+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Now Bibi is calling Yair Lapid an anti-Semite

People who see Netanyahu as the great Jewish avenger should know how low he’s willing to go in exploiting the memory of Jewish suffering.  

I can never get over the shamelessness with which Israeli nationalist power freaks will exploit people’s memories of anti-Semitic persecution for their own low purposes. Nobody’s better at it than Netanyahu; he can barely make a speech without waving around a document or two from some Holocaust-era archive. And he’s always got that furious expression on his face, as if to warn his audience not to even dare think that he’s faking it, that he’s using the memory of Jewish tragedy in the most calculated way, strictly to help him and his team get away with some new or old outrage – bombing Iran, killing Palestinians, building settlements, whatever. Netanyahu is very far from being the only Israeli nationalist known to work this scam, of course, but he’s the best at it. He looks so hurt and angry up there when he’s going on about Jewish victimhood, and he’s so audacious in wrapping himself in that mantle, that the average shmo is too intimidated to even say to himself that this guy is obviously laying it on too thick, he’s been doing it for 30 years, it’s a highly polished act. After all, that’s Bibi Netanyahu up there; snickering at him is like snickering at the Holocaust. So our leader goes on getting away with it.

I wish people who see Bibi as the Jewish avenger, brave and true, would be aware of how this guy used the memory of Jewish persecution yesterday. He broke new ground. For the purpose of removing Yair Lapid as the obstacle to his forming a right-wing/ultra-Orthodox government, Netanyahu likened the Yesh Atid party leader’s refusal to sit in a government with Haredi parties to past boycotts against Jews. He also identified Lapid’s stance with current international boycotts of Israel and of products made in the settlements. For the goal of pressuring Naftali Bennett, leader of the settler-backed Habayit Hayehudi party, to break his alliance with Lapid and join up with the Haredi parties in his next government, Netanyahu told a news conference last night:

There’s a boycott against a sector in Israel and this goes against my views. … I think that we, as Jews who have suffered from bans, we cry out in protest when Israel is shunned in international forums – as we should. We protest when settlers in Judea and Samaria have to deal with product boycotts – as we should. So the people who have to be the most sensitive to this issue are the settlers.

As Jews who have suffered from bans, we cry out in protest. So, Mr. Bennett, are you with Lapid, that boycotter of Jews, or are you against him?

I suppose I should give Bibi credit for restraint – he could have evoked the image of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Europe being herded into gas chambers, but he limited himself to the goyim’s boycotts. (Note that he didn’t mention Lapid by name, giving himself what he thinks of as plausible deniability. A classic Netanyahu performance.)

There is no Jewish memory too tender for him to exploit, no matter how base the political objective. He’s been doing it too long, he lost his moral compass a long time ago – it works, it’s a winner, so he reaches for it instinctively. The Arabs, the U.N., the U.S., Yair Lapid – get in Bibi’s way and he will stamp “anti-Semite” on your forehead before you can blink your eyes.

Again, it’s not just Bibi by any means, but he is the best at it – the most skilled, the most prolific, and, as the leader of Israel and of nationalistic Jews everywhere, the most influential.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. It’s another Lesson of the Holocaust!

      Reply to Comment
    2. Khaled Khalid

      To borrow Noam Chomsky, Israeli society has taken on all the emotional qualities of a Hysterical Brazilian Soap Opera.

      The day will come when people will not care about the Holocaust one way or the other. It’s become such a headache and an over used guilt tripping exercise so as to become emotionally draining just talking about it – by anyone who raises it for their own cynical reasons(Bibi), or even in case one dare to disagree on subjects nothing to do with the Holocaust.

      The Holocaust seems to have become such a Sacred Cow so as to achieved the Status of a tedious and miserable Religion.
      And for the Holocaust to become a “Tedious” subject is a tragedy in itself, from a human point of view. But we are dealing with cynical Sociopathic Politicians so they won’t stop using “The Holocaust” as a licence for killing and torturing Palestinian Men, women and children.

