Especially offensive, though, was Monday’s column by Merav Michaeli, who also focused on the poll that so upset Gideon Levy but found a different significance in it:
The issue that should have sparked panic in the survey is the total consensus among Israeli Jews…that the “guiding principle” for the country and for Judaism itself is “to remember the Holocaust.” Ninety-eight percent of the respondents consider it either fairly important or very important to remember the Holocaust, attributing to it even more weight than to living in Israel, the Sabbath, the Passover seder and the feeling of belonging to the Jewish people.
…That’s the way it is with traumas…. Trauma leads to belligerence and a strong tendency to wreak havoc on one’s surroundings….
A very high societal awareness of the Holocaust—cause for “panic”! From a non-Haaretz perspective, this might be seen as an educational success and a welcome phenomenon. Holocaust survivors, it can be assumed, regard it that way, and so would the victims. But for columnist Michaeli, it’s something that drives Israelis to beat up on others—again, a familiar canard of the anti-Semites.
On Tuesday Avirama Golan gave her take on Israeli secondary education:
from year to year, Israeli children will participate in experiential tours in Israel and abroad. First they will lift their heads in national pride in the City of David and shed a Jewish tear at the Western Wall…. Two years later they will march with a huge Israeli flag in the suburbs of Warsaw, will hate Poles and will swear to take revenge on the Palestinians…. Never mind. In any case these children will be drafted, will be welcomed to the army by the rabbi of the base, who will blow the shofar in their honor. It’s better if they’re prepared.
It’s nasty, leering stuff, and it’s anti-Semitic by any reasonable definition.
It was more of the same on Wednesday. Bradley Burston heaped some more demonization on the Israeli leadership:
If we’re lucky, the threat (no more than the threat) of an Iran attack (Bibi and Barak’s Glory Days Redux fantasy) will be just one more dodge to keep settlers and their opponents at bay: long enough to make it to elections, long enough to get another fix of power…. Alternatively, they could do the bidding of the hard right. Shun the left, exploit the center, build like mad in the settlements and bomb Iran for good measure.
By now it should be emerging that—aside from portraying Israel as a country that touts a phony Iranian threat for its own nefarious purposes, or might start a Middle Eastern conflagration for its own sneaky reasons—Haaretz is not fond of “the settlers.” The fury toward Israelis who live in the West Bank—now numbering well over 300,000 and covering the full sociological spectrum—clearly smacks of pathological obsession. Wednesday’s column by Zvi Barel directed still more abuse at these people, depicting them as taking over the country while perhaps being “willing to give Israel equal rights under conditions dictated by the invaders of the hills.”
Thursday was somewhat quieter, with the aforementioned column by right-winger Harel and a few “neutrals.” But Ari Shavit came through with:
Over the past three years, Netanyahu has succeeded in decimating the left’s belief in peace with the Palestinians, and he is en route to destroying the world’s hopes as well. He has managed to convince both the Americans and the Europeans that the main topic on the world’s agenda must be Iran….
And Haaretz was back in full force on Friday. Yoel Marcus:
…The most worrying survey showed that 80 percent of Israelis believe in God…. this number is another element in the weakening of the left, the strengthening of the right, the reinforcement of the rabbis’ rule and the sanctity of the territories—and the continuation of the Bibi regime.
Former Knesset member and cabinet minister Yossi Sarid offered an imaginary letter to his parents by an Israeli schoolchild taken on a school tour of Hebron:
They should stop telling us stories—we’re not children anymore. With our own eyes we saw the settlers acting like the bosses, telling the soldiers and the policemen what to do.… Once I saw a movie called “To Hell and Back,” and that’s a pretty good description of the day we had. We discovered a grave new world, in which an abomination becomes a righteous deed, as long as it’s performed by authority of the Torah, of course…. I’m going to have to rethink everything, after I found out…that God has more support than…Netanyahu here: at least 80 percent, and a majority is a majority. Just as murder is murder…. I trust our education minister will examine our memories to discover what Hebron did to us as a city that really stinks.
And Doron Rosenblum:
It has become difficult in this country to distinguish, at least on the visual level, between a ceremony to dedicate a new Torah scroll and a walk to the cabinet meeting by the prime minister (who is “good for the Jews”) and his entourage of skullcap- and kerchief-wearers.…
To sum up, then, the gleanings from one week of Haaretz’s opinion articles: the Jewish religion is primitive and benighted, and Israeli Jews exploit it to abuse others. Religious Jews are taking over Israel and the Israeli army and constitute a “disease” in that army. Israeli is solely and deliberately responsible for the failure of Israeli-Palestinian talks, and craftily uses the Iranian threat to deceive Americans and Europeans and advance its goals. Israel is an apartheid state. Israelis are driven by the Holocaust to wreak havoc on others. Israeli schoolchildren are inculcated with a ludicrous religion, Judaism, and learn to hate Poles and Palestinians. Israel may bomb Iran just so its prime minister and defense minister can please the “hard right.” The “settlers” are demons, entirely evil.
One of Israel’s main enemies? Haaretz’s English website is certainly that, as it spews this vile nonsense all over the world. Der Stürmer? With its hatred and defamation of the Israeli Jewish people and of Judaism in general, its volleys of anti-Semitic stereotypes, Haaretz is not far off.
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