The Gaza assault brings out the Jewish extremists - updated 9/21/14

The Gaza assault brings out the Jewish extremists

by Sheila Musaji

In every community, there are some bad apples.  The bad apples in the Muslim community get lots of press.  Those in other communities, not so much — in fact, many see Muslim bad apples as being the only kind of Muslims there are. 

The Jewish community also has bad apples.  We had previously noted some of these in the Jewish community in the article Jewish “Ahavah shel achvah” Brotherly Love is Difficult for Some to Attain, and sadly, a number of them are included in the TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.  Individuals like Pamela Geller whose professed “love” for Muslims is expressed as pathological hatred use every opportunity to show their bigotry.  Those known bigots we expect to promote division and hatred (and we have resources to respond to their Islamophobia), some others who have spoken during this crisis are more of a surprise.

In this current Gaza assault, the bad apples in the Jewish community are becoming very vocal.  It seems that there are some individuals in the Jewish community who are more concerned with political expediency than with Judaism.  (Just as there are some in the Muslim community that are more concerned with political expediency than with Islam.)  Instead of saying NEVER AGAIN!, they are saying Never again (after just one more time).  Just as Muslim extremists have hijacked Islam for political purposes, these Jewish extremists have hijacked Judaism.  Here are a few shameful examples:

Jeremy Sharon reports:

Rabbi Dov Lior, a national- religious leader and the chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Hebron, published a letter on Monday saying that Jewish law permits destroying the entire Gaza Strip to bring peace to the south of the country.

Lior said that he had received questions about whether Jewish law permits harming a civilian population not directly involved with the combatants.

He first cited the opinion of the Maharal of Prague, a renowned 16th-century rabbi, who wrote that a nation under attack can wage a fierce war against the assaulting nation, and that it is not obligated regarding the safety of people who are personally involved in hostilities.

“At a time of war, the nation under attack is allowed to punish the enemy population with measures it finds suitable, such as blocking supplies or electricity, as well as shelling the entire area according to the army minister’s judgment, and not to needlessly endanger soldiers but rather to take crushing deterring steps to exterminate the enemy,” Lior wrote.

Addressing the hostilities with Hamas, the rabbi continued to say that “in the case of Gaza, it would be permitted for the defense minister to even order the destruction of all of Gaza so that the South will no longer suffer and to prevent injury to our people, who have been suffering for so long from the enemies surrounding us.”

“Talk of humanitarianism and consideration are nothing when weighed against saving our brothers in the South and across the country and the restoration of quiet to our land,” he said.

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On condemned Lior’s comments and called on the attorney- general to open an investigation against him for incitement. ...

Hayes Brown reports Wall Street Journal Columnist Argues That There Are No Palestinian Civilians.  He reports that Thane Rosenbaum a professor at New York University’s School of Law, who recently wrote a book entitled “Payback: The Case for Revenge” wrote:

“The asymmetry is complicated even further by the status of these civilians.Under such maddening circumstances, are the adults, in a legal and moral sense, actual civilians? To qualify as a civilian one has to do more than simply look the part. How you came to find yourself in such a vulnerable state matters. After all, when everyone is wearing casual street clothing, civilian status is shared widely.”

And, further, he said: The people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives. Almost instantly Hamas began stockpiling weapons and using them against a more powerful foe with a solid track record of retaliation.What did Gazans think was going to happen? Surely they must have understood on election night that their lives would now be suspended in a state of utter chaos. ...

Matt Bruenig reports further on Rosenbaum Osama bin Laden in the Wall Street Journal in which he notes the clear parallel with the justifications previously used by the terrorist, OBL

Jon Snow reports that Gilad Sharon (the son of Ariel Sharon) said “We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too”.  An Israeli talking about use of atomic weapons is a concern, especially since Israel is the only country in the Middle East with atomic weapons. 

Jonathan Cook reported Calls for genocide enter Israeli mainstream in which he notes that Ayelet Shaked, of economics minister Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party said:

“They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists. They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists. …  [The terrorists] are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

Mordechai Kedar, a lecturer on Arabic literature at Bar Ilan University said:

“A terrorist, like those who kidnapped the boys [in the West Bank on June 12] and killed them, the only thing that will deter them, is if they know that either their sister or mother will be raped if they are caught. What can we do? This is the culture that we live in. “

  [Note: this is the same Mordechai Kedar who with David Yerushalmi published the infamous Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques report.  Read about it at Mapping Sharia Project Goes Beyond Islamophobia to Raving, Paranoid, In(SANE)ity!]

Moshe Feiglin, a deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party said:

“[Netanyahu] announces that Israel is about to attack military targets in their area and urges those who are not involved and do not wish to be harmed to leave immediately. Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave. This will be the limit of Israel’s humanitarian efforts. … All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’. …  The IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations. … The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.”

The Times of Israel reported that Feiglin also said:

“Attack the entire ‘target bank’ throughout Gaza with the IDF’s maximum force (and not a tiny fraction of it) with all the conventional means at its disposal. All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’…. Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews.”

