions was stopped after the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion accept­ed a Shin Bet assess­ment that “lead­ing teach­ers” at Od Yosef Chai Yeshi­va fos­ter vio­lence by their stu­dents against the Israel Defense Forces and the Pales­tini­ans. Pub­lished records show that the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion still funds two of Ginsburg’s ele­men­tary schools in Jerusalem, Torat HaY­im and Ye’elat Chen, and that the Min­istry of Wel­fare sup­ports a side project of Od Yosef Chai yeshi­va in the Galilee.

    A spokesper­son for the Min­istry of Reli­gion and the Chief Rab­binate told the For­ward that the min­istry does not allo­cate funds to Ginsburg’s yeshiv­as but it does con­sid­er grad­u­ates of those yeshiv­as as eli­gi­ble can­di­dates to become state-approved rab­bis.
    ...

    And it appears that one of Gins­burgh’s key skills is legal­ly get­ting away with advo­cat­ing what amounts to ter­ror against non-Jews. Bad faith legal argu­ments have served him well:

    ...
    In the late 1960s, Gins­burgh returned to teach in Jerusalem, where he got mar­ried and even­tu­al­ly moved to Kfar Chabad, the Chabad-only vil­lage near Lod in cen­tral Israel, where he even­tu­al­ly raised six chil­dren. And by the ear­ly 1970s, he was amass­ing a fol­low­ing. “He was kind of their guru,” said Dov, who moved to Israel him­self around that time and recon­nect­ed with his for­mer study part­ner. These ear­ly dis­ci­ples seemed to grav­i­tate toward Gins­burgh, who exud­ed a spir­i­tu­al self-con­fi­dence, Dov said.

    By the ear­ly 1980s, Gins­burgh was quick­ly becom­ing a leader among the West Bank rad­i­cal youth. In 1983 he helped found the Od Yosef Chai yeshi­va in the Pales­tin­ian city of Nablus. And in 1989, 30 of Ginsburgh’s stu­dents went on a ram­page in the vil­lage of Kifl Hares near Nablus shoot­ing and killing a 13-year-old Pales­tin­ian girl. Gins­burgh tes­ti­fied on their behalf in an Israeli court, say­ing, “It should be rec­og­nized that Jew­ish blood and a goy’s [non Jew’s] blood are not the same.” It is a phrase that he would repeat, in one iter­a­tion or anoth­er, time and again.

    In 1994, the Amer­i­can-born set­tler, Gold­stein, mur­dered 29 Pales­tin­ian Mus­lims in Hebron as they knelt in prayer at the Cave of the Patri­archs, where, accord­ing to tra­di­tion, the bib­li­cal fig­ures Abra­ham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives — all of them revered also in Islam — are buried. Soon after, Gins­burgh wrote his most infa­mous work: a pam­phlet titled “Baruch Ha Gev­er,” or “Blessed Is the Hero­ic Man,” that inves­ti­gates the spir­i­tu­al and moral virtues of Goldstein’s mas­sacre. The title, per­haps not inci­den­tal­ly, also invoked Goldstein’s own first name, sug­gest­ing he was the hero­ic man. “The life of Israel is more impor­tant than the life of goy­im,” Gins­burgh wrote there. “If there is a chance (even a slight one) that the goy will work (even indis­creet­ly) to harm the life of Israel, then you don’t care for the life of the goy — more­over the best goy is a dead one.”

    Ginsburgh’s pam­phlet inspired the pub­li­ca­tion of a col­lec­tion of arti­cles in a book, also enti­tled “Baruch Ha Gev­er,” that explored the per­mis­si­bil­i­ty of killing Arabs accord­ing to Jew­ish law. The edi­tors of the books were con­vict­ed of incite­ment for racism in 1996. In April of that same year, Gins­burgh gained notice in Amer­i­can Jew­ish cir­cles when he told the New York Jew­ish Week that Halacha, or tra­di­tion­al Jew­ish law, would “prob­a­bly per­mit” seiz­ing an unwill­ing non-Jew for a liv­er trans­plant to save the life of a Jew.

    “Jew­ish life has infi­nite val­ue,” he told the news­pa­per. “There is some­thing infi­nite­ly more holy and unique about Jew­ish life than non-Jew­ish life.”

    In March 1996, Gins­burg was detained with­out charge or tri­al — a prac­tice usu­al­ly reserved exclu­sive­ly for Arabs — for 60 days on the direct order of Prime Min­is­ter Shi­mon Peres. The state cit­ed him as an imme­di­ate threat when, after a spate of ter­ror­ist attacks, he alleged­ly told his stu­dents that it was “imper­a­tive under Jew­ish law to revenge the Arabs.” In his appeal, Gins­burgh didn’t deny these words; he instead argued that his prais­ing of revenge against Arabs, “… isn’t enough to assume — at least not to the need­ed degree of prob­a­bil­i­ty — that because of these words his stu­dents will harm Arabs.”

