I used to think the term ’Judeo-Nazis’ was excessive. I don’t any longer.


I used to think that Yeshayahu Leibowitz’s term “Judeo-Nazis” was too strong to describe Israel. But today, I feel differently.


The late Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz applied the term “Judeo-Nazis” back in the late 1980s when he referred to former Supreme Court Judge Meir Landau, who effectively legalized torture, by that description. He made his arguments strongly: “The State of Israel represents the darkness of a state body, where a creature of a human form who was the president of the Supreme Court decides that the use of torture is permitted in the interest of the state.” 

I took it as a kind of moral exaggeration. It was bad — Palestinians were being tortured systematically, but somehow I thought, we’re not quite as genocidal as Nazis. 

But today, I feel differently. Yesterday, Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor Arieh King tweeted a photo of over a hundred naked Palestinians who were kidnapped by the Israeli military in Gaza, handcuffed, and sitting in the sand, guarded by Israeli soldiers. King wrote that “The IDF is exterminating the Nazi Muslims in Gaza” and that “we must up the tempo”. “If it were up to me,” he added, “I would bring 4 D9’s [bulldozers], place them behind the sandy hills and give an order to bury all those hundreds of Nazis alive. They are not human beings and not even human animals, they are subhuman and that is how they should be treated,” King said. He ended by repeating Netanyahu’s biblical Amalek genocidal reference: “Eradicate the memory of the Amalek, we will not forget.” 

While Israel called it a “Hamas roundup,” the men and children in those photos, as young as 13 years old, were doctors, journalists, shopkeepers, and other civilians who had sought refuge in UNRWA schools in Beit Lahia. They had been arbitrarily kidnapped and separated from their families.

King’s tweet had been reposted by Middle East Monitor and was apparently just over the top for X, as it seems to have been removed by the platform. But not to worry: this morning, King tweeted again with the same photo and others (of naked Palestinian boys and men on trucks), this time opening his post with a biblical quote referring to Amalek, perhaps in order to confuse the algorithms. He quoted from Deuteronomy 25, 19:

“When the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!

Still, King found it necessary to emphasize the current relevance, lest it be too vague:

“Hundreds of sons of Amalek, Muslim-Nazis, what do you think their judgment should be?”

So, it is clear that we are really in Nazi times, and it really does bring associations of the Holocaust. This rhetoric and these deeds are now everywhere. Today, journalist and media host Yinon Magal (who was formerly a lawmaker in Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party and hosts a radio show with Ben Caspit on centrist Maariv 103FM radio) tweeted the same photo with a split screen featuring a 1967 photo of Palestinian prisoners (notably, dressed), and wrote that “history repeats itself.” He could just as well have used a 1948 Nakba photo or, for that matter, a Holocaust photo. Magal just does not seem to get the irony: history, indeed, repeats itself. 

Yesterday, Magal tweeted a photo of some of these naked boys and men as they sat on the razed street in Beit Lahiya and seriously asked, “why aren’t there women in the photo.” 

It’s hard to even get around all of the layers of perversion here. 

Earlier yesterday, Magal shared a video of Israeli soldiers in Gaza singing and dancing, and he typed the words of their genocidal song approvingly: 

“I have come to conquer Gaza 
And hit Hizbollah on the head
And only adhere to one mitzvah [deed]
To eradicate the seed of Amalek
I have left my house behind
And will not return until victory [is achieved]
Everyone knows our slogan
There are no uninvolved”

These are not just the chants of some kids on the hills. They are soldiers in Gaza — the same soldiers perpetrating this horrific genocide right in front of our eyes. Those cheerleading them in explicitly genocidal terms are not just far-right fanatics either; this spirit is everywhere. 

I am speaking to some fellow activists who find it really hard to cope with this. We can hardly follow the horrors, the rising death toll — while U.S. officials say that the Israeli assault might continue in its current mode until the end of January and then continue with a “lower-intensity, hyper-localized strategy.” 

How on earth can this genocide continue with the whole world watching, we ask ourselves? Well, the answer appears to be that it is continuing precisely because the whole world has chosen to watch it rather than stop it. This is on us all.

Source: I used to think the term ’Judeo-Nazis’ was excessive. I don’t any longer. – Mondoweiss

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