Israel lobby’s “Death to the Arabs” damage control

Young men with Israeli flags

Members of Lehava, an Israeli Jewish extremist group, marched near occupied East Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate on 22 April, many chanting “Death to the Arabs.”

Heidi Levine Sipa Press

Over the last few days, disturbing videos have shown mobs of Israeli Jewish youths rampaging through occupied East Jerusalem and attacking Palestinians.

“Every evening this week, dozens of young Jews walked around Jerusalem’s city center, chanting ‘Death to Arabs’ and attacking passersby with stones and tear gas,” Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The situation escalated further on Thursday, when more than 100 Palestinians were injured as a result of mob violence provoked by the far-right Jewish group Lehava.

On Thursday night, a death-chanting Israeli mob headed for Damascus Gate, a landmark entrance to the walled Old City in occupied East Jerusalem.

One chant reported by Israeli journalist Nir Hasson was Ha’am doresh Aravim ba esh – “The people demand Arabs in the fire.”

As Palestinians gathered to defend the area, some with stones and bottles, Israeli occupation forces fired at them with stun grenades, tear gas and water cannons.

More than 20 Palestinians required treatment in hospital, according to the Red Crescent.

Israeli Jewish mobs reportedly attacked Palestinians across the city and vandalized cars and property.

In the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, settlers attacked a Palestinian woman driving her vehicle with stones, injuring her in the head, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Israeli media reported that one Jewish man was attacked and injured by Palestinians in East Jerusalem who had been banging on his car.

When he got out and tried to flee, according to Haaretz, “Palestinian youths kicked him while he was on the ground.”

The pretext for the Lehava rampage on Thursday night and in previous days was a video allegedly posted by a Palestinian youth on TikTok more than a week ago, showing a youth slapping a Jewish passenger on a Jerusalem train in an apparently unprovoked assault.

Israeli occupation authorities reportedly arrested two Palestinian 17-year-olds in connection with that incident.

Damage control

One person who evidently recognized how embarrassing the scenes of widespread attacks on Palestinians are to Israel’s international propaganda efforts is Avi Mayer, the global communications chief for the American Jewish Committee, a major Israel lobby group.

“I am ashamed and repulsed by the hate-fueled violence taking place a mile and a half from my home in Jerusalem,” Mayer tweeted.

“The individuals perpetrating it are as foreign to me and my Judaism as are skinheads, white supremacists and other racists around the world. They have no place here,” Mayer added.

This surely ranks as one of the most disingenuous and hypocritical tweets in history.

In 2014, I caught Avi Mayer attending a Death to the Arabs rally in Jerusalem himself, and then attempting to whitewash it.

Mayer claimed that those participating were merely “protesters demanding stronger action against terrorism.”

In fact, they were a mob led by Israeli politician Michael Ben-Ari, and video showed them chanting “mavet la’aravim” – “Death to the Arabs” in Hebrew – just like the most recent videos from Jerusalem.

But there’s stiff competition from Democratic Majority for Israel, a US lobby group aligned with the ruling Democratic Party that put out a tweet to “condemn Lehava’s despicable agenda and violent acts.”

Yet DMFI has yet to condemn or repudiate its own board member Archie Gottesman, an advocate of genocide who in 2018 tweeted: “Gaza is full of monsters. Time to burn the whole place.”

Common cry

Cries of “Death to the Arabs” are sadly an all too common phenomenon in Israel.

And far from being the sole responsibility of a few fringe extremists, they are the direct result of years of anti-Palestinian incitement and dehumanizing rhetoric by Israeli leaders, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country’s top rabbis to other senior politicians and even comedians and pop singers.

Extreme racist and even genocidal hatred of Palestinians is pervasive in Israeli Jewish society, where there exists no significant popular movement to end decades of Israeli military occupation, apartheid and abuse against Palestinians.

In 2014, Avi Mayer worked for the Jewish Agency, an official body that has long played a role in Zionist colonization of Palestinian land throughout historic Palestine.

This underscores that Mayer is not upset about anti-Palestinian racism and violence per se, but only violence that is not organized and managed by the state.

The American-born Mayer is, after all, a former spokesperson for the Israeli military.

In that role his job was to justify violence and war crimes against Palestinians on a daily basis.

Another case in point is the situation in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where dozens of Palestinian families face imminent eviction by Israeli occupation authorities.

