[This post has been updated]
The Samaria Settler Council — an organization representing Israeli settlements in northern West Bank — has just uploaded a pretty jaw-dropping piece of propaganda. It’s subtitled in English and really needs to be seen to be believed. But in case you don’t want to do it to yourselves, it shows a wealthy European named Herr Stürmer (get it?) tossing shiny Euro coins to a hook-nosed, vicious character referred to only as “ze Jew.”
“Ze Jew” is paid by his master (whose face is obscured by a newspaper parodying Haaretz headlines on Israeli human rights abuses) to besmirch Israel, its soldiers and its settlers. At the end, when Herr Stürmer has no further use for him, “ze Jew” obligingly hangs himself (got that one?). The depiction of the dissenting and/or diasporic Jew as identical to the anti-Semitic caricature is a sadly familiar trope of Zionist nationalism, dating all the way back to the earliest days of the movement. The punchline is supposed to be that this is the same hooked-nosed, money-grabbing, media-manipulator that European paymasters have always seen in the Jews. But the cartoon was not drawn by Europeans — it was conceived, drawn and paid for by Israelis, for Israelis, about Israelis.
One can only wonder how right wingers, of all people, have the gall to call critics of Israeli policies “self-hating Jews”.
UPDATE: The Samaria Settler Council is a non-profit, but most of its funds comes from the Samaria Regional Council, which is an elected local authority (confusing, I know). As Labor MK Stav Shaffir wrote to her followers on Saturday night, “In case you were wondering who was sponsoring that filth, the answer is: you” – some NIS 1.3 million of taxpayer money in the last year alone, according to Shaffir.
Since going online, the video has been lambasted by just about everyone, including settler leaders. Danny Dayan, one-time chair of Yesha Council and number one advocate for the settlement movement, stressed the Council does not represent him, while Naftali Bennett tried to place some distance between himself and the video, albeit obliquely.
“I think the clip is inappropriate,” Bennet told Army Radio. “The content, incidentally, is very true: Europe funds organizations that harm IDF soldiers, and that’s a fact. I think this should be dealt with through legal means. I’m generally against using Nazi allegories.” Later on Sunday, even the Samaria Regional Council itself professed revulsion with the clip.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Samaria Settler Council, Benny Katzover, doubled down behind the video, saying the uncut version was even harsher. “It had much stronger imagery because the picture of leftist organizations courting the greatest anti-Semites is an outrageous one,” he said to the same radio station. “But we knew that the Israeli public, which isn’t really aware of what is going on, can’t really take overdoses all at once [sic], so we softened it up.”
Morbid curiosity abounds.