Council for the National Interest

Wishing Ebola on Obama: An Israel Consumed by Hatred

Aug 3 2014 / 5:15 am

By Gilbert Schramm.

Nothing demonstrates the failure of decades of Israeli and US policy in Palestine than the wave of hatred that is now consuming Israeli society. Now, 1,900+ Palestinians are dead and 9,000+ are wounded. The victims of this Israeli aggression are overwhelmingly civilians (75-80%). Three Israeli civilians have been killed—all of them after the Israeli attack began. Yet some 95% of the Jewish/Israeli public supports this lopsided carnage. They claim it is “defensive”—even though Israel broke the original ceasefire. The claim that Hamas is to blame for all the deaths is simply insupportable.  Yet in Israel today even genocide is being debated as if it was—or could be—“permissible.”  How did it come to this? The answer has everything to do with how hatred is being deliberately fanned in Israel—and with Israel’s deep sense of guilt for the crimes on which the Zionist state was built and is sustained.

When three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in mid-June, Netanyahu immediately blamed Hamas and promoted the pretence that the boys were still alive. (This is an arbitrary starting point—just a day before, a Palestinian man and child had been killed without any similar outcry.) In the following 11 days, Israel’s military killed about ten Palestinians and arrested almost 600 hundred more. In the weeks of public hysteria in Israel that followed, Netanyahu repeatedly used the language of incitement and hatred.

In Israel, a day before Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khudair was kidnapped and burned alive by six Israeli Jewish youths, Ayelet Shaked, a Palin-esque young member of the Knesset, wrote on her Facebook page that, “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and justified its destruction, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” She also called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.” She explained:

“…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.”

In its immediate response to the lynching/murder of Abu Khudair, Israel claimed that there was “no evidence” that it was a “hate crime.” Don’t certain facts speak for themselves? Israeli police then arrested and beat a young visiting American cousin of Abu Khudair. This hate crime was caught on video. The young American was held under house arrest and his family “detained.” The police who beat the boy are apparently still free. Yet still Israeli hatred grows. A hate site founded in response to the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens was (at that point) getting a thousand likes a minute in Israel.

Then, on the night of 6 July, Israel struck in Gaza, killing seven Hamas “militants.” And only then, with the existing ceasefire clearly broken by Israel, did Hamas rocket fire escalate.

We are now over 30 days into the resulting carnage. Over 1,900 Palestinians have been killed and over 9,000 wounded. None of them lived on the West Bank where the Israeli teens were killed. In all of 2013, up to the Israeli attack of July 6th, ZERO Israeli civilians had been killed by Hamas rockets. ZERO! Even at this point, there are only three civilian deaths in Israel.

Yet the hatred and bloodlust of Israel rages unchecked. A YouTube video from July 28th shows Israelis demonstrating in favor of the current operation by gleefully chanting (roughly translated), “There is no school in Gaza tomorrow—all the children are dead.” Israeli military officials deny that Israel is responsible for civilian casualties—yet military officials privately refer to the policy of “mowing the lawn” — a hate-filled Israeli euphemism for violently, indiscriminately, and regularly “pruning” the Hamas leadership. Reports show that some Israelis watch the bombing from their lawn chairs, cheering and applauding each time a target in Gaza explodes. They share popcorn and describe the event as “just good fun.”

Now this unspeakable hatred has spread to America. Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner, (an executive of the NY Board of Rabbis) claimed that Palestinians who voted for Hamas are combatants who deserve to be targeted by Israel. He said:

When you are part of an election process that asks for a terrorist organization which proclaims in word and in deed that their primary objective is to destroy their neighboring country and not to build schools or commerce or jobs, you are complicit and you are not a civilian casualty.

Ironically, the rabbi’s words apply more aptly to the Israeli leadership which occupies Gaza than it does to Hamas: the Likud party which Netanyahu leads is dedicated to the continued theft of Palestinian land through settlements and the continued prevention of the creation of any viable Palestinian state. Israel’s siege of Gaza has involved the destruction of everything listed above.

Rabbi Kirshner’s words are also an eerie echo of Osama Bin Laden’s claim that ‘there are no innocent American civilians because America elected an oppressive government.’ So (according to the Rabbi) if you voted for Hamas, Israel has a right to kill you!  The fact is, of the 1.8 million people in Gaza, about 15,000 (8%) are actually members of Hamas. About 440,000 voted for Hamas, 414,000 for Fatah and other roughly one million didn’t vote at all. You think we should help Israel kill them all?