This is part of Israel’s gradual but relentless ethnic cleansing across East Jerusalem in order to Judaize it, a violent process that began immediately after Israel occupied it in 1967.

West Jerusalem was ethnically cleansed of Palestinians when Zionist forces occupied it in 1948, during the Nakba.

Needless to say, Mayer has tweeted no objections to the state violence in Sheikh Jarrah – or anywhere else that Israeli police or occupation forces routinely attack, injure and kill Palestinians and destroy or steal their property.

Blaming Palestinians

The latest spasm of mob violence – whether it dies down or escalates – is only a symptom of the Israeli state’s systematic violence against Palestinians, which seeks ultimately to force them out and take their place.

The death-chanting mobs in Jerusalem are not, as Mayer would like us to believe, outliers.

Indeed, as of this writing, Netanyahu has not commented on – let alone condemned – the mob violence in Jerusalem.

On Friday, Israel’s public security minister Amir Ohana, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, put out a statement, according to Haaretz, “condemning attacks against Jews in the city, but made no mention of attacks against Arabs, which on Thursday alone ended with more than 100 wounded.”

That’s hardly surprising: As Netanyahu struggles to retain his post as prime minister in the wake of Israel’s latest inconclusive election, he hardly wants to alienate a large part of his racist base.

The violent gangs in Jerusalem and across the rest of the occupied West Bank are and have always been the vanguard of Zionism and the foot soldiers of the colonizer state.




As a child I heard from my grandmother about the anti-Jewish pogrom of 1914 in Smorgon, Russia and her escape with her sister from the burning town into the forest. Now the pogromists are Jews. It is very bitter. I have done a little to combat the Zionist plague, but I could have done more and I would like to apologize to the victims for not having done more.


For anyone who still requires proof that Zionism is a movement deriving its ethos from modern antisemitism, they need look no farther than to these events. Once again we see Zionism in thought and deed adopting the dynamic of antisemitism, redirected towards a chosen victim made to play the part of scapegoat and racial enemy. Jews now marshal in the streets of Jerusalem, urged on by demagogues, to carry out racist riots- pogroms- aimed at driving the target population from their homes. The sickening images accompanying this report are redolent of the smoke and fire of European fascism, as inflamed mobs do the dirty work of more restrained government bodies. Truly, Zionism is antisemitism for Jews.


This type of virulent mob violence in Occupied Palestine (Israel) by Israeli Jewish Zionists is, really, fairly routine and common. One only has to view the David Sheen video from May 5, 2014, when white Jewish Zionist thugs, and their children, are chanting in the streets, shouting, "Ni**ers go home! Ni**ers go home! Sudanese to Sudan! Eritreans to Sudan!" Spitting at Africans and shouting other vulgar expletives. Palestinians, Black Africans, Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Druze have always been treated as second class citizens and have never been welcome in Occupied Palestine (Israel). What we are witnessing is the true face of Occupied Palestine (Israel).


Yes, Tom Hall is right, as ever. Anti-Semitism is vital to the cause of Herzl's followers. Without it, they lose their raison d'etre. That's why they have to find it everywhere. That's why we have the "new anti-Semitism" and the "real anti-Semitism". That's why the Perlmutters elaborated their half-witted theory. It has to be true that gentiles everywhere are itching to eliminate Jews or the Israeli Statist position becomes absurd. And of course the pathetic cry of "Death to Arabs" is the bleating of the wounded lambs of Israel who have been so extensively indoctrinated that they believe every Arab is a terrorist who wants to see Israel wiped of the map. It takes extraordinarily hard work to twist people's minds so decisively. It requires control over their thinking that can be described only as totalitarian. It presupposes a closing down of the variety of sources of ideas. The price Israel has to pay to maintain the myths on which it was founded is a population of indoctrinated, hate-filled, homicidal, genocidal, zealots who can't even begin to question the lies they have been fed since birth. The success of propaganda in Israel is remarkable, but its failure is that it can't tolerate intellectual, emotional or moral autonomy. When people chant for death, they have lost touch with reality, for liberty and happiness can't be built on genocide or destruction. This is the inwardness, the fear of reaching out, the anxiety about democracy and equality which is destroying Israel. All those who embrace it have no destination but the gulag and the gas chamber. Those who reject it are condemned as traitors, self-haters or "the wrong kind". Those who cry for death have lost their love of life. They can see life only in the death of what they hate. This is what the followers of Herzl have embraced and it will destroy them.