Watch: Netanyahu’s New Normal

Over the past few months, I have been giving a lecture called “Netanyahu’s New Normal” in Europe and the United States.

My latest lecture recaps underreported yet critically important recent political developments in Israel. It also compares and contrasts the Israeli government’s venomous animosity for the previous US administration with its ecstatic embrace of the current one.

With the rise of Donald Trump and other reactionaries around the world, the Israeli far-right has grown increasingly confident – dropping any pretense of aspiring to peace – and now openly admits its ambitions of full-blown apartheid, or worse.

But in the era of “Netanyahu’s New Normal,” this Israeli incitement is met with silence. What would have seemed scandalous only a short time ago is now accepted without much more than a shrug from the mainstream media.

The lecture also wades into disputed territory where few are willing to tread, unpacking the controversial use of Nazi comparisons. Obviously, the Nazi Holocaust was one of the most horrific episodes of human history, and out of respect for its victims, we should refrain from invoking it in response to just any other injustice.

But does a commitment to cultural sensitivity require us to eliminate any and all Nazi comparisons from our lexicon? And if this is the case, then what tools are we left with to describe the abysmal situation on the ground – especially as it deteriorates even further?

An analysis of how Nazis and Nazism are discussed in Israel itself sheds some much-needed light on this matter, and may point us towards a way forward.

The video for “Netanyahu’s New Normal” features hundreds of images and is about 90 minutes long. I have also divided the video into shorter segments. Some may find the shorter segments easier to digest.

Still, I urge you to view the long-form lecture, as it concludes with an extra four minutes of video, a comical epilogue that turns the talk on its head.

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David Sheen

David Sheen is an independent writer and filmmaker.