8. November 2023
“When Jewish extremists, fanatic Zionists, religious zealots, ultranationalists and crypto-fascists in the apartheid state of Israel say they want to wipe Gaza off the face of the earth, believe them,” writes award-winning journalist Chris Hedges.
Despite the fact that over 10,000 Palestinians, among them over 4,000 children, have so far been killed in Israel’s unrestrained bombing of civilian targets in Gaza, describing Israel as a Nazi state still provokes reactions in Norway, as described in here on FOR’s website. Chris Hedges, formerly the New York Times Middle East bureau chief for fifteen years and who was part of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning team, says, “There has always been an undercurrent of Jewish fascism within the Zionist project. Now this trend has taken control of the Jewish state.”
The Greater Israel vision
In the post, Hedges describes the vision for the incumbent the Israeli government like this:
The goal is a “pure” Israel, cleansed of Palestinian contaminants. Gaza is to become a wasteland. The Palestinians in Gaza will be killed or forced into refugee camps over the border in Egypt. Messianic redemption will take place once the Palestinians are expelled. Jewish extremists call for the Al-Aqsa mosque – the third holiest shrine for Muslims, built on the ruins of the Jewish Second Temple, which was destroyed in 70 CE by the Roman army – to be demolished. The mosque is to be replaced by a “Third” Jewish temple, a move that would set the Muslim world alight. The West Bank, which the zealots call “Judea and Samaria,” will be formally annexed by Israel.
The Israeli government coalition
The Israeli government, which sat until October 7, was a coalition government between Benjamin Netanyahu’s traditional right-wing Likud party, the two religious-conservative parties Shas and United Torah Judaism, and three far-right parties. Noam is primarily ultra-conservative, focused on the fight against LGBTQI rights, while the other two, The Religious Zionist Party and Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power), are described by English Wikipedia as anti-Arab and supporters of «Jewish supremacy«. From 13 October, the party National Unity, led by former prime minister Benny Ganz, also joined the government. On a personal level, Benny Ganz is Benjamin Netanyahu’s political rival, but politically, in relation to a political solution towards the Palestinians, National Unity stands for exactly the same line as Likud, as supporters of annexation of the settlements and the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank, and thus also as opponents of any two-state solution.
Israel’s Electoral Commission in 1988: «Nazi-like ideology»
«Jewish Power» considers itself a direct successor party to the Kach party. In 1988, the Israeli Electoral Commission moved to ban the Kach party, on the grounds that the party stood for a «Nazi-like ideology.
However, Kach was only banned in 1994 after one of the party’s members, Baruch Goldstein, carried out a massacre of Palestinians who prayed in a mosque in Hebron. The fact that «Jewish Power» leader Itamar Ben-Gvir, who himself was a member of Kach in his youth, still fully supports Kach’s genocidal, «Nazi-like» ideology, is emphasised by the fact that he has had a large photograph of Baruch Goldstein hanging in his own living room.
Israeli minister: Use of nuclear weapons against Gaza a possibility
An estimated four million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust and, therefore, no one should take lightly any talk about the danger of a new Holocaust, or, as Chris Hedges does, refer to the Nazis’ own term, «the final solution», without there being a real risk of a crime being committed which is comparable in both intent and scope.
However, the statement from Minister of Cultural Heritage Amihau Eliahu does not make it difficult. In a radio interview, the minister who also represents «Jewish Power” said that «nuclear weapons can be a way to solve the problem in Gaza».
Using nuclear weapons against Gaza means killing 2.2 million Palestinians in one stroke. That in itself involves killing quite exactly twice the number gassed to death by the German Nazis at Auschwitz.
Einstein and Arendt: Likud’s predecessor has «a strong resemblance to fascism and Nazism»
After Eliahu’s statement, several media have reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu has suspended him from the government. However, there is no constitutional arrangement in Israel that allows a prime minister to suspend a minister. A minister, on the other hand, can be fired, but Netanyahu has chosen not to do that. Firing the «Jewish Power» minister from the government would mean that his party would also leave the government, and it would weaken Netanyahu’s position vis-a-vis the Knesset, making him dependent on the support of rival Benny Gantz and his party, which just entered government as part of a common front in the wake of the Hamas attack on 7 October.
The fact that pragmatic party considerations make Israel’s prime minister choose to take in a party that is open for an ideology that Israel’s own electoral commission in 1988 described as «Nazi-like», and chooses to maintain the coalition even after a member of the government concretely and physically proposes to carry out a full-scale Holocaust against the Palestinians in Gaza, says a lot, also about the ideology of Likud and other mainstream parties in today’s Israel.
Likud’s predecessor was the Herut party. Herut, the party of former Prime Minister Menachim Begin, had its origins in the Zionist terrorist organisation Irgun which, in addition to carrying out the bombing of the offices of the British administration at the King David Hotel, also carried out the massacre of Palestinian civilians in the village of Deir Yassin during the 1948 war. The Deir Yassin massacre, which Begin, as head of the Irgun, vowed to «repeat everywhere», was the main reason why three-quarters of the Palestinian population in what was, from 1949, recognised by the UN as the State of Israel, fled. Without this flight, Israel would not have become a Jewish state in the sense that the state would have a Jewish majority. Therefore, in all the years since, Israel has refused the right of return to all who fled during the war in 1948.
However, Herut was not satisfied with having established a Jewish state in the parts of Palestine which in 1949 were recognised as Israel. Herut wanted the Jewish state to cover the entire former British mandate area of Palestine, including Jerusalem and the West Bank, which is consistently referred to as «Judea and Samaria» by this, eventually dominant, tendency within the Zionist movement. The goal of a Jewish state in all of Palestine can only be achieved by killing and/or expelling a majority of the Palestinians who currently live in Gaza and the West Bank.
Thus, we see that the ideology on which Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud party are based is not at all distant from the, according to Israel’s own electoral commission, «Nazi-like» ideology of the coalition partner «Jewish Power». Among those who saw this early on were the Jewish intellectuals Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt and Sidney Cook. In a letter in the New York Times in 1948, they described Herut as «a political party closely akin in its organisation, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.”