Over the tragic weeks of this Israeli assault, the hatred spawned by Israel has quickly become the face of America’s government. The Senate just voted 100-0 to approve S. Res. 498. The bland bureaucratic faces of these Senators, and the media pundits who daily approve them and mouth the talking points of Israel’s cadre of professional liars, are the very picture of Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase about the “banality of evil.”

Israel’s hatred has overflowed. America has embraced it.

This is exactly why our founding fathers warned us against entering into ‘entangling foreign alliances.’  They knew that so called “special relationships” have a special power to corrupt. We don’t need “special relationships” with countries like Israel. We need decent, ethical and practical relationships that promote peace. By that standard, all US aid to Israel should immediately be cut off, the Israeli leadership should be held accountable for war crimes, and sanctions should be imposed on Israel until they abide by all the many UN resolutions and international laws of which they are in violation. (Please notice I am NOT calling for the killing of all Israelis who voted Netanyahu into office.)

Of course you may say, “There is hatred on the Palestinian side as well.” There certainly is, but that seems to be the angry hatred that comes from the very real violence, dispossession and oppression that has been inflicted on them by Israel over the years—it is rooted in honest anger.

The hatred I see in Israel and its supporters is different. It reeks of bad conscience. It is an ever deepening sewer fed by a guilt that silently corrodes the shaky foundations of the state and the whole Zionist project that spawned it. It threatens Israel’s cherished goal of attaining “legitimacy”—even in its own jaded eyes. The deaths of three teenagers, however tragic, could never unleash this torrent of hatred in a country that was not already deeply in the grip of a virulent disease. It is absurd to talk, as some pundits have done lately, about ‘hatred on the fringes of Israeli society.’ The hatred is at the core and pervades the body politic—it is in the government, the military, and the 95% of Jewish Israelis whom (polls now show) support Netanyahu’s current policy.

A few days ago a serious op-ed in “The Times of Israel” debated the notion that genocide is “permissible” (under certain conditions of course). At the moment those “conditions” seem to consist only of Netanyahu’s deciding to say that the extermination of the Palestinian people is “necessary for Israel’s security.” Certainly the ruling elites in the US are taking his every utterance as gospel truth. The very fact that genocide is now openly being debated in Israel says all we need to know about the hatred consuming that country. It also speaks volumes about the level of evil that America’s blind acceptance of Netanyahu’s astonishing lies empowers.

In an article entitled “With Friends Like These…”  (August 8th, Mondoweiss) Author Phillip Weiss reported that:

Readers of the prominent Israeli news site Mako have overwhelmingly voted in favor of sending President Barack Obama an envelope containing the Ebola virus for his birthday.
The site, which belongs to the Channel 2 company “Keshet” (the most widely watch broadcasting network in Israel) began the survey at noon on Sunday, asking readers what they would like to give the president for his 53rd birthday. The options were as follows
A) Peace in the Middle East (22%)
B) Golf clubs (11%)
C) A box set of Israeli television series Prisoners of War (9%)
D) A remix by Noi Alush (local video artist) of Netanyahu’s now-famous “Don’t ever second guess me again” line (10%)
E) An envelope with the Ebola virus (48%)

Ebola? Readers should note that this hatred is directed towards an American president who, like most of his predecessors, has misguidedly backed the Israel government hook line and sinker. Do we need any more proof that appeasement of Zionists will never, ever, lead to peace? That it only empowers more hatred and ever more extreme violence?

It’s tragic to see how Israel’s foreign hatred is polluting our own much more powerful and relevant country: tragic to see so many people across our political spectrum choosing to enlist on the side of Israel’s guilty hatred as it continues its project of exterminating the original owners of Palestine. One can feel pity for these people consumed by hatred—but we must not buy into their hatred and lies. For most of us there is still time to stop and think. After all, there are no “chosen people.” We are simply what we choose to make of ourselves. No one forced Israel to start this war. No one forced the US to support it. But both will be judged for the choices they made.


Gilbert Schramm is a peace activist and international educator who currently lives in Oregon. He has previously lived and worked extensively in the Middle East and has studied the region for almost 35 years.

Posted by on Aug 3 2014 . Filed under Commentary & Analysis . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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