      Reply to Comment
      • XYZ

        It is interesting to note how the Nakba has taken on all the characteristics you have described among the Palestinians….basically an inability to move on from it towards real peace with Israel which the Palestinian leadership (both HAMAS and FATAH) refuse to ever talk about with their public. Endless nursing of grievances does not bode well for the “peace process” from the side of the Palestinians.

        Reply to Comment
        • Khaled Khalid

          It’s interesting the Hasbara Pro-Israel Global propaganda machine peddling the Zionist narrative is peeved at a rag tag Palestinian perspective.

          “Endless Nursing of Grievances?” Because Israel has never nursed grievances and been more thorough at it, Right? Because Israel doesn’t wallow in Self Pity, right?

          Reply to Comment
        • Khaled Khalid

          The reason is you are trying to sell a bad story, to explain the unexplainable. XYZ – You are like some Nazi camp guard complaining about a tooth ache.

          You think you’re being clever with these apparent retorts. You have no idea how much damage you are doing playing this Hasbara game. You see, apart from the Palestinians being under the Israeli Jackboot, the other casualty in this is the Holocaust memory itself.

          Reply to Comment
        • Abigail

          So, XYZ, you think that wiping more than 400 villages off the map, raping, killing and expulsion of an indigenous population which has never been emotionally processed let alone addressed by the Israelis, is the same as willful exploitation of the extermination of more than seven million Jews by nowadays unconscionable sh*ts like Netanyahu and other Jews? Where are your morals? Morals, not murals, you fluke.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            How precisely is the willful exploitation of this narrative: “400 villages off the map, raping, killing and expulsion of an indigenous population” different from the willful exploitation of the Holocaust you and others here seem to be accusing Bibi of?

            Other than of course the fact that the Holocaust did happen and the Germans admit as much and the narrative you describe is very much in dispute.

            Where in double standard land are your morals?

            Reply to Comment
          • aristeides

            The narrative of the Naqba is only “in dispute” because Israelis aren’t as honest about their past as the Germans.

            Reply to Comment
          • Y-Man

            The Nakba actually involves the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Holocaust (I prefer Shoah) involves European Jews and Germans. Only one of these events is germane to what is now going on in Israel…guess which one?

            Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            Since revisionist history seems to be in vogue here at 972, I would just like to remind everyone that it was the ARABS who started the war in 1947 and they openly bragged how they were going to commit genocide against the Jewish yishuv which fought back in a defensive war forced on them by Arab aggression. The myths you are pushing here were discredited by real historians a long time ago.

            Reply to Comment
          • Y-Man

            The “massive demographic upheaval [of the Nakba]… propelled the Arab states closer to an invasion about which they were largely unenthusiastic.” — Benny Morris, “1948”

            Reply to Comment
          • The Nakba itself is not in much dispute in academia, even in Israeli universities. The primary question still debated is the degree to which it was premeditated.

            Even if we accept your comment as literal truth, it’s still a non-sequitur. Abigal referred to the destruction of over four hundred communities and the expulsion of their inhabitants. It is difficult to paint that as a defensive action, irrespective of what you believe the root cause of the conflict to have been.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >The primary question still debated is the degree to which it was premeditated.

            Yes. By the Palestinian Arab congress. In 1919.

            Reply to Comment
          • Y-Man

            The “Palestinian Arab congress” premeditated the Nakba thirty years before it happened? Interesting.

            Reply to Comment
      • Philos

        Well said Khaled. And I agree with your rebuttals to XYZ’s puerile comment. Just remind him that whilst the Zionists throw the Holocaust in everyone’s face actual Holocaust survivors are wallowing in dreadful poverty in Israel in spite of the fact that the State of Israel (light unto nations) received billions of Deutche Marks from Germany that was supposed to go to these people. It’s a total and utter disgrace. As a Jew I permit all the goyim in the world to throw this factoid into the faces of the Zionists.

        Reply to Comment
        • XYZ

          I am sorry to be the one to break this to you, but you do not speak for world Jewry. “AS a Jew”, I think you are wrong.

          Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        It is unlikely that a day will come any time soon when Israelis will not care about the Holocaust.

