from Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Placeby Richard Silverstein
When an Israeli reader sent this story to me I couldn’t believe the headline summarized above. Further, in this day and age of Norwegian neo-Nazi, anti-jihadi attacks which wrap themselves in the Israeli flag, this story is simply mind-blowing.
It begins with a visit from a Russian neo-Nazi delegation to Israel. Under the auspices of Tuvia Lerner, editor of the Russian edition of Arutz 7, the media voice of the settler movement, they inveigled themselves an invitation to meet with far-right MKs Aryeh Eldad and Ayoob Kara. They also toured Yad VaShem without telling anyone there that they were Holocaust deniers. Like I told you, this story has to be read to be believed. The two Russians have been photographed giving Nazi salutes, celebrating Der Fuhrer’s birthday, and they published songs of praise to Adoph Hitler on their website.
Naturally, when they met with the MKs the ideas they espoused were quite different. One of the neo-Nazis told Israeli TV that the concept of Israel “excites me,” because it involves “an ancient people who took upon itself a pioneer project to revive a modern state and nation.” The TV reporter tartly asked how the neo-Nazi of yesterday suddenly became a Zionist. How they did it, is by finding a common enemy: Islam (sound familiar?). The second neo-Nazi tells the interviewer:
“We’re talking about radical Islam which is the enemy of humanity, enemy of democracy, enemy of progress and of any sane society.
With friends like this does Israel need enemies? Does it wish to lie down with dogs who kill Chechens and Africans for sport only to rise up with fleas? Who assassinate human rights activists and lawyers? Who dream of a master race following its destiny? Is Israel so desperate that it needs such friends in order to battle the common Muslim enemy? Have we not learned a single thing from Anders Breivik?
Lerner attempts to defend his efforts to ingratiate the Russian fascist movement into the good graces of Israeli society by claiming that the two neo-Nazis told him they regretted the anti-Semitic statements they’d made fifteen years ago. But can the leopard changes its spots?? The reporter notes that in just the past year the group wrote that the Holocaust was “a myth.” Then he asks whether the apology was sincere and whether such figures belonged in a place in which the elected representatives of the nation gathered.
The report also features an interview with Eldad in which he feigns an intelligence he clearly lacks, when he says that he knew from the outset that something “didn’t smell right.” And that he met them for only a few minutes (when the TV screen fills with images of him shaking hands and laughing jovially with the Russian delegation).
Anyone reading this blog knows my views about settler extremists, but how can Israel countenance such shocking, disgraceful acts from Arutz 7 and these disgusting representatives of the Israeli people elected to the Knesset? Is anyone using their brains there? Or has everyone lost their senses? Regaling neo-Nazis with anti-jihadi jokes in the halls of the Knesset? Defiling Yad VaShem with unreconstructed Holocaust deniers? Please someone explain this to me (if you can).