    Debrief­ing the Knes­set three days after the deten­tion order, Min­is­ter of Inter­nal Secu­ri­ty Moshe Sha­hal said: “Yitzchak Gins­burgh is one of the most extreme of the so-called rab­bis. He con­sis­tent­ly preach­es for revenge, he jus­ti­fied the mas­sacre at the Tomb of the Patri­archs…. He has influ­ence over his fol­low­ers, who see his inter­pre­ta­tion of Jew­ish law as a per­mis­sion, and even an instruc­tion, for action.”

    But less than three weeks lat­er, Supreme Court Judge Dalia Dorner ordered Ginsburgh’s release. She crit­i­cized Peres’s admin­is­tra­tive deten­tion order, say­ing that “it was nev­er proved that his state­ments… may bring his stu­dents to attack Arabs.”

    Since then, some of Ginsburgh’s stu­dents have been accused and jailed count­less times for attack­ing Arabs, in some cas­es, shoot­ing and seri­ous­ly wound­ing them. But author­i­ties have been frus­trat­ed in prov­ing a link between some­thing Gins­burgh said and a spe­cif­ic vio­lent action.

    “In my per­son­al opin­ion, [Ginsburgh’s] words count as incite­ment and he should have faced charges a long time ago,” Car­mi Gillon, a for­mer head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s domes­tic secu­ri­ty and intel­li­gence ser­vice, told the For­ward in a phone inter­view. “The argu­ment against charg­ing him is that it is impos­si­ble to draw a direct line between some­thing he said and a spe­cif­ic ter­ror attack. But this is the crux of the issue: Often­times in the case of incite­ment, there is no smok­ing bar­rel and we need to trust oth­er evi­dence.”
    ...

    And then there’s the 2010 raid of his school fol­low­ing the pub­lic of “The King’s Torah”, a book that jus­ti­fied even the killing of non-Jew­ish infants. Infants grow up, after all!

    ...
    The rab­bi first moved to Yitzhar in 2001, when the Israeli army, as part of the Oslo peace agree­ment, with­drew from Nablus, where his Od Yosef Chai yeshi­va had pre­vi­ous­ly been locat­ed, at a site reput­ed by leg­end to be the bur­ial place of the bib­li­cal patri­arch Joseph. Yitzhar is known as one of the most extreme West Bank Jew­ish set­tle­ments, and as if in line with his new loca­tion, Gins­burgh pub­licly called at the time for a “rev­o­lu­tion” and a “new Jew­ish coun­try” where Jew­ish law would replace sec­u­lar gov­ern­ment. Israel’s secu­ri­ty ser­vices raid­ed the school in 2010, after pub­li­ca­tion of “The King’s Torah,” a book by two of Ginsburgh’s top dis­ci­ples there that jus­ti­fies the killing of non-Jews, includ­ing infants, if there is rea­son to believe they will grow up to harm Jews.

    For Gins­burgh, “The sec­u­lar Zion­ist enter­prise is the shell before the fruit,” mean­ing the redemp­tion, said Shlo­mo Fis­ch­er, an Israeli soci­ol­o­gist who has stud­ied his work. “The Israeli gov­ern­ment is basi­cal­ly evil. It is pre­vent­ing the redemp­tion. So what he is say­ing is that we need some­thing total­ly dif­fer­ent.” To Ginsburgh’s fol­low­ers, the rab­bi him­self is the only one who can bring that about.
    ...

    Again, we have to ask: is the sniper respon­si­ble for all those child head­shots by chance a big Rab­bi Gins­burgh fan? We don’t know and prob­a­bly won’t ever know. But we do know thou­sands of kids when through this kind of indoc­tri­na­tion and went on to serve in senior IDF posi­tions. What kinds of lessons are these kids get­ting today, now that the far right has effec­tive­ly cap­tured Israeli soci­ety? It’s not Israel cir­ca 2019. Things are even cra­zier now. What kind of ‘edu­ca­tion’ are these kids get­ting today? Kids who are prob­a­bly going to be hand­ed a rifle soon­er rather than lat­er in this con­flict.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 21, 2024, 5:58 pm
  4. Is a swasti­ka always anti­se­mit­ic? Or does it depend on the con­text? That’s the ques­tion at the heart of a inci­dent cap­ture on video on Lon­don last week that has many ask­ing whether or not Lon­don author­i­ties have allowed the city to be turned into a kind of ‘no-go zone for Jews’ as the mas­sive pro-Pales­tin­ian protests con­tin­ue over the con­flict in Gaza. The inci­dent cen­tered around a Jew­ish counter-pro­tes­tor, Amer­i­can doc­u­men­tary film­mak­er Joce­lyn Weiss, who saw a pro-Pales­tin­ian pro­test­er car­ry­ing a sign with a swasti­ka on it. Weiss then con­fronts a Lon­don police offi­cer to ask why this pro­tes­tor was­n’t being arrest­ed for a bla­tant dis­play of anti­semitism. The offi­cer attempts to explain why he isn’t arrest­ing the pro­tes­tor by cit­ing the need to assess the con­text in which a swasti­ka is used. The two get into a heat­ed exchange, with Weiss express­ing exas­per­a­tion about how any sort of con­text could excuse the use of a swasti­ka in pub­lic while the offi­cer — and his fel­low offi­cers — make rather inept attempts to explain how they rec­og­nize the his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the sym­bol while refut­ing the idea that the use sym­bol, in and of itself, is nec­es­sar­i­ly an anti­se­mit­ic attack.