        Your comment sounds like recycled Iranian propaganda.

        Reply to Comment
        • Khaled Khalid

          Did I say Israelis should care less about the Holocaust?
          Your comments sound like recycled Nazi Propaganda. You are a blind fool like XYZ. You may think you’re showing Chutzpah but you’re just caught up in your own little Mental Ghetto.
          It’s like trying to stop a retard driving over a cliff.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            “The day will come when people will not care about the Holocaust one way or the other.”

            You are either wrong when making this statement or you think that Israelis are not people.

            The name-calling must violate some sort of TOS on 972mag or does that part not apply to anti-Israel trolls?

            Reply to Comment
          • Khaled Khalid

            When I say “People” I mean People in general. And yes I do consider Israelis people, which is more than you consider Palestinians.
            Naturally Israeli People will consider the Holocaust a part of their history. However Zionists have learned all the wrong lessons from it.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            The main lesson learned from Holocaust is that if Jews are to be burned in furnaces, the whole world wouldn’t give a damn.

            Reply to Comment
          • Khaled Khalid

            The Whole World wouldn’t give a damn if Jews were burned??
            Tell that to the young men torn to pieces on the beaches of Normandy. Indeed tell that to the men and women of American And British Military who paid with blood fighting Hitler’s war machine.

            You, K9, XYZ are quick to make up pathetic convenient lies even as you hide behind anonymity. You are a shameless self serving propagandist.
            If the world wanted you dead then no one need have opposed Hitler. Only, they did. Are you seriously telling me you believe your own lies?
            Are you familiar with Eisenhower? Nimitz? Montgomery? Patton? Bradley, Marshal Zhukov? (Who were they? Insurance Salesmen?)

            But you won’t let facts get in the way of your Self Pity.

            Reply to Comment
          • Vadim

            Khaled – the world didn’t care that Jews were slaughtered, same as it doesn’t care when other are slaughtered.

            The world owns much to the people you named, to the vast sacrifices of Russians, Americans, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Canadians and countless others.

            But the thought that they have fought to save Jews is ignorant at best. They fought against Germany’s expansions and the threat it posed to the world. Had Germany simply killed all if *its* Jews – nothing would have been done by the world.

            There are many lessons to be learned from the Shoa. Lessons of tolerance no more important than those of self preservation.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >If the world wanted you dead then no one need have opposed Hitler. Only, they did. Are you seriously telling me you believe your own lies?
            Are you familiar with Eisenhower? Nimitz? Montgomery? Patton? Bradley, Marshal Zhukov?

            Well, I always knew that education in Arab countries is something special.

            The claim that USSR, UK and USA fought the WWII because of Jews is the single most idiotic thing I’ve heard for last 10, no, 15 years.

            Reply to Comment
        • Laurent Weppe

          No, but the day will come when Western powers will start answering “Fuck Off” to any israeli politician trying to justify his platform via mentions of the Holocaust.

          It might come to the point where even valid grievances and legitimate mentions of the Holocaust will get ignored or rejected if and when they are made by an Israeli politician because of the Netanyahu precedent: ever heard of the boy who kept crying wolf?

          Reply to Comment
    3. Philos

      I only hope Bibi succeeds in getting Bennett into his government for two reasons:
      a) I’m dying to say to Lapid voters “Look who’s sitting with the Zoabis now!”; the schadenfreude is too good.
      b) A Bibi-Bennett-Ultra-Orthodox government is the one Israel deserves. No more fig leaves. No more Barak’s to cover up the extremism. Let’s do it like Bennett says. It’s the only way anything will change.

      Reply to Comment
    4. betz

      Bibi was a mess the first time around, the second time around, and is proving to be a shameless mess the third time around. Forget Lapid. Israel is imploding and will continue to do so under this clown or any other “Leader” who fights tooth and nail to enter into the 21st century.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Jogortha

      Aside of how one feels about Netanyahu and his moral compass, you’ve got to give him credit for pulling a brilliant maneuver against Lapid. What Larry didn’t mention is that this is act 2 in the paly: prior to this statement, Likud negotiators publicly leaked that Lapid was intent on allowing Haredis in the coalition. Lapid complained about that publicly and said it was unethical of the Likud to do that. He understood too late that he fell into a trap.
      Machiavelli would have been proud of Netanyahu– that is what a sucker that Lapid is..

