(Recognition) Little Jewish Neo-Nazis (Jerusalem Day)

Little Jewish Nazis

This is how a country turns itself inside out. This is how religion turns a country inside out. Bit by bit and year after year a country can lose its right to a place that its people are unable to share with others. Turning Judaism and Jerusalem racist and violent, is this the state of Israel? This is what it sounds like, the imposition of a claim and the abuse of people. These kids and their teachers represent a future of the country that many of us will be unable to “recognize” as having anything to do with us. You can see a clip here and read this article here.

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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28 Responses to (Recognition) Little Jewish Neo-Nazis (Jerusalem Day)

  1. Daniel Sieradski says:

    those of us who have been sounding the alarm for years about this behavior are no longer capable of shock or surprise. the denialism of the professional israel advocates ensures that this will increasingly be the norm and that israel, neither motivated nor able to act, will be engulfed with hatred when this generation takes the helm of power.

  2. dmseattle says:

    I don’t understand Hebrew so I have no idea what they were saying.
    Do you, ZJB?

    Without knowing the words, they looked a loud but basically good-natured and peaceful group of teenage boys. So what?

    If Gale’s article describes the event shown in the video

    then they are at odds.

    Without knowing more, calling them “Little Jewish Neo-Nazis” is over-the-top.

  3. dmseattle says:

    And to foreclose response, yes, saying “Kill the Arabs” (per quote in article) is bad, stupid etc. Must be stopped.

    My reaction? There’s a lot of tension in the ME and people respond that way.

    I have seen nothing anywhere (and of course there will be exceptions) which suggest any sort of ideology of Jewish militarism and superiority even remotely akin to the Nazis. People try to make that claim but they are not credible. Yes, there is a huge difference between favoring “Greater Israel” and being fascist much less Nazi.

    Just as I said to someone who was accusing J Street of “treason to Israel”, I said “If you are serious, go walk down to the Israeli Embassy and ask for the military attache and give him the evidence and let Israeli security do its job. Otherwise shut up about treason.”

  4. dmseattle says:

    No I guess I did read that article right away and refer to it (above) and characterizing them as neo-Nazi is unbalanced. It needs a lot more: a formal ideology, for one thing. Put in writing. Their words, not Gale’s. Now all you have is a bunch of teenagers with wild hormones.

    ZJB, loose talk not good. We need to be rigorous and challenge ourselves. Not get lazy. Not conflate “I don’t agree with their ideas” with “They are neo-Nazis/traitors to Israel.” I hear the same crap from Jews of every side and it angers me. And I expect better from you.

    • zjb says:

      not just a lot of wild teenagers. they come en masse, shipped in from yeshivot, and, as you can clearly see in the video clip, led by their rabbis. there’s nothing “natural” or simply adolescent about it. I think there’s something to be said for a little loose talk. when you’ve got mobs yelling out “death to Arabs” as they march through the city with the flag, well, i’m not sure what to call it. if i wanted to go over the top, I’d call it a “Zionist death cult.”

  5. Aryeh Cohen says:

    So dmseattle, here are the highlights. The first chant is about revenge (“we will take our revenge,” then just chanting “revenge” a lot, you can hear it plainly when they start up again at the end. the Hebrew word is nekamah). Then someone (looks like a counsellor or teacher) points to a poster and says “you see that poster? we should put dynamite right there.”) Then the teacher gives a pep talk about how “we are aiming for ‘this place'” which refers to the Temple Mount. Then they sing “The Temple will be rebuilt, the mosque will be burnt.” Then they chant “Mohammad is dead” over and over. Then “Palestine, its name should be wiped out.” Then again “Mohammed is dead.” Then “Your village should be burned.” Then we get to the perennial favorite “Death to Arabs.”
    And there you go.

    • dmseattle says:

      Well it’s stupid. Dumb. “There ought to be a law.” Teacher should be shamed, sanctioned.
      But fascist? It’s a long way off.
      Give me something in writing — web page — which shows the theoretical basis and I’ll get concerned. And as I said “Greater Israel” is NOT “Fascism.”
      Put in context too. This thing, whatever it is — I’ll easily stipulate to “Hostility to Arabs” — just arose sua sponte? Ya think it might be reactive to Euro-Arab hostility? (Take a look at MEMRI. please.) And that there is a WAR going on, NOW, and has been for 60-70 years?
      Calling “neo-Nazi” is so so far away from what I think is a balanced view.
      And thanks, Aryeh for the notes.

