Incitement (Benjamin Netanyahu)

netanyha rabin

As the recent election results continue to unfold in Israel, I’m thinking about the dangerous political power of language to incite mobs. Benjamin Netanyahu is an old hand at whipping it up. There were the poison words whispered many years ago in the ear of an aged rabbi, “The people of the left have forgotten what it is to be Jewish.” That was in 1997. And then the comments after the murder of the three Israeli teenagers last summer (2014), this quote take out of context from a poem by Bialik, “Such vengeance for blood of babe and maiden hath yet to be wrought by Satan.” And then the most very recent words against the Arab vote meant to panic the people back to vote Likud. I’m adding these two pictures and a Youtube clip here from demonstrations attended by Netanyahu to protest the Oslo Accords. Appealing to the fear of death and base instinct, this was the atmosphere leading up to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

netanyahu rabin coffin

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.
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1 Response to Incitement (Benjamin Netanyahu)

  1. dmf says:

    long and monstrous history to nationalist racism, blood and soil…

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