      Reply to Comment
    6. Jan

      We just returned from seeing The Gatekeepers, a truly stunning film that should have won the Academy Award.

      Of the many scenes that will stay in my mind was of one of the far right fascist rallies in which Yitzak Rabin was pictured as a Nazi. Who do we see marching against Rabin at the rally? Why Netanyahu, of course. It was rallies such as these that led the terrorist Amir to murder Rabin and any chance of peace. I suspect that Netanyahu was not unhappy with Rabin’s murder.

      Reply to Comment
      • XYZ

        I see you are lacking in knowledge about the event. First of all, the Commission that investigated Rabin’s murder found that the picture of Rabin in an SS uniform was distributed by a SHABAK provocateur, Avishai Raviv in order to discredit the political opposition to Rabin (for historical precedents, look up “Yevno Azef” in Wikipedia).
        Secondly, if you want to blame Netanyahu for being at the demonstration, then all the people who were present at the big “social justice” demonstration where a guillotine was set up are also guilty of incitement to murder.
        Thirdly, regarding Rabin’s murder, we all need to ask the question of why Rabin’s assassin, who was a known extremist under close surveillance by the SHABAK for months before the assassination (as determined by the Shamgar Commission investigating the murder) was allowed into the “sterile zone” around Rabin.
        Rabin was very unpopular before his murder and polls showed Netanyahu would have won an election against Rabin. What did he gain from having Rabin murdered. And please explain how that supposedly ‘harmed the peace process’. Rabin’s daughter in addition to many other people have stated that Rabin was very disillusioned with Arafat and was telling people that he was going to end the agreements after he was re-elected.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kibbutznik

          Or Jan ,
          you could read ‘Murder in the name of God ‘ .
          Never trust a Right winger when it comes to Rabin’s asassination and never forget what Leah Rabin thought of Bibi and his part in the incitement .

          Reply to Comment
        • I’m surprised and disappointed, XYZ – you believe the conspiracy theories about Rabin’s murder, which are at the moral and intellectual level of Holocaust denial. A few replies: 1) The photomontages of Rabin in SS uniform were printed up by Chabad yeshiva students in Jerusalem; 2)Your comparison of the social protest demos to the anti-Oslo protests shows your judgment has been completely destroyed by your radical ideology; 3) the polls showed Bibi tied w/Rabin before the assassination, not leading; 4) Rabin was planning to end the peace process? that’s not what he sounded like at that final peace rally, attended by 150,000, which was a triumph until the end. Just like Holocaust denial is the flip side of Holocaust justification, blaming the left for Rabin’s assassination is the flip side of endorsing it. All those MASSES of right-wingers who chanted “Rabin is a traitor” now deny that they incited to his murder. It’s a ploy to evade the blame, and the Right uses it just like Jew-haters use Holocaust denial.

          Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            You are repeating the comforting, yet false myths of the “peace camp”:

            (1) Netanyahu was leading in the polls that I saw. But even if they were tied, what interest would he have in seeing Rabin dead?..Rabin was very unpopular, even among Labor Party supporters. Have you forgotten all the terrorist attacks that were occurring at the time?

            (2) There was no 150,000 people at the rally. IT was a pretty large rally, it had about 30,000-40,000 tops. People took aerial photos of the rally, measured Kikar Malchei Israel and came to the number I stated. Organizers of demonstrations of all camps greatly exaggerate the number of people attending.

            (3) The photo was distributed by SHABAK provocateur Avishai Raviv, even if he didn’t print it up. This was the testimony of a Kol Israel reporter to the Shamgar Commission. Please explain why a SHABAK agent, whose job was to protect Rabin, was going around spreading incentiary hate propaganda aginst Rabin? But so what if a couple of students made it in the first place? What about the guillotine, how is that different?