      • zjb says:

        i understand what you mean, and like you, i think a lot of this rightwing reaction is in response not to a 60 year old war, but to the murder and terror in Israeli cities during the 2nd Intifadah. But that doesn’t make the reaction any less reactionary, and dangerous. I’m not sure what a balanced view looks like when we go to look at the very people throwing the entire situation out of balance.

  6. dmseattle says:

    “reactionary, and dangerous” OK but not anywhere near “neo-Nazi”.

    The more I consider your headline, the more asinine it is to use the term neo-Nazi and doesn’t reflect well on you.

    You are fine with “reactionary, and dangerous” but neo-Nazi, please get a grip.

    • zjb says:

      i find it useful as a fighting word or term of abuse. it’s a rhetorical figure, not an analytic one.

      • dmseattle says:

        In that sense, I can see it.

        But people can mis-understand, take it literally.
        Then you are (mis)-quoted as ‘Syracuse Professor Claims “Israel is Nazi Nation” ‘

        There are a lot of idiots out there.

      • zjb says:

        i’d never say “nazi nation.” but yes, i do see your point.

  7. Myron Joshua says:

    When we religious Zionists waive the vision that “At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the L~RD” and replace it with Jerusalem becoming the ultimate flagpole we have a problem-and this started in 1967.

  8. dmseattle: I was there, and while it may not best be called neo-Nazi, it certainly felt fascist. I am not well placed to determine it objectively, but, being surrounded by marching, well organized, uniformed and chanting men with flags trying to provoke Palestinians into a confrontation (all the while protected by armed soldiers and police) seemed very fascist to me.

    All of the long-time Jerusalem residents I know were depressed and frightened by it (and several of them had no problems calling it ‘Nazi’).

    • DMS says:

      You know what really feels “fascist” to me? Occupy; and the way public speech repeated back by audience. (Yes I understand why.) But that was chilling, like audience from Apple’s “1984” ad.

      • zjb says:

        but without the guns and race-baiting.

      • DMS says:

        Did you see the teens have guns? I didn’t see any.

        As to race-baiting, I wasn’t aware that Palestinians or Arabs are a “race” but putting that aside it’s the same thing you see at Palestinian and Arab political events: the peoples are AT WAR and so of course people say foolish things. Or are you one of those folks who thinks Jews are superior (or should be superior?) And not have normal human emotions?

      • zjb says:

        sorry, DMS, these marches are intentional shows of force and intimidation, mixing up political and religious motivations in a very dangerous way. ginned up by politics and religion, these are no longer simply “normal human emotions.”

      • DMS says:

        I am glad that you are backing off on “neo-Nazi.” 🙂

        As to “intentional shows of force and intimidation, mixing up political and religious motivations” it is what is done in politics. It’s why Occupy has thousands of people in the street except for the religion (which of course was absent in real Nazi events.)

        Were you there in Jerusalem at this march? Or was the article and 4 minutes of video enough for you to be able to characterize people as neo-Nazi?

    • efmooney says:

      The Jerusalem incident isn’t an isolated expression. Haartz reports that 17 students from the Harel High School in Mevasseret Tzion, near Jerusalem, dressed up as KKK members and created a whole tableau (intimidating Ethiopian jews, who knelt begging for mercy). They even marched in their local Purim parade past an absorption center that houses some 1,100 Ethiopian olim. The city council did nothing to condemn it (See “KKK costumes and an incompetent city near Jerusalem” By Joel Braunold / Jewish World blogger | Mar. 31, 2014 | )

      • dmseattle says:

        In the context of an ongoing war, it seems like one of the by-products of jingoism.
        It is regrettable but totally natural.
        When I don’t see/hear vicious anti-semitism in the Arab world then I will get concerned.

        Without getting overly personal, I think that an awful lot of Jews just worry too much.

        And hey! I am a liberal and think that the Palestinians deserve a State of their own, Bibi is making huge mistakes etc etc and I’d like to sing Kumbaya with our Palestinian cousins. But I am so tired of the tender sensibilities of the Arab world. Israel teenagers say stupid stuff because they hear what Arabs say about Jews. Give it a rest, please.

  9. I was there, and there was no shortage of guns. Of course the marchers themselves did not have guns. But, there are people with guns there to ‘protect’ them, right in front of them, all the time. Whenever the confrontation got too intense, guess which group were rushed by the gun wielders?

    I saw some occupy events, and (even though I am not sure what relevance it has here) I would say they seemed much less violent and racist.

    Also, the idea that there is a “WAR” going on on Salah-Al-Din street is questionable, if not plainly incorrect. Most days it’s just people shopping (including Jews).

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