    It was an inci­dent that left many won­der­ing if Lon­don author­i­ties were some­how com­plic­it in cod­dling pro-Pales­tin­ian extrem­ists. And as part of the larg­er con­text over this ‘con­text ker­fuf­fle’, Britain’s counter-extrem­ism tsar, Robin Sim­cox, warned ear­li­er last month that pro-Pales­tine pro­test­ers are turn­ing Lon­don into a ‘no-go zone for Jews’.

    What are we look­ing at here? It’s a bit of a mess, in part because it’s been large­ly unclear what was actu­al­ly on the swasti­ka sign oth­er than a swasti­ka. After all, it’s one thing to cel­e­brate swasti­ka, but anoth­er to use a swasti­ka to some­how depict some­one as Nazi. The use of a swasti­ka in protest signs real­ly is pret­ty con­text spe­cif­ic. Is the swasti­ka being used for cel­e­bra­tion or con­dem­na­tion? And as we’re going to see in a fol­low up inter­view with Weiss, it appears it’s the lat­ter. The sign she saw depict­ed Ben­jamin Netanyahu with a Hitler mus­tache and a red tie con­tain­ing with a swasti­ka. So while a lot of the cov­er­age of this sto­ry left it ambigu­ous as to whether or not this was a sign cel­e­brat­ing the Nazis in the mid­dle of a pro-Pales­tin­ian protest, that’s not actu­al­ly the case. The swasti­ka was being used to equate Netanyahu with the Nazis.

    It’s also worth keep­ing in mind some of the oth­er the grim his­toric con­text behind this inci­dent: the fact that pow­er­ful ele­ments in both Israeli and Pales­tin­ian soci­eties have deep ties to not just fas­cism but Nazism. Whether we’re talk­ing about the exten­sive fas­cists con­nec­tions to the Jabotin­sky move­ment inside Zion­ism, or the inter­twined his­to­ry of fas­cism and mod­ern Islamist rad­i­cal­ism through groups like the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, there is no hon­est way to dis­as­so­ci­ate the lead­er­ship of either Israel or Gaza with fas­cism and Nazism.

    But we don’t have to look at his­to­ry to find these con­nec­tions to the Netanyahu gov­ern­ment. Don’t for­get how for­mer Mossad chief Tamir Par­do warned back in July of 2023 — months before Octo­ber 7 — that Netanyahu’s gov­ern­ment is “a lot worse” than the Ku Klux Klan in terms of its racism. Or there’s the very promi­nent rab­bis open­ly foment­ing Nazi-like poli­cies, like Rab­bi Eliez­er Kashtiel, who has open­ly expressed an admi­ra­tion for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis over­all goals. He only quib­bled with the part where the Nazis killed con­ser­v­a­tive Jews. Every­one else was appro­pri­ate­ly liq­ui­dat­ed. That gross con­tem­po­rary his­to­ry is part of the con­text of that sign too. Along with the hor­rif­ic con­text of the real­i­ty on the ground in Gaza, which appears to be in the mid­dle of an unde­clared eth­nic cleans­ing cam­paign.

    So it’s going to be inter­est­ing to see how many more swasti­ka inci­dents we see pop up in the still-mas­sive pro-Pales­tin­ian protests going for­ward. It’s not hard to imag­ine we’re going to see A LOT more at this point. What is sad­ly much hard­er to imag­ine is that any of these inci­dents will result in any mean­ing­ful explo­ration of the dis­turb­ing pro-Nazi his­to­ry found in the lead­er­ship of both sides of this gross con­flict.

    Ok, first, here’s a Dai­ly Mail piece describ­ing the back and forth cap­tured in video between Weiss and the Lon­don offi­cers. Note that, like most report­ing on this sto­ry, there was no actu­al descrip­tion of sign in ques­tion and how it specif­i­cal­ly depict­ed Ben­jamin Netanyahu as as Nazi. We’re only told that it had a swasti­ka:

    The Dai­ly Mail

    Fury over ‘absolute­ly gob­s­mack­ing’ footage show­ing Met Police offi­cer telling Jew­ish woman that swastikas ‘need to be tak­en into con­text’ and might not be anti-Semit­ic — after she com­plained about Nazi sym­bol being used in pro-Pales­tine march

    By Arthur Parashar
    Pub­lished: 08:04 EDT, 31 March 2024 | Updat­ed: 10:07 EDT, 31 March 2024

    The Met Police has sparked fury after ‘absolute­ly gob­s­mack­ing’ footage emerged of an offi­cer telling a Jew­ish woman that swastikas ‘need to be tak­en into con­text’ at a pro-Pales­tine march in Lon­don.