The Times of Israel reported that Benjamin Netanyahu said:

“I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.”

As Omid Safi noted about Netanyahu’s statement in the article Some truths you are not going to hear on American corporate media on #Gaza“West of River Jordan. That includes the West Bank [in addition to Gaza and the rest of historical Palestine/ “proper Israel”]. Yes, the same West Bank that is supposedly to be the heart of the future Palestinian state in the reported two-state solution. The same future Palestinian state that currently sits dotted with Jews-only settlements connected by Israeli only roads. The same site of the alleged future Palestinian state that in the years that the Israelis have dragged on the sham of the so-called peace process, they have more than doubled the number of illegal Jewish settlers in the Jews-only settlements on the West Bank.  Netanyahu is conveying his stance that they will never relinquish the land. - No Palestinian state. - No two-state solution.”

The Times of Israel reported that Ambassador Ron Dermer told a Christians United for Israel (CUNI) group that the “Israel Defense Force deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for showing unimaginable restraint.” and “Israeli soldiers are dying so that innocent Palestinians can live.”

This is the same Dermer who used the White House Iftar to send out an offensive tweet, and who then set up an #AskDermer hashtag to make himself available for a Q&A on the Gaza assault.  As I wrote #askDermer was a colossal social media #Hasbarafail.

Martin Sherman published Into the fray: Why Gaza must go in The Jerusalem Post.  His introduction is enouth for anyone to get the gist of his message:

The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerant Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.

Key points in these hateful statements — exterminate the enemy, destroy entire Gaza Strip, no civilians in Gaza, kill families and mothers of the enemy, rape the enemies sisters and mothers, Gaza will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews, everything west of the River Jordan belongs to Israel — ought to shock all civilized people.  This is extremism and hate speech.

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences

Muslim scholars have spoken out against holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.  Muslims, Christians, and Jews all need to remain aware and counter the arguments of those who promote anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Arabophobia, or any other such hatred.  We all need to speak out and tell individuals or groups promoting such hatred that they do not speak in our name.  We must find a way to coexist or we won’t exist.


UPDATE 8/1/2014

The son of the Editor of the Five Towns Jewish Times, Yochanan Gordon published an article in The Times of Israel which has caused quite a stir on social media.  The article is titled When Genocide Is Permissible - and after a social media backlash began, the paper deleted the article. If you click on the url for the article you will get this “post removed” message.  You can see an archived copy of the article HERE.  This represented the authors thinking on how Israel should handle the current Gaza crisis.  Amazingly, the Five Towns Jewish Times has also posted this article on their site at this link.  They must be proud of the content.  Let’s see how long this stays online.  Not long, within half-an-hour after writing this, it has been removed.

The Five Towns Jewish Times has now printed this “explanation”:

An article that was posted earlier today on our website dealt with the question of genocide in a most irresponsible fashion.  We reject any such notion or discussion associated with even entertaining the possibility of such an unacceptable idea.

The piece should have been rejected out of hand by editors but escaped their proper attention.  We reject such a suggestion unequivocally and apologize for the error.

What is even more shocking is that the Times of Israel also has online, an article by Irwin E. Blank discussing 1 Samuel 15:18 which is even more hateful and genocidal that the Gordon article.  He contends that Hamas is equivalent to the Amalekites of the Bible and that modern Israel should follow the example given in the Torah to destroy the Amalekites.  Here is just one paragraph from this disgusting Islamophobic screed:

... G-d might be meant to illustrate that voice of the people-the vox populi. In this case, G-d had demanded that Saul (or the “prime minister”)  enter into battle with the Amalekites (Hamas and its savage partners) and destroy them utterly even if that means to the last child, cow and goat. As cruel as this appears, it is a lesson that teaches a nation in terrible danger that it has a legitimate obligation to put a definite end to a substantial threat.  The end of such a conflict must make it impossible for that enemy to rebuild and continue to vex one’s nation forever. ...

The Blank article is still online, but check it out before it too is removed.  This pattern of publishing something disgraceful, and then removing it without an apology or explanation, is only too common.  See Islamophobes Attempt to Conceal Evidence of “Truth-Telling” for lots more examples.

These people are part of an all too vocalJewish fringe group whose motto seems to be Never again (after just one more time).  Shameful!

It will be interesting to watch how all of this plays out over the next few days.  Already JTA has published an article condemning the Gordon article and listing all sorts of comments from the papers involved trying to distance themselves. 

Yochanan Gordon has now published a kind-of sort-of apology

UPDATE 8/3/2014

See TAM article Elie Wiesel and Shmuely Boteach Publish Hateful Ad about latest bit of hate speech.  See the full article, but here is the gist:

...  And, this week, during the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza, an article in the Algemeiner Elie Wiesel Condemns Hamas for Using Children as Human Shields, Calls on Gazans to Reject Hamas’s Child Sacrifice  (whose headline along tells any decent human being that this is a Hasbara/propaganda effort) tells the following story.

