(Another Jewish Neo-Nazi) Blood & God & Death (Here & There In the Land of Israel)

Jewish Nazi

No, I don’t think Israel is a Nazi state, but I think it’s time to start calling out the Jewish Nazis, or neo-Nazis if you prefer, like this rabbi from the Israeli town of Afula. A couple of week back, Amos Oz said it (here), and now Saul Friedlander, the doyen of Holocaust Studies (here). Friedlander’s argument is that, for decades, the Jewish right has turned the Shoah into political fodder; and now the left must do the same. It’s a deep rabbit hole, but maybe it’s time. At least, that’s what I thought reading here this article and watching the clip about the memorial rally in the town of Afula calling for greater public security after the murder of Sheli Dadon, a nineteen year old young woman murdered in what may have probably been a terrorist attack, but about whose motive the police remain unsure.

About these things one should be analytic. What then are the precise conceptual building blocks or working tools of the Jewish neo-Nazi? Just like in the Nazi discourse, these would be “blood,” “death,” “purity,” and “salvation.” And since Jewish neo-Nazi discourse tends to be religious, you should also look for “God,” “mitzvoth,” and “prayer.” Add to that political stress, economic distress, a state of emergency, nighttime rallies, an angry and anxious mob, and violence on the streets, and the recipe is complete. Society abhors a political vacuum. So does religion. In Israel, the fascism is still small-scale, but you can hear in the anger directed at Prime Minister Netanyahu and at the police the threat it represents to the state.

Blood and God, the Jewish neo-Nazi phenomenon is caught in the rabbi’s address, and then in its violent aftermath as reported in the article. The rabbi calls out to the heavens, to the crowd, “The blood of Sheli is my blood” (Ha’dam shel Sheli ha’dam sheli), threat to the nation, “Jewish blood is not hefker,” “Jewish blood is not hefker,” sanctification of heaven,  “Hear O’ Israel, The Lord Our God the Lord is One,” “The Lord is God,” The Lord is God,” “the throne of God,” “the coming of the Messiah,” the rabbi calls out. Call and response, the crowd roars back. After the official rally, an angry crowd went out and almost lynched two Israeli Arabs at a local Café Aroma. “Od Kahane Chai,” “Od Kahane Chai,” “Death to Arabs,” “Death to Arabs,” “Death to Leftists,” “Death to Leftists.” After the Border Police extracted the two young men from the café, the crowd went off to “clean” and to “purify” the town of Arabs. “Don’t even think about going after a Jewish girl,” “We’ll fuck them and murder them all.” “Jews let’s win,” “Kahane lives.”



About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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