    Aston­ish­ing video shows the woman con­fronting offi­cers after she was alleged­ly told that the swastikas were ‘not nec­es­sar­i­ly anti-Semit­ic or a dis­rup­tion of pub­lic order’ when she report­ed them being dis­played at Sat­ur­day’s demon­stra­tion.

    Dur­ing the heat­ed inter­ac­tion, the furi­ous activist demands to know why the pro-Pales­tine pro­test­er show­ing a swasti­ka has not been arrest­ed.

    But two oth­er offi­cers seem­ing­ly defend the lack of action and refuse to acknowl­edge that parad­ing a swasti­ka sym­bol at the pro-Pales­tine march is anti-Semit­ic.

    After being shown the footage, a spokesper­son for Cam­paign Against Anti­semitism told MailOn­line: ‘This inter­ac­tion is absolute­ly gob­s­mack­ing.

    ‘The very notion that a British police offi­cer could imag­ine a con­text in which the Nazi swasti­ka is an accept­able image to be dis­played in pub­lic is dis­tress­ing enough, but for him to be uncer­tain about its mean­ing in the con­text of a march ooz­ing with anti-Semit­ic rhetoric and sig­nage is an indict­ment of the Met.

    ...

    ‘This is less the fault of a soli­tary offi­cer than it is of Met Com­mis­sion­er Sir Mark Row­ley, who has bent over back­wards to ratio­nalise and ‘con­tex­tu­alise’ calls for vio­lent Jihad and geno­ci­dal chant­i­ng.

    ‘If Sir Mark dis­agrees with this offi­cer’s assess­ment, he should come out and say so and explain what train­ing he will pro­vide to his offi­cers to ensure that they are clear that Nazism is bad.

    ‘But if he agrees that the swasti­ka is con­text-depen­dent, let him tell that to the hun­dreds of thou­sands of Britons who gave their lives to pre­vent that despi­ca­ble sym­bol from ever being flown on the streets of Lon­don.’

    After the woman tells the offi­cer that she has been told a swasti­ka ‘isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly anti-Semit­ic’, he starts to say ‘So I think the sym­bol in of itself...’ which prompts the activist to beg oth­ers to film the heat­ed inter­ac­tion.

    When those gath­er­ing around the pair tell the offi­cer ‘it is anti-Semit­ic’, the offi­cer responds: ‘I did­n’t say it was­n’t.’

    But the incensed woman then asks: ‘If some­one is car­ry­ing a sign with a swasti­ka, you said you would­n’t arrest them on the spot, it would have to be inves­ti­gat­ed online?’

    A sec­ond Met Police offi­cer then inter­rupts to say: ‘A swasti­ka on its own, I don’t think is...’.

    The offi­cers claim that ‘every­thing needs to be tak­en in con­text’ despite the Nazi sym­bol being parad­ed at a pro-Pales­tine march in the con­text of the Israel-Hamas war.

    It comes despite the Met assur­ing ahead of the demon­stra­tion that they would take ‘swift and deci­sive action’ against any­one break­ing the law. And ear­li­er this month, Robin Sim­cox, Britain’s counter-extrem­ism tsar warned pro-Pales­tine pro­test­ers are turn­ing Lon­don into a ‘no-go zone for Jews’.

    Dur­ing the video, the offi­cer tries to explain the Pub­lic Order Act and leg­is­la­tion they work under, but the woman shouts: ‘A swasti­ka is a swasti­ka!’

    The offi­cer con­tin­ues: ‘There are var­i­ous facets to the Pub­lic Order Act ok. So what in this sphere we’re work­ing under things called Sec­tion 5 of the Pub­lic Order Act and Sec­tion 4A of the Pub­lic Order Act. They are some of the pri­ma­ry leg­is­la­tion we’re using right.

    ‘If you go away and look at that and it’s all about if it’s some­thing like­ly to cause vast alarm and dis­tress if it is writ­ten words or there’s spo­ken words that are abu­sive.’

    The woman then inter­rupts: ‘So under what con­text is a swasti­ka not dis­rupt­ing pub­lic order? Could you just explain under what sym­bol that is not dis­rupt­ing pub­lic order?’

    The offi­cer answers: ‘I haven’t said any­thing about it that it is or it isn’t. Every­thing needs to be tak­en in con­text does­n’t it.’

    The per­son film­ing inter­rupts to say: ‘Yeah but it’s a con­text of a hate­ful march.’

    And the Jew­ish woman adds: ‘Why does a swasti­ka need con­text?’

    She con­tin­ues: ‘Why is a swasti­ka not imme­di­ate­ly anti-Semi­tism. Why does it need con­text? This is what I’m con­fused about. This isn’t even about Israel. In what con­text is a swasti­ka not anti-Semit­ic and dis­rup­tive to pub­lic order? That is my ques­tion.’

