Netanyahu, Bennett and Liberman used the most horrible sort of anti-Jewish attack as a shield against criticism of their anti-Palestinian policies.
Right-wing Israeli leaders get away with such shameless political exploitation of Jewish tragedies, and no one calls them on it. Their use of the Holocaust is of course an old story; the new one is the way they’ve capitalized on the murders of four people, including a Tel Aviv couple, at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on Saturday.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said the killings were caused by “ceaseless incitement against Jews and their state. On European soil, tales and falsehoods against the State of Israel continue to be heard …”
Far-right religious party leader Naftali Bennett made roughly the same point on his Facebook page: “In this generation anti-Semitism has disguised itself as anti-Israel or anti-Zionist. Why are there people who hate the Jews? That is just the way it is. Why are there people who hate Israel? That is just the way it is.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman singled out the BDS movement for blame. “It’s the result on the ground of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement, among other things in calls to boycott Israel and Israeli products, in anti-Israel activities in international forums and in an automatic, one-sided anti-Israel position.”
Every decent, intelligent person can see what this is: Israel’s leaders are using the most horrible sort of anti-Jewish attack as a shield against criticism of their anti-Palestinian policies. And every decent person has to be appalled by this. Yet you won’t hear any criticism of Netanyahu, Liberman or Bennett from mainstream Jews and certainly not from European gentiles. They’re intimidated, they’re being emotionally blackmailed – the Jews by their fear of being accused of Jewish self-hatred, or treason, or collaboration, or whatever; the gentiles by their fear of being called anti-Semites.
So Israel’s right-wing leaders get away with this, and with everybody else remaining silent, their views are considered the “official” Jewish position, and maybe even the accepted “truth” of the Brussels murders.
This is depressing. As with so much having to do with contemporary Israel, it brings to mind the line from Yeats’ “The Second Coming”: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
The murders in Brussels were most likely committed by a Toulouse-style jihadist or a Kansas City-style neo-Nazi – and neither of those two lethal...Read More