Israel’s killer vegetarians (and vegans). A brief history

Over the years I’ve noticed a phrase repeatedly used in Israeli discussions to indicate that a person is an enthusiastic killer of other human beings: “he’s not a vegetarian” or sometimes, “I’m not a vegetarian.”

For example, recently Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israeli military intelligence praised US President Barack Obama’s willingness to kill in an interview on The Times of Israel website:

Look, President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize, but he’s not a “vegetarian.” Ask bin Laden. What has happened to various al-Qaeda leaders?

Back in 2001, Rehavam Ze’evi, then tourism minister in the government of Ariel Sharon called for the expulsion of then Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, and his murder if necessary, as The New York Times reported:

“I don’t say eliminate him physically, but send him with a one-way ticket to Tunis,” Rehavam Ze’evi, the tourism minister, said in a telephone interview today. But, he added, “If he resists and his capture requires his physical elimination, I’m not a vegetarian.

Ze’evi an outspoken advocate of the expulsion of all Palestinians, was himself assassinated in eastern occupied Jerusalem just two weeks after he made this statement, by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. However, it is unknown whether those who carried out the killing were vegetarians.

Sharon, in whose government Ze’evi served, of course, is famous both for his love of killing and of shawarma.

And then there was Gen. Amram Mitzna, who commanded Israeli occupation forces during the brutal crackdown on the first Intifada in the late 1980s. In the early 2000’s this blood-stained general was re-fashioned as a “dovish” peace leader of the Labor Party, leading Haaretz to describe him as a “vegetarian among the wolves.”

There is at least one among Israel’s top brass whose history with violence did lead to actual vegetarianism, Meir Dagan, the former head of Israel’s international assassination organization Mossad. The New Yorker’s David Remnick interviewed Dagan earlier this year:

He clearly eats plenty, but he does not eat meat. (“It’s because of a gruesome event in 1985. I cannot even smell meat or touch it.”) He collects swords. Various military exploits have left what he calls “their memorials”: a bullet in the chest, a bad leg and back, and “metal pieces in my body here and there.”

So it was these examples I had in mind when I saw the new propaganda effort by the Israeli army, an image on its Facebook page celebrating “veganism in the IDF.”

It tells us, for example, that “Soldiers who declare themselves as vegans receive special faux leather military boots.”

This hasbara (propaganda) is supposed to soften the image of Israel’s killer army that is responsible for everything from daily humiliations and abuses of Palestinians, to horrifying crimes against children, to atrocities on a large scale.

But of course it didn’t soften the Israeli army’s image for me. Knowing how lethal some of Israel’s vegetarians are, I shudder to think about what its vegans are capable of doing.

Comments

It is also a fact that Israel is a major researcher and developer of GMOs. There is no U.S. state university system that does not accept funding from Israel for this purpose. So these "vegan" soldiers are killing the earth as well as human beings--a double whammy!

Do IDF vegans relax their strict moral code to kill terrorist chickens? http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/...

I presume they are given a more vegan-friendly task, like shooting at fishermen near Gaza, or stopping Palestinians from milking cows ( http://mondoweiss.net/2011/05/... )

Shared this graphic and ripped it up on The Vegan Police page the other day on "International Vegan Day." Very glad Electronic Intifada stepped up and provided some more context to this very obvious propaganda. The fact that thousands of people liked this graphic (at least two "friends" on facebook - both PeTA staff) and numerous people argued about it on the VP page is disgraceful. Oppose apartheid in all of it's forms. I oppose everyone in the animal advocacy movement who uses the hatred of; poor people, fat people, women, queer folk, Palestinians, etc. to promote your (not my) cause. They keep us in the dark ages.

In my humble opinion, an analysis of why the IDF is running this particular kind of propaganda would be far more interesting than this odd description of some of the dietary habits of a few unpleasant government types finished off with a sweeping insult to all Israeli vegans. Thanks for pointing me to the insane propaganda piece, also why is it in English? Did you translate it or was it meant for an English speaking audience, that is, as external hasbara?

wearing leather boots = immoral
using your non-leather boots to stomp on a child's face = morality

i wonder how peta would react to an announcement by us businesses that all further animal test will be preformed on Palestinians.

The IDF's attempt to portray an image which includes vegans ( gentle souls), ironically mimics Nazi Germany: Adolph Hitler, Heinrich Himmler and, reportedly, 12 of the 28 top leaders in the Waffen SS were highly disciplined vegetarians. To some, this could suggest a correlation between psychopathic deeds and a passion for parsley. To other observers, it's not what's in your stomach but what is in your soul that distinguishes you from a beast of prey. An appetite for a re- make of a ghastly, criminal image can be satisfied only by ingesting on-going precepts of justice and compassion for those whom you continue to brutalize. The alternative for Zionist extremists is to digest the fact that self-induced heartburn will remain a constant companion and reminder to those who ignore reality, while cuddling a bankrupt supremacist agenda.

Actually the idea that Hitler and other high-level Nazis were abstemious vegetarians was propaganda. It was intended to make the leaders appear extremely disciplined, but private accounts reveal that this was not actually the case.

So in effect, the positive connotation with being vegetarian is used the same way by both the Israeli military and the Nazis, for the same reason.

It is almost as though the phrase "I am not vegetarian" is used when the speaker means "I do not mind performing acts of wanton cruelty, which I know to be unethical" - or maybe "I don't let ethics get in my way."

Check out

The Vegetarian Mitzvah
at
www.brook.com/jveg