    The Met Police offi­cer replies: ‘I don’t have an in depth knowl­edge of signs and sym­bols. I know the swasti­ka was used by the Nazi par­ty dur­ing their incep­tion and the peri­od of them being in pow­er in Ger­many in 1934... I’m aware of that.’

    But the woman hits back, say­ing: ‘I just can’t believe this con­ver­sa­tion is actu­al­ly hap­pen­ing.’

    The offi­cer, seem­ing­ly get­ting frus­trat­ed, responds: ‘What exact­ly are you get­ting con­fused about?’

    And the woman replies: ‘I’m con­fused about in what con­text a swasti­ka is not anti-Semit­ic. This is what I want to know.’

    As the con­ver­sa­tion gets more heat­ed, the offi­cer says: ‘I sup­pose to some I don’t know how every­body would feel about that sign. Now if you came up to me and you felt mass alarm and dis­tress about a sym­bol that some­one was...’

    The woman then inter­rupts him to say: ‘I am extreme­ly dis­tressed and I am very alarmed.’

    She then claims she has offered to take the offi­cer to peo­ple who are hold­ing signs with swastikas.

    But the offi­cer insists on stay­ing where he is because there are oth­er offi­cers through­out the protest.

    He adds: ‘If you walk down the road and you see that per­son then there’s a police offi­cer...’

    The woman claims she did speak to an offi­cer who told her that it was ‘not their job to arrest peo­ple with swastikas’.

    The offi­cer replies: ‘I apol­o­gise that has hap­pened... It is not my respon­si­bil­i­ty unfor­tu­nate­ly to walk down the road. If you walk down the road and you see some­body then we can send some oth­er offi­cers with you back.’

    A spokesman for the Met Police said: ‘We’re aware of an online clip from today’s protest in cen­tral Lon­don show­ing an inter­ac­tion between an offi­cer and a woman dur­ing which there is an exchange over con­cern around pro­tes­tors dis­play­ing offen­sive ban­ners, includ­ing swastikas.

    ‘The online clip is a short excerpt of what was a 10-minute con­ver­sa­tion with the offi­cer. Dur­ing the full con­ver­sa­tion, the offi­cer estab­lish­es that the per­son the woman was con­cerned about had already been arrest­ed for a pub­lic order offence in rela­tion to a plac­ard.

    ‘The offi­cer then offered to arrange for oth­er offi­cers to attend and accom­pa­ny the woman to iden­ti­fy any oth­er per­sons she was con­cerned about amongst the pro­tes­tors, but after turn­ing to speak to his super­vi­sor, she then unfor­tu­nate­ly left.

    ...

    Four peo­ple were arrest­ed, includ­ing one man on sus­pi­cion of a ter­ror­ism-relat­ed offence, at yes­ter­day’s protest.

    More than 200,000 peo­ple took part in the demon­stra­tion on Sat­ur­day call­ing for an imme­di­ate cease­fire in Gaza, accord­ing to esti­mates by organ­is­ers.

    Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, thou­sands of pro-Pales­tin­ian sup­port­ers have marched through the streets of Lon­don.

    There has also been a huge increase in anti-Semi­tism in the cap­i­tal since Hamas’s hor­rif­ic Octo­ber 7 attacks that saw 1,139 peo­ple slaugh­tered and 240 tak­en hostage.

    ...

    Prime Min­is­ter Rishi Sunak has pre­vi­ous­ly called for the Met Police to take tougher action against pro­test­ers.

    Sunak also promised to deal with the ‘root caus­es’ of the prob­lem and ensure that ‘no extrem­ist organ­i­sa­tions or indi­vid­u­als are being lent legit­i­ma­cy by their actions and inter­ac­tions with cen­tral gov­ern­ment’.

    But Met Police Com­mis­sion­er Sir Mark Row­ley lat­er defend­ed the force’s polic­ing of protests, declar­ing ‘we have to police the law as it is, not as oth­ers would wish it to be’.

    A fort­night ago, Michael Gove com­piled a list of extrem­ist groups and barred them from gov­ern­ment meet­ings and fund­ing.

    The Com­mu­ni­ties Sec­re­tary unveiled a new def­i­n­i­tion of extrem­ism, warn­ing that divi­sions in the wake of Hamas’s ter­ror attack on Israel pose a ‘real risk’ to British democ­ra­cy.

    Groups meet­ing the mul­ti-pronged def­i­n­i­tion – even if they are non-vio­lent – will be banned from receiv­ing tax­pay­ers’ mon­ey and from con­tact with min­is­ters or senior civ­il ser­vants. It will also apply to the hon­ours sys­tem and pub­lic appoint­ments.