            Now be honest, Larry, how are you any different than those who denounced Rabin? You go around saying the current gov’t is a disaster and threat to Israel. Maybe we could call that incitmenet to murder , too? Lots of people were dying because of Rabin’s policy…is it any surprise that people would be upset about it? Or is freedom of speech limited to you guys?

            Again, I repeat that Rabin’s daughter confirmed that her father was very disillusioned with the Oslo Agrements and said he wanted to get out of them.

            Finally, I repeat my question to you…why was an extremist who was under constant surveillance for months before the assassination allowed into the sterile zone? I am not necessarily saying there was a conspiracy, but there certainly was gross negligence, plus use of provocateurs which makes it hard to understand why the SHABAK chief who was responsible for the disaster, Carmi Gillon ,was given plum jobs by Shimon Peres, including being appointed head of the Shimon Peres Peace Center and ambassador to Denmark.

            Reply to Comment
          • 1. You say there were only 30,000 people at the rally, you say Dalia Rabin said her father planned to give up on peace process – this is the first I’ve ever heard of this, show something to back this up, a quote that can be checked, for instance.
            2. Avishai Raviv was not a Shin Bet agent, or a provocateur, he was a right-wing crazy who doubled as a Shin Bet informer. His job was not to protect Rabin, he was ecstatic when Rabin was killed. He was a right-wing radical who, it turns out, got more out of the Shin Bet than the Shin Bet got out of him.
            3. You can’t compare the left to the right because all the violence between the two sides goes one way only – from right to left. You people kill, we don’t.
            4. You say you don’t necessarily believe in a left-wing conspiracy to kill Rabin, but then you bring up all these “mysteries” which point to just that. The thing is, they’re not mysteries – you suggest that Peres appointed Gillon to top jobs in return for arranging the assassination, as if this is the first time an Israeli big shot screwed up and landed on his feet. You damn sure do believe in the conspiracy, and you probably think Rabin got what he deserved.

            Reply to Comment
    7. XYZ

      Avishai was a SHABAK agent, and I heard that he received a pension from them:


      The Shamgar Commission reported that he was the person closest to Yigal Amir in the months before the assassination. Thus, the SHABAK knew very well what he was up to. The Kempler film shows a police officer checking Amir’s identity card before the murder. They knew he was there. Why they didn’t stop him and why they let him into the sterile zone, I will leave to you to speculate.

      I find it odd that a 972 commentator would suddenly find the SHABAK people to be pure, saintly people regarding the use of provocoteurs against the political opposition and even inciting violence, when they and the other security forces are accused of all sorts of crimes against the Palestinians here.
      I recall what you said about Breivik’s (sp?) massacre in Norway-that it would turn people against the Israeli Right which you viewed as a positive thing. That’s what the SHABAK provocoteurs were doing as well….don’t you think it is worthwhile for your “peace camp”?

      Reply to Comment
        • I can’t believe you – I opened the link you posted – and it’s from Barry Chamish, the no. 1 Rabin conspiracy crackpot who once wrote a book about the secret giants on earth – and this is your source? you know what? you’re 100% right, whatever you say.

          Reply to Comment
    8. Gearoid

      That website screams “i write conspiracy theories on the internet”.

      But seriously, when a right wing apologist like Daniel Pipes writes about how a man’s work is trash, it seems like a pretty solid indicator of bad work.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Refael

      This article fails entirely to address the validity of the prime minister’s remarks.
      Furthemore, the tone it employs leaves me to wonder whether the author is capable of any objective analysis.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Jogortha

      Saying that Larry fails to address Netanyahu’s claim is unfair, if not ridiculous. Netanyahu himself upped the rhetorical antic by publicly calling Haredims a burden on society, and other coded messages that are very much borderline prejudiced. Netanyahu is a shrewd and very capable, at times brilliant tactician, but moral clarity never was his strong suit.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Click here to load previous comments

The stories that matter.
The missing context.
All in one weekly email.

Subscribe to +972's newsletter