Elie Wiesel has put his name to a full-page ad.  The full page Op-Ed ad will appear in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, as well as in ads on social media, while a television campaign is also planned.  Here is a PDF upload of the full page newspaper ad headlined Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago.  Now it’s Hamas’ turn.  Wiesel and his organization published the ad which Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s organization, This World: The Values Network created the ad campaign. 

A few passages:

“... the blame lies solely with Hamas who use children as human shields and stores rockets and ammunition in nurseries, schools, hospitals, and family homes. ...”

— “I call upon President Obama and the leaders of the world to condemn Hamas’ use of children as human shields.” This formula of course gives Israel a blank check to kill Palestinian children, while blaming Hamas for using them as “shields.” ...


UPDATE 8/7/2014

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz called on the government of Israel to take “revolutionary steps” against the people of Gaza.  He also said:

““We need to break away from the population in Gaza… We need to set boundaries and say goodbye to Gaza until their is peace - no fuel, no electricity, no water, no food… It makes no sense for Israel to give the enemy these things.”

The commander of the Givati Brigade, Colonel Ofer Winter, wrote Studying Torah is best protection in which he declared a “holy war” on Palestinians in an official Israeli military dispatch distributed to soldiers, calling for them to “to wipe out an enemy” who “curses and defames God.”

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed wrote Jewish Laws of War in which he said:

... “O God, don’t sit idly by, silent and inactive when we pray. Do to them [Palestinians] as once you did to Midian, or as you did to Sisera and Yavin at the river Kishon, and as you did to your enemies at Ein-dor, whose decaying corpses fertilized the soil. O my God, blow them away like dust; like chaff before the wind— as a forest fire that roars across a mountain. Chase them with your fiery storms, tempests, and tornados [sic]. Utterly disgrace them until they recognize your power and name, O Lord. Make them failures in everything they do; let them be ashamed and terrified until they learn that you alone, Hashem, are the God above all gods in supreme charge of all the earth.”

“Unfortunately, in this war as well, we have heard leaders and commanders boasting that pilots and soldiers have refrained from attacking terrorists situated in the vicinity of civilians… [W]e are still far from acting appropriately from a Jewish, ethical standpoint, and as needed to achieve victory. Therefore, it is imperative to criticize those leaders and commanders who have mercy for the lives of our enemies’ civilians, and endanger the lives of our soldiers. Expressing this position is tantamount to pikuach nefesh, saving the lives of our soldiers… The correct moral position is that in time of war, the enemy is hit together with the civilians beside him.” ...

UPDATE 9/21/2014

After the Elie Wiesel/Shmuely Boteach ad (referred to above) was published, a group of Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors also placed an ad in the New York Times.  This ad was signed by 350 Holocaust survivors and survivors of victims of the Holocaust who condemned the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel.  The ad said in part:

As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine. We further condemn the United States for providing Israel with the funding to carry out the attack, and Western states more generally for using their diplomatic muscle to protect Israel from condemnation. Genocide begins with the silence of the world.
We are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever-pitch. In Israel, politicians and pundits in The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post have called openly for genocide of Palestinians and right-wing Israelis are adopting Neo-Nazi insignia.

Furthermore, we are disgusted and outraged by Elie Wiesel’s abuse of our history in these pages to justify the unjustifiable: Israel’s wholesale effort to destroy Gaza and the murder of more than 2,000 Palestinians, including many hundreds of children. Nothing can justify bombing UN shelters, homes, hospitals and universities. Nothing can justify depriving people of electricity and water.

We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people. We call for an immediate end to the siege against and blockade of Gaza. We call for the full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. “Never again” must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!

  You can see the full list of signatories HERE

Seth Sanders published Elie Wiesel mangles Bible in anti-Hamas “blood libel” ad.  In this article he mentions the Holocaust survivors response, and then goes on to discuss at length how the Wiesel ad misuses Biblical references.

This is not the first time that Jews have spoken out against bigoted ads.  After Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s AFDI published a series of ads focusing on “savages” and “civilized men”, a number of American Jews spoke out.  See: American Jews Are Speaking Out Against Anti-Muslim Ads

See the article Israeli Incitement fueling intolerance & hate crimes for many more examples of hate speech.

See also:

The Blogger Who Offered an Argument for Palestinian Genocide, Gideon Resnick

Israeli Website Publishes Piece Titled “When Genocide is Permissible”,

Jewish “Ahavah shel achvah” Brotherly Love is Difficult for Some to Attain (list of bigoted statements), Sheila Musaji

Reprint of Yochanan Gordon’s “When Genocide is Permissible” (Updated)

Times Of Israel Publishes Op-Ed About ‘When Genocide Is Permissible’, Then Deletes It, Catherine Taibi

Times of Israel, 5 towns paper, remove posting pondering genocide in Gaza

‘When Genocide Is Permissible’ Article Taken Down By The Times Of Israel: Yochanan Gordon’s Post Sparks Outrage, Howard Koplowitz

Whoa: Times of Israel Op-Ed advocates genocide against Gazans, Tina Nguyen