    ———–

    “Fury over ‘absolute­ly gob­s­mack­ing’ footage show­ing Met Police offi­cer telling Jew­ish woman that swastikas ‘need to be tak­en into con­text’ and might not be anti-Semit­ic — after she com­plained about Nazi sym­bol being used in pro-Pales­tine march” By Arthur Parashar; The Dai­ly Mail; 03/31/2024

    “It comes despite the Met assur­ing ahead of the demon­stra­tion that they would take ‘swift and deci­sive action’ against any­one break­ing the law. And ear­li­er this month, Robin Sim­cox, Britain’s counter-extrem­ism tsar warned pro-Pales­tine pro­test­ers are turn­ing Lon­don into a ‘no-go zone for Jews’.”

    Have reg­u­lar mas­sive protests over the war in Gaza turned Lon­don in a ‘no-go zone for Jews’, as the UK counter-extrem­ism tsar warned last month? That’s part of the larg­er con­text over the con­text ker­fuf­fle over a protest sign con­tain­ing a swasti­ka. Was ‘swift and deci­sion action’ war­rant­ed in the case of the pro­tes­tor hold­ing a sign with a swasti­ka? The answer, accord­ing to the Lon­don metro police, appears to be that it depends on the con­text of the sign. Because every­thing needs to be tak­en in con­text:

    ...
    After the woman tells the offi­cer that she has been told a swasti­ka ‘isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly anti-Semit­ic’, he starts to say ‘So I think the sym­bol in of itself...’ which prompts the activist to beg oth­ers to film the heat­ed inter­ac­tion.

    When those gath­er­ing around the pair tell the offi­cer ‘it is anti-Semit­ic’, the offi­cer responds: ‘I did­n’t say it was­n’t.’

    But the incensed woman then asks: ‘If some­one is car­ry­ing a sign with a swasti­ka, you said you would­n’t arrest them on the spot, it would have to be inves­ti­gat­ed online?’

    A sec­ond Met Police offi­cer then inter­rupts to say: ‘A swasti­ka on its own, I don’t think is...’.

    The offi­cers claim that ‘every­thing needs to be tak­en in con­text’ despite the Nazi sym­bol being parad­ed at a pro-Pales­tine march in the con­text of the Israel-Hamas war.

    ...

    As the con­ver­sa­tion gets more heat­ed, the offi­cer says: ‘I sup­pose to some I don’t know how every­body would feel about that sign. Now if you came up to me and you felt mass alarm and dis­tress about a sym­bol that some­one was...’

    The woman then inter­rupts him to say: ‘I am extreme­ly dis­tressed and I am very alarmed.’

    She then claims she has offered to take the offi­cer to peo­ple who are hold­ing signs with swastikas.

    But the offi­cer insists on stay­ing where he is because there are oth­er offi­cers through­out the protest.

    He adds: ‘If you walk down the road and you see that per­son then there’s a police offi­cer...’

    The woman claims she did speak to an offi­cer who told her that it was ‘not their job to arrest peo­ple with swastikas’.

    The offi­cer replies: ‘I apol­o­gise that has hap­pened... It is not my respon­si­bil­i­ty unfor­tu­nate­ly to walk down the road. If you walk down the road and you see some­body then we can send some oth­er offi­cers with you back.’
    ...

    Also note that this does­n’t appear to be a rogue offi­cer who was mak­ing up his own con­text-cen­tric pol­i­cy. Met Police Com­mis­sion­er Sir Mark Row­ley has already been defend­ing his police force against sim­i­lar crit­i­cisms from the UK gov­ern­ment about tak­ing too light a hand against the pro­tes­tors:

    ...
    ‘This is less the fault of a soli­tary offi­cer than it is of Met Com­mis­sion­er Sir Mark Row­ley, who has bent over back­wards to ratio­nalise and ‘con­tex­tu­alise’ calls for vio­lent Jihad and geno­ci­dal chant­i­ng.

    ‘If Sir Mark dis­agrees with this offi­cer’s assess­ment, he should come out and say so and explain what train­ing he will pro­vide to his offi­cers to ensure that they are clear that Nazism is bad.

    ‘But if he agrees that the swasti­ka is con­text-depen­dent, let him tell that to the hun­dreds of thou­sands of Britons who gave their lives to pre­vent that despi­ca­ble sym­bol from ever being flown on the streets of Lon­don.’

    ...

    A spokesman for the Met Police said: ‘We’re aware of an online clip from today’s protest in cen­tral Lon­don show­ing an inter­ac­tion between an offi­cer and a woman dur­ing which there is an exchange over con­cern around pro­tes­tors dis­play­ing offen­sive ban­ners, includ­ing swastikas.

    ‘The online clip is a short excerpt of what was a 10-minute con­ver­sa­tion with the offi­cer. Dur­ing the full con­ver­sa­tion, the offi­cer estab­lish­es that the per­son the woman was con­cerned about had already been arrest­ed for a pub­lic order offence in rela­tion to a plac­ard.

    ‘The offi­cer then offered to arrange for oth­er offi­cers to attend and accom­pa­ny the woman to iden­ti­fy any oth­er per­sons she was con­cerned about amongst the pro­tes­tors, but after turn­ing to speak to his super­vi­sor, she then unfor­tu­nate­ly left.

