By now we’ve become accustomed to Israeli politicians calling for, or openly fantasizing about, the mass murder of Palestinians.
Such frankness about genocidal fantasies is not so common among writers for the venerable liberal Zionist publication The Jewish Daily Forward.
But in a piece today on Israel’s upcoming election, Forward contributing editor Jay Michaelson includes this horrifying passage:
Any American supporting the Likud now has to face the facts. This is not a list taking a somewhat harder negotiating line, or being a bit tougher on Iran. This is a list of nationalist thugs who pander to the absolute worst in all of us: fears, prejudices and most of all, anger. This tactic works; after all, what supporter of Israel isn’t furious with Hamas? Who didn’t entertain a thought of “turning Gaza into a parking lot,” as one conservative friend of mine proposed? It’s natural to feel these emotions -— but ill-advised to act on them, and cynical to exploit them.
Natural? As Twitter user @CoryDeSole, who brought the article to my attention wrote, “Shame on [Jay Michaelson] for suggesting that genocide is a mainstream Jewish value.”
Michaelson apparently thinks it is perfectly “natural” for American Jews sitting in New York or Los Angeles to fantasize about the total obliteration of a territory that houses an impoverished, besieged population, the vast majority of whom are refugees exiled from their original towns and villages solely because they are not Jews. That’s not “natural.” That’s horrifying.
Can you imagine the reaction if any prominent advocate for Palestinian human rights said that it was “natural” for Palestinians or anyone else to “entertain a thought of turning Tel Aviv into a parking lot”?
No need to imagine. Israel’s prime minister and his fanatical Zionist supporters have been yearning for war against Iran for years, largely on the pretext of some dubiously translated comments its president made a few years ago.