    ...

    Prime Min­is­ter Rishi Sunak has pre­vi­ous­ly called for the Met Police to take tougher action against pro­test­ers.

    Sunak also promised to deal with the ‘root caus­es’ of the prob­lem and ensure that ‘no extrem­ist organ­i­sa­tions or indi­vid­u­als are being lent legit­i­ma­cy by their actions and inter­ac­tions with cen­tral gov­ern­ment’.

    But Met Police Com­mis­sion­er Sir Mark Row­ley lat­er defend­ed the force’s polic­ing of protests, declar­ing ‘we have to police the law as it is, not as oth­ers would wish it to be’.
    ...

    So what is the actu­al­ly con­text of this sign? It’s a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to assess based on almost all of the arti­cles about this inci­dent since we don’t typ­i­cal­ly get to see one of the biggest pieces of con­text in this whole sto­ry: the sign itself. But it looks like we do now know what the sign was, thanks to the fol­low­ing inter­view in the Jew­ish Chron­i­cle with Joce­lyn Weiss, woman in the video argu­ing with the police offi­cer. As Weiss describes, “I’m not a fan of Bibi [Netanyahu] but he shouldn’t be depict­ed with a Hitler mous­tache and a swasti­ka. I saw Sunak and Starmer both depict­ed with horns – it’s bla­tant anti­se­mit­ic imagery.” So it appears that the swasti­ka was specif­i­cal­ly used in an image of Netanyahu with a Hitler mous­tache and a swasti­ka. The inter­view includes a pho­to of a protest poster with exact­ly that image, with Netanyahu wear­ing a red tie with a swasti­ka. That’s the key con­text of this whole inci­dent. A poster depict­ing Natanyahu as Hitler. It was­n’t a cel­e­bra­tion of Nazism, but rather a Nazi-cen­tric con­dem­na­tion of the Israeli Prime Min­is­ter:

    The Jew­ish Chon­i­cle

    Police should apol­o­gise after an offi­cer told me that swastikas ‘need to be tak­en in con­text’

    Woman who chal­lenged a police­man dur­ing an anti-Israel march in Lon­don has com­plained to the Met

    BY Jane Prins­ley
    April 02, 2024 16:35

    A woman has com­plained to the Met after she was told by a police­man patrolling an anti-Israel march that the ques­tion of whether or not hold­ing up a swasti­ka was an offence depend­ed “on con­text”.

    “A swasti­ka does not depend on con­text,” Amer­i­can doc­u­men­tary mak­er Joce­lyn Weiss told the JC after a video of her chal­leng­ing the Met offi­cer about a pro­test­er car­ry­ing a swasti­ka went viral.

    Over the course of a ten-minute con­ver­sa­tion on Sat­ur­day after­noon in cen­tral Lon­don, Weiss tried to appeal to the offi­cer, explain­ing that a swasti­ka was anti­se­mit­ic. The offi­cer said swastikas were not ille­gal in cer­tain con­texts and refused to leave his post.

    The Met has since said that they arrest­ed the pro­test­er, one of two arrests made under sec­tion 5 of the Pub­lic Order Act for caus­ing harass­ment, alarm and dis­tress at the anti-Israel march on Sat­ur­day.

    Shad­ow for­eign sec­re­tary David Lam­my crit­i­cised the offi­cer on LBC: “It doesn’t need con­text. It’s an out­ra­geous sym­bol to use on a protest, and we’ve got to bear down hard on those that have used it.

    “Of course the man should have been arrest­ed but it does seem to me that the offi­cer should have known this isn’t about con­text. It’s about vile anti­semitism on the streets of Lon­don mak­ing peo­ple feel unsafe. It’s a hate sym­bol and it’s got to be treat­ed as such.”

    ...

    Weiss had been at a counter-demo on Sat­ur­day where anti-Hamas demon­stra­tors waved Israeli flags and signs that said “Hamas is ter­ror­ist” towards a large crowd of anti-Israel pro­test­ers. She had not want­ed to draw atten­tion to her­self, and so had left her use­ful “rape is resis­tance” sign at home. In the anti-Israel crowd, she saw numer­ous offen­sive ban­ners, includ­ing one with Nazi sym­bols.

    Weiss was aston­ished by the police officer’s com­ments when she com­plained about the swasti­ka. “I could­n’t believe it hap­pened, I am still in shock,” she said.

    The Amer­i­can has lived in Lon­don for a year and a half and prefers the UK cap­i­tal city to her pre­vi­ous home­towns of Boston and New York. “It’s safe in Lon­don, it’s a beau­ti­ful city with a thriv­ing Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty. This inci­dent doesn’t do the city jus­tice [...] it’s not this law­less city that it’s depict­ed as.”

    Weiss describes her­self as a “left-lean­ing free­lance doc­u­men­tary mak­er and researcher” and said she has been left feel­ing like a “polit­i­cal foot­ball”, not­ing that peo­ple have used her video to fur­ther their polit­i­cal aims.

    She has con­sid­ered print­ing “leaflets that say swastikas are bad and see if they respond to them.”

    Weiss objects to the idea that anti­semitism needs to be con­tex­tu­al­ized. She said: “It’s like this Clau­dine Gay bullsh*t.

    I’m not a fan of Bibi [Netanyahu] but he shouldn’t be depict­ed with a Hitler mous­tache and a swasti­ka. I saw Sunak and Starmer both depict­ed with horns – it’s bla­tant anti­se­mit­ic imagery.”

    “It’s not about Israel, it’s about swastikas and swastikas are bad.”

    Weiss thinks “peo­ple have no lit­er­a­cy on this issue” and there is a “lack of bias train­ing” in the UK about anti­semitism.

    ...

    As the video con­tin­ued cir­cu­lat­ing on social media, the Met released a state­ment: “This video clip is a short excerpt of a 10-minute con­ver­sa­tion with an offi­cer. Dur­ing the full con­ver­sa­tion, the offi­cer estab­lished that the per­son the woman was con­cerned about had already been arrest­ed for a pub­lic order offence in rela­tion to a plac­ard.

    “The offi­cer then offered to arrange for oth­er offi­cers to attend and accom­pa­ny the woman to iden­ti­fy any oth­er per­sons she was con­cerned about amongst the pro­tes­tors, but after turn­ing to speak to his super­vi­sor, she had unfor­tu­nate­ly left.”

    ————

    “Police should apol­o­gise after an offi­cer told me that swastikas ‘need to be tak­en in con­text’” by Jane Prins­ley; The Jew­ish Chon­i­cle; 04/02/2024

    “Weiss had been at a counter-demo on Sat­ur­day where anti-Hamas demon­stra­tors waved Israeli flags and signs that said “Hamas is ter­ror­ist” towards a large crowd of anti-Israel pro­test­ers. She had not want­ed to draw atten­tion to her­self, and so had left her use­ful “rape is resis­tance” sign at home. In the anti-Israel crowd, she saw numer­ous offen­sive ban­ners, includ­ing one with Nazi sym­bols.

    There does­n’t appear to have been a sea of swastikas. It was a sin­gle sign, based on Weis­s’s descrip­tion. A sign fea­tur­ing Netanyahu with a Hitler mous­tache and swasti­ka. So while Weiss equat­ed the ‘con­tex­tu­al­iz­ing’ of the offi­cer with ‘Clau­dine Gay bullsh*t’, it’s impor­tant to rec­og­nize that the swasti­ka was­n’t be used in a ‘Riv­er to the Sea’ calls that could be inter­pret­ed as an endorse­ment of eth­nic cleans­ing that was at the cen­ter of the Clau­dine Gay con­tro­ver­sy. This is a sign depict­ing Netanyahu as a geno­ci­dal Nazi. An unpleas­ant image, no doubt. But, con­tex­tu­al­ly, it does­n’t appear to be a call for eth­nic cleans­ing. If any­thing, it’s a con­dem­na­tion of eth­nic cleans­ing, albeit a pret­ty inflam­ma­to­ry con­dem­na­tion:

    ...
    Weiss objects to the idea that anti­semitism needs to be con­tex­tu­al­ized. She said: “It’s like this Clau­dine Gay bullsh*t.

    I’m not a fan of Bibi [Netanyahu] but he shouldn’t be depict­ed with a Hitler mous­tache and a swasti­ka. I saw Sunak and Starmer both depict­ed with horns – it’s bla­tant anti­se­mit­ic imagery.”

    “It’s not about Israel, it’s about swastikas and swastikas are bad.”
    ...

    Is it inher­ent­ly anti­se­mit­ic to depict an Israeli prime min­is­ter as a Nazi? Well, it cer­tain­ly would be nice if we lived in a world where the Israeli prime min­is­ter was­n’t lead­ing a far right gov­ern­ment seem­ing­ly engaged in an eth­nic cleans­ing cam­paign. If we lived in that world then, sure, this could be seen as an inher­ent­ly anti­se­mit­ic image. But how are we to inter­pret it giv­en the gross and dis­turb­ing world we actu­al­ly live in? That ques­tion, unfor­tu­nate­ly, has basi­cal­ly been glossed over as this sto­ry has played out.

    So we’ll see if we hear about more sto­ries of Lon­don pro­tes­tor sport­ing swasti­ka signs. But it’s worth not­ing that, should we end up see­ing protest and counter-protests both hold­ing up mutu­al­ly incrim­i­nat­ing signs up that depict the lead­er­ship of Israel and Hamas as a bunch of fas­cist-sym­pa­thiz­ing wannabes, that may not make for a pleas­ant envi­ron­ment but it would at least be his­tor­i­cal­ly ground­ed. It’s not great con­text but it’s our con­text, whether we want to rec­og­nized it or not.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 3, 2024, 5:27 pm

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